Surrey and Kent Commissioners for Sewers' Court


f 388 (25 January)

It is Ordered that ffrauncis Hensloe gentleman (blank) white and Edward Griffen before the xxth day of March next shall cast and clense euery one theire seuerall partes of the pisser that leadeth downe to maydlane vpon payne to forfeict for euery pole then vndone      ij s. vj d.
Hensloe       It is Ordered that ffrauncis Hensloe gentleman before the xxth day of March next shall boarde vp two poles more or lesse of his wharfe lyinge against the play house in maydlane vpon payne to forfeict for either pole then vndone      vj s. viij d./


  • Marginalia
    • °done°
    • °not done extracta facta vicecomitis Surreie

      [Footnote: extracta … Surreie: 'estreat made by the sheriff of Surrey']

  • Footnotes
    • extracta … Surreie: 'estreat made by the sheriff of Surrey'
  • Modernized Text

    f 388 (25 January)

    It is ordered that Francis Henslowe, gentleman, (blank) White, and Edward Griffen, before the 20th day of March next, shall cast and cleanse every one their several parts of the pisser that leads down to Maiden Lane, upon pain to forfeit for every pole then undone 2s 6d
    Henslowe       It is ordered that Francis Henslowe, gentleman, before the 20th day of March next shall board up two poles, more or less, of his wharf lying against the playhouse in Maiden Lane, upon pain to forfeit for either pole then undone 2s 8d

  • Glossed Terms
    • forfeict n inf to forfeit; forfect
  • Endnote

    Philip Henslowe's nephew Francis (1566–1606) appears in the St Saviour's Token Books as resident along Rose Alley adjacent to the playhouse in 1594; see Ingram and Nelson, Token Books. By 1594 Francis had joined the Queen's Men but in 1595 he was acting at the Swan near where he had relocated to Langley's 'New Rents' in Paris Garden (1595–8); see Foakes, Henslowe's Diary, p xxv and n 2. He cannot be tracked in the Token Books in 1603–4 when he shows up here associated with the Rose playhouse. See further Mark Eccles, 'Elizabethan Actors II: E–J,' Notes and Queries, 38.4 (1991), 459; Chambers, Elizabethan Stage, vol 2, p 323; Edwin Nungezer, A Dictionary of Actors and of Other Persons Associated with the Public Representation of Plays in England before 1642 (New Haven and London, 1929), 186–7. Griffen and a Thomas White were both listed in the Token Books for 1604 as resident in Horseshoe Alley which led down to Maid Lane. Francis Henslowe is not listed as a resident that year.

    For an abstract of the document and details of its transcription history,
 see the related EMLoT event record.

  • Event Entity Pages
  • Document Description

    Record title: Surrey and Kent Commissioners for Sewers' Court
    Repository: LMA
    Shelfmark: SKCS/018
    Repository location: London

    Most of the pre-1642 records of the Surrey and Kent Commissioners for Sewers are now deposited at the London Metropolitan Archives. The LMA collections catalogue succinctly describes this source as follows: 'Early Commissioners of Sewers were solely concerned with land drainage and the prevention of flooding, not with the removal of sewage in the modern sense. In 1531 an Act of Sewers was passed which set out in great detail the duties and powers of Commissioners and governed their work until the 19th century. Gradually a permanent pattern emerged in the London area of seven commissions, five north and two south of the Thames, with, after the Great Fire, a separate commission for the City of London.... Letters Patent for the Surrey and Kent Commissioners of Sewers were issued in 1554. Its minutes begin in 1570 and it was the earliest of the London Commissions to be established on an organised basis. The area of its jurisdiction ran from East Molesey in Surrey to the River Ravensbourne, and included Lambeth, Southwark, Bermondsey, Newington, Deptford, Rotherhithe, Clapham, Battersea, Camberwell, Vauxhall, Wandsworth, Putney, Barnes, Kew, Lewisham, Walworth, Kennington, Nine Elms, Peckham and New Cross. The area of jurisdiction remained the same throughout the three centuries during which it functioned.' See further Ida Darlington, 'The London Commissioners of Sewers and their Records,' in Prisca Munimenta: Studies in Archival & Administrative History presented to Dr A.E.J. Hollaender, Felicity Ranger (ed) (London, 1973), 282–98.

    John Norden's 1593 map shows the lines of the Bankside sewers (or drainage ditches). There were three running along the Little Rose property: two to the south along Maiden Lane and one on the west side adjacent to the Bear Garden property.

    3 January 1568/9–25 April 1606; English with some Latin; paper; i + 520 + i; 410mm x 280mm (text size variable); index foliated in pencil 1–24 relating to ff 1–210 of the text, ink foliation follows, 1–444, pencil foliation 445–70 (all blank), a second index numbered in pencil 1–21, 21b, 22, 22b, 23, 23b follows the text for ff 211–444; restored, conserved and rebound in beige vellum with corded bands on spine with leather ties. Now stored in a box; within the box also are the previous red leather boards and spine with 'SEWERS | SURREY & KENT | MINUTES | 1 | 1557–1606.'

  • Manuscript Images

    © London Metropolitan Archives (City of London), SKCS/018

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