Memorials: 1394

Pages 536-539

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

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Punishment of the Pillory for extortion, and pretending to be a taker of ale for the King.

17 Richard II. A.D. 1394. Letter-Book H. fol. ccxci. (Latin.)

On the 11th day of April, in the 17th year etc., Walter Fraunceys, vadlet, taker of ale for our Lord the King, came here before the Mayor and Aldermen, and alleged that one John Haselwode, who calls himself "John Harehulle," of the March of Wales, now in the Prison of Neugate, pretending that he was a taker of ale for our Lord the King, went at various times in the said city, bearing a white staff in his hand, to divers breweries there, one of which was the house of Simon Noke, in the Parish of St. Mary Colchirche, and said that it was his intention to seize their ale for our Lord the King. Whereupon, the wife of the same Simon, as well as some other brewers in the said city, whose ale, as before stated, he had laid hands upon, in order to obtain a release thereof, gave to the said John, the wife namely of Simon aforesaid four pence, and the others various sums of money.

And the same John, being questioned thereupon before the Mayor and Aldermen, acknowledged that he had made such seizures of ale as before stated, and also, that he had received twelve pence from the said brewers: the which seizures so made by him in manner aforesaid, without any warranty or authority for so doing, were manifestly to the disgrace and scandal of the officers of our Lord the King etc. And it was therefore adjudged that, according to the custom of the City in such cases followed, he should be put upon the pillory on Cornhulle, there to remain for one hour of the day, the white wand being held there at his side. And precept was given to the Sheriffs, to have the reason for such punishment publicly proclaimed.

Punishment of the Pillory, inflicted for swindling.

18 Richard II. A.D. 1394. Letter-Book H. fol. ccxcii. (Latin.)

"Inquisition taken before John Hadlee, Mayor, and the Aldermen of the City of London, in the Chamber of the Guildhall etc., on the 27th day of June, in the 18th year etc., to enquire, as well for our Lord the King as for the Commonalty of the City aforesaid, whether or not William Whitman, citizen and felmongere of the said city, in the Parish of All Hallows Bredstrete, on the 7th day of March, in the 15th year of the reign of our said Lord the King, did falsely and deceitfully deliver to one Thomas Keys, merchant, of Stowe St. Edward, (fn. 1) in the County of Gloucester, divers small bags filled with various powders, made of rape, roots of radiche, and old setuwale, (fn. 2) rotten, and unwholesome for mankind, as being good powdered ginger; and other like bags, filled with tansy seed, (fn. 3) of no value whatever, for genuine seed called 'wormsed'; (fn. 4) and also, divers barrels of rosyn for frank ensense; as the value of, and in return for, 129l. 13s. 4d. sterling, in which sum, by his writing obligatory made thereon, he was bound unto the said William; as the Court by Robert Peek, the Common Countor, was given to understand; in deceit of the said Thomas, and of the other lieges of our Lord the King; upon the oath of William Pountfreit and eleven other good and lawful men of the venue of the Parish of All Hallows aforesaid, upon the said matter charged, chosen, tried, and sworn. Who declared upon their oath, the said William Whitman to be guilty of the deceit and falsehood aforesaid, etc. (fn. 5)

"It was therefore adjudged that the said William Whitman, according to the custom of the City in such and the like cases from all time followed, and in order that others might in future beware of doing the like, should on the same day, between the hours of 10 and 11 of the clock before Noon, be put upon the pillory, there to remain for one hour of the day, the said false powders being then burnt beneath the same. And from thence he was to be taken back to prison; and then, on the Saturday and Monday after, at the same hour on each day, he was again to be put upon the pillory, as before stated, for one hour each day. And precept was given to the Sheriffs, that on each occasion the reason for such punishment should be proclaimed."

Ordinances of the Blacksmiths.

18 Richard II. A.D. 1394. Letter-Book H. fol. ccxcii. (Latin and Norman French.)

(fn. 6) On the 22nd day of September, in the 18th year etc., the reputable men of the trade of Blacksmiths of London came here, and delivered unto John Hadlee, the Mayor, and the Aldermen of the City aforesaid, the Articles underwritten; entreating that the same might be granted, for the common profit and advantage of the said city, and entered. Which Articles the said Mayor and Aldermen, considering them to be just, and consonant with reason, commanded to be here entered for observance, as follow.—

(fn. 7) "In the first place,—forasmuch as the folks of the said trade of Blacksmiths are oftentimes indicted at divers Wardmotes, from Ward to Ward, and warned to quit their houses, by reason of the great nuisance, noise, and alarm experienced in divers ways by the neighbours around their dwellings;—it is ordained that from henceforth no one of the said trade shall work by night, but only from the beginning of daylight to 9 of the clock at night throughout all the year, except between the Feast of All Hallows [1 November] and the Feast of Candlemas [2 February]; between which Feasts they shall work from 6 of the clock in the morning until 8 of the clock at night. And also, no one of the said trade shall work at all in his shop on any Saturday, or on the Eve of a Feast which is itself an Eve, after the first stroke of the bell rung for Vespers; on pain of paying, every one of the trade who shall be found in default, and culpable as to the said points, the first time 40d., the second time 6s. 8d., and the third time 13s. 4d. And so every time afterwards, when any default shall be found, the same penalty shall each time be paid; one half to go to the use of the Chamber of the Guildhall, and the other half to the use of the said trade.

Also,—that they shall be enabled to elect, and shall elect, every year, about the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel [29 September] two able men of the said trade, to be their Wardens for the ensuing year, and shall present them to the Chamberlain of the Guildhall, to take their charge to govern and rule all those who constantly follow the said trade within the City, and the suburbs thereof, in their degree, the same as the Wardens of other trades in the same city do. And if the Wardens of the preceding year shall not present to the Chamberlain aforesaid within eight days after the Feast of Simon and Jude [28 October] the Wardens newly chosen for the ensuing year, then, for such default, the old Wardens shall incur the penalty of 20 shillings; to be levied, that is to say, one half to the use of the Chamber, and the other half to the use of the trade. And if any one so elected shall refuse such office and charge, such person shall incur a penalty of 20 shillings; one half to go to the Chamber, and the other half to the use of the said trade.

"Also,—that the Masters for the time being of the said trade shall make their search within the franchise of the City, and in the suburbs thereof, for all manner of work of their trade, for retail, in the hands of freemen of the trade; and shall bring all false work, and not marked, as being forfeited, to the Guildhall, to be adjudged upon by the Mayor, or by the Chamberlain; and that such loss by forfeiture shall fall as well upon him who has made false work, as upon him who has made work, and has not put his mark thereon; one half thereof to go to the use of the Chamber, and the other half to the use of the trade.

"Also,—that no manner of man following the said trade in the City, or in the suburb thereof, shall make any manner of key from any kind of impress thereof, unless he have the key itself present, or the lock to which the same key has to be made; by reason of the mischiefs which have happened, and which may happen in time to come. And whosoever shall be found from henceforth in default on this point, and shall be convicted thereof, he shall abide by the judgment and award of the Mayor and Aldermen thereon.

"Also,—that no man of the trade shall carry, or cause to be carried, any manner of work of the said trade to any fair, before that the said work shall have been shown to the Wardens for the time being of the trade, as being good and lawful to serve the people, on the pain above specified."


  • 1. Now called "Stowe on the Wold," 25 miles from Gloucester.
  • 2. Valerian, or mountain spikenard; or perhaps, zedoary.
  • 3. semen tanezeti.
  • 4. The Artemisia santonica of the present day; used in cases of ascarides and round worm.
  • 5. After this, he was sent for into Court, on the 1st day of July, and, on denying the charge, was tried by another jury, who also found him guilty. This being purely in legal phrase, and at great length, it is here omitted.
  • 6. In Latin.
  • 7. In French.