POLITICAL HISTORY under competent command. 1 In 1598 and 1599, when the Spaniards had made peace with France, the fear of invasion became acute again. Lord Howard, now the Earl of Nottingham, was made captain-general by sea and land to meet it. On August 10, 1599,? he required all the Surrey trained men to be brought to Southward, as the enemy were supposed to be coming. They were sent home again on August 26, the Spanish fleet, which had really put to sea, having returned home. But they were ordered to keep themselves in readiness. Levies for the Irish wars are also fairly frequent ; and it is in the case of an Irish levy on January 14, 1600, that we first learn as has been said that there was no archery employed. Twenty-four men in a hundred had muskets and 'bastard muskets,' twelve of each; forty had calivers, a lighter fire- arm ; twenty had pikes, and ten halberts ; the remaining six were probably officers and sergeants. 3 It was in 1599 when the invasion was expected, when perhaps the Surrey levies were hanging about the taverns and play- houses in Southwark, that Henry V. was acted at the Globe. The warlike enthusiasm of the great epic play is a reflection of the ardour of the audience, some of whom had served under a King Henry in France, and who were all expecting possibly to be called upon to fight against a foreign invader in England. The existence of the Globe Theatre is significant of a change that had passed over Surrey's greatest town by this time. In the first instance the villages on the south side of the Thames had been Surrey villages, with no more connexion with London than had the Middlesex villages which lay beyond the city wards. When the original Southwark which guarded the foot of London Bridge had decayed these places chiefly consisted of several large religious houses and ecclesiastical palaces, and the abodes of those dependent upon them, with a small waterside population engaged in a commerce which was independent of that of London. The narrow bridge, with its gate through which one horseman could pass at a time, was not an encourage- ment to close communication. The drawbridge upon it was the boundary of London's fortifications, excluding the Surrey side. There were four manors in and about Southwark, and liberties besides, with rights of sanctuary belonging to the religious houses. In these circumstances it naturally became a resort for Londoners in trouble, the conflicting juris- dictions and immunities of a growing suburban neighbourhood being an excellent defence for such persons. To give London some control over them Edward III. in his first year* had granted the administration, though not the revenues, of the vill of Southwark to the corporation so far as his power extended, that is over what was called the Guildable 8 Manor, but of course not over the Great Liberty Manor, which belonged to the priory of Bermondsey, nor over the King's Manor, which, despite 1 Loseley MSS. vi. 98, 99, 100, 103, 104, and State Papers Dom. Efiz. passim sub anno 1596. 2 Ibid. xi. 73. 8 It is not recorded how every levy was armed, but we have here a specific exclusion of archery. 4 Patent Rolls, I Ed. III. March 6. So called ; no doubt Geldable really. 395
Page:VCH Surrey 1.djvu/467
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.