Folios 89b - 100

Pages 185-194

Calendar of Letter-Books of the City of London: A, 1275-1298. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1899.

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Folio 89 b-91.

[Here follow Ordinances of the Fishmongers, commencing Pur ce ke en ascun tens les prodeshomes deu mestier de la pessonerie, &c., and ending versus occidentem, printed and translated, with little variation, in 'Liber Albus' (Rolls Series), i. 379-85; ii. 150-55. Cf. 'Liber Custumarum,' fos. 66, 67. These are followed by Ordinances made for the regulation of the size of fishing nets, commencing Cest le ordenemet qe les bonegent de la pessonerie, &c., and ending chotnet, schofnet e kideles, printed and translated in 'Liber Custumarum' (Rolls Series), i. 116, 117; ii. 543, 544. The two sets of Ordinances immediately follow each other in 'Liber Horn,' fos. 220-222. —Editor].

Burning of a False Kidel. (fn. 1)

Folio 91.

Be it remembered that a certain kidel of the Abbot of Lesnes, (fn. 2) found in the Thames opposite the Abbey of Lesnes, was taken before the Mayor, J[ohn] de Gisors, William de Leire, John de Wyndesore, (fn. 3) and Stephen de Abyndon, (fn. 4) Aldermen, on Thursday next after the Feast of St. Mark [25 April], 6 Edward II. [A.D. 1313], in the Guildhall, and condemned, &c., because it was found, on the oath of John de Mockyng, Henry Lombard, Laurence Aubyn, Oliver Brounyng, John de Barton, William Scot, John Fresfish, John Frossh, Robert de Mockyng, Richard Swote, Geoffrey Scot, junior, and Alexander Pike, fishmongers, that the said net, called a kidel, was too close and insufficient for fishing, to the injury of the water (pro destruccione riparie) and common damage to the whole City and people resorting thither. And they further say that in the great Charter of liberties of England (fn. 5) it is contained that all kidels should be removed from the aforesaid bank of the Thames, and so it is adjudged that the said kidel be burnt in Chepe, &c. (fn. 6)

Vide plus de ista materia et de mensura rectum libro F filio [sic] lxxj°. (fn. 7)

Folio 91 b.

"These been the ordinances assised and ordeigned of the fisshynge of Thamyse betwene the brigge of London and Yenled (fn. 8) on that one side and the were abouen Stanes brigge on that other side that is to weten that all the nettes shal be of largenesse of two ynches thurghout as wele Peters (fn. 9) as all other fisshers to fisshe thurghout the yeere. Out taken that they mowe fisshe with streyte nettes for smelt betwene the day of Candelmasse and the day of oure lady in lente and no forther upon peyne of forfeture of his nettes and his gynnes atte the first trespas and atte the seconde trespas his body to prisoun. Also that no samon be taken betwene the Nativitee of oure lady and the day of Seynt Martyn and also none engendrure of samon eny tyme of the yeere. Also that none lamprons ne lampreys be taken betwene the half moneth of April and August. No none dares betwene the xv dayes tofore oure lady day in lenten and xv dayes after. No none Roches betwene the xv dayes tofore the day of Seynt Mark and xv days after. Also that all the weeres be of largenesse of two ynches acordyng to the nettes abouen seid. Also that no keper be taken in no tyme of the yeere. And that all the ordinaunces and the statutes shal be holden upon peyne to brenne alle the nettes and alle the gynnes atte the first trespas and atte the seconde trespas the body to prisoun and to lese alle his gynnes. This is the ordynaunce that the gode folk and fisshers have ordeigned as the statute will. That is to wyten hit is entred in the book of A lef iiijxx xj.

"The grete nettes that taken smelt toward the Est from the brigge of London shal begynne atte Candelmasse and fisshe to the feste of oure lady in lentyn with her bosom (fn. 10) and after they shull leve out her bosom to the tyme that Candelmasse come ayein. Also ther is another maner nette that they clepen Codnette (fn. 11) tho shall go from Candelmasse un to oure lady day in lentyn and no lenger. Also ther is another maner of grete nettes toward the West from the brigge that shall go thurgh out the yeer large of two ynches and no streiter upon peyne of forfeture of her nettes and her gynnes and her bodyes to prison as the statute will. The mark of two ynches. (fn. 12)

"Also ther is another maner nette that is cleped Petersnette of two ynches and no streyter and hit shall go all the yeer but in seson that men taken smelt. Also ther is another maner nette that men call Pridenette (fn. 13) whiche shal begynne eight dayes to fore the feste of Seint Michel and go to the feste of Seint Martyn and no lenger. Also ther is another maner of nettes that is cleped Treinkys (fn. 14) of the largenesse of two ynches and ynche and an half large (fn. 15) and no lasse [and tho shal begynne fro Seint James tyde and so forth un to oure lady day in lente as the seson asketh]. (fn. 16)

Folio 92.

"And that no man take lamprons after Estre to hit be ayains Michelmasse that here sesoun come. Also there is another maner Gors (fn. 17) þt been nought profitable for they been to streyte in destruccioun of the watyr. Also ther is another manere of nettes whiche been defended that is to wyte Shotnette (fn. 18) Shofnette (fn. 19) and kydelles. Also hit is entred in the book of H the leef cxxix that no fissher drawe his nette ayeins eny wherf on this half the brigge of London upon peyne of forfeture of his nette. Also þt alle the kydelles whiche been in Tamyse where so they been in Thamyse that they be away put and never fro hens fortward bee put in Thamyse upon the forfeture of £10 of sterlinges." (fn. 20)

Annus vicesimus tercius.

Folio 92 b.

Friday after the Feast of St. Benedict [11 July], 23 Edward I. [A.D. 1295], was read an acknowledgment by William de Wymundhale, guardian of John le Chosner and Roger his brother, minors, of receipt from Reginald de Frowick, draper, of the sum of 13 marks, by order of the Dean of Arches, in part payment of 53 marks received by the said Reginald in trust for the said John and Roger. The said William binds himself to keep the money until the said John and Roger come of age, and out of it to put them to the respective trades of fishmonger and roper, as their friends desire. Dated Tuesday after the Feast of Translation of St. Thomas the Martyr [7 July], 23 Edward I. [A.D. 1295].

Demise by William de Folwardbi and Alice his wife to Geoffrey de Northon, clerk, of a brewery in the parish of St. Mary de Wolcherhawe, situate near the tenements of Walter de Berden and Walter de "Wanlock." To hold for a term of ten years from Michaelmas, anno 23 Edward I. [A.D. 1295], for 10 marks in hand paid and an annual rent of 4 marks. Witnesses, Henry Box and Richard de Gloucester, Sheriffs; Salomon le Cotiler, Alderman of the Ward; (fn. 21) Walter de "Wenlock," Thomas Cook, John de Lincoln, William le Taverner, Peter le Cu, Henry de Schorne, and others.

Annus xxv us.

Folio 93.

Monday after the Feast of SS. Fabian and Sebastian [20 Jan.], 25 Edward I. [A.D. 1296-7], was acknowledged a writing whereby John de Somery, "orbatur," (fn. 22) and Margery his wife demised to Richard Gladwyne an annual quitrent of 10s. issuing from a tenement belonging to the said Richard in the parish of St. Mary de Somersete. To hold for a term of thirteen years from the aforesaid Feast. Witnesses, Sir John Bretun, Knt., Warden of the City; Thomas de Suffolk and Adam de Foleham, Sheriffs; Richard de Chigewelle, William Faber (Smith?), Stephen Bernard, teinturer, (fn. 23) Robert de Chalfhunte, John Fiss, Robert le Conner, Robert Clerk, and others [not named].

Folio 94.

Monday after the Feast of St. Mark [25 April], 10 Edward I. [A.D. 1282], was read an acknowledgment, by James de Troys and Avice his wife, of the receipt of the whole of the annual rent due for seven years from Easter, anno 10 Edward I., for houses granted by them to Fulk de St. Edmund, situate in Candlewystrate, in the parish of St. Mary de Abecherche, between the tenements of Robert de Oggele and Nicholas de Weston.

The same day was read a certain writing whereby Hugh the Tailor of Sir "Camm'" (?) Lincoln covenants to build the shop of Herman le Estreys and Robert de Munden, situate at the corner of Melkstrate, with his own timber, on the understanding that they pay him 100s. out of the first rent.

Tuesday the morrow of St. Luke [18 Oct.], 11 Edward I. [A.D. 1283], in the presence of John Adrien, Wolmar de Essex, Hugh Motun the Chamberlain, and others, was read a writing whereby Roger, son and heir of William Fitz Roger, demised to Robert de Rokesle, senior, an annual quitrent of 10 marks for a term of ten years in discharge of a debt. The term to commence at Christmas next, and the rents to be raised in the parishes of All Hallows at the Heywarf and St. Vedast in Chepe, charged on shops and houses occupied by the aforesaid Robert as well as by William de Rokesle, Avice, relict of Richard de "Rokele," Michael de Hatfeud, "furbur," and Margery his wife, and Robert de Folesham Witnesses, Henry le Galeys, Mayor; Jurdan Godchep and Martin Box, Sheriffs; Gregory de Rokesle, Alderman of Douuegate; William de Farndon, Alderman of Neugate; Peter Cossin, Richard de Paris, Robert de Preston, Walter de "Rokele," John de Gloucestre, Robert de la More, Reginald le Chaundiler, John le Chaundiler, Richard de Derbi, and others [not named].

Folio 94 b.

Tuesday after Feast of Purification B. M. [2 Feb.], 20 Edward I. [A.D. 1291-2], was read a writing whereby Edmund de Byre, Mabel his wife, Anselm de Thele and Edyth his wife demised to William de Evre a tenement formerly belonging to Ralph Lupus in the parish of St. John upon Walebrok (except a house occupied by the aforesaid Edmund and Mabel adjacent to the parish church), situate between the church towards the south and Candelwystrate towards the north, and between the course of the Walebrok towards the west and Walbrokstrate towards the east. To hold the same, together with two chests (archis) standing in "Chep," for a term of twelve years from Christmas last for 32 marks in hand paid, and 40s. annual rent to be paid in specified proportions to Nicholas de Suffolk and Ralph Lupus. Witnesses, Sir Ralph de Sandwych, Knt., Warden of the City; Ralph le Blound and Hamo Box, Sheriffs; Thomas Box, Alderman of the Ward; (fn. 24) Thomas de Suffolk, Thomas de Oxford, Ralph de Cestre, Robert Tyffeld, John de Donstaple, and Adam de Burthone.

Folio 95 b.

Parva statera.

Monday before the Feast of St. Dunstan [19 May], 19 Edward I. [A.D. 1291], in the presence of Sir Ralph de Sandwych, Warden of the City; William de Leyre and Thomas Romeyn, Sheriffs of the same; Stephen Aswy, Gregory de Rokesle, Ralph le Blound, Robert de Rokesle, Nicholas de Winchester, William de Farndone, Richard Aswy, John de Canterbury, Martin Box, Wolmar de Essex, Thomas Box, [and] Walter Hauteyn, the Small Beam (parva statera) was given and granted to William de Betton' for the term of his life by award of the aforesaid Warden, Sheriffs, and Aldermen, and the whole commonalty. Afterwards, Henry le Waleys, John de Batquill, Adam de Fulham, Thomas de Estanes, and John le Blunt ratified the aforesaid grant.

Parva balanc' .

The King's writ that the Small Beam might be vested in Jacobina la Lumbard. Dated Berewyk on Twed, 28 June, 19 Edward I. [A.D. 1291]. Return to the effect that the King's request could not be complied with in consequence of the above grant. (fn. 25)

Richard le Taillur attached to answer a charge of having assaulted Geoffrey le Hurer on the Feast of All Souls [2 Nov.] in this year and injured him to the extent of 100 marks, as he is prepared to show, &c. The said Richard comes and declares himself not guilty, and puts himself on the country. A jury summoned by consent of the parties, who say on oath that ......

Folio 96.

Complaint made by Roger de Portlaunde, clerk to Thomas Romeyn the Sheriff, of an insult having been offered him in the Sheriff's Court by Robert de Suttone, on Thursday the morrow of St. James [25 July], 19 Edward I. [A.D. 1291]. The delinquent committed to prison by the Warden and Aldermen of the City. (fn. 26)

Pleas, Tuesday next after the Feast of St. James [25 July], 19 Edward I. [A D. 1291], before R. de Sandwich, Warden of London; John de Banquell, Adam de Fuleham, and Wolmar de Essex, Aldermen, &c.

John Hurel attached to answer a charge of having obstructed and assaulted Thomas Romeyn the Sheriff, and seized and imprisoned his men sent to requisition carts for the purpose of removing the King's wardrobe. The said John came and denied the force and imprisonment, but confessed to not having allowed the Sheriff to enter his house to make distress, inasmuch as he had committed no trespass, as it seemed to him. As to the rest he put himself on the country. And because he confessed to not allowing the Sheriff to enter his house nor make distress, a matter manifestly in contempt of the lord the King, it is adjudged that he be committed to prison, and precept is issued to the Coroner to summon twelve, &c., of the neighbourhood who by no affinity, &c.......

Folio 96 b.

Saturday the Feast of St. Luke [18 Oct.], 20 Edward I. [A.D. 1292], Jak' de Salop' came and acknowledged that he had received from the Constable of Conewey, his master, ninety-three beasts and no more, which he swore he had neither bought nor received at his own risk, &c., but at the risk of the lord the King, and not in any way for his own profit, and thereon produced a letter of recommendation and protection on his behalf from William Cycons', the Constable aforesaid.

On Saturday the eve of Palms [30 March], 22 Edward I. [A.D. 1294], a writing was granted whereby Thomas de Basinge, at the request of Sir John le Bretun, Warden of the City, John de Banquell, Robert de Basinge, William de Hereford, John le Blound, and other of his friends, gave permission for a bridge to be made to his wharf upon Heywarf, so as to prevent persons being drowned, the same to remain until it should please him to rebuild his wharf according to the form agreed upon by them before Sir William de Karleton. On notice of three or four days being given by him or by some one on his behalf, the bridge is to be wholly removed, or in default he himself may cause it to be removed and proceed to repair his wharf. In testimony whereof the said John, Robert, William, and John have set to their seals and caused the writing to be enrolled on this paper.

Folio 97.

Monday before the Feast of St. Dunstan [19 May], 22 Edward I. [A.D. 1294], came Richard Deneneys, tailor, and acknowledged himself bound to John de Chelse (?) in the sum of half a mark; to be paid, viz., 40d. at Michaelmas, and 40d. at the Feast of All Saints.


Richard de Wandlesworth, elected to the Shrievalty, (fn. 27) finds as sureties for his appearance before the Warden and Aldermen on the eve of Michaelmas to accept office, &c., Adam de Fulham, senior, Robert de Rokesle, Sheriff, Thomas Juvenale, and Geoffrey de Norton.

Folio 97 b.

Friday before the Feast of Pentecost [22 May], 23 Edward I. [A.D. 1295], came Walter de Lodebure (or Lothebure) and Alice his wife and caused to be read a lease from them to Bartholomew Scot and Matilda his wife of a tenement in the parish of St. Botolph without Bissopesgate, situate near the tenements of Alice de Hatton and the land of Hugh Mulgar. To hold for a term of ten years from Midsummer next on payment of 9 marks in hand and the customary rent to the chief lords of the fee. In case of sale, the lessees to be preferred as purchasers by 20s. Upon repayment of the above 9 marks to the lessees at the end of the first five years the property is to be given up. Witnesses, Sir John le Breton, Warden; Henry Box and Richard de Gloucester, Sheriffs; Henry le "Bule," Alderman of the Ward; (fn. 28) William le Horner, Thomas Bruning, John Jeryn, John de Hakeneye, William le Lyndraper, Thomas Clerk, and others [not named].

Folio 100 b.

cedula (1).

Walter Gatewick, goldsmith, appeals Guy le Mercer, residing in Wodestrate, for that whereas the said Walter was in the King's peace in his own house in Godronelane, in the parish of St. Vedast, in the Ward of William de Farndone, on Monday before the Feast of St. Michael, 6 Edward I. [A.D. 1278], and had gone upstairs to look at some defects in his house, there came the said Guy, who feloniously and with malice prepense thrust him in his left eye with the point of a lance. Thereupon the said Walter raised hue and cry from the aforesaid ward to the four nearest wards, and from the four nearest wards to the Sheriff, and from the Sheriff to the Coroner, so that the said Guy was attached. The said Walter is ready to prosecute the said Guy and to prove the felony by his body or by judgment of the King's Court as a man maimed, for which he produces sureties.

cedula (2).

Record of the said Walter having on four different occasions appeared in the Husting at the Guildhall and prosecuted his appeal against the said Guy for maiming (ut de mayno). On the last occasion the felon is mainprised by William de Staunford, tailor, senior, until the next Husting.


  • 1. A net used in kidels or weirs; known as "kettles' or "kettlenets."
  • 2. Near Erith, co. Kent.
  • 3. Cripplegate.
  • 4. Dowgate.
  • 5. Magna Carta, cap. 33.
  • 6. Entered in 'Liber Horn,' fo. 226 b.
  • 7. The reference is to a seizure of nets in 1343 as being of unlawful size. The fishermen appealed to "the Memoranda in the Chamber of the Guildhall" as to what the size of the meshes of nets should be, and declared themselves ready to abide the issue. Accordingly, the ordinances printed in the 'Liber Custumarum' (referred to supra) were examined, and certain fishermen were sworn to see if the nets agreed with the measurements prescribed, with the result that one-half of the nets were found good and were restored to their owners, whilst the other half were found to be false and were ordered to be burnt (Riley, 'Memorials,' pp.214-15).
  • 8. Yenlade or Yantlet Creek, the limit of the City's jurisdiction in the mouth of the Thames.
  • 9. "Petermen" was a term applied to a class of fishermen on the Thames, and the net in use by them was known as a "Peter's net," and was of prescribed dimensions as to mesh. It was probably so called from St. Peter, the patron saint of fishermen and fishmongers.
  • 10. Or besom. The practice of using a besom in fishing, according to Riley ('Liber Cust.,' Glossary), is no doubt the same as that still known on the Thames as "beating the bush."
  • 11. A net with a cod or pouch, in which a stone is placed for the purpose of sinking the net.
  • 12. This and the next two paragraphs are translations of what is set out in French in the 'Liber Custumarum' (fos. 67. 67 b) and in 'Liber Horn' (fos. 221 b, 222), where the inch measurements also appear It need scarcely be mentioned that the whole of these ordinances as set out in English are a late insertion in the Letter-Book.
  • 13. It is suggested that it may possibly have derived its name from "lamprid," a lampern or river-lamprey ('Lib. Cust.,' Glossary, s. v. "pridnet").
  • 14. A draw or drag net (Fr. treiner, to draw or drag), whence the name of "trinkermen," whereby a class of fishermen were known. The statute 2 Hen. VI. c. 19 forbade fishermen fastening these nets or "engines" to posts, boats, or anchors for any length of time, as they destroyed the spawn and fry. See Index to 'Remembrancia,' pp. 501-3.
  • 15. The dimension of the mesh given in the 'Liber Horn' and 'Liber Custumarum' is an inch and a half.
  • 16. Omitted in the MSS. mentioned in previous note.
  • 17. A gorce or fish weir; possibly a "fish-garth" (Riley, 'Lib. Cust.,' Glossary, p. 730).
  • 18. Or "chotnet" ('Lib. Cust.,' i. 117). Probably a net similar to that known on the Thames as a "shute net" in the last century (Riley).
  • 19. Or "chofnet" ('Lib. Cust.,' i. 117). Probably a shove-net or seine (Riley).
  • 20. In Letter-Book H, fo. 129 b, we find an ordinance made temp. William Walworth, Mayor, to the effect of the first clause of this paragraph, but no mention is made of kidels.
  • 21. The ward of Lothbury, otherwise Broad Street. In the list of Aldermen printed in Appendix to vol. i. of 'Calendar of Wills enrolled in the Husting, London,' from Letter-Book C, the words modo vocatur Bradestrate have been wrongly bracketed with Warda de Cornhulle instead of with Warda de Lotheberi, &c.
  • 22. Goldbeater. Cf. Aurimalliator, Letter-Book B, fo. 21; Auripercussor, Hust. Pleas of Land, Roll No. cii., membr 17.
  • 23. Dyer.
  • 24. Walbrook.
  • 25. These documents relating to the Small Beam are printed in Riley's 'Memorials,' pp. 25-6. The Small Beam, or balance, belonged to the City, and was used to weigh fine goods (sotiles choses), as distinguished from avoirs du pois or averia ponderis, i. e., heavy goods, which were weighed either by the King's "Great Beam" or the "Tron".
  • 26. Printed in 'Memorials,' p. 27.
  • 27. He does not appear to have served as Sheriff.
  • 28. Henry le Bole, Alderman of Bishopsgate. Letter-Book C, fo. 6.