Calendar of Letter-Books of the City of London: I, 1400-1422. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1909.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
Precept to the several Aldermen to hold their Wardmotes and make returns to the Mayor's General Court, to be held on Monday after the Feast of Epiphany [6 Jan.]; to take the usual steps for lighting the streets and preventing fire, and to elect Ward officers, &c. Dated 12 Dec. [A.D. 1418].
Folio ccxxi b.
Masters of Misteries sworn.
Tapicers : William Bullok, Thomas Besowthe, John Piryell, and John Flesshe sworn 4 Oct., 6 Henry V. [A.D. 1418], to well and faithfully govern the said mistery and present any defects they may find to the Mayor and Aldermen or to the Chamberlain of the City for the time being.
Letters patent appointing John Michell, fishmonger, Ralph Bartone, skinner, Richard Eltone, draper, and Simon Sewale, "sadeller," to be Commissioners for levying in the City the subsidy granted by the last Parliament for the defence of the realm. Witness John, Duke of Bedford, Warden of England, at Westminster, 18 Dec., 5 Henry V. [A.D. 1417].
Folio ccxxii b.
Proceedings in the Court of the lord the King, held before the Mayor and Aldermen at the Guildhall, on the —, (fn. 1) after the Feast of St. Leonard [6 Nov.], 6 Henry V. [A.D. 1418], against Thomas Taillour, "hurer," for fulling caps at a mill contrary to the ordinance recorded in Letter - Book H, fo. xlix [b]. (fn. 2)
Letter from Henry [Beaufort], Bishop of Winchester, to the Mayor and Aldermen, informing them of his visit to the Pope, and that he was now hastening home. Dated at "Rempton," 2 Dec. [A.D. 1418]. (fn. 3) French.
Nichol Wighe, alias Nicholas Ketringham, alias John Segrave, alias Nicholl Pecche, convicted of forgery, and ordered to stand on the pillory, &c. (fn. 4) English.
Proclamation at Christmas forbidding night-walking, "mommyng," plays, and interludes, the wearing of false beards and masks, and ordering the hanging out of lanterns, &c. (fn. 5) English.
Folio ccxxiii b.
Letter from the Mayor and Aldermen to Richard [Clifford], Bishop of London, graciously acknowledging his letter sent to them from abroad. (fn. 6) [No date.]
20 Feb., 6 Henry V. [A.D. 1418-19], the guardianship of Robert, Elizabeth, and Thomas, children of Thomas Boold, late glover, together with their patrimony, committed by William Sevenok, the Mayor, the Aldermen, and John Hille, the Chamberlain, to Robert Hulle, grocer, who married Johanna, the orphans' mother. Sureties, viz., John Bakere, "peautrer," Robert Whaplode, senior, "hostiller," and Thomas Jolyf, "armurer."
6 March, 6 Henry V. [A.D. 1418-19], John Coventre, "cobeller," who had accompanied Henry [Beaufort], Bishop of Winchester, to the Holy Land, and had returned broken down in health, discharged at the Bishop's request, by William Sevenok, the Mayor, and Aldermen, from serving on juries, &c.
Thursday after the Feast of Epiphany [6 Jan.], 6 Henry V. [A.D. 1418-19], William Enderby, Under-Sheriff to Ralph Bartone, Alderman and one of the Sheriffs, charged before William Sevenok, the Mayor, John Bartone, senior, the Recorder, Thomas Knolles, Richard Merlawe, Robert Chichele, William Walderne, William Crowmere, Nicholas Wottone, Henry Bartone, William Nortone, William Cauntbrigge, John Reynewelle, Thomas Aleyn, and John Michell, Aldermen, in the Chamber of the Guildhall, with the following offences, viz.:—
(1) That by virtue of a certain writ of statute of the late King Edward forbidding any to leave the realm, &c., he maliciously arrested William Neubery, Steward of the Abbess and sisters Minoresses of the Order of St. Clare without Aldgate, and kept him in the Compter until he found surety in £4,000 for his not leaving the kingdom.
(2) That after he had found the above surety and been released, the said Under-Sheriff brought a plaint against him in the King's name, and unjustly detained him in prison for a night and more until he found surety in £100 to answer if a prosecutor should appear on the King's behalf, but no one appeared.
(3) That he refused to give judgment in a plaint between Henry Aleyn, skinner, and William Adys, goldsmith, and also in a plaint between Walter Meltone and John Batte, "masons," until he had received a sum of money, and made the said Walter enter into a bond for a debt due by the aforesaid William Enderby to William Rendre, "peautrer."
(4) That, whereas the light of judges should shine before men, that they may see their good works, (fn. 7) the said UnderSheriff forcibly entered the house of William Haltone, draper, in the parish of St. Botolph without Aldgate, at one o'clock of the morning of the 27th day of November last, on the pretext of searching for robbers, and on the morrow caused him to be arrested for having raised a hue, and would not release him without payment.
Thereupon the said Under-Sheriff confessed that the writ against William Neubery was his own malicious doing, but the plaint brought against him was brought by order of the Duke of Bedford. The other charges he did not answer or deny. Judgment was therefore given for his removal from office.
Folio ccxxiv b.
11 Feb., 6 Henry V. [A.D. 1418-19], the guardianship of Edmund, son of William de Ware, late "wodemonger," together with his patrimony, committed by William Sevenok, the Mayor, the Aldermen, and John Hille, the Chamberlain, to William Boteler, "irmonger," who married the orphan's mother. Sureties, viz., Nicholas James and Henry Martyn, fishmongers and John Guy, "irmonger."
Proclamation forbidding "hokkyng" on Monday and Tuesday (fn. 8) next, called "les hokkedaies."
19 Feb., 6 Henry V. [A.D. 1418-19], came Richard Whitingtone, mercer, and delivered to John Hille, the Chamberlain, a sum of money belonging to the children of William Wynter, late brewer, for which sum the said Richard stood bound on behalf of Thomas Podmore, "irmongere," who had been appointed guardian to the said children.
For as moche as here be fore the Cite of London hatht had ant yet is lykly to have but it be the sonner remedies gret Mischiefs sclaundres and harmes thorugh the gret disceyt and falsnesse of Brokours which for drede of god ne shame of þe world cesen nat but chaym (?) fro day to day peyne and afforcen under colour of Brocage to manteigne þe orrible vices of usure and fals chevisauns be which vices is nat oonly this Cite sclaundred but many wor þi men utterluy distroyed and þe good fourme and cours of Merchaundise poynt to be perisshed for ever as god for bede Ther for þe Mair and Aldermen with thassent of þe comunes of this Cite to þe worship of god principalliche for amendement and relevacion of the people and in eschuyng alle þe mischiefs sclaundres harmes and falsnesses abovesayd have ordeined and stablisshed and by this crye þer of done make notice to alle maner men þat no maner persone fre ne forein be so hardy betuene þis and Micchelmasse þat next cometh to make medle or consent in any wyse prive or appert with any maner of brocage with inne þis Cite up peyne of imprisonement of ther bodyes tuelfmoneth and a day and makyng fyn to þe Chaumber after discrecioun of the Mair and Aldermen what þat ever he be þat may be founde or atteint in any wyse in þe contraire And morover þe forsaid Mair Aldremen & communs han ordeigned and stablisshed and by this proclamacioun laten almen to wete that what maner man can aspie any maner persoune make medle or consent in any wyse with any maner of brocage with inne þis Cite ayeins þe ordeignaunce abovesayd lat hym make relacioun þer of to the Mair or þe Chaumberleyn of þis Citee and he shal have þe fourthe part of þe fyn þat þe trespasour on this behalve shal make.
Letters patent appointing William Sevenok, the Mayor, William Hankeford, Richard Nortone, William Lasyngby, Robert Tirwhit, Robert Hulle, John Cokayn, Roger Hortone, William Lodyngtone, William Cheyne, John Prestone, and John Bartone, senior, or any eleven, ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, or two (the Mayor being one), to be justices for gaol-delivery of Neugate. Witness John, Duke of Bedford, at Westminster, Warden of England, 1 Dec., 6 Henry V. [A.D. 1418].
Folio ccxxv b.
20 Feb., 6 Henry V. [A.D. 1418-19], the guardianship of Richard, son of William Wynter, late brewer, together with his patrimony, committed by William Sevenok, the Mayor, the Aldermen, and John Hille, the Chamberlain, to Thomas atte Wode, "cappere." Sureties, viz., Guy Terry, baker, and John Bartelot, "netter."
Afterwards, viz., on the 25th Sept., 9 Henry V. [A.D. 1421], came the above Thomas atte Wode, one of the executors of the above William Wynter, and brought into court a sum of money (the said orphan having died under age), which money was, at his request, redelivered to him to dispose of according to the will of the aforesaid William Wynter.
23 Feb., 6 Henry V. [A.D. 1418-19], the guardianship of Matilda, daughter of the above William Wynter, together with her patrimony, committed to William Suttone, barber. Sureties, viz., John Sadeller, vintner, and William Rendre, "barbour."
The same day, the guardianship of Edward, son of the above William Wynter, together with his patrimony, committed to John Wodeward de Bokelond, co. Herts. Sureties, viz., John Boteller, junior, mercer, and William Picard, grocer.
Afterwards the said Edward died under age, and Thomas atte Wode and William atte Welle, executors of the above William, came on the 2nd Feb., 9 Henry V. [A.D. 1421-2], and acknowledged that they had received the orphan's patrimony from the said John Wodeward.
The same day (23 Feb., 1418-19) the guardianship of Agnes, another daughter of the above William Wynter, together with her patrimony, committed to William Gyles, grocer. Sureties, viz., Alan Brette, brewer, and Richard Welham, "coteller."
The same day (23 Feb., 1418-19) the guardianship of John, another son of the above William Wynter, together with his patrimony, committed to William atte Welle. Sureties, viz., Roger Stoktone, brewer, and John Atherlee, "iremongere."
Folio ccxxvi b.
The same day (23 Feb., 1418-19) the guardianship of Isabella, another daughter of the above William Wynter, together with her patrimony, committed to Thomas atte Wode, "capper." Sureties, viz., Guy Terry, baker, and John Bartelot, "nettere."
Afterwards, viz., on the 25th Sept., 9 Henry V. [A.D. 1421], came the above Thomas atte Wode, one of the executors of the above William Wynter, and brought into court the orphan's patrimony (she having died under age), and asked that it might be redelivered to him to dispose of according to the testator's. will His request granted.
For as myche as John Umberghe de Shenfeld in Essex colier þt here stant is openly convict by his confessioun made afor þe Meir & Aldremen þt in disceyt of þe co'e peple ha þ sold coles þs same year more þan a xii tymes by eche of þes vii sakkes þt lyen here byside for sakkis of viii busshels of ful mesure wher in trou þe conteyne but v, vi, or vii busshels at moost þ' for in ensample þt al o þ' shold be ware in tyme comyng of suche falsnes and disceyt The Meir and Aldirmen han awardid hym to stonde here on þe pilory & his sakkes to be brent undur hym.
Proclamation forbidding the counterfeiting of Romeney or any other wine, under penalty of the pillory. (fn. 9) Any informer to have a third part of forfeiture for his pains. English.
William Horold, "Couper," of Hamptone, condemned to the pillory for counterfeiting Romeney and using gum and resin (rasene) on his casks for purpose of adulteration, contrary to the ordinance. (fn. 10) English.
Folio ccxxvii b.
Letters patent assigning to the several citizens who had advanced divers sums of money to the King by indenture dated 21 June (vicesimo primo die Junii), 1417 (for repayment of which a Spanish sword enriched with gold and jewels had been pledged with them), (fn. 11) the custom on wool, woolfells, &c., in the Port of London as security in place of the sword, which had been voluntarily surrendered to the King. Witness John, Duke of Bedford, Warden of England, at Westminster, 19 May, 7 Henry V. [A.D. 1419].
1 June, 7 Henry V. [A.D. 1419], ordinance for closing the prison of Ludgate, hitherto used for the confinement of freemen debtors of the City and others convicted of light offences, (fn. 12) and for the transfer of prisoners to Newgate. (fn. 13)
Writ to the Sheriffs to make proclamation that the truce concluded between the King and the Duke of Brittany, to last until six weeks after the Feast of All Saints [1 Nov.], on the same terms as that made at Alençon on the 16th Nov. , to continue till the following Michaelmas, (fn. 14) had been extended Witness J[ohn], Duke of Bedford, &c., 8 Feb., 6 Henry V. [A.D. 1418-19].
Folio ccxxviii b.
Masters of Misteries sworn.
4 April, 7 Henry V. [A.D. 1419], came Simon Eyr, who had formerly put himself as apprentice to Peter Smart, before William Sevenok, the Mayor, the Aldermen, and John Hille, the Chamberlain, and complained that whereas he had served his term in the hope and expectation of becoming a freeman of the City through the mistery of Drapers, he had recently discovered that his master was free of the mistery of Upholders and not the Drapers, and prayed that he might not be prejudiced by his master's negligence, but might be admitted to the freedom of the mistery of Drapers. His prayer granted.
Petition presented to the King's Council by the Chancellor and Scholars of the University of Cambridge, to the effect that whereas in the Parliament held at Westminster, anno 5 Richard II. [A.D. 1381], it was decreed that the Chancellor of the said University for the time being should keep the assize of measures and weights, punish offenders, &c., in Cambridge and its suburbs, rendering therefor to the King £10 a year for ever, (fn. 15) and whereas, time out of mind, the Chancellor for the time being had always exercised the privilege of committing to prison any one found assaulting a scholar until he gave surety for keeping the peace —the said Chancellor, at the last Fair held at Steresbrigge (fn. 16) in the suburbs of the city, went to John Aylesham and Thomas Catworth, (fn. 17) grocers of London, who were selling spicery and other merchandise there by weight, and commanded them severally to bring their weights before him to be examined, which they refused to do, but continued to sell their merchandise by weights which had not been assayed, whereby the said merchandise had become forfeited. After the Fair was over, an attempt was made by Thomas Crosse and John Mannyng, scholars of the University, to seize the merchandise that had not been sold, but they were forcibly prevented. Thereupon the said Chancellor caused the said John Aylesham and Thomas Catworth to be arrested and committed to the custody of the Sheriff of Cambridgeshire until they should find surety for keeping the peace, and give satisfaction to the said Thomas Crosse (fn. 18) and John Mannyng; but the said prisoners were released, notwithstanding such prisoners are never replevishable. The petitioners therefore pray the Council that the said prisoners may be restored to ward and the privileges of the petitioners maintained.
The said John Aylesham and Thomas Catworth came in person and declared that no charter conferred upon the Chancellor and Scholars of the University of Cambridge the right to arrest and commit to prison a layman for assaulting a clerk of the University, or for the Sheriffs of Cambridge or Warden of the Castle there, or the Mayor and Bailiffs of the said vill for the time being, at the bidding of the Chancellor, to take and keep in custody such misdoers without replevin by royal writ or without, &c. They further say that they are citizens of London, and that such citizens from time immemorial had enjoyed the right by charter of appointing their own Wardens to hold pleas at all Fairs in England, except pleas of the Crown, and of surveying weights and measures and punishing offenders at such Fairs, without the intervention of anybody else. (fn. 19) These and other privileges the citizens had enjoyed by virtue of divers charters from the time of King John down to the fifth year of the reign of Richard II., when the Chancellor of the University claims to have obtained the right of assaying and surveying weights and measures by virtue of a grant made with the sanction of a Parliament which also confirmed the City's liberties and customs, the same liberties and customs being afterwards confirmed by charters granted by the King's father as well as by the King himself, which the said John Aylesham and Thomas Catworth produced before the Council. They further say that before the alleged trespass and before the last Fair the Mayor and Aldermen had appointed fellow-citizens to be Wardens at Steresbrigge Fair to assay weights and measures, &c., and that they themselves had been so appointed at the Fair when the alleged trespass occurred, and had explained their position at the time to the Chancellor. They further say that the charter of Richard II. which the Chancellor and Scholars produced in Court was granted by the King with the assent of his lords, (fn. 20) and not by the authority of the Parliament anno 5 Richard II., nor was it enrolled in the Rolls of that Parliament. The charter, moreover, declared that the Chancellor and his successors or their deputies should have the assay and supervision of weights and measures, &c., within the said town and suburbs in the same manner as the Mayor, Bailiffs, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the town of Cambridge exercised the same before the charter, and the said John Aylesham and Thomas Catworth say that the said Mayor, &c., never before the charter exercised the aforesaid duties towards citizens of London attending the Fair.
Thereupon the Chancellor and Scholars made protest, and declared that Henry III. had issued letters patent, dated at Westminster, 22 Feb., anno 52 [A.D. 1267-8], to the effect that if any layman inflicted a grievous injury upon a clerk he should be imprisoned until he had given satisfaction; that Edward III. had issued letters to the Mayor and Bailiffs of the town of Cambridge forbidding them to release any prisoner committed by the Chancellor or his deputy pursuant to any writ; that Richard II., in the 5th year of his reign, had granted the privileges which the Chancellor and Scholars claimed with the assent of Parliament, they paying yearly the sum of £10 into the Exchequer; and that by virtue of these grants the Chancellor of the University or his deputy had always exercised these privileges, except at the last Sterisbrigge Fair, in the same manner as the Mayor, Bailiffs, &c., of the town had exercised them before the year 5 Richard II., &c. These and other matters the said Chancellor and Scholars were prepared to prove in such manner as the King's Council might think fit.
Folio ccxxxi b.
Letters patent appointing William Asenhull, Knt., the Sheriff of Cambridge, to undertake the duties at Steresbrigge Fair claimed by the above parties until the matter has been decided. Witness the Warden at Westminster, 13 July, 7 Henry V. [A.D. 1419].
And note that the citizens of London little frequented the said Fair of Steresbrigge lest any hindrance should occur to them by virtue of the above letters, contrary to the liberties they had enjoyed time out of mind, as alleged in the plea of the said citizens.