Memorials: 1370

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: 1370', in Memorials of London and London Life in the 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries, ed. H T Riley( London, 1868), British History Online [accessed 21 July 2024].

'Memorials: 1370', in Memorials of London and London Life in the 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries. Edited by H T Riley( London, 1868), British History Online, accessed July 21, 2024,

"Memorials: 1370". Memorials of London and London Life in the 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries. Ed. H T Riley(London, 1868), , British History Online. Web. 21 July 2024.

In this section

Regulations for the Taverners.

44 Edward III. A.D. 1370. Letter-Book G. fol. ccxliii. (Latin and Norman French.)

On Thursday, (fn. 1) the Feast of St. Valentine [14 February], in the 44th year etc., the good men of the trade of Vintners came before John de Chychestre, Mayor, and the Aldermen, and delivered to them certain Articles, among them by common consent ordained, and entreated that the Mayor and Aldermen would order the same in future to be inviolably observed, for the good governance of the said trade, and the common profit; in words as follow.—

(fn. 2) "As concerning that you ask to see and have cognizance of the good rule of the Taverners, as to their sale and their other affairs, which same they have shown unto you, and requested by their petition; unto you the Vintners do shew, that to their mind the points and Ordinances which follow, would be good and reasonable.—

"In the first place—that immediately after the Day of St. Martin in Winter [11 November] shall be past, (fn. 3) search be made throughout all the City by good and lawful people of the trade, and sworn thereunto; and that if any corrupt wine shall be found, wheresoever it may be, the same shall be condemned, without favour to any one; that so, no wine shall remain in taverns for sale, unless it be good and proper; on pain of forfeiting the same wines to the Chamber.

"Also,—that after new wines shall have been laid in the cellars of taverns for sale, the same shall not be exposed for sale, until the old wine has been removed therefrom, and put in some other place.

"Also,—that no white wine of Gascoigne, of La Rochel, of Spain, or of any other country, shall be laid in taverns where Rhenish wine is for sale, on pain of the vendor being forbidden to sell in the same house for one month after, or else making satisfaction to the Chamber, by award of the Mayor and Aldermen.

"Also,— that no Rhenish wine, or any other wine, shall be sold in taverns, except by rightful measures, sealed with the seals of the Aldermen; on pain of paying half a mark, and forfeiting such [unlawful] measure; and so, every time that such default shall be found.

"Also,—that the doors of cellars in taverns where wines are laid down for sale, shall be kept open, without hindrance by bars, cloths, or other obstacles; that so, one person of a company may enter to see the wine drawn; on pain of paying 40 pence, every time such default shall be found against this Ordinance.

"Also,—that at the coming of the first fleet (fn. 4) in time of vintage, after the arrival of the first three or four ships from Gascoigne, due inquisition shall be made, by advice of the Mayor, Aldermen, and merchant vintners of good knowledge, and other good merchants with them, as to the price and sale of the wines (fn. 5) in the hands as well of strangers as denizens, at what rate the same are to be bought wholesale, upon common sale thereof, for good and ready payment: and that thereupon, the wines shall be set at a certain price for sale by retail, reasonably, without excessive profit; they having regard to the fact that this merchandize is exposed to greater peril and waste in itself than any other, as is very well known; and besides which, wines do so often change their colour and savour, whereby they lose oftentimes one half or a great part thereof. And in the same manner let inquisition be made as to the export from Rekke. (fn. 6) That so the taverners may be able to live, and reasonably gain their livelihood.

"Also,—forasmuch as many times divers things happen which need amendment and punishment, that cannot be known or perceived before the mishap occurs, and as to the which people of the trade have better knowledge than any one else; they have ordained that four men of the trade shall be chosen and sworn to search into such defaults, and to oversee that the Ordinances are well and justly kept and observed from year to year; and that no wines shall be exposed in taverns for sale, before that the four persons aforesaid shall have seen that they are good and fit for sale. And that if any one shall be rebellious against any of the said Ordinances, the same four persons shall have power, together with a serjeant of the Mayor, at all times that he shall be required thereto, to sequestrate their houses, until the offence shall be duly redressed, according to the award of you and the four men so sworn as aforesaid." (fn. 7)

Petition of the Owner of the Tanners' Seld in Frydaystrete, and order made thereupon.

44 Edward III. A.D. 1370. Letter-Book G. fol. ccxlv. (Latin and Norman French.)

(fn. 8) On Monday next after the Feast of St. Gregory the Pope [12 March], in the 44th year etc., Adam Lovekyn delivered to the Mayor and Aldermen a certain petition, in these words.—

(fn. 9) "To the honourable Lords, the Mayor and the Recorder of the City of London, sheweth Adam Lovekyn, of the same city, that whereas his Seld (fn. 10) of Frydaystret serves for all foreign tanners, and time out of mind has been occupied with their wares; and every tanner (fn. 11) who comes to the City ought to come there, and there sell his hides, and nowhere else, paying one penny by the dacre, (fn. 12) according to the ancient usage; the same tanners do now go and sell their wares as well throughout the streets as in their hostels, in secret; in fraud and deceit of the commons coming to the said Seld, and to the great damage of the said Adam; therefore, may it please your Lordships to ordain and establish, that if any foreign tanner shall sell his wares elsewhere than at such Seld, the same wares shall be made forfeit by the warden of the Seld, for the time being; one half to go to the Chamber, and the other half to the Seld: seeing that these persons claim to hold the said Seld to their own use; by reason whereof, the said Adam cannot make any other profit by his house, without great clamour on their part."

Afterwards, (fn. 13) on the 25th day of April in the year above-mentioned, it was agreed by John de Chichestre, Mayor, William de Haldene, the Recorder, Adam Fraunceys, and certain other Aldermen, and ordered, that no strange tanner, bringing his hides to the City for sale, should expose them for sale anywhere within the City, or the suburbs thereof, than in the Seld in Frydaystret aforesaid, as from of old had been the usage; on pain of paying certain penalties to the Chamber of the Guildhall.

Punishment of the Pillory, inflicted upon a Cutpurse.

44 Edward III. A.D. 1370. Letter-Book G. fol. ccliii. (Latin.)

On Friday next after the Feast of St. James the Apostle [25 July], in the 44th year etc., Ralph Swyntone, fullere, was brought here before the Mayor, Aldermen, etc., because that he had cut off the (fn. 14) purse of a certain strange woman at the Stokkes, on Wednesday the Eve of St. James, in the year above-mentioned.

And the said Roger was questioned hereupon etc., and he did not deny the said offence. Therefore it was awarded by the Mayor and Aldermen, that he should have the punishment of the pillory, there to stand for three hours.

Preparations made for an expected attack upon the City.

44 Edward III. A.D. 1370. Letter-Book G. fol. ccliii. (Latin.)

Because that the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of the City of London were given to understand, that certain galleys, with a multitude of armed men therein, were lying off the Forelond of Tenet, (fn. 15) and it was presumed thereupon that it was their intention to come to London, to destroy the people of that city, and to do other mischiefs there, if in their power; the Aldermen and Commonalty being therefore called together before John de Chichestre, the Mayor, and conference having been held between them thereupon; on the Monday next before the Feast of St. Laurence [10 August] in the 44th year etc., in order to resist the malicious designs of the same galleys, and of other enemies of our Lord the King, it was ordered, as well for the preservation of the ships of our Lord the King, then lying at Le Redeclyve (fn. 16) and in the water of Thames, as for the safety of the city aforesaid, by common assent of the said Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty, that every night in future, so long as there should be need, watch should be kept between the Tower of London and Byllyngesgate, with 40 men-atarms and 60 archers: which watch the men of the trades underwritten agreed to keep in succession each night, until the Mayor and Aldermen should give other orders thereupon; in form, that is, as follows.—

On Tuesday,—the Drapers and the Tailors. On Wednesday,—the Mercers and the Apothecaries. On Thursday,—the Fishmongers and the Butchers. On Friday,—the Pelterers and the Vintners. On Saturday,—the Goldsmiths and the Saddlers. On Sunday,—the Ironmongers, the Armourers, and the Cutlers. On Monday,—the Tawyers, the Spurriers, the Bowyers, and the Girdlers.

Election of William Walworth and Robert Gaytone as Sheriffs.

44 Edward III. A.D. 1370. Letter-Book G. fol. ccliv. (Latin.)

On Saturday, the Feast of St. Matthew the Apostle [21 September], in the 44th year etc., there being assembled in the Guildhall of the City of London, John de Chichestre, Mayor, William de Haldene, Adam Fraunceys, James Andreu, Stephen Cavendisshe, Simon de Mordone, John de Bernes, John de Mitforde, John Lytle, Walter Forster, John Albon, John Pyel, John Warde, and John Aubrey, Aldermen, and an immense number of the Commonalty, William Walworth and Robert Gaytone were chosen to be Sheriffs of London and Middlesex for the year next ensuing. And on Saturday the Eve of St. Michael [29 September] following, the said Sheriffs were sworn, etc. And afterwards, on the morrow of St. Michael, the said Sheriffs were admitted before the Barons of the Exchequer, at Westminster.

Petition of the Weavers Flemings, and Ordinance made thereupon.

44 Edward III. A.D. 1370. Letter-Book G. fol. ccliv. (Latin and Norman French.)

(fn. 17) On Saturday, the Feast of St. Matthewthe Apostle [21 September], in the 44th year etc., came here, before the Mayor and Aldermen, the good men of the commonalty of the trade of Weavers Flemings, and delivered to the Mayor and Aldermen a certain petition, in these words.—

(fn. 18) "To the most honourable Lords, the Mayor, Recorder, and Aldermen of London, shew the poor Commonalty of the Weavers among the Flemings, that whereas it was ordered heretofore by the Mayor, Recorder, and Aldermen, of the said city, that the said Weavers Flemings should hold their meetings in the Churchyard of St. Laurence Pountenay, and the Weavers of Brabant in the Churchyard of Our Lady Somersete; (fn. 19) it having been so ordered, because that the Flemings and the Brabanters were wont to fight and make very great affray in the City: may it therefore please you to order, that the said Weavers Flemings and Brabanters shall be charged to hold their meetings of serving-men on hire apart, in the places aforesaid, as above mentioned. And that nevertheless, it shall be fully lawful for those of the one side and the other to come and hire serving-men, at their pleasure, from the one side and the other, without causing any tumult or strife thereby, for the saving of the said commons. And that it may please you to order, that the bailiffs of the said craft shall be forbidden to make any such tallage as they have made among them heretofore, to the impoverishment of the said commons. And that it may please you to hold the said serving-men excused for their withdrawal; (fn. 20) for it was by suggestion of their said bailiffs that they were recommended to sue at Westminster, and they say that each of them has lost 10 pounds [thereby]."

(fn. 21) Upon which petition counsel having been held between the Mayor and Aldermen aforesaid, it was agreed by the same, and ordered, for the good governance of the said trade, that the Weavers Flemings should meet in the Churchyard of St. Laurence Pountenay, and the Weavers of Brabant in the Churchyard of St. Mary Somersete, as before they had been wont to do, for there hiring serving-men in the said trade; and that the serving-men in that trade, as well of Flanders as of Brabant, should serve indifferently under the weavers of either nation, that is to say, as well under Fleming as Brabanter, who should wish to hire them for competent salary to work in that trade; without any impediment or gainsaying thereof, on pain of imprisonment, etc.

False measures, called "chopyns," ordered to be burnt in Chepe.

44 Edward III. A.D. 1370. Letter-Book G. fol. cclviii. (Latin.)

On Saturday next after the Feast of St. Leonard [6 November], in the 44th year etc., Cristina atte Felde, John Ive, (fn. 22) Isabel Kene, Elena Lokyer, Cecily Holmes, Johanna Wyrcestre, Johanna Hernyst, Johanna Hanel, Agnes Gyngyvere, Alice Hurle, and Agnes Damas, huksters (fn. 23) at the Stone Cross in Chepe, were attached to make answer severally, why they sold victuals by false measures, called "chopyns, (fn. 24) " in deceit of the people, and against the Ordinance etc. Which measures the Mayor and Aldermen caused to be brought here before them.

And the aforesaid Cristina and the others severally said that they could not deny it; and they put themselves upon the favour of the Mayor and Aldermen as to the same. Therefore it was ordered that the false measures aforesaid should be burnt in Chepe, near to the Stone Cross aforesaid. And they were forbidden in future to sell any victuals by such false measures, on the peril which awaits etc.


  • 1. In Latin.
  • 2. In French.
  • 3. In contradistinction to the Feast of St. Martin the Boiling (from the heat of the weather), 4th July.
  • 4. flote.
  • 5. Wines just imported.
  • 6. Rochelle is probably meant.
  • 7. A Note is added, to the effect that the said Articles were duly assented to by the Mayor and Aldermen.
  • 8. In Latin.
  • 9. In French.
  • 10. See page 22 ante, Note 5.
  • 11. I.e., a foreigner, or non-freeman.
  • 12. Or dicker; ten of a commodity. A dacre of leather was probably one-sixth of a last.
  • 13. In Latin.
  • 14. Or pouch; hung from a girdle at Thanet.
  • 15. North foreland, in the Isle of the waist.
  • 16. Now chiefly remembered in the name of Ratcliffe Highway; Ratcliffe being a hamlet in the Parish of Stepney, and formerly a village inhabited by mariners.
  • 17. In Latin.
  • 18. In French.
  • 19. St. Mary Somerset, in the Ward of Queen Hythe.
  • 20. retriet: withdrawl from appeal in the City Courts is probably meant.
  • 21. In Latin.
  • 22. The term "hukster," in the City Books, is mostly applied to females only.
  • 23. Having stations, or stalls, around the Cross there.
  • 24. Or pints. See page 78 ante, Note 4.