The London Eyre of 1244. Originally published by London Record Society, London, 1970.
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30 Henry III: Cap. XI - Cap. XXXI (nos 322–348)
322. Capitulum XI. De mensuris statutis et iuratis per regnum si servate sint per regnum sicut provisum fuit et si custodes mensurarum mercedem ceperint tempore pacis ab aliquibus ut per illas possint emere vel vendere et hoc intelligatur de omnibus mensuris tam de ulnis quam de aliis et ponderibus et si assisa latitudinis pannorum observata fuerit prout provisum fuit. Civitas respondit quod nulla mensura iurata est in Civitate nec uncquam in Civitate juramentum factum fuit de mensuris; placita vero et amerciamenta ponderum, ulnarum et mensurarum omnium pertinent et pertinebant semper ad vicecomitatum et nullus alius habetur custos in Civitate rerum predictarum quam vicecomites Civitatis et eorum ballivi . . . Item dicunt quod de mercede proinde capta nichil sciunt.
Article XI Of the measures enacted and sworn throughout the kingdom if they were kept throughout the kingdom as was provided and whether the keepers of the measures took bribes in the time of peace from anybody that they might buy or sell by them and this is to be understood of all measures as well of ells as of others and of weights and if the assize of breadth of cloth was observed as was provided. The City answered that no measure was sworn in the City nor has any oath been taken ever in the City of measures but the pleas and amercements of weights, lengths and all measures belong and have always belonged to the shrievalty and there was never any other keeper of those things in the City except the sheriffs and their bailiffs. They also say that of bribes taken for that reason they know nothing.
323. Capitulum XII. Item dicunt de latitudine pannorum quod quia nulla querimonia facta fuit vicecomitibus post ultimum iter justiciariorum vicecomites inde nichil fecerunt; nam vicecomites nullum faciunt attachiamentum in Civitate sine clamore alicuius conquerentis, sive per preceptum domini regis vel justiciarii eius. Petunt erga dominum regem desicut panni tincti, russetti, haubergetti non operantur in Civitate, quod draperii Civitatis pro illa assisa non calumpnientur; nam videtur eis quod civitates et burgi et ville ubi tales panni operantur, debent pro dicta assisa amerciari. Justiciarii dixerunt: Ecce rotulos Martini de Pateshulle qui ultimo tenuit hic placitum corone, et ecce nomina omnium draperiorum qui tunc fuerunt qui omnes fuerunt amerciati. Civitas respondit, maior respondit: nos non intelligimus (fn. 1) quod ullo tempore aliqua misericordia capta fuisset de draperiis Civitatis pro dicta assisa quia nichil forisfacti sunt, set operarii pannorum debent de jure amerciari (fn. 2) quia ipsi transgressi sunt preceptum domini [regis], operando pannos contra assisam, et non venditores sicut continetur in carta de libertate Anglic quam dominus rex fecit comitibus et baronibus suis. (fn. 3) Justiciarii dixerunt: Habeatis coram nobis in crastino nomina omnium draperiorum de Civitate vestra qui sunt et fuerunt draperii, a tempore quo justiciarii ultimo itineraverunt hic usque in presentem diem et sic factum fuit et amerciati fuerunt omnes.
Article XII. Item they say concerning the breadth of cloth that because no complaint was made to the sheriffs after the last eyre of the justices the sheriffs did nothing; the sheriffs make no attachment in the City without complaint from some complainant whether by order of the king or one of his justices. They ask the king that since dyed cloth like russet and haberjet is not worked in the City the drapers of the City ought not to be held responsible for that assize since it seems to them that the cities and boroughs and towns where such cloth is made ought to be amerced for that assize. The justices say: behold the rolls of Martin of Patshull who last held here the pleas of the crown and behold the names of all the drapers who then were all amerced. The City answered and the mayor answered: we do not understand that at that time any amercement was taken from the drapers of the City for that assize because nothing was forfeit, but the cloth workers ought by right to be amerced because they have transgressed the king's order in working cloth contrary to the assize and not the sellers as is contained in the charter of liberties of England which the king made for his earls and barons. The justices said: have before us tomorrow the names of all the drapers of your city who are or were drapers, from the time when the justices last went on eyre here until the present day; and thus it was done and everyone was amerced.
324. Capitulum XIII. De vinis venditis contra assisam. Civitas respondit: Dicunt quod universi vinetarii qui vina vendiderunt ad incisionem, assisam transgressi sunt. Justiciarius dixit: Habeatis coram nobis nomina omnium vinetariorum tam mortuorum quam vivorum qui vendiderunt vinum ad incisionem a die quo justiciarii ultimo itineraverunt usque ad presentem diem et sic factum fuit in crastino, unde omnes vinetarii amerciati fuerunt.
Article XIII. Of wines sold contrary to the assize. The City answered that all vintners who sold wine retail had broken the assize. A justice said: have before us the names of all vintners as well dead as alive who sold wine retail from the day when the justices last went on eyre to the present time and thus it was done on the morrow whence all the vintners were amerced.
327. Capitulum XVI. De usurariis christianis vivis, qui sint et que catalla habeant et quantum valeant. Civitas respondit: Dicunt quod nullum sciunt usurarium in Civitate christianum, nisi Romanes et mercatores Senenses et eiusdem provincie consimiles.
Article XVI. Of living Christian usurers who they are and what chattels they have and how much they are worth. The City answers that they know of no Christian usurers in the City unless they be Roman and Sienese merchants and those of the like country.
328. Capitulum XVII. De catallis mercatorum de potestate regis Francie retentis, quis ea habuit. Civitas respondit quod vicecomites et camerarius debent inde respondere quibus talia pertinent attachiamenta, nam eo tempore quo dominus rex erat in transmarinis, vicecomites et camerarius scilicet, Willelmus de Haverhulle, Edwardus de Westmonasterio per preceptum regis attachiaverunt catalla [et alium] (fn. 4) unde respondeant.
Article XVII. Of chattels of merchants of the kingdom of the king of France retained, who had them. The City answered that the sheriffs and chamberlain ought to answer therefor because such attachments belong to them for when the king was overseas the sheriffs and chamberlain, to wit William of Haverhill and Edward of Westminster by the king's order attached the chattels and should answer therefor elsewhere.
329. Capitulum XVIII. De catallis judeorum occisorum et vadiis et cartis et debitis eorum, quis ea habeat. Respondit Civitas: Dicunt quod non pertinet ad eos, nec aliquo tempore pertinere solebat de judeis sicut prediximus superius in capitulo de eschaetis judeorum, set pertinet ad constabularium Tunis Londoniarum, et ad justiciaries domini regis ad custodiendum iudeorum assignatos. Nam quamvis judeus in Civitate interficeretur non liceret vicecomitibus catalla judei attachiare, si autem equo modo christianus in domo iudei interficeretur a quocunque, vicecomes ipsum judeum vel eius catalla non posset attachiare.
Article XVIII. Of the chattels of Jews killed and their pledges and charters and debts and who has them. The City answered that they do not belong to them nor have they been used at any time to belong to them as we said above in the article concerning escheats of the Jews, but they belong to the constable of the Tower of London and to the king's justices appointed to the custody of the Jews; for even if a Jew is killed in the City the sheriffs may not attach his chattels and likewise if a Christian is killed by anyone in the house of a Jew the sheriff may not attach the Jew or his chattels.
331. Capitulum XX. De moneta et excambio domini regis, scilicet qui fecerint monetam vel escambium sine domino rege vel eius ballivis. Civitas respondit quod nichil inde scit Civitas, set respondeat inde cambiator quia si ab aliquo tempore querimoniam fecisset factum esset quod ad hoc pertineret.
Article XX. Of the money and exchange of the king, to wit who made money or carried out exchange without the knowledge of the king and his bailiffs. The City answered that the City knows nothing about it but the changer should answer because if at any time complaint was made it would belong to him.
332. Capitulum XXI. De malefactoribus et burgatoribus et eorum receptatoribus tempore pacis. Civitas respondit quod nullum talem sciunt in Civitate, nam si aliquem forte scirent non hucusque sustinuissent immo ilium per vicecomites arrestassent et justiciariis ostendissent.
Article XXI. Of evil-doers and burglars and their harbourers in the time, of peace. The City answered that they know none in the City but if by any chance they did so know they would not have supported them, but they would be arrested by the sheriffs and would be shown to the justices.
333. Capitulum XXII. De fugitivis et si quis rediit post fugam suam sine warranto, et utlagatis et eorum catallis, et quis ea habeat, et fugitivorum et utlagatorum receptoribus. Civitas respondit quod nullum sciunt in Civitate post ultimum iter justiciariorum nisi Algrettum Wasconie, qui warrantum habuit a domino rege. (fn. 5) De receptatoribus nichil sciunt. Item Willelmum Barbatorem de quo audierunt in presentibus placitis.
Article XXII. Of fugitives and if any returned after flight without warrant and of outlaws and their chattels and who had them and of the harbourers of fugitives and outlaws. The City answered that they know none in the City after the last eyre of the justices save Algret of Gascony who had a warrant from the king. Of harbourers they know nothing. Item William with the Beard of whom they have heard in the present pleas.
334. Capitulum XXIII. De mercede capta pro blado et aliis catallis dimittendis ne caperentur ad usus ballivorum pro minori precio quam valuerunt. Et de prisis factis per vicecomites vel per alios ballivos contra voluntatem eorum quorum catalla fuerunt. Civitas respondit: Dicunt quod nullum sciunt.
Article XXIII. Of bribes taken for not laying hands upon corn and other goods lest they be taken for the use of bailiffs for less price than they are worth and of prises taken by sheriffs or other bailiffs against the will of those to whom the goods belong. The City answered that they know of none.
336. Capitulum XXV. De defaltis et de illis qui summoniti fuerunt ad esse coram justiciaries primo die et non venerunt. Civitas respondit quod nullam sciunt defaltam nisi de vicecomitibus et camerariis qui primo die non venerunt et de illis de quibus postea justiciarii audierunt in preteritis placitis corone sicut in placitis continetur.
Article XXV. Of defaults and those who were summoned to be before the justices on the first day and did not come. The City answered that they know of no default unless it be of the sheriffs and chamberlains who did not come on the first day and of those of whom the justices heard in the later pleas of the crown as is contained in those pleas.
341. Capitulum XXX. De imprisonatis ad voluntatem ballivi sine causa racionabili et liberatis sine warranto. Civitas respondit quod nullum sciunt nisi Alwredum de Pincebeke quem Johannes de Codres tunc vicecomes imprisonavit sicut justiciarii audierunt in presentibus placitis.
Article XXX. Of those imprisoned at the will of the bailiff without reasonable cause and set free without warrant. The City answered that they know no one unless it be Alfred of Pinchbeck whom John de Codres then sheriff imprisoned as the justices heard in the present pleas.
342. Hec capitula proposuit dominus rex apud Westmonasterium in propria persona in crastino Sancte Trinitatis unde Civitas respondit die Mercurii proximo ante festum Sancti Barnabe Apostoli ad placita corone apud Turrim Londoniarum sicut in hoc rotulo subnotatur.
These articles were proposed by the king himself at Westminster on the morrow of Trinity, [30 May], and the City answered on Wednesday next before the feast of St. Barnabas the Apostle [8 June] at the pleas of the crown at the Tower of London as is noted below in this roll.
343. Capitulum. De purpresturis factis in Thamisia. Civitas respondit quod nullam ibi sciunt purpresturam set ex hoc quod kayos elongaverunt vel extenderunt versus cursum aque, et hoc bene licet eis ex omni consuetudine ut sic terras et tenementa sua tueri possunt versus mare ascendens et descendens die et nocte. (fn. 6) In Thamisia autem et cursu Thamisie nullum kayum assederunt nisi prout debent et possunt ad emendacionem domini regis et Civitatis sue et etiam ad emendacionem veniencium cum magnis navibus carcatis versus Civitatem, quia aqua tanto profundior est et cursus validior eo quod se ita large extendere non potest nec aliquo tempore ante kayorum confeccionem extendere potuit. (fn. 7)
Article. On the purprestures made in the Thames. The City answered that it knows no purpresture save that the wharves were lengthened and extended towards the current of water and this was permissible by all custom because thus their lands and tenements could be protected against the sea ebbing and flowing night and day, and in the current of the Thames they placed no wharf save that they ought and might to the advantage of the king and the City and of the great ships fully loaded coming towards the City because the water is so deep and the current so strong that [the channel] could not be extended further nor at any time before the wharves were made.
344. Capitulum. Querunt justiciarii quo warranto cives Londoniarum hospitare fecerunt super Pontem Londoniarum. Civitas respondit quod ex elemosinis civium Londoniarum maxima pars fabrice Pontis sustinetur et maxime ex eisdem elemosinis custodes eiusdem Pontis et fratres shopas super dictum Pontem edificaverunt ad sustentacionem et emendacionem fabrice Pontis, non tamen ad deterioracionem vie quia via Pontis undique satis larga est, (fn. 8) et transeuntes per Pontem securius et audacius se habent cum eodem transitum facere oporteat super Pontem pro mananciis ibidem edificatis.
Article. The justices ask by what warrant the citizens of London built upon London Bridge. The City answered that for the most part the fabric of the bridge was maintained by the alms of the citizens of London, and the wardens and brethren of the bridge built mostly from those alms upon the same bridge shops for the maintenance and improvement of the fabric; this did not however cause the deterioration of the street which is sufficiently wide everywhere and those crossing by the bridge do so the more securely and boldly for the buildings built thereon.
345. Memorandum. Die Jovis ante diem Pentecostes Alwredus de Pincebeke ostendit justiciariis ad placita corone coram maiore Londoniarum et aliis civibus ibidem presentibus, quod Johannes de Coudre eo tempore quo fuit vicecomes eum iniuste imprisonavit. Johannes vero dixit quod incarceracionem illius noluit, nec potuit negare nam iuste eum imprisonavit, dicens quod cum uxor et familia dicti Alwredi imprisonati essent apud Neugate per appellacionem cuiusdam judei de morte uxoris eiusdem judei et ipse Alwredus qui absens erat tune temporis veniret de nundinis de Lenne, Johannes ab eodem plegium exigebat et ipse nolens plegium invenire extraxit knypulum ut se defenderet contra ballivum. Justiciarii dixerunt: qua de causa exigistis ab eis plegium cum non esset in Civitate quando illa dicta judea deberet interfici. Johannes dixit: Ego interrogavi ab eo plegium. Et cum extraxit knypulum, ego cepi manum suam cum knypula, qua de causa ilium incarceravi. Justiciarii dixerunt: nullam causam habuisti ad exigendum plegium de [dicto] (fn. 9) Alwredo et quia ipse negat quod traxit knypulum, debet esse ad legem suam, et datum est ei iudicium per cives quod in crastino se purget vij a manu. In crastino vero venit dictus Alwredus cum lege sua et se purgavit sacramentaliter de illo facto. Justiciarii autem demandaverunt inde judicium. (fn. 10) Reginaldus de Bungeye pro Civitate dixit quod Johannes de Cudres est in misericordia domini regis et quod custodiatur quia imprisonavit dictum Alwredum, qui se purgavit de extraccione knypuli quam ei imposuit. Justiciarii dixerunt quod nullus ballivus de lure debet vel potest ab aliquo plegium exigere sine causa rationabili. Item si aliquem iniuste imprisonaverit et inde quietus fuerit erit in misericordia domini regis. Et sciendum quod equitas judicii est quod dictus ballivus ponatur in eadem prisona et ibi remaneat per quantitatem temporis quo alius imprisonatus fuerit. Item justiciarii dixerunt civibus propter honorem Civitatis: Concede quod iste Johannes non sit modo imprisonatus set tradatur vobis in ballio donee inde locuturus fuero cum rege.
Be it remembered on Thursday before Pentecost Alfred of Pinchbeck showed the justices of pleas of the crown before the mayor of London and other citizens there present that John de Coudres in the time that he was sheriff unjustly imprisoned him. John however says that he did not wish the incarceration nor can he deny that he justly imprisoned him saying that when the wife and family of Alfred were imprisoned at Newgate by the appeal of a Jew for the death of his wife and Alfred who was then absent returned from the fair of Lynn John demanded a pledge from him and he not wishing to find a pledge drew his knife that he might defend himself against the bailiff. The justices said: Why did you exact a pledge from him when he was not in the City when the said Jewess was said to have been killed ? John said: I asked him for a pledge and when he drew his knife I seized his hand with the knife for which cause I imprisoned him. The justices said: You had no cause to exact a pledge from the said Alfred and since he denies that he drew his knife he ought to have his law and judgment is given by the citizens that on the morrow he should purge himself seven-handed. On the morrow Alfred came with his law and he purged himself by oath of that deed; but the justices demanded a judgment thereupon. Reginald of Bungay for the City said that John de Coudres is in the king's mercy and is in custody because he imprisoned the said Alfred who purged himself of the extraction of a knife which he accused him of. The justices said that no bailiff by right ought or could exact a pledge from anyone without reasonable cause. Item if he unjustly imprisoned anyone who was quit thereof he shall be in the king's mercy. And be it known that by equity the said bailiff should be placed in the same prison and remain there for the same time as the other was imprisoned. Item the justices said to the citizens on account of the honour of the City: I grant that this John shall not now be imprisoned but shall be handed over to you in bail until I have discussed the matter with the king.
346. Memorandum quod justiciarii dixerunt in die precedenti quod comites, barones et libere tenentes possunt de iure rusticos suos ponere in cypro, set non in ferro, set si eisdem liceat vendere rusticos suos sicut boves et vaccas, non possunt nec debent illos interficere, maymiare nec vulnerare, quia corpora et membra rusticorum tantumodo domini regis sunt.
Be it remembered that the justices said on the preceding day that earls, barons and free tenants may lawfully put their serfs in copper but not in iron; but if they like they may sell their serfs like oxen or cows but they may not kill them, maim them or wound them 1 cause the bodies and members of the serfs belong only to the king.
347. Memorandum quod, cum maior Londoniarui die Lune post festum Sancti Barnabe calumpniasset, sicut antea pluries campniavit, in presentibus placitis de hoc quod justiciarius fecit irrotulari oncordiam de quadam convencione ad placita terre spectante factam izer priorem hospitalis Sancti Thome ultra Pontem et Petrum filium Rojeri, dicit quod illa inrotulacio ad magnum dampnum libertatis Londo iarum in futuris temporibus posset contingere. Justiciarii dixerunt: Hoc quod nos irrotulari fecimus non est ad preiudicium libertatis Londoniarum, quia nulla appellacio sive responsio de placitis terre hic facta est unde iudicium emergere debeat aut aliquis debeat in misericordiam incidere.
Be it noted that since the mayor of London or the Monday after the feast of St. Barnabas [13 June 1244] complained as he had previously several times complained in the present pleas that a justice caused to be enrolled the agreement relating to the plea of landmade between the prior of the hospital of St. Thomas beyond the Bridge and Peter fitz Roger, he says that the enrolment could in future times be very detrimental to the liberty of London. The justices said: What we have caused to be enrolled is not to the prejudice of the liberty of London because no appeal or answer to pleas of land is made here whence a judgement cuoght to emerge nor can it cause anyone to fall into mercy.