Memorials: 1339

Pages 204-208

Memorials of London and London Life in the 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries. Originally published by Longmans, Green, London, 1868.

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In this section

Overseers of the trade of Pouchmakers appointed.

13 Edward III. A.D. 1339. Letter-Book F. fol. xxv. (Latin.)

Be it remembered, that on the Eve of the Ascension, in the 13th year of the reign of King Edward, after the Conquest the Third, before Henry Darci, Mayor, and the Aldermen, John de Thremhale, Thomas de Hokyng, William de Bury, Thomas of Ismongeres Lane, (fn. 1) Richard Paterlyng, and William Gandre, pouchmakers, were chosen and sworn to keep and supervise the Articles contained in [an order published] in the Husting holden on Monday (fn. 2)

in the first year of King Edward, after the Conquest the Third, as to pouches, braces, and sheepskins, and counterfeited skins of Roon etc. (fn. 3)

Inventory of munitions of war, provided by the City.

(fn. 4) 13 Edward III. A.D. 1339. Letter-Book F. fly-leaf. (Latin.)

Be it remembered, that in the house called "La Bretaske," (fn. 5) near the Tower of London, there are 7 springalds, (fn. 6) and 380 quarels for the same, (fn. 7) feathered with latone, (fn. 8) and with heads; and 500 quarels feathered, of wood, with heads; and 29 cords, called "strenges." Also, 8 bows of ash, for the same springalds.

Also, at Alegate, namely, beyond the Gate thereof, one springald, with two strenges, and one faussecord (fn. 9) for the same. Also, 40 quarels, feathered with latone, and headed with iron.

(fn. 10) Also, in the Chamber of the Guildhall there are six instruments of latone, usually called "gonnes," and five roleres to the same. Also, pellets (fn. 11) of lead for the same instruments, which weigh 4 hundredweight and a half. Also, 32 pounds of powder for the said instruments. (fn. 12)

(fn. 13) Be it remembered,—as to one springald with 80 quarels, feathered with latone and headed with iron; and two strenges and one fausscord, with bows of ash, for the same; and 24 targets of the same pattern as the other targets let to William Haunsard, (fn. 14) under the penalty * * * to the Commonalty; as he admitted before Henry Darci, the Mayor, (fn. 15) and the Aldermen.

Trial and punishment for theft, by hanging.

13 Edward III. A.D. 1339. Letter-Book F. fol. ccxvii. (Latin.)

Delivery of Infangthef, (fn. 16) made before Henry Darci, Mayor, and certain Aldermen, and the Sheriffs, on the Saturday next after the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary [15 August], in the 13th year of the reign of King Edward, after the Conquest the Third.

Walter, son of John Barry, was taken at the suit of Robert de Barkeworthe, tailor, with the mainour (fn. 17) of one surcoat of appelblome, (fn. 18) and one coat of blanket, value one mark, by night from the house of the said Roger feloniously stolen, in the Ward of Bredstrete, in London, on the Thursday next after the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the 13th year of the reign of King Edward the Third; whereof he accuses him. His sureties that he will prosecute for the felony, are Gilbert le Palmere and John Janyn, cook, etc.

The jury appears by William le Botiller and eleven others; and they say upon their oath, that the said Walter is guilty. Therefore he is to be hanged. Chattels he has none.

[In. the same and the following folios, are given the cases of Adam de Notyngham, hanged for stealing a cup, value 8s., called "Tour de verre" (fn. 19) (Tower of glass) in the "Goldsmithery" (fn. 20) (Aurifabria) of London, in the Ward of Farndone Within; and of Walter Curteys, blacksmith, for stealing in the Ward of Chepe the foreign articles contained in a male, (fn. 21) namely, 12 girdles of Paris, value 4l.; 30 pieces of velvet, value 60s.; 20 dozens of purses, value 40s.; 8 pieces of cloth of divers colours, value 60s.]

(fn. 22) Expenditure of Thomas de Maryns, Chamberlain of the Guildhall, to the 7th day of September, 1339.

13 Edward III. A.D. 1339. Letter-Book F. fols. ix. x. (Latin.)

The said Chamberlain's account for fees, 108l. 12s. For small expenses and presents, the particulars set forth in the Rolls of Account, 59l. 18s. 9¾d. For expenses upon the gutter in Secollane. (fn. 23) For expenses upon the new wall near Crepelgate, 10l. 17s. 4½d. For expenses on the pavement of the Gate of Aldresgate, 20s. 4d. For expenses upon two shops without the said gate, 6l. 5s. 6¾d. For expenses upon the Gate of Crepelgate, the pavement, and the kitchen thereof, 14l. 7s. 7¾d. For expenses incurred upon 6 shops without the said gate, 30l. 3s. 5d. For expenses upon the chimneys of the said shops, and the pavement, 62s. 11d. For expenses incurred upon the springalds, guns, (fn. 24) and targets, as set forth in the roll, (fn. 25) 72l. 17s. 3½d;. For the expenses of 10 tuns of wine sent to the Bishop of London, 34l. 6s. 8d. For expenses upon the Chamber of the Guildhall, for putting the springalds and targets there, 57s. 6½d. For moneys paid to John Lucas, the Sheriffs' clerk, by precept of the Mayor and Aldermen, by indenture, for the expenses of driving piles in the water of Thames, and making a certain house, called the "Bretask," near the Tower of London, in the time of the war in the 13th year aforesaid; as set forth in the particulars in a certain Roll by the hand of the said John written, and delivered into the Guildhall, 126l. For moneys delivered to William Simond, serjeant of the Chamber, by precept of the Mayor and Aldermen, for making the pavement within Newgate, 7l. 6s. 8d.

Election of Andrew Aubrey as Mayor; and charges made by Gerard Corpe against the late Mayor, and then withdrawn.

13 Edward III. A.D. 1339. Letter-Book F. fol. xxvii. (Latin.)

A congregation of the Mayor, Aldermen, Sheriffs, and Commonalty, on Thursday, the Feast of the Apostles Simon and Jude [28 October], in the 13th year of the reign of King Edward, after the Conquest the Third; there being present Henry Darci, Andrew Aubrey, and fourteen other Aldermen.—

At this congregation, Andrew Aubrey, by assent of the said Aldermen and of the whole Commonalty, was chosen Mayor in place of Henry Darci, Mayor for the two preceding years; and hardly had the oath of the said Andrew been finished, according to the custom of the City, as to well and faithfully filling the office of Mayor for the ensuing year, when there came one Gerard Corpe, full of wrath, into the presence of the said Mayor, Aldermen, and the whole Commonalty; and then mounted the counter (fn. 26) at which the clerks of the City sit, and uttered words of contumely against the said Henry Darci, threatening him, and imputing to him that when he was Mayor, he had called him, Gerard, a malefactor and common rifler; (fn. 27) and the same Gerard there with divers oaths affirmed, that no words had been uttered in the City for the twenty years last past at a dearer rate than those would prove to have been, by reason of his revenge. And upon this, the same Gerard asserted that he was ready to produce twenty men of his acquaintance and condition in life, to testify that he, Gerard, had not been a rifler.

Which words, threats, and reproofs, being heard by the Mayor, Aldermen, and all the Commonalty, and by Roger de Depham, the Recorder, being immediately repeated, by order of the said Mayor, Aldermen, and all the Commonalty, the said Gerard was delivered to the Sheriffs, in the Prison of Newgate at their discretion safely to be kept.

Afterwards, at a congregation of the said Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty, on Wednesday, the morrow of All Souls [2 November], in the year aforesaid, there being present Andrew Aubrey, the Mayor, Henry Darci, and other Aldermen, came the aforesaid Gerard, and acknowledged that he had spoken slanderously, and had undeservedly censured the said Henry, the late Mayor, in manner aforesaid, asking pardon of him for the same; and he put himself, first, upon the favour of him, the same Henry, and, after that, on the favour of the said Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty; and he bound himself and all his goods, moveable and immoveable, in 40 tuns of wine, to be paid to the Chamberlain of the Guildhall of London for the time being, to the use of the Commonalty, in case he, the same Gerard, should presume to offend in future against the aforesaid Henry or any officer of the City, and should be convicted thereof. And the same Gerard made oath that to the best of his power he would inviolably keep the peace of our Lord the King, and would well and peaceably behave and conduct himself. And that he should do this, twelve sureties engaged; each of them, body for body.


  • 1. Ironmonger Lane.
  • 2. Hiatus in the MS.
  • 3. Probably, Rouen.
  • 4. This is, no doubt, the correct date to be assigned to this entry in the fly-leaf at the beginning of Letter-Book F; as the expenses upon most of the articles here mentioned are contained in the Chamberlain's accounts down to 7 September 1339. The munitions of war herein mentioned, were provided against an expected invasion by the French, and the entry on the fly-leaf states how they were then disposed of: (see page 202 ante).
  • 5. This "Bretask" or "Bretache," was probably a fortified house, built in the present year as a depot for arms.
  • 6. Engines of war, resembling large cross-bows.
  • 7. Arrows with square heads.
  • 8. Or latten; a hard, yellow, mixed metal, closely resembling brass: see page 216, Note 3.
  • 9. Or "false-cord"; a cord probably used for bending the bow, but not for discharging it.
  • 10. This passage, of such singular interest, is as follows, in the original:—"Item, in Camera Gildaulæ sunt sex Instrumenta de latone, vocitata Gonnes, et quinque roleres ad eadem. Item, peletæ de plumbo pro eisdem Instrumentis, quæ ponderant iiiic libræ et dimidium. Item, xxxii libræ de pulvere pro dictis Instrumentis." These are the gunnæ, beyond a doubt, which are afterwards mentioned in the Chamberlain's accounts, along with the expenses of the "Bretask" and the springalds, delivered in September 1339, (see page 207 post.) This is probably the earliest passage at present known, that bears reference to the use of cannon in England; and this taken into consideration, the information it gives is remarkably full; the earliest hitherto pointed out in the Privy Wardrobe Accounts (in Mr. Hewitt's Arms and Armour of the 14th Century) being five years later in date. From it we learn that they were made of latten (a metal resembling brass), that they were moved on rollers, and that the pellets, or balls, were made of lead. The use of the word vocitata, "usually called," shews that they had then become comparatively well known. Had the Chamberlain's Rolls of Particulars been still in existence, we should no doubt have learned their price, and of whom they were bought; but the probability is, that the Bardi, a mercantile society of Florence, had imported them, as they are mentioned as supplying the City authorities with cloth, two years before (see page 197 ante); and M. Libri has discovered that cannon were already used for the defence of Florence in 1326. This valuable passage, on the fly-leaf of LetterBook F., is almost illegible, and to a great extent all but obliterated, owing to the creases in the parchment. If that care is not taken of it, which its singular literary value demands, in a year or two hence it will have inevitably disappeared, owing to the friction upon the page every time the volume is opened, however carefully.
  • 11. This passage, including the mention of "gonnes," pellets, and powder, is illustrated by the lines of Chaucer, in the "House of Fame," Book III.,—Swift as a pellet out of a gonne, When fire is in the powder ronne."
  • 12. After this, a memorandum of three lines and a half, of no interest, is inserted; of evidently a later date, October 7, in the 14th year of Edward III. A.D. 1340.
  • 13. This passage is written below the memorandum above-mentioned, and at the foot of the page in the fly-leaf; though it bears reference to the Mayoralty of Henry Darcy, October 1337 to October 1339, it was probably written later than the memorandum above it of October 1340, as it differs in the ink, if not in the writing, from both that memorandum, and the insertion above as to the Bretask, springalds, and guns.
  • 14. In all probability the same as the person of that name who is mentioned s. a. 1337 (page 198 ante), as being the owner of the ship called "La Seinte Marie Cogge," fitted out by the City for the service of King Edward, on his expedition against France.
  • 15. Mayor in the 11th and 12th of Edward III. A.D. 1337, 38.
  • 16. See page 195 ante, Note 5.
  • 17. See page 195 ante, Note 6.
  • 18. From the not unfrequent mention of it, "apple-bloom" seems to have been a favourite colour in those days.
  • 19. Probably, a tall glass, set in gold or silver.
  • 20. The locality occupied by the present Goldsmiths' Hall,but extending to Chepe.
  • 21. Travelling-bag, or portmanteau; hence our present word "mail."
  • 22. Among his receipts, in fol. x., there are the following items:—"For moneys received for making engines in the time of the war, 87l. 15s. 8d. For moneys borrowed for making piles [pilis] and the Bretask, 110l."
  • 23. Seacoal Lane.
  • 24. See page 205 ante, Note 2.
  • 25. These Rolls, in all probability, perished in the fire at the Royal Exchange in December 1837.
  • 26. computatorium; meaning, the table, at which the accounts are taken.
  • 27. Or plunderer; riflator.