Memorials: 1384

Pages 482-483

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

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Royal sanction of the execution of John Constantyn, for riot in the City; and indemnity thereupon.

7 Richard II. A.D. 1384. Letter-Book H. fol. clxxiv. (Latin.)

"Richard, by the grace of God etc., to all bailiffs and his faithful subjects to whom these present Letters shall come, greeting. Our well beloved lieges, Nicholas Brembre, Mayor, and the Sheriffs and Aldermen of our City of London, have entreated us that, whereas, when of late a great outbreak of our people, against our peace, was threatened in our city aforesaid, one John Constantyn, (fn. 1) cordwainer, going among, counselling, comforting, and inciting the people of the said city to close their shops, and through his iniquitous contrivances, in the way of rumour, commotion, disturbance, and insurrection, on Thursday, the 11th day of February last past, the same was in part carried out, against our peace and the sound governance of the said city; he was therefore taken, as the one among them who was the first to close his shops and windows, affording to the others an example therein; and upon this was recently arraigned, and on the testimony of witnesses sworn and examined, and upon his own acknowledgment thereon, and for other reasons, sentenced to death, and beheaded;—we would ratify and confirm the judgment given in this behalf, and the record and process had in the same in our Guildhall in London, by way of strengthening from henceforth the governance of the said city, and of repressing and checking conspirators and contrivers of such covins and con gregations, and all other misdoers through whom aught might hereafter ensue against our peace in the said city, or the liberty of the same, or in the parts surrounding it.—We, for that we are informed that the judgment aforesaid, and the execution thereof, were carried out for the preservation of our peace, and for putting an end to the riot and insurrection purposed, and in part begun, in our city aforesaid, and there in truth openly manifested, holding the execution of the said sentence to be grateful and acceptable, do, for ourselves and our heirs, ratify, and by these presents confirm, the judgment aforesaid, as also, the record and process made thereupon, as before stated; being unwilling that any one of the aforesaid Mayor, Sheriffs, or Aldermen, or any one of their heirs, or any other person whatsoever, party to or assisting in the said judgment and execution, by reason of the said judgment and execution shall by us or our heirs be in any way molested, disquieted, or aggrieved. In witness whereof, we have caused these our Letters Patent to be made. Witness myself, at Westminster, the 4th day of April, in the 7th year of our reign."


  • 1. He was a supporter of the party of John de Northampton, late Mayor, against the monopoly of the freemen Fishmongers. According to Walsingham (vol. ii. p. 111), it was by the advice of Sir Robert Knolles that he was beheaded; see page 453 ante, Note 1.