Memorials: 1296

Pages 31-33

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

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Proclamation as to giving aid to Prince Edward in the defence of the Southern coasts; and resistance in the City thereto.

24 Edward I. A.D. 1296. Letter-Book C. fol. xxi. (Norman French and Latin.)

On Wednesday in Easter Week the King sent his writ under his Privy Seal to the men of his city of London, in these words.—

"Edward, (fn. 1) by the grace of God, King of England, Lord of Ireland, and Duke of Aquitaine, to all his good people of the City of London, greeting. We do pray and do charge you on the fealty which unto us you owe, and as we do especially trust in you, that unto our son, and to the commands which he may chance shortly to give you for the safe-guard of the sea-coasts in the South, you be readily obedient, with such force as you may conveniently have, at all times that he shall let you know; and as readily obedient as you would have been to ourselves, if we had been there in our own proper person. Given under our Privy Seal at Halielaunde, (fn. 2) the 15th day of March, in the 24th year of our reign."

Be it remembered, (fn. 3) that on the same day in that year, in presence of Ralph de Sandwich, Sir John le Bretun, then Warden of London, and the Aldermen of the City aforesaid, and others there present, and summoned at the command of our said Lord the King, John de Dowegate, Michael Pycot, mercer, and Geoffrey de Conduit, taverner, did gainsay and impede the provision and ordinance aforesaid, made by the said Warden and Aldermen for men to go with horses and arms, to follow Sir Edward, son of our Lord the King of England, into the parts of Kent; but afterwards they came into the presence of the said Warden and Aldermen, and gave consent to the ordinance and provision aforesaid, and readily agreed to go with horses and arms, according to the command of our Lord the King, in their proper persons; the same as other citizens who had been chosen thereto.

Injunctions to be conveyed to the Citizens from King Edward.

24 Edward I. A.D. 1296. Letter Book C. fol. xxi. (Latin.)

On Sunday next before the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist [25 April], in the 24th year of the reign of King Edward, our Lord the King sent his writ to his citizens of London, in these words.—

"Edward, by the grace of God, etc., to his well-beloved and trusty citizens and other good men of London, greeting. As to certain things to you to be disclosed, which we have greatly at heart for the common well-being of the whole of our realm, we have communicated our will unto our well-beloved and trusty John de Metingham, Ralph de Sandwich, and John le Bretoun; strongly enjoining you, by the fealty and love in which you are bound unto ourselves and the same our realm, that you do faithfully give credit to the same in the premises, or at least, such two of the same as may happen to be present; and at the fitting times do effectually fulfil the same; writing back to us, by the bearer of these presents, your good will therein, and your answer thereto. Given under our Privy Seal, at Berewik upon Tweed, the 9th day of April, in the 4th year of our reign."

Answer given thereto.

24 Edward I. A.D. 1296. Letter-Book C. fol. xxi. (Latin.)

To these two messages the citizens of London made answer to the King by letter, in these words.—

"To their most excellent and liege lord, Edward, by the grace of God, the illustrious King of England, his humble and devoted citizens of the City of London, greeting in Him by whom kings do reign, and who giveth health unto kings. Most excellent lord,—of late by two letters of yours we are earnestly exhorted as to the necessary business of defence of your realm, about the sea–coasts thereof; first, by your letter that with your son,—whose life may the Most High guide unto long and prosperous days—secondly, that with your discreet and praiseworthy men, Ralph de Sandwich and John le Bretun, we should send certain of our fellow-citizens, to make such defence as aforesaid, if necessary, according to the advice and discretion of such trusty persons; saving however, and reserving, a good guard for the safe-keeping of your City aforesaid. Wherefore, seeing your desire herein, and that the matter required efficient aid, you being away far distant, as also, because it was befitting that we should do the same, we have sent with your son forty men with caparisoned horses, and fifty arbalesters, besides footsoldiers; who at our expense are accompanying your son, and have now set out for the sea-coast. We, however, the remaining citizens, who are guarding the City, are watching it with anxious care, in such manner as is expedient; seeing that there are many persons now making stay within the City, of divers tongues and from the parts beyond sea, who pretend to be your friends and ours, in whom we do not fully trust, but as to whose disposal we fear to give full orders, until we have your especial commands, directed to us thereon. We are ready, however, have been, and will be, whensoever more or less urgent necessity shall persuade thereto, according to the discretion and advice of your trusty servants before-mentioned, to go with them, as many as shall be able, to aid in the defence of the seacoast, with such help as we conveniently may, keeping safe custody of your city aforesaid; that so we may give full satisfaction to your desires in all things, to the utmost of our power. We bid your royal mightiness farewell, and length of years may it enjoy, etc."


  • 1. In French.
  • 2. Holy Island.
  • 3. In Latin.