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city, were there, in their best livery (according as the Cardinal had them appointed), by nine of the clock. Then the King commanded that all the prisoners should be brought forth. Then came in the
poor younglings and old false knaves, bounden in ropes, all along, one after another, in their shirts, and every one a halter about his neck, to the number of four hundred men and eleven women. And when all were come before the King's presence, the Cardinal sore laid to the Mayor and Commonalty their negligence, and to the prisoners he declared that they had deserved death for their offence. Then all the prisoners together cried, 'Mercy, gracious lord-mercy!' Then the lords altogether besought his Grace of mercy; at whose request the King pardoned them all. And then the Cardinal gave unto them a good exhortation, to the great gladness of the hearers; and when the general pardon was pronounced, all the prisoners shouted at once, and altogether cast up their halters into the hall roof, so that the King might perceive they were none of the discreetest sort.”
And so the first of May, in the year 1517, was ever after called EVIL MAY-DAY.
The apprentices' tragedy long threw a gloom over the May-games of London. No king and queen, with lords and ladies, rode a-maying to Greenwich; no company of tall yeomen, clothed all in green, bade welcome to the woods; no Robin Hood and his followers escorted the court to arbours made of boughs, decked with flowers, and fur
nished with the more substantial attractions of wine and venison ; no citizens in every parish had their several mayings, and fetched in may-poles with pastime all the day long. Honest old Stow almost weeps over this falling off. The punishment of Evil May-day lasted through several generations. The great Shaft of St. Andrew was ignobly laid along under the pentices of Shaft Alley; and there it rotted on iron hooks for two-and-thirty years. Even that inglorious repose was at last denied to it. The Reformation came; and one Sir Stephen, curate of St. Katharine's, preaching from an elmtree in St. Paul's churchyard, denounced the unhappy shaft as an idol; and away went his hearers that very Sunday, and “after they had well dined, to make themselves strong," as Stow gravely records, raised the shaft from the hooks, sawed it in pieces, and divided the logs amongst them.
THOSE who are not tolerably familiar with the Memoir Literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, will have some difficulty to comprehend how our ancestors moved about from place to place, and carried on the business of communication with distant inland parts. The mode of conveyance was so universal, and so established, that it rarely offers itself to any especial notice. Till the beginning of the eighteenth century we were almost wholly an EQUESTRIAN people. Harrison describes “the excellent paces” of our saddle-horses as peculiar to those of our soil ; and says, that “our countrymen, seeking their ease in every corner where it is to be had, delight very much in this quality.” All the records of early pageantry tell us of the magnificence of horsemen. Froissart saw the coronation of Henry IV., and he thus describes the progress of the triumphant Bolingbroke through the city.
“After dinner the duke departed from the Tower to Westminster, and rode all the way bareheaded ; and about his neck the livery of France. He was accompanied with the prince his son, and six dukes, six earls, and eighteen barons, and in all, knights and squires, nine hundred horse. Then the king had on a short coat of cloth of gold, after the manner of Almayne, and he was
mounted on a white courser, and the garter on his left leg. Thus the duke rode through London with a great number of lords, every lord's servant in their master's livery ; all the burgesses and Lombard merchants in London, and every craft with their livery and device. Thus he was conveyed to Westminster. He was in number six thousand horse.” The old English chroniclers revel in these descriptions. They paint for us, in the most vivid colours, the entry into London of the conqueror of Agincourt; they are most circumstantial in their relations of the welcome of his unhappy son, after the boy had been crowned at Paris, with the king riding amidst flowing conduits, and artificial trees and flowers, and virgins making “heavenly melody,” and bishops “in pontificalibus;” and having made his oblations at the cathedral, “he took again his steed at the west door of Paul's and so rode forth to Westminster.” By the ancient “order of crowning the kings and queens of England,” it is prescribed that, “the day before the coronation, the king should come from the Tower of London to his palace at Westminster, through the midst of the city, mounted on a horse, handsomely habited, and bare-headed, in the sight of all the people.” The citizens were familiar with these splendid equestrian processions, from the earliest times to the era of coaches; and they hung their wooden houses with gay tapestry, and their wives and daughters sate in their most costly dresses in the balconies, and shouts rent the air, and they forgot for a short time that there was little security for life or property against the despot of the hour. They played at these pageants, as they still play, upon a smaller scale, themselves; and the Lord Mayor's horse and henchmen were seen on all solemn occasions of marching-watches and Bartholomew fairs. The city dignitaries seldom ride now ; although each new sheriff has a horseblock presented to him at his inauguration, that he may climb into the saddle as beseems his gravity. The courtiers kept to their riding processions, down almost to the days of the great civil war; perhaps as a sort of faint shadow of the chivalry that was gone. Garrard tells us, in 1635, how the Duke of Northumberland rode to his installation as a knight of the garter at Windsor, with earls, and marquises, and almost all the young nobility, and many barons, and a competent number of the gentry, near a hundred horse in all. The era of coaches and chairs was then arrived; but the Duke of Northumberland did not hold that they belonged to knighthood. Fifty years earlier coaches were shunned as “effeminate.” Aubrey, in his short memoir of Sir Philip Sidney, describes the feeling about coaches in the days of Elizabeth : “I have heard Dr. Pell say that he has been told by ancient gentlemen of those days of Sir Philip, so famous for men-at-arms, that 'twas then held as great a disgrace for a young gentleman to be seen riding in the streets in a coach, as it would now for such a one to be seen in the streets in a petticoat and