Memorials: 1372

Pages 361-368

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

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In this section

Articles of the Blacksmiths.

46 Edward III. A.D. 1372. Letter-Book G. fol. cclxxxv. (Latin and Norman French.)

(fn. 1) On Monday next after the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul [25 January], in the 46th year etc., the reputable men of the trade of Blacksmiths came here, and delivered unto the Mayor and Aldermen the Articles underwritten, as follow.—

(fn. 2) "In the first place,— because that many of the trade, as well freemen as foreigners, who dwell in foreign lanes, do send their work in secret to a secluded place, and not to a place that is open, by reason that the said work is not avowable and proper, so that the commonalty is deceived and greatly damaged thereby;—it is ordained, that no one of the said trade shall cause any false work to be taken through the streets for sale in the City, or in the suburb thereof, or shall go wandering about the said city, or the suburb, with such false work; but those who wish to send their work for sale out of their houses or shops, shall send the same to, and stand openly, at Graschirche, with such work for sale, or else upon the Pavement hard by St.Nicholas Flesshameles, or near to the Tun upon Cornhulle; on pain of forfeiture of such work to the use of the Chamber, and of paying to the said Chamber, the first time any person shall be convicted thereof, 40 pence; the second time, half a mark; and the third time, half a mark; and so, every time he shall be convicted thereof.

"Also,— that every master in the said trade shall put his own mark upon his work, such as heads of lances, knives, and axes, and other large work; that people may know who made them, in case default shall be found in the same; on the pain aforesaid.

"Also,—that no one in the said trade shall counterfeit the mark of another person, or put the counterfeited mark of another upon his own work; but he shall use and put his own mark upon his own work, on the pain aforesaid.

"Also,—that the Masters of the said trade, for the time chosen, shall have the false work that they shall find made in the trade, brought to the Guildhall, there to be adjudged upon, in whosesoever hands it may be found.

"Also,—that no one shall be made free of the said trade, before it has been testified by one of the same Masters that he is able to follow the trade, the same as they do in other trades.

Also,—that no one in the said trade shall withdraw the apprentice or journeyman of another, during his term; on pain of. paying to the Chamber of the Guildhall 20s., for withdrawing an apprentice; and for withdrawing a journeyman, half a mark." (fn. 3)

Letter of thanks, for an intended gift, from the Princess of Aquitaine and Wales.

46 Edward III. A.D. 1372. Letter-Book G. fol. cclxxxv.(Latin and Norman French.)

(fn. 4) On Friday next after the Feast of St. Matthias the Apostle [24 February], in the 46th year etc., our Lady the Princess of Aquitaine and Wales sent here a letter, directed to the Mayor and Aldermen, in these words:—

(fn. 5) "Very dear and well-beloved. We have fully heard of the great gifts that of your own free will for us you have ordained; for the which we do thank you with all our heart, letting you know for certain that if you shall have any matter to transact with us, as to the which we may reasonably avail you, we will well remember the same, and to the best of our power will do it with good heart. And be pleased to credit hereupon our dear and well-beloved John de Chichestre (fn. 6) and Sir Edward Chardestok, Keeper of our Wardrobe, as to that which on our behalf they shall say to you. Very dear and well beloved, may God have you in His keeping. Given under our Signet, at Berkhampstede, on the 23rd day of February."

(fn. 7) By reason of which letter, their credentials being heard, John de Cauntebrigge, the Chamberlain, delivered unto the said Edward five hundred marks, by precept of the Mayor and Aldermen, to make present thereof, and to pay the same, unto the Princess, on behalf of the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty aforesaid.

Punishment of the Pillory, for selling circlets of inferior metal for silver.

46 Edward III. A.D. 1372. Letter-Book G. fol. cclxxxviii. (Latin.)

Thomas Lanleye, chapman, was brought before the Mayor, Recorder, and Adam Fraunceys and other Aldermen, by the Sheriffs of London, on Friday the Feast of St. George [25 April], in the 46th year etc., for that he, the same Thomas, contriving how to deceive the common people, had circlets of latone gilded, (fn. 8) and with them divers cups bound, which he afterwards sold: and some of which he exposed for sale at divers times, as well in the city aforesaid as without, both in this, the 46th year, and before, to various persons, saying and asserting that the same circlets were made of silver gilt; who, supposing it to be so, bought those cups of him, and paid for them as having bonds around them of silver gilt.

And in like manner, for that he had pledged two cups, so bound with circlets of gilded latone, to one William de Stoke, taillour, for 32 shillings; saying to him, and asserting, that the same cups were bound with circlets of silver gilt, while he well knew that the same were fraudulently bound with gilded latone, in deceit of the people etc. Which William hereupon came, and shewed the cups by the same Thomas so pledged to him.

And the said Thomas, being questioned hereupon etc., acknowledged that he was guilty thereof; and being asked who it was that so gilded those circlets, in deceit of the people etc., he said that one John atte Wyche, latoner, so gilded them. Which John being brought here by the Sheriffs on the said Friday, and questioned as to whether he had gilded the same circlets, and bound those cups therewith, knowing that they were to be sold by the said Thomas as being circlets of silver gilt, in deceit of the people etc., and as to how he would acquit himself as to the fraud and deceit aforesaid etc., acknowledged that he was guilty thereof etc.

Therefore it was awarded that the aforesaid Thomas Lanleye, for the fraud aforesaid etc., should have the punishment of the pillory, there to stand for two hours; and afterwards be committed to prison, until other orders should have been given as to his liberation. And in like manner, that the said John atte Wyche, for the fraud etc., should have the punishment of the pillory, there to stand for two hours. And precept was given to the Sheriffs to do execution of the judgment aforesaid, and to have the reason for the same there proclaimed.

Articles for the Leathersellers and Pouchmakers; and for the Dyers serving those trades.

46 Edward III. A.D. 1372. Letter-Book G. fol. cclxviii. (Latin and Norman French.)

(fn. 9) On Monday next before the Feast of St. Alphege [8 June], in the 46th year etc., came here the reputable men of the Leathersellers and the Pouchmakers, and delivered to the Mayor and Aldermen a certain petition, in these words.—

(fn. 10) "To the honourable the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of London, pray the good folks, the Leathersellers and the Pouchmakers of the same city, that whereas, in the first year of the reign of our Lord the King now reigning, it was forbidden by Ordinance of the then Mayor and Aldermen of the said city, that any man of the trade of pouchmakers should expose any leather for sale as other than it was, or should sell sheep-leather scraped on the back in counterfeit of roe-leather, dyed in divers colours, in deceit of the people: and that no dyer of leathers, who has to do with dyeing, should put into colours such manner of sheep-leather so scraped and broken upon the back, on pain of heavy forfeiture to the Mayor and the Commonalty: and that if any such manner of sheep-leather should afterwards be found dyed, with such scraping and counterfeiting, in deceit of the people, the same should be burnt, by judgment of the Mayor and Aldermen: and now, many persons are selling calfleather, in such manner scraped, as a counterfeit of roe-leather, dyed in divers colours, in deceit of the people.—May it please you to ordain, that the like prohibition may be made as to calfleather, in counterfeit of roe-leather, and under the same penalty as before-mentioned as to sheep-leather. And that the same Ordinances shall be observed among leathersellers and all others. And that the dyers of leathers for the said trades, both at present and in time to come, shall be sworn before you to keep the Ordinance aforesaid, under a certain penalty by you had and ordained, as others of the same trade have heretofore been sworn, for the common profit of the people.

"Also,—that no dyer of leathers shall cause to be dyed in brasil (fn. 11) that has been delivered by any leatherseller or pouchmaker unto him for dyeing his leathers, the leather of any other person; nor yet in any dye which such dyer shall have sold and set apart for any one of the leathersellers and pouchmakers a foresaid, upon agreement with him made; that so, each one of them may have his full dye that it is proper for him rightfully to have: for oftentimes it happens that part of their own leather that is privily purloined from them, as well as the leather of others in other trades, is dyed in the brasil that belongs to the said leathersellers and pouchmakers, to their very great loss. And that no such dyer shall receive to dye, or cause to be dyed, any leather in any dye by him made of less than one pound or half a pound, (fn. 12) according to the leather they use. And that two leathersellers of Chepe, and two pouchmakers of the Bridge, shall be chosen and sworn before you every year, by assent of the folks of the said trades, to oversee the same; and that the points before-mentioned may be kept in form aforesaid; and such defaults as they shall find therein, from time to time they shall loyally present unto you."

(fn. 13) And conference having been held between the Mayor and Aldermen hereon, by their common assent it was ordained that no one in future should sell sheepskin or calf-leather, scraped and made in counterfeit of roe-leather, in form above-mentioned, under the penalty before stated; and that all other things in the petition contained should in future be strictly observed, under the penalty aforesaid. And to oversee the matters aforesaid, and faithfully to present the defaults to the Mayor and Aldermen which from time to time they should find, there were chosen and sworn the four persons under-written, William Belhomme and John Swantone, leathersellers of Chepe, and Thomas Gandre and John de Leye, pouchmakers of the Bridge.

And hereupon the dyers of leather for the same trades were sworn faithfully to do their calling, and, to the best of their power, faithfully to observe the things in the said petition contained; namely, John Blakthorne, and Agnes, his wife; John Whitynge, and Lucy, his wife; and Richard Westone, dier, and Katherine, his wife.

John Mayn, a Leper, expelled from the City.

46 Edward III. A.D. 1372. Letter-Book G. fol. cclxxxix. (Latin.)

On Monday next before the Feast of St. Barnabas the Apostle [11 June], in the 46th year etc., John Mayn, baker, who had oftentimes before been commanded by the Mayor and Aldermen to depart from the City, and provide for himself some dwelling without the same, and avoid the common conversation of mankind, —seeing that he, the same John, was smitten with the blemish of leprosy, — and not to go wandering about the City to communicate with other sound persons, by reason of the infection of that disease, on the peril that awaits the same etc.; was sworn before the Mayor and Aldermen, at the Husting holden on the said Monday, that he would depart forthwith from the city aforesaid, and would make no longer stay within the same; but would take up his abode elsewhere without the City, and not return thereto, on pain of undergoing the punishment of the pillory, if he should contravene the same etc.

Ordinance for the cleansing of Smythfelde.

46 Edward III. A.D. 1372. Letter-Book G. fol. ccxci. (Latin and Norman French.)

(fn. 14) On Wednesday next after the Feast of St. Margaret the Virgin [20 July], in the 46th year etc., came here the reputable men, the Horse-dealers and Drovers, and delivered unto the Mayor and Aldermen a certain petition, in these words.—

(fn. 15) " To the Mayor, Recorder, and Aldermen, of the City of London, shew the dealers of Smethefeld, that is to say, the Coursers and Drovers, (fn. 16) that, for the amendment of the said field, they have granted and assented among them that, for the term of three years next ensuing after the date of this petition, for every horse sold in the said field there shall be paid one penny, for every ox and cow one half-penny, for every eight sheep one penny, and for every four swine one penny, by the seller, and the same by the purchaser, who buys the same for resale. Wherefore they pray that this Ordinance may be enrolled in the Chamber of the Guildhall, to be in force for three years only, according to the good discretion of the said good Lords; the same Ordinance beginning to hold good and be in force at the Feast of St. James the Apostle [25 July], in the 46th year of our Lord the King now reigning."

(fn. 17) And conference being held between the Mayor and Aldermen hereupon, it was agreed and granted by them, with the assent of the same dealers and drovers, that the said pennies should be levied for such three years in form aforesaid, for cleansing the field of Smythfelde by the aid thereof.

Afterwards, on the 11th day of August in the same year, Adam Fernham, Keeper of the Gaol of Neugate, Hugh Averelle, Bailiff of Smythfeld, and William Godhewe, webbe, (fn. 18) were chosen and sworn faithfully to collect and receive the said pennies in form aforesaid, and to cleanse the field of Smythfeld from time to time, during such term of three years, when necessary.

Punishment of the Thewe, for selling putrid soles.

46 Edward III. A.D. 1372. Letter-Book G. fol. ccxcii. (Latin.)

On Saturday next after the Feast of St. Giles the Abbot [I September], in the 46th year of the reign of King Edward the Third etc., Margery Hore, fisshwyfe, was brought here, before the Mayor and Aldermen, with certain fish called "soles," stinking and rotten, and unwholesome for the use of man, which she had exposed for sale at the Stokkes on the day aforesaid, in deceit of the common people, and against the Ordinance published thereon, and to the scandal of the City etc.

Which Margaret being questioned thereupon, did not deny the same, etc. Therefore it was awarded that she should have the punishment of the pillory ordained for women, called the thewe, for her fraud and deceit aforesaid; and that the said fish should there be burnt etc., and the cause of her punishment be there proclaimed.

Royal Proclamation against the pollution of the Thames.

46 Edward III. A.D. 1372. Letter-Book G. fol. ccxcii. (Latin.)

On Thursday next after the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary [8 September], in the 46th year etc., our Lord the King sent here his writ, in these words.—

"Edward, by the grace of God etc., to our well-beloved, the Mayor, Sheriffs, and Aldermen, of our City of London, greeting. Forasmuch as we are for certain informed that rushes, (fn. 19) dung, refuse, and other filth and harmful things, from our City of London, and the suburbs thereof, have been for a long time past, and are daily, thrown into the water of Thames, so that the water aforesaid, and the hythes thereof, are so greatly obstructed, and the course of the said water so greatly narrowed, that great ships and vessels are not able, as of old they were wont, any longer to come up to the same city, but are impeded therein; to the most grievous damage as well of ourselves as of the city aforesaid, and of all the nobles and others of our people to the same city resorting;—We, wishing to provide a fitting remedy in this behalf, do command you, on the fealty and allegiance in which unto us you are bound, strictly enjoining that, with all the speed that you may, you will cause orders to be given that such throwing of rushes, dung, refuse, and other filth and harmful things, into the bed of the river aforesaid, shall no longer be allowed, but that the same shall be removed and wholly taken away therefrom; to the amendment of the same bed of the river, and the enlarging of the watercourse aforesaid; so behaving yourselves in this behalf, that we shall have no reason for severely taking you to task in respect hereof. And this, as we do trust in you, and as you would avoid our heavy indignation, and the punishment which, as regards ourselves, you may incur, you are in no wise to omit. Witness myself, at Prestone, the 20th day of August, in the 46th year of our reign in England, and in France the 33rd."


  • 1. A Note follows, to the effect that the proposed Articles were allowed.
  • 2. In Latin.
  • 3. In French.
  • 4. A Note is added, stating that the proposed Articles were duly approved of, and that six Masters or Overseers were appointed; among them are the names of William Fryday, and Edward Sende: the name of the latter frequently occurs in the City records, as dwelling at a house adjoining Holborn Bridge.
  • 5. In Latin.
  • 6. In French.
  • 7. See page 350 ante, Note 2.
  • 8. In Latin.
  • 9. Or bonds, or rims, for mazer cups, called "cuppebondes."
  • 10. In Latin.
  • 11. In French.
  • 12. A wood used for dyeing of a bright red colour; so called from braise, or redhot coals.
  • 13. In proportion, probably, to the weight of the leather.
  • 14. In Latin.
  • 15. In Latin.
  • 16. In French.
  • 17. Corsours. A "courser"(from the French, no doubt,) was a dealer in horses. Grose (Class. Dict. Vulgar Tongue) ignorantly says that it is properly, horse-coser, "vulgarly and corruptly pronounced courser,"and assigns to it a Scottish origin.
  • 18. Or weaver.
  • 19. Rushes were extensively landed at the hythes of the City, for strewing the floors of houses therewith.