Memorials of London and London Life in the 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries. Originally published by Longmans, Green, London, 1868.
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Negotiations for a loan from the City to King Edward the Third.
14 Edward III. A.D. 1340. Letter-Book F. fol. xxxii. (Latin.)
Be it remembered, that on Ash Wednesday [12 April], in the 14th year of the reign of King Edward the Third etc., Sir Robert de Asheby, Clerk of our Lord the King, came to the Guildhall of London, and on the King's behalf brought word to Andrew Aubri, the Mayor, that he and all the Aldermen in the City, together with the wealthiest and most discreet persons of the same city, were to appear before our Lord the King and his Council, at Westminster, on the Thursday following, upon certain arduous business touching the estate of the same our Lord the King, and the whole realm of England.
Upon which Thursday, the said Mayor and Aldermen, and a great number of the Commonalty of the City, appeared before our said Lord the King and his Council, at Westminster. And the King then orally made mention of the expenses incurred by him in his war in the parts beyond sea, and still to be incurred therein, and he requested them to lend him 20000l. sterling for the business aforesaid, until a certain time for repayment thereof. And the said Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty, asked leave to discuss the same. Whereupon, they were told to be there on the Friday following, then to make answer as to the matters aforesaid.
Upon which day the said Mayor and Aldermen, and a great number of the Commonalty of the City, were assembled in the Chapter-House at Westminster; and there holding counsel among themselves as to the said 20000l., asked of them as a loan by our Lord the King, they unanimously agreed to lend him 5000 marks; which sum they said they could not exceed. And hereupon, there came, on behalf of the King and his Council, the Earls of Warwick and Huntingdone, Sir John de Stonore, Robert de Sadyngtone, and William de Killesby; and, after hearing of the proposed loan of 5000 marks to the King, they reported the same; whereupon, our Lord the King altogether rejected it, and commanded the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty, upon the fealty and allegiance in which they were bound to him, to take better counsel as to the matters aforesaid, or else bring the names of all the wealtheir citizens, in writing, before the King and his Council at Westminster, on the Sunday following; so that he and his Council might assess such wealthier men of the City as to the said sum of 20000l.
Upon which Sunday, a little after sunrise, there were assembled in the Guildhall of London Andrew Aubri, the Mayor, John de Grantham, Henry Darci, and fourteen other Aldermen, and an immense number of the wealthier and more reputable men of the City. And after divers reasons of several persons had been set forth and listened to with due circumspection, in order to avoid the indignation of our Lord the King, and other perils, by unanimous consent,—although it was a hard thing, and difficult to do,—they agreed to lend 5000l. to our Lord the King for the matter before men tioned; on the understanding that it should please the King, by his Council, to provide them sufficient security for repayment to them of such sum at a certain date. And in order to learn the wishes of our Lord the King as to such offer, whether the same was pleasing to him or not, Sir John de Pulteneye, Andrew Aubry, Mayor, and Roger de Depham, immediately went to the King at Westminster, to inform him of the wishes of his citizens, and the offer of the said 5000l. Which offer the King accepted, having regard to the divers tallages and aids which had been paid to him by the said citizens, and which had been before recited in his presence by Roger de Depham, the Recorder; and he commended his said citizens in friendly manner.
And on the same Sunday, by assent of the said Mayor, Aldermen, and all the Commonalty, twelve persons were chosen and sworn to assess all men in the City aforesaid, and in the suburbs thereof, every one according to the requirement of his condition, for levying the said sum of 5000l., and lending the same to our Lord the King, as before mentioned; they sparing no one for favour or for love, nor yet injuring any person for hatred or dislike. (fn. 1)
Letter from King Edward the Third, commending Andrew Aubrey, the Mayor, for his prompt execution of two offenders, in Chepe.
14 Edward III. A.D. 1340. Letter-Book F. fol. xlv. (Norman French.)
"Edward, by the grace of God, King of England and of France, and Lord of Ireland, to our well-beloved, the Mayor, Aldermen, Sheriffs, and Commons, of our city of London, greeting. We do remember how, before our first passage to the parts beyond sea, you did undertake in our presence the keeping of our said city at all risks; and thereupon we did strictly charge you, that you should inflict punishment upon misdoers and disturbers of our peace in our said city, if any such should there be found; and we since have heard that there has been a conflict in our said city between the Pelterers and the Fishmongers thereof; to put an end to the which conflict, and appease the same, you, the aforesaid Mayor and Sheriffs, together with other our servants of our said city, did attach some of the misdoers: against the which attachment arose other misdoers, and rescued them, and upon you, the aforesaid Mayor and Sheriffs, and other our servants, made assault. And that one Thomas, son of John Haunsard, fishmonger, with his sword drawn, seized you, the aforesaid Mayor, by the throat, and would have struck you on the neck, if he had been able; and one John le Brewere, a porter, wounded one of our serjeants of our said city, so greatly that his life was despaired of; in contempt of us, and in great affray of the good folks of our said city: by reason whereof, the aforesaid Thomas and John were forthwith taken and brought to the Guildhall, and there before you of their violence and excess were arraigned, and thereof by their own admission convicted; and by your award were condemned to death, and beheaded in Chepe. Wherefore we do signify unto you, that upon what has been so done to the said misdoers, to the punishment of the bad, and to the comforting of the good, we do greatly congratulate you; and your doing therein do accept, and, so much as in us lies, do ratify the same. And we do let you know for certain, that contempts and outrages so committed against our servants, we do hold as being committed against ourselves: and if you had not acted in such manner therein, we should have taken the same so grievously as towards yourselves and the franchise of our said city, that it would have been for an example to you, and to all your successors in time to come. We do therefore command and charge you, that if any one in our said city by the good folks thereof, or by good inquisition, shall be found to be a maintainer or abettor thereof, or to menace you or other our servants, or any other person of the commonalty, or to excite others among the people to make riot or conflict in our said city, in disturbance of the peace, either for the reason aforesaid, or for any other reason, to the offence of our royal dignity, you will cause him to be taken, and in our prison safely kept, until you shall have other commands from us thereon. And this you are in no manner to omit. Given under our Privy Seal, at (fn. 2) Gaunt, the 6th day of December, in the 14th year of our reign in England, and in France the first."