Memorials: 1389

Pages 509-516

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

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Fine inflicted for stopping a Procession on the Festival of Corpus Christi.

13 Richard II. A.D. 1389. Letter-Book H. fol. ccxl. (Latin.)

Because that by the reputable men of the Parish of St. Nicholas Acon, Nicholas Twyford, Knight, Mayor of the City of London, was given to understand that, whereas they, time out of mind, had been wont and accustomed to have free ingress with their procession, on the befitting and usual days, through the middle of a certain house belonging to John Basse, citizen and draper of London, situate in the Parish of St. Mary Abbechirche, in London; the aforesaid John, together with John Creek, draper, and others of their covin, on Thursday, the Feast of Corpus Christi (fn. 1) last past, armed with divers arms, guarded the house before mentioned by main force, and would not allow the parishioners of the Church of St. Nicholas aforesaid to enter the house with their procession, as they had been wont to do, but grievously threatened them as to life and limb; in breach of the peace of our Lord the King, and to the manifest disturbance of the tranquillity of the city aforesaid:—for the said reason, the same John and John were arrested.

Afterwards, on the 26th day of June, in the 13th year etc., they were brought before the said Mayor, and the Sheriffs, Recorder, and Aldermen, in the Chamber of the Guildhall, and were there questioned as to the matter aforesaid, and were asked how they would acquit themselves thereof; whereupon, they acknowledged that they were guilty of all the things above imputed to them, and put themselves upon the favour of the Court as to the same. And counsel having been held hereon, according to the usage of the City in like cases, it was adjudged that the said John Basse, as being the principal and the prime mover in the contempt aforesaid, should have imprisonment for one year then next ensuing, to commence from the Friday next after the Feast of St. Botolph [17 June], namely, Friday, the 18th day of June then last past; and that, on his leaving prison, he should pay to the Chamberlain of the Guildhall 200 marks, to the use of the Commonalty, for the contempt aforesaid; unless he should meet with increased favour in the meantime. And that the aforesaid John Creek, for the contempt so by him committed, should have imprisonment for half a year after the said Friday next ensuing; and that, on his leaving prison, he should pay to the aforesaid Chamberlain 100 marks, to the use of the Commonalty, unless he should meet with increased favour in the meantime. (fn. 2)

Exemption of the Keepers, of the Hospitals for Lazars, from inquests, summonses, and amercements.

13 Richard II. A.D. 1389. Letter-Book H. fol. ccxlii. (Norman French.)

"To all persons who these present Letters shall see or hear, Nicholas Twyford, Knight, Mayor, and the Aldermen of the City of London, greeting and very dear friendship. At the information and complaint of our dear and well-beloved fellow-citizens, Robert Yvynghoo and Gilbert Rothyng, keepers and overseers, chosen by the said city, of the lazars (fn. 3) at St. Giles's, the Lokes, (fn. 4) and Hakeneye, we have understood that, whereas it is necessary for them, by virtue of their office, to go to the said places from day to day, to oversee the lazars and their houses there, and the rule and goverance of the same, and to chastise and punish offenders against their rule, according to their deserts, as from of old has been the usage; in doing these things, the said Robert and Gilbert are oftentimes occupied and hard-worked, as well in the way of expenses as in unrest for their bodies, and are exposed to losses and damages, seeing that they cannot occupy themselves about their trades and business so much as they find themselves occupied in their said duties; and that, notwithstanding the same occupations, labours, and expenses, they are oftentimes summoned on inquests before us, the Sheriffs, and other officers of the same city, and by their goods distrained and amerced; unduly, as it seems to them, seeing that they cannot both do their said duties and appear upon the said summonses. And therefore, the said Robert and Gilbert have entreated and requested us to discharge them from all such summonses, and all other offices in the said city during the holding of their said office. Wherefore we, the Mayor and Aldermen aforesaid, considering their meritorious labour, their unpleasant and onerous occupation, and the expenses and losses through such their office by them incurred, do grant unto the said Robert and Gilbert, by these presents, so far as in us lies, that they shall be discharged and acquitted of all manner of summonses, distresses, and amercements, in the said city; and that they shall not be made to hold, or be put into, any office in the same city, while holding their office aforesaid. In witness whereof, the Seal of the office of the Mayoralty of the said city is set hereto. Given at London, the 13th day of August, in the 13th year of the reign of King Richard the Second."

Expenses incurred by the Representatives of the City, in attending the parliament.

13 Richard II. A.D. 1389. Letter-Book H. fol. ccxlv. (Norman French.)

Expenses incurred in attending the Parliament, at Cauntebrigge, (fn. 5) by Adam Bamme, Henry Vanner, William Tonge, and John Clenhond.—

In the first place,—for timber and carpentry, tilers, and daubers, (fn. 6) in preparing the house for their lodging, as well the chambers as the hall, buttery, kitchen, and stables for the horses; and for making stoles (fn. 7) and fourmes throughout, and for carting out the rubbish, such house being quite ruinous: as also, for payment made to the good man of the house, for the said lodging,—6l. 9s.

Also,—for cloth bought for napery, (fn. 8) for canvas, doser, (fn. 9) and costers (fn. 10) for the hall, of striped worstede; and for all the other utensils, many in number, that pertain unto the hall, kitchen, pantry, and buttery; save and except vessels of pewter only, which were bought by the Chamberlain of the Guildhall,—6l. 16s. 8d.

Also,—for firewood, charcoal, torf, (fn. 11) and segge,—5l. 13s.

Also,—for the hire of horses, and for hay and oats, and for straw for the beds, (fn. 12) as well as for litter for the horses; and for horse-shoeing,—12l. 15s. 7d.

Also,—for expenses incurred by the aforesaid Bamme, Vanner, etc., and their servants, in riding on horseback to Cauntebrigge, and back; and for carriage of their wine, and all their harness, thither and back,—7l. 16s. 8d.

Also,—for two pipes of red wine taken thither from London, and for other wine, bought at Cauntebrigge,—9l. 2s.

Also,—for vestments (fn. 13) for them and their servants, arrayed in like suit,—22l. 15s.

Also,—expended at Cauntebrigge, throughout the time of the Parliament, on bread, ale, flesh-meat, fish, candles, sauce, the lauender, (fn. 14) and in gifts to the minstrels of the King, and of other lords; together with divers other outlays made,—23l. 5s. 9d.

Also,—for payments made to their officials, such as steward, butler, cook, and others; and to vadlets helping in the kitchen, and elsewhere, 7l. 13s. 4d.

Sum total, 112l. 7s.

The Ordinances of the Founders renewed.

13 Richard II. A.D. 1389. Letter-Book H. fol. ecxlvi. (Norman French.)

"To the honourable and rightful Lords, the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of London, shew and make plaint the good folks of the trade of Founders of the said city; that whereas some of the same trade in the City do work at and do make works of false metal, and contrary to what their work should be, and do solder it with light solder, that is to say, candlesticks, buckles, stirrups, and other things; which works, when they come to the fire, or are subjected to great force, do fail and break, and come asunder; as well to the great peril and damage of those who buy them, as to the great scandal of the City and of all the trade:—therefore, the good folks before mentioned do entreat that it may please your rightful Lordships, to grant that the points underwritten may be granted, allowed, and by you accepted, with the penalties herein written and ordained, from henceforth throughout the said trade, for the profit of the Chamber.—

In the first place,—that no man of the said trade shall make any stirrups, spurs, or buckles, of any metal but what is good and proper, and for such ordained; and that it shall be not brittle or strainable; on pain, every time that any one shall be found in default, of paying 40 pence to the Chamber of the Guildhall, and 12 pence to the Masters of the said trade, for the time being.

Also,—that no man of the said trade shall make any work of any metal but what is good, lawful, and proper for the work, on pain of paying 40 pence as aforesaid, and to the Masters as aforesaid.

Also,—that no one of the said trade shall solder candlesticks for the table with tender solder, under the same penalty to the Chamber and to the Masters, as aforesaid.

Also,—that all the work in the said trade called 'closwerk,' shall be made of good, fine, and proper metal, and of no other, on the pain aforesaid.

Also,—that no one in the said trade shall make any manner of moldyng, turnyng, ffilyng, garnesshyng, or any work in the way of hachyng, (fn. 15) in the said trade, by night, or on Saturday, or on any Eve of a Double Feast, when such Eve shall be a Fastday, (fn. 16) after Noon rung out in his Parish: but that any one who has then begun to cast, shall finish what he has so begun; but he shall set no new molde to finish, (fn. 17) after Noon rung, as is before said; and he shall work only during the time of meltyng, on the pain aforesaid.

Also,—that no man who is not of the said trade shall receive or retain any serving-man, apprentice, or journeyman, of the same trade, to work with him therein; on pain of paying to the Chamber 40s. every time that he shall be attainted and convicted thereof.

Also,—that if any one of the said trade, who is master, serving-man, or journeyman, shall work with another than one of the trade, he shall pay to the said Chamber 40s.

Also,—that no one of the said trade coming to the City, shall be allowed to keep house or shop, before he has been examined by the Masters, chosen and sworn to govern the trade, as to whether he is able and sufficient, and skilled: and they shall have him brought before you, to be made free, by the Masters aforesaid, and not by any other persons; that so, such persons may be known as being good, sufficient, and profitable to the common people, and to the said city; on pain of paying 40s.

Also,—that no man of the said trade shall receive any person to work therein as a journeyman, before he shall have been tried and proved by the Masters aforesaid, as to whether he is able to work in such trade as a journeyman, or not; and it shall have been adjudged by the said Masters how much he shall take by the day. And if he shall be found not able or skilled in the said trade, he shall be ousted therefrom, if he will not become an apprentice; on pain of paying 40s.

Also,—that if any Master in the said trade and his man (fn. 18) shall be at variance through any misunderstanding between them, that no other master in the trade shall be so daring as to set, or procure the said man, or servant, to be set, at any work, until the master and such man, or servant, shall have reasonably come to terms; on pain of paying 40s., as aforesaid.

Also,—if any man or servant in the said trade shall have served his master in such trade for any certain term, or by covenant between them made, and any default shall be found in the said man, or servant, and the master through ill-will shall refuse to pay such man or servant his salary for his service, according to the covenant between them made; or if the master shall wish to make him serve against his will, beyond his covenant well and lawfully performed; then such master shall pay the penalty of 40s.

Also,—that if any servant or man in the said trade shall be found in any default as towards his master, whether by convin or enticement of another, or through his own ill-will, he shall be punished, at the discretion of the Mayor and Aldermen, according to the extent of the said offence.

Also,—that no one of the said trade shall be so daring as to entice the serving-man, journeyman, or apprentice, of another away from the service of his master, before the covenant between them made is completed. And that if any one shall so do, and be convicted thereof, he shall pay to the Chamber, every time that he is so convicted, 40s.

Also,—that two or three of the best men of the said trade shall be chosen and sworn to guard and oversee all the trade, and to present unto you all the defaults that they may reasonably find in such trade.

Also,—that if any one of the said trade, whether master or servant, shall be found rebellious or in opposition to the said Masters, so chosen and sworn, so that they cannot duly make their search, he shall have the penalty inflicted that has been heretofore in such case ordained.

Also,—that all work in the said trade that can be found falsely wrought, and made of false metals, shall be broken by the Masters of the said trade; and he who shall have made it shall pay 40d. to the Chamber, and 12d. to the Masters of the said trade.

Also,—that the Masters chosen and sworn, together with a serjeant of the Chamber, shall have power to make their search, as well upon those who are not of the said trade, and who have things to sell touching that trade, as those who are of the trade.

Also,—if those who are ordained and chosen as Masters for the year, and sworn, do not make their search and due execution, according to the Ordinances before stated, every time that they shall be found in such default, they shall pay to the Chamber 40 pence."

Enactment made, that in future the Sheriffs shall have no procession on horseback, on being presented at Westminster.

13 Richard II. A.D. 1389. Letter-Book H. fol. cccxlvi. (Latin.)

On Wednesday, the Feast of the Translation of St. Edward the King and Confessor [13 October] in the 13th year etc., in presence of Nicholas Twyford, Knight, Mayor of London, John Hadle, Nicholas Extone, William Cheyne, Recorder, Hugh Fastolf, John Hende, Adam Bamme, John Loveye, John Walcote, John Shadworth, Henry Bamme, Thomas Austin, Adam de Saint Ives, William Wottone, John Fraunceys, William Sheryngham, Thomas Wilford, and John Pynchone, Aldermen, and an immense number of the Commonalty, assembled in the Guildhall of London for the election of a Mayor, it was mooted, and, for the common advantage of the Commonalty, set forth;—that whereas the men of divers trades, at the presentation of the Sheriffs on the morrow of St. Michael the Archangel [29 September], before the Barons of the Exchequer at Westminster, as the usage was, had been wont to array themselves in a new suit, and to hire horses for riding upon, and to incur many other expenses; and then shortly afterwards, on the Mayor riding to Westminster on the morrow of St. Simon and St. Jude [28 October], as it had been the custom to do, they again incurred the like expenses, and this, every year; and whereas, by reason of such vesture and outlays within so short a time, and in each year, very many men in their goods were in many ways aggrieved and impoverished; and forasmuch as it seemed as well to the said Mayor and Aldermen, as to the Commonalty, a matter of necessity to curtail and diminish such expenditure in part, in relief of the Commonalty; and to the end that the Commons might be the better enabled, as they are bound to do, to pay honour to the Mayor on his said riding to Westminster; as also, for the purpose of avoiding and getting rid of such excessive outlays and expenses; by common assent of the said Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty, it was agreed, and unanimously granted, that no Sheriff should in future, for the day of his presentation aforesaid, give any vestments to any other persons than the servants of the City, and his own officers and Serjeants; or should on that day, himself or by others, have any riding; but that the said Sheriffs, always afterwards on that day, together with their servants and others who might desire to go with them, should go by water in barges and boats, or else proceed by land, to Westminster aforesaid, and in like mannor return to London, without there being any arraying of men of the trades in like suit for that purpose; except that such men of the trades as should wish to accompany them, should walk in such suit of vestments of the livery of their respective trades as they might then have. And that if any Sheriff should in future in any way infringe upon the Ordinance aforesaid, he should immediately pay to the Chamberlain of the said city, for the time being, to the use of the Commonalty, 100 marks sterling, without any remission thereof, etc.

And afterwards, on the same Wednesday, by assent of the said Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty, William Venour was elected Mayor of the City aforesaid for the following year.


  • 1. The Thursday after Trinity Sunday. For some account of the London pageants and processions, on this Festival, see Brand's Popular Antiquities, vol. i. (ed. 1848) p. 297.
  • 2. A Note is added, to the effect that the imprisonment was remitted on the same day: and the fines were respectively reduced to 15 pounds and 100 shillings.
  • 3. Lepers.
  • 4. A Hospital for lepers in Kent Street, without the Bar of Southwark.
  • 5. Cambridge.
  • 6. See page 254 ante, Note 2.
  • 7. Stools and forms.
  • 8. Table-cloths, or bord-clothes.
  • 9. See page 283 ante, Note 2. See also Way's Prompt. Parv. p. 125.
  • 10. See page 375 ante, Note 4.
  • 11. Turf, and sedge: the latter is still in use at Cambridge for the same purpose.
  • 12. See page 8 ante, Note 4.
  • 13. vesture.
  • 14. Laundryman.
  • 15. Hatching; shading with lines engraved.
  • 16. Junee.
  • 17. au fyn.
  • 18. vadlet.