Memorials of London and London Life in the 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries. Originally published by Longmans, Green, London, 1868.
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Fine inflicted upon Robert le Bret, Goldsmith; and reconciliation of him with John de Castelacre.
3 Edward III. A.D. 1329. Letter-Book E. fol. cxcii. (Latin.)
On Saturday next after the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary [2 February], in the 3rd year of the reign of King Edward, after the Conquest the Third, there being assembled in the Chamber of the Guildhall John Grantham, the Mayor, Nicholas de Farndone, and other Aldermen, and the Chamberlain; in their presence, Robert le Bret, goldsmith, made pledge unto the Commonalty in ten tuns of wine, by favour of the Mayor, for that he, the same Robert, had privily returned from the fellowship of his companions, who had been sent as messengers from the City to the King at Wyndesore: and it was accorded unto him that he should pay to the Chamberlain, to the use of the Commonalty, one tun of wine for his offence aforesaid.
And there also, peace was made as to a certain dissension that had taken place between the said Robert le Bret and John de Castelacre, on the following terms;—that each should forgive the other all the offence etc.; and whichever of them should happen from thenceforth to offend against the other, and the same should be clearly proved against him, such person should pay two tuns of wine, to the use of the Commonalty, here in the Chamber. And this each of them did promise and agree to do.
Unlawful Nets condemned to be burnt.
3 Edward III. A.D. 1329. Letter-Book E. fol. cxciv. (Latin.)
Be it remembered, that on the Wednesday next before the Feast of Easter, that is to say, on the Feast of St. Alphage [19 April], in the 3rd year of the reign of King Edward the Third, there came Estmar Coker and John Wychard, citizens of London, together with Ralph Bourghard, serjeant of the Chamber of Guildhall, and brought before the Mayor and Aldermen, at the Guildhall, John Jacob of Erhitthe, (fn. 1) Edmund Dode of Reynham, Thomas Wychard of Erhitthe, William Nicce of Stokflete, Robert Scot of Erhitthe, John Noreys of Erhitthe, Alan le Spenser of Reynham, and Alexander of Dagenham, fishermen; for that they had been found fishing in the water of Thames with twelve nets which are known as "tromekeresnet," and are a kind of kidel (fn. 2) : the meshes of which nets,—which are called "muscles, (fn. 3) "—ought to be one inch and a half in size, whereas they were hardly half an inch; and with which nets the said fishermen caught every fish, and every little fish even, that entered such nets. By reason whereof, the small fish, which are called "fry," were unable to escape or get out of the said nets; to the great damage of all the people of the city, and also, of others unto the same city resorting.
And the said John Jacob and others, being questioned as to this, did not deny it, nor could they deny that they had done as before stated, to the loss etc. It was therefore ordered by the Mayor and Aldermen that the said nets should be burnt at the Cross in Chepe; and the said fishermen committed to prison, until they should have made fine, etc. And they were accordingly delivered to the Sheriff in form aforesaid, and taken to Neugate.
Afterwards, on the Saturday next after the Invention of the Holy Cross [3 May], they were brought to the Guildhall, before the Mayor and Aldermen, from the prison aforesaid; and by assent of such Mayor and Aldermen, by especial favour and for charity's sake, seeing that they were but poor men, the fines were remitted to them for the present; on the understanding that they should behave themselves well for the future, and no longer presume to fish with such nets.
Proclamation made in the City, on the King's departure for France.
3 Edward III. A.D. 1329. Letter-Book E. fol. cxciv. (Latin and Norman French.)
(fn. 4) This proclamation was ordered by the Mayor and Aldermen, on Saturday the morrow of St. Dunstan [19 May], in the 3rd year of the reign of King Edward the Third; and on the Sunday following throughout the City proclaimed; our said Lord the King being about to cross over to the parts of France on the Friday next ensuing, there to do his homage; and to the end that, while the King was there, his peace might be the more strictly observed.—
(fn. 5) "We do command, on behalf of our Lord the King, that his peace shall be preserved and kept between both denizens and strangers, throughout all the franchise of this city.
"Also,—that no person, native or stranger, shall go armed in the same city, or shall carry arms by night or by day, on pain of imprisonment, and of losing his arms; save only, the serjeants at-arms of our Lord the King, and of my Lady the Queen, and the vadlets of the Earls and Barons; that is to say, for every Earl or Baron one vadlet, carrying the sword of his lord in his presence; and save also, the officers of the City, and those who shall be summoned unto them, for keeping and maintaining the peace of the City.
"We do also forbid, on behalf of our said Lord the King, that any one shall be so daring, on pain of imprisonment, as to go wandering about the City, after the hour of curfew rung out at St. Martin's le Grand; unless it be some man of the City of good repute, or his servant; and that, for reasonable cause, and with light.
"And that no one shall hold covin or congregation, to make persons pay fine, by imputing to them that they have committed against them divers grievances or offences: but let those who feel themselves aggrieved, shew their grievances unto the officers of the City, and they will do them speedy right, according as the law demands. And that no one of the City, of whatsoever condition he be, shall go out of this city, to maintain parties, such as taking seisins, or holding days of love (fn. 6), or making other congregations, within the City or without, in disturbance of the peace of our Lord the King, or in affray of the people, and to the scandal of the City. And if any person, of whatsoever condition or estate he be, shall from henceforth be found guilty thereof, let him be taken and put in the Prison of Neugate; and there let him remain for a year and a day, without being replevied; and if he be free of the City, let him for ever lose his freedom.
"And whereas misdoers, going about by night, have their resort more in taverns than elsewhere, and there seek refuge, and watch their time for misdoing; we do forbid that any taverner or brewer keep the door (fn. 7) of his tavern open after the hour of curfew aforesaid, on the pain as to the same ordained; that is to say, the first time, on pain of being amerced in the sum of 40d.; the second time, half a mark; the third time, 10s.; the fourth time, 20s.; and the fifth time, let him forswear the trade for ever.
We do also forbid that any person, denizen or foreign, be so bold as to menace, malign, or slander, the great men of the land, or any other person, or to carry lies or bad news among the people, by reason whereof damage may arise in the City; but all good folks are safely and surely to come to the City, and there remain, without harm or grievance, according as from of old they used to do.
"And that every hosteler and herbergeour in the City shall cause his guests to be warned as to the points of this cry; and if any stranger shall from henceforth be found in the City armed or bearing arms, for default of such warning, his host shall have the punishment in his stead. And that no host shall harbour any man beyond a day and a night, if he will not be answerable for him, if he should do aught against the peace.
"We do also forbid that any person shall be received in the City, if he be not of good repute, and in frank-pledge. (fn. 8)
"Also, we do strictly command, on behalf of our Lord the King, that if there shall be any who will not submit to justice in maintenance of the King's peace, all persons shall be ready and prepared to come in aid of the officers of the City, for arresting the same, and bringing them to justice, according as the law demands."
Proceedings against Hugh de Hecham, lime-burner, for extortion and intimidation.
3 Edward III. A.D. 1329. Letter-Book E. fol. cxcvii. (Latin and Norman French.)
(fn. 9) Be it remembered, that on Monday the morrow of the Holy Trinity, in the 3rd year of King Edward, after the Conquest the Third, a certain petition was delivered to John de Grantham, Mayor of the City of London, in these words.—
(fn. 10) "Shew unto you the good folks of the Ward of Tower, as to the great grievances which Hugh de Hecham, lymbrennere, (fn. 11) has committed; in that he has caused all those who are of his trade to make oath, that whereas people used heretofore to have one sack of lime for one penny, or at the rate of 3s. 6d. per hundred, at the time when sea-coal was selling at 40d. the quarter; now one is not to have of the said Hugh any sack of lime for less than 1½d. or 2d., or else at the rate of 6s. or 5s. the hundred; either from him or from any other of the trade, by reason of his great conspiracy; seeing that at present the value of seacoal for this year is no more than 16d. (fn. 12)
"And further,—the said Hugh de Hecham has forbidden and hindered by his great menaces the workers of lime of Grenehithe, who heretofore used to bring lime from that place to London to sell, to such a degree that they dare not come with their wares, as heretofore they used to do. And if any one of them does come to London with lime, as a forestaller he embraces such person, and so makes his own sale, as before stated, to the great damage of the City. As to the which grievances pray the good folks aforesaid,—as in their Wardmotes they have set them forth,—that remedy be had."
(fn. 13) In virtue of which petition, precept was given to Simon Fraunceys, the Sheriff, to summon the same Hugh de Hecham, so as to have him here on the Monday following, to make answer as to the matters aforesaid. Upon which day the Sheriff made answer, that the said Hugh was summoned to be here on that day, but that he did not then appear. Therefore precept was given to the Sheriffs to distrain the same Hugh de Hecham by all his goods and chattels, so that he be not allowed to lay hands thereon; and to have his body before the said Mayor and Aldermen here on the Thursday next before the Feast of St. Barnabas the Apostle [II June], etc. Upon which day the said Sheriffs made answer, that the said Hugh de Hecham had been mainprised by Walter Cobbe, Ralph de Stokes, John le Hottere, and John de Romeneye. And as upon the said day the said Hugh did not appear, therefore his mainpernors were amerced, (fn. 14) and the said Hugh was to be further distrained to be here on the Monday next ensuing. Upon which day the Sheriffs made answer, that the said Hugh had not been found, nor had he anything within the liberties of the City by which he might be distrained. Therefore precept was given to the same Sheriffs to take the same Hugh etc., and keep him in safe custody, so as to have his body here, before the same Mayor and Aldermen, on the Thursday next after the Feast of St. Barnabas the Apostle.
Upon which day the said Hugh was taken, and being questioned as to the articles in the said petition contained, before the said Mayor, Henry de Combemartyn, Sheriff, Gregory de Nortone, Benedict de Fulham, Simon de Swanlond, Thomas de Leyre, John de Caustone, and John Poyntel, Aldermen; seeing that he, the said Hugh de Hecham, did not gainsay, nor could gainsay, that he was guilty as to the articles in the above petition contained, but acknowledged that he had done as was imputed to him, and put himself upon the favour of the Mayor and citizens etc., it was therefore awarded that the said Hugh should go to prison.
Afterwards, on Wednesday the Eve of the Apostles Peter and Paul [29 June], in the year aforesaid, certain of the Aldermen being called together in the Guildhall of London, before Nicholas de Farndone, deputy of the Mayor aforesaid, Simon Fraunceys, the Sheriff, and a great number of the commonalty there assembled, by common counsel and assent it was ordered and enacted, for the common advantage of the City, that every hundred sacks of burnt lime should from thenceforth be sold at 3s. 6d., and every half hundred at 21d., and the quarter hundred at 10½d.; and that every sack of burnt lime, to the measure of one quarter, should be sold at one penny. And by their assent the same Hugh was mainprised by Richard de Wyrhale, John Hardel, William le Trompour, and eleven others, who became sureties to have him up to hear judgment, each one of them, body for body, etc.
Afterwards, on the Wednesday next before the Feast of the Translation of St. Thomas the Martyr [7 July], in the year aforesaid, there came here into Court William Haunsard, Walter le Mulleward, and other citizens of the City of London, and said, for the whole of the Commonalty, that the said Hugh does not now sell, or allow to be sold, his lime in manner above ordered; but that he sells, and causes to be sold, each sack at 1½d., and not less; to the loss of the whole commonalty, and to the hurt of the ordinances aforesaid. Therefore precept was given to the Sheriffs to warn the sureties aforesaid to have here, before the said Mayor and Aldermen, the body of the said Hugh on the Saturday next ensuing, on the peril which pertains thereto.
Upon which day the said Hugh came, and, being questioned how he would acquit himself thereof, he said that he was not guilty, and requested that inquisition might be made by the country, upon the Monday next after the Feast of the Translation of St. Thomas the Martyr [7 July]. And the same day was given to the said Hugh, on the mainprise aforesaid. Upon which day came the said Hugh, and the country likewise, (fn. 15) by Henry de Prestone, Elias de Thorp, and ten others; which jurors said, upon their oath, that Hugh aforesaid was guilty of all and singular the articles by William Haunsard and others above imputed to him. Therefore it was awarded that he should lose his freedom, and go to prison.
Acquittance of the Executors of Andrew Horn, Chamberlain.
3 Edward III. A.D. 1329. Letter-Book E. fol. clxxii. (Latin.)
"To all the faithful in Christ to whom these present letters shall come, John de Grantham, Mayor, the Aldermen, and the other citizens of the City of London, greeting in the Lord. Whereas Sir William Horn, Rector of the Church of Retherhethe, John atte Vyne, and Master John de London, Notary, executors of the will of Andrew Horn, (fn. 16) late our Chamberlain of the Guildhall of London, being lawfully called before us to render account for the same Andrew, for the time during which he held the said office and did not so render his account, did duly appear; and before Hamon de Chigwelle and his fellows, by us appointed to be auditors, did at a certain time and place render their account. Whereupon, after computing all things that ought to be computed, as well for the receipts as the expenditure of the said Andrew, and allowin on either side all things that ought to be allowed, from the time, that is, from which the last account became due, it was found that all the moneys which had come to the hands of the said Andrew, and which are set forth in the roll of his receipts and expenses, had been by him faithfully expended on the business of the said city. And in like manner, the said executors did deliver up all the different things to the Chamber of the Guildhall aforesaid pertaining, which the said Andrew had held in his charge, unto Henry de Seccheford, the present Chamberlain, by indenture between them and the same Henry made, as in the same indenture is more fully contained.—Therefore we, the aforesaid Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty, do pronounce the said Andrew and his heirs, as also his executors aforesaid, quit and absolved of and from all and singular the receipts and expenses in the said account contained, and also, of and from the things unto the said Chamber pertaining, and so delivered up as aforesaid. In witness whereof, our Seal has been appended to these presents. Given at London, on Monday, the Eve of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary [15 August], in the 3rd year of the reign of King Edward, after the Conquest the Third." (fn. 17)
Increase of the salary of Gregory de Nortone, the Recorder.
3 Edward III. A.D. 1329. Letter-Book E. fol. cxcviii. (Latin.)
On Saturday next after the Feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin [8 December], in the 3rd year of King Edward, after the Conquest the Third, there being called together here in the Chamber of the Guildhall, Simon de Swanlond, Mayor, and Nicholas de Farndone and other Aldermen, and a great number of the Commonalty being there in like manner assembled; by common assent, it was agreed that Gregory de Nortone, the Recorder of the City, in consideration of the immense labour which he oftentimes does bestow upon the City, and in future will bestow, shall from henceforth receive by the hands of the Chamberlain for the time being, by way of increase of his fee, 100 shillings yearly, as also, his robe, of the same pattern as the Aldermen's robes; and that in his account allowance shall be made unto the Chamberlain for the same.