Memorials: 1351

Pages 266-269

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

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Punishment of the Pillory, for selling a putrid capon.

24 Edward III. A.D. 1351. Letter-Book F. fol. cxciv. (Latin.)

Pleas holden before Richard de Kyslyngbury, Mayor, the Aldermen, and John Note and William de Wircestre, Sheriffs of London, on the Wednesday next before the Feast of St. Hilary [13 January], in the 24th year of the reign of King Edward the Third.—

Henry de Passelewe, cook, was attached to make answer to the Commonalty of the City of London, and to Henry Pecche, who prosecutes for the city and for himself, in a plea of contempt and trespass; and as to which the said Henry makes plaint that he, the same Henry Pecche, on the Tuesday next before the Feast of St. Hilary, now last past, bought of the aforesaid Henry de Passelewe, cook, at the Stokkes, for himself and his two companions, two capons baked in a pasty; and that he, the same Henry Pecche, and his companions, being hungry, did not perceive that one of the said two capons was putrid and stinking, until they had eaten almost the whole thereof; whereupon they opened the second capon, which he produced here in Court, and found it to be putrid and stinking, and an abomination to mankind; to the scandal, contempt, and disgrace, of all the City, and the manifest peril of the life of the same Henry and his companions; and this he makes offer to prove.

And the same Henry de Passelewe came, and denied the contempt etc.; and he acknowledged that he had sold such two capons to the aforesaid Henry Pecche; but he said that at the time when he sold the same, the said capons were good, well-flavoured, fitting, and proper, and he requested that examination might be made thereof by men of his trade.

And that it might be known whether the same capons, at the time of his selling the same, were putrid and stinking, or good and fitting, precept was given to the serjeant, to summon here eight, or six, good and trusty men of the trade aforesaid, to certify the Court as to the matters aforesaid. And forthwith there came Philip le Keu, (fn. 1) JohnWynge, William Bisshop, Walter Colman, Peter le Keu, (fn. 1) and William Miles, cooks, of Bredstrete, John Chapman, cook, of Milkstrete, and Richard le Keu, (fn. 1) of Ismongerelane; who, after seeing and inspecting the capon aforesaid, here present in Court, said upon their oath, that the same capon, at the time of the sale thereof, was stinking and rotten, and baneful to the health of man.

Therefore it was awarded, that the said Henry de Passelewe should have sentence of the pillory, there to remain for the space of one league's journey in the day; and that the capon, which had been so found to be putrid and stinking, should be carried before the said Henry de Passelewe on his way to the pillory; and that at the pillory proclamation should be made to all the people there present, as to the reason for the sentence so awarded against the same Henry de Passelewe.

Proclamations as to the dress of common women within the City; and as to the sale of fish.

24 Edward III. A.D. 1351. Letter-Book F. fol. ccviii. (Norman French.)

"Whereas the common lewd women who dwell in the City of London, and from other foreign places resort unto the same city, have now of late from time to time assumed the fashion of being clad and attired in the manner and dress of good and noble dames and damsels of the realm, in unreasonable manner;—it is provided and ordered by the Mayor, Sheriffs, Aldermen, and Commons, of the said city, that no such lewd women, now being in the said city, or who shall hereafter come to the city aforesaid, shall be so daring as to be attired, either by day or night, in any kind of vesture trimmed with fur, such as meneveyr, grey, (fn. 2)purree of stranlyng, (fn. 3) popelle (fn. 4) of squirrels,bys (fn. 5) of rabbits or hares, or any other manner of noble budge; or lined with sendale, bokerames,samytes, (fn. 6) or any other noble lining, either in winter or in summer; nor yet to be clothed either in coat, surcoat, or hood relieved with fur or lining; after the Feast of St. Hilary [13 January] next ensuing; on pain of forfeiting the same vestments. But let every such common lewd woman, going about in the said city by day or by night, after such Feast of St. Hilary, go openly with a hood of cloth of ray, single, (fn. 7) and with vestments neither trimmed with fur nor yet lined with lining, and without any manner of relief; that so all folks, natives and strangers, may have knowledge of what rank they are: on pain of imprisonment etc."

And on the same day, another proclamation was made.—

"It is agreed and ordered by the Mayor, Sheriffs, and Aldermen, of the City of London, that no one who from henceforth shall come to the said city with fish, fresh or salted, to sell, shall be so daring as to stand elsewhere than in Bruggestrete, (fn. 8) the stalls near to Wollechirchehawe, or Eldefisshestrete, in London, with such fish to sell, either by night or by day; on pain of forfeiting such fish the first time, and of losing his freedom the second time, if such person be a freeman or freewoman of the City; and on pain of imprisonment, if the person be a foreigner; and on pain of imprisonment the third time, whether it be native or stranger, denizen or foreigner: those persons only excepted, who shall have herrings, white or dried, stock-fish, salt fish, salmon, and other manner of fish, in boats or in other vessels, for sale at the stairs of Billyngesgate. And it is not their intention but that those persons who heretofore used to carry fish through the City for sale to divers working-men, may carry them as before they were wont to do, for the sake of such working-men and other persons in the City; but they are not to stand in any certain place to sell such fish, as now of late they have begun to do."

Royal proclamation as to the wearing of arms in the City, and at Westminster; and as to playing at games in the Palace at Westminster.

25 Edward III. A.D. 1351. Letter-Book F. fol. ccviii. (Norman French.)

"Forasmuch as heretofore at the Parliaments and Councils of our Lord the King, broils, riots, and disputes, have arisen and been moved, for that people have gone to the places where such Parliaments and Councils have been summoned and assembled, armed with haketons, with plates, with swords, and with long daggers, and with other manner of arms; by reason whereof the business of our Lord the King and of his realm has both been impeded, and the great people and others who have come there, by command of the King, have been alarmed thereat;—our Lord the King, desiring to provide a remedy against such evils, doth forbid that any one, on pain of forfeiture of so much as unto the King he may forfeit, of whatsoever estate or condition he be, shall go armed with haketon, or with plate, or with habergeon [or with sword], (fn. 9) or with long dagger, or with any other manner of arms suspected, within the City of London, or within the suburbs, or in any other places between the said city and the Palace of Westminster, or anywhere in the Palace, by land or by water, on the pain aforesaid; save only the people of our Lord the King, whom he shall see fit to depute to such place as by his command they shall be deputed to, for keeping his peace at the said places; and also, except the officers of the King, according to the form of the Statute made at Norhamptone. And it is not the intention of our Lord the King, that any Earl [or] Baron shall not have his sword carried with him, elsewhere than in the presence of the King, or from the place of Council.

"And also,—it is forbidden on behalf of our Lord the King and the Council, on pain of imprisonment, that any child, or other person, shall play in any place of the Palace of Westminster, during the Parliament which is summoned thereto, at bars, (fn. 10) or at other games not befitting, and such as taking off the hoods of people, or laying hands upon them; or in other way causing hindrance, whereby each person may not peaceably follow his business."


  • 1. the Cook.
  • 2. Or grey-work, the fur of the badger.
  • 3. See page 153 ante, Note 5. Purree was probably stranlyng, in a purified, or cleansed, form.
  • 4. See page 153 ante, Note 4.
  • 5. Probably, a brown hue of hare or rabbit fur is meant.
  • 6. Or samite, a rich texture of silk.
  • 7. l.e. not lined.
  • 8. Bridge Street, Woolchurch Haw, and Old Fish Street.
  • 9. Omitted in the MS, but supplied from the Rotul. Parliam. vol. ii. p. 236.
  • 10. The "prisoner's bars," or "base," probably of modern times.