Memorials: 1386

Pages 486-490

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

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Unlawful Nets, called "Burrokes," ordered to be burnt.

9 Richard II. A.D. 1386. Letter-Book H. fol. cxcviii. (Latin.)

Be it remembered, that John Salesbury, serjeant supervisor of the water of Thames, brought here on the 2nd day of March, in the 9th year etc., 22 burrokes (fn. 1) that had been placed in the said water, on the East side of London Bridge, and in which divers fry of roach, flounders, dace, lamperns, and other fish of no value, had been taken; and through which, distress of the small fish in the said water is caused, against the Ordinance of the City. Of which burrokes two belonged to one John Godessone, and the others to divers men whose names were to him unknown.

On which day, the said fry was viewed, as well by the Mayor and Aldermen of London, as by certain fishmongers, and was found to be of no value, and to have been taken with the same burrokes, in distress of the small fish of the water aforesaid. It was therefore ordered that the said burrokes should be burnt etc. And precept was given to the Sheriffs of London, to do execution of the judgment aforesaid.

Prayer of the Warden of the Hospital of St. Katherine, for quiet enjoyment of a small piece of land adjacent thereto.

9 Richard II. A.D. 1386. Letter-Book H. fol. cxcix. (Norman French.)

John Hermesthorp, Warden of the Hospital of St. Katherine, near to the Tower of London, shewed unto the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty, that there was a certain piece of land, which formerly was part of the garden belonging to the Warden, Brethren, and Sisters, of the same Hospital; and which piece King Edward, son of King Henry, bought of them, for the purpose of enlarging the fosses of the said Tower, on payment for the same, to the said Warden, Brethren, and Sisters, and their successors, of 73s. 4d., yearly for ever; and of which annuity the said John and all his predecessors since such purchase had been seised; the which place was then vacant and lying waste, and had served to no profit, being only a resort for thieves and women of evil life. And that therefore, the said John, in order to put an end to such robberies and wickedness, had purchased of King Edward the Third etc., whose soul might God assoil, license and grant to enclose the said land, and to re-enjoy the same to the use of the said Hospital, it rendering unto him and to his heirs, Kings of England, 6s. 8d. yearly at his Exchequer. By virtue of which license he had begun to enclose the said ground, when he was forbidden by the then Mayor, who submitted that the ground belonged to the Commonalty of the City of London; by reason whereof, he had forborne so to do for now these eight years, without making suit elsewhere as to the same.

He therefore prayed the said Mayor and Commons, that it would please them to allow him to enclose the said ground, in order to get rid of, and oust, such wickedness as was said to be there perpetrated; promising that he, and the Brethren and Sisters of the said Hospital, for their time, would pray for the good estate of the said city in especial; or that otherwise, after inspecting his evidences, they would charge the same Hospital some small rent, to be paid to the Chamber of the Guildhall of London yearly for ever.

To which prayer the Commons with one assent agreed, to the effect that the said Mayor should take there the Aldermen and Commoners, who were formerly chosen by the Common Council to inspect such vacant places belonging to the said city, and ordain as to the same, as to them should seem best; and as to that which they should do in the matter aforesaid, they would hold themselves satisfied and content for always. (fn. 2)

Orders sent to the Aldermen, for setting the Watch on the Eves of St. John the Baptist, and of St. Peter and St. Paul.

9 Richard II. A.D. 1386. Letter-Book H. fol. cc. (Norman French.)

"For the honour and safeguard of the City, (fn. 3) we do command you that you have good and sufficient watch of the people of your Ward, well and befittingly armed and arrayed, and being men of that Ward, on the Eves of St.John [24 June] and of St. Peter and St. Paul [29 June] next to come; and that you, arrayed in red, and your household and the other good people, such as shall seem to you to desire the honour and profit of the said city, arrayed in white, with a bend of red, be, at 9 of the clock at the latest, in St. Paul's Churchyard on the same Eves, with two cressets at the least, or more, if you may; to go with us through the said city, in manner as was done last year, or in better manner, if you may; and this the more especially, because of the wars at present existing, and for the view and report of strangers. And this thing omit not, as you do desire the honour and profit of the said city."

Enactment forbidding the grant in future of the City Gates, or of the dwelling-houses there.

10 Richard II. A.D. 1386. Letter-Book H. fol. ccv. (Norman French.)

"Be it remembered, (fn. 4) that at a Common Council holden in the Chamber of the Guildhall of London, on the Thursday next after the Feast of St. Michael [29 September], in the 10th year etc., by reason of divers damages that have befallen the said city, through grants made to many persons, as well of the Gates and the dwelling-houses above them, as of the gardens and vacant places adjoining the walls, gates, and fosses, of the said city; whereby great and divers mischiefs may readily hereafter ensue; it is ordered and established, by common assent of the Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Council, that no grant shall from henceforth in any way be made unto any person of the Gates, or of the dwelling-houses above the Gates, or of the gardens, or vacant places, adjoining the said gates, dwelling-houses, walls, or fosses, of the said city. But that, when the terms heretofore granted unto any one shall have expired, the said gates, dwelling-houses, gardens, and vacant places, shall remain in the hands only of the said city for ever after."

Punishment of the Pillory, for pretending to be a taker of ale for the royal household.

10 Richard II. A.D. 1386. Letter-Book H. fol. ccix. (Latin.)

On Saturday next before the Feast of our Lord's Nativity [25 December], in the 10th year etc., Thomas Stokes was brought before the Mayor and Aldermen, and questioned for that he had pretended to be an officer and a taker of ale for the household of our said Lord the King; and under such colour, at divers times within the preceding eight days, had gone to the houses of several brewers, namely, John at Cok on the Hop, (fn. 5) adjoining the Brethren of the Holy Cross, (fn. 6) near to the Tower of London, William Roke at Graschirche, John atte Blakeloft in the Vintry, in London, and divers other houses in the same city, and there marked several barrels full of ale with a mark, called— "arewehede," (fn. 7) saying that those barrels were for the household of our Lord the King; whereas in truth he was not then any officer belonging to the same our Lord the King; and thus falsely and deceitfully he received divers sums of money from the brewers aforesaid, that he might have their ale in peace; to the scandal of our said Lord the King, and of all his officers, and in manifest deceit of the people.

Wherefore, enquiry was made of him how he would acquit himself thereof; upon which, he admitted that he was guilty of all the things above imputed to him. Therefore, according to the custom in such and the like cases of the city aforesaid, and lest others, in default of chastisement, might be induced similarly to offend, it was adjudged that the same Thomas should be put upon the pillory, there to remain for one hour of the day. And precept was given to the Sheriffs of London, to have the reason for the same publicly proclaimed.


  • 1. Some peculiar kind of unlawful net.
  • 2. The final result of the Warden's prayer is not stated. St. Katherine's Dock, no doubt, now covers the site of this piece of the Hospital garden-ground.
  • 3. See pp. 420, 433, ante.
  • 4. Within a very short period after this enactment was made, it came to be utterly disregarded.
  • 5. "at Cock on the Hoop"; the sign of his house. It is "al" in the MS., evidently an error.
  • 6. Or Crutched Friars.
  • 7. Arrow-head; the Government mark at the present day.