The French Chronicle of London: Edward II

Chronicles of the Mayors and Sheriffs of London 1188-1274. Originally published by Trübner, London, 1863.

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'The French Chronicle of London: Edward II', in Chronicles of the Mayors and Sheriffs of London 1188-1274, (London, 1863) pp. 248-267. British History Online [accessed 12 April 2024]

Edward II

Edward The Second.

The Names of the Mayors and Sheriffs, and other Marvels, in the time of King Edward the Second.

1 Edward II. [A.D. 1307, 8]. Sir John le Blount, Knight, Mayor. (fn. 1) Nicholas Pycot and (fn. 2) Neel Druerye, Sheriffs.

In this year, on the Friday after the Feast of Saint Luke [18 October], King Edward was nobly buried at Westminster. At this time the Templars were destroyed. In this year, on the Sunday after the Feast of (fn. 3) Saint Peter's Chair, the King and the Queen, Lady Isabele, were crowned; at which Coronation, Sir John Bacwelle, a knight, was (fn. 4) killed by falling from a wall. In this year there was a great malady of the eyes, whereby many persons lost their sight.

2 Edward II. [A.D. 1308, 9]. (fn. 5) Nicholas de Farndon, Mayor. James le Botiller and William de Basinge, Sheriffs.

3 Edward II. [A.D. 1309, 10]. (fn. 6) Thomas Romeyn, Mayor. Roger Palmere and James (fn. 7) Fouke, Sheriffs.

At this time came Sir Piers de Gaverstone into England, who had been banished by King Edward the (fn. 8) Conqueror; and was made Earl of Cornwall, to the great detriment of all the realm. In this year there was a very great frost on the Thames, so that many persons passed over on foot, upon the ice, to Suthwerk, and back again to London. In this year, judgment was given at Westminster against the (fn. 9) franchise, as to the rights of bastardy; to the effect that if any one should die without heir and without testament made, his lands and tenements should escheat to the King.

4 Edward II. [A.D. 1310, 1]. (fn. 10) Richer de Refham, Mayor. (fn. 11) Symon Corp and (fn. 12) Peter de Blakeneye, Sheriffs.

5 Edward II. [A.D. 1311, 2]. (fn. 13) John Gisors, Mayor. (fn. 14) Richard de Welforde and Simon de Mereworthe, [Sheriffs].

In the same year there was great discord between the King and the Earls by reason of Sir Piers de Gaverstone, because that the treasure of the land was lavished by him in vanity and great display; and the said Sir Piers entertained great indignation against the great men of the land, and gave to each great man in the land a certain (fn. 15) nick-name in contempt and mockery. Therefore, he was watched until out of the King's company, and taken by the Earl of (fn. 16) Warwyk, and [by] counsel of other great men of the land, and brought to Warwyk; and afterwards, by their advice, on the 19th day of June, at the hour of Vespers, he was taken to a field called "Blakelowe," near a running stream known as "Gaversik," and there beheaded.

In this year there was pulled down an earthen wall near the Tower, which Sir (fn. 17) John Cromwell had made; and as to which there was a great tumult on the same night, being the Vigil of Saint Matthew [21 September], between the commons of the City and Sir John de Cromwelle.

6 Edward II [A.D. 1312, 3]. John Gisors, Mayor. (fn. 18) Adam Lucekyn and (fn. 19) John Lambyn, Sheriffs.

In the same year was born Sir Edward de Wyndesore, son of the King by Lady Isabele the Queen, daughter of the King of France, on Monday the Feast of Saint Bryce [13 November]; and upon the Day of Saint Edmund de Pounteneye [16 November], he was baptized by Sir Arnald the Cardinal. In this year, the Sunday after Candlemas [2 February], the Fishmongers of London made pageant of a ship sailing through the midst of Chepe, as far as Westminster. In this year also died Robert de Winchelse, Archbishop of Caunterbury.

In this year the Iter was held in Kent, and there were as Justiciars, Sir Hervy de Staunton, Henry Spygornel, William de Goldingtone, and John de Motteforde. In this year died Ralph de Baldok, Bishop of London.

7 Edward II. [A.D. 1313, 4]. Nicholas de Farndon, Mayor. Hugh de (fn. 20) Barton and (fn. 21) Robert de Burdeyn, Sheriffs.

In this year, Sir Walter Reynold, Bishop of Worcester, was enthroned Archbishop of Canterbury, on the Sunday next after the Feast of Saint Peter's Chair [28 January]. In this year the King was discomfited at (fn. 22) Strivelyn in Scotland by Robert de Brus, on the Day of Saint John the Baptist [24 June]. In this battle were slain the (fn. 23) Earl of Gloucester, Sir Robert de Clifford, Sir Giles d'Argentein, and many others; and the Earl of Hereford and other great lords were taken and imprisoned at (fn. 24) Bodevile, and the (fn. 25) Earl of Penbroke, Sir Hugh le Despencer, Henry de Beaumond, John de Cromwell, and others, fled to Dunbar, and there put to sea and came to Berwyk.

In this year the cross of the belfry of Saint Paul's was taken down and repaired; and in the old cross certain relics were found, that is to say, a (fn. 26) corporal with which they sing mass, white and entire, without any defect; and in this corporal was found a part of the wood of the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, wrought in the form of a cross; a stone of the sepulchre of Our Lord; and another stone from the place where God stood when he ascended into heaven; and another stone from Mount Calvary, where the Cross of Our Lord was erected. There was also found a purse, and in this purse a piece of red (fn. 27) sendal, in which were wrapped some bones of the (fn. 28) Eleven Thousand Virgins, and other relics, the names of which were unknown. These relics Master (fn. 29) Robert de Clothale shewed to the people during his preaching on the Sunday before the Feast of Saint Botolph [17 June]; and after the same, the relics were replaced in the Cross, and many other new ones as well, on the Day of Saint Francis [16 July].

8 Edward II. [A.D. 1314, 5]. John Gisors, Mayor. Stephen de Abingdone and Hamo de Chikewelle, Sheriffs.

In this year died the Earl of Warwik. In this year there were such great rains that the wheat failed, and all other things as well, in August; and the rains lasted from Pentecost to Easter.

In this year, upon the Day of Saint James [25 July] before August, there was one baker drawn upon the hurdle alone; and because another baker did not have the same sentence carried out, the same day the Mayor before-mentioned was reviled by the people and called a (fn. 30) rogue; for which many persons were imprisoned and impoverished, through the malice and false compassing of the said John Gisors, the Mayor.

9 Edward II. [A.D. 1315, 6]. (fn. 31) Stephen de Abingdon, Mayor. (fn. 32) William Bodeleyhg and (fn. 33) Hamo Godchep, Sheriffs.

In this year there was a great famine, so that people without number died of hunger; and there was also a great pestilence among the rest of the people. The quarter of wheat was sold at Pentecost this year, and after, at 38 and 40 shillings; salt also, at forty shillings, and two small onions for one penny.

10 Edward II. [A.D. 1316, 7]. (fn. 34) John de Wengrave, Mayor. (fn. 35) William de Caustone and (fn. 36) Ralph la Balaunce, Sheriffs.

The great dearth still continued. In July this year there was a great thunder-storm, and a great fall of rain, which did vast (fn. 37) damage to Flete Bridge and to Holborne Bridge.

11 Edward II. [A.D. 1317, 8]. John de Wengrave, Mayor. William de Furneaux and John Prior, Sheriffs.

In this year, through collusion and conspiracy on part of the said Mayor, there was great discord between the commons and him; and the commons provided certain points in their new (fn. 38) Charter, a thing that was much against the will of the said John, the Mayor.

12 Edward II. [A.D. 1318, 9]. John Wengrave, Mayor, by procuring letters from the King, and by consent of certain persons of influence, against the will of the commons. (fn. 39) John Poyntel and John Dallingge, Sheriffs.

In this year the new Charter was confirmed by the King, and cost one thousand pounds. This same John Wengrave did much evil in his time to the commons.

13 Edward II. [A.D. 1319, 20]. (fn. 40) Hamo de Chikewell, Mayor. (fn. 41) John de Prestone and (fn. 42) Symon de Abingdone, Sheriffs.

In this year the King passed over into France to do his homage, and the Queen with him. In this year (fn. 43) swords were forbidden, so that no one was to wear them; by reason of which, many swords were taken and hung up beneath Ludgate, within and without. At this time many of the people of the trades of London were arrayed in livery, and a good time was about to begin.

14 Edward II. [A.D. 1320, 1]. Nicholas de Farndon, Mayor. William Prodhomme and Reginald de Cunduyt, Sheriffs.

At this time, on Wednesday the morrow of Saint Hilary [13 January], the Justiciars Itinerant sat at the Tower of London, namely, Sir (fn. 44) Henry de Staunton, William Herle, [and] Edmund Passelee.

In this year the Mayoralty of London was forfeited, by reason of an offence which John Gysors had committed in the time when he was Mayor, in having admitted Henry de Braundeston, a felon to the King, to enjoy the franchise of London after such felony committed. For this Henry had slain a man in Holy Church, at (fn. 45) Our Lady atte Hill. And Sir Robert de Kendale was made Warden, and continued such Warden until Wednesday the morrow of (fn. 46) Saint Dunstan; when the King granted unto the commons, that they might elect a Mayor for the remaining time until the (fn. 47) quinzaine of Saint Michael; whereupon, Hamo de Chikewelle was chosen Mayor.

In this Iter it was ordained, that no felon to the King should be held to (fn. 48) mainprise until the Iter of the Justiciars. In this year a woman, Isabele de Bury by name, slew the clerk of the Church of Allhallows near London Wall; and kept herself within the same church for five days, until the Bishop of London sent his letters to the effect that the Church would not save her; whereupon, she was carried out of the church to Neugate, and the third day after was hanged. At this Iter also, certain men in power, Aldermen and others, were indicted for false conspiracy.

In this year began a disagreement between the great lords of the land and Sir Hugh le Despenser, father and son, as to divers articles, and evil, which the peers of the land imputed to them; whereupon the Earl of Hereford, the Mortimers, and many other great lords, ravaged their lands and castles, and came with a great host of armed men to London, upon the (fn. 49) Grule [1] of August; and on the Vigil of the Assumption of Our Lady [15 August], the Despenaers, both father and son, in presence of the King at Westminster, were banished. Still however, the King retained the son in the realm, through the Cinque Ports; and the said Sir Hugh, the son, plundered (fn. 50) dromonds and other ships at sea, in great numbers, of property that was coming towards England, and great evil did he upon the water during this time.

15 Edward II. [A.D. 1321, 2]. Hamo de Chikewelle, Mayor, elected by the commons at the King's-wish. (fn. 51) Richard Constantin and Richard Hakeneye, Sheriffs.

In this year, just before All Saints [1 November], the King assembled his host and besieged the Castle of (fn. 52) Ledes, which belonged to Sir Bartholemew Badlesmere, then (fn. 53) Seneschal to the King; and the King reached the castle on the Vigil of All Saints, but was kept out of it for a fortnight: at the end of which time, Sir Bartholemew de (fn. 54) Burghaisse and Lady Badlesmere, and others of their company, were sent to the Tower of London; and thirteen persons who were in the castle were hanged without the gate, and one (fn. 55) Watekyn Colpeper of Kent was drawn and hanged at Winchilsse. And soon after this, the King caused a Charter of (fn. 56) great service to be made, and wished in every way that the good people of London should have sealed it; but the people of the City would not accede to it, for all that the King could do.

At this time, the King went towards (fn. 57) Wircestre with a great host, and at the Feast of Saint Luke [18 October] the people of London sent to the King at Wircestre 380 men, persons well armed.

In this year, at the Conversion of Saint Paul [25 January] the two Mortimers threw themselves upon the King's favour, and were taken to the Tower of London by the Earl of Warenne, Robert (fn. 58) Lewer, and many others, after dinner on Saturday, the Vigil of Saint Valentine [14 February]. At this time, the Sheriff of Hereford was drawn and hanged at Gloucester. At this time, on the third day of March, the people of London sent to the King, a second time, 120 men-at-arms. At this time, on the Tuesday after the Feast of Saint Gregory [12 March], being the 16th day of March, Sir Thomas de Lancaster, Earl of five Counties, was taken at (fn. 59) Burghbrigge by one Sir Andrew de (fn. 60) Hercle; and Sir Humphrey de Boun, Earl of Hereford, was slain, and many good folks, Barons of the land, slain, or taken and imprisoned; and on the 21st day of March the said Earl of Lancaster was beheaded at (fn. 61) Pountfreit. On the (fn. 62) same day also, William Fitz-William, Sir Waryn del Isle, Sir Henry de Bradebourne, Sir Thomas Mauduyt, Sir William Tuchet, Sir William Cheyne, Barons, and Thomas Page, esquire to the said Earl of Lancaster, were all drawn and hanged at London, it being the Vigil of Palm Sunday. Also, Sir John Moubray, Sir Roger de Clifford, and Sir Gosselyn d'Ey ville, were drawn and hanged at (fn. 63) Euerwik; and Sir Henry Tyeis was drawn and hanged at London.

Afterwards, on the Vigil of Easter, Sir Bartholomew Badlesmere, who was a great Baron and Seneschal to the King at London, was [seized] on his road to (fn. 64) Caunterbure; and on Wednesday in Easter week he was shamefully drawn, hanged, and beheaded at Caunterbure, near his nephew Sir Bartholomew de Assebournham. Sir Francis de Aldenham was drawn and hanged at Windesore, on the Wednesday after (fn. 65) Paske Florie: Sir Henry de Mountfort and Sir Henry de Wilingham were drawn and hanged at (fn. 66) Bristuit: Sir John Giffard and Sir Roger de Elmerigge were drawn and hanged at Gloucester: Sir William Flemming was drawn and hanged at (fn. 67) Kerdyf: Sir Thomas Colepeper was drawn and hanged at Winchelse: Sir Stephen Baret was drawn and hanged at (fn. 68) Collyere. Sir Roger Dammory died a natural death from sorrow, at Tuttebury. Sir Hughe de Audelee, the father, and Sir John de Charltone, surrendered themselves to the King's favour. Sir John Butturd, Sir John de Kingeston, Sir Nichol Percy, Sir John Mautravers the son, Sir John de Twyford, and Sir William Trussel, fled beyond sea. Sir Robert de Holond, Sir Hugh de Audele the son, and ninety-two other good knights were put in prison, and ransomed at the King's will.

On the Vigil of Saint Margaret [20 July] next ensuing, the good folks of London sent to the King, at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, one hundred men, well armed and equipped. At this time the bushel of wheat was sold at 3s. 8d. At this time, on the second day of August, the two Mortimers were adjudged at Westminster, before six Justiciars, to be drawn and hanged for homicide and robberies which the King imputed to them; but no execution of this judgment was made by the King's writ. And the next day, the King of his favour granted them their lives, on condition of perpetual imprisonment. At this time, upon the Gule [1] of August, the King went with his host into the parts of Scotland, and penetrated full sixty miles into that land, and there great numbers of his people died of hunger for want of food; and the King had no encounter there, but shamefully returned into England, and his people were greatly wasted through great misfortunes and mishaps.

16 Edward II. [A.D. 1322, 3]. Hamo de Chikewelle, Mayor. John de Grantham, Pepperer, and Roger de Ely, Fishmonger, Sheriffs.

In this year, the Scots made a descent upon Blakomore in England, and robbed and burnt everywhere, and took great part of the King's provisions; for at this time he was in the vicinity of (fn. 69) Euerwik. In the same year, upon Thursday the third day of March, Sir Andrew de Hercleye was made Earl of (fn. 70) Carlil by the King, because he had taken the noble Earl Sir Thomas de Lancaster, and had slain Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford. And in the same year the said Sir Andrew was taken at Carlil; and there he was drawn, hanged, and beheaded, and his entrails burnt and [his body] quartered; and his head was sent to London on Sunday, the morrow of Saint Gregory [12 March].

At this time, on the 4th day of April, Hamo de Chikewelle, the Mayor, the Aldermen, Sheriffs, and clerks, were summoned to appear before the King at Westminster; when the King, of his own will, without any accusation made, ousted the said Hamo from his Mayoralty, and made Nicholas de Farndone Warden of London. And the said Hamo de Chikewelle, Hamo Godchep, Edmund Lambyn, and Roger Palmere, Aldermen, followed the King's Court, to await his pleasure as to what he might think proper to accuse them of.

At this time, God wrought many miracles in the Church of Saint Paul, at the tablet there which the said Thomas of Lancaster made; in remembrance that the King had granted and confirmed the Ordinances which were made by Saint Robert de Winchelse, Archbishop of Canterbury, and by all the great and wise men of England, to the great profit of all the realm. In which place, the crooked were made straight, the blind received their sight, and the deaf their hearing, and other beneficial works of grace were there openly shown. At this time, the sixth penny upon property was levied in London and other cities in England, and in (fn. 71) upland the tenth penny, to the great-distress and impoverishment of the common people of the land. At this time, a truce was made between the King of England and Sir Robert de Brus, to last from the 12th day of June in the (fn. 72) 16th year for, thirteen years, upon divers conditions between the parties confirmed, if loyally observed. And after this, at the Translation of Saint Thomas [7 July], by the King's writ, issued from the Chancery, the tablet in the Church of Saint Paul, as also the wax taper that was there offered in devotion to the martyr, was with great rigour taken away and removed; but still, for all that, the devotion of the people was not wholly put an end to, oblations being still made at the pillar from which the tablet had been hung.

The same year, after dinner on Friday, the third day before the Gule [1] of August, the King's Exchequer came from Euerwik to Westminster, and great treasure therewith. At the same time, on Monday the (fn. 73) Feast of Saint Peter, on the Gule [1] of August, at night, Sir Roger Mortimer, lord of Wigemor, by means of a potion subtly made, and given the same evening to the (fn. 74) Constable and watch of the Tower, and to the other persons therein, escaped from the Tower of London by a ladder skilfully made of cord, and fled to Porchester; where he took ship and crossed the sea, and so reached the dominions of the Count of (fn. 75) Henaude. At this time, upon Thursday the morrow of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross [14 September], the four burgesses who had followed the King's Court, returned to London with a fair company of people.

17 Edward II. [A.D. 1323, 4]. Nicholas de Farndone, Mayor, not elected or presented, but appointed at the will of the King. Adam de Salesbury and John de Oxenford, Sheriffs.

At this time, at the Feast of Saint Martin [11 November] and after, many good folks of London, and of other cities and towns of the land, were arrested by a wicked ribald clerk, Thomas de Newebigging by name, who held the King's commission therefor, and who imputed to them that they had held converse with Sir Roger Mortimer, and counselled his escape from the Tower. Also, at the Feast of Saint Nicholas [6 December], by the King's will, Hamo de Chikewelle was made Mayor, and Nicholas de Farndone removed from the office. In the (fn. 76) same year, at Saint Hilary [13 January], the Justiciars of the Forest sat at Stratford.

In the same year, at the beginning of Lent, the King held his Parliament at Westminster, and then the King caused to be seized into his hand all the lands and chattels which the (fn. 77) Bishop of Herford possessed; because that the King imputed to him that he had aided the Mortimers against himself. And on the first Sunday in Lent, after this, a minstrel, Roger Wade by name, a (fn. 78) crowder, solemnly celebrated his own inter ment, as though he had been dead, and had masses sung for his soul, both he himself and others in his company making offering, so that many persons marvelled thereat. And this he did, because he put no trust in executors; but by reason of this act, some persons of the religious Orders would have withdrawn from him his (fn. 79) livery which he had bought from them for the term of his life; he himself however died soon after Easter.

In the same year, at the Feast of Saint John [24 June], a disagreement arose between the King of France and the King of England, by reason of homage not being made for the territories of Gascoigne; whereupon, the King of England sent thither the Earl of Kent, his brother, and other persons, to defend the land.

18 Edward II. [A.D. 1324, 5]. Hamo de Chigewelle, Mayor. Beneit de Folsham and (fn. 80) John de Caustone, Sheriffs.

At this time, by the instigation of Sir Hugh le Despencer, at Saint Michael the King had seized into his hand all the lands which the Queen held in England, and removed all her household, French and others, and put her upon her wages, twenty shillings per day. At Easter in this year, the Queen crossed the sea to treat of peace. And at the (fn. 81) Feast of the Holy Cross in May, the Earl of Warenne and the (fn. 82) Earl of Atheles, and other great men, passed over from Portesmouthe, with one hundred ships, for the parts of Gascoigne: for which passage the people of London sent 140 men-at-arms.

About the same time, on Tuesday, that is to say, the fourth day of July, four persons escaped from Neugate to the (fn. 83) Friars Minors, at the hour of noon, and slew the porter, Nicholas de Westmille by name. And at Saint Bartholomew [24 August] next ensuing, the King with his Council was at Dover three weeks, to make preparation for his passage; and had sent over his purveyors, horses, and treasure, and had even gone towards the ship to cross over, when, at the instigation of Sir Hugh Despencer, he changed his mind, and did not cross over. However, upon the Thursday next before the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross [14 September], he sent Sir Edward de Windesore, his son and heir, to do homage to the King of France in his stead.

In this year, at night on the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lady [8 September] which was on a Sunday, ten persons escaped from Neugate, five of whom were brought back, and four escaped to the Church of Saint Sepulchre, and one to the Church of Saint Bride; and afterwards, they all (fn. 84) forswore England.

19 Edward II. [A.D. 1325-6]. Hamo de Chikewelle, Mayor. Gilbert de Mordone and (fn. 85) John Cotoun, Sheriffs.

At this same time, proclamation was made by the King that no man should be the bearer of letters from the Queen, or from his son, the heir of England, who were then in the parts of France; and that if any one should carry such letter, he should be arrested, as well as the person to whom such letter should be going, and they should be brought before the King and his Council. At this time, the Queen wore plain apparel, like a lady in grief who had lost her husband; and by reason of the anguish that she felt for maintaining peace, the common people greatly pitied her.

In this year, on the Sunday before the Conversion of Saint Paul [25 January], one (fn. 86) Sir Roger Belers, Justiciar of the King, and a great lord, was slain near Leycestre; as to which there was a great outcry made, and many persons were imprisoned. At this time, Sir Henry de Beaumond and other great men in power were attached and imprisoned by the King, because they would not consent to do the will of Sir Hugh Despencer, the son; and then the King, by advice of his councillors, had the Tower of London and other castles stored with provisions. Also, Sir Hugh Despencer, the son, had all the carpenters, masons, and smiths taken, who were then in London, and everywhere around it, and caused all the turrets and (fn. 87) crenelles in the Tower to be repaired, and bars and (fn. 88) bretasches to be made at all the gates there, of the very stoutest timber that in all England could be found; and had (fn. 89) mangonels, (fn. 90) springals, and other manner of engines, made at great cost; and yet this availed him nothing, for his purpose was thwarted in another way; and all this was done through fear of strangers coming over in company with the Queen.

In this year, on the Vigil of Candlemas [2 February], at night, Saint (fn. 91) Erkenwolde was placed in his new shrine in the Church of Saint Paul. The King then gave orders that Sir William de (fn. 92) Hermine, Bishop of Norwich, should be held as a traitor, and the King imputed to him that he was the cause of the Queen and her son remaining in the parts of France. And the common people greatly pitied the said William Hermyn, seeing that he was a worthy man, and had laboured much to maintain the well-being of the land. Then the King was at Dover, and messengers from the Pope came there to him, and returned with their answer privily; that there might be no common talk as to why they had come, or what answer they had received. In this year there was a great drought in rivers and in springs, so that there was a great want of water in many countries. At this time, shortly before the Feast of Saint John [24 June], the town of (fn. 93) Roiston was burnt, part of (fn. 94) Wandlesworth, and the Abbey of (fn. 95) Croxton near Leicester; and at this time there happened other conflagrations in England.

At this time, for want of fresh water, the tide from the sea prevailed to such a degree that the water of the Thames was salt; so much so, that many folks complained of the ale being salt. At this time, at Saint Barnabas [11 June] the English conquered the land of Gascoigne, which the King of France had overrun, so that many persons were slain; by reason whereof, the King had proclamation made, on the Day of Saint Margaret [20 July], that no Frenchman should trade in England, or come into these parts; and it was further set forth in the said proclamation, that the Queen of England ought no longer to be called 'Queen.' At the same time, all the English who were in France were arrested on the same day, being a great multitude of people.

At this time the said Sir Edward, heir of England, and the Lady Isabele his mother, Queen of England, collected about them a great array of persons, and a great fleet, to come over to England with many men from (fn. 96) Henaud; and the King then gave orders for a great fleet to be assembled, for the purpose of preventing the coming of his son, and of the Queen and their company. But the mariners of England were not minded to prevent their coming, by reason of the great anger they entertained against Sir Hugh le Despencer; and took counsel among themselves to go into Normandy, where, upon their arrival, they plundered and burnt, to the great damage of the land, though many of our English people were there slain. And then, upon the Wednesday before the Feast of Saint Michael, which itself fell on a Monday, the Queen of England and her son, and the Mortimer, with a vast company of great lords and men-at-arms, arrived at (fn. 97) Herwiche and Orewelle in Essex, to destroy the enemies of the land.

20 Edward II. [A.D. 1326, 7]. Hamo de Chikewelle, Mayor. (fn. 98) Richard de Rothinge, Taverner, and Roger Chaunceler, Sheriffs.

At this time, at Saint Michael, Lady Isabele, the Queen, and Sir Edward, her son, sent their letters to the commons of London, to the effect that they should assist in destroying the enemies of the land; but received no answer in return, as to their wishes thereon, through fear of the King. Wherefore a letter was sent to London by the Queen and her son, and was fixed at daybreak upon the Cross in Chepe, and a copy of the letter on the windows elsewhere, upon Thursday, that is to say, the Feast of Saint (fn. 99) Dionis [9 October], to the effect that the commons should be aiding with all their power in destroying the enemies of the land, and Hugh le Despencer in especial, for the common profit of all the realm; and that the commons should send them information as to their wishes thereon. Wherefore the Commonalty proceeded to wait upon the Mayor and other great men of the City, at the (fn. 100) Friars Preachers in London, upon the Wednesday before the Feast of Saint Luke [18 October] which then fell on a Saturday; so much so, that the Mayor, crying mercy with clasped hands, went to the Guildhall and granted the commons their demand, and cry was accordingly made in Chepe, that the enemies to the King, and the Queen, and their son, should all quit the City upon such peril as might ensue. It happened also on the same day, at the hour of noon, that some persons had recourse to arms, and seized one John le Marchal, a burgess of the City, in his own house near Walbrok, who was held as an enemy to the City and a spy of Sir Hugh le Despencer; and he was brought into Chepe, and there despoiled and beheaded.

Just after this, upon the same day and at the same hour, there came one Sir Walter de (fn. 101) Stapulton, the then Bishop of (fn. 102) Exestre, and Treasurer to the King the year before, riding towards his hostel in Eldedeaneslane, to dine there; and just then he was proclaimed a traitor; upon hearing of which, he took to flight and rode towards Saint Paul's Church, where he was met, and instantly dragged from his horse and carried into Chepe; and there he was despoiled, and his head cut off. Also, one of his esquires, who was a vigorous man, William Walle by name, took to flight, but was seized at London Bridge, brought back into Chepe, and beheaded; while John de Padington, another, who was warden of the manor of the said Bishop, without Temple Bar, and was held in bad repute, was beheaded the same day in Chepe.

Upon the same day, towards Vespers, came the choir of Saint Paul's and took the headless body of the said Bishop, and carried it to Saint Paul's Church; where they were given to understand that he had died under sentence; upon which, the body was carried to the Church of Saint Clement without Temple Bar. But the people of that church put it out of the building; whereupon certain women and persons in the most abject poverty took the body, which would have been quite naked, had not one woman given a piece of old cloth to cover the middle, and buried it in a place apart without making a grave, and his esquire near him, all naked, and without any office of priest or clerk; and this spot is called (fn. 103) 'the Lawless Church.' The same night, there was a burgess robbed, John de Charltone by name. Also, on the Thursday following, the Manors of Fynesbury and of (fn. 104) Yvilane, which belonged to Master Robert Baldok, the King's Chancellor, were despoiled of the wines and of all things that were therein, and many other robberies were committed in the City.

Also, upon the same day, the commons of London were armed and assembled at the Lede Halle on Cornhille, and the Constable of the Tower there agreed with the commons that he would deliver unto them Sir John de Eltham, the King's son; as also, the children of Sir Roger Mortimer, Sir Moriz de Berklee, Sir Bartholomew de Burghasche, and the other persons who had been imprisoned in the Tower, by reason of the dissensions for which Sir Thomas de Lancaster and other great men had been put to death; those who were released being sworn unto the commons that they would live and die with them in that cause, and that they would maintain the well-being of the City and the peace thereof. Also, there were sworn and received into the protection of the City, the Dean of Saint Paul's, the Official of Canterbury, the Dean of the Arches, the Abbots of Westminster and of Stratford, and all the (fn. 105) religious, and all the justices and clerks, to do such watch and ward as unto them belonged to do.

At the same time, upon the Vigil of Saint Luke [18 October] the tablet which Sir Thomas de Lancastre had had painted and hung up in the Church of Saint Paul was replaced upon the pillar; which tablet had been removed from the pillar by the rigorous command of the King's writ. At the same time, the (fn. 106) Friars Preachers took to flight, because they feared that they should be maltreated and annihilated; seeing that the commonalty entertained great enmity against them by reason of their haughty carriage, they not behaving themselves as friars ought to behave. At this time, it was everywhere the common talk that if Stephen de (fn. 107) Segrave, Bishop of London, had been found, he would have been put to the sword with the others who were beheaded; as well as some Justiciars and others, who betook themselves elsewhere in concealment, so that they could not be found. At this time no pleas were pleaded in the Court of the Official of Caunterburi, neither in Consistory nor before Commissary, except as to matters touching matrimony or testament, for fear of producing dissensions thereby. At this time, a counterfeit letter was forged, and read in the Guildhall, in deceit of the people, to the effect that the King and Queen were reconciled, and that the enemies of the land were taken, a thing that was then wholly false. At this time, the King, in company with his (fn. 108) enemies, took ship from (fn. 109) Bristowe, so that for a time no one knew what had become of him; and on Monday, the Vigil of Saint Simon and Saint Jude [28 October], Sir Hugh le Despencer, the father, was taken at Bristowe, and there hanged, drawn, and beheaded, his head being sent to Winchester, because he was Earl of Winchester.

At this time, on Saturday the Vigil of Saint Edmund [16 November], the (fn. 110) Bishop of Winchester, who had come from the Queen, came to the Guildhall, and was there admitted to be one of the community, to live and die with them in the cause, and to maintain the franchise; and he brought letters from the Queen and from her son, to the effect that the commons should elect a Mayor from among themselves; for before that, there had been no Mayor, save only by the King's favour, seeing that the Mayoralty had been (fn. 111) forfeited at the Iter of the Justiciars. Therefore, they chose the same day one (fn. 112) Richard de Betoygne to be Mayor; who had then just come from the Queen, and who the same year suffered great persecution from the King and Sir Hugh Despencer, the son. At the same time, Sir Henry de Lancaster and other great men pursued the King into Wales, near (fn. 113) Snaudon, so closely, that the King forsook his enemies who had brought him away from his kingdom, and surrendered himself to his liege people; and there the enemies were taken, Sir Hugh Despencer, Sir Robert de Baldok, and others in their company, and were brought to Hereforde. Also, on the Monday following, the (fn. 114) Earl of Aroundel was beheaded at Hereforde; and, on the Wednesday after, one (fn. 115) Bernard d'Espaygne, a wine-merchant, was beheaded in London, at (fn. 116) Nomanneslond, for treason which he had committed. Also, on Monday the Vigil of Saint Katherine [25 November], Sir Hugh le Despencer, the son, was hanged, drawn, and beheaded, and his entrails burnt, at Hereforde, and one (fn. 117) Symon de Redingge, who had shown contempt for the Queen, was drawn and hanged. Also, one Master Robert de Baldok, who was the King's Chancellor, one of the greatest lords of the land, the (fn. 118) Bishop of Hereforde, and the Prior of Hereforde, were put in prison.

Also, on Thursday, after dinner, the day before the Vigil of Saint Nicholas [6 December], the head of Sir Hugh le Despencer, the son, was carried, with sound of trumpets, through Chepe, to London Bridge; and there the head was fixed. At this time too, the King was sent to the Castle of (fn. 119) Kelingeworthe, in the custody of Sir Henry, Earl of Lancaster. In this year, the Queen and her son came to London, with a fine company of great men of the land and of the burgesses of London, on the Sunday next before the Tiffany [6 January], to hold a Parliament there; so that, on Tuesday the Day of Saint Hilary [11 January], the (fn. 120) Archbishop of Caunterbury pronounced at Westminster, before all the Baronage of the land, many articles against the King. By reason whereof all the people agreed, and cried aloud, that he ought no longer to reign, but that they should make his son, the Duke of (fn. 121) Gyene, king. Wherefore, Bishops, Abbots, Priors, Earls, Barons, Knights, and burgesses, were sent to him at the Castle of (fn. 122) Kylingworthe, to hear his will thereupon, if he would agree to the crowning of his son, and abdicate the kingdom; and if not, the messengers were to withdraw their homage for all the land.

Whereupon, while the messengers were with the King, on the Sunday before the Feast of Fabian and Sebastian [20 January], proclamation was made in Chepe that all who owed service at the King's Coronation, or who claimed to hold any service, should be present at the Coronation of the new King, Sir Edward, Duke of Gyene, on Sunday the Vigil of Candlemas [2 February.] At the same time, upon Tuesday the Feast of Saints Fabian and Sebastian [20 January], Sir Walter Reynald, Archbishop of Caunterbury, preached at the Guildhall of London, and seven Bishops came with him; and there he made oath, with the other Bishops, in manner as the great men had before made oath. And because that the commons of London had hostile feelings against the Archbishop for many reasons, the said Archbishop agreed with the commons that he would give them fifty tuns of wine, and, in addition thereto, would make compensation the next day to every person who should wish by bill reasonably to make plaint against him.

And then was Sir Edward of Carnarvan sent away to the Castle of Berklee, from the Castle of Kelingworthe, through fear that he might have been carried off by the abetting and procurement of a certain Friar Preacher, Brother (fn. 123) Thomas Dunheued by name, and many others of that Order who conspired with him; wherefore, he was taken, as well as many others with him, and put into rigorous confinement at (fn. 124) Euerwik. And then Sir Edward of Carnarvan had two keepers appointed, Sir Thomas de Berkle and Sir John Mautravers, to keep him safely in perpetual imprisonment. But by the abetting of certain persons, and with the assent of his false keepers, he was traitorously and vilely murdered by night, like false and disloyal perjurers as they were.

The said Edward reigned here nineteen years and a half, and lies buried at Gloucester.


  • 1. Alderman of Coleman Street Ward.
  • 2. Alderman of Billingsgate Ward.
  • 3. 28 January; another feast so called was held on 22 February.
  • 4. The monks of Westminster considered this as a judgment in their favour, there having been some litigation between him and the Convent. He was pressed to death in the crowd.
  • 5. Alderman of Farringdon Ward, and four times Mayor of London. The date of his death seems not to be known, but he was living so late as A.D. 1363.
  • 6. Alderman of Cordwainer Street Ward.
  • 7. Fulk, or Folke.
  • 8. I.e. Edward I
  • 9. Meaning that of the City, probably.
  • 10. Through his wrongful imprisonment of William de Hakford, Mercer, he was deposed from his office of Mayor, and deprived of his Aldermanry.
  • 11. Alderman of Cordwainer Street Ward.
  • 12. He dying within the year, John de Grauntebrigge was chosen in his place.
  • 13. Member of the Pepperers' Guild, Alderman of Vintry Ward, seven times Mayor, and member for the City at the Parliament at York A.D. 1314.
  • 14. He dying within the year, his executor Adam Lotekyn, or Lucekyn, was elected in his place.
  • 15. He called the Earl of Lancaster, the 'old hog,' or the 'stage-player,' the Earl of Gloucester, the 'cuckold's bird,' the Earl of Pembroke, who was tall and pale, 'Joseph the Jew,' and the Earl of Warwick, 'the black dog of 'Ardenne.'
  • 16. Guy de Beauchamp, 9th Earl of Warwick.
  • 17. Constable of the Tower.
  • 18. A member of the Guild of Fishmongers; the celebrated William Walworth was his apprentice.
  • 19. Alderman of Bridge Ward.
  • 20. Or 'Garton,' Alderman of Coleman Street Ward, probably a member of the Guild of Pepperers or Spicers.
  • 21. A member of the Guild of Goldsmiths.
  • 22. Stirling.
  • 23. Gilbert de Clare, eighth Earl.
  • 24. Bothwell.
  • 25. Aymer de Valence, second Earl.
  • 26. A fine linen cloth, with which the consecrated elements are covered.
  • 27. Silk texture of an inferior quality.
  • 28. Who, with Saint Ursula, according to the legend, were martyred by the pagans at Cologne.
  • 29. Chancellor of Saint Paul's Cathedral. These relics were kept in the cross, to preserve the church from tempest.
  • 30. This is possibly the meaning of the word Rogier.
  • 31. Alderman of Dowgate Ward, and a member of the Guild of Drapers.
  • 32. Member of the Vintners' Guild.
  • 33. Member of the Mercers' Guild and Alderman of Bread Street Ward.
  • 34. Recorder and Coroner of the City, and Alderman of Cheap Ward.
  • 35. Alderman of Bread Street Ward.
  • 36. Properly, 'Le Balauncer,' meaning probably, 'a maker of Balances.'
  • 37. From MS. Cott. Faustina A. VIII. fol. 175, we learn that this storm, which was confined to London, destroyed several houses and mills, as well as bridges, and carried away both men and children.
  • 38. The Charter confirmatory, granted them by Edward II.
  • 39. Alderman of Bishopsgate Ward.
  • 40. Member of the Guild of Pepperers, six times Mayor of London, and Alderman of QueenHythe Ward.
  • 41. Member of the Drapers' Guild.
  • 42. Alderman of Tower Ward.
  • 43. I.e. the wearing of them in public.
  • 44. Properly, Hervey de Staunton; founder of Michael House at Cambridge, since embodied in Trinity College. He was an ecclesiastic, holding several benefices.
  • 45. The Church of Saint Mary-at-Hill.
  • 46. I.e. the Deposition of Saint Dunstan, 19 May.
  • 47. Or fortnight.
  • 48. Or bail to produce the body. The inconvenience of such bail will be appreciated from the fact that 44 years had elapsed since the preceding Iter for the City of London.
  • 49. See page 234 ante.
  • 50. Vessels of war.
  • 51. Alderman of Bassishaw Ward.
  • 52. In Kent. The occasion of this siege was, an affront given to Queen Isabella by refusing her a night's lodging while on her way from Canterbury. The citizens of London materially aided the King.
  • 53. Or Steward.
  • 54. Bartholomew Lord Burghersh, who afterwards joined Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, in his opposition to the Despensers.
  • 55. Possibly, Sir Thomas Colpeper, the governor of the castle, is meant. His death is mentioned in a subsequent page.
  • 56. Meaning, a Charter binding the citizens to serve the king in his future wars; from which they considered themselves exempt, except with their own freewill.
  • 57. Worcester.
  • 58. More properly, le Ewer, the 'Waterbearer.' For a mention of him, see the printed Liber Custumarum, p. 684.
  • 59. Boroughbridge, in Yorkshire.
  • 60. Or Harcla, created Earl of Carlisle in 1322.
  • 61. Pontefract.
  • 62. This date is contradicted by that which follows, 3rd April.
  • 63. York.
  • 64. Canterbury.
  • 65. Or Pascha Floridum, Palm Sunday; so called from the Hymn 'Occurrunt turbœ cum 'floribus et palmis,' sung on this day.
  • 66. Bristol.
  • 67. Cardiff.
  • 68. Colchester.
  • 69. York.
  • 70. Carlisle.
  • 71. Country places.
  • 72. Of the reign of Edward II.
  • 73. The Feast of Saint Peter Ad Vincula, Saint Peter's Chains, or Saint Peter in Prison.
  • 74. Sir Stephen de Segrave.
  • 75. Hainault.
  • 76. I.e. the same year of the King's reign.
  • 77. Adam de Orleton, Bishop of Hereford.
  • 78. A player on the 'crowd,' (Welsh crwth) partaking of the nature of the harp and the fiddle.
  • 79. Or daily allowance of the necessaries of life.
  • 80. Member of the Mercers' Guild, and Alderman of Cordwainers' Street Ward.
  • 81. The Invention, or Discovery, of the Cross by the Empress Helena in 307 or 326; celebrated on the 3rd of May.
  • 82. David de Strabolgie, 11th Earl of Athol, High Constable of England.
  • 83. Or Grey Friars, in the vicinity of Newgate.
  • 84. As having gained the privilege of sanctuary.
  • 85. Alderman of Walbrook Ward.
  • 86. He was murdered in a valley near Reresby, by Eustace de Folville and his two brothers.
  • 87. Battlements and embrasures.
  • 88. Bastions and similar defences.
  • 89. Engines for battering walls.
  • 90. Engines for throwing missiles.
  • 91. Bishop of London in the 7th century. The body was removed by night to the chapel of the Blessed Virgin, to avoid too great a confluence of the people.
  • 92. Otherwise, Ayreminne, Heyremin, or Armine. He was Chancellor of England, and Lord Treasurer, but gave active assistance to Queen Isabella against her husband.
  • 93. Royston, in Hertfordshire.
  • 94. Wandsworth, in Surrey.
  • 95. This fire took place on St. Barnabas' Day (11 June), through the negligence of the plumber, who was mending the leads.
  • 96. Hainault.
  • 97. Harwich.
  • 98. According to Stowe, he rebuilt the Church of St. James, Garlick-Hythe, where he was buried.
  • 99. Or 'Denis.'
  • 100. Or Black Friars.
  • 101. Stapledon or Stapleton. According to Walsingham, the reason for this, was the fact that the King by his advice had caused the justices itinerant to hold their Eyre in London, so that there was the less chance of criminals escaping punishment. According to one account, his body was at first buried in a heap of sand at the back of the Bishop's house, without Temple Bar; but the Queen and her son, a few months after, had it removed to Exeter Cathedral.
  • 102. Exeter.
  • 103. Le Laweles Chirche.
  • 104. Ivy Lane.
  • 105. I. e. members of the religious Orders.
  • 106. Or Black Friars; who were warm supporters of Edward II.
  • 107. A mistake for 'Stephen de Gravesend.' Gilbert de Segrave, Bishop of London, died in 1316.
  • 108. Meaning, the younger Despenser and Robert Baldock.
  • 109. Bristol.
  • 110. John de Stratford.
  • 111. See page 253 ante.
  • 112. Member of the Goldsmiths' Guild, and Member for the City in 1327, 8.
  • 113. Snowdon.
  • 114. Edmund Fitz-Alan, 8th Earl of Arundel. He was connected with the Despencers, and had promoted the execution of the Earl of Lancaster, but the chief reason for his own execution, according to Walsingham, was a desire on part of Roger Mortimer, to obtain his estate at Clun, in Shropshire.
  • 115. Carte calls him 'Antony.' He was engaged in collecting the duty of two shillings per tun on wines imported by foreign merchants.
  • 116. No Man's Land, was a piece of ground (about three acres) situate without the walls, on the North of the City, between the lands of the Abbot of Westminster and the Prior of St. John of Jerusalem.
  • 117. A member of the King's household, who had spoken too freely of the Queen's conduct.
  • 118. This is evidently an error, as Adam de Orleton, Bishop of Hereford, was one of the King's most active enemies.
  • 119. Kenilworth.
  • 120. Walter Reynolds, Lord Chancellor and Lord Treasurer.
  • 121. Guyenne.
  • 122. Kenilworth.
  • 123. Thomas Dunhead. He had been commissioned to the Pope by Edward, to solicit a divorce from Isabel, and he now, according to some accounts, raised a body of men in the King's service. Being made prisoner, he was confined in Pontefract Castle, and was killed in an attempt to make his escape.
  • 124. York.