Memorials: 1297

Pages 33-36

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

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Evechepynges in Soper Lane forbidden.

25 Edward I. A.D. 1297. Letter-Book B. fol. xxx. old (fn. 1) numeration. (Latin.)

On Thursday next before the Feast of Pentecost, (fn. 2) in the 25th year of the reign of King Edward, it was ordered, in the presence of Sir John le Bretun, Warden of the City of London, and certain of the Aldermen, that by reason of the murders and strifes arising therefrom between persons known and unknown, the gathering together of thieves in the market, and of cutpurses and other misdoers against the peace of our Lord the King, in a certain market which had been lately held after dinner in Soper Lane, (fn. 3) and which was called "The Neue Feyre;" the same should from thenceforth be abolished, and not again be held, on pain of losing the wares both bought and sold there: the same market having been established by strangers, foreigners, and beggars, dwelling three or four leagues from London.

Provision as to mooring vessels at Billingsgate and Queen Hythe.

25 Edward I. A.D. 1297. Letter-Book B. fol. xxxii. old numeration. (Latin.)

It was provided that the warden of Queen Hythe and the warden of the dock at Billinggesgate, (fn. 4) by themselves and their people, shall cause it to be strictly observed, that no ship or boat shall be moored elsewhere than at the hythes and places aforesaid, or shall lie to elsewhere, between the hours of sunset and sunrise: and that no ship or boat shall be placed or kept at night, after the time aforesaid, near the bank-side of Suwerke, (fn. 5) on pain of the parties losing their vessels, and having their bodies committed to prison, to whom such vessels shall happen to belong; and in like manner, on pain of forfeiting all their goods aforesaid (fn. 6) to the wardens of the said hythe and dock of Billinggesgate, for the time being.

And further, that they shall not allow any boatman to go forth from the quays aforesaid, to ferry, take, carry, or convey, any person or persons across to Suwerke, or elsewhere, under the penalty and forfeiture aforesaid, during the time of the disturbance. (fn. 7)

Regulations for the safe-keeping of the Streets.

25 Edward I. A.D. 1297. Letter-Book B. fol. xxxiii. old numeration. (Norman French.)

On Thursday next after the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross [14 September], in the 25th year of the reign of King Edward, by Sir John Bretun, Warden, and the Aldermen, the following Proclamation was ordered, for maintaining the peace of our Lord the King.—

"On behalf of the King and his son, and their Council, the Warden and the Aldermen ordain,—That no person shall be so daring as to be found walking through the streets after curfew rung at St. Martin's le Grand; and that every one, under the penalty that is awarded thereto, shall come when he is summoned to the watch, as well at the City Gates as in the streets, armed and arrayed as he ought to be.

"And that every one shall keep clean the front of his tenement, that so the streets be delivered from all incumbrances before Friday next, at Vespers; and where incumbrances shall be found after the time aforesaid, let the owner be amerced in half a mark.

"And that the stands be removed forthwith, (fn. 8) before Vespers.

"And that on Sunday every Alderman, in his own Ward, shall take such stands as shall be found in the streets, and do his will therewith; and if after that time any stand shall be found in the streets, the Warden shall do his will therewith.

"And that no taverner or brewster shall keep the door open after curfew rung, as aforesaid; and that whosoever shall be convicted thereof, shall be amerced in half a mark, which shall be expended in repairing the walls and the gates of the City.

"And that fullers' (fn. 9) implements shall be forthwith removed, before Vespers.

"And that pentices which are too low shall be forthwith pulled down, that so persons may ride on great (fn. 10) horses beneath.

"And also, that pig-sties that are in the streets shall be speedily removed; and that no swine shall be found in the streets, on pain of forfeiture thereof, in aid of making the walls and gates."

Watch and Ward at the City Gates.

25 Edward I. A.D. 1297. Letter-Book B. fol. xxxiii. old numeration. (Latin.)

It was ordered that every bedel shall make summons by day in his own Ward, upon view of two good men, for setting watch at the Gates;—and that those so summoned shall come to the Gates in the day-time, and in the morning, at day-light, shall depart therefrom. And such persons are to be properly armed with two pieces; namely, with haketon (fn. 11) and gambeson (fn. 12), or else with haketon and corset (fn. 13), or with haketon and plates. And if they neglect to come so armed, or make default in coming, the bedel shall forthwith hire another person, at the rate of twelve pence, in the place of him who makes such default; such sum to be levied on the morrow upon the person so making default.

In like manner, if any person shall be summoned to watch within his Ward, and shall make default, the bedel shall substitute another in his place, and on the morrow shall take from him three pence, to the use of such substitute.

Ordinance for the safe-keeping of the City.

25 Edward I. A.D. 1297. Letter-Book B. fol. xxxiv. old numeration. (Latin and Norman French.)

(fn. 14) On the Monday next after the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross [14 September], in the 25th year of the reign of King Edward, the Warden and Aldermen were summoned before the son of our Lord the King, and his Council, in the house of the Bishop of London, at St. Paul's, in London; and there delivery was made, by the hands of Sir John de Langetone, the then Chancellor of our Lord the King, and by assent of the said Council, unto Sir John de Banquelle, Sir Stephen Eswy, Aldermen, and Sir Henry le Galeys, of the following articles, in these words.—

(fn. 15) "The Aldermen are commanded by the Council to order ward of the City to be kept, between this and Sunday next; to cause to be put in writing all names of trades; and to order surety to be taken of those who shall demur thereto.

"And further, they are to see which persons are able to bear arms, and which not; and their arms are to be viewed.

"And also, they are to order that the Gates of the City shall be well guarded by day and by night; and that barriers and chains be made in all the streets where need shall be; and more especially, towards the water, at the Friars Preachers. (fn. 16)

"And that all vessels that come by water, shall be moored on "this side, and not elsewhere, on pain of heavy forfeiture.

"And that the defences of the walls be made and repaired.

"It is commanded by the Council that John de Banquelle and Stephen Eswy cause all the things aforesaid to be done, and that Henry le Galeys give due orders as to all these things, and see that the same be properly done."


  • 1. See page 3 ante, Note 2.
  • 2. Or Whit Sunday.
  • 3. On the site of the present Queen Street, Cheapside. It took its name from the Sopers, or makers of "sope" (soap); and Stow is in error in saying that it was so called from Alan le Sopar, temp. Edward II. The Pepperers, or Spicers, inhabited it in the time of Edward II.; and the Curriers and Cordwainers seventy years later. In Bishop Latimer's time it had degenerated to the sale of pies.
  • 4. portus.
  • 5. Southwark.
  • 6. Probably meaning, in the vessels or boats aforesaid.
  • 7. Arising from King Edward's arbitrary attempt to raise taxes on wool and leather.
  • 8. trounckes; boxes placed in the streets for the sale of wares. See page 20 ante, Note 8.
  • 9. Fulling, like some other trades, was probably sometimes carried on in the streets.
  • 10. Chargers, or war-horses.
  • 11. A jacket of quilted leather, sometimes worn under the armour, and sometimes used as armour itself.
  • 12. An inner jacket, worn beneath the haketon, or other armour.
  • 13. Or corslet; a light cuirass.
  • 14. In Latin.
  • 15. In French.
  • 16. The present Blackfriars.