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 11
Writ of certiorari, demanding the tenor of the indictment made before Adam de Bury, late Mayor, and Simon de Mordon and John de Mitford, late Sheriffs, against William Stachisden, fishmonger, and others for a trespass against Giles Pykeman, fishmonger. Dated at Westminster 3 Feb. Ao 40 Edw. III [1365-6].
Thomas atte Noket and Thomas Faunt, administrators of the goods and chattels of William Credel, were summoned to answer John Devenissh, Robert Corn, fellmonger, and Henry Erode, skinner, in a plea of debt, wherein it was alleged that the said William Credel had bound himself on 9 June 1355 to the plaintiffs in the sum of £20, which had never been paid.
The administrators pleaded in defence that they had already administered all the property of the deceased before the levying of the plaint with the exception of £50 bequeathed to two of the deceased's sons who were minors, for the payment of which they had found security in the Chamber. Each party asked for judgment on the ground that the other had not denied the truth of the pleadings. Afterwards on Friday after the Feast of St Valentine the Mayor and Aldermen held an inquest ex officio as to whether the administrators still held any property not administered. The jury found that they had no such property except the £50 abovementioned, for which they had given security to satisfy the legatees, as appears in Letter Book G, fo. clvii. As it seemed to the Court that common justice (commune jus) demanded the payment of the testator's debts before everything else, judgment was given for the plaintiffs, and at the same time the defendants and their sureties were exonerated, as regards the £20, from paying that sum to the children when they came of age.
Membr. 1 b
John Bryd, draper, complained by bill that John Kirkeby, draper, had enticed away his apprentice, John Robyn, two years ago, at a time when the plaintiff was unfortunately living within the precinct of St Martin le Grand (fn. 1). He claimed 40 marks damages. [French]
The defendant appeared on summons and pleaded that the apprentice had been exonerated from his indentures two years before, as the result of an action of covenant which he had brought against his master, and in proof of this allegation he produced the record and process of the action before John Nott, then Mayor. As the plaintiff had no answer to this document, judgment was given for the defendant.
John de Erdele, serjeant of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, brought a bill of complaint against Thomas de Grantham, to the effect that the latter, who had leased to him a messuage in Billingsgate from Michaelmas 1360 for a term of 20 years, immediately afterwards ejected him. [French]
Thomas de Norhampton, carpenter, complained by bill that, whereas he had covenanted to serve John de Bukstede, tymbermongere, for one whole year, and had been unable to fulfil his covenant owing to an injury in his left hand, his master retained 4s due to him as well as his clothes. He prayed the Mayor to order the said John to give him satisfaction. [French]
Membr. 2 b
Godescalcus Sadeler, merchant of Almaine, brought a bill of complaint to the effect that he had bought 13 barrels of woad from John de Pikenham, which woad lay in the cellars of Geoffrey de Ditton. As soon as the bargain was made and Geoffrey had handed over the keys, the plaintiff had put his mark on the woad. But afterwards; when he went to see his woad, he found that the lock had been forced and that two of the barrels had been removed by the said Geoffrey, to his damage £100. [French]
The defendant Geoffrey, who appeared on summons next day, pleaded that long before the alleged sale the vendor John owed him and another person the sum of £71 and had deposited the woad in his premises as security for the debt, and that the plaintiff had acquired the key by showing a false token to his servant. As the plaintiff refused to return the key, he had broken open the door, taken out two casks and placed them in premises nearby as security for the debt. He demanded judgment whether any action lay against him personally.
The plaintiff protested that he did not admit that the casks of woad had been deposited as security or that there was any debt as alleged. The defendant, he asserted, had let the premises to John de Pikenham, who had informed him of the sale and asked that the key should be handed over to the plaintiff, and the key had been duly handed over by the defendant's servant in the Ropery. He prayed that the matter might be inquired into by the country; and the defendant did the same. Thereupon the plaintiff claimed that as he was a foreigner, a moiety of the jury should consist of merchants of Almaine. Accordingly a jury drawn from the Ropery and foreign merchants (fn. 2) was empanelled as follows: Richard Cras, William Aumesbury, John Bradle, William, Chaundeler, Andrew Yerdele, Hugh Skynnere, Henry Brok, Godescalcus Cameshed, Aluin Wynter, John Benynghof, Gurrod Myneshaghen and John Pette. Their verdict was in accordance with the plaintiff's pleadings and they valued the two casks at £28. Judgment was given that the plaintiff recover the two casks or their value and damages taxed at 6s 8d and that the de fendant be in mercy. The plaintiff remitted the damages in court.
Thomas Bunny brought a bill to the following effect: In June 1362 he had bound himself by an indenture to serve a certain Thomas Rose, sheder (fn. 3), for four years. During this term his master sold his estate in the complainant (vendist lestat qe il avoit en le dit Thomas) to one Joan Hunt, who kept stews on the far side of London Bridge (fn. 4). This woman set the complainant to all manner of grievous work, such as carrying water in tynes (fn. 5), and while thus employed he fell down and received a permanent injury. Further, she incited a certain Bernard, who was then her paramour, to beat and ill-treat him, and when he fell sick from ill-usage she turned him out of the establishment (myst hors de sa compaignye) to his great damage. Later, when he was able to work a little, his mistress wanted him to return and carry out his covenant, but she was unwilling to make amends herself. He prayed a remedy. [French]
The said Joan having been summoned and being unable to deny the truth of the bill, the Court adjudged that the complainant should be exonerated from his service and that neither Joan nor her executors should have any further claim on him.
Membr. 3 b
William Beneyt, William de Berkhamsted, William Bedel, John de Woubourne, John de Wykhale, William Moteshunt, William Wermenstre, Nicholas de Tamworth, William Stoket, Richard Hay, Gilbert Spencer, Nicholas de Morton, John Broun and Elias atte Plotte, master-fullers, and Richard de Cornewaill, Richard Fyssh and John Sheme, journeymenfullers, were attached to answer the King and the Commonalty of the City of London in a plea of contempt and trespass. John de Wentebrigg, Common Serjeant of the City, who sued for the King and the Commonalty, declared that whereas hitherto it had been many times ordained and publicly proclaimed that no one of whatsoever condition should presume to make covins, congregations, leagues, confederacies or affrays in the City or suburbs to the infringement of the King's peace and the commotion of the common people, under penalty of imprisonment of their bodies and a heavy fine to the King, nevertheless the defendants on Sunday [12 April] the morrow of the close of Easter (fn. 6) assembled a great general congregation of the mistery of Fullers in St Paul's Church and there made an assault (insultum fecerunt) on John de Draycote, fuller; by malicious and contumelious words, causing a great affray and disturbance of the King's peace, until they were interrupted by John de Watlyngton, serjeant of John Lovekyn, the Mayor. The next day, the defendants and other evildoers assembled in Thames Street after sunset outside the Mayor's door and there made an assault with force and arms on John de Draycote and a certain John de Melleford, a servant of Edmund, a monk of Bury, and would have killed them if they had not been rescued by the keepers of the peace and the King's servants. Afterwards the defendants congregated at St Lawrence's Church by Candlewick Street to carry on their evil deeds. On Tuesday they and other evildoers would not allow the journeymen of their mistery to work but sent them wandering among their fellow-workmen, until they might have vengeance on the said John de Draycote. And further, the same day by common consent they all crossed over to the Priory of St Mary Southwark and there made a congregation and covin in order to carry out their malice, in infraction of the King's peace and in contempt of him, to the disturbance of the mistery and the detriment of the common people and against the ordinances made to preserve the peace.
The defendants severally denied the charges and put themselves on the country, several mainprising each other for their appearance, and the remainder being committed to prison. Next day a jury from the venues mentioned in the charges found certain defendants guilty of forming a confederacy, calling out the working fullers and committing assault by contumelious words, and they were sent to prison to await judgment. The others, who were found not guilty, were nevertheless mainprised for their good behaviour and to keep the peace. Subsequently on 20 April, by virtue of a writ under the privy seal, William Beneyt was admitted to mainprise, and on 24 April the other prisoners were bound over to come up for judgment when required, to pay a fine to the King if the Court so ordered, and not to commit again any of the offences mentioned in the charges.
Thomas Irland, skinner, brought a bill of complaint to the effect that he had bought a vacant plot of ground in the parish of St Peter, Cornhill, for 40 marks from Thomas atte Walle, brewer, and had paid eight God's Pennies (oet deniers a dieu) (fn. 7), and that it was then agreed between them in the presence of John de Salesbury, serjeant, and Thomas Hynton, esquire, that the defendant should enfeoff the plaintiff when required and that he should not sell the plot to anyone else, whereupon the plaintiff had bought timber and made an agreement with a carpenter to erect a building; but afterwards the defendant had refused to enfeoff him and had sold the plot to one William Robynet, draper, against his covenant and to the plaintiff's damage £100. He prays a remedy. [French]
The defendant denied any such covenant, and said the agreement to sell was conditional on his wife's consenting thereto, and she had refused her consent. The plaintiff replied that the covenant was a simple one and not conditional. This issue being submitted to a jury, a verdict was given for the plaintiff. The Court thereupon awarded £10 damages.
Membr. 4 b
John Wyot, clerk of St Alban's Church, Wood Street, was attached to answer John de Wardon in a plea of trespass, wherein the latter complained that the defendant went to the smithy of Master John Mareschal in Wood Street and there maliciously cut the tongue of a white horse, value 5 marks, belonging to the plaintiff, with an instrument called a "botour (fn. 8)" The defendant denied having done so and put himself on his country. On this the plaintiff said that if the defendant was willing to take an oath with his own hand (fn. 9) only that he was not guilty, he should go quit. The defendant swore the oath, and judgment was given that the plaintiff take nothing by his plaint and be in mercy for a false claim.
John, son of John Blythe, saddler, complained by bill that whereas he had been bound to Janyn Lubek, saddler, by Richard Peutrer of London, for a term of seven years, to learn the art of saddlery, the said Janyn had left London and given up the trade of a saddler for that of a painter, to the great damage of the complainant, who prayed to be discharged from his apprenticeship. [French]
William Spicer, William Cook and William Bungaye were attached to answer a charge of having broken at midnight into a house belonging to William Southous, where Joan Upholdestere was dwelling, and of having carried away the doors and windows of a chamber there to the plaintiff's damage 100s. The defendants pleaded that on the night named they were watchmen in Broad Street Ward to keep the King's peace according to the custom of the City, that the said Joan was a woman of bad character (male condicionis), and that accompanied by the beadle of the Ward they proceeded to the house to see if she was harbouring any men of ill-fame and conversation, the woman herself opening the door to them of her own free will. They prayed judgment whether the plaintiff could impute any offence to them personally. Both parties put themselves on the country, which brought in a verdict of not guilty for the defendants.
Membr. 5 b
Nicholas Salman brought a bill of complaint to the effect that his master Robert Leddered, instead of teaching him the trade of a draper, had turned him into a house-boy (fist destre son hostiller) (fn. 10) and set him to mean tasks both within and outside his house (hostiel), thus wasting his time, wherefore he prayed to be discharged from his apprenticeship. [French]
The defendant pleaded that he had taught him as well as he could and denied putting him to mean tasks. A jury found a verdict for the plaintiff. Judgment for 30s damages and that the indentures be cancelled.
William Toucestre was committed to prison for preparing to fight a duel outside the City (vadiavit bellum faciendum), and was liberated on 31 July on mainprise of Thomas Hynxton and Robert Boxford to keep the peace.
At the instance of the masters and others of the mistery of Grocers, the following persons were forbidden by the Mayor and Aldermen to intermeddle with the office of brokers (curetariorum) of that mistery: Geoffrey de Ditton, Nicholas Negrebon, Peter Bon, Venture Sirealisaundre, Hanekyn le Birle, Passerell de Luk, Lowys Malbek, Dyno Perussyn, Matthew de Chouygo, John Lape, Zenabi de Martino Chillato, Angel de Pystoye and Gerard Bek.
John Doncastre, coppersmith, came into court and delivered to John Fyman and John Skot, attorneys of Mary de Seint Leir, a red bed embroidered with leopard's heads, which Thomas Brouderer had pledged to him for 34s. He made his law to prove the pledging and was paid the money by the attorneys.
Membr. 6 b
A bill was preferred by John Sely and Sibil his wife setting forth that Ralph de Cauntebrugg (fn. 11), in his will enrolled in the Husting, had devised to his son Henry and heirs in tail a tenement then in the occupation of John Gylle, on condition that he paid to the Prior of Christ Church an annual quitrent of 16s, which the testator had been accustomed to pay out of other lands and tenements. Owing to the said Henry having fallen into arrears of 28s the Prior had taken distresses from the complainants, as tenants of the lands and tenements which had originally been, and still legally were, charged with the quitrent. Though they had asked the said Henry to pay his arrears, he had not done so, to their damage 100s. They pray a remedy. [French]
The said Henry appeared on summons and after saying that he did not admit the fact of the legacy pleaded that he entered into possession of the tenement by inheritance as son and heir. Further the complainants had not shown any cause (materiam) why they had come into possession of the lands and tenements thus charged. Accordingly he prayed judgment (whether he need answer).
The complainants replied that the said Henry had not denied the legacy nor his possession of the tenement devised to him, which he could not have acquired except by legacy, nor had he denied that he was bound to pay the 16s quitrent. As regards their showing cause how they came into possession of their tenements, the fact was that the said Henry was bound, by the terms of his father's will, to pay the 16s, and inasmuch as he did not deny that they were in possession of the tenements, which had been distrained owing to his default, it was immaterial for them (non est de substancia materie) to show how they came into possession or to answer him at all on this point. They prayed judgment and damages.
The Court accepted this as matter for judgment and adjourned the case that they might be advised. Afterwards the said Henry twice made default, and after consultation with the Aldermen, judgment was given that the plaintiffs recover damages taxed at 34s 8d and that the said Henry be in mercy.
John Brown, serjeant of the Chamber, was ordered to summon the defendant to answer the plaintiff on the bill on the following Saturday. On that day the plaintiff appeared by Robert de Cressewyk, his attorney, but the defendant made default. Evidence of summons having been given by the serjeant, the latter was ordered to make a sequestration on the defendant by all the rents belonging to him in the City until etc. A day was given to the parties on Thursday before the Feast of the Nativity B.M. [8 Sept.], when the defendant again made default. The serjeant testified that he had been sequestrated by all the annual rents in the hands of his tenants, viz. Nigel de Haukynton, 10 marks; Margaret de Redecoue, 40s; Elizabeth de Dyghton, 10s; John Shethere, 36s 8d; Richard Skot, 36s 8d; William Trere, 30s; John de Gloucestre, 100s; John Dauncy, 100s; William de Estby, 5 marks; John Pountfreyt, 2 marks quitrent; total of all the rent thus arrested in the hands of the tenants, £29 6s 8d. He was ordered to retain the rents and to take a further distress against Wednesday after the octave of St Michael, which day was appointed for the parties.
John Pyrie of Gloucester complained by bill that Gilbert Godchild, vintner, to whom he was apprenticed for seven years, had failed to instruct him in his trade or to provide him with food, clothing and necessaries, and had taken refuge at St Martin le Grand twelve weeks ago, leaving the complainant without occupation. He prayed either that he might be discharged from his apprenticeship or else that his master should keep the covenants between them. [French]
Membr. 7 b
Bennet Walkoleyn [Wakelyn], cordwainer, brought a bill setting forth that he had taken an eight year's lease of premises in the parish of St Mary Aldermanbury from Richard Lacer, goldsmith. The latter had subsequently conveyed the property to Gilbert de Notyngham, tailor, saving to the lessee his rights. There was a rent-charge of 36s on the property payable to a certain Stephen Asshwy, and this money having fallen into arrears, the said Stephen had distrained the plaintiff, and though the plaintiff had often prayed the new owner Gilbert to pay the money, so that the plaintiff could have the distresses back, the said Gilbert was unwilling to pay, to the plaintiff's damage 100s. [French]
The defendant appeared on summons and, after denying that the plaintiff had been distrained on his account and by his default, put himself on the verdict of a jury. The jury found for the plaintiff with 54s damages, which the defendant paid in court.
Henry Maynburgh, burler (fn. 12), brought a bill of complaint to the effect that he had taken a lease for life of premises in St Lawrence Lane by Candlewick Street, at 40s annual rent, the lessee to carry out all repairs against wind and rain, from Thomas Dellerker, parson of St Swithin's Church, Candlewick Street, Roger Depham, Nicholas Hotot, Robert Hatfeld, William Fossade and John Clerk, on behalf of the other parishioners. In the great storm (fn. 13) which took place just after Christmas 1362 the roofs were blown off. The plaintiff repaired the roofs, except that of one pentice eight feet long and six feet wide for which he had brought tiling, but he could not finish the work, because John Walsh and Walter Ismongere had disturbed him and had taken his rents, value 40s, to his damage 20 marks. [French]
The defendants appeared on summons and pleaded that the plaintiff had covenanted to pay his rent quarterly and that there was a condition that if the rent were in arrears it should be in the power of the lessors to re-enter. As the rent was in arrears at the Feast of All Saints the preceding year, they had re-entered on behalf of the parson and parishioners. They demanded judgment whether any injury could be charged against them personally. The plaintiff replied that no rent was in arrears on the above Feast, and on this issue the action went to a jury. The jury found that no rent was in arrears at Michaelmas the preceding year, because the plaintiff proffered the rent within six weeks following, and according to the custom of London (fn. 14) rent due at Michaelmas need not be paid except within the six weeks following. They assessed damages at 20s. After an adjournment that the Court might be advised, judgment was given for the plaintiff for that amount.
Membr. 8 b
Roger de Staunford, chaplain, and John Davy, fishmonger, and Agatha (fn. 15) his wife appeared before the Mayor and Aldermen in the Chamber of the Guildhall and announced that they had come to an agreement as regards a chantry in the Church of All Hallows on the Wall for celebrating masses for the soul of Nicholas Rumbald during the lifetime of the said Agatha. Thereupon the said Roger executed a quitclaim to John and Agatha, and both parties requested that the agreement might be enrolled on the rolls of the said Mayor.
Nicholas de Clifton, who had delivered a bill against Simon atte Naxe, John Rote and William Bathe, churchwardens of St Bride's Church, Fleet Street, in connection with which a jury was summoned for this day, appeared in court and acknowledged that a messuage, demised to him by Robert York, rightfully belonged to the churchwardens and that he withdrew from his action. Judgment was given that he take nothing by his bill and be in mercy.
Robert Sherman was attached to answer a charge of having assaulted Peter de Kent, tailor, in Wood Street with swords and bucklers and of having torn his clothes, against the peace and to his damage £20. The defendant denied the force and arms and put himself on the country as regards this charge. He pleaded further that if the plaintiff received any harm, it was due to his having assaulted the defendant first, and thereon he prayed judgment. The plaintiff repeated that the defendant had assaulted him by his own malice. A jury found for the plaintiff with 100s damages. Judgment accordingly. The money was paid in court.
John Wentbrigge, Common Serjeant of the City, brought a bill in the names of Thomas, Guy and Juliana, orphan children of the late William Laurence, setting forth that their father by his will had bequeathed to them certain moneys, goods and chattels to the value of £61 9s 8d, which came into the hands of Robert Beauchamp, Henry de Cauntebrugg, Robert Ereth and Sibil, wife of John Sely, executors of the will of Ralph de Cauntebrugg. Of the above amount John and Sibil had handed over to John de Cauntebrugge, City Chamberlain, the sum of £51 7s 6d, to the use of the orphans. The Court is prayed to summon the executors to answer for the balance and also for a legacy of £20 which the abovementioned Ralph de Cauntebrugg had devised to the orphans. [French]
Membr. 9 b
The executors having appeared on summons, both parties demanded an inquest of office to ascertain into whose hands the goods had come and their present custody. The jury found that all the goods and chattels of the late William Laurence came into the hands of his widow and executrix Sibil, who subsequently married Ralph de Cauntebrugg. On the latter's death, his executors delivered the above-mentioned goods to the widow, who married as her third husband, John Sely, skinner. In addition to the above goods, Sibil also held the sum of 100s bequeathed to one of the children, who had died. A further sum of £20, which Ralph de Cauntebrugg had left to his stepchildren, was in the hands of his executors.
Following on this verdict, John and Sibil pleaded that they had received no further goods than £51 7s 6d from Ralph's executors and that Sibil herself was not an executrix. Later they reported that the executors had paid them a further 46s 8d, which they now deposited in court, and offered to make their law that they had received no more. Robert Beauchamp, one of the executors, alleged that his co-executors had handed over everything to John and Sibil, and prayed judgment. In the upshot the Common Serjeant was granted execution of £7 1s against the executors on the ground that they had admitted receipt of William Laurence's goods and chattels.