Chronicles of the Mayors and Sheriffs: 1258-9

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

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'Chronicles of the Mayors and Sheriffs: 1258-9', in Chronicles of the Mayors and Sheriffs of London 1188-1274, (London, 1863) pp. 42-44. British History Online [accessed 15 April 2024]


A.D. 1258. Sheriffs.: John Addrien, Draper,; Robert de (fn. 1) Corenhelle, again,

This year, John de Gizors was chosen Mayor, and that too, even in his absence. This year, after a Parliament held by the Barons at Westminster, Hugh Bygot, the Justiciar, went to Saint Saviour's, and, having Roger de Turkelby for his associate, held there all the Pleas which pertain unto the Justiciars Itinerant in the County of (fn. 2) Suraye; and not only did he there amerce several (fn. 3) bailiffs and others who had been convicted of offences committed against those subject to them, but he caused them to be imprisoned, clerks as well as laymen. And yet he ransomed one person for twenty marks, and certain others for forty marks, and more; while several others, for but trifling reasons, he immoderately aggrieved.

In these pleas the men of (fn. 4) Suwerc and others of the County of Suraye made complaint against the Sheriffs and citizens of London, that they unjustly took custom without the Stone Gate on the Bridge, seeing that they ought to possess no such rights beyond the Drawbridge Gate. The citizens, coming with their Sheriffs who had been summoned by the Justiciars, appeared at Saint Saviour's before the Justiciars, and, bringing with them their Charters, said that they were not bound to plead there, nor would they plead without the walls of the City; but without formal plea, they were willing to acknowledge that it was quite lawful for the Sheriffs of London to take custom without the gate aforesaid, and that too, even as far as the (fn. 5) staples placed there, seeing that the whole water of Thames pertains unto the City, and always did pertain thereto; and that too, sea-ward as far as the (fn. 6) New Wear. At length, after much altercation had taken place between the Justiciars and the citizens, the Justiciars caused inquisition to be made, on the oath of twelve knights of Sureye—and this, although the citizens had not put themselves on such inquisition—whether the Sheriffs of London had taken any custom beyond their limits. Who said, upon oath, that the Sheriffs aforesaid might rightfully take custom there, for that as far the staples before-mentioned, the whole pertains unto the City, and no one has any right upon the Thames, as far as the New Wear, save and except the citizens of London.

After this, the Justiciar before-mentioned, having as his associate Roger before-named, came to the Guildhall of London, and there held Pleas, from day to day, as to all those who wished to make plaint; and at once, without either making reasonable summons or admitting any (fn. 7) essoin, determined the same, observing no due procedure of justice; and that too against the laws of the City, as also against the laws and customs of every freeman of the English realm. This however the citizens persistently challenged, saying that no one except the Sheriffs of London ought to hold pleadings, in the City as to trespasses there committed; but to no purpose. Still however, the citizens had judgment done upon all persons abiding in the City, who had been convicted, or had been cast in making a false charge. At the same time also, the Justiciar summoned before himself and before the Earl of Gloucester all the bakers of the City who could be found, together with their loaves; and so, by some few citizens summoned before them, judgment was given in reference to their bread; those whose bread did not weigh according to the assay of the City, not being placed in the pillory, as they used to be, but, at the will of the Justiciar and Earl aforesaid, exalted in the (fn. 8) tumbrel, against the ancient usage of the City and of all the realm.

This year, on the Octaves of the Innocents [28 December] when the assize of wine and ale was proclaimed in the City, the City crier proclaimed the assize as well without the Stone Gate situate on London Bridge as elsewhere in the suburbs of the City.

In this year, Sir Richard, King of Almaine, brother of his lordship the King, together with his Queen and children, passing through the midst of France, crossed over and landed at Dover, and on the Vigil of the Purification of the Blessed Mary [2 February] came to London, the City being excellently hung and arrayed.

This year, on the Monday before the Feast of Saint Gregory [12 March], provision was made among the judgments at Guildhall, that, when a person brings the testament of any one deceased, in order to prove the same in the Hustings, even though any person may claim a right in a tenement by such testament devised, notwithstanding such claim, probate shall immediately be taken thereof, the right however of every one being reserved. For that such probate ratifies nothing, save only the fact that it is the last will of the deceased. Consequently, notwithstanding such probate, every one who has a right in the tenement devised by such testament, through any other person than the testator, may demand the same, by Writ of Right, or Writ in the nature of a Writ of Entry, or in the nature of Writ of Mort d'Ancestor other than the testator, or by Plaint of Intrusion; provided always however, that such plaints as are made without writ, be made within the term by the usual customs of the City provided.

This year, a provision and statute was made, that all Pleas of debt as to the citizens of London should be held before the Sheriffs only. In the same year, before Easter, was begun the (fn. 9) New Work at the Church of Saint Paul; also, Fulk Basset, Bishop of London, died just before Pentecost.


  • 1. Cornhill.
  • 2. Surrey.
  • 3. Folio 77 is omitted in the numeration.
  • 4. Southwark.
  • 5. Probably for mooring vessels.
  • 6. In the close vicinity probably of the present Yantlet Creek; which runs from the Thames to the Medway.
  • 7. See page 10 ante.
  • 8. It seems somewhat doubtful whether this means a high cart only, or a cucking-stool.
  • 9. The Church of St. Faith in St. Paul's, and the cross aisles. The years 1251 and 1256 have also been assigned to the commencement the "New Work."