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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Letter from John Gedney, under the Mayoralty seal, admitting Sir John Ruschebroke, chaplain in the diocese of Norwich, to the chantry founded in the church of St. Mary Somerset, near Brokenwharf, for the souls of John de Gyldesburgh, Sir Peter de Gildesburgh, Sir John Burton, late Rector of the said church, and others, the said Sir John Ruschebroke having been elected and presented to the said chantry, then vacant by the death of Sir John Writhe, (fn. 1) by the reverend father in Christ John, Bishop of Dromore, (fn. 2) then Rector of the said church, and by John [Mowbray], Duke of Norfolk, Elizabeth Wilford and John Bate, parishioners of the same. Dated 20 March, A.D. 1428 [sic].
Acquittance by John Gedney, the Mayor, and Aldermen for various sums of money received in 1425 from John Galet, (fn. 3) John Stormorth, and others, on behalf of merchants of Amyens, in respect of the yearly payment of 50 marks under the "composition" made between the City of London and the merchants of Amyens, Corby, and Neel. Dated 20 March, 6 Henry VI., A.D. 1428 [sic].
Precept to the Aldermen to keep an armed watch in their several Wards on the nights and eves of St. John Bapt. [24 June] and SS. Peter and Paul [29 June], and cause a vessel of water to be placed before every house in case of fire. Dated 5 June, 6 Henry VI. [A.D. 1428].
Folio 51 b.
13 Feb., 6 Henry VI. [A.D. 1427-8], ordinance by the Mayor, Recorder, Aldermen, and Commonalty, in full and Common Council assembled, that no eels from beyond the sea be exposed for sale until they have been sorted by the Mayor or his deputies into three kinds, viz., the larger kind called "Stobel eel," the middle called "Shast eel," and the smaller called "Pympernel," as was formerly ordained when Robert Chichele was Mayor; (fn. 4) and further, that they should be sold only by weight in the presence of an officer appointed by the Mayor, in the vessels which brought them and at prices prescribed. A similar ordinance was at the same time made touching "Tenche."
14 Dec., 6 Henry VI. [A.D. 1427], the guardianship of Thomas and Agnes, children of Thomas Mountgomery, late draper, together with their patrimony, committed by John Gedney, the Mayor, the Aldermen, and John Bederenden, the Chamberlain, for a term of five years to Nicholas Stucle, Knt., who had married Agnes, the orphans' mother. Sureties, viz., John Pattisle, goldsmith, and Thomas Suttone, tailor.
Afterwards, viz., on the 12th June, 30 Henry VI. [A.D. 1452], came the above Agnes, being then of full age, before William Gregory, the Mayor, and Aldermen, and acknowledged satisfaction for her patrimony.
12 May, 6 Henry VI. [A.D. 1428], the guardianship of John and Alice, children of Simon Herward, late mercer, together with their patrimony and property accruing to them by the decease of Margaret their sister, (fn. 5) committed by John Gedney, the Mayor, the Aldermen, and John Bederenden, the Chamberlain, to John Admond, mercer, who had married Johanna, widow of the said Simon; to hold the same in trust for the said orphans for a term of five years. Sureties, viz., Eborard Flete, John Pydmell, John Fauntleroy, and William Prentys, mercers.
Folio 52 b.
Letters patent appointing Simon Seman, John Perneys, Robert Wedyngton, Richard Coventre, Thomas Catworth, and Ralph Skynnard to be Commissioners for levying in the City the money granted in the Parliament held at Westminster in the quinzaine of St. Michael last-viz., 2s. from all householders in every parish having ten inhabited houses, of each City and Borough, where the church is of the annual value of 20s., and so pro rata on an ascending scale; and also the sum of 6s. 8d. from every owner of lands and tenements of the value of a whole knight's fee, and so pro rata on a descending scale to a quarter of a knight's fee. Witness the King at Westminster, 6 April, 6 Henry VI. [A.D. 1428]. (fn. 6)
Fos. 53-53 b.
5 May, 6 Henry VI. [A.D. 1428], inquest taken before John Perneys, Simon Seman, and other Commissioners aforesaid by oath of Simon Sewale, William Westone, Thomas Bataille, John Melborne, Philip Malpas, Clement Lyffyn, Thomas Daunt, John Femelle, Hugh Dyke, John Abbot, John Aleyn, Thomas Selowe, Simon Eyer, John Olney, Walter Chartesey, William Edward, Richard Nordone, Ralph Silkestone, Thomas Garbolt, Thomas Duffehous, John Edward, Thomas Bernewelle, John Bacon, John Chirche, and John Saykyn, who declare the following churches to be of the utmost yearly value as follows, (fn. 7) viz.:-
All Hallows de Graschirche, in same Ward, (fn. 8) £18.
St. Bartholomew the little, (fn. 9) in same Ward, £20.
St. Peter, (fn. 10) in same Ward, £10.
St. Augustine, in same Ward, (fn. 11) 25 marks.
St. Matthew, in same Ward, (fn. 12) 20 marks.
St. Margaret, (fn. 13) in same Ward, 20 marks.
St. Clement, in same Ward, (fn. 14) £13 6s. 8d.
St. Benedict, (fn. 15) in same Ward, £9.
St. Gregory, (fn. 16) in same Ward, £20.
Folio 53 b.
St. Laurence, (fn. 17) in Ward of Chepe, £40.
St. Mary de Arcubus, (fn. 18) in same Ward, 40 marks.
St. Mildred, (fn. 19) in same Ward, £13.
St. Martin, (fn. 20) in same Ward, 20 marks.
St. Pancras, in same Ward, (fn. 21) 24 marks.
St. Mary Magdalen, (fn. 22) in Ward of Crepulgate, £18.
St. Alban, (fn. 23) in same Ward, 20 marks.
St. Alphege, (fn. 24) in same Ward, 10 marks.
St. Olave in Silverstrete, in same Ward, (fn. 25) 40 (marks ?).
All Hallows, (fn. 26) in same Ward, 20 marks.
All Hallows the Great, (fn. 27) in same Ward, 40 marks.
St. Ewin, (fn. 28) in Ward of Farindon Within, £8 13s. 4d.
St. Nicholas, (fn. 29) in same Ward, £26 13s. 4d.
St. Martin, (fn. 30) in same Ward, 40 marks.
St. Michael le Quern, (fn. 31) in same Ward, 25 marks.
St. Andrew, (fn. 32) in same Ward, £22 13s. 4d.
St. Mary (fn. 33) de Fanchirche, in same Ward, £8.
St. Dionis, (fn. 34) in same Ward, £16.
St. Edmund, (fn. 35) in same Ward, £20.
St. Nicholas, (fn. 36) in same Ward, £10.
St. Leonard in Estchep, (fn. 37) in same Ward, 40 marks.
St. Botolph, (fn. 38) in Ward of Portsoken, 20 marks.
St. Nicholas "Olove," (fn. 39) in same Ward, £9.
St. Olave, (fn. 40) in Ward of Tower, £10.
All Hallows, (fn. 41) in same Ward, £24.
Holy Trinity, (fn. 42) in same Ward, £10.
St. Mary, (fn. 43) in same Ward, 25 marks.
And there are no more parish churches in the City or suburbs, except the church of St. Augustine de Pappey within the City, in which parish there are not ten inhabitants who are householders. (fn. 44)
11 March, 6 Henry VI. [A.D. 1427-8], came Richard Baret, Richard Heriot, William Landwath, cordwainers, and Thomas Richer, "peynter," and mainprised John Tanner, citizen and scrivener, for maintaining faithfully and honestly the stew (estivam) that he holds for women in Parkerislane, in the parish of St. Michael de Quenhithe, and not permitting any men or other than good and honest women to be stewed there (ibidem estivari) at times appointed and not otherwise, under penalty of £20.
16 March, 6 Henry VI. [A.D. 1427-8], came John Bright, cordwainer, William Harrys, brewer, John Corneys, "taillour," and John Swetyng, "plummer," and mainprised John Baker for faithfully and honestly maintaining a stew for women at Brokenwharf, in the parish of St. Mary Somerset in the Ward of Queenhithe, (fn. 45) and not permitting any laundry-woman (mulierem lotricem) or any but good and honest men [sic] to be stewed there at times appointed, under penalty of £20.
......, 6 Henry VI., came Henry Knyght, "dyere," Edmund Symond, "mason," John Bekke, "dyere," and John Parker, brewer, and mainprised John Whityng, brewer, for properly conducting a stew for women [in lane and parish not specified] and permitting only good and honest women to stew there, under similar penalty.
11 Aug., 6 Henry VI. [A.D. 1428], came Richard Persone, armourer, one of the executors of Symon Wynchecombe, late citizen and armourer, and formerly one of the Sheriffs, (fn. 46) and brought into Court, in a certain round barrel sealed, the records, rolls, and other memoranda of the time of the Shrievalty of the said Symon; (fn. 47) to remain in the said Court on record, &c., for those desiring their assistance, and in discharge of the said Sheriff and his executors, &c. And he delivered the key of the said barrel to John Carpenter, the Common Clerk of the City, &c.
Acquittance under the Mayoralty seal to the executors of the late noble "merchant," Richard Whityngton, for the sum of 24 marks paid by John de Burneux, merchant of Amiens, being the quota due in his last Mayoralty from the merchants of Amiens, Corby, and Neele. Dated 20 Aug., A.D. 1427.
Folio 54 b.
15 June, 6 Henry VI. [A.D. 1428], the guardianship of Johanna, daughter of David "Galganet," together with her patrimony, committed by John Gedney, the Mayor, the Aldermen, and John Bederenden, the Chamberlain, to Margaret, widow of the said David. Sureties, viz., John Bacon and Ralph Stoke, grocers, Thomas Donyngton, goldsmith, and William Coleman, "materas maker."
Afterwards, viz., 28 Nov., 11 Henry VI. [A.D. 1432], came Robert Warner, who married Margaret, widow of David "Galgenet," and John, son of the said David, and acknowledged satisfaction for the sum of £75, which became due to them by the death of Johanna, daughter of the aforesaid David.
Acquittance by John Gedney, the Mayor, for the sum of 50 marks due to the Mayor for the time being from merchants of "Amyeux," Corby, and Neel, and paid by Simonet Quinerit, attorney of John de Burneux, of "Amieux." Dated 20 Sept., A.D. 1428.
Masters of Misteries sworn.
Folio 55 b.
Tuesday the Feast of St. Matthew, Ap. [21 Sept.], 7 Henry VI. [A.D. 1428], in the presence of John Gedney, the Mayor, John Simond, the Recorder, Henry Bartone, William Caumbrige, Thomas Fauconer, John Michell, John Coventre, Robert Tatersale, John Welles, Simon Seman, William Estfeld, Henry Frowyk, John Brokle, Ralph Bartone, and Robert Otteley, Aldermen, and very many Commoners summoned to the Guildhall for the election of Sheriffs-John Abbot, mercer, was elected one of the Sheriffs by the Mayor, and Thomas Duffhous, fishmonger, was elected the other Sheriff by the Commonalty. (fn. 48)
The same day John Bederenden, draper, was elected Chamberlain; Robert Colbroke, "irmonger," and John Trimnell, mercer, were elected Wardens of London Bridge; William Estfeld and John Brokle, Aldermen, Walter Chartesey, Ralph Skynnard, Robert Large, and John Pake, Commoners, were elected Auditors of the Account of the Chamber and of the Wardens of London Bridge.
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.
Letter from the Earl of Salisbury and of Perche to the Mayor and Aldermen notifying the capture of more than forty towns, castles, and "stronge churches," among them being the town of "Yenville," (fn. 49) since entering on the last campaign, and desiring to know of the City's welfare. Dated at "Yenville," 5 Sept. [A.D. 1428]. (fn. 50)
A postscript to the above notifying that the writer had heard that Sir Richard Hankeford had succeeded in taking the town and castle of "Meun sur Leyre," (fn. 51) where there was a bridge over the river about five leagues from the city of "Orliens." (fn. 52)
A list of towns, &c., captured. (fn. 53)
Tuesday the Feast of St. Edward [13 Oct.], 7 Henry VI. [A.D. 1428], in the presence of John Gedney, the Mayor, William Clerk the Prior of Christchurch, John Simond, the Recorder, Thomas Knolles, William Crowmere, Nicholas Wottone, Henry Bartone, William Cauntbrigge, John Michell, John Coventre, Ralph Bartone, Robert Tatersale, John Welles, John Perneys, Simon Seman, Richard Gosselyn, William Estfeld, Henry Frowyk, John Brokle, Robert Otteley, and John Paddesle, Aldermen, and an immense Commonalty summoned to the Guildhall for the election of a Mayor-Henry Bartone was elected.
Writ to the Sheriffs to arrest Richard Barry and Stephen Barry, who were claimed by John Langestone and John Dayrell as their niefs and fugitives, if found within their bailiwick, unless they be in the King's demesne, and to bring them before the King's Justices at Westminster in the octave of St. John Bapt. [24 June]. Witness W[illiam] Babyngton at Westminster, 10 June, 6 Henry VI. [A.D. 1428].
Return to the above to the effect that, according to the ancient custom of the City, every liege subject of the King who sought the protection and liberty of the City and there remained quiet for a year and a day, and was not reclaimed, could continue to remain there for the rest of his life if he wished. (fn. 54) And inasmuch as the said Richard and Stephen had remained quiet in the City for forty years and more before the coming of the above writ, and their status had not been challenged, and they had always been reputed of honest conversation and free condition, the writ could not be executed without prejudice of the City's rights and customs.
20 July, 6 Henry VI. [A.D. 1428], the twelve Scrutineers of the Mistery of Vintners presented certain butts of wine, Romney and Spanish, lying in the cellars of Peter Balby, merchant of Venice, and Obert Grimba, merchant of Genoa, in the parish of St. Botolph, Billingsgate, as being corrupt and unfit to be drunk. Thereupon Alexander Anne, the Common Serjeantat-law, prayed the Mayor and Aldermen to view and taste the wine according to custom. This they did, and the wine, being found to be unwholesome, was discharged into the kennel.
Folio 56 b.
In order to show and prove that the Hospital of St. Katherine, with its mills and all other appurtenances, as well as the whole of the Tower Ditch and all the land of Estsmythfeld outside the postern in front of the Abbey of Graces, together with the right side of the street leading by Duddingesponde, (fn. 55) are, and have been time out of mind, in and of the liberty of the City, and part of the Ward of Portsoken without Aldgate, in the suburbs of the City, the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty say that temp. William the Conqueror, and long before, the said Ward of Portsoken was called the Soke of Anglissh Knightgelde, and that circa 8 Henry I. a certain Ralph Fitz Algod, Wolfard le Deverissh, Odgar le Prude, and many other powerful citizens of the ancient race of noble English Knights who had the liberty of a Guild in the said Soke, and were seised of the whole land in the said Soke, conveyed the said land and Soke to the Church and Canons of Holy Trinity within Algate, (fn. 56) which gift was confirmed by charter of the said King, and that thereupon Norman, the then Prior, and the Convent of the said church and their successors were long seised of the same; that afterwards a certain Ralph, the Prior, and Canons of the said church granted a certain parcel of land in the said Soke or Ward-viz., that upon which the Hospital of St. Katherine now stands, and the mill there-to Queen Matilda, wife of King Stephen, in exchange for six librates of land in the Manor of Braghing, co. Herts. (fn. 57)
They further say that King Edward I gave to the Hospital of St. Katherine a yearly sum of 5 marks 6 shillings and 9 pence for a piece of land adjoining the Tower, and now occupied by the wall and ditch surrounding the Tower, in compensation for loss the Hospital sustained by the lengthening and repairing of the said wall and ditch, as fully appears by a deed recorded temp. Nicholas Brembre, Mayor. (fn. 58)
They also say that at the Iter held at the Tower, anno 14 Edward II., it was found that the said Ward of Portsoken, formerly called "Anglissh Knightgelde," was in, and of, the liberty of London, and that whenever any assessment was made, either for the King or the Commonalty of the City, all the male inhabitants of the said Ward were wont to contribute like other freemen of the City, as most plainly appears in the copies of the Rolls of the Iter preserved in the Treasury of the Guildhall. (fn. 59)
They further say that King Edward III., in the seventeenth year of his reign, by writ addressed to John Hamond, then Mayor, and his Escheator, reciting the above matter touching the wall and ditch for the enlargement of the Tower, temp. Edward I., and also reciting that Ralph de Sandwich and John de Westone, late Constables of the Tower, had let the above piece of land acquired by the King's grandfather to divers persons without royal permission, and wishing to be informed if his grandfather had really acquired the parcel of land in Estsmythfeld from the aforesaid Hospital for a yearly payment of 5 marks 6 shillings and 9 pence, as aforesaid, or not, and also whether or no the aforesaid Ralph and John had demised the piece of land as aforesaid, and all particulars of the same-had commanded the said John Hamond to hold an inquiry on oath and make a return on the matter, and this had accordingly been done, as may be seen from the Rolls of Escheat, temp. John Hamond, Mayor, in the Treasury of the Guildhall. (fn. 60)
They also say that all the lands and tenements on the right of the street by Duddingesponde and around the aforesaid places of Estsmythfeld, Thourhill, and Romeland are, and have always been held in the courts of the lord the King to be, within the City, as may be seen from pleas of tenants enrolled in the Guildhall, which enrolments have greater force than fines at Common Law (que controvalent fines ad co'em legem levat'). (fn. 61)
They further say that in cases of accidents and sudden death, necessitating inquests in any of those parts, and even within the Tower itself when the King was there, the Sheriffs and Coroners of the City and other officers of the same have ever been accustomed to hold inquests, to issue summons, and attach, &c., as may be seen in the Coroners' Rolls and other records preserved in the aforesaid Treasury.
They say also that among other liberties granted to the City by divers Kings, and confirmed in various Parliaments, there is one to the effect that no summons, attachment, or execution shall be made in the City by other than officers of the said City.
It is, therefore, clear that the said Hospital of St. Katherine with its mills and other appurtenances, also the whole of the Tower ditch and all of the land of Estsmythfeld outside the postern in front of the Abbey of Graces, together with the right side of the street leading by Duddingesponde and the whole of the ditch and open space outside the Tower [but] within the postern called "Romeland," with all houses and gardens around it, are and ever have been in, and of, the City aforesaid.
The Court of the lord the King, held before Henry Bartone, the Mayor, John Symond, the Recorder, William Crowmere, Thomas Fauconer, Nicholas Wottone, William Cauntbrigge, John Michell, Robert Tatersale, John Welles, William Estfeld, Simon Seman, Ralph Bartone, John Perneys, Henry Frowik, John Brokle, Robert Ottele, and Stephen Broun, Aldermen:- Whereas on the 7th June, 7 Henry VI. [A.D. 1429], and oftentimes before, it was plainly shown before the said Mayor and Aldermen by Thomas Fulthorpe, Serjeant-at-law, and other trustworthy persons, that a grant formerly made to Stephen Colley, goldsmith, by John, son of John Wodecok, late mercer, of certain lands and tenements for a term of years, had been made by way of security for the repayment of a sum of money due to the lessee, and also in order to prevent any loss occurring to John, the lessor's son, a City orphan, by reason of a deed of feoffment in the custody of the said Thomas Fulthorpe, whereby Richard Cotton, who was seised of the same lands and tenements, had enfeoffed Ralph Eure and others of the same-it was agreed by the aforesaid Mayor and Aldermen, on the aforesaid day, that the said Stephen Colley should enjoy the said lands and tenements for the term granted to him, on condition of his paying out of the profits an annual sum of 100s. to the Chamberlain for the use of the said orphan. The said Stephen, moreover, gave a bond in £200 to the Chamberlain that he would cause the said Thomas Fulthorpe to bring into Court the aforesaid deed of feoffment, which the said Thomas did, as appears infra fo. 58.
Folio 57 b.
Be it remembered that whereas, on the 16th December, 6 Henry VI. [A.D. 1427], the guardianship of Thomas, son of Richard "Withihale," late goldsmith, and of his patrimony, was committed to John, the orphan's brother, as appears supra, fo. 50 - the custody of a sum of money bequeathed to the said orphan by Alice his mother was also committed on the 20th May [A.D. 1428] to the aforesaid brother. Sureties, viz., John Stalkenden, William Boton, William Walton, and John Sutton, goldsmiths.
20 May, 6 Henry VI. [A.D. 1428], the guardianship of Johanna, daughter of William Flete, late fishmonger, together with her patrimony, committed by Henry Bartone, the Mayor, the Aldermen, and John Bederenden, the Chamberlain, for a term of five years, to Thomas "Berwell," "Bernewell," or "Bernewode," fishmonger, who married Alice, the orphan's mother. Sureties, viz., John Whattone, John Leget, junior, John Feyrfold, and John Streynesham.
That no baker buy for baking or reselling any good meal intermixed with bad, or bake bread of meal or bran that is not good, on pain of imprisonment and fine for the first two offences, and heavy punishment (vile jugement) (fn. 62) for the third.
That every baker and his servants shall boult their meal twice, one boulter being large and the other smaller, and be diligent in "knedyng" as well as in keeping the dough (en garder du past) (fn. 63) and their season of making it (et leur seisoun de la feisure), under the same penalty, and he who will not shall be put out of the Mistery.
That no baker shall bake with spring water (eawe de fontaigne), (fn. 64) on peril and penalty that is prescribed.
In the quinzaine of St. Michael [29 Sept.], 8 Henry VI. [A.D. 1429], came Thomas Fulthorp, Serjeant-at-law, into the Court of the lord the King in the Chamber of the Guildhall, before Henry Bartone, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, and delivered to John Bederenden, the Chamberlain of the City, for safekeeping a certain deed of feoffment whereby Richard Cotoun enfeoffed Ralph Eure and others with certain lands and tenements formerly belonging to John Wodecok, mercer, and held for a term by Stephen Colley and Richard Baret, cordwainers. (fn. 65)
11 Nov., 7 Henry VI. [A.D. 1428], John, son of William Wedyng of Teveresham, (fn. 66) discharged by Henry Bartone, the Mayor, and the Aldermen from serving on juries, &c., owing to increasing old age, except on urgent occasion.
Folio 58 b.
18 Oct., 7 Henry VI. [A.D. 1428], came Brother John Neel, Master of the House of St. Thomas de Acon, and Thomas Bataille, mercer, executors of Margaret Cliderowe, "silkwoman," widow of Elias Cliderowe, and delivered to John Bederenden, the Chamberlain, certain vessels in trust for Elias and Margaret her surviving children, her other children, viz., Edmund, John, and Thomas, having died under age. The vessels comprised (inter alia) a silver-gilt piece pounced (pounsonat') with falcons, a covered silver cup called "stondyng cuppe" with gilt top and border, silver spoons, a silver "pouderbox," a silver "flatpece" with cover, a "cruse" for "Reynisshwyne," silver pieces with "trayll" of vine and roses, &c., the whole being valued at £16 2s. 6d. The executors, moreover, delivered to the said Margaret a black gown furred with "Grey," (fn. 67) a black hood, and two kirtles left to her by a codicil.
2 March, 7 Henry VI. [A.D. 1428-9], Salamon Oxney, goldsmith, discharged by Henry Bartone, the Mayor, the Aldermen, and the Sheriffs from serving on juries, &c., he having been found on inquiry to be over seventy years of age and afflicted with deafness.
9 Dec., 7 Henry VI. [A.D. 1428], precept to the Aldermen to hold their several Wardmotes, and present such defects as they could not themselves remedy to the General Court to be held on Monday after the Epiphany [6 Jan.]; and further, to levy money for the use of the Guildhall, take steps for lighting, cleansing the streets, and to elect a prescribed number of men to sit in the Common Council, &c.
29 Nov. [A.D. 1428 ?], Symon Welles, one of the Clerks of the King's Court, brings a bill for contempt and trespass against Richard Claidich, writer of the court-hand, for having taken as apprentice Thomas Fermery, whose parents had less than 20s. a year in land and rent, contrary to the Statute 7 Henry IV. (fn. 68) The said Richard pleads in defence that although the statute forbids parents putting out a son or daughter as apprentice unless they had 20s. a year in land and rent, it says nothing touching a son or daughter putting himself or herself as apprentice as they may please. Thereupon the bill was declared bad, and Symon Welles to be in mercy for an unjust plaint.
Folio 59 b.
Writ of certiorari to the King's Treasurer and Chamberlain to search the book of Domesday and to make a return whether or not they find the City of London to be of the ancient demesne of the Crown. Witness the King at Westminster, 8 July, 6 Henry VI. [A.D. 1428].
Return made to the above writ to the effect that, after searching Domesday Book, they had not found that the City of London was of ancient demesne of the Crown, nor had they found anything in the book touching the said City. (fn. 69)
Writ to the Justices of the King's Bench enclosing the above return, which they are to consider and proceed in the plaint between John Langestone, John Dayrell, Richard Barry, and Stephen Barry, as they may see fit according to the law and custom of the realm. Witness the King at Westminster, 9 July, 6 Henry VI. [A.D. 1428].
Writ of Henry [VI.] to the same, enclosing the record and proceedings formerly taken against certain jurors in a plaint between Richard le Chaucer and Mary his wife, Geoffrey Stace and Agnes his wife, late wife of Walter de Westhale, Thomas Stace, and Laurence "Geffreysman" Stace, touching a trespass committed against the said Richard and Mary, (fn. 70) and bidding the said Justices to act further therein (at the instance of the present Mayor, &c.), according to the law and custom of the realm and the liberty and custom of the City. Witness the King at Westminster, 22 Nov. [A.D. 1428 ?].
Writ of Edward [III.] to Geoffrey le Scrope and his fellow Justices that they admit, without demur, the customs of the City recorded by the Mayor and citizens in any plea or plaint, and allow the said Mayor and citizens to enjoy the same. Witness the King at New Sarum, 28 Oct., 2 Edward III [A.D. 1328]. (fn. 71)
Another writ to the same, enclosing a certificate of proceedings touching the above Richard Chaucer and others, temp. Edward III., (fn. 72) and bidding them acknowledge the City's liberties and customs. [No date.]
13 Oct., 7 Henry VI. [A.D. 1428], petition to the Common Council by the Wardens and good folk of the Mistery of Coupers, that the ordinances made during the Mayoralty of Drew Barantyn, and recorded in Letter-Book I, fo. lxxxii [b], touching the use of sound wood without "sappe" in the making of barrels, &c., together with the penalties then imposed, might be extended to cover all persons engaged in the craft, whether free of the Mistery of Coupers or not. (fn. 73)
27 Nov., 7 Henry VI. [A.D. 1428], came John More, John Herst, Richard Alley, and Hugh Somervile, Wardens of the Mistery of Skinners, before Henry Bartone, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, and presented six panes (fn. 74) (panas) or furs of "ficheux" (fn. 75) falsely and deceitfully made and packed (pakkatas), to wit good skins seasoned (seisonatas) and not seasoned called "Staches," (fn. 76) intermixed and sewn together, found in the house of John Halyate, mercer, in the parish of St. Mary atte Bowe, and prayed that the said furs might be treated according to the laws and customs of the City. Thereupon the said John Halyate was summoned, and being put on his defence declared that he had obtained the said furs in foreign parts in the same condition as they were found, but whether they were deceitfully made or not he was not aware, as he was not an expert, but he was ready to submit to judgment. The Mayor and Aldermen, finding the said furs to be deceitfully made and packed, thereupon adjudged that all the skins that were "stache" and not seasonable should be cut out from those that were seasonable, and be forfeited to the use of the Commonalty, and that the rest should be restored to the owner.
Folio 60 b.
Writ of certiorari to the Mayor and Aldermen touching slaves and niefs entering the City and remaining therein for a year and a day without challenge of their lords. (fn. 77) Witness the King at Westminster, 20 Jan., 7 Henry VI. [A.D. 1428-9].
Return to the above to the following effect: That on folio xxi of the Second Part of a certain book called 'Repertorium' (fn. 78) there is a certain record or memorandum to the following effect:-
That in the book touching the ancient laws (In libro de antiquis legibus, etc.), liberties, and customs of the City called 'Speculum' (fn. 79) it is recorded to the following effect:-
Be it remembered that in the time of St. Edward, King of England, and before, whereof the memory of man runneth not to the contrary, it has been the custom in the City of London, as also it was in the great City of Troy, that every slave who entered the City and therein remained a year and a day without being claimed by his lord could remain there for life as in a hospice or King's Chamber. Hence it is that the said Saintly King Edward decreed that the City should have and preserve all its ancient uses and customs wheresoever the King himself might be, whether on an expedition or otherwise. Afterwards King William the Conqueror, by his charter preserved in the same Treasury as the aforesaid ordinance of St. Edward, granted to the men of London that they should be worthy of all that law and right (ritu) which they had in the days of the aforesaid Edward, and further granted (inter alia) that if slaves remained a year and a day without challenge in walled boroughs or castles or cities of the King, of which London has always been esteemed the chief, they from that day became free men. It is to be noted that the laws and statutes of St. Edward the King above mentioned are recorded on fo. xxxiv of this book under the title De heretochiis [sic] et libertate London', and on fo. cxiii of the 'Liber Custumarum,' (fn. 80) and fo. xxxvi of the book called 'Recordatorium.' (fn. 81) The statute also touching slaves and niefs by William the Conqueror is recorded on fo. xxviii of this book, on fo. cvi of the 'Liber Custumarum,' (fn. 82) on fo. xxix of the 'Recordatorium,' and on fo. clxii of the Red Book of the Exchequer. The charter by which the aforesaid King granted to the citizens the rights (ritus) and laws which they had temp. St. Edward, together with another charter by which the said King gave to the citizens, immediately after the conquest, all the hide and land of the City which he then held in demesne, remain under the King's seal in the custody of the Chamberlain in the City's Treasury. These charters are recorded in the great charter of liberties and customs of the City, and are confirmed by the lord the King and his progenitors. Their contents appear in the Latin tongue on fo. ccxxxviii of the 'Liber Ordinacionum.' (fn. 83)