The London Eyre of 1276. Originally published by London Record Society, London, 1976.
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The judicial sessions of the London eyre of 1276 were held at the Tower from 3 February to about the middle of March (fn. 1) before Roger de Seyton and his fellow justices Ralph de Fremingham, John de Cobham, Geoffrey de Leukenore and Master Thomas de Sedington. (fn. 2) The present volume contains the text of two documents relating to the eyre: a plea roll and an estreat of debts. The plea roll, now British Library Additional Charter 5153, contains crown pleas arranged chronologically together with a number of miscellaneous enrolments (1–294), replies to the articles of the eyre (295– 469) and civil pleas extra coronam (470–523). Attached to the plea roll is a later schedule of legal notes (524). The second document, now Corporation of London Records Office Miscellaneous Roll BB, is an estreat of fines and amercements relating to the plea roll (525–786).
The Nature of the Documents
The appearance of the plea roll is similar to that of, and has several features in common with, plea rolls of the same period preserved in the Public Record Office. It consists of twenty membranes, (fn. 3) nineteen of which are the work of four or more thirteenth-century clerks; (m. 20 is in a fourteenthcentury hand and will be considered separately). Entries 1–294 comprising the crown pleas and several miscellaneous enrolments are the work of three clerks who were responsible respectively for mm.l–6d, 7–12d, and 13–15. The civil pleas (470–523) may be in more than one hand but were not written by the clerks responsible for the crown pleas. The intervening entries (295– 469) appear to be in several hands. The name of the principal justice 'Seyton' is written on m.6 (at 108) and m. 17 (at 470) and twice in the middle of m. 19d (at 519). The margins of the membranes bear the familiar notations – infortunium, adjudicium, misericordia and so on. Those with fiscal implications and certain others are usually crossed through, indicating that the roll was used in the financial sessions immediately following the judicial business of the eyre. All of these features, the variety of hands, the presence of the name of the presiding justice and the deleted marginations suggest that the document is Seyton's main roll.
Two features of the roll are, however, unlike other thirteenth-century plea rolls. In the margins of mm.1–15 and 17–19d are a remarkable series of legal notations ordered as a sequence of notae, numbered in arabic numerals, frequently inserted around the normal marginations and occasionally continued in the spaces between enrolments. The notae themselves are in a variety of thirteenth-century hands. (fn. 4) Explanatory but not always reliable references to regnal years are added in the margin to the lists of mayors and sheriffs (3–4). But beside the legal notations apposed to various entries between 6 and 273 are added a bold N, Nota or Scribatur and occasionally a pointing hand (e.g. 18, 20–2, 24–5, 112). These admonitions are written in an ink different from, and fainter than, that used elsewhere in the roll, and bear a striking resemblance to similar admonitions in the margins of Liber Ordinationum. (fn. 5) Indeed, we may safely assume that they are the work of Andrew Horn, chamberlain of the City from 1320 until his death in 1328. The second unusual feature of the roll is the fourteenth-century schedule of legal notations on m.20 (524) which are either word-for-word transcripts of, or closely related to, the thirteenth-century notae on the margins of the roll and, for the most part, have corresponding numbers. In writing on the dorse of m.20 the clerk began at the foot of the membrane. It may be assumed that the injunctions Scribatur or Nota in the hand of Andrew Horn although not applied to all numbered notae were directions to the clerk who wrote m.20. (fn. 6)
The rolls in Seyton's custody at the time of his death were delivered by his clerk, William de Wynterse, to the exchequer on 5 June 1279, into the hands of Thomas Bek, the king's treasurer, and John de Kirby. Among the documents was the roll of the London eyre of 1276 together with its writ file. (fn. 7) In the presence of William de Wynterse the rolls were then delivered under chirograph by Thomas Bek and John de Kirby to Walter de Wymburn, the king's justice, to be kept for the king's use. (fn. 8) If the roll printed in the present volume is in fact Seyton's roll it must have been borrowed at some time after 5 June 1279 and have passed into the hands of the City at some time before 1300. How this came about remains a mystery. It has recently been suggested (fn. 9) that our roll was transcribed for the use of the City authorities. This suggestion is based at least in part upon the mistaken assumption that the thirteenth-century notae were in a fourteenth-century hand and were the work of Andrew Horn. In 1244 a request by the mayor and citizens for a transcript of the roll of the preceding eyre was denied them as being contrary to law. (fn. 10) As the City custumals are silent upon the subject it is unlikely that a transcript could have been made with the consent of the justices. If the roll were a transcript it would imply that Seyton's roll was borrowed (fn. 11) for the purpose of making a copy and that the copying was done by a number of clerks who carefully crossed through the appropriate fiscal marginations and even copied the name of the presiding justice several times.
After the judicial business of the eyre had been concluded the justices held fiscal sessions at which they determined the amounts to be paid for fines and amercements incurred during the eyre. Their assessments were recorded in a roll of fines and amercements, a copy of which, known as an estreat, was sent to the exchequer. (Neither of these documents has survived.) The exchequer then sent a further copy of the estreat, at the head and foot of which were the opening and closing phrases of the writ of summons, ordering the sheriff(s) to collect the debts listed and pay them into the exchequer. It is the text of this document (525–786) which is printed after the plea roll in the present volume. The document consists of seven membranes attached head to foot; only one side of the parchment is written upon, the dorse being blank except for one small note.
The writ of summons (525, 786) is dated 14 June 1276 and was therefore addressed to the sheriff(s) of 4 Edward I, namely John Horn and Ralph le Blund. It must have been first answered at the exchequer during the Michaelmas 1276 and Easter 1277 exchequer sessions (5 Edward I) by Robert de Araz and Ralph le Fevre, the last of whom died in office. The sheriffs of 6 Edward I, Walter le Cornwaleis and John son of John Adrian continued to work upon the summons (fn. 12) and the sheriffs of the following year referred to it although the estreat was resummoned (fn. 13) in that year (564).
The list of exactions (526–785) was heavily annotated by the sheriffs or their clerks particularly in the left hand margin but also in the right hand margin and by interlineation. In addition, the sheriffs attached to the left hand margin of the roll, usually at the appropriate point, a number of writs of respite, pardon or attermination, addressed to them on behalf of individual debtors (e.g. 547, 591, 608, 615). Other writs were frequently referred to in the margins of the document. (fn. 14)
A comparison of the names of debtors with the names in the plea roll reveals many of those discrepancies of spelling and occasional confusion to be expected in a text which originated at the fiscal sessions held by the justices and was then twice re-copied. Of far greater importance are the names in the estreat which are nowhere to be found in the plea roll. These discrepancies may be categorised as follows. The names of several mainpernors lacking in 245 can be supplied from 564. (fn. 15) The list of violators of the assize of wine in 292 is extended by sixteen names in the summoned estreat (527). Similarly the names of violators of the assize of cloth in 294 are matched only by those in 663–4, whereas 665–7 provide a further sixty names. Of the fifty-eight entries in the estreat (668–725) concerning disseisin only seventeen can be matched with the plea roll leaving sixty-five names unaccounted for. Finally there are three exactions for purprestures (731, 747, 771) which are not represented in the plea roll (342–467). (fn. 16)
It is clear then that certain membranes of the plea roll are defective, notably m.15 containing the lists of violators of the assizes of wine and cloth (292, 294) and to a lesser extent m.13 (245) and m.16 or m.16d (342–467). Seyton himself was disarmingly frank about the quality of his rolls: 'I cannot vouch for them for various reasons, because sometimes one thing is done and another thing more or less is written in the rolls by the clerks, who continually fail to understand the lawyers and litigants correctly.' (fn. 17)
We know that our roll was marginated after 1279 and before 1300 with notae of interest to Londoners. The roll was undoubtedly in the hands of the City authorities in 1321 and was one of the documents used by Andrew Horn to prepare for the coming of the justices itinerant in that year. Of the later history of the roll's whereabouts little is known. John Carpenter, clerk of the City from 1417 to 1438, listed in his pro-oemium to Liber Albus (fn. 18) the documents he intended to include in his great custumal and mentioned twice that among them would be 'Responsiones factae ad quaestiones per justiciarios itinerantes apud Turrim Londoniarum civibus ejusdem civitatis propositas anno regni regis Edwardi filii regis Henrici quarto'. In the event he failed to make good his intention. If Carpenter had our roll before him as he wrote it was the last occasion upon which City officials seriously considered drawing upon it to establish precedents in customary law. Thereafter it is lost to sight until 1841 when it was acquired by the British Museum. The estreat, on the other hand, appears to have remained in the City's custody at Guildhall since the thirteenth century.
The Crown Pleas
The commissions enrolled on the Chancery Rolls of Henry III clearly demonstrate that London was excluded from ordinary eyres. (fn. 19) Although a limited number of civil pleas extra coronam were heard in 1276, (fn. 20) London eyres were essentially crown plea sessions. Whereas the usual interval between visitations of the justices in circuit eyres was about seven years, London eyres were more infrequent. During the reigns of Henry III and Edward I eyres were held in 1221, 1226, 1244, 1251 and 1276. Thus the 'new' pleas of the crown reviewed by the justices in 1276 (6–290) were presentments of death by felony and misadventure and appeals since the previous eyre in 1251 together with a number of indictments. The headings in the plea roll dividing the 'new' crown pleas, in accordance with exchequer practice, use the regnal year in which the sheriffs relinquished office. The chamberlain (fn. 21) and sheriffs answered for the pleas dating from their term of office and were obliged to produce their rolls on the first day of the eyre. A chamberlain who failed to do so until 'the fifth day' was amerced (202). The heirs of a deceased chamberlain who failed to answer were distrained (18). The mayor and citizens, or more often, the mayor and aldermen performed the duties of a presenting jury, not under oath, but 'in the faith in which they are bound to the king'.
Criminal presentments far outnumber any other category of crown plea. Homicide by unknown malefactors (e.g. 24, 26, 56, 86–7, 104) accounts for about ten per cent of such presentments. Two cases of homicide in which the felons carried off goods or money were probably premeditated (87, 203); the only certain instance of premeditation concerned a man, who, with his wife, beat a woman and then at nightfall completed the work with a knife (250). Where circumstantial detail is provided by the record, it is evident that many homicides were committed in anger. Quarrels were frequent, sometimes after drinking (e.g. 83, 102, 158, 236) or a celebration (60), over women (e.g. 39, 119, 138, 181, 219, 230), or, in two instances, after a game of chess (48, 151). On one occasion, some Londoners went to Bermondsey for a wrestling match with the prior's men; a quarrel broke out among them and the Londoners chased the prior's men into the priory, whereupon some monks who had entered a solar above the priory gate threw stones at the Londoners and killed one of them (116). Unusual cases concern a woman who bit a man's finger so that he died, apparently from the infected bite (113); a man who, at target practice, accidentally shot another in the head with an arrow (61); and two doctors and an apothecary whose patient and his servant died of eating an excess of pills (257). Occasionally the presentment provides detail about the actual blow which caused the death: a man passing a brothel was pulled in by three prostitutes who took from him a buckle, whereupon he drew his knife and intending to strike one of them with its handle instead struck her with the blade (134). Of implements used, knives are the most frequently mentioned (13 times); then swords and staffs (7 times each); arrows and axes (twice each) and an anlace (once). Suffocation and strangulation are both mentioned once as the cause of death (231, 258). The deed did not necessarily occur in the City (?118, 127, 200) but the victim lived long enough to return there to die; in one case a man beaten as far afield as Winchester died in the City and was thus the subject of a presentment (180). It may also be observed that women were very rarely presented for homicide (16, 117). Only two presentments of suicide, both by hanging, were made (206, 213).
Abjurations of the realm taken by the chamberlain and sheriffs, or exceptionally, in the absence of the chamberlain, by the constable of the Tower, the sheriffs and aldermen (52) were the frequent subject of presentments. Churches in which a fugitive might take sanctuary (fn. 22) were plentiful in London, no fewer than twenty-eight being used for the purpose between 1251 and 1276. The church nearest to hand appears to have been most favoured by the fugitive. (fn. 23) Escapes from sanctuary were not uncommon, but there is no evidence to suggest that fugitives had time to consider whether escape would be easier from one church than another. The Londoners claimed that they were not obliged to keep watch over persons who took sanctuary and that the sheriffs should not be amerced for their escape (20). The claim, which was sustained, was more trenchantly expressed than it had been in 1244 when some attempt at guarding churches had been made. (fn. 24) Those who took sanctuary but failed to escape sent for the chamberlain, confessed their felony and abjured the realm; no case of turning approver is recorded in the plea roll. Most felons confessed to theft (34 instances) while confessions of homicide (4 instances), robbery, forgery, harbouring of felons, and escape from prison were unusual. Nearly two-thirds of the abjurors were vagabonds or strangers and only two were women. Those who abjured the realm were assigned ports of departure, a matter upon which the plea roll is silent except in one instance (115).
About one third of the new crown pleas were presentments of misadventure. Causes of death were varied. Death by drowning, fatal falls from ladders, steps, horses, carts, trees, or exceptionally, from the belfry of St. Paul's, and scalding by hot water or mash were common causes. (fn. 25) The collapse of solars, walls and beams also took their toll, while the fall of St. Mary le Bow's bell-tower killed no fewer than thirteen people (221). Starvation, fever and falling sickness were less common.3 Death by accidentally self-inflicted wounds (22, 133) or by the bite of a sow (44) were rare. The Londoners claimed successfully, as they had in 1244, that they were not obliged to present the first finder of a corpse (21). The animal or object which was the cause of death was declared deodand, that is, given to God. (fn. 26) Its value was assessed at the inquest by the ward but the justices frequently discovered that the valuation was false (e.g. 40, 43, 54, 67, 129–30). The sheriffs were normally answerable for the value of the deodand but not to the exchequer; the justices apparently bestowed it, with the king's authority, upon some charitable object (fn. 27) The dean and chapter of St. Paul's and the master of the Temple who took objects declared deodand without warrant (162, 184) may have been anticipating such a grant. The only other bane taken without warrant was taken by a servant of Robert Burnell, the king's chancellor (240). The collapse of the bell-tower of St. Mary le Bow (221), already referred to, throws interesting light upon the granting of deodands. The tower itself was valued at 20 marks; a house destroyed by the fall of the tower was not valued, but the materials of which it was built were granted by the king to the prior and convent of Christchurch Canterbury, to whom the house had belonged.
All of the appeals of felony (fn. 28) on our roll appear to have been first heard in the husting with the exception of one which was heard in a county court (131). Homicide was the most frequent subject of appeal, (fn. 29) battery, wounding, mayhem and rape being far less frequent. Over half of the appellors were women: two of their appeals concerned miscarriage as a result of battery (222, 261) (fn. 30) and another, the death of a child by abortion (187). Appellors often defaulted, withdrew or had died before the eyre. Three appeals were quashed by the justices on procedural grounds (140,147, 261). In only one case did the parties agree (273). About one quarter of the appeals were adjudged false and only two were remitted to the husting.
Apart from the crown pleas already discussed, presentments of felony and misadventure, and appeals, a number of indictments (fn. 31) were heard by the justices. Fifty-seven persons were indicted of homicide (98, 264, 275–6, 281, 284–5), robbery (278, 287), theft (77, 276, 282, 284, 287–8), harbouring of felons (284, 286) or coin-clipping (284) of whom forty-nine were acquitted. Two Londoners indicted of arson in the Middlesex eyre had been successfully claimed for the liberty of the City by the London sheriffs (280). Four of the indictments concern felonies committed outside London (?77, ?98, 275, 285); in 98 the man accused had been arrested by the sheriffs of London and this may also explain why the other pleas were heard in the London eyre.
No single matter occupies more space in the record of crown pleas than mainprise and attachment. Londoners accused of homicide might be released without writ of mainprise on the pledge of twelve men, each liable to amercement of 100s. should they fail to produce the person bailed on the first day of the eyre (29, 76, 324). Such failure was commonplace (e.g. 116, 147,183, 209, 219, 222, 227–8). Sheriffs were answerable for mainprise (37, 147) and those who attached fewer than twelve pledges had ad judicium noted against them. In cases of death the sheriffs were obliged to attach those present (e.g. 15, 32, 51, 70, 87, 91, 260) or those in the house when the death occurred (e.g. 15, 35, 181–2, 193), the owner of the house (e.g. 21, 29, 40, 43, 159), the owner of an animal which caused the death (155), relatives of the deceased (e.g. 7, 16, 44, 95, 197, 235) and four neighbours (26). The chamberlain and sheriffs were answerable for these attachments (321). In appeals the appellor was to be attached and also the appellee in cases of grave felonies. The failure of the chamberlain and sheriffs to make attachments, to make them in the prescribed form or to enroll them caused ad judicium to be noted against their names (e.g. 39, 63, 67, 70, 119). In 1244 the justices had expressed dissatisfaction with the way in which attachments were made in the City and for this reason a number of rules had been laid down by the king and his justices which were allowed by the mayor and citizens. (fn. 32) It is possible that further regulations were made in 1251, concerning attachments. At all events, the non-appearance of neighbours, to which no reference was made in the record of 1244 crown pleas, was very frequent in 1276 as was the consequential amercement of their pledges. Furthermore, the justices paid close attention to irregularities in the attachment of neighbours and ad judicium was noted against the chamberlain and sheriffs or whichever of them had erred. Examples of such irregularities are varied: the attachment of two neighbours by the same pledges (154); of four by one (53) or six pledges (87); of four, one by another (108, 134) or by the same pledges (154, 159); and failure to attach any neighbours at all (59–60, 62, 80, 161–2). The ward might also have ad judicium noted against it for the false presentment of neighbours (47, 88, 101, 111, 165, 206) or because the neighbours' names were unknown to the men of the ward (103, 197). Finally, neighbours who falsely presented themselves were amerced (88, 101).
Another matter to which the justices paid close attention in reviewing crown pleas was the system of frankpledge. In 1244 the mayor and citizens had explained that no one might stay in the City for more than three nights unless he found two pledges and so put himself in frankpledge; if someone stayed one night longer without being in frankpledge, committed a felony and did not stand trial, then the alderman and ward were to be amerced for harbouring him. (fn. 33) Amercements of frankpledges are numerous in the record of the 1244 eyre (fn. 34) but in 1276 despite a much larger number of crown pleas there are only three instances (185, 250, 258). On the other hand, many felons outside frankpledge were in the mainpast or household of a master who was duly amerced (e.g. 102, 156, 190, 200–1, 208). Wards were frequently amerced for harbouring felons outside frankpledge (e.g. 41, 50, 53, 75, 105, 112) or had ad judicium noted against them (e.g. 29, 63, 73, 92, 102, 148). On occasion wards harboured felons after the deed (e.g. 89, 109, 117) and when the prior of Bermondsey (116, 615), the master of the Temple (75, 596), Hugh de Turberville (205, 653) and Henry de Coventry (289, 589) did so they were heavily amerced.
In most cases of homicide the slayer was not present in court, either because he had fled immediately after the deed or because he had escaped undetected. The Londoners claimed that they were not obliged to raise the hue and cry unless they so wished, although, in the interests of the king's peace, malefactors were pursued by the men of the neighbourhood (24). As to how often this occurred the record is silent. (fn. 35) If the felon or suspected felon were absent the justices ordered his exaction and outlawry (or, if the felon was a woman, her exaction and waivery). The London process of outlawry was explained to the justices in 1244: fugitives were put in exigent at three hustings held fortnightly and then outlawed by precept of the king at the folkmoot at St. Paul's. The justices considered that the time for exaction and outlawry was very short and should be amended. (fn. 36) No record of the form then provided has survived nor does the plea roll of 1276 provide further evidence concerning the process of outlawry. Although the development of the process in the fourteenth century lies outside the scope of this introduction it is instructive to observe that the explanation of the recorder in 1321 as to how the exactions following the eyre of 1276 had been made closely follows that given in 1244. (fn. 37)
The mayor and aldermen were sometimes called upon by the justices to say whether a person attached in connection with a death was suspected (29, 37, 39, 47, 152, 257). Strangers might put themselves upon the verdict of the mayor and aldermen (199, 257, 281). Londoners occasionally achieved the same end because the suspicion was slight (70, 222) or by payment of an oblation (37). Trial by the mayor and citizens occurred in one presentment in which the suspicion cannot have been slight (146). Strangers were also tried by juries of forty-two consisting of fourteen men from the three aldermanries nearest the place where the incident happened (214, 233, 264). In three further cases it may be safely assumed that the persons tried by juries of forty-two were not of the liberty of the City (245, 249, 256). One man, presumably a stranger, declined the offer of trial by jury (107).
According to the custom of the City, Londoners accused or appealed of homicide should wage their law thirty-six handed, eighteen oath-helpers coming from each side of the Walbrook. The great law, as it was called, had been waged in 1226, (fn. 38) 1244 (fn. 39) and 1251. (fn. 40) It was waged once and for the last time (fn. 41) in 1276 (209); a wife appealed of poisoning her husband did not fail in her law and was acquitted.
The sheriffs were answerable at the exchequer for the value of felons' chattels. (fn. 42) Ad judicium was frequently noted against the chamberlain and sheriffs for failure to enquire concerning chattels (e.g. 41, 73, 75, 89, 148, 203, 215). Sheriffs of counties other than London were ordered to enquire concerning strangers' chattels and the justices instituted enquiry by twelve men of the hundred for the same purpose (245). A similar enquiry into the chattels and lands of London felons was made by the mayor and aldermen (72). Chattels were falsely valued (206, 223) less often than deodands but in one case, perhaps significantly, the chattels were those of a suicide (206).
Seven felons were hanged as a result of the sessions at the Tower in 1276 (98,146, 276–7, 284). A further ten had been hanged before the eyre, eight of whom had been convicted by the justices of gaol delivery at Newgate (41, 49, 94, 128, 163, 197, 202). (fn. 43) Another had been arrested by the constable of Dover Castle and infalisated, i.e. thrown from the cliffs (203). Claims of clergy were numerous, (fn. 44) but only three clerks were found guilty by the secular court (116, 264, 316). Finally, it is noteworthy that no fewer than fifteen persons accused of homicide obtained royal pardons (6, 72, 75, 78, 170, 176, 189, 207–8, 218–19) and another who had been present when a man had been strangled also obtained a pardon (231). The pardon of Robert and Ralph de Monte Pessulano did not remit their chattels (72), while the chattels of Thomas le Armurer were confiscated because he had absconded after the deed (189).
The Articles of the Eyre and the Responses
The commission appointing. Roger de Seyton and his fellow justices was issued in November 1275. Attached to the enrolment of the commission on the Patent Roll was a writ, addressed to the mayor and sheriffs of London, ordering them to proclaim the coming of the eyre. (fn. 45) The writ provided a warning to those who owed suit to appear on the first day and especially to the chamberlains and sheriffs who were to produce the rolls (fn. 46) pertaining to their terms of office. Essoins (excuses for non-attendance) might be procured from chancery but only one was entered on the Close Rolls. (fn. 47) The most important document drawn up in preparation for the eyre was the set of articles outlining the scope of the justices' enquiries. Drawn up in the king's council and delivered under seal to the justices, it was handed on the first day of the eyre to the mayor and citizens who were to reply to the questions it contained. The articles (292, 294–342, 468) appear in the plea roll after the crown pleas rather than in their logical position at the beginning of the roll.
As a collection these articles are closely associated with the gradually changing Vetera capitula itineris. However, they do not follow the rough historical order of the 'national model' set in use early in Edward I's reign, and differ from that 'model' in many respects. (fn. 48) It is clear that the particular circumstances of London necessitated some modifications and additions to the set of articles used for circuit eyres. Out of a total of seventy articles accumulated since the twelfth century in the 'national model', the plea roll contains fifty-one, or fifty-two if account be taken of De novis placitis corone (Cam no. 2), which was omitted although crown pleas were heard. The omission of De veteribus placitis (Cam no. 1) is curious but other articles omitted (Cam nos. 14, 23, 26, 33, 37–8) were, perhaps, less appropriate to London than to the counties. The most intriguing of these omissions is De vicecomitibus (Cam no. 14) concerning inquests in wapentakes and hundreds and the raising of hue and cry. The justices in fact enquired about hue and cry in the course of hearing crown pleas and the mayor and aldermen explained the City's custom (24).
Two articles which were 'unique' in 1244 appeared again in 1276 (296, 306). The first concerned the malicious destruction of houses, and despite the answer given by the mayor and citizens, cannot have been intended to uncover offences committed during de Montfort's rebellion because the events of that period were no longer subject to criminal proceedings. (fn. 49) Since cases of arson would have been dealt with as crown pleas (e.g. 275, 280), it must be assumed that the king's council wished to be informed of major disturbances in the City. The second article (306; cf. Cam no. 16) concerned Christian usurers alive or dead. Two usurers were named, Nicholas le Convers who proffered a pardon and Hugh de Gisors who was acquitted on the verdict of the mayor and aldermen.
Nine articles were 'unique' to the 1276 eyre, although it is possible that some of them may have been used in 1251 (298, 302–3, 307–8, 320–3). An enquiry into advowsons to abbeys, priories and hospitals which belonged to the king (298) was no more than an extension of the old De ecclesiis (Cam no. 6). Five others were aimed at discovering corrupt practices among London officials who held the assizes of cloth and wine (302–3); who were concerned with murage and tallage (322–3); (fn. 50) or, who took prises in the king's name for themselves (320). All five articles received negative answers. A further 'unique' article was framed in the light of provisions made by the justices in 1251 concerning attachments. The mayor and citizens replied that attachments were answered for by the chamberlain and sheriffs and that they knew nothing further. As we have seen, the chamberlain and sheriffs were indeed made to answer for attachments. (fn. 51)
The remaining 'unique' articles concerned the Jews (307–8). On 18 January 1276 the king had ordered Seyton and his fellow justices not to permit Jews to be impleaded in the eyre; the Jews were, however, to answer concerning their lands within the City and other things, as was the custom in previous eyres. (fn. 52) For this immunity although in itself customary, the Jews made a fine of £50. (fn. 53) The first article (307) clearly did not infringe upon the immunity as it enquired into Christians who received goods of Jews in various forms. It was presumably intended to reveal collusion between Christians and Jews in usurious practices. In the event it revealed nothing. The other article was aimed at the discovery of cruelties inflicted by Jews upon Christian boys (308) and was, no doubt, inspired by the supposed ritual murder of a Christian boy in London in 1244, whose body was buried by the high altar of St. Paul's, (fn. 54) and by the notorious death of young Hugh of Lincoln in 1255, (fn. 55) for which nineteen Jews had been executed. The mayor and citizens answered by saying that two boys had been found killed by Jews, as appeared in the roll of the chamberlain and sheriffs. No date was given. On 21 February, the king ordered his justices in eyre not to molest some Jews who had previously been acquitted of the death of a Christian boy slain at Dowgate. (fn. 56) The justices received a further writ from the king on 3 March wishing them to certify him by word of mouth concerning the death of a Christian boy 'crucified' by the Jews, whose body had been washed up on the shore at Dowgate. (fn. 57) Only one crown plea reviewed by the justices concerned a body washed up by the tide; it was the body of a stranger with his throat cut and no mention was made of Dowgate (86).
A number of articles received positive replies although nihil sciunt was the most common response. When the mayor and aldermen gave a negative answer to the article about aliens' chattels (Cam no. 17) they were told to make further enquiry (310). Of those in mercy who had not been amerced, the dean and chapter of St. Martin le Grand and one other were named as having been convicted of purprestures in 1251 (Cam no. 3; 295). The replies given about churches and serjeanties are closely related to those of 1244 but the City was in mercy because they omitted one church from their recital (Cam nos. 6, 8; 299–300). Two persons were named as holders of escheated property but both claimed that they held their properties by royal grants and retained possession (Cam no. 7; 341). No article elicited a longer answer than that concerning purprestures (Cam no. 9; 342–467). The Hundred enquiries of 3 Edward I (fn. 58) which embraced the question of purprestures presumably provided the City with up-to-date information and obviated the need for a perambulation of the kind made by the justices in 1246. (fn. 59) The lists of violators of the assizes of cloth and wine (Cam nos. 11–12; 294, 292) appear to be incomplete. (fn. 60) Walter Hervy was presented for the false sealing of two quart measures (Cam no. 11; 468). Thirty defaulters of the common summons of the eyre were named (Cam no. 28; 340), but it is noteworthy that only fourteen of them were amerced (526, 528).
In response to the article about the failure of sureties to produce their man on the first day of the eyre, the mayor and citizens replied that they knew nothing at present but would enquire further (Cam no. 17; 310). In fact the review of crown pleas provided ample answer (e.g. 116,147,183, 209, 227–8, 272–3). To a number of articles the responses appear to be incomplete, suggesting that the mayor and citizens were not necessarily obliged to include matters which would emerge during the review of crown pleas. Although a coin-clipper was presented (Cam no. 19; 309) no mention was made of an abjuror's confession of forging money (11). A deceased harbourer of a felon was presented (Cam no. 21; 213) but no mention was made of persons subsequently in mercy for this offence (75, 116, 205, 289). Numerous escapes from prison were presented but many more emerged in the review of crown pleas. (fn. 61) Two articles concerning wrongful imprisonment (Cam nos. 53, 59; 326, 318) produced negative answers although two crown pleas and one civil plea discovered matters which might well have been presented (275, 289, 496). Similarly, a negative was given to the article concerning those who did not allow sheriffs to enter their lands to make summonses (Cam no. 37; 337) when there was at least one incident of which the commonalty must have been cognisant (141). Finally, it may be remarked that although no presentments were made about bail obtained by bribery (Cam no. 52; 324) the mayor and citizens took the opportunity of explaining the City's cherished custom with regard to mainprise, an explanation which they twice repeated during the hearing of crown pleas (29, 76).
Civil Pleas extra coronam
Pleas in the City were heard in the husting before the mayor, aldermen and sheriffs, or in the sheriff's court or in the mayor's court. (fn. 62) The husting met on Mondays, pleas of land and common pleas being heard fortnightly on alternate Mondays, an arrangement which may have originated in 1244 (fn. 63) but was clearly established by 1272 when two separate sequences of rolls begin. In 1260 it was provided in full husting that all pleas of dower and of customs and services initiated by writ should be heard on the same day as common pleas. (fn. 64) Of the sheriff's court in the thirteenth century little is known but pleas of trespass appear to have been heard there. (fn. 65) Disputes between foreign merchants and pleas of debt and covenant were heard in both the sheriff's and mayor's courts. Although mention of the husting is frequent in the record of the 1276 eyre the sheriff's court is never referred to. The mayor's court appears once in its function of controlling the goldsmiths' craft (491), a function subsequently granted to the fellowship of goldsmiths. The justices in 1244 had made provision for the holding of pleas of intrusion in the City before the sheriffs, or at least one of them, the alderman of the place where the intrusion took place and, by implication because he was obliged to make enrolments, the chamberlain. (fn. 66) In 1276 an assize of novel disseisin was quashed because it had been held before the chamberlain in the sheriffs' absence (516).
The London eyres of the thirteenth century were essentially crown plea sessions. The civil pleas extra coronam heard by the justices in 1276 were comparatively few in number but were varied in content (470–523). The citizens claimed that they were not bound to answer concerning any tenement in the City unless the tenant had vouched a foreigner to warranty. The claim was twice upheld (470, 484). One plea of land (485, 514), an assize of mort d'ancestor (494), an assize of novel disseisin (502) and several pleas of dower (477–8, 482, 515) were heard by the justices because of foreign vouchers. It is interesting to notice, however, that these pleas were terminated before the justices (494, 514, 502) or respited to the Bench at Westminster rather than remitted to the husting according to later City custom. (fn. 67) The mayor and citizens claimed that a plea of customs and services should not be heard or terminated anywhere but in the husting; however, without surrendering their claim, they agreed that the action should proceed because the writ had been fully answered (483; cf. 489). No claim was made by the citizens in pleas concerning disseisins allegedly committed after the summons of the eyre because the City courts were not sitting while the eyre was in progress (499, 504). An assize utrum was quashed because it was found that such assizes had not been heard by the justices in 1251 (503). Essoins and appointments of attorneys bulk large in the records of circuit eyres but in the London eyre of 1276 only one entry of each kind appears on the roll (480, 513). The paucity of such entries is an index of the citizens' success in claiming, for the husting, pleas concerning tenements within the City.
Agreement between the parties was reached in pleas of covenant, customs and services and in an assize of mort d'ancestor (483, 494–5, 505). The concord itself might be enrolled (489). Similarly a litigant might consider it prudent to have a private charter enrolled so that it was placed on record (501; cf. 481). A memorandum recording a covenant was enrolled (492) together with a recognizance of debt relating to it (497). Further recognizances of debt may be explained because the debt was owed to Seyton (490) or to the king (475). A man entrusted with a chest by Master William de Werblynton, who was visiting the Roman Curia, returned the chest to William's wife; she entered into a recognizance for its receipt before the justices (498). In view of the later popularity of aldermanic arbitration, 522 is of particular interest. Henry le Waleys and William de Durham agreed to the appointment of the mayor and three aldermen to assess the value of the timber in a room which had been demolished together with the value of William's perquisites as under sheriff of Middlesex, which William had withheld; ultimate authority was reserved to the justices (522).
Pleas of trespass outnumber any other kind of action among the civil pleas on our roll. (fn. 68) The charges were of abduction (511), carrying off chattels (487, 491, 493, 508–9, 511), breaking and entering (519), wounding (471, 500, 506) and wrongful imprisonment (496). A plea of battery and mayhem appears among the crown pleas because life and limb were in question (265). The earliest date given of an alleged trespass was July 1263 (487); two offences were committed after the summons of the eyre (471, 500) and for two, no date was given (491, 509). A number of actions were brought against City officials: by a goldsmith whose goods had been seized because he was working in latten (491), by a currier for wrongful imprisonment (496), by an armourer whose goods had been seized during Montfort's rebellion (508) and by a man who alleged that his goods had been carried off (509). Two of the pleas were foreign (493, 511) and both were adjourned to the Bench at Westminster. Only one plaintiff is recorded as failing to prosecute (512) and only one defendant defaulted (520). Agreement between parties was once allowed on payment of an oblation (518). The mayor and aldermen acted as jurors in four cases where presumably the justices considered the suspicion to be slight; at all events, the defendant, on each occasion, was acquitted (265, 487, 491, 509). In the remaining London cases the parties put themselves upon juries of one ward (500, 508) or two (496, 506, 519).
In civil pleas damages were frequently claimed but rarely awarded. Queen Eleanor's servant claimed £600 and Henry le Waleys, who had lost a cargo of hides during the rebellion, claimed £300 (493). (fn. 69) Sums ranging from 10 marks to £20 were more usual. Damages were assessed only in two pleas of trespass: a man whose hand had been cut when he was assaulted, was awarded 5s. (471) and a woman whose finger had been broken (and who, incidentally, had been raped) was awarded £5 although she had claimed £100 (519). In only one other plea were damages said to have been assessed but the amount was not entered in the record (496). There is little evidence to suggest that plaintiffs were encouraged to bring suit in the hope of being awarded damages. A man and his wife sought an assessment of damages suffered from an intrusion concerning which they had won an assize before the eyre; not only were they unsuccessful but the justices reversed the verdict of the assize on a technicality (516).
Four royal writs are cited giving rise to enrolments among the civil pleas. The first concerned a plea of land originating in the husting which, despite the writ, was remitted to the husting by the justices (470). The second was an inquest to determine whether the loss of a boy's ear had been caused accidentally by a bite from a horse or through his own fault (473). Perhaps the most remarkable entry in the entire roll is another inquest, held in compliance with a royal writ, to discover the whereabouts of royal muniments, including papal privileges, which had been in the possession of John Mansel, Henry III's confidential minister (521). The fourth enrolment amply illustrates the hazards of litigation. In pursuance with a royal writ the justices sat in the husting, some three months after the judicial sessions at the Tower had ended, to examine a plea already determined there. The plaintiff had sued Ralph Crepin, the mayor's clerk, by writ of right, but was adjudged in mercy for a false claim (523).
As we have already seen, no discussion of crown and civil pleas in the London eyre is possible without reference to London custom. Although a survey of customary law in London is beyond the scope of the present introduction, it is perhaps desirable to outline briefly those features of London custom which are illustrated by the plea roll. The commission of November 1275 appointing Seyton and his fellow justices charged them to hear all pleas coming before them in accordance with precedent. Indeed, enquiry into local custom by royal justices was normal in circuit, as in London, eyres. Such enquiries had certainly been made by the justices in the London eyres of 1221, 1226 and 1244. No comprehensive statement of custom was formulated but many customs were the subject of enquiry by the justices, and others may be inferred from the record. Andrew Horn was well aware of the importance of the precedents provided by the plea roll and the list of legal annotations on m.20 (524), drawn up at his instigation, amply demonstrates the City's interest in records of custom and usage.
Apart from precedent the citizens were able to claim their liberties by virtue of a long succession of royal charters. (fn. 70) In 1268 the Londoners had received a charter from Henry III (fn. 71) containing a broadly phrased assurance that they should enjoy the liberties and free customs which they had enjoyed under the king's predecessors, with the proviso that the liberties should not be contrary to right, law and justice. The citizens should not be compelled to plead outside the City except in cases of foreign tenures or of trespasses committed elsewhere than in the City; (fn. 72) they were acquitted of murdrum and therefore not obliged to prove Englishry, a subject of frequent enquiry in many circuit eyres; (fn. 73) they were exempted from waging battle (but the process of appeal was available in London as it was elsewhere); and the cherished Great Law, although not mentioned by name, was confirmed by implication. The only custom abolished by the charter was the swearing of oaths over the graves of deceased compurgators. Only once in 1276 was the charter of 1268 invoked in defence of the citizens' liberties. The mayor and bailiffs in a plea of dower maintained that the writ should not be pleaded in eyre unless it had been initiated in the husting and then respited until the coming of the justices because the tenant had vouched a foreigner to warranty. In support of their claim they proffered a royal writ ordering the justices to allow them rights and liberties granted by Henry III in his charter; Ralph de Hengham had been sent with fuller instructions and the plea was to proceed according to his counsel. Ralph said that it was ordained before the king and the whole council that the citizens should have the liberties contained in their charter and should not plead or be impleaded by any writ unless initiated in the husting and transferred to the eyre because of foreign voucher (484).
If royal charters and precedent were the twin pillars of the citizens' defence of their liberties, it was upon precedent that they relied most heavily. A number of administrative and procedural specialties were based upon precedent. The Londoners' claim to have their own janitor outside the gate of the Tower and their own usher outside the door of the hall where the pleas were heard together with their own sergeants, was allowed in 1276 (2) as it had been in 1244 and 1251. (fn. 74) The articles of the eyre were to be administered by the mayor and citizens and not by ward juries; the chamberlain and sheriffs were answerable for 'new' pleas of the crown; and the mayor and aldermen (or citizens) were to serve as a presentment jury. In 1244 the City claimed successfully that the mayor and citizens, and the sheriffs, should answer, not under oath but 'in the faith in which they are bound to the king and according to the fealty they have done to him'. (fn. 75) In 1276 the mayor and aldermen (or citizens) answered in like manner. The justices enquired whether or not jurors should be sworn in a plea of land, to which the mayor and aldermen replied that in cases of winning or losing land, as in cases of homicide, they should be sworn (514). Their answer is confirmed elsewhere in the record: juries of forty-two (e.g. 214, 233, 249) and even the mayor and aldermen (146,187, 222) took an oath in cases of homicide, as did juries of twenty-four in pleas of land (523). The constable of the Tower claimed that no prisoner should be delivered to the sheriffs once he had entered the gate of the Tower; the mayor and citizens, on the other hand, claimed that they had always been given custody of prisoners, even though they had entered the Tower (98). The issue remained unresolved until 1321. (fn. 76)
During the review of crown pleas a number of customs were explained to the justices. Despite the provisions of the Statute of Westminster I the citizens successfully claimed that they were not obliged to raise hue and cry (24) and that persons arrested on suspicion of felony, including homicide, might be bailed without writ. (fn. 77) Mention has already been made of a number of other customs including: the presentment of first finders of corpses, escapes from sanctuary, attachments, the Great Law and outlawry. (fn. 77) The claim disallowed in 1244, that enquiries into deaths by felony or misadventure were the exclusive duty of the chamberlain and sheriffs and that no other examination should be made, (fn. 78) was repeated in 1276 but on two occasions the justices held examinations of this kind (18, 146).
Newgate was clearly the most populous prison; Aldgate was also used as a prison on at least one occasion (153) and the sheriffs sometimes used their own houses (83, 316, 509) or another house (204). A canon of Holy Trinity Aldgate was kept in chains in the priory until he was delivered to the justices of gaol delivery at Newgate (55). A clerk was imprisoned at Newgate by licence of the sheriff (316). As escapes were frequent and as the sheriffs were liable to be heavily amerced in consequence, it was important for outgoing sheriffs to be acquitted of the prisoners in their custody. This they did by means of chirographs drawn up with the incoming sheriffs (134). Suet de prison (an amenity or alleviation of imprisonment) was adjudged 'against the law and custom of the realm and the City' (496; cf. 257). The keeping of watch and ward 'according to custom' is also mentioned in the review of crown pleas (20, 138, 159). The mayor himself is found patrolling the streets to see that a good watch was being kept early in the Barons' war in June 1263 (146).
The impact of custom upon civil pleas was even more marked than its impact upon crown pleas. The most important customs invoked in the hearing of civil pleas have already been mentioned (fn. 79) but several others deserve comment. In pleas of covenant and debt where there was no written agreement the plaintiff was to prove his case by witnesses rather than the defendant to clear himself by jury or twelve-handed. It further transpired that clerks might not act as witnesses in such cases (488). If a will was proved in the husting a legatee might take possession of land or rents without proceeding against the heirs of a testator and conversely, if a will was annulled in the husting the heirs of a testator might take possession without proceeding against the legatee (517). The land of a married woman could not be alienated unless she came into the husting and formally renounced it (489).
No mention of the office of recorder appears in the plea roll but in 1321 it was asserted that from time immemorial the citizens had claimed their franchises and customs in eyre by the mouth of the recorder. (fn. 80) In 1276 the mayor and aldermen are frequently said to have put their custom on record (recordantur) (e.g. 488, 517, 523) and it is reasonable to suppose that the alderman most learned in City custom had this responsibility. But the first named recorder was John de Wengrave who was sworn in 1304. It has been pointed out that the oath which he took does not look like the oath of a newly created office. (fn. 81) It is also significant that every recorder until the late fourteenth century was an alderman. The holders of the office were not only learned in customary law but of high standing in the City hierarchy. If, as seems probable, the functions of the recorder were performed in 1276 by one of the aldermen, a possible candidate is at hand. William de Durham was acquitted of a debt of over £6 which he owed to the City by reason of 'his various labours' at the eyre 'undertaken on behalf of the City'. (fn. 82)
The Financial Issues of the Eyre
The exchequer summons (fn. 83) (525–786) is the only surviving financial record concerned exclusively with the London eyre of 1276. The judicial sessions ended before the middle of March and were followed by fiscal sessions at which the justices fixed the amount to be paid for the amercements incurred during the pleas. The order of the debtors listed on the estreat reflects the order in which the justices carried out their work. Those who had failed to answer the common summons and violators of the assize of wine were assessed first (526–9). Crown pleas on mm. 1–3d of the plea roll were dealt with next (530–40) and then those on mm. 11–15 (541–90). Escapes presented in response to the article on that subject were assessed (591) before the remaining crown pleas on mm. 4–11 (592–662). The concluding sessions were devoted to violators of the assize of cloth (663–7), disseisins and civil pleas (668–725), and purprestures (726–85). The order of the debtors within each of these groups is closely related to the order of the plea roll, (fn. 84) which suggests that the justices were assisted by the mayor and aldermen, rather than by ward juries, in determining the economic capacity of those amerced. (fn. 85) Had ward juries assisted, a less obvious relationship between the order of the two documents might be expected.
The size of amercements varied considerably. (fn. 86) The highest amercement was £260 (591) and the lowest, 3s. 4d. (e.g. 761–2). Jews amerced for purprestures were assessed at the abnormally high rate of £5 (775, 777), half a mark being the usual rate for Gentiles. The margination ad judicium did not always result in amercement. Wards against whom ad judicium or miseri cordia was noted invariably escaped amercement as was often the case in circuit eyres. The valuation of chattels entered on the plea roll is, in two instances (107, 228), not accounted for in the estreat. In neither case had the usual marginal note been made, which may explain why these chattels were overlooked. The absence from the estreat of a number of purprestures on the plea roll may be attributed to arrentation: in return for annual rents (firmae minutae) owners of property might be allowed to retain buildings which had offended, or land upon which they had encroached. These 'small purpresture farms' were accounted for by the sheriffs but did not form part of the estreat.
Some mention has already been made of the entries on the estreat which cannot be matched with the plea roll. (fn. 87) A large group, comprising disseisins (668–706) may, however, be readily explained. Assizes of novel disseisin and of mort d'ancestor were not heard before the justices unless the disseisin had occurred after the summons of the eyre or in cases of foreign voucher. But fines and amercements arising from assizes held in the City before the eyre belonged to the crown and were assessed by the itinerant justices. (fn. 88) No possessory assize rolls survive with which to compare the amercements on the summoned estreat. The amercement of the Jews of England in £1000 pro pluribus transgressionibus (551) is unexpected. Although the functions of the exchequer and the exchequer of the Jews overlapped (fn. 89) no satisfactory explanation can be offered as to why this entry appeared on the estreat. Seyton and his colleagues were expressly forbidden to hear Jewish pleas which was the duty of the justices of the Jews. The justices itinerant were ordered to report orally to the king their findings concerning a supposed ritual murder by Jews (fn. 90) and it is just possible that this incident provided the pretext for the swingeing fine. It is noteworthy that the entry on the estreat was cleared.
Debts on the estreat total £1,808 (fn. 91) (excluding the £1,000 imposed upon the Jews). Crown pleas gave rise to debts totalling £1,208, of which £770 was for escapes. With one exception (558) each escape was assessed at £20; no other category of offence was equally profitable to the crown. The value of chattels entered on the estreat was £129; (fn. 92) chattels to be answered for by county sheriffs, or at the wardrobe, were not, of course, entered. (fn. 93) Civil pleas, on the other hand, gave rise to debts totalling only £44. Violators of the assize of cloth were assessed at a total of £428, violators of the assize of wine at £57, perpetrators of purprestures at £33 and defaulters on common summons at £38.
The estreat might, at first sight, confirm the dictum justicia magnum emolumentum est but the profits of justice were easier to assess than to collect. The writ of summons which tops and tails the list of debtors, ordered the sheriffs to collect the debts and pay them into the exchequer. The sheriffs heavily annotated the roll: their marginations and interpolations (printed in italic in the present edition) vividly illustrate the difficulties confronting them, e.g. pauper, obiit, ignotus, Hibernia, ultra mare. No doubt the crown was cheated more often by death than by any other single cause although insolvency was common. Naturally enough, debtors used every means at hand to avoid or delay payment. Writs of respite or attermination, or even of pardon, might be procured. Attermination (abbreviated to att' or atterm) permitted the debtor to pay by instalments. Debtors who obtained this privilege were usually important persons: e.g. Henry de Coventry (529), John de Northampton (533), Henry Walemund (539), Stephen de Cornhill (547), Henry de Frowyk (591), William de Durham (650), Richard de Araz of Lincoln (643), Luke de Lucca and his associates (666) and the master and brethren of St. Bartholomew's hospital (685).
The sheriffs' notes in the margins of the estreat frequently employed exchequer conventions. Addr' (addressare) indicated an order to the debtor to make amends and account for his debt. Tallies (tall) were sometimes issued and when the sheriffs held security for a debt the marginal note vad' (vadium) might be added. Conversely, nihil in ballio indicated that the sheriffs had obtained no security for the debt. Orders to distrain (levar' fac') were sometimes noted. The symbol ø (a contraction of the older O.Ni: oneratur nisi habeat sufficientem exoneracionem) showed that the sheriffs had become the king's debtors and that the original debt was owed to the sheriffs. Because two or more persons were often liable for parts of the same debt and might make payment of their share at different times, notes were needed to signpost the fact (e.g. pars, residuum). When the debt had been cleared the entry was deleted (indicated by an asterisk in the present edition). T. (totum) announced that the full charge of an exaction would be removed to a later Pipe Roll. A cross (+) was apposed to debts which were later to be assembled for clearance in a lump sum. The symbols d, Ro 1 and 2 and the dots preceding certain debtors' names repeated annotations in the Estreat Roll (fn. 94) showing that removal of the debt in question to the Pipe Roll was still pending. The sheriffs continued to work upon the summoned estreat until 1278 when the estreat was resummoned.
It is sometimes possible to trace the later history of individual debts in the Receipt, Memoranda and Pipe Rolls. This has been done in the editorial notes following each entry or group of entries in the present edition. Excerpts from the Pipe Rolls of 5 and 6 Edward I have been printed in Appendix E and these require some further explanation. Traditionally the amercements of an eyre were accounted for as occasional revenue under Nova oblata where they were listed De amerciamentis itineris (followed by reference to the eyre in question and the name of the presiding justice). In the first audit, after the issue of an exchequer summons, the clerk prepared the Pipe Roll according to procedures explicitly described in the Pipe Roll orders of 1270 and 1273. (fn. 95) The clerk did not repeat all the individual charges on the estreat. Instead, the sheriffs were charged and acquitted for a lump sum payment. In addition, the Pipe Rolls of 5, 7, 9 and 13 Edward I record a number of group payments of this kind, not by sheriffs but per diversos. (fn. 96) The names of the debtors grouped by these arrangements were marked off on the Estreat Roll without being listed in the Pipe Roll. The London and Middlesex account of 5 Edward 1 enters the grouped and individual payments together among the Nova oblata. The account of 6 Edward I lacks any record of a lump sum payment. It contains scattered references to the eyre but places them between the entries for recurring revenues and the entries under Nova oblata; a note is added: Debita et libertates huius itineris non sunt in rotulo. In several later county accounts lump sum payments are again recorded suggesting that resummonses were issued at intervals. It remains to show the totals of the lump sum payments in the Pipe Rolls which may be directly attributed to the eyre:
|5 Edward I (see Appendix D)||137||3||4|
|7 Edward I (E 372/123 m.9)||40||16||8|
|9 Edward I (E 372/125 m.12)||7||13||4|
|13 Edward I (E 372/130 m. 10)||35||0||0|
One other financial issue of the eyre deserves consideration, namely deodands. The sheriffs were answerable for them, but not to the exchequer. From time to time the king granted the deodands belonging to the eyres for some charitable purpose. The recipient of the deodands of the London eyre has not been traced but in 1278 the king granted all deodands adjudged during the next three years to the London Dominicans (fn. 99) in aid of building their new house on the site of Baynard Castle. In 1280 the Domus Conversorum was granted all deodands adjudged in eyres for the term of seven years starting at the end of the Dominicans' term; (fn. 100) in 1290 the grant was renewed but this time, at will. (fn. 101) A similar grant of Irish deodands was made to the priory of St. Mary Waterford in 1290. (fn. 102) The deodands of the London eyre amounted to £38 10s. 10d or £18 10s. 7d. if the two unmarginated items (216, 221) are excluded from the total. The amount compares unfavourably with the deodands received by the Domus Conversorum between 1281 and 1286 (fn. 103) from circuit eyres when it is remembered that in 1276 the justices were reviewing misadventures which had occurred during a twenty-five year period.
A Note on Wards
Until the late thirteenth century most of the wards into which London was divided were referred to by the name of the presiding alderman. In the plea roll of 1276 only half a dozen wards were referred to by their modern names: Portsoken, invariably (43, 111, 156); Cheap, in most cases (e.g. 65, 72) and Billingsgate, Castle Baynard, Dowgate and Langbourn at least once (365, 132, 124,197). In the record of pleas of the crown wards were sometimes designated by the name of the alderman holding office in 1276 rather than by the name of his predecessor who presided during the period of the case under review. For example, the name Henry le Waleys, alderman (c. 1269– 94), is used to describe Cordwainer ward in a plea of 1252–3 (35) and that of Simon de Hadstock, alderman (c. 1269–88), to describe Queenhithe ward in a plea of 1253 (30). On the other hand, the names of aldermen not in office in 1276 were frequently given: the ward of Billingsgate, for example, was designated in a plea of 1254–5 by the name of Arnold fitz Thedmar (60) who died in 1275 and Coleman Street ward by the name of William de Essewy (83) who died in 1259. Thus the names of several aldermen are often used in the plea roll to describe the same ward. The problem is further aggravated by our lack of precise information about the aldermen who held office before 1276. (fn. 104) Although it is occasionally possible to confirm the identification of a ward by topographical evidence contained in the record, some of the modern ward names provided by the editor in the present edition must be regarded as tentative.
ARTICLES OF THE LONDON EYRE, 1244 AND 1276
The following list of articles is arranged in the order of Helen Cam's 'national model' of Vetera Capitula (Cam, Studies, 92–3) and the number preceding each article is that used by her. Articles which occur in the London set of 1244 are followed by '1244' with references to the appropriate entry numbers in London Eyre, 1244, while articles which occur in the 1276 set are followed by '1276' with references to the entry numbers in the present edition. Those articles which were not part of the 'national model' are listed separately at the end as 'Unique articles 1244' and 'Unique articles 1276'. It should be noted, however, that the text printed in London Eyre, 1244 was not taken into account by Professor Cam in her work on the articles of the eyre (Cam, Studies, 24–8).
ARTICLES FROM THE 1190s TO THE 1240s
1. De veteris placitis. 1244 (7, 269); 1276 (omitted).
2. De novis placitis corone. 1244 (8, 270); 1276 (the article was omitted but such pleas were heard).
3. De illis qui sunt in misericordia domini regis. 1244 (9,194, 271 reading fuerunt for sunt); 1276 (295).
4. De valettis et puellis. 1244 (12, 197, 274); 1276 (merged with Cam no. 5 in 297).
5. De dominabus. 1244 (omitted); 1276 (merged with Cam no. 4 in 297).
6. De ecclesiis. 1244 (14, 199, 276); 1276 (abridged as 299; see also below, Unique articles 1276, 298).
7. De eschaetis. 1244 (with varying scope 15, 208, 277–8, 302); 1276 (in full 341).
8. De serjantiis. 1244 (13, 198, 275); 1276 (300).
9. De purpresturis. 1244 (16, 343, 348); 1276 (342).
10. De denariis. 1244 (omitted); 1276 (301).
11. De mensuris and De pannis venditis. 1244 (coalesced in 17, 322; depannis 225); 1276 (de mensuris 468; de pannis 294).
12. De vinis venditis. 1244 (18, 223, 324); 1276 (292).
13. De thesauris inventis. 1244 (19, 200, 325); 1276 (304).
14. De vicecomitibus. 1244 (omitted); 1276 (omitted, but the justices enquired concerning hue and cry in 24).
15. De ballivis qui tenent placita corone. 1244 (20, 201, 326); 1276 (305).
16. De usurariis Christianis mortuis. 1244 (21, 202, 338, amplified by unique articles aiming also at living Christian usurers, see below, Unique articles 1244, 34, 231, 314, 327); 1276 (all combined in 306 omitting Christianis).
17. De catallis Francorum et Flandrensium. 1244 (narrowed down in 22, 203, 328; cf. below, Unique articles 1244, 195); 1276 (broadly rephrased to include all foreign born 310).
18. De catallis iudeorum occisorum. 1244 (23, 204, 329); 1276 (336).
19. De falsonariis. 1244 (24, 206, 330); 1276 (309, but see also 11).
20. De moneta et escambio. 1244 (with variation of phrasing 25, 207, 331); 1276 (311 retaining the phrasing in 1244's 25 and 331).
21. De malefactoribus et burgatoribus omitted in national model after 1231. 1244 (retained completely 26, 332; narrowed down 205); 1276 (retained in full 312).
22. De utlagatis et fugitivis eventually omitted from national model. 1244 (27, 221, 333); 1276 (omitted).
25. De mercede capta. 1244 (28, 224, 334); 1276 (313).
27. De novis consuetudinibus. 1244 (29, 226, 335); 1276 (314).
28. De defaltis. 1244 (30, 227, 336); 1276 (340).
29. De gaolis deliberatis split into nos. 29 and 30 in later versions of the national model. 1244 (31, 228, 337); 1276 (retained as one in 317).
31. De malefactoribus in parcis et vivariis. 1244 (omitted); 1276 (enlarged 315).
32. De evasione latronum. 1244 (33, 230, 340); 1276 (316).
34. De prisis factis extraneis. 1244 (extended to include de dampnis 35, 232, 339); 1276 (319 retaining the 1244 version).
35. De hiis qui non permittunt ballivos domini regis introire. 1244 (omitted); 1276 (retained with broader phrasing in 337 and answered in the negative, but such a plea was heard among the new pleas, 141).
36. De ballivis qui ceperunt denarios pro recognitoribus amovendis. 1244 (omitted); 1276 (338 reading recognicionibus).
ARTICLES SINCE 1246
44. De ballivis ambidextris. 1276 (325).
51. De hiis qui piscantur cum kidellis et skarkellis. 1276 (339).
52. De vicecomitibus... qui ceperint denarios . . . ut dimitterint per plevinas. 1276 (rephrased in 324).
53. De vicecomitibus et aliis ballivis qui imprisonaverunt. 1276 (326 answered in the negative, but see 257, 289, 496).
54. De vicecomitibus et aliis ballivis qui bis ceperunt denarios pro uno amerciamento. 1276 (327).
55. De hiis qui manuceperunt habendi aliquem . . . primo die. 1276 (330).
56. De hiis qui extraxerunt brevia regis. 1276 (331).
58. De pontibus et calcetis fractis. 1276 (334, reading de pontibus fractibus).
59. De imprisonatis ad voluntatem ballivorum sine causa racionabili. 1276 (318).
60. De felonibus suspensis et dampnatis alibi quam coram justiciariis ad omnia placita. 1276 (335).
62. De hiis qui distringunt aliquem ad pacandum plus. 1276 (328).
63. De hiis qui distringunt plures habentem unum nomen. 1276 (329; see also 38).
64. De denariis captis ab excommunicatis. 1276 (333).
65. De denariis captis pro defaltis non venientibus ad summonicionem vicecomitum. 1276 (332).
UNIQUE ARTICLES 1244
De illis qui infra libertatem Civitatis maliciose domus aliquorum prostraverunt vel combusserunt contra pacem. 1244 (11, 273); 1276 (296).
De usurariis christianis vivis (sive mortuis). 1244 (34, 231, 327); 1276 (combined with Cam no. 16 in 306).
De debitis domino regi patri domini regis debitis in gwerra et ante gwerram. 1244 (195); 1276 (omitted).
UNIQUE ARTICLES 1276
De abbathiis prioratibus hospitalibus que sunt et esse debent de advocacione domini regis (298).
De ballivis qui ceperunt mercedem ab aliquibus ut possint vendere pannos contra assisam (302).
De illis qui mercedem ceperunt de venditoribus vinorum ut possint vendere mixta vel putrida et de illis qui vina illa miscuerunt (303).
De christianis qui receperunt bona judeorum tam in cartis quam in denariis, vadiis et aliis (307).
De judeis qui fecerunt crudelitatem de pueris christianis (308).
De ballivis et aliis qui ceperunt prisas nomine regis ad opus ipsorum vel aliorum que non devenerunt ad manus regis (320).
Si provisiones facte per justiciarios ultimo itinerantes apud Turrim London de attachiamentis faciendis tam de placitis cor one quam de assisis nove disseisine et aliis bene servate sint (321).
Si aliqua magna summa pecunia fuerit collecta ad introitum et exitum portarum Civitatis London ad muros eiusdem Civitatis reparandos et ad alias operaciones eiusdem Civitatis. Et si aliaua pecunia assisa collecta fuit in ipsa Civitate per maiorem, vicecomites et aldermannos vel alios qui pecuniam illam ceperunt et quo pecunia illa devenit (322).
Si quod tallagium assisum fuit per quod pauperes gravati fuerunt et divites desportati (323).
FINES AND AMERCEMENTS
The following table analyses the fines and amercements in the estreat (525–786). Where only one amount is given it has been entered in the Highest column.
In the following list the entry number in the plea roll is followed by that in the estreat. An asterisk (*) indicates that the value includes the year day and waste of the felons' lands.
|72 (fn. 105)||78||16||8*|
|138 (fn. 106)||63||6||8*|
|146 (fn. 107)||27||10||9|
|309 (fn. 108)||20||0||0|
|80 (fn. 109), 598||13||6||8|
|258, 572||5||3||0 (fn. 110)|
|316, 591 (fn. 111)||4||10||8|
|107 (fn. 112)||4||0||0|
|234, 557 (fn. 113)||1||14||8|
|9 (fn. 114)||1||4||0|
|172 (fn. 115), 636||9||6|
|228 (fn. 116)||6||8|
|112 (fn. 117)||4||0|
|horse (67)||3||0||0 (fn. 118)|
|horse and cart (59)||13||4|
|2 horses and cart (227)||14||8|
|2 pigs (155)||2||8|
|bell-tower (221)||20||0||0 (fn. 119)|
|solar (54)||10||0 (fn. 120)|
|wall and timber (195)||1||6||8|
|stone wall (88)||3||0|
|beam (91)||1||6 (fn. 121)|
|plank and knife (22)||(fn. 122)|
|(129)||4 (fn. 123)|
|ladder and timber (64)||3||10|
|chair (216)||3 (fn. 124)|
|chair and rope (162)||1||0||0|
|leaden vessel (13)||4||0|
|brass pot (210)||1||8|
|pear tree (232)||1||6|
|pear tree and pears (32)||1||6|
|load of lead (270)||2||0|
|boat and faggots (220)||6||0|
|boat and wood (12)||15||0|
Extracts from London and Middlesex accounts in the Pipe Rolls
From the Account for 5 Edward I (E 372/121 m. 18d)
De amerciamentis coram magistro Rogero de Seyton et sociis suis apud Turrim London anno quarto. Iidem vicecomites reddunt compotum de 137 li. 3s. et 4d. de amerciamentis hominum quorum nominibus preponitur littera T in rotulo de predicto itinere quem predicti [justiciarii] liberaverunt. In thesauro 117 li. per diversos. Et 16 li. 15s. 8d. per vicecomites. Et debent 68s. et 4d.
Idem reddunt compotum de eodem debito. In thesauro 56s. et 8d. per diversos. Et debent 11s. et 8d.
Idem reddunt compotum de eodem debito. In thesauro di. m. pro Galfrido de Hundesdich . Et debent 5s. respice infra.
Iidem vicecomites reddunt compotum de 5s. de Johanne de Gowington (fn. 125)  sicut supra continetur [sic]. In thesauro lib' per eundem. Et quieti sunt.
Henricus de Coventre 5m. pro vino vendito contra assisam . Et 20 li. pro evasione Nicholai de Saunford (fn. 126) . Et 10 li. pro receptamento . Et 20 li. pro evasione Arnaldi Petri . Et 20 li. pro evasione Thome de Barton . Et 10 li. quia concelavit catalla et evasionem . Et 10 li. pro pluribus transgressionibus. Et 4 li. 19s. et 11d. de pluribus debitis sicut continetur in rotulo precedenti. (fn. 127) Summa 98 li. 6s. et 7d. (fn. 128)
Hubelettus de Araz reddit compotum de di. m. pro pannis venditis contra assisam. (fn. 129)
Roes de Watford reddit compotum de di. m. pro iniusta detencione . Et di. m. pro transgressione purpresture [?741]. Et debet di. m.
Robertus de Kidderminstre quia non venit, Willelmus le Engleis et Walterus de Welles plegii reddunt compotum de di. m. . In thesauro 2s. 2d. et ob. pro Roberto. Et debent alii 4s. 5d. ob.
Stephanus de Cornhull vicinus 20s. quia non venit . Et 20 li. pro panno vendito contra assisam .
Reimundus de Burdeus 20s. pro fuga .
Johannes de Northht' et Ricardus Picard debent 80 li. pro evasione quatuor latronum sociorum Rogeri de Clere de quibus Johannes respondebat supra de 40 li. Et debet Ricardus 40 li. .
Henricus de Frowik et Lucas de Batencourt 280 li. pro evasione Rogeri Drinkwater et 12 sociorum suorum .
Reginaldus de Suffolk camerarius 100s. pro pluribus transgressionibus . Et di. m. pro uno solio .
Robertus de Linton reddit compotum (fn. 132) quia non venit. Et debet di. m. pro pluribus transgressionibus [537 or 663]. Et debet 10 li. pro evasione  sicut infra continetur. In thesauro 11 li. per tres tallias. Et debet 4 li. et di. m.
Johannes de Wautham magister hospitalis Sancti Bartholomei London' et fratres sui annotati in rotulo de eodem itinere reddunt compotum de 100s. pro disseisina . In thesauro nichil. Et in perdonis eidem magistro 100s. per breve regis. Et quieti sunt. (fn. 133)
From the Account for 6 Edward I (fn. 134) (E 372/122 m. 20d)
De amerciamentis per magistrum Rogeri de Seiton.
Debita et libertates huius itineris non sunt in rotulo. Humfridus le Tailur et Johannes Cristemesse debent di. m. pro fuga Johannis le Gaunter . De quibus Humfridus respondet infra de 40d. Et debet Johannes 40d. Humfridus le Tailur 40d. pro fuga sicut supra continetur.
Totus comitatus Midd' 10 li. 2s. 8d. [?552, ?569, ?564] pro falso iudicio et aliis transgressionibus. Robertus de Araz et Radulfus le Fevre 68s. 4d. de remanente eiusdem summe totalis sicut continetur in rotulo precedenti.
Robertus de Suffolk debet 20s. pro vinis venditis contra assisam (fn. 135) .
De amerciamentis coram magistro Rogero de Seiton.
Debita et libertates huius itineris non sunt in rotulo.
Robertus de Essex bureler reddit compotum de 100s. quia non habet Ceciliam que fuit uxor Jollani de Dunelm quam manucepit . In thesauro 1 m. Et debet 6 m. et di.
Nicholaus de Wilton reddit compotum de di. m. pro plegio . In thesauro liberavit. Et quietus est.
Henricus de Coventre reddit compotum de 98 li. 6s. 7d. de pluribus debitis sicut continetur in rotulo precedenti. (fn. 136) In thesauro 20 li. Et debet 78 li. 6s. et 7d.
Hubelettus (fn. 137) de Araz debet di. m. pro panno vendito contra assisam .
Roesia de Watford di. m, pro iniusta detencione .
Willelmus le Engleis et Walterus de Welles 4s. 5d. ob. pro plegio .
Reimund de Burdeus pro fuga 20s. .