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.
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ROLL A 32
Thomas Wade brought a bill against his master John Crosseby, tapicer, to whom he had been apprenticed about three years before, and whom he had served faithfully until God, of His grace, visited the petitioner with diverse infirmities, so that he was unable to help himself, complaining that when he asked his master for money for medicines and to give him sufficient food and clothing, the said master refused and ordered him to go to his friends; whereupon he went to those who had stood surety for him, and he was supported by them at their costs, and afterwards, when he regained his health, he had several times, by the masters of his mistery, required the said John to provide him with food and clothing and teach him his trade, as he was bound to do by the custom of the city, or else to make a reasonable agreement with him, but the master refused and would neither accept the award of the said masters nor of any one else.
The master, on being summoned by the mayor's serjeant, twice made default and told the serjeant that he would not come. Thereupon the masters of the mistery of Tapicers, Walter Shank, Richard atte Welle, Edmund atte Wode and John Ricolf, testified that by the mayor's orders and on the plaintiff's request, they had on several occasions gone to see the defendant at White Chapelle outside the liberties of the city and that he had refused to come to a reasonable agreement with his apprentice. Accordingly it was considered, for the above reasons and because the master was living outside the liberties and was rebellious towards the mayor's serjeant, that the apprentice be exonerated from his indentures.
Writ to the mayor and sheriffs, that whereas Leonellus de Vivaldis (fn. 1), merchant of Genoa, was reported to have caused jewellery of great value and other goods and chattels to be brought into the city and secretly sold to divers persons of the realm, without any payment of custom or subsidy, the king commanded that the said Leonellus be arrested and kept in custody till he found security to appear before the king and his council on the octave of St Hilary next, and that meanwhile his papers be kept safely till further command be received. Dated at York 7 Nov. 1392.
Return that the said Leonellus was arrested on 16 Nov. and his papers were placed in a sealed bag in the Chamber of the Guildhall, and that afterwards George de Vivaldis, Teramus Catanius, Dominicus de Mari and Thobias Lomelyn, merchants of Genoa, mainprised him for his appearance etc.
Thomas Lynne, master of the barge "Seintmorie" of Dartmouth, owned by John Hawley, brought a bill against Octobone Grelo and Messer Pelegrin Cataigne and their partners, Tyrame Catane and George Vivalde, all merchants of Genoa, complaining that the said Octobone and Pelegrin on 1 March 1392 at Cyvyle (fn. 2) chartered the barge to be laden with 150 tons of merchandise within four weeks at 4½ francs the ton, amounting to 675 francs, with a further 25 francs for shoe-money (fn. 3), after which the ship was to sail to Hampton (fn. 4), remaining there four days while part of the cargo was discharged, and then proceed to London to discharge the remainder of the merchandise, and if the barge were not loaded at Cyvyle within four weeks by default of the merchants, they should pay the master the sum of 300 doubles (fn. 5) and the expenses of his stay there. The plaintiff remained a : Cyvyle in the river with the barge and 40 sailors for ten weeks beyond the four weeks mentioned, because the merchants did not load their cargo, and he arrived at Hampton on 30 June 1392, where part of the cargo was delivered to the said Tyrame and George, and finally came to London on 12 Aug. where he delivered the rest of the cargo to them. By the law merchant he was entitled to 675 francs for freight, 25 francs for shoe-money, and 300 doubles penalty for delay, but though he had demanded these sums from the merchants, they refused to pay, to his damage £1000. [French]
Membr. 1 b
The defendants, Tyrame Catane and George Vivalde, who were mainprised by Leonellus Vivalde, Angel Seba, Jerome le Conell and George Segale, appeared on 5 Oct. and pleaded that the present plaintiff had been sued for divers debts by Amfreon Bekevile, merchant of Genoa, John Birche of Bristol, John Hawley of Dartmouth, Richard Grove of Bristol and John Garcio, burgess of St Andrew's, and that in connection with those actions, the above-mentioned sum of 700 francs due for freight and shoes had been arrested in their, the defendants', hands by precept of Baldewyn Radyngton, knight, warden of the city, and delivered to Gilbert Maughfeld, sheriff, until it was decided to whom it should be paid. As regards 500 francs of that amount they prayed judgment as to whether they were liable to the plaintiff twice over, and as regards 200 francs they pleaded that the said Octobone and Pelegrin had lent that sum to the plaintiff at Civile on 1 March 1392 for the provisioning of the barge and crew, on condition that he should repay it at the port where the cargo was discharged, as soon as he received satisfaction for the freight, under penalty of one franc each day for delay. In proof of this plea they submitted a deed [French] of the plaintiff, admitting receipt of 200 francs from Octobone Grelo and Pelegryn Caitaneo, which he promised to repay without taking advantage of any exception of the law or any royal protection, and giving the justices, judges and bailiffs of all ports in any country power to levy the money, if unpaid, on the barge and its gear.
The defendants pleaded that since the money due for the freight was then in the hands of the sheriffs, they had complied with the conditions of their charter and they prayed for the return of 200 francs in accordance with the above deed. As regards the claim for 300 doubles they pleaded that the plaintiff could not maintain his action against them, since they agreed to load the barge within four weeks at Civile and the plaintiff agreed to cross to St Luke de Barameda to receive cargo, and the said Octobone and Pelegrin had fulfilled all the conditions in their charter (fn. 6), which they produced:
Charter, dated 1 March 1392 at Siville, in the name of Thomas de Lynne, burgess of Dartmouth, master of the barge "Seinte Marie," witnessing that he had affreighted the barge to Pelegryn Catane and Octobon Grille to be laden with 150 tons of merchandise at the port of Civile within four weeks and then to go by river to St Luke de Barameda without delay and thence to Hampton, to remain four days discharging cargo, and afterwards to London to discharge the remainder, on condition that the master receive 4½ gold francs of the coinage of the king of France for each ton and 25 francs for shoes, to be paid on arrival in London, where the cargo should be unloaded within 25 days. It was agreed that the merchants provide a pilot from Civile and that they caulk the cabin of the barge (fn. 7), and that the master was bound to provide the barge well equipped and found with sailors and all its gear, and that he should have a boat and cocket fitted for taking and discharging cargo in any port in which they tarried, paying the boat-crews their right, and that he should provide the merchants with fresh water, salt, firewood and cressets burning fore and aft, while towage (fn. 8) and little pilotages were to be a charge upon the goods of the merchants, and whatsoever should be found of the gift of God in fresh or salt water should be divided, one part for the merchants, one for the barge and the third for the master, and further the master and sailors should defend the merchants and their goods against all men except those of the master's own country. Either party not keeping the terms of the charters must pay the other the sum of 300 doubles Moreskes dor (fn. 9), chargeable on the barge or the merchants' goods as the case might be. [French]
The plaintiff pleaded that as regards 500 francs of the 700 francs, the defendants had said nothing to acquit themselves, and as regards the 200 francs which they alleged had been lent to him he was not bound by law to answer them, and as regards the 300 doubles penalty mentioned in his charter he was prepared to verify his plea. And the defendants pleaded as before, refusing to accept the plaintiff's charter.
The court asked for information from the sheriffs as to the actions for debt against the plaintiff and learnt that all except that of Amfrion Bekevile for £21 2s 6d were pending unsettled without a day owing to the king's letters of protection to the plaintiff. Accordingly it was considered that the plaintiff recover 675 francs for freight, 25 francs shoemoney and 20s damages, less the amount claimed by the said Amfrion, together with 300 doubles penalty, and that the sheriff deliver to him 700 francs, less the amount claimed by Amfrion.
Membr. 2 b
Writ of protection in favour of Thomas Lynne, master of the barge "Seinte Marie" of Dartmouth, who was then on the king's service with John Golafre, knight, captain of the town and castle of Chirburgh (fn. 10), for the provisioning of the same. Dated at Woodstock 7 Oct. 1392.
Quitclaim from Idonea, widow of John Clenhond, merchant of London, to William Walpole, otherwise called William, son of William Wynkfeld of Walpole in Mersshelond (fn. 11), late servant of her husband. Dated 16 Dec. 1392.
Bond from Leonellus Vyvald, George Vyvald and Leonellus Gautier, merchants of Genoa, to Sir John, Lord de Beaumont, knight, in £1000 to submit to the arbitration of Sir Thomas Percy, knight, Sir Henry Grene, knight, John Hadlee and William Brampton before the end of the next parliament, in disputes between the said Leonellus Vyvald and Lord Beaumont.
Acquittance by Drew Barentyn, goldsmith, William Cressewyk, John Luton, goldsmith, and Laurence Kelshill, chaplain, executors of the will of Nicholas Twyford, knight, to John Fraunceys, goldsmith, for the receipt of a sum of money owed by him for the reversion of a tenement called "le Grifon (fn. 12)" in Cheap, which remained to him after the death of Margerie, wife of the said Drew and formerly wife of Sir Nicholas Twyford. Dated at London 7 Dec. 1392.
Marion Stok having complained that John Ruddok, textscriveyn (fn. 13), to whom her son John had been apprenticed for eight years, had withdrawn himself from the liberty of the city and did not support or instruct the apprentice, and John Newent, cordwainer, William Broun, chandler, Thomas Burton, fuller, and other neighbours having given evidence to the same effect, the boy was exonerated from his apprenticeship.
Membr. 3 b
John Lotolli, merchant and burgess of Bordeaux, son of Master Ramond Bernard Lotolli, jurisconsult (sage endroit), was summoned to answer Robert Normant, master of the ship "Christofre" of Yarmouth, in a plea of debt of £32 1s 8d, due on a recognisance of 15 April 1388, made at Leybourne (fn. 14), a merchant town in Gascony. By this recognisance the defendant, who had promised to freight the plaintiff's ship with 60 casks of wine at 15s the cask to London, Hampton or Sandwich, and 20s the cask to Midelburu (fn. 15) and had failed to do so, bound himself to pay to the plaintiff the sum of £30, being half the freight, and also to repay £2 1s 8d borrowed from the plaintiff in London, the recognisance being attested by the seals of the mayor of Leibourne and Arnaud de Favols, burgess of the same, and witnessed by Bernard de la Barca, Aymeric de Jal Rostit, Amand Leucer, Berthon Dalbiera and Guassias Chivaler, public notary of the duchy of Aquitaine. [French]
The defendant denied that the deed was his own, and a jury was summoned of merchants, of whom half were merchants of Gascony. On 19 March a jury of Robert Henry, John Gyllyng, Geoffrey Haket, Thomas Jeveek, Geoffrey Chauflour and John Andrew, English merchants, Arnald Guyllyam, Peter Favere, John Narrant, Naudinus Bouv, John Nicholl and Perynot Robert, merchants of Gascony, said on oath that the deed was the deed of John Lotolly and assessed the damages at 4d. Judgment for the same.
Memorandum that Jorwerth ap Reys of North Wales on 18 Feb. 1393 obtained from Nicholas Luke, Lombard, an exchange of London (fn. 16) for 30s, payable to the said Jorwerth in Venice, but that he went no further than Rome, owing to sickness, and returned to Sandwich, where he died, having appointed Jorwerth ap Evan his executor, to whom the said Luke repaid the 30s.
Melianus de Mare, merchant of Genoa, offered himself in a plea of debt of £15 against William Averey, citizen and clerk, who was summoned by foreign attachment. On the defendant making four defaults, the said Melianus prayed that the attachment be valued and delivered to him under security according to the custom of the city. The goods were valued by oath of John Clopton, shearman, John Devenyssh, shearman, and John Iryssh, tailor, and delivered to the plaintiff under security etc., as follows:
One dozen of plunket (fn. 17) cloth, 20s; one dozen and 2 yds. of red cloth, 16s; one dozen and one yd. of green, 21s 8d; one dozen and one yd. of blanket, 13s; one dozen and 2 yds. of red, 18s 8d; one dozen and 2 yds. of morey (fn. 18), 28s; 1½ dozen and 1½ yds. of melley (fn. 19), 27s; one dozen and one yd. of blanket, 15s 2d; one dozen of russet, 14s; 1½ dozen of green, 14s; one dozen of blew, 24s; one dozen of blanket, 12s; one bed of tapicerie worked with a lion lying under a tree, of middle size, 40s; total, £14 3s 6d.
Membr. 4 b
William Wakeryng, master of the hospital of St Bartholomew in Smithfield, brings a plaint of intrusion against William Badby, citizen and grocer, touching his free tenement in the parish of St Peter upon Cornhill.
Thomas Pynchon, an, orphan of the city, son of John Pynchon, late citizen and jeweller, brought a bill before the Mayor and Aldermen in the Chamber against Robert Excestre, prior of the church of Crichirche, London, William Cressewyk, William Baret, Hugh Sprot, Walter Pynchon and John Edmond, executors of the will of his father, for detaining his third part of the goods and chattels and debts owed to his father on the day of his death, contrary to the custom of the city, by which an only child, who had not been advanced, was entitled to a third part. The said orphan alleged that he was the only child of his father and Margaret his wife, and that his father died on 24 Sept. 1392, leaving goods and chattels of the value of £2200 and debts owed to him of the value of £1000 and 100 marks. [French]
Robert Peek, common pleader of the city (fn. 20), prosecuted on behalf of the orphan. The defendants, by Philip Rykhalle their attorney, while not admitting that the testator left goods of the value named, pleaded that they had paid over £300 debts owed by him, that he made certain bequests in his will, that the funeral cost over 200 marks, in addition to other expenses, that the testator on the death of his first wife married Idonea, leaving no issue by her, and that where a man died leaving a wife without issue by her, there was no custom in the city that the issue of a previous wife, even though he had not been advanced, should have the third part of the goods and chattels of his father (fn. 21).
As the court was not fully advised as to this custom, or how such a custom ought to be tried (triari), the action was adjourned from day to day until 3 July 1393, when the parties appeared. But since there was great doubt and difference of opinion among the Mayor and Aldermen as to the custom of the city, the action was again adjourned, and these differences continued, retarding the execution of the will, until the executors produced the will, in which a clause stated that the testator wished the orphan to be remunerated (remuneraretur) from the goods and chattels after the legacies had been paid. In order to fulfil the will and for the sake of peace, the executors offered the plaintiff the sum of £600 as his "remuneration," if approved by the court, in full satisfaction of his claims, under the condition that if he died under the age of sixteen years, the money should be returned to the executors, to be treated by them as the money of the testator and expended for the good of the testator's soul. They stated that this sum was a third of the testator's goods and chattels, omitting certain debts owed to him by magnates, which might be regarded as desperate debts.
Thereupon the will was read in court, and since the testator willed that all feoffees of his lands and tenements should enfeoff the plaintiff therewith, such lands being of great value, and thus the orphan had in a manner been advanced at his father's death, the court asked whether the orphan and his friends would be satisfied with this offer by way of "remuneration," according to the form of the will. The plaintiff, with the consent of the court and by the advice of the Mayor and Aldermen as guardians of the orphans of the city, and also with the consent of Richard Felde, the king's clerk, and Walter Pynchon his uncle, in the presence of John Markham, Hugh Holes, William Gascoigne and John Woderove, serjeants-at-law, and Thomas Skelton and William Skrene, his counsel, accepted the offer. Accordingly it was considered that the orphan be content with the above sum and take nothing by his bill and be precluded from his action, and that the executors be quit thereof, and that, as the plaintiff was an orphan, his amercement be condoned.
Letter of attorney from John Coventre, formerly apprentice of the late William Sharpyng, vintner, to John Cloos and John Kyrkeby to demand and recover against John Hadle, Richard Odyham, John Shelford, draper, Henry Frowyk and Richard Norbery, his hereditary right to a tenement, or shops and rents, called "le Brodeseld (fn. 22)" in the parish of St Pancras in Westchepe. Dated 1 May 1393.
Thomas Bowyer, saddler, was summoned to answer William Burdevyll, fuystour (fn. 23), in a plea of debt, in which the latter alleged that in the court of Thomas Vynent, sheriff, he had sued the defendant for £40 and the defendant had admitted a debt of £7, for which judgment was given. This sum the defendant refused to pay.
The defendant, by William Sydyngbourne his attorney, pleaded that by the custom of the city from time out of mind the sheriffs had been accustomed in their compters to receive and enter plaints of debt, account, trespass and other contracts and that when a defendant was committed to prison for debt and the plaintiff afterwards acknowledged satisfaction and demanded the defendant's release, the sheriffs were used to release such a debtor, and whereas the plaintiff came to the sheriffs' compter in the parish of St Mildred by the Stocks (fn. 24) and acknowledged satisfaction, the debtor was released, and accordingly he prayed judgment whether the plaintiff could maintain his action against him.
The plaintiff pleaded that there was no such record to exclude him from his action. A day was given to the defendant to produce the record, and the latter produced a record under the shrievalty seal (fn. 25), wherein it was stated that the plaintiff came into the sheriffs' compter and granted the release of the body of the said Thomas Bowyer, whereupon the latter had been released [breaks off].
Membr. 6 b
Acquittance from Idonea, relict of John Pyncheon, to William Cressewyk, Robert Excestre, prior of Crichurch, Walter Pyncheon, William Barette, Hugh Sprot and John Edmund, executors of the will of the said John, for certain jewels and a competent sum of money, being her widow's portion. Witnessed by the mayor, aldermen and sheriffs, and dated in the Chamber of Guildhall 5 June 1393.
Memorandum that whereas John Carbonell, chaplain, proctor of Sir John de Wendlyngburgh, prebendary of Wodeland in the cathedral church of Crydyton (fn. 26), delivered to Peter Plentee the sum of £7 14s 6d to be paid to the said Sir John in London in return for a general acquittance, and the said Peter, having refused to pay without this general acquittance, was forced to do so in the Sheriffs' Court, receiving an acquittance there, the said Sir John appeared before the Mayor and Aldermen and promised to save the said Peter harmless as against the said John Carbonell. [French]