Memorials: 1348

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

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'Memorials: 1348', Memorials of London and London Life in the 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries, (London, 1868), pp. 240-244. British History Online [accessed 24 June 2024].

. "Memorials: 1348", in Memorials of London and London Life in the 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries, (London, 1868) 240-244. British History Online, accessed June 24, 2024,

. "Memorials: 1348", Memorials of London and London Life in the 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries, (London, 1868). 240-244. British History Online. Web. 24 June 2024,

In this section

Punishment of the Pillory, for selling carrion.

22 Edward III. A.D. 1348. Letter-Book F. fol. clii. (Latin.)

At a congregation of Thomas Leggy, the Mayor, the Aldermen, Sheriffs, and an immense number of the Commonalty, on the Friday next after the Feast of St. John Port Latin [6 May], in the 22nd year of the reign of King Edward the Third etc., John, son of John Gylessone, of Refham, and Agnes la Ismongere, (fn. 1) were questioned for that on that day they had exposed for sale, in divers places in the City of London, putrid and stinking meat; in deceit, and to the peril of the lives, of persons buying the same, and to the scandal and disgrace of the Mayor, Aldermen, Sheriffs, and all the Commonalty, of the city aforesaid.

And the said Agnes for herself says, that she bought meat of the aforesaid John, son of John Gylessone, to the value of 4 pence, supposing that the same was good and proper, and without any default; and which meat she, Agnes, with such belief, exposed for sale. And the said John in full Court acknowledged that he had sold the meat aforesaid to the said Agnes, for the price before mentioned; further acknowledging, of his own accord, that shortly before he sold to the said Agnes the meat aforesaid, he had found a certain dead sow, thrown out near the ditch without Alegate, in the suburb of London; which sow he then flayed, and the flesh of the same, cooked as well as raw, he exposed for sale to the aforesaid Agnes, and to others who chose to buy it.

And conference having been held between the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty, as to the said deed, and the acknowledgment thereof, it was awarded that the same flesh, so found upon the said Agnes, and sold to her by John before mentioned, and the skin of the said sow, found in the possession of the said John, should be carried by the Sheriffs of the City in public before him, the said John, to the pillory on Cornhulle; and that he, the said John, should be first upon the pillory there, and the said flesh be burnt beneath him, while upon the pillory.

And seeing that the said Agnes thought that the said meat, so sold to her, was good and proper, when she bought the same, it was awarded that she should go acquitted thereof.

Ordinances of the Pewterers.

22 Edward III. A.D. 1348. Letter-Book F. fol. clv. (Norman French and Latin.)

(fn. 2) "Unto he Mayor and Aldermen of the City of London pray the good folks, makers of vessels of pewter in the same city, that it may please them to hear the state and the points of their trade; and as to the defaults, for the common profit, by good discretion to provide redress and amendment thereof; and the points which are proper for folks who are skilful in the trade, and are duly ordained, to support and maintain.—

"In the first place,—seeing that the trade of pewtery is founded upon certain matters and metals, such as copper, tin, and lead, in due proportions; of which three metals they make vessels, that is to say, pots, saltcellars, esquelles, platers, (fn. 3) and other things by good folks bespoken; which works demand certain mixtures and certain alloys, according to the manner of vessel so bespoken; the which things cannot be made without good knowledge of a pewterer, well taught and well informed in the trade; seeing that many persons, not knowing the right alloys, nor yet the mixtures or the right rules of the trade, do work and make vessels and other things not in due manner, to the damage of the people, and to the scandal of the trade; the good folks of the trade do pray therefore, that it may be ordained that three or four of the most lawful and most skilful in the trade may be chosen to oversee the alloys and the workmanship aforesaid; and that by their examination and assay, amendment may speedily be made where default has been committed. And that if any one shall be found rebellious against the Wardens and assayers, the default may be shown, with the name of the rebellious offender, unto the Mayor and Aldermen; and that by them he may be adjudged upon, in presence of the good folks of the trade, who have found such default.

"And be it understood, that all manner of vessels of pewter, such as esquelles, saltcellars, platters, chargers,pichers (fn. 4) squared, and cruetz squared, (fn. 5) and chrismatories, (fn. 6) and other things that are made square or ribbed, (fn. 7) shall be made of fine pewter, with the proportion of copper to the tin as much as, of its own nature, it will take. And all other things that are wrought by the trade, such as pots rounded, cruetz rounded, and candlesticks, and other rounded vessels that belong to the trade, ought to be wrought of tin alloyed with lead in reasonable proportions. And the proportions of the alloy are, to one hundredweight of tin 22 pounds of lead; and these are always called 'vessels of pewter.' (fn. 8)

"Also,—that no person shall intermeddle with the trade aforesaid, if he be not sworn before the good folks of the trade, lawfully to work according to the points ordained; such as one who has been an apprentice, or otherwise a lawful workman known and tried among them. And that no one shall receive an apprentice against the usage of the City. And those who shall be admitted therein, are to be enrolled, according to the usage of the City.

"Also,—that no person, freeman or stranger, shall make or bring such manner of vessel of pewter into the City for sale, or offer it for sale, before that the material has been assayed, on peril of forfeiture of the wares. And if the material be allowable upon assay by the Wardens made, then let the wares be sold for such as they [are], and not otherwise. And that no one of the trade shall make privily in secret vessels of lead, or of false alloy, for sending out of the City to fairs and to markets for sale, to the scandal of the City, and the damage and scandal of the good folks of the trade; but let the things be shown, that shall be so sent to sell without the City, to the Wardens of the trade before they go out of the same, and by them let the things be assayed. And that no one shall do any work in the trade, if he will not answer as to his own workmanship, upon the assay of his work, in whatever hand it be found. And if any one shall be found from henceforth carrying such wares for sale, to fairs, or to markets, or elsewhere in the kingdom, before it has been assayed, and, before the Mayor and Aldermen, shall be convicted thereof, let him have his punishment at their discretion, according to his offence, when he shall be so convicted at the suit of the good folks of his trade.

"Also,—if any one shall be found doing damage to his master, whether apprentice or journeyman, privily in the way of larceny, under the value of 10 pence; the first time, let amends be made unto the master by him or by his surety in the trade; and if he offend a second time, let his punishment be inflicted by award of the trade: and if he offend a third time, let him be ousted from the trade.

"Also,—as to those of the said trade who shall be found working in the trade otherwise than is before [set forth], and upon assay shall be found guilty thereof; upon the first default, let them lose the material so wrought; upon the second default, let them lose the material, and suffer punishment, at the discretion of the Mayor and the Aldermen; and if a third time they shall be found offending, let them forswear the trade for evermore.

"And also,—the good folks of the trade have agreed that no one shall be so daring as to work at night upon articles of pewter; seeing that they have regard among themselves to the fact that the sight is not so profitable by night, or so certain, as by day,—to the profit, that is, of the community.

"And also,—that if any one of the said trade shall be found in default in any of the points aforesaid, he shall pay 40 pence for the first default; for the second default, half a mark; and on the third default, let it be done with him at the discretion of the Mayor and of the Aldermen: and of these payments let there be given one half to the Chamber, to maintain the points aforesaid, and the other half to the Wardens of the said trade, for their trouble and their expenses. And that no one of the trade, great or small, shall take away the journeyman of another man, against the assent and the will of his first master, before he shall have fully served his term, according to the covenant made between them, and before the said journeyman shall have made amends to his master, for the offences and misprisions committed against him, if he has in any way so offended or misprised, at the discretion of the Wardens of their trade; and whosoever shall do to the contrary of this Ordinance, let such person have his punishment, at the discretion of the Mayor and Aldermen.

"Also,—that no one of the said trade shall be so daring as to receive any one to work at the same trade, if he have not been an apprentice, or if he be not a good workman, and one who can have the testimony of his master, or of good folks of good condition; and can shew that well and lawfully he has served his trade for the time assigned among them."

(fn. 9) There werechosen and sworn to oversee the Articles aforesaid,—Stephen Lestraunge and John Syward, peautrers.

(fn. 10) On Thursday next after the Feast of All Hallows [1 November], in the 23rd year of the reign of King Edward the Third etc., it was witnessed before Walter Turk, Mayor, and the Aldermen, that Stephen Lestraunge was dead, and that John Syward could not work; wherefore the reputable men of that trade chose Nicholas de Ludgate and Ernald Schipwaysshe, pewterers, who were sworn to keep the Articles aforesaid.


  • 1. The Ironmonger; daughter or wife of a person of that trade.
  • 2. In French.
  • 3. Deep plates, or porringers, for pottige, or soup. From esquelle, our word "scullery" is derived.
  • 4. Pitchers.
  • 5. Cruets.
  • 6. Vessels for the reception of chrism, or consecrated oil.
  • 7. costele.
  • 8. vessele desteym: this latter word seems to have been used indifferently for "pewter" or "tin."
  • 9. In Latin.
  • 10. An insertion of later date.