Memorials of London and London Life in the 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries. Originally published by Longmans, Green, London, 1868.
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By what is hardly less than a curious coincidence, considering that some thousands of folio pages have had to be traversed in the work of selection for this Volume, its details come to an end in November 1419, (fn. 1) the same month in which, as we learn from the Introduction, John Carpenter concluded his compilation of the Liber Albus; a work derived from the same sources, the archives of the City of London. Beyond the fact, however, of their common origin, there is no point (fn. 2) of resemblance between the two books,—they have probably not so much as a single page in common. The Liber Albus was mainly intended by its compiler to be a "Repertory," as he called it, of "remembrances" of the then existing City laws, observances, rights, and franchises. The present work, though occasionally its contents have incidentally a legal complexion, is almost wholly devoted to such matters as illustrate the local history of London in the latter part of the Middle Ages, and to entries which place before us the manners, usages, and notions, of the times, indicating thereby many of the now forgotten but most striking features of the then social life.
The Letter-Books, to which this work, in common with the Liber Albus, is thus indebted for its existence, are a series of folio volumes—the early ones of somewhat smaller size than those of later date—in manuscript on parchment; containing entries of the current matters of the day, in which the City has been in any way interested or concerned, downwards from the early part of the reign of King Edward the First. Limiting these remarks to the first nine of them, the only ones that have been consulted for the purposes of this compilation,—they have been preserved with a carefulness as praiseworthy as it has been successful, during a long and ofttimes troublous lapse of ages: and the entries themselves, though of course, as generation succeeded generation, made in scores of varying hands, good, bad, and indifferent, are in general characterized, if not by strict chronological sequence, at least by an exactness which alike testifies to their truthfulness, and speaks well for the business habits of our City Chamberlains and Common Clerks in the times of the Plantagenets. The want in many instances of due sequence in the entries, is probably owing to the fact, that rough copies of the memoranda, or "remembrances," were kept in hand at times for a month or two together, or even longer, and then entered in the volume, without much regard to the chronological order of the facts commemorated; as also, that, at least in some cases, two sets of entries were being made in different parts of the volume at the same period. Indeed, in the instance of the earliest LetterBooks, as the reader of the extracts in the first fifty pages of this work will remark, no less than three of them were in use for receiving entries of memoranda for several years in common. Though for convenience' sake styled "Letter-Books" since the latter part of the reign of Edward the Third, the earliest volumes were originally known as the "Lesser Black Book," the "Greater Black Book," the "Red Book," and the "White Book," from the respective colours of their original bindings, no doubt. From November 1416, the proceedings in which the Mayor and Aldermen alone have taken part, have ceased to be entered in the Letter-Books, the Journals (fn. 3) having then superseded them for that purpose.
What was the exact nature in early times of the rules with reference to the safe-keeping and seclusion of the class of City records now under notice, we probably have no means of knowing. They were of course looked upon as merely business books, and as such, no doubt, were watched with a jealous eye; and, hence the exceptional good fortune which they had, to escape the fate of the collection in the Library founded by the munificence of Richard Whityngton at the Guildhall; three cartloads of whose volumes—the whole collection probably—were lent to the Lord Protector Somerset, in the reign of Edward the Sixth, and on his downfall in 1552 irrecoverably lost. (fn. 4)
Robert Fabyan, the Alderman and Historian, (Sheriff A.D. 1493), had unrestricted access to the City archives, for the purposes of his Chronicle, as a matter of course. For the now rare compilation known as "Arnold's Chronicle," and sometimes as "The Customs of London," printed about the year 1502, they may have been also slightly consulted here and there, as its writer was a citizen of London, and residing there. John Stow, the Chronicler, was probably the next person who had access to these archives, for antiquarian and historical purposes, to any considerable extent; and his allusions, in his Survey, to the "Remembrances" in these even then "ancient books," prove him to have formed a correct appreciation of their value and usefulness, though, as will be remarked in the sequel, the earliest among them would seem to have almost escaped his notice, or, at all events, to have been subjected by him to no very searching examination.
It was in a like liberal and indulgent spirit probably, that the City authorities allowed two of their early volumes, the Liber Custumarum and Liber Legum Regum Antiquorum, belonging to the time, and once the property, of Andrew Horn, fishmonger, learned lawyer, and City Chamberlain, who died in 1328, to pass from the hands of Recorder Fleetwood into those of Stow's contemporary, Francis Tate, a member of the Academy of Antiquaries, and Sir Robert Cotton, the well known collector of manuscripts. The result of this loan or transfer was, that, after reiterated demands, (fn. 5) spreading over no less than eight years, one half of each of those volumes was returned to its rightful owners, while the other two halves, bound up together, and made refulgent in many a page with the quarterings of the Bruce and Cotton Arms, found a permanent restingplace on the shelves of the Cottonian Library, and now conjointly figure as Manuscript Claudius D. II of that Collection, in the British Museum.
It was not improbably owing to this act of meanness on the part of Sir Robert Cotton,—dishonesty which would have been called downright peculation in a person of more humble station,—that the City authorities throughout a long period seem to have resolutely closed their records to all consulters from without. At the close of a century nearly after the last ineffectual application to Cotton had been made, not without some difficulty, (as he himself has informed us in the Preface to his Edition of 1720), John Strype, the Historian, gained access to them for the purposes of his revised edition of Stow's Survey. For a long time he seems to have had to submit to what was little less than repulse and neglect; and even after he had obtained the limited leave "to take notes out of the City books," it was only by a profuse expenditure of patience, time, and trouble, that, at the end of eighteen months after he had delivered them up for inspection, he could obtain the further permission to make use of them in the way of publication. (fn. 6) The recital of his annoyances and vexations might almost form a chapter in a new edition of "The "Calamities of Authors," but the exigencies of space in the present Volume, which has already outgrown its originally intended dimensions, are imperious, and deny room for further allusion to its details.
After Strype's day, the Corporation Records seem to have slumbered in a silence unbroken by the enquiries of literature, and to have received little, if any, further notice from the antiquaries or historians of the eighteenth century. It is only in times that are comparatively recent, that Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas, Sir Francis Palgrave, the Reverend J. Endell Tyler, and Mr. T. Duffus Hardy, the present learned Deputy-Keeper of the Public Records, have recalled attention to the high historical value of these archives. Since then, by the courtesy of the Corporation, they have not unfrequently been consulted, and, among others, to very excellent purpose, by M. Augustin Thierry, M. Jules Delpit, Dr. Lappenberg, and Mr. Froude; and it is owing too to the same liberal spirit that the Government has been enabled to include two of the most valuable among the miscellaneous City Records, the Liber Albus and the Liber Custumarum, in the Series of Chronicles and Memorials edited under the direction of the Master of the Rolls.
And now, latest feature of all in the fortunes of these truthful and time-honoured remembrances, and in somewhat of singular contrast to the delays and repulses which Strype had to submit to in the times of good Queen Anne, while fretting his heart out in the antechambers of the City dignitaries and officials of the day;—this Volume, a substantial contribution alike to our knowledge of the remote history of the Capital, and to our acquaintance with the habits, usages, and occupations, of middle-class and humbler life in generations of our forefathers long gone by, and all but utterly forgotten, —a book, the Editor does not hesitate to say, whatever his own shortcomings may be deemed to be, of high historical value, and of singular, sustained, and yet ever varying interest, to every one who cares aught for the memories of the long past,—is placed at the public's service, not with the sanction and good wishes merely of the Corporation of the City of London, but by the Corporation's desire, and at its sole expense. Further comment would, of course, in these pages be signally out of place.
While engaged in the work of examining the materials and selecting the subjects for the present Volume, many facts and reminiscences have met the eye and been taken note of, which, though seeming themselves to be worthy of notice, lie buried amid much that is either of no possible interest, or purely of a business or a legal complexion. In the Editor's opinion, it would have been an unpardonable omission on his part, had they been withheld from the readers of this Volume; and to a recital of them, accompanied with such illustrations or deductions as they may suggest, these preliminary pages will, in his belief, more appropriately be devoted, than to anything in the shape of a summary or detailed review of the contents of the work itself: any necessity for which will be the less felt, as there is every facility given for the purposes of reference, both in the Table of Subjects which follows this Introduction, and the Index.—
(fn. 7) Early mention of City and adjacent Localities.
A.D. 1289, mention is made of a house called "Redehalle" (Red Hall) without Alderdesgate (Aldersgate), (fn. 8) belonging to Henry le Galeys (A 49); Felipeslane (fn. 9) (Philip Lane), London Wall, 1291 (A 60); Sinethenestrate (or Suiethenestrate), afterwards Sydon Lane, now Seething Lane, Tower Street, 1281 (A 61); Grenewycheslane, (fn. 10) now Greenwich Street, Upper Thames Street, 1281, 4 (A 66, 71); houses in the Parish of St. Nicholas Shambles, "near to the Cloister (Claustrum) of St. Martin's le Grand," 1281 (A 66); Hoggenelane, now Huggin Lane, Upper Thames Street, and Englenelane, a name now lost, near the Church of St. Michael (fn. 11) there, 1282 (A 69); grant to Henry le Waleys (or Galeys) by John Fitz-Simon, and Mary, his wife, in the Parish of St. Mary Aldermariberi, now Aldermary, 1286 (A 75); a tenement of William le Mazeliner in the Parish of St. Benedict Schorhog, (fn. 12) now Sherehog, 1287 (A 78); a tenement of the Prioress and Nuns of Halewelle (Holywell) (fn. 13) in Sopporlane (or Soper Lane), 1288 (A 79); Kyrunelane, (fn. 14) adjoining Soper Lane, 1288, 1295 (A 79, B 92); a tenement in Bordhawe, probably a boardyard, or timber-yard, in the Parish of St. Mary Colecherche, (fn. 15) 1288 (A 79); a tenement in the Parish of St. Alphage (or Elphege), near Crepelgate, called "Le Hoderesrente," (fn. 16) 1292 (A 85); lease of a tavern near Holbourne Bridge, with free access "to the ward (fn. 17) "robe and herbary (or garden) there," 1293 (A 87); the Church of St. Mary Abbecherche, 1292 (A 94).
St. Vedast Lane, now Foster Lane, Cheapside, 1281 (B 2), and lease of a house there to Sir John de Leek, "Clerk to Prince Edward," son of Edward I., 1305 (B 68); Philip of Hundesdiche (Houndsditch), (fn. 18) tanner, 1304 (B 63); "the Ward called 'Ferthingward' (Farthing Ward), (fn. 19) in the Parish of St. Peter on "Cornhulle," 1300 (B 77); William the Brewer, of Holebourne, 1307 (B 79); Grobbestrete, afterwards Grub Lane, and then again Grub Street, now Milton Street, Cripplegate, Ralph le Fraunceys (the Frenchman), saddler, dwelling there, 1307 (B 80); Cordewanerestrete, Cordwainer Street, (which gave its name to Cordwainers' Ward), 1307 (B 81); Aldermanbiry, (fn. 20) 1308 (B 90); Moor Street, now Moor Lane, Cripplegate, tanners apparently dwelling there, 1309 (B 97).
The "Ward of Lotheberi," another name of the Ward of Bradestrete (Broad Street), 1292 (C 6); Berchenereslane (now Birchin Lane) on Cornhulle, and Wolsiesgate in the Ropery, 1301 (C 54); Geoffrey of Rotherhethe, 1302 (C 69); Sporoneslane (fn. 21) (Spur Lane), in St. Nicholas Olave Bredstrete (Bread Street), 1303 (C 73); the Bar of Smethefeld, 1308 (C 95); grant of Murage (fn. 22) in the Ward of Candelwykestrete (now Cannon Street), and extending—"from the house of Fowke of St. Edmund's to the Postern near to the Tower of London; and from thence to the Hall of the Danes (Dacorum), and from thence to La Yenlade (Yantlet, in Kent)", 1308 (C 94, 95); the Pavement of Holbourne Bridge, 1308 (C 95); St. Laurence Lane (fn. 23) in the Jewry, (fn. 24) 1309, Henry le Galeys, "late Mayor" (1272, 1282–4), dwelt there (C 102); the Tanners' Seld, (fn. 25) near St. Laurence Lane, 1309 (C 102); lease of a vacant place, near the Market of St. Nicholas Flesh Shambles, (now Newgate Market), to the brokers of hides, "—keys and locks to be supplied thereto," 1309 (C 106); a street called Basingestrete," in the Parish of St. Mildred Bredstrete, Manekyn the Heaumer (fn. 26) dwelling there, 1303 (C 121); Crooked Lane (Venella Torta), 1303, Elias Russel, Mayor in 1299 and 1300, dwelling there (C 122); Newelane, in the Parish of St. Martin Vintry, 1304 (C 123); Colemanstrete, a house there belonging to Robert de Keleseye, (fn. 27) 1306 (C 127); tenements near Wolsislane, (fn. 28) in the Parish of All Hallows on the Cellar (or the Less), belonging to William de Leyre and Neel Drury, Aldermen, 1307 (C 128); Ladelane, (fn. 29) until recently known as "Lad Lane," a house there, 1301, "—formerly belonging to Coke Bateman (fn. 30) the Jew," (C 147); the Spicery (or Spicers' Row) in Chepe, probably adjoining Soperlane, where the Spicers, or Pepperers, then chiefly dwelt, 1301 (C 147); a sollar and shop, situate "at the Gate of the Guildhall," 1301 (C 147); the Moor of Bedleem, (now densely populated, as Moorfields), 1301 (C 147).
Silver Street, near Wood Street, 1310 (D 10); St. Martin de Bermanchirche (fn. 31) 1310 (D 82); a house beyond Holbourne Bridge, in the Parish of St. Andrew, "—opposite to the residence of the Earl of Lincoln, near to the lane as you go to the House of the Abbot of Messendene," (fn. 32) 1310 (D 99); the lane called "La Crokede"lane," 1310 (D 104); the Brokenwarfe, Thames Street, still so called, 1311, (D 106); "from Lambardeshulle (now Lambeth Hill) to the Fishewarfe," near Queen Hythe, 1311 (D 106); Newgatestrete, 1311 (D 110); Eldedeneslane (Old Dean's Lane, now Warwick Lane) "—without Neugate, opposite to the Friars "Minors," 1311 (D 110); a place called the "Pheliperie," 1311, probably upon Cornhill, from the market (fn. 33) held there by the Phelipers, (fn. 34) or Fripperers, (D 115); lease of a house in Martelane, now Mark Lane, (fn. 35) 1312 (D 146); houses situate in Holbournestrate, (the Street of Holbourne), 1312 (D 149); a baker punished, dwelling in Pourtepole, (the manor of Portpool, (fn. 36) in which Gray's Inn is situate), 1316 (D 188); Batteslane, a name now lost, in Thames Street, 1312 (D 191).
William the Cirgier (waxchandler) of Yvylane (fn. 37) (Ivy Lane, Paternoster Row), 1313 (E 1); three shops, with a garden, in Holbourne, 1314 (E 25); "the Church of St. Brigid (or Bride) near to Flete Bridge, in the Ward of Nicholas de Farndone Without," 1316 (E 47); Medelane, and Sporoneslane, (fn. 38) in the Parish of St. Michael Queen Hythe, (fn. 39) 1317 (E 64); the Street of La Riole, in the Parish of St. Michael Paternosterchirche, 1318 (E 77); "Jhosep of Lumbardestrete," 1319 (E 81); land (fn. 40) belonging to the "Nuns of Keleburne (Kilburn)," near Flete Bridge, 1319 (E 82); St. Olave Silverne (Silver) Street, John de Mogwelle Rector thereof, 1319 (E 85); St. Nicholas Coldabbey (now corrupted to "Coleabbey"), in Eldefishstrete (Old Fish Street), 1319 (E 86); the tenement called "Coldherberghe" (fn. 41) (Cold Harbour), in the Parish of All Hallows on (fn. 42) the Hay (or, the More), 1320 (E 93); a lane, leading from the street called 'La Riole,' on the South, to Hor"schobrigge (Horse-shoe Bridge) on the North," 1320 (E 100); Cosyngeslane, (now Cousin Lane, Upper Thames Street), in the Parish of All Hallows in the Ropery, 1321 (E. 123); William at the (atte) Whitechapelle," 1322 (E 132); the "Barre of Suthwerk," (fn. 43) 1322 (E 132); the Parish of Our Lady of Farncherche (more generally "Fancherche") St. Mary Fenchurch, 1322 (E 132); the Parish of St. Margaret atte Patyns, 1324 (E 157); Lombardstret, 1331 (E 215); the Street "called Watlingestrete," in the Parish of All Hallows Bredstrete,' 1331 (E 219); Grubbelane, (fn. 44) before (fn. 45) and afterwards "Grubbe Street," 1336 (E 242).
Whytcrouchstrete, (White Cross Street), in Cripplegate, 1339 (F 24); Alice de Pommesbourne, Prioress of Kellebourne (Kilburn), holds a tenement in Bowelane, in the Parish of St. Michael Paternosterchirche, 1339 (F 39); Kyroneslane, (fn. 46) near Thames Street, 1343 (F 67); the garden of Sir John Neville, "—which is called Ledenhalle Gardyn," 1343 (F 69); a tenement "—called the Welhous," in Crokedelane, 1344 (F 82); William (fn. 47) at the Bridge (atte Brugge) (fn. 48) of Northlambhuthe, 1347 (F 93); Spitellane, in the Parish of St. Martin Vintry, 1347 (F 93); the Pepperers, dwelling chiefly in Soperlane, the Ropery, and Chepe, 1345 (F 106); the Long House (Le Longehous) in Bisshoppesgate Street, "—belonging to the Convent of Bethleem, with a piece of garden called 'Le Northlond' (North Land), and another piece called 'Forparadis' (Out of Paradise)," 1347 (F 149); John of Cambirwelle, mentioned as a witness, 1347 (F 149); Desebournelane, (fn. 49) Sir Edward de Montacute and Alice, his wife dwelling there, 1348 (F 159); a theft of silver cups "in the New Tavern at Holebourne," 1347 (F 229).
Redcrouchestrete (Red Cross Street) without Cripplegate, 1353 (G 5); two mills let by the City authorities, one at Stratforde, called "Spilemanesmelne (Spileman's Mill)," and one at Westhamme, called "Sayenesmelne (Sayene's Mill), "1354 (G 23); Berbynderslane (Bearbinder's Lane), in the Parish of St. Mary Bothawe, near Dowgate, 1358 (G 69); the Weyhouse (Weigh-house) for weighing corn (which was weighed in the gate-way), alleged to belong to the Chamber, and not to the Mayor, situate at Aldgate, 1357 (G 72); Knyhtryderestrete, 1359 (G 76); a tenement, "—called the 'Briggehous'(Bridge House), (fn. 50) near to the Palace "of the Bishop of London, and opposite to the Great Gate of the "hostel of the Countess of Pembroke," near St. Paul's, 1361 (G 95); a tenter-ground in the Parish of St. Martin Orgar, Candelwikstrete, (Cannon Street), 1361 (G 95); a chamber "—called a 'ware"'chaumbre,'adjoining a house in Soperelane, opposite to the hostrey "(hospitium) of the seld (fn. 51) called 'Brodeselde' (Broad Seld)," 1362 (G 99); Dibbleswharf and Fresshfisshwharf, above London Bridge, 1363 (G 136); "a little chamber within the walls of Bisshopesgate, "called 'Caban,'"1365 (G 162); three taverns only in the City for the sale of sweet wines in 1305, one in Lumbardstrete, one in Walbroke, and one in Chepe; let by the Corporation to Richard Lyouns (fn. 52) (G 165); Ordinance for cleansing Roumland in Douegate, (fn. 53) 1365 (G 200); the chamber of the Yeldehalle in Candelwikestrete, (fn. 54) 1369 (G 241); the Stone Cross of Holbourne, near Holbourne Bridge, 1370 (G 255); the Foss of Houndesdiche, (fn. 55) between Newgate and Ludgate, 1371 (G 267); Houndesdiche, (fn. 55) without Aldersgate, 1372 (G 287); the (or Stulps) (fn. 56) Stoples in Suthwerk, adjoining London Bridge, 1372 (G 294); shops and gardens in Goldynglane (Golden Lane) without Cripplegate, sold by Robert Tylbury, scrivener, 1373 (G 303, 307); Richard Russelle, paternostrer, devises his premises in Paternosterowe, (fn. 57) 1374 (G 319); "a "vacant place called the 'Spytele Barre,' opposite to the Hospital "of St. Mary Bishoppesgate," 1374 (G 323).
John Norhampton, (fn. 58) Draper, and Parnel, his wife, grant a lease of her house in the Parish of All Hallows on the Hay, (fn. 59) 1376 (A 34); "a garden and house in the Street of Begerowe (Budge "Row), with a gate in that street, to the South, and in Bokeleres"bury, to the North," 1376 (H 34); the Foss of Hundesdych in Cripplegate, 1378 (H 84); the "Stolpes in Suthwerk," the same as the Stoples, mentioned above, 1378 (H 86); the new Chapel within the Sanctuary of St. Thomas in Suthwerk, 1378 (H 99); "the New Conduit in Cornhille," 1378 (H 101); alleged encroachment by John Beverle, Esquire, by building a kitchen in Cosinslane (Cousin Lane) in Dowgate, 1379 (H 115); a public latrine on London Bridge, to be repaired by the Wardens of the Bridge, 1383 (H 162); Kynggeshene (Kings' Shene), the present Richmond on Thames, mentioned 1386 (H 197); "Seint Jonestrete (fn. 60) (St. John's Street), Clerkenwelstrete, the Bailey near Neugate, (fn. 61) and Fletstrete in the suburb of London," 1392 (H 268); a place called "Stock"fisshmongerrowe," 1398 (H 326).
Grant of two shops to Richard Osborn, and a vacant piece of ground, "near the College of the Chapel of Guildhall," 1401 (16); Nicholas Wottone, Mayor, dwelling in Laurence Pountney Lane, 1416 (I 167); Johanna the Kempster, (fn. 62) dwelling in Sekollane (fn. 63) (Seacoal Lane), 1406 (I 286); Martlane (Mark Lane), 1412 (I 287); Puddynglane, 1427 (I 288); the Vill of Stokenewton (Stoke Newington), 1418 (1 Journ. 44); Bowyerrowe, probably near Bowyers' Hall in Wood Street, Cripplegate, 1418 (1 Journ. 59.)
The untiring industry of John Stow, the Antiquary and Chronicler, has done far more towards elucidating the remote history of the City of London than has ever been effected through any other agency, or by any possibility, it may very safely be concluded, ever will be. Without his services, striking into this path, as he did, with all the ardour and unselfishness of an enthusiast, while old localities were still existing, which now have long since been transmuted in their features and utterly lost sight of, while the habits and usages of the Middle Ages had still left marked traces of their existence, while traditions that are now ancient had been transmitted as yet through a comparatively few generations, while many documents and memoranda were still accessible, which have since been either lost or lost sight of; the early history of London, obscure though it still is, would to us, of a date so far removed, have been little more than a matter for perplexity, surmise, and doubt.
But though this meed of recognition of his services is undoubtedly his due, upon a close examination of his work, there are two facts which present themselves to our notice with considerable force. That he had unlimited access to the City archives, is a matter beyond doubt; his references to the Letter-Books, under the name of "Books of Remembrances," have been already alluded to. But the oldest among these, and in reality the most valuable in an antiquarian point of view,—from whatever cause it may have arisen, not improbably an imperfect acquaintance with the language and character in which they are written,—have been used by him, in reference to their earliest mention of City localities, with a sparingness (fn. 64) little less than remarkable: and where, on the other hand, he does appear to have used them, and to have attempted preciseness at an early date, in reference more particularly to the origin of names and designations, through misinterpretation, he is not unfrequently in error, and so has missed the truthful information which they might have afforded him. One or two of these oversights of his have been already adverted to, and others may not improbably be detected on closer examination of the pages of this Volume: several that are perhaps among the more patent, have suggested themselves during the compilation of the work, and are here submitted to notice, in proof that worthy John Stow is not always to be implicitly relied on.
In page 16 of the Survey, (fn. 65) Stow speaks of "Wolfe's Gate in the "Ropery," as once existing (in the Parish of All Hallows the Less, Thames Street), but as no longer existing in his time: the place was called "Wolsiesgate," as given in Liber Horn, fol. 299 (A.D. 1300) and other instances. (fn. 66)
Much of the early history of Leaden Hall has escaped Stow; (Survey, pp. 58, 60); the fact, for example, that a Court (fn. 67) of Justice was held there from five to six centuries ago, and that it was used as a poultry-market so early as the reign of Edward III. The existence also of its Carfax (fn. 68) seems to have been unknown to him.
Survey, pp. 86, 97; "Buckles bury, so called of a manor and "tenements pertaining to one Buckle, who there dwelt and kept "his courts."—On reference to the Index, it will be seen that the mention of "one Buckle" is mere surmise, and that the original name of this locality was "Bokerelesburi," it being so called from the once opulent family of the Bokerels, (fn. 69) or Bukerels, who dwelt there in the 13th century.
Survey, pp. 91, 92; the Church of St. Michael Paternoster "in the Royall" is taken to have had its name from "Tower Royall," in its vicinity, "so called of pertaining to the Kings of this realm." On the contrary, it was so called from the street of the "Reole," or "Riole," close adjoining, which was built (in the 13th century probably) by the merchants of the Vintry who imported wine from the town of La Reole, near Bordeaux. It was from this street also, no doubt, that "Tower Royall" had its name.
Survey, p. 92; Walter Nele, Sheriff in 1337, and "Blader," or Corndealer, who, (from the tribulation probably which he himself had experienced,) took an interest in mending the highways between Newgate and Wycombe, Aldgate and Chelmsford, Bishopsgate and Ware, Southwark and Rochester, is mentioned by Stow as having been a Cutler; "Blader" being taken (fn. 70) by him to have been synonymous with "Bladesmith."
Survey, p. 94; Sopar's Lane, Stow says, "—took that name, not of soap-making, as some have supposed, but of Alen le Soper, in the 9th of Edward II." On reference to the Index, (fn. 71) it will be found that it had this name many years before that date; and that Aleyn le Soper, so far from being likely to have been its builder, was a maker of brass pots, charged in the above year with fraudulent conduct, no mention being made where he lived. Neither does Stow improve the matter by adding that he had "not heard of soap-making in this city till within these four score years." The Sopers, who were neither more nor less than Soapmakers, dwelt in Soper Lane more than three centuries before, after which they were superseded there by the Pepperers.
Survey, pp. 97, 101; the "Selds," or "Silds," in Chepe and elsewhere, are spoken of as having been merely "shelds or shops." On the contrary, there seems every reason to conclude, from various passages in the City books, that the Selds were extensive warehouses; very similar probably to the Eastern Bazaars, (fn. 72) with numerous rooms in them, fitted with aumbries, or cupboards, chests, and locks, and let to various tenants: while in some instances a mere vacant patch of ground (placea) within the Seld is mentioned as being let.
Survey, p. 98; the Parish Church of St. Osyth, or Sythe (whence now Sise Lane), is stated to have had "—also an addition of Bennett Shorne (or Shrog, or Shorehog) for by all those names have I read it; but the most ancient is 'Shorne,' wherefore it seemeth to take that name from one Benedict Shorne, sometime a citizen and stockfishmonger of London, a new builder, repairer, or benefactor thereof, in the reign of Edward II., so that Shorne is but corruptly called 'Shrog,' and more corruptly 'Shorehog.'" Stow's fancy or his memory must have misled him: Benedict Shorne was simply a fishmonger living near London Bridge, who insisted on repeatedly committing the offence of selling fish by retail at a stall instead of in a shop, A.D. 1322, and was suspended from the freedom of the City for so doing; see Letter-Book E. fols. 146, 149. The Church of St. Benedict Schorhog is found mentioned (fn. 73) from 30 to 40 years before that date; and had its name probably from the fact of hogs wallowing in the 'shores' or ditches in its vicinity, which discharged themselves into the Wall-brook.
Survey, pp. 106, 107; Reginald Coleman, buried in the Church of St. Margaret Lothbury, 1483, is stated to have been son of Robert, who "—may be supposed to have been the first builder or owner of Coleman Street . … so called of him." In the early Letter-Books, Coleman Street is mentioned as existing nearly two (fn. 74) centuries before 1483; and it had its name, there can hardly be a doubt, from the Charcoal-burners, or "Colemen," who settled in that extremity of the City, adjoining the Moor, at an early date.
Survey, p. 108. Of the early history of Backwell Hall, in Bassishaw Ward, in connexion with the family of Banquelle, (fn. 75) or Bacquelle, Stow is evidently ignorant, tracing it no further back than the 36th of Edward III., A.D. 1362. Its transfer to this family in the year 1293 is mentioned, from Letter-Book C, in page xlii. of this Introduction. He fails to notice too that "Bassishaw" and "Basinghall" are probably names of different origin, (fn. 76) the former derived from the "haw" or "haugh" (court-yard) of the Bassets there, and the letter from (Backwell Hall, as) the former hall of the Basings, an opulent London (fn. 77) family of the 13th century.
Survey, p. 112; according to Stow, Monkwell Street, in Cripplegate, was so called from the well of a Hermitage, or Cell, there, belonging to the Abbots of Garendon, and thence called "The Monks' Well." This is quite imaginary; it is frequently named in the City books as "Mogwelle," (fn. 78) or "Mugwell," Street, in the 13th and 14th centuries; "Monkwell" Street being a corruption merely of that name, and of much later date.
Survey, p. 126:—" This street is now called 'Paternoster Row,' because of Stationers or Text-writers that dwelt there, who wrote and sold all sorts of books then in use, etc." In reality, this locality was called "Paternoster Lane," (fn. 79) in the 13th century, and many generations probably before any "Stationer" (fn. 80) had settled there, from its being the residence of the trade of Paternostrers, or makers of "paternosters," or prayer-beads, for the use probably, more especially, of the worshippers at St. Paul's.
Survey, p. 132: Stow says that Spuren, or Spooner's Lane, in Queen Hythe Ward, was "—now called Huggen Lane," in his time. On the contrary, we have seen the latter place mentioned as "Hoggenelane," in 1282, and Sporoneslane named in 1303 and 1317: see pages xi., xii., and xiii., ante.
Survey, p. 145: it is suggested that Seacoal Lane was originally "called 'Limeburners' Lane,' of burning lime there, with sea-coal." It was known as "Secole Lane" from three to four centuries before Stowe's time, as noticed in page xvi. ante, Note 7, coal being landed there, no doubt, from barges or lighters on the river Flete.
Survey, p. 190: Stow is in error in his statement that Sir Nicholas Brembre, late Mayor of London, was "beheaded in 1387;" he was hanged at Tyburn, on the 20th of February, 1388.
Early Trades, and forgotten Names of Trades.
John of Cestrehunte (Cheshunt), Plumer, and "called 'Fether"'mongere,'" is named in 1281 (A 18); and Richard of Cestrehunte, of the same trade, in 1283, 7 (A 29, 46): it seems not improbable that poultry, for their feathers, (fn. 81) were largely reared at that place. Henry the Wymper, 1282 (A 22), maker of wimples, or neck-coverings, for women. Michael the Oynter, or Oyncter, 1282 (A 22), a Melter of grease, and a Candle-maker, (fn. 82) or Chandler, no doubt, as well. Walter the Corder 1282 (A 22), a Roper, or Ropemaker. Andrew de Lanfelle, Horsmonger, (fn. 83) 1283 (A 28). John the Marbrer, (fn. 84) 1284 (A 39), probably a sculptor of marble, and perhaps the same as the Tableter, or Tabler, a maker of tablets, mentioned elsewhere. Simon the Fannere, 1287 (A 47), probably a maker of fans for winnowing corn. William de Kent, Retunder, or Shearman of cloths, 1289 (A 50). Reynald de Meldeburne, 1293, described as "Gorgiarius" (A 87), perhaps a maker of gorgets, or armour for the throat; or possibly, a Wimpler, or maker of barbettes, (fn. 85) or chin-cloths, wimples for covering the "gorge," or throat. John Arnold, Capletmongere, a maker of caplets, or coverings for the head, and Robert Ornel, Paternostrer, (fn. 86) 1276 (A 134).
William Deth, (fn. 87) Bokeler, or Buckle-maker, is mentioned in 1280; and under the same date the trade of a "Callere," probably a maker of "calls," or coifs for the head; and of a "Quilter," or maker of quilts (B 3). Walter the Marbiler, (fn. 88) and Walter the Pinner, or Pinmaker, 1281 (B 4). The trade of a "Saker," probably Sackmaker, mentioned in 1281 (B 5). Robert the Haltrere (? maker of halters), 1296 (B 27). Richard the Fruter (his surname derived probably from his father's trade of Fruiterer), Creneman, or Craneman, perhaps the keeper of the public crane, 1300 (B 42). John de Red, Sauser, (fn. 89) probably a dealer in salt, 1301 (B 50). John the Batour, or Beater, of cloths, meaning a Cloth worker, 1303 (B 56.). Alexander the Imagour, or Image-maker, 1305 (B 67). (fn. 90) Roger the Flaoner, probably a maker of flans, or flauns, a light cake, once much in vogue, and not much unlike a pancake, 1307 (B 80). Richard Horn, Ferroun, or Ferron, meaning Ironmonger, 1308 (B 84). Stephen the Naylere, Nailor, or maker of nails, 1308 (B 90). Geoffrey the Brochere, probably (fn. 91) a Spitmaker, possibly a Spurrier, 1310 (B 110). John Guter, Grossarius, of Soperlane, Grossier, engrosser, or wholesale dealer, (fn. 92) 1310 (B 110). William de Gayton, Tabourer, perhaps a maker of tabours, or small drums, 1311 (B xx). John the "Aurimalbator," probably meaning Gilder, 1311 (B xxi). (fn. 93)
The Wyndrawers of London, carters of wine: there were four Societies, or Companies, of them in 1301; three of which had for names,—"The Newemeyne" (New Household), "The King's "Society," and "The Society of Shipup" (C 69); John the Pypere was one of their number. Alice Martin, Gildestere, female gilder, 1303 (C 76). John Carsyl, Tromppour, (fn. 94) Trumper, or Trumpetmaker, 1308, (C 129). William the Sautreour, player on the psaltery, minstrel of Margaret, Queen of England, 1303 (C 132). The trade of Malemonger is mentioned in 1310 (D II), a seller of males (now mails), or travelling-bags. John Pope, Upheldere, Upholder, or Undertaker, 1310 (D II). The trade of a "Cos"sour," mentioned 1310 (D 18); perhaps for Corsour, "A Courser," (fn. 95) or "Horsedealer." Among the admissions to the freedom in 131011 the following trades are mentioned:—John Monce, Melmakere (D 26), possibly, a maker of mallets, or hammers; John de Essex, Selmakere, probably meaning Sealmaker (D 26); Ralph de Chichestre, Chalicer, or maker of chalices, (D 26); William Twgys, "Bowiere lanar," (fn. 96) (D 26), Edmund Godewyne, Meneter (D 31), and John the Meneter of Fletestrete, (fn. 97) 1309 (D 79), meaning Minter, or Moneyer. John of Dover, Whestestone (for Whetestone) makere, preparer of whetstones, 1312 (D 32). John of Oxford, Strumyler, perhaps a preparer of hair for stuffing, 1312 (D 35). Reynald atte Strete de Yngge atte Stone (at the Street of Ingatestone) apprentice of Thomas the Ropere, or Rope-maker, 1309 (D 38). The trade of Knyfsmyth (or Bladesmith) mentioned in 1310 (D 41). Walter de Bedefont, Kissere, (fn. 98) probably a maker of "Cushes" (the word "cush" apparently being formerly pronounced like "kiss"), or armour for the thighs, 1310 (D 51). Walter Polyt, Fuyster, or Joiner, 1311 (D 58). Thomas le Barbour, Sauner, probably meaning "Salt-dealer," 1311 (D 70). Sarra the Bredemongestere, retailer of bread, 1312 (D 132). Rauf the Wyrdrawere (Wire-drawer), 1313 (D 148).
Thomas the Aunseremaker, maker of aunseres, a kind of balance, (fn. 99) 1314 (E 9). Adam the Sakkere, probably Sack-maker, 1319 (E 85). John of Suthwerk, Bribour, and John the Bribour, of Hundesdune (Hunston), meaning, to all appearance, professional thieves and pilferers, 1322 (E 130). The trade of Oystermonger is mentioned in 1322, (E 130).
Richard the Mirorer, maker of mirrors, 1337 (F 4). Richard the Lacer, Mayor, 1346 (F 119). Johanna Taylour, Selkwyfe, Silk-woman, 1348 (F 159). John the Bokelsmyth, 1353 (F 218). Geoffrey the Purtreour, the Portrayer, 1353 (F 218). Roger de Norhamptone, Squyler (maker of esqueles, or porringers), 1353 (F 219). Simon Wylde, Bedemakere, maker of beads, 1378 (F 222).
Thomas the Glaswryghte (Glassmaker), 1355 (G 39). The calling of a "Tyghelere," or Tiler, mentioned, 1358 (G 82). John Burre, Lathere (Lathrender), 1358 (G 82). Thomas Gardinere, Panyere, probably a maker of panyers, or bakers' (fn. 100) baskets, 1358 (G 82). John Wylde, Lockyer, or Locksmith, 1373 (G 302).
Cristina, the Flexwyf (Flaxwoman), 1378 (H 102). The trade of Matritawyers (?) mentioned in 1380, (H 124). William Aubrey, Quyltemaker, 1387 (H 107). John Parke, Wolpakker, 1392 (H 282). The trade of Talghchaundelers (Tallow-chandlers), 1393 (H 287).
John Jolyf, (fn. 101) Chaloner, a maker of chalons, used for coverlets and blankets, 1408 (I 65). John at the (atte) Ponde, Filehewer (File-maker), 1410 (I 96). John Russelle, (fn. 102) Groceresman (Grocer's man), 1419 (I 239). A "Braceresman" mentioned, probably serving-man to a Bracer, or maker of bracers, armour for the arms, 1419 (I 240). Mention is made of a Hanpermaker, a maker of hampers, and a Lynwever, a Linen-weaver, 1417 (I Journ. 26). Agatha Fowere, Silkewoman, 1417 (I Journ. 34). Stephen Okele, Courtman, perhaps meaning a servant in attendance upon the Court, 1418 (I Journ. 54).
In addition to these, we have the following obsolete names of callings, most of them named in the present Volume:—Blader, a corndealer; Braeler, a maker of braels, or braces; Bregirdler, a maker of bracegirdles, belts used in place of braces; Brewyfe, a brewster, or female brewer; Bureller, a maker of burel, or borel, a coarse cloth; Chaucer, a shoemaker; Dieghere, an early form of the present word "Dyer;" Disshere, a maker of metal dishes; Fruter, a fruiterer; Heymonger, a seller of hay; Hunt, a huntsman; Kempster, a female wool-comber; Lauendre, (fn. 103) a laundryman; Maderman, a seller of madder; Mustarder, one who dealt in mustard and spices; Otemonger, a dealer in oats; Paternostrer, a maker of paternosters, or prayer-beads; Pelliper and Pelterer, a skinner; Pepperer, a dealer in pepper and spices; Perler; (fn. 104) Pheliper, or, more recently, Fripperer, one who dealt in old clothes and furniture, known as "pheliperie" and "frippery;" Quilter, a maker of quilts; Scriveyn, or Scriven, a writer of deeds; Spicer, a grocer; Traventer, one who let carts for hire; Vinter, a vintner; Waite, or Wayte, a watchman; Walker, a fuller who fulled at a walkmill; Webbe, a weaver. (fn. 105)
Many of the above-mentioned names of trades, though long since obsolete as such, still survive among us in the form of surnames; the occupation of some remote ancestor, of may-be five or six centuries ago, still adhering, as a designation, to his descendant. Among these may be enumerated, as surnames still or until recently existing,—Plumer, or Plomer, Corder, Buckler, Beater, Image, Fearon, Naylor, Trumper, Challice, Minter, Roper, Latter, (fn. 106) Lockyer, Chaloner, Blader, Bracegirdle, Burrell, Hunt, Lavender, Paternoster, Pepper, Quilter, Scriven, Spicer, Tranter, Vinter, Wayte, Walker, Webb; a list which, on extended enquiry, might be very considerably enlarged.
London Names and Surnames.
The names of persons, of all ranks and classes, that are to be found in these early Letter-Books, from the sovereign down to the mendicant, may be numbered by thousands. Every class of surname that was in use in England in those centuries, is of course here to be met with.—First, (fn. 107) we have the surname that was derived from locality; the foreign country, (fn. 108) for example, or the foreign or native city, (fn. 109) the county, town, village, or hamlet, from whence the individual, or some forefather of his, had come, when settling in a new abode; the situation of the person's house, in some former dwelling-place or in his new locality, whether North or South, in or near a town, (fn. 110) near a ditch (fn. 111) or a gate, or in a certain parish, street, (fn. 112) or lane; or the sign, (fn. 113) or some other peculiar feature, (fn. 114) by which his house was known or designated.
The next class of surnames is that derived from the trade or calling followed either by the person himself, his father, or a more remote ancestor; (fn. 115) a subject which has already (p. xxiv. ante) been brought under notice.
A third and extensive class of surnames is that which, having originated in perhaps some fortuitous circumstance, imposed upon an individual a sobriquet or nickname, in either a good (fn. 116) or a bad sense, (fn. 117) or in a ridiculous light; (fn. 118) or which was originally a mere designation resulting from personal (fn. 119) qualities or appearance. A surname of this description was of course the invention of other persons than the individual himself, accepted by general accord, and fastened upon him and his descendants, whether he or they were pleased with it or not; until, through constant usage and lapse of time, it became disarmed of its original significance. For even if the individual himself objected to the appellation, so long as he continued to be a member of the community which had given it to him or to his progenitor, his neighbours would be none the less likely to retain it for him, and his only chance of getting rid of it would be by removing to some distant place where he and his distasteful surname were alike unknown.
Indeed, in those days a person had very little opportunity for giving himself any surname at all. If he was a poor man, he would never perhaps have occasion to sign a document in the whole course of his life; and if of the middle class, or a man of more exalted station, he would sign not by hand but with a seal, with some device upon it, but without a name, much more frequently than not. In the matter of writs and summonses, and suretyships in the way of frank-pledge, it would be for legal officers and assessors to describe a person; which of course they would do by such name as would mark his identity, the name, that is to say, by which he was known among his neighbours. In the very limited epistolary correspondence that then existed, and the ordinary transactions of trade and commerce, a man would be more likely to be addressed by his correspondent or his creditor under the surname by which he was usually distinguished from other persons of the same Christian name as himself, than by any affix to his Christian name which, in spite of such usage, he himself might affect to adopt.
These conclusions seem almost inevitable, from the fact, already noticed, that, though in the revolution of ages most of them have been dropped and got rid of, owing to a spirit of refinement and the ever-increasing facilities for the change of locality, so numerous are the surnames we meet with in the earliest centuries after the Norman Conquest, when the use of them was becoming general, which evidently had their origin in spite, (fn. 120) ridicule, or accident, or in the rough retributive justice that determined to set a mark upon a person of known bad repute. (fn. 121) The necessary inference then seems to be that, so far as usage can be traced at the time when surnames were first being generally adopted in this country, the evidence it supplies does anything but give support to what appears to be the ruling impression at the present day, that every Englishman has a sort of birthright, based upon primitive usage, to change his surname as often as he may think proper.
The following list is a selection from the multitude of names that have come under notice in the examination of the early LetterBooks: some few of them are perhaps to be met with in the body of the present Volume as well, but in most instances they are extracted from matter that has no claim to a more extended notice. Some of them, it will be seen, are names that have since been borne by families or individuals of note or celebrity; while others again are only deserving of remark for their singularity or quaintness. In some few instances also, a name here given may possibly be useful as a link in genealogical research; but for the Editor's own part, beyond the few remarks annexed by way of Note, they are only given valeant quantum, and no theory of ancestorship is intended to be based upon any one of them, or even suggested.—
Hugh Otewy, son of Simon Otewy, of St. Alban's, 1309 (D 8); John Pope, upheldere (or upholder), 1310 (D II); Thomas Bacoun, baker, 1310 (D 13); Richard de la Pole, of Edelmeton (Edmonton), vintner, 1310 (D 14); John Donne, baker, 1311 (D 19); Geoffrey de Cavendisshe, buckle-maker (bokellarius), 1310 (D 45); John Bacoun, apprentice of John Athelof, 1311 (D 52); Thomas de Cavendisshe, "son of William at the Water "(atte Watre) of Ewelle," apprentice of Walter de Cavendisshe, citizen and mercer, 1312 (D 65); Walter de Cavendisshe, 1318 (E 73); Walter de Walpol, 1329 (E 192); Richard de la Pole, elected Alderman of Billingsgate, 1330 (E 198); John de Pulteneye, 1330 (E I*); a William de Wykham named among the men-at-arms levied for service in France in 1338, (F 18); Thomas de Cavendisshe in 1340, on assessment, lends 801. towards the expenses of the French war (F 33); John de Cavendisshe, mercer, has a shop in Sopereslane, 1343 (F 78); Adam de Walpole, mentioned as an assessor in Cripplegate in 1346 for a sum of 3000l. to be given to the King, he assessing himself at 20 shil lings, the smallest sum, which assessment is doubled; John de Walpole, of Bread Street, also paying 20s., the smallest sum contributed by one person (F 121, 3); Adam de Cavendisshe pays 20l., and J. de Cavendisshe 4l., on the same occasion (F 124); John de Pulteneye sells Coldherberwe (Cold Harbour), in Heywharf Lane, to the Earl of Hereford, who is to pay yearly a rose on Midsummer Day, 1347 (F 132); Adam Walpol, one of the first Common Councilmen elected for Cripplegate, 1347 (F 136); Adam de la Pole, stockfishmonger, 1347 (F 140); Thomas Brus (Bruce), 1353 (F 220); John Pope owns a tenement in Candlewick Street, 1369 (G 241); John Philipot, afterwards Alderman and Mayor, first named, as a Commoner, in 1370 (G 247); wardship of Richard, son of Richard Cavendisshe, draper, 1375 (H 28); John Kanynges (fn. 122) (now Canning), one of a Jury of the Parish of St. Sepulchre, 1377 (H 65); John Canynges (fn. 123) (Canning) residing at Bristol, but a freeman of London, assessed at 60 shillings towards the fifteenth granted to the King in 1379, 80; five marks, paid by John Grevele, of Caumpedene, being the highest sum levied from a non-resident (H 120); Reynald, or Reginald, de la (atte) Pole, one of a Jury of the venue near the Parish of St. Laurence Pountney, 1383 (H 139); Peter de la (atte) Pole, 1383 (H 139); Robert Wyclif, Clerk, surety for Alice Coterelle, in a will case, 1387 (H 227); Nicholas Vylers (Villiers), Common Councilman for Walbrook Ward, 1388 (H 234); William Walpole, Serjeant, executor of the will of John Clenhond, (fn. 124) 1392 (H 279); John Canyng (Canning), of Aldersgate, 1393 (H 282); William Waller, vintner, 1394 (H 289); John Gyboun, tiler, in Billingsgate, 1407 (1286); Richard Gebon, (fn. 125) of Brandonferye, (fn. 126) 1408 (1239); John Giboun, girdler, 1416 (I Journ. 9); acknowledgment of a debt due to Henry Bolein, (fn. 127) 1417 (1 Journ. 18); William Bacon, barber, 1418 (1 Journ. 46); John Hyde, of London, 1418 (1 Journ. 45, 51).
Among other names, either names of repute, curious, or otherwise of interest, the following have occurred.—
Hugh Motun (Mutton), Chamberlain of the City in 1279, and then keeping a shop A 15, (fn. 128) 16; Geoffrey Hauekesheye (Hawk's eye), a baker, drawn on the hurdle for fraud, 1282 (A 22); John Doget, (fn. 129) taverner, 1287 (A 46); Robert de Gangee, 1289 (A 50); Thomas Juvenal, elected Common Serjeant in 1291 (A 56); Henry atte Hole (a name probably derived from the locality of his residence), master of the ship called "The Ark of Sandwiz," and John atte Hole, his brother, no date given, (A 83).
Walter Jolyf, Bartholomew Chaumpeneys, William Friday, and Henry Nitingale, 1281 (B 1); John Nitingale, (fn. 130) and William le Chyvaler, (fn. 130) baker, 1282 (B 5); William Spichfat, (fn. 131) 1281 (B 27); John Scarlet, 1299 (B 40); Nicholas "called 'The Good (Le "'Gode),'" 1301 (B 50); Roger le Paulmere, (fn. 132) blader, or corndealer, 1302 (B 54); Richard Horn, (fn. 133) ferroun, or ironmonger, 1303 (B 57), and Richard Horn and Alexandra, his wife, 1308 (B 84); Richard Fayrfox (? Fairfax) of Est Depingge (East Deeping), 1303 (B 58); William Vigorous, 1305 (B 66); Thomas Scarlet, mercer, 1307 (B 83); Richard Gentylcors (Genteel body), 1309 (B 92); Walter le Vynour, butcher, 1310 (B 97); John Jakke, tiler, 1310 (B 109); Simon Morival, fishmonger, 1310 (B 110); Richard Godesname, paternoster, (fn. 134) 1312 (B xviii.); Henry Faukes, 1311 (B xx.); John Vigerous, 1297 (B xxxi.); Henry Monqueye, (fn. 135) fishmonger, 1312 (B cxix.); Richard Lyghtfot, of Wyndesore, 1312 (B cxix.); John de Birlingham, 1312 (B cxxi.).
Henry Pudding, (fn. 136) and Floria, his wife, 1300 (C 46); Ralph Ratespray, 1302 (C 67); Robert (fn. 137) Spichfat (a St. Alban's name), 1303 (C 76); Sir William de Pastone, Clerk, 1307 (C 130); houses formerly belonging to William Milksop, without Aldersgate, 1298 (C 147); John le Wallere, 1301 (C 147); Johanna Goldcorn, of Ludgate, 1301 (C 147); Thomas (fn. 138) the (le) King, of Penshirst, 1301 (C 147).
John Bon Jon (Good John), tanner, and John of Birmyngeham, tawyer, 1310 (D 8); John Gamelyn, (fn. 139) corder, or roper, and Henry Fairesire, 1310 (D 10); John (fn. 140) of the Nonnes of Nor "hamptone," and "Robert othe Nonnes," drapers, 1310 (D II); "Alan of Routhbery (Rothbury) in Northomberland," apprentice of Roger de Storteford, glover, 1311 (D 17); John Chese, of Farnham, tanner, 1311 (D 18); Hugh de Claveryng, upheldere, 1312 (D 27); John Pedefer (Iron Foot) of Boulogne, admitted to the freedom in 1312, and "—gives only one mark, because admitted at the instance of Sir Humphrey de Bohun," (D 30); John Russel, of Lancaster, 1312 (D 33); Robert Snel, clerk, 1312 (D 34); William Muriel, poulterer, 1312 (D 35); John Whitlok, of Ewelle, glover, 1310 (D 38); John othe Slade of Navestoke, (fn. 141) 1310 (D 41); John Chese, of Twykenham, 1310 (D 43); Walter Snel, clerk, 1311 (D 47); John de Caustone, (fn. 142) mercer, 1311 (D 51); William at the (atte) Touneshende, butcher, 1311 (D 52); Thomas at the (atte) Brome of Iseldone (Islington), apprentice of William the (le) Kyng, kissere, 1311 (D 56); Henry at the (atte) Wode, (Atwood), fishmonger, 1311 (D 57); Richard de Gravele, "called 'Bokskyn (Buckskin)," 1311 (D 58); John Russel, fishmonger, John de Stistede, son of Roger, draper, and Richard de Godesname, paternostrer, 1311 (D 59); John Blaunpayn, (fn. 143) kissere, and Gilbert Lestriche (? the Haughty), his apprentice, 1311 (D 60); Walter de Gorst, (fn. 144) apprentice of William Walrain, 1311 (D 60); Adam Ludekin, 1310 (D 99); Peter Drinkwatre and Higecok of Trente, 1310 (D 105); Robert Newcomen, sealmaker, 1311 (D 116); a pension granted to William of London Stone, 1311 (D 123); Fulbert Pedefer, of Witsand, (fn. 145) appointed broker of woad, 1311 (D 127); Roger Wyndewawe, 1311 (D 131); Ralph Bagot, and a villein of his, put in Exigent, (fn. 146) the latter being styled, first, "Rauvesman (Ralph's man) Bagot," and then "Raulynesknave Bagod," 1312 (D 154). Robert Pynnefowel, 1315 (E 32); Milo Hansum, 1315 (E 42); William de Caustone, (fn. 147) 1318 (E 73); Robert Passevaunt, burgess of Drotheda (Drogheda), 1318 (E 74); John Waps, 1319 (E 79); Robert Skreneadieus, Roger Bon Valet (Good Servant), and Robert of the Rook, 1319 (E 81); Roger Lovekyn, 1319 (E 85); John Petewardyn, a juror, 1320 (E 102); Reyner Piggesflesshe, 1320 (E 106); Henry the Hore (the White), 1321 (E 114); Roger Panyfader (now Pennefather), 1322 (E 130); John Fresshfish, (fn. 148) 1328 (E 178); John Graspays (Grampus), Bailiff of Suthwerk, 1328 (E 189); Robert Freshfissh, "called of Stoktone" (Stockton on Tees), fishmonger, 1333 (E 239).
John Knopwede, 1337 (F 4); Adam the Dragoner, (fn. 149) 1338 (F 18); Roger Stokfisshe, 1339 (F 25); Richard Scarlet, mercer, and Lora, his wife, 1343 (F 79); John de Bureford, Knight, assigns 10 marks and a robe yearly to John at the (atte) Watere, "also called 'Gamel Fitz-Gamel," "with security on his manor of Stokwelle, in Surrey, 1345 (F 100); William Blood, 1345 (F 111); Antonine Citron, 1346 (F 122); John Cokenaye, 1346 (F 134); William Clapitus, (fn. 150) Sheriff in 1346, (F 136); Margery and Aubrey Grubbe, 1347 (F 142); John Kix, hatter, 1347 (F 147); Reynald Gargoil, 1347 (F 151); Walter Oyldebeof (Bull's Eye), of Colmworth in Bedfordshire, 1348 (F 161); Richard Upriht, 1350 (F 182); William Bendebowe (now Benbow), 1350 (F 190); John Pategris, Laurence Belewe, 1353 (F 219); Hugh Stowe, hosier, 1353 (F 220); Edmund Fryday, 1353 (F 221).
Adam de Acres (Dacres), Common Serjeant of the City, married to Johanna, widow of Anketin de Gisorz, late Alderman, 1352 (G 2); William Strokelady, fishmonger, 1356 (G 46); Hugh de Sadelyngstanes 1358 (G 73); Edmon Daunvers, 1359 (G 76); William Bonere, (fn. 151) paternostrer, 1360 (G 80); William Gabriel, carpenter, John of Gaunt, carpenter, John Meryman, tailor, John Dauncere, attorney, Thomas Pettejoye, carpenter, all in 1358 (G 82); Simon Courtray, painter, (fn. 152) 1362 (G 92); John de Paston, citizen and apothecary in West Chepe, 1363 (G 112); William Doget, vintner, 1364 (120); John Cockow (Cuckoo) pilloried for selling a putrid rabbit, 1363 (G 133); Robert Padecryst, 1365 (G 155); John Dyne, weaver, 1366 (G 187); John Bradmedwe (Broadmeadow), 1367 (G 194); Thomas Belchambre, John Moburlee, and John Spyndelere, (fn. 153) men-at-arms, and Henry Felix, John Wallere, Nicholas Crumpe, and John Appel, archers, for the garrison of Calais in 1369 (G 226); Geoffrey Puppe, (fn. 154) or Poppe, contributes 30l. to a loan in 1371, (G 263); Beneit Zakarie, citizen, 1373 (G 304); Gamelyn Mot, supervisor of the Coffrers, 1373 (G 307); Thomas Pelkeshanke, 1373 (G 309).
Walter Fulhardy, one of the Masters of the Glovers, 1375 (H 28); Thomas Killehogge, Adam Mympe, broiderer, 1376 (H 42); Robert Bynge and Walter Gyn, dyers, 1376 (H 45); Henry Grenecob, dyer, Nicholas Halley, broiderer, 1376 (H 47); John Blanket, 1381 (H 49); John Wasshere, 1377 (H 74); Nicholas Harpsfeld, (fn. 155) citizen and pelterer, his death, 1378 (H 90); Wil liam Gyg, 1379 (H 110); Robert Jolyf, cordwainer, in the Ropery, 1383 (H 138); Matilda, wife of William Strokelady, fishmonger, 1387 (H 193); Thomas Makwilliam, Common Councilman for the Ward of Chepe, 1387 (H 199); John Gofayre, 1388 (H 234); Geoffrey Bircham, 1389 (H 240); John Knyghtlee, of St. Martin's Ludgate, on a Jury, 1391 (H 258); John Clenhond, (fn. 156) or Cleanhand, 1393 (H 279); John and William Waterton, citizens, 1393 (H 290); Richard Shot, cordwainer, 1394 (H 297); John Wakelee, Auditor of the Chamber and Bridge accounts, 1398 (H 316).
Thomas Wodehous, skinner, 1407 (I 60); John Jolyf, chaloner, exempted from serving on Juries, for old age, 1408 (I 65); John Knightley, pepperer, 1409 (I 72); Adam Wordesworth, Rector of St. Margaret Patyns, 1411 (I 105); Robert in the Hey, of the County of Essex, citizen and ironmonger, 1412 (I 119); William Bysmarc, residing in the Ward of Broad Street, 1412 (I 120); Robert Hurlebat, without licence from the civic authorities, marries Johanna, the orphan daughter of Nicholas Aghtone, Alderman, to whom he had been apprentice, 1415 (I 156); John Whitbred, saddler, Roger Mabbe, latoner, 1417 (I 201); Hermann Stokfissh, tailor, 1418 (I 226); Nicholas Muriel, brewer, 1419 (I 244); Nicholas Mynikin, 1421 (I 260); Dionisia Pounsounby, spinster, accused of criminality with Thomas Duresme (Durham), Chaplain in the Church of St. Laurence Pountney, 1401 (I 286); John de Louthe, "tynker," accused of criminality with Johanna Waterlyd, 1406 (I 286); Agnes Tikell, pilloried as a procuress (bauda), 1406 (I 286); John Prynce, Chaplain, accused of criminality with Parnel Albright, 1416 (I 287); William Pychefork, Chaplain in the Church of St. Michael Crooked Lane, accused of criminality with Alice Wyke, 1422 (I 288).
— Godsend, Sheriffs' Serjeant, 1416 (I Journal 1); William Smalscho (Small Shoe), brewer, 1417 (I Journ. 10); John Bulle, fuller, 1417 (I Journ. 12); William Cokenaye, "lynwever," (linen weaver), Richard Grimstone, tailor, Thomas Smalsho, John Fauntleroy, John Tipuppe, 1417 (I Journ. 26); Thomas Broun, "Maunsiple of Lyncolnes Inne," 1417 (I Journ. 28); Walter Potnam, girdler, 1417 (I Journ. 29); Roger Dunse, "bokebyndere," 1417 (I Journ. 30); John Child, goldsmith, Richard Polhill, skinner, 1417 (I Journ. 34); Hugh Lorkyn, 1417 (I Journ. 35);—Jolyf, Sheriffs' Serjeant, 1417 (I Journ. 39); John Slyngesby, baker, Bartholomew Prat, baker, John Morepath (Morpeth), citizen and fripperer, 1417 (I Journ. 40); John Hoker (Hooker), of Alegatestrete (Aldgate Street), 1418 (I Journ. 42); John Res tanrik (? Restalrig), Clerk of St. Laurence Pountney, and William Restanrik, cutler, 1418 (I Journ. 44); John Hyde, William Segelef (Sedgeleaf), Bedel of Lymstrete, 1418 (I Journ. 45); William Bacoun, barber, 1418 (I Journ. 46); Robert Large, Elias Clidorowe (Clitheroe), and Robert Teukesdene, acknowledge a debt due to John Carpenter the Younger, 1418 (I Journ. 51); John Belewere, 1418 (I Journ. 51); Thomas Lylbourne, dyer, 1419 (I Journ. 55); Richard Meryvale, vintner, and Simon Sewale, saddler, members of Parliament for the City, 1419 (I Journ. 60).
In reference, more particularly, to three names with which the City of London in the times now under notice has been peculiarly associated, those of Chaucer, Walworth, and Whityngton,—to which, though the connexion of our earliest printer was more with Westminster than with London, the name of Caxton may be added.—
The name "Chaucer" frequently occurs in the early LetterBooks, but as it was the then French term, commonly in use, for "shoe-maker," it is doubtful in some instances whether it is employed strictly as a surname inherited from a father or more remote ancestor, or merely as a designation of its owner's trade. Apart from the two instances to be found by reference to the Index, (fn. 157) the name "Chaucer" has also been met with in the following cases:—Stephen le Chaucer, surety for William de Clay, 1281 (B 1); Baldwin le Chaucer acknowledges a debt, 1303 (B 55, 60); dwells in Cordewanerstrete, 1307 (B 81, 83, 84); Elyas le Chaucer, (fn. 158) mentioned in 1307, (B 84, C 129); John le Chaucer, (evidently a man of substance, as being one of the three or four Commoners named as summoned with the Aldermen to the Guildhall), 1298 (B 94); Baldwin le Chaucer, again mentioned in 1311, 1312, (B 112, xix.); Stephen le Chaucer, dwelling in Bradestrete (Broad Street) Ward, 1298 (B xxxvii.); Philip le Chaucer, a debtor to William de Leyre, Alderman, 1308 (B xxxviii.); Philip le Chaucer, again named in 1312 (D 68); Robert le Chaucer, 1310 (D 105); Richard le Chaucer, one of the Vintners sworn at St. Martin's, Vintry, to make proper scrutiny of wines, 1320 (E 94); Richard le Chaucer, assessed in 1340, to lend 10 pounds towards the expenses of the French war, the largest sum assessed upon any person (fn. 159) being 400l. (F 33); conveyance of a shop in the Parish of St. Mary Aldermaricherche, next to that of Richard Chaucer, (fn. 160) situate apparently in Watling Street, he being a witness to the deed, 1345 (F 111); Richard Chaucer is assessed (fn. 161) at 6 pounds and one mark towards the 3000l. given to the King, 1346 (F 121, 125); Henry Chaucer, a man-at-arms (fn. 162) among those provided by Cordewanerestrete Ward for the King's service, 1350 (F 187); Nicholas Chaucer, grocer, 1351 (F 206); John Chaucer, 1352 (F 216); Nicholas Chaucer, of Cordewanerestrete, 1356 (G 46); Nicholas Chaucer of Soperelane, Warden of the trade of Grocers, Pepperers, and Apothecaries, 1365 (G 173); Thomas Chaucer, (fn. 163) chief Butler of Henry IV., and Coroner ex officio, 1403 (I 24).
Upon an examination of the above names, the evidence seems to preponderate in favour of the view that Richard le Chaucer, mentioned more than once in the list, and who was apparently a Vintner, was the father of Geoffrey Chaucer, our early Poet. (fn. 164) Stow unqualifiedly asserts that such was the fact, and that this Richard was a benefactor to the Church of St. Mary Aldermary, and was buried there; and on reference to the extract from his will, still preserved in the contemporary Register of Wills at the Guildhall, we find that he expresses a desire to be buried there. Stow, however, also mentions a Richard Chaucer as among those buried in the Chapel of the Hospital of St. Thomas in Southwark, a spot in close proximity to the Tabard, the hostelry immortalized in the Canterbury Tales; and, somewhat singularly, the Richard Chaucer whose will is above alluded to, devises certain houses of his close to that spot, on the Southwark side of London Bridge, to the Church of St. Michael Paternoster in the Riole (Paternoster Royal), near which his tavern (also mentioned in his will, as being left to the Church of St. Mary Aldermary) was situate. It is possible that, despite the desire expressed in his will to be buried in Aldermaricherche, Stow may be in error, in asserting that he actually was buried there, and that the body of Richard was deposited in the Chapel of St. Thomas, near the spot where his Southwark property was situate.
In the Liber Albus, pp. 438–444 (printed ed.) there is a long account of a trial in 1329 between a Richard le Chaucer and Mary, his wife, plaintiffs, and one Geoffrey Stace and others, defendants, for assault. It does not throw any light however upon his family or calling; but there can hardly be a doubt that it bears reference to the Richard Chaucer already mentioned; as in the will before al luded to the testator makes mention of Mary his wife, but as being then (1349) deceased, and buried at Aldermaricherche: he speaks also of her son, Thomas Heyroun, from which we must conclude that she was a widow when he married her. Geoffrey Chaucer is generally supposed to have been born in 1328; and whether or not he was the son of the widow Heyroun, or of Richard by a former wife, we probably have no means of knowing. Stow says that Richard Chaucer died in 1348, but his will is dated Easter Day 1349, and the extract was enrolled on the 20th of July in that year.
In the Liber de Antiquis Legibus, preserved at the Guildhall, fol. 61, there is a memorandum respecting a trial at the Leaden Hall for assault, in which a John le Chaucer (fn. 165) was complainant, in 1302, in which year also he died. (fn. 166) The few circumstances related in reference to the trial, shew him to have been a man of substance, and there can be little doubt that he is identical with the John Chaucer named in the above list, as a man of standing in 1298. Not improbably, he may have been the father of Richard le Chaucer already mentioned.
Walworth.—This surname is nowhere to be met with in the early Letter-Books till the year 1368 ( G 217, (fn. 167) see p. 336), when William Walworth was elected Alderman of Bridge Ward. He had been apprentice, and probably manager of the business, of John Lovekyn, stockfishmonger, and until then had to all appearance taken no part in City matters. In G 320 his first election as Mayor (13th October, 1374)—a bare statement only of the fact—is entered. After the temporary enactment that the Aldermen should be chosen yearly, and should not hold office two years in succession, he ceased to be Alderman in 1377, Edmund Oliver, stockfishmonger, being chosen in his stead (H 57). In 1378 he was re-elected (H 84); was succeeded by Walter Sibyle, 12th March, 1379 (H 108); and was re-elected in 1380, in which year also he was chosen Mayor for the second time. The other particulars relative to him that are to be met with in the City books will be found on reference to the Index.
A Philip Walworth, perhaps an humble relative of his, was chosen Serjeant of the Chamber in 1377, (H 75, 91); and a John Walworth, vintner, is mentioned in H 226, as having a tavern in Fleet Street, (fn. 168) near the site of the present Salisbury Court there. A person (fn. 169) of this name also appears to have been in the City's service, probably as serjeant.
Whityngton.—All the information that has been gathered from the City books in reference to Richard Whityngton, will be found on reference to the Index, and in Note 2 to page 534; with the exception that in H 270, though no longer a Common Councilman he is named as one of the twenty-four most substantial Commoners of the City. His name is written indifferently as "Whityngtone," (fn. 170) "Whytyngtone," and "Whityngdone"; but in general the first form prevails.
A "Hugh de Wytingtone," is mentioned as "Master of the "Schools of St. Martin's le Grand," 1298 (B 33); and "Richard de Wytintone" is the name of a soldier sent by the City, at the expense of Alan de Chickwelle, in the expedition against Scotland in 1319, (E 80).
A Piers, or Peter, Whytyngton is named in 1388 (H 233) as Common Councilman for Bridge Ward; but his name has nowhere else been met with. Not improbably, he was a kinsman of Richard Whityngton.
Caxton.—William Caxton, our earliest printer, was born in the Weald of Kent, as he informs us. The surname is derived, no doubt, from the small market-town of Caxton, in Cambridgeshire; but the strong probability is that Caxton's father, or some more remote ancestor, first reached the Weald after residence in London, the then great centre of enterprise; and indeed this view is in a slight degree strengthened by the fact that, abandoning all thought of a country life, William Caxton became the apprentice of Robert Large, a citizen of London, member of the Mercers' Company, and Mayor in 1439.
The persons of this surname that have been met with in the City books, in addition to the instances to be found by reference to the Index, are as follow.—Matilda de Caxtone, who, with Richard Chiviot, receives a sum of money through John de Pulteneye, about 1329 (E 1*); Thomas de Caxtone, butcher, 1328 (E 190); Roger de Caxtone, vintner, 1337 (F 7); Thomas de Caxtone, one of the first Common Councilmen for Portsoken Ward, in 1347, (F 136); Philip Caxtone, acting as attorney for the Duke of York, on payment for a chalice and paten, 1417 (I Journ. 15).
A few words may here be added in reference to the Christian names that were most prevalent in London in these centuries.—
The name most in favour with the London population was undoubtedly that of "John," and probably those of "William" and "Thomas" (fn. 171) held the second and third places. In the list (fn. 172) of the first Common Council chosen for the City, A.D. 1347, 133 in number, we find 34 members with that name, 17 called "William," 15 "Thomas," 10 "Richard," 8 "Robert," and 8 "Henry;" in the whole list not one Edward or Edmund, or other Saxon Christian name, Radulf (or Ralph) excepted, is to be found. In page 327 of this Volume, A.D. 1365, of 23 persons named, nine are called "John," and six "William." In page 345, of 14 Aldermen there mentioned, A.D. 1370, 8 have "John" for their name, and out of 28 Masters of Trades named in Letter-Book I 262, A.D. 1421, there are no less than 16 persons with that Christian name. (fn. 173)
Similarly, "Johanna," or its more familiar form "Joan," was the most favourite name for women, and "Christina" (generally written "Cristina") next. "Mary" apparently was only in use among the higher classes; as a name among the London population, during the period now under notice, it is rarely, if indeed ever, found. The other more common Christian names were Isabel, Matilda, Juliana, Aleson (now Alice), Lucy, Petronilla (in its old English form "Pernel," or "Parnel"), Agnes, Idonia, and Avice. More unusual names that have been met with, are Elecota, (fn. 174) Richolda, Evota, Claricia (or Clarice), Anabilla (or Annabel), Theophania (or Tiffany), Marsanda, Desiderata, Fynea, Massilia, and Auncelia. Godiyeva (Godiva) is perhaps the only female Christian name to be found in these books that recalls the purely Saxon times. (fn. 175)
Double Christian names had hardly yet appeared among us in the 13th and 14th centuries; there is but one instance (A.D. 1417) in the present Volume, (John Severelle Love, in page 651), of what is apparently intended to be a double Christian name.
The almost total absence of Saxon Christian names, among the citizens of London—to which allusion has already been made—and this, too, within three centuries only after the Norman Conquest, deserves remark, as suggesting some difficulties in accounting for it. In the case of the very few persons of purely Saxon descent, born in our great cities in the middle of the 13th century, the use of the class of Christian names employed by their forefathers till within, perhaps, a few years of that date, had probably, in obedience to the usage of the great majority of the population, gone out of fashion, and been voluntarily laid aside. In London, more especially, this portion of the inhabitants was no doubt small in the extreme; its former Saxon residents having been overwhelmed by continuous accessions from the country population, and the great influx of settlers from abroad during the preceding two centuries. From every quarter of Western Europe, Norway, Denmark, Flanders, Lorraine, Picardy, Normandy, Guyenne, Spain, (fn. 176) and even more remote Provence and Italy, (fn. 177) fresh citizens for London had been receiving a welcome with open (fn. 178) arms; on the comparatively easy terms of consenting to pay the purchase-money for their freedom at the established rate, and becoming resident-within the walls, or at least the liberties, of the city of their adoption.
The greater proportion of the more purely Saxon population at this date would be found among the villagers (fn. 179) and peasantry throughout the country; mostly holding the position of villeins or bondmen of superior lords, and in all such instances, from the nature of their services, adscripti glebæ, or attached to the soil. As however there was hardly a village throughout the land that we do not find contributing its quota towards swelling the aggregate of the London population, it would at first sight seem singular that none of these country people came to London bringing with them Saxon Christian names. This perhaps may be partly accounted for by the fact that the villeins, bondmen, and natives (nativi), had certain duties to perform, and would be rigidly kept to those duties by their reves and bailiffs, without much opportunity of removing to the cities or towns. Those on the other hand, who did find their way to London and the larger towns, would in many instances, no doubt, be the sons of traders and dealers settled in the villages, men in general not of the Saxon stock, free from service to superior lords, owning no interest in the soil, and at liberty to move from place to place as they might choose. It must be borne in mind too that the superior lords were almost wholly of Norman origin; and their tenants, vassals, and dependents, would have little encouragement (fn. 180) from them in keeping up the despised Saxon nomenclature. The same spirit in fact which insisted on substituting in general parlance the Norman "beef," "mutton," "veal," and "pork," for the Saxon "oxa," "sceap," "cealf," and "swyn," would hardly rest contented until such names as Uilfrid, Eadberht, Aelfgar, and Sigberct, had been pretty generally superseded among the dependent peasantry by more congenial appellations, such as Willielm, Robert, Richard, and John. Unless we are ready to adopt this conclusion to a considerable extent, bearing in mind the facts already stated, that there undoubtedly was a large yearly influx of the country population into London, and that Saxon Christian names are rarely found there after the beginning (fn. 181) of the 13th century, and, (with but one or two trifling exceptions), never after its close; we must either adopt the suggestion before-mentioned, that it was not in general the men of the purer Saxon blood that the spirit of adventure or the desire for aggrandizement brought from the country into London, or that, on reaching it, either with the view of conforming to the fashion of the times, or for the purpose of avoiding identification, (fn. 182) those who bore Christian names belonging to the Saxon period, had no hesitation in assuming others that were more conformable to the prevailing usage.
London Signs of Taverns and other houses.
As a considerable proportion of our surnames is derived from offices and dignities, (fn. 183) from animals, and from articles (fn. 184) in use in everyday life, it seems not unreasonable to suppose that they originated in the signs, (roughly carved or more rudely painted), that were adopted in the Middle Ages, in large towns at least, for distinguishing the houses in which individuals dwelt. In London this usage, however extended it may have been in the 12th and 13th centuries, (fn. 185) had become limited almost wholly to the money-scriveners, the booksellers, and the taverners, in the 17th; but it is only on a supposition of this kind that we can conceive how persons became possessed of such names as Swan (p. 46), Beaver (p. 182), Ram (p. 198), Gander (pp. 204, 265), Sprot, or Sprat (p. 245), Cokke, or Cock (p. 314), Lion (p. 349), Buck (p. 483), and the like; which we find prefixed at an early period with "at the," (atte), or "a," the latter meaning "at the," "of the," or "in the," but mostly expressed in writing by the French "de."
Several signs of taverns and other houses will be found named in the present Volume, by reference to the word "Signs" in the Index. "On the Hoop," or "In the Hoop," is frequently an ingredient in the title of the sign, and a hoop (fn. 186) (hope) in those days seems to have been almost as general an appendage to the exterior of a tavern, as the leaves (or "bush") attached to the alestake projecting from it. Other signs that have been met with in the City Books are:—"Caponeshors"—whatever that may have been—Robert Taylor dwelling there in 1291 (A 60); Hugh atte (fn. 187) (at the) Cokke, 1320 (E 107); Thomas atte Rede Dore (at the Red Door), 1346 (F 122); Walter atte Gote (at the Goat), 1348 (F 152); John atte Belle (at the Bell), keeper of a hostrey in Bishopsgate, 1350 (F 182); a house called "The Sterre (Star) on the Hoope, near the "Catfethele (Cat and Fiddle)" in All Hallows, Bredstrete, 1367 (G 192; The Lioun atte Dore (Lion at the Door), 1366 (G 195); and two taverns called "Le Mone" (the Moon) and "Le Sonne" (the Sun), in the Parish of St. Mary Woolnoth, 1412 (I 120).
Miscellaneous Extracts and Observations.
There seems reason to believe that an extensive trade existed in the 13th and 14th centuries between London and the town of Dinant on the Meuse; in the purchase, that is, of its manufactures of brass vessels, "dinanderie," as it is usually called on the Continent, and for which the town is still famous. The "Potters" of London, as elsewhere remarked, (fn. 188) were makers and sellers of vessels of metal, and we accordingly find dealings recorded as between them and the Dinanters.—A 47, 1287, Adam the Potter acknowledges a debt of 20l. due to Albred le Pecherons of Dinant; and Walter the Potter a debt to him of 34l. A 48, 1288, Adam the Potter acknowledges 20l. due to Albred le Pecherel (another form, no doubt, of the preceding name), and Walter al Berbis, of Dinant, to be paid at the ensuing Fairs of St. Botolph (Boston), Winchester, and Yarmouth. In B 44, A.D. 1300, a debt is entered as due to Walter de Strode, "Dynaunter;" and in B 60, 1303, Baldwin le Chaucer is entered as being indebted in 6l. 10s. to Nicholas de Woderseye, "Merchant of Dynaunt."
A 61, 1292, a debt of 34s. is entered as due from Alan de Neuberi to William Simon, Baron of Sandwich; a title of distinction assumed in those days by every freeman, probably, of the Cinque Ports.
B 32, 1298, Henry le Waleys (fn. 189) enters himself as surety to Katherine, Widow of John de Lincoln, for cloth bought for the use of Sir Hugh le Despenser. B 37, 1298, Agnes de Marcy, Prioress of Clerkenwell, acknowledges a debt due to William de Leyre, (Alderman of Castle Baynard Ward), of ten pounds of silver. B 39, 1299, Henry le Waleys and Robert of Colebroc (Colnbrook), citizens, owe to Edmund, Earl of Cornwall, 16l., for timber from his park at Istleworthe (the present Osterley Park).
B 45, 1299, cheese, butter, and honey, are mentioned as being then exported beyond sea from Billingsgate. B 56, 1303, John de Ellerker, of Newcastle, jointly with Robert de Gurney, submits to a fine of 20s., in part payment for a trespass against John of London, beater, (fn. 190) committed upon him in the Vill of Newcastle. B 63, 1304, a Seld (fn. 191) in West Chepe is mentioned as being held by John de Stanes, mercer, at a yearly rent, from the Prioress and Convent of Clerkenwell. B 91, 1309, an entry is made of five tuns of wine due jointly from ten persons to Thomas de Wyht (Wight); against which a Note is added, in Latin,—"Mark, that he was one of the King's household:" the same person, no doubt, that is mentioned in page 113 of this Volume as taken prisoner by the Scots. B 98, 1309, Thomas de Wynterton, tailor, and Geoffrey de Nottingham, pelliper (or skinner), are entered as owing five marks to Sir Ralph de Hengham. He was one of the King's Justiciars, and a lawyer of eminence, two legal treatises still existing under his name. From the entries (fn. 192) in the City Books, he seems to have had monetary transactions with the citizens to a considerable extent.
B xxxi., (fn. 193) 1297, an entry is made,—"Paid the expenses of John de Banquelle, (fn. 194) going to our Lord the King in the parts of Scotland, to escort the Cardinal Albinus,—40 marks." In the same folio and year, a fine is mentioned as being paid by the City "—to Walter de Beauchamp, Seneschal (Steward) of our Lord the King, for a trespass committed upon him by the young men of that city." Also, an old debt is there acknowledged, in which the City is bound to Duraco, the merchant, and—"his fellows of the Society of the Pulci (Pulchorum), for provision made for our Lady the Queen on the coming of our Lord the King from the parts of France."
B xxxv., 1297, on the 30th of November—"it was adjudged and ordered that the three Beams, with their weights, newly ordained to weigh corn going to the mill, shall from henceforth be wholly abandoned; and that the hurdles on which bakers were drawn of late through the City, when convicted of selling false bread, that is, bread of insufficient weight, shall likewise be destroyed; the said bakers being from henceforth to have the punishment of the pillory. Likewise, the Tun, of late ordained, is to be pulled down, and no longer used." So far from this Ordinance being effectually (fn. 195) carried out, the Tun was used as a prison for certain offenders till the middle of the 15th century, if not later; and fraudulent bakers were punished by the hurdle at least till the year 1437.
B xxxviii., 1309, Richard of Wollechirchehaw (Woolchurch Haugh, or Yard) (fn. 196) acknowledges a debt due to Sir Ralph de Hengham, Clerk, of 20l.; it is added that in 1312 the money was paid to Robert de Sudbery, one of the executors of Sir Ralph, who was then dead. B cxix., 1312, Richard Lightfot, of Wyndesore, and John of the Green, butcher, acknowledge a debt of 11l. to Henry Monqueye, fishmonger. B cxxii., 1313, Master Gilbert le Mareschal (fn. 197) owes to Andrew Horn, (fn. 198) fishmonger, 10 marks.
C 6, 1293. On the Tuesday after the Feast of St. Botolph (17 June), John de Banquelle, Alderman of Dowgate Ward, has a confirmation and quit-claim to him of the messuage (fn. 199) in St. Michael Bassieshawe, which formerly belonged to Sir Roger de Clifford the Elder. C 76, 1303, a debt of 35s. is entered as due to Alice Martin, "gildestere," from Matilda Fatting, (fn. 200) for injury done by her apprentice Martin, in maiming the index-finger of the right hand of the said Alice. C 84, 1304, a fine of 100 shillings is ordered to be applied "to the use of the Chapel (fn. 201) of the Blessed Mary of "the Pui;" that is, the Chapel of St. Mary, then recently built near the Guildhall. C 94, 1307, it is mentioned that "cheese "and old clothes" are exempt from payment of money for Murage, at the time of the Fair of St. Bartholomew in Smithfield. C 127, 1306, Hervey de Stantone (fn. 202) (one of the King's Justiciars) takes a lease of a house in Colmanstrete,—"the great chamber on the South "side, and the great garden, excepted," of Robert de Kelesseye (fn. 203) for ten years, at 100s. yearly, he paying beforehand 20 marks, as his rent for the first three years. A clause is added, that if Hervey shall choose to live elsewhere in the City, the lessor shall be at liberty to re-enter forthwith.
C 128, 1308, among the debts due to Simon Godard at the time of his decease, occur the following items of interest (in French).—
"By a bill of the King, (fn. 204) taken by the hand of John de Hustewayt, clerk 20l. 10s. 6d.
"Also, by another bill of the King, taken by the hand of the same John 16l. 3s. 10d.
"Also, by a bill of the King now reigning, not under seal, taken by the hand of Roger de Lylle 5l. 12s. 6d."
The writings and tallies of Simon Godard were delivered by indenture to John Bonde, executor of his will, on the Saturday after the Conversion of St. Paul (25 January) 1308. A copy of the "indenture tripartite," executed on the delivery, is stitched on to folio 128.
C 147, 1301, Roger, Richard, Thomas, Gilbert, and Robert, de Holdene, are mentioned as bringing iron strakes for wheels from the Weald (Waldæ) of Kent; some of which are forfeited, as being made contrary to the City regulations. Thomas and Gilbert are "forgiven this time," on condition that they give 12 pence to the Conduit in Chepe.
D 116, 1311, Henry de Gloucester, Alderman (of Lime Street Ward), as against a debt due from him to the Chamber for arrears of tallage, charges the City,—"for his robe of scarlet of the livery "of the Chamberlain, for the Coronation" of King Edward the Second, 41s. 8d.;—"for a cloak and tunic for his vadlet," at the same time, 16s. 8d.; for a cloak also for himself,—"made of cloth of Luka (Lucca)," 7s. 6d.; and for a—"robe of red cloth of Luka, then delivered to him," 25s. 4d.;—which sums are allowed to him in the way of set-off. In the same folio and year, Sir Hugh le Despenser pays Baudet le Engleis, vadlet of John Hanekyn, dealer, of St. Quentin, 100l., in part payment of 180l. for horses.
D 123, 1311, the lease is entered of a house with a shop and appurtenances, annexed to the Gate of Aldgate, and used for the pesage (or weighing) of corn weighed there; such weighing being "in (fn. 207) the vacant place beneath the sollar of the said house." D 145, 1312, an Ordinance is made that the Common Seal shall be kept in a box with six locks; three of the keys to be in the custody of Aldermen, and three in the charge of three reputable men, Commoners. On the same day a grant is made of 40l. by the Commonalty to John de Gisorz, the Mayor, "to aid him in the support of his household,—hospitii sui." D 152, 1311, on the Thursday next after the Feast of St. James (25 July), the name of Andrew Horn, afterwards Chamberlain, occurs among the jurors on an Inquisition; and he is named among the assayers of bread in 1315 (D 187).
E 28, 1315, a house belonging to London Bridge, is let to William de Dounesheued (Downhead), the barber of Sir John de Sandale, Chancellor,—"at the instance of the same Sir John," for life. E 43, 1316, the Aulnage (fn. 208) is granted—"to John Pecok, our dear vadlet, of canvas, linen cloth, napery, (fn. 209) as well English as from elsewhere, wadmelles, heydokes, mendeps, kerseys, says of Louthe, worsted of Norwich, Ireland, and Causton, (fn. 210) and all other says and scarlets, and all kinds of cloth of Lincoln, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Kent, Stamford, Beverley, St. Osith, (fn. 211) Devon, and Cornwall."
E 77, 1318, two houses and eight shops in Colmanstrete, worth in all ten marks yearly, are mentioned as having been lately the property of William de Somerfeld, tailor to Queen Alianor, wife of Edward I. They escheated to the King on the banishment of the Jews; upon which, he gave them to the Queen, and she to Somerfeld. E 85, 1319, William, Parson of the Church of St. Mary Woolnoth, is mentioned as the "—Pitanciar of the Community of Parish Chaplains of London," to which benefactions had been left. E 87, 1316, a fine of 1000 marks is inflicted upon the authorities, for breaking down by night an earthen wall, opposite to the Outer Gate of the Tower; and pardon is granted on payment thereof, the wall having been duly rebuilt.
E 104, 1320, from an assessment of the Wards, as to income, that of Dowgate appears at this date to have been the most wealthy, being assessed for payment of 106l. 3s.; Vintry Ward the next, 94l. 10s. 11¼d.; Lime Street Ward being the poorest, and assessed at only 24s. 3d. E 112, 1320, Richard and Margery Godchep let a room in their Seld in the Parish of St. Mary le Bow in Westchepe for 12 years, "—together with the chests and aumbries (or cupboards) therein."
E 156, 1323, from the Sheriffs' accounts we learn that there were given to William de Fulburne, Baron of the Exchequer, for Christmas, 20 salt fish, value 6s.; one hat of beaver, well lined with cloth of "skarlet," value 7s. 6d.; and provisions, such as bread, wine, poultry, and the like, 5s. To Sir William de Norwich, one swan and 6 capons, sent to him for Christmas; and for Easter one beef carcass, one pig, one veal, 12 capons; and a silver gilt ewer, by the hands of Hamon de Chigwelle, Mayor, value 26s. 6d. To William de Everdone, for Christmas, 12 salt fish; and another time, a swan and 6 rabbits, and 100 shillings. To William de Stowe, Clerk of the Exchequer, one basin with an ewer, and one pair of trenchers, value 6 marks. To divers ushers of the Exchequer, 7s. 5d.—"For gloves, to give to all helping us, 3 shillings." To Nicholas Fastolff, 40 shillings.
E 199, 1330, a lease is granted by Simon de Swanlond to Isabel, widow of Hamon Godchep, to enable her to make a quay in Suthwerk,—"between the quay of the Abbot and Convent of St. Austin in Canterbury, on the East, and the quay of the Churchyard of St. Olave, on the West."
E 215, 1332, Nicholas de Wyght (fn. 212) is mentioned, as—"Tailor of our Lord the King of England," and Maud, his wife.
F 60, 1341, grant of a pension to William de Missendene by Brother Henry de Purlee,—"Master of the Hospital of St. James at Cherrynge (Charing) near Westminster." F 63, 1342, the Master and Scholars of Balliolhalle, (fn. 213) in Oxford," are named, as being the Rectors of the Church of St. Laurence Jewry. F 73, 1344, Thomas Maryns, the Chamberlain, is rewarded "—for his pains and diligence about the repairs of the Guildhall," in the years 1341–3. F 117, 1346, an order is promulgated (dated 28th of April) by the King's command, that Justiciars shall no longer accept robes or fees from suitors. F 118, 1346, an order is made, in reference to Edmund, Letice, and Roisia, children of Ralph de Bury, deceased, by which a "hanaper" (hamper), with deeds and muniments, is delivered up, after being in the Guildhall for 25 years; it having been placed there in the charge of Andrew Horn, Chamberlain. F 119, 1346, Margery, widow of John Denmars, places her daughter Hawyse as apprentice to Richard de Herpesfeld, (fn. 214) roper, for 15 years; he to have her "instructed by some suitable woman in some befitting trade." F 221, 1347, William the Carter, of Fynchesle (Finchley), has two oxen and three cows stolen, "without Aldresgate, in the suburbs."
G 157, 1365, William de Haldene is made free of the City, elected Alderman of Tower Ward, and appointed Recorder of the City, all in one day. G 201, 1368, proclamation is made by the King's order, that red herrings shall not be sold dearer than 8 for a penny, and white herrings at 6 for a penny. G 235, 1368, on the assessment made for the payment of one fifteenth to the King, the Wards of Cordewanerestrete and Chepe are the wealthiest, (fn. 215) being assessed each at 218l. 8s.; and Lime Street Ward, the poorest, at 6l. only. G 240, 1370, a return is made by the sworn Carpenters and Masons of the City as to the dimensions of a tenement belonging to Edward Sende, smith, at Holbournebrugge (Holborn Bridge), which he bought of Sir William Rook and Sir Thomas Eydone, Chaplains. In G 248, 1370, some hundreds of names are erased with the knife, (not one being left decipherable), in an assessment towards a loan of 5000l. to the King; with this memorandum (in Latin) above the first erasure,—"Be it remembered, that this erasure on these three leaves was made by the Commoners, in presence of the Mayor and Aldermen." The reason for this very decided step is not stated. G 263, 1371, on a loan then (1 February) made to the King, Simon de Mordone lends the largest sum, 333l. 6s. 8d.; Adam Fraunceys, 300l.; William Walworth, 233l. 6s. 8d.; John Bernes, 200l.; Nicholas Brembre and Thomas Albon, jointly, 300l.; John Philipot, 163l. 6s. 8d.; John de Norhampton, 76l. 13s. 4d.; Geoffrey Puppe, 30l.; and John Olneye, 15l. G 285, 1371, a lease is granted to John Philipot, and Johanna, his wife, for building a house at the end of the lane at Quenehethe (Queen Hythe), "opposite to the common wardrobe there." (fn. 216) G 295, 1372, it is enacted by the authorities in the City—"That no boatman shall take for his fare, between London and Westminster, more than 2 pence; and the same, until his boat is full of people, when he shall take 3 pence at the highest, for his boat, himself, and his partner; on pain of imprisonment, as well in London as in the Staple of Westminster: and that no boatman shall withdraw himself from serving the people, on the same pain."
H 47, 1376, William, John, and Robert Fraunceys, are named as three out of the six Goldsmiths chosen for the Common Council, now elected by the Trades, and not by the Wards; Robert Launde, John Bodesham, and John Carbonelle, being the others. John Tilneye is mentioned as one of the members of Common Council chosen by the Tailors; the same individual probably who was duped in the manner related in page 418 of this Volume. H 102, 1378, John Dyne, late Sheriffs Serjeant, is presented as a maintainer of quarrels in a certain suit pending between William Shrovesburi (Shrewsbury), Clerk, complainant, and Alianor, "late concubine of the same William, defendant," in the Guildhall and elsewhere. H 138, 140, 164, 1382, 3, charcoal is mentioned (fn. 217) as being supplied to the City from Bromley in Kent, Mymmes in Middlesex, and Harrow. H 244, 1389—"a loan taken by the City authorities from the funds (fn. 218) in John Bernes's chest, (fn. 219) in the time (fn. 220) of Brembre, Mayor, for the safe-keeping of the City," is now ordered to be repaid.
H 307, 1395. In a Letter from Pope Boniface IX. to King Richard II., entered here, a light is thrown, by no mean authority, on the still disputed origin of the epithet "Lollard." Translated from the Latin, the passage is as follows.—"A certain PseudoChristian, crafty, and daring sect, who call themselves 'the poor 'men of Christ's treasure-house, and of His disciples'; and whom the common people in more correct language have called 'Lo'lards,' as being dry tares (lolium aridum)."
I 56, 1406, mention is made of persons called "peters," (fn. 221) bringing fresh fish to the City for sale; they are ordered to stand in Chepe with their fish, and nowhere else. I 119, 1412, the Broken Seld, (a Seld, probably, which had been in a ruinous condition), now the Compter of one of the Sheriffs, situate opposite the Standard, and on the South side of Westchepe, is pronounced by a Jury to be in the Ward of Bredestrete, and not of Cordewanerestrete. 1288, 1422, "on the 10th day of December in this year, Sir Thomas Pope, celebrating in the Church of St. Margaret Lothbury, and William Millengy, celebrating in the Church of St. Laurence Jewry, were taken about midnight in laymen's clothes, cut short and spotted, with hoods cut and jagged (gaggatis), and with a polax and a pikedstaf (pikestaff) in their hands. The clothes had been borrowed by the said Thomas from one John Wolf, brouderer." (fn. 222)
It has been well remarked by Lord Bacon,— "Antiquities (fn. 223) or remnants of history are, as was said, 'Tanquam tabula naufragii'; when industrious persons, by an exact and scrupulous diligence and observation, out of monuments, names, words, proverbs, traditions, private records and evidences, fragments of stories, passages of books that concern not story, and the like, do save and recover somewhat from the deluge of time." The City records, with their manifold "remnants of history," are indeed very substantial planks saved to us from the deluge of time. It is in the same spirit too of diligence and observation, so well portrayed in the lines above quoted, that the present Volume has been compiled; and that these notices of the every-day life of our greatest community in the Middle Ages, belonging to times so remote, and descriptive of manners, usages, and notions, so entirely dissimilar to those of the present day, that they have the charm almost of novelty and of freshness, are here brought together; for the study, not unattended with edification, it is hoped, of those who vouchsafe to take an interest in the history of others than the kings, statesmen, and heroes, in days of yore.
So far as the details of middle class and low life, in those times, passed within the walls of a city, are concerned, hardly a feature perhaps can be suggested, that in these pages is not in some way or another incidentally brought under notice. Among the more prominent may be mentioned,—The rules and usages of various trades and crafts, Surgery being included in the latter, and the province mainly of the Barbers; inventories of personal property of every description, from jewellery and plate down to pots and pans, kettles and old clothes; the stocks of the City shops; the tackle of shipping; the munitions of war; the roofing of houses; the supply of fuel; the regulations of the markets; the fees of the clergy; the times for curfew; setting the watch; the dangers of the night; the rates of wages; the tricks of trade; the devices for protection, then as stark mad to all appearance on the side of the master, as it is just now on the side of the man; the impostures of soothsayers and professors of the magic art; and the arts and frauds of the mendicants, swindlers, and sharpers, with as large a percentage of whom the streets of London were probably then beset as they are at the present day.
Two exceptions however occur in this purview of the aspects here presented of former London life.—"Wise women," or midwives, in those days busily plied their vocation, no doubt; but in these books we find no mention of them, no allusion whatever to their existence. This seems only to be accounted for on the supposition that while City legislation spared its attentions to hardly any other calling, it looked upon this humble, though really important, vocation as beneath its notice. A single (fn. 224) and distant allusion to the cradle is to be found in this Volume, but in reference to the birth, nurture, or protection, of the infant who occupied it, the City scribes appear never to have had occasion to pen a line. The same too at the other extremity of life,—while Masses for the dead, vigils, or wakes, around the corpse, and the wax torches that were lighted upon the herce, (fn. 225) find here and there a passing notice, beyond the slight mention in one or two instances that such a craft as that of the Upheldere (Upholder), or Undertaker, did exist, not a word is given as to the particulars of his calling, and his trade appears to have been subjected to no regulations. It seems to have given little trouble to the civic lawgivers of those times, how people were ushered into the world, or how their bodies were disposed of when they left it.
Regarded again from another point of view, there are many passages in this Volume that have an especial and peculiar interest of their own. Here we find, among other subjects far too numerous for remark;—A distinct allusion to the materials used for varnish (fn. 226) painting upon canvas, more than a century before the time of John Van Eyck, who has been alleged to have been its inventor: early news, transmitted to the City by King Edward's desire, no doubt, of the victory just gained upon the field of Falkirk: tidings sent to the City by Queen Isabel, of the birth of her first-born son, Edward of Windsor, with the rejoicings consequent thereon; Mass and carols in the Church of St. Paul, followed by a procession to make offering at Westminster; the whole ending with a dinner in the Guildhall, "excellently well tapestried and dressed out," the earliest City dinner probably that has been recorded: watch and ward ordered in the City, its walls manned, sentries posted, and wickets closed, in support of Edward II. in his wars with the Barons: London in alarm at the prospect of immediate attack by the French, and its Guildhall protected, some seven years before the fight of Crecy, (fn. 227) by guns (fn. 228) wrought of latten, mounted on rollers, and charged with powder and pellets of lead: the Black Prince writing to the City to give his account of the events preliminary to the Victory at Poitiers; an untruthful one at best, for not a word does he say of the concessions he had first offered, to secure a safe retreat: tidings from Johanna, Princess of Wales and Aquitaine (better known by her spinster title, "The Fair Maid of Kent"), announcing the birth of Prince Edward of Angouleme, the Black Prince's shortlived eldest son: particulars of plate, presented to the Black Prince by the already overtaxed Londoners, absolutely by the hundredweight: Geoffrey Chaucer, the Poet, the City's tenant, as lessee of the Gate of Aldgate: William Walworth slandered by an unscrupulous woman, and his generous intercession to save her from the indignity of the pillory and whetstone: the City's own account of the Insurrection of Wat Tyler, with some features (fn. 229) in the narrative hitherto unknown: Richard Whityngton, before becoming Alderman of Broad Street Ward, a Common Councilman for Coleman Street; and, like Walworth, having his fair fame assailed in his old age by a woman's tongue: the City convulsed by dissensions between the Cordwainers and the Cobblers, as to their relative rights to mend old shoes; and King Henry the Fourth taking cognizance thereof by Letter under the Privy Seal: correspondence of Henry V. with the City authorities, during his wars with France: the citizens in an agony of suspense as to the fate of the English army, for some days lost sight of in the interior of France; and that suspense in a moment turned to joy by tidings of the Victory of Agincourt, celebrated on the same day by Mayor and citizens going in pilgrimage to Westminster on foot: alleged immoralities of the London clergy, the annals of their profligacy during a long series of years being carefully registered by the City authorities in a private corner of their records: last thing, and saddest of all, the fires of Smithfield lighted up under the auspices of an unscrupulous prelacy, with Lollards for their living fuel; John Cleydone, currier, and Richard Surmyn, baker, citizens of London, and humble followers in the footsteps of John Wyclif, being among the earliest victims of their flames.
The translation of these records has been made throughout, in justice to the peculiar though often varying styles of the original Latin and French, as literally as, consistently with intelligibleness, it could be: with that proviso, no attempt has been made to modify its quaint phraseology, or to supplant the modes of expression used by men who lived from four to six centuries ago with the diction that a modern writer would employ when describing an event or discussing a topic of the present day.
The abbreviation "etc." will be frequently remarked, as occurring at the end of a passage: it seems to have been used by the scribes of those times as a matter of course; in many instances without its being at all needed by the context, but rather as a sort of saving clause to cover any omission that might possibly have been made.
As proper names appear to have been written more according to sound than by rule, two or three varying forms of the same name are often to be met with in the same page. These variations have in general been retained.
The word "mystery," or its old-fashioned and now obsolete form "mistery," as signifying a trade, it will be remarked, has not been used in this translation; mestera, or mestier, having always for its equivalent the word "trade," or "craft." These words are derived in fact from the Latin "ministerium," "a serving to," and are in no way connected with "mysterium," "a secret;" which the use of the misguiding English word "mystery" as their representative, might easily lead the purely English reader to suppose.
In the earlier Letter-Books, the word "guild," except as forming part of the compound "Guildhall," is hardly ever to be met with.
In conclusion, while expressing his acknowledgments to the Corporation generally for the confidence which they have reposed in him by entrusting to him the compilation of this Volume, the Editor begs to thank Mr. Town Clerk and Mr. Solicitor, in particular, for the prompt and courteous attention they have given to one or two points in connexion with the plan of the work, which have of necessity been submitted to their consideration. His best thanks also are due to the Members of the Library Committee; and more especially to B. B. Orridge, Esq., F.G.S., the present Chairman, and in hardly a less degree to Dr. W. Sedgwick Saunders and J. Hampton Hale, Esq., former Chairmen, of the Committee, for the active interest which they have taken in the inception of this work, and for the facilities which, to the utmost of their power, with the cooperation of Mr. Town Clerk, the depositary of the City Records, they have at all times afforded for its progress and completion. The services also which have been rendered by Mr. W. H. Overall, F.S.A., Librarian of the Corporation, must not be allowed to pass unacknowledged. The Editor feels a pleasure in owning himself indebted to him for numerous acts of courtesy and kindness, in the way both of furthering literary research and of ministering to literary wants, during his almost daily visits to the Library, while engaged upon the somewhat arduous but pleasing labours of the last thirteen months.
Henry Thomas Riley.
29 May, 1868.