Memorials: 1419

Pages 669-677

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

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Proclamation made at the Pillory, upon punishment for selling charcoal in sacks of deficient measure.

7 Henry V. A.D. 1419. Letter-Book I. fol. ccxxvi. (Old English.)

"For as mych as Johan Umbergh, (fn. 1) de Shenfeld in Essexe, colier, (fn. 2) þat here stant, is openly conuict by his confessioun made afor þe Meir and Aldremen, þat he, in disceyt of þe comune peple, haþ sold coles þis same yeer more þan a xii tymes by ech of þes vii sakkes þat lyen here by side, for sakkis of viii busshels of ful mesure; wher in trouþe þei conteyne but v, vi, or vii busshels at moost: þerfor, in ensample þat al oþer shold be ware in tyme comyng of such falsnes and disceyt, the Meir and Aldirmen han awardid hym to stonde here on þe pilory, and his sakkes to be brent undur hym."

Regulation made that the Serjeants and other officers of the Mayor, Sheriffs, or City, shall not beg for Christmas gifts.

7 Henry V. A.D. 1419. Letter-Book I. fol. ccxxxviii. (Latin.)

Forasmuch as it is not becoming or agreeable to propriety that those who are in the service of reverend men, and from them or through them have the advantage of befitting food and raiment, as also, of reward or remuneration in a competent degree, should, after a perverse custom, be begging aught of people, like paupers; and seeing that in times past, every year at the Feast of Our Lord's Nativity [25 December], according to a certain custom, which has grown to be an abuse, the vadlets of the Mayor, the Sheriffs, and the Chamber of the said city,—persons who have food, raiment, and appropriate advantages, resulting from their office,—under colour of asking for an oblation, (fn. 3) have begged many sums of money of brewers, bakers, cooks, and other victuallers; and in some instances have more than once threatened wrongfully to do them an injury if they should refuse to give them something; and have frequently made promises to others, that in return for a present they would pass over their unlawful doings in mute silence; to the great dishonour of their masters, and to the common loss of all the City:—therefore, on Wednesday the last day of April, in the 7th year etc., by William Sevenok, the Mayor, and the Aldermen of London, it was ordered and established, that no vadlet or other serjeant of the Mayor, Sheriffs, or City, should in future beg or require of any person, of any rank, degree, or condition, whatsoever, any moneys, under colour of an oblation, or in any other way, on pain of losing his office.

Proclamation against the adulteration and the mixing of wines.

7 Henry V. A.D. 1419. Letter-Book I. fol. ccxxvii. (Old English.)

Proclamacioun of Romeney, (fn. 4) and thordinaunce therof.—

"For as moch as many gret, now a dayes and long tyme hertofore, bothe Englisshmen and aliens, in comone harme of alle the peple, and gret sclaundre of þis Citee, naught charginge her owne untrouþe and disceyt, daylich usyn within thornis Citee thornir wyne of Spayne, Rochell, and oþer remenauntz of brokyn, sodyn, (fn. 5) reboyllid, and unthrifty wynes of oþer contrees, whan þei are feblyd in colour, (fn. 6) and noght in value, to put yn diuers buttys and oþe vessels, þat are here rasyd and gummyd with picche, (fn. 7) code, (fn. 8) and othir horrible and unholsome þinges, for to reduce and bryng ayen, in disceyte of þe peple, a plesaunt colour to þe sight, and a lykly manere drynkyng of Romeney to þe smell and tast. And noght only for exclusion and puttyng a wey of þis opyn and sclaunderouse deceyt, here with yn þis Citee late practisid and bygonne, but also for þe redy remedyng of grete multitude of such wynes deceyuablych (fn. 9) contrefetyd and medlid on þe other syde of þe see, and broght hydir to selle, the peticion of þe Comons hath oftyn here to for requirid a couenable remedie; wherfor, þe Mair and Aldirmen, þat now are, be good deliberacion and assent of þe Comons, knowyng wele þat al þe grete multitude of wynes þat are clepid 'Romeneyes,' wiþ in this Citee, are but contrefetid of Spaynissh wyne and Rochell, and oþer remenauntz of wyne forseyd, albeit þat in colour and tast be the deceyuable menys forseyd, it semith oþer; willyng also the stable amendement of þe deceyt and fals contrefetyng and untrewe medlyng forsayd, and þat eche wyne be sold hole in his degre and kynd, as he growith;—han ordeynid and establisshyd, þat no man with yn þis Citee, or þe liberte þerof, fro this day forward selle a galon of þe best such wyne contrefetid, that þet calle 'Romeney,' no derrer þan vid. on peyne of for faiture of al þe vessell and wyn, wherof he sellith oght in þe contrarie. And also, þat fro this day forward no man with yn þis Citee, ne þe liberte þer of, fre ne. forein, coloure ne medle no manere wyn, þat is to sey, no white wiþ rede, old with newe, hole with brokyn or corrupt, Rochel with Renyssh, ne none othere wyne of diuers kyndes ne growynges to gidir; (fn. 10) but selle hem hole and trewe, evyn as þei growyn, up peyne of juysse of þe pillorye, (fn. 11) as oft as he may be conuict in þe contraire. And also, þat no couper, ne none othir man, with yn þe fraunchise of þis Citee, þat so hardy fro þis day forward, in his owne persone, or by his seruaunt, to gumme, rase, bynde, setynhede, (fn. 12) or in eny other wyse contrefete or medle with þe undewe makyng or contrefetyng of ony manere wyn, up peyne of the same juysse of pyllory, to have as oft as he is lawfully conuict or atteynt ther of. And more ouere, for þe accomplissement of sikerer (fn. 13) holdyng and continuaunce of þis Ordeynaunce, the Mair and Aldermen haue ordeynid þat euery man, of what degre, astate, or condicioun þat he be, þat can aspye, or en four me þe Chamber leyn of þis Citee of eny persone þat in ony wise sellith ony Romeneyes or eny oþer wynes, or hem medlith or colourith in eny wyse, a yens þe manere and four me aboue expressid, shal have þe third parte of þe forfaiture þeof demyd for his labour."

Proclamation made at the Pillory, on punishment for adulterating wines.

7 Henry V. A.D. 1419. Letter-Book I. fol. ccxxvii. (Old English.)

The iewisse (fn. 14) of the pillory for William Horold, for fals Romeney.—

"For as mych as by þe Mair, Aldermen, and Comunes, of þis Citee hit was late ordeyned and proclamyd, for the good and eese of al þe peple, þat no coupere, fre ne foreyn, ne none oþer man, shold wiþin þis Citee rase ne gumme, or in eny other wyse medle with undewe makyng, medlyng, or contrefetying of Romeney, up peyne of juesse of þe pillory; (fn. 14) and for as mych as William Horold, Couper, of Hamptone, that here stant, ferst by one enquest was endytid afor þe Meir and Aldermen, and aftirward lawfully conuict and atteynt by an other, that he, long aftir the sayd proclamacioun, a yens the tenure an fourme of þe sayd Ordenaunce, ymagynyng sotilly to deceyve þe comune peple in contrefetyng of old and feble Spaynissh wyn for good and trewe Romeney, in þe Parisshe of Seynt Martyns in the Vyntry, falsly and deceyuably gummyd and rasyd two buttes with diuers gummes and unholsome (fn. 15) oþer thynges for mannys body, and feld hem ful of old and feble Spaynissh wyn, to have a lykly manere taste and smell to the drynkyng of Romeney, thurgh þe gummyng and rasyng aboue seyd. Also, þe said William, in gretter deceyt of þe peple, for to make the same wyn haue a lykly colour of Romeney, would have put poudir of bayes and oþer poudres þer in, yef he had noght þe more warly (fn. 16) be let (fn. 16) by certain officers þat toke hym þer with. Therfor the Meir and Aldermen, wyllyng þat euery man þe rather shold eschewe such falsnes and disceyt in tyme comyng, haue aftir þe fourme of þe forseyd Ordenaunce awardid, þat he shal stonde here on þe pillory þis day an hour."

Proclamation made at the Pillory, upon punishment for selling charcoal in sacks, deficient in measure.

7 Henry V. A.D. 1419. Letter-Book I. fol. ccxxviii. (Old English.)

"For as mych as Johan Walter, colyer, of Chesthunt, þat her stant, is opynly conuict afor þe Mair and Aldremen, be his owne confession, þat he profred to selle viii sakkes of cole, of þe which eche of hem lakked a busshel and more, and some of hem tweyn:—wherfor, þe Meir and Aldermen han awarded, in example of all oþer, þat he shall stond here on þe pilory þis day an hour, and his sakkis brent undur hym."

Ordinance for the abolition of the Debtors' Prison at Ludgate.

7 Henry V. A.D. 1419. Letter-Book I. fol. ccxxviii. (Norman French.)

"Whereas the commendable intentions and charitable purpose of those who have been governors and presidents of the City of London heretofore, have ordained a prison, called 'Ludgate,' for the good and comfort of poor freemen of the same city, who have been condemned; to the end that such poor prisoners might, more freely than others who were strangers, dwell in quiet in such place, and pray for their benefactors, and live upon the alms of the people, and, in increase of their merits, by benign suffrance, in such imprisonment pass all their lives, if God should provide no other remedy for them;—now, from one day to another, a thing to be deplored, the charitable intentions and commendable purposes aforesaid are frustrated and turned to evil, inasmuch as many false persons of bad disposition and purpose, have been more willing to take up their abode there, so as to waste and spend their goods upon the ease and licence that there is within, than to pay their debts: and, what is even more, do there compass, conspire, and imagine oftentimes, through others of their false covin, to indict good, reputable, and loyal men, of the same city and other districts, for certain felonies and treasons, of which they never have been guilty, but whereby the said men are oftentimes in danger of being ruined in body and in goods; just as of late it befell, when Roger Olyver and Roger Lawsell, with certain other prisoners, their accomplices, in the said prison, caused to be indicted John Lane and John Gedney, who of late were severally Sheriffs of the same city, Robert Arnold, William Bourtone, and certain others of the most substantial citizens of the said city, with other persons, to the number of sixty and more. Therefore, William Sevenok, now Mayor, and the Aldermen and Sheriffs, with the assent of the Commons, wishing to provide some especial remedy in this behalf, so far as they may, considering that the foundation of this enormous crime of false compassing, conspiring, and imagining the said indictments, was laid and commenced within the said Prison of Ludgate, and that the liberty of the said prison is rather the cause and occasion of the non payment of people than the payment, and so, against that good policy in the cause of which every prison was first founded and ordained, have ordered and established, on the first day of June, in the 7th year of the reign of King Henry, after the Conquest the Fifth, that the said Prison of Ludgate shall be abolished and disqualified as a prison, and that all the prisoners therein shall be removed and safely carried to Neugate, there to remain, each in such keeping as his own deserts shall demand, according as, and for the time which, the law of the land shall give to him." (fn. 17)

Enactment as to funds for the support of the New Work at the Guildhall.

7 Henry V. A.D. 1419. Journal 1 fol. 59. (Latin.)

Saturday, the 19th of August, in the 7th year etc.: present, the Mayor, Knolles, R. Chichile, Wottone, Pike, Nortone, Penne, Gedeney, Widingtone, Standolf, the two Sheriffs, Whitingham, Reinwell.—

It was ordered that for this year the Scavage (fn. 18) should be applied to the New Work at the Guildhall, together with all moneys paid in the way of contribution etc. (fn. 19) And that Thomas Pike should contribute to the New Work all the moneys in arrear, and from him due for Scavage for three years.

Duplicate Copy of a Letter from King Henry to the Corporation of the City of London, the original Letter having been captured by the enemy.

7 Henry V. A.D. 1419. Letter-Book I. fol. ccxxxvii. (Old English.)

" By the Kyng.—Trusty and well beloued. We grete you well, and have alweys founde in you hedertoward, and spicillich (fn. 20) of your kynde and notable profre of an ayde, þe which ye han graunted unto us of your owne good mocion, as our broþer of Bedford and our Chancellor of England haue written unto us, yeuing þerinne good ensaumple yn diuerce wyse to al þe remanant of our sugitz in our lande: and soo we pray you, as our trust is, ye wool for to continue. And as to þe said aide, þe which ye haue concluded to do unto us now at þis tyme, we pray you specially þat we mow haue it at such tyme and in such wayse as our broþer of Bedford (fn. 21) shal moor plenely declare unto you on our behalue, lating (fn. 22) you fully wete þat we haue writen to al our frendes and allies þorwe Cristendom, for to haue socours and help of hem ayeins (fn. 23) þe same tyme þat our sayd broþer shal declare you; the which, when þey here of þarme and þarray þat ye and other of our subgitz make at home yn help of us, shal yeue hem gret corage to hast þair comyng unto us moche þe rather, and nat faille, as we trust fully. Wherfor we pray you hertely, þat ye wolde do touching þe forsayd ayde, as our sayd broþer shal declare unto you on our behalue, considering þat so necessarie ne so acceptable a seruice as ye may do, and wol do, (fn. 24) as we trust unto you, at þis tyme, ye ne might neuer haue don unto us seth our werres in Fraunce began. For we truste fully to Goddes might and His mercy, wiþ good help of you and of our land, to haue a good ende of our sayd werre in short tyme, and for to come home unto you, to gret comfort and singuler joye of our hert, as God knoweþ þe which He graunte us to His plesaunce, and haue you euer in His kepinge. Yeuen under our Signet, yn our toun of Pontoise, þe xvii day of August.

(fn. 25) "And weteþ þat þe forsayd xvii day of August departed from us at Pountoyse our lettres to you direct in þic same tenur. And by cause it is sayd þe berer of hem is by our enemys taken in to Crotey, (fn. 26) we renouelle hem here at Trye (fn. 27) þe Castell, þe xii day of Septembre."

Order given to the Chamberlain, to seize the Rushboats.

7 Henry V. A.D. 1419. Journal 1. fol. 61. (Latin and Norman French.)

Thursday, the 29th of September, in the 7th year etc.: present, the Mayor, Recorder, Whityngtone, Merlawe, R. Chichele, Fau coner, Wottone, H. Bartone, Penne, Nortone, Pike, Ralph Bartone, Purveys, Whitingham, and Botiler, Sheriffs.—

(fn. 28) It is granted that the risshbotes (fn. 29) at the Flete and elsewhere in London shall be taken into the hands of the Chamberlain; and the Chamberlain shall cause all the streets to be cleansed.

Election of Richard Whityngton to his third Mayoralty.

7 Henry V. A.D. 1419. Letter-Book I. fol. ccxxxviii. (Latin.)

On Friday, the Feast of St. Edward the King and Confessor [13 October] in the 7th year etc., after Mass of the Holy Spirit devoutly and becomingly celebrated with solemn music in the Chapel of the Guildhall of the City of London, according to the Ordinance made thereon in the time of John Wodecok, (fn. 30) late Mayor of the said city, and approved, in presence of William Sevenok, Mayor, John [Bartone], (fn. 31) Recorder, Richard Whitingtone, Thomas Knolles, Richard Merlawe, Robert Chichele, William Walderne, William Crowmer, Thomas Fauconer, Nicholas Wottone, Henry Bartone, Thomas Aleyn, John Michel, John Gedney, Thomas Pyke, William Chichele, John Penne, William Nortone, John Reynewelle, John Perveys, Ralph Bartone, Robert Wydingtone, John Standelf, Aldermen, and Robert Whitingham and John Boteler, Sheriffs, and an immense number of the Commonalty of the citizens of the said city, summoned to the Guildhall of London for the election of a Mayor for the ensuing year, by their common assent, consent, and desire, Richard Whitingtone was chosen Mayor for the ensuing year; and on the morrow of the said Feast was presented before the Barons of the Exchequer of our Lord the King, at Westminster, admitted, and accepted as such.

Confession of a false accusation.

7 Henry V. A.D. 1419. Journal 1 fol. 62. (Latin.)

Tuesday, the 17th of October, in the 7th year etc.—

J. Derby, thef, and J. Selby, Clerk of the Compter.—J. Derby, son of J. Derby, windrawer, brought here from the Marshalsea, in custody of the Marshal, acknowledged that whereas he had formerly said that John Selby kept Sir John Oldecastell in his house, and maintained him against the King, he now said, upon his soul, that, without any duress, in presence of the people standing, he had falsely lied therein around. And he said that for one year and more he had endeavoured to disclose this to the Mayor and Aldermen, but could not appear, by reason of his being detained in the Marshalsea.

Ordinance for the re-establishment of the Debtors' Prison at Ludgate.

7 Henry V. A.D. 1419. Letter-Book I. fol. ccxxxviii. (Norman French.)

"Whereas through the abolition (fn. 32) and doing away with the Prison of Ludgate, which was formerly ordained for the good and comfort of citizens and other reputable persons, and also, by reason of the fetid and corrupt atmosphere that is in the hateful gaol of Neugate, (fn. 33) many persons who lately were in the said Prison of Ludgate, and who in the time of William Sevenoke, late Mayor, for divers great offences which they had there compassed, were committed to the said gaol [of Neugate], are now dead, who might have been living, it is said, if they had remained in Ludgate, abiding in peace there:—and seeing that every person is sovereignly bound to support, and be tender of, the lives of men, the which God has bought so dearly with His precious blood;—therefore, Richard Whityngton, now Mayor, and the Aldermen, on Saturday, the 2nd day of November, have ordained and established that the said Gate of Ludgate shall be a prison from henceforth, to keep therein all citizens and other reputable persons, whom the Mayor, Aldermen, Sheriff, or Chamberlain of the City, shall think proper to commit and send to the same. Provided always, that no one shall be Warder of the same prison, unless he be a man good and loyal, and one who has found sufficient sureties yearly to the Sheriffs of London that he will well and lawfully keep the prisoners there, and will keep the Sheriffs and the City harmless in all things which pertain unto the safekeeping of the prisoners and Prison aforesaid."


  • 1. About April, 1419.
  • 2. Meaning, seller of charcoal.
  • 3. Or offering: an early allusion to the practice of Begging for Christmas boxes.
  • 4. A kind of Malmsey wine; see page 255 ante.
  • 5. sodden.
  • 6. enfeebled.
  • 7. scraped, or scratched within, to make the resin adhere.
  • 8. Cobbler's wax.
  • 9. deceivably, or deceptively.
  • 10. growths.
  • 11. Judicial punishment.
  • 12. Qy. as to this word.
  • 13. "more secure," or sure.
  • 14. Judicial punishment.
  • 15. unsolsome in the MS.
  • 16. "more warily been prevented."
  • 17. As to the speedy re-establishment of this prison, see page 677 post.
  • 18. A toll, or duty, taken upon the "showage," or opening out, of goods.
  • 19. de cont.
  • 20. specially.
  • 21. bother in the MS.
  • 22. "letting you fully know."
  • 23. against.
  • 24. ad in the MS.
  • 25. "And know." A Postscript added to the duplicate copy of the original Letter, after its supposed loss.
  • 26. Crotoye.
  • 27. Trie le Chastel.
  • 28. In French.
  • 29. Rush boats: see page 643 ante. This was probably in consequence of the obstructions arising from rushes being thrown into water.
  • 30. See page 566 ante.
  • 31. Omitted in the MS.
  • 32. See page 673 ante.
  • 33. beynouse.