Chronicles of the Mayors and Sheriffs of London 1188-1274. Originally published by Trübner, London, 1863.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
At this time, about the Feast of Simon and Jude [28 October], it was provided that three Bishops should be chosen, unto whom should be given by his lordship the King and the Barons, full power of reasonably correcting all injuries done to the Church in this kingdom between Easter in the year of our Lord 1263 and the said time; a thing that the Barons conceded in good faith, and by their letters patent confirmed the same. And if any one should decline to be judged by the said Bishops, he was to be excommunicated, and by the lay power compelled to make satisfaction; and it was then provided, that such Bishops should collect all issues of benefices of aliens which had existed in contravention of the Provisions of Oxford, and should deposit the same in safety, until peace throughout the realm should be fully confirmed.
Be it remembered, that Thomas Fitz-Thomas, who in the preceding year had been elected Mayor, though he had not been admitted, still remained in office throughout the whole year: but in that year no Pleas of Land were pleaded, save only Pleas of Intrusion, as also Pleas on plaint made, which pertain to the (fn. 1)assizes ; nor was any Hustings held. Hence it was, that no affidavits as to tenements were sworn from foreign Courts, nor was any testament proved. The same Thomas also was again elected Mayor on the Feast of Simon and Jude [28 October], and on the morrow admitted by the King.
In this year, it was provided in the Hustings, on the morrow of All Souls [2 November], that all measures by which wine, ale, and other liquors, are sold, should be of the same dimensions, the mouth of the gallon being ordered to measure four inches across. On the same day, it was enacted and provided that no advocate should be an (fn. 2)essoiner in the Hustings, or in any other of the City Courts.
In this year, about the Nativity, the Barons of the March of Wales, who before had adhered to the King and had been with him at the battle of Liawes, and had afterwards fought at the head of a large army in the March aforesaid, committing depredations and many mischiefs, concluded peace at Gloucester, his lordship the King being there, as also the Earls of Leicester and Gloucester, and many other nobles. Some of these Barons however abjured the realm of England for a year and a day, to proceed to Ireland in exile, and there to stay the whole of the said year, their lands, tenements, and castles, remaining in the hands of the Earl of Leicester in the meantime. But after such year should have expired, and when the said Barons should have returned to England, they were to abide by the award of their peers, and to be bound to be at the sea-coast ready to cross over, on the twentieth day after our Lord's Nativity ; an arrangement which did not hold good.
This year, on the Octaves of Saint Hilary [13 January], there came to London, by summons of his lordship the King, all the Bishops, Abbots, Priors, Earls, [and] Barons, of the whole realm, as also the Barons of the Cinque Ports, [and] four men of every city and borough, to hold a Parliament; in which Parliament, on Saint Valentine's Day [14 February], it was made known in the Chapter-House at Westminster, that his lordship the King had bound himself by his charter, on oath, that neither he nor Sir Edward, would from thenceforth aggrieve, or cause to be aggrieved, the Earls of Leicester or Gloucester, or the citizens of London, or any of those who had sided with them, on pretence of any thing done in the time of the past commotions in the realm; and he thereby expressly gave orders, that the Charters of Liberties and of the Forest, which had been made in the ninth year of his reign, together with the other articles which had been enacted in the month of June in the eight-and-fortieth year of his reign, should be inviolably observed.
Afterwards, on the day before the Feast of Saint Gregory [12 March], Sir Edward and Henry of Almaine, who had surrendered themselves as hostages at the battle of Liawes, until peace should be restored in England, were delivered up to his lordship the King, free and quit, before all the people in the Great Hall at Westminster; and at the same time there were read certain letters obligatory of his lordship the King and Sir Edward, in which it is set forth how and under what penalties they, upon oath, had promised to maintain the peace and tranquillity of the realm. And then, nine Bishops, arrayed in pontificals, with lighted tapers, pronounced excommunicate all those who should presume to do aught against the Charters of Liberties and the Forest, or against the Statutes which had been enacted in the preceding year. There were also then read certain other letters of Sir Edward, in which, upon oath, he promised to surrender three castles which he held in the March of Wales; the same to be given, by counsel of his lordship the King, into the custody of men of the realm, not suspected, by them to be held for three whole years.
He further promised, that he would give due care that the knights of the March of Wales should duly fulfil what they had undertaken, and that if they should not, he would prove their deadly enemy, and, by force of arms, to the utmost of his power would compel them to do the same. He further promised, that for three years from the Easter next ensuing he would remain in England, and would not depart therefrom, without leave of the Council. He further promised, that he would not bring, or cause to bring, aliens into the realm of England; and that if any should come, and he by the Council of his lordship the King should be warned thereof, he would, to the utmost of his power, resist the same. And faithfully to observe all these things he bound himself, upon peril of all the lands, tenements, honours, and dignities, which he then possessed or should possess, if he should contravene any one of the articles aforesaid, and the same should be manifestly proved. And for the more sure observance thereof, Sir Henry of Almaine, of his own accord, offered himself as hostage for Sir Edward aforesaid, to remain in custody of Sir Henry de Montfort until Saint Peter's Chains [1 August]; and if, in the meantime, any army of aliens should prepare to come into England by force of arms, in such case the said Henry was to remain hostage in the same custody for Sir Edward, until the Feast of All Souls [2 November] then next ensuing; that so, in the meantime it might be ascertained how Sir Edward should be inclined to conduct himself as towards the aliens aforesaid. (fn. 3)
On the same day it was made known, that whereas his lordship the King, before the battle of Liewes, had by counsel of his advisers defied the Earls of Gloucester and Leicester, and those who adhered to them, it was now provided that all free men of the realm of England should do homage and fealty to him anew, saving however all articles in his letters obligatory, and in the letters of Sir Edward, contained.
After this, on the 17th day of March, the Mayor and Aldermen of London in the Church of Saint Paul did (fn. 4)fealty to his lordship the King, who was there present; and on the Sunday following, all persons in the City, of the age of twelve years and upwards, made the same oath, each before his own Alderman, in his own Ward.
Afterwards, between Easter and Pentecost there arose certain dissensions between the Earl of Gloucester and the Earl of Leicester, his lordship the King being then at Gloucester. For the Earl of Gloucester said, that many of the articles which had been prepared at Oxford and at Liawes, had not been fully observed; and those articles were put in writing by the said Earl. Whereupon, the aforesaid Earls of Gloucester and Leicester, upon oath and by their letters obligatory, submitted to the arbitration of the Bishop of Worcester, Sir Hugh le Despenser, Sir John Fitz-John, and Sir William de Munchensy; which arrangement however was not carried into effect.
In this year, by assent and consent of certain nobles of England, namely the Earl of Leicester and his sons, the men of the Cinque Ports roved about the sea in (fn. 5)keels and other vessels, plundering all those whom they found coming into England or leaving it; and they cruelly threw men overboard into the sea, sparing no one, whether English or aliens. Of all the plunder so acquired, the said Earl of Leicester and his sons received a third part, it was said.
Afterwards, on the Thursday in the week of Pentecost, Sir Edward departed from Hereford without leave, his lordship the King, the Earl of Leicester, and many other Earls and Barons, then being there; and took his departure in the direction of Chester.
After this, Sir Edward, accompanied by the Earl of Gloucester and the Barons of the March and others, as also the Earl of Warenne and William de Valence, who had recently landed at (fn. 6)Penbrok, took Gloucester and the Castle there. At this time, his lordship the King, listening to evil counsel, gave and granted unto Leuwelin, Prince of Wales, the greater part of the March, with the castles thereof, as also, lands and castles of orphans, who were under age and in guardianship: whereupon, Lewelin, as soon as ever he received seisin of any castle, at once levelled the same, to the very great loss and detriment of the realm of England. For the Welsh had never before entered into such a league with the English, nor ever will enter into any such, without fraud and estrangement through them thence ensuing. This gift his lordship the King made unto the said Lewelin, in order that he might give him aid against his son and his followers.
In the same year, upon the morrow of Saint Swithun [15 July], Simon de Montfort the Younger, with other Barons and their adherents, took and plundered Winchester, and destroyed the Jewry there; because the citizens would not admit them into the City without his lordship the King being present. After which, they laid siege to the Castle there; but, upon hearing rumours of the approach of Sir Edward, although he did not come, through fear they withdrew.
Be it remembered, that at the same time that the before-mentioned dissension arose between the said Earls of Gloucester and Leicester, it was provided and enacted among the Londoners, and confirmed by oath of every person of twelve years and upwards, that the peace of his lordship the King should be strictly observed within the City and without; and that if any person should contravene the same, and should be convicted thereof, he should immediately undergo capital punishment, notwithstanding any franchise that he might possess; and this was proclaimed throughout all the City, as also by letters patent of the commons of the City, published in the four adjoining Counties, in all hundreds and vills within a distance from London of five-and-twenty miles: wherefore, certain persons who had followed the army of Simon de Montfort the Younger to London, and who had been convicted of the commission of robberies in (fn. 7)Stebenhe and (fn. 8)Hackenheie, were hanged, about the Feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul [29 June].
After this, on the night after Saint Peter's Chains [1 August], Sir Edward, the Earl of Warenne, William de Valence, and their adherents, came with a strong armed force, to (fn. 9)Kenelworthe, and there found all the army of Simon de Montfort the Younger buried in sleep. Upon this, Sir Edward caused immediate proclamation to be made, that no one of his people should slay any of the army of the said Simon; but that they should be taken alive. Accordingly, there were captured there the Earl of Oxford, William de Munchensy, Adam de Newmarket, Baldwin Wake, Hugh de Nevile, and many others, Barons, knights, and serjeants, all of whom were carried prisoners to Gloucester, having lost their horses and arms, and all their harness. As to Simon before-named, he and certain others, taking to flight, threw themselves into the Castle of Kenelworthe; while as many as were able, took to flight and escaped.
Be it observed, that his lordship the King, with the Earl of Leicester and his adherents, had been staying at Hereford for many weeks, being unable to pass the Severn, as all the bridges had been broken down by Sir Edward and the Earl of Gloucester; the said Edward, and the Earl and the Barons of the March of Wales, with their army, preventing the King from crossing over with his troops. At last, while the said Edward was with his army at Kenelworthe, as already mentioned, his lordship the King, with his forces, crossed the Severn at Worcester on the morrow of Saint Peter's Chains [1 August], which (fn. 10)day then fell upon a Sunday. After this, on the Tuesday following, such Tuesday being the third day after the Chains, and the fourth of August, they arrived at (fn. 11)Hevesham, where Sir Edward and the Earl of Gloucester surprised them with all their army; and on the same day, the two parties engaging without the said town, the said Edward and the Earl of Gloucester gained the victory, and the Earl of Leicester and his eldest son, Henry, were slain; Hugh le Despenser also, and Peter de Montfort, and all the Barons and knights who had adhered to them, were slain, a few only excepted, who however were badly wounded and made prisoners. It was said also, that many knights and men-at-arms on that side were slain, while on the other side but very few lost their lives.
The head of the Earl of Leicester, it is said, was severed from his body, and his testicles cut off and hung on either side of his nose; and in such guise the head was sent to the wife of Sir Roger de Mortimer, at Wiggemor Castle. His hands and feet were also cut off, and sent to divers places to enemies of his, as a great mark of dishonour to the deceased; the trunk of his body however, and that only, was given for burial in the church of Evesham. On the same day and at the same hour that the battle took place, there was a very great tempest at London and elsewhere, accompanied with (fn. 12)coruscations, lightning, and thunder.
After this, when certain news was heard of the battle aforesaid, all the prisoners who had been taken at the battle of Liewes and put in the Tower of London and the Castle of Windleshores, were set at liberty and released without ransom. In like manner, the King of Almaine was liberated from the Castle of Kenelworthe, and all the other prisoners who had been taken by the said Earl of Leicester and his accomplices during the aforesaid disturbances in the realm of England.
After this, about the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Mary [8 September], his lordship the King held a Parliament at Winchester, where Simon de Montfort the Younger, who had a safe-conduct from his lordship the King and Sir Edward, appeared; but as he was not able at that season to make peace on his own terms, he withdrew and threw himself into the Castle of Kenelworthe, whither he had summoned many knights and men-at-arms, who still adhered to him. In the said Parliament, it was provided that all who were taken at Kenelworthe, as already noticed, as also those who were taken at the battle of Evesham, as well as the heirs of those who were slain there, should be disinherited, because, as it was said, they had in reality been against the King, although fighting together with him as following his standard. For it was resolved that he was not in full enjoyment of his power, after he had been taken at the battle of Liawes; but rather, under the rod and power of the Earl of Leicester, who did whatever he pleased with the King's seal, and all things pertaining unto the realm of England. His lordship the King also then recalled all donations of lands, churches, [and] prebends, which between the day of his capture and the day aforesaid he had granted; and all letters, charters, and writings, which he and his son had executed by compulsion throughout the whole time aforesaid, were recalled and made of no effect.