The soke of Aldgate

Pages 197-199

The Cartulary of Holy Trinity, Aldgate. Originally published by London Record Society, London, 1971.

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Soke of Aldgate

[f. 175v] The Soke

995. Note: that John Dalby, chaplain of the aforesaid chantry (fn. 1) ministered to the parishioners in the absence of Thomas as long as he held the chantry; and after John Dalby; John Worthyn; William Matheu; John Tauntoft and they all took from Thomas Axbrygge 26s. 8d. p.a. according to the concord written 10 folios back [954] until 1420 when T. Axbryg withdrew and went to study in Oxford; the same year Richard Lythum, one of the executors of William Wodward, the founder, enfeoffed (fecit feoffarise) Thomas Bryght, John Edward, Alexander Sprott and John Croft with all the lands and tenements formerly of John Romeney and the chantry to a certain chaplain John Skelton; which being done, Richard Lythum resigned the church of Reynis in Essex and removed John Tauntoft from the chantry so that he might serve the chantry himself but he did not minister to the parishioners according to the above-written agreement [954]; whereupon William Clerk, prior of Holy Trinity, at the request of the parishioners, leased the church to John Tauntoft for £10 p.a. and so he served from Michaelmas to St. John the Baptist next following when he withdrew and the prior appointed Richard Malmesbury who celebrated daily until the visitation of John Kempe, bishop of London; 1 July 1424, at the visitation in St. Andrew Cornhill, Richard Lucas, the warden and other parishioners, Richard Lythum being dead and John Tauntoft absent, accused the prior that he did not have a chaplain present at night; whereupon the prior was summoned to appear before the bishop and he acknowledged that he was in default, being in breach of the agreement [954] but his opponents denied that any agreement had been made; the bishop asked who had drawn up the agreement and was told that he was in Oxford and he advised that the truth should be ascertained from him; Sat. 12 Aug. 1424 Thomas [Axbridge] came from Oxford (a scola) and since Richard Malmesbury had come, Richard Lucas and other malicious persons of the parish ordered the chaplains to pay no attention to R. Malmesbury and they removed books, vestments and church ornaments so that he could not celebrate, in defiance of the prior and against the decree of the bishop who was in Essex on a visitation; by the advice of Master David Prys he bore this patiently and sent Thomas Axbrygge to Colne in Essex where the bishop examined him about the agreement; the bishop returned on 13 Oct. [1424] and the next day all the most important of the parishioners met in the church of St. Botolph where it was decided that the next day Louis Jon who was the greatest man in the parish and who lived in the eastern part of the cemetery of the abbey of St. Mary Graces with his wife, who was the sister of the earl of Oxford, should go to the bishop, which Louis was to say that all the parishioners wished to have a vicar; in the presence of the prior the bishop received the parishioners and told them that the priory was privileged and that he could not grant them their request nor did he wish to do so; [f. 176] John Edward added that no parishioner ought to confess to a canon but the bishop ruled that the prior should enjoy his privilege and that the parishioners were actuated by malice and he threatened with excommunication any who had removed the ornaments of the high altar; Richard Lucas admitted that, as warden, he had received oblations and he was excommunicated and then absolved at the instance of the prior on condition that he and his associates came to an agreement with the prior; John Crofte one of the executors of the founder of the chantry negotiated with the prior and the bishop ordered that all things taken from the high altar should be returned before vespers on 31 Oct. and absolved them but then he was translated to the archbishopric of York; he thereby ceased to act and the heart of the parishioners was hardened so that they did not prevent the chaplain from ministering but they stopped the payment of a quit rent so that the prior impleaded them by a plea of the assize of fresh force as follows.

996. Plea of the assize of fresh force held in the Guildhall in the parish of St. Lawrence Jewry before William Milreth and John Brokle, sheriffs, and Adam May, coroner, Sat. 24 Nov. 1425.

The assize of fresh force came to recognise if Thomas Bryght, John Edward, Alexander Sprott, John Crofte, John Mathew and Geoffrey Brydde unjustly etc. disseised William, prior and convent of Holy Trinity concerning a free tenement in the parish of St. Botolph etc. post primam etc. and within forty days etc. whereupon the prior through John Hethingham, attorney, stated that they had disseised him of 23s. 2d. of rent within forty days of the levying of the bill of assize namely on Mon. 29 Oct. 1425; the assize was taken in the absence of the defs.; the prior said that the rent came from four messuages and one shop once of John de Romoney, citizen and potter, viz. 13s. 4d. p.a. from a messuage of which William Potter was once seised who held of Hamon Copton, citizen and moneyer, for a rent of 13s. 4d. which was later paid to Agnes daughter of John, Hamon's brother, and she married John Chaucer, citizen and vintner, and they, by charter (fn. 2) enrolled Mon. 19 Jan. 1366 but granted 16 Jan. 1356, gave this rent to William atte Hale, citizen and taverner, and Agnes, his wife, and by his will (fn. 3) enrolled in the Husting of Common Pleas held Mon. 21 Nov. 1368 he bequeathed the rent to his son Thomas canon of the priory of Crichirch for his life [f. 176v] and the life of Agnes and then to Holy Trinity; the prior stated that Nicholas de Algate, prior, was to have received it in free alms after the death of Agnes and the aforesaid Thomas and William Haradon was seised of the rent by the hands of William Wodeward, founder, and John Bridde then tenants of the messuage and that by the custom of the City citizens are allowed to bequeath tenements and rents within the city to the Church (ad manum mortuam) and the rest of the rent up to 23s. 2d. the prior and his successors have always had; and the prior has always distrained for arrears on each property separately and he stated that the rent was six and three quarter years in arrears and he wished to distrain 40s. by his collector (redditarius) Richard Waterden but the defs. would not allow him to distrain and therefore he sought the assize etc.; after forty days the jury asked what right the present prior had in the rent and which of his predecessors was seised of it and what damage the prior had sustained and whether the disseisin was by force and arms (vi et armis) and if there was any fraud or collusion against the statute of mortmain to which it was replied that prior Ralph was seised in the time of Edward I and all his successors had been seised and that [f. 177] the arrears amounted to £7 16s. 4d.; the jury assessed the damages at 20s. above the arrears and found that the disseisin was not by force and arms and that there was no fraud or collusion and the total was assessed at £8 16s. 4d. and Thomas etc. in mercy. [Most of f. 177 and ff. 177v–178v are blank.]


  • 1. See 954.
  • 2. H.R. 93 (154).
  • 3. C. Wills, ii, 118.