Memorials: 1379

Pages 428-438

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

Appointment of John Charney as Common Hunt.

2 Richard II. A.D. 1379. Letter-Book H. fol. cviii. (Latin.)

Be it remembered, that on the Day of St. Gregory [12 March] in the 2nd year, etc., in full congregation of the Common Council of the City of London, at the petition and request of John Charney, (fn. 1) it was granted by the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commoners, then present, that the said John should from thenceforth fill the office of Common Hunt of the said City, (fn. 2) and should receive from the Chamber yearly his vesture, the same as one of the Serjeants of the Chamber receives it; so long as he should remain in the said office, and do all things everywhere, as well as to hunting as to fishing, which unto the office aforesaid of right pertain.

Deposit of royal jewels with the City, as security for a loan of five thousand pounds.

2 Richard II. A.D. 1379. Letter-Book H. fol. cviii. (Norman French.)

"This indenture witnesseth, that John Bacoun, clerk, keeper of certain jewels and plate of gold and silver, belonging to the King, has, by virtue of a warrant to him directed thereupon under the King's Privy Seal, delivered unto the honourable man, the Mayor of the City of London, and to the Commonalty of the said city, one coronet of gold, one palet of gold, (fn. 3) one sword, and one saddle of Spain, set with divers pearls and precious stones; together with certain other jewels, that is to say, two coronets, one great circlet, and 23 nouches of gold, set also with pearls and precious stones; of which nouches, there are two wrought with white harts (fn. 4) in the middle, studded with rubies on the shoulders; one great nouche, and three smaller ones, each with a griffin in the middle; five nouches, in the shape of white dogs, studded with rubies on the shoulders; one great nouche, with four wild boars of azure; four smaller nouches of one pattern, each with a large sapphire in the middle; four nouches in the shape of eagles; and three nouches in the shape of white harts, studded with rubies: of which coronets, palet, sword, saddle, circlet, and nouches, the particulars are set forth in a roll sealed with the said Privy Seal, and sent unto the said John Bacoun. And besides the said things, the said John Bacoun has also delivered unto the said Mayor and Commonalty 12 hanaps of gold, called bolles, (fn. 5) weighing by goldsmiths' weight 9l. 16s. 8d., and valued at 137l. 13s. 4d. All which things the said Mayor and Commonalty have received in two coffers from the said John Bacoun, to hold in pledge, according to the purport of the Letters Patent unto the said Mayor and Commonalty thereon made under the King's Great Seal, for 5000 pounds unto him by them lent. Of which coffers the one is sealed with the seals of the very Reverend Fathers in God, the Bishops ofWyncestre and Excestre, (fn. 6) and of the valiant man, Messire William de Ufford, Earl of Suffolk, and of Messire Richard Lescrope, Chancellor of England; and the other coffer, that is to say, a coffyn of wood, (fn. 7) is sealed with the seals of the very Reve rend Fathers in God, the Bishops of Wyncestre and of Bath, (fn. 8) and of my said Lord of Suffolk, and is put into another old trussingcoffer, (fn. 9) not sealed with the seals of the Lords aforesaid. In witness whereof, to the one part of this indenture the said Mayor and Commonalty have caused the Common Seal of the said city to be set, and to the other part thereof the said John Bacoun has set his seal. Given at Westminster, the 16th day of March, in the 2nd year of the reign of King Richard the Second."

Punishment of the Pillory for stealing a Baselard in the Mayor's house.

2 Richard II. A.D. 1379. Letter-Book H. fol. cv. (Latin.)

Be it remembered, that on Monday next before the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary [25 March], in the 2nd year etc., John Fromond was brought here with a knife, called a "baselard," and another smaller knife, before John Phelipot, Mayor, William Cheyne, and other Aldermen, and Thomas Cornwaleys and John Boseham, Sheriffs of London; and, at the suit of John Spryg, making grievous complaint, was questioned for that he, the same John Fromond, on the Sunday previous, in the house of the said Mayor, in the Parish of St. Dionis, in the Ward of Langeburne, at night, while the same Robert Spryg was there among many other persons there assembled, cut off the said baselard from the girdle of the said Robert, and took the same in his hands, together with the other knife with which he had cut it off, and which he had found, as he said; against the peace of our Lord the King, and to the damage of him, Robert Spryg, to the amount of 20 shillings.

And he acknowledged that he had committed the offence in form aforesaid, and put himself upon the favour of the Court. It was therefore adjudged, that he should have the punishment of the pillory, to stand upon the same for half an hour in the day etc., and should then abjure the City. And he was accordingly sworn that he would not in future enter the City, on peril etc. And the baselard was given back to the same Robert Spryg; and the other knife was to be forfeited to the use of the Commonalty etc. And the said Robert Spryg voluntarily remitted his damages.

Punishment of the Pillory and Whetstone, for pretending to have been sent with messages from the King.

2 Richard II. A.D. 1379. Letter-Book H. fol. cvii. (Latin.)

On the 4th day of April, in the 2nd year etc., William Pykemyle was brought into the Hall of the Guildhall of London, before John Phelipot, Mayor, Adam Karlille, John Horn, and other Aldermen, and John Boseham and Thomas Cornwaleys, Sheriffs, and questioned, for that he pretended he had been sent on behalf of our Lord the King to the most noble ladies, the Countess of Bedeford, (fn. 10) his aunt, and the Countess of Norfolk, (fn. 11) his kinswoman; it so being, that on the Friday before he went at night to the dwelling-house of the said Countess of Norfolk, and told the servants there that he must speak with her; to which they made answer that she was than in bed, so that he could not speak with her: whereupon, this William Pykemyle said that he had been sent to her by our Lord the King, and was commanded to tell her to be on the following day, on the Saturday, that is to say, with the King at Ledes. (fn. 12) And the Countess, believing his words, ordered 40 pence to be given to him; whereupon, he departed.

And on the morrow, that is, on the Saturday aforesaid, he went in the morning to the hostel of the Countess of Bedeford before mentioned, to tell her, in the name of our Lord the King, to be with him at Eltham on the same day, to dine there; whereas he had no command or authority from the King, or from any officer of his, to say or do as aforesaid; as the officials of our Lord the King testified unto the Mayor.

And he was asked how he would acquit himself thereof; whereupon, he acknowledged that he had told lies to the Countess of Bedeford, and to the servants of the Countess of Norfolk, in manner imputed to him, and that he had had no order or mandate for so doing; and he put himself upon the favour of the Court. Being further asked for what reason he did so, he said, for the sake of getting money from those ladies, and for no other reason. And seeing that through such great lies, thus invented as between the person of our said Lord the King and such great ladies as those above-mentioned, no small damage, peril, and scandal, might easily ensue; and in order that others in future might beware of such false statements and lies; it was determined that the said William Pykemyle should be put upon the pillory, with the whetstone for such persons ordained, the same being hung from his neck as a sign of his being a liar, there to stand for one hour of the day; as a punishment for his first lie, told to the servants of the Countess of Norfolk; and that he should repay the Countess the 40 pence which he had so received. And that after this he should be taken back to Neugate, and on the morrow, that is, on the 5th day of April, be again put upon the pillory at the same hour, with the said whetstone hung from his neck, by reason of his second lie, which he told to the Countess of Bedeford above-named. And the said Sheriffs were told to do execution of the judgment aforesaid, and on both days to cause the reason for such punishment to be proclaimed. And on the second day, after having been so put upon the pillory, he was to be taken back and kept in Neugate, until our said Lord the King should have given orders for his release. And on his departure from prison, the said William was to abjure the City; on pain of having his ears cut off, if he should afterwards be found there.

Regulations as to Cooks and Pie bakers, and the sale of Butter.

2 Richard II. A.D. 1379. Letter-Book H. fol. cxiv. (Latin and Norman French.)

(fn. 13) This Proclamation was made on the Friday next after the Feast of St. Barnabas the Apostle [11 June], in the 2nd year etc.—

"That no poulterer, (fn. 14) cook, piebakere, or other regrator whatsoever of victuals in flesh or in fish, shall go to meet victuals coming towards the City, within or without, or shall buy any manner of victuals to resell in the markets, or elsewhere in the City, before 10 of the clock shall have struck; on pain of forfeiting all the victuals so bought, and of the bodies of the sellers and buyers being sent to prison, at the will of the Mayor. And that every piebakere shall bake pasties of beef at one halfpenny, just as good as those at a penny; on pain of paying a fine to the Chamber of half a mark.

"Also,—that no butter shall be sold in the City without the esquielle, (fn. 15) which is to hold half a quart (fn. 16) of rightful capacity in butter measure, on pain of forfeiture of the butter, and of the body [of the seller] being submitted to disgraceful penalty. And that every esquielle of such fresh butter shall be sold for 1½d., and no more, between this and St. Michael [29 September] next ensuing, on pain of forfeiture thereof."

Order sent to the Aldermen, for setting the Watch on the Eve of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.

2 Richard II. A.D. 1379. Letter-Book H. fol. cxi. (Norman French.)

"We do command you, for the honour of our Lord the King, and of the City, that you order sufficient men of your Ward to be armed with bacinet and gauntlets of plates, (fn. 17) and with an axe in hand, arrayed in red and white, for watch on the night of St. John (fn. 18) next to come, with the Mayor and Aldermen of the City. And that you be at Smethefeld, yourself arrayed in the said colours, with the said men so arrayed, on the Eve of St. John aforesaid, at nine of the clock, with three or four iron cressets burning. (fn. 19) And this thing you are not to omit, as you do have the honour of the City at heart.

"And further,—cause inquisition to be made as to the brewers in your Ward, if they have incurred any forfeiture as against the Ordinance made by the Mayor and Aldermen; returning before us all that you shall find thereon, and that, so soon as you may. And this you are not to omit, as you would save the oath which unto the City you have made.

"And be ready and diligent this Monday next to assess, (fn. 20) with us, all the people of your Ward and of the City, as by the Letters Patent of our Lord the King more fully appears; as you would avoid the indignation of our Lord the King, and the forfeiture of your standing." (fn. 21)

Sentence of the Pillory and Whetstone, for slandering William Waleworthe; and remission thereof, at his entreaty.

3 Richard II. A.D. 1379. Letter-Book H. fol. cxiv. (Latin.)

Alice, wife of Robert Godrich, was attached to make answer to William Waleworthe, in a plea of contempt and trespass: as to which, by Ralph Strode, his attorney, he made plaint that the said Alice, on the 27th day of June, in the 2nd year of the King then reigning, maliciously compassing how to aggrieve and scandalize the same William, came to his house, in the Parish of St. Michael Crokedlane, in London, and there, and elsewhere within the City of London, did horribly raise the hue and cry upon the said William, as though against a thief, and without cause; calling him a false man, and imputing to him that he had unjustly disinherited her of 20 pounds' value of land yearly, and that he, by his mastery unjustly detained the aforesaid Robert, her husband, in prison, for that reason; to the great scandal of the offices which the said William had heretofore held in the city aforesaid, and to his own damage of 100l. As to which, he asked that the same Alice, for the cause before alleged, might be chastised, that so, such scolds and sheliars (fn. 22) might dread in future to slander reputable men, without a cause.

By reason of which plaint, the same Alice, on the 12th day of July, in the 3rd year, was brought here and interrogated as to the matters aforesaid, and asked if she would have any counsel to aid her, and speak thereon in her behalf; but she, refusing all counsel, said of her own accord that she was in no way guilty of the matter aforesaid, and put herself upon the country as to the same etc.

And the jurors, being chosen, tried, (fn. 23) and sworn, appeared, by John Salman, Richard Blomville, Geoffrey Poppe, and nine others; and declared upon their oath, the said Alice to be guilty of the matter so imputed to her, as the same William above alleged, to the damage of the said William of 40 pounds etc. And by common assent of the Mayor and Aldermen, according to the custom of the City of London in such and the like cases, it was pronounced that the said Alice, for her lies and slanders against the same William uttered, as aforesaid, and against him committed, and whereof she had been so convicted, should have the punishment of the pillory, called the "thewe" for such women provided, to stand upon the same for one hour in the day, with a whetstone in the meantime hung from her neck. And that the same William should recover against the said Robert and Alice 40 pounds, as his damages taxed by the Court etc.

And thereupon came here the said William, begging and entreating the Mayor and Aldermen that the punishment of the pillory might be remitted to the same Alice; upon which, at his request such punishment of the pillory was remitted. And as to the sum of money so adjudged to the said William, he asked that payment thereof might be put in respite, during the good behaviour of the same Alice, and that she might be released from prison; and accordingly, at such request, she was released etc. (fn. 24)

Lease of the Stations at the Crosses in Chepe.

3 Richard II. A.D. 1379. Letter-Book H. fol. cxiii. (Latin.)

Be it remembered, that the Stations (fn. 25) about the High Cross of Chepe, (fn. 26) in London, were let by John Phelipot, Mayor, and John Ussher, Chamberlain, on the 5th day of September in the 3rd year etc., to divers persons underwritten; to hold the same from the Feast of St. Michael [29 September] then next ensuing, at the will of the City, they paying yearly to the Chamberlain, to the use of the Commonalty, 13s. 4d. each:—Johanna Hernest, Cecily Eyr, Johanna Suttone, Johanna Staunford, Matilda Olyver, Cristina atte Forde, Johanna Coulee, Cristina Walwayn, Agnes Bromwyche, Johanna Holdernesse, Elena Hempier.

Also, the different Stations about Le Brokenecros (fn. 27) were on the same day let to divers persons, as follow:—Custance Busshe, Evota de Durham, Johanna Colne, at 10s. each; Alice Oxenforde, Matilda Cooke, Alice Pulter, Katherine Taillour, at 6s. 8d. each.

Regulations for cleansing the Streets and Luays, for the sale of fresh fish, and for the sale of cattle in Smythefeld.

3 Richard II. A.D. 1379. Letter-Book H. fol. cxvi. (Norman French.)

Be it remembered, that on Monday, the Eve of All Hallows [1 November], in the third year etc., in Common Council assembled, as well of the Trades (fn. 28) as of other the most sufficient persons of the said city, by advice of the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty aforesaid, the points under-written were ordained and assented to.—

"First,—that the Ordinance made heretofore as to the cleansing of streets and lanes of all manner of dung, filth, rubbish, and shavings, shall be strictly kept in all points. And that no one shall throw dung, filth, or rubbish, into the kennels of the City in time of rain, that it may float away with the water, on the peril that awaits the same. And that every officer of the said city shall have power to take the carts that bring thither lomb, (fn. 29) sand, or gravel, and to load them at their departure with the filth and dung gathered from the kennels; but those carts only, and no others, on the peril that awaits the same.

"Also,—that no one shall buy Thames fish to sell again, on pain of forfeiture, and of being fined, at the discretion of the Mayor and Aldermen: but those who take them are to sell them themselves, (fn. 30) or by their wives, their children, or their servants; and this, wholly before eleven of the clock, on the pain aforesaid, and at the places after-named;—the Conduit, beneath the wall of the Church of St. Margaret in Briggestret, and beneath the wall of the Church of St. Mary Magdeleyne in Old Fish Street; and nowhere else, on the pain aforesaid.

"Also,—that every boat coming to the City with rushes for sale, shall pay 2s., and every boat coming with hay or straw for sale, 8d., each time such boat shall come to the City; forcleansing and keeping clean all the hythes, quays, and places in the City where such boats are unladen.

"Also,—that all drovers who are free of the City, shall have their places limited to them in Smythefeld, to sell their beasts there; that is to say, from the South corner of the lane called 'La Longeslane (fn. 31) to the end of the lane coming from Aldrichesgate; (fn. 32) where their bulls, oxen, cows, and steers, are to stand, and nowhere else. And from the West corner of the said lane coming from Aldrichesgate as far as the Hospital of St. Bartholomew, they are to stand with their swine only, and nowhere else, on peril of paying a fine, at the discretion of the Mayor and Aldermen. And it shall be fully lawful for drovers not free of the City to take their places for selling their beasts in the field of Smythefelde, wherever they may please, those places only excepted."

Presentation of a Chaplain to a Chantry in the Chapel at the Guildhall.

3 Richard II. A.D. 1379. Letter-Book H. fol. cxvi. (Latin.)

"To the venerable Father in Christ, and Lord, the Lord William, (fn. 33) by the grace of God, Bishop of London, his humble and devout servants, John Hadlee, Mayor of the City of London, and John Ussher, Chamberlain of the Guildhall of the same City, the honour and reverence due unto a father so great. We have presented unto your fatherly goodness our dearly beloved in Christ Sir William Whittyn, as being a fitting Chaplain to fill one of the five Chantries in the Chapel of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, (fn. 34) in the Guildhall aforesaid, within your Diocese, which was founded for thesouls of Roger de Frowyk and Mary, his wife, and of all the faithful deceased; the same being now vacant, and unto our presentation, by virtue of our offices, at this time belonging; humbly and devoutly entreating that you will deign to admit the same William to the said Chantry, and him canonically to institute in the same; and graciously to do such other things as upon your pastoral office are incumbent in this behalf. In witness whereof, to the above we have set the testimony of the Seals of our offices. Given at London, the 17th day of the month of November, in the year of Our Lord 1379, being the third year of the reign of King Richard the Second."

The fees paid for the Stations at the Crosses in Chepe to be paid to the Common Hunt.

3 Richard II. A.D. 1379. Letter-Book H. fol. cxiii. (Latin.)

On Saturday the 17th day of December, in the 3rd year etc., by John Hadlee, Mayor, the Aldermen, and the Common Council of the City of London, it was granted with unanimous consent that John Charney, theretofore admitted to be Common Hunt for the Commonalty of London, should have, as the fee belonging to his office, the profits arising from the Stations about the Crosses in the Chepe of London, so far as they should amount to the sum of 10 pounds yearly; to be paid to him at the four principal terms of the year, the first day to be the Feast of the Nativity [25 December] then next ensuing; the residue, if there should be any such, to go to the Chamber of the Guildhall, to the use of the Commonalty. And this grant was to continue from year to year, so long as it should please the Commonalty of London, and the said John Charney, that he remain in such office.

Order that billets shall not be bought wholesale', for retailing.

3 Richard II. A.D. 1379. Letter-Book H. fol. cxvi. (Latin.)

Be it remembered, that on the 20th day of December, in the 3rd year etc., it was published at Billynggesgate on behalf of the Mayor, that all persons who had any wood called bilet, (fn. 35) either stored in houses or laid up upon their wharves, should sell the same before the Feast of Our Lord's Nativity [25 December] then next ensuing, on pain of forfeiture of the same. And that no one in future should buy such wood, coming by water, for resale, on pain of forfeiting the same: but that all such wood should be sold to the commonalty from the vessels, without any of it being housed or laid up upon the wharves, for resale, on the pain aforesaid; as from of old was wont to be done.

And whereas John Derby and John Salpertone, who then had six thousand of firewood housed for resale, and who received injunction and order to sell the same before the Feast of Our Lord's Nativity aforesaid, did not sell the same before such day, the said wood was forfeited, and brought to the Guildhall, in behalf of the Commonalty.

Ordinances of the Pastelers, or Piebakers, as to pasties.

3 Richard II. A.D. 1379. Letter-Book H. fol. cxvii. (Norman French.)

"Because that the Pastelers of the City of ondon have heretofore baked in pasties rabbits, geese, and garbage, (fn. 36) not befitting, and sometimes stinking, in deceit of the people; and also, have baked beef in pasties, and sold the same for venison, in deceit of the people; therefore, by assent of the four Master Pastelers, and at their prayer, it is ordered and assented to.—

"In the first place,—that no one of the said trade shall bake rabbits in pasties for sale, on pain of paying, the first time, if found guilty thereof, 6s.8d., to the use of the Chamber, and of going bodily to prison, at the will of the Mayor; the second time, 13s. 4d. to the use of the Chamber, and of going etc.; and the third time, 20s. to the use of the Chamber, and of going etc.

"Also,—that no one of the said trade shall buy of any cook of Bredestret, or, at the hostels of the great lords, of the cooks of such lords, any garbage from capons, hens, or geese, to bake in a pasty, and sell, under the same penalty.

"Also,—that no one shall bake beef in a pasty for sale, and sell it as venison, under the same penalty.

"Also,—that no one of the said trade shall bake either whole geese in a pasty, halves of geese, or quarters of geese, for sale, on the pain aforesaid."


  • 1. Jointly with John Botkysham, he was Keeper of Newgate 10 Richard II., and afterwards became Coroner of the City.
  • 2. Or "Huntsman," of the Commonalty.
  • 3. A kind of head-piece. See page 444 post, Note 1.
  • 4. The badge, or cognizance, of Richard II., supposed to have been previously borne by his mother, Johanna Plantagenet, the Fair Maid of Kent.
  • 5. Bowls; with handles, in this instance.
  • 6. William de Wykeham and Thomas Brentingham.
  • 7. A peculiar kind of coffer; the shape of which is probably still preserved in the ridged and studded coffins used for burial in Belgium.
  • 8. John Harewell.
  • 9. Coffre trussable. see page 418 ante, Note 3.
  • 10. Isabel, eldest daughter of Edward III. See page 275 ante, Note 2.
  • 11. Margaret Plantagenet, daughter of Thomas de Brotherton, and cousin of Edward III., grandfather of the present King.
  • 12. Leeds Castle, near Maidstone, in Kent.
  • 13. In Latin.
  • 14. In French.
  • 15. A deep plate, or porringer. See page 241 ante, Note 1.
  • 16. Butter appears in those days to have been sold in at least a half liquid state. In Suffolk it is still sold by the pint.
  • 17. gantz de plate.
  • 18. The night of the Eve of St. John (or Midsummer Day) is evidently meant; though, according to Stow (Survey), the watch extended to the night of the FeastDay as well. For a full account of "Setting the Watch" on Midsummer Eve, see Brand's Popular Antiquities and Stow's Survey. See also page 420 ante.
  • 19. paelles.
  • 20. Assessment to a subsidy to the King is meant.
  • 21. estat.
  • 22. mentitrices.
  • 23. Examined by the "triors," as to the possibility of their being prejudiced for or against either party.
  • 24. The terms are added, on which, in lengthy legal parlance, the said Alice was put upon her good behaviour.
  • 25. Or stands, for stalls.
  • 26. Also called, "The Standard in Chepe."
  • 27. The Broken Cross, or the "Cross at the North Door" of St. Paul's, mentioned in page 397 ante. It was erected by the Earl of Gloucester, temp. Henry III., and on its removal, in 1390, these Stationers, who dealt in various small wares, probably retired into Paternoster Row, and were the predecessors of the present Stationers there.
  • 28. At this period, the Common Council was chosen from the Trades, and not by the Wards: see Liber Albus (printed ed.) p. 41.
  • 29. Loam.
  • 30. By retail.
  • 31. Long Lane.
  • 32. Duke Street is probably meant.
  • 33. William Courteney.
  • 34. It was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, to St. Mary Magdalen, and All Saints.
  • 35. Billet, for fire-wood.
  • 36. Giblets are probably included under this uninviting term.