Calendar of the Plea and Memoranda Rolls of the City of London: Volume 2, 1364-1381. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1929.
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ROLL A 15
John van Vinia and Henry Broke undertook to save harmless Lord Lespencer and Hugh le Despenser, knight, and John Chichestre, Mayor, towards Godfrey de Allem, burgess of Thoroin, as regards a loan of £40, which the said Hugh had repaid to John Sutherland, the said Godfrey's attorney.
John Dorme, chaplain, and Robert Mauncer, cutler, proffered the will of William de Blaikeston, dated Friday after the Feast of St Gregory [12 March] 1347, proved before the Official of the Archdeacon of London, as evidence of the age of Nicholas de Thorpe, spurrier, who acknowledged as his own a deed (fn. 1), whereby he granted to the aforesaid Robert an annual rent of 8 marks, which deed was enrolled in the Husting of Pleas of Land the same day. They testified that the said Nicholas was the son of the said William de Blaikeston.
Nicholas Bocher, bailiff of Southwark, was sworn to arrest (fn. 2) all malt bought by foreigners in the City of London and taken to Southwark for conveyance to foreign counties. William Malton and Henry Weston of the same town undertook to do the same.
Membr. 1 b
Alice, wife of John de Horsford, came before John Piel, Sheriff, in the presence of the Mayor and Aldermen, and claimed the ownership of the moiety of a ship called "Seyntemariebot de Loundres," which had been arrested by the bailiff of Billingsgate at the suit of Adam Bury and John Tornegold as the property of Richard de Kayton, deceased. On her proving her title, the Court ordered delivery of the moiety to be made to her.
Bartholomew, vicar of St Giles without Cripplegate, and Martin, rector of St Faith's Church, were mainprised by Gilbert Prynce, Geoffrey Haveryng, William Lark and Richard Serne to repay £20 1s 8d—paid to them in their suit before the Mayor and Aldermen, being the balance claimed on an exchange made with them by Silvester Nicholas, Lombard, of the Society of Stroci (fn. 3)—in the event of its being certified under the seal of the Cardinal of Canterbury or the Pope's Penitentiary that the money claimed had already been paid to Vincent de Caldecote, monk, or Friar Thomas Brumton, the Pope's Penitentiary.
John Huwet, leche (fn. 4), who had been arrested for contempt in saying that a bushel of corn ought to be sold for 20d, and would be were it not for the Mayor, put himself on the mercy of the Mayor and Aldermen, who ordered him to be released.
The same day, John Dale, taverner, dwelling opposite Poules brewerne (fn. 5), was charged with aiding William atte Wode, who by means of lies, false representations and deceit (per juncariam, conjecturam & decepcionem) enticed a stranger into the said John's tavern to play dice in order to cheat him out of his money. It was alleged that John co-operated by keeping the door of the tavern closed and preventing the stranger from leaving, until the latter had been defrauded of 17s 8d. The accused pleaded not guilty and put himself on the country. Thereupon he was mainprised by John de Croydon, taverner, and William Stokesby for his appearance quo & quando.
Membr. 2 b
Monday the Feast of St John ante Portam Latinam [6 May], John Helpeston, poulterer, was questioned before the Mayor and Aldermen as to having charged the Sheriffs' officers with robbing him of two pigs—which were taken as forfeit because he had exposed them for sale among the foreign poulterers contrary to the ordinance of the City. The said John could not deny the facts and put himself on the mercy of the Mayor, Aldermen and Sheriffs. He was committed to prison, being released on the Wednesday.
Friday after the above Feast, Peter Coly, haberdasher, who had been arrested for cheating (juncaria, decepdone & falsitate), was mainprised by Gilbert Hattere, plasterer, John Spaldyng, brewer, and William Mountagu, hackneyman, for his appearance on the eve of Pentecost.
Arnold Debbe, servant of John Wrytle, hostiller, was committed to prison at the suit of John Plumsted in a plea of detinue of a gunne (fn. 6) value 40d, which the said John recovered against him before the Mayor.
William Penne was summoned to answer Robert Charwelton, baker, in a plea of covenant (fn. 7), wherein the latter complained that in Midlent last year the said William demised to him for seven years a bakehouse in the parish of St Mildred Bread Street, at an annual rent of 7 marks, agreeing at the same time to seal a document to this effect, and to let the plaintiff know, at the beginning of the seventh year, whether he might remain in the house beyond the term. Though the plaintiff had had indentures prepared and had asked the defendant to seal one of them, the latter had refused to do so, and on the preceding Tuesday had given him notice to quit at Michaelmas, to his damage £20.
The defendant denied the plaintiff's allegations and offered to defend himself by his law as a freeman of the City. A day was given him on the Saturday following, when he failed in making his law. Judgment was given that the plaintiff enjoy his term of seven years and that the defendant execute and seal a demise for the same according to his covenant, and also be in mercy.
William Sharpyng, vintner, was summoned to answer Walter Southous (fn. 8) in a plea of debt of £100 due on a recognisance made in the Chamber of the Guildhall on 7 Feb., the money being payable at Easter.
The defendant pleaded that the plaintiff ought not to have any action against him because the recognisance was to be of no effect if certain conditions were fulfilled, the conditions being stated in indentures made between the parties on 8 Feb. He produced the document, the tenor of which was as follows:
The defendant William promised not to hinder, but to assist, his wife Joan, daughter of Richard de Coutenhale, to secure a divorce by ecclesiastical law on the ground of his impotency, for the purpose of which he agreed to appear before a judge in court (fn. 9) and submit to examination (virilia sua monstrando), so that it might appear whether he was impotent or not. He promised further that he would not molest his wife, but allow her to go and come freely, and if it appeared to her or her counsel that he or his advocate or proctor were attempting to hinder the divorce, they should be at liberty to appoint other advocates or attorneys for him. Walter, the plaintiff, agreed at the same time that if William kept these conditions, his recognisance in £100 should be cancelled and of no effect. On the other hand, Walter was also bound to William by a recognisance of £100, which was to be cancelled if the said Joan were adjudged by law to be the wife of William (i.e. if the nullity proceedings failed) and if Walter thereupon duly paid the whole of the money which had been promised to him on his marriage with Joan.
The plaintiff thereupon pleaded that the defendant had not fulfilled the conditions, because on 17 June, when the said Joan was on her way to consult her counsel (fn. 10), the defendant with six others lay in wait for her and assaulted her, so that she did not dare to go on, and thus the defendant had broken his agreement, as the plaintiff was prepared to verify. He prayed judgment and damages.
The defendant denied hindering his wife in the form alleged and put himself on the country. Accordingly a jury was summoned for 24 July, and the defendant, for lack of mainprise, was committed to prison meanwhile.
Membr. 3 b
The same day, Bartholomew Myne, Adam Lovekyn, John de Crede, Floure Broun and John Outresson, merchants, brought a bill of complaint against Nicholas Sarduche, Guydo de Porte, Jacomel Fane, John Putten and other merchants, alleging that they had together freighted a ship in Flanders, of which John Outresson was master, and that on the voyage off the coast of Flanders certain goods of the complainants had been jettisoned owing to stress of weather, the consent of the merchants being obtained, after which the ship arrived in safety at Mardryk (fn. 11) in Flanders, whence the goods were taken by Nicholas and the others to London, where they lay in their possession. Though the complainants had frequently demanded their share of the goods thus saved according to the Law of Oliron (fn. 12), or that satisfaction should be made to them, pound for pound, for their loss according to the same law, nevertheless the said Nicholas and the other defendants refused. The complainants prayed that the parties might be summoned and that they might have recovery of their share. [French]
Writ of Certiorari demanding information as to a complaint received by the King from John Baumburgh, clerk, who declared that a serjeant-at-mace of the City, moved by the said John's enemies, had arrested him in the parish of St Mary Magdalene in Castle Baynard Ward and had imprisoned him in a dreadful prison called "Julianesboure" in Newgate for eleven weeks without any legal process, and that another serjeant-at-mace had put him in fetters (in ceppis poni fecit), and caused him to be made sport of and tortured (ludificari & torqueri) for five weeks, during which time none of his friends dared to have speech with him for fear of those who had procured his imprisonment, all of which was to his grave damage and against the King's peace and the law and custom of the realm. The Mayor and Sheriffs are commanded to hold an inquest by means of the good and lawful men of the above Ward and Farringdon Ward, and if necessary, of the officers of the gaol, and to return the finding to Chancery. Dated at Westminster 20 Jan. Ao 43 Edw. III [1369-70].
An inquest was held pursuant to the above writ on Tuesday after the Feast of St Botolph [17 June] by oath of John Queldrik and others, who said that the said John Baumburgh had committed many grave and enormous trespasses against Philippa, late Queen of England, and had used many insulting expressions concerning her, for which cause she sent letters to Adam de Bury, late Mayor, to attach the said John and keep him in Newgate till further instructions, and that he was accordingly committed to prison in the 39th year of the King's reign, not owing to any action of his enemies, and there kept for six weeks in safe custody, but without hardship or damage to him. They found that no serjeantat-mace caused him to be made sport of or tortured as alleged.
Membr. 4 b
Robert de Watlyngton, attorney, produced a writ of protection, dated 3 July, in favour of Thomas, son of Hugh le Blount, knight, who was about to go overseas with Thomas Baunfeld on the King's service in the company of Robert de Knolles, knight.
Mark Ingeland, attorney of Henry Feld of Lübeck, acknowledged that he had received from Adam de Aylesham, servant of John Waryn of Lynne, the sum of £70 14d for freightage of salt on board the said Henry's ship "le Seinte Marie Cog" of Lubyk del Bay to be carried to Bristol; and thereupon the said Mark delivered up a bipartite indenture of freightage to be cancelled, at the same time giving a general acquittance to the said Adam.
William the Meire, Fleming, was committed to prison for 50s fines due from him for trespasses against the ordinances of the mistery of Weavers. Afterwards on 12 Oct. he paid 20s and was released, the remainder being pardoned.
John Pounsor of the town of Bregerak (fn. 13) brought a bill of complaint setting forth that when he was at Seint Maloo de lile (fn. 14) in Brittany, intending to bring his merchandise to England, the men of the town espied him as he was leaving and caused him to be captured with his goods and carried off to prison in Normandy, doing him damage to the amount of 500 motons dor in addition to personal injury, and afterwards took from him 12 tuns of wine in Brittany to his great impoverishment, all of which was testified by letters patent under the seal of the Duke of Brittany and could be proved by the evidence of the treasurer of Brittany, who was at present in London. The complainant further declared in his bill that there was a servant of the robbers, by name John Cook, then in Newgate, and that there were goods of the robbers in London, and he prayed that restitution might be made to him from those goods. [French]
The letters patent mentioned above were to the following effect: John, Duke of Brittany and Count of Montfort, informs all stewards, mayors, subordinates (seotigenz), bailiffs, and keepers of the entrances of towns and ports of his friends and allies that John de Pusor, who had sojourned and traded in the Duchy for four years past, had complained of being robbed in Brittany by men of Normandy and imprisoned outside the Duchy to his damage 500 motons dor (fn. 15), although the Duke had proclaimed in his towns and ports that all merchants might trade in the Duchy safely under his protection. Further, Bartholomew le Geneste had freighted the ship "Notre Dame" of Port Oriot in the Duchy, of which Colyn Herve was master, with 29 tuns of wine, of which 12 belonged to the complainant, to be unloaded at the port of Roche Derian (fn. 16). This ship had been intercepted on 23 May at the port of Blanc in the Duchy and carried into Normandy by an armed barge of St Maloo de lile, in which were Guillaume Mortfonace, Perotyn Lambert, Estive Lambert and several other burgesses of St Malo, in contempt of the Duke and to the damage of the merchants. The Duke, understanding that the said robbers had goods in divers countries, prays that, these goods may be seized and handed over to the bearer of these letters in compensation for his loss. Dated at Auray under the Duke's own seal, 14 June 1370. [French]
The complainant then informed the Court that the aforesaid John Cook was servant of the said Perotyn Lambert and had divers goods of his master in London and Weymouth from which restitution could be made, and he prayed that John Cook might be summoned and examined on the premisses.
John Spencer, mercer, likewise brought a bill of complaint to the effect that he had for a long time, by means of letters from the King and the Prince, been making suit to the Duke and his Council for restitution of certain goods, gold, silver and other merchandise, of which he had been robbed in the port of St Malo by men of that town on 22 May 1369, and also of 426 lampreys of Nantes, value 400 francs, of which he had been robbed by the same persons in the first week of Lent last past. The Duke had sent letters to the burgesses and Chapter (chapistre) of St Malo, who had rebelliously refused to obey him, whereupon the Duke had ordered Sir Thomas de Melbourne, Jankyn Fitz Nichol and Geffrey Stucle to inform the King and his Council that he wished them to arrest all the goods of that town, wherever they found them, until restitution had been made. On this the Chancellor had told the complainant to go and spy out such goods and, if he found them, to sue for a remedy at law. Accordingly he prayed the Mayor, Recorder and Aldermen to give him compensation on the bodies and goods of the rebellious townsmen which had been arrested in London. [French]
The complainant prayed for compensation from the aforesaid John Cook. A day was given to the parties on 14 Oct., when John Cook appeared. The complainant John Pounsor then declared that a certain Perotin Boneyde and others of St Malo had taken and imprisoned him, and that Perotin Lambert on 23 May had taken from him 12 casks of wine, value 140 marks, and had done him damage to the amount of 500 floreni de motons, and further that John Cook, servant of Perotin Lambert had 500 gold florins called francs, which he delivered to John Credy, Lombard, for a bill of exchange, payable at Bruges in Flanders, and also 12 casks and one pipe of wine at Weymouth. John Spencer declared to the same effect.
The defendant John Cook pleaded that he was not concerned in the allegations contained in the two bills of complaint, that he was not the servant of Perotin Lambert, nor had bought any letter of exchange, but that he was the servant of a certain Guillaume Lavocat of St Malo, whose goods he had in charge, as he was prepared to verify in any way the Court should direct.
Membr. 5 b
The two complainants repeated their allegations and prayed that Credy might be summoned, to which the Court assented, giving the parties a day on 21 Oct. On that day the defendant confessed that he was the servant of Perotin Lambert and had charge of his goods. When he was asked why he had testified falsely, he replied that every servant ought to safeguard his master's goods so far as he was able. John Credy, Lombard, then produced 460 florins, which were deposited in court. As the Court desired information as to whether this money belonged to the King or ought to be handed over to the complainants, an adjournment for a week was ordered, and the latter were advised to sue the matter in the King's Council.
It should be noted that Thomas de Melbourne, Treasurer of the Duke of Brittany, and John Fitz Nichol, Admiral of Brittany, told the Recorder that the complainants were robbed by men of St Malo, and that the Duke wanted them to be compensated from the goods of the offenders, but that the whole town was not hostile to the King; on the other hand, Geoffrey Stucle said that the whole town was hostile.