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 38
Writ of attorney recording that Perynanton de Blay, master of the ship "Sabater" of Bayonne, had appointed, coram nobis, Arnald William of Sedze and Henry Tylnay of London, vintner, his attornies in all pleas and actions in all courts of England during his absence abroad. Dated at Westminster 17 Feb. 1398.
Writ of habeas corpus, directed to the Mayor and Aldermen, declaring that it was a royal prerogative that debts owed to the king should be paid before satisfaction was made to other creditors, and requiring them to bring before the barons of the Exchequer the body of Ralph Gonyly, scrutator (fn. 1) in the port of Plymouth and all ports and places of Cornwall, who was engaged in accounting before the barons of the Exchequer concerning the issues of his office and was indebted to the king in divers amounts, which Ralph had been committed to prison by the Mayor and Aldermen at the suit of Perynanton de Blay. Witness, L. de Allerthorpe at Westminster, 5 Nov. 1398. By the Red Book of the Exchequer and by the barons.
Return of Drew Barentyn, Mayor, and the Aldermen that the said Ralph Gonyly, having nothing within the liberty of the city whereby he might be attached, had been arrested to answer Perynanton de Blay on a bill of complaint, of which a copy accompanied the return. Nevertheless the said Ralph would be brought before the barons as required.
Precept directed to Drew Barentyn, mayor, the king's escheator in the city of London, to inquire by the oath of good and lawful men of his bailiwick as to the lands and tenements held by Henry Caliser of London on the day of his death, and to return the finding to Chancery. Dated at Westminster 20 Nov. 1398.
Inquisition taken on 8 Jan. 1399 by oath of Thomas Coton and others, who said on oath that Henry Caliser on the day of his death held of the king in free burgage, as all the rest of the city is held, a tenement of the annual value of 4 marks in Bowyerowe within Ludgate in the parish of St Martin, situate between a tenement of the Friars Preachers in the occupation of Thomas Coton, bowyer, on the west, a tenement of Nicholas Spencer on the east, Ludgatestrete on the north, and a tenement of the Friars Preachers on the south; further that Henry Caliser died on 15 April 1312, that William Leek, tailor, is his next heir and of the age of 50 years and more, that Henry Caliser's widow Agnes occupied the house, by virtue of a legacy from her husband, until she died, that afterwards Nicholas Myle and his wife Ellen occupied it by virtue of a legacy from Henry Caliser to Ellen for her lifetime, that Nicholas then held it for life without any title, and on his death a certain Nicholas Henxtworth occupied the house by intrusion until his death, when Joan his widow entered by intrusion and took as her husband a certain Clement Lavendere, and on her death a certain John Henxtworth entered the house as her heir and held it until last Michaelmas, when by his consent William Leek, the true heir of Henry Caliser, entered into occupation.
Return that no testament of lands and tenements in the city ought to be admitted to probate or enrolment unless the seal of the testator were affixed or appended to it, and unless sufficient witnesses, two at least, were able to testify expressly concerning the seal of the testator, having sufficient knowledge of that seal.
Membr. 2 b
Quitclaim from Wynandus (fn. 2) van de Brule, executor of John Palyng, late citizen and goldsmith, to John Frensshe, Raymond Standelf, goldsmith, and William Sauvage, citizens of London.
Writ of certiorari demanding the cause of the taking and detaining of Beatrice, widow of Ralph Seintleger, otherwise known as Beatrice, wife of John Curson, knight. Witness Edmund, duke of York, custos of England, 10 June 1399.
Return of Drew Barentyn, mayor, that the said Beatrice had been taken and detained in prison at the suit of Alexander Shessh by virtue of a bill pending before the Mayor and Aldermen in the Chamber of the Guildhall, the tenor of which bill accompanied the return.
John Boudyer and John Molyn, merchants, summoned against Peter de Craon, knight, merchant, in a plea of account of goods and chattels received to the value of 250 marks. Pledges of prosecution: William Permestede and William Cosso.
By virtue of which plaint, the said John and John were taken and detained in the prison of Newgate until 26 June 1399, when John Clopidas brought into the Chamber a writ of attorney, dated at Haverford, 24 May 1399, whereby he or any one appointed by him was authorised to act on behalf of the plaintiff, who was then about to cross to Ireland in the king's service. Thereupon he appointed Matthew Trefours, chaplain, as his attorney, and together with the said Matthew agreed to the delivery of the two defendants from Newgate.
At the same court the defendant, John Boudyer, appeared and acknowledged a recognisance of debt. This document, dated 10 Nov. 1388, was issued by John Buridam, esquire, keeper of the seal of the bailiwick of Vermendois established at Peronne, and witnessed that John Boudyer, surgien de muraus (fn. 3) at Paris, had personally appeared before his lieutenant, Raymond Douiler, and had acknowledged a debt of 200 gold florins called "francs" as due to Sir Peter de Craon, knight, seigneur de la frete Barnart (fn. 4), and payable in even portions at Pentecost and Christmas following. [French]
Alice, daughter of Robert Osprenge, late citizen of London, brought a bill before the Mayor and Aldermen against John Olneye, junior, of Weston, Richard Blomville and John Middelton, mercer, executors of the will of John Olneye, senior, woolman, complaining that whereas the late John Olneye by his will made on 10 Aug. 1396 had devised to her the sum of £40, the said executors on 16 Sept., when the testator was dead, had embezzled the will and forged (fn. 5) another will, in which there was no mention of the legacy. [French]
As the plaintiff was under age, the court appointed John Dalton to prosecute her bill. The defendants having made three defaults, John Middelton appeared alone on 4 June, when he appointed Lambert Frampton his attorney and was mainprised for his appearance on 9 June.
Membr. 4 b
On that day the said John Middelton prayed judgment as to whether the court had any cognisance of the matter in the bill, which dealt with testamentary dispositions, the cognisance of which belonged to the Court Christian. Notwithstanding this exception to its jurisdiction, the court ordered him to plead further.
He then pleaded that on 16 Sept. 1396, when he was alleged to have forged a will, the testator having died, the testator was in fact alive at Lavendene (fn. 6) co. Bucks and for two days after. He prayed that the bill be quashed. He was ordered to plead furtner, notwithstanding this exception to the bill.
Thereupon the defendant, while not admitting any embezzlement of the first will or forging of the second, declared that he would make his plea as follows—it was true that John Olneye had devised the sum of £40 to the plaintiff on 10 Aug. but afterwards on 1 Sept., believing that he could not fulfil the legacies, the testator changed his will and made another one at Lavendene, revoking the former will, which second will the defendant now produced in court, and that afterwards the testator died, when his will was proved according to ecclesiastical law before the ordinary in that county, and was duly administered, and this was the will which the plaintiff alleged to be a forgery, which he was prepared to verify etc.
The plaintiff, while protesting that she did not admit anything pleaded by the defendant, chose as her plea the statements made in her declaration, which she was prepared to verify. She demanded judgment whether she was bound by law to answer the defendant's allegations.
As the court wished to consult more fully as to rendering of judgment, a day was given on the quindene of St Michael, before which day the action remained without a day because the lord Richard, late king of England, dismissed himself from the rule of his kingdom (fn. 7). The plaintiff appeared on the quindene and prayed that the parties should be summoned to hear judgment on the 22 Oct. After several adjournments, and Richard Blomville having died, the parties appeared on 21 Jan., when the court, wishing for information as to the amount of damages to be adjudged in case judgment were given against the defendant, ordered a jury of the parish of St Michael Crokydlane to be summoned for 18 Feb. The jury said on oath that the plaintiff sustained damages, by reason of the deception alleged in her bill, if judgment were given for her, to the value of £55.
And since it seemed to the court that the matter alleged by the defendant was not sufficient in law, according to the custom of the city, to exclude the plaintiff from her action, it was considered that she recover against the said John Middelton and his mainpernors the sum of £55 taxed by the jury. And upon this, the plaintiff, by her guardian, acknowledged that she did not wish to prosecute her bill further against John Olneye, junior. Accordingly it was ordered that she have execution against John Middelton and his mainpernors, and on her request, precept was issued to take and detain them in prison until the money be paid.
Membr. 5 b
Whereas, according to the custom used and approved in the city from a time whereof the memory of man runneth not to the contrary, every mayor or warden of the city for the time being is able, whensoever it shall please him, to take and cause to come before himself and the Aldermen in the Chamber of the Guildhall all kinds of plaints or pleas, begun or pending undetermined before any of the Sheriffs of the city, as well at the petition and request of the defendants as of the plaintiffs, and to determine them by examination of the parties or in any other lawful manner—on 10 July 1399 the mayor, at the request of a certain Amy Donat, ordered his serjeant to warn John Wade, sheriff, to bring before him in the Chamber a plaint levied before the said sheriff between John Tervyn, clerk, administrator of the goods and chattels of John Donat, intestate, and the said Amy in an action of trespass, and to give the plaintiff John Tervyn a day, namely 12 July, to prosecute his plaint before the Mayor and Aldermen in the Chamber.
The plaint, beginning with the words: "Plaint levied in the house of John Wade, one of the sheriffs of London, on Thursday 10 July 1399," was produced, and the plaintiff John Tervyn then made his count, in which he alleged that on 13 Feb. 1392 the defendant Amy Donat took and carried away by force and arms the sum of £20, belonging to John Donat and then in the custody of the plaintiff, against the peace and to his damage £40. The defendant found mainprise for her appearance to answer the count on 22 Oct., the plea remaining without a day during the interval, because the lord Richard, late king of England, had dismissed himself from the rule of his kingdom.
On 22 Oct., at the request of the plaintiff, precept was issued to re-attach the defendant for her appearance on 27 Oct. The plaintiff having declared as before, she pleaded not guilty. A jury of the parish of St Helen Bishopsgate on 3 Dec. prayed for a week's interval before giving their verdict, and on 10 Dec. found her guilty and taxed damages at £21. Judgment was given for that amount, and the defendant and her mainpernors were committed to prison.