Memorials: 1382

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: 1382', in Memorials of London and London Life in the 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries, (London, 1868) pp. 455-476. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/memorials-london-life/pp455-476 [accessed 4 March 2024]

In this section

Punishment of the Pillory, for cheating with a false Chequer-board.

5 Richard II. A.D. 1382. Letter-Book H. fol. cxxxviii. (Latin.)

Pleas holden in the Chamber of the Guildhall of London, before the Mayor and Aldermen, on the 8th day of January, in the 5th year etc.—

William Soys, brouderer, (fn. 1) was attached to make answer as well to the Mayor and Commonalty etc., as to William Wermestre, fuller; who made plaint that the same William Soys, at divers times between the Feast of All Hallows [1 November], in the 5th year of the King then reigning, and the Feast of our Lord's Circumcision [1 January] then last past, in the house of the same William Soys, in the Parish of All Hallows in the Ropery, (fn. 2) in London, had a certain false chequer-board, called a "queek", (fn. 3) in which all the white points (fn. 4) in different quarters thereof were depressed, and lower than the black points; while in the other quarters the black points were depressed, and lower than the white points in the same; so that all those who played with the said board, being unaware of the untruthfulness thereof, were maliciously and deceitfully deprived of their property by the said William Soys, and others of his covin, who knew of the same falsity and deceit; and that he commonly practised such gaming, in deceit, and to the impoverishment, of the common people. And that so, in manner aforesaid, he had won of the said complainant 27s. 4d. etc. As to which, the said William Wermestre demanded that such 27s. 4d. should be restored to him, together with his damages in this behalf etc.

And also, (fn. 5) on the same day, the said William Soys was attached to make answer to Walter Bigood, Squyer, (fn. 6) etc.; for that he, the same William, on Sunday, the Feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary [8 December], in the 5th year etc., in the same house, with the said false board, called a "queek," won of the same Walter 34s. 4d. etc.

And also, on the same day, the said William Soys was attached to make answer to Simon Derby etc.; for that, at divers times between the Feast of Pentecost (fn. 7) in the 4th year and the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist [24 June] following, when he had sent Thomas, his son and servant, upon business of his in the City aforesaid, the said William with deceitful words asked the same Thomas if he would play at the game with the chequer-board called a "queek"; and that the same Thomas, knowing of no deceit or falsity in such deceitful words, went with him to his house; and there the said William with a certain other false board, made like unto the false chequer-board before mentioned, won of the same Thomas 15s., falsely and deceitfully, moneys belonging to his father; wherefore, he demanded that the said 15s. should be restored, together with his damages etc.

The same William Soys, being interrogated severally as to the said plaints, how he would acquit himself upon each of them, said severally, as to each, that he was in no way guilty thereof, as alleged; and he put himself severally upon the country as to the same, etc.

On the 9th day of January, the jury of the venue aforesaid appeared, by Henry Hamond and eleven others; who declared upon their oath, the same William to be guilty on all the plaints aforesaid etc. Therefore it was awarded, that the complainants severally should recover as against the said William the sums aforesaid; and that he, William Soys, should be put upon the pillory that same day, there to remain for one hour of the day, the said false chequerboards being placed beside him; and after that, he was to be taken to Neugate, and from thence, on the two following days, with trumpets and pipes, (fn. 8) to be taken again to the said pillory, there to remain for one hour each day, the said false boards being placed beside him. And precept was given to the Sheriffs to have the cause of his punishment each day proclaimed.

Punishment of the Pillory, for cheating with false dice.

5 Richard II. A.D. 1382. Letter-Book H. fol. cxxxviii. (Latin.)

On the same 8th day of January, Richard Scot, bosyere, was attached to make answer, as well to the Mayor and Commonalty, as to John Thomson and William de Glendale, of Dounfriz in Scotland, (fn. 9) in a plea of deceit and falsehood; for that he, the same Richard, by his false instigation, and by that of Alice, his wife, and by deceitful and false words, made the said John and William enter the house of the said Richard, in the Parish of St. Edmund Lumbardestret, on Thursday the Feast of St. Stephen [26 December] in the 5th year; where, by false dice and joukerie, (fn. 10) the same Richard won of them 40s. and a knife, value 4s., maliciously and deceitfully etc.

The said Richard Scot, being questioned thereupon by the Mayor and Aldermen, how he would acquit himself, said that he was in no way guilty thereof; and he put himself upon the country as to the same.

The jury of the venue aforesaid appeared on the 9th day of January following, by John Boner and eleven others; who declared upon their oath, the said Richard to be guilty of the deceit and falsehood aforesaid. Therefore it was adjudged, that the said Richard should repay the 44s. aforesaid, and damages taxed by inquisition at 2cd.; and that on the same day he should be put upon the pillory, there to remain for one hour of the day, the said false dice being hung from his neck; and after that, he was to be taken to Neugate, and from thence, on the two following days, with trumpets and pipes, to be taken again to the said pillory, there to remain for one hour each day, the said false dice being hung from his neck. (fn. 11) And the Sheriffs were ordered to have the cause of his punishment proclaimed.

Proclamation as to the sale of herrings, oil, and confects.

5 Richard II. A.D. 1382. Letter-Book H. fol. cxxxix. (Norman French.)

"Be it proclaimed, that no herrings from Scone (fn. 12) or from Jernemouthe (fn. 13) shall be taken out of the City of London for sale by retail, on pain of forfeiture thereof. But let every lord and other person buy what he needs, for his own store.

"Also,—that no one shall sell any herrings from Scone or from Jernemouthe at a dearer rate than six for a penny.

"Also,—that no one shall sell any herrings from Holyland, (fn. 14) or from Sounde, (fn. 15) to any person in the City for sale by retail, on pain of forfeiture thereof; for such are not so profitable as the herrings from Scone.

"Be it proclaimed, that no one shall sell the best oil of Lusshebone, (fn. 16) used for food, at a higher rate than 16d. per gallon, and that, by sealed measure. And that no person shall mix any oil of "Cyvylle (fn. 17) with oil of Lusshebone, on pain of forfeiture of the oil so mixed.

"Also,—that no one shall sell confects powdered, or other avoirdupois, (fn. 18) by any light weight, (fn. 19) but only by the weight of our Lord the King, on pain of forfeiture of all powdered confects and other avoirdupois so sold."

Women of bad repute restricted to a certain garb.

5 Richard II. A.D. 1382. Letter-Book H. fol. cxxxix. (Norman French.)

On the 13th day of February, in the 5th year etc., it was ordered by the Mayor, and Aldermen, and Common Council, that all common harlots, and all women commonly reputed as such, should have and use hoods of ray only; and should not wear any manner of budge, or perreie, (fn. 20) or revers, (fn. 21) within the franchise of the City. And if any one should be found doing to the contrary thereof, she was to be taken and brought to the Compter, and the Sheriffs were to have the coloured hoods, budge, perreie, or revers, to the contrary of this Ordinance upon her found.

Punishment of the Pillory, for forgery and false pretences.

5 Richard II. A.D. 1382. Letter-Book H. fol. cxliii. (Latin.)

John de Strattone, of the County of Norfolk, was attached to make answer in the Chamber of the Guildhall of London, on the Monday next before the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary [25 March], as well to the Mayor and Commonalty of London, as to Thomas Potesgrave, citizen and hosteler, of London, in a plea of deceit and falsehood; for that, whereas one John Croul, of Godmechestre, (fn. 22) on the Monday next before the Feast of St. Peter's Chains [1 August] last past, had sent to the said Thomas, at London, in the Parish of St. Benedict Grascherche, a letter containing certain advice and divers countersigns (fn. 23) between them; on the same day, the said John Strattone, there seeing and reading that letter, took down in his tablets a copy thereof; and, compassing therein how to deceive the said John Croul and Thomas, he forged and fabricated another letter containing the same countersigns that were set forth in the first letter, and through the same, thus deceitfully made and fabricated, went a short time afterwards, in the name of the same Thomas, to the said John Croul, pretending that he was sent to him by the said Thomas; and then took of him 13 marks in silver, which he still detains in his hands, falsely and deceitfully.

And the same John de Strattone, on the same day, being questioned as to how he would acquit himself thereof, of his own accord acknowledged the falsehood and deceit aforesaid. It was therefore determined, that the same John Strattone should be taken back to the Prison of Neugate, and from thence on the same day should be led through Chepe with trumpets and pipes to the pillory on Cornhulle, and be put upon the same for one hour of the day; after which, he was to be taken back to the prison aforesaid, there to remain until the morrow, when he was again to be taken to the pillory, with trumpets and pipes, and be put upon the same for one hour of the day. And he was then to be taken back to the prison aforesaid, there to remain until he should have made satisfaction to the same Thomas for the 13 marks, which by award of the Court the said Thomas recovered against him.

Punishment of the Pillory, for slandering the Mayor.

5 Richard II. A.D. 1382. Letter-Book H. fol. cxliii. (Latin.)

On the same day, Stephen Scot, maltman, was brought before the Mayor and Aldermen, for that the said Mayor had been given to understand, that the same Stephen went about in divers places, as well within the City as without, falsely saying, and maliciously lying therein, and telling a great number of people, that the said Mayor had been committed to the Tower of London, (fn. 24) there to be imprisoned, in a place called "Blakehalle".

Which Stephen, being questioned thereon, of his own accord acknowledged that he had said this in manner aforesaid; and he put himself upon the favour of the Court as to the same. And because that through such a lie, and others like unto it, disgrace and reproach do oftentimes ensue to the said city, and disturbance in these times might easily have been caused thereby, as well in other parts of the realm as within the city aforesaid; and in order that others might beware of telling such lies; it was awarded that the same Stephen should be taken to the Prison of Neugate, and from thence on the same day be taken to the pillory on Cornhulle, and be put upon the same, there to remain for one hour of the day, with a whetstone hung from his neck; and then be taken back to the said prison, there to remain until orders should be given as to his release.

Extortionate charge for oats by an Hosteler; and insult offered by him to the Mayor.

5 Richard II. A.D. 1382. Letter-Book H. fol. cxlii. (Latin.)

Because that, at the complaint of certain men of the Duke of Tassyle, (fn. 25) it was reported unto John Norhamptone, Mayor, that one, (fn. 26) a common ostler, and servant of John Pountfreit, in Graschurchestret, demanded of the servants of the said Duke 5½d. for every bushel of oats to them sold, whereas, by order of the Mayor and Aldermen, it had been proclaimed that no hosteler, within the liberty of the City of London, should take more than 5d. for the bushel of oats; and so for every bushel, on behalf of his said master, the same ostler had demanded one halfpenny more than he ought, the sum total of such halfpennies amounting to 24 shillings: and seeing that when the said servants of the Duke were unwilling to pay the said 24 shillings, the same ostler, against their will, seized a piece of silver plate, (fn. 27) by way of distress, and detained the same: and also, because that one quart for measuring ale and wine, and one pek for oats, against the Ordinance of the city aforesaid, were found in that hostelry not sealed; and seeing that no one ought to sell ale or oats by other than sealed measure, under the Seal of the City or of the Aldermen:—for these reasons, on the 26th day of March, in the 5th year etc., as well the same John Pountfreit as his ostler were summoned to appear before the said Mayor and Aldermen, to make answer as to the same, and, on being questioned thereon, said nothing to excuse themselves; wherefore, it was ordered that the said piece of silver, so taken as aforesaid by reason of the said halfpennies, should be restored to the servants of the said Duke, and that the said quart and pek should be forfeited; and that the same John should pay a fine for the trespass aforesaid against the said Ordinance.

Which John Pountfreit, afterwards on the same day, after dinner, in the house of Thomas Screveyn, at Graschirche, in presence of John More, one of the Aldermen, censured the judgment and doings of the said Mayor as to the matter aforesaid; as on the testimony of the same Alderman the said Mayor was given to understand.

Wherefore, on the 27th day of the same month, the said John Pountfreit was questioned before the said Mayor and Aldermen as to the same; and he said nothing by way of excusing himself, but answered the said Mayor in unbecoming language, and in Court in some degree cast censure upon the said John More. For which reasons, the said John Pountfreit was committed to the custody of the Sheriffs, until it should have been determined what was to be done with him: and so in their custody he remained, until the 29th day of March following.

On which day, he was brought before the said Mayor, and many of the Aldermen; and then acknowledged his fault, and put himself upon the favour of the Court, etc. Whereupon, by assent of the said Mayor and Aldermen, it was adjudged that the same John Pountfreit should be sent back to prison, there to remain for the next eight days; and then, on leaving the same, should pay a fine to the Commonalty, according to the award of the Mayor and Aldermen.

However, seeing that the same John Pountfreit so humbly (fn. 28) humiliated himself, and asked for favour, at the request of the Aldermen aforesaid, entreating in his behalf, the said imprisonment and fine were remitted to him, on the terms which follow:—that for the future he should cast no censure upon any acts or judgments of the Mayor, Aldermen, Sheriffs, or other officers of the City; nor should speak ill of them, nor make any assembly or covin which might tend to a breach of the peace, or to harm; under a penalty of 100 pounds, to Richard Odiham, Chamberlain of the City of London, or his successor, in case of his being in any way convicted thereof, to be paid.

Which same 100 pounds the same John Pountfreit readily agreed to pay to the said Chamberlain, or his successor, if he should be convicted in any of the matters aforesaid; and which payment faithfully to make, he bound himself, his heirs, and executors, and all his lands and tenements, by way of recognizance, on the condition aforesaid.

Punishment of the Pillory, for sorcery and false accusation.

5 Richard II. A.D. 1382. Letter-Book H. fol. cxliii. (Latin.)

On the 26th day of March, in the 5th year etc., Henry Pot, a Duchysman, was attached to make answer, as well to the Mayor and Commonalty of the City of London, as to Nicholas Freman, and Cristina, his wife, in a plea of deceit and falsehood etc.: as to which, the same Nicholas and Cristina made plaint, that whereas one Simon Gardiner had lately lost a mazer cup, the said Henry came to him, and promised that he would let him know who had stolen the cup, and so cause him to regain it. And hereupon, the same Henry made 32 balls of white clay, and over them did sorcery, or his magic art: which done, he said that the same Cristina had stolen the cup; falsely and maliciously lying therein, and unjustly defaming the said Nicholas and Cristina, to their manifest scandal and disgrace, and to their grievance.

And the same Henry, being questioned how he would acquit himself thereof, of his own accord acknowledged that he could not deny the same, but expressly admitted that he had done in manner aforesaid. And because that he thus acknowledged the same, and confessed that he had many times before practised divers like sorceries, both within the city aforesaid and without, through which various persons had undeservedly suffered injury in their character and good name; and because that sorcery, or the art magic, manifestly redounds against the doctrine of Sacred Writ; it was awarded that the same Henry should be put upon the pillory, there to remain for one hour of the day. And the Sheriffs were ordered to have proclamation made as to the reason for the same.

Order of the Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Council, restricting the fees of Parsons of Churches within the City.

5 Richard II. A.D. 1382. Letter-Book H. fol. cxliv. (Norman French.)

"Whereas ferlings (fn. 29) [have been refused] heretofore by the parsons of churches in this city, because of the closing of the currency of such coin, and also, in order to make the people offer larger money than the ferlyng; it is ordained and assented to by the Mayor, and Aldermen, and Common Council of the said city, that no person from henceforth, at the Vigils of the Dead, (fn. 30) or in any like case, shall offer more than one ferlyng at a Mass. And if he who receives the offerings, will not readily give one ferlyng as change for one halfpenny to him who desires to make offering, at all times he who so desires to make offering, shall depart without making any offering whatever.

"Also, —whereas heretofore folks of the higher class in the said city, as well at the baptism of children as at the marriages of their children, have given large sums of money; through whose example, folks of lower rank have given just the same as people of higher rank, in impoverishment of the ordinary classes of the city aforesaid; it is ordered and assented to, that no one of the City shall give at the baptism of any child more than 40d., or the value thereof; on pain of paying to the Chamber 20s., every time that the contrary thereof shall be done: and at a marriage, for the man or woman, unless such be his own son or daughter, his brother or his sister, or his next of kin, no person shall give more than half a mark, or the value thereof; on pain of paying to the Chamber 40s., every time that the contrary thereof shall be done."

Punishment of the Pillory, for selling putrid Conger.

5 Richard II. A.D. 1382. Letter-Book H. fol. cxlv. (Latin.)

On the 8th day of May, in the 5th year etc., after dinner, Thomas Boxhulle, John Taverner, John Wayfer, Richard Merymouthe, and John Furner, of the County of Somerset, came here, before the Mayor, Sheriffs, and certain of the Aldermen, and shewed to them two pieces of cooked fish, commonly called "congre," rotten and stinking, and unwholesome for man, which they had bought of John Welburgham, a cook in Bredstret, at noon on the same day; and which the said cook warranted unto them to be good and wholesome for man, and not putrid.

And hereupon, the said John Welburgham was immediately sent for, and, being questioned thereon, he said that he did sell to the said complainants the said fish so cooked, and that he warranted it unto them as being good and wholesome, and still did warrant it; and this he demanded to be proved in such manner as the Court should think proper etc. Whereupon, the said Mayor caused to be summoned the reputable men whose names are below written, neighbours of the said cook, John Jordon, John Bere, John Pursere, William Trumpyngtone, and eight others. Who said upon their oath, that the said pieces of fish were rotten, stinking, and unwholesome for man. Wherefore it was awarded, that the said John Welburgham should repay to the said complainants six pence, which he acknowledged he had received for the fish aforesaid; and that he should also have the punishment of the pillory for one hour of the day, and the said fish should then be burnt beneath him.

Punishment of the Pillory, for pretending to be a Physician.

5 Richard II. A.D. 1382. Letter-Book H. fol. cxlv. (Latin.)

Roger Clerk, of Wandelesworth, (fn. 31) on the 13th day of May in the 5th year, was attached in the Chamber of the Guildhall of London, before the Mayor and Aldermen, to make answer, as well to the Mayor and Commonalty of the City of London, as to Roger atte Hacche, in a plea of deceit and falsehood: as to which, the same Roger said, that whereas no physician or surgeon should intermeddle with any medicines or cures within the liberty of the city aforesaid, but those who are experienced in the said arts, and approved therein, the said Roger Clerk, who knew nothing of either of the arts aforesaid, being neither experienced nor approved therein, nor understood anything of letters, came to the house of him, Roger atte Hacche, in the Parish of St. Martin, in Ismongereslane, in London, on Thursday, the morrow of Ash Wednesday, in the 5th year etc.; and there saw one Johanna, the wife of the aforesaid Roger atte Hacche, who was then lying ill wife certain bodily infirmities, and gave the said Roger, her husband, to understand, that he was experienced and skilled in the art of medicine, and could cure the same Johanna of her maladies, if her husband desired it.

Whereupon, the said Roger atte Hacche, trusting in his words, gave him 12 pence, in part payment of a larger sum which he was to pay him, in case the said Johanna should be healed. And upon this, the same Roger Clerk then and there gave to the said Roger atte Hacche an old parchment, cut or scratched across, being the leaf of a certain book, and rolled it up in a piece of cloth of gold, asserting that it would be very good for the fever and ailments of the said Johanna; and this parchment, so rolled up, he put about her neck, but in no way did it profit her; and so, falsely and maliciously, he deceived the same Roger atte Hacche. And he produced the said parchment here in Court, wrapped up in the same cloth, in proof of the matters aforesaid.

And the said Roger Clerk personally appeared, and the said parchment was shown to him by the Court, and he was asked what the virtue of such piece of parchment was; whereupon, he said that upon it was written a good charm for fevers. Upon being further asked by the Court what were the words of this charm of his, he said;— "Anima Christi, (fn. 32) sanctifica me; corpus Christi, salva me; "in isanguis Christi, (fn. 33) nebria me; (fn. 33) cum bonus Christus tu, lava me." And the parchment being then examined, not one of those words was found written thereon. And he was then further told by the Court, that a straw beneath (fn. 34) his foot would be of just as much avail for fevers, as this said charm of his was; whereupon, he fully granted that it would be so. And because that the same Roger Clerk was in no way a literate man, and seeing that on the examinations aforesaid, (as well as on others afterwards made,) he was found to be an infidel, and altogether ignorant of the art of physic or of surgery; and to the end that the people might not be deceived and aggrieved by such ignorant persons, etc.; it was adjudged that the same Roger Clerk should be led through the middle of the City, with trumpets and pipes, he riding on a horse without a saddle, the said parchment and a whetstone, for his lies, being hung about his neck, an urinal also being hung before him, and another urinal on his back.

An Alderman sentenced to find a Dinner for the Mayor and other Aldermen, for having no lining to his clock.

5 Richard II. A.D. 1382. Letter-Book H. fol. cxlvi. (Norman French.)

"Whereas the Mayor and Aldermen, with common assent, had agreed that all the Aldermen of London, for the dignity of the said city, should be arrayed upon the Feast of Pentecost, (fn. 35) in the 5th year etc., in cloaks of green lined with green taffata, or tartaryn, (fn. 36) under a penalty, at the discretion of the Mayor and the other Aldermen, so arrayed, to be assessed;—on Monday, the same Feast, when the said Mayor and Aldermen went to the Church of St. Peter on Cornhille, to go in procession from thence through the City, according to the ancient custom, to the Church of St. Paul, John Sely, the Alderman of Walbrok, appeared there in a cloak that was single and without a lining, contrary to the Ordinance and assent aforesaid. Whereupon, by advice of the Mayor and other Aldermen, it was then adjudged, and assented to, that the said Mayor and other Aldermen should dine with the same John at his house, and that, at the proper costs of the said John, on the Thursday following; and further, the said John was to line his cloak in manner aforesaid: and so it was done. And this judgment shall extend to all other Aldermen, hereafter to come, without sparing any one, if any person among them shall act contrary to the Ordinance aforesaid."

Delivery of a Breviary, left for the Prisoners of Neugate.

5 Richard II. A.D. 1382. Letter-Book H. fol. cxlv. (Latin.)

Be it remembered, that on the 10th day of June, in the 5th year etc., Henry Bever, Parson of the Church of St. Peter in Bradstret, (fn. 37) executor of Hugh Tracy, Chaplain, came here before the Mayor and Aldermen, and produced a certain book, called a "Portehors," (fn. 38) which the same Hugh had left to the Gaol of Neu gate, in order that priests and clerks there imprisoned might say their Service from the same; there to remain, so long as it might last.

And so, in form aforesaid, the book was delivered unto David Berteville, Keeper of the gaol aforesaid, to keep it in such manner, so long as he should hold that office; who was also then charged to be answerable for it. And it was to be fully allowable for the said Henry to enter the gaol aforesaid twice in the year, at such times as he should please—those times being suitable times—for the purpose of seeing how the said book was kept.

A Fishmonger compelled by the authorities to reduce the price of his herrings.

6 Richard II. A.D. 1382. Letter-Book H. fol. cliv. (Norman French.)

Whereas Thomas Welford, fishmonger, had a vessel of his lying at Quenehuthe, in London, on Saturday the Eve of St. Laurence [10 August], in the 6th year etc., laden with salted herrings, which he sold to the hukkesteres at the rate of 5 only for the penny, and no more, to serve out to the commons in the City, so that the said hukkesteres could only sell to the said commons 4 herrings to the penny; as this rate seemed to the Mayor and Aldermen to be too high, they accordingly, with great trouble and diligence, expostulated with the said Thomas; so far that, with much difficulty, he agreed to let the said hukkesteres have 6 herrings for a penny, that so, they might retail them at the rate of 5 for the penny.

And whereas the said Thomas asserted that he could in no way sell at a lower price, without doing too great an injury to himself thereby, yet he, the same Thomas, on the Monday following sold to one William Botild, a strange man, to carry out of the City for sale, six hundred herrings, at 120 to the hundred, and at the rate of 10 herrings for a penny, as by acknowledgment of this same stranger was distinctly ascertained.

Whereupon, the said Mayor and Aldermen seeing that the said Thomas and others, who had herrings at this time arrived, could sell at a lower rate than he had done, inasmuch as of his own free will he had sold to a stranger 10 herrings for a penny, as before stated; and as he and all other freemen were bound of right to sell to their neighbours at as low a rate as to strangers, or even cheaper; by common assent of the said Mayor and Aldermen, on the Tuesday following, it was agreed that the same Thomas and all others who had such herrings at that time for sale within the franchise of the said city, must sell them at the rate of 9 herrings for a penny: and so it was done.

Sentence upon Adam Carlelle, late Alderman, for reviling the Fishmongers non-freemen.

6 Richard II. A.D. 1382. Letter-Book H. fol. cliv. (Latin and Norman French.)

ON Saturday, (fn. 39) the morrow of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary [15 August], in the 6th year etc., at a congregation of the Mayor, and Aldermen, and Common Council of the City of London, summoned and assembled in the Upper Chamber of the Guildhall of London, the Commoners of the said Common Council presented to the Mayor and Aldermen a certain petition, in these words.—

"To their most honourable sovereigns, (fn. 40) the Mayor and Aldermen, pray the Commons, that whereas they have perceived, and in truth known, that many enemies of the common weal from one day to another do compass how that they may undo the good and profitable Ordinances (fn. 41) which have been made in the City as to the buying and selling of fish, and now of late, by advice of the Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Council, publicly proclaimed, for the common profit of our Lord the King, and of all others, lords and commons, and of all repairing unto the same city; in great disobedience and contempt, as well of the commandments of the King, as of you, their sovereigns, and of the Common Council of the said city; among the which enemies there is one Adam Carlelle, who has oftentimes heretofore opposed and contradicted the common profit of the City, as was well perceived in the time (fn. 42) when John Hadle was Mayor;—and whereas the said Adam ought by right, more than any other person, to cherish the honour and common profit of the City, and to the best of his power maintain the same, seeing that he himself has held high office; (fn. 43) nevertheless, upon Friday the 8th day of August, in the 6th year of our Lord the King now reigning, the said Adam came to the Stokkes, (fn. 44) where the strangers were selling the fish that they had brought there, according to the Ordinance thereon made; (fn. 45) and there the said Adam, in a haughty and spiteful manner, cursed the said strangers, saying aloud, in the hearing of all, that he did not care who heard it or knew of it, but that it was a great mockery and badly ordained, that such ribalds as those should be selling their fish within the City; and, for the greater disparagement of the said Ordinances, and also, in order to prevent, so far as in him lay, the resort of strangers to the City, and so contravene the common profit, he further said, that he would be much better pleased that a fishmonger, who was his neighbour in the City, should make 20 shillings by him, than such a ribald 20 pence. And also, Sires, he has said in your presence, that the said Ordinances are displeasing to him, and are not reasonable.—Therefore it seemeth unto the Commons, that you, Sires, are thereby disgracefully insulted, and so are all the Commons, who most do need the same provisions. But they hope that you, Sires, their sovereigns, will not lightly allow this roguery and malignity so to pass, without due and prompt punishment for the same. Wherefore they pray, that it may please your Lordships to take into consideration for how long a time the said Adam has continued this malicious conduct, and without delay cause the said Adam to forswear all manner of offices and dignities in the City for all time to come, without reconcilement in any respect thereof; and to forbid that he shall from henceforth wear any vestment of a suit belonging to any office, such as that of Mayor, Alderman, or Sheriff, of the City, either old or new, or cloke particoloured, (fn. 46) either furred with budge or lined with silk, on pain of losing his freedom; and to order that this judgment shall be publicly proclaimed throughout the City. And also, that he shall be imprisoned until he shall have made fine according to your wise discretion, as an example to other such compassers or plotters against, or gainsayers of, the common profit."

Which petition being read and understood, (fn. 47) because that the same Adam acknowledged that he had said all that was therein contained, and put himself on the favour of the Court as to the same; and because that such words were in express contempt of the commands of our Lord the King, and the Ordinance of the Common Council of the city aforesaid; it was pronounced, by assent of the said Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Council, that the said Adam should be removed and forejudged from all offices and dignities of the said city, without reconcilement in future as to any one of them. And that from thenceforth he should not wear any vestment of the suit of the Mayor, Aldermen, or Sheriffs, of the said city, old or new, namely, cloak particoloured, either furred with budge or lined with silk, within the city aforesaid; on pain of losing his freedom of the same city, and of forfeiting all things which unto the city aforesaid in future he might lose or forfeit. (fn. 48)

Burglary committed in Goldsmiths' shops; and claim of Benefit of Clergy for the offenders.

6 Richard II. A.D. 1382. Letter-Book F. fol. ccxxiii. (Latin.)

Delivery of Infangthef, in the Guildhall of London, before John Norhamptone, Mayor, and the Aldermen and Sheriffs, and John Charneye, (fn. 49) Coroner, on the Friday next after the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary [15 August], in the 6th year etc.

Walter atte Watre, goldsmith, and Nicholas Somersete, of Phelip Norton, (fn. 50) in the County of Somerset, were taken at the suit of John Frensshe, of London, goldsmith, with the mainour (fn. 51) of divers goods and chattels of him, John Frensshe; namely, 2 silver girdles, with red corses in silk, (fn. 52) value 46s.; one silver girdle, with a blue corse, 30s.; one other small silver girdle, with a green corse, 16s.; one chain of silver gilt, 40s.; one other small silver chain, 5s.; one girdle of red silk, with a bokele, and studded with silver gilt, 16s.; one silver chalice, with paten, 38s.; 2 sets of phials of silver, their swages gilt, (fn. 53) 20s.; one osculatory (fn. 54) of silver gilt, 20s.; two mazer cups, bound with silver gilt, 33s. 4d.; 6 silver spoons, 14s.; 2 gold rings, with two dyamaundes, 15l.; one gold ring with a baleys, (fn. 55) 26s. 8d.; 3 strings of pearls, 70s.; 6 gold necklaces, 100s.; and other goods and chattels, such as fermails and rings of silver gilt, broken silver, girdles set with silver, buckles and pendants for girdles, and paternosters, of silver and pearls, to the value of 40l.: which goods and chattels the same Walter atte Watre and Nicholas Somersete, on the Wednesday next after the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the year aforesaid, feloniously stole by night at the corner of Fridaystrete in Westchepe, in the Parish of St. Matthew, in the Ward of Farndone Within, in London, and then and there feloniously broke into the shop of him, John Frensshe, etc.

And also, the same Walter atte Watre and Nicholas Somersete were taken at the suit of Thomas Stoke, of London, goldsmith, with the mainour of goods and chattels of him, Thomas Stoke; namely, with one mazer cup, bound with silver gilt, value 10s.; one other small mazer cup, bound with silver gilt, 5s.; 3 bokeles with three pendants, for silver girdles, 15s.; one other bokele and one silver girdle, 6s. 8d.; and one knife, called a "copegorge," (fn. 56) with one loket (fn. 57) and one chape of silver, (fn. 57) 6s. 8d.; by them stolen at night, on the Wednesday and in the 6th year aforesaid, from the shop of the said John Frensshe, goldsmith, in the place, Ward, and Parish, aforesaid etc.

And the jury, by Henry Markeby, and eleven others, declared upon their oath, the said Walter atte Watre and Nicholas Somersete to be guilty of the felonies aforesaid.

And because that the said Walter atte Watre and Nicholas Somersete were clerks, (fn. 58) and judgment could not lawfully be proceeded to without the Ordinary etc., they were committed to the Prison of Neugate, there in safe custody to be kept, until etc. Chattels they had none.

Punishment of the Pillory for importing putrid fish respited, the offender being a servant of the King.

6 Richard II. A.D. 1382. Letter-Book H. fol. cliv. (Latin.)

"Inquisition taken before John Norhamptone, Mayor, and the Aldermen of the City of London, on Saturday, the Eve of St. Bartholomew [24 August], in the 6th year, to enquire as to a certain lot of fish, namely, 7000 herrings and 800 mackerel, brought to the said city and exposed for sale, and to whom such fish belonged, and by what person or persons it was brought or sent to the same city; seeing that as well the herrings as the mackerel aforesaid seemed and appeared to be corrupt and unwholesome for man; and as to all the circumstances of the same etc.; upon the oath of John Lowe, Geoffrey Coleman, John Westerham, Reynald Coleman, and Robert Multone, cooks, John Filiol, fishmonger, and six other true and lawful men of the same city, having full knowledge of such kind of victuals. Who say upon their oath, that the whole lot of the fish afore said is putrid and corrupt, unwholesome as food for man, and an abomination. And they say, that one Reynald atte Chaumbre sent for the fish aforesaid, and maliciously had it brought in a certain vessel to the City; knowing that the whole thereof would be putrid and corrupt, and unwholesome for the common people etc."

Wherefore, the same Reynald was forthwith arrested bodily on the same day, and brought to the Guildhall, before the said Mayor and Aldermen, and questioned as to the matters aforesaid, how he would acquit himself thereof. Upon which, he could not deny the falsity and deceit aforesaid, but of his own accord acknowledged all that was imputed to him, and wholly submitted to, and threw himself upon, the favour of the Court as to the same. And therefore, by award of the Mayor and Aldermen, it was adjudged that the said Reynald should have the punishment of the pillory for six market-days, there to remain for one hour each day; and that the same herrings and mackerel should be burnt beneath him, by reason of his falsity and deceit aforesaid, as is the custom of the City in like cases.

But forasmuch as the said Reynald alleged that he was then holding a certain office under our Lord the King, therefore execution of the judgment passed upon him, so far as putting him on the pillory, was respited, until conference should have been held thereon with the Council of our said Lord the King. And the said Reynald was to be committed in the meantime to the prison of our Lord the King at Neugate. And the whole of the fish aforesaid was burnt forthwith.

Punishments for practising the Art Magic, and for defamation.

6 Richard II. A.D. 1382. Letter-Book H. fol. clv. (Latin.)

On the 4th day of October, in the 6th year etc., Robert Berewold was attached to make answer, as well to the Mayor and Commonalty of the City of London, as to Johanna Wolsy, in a plea of deceit and falsehood etc. Who made plaint that a certain mazer having been stolen from the house of Matilda de Eye, in the Parish of St. Mildred Poultry, in London, at the request of one Alan, a waterberere, the said Robert asserted and promised that he would let the same Alan know who had stolen the same. And thereupon, he took a loaf, and fixed in the top of it a round peg of wood, and four knives at the four sides of the same, in form like a cross; and then did soothsaying and the art magic over them; which done, he alleged that the said Johanna had stolen the cup, falsely and maliciously lying therein, and unjustly defaming her; to the scandal, and manifest disgrace and grievance, of the same Johanna.

And the said Robert, being questioned as to the matters aforesaid, how he would acquit himself thereof, said that he could not deny the same, but expressly acknowledged that he had done and said all things in manner aforesaid, etc. And because that by such soothsaying, magic arts, and falsities, good and lawful men and women might easily, and without deserving it, incur injury in their name and good repute; and seeing that such sorcery is manifestly opposed to the doctrine of Holy Writ; and in order that others might beware of doing the like; it was adjudged that the said Robert should be put upon the pillory the same day, there to remain for one hour of the day, the said loaf, with the peg and knives stuck in it, being hung from his neck. And precept was given to the Sheriffs, to have the cause thereof publicly proclaimed.

And further, because that the said Alan, from the faith he put in the words of the same Robert, had oftentimes defamed the said Johanna in the same parish, calling her a thief; it was adjudged that on the Sunday next ensuing he should go to the said Church, and at the hour of Mass, in presence of the parishioners and other neighbours, say and confess that he had falsely defamed the same Johanna.

Punishment of imprisonment, for reviling the Mayor.

6 Richard II. A.D. 1382. Letter-Book H. fol. clvii. (Latin.)

Nicholas Maynard, John Seman, Thomas Dadyngtone, and Richard Fiffyde, were severally questioned before the Mayor and Aldermen, in the Inner Chamber of the Guildhall of London, on the 7th day of November, in the 6th year etc., whether one John Filiol, fishmonger, in the house of the said Thomas Dadyngtone, in the Parish of St. Mary Somersete, on the Wednesday next after the Feast of St. Simon and St. Jude [28 October] last past, said that John Norhamptone, the Mayor, had falsely and maliciously deprived (fn. 59) the fishmongers of their bread; whereupon, the said Richard Fiffyde said that he and all the other fishmongers of London were bound to put their hands beneath the very feet of Nicholas Extone, (fn. 60) for his good deeds and words in behalf of the trade aforesaid. Upon his saying which, the said Nicholas Maynard then averred that for a whole house full of gold he would not have been in the place of the said Nicholas Extone at the Common Council then last past: whereupon, the same John Filiol said, that for half the house full of gold he would have asserted the said Mayor to be a false scoundrel, (fn. 61) or harelot; (fn. 62) and he would like to have a fight with him as to the same, at Horsedoune etc. (fn. 63)

As to the which, the same John Filiol being questioned before the said Mayor and Aldermen, he acknowledged that he had spoken in manner aforesaid. And as the Mayor and Aldermen wished more fully to deliberate as to pronouncing judgment on the same, a day was given to him to hear judgment, the 10th day of November following; and he was committed to prison in the meantime. Upon which day, by common assent of the Mayor and Aldermen aforesaid, it was adjudged that the same John Filiol should be imprisoned at Neugate, in a place there called "Bocardo," (fn. 64) for one year then next ensuing: unless he should deserve more extended favour in the meantime.

Afterwards, on the 6th day of December in the same year, the said John Filiol was liberated at the instance of his friends, on the surety of William Naufretone and others.

Sentence of fine and imprisonment, for fraud, and for slander of the Aldermen.

6 Richard II. A.D. 1382. Letter-Book H. fol. clvii. (Latin.)

William Warde, cuteler, of the City of York, of late came to London, and requested one John Foxtone to assist him in being admitted and becoming a freeman of the trade of Cutlers in London, and the same John Foxtone promised him so to do; but afterwards, he deceitfully caused him to be admitted into another trade, and not that of the cutlers, the trade, namely, of the Bladers; (fn. 65) in deceit both of the city aforesaid and of the said William, and of the trade of Cutlers as well, and against the Ordinance of the city aforesaid: for doing which, he received of the same William about 6 marks, alleging that he had given half a mark to a certain Alderman, and half a mark to a certain clerk, that they might help him in being admitted to the freedom aforesaid; and had also paid 60 shillings to the Chamberlain of the City for obtaining the same; whereas, he had paid no more than 20 shillings for the same, and had so deceived the said Court; seeing that, according to his means, the same William would have had to pay 60 shillings.

As to which matters, the same John Foxtone, on the 12th day of November in the 6th year etc., being asked by the Court to which Alderman or clerk he had given the said sums, said that he gave to no Alderman or clerk any sum; but did not deny that he had said so, though he did not name any Alderman in particular. And because that through such sayings one Alderman might entertain suspicion of another, therefore, for his deceptions, as well upon the Court and City, as upon the said trade of Cutlers and the same William, practised, and also, because that he had defamed the said Aldermen and clerk, as to their taking the moneys aforesaid, whereas he had given them no such moneys; it was adjudged by the Court, that he should pay 60 shillings, to the Chamberlain of London, and to the said William 18 shillings, which he had unjustly taken from him; and be imprisoned for 40 days then next ensuing.

The said imprisonment however was remitted to him, and he was mainprised by John Okkele and William Escombe, that he would in future well and peaceably behave himself towards the King, and the people, and all officers of the City, and especially, the said William Warde, under a penalty of 100 pounds etc.

Punishment of the Pillory, for pretending to practise the Art Magic.

6 Richard II. A.D. 1382. Letter-Book H. fol. clx. (Latin.)

Whereas a certain veil, called a "Parys kuverchief," (fn. 66) belonging to Alice, wife of Andrew Trig, had lately been purloined from the house of the same Andrew, as it was said, and it was imputed to one Alice, the wife of John Byntham, that she had purloined it; the same Alice went to one William Norhamptone, cobelere, and asked him to exonerate her from the said charge, stating to him certain arrangements, (fn. 67) and informing him of certain countersigns, (fn. 68) of Alice, the wife of Andrew aforesaid. Whereupon, this William went to Alice, the wife of Andrew, and told her of the same ar rangements and countersigns; which she recognized, and therefore thought that he was skilful enough to be able to tell her who had purloined the said veil, as well as the truth about any other matter. And he asked the same Alice, the wife of Andrew, if she did not recognize such arrangements and countersigns; whereupon, she said that such was the fact. The said William then answered her that as truly as that was the fact, so surely was it false that the said Alice, the wife of John, had purloined the veil; and he further told the same Alice, the wife of Andrew, that she herself would be drowned within a month from that time. Accordingly, believing his words, seeing that he had told her divers secret matters as to her own private affairs, she fell into such extreme melancholy, that she had nearly died of grief.

Being questioned upon which, on the 5th day of December, in the 6th year etc., as to how he would acquit himself thereof, he said nothing, except that he did say the same; and that, from the information of Alice, the wife of John. And because that the said William pretended to be a wise man, and skilled in such magic arts, whereas he expressly acknowledged that he knew nothing about them, and so deceitfully trifled with Alice, (fn. 69) the wife of Andrew, it was adjudged that for the falsity and deceit aforesaid he should be put upon the pillory, there to remain for one hour of the day.

Footnotes

  • 1. Embroiderer.
  • 2. All Hallows the More, or the Great, in Thames Street; so called from a ropery once adjoining.
  • 3. See page 395 ante, for a similar case. The game of queek-bord was forbidden by 14 Edward IV. c. 3.
  • 4. Or squares.
  • 5. The legal formulæ herein, which run to a considerable length, have been abbreviated in the translation.
  • 6. Esquire.
  • 7. Or Whitsuntide.
  • 8. fistulis.
  • 9. Dumfries.
  • 10. Jugglery, or cheating; hence perhaps our word "jockeying." In Northumberland "joukery-pawkery" is still a term for unfair play.
  • 11. On the same day John Edward, "otherwise called 'Longe Jacke,'" was tried on a similar charge, and being found guilty by a jury of the venue of the parish of St. Laurence Pounteneye, as being a "common basardour and joukere," he was sentenced to a like punishment. Among the jurors the name of "Reginald" or "Reynald atte Pole" appears.
  • 12. Probably Sconie, in Fifeshire, a coast long noted for its herring-fisheries, is meant.
  • 13. Yarmouth, in Norfolk.
  • 14. Heligoland.
  • 15. The Sound, between Sweden and Zealand.
  • 16. Lisbon.
  • 17. Seville.
  • 18. Fine wares.
  • 19. subtile.
  • 20. Probably the same as the fur called puree in the earlier books, cleansed minever.
  • 21. Some kind of fur, especially used for trimmings and linings.
  • 22. Godmanchester, in Hunts.
  • 23. Probably, writing in cipher.
  • 24. About two years after this, John de Northampton, or Comberton, now Mayor, was banished to Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, on a charge of sedition. He was a violent opponent of Sir Nicholas Brembre and Nicholas Exton, and a strong antagonist of the monopoly of the Fishmongers, which they as strenuously supported. His sentence, however, was afterwards reversed, and he was restored to his former position; while Brembre, as will be seen in the sequel, met his death at Tyburn.
  • 25. The Duchy of Taschen, in Bohemia, is probably alluded to under this name. The Duke may have accompanied Anne of Bohemia, who had been married to King Richard shortly before.
  • 26. The name is omitted.
  • 27. Or cup.
  • 28. bumiliter bumiliavit.
  • 29. Or farthings, one fourth of the silver penny. This offering appears to have been called "soul-scot."
  • 30. Wakes, or Watches, by the side of the dead, with prayers for the benefit of the soul. At the Synod of London, A.D. 1343, cognizance was taken of the debauchery and abuses resulting from these Vigils.
  • 31. Wandsworth.
  • 32. "Soul of Christ, sanctify me; body of Christ, save me; blood of Christ, drench me; as thou art good Christ, wash me."
  • 33. So in the MS.; for "sanguis … inebria."
  • 34. In sly allusion, perhaps, to the custom for men who were ready to perjure themselves, as false witnesses, to go about with a straw sticking out from between the foot and the shoe;—"men of straw."
  • 35. Whit Monday.
  • 36. A thin silk.
  • 37. St. Peter the Poor, Broad Street.
  • 38. A Portifory, or Breviary for "carrying about." See page 263 ante, Note 1.
  • 39. In Latin.
  • 40. In French.
  • 41. Against the monopoly of the freemen Fishmongers.
  • 42. 1379, 80.
  • 43. estat. He had been an Alderman in the then yearly elections; and was a supporter of the freemen Fishmongers against the party of John de Norhamptone, the Mayor.
  • 44. Stocks Market.
  • 45. See page 481 post.
  • 46. See page 420 ante, Note 2.
  • 47. In Latin.
  • 48. A pen has been run through the whole of this entry; and in folio clxxvii. we learn that in the 8th year of Richard II., when Nicholas Brembre was Mayor, and his antagonist, John de Northampton, proscribed, Adam Carlelle, on his petition presented, caused the whole of this sentence to be declared null and void.
  • 49. See page 428 ante, Note 1.
  • 50. Norton St. Philip, six miles from Bath.
  • 51. See page 195 ante, Note 6.
  • 52. Silk braid.
  • 53. Necks.
  • 54. Or pax-bread. See page 263 ante, Note 15.
  • 55. Or balass. See page 411 ante, Note 1.
  • 56. Cut-throat.
  • 57. The metal top and tip of a scabbard.
  • 58. Were able to read, and consequently claimed Benefit of Clergy; which the Ordinary was bound to demand in their Lehalf.
  • 59. He being an opponent of the exclusive rights of the Fishmongers free of the City.
  • 60. Fishmonger, and a strong supporter of their cause. He had then lately been disgraced; but was afterwards restored to office, and was twice Mayor, in 1386, and 1387.
  • 61. scurro.
  • 62. A name of disgrace and reproach, but having no reference to sex.
  • 63. Horsleydown, in Surrey: then open country, and used for horse exercise; and, apparently, for encounters upon challenge.
  • 64. There was a prison for offenders, thus named, in the old North Gate at Oxford. The word is probably of Italian origin.
  • 65. Or Corndealers, he supposing probably that "bladers" meant "bladesmiths." John Stow, in his Survey, two centuries later, has made the very same mistake.
  • 66. "Paris kerchief," or veil for covering the head. The merit of fine "Paris thread" is extolled in John Lydgate's London Lykpenny, temp. Henry VI.
  • 67. conditiones.
  • 68. intersigna: see page 459 ante, Note 2.
  • 69. illudebat.