Folios 101-110: 1431-33

Pages 135-145

Calendar of Letter-Books of the City of London: K, Henry VI. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.

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Folio 101.

L'ra prepositi Parisi'.

Another letter from the merchants, echevins, &c., of Paris, to the Mayor, Sheriffs, and Aldermen of London, enclosing a second letter they had sent to the King, informing him that Paris was being threatened, that the castle of Rouen had been taken, but had been recaptured, and that the enemy had surrendered at discretion. They (the enemy) had been dealt with in such a manner that they would not trouble the King or any one else in future. (fn. 1) The writers urge him to send assistance forthwith, otherwise they would be totally lost. [No date.] They pray the civic authorities again to use their influence with the King in the matter, so that he may quickly restore peace to his realm of France. Dated at Paris, 20 March [A.D. 1432]. (fn. 2)

Folio 101 b-103.

An account of the solemn entry of King Henry VI. into Paris on Sunday, the 2nd December, 1431, to the following effect (fn. 3) :-

The King left the town of St. Denis with his retinue at 11 A.M. and arrived at the chapel of St. Denis (fn. 4) about 12 P.M., where he was met by the Provost, Echevins, &c., of Paris in their robes. Thence he proceeded on his way to Paris, the procession being joined by representations of the goddess Fame and nine worthies of both sexes (ix preux et ix preuses), (fn. 5) who bade him welcome, and prayed him to safeguard the famous City of Paris.

At the gate of St. Denis there was a shield of arms of the City bearing a silver ship under sail, and large enough to hold twelve men of three different estates, who presented the King with three hearts, one of which, on opening, displayed two white doves, another small birds, and the third violets and other sweet-smelling flowers, as a sign that the hearts of the estates of the town opened for joy at the King's presence. Henry then entered Paris, where he lay at the hostel of "les Tournelles." The echevins and town clerk bore over the King's head as he passed through the streets a canopy of cloth of gold ornamented with fleurs-de-lys, which was afterwards presented to the Church of St. Katherine "du val des escoliers."

At the bridge of St. Denis there was a richly-mounted pavilion, wherein a mock battle was represented as taking place in a wood between savages-men and women.

In the passage of the Trinity there was erected a platform with live but motionless figures representing the Nativity. On another platform, at the old gate of St. Denis, there were similar figures representing incidents in the life of the Saint, his preaching, martyrdom, &c.

Throughout the high street of St. Denis ecclesiastics in their robes stood before their churches with croziers, holy water, and relics, among them being the arm of St. George, which the King reverently kissed.

At the fountain of St. Innocent there was planted a forest wherein were huntsmen and hounds, who, on the King's arrival, commenced to hunt, and a stag sprang forth and crossed the King's path, followed by the hounds, and returning to the wood was there captured. (fn. 6)

Opposite the Châtelet of Paris there was a high platform richly ornamented, on which was seated a representation of the King, over whom was a canopy, and behind him a tapestry of satin bearing the arms of France and England, whilst to the right of him was an heraldic shield of France, and to the left the shield of England. Above him there were suspended in the air two crowns. (fn. 7) On either side of the King were ranged representations of the Duke of Burgundy, the Count de Nevers, the Duke of Bedford, Cardinal Beaufort, and other French and English nobles.

On another platform, a little lower down, were a large number of figures representing merchants, craftsmen, and burgesses, with the Provost of Paris at their head.

The butchers of the town presented him with a live stag caparisoned with the arms of France and England, and this they conveyed to his hostel of Tournelles.

At the gate of the palace he was welcomed by the treasurers and canons of St. Chapelle and members of the University, and at his hostel by Anne of Burgundy, Duchess of Bedford, and a great number of ladies.

The narrative concludes with the remark that on that day the streets, which for the most part were ornamented with rich hangings, were so crowded that one was hardly able to turn.

Folio 103.

Here follows a poem of 43 lines, under the title Complainte de Paris, setting forth the lamentable condition of the town since the departure of the Duke of Bedford for England, and praying for reinforcements to be sent, otherwise both Paris and the whole of France would be lost. (fn. 8)

Folio 103 b-104 b.

A description of the reception of King Henry VI. on his return to England after his coronation at Paris as King of France, given in a letter from John Carpenter to a friend, to the following effect (fn. 9) :-

Be it remembered that on Thursday, the 20th (fn. 10) February, 10 Henry VI. [A.D. 1431-2], the King, having arrived safely in England after a stormy passage, (fn. 11) purposed honouring the City of London with his presence. Accordingly, the Mayor, twentyfour Aldermen, the Sheriffs, and twelve thousand citizens and others, mounted horse about 8 A.M., and rode out as far as Blackheath to meet the King. After a short time the King left his manor of Eltham to proceed to the City, and as soon as he appeared he was met by the Mayor and Aldermen, and the former bade him welcome in a speech.

The speech ended, the Mayor and Aldermen were graciously received by the King, who proceeded to Deptford, where he was met by 120 City rectors and curates in their richest copes, and 500 secular chaplains in white surplices. With them were 500 monks and others bearing crosses, tapers, and incense, and chanting psalms and antiphons in gratitude for his safe return.

Thence the King rode through Southwark, and at London Bridge was welcomed by pageants and a song sung by seven maids dressed in white. In Cornhill and Chepe were more pageants and allegorical figures, secular and Biblical. After being conducted to the high altar in St. Paul's and kissing the relics, he remounted his horse and made his way through Fleet Street to Westminster Palace.

On the following Saturday, the 22nd Feb. [sic], (fn. 12) a deputation from the City, with the Mayor and Aldermen at its head, went to the Palace and presented Henry with £1,000 (fn. 13) in a gold casket, which the King graciously accepted.

The writer concludes by telling his friend that pressure of City business prevents him from giving further details of the King's reception by the prelates and nobles of the realm, but he would let him know later on, and he subscribes the letter thus: Per Fabrum sive Domificem vestrum Johannem ejusdem urbis secretarium indignissimum.

Folio 105.

Letter from Cardinal Beaufort, "called of Engeland Bysshop of Wynchester," to his trusty and well-beloved friends John Welles, the Mayor, the Sheriffs, and Aldermen of the City of London, notifying that he had given up his intention of visiting the Court of Rome, as behoved his estate, and was about to return to England for the opening of Parliament, in order that he might learn the reasons why he had been so badly treated and to defend himself. Dated at "Gaunt," 13 April [A.D. 1432]. (fn. 14)

Br'e pro parliamento.

Writ to the Sheriffs to cause proclamation to be made for the election of four citizens, according to the terms of the statute passed anno 8 Henry VI., (fn. 15) to attend a Parliament to be held at Westminster on the 12th May next. No Sheriff to be returned. Witness the King at Westminster, 25 Feb., 10 Henry VI. [A.D. 1431-2].

Return made to the above by Stephen Broun and John Hatherle, the Sheriffs, that at a Husting held on ...... next before the Feast of St. Gregory [12 March], 10 Henry VI. [A.D. 1431-2], John Gedney, William Melreth [Aldermen], John Levyng, and Philip Malpas [Commoners] had been elected.

Folio 105 b.

Writ of certiorari to John Welles, the Mayor, touching a chantry founded in the church of St. Vedast under the will of William Grantham, goldsmith. (fn. 16) Witness H[umphrey], Duke of Gloucester, Warden of England. [No date.]

Return made to the above after inquisition on the oaths of Michael Randolf, John Werk, William Waltone, Matthew Philipp, John Estell, John Says, William Taverner, Robert Botiller, John Parker, William Peper, Peter Route, and Thomas Barwe, setting out the terms of the testator's will. Dated 28 April, 10 Henry VI. [A.D. 1432].

Folio 106.

Firmaconcessa per civitatem.

Indenture of lease by John Welles, the Mayor, the Aldermen, and Commonalty to William Bottele, tailor, of a shop and solar outside the newly built "Newgate," together with a parcel of land outside "Newgate" over the common foss of the City, lately held by Nicholas Mynot, "fleccher," with metes and bounds as set out. (Mention made of the high street of "la Baillye" and the tenements of John Weymouth and Henry Hornytoft.) To hold the same for a term of 31 years, at an annual rent of 26s. 8d. Dated 3 Jan., 10 Henry VI. [A.D. 1431-2].

Commissio de Newgate.

Letters patent appointing John "Wellis," the Mayor, William Cheyne, Knt., William Babyngtone, Knt., John Juyn, Knt., John Hals, William Westbury, John Martyn, James Strangways, John Cotismore, William Pastone, and John Symund, or any ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, or two (the Mayor being one), to be Commissioners for gaol-delivery of Newgate. Witness Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, Warden of England, at Westminster, 6 Dec., 10 Henry VI. [A.D. 1431].

Folio 106 b.

Proclamation to be made forbidding the forcing of any one to join in "hokkyng" on Monday and Tuesday next, called "hokkedays," on pain of imprisonment and fine.

Ordinaciones de Flechers.

Be it remembered that on the 5th June, 10 Henry VI. [A.D. 1432], came good folk of the Mistery of Flecchers before John Welles, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, in the great Chamber of the Guildhall, and exhibited for approval a bill of Articles touching the rule and governance of the said Mistery, to the following effect:-

Whereas (as shown by Richard Otehill and Thomas Scot, Wardens, and all the enfranchised good folk of the Mistery of Flecchers within the City) the servants and workmen of the said Mistery, hired to make good and lawful arrows (settes) and other kind of artillery (fn. 17) (dartelrie) for the good of the King and his people, do oftentimes work by night and in secret and change good stuff (estuffe) and dry wood for green wood and other false stuff, and therefrom make unserviceable arrows and other sort of artillery, to the prejudice and dishonour of the petitioners, they pray therefore:-

First, that no freeman of the Mistery shall thenceforth have a workman elsewhere than in his own house, so that his work can be overlooked, under penalty of a fine of 6s. 8d., one moiety to go to the Chamber and the other to the Mistery.

Secondly, that no one of the Mistery shall work by night.

Their prayer granted.

Letter from John Welles, the Mayor, and John Simond, the Recorder, to Robert [Fitz-Hugh], Bishop of London, presenting Sir John Leveryngtone, a chaplain of the diocese of Ely, for admission to the chantry of Roger Depham in the Chapel of B.V. Mary near the Guildhall, vacant by the death of William Malberthorp. Dated 9 Jan., A.D. 1431 [-2].

Folio 107

Indenture of lease by the Mayor, &c., to William Bottele, tailor, similar to that recorded supra, p. 140. Dated 3 Jan., 10 Henry VI. [A.D. 1431-2].

Preceptum erga festum Baptiste.

Precept for an armed watch to be kept in the several Wards on the nights and eves of St. John Bapt. [24 June] and SS. Peter and Paul [29 June], and for precautions to be taken against fire. Dated 12 June, 10 Henry VI. [A.D. 1432].

Proclamacio erga fest' Baptiste.

Proclamation to be made forbidding vintners, taverners, hostelers, &c., to keep their houses open after 10 o'clock on the above nights and eves, and to open them before 6 o'clock in the morning. [No date.]

Folio 107 b.

De coriour'.

Be it remembered that on the 9th June, 10 Henry VI. [A.D. 1432], came good folk of the Mistery of "Coriours" before John Welles, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, in the great Chamber of the Guildhall, and prayed that an article might be placed on record forbidding curriers to exercise their calling in open houses and public places to the annoyance of passers-by, under penalty of 13s. 4d., one half to go to the Chamber of the City and the other to the Mistery. Their prayer granted.

8 July, 10 Henry VI. [A.D. 1432], came Godfrey Martynson, weaver, before John Welles, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, in the Chamber of the Guildhall, and showed that whereas he had been admitted into the freedom of the City in the Art of Weavers temp. John Hende, Mayor, and John Proffyt, Chamberlain, viz., in the Husting for Common Pleas held on Monday after the Feast of St. Benedict [21 March], 6 Henry V. [A.D. 1417-18], he had for long time past used, and was now using, the art of haberdasher and not of weaver; he prayed, therefore, that he might be admitted into the freedom of the City in the Art or Mistery of "Haberdassheres." His prayer granted at the instance of the Masters and good men of the said Mistery, viz., Thomas Ruddok, Walter Holme, Walter Lucy, Richard Salle, Thomas Kyng, Richard Shalborn, and others [not named].

De afferour' pandoxator'.

Ordinance to the effect that the hostelers and other retailers of beer who had been reported by the Commonalty to the Common Council on the 13th Dec., 10 Henry VI. [A.D. 1431], as having broken the assize, (fn. 18) be fined in the same manner as if they had been presented by a jury. Robert Large and John Paddesle, Aldermen, appointed affeerers (afferatores) (fn. 19)

Folio 108.

De custodib' leprosor'.

John Bacoun, " grocer," and Peter Andrew, " pelter," who had been elected Wardens and Surveyors of lepers at St. Giles, "les Lokes," and at Hakeneye, discharged by John Welles, the Mayor, and the Aldermen from all manner of summons, distress, and amercement, in consideration of their labour, expense, &c., in the exercise of their duties. (fn. 20) Dated 1 July, 10 Henry VI. [A.D. 1432].

De orphano.

18 June, 10 Henry VI. [A.D. 1432], ordinance by John Welles, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, with the assent of Richard Coventre, mercer, the guardian of Thomas, son of John Coventre, late mercer, that the said Thomas be sent to "Greyssyn" (fn. 21) to be instructed under the care of Richard Hungate until further order, and that the said Thomas be allowed the sum of 20 marks for his maintenance during such instruction.

Folio 108 b.

Masters of divers Misteries sworn anno 10 Henry VI.

Haberdasshers: Thomas Ruddok, Walter Holme, Walter Lucy, sworn 6 Sept., 10 Henry VI. [A.D. 1431].

Foundours: William Turnour, Simon Sterne, sworn 19 Oct., the same year.

Shearmen (Tonsores): John Briggeham, John Cadewold, Richard Herberd, sworn 30 Oct., the same year.

Coriours: John Geffrey, Thomas Carter, sworn 8 Nov., the same year.

Wollen Wevers: John Cok, Thomas Chirch, sworn 22 Nov., the same year.

Shipwrightes: Thomas Kyng, William Kyffe, sworn 29 Nov., the same year.

Surgeons, Mistery or Faculty of: Thomas "Morstode," John Harwe, John Clorby, John Hatfeld, sworn 10 Dec., the same year.

Cordwainers: Thomas Burgate, Richard Rede, Nicholas Hony, Henry Marchaunt, sworn 2 June, the same year [A.D. 1432].

Lorimers: Thomas Kynge, William Aleyn, Thomas Richmounde, sworn 10 July, the same year.

Lynnewevers: William Cokenage, Thomas Chirche, sworn 20 July, the same year.

Coupers: John Rothell, John Broun, sworn 29 July, the same year.

Browdereres: John Sewale, William Henyngton, sworn 2 Aug., the same year.

Joynours: John Stone, John Bridde, sworn 10 Aug., the same year.

Pursers: William Stodeley, John Aldewyn, sworn 30 Aug., the same year.

Folio 109.

Br'e pro civib' London' de theolon'.

Writ to the Treasurer of the town of Calais and Bailiffs of the water there that they cease to exact any toll from merchants of London trading there. Witness, &c., 1 Oct., 11 [Henry VI.] [A.D. 1432].

Transmutacio Ric'i Lyon ab artede Pynner' in artem de aberdassher [sic].

6 Nov., 11 Henry VI. [A.D. 1432], came Richard Lyon, "pynner," before John Perneys, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, and showed that, whereas he had been admitted into the freedom of the City in the Art of "Pynner," temp. John Coventre, Mayor, and John Bederenden, Chamberlain, viz., on the 11th May, 4 Henry VI. [A.D. 1426], he had for long time past used, and was now using, the mistery or art of "Haberdasshers," and not the art of "Pynner." He therefore prayed to be admitted into the freedom of the City in the Art or Mistery of "Haberdasshers." His prayer granted at the instance of the Masters and good folk of the latter Art, viz., Thomas Ruddok, Walter Lucy, Thomas Kyng, John Fulbourne, Thomas Hayward, Richard Salle, and others [not named].

1 Oct., 12 Henry VI. [A.D. 1433], John Athelard, "corsour," discharged by John Perneys, the Mayor, and the Aldermen from serving on juries, &c., owing to increasing old age.

Folio 109 b.

Letter from the general Synod at Basle (fn. 22) to the people of Bohemia, inviting them to send delegates to the Council, to assist in restoring unity and concord in the Church, and promising them safe conduct whilst they come and go and whilst they remain. (fn. 23) [No date.]

Folio 110.

L'ra concilii basiliens'.

Letter from the same addressed to Christians in England, exhorting peace between England, France, and the Duke of Burgundy. Dated at Basle, 12 May, A.D. 1432.

Folio 110 b.

The Third Session renewed at Basle.

The general Synod of Basle representing the Catholic Church, formerly the Council of Constance, being desirous to provide for future necessities of the Church, decreed that, at the termination of the Council, other Councils should be held from time to time, by virtue of which decree Pope Martin V., with the assent of the Council of Constance, ordered that a Council should next be held in the city of Pavia, and it was begun there, and was thence removed to the city of Sienna, (fn. 24) when the city of Basle was chosen for the place of the next Council, under the presidency of Cardinal Julian, Deacon of St. Angelo. This was also approved of by the Pope Eugenius IV. (Martin's successor), who was anxious to extirpate heresy, and to whom the Synod sent a deputation invoking his favour and assistance. The Council, however, learning that the Pope had been moved by malicious persons to dissolve it, another deputation was despatched to beg him to alter his determination, which he did, and the Council was allowed to continue its proceedings (fn. 25) [record imperfect].


  • 1. One hundred and fifty of the besiegers had been promptly beheaded.
  • 2. Set out by Delpit, pp. 250-1. An account of the attack made by the French on the Castle of Rouen early in February, and of its repulse by the English garrison, is given by Monstrelet (trans., i. 599, 600).
  • 3. The account, as here recorded, is set out by Delpit, pp. 238-44. Cf. Monstrelet (trans.), i. 596-7; Hall, pp. 160-2. Delpit acknowledges that this surpasses all other accounts in its wealth of detail, and believes it to have been probably written by a member of the University of Paris, if not by the actual Master of the Ceremonies (op. cit., Introd., p. clx). He ascribes its appearance in the Letter-Book to the vanity of John Carpenter, the City's Town Clerk.
  • 4. Or La Chapelle, half way between Paris and St. Denis.
  • 5. The names of the neuf preux as recorded in the Letter-Book differ from those given in the 'Encyclopedie,' s.v. 'Preux' (Supplement, vol. iv. pp. 531-2).
  • 6. According to Monstrelet. (trans., p. 597) the stag "took refuge near the feet of the King's horse, when his majesty saved its life."
  • 7. Dessus lui deux couronnes en air. According to Monstrelet the King bore two crowns on his head. Cf. Hall, p. 161.
  • 8. Set out by Delpit (pp. 238-9), who remarks that the verses show the deplorable state of Paris about the year 1431. (Introd., p. clix.) The date is probably later than this, for Bedford does not appear to have been absent from France between 1427 and 1432, unless he hurriedly came over to England in order to escort the King to Paris in April, 1430. (See Monstrelet, trans. i. 596.) The verses are an interpolation in the Letter-Book and may have been composed after Bedford left France for England at the end of June, 1433.
  • 9. Set out by Delpit from the Letter-Book (pp. 244-8). The French antiquary, however, does not appear to recognize the writer, qui signe simplement Jean, as John Carpenter, the City's "secretary," or Town Clerk, in his playful description of himself as Faber or Domifex (Introd., p. clx). The narrative has also been printed at the end of the 'Liber Albus' (Rolls Series), ii. 457-64. The editor of that publication was aware of it having been printed by Delpit, but, as he says, "in so incorrect a form as to render it worse than valueless." The narrative as here recorded may be compared with the account given in verse by the poet Lydgate, and printed in Kingsford, 'Chronicles of London' (pp. 97-115), from Cotton MS. Julius B II.
  • 10. An error for the 21st Feb.
  • 11. He had landed at Dover on the 9th Feb.
  • 12. An error for the 23rd.
  • 13. How this amount was raised for the purpose we have already seen, supra, pp. 129-30.
  • 14. Set out in 'London and the Kingdom,' iii. 374-5. During Beaufort's absence in France for the King's coronation, the Duke of Gloucester had taken measures to secure his own position whilst weakening that of his rival. When Parliament met on the 12th May the Cardinal complained that, having set out for Rome with the King's permission, he had, when in Flanders (whence this letter was dated), been recalled to England by the report that he was accused of treason, and he challenged the accuser to come forward. After some debate it was officially denied that any such charge had been made, and the matter was allowed to drop. 'Rot. Parl.,' iv. 390-1; Rymer, 'Fodera,' x. 516-18.
  • 15. The statute is recorded supra, fos. 79-83 b. By cap. vii. the statute fixed the 40s. freehold as the qualification for voting in elections of knights of the shire.
  • 16. See his will dated 9 Sept., 1416, and proved the same year. 'Cal. of Wills Court of Hust.,' ii. 409- 410.
  • 17. Bows and arrows are termed "artillery" in the Bible. See I Samuel xx. 40, "Jonathan gave his artillery unto his lad."
  • 18. Vide supra, p. 132.
  • 19. To assess the fines.
  • 20. Cf. 'Cal. Letter-Book H,' p. 343; 'Cal. Letter-Book I,' p. 184.
  • 21. Gray's Inn.
  • 22. Known as the eighteenth General Council. It opened at Basle on the 23rd July, 1431, and held its first session on the 14th December following. The chief objects of the Council were the reunion of the Greek and Latin Churches, and a general reformation.
  • 23. The heretics (Hussites) of Prague in Bohemia attended the Council by deputation, and stoutly defended their religious opinions. They were allowed to return home, thanks to this safe conduct, "ellys they hadde gon to the fyre, as most men supposyd."-Gregory, p. 176.
  • 24. In 1423.
  • 25. Pope Martin V., by whose authority the Council had been originally summoned, had died in the meantime and been succeeded (in 1431) by Eugenius IV., who was desirous of postponing the Council for a year and a half. He was persuaded, however, to let it continue, chiefly at the intervention of the Emperor Sigismund. Monstrelet (trans.), pp. 591-2. Eugenius was afterwards formally deposed by the Council from the Papal throne, and another Pope appointed in his place. Nevertheless, he remained Pope in Rome until his death. (Fabyan, pp. 612-13.) There is an ancient MS. preserved in the Guildhall Library containing treatises on the authority of the Church, &c., and a record of the proceedings at the Council of Basle. The volume was originally deposited among the archives of the City's Bridge House Estate in the custody of the City Comptroller, but was transferred thence to the Library on the recommendation of the Library Committee made to the Court of Common Council in 1870. From this volume (fo. 154) we learn that the third session of the Synod at Basle commenced on Tuesday, 29 April, 1432. The last session was held in May, 1443.