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Reginald R. Sharpe (editor)

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'Introduction', Calendar of letter-books of the city of London: G: 1352-1374 (1905), pp. I-XXX. URL: Date accessed: 28 November 2014.


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Letter-Book G, unlike its predecessors, does not appear to have been known by any distinctive colour, such as the "White," "Black," or "Red" Book, but to have been differentiated from the rest of the Letter-Books only by its letter of the alphabet. It comprises a period of twenty-two years, viz., from A.D. 1352 to 1374.

The truce between England and France, which towards the close of the last Calendar the Sheriffs were ordered to proclaim as continuing until the 11th September, 1352, (fn. 1) was prolonged until the 1st August, 1353, (fn. 2) and again until the 11th November. (fn. 3) In the meantime a Great Council (not strictly a Parliament) had been summoned to meet at Westminster on Monday, the 23rd Sept., 1353, to which the City was invited to send two representatives. (fn. 4) Thirty-six other towns were represented to the same extent. The proceedings of the Council are recorded in the Rolls of Parliament, but its acts were not at first enrolled among the statutes. (fn. 5) Overtures had been made by Edward forputting an end to the war, but these had met with no response. It behoved him, therefore, to ask the Council to furnish supplies to enable him to meet his "adversary of France." This the Council showed itself ready to do by voting him a subsidy on wool, woolfells, and leather for three years. (fn. 6)

To this Council was due the consolidation of the system of Staples; their number and place were fixed for England, Wales, and Ireland; (fn. 7) the regular or ancient custom was declared, and the rights and privileges of merchants confirmed. One of the provisions of the Statute of Staples (1353) forbade the exposure of wool for sale within three miles of a Staple town, but in the following year it was declared by Parliament that this prohibition did not extend to the sale of wool of one's own growing (de propria crescencia sua) in a man's own house or elsewhere, and the Sheriffs of London were ordered to make proclamation to that effect. (fn. 8)

In spite of the apparent hopelessness of success, Edward succeeded in obtaining a further prolongation of the truce until the 1st April, 1355, (fn. 9) with the view of negotiations being carried on before the Pope for a permanent peace. To this end certain proctors were dispatched to the Papal Court at Avignon, backed up by the authority of the Prelates and the leading cities and boroughs of England, (fn. 10) but the negotiations fell through, and Edward commenced preparations for an expedition to France under his son, the Prince of Wales.

The signs of the times are reflected in the pages of the Letter-Book. On the 12th June a writ was dispatched to the Sheriffs to make proclamation forbidding any one to leave the Port of London for foreign parts without the King's special licence, but this prohibition was withdrawn a month later. (fn. 11) Corn, and more especially oats, were to be sent with all speed to Calais, where great scarcity prevailed. (fn. 12) Armourers, who had taken advantage of the crisis to raise their prices, (fn. 13) were charged not to leave the realm, whether in the service of nobles or otherwise. (fn. 14) In September the Prince set sail for Bordeaux, and the same month the Sheriffs were instructed to see that no vessel, great or small, left the Port of London for foreign parts before Michaelmas without special permission. (fn. 15)

In October the City equipped a force of 20 armed men and 500 archers, and furnished them with their pay for forty days. (fn. 16) They were destined for Calais under the King himself, who set sail for France early in November, (fn. 17) and proceeded to ravage the country. The campaign, however, was cut short by trouble arising in the North, and Edward returned home. The Scots had seized Berwick, but before Edward could arrive on the scene, the town had been surrendered. On the 18th January (1356) he reached Newcastle, whence he dispatched a writ to the Mayor and Sheriffs to set the City in array in case of an attack by the King of France on the South coast, which he would willingly attempt if opportunity offered. (fn. 18)

The burden of the expense of the war, heavy as it necessarily must have been to the citizens, was rendered the heavier by reason of the King's favour to foreign inhabitants of the City, who were exempt from contributing to any war tax. Ever since 1303 (when, by a mutual arrangement between the King and foreign merchants trading in England, the New Custom was established) the citizen of London had been jealous of the royal favour extended to the stranger in the land. We have seen how the City refused to have anything to do with the appointment of collectors of this custom; how the opposition of the City led to a temporary suspension of the custom in 1309, and to its being declared illegal two years later. (fn. 19) It had been re-established by Edward II. in 1322, and confirmed by Edward III. soon after his accession, and had become thenceforth a part of the ordinary revenue of the Crown. The relations between the City and the foreigner had not been improved by the passing of the Statute of York in 1335, which set aside the City's franchises and granted the right of free trade to the foreigner. The citizens complained to the King, and succeeded two years later in obtaining a charter to the effect that the City should enjoy all its liberties and free customs, notwithstanding the provisions of the recent Statute. (fn. 20) In 1351, however, the obnoxious Statute had been again confirmed, and repeated petitions to the King recorded in the Letter-Book (fn. 21) failed to obtain the restitution of the City's ancient liberties, the loss of which (we are told) drove many to leave the City and take up their quarters in Westminster and the privileged precinct of St. Martin le Grand, where they were free from paying scot and bearing lot. (fn. 22)

That a large number of foreigners should be allowed to take up their quarters in the City and not contribute with the citizens towards the expense incurred by the City in supplying the King with military aid had already caused much discontent. A Florentine merchant, named Octavian "Francisse" or "Fraunceys," had refused to contribute his quota towards the expense of furnishing the King with the City's last contingent of men and archers in October, 1355, and the collectors of the Ward where he resided had thereupon seized certain chattels for payment of his assessment. The foreigner complained to the King, who ordered the Mayor and Sheriffs to inquire into the matter, and make a return. An inquiry was accordingly held, when the collectors justified their conduct by the fact that the complainant resided continuously in the City and carried on his business there, and ought on that account to contribute with the rest of the inhabitants to the war tax. They further declared that they should detain his chattels until the assessment was paid, as they were accustomed to do in such cases. (fn. 23) The King, being informed to this effect, sent another writ to the Mayor and Sheriffs in the following April (1356), peremptorily forbidding them to exact any contribution towards the war from this foreigner, inasmuch as he was not only paying to the King threepence in the pound like other merchant strangers, but he was also of the franchise of the City and in lot and scot with the citizens. (fn. 24) The return made to this writ was similar to the previous return, but it closed with a distinct assertion by the Mayor and Sheriffs that for reasons stated they were unable to deliver up the chattels seized. (fn. 25)

In the meantime a further burden had been imposed on the citizens by their being called upon (March, 1356) to fit out two light boats known as "flunes" or "floynes" for the King's service. (fn. 26) To meet this and other charges an extraordinary meeting of the citizens was summoned to the Guildhall comprising not only the Mayor and Sheriffs and a majority of the Aldermen, but also a large number of the wealthier Commoners selected from the various Wards. Their names are recorded in the Letter-Book, and with them the name of John Chaucer (the poet's father ?) as one of the Collectors for Vintry Ward. The result of the meeting was a resolution to raise a sum of nearly £500 by levying two-thirds of a fifteenth on the several Wards. (fn. 28)

On the 19th September (1356) the battle of Poitiers was fought and won by the Prince of Wales, who sent home a detailed account of his movements preliminary to the decisive conflict by letter addressed to the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty from Bordeaux on the 22nd October. (fn. 29) The victory was crowned by the capture of King John of France himself, his son, and a number of French nobles and others, among them being a Burgundian knight named Thomas de Voudenay, who was eventually ransomed by the payment of 300 gold florins, a goblet and covercle of silver, and a gold ring. (fn. 30)

The Pope seized the opportunity of exhorting the Prince to put an end to the war, and on the 3rd October sent a letter begging him to confer with Cardinal Talleyrand and another delegate in the interests of peace. Three days later he again wrote, expressing pleasure at the generous treatment the King of France was receiving at the Prince's hands. (fn. 31)

In the spring of the following year (1357), King John was brought prisoner to London and kept in honourable captivity in the Savoy Palace. Three years later, when an end was put to the war by the Peace of Bretigni (8 May, 1360), he returned to France, but finding it impossible to carry out the terms of the Peace, he again surrendered himself a prisoner in England in 1363, (fn. 32) and soon afterwards died (8 April, 1364). About the time of his return the Letter-Book records the raising of a small sum of money in the City on behalf of the distressed King by Drapers, Fishmongers, Mercers, and Grocers, (fn. 33) but whether they subscribed in their corporate capacity or as individuals is not made clear. Another proof of sympathy felt for him in the City was an entertainment given by Henry Picard, a worthy citizen and vintner, at his house in the Vintry, when not only King John but the King of England himself and two other crowned heads were right royally feasted.

The overwhelming defeat suffered by the French left them no courage to continue the struggle, and led to a truce being concluded for two years. The truce was signed on the 23rd March, 1357, and was publicly proclaimed in the City on the following 21st April. (fn. 34) That it was none too strictly observed by either side is an historical fact which receives support from the testimony of this Letter-Book. In August, for instance, we find the King bidding the Sheriffs take steps to prevent the exportation of bows and arrows, (fn. 35) weapons that had played an important part in the late battle, whilst in the following October they were ordered to make proclamation in the City to the effect that no men-at-arms or archers were to leave the country for Normandy or Brittany without the King's special permission during the continuance of the truce. (fn. 36)

The truce had been in operation only a few weeks when the citizens took the opportunity of laying their long-standing grievances before the King. They had been charged (they said) for taxes and tallages above the rest of the Commons of the realm; wool-merchants had suffered loss owing to the variation in the weights of Dordrecht and England; large sums of money had been advanced to the King and had not been repaid, whilst his Purveyors had been in the habit of seizing carriages, victuals, and merchandise for the King's use without payment, an operation which infringed the chartered liberties of the City. They went on to complain of an ordinance recently made to the effect that matters done in London should be tried outside the City, (fn. 37) whereby the jurisdiction of the Mayor and Aldermen had been ousted and the population of the City had become diminished; and they concluded by bewailing their own lot, deprived as they had been of their franchises through no fault of their own, as compared with the privileges enjoyed by the foreign merchants, who took their gains out of the country and were more free than themselves. (fn. 38)

Early in 1359, after a short interval of tranquillity, when the citizens were able to devote their attention to their own affairs, we find signs in the Letter-Book of the war being renewed. Again the Sheriffs were bidden to take steps for preventing men-at-arms and archers from quitting the realm, (fn. 39) and on the 4th April (1359) the King's intention to cross the sea to put an end to the war, notwithstanding the negotiations still pending, was publicly proclaimed in the City. (fn. 40) In July orders were given for all Frenchmen to leave England, the Port of Dover being assigned for their embarkation, and care was to be taken to see that they did not take with them bows or arrows, horses, or any kind of armour. (fn. 41)

The year began to draw to a close and yet all was not ready for the great expedition. In October the order was given for merchants to forward all kinds of provisions to Sandwich for the use of the army about to cross over to Calais. (fn. 42) The King himself was then at Sandwich, and it was from that port that he dispatched writs for putting the country in general, and the City of London in particular, in array, as prescribed by the timehonoured Statute of Winchester (13 Edward I., A.D. 1285), for the defence of the realm during his absence. (fn. 43) Before the end of the month all preparations were complete, and on the 28th Edward set sail before sunrise and arrived in Calais the same evening, having left behind him his son Thomas of Woodstock (at that time a mere boy) as nominal guardian of the realm.

The King had been in France but a few months when rumours were abroad of a threatened invasion of England, and the young guardian, with the aid of his counsellors, had to take measures for defending the country against any possible attack. To this end he issued writs for a Council to be held at five different centres (London being one), to which deputations were to be sent from various counties. (fn. 44) The citizens of London were called upon to meet in their Husting and elect four of their number to attend a Council to be held at Westminster on Monday, the 9th March. Following the same custom as in elections to Parliament at this time, the citizens elected two Aldermen and two Commoners. (fn. 45) The threatened invasion actually took place, and for a short time Winchelsea was in the hands of the enemy. Two months later, however, the war was brought to a close by a treaty signed at Bretigni (8 May, 1360), whereby Edward resigned all claim to the crown of France.

Once more the citizens were allowed leisure to attend to their own affairs. The years which followed the Peace of Bretigni until war broke out afresh in 1369 witnessed the promulgation of various ordinances for the regulation of trade. These were, as usual, of a most stringent character. The right of the individual to buy and sell by private contract, or to take such wages for his labour, skilled or otherwise, as he could get, was little recognized in those days. We have already seen how Parliament had stept in to regulate prices and wages in 1349, after the country had been laid desolate by the pestilence known as the Black Death, by the Statute of Labourers. (fn. 46) This statute had occasioned greater hardships than even the pestilence, for whilst the latter made labour scarce and had conduced to higher wages, the former offered wages to the labourer that it was worse than slavery to accept. (fn. 47) Every contrivance was resorted to in order to evade its provisions, but Parliament was not to be denied, and another statute had been enacted in 1351 more stringent, if possible, than the first. (fn. 48) Infringement of the provisions of these statutes was followed by fines, a long list of the names of defaulters and the amount of their fines for the years 1357-9 being set out in the Letter-Book. (fn. 49) The civic authorities displayed not a whit more knowledge of the true principles of economy than did Parliament, for in 1363 the Mayor thought fit to issue a proclamation with the view of putting a stop to labourers demanding excessive wages. This proclamation not only fixed the price of corn, wine, building materials, firewood, and other commodities, but prescribed the amount of wages that should be paid to every craftsman, labourer, or servant, down to the price to be paid a cook for making a rabbit pie. (fn. 50)

Another cause of the high price of every commodity ruling at this time was thought to be the conduct of certain merchants who, from their engrossing (i. e., buying up wholesale) various kinds of merchandise and keeping them in reserve until they found a good market, were known as "grossers." These merchants formed themselves into a Fraternity, familiar to us at the present day as the Grocers' Company, and by their manner of conducting business attracted the attention of Parliament, and a statute (fn. 51) was passed in 1363 to the effect that thenceforth every English merchant should deal only in one class of merchandise such as he might choose by a certain day. This enactment we find recited in the several charters granted by Edward in 1364 to the Drapers, the Fishmongers, and the Vintners of the City, (fn. 52) although in the following year a better sense of the true principles of commercial policy prevailed, and the obnoxious clause was repealed. (fn. 53) These and other guilds continued, nevertheless, to exercise vast powers of control over trades and handicrafts by virtue of the charters granted to them by the Crown. No one, for instance, could follow the trade of fishmonger unless he became a member of the Guild, whilst no member of the Guild was allowed to meddle in any other trade. (fn. 54) A similar restriction applied to Drapers and Vintners, although the latter were permitted to purchase cloth from Gascon merchants bringing wine into England, whilst the latter were allowed to buy herring and cloth for exportation, the object of these exceptions being to keep money in the country. (fn. 55) Again, the Weavers' Guild exercised complete control over all English weavers, (fn. 56) although foreign weavers from Flanders and Brabant were specially exempted and were allowed to elect overseers of their own, (fn. 57) whilst we find the "Tailors" of London—not yet raised to the dignity of "Merchant Tailors" —complaining in 1371 to the Mayor and Aldermen of an infringement of their chartered rights by non-freemen. (fn. 58)

The favour thus shown by Edward to the City Guilds synchronizes in a remarkable manner with a gift to him of over £400, to which the various trades and handicrafts of the City were the chief contributors. (fn. 59) The Mercers, the Fishmongers, the Drapers, and the Skinners are recorded as having contributed severally the largest amount, viz., £40, but whether they did so in their corporate capacity is not clear; next come the Vintners with a contribution of £33 6s. 8d.; the "Grossers" with £26 6s. 8d.; as distinct from the "Grossers in the Ropery," who contribute no more than 100s.; the Goldsmiths and the Tailors respectively with £20. The Butchers of St. Nicholas Shambles are credited with £9, the Butchers of Eastcheap with £8, and those of the Stocks with £6. Other misteries contribute smaller sums, whilst various individuals are recorded as having assisted towards the gift. (fn. 60)

Another matter affecting the trades and crafts of the City was brought to the notice of the civic authorities about this time. Towards the close of the year 1364 the Commonalty presented a petition to the Mayor and Aldermen, praying in somewhat vague terms that those who had obtained the franchise of the City might be allowed to enjoy the full benefit of the same, and that the system of apprenticeship might be maintained. On receipt of this petition the Mayor and Aldermen requested the Commonalty to formulate their grievance in more precise terms. (fn. 61) It appears that for some time past freemen by patrimony—that is to say, those inheriting the franchise of the City from their fathers—had been subjected to certain disabilities (not specified) unless admitted otherwise to the freedom of the City, viz., by apprenticeship or purchase; and it had thereupon been decreed that any one who could prove that he had been born free should enjoy the franchise to the same extent as those who had acquired it by apprenticeship or "redemption."

The petition as formulated eventually by the Commons, and submitted to the Mayor and Aldermen, was to the following effect (fn. 62) :—

1. That those who acquired the franchise of the City by patrimony ought not to be called upon to pay any fine, but on coming of age ought to take the same oath as other freemen.

2. That apprentices should only be admitted to the franchise on the testimony of their masters that they had duly served their term of seven years at least and in the presence of the rulers of their mistery.

3. That whereas every freeman had always been allowed to traffic by wholesale in any and every commodity, but could only trade by retail in the goods belonging to his own particular mistery, (fn. 63) according to the intention of their ancestors (as they believed), this ancient usage had been allowed to fall into decay, and the good misteries which ought to form the backbone of the City were threatened with utter destruction unless a remedy were speedily applied.

4. They suggested that at least one day a month should be devoted by the Aldermen and the Governors of the several misteries to the consideration of guild-matters; that these days should be called "Guild-days" to distinguish them from others, and that they should be fixed, and that on these days and on no others should apprentices who had served their term of seven years at the least be admitted to the freedom on payment of 60s. at least. Those that could not afford that sum might continue to serve others either as apprentices or hired servants, but they were not to be allowed to add to the number of masters already existing.

The petition concluded by a solemn assurance that the only desire of the petitioners was to restore the ancient franchises and usages of the City, but that to do so was especially difficult in the face of the excessive favour shown by the King to foreigners, to which they ascribed all the trouble that had arisen in the City.

After duly considering the petition the Mayor and Aldermen accepted the first and second articles without reserve. As to the proposals respecting the form of admitting apprentices to the franchise, they agreed with the petitioners that in future the rulers of the mistery which the applicant for the freedom of the City had exercised, as well as the master of the apprentice, should be summoned to testify to his fitness; but they could not assent to the "Guild-days" being fixed, as that was a matter best left to the discretion of the Mayor. The consideration of the other articles touching the holding of shops and dealing by wholesale and retail was postponed. (fn. 64)

Adam de Bury, who was Mayor at the time of this petition, was re-elected the following year (28 Oct., 1365), and on the very day of his re-election ordinances were passed to the effect that (1) the freedom of the City should not be forfeited by a freeman failing to continuously reside in the City, provided he remained in scot and lot; and (2) that a freeman might change his original mistery for any other, and might trade in any kind of merchandise at will. (fn. 65) Before Adam de Bury's second year of office had expired he was removed by the King, and John Lovekyn elected in his place. (fn. 66)

The following year (1366) yet another ordinance was made, to the effect that apprentices should be admitted to the franchise at the end of their term on the testimony of their masters only, without further evidence of their fitness for admission; and that they should be received in the presence of three Aldermen and the Chamberlain, but not be compelled to pay the sum of 60s., as ordained during the Mayoralty of Adam de Bury, if their means would not allow them. (fn. 67)

To return to the war. One of the first acts of Charles V. on succeeding to the throne of France on the death of King John in 1364, had been the issue of a proclamation to his subjects enjoining freedom of trade throughout France to English merchants. (fn. 68) Such a concession would naturally appeal to the heart of Edward, and had the French King continued to pursue this line of policy, war between the two countries might have been indefinitely postponed. Unfortunately, however, he again excited bitter feeling by the encouragement he gave to Pope Urban V., then living at Avignon (and more or less a tool in the French King's hands), who not only revived the claim of former Popes to the patronage of English benefices and to outs the jurisdiction of English Courts by summoning English subjects to appear before the Papal Court, but also revived the claim of homage which King John had promised to pay for the recovery of the English crown, which he had basely surrendered into Papal hands. A statute, known as the "Statute of Provisors" or "Statute of Præmunire," had already been passed against the first-mentioned claim in 1353, (fn. 69) and five years later the Sheriffs of London were ordered to make proclamation against any one bearing or receiving orders or letters prejudicial to the King of England or his crown. (fn. 70) The renewal of these Papal usurpations was met by the passing of another statute in January, 1365, (fn. 71) whilst the claim for payment of homage was peremptorily refused by the Parliament which met in May of the following year. (fn. 72)

The Letter-Book discloses other signs of the overbearing power of the Church in secular matters at this time. Thus the King had to forbid the parson of the church of St. Mary Woolchurch to excommunicate the Wardens of London Bridge for presuming to let on lease certain stalls and benches at the Stocks market which formed part of what came to be known as the Bridge House Estate, and which were unlawfully claimed by the parson as appertaining to his church. (fn. 73) Again, we find the King issuing his writ to the Archbishop of Canterbury forbidding him to cite the collectors of the King's custom before a Court Christian for alleged abuses committed in the City, for which a remedy could be found in the civil courts. (fn. 74)

The action of Parliament in 1365 and 1366, although explicitly directed against the Pope, implied a challenge to the King of France, his supporter, and eventually led to a formal declaration of war in April, 1369. Edward, as usual, lost no time in seeking the assistance of the City, and in spite of a recent attempt to enforce the Statute of 1351 in favour of foreigners, (fn. 75) the citizens furnished him with a contingent of sixty men-at-arms and a like number of archers (the King finding their pay for forty days) for the defence of Calais. (fn. 76) The citizens were warned not to molest the Flemish and Lombard merchants, (fn. 77) and to restrain their feelings of hostility, kindled anew by the revival of the war, against such hostages of the late King of France as still remained in the country. (fn. 78) A Parliament which was summoned to meet on the 3rd June not only advised the King to resume—as he had already intended to do—the title of King of France, (fn. 79) but granted him an increased custom on wool to enable him to prosecute the war.

It was frequently easier for the City to furnish the King with money than with men. Hence we find it recorded that at the end of August of this year (1369) the citizens had agreed to raise a sum of £2,000 for the King in lieu of furnishing him with a military contingent. For this purpose an assessment had to be made on the Wards as follows. (fn. 80) :—

Chepe and Cordwainer Street, each £218 8s.
Farringdon Within, £162.
Bridge, £150.
Tower, £138.
Walbrook and Cripplegate Within, each £120.
Bread Street, £111.
Dowgate and Vintry, each £108.
Farringdon Without, £105.
Billingsgate, £96.
Broad Street, £81.
Bishopsgate, £66.
Langbourn, £63.
Queenhithe, £60.
Coleman Street, £57.
Candlewick Street and Cornhill, each £48.
Castle Baynard, £36.
Cripplegate Without, £30.
Portsoken, £27.
Aldersgate and Bassishaw, each £21.
Aldgate, £18.
Lime Street, £6.

The assessment as thus set out gives a clear idea of the relative position of the several Wards of the City as to their respective wealth and importance.

Whilst military operations were being carried on in a desultory way in Aquitaine, the King of France was preparing for an invasion of England itself. As soon as this design reached Edward's ears he acted as we have seen him act before when the country was threatened with similar danger. He summoned a special Council, comprising men well versed in naval and mercantile affairs, for the purpose of devising measures to meet the attack. (fn. 81) Again two Aldermen and two Commoners were selected to attend, among them being John Philipot, who nine years later fitted out a fleet at his own expense, wherewith he rendered his country good service. (fn. 82)

The war continued to drag its slow length along until the summer of the following year (1370), when Edward determined upon strengthening his forces in France. On the 8th June he wrote to the civic authorities notifying that he was in immediate need of 100,000 marks for the purpose of expeditions that were about to set out under the Duke of Lancaster and Sir Robert Knolles, as well as for the defence of the realm, and he would be glad to receive the sum of £5,000 by Midsummer Day. The citizens begged to be excused advancing the money, on the ground that they had already been called upon to suffer great burdens; but as the King refused to give way, they eventually agreed that the sum of £5,000 should be raised by voluntary contributions, and the money advanced on the security of the custom on wool, &c., in the Port of London. (fn. 83) The names of the contributors and the amount advanced by each were duly recorded, and covered five pages of the Letter-Book, but they were afterwards erased "by the Commoners in the presence of the Mayor and Aldermen." The money was repaid on the 1st January, 1371, (fn. 84) but scarcely a month was allowed to elapse before the King again borrowed nearly the same sum from the wealthier class of citizen. In this case the names of the contributors have been left on record, and the loan was repaid in less than a week. (fn. 85) About the time that this second loan was made, it was decided again to raise money from the Wards for the purpose of gifts to be made to the Prince of Wales and his consort on their return from Gascony. (fn. 86)

In the meantime, viz., in August, 1370, news had arrived in the City that certain galleys with a large force on board were lying off the North Foreland—or "Forelond of Tenet." The citizens were hastily summoned before the Mayor, and after consideration as to what was best to be done under the circumstances it was agreed that an armed watch should be kept by night by certain Misteries or Livery Companies between Billingsgate and the Tower of London, each in their turn as prescribed, until further orders, (fn. 87) in defence of the City, as well as the King's ships lying at "le Redeclyve," or Ratcliffe, a name familiar to us in the present day in connexion with Ratcliffe Highway.

In February, 1371, Parliament met, (fn. 88) the King himself being present. The Chancellor opened the session with a speech, in which he described the enormous preparations made by the King of France, and requested the advice and support of Parliament to avert invasion and prevent the destruction of the English fleet. After much controversy, a grant was made of a sum of £50,000 to be raised by a contribution of 22s. 3d. from every parish in London and the Kingdom, and on the 28th March the Mayor, Sheriffs, and Aldermen were appointed Commissioners by letters patent to levy the money in the City and suburbs. (fn. 89) Scarcely a month elapsed before it was discovered that an egregious error had been committed. Instead of there being 40,000 parishes in the country, as had been estimated, there were less than 9,000, and, as a matter of convenience, a Council, instead of a Parliament, was summoned to meet at Winchester in June in order to set the matter right. One Alderman and one Commoner who had attended the last Parliament, viz., Bartholomew Frestlynge and John Philipot, were to attend the Council, and the Sheriffs were called upon to prepare a return of the number of parish churches, chapels, and prebends existing in the City, whether in the hands of secular or religious bodies. (fn. 90) An inquiry was accordingly held, when it was found "that the number of parish churches was 106; (fn. 91) that in St. Paul's Church there were thirty prebendaries who held thirty prebends, whereof two were within the liberty of the City, and all the others without; that in the free chapel of the Lord the King of St. Martin le Grand there were eleven prebendaries who held prebends outside the City, and that there were two other chapels within the liberty of the City." (fn. 92) On the 8th June—the day the Council met at Winchester—letters patent under the Great Seal were issued, appointing the Mayor, Sheriffs, and Aldermen to be Commissioners for raising a sum of £638, being the City's portion of the £50,000 granted by Parliament on the increased rate of 116s. for every parish instead of the insufficient rate, originally fixed, of 22s. 3d. This was quickly followed by another Commission, appointing four Aldermen, viz., Adam Fraunceys, John Pyel, Bartholomew Frestlynge, and John Philipot, to superintend or survey the proceedings. The method of raising the required sum was the same as that followed in September, 1369, viz., by an assessment of the Wards, each of which was called upon to contribute a sum on precisely the same scale relatively as on the former occasion. (fn. 93)

About this time we find a memorandum recorded in the Letter-Book to the effect that the sum of £1,000 was graciously given to the lord the King by the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty for safeguarding their ships at sea, (fn. 94) and that an assessment was again made on the Wards for the purpose of raising it. It was evidently intended to place on record the amount of assessment of the several Wards, space being left for the purpose, but the assessment has not been filled in.

Notwithstanding these grants of money and vast military and naval preparations, as well as alliances made abroad (Edward had recently secured the neutrality of the Genoese by a timely concession of free trade (fn. 95) ), no great expedition set out this year from England to prevent, if possible, the loss of Aquitaine.

The spring of the following year (1372) found the King still engaged in preparing for his expedition to France. He renewed his alliance with Flanders, (fn. 96) and commenced to concentrate his forces at Sandwich. Archers and crossbow-men who were willing to join the expedition were to assemble at Horselydown. (fn. 97) Towards the end of July the port of Sandwich was threatened by the enemy, but the danger passed away. At the end of August the fleet was ready to sail, but by that time many of the men had deserted. (fn. 98) This ill-fated expedition never reached its destination, owing to stress of weather, and was soon forced to return home. On the 18th September the King's vessel the "Gracedieu" was at Winchelsea, whence Edward dispatched a writ of Privy Seal to the Mayor, Sheriffs, and Aldermen bidding them punish those found guilty of having recently raised a riot in the City. (fn. 99) A Parliament had been summoned by the guardian of the realm during the King's absence, to meet on the 13th October, (fn. 100) but the King, arriving home before that day, caused the Parliament to be prorogued to the 3rd November. (fn. 101)

After listening to the sad account of the King's failure to invade France and of his necessitous condition, Parliament proceeded to grant supplies. The heavy subsidy imposed on wool in 1369 was renewed for two years, a fifteenth was granted for one year, whilst the custom of tunnage and poundage—viz., 2s. on every tun of wine, and 6d. on every pound of merchandise—which had been granted the previous year for the protection of the navy (when the City contributed £1,000 for the same purpose as just mentioned), was continued for another year. (fn. 102)

The day that Parliament met the King sent a letter of Privy Seal to the City ordering two barges to be built and equipped by the 1st April (1373) for the defence of the realm against the French and Spanish fleets. (fn. 103) This writ being ignored by the civic authorities, another was dispatched to similar effect on the 28th November. Thereupon orders were given for raising money in the Wards sufficient for building and fitting out one barge, under the superintendence of John Coggeshale and John Horn. (fn. 104) Before the barge was ready there came another writ for both barges to be sent to Sandwich by the 1st March (1373). (fn. 105) We hear nothing more of the matter until the end of July, when the Letter-Book records an indenture witnessing the delivery of a fully-equipped barge, called "the Paul of London," to William "Martlesham" or "Martesham," (fn. 106) who had been put in command of it; and on the 10th August John Coggeshale and John Horn render their account of money received and expended on behalf of the vessel. (fn. 107) Towards the close of September the barge was at Southampton, but unable to proceed to sea owing to the loss of two anchors and two cables on its voyage to that port. The deficiency was made good by the City at a cost of 20 marks, (fn. 108) but nothing more of this or the other barge (ordered at the same time) is recorded in the Letter-Book, except that the City received a present of very inferior wine (the freightage of which the citizens were called upon to pay !) for services rendered by the "Poule." (fn. 109)

The course of events of this year proved even more disastrous than that of 1372, so that when Parliament met on the 21st November (1373), it hesitated to provide more money for the war. At length it was prevailed upon to grant a fifteenth for two years if the war should last so long. (fn. 110) In the meantime the Mayor, Recorder, and Aldermen had received a writ of Privy Seal bidding them to use their best endeavours to persuade the wealthier citizens, whose names were forwarded with the writ, to advance money to the King, who was in sore pecuniary straits. (fn. 111) This is the last we hear of the war and of the King's necessities in the Letter-Book.

Turning again to matters of municipal history recorded in the Letter-Book with reference to the City, perhaps the most interesting of all is the record of the lease of a tenement over Aldgate to the poet Chaucer in 1374. (fn. 112) A translation of this document was printed in Riley's 'Memorials' in 1868, and it has recently been set out in its Latin form in 'Life Records of Chaucer,' edited for the Chaucer Society by Mr. R. E. G. Kirk. The terms of the lease were to the effect that Chaucer should enjoy the premises for life, paying no rent, but keeping them in repair to the satisfaction of the City Chamberlain; whilst the civic authorities, on their part, covenanted not to convert the gate into a prison (as they had done with Ludgate and Newgate), but reserved the right to dispose of the buildings, if necessary, for the City's defence. When the poet took the lease he probably had in view his coming appointment as Comptroller of the Custom and Subsidy of wools, hides, and woolfells in the Port of London. This appointment was made by letters patent dated the 8th June (1374). The office was to be held during the King's pleasure, and on condition that the poet personally executed its duties. This he appears to have done for a period of eleven years, until in February, 1385, the King acceded to his request to be allowed to appoint a permanent deputy. In the following year the gate was let by the civic authorities to Richard Forster or Forester, (fn. 113) who, in the opinion of Prof. Hales, may possibly be identical with one of Chaucer's proxies on his leaving England in May, 1378. (fn. 114)

Another matter of interest is the royal licence granted to the Serjeants of the City to bear maces after a prescribed form. At what precise period the City Serjeants first began to carry maces is not known, but there is evidence of their having been accustomed to bear staves before the middle of the thirteenth century. (fn. 115) The first mention of the City's mace, eo nomine, appears to be recorded in the previous Letter-Book, under the year 1338, when the office of mace-bearer was exercised by the King's Serjeant-at-arms, Robert Flambard, (fn. 116) who at that time was so busy with the King's business that he asked for the appointment of a deputy.

On the 18th May, 1354, the Mayor and Sheriffs received the King's command to make proclamation of certain ordinances of the Parliament then sitting to the effect that no serjeants of a city, town, or borough should thenceforth carry maces of silver or gilt except the two serjeants of the City of London and of York respectively; and that these maces should not bear the royal arms, but only emblems of the Cities of London and York, whilst the maces of other places should be made of iron, brass, or tin, or consist of staves tipped with latten, and that in no case should the maces be carried outside the liberties of the several cities or boroughs. (fn. 117)

A few weeks later, viz., on the 10th June (1354), the citizens of London succeeded in obtaining a charter from the King (still preserved at the Guildhall) specially permitting the City Serjeants to carry gilt, or silver, or silvered maces, adorned with the royal arms or otherwise, within the City and its liberties; and also without the same when in attendance upon the King or any of the royal family, in the same manner as the King's own Serjeant-at-arms, notwithstanding any order made to the contrary. (fn. 118) The same privileges were extended to the City of York by the King's successor on the throne. (fn. 119)

It is commonly believed that this right of the City's Serjeants to carry gilt or silver maces on public occasions conferred upon the Mayor of the City for the time being the title of "Lord" Mayor. How such a belief originated it is difficult to say. Possibly it may be attributed to Noorthouck, who wrote that it was "probably" on the occasion of the granting of this charter "that the chief magistrate began to be called Lord Mayor, as corresponding with the increase of dignity added to his public appearance." It appears certain that the title "Lord" Mayor rests on no official creation, and it is suggested that it may have grown out of a mistranslation of the Latin term dominus, which often meant no more than "sir." (fn. 120)

The same year, viz., 1354, that the City obtained the distinction just mentioned, it had occasion to approach the King on a matter touching the Hospital of St. Giles, near the old house of the Templars in Holborn. This hospital had been founded by Matilda, wife of King Henry I., and had been largely endowed by pious citizens for the maintenance of lepers. Edward I. had subsequently placed the hospital under the master of a similar institution at Burton Lazars, co. Leicester, for the time being. Trouble had already arisen in 1349, which led the Chancellor, as visitor of St. Giles's Hospital, to promulgate certain orders for its better management, (fn. 121) and now the civic authorities had again to complain to the King of lepers having been ejected from the hospital and their places taken by those who were in the enjoyment of perfect health. (fn. 122)

Both parties were thereupon summoned to appear before the King, and the matter was arranged by the Mayor and Commonalty being allowed to continue, as before, to have always fourteen inmates of the hospital of their own nomination from the City and suburbs and county of Middlesex, that number to be increased in proportion to further benefactions to the hospital by good men of the City. (fn. 123)

Under date 1358 we find a curious ordinance touching the alienation of Aldermen's gowns. (fn. 124) The ordinance has been transcribed into the 'Liber Albus' from the Letter-Book, with the following prefatory remarks as to the special occasions when the Mayor, Sheriffs, and Aldermen were accustomed to be clad alike (de una secta) :—

"Item, the Mayor, Sheriffs, and Aldermen were all accustomed to clothe themselves alike twice a year, viz., at the riding of the Mayor to take his oath at Westminster, that is to say on the morrow of the Feast of the Apostles Simon and Jude, when such clothing was made with honest furs. They were again accustomed to clothe themselves alike against the Feast of Pentecost, the lining being of silk."

The record in both manuscripts then continues as follows :—

"Hence, on Monday next after the Feast of our Lord's Epiphany [6 Jan.] in the 31st year of the reign of Edward III. [A.D. 1357-8] it was ordained by the Mayor and Aldermen that whensoever it shall happen that the Mayor and Aldermen be clothed alike and that (et quod (fn. 125) ) none of them shall give or alienate his gown within the year, under penalty of losing 100s. to the use of the Commonalty, without obtaining any remission thereof. And if it should happen that any one of them should die within that year, that his executors shall not alienate nor give to any one his gown within the year, under penalty aforesaid."

In 1360 an inquisition was held as to divers nuisances in the Ward of Farringdon Without, when the jury found that the citizens of London had enjoyed a right of way for themselves, their horses and their carts, through the gate of the Temple to the riverside, time out of mind, and that the owners of the Temple for the time being were bound to maintain a pier or jetty for landing (known as "Templebrigge" (fn. 126) ), but that the Prior of St. John of Jerusalem, who was then possessor of the Temple, (fn. 127) had molested the citizens in the enjoyment of their right. (fn. 128) It does not appear from the Letter-Book that any proceedings were taken on the jury's finding on this occasion. When, however, fourteen years later (1374), Robert de Hales, (fn. 129) the Prior, interfered with a tenant of a house near "Templebarre" who wished to convey victuals and fuel from Fleet Street to "Templebngge" it is recorded that the Mayor summoned him to appear to answer for his conduct, and in default of appearance imposed a fine, notwithstanding the King's writ ordering proceedings to be stayed. (fn. 130) The King had objected to the Mayor, Recorder, and Aldermen sitting in judgment in a matter in which they and the Commonalty were interested parties, and summoned them to appear before his Council or show cause to the contrary. The end of the matter, so far as is recorded in the Letter-Book, was that the City was again ordered to stay further proceedings as likely to be prejudicial to the rights of the Crown. (fn. 131)

The Prior of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem again figures in the Letter-Book as complaining to the civic authorities of a nuisance caused by the butchers of the Shambles using a wharf or quay on the River Fleet for cleansing the entrails of slaughtered beasts, more especially to the inmates of the adjoining prison. Some feeling, no doubt, was introduced into the matter, inasmuch as the wharf had once belonged to the Prior and Hospital, as the Prior alleged, but they had been ousted from the property during the Mayoralty of Simon Fraunceys (1342-3), and it had been leased to the butchers for the very purpose that gave rise to the complaint at an annual rent of a boar's head. No notice having been taken of the Prior's complaint by the civic authorities, he appealed in 1354 to the King, with the result that two writs were issued to the Mayor and Sheriffs bidding them to put down the nuisance without delay. (fn. 132) To these writs return was made to the effect that the civic authorities had given orders for butchers to carry the entrails of slaughtered beasts to the Flete and there clean them in the tidal water of the Thames, instead of throwing them on the pavement by the house of the Grey Friars. Moreover, the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem had never owned the wharf near the Fleet, as alleged, nor had it ever tested the question of ownership at law, as the City was prepared to do if prosecuted. The writ therefore could not be executed. (fn. 133)

In July of the following year (1355) the matter cropped up again. By that time the butchers appear in their turn to have been ejected from the wharf on the Fleet, and the King (who was then at Sandwich preparing for another expedition to France) directed another writ to the municipal authorities bidding them provide some other suitable locality for the use of the butchers in place of the one they had lost. To this the City replied that a place had already been provided near the wall of the Black Friars for the purpose required, at the expense of the butchers themselves, and orders had been given for the arrest and imprisonment of any one found disturbing them in their business. (fn. 134)

In course of time, however, the continual passage of butchers with their evil-smelling burdens from the Shambles near Newgate to the pier or jetty on the riverside near Black Friars, known as "Bochersbrigge," became so obnoxious to those living on the line of route that the attention of Parliament was called to the nuisance in 1369, and orders were given for the bridge to be pulled down by the 1st August. (fn. 135) That day having come and gone, and the bridge still standing, another writ was sent to the municipal authorities ordering its immediate demolition. (fn. 136) Although this order was carried out and the bridge destroyed, butchers continued to carry offal from the Shambles to the riverside, and this nuisance had also to be suppressed in 1370, (fn. 137) whilst in the following year the slaughter of beasts in the City, except by butchers of Eastcheap and the Stocks, was strictly forbidden. (fn. 138)

In 1361 we find the Butchers of the Stocks or Stocks Market (on the site of which now stands the Mansion House) claiming the right to stand and sell meat there on Christmas Eve and Easter Eve. This claim was disputed by the Fishmongers, who, on Christmas Eve, 1360, had ejected the Butchers from their stalls. Thereupon the Butchers appealed to the Mayor and Aldermen, who summoned both parties to appear on a certain day, as well as the Wardens of London Bridge, the latter being interested in the matter owing to the issues and profits of the Stocks Market being devoted to the maintenance of the Bridge.

On the day appointed the Butchers appeared, but produced no documentary evidence in support of their claim, whilst the Wardens of London Bridge produced an agreement made in 1324 between the several misteries of Butchers and Fishmongers, fixing the days when they should severally use the market, viz., the Butchers on flesh-days and the Fishmongers on fish-days, (fn. 139) but making no mention of Christmas Eve or Easter Eve. It was therefore adjudged that until the Butchers could produce some proof of their claim the terms of this agreement should be adhered to. (fn. 140)

Among other matters of more or less interest recorded in the Letter-Book may be mentioned the following, viz., the election of a Common Council in November, 1352, from the Misteries instead of from the Wards, (fn. 141) the only other known instance before 1376 of a Common Council being so elected having occurred in 1351; (fn. 142) the right of the Mercers to appoint weighers at the Small Balance, and of the "Grossers" to make like appointments to the Great Balance; (fn. 143) the King's grant of a monopoly of the sale of sweet wines by retail to John Pecche in spite of a Parliamentary order to the contrary (fn. 144) —a grant which eventually deprived Pecche of his franchise (fn. 145) —and the restriction of the number of taverns in the City where such wines might be sold; (fn. 146) the encouragement of the practice of archery in place of useless games; (fn. 147) the ordinance of the Common Council in 1356 that pleas in the Sheriffs' Courts should be pleaded in English, (fn. 148) although pleading in English in courts of law was not established until six years later; (fn. 149) and lastly certain customs in connexion with legal procedure prevalent in the City, such as the probate of wills before the Ordinary as a preliminary to their being proved and enrolled in the Court of Husting, (fn. 150) the custom as to the portion of her husband's goods a widow could claim, when he had left children by a former wife and none by the claimant, (fn. 151) and the custom of compurgation by one hand alone and also with seven hands. (fn. 152)

R. R. S.

The Guildhall, London, February, 1905.


1 'Cal. Letter-Book F,' p. 237.
2 Infra, p. 5.
3 Rymer, 'Fœdera,' vol. iii. pt. i. pp. 260-1.
4 Infra, p. 11.
5 'Rot. Parl.,' ii. 246-50. See also Stubbs, 'Const. Hist.,' ii. 409. Its proceedings were subsequently confirmed by the Parliament of 1354, which comprised, as far as possible, the same representatives as had attended the Council. Infra, p. 20.
6 The plan of voting three years' supplies at once, remarks the late Bishop Stubbs, "seems to have increased the number of occasional councils, whilst it rendered frequent parliaments less necessary." Stubbs, 'Const. Hist.,' ii. 409.
7 Infra, pp. 8, 16.
8 Infra, p. 25.
9 Infra, p. 21.
10 Infra, pp. 24-5.
11 Infra, pp. 40, 42.
12 Infra, p. 42.
13 Rymer, 'Fœdera,' vol. iii. pt. i. p. 303.
14 Infra, p. 44.
15 Infra, p. 45.
16 The names of the men and record of their proceedings (et totus processus) are not entered in the Letter-Book. For this information we are referred to the Rolls that lie in the Mayor's bag (baga). Infra, pp. 43-4, 46, 47. It would be interesting to know what has become of the "bags" of succes sive Mayors and of their contents. The article is mentioned again infra, p. 193.
17 Cf. 'Chronicon Anglæ' (Rolls Series, No. 64), p. 33.
18 Infra, p. 49.
19 'Cal. Letter-Book C,' Introd., pp. xv-xvi.
20 'Cal. Letter-Book F,' p. 14.
21 Infra, pp. 14-15, 52, 206. In 1368 the Sheriffs received the King's orders to see that the statute of 1351 was duly observed in the City. Infra, p. 231.
22 Infra, p. 185.
23 Infra, pp. 46-7.
24 This appears to be the meaning of the words "Absque hoc quod de libertate civitatis predicte aut in lotto vel in scotto cum hominibus ejusdem civitatis existat."
25 Infra, p. 54.
26 Infra, p. 57.
27 Infra, pp. 58-61.
28 Infra, pp. 61-2.
29 Infra, p. 71. A translation of the Prince's account of the battle has been printed in Riley's 'Memorials' (pp. 285-8).
30 Infra, p. 81.
31 Infra, p. 71.
32 This is the date of his return as given by Walsingham ('Hist. Angl.,' i. 299) and Stow ('Survey,' Thoms's ed., 1876, p. 41). Barnes, on the other hand, states that the King landed at Dover on the 4th January, 1364 ('Hist. of King Edward III.,'p.634).
33 Infra, p. 173.
34 Infra, p. 84.
35 Infra, p. 92.
36 Infra, p. 93.
37 Complaints had arisen of the Mayor, Sheriffs, and Aldermen having failed to correct various errors and misprisions, and consequently a sta tute had been passed in 1354 (Stat. 28 Edward III. cap. x.) providing that if they continued in such a course they should be subjected to fine, and the errors submitted to inquests by men of foreign counties (gentz de foreins contees). This was resented at the time by the civic authorities, and again in 1357 and 1365. Infra, pp. 23, 25-6, 86, 187.
38 Infra, pp. 85-6.
39 Infra, p. 105.
40 Infra, p. 108.
41 Infra, p. 109.
42 Infra, pp. 111-12.
43 Infra, p. 113.
44 Rymer, 'Fœdera,' vol. iii. pt. i. pp. 468-9.
45 Infra, pp. 113-14.
46 See 'Cal. Letter-Book F,'p. 192.
47 Stubbs, 'Const. Hist.,' ii. 454-5.
48 'Cal. Letter-Book F,'p. 232.
49 Infra, pp. 115-18.
50 Infra, pp. 148-50.
51 Stat. 37 Edward III., cap. v. Cf. infra, p. 159.
52 Infra, pp. 167, 168, 169, 174.
53 Stat. 38 Edward III., cap. ii. Infra, pp. 186, 204n.
54 Infra, pp. 168, 169.
55 Infra, p. 169.
56 Infra, pp. 173, 194.
57 Infra, pp. 130, 131. The foreign weavers so often fell out among themselves and caused such disturbance in the City that separate places of meeting were assigned to them, the Flemish weavers and their serving-men holding their meetings in the churchyard of S.t Laurence Pountney, and those of Brabant in the churchyard of St. Mary Somerset. Infra, p. 265.
58 Infra, p. 278.
59 The list of contributors has been set out in full (infra, pp. 171-2). Extracts from it appear in the 'Memo rials' (p. 314). Herbert also pur ports to give a list of the misteries which subscribed, but it is very incor rectly printed ('Twelve Livery Companies,' i. 31-2).
60 Among the smaller contributors we find "four dieghers" and "two cappers" who subscribed respectively 2 marks and 13s. 4d .
61 Infra, p. 178.
62 Infra, pp. 179-80.
63 Pursuant to stat. 37 Edward III. cap. v. (already mentioned), not yet repealed.
64 Infra, pp. 180-1.
65 Infra, pp. 203-4.
66 Infra, p. 205. No. reason for his removal is recorded. It is signi ficant, however, that ten years later he was accused of defrauding the King in connexion with money sub scribed for the ransom of John of France, and fled to Flanders. A liberal use of money eventually won for him the King's pardon. 'Chron. Angliæ' (Rolls Series, No. 64), p. 94.
67 Infra, pp. 211-12. The sum of 60s. for admission to the freedom appears to have been still exacted, notwithstanding this ordinance. Letter-Book H, fo. cxxxi b.
68 Infra, p. 190.
69 Infra, p. 17.
70 Infra, p. 97.
71 38 Edward III. stat. 2 'Rot. Parl.,' ii. 284-5.
72 'Rot. Parl.,' ii. 290.
73 Infra, p. 194.
74 Infra, p. 199.
75 The writ to the Sheriffs for proclamation to be made to that effect remained in the hands of one of the Sheriffs, but no proclamation, we are told, was made thereon. Infra, p. 231.
76 The names of the men dispatched for the purpose are set out in the Letter-Book, as well as the num ber supplied by each Ward. Infra, pp 242-5.
77 Infra, p. 245.
78 Infra, p. 242.
79 Infra, pp. 241, 246.
80 Infra, p. 251.
81 Infra, p. 255. Cf. 'Cal. Letter-Book F,' pp. 41, 94.
82 Walsingham, 'Historia Anglic.' (Rolls Series, No. 28), i. 369-70.
83 Infra, p. 263.
84 Infra, p. 266.
85 Infra, pp. 275-7.
86 Infra, p. 275. Particulars of the gift of plate to the Prince are recorded in the Letter-Book (fos. cclxxi-cclxxib), and have been set out in Riley's 'Memorials' (pp. 350-2). On the 23rd February, 1372, the Princess wrote a letter of acknowledgment to the Mayor and Aldermen for what she had received (infra, p. 291). When John de Cantebrigge quitted the office of Chamberlain, in 1374, he handed to his successor a schedule of arrears of over £50 still to be levied on the Wards for payment of these gifts (infra, p. 331).
87 Infra, p. 264.
88 Infra, pp. 274-5.
89 Infra, p. 280.
90 Infra, p. 280.
91 On another folio of the Letter Book the number of "City parishes" is given as 110 (infra, p. 284); whilst the 'Liber Custumarum' (i. 228-30) gives the number of London "benefices" in 1302 as 116.
92 Infra, p. 280.
93 Infra, pp. 284-5. In 1374 the sum of £11 8s. remained still in arrears for the City's quota. Infra, p. 332.
94 Infra, p. 282.
95 Infra, p. 277.
96 Infra, pp. 292, 295.
97 Infra, p. 294.
98 The King, who was on board the "Gracedieu," directed the Mayor and Sheriffs to arrest any deserters they could find, and this order was repeated a fortnight later by Richard, his grand son, whom he had left as nominal Guardian of the realm during his absence in France. Infra, pp. 297, 298.
99 Infra, p. 297. In May, 1371, the King had summoned the leading citizens to Guildford, where he had made them swear to safeguard the City. Infra, pp. 280-1.
100 Infra, p. 297.
101 Infra, p. 298.
102 Infra, pp. 302n., 305, 308.
103 Infra, p. 302. The recent marriage of the Duke of Lancaster to Constance of Castile, and the assumption thereon by the Duke of the title of King of Castile, had driven the actual King of Castile to join forces with the King of France.
104 Infra, pp. 302-3.
105 Infra, p. 305.
106 Infra, p. 310.
107 Infra, p. 304.
108 Infra, pp. 311-12.
109 Infra, pp. 330, 333.
110 Infra, pp. 312-13, 319n., 330.
111 Infra, pp. 330-1.
112 Infra, pp. 327-8.
113 Letter-Book H, fo. 204 b.
114 See Academy, 6 Dec., 1879.
115 'Liber Albus,' i. 295.
116 'Cal. Letter-Book F,' pp. 29-30. The editor has there inadvertently described Flambard as Serjeant-at-arms "of the City."
117 Infra, pp. 21-2.
118 The charter is set out in Latin by Mr. W. H. St. John Hope in his edition of 'Corporation Plate and Insignia of Office' (vol. ii.p. 93). In this connexion it is curious to note that the year before the grant of thi City charter the King had occasion to forbid the citizens molesting John Thoresby, Archbishop of York, his Chancellor, for bearing his cross within the liberties of the City. Infra, p. 5.
119 Ibid., vol. ii.p. 455.
120 The earliest instance of "Lord" Mayor yet discovered in the City's records occurs in 1502, during the Mayoralty of John Shaa. Repertory 1, fo. 97 b.
121 Infra, pp. 30-1.
122 Infra, pp. 27-8.
123 Infra, pp. 28-9.
124 Infra, p. 93. It is noteworthy that when David Woodroffe was dis charged from his Aldermanry of Bishopsgate Ward in 1560 he was discharged of his "cloke and rome of Aldermanship." Repertory 14, fo. 271.
125 Omitted in the 'Liber Albus.'
126 Infra, pp. 322, 325.
127 The Temple Church had been given to the Hospitallers on the suppression of the Knights Templars, and the residue of the manor of the Temple had been granted to them anno 12 Edward III.
128 Infra, p. 126.
129 Beheaded on Tower Hill in 1380 by the Kentish rebels. 'Cal. Letter-Book F,' pp. 288-9.
130 Infra, p. 322.
131 Infra, pp. 324-5. Notwith standing this injunction fresh pro ceedings are recorded elsewhere in the City's records as having been taken in November, 1376, against the Prior, at the suit of the same plaintiff, for an alleged infringement of the latter's right of free access to the river through the Temple. 'Pleas and Memoranda,' Roll A 22, membr. 5.
132 Infra, p. 31.
133 Infra, pp. 31-2.
134 Infra, p. 43.
135 Infra, p. 246.
136 Infra, p. 249. 'Memorials,' pp. 339-40.
137 Infra, p. 262.
138 Infra, p. 288.
139 See 'Cal. Letter-Book E,' p. 186; 'Liber Custumarum,' i. 275-8.
140 Infra, pp. 127-8.
141 Infra, p. 3.
142 See 'Cal. Letter-Book F,' Introd., p. xxviii.
143 Infra, pp. 2, 204.
144 Infra, pp. 318, 320.
145 Letter-Book H, fo xlv b.
146 Infra, pp. 192-3, 199.
147 Infra, pp. 154, 194.
148 Infra, p. 73.
149 Stat. 36 Fdward III. cap. xv.
150 Infra, p. 88.
151 Infra, p. 250.
152 Infra, pp. 73, 128.