Memorials of London and London Life in the 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries. Originally published by Longmans, Green, London, 1868.
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Complaint of the Potters, as to frauds committed in their trade.
Be it remembered, that on the Monday next after the Feast of St. Matthias [24 February] in the 9th year of the reign of King Edward, son of King Edward, came the good folks of the trade of potters of London, (fn. 1) and shewed unto Stephen de Abyndone, Mayor of London, and to the Aldermen, that many persons who busy themselves both with buying and selling pots of brass, and more especially one Aleyn le Sopere, buy in divers places pots of bad metal, and then put them on the fire so as to resemble pots that have been used, and are of old brass; and then they expose them for sale in Westchepe on Sundays and other festival days, to the deception of all those who buy such pots: for the moment that they are put upon the fire, and become exposed to great heat, they come to nothing, and melt. By which roguery and falsehood the people are deceived, and the trade aforesaid is badly put in slander. Wherefore they pray that the Mayor and the Aldermen will ordain some remedy against the knavery before-mentioned.
By reason whereof, the said Mayor and Aldermen commanded that the aforesaid good folks of the trade should choose four dealers and four founders of their trade, the most trustworthy and the most knowing, for making a certain assay what alloy of lead (fn. 2) belongs to the hundredweight of brass, of whatsoever quality such lead may be: that so all the workmen in the trade might from henceforth work according to such [standard].
Whereupon, there were chosen William de Bristouwe, John de Hadham, Walter de Brochtone, and Robert de Herford, dealers in the said trade; Henry in the Lane, John atte Marche, William de Alegate, and Robert de Raughtone, founders and workers of pots: the which persons made oath that well and lawfully they would make the assay aforesaid, and lawfully on the Friday next ensuing present the same.
Upon which day the aforesaid jurors came, and said that to the hundredweight of common copper (fn. 3)—
Punishment inflicted for selling light bread deficient in weight.
Godfrey Le Rede was attached, with his bread, on the Wednesday next after the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist [25 April], in the 9th year, and his bread was weighed and adjudicated upon, before Stephen de Abyndone, Mayor, and certain of the Aldermen. And it was found that the penny loaf of light bread of the said Godfrey weighed 15s. and was wanting of its right weight to the amount of 8s. 2¼d. And upon this, he said that he did not make the loaf aforesaid, nor had he any share therein for gain or for loss; and he put himself upon the country as to the same.
And the country came, (fn. 4) by John de Kyngyestone, pelterer, and others in the panel named. Who, being sworn, said upon their oath, that Godfrey aforesaid is partner with John de Jernemue and Robert de Donstaple, bakers, who keep a bakehouse without Neugate, just opposite to Cokkeslane; (fn. 5) and that he shares with them in the said bakehouse, and is their oven-man. (fn. 6) Therefore it was adjudged that he should have the punishment of the hurdle. (fn. 7) And he is now so punished for the first time.
Punishments inflicted for selling bread deficient in weight, and of bad materials.
On the Saturday next before the Feast of the Invention of the Holy Cross [3 May], in the 9th year of the reign of King Edward, son of King Edward, Richard de Lughteburghe was attached to make answer as to a certain false wastel loaf of his. And the same Richard said that he was not a baker, and that he did not have that wastel bread baked; but that, as a regrator, (fn. 8) he bought it of a certain baker who lives in Suthwerke. And upon this, he was charged by the Mayor and Aldermen with being in partnership with the baker aforesaid, in baking such bread, and sharing with him in the gain thereby, or loss, if such should happen: whereupon, being asked how he would acquit himself thereof, he said that he was not the partner of the said baker, nor had he any share with him; and he put himself upon the country as to the same. Therefore the country was summoned for the Tuesday next ensuing, and he was delivered into the custody of the Sheriffs, etc.
On which day the said Richard came, and the jury came by John de Estwode and others in the panel named. Which jurors said upon their oath, that the aforesaid Richard is a partner of the said baker, for gain upon baking the bread aforesaid. Therefore it was adjudged that he should have the punishment of the hurdle. And he was so punished now for the first time, because his loaf was wanting to the amount of 2s. 9d. in the proper weight of half a mark for the halfpenny wastel loaf.
Also, Alan de Lyndeseye, baker, was sentenced to the pillory, because he had been convicted of baking pain (fn. 9) demaign that was found to be of bad dough within, and good dough without. And because such falsity redounds much to the deception of the people who buy such bread, he was committed for punishment, etc.
Ordinance of the Pepperers of Soperelane.
"These are the points which the good folks of Soperelane, (fn. 10) of the trade of Pepperers, with the assent of Sir Stephen de Abyndone, Mayor of London, John de Gisorz, Nicholas de Farendone, and other Aldermen, have made for the common profit of all the people of the land; that is to say, Simon de Corp, John de Boreford, William Walrain, William de Bidik, William de Fourneys, Richard de Betoygne, Ralph le Balauncer, Philip Adryan, Adam de Salesbery, Thomas de Donleye, William de Coule, Henry de Gildeford, John de Grantham, Thomas de Helvetone, Thomas Hauteyn, John de Donleye, Robert Flori, William de Staunford, Simon de Norhamptone, Thomas le Carpenter, and Richard de Farneham, on the Wednesday next after the Feast of St. Philip and St. James [1 May], in the 9th year of the reign of King Edward, son of King Edward.—
"In the first place.—That no one of the trade, or other person in his name or for him, shall mix any manner of wares, that is to say, shall put old things with new, or new things with old, by reason whereof the good thing may be impaired by the old; nor yet, things of one price, or of one sort, with other things of another price, or of another sort.
"Also,—that no person shall dub (fn. 11) any manner of wares;—that is to say, by putting in a thing that was in another bale, and then dressing the bale up again in another manner than the form in which it was first bought; so as to make the ends of the bale contain better things than the remainder within the bale: by reason whereof the buyer may be deceived, and so lose his goods.
"Also,—that no one shall moisten any manner of merchandize, such as saffron, alum, ginger, cloves, and such manner of things as may admit of being moistened; that is to say, by steeping the ginger, or turning the saffron out of the sack and then anointing it, or bathing it in water; by reason whereof any manner of weight may be increased, or any deterioration arise to the merchandize.
"Also,—that every vendor shall give to his buyer the thing that is on sale by the hundredweight of 112 pounds to the hundred, 15 ounces to go to every pound; save only, things that are confected, or things powdered. And such things confected and powdered are to be sold by the 12 ounces, the same as always has been the custom. Also, that all their weights shall agree, the one with the other."
Punishments inflicted for selling bread of rotten materials, and deficient in weight.
Alan De Lyndeseye, (fn. 12) baker, and Thomas de Patemere, baker, were taken and brought before the Mayor and Aldermen at the Guildhall, on the Monday next after the Feast of St. John Port Latin [6 May], in the 9th year, with bread of theirs made of false, putrid, and rotten materials; through which, persons who bought such bread were deceived, and might be killed. Therefore they were handed over for punishment by the pillory.
On the Thursday next after the Feast of the Holy Trinity in the 9th year, the halfpenny loaf of light bread of Agnes Foting of Stratford was found wanting 7 shillings (fn. 13) in weight. Therefore it was adjudged that her bread should be forfeited, and given to the prisoners in Neugate; because her husband did not come to avow (fn. 14) the bread.
Punishment inflicted for selling bread deficient in weight.
On the Saturday next after the Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle [3 July], in the 9th year, the penny loaf of light bread of John in the Lane, baker, dwelling in Suthwerk, which ought to weigh 21s. 8d., was found deficient to the amount of 3s. 5d. in weight. And upon this, being asked if he would avow that bread, he said that he is not his own baker, nor was the bread taken in his house: and as to this, he put himself upon the country. And Roger atte Watre, the Serjeant, said that the bread aforesaid was the bread of the said John, and baked in his house, and by him sold to the regrators in the City; and this he offered to prove for the King, etc. And the said John said that it was not so, and put himself upon the country as to the same. Therefore the country was summoned for Friday etc.; and the said John was delivered to the Sheriff, to be kept until etc.
Afterwards, on the Friday aforesaid, the jury which remained to be taken as to the said John, was placed in respite until the following Saturday, for default of jurors. And the serjeant was ordered to bring together so many and such men etc., (fn. 15) by whom etc. (fn. 15) Upon which day the jurors appeared, by John de Wymondeham and others in the panel named; which jurors said, upon their oath, that the aforesaid John in the Lane did make the bread aforesaid, and that it was stamped with his usual seal etc., and that the same bread he sent into the City to be sold. Therefore it was adjudged that he should have the punishment of the hurdle. And he is now so punished for the first time.
Punishment inflicted for selling bread deficient in weight.
The maslin (fn. 16) halfpenny loaf of Gilbert Pany, which ought to weigh 28s., was found deficient to the amount of 3s. 10d., on the Saturday next before the Feast of St. Martin [11 November], in the 10th year of the reign of King Edward, son of King Edward. And upon this, the said Gilbert appeared, and avowed that bread as his own; but he said that because the flour of which he made that bread, had been drenched when coming by water from the mill, he had baked the same bread to sell it at the rate of two loaves for three farthings, and had made other loaves at three farthings each, and in no other way had he sold the same; and as to this he put himself upon the country. Therefore by the country inquisition was to be made. And the jury was summoned from the venue of St. Swithin's Lane, Candelwikstrete, for the Tuesday next ensuing; and the same Gilbert was delivered to the Sheriff, safely etc.
Upon which day the said Gilbert came, and the jury appeared, by William de Camerwelle and others in the panel named. Who, being sworn, said upon their oath that the said Gilbert made the loaf aforesaid to sell for one halfpenny, and some others of the same dough for one penny, and not for three farthings, as he says etc.
And because it was found that he had been twice drawn on the hurdle, and was now for the third time found in default, it was adjudged that he should be drawn now for the third time, and should then forswear the trade of a baker in the City for ever. And he did abjure it before the Mayor and Aldermen in full Court, etc.