Calendar of the Plea and Memoranda Rolls of the City of London: Volume 1, 1323-1364. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1926.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
Letter from the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of London to the Mayor and Commonalty of Oxford, complaining that Robert de Ely and Thomas Edmund, citizens of London, had not been allowed to sell their goods at their own price in Oxford, and praying redress. Dated 12 Aug. (F)
Letter from the same to Edmund, Earl of Kent (fn. 1), Henry, Earl of Lancaster, John (de Stratford), Bishop of Winchester, and Thomas Wake, thanking them for past favours and praying their continuance. Dated 12 Aug. (F)
Letter from the same to Henry (Berghersh), Bishop of Lincoln and Chancellor of England, complaining that although the citizens of London had the right of appointing one or two citizens to hold a court for London citizens at St Botolph's Fair (fn. 2) and other fairs, nevertheless the steward of Sir John de Bretayne (fn. 3), lord of the Fair of St Botolph, had caused the citizens to plead before him, summoned them on juries, and inflicted other hardships on them. The Chancellor is desired to issue a writ commanding that the liberty of the City be allowed. Dated 12 Aug. Ao 2 Edw. III. (F)
Commission from the Mayor and Commonalty, appointing John de Grantham, Simon de Swanlond, John de Pulteneye and John de Causton to hold the court for London citizens at St Botolph's Fair. Dated as above. (L)
Letter of credence from the King to the Mayor etc., notifying that Richard de Betoyne and James Beauflour were bearers of his answer touching certain matters affecting the City. Dated at York, 11 Aug. Ao 2 Edw. III , under the Privy Seal. (F)
Writ to Hamo de Chigwell and John Gisorz, who had been appointed 3 Nov. Ao 18 Edw. II  to supervise the measures for wine, beer and corn in the City, and to take amercements from those using false measures, commanding the above Hamo and John to render forthwith to the Ex chequer estreats of their rolls of fines and amercements. Dated at York, 8 July Ao 2 Edw. III . (L)
Return to the effect that the above Hamo and the Commonalty had at once protested to the King that this appointment was to the prejudice of the City's liberties, whereupon by word of mouth the King had ordered them to do nothing until they had further commands from him. (L)
Membr. 23 (27)
Commission appointing Thomas Horewold, Ralph de Upton, Richard de Berkyng and William de Elsyng to hold the court for London citizens at St Giles's Fair, Winchester. Dated 3 Sept. Ao 2 Edw. III . (L)
Letter from the Mayor and Commonalty to Henry (Berghersh), Bishop of Lincoln and Chancellor of England, on behalf of Guy Teste, from whom the King's custom-officers at Southampton had illegally taken custom dues. Dated 4 Sept. Sealed with the Common Seal on Monday before the Feast of the Nativity B.M. [8 Sept.] Ao 2 Edw. III . (F)
Letter from the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty to William, Count of Hainault, Holland and Zeeland and Seigneur of Friesland on behalf of Henry le Palmere and other citizens, about whom the King had recently sent letters under the Great and Privy Seals to the Count. Dated 16 Sept. (F)
Letter of credence from the King to the Mayor, Sheriffs, Aldermen and Commonalty in favour of Oliver de Ingham and Bartholomew de Burghersh, who would explain the King's wishes to the citizens. Dated at Horsford, 22 Sept. Ao 2 Edw. III . (F)
Letter from the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty to William (de Melton), Bishop of York and Primate of England, praying him to use his influence to have the next Parliament at Westminster instead of New Sarum. Dated 26 Sept. (F) Cancelled.
A note to the effect that similar letters were sent to the Bishops of Hereford, Lincoln, Norwich, Ely and London, the Earl Marshal and the Earl of Warenne, sealed with the Common Seal, 26 Sept. (L) Cancelled.
Membr. 23 (27) b
Letter from the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of London to the King. The writers acknowledge the receipt of the letters of credence by the hands of the King's "bachelers (fn. 4)," Oliver de Ingham and Bartholomew de Burghersh, and of the King's request to be informed of the particulars of a visit paid to the City by the Bishop of Winchester and Thomas Wake—what the visitors said and what the citizens answered. They explain that the said Bishop (fn. 5) and Thomas de Wake came to the Guildhall on Saturday after the Exaltation of the Holy Cross [14 Sept.] to talk over affairs of state, and said to the citizens that the King ought to live of his own and have treasure ready for dealing with his enemies, which treasure he did not possess; secondly, that it had been laid down at the Parliament of Westminster after the King's Coronation that he should have around him certain prelates, earls and barons of his Council to advise him, and this had not been done; and lastly, that they desired above all things that the peace should be well kept in the kingdom. The citizens had answered that if these things were so, it would be well that they should be amended in Parliament, which the citizens considered should be held at Westminster, and this desire of theirs they beg again to recommend to the King. As for a report which had reached the King's ears that the City was making alliances and conspiracies against him, it was absolutely false. The letter concludes with thanks for the King's promise to come to London and to bring his "places" to the City, as they had been informed by Richard de Betoyne and James Beauflour. Dated 27 Sept. (F)
Record of the election (fn. 6) of Simon Fraunceys, mercer, nominated by the Mayor, and Henry de Combemartyn, woolman, nominated by the Commonalty, as Sheriffs, by representatives of the Wards (twelve, eight or six according to the size of the Wards) on St Matthew's Day [21 Sept.] 1328, and of their having been presented to Sir William de la Souche, Constable of the Tower, on the morrow of the Feast of St Michael [29 Sept.]. (L)
Proceedings before Hamo de Chigwell, Mayor, and fifteen Aldermen named, on Monday and Tuesday after the Feast of St Michael [29 Sept.] 1328, against John de Cotun, Alderman of Walbrook, who was said by Roger le Bere to have declared that Hamo de Chigwell was the worst worm (pessimus vermis) that had come to London for twenty years, that there would be no peace in the City so long as he was alive, and that it would be a good thing if his head was cut off. The above Roger was examined in the Inner Chamber of the Guildhall, and said that the words were spoken in the 20th year of the late King, and that there was no other witness. The accused person denied having spoken them. As it was found that Roger le Bere was defendant in several actions at the suit of John de Cotun, and so was ill-disposed to him, the latter was allowed to purge himself with the "sixth hand (fn. 7)," instead of the fiftieth hand as he would otherwise have done according to ancient custom. He cleared himself by his own oath and that of Elyas de Thorp, John de Bedeford, John de Aynesham, Richard de Carleton, and John de Kyngeston, skinners. (L)
Letter from the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of London to the Queen-Mother, thanking her for agreeing that her son the King should return to London with his "places " —as reported by Richard de Betoyne and James Beauflour, and as announced in the King's letters from York. (F)
Membr. 24 (28)
Letter from the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of London to Sir Hugh de Neville, on behalf of William de Coulee, who complained that he had been maltreated and robbed of £100 by Hugh de Neville's sons and others, whilst visiting his cousin the parson of Horkesle on business. Dated 10 Oct. (F)
The same to Simon (Mepeham (fn. 8)), Archbishop of Canter bury, praying him, in conjunction with the rest of the prelates, to use his best endeavours to restore quiet and peace to the land. Dated 12 Oct. (F)
Letter from the Mayor and Commonalty of London to the Mayor and Commonalty of Cambridge (fn. 9), praying them to uphold (meyntenir & avower) a certificate they had made to the effect that no one had been arrested for a robbery committed on Richard de Welleford and Geoffrey de Weston, drapers of London, in the hundred of Stowe in the county of Cambridge. Dated 13 Oct. (F)
Membr. 24 (28)b
Letter from the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of London to John (Hotham), Bishop of Ely, on behalf of the above Richard and Geoffrey, who had sued out an execution under the Statute of Winchester for the aforesaid robbery. Dated 13 Oct. (F)
Letter from John de "Graham" (Grantham), Mayor, to Walter de Norwych (fn. 10), expressing satisfaction at the prospect of his coming to the City. Dated 4 Nov. (F)
A note to the effect that a similar letter was sent to Geoffrey le Scrope (fn. 11) under the Mayor's small seal. (L)
Letter from John de Grantham, Mayor, the Aldermen and Commonalty of London to the King, thanking him for having agreed that his "places" be brought back to London (vers celes parties) and that the next Parliament should be held there. The writers desire him not to believe anything which might be told him touching the City's want of allegiance. Dated 8 Nov. (F)
Letter from Hugh de Nevill of Essex to the Mayor etc. of London, denying all complicity in the maltreatment and robbery of William de Coulee, and praying them to give less credence to anything that William de Coulee might say. Dated at Langham, 18 Oct. (F)
Letter from Henry, Earl of Lancaster (fn. 12), to the Mayor etc. of London. He informs them that he had been at Winchester and had signified his good intentions to Parliament in the most obedient manner, but had not obtained a hearing, and when he was about to offer his services to the King, he found that Parliament had been adjourned to London, because they had no wish to see him there (at Salisbury). In the meantime the Earl of Kent had made certain communications (fn. 13) to him, which he could not put into writing, but which the bearer would report by word of mouth. He had gone, on the advice of the prelates and of his cousin, to his own estates. He concludes with assurances of loyalty to the King and expressions of his hope that the City of London, like him, wished for nothing so much as the King's good and the good of the realm. Dated at Hungerford, 5 Nov. (F)
Proceedings at the election of the Mayor on Friday the Feast of SS. Simon and Jude [28 Oct.] 1328, and the following day. An assembly took place in the Guildhall of the Mayor, Sheriffs, Aldermen and twelve, ten or eight Commoners from each Ward, and the Mayor and Aldermen retired to the Chamber to make the election for themselves and the Commonalty according to custom. When they descended to the Hall, and the Recorder announced that the election had fallen on Hamo de Chigwell, almost with one voice the Commoners assented, shouting "yes." After a short silence, some shouted "Fulsham" and others "Chigwell," and the assembly broke up in confusion. Discussion and argument took place in the City all that night, until certain of the wiser citizens came to an agreement, and persuaded the candidates that in order to prevent commotion in the City, neither of them should be Mayor. Accordingly next day at tierce John de Grantham was elected Mayor and presented to the attorney of the Constable of the Tower, by whom he was sworn. Subsequently he was presented to the King and admitted as Mayor, but was not required to take the oath again. (L)
Writ to the Sheriffs of London. Some evildoers, who had been outlawed for a recent assault made on the town and Abbey of St Edmunds, had since made an attack (fn. 14) on the Abbot's manor of Chevynton co. Suffolk, carried off thirtyfive horses, plate, jewels and other valuables, and had even made a prisoner of the Abbot himself and carried him off to London. The Sheriffs are ordered to make inquiries about him, and if they find him in London or their bailiwick, to place him in safety, and to secure if possible the plunder that had been taken. Dated at New Sarum, 20 Oct. Ao 2 Edw. III . (L)
Letter from the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of London, assuring the King, in answer to his inquiries, of the peaceful condition of the City, to which all who had business at his "places" might come with safety. The writers had heard of the King's displeasure because some Londoners had gone in arms to Winchester, to the terror of the country through which they passed. They declare that none had gone with their consent or knowledge, and that if any were found to have been guilty of going with arms, they would inflict due punishment for the offence. They conclude by praying the King not to retain any ill-feeling against his loyal citizens. Dated 18 Nov. (F)
Letter of credence from the King on behalf of Bennet de Fulsham, Reginald de Conduit, John de Causton, Thomas de Leire, Simon de Swanlond, John de Pulteneye, Stephen de Abyndon, Henry Darci, Robert de Kelseye, Henry Wymond, John Priour, Robert le Bret, Henry Moncoy and Hugh de Brandon, the twelve leading citizens who had been sent to Windsor at his request to consult about the state of the City. They have been charged by the King to convey to the City his messages and to bring back the City's answers. Dated at Windsor, 16 Nov. Ao 2 Edw. III . (F)
On Monday six aldermen and commoners were chosen and forthwith proceeded to Windsor, where they had colloquy with the King and his Council, returning on Thursday with the King's letter, to which the City sent a reply. (L) [See above, letters (1) and (2), pp. 73-4.]
Note that in accordance with the King's grant in Parliament (fn. 15), Richard de Beton and Hamo de Chigwell during their mayoralties were nominated in the commission of Justices of Gaol Delivery at Newgate together with Sir John de Bousser (fn. 16). When Hamo de Chigwell was deposed, a commission was obtained for John de Grantham:
Membr. 26 (30)
Writ (fn. 17) to the Sheriff of Cambridge to execute the Statute of Winchester and to make good to Richard de Welleford and Geoffrey de Weston, merchants of London, the loss they had sustained by a robbery committed in a place called " Potterescrouche" between Arnyngton and Caxton in the hundred of Stowe co. Cambs. The plaintiffs had alleged that the men of the hundred had allowed the robbers to escape, to which the men of the hundred had replied that within fifteen days several evildoers had been apprehended and placed in the King's prison at Cambridge, on account of which the hundred was not bound to answer for the robbery. A precept had been sent to the Mayor and Bailiffs of Cambridge and a certificate returned, and the parties had appeared in Chancery, being subsequently ordered to come before the King in Parliament at Salisbury, and by adjournment before Geoffrey le Scrope and the other Justices in the King's Bench. The men of the hundred, represented by William Avenel, knight, and others, averred that the returns of the Sheriff, the Coroners and the Mayor and Bailiffs of Cambridge [saying that no persons suspected of the robbery had been apprehended] were false, and that as a matter of fact Ralph le Thresher and other thieves had been arrested and detained at Cambridge. When ordered to verify this pleading they made default, whereupon judgment was given that the plaintiffs return to Chancery there to sue out execution of the Statute of Winchester, which was duly granted to them. Dated at Westminster, 1 Dec. Ao 2 Edw. III . (L)
Letter from the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of London to Eymer la Souche, Sheriff of Cambridge, urging the immediate execution of the above writ. Dated the morrow of the Feast of St Lucia [13 Dec.]. (F)
Letter from William, Count of Hainault, Holland and Zeeland and Seigneur of Friesland, to the Mayor and Commonalty of the City of London, desiring to be furnished with further particulars concerning the loss sustained by Stephen Alayn (fn. 18) of London, in order that he may know against whom to proceed, and promising to see justice done on his return to Holland and Zeeland. Dated at Valenciennes, 30 July. (F)
The Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of London to William, Count of Hainault, acknowledging the receipt of his letter promising to see justice done to Stephen Aleyn after his return from the war in Flanders. The writers desire him to make the needed compensation without further delay, lest other steps should be taken. Dated 13 Dec. (F)
Membr. 26 (30)b
The same to the Count of Flanders, with regard to a robbery suffered by Henry le Palmere (fn. 19) and other citizens. The latter had sued out writs of arrest in Chancery, whereby the Sheriffs were ordered to make reprisals on the men of Flanders, but the execution of these writs had been delayed because the Count's representatives were negotiating treaties with the King's Council. The writers desire the Count to make restitution, lest other steps should be taken. Dated as above. (F)
The same to Sir John de Weston, Constable of Bordeaux Castle, complaining of the conduct of Arnold Trente, the King's receiver of customs in the said castle, who had imprisoned, attached and threatened London merchants. Dated as above. (F)
The same to the Mayor, Jurats and Commonalty of Bordeaux, desiring their good will on behalf of London merchants, and requesting them to ascertain from the above Arnold the reason for his actions, and to inform him that if he had any grievance against the City and would put it into writing, satisfaction would be given. Dated as above. (F)
The same to John de Haustede, Seneschal of Gascony, thanking him for the assistance he had given London merchants against the exactions of Arnold Trente, the King's receiver of customs at Bordeaux. Dated as above. (F)
Letter from John de Claxton, Undersheriff and deputy of " Aumary" la Souche, Sheriff of Cambridge (fn. 20), to the Mayor etc. of London, promising to levy from the Hundred of Stowe the sum of £130 claimed by Richard de Welleford and Geoffrey de Weston in accordance with the King's writ presented by them. Dated at Cambridge on Friday after the Feast of St Lucia [13 Dec.]. (F)
Letter from the King to the Mayor, Aldermen, Sheriffs and Commonalty of London, informing them that he had recently sent to the Earl of Lancaster certain messages, a copy of which accompanies this letter. On receiving the messages the Earl had replied that he would take advice and give an answer, but instead of doing so he had moved from Leicester to Kenilworth and was now advancing in force against the King, to whom he would have done an injury, if he could have taken him unawares. Though the Earl and his party declared that they were acting in the King's interests, and that their movements were directed not against him, but against certain of his subjects, the King considered that their proceedings would result in grave disorder, and thus directly affected him. In any case, it was not their duty, but his, to act as judge and do justice. He appeals to the City, which he regards as the "King's Chamber," not to show favour to the Earl or assist him in any way. He desires the Mayor to proclaim publicly the tenour of the messages which he had sent to the Earl. Dated at Gloucester, 16 Dec. Ao 2 Edw. III . (F)
Copy of the above-mentioned messages: Recently Ralph Basset and William de Clynton had come to the King at Westminster and had suggested that an agreement was possible if the Earl of Lancaster and the Earl of March (fn. 21) could discuss their differences together, and had prayed the King to give orders to his Council to arrange a meeting. To this the King had answered that the measures taken by the Earl of Lancaster were a trespass against himself, and amends should be made to him alone. Though it was not a King's duty to send messengers to his subjects, nevertheless for the preservation of the peace, he now informs the Earl of the following points on which he feels himself aggrieved, in order that the Earl may be better disposed to make his submission.
In the first place, it was agreed at the Parliament of Northampton (fn. 22) by the prelates and wise men of the Council, and by them proposed to the King, the Earls and other magnates, that the King was the rightful heir of France according to written and Canon law, and he was advised to send two Bishops to France to claim his right. By general consent, to which the Earl of Lancaster was a party, the Bishops of Chester and Worcester were chosen, and thereupon the Earl and those present in Parliament promised to aid the King to the utmost of their power.
Item, it was agreed at the same Parliament that Justices should be commissioned for the several counties to deal with felonies and trespasses, that the magnates in their districts should assist them to do justice and should not maintain or protect evildoers, and that no one, great or small, should go armed in the Kingdom, under penalty of forfeiture of their arms and imprisonment.
Item, it was agreed that the King should live of his own; and forthwith a Chancellor, Treasurer, Steward of the Household and other ministers were appointed. It was also agreed that the Earl of Lancaster should remain near the King to counsel and aid him, and that no important business should be done without the Earl—which duties the Earl undertook loyally to perform.
Nevertheless, in spite of these ordinances and promises the Earl had removed himself from the King and his Council, except on one occasion, when he came to the King at Warwick and promised to attend the Council at Worcester. But at Worcester the Earl was unwilling that the dispatch of men to Guyenne should take place until the matter had been considered at a larger Council, which he advised the King to summon to York (fn. 23). The Earl, however, had not attended at York, sending letters to excuse himself, with the result that the business of Gascony and other important matters were delayed, whereupon the King took the advice of those who were present and summoned Parliament to meet at Salisbury, to which place he arranged his journey by way of Lincoln, Norfolk and London. On the way the Earl had appeared at Barlyngs (fn. 24) with a retinue of armed and mounted men, to the great displeasure of the King, who ordered him by word of mouth to attend the Parliament at Salisbury. After his departure, the Earl sent the Bishop of Winchester and Lord Wake to the Guildhall of London, in which City there was always a large number of visiting aliens, and these messengers, in the presence of the Mayor, Sheriffs, Aldermen and the whole Commonalty and also of many aliens (fn. 25), declared that the King was badly advised, had no good council round him, had not the wherewithal to live, and paid nothing for the expenses of his household—all of which was reported abroad, at the Court of Rome and in France and elsewhere, to the great slander of the King and his Council and in hindrance of the King's affairs in France and Gascony. After this, the Earl assembled men-at-arms at Hegham Ferers (fn. 26), news of which was carried to the King at Cambridge (fn. 27). In order to avoid the Earl he had turned aside from his journey to London and had joined the Queen-Mother and the Queen, staying in their company till Salisbury was reached. The Earl did not attend the Parliament there, but sent certain knights as his proctors to lay before the King his reasons for not coming—which reasons seemed to many in Parliament invalid. However, the Bishops, who did not wish to say openly that the excuses given were unacceptable, prayed the King not to accept them for the time being, but to wait quietly till the whole Council was met together; their reasons being that the Bishop of Winchester was not present among the other prelates when the Earl of Lancaster's non-arrival was discussed. Subsequently the Bishop appeared and told the prelates, earls and barons that he knew well that the Earl had not come because of the quarrel between himself and Lord Mortimer. The Earl had heard, he said, that Lord Mortimer had made peace in Scotland, in order to destroy him (the Earl). The Bishop added that if an agreement could be reached between the Earl and Mortimer all would be well. These remarks were reported to the King, in whose presence Lord Mortimer, now Earl of March, had defended himself from the Bishop's aspersions. The prelates and others there were satisfied with his defence, and afterwards by the King's command and at the request of the prelates, earls and barons in Parliament, Mortimer took an oath on the cross of the Archbishop of Canterbury that he would neither do, nor procure to be done, any harm to the Earl of Lancaster and his party. On the prayer of the prelates, the Bishops of Winchester and London were sent to the Earl to report these events to him, and to invite him to attend Parliament, the King adding a verbal message that he wished the Earl and his party to come in safety, though he did not desire the presence of Sir Henry de Beaumond (fn. 28) on this occasion, and that if the Earl distrusted any person of the King's entourage, the King would give him surety. Meanwhile these delays and the upholding of business were regarded as a great hardship by those attending Parliament, especially as they had been put to great expense on previous occasions, when nothing was done. However, the Bishops returned at length with the Earl's answer to the following effect:
The Earl denied that he was moved by any desire to profit himself, or by any hatred of others, and declared that it was in the interest of the Church, the King and the realm, that certain abuses should be remedied. The King ought to have enough of his own to live fitly, without oppressing the people, together with treasure for defending his land and people if need arose. Moreover the Queen-consort ought to have her dowry on which to live without grieving the people (fn. 29). Peers of the realm had been chosen at the Parliament at Westminster after the King's coronation to advise him during his youthful years, which counsellors were to be responsible for their actions to the next Parliament. The peace of the realm, without which the King could not be lord or King, ought to be maintained. In order to recommend these matters and give such assistance as he could, the Earl would come to Parliament, but he begged the prelates and others to excuse him to the King for coming with an armed force, since his motive for so doing was not any desire to disobey the King or to harm any one, but merely to protect himself against those who were notoriously anxious to do him a wrong. If the King considered that he should come in any other wise, because of the danger of conflict, he prayed the prelates and magnates to obtain from the King letters of safe-conduct for himself and his party.
The above answer being considered by the King, it seemed to him as regards the first point, namely, that he ought to live of his own, that it was impossible for him to be any richer, since both he and his people were impoverished by the present disturbances, but if any man knew how to make him richer, it would give him and his advisers great satisfaction.
As regards the Queen-consort's dowry, this ought not to be a reason for disturbance, since the matter concerned himself and her alone. It would not be an increased charge, and so he was willing that it should be done.
In the matter of the safe-conduct, though it was not customary for Kings in the past to issue such letters to their subjects in the realm, nevertheless at the request of the Queen-Mother, the prelates, the King's uncle the Earl of Kent, and others, the King had granted them in the form demanded, under the condition that the Earl and his party would answer at law, since the King could not issue any other kind of safe-conduct without offence to the Great Charter, which laid down that the King should not deny or delay right or justice to any man.
These letters of safe-conduct were not accepted by the Earl, nor did he attend Parliament. Accordingly the King, in view of the long delays which had taken place, with the assent of the prelates, earls and barons, and at the request of the knights of the Commons, on Monday the eve of All Saints [1 Nov.] adjourned his Parliament to the octave of the Purification next ensuing at Westminster. He then arranged to make his journey by Winchester to London, when news was brought to him that the Earl of Lancaster with others had entered the City of Winchester with a great force of men-at-arms and foot-men, and had gathered to himself large numbers of men in a warlike manner. Thereupon the King ordered the Sheriff of Southampton to hasten to Winchester in order to arrest all men carrying arms against the King's prohibition and the Statute of Northampton. The Sheriff conveyed his orders to Lord Wake, but the Earl's party stood their ground and did not obey the King's servant until the Thursday following, although the Parliament was adjourned and the members had departed on leave, On Thursday the King journeyed as arranged to Winchester, when the Earl and his armed following left the City and passed by the side of the King, which was seen by some of the King's household, who told him what they saw—an action which the King regarded with great displeasure as being done against the peace and his own honour, and in despite of him.
Nevertheless the King, being anxious that peace should be maintained, desires to bring all these facts to the notice of the Earl, that the Earl may be advised to behave towards the King as he ought to behave to his liege lord. The King assures the Earl that if he does so, he will find him gracious and ready to promote unity and concord between all as a just judge, and not as a partisan. (F)
Membr. 28 (32)
Letter from the Commonalty of London to the King, notifying that the above letter was publicly read before a great Commonalty in the Guildhall on Tuesday the eve of the Feast of St Thomas the Apostle [21 Dec.]. The writers inform the King that Thomas Wake, William Trussel, Thomas Roscelyn and others (fn. 30) were present and had explained that the Earl could not answer the King's letter in haste without the advice of his peers, but that a speedy answer would be sent, for the honour of the King and the profit of the realm. The King is assured that the City remains firmly loyal, and is prayed to give orders that all enmities cease until matters can be redressed in the forthcoming Parliament. (F)
Letter from Simon (Mepeham), Archbishop of Canterbury, to the King, reminding him that at the Parliament of Salisbury proclamation was made by common assent that no proceedings should be taken against the magnates of the realm till the coming session at Westminster, further that he had promised by his coionation oath to maintain the laws and customs of England, and thirdly that it was laid down in the Great Charter that the King should not go nor send against any in the land, except by judgment of his peers and by process of law—a clause which had been enforced by sentence of excommunication against all who contravened it. Moreover the King well knew that divers councils of the prelates of the realm had given sentence of excommunication against all persons (with the exception of the King, the Queen and their children) who were guilty of disturbing the peace, or causing it to be disturbed. Since it was now common knowledge that the King had been advised to advance in force against certain peers and others of the land, to the great peril of the realm, the Archbishop earnestly prays and admonishes the King to desist from these intentions until the meeting of Parliament at Westminster, at which any peer or other who had offended might make amends and be punished according to due process of law. (F)
Note that the above letter was sent to the King at Worcester by the hands of Master John de Elham, Canon of St Paul's and Archdeacon of Essex, who left London on Friday [23 Dec.] before Christmas Day [25 Dec.] 1328. (L)
Letter from the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of London to the King to the same effect. The writers feel themselves bound by their allegiance to the King to warn him of the dangers which would ensue if he persisted in his intentions. Dated 22 Dec. (F)
Note that this letter was sent by the hands of Robert Flamberd (fn. 31), Common Serjeant, who left London on Sunday, Christmas Day.
[Enclosure] The King proclaims that he is about to advance in force from Worcester to Warwick in order to deal with those who are laying waste the country, including his own manors. He will be at Warwick on New Year's Day and at Leicester on the Feast of the Epiphany [6 Jan.]. He is ready to grant a pardon to all those who have been guilty of the above trespasses, if they make submission before the morrow of the Epiphany, but this amnesty does not extend to Sir Henry de Beaumont (fn. 32), Sir Thomas Roscelyn (fn. 33), Sir Thomas Wither (fn. 34) and Sir William Trussel (fn. 35), though the King has no desire to do any wrong or to act illegally against the latter. The taking of victual without payment is strictly forbidden. (F)
Membr. 28 (32)b
Letter from the Mayor and Commonalty of London to the Constable of Windsor Castle, complaining of the seizure of wheat and other victuals for the provisioning of the Castle, as reported by Martin de Chigwell and other merchants of London. Such prises were contrary to the liberties of the City, and had been publicly forbidden by proclamation made in the City by the King's command on Monday last. Dated 11 Jan. [1328-9]. (F)
The same to Hugh de Neville demanding restitution to Henry Prodomme, William de Neuporte and John Turnegold of goods stolen from their ship, which ran aground near the manor of Wakeryng, when on a voyage from Yarmouth to London with a cargo of cured herring (hareng soor) (fn. 36) and other goods value £80. Three of the crew had come ashore and asked assistance, for which they were willing to pay, but the tenants had allowed the ship to be wrecked out of malice, and when the tide ebbed, had carried the cargo to Wakeryng and had also broken up the ship. Though the sailors had claimed the return of their goods from the bailiff of the manor, in whose possession they were found, they had obtained no redress. (F)
Reply to the above, to the effect that the ship ran ashore at a place where the writer had rights of "wreck," and that the sailors went in the night to the town of Shobery to ask for help. When they returned, the ship was a wreck and the greater part of the goods had been carried away by people of the district, before any of his men knew anything of the matter. No living thing was found when the ship perished, except two dead men (sic). The writer had taken steps to recover the property and was willing to do all that law and reason demanded. Dated at Langham on St Vincent's Day [22 Jan.]. (F)
Letter from John de Grantham, Mayor, and the Commonalty of the City of London to Hugh de Audele (fn. 37), reminding him that he had put in respite the exaction of wharfage dues at Henley from citizens of London, pending a discussion of the matter in London. Nevertheless his bailiffs at Henley had again been distraining London citizens for the dues. Dated 3 June. (F)
The same to the King, praying him to instruct his Chancellor or the Treasurer and Barons of the Exchequer to repay to John de Gisorz the sum of 100 marks, which the latter, during his Mayoralty, had advanced to Sir Nicholas de Hugate for the King's business, by order of Sir John de Sandale then Chancellor. (F)
The same to Roger (fn. 38), Earl of March, to the same effect. Dated 13 July. (F)
Another letter from John de Grantham, Mayor, and the Commonalty to Hugh de Neville, acknowledging his promise to assist Henry Prodomme and others, whose ship had been wrecked, and the goods therein stolen. The writers point out that the men who left the ship went not to Shobery but to Wakering, where the tenants promised to help them and did nothing. The goods were not carried away by the inhabitants of the district, but were taken by his tenants, together with portions of the ship, into the manor of Wakering, where the three sailors saw the goods. Hugh de Neville is desired to obtain restitution, in order that other steps need not be taken. (F)
Writ to the Bailiffs of Hugh de Audele and Margaret his wife at Henley, forbidding them to exact wharfage dues from vessels belonging to citizens of London, since such dues were contrary to the charters granted by the King to the City of London. Dated at Eltham, 24 June Ao 3 Edw. III . (L)
Return from the Bailiffs to the effect that one penny had from time immemorial been levied on vessels coming to Henley, by way of easement of the lord's land, and that the town of Henley was held by Sir Hugh de Audele for the lifetime of his wife, with remainder to the Crown.
Another letter from John de Grantham, Mayor, the Aldermen and Commonalty to Hugh de Neville, urging him to delay no longer in taking steps to make good the loss sustained by Henry Prodomme, William de Neuport and John Turnegold, whose ship was wrecked within his demesne. Dated the eve of the Assumption [15 Aug.]. (F)
Commission appointing Simon de Swanlond, John de Causton, John de Pulteneye, Henry Darci, Henry Gisorz and Andrew Aubry to exercise jurisdiction over London citizens at Boston Fair. Dated 28 July Ao 3 Edw. III . (F)
Acquittance (fn. 39) from the Mayor, Aldermen and other citizens of London to William Horn, Rector of Rotherhithe, John atte Vine and Master Philip of London, notary, executors of the will of Andrew Horn, late Chamberlain of the Guildhall, in respect of the City's accounts. The executors had duly accounted for all sums of money mentioned in the Rolls of Receipts and Expenditure before Hamo de Chigwell and other auditors, and had delivered by indenture to Henry de Seccheford, now Chamberlain, all property pertaining to the Chamber of London. Sealed with the Common Seal. (L)
Letter from Hugh de Neville to the Mayor etc. of London, expressing his willingness to assist Henry Prodomme, William de Neuport and John Tornegold, when he is informed against whom they wish to make complaint, saving the rights of his lordship. Dated at Wakering, 17 Aug. (F)
Commission appointing John de Pulteneye, Ralph de Upton, Richard de Welleford, Thomas Harewold, Thomas de Grauntbregge and others to exercise jurisdiction (fn. 40) over London citizens at Winchester Fair. Dated 18 Aug. Ao 3 Edw. III . (F)
Letter from John de Pulteneye, Mayor, the Aldermen and Commonalty of London to the Warden of Berwick, the King's Chancellor and Sheriff in those parts, the Mayor, Bailiffs and officers of the same, certifying that Margery, wife of Henry de Lyndeseye, the bearer of the letter, was daughter and heiress of John de Everwyk, late glover of London, and desiring that certain property in the town of Berwick, belonging to the said John de Everwyk, might be handed over to her. Dated Monday the Feast of St Mark [25 April] 1334. (F)
The same to the Burgomaster, Echevins and Commonalty of Bruges on behalf of Thomas de Pykenham, executor of John de Pykenham, that he may be assisted in collecting certain debts. Dated 22 April 1334. (F)
Letter from the Mayor and Commonalty to the Count of Hainault on behalf of John de Wrotham, whose ship laden with corn had been driven by stress of weather to Zeeland, where it had been seized off Flushing, and the cargo taken ashore. Dated 26 May. (F)
Letter from the Mayor and Barons of Sandwich to the Mayor, Aldermen and custom-officers of London, to the effect that Belyngers Comely, merchant and attorney of Peter Garcies of Sandwich, had bought 200 qrs of corn from citizens of London, but could not have delivery until he had paid toll. Withernam had been granted him against London merchants, though the first three distresses taken from citizens of London had been returned. Finally 44s 8d, being double the toll paid in London, had been taken from John de Braughyng, factor of John de Preston of London. The writers desire that the above John may not suffer loss owing to default of justice by the citizens of London. (F)
Commission appointing Bennet de Fulsham, Andrew Aubrey, Thomas de Swanlond, Bartholomew Denmars, William de Cave and William de Braughyng to exercise jurisdiction over London citizens at Boston Fair. Dated 26 June Ao 8 Edw. III . (L)
Letter from the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of London to Antony de Lucy, warden of the town of Berwick, desiring him to arrest the property of John Turgys, chandler, inasmuch as the latter had received certain moneys from Thomas Otewy, draper and merchant of London, to trade therewith, and had rendered no account of the same as he ought to have done. Dated 3 Sept. Ao 8 Edw. III . (F)
The same to the same on behalf of Osbern de Bray. The latter's factor, William de Braughyng, after selling his wheat and wine in Berwick had loaded a ship belonging to John le Chaundeler of London with salmon, leather and tallow at Perth, and on the voyage to London he had gone ashore at Leith with others. By mischance all were killed except the above John, who was still in prison there. The ship had returned to Berwick, and the goods were now in the custody of John de Caunterbery and Paul, servants of John le Chaundeler. Dated the morrow of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross [14 Sept.]. (F)
Letter from Reginald de Conduit, Mayor, and the Commonalty of London to the Sacristan of the Abbey of St Edmunds and the Bailiffs of the town, with regard to three bullocks belonging to John de Preston, Alderman of London, which had strayed from his manor of Braughyng co. Herts, into their bailiwick. They are desired to deliver the animals to the bearer of the letter, who would prove ownership. Dated the morrow of All Souls [2 Nov.]. (F)
Letter from the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of London to the King, informing him of the dispatch of 100 horsemen (fn. 41) and 100 foot under the command of Edmund Flamberd, to assist him in the war with Scotland. Their wages had been paid for forty days. The writers pray that the Chancellor may be authorised to pass a warrant under the Great Seal that this shall not form a precedent. Dated Thursday the Feast of the Conception B.M. [8 Dec.] Ao 8 Edw. III . (F)
Commission appointing Roger de Guldesburgh and James de Kyngeston to press all ships of 40 casks of wine burden and upwards into the King's service against the Scots. This commission covered all ports northward from Faversham, and all ships then at sea were ordered to return to their home ports, in order to be fitted out with double equipment and manned by sailors and men-at-arms. Dated at Carlisle, 22 July Ao 9 Edw. III . (L)
A note of certain communications to be made by the Bishop of London or the Bishop of Winchester on behalf of the King and the Chancellor to the Bishops and others (fn. 42) assembled in London on the morrow of the Feast of St Bartholomew [24 Aug.], as regards the ordering of the realm.
Those present are to be informed that the King had received information that the King of France intended to send military aid to the Scots, and this information had been confirmed by the fact that ships had been pressed into service along the French shores as far as the coast of Brittany for transporting troops. Since there was danger of these ships making a descent upon the English coast, the King and Council had appointed Sir John Howard as Admiral from the mouth of the Thames northwards, and Sir John de Cobham from the same place southwards, and in addition had constituted certain persons as wardens of the maritime counties, and others to enlist and command defensive forces, as would appear by their commissions.
Commands had also been sent to the Barons of the Cinque Ports and the authorities of other ports to put their towns in a posture of defence, and commissioners had been sent to the seaports to ensure that this was being done.
News had also been received that at the Parliament of Paris held on the Octave of St Mary Magdalene [22 July] last, the King of France had announced by word of mouth that he desired to aid the Scots with a thousand men-at-arms and a large number of other troops, and a suitable escort of ships, pretending that he was bound so to do by virtue of a perpetual treaty of alliance between the two kingdoms. Writs had immediately been issued to summon the bishops and others to London to discuss the contents of the writs and other matters, which would be laid before them by the King's messengers.
The Chancellor, Treasurer and other councillors, in order to facilitate the discussion of these matters by the prelates and nobles, had divided the kingdom into three parts: from the Trent northwards including the county of Lincoln; from the Trent southwards; and the Marches of Wales. They had summoned the prelates etc. from the first part to meet at York, where it was agreed that all men of a certain age should be armed, and should resist any landing of the French, in whichever of the three parts it should occur.
Sir Ralph Basset had then been ordered to take a commission issued to the Bishops of Coventry and Lichfield, Hereford and Worcester, Sir John de Cherleton and himself to hold a similar council for the Marches of Wales; and afterwards to come to London to explain what had been done at York and in Wales, so that the Council at London, which represented that part of England from the Trent southwards, might give its consent or add anything necessary, in order that the measures adopted might be carried out unanimously.
Further orders had been given to the Admirals, the Barons of the Cinque Ports, and the men of other ports, to fit out and put afloat their ships for the protection of the coasts; and three chief captains, one from each part of the kingdom, had been chosen and commissioned for the purpose. (L)