[ A comprehensive view of the Thames from an Official of the City of London.
He does go on a bit (whilst rubbing it in by saying how brief he is!)
The best bits are: the almost poetic descriptions of the beauty and utility he finds;
and the descriptions of Reaches, Eyots, Places, Locks and weirs, and Fish.
The Google Books version. I have added links and changed "f" to "s" where needed to make it readable, and corrected OCR errors. But sorry - I interrupted the "brief" title -

With the City of London's Jurisdiction and Conservacy
Thereof Proved, Both in Point of RIGHT and USAGE,
By Prescription, Charters, Acts of Parliament, Decrees, upon Hearing before the King, Letters Patents, &c. &c.
To which is added
A brief Description of those Fish; with their Seasons, Spawning-times, &c. that are caught in the Thames, or sold in London,
Some few Observations on the Nature, Element Cloathing, Numbers, Passage, Wars, and Sensation, &c., peculiar to FISH in general.
and also
Of the Water-Carriage on the River Thames, to the several Parts of the Kingdom; with a List of the Keys, Wharfs, and Docks, adjoining to the same.
To which are added,
RULES, ORDERS and ORDINANCES, made in Pursuance of an Act of Parliament passed in the 30th of Geo. II. For the more effectual Preservation and Improvement of the Spawn and Fry of Fish, and for the better Regulating the Fishery thereof.

Printed for T. Longman in Pater-noster-Row. 1758.
{ By Roger Griffiths, continued and published by Robert Binnell. this line hand inscribed on the copy }


To the Right Honourable Sir Charles Asgyll Knt.
Lord Mayor of the City of LONDON, Conservator of the River Thames, and Waters of Medway, &c.

My Lord,
AS the Conservacy of the River Thames is peculiar to that High Office in which Your Lordship is so worthily distinguished, I humbly present the following Sheets to Your Lordship.

And the rather, as the Subject-Matter is of such Importance to this City, whose Honour Your Lordship so conspicuously supports, and whose Interest You have so much at Heart.

The Publication was some Time since intended, but deferred on Account of some depending Regulations for the well-governing this noble River: Which Regulations, to the Honour of this City, through the Assiduity of its worthy Magistrates, were happily effected Anno 1757: An Event of great Utility to the Publick, and no less advantageous to the Fishermen.

The following Description was begun by a Gentleman, who had many Years the Honour to serve this City in a Station, which gave him the greatest Opportunities of being perfectly acquainted with the Subjects; and as he has heen pleased, out of Kindness, to indulge me with the Presentation hereof, I humbly offer them to the Publick, whose Attention will of Course follow Your Lordship's Patronage; which will be esteemed the greatest Honour
My Lord,
Your Lordship's most Dutiful
And Obedient humble Servant,
Robert Binnell.


THE Duty and Nature of my Office, soon prompting me to consider of, enquire, and search, into the Authority, Manner, and Execution thereof, I had naturally a Recourse to such Authors as had published any Thing concerning the Rights and Priviledges of the City of London, from whence I extracted the following Testimonies; which, though at first intended meerly for my own Information, are now (upon a longer Observation of their Invasion by several illegal Practices, and the ill Consequences that must naturally issue thereon) designed as a Means to induce some more able Hand to erect a much more ample, and perfect Superstructure, then what I am capable of, or would pretend to: And as it may not be unacceptable to the Reader, to have the several Parts of this Work connected, and in a brief Manner laid before him, I shall here, by Way of Preface, inform him, That its Intention is to set forth the Beauty and Value which the River of Thames is of to the Publick, as well as to the City of London; to prove the said City's Power on the said River; to exemplify, from Time to Time, the Execution of that Power; to remonstrate the evil Consequences that must befal the City by any Abridgment, Neglect, or Abuse of that said Power; and to point out some few Methods, in order to reform what is amiss, supply what is defective, and secure it from any illegal Attempts that are, or may (by Force or Art) be made to injure, or invade the same.

THEY that live on the Banks of this famous River, can never too much admire its Beauty, nor sufficiently extol its Usefulness. For whether we consider its Navigation, either as to the Number of Ships daily arriving from, or sailing for all the known Parts of the World, with the Riches and Necessaries of Life; or the Number of the smaller Craft of different Sorts and Sizes, that serve not only for Pleasure, but the Profit or Conveniency of the neighbouring Shores; or whether we consider the infinite Number of Men, whose entire Livelihood depends thereupon, as well as the great Nursery it is for the raising of Sailors for the Publick Service; I say, when we consider all these, and the many other Benefits, together with that invaluable Blessing we have in its Fishery, We may justly say, it far exceeds all other Rivers in the known World.

SHOULD not such a River be therefore carefully preserved from all Obstacles and Damages that may accrue either to its Navigation or Fishery? Surely, such was the Care and Consideration of former Ages which induced the Wisdom of the Legislature (almost from the earliest Account of Time) to repose such Powers in the Magistracy of the City of London, as to enable the Lord Mayor of the same, to hold Courts of Conservacy, to enact Laws or Orders for the Preservation of its Navigation and Fishery, and even to fine and imprison all Defaulters or Offenders against such Laws and Orders, which should, or might be made, from Time to Time, for that said Purpose, by the said Lord Mayor; and, also, to nominate, appoint, and constitute a Sub-Conservator (or Water-Bailiff) for the better Executing the Office of Conservator of the said River and Waters, within the Jurisdiction of the said City.

AND, accordingly, the antient Guardians of this truly imperial City, have always looked upon this noble Jurisdiction, as one of their greatest Honours; and have often shewn, by enabling new Orders, not only their Care of this great River, but, likewise, how much they regarded so great a Trust, as the Prosperity of its Navigation and Fishery.

BUT surely, there never was a Time when the Abuses or Devastations in the latter were so frequent and numerous as of late Years, and that even in open Contempt and Defiance of the City's Authority and Jurisdiction; which, if not soon remedied and prevented, must, in a few Years, be lost, and the Fishery of this River entirely destroyed; and all this only, by a few desperate Fellows, in Comparison to the whole Body of Fishermen, who often, in Combination, and Defiance of all Laws, Rules, or Orders, now in Being, destroy the Brood and Fry of Fish therein, and that meerly for their Scales, which they fell to make Beads on; and then either feed their Hogs, or bury in their Dunghills the Bodies of that Fry so destroyed.

NAY, these Desperado's[sic] are lately become (through Impunity) so daring and open in this iniquitous and horrid Destruction, as frequently to contemn, insult, resist, and even, at Noon-Day, assault the Water-Bailiff, and his Deputies, in the due Execution of their Office, in Searching for, Seizing, and Taking away, their illegal Nets and Engines.

IS it not then Time for the Conservator of this profitable River, to do all that lies in his Power, to preserve, and save from Destruction, the Fishery thereof? Is it not then Time to exert his Power, and bring to Justice all such Contemners and Invaders of so antient, honourable, and necessary an Authority? Surely so.

AND if Circumstances, in the Process of Time, may have, in any wise, so altered the Nature of Things, as possibly to need some more ample Explication, or additional Parliamentary Aid, whereby to strengthen and secure, or even enlarge his Power of making new, or more effectual Laws or Orders, than those now in Being, whereby to prevent such Abuses, and to regulate, preserve, and improve so publick a Good, as is the Navigation and Fishery of the River of Thames; and for more readily bringing all such illegal Fishers, and Contemners of its Authority, to a more speedy Justice.

IS it, I say, to be doubted, that the City of London can want the ready Concurrence and Protection of a British Parliament herein?

BUT I dare answer, that the bare mention of such Insults and Outrages against it (exclusive of the many evident ill Consequences arising therefrom) is so sufficient to excite this great City to seek for immediate Relief and Redress, to secure and strengthen if wanting, such their Authority, that it would be only Impertinence in me, to offer any farther Arguments, by Way of Inducement thereto, as it is a Matter not unworthy their strictest Attention.

NUMEROUS are the Instances of their Ancestors Care, and vigorous Defence herein, when, on many Occasions, this said Jurisdiction, and Conservacy, has been attempted to be invaded or disputed; for read only the following Essay, and you will there find, That the City of London was always so anxious, nay, so well persuaded of their Rights herein, and the common Benefits resulting to the Publick thereby, that they contended for, and defended the same; not only against the Encroachments of private Persons, but with Archbishops, Lord High-Admirals, and even with Kings themselves; and is it to be imagined they will now suffer so valuable an Authority and Jurisdiction to be thus trampled upon; or so great and general a Good, as the Fishery of this River, thus daily to be destroyed; and that, I say, by a few lawless Set of Fellows, who not only thus rob the Publick, but greatly injure their own Fraternity? No! The City of London is too great and powerful a Body, to be thus affronted, without exerting that Authority, which has been so long lodged in their Hands, or seeking for such further Assistance, as the Legislature shall deem necessary to preserve and maintain the same.

MANY are the Proofs she has given, how much she has the Interest of the whole Nation at Heart, and she cannot therefore be less hearty in her own peculiar Cause, nor less tenacious of her own Authority, when thus insulted, contemned, and trampled upon.

BUT to return to the Substance or Intention of this Treatise, wherein the Orders for preserving this Fishery; the Fishermens two Charters; the Acts for regulating the Watermens Company, are here chiefly inserted, only as so many concurrent, subsequent Testimonies of the aforegoing Charter s, Acts of Parliament, and other Proofs of the City of London's said jurisdiction and Conservacy, and wherein you will always find a Reservation of and Regard had thereto.

AS to the Description of Fish, I have added it herein ; not only to shew the various Kinds that are bred, and caught in this River, but that the Reader thereby may more readily know, which are the more palatable, wholsome, or best; when most in Season, or otherwise; their Times of Spawning, Breeding, and consequently, when most proper to be taken or preserved.

AND for the general Observations on the Element, Cloathing, Numbers, Passage, Wars, Fruitfulness, Cause of Swiming, Sensation, Longavity, and other Peculiarities, belonging to this valuable Animal, it is here inserted, as well to shew the Divine Wisdom, Power and Goodness, not Only in its wonderful Contexture, Regulation and Breeding; but withal, in the abundant supplying our Table with such a Variety of them.

AND I have been herein the more particular, in Regard to the Fishery of this River, as it evidently calls aloud for a more immediate Relief than what its Navigation (in the main) does, and which, if not soon regarded, must certainly go to Destruction. The which, with the Duty and Justice I owe the Publick, City, and Myself, in the Care I bear herein, has prompted me to publish this imperfect Essay, in order to just point out how far the City's Power may extend towards the Preservation and Improvement of these two invaluable Blessings, especially in the latter, as well as the Necessity and Reason there is for doing it, and no other Motive could have induced me thus to expose my own Inabilities: So hope the Reader will excuse the Incorrectness, and other Deficiencies he will here find; and, as I have already hinted, heartily with this may may prove the Means, or Foundation of a more perfect Work.

I HAVE also here added a brief Account os the principal Keys, Wharfs, and Docks, of this River, that adjoin to this City, with the several'Counties, and Towns, from whence there are Boats, &c. passing to, and fro, or Goods carried; in Order to prove the greater Usefulness, and extensive Navigation, of this River.

BUT to sum up the whole Intention of the following Essay:
Were there but proper Laws, and Ordinances, for the Preservation of this River, authentickly and duly established, to enforce those now in Being, which, through Length of Time, and the Evasive late Contrivances of illegal Fishers, are become almost obsolete, and insufficient for their intended good Purposes: Were the Means to bring Offenders to Justice, and legal Punishment more effectual, and less difficult to be put in Execution; were I, and my Deputies, effectually protected, in Detecting and Preventing illegal Practices, and seeing a due Observance of such Laws and Ordinances, as are, or may be made for the Conservacy of the said River; and they, as it is observed before, not so discouraged and intimidated, from exerting themselves herein; I am sure, the River would then be more strictly and duly preserved; the City's annual Expence, on that Account, much lessened; the Publick more plentifully and cheaply supplied with good and wholsome Fish; and even the Fishermen, in general, get a much more easy, and better Livelihood.


THE CITY of LONDON, as upon all Occasions, it has distinguished itself in the Support and Defence of its King and Country, so has it also been rewarded, as a just Return for its Fidelity, with many noble, valuable, and antient Privileges; amongst which, I apprehend, its Jurisdiction and Conservacy of the River Thames, and Waters of Medway is one of the most honourable, both for its Antiquity, Authority, and Usefulness.
If I should attempt a compleat History of this most famous River, that alone, were I equal to the Task, would carry me beyond my intended Brevity;
for, considering its Rise, beautiful Course, Extent, Navigation, Product, and the vast Number of Hands it wholly maintains, it will be found not only the most famous River in the Island of Great Britain, but, without any Partiality, little, if at all, inferior to any other River in the whole World:

Therefore, I shall confine myself to the following Particulars necessary to be premised, for the better understanding the City's Power thereon, as well as of what great Consequence the Navigation and Fishery of the River Thames is, not only to the Publick in General, but also to the Inhabitants, as well of all the adjacent Counties, as of the City of London in Particular.

But first, I must beg leave to add somewhat of the Beauty and Usefulness of Rivers in General, and then proceed to the Description of the Thames in Particular: And herein I know of no Account so natural, or so well adapted to explain these two great Qualities, and, at the same Time, to comprehend, and give us so lively, so natural, and so just a Representation thereof in the River of Thames, that I cannot forbear inserting here the Words of a late Author, viz.

What a delightful Scene, says he, is a soft murmuring Stream!
Whether we reflect, on the gentle Motion of its Waters,
or on the various Benefits and Advantages arising from it,
or use our Endeavours to trace it to its Head;
we are charmed with its Glidings in such beautiful Meanders:
The numberless Accommodations it affords us,
fills us with the most grateful Acknowledgments,
and our Curiosity is excited to the last Degree,
by the Obscurity of its Original,
which at first is nothing more
than a Vein of Waters issuing from some Hill upon a Bed of Sand, or Clay,
the little Stones that are dispersed round about,
are sufficient to interrupt its Current.
It turns, winds, and murmurs as it rolls along,
at last it clears its Way, falls in a Torrent down upon the Plains,
and swells, by being united with some other Streams.
It hollows the Ground by the Rapidity of its Fall,
and throws up the Earth on each Side of it.
It insensibly forces its Way through every Thing that obstructs its Passage,
and digs a Bed or Channel for its self.
The overflowing of the adjacent Springs and Ponds,
the Snow that melts and trickles down the Hills,
and the additional Supplies of various Brooks and Rills that fall into it,
fortify and enrich it.
Then it assumes a Name,
and steers its Course along the Sides of the flowry Meads.
It takes a Tour round the Hills,
and graces, as it turns and winds, the spacious Plains.

It is the general Rendezvous of almost all living Creatures;
and, in a Word, is as delightful to Man,
as it is to Birds and Beasts.
We generally reject the Hills and Woods, and fix our Habitations on its Banks.
It refreshes the Farmer's thirsty Soil,
and adorns the pompous Seats of the Nobility, with the most delightful Prospects,
and makes the Country every Way agreeable:
It pays a Visit to those large Towns,
that are indebted to its friendly Streams, for all their Wealth and Commerce.
There it majestically rolls along between two Rows of costly Buildings, which not only adorn, but are adorned by it. The incessant Concourse of People, the Multitude of Carriages of all Sorts that are for ever passing over its Bridges; the infinite Number of Boats, and other Vessels, that are constantly floating on its Surface: In short, those agreeable, but confused Sounds that are heard, not only over its Waters, but all along its Keys, give us at once the Idea of Trade and Opulence.

The principal Aim of Divine Providence in the Formation of Rivers, was, no Doubt, to furnish both Man and Beast, with one of the most necessary Ornaments of Life; one that will either refresh us when we are faint and thirsty, keep our Habitations, as well as our Bodies, clean and wholsome, and not only dress our own Provisions, but adorn our Tables with the most delicate Part of them.
And I shall here add, that the Water of this River is justly esteemed as exceeding wholsome, and peculiarly remarkable for its Use in very long Voyages, during which, it will (more than any other River Water whatever) work and ferment itself like Liquor, till it becomes perfectly fine.
But to be more particular in my Account of the Thames, I shall begin first with its Rise, Course, Extent, and Tides.


The Thames ariseth in a small Spring, near the Village of Hemble, in the Parish of Cubberly, or Coberley, a little to the South-west of Cirencester, in the County of Gloucester, which, to be sure, is the most distant Stream:
But others have rather chosen to place its Fountain near Siddington, where the Isis springs: A Matter of no great Consequence, to deserve our present Regard:


However, this is certain; after receiving an infinite Number of small Rivulets, it becomes navigable at Lechlade (Which is 138 Miles from London), where it unites with the Colne, to which Place, Vessels of forty or fifty Tons Burthen trade with Ease.


Then continuing its Course almost due North-East, it washes the City, and famous University of Oxford;
and being joined with the Ouse,
it runs South to Abington, from thence East to Dorchester, and so to Thame in Oxfordshire, where both its former Names of Isis and Ouse are swallowed up by that of Thamasis, or Thames, which it retains ever after, till it meets the northern Ocean; Washing, as it takes its Course, through Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Surry, Middlesex, Essex, and Kent,
the Towns of Wallingford, Reading, Henly, Marlow, Maidenhead, Windsor, Eaton, Stains, Chertsey, Weybridge, Shepperton, Walton, Sundbury, Hampton Town and Court, Thames-Ditton, Kingston, Twickenham, Richmond, Shene, Isleworth, Kew, Brentford, Mortlake, Barnes, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Putney, Fulham, Wandsworth, Battersea, Chelsea, Lambeth, Westminster City, Southwark, and the City of London;
and from hence, both Shores thereof, may be called a continued City, for the Number of Houses, Trade, and opulent Inhabitants, that live in Horselydown, Wapping, Redriss, Shadwell, Ratcliff, Limehouse, Deptford, and Greenwich:
To these we may add the Hamlet of Poplar and Blackwall, or Cold-Harbour, Woolwich, Erith, Grays, Gravesend, and Milton:
And in this Tract or Course, this River swallows up the River Kennet, the Thetis or Tide, the Colne, Guildford River, the Brane or Brene, the Brome, the Lee or Ley, the Derwent, and Medway.
In the whole, therefore, we compute this River to run 180 Miles, at least, from its Source to its Fall.


The Tide ebbs and flows above 70 Miles up this River within the main Land, which is done twice in every 24 Hours;
by which Means, all her Channels are filled as often, to the great Advantage of Trade and Navigation.
Concerning which, it is necessary to observe, that, as the Tide is influenced by the Increase and Decrease of the Moon, so the Tides differ in their Times, each one coming 24 Minutes later than the former, which wants but 12 Minutes of a whole Hour in 24. And, therefore, they who have any Dependance on the Ebbing and Flowing of the River Thames, are regulated by such a Table as follows:

The Tide Table at London Bridge
N. Moon
F. Moon
Days after the New or Full moon
Hour . Min
Time of high water at London
[3 . 00]
3 . 48
4 . 31
5 . 14
5? . 52
6 . 30
7 . 03
7 . 36
8 . 24
9 . 27
10 . 30
11 . 28
12 . 26
1 . 19
2 . 12
By your Almanack see how many days are past since the New or Full Moon. Then look for that Number in the 1st column; and opposite to it, in the 2nd column, you have the Hour and Minute, at which it will be High Water at London Bridge. Thus you see, 5 days after the New or Full Moon, has the tide full at 6 Hours and 30 Minutes, or 30 Minutes past 6 o'clock

[ the table has been made clearer by adding [0] days after New or full moon with the high tide at 3
and by correcting the hour shown against 4 days after the moon, which was 6 in the original ]

N. B. But after all, this Table only serves when the Tide is regular, and not interrupted by any Accidents; for, if the Wind proves rough at West or South West, it is known to stop the flowing in of the Tide to its usual Height; and the boisterous North-East Wind has the contrary Effect. Another Accident is the overflowing of the Banks of the Thames occasioned by great Rains, which being stopt in their Course to the Sea by the flowing Tide, must consequently make some Alteration in the Height of the Water, of which there are several extraordinary Examples recorded, both in antient and modern Histories. (See Maitlands, History of London, p. 49, 135, 145)

As to the Shifting, or preternatural Tides, as some call them, they have either been of that little Consequence, as to deserve no Remark, or may be properly accounted for by what has been already observed concerning the Influence cf the North-West Wind encountering a slow Ebb at the Thames's Mouth; which, at least, for a certain Space, must cause a return of the Tide.
But the most general Rule to know the Time of Tide at London Bridge, is, that when the Moon is in the Full, or Changes, then it is High Water at or near Three o'Clock following; and it is likewise High Water there at Eight o'Clock, or within a few Minutes after the Moon enters into its First or Last Quarters, and you are only to add —— Minutes to each 24 Hours (or Days) if your Enquiry happens after each said Quarters of the Moon, to the Hour here given.


The next Observation shall be concerning the several Reaches, and Eights, in this River; and then, its Navigation and Fishery.
I shall first set down the several Reaches between London Bridge and Gravesend on|y, and afterwards the Reaches that are above the said Bridge in the River Westwards.

The Reaches below the Bridge, - or Eastwards, are,
1st, THE POOL, which begins at the Tower, and reacheth to Limehouse, a common anchoring Place for Colliers.
2nd, LIMEHOUSE REACH, which extends from Limehouse to Poplar.
3rd, GREENWICH REACH, which reaches from Poplar, by the Isle of Dogs, to below Greenwich on the South Side, and on the North Side Half-way to Blackwall, or to the Ferry-House.
4th, BLACKWALL REACH, which begins at Blackwall and ends at Nel-Hope; or,
5th, BUGBY'S HOLE, which again extends to
6th, WOOLWICH REACH, which passing by Woolwich, joins
7th, GALLEON'S REACH, which extends to Barking Creek. 8th, BARKING SHELF is the next, and reacheth to Half-Way-House on the Kentish Shoar, being called so, as it is the half Way between London and Gravesend, where the next Winding of the River is called
9th, HALF-WAY-REACH, or DAGGENHAM REACH, which at Raynham Creek is joined
10th, By ERITH REACH, which receives its Name from the Town of Erith, situate on that Winding of the River.
11th, The next Reach is called THE RANDS; and passing by Purfleet, the next Turning of the River is called
12th, LONG REACH, which extends as far as
13th, ST. CLEMENT'S REACH, between Greenhithe and Grays.
14th, NORTHFLEET HOPE is the next Reach, taking its Name from the Town of Northfleet; and
15th, The last Reach below Bridge, takes its its Name from the Town of GRAVESEND.

The several Reaches above London Bridge, or Westward.
1st, That is a Reach, though not commonly called so, viz. from the said Bridge to SawMill-Point, opposite to Whitehall.
2nd, LAMBETH REACH, which extends from Saw-Mill-Point to Nine Elms.
3rd, CHELSEA REACH, which is much exposed to the westerly Wind, and extends from Nine Elms to the upper End of Chelsea.
4th, BATTERSEA REACH, which extends from Chelsea to Wandesworth.
5th, PUTNEY REACH, which extends from Wandsworth to the upper End of Putney Town.
6th, BARNE ELM REACH, which reacheth from thence to Hammersmith.
7th, The next is a short Reach, which only extends from Hammersmith to the upper End of Chiswick.
8th, CORNEY REACH, which extends from Chiswick to the End of Barns.
9th, MORTLAKE REACH, from the lower End of Mortlake to Brentford.
10th, SION REACH, which extends from Brentford to Isleworth.
11th, RICHMOND REACH, which extends from Isleworth to the upper End of Richmond.

Definition of "Reach"

N.B. A Reach is that Space or Bay of Water, between one Point of Land on the one Side the Water, to the next Point on the opposite Side; and which are of very great Advantage to the Navigation in general, and especially where e'er the Tides ebb and flow; for such Turnings of the River, are not only useful in regard to the sailing Part of Navigation; but these very Points or Necks of Land, prevent or stop that Rapidity, or rather Force of the Tide, which must and would naturally ensue, were there no such Points of Land, or were the Tides or Currents to have a long, strait and direct Course; as is evident in King-Road near Bristol, where the Tide comes in with so much Impetuosity, Force and Suddenness, in the several Parts of this River, where the Currency runs in such strait Lines, and with such Force, as to render the Navigation thereof imperfect, without the Assistance of several Horses to tow or draw up the Barges, &c. against the Stream. But these Turnings are still of greater use to the smaller Crafts; for as the Points of Lands which terminates these Reaches, throws off the Force of the Tides, either ebbing or flowing; so do the opposite Sides of the River, so as for some Space to cause an Eddy, nay often, a contrary small Current on that Side; it thereby gives Watermen an opportunity of using their Oars, and Mariners of sailing more easily and expeditiously against the Tides, whenever they Ebb and Flow; and are of like Service in respect to their throwing off the Force of the Currency of the River to the opposite Side, for some Space at least, by which Bargemen and Watermen, may more easily and readily Tow or Row their Barges and Wherries up the River, or against the Stream, though by some they are looked upon as dangerous in tempestuous Weather; but this must be owing, especially Westwards of London Bridge, entirely either to the Ignorance, or rather Carelessness, or Covetousness of the Watermen, by taking more Passengers into their Boats, than what they are allowed to do by Act of Parliament, or by overloading them.

Navigation Eulogised

And this brings me naturally to consider, first, the Navigation, and then the Fishery of this River, at least so far as the Jurisdiction of the City of London extends; for the Benefit, Commodiousness, and Preservation of which, the Power of Conservacy was originally granted, and has been frequently confirmed, by Royal Charters and Acts of Parliament, as hereafter I hope to make plainly appear. And I would only ask, Who is, or can be, more essentially concerned in the true Welfare of both these two Articles, or so properly to be entrusted with the Care of its Welfare, as the City Of London?

And, first, in respect to the Navigation.
I could here earnestly wish I was capable of duly describing that vast, I might say, grand and glorious Appearance that is daily to be seen on this noble River, not only of Ships of War, but Ships of Merchandize, and other large Vessels, Barges, and Boats.
How agreeable must it be to every true Lover of his Country, to see below London Bridge (which I shall first speak, of) such Numbers of Ships, from the smallest to the greatest Burden, passing and repassing every Tide, to and from this great Metropolis, to some or other Parts of all the known World!
How infinite in its Traffick!
How abounding in its Merchandize!
And how immensely rich in its Produce or Returns!
Nay, I may also truly add, Mow strong is it, by its Naval Force, in its own Defence, as well as thereby almost terrible Abroad, and how great an Influence does it there give us, exclusive of the Benefits and Security we also reap thereby at Home: Which brings to my View a pleasing Reflection, that every True Briton must have, when he considers what a trifling insignificant Tract of Land this Island is when compared to the rest of the Globe, or indeed to most, or all, of the other Kingdoms of the World; and yet how much stronger, more powerful in its Influence, abundantly better supplied with every Necessary within it self, as well as from Abroad, than almost any other Part of the known Globe; and all this I may venture to affirm, is principally, if not solely, owing to its Navigation and Naval Force: Nor can I forget what that worthy and good Citizen told one of our Kings, to whom threatening to remove his Person and Courts of Justice from this City; he replied,
That it was their Comfort that he could not also deprive them of the Thames; for so long as they enjoyed that River, they could still retain the Commerce and Wealth of the Nation.

But to return: How many thousand Families are solely maintained by the Navigation of this very River, exclusive of the contingent Benefits that arise from thence to Shipwrights, Barge and Boat-builders, Gardeners, and other Trades, Handycrafts and Inhabitants adjoining thereto. In short, how convenient, convenient, how pleasant, and how vastly beneficial this Navigation, not is only to this great City, but to the whole Kingdom, as well as to all those, especially, who either reside, or have any Estates, or Concerns, in any of the Counties adjoining to the Thames, is, I say, so obvious a Matter, as to need no Explanation, and would but carry me beyond my designed Brevity to enlarge any farther thereon.
As to the Navigation above London Bridge, how beautiful, how agreeable a Sight it is to view daily, nay hourly, especially at the Flowing and Return of the Tides, that vast Number of Barges and Boats, as well of Pleasure as of Burthen, continually passing up and down this River, to and from all Parts of the adjoining Counties!
How vastly convenient for the ready, safe, easy and cheap Conveyance of all Sorts of Goods, or other heavy Commodities, from one of the adjacent Towns or Villages to another, as well as to and from this great City!
How pleasant, how amusing, and indeed how cheap and ready is the Passage up and down this River, either for those that take it for Pleasure or Business!
What a Number of beautiful Towns and Villages, fine and noble Seats is there adjoining, which were it not for the many Benefits and Advantages they receive from its being navigable, would very probably have never been so erected, or at least not near so numerous as they are: And as to the many Hundreds of Families that are wholly maintained only by the Navigation of this River westwards of London Bridge; the vast Number of Barges and and Boats that are constantly employed thereon, both Night and Day, are sufficient to convince any Beholder.
And so truly sensible has the City of London always been of the great Importance of the Navigation of this River, that its chief Magistrate and Conservator thereof, annually holds several Courts of Conservacy for its Preservation, at a very considerable yearly Expence to the City; and as a farther Proof thereof, it is not above four Years since they laid out several hundred Pounds in widening the Channel, and taking away Gravel from several shallow Places of the River westwards, which at that Time greatly obstructed its Navigation; and this last without any other Obligation on their Parts, than their Zeal for the publick Good.

Problems with Navigation

But I am afraid even all this, or any other Expence, how great soever, will little avail to the continuing and preserving this Navigation open and free, as it ought to be, without a more uniform, and regular Method of navigating and loading the western great Barges is more duly formed and established, than what is practised at present, or has been of late Years especially. In order to explain which, and to act consistent with the Duty I owe to my Office, as well as the Publick, I shall here just point out some few of those Disadvantages which either now attend, or are but too frequently practised, to the Detriment of the Navigation westwards.
And the first that I shall mention, and which is but too frequently committed by those Persons who are entrusted with the Navigating of these Barges, especially down the River, is this, that such Persons, whether through Viciousness, Negligence, or Wilfulness (best known to themselves) turn their Vessels and run aground, so across the Channel of the River, as to obstruct all other Barges passing or repassing the same; and this, if I have not been misinformed, has been, and is, often done through Envy, ill Will, or other clandestine Views, to others Coming down the River at the same Time, and so to interrupt each other's Passage, that not only the Owners of the Loading often sustain Inconveniencies by such Delays, but the Navigation is thereby much impaired, by so many Vessels lying in the Way, or foul of each other, and thereby Stopping or Diverting the due Course of the River, and Turning its Current, which naturally removes large Quantities of Sand and Gravel from off the Shallows, into the Channel, to its Prejudice, both in Respect to its Dimensions, as well as Depth of Water, which the more it is expanded, must naturally be the less deep, and consequently the more incapable of bearing the greater Burthens.

Other Disadvantages that very much contributes to the Impairing of this western Navigation, is, First, the Over-building of their Barges; and, Secondly, the frequent Overloading of these very Vessels, through Avariciousness, which Drawing too great a Depth of Water for the Channel, especially within the Jurisdiction, where there are no Locks, occasions their having so many Stoppages, and consequently (as has already been observed) the greater Detriment to its Navigation: Nay, some Persons are not contented with doing all this, but must still commit an additional bad Practise, and that is, by Floating of several Pieces of large Timber, Tying in a Breast, or in Rafts and then Fixing them by the Sides of their Barges, which, in their Passage, must consequently plough away a great Deal of Sand and Gravel, to the Impairing and Filling up the Channel of the River.

Another Action detrimental to the Navigation, and but too often practised by Bargemen on their Vessels sticking aground when, in order to remove in more immediately, they fix Planks &c.

Navigation Regulations Proposed

All which, and many other Impediments that are, or may arise to the Prejudice of so valuable a Benefit, as is the Navigation of this River to the Publick in general, might surely be easily removed, easily rectified, by proper Regulations being duly established,
both in Regard to the Assize of their Barges,
the Burthens they should each Voyage carry, Winter and Summer, if needful to be distinguished,
with such Rules and Orders for the Conduct of those employed in the Navigating of such Barges, as may prevent as much as may be, any Detriment to the Navigation, or any wilful, or negligent Obstruction to each other in their Voyages,
and that their Barges should be numbered;
and that such Master, or Foreman, that is entrusted with the Care of any Barge, should be answerable or accountable, for any such Misdemeanor, that may be committed either by himself, or others employed with him, in such Barges;
And the Master, or real Owner of such, or any Barge or Vessel, to employ no Person as a Foreman, but whom they can entrust, or will be accountable for;
and the Justices of the Peace, on Complaint of any Damage being done to the Navigation, or wilful Obstructions, Hindrance, or Damage done to each other in their Voyages, may be empowered to hear, examine, and determine the same.
These, or some such, or other Orders and Regulations, as might be formed by the Barge-masters themselves, more conversant with, or in the Knowledge of all such Evils, than what I can pretend to be, would undoubtly much contribute, not only to the preserving of the Navigation, but be of great Advantage even to themselves; who, as I am told, are often great Sufferers by such Obstructions, exclusive of what the Proprietors or Owners of the Loading frequently sustain thereby: Whereas, were the Navigation more open, free, and uninterrupted, by proper Regulations; and many of their Barges of a more moderate Size: Though the Owners of them did not carry such vast Loadings as they now do, yet the more Frequency of their Voyages, and the fewer Hands they would then require in each Barge, would, I should apprehend, answer much more to their Advantages, than what it does in those long, tedious, dilitary Voyages they now generally make: At least, this I am sure of, that some such like Regulations would be of Service to the Navigation, and of more Satisfaction and Benefit to the Proprietors of the Loadings of such Barges.


I Now come to treat of the Fishery of the River of Thames; which, if not altogether of such great Consequence as the Navigation is to the Publick in General, yet it is of no small Concern to this great Metropolis, its adjacent Inhabitants, and all others, residing either in Middlesex, Surry, Essex, or Kent, and which cries out for a more immediate Relief, as it is in the greatest Danger of being entirely ruined without a timely and effectual Interposition of the Legislative Power, to curb and suppress the destructive Practices of such as despise, contemn and trample Under Foot, the present Authority of the City of London, granted to her by Charter, for the Conservation of the Thames:
A Matter, I say, of such Moment, that should I be silent on the Occasion, I might well be deemed truly omissive to my Duty, the Justice I owe both to my Office, the Publick, and the chief Intention of this Treatise, which is not only to shew the Usefulness, Beauty, and Benefit of this noble River, but, by what few Extracts I have had an Opportunity of making, to shew how far the Authority and Power of the City of London has extended, or does, or may extend, towards preserving both its Navigation and Fishery, so much wanting in the latter especially: And towards which, I shall also just point out some few of the Disadvantages that attend them, with some few Preventatives: So that in Case the City of London should not find, or think its present Authority sufficient for the duly establishing such Orders and Regulations as may be thought necessary for the real Recovering, Improving, and Preserving the Conservacy of the Thames, &c. they have so long enjoyed, they may be prompted to apply to the Legislative Power immediately; where, undoubtedly, they will readily meet with Redress, and a Confirmation of their Power, as it is a Matter of no Private or Party Concern, but a Publick and General Good: For, surely, the Fishery of the River of Thames is so greatly useful, so greatly beneficial, as I have already observed, to all its adjacent Counties, as well as the Support of such vast Numbers of Fishermen, as to render any Arguments for preserving the Conservacy thereof needless: I, therefore, shall only observe with what Kinds of Fish this River furnisheth us with, when its Conservacy is preserved, and well executed.

Though the infinite Variety of Fish with which the Sea abounds for our Refreshment and Delight, seems a Prodigy; yet those which this only River nourishes and supports, are likewise almost as Surprising, and certainly must be gratefully acknowledged; if we do but consider what a great Variety of different Kinds it produces for our Use, either in its fresh or salt Waters: So good, so wholsome, nourishing, and (if there were once but proper Laws duly established for their better Preservation, I might then truly say) so numerous, that few Rivers, if any, in the World, can boast of.

Fish listed

How remarkably good is its Salmon! what fine large Flounders, Smelts, Shads, Trout, Craylin, Perch, Carp, Tench, Barbell, Chub, Roach, Roach, Dace, Gudgeon, Pike, and other Fish, as Eel, Lampreys, Bleak, Ruffe, &c. (too many to mention) are there caught above London Bridge; nay, and oftentimes Sturgeon, and that of a considerable Size: And, withal, how many other kinds of Salt-water Fish, as Bass, Mullet, Turbets, Soles, Maids, Plaice, Dabs, Skates, Thornbacks, Halybuts, Pearl, Whitings Haddocks, &c. with several Sorts of Shellfish, as Oysters, Muscles, Cockles, Buntins, Crabs, Prawns, red and white Shrimps, Crawfish, &c. are there to be caught below Bridge, even within the Jurisdiction of the City of London.

And, indeed, how greatly would all these several Kinds of Fish abound; how plentifully, how well, and how cheap, would all our Markets, nay, all the adjoining Counties, be supplied therewith, were their Spawn, Brood, and Fry, but well preserved? For I may venture to affirm, that there is no River in all Europe, that is a better, or a more speedy Breeder, and Nourisher of its Fish (particularly the Flounder) than is the Thames:

Problems with Fishery

Which naturally leads me just to point out some few of the Causes of so great an Evil, as the Destruction of the Fishery of the River of Thames must manifestly be; and then I shall humbly submit my Sentiments, in Respect to the Means of Restoring, Amending, and Preserving the same, to be improved by much more able and better Judges.

As to the Causes of this said Destruction, they are quite too many, at present, to be particularly described; but in general, they are such as, Fishing at unlawful Times, Seasons, and Manner; using of unlawful Nets and Engines, and thereby destroying the Spawn, Brood, and Fry of Fish in General.

The first and greatest of these Iniquities that I here take Notice of, is the Taking of Fish in spawning Time, when they (at least most Sorts) are scabby, tastless, and unwholsome ; and the Killing of one just ready to Spawn, is destroying of many Thousands: But the Drawing the Shores at such Times (but too much practised) and thereby Breaking and Disturbing the Spawn, before it is impregnated with Life, is the Destruction of Millions.

The next Evil I shall mention is, that great Destruction that is, and has been (especially of late Years) made of the Brood and Fry of Fish; and as a Conviction of which, I need only refer the Reader to take a View, at any Time, of Billingsgate, or any other Fish-Market; or to observe what small sized Fish are daily exposed for Sale there, or in the Streets; how few large, fine, full-grown Fish (and, indeed, how few in Number of any Size) will he there meet with; and, withal, how very dear even these few, such even as they are in Comparison to what Fish used to be sold at not many Years past; and all this is to be attributed, not to the River, but to that great Havock that is made of its Spawn, Brood, and Fry; which will more plainly appear, if we examine into the State of this Fishery, in the latter End of her late Majesty Queen Anne's, and the Beginning of his late Majesty's King George's Reigns, when the Company of Fishermen were re-established, and empowered to make By-laws and Ordinances for their Rule and Government in Fishing, &c. so as to be first approved, altered, or amended, by the Lord Mayor, and Court of Aldermen: The which By-laws and Ordinances, were formed, &c. accordingly, and, so far as they relate to the Preservation of the Fishery, are indisputably very good and proper for that Purpose; and while they were in Force (which expired on the Dissolution of the said Company, and that they exerted themselves in Detecting and Punishing the Aggressors of them, then, as I have been informed by several old, serious, credible Fishermen) was evidently seen, how abundantly this River began to be filled, and our Markets supplied with good and wholsome Fish, large and cheap: Then did they all get a good and easy Livelihood; whereas, at present, much the greater Part of them, who are either consciencious, or afraid of offending, can scarce get a bare Subsistence for themselves and Families; while the other few (desperate, loose, and lawless) revel with Impunity, on the real Destruction of the whole Fishery. And unhappy was it (I am sure, for the Publick, if not for themselves) that their Company continued in Being so few Years, owing, as I have been credibly told, to their own Divisions, partial Proceedings, and Connivances of each other, when in Office, which is not altogether to be so very much wondered at, by those who are once acquainted with the Tempers, Education, and Dispositions of the Generality of that Class of People.

Reasons for depletion of Fish stock

Now, as I have already hinted, all the Reason why this River is not now so plentifully stored with all its various Kinds of Fish, viz. by its Spawn, Brood, and Fry, being so greatly destroyed, as it formerly has been; I shall, in the next Place, consider of the Means of preventing these Evils, the which will jointly explain many of its Causes: And that, in short, is for want of proper Laws, Ordinances and Regulations, for the Times, Seasons, and Manner of Fishings, with what Sort and sized Nets and Engines; the proper Assize of each Kind of Fish, should be taken of, with reasonable Pains and Penalties for offending herein, being duly established and enforced; and all Offenders against such Laws, &c. being more readily brought to Justice, than they now are, or can be, for such Transgressions, and punished accordingly

Regulation required to prevent depletion of fish stocks

Which brings me to another Reformation, that is as greatly wanting, and without which I am afraid, the best Regulations will prove but abortive; and that is, the entire Suppression, or strictly punishing of such Offenders, who (through Impunity) are now grown so insolent and daring in their illegal Fishings, as to put all Laws, all Authority, in open Contempt and Defiance, by not only denying absolutely to have their Nets examined, but likewise positively refusing to surrender them up, though ever so illegal or unsizeable; nay, frequently insulting, resisting, and assaulting those Persons, duly authorized for the searching for, and seizing all such illegal Nets and Engines, in the very execution of their Duty, to the intimidating and greatly Discouraging of many Persons, who would otherwise willingly and readily exert themselves in the Preservation of this Fishery: But if such Outrages, such Contempts, and Insults, on the City's Authority, are permitted to go unpunished, it is not to be wondered if that thorough Inspection into the Times and Manner of Fishing, is not so truly made as it ought to be, by such as are deputed so to do: If Danger is suffered to attend the Execution of their Duty; then weak, contemptible and imperfect, must that Jurisdiction surely be, which has nothing but Force, or superior Strength, to support it; which is frequently the Case now a-days, in attempting to take away the unlawful Nets and Engines; the which Outrages are not only an Indignity on its Authority, but must consequently create so much the greater Expence in the Execution of it: Wherefore, as all such Insults or Resistances, are not Contempts and Violences on the Person that executeth the Trust, but on the Authority of those who duly depute and authorize him: And as in the Security, Safety and Regard, shewn to such their Office, consists the true Welfare and Preservation of this Fishery, and, I might add, of the Jurisdiction itself, it would be surely quite needless to offer any farther Explanation or Arguments on this Account; and, I doubt not, but that the Consideration either of this, or any of the other Evils herein already mentioned, or any other Disadvantages that do or may attend either the Navigation or Fishery of this useful and noble River, as it always has, so it undoubtedly ever will be, esteemed by the City of London, as worthy of their strictest Attention, Care and Concern, as of all other its antient and valuable Priviledges, none of which (as has already been observed) does it self more Honour, or is of greater Consequence to the Publick, than is the Jurisdiction and Conservacy, of the River of Thames; and accordingly not only the City Records, but our Histories do afford us many convincing Proofs of the City's Sense and Care thereof.

Recent Attempts to impose Regulation

And all these late Evils, these late Iniquities and Contempts, both against the Fishery and the City's Authority, were so apparent to two worthy Citizens, who have lately had the Honour of laudably bearing the high Office of Chief Magistrate of this great City, and carefull Conservators of this useful River: That I cannot, without great Injustice to their earnest Endeavours for the real Welfare thereof, forbear here taking Notice, however intrusive it may be on their Modesty, that the one {Sir Daniel Lambert) sensible of the Obsoleteness, Invalidity, and Insufficiency of most of the present Orders in regard to the Fishery, did his Endeavours to establish several more proper Laws by Virtue of his then Office as Conservator thereof; but his Authority expired too soon for the perfecting his so great and beneficial Intentions for the publick Good.

The other worthy Magistrate {Sir Robert Williams} was remarkably most indefatigable in his earnest Endeavours to detect, reclaim and punish Offenders; for he held no less than Twenty several Courts of Conservacy during his own Mayoralty, and had held several more Courts, had he not found so many Defects in the Regulations or Rules (now in use) in relation to the Fishery, as to render his Endeavours abortive; wherefore he turned himself as industriously for the obtaining and settling proper Laws, with sufficient Authority for preserving the Fishery; in whieh his Inclination, and publick good Spirit and Endeavours, have not been wanting.

Reasons to impose Regulation

But as this great and necessary Work is still left unfinished, and the Evil increaseth, let me, by a brief Recapitulation of the Premises, excite the good and wise Magistrates of this truly noble City to proceed in the same.

First, Consider of what vast Importance the Navigation and Fishery of this River, is as well to the Publick in general, as the City of London, and its adjacent Inhabitants in particular.

2nd, Consider the evident Decay there is in the Fishery, especially of late Years, occasioned through the Obsoleteness and Insufficiency of the present Orders for preserving the same, and other Impediments.

3rd, Consider the impossibility of preventing a Body of Men (especially such an ungovernable one as are the generality of the Fishermen) from destroying the same, except proper Rules, as to the Times, Seasons and Manner of their Fishings, be first duly formed and established; with reasonable Pains.and Penalties annexed thereto; except Offenders be more readily brought to Justice than what they now are; and except all Insults and Assaults on the City's Authority, in examining and seeing a due Observance paid to such Orders, be more strictly prohibited and punished.

4th, and Lastly, Consider whether the Preservation of this noble River, is not of such general and great Consequence, as to truly merit a due Attention, Care and Inspection; and, if the City of London, mould have the least Diffidence in regard to their own Authority, in duly establishing all such said Orders or Regulations, with reasonable Penalties; whether they need doubt a ready Concurrence, or Parliamentary Assistance, in any Thing they shall think necessary to require for the strengthening such their Authority in perfecting so good a Work, as is the Preservation of this River, in which, as has been said, the Publick's Welfare is so much interwoven?

Eyghts or Aits (Islands) between London and Staines [Going upstream]

I Shall now proceed to give you some short Account of the Eyghts, or Aits, that are on this River, between London Bridge and Stains Bridge; all which are so many little Islands growing, as it were, out of it; some few of which are inhabited.


WTSWG: Chiswick Eyot

The first that I shall take Notice of is, at CHISWICK, which indeed is but small, and is planted, as most or all of them are, with Oziers, or Withies, of which not only Baskets, and other such Wicker Utensils are made, but Wheels, and other Engines used by Fishermen men to catch Fish. This Eygbt is situated on the Surry Side the River.

BRENTFORD AITS [Lower and Upper]

WTSWG: Brentford Aits

The next are two, near to Old Brentford; the one, which is commonly called Brentford Eyght, is a very pleasant Spot of Ground, on which is a Publick House inhabited by a Fisherman, who, of late Years, has greatly improved this Spot, by making therein several Fish Ponds, and other Ornaments, for the more agreeable Reception of those who shall make use of his House; the other, which near adjoins to this, is planted with Oziers. These two Eyghts are situated rather on the Middlesex Side the River, notwithstanding they are in the Parish of Kingston, in the County of Surry.

WTSWG: Lots Ait at Brentford


WTSWG: Isleworth Ait

The next Eyght we come to is one at Isleworth or Thistleworth, which is large, and situated on the South or Surry Side of the River.

[ Richmond Lock, Twickenham Bridge A316, Twickenham Railway Bridge ]

RICHMOND [Corporation Island and two tiny aits]

WTSWG: Corporation Island

There are two at Richmond, on the opposite Side the River.

[Richmond Bridge]

PETERSHAM ROOTS [Petersham Ait or Glovers Island

WTSWG: Petersham Ait or Glovers Island

There is another near Petersham Roots, a noted Place for Roach, Dace, and other small Fish, coming in Spawning Time to Hill, as it is called, otherwise laying their Spawn there in great Quantities, being a shallow, gravelly Place, with a swift Current, and in which, and in several other such like Places of the River, as BRENTFORD Gull, &c. Infinite Quantities of these Fish are destroyed at such Times by illegal Methods, to the evident and vast Destruction of this Fishery.

TWICKENHAM: [ Eel Pie Island ]

WTSWG: Eel Pie Island

TWICKENHAM Eyght, though on the Surry Side of the River, is the next, on which is a House, called the Eel Pye House, formerly very eminent for the Entertainment of those who took Parties of Pleasure up and down the River.


Here are two more Eyghts, the one just above the House of the celebrated, the late Mr. Pope, the Poet, at Twickenham, both on the Middlesex or North Side of the River.


There are also two more Eyghts not far above these, near Teddington, a Village on the same Side of the River.

[Trowlock Island & Stevens Eyot]

WTSWG: Trowlock Island

WTSWG: Steven's Eyot

The next are two Eyghts; a little on this Side Kingston Bridge on the Surry Side of the River.


There are also two Eyghts, the one just above this Bridge, and the Other at the upper End of the Town, but both on the Middlesex Side the River.

[Boyle Farm Island & Thames Ditton Island]

WTSWG: Thames Ditton Island

The next are two large Eygbts near to Thames Ditton, on the Surry Side.

[Hampton Court Bridge, Molesey Lock]

[Ash Island & Taggs Island]

WTSWG: Ash Island

WTSWG: Tagg's Island

The next are two large Eyghts adjoining to each other on the Middlesex Side the River, just above Hampton Court.

[Garrick's Eyot, Benn's Ait?, Platt's Eyot]

WTSWG: Garrick's Eyot

WTSWG: Benn's Ait Hampton Sailing Club

WTSWG: Platt's Eyot

And A Little Mile above these are three more; one opposite to Hampton Town Church, which is a large one; another very large one just above the Town; and another small one near this: All three On the Surry Side of the River.

[Grand Junction Island, Sunbury Court Island, Swans Rest Island-Rivermead Island

WTSWG: Grand Junction Island

WTSWG: Sunbury Court Island

WTSWG: Swans Rest & Rivermead Islands

There are four more near to Sundbury Town, all on the same Side the River; the one but small, at the lower End of the Town; a large one near the Middle, and two others at the upper End of the Town.

And 20 more Aits ...

There are likewise upwards of Twenty more Eyghts Within the Jurisdiction, which to be particular in describing, would lengthen this beyond its intended Compass; so shall add no more in relation thereto, than that several of them are pretty large, and probably may be inhabited, being prettily situated, and are ornamental as well as useful in checking or stopping the Currency of the River from running too immediately off; but then great Care ought to be taken, that they are not encreased, the which, in several of them, might be of the greatest Detriment to the Navigation, and deserves the strictest Care and Attention of the Conservacy, and its Courts.

PLACES - Going Downstream from Staines

I Shall now conclude my Description of the Thames, with a particular Account of the Towns, Villages, &c. situated on the Banks thereof, so far as they are within the Jurisdiction of the Lord Mayor of the City of London: Because by that means the Reader will be informed not only of the great Usefulness of this River, to its populous Neighbourhood, which trade with all the World; and of the Necessity to preserve the Navigation and Fishery thereof, but also he may probably learn, where great Numbers of those desperate and mischievous People inhabit, who live upon the Destruction of the young Fry.


WTSWG: Staines Bridge

I begin with the Market Town of Staines, in the County of Middlesex, which is pleasantly situated by the Thames, over which is a wooden Bridge, which leads to Esher [Egham?] in Surry, and is the high Road from London to the western Parts of England.


WTSWG: The London Stone, Staines

A little above this Town in a Field near the Thames Side, is fixed a Stone, with the Arms, &c. of the City of London engraved thereon, known by the Name of the City of London Mark-stone, which terminates the Bounds westward of the Jurisdiction of the Lord Mayor of London on the River of Thames; and on which is inscribed, though almost defaced,
God preserve the City of London. A. D. 1285.
And from which Stone, a late Author says, the Town takes its Name, Stana, which, in the Saxon Language, signifies a Stone.

[Penton Hook Lock]


WTSWG: Laleham

LALEHAM, on the Middlesex Side of the River, is a Place of but little Account, chiefly inhabited by Fishermen; who, would they but abstain as much from Fishing illegally amongst themselves, as they seem willing to prevent Foreigners coming up hereabouts to do so, there would certainly be a much greater Quantity of, and better Fish, than what there is in these Parts at present.

[Chertsey Lock]


WTSWG: Chertsey

CHERTSEY, on the Surry Shore, some Distance from the River, is a good Market-Town, and famous for its Retirement. The River, near this Place, has a wooden Bridge.

[Shepperton Lock]


WTSWG: Weybridge

On the same Shore, a little below, is the Town of WEYBRIDGE, a pleasant Town, well inhabited, and not only adorned with the Seats of the Earls of Lincoln and Portmore, but with the Ruins of a Royal Palace, called Oatlands.


WTSWG: Shepperton [old channel]

SHEPPERTON is a Place of no great Account, unless for being much frequented in the Summer Season, by those who are Lovers of Angling.


WTSWG: Walton Bridge

WALTON is a pretty large Town, and well inhabited with several very fine Seats in and adjoining thereto.


WTSWG: Sunbury Lock

SUNDBURT has not much to boast of, unless several good Houses, and being situated by the Side of so delightful a River.

[Molesey Lock]


WTSWG: Hampton Court Bridge

HAMPTON Town has several very good Houses, a Free-school, and a Ferry to Moulsey Heath, or Hurst, famous for Cricket Matches, it being a beautiful, extensive, flat, and level Piece of Ground, or Common.


WTSWG: Hampton Court

HAMPTON Court, a magnificent Structure, and now a Royal Palace, first built by Cardinal Woolsey, in the Reign of Henry VIII. It has been greatly enlarged and beautified by King William III, who delighted much in its Situation. Its new Buildings and Gardens are truly magnificent, and the Avenues leading to it are very stately. It has two Parks adjoining; and among the rich Furniture within, are some of the finest Pictures in Europe, as the Cartoons of Raphel Urben, [Raphael & Ruben?] &c. which Cartoons were purchased by King James I. At what Price is uncertain, for a most extravagant Rate hath been set on them, as they are, indeed, invaluable. This Village is much improved by its Palace, there being several Inns near it, for the Accommodation of Strangers, as well as those who follow the Court.


WTSWG: Thames Ditton

Nearer London, THAMES DITTON, is on the Surry Side; a Village of very little Account.

MOLESEY - [out of geographical order - see above]

WTSWG: Molesey Lock

Also a Village called Molesey.


WTSWG: Kingston Bridge

KINGSTON in Surry, is joined to Kingston-Wick in Middlesex, by a wooden Bridge. This Town was originally called Moreford; but afterwards Kingston, for being the Place where Athelstan, Ethelbert, and Edwin, were crowned Kings, and received their imperial Sceptres, fitting in a Chair, upon a Stage in the open Market-Place. At present it is a large and well inhabited Corporation, governed by Bailiffs, &c. enjoying large Immunities, and distinguished, by its Appointment, for one of the Places where the Assizes of the County shall be kept, and where the Justices keep one of their quarterly Sessions. Its Market is much frequented by Mealmen and Higlers, who resort thither to buy up the great Quantities of all Sorts of Grain, Poultry, and other Provisions, brought thither every Saturday, by the Conveniency of their wooden Bridge.


WTSWG: Teddington Locks

The next Place, nearer London, is the small Town of TEDDINTON, formerly called Tide-Ending-Town; because, before the Building of London-Bridge, the Tide always flowed up thither, as the Spring-tides still are observed to do.


WTSWG: Twickenham Bridge

On the opposite Shore in Middlesex, stands the handsome Town of TWICKENHAM, which, besides other Persons of Quality and Fashion, has of late Years been distinguished with the Seats of the Earls of Bradford, Strafford, of the Countesses of Suffolk, Westmorland, and Ferrers, and with the Retirements of Mr. Secretary Johnson, and Mr. Pope, the Poet, and others.


WTSWG: Petersham Ait (Glovers Island) Island

Just adjoining to Ham House, the fine Seat of the Earl of Dysert, on the Surry Shore, is the pretty Village of PETERSHAM, well adorned with Noblemen and Gentlemens Houses.


WTSWG: Richmond Bridge

RICHMOND is the next in Course on the Surry Shore. It is a pretty large Town, and very agreeable in the Summer. Here is a Royal Seat, and the Remains of that Palace, wherein King Henry VIII and his Daughter, Queen Elizabeth, ended their Days; now parcelled out into Tenements. Here is also a fine Park, encompassed with a Wall, at least six Miles about, and was a Part of her late Majesty Queen Caroline's Dowry. And her said Majesty took so much Pleasure in this Spot of Ground, that she built herself an Hermitage or Grotto therein, for her own Retirement, and enriched it with a handsome Library, and adorned it with the Bustos[sic] of those four great English Philosophers, Sir Isaac Newton, Dr. Samuel Clark, Mr. John Lock, and Mr. Wollaston, the Author of the Religion of Nature delineated.


WTSWG: Isleworth Ait

ISLEWORTH, commonly called Thistleworth, in Middlesex, is a large Town, containing many well built Houses, and Country Seats of the Nobility and Gentry.


WTSWG: Kew Palace

KEW-GREEN, on the Surry Shore, is at present, much frequented by his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, who has a fine Palace there.


WTSWG: Syon House

Crossing to the opposite Shore, you see, before you enter Brentford, a fine old House near to the Thames, called SION-HOUSE, which had its Name from the Holy Mount, so called, when it was a Nunnery, founded by King Henry V. but afterwards, on the Dissolution of the Monastries, given by King Henry VIII to the earls at Northumberland, and is now the Estate of his Grace the Duke of Sommerset, who married the Heiress of that truly noble Family. It was for some Time the Residence of the Princess Anne of Denmark, afterwards Queen Anne, while she was out of Favour with King William III the Duke of Sommerset having made her a Compliment of it.


WTSWG: Brentford Aits

Passing from thence, you immediately come to BRENTFORD, the Old and New, which is a considerable Market-Town, and through which is the great Road to the West, and lying so near London, has a considerable Trade, especially for Corn, both by Land and Water Carriage.


WTSWG: Kew Bridge

As soon as you leave Brentford, you enter a Number of Houses near the Thames, called, STRAND-ON-THE-GREEN where many Merchants and Gentlemen have their Houses; but is chiefly inhabited by Fishermen; and who have long been, and now are, more remarkable, than at any other Place, in their illegal Fishings, &c.


WTSWG: Chiswick Bridge

MORTLAKE, in Surry, is a long Town, close to the River, containing many good Buildings, well inhabited by Gentlemen and Merchants.


WTSWG: Chiswick Eyot

CHISWICK lies a little lower, on the same Shore, and is remarkable for several good Buildings, for the Seat and Gardens of Richard Earl of Burlington, a Nobleman much and justly distinguished for his fine Taste in the polite Arts, but particularly in Architecture, of his great Skill in which, he has given many grand Specimens.


WTSWG: Hammersmith Bridge

HAMMERSMITH, about a Mile further, is a good Village, and well inhabited; but particularly remarkable for a Nunnery of English Roman-Catholick Ladies, which goes under the Name of a Boarding-School: By which Means, this Village is noted for Inhabitants of that Religion.


BARNES is a small Village of little Note. (In Surry)




WTSWG: Putney Bridge

FULHAM is the next Town on the Middlesex Shore, which contains many good Houses; and on the West is bounded with a good old Palace, belonging to the Bishops of London, and, on the East, by Parsons Green, where are several very good Buildings, particularly the Earl of Peterboroughs, which is remarkable for its fine Gardens, and the Tulip Tree therein. Fulham is joined to Putney on the Surry Shore by a wooden Bridge over the Thames, which was begun to be built by private Subscriptions. It was finished in the Year 1729. and the Pontage or Toll paid for Crossing this Bridge, settled on the Subscribers by Act of Parliament, answers so well, that they divide yearly, at least, 9 per Cent, as it is commonly asserted.


WTSWG: Putney Bridge

PUTNEY, on the Surry Side, contains many good Houses; but though some are larger, I may say few, in any Place, are to be compared to the well situated, neat, regular, and convenient Seat, lately built on the Brow of the Hill, and the East Side of this Town, by Percival Lewis, Esq;


WTSWG: Wandsworth Bridge

About a Mile nearer London, on the same Side the River, is the Town of WANDSWORTH, where is carried on a great Trade in the Dying Business; but it is chiefly inhabited by Fishermen.


WTSWG: Battersea Bridge

And about a Mile and Half eastward, on the same Shore, is the pretty little Town of BATTERSEA, where is the Seat of the Right Honourable Lord Viscount St. John of Battersea; but it is principally inhabited by Gardeners, who contribute much to the Supplying of the Markets in London and Westminster, with Garden-Stuff of all Sorts, and once very remarkable for Esparagus.


WTSWG: Chelsea Bridge

And almost opposite, on the Middlesex Shore, begins the long Town of CHELSEA, where are many good Buildings, but they are chiefly occupied by Boarding-Schools, or Lodgers. Here is also a good old Palace belonging to the Bishops of Winchester, another belonging to the Duke of Beauford, another to the Duke of Ancaster, and a fourth, formerly the Seat of the Earl of Ranelegh, but now converted into a Rendez-vous for the Musical and the Gay; a splendid Amphitheatre built in the Gardens, in the Form of the famous Rotunda, once the Pantheon at Rome, where Conserts of Vocal and Instrumental Musick are performed, almost every Night in the Summer Season. But what graceth this Village most of all, is that royal Foundation for sick, wounded, decayed, or superannuated Soldiers, commonly called Chelsea-College, built in the Room of a College, which was designed by King James I. for Students in Divinity, who were to make it their whole Business to oppose the Church of Rome, incorporating it by the Name of King James the First's College, he laying the first Stone of the Building himself; yet, after the Expence of £3000 and not an eighth Part of the Building finished, or more advanced than the outward Shell, it lay neglected till King Charles the Second's Reign, who began the present Royal Hospital, which was continued by King James the Second, and finished by King William and Queen Mary, and is one of the best Foundations of its Kind in the World. The Architect of this noble Structure, was Sir Christopher Wren.


See London’s market gardens: the Neat Houses

From Chelsea to Westminster, is almost a continued Garden; in the midst whereof is a Knot of Buildings, called the NEATHOUSES, chiefly inhabited by Gardeners, who supply a great Part of the City with the Product of the Kitchen-Garden.


WTSWG: Vauxhall Bridge

On the opposite Shore is VAUXHALL, noted for its Gardens, and Resort of People of Pleasure in the Summer Season, to hear the musical Entertainment; which, after the Italian Manner, is there performed every Evening in the open Air, during the Summer Season. The Neighbourhood of this Place of Pleasure, is very poor, and chiefly inhabited by Watermen, &c.


WTSWG: Lambeth Bridge

A little to the East is another Village, called LAMBETH, which, excepting the Archbishop's Palace, and some few other Gentlemens Houses, is wholly inhabited by Watermen, &c.


WTSWG: Westminster Bridge

WESTMINSTER BRIDGE, from Woolstaple, near the New-Palace-Yard, over the Thames to Standgate, on the opposite Shore, which has been Building ever since June 1738, by Vertue of an Act of Parliament passed in 1736, is now near finished; as it is intended to be a free Bridge, the Expence of it has been defrayed by several Lotteries, enacted for that Purpose by Parliament. It is, and will be, as handsome and compleat a Piece of Architecture, as any of its Kind in all Europe, if not the best; it consists of 13 Arches.


WTSWG: Houses of Parliament





SOUTHWARK. Here having arrived at Westminster, and London, you see many noble and stately Edifices, erected near to the Thames Side; as likewise in the Borough of Southwark; all which I won't pretend to describe in this short Narrative,


WTSWG: London Bridge 1666 - 1825

but proceed to LONDON-BRIDGE, which may properly be called a Village on, or across the River of Thames; its Number of Houses and Trade far exceeding many Corporations in England.


Passing through Bridge, the first Place after you have passed Southwark, is called ROTHERHITH, or REDRIFF, contiguous to Southwark, and though neither Incorporated, nor a Market Town, yet is very populous, and chiefly inhabited by such, who have their Dependance on the Navigation of the River.


The same is exactly true of St. CATHARINES, WAPPING, SHADWELL, WELL and LIMEHOUSE, on the opposite or Middlesex Shore.


From Redriff you come presently to DEPTFORD. This Town is divided into the Upper and Lower Town, has two Churches, and divides the County of Surry from Kent: The Two Parts together make it very large; but the upper Part is left inhabited; and there also is his Majesties Dock and Naval Storehouses for building and equipping Ships for the Royal Navy. Here also is another Yard for building Merchant Ships; and good anchoring for Ships of the greatest Burthen, who may ride off here without Danger in the greatest Storm. Here is also a Wet Dock of two Acres for Ships; and another of an Acre and an half for Masts; besides additional Store-houses, Dwelling- houses, Launches, &c. and above 2000 Workmen, are here constantly employed. The little Ship, in which Sir Francis Drake sailed round the World, was, by Queen Elizabeth's Order, A D. 1580, laid in a Dock here, for a Monument.


Below Deptford is the pleasant Town of GREENWICH, in former Days for a Royal Palace, built by Humphrey Duke of Gloucester, enlarged by King Henry the Seventh, and with which Place, his Son, King Henry the Eighth, was so delighted, that the Palace was honoured with the Births of the Princesses Mary and Elizabeth, afterwards successively Queens of England. And here died that pious, young Prince, King Edward the Sixth: But the Palace was afterwards so much neglected, that King Charles the Second pulled it down (after having enlarged the Park, walled it about, and planted it after the Designs of the famous Gardiner Le Nobre) and began a new Palace here, of which he lived to see the first Wing magnificently finished: But King William the Third granted it in 1694, to be converted into a Royal Hospital, for such Persons, who, by Age, Wounds, or other Accidents, were disabled from further Service by Sea, and not in a Condition to maintain themselves; as also for the Widows and Children of such disabled Seamen, and others, that happened to be slain or drowned in the King's Service. For which Purpose, his Majesty did not only grant nine Acres of Ground with the said Royal Palace, but settled £ 2000 per Annum, payable out of the Exchequer for ever, towards the Re-edifying, perfecting and endowing of the said Hospital, at a Time when he was engaged in an expensive War with France, relying for the rest upon the voluntary Assistance, and Contributions of his well disposed Subjects. This great Foundation afterwards met with some Interruptions; but now, at last, it is very near completed, and is the finest Structure of that Kind in Europe. On the Top of the Hill, in the Park adjoining to the Hospital, King Charles the Second erected a Royal Observat6ry, and furnished it with all Sorts of Mathematical Instruments for Astronomical Observations, and a deep dry Well, for observing the Stars in the Day-time; for which Purpose it was lately inhabited by those celebrated Astronomers Dr. Flamstead and Dr. Edmond Halley. The River Thames here is very broad, the Channel deep, and the Water, at at some very high Spring Tides, is Salt, but in ordinary Tides, sweet and fresh.


Opposite to Greenwich, is a Neck of Land or Peninsula, between Limehouse and Blackmail, remarkable for its Number of Windmills on the Shore, and its rich Pasture within the Marshes; and it is called the Isle of Dogs, as is reported, from a Waterman's murthering a Man in this Place, who had a Dog with him, which would not leave his dead Master, till Hunger constrained him to swim over to Greenwich; which being frequently repeated, was observed by the Watermen plying there; who, following the Dog, by that Means discovered the Body of the murthered Man. Soon after, the Dog returning on his accustomed Errand to Greenwich, snarled at a Waterman, who sat there, and would not be beaten off, which encouraged the By-standers, who knew of the Murder, to apprehend him, who thereupon confessed the Fact, and, after due Prosecution at Law, was hanged on this Spot.


BLACKWALL, on the Middlesex Shore, is the next Place of Note; where there is a very spacious and safe Wet and Dry Dock for building, rigging, and laying up of Ships, frequently made use off by the Government; and particularly noted for the many and good Ships built and launched there for the Service of the East India Company.


From this Town you arrive at WOOLWICH, on the Kentish Shore, and situated on the Thames Side, where there are several very fine Yards, Docks, and other Buildings, encompassed with a high Wall, spacious and very convenient, and so prodigiously full of all Sorts of Stores of Timber, Plank, Masts, Pitch, Tar, and other Naval Provisions, as can hardly be numbered: Besides the Building Yard, here is a large Rope Walk, where the biggest Cables are made for Men of War; and on the East, or lower Part of the Town, is the Gun-Yard, commonly called the Park, or the Gun-Park where there is a prodigious Quantity of Cannon of all Sorts, for the Ships of War, every Ships Guns apart, heavy Cannon for Batteries, and Mortars of all Sorts and Sizes; insomuch that there have been laid up at one Time, between 7 and 8000 Pieces of Ordinance, besides Mortars and Shells, almost beyond Number. Here is also the House, where the Firemen and Engineers prepare their Fire-works, Charge Bombs, Carcasses and Granadoes, for the publick Service. A Guardship usually rides here, especially in the Time of War. The Town of late Years is much enlarged and also beautified; several fine Docks, Rope Yards and capacious Magazines added; and the Royal Foundery for Cannon repaired and improved. The Thames here is of a much greater Depth of Water, and a freer Channel than at Deptford, and near a Mile over at high Water, which is salt upon the Flood; and as the Channel lies strait East and West for about 3 Miles, the Tide runs very strong, and the River is entirely free from Shoals and Sands, and has seven or eight Fathom of Water; so tnat tne biggest Ships may ride here with Safety, even at low Water.


Opposite to this Town is HAM-CREEK on the Essex Shore.


And BARKIN-CREEK, where usually ride the Smacks of several Fishermen, who from thence send their Fish in small Boats to Billinsgate Market. These Fishing Smacks are very useful Vessels to the Publick upon many Occasions; as particularly in Time of War, they may be used as Press Smacks, running to all the Northern or Western Coasts, to pick up Seamen to man the Navy, when an Expedition is at hand, that requires a sudden Equipment, or may serve as Tenders to particular Men of War, being excellent Sailors; and have been made use of as Machines to blow up fortified Ports, formerly at St. Malo, and other Places. This Creek is navigable up to the Town of Barking or Berkingeh, which is a small Market Town, and but a little higher, and has the River Robbin on the West. To this Place William the Conqueror, some short Time after his Coronation, retired, till he had erected strong Holds in the City of London, to check the Instability and Power of that People; and hither it was, that the two great Earls, Edwin of Mercia, and Morcer of Northumberland, came and swore Fealty to him


The next remarkable Place on the same Shore, is that where the famous Breach (called DAGGENHAM BREACH) was that laid near 5000 Acres of Land under Water; but which after Ten Years Inundations, and the Works being several Times blown up, was at last effectually stopped by Captain Perry, who for several Years had been employed by Peter the Great, Emperor of Russia, in his Works at Veroneze, on the River Don.


RAYNHAM CREEK is likewise on the same Shore; near adjoining to which is the Ferry so called, which is the usual Landing Place for Passengers and Goods sent to Raynham Town, a little farther up Land.


ERITH, a small Town On the Kentish Shore, is remarkable for little else but Smuggling.


PURFLEET, on the Essex Shore, is where the Rivulet Stifford, or Flete, falls into the Thames. It is said, that Queen Elizabeth viewing her Fleet here, far unequal in Strength to the Spanish Armado, cryed out,
Alas my poor Fleet !
which gave Name to the Place, as some pretend.


DARTFORD CREEK, on the Kentish Shore, which is navigable up to the Town of Dartford or Darentford, an handsome large Market Town, which lies near the Mouth of the River Derwent, which empties itself into the Thames; on this River was built the first Paper Mill in England, by Sir John Spillman, in the Reign of King Charles I, who granted him a Patent, with a Salary of Two-hundred Pounds, per Annum, for his Encouragement: Between Dartford and the Thames, the Derwent receives the little River Crouch.


GREENHITHE on the same Shore, is now a small Village of little Account, Mr. Lombard says, it was here that Swane, King of Denmark, landed and encamped himself, but there appearing no Remains of any such Fortifications thereabouts, nor any Tradition of it in our Historians or Geographers, it is most probable, nay almost certain, that tho' Swane might Land here, he erected his Camp at Swanscombe, a Town lying a little higher up in the Country, honourable among the Kentish Men, being the Place where they obtained of William the Conqueror, the continuance of their Priviledges and Franchises.


WEST THURROCK lies on the Essex Shore, the Parish Church of which stands near the Thames;


and not far from GREYS, on the same Side the River, which is called by some Turrock Magna, or great Thurrock, from which Town are weekly sent to London great Numbers of Calves, 3nd Poultry, particularly on its Market Day, which is [?] Day.


NORFLEET, on the Kentish Shore, is remarkable for little more, than that there is great Numbers of Hoys, and other Vessels constantly employed in carrying of Chalk Stones to the Limeburners in or near London, from the Chalk-Pits that adjoin to it, and Greenhithe.


GRAVESEND, lying on the North Side of Kent, on the River Thames, is an incorporated Town, hath two plentiful Markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays, with one likewise for Fish on Sunday Mornings. This Town is now new built, having, in August 1727, been almost all of it burnt down, with the Church; but now makes a much better Appearance, from the Calamity it then underwent. It is hardly credible what Numbers of People pass here every Tide, as well by Night as by Day, between this Town and London; almost all the People of East-Kent, when they go for London, travel no farther by Land than this Town, and then go to London in the Tilt-Boat, the Passage in which, to and fro, is now made much more commodious and safe for Passengers than before, by an Act of Parliament, passed in 1736-7, for regulating the Company of Watermen, &c. between Gravesend and Windsor; and here is an handsome Turret erected, with a Bell, in persuance of this said Act, to give the Watermen Notice, to put off at every first of Flood for London, &c. Another Thing in this Town worth our Notice is, that all Ships which go to Sea from London, take, as it is said, their Departure from hence; for here all outward bound Ships must stop, come to Anchor, and suffer what they call another Clearing; and here a Searcher of the Customs comes on Board, looks over all the Cockets, or Entries of the Cargo, and may, if he pleases, rummage the whole Lading, to see if there are any more Goods than are entered, which however they seldom do, for which Purpose, all outward bound Ships, as has been said, must bring to, which if they do not, one of the Centinels (which are always posted at the Blockhouse erected here, with several Pieces of Cannon on a Platform) fires his Musket, and if the Pilot passes the Blockhouse, without bringing his Ship to, the Centinel fires again, and if the Ship drives on, he fires a third Time; and if the Pilot still persists in Sailing, or does not let go his Anchors, the Gunner of this Fort or Blockhouse, fires a Piece Of Cannon, though without Ball, and if not complied with, then with a Ball; and this Shot is the Signal to the Fortress of Tilbury, on the opposite Side the River, which immediately lets fly at the Ship from the Guns on the East Bastion, and afterwards from all the Guns they can bring to bear upon her, which is very dangerous indeed to any Ship to run the Risque of, because the Shot will reach her all the Way to the Hope, and round the Hope-Point, almost to HoleHaven, though it is said it has been done twice. As for Ships coming in, they all go by here without any Notice taken of them, unless it be to put Waiters on board.


Directly Opposite to this Town is TILBURY FORT, or West Tilbury, on the Essex Shore, and opposite to the Blockhouse at Gravesend, and may be looked upon as the Key to the City of London. It is a regular Fortification; the Design of it was a Pentagon but the Water Bastion, as it would have been called, was never built: The Plan was laid out by Sir Martin Beckman, chief Engineer to King Charles the Second, who likewise designed the Works at Sheerness. The Esplanade of the Fort is very large, and the Bastions are the largest of any in England. The Foundation is laid on Piles, driven down, two at an End of one another, so far, till they were assured that they were below the Channel of the River, and that the Piles, which were pointed with Iron, entered into the solid Chalk Rock, adjoining to the Chalk Hills on the other Side. The Works to the Land Side are compleat; the Bastions are faced with Brick; there is a double Ditch or Moat, the innermost of which is 180 Feet broad; a good Counterscarp and a Covered Way, marked out with Ravelines and Tenailles; but they have not been compleated:
There is also, on the Land-side several small Redoubts of Brick; but the chief Strength of this Fort, on the Land-side, consists in being able to lay the whole Level under Water, and so to make it impossible for an Enemy to carry on an Approach that Way. On the Side next the River is a very strong Curtain, with a fine Gate called the Water Gate, in the Middle, and the Ditch is pallisadoed, at the Place the Water Bastion was designed to be built, and which, by the Plan, should run out wholly into the River, so to flank the two Curtains: On each Side stands an high Tower, which is said to be built in Queen Elizabeth's Time, and was called the Block-house; the Side next the Water is vacant.
Before this Curtain, above and below the said Vacancy, is a Platform, in the Place of a Counterscarp, on which are planted 106 Cannon, generally carrying from 24 to 46 Pound Ball; a Battery as terrible as important to the Place: Besides which, there are smaller Pieces planted between, and the Bastions and Curtain also are planted with Guns; so that they must be daring Men who will venture, in the largest Ships, to pass such a Battery.


A little below this is, EAST TILBURY, where the River begins to widen towards the Mouth; and here it was, that Queen Elizabeths having had Notice from the French King of the Invasion intended by the Spaniards, formed a Camp of twenty-two thousand Foot, and one-thousand five-hundred Horse, under the Command of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, which lay here to oppose their sailing up the Thames, and landing in those Parts. A. D. 1588.


The HOPE, a Place where Merchants Ships usually Ride, and wait for their Lading and Dispatches, and which begins at or opposite to East Tilbury, and terminates opposite to Cunningham.


MUCKING, a Town a little below East Tilbury, to which the Thames is navigable by a Creek called Mucking Creek.


CANVEY ISLE, about 5 Miles in Length, from Hole Haven to Leigh; it lies low, and so is sometimes overflown by the Tide; but the Sheep, which are fed there in abundance, so readily retreat to some Hills in it, that few are lost;


a little below this Island, or rather opposite to the lower End of it is a small Town called LEIGH, or Lee, of little Or no Account, otherwise than that it is well stocked with Fishermen and Seamen, and likewise that about two Mile below this Town, the Jurisdiction of London on the Essex Side the River, terminates at a Place called Crow Stone, where there was a Mark Stone, but bv some Accident it has been lost for these several Years past.


So I shall now return to the Kentish Side of the River; and the next Place worth Notice below Gravesend, is a Place in the River, called, BLYTHSAND, which is opposite to Hole Haven, and is dry at Low Water, for the extent of two Miles; within this is a Place called Fish Nash; and below this another Place in the River, called, The ROSS, which is a Hill of Shells that is covered only at high Water;


and the next Place below this is YAUNTLETT CREEK, from which runs a Bank of Shells to Granes-spitt End, which is three Miles in extent and leads round into the River Medway. Within this Creek (adjoining to the Thames) is a Publick House, where Fishermen that draw the Shores usually resort, and who, by this illegal Manner of Fishing, annually destroy infinite Numbers of unsizeable Smelts, and other Fish hereabouts, and all up the South Shore.


The ISLE OF SHEPWAY is, as it were, opposite to the extreme Part of Granes-spitt End, which is separated from the rest of the County of Kent by the Medway, which here divides itself into two Streams, and encompasseth it, falling into the Estuary of the Thames by two Mouths, the one lying Westward, called West-swale; the other Eastward, called East-swale. It is 22 Miles in Compass.


SHEERNESS FORT, in this Island, built for the Security of the River Medway, and the Thames Mouth, is very strong, and entirely new erected. On the Half Moon are planted 40 large Cannon, and round the Works are Embrassures for 74 Pieces more, with Watch Towers at proper. Distances; the Avant-Fosse, or Ditch of the Counterscarp, was finished last Summer (1744) and can be filled with Water from several Places, at a very short Notice. In the Fort is a Chapel for the Garrison, which is very large, and Warehouses for the Use of the Dock, furnished with all Necessaries for fitting out Ships at a small Warning:


And on the South West Part of this Island stands by the Medway Side, QUEENBOROUGH, which sends Members to Parliament, and had once a Castle and several Blockhouses, which have since been demolished; and the Place now is of but little Account, unless for Oyster Fishers and Alehouse Keepers.


On the West Side this River Medway, is a Place called the SALT PANNS, where great Quantity of Salt is made, both for Home Consumption and foreign Exportation


Farther, on the same Side the River, is a Place called the SWAMP, or King James's Folly, which is a strong Fort mounting 12 Guns, and it was designed to have made this one of the strongest Fortresses in England, had not that Prince abdicated.


On the other Side the Medway stands GILLINGHAM, antiently a Market Town, and where stands a strong Fort, to which large Additions are making, there being 170 Embrassures for holding Cannon, which will be so great a Security to this River, that should an Enemy ever make Way by Sheerness Fort, his Progress would be stopped before he could reach Chatham.


On the West Side the River stands COCKHAM WOOD Fort, where 34 Guns are mounted; but it is not plainly seen by Passengers sailing by, being wholly encompassed by the Wood; but it is a Place of great Security and Strength.


And near to this Wood, by the River Side, adjoining a sandy Lane, is a large square Stone, set erect in the Ground, on the upper Sides of which is engraved these Words,
God Preserve The City Of London;
which Stone is here placed to shew the Extent of the said Cities Jurisdiction up the River Medway.


Here I might describe UPNOR CASTLE, adjoining to this Wood, which guards two Reaches of this River,


as likewise CHATHAM, on the other Side the River, whose Docks for building Ships, Arsenals, Store-houses, Launches, Malt-houses, Boat-houses, Boat-yards, Anchor-yards, Forges, Foundaries, Canals, and Ditches, for preserving the Masts and Yards, in the Water, are the largest in Dimension, and the most in Number, that are any where to be seen; in short, there is not a more cornpleat Arsenal than this in the whole World.


The Rivers that empty themselves into the Thames, within the Jurisdiction are these:
Above Bridge you have
Brentford River, North Side the Thames.
Hounslow River, N.
Coln River, N.
Uxbridge River, N.
Lasingham River, S. has its Waters from Bromley River.
Wandsworth River, S. supplied with Water that comes from
Martin River, S. fed by
Mitcham River, S. is supplied by Water from
Carshalton River, S.
Moulsey River.
Esher River.
Cobham River.
Weybridge River, is supplied by two other Rivers, viz. Fleet River, S. which comes from Guilford River; and the New River, which is made by Art from Guilford to Weybridge.

Rivers below London Bridge, within the Jurisdiction, are
Ilford River, N.
Woodford River, North Side the Thames.
Stratford River, N.
Bow River, N.
Hackney River, N.
Waltham River, N.
New River, N.
Deptford River, S.

Two Rivers - Lea and Medway

A Description of the River Lea, or Lee.
Thus far I have confined myself purely to the River of Thames; but as the City's Power of Conservacy will be found to extend also into the River Lee and Waters of Medway, it will now be necessary with the same Brevity, to give you a Description of those two Streams.

A Description of the River Lea

The Lee or Lea, which falls into the Thames a little to the Eastward of Blackwall, and about five miles below London Bridge, though it riseth so high as Luton in Bedfordshire, does not become navigable till it has received several other Rivulets, and is arrived at Ware in Hertfordshire, about twenty Miles, from London: But perchance few navigable Rivers of its Contents can boast of greater Utility, not only to the adjacent, rich and populous Villages on its neighbouring Shores, but to the great Metropolis of the Nation also, which, by this Stream, is supplied with vast Quantities of all Sorts of Grain, and incredible Quantities of Malt.
After this River has past Waltham Abbey, where King Harold was buried by the Courtesy of William the Conqueror, who had slain, him in the Field of Battle; it serves as a Boundary between Middlesex and Essex. The City Jurisdiction in this River reaches no farther than the End of what is called the New Cutt, which is only about a Mile above the Bridge at Temple Mills, or about four Miles up the River.

A Description of the River Medway.

The Medway, which riseth in Ash-Down. Forest, Sussex, on the South West of East Grimstead; from whence it passeth by Penshurst, Tunbridge, Maidstone and Rochester, and falling into the Thames, is divided, at the Mouth into two Channels by the Isle of Shepway; that to the Eastward taking the Name of the East Swale; and that to the Westward falling into the Mouth of the Thames, the West Swale, which, being the principal Entrance into this River, is defended by the Fort of Sheerness, much better fortified now than it WaS when the Dutch sailed up, and burnt Part of the Royal Navy at Chatham.
In this River, whose Mouth is almost like the Thames, choaked up with sand Banks, is within a most secure and commodious Harbour for Ships of the greatest Burthen as far as Chatham. It also abounds with Salmon, the largest Flounders, with Plaice, Mullets, Whitings, Smelts, Eels, Perch, Trout, Carp, Tench, Bream, Chub, Roach, Dace and Gudgeons, in abundance, beside Oysters, of which there is the finest in the World, especially towards Milton and Feversham.

The Authority and Jurisdiction of the City of London proved

After this Survey and History of the Rivers of Thames, Medway and Lee: We now proceed to consider under what Authority and Jurisdiction they are settled: And this will appear to be placed in the Lord Mayor, the City Commonalty and Citizens of London. For of London not only the Water of the Thames, with the Fish therein, has been confirmed to Them by divers Grants, Charters and Acts of Parliament; but by their special Suit, the King gave therewithal the Ground and Soil under the same; so that whoever hath House or Land adjoining, and maketh a Stand, Stairs, or such like, they pay forthwith a Rent to the City of London, how high soever they be above the Low-Water-Mark. Therefore the City, at this Day, by Virtue of this Grant, receives Rents of them that fix Posts, or make Wharfs, or other Buildings, upon the Soil of the said River. And as a further Proof of this Jurisdiction, the Sheriffs of London, for the Time being, have a Power to Arrest and do Executions in the said Water of Thames, so far as the Bounds of the Freedom of the City do stretch; yet thus notwithstanding it can be proved, that the Thames Water, so far as the Bounds of the Freedom of the City doth stretch, is a Parcel of the City, and that every Appurtenance within the said Franchise, has always been governed by the same City, as a Parcel of the same City, as well the one Part of the Water as the other; the Lord High Admiral of England has contested the City's Jurisdiction, but with no other Success than to strengthen the Authority which the Lord Mayor had so justly claimed, and to confirm him by a proper Verdict the Conservator of the River Thames and Medway, with an absolute Power to inflict Punishments for all unlawful Fishings, either by Fishermen or others; and for all Abuse of his Authority.

The Institution of a Water Bailiff

This Jurisdiction and Power being thus adjudged; we are to consider in what Manner the Conservator of the River of Thames doth exercise the same; which has at all Times been executed by a Deputy or Substitute, commonly called the Water Bailiff of London, who, under his Authority, and by Virtue of his absolute Power, searches, oversees and punisheth all that offend against his Orders for the Conservation of the City's Right to the said River, and make Spoil of what was intended for general Benefit. Consequently the Power that is lodged in the Lord Mayor of London, as Conservator of the River of Thames, is legally executed by the Water Bailiff, his Deputy. Now The Power of the Lord Mayor, as Conservator of the River of Thames, is confirmed from his Care both for the Safety of Passengers on the River, and the Preservation of the Breed, and Fry and Fish in the River, by Precedents of great Antiquity: For, in the Year 1405, Sir John Woodcock, Mayor, being informed that great Number of Wears had been erected in the said Rivdr, to the Destruction of the young Fry, and the Damage ofNavigation, caused all the said Wears from Stains Bridge to the River Medway, to be destroyed, and the Nets burnt, which, by Virtue of the City Charter, was judged lawful against the Opposition made thereto by the Archbishop of Canterbury, &c. But to avoid any further Inconveniences and Opposition for the future in the due Execution of the said Office; the City petitions the Parliament to remove all Kiddles, Wears, Fishgarths, Stanks, Milnes, Stakes, &c. in the River of Thames, Medway and Lea; by which Parliamentb the Mayor and Citizens were empowered vigorously to execute all the Statutes in force against all such Offenders, and that in all Commissions relating to the Water Bailiff, the Mayor or Custos always to be one. And this Power seemed so necessary for the publick Good, and so well lodged, that when Sir John Branch, Lord Mayor elect, came to be sworn into his Office, the Lord Treasurer Burleigh, particularly recommends to him the Conservation of the River of Thames; mentioning first the City's Right to the Jurisdiction thereof from London Bridge to Stains; and then adding, that her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, was grieved, that the Navigation thereof was impeded by Hatches, Stopps and Wears; and the Fry of Fish destroyed, and made Meat for Swine, &c. and did find fault with those Things called Trinckers, which, her Pleasure was, that the Lord Mayor should cause to be redressed &c.
Hence It is rational to infer, that the Crown acknowledged this Jurisdiction in the City of London; and that the Conservator has a Right and Power to punish those that make Havock of the young Fry, or that encroach upon the Soil of the said River, that cast in Dung or Other Filth, and that dig and undermine the Banks and Walls next to the said River, and carry and convey away the Washides, Shore Piles, Boards, Timber-work, Ballast for Ships, and other Things, from the Banks and Walls of the said River in sundry Places. Wherefore the said Lord Mayor having represented the same to his first Court of Aldermen, it was ordered, that the Water-Bailiff should be called, and commanded to deliver in Writing, a true, distinct, and particular Report of the State of the River, and how her Majesties late Commandment hath been executed according to the Laws of this Realm, and Right of the City. And for the Matters of Trinckers, he shall likewise enquire by all lawful Means, and certify this Court of the Quality of those Trinckers, their Numbers, their Places, and Manner of Fishing; what Harm they do; how and in what Sort they may and ought to be reformed: And for all other Matters pertaining to this City, to redress touching the River, and the Navigableness and Fishing thereof, he shall truly inform: That for such Things as he within the Power of this City to amend, Remedy be given speedily; and for the rest, Suit be made to her Majesty and her Council, and Reformation sought by Order of her Majesty's Laws: And for this Service, and the more speedy doing thereof, it is ordered, That Anthony Hall be required
{ See the Act of 27 Hen. VIII. Cap. xviii. On the 3d November, 1580. }
to be Assistant to the said Water-Bailiff, with his Travail and Diligence; and that at such Times yearly as the Water-Bailiff goeth up with Citizens for View of the Thames, the said Anthony Hall shall always be one of the said Citizens. Which Diligence and Care was again several Times revived;

Sir Thomas Pullinson's Orders, 1584

for in September, 1584, Sir Thomas Pullinson, Lord Mayor, the following Orders were set forth.

First, That there should be no Perprestures, Encroachments, Wharfes, Banks, Walls, or Buildings of Houses in or upon the Thames, to the stopping of the Passage.

Item, That no Dung, Rubbish, or other Filth, be Cast into the Thames.

Item, That no Posts or Stakes be fixed in the Thames.
Item, That the fair Way be kept as deep and large as heretofore it hath been.
{ Sir Thomas Pullingson, Mayor. §ee Strype, 1 Vol. Pag- 41 }
No Person shall sell, utter, or take any Fish, contrary to the antient Assize set down by Decree; viz.
Pyke 14 Inches;
Barbel 12 Inches;
Salmon 16 Inches;
Trout 8 Inches;
Tench 8 Inches;
Roach 6 Inches;
Dace 6 Inches;
Flounders 6 Inches;
but Carp, Aloes, Chevin, Pearch, Eels, Gudgions, Smelts, Bleaks, Shad, Mackerels Lampreis, Lamprons, are not yet assized.

Fence Month and Times, in which these Fishes are not to be taken; viz. for
Salmons; between the Nativity of our Lord, and St. Martins.
Kipper Salmons; not to be taken at any Time of the Year.
Trout; between Michaelmas and Christmas.
Roaches ; between 15 Days before St. Martins, and 15 Days after.
Lampreis and Lamprons, between 15 April and 15 August.

No Fishermen, Garthmen, Petermen, Draymen, or Trinkermen, shall avaunce or set up any Wears, Engines, Rowte Wears, Pight Wears, Foot Wears, nor make any Stalker Nets, Trynk Nets, Purse Nets, Casting Nets, Berd Nets, Pot Nets, Barrock Nets at Crooks, Heaving Nets, except they be 2 Inches in the Mesh.
Nets forbidden; also the Measure of certain Nets -
Blee Nets, must be two Inches and a half.
Dray Nets and Kiddels, forbidden.
Cod Nets, to be used between Candlemas and our Lady-Day.
Treat Nets, Peter Nets, must be two Inches large in the Mesh, except between Candlemas and our Lady-Day in Lent.
A pride Net, not to be occupied but by special Licence of the Water-Bailiff, and not above a Yard in Length.

Places inhibited to Fish in, called Friths; Viz.
Mill Dams, Locks, and such like.
Goose Fleet, at Busherd.
Well Fleet, at the Mase.
St. Saviours Milne by West.
White Bait at Gowlch, or Blood Bag.

Sir Robert Ducie's Orders, 1630

But these Orders were more strongly enforced by those which Sir Robert Ducie afterwards set forth by this Title.
ORDERS heretofore devised and agreed upon by the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor of the City of London, and Conservator of the River of Thames, and Waters of Medway, and River Lee, for Conservation and Preservation of the River of Thames, and of the Brood and Fry of Fish therein, as followeth.

FIRST, That no Man, upon Penalty and Forfeiture of his Net, and Ten Pounds, with Imprisonment at the Discretion of the Lord Mayor, shall presume to shute any Draw-Net or Coulter-Net, at any Time of the Year before Sun-rising, nor after Sun-setting: For that in the Night-time unlawful Nets may be used, and great Abuses offered, to the great Hurt and Annoyance of the said River of Thames: And to shute in their several Rooms well known.

2. Item, That no Fisherman or other shall still, lye, or bend-over any Net during the Time of the Flood, whereby both Salmons, and other Kinds of Fish, may be hindred and kept back from swimming upwards, to the Benefit and Profit of such Fishermen as dwell in the West Part of the said River, upon the like Pain and Penalty.

3. Item, That no Fisherman, or other, shall shute any Draw-Net, Cord-Net, or other Net or Engine, whereby any Salmon Fish shall be taken, after Holyrood Day is past, being the 14th Day of September, because at the 14th of that Time they are out of Season, and remain here upon the River only to spawn and breed: Upon the like Payment.

4. Item, That no Fisherman, or other, shall fish with any Net, or lay or hale Weel, or use any other Net or Engine whatsoever, from Sun-setting on Saturday Night until Sun-rising upon Monday Morning, no, nor during all the Time of Lent, as being a Thing not only very hurtful to the said River, but also a great Abuse and Profaning of the Lord's Sabbath: Upon the like Penalty.

5. Item, That no Fisherman, or other, shall at any Time hereafter ship their Draw-Nets (called Shipping a-stern) into their Boats, before such Time as they have laid forth all their whole Net, as they do when they Land towards a Low Water; nor that they ship some Part of their said Net, and land the Rest; but that from henceforth they shall fulfil and observe that antient Order of landing their Nets (as they have heretofore usually done) at Low Water; upon the like Payment.

Sir Robert Dulcie's Orders, 1630 continued:

6. Item, That no Fisherman, or other Person whatsoever, shall use any Speer called an Eel-Speer, at any Time of the Year, for that they are likewise very great Destroyers of Barbels, and other Kind of Fish; nor sha11 Work with any Bley Net, Rug-Net, or Smelt-Net, upon the said Water Westward, farther then Isleworth Church, from the 10th day of March yearly, until Holyrood Day be Past, being the 14th Day of September; upon the like Payment.

7. Item, That no Fisherman, or other, shall at any Time of the Year use or exercise any Flue, Trammel, double-walled Net, hooped Net whatsoever, for that they are not only the utter Destruction of all breeding Barbels, and also a great Spoil and hurt to other Sorts of the young Brood and fry of Fish, being with these Kinds of Nets infinitely destroyed, to the general Ruin of the River aforesaid; upon the like Payment.

8. Item, That no Fisherman, or other, shall lay any Weels called Kills, in any Place of £he River, from the 10th of March, till the 10th of May yearly, for that all Roaches do then shed their Spawn; nor that no Man whatsoever cut any Bulrushes, or other Flags or Sedges growing upon the River, from Richmond unto the Markstone above Stains Bridge, for that they are a great Succour and Safeguard unto the Fish; upon the like Payment.

9. Item, No Fisherman, or other, shall use, within the said River of Thames, any Weel called a Lamb, or a Mill-Pot, or any other Engine, with the Head thereof against the Stream, upon Pain or Forfeiture of Ten Pounds, and Imprisonment at the Discretion of the Lord Mayor; nor that no Man whatsoever shall occupy upon the said River of Thames any Nets called Purse-Nets, otherwise Casting-Nets; upon the like Payment.

10. Item, That no Fisherman, or other, shall be suffered to rug for Flounders, either by Ebb or by Flood, at any Time of the Year, between London Bridge and Stangate, on the South-side, and Westminster Bridge on the North-side, but only two Casts at Low Water, and two Casts at full Sea, or High Water, for the Safeguard of the Fry and Brood of Fish: And no Flounder shall be taken under the Assize of six Inches; nor that no Fisherman, or other, shall fleet with any Bley-Net upon the Benches from Whitehall to the Temple Stairs, upon high Waters, from Whitsuntide to Bartholomew-tide; upon the like Payment.

Sir Robert Dulcie's Orders, 1630 continued:

11. Item, That no Fisherman, or other Person whatsoever, shall cast, bring, or cause to be brought any Carrion, Soil, Gravel, Rubbish, Sods of Earth, or any other Filth, or Annoyance, whereby Banks and Shelves are raised, and the common Passage hindered, to the great Danger of Fares; Boats and Barges, passing to and fro upon the said River: Nor that no Fisherman, or other, shall drive or cause to be driven any Piles, Stumps or Stalks, within the said River of Thames, upon which the like Mischief and Dangers may arise; upon the like Pain and Penalty as aforesaid.

12. Item, That no Fisherman, or other, shall presume to take up any Rack or Drift upon the Water of Thames, without Notice given to'the Water Bailiff or his Substitute, within convenient Time, he satisfying him for his Pains, as shall be reasonable and thought fitting; nor shall conceaI and keep secret the said Rack or Drift from the said Water Bailiff, to the End that such Order and Care may be taken therein, as hath been accustomed, according to the Laws and Ordinances ordained for the Preservation of the said River; upon the like Pain and Penalty, from the 10th of March to the first of May, or at any other Time.

13. Item, That no Fisherman, or other, shall fish with any Kind of Net, or use any Angle Rod with more than one Hook upon a Line, or saw or search for Barbel within the Limits of London Bridge, or shall use any other Engine nearer unto the Bridge than St. Botolph's Wharf and the Bridgehouse Wharf on the East-side, nor nearer on the West-side than St. Mary-Overies-Stairs and the Old Swan, upon the pain of Imprisonment, at the Discretion of the Lord Mayor, and 6s. 8d. to the Chamber of London.

14. Item, That no Peter-men shall at any Time hereafter fish or work with any Manner of net upon tne said Water westward, farther than Richmond Crane, unto which Place, or thereabouts, the Water ebbeth and floweth, for that the fishing beyond that Place hath caused a great Destruction of Fish; upon Pain of Forfeiture of 20s. for every Time they shall so offend, and farther Punishment, according to the Quality of his Offence.

15. Item, It is ordered, that no Peter man shall hereafter, at any time of the Year take the Tides above Richmond, nor go in Company, together, it being found very prejudicial and hurtful both to the River and Fishermen, and nothing available for the furnishing of any Markets, nor shall go to fish more than five together in one Company between Richmond and London Bridge; upon Pain of forfeiting for every Crime 10s. and imprisonment during Pleasure.

Sir Robert Dulcie's Orders, 1630 continued:

16. Item, That no Peter-man, or any other, take any Flounders, or any other short Fish which they have usually called Kettle-Fish, not being six Inches of Assize, being found to be the great Destruction of the Fish; upon the like Penalty and Pain.

17. Item, That whereas many Inconveniences have heretofore risen to the River of Thames, by divers Fishermens keeping of Boys, who had neither the Sufficiency to take the Charge of Fishing, nor bound Apprentice to the same: Therefore from henceforth it shall not be lawful for any Fisherman to keep two Boys in one Boat, unless the one of them be at Man's Estate, or thought sufficient by the Water Bailiff to take the Charge, or else that one of them be an Owner: Nor that no Fisherman from henceforth do take any Apprentice to the said Trade of Fishing, unless he first enters his Name in the Register Book of the Water Bailiff of this City kept for that Purpose, nor under the Term of seven Years, and that after the Expiration of the said Term, he likewise come again before the said Water Bailiff, to be by him admitted a lawful Fisherman, (as of antient Time hath been accustomed;) upon like Payment.

18. Item, That no Person whatsoever, from Stains Bridge in the West, to Yendal alias Yenlet, in the East, do fasten, lay or cause to be laid in any part of the River of Thames, any more or greater Number than two Vessels, or two Barges, or two Lighters abreast, at any Yard, Wharf, Dock, Road or Chain, or in any other Place whatsoever, in or upon the River of Thames, nor pretend to fasten or stop a Tide, to make any more or greater Number in any Place whatsoever.

19. Item, Nor that no Person lay, or Person cause to be laid, or continue any Timber at any Road, wharf, or Yard, within the River of Thames, by reason whereof it is, and has often been very prejudicial and dangerous by Night and Day, to the Passage of the King's Subjects, and to the great hindrance of Boats and Barges passing and repassing upon the said River of Thames.

20. Item, That no Person do make or continue any Wharf, Building, Potgallery, or other Purpresture, or Incroachment into, upon, or over any Part of the Soil of the said River, whereby the said River may be in the least diminished, nor any Way annoy or prejudice the said River, or the common Passage therein, or hurt the Banks thereof.

Lastly, That every Fisherman upon the River of Thames, from London Bridge unto Stains Bridge, shall once every Year, (viz, upon St. Paul's, Day, being the 25th day of January) appear before the Water Bailiff of this City, at the Chapel of the Guildhall, by Ten of the Clock in the Forenoon of the same Day, there to enter their several Names into his Register Book kept that Purpose; and farther, to hear the Orders and Institutions ordained for the Preservation of the said River, to be openly and publickly read, to the Intent that they and every of them, may the better perform the same, upon Pain of 6s. 8d. for every Default so made. And if any Man whatsoever, Fisherman, or other, shall contemptuously or stubbornly resist the Water Bailiff, being Sub-Conservator under the Lord Mayor, in the due Performance and Execution of his said Office, he shall make such Fine, or be imprisoned at the Discretion of the Lord Mayor for the Time being, as unto his Lordship shall seem most fitting.

Sir Robert Ducie's Articles, 1630

By the same Lord Mayor, the following Articles were ordained to be enquired upon by the Jury for the River of Thames Eastward. For the Conservation and Preservation of the River of Thames, and of the Brood and Fry of Fish within the same, as followetb:

IMPRIMIS, You shall faithfully and truly present (without any respect), all such Persons, Fishermen, and others, as do prophane the Lord's Sabbath in their unlawful Fishings, and going forth that Day to their Labour, being to the high Displeasure of Almighty God, and availeth not to the furnishing of any Market. And if any such Fisherman have gone forth to fish, having been at Home, before Sunday at Night, (Sun down) you shall faithfully and truly present them.

2. Item, That no Trincker shall stand for Smelts till the 21st Day of October yearly, and so to continue until Good Friday following. And to use no Manner of Net for Smelts than full two inches in the Fore-Part, Inch and half in the second Part, and in the third Part, which is the Hole or Cod, Inch and Quarter wet and dry: And the Hose not to exceed eleven Feet in length, and in compass sixty Meshes, and not above: And five Hoops, placed a Foot and a half a sunder in the said Cod, the Hoop to be placed within two Feet of the End of the Cod, and each Hoop to be a Foot and a half over every Way, upright within the Hoop, and not otherwise.

3. Item, That no Trinck shall stand to fish above nine Tides in the Week, viz. three Tides against Wednesday, three Tides against Friday, and three Tides against Saturday Market, and so likewise three Tides against Saint's Eves, and other Fasting Days; and then to wash, hale up and go home with their said Nets and Boats, every Saturday Morning to their own Houses. And in Lent Time, they may stand every Day, the Sabbath-day excepted.

4. Item, That no Trinck shall stand in any birth more than is allowed him to stand, but shall stand in all such several Places, and in such Manner as hereafter followeth, and in no other Place, that is to say, he shall keep his Cooplement,
At Blackball Ferry, two, one Breast or Front, and no more.
At Ley Shelp two, and no more.
At Woolwich Shelf two, and no more.
At Woolwich Town five, and no more.
At Gallions Nasse three, and no more.
At Busard's Bush five, and no more.
At the East and West End of Barking Shelf, two at each Place, and no more.
At Dagnam Shelp six, and no more.
At the Carrick four, and no more.
At Julian-tree Fob three, and no more.
At Dartford Fob three, and no more.
At the Bright at Erith Nasse, three and no more.
At Stoke-fleet Nasse, alias Stakes-end, five, and no more.
At Evely Hole, five, and no more.
At Purfleet, five, and no more.
At Gray's Thorock, six, and no more.
At the Two Thoroughs, three, and no more.
And every Trink to keep his true Cooplement, and to stand no more in a Birth.

5. Item, That no Trink shall stand to fish for Whitings till the Ember Week before M1chaelmas yearly, and to come no higher than Purfleet, and to have the Hose or Cod of his Net full Inch and half. And upon Saturday Sun set, to wash off his Net, hale up and go home, and not to return to his Labour again till Monday Morning Day-light: And so likewise shall every Fisherman do from London Bridge Westward, to Gravesend Bridge in the East, and not otherwise.

Sir Robert Ducie's Articles, 1630 continued:

6. Item, That no Trinckerman, or other Fisherman, shall buy any Trinck, or take or receiye any Copy, under the Seal of the Office of Mayoralty, until he be allowed and thought fit by the Lord Mayor of London, or by his Substitute the Water Bailiff for the Time being, with the general Liking and Consents of the said Company of Trinckermen, and seventeen Trincks allowed, and no more.

7. Item, That, no Trinck shall stand to fish before any Breach Mouth at the rising or sinking of any Mother-Fishes, or in the Time of Spawn or Brood of Fish; and that every Trinck shall, at all Times and Seasons, take up and carry away his Anchor at his Time of his leaving off from Fishing, and not to leave his said Anchor behind him to keep his Birth, contrary to antient Order and Custom.

8. Item, That each Trinck shall every dark and foggy Night, hang forth out of his said Trinck Boat one Lanthorn, with sufficient Candle-light, for the better and safer Passage of Ships, Boats, and Vessels passing to and fro upon the said River: And that every Trinck Cable be no more than twenty Fathom long at the most; or any Henbilt above twenty-two Fathom long. And likewise to have a Ward of forty Fathom to shere off and give way, if any Ship, Crayer or other Vessel, shall chance to drive upon them.

9. Item, That every Trinckerman shall, one Week before his going to fish, come up to tne Chapel of Guildhall, London, and there there appear before the Water Bailiff, as well to receive Leave and Licence for their going forth, as also to hear the Orders and Institutions ordained for the Preservation of the said River, to be there openly and publickly read, to the End they may the better observe and keep the said Orders, and every Thing therein contained.

10. Item, That no Hebberman shall fish for Smelts before the twenty-fourth Day of August yearly, and so to continue till Good-Friday; and that no Hebberman shall fish in Haven, Creek, Breach or Issue, with any Net of less Assize than three Inches for Flounders, from the Feast of Easter, until the said twenty-fourth Day of August, yearly; And shall likewise appear before the Water Bailiff of London, at the Chapel of Guildhall, there to receive Leave or Licence for their said going forth. And that the Mesh of their said Smelt Nets be full Inch wet and dry, and not otherwise.

Sir Robert Ducie's Articles, 1630 continued:

11. Item, That every Hebberman shall fish by the Shore, and pitch their Pole at half Ebb, and shall have but forty Fathom Rope allowed from the Pitch of their Pole into the River, and not to lie a Floating or Flatting for Smelts, for Smelts between two Anchors in the Midst of the Stream; nor shall have any Kind of Weight of Lead, Iron, Stone, Barrel, Firkin, Kilderkin, Cask, or with any Wherry or other Device. Nor shall fish from Good Friday till Bartholomew-Tide yearly, betwixt London Bridge and Gravesend, with any Net under two Inches, except with a Wade Net for Bait only.

12. Item, That no Hebberman shall work any higher for Whitings than Dartford Creek, and to work with no Manner of Net for Whitings of less Assize than full Inch and half wet and dry: Nor shall go forth to take any of the said whitings yearly, until they be lawfully licensed by the Water Bailiff of London, before whom they are severally to appear at the said Chapel of Guildhall, London, one Week before Gang-tide yearly.

13. Item, You shall present the Names and Surnames of every Trawler, unto the Lord Mayor of London, or his Substitute the Water Bailiff, for the Time being. And that no Trawler shall fish above Hole Haven on the North-side, and Porsing on the South side, till a Fortnight after Michaelmas yearly, and all the Summer to use no Net for Soals under two Inches and a half in the Cod, being two Yards long, and the rest of the Net to be three Inches. And no Trawler to work in Tilbury Hope after Michaelmas, with any Manner of Net under four Inches for Plaice all the Net over. And no Trawler to come upon any Trawl with any other Net at any Time of the Year.

14. Item. To present all such as have often pitched, set or erected any Riss-Hedge, or Half-Nets, upon Stakes or otherwise, within the full Sea, and Low Water, being an Engine utterly to kill small Fish; and what Landmen they be upon Kentish Shore, or in any other Place within the Waters of Thames and Medway, that do or have used the same.

15. Item, That no Trawler do stay Abroad to fish after Whitsuntide against Wednesday Market till Bartholomew-tide yearly, nor that no Trawler do fish in Tilbury Hope upon the Saturday after Sun-rising, but to wash off, hale up, and go home, as all other Fishermen ought to do, and according to the old and antient Customs of the River of Thames and Waters of Medway.

Sir Robert Ducie's Articles, 1630 continued:

16. Item, That every Trawler upon the Time for River Eastwards, do yearly appear before the Water Bailiff of London, at the Chapel of Guildhall, one Week before the true Times and Seasons of going forth to fish, then and there to receive Leave and Licence for their said goings forth, and to hear the Orders and Institutions ordained for the Preservation and Government of the River of Thames, to be there openly and publickly Read, to the End that they may the better observe and perform the same.

17. Item, That no Trawler that hath or doth use to Trawl to take Soal, Chates, Plaice or Thorn-back, shall take or bring any such Fish to any Market, or to any Country-Town to sell, except they contain the Assize as followeth, that is to say, every such Soal, Chate, Plaice, and Thorn-back, to contain in length seven Inches with the Head and Tail, and not under.

18. Item, That no Draggerman that hath or doth use to drag for Shrimps, shall go forth to fish till the first Day of November yearly, and to continue till Good Friday: Nor shall use any such Drag at any Time of the Year above Maggot Masse on the South-side, and Staky-Brake Creek on the North-side, and not otherwise. And that every Dragger-man shall, upon the first Day o£ November yearly, appear before the Water Bailiff of London, to receive Leave and Licence for going forth.

19. Item, That all Manner of Fishermen whatsoever, that use to take Shads in Shadding Time, shall observe and keep their true Order of shooting a Droves length off from one another, and to present what Disorders are kept among them, both in going forth upon Sundays, or otherwise. And that none of the said Shadders shall go forth to fish until they have received Leave and Licence of the Lord Mayor of London, or his Substitute the Water Bailiff for the Time being, their true Time of going forth to be the Week before Easter yearly, and not before.

20. Item, That no Peter-man whatsoever, from London Bridge in the West, as far as the River Medway in the East, shall fleet for Flounders with any Rug-Net in the Night-time, from Sun going down until Day-light the next Morning, betwixt Michaelmas and Christmas, because in the Night-time they make great Destruction of small Flounders, and carry them away both unseen and unknown. Nor that no Peter-man do fish with any Hagan or Smelt Net below London Bridge, at any Time of the Year.

Sir Robert Ducie's Articles, 1630 continued:

21. Item, That no Peterman, or other Person whatsoever, shall fish betwixt London Bridge and Limehouse Nasse, with any Manner of Net to fleet, beat or rug at any Time of the Year, except for Shads only: Nor that no Peter-man do rug from London Bridge to Blackwall, and so eastward, from Michaelmas yearly, until Whitsuntide, but only three Casts at high Water, and three Casts at low Water in and out, and every Rug-Net is to contain two Inches three Quarters in the Meish wet and dry, and every Bley-Net two Inches and half throughout, wet and dry.

22. Item, That no Fisherman, or other Perfon whatsoever, shall lay down in the River of Thames Eastwards, any Smelt-Leaps before St. Paul's Day yearly, and so to continue till Good Friday next following, and no longer. Nor that no Fisherman, or other Person, shall lay in the said River any more than only one Wand of eighteen and no more, and not to lay them down until they be lawfully licensed thereunto by the Lord Mayor or Water Bailiff, and none to use them but Fishermen and Housholders.

23. Item, That no Fisherman, or other Person shall lay in the said River of Thames any Eel-Leaps till fourteen Days after Easter yearly, and so to continue until Michaelmas next following: Nor shall lay any more, or greater Quantity than only two Dozen, and no more: Nor shall lay of the said Eel-Leaps until they be lawfully Licensed thereunto, as aforesaid, and not otherwise.

24. Item, That no Fisherman, or other Person whatsoever, shall use upon the River of Thames, at any Time of the Year, any spear, called an Eel-Spear, or any other Kind of Spear whatsoever, for that they are great Destroyers of young Brood, and other Kind of Fish in great Abundance, and therefore altogether unlawful; no Man to use them upon Pain of Imprisonment, and further Fine, at the Discretion of the Lord Mayor.

25. Item. You shall further enquire, and true Presentment make, of all such Persons as do use to go down the River to buy up either Fish, Victuals, or other Commodities, before the same cometh to Billingsgate, and other Keys, being known and appointed Places of Sale, Vent, and Discharge thereof: If you know any such, you shall present who they be, and how often they have so done.

Sir Robert Ducie's Articles, 1630 continued:

26. Item, That no Fisherman, or other Person whatsoever, shall work with any Manner of Net or Engine whatsoever, to take or kill any Dace or Roch from the Tenth of March, till the Tenth of May yearly, for that they do then shed their Spawn: Nor that they take or kill any of the said Dace, Roch, or other Kind of Fish, out of their due Kind or Season, nor except they contain in Length according to the true Scantling and Assize, and not otherwise.

27. Item, You shall further enquire, and true Presentment make, whether any Butcher, Brewer, Inn-keeper, or any other Person or Persons, as well within the City of London, as in any other Country Town or Village (as far as the Liberty of the Lord Mayor extendeth) have cast or put into the said River, any Paunches, Grains, Horse-dung, or other Rubbish, Soil or Filth whatsoever, to the very great Annoyance and Hurt of the said River, on Pain of Imprisonment, and further Fine, at the Discretion of the Lord Mayor of London: If you know any such, you shall present them.

28. Item, You shall further enquire what Royal Fishes have been taken within the Jurisdiction and Royalty of the Lord Mayor of London, as namely, Whales, Sturgeons, Porpusses, and such like, and to present the Name and Names of all such Persons as shall take them, to the Lord Mayor of London for the Time being.

29. Item, That no Fisherman, or other Person whatsoever, shall lay in the said River of Thames any Lampern-Leaps to take Lamperns before Bartholomew-Tide yearly, and so to continue till Good Friday, nor shall lay any more or greater Quantity than only one Rod of forty Fathom, containing seven Dozen of Leaps, and not above: Nor shall lay any of the said Rods until they shall be lawfully Licensed by the Lord Mayor of London, or by his Substitute the Water Bailiff for the Time being.

30. Item, That no Person do make or continue any Wharf, Building, or Potgallery, or other Purpresture, or Incroachment into, or over any other Part of the Soil of the said River, whereby the said River may be in the least diminished, nor any Way annoy or prejudice the said River, or the common Passage therein, or hurt the Banks thereof.

31. Lastly, Because the Number of Fishermen do daily increase, and not only Fishermen, but also a great Number of Cable-Hangers and Tradesmen, such as were never bound Apprentice to the Craft and Science of Fishing, to the great Hurt of the River, and hindrance of Fishermen, the said River being not able to relieve and succour, the multiplicity of them being so great: It is now ordained, That every Fisherman, dwelling near unto the said River, that doth take and receive into his or their Custody, any Apprentice to the said Trade of Fishing, shall, within one Month next after, repair unto the Water Bailiff of London, to have his Indenture written and engrossed, to the End that after he may present him to the Chamberlain of London to be enrolled, according to the antient Custom: And not to receive any Apprentice under the Term of Seven Years, and at the End and Expiration of the said Term, the Master of the said Apprentice do again present him to the said Water Bailiff to be by him admitted and allowed a Fisherman. And finally, You shall enquire and true Presentment make, by the Oaths that you and every of you have taken, whether any Fisherman, or other Person whatsoever they be, have with any Manner of Net or Engine offended or misused himself in Fishing within the said River, or whether they have any Manner of Ways made Destruction of the Brood and Fry of any Kind of Fish therein contained, contrary to the good and antient Laws, Ordinances and Constitutions of the said River of Thames. And to make a true, perfect, and faithful Presentment of all other Kind of Enormities, Hurts, Offences, and Annoyances, touching as well Fishermen as any other Person or Persons within the said Jurisdiction, being any manner of Ways hurtful or offensive to the same.

Order, 1673

At a Court of Aldermen, the Tenth of July, 1673, an Order was made as followeth; viz.

THIS Court considering the great Decay of the Fishing-Trade in the River of Thames, and conceiving the Drawing the Shores (of late so frequently practiced) is the chief Ground thereof, as tending to the great Prejudice and utter Destruction of the Brood and Fry of all Sorts of Fish, did thereupon this Day strictly order and enjoin; That no Person do hereafter presume to draw the Shores in the River of 'Thames, upon any Pretence whatsoever, at any Time or Season of the Year, either with lawful or unlawful Nets, save only for Salmons, in Rooms appointed and set out for that Purpose by this Court: And that none do fish for Salmons in such Rooms, but only such as shall be impowered there unto under the Seal of the Mayoralty of this City: And also that none fish with a Net under six Inches in the Meish, upon Pain that every Offender shall forfeit for every such Offence his Nets, and pay as a Fine the Sum of Twenty Pounds, and suffer Imprisonment, during the Pleasure of the Court.
And to the End more diligent and strict Search may for the future be made upon the said River than heretofore hath been, or possibly can be, by one single Person, for such as fish with unlawful Nets, at unlawful Times, and in unlawful Manner; the Water Bailiff for the Time being, is by this Court ordered and impowered, from Time to Time, to authorize two or more honest Fishermen, in such Town and Places as he shall think convenient, as well below as above the Bridge, to be Assistant to him in the Execution of his Duty; and when they shall think fit, to go out and search for any such Offenders, and to take away their Nets, and give their Names to Mr. Water Bailiff, that he may take effectual Care, that they be severely proceeded against according to Law.

Charge of the Wardmote's Inquest, 1698

To which it cannot be improper to add one of the Articles of the Charge of the Wardmote's Inquest {At a general Quarter Sessions of the Peace, held at Guildhall on 13 May, 1698, Humphry Edwin, Lord Mayor},viz.
and also of divers other Things ordained by Act of Common Council of this City for the Redress and Amendment of the said River, which as now is in great Decay and Ruin, and will be in a short Time past all Remedy, if high and substantial Provisions, and great Help, be not had with all Speed and Diligence possible, as more plainly appeareth in the said Act of Common Council of this City.
Also, if any Manner of Person or Persons, cast or lay any Dung, Ordure, Rubbish, Sea-coal, Dust, Rushes, or any other Thing noyant in the River Thames, Walbrook, Fleet, or other Ditches of this City, or in the open Streets, Ways, or Lanes within the City.

From hence it is easy to collect, the Reason why, upon Revival of the Fisherman's Company, the Parliament {9 Anna, Cap. xxvi.} restrained all the By-Laws to be made by them to the Approbation of, and submitted them to be altered or amended by the Court of Lord Mayor and Aldermen of the City of London, and withal reserving to their Officer, the Water Bailiff, his antient Fees, or £ 30 per Annum, in lieu thereof, over and above the Benefit of granting of Licences for Fishing in the several Seasons, to be still continued to him, and a Right of being one of the Wardens of the Company.

This Regulation produced a new Set of By-Laws, which by the Dissolution of the Company, are now of no Force, and pity it is that they are so, as they would undoubtedly be of very great Use (I mean those which relate to the Fishery) in preserving the same.

But this Act no where restrained the Conservator of the Thames, from making such Orders, as should be thought necessary for the Preservation of the Fry, and the Navigation of the River of Thames, wherefore in the Year 1741, Sir Daniel Lambert, Knt. being then Lord Mayor, and Conservator of the River of Thames, and Waters of Medway, at the Request of the Court of Aldermen, added several good and wholesome Orders to those of Sir Robert Ducy, aforesaid; as followeth, viz.

ORDERS devised and agreed upon {Anno 1741} by the Right Honourable Daniel Lambert, Esq, Lord Mayor of the City of London, Conservator of the River of Thames, Waters of Medway, and River Lee, for the Conservation and Preservation of the Spawn, Brood, and Fry of Fish therein, as followeth.

IMPRIMIS, To the End, all unlawful Nets, and Engines, and other Abuses, offered to the Prejudice, and Destruction of the Fishery, within the Jurisdiction of the Lord Mayor of London, may be discovered, and the Offenders punished.

It Is ordained, That no Net under the Assize of two Inches and half in the Meish, shall be worked, or wrought, by any Person using the Art, Mystery, or Craft of a Fisherman, at any Time of the Year, above Richmond Crane, upon the River of Thames, by reason it is very prejudicial and destructive to tne Fry, and Spawn of Fish, there being no Season of Smelts above that Place;

Nor shall use any Net in that Work, called Beating of the Bush, Flag, or Reed, which shall be of less Assize than three Inches in the Meish:

Nor shall use any Weights or Stones to their Nets, upon forfeiture of Forty Shillings for each Offence.

Item, That no Pike-Net, or other Net or Engine, shall be wrought or drawn over the Weeds, for catching of Pikes, by any Person using the Art, Mystery, or Craft of a Fisherman, within the Jurisdiction aforesaid; by Reason it is destructive to, and occasioneth the driving off all other Fish out of the Western Rivers, which otherwise would lie, and Breed and Spawn, in the said Weeds, upon the like Penalty and Forfeiture of Forty Shillings for every such Offence.

Item, That no Person using the Art, Mystery, or Craft of a Fisherman, shall at any Time, within the said Jurisdiction, bend any Net by Anchors, or otherwise thwart the Channel, and so as to draw another Net into it, whereby the Spawn of Barbel, and other Fish may be destroyed, upon the Forfeiture of Forty Shillings for every such Offence.

Item, That no such Person shall Draw, Work, or Land, any Net for Salmon, of a lesser Assize than three Inches in the Meish, from the Tenth of March, until the Fourteenth of September, in any Part of the River of Thames, from Kewpile Westward, to the City of London Mark-Stone above Stain's Bridge, upon Forfeiture of Forty Shillings for every such, Offence.

Item, That no such Person shall Band, or use the Trade of Banding, within the Jurisdiction aforesaid, at any Time of the Year, except between the first Day of November, and the first Day of March yearly: Nor shall use any more than twelve Bands at a Time, nor above one hundred Hooks upon each Band; nor shall lay down within the Jurisdiction aforesaid, any more, or other Bands in the mean Time, whilst those twelve Bands are baited afresh, upon Forfeiture of Forty Shillings for every such Offence.

Item, For the more easy finding out of Offenders, their Names and Places of Abode;
It is further ordered, That every Person who shall fish with a Boat, within the Jurisdiction aforesaid, after the twenty-fifth Day of December 1741 shall have on his Boat both his Christian and Sirname, and also the Name of the Parish in which he dwelleth, legibly painted in some convenient Place, where any one may see and read the same; on Forfeiture of Twenty Shillings for every Time he shall act contrary hereunto.

Orders 1741, continued

Item. That no Person or Persons whatsoever shall at any Time or Times hereafter, upon any Season or Seasons whatsoever, go out to fish for Smelts, Shads, or any other Fish whatsoever; or lay Leaps, or Rods for Eels,in any Place within the Jurisdiction aforesaid, without Leave, and a Licence first had and obtained, under the Hand and Seal of the Water Bailiff, for the Time being, who shall have and receive, for every such Licence, the same Fees and Duties, as have been immemorially paid, and allowed to the Water Bailiff for every Licence: And that the said Water Bailiff, for the Time being, shall from Time to Time, limit and appoint proper the proper and respective Times and Seasons for the said Fishermens going forth to fish: And that upon every such Occasion, all, and every of the said Fishermen, shall, upon due Summons or Notice given, repair to the said Water Bailiff, at the Chapel, at the Guildhall, London, there to receive and take out their several and respective Licences for such their going forth to Fish; and to hear the Ordinances for the Preservation of the Fishery, publickly and openly read, to the End that they may the better observe and keep the said Ordinances; and that none go out to fish, without such a Grant or Licence; and that every Fisherman offending herein, shall forfeit and pay Five Pounds for every such Offence.

Item, For the better Prevention of using unlawful Craft, by fishing with unlawful Nets or Engines:
It is further ordained, That any Person or Persons, Fishermen, or Others, who shall be authorized thereunto by the Water Bailiff, for the Time being, shall, and may, from Time to Time, and at all Times, quietly and peaceably, enter into any Boat or Boats, Vessel or Vessels, belonging to any Person or Persons, using the Art or Craft of fishing in any Water or Waters within the Jurisdiction aforesaid, to view and search for all unsizeable and unlawful Nets and Engines, and for any Fish which they shall suspect to be taken, killed, or destroyed, contrary to the Laws and Statutes of this Kingdom; and the same unlawful Nets and Engines to seize and take away, and bring to the Water Bailiff (with the Names of every such Offender, that they may be proceeded against according to Law) and to seize and take away the Fish so taken and destroyed, contrary to the said Laws, and to distribute the same among the Poor: And whosoever shall resist or disturb the said Water Bailiff, and his Deputies, or any of them in tne Execution of their lawful Office or Employment, of searching for and seizing unlawful Nets, Engines or Fish, as aforesaid sha11 forfeit and pay Twenty Marks of lawful Money of England for every such Offence.


In fine, That the Lord Mayor of London has Power of making such Orders and Regulations, as may be conducive for the better Preservation of the Navigation and Fishery of this River, it may more fully appear from these few general Observations; viz.

First, By Virtue of his peculiar Conservatorship herein, he, more than any other Conservator; has the Power of solely punishing, and even imprisoning Offences committed therein.

Secondly, By the antient Custom of the City, who hath made such Orders, Time out of Mind, as may appear in some Measure from the Antiquity of the above recited Orders.

Thirdly, It may be also observable, that a peculiar Reservation is made of the City's Power in making such Orders, not only in the two Charters granted to the Fishermen's Company, the one by King Charles the First, and the other by King James the Second; as likewise by Statute 9 Anna, Cap. xxvi. wherein the said Company are empowered to make By-Laws for their Rule and Government in Fishing, &c. but not without their being first offered to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, for their Approbation, Addition or Amendment; and which likewise seems as if even herein, the City had so far, for the Good of the Fishery, made such a Delegation or Concession of their Right in so doing, as Fishermen are naturally more capable of forming good and proper Laws, for the Preservation thereof.

Of drift wood and obstructions

I Cannot conclude this historical Account of the Power of the Conservator of the River of Thames, without adding two necessary Observations:
The one is, concerning Timbers that lie floating and a-drift on the River, to the Prejudice either of the Navigation or Fishery, and as such are seizable by the Water Bailiff; the other is, in Regard to the Use of Stops and Hatches, or Stakes and Piles, erected in the said River, for the Taking of Lamprons, and other Fish.

In Regard to the first Observation, it appears, that upon Complaint made to the Lord Mayor, concerning some annoying Timbers in Tilbury-Hope, below Gravesend, dangerous to Passengers, and destructive to the young Brood of Fish, and to Fishermens Nets; they were, by his honourable Care, and the Pains, and Diligence of his Deputy, the Water-Bailiff (being thereto, by his Office and Place warrantably directed) all taken up, and conveyed to Guildhall in London, as an Example to all that should dare to offend in the like Nature, or presume to prejudice such an honourable Course of Fishing; and were it not that the Water Bailiff, in Vertue of his Office, has such a Right of seizing, or causing to be seized, all Drifts, or Waifs, as Boats, Timbers, Anchors, Cables, floating, or found as a-drift, and putting them in several proper appointed, publick Places, where any one might at all Times, examine into the same: What great Losses would the Government, and especially the Timber Merchants, otherwise sustain, who so frequently have such considerable Quantities of Timbers driven away on the breaking of a hard Frost, extraordinary high Tides, or by tempestuous and windy Weather, and which would either float away out to Sea, be taken up by Ships outward bound, or secreted, and cut up by some of the Inhabitants adjoining to the Thames, which two last Actions are but too frequently practised, to the very great Loss of the proper Owners, and who justly claim, and cry out for Relief and Remedy herein; and which was so apparent in King Charles I. and King James's Time, that in their Charter, granted to the Fishermen, there is a particular Injunction on the Company, to inform the Lord Mayor, or the Water Bailiff, of all Drifts, or Concealments of such.

In Regard to the second Observation. It is highly necessary for the Conservator of this great, and navigable River, to have Power to clear the said River of Stops and Hatches, as has been shewn; and in Consequence of the said Power, he, between the Years, 1515, and 1518, caused the River of Thames Westward, to be cleared of about Seventy-nine Stops, or Hatches, consisting of several great Stakes, and Piles, erected by Fishermen, for their private Lucre, and standing dangerously for Passengers; but none of these are now left, except such as stand out of the passable high Stream, that can prejudice none.
"For otherwise", says Mr. Stow, {vol 1, p.45} "they serve as a great Succour, to the young Brood and Fry, being planted at the Waters Bottom, and placed so remotely on the River, that they relieve and comfort many poor Fishermen, thereon dwelling. Besides, in the great Heat and Draught of Summer, when Water is usually most scanty, these Stops are the Cause of raising the Waters so high, that Barges may well and safely pass with all Kinds of Goods, to our antient Mother City; whereas else they would be grounded, how many soever, and be void of Passage, by lowness of the Water."

Another beneficial Matter in these Stops, is; that as they necessarily must be drove in such shallow Places of the River, as where, in Scarcity of Water, no Barge can pass, so they must consequently be serviceable to the Bargemen, not only in shewing them where to avoid, in the Day Time, running a-ground, but are likewise a good Signal for the preventing their so doing in the Night Time.

Thus I have proved the City of London's Jurisdiction over the River Thames; as also I have produced those Laws now Extant, which from Time to Time have been enacted, in Pursuance to the said Authority, and Jurisdiction.

Therefore, the next Thing is to shew in what Manner, and by what Officers the City executes the said Power.

In Right of this Power, the Lord Mayor of London holds a Court at such Times and places as he shall appoint, and direct, within Middlesex and Essex on the North Shore down in Kent and Surry, on the South-Side the said River.

In this Court he usually sits judicially, eight Times Yearly, for the better maintaining of the Cities Rights and Privileges, on the said River, and hath a Power of summoning four Juries out of the Inhabitants of these said Counties, to whom an Oath is administred, to make Inquisition after all Offences committed on the said River, and Medway, and these go up the River, as far as Stain's Bridge; and down the River, as far as the Points of it, next the Sea, to examine and enquire, according to the abovesaid Rules and Orders; and according to the Verdict of these Juries, the Court proceeds to the Punimment of all Transgressions of Fishermen, or others, that create any Hurt or Damage to the Thames, or Fry, &c.

The common Serjeant's Speach concerning the Cities Right to the Conservacy of the Thames.

But sometimes, these Sessions of the Conservacy, have been omitted for a long Time. The Lord Mayors, in the Reign of King James the First, had not held this Court in divers Years, till the Year 1616, when Sir John Jolles, Knt. Lord Mayor, and divers Aldermen, and the other Officers, and Gentlemen, went in their Barges in great State, taking Water at Billingsgate, and so to Gravesend, where they sat upon the Conservacy; at which Time and Place, a Jury of Freeholders of the said County, being sworn to enquire of all Offences committed in any Part of that River, within the said County, Master-Common Serjeant delivered them a Charge to this Effect, viz.
"That, forasmuch, as there had not been any Sessions of Conservacy in many Years past, kept by any Lord Mayor of London, in that Place, it was probable they could not be well informed, neither of the Lord Mayor's Jurisdiction, and Power to reform Annoyances and Offences there, nor of the Nature of the Service, by them to be performed, in the Course of their Enquiry; and therefore he thought fit to make known unto them, both the one and the other."
And hereupon he shewed them, that the Jurisdiction of the City of London, in the River of Thames, from Stain's Bridge, westward, unto the Points of the River, next to the Sea, eastward, appeareth to belong to the City in Manner and Form as followeth; both in Point of Right, and Point of Usage.
In point of right:
1. By Prescription.
2. By Allowance in Eyre.
3. By antient Charters.
4. By Acts of Parliament.
5. By Inquisitions.
6. By Decrees upon hearing, Coram Rege ipso, & in Camera Stellata.
7. By Letters Patents.
8. By Proclamations.
9. By Reports of King's Council.
10. By a Quo Warranto.
11. By Records in the Tower.

In point of usage:
1. By antient Ordinances.
2. By Punishment of Offenders.
3. By Writs of Precepts.
4. By Accounts of Charges of Searches, from 17 Richard II, to Queen Elisabeth.
5. By Commission.
6. By continual Claim, ever since the 37 Hen. VIII.

First in Point of Right

By Prescription, as appeareth by an antient Book, called, Dunthorne.
That, Civitatis Fundationis, aedificationis, et Constructionis, Causa erat Thamesis Fluvius, &c. i.e. The River Thames, was the Cause of the first Founding, Erecting, and Building of the City: The Government of which, both City and River, as well the Chiefs, the Mayors, the Keepers, the Sheriffs, the Aldermen, and eminent Men of the said City, hitherto have obtained and hold. Whence he inferred, that the Government of the River hath belonged to the City, Time out of Mind.

A.D. 1347. {An. 21. Hen. III.} Jorden Coventry, one of the Sheriffs of London, was by the Mayor and Aldermen, sent to remove certain Kiddells, that annoyed the River of Thames and Medway; who ultra Genland versus Mare, did take divers Persons that were Offenders, and did Imprison them: Whereupon Complaint being made to King Henry III, who upon hearing of the said Matter, before the said King Henry; the Cities Jurisdiction was set forth, and allowed, and the Complainants convicted, and every of them at £ 10. and the Amercements adjudged to the City; and their Nets, were afterwards burned by Judgment given by the Lord Mayor and Aldermen in the Hustings.
{ Thomas Legge, Mayor. And it is further recorded in the 37 Hen. III. 1252. That
eodem Anno ante Pentecoftem Vicicomites London, quia Aquae Tamesie pertinent ad Lond. per Preceptum dict[?]. Dom. Regis deriverunt omnes alios Gurgites a Lond. usque mare. Joan. Holozane, Mayor. }

A. D. 1377 {1 Rich, II. Nicholas Brembyr, Mayor.} Writs were directed to the Sheriffs of Kent and Essex, reciting the Cities Title, with Command not to suffer the Citizens of London, to be molested, Contrary to the Liberties formerly granted and allowed unto them.

By Allowance in Eyre. A. D. 1367 { 41 Hen. II. James Andrew, Mayor.} Before Hugh Bigot, being Justice itenerant, the Sheriffs and Citizens of London, were called in Question, for their Jurisdiction exercised on the River of Thames. Before whom it was found, by a Jury in Southwark, that none had any Right and Title in the Thames, as far as the new Whirl Pool, but the Citizens of London only.

A.D. 1320 { 14 Edw II } the Constable of the Tower was indicted by divers Wards of London, before the Justice in Eyre, at the Tower, concerning Kiddals set in the Thames, which, it seems, the said Constable had received Consideration for.
{ See Lib. Antiq, Reg. p.156 }
The Constable answered, as to the Kiddals, that the Justices had not Jurisdiction out of London and that the aforesaid Kiddals were in other Counties: But the Justices said, that the Water of the Tbames, as far as the Sea, belonged to the City of London; and, if he pleased, he might bring in his Answer. Who then pleaded, not Guilty. { Nicholas Faryngdone, Mayor. }

By antient Charters, King Richard the First, the Son of Henry the Second, granted { An. 1196. Henry Fitz-Alwyn, Mayor. }, and firmly commanded, that all the Kiddals that are in the Thames be taken away, wheresoever they are in the Thames.

King John { In the first Year of his Reign, and A. D. 1199, Henry Fitz-Alwyn, Mayor. } granted, and firmly com manded, that all the Kiddals that are in the Thames, or the Medway, be taken away, and that no other Kiddals be placed in the Thames, or in the Medway, upon Pain of forfeiture of £ 10 Sterling.

Likewise (in this same Charter) he says,
"We have clearly quit-claimed all that, which the Keepers of the Tower of London were wont Yearly to receive of the said Wears: Wherefore we will, and stedfastly command, that no Keeper of the said Tower, at any Time hereafter, exact any Thing from any Body, nor trouble or molest any Person, by Reason of the said Wears; for it is sufficiently manifested, and by the right Reverend Hubert, Archbishop of Canterbury, and by other of our faithful Subjects, it is sufficiently given us to understand, that very great Detriment and Discommodity hath grown to our said City of London, and also to our Realm, by Occasion of these Wears, &c. &c."
He then urged the famous Charter { See the antient Book, called the Customs as London, Richard Renger, Mayor.} of the 11th of King Henry the Third A.D. 1226, were it is said:
"We have graunted, and stedfastly commaunded, that al the Wears that ben in Thamys, or in Medwey, by Medwey, where that ever they be in Thamys, or in Medwey, be done away. And that from hens forwarde no Weris be sett in Thamys, nor in Medwey, upon forfeiture of £ 10.
Allso we clayme quyte to our Citezens of London, al that the Constables of our Tour of London was wont to take of the same Weris; wherefore we wyll, and stedfastly command, that no Constable of the Tour, any Tyme from hens forwarde any Thing axe, or any Graunte do, to any of the fame Cite, by Encheson of the same Weris. It is knowne in owe to us, and (by) our trewe Men do us to understonde, that most Prayeng and laste Profyte might fall to the same Cite, and to al the Realme, by Encheson of the same Weris, which we make for ever firme, and stable to the same Cite."

We have also granted to the same, that they enjoy well, and in Peace, freely and quietly, all their Liberties which hitherto they have used, as well in the City of London, as without, as well in the Waters as Land, and in all other Places.

And in this same King's Reign, such a particular Regard is had to the City, that in the 15th Article of Magna Charta, it is expresly stipulated, that the City of London shall have all its antient Privileges, and free Customs, as well by Land as by Water. {See Matt. Paris Hist. Angl.}

And (says Mr. Strype) there is a Record of 2 Edw. III, allowing the City Liberty to remove and take away the Kiddals in the Water of Thames and Medway;
"Whereby also the Sheriffs of all the Counties, on which, the Thames washed, were commanded, not to hinder or interrupt the City of London, in removing and taking away the said Kiddals; and that they have and enjoy the Penalties, that thence belong to us."
{ A>D. 1328, John Grautham, Mayor.}

In the 68 Article of a Charter, granted to the City of London by King Richard the Second, are these Words:
"And that the same Citizens remove, and do away al the Weris in Thamys and Medway, and that they have the Punishments thereof belonging to us."

Likewise in the 73d Article, are these Words:
"And that the Constable of the Tower of London make no Preses by Land nor by Water, of Vitayle, or any other Thynge, whatsoever they ben, of Men of the foresaid Cite, nor non other, coming to the Cite, or going out; nor he shall not arresten be ony Maner Way, Shipes, nor Botes brynging, or ledyng Vitayles, or other Merchandyses, to the Cite, or for (fro) the Cite foresaid.
{ Nicholas Brembyr, Mayor. And this I apprehend is the Charter granted in Parliament to the City of London in Rich. II. in which I am confirmed by Cotton's Rec. Turr. 294, 466, &c. }

And King James the First, in Order to remove, and take away all Doubts and Controversies of the City's not having a Right to the Jurisdiction, and Conservacy of the Thames, both for the present as well as future Times, did, by his Letters Patents {Dated 3 Jac. 1605, Aug. 20. }, grant, ratify, and confirm, to the City of London, the Conservacy of the said River of Thames, and Waters of Medway, in Manner following;
"Whereas our beloved Mayor, and Commonalty, and Citizens of our City of London, Time out of Mind, have had, exercised, and ought to have and exercise the Office of Bailiff and Conservator of the Waters of Thames, to be exercised and occupied by the Mayor of the said City, for the Time being, during the Time of his Mayoralty; or by his sufficient Deputies, in, upon and about, the Waters of Thames (that is to fay) from the Bridge of the Town of Stains, in the County of Middlesex, and towards the East unto London-Bridge, and from thence unto a certain Place, called Kendall, otherwise Yenland, otherwise Yenlett, towards the Sea, and East, and in Medway, and in the Port of the City of London aforesaid; and upon whatsoever Bank, and upon every Shore, and upon every Wharf of the said Water of Thames, within the Limits and Bounds aforesaid, and in and upon, and about all and every of them.
And also for all the Time aforesaid, have had and taken, and ought, and have accustomed to have and take, to their own proper Use, by the Mayor of the same City for the Time being, during the Times of Mayoralty, or by his sufficient Deputies, all Wages, Rewards, Fees, and Profits, belonging to the same Office of Bailiff.
And further, of our special Grace, and certain Knowledge, and meer Motion, we have granted, and, by these Presents, for us, our Heirs and Successors, do grant to the said Mayor and Commonalty, and Citizens, and their Successors, that they may exercise and execute the said Office of Bailiff and Conservator of the Water of Thames, by the Mayor of the said City for the Time being, during the Time of his Mayoralty, or by his sufficient Deputies, from Time to Time, for ever, in, upon, or about the same Water of Thames (that is to say) from the Bridge of Stains to the Bridge of London, and from thence to a certain Place, called Yenland, otherwise Yenleet, towards the Sea, and towards the East, and Medway, and in the Port of the City of, London aforesaid; and upon whatever Bank, Shore, and Wharf, of the same Waters of Thames, within the Limits and Bounds aforesaid, in, upon, and about every one of the same; and to receive and collect, enjoy all and singular Wages, Rewards, Fees, and Profits, to the same Office of Bailiff pertaining, to the proper Use of the said Mayor of the same City, for the Time being, during the Time of his Mayoralty, or by his sufficient Deputies, &c., &c.
{ Sir Henry Holliday, Mayor.}

King Charles the First grants all Recognizances taken, or to be taken, for the Security of the Peace, or good Behaviour; with all Recognizances taken in the Court for the River of Thames, and all Things thereunto appertaining; as likewise all Fines, Amerciaments, and Penalties, adjudged by the Mayor, &c. relating, or any Ways belonging to his said Courts, as Conservator of the River of Thames, without Account.

All which Grants, or Charters, were, after the Restoration of the Royal Family, repeated, and confirmed by King Charles the Second, in the 15th Year of his Reign, on the 24th of June, 1663. And though, by the Advice of evil Council, he was afterwards persuaded to include London in the common Scheme to enslave the Nation, by seizing all Charters into his own Hands; that iniquitous Design, pursued by his Brother, King James the Second, was over-ruled by Providence, and their Quo warrantos not only reversed, but the City Privileges and Charters were more strongly confirmed, and secured to them, by an Act of Parliament in the 2d of William and Mary.

Under this Argument of Right, let us now also consider how these Charters, or Royal Grants, are strengthened, explained, and enlarged by Acts of Parliament: Now, in general, it is provided { In the 14 of his Reign, A. D. 1636. Oct. 14. Sir Richard Fenn, Mayor.} that the Waters of Humber, Ouse, Trent, Donner, &c. and all other Waters, wherein Salmons shall be taken, shall be in Defence for taking of Salmons from the Nativity of our Lady { the eighth of September. } unto St. Martin's Day.

And that likewise young Salmons shall not be taken, nor destroyed by Nets, or other Engines at the Mill Pools, from the Midst of April, untill { The 24th of June.} the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.

And in Places where such Waters be, there shall be assigned Overseers of this Statute, which being sworn, shall often enquire of the Offenders; and for the first Trespass, they shall be punished by burning of their Nets and Engines; and for the second, they shall have Imprisonment for a Quarter of a Year; and for the third Trespass, they shall be imprisoned a Year, and as the Trespass encreaseth, so shall the Punishment. { See Record, Turr. p. 61, 62, 63, c. 10. Car. 2 1. Co. Instit. 2 Part, 477, Henry Whaleys, Mayor. }

All Fishers, Vintners, and Victuallers, coming to the City of London, shall be in the Rule of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen; { This repeals the Stat. 5 Rich. II. Cap. 4. and 6 Rich. II. Cap. 11 & 12. See also Rec. Tur. 9 Rich. II. p. 64. — Stat. 31 Edw. III. Cap. 10. Nicholas Brembyr, Mayor. } see 7 Rich. II. Cap. xi.

Proclamation { By 12 Rich. II. Cap. 13, Stat. 2. Anno Dom: 1388.} shall be made, as well in London as in other Cities and Towns, that none cast any Annoyance, Dung, Entrails, nor any other Ordure into the Ditches, Rivers, Waters, and other Places ; and if any do, he shall be called by Writ before the Chancellor, at his Suit that will complain, and if he be found guilty, he shall be punished after the Discretion of the Chancellor. { SeeFitzN.B,f. 176. E. 185. D. }

Young Salmon shall not be taken, from the Midst of April till the 24th of June, upon the Pain in Stat. Westm. { Edna. I. Cap. 47, here confirmed by 13 Rich. II. Cap. 19, A D. 1389. }

And none shall put into Thames, Humber, Ouse, Trent, or other Waters, any Nets, called Stalkers, nor other Engines, by which the Fry, or the Breed of Salmons, Lampreys, or other Fish, may be taken, upon the Pain aforesaid. And where such Rivers be, there shall be assigned, and sworn, Conservators of this Statute, as in the Statute of Westminster. And they shall punish the Offenders after the Pain contained in the said Statute. { viz. 13 Edw. I. Cap. 47. }

The Justices of the Peace of all the Counties shall be Conservators, of the Statutes of Westminster. { 13 Edw. I. Cap. 47, here confirmed by 13 Rich. II. Cap. 19, A.D. 1389. }

And they shall survey, at all Times, all the Wears in such Rivers, that they be not too strait for the Destruction of the Fry, but of a reasonable Wideness, after the old Assize used: And the Justices, which shall find Default against the said Statutes, shall make true Punishment.

And shall put Under-Conservators under them, who shall be sworn to like Surveying and Search, and Punishment, without any Favour thereof to be shewed.

And the same Justices, in their Sessions, shall enquire, as well by their Office, as at their Information of their Under-Conservators, of all Trespasses and Defaults against any of the Points aforesaid, and shall cause them, which be thereof indicted, to come before them; and if they be convicted, they shall have Imprisonment, and make Fine, after the Discretion of the Justices.

And if the same be at the Information of any of the Under-Conservators, they shall have half the Fine.

And the Mayor, or Warden of London, shall have the Conservation of the Statutes aforesaid in the Thames, from the Bridge of Stains to London, and from thence over the same Waters, and in the Medway, as far as is granted to the Citizens. { By 17 Rich. II. Cap. 9. }

The Standing of Nets and Engines, called Trincks, and all other Nets, fastned Day and Night to Posts, Boats, and Anchors, over the Thames, and other Rivers, shall be wholly defended, and every Person that selleth them, shall forfeit to the King 100s; Provided that it shall be lawful to the Possessors of Trincks, if they be of Assize, to fish with them, in all seasonable Times, drawing them by Hand, as other Nets, saving to every of the King's People their Rights in Fishing. { See 2 Hen. VI. Cap. 15. A.D. 1423. — See also Haven's in Raft. 3, 13. Co. 89. }

And in the Year 1448, an Act of Parliament was made, whereby the Mayor of London was to have the Rule of the River of Thames, from Stain's Bridge to the Waters of Yenland. { Stat. 4 Hen. VII. Cap. q. V. inter Act. irrotulat. in Conc. }

Again, in the Year 1448 { By 4 Hen. VII. Cap. 15 & 16.}, the Mayor of London, and his Successors, having the Conservation of the River of Thames from the Bridge of Stains to the Water of Yendal and Medway, shall have the like Conservation and Authority in all the Issues, Breaches, Creeks, and Grounds overflown, as far as the Water ebbeth and floweth (as touching the Punishment for using unlawful Nets and Engines in fishing) as he hath within the said River of Thames, provided the Mayor of London have not the Conservation in the said Breaches, &c. within the King's Ground, or within the Franchises of others. See I Charter Edw. IV. Haven's, in Raft. 6. Cable's Stat. Cook's, Instit. 4. p. 250. }

The like Power is granted { By 11 Hen. VII. Cap. 15. } to the Mayor of London, in Breaches and in Creeks, as in the River, so far as it ebbeth and floweth, except in the King's Grounds, or in the Liberties, and Franchises of others.

And it was also enacted, that whereas, before this Time, the River of Thames, among all, other Rivers within this Realm, hath been accepted and taken ; and as it is indeed, most commodious and profitable unto all the King's liege People, and chiefly of all other frequented and used, and as well by the King's Highness, his Estates, and Nobles, Merchants, and others, repairing to the City of London, and other Places, Shires, and Countries adjoining to the same; which River of Thames is, and hath been, most meet and convenient of all other, for the Safeguard and Ordering of the King's Navy, Conveyance of Merchandizes, and all other Necessaries, to and for the King's most honourable Houshold, and otherwise, to the great Relief and Comfort of all Persons within this Realm, till now of late divers evil disposed Persons, partly by misordering of the said River, by casting of Dung, and other Filth, laid nigh to the Banks of the said River, digging and undermining of the said Banks and Walls, next to the said River, carrying and conveying away of Way-shides, Shore-piles, Boards, Timber-work, Balast for Ships, and other Things from the said Banks and Walls in sundry Places; by Reason whereof great Shelfs and Risings have of late been made, and grown in the Fair-way of the said River, and such Grounds as be within the Level of the said Watermark, by Occasion thereof, have been surrounded and overflown, by Rage of the said Water, and many great Breaches have ensued and followed thereupon, and Daily are like to do; and the said River of Thames to be utterly destroyed for ever, if convenient and speedy Remedy be not sooner provided in that Behalf.

For the Reformation whereof, be it enacted { By 27 Hen. VIII. Cap. 18. A. D. 1535. }, established, and ordained, by the King our Sovereign Lord, and by the Assent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That if any Person, or Persons, hereafter do, or procure any Thing to be done, in the Annoying of the Stream of the said River of Thames, making of Shelfs by any Manner of Means, by Mining, Digging, Casting of Dung or Rubbish, or other Thing, in the same River, or take, pluck, or convey any Boards, Stakes, Piles, Timber-work, or other Thing, from the said Banks or Walls (except it be to amend, and the same to repair again) or dig, or undermine any Banks, or Walls, on the Waterside of Thames aforesaid, to the Hurt, Impairing, or Damage of any of the said Walls or Banks: Then the same Person, or Persons, and every of them, shall forfeit and pay, for every Time so offending, one Hundred Shillings; the one Moiety thereof to be to the King our Sovereign Lord, and the other Moiety thereof to the Mayor and Commonalty of London, by Bill or Plaint, Writ of Debt, or Information, severally against every Offender, in any of the King's Courts; in which Actions and Suits, or any of them, the Party Defendant shall not be assoined, or wage his Law, or any Protection to be allowed the same.

And it is farther enacted by the Authority aforesaid, - that if Complaint shall happen to be made to the Lord Chancellor of England, Lord Treasurer, Lord President of the King's Council, Lord Privy-seal, or to any of them, by any Person or Persons, or Body Politick, that Sir Thomas Spert, Knight, now having the Office and Ordering of, and for Balancing of Ships, or any other that shall hereafter have the Office and Order of Balasting of Ships, do take any Balast for Ships near the said River of Thames, and do not take for Parcel of the said Balasting, the Gravel and Sand of the Shelfs between Greenhith and Richmond, within the said River of Thames, or in any other Place or Places, that is or shall be unto the Damage or Annoyance of the said River of Thames, or in any Part thereof; that then, upon every such Complaint, the said Lord Chancelor, Lord Treasurer, Lord President of the Kings most Honourable Council, Lord Privy-seal, and every of them, calling both the Justices of either Bench, or one of them, shall have Power and Authority, from Time to Time, to hear, and finally determine every such Complaint by their Discretion, and to put such Order therein, for the Taking of Balast for Ships upon every such Complaint, as by their Discretion shall seem most convenient for the Preservation of the said River of Thames; and the Parties offending such Order, shall suffer Imprisonment, and make no less Fine than five Pounds to the King's Use, for every Time offending, or breaking the same.

Provided also, and be it enacted, that it shall be lawful to every Person, and Persons, to dig, carry, and take away, Sand, Gravel, or Rubbish, Earth, or Thing, lying or being in, or upon any Shelf or Shelfs, within the said River of Thames, without Let or Interruption of any Person or Persons, or paying any Thing for the same, any Thing contained in this present Act to the Contrary notwithstanding. { See Raft. 10. Havens, and Sect. vi. of this Statute. N. B. There was an Act of Common Council of the City of London, made in Pursuance of this Act, which is hereafter inserted in its proper Place. }

And be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid { By 34. and 35 Hen. VIII. c. 9. See Haven's in Raft. 1. } that no Person or Persons, after the first Day of August next coming, do cast, or unlade out of any Manner of Ship, Crayer, or any other Vessel, being within any Haven, Road, Channel, or River flowing, or running to any Port Town, or to any City, Borough or Town within this Realm, or any other of the King's Dominions, any Manner of Balast, Rubbish, Gravel, or any Wreck, or Filth, but only upon the Land above full Sea-Mark, upon Pain of every Person and Persons offending against this Act, to loose and forfeit, for every Time so offending, £ 5, the one Half to the King, the other to such Person or Persons as will sue for the same, by Bill, Plaint, original Writ, or Information, in any of the King's Courts of Record, in which Action or Suit, no Wager of Law shall be admitted, or any Essoin or Protection allowed.

Neither { By I Eliz. Cap. 17, Sect. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. 7, 8, 9, 10, ii, 12. See 39 Eliz. Cap. 10. Sect. 6, 7. to 43 Eliz, Cap. 9. Sect. 33. } shall any Person kill any Spawn or Fry of Eels, Salmon, Pike, Pickerel, or other Fish, in any Floodgate, Pipe Tail of Mill-wear, or in any Streams, Brooks, or Rivers, Salt or Fresh, or kill any Salmon, or Trout not in Season, being Kepper or Shedder, Salmons or Trout.

Neither shall any Person kill any Pike or Pickerel, not being in Length 16 Inches, nor Trout, not being in Length 8 Inches, nor any Barbel, not being in Length 12 Inches.

Neither shall any Person fish, or take Fish, with any Nets, Trammel, Keep, Wore, Creel, or other Device, but only with Net or Trammel, whereof every Meish or Mask shall be two Inches and a Half broad. Angling excepted.

And in all Places where Smelts, Roaches, Minnies, Bullheads, Gudgeons, or Eels, have been used to have been taken, it shall be lawful only for the Taking of the said Smelts, Roaches &c. to use such Nets, Leaps, and other Devices, as have been used; so that such Persons, using such Nets, &c. do not take or destroy any other Fish with the said Nets, contrary to this Statute.

And if any Person shall offend contrary to the Points aforesaid, such Person shall forfeit 20s. and the Fish so taken, and also the unlawful Nets and Instruments, wherewith such Offences shall be done.

{ This confirms the Lord Mayor's holding his Courts of Conservacy, and to hear and determine Offences. } The Lord Admiral, the Mayor of London, and all other Persons, which have Conservation of any Rivers, or Waters, shall have Power to enquire of all Offences committed contrary to this Act by the Oaths of twelve Men, or more, and to hear and determine the same Offences.

Forfeitures, by reason of such Convictions, shall be to the Use of every of the Persons, being no Body Politick or Corporate, before whom such Conviction shall be had; and to the Use of every such Body Politick or Corporate, as have had any such Forfeiture for any Offence committed in rheir Conservacies, upon Conviction had before the Head of such Body Politick or Corporate.

The Lord of every Leet shall have Power to enquire of Offences, contrary to this Statute; upon Presentment in Leet, by Oath of twelve Men.

If Offences touching the destroying of Fish or Spawn be not presented at the Leet, within one Year after the Offence committed, the Justices of the Peace in their Sessions, Justices of Oyer and Terminer, and Justices of Assizes, shall haVe Power to enquire thereof, and to hear and determine the Offences contrary to this Statute: Saving to all Persons all Right and Conservation. { This Act was only to endure to the next Parliament; but was afterwards made perpetual by 3 Charles I. Cap. iv. Sect. 1 & 4. 16 Car. I. Cap. iv. Sect 2. See also Statute 1 & 2 Will. & Mary, restoring and confirming the City privileges and Charters. }

No Person { By 9 Ann. Cap, xxvi. A. D. 1710 } shall wilfully kill or expose to Sale any Spawn, Fry, or Brood of Fish, or Spatt of Oysters, or any unsizeable, small, or unwholsome Fish, or catch and destroy any Fish out of Season, or expose such Fish to Sale, or knowingly buy, receive, or use any such; and no Person shall fish for or wilfully hurt or destroy any Salmon, or Salmon kind of Fish within the said Limits, between the 24th of August and the 11th of November.

And it shall be lawful for the Lord Mayor, upon Application of the Court of Assistants, to order Stakes to be driven in any Place within the River between London Mark Stone, above Stain's Bridge, and London Bridge, for the preserving the Fry, Spawn and Brood of Fish, so as the same be no Ways prejudicial to the Navigation; and no Person shall, without lawful Authority, remove the same. { See Cay's Abridg. of Stat. 9 Hen. III. Cap. xxiii. 45 Edw. III. Stat. 4. Cap. iv. 45 Edw. III. Cap. ii. 1 Hen. IV. Cap. xii. 4 Hen IV. Cap. xi. 1 Hen. V. Cap. ii. 12 Edw. IV. Cap. vii. }

The Court of Assistants shall yearly, by equal Portions, on the Feast Days of Easter, and Michaelmas, pay to the Water Bailiff, or his Assigns, £ 30 free from Taxes, in Lieu of such antient Fees as were due to him, and which will be diminished and taken away by this Act, except the Granting of Licences to take Fish in their several Seasons, the Benefit whereof is intended to be continued and saved unto the said Water Bailiff, over and above the said Sum of £ 30 per Annum.

That the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London, or any one of them, for all Offences committed within the Jurisdiction of the Lord Mayor, as Conservator of the River; and the Justices of the Peace of the respective Counties, or any of them, for all Offences committed within the Jurisdiction of the Lord Mayor, as Conservator of the River; and the Justices of the Peace of the respective Counties, or any of them, for all Offences committed out of the Conservatorship, shall have Power, upon View or Complaint, to examine, hear and determine, by the Oath of any Person, or by Confession of the Party, all Offences committed against this Act, and, Upon Conviction, to impose a Fine not exceeding £ 10 nor less than 5s. to be levied on such Offenders Goods, at the Discretion of the Lord Mayor, Alderman, or Justices, unless such Offenders pay such Fine, or give Security to such Magistrate to abide such Order as shall be made by the Court of Conservacy, upon such Conviction made by the said Lord Mayor and Aldermen, or at the Quarter Sessions, upon Conviction made before the Justices, in case the Offender shall appeal; and in case no Distress can be found, the Offender shall be sent to the House of Correction, to be kept to hard Labour for any Time not exceeding two Months.

And all Penalties arising by this Act for Offences committed within the Jurisdiction of the said Conservator, shall be to the Mayor as Conservator, and all Penalties for Offences committed out of the Jurisdiction of the Conservator shall be paid one Moiety to the Poor of the Parish, and the other Moiety to such Person as shall prosecute.

Saving to the Queen, and all Courts, and Persons all Fines, Forfeitures, &c.

This Act shall not prejudice or derogate from the Rights, Privileges and Authorities exercised by the Lord Mayor, as Conservator of the River of Thames and Waters of Medway, or elsewhere; or the Fishings appertaining to the City of London, or to any other City or Town Corporate, or to any Lords of Manors, Owners of Rivers or Fisheries, or to the Rights of any Person.

This Act shall be a publick Act -, and in Case any Action shall be prosecuted against any Person, for what he shall do in pursuance of this Act, such Person shall plead the general Issue.

No Fish shall be sold more than once within the Market, or within 150 Yards of Billingsgate Dock; nor shall any Persons, other than Free Fishmongers in their Houses, and Shops, within 150 Yards of the said Dock, and not in the Market of Billingsgate; and other than Fishermen, or the first Importers of, or Persons bringing up, such Fish to the Market, their Wives, Apprentices, Factors, or Servants, hired for that purpose, sell, or expose to sale, any Fish at the said Market, or within 150 Yards of the said Dock.

No Fish shall be sold or exposed to Sale on Board or on Shore (within the Limits of the said Market, or within 150 Yards of the Dock) before Three o'Clock in the Morning, from Lady-Day to Michaelmas, and before Five o'Clock from Michaelmas to Lady-Day, and the proper Officer shall Ring the Bell at the Time aforesaid.

Nothing in this Act shall extend to any Fishermen or Drudgermen, who shall dwell in any of the Cinque Ports, or their Members, or in the City of Rochester, or Towns of Stroud, Chatham, Finsbury, Gillingham, Milton, Queensborough, Feversham, Whitstaple, or the Places adjacent.

It shall be lawful for the Court of Assistants of the Company of Fishermen of the River of Thames, to make By Laws and Ordinances for the Government of the said Company, so as the same be first approved of, or amended by the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London, and likewise allowed and confirmed, according to the Statute: And there shall be yearly elected by the next Court of Lord Mayor and Aldermen, after the 10th of June, out of the six Wardens of the said Company, to be nominated by the Court of Assistants, one Person to be Master of the said Mystery of Fishermen; and out of the twelve Assistants, to be nominated as aforesaid, six Wardens of the said Art (whereof the Water Bailiff of London shall be one) and in like Manner out of sixty of the Commonalty, to be nominated, as aforesaid, thirty Assistants; which Master, Wardens, and Assistants, or sixteen of them, with three of the said Wardens, shall be the Court of Assistants of the said Company, and shall meet on the first Thursday in any Calendar Month in the Hall of the said Company, for reforming Abuses in the said Fishery, and for the Governance of the said Company; to which Court the Water Bailiff shall be always summoned: And the said Court of Assistants shall call before them all such Persons as shall use to Fish or Drudge within the Limits of the said Fishery, as common Fishermen or Drudgermen, and cause every such Person, being duly qualified, or having served on board of his Majesty's Ships for two Years, to have his Name registered by the Court of Assistants, with the Place of Abode, and the Name of every Apprentice or Servant belonging to him in the Trade; and shall cause some Mark to be placed on every Boat and Craft, which shall be used in Fishing or Drudging within the Limits aforesaid ; which Figure, or Mark, shall not be changed; and everyone duly summoned by Direction of the Court of Assistants, to appear before them, in order to serve on board her Majesty's Navy, who shall, without lawful Cause neglect to appear, shall be sent on board her Majesty's Navy, and be disabled from fishing two Years. { See 1 Geo. I. Cap xviii. Sect. 7.}

By two Inquisitions { 9 Hen. V. A. D. 1420.}, the one taken at Raynham, the other at Gravesend, before Sir William Cambridge, Grocer, then Lord Mayor of London.

Where it was presented, That whereas, by the antient Ordinances of London, the Meishes of Nets should be two Inches in the fore-part, and one Inch in the hinder-part; and it being found that the Offences according to the said Inquisition are contrary to Libertates & Consuetudines Civitatis, i. e. the Liberties and Customs of the City; it was adjudged, that the Nets should be burnt, according to the antient Custom in that Behalf provided.

By Decrees, { Upon bearing Coram Rege ipso & in Camera Stellata. } A. D. 1406, the Mayor and Aldermen of London, exhibiting their humble Petition to the King's Council, reciting, Whereas They have had, Time out of Mind, the Conservation and Correction of the River of Thames, and of all Trincks, Nets, and other Engines whatsoever, in the River of Thames and Medway placed, and have used to make a Sub-Conservator under them; and complained, that Alexander Bgnner, then SubConservator, having done his Duty in removing Kiddals, he was evil intreated by the Owners; the same Owners dwelling in Erith, Pratriferry, Barkin, Woolwich, and other Places, in the Counties of Kent and Essex. And upon hearing of the Matter in the Star-Chamber, they were found guilty, and constrained to submit themselves to the Lord Mayor, and ordered (always) to bring their Nets to the Lord Mayor before they should use them. And that the Kiddals then taken, should be at the Disposal of the Lord Mayor; and the Offenders made their Submission accordingly { Richard Whittington, Mayor. }

By Letters Patents, a Grant was made by King Edward the Fourth, to the Earl Pembroke, for building a Wear in the River of Thames, which Grant was cancelled at the Request of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, upon shewing of their Right, for that it was contrary to their antient Liberties { Richard Lee, Mayor; And Mr. Strype, upon Stow's Survey of London, in Vol I pag. 37. says, there is a Record of patent remaining in the Tower for this Purpose, An. o Edw. IV. p. 2. In. 7. }

At which Time, the City's Title to the Conservacy of the River of Thames and Medway, was at large set forth, and is recited to have been shewn to the Lord Chancellor, and to the Earl, and his Council, and was afterwards allowed, and the Patent thereupon cancelled.

By Proclamation: Whereof one was made by King Henry the Eighth; { In the 34 Year of his Reign, J. D.1542. John Cootes, Mayor. } wherein it was affirmed, that the Lord Mayor, and his Predecessors, have had, by divers Grants of the Kings of England, and by Acts of Parliaments, and have also long enjoyed the Conservacy of Thames, without Interruption or Impediment. And by the same Proclamation, it was commanded, that none should Resist, Deny, or Impugn the Lord Mayor, and his Deputy, in doing or executing any Thing for the Conservacy of the River, and the Fish and Fry within the same.

By Report of the King's Counsel learned; for a Controversy being between the Lord Admiral, and the Lord Mayor, for the Measuring of Coals, and other Things, upon the Thames, it then fell into Debate, to whom the Conservacy of Thames did belong. Which Cause {Anno Dom. 1597) was by the Lords, of the Queen's (Elisabeth) most honourable Privy-Councel, referred to the then Attorney, and Sollicitor-General, who jointly certified, among other Things, that the Conservacy and Care of the River Thames, did, and ought to belong to the City of London. { Anno Regni, 40. Sir Richard Saltenssall, Mayor. }

By Quo Warranto: In the 3rd of King James the First, A. D. 1605. A Quo Warranto was brought against the City in the Exchequer, to know by what Title she Claims the Conservacy of the River Thames, and Waters of Midway. Whereupon the City made her Title good thereunto, by antient Prescription, and otherways, so Judgment was given to her Favour, { Sir Henry Hollyday, Mayor. }
And to end all further Disputes about this City's Prerogative, the King was pleased to grant that memorable Charter, which I have before recited. Vide, p. 85.

By Records in the Tower. Vide, 2d Vol. Page 167. By the 21st of Edward the Third, A. D. 1347, it is recorded, that whereas, the four great Rivers of England, viz. Thames, Tese, Owse, &f Trent, were wont from Antiquity, to be open and free for every Ship to pass with Merchandizes, and now of late, daily the said Rivers are stopped, and turned aside by Goors, Mills, Piles, and Pales, erected by every Lord, against his own Lands, so as Ships cannot pass without Danger; that Justices may be assigned in every County to enquire of this Business, and to remove the Oppression.
The King is pleased that such and so many Commissions shall be granted, as reasonably as shall be needful, and that every Man shall be heard, that will complain for himself and the King. { Taken from Sir Robert Cottons Abridgment. }

By the 25th of Edward the Third, A. D. 1351 { Thomas Legge, Mayor.} it is enacted, that the Statute of Westminster, made against the Destruction of Salmons may be kept, and that all Mills set on Rivers may be thrown down.
N. B. The Print for pulling down of Mills set upon Rivers, Cap. 4. agreeth with the Records.
It is enacted, that the Act made in the last Parliament, Cap. 8. shall take Effect, as well on the River Thames as elsewhere.

In the 37th of Edward the Third, A. D. 1363, { Andrew Awbrey, Mayor. } it was petitioned, that a Remedy might be found against Wears, and such other Engines on Rivers, to the Annoyance of Boats.
To which the City received this full Answer; that the Statute thereof made, shall be kept. { John Notte, Mayor. }

In the 50tieth of Edward the Third, A. D. 1376, It was petitioned, for the saving of Salmons, and other Frys of Fish in the Thames almost destroyed by certain Engines, as the King himself hath often found: That, therefore, all Trincks between London, and the Sea, may be overthrown, and that no Salmon shall be taken between Gravesend, and Henly upon Thames in the Kipper Time, viz. between the Invention of the Cross, and the Epiphany; and that no Nets be laid in the Thames, unless the same be of large Meish of Assize.
To which it was answered, that the Statutes thereof made, shall be kept, and Commissioners appointed for the Enquiry of the same.

It was also petitioned, that the Wears upon the River, called Braint, in the County of Middlesex, Parcel of the River of Thames may be taken away.
To which it was replied, that the Statutes thereof made, shall be executed { Adam Staple, Mayor. }

By another Petition in the 51st of Edward the Third, A.D. 1377, it was prayed, that certain Engines used to the Destruction of Fish, and called, Wendor, in the Manner of a Drag, being used in Havens and Creeks, may be forbidden { Nicholas Brembyr, Mayor. }

In the 50tieth of Edward the Third, A. D. 1376, the Watermen of London, complaining of leaving Locks, Stanks, and Wears, upon the River of Thames, and namely a Lock, called, Hameldon Lock, and for that there is a Custom demanded of them, passing the Bridges of Stains, Windsor, and Maidenhead, and other Locks, against their Custom.
It was answered, that for the Locks, and Kiddals, the Statute made in the 47th of Edward the Third, shall be executed. And for exacting Money of them, at the Bridges aforesaid, or elsewhere, against their Franchises; they shall make their Suit in the Chancery, a nd have their Writs grounded on their Liberties to stay such takings { Adam Staple, Mayor. }

By Petition from the City, the 51st of Edward the Third. A. D. 1377, it was prayed, that all Charters heretofore granted, may be allowed and confirmed, albeit they never were before.
And it was answered, That they shall be allowed, as duly heretofore hath been { Nicholas Brembyr, Mayor. }

In the 8th of Richard the Second, A. D. 1384, it was petitioned, that no Man take any of the Fry of Fish in the River of Thames, unless the Meish of the Net be according to the Statute, therefore provided { Nicholas Brembyr, Mayor. }

And in the 9th of Richard the Second, A. D. 1385, they require, that the Patent lately made to the Constable of the Tower of London, whereby the Collector of his Office, taketh Customs of Wines, Oysters, Muscels, Rushes, and and other Victuals, coming to London by Water, may be revoked { Nicholas Brembyr, Mayor. }
And the Petition of the Lord Mayor and Commonalty of London was endorsed.

By Petition from the City, the 14th of Richard the Second, A. D. 1390, it was prayed, that a Remedy may be had against Mills, Stanks, Kiddals, and such like Engines and Devises levyed upon the Thames.
To which it was answered, that the Statutes thereof made, shall be observed { Adam Bamme, Mayor. }

In the 16th of Richard the Second, A. D. 1390. It is enacted, that all Filth upon the Side of Thames, next the House of Robert de Partis, shall be utterly removed; and that in some Place, before Easter then ensuing, That the Butchers of London do build convenient and fit Houses, whereinto they may, from Time to Time, bring all their Ordure, Entrails, and other Filth, and the same in Boats, carried into the Middle of the Thames, and there cast the same at a full Water, when it first beginneth to Ebb; and further, that no Person do throw, or Cause to be thrown, or laid, any Filth or Odure, Muck, Rubbish or Laystage, in the same Water of Thames, of the one Side, or the other, between the Palace of Westminster, and the Tower of London on Loss of £10 { William Stendon, Mayor. }

The 1st of Henry the Fourth, it was prayed, that no Barge on the River of Thames, be forfeited as a Deed; and it was answered, to be as heretofore. {? Thomas Knolles. Mayor. ?}

In the 2d of Henry the Fourth, A. D. 1400, it was prayed, that all Estanks, Kiddals, Wears, and Mills, raised upon Rivers to Annoyance, at what Time soever, may be removed.
And it was answered, that the Statutes thereof shall be observed { John Fraunces, Mayor. }

In the 2d of Henry the Fifth, A. D. 1414, the Mayor and Commonalty of London, prayed, that all Kiddals, Wears, Fishgarths, Stanks, Mills, and Stakes, and all other Engines levyed, or made upon the Water of Thames, Medway, and Ley, should utterly be laid down.
It was answered, that the Statutes therefore provided, shall be executed, and further in all Commissions touching the Water Bailiff, the Mayor, or Keeper of London, for the Time being, shall be one { Thomas Faulkoner, Mayor. }

In the 7th of Henry the Fifth, A. D. 1419, there was a long Complaint and Prayer made of Redress of Stanks, Stakes, Kiddals, Mills, &c. levied upon Rivers to great Annoyances.
And it was answered, that the Statutes thereof made, shall be observed.

In the 6th of Henry the Sixth, A. D. 1427, it was prayed, that the Mayor, and Keeper of London, for the Time being, may have the Execution of the Statute of Sewers, touching the River of Thames.
And it was answered, let them shew the Bound of their Liberty, and they shall be answered.

In the 4th of Edward the Fourth, 26 of January, A. D. 1464; among sundry Acts, and Ordinances, &c. There is one particular Provision, viz. That the Mayor of London, in Succession, shall have the Search, View, and Correction of the River of Thames.

Second in Point of Usage

By antient Ordinances the Lord Mayor and Aldermen have (Time out of Mind) made Ordinances concerning the good Government of the River of Thames, for the Times and Manners of Fishing beneath London Bridge, eastward, to be observed upon Pains; as likewise westwards, as may appear from the several Orders already mentioned.

By Punishment of Offenders. For it appeareth that (from Time to Time) from the time of King Henry the Third, and so downwards, the Lord Mayor hath removed Kiddais, Wears, Trincks, and other unlawful Engines, and hath reformed the Disorders of such as have offended in the River of Thames, and punished the Offenders, sometimes by Imprisonment, sometimes by Fines, and by burning of unlawful Nets.

By Writs By Writs and Precepts. Writs { Richard II. An. Dom. 1377. } were issued to the Sheriffs of Essex and Kent, reciting the City's Title, with command not to suffer the Citizens of London to be molested, contrary to the Liberties formerly granted and allowed unto them.

Precepts under the Seal of the Lord Mayor to the Sheriffs of Kent and Essex, for returning of Juries before the Lord Mayor, to enquire of Offences done in the River of Thames. { Nicholas Brembyr, Mayor. }
N B. The which is still annually continued for the four Countries adjoining to the Thames.

By Accounts. In the Office of the Chamberlain of London, from the 17th of Richard the Second, to the 11th of Queen Elizabeth, it appeareth, that the Water Bailiff of London hath made Search for unlawful Nets in the Waters of Thames and Medway.

By Commissions. In the 9th of Henry the Fifth, a Commission was made to the Lord Mayor, to put in Execution the Acts of Parliament made for the Conservacy of Thames and Medway, and to enquire of all Offences made or done in the said Waters, and to punish the Delinquents.

A like Commission, { John Michel, Mayor. } 3d Henry the Sixth, A. D. 1424.
A like Commission { Sir John Leigh, Mayor. } 1st Elizabeth, A.D. I558
A like Commission { Sir Thomas Bennet, Mayor. } 1st James the First, 1603.
And all those, or the like Commissions in this Case, were and are directed to the Lord Mayor for the Time being.

By continual Claim. In the 37th of Henry the Eighth, A. D. 1545, Letters came from the Lord Admiral for the stay of such Matters as were then in Question between his Lordship and the City, concerning the Jurisdiction of this City upon the Thames. { Sir Martin Bowes, Mayor. }

In the 3d of Edw. the Sixth., A. D. 1549, it was ordered, that the Chamberlain should take Care for stay of certain Inquests, charged by Vertue of a Commission directed to the Lord Admiral, to enquire of Abuses used in Fishing beneath the Bridge. { Rowland Hill, Mayor. }

In the 4th of Edward the Sixth A. D. 1550, the Master Common Serjeant was appointed to repair to the Duke of Somerset, and to inform his Lordship of the City's Authority in pulling down Wears within the River of Thames. { Sir Andrew Jude, Mayor. }

In the 6th of Edward the Sixth, A. D. 1552, it was ordered, that Suit should be made to the King's Majesty, and his Council, for the Determination and Allowance of the City's Jurisdiction and Interest in the River of Thames. { Sir Geo. Barnes, Mayor. }

In the 1st of Mary, A. D. 1553 a great Number of the Fishermen of the East-side of London, present in the Court of the Lord Mayor of London, were commanded to obey the Water Bailiff; and that one Hunter, of the Admiralty, should be warned to be before the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, at the next Court to be holden for the same Matter. { Sir Thomas White, Mayor. }

In the 1st of Elizabeth, A. D. 1558, there were certain Committees appointed to confer with the Lord Admiral, touching the Controversy between his Honour and the City, concerning the Conservacy of the River of Thames. { Sir Thomas Leigh, Mayor. }

In the 3d of Elizabeth, A. D. 1560, certain Committees were appointed to attend the Lord Admiral concerning the Jurisdiction of the River of Thames. { Sir William Chester, Mayor. }

In the 7th of Elizabeth, A. D. 1564, the Lord Admiral was to be conferred with, touching the City of London's Jurisdiction in the River of Thames. { Sir Richard Molorie, Mayor. }

In the 13th of Elizabeth, A. D. 1570, the Lord Admiral was to be moved, that the City may enjoy their Liberties in Thames and in Medway. { Sir Rowland Heyward, Mayor. }

In the 17th of Elizabeth, 1574, the Aldermen, and others, were to confer with the Lord Admiral for the City's Title in the River eastward. { James Howes, Mayor. }

In the 23d of Elizabeth, A. D. 1580, Mr. Norton, and others, were appointed to attend on the Lord Treasurer of England, and to inform his Lordship touching the City's Title to the Conservacy of the River of Thames below London Bridge. { Sir John Branch, Mayor. }

In the 23d of Elizabeth, 1580, Sessions were appointed for ths Conservacy of the River of Thames, the 9th of October, at Barking, in Essex, and on Wednesday following to be kept at Woolwich in Kent. { Sir John Branch, Mayor. }

In the 24th Elizabeth, A.D. 1581, certain Aldermen were appointed to treat with the Lord Admiral touching the Conservacy. { Sir James Harvie, Mayor. }

In the 29th of Elizabeths A. D. 1596, the Aldermen had appointed to the Lord Admiral, for to inform his Lordship touching the City's Right to the Conservacy of the River of Thames, from London Bridge to Yenland, and the Reculvers. { Thomas Skinner and Sir Henry Billingsley, Mayors. }

Preamble on the Fishermen's Charters

THAT the Reader may still see what on Authority, Jurisdiction and Conservacy, the City of London has long enjoyed, and ought to enjoy on the Thames, I shall here adjoin two Charters, granted for incorporating a Company of Fishermen on this River, the one by King Charles the First, the other by King James the Second; wherein it may be observed, how far that Body of Men then were, and still ought to be, under the Subjection, Rule, and Government of the City ot London.

For, by these very Charters, the Company were not empowered to make any one By-Law or Ordinance for their own Government, or in relation to Fishing, without first having the said City's Allowance and Approbation, and subject to this Alteration and Amendments. That their Water Bailiff, if he pleased, was always to be present, as Warden or Super-intendant for the City, in all their Assemblies, or Meetings, and to be assisting and advising therein.

In short, so cautious and tender was the Crown of infringing in these Charters, on the Jurisdiction of the City, that, in both of them, there is a particular Provision made, that neither of them shall any Ways prejudice or effect the Privileges, Conservacy and Superintendancy of the City of London, or the Lord Mayor thereof, in any Thing concerning the said River, or Fishing in the same.

And which said Charters, as well as said Jurisdiction and Authority, are still more fully explained and confirmed in an Act of Parliament that passed in the Ninth Year, of the Reign of her late Majesty Queen Anne, for the Revival of these Charters and Company: When (on bringing their Bill for the same, into the House of Commons) they attempted to gain a concurrent Jurisdiction on the Thames with the City of London, in order to become, by Degrees, independent of it, by endeavouring to invade and obtain several of its antient and just Privileges, some of which were, the having the Penalties arising by their Bill (which were, among other Things, for fishing with unlawful Nets, taking of unsizeable Fish, and fishing out of Season; all which Offences were, and still are, punishable at the Courts of Conservacy) to be to the Use of their own Company: So that, in effect, it would have been transferring that Power and Authority which was vested in the City to the Company, and givIng to them those Fines, which are by Charter { Chart. 14 Charles I. } granted to the City.

They would likewise have had the Power, in Conjunction with the Water Bailiff, of giving Deputations to seize unlawful Nets, &c. which Power had always been and is exercised by the Water Bailiff, as Sub-Conservator. [And this would have been such a concurrent Jurisdiction with that of the City, as would be highly dishonourable in them to admit of].

They would also have joined the Clerk of their Company, with the Water Bailiff, in appointing the Seasons for Fishing, and granting of Licenses for Fishing in such Seasons, which has ever been the undoubted Right { antient Orders, p. 126. Sir Robert Ducy's Orders, p. 64. 9 Anne, Cap. xxvi. Sect. 4. p. 113. Fishermen's By-Laws. } of the said Water Bailiff solely, to grant in Vertue of his Office held under the City, and as Sub-Conservator.

And, lastly, They would have had the Binding of their Apprentices, and of admitting or making such Free Fishermen, the which, with the appointing the Seasons, and granting of Licenses, must plainly appear to have been Privileges of the City's, and, as such, are Perquisites of his Office, not only from the City's antient Orders { antient Orders, p. 126. Sir Robert Ducy's Order, p. 64. } made and established long before the Company was incorporated. But, by the very and said Act that passed, in Consequence of their Bill, and on the City of London's having, by their Councel, proved and made good their undoubted antient Right and Custom to the abovesaid Authorities, Privileges and Perquisitcs, thus strongly attempted to be invaded and taken from them, it manifestly appears that they do belong to the said City, and long have been, and are Perquisites appertaining and enjoyed by their Office of Water Bailiff; and, as a final Argument of which, I shall refer the Reader to the fourth Section of this said { Vide p. 114. } Act; and it was but very lately that some such Innovations and Infringements were offered again on a Bill being prepared to be brought into the House of Commons, for Reviving the said Company.

And indeed, these very Authorities, Privileges and Perquisites, are but a small Recompence, in Comparison to that very great Expence the City of London is annually at, in its Searches after Nusances, illegal Fishings, &c. on this said River, and in holding of Courts of Conservacies for the Conservation and Preservation of it and its Fishery.

And notwithstanding the Company were, by their said Charters, and this said Act, empowered to assemble, make By-Laws, &c. yet the very Restrictions they were under, in their Courts of Assistants, being annually to be elected, their By-Laws subject to be allowed, altered or amended with others, by the Court of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London, seems evidently to imply, as if the City had but even so far made a Concession of their Jurisdiction and Authority, merely for the Good of the Fishery, as such a Body (of Fishermen) were undoubtedly very fit and proper Judges for the forming and compiling of such Rules, Orders and ByLaws, as would be most conducive to and for the Benefit and Improvement of the said Fishery.

Fishermen's Charter, 1634

An Abstract of the Charter granted by King Charles the First, to the Company of Fishermen of the River of Thames, A. D. 1634.

King Charles the First, by Letters Patents, dated the 29th of May, 1634, in the Tenth Year of his Reign, incorporated divers Persons, exercising Fishing in the River of Thames and Medway, and all others inhabiting, or that should inhabit in the Counties of Middlesex, Surry, Essex and Kent, and in the City of London, using the Craft of Fishing in the River of Thames, and Places adjacent, from the Bridge of Stains westward, and so to London Bridge eastward, and from thence to Yendal, alias Yenlet, and the Waters of Medway, in the said Counties, and so far up the River Medway, till they meet with the Liberties of the City of Rochester, and all other Waters within the said Precincts, and commonly using no other Handicraft, and having served as Apprentices in the Craft, Trade or Mystery of a Fisherman, seven Years, or more, by the Name of the Wardens, Assistants and Commonalty of the Art or Mystery of Fishermen of the River Thames: With Power (inter alia) to assemble in some Place within the City of London, or Suburbs thereof; and with the Allowance and Consent of the Lord High Admiral of England for the Time being, or his Lieutenant; the Judge of the Court of Admiralty, or other executing that Place, and of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of the City of London, for the Time being, to make Ordinances for the good Rule, Government, Survey, and Ordering of the said Company, and of all Persons whatsoever, using and exercising the Art or Mystery aforesaid within the said Precincts; as also for the Preservation of the Brood, Spawn, and Fry of Fish, and for Declaration with what Nets and Engines, and at what Times they shall use Fishing, and for Reformation and Preventing of Abuses and Inconveniences, &c. &c.

And with such Allowance and Consent, to limit Pains and Penalties, by Fines and Amerciaments, or by any other lawful Means, upon all Breakers of such Ordinances.

The Register and Marshal of the Court of Admiralty, and the Water Bailiff of London, his Deputy, or Deputies, to be present at such Assemblies, if they think fit, and to sit with the said Wardens and Assistants, and to advice and assist them: And to that End, the said Wardens and Assistants, are to give them Notice of the Times and Places of their Assemblies.

The King granting to the Company, the Fines forfeited by the Breach of such Ordinances; Saving to the Admiralty, and the Officers of the Court of Admiralty, all Fines forfeited by the Breach of any of the said Ordinances, within the Precincts aforesaid, from London Bridge eastward: And Saving to Them Power to levy and take the same, according to the Custom of the said Court.

With Power also to elect eight Wardens, and eighteen, or more, Assistants, a Clerk, and a Beadle: The Wardens so elected to take their Oaths of Office, before the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen of London, or the Judge of Admiralty, and the Assistants to take their Oaths of Office before the Wardens of the said Commonalty and Assistants.

To continue in their Offices for one whole Year, and till other Wardens and Assistants shall be chosen.

The King thereby also ordaining, That no Person in the said Society, shall directly or indirectly, take any Apprentice for any less Term than seven Years.

And that no Person shall use the said Art or Craft of Fishing within the Places aforesaid, unless he shall have served as an Apprentice to the said Trade for seven Years at the least.

Provided, That this Grant shall not prejudice the Privileges, Authority, Conservacy, and Super-intendency of the Lord High Admiral of England, and the Judge of the Court of Admiralty; or of the City of London, or the Mayor, or the Mayor and Aldermen; or the Mayor, Commonalty and Citizens of London, in any Thing concerning the said River of Thames, and Places aforesaid, and the Fishing in the same. But that it shall be lawful for the Lord Admiral, &c. &c. and all other their Officers and Ministers, to keep Court, Rule, Govern, Direct, Fine, Amerce, and Order the said Fishermen, within the said Precincts of their Governments, and Jurisdiction, in as large and ample a Manner as They, or any of Them had done, or ought to have done, according to their antient Customs and Privileges, concerning the same.

Then the Charter, reciting, That the King is informed, that the Disorders and Abuses in Fishing, cannot be reformed, but by the daily and present Punishment of the Offenders, which may be speedily done by the Authority of the Court of Admiralty, none other having Power, as the Charter asserts,
{ But, Query, Whether the Court of Admiralty has any such Power? }
with such Expedition, to arrest their Boats and Persons upon the River of Thames, from London Bridge eastward, nor Power otherwise to proceed against them, but upon Presentment at their Courts, which are not holden above twice in a Year: So that, in the mean Time, great Spoil is made by those Offenders: And that, within the Limits aforesaid, Anchors, Cables, Boats, Masts, Yards, Flotsen, Jetson, Lagon, and other Goods, are often found, and taken up by Fishermen, and Others, and concealed, which ought to be presented to the Court of Admiralty, to the End that the Losers of the same may thither repair, and there to hear of their Goods again, and so obtain Restitution, where Restitution ought to be made.

The said Wardens and Assistants, and every of them, and every one of the said Commonalty, are directed, that as soon as they shall have Notice, of any Breach of any such Orders and Constitutions of the said Company, in Matter of Fishing from London Bridge eastward, or of any Anchors, Cables, Boats, Masts, Yards, Flotson, Jetson, Lagon, or other Goods, so found and concealed, to present the Names of the Offenders and Concealers, with the Quality of their Offences, and the Particulars of the Goods, so found and concealed, to the Court of Admiralty. And likewise, for that from Stain's Biidge to London Bridge, many such Goods are often found and taken up by Fishermen, and Others, and concealed, which ought to be presented to the like End, to the Lord Mayor of London: The like Presentment is directed to be made of the Breach of all such Orders and Concealments, from Stain's Bridge to London Bridge.

NB. This is the Substance of that Charter.

Fishermen's Charter,1687

An Abstract of the Charter, granted by King James the Second, to the Company of Fishermen of the River of Thames, A. D. 1687

By another Charter granted by King James the Second (An- Reg. 3) dated the First of July, A.D. 1687 (Reciting, that the Free Fishermen of the River of Thames stood incorporated by King Charles the First, in the tenth Year of his Reign; the Powers and Privileges whereof, had been for several Years past, almost extinguished for Want of due Execution) upon Resignation of the said Charter, renews, and confirms the same, and nominates one Master, ten Wardens, and twenty Assistants of the said Company, in Order to take Care, by making good Orders, That the Fry and Spawn of Fish, be not destroyed, and that common Nusances in the said River of Thames, and of the Medway, and that Goods imported or exported, the same (the Customs not being paid) may be the better discovered.

His Majesty therefore, incorporates the said Master, Wardens and Assistants, Inhabitants of the Counties of Middlesex, Surry, Essex and Kent, and in the City of London, and all others then inhabiting, or which should inhabit in the said Counties and City; using, or that should use, the said Craft of Fishing, in the said River of Thames, and Places adjacent, from the Stone, called London Mark-Stone, westwards of Stain's Bridge, and so to London Bridge, eastwards; and from thence to Yendall alias Yenlet, and the Waters of Midway, in the Counties of Kent, Essex, Middlesex and Surry, and so far up the River Medway, till they meet with the Liberties of Rochester; and all other Places, from the North Foreland in Kent, to Harwich in Essex, which is commonly reputed the Mouth of the River of Thames; and all other Waters within the Precincts aforesaid, not using any other Handycraft, and shall have served, and have been brought up as an Apprentice, in the Mystery of a Fisherman, for seven Years, or more, jpto one Body Corporate, by the Name of the Master, Wardens, Assistants, and Commonalty of the Art, or Mystery of Fishermen of the River of Thames; to have perpetual Succession, and with Power to purchase, and receive, grant, alien, and assign Lands and Chattels; to sue and defend, and to have a Common Seal: That ten of the said Society shall be Wardens, and twenty others of the Commonalty, or more at the Directions of the Master, Wardens, Assistants, and Commonalty, shall be Assistants, and assisting in all Causes and Business. That the said Master, Wardens, and Assistants, from the Time being, shall, from Time to Time, assemble in some convenient Place in the City of London, or the Suburbs thereof, by the Direction of the Master, and Major Part of the Wardens, and Assistants, to be appointed on publick Summons; and may, in such Assemblies, make fit and reasonable Laws, &c. &c. which to them, or the greater Part, shall seem profitable for the Government of the said Company, and of all Persons, using the Art of Fishermen; and for Declaration, in what Manner they shall demean themselves, in their said Offices and Art; and for Declaration, with what Manner of Nets and Engines, and what Times, they shall use Fishing: And for Reforming, and Preventing former Abuses and Inconveniencies, and for the Preservation of the Spawn and Fry of Fish; and for the publick Good of the said Company: With Power to provide Pains and Penalties, by Fines and Amerciaments, to such Laws, &c. &c. At which Assemblies, the Water-Bailiff of London, may be present, and sit with them, and assist them in their Proceedings.

And the King farther grants to the said Company, all Forfeitures, Pains, Penalties, Fines and Amerciaments, for not observing the said Laws, &c. &c. to their own Use, saving to the Admiralty, all Fines due to that Court, by Reason of the said Laws, as hath been accustomed, so as they be reasonable and not repugnant to the Laws of this Realm; and approved by the Judge of the Court of Admiralty, or the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London. And the King appoints the said Master and Wardens aforenamed, to continue in their said Offices, until the Feast of St. Peter, 1688; and from thence, until ten others of the Assistants, be chosen Wardens, as aftermenrioned; if they shall so long live, and shall not be removed by the Major Part of the Wardens and Assistants, for Misbehaviour: And he appoints the said twenty Persons, to be presented Assistants, and the other aforenamed Wardens, to be Assistants, when their Wardenships expire; they to be all sworn before they enter upon their Offices, viz. the new Master and Wardens, before the old Master and Wardens, or any two of them; and the Assistants before the Wardens for the Time being. The said Master, Wardens, and Assistants, or the major Part of them, have Power yearly, on the Feast of St. Peter, or if that be on a Sunday, the next Day, or at some other Time, as they, or the major Part shall think fit, in their Assemblies aforesaid, to chuse out of the Wardens, a Master, and out of the Assistants, ten Wardens, for a Year ensuing, and till a new Master and Wardens shall be chosen and sworn: And if any of the said Master and Wardens die, or leave the Office, or be removed from the Office; then the other Wardens and Assistants being assembled for that Purpose, on Notice, may chuse a Master out of the Wardens, and also Wardens out of the Assistants, to supply the Number of Master or Wardens, till the Feast of St. Peter; and others be chosen and sworn. And, in Case of the Death of any of the said Assistants, that others be chosen in the like Manner, out of the Commonalty, to supply the said Number of twenty, or more Assistants.

The Master, Wardens and Assistants to elect a Clerk for his Life, and to appoint two or more Beadles, with Power to displace them upon just Cause, and elect others in their Room, and administer Oaths to them, for the due Execution of their Office. And they have Power to purchase a Hall, and any other Lands, not exceeding the Value of £ 500 per Annum.

And it is ordained, That no Person of the said Society, shall take an Apprentice, for less than seven Years, and no Person (not using the Craft of Fishing, as common Fishermen, without any other Art to live by) shall use the said Craft, as common Fishermen, without they shall have served as an Apprentice for seven Years at least, to that Trade. Provided, that this Grant shall not prejudice the Privileges, Conservacy, and Super-Intendancy of the Court of Admiralty, or of the City of London, or Lord Mayor and Aldermen. And for that many Anchors, Cables, &c. &c. or other Goods, are found and concealed, which ought to be presented to the Court of Admiralty, that the Loosers may have Restitution, the Master, Wardens, Assistants and Commonalty, and every of them are commanded, as soon as they shall have Notice of the Breach of any of the said Orders and Institutions, to be made and allowed as aforesaid, in Matters of Fishing; or if any Anchors, Cables, &c. &c. or other Goods found and concealed, as aforesaid, that they present the Names of the Offenders and Concealers, and the Quality of the Offences, and the Particulars of the Goods, found and concealed, to the Court of Admiralty, that Punishment may be inflicted on the Offenders; and the like Notice to be given to the Lord Mayor, or Water Bailiff, that Restitution may be made. Provided, that every one of the said Master, Wardens, Assistants and Commonalty, when they shall be commanded by his Majesty, or by the Lords of the Privy Council, or any six of them, shall forbear selling to any Denizens or Aliens, any Fish taken on any of the King's adjacent Coasts, to be transported out of the Realm, to any Places, beyond the Seas, for so long as they shall be so restrained, under Penalty of the King's Displeasure, and Punishment according to Law.

Provided, That the said Master, Wardens and Assistants, shall yearly become bound to the King, by Obligations signed and delivered before the Lord Mayor, in two-hundred Marks, on Condition, that none of the said Master, Wardens, Assistants and Commonalty shall lade any Goods into any Ship or Vessel unless the Customs, &c. have been duly paid or satisfied, and shall give Notice of all other Goods, they shall receive out of any Ship or Vessel, into any Boat, to the Customers, Searchers, or Officers of the Place; to which Bonds so signed, sealed and delivered, the Lord Mayor, and some of the Precedent Wardens, for the Year past, shall be Witnesses, and the same shall be delivered in two Days, by the Precedent Wardens, to the King's Attorney-General; who, thereupon, shall deliver up the last Year's Bond, if there appears no Cause to the contrary. The Master, Wardens, and Assistants are to take Care that no Foreign prohibited Fish be imported, except licensed for the King's own Use: And that there be no Forestalling, or Engrossing in the publick Fish-markets, that supply the City of London, but to acquaint the Justices of the Peace therewith, that the Offenders may be punished. Power is reserved to the King, by Order in Council, to remove any Master, Warden, Assistant, or Clerk of the said Company, whose Office shall thereupon be ipso Facto, void, and another shall be chosen into the said Office.

Provided, That all Laws and Ordinances to be made by the said Master, Wardens and Assistants, shall first have the Allowance of the Judge of the Court of Admiralty, and the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen of London.

And the Water Bailiff shall have Notice of all their Assemblies. The said Master, Wardens and Assistants, to be subject and obedient to the said Court of Admiralty, and to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, concerning the Conservacy of the said Rivers and the Fishing therein.

As a farther Proof of the City's Right to the Jurisdiction of the River of Thames, and for the better Information of the Reader's Knowledge in the Passage or sending of Goods, &c. by Watermen, Lightermen, or Bargemen, on the said River, I shall now set down an Abridgment, or the Heads of the several Statutes relating to the forming and governing of the Company of Watermen and Lightermen, with the Rates of Passengers, and Carriage of Goods: In which the Authority and Power that the City of London has therein will more manifestly appear.

The first Statute relating thereto is in the Statutes 2d and 3d of Philip and Mary, Cap. xvi. wherein it was enacted, That the first Court of Aldermen of the City of London, shall chuse eight Overseers, out of the Watermen between Gravesend and Windsor, for the keeping good Order among them.

A Penalty of two Months Imprisonment on any two Watermen carrying any Person, without one of them hath been allowed by such Overseers, and hath exercised that Profession two Years.

None to work as Watermen singly, unless he has served his Time as such, for two Years at least, on like Pain.

The Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London and Justices of the Peace, are impowered to hear and determine any Offence against this Act, and also to relieve Watermen oppressed by their Overseers, and to punish them accordingly.

All Wherries not 12 Feet and half long, and 4 Feet and a half broad in the Midship, and sufficient to carry two Persons on one Side right, are to be forfeited.

Penalty on Watermen withdrawing themselves in Times of Pressing, imprisonment for a Fortnight, and prohibited Rowing a Year and a Day.

The Overseers to make Rules and Orders for their Government, examine their Boats before Launched, &c. Penalty £5.

Penalty on any refusing to take such Office.

Western Bargemen to be answerable for their Servants, and whom to employ as such.

{ l'id. 6 H. VIII. Cap. vii. }
The Court of Aldermen to assess the Fares of Watermen, and 40s. Penalty, with half a Year's Imprisonment on Watermen taking more.

By Statute 8th Elizabeth, Cap.xiii. Sect. 4. all Sea-faring Men, dwelling near the Tbames, and licensed by the Trinity-House, may Row and carry Passengers in their Wherries, as other Watermen do, who are to be drawn under no other Government but the said Trinity Office.

No Waterman is to take a Servant or Apprentice, unless he hath been an Apprentice as such for five Years before, with the Age, and Time, of Service of their Apprentices.

This Act not to hinder Watermen's Sons formerly trained up in Rowing, and of sufficient Age, &c. to work as such.

The eight Overseers to cause their Orders to be read openly in their Common Hall twice a Year.

The Lord Mayor of London may summon any Person inhabiting within London, or its Liberties, to appear before him, upon Complaint of any Citizen; and, for Non-appearance, may grant his Warrant against him, and hath Power to hear and determine Differences between Party and Party.

If any Apprentice, or other Person, shall be carried on board a Ship, and there detained against his Will, the Lord Mayor may send his Warrant by his Water Bailiff, and compel the Captain or Commander of the Vessel to release such Person.

The Statute 11th and 12th of William the Third, Cap. xxi. confirms all other Acts relating to this Company, and not altered hereby. Lightermen to be of the same Society and Company of Wherrymen and Watermen.

Who are to be subject to the same Rules and Orders; but Trinity-men, Fishermen, Ballastmen, Western Barges, and Mill Boats, Chalk Hoys, Faggot and Wood Lighters, and other Craft carrying the same, are excepted.

The Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to elect: annually eight Watermen and three Lightermen to be Overseers and Rulers of the said Company, to maintain good Order, &c.

The said Rulers and Assistants to chufe sixty, and not less than forty of the Watermen, and nine of the Lightermen, to be Assistants of the Company, and who shall yearly present to the said Court of Aldermen five Watermen, and two Lightermen, to be Auditors of the Company's Accounts, with a Penalty on refusing, or not well performing such Offices, and which Rulers, Auditors, and Assistants, are empowered to make Rules and Orders, with Penalties, for the good Government, &c. of their Company, but to be first approved by the said Court of Aldermen, and after by the Lord Chief Justice of either Bench.

The Lord Mayor and Aldermen, and Justices of the Peace in their Jurisdictions, adjoining to tne Thames, between Gravesend and Windsor, on Complaint of such Overseers and Rulers, to hear and determine Offences against this Act, and levy the Penalties by Distress.

Lightermen not registering themselves and Servants in the Company's Books, by the 29th of September, to forfeit £ 5. a Week for working any such Vessel, &c.

Penalty on anyone (Trinity-men excepted) who shall Row or Ply on the River in Boats, for carrying of Passengers for Profit, unless Watermen, their Servants or Apprentices; and how the Penalties of this Act are to be paid.

Owners, &c. of any Keys betwixt the Hermitage Bridge and London Bridge, may use their Lighters as heretofore, employing qualified Watermen or Lightermen; and Woodmongers may use their Lighters by themselves, or Servants, for carrying their own Goods only.

Persons keeping Laystalls and Gardeners may carry their own Goods, &c. as heretofore.

Offences against this Act to be prosecuted within thirty Days.

Persons may plead the general Issue, if prosecuted for any Thing done in pursuance of this Act.

The Rulers, &c. to appoint forty Watermen to Ply every Sunday between Vaux-hall and Lime-house, for carrying Passengers across the River, at a Penny each: How that Money is to be applied.

This Act not to impeach the Duke of Richmond's Right, as Lord of the Manor of Gravesend, for holding the Court of Water-Course, for the better governing of Barges, Boats, &c. ferrying from Gravesend to London. Nor hinder the Watermen of St. Margaret's, Westminster, for Plying cross the River from Westminster Bridge to Standgate, and from the Horse-ferry to Lambeth Bridge on Sundays, &c. for the Benefit of their own Poor and Widows, &c.

The next Statute is the 4th and 5th of Anne, 4 and 5 Cap. Xiii.
Sect. 1. Repeals the Clauses in the 1st of Jac. I. Cap. xvi. that restrains the taking of Apprentices till they arrive at the several Ages of eighteen and sixteen, and every Rule made for restraining of any Lighterman or Waterman from taking Apprentices.
Sect. 2. The Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to review, alter and amend all the By Laws of the Company.

There was another Act passed the 4th Year of this Queen Anne, Cap. xix. Sect. 18.
Wherein there is a Penalty of one Month, and being disabled from any Privilege of a Waterman, &c. for two Years, on any such Waterman, &c. absconding from serving on board his Majesty's Navy, on being summoned thereto, &c. &c.

Also another Act, passed in the 2d of his present Majesty King George, Cap. xxvi.

Wherein it is enacted, That no Waterman shall take an Apprentice, unless he be an House-keeper, or have some known Habitation, which he is to Register with the Clerk of the Company, on Penalty of £ 10. on Conviction before the Lord Mayor, or Justice of the Peace, by Distress, &c. the Clerk of the Company to register Watermen's Habitation, and Removal, without Fee.

No Apprentice to take on him the sole Care and Management of any Boat till he be sixteen, if a Waterman's, or 17 Years of Age if a Landman's Son, unless he hath Worked with an able Waterman for two Years at least, on Pain of 10s. upon the Master.

How Offenders against the Company's Rules and Orders are to be punished, in case no Distress is to be found.

Any Person rowing on the Thames for Hire or Gain, and not haying served seven Years Apprenticeship to a Waterman, &c. (Trinity-men, Fishermen, Ballast-men, and Persons employed in the Western Barges, Mill Boats, Chalk Hoys, Faggot or Wood Lighters, Dung Boats and Gardeners Boats) shall forfeit £10. to be levied as aforesaid.

The Number of the Company's Assistants to be reduced to thirty for the future.

This Act not to prejudice the Right of the Lord of the Manor of Gravesend, for holding his Court of Water Course, &c.

Nor to prejudice any Grants or Usages held by the Mayor, &c. of Gravesend and Milton.

The Lessees, Owners and Occupiers of any Keys betwixt the Hermitage Bridge and London Bridge, may use their Lighters for carrying their own Goods, &c. to it from their Keys and Wharfs, and Ships loading and unloading, and may employ any Waterman or Lighterman, duly qualified, as is in the said Act of 11 and 12 of William the Ihird directed.

How the Penalties and Forfeitures of this Act are to be sued for and applied; and all Prosecutions to be commenced in a Month.

All Constables and Headboroughs to be aiding and assisting in the due Execution of this Act; and in Case of any Suit being commenced against any Person for any Thing done in pursuance of this Act, or any former Act relating to the Water Service, &c. the Action to be brought in thirty Days, and such Person may plead the general Issue, &c. &c.

This Act to be deemed a publick Act, &c.

Navigation, London to Cricklade

There is another Statute of 3 George II. Cap. 11, which relates to the Commissioners, for regulating the Prices to be taken for the Passage of Barges, &c. the Navigation of the Thames and Isis, from London westward to Cricklade, &c. by the Owners of Locks, Wears, &c. and all other Redresses, Regulations, &c. (not derogating from the Jurisdiction of the Lord Mayor, &c. of London) Sect. 18.
Every Bargemaster, and the Owner of the Barge, &c. shall be answerable for any Damage done by his Barge, &c. or any of the Crew, either by fishing with Nets, taking any Game, or to the Locks, Bridges, &c. adjoining to the River, &c. &c.

There is likewise another Statute, 4 Cap. 24. George II. Cap. 24. wherein Ferry-boats are not to be deemed large Craft, and flatt bottomed Boats and Barges, navigated from Windsor, or any Place between that Town and Kingston to other Places on the River, shall be deemed Western Barges, and may navigate as far as London Bridge; and Persons navigating the same, shall not be subject to the Penalties of Stat. 2 George II. Cap. 26.

There is also another Stat. of 10 George II. Cap. 31. which relates to Wherries, Tiltboats, Barges, and other Vessels, for carrying Passengers and Goods between Windsor and Gravesend, for Hire, wherein the Age, Time of Service, &V. relating to the Apprentices is mentioned.

No Tilt-boat, Rowbarge, or other Boat, to carry more than thirty-seven Passengers, and three more Passengers only, if brought on Board by the Way: Nor to carry in any other Boat, or Wherry, more than eight Passengers, and two more only, if called in by the Way; nor to carry in any Wherry or Ferryboat, allowed to work on Sundays, more than eight Passengers. Penalty on every Tilt-boat, o Conviction, by the Oath of one Witness, &c. £5. for the first Offence, £10. for the second Offence, and for the third Offence, to be disfranchised for 12 Months; and in Case any greater Number shall be carried in any Tilt-boat, &c. and any Passenger drowned, every Person, who shall work such Boat, and convicted, shall be guilty, and punished as a Felon.
All Tilt-boats to be of fifteen Tons Burthen, and other Boats, not less than three Tons Burthen, in the long Ferry, between London Bridge, and Gravesend, except such Boat, shall be hired for private Use, on Penalty, £10.

Gravesend Wherries, with a close Deck, or with Bails nailed to the Boats, and which are not moveable, for carrying of Passengers for Hire, between London Bridge, and Gravesend (Tilt-boats only excepted) are not there to be used, on Penalty of £10.
Such Persons loosing their Tides, to and from London Bridge, and Gravesend, either negligently or wilfully, by putting on Shore, for Passengers (except as is herein directed) or by waiting by the Way, by Means whereof the Passengers shall be landed two Miles short, such Passengers shall be discharged from paying their Passages.

The Rulers of the Company shall appoint Officers, to ring a Bell for fifteen Minutes, every high Water at London Bridge, and the first of Flood at Gravesend, and if any Boat plying for Passengers, or having Passengers on board, does not immediately depart, and proceed, after the Ringing of such Bell, without lying or putting on Shore, within two Miles of Billingsgate, or Gravesend, for the takinge in of Passengers; or if any such Boat, during the whole Ferry, shall not be navigated by two able Men, the younger to be eighteen Years of Age at least, the Owner of such Boat, shall forfeit £5. on Conviction of the Oath of one Witness, before any Justice, where the Offence was committed, or the Offender found, half to the Informer, &c.

Penalty of £50. on such said Rulers, neglecting to put up such Bells, and appointing Officers to ring them.

Forty Shillings on such Person, not duly Ringing the said Bells.

How the Penalties (no otherwise here directed) are to be levied.

The Penalties may be sued for by the Rulers of the Company, or any two of them.

Nothing herein shall hinder any Person from Working any flat-bottomed Boats or Barges, entitled to work by 4 Geo. II, Cap. 24.

Suits prosecuted for any Thing done in pursuance of this Act, shall be commenced within six Months after the Fact, and shall be brought in London, Middlesex, Surry, Essex, Kent, Bucks, or Berks, and the Defendant may plead the general Issue, and recover treble Costs.

This Act to be a publick Act. { See 3 Geo, II, Cap. 26. Sect. 1.

I shall in the next Place insert, a Table of the Rates or Prices, appointed by the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen of the City of London, to be taken by the Watermen, rowing from Place to Place, upon the River of Thames, between Gravesend, and Windsor, which are as follows:

Rates of the Watermen, down the River, whole Fare, or with Company, in Oars or Scullers.
Rates below London Bridge.
From London to Gravesend4 60 9
From London to Grays, or Greenhith4 00 8
From London to Purfleet, or Erith 3 00 6
From London to Wolwich2 60 4
From London to Blackwall2 00 4
From London to Greenwich, or Deptford1 60 3
From London Bridge to Limehouse, Newcrane, Shadwell Dock, Bell Wharf, Ratdiff Cross 1 00 6
From London to Bridge to Wapping Dock, Wapping new and old Stairs, the Hermitage, Rotherhith Church Stairs, and Rotherhith Stairs0 60 3
From St Olave's to Rotherhith Church Stairs0 60 3
From Billingsgate, or from St Olave's to St Saviour's Mill0 60 3
Over the water directly, in the next Skuller, between London Bridge and Limehouse -0 2
Rates of Oars and Skullers, above London Bridge.
From any Stairs, between London Bridge and Westminster0 60 3
From either Side above London Bridge to Lambeth and Vauxhall1 00 4
From Black-Friers, Dorset, or Temple Stairs, or from Paul's Wharf to Lambeth0 80 4
From Whitehall to Lambeth, or Vauxhall0 60 3
Over the Water directly in the next Skuller, between London Bridge and Vauxhall -0 2
Rates up the River.
FROM London to Chelsea, Battersea, or Wandsworth1 60 3
To Putney, Fulham, Barn-Elms2 00 4
To Hammersmith, Chiswick, or Mortlack2 60 6
To Brentford, Isleworth, or Richmond3 60 6
To Twickenham4 00 6
To Kingston5 00 9
To Hampton-Court6 01 0
To Hampton Town, Sunbury and Walton7 01 0
To Walton, Weybridge, and Chertsey10 01 0
To Stains12 01 0
To Windsor14 02 0

As to the Rates for carrying of Goods and Passengers in the Tilt-Boats, between London and Gravesend; they are as followeth.
£ s. d.
For half a Firkin0 0 1
For a whole Firkin0 0 2
For a Hogshead0 2 0
For a Hundred of Cheese, Iron, or any heavy Goods0 0 4
For a Sack of Salt, or Corn0 0 6
For an ordinary Chest or Trunk0 0 6
For an ordinary Hamper0 0 6
For every single Person in the Passages0 0 6
For the Hire of the whole Tilt Boat1 2 6

After what has been said of the Rates and Fares, to be demanded by Watermen, plying, or exercising their Boats, within this Jurisdiction, perhaps, the Reader will not be displeased to hear in what Manner, Barges of a large Burthen are navigated, and their Goods carried up and down this River westwards, from and into the very Heart of the Kingdom; I shall, in the next Place, give an Account of the Navigation of this River of Thames, from its Beginning at Lechlade, till it comes to Stain's Bridge, a little above which commences, as hath been said, the City ot London's Jurisdiction, with an Account of all the Locks, that are built thereon, especially as they are an Invention so useful to the Publick; and by Means of which, Tradesmen and Farmers are enabled to send their Goods to an advantageous Market, and at the same Time, the most populous Cities are supplied with Necessaries of all Sorts, at a moderate Price.

To explain this, we need only observe, that Locks, the principal Obstruction to the Navigation of most Rivers, being the Want of Water, especially in the Summer Time, when the Springs are low; in Order to remedy this Inconvenience, in the River Thames, which is now navigable, 138 Miles, above London Bridge, the Use of Locks was happily invented, which are a Kind of wooden Machines, placed quite a-cross the River, and so contrived, as totally to obstruct the Current of the Stream, and dam up the Water, as long as it shall be thought convenient. By this Artifice the River is obliged to rise to a proper Height, that is, till there is Depth enough for the Barge to pass over the Shallows; which done, the confined Waters are set at Liberty, and the loaded Vessel continues its Voyage, till another Shoal requires the same Contrivance, and again retards its Course.

But though this Method is extremely convenient, it is attended with great Charge to the Navigators or Bargemen, for they are obliged to pay in one Voyage near fourteen Pounds, I mean, if they pass through all the Locks in their Passage to or from London. This extraordinary Expence is chiefly owing to the Locks being the Property of private Persons, who raise a large annual Income therefrom; which may be readily estimated, if we consider that 300 Barges pass and repass, at least six Times in a Year; and yet, which is still more surprising, the Charge of the Locks is not above one third of the Expence of a single Voyage, but which would greatly be reduced, and the Carriage of Goods consequently become cheaper, were there proper Regulations for their Navigating, &c. their Vessels, duly established.

But that the Reader may still have a clearer Notion of this Matter, I shall subjoin a List of all the Locks on the River Thames, with their Distance from each other, and the Price the Barges are obliged to pay; and herein it is to be noted, that though between Lechlade and Oxford, there are few or no Locks, yet in Summer, when the Water is low, they pay what is here set down for flashes only.

Places. Miles. £  s  d
Lechlade to St. John's Bridge, Stone½0  1  6
Busket Lock20  2  6
Farmer's Wires, or Weirs10  1  0
Lower Farmer's Wires10  1  0
Day's Wires10  1  0
Radcot Bridge, Stone20  0  0
Beck's Wires10  0  0
Oldman's Wires20  1  0
Rushy Wire10  1  0
Rudges10  1  0
Thames Wire10  1  0
Ducksford Wire30  0  0
Shifford Wire10  1  0
Limbress10  1  0
New Bridge, Stone10  0  0
Cock's Wire10  1  0
Noah's Ark20  1  0
Langley's20  1  0
Pinkie10  0  0
Bolde's Wire10  1  6
King's Wire20  0  0
Godstow Bridge, Stone10  0  0
Oxford20  0  0
Ifley Turnpikes10  2  6
Sandford Lock, and Turnpikes21  2  0
Newham Lock20  2  6
Culham Turnpike, and the old Lock21  0  6
Culham Bridge, Stone½0  0  0
Sutton Lock
1  15 0
Day's Lock60  1  0
Benson Lock40  15 0
Wallingford Bridge, Stone½0  2  6
Mousford Lock30  1  0
Cleve Lock11  5  0
Hart's Lock20  0  0
Whitchurch Lock10  15 0
Maple-Durham Lock20  12 6
Cavershem Lock and Bridge, wood30  12 6
Sunning Lock and Bridge, Wood30  10 0
Cottrel's Lock30  7  6
Mash Lock40  7  6
Henly Bridge, Wood10  0  0
Hameldon Lock20  9  0
New Lock40  7  6
Temple Lock10  3  0
Marlow Lock and Bridge, Wood20  4  0
Bolter's Lock40  7  6
Maidenhead Bridge, Wood½0  0  0
Windsor Bridge, Wood80  0  0
Datchet Bridge, Wood10  0  0
Stain's Bridge, Wood60  0  0
Chertsey Bridge, Wood60  0  0
Kingston Bridge, Wood100  10 0
Fulham Bridge, Wood140  0  0
Westminster Bridge, Stone140  0  0
London Bridge, Stone20  0  0

TOTAL138½£ 13 15 6

N. B. From this Table it plainly appears, First, That a Barge passing from Lechlade to London, pays £ 13 15s 6d. and from Oxford to London, £ 12 18s.
But this is a Charge only in Summer, and paid for Flashes, when the Water is low.
Secondly, It also appears, that this noble Stream is navigable 138 Miles one half above London Bridge, and upwards of 200 Miles from Lechlade to the Sea.
Likewise, that there is no Lock on this River from London Bridge till you come to Bolter's Lock, which is 51 Miles and an half. [ In the table it adds up to 61½! ]

Indecent Behaviour

Nor will it be improper to subjoin an Order made by the Court of Rulers, Auditors, and Assistants of the Company of Watermen on the River Thames, forbidding any indecent Behaviour or Expression towards their Fare, or whilst Plying or Rowing on the River. It runs thus:

Whereas several Watermen, Lightermen, and the Apprentices of such, whilst they are Rowing, working upon the River Thames and at their several respective Places of resort, or plying Places, between Gravesend and Windsor, do often use immodest, obscene and lewd Expressions, towards Passengers, and to each other as are offensive to all sober Persons, and tend extremely to the Corruption and Debauchery of Youth. For Prevention therefore of such ill Practices for the future, it is hereby declared and ordained by the Court aforesaid, That if any Waterman or Lighterman, after the 16th Day of October 1701, shall, upon the said River, or at any Place of their Resort; as aforesaid be guilty of using any such lewd Expressions, and be there-of duly convicted by one or more Witness or Witnesses, or by Confession of the Offender before the Rulers of this Company, he shall forfeit and pay for every such Offence the Sum of 2s. 6d. And if any Waterman or Lighterman's Apprentice shall herein offend, the Master or Mistress of every such Offender (the Offender being duly convicted as aforesaid) shall forfeit and pay the like Sum of 2s. 6d. and in case of Refusal, the Offender shall suffer Correction, as the Rulers of this Company shall in their Discretion think fit and necessary; which said Forfeitures (when paid) shall be applied to the Use of the poor, aged, decayed, and maimed Members of the Company, their Widows and Children.

Dated at the Hall of the said Company, this 8th Day of October, 1701.
E. Knight, Clerk.

To conclude: I shall here add an Act of Common Council of the City of London, made in pursuance of Statute 27th Henry the Eighth, A.D. 1538, for the Preservation of the River of Thames.

Whereas by a Statute made in the 27th Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King Henry the Eighth, (vide Page 108.) among other, for Reformation of the River of Thames, by casting in Dung and other Filth, many great Shelves, and other Risings, have of late grown, and been made within the said River: By reason whereof many great Breaches have ensued by Occasion thereof, which of like shall be the Occasion of the utter Destruction of the said River, unless that the same Law be put in due Execution, according to the true Intent and Meaning thereof.

Wherefore, for a future Reformation of the same, and to the Intent that the said good and wholesome Statute may be put in more Execution, and better Knowledge of the People,

It is enacted by the Authority of this Common Council, That Proclamation may be made within this City, and the same to be put in Writing, and Tables thereof made, and set up in divers Places of this City, That it shall be lawful to every Person or Persons, to dig, carry away, and take away Sand, Gravel, or any Rubbish, Earth, or any Thing lying and being in any Shelf or Shelves, within the said River of Thames, without Lett or Interruption of any Person or Persons, and without any Thing paying for the same; and after that, to sell the same away, or otherwise occupy or dispose of the said Gravel, Land, or other Thing, at their free Liberty and Pleasure.

And that all Paviors, Bricklayers, Tilers, Masons, and all others that occupy Sand Or Gravel, shall endeavour themselves, with all Diligence, to occupy the said Sand or Gravel, and none other, paying for the same reasonably, as they should or ought to pay, for other Sand or Gravel digged out of other Men's Grounds about the said City, which after is filled again with much filthy, to the great Infection of the Inhabitants of the said City, and all others repairing unto the same; and that further humble Suit be made to the King's Highness, that all Persons having Lands or Tenements along the said River-side, upon certain Pain by his Highness, and the Lords of his honourable Council, to be limited, shall well and sufficiently repair and maintain all the Walls and Banks adjoining unto their said Lands, that so the Water may not, nor shall break in upon the same, and the same to be continued till the Time the said noble River be brought again to its old Course and former State.

And that strong Grates of Iron, along the said Water-side, and also by the Street side, where any Water-Course is had into the said Thames, be made by the Inhabitants of every Ward, so a long the said Water, as of old Times has been accustomed, and that every Grate be in Height 24 Inches at the least, as the Place shall need; and, in Breadth, one from another one Inch, and the same to be done with all Expedition and Speed.

And if the Occupiers of the said Lands and Tenements make Default, contrary to the Ordinance aforesaid, or else if any Person or Persons in great Rains, or other Times, sweep their Soilage or Filth off their Houses into the Channel, and the same afterwards is conveyed into the Thames, every Person so offending shall forfeit for every such Default 1s. 8d. and that upon Complaint to be made to any Constable next adjoining to the said Place where any such Default shall be found, it shall be lawful for the said Constable, or his sufficient Deputy, for the Time being, from Time to Time, to distrain for the said Offence, and to retain the same irreplagiable.


There is a like Law to be observed and kept; and like Penalty to be paid by every Person that burns Rushes and Straw in their Houses, or wash in the common Streets or Lanes, and to be recovered as aforesaid; and the one Moiety thereof to be to the Mayor and Commonalty, and the other Moiety to be divided betwixt the said Constable that taketh Pain, and the Party-Finder of the said Default. And if the Constable, or his Deputy, refuse to do his Duty, according to the true meaning of this Act, that then the Constable, or his Deputy, which shall so refuse to do his Duty, as aforesaid, shall forfeit and pay for every Time so offending 3s. 4d. and the same Penalty of the Constable, to be recovered and obtained by Distress irreplagiable, to be taken by any of the Officers of the Chamber of London, to the Use of the Mayor and Commonalty of London; and further, that no Person or Persons, having any Wharf or House by the Water-side, make not their Lay-stalls where the common Rakers of this City use to repose and lay all their Soilage, to be carried away by them with their Dung-boats; and that the said Rakers shall lay their said Dung, carried in their said Dung-boats, to such convenient Place or Places, as shall be appointed by the Lord Mayor of London, for the Time being, with the Advice of his Brethren, the Aldermen of the same, and to no other Place or Places, upon Pain to forfeit for every such Default £5. to be recovered in any of the King's Courts within the City of London, by Bill, Plaint, Moiety of Debt or Information, by any Person that will or shall sue for the same; the one Moiety thereof to be unto the Mayor and Commonalty of London, and the other Moiety to him or them that will or shall pursue for the same, in which Actions or Suits no Wages of Law nor Assoign shall be allowed.


That are Caught in the River Thames, &c, Or Brought to Billingsgate to be Sold.

And here I cannot think it improper to add another Chapter to this Treatise, by giving a Description and Character of the several Sorts of Fish that are either caught in the Thames, or even at Sea, which are brought to or sold, at Billingsgate Market, or in London; as likewise their several Assizes; Times of Spawning; when best in Season; which most Wholesome, or otherwise; the several Statutes relating to Fish, with other Particulars: By which the Reader may the more easily and readily distinguish good Fish from bad or indifferent; and when most proper, or best, to be taken or bought, or how (the real Intention of this Book) to be preserved.

So I shall begin first with those Fish which are bred in the Thames, westward of London Bridge; and then with those bred or taken in the River eastward of the said Bridge, and in the Sea, that are brought to London, concluding with some general Observations on the Element peculiar to Fish; the Cloathing, Numbers, regular Passages of some; the Wars, Fruitfulness, Food; cause of Swimming, and other Qualities relating to Fish.


I SHALL begin then with the Salmon, who, though not altogether a fresh Water Fish, by being only a sojourner therein at certain Seasons to obey the Dictates of Nature, as is also the Smelt, Shad, and indeed the Flounder; yet, as he has the Honour of being called the King of the fresh Water Fish, and as he is spawned and chiefly bred therein, I shall include him among that Number.

The Salmon is a beautiful Fish, and has so many excellent Properties, that it is everywhere in high Esteem. It has a longish Body, covered with small thin Scales, a small Head, a sharp Snout, and a forked Tail. The Colour on the Back is bluish, on other. Parts white, generally intermixed with blackish or reddish Spots, in a very agreeable Manner.

The Female is distinguished from the Male, by a longer and more hooked Nose; its Scales are not so bright, and its Body is speckled over with dark brown Spots, its Belly is flatter, its Flesh more dry, and not so red, nor yet is the Taste so delicious.

The Flesh is pale, but when boiled, or salted, becomes red: It is sweet, tender, flaky, and luscious, for which Reason it satisfies the sooner; though the Taste of it is generally preferred to that of all other Fish, yet it sooner offends the Stomach by its Viscidity, and consequently is apter to create a Nausea, and cause a Surfeit; and the middle aged Salmon is the best, for if he is too old he eats dry, heavy upon the Stomach, hard, and not easy of Digestion. They are in Season from March, if the Weather prove warm, until Michaelmas.

Their greatest Magnitude is much the same in most Parts of Europe; and when they are largest, they weigh from 36 to near 40 Pounds, but is usually taken from two to three Feet long

It has been observed by Foreigners, that there is no better Salmon than in England, and that though some of our Northern Countries have as fat and as large as the River Thames, yet none are of so exquisite Taste.

As the Age of the Salmon exceeds not ten Years, so his Growth is very sudden. It is said, that after he is got into the Sea he becomes from a Samlet, not bigger than a Gudgeon, to be a Salmon, in as short a Time as a Goslin becomes a Goose, and has different Names according to its different Ages: Those that are taken in the River Thames are five Years in coming to their full Growth; in the first Year are called Salmon Trouts; in the second a Bolger, the third a half Salmon, the fourth a three quarter Salmon, and the fifth a full grown Salmon.

Salmon Peale is in every Respect equal to the Salmon, excepting in the Size, which seldom exceeds 16 Inches in length, and seems to be a Species of the Salmon; they abound principally in the fresh Water Rivers in Dorset and Devon, and are a fat, luscious and flaky Fish like the Salmon.

Those little Salmons, called Skeggers, which abound in many Rivers that run into the Sea, are, by most, thought to be the Offspring of a sickly Salmon, which has been forcibly detained from visiting the Salt Waters: But however that be, though its Beauty is agreeable enough to the Eye, its Taste is very ordinary and insipid, and never thrive to any considerable Bigness.

The Salmon chuses the Rivers for his Abode about six Months in the Year; they enter the fresh Water about February or March, where they continue till the autumnal Season, at which Time
{ Others say, she Spawns generally in March, sometimes in February }
the Female seeks a proper Place in a gravelly Bottom, where she has been observed to work with her Head, Tail, Belly and Sides, till she has formed a Kind of Nidus, of the same Dimensions with herself, which done, she discharges her Pea or Spawn, and retires; then the Male, or Miltor, advances, and covers the Spawn with his Belly, emitting at the same Time a whitish Fluid, like Milk: This is no sooner done, but the Female returns to the Male, when they use their joint Endeavours to cover their Brood with the Gravel, in which they work with their Noses like Hogs: In which Manner they leave it to the Sun's genial Protection, who, by gentle Heat, which he infuses into that cold Element, impregnates it with Life, and produces Samlets, or Salmon Smelts; or, as they are called by some, Salmon Fry early in the following Spring, the Male and Female having soon after Spawning returned to Sea, at least before Winter, unless they are stopped by Floodgates, Wears, or lost in fresh Waters, when they then grow sick, lean, unseasonable and Kipper; the meaning of which Word is, that they have a bony gristle growing out of their lower Chaps, resembling a Hawk's Beak, which hinders their feeding, and occasions them in Time to pine away and die in about two Years.

But directly contrary of this is reported of the River Ex in Devonshire, and the Riverst Wye and Usk in Monmouthshire, where the Salmon are said to be in Season during the other six Months; and what is still more remarkable, if true, is, that they never frequent the Wye and Usk in the same Year, for if they are found in one of those Rivers, they are sure to be wanting in the other. But however this be, it is certain that Salt Water best promotes their growth, and the Fresh chiefly contributes to make them fat, and the farther they get from Sea the fatter and better they are; and though they will make hard Shift to get out of the fresh Rivers into the Sea, yet they will labour harder to get out of the Sea into the Rivers; and have frequently been seen to throw themselves, in their Passage either to or from the Sea, up Cataracts and Precipices many Yards high.

It is worth Observation, that the Salmon not only is desirous of returning back to the Rivers, but to the very River where it was spawned, as is evident by Experiment made by Fishermen, and others, who have caught them when very small, and have run, a small Ribband, Tape or Thread through the Tail Fin: By this Mark they have been certain that they have retaken the same Fish at the same Place again as they returned from the Sea, and by which they have discovered the Quickness of its Growth. The Salmon recovers Strength and grows into Season in a Month's Time, provided he gets into the Sea, and afterwards into fresh Water.

The Samlet, Salmon Smelt, and, as some call them, Salmon Fry, are only so many different Names for young Salmon.

The chief Salmon Fisheries in Europe are along the Coasts of England, Scotland and Ireland; the Fishing usually begins about the first of January, and ends by the last of September.

You ought to chuse that Salmon which is Well fed, large enough, of a middling Age, tender, short, reddish, and taken in fine clear and running Water.

Salmon Laws

Salmon shall be in Defence, or not taken, from 8th September to St. Martin's Day, being Salmon, 11th November.
Stat. 13 Ed. I. Cap. xlvii. 17 Rich. II. Cap. ix.

Young Salmons shall not be taken from the midst April to 24th June.
Stat. 13 Ed. I Cap. xlvii. 13 Rich. II. Cap. xix. 17 Rich.II. Cap.ix.

Their Spawn and Fry is not to be destroyed.
Stat. 1 Eliz.. Cap. xvii.

Their Assize to be six Pound weight that are sent to London from certain Rivers.
I Geo. L Cap. xviii.

Importation of Salmon.
22 Ed. IV.Cap.ii. 11 Hen. VII Cap. xxiii. 5 Eliz. Cap. v. 18 Car. II. Cap. ii. 1 Geo. I. Cap. xviii. 9 Geo. II. Cap. xxxiii.

The Trout

The Trout is of a longish Make, and resembles a Salmon more than any other Fish; his Head is short and roundish, his Nose blunt, his Body thick, his Tail broad, and his Mouth wide: He has Teeth not only in his Jaws but in his Palate and Tongue: His Eyes are large with a reddish Circle round the Pupil; his Scales are small and his Skin easily falls into Wrinkles, and separates from the Flesh: In the larger Trout the Back is of a dusky Hue, and full of black Spots, but in some mixed with red; the the Sides are painted with Spots of a Purple or Vermilion Dye, but on the Belly they have a yellowish Cast. His Flesh is much like the Salmon's, and turns red with boiling; is a generous Fish, and in highest Esteem: He is the Venison of the Waters, and so like the Land Venison, that he comes in and goes out of Season with the Stag and Buck, and which is during the hot Months, and when he is prettily spotted with red Spots; and may justly contend with all fresh Water-fish, as the Mullett may with all Sea-fish, for Delicacy of Taste: And as there are barren Does, which are good in Summer, so are there barren Trouts, that are good in Winter, but there are not many of these, Trouts beginning to be in Perfection in the Month of May, and declining with the Buck.

There are several Rivers in England that are noted for good Trout, but none more remarkably so than what are caught near Canterbury, called the Fordige Trout, many of whom are near the bigness of a Salmon, but known by their different Colour.

There are other Rivers, especially near the Sea, that swarm with little Trout, called a Samlet or Skegger-Trout, and by some falsely taken for young Salmon, but they never grow bigger than a Herring.

The Trout grows more suddenly than any other Fish, but does not live so long as the Perch, or many other Fish: When once he is come to his full growth, he declines in his Body, and keeps his bigness, or thrives only in his Head till his Death.

He usually Spawns in October or November, though some say not till November or December, that is in some Rivers later than in others, which is the more observable, because most other Fish spawn in the Spring or Summer, when the Sun has warmed both the Earth and Water, and made it fit for Generation. He then continues many Months out of Season; so that most other Fish recover Strength and grow fat, and in Season sooner than the Trout; In the Winter time this Fish continues sick, lean and unwholesome. You shall find him with a big Head, and a very lank and thin Body, without those beautiful Spots which before were so ornamental to him: At the same Time many of them are infested with Sugs or Trout Lice, which is a Kind of a Worm, in shape like a Clove, or Pin with a big Head, which sticks close to his Flesh, and sucks his Moisture, and never thrives till he frees himself from them, which is when the warm Weather comes on, and then he recovers Strength, gets from the dead Still-Water, into the sharp Streams and Gravel, and there rubs off these Vermin, after which he still grows stronger.

The Trout begins to be in Season in March; but, as I observed before they are in the highest Season in July and August;
{ others say the latter end of May }
and, contrary to the Nature of other Fish, are not thought to be in high Season when they are fullest of Spawn, for they are fattest, have the most delicious Taste in the Months, as I have said, of July and August. A Hog back, hack, and a little lean, is a sign also that he is in Season.

The Flesh is a little drier, and not quite so tender, as that of a Salmon, but yet it is accounted the most agreeable of all Fish that have their constant Abode in fresh Water. The best Sort of Trout is the red and the yellow, and of these the Female is preferable to the Male, which is known by a less Head and a deeper Body than the Male, and is also esteemed the best Meat. The Fat of a Trout is of a lenifying and dissolving Nature, good for the Piles, and other Distempers of the Anus, and Ulcers in the Breast.

We ought not to catch Trout, from the Middle of October, till at least the End of February, they generally quitting the great Rivers at Michaelmas to go into small Rivulets to spawn, and are frequently there destroyed by idle and disorderly Persons, taking them by Groping, and other Methods, which greatly destroys the Breed thereof.
{ You ought to chuse those Trouts that are fat, well fed, reddish, firm, savory, and not viscous, and that have been taken in fine, clear, running Waters. }

If any Person either kills the Spawn or Fry of this Fish, or kills it out of Season, or not being eight Inches in length, forfeits by Stat. 1 Eliz. Cap. xvii. both the Fish, the Nets or Instruments used, as also 20s.

The Graylin or Umber

Next to the Trout I place the Graylin or Umber, which are thought by some to differ, as well as the Herring and Pilchard. But though they may do so in other Nations, those in England seem to differ in nothing but the Names; unless, with some we appropriate the Name of Umber to a large Graylin, only as the large Jack is called a Pike.

The Graylin is in Proportion neither so broad nor so thick as the Trout, and in size seldom exceeds eighteen Inches; they weigh about half a Pound, but in some Places they are said to be three times as heavy. Its Back is of a dusky Green, inclining to a Blue; the Sides are Grey, seeming to glitter with Spangles of Gold; from the Head to the Tail, in the Places where the Scales meet, there seems to be drawn so many obscure parallel Lines; the lateral Lines common to all Fish, are nearer the Back than the Belly; the Sides, except towards the Tail, are irregularly spotted with Black: It has a little Head, with protuberant Eyes, the Iris of which is of a silver Colour, with yellow dusky Spots; the Mouth is of a mean Size, the upper Jaw of which is longer than the lower; instead of Teeth, the Lips are rough like a File, the Tongue is smooth, the Gills quadruple.

This Fish may be eaten all the Year, but its principal Season is in December, when they are black about the Head, Gills, and down the Back, and have their Bellies of a dark grey, dappled with black Spots: The Graylin's Flesh, even in its worst Season, is firm, white, will easily Calver, is excellent Meat, and little inferior to the Trout; its observable that he is thought by some to feed on Water-Thyme, and that he smells on it, at his first being taken out of the Water, just as our Smelts have the Odour of Violets, at their first being caught.

It has been observed, that the Salmon, the Trout, and the Graylin, and all Fish that live in clear and sharp Streams, are made by Nature of the most exact Shape, and delightful Colours, as if purposely to invite us to feed on them with Pleasure. Whether this be true or not, it is certain all who write of the Umber, declare him to be very medicinal. The Fat of this Fish being set, with a little Honey, a Day or two in the Sun in a little Glass, is thought excellent against Redness or Swarthiness. Some take him to be called Umber, from the Latin Umbra, a Shadow, on Account of his swift swimming, or rather gliding out of Sight, more like a Shadow than a Fish.

The Time of its Spawning is in May.

The Pike, Jack, or Luce

AS the Salmon is called the King of the fresh Water Fish, so is the Pike, Jack, or Luce, sirnamed the Tyrant of them. He is so very voracious a Fish, as even to devour his own Kind, and often grows to an enormous Size. The Pike is a fresh Water Fish, and is never found in the Sea, unless drove thither by force.

The Make of a Pike is long,- the Head is flat, the Back square, the Snout very prominent, almost like the Bill of a Duck, and the lower Jaw longer than the upper; the Mouth is very wide, and the Tail forked. His Body covered with small thick Scales, moistened on the Edges with a Kind of Mucus, which may be easily wiped off; to this Mucus is owing that greenish Cast, which we behold in this Fish, and the younger he is, the greener he appears. If the Back and Sides are placed towards the Light, there appears something of a golden Hue. The Sides are spotted with yellow, and the Belly with white. On the Tail there are dusky Spots and reddish Lines, especially towards the Corners. The Eyes are of a gold Colour, and seem to be sunk a little into the Head; and therefore the most commodious Way of holding him is, by putting the Fore-finger into one Eye, and the Thumb into the other. The Head and Gills are spotted ,with Variety of small Holes.

The great Lord Bacon, in his History of Life and Death, observes the Pike to be the longest lived of any of the fresh Water Fish, and yet he computes his Age not to be usually above Forty Years; others think it not to be above Ten Years. It is observed, that the very old and great Pike have in them more of Grandeur than Goodness; the smaller, especially the middle sized, being esteemed the best Meat, and the thicker, the firmer is the Flesh; the lean and slender, though longer, is commonly in a decaying Condition, by some Accident, Wound or Hurt.

A River Pike grows fast till he arrives at twenty-four, or near thirty Inches in length; then he stands a little more at stay, and spreads himself in thickness; afterwards he will be much longer growing to his full Bigness, which is about forty-five Inches from thirty Inches, than he was increasing to the said length of thirty Inches. Not but in the main a Pike that weighs more than twelve Pounds have generally a Sort of Rankness, as those that are under three Pounds are flabby and insipid; and the Male Pike is preferable to the Female.

They are in Season all the Year except in Spawning-time, and about six Weeks after it, which is in April or May, or sometimes sooner, if the Spring be forward; they retire into Brooks and Ditches, as is supposed, that other Fish may not devour their Spawn, and are prodigious Breeders, yet they ought not to be taken till August or September. Baltner reckoned no less than a hundred and forty eight thousand Eggs of Spawn in one Row.

February, March, April and May, therefore, are the worst Months, but especially March and April, for in part of the other Months, at least, they may be in pretty good Order, especially the Male, as the Female is out of Season a great Part of the Summer. The Pike's Flesh is whiter, finer, and every Way more excellent than that of a Carp.

The Hearts and Galls of this Fish are reported by Gosner to be very medicinal. He says, they stop Blood, abate Fevers, cure Agues, if taken upon the approaching of a Fit; the Dose is seven or eight Drops, in a Liquor prepared on purpose for that End ; they also oppose and expel the Infection of the Plague, and are many Ways useful for the Good of Mankind: But he also observes, that the biting of a Pike is venomous and hard to be cured. His Spawn provokes Stool, and is used for that Purpose by the Country People; and there is a small Stone in a Pike's Head that is looked upon to be good for helping Women's Labour, furthering their Terms, provoking Urine, purifying the Blood, expelling the Stone out of the Kidneys and Bladder, and for the Falling-sickness; you may prescribe from 25 Grains to a Dram of them.

The Pike being a Fish of Prey, breeds but once a Year, whereas other Fish that are liable to be destroyed, are observed to breed much oftener. Thus there are tame Pigeons who sit almost every Month, whilst the Hawk, a Bird of Prey, breeds but once in twelve Months. In this the Wisdom of Providence is very conspicuous, for its Care in the Preservation of every Species of Creatures.
{ You ought to chuse the Pike that is fat, well fed, whose Flesh is white, firm and short, that has been catched in Rivers, which is better than those in Ponds and muddy Places.

Pike or Pickerel, by the Statute of 1 Eliz. Cap. xvii. are not to be taken under sixteen Inches long, on forfeiture of 20s. the Fish, with the Net or Engine they are taken with.

The Pearch

The Pearch, which in Cumberland, is Pearcb, called the Barse, is generally, when full grown, about twelve or fourteen Inches long; sometimes, though but seldom, they attain to fifteen or sixteen.

This Fish is Hog-backed, and rather broad than otherwise. The Colour inclines a little to a dusky yellow, with five or six blackish Places like Girdles, proceeding from the Back towards the Belly. The Tail. is forked, the Scales are small, thick, hard, rough, drying much sooner than those of any other River Fish. The Iris of the Eye is of a yellow or gold Colour, the Mouth wide, and the Jaws very rough with small Teeth; on some Parts of the principal Back Fins there are black Spots, but the whole Fin next the Tail is yellow, and the Tail itself is reddish; the Belly Fins have sometimes, but not always, a Mixture of red and white; the Gills, as in almost all River Fish, are Quadruple.

The Pearch is so bold, that he will seize one of his own Kind, even more readily than the Pike, that Wolf of the fresh Waters. The Flesh is firm, and of an agreeable taste, of easy Digestion, and very wholesome; the Physicians allow him to be eaten by Persons in Fevers, and by Women in Childbed; but some say it is not quite so good in March and April, at which Time it Spawns; others say it does not Spawn till June or the Beginning of July, so consequently cannot be so delicious. The Germans say proverbially, More wholesome than a Pearch of the Rhine; and is much esteemed in Italy, especially when small. They have several small Stones in their Brain, which, in foreign Countries, are sold by the Apothecaries, who hold them to be very medicinal against the Stone in the Reins, and are of an opening Nature, dry up sharp Humours, and are outwardly applied for Ulcers in the Gums: And yet many affirm the Sea Perch, which is known by having but one Fin on his Back, to be a much better Fish: He is of a red, brown or blackish Colour, and smaller than the River-Pearch, and is to be found near the Rocks, where it preys on smaller Fish: And some think, that the Male of the River^Pearcb is to be distinguished from the Female, by the Fins being of a deeper red.

The River-Pearch spawns in March and April, at which Time he is not so delicious, and he is to be distinguished by the great and small Pearch; but both are excellent Victuals. You are to chuse those that are fat, well fed, middle aged, tender, yet firm and well tasted; and they should be such as are catched in clear fine Rivers.

The Carp

The Colour of the Carp, especially when full grown, is yellowish, the Scales are large, the Head short, and like that of Tench; the Mouth is of a middle Size; the Lips fat, fleshy and yellow. It is without Teeth, but there is a triangular Bone in the Palate, and two other Bones in the Throat, which serve for the same Purpose on the upper Lip; near the Corner of the Mouth, are two yellow Appendages, which may be called Mustachoes, from their Situation. The Fins are large, the Tail is broad, a little forked, and of a reddish Black. It has no Tongue, but in the room thereof, Nature hath provided a fleshy Palate, which being taken out, looks like one, which some say positively is one.

They Spawn several times in a Year, some say six Times, but the principal Times are in May and August,
{ Another Author says, he is best in March, May and June. }
in which Months they are lean and insipid, and consequently out of Season. The Females drop their Spawn as they swim along, and are generally followed by thirteen or fourteen Males, who impregnate it as it falls, yet a great deal of it perishes. They are in highest Esteem in April.

It grows, according to Rondeletius, sometimes to the Length of a Yard and a half, and a proportionable thickness, and Willoughby affirms the largest weigh to be about twenty Pounds: And some have been taken in the Thames, particularly one near Hampton-Court, that weighed thirteen Pound; and they breed more naturally in Ponds than in running Waters, not but the River Carp is esteemed much better than the Pond Carp.

One thing is observable in this Fish, and that is, that he lives the longest out of the Water of any other Fish; and Mr. Derham assures us, that in Holland they hang them up in a Cellar or other cool Place, in a small Net full of wet Moss, with only their Heads out, and feed them with white Bread soaked in Milk for many Days, and their Decay is as mysterious, for when sixty or more large Carps have been put into a Pond, where it was impossible they could be stole, at emptying of the same three or four Years afterwards, there has been never a young Carp remaining, but this must be owing, in all Appearance, to their being destroyed by Frogs.

The Carp was brought into England about one hundred sixty Years ago, by one Mr. Leonard Mascal, a Gentleman of Plumsted in Sussex, where he first brought them up.

Physicians make the Galls and the Stones in the Head of the Carp to be very medicinal, in provoking Urine, diminishing the Stones in the Kidneys and Bladder; they stop Looseness, and waste sharp and acid Humours. The Gall clears the Eye-sight; and in Italy great Profit is made of the Spawn of this Fish, by selling it to the Jews, who make it into red Cavear, they not being by their Law admitted to eat the Cavear made of Sturgeon, that being a Fish which wants Scales, and by them reputed to be unclean.

The Male Carp is better than the Female, the yellow better than the white; and being but a bony Fish, is thought by many to owe more of his Reputation to the elegant Manner of dressing him, than to his own intrinsick Worth; and, contrary to the Pike, they are the better for Age and Bigness; and their Tongues or Palates are excellent Meat which is the Reason why the Head is esteemed the best Part of it. So chuse those Carps which are large, fat, well fed, and not too young, and that have been catched in Rivers, rather than Ponds.

The Tench

The Tench is a short thick roundish Fish, and is about three times as long as broad; his Snout is s and blunt, his Mouth round, his Tail broad, but not forked, his Back is dark, his Sides green, mixed with a shining yellow, the Colour of the Gills is of a beautiful yellow; the Tail as well as the Fins of the Belly and Back, are blackish; the Scales are small, thin, and covered with a viscid Mucus, which makes him very slippery; but its supposed to have an healing Quality, and to cure the Wounds of other Fish, especially the Pike, who being either hurt or sick, is said to be cured by only touching him, from whence he is said to be his Physician. His Skin is thick, his Eyes are small, round, and a little prominent; the Iris red; he is a Still-water-fifh, and delights in Ponds more than Rivers; one Tench taken in a River is worth six taken in a Pond

In this Fish the Sex is easily distinguished; for the Fins on the Belly are much larger in the Male than in the Female, but the River Tench is greatly preferable to the Pond, not that its Flesh is in any great Esteem for its salutary Properties; for Physicians, with one Voice, forbid it to sick Persons, and yet the Taste of it is agreeable enough; but it is said to breed noxious Humours, and not to be very easy of Digestion. Mr. Walton says, that there are two little Pearls or Stones in every Tench's Head, which foreign Physicians make great use of to qualify Acids, stop Looseness, fortify the Stomach, provoke Urine, and also to drive the Stone out of the Kidneys and Bladder.

Their Time of Spawning is in June, or the Beginning of July, and they are in Season from the Beginning of September to the End of May, and will live a long Time out of Water.

They are generally met with in England about five or fix Pound weight, yet in some Countries they grow to twenty. You ought to chuse that Tench which is fat, tender, well fed; and its Taste is also more or less agreeable, as it has lived more or less in clear and running Waters.

The Barbel

The Barbel is a beautiful well-shaped Fish, with small Scales placed after a most exact and curious Manner. The Back is of an Olive Colour, the Belly Silver. It is speckled on the Back and Sides with small black Spots; his Make is long and roundish, and his Snout sharp; his Mouth is not large, but the upper Jaw is more prominent than the lower. He has four Barbs or Wattles, from whence he derives his Name, two near the Corners of his Mouth, and two higher, near the End of his Snout. The Eyes are small, looking downwards, with golden Iris's spotted with brown. In the Summer their Bellies are red.

The Flesh is soft and flabby, and in no great Esteem; the Spawn is very unwholsome, especially in the Month of May, purging both upwards and downwards, is surfeiting and dangerous, and those that eat thereof will frequently break out in Blotches and red Spots, and will loath their Meat, lose their Appetites, and be extremely disordered; and notwithstanding all this, yet it is sometimes taken by the Country People for a Purge or Vomit; his Liver is likewise unwholesome. The Male however is reputed much better than the Female, and their principal Season is September. The small are preferred to the large ones, as more easy of Digestion. The Liver of this Fish is much esteemed for its Taste, and the Head next.

Walton says, they Spawn in April, but later Writers affirm, that it is in August. They lay their Spawn in the Middle of the Stream, and grow in Season again in a Month or five Weeks time.

Their Size is from a Foot to a Foot and half long; the Sort which are usually met with, weigh about seven or eight Pounds, is bred in most Rivers, especially in the Thames, and as he cannot well endure Cold, retiring at the Approach of Winter from the swift Streams and shallow Waters to the more quiet and deep Parts of the River, where he spawns; he therefore in the Winter-time is but sick and languid, but in the Summer clean and sound. And whoever shall kill any Barbel under twelve Inches long, forfeits by the Statute 1 Eliz. Cap. xvii. the Sum of 20s. the Engine and Fish.

The Bream

The Bream, or by some the Broad Carp, is a large, broad, flat Fish, with a small Head and a sharp Snout. He has a sharp Hogback, and the lateral Lines run from the Gills towards the Belly, making an Arch, contrary to what appears in most other Fishes. The Back is of a bluish Black; the Sides and the Belly white, except the Fish is full grown and fat, for then his Sides are of a gold Colour, and the Belly reddish. The Scales are large, the Mouth small and void of Teeth, but instead thereof, there is a triangular Bone in the Palate; this last is soft and fleshy, as in the Carp. He has two Nostrils; and the Iris of the Eye is of a Silver Colour, and the Pupil is small: The Bream is much like unto the Carp, in divers Respects, as to Age, Place of Abode, Food, and his Effects. The Flesh of the Bream, is of no great Esteem, and yet makes no bad Dish, if well cooked. Those who would be thought Criticks in good Eating, prefer the Tail of a Pike; the Head of a Carp; the Back of a Tench, and the middle Part of a Bream; and some say, his Head is the next good Part of him: He is very scarce in Rivers, within twenty Miles of London.

The French esteem this Fish highly, and have this Proverb, concerning him,
That, he who hath Breams in his Pond, is able to bid his Friends welcome.

They spawn in May, and are in the highest Season, in March and April; and are by some thought to eat as well in September, as any Time. About the Time of Spawning, the Male is marked with white Spots about the Head, is observed to have two large Melts, and the Female, two large Bags of Spawn. They sometimes weigh with us, about ten or twelve Pounds.

Some say, that Breams and Roaches will mix their Eggs, and melt together; whence there is, in many Places, a Bastard Breed of Breams, that never come to be either large or good, but very numerous: As to the Sea Bream, I shall mention him hereafter.

There is another Sort pretty like a Carp, which we call a Dare; it differs from the other, in that it is whiter and flatter. It is also better tasted, and produces the same Effects; it is not altogether so common as a Carp.

The Sea Bream

The Sea-Bream is a flat scaly Fish, about twenty-six Inches long, and ten broad; the Tail is very small, and the Fin of it, long and forked; the Back is black, the Sides are of a lighter Colour, and the Belly is white.

The Flesh cuts red, and is of a very delicious Taste, far surpassing either the River or Pond-Bream; insomuch, that it seems allied to them in Nothing else, but the Name. It is often caught in Rock-Fishing; and is to be met with, on any Part of the British Coast.

The Chub or Chevin

The Chub is of a longer Make than a Carp, and has a larger and flatter Head than a Dare; the Back, is of an obscure green, like an unripe Olive; the Sides and Belly are of a Silver Colour, but in a well-fed, fullgrown Chub, they incline to that of Gold, speckled with black; the Temples are yellowish, and the Head is of a very dark Colour. The Scales are as large as those of Carp, the Mouth is void of Teeth, and not large; the lower Jaw is shorter than the upper; the Palate is soft, and furnished with a triangular Bone, the Nostrils are large, the Eyes middling, and the Iris seems to partake of the Colour, both of Gold and Silver, the Tail is forked, and the lateral Lines run parallel to the Bottom of the Belly.

They spawn in May, { Others say, they spawn in March, as that he is in Season, from the Middle of Mayj, unto Michaelmas: Also that his Spawn is excellent. }
in sandy or gravelly Places, and in the very Midst of the Stream. They are most in Season in the Spring, while they are full of Spawn. Walton and his Transcribers, say, he spawns in March, and that they are accounted best in Winter, it being observed, that the forked Bones are then lost, or turned into a Kind of Gristle, especially if he be baked; also that the Spawn of this Fish is excellent Meat, and the Head of a large Chevin, the Throat being well washed, is the best Part of him: Likewise, that there is as great a Difference between a Chub newly taken and dressed, and one of a Day's Keeping, after he is dead, as between Cherries newly gathered from a Tree, and others that have been bruised, and lain a Day or two in Water.

They are sometimes to be caught of about eight or nine Pound's Weight, and the Flesh in General, of little Esteem; the Flesh being but soft and insipid: The Chub recovers Strength and Growth in Season, in a Month after Spawning.

The Eel

The Eel is much in the Shape of a Serpent or Snake, both in Make and Motion, and hath a long smooth Body, moistened all over, with a viscous Liquor, which renders it very slippery; it has no Scales, but is covered with a Skin, which is easily taken off; the Back is of a dusky Colour, the Sides of a whitish blue, and the Belly somewhat lighter. Those that inhabit clear, running Water, are of the brightest shining Colour, and are usually called Silver Eels: The Mouth is pretty wide, and full of Teeth; the upper Jaw is a little more prominent than the Lower; the Eyes are whitish, the Vent is nearer the Head than the Tail; it has four small Gills, covered with the Skin.

There are four Sorts of Eels: The Silver Eel; the Greenish, or Greg-Eel; the Red-finned Eel; and the Blackish-Eel, the last has a broader, flatter and larger Head than the rest, and is counted the worst: But whether these Distinctions are Essential or Accidental, will admit of a Doubt. In the Thames, the Fishermen give them particular Names, but the most usual are, the Silver-Eel, and the Greig: This last is thicker and shorter than the other Sort, and of a darker Colour.

Near Gloucester and Tewksbury, there are a Sort of diminutive Eels, which they call Elvers; and are thought to be young Congers: These are taken in such Quantities, that they make a Sort of Cakes of them, which eat prettily enough, when fryed.

The Eel was in the highest Esteem among the Romans, who thought her the Paragon of their Feasts, and is universally allowed at this Day, to be a delicious Fish, being always in Season; but their best Time is in the Winter, and their worst in May. They have very sweet Flesh, fat, white, pleasant and nourishing; and are more wholsome roasted than boiled, because they are thereby, more divested of their Viscous Phlegm, than by the other Way.

It is said, that those Eels which are bred in Rivers that communicate with the Sea, never return to the fresh Waters when they have once tasted the Salt; which is the more probable, because powdered Beef is a most excellent Bait to catch an Eel. It is granted, that Eels, during the six cold Months in the Year, move not up nor down, either in Rivers or Pools, but get into the soft Earth, or Mud; and there many of them get together, and bed themselves, and live without Feeding upon any Thing. The Fat of Eel is looked upon to be good to take away the Signs of the Small-Pox in the Face; to cure the Piles, and to make the Hair to grow; it is also put into the Ears, to help your Hearing. They make a Kind of Mucilage, of Eel's, Skins, by steeping and boiling it in Water, which is applied to Swellings, in Order to the softning and dissolving of them. It is also good for Hernias.

How Eels are to be sold in Barrels, packed, imported, sold, &c. Vide Stat. 22 Edw. IV. Cap. ii. 11 Hen. VII. Cap, xxiii. 5 Eliz. Cap. v. 32 Car. II. Cap. ii. Sect. 7. 10 and 11 Wil. III. Cap. xxiv.

The Lamprey or Lampern

The Lampern is a River Fish, about five or six Inches long, the Back of a greyish Black, the Belly of a lively Silver Colour, the Mouth is round, and furnished with six or seven Teeth; on the Top of the Head there is a Holt, as in the Cetaceous Kind: For as the Mouth, when the Lamprey adheres to a Rock, or Stone, is entirely shut, there is a Necessity for a Hole to take in the Water, which is discharged again by the Gills, or the seven Holes placed on each Side, near the Head, the Eyes are of a palish yellow, the Belly rises and falls much in the fame Manner, as in Animals that breath.

The River Lamprey, contrary to the Manner of other Fish, procreate their Species with their Bellies joined together.

The Flesh is of a soft glutinous Nature, and is generally eaten potted; their Time of Spawning is in April.

There is another sort of this fish called the Blind Lamprey, which is small, round, like a large Dew-Worm, or LobWorm. The Mouth is round, and always open, but it has neither Teeth, nor Tongue. It has a Hole on his Head, and seven on each Side, instead of Gills, as in the other Species.

Of the Lamprey-Eel

This is of the same Shape, but of a larger Size than the Lamprey, for it is sometimes taken in the Severn, three Feet long. The Skin is of a blackish Colour, and full of palish Angular Spots; it is tough, but yet not taken off, when dressed, as in Eels.

They live chiefly in the Sea, which they leave the Beginning of Spring, and come into the Rivers to spawn, where they are found in great Plenty: After which, they return with their Young, to their former Place again and at a certain Time prefixed. Their highest Season is in March, when they first enter the Rivers, and are full of Spawn, which they deposite in April, in Holes they make in gravelly Bottoms. In short, they resemble a Lamprey in all Things, and are more easy of Digestion than an Eel, and best to be eaten in the Spring, when they are tender and delicious, whereas at other Times they are hard, tough, and have but little Taste.

The Conger or Sea-Eel

The Conger is a very long Fish, being sometimes two Yards, or two Yards and a Half long, and of the Thickness of a Man's Thigh. It is made much like an Eel, but is larger, of a lighter Colour, has bigger Eyes, of a Silver Hue; and has, at the very End of his Snout two small Horns or Tubes.

The Flesh is very white and sweet, but not easy of Digestion. It was greatly esteemed by the Antients, and does not want its Advocates among the Moderns, especially, when it is fried.

The young Fry of this Fish, are called Elvers, in Gloucestershire, where they are taken in great Plenty, out of the River Severn, in the Night-time; and are made in Cakes, and sold in that Form.

If Congers taken by Foreigners, are imported, they are seizeable, 18 Car. II. Cap. 2. See also Statute 1 Geo. I. Cap. 18, and 9 Geo. II, Cap. 33; about the Importation and Sale hereof.

The Eel-Pout

The Eel-Pout has a smooth, soft, slippery Body, like an Eel, especially the Belly. It has either no Scales, or they are exceeding small; its Colour is blackish, which is easily wiped off; and then there appears underneath, a Mixture of yellow, white and black. They are chiefly to be met with, in the Trent; they spawn in December, their usual Length is about fourteen or fifteen Inches; and commonly weigh, from two or three Pounds to seven or eight. Their Places of Resort, are the same as the Eel, if within the Reach of the Tide. His Flesh is good, and sweet, and greatly esteemed, except the Roe, which is very unhealthy; and the Cook should take great Care to put it away, when they gut the Fish, and not dress it with the rest; for otherwise, it will cause great Pains In the Stomack, and work violently upwards and downwards; it agrees in Summer-time, with any Age or Constitution. You are to chuse an Eel-pout, that is large, fat, old enough, tender, and delicious, and that hath been catched in clear and running Waters; it cannot bear the Cold, and therefore, is not in fat, nor pleasing to the Taste in Winter, as in Summer; and is preferable to an Eel.

The Roach.

The Roach or Rochet, is a less Fish than a Bream, and about one Third as broad as it is long. The Back is of a dusky Colour and sometimes bluish, but the Belly pale. The Iris of the Eyes, as well as the Tail and Fins, are red, the lateral Lines run parallel to the Belly, and the Tail is forked; about the Gills, it is of a Gold Colour; the Mouth is round, but void of Teeth, it being a Leathermouthed Fish. He is but a course bony Fish, of no great Reputation for his Taste, and his Spawn is accounted much better than any other Part of him, the largest seldom exceeds twelve Inches. His Spawning-time, is the Middle of May or in the Beginning of June, when he is scabby and unwholesome; but, both he and the Dace recover Strength, and grow in Season in about three Week's Time. They breed both in Rivers and Ponds, and though the Pond-Roach are largest; yet those caught in Rivers, are the best Fish.

The Roach is easy of Digestion, produces good Juice; it is likewise nourishing, restorative, recovers decayed Strength, promotes Seed, and is looked upon to be good to stop a Looseness: It agrees, especially in Wintertime, with any Age and Constitution. You ought to chuse Roaches that are tender, fresh, plump, and well tasted.

The Barbott

Is a small River Fish, that lives upon Mud, and Slime, yields pretty good Nourishment, and easy enough of Digestion; yet is a little too soft and viscous: The Roe of it, as well as the Eel-Pout, is not to be eaten, for it will work with you upwards and downwards. Its Liver is well tasted, and very large in Proportion to the Bigness of the Part of his Body. Some Authors assure us, that there is no other but this Part of this Fish that is good to be eaten; besides it is alledged by the nice Palates, to taste of the Ordure with which it is fed. In the Choice of this Fish, take that which is well fed, tender, delicious, and well tasted.

The Rud or Finscale

The Rud, or broad Roach, is broader than a Carp, and thicker than a Bream. This Fish seems to partake not only of the Carp, but of the Bream and Roach, but preferable to either. Its Colour is of a dusky Yellow, and its Scales are as large as those of a Carp, the Tail is of a light, and the BellyFins of a dark Red; the Nostrills are double; on both Sides, the Iris of the Eyes is yellow, speckled with black; the Teeth and Palate, are like those of a Carp, and its usual Size is from twelve to sixteen Inches long.

It is a Fish in great Esteem, is always in Season, and consequently fit to eat.

The Time of Spawning is in April, and then it is at the worst, the Signs of which are white Spots about the Head of the Males. At this Time, they likewise feel more rough, and swim in Shoals, casting their Spawn among the Weeds, that grow in the Water. The greatest Weight is about two Pounds, and are chiefly found in Yorkshire, Norfolk, and Oxfordshire.

The Dace, or Dare

The Dace or Dare is not unlike a Chub, but is Dare proportionably less; his Body more white and flatter; and his Tail more forked. The Iris of his Eyes is not so yellow, and the Tail and Back-Fins not so black, but they are spotted with that Colour; the rest of the Fins are not so red. He is not so broad as a Roach, and is a Leather-mouthed Fish.

He breeds almost in all Rivers, is a brisk Fish, swims swiftly like a Dart, from whence he takes his Name. He seldom exceeds ten Inches in Length.

The Flesh of a Dare is sweet, soft, and of good Nourishment, but in no great Esteem: Not, but if they are scorched and broiled, when first taken, they eat sweeter, and are more palatable than a fresh Herring.

They spawn the latter End of February and March, but generally in March; and are fit to eat in April and May, but their highest Season is in September: Some also affirm, that they spawn twice a Year, without, mentioning in which Month they spawn the second Time. Certain it is, however, that small and middlesized Dace, have been taken at the latter End of October, and Beginning of November, all full of Melts and Roes; and those Fish have usually a finer Flavour, than any taken in the Summer, and the Dace grows in Season in about a Fortnight or three Weeks Time after Spawning.

The Gudgeon

The Gudgeon is generally five or six Inches long, of a smooth Body, with very small Scales; the Back of it is dark, but the Belly pale; there are about nine or ten black Spots, placed along the lateral Lines, from the Head to the Tail; besides, there are some small ones here and there, in other Parts of the Body, without any Regularity. The Iris of the Eye is white; the Mouth without Teeth, but on the Palate, is a triangular Bone, which serves in their Stead, and is of a fine Shape.

His Flesh is very well tasted, of easy Digestion, produces Urine, and is very nourishing, insomuch, that some think it no Ways inferior to the Smelt, the whiter he is the better, and when in Perfection, well deserves the Name of the River-Smelt; and those bred in clear running Water, are the best.

He spawns twice a Year; the first Time, about the latter End of March, and in April, as the Weather proves warmer in the Spring, and the second Time in November; some say oftner, and are in Season, most Part of the Year. There is a Fish, called a Sea-Gudgeon, which, though it is of a good Taste, and Juice enough, yet is little used.

The Pope or Ruff

The Pope, by many called a Ruff, from the Roughness of his Body; is not known to be in some Rivers. He is much like a Pearch in his Shape, and taken to be better, being exceeding well tasted, when largest, it seldom exceeds six Inches. He is all over rough, and hath sharp and prickly Fins, which he erects, when angry; his Back of a brown dusky Colour, but his Sides of a pale Yellow: The upper Part of his Eyes are brown, the Lower yellow and the Pupil black; the Tail is forked.

The Time of Spawning is in April; though he is small, yet he is very good and sweet Eating.

The Bleak.

The Bleak, or fresh Water Sprat, is a Bleak very small, fat, pleasant Fish, scarcely ever attaining to be six Inches long; his Body is covered with thin Silver Scales, which easily come off; he is of a more slender and flatter Make than a Chub, and his Head is proportionably less; he has large Eyes, and the lower Part of the Iris is spotted with red.

They are to be met with in great Plenty, in all our Rivers, and are reckoned to be chiefly in Season in Autumn; the Flesh is sweet, nourishing and pleasant, but little sought after, because of the Diminutive Size. The Sea Bleak is preferred to the River, because the latter are said to be sometimes mad in Summer, occasioned by a flat-jointed long Worm, which breeds in their Heads (some say Stomacks). Mr. Walton, upon a Presumption that our Bleaks and Anchovies are the same Fish, says, that this Fish would not be so much neglected, had we the Skill the Italians have, of turning them into Anchovies.

The Minnow or Penk

The Minnow is twice as small as a Gudgeon, its greatest Length about three Inches; the Body is oblong and smooth, the Back of a dark Olive; the Scales are so exceeding small, that some have affirmed they have none; the Eyes are moderate large; the Tail forked. They cast their Spawn in April in sandy and gravelly Fords. He is usually caught for a Bait for Perch, Pike, &c. and begins to make his Appearance in March, and continues visible till Michaelmas, when he retires to the Mud, Weeds, and woody Places for Security, as does the Loach and Bullhead, and is in Season from March to Michaelmas, except immediately after Spawning time. It is usually full of Spawn, breeds often, and is not inferior to any Fish for its Excellency of Taste.

The Loach.

The Loach resembles a Gudgeon in Colour; its Body is smooth, soft and slippery, with no discernable Scales. The Head, Back, Fins and Tail, are spotted with Black, in other Parts it is of a dirty Yellow, like Freckles. It has Barbs or Wattles, like the Barbel. It is a delicate Fish, though but very small, and it is very wholesome eating.

Its usual Size is about four Inches; it was formerly accounted a great Delicacy, and now is commonly swallowed alive, as being a great Restorative. They begin to spawn in April among the Weeds; but as they do not all spawn at the same time, they are always in Season.

The Bull-head or Miller's Thumb

The Bull-Head is generally about four or five Inches long, has a large deformed Head, Eyes small and so placed as to look upward, Mouth large, Back yellow, with three or four Strokes of Black, and the Body without Scales.

They are a sweet Fish and agreeable to the Taste. They Spawn in March, and are in best Season when they are full of Spawn, as most other Fishes are. They begin to Spawn about April; and its Vent is so full of Spawn, that they are swelled almost into the Form of a Dug.

The Stickleback or Sharpling

The Stickleback is flat bodied, sharp nosed, and about two Inches and a quarter long; has three sharp Prickles on his Back, and two on his Belly, from whence he derives his Name. His Belly is always full of Spawn, is good for little but to make Sport in Summer for Boys and Women Anglers, and to feed Fish of Prey, as the Pike, &c. But it is providential, that both this Fish, as well as the Minnow, Loach, and Bull-head, breed both often and numerous, and soon arrive to full Growth and Perfection, as they are Prey as well as Bait to other Fish.


Thus have I given a Description of the several Sorts of Fish which inhabit the River of Thames westwards, (or above) London Bridge; I shall, in the next Place mention, first, some of that Species of Fish, which, though bred in the Sea, and properly Inhabitants of the Salt Waters, are frequently, nay, some of them constantly, taken in the said River, as well above as below the said Bridge, such as the Flounder, Smelt, Shad, &c. and, Secondly, the other Sorts of Salt Water Fish, which are either caught in the said River, within the Jurisdiction of the Lord Mayor of London, or brought to be sold at Billingsgate Market.

The Flounder.

The Flounder, or Fluke, is in shape much like a Plaice, only the Body is somewhat longer, and when it is full grown it is thicker; the Colour of a dirty Olive; sometimes they are beautifully spotted; but you rarely meet with these, except far up the River. The Scales are exceeding small, and adhere so closely to the Skin, that there is no perceiveable Roughness on it; the Eyes are of the Right-side, and are of the same Colour as the Body, only a little more grey, and the Mouth is small.

The Flounder is both a River and Sea-fish; but the former are not so black, and are more soft than the latter; but this Difference seems to arise only from the Nature of their Food. The Flesh is white, soft, innocent and nourishing, and is always best when most firm; nay, it is so innocent and nurtrative, that Physicians order them to be given to sick Persons when their Stomachs cannot digest any other Food: On such Occasions, those that are taken in the fresh Water are the best. Their Taste is much like that of a Plaice, from which it differs but little in any Respect. They allay the sharp Humours of the Breast, and open the Body. The best Plaice has the blackest Spots on their Backs, and the best Flounders the reddest; and as the latter are by some thought to have no Scales, he is not eaten by the Jews; and when you chuse a Flounder, you may know the freshest and best by their being stiff, their Eyes not sunk, or looking dull, and then they are white, tender, fresh, and agreeable to the Taste.

They are in Season all the Year except in June and July, which is their Time of Spawning, and then they are sick, flabby, and unwholesome, and infested with Worms which breed in their Backs.

If any Person brings to shore, sells, or offers to sell, &c., any Flounder, not being seven Inches long from the Eyes to the Extent of the Tail, forfeits by the Statute 1 Geo. I. Cap. xviii. not only 20s. but the Fish.

The Smelt

The Smelt is a Fish for shape not much unlike a Trout, only longer in Proportion, to its bigness. Its common Size is about six Inches, sometimes they are to be met with nine Inches long. The Back is of a dusky Colour, but the Belly and Sides shine like Silver; the Body is covered with Scales, which fall off with the least Touch; the Skull is so transparent, that the Lobes of the Brain may be distinctly seen through it; the Eyes are of a silver Colour.

The Flesh is soft and tender, and of a delicate Taste, yields pretty good Nourishment, and is easy of Digestion. It is looked upon to be Opening, and good for the Stone and Gravel: It is so highly esteemed, that they are oftentimes sold at an extravagant Price. All Writers on this Fish affirm, that it has the Smell of a Violet; but the vulgar Opinion would have it to be that of a Cucumber.

It is a Fish of Passage, and visits the Thames, and other great Rivers, twice a Year, that is, in March and August: In the first of these Months they generally advance up the River as high as Richmond, but in the last, they make a stand about Blackwall or Greenwich.

You are to chuse a Smelt that is fair, shining, of a Pearl Colour, soft, tender, delicious, juicy, and smelling like a Violet.

The Shad

The Shad is in Shape much like a Herring, but a little broader; it grows to the Length of a Foot and half, and is of a bluish Black on the Back, and the Belly and Sides of a Silver Colour, and the Eyes and Mouth are large.

They usually enter the River Thames in February or March, when they are fat, and full of Spawn, where they stay till June or July; they are lean, dry and ill tasted, when they come first out of the Sea; but after they have been some little Time in fresh Water, they grow fat, plump and savoury.

They find a Pearl in the Head of this Fish, which is looked upon to be good for curing of Quartan Agues, expelling Stones in the Kidneys and Bladder, working by Urine, and consuming acid Humours. It is also pretended, that the Stomach of a Shad dried and reduced into a Powder, if taken inwardly, fortifies the Stomach, but Shads not fresh have a Sharpness that doth a little incommode the Gums, and causes Thirst.

You are to chuse those that are fresh, plump, tender, well tasted, and have been catched in fresh Water, which are much preferable to those caught in the salt Water.

The Flesh is well enough tasted, but it is so full of small Bones, that it is little valued for that Reason. He also nourishes and causes Sleepiness

The Sturgeon

And as the Sturgeon is oftentimes caught in this River about the time that Shads come therein, I shall be so free with him, though a Royal Fish, as to place and describe him next.

The Sturgeon is a long and pentagenous Fish, that is, it has five Rows of Scales, which divide the Body into as many Angles. The Belly is plain and fiat; the upper Row of Scales, which is in the Middle of the Back, are larger, and rise higher than the rest. The Number of these is not determinate, being in some eleven, in others twelve or thirteen; this Row reaches to the Back-Fin, and there terminates. The Head is of a moderate Size, and rough, with very small Prickles, as is the rest of the Body between the Rows of Scales. The Eyes are very small in proportion to the Bulk of this Fish, and of a Silver Colour. The Snout is long, broad and slender, ending in a Point. In the Middle of the lower Part of the Snout, which is extended behind the Mouth, there are four Barbs or Wattles placed in a Right Line, which crosses the Snout traversely. The Mouth is small, void of Teeth, and placed over-against the Eyes; it is a kind of a small Pipe, which he can thrust out and draw in at Pleasure. He has no Jaws; whence it is plain he takes no Nourishment but by sucking; the Tail is forked. The Colour of this Fish is of a dusky Olive, or dark Grey on the Back, but on the Belly of a Silver Colour, and the Middle Part of the Scales is White.

{ The greatest Sturgeon Fishery in the World is in the Mouth of the Volga, in the Caspian Sea, where the Muscovites find Employment for a great Number of Men. The chief Object of this Fishery is the Roe or Spawn, which which is a Commodity as much used in Muscovy as Butter in Holland: And there are Sturgeons that furnish Four hundred Pounds thereof. It is only the lesser and younger Sturgeon that they Pickle for eating. }

which is a Commodity as much used in Muscovy as Butter in Holland: And there are Sturgeons that furnish Four hundred Pounds thereof. It is only the lesser and younger Sturgeon that they Pickle for eating.

They are brought daily to the Markets of Venice and Rome, whence its evident they abound in the Adriatick and Tuscan Seas; but they are all small, as indeed they all are that keep constantly in the salt Waters. In the Rivers they increase to a monstrous Size, some having been taken from fourteen to eighteen Feet long.

Of the Spawn of this Fish there is made a Sort of Edible, which they call Cavear or Kavia, and is a considerable Merchandize among the Turks, Greeks and Venetians. It is likewise in high Esteem throughout Muscovy; and has lately been introduced on the English Table.

You are to chuse that Sturgeon which is young, well fed, as tender as may be, and catched in Rivers: They are very nourishing, and good and lasting Food. They open the Body of this Fish a little, and the Bones being reduced to Powders and taken to the Quantity of a Dram, are looked upon to be Opening, good for Rheumatism and the Gravel.

The Bass

The Bass is shaped pretty much like a Salmon; the Colour on the Back is of a dark dirty Blue, on the Belly, Silver: When young, they have black Spots on the Back and Lateral Lines, which, as they increase in Bulk, quite vanish: They sometimes grow to the Length of a Yard, and upwards; yet, according to some, are thought to be of a large Size, when they weigh fifteen Pounds. The Scales are of a middling Size, thick, and adhere very closely. The Eyes are large and of a Silver Colour, with dark cloudy Spots; a small Circle next the Pupil is yellow.

It is a very voracious Fish, and yet the Flesh, is of a good Flavour, and very wholesome. They will live either in the Sea, Rivers or Ponds; but the Sea-Bass are the best, and next to them are those taken in the Mouth of large Rivers.

If any Person brings to Shore, or sells or exposes to sale any Bass under twelve Inches in Length, from the Eyes to the Extent of the Tail, forfeits by Statute 1 Geo. I. Cap. xviii. the Sum of 20s. and the Fish.

The Mullet

The Mullet, a Salt-water Fish, in shape much like a Dare, has a flat Head, and a sharp Snout, and large Scales not only on the Body, but on the Covers of the Gills and Part of the Head; the Back of a dirty Green, the Belly White, the Sides painted with alternate Streaks of white and black from Head to Tail, the Eyes of a Silver Colour, and the Tail forked.

The Flesh is well tasted, delicate and much admired: During the Summer Season they come into the Rivers which lie contiguous with the Sea, as oft as the Tide flows and returns with it; they abound chiefly along the Southern and South West Parts of England opposite to France.

When he is largest his Size is about a Foot and a half long.

The River Ax, in the County of Devon, about two Miles below the Town of Axminster, yields vast Quantities of them every Time the Tide flows.

He is said to live upon Weeds and Mud; however, it is certain he abstains from Fish.

If any Person brings to Shore, or sells or offers to sale any Mullet under twelve Inches long, from the Eyes to the Extent of the Tail, forfeits by the Statute 1 Geo. I. Cap. xviii. the Sum of 20s. and the Fish and Nets.

The Italians make a Pickle with the Spawn, which they call Botargoe.

The Plaice

The Plaice is a Fish extremely flat; sometimes we meet with them the Length of a Foot and seven Inches broad.

The upper Part is of a dirty Olive, painted with round Spots of a Vermilion Dye; the lower Part is white. This is a scaly Fish, but the Scales are so small, and are in a Manner concealed in hollow Cavities, insomuch that it requires no little trouble to separate them. The Eyes are prominent, very near together, and placed on the Right Side to the Left of the Mouth; the Tail long and roundish at the End; at the upper Edge of the Coverings of the Gills, are planted seven bony Tubercles.

This Fish is every where to be met with.

The Flesh is soft, sweet, pleasant and wholesome, and by some thought of equal Goodness with the Sole. It is nourishing cnough, digests easily, produces good juice, allays the sharp Humouts of the Breast, and opens the Belly.

You are to chuse those that are fresh, tender, white,soft and agreeable to the Taste. The Plaice and Flounder are both of the same Kind, only the first is bigger than the latter.

If any Person brings to Shore, sells or exposes to sale, &c. any Plaice, not being eight Inches from the Eyes to the Extent of the Tail, forfeits by Statute 1 Geo. I. Cap. xviii. not only 20s. but the Fish also.

The Dab

The Dab is a little thicker than a Plaice, but much about the same Size. He is a scaly Fish, and the Scales are large for one of this Kind; his Eyes are situated like the Plaice, his Mouth of a middle Size, and the Colour of his upper Part is of a dirty Olive, with a reddish Cast, and speckled with Spots of a dusky yellow.

It differs from a Plaice, in being thicker, in having larger Scales, in having no Tubercles near the Head, in wanting the Vermilion Spots, though some have Yellow ones.

This Fish is frequently met with in all Parts of the Sea that surround our Coast.

The Flesh is firmer, and is thought to be better relished than that of a Plaice.

Dabs are not to be taken or sold under the same Assize as the Plaice. Vide Plaice.

The Sole

The Sole is a flat longish Fish, in shape much like the Soal of a Shoe, from whence it derives its Name. The upper Part is of a dark Ash-colour, and the lower White. The Scales are very small; the Corners of the Mouth are rough, with a Sort of small Bristles or Hairs. The Body is surrounded with short Fins, which on the upper Edge begin near the Eyes, and are continued to the Tail; on the lower Edge it proceeds from the Tail to the Vent, which is placed near the Head. The Eyes are situated in the Left Side of the Head, and are small, round and covered with a loose Skin; the Pupils are small and of a shining Green; the Tail round.

The Flesh is more firm and solid than that of a Plaice; it is nourishing and easy of Digestion; and for Sweetness of Taste, the Plenty of Nourishment it affords, and the Goodness of its Juice, far exceeds it: There are few Fish that have such exquisite Taste, and at the same time so wholesome.

The Head of this Fish being dried and reduced to a Powder, is looked upon to be good for the Stone, Gravel and Scurvy.

You should chuse the Sole that is tender, fresh, firm, white, dainty, and well tasted.

If any Person shall bring to Shore, sell or expose to sale, any Sole under eight Inches in Length, from the Eyes to the Extent of the Tail, forfeits by the Statute 1 Geo. I. Cap. xviii. the Sum of 20s. and the Fish.

The Turbot or Brett.

This Fish in the Southern Parts of England is called a Turbot, but in the Northern a Brett.

The Size of this Fish seldom exceeds a Yard in Length, nor two Feet and a half in Breadth: Though he has no Scales, he has a rough granulated Skin full of exceeding small Prickles, placed without Order on the upper Part; the Colour of the same Part is Ash, diversified with a great Number of black Spots, some of which are large, others small, the lower Part is white.

The Mouth is proportionably wider than that of a Plaice; the Eyes are placed on the left Side, or, to speak more intelligibly, on the right Side of the Mouth; there is likewise more Distance between them.

It is taken frequently in the British and German Ocean, and is the largest of all this Kind of Fish, except the Halybut.

The Flesh is white, firm, delicate, and wholesome, far excelling the Plaice, and all other Fish that resemble it in Shape; nay, it is so highly esteemed by some, as to be preferred before all the Inhabitants of the Water: The Flesh is also nourishing enough, pectoral, good to qualify the sharp Humours of the Breast, and to open the Body.

It is a Fish of Prey, and lives upon others, particularly Crabs, which it is a great Enemy to; for which Reason it lies near the Mouths of Creeks and great Rivers; you are to chuse this Fish whilst it is fresh, firm, white, tender and juicy.

Persons bringing to Shore, selling or exposing to Sale any Turbot not sixteen Inches long from the Eyes to the Tail, forfeits by Statute 1 Geo. I. Cap. xviii. both the Fish and 20s. and this- Act (Sect. 10.) allows this Fish to be imported by any Person, and sold in Great Britain, whether of Foreign or British catching, as before the 10 & 11 Will. III. Cap. xxiv.

The Pearl, or Brill, or Lug-aleaf

The Pearl differs from a Plaice much in the same Manner as a Turbot, that is in not having any rough Lines at the Root of the Fins which surround it; in having the Eyes placed on the Left-side, to the Right of the Mouth, and farther distant from each other: Likewise in having the Back-Fin taking its Rise nearer the Mouth.

This Fish is covered with Scales, but they are very small; and this distinguishes him from others of the same Kind: The Body is of an Ash Colour, and neither rough nor prickly: The Tail is round, in other Things it resembles a Turbot.

Any Person bringing to shore, selling, or exposing to Sale any Brill or Pearl, not fourteen Inches long from the Eyes to the Tail, forfeits by Statute 1 Geo. I. Cap. xviii. the Sum of 20s. and the Fish.

The Halybut

The Halybut is the largest of all Flat Fish, that we are acquainted with. It exceeds the Turbot greatly, and is of a longer Make; one of these Fish of a Yard long, is about half a Yard broad. The upper Part of his Body, is of a dusky Green, almost black; the Scales are small, and there is no Roughness on the upper Part, nor Prickles at the Root of the Fins; the Eyes are placed on the right Side, or to the Left of the Mouth; the Fins at a greater Distance from the Head, than other Flat-Fish.

It is found in the German and British Ocean, and likewise in the Irish Sea; it is thought to be nearly as good as a Turbot, for the Fineness of its Taste.

The Skate or Flare

The Skate is a gristly Fish, with a flat, smooth, and very broad Body; it grows to a very large Size, for some have been taken that have weighed one-hundred Pounds. The Colour, on the upper Part is a pale Ash, very much spotted with black; the under Part is white, and speckled pretty thick, likewise with small black Spots; the Snout is short and sharp; the Sides terminate in Fins; the Males are distinguished by small Prickles on both Sides the broad Part of the Fins, which are wanting in the Females.

All Fish of this Sort, when first taken, have a rankish Taste, which by keeping a little vanishes. They are most in Season in the Winter; for then they do not smell so strong, and their Taste is more pleasant. They are very common on all the Sea Coasts of Great Britain, Biscay and Galicia.

The Maid

This Fish does not at all differ from the former, but in Age; for a Maid is nothing else, but a young Skate; his Flesh is more sweet, tender, and fitter for the Table, than the Skate, which Qualities are owing to its Youth alone.

The Thornback or Ray

The Thornback is in Shape almost square and yet a traverse Line drawn from Corner to Corner, is longer than one from the Head to the Root of the Tail, so that in one Sense, this Fish is broader than it is long; he has no Scales, but is covered with a viscous Liquor, which renders it very slippery; its upper Part is of a dusky Colour, but pretty full of round white Spots; the under Part is entirely white. In the Middle of its Back, to the very End of the Tail, is a Row of thirty Prickles, or Thorns, from whence it has gained the Name of Thornback. The lower Part of the Tail is smooth, but on each Side, are two other Rows of Prickles, the former Part of which are placed obliquely, and the latter horizontally: And though the Prickles are often thus disposed, yet we may often see them in much greater Numbers, and differently placed, nay some have had Thorns upon their Belly.

They are found in the like Places, as the Skate, and their Flesh is much of the same Taste, but is somewhat more hard of Digestion; the Liver is accounted a great Dainty among some: The Tbornback is nourishing enough, and affords both a solid and durable Food. Some pretend, that it provokes Venery, and increases Seed; but its Flesh is hard and not easy of Digestion, causes Wind, and produces heavy and gross Humours, especially if eaten before you let it lie for some Time. They are to be chosen, when they are plump, and as tender.

Their Teeth being brayed in a Mortar, may be used to dry up Acid Matters, as well as Crab's Eyes, and all other Alkalis.

Their Gall is also good for Distempers of the Ears; and Rondelet much magnifies the Liver, as being very good against the Itch.

The Whiting

The Whiting is one of the smallest of this Kind of Fish, it being but seldom met with, above a Foot long; it is a slender Fish for the Size, especially towards the Tail, for about the Head, the Make is considerably larger; the Belly is white, and the Back much whiter than in any other of this Sort, from whence, it derives the Name of Whiting; the Fins below the Vent are speckled with black; it has no Barb; the Scales are small, the Eye large, and covered with a transparent loose Skin; the under Jaw is longer than the upper, insomuch that when the Mouth is shut, the long Crooked Teeth stand out of it; but those within the Mouth are small.

The Flesh is sweet, tender, and in universal Esteem, being pretty nourishing, easy of Digestion, and so light on the Stomach, that sick Persons may eat it.

In some Parts of England and Holland, they take out the Guts of these Fish, and then dry them, by which Means, they may be kept a considerable Time: They eat pretty enough.

If a Person brings to Shore, sells, or offers to sell any Whiting, not being six Inches in Length, from the Eyes to the End of the Tail, forfeits, by Statute 1 Geo. I. Cap. xviii. the Sum of twenty Shillings, and also such Fish; which said Statute, likewise prohibits Foreigners of foreign Ships importing the same to, or selling them in England; see also 9 Geo. II. Cap. xxxiii.

The Whiting you are to chuse, should be fat, tender, short and light. They find small oblong Pearls in the Head of a Whiting, which are of an opening Nature, good for the Cholick in the Back, to expel the Stone out of the Bladder and Kidneys, and to stop a Looseness; they bray them in a Mortar, and the Dose is, from ten Grains to forty.

There is another Sort of Whiting, not above seven Inches long, which is very common in the Mediterranean Sea; and is called by the Venetians, Mollo, but by the People of Marseilles, Capelan; and is probably, the same Fish which our Countrymen corruptly call Capelin, and which they catch upon the American Coast, for a Bait in Cod-Fishing. It is of a darker Colour than a common Whiting, and has a Barb at his Nose, like a Cod. The Flesh is very soft, tender and nourishing.

The Whiting-Pout

The Whiting-Pout is remarkably broad, in Proportion to its Length, by which it is distinguished from all other Fish of this Kind; the Edges of the Tail and Fins, are black.

The Size of this Fish, is generally about eleven Inches long, and three and a half broad. It has small Scales, and is of a Silver Colour on the Body, like a Whiting; it has also a smaller Mouth, than any other Fish of this Kind.

The young Fish of this Sort, are called by the Londoners, Whiting-Mopps, and are exposed to Sale in great Plenty in October.

The Whiting-Pollack

This Fish has this Name given it here, from its Likeness to a Whiting: However it is larger, proportionably broader, and not quite so thick; the Back is blackish, or of a dirty Green; the Sides beneath the Lateral Lines, are variously streaked with a dusky Yellow; the Body is Scaly, but the Scales are very small; the Mouth is large, and the Teeth small; the Eyes of a Silver Colour, and large; the lower Jaw is a little more prominent than the upper.

He differs from a Cod, unless in Magnitude, seldom exceeding fourteen or fifteen Inches in Length, and four in Breadth, in having a proportionably less Head, a broader and thinner Body, in having no Barb, and in the Belly Fins being much less. He is frequently caught near Penzance, and St. Ives, in Cornwall; and is often taken also in Rock-Fishing.

The Flesh is well tasted, nourishing and flaky, like that of a Cod.

The Cod or Keeling

The Cod is a Fish of about three Feet long, or upwards; those that are small, are called Codlings; it has different Names, from the different Places, where it is taken, and from the different Manner of Curing it: Hence it is called Green-Fish, Iceland-Fish, Aberdeen-Fish, North-Sea Cod, Stock-Fisb, Poor John, and Barrel'd-Cod.

It is a thick round Fish, with a large Head, and a prominent Belly; it is brown on the Back, white underneath, and is full of yellow Spots; the Scales are small, and Eyes large; is about two Feet long, and proportionably in Breadth.

The Flesh is exceeding good, and highly esteemed, it is greatly in Use, as well fresh as salted; and in Lent, it goes by the general Name of Salt-Fish. The Head of a large Cod, is thought, by the nice Eaters, to be a most excellent Dish; but fresh Cod is much more nourishing, and easy of Digestion, than when salted, which should be steeped in Water, before Easter.

Fresh Cod, that is, Cod for present Use, is caught every where on the Coast of Great Britain; but there are particular Times of Fishing in particular Places, because they are then found in great Plenty.
{ Vide R. BrooA's Art of Angling, p. 139. As also the Manner of taking, drying, &c. of this Fish at Newfoundland, &c. or Chamber's Cyclopædia, Article on Cod Fishery. }

When the Cod leaves the Banks of Newfoundland, where is the chiefest Fishery for them, they go in Pursuit of Whitings; and it is owing to this, that the Return of the Whiting is frequent on our Coast. There are two Kinds of salt Cod, the one called Green or White, and the other Dried and Cured, though it is all the same Fish, only differently prepared.

And there is a Statute of 1 Geo. I. Cap. xviii. whereby if any Person shall bring to shore, or sell, or offer to sell any Codling, not twelve Inches in Length from the Eyes to the End of his Tail, shall forfeit 20s. and the Fish.

Cod, or Lyng, by Statute 5 Eliz. Cap. v. Sect. 10, is not to be brought in this Realm in Barrels or Casks, but loose and in Bulk, and by Tale, on Forfeiture thereof. As likewise if it is taken and imported by Foreigners, Statute 18 Car. II. Sect. 2. 13 Car. II. Cap. vii. Sect. 16 and 17. 1 Geo. I. Cap. xviii. 9 Geo, II. Cap. xxxiii.

You are to chuse the Cod that is white, tender, fresh, and well tasted.

The Haddock

The Haddock is of a middle Size between a Cod and a Whiting, and resembles the Former both in Shape and Colour, more than any other Fish when full grown. He is blackish on the Back, and is covered with small Scales. Not far from the Gills, is a large black Spot, which they say, is a Mark made by the Finger and Thumb of St. Peter, that he might distinguish this Fish from others, as being very much to his Liking. The same Monkish Fable is told of another Fish called the Piper.

The Eyes are large, and there is a Barb on the lower Jaw about an Inch long. The Tail is forked, on other Things it resembles a Cod.

Some reckon this to be but a course Fish, and apt to cause Fevers; but that chiefly happens, when it is taken in the Seas that are shallow and muddy, as about Friesland; but where the Seas are deep and the Water clear, this Fish is wholesome, well-tasted, and nourishing enough; and the Taste is far from being dispicable; the small Sort of Haddocks are often sold for large Whitings, and the middle Size for young Cods.

Statute 15 Car. II. Cap. vii. Sect. 16 and 17, gives Encouragement for North Sea Fisheries, &c. in Catching of Haddock.

1 Geo. I. Cap. xviii. and 9 Geo. II. Cap. xxxiii. prohibits the Importation or Sale of this Fish, either by Foreigners, or out of foreign Bottoms.

The Herring

The Herring is a well known Fish of nine Inches or a Foot long. It is commonly thought to be the Halec of the Antients, which is a great Mistake, for Halec is not the Name of any Sort of Fish, but only of a Sauce to Salt Fish in general.

That which distinguishes this Kind of Fish from all others, it has a Scaly Line that runs along the Middle of the Belly from the Head to the Tail; the Colour of the Belly and Sides are of a shining Silver, and the Scales are large and easily come off. A Herring has no Spots; the Belly is sharp like a Wedge; the Eyes red; the lower Jaw a little longer than the upper, and full of Teeth, as are the Palate and Tongue; the Tail is forked.

A Herring dies immediately after it is taken out of the Water, whence the Proverb arises,
as dead, as a Herring.
The Flesh is every where in Esteem, being fat, soft and delicate, especially if dressed as soon as taken; and that it is every where esteemed, may appear from the vast Quantities that are taken and consumed, as well salted, dried and pickled, as fresh. Their chief Abode seems to be in the Seas, between the North of Scotland, Norway and Denmark from whence they make annual Excursions, through the British Channel, as far as the Coast of Normandy.

{ The Dutch begin their Herring Fishery on the 14th of June, and employ a thousand Vessels therein, called Busses or Barks from forty to fifty Tons each. }
The best Times of Fishing on the Coast of Norfolk and Suffolk, near Yarmouth, Lestoffe and Southwold, are, from the Middle of September till the Middle of October; they judge where the Herrings lie, by the Hovering and Motion of the Sea-Birds, which continually pursue them, in Expectation of Prey: But the chief Herring Fishery is in the North Sea, as has already been observed, where there are two Seasons, the First in June, July and August, the Second in Autumn; but the latter is the more considerable Season, on Account of the Fogs, which are very favourable to this Kind of Fishing.

Fishers distinguish their Herrings into six different Sorts: As the Fat Herring, which is the largest and thickest of all, and will keep about two or three Months; the Meat Herring, which is likewise large, but not so thick nor so fat as the former; the Night Herring, which is of a middle Size; the Pluck, which has received some Damage from the Nets; the Sholten Herring, which has lost its Milt or Spawn; and the Copshen, which by some Accident or other has been deprived of its Head.

Herrings always swim in Shoals, delighting to be near the Shore. They spawn but once a Year, and that is about the Autumnal Equinox; a little before which, like most other Fish, they are highest in Season. They are nourishing, easy of Digestion, and produces good Juice: Some apply pickled Herrings to the Soles of Mens Feet in Fevers. A young Herring is by some, termed a Yaulin, or a White Bait.

You ought to chuse a Herring that is fresh, fat, well-fed; white, short, and of a good Taste. But Pickled Herrings are not so wholesome as Fresh, and Red Herring worse than either.

As to the Manner how Herrings are to be packed, imported, sold, &c. &c, see Statute 31 Edw. III. Stat. 2. Cap. ii. 22 Edw. IV. Cap. ii. 11 Hen, VII. Cap. xxiii. 5 Eliz. Cap. v. 39 Eliz. Cap. x. Stat. 1 Jac.I. Cap. xxiii. Stat. 15 Car. II. Cap. 16 and 17. Stat. 18 Car. II. Cap. ii. Sect. 2. Stat. 15 Car. II. Cap. vii. Sect. 17. Stat. 15 Car. II. Cap. xvi. Sect. 1. 1 Geo. I. Cap. xviii. Stat. 9 Geo. II. Cap. iii.

The Spratt or Sparling

The Spratt is so like a Herring in every Particular, that after the most diligent Examination, the best Authors have concluded, that there is no Difference between them, but in their Age and Size.
{ Though it is remarked by the Cornish Fishermen, that there is one Sort of them that never swim further Eastward than the Coast of Devonshire; and these say they are: young Pilchards, whereas there is another Sort that is to be caught every where on the British Coast, which are young Herrings. }

They are taken Annually in great Plenty, about the Winter Solstice; and, as it is well known, are not sold by Number or Weight, but by Measure, at a very low Price.

Statute 1 Geo. I. Cap. xviii. Sect. 1 and 9 Geo. I. Cap. xxxiii. Sect. 1. prohibits the Importation and Selling of the Sprat in Great Britain, if taken, or received by a Foreigner, or out of foreign Ships.

The Pilchard or Sardin

The Pilchard is never above nine Inches long, and is somewhat of a thicker Make than a Herring; the Back is of a bluish Green; the Belly and Sides of a Silver Colour; near the upper Corner of the Gills, on both Sides, there are black Spots; and in some there are four or five placed in a right Line towards the Tail; his Mouth is wide, without any Teeth; Eyes of a Middle Size and Silver Colour. In most other Things it resembles a Herring.

The Flesh eats admirably well, is nourishing, opens the Body, and good for the Swelling of the Gums and Legs, if pounded and applied thereto; and much more wholesome Fresh than Pickled: And is more firm and delicate than that of a Herring; and besides, its Salutary Properties are no Ways inferior to its Taste.

The Pilchard is a Fish of Passage, and swims in Shoals in the same Manner as the Herring and Anchovy, and much like the latter, except that it is larger and thicker, and differs little from the Shape of a Shad, but in its Size.

The Pilchards caught on our own Coasts are not so much valued, though bigger, as those on the Coast of France, which is owing to their not being so well cured.

The Season of Fishing is from June to September, though sometimes they are caught on the Coast of Cornwall at Christmas. This Fish ought to be chosen, when it is young, tender well fed, fresh, and catched in March and April.

If Pilchards are taken by Foreigners, and imported, they are forfeited by Stat. 18 Car. II. Cap. ii. Sect. 2. 1 Geo. I. Cap. xviii. 9 Geo. II, Cap. xxxiii.


The Anchovy is a small Fish, about as thick and as long as one's Finger; but near Chester they have been taken much larger; the Body is of a rounder Make than a Herring; the Eyes are large, the Body of a silver White, and the Gills are of a shining Red, the Snout sharp, the Mouth wide but without Teeth, the Tail forked.

Anchovies are very common at Venice and Genoa, as also at Rome; but their chief Markets seem to be on the Coast of Catalonia in Spain, and of Provence in France. In chusing of them, those that are least ought to be preferred; as also those that are White without, Red within, that are firm, and have round Backs.

There is another Sort of Fish sold instead of Anchovies, called a Sardin, which is very probably a young Pilchard, it being larger and flatter than an Anchovy, and not so well tasted.

You are to chuse those that are tender, fresh. White without, Red within, small, plump, firm, and well tasted. They are of an opening Nature, fortify the Stomach, and create an Appetite, but are very bad used in excess.

The Coal-Fish or Rawlin-Pollack

The Coal-Fish is very like the Whiting-Pollack, only the lateral Lines are white, and not so crooked; by which Mark the Fishermen distinguish it from the Whiting-Pollack: Besides, the Colour is more black, lively and shining; likewise all the Fins are of a blackish Blue, the Scales less, and the Eyes larger and more protuberant, and the under Jaw longer than the upper; no Barb, as a Cod; and his Tail is more forked. They are taken on the Coast of Northumberland and Yorkshire, and are called Coal-Fish from the black Colour of their Back and Head. The young Ones of this Kind are called Billards, Pollards, and Rock-Whitings.

Some reckon this Fish to be better than an Haddock, and inferior to a Whiting or Cod; and its consequently sold at a cheaper Rate than the latter.

There is another Fish of this Kind, which the Cornish Fisher call a Bib or Blind, which Blind grows to about the Length of a Foot, and is rather of a broadish Make, than thick and round; and a Bib may be distinguished from a Cod by its Size, which is smaller, and by its Shape, which is shorter and broader; as also by the Bigness of its Scales.

Statute 15 Car. II. Cap. ii. Sect. 16 & 17, relates to encouraging the taking of the Coal-Fish, and other Fish, in the North Seas. Statute I Geo. I. Cap. xviii. and 9 Geo. II. Cap. xxxiii. about the Importation and sale of this Fish.

The Hake

The Hake is a Fish about half a Yard long, and sometimes more; it is shaped something like a Pike.

WILLOUGHBY compares it to a Whiting, which it is most like both in Shape and Colour. He lives on other Fish. His Flesh is soft and tender. They are caught in great Plenty about Penzance in Cornwall, and in the British and German Ocean.

The Ling

The Ling has a Body in Shape long and round, covered with small Scales that adhere to it; the Back and Sides of some are of Olive, of others Ash-coloured and Grey. In short, this Fish is very like a Hake in all Things, except in its being of a larger Size, longer Make, having a round Tail, and a Barb on the lower Jaw.

The Flesh when just caught is very delicious, and when salted and dried, is justly preferred before all other Salt Fish.

It is frequently taken near Penzance, and may be fished for all the Year among the Islands of Scotland, and on the North East of England, from Easter till Midsummer.

LING is not to be brought into this Realm in Casks or Barrels, but Loose and in Bulk, &c. Vid. Cod. And if taken by Foreigners, and imported, it is forfeited. Vid. Statute 18 Car. II. Cap. ii. Sect. 2. Statute 15 Car. II. Cap. ii. Sect. 17. 1 Geo. I. Cap. xviii. Stat. 9 Geo. II. Cap. xxxiii.

The Mackerel

The Mackrel is generally a Foot, sometimes a Foot and a half long. The Body is long, round, thick, and fleshy, but towards the Tail very slender and small; it is not entirely void of Scales, but they are very thin and little; the Tail is so very forked, that it seems almost to be parted into two distinct Fins; the Jaws are equal in Length; the Eyes are large.

They are found in large Shoals, in divers Parts of the Ocean, but especially on the Coasts of France and England; they enter the English Channel in April, and take their Course through the Streights of Dover; insomuch that in June they advance as far as Cornwall, Normandy and Picardy, &c. where the Fishery is most considerable.

The Flesh of this Fish is very good, when fresh especially, if they are drest when first taken out of the Water; it is nourishing enough, and of an opening dissolving Nature, but not very easy of Digestion: And there is such a Difference between them and those that are brought to London, that it is not to be conceived by any that have not tried: However they are not to be despised, even when they are well cured by Pickling, and put into Barrels.

You are to chuse a Mackrel that is new, pretty thick, well fed, tender, juicy, and agreeable to the Taste; and a Mackrel dressed as soon as taken, is far better tasted than those brought to Shore, and requires no Goosberries or rich Sauce to put it off, Nothing being more palatable or pleasant.

By the 10 and 11 W. III. Cap. xxiv. Sect. 9. this Fish is allowed to be sold on Sundays, before and after Divine Service, which is an Indulgence peculiar to this Fish. None to be imported or sold in England, that is taken or received by Foreigners, or out of Strangers Bottoms, &c. See Stat. 1 Geo. I. Cap. xviii. 9 Geo. II. Cap. xxxiii.

The Tunny or Spanish-Mackrel

The Tunny is a large, heavy, thick Sea-Fish, sometimes weighing upwards of a hundred Pounds; his Body is round, long and thick, but towards the Tail remarkably small. He is a Fish of Passage, rambling from one Part of the Sea to another: In September and October, they leave the Ocean, and pass through the Streight of Gibralter into the Mediterranean Sea towards the Levant; they swim in Shoals, and are often taken on the Coast of Cornwall with their Stomachs full of Pilchards; the Time of Fishing being in September.

The Flesh is nourishing enough, solid and durable Food; looked upon to be good against Poison, the Stinging of Serpents, and Biting of mad Dogs, but is hard of Digestion, and heavy upon the Stomach, especially when it is too fat. It is usually eaten in Winter and Autumn, but by those only who have good Stomachs, and are used to much Exercise. Chuse those which are young, tender, neither too fat nor too lean.

The Dog-Fih or Picked-Dog-Fish.

The Picked Dog-Fish has a roundish, oblong Body, which is covered with a rougher picked Skin, of great Use among the Joyners for Polishing Wood. His Back is of a brownish Colour, and Belly white, and more smooth than the other Parts; his Back is provided with two Fins, on the fore Part of both which, are placed two Spines or Thorns, from whence he is called the Picked Dog-Fish. He brings forth his Young alive, which are produced from Eggs hatched within the Body of the Fish ; he never grows to any large Bulk, the largest never weighing full twenty Pounds, and is frequently in the British Ocean, and in the Irish and Mediterranean Seas.

There is another Dog-Fish, called the smooth, or unprickly Hound, which is very much like this, but he has neither Prickles nor Teeth.

The Flesh of all these Kind of Fish is rank and unwholsome.

The Doree

The Doree is a very broad flat Fish, and almost every where of equal Thickness. He is shaped almost like a Plaice, but swims erect and therefore ought not to be numbered among the flat Fish.

His Head is very large, Mouth monstruously wide, Eyes yellow and great; Sides of Olive Colour, variously mixed with light Blue; his Size generally about eighteen Inches, and seven or eight broad.

The Flesh is tender, and easy of Digestion, and for Delicacy, is by many thought superior to that of a Turbott.

The Weever.

The Weever has a longish Body, and a strait Back; the Sides are painted with yellow and brown Lines, which run obliquely from the Back towards the Belly; the Mouth wide, and the lower Jaw a little more prominent than the upper; he is often taken a Foot and Half long; the Flesh firm, and eats agreeably enough.

The Lobster.

The Lobster is better known by Sight, than described. They always feed at the Bottom of the Water, and are furnished with a Pair of strong Claws, with which they fasten on the larger Prey, that happens to come within their Reach; their Flesh is sweet, restorative, and very innocent.

By the Statute of 10 and 11 W. III. Cap. xxiv. Sect. 7. any Person who brings on Shore, or offers to sell any Lobster not eight Inches from the Peak of the Nose, to the End of the Middle Fin of the Tail, forfeits 1s. for each Lobster. And Stat. 1 Geo. I. Cap. xviii. Sect, 10. allows this Fish to be imported and sold in Great-Britain, though of foreign Catching, as before, Stat. 10 and 11 Will. III. Cap. xxiv.

The Crab, Craw-Fish, Prawn and Shrimp

The Crab is much of the same Nature as the Lobster; they often lie in the Mouths of Rivers, Creeks, and Ponds made with Salt Water; and there are two Sorts, viz. the Sea and fresh Water Crab: The first is generally larger than the latter. Crabs are nourishing, of a strengthning Nature, allays the sharp Humours, cleans Ulcers in the Throat, if eaten as they are, or taken in Broth. Chuse those, that are fat, well fed, tender and of a good Taste.

The Craw-Fish, or Cray-Fish exactly resembles a Lobster in Shape, and is to be found in most Brooks and Rivulets in England. The Prawn and the Shrimp harbour themselves in the Holes of Rocks, and such like Places along the Sea Coast.

The Prawn, by some is called a Buntin, and the Red Shrimp, which is chiefly caught in the Medway, is called by the Fishmongers, a Prawn.

The Flesh of all these Sorts of Fish are of the same Nature, and only differ in Degree of Goodness; they are all supposed to have a restorative Quality, and therefore must be very nourishing and wholesome.

The Scollop

The Scollop is a Shell-Fifh, of a sweeter and more agreeable Taste than an Oyster, and according to Rondeletius, is more easily digested, and more wholesome.

Mr. Reaumur, a Name well known in the learned World, has taken some Pains to discover in what Manner, the Shells of divers Animals are first formed, and afterwards encrease; which he proves to be from a certain Juice, which perspires from their Bodies, and forms new Shells for those Animals that cast them, and encreases the Shells of those that do not.

The Oyster, Muscle, Cockle, and Periwinkle.

These Fish are all so well known to every Body, as to stand in no Need of a particular Description. The Oyster casts its Spawn or Spat in May, which at first appears like the Drop of a Candle: It sticks to any hard Substance it falls upon, and seems to be provided with a Shell in two Days Time, and in three Years they are fit for the Market. These Oysters they term Natives, and they are altogether uncapable of moving from the Place where they are first spawned, and which are by the Dredgers taken and carried to different Places, where they are laid in Beds or Rills of Saltwater, in order to fat them, and these they term Layers. Those, which when they are spawned, happen to stick to Rocks, often grow to a very large Size, and are called Rock-Oysters. The best Oysters, and most valued for the Goodness of their Taste, are those found near the English Shores; and those roasted, are not so soon digested as the raw ones, as they are thereby deprived of that saltish Juice naturally contained in them, and which does not a little help the Digestion of them in the Stomach.
{ Oyster Shells being calcined, and reduced to Powder, is of an opening, drying, and detersive Nature, good for cleaning of Teeth, and to consume acid Humours. }
Chuse those which are fresh, pretty large, tender, moist, delicious, well-tatted, and that have not been taken in Dirty and muddy Water.
{ See 9 Ann. Cap, 26. Sect. 2. 2 Geo. II. Cap. 19, and 10 Geo. II. Cap. 30. }

But it is otherwise with the Muscle and Cockles sticking to the Rocks, for they being lighter, are more liable to be carried along by any Motion of the Water; and if they cannot move themselves from Place to Place, they can, however, hinder themselves from being the Sport of the Waves. For this Purpose, they are capable of forming several Strings of the Thickness of Hairs, about three Inches long, and sometimes to the Number of 250, with these they lay Hold of any Thing that is near them. Mr. Reaumur has often seen them making these Threads; and when he has cut them off, they have begun to make others. The Instrument that the Muscle employs in producing these Threads, is what we commonly call the Tongue, in the midst of which is a narrow Channel, which serves for a Sort of a Mould for their first Formation. The Sea Muscle is much preferable to the River, provided they be tender, well-fed, white, delicious, and well tasted. They are Opening, nourish a little, and of a drying, dissolving Nature.

The Cockle has likewise a Power of making these Threads, as well as the Muscle; the only Difference is, that those of the Cockle are more thick and short. The Muscle Shell being brayed in a Mortar, may be taken from half a Scruple to a Dram, to stop Looseness, and waste sharp Humours. It is used as a Detersive, and for consuming the Rheums that arise in the Horses Eyes.

As for the Periwinkle, there is nothing remarkable can be said of it, but what belongs in common to all Animals that have Shells. Their Bodies consists of a thick slimy Substance, for which Reason they are looked upon as a restorative Diet, but not very tempting upon any other Account.

The Fireslaw

The Fireslaw is a flat Fish, of a black Colour, in Make somewhat like a Thornback, but without Prickles, and weighs from 30 to 80 Pounds.


Having thus given a short Description of Fish, I shall proceed in the most natural Road of Meditation, by pointing out so much of the Properties and Mechanism of Fish in general, as may enable us to consider them with Understanding. The Points I shall here chiefly insist on, are, the Element peculiar to Fish; their Cloathing, their Numbers, the regular Passage of some Species, their Wars, and the Means of their Preservation; their Fecundity, and the Purport of it; their Food; the natural Cause of their Swimming, with the peculiar Use of their Tail, Fins, Bags of Air, and Gills; their other Parts, their Cunning, their Sensations, and the extraordinary Share of Life in some Kinds of them.

The Universe abounds with an infinite Variety of living Creatures: Some are Inhabitants of the Air; others range around the Fields, or crawl upon the Ground: Thousands reside in the inmost Recesses of Woods, or in the Hearts of Leaves, and under the Bark of Trees; some in the Chinks or Crevises of Walls, and others in the most gloomy Caverns: The very Bowels of the Earth are hollowed and filled with Inhabitants.

All these Animals, how different soever from each other, with respect to their Nature and Way of Life, enjoy one Benefit in common; they all breath the fluid Air. But we have, at present, another Element under our Consideration, wherein all of them are stifled as soon as they are plunged into it: Yet we therein discover a vast Variety of Beings; and observe, that as terrestial Animals are suffocated in the Waves, so the Inhabitants of the watry Regions soon expire in the Air, and cannot long subsist out of that Element, to which they are consigned.

Hence it is hard to comprehend how their Blood should circulate with that freedom, which it indisputably does; for one would think it should coagulate and condence, by the excessive dullness of the Waters.

Such Animals as live upon the Earth, are either furnished with Feathers, and a delicate Down, or invested with warm Furrs, or long Hairs, to defend them from the Inclemencies of the Air, which is sometimes exceedingly cold: But no Fish, as we can find, have any such agreeable Accommodations. How then has Nature provided for them, that they are able to subsist in an Element much colder than Air? Let us recollect what we have often discovered in, as we have been accidentally handling a Fish, or cutting one open. The first Thing that offers itself to our Touch, is a certain glutinous Matter, with which the whole Surface of the Creature's Body is duly moistened. We find, moreover, a Coat, consisting of strong and beautiful Scales; and before we come to the Animals Flesh we observe a Kind of Lard, or oily Substance which extends from the Head to the Tail, and surrounds the whole. Though we cannot easily conceive how these Scales are formed, of how they gradually encrease, and are supplied, or what is the Origin, and Reservoir, of this Oil; yet these Scales, by their Solidity, and this Oil, by its Antipathy to the Water, keeps the Fish warm and gives him Life and Vigour. He could not possibly be furnished with a lighter Vestment, or one more impenetrable, or more suitable to the Dangers they are exposed to, and the Business they are to perform.

The Sea carries off from the Lands, which it washes, a Vitriol and Bitumen, that, like itself, being in a perpetual Motion, disperse and incorporate in such a Manner with the smallest Particles cf the Water, that no Filiations, no Alembicks, or any other Devises, how artful soever, have been able to purify and free it from its brackish Taste. It is in this nauceous and offensive Water, however, that the All-wise Creator has thought fit to improve and bring to Perfection the Flesh of those Fish, which the most Voluptuous prefer before the choicest Fowles. In an Element that produces nothing, it is impossible one would imagine, that the Number or Fertility of the Inhabitants should be any Thing considerable; yet what a prodigious Quantity of Muscles, Crabs, Lobsters, and of other Fish of an enormous Size; what Piles of Oysters, whose Whiteness and Fatness give a Keeness to the Appetite; what a Profusion of Turbets, Flounders, Dabs, Shads, Plaice, and all the various Species of flat Fish, whose Flesh is so exceedingly admired, does it furnish us with?

We observe, in the Season, whole Fleets of Ships freighted with Herrings, and at other Times, Shoales of Mackerel and Whitings present themselves voluntarily before us on our Coasts; insomuch, that whole Provinces are supplied with a sufficient Quantity of them, by the bare Capture of a single Day. Legions of Smelts and Flounders forsake the salt Waters in the Spring, and begin to swim up the Rivers. Shads follow the same Tract, and grow to their full Perfection in the fresh Water. Salmons continue till July, and sometimes later, to enrich the Fishers, though threescore, and sometimes fourscore Leagues from the Sea. Every Season regales us with fresh Delicacies, without the Interruption of their usual Presents, such as Lampreys, Smelts, Tunnies, Soles, Thornbacks, and a vast Variety of other Fish, that adorn our Dishes, and gratify the nicest Taste. What a Delicacy, what a Profusion of Provisions do we receive from the Indulgence of this Element!

This very Delicacy, however, might possibly so enhance their Value, that none but the Rich could purchase them, or the Plenty might be so great, that the Corruption of the Whole, or the greatest Part, might prevent their timely Consumption: But both these Inconveniencies are effectually prevented by a little Salt. Thus the Sea is lavish of her Stores, and at the same Time furnishes us with that which renders their Communication easy, and their Conveyance safe. We observe likewise, in this Profusion of the Sea, a Precaution which enhances the Value of her Gifts, and proves an additional Blessing. Such Fish as are wholesome Food, and agreeable to the Taste, are exceedingly prolifick; but those, on the other Hand, whose Flesh is unpalatable, or prejudicial to our Health, and whose monstrous Size renders them formidable to others, for the generality bring forth their Young compleatly formed into the World, and seldom more than one or two at a Birth.

The same Wisdom that has regulated with such Indulgence, the Bounds of their Fecundity, keeps those at a wide Distance from our Shores, which we have the least Occasion for, and puts others in our Possession, which are of most Benefit and Advantage to us. Some Species are with us all the Year long, and others pay us an annual Visit in prodigious Multitudes. The exact Time of their Passage, and their peculiar Tract, is well known, which are very advantagious Circumstances, though it may vary 10 or 15 Days, by Means of strong Winds, or bad Weather. We may form an adequate Idea of other Fish of Passage from the Herrings and Cods. The former seem to have their principal Rendenzvous between the Points of Scotland, Norway, and Denmark. From thence the Danish: ies take their annual Progress, and, at different Seasons, cross the Channel. Their Voyage is performed with the utmost Exactness; their Tract is prescribed, and their March regulated. The whole Body move all at once; not one of them presume to straggle, pillage, or desert. When the Body of their Army is once passed, not one of the same Species appears again till the Year ensuing. An infinite Number of Worms and little Fish are bred every Summer in the Channel, with which the Herrings regale themselves. They are a Sort of Manna, which these Animals never fail of picking up; and when they have cleared the Seas in the Northern Parts of Europe, they descend towards the South, to which they are attracted by the pleasing Prospect of a new Stock of Provisions.

We have but very few Cod-fish in our Seas. Their Rendezvous is at the immence Bank before Newfoundland. There they are so numerous, that the Fishermen, who resort thither from all Parts, are constantly employed, and find their Labours attended with surprising Success. One Man shall sometimes catch three or four Hundred in a Day. When the Sustenance that attracts them is exhausted in these Parts, they disperse, and proclaim open War with the Whitings, which are their favorite Aliment. The latter fly before them; and their frequent Returns on our Coasts, are principally owing to this hostile Chace.

Having thus mentioned the Wars of the Cods and Whitings, I must take Notice of one Circumstance that reigns through all the Species of Fish.
The Muscle lies in Ambuscade within the Mud; there she opens her Shell, and when a small unwary Crab presumes to creep in, she claps them close together in an Instant, and secures her Prey.
The Oyster takes the same Measure to ensnare such little Fish as are not on their Guard.
The Sole springs instantaneously from her Ambuscade, and regales herself with this delicious Food, which pampers her up, and gives her an exquisite Flavour.
The small Soles, in their Turns, are equally an agreeable Collation to the large Crabs; and when we open one of these latter, we seldom fail of finding one or two Soles in the Belly of it.
You may form an Idea of the other Species by this. All the several Classes of living Creatures that breed in the Water, from the biggest to the least, are constantly in Action, and at War with each other. It is one continued Series of Artifices, Flights, Evasions, and open Violence. They pillage and devour one another, without Remorse or Moderation.

But if the Inhabitants of the watery Regions have such a watchful Eye upon the scattered Spawn, and are thus addicted to devour one another, this Element, one would think, must, in Process of Time, cease to be replenished, for since the lesser Fish are the proper Sustenance of the larger, the former must of Course be all destroyed, and the latter, in their Turns, perish for Want of Subsistance.

The Almighty, however, has taken proper Measures for the Preservation of Fish, by giving Strength to some, Activity and Circumspection to others; and by a Multiplication of them to such a prodigious Degree, that their Fecundity exceeds their natural Inclination to prey upon each other. Be the Number of Cods ever so great, that have been caught this Year, or devoured in the Sea by the Invasion of their Enemies, there is still a Remainder of that Tribe, which is more than sufficient to furnish us with as large a Quantity about two years hence. The Fact is demonstrable by the following Instance:
A fine fresh Cod being produced before Mr. Leuwenboeck, he had the Curiosity to count her eggs, for which Purpose he took as many as weighed a Dram, and told them over: After this he weighed the whole Mass of Eggs, which allowing eight times the Number to every Ounce, amounted to no less than nine Millions, three Hundred and forty-four Thousand Eggs.
As incredible as this Account may seem to be at first View, the Quantity of Eggs so frequently found in the common Carp, though far short of the Number contained in a large Cod, is so far surprising, that we may be fully satisfied Mr. Leuwenboek's Calculation is just. When we come to search into the wise End if this amazing fertility, we are immediately convinced, that it is not to replenish either the Rivers, or the Sea, with the same Quantity of Fish as there are Eggs: for if it were so, the Ocean itself would scarce be able to contain them. It is manifest, however, that there is a double Intention in this Fruitfulness; in the first Place, to preserve the Species, whatever Accidents may happen; and in the next, to furnish the surviving Fish with a plentiful and succulent Subsistence.

Thus we perceive, in some Measure, the Manner in which the Fish are nourished and preserved. There are such an infinite Number of Weeds, Worms, Shell-fish, Eggs, Roes, and minute Fish lodged within the Waters, that we need be in no Manner of Concern for the Inhabitants, with Respect to their Provisions. They have, we perceive, their certain Allowance. But then their Aliment lies concealed, or flies before them; and we can discern nothing in these Fish but a Head, a large inactive Body, and a Tail. As they have so few Organs, we naturally ask, How are Fish capable of Advancing, Swimming, and Seizing their Prey? To solve this, we must consider the Form or Figure of all Fish in general, which being strait, and growing always somewhat taper at the Head, enables them to traverse the Water. The Tail, by the Assistance of the Muscles, is exceedingly plyant, strong, and active; inclines to the Right and Left, and, when reduced to a direct Line, repells the Water that lies behind it: Immediately it resumes its Playing, and, by this alternate Motion, advances the Head, and, in short, the whole Body, in a much more agreeable a Manner than an Oar, worked alternately to and fro at the Stern of a Boat, conveys it up a River, and, in short, is the grand Instrument of progressive Motion.

The Fins which lie under the Fish's Belly, are sometimes of singular Service, not only in repelling the Water, and advancing the Body, but in stopping its Course, when they are extended, and lie at rest. Their peculiar Office, however, is to direct the Movement of the Body, by keeping it in an equal Poise; so that in Case the Fish showld only move the Fins on its right Side, and bring those on his left Side close to his Body, all the Motion is in an Instant determined to that Side; just as a Boat, that has two Oars, when but one is made Use on, will infallibly turn to that Side, whereto it is impelled by the Working of the other. If vou cut off a Fish's Fins, the Back, which is heavier than the Belly, being no longer in an Equilibrium, will either lie a-slant, or be turned directly up; as is the Case with dead Fish, whose fins lie always on the Surface of the Water.

It is easy to conceive, from what has been said, how Fish is capable of advancing in a direct Line:

But the Difficulty that remains, is, how they do rise and fall in the Water. Now, it must be observed, that most Fish have a Bladder, or something equivolent to it; the Use of which, is quite different from what most People imagine. This supposed Bladder is a Bag of Air, by Virtue of which, the Fish is enabled, according to its Enlargement and Contraction, to rise or sink.

Nothing is more easy to be conceived than this, if we lay down, as incontestable Maxims, equally consistent with Experience and good Sense; 1. That a Body will swim upon the Water, when it is lighter than that Quantity of the Fluid whose Place it fills.
2. That a Body is more ponderous, according as the Parts of it are more compact, and contain in them a lesser Quantity of Air; and lighter, according as they are porous, and contain in them a larger Quantity of Air.

These Positions allowed, the Body of a Fish, which is heavier than the Mass of Water, whose Place it possesses, would unavoidably sink to the Bottom, had not the Fish in its Intestines, a Vessel, or Bag, filled with Air, which renders him capable of sustaining himself in what particular Part of the Water he sees most convenient for his Purpose. This Bag dilates the Fish, in some Measure, and makes some small Improvement to its natural Bulk, without any Addition to its Weight. By this Means he possesses a larger Space than he would do without it, and this brings him to an equal Poise with that Body of Water whose Place he fills. Let us suppose the Fish, without his Bag, to weigh sixteen Ounces, and the Water, whose Place he occupies, to weigh fifteen only, the Fish must unavoidably descend. If, however, you afterwards supply the Fish with a small Bag of Air, which adds nothing to its Weight, but enlarges his Dimensions, so that the Mass of Water, whose Place he fills, weighs sixteen Ounces, the Fish will then be in an equal Poise with that Mass, and be supported in any Part of the River.

Now supposing the Fish to extend his Bag, he must enlarge the Dimensions of his Body without the Addition of any Weight: And, if he becomes lighter, he must consequently rise. On the contrary, should the Fish contract his Bag, he will decrease in his Dimensions, without any Diminution of his Weight, whereby he must become heavier than the Water, whose Place he occupies, and unavoidably must sink. How improbable soever this Distention and Contraction may seem, they have been evinced by incontestable Demonstrations. This Bag of his, for the generality, has two small, but distinct Partitions: Qne, which is always equally full of Air, in order to keep the Fish in an equal Poise with the Mass of Water whose Place he fills; the other is dilated or contracted, to enable the Fish to become lighter or heavier, or, in other Terms, to rise or sink, as Occasion requires. The Water abounds with Particles of Air, diffused through the Whole. What we generally call the Gills of a Fish, are a Sort of Lungs, which he opens for the Admission of Air, and which are formed with such a peculiar Mechanism, that they receive it without the least Intermixture of any Water: The Air indisputably flows into the Bag through them, and by Vertue thereof, the Fish ascends: But when he is inclined to sink, he has nothing more to do, than to contract his Bag, for the Air immediately reascends to the Gills, and has a free and uninterrupted Passage. The Fish thereupon sinks to the Bottom, and the Rapidity of his Descent is proportioned to the Quantity of Air that is ejected.

Every Kind of Fish has its Jaws framed for the taking in and macerating its particular Sort of Food. Such as feed upon Weeds and Insects, have seldom any Teeth; but such as prey upon other Fish, have one, two, or more Rows of Teeth, for the better Grinding of their Nourishment; in which, as in all other Things, the Wisdom of Providence is manifest.

The Back-bones of Fish, for the more easy bending of their Bodies, consist of very short Vertebra, so joined, that their Tail and Head may be easily brought together; and their Scales, which in many Species of them, are amasingly beautiful, and so regularly placed in Rows, one over another, that they never obstruct their Motion. Some Kinds, indeed, have no Scales, which usually generate by Copulation, and bring forth their Young alive, and perfectly formed.

Besides the Arms of Defence which Nature has given some Fish, they have generally a remarkable Cunning in forming their Nests, for the Preservation of their Young.

As to the Power of Sensation, Fish to enjoy it as perfectly as any other Sort of Animals. Their Sight, Taste, and Smelling, indeed, are not disputed; but many, who pretend to be curious Observers, deny them the Sense of Hearing. This, however, is an Error, as appears from Experiment: For if you use to feed Fish in a Pond at any particular Place, and practise them to some certain Call, they may be brought to come together at that Call, though you keep ever so much out of Sight; and whence the contrary Opinion had its Rise, I cannot determine; but the Romans were wiser in the Time of Domitian, than to entertain it, as appears from this Epigram of Martial, upon the Fish-ponds of that Emperor.

Rash Angler, here thy guilty Sport forbear,
These finny Natives are a Monarch's Care.
The gentle Kind obey his known Command,
And feed familiar from his sporting Hand:
Each has his Name, which sev'rally they hear,
And to their Owner's Summons strait appear.

As to the Age of Fish, nothing certain can be produced, except that they are not so short-lived as most of the Antients imagined; for Instance, a Salmon is six Years in growing, before he is thought worthy of that Title in Yorkshire, notwithstanding that some affirm that he comes to his full Growth in a Year: On the other Hand, it has been related, that longevity, a Carp will live a hundred Years, and is well known to move vigorously some Time after the Intestines are taken out of his Body: As likewise the Eel maintains Life and Motion for some Hours after he is cut in Pieces: But I have mentioned somewhat of this, in the Description I have given of the several Sorts of Fish, so shall say no more on this Head at present.

In the Summer, all Fish usually lie in the more shallow Part of the River, some in a strong and swift, others in a gentle Stream, except Carp, Tench, and Eel: But in Winter, all fly into the deep still Places.

All Fish whatever, that swim in clear Rivers, are wholsomer, pleasanter, and far better tasted, than those of the same Kind that live in Pits, Ponds, Meers, or standing Waters. A Hog-back, and a little Head, either to Trout, Salmon, or any other Fish, are a Sign they are in Season.

All Sorts of Fish that have Scales on their Bodies, constantly swim In Troops and Companies, as the Roach, Dace, Gudgeon, &c.

The Females of most Fish are larger than the Males.

Several Counties alter the Time, and almost the Manner of Fishes Breeding; but especially the Time of their being in Season; as in the River Wye, in Monmouthshire, Salmon are in Season from September to April; but in the Thames, Trent, and most other Rivers, they are in Season almost all the six hot Months.

All Fish are of a cold and moist Temperature; but some of the same Species exceed others in Goodness, according to the Nature of the Water and Place wherein they live.

Sea Fish are accounted better than those in fresh Water, as being more savory, and of a firmer Substance, hotter and dryer, and not so viscous, clammy, and slimy, as the fresh Water Fish. Of Sea Fish, those that have Scales, and firm Substances, are best, and such as are inclosed in Shells, as the Oyster, Lobster, and Crabs, &c. Fish that live in pure Water, tossed to and fro with Waves, are better than those that live in calm and muddy Waters, that are little agitated; and those that live near sandy, rocky Shores, are better than where there is much Slime and Mud: But Fish are generally the fattest, though not the sweetest, that are fed in muddy or weedy Rivers: From which said last Observations, it is evident, how preferable the Thames Fish are to most other Rivers. But to conclude this Subject with an Observation on Fish and Fisheries, in a more publick or general Sense.

Fish, considered as Food, makes a considerable Article in the Furniture of the Table; and the Breeding, Feeding, and Catching, &c. of them, make a peculiar Art of no small Moment in the Oeconomy of a Gentleman's House and Gardens.

Fish, with Regard to Commerce, is distinguished into Dry, Pickled, Green, and Red.

Dry, or salt Fish, is that which is salted and dried, either by the Heat of the Sun, or by Fire: Such principally are the Cod, StockFish, Herring, and Pilchard.

Green Fish, is that lately salted, and which yet remains moist; as green Cod, &c.

Pickled Fish, is that boiled and steeped in a Pickle, made of Salt, Vinegar, &c. as Salmon, Cod, Herring, Mackrel, Pilchard, Anchovy, and Oysters.

Red Fish, is some fresh Fish broiled on the Gridiron, then fried in Oil of Olives, and barrelled up with a proper Liquor, as new Olive-Oil, Vinegar, Pepper, Salt, Cloves, Laurel-Leaves, and other Herbs. The best Fish thus prepared, are Sturgeon and Tunny.

Fisheries denote the Commerce of Fish, more especially the Catching them for Sale. The Fishery makes a principle Branch of the British Commerce; a great Quantity of Vessels, and Seamen, are employed therein; and besides what is spent at Home, above £ 200,000 Sterling is yearly returned, meerly for Herring and Cod, exported to Spain, Italy, several Parts of the Mediterranean, and the Islands of the Archipelago. Yet are our Countrymen reproached, and with a good deal of Justice, for their Remissness in this Branch of Trade. The advantageous Situation of our Coasts, might be of immense Benefit to us, did we not let our Neighbours over-reach us therein. The Dutch, French, Hamburghers, &c. come yearly in huge Sholes, and not only take the Fish from our own Doors, but sell them to us for our Money when they have done.

Scotland suffers incredibly on this Score: No Country in Europe can pretend to rival it in the Abundance of the finest Fish, wherewith its numerous Harbours, Loughs Rivers, &c. are stored. In the River Dee, it is said, a 170 Head of Salmon is not very extraordinary for a single Draught of a Net; and the pickled Samon sent hence, is allowed to be the best in Europe: The Scotish Islands, especially those on the western Side, do certainly lie most commodiously for carrying on the Fishing Trade to Perfection. King Charles the First began the Experiment, in Conjunction with a Company of Merchants; but the Civil Wars soon set it aside. King Charles the Second made a like Attempt, but having pressing Occasion for Money, he was persuaded to withdraw what he had employed in the Fishery, with which the Merchants, joined with him, were so much displeased, that they did the like.

Since the Union, several Efforts have been made to retrieve it; and there is now a Corporation settled on that Footing, called the Royal British Fishery, though now in a very languishing Condition, and ready to sink.

To conclude this Chapter, and in order for the more ready Information of all those who are inclined to look into the several Statutes relating to Fish, Fisheries, and Fishings, I shall here subjoin those Acts of Parliament which relate thereunto.

Acts relating to Fish, Fisheries, and Fishing.


Thirteenth Edw. I. Cap. xlvii. Salmon, &c. in Defence.
31 Edw. III. Stat. ii. Cap. i. Herrings sold at Sea.
31 Edw. III. Stat. ii. Cap. ii. Herrings, Yarmouth, &c.
31 Edw. IIL Stat. ii. Cap. iii. Stock-Fish of St. Botolph, Salmon of Berwick, Fish and Wines of Bristuit, &c.
31 Edw. III. Stat. iii. Cap. i. Fishery of Blackeney, and the Coasts of Satterly, Winton, &c. in the County of ???
31 Edw. III. Stat. iii. Cap. ii. Fair at Blakeney. Lob, Ling, Cod, Orgies, Selling, &c. Their Nets, &c. Norfolk.
35 Edw. III. About Buying and Selling Herrings. Yarmouth.
4 Rich. II. Fishmongers Trade laid open. (Query: If now in Force.)
6 Rich. II. Cap x. Fish and Victuals to be sold by Aliens in London, enforced by 1 Hen. IV. Cap. xvii.
14 Hen. VI. Cap. vi. (Query: If not since repealed.)
7 Rich. II. Cap. xi. Fishers, Vintners, and Victuallers, coming to London, to be in the Rule of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen.
31 Edw, III. Stat. i. Cap. x.
N.B. Repeals the Statutes of 5 Rich. IL Cap. iv. and 6 R. II. Cap. xi. and xii. touching Victuallers of London.
13 Richard II. Cap. xix. Confirms Stat. 13 JEdw. I. Cap. xlvii. and appoints Conservators of it; &c.
17 Rich. II. Cap. ix. All Justices of Peace to be Conservators of 13 Edw. I. Cap. xlvii. and 13 R. II. Cap. xix. who are to appoint Sub-Conservators under them, &c.
2 Hen. VI. Cap. xv. Penalty on fastening Trinck, or other Nets, over the Thames, Or other Rivers, Trinckers may fish lawfully.
14 Hen. VI. Cap. vi. Penalty on disturbing Aliens selling their Fish.
22 Edw. IV. Cap. ii. Salmon Vessels. Salmon sold, packed. Grill packed. Herrings packed, sold in Barrels, &c. Eels barrelled, &c. Length, &c. Of barrelled Fish. Grills, Thokes, &c. Tale-Fish, their Length, &c.
11 Hen. VII. Cap. xxiii. What Fees Gangers, Packers, and Searchers of barrelled Salmon, Herrings, Eels, &c. are entitled to, with Penalty on their offending, &c.
31 Hen. VIII. Cap. ii. Sect. 2. Penalty on fishing in Ponds &c. against the Will of the Owner. See 5 Eliz. Cap. xxi.
2 and 3 Edw. VI. Cap. vi. Sect. 3. Penalty on Admirals taking Money, Doles, &c. of Fishermen or Merchants, for License to pass to Voyages for Fish, &c.
1 Eliz. Cap. xvii. A general Provision for preserving of the Spawn, Brood and Fry of Fish. Made perpetual by 2 Car. II. Cap. iv.
5 Eliz. Cap. v. No Toll for Sea Fish, except on Kingston upon Hull. Penalty on Herring or Sea Fish, &c. not well salted, packed, &c. Cod and Ling to be imported loose, and not in Barrels.
5 Eliz. Cap. xxi. Penalty on Fishing in Ponds, &c. against Owner's Consent.
39 Eliz. Cap. x. Exporting of Herrings bought in this Realm. Customs to be paid by Aliens for selled Fish and Herrings. Penalty on importing or salting bad salt Fish or Herring. See 43 Eliz. Cap. ix.
1 Ja. I. Cap. xxiii. Sect. 3. Relates to the taking of Herring, Pilchard, and other Sea Fish in the Counties of Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall.
3 Ja. I. Cap. xii. No Wears along the Sea Coast, &c. Penalty on Killing, &c. Of the Brood, &c. Of Sea Fish. Assize, &c. Of Sea Nets.
13 and 14 Car. II. Cap. ii. Sect. 36. Relates to Exportation of Fish into any Ports of the Mediterranean.
13 and 14 Car. II. Cap. xxviii. Penalty on Fishing from June to November in the high Sea, or any Bay, Port, &c. of Cornwall or Devon, with any Drift, &c. Net, nearer than a League and half to the Shore, &c. &c.
15 Car. II. Cap. vii. Sect. 16, 17. No fresh Herring, fresh Cod, or Haddock, Cole Fish, or Grill Fish, from the North Sea, Island, and Westinary Fisheries, shall be imported, Penalty Ship and Fish. Salted or dried Cod, Cole Fish, Lyng, White Herrings, Haddocks, and Grill Fish, imported in foreign-built Ships, to pay Custom.
15 Car. II. Cap. xvi. How White or Red Herrings of English Catching, are to be packed, salted, dried. Bailiffs of Yarmouth, &c. to appoint Packers. Island, Westmony, Newfoundland.
18 Car. II. Cap. ii. No Lyng, Herring, &c. to be imported by Foreigners. 22 and 23 Car. II. Cap. xxv.
30 Car. II. Cap. ix. A general Provision For preserving the Spawn, Brood, and Fry of Fish in the River Severn.
32 Car. II. Cap. ii. Sect. 7. Stock-fish and live Eels may be imported.
4 and 5 W and M. Cap. xxiii. Relates to private Fisheries, &c. &c.
10 and 11 W. III. Cap. Xxiv. Concerning Billingsgate Market, Duties, &c. Assize of Lobsters brought on Shore and sold. No Fish (except Stock-fish and live Eels) to be imported or sold by Foreigners. Importation of Anchovies, Sturgeon, Botargo, and Cavear, also excepted.
10 W. III. Cap. xxv. Relates to the Fisheries of Newfoundland, and the Islands adjoining, with the Regulations thereof.
4 Anne, Cap. xv. Fishery of the River Stower in Essex and Suffolk.
4 and 5 Anne, Cap. xxi. Conservation, &c. of the Fishers of the Rivers, Creeks, &c. in the Counties of Southampton, and the southern Parts of Wiltshire. Seasons. Assize of Nets, &c.
9 Anne, Cap. xxvi. River Thames. See p. ??? 1 Geo. I. Cap. xviii. No Herring, Cod, Pilchard, Salmon, Ling, fresh or salted, dried or bloated: Nor Grill, Mackrell, Whiting, Haddock, Sprat, Coal-fish, Gull-fish, Conger, nor any Sort of flat Fish, or fresh Fish, to be imported or sold in England. That taken by any Foreigner, or out of any Strangers Bottom, except Protestant Inhabitants. Eels, Stock-fish, Anchovies, Sturgeon, Botargo, or Cavear, excepted. Assize of Drag-Nets used at Sea, &c. Assize of Turbot, Brill, Pearl, Codlin, Whiting, Bass, Mullet, Sole, Plaice, Dab, and Flounders, brought to Shore, sold, or exchanged, with Penalty. Lobsters and Turbuts may be imported by Foreigners. Assize of Salmon brought to London, &c. &c. River Severn, Dee, &c.
2 Geo. II. Cap. xix. Concerning the Rochester Fishery.
9 Geo. II. Cap. xxxiii. Confirming 1st Clause of 1 Geo. I. Cap. xviii. about Importation of Stock-fish by Foreigners. British Ships trading to the Mediterranean Sea, &c. Lobsters, when in Defence on the Coast of Scotland, &c. &c.

As the Navigation of this noble River is so very extensive and useful, as that we can thereby so readily conveigh any Goods, or other Matters, to so many different, nay distant Counties, of this Kingdom; I cannot forbear here annexing an Account of the several Keys, Wharfs, and other Places of this City and Suburbs, adjoining to the Thames; from whence, when, and to what particular Counties, Towns, and Villages, all, or any Goods, or other Commodities, may be sent, or Passengers conveyed to.

Whereby the Reader may the more evidently see the Conveniency and Importance, which the Navigation of this glorious River is of, as well to the Publick, as to Particulars; to whom, it may not be unacceptable, especially to those who live adjacent to, or may have any Concern with, or in the Navigation of this River, to know the more readily, where, when, and how to send, or go, to, from, and by the several Keys, Wharfs, Boats, &c.

Water-carriage on the Thames, from London, to the several Cities, Towns, &c. in the following Counties.

Berkshire. To Abindon, Newbery, and Reading; from the Bull by Brook's Wharf, Queenhithe, every Week.

Buckinghamshire. To Windsor from Queenhithe, Tuesdays and Fridays.

Cambridgeshire. By Wisbich-Hoys; from Billingsgate-Dock.

Cheshire. From Smart's-Key.

Cornwall. To Truro, Falmouth, and Places adjacent; from Fresh-Wharf next to London-Bridge, or from Bridgehouse, Southwark.

Devonshire. From Fresh-Wharf next to London-Bridge, or from Bridgehouse, Southwark.

Dorsetshire. From Bridgehouse, Southwark.

Durham. By Sunderland and Newcastle-Carriers, at Dash's-Wharf Southward of Fishmongers-Hall.

Essex. By Harwich Hoys; from Hartshorn's Brewhouse, the lower End of East-Smithfield, Mondays and Thursdays.

Colchester Hoy; from Wiggins-Key.

Woodbridge and Maiden; from Wiggin's-Key.

Lee Hoy; from St. Catherine's-Dock, every Friday.

Kent. Canterbury, Sandwich, Feversbam and Milton Hoys; from Bear-Key, or Bridgehouse, in Southwark, every Week.

Deal-Hookers; from Bear-Key, every Week.

Maidstone Hoys; from Battle-bridge, every Week.

Queenborough; from Bear-Key, every Week.

Gravesend Boats, and Tilt-Boats; from Billingsgate, every Day except Sundays.

Leicestershire. From Ralph's-Key.

Middlesex. Stain's-Barge; from Queenhithe, Tuesdays and Fridays.

Shepperton, Sundbury, and Hampton-Town Boats (and Places adjacent) Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, in Summer, Tuesdays and Fridays, in Winter.

Norfolk. From Dice-Key, by Billingsgate.

Northumberland. From Dash's-Wharf, Southward of Fishmongers-hall.

Notinghamshire. From Ralph's-Key.

Oxfordshire. From Brook's-Wharf, by Queenhithe.

Sommersetshire. From Battle-bridge, Southwark.

Suffolk. From Dice-Key, by Billingsgate.

Surry. Chertsea and Weybridge Barges; from Queenhithe, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Walton-Boats,; from Queenhithe and Hungerford Staijrs, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, in the Summer, and Tuesdays and Fridays in the Winter.

Guilford Luggage-Boats; from Queenhithe and other Places.

Yorkshire. York directly from Smart's-Key. York, Hull, Leeds, &c. from the Custom house-Key, and Ralph's-Key.

Keys, Wharfs, and Docks, adjoining to the Thames, London.

Keys, are such Places, where Ships, Hoys, Lighters, Barges, or Boats, do generally lade, or unlade their Freight, the chief of which are,

Billingsgate-key, between little Sommer's-Key, and Smart's-Key.
Brewer's-Key, the molt Easterly Key, next the Tower.
Chester-Key, the very next Key Westwards of Brewer's-Key.
Cox's-Key, the first Key Eastward from London-Bridge, and situated between FreshWharf, and Botolph-Wharf.
Customhouse-Key, between Great Bear-Key, and Porter's-Key.
Galley-Key, between Chester-Key, and WoolKey.
Great Bear-Key, between the Customhouse-Key, and Little Bear-Key.
Great Dice-Key, the second Key Eastward from Billingsgate-Key.
Little Dice-Key, the third Key Eastward from Billingsgate-Key.
Little Bear-Key, between Wiggin's-Key, and Great Bear-Key.
Little Sommer's Key, between Billingsgate East, and Sommer's-Key West.
Porter's-Key, between the Customhouse-Key and Wool-Key.
Ralph's-Key, the fourth Key Eastward from Billingsgate.
Smarts-Key, the first Key Eastward from Billingsgate.
Sommer's-Key, the next Key Westward of Billingsgate.
Wiggin's-Key, between Ralph's-Key, and Little Bear-Key.
Wool-Key, betwen Porter's-Key, and Galley-Key.


Wharfs are such Places, where Goods and Merchants Wares, &c. are frequently landed, and from whence they are shipped off; the principal of which are,

Bell-wharf, leading to upper Shadwell.
Bull-Wharf, near the westerly End of Tooley-Strees, Southwark.
Botolph-Wharf, between Cox's-Key, and Sommer's-Key.
Broken-Wharf, next to London-Bridge Westward.
Fresh-Wharf, next to London-Bridge, Eastward.
Sellinger's-Wharf, near to Bull-Wharf, by Tooley-Street.


Docks are small Harbours cut into the Land, and are useful for the convenient Lying of Vessels, Hoys, Lighters, Barges, Boats, &c. the principal of which are as follows, viz.

Billingsgate-dock, a Place of great Resort and Trade, and where Ships, of considerable Burthen may harbour.
Dowgate-Dock, in Thames-Street, Southward from Dowgate-hill.
Execution-Dock, between Wapping-new-Stairs, and King Edward's Stairs. So called, because it is the only Place, where Pirates and Sea-Robbers, are executed.
Hermitage-Dock, at Hermitage-bridge, by Wapping.
St. Catherine's-Dock, Eastward from the Tower.
Limehouse-Dock, at Lime-house, beyond Ratcliff-Cross.
Puddle-Dock, at the West End of Thames Street.
Queenhithe-Dock, at Queenhithe, in Thames Street. A Place where much ground Corn, or Meal, &c. from the West-Country is landed, &c.
Ratcliff-Dock, near Broad-Street in Ratcliff.
Sab's-Dock, at Bear-Key.
Saviour's-Dock, near St. Saviour's-Church, Southwark.
Savory's-Dock, between East-Stairs and New-Stairs, near Shad-Thames, on the South Side the River.
Scotland-Dock, adjoining to White-hall.
Tower-Dock, at the East End of Thames-Street.
Wapping-Dock, near to, and Eastwards from Execution-Dock.
Whitefriars-Dock, at the lower End of WaterLane, in Fleet-Street.

N. B. For the further Information of the particular Rates of Water-Carriage, by Tilt-boats, Wherries, Oars, or Scullars, plying on the Thames. See [here].

Dickinson, Mayor.
Rules, Orders, and Ordinances, 1757

To commence and take place from the 29th day of September, 1757; made, framed and sat down in writing by the court of the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of London, 13th day of September, 1757, for the governing and a regulating all persons who shall fish or drudge in the River of Thames, and also in The Waters of Medway, within the jurisdiction of the Mayor of the said City of London, as conservator of the said River of Thames and waterways of Medway, as common fisherman or drudgermen, or otherwise: and for declaration in what manner they shall demean themselves in fishing ; and with what manner of nets and engines ; and at what times and seasons they shall use fishing in the said river, and Waters of Medway, within the jurisdiction aforesaid: and for ascertaining the size of the several fish to eat there taken: and for the preservation, from time to time of the spawn and fry and fish in the said river and waters, within the jurisdiction aforesaid: and for obliging every common fisherman or drudgerman or other person, who shall fish with a boat, vessel, or craft, from and after the said 29th day of September, 1757, in the said River of Thames or in the said Waters of Medway, within the jurisdiction aforesaid,they have in his boat, vessel, or craft, both his Christian and Sirname, and also the name of the Parish or place in which he dwelleth, painted in legible and large characters, in some convenient place, where any one may see and read the same ; and for preventing such name, or Mark of distinction, from being changed, altered, or defaced: with reasonable penalties annexed, for breach of such rules, orders, or ordinances, in pursuance of the Act of Parliament locally made entitled,
An act for the more effectual preservation and improvement of the spawn and fry of fish in the River of Thames, and Waters of Medway, and for the better regulating the fishery thereof.

1. Imprimis, To the end, all unlawful nets and engines, and other abuses offered to the prejudice and destruction of the fishery may be discovered, it is ordained by the said court, that no person shall stall the Tide of Flood, or at any time in the year in the night time, or before sun rising, or after sun setting, fish in the said River of Thames, between London Bridge westwards, and the City of London's Mark stone above Staines Bridge (other than and except for smelts or shads with such nets, and of not less dimensions in the mesh, and in the season only, as by the orders now made by this court are allowed of for the taking thereof ; or for salmon in the season, as by the orders now made by this court are allowed of for the taking thereof, from sun setting to sun rising, with a wide net of not less than 6 inches in the mesh at least ; or for Roach or Dace only in the season as by the orders now made by this court are allowed of for taking thereof, with a Blay-Net of not less dimensions in the mesh, than Blay-Nets by the orders now made by this court are allowed of for taking thereof ; or for taking Gudgeons only with a fleeting Gudgeon net, of not less dimensions in the mesh than gudgeon nets are by the orders of this court now made allowed to be of) and that no such wide net, hereby allowed of for taking salmon, between sun setting and sun rising, shall at any other time being anywise used to catch salmon, or other fish, between sun rising and sun setting, in the said River Thames, from London Bridge westwards: and that no person shall shoot, set, draw, or use any other net, engine, or other device, to take, or endeavour to take or catch therewith, in the Night-Time, or before sunrise in, or after sun setting, at any time of the year, any sort of fish ( other than what are above mentioned and accepted ) in the said River Thames, between London Bridge westwards, and the City of London's Mark stone above Staines Bridge, under the penalty of forfeiting and paying £5 for every such offence.

2. Item, That no person shall lie or bend over, any net whatsoever, during the time of flood, whereby any kind of fish may be hindered or kept back from swimming upwards, to the benefit and profit of such fishermen as dwell above London Bridge, in the West part of the said river, under penalty of forfeiting and paying £5 for every such offence.

3. Item, That no person shall shoot or place any draw-net, cod-net, or other net or engine, in the said River Thames, to catch salmon with, or shall use any net, or device, to catch salmon in the said River of Thames (accept only with a net, the meshes thereof not to be of less size than 6 inches from knot to knot, and with a cod of 8 fathom on the rope, with the measures thereof not to be of less size than 3 inches from knot to knot) and that no person shall wilfully do, or commit, or cause to be done, or committed, any act whatsoever, in the said River Thames, whereby any spawn, or small fry of salmon shall be taken, killed, or destroyed, or whereby any salmon shall be hindered from passing or going up the said River Thames to spawn, upon the penalty of forfeiting £5 for every offence.

4. Item, That no person, between the 24th day of August and the 11th day of November in any year, shall fish in the said River of Thames for salmon, with any net or nets, engine or device; or within that time take, kill, or destroy in the said river, salmon of any kind or sort whatsoever; or sell, or offer to or for sale, salmon of any kind or sort whatsoever, taken in the said River of Thames, under the penalty of forfeiting and paying £5 for every such offence.

5. Item, That no person shall fish with any net, or lay or hale any weel, or lay or use any net, engine, or device whatsoever, to take fish in the said River Thames, or Waters of Medway, from sun setting on Saturday night, until sun rising on Monday morning, at any time of the year, upon the penalty of forfeiting and paying 20 shillings for every such offence.

6. Item, That no person shall, at any time, ship their draw nets, called shipping a stern into the boats, before such time as they have laid forth all their whole net, as they do when they land towards a low water; nor shall they ship some part of their said net, and land the rest, under the penalty of forfeiting and paying the sum of £5 for every such offence.

7. Item, That no person shall use any spear called an eel spear, or use or work on the River Thames, or Waters of Medway, at any time of the year, any Blay-net, for catching any kind of fish, either Ebb or by Flood, which have any mesh of less size than 2 inches at least, from knot to knot; and that no Blay-net shall be worked or used on the said River Thames, or Waters of Medway, at any other time of the year, but between the 24th day of August and the 21st day of March in every year; and that no person shall fleet with any Blay-net, not being of the breadth in the mesh, from knot to knot, hereby directed, under the penalty of forfeiting and paying for every such event, the sum of 40 shillings.

8. Item, That no person shall, after the 29th day of September, 1757, carry or use any smelt net on the River Thames, from London Bridge westward, until after the 25th day of January in every year, and not longer than the first day of June in every year, under the penalty of forfeiting and paying of 40 shillings for every such offence.

9. Item, that no person shall have or use, within the jurisdiction aforesaid, any double-walled net, for catching any sort of fish, westwards of London Bridge, to the London Mark stone above Staines Bridge, which shall have any mesh of less size than 2 inches and half at least, from knot to knot; and for catching any fish eastwards of London Bridge, which shall have any mesh of less size than 2 inches and 3 quarters at least, from knot to knot; and that no person shall have, keep, or use, within the jurisdiction aforesaid, any Trammel or Hood-net whatsoever, for catching of fish, not being three inches broad at the least in the mouth, upon pain to forfeit and pay 40 shillings for every such offence.

10. Item, that no person shall lay, set, or place any weels, except Greg-weels, in the River of Thames, between the 21st day of March and the 1st day of June yearly, upon the penalty of forfeiting and paying 40 shillings for every such offence.

11. Item, that no person shall use any wheels called a lamb, or mill pot, or any other device or engine, with the head thereof against the stream, in the said River Thames, or Waters of Medway, or any net called a purse net, or casting net, upon pain to forfeit and pay 40 shillings for every such offence.

12. Item, that no person shall fish with any kind of net, or use any angle rod with more than two hooks upon a line, or saw or scratch for barbel, or use any engine or device for taking fish nearer until London Bridge than Botolph Wharf, and the Bridgehouse Wharf on the Eastside; or nearer unto the west side than St Mary-Overy's stairs, and the Old Swan, under the penalty of forfeiting and paying 10 shillings for every such offence.

13. Item, that no person shall fish or work for smelts, upon or in the River of Thames, westwards of London Bridge, with any net, of which the mess shall be of less size than 1 inch and a quarter, from knot to knot; or further westwards in the said river than Richmond-Crane, with any manner of nets: and that no person shall fish or work for Gudgeons in the said River Thames, or Waters of Medway, (accepting angling) but with wheels, or with a net which shall have no mesh thereof of less size than 1 inch and a quarter, from knot to knot, or above 13 fathom on the rope, and which shall be only worked by fleeting; and that no one shall work for or capture Gudgeons, but in the channel of the river, or fare deep (except by angling) upon pain to forfeit and pay 40 shillings for every such offence.

14. Item, that no person shall, at any time of the year, take the tides, or Pouse, or use any Pousing-net, upon the River of Thames, under the penalty of forfeiting and paying 40 shillings for every such offence.

15. Item, That no person shall take any sort of fish which are usually called kettle-fish, not being 7 inches of assize each: and that whitebait shall only be taken with a wide net, not exceeding 4 yards in length, and with meshes of not less size than three quarters of an inch, from knot to knot, upon paying to forfeit and pay 20 shillings for every such offence.

16. Item, That no net under the assize of 2 inches and a half in the mesh (except Blay-nets and Gudgeon nets, as hereby are allowed ) shall be worked or wrought by any person at any time of the year, above Richmond-Crane, upon the River of Thames; and that no person shall use any net, in the work of fishing, called Beating of the Bush, flag or reed, which shall be of less size than 3 inch in the mesh that is to say, 1 inch and half from knot to knot; or shall use or load their nets with any stones, lead, iron, bricks, or other things, than the lead which is usually put about the same, to sink them, under the penalty to forfeit and pay 40 shillings for every such offence.

17. Item, That no net or engine shall be wrought or drawn over the weeds, for catching of pikes, or other fish, by any persons, under the penalty to forfeit and pay 20 shillings for every such offence.

18. Item, That no person shall bend any net by anchors, or otherwise thwart the channel, or draw another net into it, or use any net with any false or double bottom, cod, or pouch, upon pain to forfeit and pay 40 shillings for every such offence.

19. Item, That no weel, called a kill or spurt, or any other engine, shall be laid, set, or placed in any lane or channel, stop or gull, upon the River of Thames, between the 10th day of March and the 1st day of June in any year, upon the penalty to forfeit and pay 20 shillings for every such offence.

20. Item, That no person shall draw, work, or land any net, for salmon, which have any mesh of a lesser size than 3 inches at least from knot to knot, with a cod of 8 fathom on the ropes, of 3 inches and half in the mesh, between the 1st day of June and the 24th day of August in any year, in any part of the River Thames, from the Kew-pile westward, to the City of London's Mark stone above staines Bridge, under the penalty of forfeiting and paying of 40 shillings for every such offence.

21. Item, That no person shall use any draw net, or draw any net, although of legal size, or mesh, upon, before, or after any other net or nets; or land any net under 3 inches in the mesh, from knot to knot, and 8 yards in the cod (the mesh thereof to be three inches at least) in any part of the river westward from London Bridge, under the penalty of forfeiting and paying 40 shillings for every such offence.

22. Item, That shads shall only be taken in the said River of Thames, westwards of London Bridge, with drag or drove nets; and eastwards of London Bridge with single nets, or drag or drove nets; and that every single net and dragnet shall be 2 inches and half at least in the mesh, from knot to knot, and that every Drove-net shall be 3 inches and half in the mesh at least, from knot to knot, under the penalty of forfeiting and paying 40 shillings for every such offence.

22. Item, That Shads shall only be taken in the said River of Thames, Westwards of London Bridge, with drag or drove nets; and Eastwards of London Bridge with single nets, or drag or drove nets; and that every single net and drag net shall be 2 inches and half at least in the mesh, from knot to knot, and that every drove net shall be 3 inches and half in the mesh at least from knot to knot, under the penalty of forfeiting and paying 40 shillings for every such offence.


23. Item, That the respective times and seasons for persons going forth to fish, and taking fish in the said River of Thames, and Waters of Medway, shall from time to time, be observed by them, and be as follows, that is to say,

Flounders.Shall be taken all the year.
Smelts.Shall be only taken from the 25th day of January to the 1st day of June in every year.
Shads.Shall be only taken from the 10th day of May to the 30th day of June in every year.
Salmon.Shall be only taken from the 11th day of November to the 24th day of August yearly.
Trouts.Shall only be taken from the 11th day of November to the 24th day of August yearly.
Pike, Jack, Pearch, Roach, Dace, Chub and Barbel.Shall be only taken between the 24th day of August and the 21st day of March in every year.
Gudgeons.Shall be only taken from the 24th day of August to the 21st day of March in every year.
Leaps and Rods for Eels.Shall be laid only from the 21st day of April to the 30th day of October yeary.
Lamperns.Shall be only taken from the 24th day of August to the 30th day of March yearly.
Whitings.Shall be only taken from Michaelmas-Day till Emberweek.
Whitebait.Shall be only taken from the 1st day of August to the 1st day of October yearly.
White shrimps.Shall be only taken from Bartholomew day to Good Friday yearly.
Red shrimps.Shall be taken in the River Medway from the 25th day of April to the 1st day of July in every year.
Buntings.Shall be only taken from the 1st day of September to the 1st day of April yearly.
Hooker men.May hook for eels all the year.
Stow-boats.Trawlermen, Trinkermen, Hebbermen, Draggermen and Bandingmen, may lay Leaps for Eels and Smelts, during the time and in the seasons hereby allowed for taking such fish respectively.

and any person who should catch any fish within the jurisdiction aforesaid, in any other manner or in any other season of the year, than is hereby allowed of, shall forfeit and pay for every such offence the sum of £5.

24. Item, that no fish of any of the sorts or kind hereinafter mentioned, shall be caught in the said River of Thames, or Waters of Medway, or sold, or exposed to or for sale, if caught in the said River of Thames, or Waters of Medway, of less weight or size than herein after is specified, that is to say:
no salmon of less weight than 6 lbs each fish;:
no trout of less weight than one pound each fish:
no pike or Jack under 12 inches long, from the eyes to the end of the tail:
no perch under 6 inches long, from the eyes to the end of the tail:
no Flounders under 6 in long, from the eyes to the end of the tail:
no soles under 7 inches long, from the eyes to the end of the tail:
no plaice or dabs under 7 inches long, from the eyes to the end of the tail:
no roach under 6 inches long from the eyes to the end of the tail:
no dice under 6 inches long, from the eyes to the end of the tail:
no whitings under 6 in long from the eyes to the end of the tail:
no barbel under 12 inches long no chub under 9 inches each,.
under pain to forfeit and pay 40 shillings for every such offence.

25. Item, That no person shall in any wise use or practice Trinking, Stowboating, Trawling, or catching of any fish or bait, in the said River of Thames, or Waters of Medway, on any Lord's Day, commonly called Sunday, under the penalty of forfeiting and paying for every such offence 40 shillings.

26. Item, That no person shall have, use or employ any Trawle-net, that shall not be 2 inches and half at the head and 2 inches at the cod; and that all nets already made shall be taken off at 3 score mesh and knit down to 2 inches, upon pain to forfeit and pay £5 for every such offence.

27. Item, That no person shall begin to fish, or work upon any Trayle, before the 6th day of October yearly, or shall fish or work upon any Trayle, after the thirtieth day of March in any year, upon pain to forfeit and pay 40 shillings for every such offence.

28. Item, That no person, using any season in buying and selling of fish, shall put out his flag before he has bought, upon paying to forfeit and pay £5 for every such offence.

29. Item, That no net shall be drawn by any person, between two boats, accept cod or wide nets for catching salmon with, and so as the same be not of less mesh than the same are hereby ordered and allowed to be; but no such cod or wide nets are to be worked in any gull or stream in the river, between the 21st day of March and the 21st day of May in any year upon pain to forfeit and pay 40 shillings for every such offence.

30. Item, That no Trinke shall stand for smelts, between Good Friday and the 31st day of October yearly; and that no person, eastwards of London Bridge, shall use any manner of net for smelts, which shall not be full 2 inches in the fore part, and 1 inch and half in the second part, and the third part (which is the hose or cod) 1 inch and a quarter, wet and dry; and that the hose shall not exceed 11 feet in length, and in compass not above 50 meshs; and that the 5 hoops shall be placed a foot and half a sunder in the cod, and that the last hoop shall be placed within 2 ft of the ends of the cod, and each hoop shall be of foot and half over every way, upright within the hoop, and not otherwise, upon pain to forfeit and pay £5 for every such offence.

31. Item, that no Trinke of any person, shall stand to fish for smelts, longer than from Monday morning until Friday night, weekly, unless it be in Lent time; and then to stand every day, except the Lord's day, commonly called Sunday, upon pain to forfeit and pay 40 shillings for every such offence.

32. Item, That every Trinke shall keep his true compliment, and stand in the several places and in manner hereinafter directed; and that no Trinke of any person shall stand in any birth, or turn, or more at any place than is herein after allowed, that is to say,

at Blackwall Ferry, two abreast, afront, and no more,
at Leigh Shelpe,two, and no more,
at Woolwich Shelpe,two, and no more,
at Woolwich Town,Five, and no more,
at Gallions Nassethree, and no more,
at Buswards Bush, Five, and no more,
at the East and West end of Barking Shelpe,two at each place, and no more,
at Dagenham Shelpe,Six, and no more,
at Carech,Four, and no more,
at Julian Tree Jobb,Three, and no more,
at Dartford Jobb,Three, and no more,
at the Bite at East Nasse,Three, and no more,
at Stakes Fleet Nasse, alias Stakes End,Five, and no more,
at Aveley-Hold,Five, and no more,
at Purfleet,Five, and no more,
at Grayes Thorrocke,Six, and no more,
at the Two Thoroughs,Three, and no more,

upon pain to forfeit and pay 40 shillings for every such offence.

33. Item, That no owner or worker of any Trinke, shall stand to fish with his Trinke, or suffer his Trinke, or any persons therein, to fish for whitings, at any other season than herein before is appointed or allowed, or shall come higher than Purfleet; and that the hose of the cod of every one of the nets, which shall be used by or in any such Trinke, shall be a full inch and half wide; and that the owner or worker of every such Trinke, shall upon every Saturday at the sun rising at the farthest, wash of his net, Hale up, and not return to his labour till Monday morning at daylight. And that no owner or worker of any Trinke, shall stand to fish, or be allowed to fish, before any breach mouth, at the rising or sinking of any mother fishes, or in the time of spawn, or brood of fish; and that the owner or worker of every Trinke, shall at all times and seasons take up, and carry away, the anchors belonging to such Trinke, at the time of his leaving off from fishing; and not leave any of his anchors behind him, to keep his birth, upon pain to forfeit and pay 40 shillings for every such offence.

34. Item, That the owner of every Trinke shall in every dark and foggy night hang forth, out of his said Trinke boat, one Lanthorn with a sufficient candle light, for the better and safer passage of ships, boats, and vessels passing to and fro; and that the Trinke cable of every Trinke shall be no more than 25 fathom long, at the most, and none of their Henbuilt shall be above 25 fathom long; and every warp shall be 60 fathom long, and no more, to share off, and give way, if any ship, Crayer, or other vessel, shall chance to drive upon them, upon pain to forfeit and pay 40 shillings for every such offence.

35. Item, That no person, being a Hebberman, shall put down his net in time of flood, or draw the shores, or use any hood nets, or draw one net into another, or fish in any haven, creek, breach, or issue, with any net of lesser assize than 2 inches and 3 quarters in the mouth from knot to knot, and that the mesh of all Smelt-nets shall be one full inch at least wide, from knot to knot, wet and dry, upon pain to forfeit and pay 40 shillings for every such offence.

36. Item, That every Hebber-net shall be without hose; and that every Hebberman shall fish by the shore, and pitch his two anchors, one at half Ebb, and the other in the stream; and shall have but fifty fathoms rope allowed for the pitch of his anchors, in the River; and that no Hebberman shall lie a floating or flatting for smelts or other fish, between two anchors, in the midst of the stream, or shall have any kind of weight of lead, iron, stone, or otherwise, in any net, or use any barrel, firkin, Kilderkin, cask, wherry, or other device for fishing, other than what is hereby allowed; or shall fish from Good Friday until Bartholomew-Tide yearly, betwixt London Bridge and Gravesend, with any net under 2 inch and half in the mesh from knot to knot (except with a wide net for bait only) and that Bobs shall be baited by Hebbermen, either with plaice or Flounders; and that no person shall use above four Bobs at a time. And that no Hebberman shall work any higher for whitings than Barking Creek, or shall work there with any manner of nets, for whitings of lesser size than full inch and half wide, from knot to knot, wet and dry, upon pain to forfeit and pay 20 shillings for every such offence.

37. Item, That no person shall fish above Hall Haven on the north side, and Horsing on the south side, with any nets for Soles under 2 inch and half in the upper part, and 2 inches in the cod (which cod shall be 2 yards long, and no more) and that no person shall work in Tilbury-Hope after Michaelmas day with any manner of net, for plaice, under 3 inches wide, all the net over; or come at any time upon any Trayle with any other net, upon pain to forfeit and pay 20 shillings for every such offence.

38. Item, That no person shall pitch, set, or erect any Riff-Hedge or Half-Net upon the stakes, or otherwise, within the full sea, or low water, in any place or places, upon pain to forfeit and pay £5 for every such offence.

39. Item, That no Drag-Net, or other net, shall at any time of the year be brought or landed on any shore of the River of Thames, or Waters of Medway (except Salmon-Nets and Shad nets, of the dimensions hereby allowed, and during the season hereby allowed for fishing for salmon and shads) upon pain to forfeit and pay 40 shillings for every such offence.

40. Item, that no person shall, by any device, ways, or means, wilfully take, destroy, or spoil, any spawn, fry, or brood of fish, or spat of oysters, under penalty of forfeiting and paying 40 shillings for every such offence.

41. Item, that no person shall wilfully take or catch any fish out of season, or during the time or season of spawning, under pain to forfeit and pay 40 shillings for every such offence.

42. Item, that no person shall knowingly have in his custody, or cry, carry about, or expose to or for sale, on any part of the River Thames, or in The Waters of Medway, within the jurisdiction aforesaid, or in the cities of London or Westminster, or the liberties thereof, or in the counties of Middlesex, Surry, Essex, or Kent, or any of them, any spawn, fry, or brood of Thames fish, or fish of The Waters of Medway, or spat of oysters, or any Thames fish or fish of the Waters of Medway, under the dimension or size allowed by the orders hereby made; or shall sell or expose to or for sale, any Thames smelts (except only in the season, in which the same are hereby allowed to be caught) or shall knowingly sell or expose to or for sale, at any time of the year, any unwholesome, unseasonable, or unsizeable Thames fish, or fish of the Waters of Medway, under penalty to forfeit the same to any person who will make seizure thereof (and which any person is hereby authorised to do, and to bring the offender before a magistrate) and also under pain to forfeit and pay for every such offence 40 shillings.

43. Item, That no person shall, on the River Thames, or Waters of Medway, within the jurisdiction aforesaid, or in any part of the Cities of London or Westminster, or the liberties thereof, or in the said county of Middlesex, Surry, Essex, or Kent, or any of them, knowingly buy, or accept of, or take, by way of gift, exchange, or otherwise, any unwholesome Thames fish, or fish of The Waters of Medway, or any Thames fish, or fish of the Waters of Medway, out of season, or any spawn, fry, or brood of Thames fish, or fish of the Waters of Medway, or spat of oysters, or any kind or sort of Thames fish, or fish of The Waters of Medway, under the dimension or size the same respectively are allowed to be taken by the orders abovementioned, under the penalty to forfeit and pay 10 shillings for every offence.

44. Item, That no person shall fish with any great nets in any places which shall be staked by order of the Mayor of the said City of London for the time being, as conservator as aforesaid, for preservation of the fishery, and whereof notice shall be stuck up in some public place of the town or village next adjoining to the place or places so ordered to be staked, under the penalty to forfeit and pay 40 shillings for every such offence.

45. Item, That all persons who take Shads in Shadding-Time, shall observe and keep their true orders of shooting a drove's length off from one another, under the pain to forfeit and pay 20 shillings for every such offence.

46. Item, That no person shall Band, or use the trade of Banding, at any time of the year, upon paying to forfeit and pay 40 shillings for every such offence.

47. Item, That no person within the jurisdiction aforesaid, shall lay, set, or place, at any time of the year, in any part of the said River of Thames, or Waters of Medway, anymore or greater quantity of Eel-Leaps during the season hereby allowed for catching of eels, in every year, than four dozen of Eel-Leaps, under pain to forfeit and pay for every such offence 40 shillings.

48. Item, That no person shall catch, or expose to sale, any lobsters, that shall be of any less size than 9 inches Whole-Ware, and 8 inches Half-Ware, to be reckoned from the snout to the middle fin of the tail, upon pain to forfeit and pay 20 shillings for every such offence.

49. Item, That no person shall use any Kettle-Nets, for plaice, but what shall be 4 inches mesh in the arms from knot to knot, and 3 inches and half in the cod: and that no Summer-Kettles shall be used by any person, upon pain to forfeit and pay 40 shillings for every such offence.

50. Item, That on every boat, vessel, or craft, in which from the 29th day of September next, any person shall fish, or which shall be used or employed in or for taking or catching of fish, within the jurisdiction aforesaid, there shall within 21 days after the said 29th day of September, 1757, be painted, and be and remain thereon, in large and legible characters, and in some convenient and conspicuous place or part of every such boat, vessel, or craft, the real Christian and sirname of the owner or owners of every such boat, vessel, or craft, and also the name of the parish or place in which every such owner or owners shall dwell or reside, and so as any one out of such boat, vessel, or craft, may from time to time find out, read and see the same, and therefrom discover in whose boat, vessel, or craft, any offence in breach of any of the orders hereby made, shall be committed, under pain to forfeit and pay for every such offence, or omission, the sum of 40 shillings.

51. Item, That no person shall fish in, or make use of in or for fishing, in or upon the said River of Thames, or Waters of Medway, any boat, vessel, or craft, on which, after the expiration of 21 days, from the said 29th day of September, 1757, the name of the real owner or owners thereof; and the place of his, her, or their usual abode, or residents, shall not be painted in large and legible characters, and so as to be seen and read easily by any person out of such boat, vessel, or craft; and that every time the property of any such boat, vessel, or craft, shall be in any wise altered, the new proprietor or proprietors thereof, shall, within 7 days then afterwards, cause the name and place of abode of the former proprietor thereof to be obliterated therefrom, and the real Christian and sirname, and place of abode, of the new owner or owners thereof to be painted, and remain thereon in legible and large characters, in some convenient and conspicuous place of every such boat, vessel, or craft, where any one out of such boat, vessel, or craft, may see and read the same; and that every time the owner of any such boat, vessel, or craft, shall leave the parish or place marked for his place of abode, on any such boat, vessel, or craft, and go to live or reside in any other parish or place, he shall within 7 days after leaving his other parish or place of abode, cause to be painted in large and legible characters, on his boat, vessel, or craft, the name of the new parish or place into which he has so removed, and so as anyone who shall be out of such boat, vessel, or craft, may easily see and read the same; and that no person shall suffer any false name, or place of abode to be or remain in or on his boat, vessel, or craft, under the penalty to forfeit and pay 40 shillings for every such offence.

52. Item, That no person shall wilfully alter or deface any name or place of abode, which shall be painted in or on any such boat, vessel, or craft (except for inserting the name or names, and place of abode of the new owner or owners thereof, on the alteration of the property of any such boat, vessel, or craft, or for inserting the new place of abode of the owner of any such boat, vessel, or craft, who shall change his abode) upon pain to forfeit and pay for every such offence the sum of 40 shillings.

53. Item, That if the owner of any such boat, vessel, or craft, which shall be marked as hereby is directed, his servants or agents, shall lend or lett out for hire, or otherwise his boat, vessel, or craft, to any other person, or suffer the same to be used in, for, or about fishing, within the jurisdiction aforesaid, by any other person, the owner or owners of every such boat, vessel, or craft, which shall be so lent or lett out, shall be answerable for, and liable to pay all money as shall be forfeited by the breach of any of the orders hereby made, by the person or persons who shall use or occupy any such boat, vessel, or craft, which shall be so lent or lett out, or used for fishing, within the jurisdiction aforesaid, if the offender or offenders, guilty of any such breach thereof, shall not be discovered and brought before a magistrate, within 7 days after complaint made against him, or them, for any breach thereof, and shall not on his or their conviction, pay down the money which shall be forfeited by him or them, under the penalty to forfeit and pay the sum of £5 for every such offence.

54. Item, That all nets, engines and devices, which shall be in the possession of any person, upon or near adjoining to the said the River Thames, or Waters of Medway, within the jurisdiction aforesaid, or which shall be made use of for taking or catching of fish, not being of legal size or mesh, or allowed of by the orders now made by this court, or by the statutes now in force concerning the same, shall be deemed unlawful nets, engines and devices, for taking of fish in the said river or waters, and as such may be seized in any place, upon or near adjoining to the said River of Thames, or Waters of Medway, within the jurisdiction aforesaid, by any person, and carried before the Mayor, Recorder, or any Alderman of London, or any Justice of the Peace of the county, City, division, or place wherein the same shall be found or seized; and if the same on inspection or examination by the said Mayor, Recorder, or any Alderman, or such Justice, shall be deemed unlawful or unsizeable net or nets, or unlawful engines or devices for taking of fish, the said Mayor, Recorder, Alderman or Justice, who shall judge the same to be unlawful or unsizeable net or nets, or unlawful engines or devices for taking of fish, shall cause the same, with all convenient speed, then afterwards to be cut to pieces, burnt, or otherwise effectually destroyed, in such manner, and at such place, as he shall think fit.

55. Item, That no person after the said 29th of September, 1757, shall have, or occupy, or fix up, drive down, or place, or cause to be fixed up, drove down, or placed in any part of the said River Thames, or Waters of Medway within the jurisdiction aforesaid, or on any shore thereof, any wear, stank, stop, or hatch, for taking of fish, or for fixing or placing therein any Weel, Reel, or other device to take fish in, or by any means thereof; or shall drive, put down, or place, or cause to be drove, put down, or placed, any posts, stakes, or other things, in any part of the said River of Thames, or Waters of Medway, within the jurisdiction aforesaid, or any shore thereof, under pretence to shelter or preserve therein any fish, or the spawn, young brood, or fry thereof; or to prevent drawing or casting any nets in any part of the said river, or waters, within the jurisdiction aforesaid, or any other account, or for any other purpose, unless leave in writing shall have been first obtained for the doing thereof, from the Mayor of the City of London for the time being as conservator as aforesaid, under his hand, and for granting whereof (if any Mayor of the said City shall think proper, at any time, to Grant any such leave) no fee, reward, or gratuity shall be paid or taken, upon pain to forfeit and pay from time to time, the sum of £5 for every offence in breach of any part of this order.

56. Item, not after the said 29th day of September, 1757, no person shall follow the trade or business of a fisherman, on the said River of Thames, or Waters of Medway, within the jurisdiction aforesaid, and catch fish for sale, or to sell, unless he has been, or shall be brought up to the said business, or shall serve as a servant or apprentice, or shall have served an apprenticeship to or with some person of the said trade or business of a fisherman, upon pain to forfeit and pay from time to time, the sum of £5 for every offence breach of any part of this order. 57. Item, That the Mayor of the City of London, or any Justice of the Peace, before whom any offender shall be brought, and shall be convicted for breach of any of the rules, orders, or ordinances hereby made, shall, and may from time to time, as he shall see occasion, mitigate or remit any of the penalties thereby inflicted, so as such mitigation does not extend to remit above one half of the penalty inflicted for any offence committed; and every such mitigation shall be a sufficient discharge to the person offending, for so much of the penalty as shall be so mitigated or remitted; and all penalties forfeited shall be recovered and go as by the said Act of Parliament are directed: and in case of default of paying the same, or if the same cannot be levied by distress and sale of the offender's goods, every offender is to be committed to prison, as by the said act is directed.

I have perused and examined the above 57 rules, orders, and ordinances, and I do allow and approve thereof.
Mansfield. 15 September 1757.

Having perused the said rules, orders, and ordinances, I do also allow and approve of the same.
T. Parker. 20 September 1757.