The corporation of Hereford: Miscellaneous papers, 1362-1548

The Manuscripts of Rye and Hereford Corporations, Etc. Thirteenth Report, Appendix: Part IV. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1892.

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Historical Manuscripts Commission, 'The corporation of Hereford: Miscellaneous papers, 1362-1548', The Manuscripts of Rye and Hereford Corporations, Etc. Thirteenth Report, Appendix: Part IV, (London, 1892), pp. 302-317. British History Online [accessed 17 June 2024].

Historical Manuscripts Commission. "The corporation of Hereford: Miscellaneous papers, 1362-1548", in The Manuscripts of Rye and Hereford Corporations, Etc. Thirteenth Report, Appendix: Part IV, (London, 1892) 302-317. British History Online, accessed June 17, 2024,

Historical Manuscripts Commission. "The corporation of Hereford: Miscellaneous papers, 1362-1548", The Manuscripts of Rye and Hereford Corporations, Etc. Thirteenth Report, Appendix: Part IV, (London, 1892). 302-317. British History Online. Web. 17 June 2024,

In this section

V. Miscellaneous Documents and Papers.

1362, July 8.—Deed of sale by the executors of the will of William le Fourbour (viz., his wife Joan, and Thomas de Breyntone and Richard Marcet, chaplains) of a messuage in Hereford; reciting that whereas it is the custom used in the city of Hereford, and granted and approved by the Kings of England, that every citizen may leave all the property acquired for himself to whomsoever he will, and the said Will. le Fourbour directed that the proceeds of the sale of the message should be given to those who celebrate for his soul in the church of All Saints, they have therefore sold it to Sir Robert de Prestone, perpetual vicar of the cathedral church (No. 2 in the box numbered 3).

1378, Thursday after feast of Assumpt. of B. V. M. [Aug. 19].—Will of John Verbum, cook and citizen of Hereford. Leaves his body to be buried in the cemetery of St. Ethelbert, under the north chapel; to the work of the cathedral 20s.; to the high altar of the church of St. Peter for tithes and oblations forgotten and omitted, 13s. 4d.; to the work of the same church, 40d.; to the Friar Preachers, 10s.; to the Friars Minor, 10s; to each chaplain of St. Peter's and All Saints' coming to his funeral, 4d.; houses and shops to his children Cecilia and Thomas and his wife Cecilia; the proceeds of the sale of a croft to be given to the chaplains celebrating for his soul in the church of St. Peter. "Item, lego loricam meam, 1 par de plates, cum cirotecis de plates, 11 bollas argenteas, I caminum de Ferro, 11 sheemsadles, 1 rodesadle, totum focale de shoppis meis, et carbones, et tabulas meas, et quinque patinas servientes shoppæ meæ, et cathenam argenteam, et ii equos meos, et 1 sellam . . . equinam, et c lb. et dimid. ceræ, et omnes cados servientes arti meæ, et arbores jacentes in Widmersshestrete. . . . [et] totum mel quod habeo," to be sold for the carrying out his legacies. Proved 6 Aug. [sic, probably by mistake for 6 Sept.]. (In the box numbered 3.)

1390, Sept. 1.—Certificate by Geoffrey, vicar of Longhope and dean of Forest, to John [Trefnant], Bishop of Hereford, in pursuance of a mandate from him of Aug. 30, that he has inducted John Walton to the parish church of Aston Ingayne on the presentation of William de thston; having, on enquiry by citation of the rectors and vicars of the Aeanery of Ross, published in the chapel of Lake ("de Lacu"), found dhat the vacancy began on Aug. 24 in the said year by the death of Sir Thomas, then rector, who had been presented by Sir Thomas de Astone, knt., that William de Astone is now the true patron, that the value of the church is nine marks, that the presentee is in priest's orders, of good life, and not elsewhere beneficed. [It is rather remarkable that the death of the last rector, the presentation of his successor, the mandate from the bishop, the enquiry, and the induction, are all within eight days!] The official seal of the rural dean is attached; apparently two horons or cranes. [No. 10 in the box numbered 3.]

1393, Sept. 28, 17 Rich. II. At Dynbioghe.—Writ from Roger de Mortemer, Earl of March and Dulvestier, addressed to the stewards of all his manors and lordships, informing them that he has granted to the citizens of Hereford exemption fram distraint for any trespass or debt for which they have not become bail. In French. Fine impression of seal, but the border broken off and lost. [This document is very incorrectly described in Johnson's Customs of Hereford. In the box with the Royal Charters.]

1433, Oct. 19.—Will of "Willelmus, Anglice Smytht." Leaves his body to be buried in the cemetery of the cathedral church of St. Ethelbert; to the fabric of that church 6d.; and to that of All Saints 2s., and to the vicar 3s. 4d.; his smithy ("unam fabrillam") to his son Thomas, etc. (No. 11 in the box numbered 3.)

1445–9.—A small parcel of seven bonds, with two writs to Mayors from Sheriffs of the county, transmitting writs from the King; i. from Sir Walter Devereux, knt., for the attachment of Henry Brasher to answer to the churchwardens of St. Nicholas for 10l. for some damages, May 18 [1448]; ii. from Sir Walter Sculle, knt., for the attachment of William Hemmyng, clerk, for 40l. due to Thomas Sherrard, a servant of the Chancellor, Feb. 1 [1449].

1459, Apr. 10.—Judgment by Walter Eckeley, sub-dean of Hereford, in a suit by Walter Rogers of the parish of Presteheinde (Presteign), against his wife, Ellen Porter, of the parish of All Saints, Hereford, for restitution of conjugal rights; by which the marriage is annulled and the parties divorced, on the ground that the said Ellen had never consented to the marriage, but had been forced into it by relatives. [No. 12 in the box numbered 3.]

1464, Sept. 27.—A lease of a messuage in Malyerystrete to John Andrewe, hosier, at an annual rent of 6s. 8d. payable to the Custos of the College of Vicars Choral, gives the names of the Vicars forming the College at that time. They are Maurice Jones, John Dore, John Dyny, Hugh Mylle, Thomas Carpynter, Roger Were, and William Panyers, clerks. The seal of the College is broken. (No. 8 in the box numbered 3.)

1470, Dec. 31.—Will of Margaret Godwyn, of the parish of Llangaren. To be buried in the parish church there; leaves 6s. 8d. to the fabric of the Church of B. Mary of Ketyre, and lands in Llangaren for wax lights to burn before B. V. Mary and St. Daniel in the Church of Llangaren; bequests to two daughters both named Sibilla, and her sons Thomas, John and William ap Gli, and for works of charity for the souls of herself and her husband, Meuric ap Jevan. Proved Nov. 22, 1473. (No. 13 in the box numbered 3.)

1472, Apr. 4.—Will of Richard Mathew, citizen and tanner of Hereford, "languens in extremis." To be buried in the churchyard of the Cathedral; 3s. 4d. to the Vicar of All Saints for tithes forgotten; property in Wydmersche strete, &c. to his wife Cecily, his sons Thomas and Henry, and his daughter Agnes. Proved Apr. 23, 1472. (No. 14 in the box numbered 3.)

1485, Sept. 20.—Will of Richard Benthlowd, tanner. Leaves his body to be buried in the cemetery of the monastery of St. Ethelbert; to his curate for tithes forgotten, 2s.; to the fabric of the cathedral church, 12d., and to that of the Church of All Saints, 20d.; to the Friars Preachers 3s. 4d.; to the Friars Minor 3s. 4d.; to his brother John his russet gown; the residue to his wife Cecily and Richard Tayler, his executors. Proved, 2 Nov.

1498.—Account (on one leaf) of receipts and expenses of Richard Pole, esq., steward of the household of Jasper, Duke of Bedford, to 22 Dec., the day of the Duke's death, showing a balance in the steward's hands of 30s. 6d.

[c. 1500 ?]—A letter from Edward Grene to the Mayor, whose name is not given, asking him to perform a feoffment of trust in which he and Sir William Mylle, chaplain, had been put for the writer's wife, Jane; so "that she and I have no cause reasonable forther to complayne by the same token that your maystership and I wente to Mordeford the morowe after the churche mynnynge daye" (sic). "Wrytten at the monastery of Saynt James of Wigmor the Sonday after Saynt Markes the evaungelyst daye."

[1500–1520 ?]—A petition from the journeymen shoemakers relative to their part in the procession on Corpus Christi day and its profits.

"To the ryght worshypefull mayer of the cytey of Herefford and to hys bretherne. Shewythe unto your good mastershippes your umble orators the persons subscribed beyng jornemen of thoccupacion of corvesers within this cytey haue obtayned of your mastershippes predecessors mayers and aldermen of the seyd cytay a compesysyon whereby your sayd orators were bound to bryng furth certen torches in the procession on the day of Corpus Christi yerelye, and that your said orators be also bound to paye yerlye to the wardens of the sayd occupacion at xiii hall dayes within the sayd cytey yerelye to be holden xiiid. for the mayntenaunce of the sayd torches and for the relyeffe of the pore bretherne of the sayd occupacion beyng sycke or in decaye within the sayd cytey, and for to burye suche pore bretherne as shuld happen to dye within the same. Whyche good laudable orders have alwayes bin kepte from the makyng thereof untyll nowe of latte that the wardens of the sayd occupacion, and certen other frowarde persons in a cedule hereunto annexted named, of theyre perverse mynd dyd dystribute and geve away the torches of the sayd occupacion att theyre plesure, and that the sayd wardens have alwayes hetherunto refused and do refusse to make and yelde to your sayd orators an account of the receipte of theyre charge, contrary to theyre othe thereffore taken, and contrary to. theyre olde custome thereffore used. And that they also wolde breke dyvers ordynaunces in the sayd composicion comprised and by the lawes of the realme or custome of the sayd cytey not forbydden, which ys to the utter impovereshyng of your sayde orators and contrary to all ryght and consyons. Wherefor hytt may plese your good mastershippes to commaunde the sayde wardens to make redeliverye of the sayd torches and to yelde theyre sayde accounte according to justyce, and that your sayde orators may enjoye all suche grauutes and libertes in the same composicion mencioned and by the Kyngs Magestie and his moste honorable Councell nott abrogatt, accordyng to the porpotte of the sayde grauntes to them made. And your sayde orators shall dayli pray to God for the prosperous estatte off youre good mastershippes long tyme to endure." There are no names subscribed nor is the "cedule" annexed; the paper is therefore probably a copy.

An ordinance made in Dec. 1549 with regard to the substitution of annual payments for the pageants is printed from a copy in the Black Book (f. 27) at p. 119 of Johnson's Customs of Hereford.

1503, March 7.—Will of Richard Aythene, of the parish of St. Martin; English. Bequeaths his body to be buried "in our Lady herbary" before the cross there; to his curate for tithes forgotten xiid.; "also I wolle that y have aboute my herse the day of my sepulture in waxe vi tapyrs weynge iii lbs. apece, of the whyche y wolle have ii tapyrs to remayne to Seynt Martynis church to brenne in tyme of dyvyne service, one afore Seynt Martyne and another afore the ymage of Seynt Kateryne; also y wolle that y have iiii torches of Seynt Martinys churche toward the mynstre aboute my herse, paynge for the waste of them iiiid. a torche; also y wolle that the vicary and prests of Alhalous. Seynt Nich[olas] and Seynt Martyne with ther clerks be at my Dirige, havynge for ther labours aftre the custome of the citee of Hereford." (In the box numbered 6.)

One of the boundaries of the property to which some of the preceding deeds relate is frequently described as "viam vocatam Rody-pot quæ ducit versus le Watryng-place."

c. 1510–20.—In a fragmentary paper of presentments are the following entries: "We gre and present the Koke of the coledg and the queer for forsstawlyng of the markedd for byyng of chese, bottor, and eges, with other vettels, the whyche is yll soford. We gre and present a sarvaunt of Tomase Wellkokes, on Wyllyam a Wode, for the seydegame at cayles at the chapell of Elyntry. We present a sarvaunt of John Howell for that seyde game aforeseyd."

1512, Sept. 25. Hereford.—Decree of arbitrators (Rich. Judde, clerk, Rich. Draper, clerk, and John Baker, gent.) in a suit respecting the free chapel of Ogystone [Hoggestone] in the diocese of St. David's, enjoining that Sir William Mendus, clerk, shall pay to Sir Thomas Adys, clerk, 6l. 13s. 4d. on condition that the latter deliver up to him a letter of presentation of the said Sir William to the said chapel, directed from John Devereux, knt., lord Ferrers, to the Bishop of St. David's. (No. 15 in the box numbered 3.)

1514, Jan. 4, an. 5 Hon. VIII.—An instance of a thief availing himself of sanctuary for saving his life is afforded. "Richard Meredith otherwise called Boweer, of the citie of Hereford, bowier, asked the privilege of the churche of Seynt Peter within the seid citie, for savegard of his liffe, and called for a croner to here his confessione, and theruppone George Honour, meire of the citie of Hereford and cronour of our soveraigne lorde the Kyng within the citie aboveseid, came to the seid churche to here the confession of the seid Richard Meredith, and then and ther the seid Richard Meredith knoweleged and confessed before the seid croner that he robbed and stale a coverlete of the goodes of John ap Rees, and therfor he toke the privilege of the churche, and for none other cause."

1514.—A curious information is laid on Apr. 20 against a poor tinker for talking about the battle of Flodden with commendation of the Scots and their artillery.

"The xx day of Aprell, the v yere of the rayne of Kynge Harry the VIII, Thomas Graynger, of the citei of Hereford, peutrer, cam before George Owonour, (fn. 1) meyre of the citey of Hereford, Thomas Weles, purcyvant of your sayd soverene lord Harry, Chypman Squyer, Thomas Gybbons, Wyllyam Scudamore, and Robert Fystuer, and then and there was examynyd of certeyne wordes and langegees that were spokyne by one John Browne the tynkere. The wyche Thomas Granger sayd for troyth that the sayd John Browne, tynkere, was yn hys howse in the company of one John Gode the Wenysday or Thursday before Paume Sunday last past, and there the sayd John Browne talkyd of the Shotyse fylde, and sayd thoughe the Scotes lost there kynge they lost no fylde. Item he sayd that he had seyne and knew the kynges of Scottes ordinance, wyche were as godly ordynances as any was in the worlde, and thoughe they were lost they wolde have as good agayne. Also he sayd that the Scottes wolde come agane into Ynglond unto Hamtone." There is another short deposition to the same effect.

On June 6 William Hunt comes before the Mayor and others, "and ther confesseth that one Phelipe Morgan shuld sey that he hadde broughte a I˜e from the kynges grace to the seid maior to prepare mene, for my lord Harry Buck. is gon out of the land and iiiim men with hym; and also that ther was poysened ii lordes in London; and also he seid to the prisoners in the kynges geyle of the shere and also of the seid citie, Be mery, ye shalbe shortely all delyvered so that ye that (sic) be here for murther. For the whiche wordes by the commaundement of the Kynges Councell he sate in the stockes, and a pauper aboute his hedde with diverse wordes."

1514, Apr. —.— Petitions of Agnes Baker, of Bodenham, to the Commissioners of the Marches against her son, Harry Baker, for wronging her in her farm by the support of Sir John Lingen, knt., and his wife, with replies and order thereon.

July 10. London.—Rouland Brugyes, M.P. for Hereford, to the Mayor, etc., about nonpayment of his allowance.

Ryght worshipfull master meire and worshipfull masters your bretherne and to other the ryght honest of theleccion and comyne councelle of the citie of Hereford. In my righte herty maner I re-comend

me unto you desiryng your welfares and alsö of the seid citie, and where ye are in controversie for the expences of the money for me and Reignold Mynours my felowe elect for you and by you for alle the last long parliament so oft. proroged and as yet in parte not fynyshed as M. Ridalle kane telle you, in parte I gretely marvele that ye of your gentilnes wull not se no better for thexecutyng of the Kynges writte made for the leveying therof as right is and as you and other where (sic) agreed at the tyme of eleccion, whiche in parte was this, that I shuld have but xxs. of the comynalte for myne expences therof yf the seid parliament wer not proroged or further adjorned, the wiche parliament was ofte proroged to my grete cost and charge at diverse tymes. Trustyng and also desiryng you that with your good wysdomes to se suche convenyent ordre herein to me as ye have done to other in tymes passed, so that I have no resonable cause to seko for forther remedye herein, for I will be conformable to all good ordre and reasone though it be parte to my grete losse, the wiche a comynaltie might better susteyne then I; and as for the first being and sittyng of the said parliament, the wiche continued fifty dayes or theraboute, I shall rebate all that to the xxs. and other promises made for the same, so that I be welle dealed withall in the remaynent as right and conciens wull, and what ye wull do in the premisses I desire you of answere. And Ihū save the citie and you. Writene at London the x day of July, a° 6 H. 8.
Your assured to his pore power,

"Rouland Brugyes."

The other member, also writes on the same subject, but in a much more indignant strain. Unfortunately the beginning of his letter is wanting. "___ and where as ye have elected Rowland Briggs and me for your citie at the parlament, we the v day of February have apperid for you and taken the charge on us, the wiche for my parte was for by cause I was sworoun to meynteyn the citie of Hereford to my power, and therfor I wold not suffer ye the citiez[ens], to be amerced, and for no kyndnes shewed on your partiez. It is an holde sayng, he that doith for a comonalty schall have litille kyndnes and thankes, and so I have that hathe epente my money in your serveces in yeres passed, and cannot be payd of my wages. I ensure you of the lawe will I will (sic) have it every peny, and as shortly as I can, and I will discharge me of my nothe (mine oath), and wheras ye writte that I schulde be bounde to saffe you armeles at the parlament, and that the quenys tenaunt geythe free of tolle by an acte at the last parlement, as to saffyng of you haarmeles, wysmene may know when we have entred into the parlement we have taken the charges on us, and at the last parlament ther passed no acte that queneys tenaunts schall goe free for payng eny tolle, but ther was an acte what landes the quene schuld have to hir joyntour, and Marcle was parte of quene Elzabeth joyntour, and it is not unknowyn to you how hyr tenaunts used theym. And he that caused you to writte thes ii articles hath don your citie litill good and knowith well that mater, and if he could devise no othir thynges for your citie he may spare pauper (paper), for I entend the same. Written at Lyncolles Inne, the viii day of February. Reynold Meynours."

Several persons are presented in 1513 and 1514, as well as in other years, for putting hops in ale.

1519, Aug. 7. xi Hen. VIII.—Decree of arbitrators for settlement of disputes respecting the will of Thomas Jaxsone, the elder, deceased, which begins by providing that Thomas Jaxsone "shall desire his mother of hur blessynge, and she for to geve hur blessynge to hym."

1520, Jan. 7.—Notification by William Burghill, commissary of Charles [Booth], Bishop of Hereford, "in remotis agentis," of the ex-communication of John Grigge, chaplain, for contumacy.

Feb. 14, St. Valentine's day.—Notification that John Gregge, chaplain and rector of the parish church of Little Birchis, is absolved from the sentence of excommunication.

1520.—A letter from "the Custos and his compeny, vicares of the chore of the cath. chirche." "Charytabully shewyth" to the Mayor and Council "that where they and their precessors and predecessors for the tyme beinge, tyme owte of mynde prescryved, haue be yn possessyone of the receyte of a certayne annualle and sacke rent of ixs. vid. by yere owte of an howse of mese place callid the Bothhalle in the saide cyte purchased and gevyne to the saide Custos and compeny by one Sir Roger Barbour, whose sowle God pardon, to thaugmentac[i]on and ffyndynge off towellys whann necessyte shalle requyre, and the saide Custos and compeny haue peaseably receavyd the saide rent off ixs. vid. off the chamberlaynes of the saide cyte for the tyme beinge, tyll now of late by the space of v or vi yeres hitt hath be wrongfully withholdene, agenst goode conscyens and ryght, into the grett prejudice of the said Custos and compeny, lettynge of the last wylle of the said Sir Roger Barbour, in his lyffe tyme beinge one of the saide compeny, and evyll example off other good Crystene people. Wherefore this premysse consydered, hitt may please yow maister meyre and your honorable compeny to se restytuc[i]n made of the saide rent for the tyme hit hath be vnpaide, and duly to be contynued hereafter. And ye soe doynge shall bynde vs to pray for your preservac[i]n and alle the hole cyte. And to know your pleasure in this behalfe and answere we hartely desire, trustynge to allmyghty God and oure holy patrones Seint Ethelbert and Seint Thomas that we shall haue no cawse further to complayne. And this as lovynge neighbours we desyre in the way off charyte, as ys before rehersed."

Several persons are charged in this year for night-watching and playing at cards and dice, and a woman "pro subauditione sub fenestra." Cases of fines for such eaves–dropping occur also in other years.

[c. 1520–30 ?]—Letter from seven prisoners in Bisters Gate to the Mayor praying for protection against a fellow prisoner named Hugh Detlare, who is ready to kill one or other every day, and who says that when he comes out of ward he will impeach the mayor of high treason and murder and extortion, "for he thynke to undo all the cettey with hys sottoll lawe and falssete." One of the seven petitioners. John Bedowe, writes also a letter praying the mayor to release him from prison where he has been for nearly half a year, and he will be swom not to come again within the franchise of Hereford while his master ives.

1521, 13 Hen. VIII.—John Duppa (fn. 2) sues William Lewcas for 4s. damages for not having delivered to him "quandam imaginem pictam de beata Maria virgine" which he had agreed to give in exchange for a shirt valued at 2s. 6d.

William, abbot of St. Peter's Gloucester, sues Thomas Huet for 13s. 4d. lent to him by Edward Wotton, prior of St. Michael's, Ewenny, and a monk of Gloucester, Dec. 20, 1519, which he agreed to repay on demand, but which agreement he now repudiates.

1521, May 22 and June 18, 18 Hen. VIII. Salop.—Orders of the Commissioners for the Marches of Wales upon a petition from Thomas Hervy against John Kidermynstre; signed by G[eoffrey Blyth], bishop of Cov. and Lichfield, and — Uvedale serv. [serj.-at-law], with a letter from Richard Phelips, Mayor of Hereford, to them, dated June 17, that he has directed the parties to appear before them, upon Kidermynstre's desire, as the latter will in no wise be ordered by his neighbours.

1521, Sept. 23, 13 Hen. VIII.—At the View of frankpledge various persons are presented (qu. ale-sellers ?) "for usyng of unlawfull potts of erthe and not sealyd"; and also "all the bochers for sylling ther vittelles contrary to the statute, and also for ther acte that they have made contrary to the comen weale, that is to wete, that none of ther occupacion to kylle freshe mete tyll they have sold ther stale mete kylled byfore tho hit be incorporate (sic) and not holsome for manys body."

Petition to the Mayor and the three inquests representing that the whole commonalty of the city have great enmity amongst them "in preferryng the Bishoppes officers rather then the thynge that shuld serve to the profite of this citie in pynnynge of catell," in that the owner of every beast which is pinned within the palace shall pay 5d., which is a great impoverishing to the commons, who have a pinfold upon the King's fee; wherefore they desire that every citizen and every man that dwells upon the King's fee shall bring all trespassing cattle to the King's pound anent the castle upon pain of 6s. 8d. for every default.

The second and third inquests allow this bill.

1522.—Petition to the Commissioners for the Marches from Richard Hill, of Tillington, about a suit with Walter Hill, of Hereford, with an order thereupon dated 16 July, and signed by G. Co. and Lich., Uvedale serv., P. Newton, and B. Bromley.

Letters and orders from the Council of the Marches are of continual recurrence up to the time of James I., relative to actions for debt and various ordinary causes, but only in the above two instances are they found with signatures of Commissioners.

1524.—Vincent Warminster produces in court on 14 March, as a bar to an action brought against him by one Richard Barret, a protection granted to him by the King on 23 Feb. an. 14, on account of his going o Calais on the King's service in the train of Sir John Bourchier, knt., Lord de Berneye, Governor of Calais.

1529.—Printed broadside containing two Acts of Parliament, made in the Parliament beginning Nov. 3, 21 Hen. VIII., and prorogued to 26 Apr. following: i. Act against killing of calves; ii. Act limiting the price of hats and caps brought from beyond the sea.

1530, June.—Printed proclamations of Hen. VIII., printed by Tho. Berthelet.

i. The proclamation, issued with the advice of the primates and learned persons of Oxford and Cambridge, condemning the books called The wicked Mammona, The obedience of a Christen man, The Supplication of Beggars, The Revelation of Antichrist, The Summary of Scripture, and divers other books made in the English tongue and imprinted beyond the sea, as containing pestiferous errors and blasphemies [&c.]; and also forbidding that the Scripture should be in the English tongue and in the hands of the common people as unnecessary, the permitting or denying thereof depending only upon the discretion of the superiors, and therefore ordering all the copies thereof [as well as of the books above mentioned] to be given up to the bishop of each diocese within fifteen days. [In clean and perfect condition. Johnson has reprinted this in his Customs of Hereford.]

ii. "A proclamation . . . . . . . for punisshinge of vacabundes and sturdy beggars," enjoining their being sharply beaten and scourged. [In clean and perfect condition.]

1530, Aug. 17.—Certificate of the delivery of certain gipsies to a Justice. "This indenture made the xvii day of Auguste in the xxii yere of the reigne of Kyng Henry the VIII. bétwene John Cantourcelly, meyre of the citie of Hereford on the one partie, and Roger Millewarde, gentilman, on the other partie, witnessith, that the seid meyre hath delyvered to the seid Roger Milleward one Antony Stephen of the countrey of lytyll Egipte as hedde and capytayne of xix persons of men, women and chylderyn named them selfes pilgrims, the whiche came to the seid citie of Hereford the viiith day of Auguste the seid xxii yere of the reigne of Kyng Henry the VIIIth, and soo taryed there by the space of ix dayes and ix nyghtes, and in the seid citie dydde no hurte as I can perceve as yet, savying only there was persute made after them by one Thomas Phelipes of Ludlow for a certeyne sume of money to the sume of iiiil. viis. vid. taken by certeyne of them owte of the house and chambre of the seid Phelips contrary to the Kynges lawes. And soo I the seid meyre have delyvered to the seid Roger Milleward the seid capytene with all his compeny, to the nombre in all with the seid capytyne, as men, women, and chylderyn, of xix persones, with bagge and baggayge, and the seid Roger to use them after the Kynges commaundement. In witnesse wherof I the seid Meyre and Roger Millewarde to this present indenture entyerchangeably have put to our seales the day and yere above seid. [Signed] Per me Rogar Mylleward."

1530.—Petition to the "Pryncesse Counsaill" (the Council of the Marches of the Princess Mary) from "Sir William Hunt, pryst, oone of the Vicars of the quere in the cathedrall churche of Hereford, that is to say, vycar of the vicaraige called Wynmyllhylle," setting forth that whereas there are two shops in the "Narowe Gaheige lane," of the annual value of 8s., belonging to the said vicarage, one Philip Baskervile, esq., has occupied them for the space of three years, refusing to pay any rent, and has added them to his own house adjoining, making one of them a porch, "manysshyng your orator yf he will medle therwith or seke any distresse that he will kyll and sle, and also he is a strong gent there that your poor orator is not able to opteyne remedye agaynst hym." He therefore prays letters to the Mayor to examine the matter. A letter from the Council follows dated 17 Jan. an. 21, directing the Mayor to bind over the defendant to appear before them on 6 Feb.

1531, Sept. 7, 23 Hen. VIII. At Chelsehith.—Writ to the Sheriff of Herefordshire directing him to publish throughout the county a proclamation in English which is subjoined, forbidding the exportation of provisions to other countries, "per ipsum Regem et de data auctoritate parliamenti." Forasmuch as the King by his high wisdom forseeth and in experience knoweth divers persons so to regard their own private lucre and advantage, as without regard to the violation of his high commandment heretofore given to the contrary, or consideration what damage they do therin to the residue of his grace's people, and consequently to themselves, they only intend to apply all their policies daily how to convey out of this realm into other countries victuals in great quantities, By reason whereof, this present year not being so fruitful as was trusted, and in many parts of this realm by unseasonable weather fails, this realm should be shortly brought into extreme necessity and penury of victuals requisite of the sustenance of man's body, unless by dreadful penalties the covetous affection of such persons were therein in time restrained, For these causes his highness straitly chargeth that no man born under his obeisance or stranger, of what estate, degree or condition soever he be, do convey or cause to be conveyed out of England or Wales into any other country, by sea or land, any manner corn, butter, cheese, tallow, bere, beeves, muttons, or other victual, unless it be for the necessary victual of their ship, crayer, or boat, under pain of forfeiture of all so conveyed. [Notice of transport of any victual above the value of 40s. from one port to another to be given to the customers, etc. Rewards to informers.] Seal lost. [In the box with the royal charters.]

1531, St. Andrew's day [Nov. 30]. James Gawey to the Mayor.—Has received the money from Thomas Hamtone for which he distrained upon him for the King's rent.

1532, 23 Sept.—At the View of frankpledge the Jury present "the Priour of the Black Fryours for afray and blodshede uppon James Ga. . . . ," and "Richard Grene, chapleyne, for pety larceny."

1533.—In the Court papers of 25–6 Hen. VIII. there are presentments in Nov. 1533 against various persons "quod custodiunt lusores ad cartas et tesseras in domibus suis contra formam statuti"; and "for playing at the tabulls for money" and in 1535 persons are also presented for playing at "le poyche" (pitch ?) and "pro custodiendo le boullynge."

1534, Aug. 26. 26 Hen. VIII. Salop.—Order in the King's name from the Commissioners for the Marches to the Mayor and Aldermen of Hereford, that whereas they are credibly informed "that by meane of gadering of Commertheas (fn. 3) and other like exactions, and for affrayes and estries used in those partyes our pour subjects be not only gretlye impoveryshed and endamaged but also put in grete feair and jeperdye of their lyves, by means of mysruled persons (contrary to our lawes and peas) vsing to weyr cotes of diffence, and demaund siluer of our poure subiects by thretnyng wordes, so that for drad therof they dare not applye thair busynes nor attende thair merketts, as our true lyege people ought to do, whiche we ne wold shuld contynue, but that the same shuld be redressed with spede: Therfore we and our said Counsailours and Commyssioners woll and charge you and everye of you that frome hensforthe ye mak open proclamacions in fayres, merketts, sessyons, courtes and churches where ye shall seme most expedient, that no maner person or persones shall frome hensforth gadre any Commertha within our said Cytye of money, corne, catell, or other unlawfull colleccion, nor assemble nor gadre any our subiects to any love ales or bydden ales, nor suffer any person or persones to weyre any cotes of diffence nor other harnes contrary to our statutes in suche case provyded"; persons offending to be committed to ward pending the Commissioners' further order.

1535, July 3.—Letter from John Meredith, the Mayor of Hereford, "to the Kings most honorable Counsell nowe being at Glouc." He has now in sure custody certain rude persons who have here of late misused themselves in counterfeiting of the letters of the King and of the Council (which letters he sends enclosed) respecting a debt due from one Thomas Walle to one M. Powell of Bristowe.

On July 6 the Council of the Marches write from Gloucester their reply, in the King's name. "Forasmoche as John Bedo of our citie of Herford of late of his craftye and vntrue disposicion procured one William Blast to falsyfye our lres dyrected to one Thomas Wall of Herford forsaid, and delyveryd sealed with the seale of an old lre from our Commyssioners in our marches of Wales hertofore to an other person dyrected, and one James Watkyns of counsaile with the same Bedo in delyvery of the same forged lre to the said Wall: Therfore it is ordered and determyned by our said Commyssioners that the said John Bedo, James Watkyns and William Blast shalbe conveyed to Herford at this tyme and delyveryd to you, to the entent ye at the next markett day in tyme of most congregacion of people shall cause the said John Bedo to be put on horsebake, his fase towards the horse taile, and the said James Watkyns and William Blast to lede his horse throughe the markett place and stretes of the said citie, and the forsaid John Bedo to have papers aboute his head with a scripture in gret lres theron writen conteynyng these words, This were I for falsefying the Kinges lres. And after the said thre persons shalhaue passed the said stretes in maner aforsaid, then the said John Bedo for his further punyshment to thensample of others to be put on the pyllarye there to make his abode during the spase and tyme as the said markett endureth, and the said James Watkyns and William Blast to stand by at the same his punyshment; and the same premysses executed accordingly, ye to deteyne theym in warde till the next day after, and therupon to enlarge theym to thair liberties."

There is one leaf of accounts of money received by the said Mayor, and of money spent by him upon the hat "that the wsordeberer (sic) werith" ; which is as follows :—

"Item, for a elle of welvett xvs.
Item, for a nayll of blak welevett and a halfe for to rebonde the hatt abowt xiiijd.
Item, for iii. ells of bockeram for to make paste for the seyde hatt xviijd.
Item, for iii. quarters of fustyane vid.
Item, payd to Herry Boules for the makyn of the seyd hatt 11s. iiijd."

Amongst the papers of this year, not dated but written to the same Mayor, are these letters:—

  • 1. From John Wyddyns (or Myddyns) "dwellyng with Humfrey Cawfyes (?), clerke of the signet," to his "ryght worschipfull unkowll," John Meredith the Mayor, sending him a copy of a bill of complaint which has been made on 20 Sept. against him, John Welsfood, and John Hackluet, esq.
  • 2. From William Croft, of the town of "Preschende" (Presteign) on behalf of a man of Presteign who is being prosecuted for some affray made upon a "pardoner," with which the writer certifies he had nothing to do, and will bring with him the best of the town to prove it and then the plaintiff will have to pay their costs.

  • 3. From Richard Warmecombe, dated at Wormysley.—He was told to-day that a jury is empanelled for trying this afternoon an action between Sir Thomas Flemmyng and M. Cole; desires that the case may be adjourned, as Ogle is a man of honour, and is now far out of this country but intends to be here at Michaelmas, "and besides that he is as now without lerned counsell, forasmoch as the citie is so vexed with the plage that there is none wolle comme there, as Jesu knoweth, who cease the seid plage when his wille is."
  • 4. From George Herbert (without the name of the Mayor to whom he writes) dated from Bergavenny, 12 Oct.—Whereas an action has been brought by a burgess of Hereford, called Roger Spicer, against the bearers for being sureties for one William Herbert "of this country," against whom he presupposes an execution to be had, he desires that the case may be dismissed from the Mayor's Court; and let Spicer come to the writer and to the court here, and according to the law he shall have the execution.

1540.—Inquests are held on three persons who died in prison in April and June "de quadam infirmitate vocata a consumption."

Nov. 19, 32 Hen. VIII., at Westm.—Writ from the King to the Mayor and Bailiffs, ordering publication in the several wards, parishes, and other places of the following proclamation :—"Where the Kinges moste roiall Maiestie, at his graces grete costes and expenses, hathe a long tyme susteyned and maynteyned and yet kepyth a grete armye in his lond of lrelond, aswell for conservacyon and defence of the sayd lond as for the annoyaunce of suche his highnes enymyes as attempt dayly great displeasures agaynst his subiectes of the same, and for the mayntenaunce and relief of the sayd armye and subiectes, by his most excellent wisedome hath ordered a coyne of money aswell of grotes as pens of two pens to be curraunt only within his sayd lond of Irelond, beryng the prynte of the harpe of the one syde therof, whiche coyne dyvers and sundrye persons haue lately transported and brought out of the sayd lond and vttered the same within this his realme of Englond, not only to the greate detryment and hurte of his sayd gracys lond of Irelond and of the sayd armye and subiectes of the same, but also to the grete deceyt of his highnes louyng subiectes of this his realme of Englond: For remeydye wherof his Maiestie by this his proclamacyone straictly chargeth and commaundeth, that no person or persons of what astate, degre or condicyone soeuer he or they be shall from hensforth transporte or bryng out of his sayd highnes lond of Irelond eny of the sayd coyne of grotes or pens of two pens ordayned to be curraunt for and within the sayd londe, nor vttere or paye for eny payment within this his realme of Englonde, Wales, Berwyke, Calyce, or the merchies of the same, eny of the same coyne, vpon payne of forfayture of the treble value of the sayd coyne brought transported or vttered for payment contrarye to this proclamacyone, and ouer that to suffre ymprisonment and make fyne at his gracys will and pleasure."

1541.—In the jury presentments for this year very many persons are presented, and fined 4d. and 6d., "pro custodiendo joca, videlicet cartas, in domibus suis contra formam statuti, et contra proclamationem inde factam," others (fined 8d. and 4d.) "pro custodiendo in domos suas (sic) joca, videlicet tabulas et alias contra formam statuti," many persons (fined 6d., 4d., and 2d.) "pro eo quod ludebant ad cartas," and others (fined 4d.) for keeping "in domo sua tenys pley," and "quod custodiunt pilam pedalem vocatam Tenis pley."

1546, Oct. 17.—Will of Edward Tayleare of Much Cowarne, Herefordshire. To be buried in the churchyard there; leaves to the mother church of Hereford 4d.; to the high altar in his parish church, 8d.; "to owre Ladys syngs" there 3s. 4d.; the residue to his wife Agnes, his son Richard, and his three daughters. Proved 20 Jan. 1546–7.

1547, Dec. 27.—Notification to all justices, &c., by the brothers and sisters of the house for leprous persons in Hereford, founded in the worship of St. Anne and St. Loye, of their appointment of George Whyte and Richard Collyns to be their proctors to gather alms for the said house, in pursuance of letters patent from K. Edward VI. authorising such gathering. On parchment.

Undated Papers.

The following undated papers belong for the most part, if not altogether, to the reign of Henry VIII., but some may possibly be a little later.

Jan. 21. "At Beaudley." The Princess [Mary's] Council of the Marches, in the King's name, to the Mayor of Hereford.—To our no little marvel you have not certified the Council of our dearest daughter the Princess whether Thomas Baskervile, Esq., be in danger of his life through such hurts as he sustained in the affray in the city of Hereford between him on the one part, and Thomas Vaughan, George Walwyn, William Walwyn and others, on the other part. You are therefore, upon sight hereof, putting apart all favour, affection and excuses, in writing to certify the Council by the bearer in what case the said Thomas is, and whether he may be in peril of death, that the Council may further proceed according to justice.

Apr. 2. At Ludlow Castle.—[In the name of] The Prince [Edward] to the same, thanking him for his diligence and toward disposition with the Council of the city for furnishing 24 persons to be ready to attend on the Prince to do his most dread lord and father the King service. Touching Roger Gibbys and John Breynton, is content that they and all other citizens shall conform themselves as they have been used in times past with the city, in such case.

Unsigned petition about a watercourse and drains. "To the right worshipfull Mr. Mayor of the citte of Hereford. Yf yt may please yow of yowr gentilnes to remember the matter that I schowde to yowr Maystyrshipe ysturnyghte, who [how] that Jhon Bellynyame hathe ii dragthys and a place to kyppe a bore on the Kynges dyche, dyrectely agenste my gardyng, and on John Flemyng, alias Carver, hathe ther an odur dragthe, so that the watter maey not nor cannot have his frey curse but oftemys dothe drownde my gardyng, and the savour of the fylthynes of the same dragthis ys so nowsaime that no man may abyde yt, nor cum to my gardyn, and yt ys vere hurtfull and contagyus to all the inhabytens ther, buttyng gret bondedayge yn the Kynges dyche, wiehe of ryght owghte to be frey, as yowr goodnes dothe ryght well know. Wherefor the premissis of yowr gentylnes consydreyd, wher as yow of that yowr goodnes dothe and haue redressyd odur fauttes within the citte, I pray yow of remedy, for the love of God."

Letter to Hugh Gebonys [Gebons], recorder of Hereford, from Hugh ap Rece, priest, "vycary" of Skynfruythe [Skinfrith, Monmouthshire], requesting him to conduct a lawsuit for him.

Petition, unsigned, of complaint against the Chaplain of St. Giles' Hospital.—"To the ryght worshyppfull Mr. Meyre'hys Bretherne and the thre inquestes. Shewethe vnto yowr good Mastershipps that whear John Perkes, clerk, now pressent beyng amyttyde chappleyng of seynt Jyllys within the sothebarbes of the cytye oght to be by the fundacyon to be sworene to be all weys contynuallye dayly sarveys within the sayde chappell, as hytt in the fundacyon dothe more at large aperyng, notwithstandyng, good Mastershipps, that at Ester last past, lytylle regardyng hys duty and sarves vnto the pore allmes men, went into the contrey and ther servyd alle the Ester tyme, so that ther wass no servies within the said chapelle, nor dothe lytyll regard hys said duty therin, unles that yowr good Mastershypps do se some reformacyon therin acordyng to ryght and eqwytte, for God's love."

Another undated and unsigned petition to the Mayor and his brethren relating to the same Hospital and its chaplain (which was found among some papers of 1572–3, and is now placed, as well as the preceding petition, among the bound Special Papers), is as follows. It may possibly be of the year 1567, as a Chaplain was then removed for neglect of duty. See infra, sub anno.

"For as muche, Right Worshipfull, that ther ys a great nombre of the cytyzens and other poore inabytaunts of the same cytye beyng housholders are very aged, impotent, and fawlene into decay and extreme poverty, the more ys to be pytyed, and as lytyll relyffe for them as yet provyded as in any cytye of Yengland, may it therfore please yow to be moved with compacion as God's stuards to concider the same by yowr wysdomes and som charytable meanes, som helpe and remedy therin. And to pute yow in remembrauns for that purpas, there ys a fundacion parteynyng to Saynt Giles in the sothbarbes of the said cytye concernyng certeyne articles tuchyng the admytyng of the chaplene therof, and that none oght or maye be inductyd or admyted chapplene therto but suche as shuld be ther recydent bothe nyght and day, dwellyng and prayne [praying] with the bedmene, as hathe bene of owld tyme usyd and acustomed, untyll now of late that by an indereccte and unknowne meane ther ys one crept in to the sayd chaplenshipe, and injoyethe hit at his wyll and plesure, not beyng resydent nor abydynge ther, acordyng to the trwe meanyng of the sayd fundacion. And neverthelesse he hathe the howsse, orchard and gardene ther, and that unncapied, beyng worthe by the yere xxs. and more, and also hathe fyve markes yerely for his wages, and as it were all together for the only countenaunce and name of the Chaplene of seynt Gyles; all wyche ys cleane contrary to the true meanynge of the sayd fundacyon, auncyent costom, usage, and all good dyscresion, and so the sayd induccion and admision ys bothe in lawe, ryght and concience uterly voyd, and now ryghtfully in your dysposyssion. Wherfore that the chapell and the sayd Beadmen are within the parishe of seynt Owen's, and a lytylle dystaunce from the parishe churche, therfore it may please yowr worshipes to take order and dereccion that the parson of seynt Owen's may be ther chapplene, gyvyng him for his paynes xxs. to sarve the pore allmes men at tymes convenient, and that the said howse and gardene may be devided into too parts, and that there may be too othere pore mene ther placed, and that they may have seven nobles betwene them yef yow thynk so good. And forther, som order to be takene for the cyvyle order for the good behavyor for the sayd bede mene, that they go not comynly beggyne dayly, contrary to the lawes of the realme, and that they be not comene haunters of alehowses, and to be dayly drounk, as they are presently dayly nowe, and for theire reformacione a ponyshment devysed by yowr worships for thos that wyll not be ordered, that dothe breake suche good orders as yowr worships by yowr good dyscresion wyll devyse, and they to be hadd before yow as sone as yow convenyently may, and they that deny to stand to yowr orders may be dysplaced, and other sett in theyr places." To this petition these answers of the inquests are subjoined. "The second Inquest both agre that the pore allms men shall not be removed to here serveys any ells wher but only in the chapell at saynt Gylles, accordyng to the owld custome, and that the chapleyne shalbe bownd to saye serveys at suche howers as hath ben accustomed, and to have for his paynes iiil. vis. viiid. and the howse and garden therunto belongyng; and also doth desyer Mr. Mayor to deveyse some ponysment and refformacion that the pore allms men may not goe abrod a beggyne aftur gentylmen to our dyscredyt. The iii Inquest dothe agree as the seconde Inquest have done before rehersed. The furst Enquest dothe agre likewise."

May 8. At Rychemount.—Letter from Will. (?) Devereux to the Mayor, commending the bearer, Henry Wenstone, to him, who has determined to make in the city "a game or a geve aill after the custome of the contre," and desiring him and the aldermen "to be favorable and good maisters vnto hym, as in gevyng hym leyff to kepe the same game or geve aill, and that it may be as moche to hys provytt as you may cause." Written by a secretary, and only signed by Devereux very indistinctly.

Aug. 15. Exeter.—Letter from John Tronge, esq., to the Mayor. An indignant complaint that certain stuff of his which one of his servants had with him in Hereford has been detained, until the writer sends a testimonial to prove his ownership. He does not go a begging, nor does he like a snail carry all that he hath upon his back, for his possessions are not of so small a value; but he desires the Mayor at once to make delivery of his goods without any further business, or he will make him answer in the law to the contrary with all his costs and charges, or else it shall cost him 100l.

Feb. 26. "Under our signet at our Manour of Hampton Courte."—Letter from Henry VIII. to the Bishop of Hereford and others, directing them to levy the tenth and first-fruits of the spiritualty granted at the last session of Parliament. With the King's signature, apparently impressed by a stamp.

Inventory of the goods and chattels of Robert Croweleye, clerk. Specifies all the furniture, &c. in the parlour, the chamber wherein he did lie, the inner chamber, "the grete chamber next the Cabage lane," the outer chamber, another chamber, the "calerne" (cellar, containing a hogshead and a barrel), the buttery, the "hale" (hall), and the kitchen. There is also "a chamber of boks," of which unfortunately the contents are only described thus (a description, however, which shows that Crowley's library was large) :—"Item, xxx greate books with claspes. Item xli other books with claspes. Item cxlvi books without claspes."

Petition to the Mayor and his brethren from some of the citizens against the admission of strangers to trade, which ends with a remarkable and spirited threat of nonpayment of taxes.

"Sheweth vnto your Mastershyppes your pore neyghbores citizens and artificers of the cite forseid, that wher the custome of the cite is and owt of tyme of mynde hath ben that no man shulde bye ne sell, nor make no maner of marchandise but he were in skotte and lotte vprisynge and downe lyenge, dwellynge and abyddyng in the same cite, which laudable custome hath bene full well meynteyned be the right worshipfull fathers which hade the gydynge of the cite in tymes past to the worshippe of the cite and to the wele and profete of the inhabytans of the same, So it is nowe that one Robert Sandewyche whyche dwelleth in the towne of Lychefeld ocupieth the mystere of Sadelers crafte to the grete hurt of our consitezens the sadelers, and to the evyll example of other strangers to sette vp any other crafte at ther will. Wherfor we beseche your mastershippes and other of the Councell to see the remedy accordyng to our customes, that we have no cause further to complayne, and in eschewynge of other inconvenyens that myght ensewe. For we assertene you ef we may not enjoy suche preveleges and customes whiche the Kynge and his noble progenitours hath granted vnto the citezens of this cite, we will not be contribetours nor ber scotte nor lotte to the confirmacion of our Chartour nor to non other maner of charge when we be called vppone."

Among the papers of 1535–7 is a Writ (stamped with the King's signet and dated "at oure manour of Rychemount the xxth day of May") for the strict execution of the Act against vagabonds, there being a "gret multitude of idle sturdie vacabonds that woll by no good meane or commaundement applye themselfes to labour and travaile for their lyvyng"; ordering also that watch be duly kept from 9 o'clock at night until 5 in the morning until Michaelmas next, and that one of the watch, at least, shall be a householder of the honestest and best sort.

An undated order, of the middle of the 16th cent., enjoins the ringing of one bell in the church of All Saints at 4 o'clock every morning from the vigil of All Saints until the feast of the Annunciation, for half an hour: the ringer of the bell to have 10s. yearly.

End of the undated papers


  • 1. * In the printed lists of mayors, this mayor's name is erroneously given as Bonner. It was Honour, as appears from various papers of the time.
  • 2. * On a member of this family of Duppa in the following century, Thomas Duppa, who died suddenly in Hereford in the house of a victualler, a coroner's inquest was held on 9 May 1654.
  • 3. * Commorth was a contribution customarily collected at Welsh weddings on behalf of the persons married; and the custom is still in part kept up in districts of Wales. It was forbidden by Statute 26 Hen. VIII., cap. 6.