THE CARMENS REMONSTRANCE, OR A Reply to the false and scurrilous Papers of the WOODMONGERS, by them put out against the CARREMEN: IN A Way of opposing them in getting of their Charter, and Vindication of the Carmens in­tentions against the Scandal of the VVOODMONGERS.

Directed to the Right Honourable, ALEXANDER GARLAND Esquire, and the rest of the Committee of Parliament Who heard the businesse between the Woodmongers and the Carmen.

And likewise to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen of the City of London.

By STEPHEN SPRATT Solicitor for the Carremen.

Printed at London by G. Dawson 1649.

TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE, Alexander Garland, Esquire; And the rest of the Committee appointed by Parliament for hearing the controversie between the Carmen and Wood­mongers of London, &c.
And to the Right Honorable, the Lord Major, and Court of Aldermen of the Citie of LONDON, Grace, Mercy, and Peace be multiplied, unto you from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ.


IN this following Treatise you will partly finde the contest between the Car­men of LONDON, &c. and the Woodmongers of the same, &c. I am confident, that you of the Commit­tee above mentioned, are very sensible of the wil­lingness, and great care of this (our happy, bles­sed, and worthy renowned Parliament, in gi­ving [Page] such speedy eare to the cries of the poor Car­men, and how quickly they were pleased to read their Petition when it was first presented; for which the Carmen have a treble duty upon them towards the Parliament: And your care in meet­ing at the Committee, as soon as the Petition was re­farred, to examine the matter on both sides, was so much, that the Carmen, their poore Wives and Children, are ever bound to be thankfull, and to honour and serve you for ever. I doubt not but you are sensible of the great oppressions the Carmen lay under, by their being governed by the Woodmongers: And I beleeve your Ho­nours were well satisfied with the proof of the same.

And I doubt not but you the Lord Major and Aldermen of the Citie of LONDON doe very well know what wrong the Woodmongers have done the Carmen. And no doubt but you would have relieved them to the utmost of your pow­er, had the Carmen come with their petition. But I advised them, that nothing could perfectly and perpetually relieve them from their oppressions, but to be severed from the Woodmongers com­pany, and to be incorporate in one Body by them­selves, by Charter under the great Seale of Eng­land, which you had no power to grant: and there­fore they petitioned the Parlirment, in whose pow­er it is to grant the same. The matter hath been ful­ly heard, and received many debates: The Wood­mongers have been heard at large what they could say, and Mr. Recorder was heard what he could [Page] say on behalf of the Citie, as he can well report to you. Mr. Recorder can report to you what horrible and unjust things were proved against the Wood­mongers in point of measure of coales, and how the good people of the Citie are cheated, although the Woodmongers in a scandalous paper delivered lately to the members of Parliament, did basely scandalize and calumniate the Committee, saying, they would not heare them vindicate themselves. Truly you may very well beleeve that those who so openly and impudenrly will scandalize a Com­mittee of Parliament, will very easily abuse the Carmen, who they have made their slanes so long time. But it is well known that the Woodmongers were heard, and heard again, three dayes one after a­nother, and had nothing to say; but all their desire was to delay time, and to weary out the Carmen, as the Committee very well knows. And now they as much endeavour to retard the Committee from making their Report to the House: And all is, because they would weary out the Carmen, and continue their usurped authority over them, and to get as many Rent-dayes past as they can: to get in the Car-rents, that so they may goe to Law with the Carmen with their owne money, and most they have now to say is by way of predicti­on, how the Carmen will abuse the Citie, and abuse Merchants, &c. when I know to the con­trary: For the Carmen have from time to time in their meetings declared against the rudenesse of some of their Apprentices and Journey-men, and are resolved whensoever the Government is put [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] into their hands, to remedy any abuse whatsoever, which the Woodmongers never took care to doe.

Now there is nothing wanting but the report to be made, and the Act passed: I beg for Gods sake, and Justice sake, that you the Committee will be pleased to hasten the same; and that you the Lord Major, and Aldermen of London, will be­come Advocates to the Parliament, on behalfe of the poore Car-men, by declaring your willing­nesse in petitioning to the Parliament, that they will be pleased speedily to grant the Car-mens de­sires, before they be utterly ruined by the Wood­mongers, that there may be no more leading into catpivitie, nor no complaining in your streets.

And he, who is bound in dutie to pray for your health and prosperitie, will ever remaine,

Your humble, and faithfull Servant, STEPHEN SPRAT.

The CARMENS Reply to the WOODMONGERS Answer to the CAR­MENS Petition, which the Woodmongers call, A Scandalous Paper, &c.

TThe Woodmongers say, The Car­men proved not any one Article against them before the Commit­tee, as a Corporation: Nor that they did not erre from the Go­vernment put into their Hands. But that which the Carmen sup­posed to be proved, was deceit against some particular men in their measure of Coales; which did much take with the Committee: And being out of the Verge of their reference, those particular men were not suffered to answer any thing in their own vindication.

Reply. That all the Articles exhibited by the Carmen, were proved against the Woodmongers, which was the ground of the resolution of the Committee, viz. That the Carmen should be severed from the Company of Wood­mongers, and be a Corporation by themselves distinct from the Woodmongers.

Reply. That a Corporation is invisible, titular, or nomi­nall, and so cannot erre: But the members of a Corporation may erre, and so did the members of the Company of Woodmongers, as it was proved before the Committee; and the capitall errors were these, viz.

The taking away of the Estates of poore men, widowes, and children, (to wit) Car-roomes, which they purchased with their money at deare rates. The taking away of which Roomes, hath been the cause of the starving to death many poor fatherless children, &c.

Reply. That they have and do erre from the government put into their hands, for that their Charter doth not give them power to take away any Car-roomes from any man, who hath, or ever did purchase the same; nor from the wi­dowes or children of any Carman, nor to abuse the Citie with false measures.

The Woodmongers say, That a Car-room is nothing but a Brand, or Licence set on the side of a Cart, to know the number limited, being 400.

Reply. They say true in that, and thereby the Carmen know their Right: And if any others should set up Carts, and marke them with that Brand, or mark, then the Car­men doe know themselves to be wronged, & their labour to be taken from them. And if any Carres be set on work with the Mark or Brand on the side of it, and doe exceed the num­ber of foure hundred; then the Citie is abused, and the Carmen robbed of their labour: But the Woodmongers did, and doe still allow above fourty Carts to worke more then the number of foure hundred with the Mark or Brand on the side thereof, &c. And by allowing of these Carts above the number of foure hundred, they get at least three hundred pounds a yeare: but the Lord knowes what they doe with the money; and what is become of the Stock of the Hall, no man but themselves can tell, albeit their books testifie that the Revennue of their Company is 800. pound per annum, and all raised out of the poore Carmens labour: and the Hospitall goe unpaid their Rent, at Midsummer last [Page] 250. pounds in arreare, which the Carmen would scorn to suffer, were they but once incorporate by themselves.

II. The Woodmongers say in their Answer, That Car­licences, or Car-roomes, and Carmen, were time out of mind, in the rule and disposition of the Citie, who did from time to time, set down orders for their Government, and the Cities quiet: And the Carmen themselves petitioned to be under the Woodmongers government, and to be incorporate with them, by reason they were not capable to govern themselves; and the ordering of them was by Act of Common-councell, commiitted to the Woodmongers, who did condioion with the Citie to pay to Christs Hospitall By what authority. 150. l. per annum for their poores reliefe.

Reply. The Carmen doe not endeavour to be from un­der the Rule of the Citie, but to be from under the rule of the Company of Woodmongers, and to be under the Rule, prescription, and protection of the Lord Major, and Court of Aldermen (were they but incorporate by them­selves, as other Companeis are) and to pay to the Citie the hundred and fifty pounds per annum more faithfully then the Woodmongers have done. And to stand to, and abide such Orders and by Lawes (for their good government and just dealings with Merchants and others of the Citie) as by consent of the Judges of the Land, and consent of the Lord Major and Court of Aldermen they shall make.

Reply. And whereas the Woodmongers in their answer say, That the Carmen did petition to be incorperate with them. Whether this be true, or false, it is no great matter, (but the Carmen say, It is false) and that the Woodmongers did onely use the Carmens name in their Petition (without their consents) to King James in the first year of his Reigne, meerly to set a grace upon their Petition, to procure their Charter, or else they had never gotten it. But suppose the Carmen did petition to be under the Woodmongers Go­vernment, yet not so under them as never to come to be Masters, nor beare rule in the Company; as now the Wood­mongers deny to suffer them: neither can it be thought, [Page] that the Carmen ever intended so to loose their birth-Rights, as to serve a Prentiship in London for a Freedome (as they have done) and never to beare rule in their Com­pany, but, to live as slaves to the Woodmongers. Besides, it is very probable, that the Woodmongers in those dayes were honest men: And therefore the Carmen might well petition to be incorporate with them; both Parties at that time being but a small body; but now the multitude both of Carmen and Woodmongers arising to a great body; and the Woodmongers still incroaching and intrenching upon the Carmens priviledge. They may, and doe see more reason to petition to be seavered from the Woodmongers, then ever they did to be joyned with them; and therefore the Woodmongers allegation in that, is vain and foolish.

Again, The Woodmongers say, The Carmen were not capable to governe themselves. For reply to that, Whether this be a scandall to the Carmen in those dayes, is not worth disputing. But if they were not capable in those dayes to governe themselves; yet that is no argument that the Car­men of these dayes are not capable to governe themselves, for few of these were Carmen in those dayes. Besides, in these later ages all men grow wiser and wiser, and so doe the Carmen. Yet further for reply, Why the Carmen should not be as capable of Government as the Wood­mongers are, let the World judge? Or why the Carmen were not so able to governe when they were incorporate, first, let Reason speake? What were the Woodmongers in those dayes, when the Corporation was granted? A few poore petty fellowes, that bought Coles and Wood, and sould them again, and were so few in number, whilst they lived meerly by honesty, that in the third yeare of King James, when their Charter was granted, they were forced to take out ten men out of the Company of Farriers to make them a Company. Now let Reason speake, Why may not a Carman be as capable of Government as a Farrier? Now the world may see what brave Blades these Woodmon­gers were, that make such brags of their excellency in Go­vernment. [Page] Cast your eyes a little upon the Woodmon­gers of these times, and behold what Gallant Race, or Stock they come on. Some of them made Canvis Slops for Sea­men, some are Brewers, and some were Coblers, &c, And when they were so neare crackt they could hardly hold toge­ther, then for lucre of the Car-roomes, which they knew they should have power to take from poor Men, Widowes, and fatherlesse Children, (their Roomes being worth 50, or 60. pounds apeice,) they turned their Copies and came to be Woodmongers. Now let Reason be the Judge once more, Why may not the honest Carmen of these times be as capable of Government as a Slop-maker, a Brewer, or a Cobler? &c

One word by way of Argument: Why not the Carmen to be a Company incorporate by their selvs, as well as the Wood­mongers, Porters, Watermen, and Tankard-bearers, &c. Are these people so able to governe above the Car-men? O but the reason why the Wood-mongers doe so much oppose the Car-men, in getting of their Charter, is because of the Car-roomes, O the sweet Car-roomes; four hun­dred of them (saith the Woodmongers) that paid unto us 17s. 4d. per annum, and 1s. 6d. quartridge, and 20s. every turne over, and 20s. a peece admittance, besides 20s. upon every Car-roome, taxed by us, when, and as often as we please, besides 3s. per weeke for so many as we pleased to seale above the number of four hundred, out of which we have feasted our Bellies with many a fat Capon, and with other good cheere, whilst many of the poor Wi­dowes of our Company, and fatherlesse children hath pe­rished for want of bread, whose Car-roomes we used to take away at our pleasure. (Oh) these naughty Car-men will be divided from us, and then our Glory will lye a­mongst our Coales: O when the Car-roomes be gone, what shall we doe for a Hall-Stock to give and lend one to another; to goe downe the River, and forestall the Market, and to keep up the combination amongst us, to the intollerable abuse of the Citie and parts adjacent, in [Page] keeping up the price of Coales. O come, lets Bussle, and perswade the Parliament-men to keepe up our Interest, though it be never so much to their dishonour. Now the reasons are discovered why the Wood-mongers doe keepe such a bussling, to keep the Car-men from getting a Char­ter: But the Carmen doe know, and beleeve, that this Ho­nourable Parliament, for whom they have so often ventu­red their lives, (and never fought against, as the Wood­mongers have done) will doe them Justice, and Relieve them from their oppressions, in despight of all gain­sayers.

III. The Wood-mongers say, the Car-mens desires in making Car-licenses hereditary, to be bought and sold, is uncustomary, illegall, and against equitie, to the ruine of thousand Families of poore Carmen, for present and fu­ture, that are never able to purchase a Car-roome at those deare rates which then will be, the said Car-roomes al­wayes having been, and now are given as Favours to De­serving, Honest Thats none of the Woodmong­ers. Car-men, that served their Appren­ticeships, Thats more than the Master of the Wood-mong­ers ever did. and dismist from dishonest and unruly men, as President A good President, for a Freeman of London to loose his cal­ling at the pleasure of a Woodmonger. for above a hundred years.

For Reply: First, the Car-roomes, which the Wood­mongers call Car-licenses, are, and ought to be a Chattel, and to descend to the Executor, or Administrator, when a Car-man dies: (the Reasons;) First, because of the set number, they must be foure hundred, and no more, saith the Law of the Citie: Now these four hundred Car-roomes, being formerly setled upon foure hundred Car­men, by purchase, or descent, are their proper Goods; for it is supposed there be 1000 Car-men, yet the number of 400 carts must not be exceeded. So then no Car-man can set up a cart, unlesse he hath a Car-roome, and cannot have a Roome, unlesse he buy it of some other Car-man, and it must be of the foresaid number, this is one Reason why it is a Chattell; it may properly be called a Chattell annexed to a Free Hold, because it hath no determination, but goes to the Heirs, the Executor, Administrator, or As­signes, as the Testator please.

Secondly, in regard of the Rent, the City is the Lord of the Fee, or chief Lord of the Car-roomes, and the Car-men are Tennants, and pay a quit Rent, that is, one hundred and fifty pounds a year.

Thirdly: The Woodmongers say it is uncustomary. For Reply, it was, and is a custom older than the Woodmongers Charter, as hath been already proved, and the Wood­mongeas doe very well know, that their Hall-bookes doe manifest, that Car-roomes were commonly bought and sold betweene man and man, as ordinary as any other com­modity; yea, the Woodmongers well know, that Car-roomes were pawned and mortgaged for mony, and ac­counted as good security as any Land, and this doth ap­peare by their owne Bookes, from 1605. which was the time their Charter was granted, till 1623. which was a­bout the time the Wood-mongers procured that wicked monopolizing Decree in Star-chamber, by which the Woodmongers hath since acted, leaving all rules given them in their Charter, and sets up this Decree for a Law, and keeps much stir to have it maintained so, though to the ruine of men, women, and children, for time past, pre­sent, and to come.

Again, their Hall-books shew that these Car-roomes were sold, pawned, and morgaged, to the knowledge of the company, and by their consent, so that if the compa­ny had then power to take them away, then their know­ledge and consent to the selling, pawning, or morgaging of them, might have been a fine way to cheate men of their money. This is another Argument to prove the Car-roomes hereditary, and proper goods and chattell, and lawfull to be bought and sold.

Another Rerson is, that the Car-roomes hath ever been appraised as part of the goods of the deceased, and inven­toried and filed in the Orphans court London, as it hath been already proved by the Records of that Court before the Committee of Parliament: Surely the Lord Major, and Court of Aldermen, would never have suffered car-roomes [Page 8] to have been filed in that Court, as the goods and chattels of the deceased, if they had not intended (they be­ing the Land-lords of the said Roomes) they should have been goods and chattels. The Woodmongers themselves hath lately sold car-roomes for fifty pounds a peece: And this is another Reason why car-roomes should be taken and deemed as a chattell. &c. at the disposing of the Te­stator.

Reply: It is the most (e) equallest thing in the world, Woodmong­ers against E­quitie. Woodmonger that every man should possesse that which he doth purchase, or what descends to him of right.

To the ruin of thousands of Families of the poor Carmen, for present and future.

Reply: There is not thousands of Families of Carmen; but they are a great body, and therefore the more fit to be a Corporation.

But the Woodmongers, by this part of their answer, would seeme to rob Peter to pay Paul; they would have the 400 Car-roomes in their disposing, because they would give them to deserving, honest men, who have served their Apprenticeships. So then, those who purchased their Roomes fourty yeares since, and served their Apprentice­ships to, must be at the pleasure of the Woodmongers, whether they shall worke at their trade yea or no; but they would take these Roomes, and give them one to a­nother, and to their servants and friends, at their pleasure, upon pretext they were deserving, honest Carmen, and they would have all those, whom they judge to be un­deserving, to loose their Livelyhood, a very fine pre­tence.

That the Carmen must serve seven yeates Apprenticeship in LONDON for a Freedome, and not worke at his Trade without the favour of the Woodmongers, or till they will judge them to be deserving honest men; no doubt but the Lord Major and Court of Aldermen will look to this: For they are the Fathers of every Free-man, and ought to take care that every Free-man, who hath a Trade to work [Page] on, may worke quietly without molestation, or putting from his Trade by any Company, or else what is a Freedome worth, or to what end doth any man serve an Apprent ice­ship?

Again, the Carmen were in a sad condition, if they should not enjoy their roome but by favour of the Wood­mongers, and till they did judge them deserving, they would be foully mistaken, as they were in the yeare 1647. when the ever honoured and renowned Army (under the command of that valiant and excellent piece of Virtue, the Lord Fairfax) came marching towards London for de­fence of the Parliament, the Woodmongers sent about to the Carmen, commanding their horses to help to draw out the Gunnes to the Workes, to charge the Army, and keep them out of the Citie, and because they refused, the Wood­mongers threatned to cut out their Car-roomes.

Now you may see how well the Woodmongers would bestow the Car-roomes, if they had the disposall of them. This was no abetting of the treasonable ingagement. These men are fit to be Governors, are they not? that upon every opportunity will be ready to cut the Parliaments throats. Who doe you think they would give the Car-roomes to? Surely to such as themselves are, they should be accounted the deserving honest men, and not such as the Carmen, who now doe become petitioners for a Charter, who have been all of them active for the Parliament, and most of them out in their service, and ventured their lives. And those Carmen whom the Woodmongers say are the major part, are none but a parcell of malignants that hold with them, to whom they would give the Car-roomes. And now in this time of Dispute they goe cunningly to worke, and seale Carts by night to these malignant party, because they should take the Wood-mongers parts against the Carmen in gaining their Charter.

The Woodmongers say likewise, That the Carmens de­sires are very unprofitable for the publick in making of fuell deare, and the pricet of all sorts of carriages treble to what they were wont.

Reply. This is the Woodmongers fiction, not their mea­ning; for then they would have given some Reason for it: But it is very unprofitable for the Woodmongers: For if the Carmen have the Government of all the Carts, and the carriage of all the coales and wood, as they ought to have, and the keeping of meaters sacks to serve the City, then the Woodmongers would lose their ungodly gaine, and their opportunity to cheat both poore and Rich, with their short measure, and little sacks, as hath been at large proved before the Committee already, some, nay most of them want 6. bushels in a chaldron, which they ought to have; and therefore it were good for the City to looke after this.

The Woodmongers say, It is dangerous for Mer­chants, if the Carmen be not under some Governours then themselves, in the safety of their goods committed to their trust.

Reply. Here the Woodmongers would make the Mer­chants their friends, and make the World beleeve that they are the cause of the Carmens preserving of Merchants goods, when in truth it is no such matter. If the Carmen take a load of Wines, or any other Commodity whatsoe­ver, and if it be miscarried by him, or his neglect, the Company of Woodmongers are not, nor never were in­joyned to make it good to the Merchant, but it lyes upon the Carmans score, and therefore this is a vain flash put out by the Woodmongers, to make the people beleeve a lye.

The Woodmongers say, Very unpeaceable the Carmen are to the people that passe the streets.

Reply. The Town Carmen who now petition the Par­liament for a Charter, are not the Parties unpeaceable in the streets, but the Woodmongers own Carmen, who drive their Carts with Coles, are them, who commonly make any disturbance in the streets, to the great danger of the people that travaile to and fro.

The Woodmongers say, The Carmens desires are against [Page] their birth-right, in denying them to carry their own goods, with their own Carts and Servants.

Reply. It is not against their birth-right, because it is ac­cording to the Charter of LONDON, for that by the Charter and by the Law of the Land, no man may use two Trades. And farther, if the Woodmongers keep Carts and Servants to carry out their own goods, then the Ironmon­ger, Fish-monger, Costermonger, &c. may keep Servants and Carts to fetch their goods from the water side; and the Merchants may keep Carts to fetch and carry their goods, and then what will be become of the Carmen, who being many in number, and have served their Apprentiships for that Trade onely, and have no other way to live upon. Againe, it is destructive to all Companies in LONDON, and to all Charters of Companies, for the Woodmongers to keepe Carts to carry out their own goods. By the same reason the Drapers may keep Cloathworkers in their house to dresse their own Cloath, then that Trade is spoiled; the Silke men, Servants to thraw their own Silke, the Apothe­cary give his own Physick, and so bring all distinct Trades to one, and so destroy all Government.

Now; let all men consider of what necessity it is to di­vide the Car-men from the Woodmongers, and give them a Charter by themselves, for the good of the Publique, and for the good of the poore men and their wives and chil­dren after them, that when they dye, the Woodmongers may not Roman-like, take away both their Roome and their company, and leave their wives and children to perish in the streets, as many have done heretofore.


THe Woodmongers foolishly in a paper, at the foot of the paper say, that Captaine Ox­ford, their Solicitor, did offer Mr. Sprat, the So­licitor for the Car-men, that the Woodmongers would consent to a disjunction from the Car­men, so that none may be compelled to goe from them, that are willing to stay with them; and that the Car-men pay a proportion of their debts, contracted for the use of the Parliament, and o­therwise.

Reply: The Woodmongers doe well know, that the Committee did so order, that the Car­men should pay a proportion of such debts as the Company did contract to lend to the Parliament, but not otherwise; and the Car-men are willing, and offered to meet the Master and Wardens three times to come to account with them, but they re­fuse to meet, to give any account; for in truth the Car-men have paid their share of those debts long since, and the Company keep the money, and let the debts goe unpaid. Now to answer all o­ther proposals at the foot of the said paper, is but to answer &c. according to his folly; but this will be a proper desire, that the Woodmongers doe consent to the Car-mens desires, and appear gratis in the Lord Majors Court at Guild-Hall, to answer a suit in Equitie, for the Revenue of the Company for this fourty yeares, and so let the Law decide the account, and there let the account [Page] be given, and never trouble the Parliament about that, and let them quietly restore to the right own­ers, to wit, poore widowes and children, and o­thers, the fourescore and eight Car-roomes which they have takn away, by pretext of their decree in Star Chamber, and let them pay so much money back to the poore people, as the Roomes hath been worth since the taking of them, and then they will doe like men of conscience and honesty, or else let them appear gratis to so many suites at common Law, to be brought upon the Statute made the 21 yeare of King Iames against Monopo­lies, and then out of doubt, they will be glad to cut scores with the Car-men, as to the matter of Account.


This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.