Memorials of London and London Life in the 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries. Originally published by Longmans, Green, London, 1868.
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Letter under the Privy Seal, as to a dissension between the Cord wainers and the Cobblers.
10 Henry IV. A.D. 1409. Letter-Book I. fol. lxxx. (Norman French.)
"Henry, by the grace of God etc., to our very dear and wellbeloved, the Mayor, Recorder, and Aldermen, of our City of London, greeting. We do send you enclosed herein a Petition, delivered unto us by our well-beloved lieges the men of the trade of Cordewaneres in our said city, touching a certain dissension and dispute that has been pending for some time past between them and the Cobelers in the same city residing, as by the same Petition may unto you more fully appear. And we do will and command you, that upon the matter contained in the same Pe tition you do cause due inquisition to be taken, and such government between the said trades to be ordained and established, for the ease and quiet of both parties, as is befitting, and ought to be befitting, according to the custom of our City aforesaid; that so, we may not have reasonable cause to provide any other remedy in this case. Given under our Privy Seal, at Westminster, the 21st day of January, in the 10th year of our reign.
Hokkyng, Foteballe, and Cokthresshyng, forbidden by proclamation.
10 Henry IV. A.D. 1409. Letter-Book I. fol. lxxvii. (Norman French.)
"Let proclamation be made, that no person within the City of London, or in 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. 1) on the Monday or Tuesday next, called 'Hokke'dayes.' And that no person shall levy money, or cause it to be levied, for the games called 'foteballe' (fn. 2) and 'cokthresshyng,' because of marriages that have recently taken place in the said city, or the suburbs thereof; on pain of imprisonment, and of making fine at the discretion of the Mayor and Aldermen."
Inquisition made for the regulation of the Cordwainers and the Cobblers.
10 Henry IV. A.D. 1409. Letter-Book I. fol. lxxxi. (Norman French.)
"Our most dread Lord the King sent his gracious Letters, under his Privy Seal, unto Drew Barantyn, the then Mayor of the City, etc., commanding and charging that etc. (fn. 3) —
"By virtue of which Letters of our Lord the King, inquisition was taken on the 15th day of June, in the 10th year etc., before the said Mayor, the Recorder, and the Aldermen, in the Chamber of the Guildhall of the said city, upon the oath of Nicholas Loseye, Richard Biernes, Symond Sisile, Roger Brentfeld, John Potter, Richard Segre, John Carter, John Thebaw, Hugh Crispe, John Pratyn, Andrew Brownyng, and John Younge, who are of the craft of workers in new leather, called 'Cordewaners,' and of John Bassett, John Chietesmythe, James Shopman, John Fynke, Robert Grenelefe, and William Pycard, English, who are workers in old leather, called 'Cobelers,' (fn. 4) and of Peter Sonde, Arnold Emme, Angilbright Von Ottenbroke, Reynold Johan, Jacob Petresone, and John Dewland, who are alien workers in old leather, called 'Cobelers'; who, being sworn, say that, according to the usage and custom from of olden time in the City of London, those who retail or make new boots and new shoes, shall not retail or make up old boots or old shoes for sale: and in the same manner, those who make up or retail old boots and old shoes, shall not retail or make new boots or new shoes: but that all the work that may be done with old leather belongs to the workers called 'Cobelers,' and their successors, without retailing, making, or mixing any quarter of new leather with quarters or quarter of old leather, for the sole, (fn. 5) or for the overlethir; but that it shall also be fully lawful for the said workers in old leather to clout old boots and old shoes with new leather upon the old soles, before or behind; provided always, that no quarter of new leather shall be pieced with old leather; that is to say, that no quarter, called forfote, (fn. 6) of overlether, made of new leather, or quarter of overlether behind, called the 'hele,' of new leather, shall be pieced with old leather; or quarter of the sole, before or behind, or the half thereof, (fn. 7) of new leather, shall be pieced with old leather; for such is false work, and deceiving for the commonalty. And if it shall happen that any old shoe is burnt or spoilt, that is to say, the overlether before or behind, and it must be mended with a quarter, then it belongs to the said workers in old leather to do the same, with a quarter of old leather. And if any old shoe shall be broken in the sole, before or behind, the same belongs to the workers in old leather, called 'Cobelers,' to mend it in the place where it is so broken, with a small piece of new leather, or of old, whichever is the most advantageous for the common profit.
"And in the same manner, all the work that may be made of new leather, belongs to the workers in new leather, called 'Cordewaners,' without making up or mixing any quarter of old leather with a quarter of new leather, either sole or overlether, before or behind; except always, and reserved unto the said Cordewaners, and their successors, that if it shall happen that any person desires to have his old boots or bootlets (fn. 8) resoled, or vamped and soled, or his galoches or shoes resoled, (fn. 9) the same, if it can be done, shall pertain at all times to the said workers called 'Cordewaners,' to do it; or if any new shoe shall be burnt or broken, and require to be mended with a quarter of new leather, either as to sole or overlether, before or behind, it shall pertain to the said workers in new leather to do it, they taking reasonably for the same. And that no one of the craft aforesaid, either worker in old leather or worker in new leather, shall do any work, otherwise than in manner and form declared as aforesaid.
"And that all persons of the said craft, as well the folks keeping house, as their serving-men, both workers in old leather and workers in new leather, and their serving-men, shall live peaceably under the rule and governance of the said craft, as to being searched and inspected by the Wardens of the Cordewaners, to see that they do their duty and their work in all degrees that well and lawfully pertain to their said craft; and also, that they do their work in all parts, as well masters as serving-men, well and lawfully, for the profit of the Lords and of all the Commonalty. Provided always, that no man of the craft aforesaid, worker in old leather or worker in new leather, shall keep house within the franchise of the said city, to retail, or to do old work or new work, if he be not first made free of the City, and that, in the craft aforesaid, as is before declared.
"And that every person as well among the Cobelers as the Cordewaners, found wanting in the Articles aforesaid, or in any one of them, before the Wardens of the said craft of Cordewaners, shall pay, upon the first default, 6s. 8d.; that is to say, 40 pence to the Chamber of the Guildhall of the said city, and 40 pence to the alms of the said trade of Cordewaners; and the second time, 13s. 4d. in manner and form aforesaid; and the third time, 20s.; so increasing at every default by 6s. 8d., in form aforesaid; the same to be levied by the Wardens of the said craft of Cordewaners, sworn in the Guildhall of the said city, for the time being.
"And that all the work found made, or to be made, against the declarations aforesaid by this verdict, is false and deceitful, as regards the common profit, and shall be utterly made forfeit by the Wardens of the said craft of Cordewaners, for the time being, to be burnt or given away, for the love of God, according to their knowledge and good discretion. And if any man of the craft, worker in old leather or worker in new leather, shall refuse, or attempt to rebel against, the governance and coercion of the Wardens of the said craft of Cordewaners, for the time being, in form aforesaid, and shall thereof, at the information of the said Wardens, be duly convicted before the Mayor of the said city, then the person so convicted shall make fine of 10 pounds for his rebelliousness aforesaid; the one half of which shall be levied for the Chamber, and the other half for the alms of the said trade of Cordewaners; the same to be levied by the Wardens, for the time being, of that craft. And if there shall be any person of the said craft, cobeler or Cordewaner, sued for any default as regards these Articles, or any one of the, to the contrary of this verdict, let him pay the same penalty as a person so found in default ought to pay, or otherwise let him lose his freedom; and this, as many times as any one shall be found deficient in this respect."
Proclamation against giving credit to the Mariners of the royal fleet.
10 Henry IV. A.D. 1409. Letter-Book I. fol. lxxx. (Latin and Norman French.)
(fn. 10) Proclamation made on the 3rd day of September, in the 10th year of King Henry the Fourth.—
(fn. 11) "Let proclamation be made, that no person dwelling in the City of London, or in the liberty thereof, of whatsoever estate or condition he may be, shall lend, or sell by way of trust, from henceforth to the arbalesters or mariners of the galleys that have lately arrived in the Port of London, any drapery, cloths, vestments, or other merchandize, or bread, wine, ale, flesh, fish, or other victuals whatsoever; but only for ready payment in hand; on pain of losing his suit at law against such buyer: that so, the said galleys may not be retarded in their passage back again."
William Kyngescote deprived of the Wardership of the Gate of Ludgate.
10 Henry IV. A.D. 1409. Letter-Book I. fol. lxxxiii. (Latin.)
Be it remembered, that on Saturday, the Eve of St. Michael [29 September], in the 10th year etc., after that John Lane and William Chichele, the Sheriffs, had been sworn before Drew Barantyn, the Mayor, the Aldermen, and the Commonalty, of the City of London, in the Guildhall of the same city, well and faithfully to do and perform their duties etc.; on the same day, after the hour of Noon, they went to the Gate of Ludgate, there to receive by indenture, as the custom is, from William Nortone and Thomas Duke, their predecessors, the late Sheriffs of the said city, the prisoners and persons there incarcerated, to take charge of the same; whereupon, one William Kyngescote, the then Warder of the said Gate and Gaol, and other persons there present, with swords, and baselards, and other arms, by main force made resistance to them, throwing stones from the top of the tower there, so that neither the Sheriffs nor their officers could enter that prison, or gaol, to receive the said prisoners and other persons there confined. For the said William Kyngescote and his accomplices asserted and affirmed that he, the same William, would keep under his charge the said Gate, and the prisoners there, and would on no account deliver them up to the said Sheriffs: in rebellion against, and contempt of, our said Lord the King, to the dishonour of the said Sheriffs, and to the manifest damage of the said city.
Upon which rebelliousness and resistance so made, the same Sheriffs, on Tuesday, the first day of October next ensuing, made grievous complaint to the Mayor and Aldermen of the said city, in the Chamber of the Guildhall thereof, and entreated them that they would deign to provide a fitting remedy for the matters aforesaid, by way of example to other misdoers. Wherefore, the Mayor and Aldermen, giving due consideration to these matters, determined that the said William Kyngescote should be bodily arrested for such rebelliousness and resistance; and accordingly, precept was given to the Sheriffs to take him, and have him before the said Mayor and Aldermen, in the Chamber aforesaid, on the Wednesday next before the Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist [18 October], the 16th day of October then next ensuing; to make answer there, and receive what the said Mayor and Aldermen should award in respect thereof etc. Upon which Wednesday, the said Sheriffs had the said William Kyngescote there, before the Mayor and Aldermen, as had been enjoined in the Chamber aforesaid. And the said William being questioned upon these matters, he could not deny his rebelliousness and resistance before-mentioned, but humbly put himself upon the favour of the Court and of the said Sheriffs as to the same.
Whereupon, the Mayor and Aldermen being thoroughly and heartily of opinion that the said rebelliousness and resistance had been shown to the prejudice and contempt of our said Lord the King, to the dishonour and scandal of the said Sheriffs, and as a pernicious example to all the people; taking into consideration also that although the Gate aforesaid, together with the prisoners therein, had been conditionally delivered to the same William Kyngescote by John Shadworthe, the Mayor, the Aldermen, and the Common Council, in the 3rd year of our said Lord the King; on Sunday, the Feast of the Translation of St. Edward the King and Martyr [13 October], in the 11th year etc., through John Westone, the Common Countor of the said city, it was unanimously prayed, that the said William Kyngescote should be wholly expelled from the keepership of the Gate aforesaid, and of the prisoners therein, and be wholly discharged from holding any office in future in the said city; and deeming that such petition, for the reasons aforesaid, was just and reasonable, they did ordain, determine, and give sentence, that the said William Kyngescote should be wholly dismissed from the Wardership of the Gate and of the prisoners aforesaid, and be discharged from holding any office in the said city; and that the custody thereof, so granted to him, should be held as null, and he himself be committed to the Prison of our Lord the King at Newgate, there to remain for one whole year then next to come.
And thereupon, the same Sheriffs kindly entreated the Mayor and Aldermen, that they would deign to remit his imprisonment unto the same William Kyngescote: wherefore, upon such entreaty, imprisonment was remitted unto the same William Kyngescote accordingly. (fn. 12)