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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[Folios. 111 blank.]
Folio 111 b.
Letter from the Consuls and Echevins of the city of Prague, as well as the nobles, captains, &c., of the kingdom of Bohemia and the marquisate of Moravia, to Ernest, Duke of Bavaria, notifying him of their intention to send delegates to the Council of Basle, and urging him to give them his support. Dated at Prague under the seal of the Mayor of the city feria quinta ipsa die salus populi anno xxxii. (fn. 1)
Saturday, 11 Oct., 11 Henry VI. [A.D. 1432], a Common Council was held, there being present John Welles, the Mayor, John Symond the Recorder, Nicholas Wottone, Thomas Fauconer, John Michell, John Reinwell, William Estfeld, John Brokle, Ralph Bartone, John Perneys, Robert Otle, John Patesle, Stephen Broun, Robert Large, and William Melreth; Aldermen, John Olneye, one of the Sheriffs, and an immense Commonalty:-
Be it remembered that on that day a petition was made by the whole Commonalty that the Mayor and Aldermen should cause a scrutiny to be made touching the assize of bread and bakers, for that of late they had often mixed barley with wheat and sent it out of the City to be milled, where it could not be examined, and afterwards made bread of it and exposed it for sale as pure bread.
Folio 111 b 112.
Folio 112 b.
Monday, the Feast of St. Edward [13 Oct.], 11 Henry VI. [A.D. 1432], in the presence of John Welles, the Mayor, the Prior of Christ Church, John Simond the Recorder, Henry Bartone, Nicholas Wottone, Thomas Fawkener, John Michel, John Reynwell, William Estfeld, John Perneys, John Brokle, Robert Whitingham, Simon Seman, Henry Frowik, Ralph Barton, Thomas "Wanford" [Wandesford], Robert Otteley, John Olney [scratched through], Stephen Brown, Robert Large, William Melreth, William Rus, John Pattesle, John Olney, Aldermen, and an immense Commonalty summoned to the Guildhall for the election of a Mayor for the year ensuing- John Perneys was elected.
Letters patent appointing Thomas Wandesford, John Pattesle, Thomas Bernwell, and Clement Lyffyn to be Commissioners for levying in the City the subsidy granted in the last Parliament, (fn. 2) more especially for the defence of the realm. Witness the King at Westminster, 24 Sept., 11 Henry VI. [A.D. 1432].
12 March, 11 Henry VI. [A.D. 1432-3], the guardianship of Thomas and William, sons of William Tropenell, late tailor, together with their patrimony, committed by John Perneys, the Mayor, the Aldermen, and John Bederenden, the Chamberlain, to Katherine, mother of the said orphans, during their minority. Sureties, viz., William Combes, "felmonger," Thomas Badby, William Childe, John Bedham, fishmongers, and Richard Warbilton, "irmonger."
27 May, 11 Henry VI. [A.D. 1433], the guardianship of Richard, son of Richard Kere, late "irmonger," together with his patrimony and money accruing to him by the death of Elizabeth his sister, committed by the same to John Blaunche, grocer (who married Elizabeth, the orphan's mother), for a term of six years. Sureties, viz., William Bothe, grocer, Nicholas Yoo, draper, John Brook, "bruer," and John Bracy, chandler.
Folio 113 b.
2 May, 11 Henry VI. [A.D. 1433], the guardianship of William, son of William Barnes, late draper, together with his patrimony, committed by the same to Roger Haysand, draper. Sureties, viz., William Bothe, grocer, John Tyndale, fishmonger, and John Knyght, draper.
Afterwards, viz., on Tuesday, the 2nd Aug., 18 Henry VI. [A.D. 1440], came the above orphan into the Chamber of the Guildhall before Robert Large, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, and acknowledged satisfaction for his property.
15 May, 11 Henry VI. [A.D. 1433], the guardianship of Robert, Richard, and Margaret, children of William Fulby, alias Trumpyngton, late cordwainer, committed by the same to Richard Fobell, cordwainer, for a term of seven years. Sureties, viz., Richard Bradcok, goldsmith, Hugh Lowe, cordwainer, and Richard Ferby, tailor.
Be it remembered that on the 14th May, 21 Henry VI. [A.D. 1443], the above Richard Fobell and his sureties were discharged, inasmuch as they had ceased to dwell in the City, and one of them had died. New sureties are entered infra, fo. 210 [b].
12 Oct., 12 Henry VI. [A.D. 1433], the guardianship of Richard and Thomas, sons of Thomas Everdone, together with their patrimony, committed by the same to Thomas Redyng. Sureties, viz., Richard Harpele, John Frensch, William Potter, and William Camell.
Folio 114 b-115.
Masters of Misteries sworn anno 11 Henry VI.
[Tapicers] Thomas Spayn, Richard Pope, John Brigg, Richard Wrestlyngton, (fn. 3) sworn 7 Oct.
Coupers: John Trendeler, John Dunstaple, sworn "Custer" [sic]. (fn. 4) No date.
Folio 115 b.
31 March, 11 Henry VI. [A.D. 1433], the guardianship of Elizabeth, John, and Thomas, children of John OO, late apothecary, and of Katherine his wife, together with their patrimony and goods, committed by John Perneys, the Mayor, the Aldermen, and John Bederenden, the Chamberlain, to John Curteys, apothecary, for a term of five years. Sureties, viz., William Warde, Thomas Peretre, John Gladwyn, drapers, and John Beke, grocer.
[Folios. 116-118 b blank.]
Writ pluries to the Mayor, Aldermen, and Sheriffs that they allow all foreign clothworkers to exercise their craft in the City, if they so wish, without compelling them to become members of the Weavers' Guild or to pay any money in respect thereof, pursuant to statutes made in the 11th and 26th years of King Edward III. (fn. 5) and confirmed by subsequent Kings, as well as by King Henry VI. himself, on the 20th May in the 7th year of his reign. Witness the King at Westminster, 1 Nov., 11 Henry VI. [A.D. 1432].
Folio 119-119 b.
Return made to the above writ by John Perneys, the Mayor, the Aldermen, and John Pattesle and John Olney, the Sheriffs, to the following effect, viz., that there had always existed in the City and suburbs three separate and distinct misteries of native clothworkers, viz., native Weavers of woollen cloth for Tapestry, native Weavers of woollen cloth for Drapery, and native Weavers of woollen cloth for Napery, (fn. 6) and that of these three only the Weavers for Drapery have always had a Guild of their own. Further, that since the receipt of a certain former writ (fn. 7) on the matter they had allowed all clothworkers from foreign parts to exercise their craft in the City and suburbs without compelling them to join a Guild or make any payment thereto. [No date.]
Report made by the Mayor and citizens of London to the Commissioners appointed to hear and determine the claim made by the Dean and Chapter of the Church of St. Martin le Grand to be exempt from the jurisdiction and liberty of the City.
The claimants base their claim, firstly, upon certain words contained in a charter granted to the said church by William the Conqueror, in the second year of his reign. (fn. 8) Secondly, they rely on a charter dated 4 Feb., 15 Henry III. [A.D. 1230-1], granting to the said church and to Walter de Kirkham, the Dean, (fn. 9) and his successors exemption from divers tolls and other payments and services. (fn. 10)
As to the words in the charter of William, the Mayor and citizens say that they are too general to derogate from the City's special liberties, rights, and jurisdictions, and such a claim as that of immunity from jurisdiction must be supported by special warrant, royal grant, or ancient licence approved by law. Moreover, if the words had any force, they would in law extend only to the canons and possessions of the church, and not to the protection of criminals fleeing from justice and the jurisdiction of the King and of his City, for this would be contrary to reason and manifestly redound to the increase of crime.
As to the charter of Henry III., it cannot prejudice the City's jurisdiction, inasmuch as it was granted long after the citizens had acquired the fee ferm of the City with all its appurtenances, including the right of distress, attachment, and execution of the King's commands, as well within the said close as elsewhere in the City.
Folio 120 b.
Further, they say that the charters aforesaid and every other charter granted to the Dean and Chapter of the close or church of St. Martin le Grand were granted in these terms, viz., "to God and the church of St. Martin le Grand, London"; or "St. Martin le Grand of London"; or "St. Martin le Grand, London, within London," or "in London," which words plainly show that the close is of, and in, the liberty of the City of London.
Here follow the answer and articles touching the attachment of a Canon of Waltham lately made within the close of St. Martin le Grand, (fn. 11) London, as alleged, whereby the Dean complains he is aggrieved, proving that the place wherein the attachment was made is of, and in, the liberty and jurisdiction of the City.
The Mayor and citizens say that the attachment was made by virtue of a certain special commission addressed to the Mayor of the time, and in the house of a certain John Belle situate, with many other houses, without the aforesaid close in the King's highway, in the parish of St. Michael le Quern, in the Ward of Farndon, as will be most clearly proved if and whenever the lords of the Council wish to hear the matter. If, however, the Dean should wish to claim the house as being within the close, the Mayor and citizens are prepared to prove by the evidences which follow that the arrest was good and lawful by the laws and customs both of the realm and City, inasmuch as the said close from time immemorial has been of, and in, the liberty and jurisdiction of the City.
First, they say that the City has been from time immemorial the chief city of the whole realm of England, as well in honours as in liberties and free customs, for it was founded after the manner, and in memory, of ancient Troy, and hence for long time was called Troynovant; that in the time of Edward the Confessor and before, the City was of itself an entire Sheriffwick (vicecomitatus (fn. 12) ) and an entire jurisdiction and liberty held to ferm by the citizens from the King; that by virtue of such jurisdiction and liberty the citizens have always enjoyed the right of electing certain principal officers in the City to answer to the King for the said ferm, and under him to govern the inhabitants of the City in peace and justice, according to their ancient laws and customs, so that no summons, attachment, distress, or execution could take place in the said close or elsewhere in the City, except by such officers and their servants. They, further, say that William the Conqueror-before his charter of foundation of the said church-with the authority of his Parliament (auctoritate parliamenti sui), had granted two charters, by one of which he granted to the citizens of London the whole of the said City and Sheriffwick (vicecomitatum) of London with all their appurtenances, whereby they make attachments, &c., as well within the said close as elsewhere in the City; by the other charter he confirmed to the citizens and their successors all the liberties and customs they had enjoyed under Edward the Confessor. (fn. 13) These liberties the citizens had thus enjoyed from before the foundation of the said church down to the present day, and thus, they say, the said close had been from time immemorial of, and in, the jurisdiction and justice (justicia) of the City of London, and parcel of the same, and the Dean and Canons of the said close and church had never had any jurisdiction within the said close apart from the justice of the City. All which the Mayor and citizens are prepared to prove, and more especially from the time of Edward I., when the greater part of the land, &c., which now forms the close, came into the possession of the Dean and Chapter.
Thus they say, firstly, that in the time of Edward I. the greater part of the close was a certain common highway of the City; in the parish of St. Leonard in the Ward of Aldrichesgate, leading from St. Vedast Lane to the church of St. Martin le Grand (fn. 14) on one part, and to the church of St. Nicholas Shambles on the other; and because the said lane became the resort of bad characters at night, the King, after inquisition held, allowed the Dean of the said church to enclose it, and thus he claims to have private jurisdiction therein, although the jurisdiction of the King and of the City was not thereby destroyed.
Also they say, that anno 4 Edward I. a command was given to the Mayor and citizens by Roger de Seytone and his fellow-justices itinerant that they should diligently inquire what churches, colleges, &c., within the liberties of the City were of the advowson, presentation, or donation of the King, and make a return of the same to the aforesaid justices; and among the churches, &c., so returned was that of St. Martin le Grand, as is testified by the record of the Iter in the King's Treasury, a copy of which was delivered to the citizens according to ancient custom, and is now produced. (fn. 15) From this it is clear that the close and church are of, and in, the liberty and jurisdiction of the City.
Also they say, that anno 14 Edward II. the Mayor and citizens came before Hervey de Staunton and his fellow-justices itinerant at the Tower, together with twelve good men from each Ward, among them being twelve men from the Ward of Aldrichesgate, who, in answer to articles of the Iter touching the churches in the said Ward which were of the King's donation, said that the church of St. Martin, London, was in the King's donation, and that Richard Ellefeld was Dean, but by what title they did not know. (fn. 16) Precept was therefore sent to the Sheriffs to summon the said Dean, who appeared, but claimed no exemption except from the jurisdiction of the Ordinary, as appears on the record. He also said that he held the said church as a free chapel of the lord the King by grant of the King, exempt from the jurisdiction of the Ordinary by the King's letters dated at Newerk, 6 Oct., 11 Edward II. [A.D. 1317].
Folio 121 b.
Also, presentment was made in the same Iter that the Dean and Canons of St. Martin le Grand had a solar opposite the said church which was a public nuisance; that the Canons occupied the said solar, which they claimed as parcel of the close and exempt. Thereupon the Dean was summoned, and, on appearance, he promised that the nuisance should be abated.
Also the said Dean and Chapter, before the same Justices, claimed to have certain liberties prescribed in their two charters, but did not claim jurisdiction and immunity either by virtue of the said charters or for other cause. Thereupon Geoffrey Scrope, the King's Serjeant-at-law, said that the said Dean and Chapter ought not to have "infangtheof," inasmuch as those indicted for felony or taken within the close or soke of the said Dean and Chapter were delivered or condemned before the Justices at Newgate.
Also, on Saturday before the Feast of St. Gregory [12 March], 17 Edward II. [A.D. 1323-4], a certain Robert Stode, son of William Cramphorne, of "Sabriggesworth," (fn. 17) fled to the church of St. Martin le Grand, and then and there acknowledged before Stephen de Abyndone, the King's Butler and Coroner, and John de Oxon' and Adam de Sarum, the Sheriffs, that he was a felon, having killed Agnes, daughter of Thomas Badle, at Sobbery (fn. 18) with a "fagot staff," and refused to give himself up. He afterwards made his escape, as may be seen in the Coroner's Roll preserved in the City's Treasury. (fn. 19)
Also, on Thursday the Feast of Corpus Christi [22 June], 3 Edward III. [A.D. 1329], William Lullay of Cambridge, "bocher," fled to the same church, and then and there acknowledged before Simon Fraunceys and Henry de Combmartyn, the Sheriffs, and John Shirborne, the City Coroner, that he had killed Richard Burgeis, "bocher," in the high street, opposite the church of St. Martin le Grand. He refused to surrender, and afterwards made his escape, &c.
Also, on Wednesday before the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul [25 Jan.], 4 Edward III. [A.D. 1330-1], information was given to Robert de Ely and Thomas de Harewode, the Sheriffs, and John Shirborne, the King's Coroner in the City, that a certain Thomas le Longe of Derby lay dead of a death other than his rightful death within the close of the Dean of St. Martin le Grand, in the Ward of Aldrichesgate. Thereupon the Coroner and Sheriffs went there, and having summoned good men of that Ward and of the three nearest Wards, viz., Farndon Within, Castle Baynard, and "Crepoulgate," they diligently inquired how it happened, viz., by oath, &c. The jurors say that on the preceding Tuesday, after the hour of curfew, the aforesaid Thomas le Longe and a certain Thomas de Harburgh, servants of Sir Richard de Bury, Clerk of the lord the King, were quarrelling in the said close, and that the said Thomas de Harburgh struck the said Thomas le Longe with a knife on the breast, inflicting a wound an inch long and 7 inches deep, so that he immediately died. The said Thomas de Harburgh was forthwith arrested, and taken to the house of Robert de Ely, the Sheriff. No one else was present, and nobody was suspected of the death except the said Thomas de Harburgh. The corpse was viewed, on which appeared the wound. Precept to the Sheriff to attach the four nearest neighbours.