Memorials: 1388

Pages 500-509

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

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Insult offered to an Alderman, and punishment inflicted for the same.

11 Richard II. A.D. 1388. Letter-Book H. fol. ccxxiv. (Latin.)

On Friday next before the Feast of Palm Sunday, in the 11th year etc., John Walcote, Alderman of the Ward of Walbrok, came before Nicholas Extone, Mayor of the City of London; and, making plaint, shewed unto him, that when, on the Thursday before, he ordered the reputable men of his Ward to be summoned by Robert Parker, bedel of that Ward, to appear before him, in order to advise with him as to divers matters touching our Lord the King, and the city aforesaid, he sent the said bedel to the house of Robert Staffertone, commanding such bedel to request that he would meet him at the Church of St. Swithun in Candelwykestret; where he and many other reputable men of the said Ward had met together, to discuss the matters aforesaid. And that the same bedel, going to the house of Robert Staffertone, requested him, in the name of his master, in form aforesaid; who thereupon made answer, that he had nothing whatever to say to him, and that he would not come to him; whereupon, the bedel again asked him to come to the said Alderman; to which he made reply, that he wished the Alderman himself had come to him, and he might then have kissed his rearward; (fn. 1) and so he altogether refused to appear before the said Alderman. Upon which, the bedel returned to his master, and informed him of the answer that had been given by the same Robert Staffertone: whereupon, the Alderman, thinking that he had used those words unadvisedly and without thought, again sent the said bedel to him, requesting him to come there in manner aforesaid; and not even then would he come, but rebelliously made answer that he would not do so.

For which unbecoming words, so uttered, the Mayor sent the said Robert Staffertone to prison; there to remain until he should have taken counsel with the other Aldermen of the City, as to giving judgment in this behalf.

Afterwards, on Saturday, the Eve of Palm Sunday following, the said Robert Staffertone was brought before the Mayor and Aldermen, in the Chamber of the Guildhall of the said city, and was questioned before them as to his words and misprisions aforesaid; upon which, he acknowledged that he had uttered the words before mentioned, and also confessed his rebelliousness; and he put himself upon the favour of the Court as to the same.

Wherefore, conference having been held upon the matters aforesaid, seeing that the said words were expressly uttered as well in disparagement of our Lord the King, as to the scandal and dishonour of the Mayor, Sheriffs, Aldermen, and all the officers of the said city, and especially of such an officer as an Alderman, who represents the judicial status in the same; and also, because that every freeman of the said city, when admitted to the freedom, has been sworn that he will pay due obedience to the Mayor, Sheriffs, Aldermen, and all other the officers thereof, for the time being etc.; it was adjudged that he, the said Robert Staffertone, should be imprisoned in Neugate for the next forty days, unless he should find increased favour etc.

Afterwards however, on the same day, because that the said John Walcote, Alderman, then and there personally entreated the Mayor, and the other Aldermen then present, to shew favour to the said Robert Staffertone; at his request, and upon the humiliation of the same Robert, who humbly entreated them, it was determined that he should be committed to prison until the morrow, namely, Palm Sunday; and on the same Sunday should be taken from the prison to his house aforesaid; and from the same house, between the eighth and ninth hour, before dinner, with his head uncovered, and attended by an officer of the City, should carry a lighted wax candle, weighing two pounds, through Walbrok, Bokeleresbury, and so by the Conduit and Chepe, to St. Laurence Lane in the Old Jewry, and along that lane to the Chapel of the Guildhall aforesaid; and there make offering of the said wax candle which done, all further imprisonment was to be remitted unto him, and forgiven.

Insult offered to an Alderman, and punishment inflicted for the same.

II Richard II. A.D. 1388. Letter-Book H. fol. ccxxvi. (Latin.)

William Wottone, Alderman of the Ward of Douegate, on Saturday, the Eve of Pentecost, in the 11th year etc., went to the Shambles of St. Nicholas in London, and seeing divers pieces of meat lying for sale at the shambles there of Richard Bole, butcher, asked the said Richard at what price he sold the same; to which he made answer, that 4 shillings was the price. Whereupon, the Alderman said that the meat was too dear; to which the said Richard made reply;—" I do verily believe that the meat is too dear for thee; who, I suppose, never bought as much meat as that, for thine own use." And thereupon, the said Richard immediately observing that William aforesaid was wearing a hood of the Aldermen's pattern, and so knowing thereby that he was an Alderman, he further said to him,—"Art thou an Alderman ?" to which the other answered,—"Yea; why askest thou ?" whereupon he said, —"It is a good thing for thee and thy fellows, the Aldermen, to be so wise and wary, who make but light of riding on the pavement, as some among ye have been doing."

For which words so uttered, upon plaint made by the Alderman aforesaid, the said Richard, by precept of Nicholas Extone, the Mayor, was committed to the Prison of Neugate; there to remain, until the Mayor and Aldermen should have taken counsel as to pronouncing judgment thereon.

Afterwards, on Monday, the 25th day of May, in the 11th year aforesaid, the same Richard was brought here, into the Chamber of the Guildhall, before the said Mayor and Aldermen, and interrogated as to the said words; whereupon, he fully acknowledged that he had said everything in manner before stated; and he put himself upon the favour of the Court as to the same. Therefore, after due consideration had upon the matter, because that the same words were expressly uttered in disparagement of our Lord the King, as well as to the scandal and dishonour of the said Mayor, Sheriffs, and Aldermen, and all other the officers of the city aforesaid, it was adjudged that the said Richard should be imprisoned in Neugate for the next half year; and that, on his leaving prison, with his head uncovered, and bare legs and feet, he should carry in his hand a wax torch, weighing one pound, and lighted, from Neugate through the Shambles aforesaid, and so straight through Chepe as far as St. Laurence Lane, and through that lane to the Chapel of the Guildhall, and there make offering of the same; unless he should meet with increased favour in the meantime.

Afterwards however, on the same day, as well at the instance of the Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of Ireland, who entreated the Mayor and Aldermen in behalf of the same Richard, as at the entreaty of the reputable men of the said trade of butchers, the imprisonment for half a year was remitted unto him; on the understading that on the same day he was to be taken back to Neugate aforesaid etc., (fn. 2) and there make offering of the same; which done, he was to be released.

Grant of leave to erect a Penthouse (fn. 3) for the aqueduct in Fletestrete.

II Richard II. A.D. 1388. Letter-Book H. fol. ccxxvi. (Latin.)

Seeing that very many losses and grievances had oftentimes befallen the people of Fletestret through inundations from the London aqueduct; (fn. 4) which frequently, through the breaking of the pipes thereof, rotted and damaged their houses and cellars, and the partywalls thereof, as also, their goods and wares, by the overflow therefrom, to the great damage of the persons dwelling in those parts; which evil might be removed and rectified by making a penthouse there, (fn. 5) over the said aqueduct, as by many persons they were given to understand; therefore, the good men of the neighbourhood aforesaid, on Saturday, the 12th day of June, in the 11th year etc., came before Nicholas Extone, Mayor, and the Aldermen, and Richard Odiham, the Chamberlain of London, and entreated them that they might have some remedy devised for the same.

And thereupon, on such complaint and request, in order that it might be seen whether the damage before-mentioned could by such means be averted, and for their easement, it was granted unto them by the said Mayor, Aldermen, and Chamberlain, that the people of that neighbourhood might, at their own costs and charges, make a penthouse over the aqueduct aforesaid, opposite to the house and tavern there of John Walworthe, (fn. 6) vintner, which are situate near to the hostel of the Bishop (fn. 7) of Salisbury; this condition however being interposed;—that whensoever by the same Mayor, Aldermen, and Chamberlain, or their successors, or by the Common Council of the same city, it should be found that the same was in any way to the detriment or prejudice of the said aqueduct, or of the said city, then they, the people of the same neighbourhood, or their successors, holding lands and tenements there, at the warning of the said Chamberlain or his successor, or other the officer of the said city by the Mayor and Aldermen, for the time being, assigned thereto, should cause the same to be immediately removed, and the said aqueduct and pavement to be closed and repaired, well and properly, at their own expense.

Faithfully to fulfil and do all which, John Rote, (fn. 8) John Walworth, Robert Bryan, Thomas Duke, George Cressy, Remund Standulf, John Chamberleyn, Robert Ikford, Nicholas Simond, Adam Jurdan, Robert Walter, John Attehille, Walter Hoggeslade, Walter Dunmowe, William Balle, Roger Kempestone, Richard Middeltone, Alan Ulryk, Roger Rabat, John Derneford, Robert Mauncel, and John Emnede, here present, undertook, and each of them, at his own risk.

Conviction for making a false accusation; and a Protection from the King alleged.

12 Richard II. A.D. 1388. Letter-Book H. fol. ccxxix. (Latin and Norman French.)

(fn. 9) On Friday, the last day of July, in the 12th year etc., Robert Buk, Goldsmith, presented here, before Nicholas Extone, Mayor, and the Aldermen, a certain petition, in these words.—

(fn. 10) "To the very noble and very honourable Lord, the Mayor of London, very humbly prays Robert Buk, goldsmith, and makes plaint against Robert Feltone, a prisoner in Neugate; that the said Robert Feltone, by his false and subtle imagining and procuring, made one Laurence, the appealer, (fn. 11) now in Neugate, wrongfully to accuse the said petitioner of felony, that is to say, that he had been with the said appealer at the death of John de Clifford, at Donnysmore in the County of Warwick, and at the commission of certain other felonies below the Park at Etone;—for making the which accusation, my very honourable Lord, the said Robert Feltone was to give to the said appealer a pilche, (fn. 12) a gowne, and 5 shillings in silver, of which he has received the pilche, in part payment thereof:—by reason whereof the said petitioner has been greatly injured. (fn. 13) And that upon such accusation, John Charneye, Coroner of the said city, came to the said Laurence, and examined him as to the same; and the said Laurence there, on the Monday next before the Feast of St. Bernard the Apostle (fn. 14) [15 June] last past, confessed before the said John Charneye that such accusation was false, and that he had accused him by procurement of the said Robert Feltone, on the promises made as aforesaid.—Therefore, may it please your very noble Lordship to consider these false and wrongful accusations and procurements, as they have been well proved by all the neighbours to be, and by all the persons who know him; and, in such manner as you shall decide, to ordain due execution and remedy as to the same; having regard to the great damages, reproofs, and disgrace, suffered by the said petitioner, for the love of God, and as a work of charity."

(fn. 15) By reason of which petition, precept was given to David Berteville, Keeper of the Gaol of Neugate, in whose custody, for other matters, the aforesaid Robert Feltone was, to have him here, in the Chamber of the Guildhall of the said city, before the said Mayor and Aldermen, on Monday the 3rd day of August then next ensuing, to make answer to the said Robert Buk as to the matters aforesaid etc.

Upon which Monday came here the said Robert Buk, and the said Robert Feltone was brought here by the Keeper of the Gaol aforesaid; and the petition was then read to him by the Court, and he was asked how he would acquit himself thereof; to which he made answer that he was in no way guilty thereof, and he put himself upon the country as to the same etc. Therefore, precept was given to John Wykes, serjeant of the Chamber, to summon twelve good and lawful men of the venue adjacent to Neugate, for the Tuesday following, to make oath etc.

And on that day the jury appeared, by John atte Shoppe, William Trymnelle, John Pynchone, and nine others. And after that the said jurors had been, by assent as well of the said Robert Fel tone as the said Robert Buk, chosen, tried, (fn. 16) and sworn, the said Robert Feltone produced a certain protection from our Lord the King, by which he, the King, on the 7th day of July in the 12th year of his reign, for one year then next ensuing, took the same Robert Feltone into his protection and safe-keeping; who was about to set out in his service, in the company of his well-beloved and trusty Thomas Talbot, Knight, Captain of his Castle at Guynes, (fn. 17) for the parts of Picardy, for the safe-guard of the said castle; he willing that the same Robert Feltone in the meantime should be exempt from all pleas and plaints, certain pleas only excepted, in the same protection specified. And he asked that the said protection should be allowed him; and in like manner produced a writ, directed to the Mayor and Sheriffs, as to allowing the same. Which jurors, notwithstanding, being charged as to the matter in the petition aforesaid contained, upon their oath declared the aforesaid Robert Feltone to be guilty of the things imputed to him in form as by the said petition alleged; and they assessed the damages, if damages in this case might be awarded, at 40 pence.

And because that the Court wished to advise as to rendering judgment in this behalf, as well by reason of the protection aforesaid, as for certain other causes, a day was given to the parties to hear judgment hereon, namely, the next Court to be holden here after the Feast of St. Michael then next ensuing. And the said Robert Feltone was recommitted to prison in the meantime. (fn. 18)

Insult offered to an Alderman, and sentence of Imprisonment for the same.

12 Richard II. A.D. 1388. Letter-Book H. fol. ccxxix. (Latin.)

On Monday, the 3rd day of August, in the 12th year etc. Simon Terry, porter of the Compter of William Venour, (fn. 19) one of the Sheriffs, at the suit of Adam Bamme, (fn. 20) an Alderman of London, was brought before Nicholas Extone, Mayor of the City aforesaid, and the Aldermen; and interrogated for that he had uttered to Adam Bamme aforesaid in a loud voice many shameful and opprobrious words, insomuch that many persons gathered round them, and, in their presence, in many ways insulted him; manifestly in contempt of our Lord the King, and of his officers in the same city. Which Simon fully acknowledged the same, and confessed that he had badly, disgracefully, and opprobriously, spoken in manner aforesaid; and he put himself upon the favour of the Court as to the same.

And after due counsel had been held thereupon between the said Mayor and Aldermen, because that the same Simon, by many disgraceful and bad words, in the King's highway, in presence of many bystanders, had abused the said Alderman etc., it was adjudged that he should be discharged and removed from his office, and should not be admitted to hold any office with any Mayor or Sheriffs, from thenceforth in the City; and that he should be imprisoned for one year then next ensuing, unless he should meet with increased favour as to such imprisonment.

And forthwith, on the same day, the said Adam Bamme requested the Mayor and other Aldermen to remit to him the imprisonment aforesaid: at whose request the same was accordingly remitted to him, he finding sufficient surety for his future good behaviour as towards the people of our Lord the King, and especially towards the said Adam and his people.

A Bedel discharged from his office, for spreading false reports.

12 Richard It. A.D. 1388. Letter-Book H. fol. ccxxix. (Latin.)

On Monday, the 3rd day of August, in the 12th year etc., William Asshewelle, bedel of the Ward of Cornhulle, at the suit of John Chircheman, Alderman, and Hugh Fastolfe, (fn. 21) Alderman and Sheriff, was brought before the Mayor and Aldermen; and interrogated for that, in divers places in the city aforesaid, he had said to several men, that he had heard a person say that the said John Chircheman and Hugh had been arrested by the Council of our Lord the King, and had been sent, upon two horses, with their hands tied behind them, to the Tower of London; a piece of parchment being sewed upon the shoulder of the same John, on which was set forth the reason for their arrest. And further, that the Duke of Gloucester, (fn. 22) with a key, (fn. 23) had broken the head of the said John Chircheman. Which William acknowledged that he had said in manner aforesaid; and he put himself upon the favour of the Court as to the same.

Whereupon, by common assent of the same Mayor and Aldermen, seeing that he himself was an officer of the said city, whose duty it is, as it is of all such officers, to arrest such liars, and the inventors of such lies and rumours; and especially those who have reported such words or designs against the said Mayor, Sheriffs, and Aldermen, or any of them, and to bring them before the Mayor or Sheriffs, for the time being, until full knowledge shall have been gained as to the truth of the same; and also, because that he uttered the same words, as before stated, to other persons, in some measure boasting about them, as the Mayor and Aldermen were given to understand; and in order that other officers and persons might beware of doing such things in future; it was ordered that the said William Asshewelle should be discharged from his office of bedel.

And he was further sworn, that he would do his best and utmost to produce the person from whom he first heard those same words, before the Feast of St. Michael [29 September] then next ensuing. And if he should do so, further favour was to be shown him as to the matters aforesaid.

Regulations as to the sale of fish in the City; and as to the use of Nets in the Thames.

12 Richard II. A.D. 1388. Letter-Book H. fol. ccxxxvii. (Norman French.)

"It is ordered that no birlester who carries oysters, mussels, salt fish, and other victuals, in the City to sell, shall stand in any street or lane of the said city, nor yet in his shop, to retail them; but such person shall be always moving about in the said city from street to street, and from lane to lane, to retail the same; on pain of forfeiting all the victuals found on sale as against this Ordinance.

"Also,—that every man who brings Thames fish for sale, taken to the East of London Bridge, shall stand in Cornhulle to sell the same, and nowhere else, on pain of forfeiture of the fish. And those who bring Thames fish, taken to the West of the said bridge, shall stand in Chepe, near to the Conduit there; and shall there sell the same, and nowhere else, under the same penalty.

"Also,—that no person shall fish in the Thames with any net called a pursnet, (fn. 24) on pain of forfeiture of such net, and of paying half a mark to the Chamber etc. And if any one can duly inform the Mayor and the Chamberlain of the said city, as to persons setting nets to the contrary hereof, he shall have one half of such forfeiture for his trouble.

"Also,—that no man shall fish in the Thames with any nets but those of the assize ordained at the Guildhall; and that, only at the proper seasons, on the pain aforesaid. And that no one shall fish near to the Wharves in London, between the Temple Bridge (fn. 25) and the Tower, within a distance of twenty fathoms, (fn. 26) on the same pain.

Also,—that no one shall sell charcoal, between now and Easter, at a dearer rate than 9d. the quarter, and that, by full measure; on pain of forfeiture of all charcoal sold to the contrary hereof.

"Also,—that no swine shall go wandering about within the City, on pain of forfeiture of the same; one half thereof to go to him who shall find such swine, and the other half to the Sheriffs of the said city."


  • 1. culum.
  • 2. An exact repetition of the words of the sentence.
  • 3. "Pinnaculum," in the marginal title.
  • 4. The system of water-pipes conveying the water from Tyburn to the Great Conduit in Chepe. These pipes appear to have been partly above ground, and exposed to the vicissitudes of weather and accident. The water was conveyed by pipes from Tyburn to St. James's Hill (now Constitution Hill); thence to the Mews, near Charing Cross; and thence, through the Strand and Fleet Street, to Chepe. See page 265 ante, Note 3.
  • 5. aventum; in modern French "anvent."
  • 6. Probably one of the City officers, or serjeants, mentioned in page 491 ante.
  • 7. This inn, or London house, of the Bishops of Salisbury, stood on the site of the present Salisbury Court, Fleet Street. See a reference to it in page 196 ante.
  • 8. The Alderman of Farringdon Ward. See page 490 ante.
  • 9. In Latin.
  • 10. In French.
  • 11. appellour; a false accuser.
  • 12. Or fur tippet.
  • 13. annyentissbe.
  • 14. Apostle of the Alps.
  • 15. In Latin.
  • 16. I.e., tested by "triors:" see page 434 ante, Note 2.
  • 17. Near Calais.
  • 18. Nothing more of this matter appears in the book, and Feltone probably escaped punishment for his offence.
  • 19. Grocer; Mayor in 1389.
  • 20. Goldsmith; Mayor in 1390 and 1396.
  • 21. Alderman of Tower Ward, and then of Bridge Ward, and afterwards, Governor of Dover Castle.
  • 22. Thomas de Woodstock, the King's uncle.
  • 23. It is "clave" in the MS.; but possibly clavo, "a club," is meant.
  • 24. The same as the "codnet," still known on the Thames; which has a cod, or purse, containing a stone, for sinking the net. See page 220 ante, Note 2.
  • 25. See page 306 ante, Note 1 and page 376.
  • 26. vadame.