Calendar of the Plea and Memoranda Rolls of the City of London: Volume 3, 1381-1412. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1932.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
ROLL A 31
Roll of Memoranda of the time of Edward Dalyngregge, knight, warden of the city of London (fn. 1), in the sixteenth year of the reign of King Richard the Second (1392)
Whereas John Harmesthorpe, master of St Katherine by the Tower (fn. 2), placed a certain William Gynne, a boy of about ten years of age who was in his wardship, to school with Richard Exton near the Friars of the Holy Cross (fn. 3), certain of the friars came to the boy and told him to translate into Latin the words—"Y oblisshe me to be a frere of the croys" and when the boy had done so, one of the friars kissed him and said that all the bishops in England could not absolve him from becoming a friar of their order, and so they took the boy away on 4 July 1392 and dressed him in the habit of their order and withdrew him from the custody of the said Richard Exton. And when the latter complained to Edward Dalyngregge, warden of the city, praying for a just remedy, the warden on 5 July ordered the friars to send the boy to him, and next day, on the ground that the boy was of tender age and not of marriageable years and was a servant of the master of St Katherine, without whose consent he could not legally bind himself, and further because the friars had gained possession of the boy by deception, the warden sent him back to the master of St Katherine.
Bond by John Loveye, William Shiryngham and Thomas Vynent, citizens and mercers, before William Venour, deputy of Edward Dalyngregge, in £3000, to Bernard Brocas, knight, to save the latter harmless within one month, in case John Shadworth (fn. 4), who was in his custody, should escape or absent himself.
Acquittance by Lefardus Blumendale, merchant of Prussia, before the Warden and Aldermen, to Sir John Montagu, knight (fn. 5), lord of Werk, for the receipt of 1000 nobles, owed by the said Sir John, as principal, and John, Lord Bemund (fn. 6), William, Lord de Botreaux, knights, Peter Byxton, John Bever and Edmund Faukes, citizens in Danczik, and Robert Ko, English merchant, as his sureties, on a recognisance to Sir Wynand Ostinchusen, consul in Danczik, and the said Lefardus. Dated in London under his seal, 12 July 1392, and sealed, for further evidence of the true identity of the said Lefardus, with the seals of Frowin Stepyng, John Swarte and Henry Smytman, merchants of Almaine, dwelling in London.
Of the time of Baldewyn Radyngton (fn. 7), knight, warden of the city of London
Membr. 1 b
Letter of attorney from Francis Johan, merchant of Sene (fn. 8), to Guy de Port of Lucca and William Palmere of London.
Bond of James Clabaud, son of James Clabaud, merchant of Amiens, in £200 to William Wende, hosier, that he would not take away Joan, wife of the said William, or communicate with her, or do the said William any harm either in his person or his goods.
Letter of attorney from Bernard Dalem, alias Bernard Doat, esquire, of Gascony to Sir Bertrand de la Traw, clerk, John Frankeleyn, draper, and Arnald Guilliam of Sedzes (fn. 9), dwelling in London, to receive from the king or the treasurer of England an annual pension of 40 marks, granted to him for life by the king, and to give acquittances for the same. Sealed by Sir Baudewyn Radyngton, warden of the city, with the seal of his office, for greater credence, since the seal of the said Bernard was unknown to many. Dated at London 17 Sept. 1392. [French]
The defendant pleaded that Isabella had already sued a bill against him on 2 Dec. 1388, proceedings on which were still pending, and he prayed judgment as regards a bill sued, when a previous one was still pending. On being told to answer further, he pleaded the record of the previous proceedings to the effect that the plaintiff was divorced in 1363 owing to certain impediments and that such marriage as there was between her and Richard Lyons was annulled (fn. 10).
The plaintiff now pleaded that after the bishop of London had given a certificate that she had been divorced, she appealed against the divorce to Robert, bishop of London, who instructed his commissary, William Laas, to hear the appeal, and the latter annulled the divorce and confirmed the marriage. She offered to verify this in such manner as the court required.
Membr. 2 b
Nicholas Benyngton, mercer, brought a bill against Geoffrey Grigge, taverner, for refusing to quit certain tenements, the "bol othe hope" and a house late in the tenure of John Hamerton which he held as a tenant at will (fn. 11). [French]
On the defendant's pleading that he held the unexpired portion of a lease of 60 years originally granted by a certain John Oxenford, the plaintiff cited the record of a previous suit for rent due, wherein the bill alleged that the defendant was a tenant at will, in which suit judgment was given for the plaintiff. He prayed judgment whether the defendant could be admitted to verify his plea against the said record. The defendant then pleaded that the record was not sufficient in law to bar his proof, and prayed judgment.
Francekyn Johan, merchant of Siena, brought a bill against Nicholas Donat, son of John Donat, and John Tervyn, clerk, administrators of the goods of John Donat, late citizen and merchant of London, setting forth that John Donat had had charge of certain jewels of the value of 1000 francs belonging to the plaintiff, viz. two nouches and two gold rings, on condition that if the Duke de Berry, who owed John's brother Nicholas the sum of 1430 francs on a bond, should pay that amount to the plaintiff before Easter, then John Donat should keep the jewels, but otherwise he should return them, receiving back the bond, as appeared in examination before the court (fn. 12). On John Donat's death, the administrators received the jewels in the presence of the court. But though the plaintiff had often asked that they should be returned to him, according to the conditions, the administrators refused. The plaintiff prayed that they should be forced to return them—and speedily, in deference to the king's letters sent to the court, and in accordance with the law merchant. [French]
Order having been given to summon the defendants, John Covelee, the mayor's serjeant, reported that John Tervyn could not be found and had no goods in the city or suburbs whereby he might be summoned. He was arrested and taken to the compter of John Shadworth, sheriff. Thereupon Amy, widow of John Donat, brought the jewels into court and asked for his release, which was granted. He then found sureties for his appearance, John Shalyngford and John Creek, draper, and asked that the jewels might be returned to Amy, which the court refused on the ground that his sureties were not substantial enough. The other defendant Francis Donat was also arrested.
The parties appeared on 5 Aug., when Nicholas acknowledged the truth of the bill. The other defendant, John Tervyn, pleaded that the bill was insufficient in law, because it did not mention or allege that the Duke de Berry had failed to pay the money due before Easter. The plaintiff answered that there was sufficient matter in the bill to maintain his action and that the other defendant, Nicholas, had acknowledged the truth of it. He prayed judgment.
The action was adjourned until 10 Dec. in order that the court might be advised according to the law merchant and the custom of the city. On that day it was considered that the plaintiff take nothing by his bill and be in mercy, and the jewels were returned to the said Amy.
Writ of certiorari, reciting that John Botelesham and his mainpernors had appeared before Walter Clopton and his fellow-justices, who were sitting at St Martin le Grand to hear pleas of error in the actions John Reymes v. John Botelesham (fn. 13), and John Payn and wife v. John Botelesham (fn. 14), and had alleged error in the record and process of these actions, which had been heard before the Mayor, Sheriffs and Aldermen on 27 Nov. 1388, to wit, that the Mayor, Sheriffs and Aldermen on the first day of the process had ordered the arrest of the said John Botelesham, whereas he was a freeman and as such had the right to make three defaults in a case where process was made against him by summons or attachment, to which John Reymes, John Payn and his wife had severally answered that as soon as such a plaint was affirmed and it had been reported to the Mayor, Sheriffs and Aldermen by two freemen of the city, not necessarily officers, that the defendant was a fugitive and insufficient in goods and chattels to be attached, such a defendant ought to be arrested, and further that, immediately after they had affirmed their plaints, they had brought John Rede and John Cole, sufficient men of the city, on 4 Nov. 1388, who witnessed that the said John Botelesham was a fugitive and did not possess goods whereby he might be summoned or attached, whereupon by precept of the mayor the said John Botelesham had been arrested by his body; and to this John Botelesham and his mainpernors had pleaded before the justices that such witnesses must by the custom of the city be officers, and further that John Rede and John Cole had not given their evidence after the plaints had been affirmed. As the justices desired information on these points the mayor was directed to inform them as to the custom of the city. Witness W. Clopton at St Martin le Grand, 10 Nov. 1391.
Return to the above by the Mayor and Aldermen that John Rede and John Cole gave their evidence after the plaints had been affirmed, and that it was not necessary that the two witnesses should be officers, but only that they should be freemen.
Membr. 4 b
Robert Excestre, prior of Christ Church, London, appeared in court and acknowledged that the following indenture between William Rysyng, late prior, and the convent, on the one part, and John Caumpe and William, Thomas and Robert, his brothers, on the other part, was the deed of the prior and convent and sealed with their common seal.
Indenture of covenant, dated at London, 15 March 1386, in the presence of John, bishop of Durham and treasurer of England, and Walter, Lord Fitzwauter, between Sir William de Risyng, prior of Crischirche, and the convent, on the one part, and John, William, Thomas and Robert Caumpe, on the other, recites that by common agreement of Sir Aubrey de Veer, knight (fn. 15), and the said John Caumpe and his brothers, a quitclaim by the said Sir Aubrey to them had been entrusted to the prior and convent on the following conditions:
If it were proved by Sir Aubrey or his heirs by due process of law within eight years that John and his brothers or any of them were villeins of Sir Aubrey, as regardant (fn. 16) to his manor of Dullyngham co. Cambridge, and this proof were shown to the prior and convent, the quitclaim should be returned to Sir Aubrey.
If it were not so proved, or if the said Sir. Aubrey or his heirs delayed the delivery of the said John and his brothers, in case they were taken by Sir Aubrey or his heirs, after they had claimed their delivery by law, or if Sir Aubrey or his heirs put them in prison with the punishment of the stocks, irons, manacles or other engines in grievous pain of their bodies, or if the said John Caumpe or any of his brothers were proved by matter of record to be free and of free condition as regards Sir Aubrey and his heirs, then the quitclaim should be delivered to John Caumpe and his brothers and their heirs without hindrance.
Provided always that any suit sued within the said eight years by John Caumpe or his brothers should be sued to the end without nonsuit (fn. 17), after villeinage in their persons had been alleged against them by Sir Aubrey or his heirs, with the exception of the suit which the said John had pending at present against Sir Aubrey, which in consideration of this covenant should be discontinued.
And the said Sir Aubrey granted, in the presence of the above-mentioned lords, that he would not arrest the bodies of the said John and his brothers during the term of eight years unless he had more sufficient proof of their villeinage than at present, and that if he or his heirs arrested them for the said cause, he would guard them, without hardship of the villein's prison, until they were replevied.
Letter of attorney from Walter Cachemayd, merchant of Bristol, to Thomas Witton of London, dwelling in Podynglane, to receive from John Solak the sum of £76 17s 6d recovered against him by bill in the court of Guildhall, which money was due on a bond to the said Walter and Robert Walrond, apprentice of William Whyt of Bristol. Dated at London in Brigestret 28 Sept. 1391.
Hervy Rokhawe, goldsmith, and Richard Darell, esquire, brought a bill of complaint against Maude Holbeche for detaining two deeds, relating to properties in Fulham and Braynford belonging to Margaret the widow of John de Norwich, goldsmith, which deeds they had placed in her hands for safe custody and return when required. [French]
When the action came on for hearing Richard Darell did not appear and after two defaults the co-plaintiff Hervy Rokhawe received permission to sue alone. The defendant pleaded that in the bill the plaintiff alleged that he and Richard delivered the deeds to her, and she said it was agreed that she should return the deeds to both of them, and as Richard had not appeared, she prayed judgment whether Hervy Rokhawe could have his action against her.
John Baldeswell, citizen and cook, brought a bill against Robert Carter for having obtained from him by falsehood and deceit the sum of 9 marks 12s 4d under the following circumstances. A certain Bartholomew Berford, who owed the plaintiff £120 and had fled to sanctuary at Westminster, owned 4 tuns of woad, which lay in a cellar hired from John Pycard on his behalf by a certain Mark Hunt. The said Robert came to him in the parish of St Mary at Hill and said that he knew where the tuns of woad were and that on these tuns 8 marks were due to a certain John Pycard and 23s 8d to himself, but the woad was worth more than this, and if the plaintiff would pay him the amounts mentioned, he might have the tuns. Accordingly he paid the said Robert; whereas the truth was that Robert had nothing to do with the woad, and the only amount due on it was 8s to John Pycard for cellarage. [French]
The defendant pleaded that the plaintiff came to his wharf next to the Wolkeye in the parish of St Dunstan in the East, and walked up and down, sighing and wailing (suspirando et ululando); so he asked him why he had come and what he was looking for. The plaintiff answered that he was given to understand that Bartholomew Berford had 4 tuns of woad in a house on the wharf, but he did not know which house. He told the plaintiff that there were 4 tuns in John Pycard's house, but to whom they belonged he did not know. Thereupon the plaintiff asked him to go to Pycard to make inquiries, which he did, learning that they belonged to Bartholomew Berford and had been pledged to Pycard by a certain Mark Hunt for 10 marks 7 shillings, in connection with some debt or other. The plaintiff then gave him this amount and asked him to pay Pycard, which he did the same day, whereupon the plaintiff received delivery of the tuns. He prayed judgment whether the plaintiff ought to have any action against him.
A jury of the venue, consisting of William Bastard, Hugh Roos, John Dromayn and others, related the facts (fn. 18) in the same manner as the defendant had done, and said he was not guilty of any deception. Judgment that he be acquitted of the bill and that the plaintiff take nothing and be in mercy.
Membr. 5 b
Recognisance by Cataneus de Spinola, Leonellus Vyvald, Matheus Grymald and George Granell, merchants of Genoa, of a debt of £545 6s 9d payable on 1 June to John Nichol, Thomas Bere and Ralph Glovere, merchants of Cornwall, and John Job.
Lease for three years, in consideration of a sum of money and an annual rent of one grain of wheat, from Thomas and Robert Broun, sons of Matthew Broun, late woolmonger of London, to John Skut, citizen and merchant, of
3. A tenement with a small wharf (fn. 19) in Petywalys lane in the parish of All Hallows Berkyngchirche, lying between the street and the Thames, bounded on the east by the tenement belonging to a chantry in the said church, and on the west by the tenement of William Talworth, shipwright.
Action of John Broun against Walter Ludneye, draper, for a debt of 80 marks awarded to him on the arbitration of John Stapulton, William Berdevile, William Beset and Edmund Cappemaker. The defendant pleaded that the action was a prolongation of disputes which had already been settled by a concord made between the parties at Westminster before Richard Ravenser, clerk, when mutual quitclaims were enrolled in Chancery [breaks off].
Membr. 6 b
John Prentys, draper, was summoned to answer a bill of John Mawsyn, parson of the church of St Peter Cornhill, executor of the will of John Strowsburgh, late citizen and browderer, claiming from him a debt of £56 13s 4d. The plaintiff alleged that a certain John Bradfeld, grocer, owed the said John Strowsburgh the sum of £60, and that on 12 March 1388 the defendant took the debt upon himself, of which a portion was paid in John Strowsburgh's lifetime, leaving the above sum in arrears.
By request of both parties a day, 14 Feb., was given for them to come to an agreement. On that day the defendant denied that he owed any debt to John Mawsyn and waged his law (fn. 20) as a freeman of the city according to the custom. The plaintiff granted that he should have his law. Thereupon the defendant made his law with six other men that he owed nothing. It was considered that the plaintiff take nothing by his bill etc.