Memorials: 1406

Pages 561-566

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

(fn. 1) Hokkyng forbidden, by proclamation.

7 Henry IV. A.D. 1406. Letter-Book I. fol. xlix. (Latin and Norman French.)

(fn. 2) This proclamation was made on the Friday next before the quinzaine (fn. 3) of Easter, in the 7th year etc.—

(fn. 4) "Let proclamation be made, that no person of this city, or within the suburbs thereof, of whatsoever estate or condition such person may be, whether man or woman, shall, in any street or lane thereof, take hold of, or constrain, any person, of whatsoever estate or condition he may be, within house or without, for hokkyng, (fn. 5) on the Monday or Tuesday next, called 'Hokke'dayes'; on pain of imprisonment, and of making fine at the discretion of the Mayor and Aldermen. And that every constable, serjeant, bedel, and other officer, of the said city, shall have power to arrest any person whatsoever, who shall do or practise such hokkyng, and to take the same to prison, there to remain according to the award of the said Mayor and Aldermen."

Sentence of death for burglary, and claim of Benefit of Clergy.

7 Henry IV. A.D. 1406. Letter-Book F. fol. ccxxv. (Latin.)

Delivery of Infangthef, (fn. 6) made in the Guildhall of the City of London, before John Wodecok, Mayor of the City aforesaid, John de Prestone, Recorder thereof, John Hadlee, Thomas Knolles, and other Aldermen, and Henry Bartone and William Crowmere, Sheriffs of the City, on Monday, the 26th day of April, in the 7th year etc.

William Hegge, who was taken on the Saturday next before the Monday aforesaid, at the suit of Margaret Normantone, late the wife of Thomas Normantone, citizen and grocer of London, with the mainour (fn. 7) of divers goods and chattels of the same Margaret;—namely, 12 baselards, harnessed with silver gilt, value 5 pounds; 12 pairs of small knives, harnessed with jeet (fn. 8) and silver, value 30s.; and other goods and chattels to the value of 40l.; which goods and chattels, being in the shop of the said Margaret, in the Parish of St. Mary Colcherche, in the Ward of Westchepe, in London aforesaid, on the same Saturday he, the said William Hegge, breaking into and entering the shop of the same Margaret at night, feloniously stole; is by the same Margaret appealed thereof; and she finds as sureties that she will prosecute her appeal, James Cok and John Chadde, both of London. And hereupon, the said William, being asked how he will acquit himself of the felony aforesaid, says that he is in no way guilty thereof, and puts himself upon the country for good and for bad.

And the Jury of the venue aforesaid appears, namely, Richard Reynolde, and eleven others; who say upon their oath, that the said William Hegge is guilty of the felony aforesaid, etc. There fore it is adjudged that the said William Hegge shall be hanged by the neck etc. And hereupon, the aforesaid William Hegge says that he is a clerk, and that he can read etc. And because that the Court is without the Ordinary, such Court cannot proceed further to judgment etc. Therefore, the same William Hegge is committed to the Gaol of our Lord the King at Neugate, there to remain until etc. (fn. 9)

Ordinance of the Forcermakers.

7 Henry IV. A.D. 1406. Letter-Book I. fol. lii. (Norman French.)

"Unto the honourable Lords, the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of London, humbly pray the good folks of the trade of Forcermakers (fn. 10) of the same city, that whereas divers folks of the said trade, as well freemen as foreigners, do make forcers of false and rotten wood, and cover them with linen cloth within, by reason whereof people may not have knowledge of the wood, and do then send them to dealers to sell again to other lieges of the realm, in great deceit of the people, and to the scandal of the good folks of the said trade; and, very honourable Sirs, seeing that there are no Wardens in the said trade to examine their works, in the said city made and sold, no correction thereof is made:—may it please your honourable Lordships to grant, that the folks of the said trade may yearly elect two reputable men from among themselves, to be Wardens of the trade, and to search for defaults in the same, wheresoever they may be found, within the franchise of the said city; and to present the same unto the Chamberlain of the Guildhall, that so, correction and punishment may be made as to those who shall be found in default, according to the Ordinances after written; for the love of God, and as a work of charity.—

"In the first place,—that no one in the said trade shall make any forcer but according to the standard used from of old, that is to say, of nine different dimensions in length, (fn. 11) and breadth, and depth within, as follows;—the forcer of the first dimension shall be 20 inches of assize in length, 14 inches of assize in breadth, and 8 inches of assize in depth; the forcer of the second dimension, that is called a 'quarlet,' shall be 18 inches in length, 14 inches in breadth, and 8 inches of assize in depth; the forcer of the third dimension, 18 inches in length, 9½ inches in breadth, and 6½ inches in depth; the forcer of the fourth dimension, 16½ inches in length, 12½ inches in breadth, and 6½ inches of assize in depth; the forcer of the fifth dimension, 15½ inches in length, 11½ inches in breadth, and 6 inches of assize in depth; the forcer of the sixth dimension, 15½ inches in length, 9½ inches in breadth, and 6 inches of assize in depth; the forcer of the seventh dimension, 14 inches in length, 9½ inches in breadth, and 5 inches of assize in depth; the forcer of the eighth dimension, 12 inches of assize in length, 8 inches in breadth, and 4 inches of assize in depth; the forcer of the ninth dimension, 10 inches of assize in length, 6 inches in breadth, and 4 inches of assize in depth: which same forcers shall always be made of good and proper wood, on pain of forfeiture thereof to the Chamber of the Guildhall, and further, of paying a fine of 40 pence, on the first default found; one half thereof to the said Chamber, and the other half to the trade; upon the second default made, on pain of forfeiture of the forcer, and of a fine of 6s. 8d. to the parties aforesaid; and on the third default, of forfeiture of the forcer, and payment of 10 shillings to the parties aforesaid; and so on, at the discretion of the Mayor and Aldermen.

Also,—that the said Wardens, so chosen for the year, may examine the work made in the same trade, and as well the work found in the trade, as elsewhere in the same city made, to sell within the same, without impeachment, let, or hindrance, from any one, and shall present the defaults unto the said Chamberlain; and that whosoever shall molest them, may be punished at the discretion of the said Mayor and Aldermen.

"Also,—that no one in the same trade shall instruct any manner of person in the trade, until he shall have been made apprentice, according to the custom of the said city, without fraud or evil intent; on pain of paying 20 shillings to the parties, in form aforesaid.

"Also,—that no one in the same trade shall withdraw or detain the apprentice or journeyman of another in the trade, on pain of paying 20 shillings, in form aforesaid.

"Also,—that if any one of the said trade shall be rebellious or contumacious, he shall be punished and imprisoned, and shall make fine, according to the ancient Ordinances made in the Guildhall for all those rebellious against the masters, governors, and wardens of all the trades of the City aforesaid."

Election of Richard Whityngton to his second Mayoralty.

8 Henry IV. A.D. 1406. Letter-Book I. fol. liv. (Latin.)

On Wednesday, the Feast of the Translation of St. Edward the King and Confessor [13 October], in the 8th year etc., John Wodecok, Mayor of the City of London, considering that upon the same day he and all the Aldermen of the said city, and as many as possible of the wealthier and more substantial Commoners of the same city, ought to meet at the Guildhall, as the usage is, to elect a new Mayor for the ensuing year, ordered that a Mass of the Holy Spirit should be celebrated, with solemn music, (fn. 12) in the Chapel annexed to the said Guildhall; to the end that the same Commonalty, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, might be able peacefully and amicably to nominate two able and proper persons to be Mayor of the said city for the ensuing year, by favour of the clemency of Our Saviour, according to the customs of the said city.

Which Mass having in the said Chapel been solemnly celebrated, there being present thereat the said John Wodecok, the Mayor, John Prestone, Recorder, Nicholas Wottone and Geoffrey Broke, Sheriffs, the Prior (fn. 13) of the Holy Trinity, John Hadlee, William Staundone, Richard Whytyngtone, Drew Barentyn, Thomas Knolles, John Shadworth, William Askham, William Bramptone, John Warner, William Walderne, William Venour, Robert Chychely, Thomas Fauconer, Thomas Polle, William Louthe, William Crowmere, Henry Bartone, and Henry Pountfreyt, Aldermen, and many reputable Commoners of the City aforesaid; the same Mayor, Recorder, Sheriffs, Aldermen, and Commoners, entered the Guildhall, where the precept of the said Mayor and Aldermen, as the cause of the said congregation, was becomingly set forth and declared by the said Recorder to the Commoners aforesaid; to the end that such Commoners should nominate unto the said Mayor and Aldermen such able and proper persons as had before filled the office of Sheriff in the City aforesaid; it being for the said Commoners to take no care which one of the persons so to be nominated should be chosen by the Mayor and Aldermen to be Mayor for the ensuing year. Which being done, the said Mayor, Recorder, Sheriffs, and Aldermen, went up into the Chamber of the Mayor's Court, within the Guildhall aforesaid, there to await the nomination of such two persons. Whereupon, the Commoners peacefully and amicably, without any clamour or discussion, did becomingly nominate Richard Whytyngtone, mercer, and Drew Barentyn, goldsmith, through John Westone, Common Countor of the said city, and presented the same.

And hereupon, the Mayor and Aldermen, with closed doors, in the said Chamber chose Richard Whytyngtone aforesaid, by guidance of the Holy Spirit, to be Mayor of the City for the ensuing year; after which, the Mayor and Aldermen, coming down from the Chamber into the Hall, to the Commoners there assembled, as the custom is, notified by the Recorder unto the same Commoners, how that, by Divine inspiration, (fn. 14) the lot had fallen upon the said Richard Whytyngtone, as above stated.

And further, the said Commoners unanimously entreated the Mayor and Aldermen, that they would ordain that in every future year, on the Day of the Translation of St. Edward, a Mass of the Holy Spirit, for the reasons before stated, should be celebrated, before the election of the Mayor, in the Chapel aforesaid. And hereupon, the Mayor and Aldermen, considering the entreaty of the said Commoners to be fair, reasonable, and consonant with right, and especially to the glory and laud of God, and to the honour of the said city, by assent and consent of the said Commoners, did ordain and decree that every year in future a solemn Mass with music shall be celebrated in presence of the Mayor and Aldermen; the same Mass, by ordinance of the Chamberlain for the time being, to be solemnly chaunted by the finest singers in the Chapel aforesaid, and upon that Feast.

A Chaplain charged with making an immoral compact.

8 Henry IV. A.D. 1406. Letter-Book I. fol. cclxxxvi. (Latin.)

On the 14th day of December, in the 8th year etc., in presence of Richard Whityngtone, Mayor, John Hadle, John Hende, Geoffrey Brook, John Warner, Henry Pountfreyt, William Venour, Richard Merlawe, and Thomas Fauconer, Aldermen, Sir William Langford, Chaplain, was [brought up, as being] taken in adultery with Margaret, the wife of Richard Dod, tailor, in the Ward of Bisshopesgate Without, by the bedel etc. And the same Richard Dod, the husband of the aforesaid Margaret, was the go-between (fn. 15) with the said Chaplain and Margaret, his wife aforesaid, and received 40 pence from the said Chaplain for his good offices therein. Therefore it was adjudged by the Court, that the said Richard Dod should undergo the punishment of the pillory, on the Wednesday following, for three hours of the day. (fn. 16)


  • 1. This proclamation is repeated in fol. lxxvii. of the same Volume, 10 Henry IV.: which see in page 571.
  • 2. In Latin.
  • 3. A fortnight after Easter.
  • 4. In French.
  • 5. The sports practised on Hock Monday and Hock Tuesday, the third Monday and Tuesday after Easter. On the first day the men were lifted, and on the next the women; the passengers being intercepted by ropes, and made to give money for their release. See Hampson's Medii ævi Kalendarium, vol. ii. p. 204; and Brand's Popular Antiq. vol. i. pp. 184–191 (ed. Ellis).
  • 6. See page 195 ante, Note 5.
  • 7. See page 195 ante, Note 6.
  • 8. Jet.
  • 9. Until claimed by the Ordinary.
  • 10. Makers of forcers, or caskets. On this subject, see Way's Prompt. Parv. p. 170.
  • 11. mewsons.
  • 12. nota: musical notation.
  • 13. As Alderman of Portsoken Ward.
  • 14. In allusion to Acts i. 24–26.
  • 15. pronuba.
  • 16. From this portion of Letter-Book I (folios 286–290) which contains some dozens of similar charges, mostly against Chaplains celebrating in the City, temp. Henry IV.—Henry VI., we learn that it was the practice in such cases to have proclamation made, (apparently in Court) that if any person should thereafter hire such priest to do any spiritual office, he should pay a fine to the Chamber double the amount of the sum so agreed to be given to such priest; after which, the offender was "sent to the Ordinary, to be purged." In fol. 289 b. are entered, in a nearly illegible hand, the words of the proclamation made on such occasions:—"The Mayr comaundith on the Kynges bihalf, that no man from this day forward, within the fraunchise of this cite of Londone, holde in servyse ne yeve no manere salery to N.B. that here is, on peyn of paying the doble summe of the seid salerie to the Chambre of Londone; for he is found yn a suspect place in way of synnefor he is founde in doyng fornicacion [or] avowtri with J. N. that here is present,"—one of the latter alternative sentences being used according to the exigency of the offence. In the case immediately preceding the one given in the text, the names of the culprits are "John Jolyf, porter," and "Johanna Fithyan."