Memorials of London and London Life in the 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries. Originally published by Longmans, Green, London, 1868.
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Charge of using abusive language in the Mayor's Court.
On Tuesday the Eve of our Lord's Epiphany [6 January], in the 4th year of the reign of King Edward, son of King Edward, John de Winton, tawyer, gave pledge to Richer de Refham, Mayor, in one tun of wine; for that he, the same John, the day before, in presence of the said Mayor sitting in full Court, had called certain persons who were making plaint against him as to false measure of ale, "ribalds" and "false thieves:" of which the same John acknowledged himself to be guilty.
And Richer, the said Mayor, forgave the said John his trespass aforesaid; upon the understanding, namely, that if the said John should ever again be found guilty of a like offence, or of saying anything opprobrious or otherwise offensive, against any Alderman of the City, or Sheriff, then the cost of a tun of wine should be levied from his goods and chattels. And to this the said John of his own free will agreed.
Writ enjoining certain regulations as to the sale of wines within the City.
"Edward, by the grace of God, King of England, Lord of Ireland, and Duke of Aquitaine, to the Mayor, and to the Sheriffs, of London, greeting. For amendment of the dearness of wines, which of late has been in the City of London, and now is, more than ever it used to be, for the honour of ourselves, and for the profit of our people, be it ordained, by ourselves and by our Council, that no person whatsoever, freeman or stranger, among our customers of wines, (fn. 1) or any other person, butler of a great lord, or any other, save only our own butler, shall go to meet wines coming towards the City, by land or by water, to affeer (fn. 2) or to buy the same; but only after they have been unladen and stowed in a cellar of the City. And that our butler shall buy nothing, save only for our own use; nor yet any other person through him. And before they shall be so stowed away, let each tun be marked at one end and the other with the gauge mark; that so the buyer may readily see the default in such tun. And after the wines shall have been so stowed away, let them remain in quiet for three days, so as not to be shown, or put on sale for such three days; except it be to great lords and to other good folks, (fn. 3) for storing or for their use. And after three days, let the wines be sold to all persons who shall wish to buy them, and have so to do, according to what from of old has been wont to be done. And let no engrosser (fn. 4) of wine be a taverner, and no taverner be an engrosser, on pain of losing the wine. And Jet no taverner put his wine on sale by retail, until it shall have been assayed by the assayers, chosen and sworn thereto, and the assayers have set the value thereof, in form that follows, that is to say;—the Mayor and Aldermen shall cause eight or twelve good and lawful men to be chosen, who are the most skilled in wines, and shall make them swear well and lawfully to assay the wines in all the taverns of London, and in the suburbs of the liberties thereof; and they shall cause the tuns to be marked, each at its value, with the mark which shall thereunto be ordained, that is to say:—The gallon of the best wine to be sold at 5 pence, the next best at 4 pence, and the rest at 3 pence, per gallon, for this year, as to the sale of wine. And let every wine be set at its value without mixture; and let each tun be marked at the end in front, that so the buyer may readily see the value of the wine. And let every buyer see his wine drawn, that so he may not be deceived. And let no merchant, an engrosser of wines, keep a tavern himself, neither privily by any other person. nor yet openly, on pain of forfeiture, and losing the wine. And let no taverner be an engrosser of wine, under the same penalty, And as to the dregs of wines that remain in taverns, low down upon the lees, let the same be put into the wines of lower price And let the droppings of wines be thrown away, so as not to be put into any drink that has to enter man's body, on pain of imprisonment and of heavy ransom. And these points well and loyally to observe, let the taverners and their men be sworn under such other heavy penalties as can be inflicted. We de will, so far as in us lies, and do command you, strictly enjoining that these same ordinances that it should be further done as to the City and the suburbs aforesaid, and strictly to be observed in all the points aforesaid: save only, that we do not will that any cry although you are to cause such standard to be observed on sale according to the price fixed for wines this year. In witness whereof, we have caused these our letters patent to be made Witness, John de Sandale, our Treasurer, at Westminster, the 5th day of January, in the 4th year of our reign."
Oath exacted from the Renter as to the swine of the House of St. Antonine.
On Saturday after the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary [25 March], in the 4th year of King Edward, Roger de Winton, renter of the House of St. Antonine (fn. 5) in London, was sworn that from thenceforth he would avow (fn. 6) no swine, found wandering about the streets of the City, in the name of St. Antonine, as being alms given for motives of charity by any person to the said house; and that he would not put any bells on the necks of his own swine (fn. 7) or of others, either himself or by any other person: nor, to the utmost of his power, would he allow such bells to be put on any other swine than those which for charity should happen to have been given to the said house. And this, on the peril which was to ensue, etc.
Conviction for forestalment of lampreys.
Hugh Matfrey, fishmonger of London, was attached to answer our Lord the King, and the Mayor of London, because that he, the same Hugh, on the Monday next after the Feast of the Annunciation of Saint Mary [25 March] in the 4th year of the reign of King Edward, bought of Thomas Lespicer, of Portesmuth, six pots of lampreys of Nauntes, which the said Thomas had brought to London on the preceding Saturday, and stowed away in the house of the same Hugh, against the customs and ordinances used in the City; seeing that he ought to have exposed the same for sale immediately after his arrival, under the wall of St. Margaret's Church in Bridge Street, and there to have stood for the purpose of selling such lampreys, the next four days after his arrival; in such manner as is contained in a certain Black Book (fn. 8) of Memoranda of the time of Gregory de Rokesle, formerly Mayor: whereas he, the said Hugh, bought the said lampreys on the second day after their arrival, and that in his own house, against the customs and ordinances aforesaid, in forestalment, and to the no small damage, of the good men in the City dwelling. And he was asked how he would acquit himself thereof.
Whereupon, he appeared, and said that he was guilty thereof, and he put himself upon the favour of the Mayor as to the same. And the said Mayor, with the assent and will of the Aldermen, and at the instance of Sir John Devery, (fn. 9) wholly forgave the said Hugh, as well as the said Thomas, the trespass aforesaid.
And the said Thomas, touching the holy relics, (fn. 10) made oath that in future, when he should happen to come with lampreys to the City, whether his own or belonging to other persons, he would not sell them elsewhere than at the place appointed, and according to the ordinance aforesaid. And the aforesaid Hugh in like manner made oath that in future he would warn, or would cause to be warned, all foreign dealers bringing lampreys to the City, that they must expose them for sale in the place appointed, and according to the ordinance aforesaid; and that in future he would not buy any lampreys of them, against the ordinance aforesaid: and further, that in future he Would not shew contempt for the Mayor or Aldermen by any unbecoming words, or in any other way; under a penalty of 10 pounds, to the Chamber of Guildhall to be paid, in case he should be convicted thereof.
Letter to King Edward, with one thousand marks in aid of his war with Scotland.
"To the most noble Prince, and their very dear liege lord, our Lord the King of England, his lieges, Richer de Refham, Mayor of his city of London, and the commonalty of the same city, all manner of reverence, service, and honour, as unto their liege lord. Whereas, Sire, we have heard good news of you, Sire, and of your successful prosecution of your war in Scotland, God be thanked; we do send you, by the bearers of these letters, one thousand marks, in aid and in prosecution of your war; and we do pray you, as being our most dear lord, that you will be pleased to accept the same; and that, if aught shall please you as regards your said city, you will signify your will unto us, as being your liege men. Our Lord have you in his keeping, body and soul; and may he give you a good life, and long."
A horse seized from Reynald de Thonderle, for arrears on the King's tallage.
Be it remembered, that on the Monday next after the Feast of St. John Port Latin [6 May], in the 4th year of King Edward, son of King Edward, a certain white horse was taken from Reynald de Thonderle, (fn. 11) for two marks sterling which he owed to our Lord King Edward, on the tallage of 1000 marks, which were sent to him in the parts of Scotland in the 4th year of his reign, by the commonalty of the City; and the same was appraised in presence of Sir Richer de Refham, Mayor, John de Wengrave, Richard de Gloucestre, and other Aldermen, and Simon Corp, Sheriff, at 30 shillings, upon the oath of John Horn, Thomas le Noble, and John le Chaundeler.
And thereupon, there was given to the aforesaid Reynald until the Thursday then next ensuing, for redeeming the said horse. And in case he should not do so, then the collectors of the tallage aforesaid in the Ward of Douegate had orders given them to sell the same.
White-tawyers sworn not to flay horses within the City.
Walter le Whitawyer, John le Megucer, (fn. 12) Richard le Megucer, Richard de Houndesdiche, white-tawyers, were sworn before Richer de Refham, Mayor, and the Aldermen, on the Tuesday next before the Feast of our Lord's Ascension, in the 4th year of the reign of King Edward, son of King Edward, that they would never from thenceforth, themselves or by others, flay or cause to be flayed any dead horses within the City, or the suburbs thereof, on the peril which attaches thereto. And moreover, in case any one of the persons so sworn should in future perceive any one flaying, or causing to be flaved. any horse within the City, or the suburbs thereof, as afore said, he was immediately to intimate the same to the Mayor fo the time being, etc.
Process of Inquisition and Delivery, made in the time of Sir Richer de Refham, Mayor, as to misdoers, and trespassers, and nightwalker, in the City of London, against the pace of our Lord the King before the aforesaid Sir Richer, Mayor, Simon de Corp, one of the Sheriffs, Nicholas de Farendone, Thomas Romayn, and other Aldermen; on the Monday next before the Feast of St. Gregory (fn. 13) the Pope in the fourth year of the reign of King Edward, son of King Edward in the Guildhall of the said city, by writs of the King.
Elmer de Multone (fn. 14) was attached, for that he was indicted in the Ward of Chepe for being a common nightwalker, and in the day is wont to entice strangers and persons unknown to a tavern, and there deceive them by using false dice. And also, for that he was indicted in Tower Ward for being a bruiser and nightwalker, against the peace; as also, for being a common rorere. (fn. 15) And also, for that he was indicted in the Ward of Crepelgate for playing at dice, and for that he is wont to entice men to a tavern, and to make them play at dice there against their will. He appeared, and being asked how he would acquit himself thereof, he said that he was not guilty, and put himself upon the country as to the same. And the jury came, by Adam Trugge and others on the panel; and they said upon their oath that he is guilty of all the trespasses aforesaid. Therefore he was committed to prison, etc.
John de Rokeslee was attached, for that he was indicted in the Ward of Vintry and divers other Wards, as being held suspected of evil, and of beating men coming into the City, against the peace of our Lord the King. And also, for that he was indicted in the Ward of Crepelgate and divers other Wards, as being a common nightwalker, against the peace, and unlawfully frequenting taverns in the city aforesaid, with harlots; against the custom of the City, and the peace of our Lord the King; and for that he is well clothed, and yet has no business by which to support himself; nor has he any rental, as he pretends to have. Also, for that he is wont to beat men, against the peace of our Lord the King, and that he does much mischief, and causes much mischief to be done, in the night-time, in the city aforesaid. He appeared, and being asked how he would acquit himself thereof, he said that he was not guilty, and put himself upon the country as to the same. And the jury came, by Adam Trugge and others on the panel. The jurors said upon their oath, that the said John is guilty. Therefore he was committed to prison, etc.
Peter le Taverner, called "Holer," (fn. 16) was attached, for that he was indicted in Vintry Ward and other Wards, as being held suspected of evil, and as beating men, against the peace; and also, for being a misdoer and a nightwalker, against the peace, going with sword and buckler, and other arms; and also, for that he is elsewhere indicted in the Wardmote of Douegate as being a nightwalker, and one who beats men, and as causing much mischief to be done in the said city, against the peace of our Lord the King. He appeared, and being asked etc., he said that he was not guilty, and put himself upon the country as to the same. And the jurors said upon their oath, that the said Peter is guilty of all the trespasses aforesaid. Therefore he was committed to prison, etc.
John Blome, being attached for that he was indicted as a common wagabund (fn. 17) by night, for committing batteries and other mischiefs in the Ward of Aldresgate, and divers other Wards, against the peace of our Lord the King, appeared before the said Mayor and Aldermen, and Sheriff; and being asked how he would acquit himself thereof etc., he said that he was not guilty, and put himself upon the country as to the same. And the jurors said upon their oath, that the said John is guilty of the said trespasses etc. Therefore he was committed to prison. On the Thursday next before the Feast of Easter, in the fourth year, the said John was delivered on the surety of William de Suningham and others, who undertook that he should behave himself properly, and should be trusty, and do nothing against the peace of our Lord the King.
Richard Heryng, chaplain, (fn. 18) was attached, for that he was indicted in the Ward of Farndone and other Wards, as being a common nightwalker, against the peace of our Lord the King; and for that he was indicted in the Ward of Crepelgate and other Wards, as being a bruiser and nightwalker, etc. He appeared, etc. And the jurors said that the said Richard is not guilty of the trespasses aforesaid. Therefore he was to go acquitted thereof.
Master Roger le Skirmisour (fn. 19) was attached, for that he was itdicted for keeping a fencing-school for divers men, and for enticing thither the sons of respectable persons, so as to waste and spend the property of their fathers and mothers upon bad practices: the result being that they themselves became bad men. He appeared, etc. And the jurors said that he is guilty of the trespasses aforesaid. Therefore he was committed to prison, etc.
John Baroun was attached, for that he was indicted in the Ward of Basshieshawe for keeping open house by night, and receiving nightwalkers and players at dice. And John Vautort was attached, for that he was indicted in the said Ward as being of bad repute, etc. They appeared, etc. The jurors said that they are not guilty. Therefore they were to go acquitted thereof.
Edmund de Pelham and Richard de Pelham were attached, for that they were indicted in the Ward of Walebroke for being misdoers by night, and rorers, defrauding strangers; and in another Ward they were indicted in like manner. They appeared, and being asked how they would acquit themselves thereof, etc. The jurors said that Edmund de Pelham is a good man and a true, and is not guilty. Therefore he was acquitted. And they said upon their oath, that Richard aforesaid, son of the said Edmund, is guilty. Therefore he was committed to prison, until etc.
Simon Braban, the comrade of Elmer de Multone, was attached, for that he was indicted in the Ward of Walebroke for being a nightwalker, misdoer, and rorer, and for cheating strangers, etc. Richard, son of Gregory le Pastemakere, (fn. 20) was in like manner attached, for that he was indicted in the Ward of Bisshoppesgate for being a nightwalker. Thomas de Bery, son of William le Mariner, was attached, for that he was indicted in the Ward of Langebourne, as making a living out of his gains from the rorers, and as being their comrade etc. Stephen le Brayeler, (fn. 21) son of Roger le Brayeler, was attached, for that he was indicted in the Ward of Langebourne for being a nightwalker and misdoer, etc. John Burelman was attached, for that he was indicted in the Ward of Billinggesgate as being a bruiser and nightwalker. Thomas le Messager was attached, for that he was indicted in the Ward aforesaid for assaulting the guardians of the peace, in the week of our Lord's Nativity last past, and wounding them, etc. They appeared etc. The jury said that Simon Braban aforesaid, Richard son of Gregory, Thomas de Bery, and John Burelman, are guilty. There fore they were committed to prison, until etc. And they said that Stephen le Brayeler and Thomas le Messager are not guilty. Therefore they were acquitted thereof, etc.
Punishment by imprisonment in the Tun.
Margaret de Hontyngdone, Marion de Honytone, and Henry le Beste, were attached in the Ward of Bradestrete by Richard le Kissere, serjeant of the same Ward, on the Friday next before the Feast of St. Vincent [9 June] in the fourth year of the reign of King Edward, son of King Edward, and put into the Tun, (fn. 22) because the said Margaret had been before driven out from the Ward aforesaid as a common strumpet, and had afterwards harboured men of bad repute, etc. And William de Louthe, servant of the Company of the Friscobaldi, (fn. 23) and William Sailleben, became sureties for the said Henry, that in future he would well and trustily behave himself. And the women aforesaid made oath that they would behave themselves properly in like manner.
Capture of certain Welchmen in Fletestrete; and dispute arising therefrom.
Be it remembered, that on Wednesday the Feast of St. Thomas the Martyr [7 July], in the 4th year of King Edward, son of King Edward, there were congregated at the Guildhall, John de Gysorz, Mayor of the said city, John de Wengrave, Richard de Gloucestre, and other Aldermen, and Richard de Welleford, Sheriff, and many other good men of the commonalty, thither summoned to make ordinance on the following matter, that is to say.—
One Tyder Thoyd, a Welchman, Edmund the Welchman, Meric de Berdeche, Mereduz de Beauveur, and Hersal de Theder, were attached at the suit of Dionisia le Bokebyndere; who found sureties to prosecute them for felony, as being guilty of burglary in her house in Fletestrete, in the suburbs of London: and after they had been sent to the prison of Neugate, there came a person, "Peter "de Bernardestone" by name, Marshal of the household of our Lord the King, and on the King's behalf demanded that the bodies of the said Welchmen should be delivered up to him, seeing that they were of the King's establishment and household; and that if any one should wish to prosecute them, he must sue before the Seneschal and Marshal, if he should think proper.
And conference and discussion being held upon this with the good men of the commonalty, answer was given to the said Marshal, that, according to the custom and franchise of the City, persons attached within the liberties thereof for such felonies and trespasses as this, ought not to be delivered elsewhere than within the same city, before the Justiciars of our Lord the King, or the officials of the City. And this answer having been given, the said Marshal enjoined the Mayor, Sheriffs, and Aldermen, on behalf of our Lord the King, that they should be at Westminster, before the Council of our Lord the King, to make answer as to the premises, etc.
Afterwards, on the Thursday following, the said Mayor, and Aldermen, and Sheriffs, appeared before Sir Edmund de Maule, Seneschal of our Lord the King, and before his Council, then at the Friars Preachers (fn. 24) sitting. And they were told that they must deliver up the bodies of the prisoners, as they were before enjoined, etc. And the Mayor and Aldermen gave the same answer as before, etc. (fn. 25)
Order for arrest of a Baker, for selling putrid bread.
The bread taken from William de Somersete, baker, on the Thursday next before the Feast of St. Laurence [10 August], in the 5th year of the reign of King Edward, was examined and adjudged upon before Richer de Refham, Mayor, Thomas Romayn, John de Wengrave, and other Aldermen; and because it was found that such bread was putrid, and altogether rotten, and made of putrid wheat, so that persons by eating that bread would be poisoned and choked, the Sheriff was ordered to take him, and have him here on the Friday next after the Feast of St. Laurence; then to receive judgment for the same.
Examination of false hats in the Guildhall.
At the request of the hatters, and of the dealers of the City who bought and sold hats, it was ordered that, immediately after the Feast of Easter, diligent scrutiny should be made throughout all the City as to false hats, (fn. 26) by three or four good men of either calling; and that such good men should at once cause all such false hats as they might find, to be brought here to the Guildhall before the Mayor and Aldermen, to be examined, and to have judgment pronounced as to the same. And to do this there were chosen and sworn, on behalf of the hatters, Henry de Amondesham, hatter, William Bridge, and John de Badburgham, hatter. And on behalf of the said dealers, Aubyn de Caustone, Henry de Schefeld, Elyas de Salle, and James son of Thomas le Paumer, were in like manner chosen and sworn.
Afterwards, a scrutiny having been made as to such false hats, the examiners aforesaid brought here into the Guildhall, on Wednesday the morrow of St. Laurence [10 August], in the 5th year of King Edward, before the Mayor and Aldermen, certain hats, white, black, and grey, which had been found upon divers haberdasshers (fn. 27) and hatters. And the said hats were examined by John de Staundone, John Prest, Stephen de Herford, and Bartholomew le Hattere, in presence of Richer de Refham, Mayor, and certain of the Aldermen. And it was found, upon the oath of the said examiners, that 40 grey and white hats, and 15 black hats, belonging to the hatters aforesaid, were of false workmanship, and a mixture of wool and flocks. Therefore it was adjudged that they should be burnt in the street of Chepe.
Ordinances made for Watch and Ward within the City.
(fn. 28) Ordinances made in the Chamber of the Guildhall of London by the Mayor and Aldermen, on Saturday the Eve of the Assumption of Saint Mary [15 August], in the 5th year of the reign of King Edward, son of King Edward, there being present, Richer de Refham, Mayor, Thomas Romayn, Nicholas de Farendone, and other Aldermen, our Lord the King being then at Westminster, and the Earls and Barons of England lying in London and around the City, against the King's Parliament; for the purpose of fulfilling and affirming the Ordinances (fn. 29) made for the advantage of the whole realm.
At Ludegate, Roger de Bristowe and Richard de Dokesworth were sworn to keep the keys of the said gate. Also, for the safekeeping of the same gate, there were to be found, each night, from the Ward of Cordewanerestrete, eight men, well armed and strong. And from one half of the Ward Within of Nicholas de Farndone, namely, that on the Western side, eight men, well armed.
At the Gate of Newegate, there were to be found at night, eight men of the Ward of Chepe, well armed; of the Ward of Walebroke eight men, well armed, and of the half of the aforesaid Ward of Farndone Within, on the North side of Chepe, eight men well armed. And Walter de Finchingfeld, Geoffrey de Jarnemue, Walter atte Belhous, and Nicholas Crane, were sworn to keep the keys thereof.
At the Gate of Aldresgate, there were to be found at night, from that Ward, eight men, well armed; and from the Ward of Bredestrete, eight men, well armed. And Richard le Forester and Walter de Aumbresbury were sworn to keep the keys of the said gate.
At the Gate of Crepelgate, there were to be found at night, from the same Ward Within, eight men, well armed; and from the Ward of Bassieshawe six men, well armed; and from the Ward of Colmannestrete, six men, well armed. And John Baker and Robert Belle were sworn [to keep the keys thereof].
At the Gate of Bisshopesgate, there were to be found at night from the same Ward, six men, well armed; and from the Ward of Bradestrete, (fn. 30) six men, well armed; and from the Ward of Cornhille, six men, well armed; and from the Ward of Lymestrete, two men, well armed. And Robert Cook and John le Little were chosen to keep the keys of the gate aforesaid.
At the Gate of Alegate, there were to be found at night from the same Ward, six men, well armed; and from the Ward of Langgebourne, eight men, well armed; and from the Ward of Candelwikstrate, six men, well armed. And Edmund Taylor and Philip May were sworn to keep the keys of the said gate.
At the Bridge Gate there were to be found at night six men of the Ward of Billinggesgate, and eight men of Bridge Ward. And Richard de Storteford and Bartholomew le Tabler were sworn to keep the keys of the said gate.
And to guard the bankside of the river Thames, there were to be found each night six men of the Ward of Douegate, twelve men of the Ward of Vinetrie, twelve from Queen Hythe, and eight from the Ward of Castle Baynard.
The great Gates of the City were to be closed each night at the beginning of curfew being rung at St. Martin's le Grand, and the wickets were then to be opened; and at the last stroke of curfew rung, the wickets were to be closed, and were not to be opened afterwards that night, unless by special precept of the Mayor or Alderman.
A chain was to be drawn across at Castle Baynard each night, and to be fastened at the hour aforesaid; and Thomas Fairloe and Thomas de Hales were sworn before the Mayor and Aldermen to keep the same.