Memorials: 1387

Pages 490-500

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

William Hughlot sentenced to lose his hand, for assaulting an Alderman; and commutation of the sentence.

10 Richard II. A.D. 1387. Letter-Book H. fol. ccx. (Latin.)

Pleas holden in the Chamber of the Guidhall of the City of London, before Nicholas Extone, Mayor, Nicholas Brembre, Knight, William Cheyne, Recorder, John Hadle, and other Aldermen, and the Sheriffs of the said City, on the Wednesday next after the Feast of St. Hilary [13 January], in the 10 year etc.

William Hughlot was attached to make answer, as well to the Commonalty of the City of London, as to John Rote, Alderman of the same city, in a plea of trespass and contempt: who made plaint by John Reche, Common Countor of the said city, that the said William, on the Saturday last past, went to the house of John Elyngham, barber, in the Parish of St. Dunstan West, in Fletestrete, in the suburb of London, and, against the will of the same John Elyngham, by force of arms entered the same; and there upon the same John made assault, and with his knife, called a "dagger," struck him, and wounded, beat, and maltreated him.

Whereupon, the wife of the said John Elyngham, seeing her husband so maltreated and beaten, and perceiving the aforesaid John Rote passing along the King's highway towards the Church of St. Dunstan aforesaid, with great outcry called aloud for him to come and help her husband, whom the same William was trying to slay. Wherefore, the said Alderman, by reason of the office which he held, whereby he was bound to the utmost of his power to keep and maintain the peace, as being an officer of the King, went there; and upon seeing the said William so assaulting John Elyngham aforesaid, he notified him that he was an Alderman of the City, and an officer of our Lord the King, and commanded him to desist from his violent and evil conduct, and surrender himself to the peace of our Lord the King. Upon which, the same William, though well knowing that he was an Alderman and an officer in the City of our Lord the King, refused to yield himself up, but with the same knife made assault upon the Alderman himself, and would have struck him therewith; whereupon, the Alderman seized his hand in which he held the knife, and forced him to put it back into the sheath; and then further, the said William, persisting in his malice, drew his sword upon the Alderman, and would have slain him with it, had not the Alderman manfully defended himself.

And upon this, John Wilman, who was one of the constables of Fletestrete, hearing the affray aforesaid, went there, and seeing that this William was trying to slay the said Alderman with his sword, so drawn, went up to him, and attempted to arrest him; but he refused to submit to such arrest, and again drawing his dagger, wounded the constable with it; as well in contempt of our Lord the King, as to the dishonour of the Mayor, Aldermen, and Sheriffs etc.

Wherefore, enquiry was now made of him how he would acquit himself thereof; upon which, he acknowledged that he had done all the things aforesaid, and that in manner above stated he was guilty of the same.

Also, on the same Wednesday the aforesaid William was interrogated for that, while he was imprisoned in the Gaol of Neugate for the trespass and contempt before mentioned, there, in presence of Richard Jardevile, Robert Hallokestone, David Bertevile, John Walworth, and John Horwode, and many others, as was truthfully attested, he threatened the Mayor and Aldermen aforesaid, and said that he had to thank Nicholas Extone for his imprisonment, but that perhaps in seven years or so to come he would find all his lords and friends forsaking him; and also, he said that the Court of the Guildhall of London was the very worst and most false Court in all England, for condemning him without hearing his answer etc.; whereas, in truth, no judgment had then been given on his case, save only, that he was to be committed to prison, until the Court should be advised as to giving judgment on the matter: such words being uttered expressly to the disgrace and dishonour of our Lord the King, and of all his officers and courtiers in the same city, and more especially, such an officer as the Mayor of London is; seeing that he is the immediate repre sentative of our Lord the King within the City, which is the most excellent and most noble city in the realm, etc.

Wherefore, he was asked how he would acquit himself thereof; to which he made answer, that he had uttered all the words before mentioned in manner aforesaid, and was guilty thereof; and he put himself upon the favour of the Court as to the same. And as the Court desired more fully to deliberate as to passing judgment on the matters aforesaid, the said William was remanded to prison until the Court should have duly deliberated thereupon.

Afterwards, on the Friday following, the same William was brought here by the Keeper of the Gaol aforesaid, before the Mayor and Aldermen, and, after the matters before mentioned had been restated, because that precept had oftentimes been orally given, as well by our said Lord the King as by his Council, to the Mayor and Aldermen, and their predecessors, that they should diligently keep the peace within the City, and in the suburbs thereof; and because that, by counsel of the whole of the last Parliament, holden at Westminster, it was ordered that divers lords, (fn. 1) chosen by the same to ordain and advise for the governance and tranquillity of our said Lord the King, and of his realm, should dwell within the same city for one year then next ensuing, for peacefully making their Ordinances there, as being the most safe and secure place in the realm etc.; and also, because that there is a greater resort, as well of lords and nobles, as of common people, to that city, than to any other places in the realm, as well on account of the Courts there of our said Lord the King, as for transacting business there; and therefore there is the greater need of good governance therein, and of peace, in especial; and more particularly, seeing that it is the capital city and the watch-tower of the whole realm, and that from the government thereof other cities and places do take example; and to the end that, through default of punishment of misdoers, grounds might not be afforded to others for committing the like offences, but rather, that they should refrain from their crimes, and be put on their guard; it was therefore adjudged, according to the custom of the City in like cases provided, that, for the trespasses and contempt so committed as aforesaid, as well against the said John Rote as the City, by reason of his office, he being one of the judges and governors thereof, and, after the Mayor, of the highest rank in the same, the right hand of the same William, with which he first drew the dagger, and afterwards, threatening his malice, drew his sword upon the said Alderman, intending to slay him therewith, should be cut off etc., unless he should meet with an increase of favour from the same John Rote, Alderman etc. And precept was given to the Sheriffs of London, to do execution of the judgment aforesaid.

And upon this, an axe was brought into Court by an officer of the Sheriffs, and the hand of the said William was laid upon the block, there to be cut off etc. Whereupon, the said John Rote, in reverence for our Lord the King, and at the request of divers lords who entreated for the said William, begged of the Mayor and Aldermen that execution of the judgment aforesaid might be remitted unto him etc. At whose entreaty, execution thereof was accordingly remitted.

And for the contempt and assault aforesaid, and for striking the said John Wilman, the constable, an officer of our Lord the King, and that, while doing his duty etc., it was adjudged that the said William should be imprisoned for a year and a day then next ensuing, unless he should meet with an increase of favour from the said Mayor and Aldermen.

And for his false words aforesaid, uttered as to the said Mayor, and also, the Court of our Lord the King in the same city; because that such words did manifestly redound to the contempt of the governors (fn. 2) of the same our Lord the King, and of all his officers and Courts in the City, and especially of the said Mayor, who is the representative of him, our Lord the King, in the same city, the most noble city in the realm etc.; he was condemned to suffer the disgraceful punishment of the pillory, with a whetstone hung from his neck, in token of his being a liar.

However, in reverence for our said Lord the King, whose servant (fn. 3) the same William then was, and at the entreaty of other lords, who interceded for him, as before stated, it was determined that, on his leaving prison, he should carry from the Guildhall aforesaid, through Chepe and Fletestrete, a lighted wax candle, weighing three pounds, to the Church of St. Dunstan before mentioned, and there make offering of the same. And in like manner, on his leaving prison, he was to find sufficient surety for his good behaviour towards our Lord the King, and his people; and especially, towards John Rote, John Wilman, and John Elyngham, aforesaid.

Afterwards, on Tuesday, the Feast of St. Vincent [22 January] then next ensuing, the further imprisonment of the same William was remitted, by favour of the said Mayor and Aldermen; and he was mainprised by Alexander Merle, William de Clee, John Cade, John Maundeware, Esquiers, Richard Brendewode, draper, William Pevere, goldesmyth, John Balsham, taillour, and Hugh Hayward, taillour, under a penalty of 100 pounds etc.

And on the same day he bore the said candle from the Guildhall to the Church aforesaid, and there made offering of the same. And after that, he was released.

A Book of civic regulations, called "Jubile," ordered to be burnt.

10 Richard II. A.D. 1387. Letter-Book H. fol. ccxiv. (Latin.)

Be it remembered, that on the Saturday next after the Feast of St. Gregory [12 March], in the 10th year etc., by precept of Nicholas Extone, the then Mayor, a Common Council of the City of London was summoned, as well of those chosen for the Common Council by each Ward of the said city, as of other the more reputable and more substantial men of the same; who assembled in such great numbers, that the Upper Chamber would not hold them; wherefore, they removed to the Guildhall below, and the Mayor, Aldermen, and Sheriffs, being seated there in the place for the Husting assigned, because that by reason of certain new oaths of the officers of the said city, and certain new ordinances, repugnant to the old and approved customs of the same, which were written down in a certain quire, or book, called "Jubile," (fn. 4) great controversies, dissensions, and disputes were often caused among the citizens; and that therefore it had oftentimes been asked in divers Common Councils of the said city that the said quire, or book, should be burnt;—it was now, by assent of the said Mayor and Aldermen, and the whole of the Common Council, and of the other reputable men aforesaid, agreed and adjudged, that the said quire, or book, should be burnt on that same day in the place without the Guildhall.

Of which judgment execution was done by the Sheriffs forthwith.

Journeymen Cordwainers, charged with making an illegal fraternity.

11 Richard II. A.D. 1387. Letter-Book H. fol. ccxix. (Latin.)

John Clerk, Henry Duntone, and John Hychene, were attached on the 17th day of August, in the 11th year etc., at the suit of Robert de York, Thomas Bryel, Thomas Gloucestre, and William Mildenhale, overseers of the trade of Cordwainers, and other reputable men of the same trade, appearing before Nicholas Extone, Mayor, and the Aldermen, in the Chamber of the Guildhall of London; and were charged by the said prosecutors, for that, whereas it was enacted and proclaimed (fn. 5) in the said city, on behalf of our Lord the King, that no person should make congregations, alliances, or covins of the people, privily or openly; and that those belonging to the trades, more than other men, should not, without leave of the Mayor, make alliances, confederacies, or conspiracies; the aforesaid John Clerk, Henry Duntone, and John Hychene, servingmen of the said trade of Cordwainers, together with other their accomplices, on the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin [15 August] last past, at the Friars Preachers (fn. 6) in the said city, brought together a great congregation of men like unto themselves, and there did conspire and confederate to hold together; to the damage of the commonalty, and the prejudice of the trade before mentioned, and in rebellion against the overseers aforesaid; and there, because that Richard Bonet, of the trade aforesaid, would not agree with them, made assault upon him, so that he hardly escaped with his life; to the great disturbance of the peace of our Lord the King, and to the alarm of the neighbours there, and against the oath by which they had before been bound, not to make such congregations, or unions, or sects, for avoiding the dangers resulting therefrom.

And the said persons, being examined and interrogated thereon, could not deny the same; but they further confessed that a certain Friar Preacher, "Brother William Bartone" by name, had made an agreement with their companions, and had given security to them, that he would make suit in the Court of Rome for confirmation of that fraternity by the Pope; so that, on pain of excommunication, and of still more grievous sentence afterwards to be fulminated, no man should dare to interfere with the well-being of the fraternity. For doing the which, he had received a certain sum of money, which had been collected among their said companions: a deed which notoriously redounds to the weakening of the liberties of the said city, and of the power of the officers of the same. Wherefore, by award of the said Mayor and Aldermen, it was determined that the said John Clerk, Henry Duntone, and John Hychene, should be confined in the Prison of Neugate, until they should have been better advised what further ought to be done with them.

Afterwards, on the 3rd day of September in the same year, there came before the said Mayor and Aldermen Nicholas Bosbury, Walter Hoggeslade, Adam Loseye, Walter Gyngyver, Roger Rabas, William Robyn, William Hare, Robert Suttone, cordwainers (fn. 7)

Punishment of an impostor, for pretending to be son of the Earl of Ormond.

11 Richard II. A.D. 1387. Letter-Book H. fol. ccxix. (Latin.)

On Tuesday the 17th day of September, in the 11th year etc., before Nicholas Extone, Mayor, and the Aldermen, in the Chamber of the Guildhall of London, according to the custom of the said city, William Frenkysshe, of the County of Stafford, was attached to make answer, as well to our Lord the King and his people, as to John Tylneye, (fn. 8) of the County of Norfolk, in a plea of deceit and falsehood, etc.; and as to which the same John made plaint, that the said William came to him, at Tylneye, (fn. 9) and said that he was the son of the Earl of Ormond, (fn. 10) and because that our Lord the King wished to have him married to one of the Queen's damsels, against his will, he had fled from the Court, and was now concealing himself in those parts; as, contrary to the King's will, it was his own wish to marry elsewhere, as he might feel disposed: and he asked the same John if he would find him lodging and decent clothes, such as suited his rank, until such time as he should be able otherwise to make provision, from the profits of his castles and houses, for the same; and then, he said, he would take to wife Katherine, the daughter of the said John, a child then seven years of age, and make her a Countess; and he would have her taken care of in one of the nunneries founded by his ancestors, until she should arrive at full age, for him to marry her, etc. Wherefore, John Tylneye, giving full credence to his words, sold divers lands, tenements, and other goods and chattels of his, to support and find the said William in food and clothing.

And after this, the same William said that John and his daughter must go with him to the neighbourhood of Cantebrigge, (fn. 11) where he had two castles; and there they would stay, until he should have made other arrangements as to his estate and future management. And John Tylneye, in like manner giving credence to these words of his, together with his daughter and the said William, went to Cauntebrigge; and then, with other false and deceiving words the same William told him that they must go to London, to the King's Council there, on various business of his, and for prosecuting his suits there. And accordingly they came to London, to a hostelry there in Estchepe, called "The Belle on the Hope," where this same William requested John to let him have a handsome chamber, and one befitting his rank; which John Tylneye accordingly did, and called for bread, wine, ale, and other victuals, at the command of the said William; and paid for the same, as well as all other their expenses, both there and everywhere else: and in the same chamber he (fn. 12) made the said Katherine lie with him in his bed for one night. And so, continuing such malevolence and falsehood, this William maliciously and falsely continued and persevered in the same etc.; in contempt of our Lord the King, and in manifest deceit of his people, and to the no small damage and grievance of the same John, and the impoverishment of his estate.

And the said William being questioned thereupon, how he would acquit himself of the deceit and falsehood in the City so committed, he acknowledged that he was in every way guilty of all the falsehood and deceit aforesaid, save and except the words imputed to him as having been spoken about our Lord the King; and he put himself upon the favour of the Court as to the same. And for his falsehood and deceit aforesaid, so committed, and in London especially, and in order that others might beware of doing the like, according to the custom of the said city in like cases followed, it was adjudged that the said William should be put upon the pillory the same day, there to remain for three hours of the day, a whetstone, in token of his being a liar, being hung from his neck. And precept was given to the Sheriffs, to have the reason for the said punishment publicly proclaimed. And after that, they were to take him back to the Prison of Neugate, where he was to remain, until he should have satisfied the said John Tylneye, as to the damages awarded to him in the Sheriffs' Court, in virtue of a certain plaint against him, William, there commenced; and also, until the Mayor should have been more fully advised as to his release.

Punishment of the Pillory, for inserting iron in a loaf, to add to its weight.

11 Richard II. A.D. 1387. Letter-Book H. fol. ccxxiv. (Latin.)

On Wednesday next after the Feast of St. Matthew the Apostle [21 September], in the 11th year etc., Robert Porter, servant of John Gibbe, baker of Stratforde, was brought here, into the Guildhall of London, before Nicholas Extone, Mayor of the said city, John Hadle, and other Aldermen, and questioned for that, when the same Mayor on that day went into Chepe, to make assay there of bread, according to the custom of the City, he, the said Robert, knowing that the bread of his master, in a certain cart there, was not of full weight, took a penny loaf, and in it falsely and fraudulently inserted a piece of iron, weighing about 6s. 8d.; (fn. 13) with intent to make the said loaf weigh more, in deceit of the people etc.

Wherefore, enquiry was made of the same Robert, how he would acquit himself thereof; upon which, he acknowledged that he had done in manner aforesaid. And for his said falsity and deceit, it was adjudged that he should be taken from thence to Cornhulle, and be put upon the pillory there, to remain upon the same for one hour of the day, the said loaf and piece of iron being hung about his neck. And precept was given to the Sheriffs, to have the reason for such punishment publicly proclaimed.

Quit-rent for a Garden situate near Kentstrete, without the Bar of Suthwerk.

11 Richard II. A.D. 1387. Letter-Book H. fol. ccxxii. (Latin.)

"To all the faithful in Christ, to whom this present writing indented shall come, Nicholas Extone, Mayor, the Aldermen, and other citizens of the City of London, greeting in the Lord. Be it known unto all of you that we have received, on the day of the making of these presents, of the religious men, Brother Henry Colyngbourne, Prior of the House of St. Mary in Suthwerk, and the Convent of the same place, for one whole year last past before the date of these presents, 13s. 4d. sterling of quit-rent, yearly due unto us etc., and issuing from a certain garden of the said religious, which formerly belonged to William de Exmuthe; situate in the Parish of St. George, without the Bar of Suthwerk, near to the King's highway there, called 'Kenstrete.' In witness whereof, as well the Common Seal of the said city, as the Common Seal of the said religious, have to these writings indented interchangeably been set. Given at London, on the morrow of St. Michael [29 September], in the 11th year of King Richard the Second."

The Mayor and Aldermen summoned to a conference with the King, at Wyndesore.

11 Richard II. A.D. 1387. Letter-Book H. fol. ccxxiii. (Norman French.)

On the King's behalf.—Very dear and well-beloved. We do command and charge you strictly, that forthwith upon sight hereof, all other matters laid aside, and all excuses omitted, you do come unto us, with all the Aldermen of our City of London in your company, at our Castle of Wyndesore, so as to be there with the said Aldermen on Sunday next, in good time, without any default, to confer with us upon certain matters very weighty, which with us do lie very much at heart; the which we will shew unto you at your coming. And this in no manner omit, on the fealty and allegiance which unto us you owe. Given under our Signet, at our Castle of Wyndesore, this 28th day of November."—To our very dear and trusty Nicholas Extone, Mayor of our City of London. (fn. 14)

Proclamation made in the City, by the King's command.

11 Richard II. A.D. 1387. Letter-Book H. fol. ccxxiii. (Old English.)

Oure Lord þe kyng, (fn. 15) þat God saue and loke, (fn. 16) comaundeth to alle his trewe liges in þe cite of Londone, and þe suburbe, of what condicion þat euer þei ben, vp þe peyne of here liues, and forfaiture of here godes, þat non be so hardy to speke, ne mouen, ne publishe, en priue ne appert, onithyng þat might soune in euel or dishoneste of oure lige Lord þe Kyng, ne of oure Ladi þe Quene, or ony lordes þat haue bien duellyng withe þe Kyng bi for þis time, or of hem þat duellen aboute his persone nowe, or shul duelle, in hinderyng of here state in any manere: ne þat non of his trewe liges melle hem of suche matirs, but þat oure Lord þe Kyng, oure souereyn juge, mowe ordenye þerof þat him semeth best.


  • 1. Appointed by Parliament, in 1386, to superintend the expenditure of the public moneys. See Rot. Parl. vol. iii. p. 221.
  • 2. The Lords appointed by Parliament to control the expenditure.
  • 3. minister.
  • 4. In the Petitions in Parliament for 1386–7, (Rot. Parl. vol. iii. p. 227) we learn, from the Petition of the Cordwainers against Nicholas Brembre and his adherents, that in this book of Le Jubile "were comprised all the good articles pertaining to the good governance of the said city, and that Nicholas Extone, the Mayor, and all the Aldermen and good Commoners of the City, had sworn for ever to maintain them, to the honour of God and the profit of the common people; but that the said Nicholas Extone and his accomplices have burnt it, without consent of the good Commons of the City, to the annihilation of many good liberties, franchises, and customs of the City." It had been promulgated, no doubt, by the party of John de Northampton, the great antagonist of Nicholas Brembre, Extone, and the free Fishmongers of the City, while in power.
  • 5. See page 480 ante.
  • 6. The House of the Black Friars.
  • 7. The context suddenly stops short here, a vacant space being left.
  • 8. See, as to a person of this name, and almost as credulous, page 418 ante.
  • 9. Near Lynn, in Norfolk.
  • 10. James lc Botiller.
  • 11. Cambridge.
  • 12. A singular thing for a parent to sanction: but he probably imagined, in his simplicity, that this step would be the more likely to ensure his daughter's elevation to the rank of Countess, in the way of betrothal.
  • 13. Or four ounces.
  • 14. We may form a judgment as to the intended subject of this interview, from the fact that immediately preceding it, proclamation was ordered to be made in the City of London, that the King had taken under his protection both the impeaching party and certain persons who had been impeached before him for high treason; namely, Alexander, Archbishop of York, Robert, Duke of Ireland, Michael, Earl of Suffolk, Robert Tresilian, and Nicholas Brembre, Knight; the two parties being at open war with each other; which ended in the defeat of De Vere, Duke of Ireland, at Ratcote Bridge, in Oxfordshire, 20th December 1387. Brembre, who had been four times Mayor of London, was hanged by sentence of Parliament on the 20th of February following, being drawn through the City to the gallows at Tyburn, Judge Tresilian having been executed there the preceding day. It was the King's desire no doubt to obtain the support of the City in behalf of De Vere and his friends: but Extone, though a partisan of Brembre in City matters, declined to support their intrigues. According to Thomas Walsingham (Hist. Angl. vol. ii. p. 174) who speaks in very strong terms against him, Brembre had intended to slay some thousands of the citizens, to alter the name of London to that of "New Troy," and to have himself created Duke thereof.
  • 15. The issuing of this Proclamation in the City, formed one of the charges of high treason against Brembre and his accomplices; see Rot. Parl. vol. iii. p. 235.
  • 16. "guard."