Chronicles of the Mayors and Sheriffs: 1259-60

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: 1259-60', in Chronicles of the Mayors and Sheriffs of London 1188-1274, (London, 1863) pp. 44-48. British History Online [accessed 12 April 2024]


A.D. 1259. Sheriffs.: Adam Bruning,; Henry de Coventre,

This year, within the quinzaine of Saint Michael there was a very great wind, and a most dreadful tempest both by land and sea, so that numberless vessels, going forth from the port of (fn. 1) Gernemue to fish, were lost, together with their men.

In the same year, on the Friday before the Feast of Simon and Jude [28 October], there was held a great and long Parliament; and his lordship the King, being in the Great Hall at Westminster, where many Earls and Barons, and a countless multitude of people, had met, caused the Composition to be openly and distinctly read, that had been made by the Barons, as noticed in the (fn. 2) other book, as to amending the usages and laws of the realm. The Archbishop of Canterbury, and many other Bishops, arrayed in pontificals, pronounced sentence of excommunication against all those who should make any attempt upon the said Composition. And then, his lordship the King took leave to cross over into France, for the purpose of making peace with the King of France; and delivered his kingdom into the safe keeping of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of Worcester, [and] the Lords Roger Bigot, Hugh Bigot, and Philip Basset.

In this year William Fitz-Richard was made Mayor.

In the same year, on the day before the Feast of Saint Leonard [6 November], his lordship the King came to the Cross of Saint Paul's, a countless multitude of the City being there assembled in Folkmote, and took leave of the people to cross over, just as he had done before at Westminster; and promised them that he would preserve all their liberties unimpaired, and, for the amendment of the City, granted them certain new statutes which he commanded to be inviolably observed; to the effect, that in future it should not be necessary to have a pleader in any plea moved in the City, either in the Hustings or in any Courts in the City, save only, in pleas pertaining to the crown, or else pleas of land or of distresses unjustly taken. But every one was to set forth his complaint with his own lips, and the other side in like manner, without hindrance, so that the Court, in its prudence, being certified as to the truth of the matter, might render equal and righteous judgment unto the parties. Also, that if with any pleader there should be an agreement made for him to have part of the tenement for which he was pleading, in respect of his pay, and he should be convicted thereof, he should lose such share, and be suspended from his calling. The same too was to be done as to the others, who, upon being convicted of such an. offence, were to lose, their own portion, acquired, and be heavily punished as well.

On the same day, John Maunsel said, on behalf of his lordship the King, that he had been certified that Arnulf Fitz-Thedmar, of whom mention has been made above, had committed no offence, and had been unjustly indicted; wherefore he recalled him to his peace and favour, and commanded that he should be reinstated in his [former] position.

This year, upon the morrow of the Feast of Saint Leonard [6 November] his lordship the King took his departure from London for the seacoast; and on the Monday following, in the Hustings, the said Arnulf was replaced in seisin of his Ward, from which he had before been deposed.

Afterwards, on the Feast of Saint Brice [13 November], which at, that time fell on a Friday, his lordship the King crossed over; having first recalled to his grace and favour Nicholas Fitz-Joce, John le Minur, and Matthew Bukerel, of whom mention has been made above. Ralph Hardel, Nicholas Bat, and John Tulesan, were dead.

This year, just before Our Lord's Nativity, the seal of his lordship the King was changed, he being still beyond sea; the (fn. 3) superscription being to the following effect—"Henricus Dei Gratia Rex Anglie, "Dominus Hibernie et Dux Aquitannie"—"Henry by the Grace of God "King of England, Lord of Ireland, and Duke of Acquitaine."

At this time also, a lasting peace was made between him and the King of France, in form under-written ; that is to say, he quitted claim unto the King of France as to all right and title which he had to Normandy, Poitou, and Anjou, retaining unto himself only Gascoigne and certain other parts of Acquitaine, for which he did homage to the King of France. At the same time, the King of England gave his daughter Beatrice in marriage to the son of the Earl of Bretagne.

This year, on the morrow of Saint Valentine [14 February], which then fell on a Sunday, Henry de Wengham was consecrated Bishop of London by Boniface Archbishop of Canterbury, in the Church of (fn. 4) Saint Mary of Suwerk.

In the same year, when it had been arranged by Sir Edward, the King's son, and the Earl of Gloucester, who were then at variance, that they should hold a general Parliament at West minster, three weeks after Easter Day, and it was also proposed that they, and many other Earls, and Barons, and knights, should, with their horses and arms, take up their abode within the City ; seeing that very great loss and peril might have accrued therefrom to the citizens and to the City, Sir Richard, King of the Romans, came to Westminster in Easter week, and summoning the Mayor and certain discreet men of the City in presence of himself and the Chief Justiciar, and Sir Philip Basset, held conference with them as to avoiding this peril. Wherefore, it was then provided, that neither Sir Edward, nor the said Earl, nor any one else, as to whom any suspicion might be entertained, should be harboured within the walls of the City; which was accordingly done. It was also provided, that all persons of fifteen years and upwards, each to the best of his ability, should be well provided with arms; and that all the City Gates should be closed at night and watched by armed men, and should not be opened in the daytime; with the exception of Bridge Gate, Ludgate, and (fn. 5) Alegate, which also were to be well fortified with armed men. Also, that the King before-mentioned, the Justiciars aforesaid, and Philip, as well as those whom they might think proper to bring with them, and against whom no suspicion existed, might be harboured within the City, and, together with the citizens, protect the City if necessary.

Afterwards, on the second day before the Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist [25 April] his lordship the King, coming from the parts beyond sea, landed at Dover; and on the fifth day after the said Feast, came to London and took up his abode in the hostel of the Bishop of London, causing the Earl of Gloucester, and many others, at his will, to be harboured within the City, the Gates in the meantime being well fortified with armed men, by day and night. Sir Edward however and the Earl of Leicester, and their followers, were lodged without the City, both (fn. 6) at the Hospital of Jerusalem, and in all the other houses which lay between the City and Westminster. The King of Almaine however took up his abode in his own house at Westminster, as it was not necessary for him to be in the City, while his lordship the King was making stay there. Afterwards, the King having made a stay in the City of fifteen days and more, returned from thence to Westminster on the 17th of the Calends of June [16 May], and a day was named for holding another Parliament, the (fn. 7) quinzaine of Saint John the Baptist [24 June].

After this, the King of Almaine took his departure from London for the sea-coast, on the Feast of Saint Botolph [17 June], that is to say; and, on the third day after the said Feast, put to sea at Dover.

In the said Parliament, as varying and different opinions existed between his lordship the King and the Barons of England, a day was named for holding a Parliament, the Feast of Saint Edward [5 January] namely.


  • 1. Yarmouth in Norfolk.
  • 2. What this alludes to, it seems impossible to say. Perhaps "another leaf" is the meaning.
  • 3. "As to this new Seal of the King, the prophecy was then fulfilled which says 'By 'reason of a wondrous change, the sword shall 'be severed from the sceptre,' a thing that was then fulfilled. For upon his old Seal the King held the sword and the sceptre; whereas, upon the new one, the sceptre without the sword."—Marginal Note.
  • 4. St. Mary Overy in Southwark.
  • 5. Aldgate.
  • 6. In Clerkenwell.
  • 7. I. e. a fortnight after.