Memorials: 1364

Pages 315-320

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

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False charge of Conspiracy against the chief men of the City; and punishment of the Pillory inflicted for the perjury.

38 Edward III. A.D. 1364. Letter-Book G. fol. cxxxviii. (Norman French.)

Be it remembered, that John de Hakford (fn. 1) came before the Mayor, John Not, and the Aldermen of London, in the Guildhall of the said city, on the Monday next after the Feast of St. Peter's Chains [1 August] in the 38th year, to shew to the said Mayor and Aldermen that one Richard Hay, fuller, came to him in the week last past upon Cornhulle, and asked him if he was one of those who were at Haveryng atte Boure, (fn. 2) when the people of the City were there with our Lord the King. And he answered—"Yes," and then the said Richard asked if he was a tailor, and knew of the design that was entertained. And to this John answered that he was a tailor, but as to any design, he knew nothing about it; whereupon, the same Richard said to him that there were ten thousand men in the said city, all of one alliance and of one agreement, that, at a certain time, such as should seem to them the best, they would all be ready and prepared with their arms,—those who have arms, and those who have none of their own, with such arms as they may get,—to slay all the best people, and the great folks and officers of the said city: and that as he had not been warned before, he now gave him warning to be ready and prepared, whensoever the cry should be raised. On which charge, the said Richard was committed to the Prison of Neugate, there to remain until, etc.

Then on Monday the Feast of St. Martin [11 November], in the year aforesaid, the same Richard was brought before Adam de Bury, the then Mayor of the said city, and the Aldermen, and in presence of the said John Hakford was accused of the words and covins aforesaid, and was asked how he would acquit himself thereof. And he made answer that he was not guilty of the things aforesaid, and put himself on the people (fn. 3) of the country of Cornhulle as to the same etc. Whereupon, command was given to John de Pantone, serjeant, to summon forthwith before the said Mayor and captive in England. The above are the only payments entered: given by the four Companies, apparently, with the kindly motive of helping him in the discharge of his ransom. Aldermen twelve of the best men of the venue of Cornhulle; who appeared and were sworn, by assent of Richard and John aforesaid, namely, Raufe de Cauntebrigge, and eleven others.

Who said upon their oath, that the said Richard was in no way guilty of any of the things to them submitted thereupon. And because that the King himself commanded with his own lips that, if the said information should be found to be false, the same John Hakford should be punished, as an example to other such liars, the said John was remanded by the Mayor and Aldermen to the Prison of Neugate, there to remain until they should be better advised as to their judgment.

Then afterwards, on Saturday the morrow of St. Nicholas [6 December], in the 38th year etc., the Mayor and Aldermen, with the assent and good advice of the Commonalty, gave orders as to the punishment that the said John de Hakford should have for the falsehood aforesaid,—in form as follows. The said John shall remain in prison for one whole year and a day, that is to say, from Monday the Feast of St. Martin, in the 38th year aforesaid, the day on which he was convicted of the falsehood, until the same day in the year next to come. And the said John within such year shall four times have the punishment of the pillory, that is to say, one day in each quarter of the year, beginning, for the first day of the pillory, on the Saturday aforesaid, and in this manner.—The said John shall come out of Newgate without hood or girdle, barefoot and unshod, with a whetstone hung by a chain from his neck, and lying on his breast, it being marked with the words,—"A false liar"; and there shall be a pair of trumpets trumpeting before him on his way to the pillory; and there the cause of his punishment shall be solemnly proclaimed. And the said John shall remain on the pillory for three hours of the day, and from thence shall be taken back to Neugate in the same manner, there to remain until his punishment shall be completed, in manner aforesaid.

By virtue of which judgment, the said John was put upon the pillory, the first time, on the Saturday above-mentioned. (fn. 4)

Punishment of the Pillory, for enhancing the price of wheat.

38 Edward III. A.D. 1364. Letter-Book G. fol. cxxxii. (Latin.)

John Atte Wode, baker, was attached to make answer to the Commonalty of the City of London, and to John de Briclesworthe, Common Serjeant of the city aforesaid etc., for that he, the said John atte Wode, baker, on the Sunday next after the Feast of St. Bartholomew the Apostle [24 August] in the 38th year etc., affeered (fn. 5) his own corn in common market, on the Pavement within Newgate, in London, offering for the bushel of wheat 2½d. beyond the common price of the bushel of wheat, at that time in the same market sold.

And also, the same John atte Wode was attached for that, whereas one Robert de Cawode had two quarters of wheat for sale in the said market, the day and year aforesaid, he, the same John atte Wode, cunningly, and by secret words, whispering in his ears, fraudulently withdrew the said Robert de Cawode out of the common market; and then they went together into the Church of the Friars Minors, and in that church the said John bought the said 2 quarters of wheat, at the price of 15½d. per bushel, being 2½d. over the common selling price at the time in that market; to the great loss, and in deceit, of the common people, to the increase of the dearness of corn, and to the damage of 100 pounds to the Commonalty aforesaid etc. And the said John atte Wode denied etc., and put himself on the country as to the same.

And the Jury of the venue of Neugate appeared by Peter de Colbrok, Thomas Kynggesbrigge, and ten others; who said on their oath, that the aforesaid John atte Wode did not affeer his own corn on sale, etc. Therefore as to that he was to go acquitted thereof etc. But they said that the same John atte Wode did falsely and fraudulently buy the said two quarters of wheat of the said Robert Cawode in the church aforesaid, he paying 2½d. more for each bushel of wheat than the selling price in the same market, in order to create dearness thereby, to the grievous damage of the people of the city aforesaid, to the amount of 100 pounds. And they said that the same John atte Wode, immediately after the purchase of such corn, deceitfully so made, returned to the market aforesaid, and there before the common people avowed the purchase of such corn, saying that he could lawfully do the same etc.; and this he said and did to increase the dearness of corn, to the distress of the common people.

Therefore it was adjudged that the said John atte Wode should have the punishment of the pillory, to stand for three hours of the day upon the same, for his falsity and deceit aforesaid. And precept was given thereupon to John de Hiltoft, one of the Sheriffs of London, to do execution of the judgment aforesaid etc.; and to make proclamation of the reason why he was so adjudged to have the punishment of the pillory.

A seller of unsound wine punished by being made to drink it.

38 Edward III. A.D. 1364. Letter-Book G. fol. cxli. (Latin.)

Pleas holden before Adam de Bury, Mayor, and the Aldermen, on Tuesday the morrow of St. Martin [11 November], in the 38th year etc.—

John Rightwys and John Penrose, taverners, were attached to make answer etc., in a plea of contempt and trespass. As to the which, John de Brykelesworthe, who prosecuted for the King and the Commonalty of the City of London, said that the same John Ryghtwys and John Penrose, on the Eve of St. Martin in the 38th year etc., in the Parish of St. Leonard Estchepe, in the tavern of Walter (fn. 6) Doget there, sold red wine to all who came there, unsound and unwholesome for man, in deceit of the common people, and in contempt of our Lord the King, and to the shameful disgrace of the officers of the City; to the grievous damage of the Commonalty etc. And this he offered etc. to prove etc. (fn. 7) And the four supervisors of the sale of wines in the City claimed to have cognizance of all defaults therein; and the said John Ryghtwys and John Penrose were committed to Newgate, until etc.

And on the Saturday following the said four supervisors appeared etc.; and they said that the said John Ryghtwys was in no way guilty of the sale of the said wine. Therefore he was to be acquitted thereof. And they said that the said John Penrose was guilty of the sale of such wine, and they wished him to be imprisoned for a year and a day.

Afterwards, on the 22nd day of November in the 38th year aforesaid, the said four supervisors came, and gave another judgment, in form as follows:—that the said John Penrose shall drink a draught of the same wine which he sold to the common people; and the remainder of such wine shall then be poured on the head of the same John; and that he shall forswear the calling of a vint ner in the City of London for ever, unless he can obtain the favour of our Lord the King as to the same. (fn. 8)

Punishment of the Thewe, for thickening the bottom of a quart measure with pitch.

38 Edward III. A.D. 1364. Letter-Book G. fol. cxxxvii. (Latin.)

On the 23rd day of November, in the 38th year etc., Alice, wife of Robert de Caustone, appeared before Adam de Bury, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, and before them acknowledged that she had sold ale in a measure called a "quart," that was not sealed; and also, that in the same measure there was putpicche, (fn. 9) one inch and a half in depth, and that rosemaryn (fn. 10) was laid upon it, so as to look like a bush, in the sight of the common people.

Which measure was assayed by the standard of London; whereby it was found that six such quarts as this would not make one proper gallon of ale. And for the falsehood and deceit aforesaid, it was adjudged by the Mayor and Aldermen, that the said Alice should undergo the punishment of the pillory for women ordained, called the "thewe" etc. And the same false measure was divided into two equal parts; one of which was tied to the pillory, in sight of the common people, and the other part remained in the Chamber of the Guildhall.

Enactment as to future punishment in the City for perjury.

38 Edward III. A.D. 1364. Letter-Book G. fol. cxl. (Latin.)

On Wednesday next after the Feast of St. Katherine the Virgin [25 November] in the 38th year etc., before Adam de Bury, Mayor, the Aldermen, and an immense number of the Commonalty, in the Great Hall of the Guildhall of London assembled, by their common assent it was ordained, that if any person shall be convicted of having forsworn himself in any case touching himself, as to his own act, such person shall be committed to the Prison of Newgate, there to remain until the Husting next ensuing. At which Husting he is to be taken from the prison to the Guildhall, before the Mayor and Aldermen there; and he shall stand on a high stool in full Husting there, before all the people, bareheaded; and the cause of his imprisonment shall there be publicly proclaimed, as an example to others who so offend; and he shall then be set at liberty. And if any such person shall be convicted twice of the offence, he shall undergo the punishment of the pillory.

Proclamation ordered for the safe-keeping of a beast belonging to the King, called an "Oure."

38 Edward III. A.D. 1364. Letter-Book G. fol. cxl. (Latin.)

"Edward, by the grace of God etc., to the Mayor and Sheriffs of London, greeting. Whereas Roger Owery and John Waut are deputed in our behalf to be keepers in the City of London of a certain beast of ours, of the land of Egypt, called an 'Oure'; (fn. 11) and we have understood that certain persons of the said city, envying the said keepers, do threaten to do them grievous bodily harm, and atrociously to kill the said beast;— We, wishing to preserve the said keepers and the beast from injury and grievance, do command you that in the city aforesaid, and the suburbs thereof, where you shall deem most expedient, you do cause public proclamation to be made, and it on our behalf strictly to be forbidden, that any person, native or stranger, of whatsoever condition he may be, on pain of forfeiting unto us as much as he may forfeit, shall have the audacity to do any damage, violence, misprision, or grievance, unto the said keepers, or to the beast, which we have so taken under our protection and especial defence, or to any one of them; or shall presume to intermeddle for getting a sight of the said beast, against the will of them, the keepers thereof. And if you shall know any one to attempt the contrary hereof, then you are so to punish them that the same punishment may deter all others from attempting the like; and to answer unto us as to such forfeiture, in manner as is befitting. Witness myself, at Westminster, the 4th day of December, in the 38th year of our reign."


  • 1. From the sequel we learn that he was a Bedel, as well as a tailor.
  • 2. Havering at Bower, near Romford, in Essex. The English sovereigns had a palace here, from the time of Edward the Confessor to the reign of Elizabeth.
  • 3. A jury, in other words.
  • 4. From folio cxxxix. we learn that in obedience to a royal mandate of the 8th of April, in the following year, this Hakford was released from prison, security being taken for his good behaviour; the following being his sureties, — Richard Claverynge (one of the Jury who had convicted him), Roger Claverynge, John Hanham, Richard atte Selere, John Norhamptone (perhaps the person of that name who became Mayor in 1381), Benedict Cornewaille. On the 12th of April, he also gave a bond of 100l. for his future good behaviour.
  • 5. Enhanced the price of.
  • 6. Afterwards Sheriff, in 1380. The family seem to have been long opulent vintners in the City.
  • 7. This passage is here abbreviated, for saving space; it being lengthy, and set forth in tedious and uninteresting legal form.
  • 8. From a Note added, we learn that on Monday after the Feast of St. Matthias [24 February], in the 43rd year of the same reign, he was readmitted to the trade.
  • 9. Pitch.
  • 10. Rosemary.
  • 11. Perhaps the Urus, Aurochs, or Bison, of the East of Europe, may be meant; or possibly, the Ihrwy, which of late years has been introduced from Morocco into this country. The mention of Egypt was probably based only on surmise.