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Edward III: December 1332

Parliament Rolls of Medieval England. Originally published by Boydell, Woodbridge, 2005.

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1332 December

Introduction December 1332

York

4 December - 11 December (when, because of the absence of some prelates and magnates, the parliament was prorogued until 20 January 1333)

For the writs of summons and the prorogation see RDP , iv, 416-19.

(Records of the parliament: Parliament Roll, C 65/2, m.1; previously edited in RP , II, 67-8)

C 65/2 is a composite parliament roll, containing the records of the six parliaments which met in 4, 5, and 6 Edward III, between November 1330 and January 1333. The parliament of December 1332 is recorded on the recto of membrane 1. For a detailed description of the roll see the Introduction to the Parliament of November 1330.

Edward III left London for the north of England shortly after the premature conclusion of the Westminster parliament on 12 September 1332. He reached York in mid-October and there received the news that Edward Balliol had been crowned as king of Scots at Scone on 24 September. Balliol's position was still insecure and he needed the support of Edward III. In late November Balliol wrote to Edward III, recognising him as his overlord and offering to restore the strategically placed border fortress and town of Berwick-on-Tweed, which Edward II had lost in 1318. The offers were tempting. On the other hand relations with France were still delicate. Open English support of Balliol might then induce Philip VI to invoke the terms of the Franco-Scottish Treaty of Corbeil in 1326 and come to the aid of David Bruce and his supporters. A parliament had already been summoned on 20 October to meet at York on 4 December. It would have much to discuss. (fn. fD1332int-1)

Writs of summons were issued at York on 30 October 1332 for the holding of a parliament at York on 4 December 1332. The writs stated that the king had ordained the holding of a parliament with the advice and counsel of the prelates and magnates who were with him. The writs stated that the king wished to have a 'colloquium et tractatum' with those in attendance; the proposed assembly was described as a parliament both in the writs and in the marginal note on the Close Roll.

Writs of summons were sent to the two archbishops, nineteen bishops (including the four Welsh bishops), twenty-eight abbots, and three priors, to eleven earls (Norfolk, Cornwall, Lancaster, Surrey, Richmond, Arundel, Oxford, Hereford, Warwick, Atholl & Angus (both from Scotland)), sixty-five barons; to eight royal judges and clerks; and for the election of representatives of the knights, burgesses. Representatives of the lower clergy were not summoned.

The writs gave the purpose of the parliament as 'certain great and arduous affairs concerning the northern regions', which intimately affected the state of the realm and the king's royal crown, and which had arisen since the last parliament and required a speedy remedy.

Parliament did not begin on Friday, 4 December, as scheduled. Many of those summoned had not yet arrived and the king was not prepared to attend until they did so. In the king's absence, the archbishop of York, the bishop of Winchester's brother Robert de Stratford, and Geoffrey le Scrope the Chief Justice were deputed to open parliament. The start of proceedings was delayed until Monday, 7 December, and then again until the following day. The parliament finally began on 8 December, in the presence of the king, with a speech by Sir Geoffrey le Scrope. Scrope recalled how the king had come north, in accordance with the advice given him in the previous parliament, and how Edward Balliol had been crowned as king of Scots. Scrope said that the 1328 treaty, recognising Scottish independence, could now be ignored since it had been made by others who had taken advantage of the king's youth. The king could now either claim Scotland for himself or support Edward Balliol or David II in return for homage and service. Scrope reminded parliament that Edward Balliol's father, John Balliol, had resigned his kingdom to Edward I in 1296. For the benefit of David II's representatives, who were present at York, he said that Edward III was not bound to restrain those of his subjects who were among the 'disinherited' and were now trying to regain what was rightfully theirs. Scrope then asked those present to advise the king on the best course of action. The prelates, earls, and barons discussed the issues by themselves until the following Friday, 11 December, as did the knights and burgesses. Edward III's best course of action was probably to support Balliol and so gain an amenable client king. He was however conscious of the continuing French threat to his own interests in the duchy of Aquitaine and of the need to avoid pushing the French king into open support of David II. Delicate diplomatic negotiations on behalf of Edward III were being conducted both in Paris and at Avignon from November 1332. On 11 December in full parliament the prelates, earls, and barons were asked their opinion; and then the knights and burgesses were asked theirs; and finally all together. They all gave the same opinion, that it was too weighty a matter to be decided in the absence of so many of the prelates (only the archbishop of York, the bishops of Lincoln and Carlisle, and the abbots of York and Selby were present) and the other great men (the absentees are not named). All who were there then asked the king to prorogue the parliament until 20 January following at York and to command the prelates and great men who were absent to be there on that day. The king agreed to this request and ordered that all those who were present should attend on 20 January without receiving any further command, and that writs should be sent to those absent commanding their presence and stating that their absence had delayed the king's business. The king also ordered that the dispute between the archbishops of Canterbury and York over the carrying of their crosses should not be allowed to cause any further hindrance. (fn. fD1332int-2)

The Parliament Roll includes one petition, from John Cromwell and his wife. An answer was delayed until the following parliament since it would be necessary to make new law. This was the only petition received. The Parliament Roll provides a very specific explanation: 'And the reason why petitions were not received and answered in the same parliament was because the prelates and the other great men, and also the lawyers, who could try and answer them had not come to the said parliament; and also because Christmas was so close when no man would be able to attend. And thereupon it was agreed that petitions would be received at the next parliament.'

Text and translation

[p. ii-67]
[col. a]
[memb. 1]
CES SONT LES REMEMBRAUNCES DU PARLEMENT SOMONS A EVERWIK, LE VENDREDI PROCHEIN DEVANT LA FESTE DE SEINT NICHOLAS, L'AN DU REGNE LE ROI EDWARD LE TIERZ APRES LE CONQUEST SISME. (fn. ii-67-3-1) THESE ARE THE REMEMBRANCES [i.e., the official record] OF THE PARLIAMENT SUMMONED AT YORK ON THE FRIDAY BEFORE THE FEAST OF ST NICHOLAS, IN THE SIXTH YEAR OF THE REIGN OF KING EDWARD THE THIRD SINCE THE CONQUEST [4 December 1332]. (fn. ii-67-3-1)
1. A queu jour de vendredi le roi n'estoit mie venuz, einz feust de pres attendant la venue des grantz somons a meisme le parlement, et si fu le parlement continue tant qe a lundy prochein suant. Et a meisme le lundi, en la presence nostre seignur le roi si estoit le parlement continue tant qe a lendemein par jour de marsdy, par la non venue des grantz, come sus est dit. Et meisme le jour de marsdi si estoit pronuncie par Monsir Geffrei le Scrope, en la presence du roi et de touz les grantz, en plein parlement, coment le parlement prochein devant feust somons a Westm' pur les busoignes tochantes la terre d'Irland, a quele le roi avoit ordine son aler pur refreindre la malice de ses rebelx illoeqes; et coment les prelatz, countes, barons, et autres grantz du parlement, et chivalers des countez, estoient chargez de conseiller sur l'aseurance de la terre d'Engleterre; et coment les ditz prelatz par eux meismes, countes, et barons par eux meismes, et les chivalers des countez par eux meismes, euent deliberation, responderent et conseillerent pur le mieutz qe le roi demorast en Engleterre. Et par encheson des noveles qe adonqes vindrent des parties d'Escoce se treisist devers les parties del north, pur perils qe poeient avenir a son poeple et a son roialme, en cas qe les Escotz y voleient entrer pur mal faire; et coment le roi ottreant lour consealx si est venuz; et coment puis, pur autres noveles qe lui vindrent a Everwik des dites parties d'Escoce de ce qe Edward Baillol se avoit fait coroner roi d'Escoce, par le roi et par son conseil adonqes illoeqes assemblez le roi avoit fait somondre a ore son parlement a Everwyk; et qe la cause de somons estoit, qe nostre seignur le roi voleit aver les consealx des ses bones gentz, et liges de son roialme, prelatz, et autres, le quel il se devoit trere vers Escoce en clamant le demeigne de meisme la terre, ou de soi faire partie a prendre l'avantage d'aver en service come ses auncestres avoient, ou la value. Et sur ce chargea nostre seignur le roi, par la bouche le dit Monsir Geffrei, en plein parlement, meisme le marsdi, les prelatz, countes, barons, et autres grantz, et les chivalers des countez, et gentz de la commune, qe eu regard a l'onur et profit de lui et de son roialme, et a ce qe au temps de la pees faite nadgaires par entre les gentz d'Engleterre et les gentz d'Escoce q'il estoit deinz age et ne mie de son propre poer, einz mesne par autres, lui conseillassent et donassent lour avis, et q'ils eusseint auxint regard a ce qe l'auncestre le Baillolf forfit encontre l'ael nostre seignur le roi qe ore est. Les queux prelatz od la clergie par eux meismes, et les countes et barons par eux meismes, et chivalers et gentz des countez et gentz de la commune par eux [col. b] meismes, ent treterent et conseillerent tant qe a vendredi prochein suant. Et meisme le vendredi, en plein parlement, les prelatz par eux meismes, les countes et barons par eux meismes, et les chivalers des countez par eux meismes, et puis touz en commone, responderent, qe en si grande et chargeante busoigne et si pres touchante le roi, son poeple, et son roialme, ne oseint, ne saveint, conseiller santz l'avis des prelatz; des queux forsqe trois, c'est assaver l'ercevesqe d'Everwyk, les evesqes de Nicole, et de Kardoil, les abbees d'Everwik et de Seleby, estoient venuz, et des autres grantz du roialme qe adonqes ne feurent pas venuz. Et sur ce requistrent nostre seignur le roi, q'il vousist continuer meisme le parlement tant qe as utaves de Seint Hillery prochein avenir, d'estre adonqes a meisme le lieu d'Everwik, et mander chargealment as prelatz, et autrez grantz qe feurent absentz, d'y estre adonqes as ditz jour et lieu, issint que les busoignes ne feusseient plus delaiez par lour non venue; la quele requeste nostre seignur le roi ottreia. Et sur ce feurent touz les prelatz, contes, et barons, chivalers des countez, et gentz de commone, adonques presentz, chargez d'y estre as dites utaves a meisme le parlement, santz autre mandement aver. Et ordine, qe brefs chargeantz et fesantz mention coment les busoignes furent delaiez par l'absence des ditz grantz feusseient mandez a touz les grantz issint absentz, d'y estre totes autres choses lessees. Et qe les busoignes du roi et du roialme ne feusseient adonqes delaiez pur le debat par entre les ercevesqes de Canterbirs et d'Everwik sur le porte de lour croices: feust defendu par nostre seignur le roi en plein parlement, qe nul sur quant q'il poeit forfaire ne meist empeschement sur le dit porter des croices, par qoi les busoignes feussent deslaiez; et fu dit, qe si nully feist, le roi lui tendroit desheritour de lui et de sa corone. Et issint se finist le parlement, le venderdi prochein devant la feste de Seinte Lucie. Et la cause par qoi peticions ne feurent pas resceus et responduz a meisme le parlement, si fu de ce qe prelatz, et autres grantz, et auxint gentz de ley ne feurent pas venuz au dit parlement, qi les poeint trier et respondre a iceles; et auxint de ce qe la feste de Noel feust si pres par qoi homme ne poeit mie bien entendre. Et sur ce acorde fu qe petitions feusseient rescues au prochein parlement. 1. On which Friday the king had not arrived, but was close by waiting the arrival of the great men summoned to the same parliament, and so the parliament was continued until the Monday next following [7 December]. And on the same Monday, in the presence of our lord the king the parliament was continued until the following Tuesday [8 December] because the great men had not arrived, as is said above. And on the same Tuesday it was announced by Sir Geoffrey le Scrope in full parliament in the presence of the king and of all the great men how the previous parliament had been summoned at Westminster for the business touching the land of Ireland, to which the king had arranged his journey in order to suppress the evil actions of his rebels there; and how the prelates, earls, barons and other great men in the parliament and the knights of the counties had been charged to advise on the security of the realm of England; and how the said prelates by themselves, the earls and barons by themselves, and the knights of the counties by themselves, having had deliberation, answered and counselled that it would be best if the king remained in England. And because of the news which then came from the regions of Scotland he proceeded towards the regions in the north on account of the dangers which might befall his people and his realm if the Scots wished to go there in order to cause trouble; and how the king accepted their counsel and has come here; and then how, on account of other news from the said regions of Scotland which came to him at York that Edward Balliol had caused himself to be crowned king of Scotland, by the king and his council then assembled there, the king had caused his present parliament to be summoned at York; and that the reason of the summons was that our lord the king wished to have the counsel of his good men and lieges of his realm, the prelates and others, whether he himself ought to proceed towards Scotland to claim the overlordship of the same land, either to take advantage of having for himself the service as his ancestors had, or its value. And thereupon in full parliament on the same Tuesday through the said Sir Geoffrey our lord the king charged the prelates, earls, barons and other great men, and the knights of the counties and the commons that, having consideration for the honour and profit of him and of his realm, and that when the peace was recently made between the people of England and the people of Scotland he was a minor and without his own authority, but was guided by others who counselled and gave him their advice, and that they should also take into account that the ancestor of Balliol forfeited against the grandfather of our present lord the king. Which prelates with the clergy by themselves, and the earls and barons by themselves, and the knights and men of the counties and the commons by themselves [col. b] discussed and counselled thereupon until the Friday next following [11 December]. And on the same Friday in full parliament the prelates by themselves, the earls and barons by themselves, and the knights of the counties by themselves, and then all in common, answered that on such important and onerous business touching the king, his people and his realm so closely they did not dare or feel able to give counsel without the advice of the prelates, of whom only three, namely the archbishop of York, the bishops of Lincoln, and of Carlisle, [and] the abbots of York and of Selby, had arrived, and of the other great men of the realm who had not arrived at that time. And thereupon they asked our lord the king that he be willing to continue the same parliament until the octave of St Hilary next following [20 January 1333], to be held in the same place at York, and to command most strongly the prelates and the other great men who were absent to be there at the said time and place so that the business would be no longer delayed by their absence; which request our lord the king granted. And thereupon all the prelates, earls and barons, the knights of the counties and the commons who were then present were charged to be at the same parliament on the said octave without receiving another command. And it was ordained that writs charging and stating how the business was delayed by the absence of the said great men be sent to all the great men thus absent to be there, forsaking all other affairs. And that the business of the king and of the realm should not be delayed then on account of the dispute between the archbishops of Canterbury and of York concerning the carrying of their crosses: and our lord the king in full parliament forbade anyone, pain of forfeiting all that he could, from preventing the carrying of the crosses, so that the business would be delayed; and it was said that if anyone did this the king would consider him a disheritor of him and of his crown. And thus the parliament was concluded on Friday before the feast of St Lucy [11 December 1332]. And the reason why petitions were not received and answered in the same parliament was because the prelates and the other great men, and also the lawyers, who could try and answer them had not come to the said parliament; and also because Christmas was so close when no man would be able to attend. And thereupon it was agreed that petitions would be received at the next parliament.
Et fait a remembrer qe Monsir Johan de Crumbewell' monstra de bouche, meisme le venderdi, qe le parlement fini en la presence nostre seignur le roi et de touz les grantz en plein parlement, ce qe est contenuz en la peticion qe s'ensuyt, mes pur ce qe sa demande ne se poeit [p. ii-68][col. a] faire santz ce qe novele lei feust ordine en tiel cas, si estoit il ajourne tant qe au prochein parlement. And be it remembered that on the same Friday when the parliament concluded Sir John of Cromwell spoke, in the presence of our lord the king and of all the great men in full parliament, as is contained in the petition which follows, but because his request could not [p. ii-68][col. a] be granted unless new law was ordained for such a case, it was thus adjourned until the next parliament.
2. A nostre seignur le roi et a son conseil prient Johan de Crumbewell', et Idoigne sa compaigne: qe come contenu soit en un estatut fait a Westm' prochein apres l'encoranement, qe les fins levez a Sire Hugh le Despenser le fuitz, et as autres, par force et durete apres l'exil soient reversez a suyte de partie par proces q'est done par meisme l'estatut: et les avantditz Johan et Idoigne leverent une fin de certeins manoirs et tenementz au dit Sire Hugh par force, durete, et manace, et pur eschure le peril de la mort, le dit Johan devant [col. b] l'exil du dit Sire Hugh; le quel Sire Hugh conust a son moriant, devant le seignur de Wake et autres pierres de la terre qe y feurent, qe la dite fin feust leve par force et destresce, fauxement, et en desheritance des avantditz Johan et Idoigne, en priant au dit seignur de Wake et as autres q'ils ceste chose vendroient tesmoigner a nostre seignur le roi et a son conseil, qe remedie fuyt ordine pur les ditz Johan et Idoigne, issint q'ils ne feusseient pas desheritez par cele malveise fin, en dampnation de s'alme; que lui pleise comander et ordiner qe cele fin soit reverse et anienti, ne mie contrestant q'ele fu leve devant l'exil, qe autrement ils sont santz recoverir et desheritez a touz jours. (fn. ii-67-9-1) 2. To our lord the king and to his council John of Cromwell and Idonia his wife pray: whereas it is contained in a statute made at Westminster following the coronation that the fines paid to Sir Hugh le Despenser the son, and to others, under force and duress after the exile should be revoked at the suit of a party by process of law which is stipulated in the same statute: and the aforesaid John and Idonia paid a fine for certain manors and tenements to the said Sir Hugh by force, duress and threat, and in order to avoid the risk of the death of the said John before [col. b] the exile of the said Sir Hugh; which Sir Hugh confessed at his death before the lord of Wake and other peers of the realm who were there that the said fine was levied by force and distraint, falsely, and to the disinheritance of the aforesaid John and Idonia, praying to the said lord of Wake and to the others that they would come to testify this matter to our lord the king and to his council, that remedy be ordained for the said John and Idonia so that they would not be disinherited by this evil fine, in damnation of his soul; that it might please him to command and ordain that this fine be revoked and annulled, notwithstanding that it was levied before the exile, or otherwise they shall be without the means of recovery and disinherited forever. (fn. ii-67-9-1)

Footnotes

  • fD1332int-1. Haines, Archbishop John Stratford , 225; Sumption, The Hundred Years' War , I, 126-7.
  • fD1332int-2. C 65/2, m.1; Haines, Archbishop John Stratford , 225-6; Sumption, The Hundred Years' War , I, 127-8.
  • ii-67-3-1. C 65/2 is a composite parliament roll, containing the records of the parliaments which met in 4, 5, and 6 Edward III, between November 1330 and January 1333. The fifth of the six parliaments held during these years, the York Parliament of 4 December (St. Nicholas Parliament) 1332, 6 Edward III, is recorded in C 65/2, m.1.
  • ii-67-9-1. SC 8/11/525.