Memorials of London and London Life in the 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries. Originally published by Longmans, Green, London, 1868.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
Articles of the Girdlers.
18 Edward III. A.D. 1344. Letter-Book F. fol. lxxxviii. (Latin and Norman French.)
(fn. 1) Be it remembered, that on the Saturday next after the Feast of the Translation of St. Thomas the Martyr [3 July], in the 18th year of the reign of King Edward the Third etc., the men whose names are set forth below were sworn to keep the Articles underwritten touching the trade of the Girdlers; before John Hamond, the Mayor, and the Aldermen read, and, as befitting the common advantage, received:—Richard Wayte, Gilbert Broune, John Styward, William Waleys, and John Colewelle.—
(fn. 2) "Unto the Mayor, Aldermen, and Chamberlain, of the City of London, pray the good folks, the Girdlers of the same city, that certain defaults which they find in their trade may be amended, and by certain folks of the trade be regulated; the same persons before you to be sworn to do the same.
In the first place,—that no man of the trade shall work any manner of tissue of silk, or of wool, or of linen thread, if the tissue be not of such length and assize as was wont to be used heretofore, that is to say, 6 quarters.
Also,—that no man of the said trade shall garnish, or cause to be garnished, girdles or garters, with any but pure metal, such as latten, (fn. 3) or else with iron or steel.
Also,—that no one of the trade shall make girdles or garters barred, unless there be a rowel (fn. 4) beneath the bar.
Also,—that no tissue of silk or wool, or of thread or leather, that is in breadth of sixth size, fifth, third, or double size, shall be garnished, unless it have a double point in the buckle, and in the tongue; as also, the bars with a double point down to the rowel below; that is to say, as well with reference to closherneys, as other [work].
Also,—that no tissue or leather shall be garnished in the said trade without a rowel beneath the bar, whether it be wide or narrow.
Also,—that no man of the trade shall take an apprentice, unless he be free of the City; and if he be free, that he shall take no one for less than seven years.
"Also,—that no strange man shall be admitted to work in the trade, if he will not be an apprentice in the trade, or buy his freedom.
"Also,—that no man of the trade shall work on Saturday, or on the Eve of a Double Feast, (fn. 5) after None has been rung.
"Also,—that no man of the trade shall work in such trade at either roset (fn. 6) or tirlet.
"Also,—that no man of the trade shall keep his shop open on "Sundays, or on Double Feasts, to sell his wares. But if any strange person, passing by chance through the City upon any Feast day, shall have occasion in a hurry to buy anything touching the said trade, it shall be fully lawful for a man of the same trade, whosoever he may be, to sell to him within his own house whatever he shall wish to buy; but without opening his shop.
"Also,—that no one of the trade shall set any woman to work, other than his wedded wife or his daughter.
"Also,—that no one of the said trade shall be so daring as to work by night at the said trade, on the pain hereafter written.
Also,—that no man from henceforth shall make a girdle of any worse leather than ox leather.
And hereupon, it is ordained by the Mayor and Aldermen, with the assent of all the good folks of the said trade, that if any one of the trade shall be found by the men so sworn acting against the Ordinances aforesaid, or any one point of them, the first time, he shall be amerced in 40 pence, the second time half a mark, the third time 10 shillings, the fourth time one mark, and the fifth time 20 shillings, to the use of the Chamber. And such girdles as shall be found to have been falsely made, against the points aforesaid, by the sworn men before mentioned, shall be burnt."
Articles of the Cutlers.
18 Edward III. A.D. 1344. Letter-Book F. fol. xc. (Latin and Norman French.)
(fn. 7) BE it remembered, that on the Friday next after the Feast of the Decollation of St. John the Baptist [29 August], in the 18th year of the reign of King Edward the Third, etc., the Articles underwritten were read before John Hamond, Mayor, Roger de Depham, John de Caustone, and other Aldermen; and, seeing that they were befitting, were accepted and entered, in these words.—
(fn. 8) "In the first place,—that certain persons of the trade of cutlery shall be chosen by advice of the Mayor and Aldermen, and by assent of the Cutlers, that so they may search and make assay of all manner of cutlery that they shall find, both in houses and out of houses, as well in the hands of workmen as in the hands of dealers, without sparing any person, rich or poor. And that so often as they shall find any false work, touching the said trade, they shall cause the same to be taken, and brought before the Mayor and Aldermen of the said city, and there adjudged upon, according as shall be found; that so the falseness of the false workmen and of the dealers who sell such things, in deceit of the people, may be detected and defeated, according to the discretion of the said Mayor and Aldermen. And he who shall be convicted thereof, shall pay, the first time, to the Chamber of the Guildhall of London 40 pence, the second time half a mark, the third time 10 shillings; and the fourth time he shall forswear the trade.
Also,—that no Master or Warden of the said trade shall maintain any person, of whatsoever condition he may be, wrongfully against the folks of the said trade, whereby they may be in any point injured or damnified, on pain of paying half a mark to the Chamber, so often as he shall be convicted thereof.
Also,—that no cutler shall make any common sale on Sundays; seeing that their journeymen and their apprentices have wasted and purloined at the property of their masters, while they have been attending at their parish churches, or elsewhere.
Also,—that no one shall take an apprentice for a less term than seven years.
Also,—that no cutler shall keep a shop, or receive an apprentice, if he be not free of the City.
Also,—that as to all those of the said trade who do not wish to be judged by the Wardens of the trade for the time being, upon matters touching the trade, the names of such shall be presented to the Mayor and to the Aldermen, and by them they shall be judged as to the wrong or falsity which they have committed: and if they be convicted, let them pay to the Chamber half a mark.
Also,—all the Articles which are now ordained touching the said trade, shall be confirmed in such manner that they cannot another time be contradicted.
Also,—whereas many pieces of work, touching the said trade, which have been made by night, have not been convenient or profitable to the common people, as they should be, seeing that they have not been assayed by the Wardens of the said trade, as they ought to be; and such work has been sent privily to sell in divers Counties of the realm, in deceit, and to the loss, of the common people, and to the prejudice and scandal of the folks of the said trade; be it ordained and granted, that from henceforth every work touching the said trade shall be made by day, and not at night; that so, the Wardens of the said trade may conveniently make assay before it be set for sale; under penalty of half a mark, to be paid to the said Chamber.
Also,—that no one of the trade shall receive the apprentice or journeyman of another, in prejudice, or to the loss, of his master, until his term has been fully accomplished; on pain of paying to the said Chamber, so often as he shall be convicted thereof, half a mark." (fn. 9)
Inspectors of Nets appointed; and unlawful nets condemned.
18 Edward III. A.D. 1344. Letter-Book F. fol. xci. (Latin.)
Be it remembered, that on the Friday next after the Feast of St. Michael [29 September], in the 18th year of the reign of King Edward the Third, etc., Thomas Prat and William de Clopham, fishmongers of Bridge Street, and Nicholas Madefrey and William Trig, fishmongers of Old Fish Street, were sworn before John Hamond, Mayor, and the Aldermen, to make scrutiny as to false nets placed in the water of Thames, from the place called (fn. 10) "Yen"lete," on the East, as far as the bridge of Stanes, on the West, for taking the small fish, to the destruction of the fish of such water; and to bring such nets to the Guildhall, when found.
Afterwards, on the Monday next after the Feast of St. Hilary [13 January] in the year aforesaid, William Bright, vadlet to our Lord the King, was admitted to the freedom of the City, and sworn to make the like scrutiny.
On Wednesday, a fortnight after St. Michael, in the 18th year aforesaid, the fishmongers so sworn brought eleven nets to the Guildhall of London, which had been found upon the men belowmentioned;—namely, one net upon John Pyndore of Erehithe, one upon Richard Wychard of the same place, two upon Edmund Dodde, and John his brother, of (fn. 11), one upon Adam Bryan of Erehethe, one upon Richard Hastevillyne, one upon Walter Noreys, one upon John Gardenere, one upon John Bright, all of the same place, and one upon Alan Waryn of Berkyng. And after examination had been made of the same nets, the nets of the aforesaid Adam, John, Richard, Walter, John, John, and Alan, were found to be good and sufficient; therefore they were restored to them, and they were sworn that they would not fish with false nets in that water in future. And the nets of the aforesaid John Pyndore, Richard Wychard, Edmund Dodde, and John Dodde, were found to be false. Therefore it was awarded that the same should be burnt.
Unlawful nets condemned to be burnt.
18 Edward III. A.D. 1344. Letter-Book F. fol. xcii. (Latin.)
On Wednesday, the Eve of the Apostles Simon and Jude [28 October], in the 18th year of reign of King Edward the Third, etc., three nets, found in the water of Thames, were brought to the Guildhall of London, before John Hamond, Mayor, and the Aldermen; of which one net, called a "draynet," belonged to the Abbot of Stratford; the second net, called a (fn. 12) "coanet," belonged to Robert Pesok of Plumstede; and the third net, called a "kydel," was claimed by no one.
And after examination had been duly made upon oath, by six fishmongers, the said nets were found to be false. Therefore, by award of the Mayor and Aldermen they were burnt near the (fn. 13) Stone Cross, in the high street of Chepe.