Memorials of London and London Life in the 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries. Originally published by Longmans, Green, London, 1868.
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Coroner's Roll of our Lord the King, in the time of Robert de Araz and Ralph le Fevere, Shriffs of the City of London, in the fourth year of King Edward, son of King Henry (A.D. 1276, 7); Sir Gregory de Rokesle being then Chamberlain in that city.
Letter-Book B. fol. ix. old numeration. (fn. 1) (Latin.)
Ward of Henry le Waleys. (fn. 2) —On Sunday the Feast of St. Lucy [13 December] in the year above-mentioned, the said Chamberlain and Sheriffs were given to understand that one Roger Canny, collere, (fn. 3) was lying dead in the King's highway, opposite to the house of Sir William le Maceler. Upon hearing which, the said Chamberlain and Sheriffs went there, and calling together the good men of the Ward of Chepe and the Ward of Henry le Waleys, diligent inquisition was made how this happened.
Who say that the said Roger was sitting in the tavern of Robert Box on the preceding Saturday, and drinking there to the hour of curfew; and that afterwards, on leaving, he went towards the house where he used to lodge, but when he had come opposite the house of William before-mentioned, he was struck with the falling (fn. 4) sickness in the King's highway, from which he had frequently suffered; and so by reason of that disease, and through his own drunkenness and extreme cold, he died there by misadventure. They hold no one suspected thereof. And the body was viewed, upon which no wound, hurt, or bruise, appeared.
Ward of William de Hadestok. (fn. 5) —On Saturday the Eve of All Hallows [1 November] in the year aforesaid, the said Chamberlain and Sheriffs were given to understand that a certain man, named Richard de Parys, chaloner, (fn. 6) was lying dead, by another death than his rightful death, in the Ward of William de Hadestok, near the Tower of London, in the house of Roger le Chaloner, in Marte lane. (fn. 7) Upon hearing which, the said Chamberlain and Sheriffs went there, and having called together the good men of that Ward, and of the Wards (fn. 8) of Nicholas de Wynton and John de Northamptone, being the nearest Wards, diligent inquisition was made by them how and in what manner this happened.
Who say that on the preceding Sunday, after curfew rung, it happened that one Richard Moys, going along the King's highway, came to the door of John le Chaloner, next to the house of Agnes de Essexe, near Fancherche; in which house lodged Robert de Munceny and Arnulph, his son, with his household; and so, trying to make entrance therein, he knocked, shouted, and made a noise. On seeing which, four of the household aforesaid, who were standing at the hostel of the knights before-mentioned, and of whose names they are ignorant, being moved thereat, requested him to cease making his noise, and go away; and as he refused to do so, they cried out that he must leave forthwith; whereupon, hearing the outcry aforesaid, Robert and Arnulph, and all of Robert's household, came out, that is to say, John de Munceny, son of Robert, John Fauntilun, Robert de la Rokele, Henry de Ginges, John Curtoys, John de Hakone, John le Wyte, Hugh de Hoddone, Hachard de Garbodesham, and Robert de le Lo, some with swords, and some with other arms. And all of them, save only the said Robert, who stood at the door of his hostel, followed the said Richard, who fled to the house of Alice le Official; in which house many persons were seated drinking, with the door open, among whom were Richard de Parys, now dead, and one Henry Page; and Richard Moys concealed himself between two wooden vessels there. And the said Arnulph, on entering, met at the door the said Richard de Parys, who cried out,—" Who are "these people?" whereupon Arnulph struck him with his drawn sword, already stupefied as he was at the sight of the sword. Then rushing into the house, he gave him a wound in the back, between the ribs of the body, two inches in breadth, and penetrating to the intestines; and another small wound under the left breast. From which wounds he languished, and survived until the Thursday following, on which day, at the hour of Matins, he died. And immediately after perpetrating this felony, Arnulph went forth and joined his accomplices, and they went together to his hostel, (fn. 9) John and Hachard excepted, who took to flight; and there they remained in his house. Being asked if they hold any one else suspected of that death, either in deed or in abetting the same; they say all the persons aforesaid, except the said Robert de Munceny, who was standing at the door of the hostel where he lodged, while this was going on, the said Hachard and John included, who fled immediately after the felony was committed, were present when the same was committed. No person however wounded him, save only the said Arnulph; nor, do they hold the said Robert suspected of abetting him. And all of them were taken and imprisoned, except those who took to flight. None of them had any goods or chattels, except the said Robert de Mun ceny and Arnulph, his son; who had six horses, three beds, one falcon, and three greyhounds, which are appraised at 20 marks in the whole. And the body was viewed, etc.
And the two neighbours (fn. 10) nearest to the spot where the said Richard de Parys lay dead, were attached, by sureties; and the two neighbours nearest to the spot where he was wounded; and the two neighbours nearest to the hostel from which they went forth. And Agnes de Essex was attached, in whose house the said malefactors were lodged, and Alice, her maid-servant. And all the persons were attached, who were in the house where he was wounded.
On Friday next after Ash Wednesday, in the fifth year of the reign of King Edward, the said Chamberlain and Sheriffs were given to understand that one Matilda, wife of Henry le Coffeur, was lying dead, by another death than her rightful death, in the house of the said Henry, in the Parish of St. Nicholas Shambles, in the Ward of Anketin de Auvergne. (fn. 11) On hearing which, the said Chamberlain and Sheriffs went there, and having called together the good men of that Ward, and of the Ward of John de Blakethorn, (fn. 12) diligent inquisition was made thereon.
Who say that as the said Matilda was coming from West Chepe towards the hospice, (fn. 13) being drunk, she fell upon the pavement opposite the Church of St. Martin, and so broke her right arm; upon the Sunday, namely, before our Lord's Nativity, and immediately after the hour of curfew. Upon being carried from that place to the house of the said Henry, her husband, she survived in a languishing state from that day until the Monday before Ash Wednesday next ensuing; on which day she died. They hold no one suspected. The body was viewed, upon which no injury appeared, except the arm broken, as aforesaid.
On Monday the morrow of the Close of Easter, in the fifth year of King Edward, the said Chamberlain and Sheriffs were given to understand that one Symon de Winton, taverner, was lying dead etc., in the Parish of St. Martin, in Ismongerelane (fn. 14) in the Ward of Chepe, in a house belonging to Robert le Surigien, (fn. 15) of Frydaystrete; in which house the said Symon kept a tavern. On hearing which, the said Chamberlain and Sheriffs went there, and calling together the good men of that Ward and of Bassieshawe, and of the Ward of Henry de Frowyk, (fn. 16) diligent inquisition was made how this had happened.
The jurors say, that on the Eve of St. Nicholas [6 December] in the same year, a dispute arose between the said Symon and a certain man who said that he was called "Roger de Westminster," and who was his servant. And on the morrow also, they were seen by the neighbours in the same house and tavern, abusing each other and quarrelling, by reason of the same dispute; and on the same night they slept there, in the same room together. But as soon as this Roger saw that the said Symon was sound asleep, he seized a knife, and with it cut the throat of Symon quite through, so that the head was entirely severed from the body. After which, he dragged the body out, and put it in a certain secret spot, a dark and narrow place, situate between two walls in the same house, where coals were usually kept; such place being somewhat long, and not quite two feet wide. And on the following day, the same Roger, as was his custom, set out the bench of the tavern, and sold wine there. And as the said Symon had not been seen by the neighbours all that day, they asked Roger what had become of his master; whereupon he made answer that he had gone to Westminster, to recover some debts that were owing to him there; and on the second day and third he gave the same answer. At twilight however on the third day, he departed by the outer door, locking it with the key, and carrying off with him a silver cup, a robe, and some bedclothes, which had belonged to the same Symon. Afterwards he returned, and threw the key into the house of one Hamon Cook, a near neighbour, telling him that he was going to seek the said Symon, his master, and asking him to give him the key, in case he should come back. And from that day the house remained closed and empty until the Eve of Our Lord's Circumcision [1 January] following; upon which day John Doget, a taverner, taking with him Gilbert de Colecestre, went to the house aforesaid to recover a debt which the said Symon owed to him for wines. But when he found the door closed and locked, he enquired after the key, of the neighbours who were standing about: upon hearing of which, the said Hamon gave him up the key forthwith. Upon entering the tavern with Gilbert aforesaid, he found there one tun full of wine, and another half full, which he himself had sold to Symon for 50 shillings; and this he at once ordered to be taken out by porters, (fn. 17) namely, Henry Wyting, William le Waleys, Ralph le Yreis, Hugh Noteman, and Stephen de Eyminge, and put in a cart belonging to Henry Wyting aforesaid, and taken to his own house, for the debt so due to him; together with some small tables, canvas cloths, gallons, and wooden potels, two shillings in value. This being done, the said John Doget shut the door of the house, carrying away with him the key thereof; from which time the house was empty, no one having entered it until the Tuesday before Palm Sunday. Upon which day, Master Robert aforesaid, to whom the house belonged, came and broke open the door for want of a key, and so entering it, immediately enfeoffed Michael le Oynter (fn. 18) thereof; which Michael, on the Saturday in Easter week, went there alone, to examine all the offices belonging thereto, and see which of them required to be cleansed of filth and dust. But when he came to the narrow and dark place aforesaid, he there found the headless body; upon seeing which, he sent word to the said Chamberlain and Sheriffs.
Being asked if any one else dwelt in the house, save and except those two persons, or if any one else had been seen or heard in that house with them on the night the felony was committed, or if any other person had had frequent or especial access to the house by day or night, from which mischief might have arisen, they say, not beyond the usual resort that all persons have to a tavern. Being asked if the said Roger had any well-known or especial [friend] in the City, or without, to whose house he was wont to resort, they say they understand that he had not, seeing that he was a stranger, and had been in the service of this Symon hardly a fortnight. Being asked therefore whither he had taken the goods he had carried off, they say that, seeing that the house was near to the Jewry, they believe that he took them to the Jewry; but to whose house they know not. Being asked what became of the head so cut off, they say they know not, nor can they ascertain anything as to the same. They say also that the said Roger escaped by stealth, and has not since been seen. Chattels he had none.
On Friday before the Feast of the Apostles Philip and James [1 May], in the fifth year of the reign of King Edward, the said Chamberlain and Sheriffs were given to understand that William le Clerke was then lying dead, by another death than his rightful death, in the Church of St. Stephen on Walebrocke, in the Ward of John Adrien. (fn. 19) On hearing which, the said Chamberlain and Sheriffs went there, and calling together the good men of that Ward, and the Ward of Chepe, being the next Ward, diligent inquisition was made how this happened.
Who say that the same William on the Sunday preceding, about midday, ascended the belfry of that church, to search for a pigeon's nest there; whereupon, it happened that as he was climbing from beam to beam, holding on by the rafters of the belfry, his feet and limbs failing him, he fell by mischance upon one of the said beams, so that by that fall the whole of his body was ruptured and crushed; by reason whereof he received his death, and died as soon as he came to the ground. And the body was viewed; upon which there was no other hurt, wound, or bruise, save only that the body appeared ruptured and crushed, as aforesaid. And that beam was appraised at four pence.
On Friday, the morrow of Saints Fabianus and Sebastianus [20 January], in the sixth year of the reign of King Edward, son of King Henry, Gregory de Rokesle, Chamberlain of London, and John Adrien and Walter le Engleys, Sheriffs of the same city, were given to understand that one William le Pannere, pelterer, (fn. 20) was lying dead in the market of West Chepe, near the Conduit (fn. 21) in the Ward of Chepe. On hearing which, the said Chamberlain and Sheriffs went there; and calling together the good men of that Ward, and of the Ward (fn. 22) of Henry de Frowyk, where he dwelt, diligent inquisition was made how this happened.
Who say that while the said William, on the Friday beforementioned, was passing through the middle of West Chepe, and had reached the place where he was now lying dead, being greatly weakened through having been blooded on Thursday, the Feast before-mentioned, and having had too much blood taken from him through such excessive bleeding, he fell upon the pavement, and suddenly died. They hold no one suspected of the death of the said William, his death being thus sudden. And the body being viewed, there was no wound found thereon.
And Johanna, the wife of the dead man, was attached, by two sureties. The two neighbours were also attached, who dwelt next to him; also, the two neighbours who lived nearest to the Conduit, where he was found dead.
On Sunday, the morrow of Gregory (fn. 23) the Pope, in the year aforesaid, the said Chamberlain and Sheriffs were given to understand that one Matthew de Hekham, servant to a certain clerk in the house of Sir William de Myddeltone, was lying dead, by another death than his rightful death, in the house of Richard le Clerk, upon Lothebiri, in the Ward of William Bukerel. (fn. 24) On hearing which, and having called together the good men of that Ward and of other Wards, namely, the Wards of Chepe, Bassishawe, and Colemanestrete, being those nearest to the Ward aforesaid, diligent inquisition was made thereon.
Who say that on the Sunday next after the Feast of St. Matthew the Apostle [21 September], the said Matthew was going from Bradestrete (fn. 25) towards the Jewry, and when he had reached midway between the lane called "Ismongere Lane," (fn. 26) and the Guildhall of London, there met him certain Jews, Abraham de Derkynge, Isaac de Canterbury, and Cresse, son of Isaac de Lynton. (fn. 27) And upon so meeting him, Abraham before-named, of malice aforethought, took the said Matthew by the shoulder, and threw him in the mud; and upon his attempting to rise, Isaac before-mentioned struck the said Matthew with a certain anelace (fn. 28) of his below the right shoulder-blade, in the loins, inflicting upon him a wound one inch in breadth, and six inches deep. After which, the said Matthew pursued them, as well as he was able, from the spot before-mentioned to the wall of St. Laurence Jewry, where being too much weakened through excessive loss of blood, he could follow them no farther; but rising from the ground, he went to the house of Richard before-named, where he was found. And so, after languishing from the Sunday beforenamed to the Friday next before the Feast above-mentioned, he died at daybreak on that day. Being asked if they hold any other person or persons suspected, they say no one, except the said Isaac, who gave him the wound from which he died; and that the aforesaid Abraham and Cresse were consenting to the felony. Being asked as to the chattels of the felons, they say that they know nothing of them. And the body was viewed, upon which appeared the wound aforesaid, and that most horrible.
And the said Richard was attached, in whose house he died, by two sureties; and Juliana, the wife of the same Richard, by two sureties; and there were no other persons dwelling in the house. And the two neighbours were attached, who dwelt nearest to the spot where he was wounded: as also, the two neighbours nearest to the place where he died.
On Thursday the Feast of St. Dunstan [19 May], in the sixth year of the reign of King Edward, the Chamberlain and Sheriffs were given to understand that one Gilbert Clope was lying dead upon the quay of John de Tour, in the Ward of William de Hadestoke, (fn. 29) in the Parish of Berkyngecherche. (fn. 30) Upon hearing which, and calling together the good men of that Ward and of Bridge Ward, diligent inquisition was made thereon.
Who say that on the preceding Wednesday, at midday, the said Gilbert, being non compos mentis, was standing upon London Bridge; and as he was leaning against a certain wall thereon, he fell asleep, and his head and great part of his body projecting over the wall towards the water, by reason of the lowness of such wall, he fell into the water, and so by misadventure was drowned. They say also, that Nicholas le Fleming and William de Hamme, seeing him floating in the water, and hoping to rescue him from death, took him out of the water into the boat of the said Nicholas, and brought him to the quay before-mentioned. And they hold no one suspected thereof.
And the said Nicholas was attached, by two sureties. And William de Hamme, boatman, was attached by two sureties. And the two neighbours were attached, who dwelt nearest to the spot where he fell into the water, each by two sureties. And the two neighbours were attached, who lived nearest to the spot where he was found, each by two sureties.
The day and year before-named, the said Chamberlain and Sheriffs were given to understand that one Henry de Lanfare was lying dead in the house of Sibil le Feron, (fn. 31) in the Ward of Chepe, in the Parish of Colcherche. Upon hearing which, etc. And having called together the good men of that Ward, and of the Ward of John de Blakethorn, (fn. 32) and the Ward of Henry de Frowyk, (fn. 33) diligent inquisition was made thereon.
Who say that one Richard de Codesfold having fled to the Church of St. Mary Stanigeslane in London, (fn. 34) by reason of a certain robbery being by one William de London, cutler, imputed to him, and the same William pursuing him on his flight thereto; it so happened that on the night following the Day of the Invention of the Holy Cross [5 May], in the present year, there being many persons watching about the church aforesaid, to take him, in case he should come out, a certain Henry de Lanfare, ironmonger, one of the persons on the watch, hearing a noise in the church, and thence fearing that the same Richard was about to get out by another part of the church, and so escape through a breach that there was in a certain glass window therein, went to examine it. The said Richard and one Thomas, the then clerk of that church, perceiving this, the said Thomas, seizing a lance, without an iron head, struck at Henry before-mentioned through the hole in the window, and wounded him between the nose and the eye, penetrating almost to the brain. From the effects of which wound he languished until the Day of St. Dunstan [19 May], when he died, at about the third hour. They say also, that as well the said Richard as Thomas before-mentioned are guilty of that felony, seeing that Richard was consenting thereto.
And the said Thomas was taken, and imprisoned in Newegate, and afterwards delivered before Hamon Haweteyn, Justiciar of Newegate. And the said Richard still keeps himself within the church before-named. Being asked if they hold any more persons suspected as to that death, they say they do not. They have no lands or chattels. And the body was viewed, upon which no other injury or wound was found, save only the wound aforesaid.