Calendar of Letter-Books of the City of London: K, Henry VI. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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"Besecheth unto youre grete wisdoms the Maister and the Wardeins of the craft of Armorers of the said Citee tenderly to considre that where it was ordeyned for the grete profitte and wele of the Kyng and of his liege people and enrolled in the Chaumbre of the Yeldhall of the forsaid Citee in the xxj yeere of the reign of Kyng Edward the iijde as in the book of F the cxlij [b] leef (fn. 1) more pleinly is contened that hewmerie and other armure that is forged wyth the hamur brought from beyonde the see or other place to be solde wythin the said Citee shuld not from that tyme foreward in no maner wise be putte to sale prevy or appert till they were covenably assayed by the Wardeyns of the said craft and merked with here merke on peyne to forfeit the hewmerie and armure so otherwise put to sale, The contrarie of which article nowe dayly is laboured and done unto the grete hurt of the Kyng and his liege people, and grete disclaundre unto the said craft of armorers, That it please youre grete wisdoms the premisses tenderly considered to provide and ordeyne that the said Maister and Wardeins of the said craft of armorers that nowe been and here after shall be may have the serche and assaye of all manere hewmerie and armure that is forged wyth the hamur accordyng to the article aforesaid and as they bene sworne every yeere afore the Maire for to doo."
On the 18th Feb., 29 Henry VI. [A.D. 1450-1], the above petition agreed to by the Mayor and Aldermen, with the proviso that thenceforth the search of armour should be made by the Master and Wardens of the Mistery of Armourers in conjunction with two Wardens (or at least one) of any other Mistery having a similar right of search, if they wished to join in the search, and that they should make the search accompanied by a Serjeant-at-mace either of the Mayor or of the Chamber of the Guildhall. (fn. 2)
Folio 251 b.
30 March, 29 Henry VI. [A.D. 1451], came the Wardens and other good men of the Misteries of "Lethersellers" and Glovers into the Court of the lord the King in the Chamber of the Guildhall, before Nicholas Wyfold, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, and presented a petition setting forth that members of the said Misteries often encroached upon each other's work, and would not obey the search of the Wardens of the craft to which they did not belong, and praying that certain ordinances for better regulating the search of their respective crafts might be approved. (fn. 3) Their petition granted.
6 April, 29 Henry VI. [A.D. 1451], came the Master and Wardens and many other good men of the Mistery of Cordwainers into the Court of the lord the King in the Chamber of the Guildhall, before Nicholas Wyfold, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, and presented a petition as follows:-
"Besechene full mekely the Maister and Wardeins and alle the persones enfraunchised in the craft or mistier of Cordewaners wythin this Citee that howe be it diverse and many of the kynges lieges in sondry parties of this his Roialme borne repairene unto this Citee and here bindene theim apprentices unto diverse persones enfraunchised of the said craft, Trustyng therby to have and enjoye the Fraunchise and libertees of this Citee after the tyme of their said apprentisehode and to have occupacion in the said mistier, Wherwyth they shuld mowe trewely gete theire levyng yet what for the greet nombre and multitude of aliauntes and straungiers of sondry nacions repayring unto this Citee which beene comonly suffred and resceived to occupie and werke in the said craft by the day, the woke, or the moneth, as it pleaseth hem best And what for that, that diverse persones aliauntes and estraungers borne afore this tyme admitted unto the Fraunchise of this Citee in the said craft of Cordewaners for the grete love and favour that they naturelly have and bere unto aliauntes of such nacions as they beene of will not in eny wise have occupie ne sette awerke in the said craft eny maner Englisshman of the kynges lieges, Wherthourgh that many of the said persones that have beene apprentice in the said craft and therby admitted unto the Frauncheise of this Citee not of power forthwyth to holde houses or shoppes wtin this Citee ne canne gete ne have occupacion ne werke werwyth to gete their levyng in the same craft drawen them unto Blanchapultone (fn. 4) Westminstre and other suspect places and there be comone vagrantes riotours Strumpetmongers and theves unto evell exaumple of alle the yonge people of this Citee, and many for defaute of such werk and occupacion withdrawe them in to other parties of the lond and there leven in grete poverte unto the grete hurt of the kynges lieges That please it youre grete wisdoms in consideracion of the premises, It may be ordeigned enact and enrolled in the Chaumber of the Guyldhall of the Citee aforeseid for the wele and grete prouffit of alle the personnes now being enfrauncheised in the said craft and which hereafter shall be, That no manere persone so nowe being enfrauncheised in the seid craft and which hereafter shall be except oonly the straungiers aliens that nowe been enfrauncheised in the same putt nor sett from hens forth eny persone being straungier alien born out of this land not enfrauncheised in this Citee on werk in the seid craft in eny manere wise, and in caas that eny persone nowe being enfrauncheised in the said craft or which hereafter shall be except oonly afore except be lawefully convict of doing the contrarie of the forsaid ordenaunce in eny manere wise, that he paye at every time so being convict of doing the contrarie of the said ordenaunce xls. that one half therof to the use of the Chaumber of the Guyldhall aforesaid and that other half to the comone box of the said craft of Cordewaners in sustentacion and relevyng of the povere people of the same craft like as it is hadd & ordeigned for grete wele in other diverse craftes of this Citee
"Also that it may be ordeigned enact and enrolled in the forsaid Chaumber of Guyldhall that no manere persone nowe beyng enfrauncheised in the said craft ne which hereafter shall be from hens forthe resceive ne take eny maner persone to teche and enfourme him in the same craft, but that he take him as an apprentice by a peyre of endentures of apprentishode to be made betwene the maister and every suche persone after the rule (?) and ordinaunce of this Citee upon peyne of xls. to be payed at every tyme by him that doth the contrarie That one half therof to the use of the forsaid chaumber of Guyldhall and that other half to the said comone box of the forsaid crafte of cordewaners in sustentacion and relevyng of the povere people of the same craft In asmoche as the contrarie of this article hathe bene before this tyme and is dayly used in the said craft to grete prejudice and hurt of the Fraunchise of this Citee."
Folio 252 b.
23 July, 29 Henry VI. [A.D. 1451], came the Master and Wardens of the Fraternity of Tailors and Linen Armourers of St. John the Baptist into the Court of the lord the King in the Chamber of the Guildhall, before Nicholas Wyfold, the Mayor, Henry Frowyk, Stephen Broune, John Hatherle, Simon Eyre, John Olney, Thomas Chaltone, William Gregory, John Norman, Robert Horne, John Derby, Geoffrey Feldyng, William Abraham, William Hulyn, Christopher Warter, and William Dere, Aldermen, and presented a petition, as follows:-
"Shewen to grete Wisdoms John Gille, Maister, Richard Rook, John Hill, John Spenser and John Weche, Wardeins of the Fraternite of Taillours and lynge armurers of Seint John Baptiste in the Citee of London and other of the said mistier howe that grete multitude of alientes and other Foreins of the said mistier come and resorte to this Citee and daiely sitt and werke openly in shoppes and upon Stalles wyth other men Fraunchised in the said mistier, Where as many and diverse other yonge men whych have served their termes of apprenticialite wythin the said Citee wolde be occupied and sett awerke as servauntes wyth such other men frauncheised in the said mistier for competent wages as the custume of this Citee will require and they mowe not but as vacabundes or elles idel people under no rule ne gouvernance gone aboute wythin this Citee and often tymes falle on ryott and other misgouvernance to the grete hurt and undoyng of diverse such yonge men and disworship to this Citee that it please your grete wisdoms tenderly the premisses to consider and therupone to ordeign and graunte that what persone Fraunchised in the said mistier occupie or else sett a werke eny such said alient or other Forein persone in the said mistier wythin the Fraunchise of the said Citee but yef speciall licence atte tymes of necessite by the Maire or the Chaumberleyn of the same and the Maister and Wardeins of the said mistier orell' their successours that for the tyme shall be allway afore tymes be hadd pay to the Chaumberleyn of the Yeldhall for everich defaute doon to the contrarie vs. as it hath be acoustumed and used of olde tyme, that one half alway to remayn to the Chaumber of this Citee and that other half to the sustinaunce of the almesmen of the said Fraternitee
"And over that to ordeign and graunte that the maister and wardeins of the said Fraternite and mistier and their successours yeerly be charged and sworne be fore the Maire of this Citee well and trewely among other thinges to present unto the said chaumberleyn all the persones doyng eny such defautes in the said mistery contrarie to this ordinaunce as ferforth as they shall movve therof to have knoweleche or wetyng atte Reverence of god and in way of charite."
24 Dec., 29 Henry VI. [A.D. 1450], came Robert Horne, fishmonger, John Coggeshale, fishmonger, Stephen Grene, draper, William Lightholders, mercer, and William Lightwode, draper, into the Court of the lord the King in the Chamber of the Guildhall, before Nicholas Wyfold, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, and entered into bond with John Sturgeon, the Chamberlain, in the sum of 100 marks for the payment into Court by the said John Coggeshale of a similar sum to the use of John, son of William Kyrtone, late draper, and apprentice to William Clyfford, fishmonger, when the said orphan shall have come of age.
Folio 253 b.
20 Feb., 29 Henry VI. [A.D. 1450-1], account rendered by John Crosse in the Chamber of the Guildhall, before Stephen Forster, Alderman, and John Nedeham, Common Serjeant-atlaw, auditors appointed by Nicholas Wyfold, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, for the time when he was receiver of the issues and profits of lands and tenements belonging to John, son of John Tyce, late "Goldebeter." The auditors find that the said John Crosse is indebted to the said orphan in the sum of £108.
Afterwards, viz., on the 30th March, 29 Henry VI. [A.D. 1451], the said orphan came before the Mayor and Aldermen and acknowledged satisfaction for the above sum, and also for certain pieces of plate, &c., received from John Chichele, late Chamberlain, and bequeathed to him by his father.
14 July, 29 Henry VI. [A.D. 1451], four persons nominated by the Commonalty of the Ward of "Douegate" to Nicholas Wifold, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, for them to elect one to be Alderman of the said Ward, viz., William Dere, Geoffrey Boleyn, John Yong, and John Felde. Thereupon the said William Dere was elected, and on the 16th July was sworn and admitted. (fn. 5)
Monday, 4 Sept., 30 Henry VI. [A.D. 1451], in the Court of the lord the King in the Chamber of the Guildhall, it was decreed by Nicholas Wyfold, the Mayor, John Hatherle, John Olney, Thomas Chaltone, William Coumbes, William Gregory, John Norman, John Derby, Geoffrey Felding, William Cantelowe, William Abraham, William Dere, and Richard Alley, Aldermen, that John Bandy should be one of the permanent Serjeants of the Chamber, receiving from the Chamber the annual livery and fee accustomed.
Folio 254 b.
Feast of St. Matthew [21 Sept.], 30 Henry VI. [A.D. 1451], in the presence of Nicholas Wifold, the Mayor, Thomas Billyng the Recorder, Henry Frowik, John Hatherle, Simon Eyre, John Olney, Thomas Chaltone, William Gregory, John Norman, William Coumbes, John Derby, Geoffrey Feldyng, Thomas Scot, William Abraham, William Cantlowe, William Marowe, William Hulyn, Christopher Warter, William Dere, and Richard Alley, Aldermen, and very many Commoners summoned to the Guildhall for the election of Sheriffs for the year ensuing, Matthew Philip was elected one of the Sheriffs by the Mayor, and Christopher Warter was elected the other Sheriff by the Commonalty.
The same day John Sturgeon was elected Chamberlain; Thomas Cook, senior, draper, and Thomas Davy, tailor, were elected Wardens of London Bridge; William Cantlowe, William Marow, Aldermen, William Gregory, junior, William Taillour, John Feld, and Thomas Gay, senior, Commoners, were elected Auditors of the accounts of the said Chamberlain and Wardens.
Afterwards, viz., on the eve of St. Michael [29 Sept.], the said Sheriffs were sworn at the Guildhall, and on the morrow of the said Feast were presented, admitted, and accepted, &c., before the Barons of the Exchequer.
Wednesday the Feast of St. Edward [13 Oct.], 30 Henry VI. [A.D. 1451], in the presence of Nicholas Wyfold, the Mayor, Thomas Billyng the Recorder, the Prior of Christchurch, Henry Frowyk, Stephen Broune, John Hatherle, Simon Eyre, John Olney, Thomas Chaltone, William Gregory, William Coumbes, John Norman, John Derby, Stephen Forster, Geoffrey Feldyng, Thomas Canynges, William Cantelowe, William Hulyn, William Marowe, Matthew Phelip, Thomas Scot, William Dere, Christopher Warter, and Richard Alley, Aldermen, and an immense Commonalty summoned to the Guildhall for the election of a Mayor for the year ensuing, William Gregory, (fn. 6) Alderman, was elected Mayor by the grace of the Holy Spirit.
14 Nov., 30 Henry VI. [A.D. 1451], came William Redeknape, mercer, John Maldone, grocer, John Shelley, grocer, Thomas Brice, mercer, and William Hatter, mercer, into the Court of the lord the King in the Chamber of the Guildhall, before William Gregory, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, and entered into bond with John Sturgeon, the Chamberlain, in the sum of 40 marks, for the payment of a similar sum by the above William Redeknape to Philip, son of Philip Spyre, late mercer, when he comes of age, the said William having been appointed guardian to the said orphan.
Folio 255 b.
29 Nov., 30 Henry VI. [A.D. 1451], a petition to William Gregory, the Mayor, Henry Frowyk, Stephen Broune, John Hatherle, Simon Eyre, John Olney, Thomas Chalton, Nicholas Wyfold, William Coumbes, John Norman, John Derby, Stephen Forster, Geoffrey Feldyng, William Cantlowe, William Dere, and Richard Alley, Aldermen, Matthew Philip and Christopher Warter, the Sheriffs, and a notable Commonalty (insigni co'itate) of the City in Common Council assembled, as follows:-
"Please it unto yor Worthinesses & wise discrec'ons to have knowledge and considerac'on of the grete hurtz and inconvenientz growyng and daily comyng unto þe co'ialte of this cite & to the franchise of the same by many diverse meanes and sp'ally by these forein Brocors makyng bargayns betwene forein and forein in this Cite ofte tymes and many aswele by color of fraunchised puple of this Cite & oþ'wise as by bringing in of wollenclothes ledder and oþer chaffar' for to be sold which arn' brought & delivred into many secrete places of this Cite and not to the co'e & open marked places þ'fore specially ordeyned & assigned And also by bringing hider of Blokkes and peces of tynne sp'ally of Devenshire comyng daily to this Cite on hors bak which ben brought and & [sic] delivred into many prive places of this Cite and nat to the co'e weyhous lyke as tynne of Cornewayle is wonte thidder to be brought. Which wollen cloth leder Devenyshe tynne and moche othre chaffar' so delyvered into secrete places by foreyns þe oweners þ'of oþ'while by the saide forein Brocors and by oþer puple as well fraunchised as foreins bene bargayned bought and sold daily betwene forein & forein in grete derogac'on & prejudice of the franchise of this Cite & grete hurt & hinderinge of the trewe fraunchised puple of the same Cite. The p'missis tendrely considered ye like of yor grete wysdoms to graunte provide and ordeign þat from hens forth none suche woollenclothe ledder tynne nor oþer chaffar' of eny forein persone brought to þis Cite for to be sold be ledd nor housed in no place but oonly in such open forsaid places þat ben ordeyned for sale of such chaffar' þat is to say as wollen clothe to be ledde brought and deliv'ed unto þe co'e market place of "Blakwellhall" lether to þe co'e selde (fn. 7) and Devenyssh tynne aswele as Cornyssh tynne & all oþer tynne to þe co'e weihous places therfore sp'ally ordeyned and assigned & suche oþer chafar' þat shall be solde to be brought & deliv'ed in suche open places as be ordeyned þerfore Upon peyne to forfaite alle suche cloth ledder tynne & oþer chaffar' so brought & deliv'ed in any oþer places thanne aforesaid And þat aswell þe saide alien brocors as oþer and also alle fraunchised peple makyng any suche bargayns betwene forein & forein or rescevyng into here houses or places any suche chaffar' brought to be sold or coloryng or favoryng any suche bargaynes & þerof duely convicte make & paie grete fyne to þe Chambre of Guyldhall atte every tyme þei may be found defectif þerin or brekyng any parte of þe saide ordenaunce aftir þat it shal seme worthy by yor wise discrec'ons without any pardon þerof to be graunted or had and þis in wey of Right and for þe wele of all þe Co'altie of þis Cite." (fn. 8)
9 Dec., 30 Henry VI. [A.D. 1451], came Robert Okle, "bruer," John Wottone, draper, Thomas Glover, "ferrour," Nicholas Toller, "skynner," Thomas Perkyns, "hostiller," William Simond, "hostiller," William Dodde, "haberdassher," and Thomas Riseby, "brasyere," into the Court of the lord the King in the Chamber of the Guildhall, before William Gregory, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, and entered into bond with John Sturgeon, the Chamberlain, in the sum of £36 13s. 4d. for the payment of a like sum by the said Robert Okle to William, son of William Bounde, late brewer, and of Alice his wife, on his coming of age, the said Robert having been appointed guardian of the said orphan.
22 March, 30 Henry VI. [A.D. 1451-2], petition by Thomas Downam, one of the Mayor's Serjeants-at-mace, to the Mayor and Aldermen, to be appointed "one of the Sergeauntz attendyng upone the maire" in place of Rawlyn Vernon, late serjeant, who is "past to God," such appointment having been promised to him on the next avoidance.
Folio 256 b.
29 March, 30 Henry VI. [A.D. 1452], came William Miller, "dier," before William Gregory, the Mayor, and the Aldermen in the Chamber of the Guildhall, and showed that whereas he had been admitted into the freedom of the City in the Art of "Dyers," temp. John Olney, Mayor, and John Chichele, Chamberlain, viz., on the 11th Aug., 25 Henry VI. [A.D. 1447], he had long used, and was still using, the mistery of Drapers. He prayed, therefore, to be admitted into the freedom of the City in the said Mistery of Drapers. His prayer granted at the instance of good men of the said Mistery.
19 July, 30 Henry VI. [A.D. 1452], came Richard Nedeham, mercer, into the Court of the lord the King, before William Gregory, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, and entered into bond for the payment of the sum of 20 marks to John, son of William Stokdale, on his coming of age.
19 July, 30 Henry VI. [A.D. 1452], came William Michell, Thomas Byset, and William Clerk, Wardens of the Mistery of Pynners, into the Court of the lord the King in the Chamber of the Guildhall, before William Gregory, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, and presented a petition as follows:-
"Besechen mekely William Michell Thomas Biset and William Clerk Wardeins of the crafte of Pynners that where it hath alwayes been accustumed and used for to take and have of every fyne brought in to the Chambre of the Yeldhall by the presentment of the Wardeins of the same craft that one half for their costes and laboure doone there in to nowe late that your said besechers presented one John Bultell pynner of a defaute that him ought to have paied þerfore a fyne of xls. and paied wages to a sergeant for to fett the same John Bultell into the chamber to answer and paie the same fyne and other costes aboute the same besynesse diden, and the Chaumberleyn toke of the same John Bultell a fyne of vjs. viijd. and lete him passe and not wold reward the said Wardeins for all her said labour and costes, Wherfor please it unto your wise discrecions to considre the premisses, and howe yef the Wardeins of the same crafte be thus put to cost for the approwyng and getyng in of Fines to the availe of the Chamber alonely and have none availe nor reward therfor as they have hadd before this tyme it is to drede they from this tyme forward wol suffre inconvenience to rise and growe to the hurte of the people and of the Chambre than at their grete cost and laboure so to presente, And therupon to graunte and ordeign that the Wardeins of the said crafte from this foreward may have that one half of all such fynes as by their presentement shull be reised and take for their laboure as Wardeins of other craftes of this Citee haven and they shall pray to God for you."
Folio 257 b.
8 July, 30 Henry VI. [A.D. 1452], a petition by the Commonalty to the Mayor and Aldermen in Common Council assembled, there being present William Gregory, the Mayor, Henry Frowyk, Stephen Broune, John Hatherle, Simon Eyre, John Olney, Nicholas Wyfold, Thomas Chaltone, John Norman, Geoffrey Feldyng, Robert Horne, John Derby, William Cantelowe, Stephen Forster, William Abraham, William Marowe, William Hulyn, William Dere, Matthew Philip, and Richard Alley, Aldermen, in the following terms:-
"Complaynen and ful tendrely shewen unto yor sadde Wisdoms the Co'ens of this honorable Citee that where of auncien tyme for the grete wele and notable worship of this Cite it was ordeyned and used of commendable Custume that there shuld be none other Officers Sergeauntes aboute the Sherrefs of this Cite for the tyme beyng but men of good name and fame and freemen of the saide Cite and likly of their personnes such as myght and coude do their Maistres good service and grete worship at tyme of nede and had wherwith to lyve upon yf they had not ben in office And no moo of them in noumbre with one Sherref but viij personnes atte moste (fn. 9) And no moo Clerkes in aither of the Counters then the Secundarye, the Clerk of the papir. and other two Clerkes to theym and with theym syttyng in the Courte the Undreshirrefz Clerkes In whiche daies the saide sergeauntz and Clerkes diden their maistres good service grete worship profite & availle and lyved them self upon their offices & services wele honestly and manerely withoute any extorc'on doyng to the co'en people or fraude or collusion doyng to any partye whiche turned this Cite in tho daies to right grete Worship and notable fame in al this Reaume And in thise daies and fewe daies passed it is and hath ben used that contrarie the saide good and auncienne ordenaunce and commendable Custume the Sherrefz of London for the tyme beyng have receyved into their services for sergeauntes by diverse meanes made unto theym in sundry wises suche personnes as have not hadde any goodes wherwith to susteyne theymself oute of service And no thing likly of their persones nor hable to do theire maistre covenable service for his honeste And of them many in noumbre as experience at this daye and in fewe daies passed hath shewed ful pleynly And moreover of Clerkes in the Comptours contrary to the saide ordenaunce in aither Comptour v or vj personnes moo then have ben used of old tyme Whiche persones of sergeantes and clerkes beyng so many in nombre coude ner con not alle gete their lyvyng but if they do extorc'on & oppression to the co'en people. And otherwhile for encroching everiche of theym of his singuler availe do fraude and collusion to theire cleauntes. Whiche manere doyng in late daies hath turned this Citee to grete defame disclaundre & dishoneste. Whiche is like to contynue so forth as god defende of lesse then convenable remedye therfore the sonner be provided by yor sadde discrec'ons Thise premisses tendrely considered It please yor good graces bi yor noble wisdams & by assent of the right discrete Co'ens assembled in this present co'en counseille and by auctorite of the same for to ordeyne enacte & establissh perpetuely to endure that the Shirrefs of this honorable Citee þat herafter for the tyme shull be from this tyme forthward receyve no persones into their services for sergeauntes but men of good name & fame and likly of their persones & men beyng enfraunchised of this Citee and no mo in noumbre then aftre thold ordenaunce aforesaide therof made or atte moost iiij moo in alle So that no Sherref have moo of them in noumbre than oonly xij persones atte moost if he so many have. Ner that ther be no moo Clerkes in aither Countre than þe Secundarye the Clerk of the paper and other two Clerkes unto theym beside the Undersherrefz Clerk sittyng with theym in playne Court in the Yeldehall. And that what Shirref of this Cite þat herafter do the contrarye of this ordenaunce renne in peyne of Cli sterling to be levyed of his goodes where so evere they mowe be found as often as he so doo to the Chambrelayn of London for the tyme beyng to the use of the co'ialte of London And this to be graunted for the grete wele & worship of this honorable Citee therby to be recovered ageyn as the same hath ben in daies passed."
Folio 258 b.
5 Dec., 30 [sic] Henry VI. [A.D. 1451], Roger Champney, "talowchaundler," discharged by William Gregory, the Mayor, and the Aldermen from serving on juries as he was afflicted with colic (colica passione) and old age.