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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9 Oct., 18 Henry VI. [A.D. 1439], Robert, son of William Chirche, late hurer, who had been admitted into the freedom of the City before Robert Large, the Mayor, and John Chichele, the Chamberlain, in the Art of Hurers, having long used the mistery or art of "Haburdasshers" and not the art of Hurers, prays the said Mayor and the Aldermen to be admitted to the freedom in the said Art or Mistery of "Haburdasshers." His prayer granted at the instance of the Masters and good men [not named] of the said Art.
9 Oct., 18 Henry VI. [A.D. 1439], Thomas, son of Thomas Basset, late girdler, shows that whereas he had been admitted into the freedom of the City in the Art of Hatters temp. Nicholas Wottone, Mayor, and John Bederendene, Chamberlain, viz., on the 22nd Jan., 9 Henry VI. [A.D. 1430-1], he had long used, and was now using, the mistery or art of "Haburdasshers"; he prays, therefore, to be admitted into the freedom in the said Mistery. His prayer granted ut supra.
6 Nov., 18 Henry VI. [A.D. 1439], the guardianship of Thomas, son of Nicholas Bowland, late "sherman," together with his patrimony of 10 marks, committed by Robert Large, the Mayor, the Aldermen, and John Chichele, the Chamberlain, to Richard Berde, fishmonger. In the event of the orphan dying under age, 5 marks to go to Isabella Berde [sic] his mother, wife of the said Nicholas. Sureties, viz., Thomas Hale and Thomas Hand, fishmongers.
Folio 181 b.
Ordinance by Common Council held on Saturday, 9 Jan., 18 Henry VI. [A.D. 1439-40], that double fees should be paid for two years for enrolment of apprentices, release of apprentices, and enrolment of all deeds and wills, in order to relieve the poverty of the Guildhall. (fn. 1)
13 Jan., 18 Henry VI. [A.D. 1439-40], came good men of the Mistery of Writers of court-letter into the chamber of the Guildhall, before Robert Large, the Mayor, John Reynwelle, John Gedney, John Welles, John Broklee, Henry Frowyk, William Milreth, Ralph Holand, Thomas Catworth, William Gregory, John Olney, John Suttone, William Combes, and William Wetenhale, Aldermen, and prayed that certain articles might be approved to the following effect:-
That no man of the craft make any evidence or muniment touching inheritance or other "feates of charge," or hold any shop of the said craft, until examined and found able by the Wardens and Freemen of the craft, or by the Mayor and Aldermen.
Folio 182 b.
16 Feb., 18 Henry VI. [A.D. 1439-40], came Nicholas Gille, of co. Lincoln, upholder, before Robert Large, 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 Upholder (fn. 2) temp. William Sevenoke, Mayor, and John Hille, Chamberlain, viz., on the 4th Oct., anno 7 Henry VI. [A.D. 1428], he had long used, and was still using, the mistery of "Peautrers," and not the mistery of Upholder. He prayed, therefore, to be admitted into the freedom in the Art of "Peautrers." His prayer granted at the instance of the Masters and good men [not named] of the said Mistery.
14 March, 18 Henry VI. [A.D. 1439-40], came John, son of Robert Jones, of co. Northampton, before the same, and showed that whereas he had been admitted into the freedom of the City in the Art of "Girdelers" temp. Henry Frowyk, Mayor, and John Chichele, Chamberlain, viz., on the 28th June, anno 14 Henry VI. [A.D. 1436], he had long used, and was still using, the mistery of "Lethersellers," and not the mistery of "Girdelers." He prayed, therefore, to be admitted into the freedom in the said Mistery of "Lethersellers." His prayer granted at the instance of the Masters and good men [not named] of that Mistery.
15 March, 18 Henry VI. [A.D. 1439-40], the guardianship of John, son of Thomas Humberston, late mercer, and of Johanna, daughter of the said Thomas, together with their patrimony, committed by Robert Large, the Mayor, the Aldermen, and John Chichele, the Chamberlain, to Richard Cote. Sureties' viz., Thomas Bataille, mercer, William Taverner, "girdeler," William Foster, tailor, and John Carpenter, senior, "Serjeaunt." (fn. 3)
17 March, 18 Henry VI. [A.D. 1439-40], the guardianship of Thomas and Alice, children of Ralph Hogman, grocer, together with a sum of money bequeathed to them by Anable, widow of John Furner, late grocer, committed by the same to the above Ralph. Sureties, viz., John Maldone, Richard Ketrych, and Thomas Rochford.
Thursday, 10 Dec., 18 Henry VI. [A.D. 1439], the ordinances of the Bowiers recorded in Letter-Book H, fo. ccxcvi, and G, fo. cclxvi [b], (fn. 4) confirmed by the Mayor and Aldermen; and Robert Crulle and William Atte Wode elected Wardens of the Mistery.
Folio 183 b.
Letters patent addressed to the Mayor and Aldermen bidding them summon the Constables of each Ward and make inquiry as to the names of householders, not English born, residing within their Wards, with the view of levying the subsidy (recently granted by Parliament) of 16 pence yearly on all such householders, and 6 pence on all persons not English born who are not householders. (fn. 5) Witness the King at Eltham, 28 Feb., 18 Henry VI. [A.D. 1439-40].
4 April, 18 Henry VI. [A.D. 1440], the guardianship of Constance, Simon, Reginald, and John, children of John Wedyhale, late goldsmith, together with their patrimony, committed by Robert Large, the Mayor, the Aldermen, and John Chichele, the Chamberlain, to Elizabeth, mother of the said orphans. Sureties, viz., John Bederenden, Robert Bertyn, Stephen Marchaunt, William Fyge, Matthew Foucher, citizens of London, and William Seyvance, esquire.
Afterwards, viz., on the 10th Feb., 29 Henry VI. [A.D. 1450-1], the above John Bederenden and William Seyvance having died, their places were taken as sureties by Thomas Canynges, grocer, and Thomas Thornton, draper.
4 April, 18 Henry VI. [A.D. 1440], the guardianship of Thomas, son of Richard Widihale, late goldsmith, together with sums of money bequeathed to him by his said father, by Alice his mother, and by John his brother, committed to Elizabeth, late wife of the said John Widihale. Sureties, viz., John Bederenden, Robert Bertyn, Stephen Marchaunt, William Fyge, citizens of London, and William Seyvaunce, esquire.
Afterwards, viz., on the 4th Feb., 22 Henry VI. [A.D. 1443-4], came the above William Seyvaunce before Thomas Catworth, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, and on behalf of the above Elizabeth delivered to John Chichele, the Chamberlain, the sum of £100 due to the above orphan.
Extract from the will of Richard Widihale, whereby he bequeaths 50 marks each to "Custance," Simon, Reginald, and John, his children, and makes Elizabeth his wife their guardian, and also bequeaths £20 to Thomas his (the testator's) brother. His said wife, together with John Walsshe, goldsmith, and Robert Kyngessone, vintner, appointed executors. [No date.]
1 July, 18 Henry VI. [A.D. 1440], the guardianship of Johanna, daughter of Stephen Samptone, together with her patrimony of 100 marks, committed by Robert Large, the Mayor, the Aldermen, and John Chichele, the Chamberlain, with the assent of Alice Samptone, the orphan's mother, to William Raulyn, grocer. Sureties, viz., Nicholas Wifold, Saier Acre, and John Maldone. The above money was afterwards delivered to John Grenelane, who had the permission of the Mayor and Aldermen to marry the above orphan.
Folio 184 b.
Writ to the Mayor and Sheriffs to make proclamation of a petition of the Commons in Parliament to the King to impose restrictions upon alien merchants dwelling and trading within the realm for the next seven years, (fn. 6) and of the King's reply thereto. Witness the King at Westminster, 1 March, 18 Henry VI. [A.D. 1439-40].
Precept to the several Aldermen to assess and levy in their respective Wards a fourth part of a fifteenth, and to bring the money into the Guildhall by a certain day. Dated 2 June, 18 Henry VI. [A.D. 1440].
Folio 185 b.
6 May, 18 Henry VI. [A.D. 1440], certain ordinances of the Mistery of "Copers" or "Coupers" approved by the Mayor and Aldermen at the request of good men of the Mistery. (fn. 7)
Letters patent appointing John Suttone, William Wetenhale, Everard Flete, and Nicholas Wyfold collectors in the City of the subsidy granted by Parliament, due allowance being made to impoverished Wards pursuant to the ordinance. (fn. 8) Witness the King at Westminster, 24 April, 18 Henry VI. [A.D. 1440].
Folio 186 b-187.
Letters patent appointing R[obert Gilbert], Bishop of London, and William Estfeld, Knt., Robert Cloptone, John Carpenter, and Geoffrey Feldyng, the City's representatives in the last Parliament, to apportion (inter alia) the sum of £76 15s. 6¼d. among the impoverished parishes and Wards of the City contributing to the subsidy granted in the same Parliament.
Folio 187 b.
Writ to the Mayor to take special precautions for preserving the peace in the City, and to summon all absent Aldermen to return to the City and render assistance. (fn. 9) Witness the King at Westminster, 23 June, 18 Henry VI. [A.D. 1440].
Letters patent touching a petition recently made to the King in Parliament by the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, that they might be allowed to distrain the lands and tenements charged by the will of John Pulteney, Knt., with certain payments for the maintenance of chantries, &c., in the event of such payments being in arrear, to which petition the King had given his consent. (fn. 10) Witness the King at Westminster, 26 Nov., 18 Henry VI. [A.D. 1439].
Wednesday, 6 July, 18 Henry VI. [A.D. 1440], came Thomas Fetherstone before the Mayor and Aldermen, and stated that on the eve of the Translation of St. Martin [4 July] he had had his gold seal or signet and his purse cut away and secretly carried off by some clever thief. (fn. 11) He gives notice that he will not in future acknowledge any deed sealed with that seal, which can be identified by a capital T engraved upon it.
Lastly, that no person "lene to no Rower of the Galeys nether to no servaunt of the Galeys no maner of vitaylle nether no oþer thynge wherþorwe þe seid Galeys or any persone to hem longyng might be taryde of her passage or vexed in the lawe but be suffisiant undertakyng of oone of þe patrons of the seid Galeys on peyn of lesyng of alle suche vitayle or oþer thynge so lent ayens the commaundment of owre soverayn lorde the Kyng aboveseid."
Folio 188 b.
Deductions made from the amount due for the subsidy granted in the last Parliament from certain impoverished Wards, by William Estfeld, Knt., Robert Cloptone, John Carpenter, and Geoffrey Feldyng, the City members, with the consent of Robert [Gilbert], Bishop of London, viz., Cordewanerstrete, £18; Vyntrie, £11; Tower, £10; Dowgate, £8; Chepe, £4 15s. 6d.; Bisshopesgate, £4; Farndone Within, £5; Colmanstrete, 40s.; Portsoken, £3; Bridge, £3; Walbroke, £3; Crepulgate, £3; Quenehithe, 40s.; Lymestrete, ¼d. (fn. 12)
At a congregation of the Mayor and Aldermen in the Guildhall on Friday, 2 Sept., 19 Henry VI. [A.D. 1440], there being present Robert Large, the Mayor, William Estfeld, John Reynwelle, John Welles, John Gedney, Henry Frowyk, Thomas "Wannesford," William Milreth, Thomas Chaltone, Robert Cloptone, Ralph Holand, William Gregory, John Olney, John Suttone, Nicholas Yeo, and William Combes, Aldermen, Robert Marchall and Philip Malpas, the Sheriffs, and an immense Commonalty of the City, the articles and ordinances which follow were publicly read and confirmed, and agreed to be strictly observed in the future.
"Shewen mekely Roberd Marchall and Philippe Malpas Shirrevs of the same Cite That forasmoche þe seyde Phelippe at þe court day holden to fore hym' in þe yeldehall after þe custume of þe same Cite the Thursday þe First day of Septembre last passed send a bille unto þe Kynges Gayle of Neugate by John Norburgh officer of þe seyde court for to facche oon John Knyght Soudiour þen prisoner in þe sayde Gayle unto þe seyde court for to answere þen and þere un to John Bromley Soudeour in a pleint of dette of xis. vjd. Biforce of which bille þe seyde officer went un to Neugate and ther resceyved of þe keper þe sayd prisoner purposyng to bryng hym un to þe court as he was commaundede and as þe seyde officer was comyng toward þe seid court in the Kyngys highway directly afore þe lane of seint Martyn certein persones þat is to sey Richard Morys, John Rede, William Janyver and "Cristofre" (fn. 13) Blakborne with mony other which be knowe for errant and notory theves felawes of þe sayde John Knyght which long tyme to fore hadde hidde and kept hem in þe seyntuary of seynt Martyn for þeir robberies felonyes and mysgovernaunces came sodenly with force and armys þat is to sey with daggers drawe ayens þe Kynges pees his croune and his dignite and maden asawte un to the seyde officer and then and there þorugh þe help of þe seid John Knyght toke and rescowed þe same John Knyght out of þe possessioun of þe forseide officer and ledde hym in to þe seyntuary of seint Martyns expressely bothe ayens þe comyn lawe of this land and ayens þe liberties and Fraunchise of þe same Cite And also to grete hurt and losse to your said suppliauntz and shall be her after to þeir successours in like case bot if this mesprisioun and offence be manly remedied and withstonde as lawe wille wherfore like hit un to your right wise and sadde discrecions in kepyng and observyng of þe libertees and Fraunchises aboveseid to þe which every freman is sworn that forasmoche as your seyde suppliauntz be grevously manased and þat by the Dene of þe seide Seyntuary for the takyng of þe seid John Knyght and his felawes out þ'of for to be vexed and suede in temporell and spirituall lawes to þeir finell (?) hurt and grevaunce o lesse þen wille restore hem un to þe seyde seyntuary That þis mater may be comynde with þe counceylle of þe Cite and in especiall with John Carpenter, (fn. 14) and if hit be founde and knowe by lawe þat your besechers have observed the libertees and kept þe worship of þe Cite in þis parte lyke as they be sworne to that þe cost if eny shalle he do hereafter for þe right of this Cite to maynteyne and to defende þe evell Willes of þem þat wolle maligne and attempte ayens your sayde suppliantz or this Cite in this mater þat alle suche cost be do at þe co'e cost of alle þis Cite for the love of God and in wey of charite Consideryng þat this cause is every Fremannys cause and þe gode and trewe kepyng and defendyng of the libertes of this famous Cite is þe welfare of every man þat is inhabitant theryn."
It was further declared in the same Common Council that the Sheriffs for the time being shall at their own expense provide custodians of the gates of Neugate and Ludgate, to open and shut and keep the same, and shall be always responsible for the said custodians.
Also in the same Common Council a grant was made of 1,000 marks to complete the new conduit and repair the old one, the same to be levied in the Wards, and any surplus remaining over to be devoted to relief from subsidy.
Folio 189 b.
On the 14th Sept. [A.D. 1440], the lord the Mayor (dominus Maior) (fn. 15) received royal letters, severe enough (satis exasperatas), and also a royal writ as follows:-
"Trusty and Welbeloved After many grete and grevous compleintes made unto us this yere of divers mysgovernances and mesprisions doon and of nowe usurped withinne oure Cite of London ayens the places of oure fundacioun and the libertees franchises and privileges by oure noble progenitours graunted to the same and by us confermed Soo ferforth and in suche wise þat it is opyn to every man of good entendement that nother in the Kyng my lord and Faders ne in noon oþer of oure noble progenitours days whom God absoille soo many inconvenientes of right evel ensample have been in so short tyme attempted ayens God & his churche whos right & libertees we be sworn in oure coronacion to kepe and defende and so we shall by Goddes might oure lif during and also after divers oure writinges & messages in suche case for the redresse þerof sent by us un to yow þe which in effect hath be take to no reputacioun nor no fruyt ensuyd þerof It is now late commen unto oure knowlech þat þe first day of this present moneth of Septembre Phelipe Malpas and Robert Marchall Shirreffes of oure said Cite of London accompanyed with many hundredes of þe co'e people entred oure Churche and Sayntuarie of Saynt Martyns þe graunt in London and ayens the lawfull monicions of þe Officers of þe place toke out with hem v. men which come þe same day in to þe seyde seyntuarye and asked and had the immunitees therof in forme accustumed & theym led fettred in to the Countour & from thens cheyned by the nekkys ij. to gedre al naked save theire lynnyn clothes þourgh Chepe un to Neugate wher thei be yet under many Irnes & grevous prison (fn. 16) Wherof we merveille us gretely & take þerof if it soo be right grete displesance as we have cause soo to doo Seeyng such exhorbitant noveltees thus boldly as hit were doone of menne awles to be doon in oure days namely by such as we trusted wold have yoven better ensample to alle oþer of oure subgettes of reverence to God & dwe obeissance to us as they be bounden un to Wherfore we havyng wele in oure consideracioun þat howebe hit ye might by eny colour pretende þat by thentre of þe said menne in to the seid Seyntuarie any thyng wer doon unto you or ayens þe Fraunchises graunted unto you other wise than right wolle ye ought in no wyse to take redresse or execucion at your owne hande þe whiche ar partie & namely in oure privileged place within the which ye have nought to doon but rather þat it had fitten (?) you right wele to have made your compleynt unto us or oure hede officers Wol & charge you streitly as ye wol answere un to us at your peril þat in alle hast possible after þe sight of thees oure lettres ye ordeyn þat the sayde v. men be frely in alle wise unhurt restored unto oure said priveleged Church & Seintuary of Saynt Martyns as thei were taken oute þerof And þat suche noveltees & mesprisions be not here after attempted ayenst any of oure privileged places as ye woll eschewe oure displeasance & indignacioun and other peyns suche as may & ought to Folowe þerof Yoven under oure signet at oure Castel of Wyndesore the xj day of Septembre" [A.D. 1440].
Writ to the Mayor and Sheriffs, on complaint made to the King by the Dean and Chapter of St. Martin le Grand, bidding them restore to the said Dean or his Commissary the persons of John Knight, John Rede, "Thomas" (fn. 17) Blackbourne, William Janyver, and Richard Morys, who had been forcibly removed from sanctuary. Witness the King at the Castle of Wyndesore, 10 Sept., (fn. 18) 19 Henry VI. [A.D. 1440].
The above letter and King's writ having been seen and fully understood, and the seriousness of the case having been taken into consideration, it was decreed that the Mayor and eight Aldermen should proceed with all speed to interview the lord the King at Waltham, and defend themselves against the charges brought against them; and on the following day they arrived at the Abbey of Waltham, (fn. 19) where they received an answer from the Bishop of Salisbury, the lord Bardolf, and Sir Ralph Boteler, Knt., on the King's behalf, that the matter should be duly determined at common law, and that the lord the King did not wish that the City should suffer any prejudice. He also promised that his royal majesty would be gracious to the City. The men so taken in the church of St. Martin le Grand by the Sheriffs continued to remain in prison until the Sheriffs received out of Chancery a writ of corpus cum causa touching the prisoners, who were thereupon conducted by the Sheriffs to the Chancellor. And because those persons who had plaints against the said prisoners were induced to declare themselves satisfied, the Sheriffs had no further cause for prosecution. Thereupon the lord the Chancellor, at the intervention of the said Dean of St. Martin, remitted the prisoners to the said church, as he well could do, and further process in that matter was stayed. (fn. 20)
26 Sept., 19 Henry VI. [A.D. 1440], the guardianship of Richard, son of Richard Coltone, late girdler, together with the sum of £20 and divers chattels, comprising silver spoons, a "baslard" harnessed with an ivory handle, a girdle harnessed throughout with "ostriche" feathers of silver, weighing with tissue (cum tissut') (fn. 21) 10 oz.; also the guardianship of Robert, another son, together with a sum of £20 and divers other chattels, and of Agnes and Margery, daughters of the said Richard, together with their patrimony, &c., committed to William Spicer. Sureties, viz., Thomas Canynges, John Maldone, John Somertone, grocers, and John Osyn, "letherseller."
"Preyth and besecheth your pour servaunt William Symond that hit please un to your lordship that he myght have the oversight and the rule of alle the Canelles and other thynges fro temple barre un to the Toure with oute the walles in þe subarbes of London like as the serjeaunt of the Canelles hath withyn the walles & that he myght have a warrant that menne myght knowe tht he were suche an Officer of the Mair & of the Chaumbre for yef he sey eny thynge to eny defautes menne sette nothyng therby withoute he had hyt in commaundemente of yow Wherfor he praith yowe of an answer of this bille for the love of god and in wey of charite."
Folio 190 b.
3 Sept., 19 Henry VI. [A.D. 1440], came William Hobold, baker, before Robert Large, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, and complained of John Halle, a foreign baker of Southwerk, (fn. 22) marking bread with his (i.e., the said William's) mark, viz., with three "prikkys," a mark that from time immemorial had belonged to his house in Clement lane, whereas every baker ought to have his own mark. (fn. 23) Thereupon the Mayor and Aldermen forbade the said John Halle to use the said mark, except for bread exposed for sale in the City, and so to be weighed like all other bread made in the same borough.
Wednesday the Feast of St. Matthew [21 Sept.], 19 Henry VI. [A.D. 1440], in the presence of Robert Large, the Mayor, William (fn. 24) Bowes the Recorder, William Estfeld, Knt., John Reynwelle, John Gedney, John Welles, Henry Frowyk, Stephen Broun, Thomas Wannesford, John Pattesle, William Milreth, Robert Cloptone, John Hatherle, Ralph Holand, William Gregory, John Olney, Nicholas Yeo, William Combes, [Aldermen,] Robert Marchall and Philip Malpas, the Sheriffs, and very many Commoners summoned to the Guildhall for the election of Sheriffs, William Wetenhale was elected one of the Sheriffs by the Mayor, and John Sutton, goldsmith, was elected the other Sheriff by the Commonalty for the year ensuing.
The same day John Chichele, grocer, was elected Chamberlain; Thomas Cooke, senior, draper, and John Herst, skinner, were elected Wardens of London Bridge; and Nicholas Yeo, William Combes, Aldermen, John Norman, John Sturgeon, Geoffrey Feldyng, and Stephen Foster, Commoners, were elected Auditors of all the outstanding accounts of the Chamberlain and Wardens of London Bridge. (fn. 25)
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 and admitted, &c., before the Barons of the Exchequer.
Petition of the Commons to the Mayor and Aldermen that the sum of £327 9s. 10d. found on account rendered before the above Auditors to be due to London Bridge from Thomas Badby and Richard Lovelas, late Wardens, may be devoted forthwith to the repair of the said Bridge; and also that a further sum of 250 marks, borrowed from the City in time past by Wardens of London Bridge, may be promptly repaid.