London Assize of Nuisance 1301-1431 A Calendar. Originally published by London Record Society, London, 1973.
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ASSIZE OF NUISANCE
MISC. ROLL DD
10 Feb 1301–2 Aug 1303 (nos 1–50)
[m. 1] Fri. 10 Feb. 1301. Elias Russel, mayor, Geoffrey de Nortone, Walter de Finchingfeld, William le Marezerer, Thomas Romeyn, John de Dunstaple, Solomon le Coteler, John de Canterbury (Cantuaria), Simon de Paris, Hugh Pourte, Nicholas Pycot, aldermen.
2. William de Béthune (Betonia) complains that the cess-pit of the privy (puteum cloace) of William de Gartone adjoins so closely his stone wall that the sewage penetrates his cellar (celarium). The def. says that he and his ancestors have been seised of the privy in question time out of mind, and prays that the assize do nothing in prejudice of his free tenement. The pl. says that long seisin contrary to the statute ought not to prejudice his case. After adjournment the assize comes upon the land on Fri. 3 Mar. 1301, and it is adjudged that within 40 days the def. remove his cess-pit 2½ ft. of masonry (de petra) from the pl.'s wall.
3. The same William makes a like complaint concerning the cess-pit of the privy of William de Sterteford. The sheriff testifies that the def. was summoned but he makes default. The assize comes [as in 2], and since it is found that the def. owns a moiety of the stone wall in question it is adjudged that within 40 days he remove his cess-pit 1½ ft. of stone (de opere petre) from the same.
Fri. 14 July 1301. Lord (per dominum) Elias Russel, mayor, Geoffrey de Nortone, William de Béthune (Betonia), Thomas Romeyn, Walter de Finchingfeld, John de Vintry (Vinetria), Adam de Fulham, Hugh Pourte and Nicholas Pycot.
6. Henry le Galeys complains that Gerard Dorgoyl has ruined his stone wall and disturbed him in the easement of his privy in the par. of St. Martin in the Vintry. The def. says that he has only a 16 year interest in the tenement in question and that it is the free tenement and fee of Arnold Barage and Christine his wife without whom he cannot answer. Arnold and Christine come freely and the parties are given a day at the quindene. Afterwards, on Fri. 1 Sep. 1301, the assize comes by Elias Russel, mayor, John le Blund, William de Leyre, Thomas Romeyn, John de Canterbury, John de Dunstaple, Simon de Paris, aldermen. The pl. essoins himself by William de Braynford.
9. Elias Russel complains that the house of Amice Horn in the par. of St. Michael Candelwykstrete is ruinous and the water falls from it upon his land and that she has a view into his tenement. The def. says she has no counsel (non habet consilium). The parties are given a day at the quindene. [m. 1d. Blank.]
[m. 2] Fri. 1 Dec. 1301. John le Blund, mayor, William de Leyre, Walter de Finchingfeld, Nicholas de Farndon, Simon de Paris, John de Dunstaple, Solomon le Coteler, Henry de Gloucestre, Geoffrey de Nortone, Hugh Pourte, Nicholas Pycot, William de Betoyne, Adam de Fulham.
10. Henry Poteman and Denise his wife, pls., appear against (optulerunt se versus) John Pykeman, rector of the church of Wykham, and Thomas his brother, defs. Thomas comes but John does not, and because his is the fee the sheriff is ordered to summon him for the quindene.
11. Sabine relict of Philip le Tayllour by John son of the said Philip, her attorney, and the same John, pls., appear against Richard de Chigewelle, def. They complain of the unjust prohibition by the sheriff at the instance of the def. of their rebuilding of a party wall (parietis). The def. counters by charging them with the obstruction of a gutter (goterum) conveying the water from both their tenements through the midst of his house into Westchep; but because the gutter is not apparent to the view of the assize (non constat aspectui assise de gotero predicto) it is adjudged that the pls. complete their building operations. Def. in mercy for a false plaint.
12. Orlandino de Podeo and Thomas son of Guydicio (Guydicionis), merchants of the society of the Ricardi of Lucca, pls., appear against Robert de Multone, tailor, and Agnes his wife and Walter de Northwyc and Cecily his wife. The pls. complain that the defs. have built a new house obstructing their view contrary to the terms of their feoffment. After adjournment, Robert and Agnes essoin themselves by Stephen de Wetheresfeld, and Walter and Cecily by Robert de Leycestre; Orlandino appoints Laude Ruffini his attorney. They are given a day on Fri. 9 Feb. 1302. [Judgment was then respited and on Fri. 23 Feb. 1302 it was referred to the Husting of Common Pleas.] (fn. 1)
13. Peter le Ireys, [tailor], complains that William de Leyre has unjustly prohibited him from building upon his moiety of the party-wall between their tenements in the par. of St. Lawrence Jewry. The def. justifies his action on the ground that the pl.'s workmen demolished his part of the wall without his consent. After sundry adjournments the parties appear on Fri. 8 Feb. 1302 and judgment is given that the pl. rebuild within 40 days the wall which he has demolished and be in mercy for a false plaint. Def. sine die.
14. Richard de Chigewelle complains that the water draining from the houses of Geoffrey de Conduit and Imanya de Brauncastre in the pars. of St. Peter de Wodestrete and St. Matthew de Fridaystrete falls upon his land; and that they have windows (fenestras) and other apertures (foramina) overlooking his land. Adjourned until Fri. 19 Jan. 1302 because the defs. claim to hold by the courtesy of England (per legem Anglie) and say that they cannot answer without Philip son of John le Bailiff to whom the fee and right belong.
15. The commonalty complain by Ralph Pecok, their attorney, that Anketin de Gisors has newly constructed a building (edificium) above the common course of the Walebroke in the par. of St. Martin in the Vintry. The def. pleads that he has no interest in the tenement in question, which is held by Thomas le Noreys for life; but it is adjudged that the building be taken into the hand of the City.
16. It is found by the assize that John de Talworthe stacks his firewood above the course of the Walbroke in the same par. He is ordered not to remove it until he has given satisfaction to the City. On Fri. 15 Nov. 1303 the assize comes and finds 575 faggots stacked above the common course of the Walbroke.
[m. 2d.] Fri. 9 Feb. 1302. John le Blund, mayor, Elias Russel, Geoffrey de Nortone, Thomas Romeyn, William de Leyre, Adam de Fulham, Richard de Gloucestre, John de Dunstaple, Solomon le Coteler, Nicholas Pycot.
18. John de Vintry, clerk, complains that Henry le Galeys has a ruinous stone wall which is to the damage of his tenement in the par. of St. Martin in the Vintry. The def. does not deny the charge and it is adjudged that he rebuild the wall within 40 days and be in mercy.
Fri. 23 Feb. 1302. John le Blund, mayor, Elias Russel, Geoffrey de Nortone, Thomas Romeyn, William de Leyre, Walter de Finchingfeld, John de Armenters, John de Dunstaple, Solomon le Coteler, Nicholas Pycot, Richer de Refham.
19. John Duly, kt., pl., appears against John le Riche and Rose his wife, defs., complaining that the stone wall which he holds in common with them in the par. of St. Nicholas Shambles is ruinous because the cess-pit of their privy adjoins it too closely. The sheriff testifies that the defs. were summoned but they make default. It is adjudged that they rebuild the wall within 40 days etc. and be in mercy.
20. Adam Molgas, tailor, complains that Lawrence de Totenham has obstructed a gutter (goterum) running through the midst of his tenement, which from time out of mind has conveyed the water from his premises into the street, in consideration of a yearly quit-rent of 1d. The def. pleads that the assize has no cognisance in the matter since the nuisance is not apparent to its view (non constat eius aspectui etc.), nor does the pl. produce any deed to show that his tenement is bound to render the service alleged. He denies that he has ever been seised of the rent in question and utterly repudiates all claim to it for himself and his successors. It is therefore adjudged that the pl. be quit in perpetuity of the payment aforesaid and have his recovery by another process of law. Def. sine die. [Margin: Nota de stillicidio per medium tenementi alterius.]
Fri. 16 Mar. 1302. Lords (per dominos) (fn. 2) John le Blund, mayor, Elias Russel, Geoffrey de Nortone, William de Leyre, Thomas Romeyn, Walter de Finchingfeld, Richard de Gloucestre, John de Dunstaple, Simon de Paris.
22. John son of Lawrence Duket, def., essoins himself against John de Salisbury (de Sar'), 'barber', and Margery his wife and Christine Duket daughter of Margery, pls., by William de Braynford; and Sibyl relict of the said Lawrence and Roger atte Harpe appear.
24. Master Philip Walrand, pl., appears against Thomas and Richard de Meldeburne, defs., concerning the building of a fence (claustura) between them in the par. of St. Olave de Silvirstrete. The parties are to appear at the quindene unless they can reach an agreement in the meantime.
25. John le Leuter complains that whereas Simon de Paris guardian of John son of Walter le Blund, a minor, is bound to repair an earthen wall (murum de terra) between their tenements in the pars. of St. Stephen Walebroke and St. Antonin, he refuses to do so. The def. denies the obligation on the ground that the wall stands wholly upon the pl.'s land. Since neither party can produce a deed or other evidence of ownership, it is adjudged that they rebuild the wall on its present site at their common charge.
26. The essoin of Agnes wife of Simon son of (fiz) Robert le Pesshoner, pl., by Robert de Leycestre, is quashed because Simon was essoined at the last court. The same Simon and Agnes complain that John le Bonde and Joan his wife have built the stone cess-pit of a privy too close to their tenement. The def. denies the charge and a day is given to the parties to hear judgment at Guildhall on Tues. 31 July. Afterwards, on Fri. 3 Aug. 1302, the assize comes upon the land by John le Blunt, mayor, William de Bethune, Walter de Finchingfeld, Geoffrey de Nortone, Richard de Gloucestre, Solomon le Coteler, Simon de Paris and Nicholas Pycot, etc.; and because it is found that the cess-pit is at a sufficient distance from the pls.' tenement it is adjudged that the defs. complete their building operations. pls. in mercy for a false plaint.
27. William de Mabely and Alice his wife, pls., in a plea of assize of nuisance, are given a day at the quindene to meet the objection of the def., Lucy relict of Thomas de Leukenore, that they have no fee or free tenement in the tenement in respect of which the nuisance is alleged; and to make good their claim that the def.'s tenement should receive the water falling from their houses. Lucy as both pl. and def. (tam querens quam defendens) appoints Reginald Wolleword her attorney.
Fri. 7 Sep. 1302. John le Blunt, mayor, Elias Russel, Geoffrey de Nortone, William de Leyre, Thomas Romeyn, John de Canterbury, John Darmenters, John de Dunstaple, Solomon le Coteler, and Nicholas Pycot.
28. The commonalty, pls., appear against Adam Rose, 'potter', def., concerning a stone wall in the par. of All Hallows Bredstrate which is alleged to be ruinous. The sheriff testifies that the def. was summoned but he makes default and the assize proceeds in his absence. Judgment that he rebuild the wall within 40 days. He is warned by his wife to obey lest evil befall someone. (Et preceptum est predicto Ade per uxorem suam quod reficiat dictum murum infra xl dies ne malum alicuius inde adveniat.)
29. Solomon le Coteler, pl., appears against William le Servat, def., concerning an alleged nuisance in the def.'s tenement in the par. of St. Mildred; (fn. 3) but it is testified that the def. has no free tenement or fee there and he is accordingly sine die.
30. Solomon le Coteler complains that Michael de Tullesan has broken down the fence (claustura) of his house in the same par., so that his tenants have a view into his courtyard (respectum habere possint infra curiam suam) and can see his private business; and that the water from the def.'s house floods the courtyard and submerges his trees and plants (herbas). The def. comes and agrees to do all that he ought to do. He is given a day at the quindene but afterwards the parties agree out of court.
31. Amice Horn complains that the house of William de Stertford is ruinous and overhangs her land in the par. of St. Michael de Candewykstrete by more than 1½ ft., so that she is unable to build thereon. The def. claims that a turret (turellus) built upon the pl.'s tenement is the cause of ruin of his house. They are given a day at the quindene unless they agree together in the meantime. On Fri. 21 Sep. the assize comes, as appears below, but the def. makes default. Judgment that he evacuate the pl.'s land within 40 days.
32. Gilbert le Mareschal complains that Gilbert de Colcestre refuses to rebuild his part of a common fence (clausture) between their tenements in the par. of St. Edmund the King. The def. says that he is ready to do all that he ought to do and the pl. likewise. It is adjudged that the parties build between their tenements upon land held in common a stone wall 3 ft. wide and 16 ft. high and that the same remain to them in common in perpetuity.
[m. 3d.] Fri. 5 Oct. 1302. John le Blunt, mayor, Geoffrey de Nortone, William de Béthune, Walter de Finchingfeld, Thomas Romeyn, John de Canterbury, Nicholas de Farndon, Richard de Gloucestre, Henry de Gloucestre, William de Leyre, and Simon de Paris, sheriff.
34. Brother Henry de Suttone, guardian of the Friars Minor, and his brethren complain of the dean and chapter of St. Martin le Grand, Master Robert de Staundone, clerk, and William de Hottokeshathere that their fence (clausturam) adjoining the pls.' garden is ruinous and broken down so that the fruit and plants (herbe) are carried off and trampled down and other evils and enormities are inflicted upon them and that the defs. utterly refuse to repair the fence in whole or in part. The dean comes by Charleto de Sayssello, his attorney, and the chapter by John de Witham and Giles of the Wardrobe, canons, and other vicars [choral]. They say that the land concerning which the friars make complaint was given them in pure and perpetual alms by the progenitors of the present king without whom they cannot answer; and they pray that the assize give no judgment in prejudice of their free tenement. Robert de Staundon comes and says that William de Hottokeshathere is dead, and proffers a charter showing that the free tenement, fee and right in the tenement in question are his alone. The pls. say that they do not challenge the right of the defs. but pray that the assize compel them to rebuild their fence according to the law and custom of the City. Since, however, neither party produces any deed to prove the obligation of the other to repair the fence, it is adjudged that within 40 days they may either build a stone wall upon land held in common at their common charges, or one or other of the parties find the land and the other build the wall. If either party fails to carry out his part of the bargain, the sheriff is to carry out the work on behalf of the defaulter and in addition to fine him 40s. Saving to either party an action of title as of right belongs to him (Salva utrique parti accione de terra sua adquirenda que de iure ei competi etc.).
35. Simon son of Robert and Agnes his wife complain that at the instance of John le Bonde and Joan his wife the sheriff has prohibited them from building a house upon their land. The defs. say that they found the pls. demolishing their part of a stone wall common to both parties. The assize finds that the pls. had no right to demolish the wall since they can produce no evidence of ownership. It is therefore adjudged that they repair it at their own charges within 40 days otherwise the sheriff is to have the work carried out at their expense and fine them 40s. in addition for contempt. (fn. 4)
Fri. 7 Dec. 1302. John le Blund, mayor, Simon de Paris and Hugh Pourte, sheriffs, William de Béthune, William de Leyre, Walter de Finchingfeld, John de Dunstaple, Nicholas de Farndon, Elias Russel, Richer de Refham, Ralph de Honilane.
36. Henry le Moyne complains that Gregory le Botoner has constructed a gate (portam) in the tenement he holds of him in the par. of St. Alban in Wodestrete, too narrow and low, contrary to the terms of his feoffment.
The def. pleads that the assize has no cognisance in the matter, since the work is already complete. Judgment that the pl. take nothing for his plaint, but have his recovery by another process of law. Def. sine die.
37. Anketin de Gisors complains that the prior of the hospital of St. Mary without Bisshopesgate (called elsewhere the new hospital) pierced and broke his stone wall in the par. of All Hallows at Hay, inserting his beams (trabes) and corbels (corbellos) therein. The def. claims the wall as his own, and offers to produce documents in proof of his claim. Both parties are thereupon given a day at the quindene to produce all the evidence necessary for the information of the assize. On Fri. 8 Feb. 1303 the assize comes, but the def. essoins himself by William de Reyle. On Fri. 8 Mar. he seeks a further essoin, but it is held not to lie. On Fri. 3 May he fails to appear, and it is decided to continue in his absence. On Fri. 17 May the assize comes, but further adjournments follow because it is not yet fully advised, until Fri. 20 Sep. when the def. once more makes default, (fn. 5) and the proceedings are adjourned because there are insufficient aldermen present (non habentur de aldermannis ad plenum). (fn. 6) Finally, on Fri. 15 Nov. the assize, resummoned, comes by John le Blound, mayor, John de Burreford, sheriff, William de Leyre, William de Bethune, Walter de Finchingfeld, Adam de Fulham, Nicholas de Farndon, Richer de Reffham, Hugh Pourte, Solomon le Coteller, John de Dunstaple, Simon de Paris, Nicholas Picot, Richard de Gloucestre, Henry de Gloucestre, and Thomas Sely, but because it is found that the resummons had not been considered either in the Husting during term, or by the mayor and aldermen out of term, it is adjudged to be null, and the pl. is recommended to seek a further resummons at the next Husting.
38. Rose daughter of Clarekin Fylin complains that when she wished to build upon the stone wall belonging to her tenement in the par. of St. Michael de Candelwykstrete William le Bole deforced her and overthrew her work. The def. says that the wall is his; and since both parties claim ownership, they are given a day to produce their muniments and other evidences and to hear judgment.
Fri. 8 Mar. 1303. John le Blunt, mayor, William de Leyre, William de Béthune, Walter de Finchingfeld, Nicholas de Farndon, John Darmenters, Solomon le Cotiller, John de Dunstaple and Simon de Paris then sheriff.
43. Roger Hosebonde and Maud his wife and Thomas de Brauncestre complain that William de Caustone and Denise his wife have built their cistern (cisternam) on the common plot (placia) belonging to the pls. in the par. of St. Matthew de Fridaystrete. The defs. say that they and their predecessors have had a cistern there time out of mind, and that the place where the cistern stands and the whole path (via) there belong entirely to their tenement, except that the pls. have the right of entry and exit thereby, and the rector and parishioners of St. Matthew's have the right of way for their procession four times a year. The pls. say that the place in question is common to others as well as to themselves, and that the cistern built there is to the damage of their free tenement. They ask that enquiry be made at the next Husting, and the defs. likewise. The sheriff is ordered to summon a jury (bonam patriam).
44. Elias Russel complains that the cess-pit of the privy of Adam de Coumbe and Alice his wife adjoins too closely his land in the par. of St. Martin Orgar in Candilwickestrete. The defs. ask a day to consult and it is granted by consent of the pl. After adjournment the assize comes on the land on Fri. 24 May 1303, and it is adjudged that within 40 days etc. the defs. remove the cess-pit from the pl.'s land a distance of 2½ ft. of masonry or 3½ ft. of earth.
45. The abbess of Our Lady of the New Place without Alegate (fn. 7) appoints Peter de Shordich her attorney against Peter Berneval and Maud his wife.
Fri. 24 May 1303. John le Blunt, mayor, Elias Russel, William de Leyre, Walter de Finchingfeld, John de Armenters, John de Dunstaple, Adam de Fulham, Nicholas Pycot and Simon de Paris, sheriff, Thomas Romeyn, William de Béthune.
Fri. 2 Aug. 1303. John le Blund, mayor, William de Leyre, Walter de Finchingfeld, William de Béthune, Solomon le Cotiller, John de Dunstaple, Adam de Foleham, Nicholas Pycot, and Hugh Pourte sheriff, and Simon de Paris, sheriff, John de Armenters.
50. William de Leyre complains that Master John de Egemere, rector of All Hallows the Less upon the Cellar, and his parishioners have a stone wall at the west end of the church on the verge of ruin, to the great peril of the pl. and other inhabitants and passers-by. The sheriff testifies that the rector was summoned but he makes default; the parishioners come but show no reason why the verdict of the assize should be delayed. Judgment that the defs. rebuild the wall within 40 days etc.