Chronicles of the Mayors and Sheriffs of London 1188-1274. Originally published by Trübner, London, 1863.
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A. D. 1260. Sheriffs.: Richard Pikard,; John de Norhamton,
This year, on the Feast of the Translation of Saint Edward [13 October], John, son of the Earl of Bretagne, who had married the daughter of his lordship the King, was made a knight, as also many other nobles, at Westminster, amid the greatest hilarity and rejoicing.
In the same year, on the Monday before the Feast of Simon and Jude [28 October], Sir Hugh le Despenser was made Justiciar of England; and in the same year William Fitz-Richard was again made Mayor.
Afterwards, on the morrow of Simon and Jude, the King of Almaine, returning from the parts beyond sea, came to London; and on the following day, the King of Scotland came, with his Queen; who, upon her lord returning home, remained with her mother the Queen of England, until the time of her delivery.
In this year, on the Monday after the Feast of Saint Edmund the King [20 November], it was provided in full Hustings, that, because such pleas as were moved by many kinds of Writs of his lordship the King, could not in one day, between morning and (fn. 1) Vespers, or even (fn. 2) Complines, be, all of them, brought to a conclusion; from that day forward, all pleas moved by Writ of Dower (fn. 3)Unde nihil habet, and all pleas of Customs and Services, should be heard on the same day on which the Common Pleas are heard.
The same year, after the Purification of the Blessed Mary [2 February] the King came to London, and afterwards, on the Sunday before the Feast of Saint Valentine [14 February], had the Folkmote sum- moned at Saint Paul's Cross; whither he himself came, and the King of Alrnaine, the Archbishop of Canterbury, John Maunsel, and many others. The King also commanded that all persons of the age of twelve years and upwards should make oath before their Alderman, in every Ward, that they would be faithful unto him, so long as he should live, and, after his death, to his heir; which was accordingly done. Then all the Gates of the City were shut, night and day, by the King's command, the Bridge Gate, and the Gates of Ludgate and Alegate, excepted, which were open by day, and well fortified with armed men.
Be it remembered, that in an affray that took place this year, at the Fair of (fn. 4) Norhamptone, between the Londoners and the men of Norhamptone, certain persons of Norhamptone were wounded, and one of them afterwards died: but whether he died from the injury so inflicted or by a natural death, is not known. The Bailiffs however of that town, who are always envious of the Londoners, seized four men of London, imputing the death to them, and, after imprisoning them, seized all their goods, as well as those of the other Londoners. Upon hearing this, the Mayor and citizens, seeing that no Londoner is bound to plead without the walls of the City, except in pleas as to tenures without, obtained royal letters directing them to deliver up such persons to the Mayor or to his messenger bearing such letters, that they might take their trial before the King, as they ought to do, according to the laws of the City; the said Bailiffs, however, would not let them go, either for that writ or for another, which the Mayor obtained on a second request. But, in contravention of the precepts of his lordship the King and of the liberties of London, they kept them still more closely and more cruelly confined; and so they remained there until after the Purification of the Blessed Mary [2 February]; at which time the King came to London and sojourned at the Tower.
On the morrow of his arrival, the Mayor and citizens went to his lordship the King, and obtained from him a third writ for delivery of the prisoners aforesaid, as also, another writ, directed to the Sheriff of the County of Northamptone, to the effect that if the Bailiffs should be unwilling to release them, he should enter their liberties and deliver them up to the bearer of the letters of his lordship the King, to take them before his said lordship the King, there to do what, in accordance with the laws of the City, they ought to do. These letters being obtained, behold ! news came that the aforesaid prisoners were at (fn. 5) Cherringe near Westminster, whither the Mayor and Bailiffs of Norehamptone had brought them. Upon hearing this, the Mayor of London sent to them certain citizens, carrying the writ before-mentioned: which writ being read and understood, they still would not agree to deliver the prisoners to the said messengers. Upon this therefore, the Mayor of London, waiting upon the King with a countless multitude of people, shewed unto him, making grievous complaint, how that the said Bailiffs, in despite of his royal majesty, and to the very great disgrace of his City of London, for all his third writ, would do nothing. The King, moved to anger, upon this sent Peter de Nevile, a certain marshal of his household, to Cherringe ; who immediately brought the prisoners before the King, and they were delivered to the Mayor.
The citizens however forthwith made plaint against the people of Norhamptone, of the trespass that had been committed against them, and their contempt of the Writs of his lordship the King; to which the others made answer. As to this plaint and answer, the King named for them the next day as a day for hearing judgment; the giving and receiving of which judgment was however, by collusion, respited from day to day for more than five weeks; at the end of which, on the third day before the Feast of the Annunciation of Our Lady, the Mayor and citizens came to the Tower, as also the Bailiffs of Norhamptone, and appeared before the King in his Chamber there ; there being also present, the Chief Justiciar, Philip Basset, John Maunsel, Robert Walerand, and others of the Council of his lordship the King. The citizens hereupon demanded their judgment that had been so respited, as between them and the people of Norhamtone, in reference to their plaint and the answer made thereto. The people of Norhamtone however said that they never made any answer to them, but only to his lordship the King, seeing that they were not bound to plead without the walls of their own borough; and made profert of a Charter of his lordship the King to that effect, which had been made in the one-and-fortieth year of the King now reigning. The citizens how ever said that that Charter ought not to avail them, seeing that they were not then in the enjoyment of many of the articles contained therein, and more especially, because they had made answer in all the Fairs of England. For that they had made answer at the Fairs of (fn. 6) Saint Ives, (fn. 7) Saint Botolph's, (fn. 8) Lenne, and (fn. 9) Stanford; and even here they had departed from their Charter, by making answer to the plaint of the citizens. After this, the record of the Justiciar's Roll was read, in which was specified the answer that had been made-by them unto his lordship the King as to contempt of his writs, the same being openly and distinctly enrolled. But as to the plaint of the citizens and the answer made by the burgesses thereto, little or nothing was entered therein. The citizens however declared that they had made plaint against them, to the effect that they had wrongfully detained their own freemen, in contravention of the franchises of London, after receiving the writs of his lordship the King, and did still detain the chattels of the persons before-named; and further, made plaint against them as to other trespasses, whereby they had been injured and had received damage to the value of ten pounds. To which the others made answer, that in part they acknowledged and in part denied the same, and as to the same they placed themselves upon the record of the Bishops and Barons, who were present on that day, and demanded judgment thereon. [The citizens] also demanded judgment as to the new Charter of the burgesses, which ought to be of no validity, [they said], as against the Charters of the citizens, of which they made profert; namely, the Charter of King Henry the Second, of King Richard, of King John, and that of his lordship the King now reigning, and that they were then in enjoyment of all the liberties in the aforesaid Charters contained.
At length, after much altercation had taken place between them, conference and counsel was held thereon by his Barons before his lordship the King; and because the Bishops and others who had been present on the day of the plea being heard, were not then present, judgment was respited until five weeks after Easter.
About the same time, during Lent, Philip de Boklaunde, a marshal of his lordship the King, who had always claimed that the citizens of London ought to make answer before the King's (fn. 10) Seneschal, whensoever any one of the King's household might make complaint against them, impleaded a certain merchant, in contravention of his liberties, who had been born in the parts beyond sea. This plea was brought into the City before the Sheriffs of London, and there determined.
In this year, the Bishop Elect of Winchester, who was consecrated at Rome, and of whom mention has been made (fn. 11) above, died about the Feast of Our Lord's Nativity, while coming to England with letters from the Pope; and, by assent of the Barons, William de Valence, his brother, returned to England about Easter.
After this, when the five weeks after Easter had expired, judgment in the aforesaid matter between the Londoners and the men of Norhamtone, was again respited until the (fn. 12) quinzaine after the Feast of Saint John [24 June].
Be it remembered, that at the Easter aforesaid, his lordship the King, while at Winchester, made Philip Basset his Chief Justiciar, without the assent of the Barons, who refused to admit him to such office; and so, for this reason and for other causes, there arose a dissension between his lordship the King and the said Barons, and that too without any manifest reason for the same.