Memorials of London and London Life in the 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries. Originally published by Longmans, Green, London, 1868.
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Bread of Stratford seized, as being deficient in weight.
On the Monday next before the Feast of St. Hilary [13 January] in the third year of the reign of Edward, son of King Edward, the bread of Sarra Foting, Christina Terrice, Godiyeva Foting, Matilda de Bolingtone, Christina Prichet, Isabella Sperling, Alice Pegges, Johanna de Cauntebrigge, and Isabella Pouveste, bakeresses of Stratford, (fn. 1) was taken by Roger le Paumer, Sheriff of London, and weighed before the Mayor and Aldermen; and it was found that the halfpenny loaf weighed less than it ought by eight shillings. (fn. 2)
But seeing that the bread was cold, and ought not to have been weighed in such state, by the custom of the City, it was agreed that it should not be forfeited this time. But in order that such an offence as this might not pass unpunished, it was awarded as to bread so taken, that three-halfpenny loaves should always be sold for a penny; but that the bakeresses aforesaid should this time have such penny.
Grant of the Small Beam for weighing Silk, at the royal request.
Be it remembered, (fn. 3) that on Friday the Feast of the Apostles Philip and James [1 May], in the third year of the reign of King Edward, son of King Edward, a letter of our Lord the King, under the Privy Seal, was directed to the Mayor and Aldermen of London, in behalf of Richard de Redynge, in these words.—
"Edward, (fn. 4) by the grace of God, King of England, Lord of Ireland, and Duke of Aquitaine, to the Mayor and to the Aldermen of London, greeting. We do especially pray you, that unto our well-beloved Richard de Redynge, for whom the Queen of England, our most dear partner, has made prayer to you heretofore, as we have heard, that you would grant unto him the small beam for silk (fn. 5) in the City of London, you will be as gracious and as favourable as you may, in good manner, that so he may be able to congratulate himself thereon, and that we may hold ourselves obliged to you for the same. Given under our Privy Seal, at Windesore, the 14th day of April, in the 3rd year of our reign."
And in like manner, (fn. 6) a letter of our Lady the Queen was sent to the said Mayor and Aldermen on the Friday aforesaid, in these words.—
"Isabel, by the grace of God, Queen of England, Lady of Ireland, and Duchess of Aquitaine, to our well-beloved the Mayor and the Aldermen of London, greeting and regard. (fn. 7) In behalf of our well-beloved Richard de Redynge, we do pray and request you affectionately that, for love of us, you will grant unto him the keepership of the small beam for silk in London, to hold the same, with the profits and the issues which may arise therefrom; he rendering for the same keepership as much as others have done, who have held it in time past, if you will do as much herein, as you fairly may; that so the said Richard may perceive that [his suit has been furthered] by our prayers; and by reason thereof we may hold ourselves obliged for the same. May God have you in his keeping. Given at Westminster, the 20th day of March."
And upon this, (fn. 8) the commonalty of the City aforesaid being called together, before Thomas Romain, Mayor, John de Wengrave, John de Windesore, and others of the Aldermen, at the request of our Lord the King and the Queen aforesaid, the small beam for silk in London was granted unto Richard de Redynge, to hold the same for one year, from the Feast aforesaid of the Apostles Philip and James, at the will of the said Mayor, and Aldermen, and commonalty, for ten pounds, to be paid in the Chamber of the Guildhall, at the four terms of the year usual in London, in equal parts.
Also, in favour of the requests made by the King and Queen before-named, by consent of the said Mayor and Aldermen, 100 shillings of the said ten pounds for the year aforesaid are remitted unto the said Richard. And that he will faithfully pay the said ferm (fn. 9) at the usual terms, the said Richard found a surety, namely, William de Lillo, here in the Guildhall present before the Mayor and Aldermen aforesaid, acknowledging that he is severally bound to payment of the said ferm for the said Richard, all of his goods being bound thereunto.
Afterwards, on the Monday next after the Feast of the Apostles Philip and James aforesaid, the said Richard was sworn that he would well and trustily weigh, for all buyers and sellers, those things which unto the said beam pertain.
Afterwards, on the quinzaine of St. Michael, (fn. 10) the beam aforesaid was taken into the hands of the City, and remained in the Chamber until the Friday next after the Feast of St. Edmund the Archbishop [16 November], next ensuing: upon which day it was delivered to the said Richard de Redynge, to hold in manner aforesaid, in presence of the Mayor and certain Aldermen there assembled.
Afterwards, (fn. 11) on the Wednesday next before the Feast of Easter, in the sixth year of the reign of King Edward, son of King Edward, Richard de Redyng came before John de Gisorz, Mayor, and John de Wengrave and other Aldermen; and, in presence of certain of the good men of the commonalty, said that when the said beam was delivered to him to ferm, all those who bought silk had to come to that beam, as well with dyed silk as with raw; and also, that woven silks, (fn. 12) bought by weight, were bound to be weighed by the said beam; whereas now, those buying silk and silk cloths do not care to come to the said beam; for which reason, he cannot reach the amount of the ferm aforesaid. Wherefore, consideration being had thereunto, as also, at the instance of Sir Ingelard de Warle, (fn. 13) it was conceded to him that in future he should hold the same for 50 shillings yearly, to be paid at the four terms of the year.
And be it remembered, that all arrears which the said Richard owed from the beginning, when he received the said beam, unto the Feast of the Apostles Philip and James [1 May] last past, namely, in the sixth year, at the instance of the said Sir Ingelard, were remitted for the sum of four pounds; which he paid to John le Mazeliner, the Chamberlain, and was acquitted thereof.
Inventory of goods seized in Coopers' shops.
On the Saturday next after the Feast of the Invention of the Holy Cross [3 May], in the third year of the reign of King Edward, son of King Edward, there were taken (fn. 14) from Robert le Cuver, (fn. 15) two greatcuves, (fn. 16) value 19s.; one lathe and one lathoke, (fn. 17) value 18d.; one aletonne, (fn. 18) value 18d.; nine hoops, value 5d.;—total, 32s. 4d.
Also, on the same day, there were taken from Alice, the relict of Walter le Cuver, one cumelin (fn. 19) and one tyne, (fn. 20) value 6d.; one aletonne, value 8d.; one barrel, value 8d.; four cuves, value 5d.; four schoiebordes, (fn. 21) value 8d.; one iron and one lathyre, value 3d.; two lathestokkes, value 2s. 6d. Also, two old lathes, value 6d.; and four buckettes, value 12d.;—total, 7s. 2d.
Market forbidden to be held in Chepe, but to be held only on Cornhulle.
On the Saturday next after the Nativity of St. John the Baptist [24 June], in the third year of the reign of King Edward, son of King Edward, it was ordered that proclamation should be made throughout the City, in these words.—
"It is ordered and commanded on the King's behalf, that no man or woman shall be so daring or so bold as from henceforth to hold a common market for any manner of merchandize in the highway of Chepe after the hour of None, (fn. 22) as heretofore they have done; nor yet in any other place within the City, save only upon Cornhulle; and that, from Matins until the hour of None, and not after: on pain of forfeiture of the goods so carried there to sell, by way of holding common market there."
Writs for inquisition as to alleged appropriation of a house in Scholane.
"To his dearly-beloved the Sheriffs of London, Walter de Gloucestre, Escheator of our Lord the King on this side of Trent, greeting. On behalf of our Lord the King, we do command you that you cause to come before us, or the person holding our place, at the Church of St. Brigid (fn. 23) without Lutgate, on the Saturday next after the Feast of the Translation of St. Thomas the Martyr [7 July], eighteen good and lawful men of the venue (fn. 24) of Scholane (fn. 25) in the Ward without Lutgate; to make inquisition, on oath, as to a certain tenement, with its appurtenances, in Scholane, which the Abbot of Rievaulx (fn. 26) is said to have appropriated without leave of our Lord the King, and to ascertain the truth more fully thereupon; according to the tenor of a mandate of our Lord the King unto us directed thereon. And you are to have there the names of those whom you shall have so made to appear, and this writ. Given at Westminster, the 8th day of July, in the fourth year of the reign of King Edward."
Because this writ had been perpetrated against the custom of the City, therefore it was agreed by Thomas Romayn, Mayor, Nicholas de Farndone, John de Wengrave, and other Aldermen there assembled, that the same should be returned,—it had come too late, etc. And they agreed to keep the Sheriffs indemnified etc. And be it known, that the said writ was delivered to the Sheriffs on the Thursday preceding.
"—at the Church of St. Bride without Ludegate, on the Thursday next after the Feast of St. Edward the Confessor [13 October] eighteen good and lawful men of the Ward (fn. 27) of Fletestrete; to make inquisition, on oath, as to a certain tenement, with its appurtenances, in Scholane, which once belonged to Matilda de Champeville, and which the Abbot of Rievaulx has appropriated to himself and his house, as it is said; to ascertain the truth more fully thereupon. And you are to have there the names of those whom you shall have so made to appear, and this writ. Given at Westminster, the 10th day of October, in the fourth year of King Edward (fn. 28)."
Royal Letter in behalf of the Canons, Vicars, and other ministers, of the Church of St. Paul.
Edward, by the grace of God etc., to the Mayor and Sheriffs of London, greeting. Whereas we have taken under our protection and our special defence our dearly beloved in Christ the Canons of the Church of St. Paul in London, and the Vicars and other ministers of the same church, their men, lands, things, rents, and all their possessions, forbidding all and singular persons and person, to do them any injury, harm, damage, or grievance. And if any forfeiture shall have accrued unto them, then amends are to be forthwith made unto them for the same. We do therefore command you that you do not commit, or, so far as in you lies, suffer to be committed, upon the same Canons, Vicars, or other the ministers of the church aforesaid, any injury, harm, damage, or grievance. And if any forfeiture shall have accrued to them, or to any one of them, you are to cause reasonable amends and due satisfaction to be made to them for the same: so behaving yourselves in this behalf, that the same Canons, Vicars, and ministers, may be enabled the more tranquilly to attend to divine worship in the said church; and that so no complaint may come to us for your default, whereby we may have reason for laying a heavy hand upon yourselves and your franchise. Witness myself, at Westminster, the 18th day of July, in the fourth year of our reign."
Proclamation that Tailors shall not scour furs in Chepe.
"Whereas oftentimes heretofore it has been forbidden, on behalf of the King, and of the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of London, that tailors who have the furs of good folks to scour, should scour them [otherwise than] at night, or just before daybreak; that so the great lords and good folks passing through Chepe, and in the other great streets of the City, might not, by such manner of scouring, be disturbed or delayed in passing. And whereas they have not yet left off scouring furs in Chepe and in others of the great streets; by reason whereof great mischiefs and strife have arisen, and may easily arise, unto the good folks of the said city;—it is ordained, with the assent of the Treasurer of our Lord the King, and on behalf of the King commanded, that no tailor or pelterer (fn. 29) shall be so daring or so bold as to scour furs, otherwise than at night, or just before daybreak. And if perchance it shall happen that any tailor has so much to do, that by reason of the great press of business for our Lord the King, or for some other great lord, he is obliged to scour furs by day, then let him scour them in some dead lane, (fn. 30) such as behind St. Martin's le Grand, or near the London Wall, where no great lords are passing, either going or coming; and whereby no dispute may arise. And if any person shall be found doing against this ordinance, let his body be attached and sent to prison; and there let him remain, so that he be not delivered without especial command of our Lord the King."
Oath made by the Keeper of the Conduit in Chepe.
William Hardy came on Saturday the Eve of All Hallows [1 November] in the fourth year, before Sir Richer de Refham, the Mayor, and other Aldermen, and made oath that he will well and trustily, with the greatest diligence, cause the Conduit in Chepe to be kept, so that neither brewers nor fishmongers shall waste the water thereof: nor will he sell the water thereof to any one, by night or by day, on peril of losing his freedom, etc.
Turners sworn not to make false measures for liquids.
Henry the turner, (fn. 31) dwelling in Wodestrete, Richard the turner, John the turner in St. Swithin's Lane Candelwikstrate, Robert the turner, dwelling at Flete, William the turner, without the Gate of Bisshopesgate, Richard le Corveiser, (fn. 32) dwelling in Wodestrate;—all the persons aforesaid were sworn on the Saturday next before the Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle [21 December] in the fourth year of the reign of King Edward, son of King Edward, before the Mayor and Aldermen, that in future they will not make any other measures than gallons, potells, (fn. 33) and quarts; and that they will make no false measures, such as the measures called "chopyns" (fn. 34) and "gylles;" nor will they make them in the shape of boxes or of cups, or in any other manner. And that all such false measures, of whatever kind they may be, and wheresoever they may be found, whether in the hands of turners, or in any other place whatsoever, in the hands of foreigners as well as of freemen, they will attach, and will cause the same to be brought to the Guildhall, before the Mayor, and present the same, on pain of heavy amercement, etc.
Compromise for an insult offered to an Alderman.
Whereas a certain dispute had arisen between Richard de Gloucestre, Alderman, (fn. 35) on the one side, and Roger de Eure, ironmonger, [on the other], because the same Roger had made an assault upon the aforesaid Richard, and had basely and maliciously insulted him; at length, the said parties appearing in the Guildhall before Sir Richer, (fn. 36) the Mayor, and the Aldermen, in the month of December in the fourth year, peace was made between them in this manner, namely;—
The said Roger acknowledged that he was guilty of the trespass imputed to him, and, at the request of common friends intervening, the aforesaid Richard forgave the said Roger all manner of trespass etc. And for such forgiveness the said Roger pledged to the same Richard one pipe of wine, value 40s., the same at his good pleasure to be received. And the said Richard thereupon released to the before-named Roger that pipe of wine, on this condition, namely;—that if the same Roger should commit a trespass against the aforesaid Richard, or any other Alderman, the same on the testimony of trustworthy men being lawfully proved, then the said pipe of wine should, without any gainsaying, be paid over to the said Richard. And to this the said Roger readily agreed.
Royal writ for the punishment of dilapidators of the City Wall, Gates, and Posterns.
4 Edward by the grace of God [etc.], to the Mayor and Sheriffs of London, greeting. Whereas we have heard that certain misdoers and disturbers of our peace have of late maliciously broken the wall and certain gates and posterns of the city aforesaid, for the security and defence of the same, and of the people dwelling therein, built; and have taken and carried away stone from the wall, and timber from the gates and posterns aforesaid, in contempt of ourselves, and to the detriment of our city aforesaid, and the manifest peril of all dwelling therein;—We, being unwilling to leave such trespass and contempt unpunished, do command you, that you make diligent inquisition as to the names of such misdoers, on the oath of good and lawful men of the city aforesaid, by whom the truth of the matter may be best ascertained. And all those who shall happen to be found guilty thereof, you are to compel to make restitution in due manner of the things carried away; and also, you are so to chastise them for their offences, that such chastisement may cause fear to them and to others of again so offending. Witness myself, at Berwick upon Tweed, the 6th day of December, in the 4th year of our reign."
Punishment of the Pillory, for pretending to be a serjeant of the Sheriffs of London.
William de Croton, of the County of Suffolk, was attached for pretending to be a serjeant of the Sheriffs of London. Meeting Richolda of Stratford and Mabel of Stratford, bakeresses, who were bringing bread to the City with their carts, for sale, he arrested the carts of the said Richolda and Mabel, until they had paid him a fine, he taking ten pence from the said Mabel as such fine; to the great loss of the bakeresses aforesaid, and the manifest scandal of the Sheriffs and their Serjeants.
And the said William appeared, and, on being accused of the matters aforesaid, he could not gainsay the same; and it was awarded that he should have the punishment of the pillory. And precept was given to the serjeant that he should stand near the pillory, and proclaim the cause why such judgment was given against William aforesaid.
Writ, enjoining the prevention of certain crimes and misdeeds in the City.
"Edward, (fn. 37) by the grace of God etc., to the Mayor and Sheriffs of London, greeting. Whereas we have understood that many robberies, murders, and divers other trespasses, are perpetrated, maintained, and iniquitously upheld, by procurers and procuresses, common bawds, in divers hostels and other places, dwelling in our city aforesaid, and the suburbs and precinct thereof; at the which we are exceedingly surprised, seeing that you, who are most strictly bound to have charge, as well decent as safe, of the said city and suburbs, not without negligence and default on your part, have hitherto allowed such crimes and misdeeds, and others like unto them, there to be perpetrated, maintained, and upheld; to the disgrace of ourselves, and the scandal of the city aforesaid, and the grievous peril of very many persons resorting to the said city and the suburbs thereof. We do therefore command you, on the fealty and love which unto us you are bound to owe, strictly enjoining, that to the matters aforesaid you find such remedy, and the defaults aforesaid you so cause to be corrected, that from thence unto ourselves, and to you, and to the city aforesaid, honour may accrue, and due safety be ensured unto the good men of our realm and all others who in the said city may have business to do. Witness myself, at Berwick upon Tweed, the 30th day of December, in the 4th year of our reign."