Edward III: March 1348

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

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1348 March

Introduction March-April 1348


31 March - 13 April

(C 65/14. RP , II.200-204)

The second of the two parliaments of 1348 is recorded in C 65/14, a roll of 3 membranes, each approximately 295 mm. in width, sewn together in the chancery style. The condition of the roll is good, apart from slight gallic acid staining on the right-hand edge of membrane 3. The text, written in a small, clear chancery script, occupies the recto of all membranes and half of the dorse of membrane 2. The remaining dorses are blank, apart from later notes, 'Rotulus parliamenti de anno .xxij. Edwardi tercii' and 'Rotulus parliament de anno regni regis Edwardi tercii vicesimo secundo', at the head of membrane 1 and the foot of membrane 3 respectively. Marginal headings are contemporary. Arabic numerals throughout the roll are later, but the Roman numerals alongside the petitions and their answers are contemporary. The roll does not appear to be incomplete. Although the clerk of parliament is identified ex officio as the receiver of the common petitions (item 4), there is no evidence as to who actually undertook the role of clerk in this parliament and was therefore responsible for drawing up the roll.

The Hilary parliament of 1348 had closed on 12 February, and writs went out on 14 February for the assembly of another parliament at Westminster on 31 March. The lists of lords spiritual and temporal in receipt of personal summonses was identical to that for the previous assembly, though Edward Balliol was also summoned to this parliament under his title of King of Scots; the 17 clerks, justices and king's serjeants receiving summonses were also the same as in January. (fn. f1348bint-1) The names of 74 shire knights and no fewer than 150 citizens and burgesses can be established from the sheriffs' returns and the writs de expensis . (fn. f1348bint-2) The fact that 23 of the knights of the shires had also been returned to the Hilary parliament - one of the highest re-election rates in the reign of Edward III - suggests a sensitivity in the counties that the March parliament was called at least in part to deal with unfinished business from the previous assembly (see also below): (fn. f1348bint-3) one later chronicler at least believed that this second parliament was an adjourned session of the first. (fn. f1348bint-4) In contrast to other special occasions in the reign when the crown encouraged the return of individuals who had been present in the previous assembly, (fn. f1348bint-5) however, the state itself made no attempt to provide a link between the January and March assemblies of 1348: indeed, it was not in its interests to do so. The strategy adopted in the summoning of the two assemblies of 1348 was to use the first parliament as a means of clearing away certain contentious political issues before changing the political agenda and appealing to the second for another round of taxation (see Introduction to parliament of January-February 1348). (fn. f1348bint-6) Since the January-February parliament accomplished rather less than either the crown or the commons might have hoped, it would clearly have been easier to manage the March assembly if its membership had only limited knowledge of what had happened earlier in the year. That the constituencies reacted to the new writs of summons with an unusually high number of re-elections may therefore indicate considerable public disquiet over the crown's delivery on its declared policy of conciliation - and, in the process, made it rather harder for the crown to get its own way in the Lent parliament.

Parliament opened on the appointed day, Monday 31 March, but because of the late arrival of the lords no business was done until Wednesday 2 April (item 1). As in the previous assembly, the opening statement made before the plenary assembly in the presence of the king was delivered by William Thorp, chief justice of the court of king's bench. Thorp gave two reasons for the summons of this parliament: the uneasy state of Anglo-French diplomacy (item 2) and (recorded only summarily on the roll) the keeping of the peace within the realm (item 3). The truce negotiated in the aftermath of the Crécy-Calais campaign were due to expire in July 1348, and while the pope continued to host talks towards a final peace, it had become evident that neither the English nor the French governments wished to settle terms at this point. (fn. f1348bint-7) It was predictable that Thorp should represent the French as the aggressors, claiming that they were planning a major invasion of the realm of England (the precedent of the parliament of 1346, in which the lords and commons had been shown the French invasion plan of 1339, may have been in Thorp's mind here [parliament of 1346, items 7-10]). The commons were asked to consult together and advise the crown on what might be done about the war, and about the state of law and order in the land (item 3).

The commons then evidently withdrew to formulate their response: the roll provides no details as to where they met, how long they deliberated, or what was done by the lords while the commons were in conclave. All that we can be certain of is that the tax grant which they subsequently made to the crown was delivered in sufficient time to allow for the subsequent submission and audience of common petitions before the assembly closed, presumably on 13 April, the date of issue of the writs de expensis . (fn. f1348bint-8) This means that there can only have been a maximum of 11 days of active business in the session, which the crown was evidently anxious to bring to a swift conclusion (see also below). The vital issue in the commons' early deliberations, not addressed directly in Thorp's speech but clearly very much part of his agenda, was a renewal of direct taxation. The final instalment of the biennial tenth and fifteenth authorised by the parliament of 1346 was due on 19 April 1348, (fn. f1348bint-9) and it was therefore possible to consider another subsidy that might conveniently (from the crown's point of view) dovetail with this one. The commons were evidently aware that the diplomatic situation effectively required them to respond with the authorisation of a new tax, but in the subsequent submission that they made to the crown, recorded on the roll (item 4), they were quick to complain of the unacceptable burden in which the king was placing upon his subjects. They produced a catalogue of recent levies: (fn. f1348bint-10) the feudal aid of 1346 (which, as they commented, had been levied at twice the rate authorised by statute [see also Introduction to parliament of 1352]); the repeated fifteenths and tenths; levies of soldiers; purveyances for which no payments had been made; the impositions for naval defence; the wool subsidy (on which they made one of their rare fiscal calculations, estimating that it was worth some £60,000 a year to the crown); (fn. f1348bint-11) and the forced loan of 20,000 sacks of wool imposed in 1347. Although they claimed to be so reduced by these impositions that 'your said commonalty can only bear or endure another charge with great pain', they then offered the crown three successive fifteenths and tenths to be levied from September 1348 in continuous sequence, adding to the grant a long list of conditions. The revenue from the tax should be reserved for war expenses, and those collected north of the Trent should, if appropriate, be reserved for the war against the Scots; the dates of payment should be fixed and non-negotiable; and the final year of the subsidy should be abandoned in the event of a 'long truce'. More strikingly, for as long as the tax should run, the crown should not impose general eyres or eyres of the forests; likewise, after the expiry of the subsidy on wool granted from Michaelmas 1348 (for which, see below), no additional such subsidies should be negotiated with the merchants. Further, the commons stipulated that 'no imposition, tallage or charge as a loan, or in any other manner, should be made by our lord the king's privy council without their [that is, the commons'] grant and assent in parliament': this was a direct challenge to the authority claimed by the council in 1346-7 to impose a series of prerogative and discretionary charges on the realm on the grounds of urgent necessity and without parliamentary consent. In addition to a series of more specific conditions relating to the loan of 20,000 sacks of wool, the feudal aid, and other matters, the commons requested the appointment of a special tribunal of two prelates, two lords and two justices to provide answers to the common petitions left over from the January assembly and to those to be submitted in this one, this business to be conducted 'in the presence of four or six of the commons' (see also below). Finally, they asked that 'the said conditions should be entered on the parliament roll as a matter of record, by which the commonalty could have remedy, if anything is attempted to the contrary in times to come', and that letters patent embodying the conditions of the grant and specifying 'the king's great need which has arisen since the last parliament' should be distributed to the shires.

This set of conditions, duly transcribed (as the commons had requested) onto the parliament roll, was a very remarkable statement of the political attitude and fiscal authority of parliament in the mid-fourteenth century. It represented a concerted attempt to ensure that all major forms of taxation beyond the king's immediate prerogative rights should be authorised in parliament, to guarantee no further impositions (and immunity from certain controversial government initiatives such as visitations of the eyre) for the duration of a parliamentary subsidy, and to link grants of supply closely with redress of grievance. The commons' concern for a written record and local advertisement of the conditions attached to the triennial fifteenth and tenth indicated something of their own chagrin, and of the hostility that they predicted in the constituencies, when it became evident that the crown had changed course since the assembly of January-February and was now intent on a further round of major fiscal commitments. It has to be said, however, that the commons' ability to ensure the strict observation of the conditions attached to the grant (and tacitly accepted by the crown) was rather more limited. Their struggle for recognition, and the compromises that resulted, can be demonstrated through the more detailed story of the taxes authorised by this parliament and the process of petitioning observed in the assembly.

The lay subsidy of 1348 was a major financial boost for the crown. (fn. f1348bint-12) Only once before, in 1337, had Edward III's government secured a tax of comparable length and value. Despite the commons' stipulation that the third year of the subsidy should be dropped in the event of a truce, the crown skilfully manipulated the diplomatic and political situation to ensure that the tax was collected for all three years. The tax clearly precipitated some opposition in the shires, and measures had to be taken to support the assessors and punish recalcitrant payers. All this was the more remarkable given that the collection period of the tax coincided with the outbreak and immediate aftermath of the Black Death: during the second and third years of the subsidy experiments were made with the allocation of certain penalties under the new labour legislation of 1349 towards the subsidies in relief of hard-pressed taxpayers - a scheme taken up and extended in the lay subsidy of 1352 (see Introduction to parliament of 1352). Although the crown did summon a parliament for early 1349, and cancelled it on account of the plague, the long duration of the triennial subsidy of 1348 may in part account for the long gap before the summons of another parliament, held early in 1351 (see Introduction to parliament of 1351). Although the crown maintained the spirit of the conditions applied to the grant and made no further non-parliamentary levies in the years immediately after 1348, the fiscal (and even political) benefits that it derived from the accommodation were therefore very considerable and need proper emphasis.

Furthermore, the commons only won their campaign to prevent non-parliamentary levies by tacitly acknowledging the king's right to the impositions made by the council in 1346-7. They grumbled about the rate at which the feudal aid of 1346 was being levied, but did not demand its cessation: the request that the aide pur fille marier should cease during the currency of the lay subsidy has been taken to read as a reference to the aid for knighting the king's son of 1346, (fn. f1348bint-13) but seems more probably to represent the commons' belief that the king was likely to levy a new aid on the occasion of the marriage of his daughter. (The plans for the marriage of Princess Joan, Edward's second surviving daughter, to the heir of the king of Castile, in 1348, may have caused speculation either that he might levy the aid for this event, or that his eldest daughter, Princess Isabella, might also soon marry.) In similar vein, the commons' opposition concerning the forced loan of 20,000 sacks of wool was directed not at the subsidy itself but at its administration by a group of merchants under contract to the crown. (fn. f1348bint-14) Most strikingly, the commons' condition that, at the expiry of the wool subsidy due for three years from the following Michaelmas, the crown should not seek to negotiate a new subsidy with the merchants, may have been constructed in the context of their evolving argument that parliament was the only appropriate agency to authorise such levies (witness the comment that the wool subsidy was 'only to the grievance and burden of the commonalty and not of the merchants'), but was in fact built on an assumed willingness to honour the three-year subsidy granted in March 1347 by the lords in council (perhaps in consultation with a group of merchants) to last from Michaelmas 1348 to Michaelmas 1351. (fn. f1348bint-15) As Dr Harriss has pointed out, there is 'no record of a separate grant by parliament [in 1348], and the Commons had probably little alternative to accept the council's "grant" since the repayment of the loan of wool was charged upon the subsidy'. (fn. f1348bint-16) In other words, then, the fiscal accommodation worked out by the commons in 1348 consisted chiefly in persuading the crown to place a moratorium on prerogative and other extra-parliamentary subsidies during the currency of the new lay subsidy and the prospective maltolt , both of which would be due to expire in 1351. That the crown observed this moratorium ultimately had less to do with constitutional obligation and more with considerations of fiscal and political management.

As regards the issue of petitioning in this parliament, the situation was both novel and challenging. Since the government's strategy in 1348 was to consider petitions in the first parliament and to negotiate a tax in the second, it seems that the crown did not expect to have to deal with private petitions in the assembly of March-April. Contrary to established practice, the parliament roll yields no evidence of the appointment of receivers and triers of private petitions in this assembly, and it was only after the commons had made their grant of the triennial fifteenth and tenth (at some unspecified date during the parliament) that it belatedly allowed the delivery of private petitions not to the usual panels of receivers but to the chancellor (item 4). As is demonstrated in the Introduction to the parliament of January-February 1348, the vast majority of the private petitions printed by the editors of Rotuli Parliamentorum as dating from the two parliaments of 1348 seem to have come from the first of these assemblies: of the mere six examples that can positively be associated with the March-April parliament, one at least is known to have been submitted in the January-February assembly and was simply held over for a hearing in the second parliament of the year; and the same process of deferral is likely in several of the others cases (see parliament of January-February 1348, Introduction, and Appendix nos. 8, 9, 105, 109, 113, 114). For this reason, it has been felt more rational to list all these petitions in the Appendix to the parliament of January-February 1348; even though some of these cases were evidently heard in the second assembly, their number was almost certainly small.

Common petitions were a rather different matter. In line with contemporary practice, it was only to be expected that the crown would grant the commons leave to submit their common petitions upon the delivery of the tax grant: accordingly, the commons duly delivered a set of petitions to the clerk of parliament which were transcribed, along with the answers provided by the crown, onto the parliament roll (items 5-30, nos. I-XXIIII). There is no evidence on the roll, however, to indicate that the crown responded to the condition set upon the tax grant, that a special committee should be appointed to hear the common petitions left over from the previous assembly and the new petitions submitted in this parliament, and it must be assumed that the commons failed in this respect to hold the crown to the conditions of the tax grant. Perhaps for this reason, a number of the commons petitions of March-April 1348 reiterated and enlarged upon matters already fixed as conditions upon the grant of the lay subsidy: for inquiries into the administration of the forced loan of 20,000 sacks of wool (item 5, no. I); for free passage of wool (item 8, no. IIII); for release from the eyre 'during the war' (item 9, no. V) and 'during the three years [of the subsidy]' (item 19, no. XV); for the non-release of the principal Scottish captives currently held by the English crown (item 10, no. VI) (which the crown noted had already been dealt with in the previous parliament [see parliament of January-February 1348, item 9]); for the reservation, when necessary, of the subsidies collected north of the Trent to the expenses of the war against the Scots (item 11, no. VII); for the reservation of the triennial fifteenth and tenth to sustaining the costs of war (item 14, no. X); and for the confirmation of the crown's agreement in the previous assembly to discontinue the levy of 2s. per sack of wool collected at the ports for the purpose of providing armed convoys for shipping (item 16, no. XII; see parliament of January-February 1348, item 11). They also requested (though this matter was not in the schedule of the grant) that those serving as representatives in this assembly should not be required to act as collectors of the lay subsidy. This was a common enough strategy, (fn. f1348bint-17) but one with perhaps a particular urgency in 1348; it is nice to notice, in light of the comments above concerning the high rate of re-election to this parliament, that the commons attempted to argue their case for exemption on the grounds of 'their great labours at his two parliaments'.

Most importantly, however, the common petitions again returned to the issue, raised in the conditions of the tax grant, of business left unresolved at the end of the previous parliament, and asked that all the relevant common petitions should be expedited in the present assembly (item 7, no. III). It is argued in the Introduction to the parliament of January-February 1348 that a number of the common petitions recorded on that roll were submitted late in the assembly, and received no recorded answers: although their concern was more general, the commons of March-April 1348 may have had a particular anxiety about those 'late' petitions, specifying, for example, in their own list of petitions that the earlier item regarding the process of exception of villeinage should be resolved in such a way that the common law was properly observed (item 18, no. XIIII, citing parliament of January-February 1348, item 66). (fn. f1348bint-18) The commons of March-April 1348 went on in a later petition to request that all the common petitions that had been answered favourably in the last parliament should be upheld, and not altered (item 30, no. XXIIII). That the commons were keenly aware of the contents of the common petitions of the previous parliament and anxious to have the crown's commitments honoured is well demonstrated by the transcription in the common petitions of the March-April assembly of a common petition from the January-February parliament, and the royal reply, concerning the rights of the king's subjects to have justice on the matter of grievances committed against them by officers of the royal forests, which they claimed had already been contravened (items 27-9, no. XXIII, citing parliament of January-February 1348, item 40). The crown's position on its answers to the common petitions was, however, evasive. It answered the first, on common petitions left unanswered at the end of the previous assembly, by saying that since Easter was fast approaching (the feast fell on 20 April in 1348), there was insufficient time to do the business, but that it would be dealt with thereafter; and it responded to the second, on guarantees that the answers provided to common petitions in the parliament of January-February would remain unchanged, by declaring that such answers would require to be made up into a formal statute, but that the king had been, and was still, unable to do this 'for certain reasons' - presumably suggesting lack of time rather than of inclination, as was made more explicit in the answer to another specific common petition in the March-April parliament (item 20, no. XVI). (fn. f1348bint-19)

All of this suggests that, if the commons held off for some while in making their grant of taxation in order to force the crown's hand on petitions, the strategy was only partially successful, and the need to draw the assembly to a close before the onset of Holy Week (the writs de expensis were dated on Palm Sunday) allowed the crown once more to leave matters unresolved. It may have been with a view to this impending terminal date that the commons had suggested, in the conditions of the tax grant, that the proposed committee to try the unanswered petitions of the January-February assembly might also deal with the common petitions arising from the March-April assembly; certainly, the fact that they asked for the attendance of a deputation of four or six of the commons at such a tribunal (item 4) suggests that they had in mind the precedent of the Lent parliament of 1340, at which a legislative committee comprising a small group of lords, justices and commons had been set up partly also because of the need for an Easter recess (see Introduction to parliament of March-May 1340). That they failed to secure such a committee demonstrates the fragility of a system of negotiation that relied almost completely on the king's discretion over when to summon, and when to dismiss, parliament.

This is not to say that the political business of the parliament of March-April 1348 was not without its significance. There was considerable agitation, for example, on the operation of overseas trade, with complaints about the continued embargo on wool exports (item 8, no. IIII), about the operations of the staple at Bruges (item 13, no. IX), and concerning the bullion regulations recently instituted by the council (item 15, no. XI). (fn. f1348bint-20) On the dorse of the parliament roll is the record of a representation made by the cloth workers of Norfolk in this assembly regarding their right to be exempt from the regulations associated with the assize of cloth (item 31; and see Appendix no. 1); the crown's agreement in 1348 to abide by the rights earlier granted in 1329 (item 32) was important to the worsted manufacturers because the government was experimenting with a restoration of the assize, or alnage, of other forms of cloth around this time. (fn. f1348bint-21) On the matter of public order, which had been one of the two major charges to the parliament, the commons built on the proposal first mooted in the previous assembly and to be followed up (and to a greater or lesser degree adopted by the crown) in the 1350s and 1360s: namely, that the best way of maintaining law and order in the localities was to appoint permanent mixed tribunals of lords, knights and men of law with powers to determine the cases brought before them (item 6, no. II; and see parliament of January-February 1348, item 70). (fn. f1348bint-22) (They also, incidentally, remarked that it would help if the king were to order the great men of the realm not to maintain known criminals.) (fn. f1348bint-23) The fact remains, however, that the commons failed to secure any statutory concessions from the crown in the two parliaments of 1348: it was not until the early 1350s that the crown would have the leisure - and the inclination - to undertake a comprehensive programme of remedial legislation designed to offset many of the most pressing political problems of the later 1340s.

Text and translation

[p. ii-200]
[col. a]
[memb. 1]
Au queu jour, pur ce qe les grantz q'estoient somons au dit parlement ne y furent pas pleinement venuz, fu cestui jour continuez tanqe le mardy proschein suant; et puis par meisme la cause du dit mardy tanqe a meskerdy proschein suant. Au queu jour furent les causes du somons du parlement purposez par Monsir William de Thorp', chief justice nostre seignur le roi, en la presence de nostre seignur le roi et des prelatz, countes, barons et communes du roialme illoeqes assemblez. Et furent deux causes principales touchantes especialment nostre seignur le roi et tut le roialme d'Engleterre, dount l'une cause s'ensuyt: 1. On which day, because the great men who were summoned to the said parliament had not fully arrived, this day was adjourned until the Tuesday immediately following; and then for the same reason from the said Tuesday until the Wednesday immediately following. On which day the reasons for the summons of the parliament were propounded by Sir William Thorp, our lord the king's chief justice, in the presence of our lord the king and of the prelates, earls, barons and commons of the realm assembled there. And there were two principal reasons touching especially our lord the king and all the realm of England, of which the first reason follows:
La cause du somons du parlement. The reason for the summons of parliament.
2. Coment acordez feust selonc la fourme des trewes prises a Caleys entre nostre seignur le roi et son adversaire de Fraunce qe certeinz messages feussent envoiez a la court de Rome, sibien de la part nostre seignur le roi come de la part son dit adversaire, pur treter de finale pees entre eux. Et coment nostre dit seignur le roi avoit envoiez certeinz messages pur sentir la volente de nostre seint piere le pape, sur ascuns preparatoirs touchantz si bien tretee de pees come l'envoie des plus grantz messages et autres motives a la dite court, entour la feste de Seint Andreu proschein passez, en esperance d'avoir eu respons des meismes < les > messages en son drein parlement tenuz a Westm', des queux messages ne de lour esploit < il n'avoit resceu > nulle certeinetee. Et purce qe nostre seignur le roi entendi d'aver certeines novelles des ditz messages et de lour esploit a cestui jour; sur queux, et auxint de ce qe plusours choses notablement a charger, queux selonc la fourme des dites trewes en favour de nostre seignur le roi et de ses foialx et alliez sont unqore a parfaire, par malice de la partie adverse ne sont pas acompliz. Et auxint, de ce qe le dit adversaire, contre bone foi de pees promisse de sa part, fait apparailler trope grante multitude des gentz d'armes et autres en niefs et galeyes plus puissantment qe cea en arere ad estez oi, pur < entrer > le roialme d'Engleterre et pur destruire et deffaire le dit roialme, et quantqe en lui est nostre seignur le roi et ses liges, come plus pleinement piert par les choses queux le dit adversaire ad monstrez et monstre de jour on autre. 2. How it was agreed according to the form of the truces taken at Calais between our lord the king and his enemy of France that certain messages would be sent to the court of Rome, on behalf of our lord the king as well as on behalf of his said enemy, to negotiate a final peace between them. And how our said lord the king had sent certain messages to learn the will of our holy father the pope concerning certain preliminary negotiations touching the peace treaty as well as the sending of more important messages and other cases to the said court, around the feast of Saint Andrew last, in hope of having had an answer to the same messages in his last parliament held at Westminster, and he has not received any certainty concerning these messages and their result. And because our lord the king intended to have certain news of the said messages and their result on this day; and also because many things are notably worthy of attention, which according to the form of the said truces are still to be fulfilled in favour of our lord the king and his faithful and allies, and have not been accomplished as a result of the malice of the opposing party. And also, because the said enemy, contrary to the good faith promised on his part concerning peace, caused a very great multitude of men-at-arms and others to be arrayed in ships and galleys, more powerfully than has previously been dared, to enter the realm of England and, as much as possible, to destroy and lay waste to the said realm and to our lord the king and his liegemen, as more fully appears by the things which the said enemy has declared and does declare from day to day.
3. L'autre cause est de la pees d'Engleterre: coment et en quele manere ele se purra mieltz garder. Et sur ce fu comandez as chivalers des countees et autres des communes q'ils se deveroient treer ensemble et prendre bon avis qe pur contrestere la malice du dit adversaire, et pur sauvacion de nostre seignur le roi, et de son roialme d'Engleterre, coment nostre seignur le roi purra estre eidez a plus grant profit de lui, et meindre charge de son people. Et de ce q'ils ent sentirent le [col. b] deveroient monstrer a nostre seignur le roi et a les grantz de son conseil. 3. The other reason is concerns the peace of England: how and in what manner it could best be kept. And thereon the knights of the shires and others of the commons were ordered to gather together and take good advice concerning how to withstand the malice of the said enemy, and how our lord the king could best be aided for the salvation of our lord the king and of his realm of England, to his greatest profit and to the least burden of his people. And they [col. b] should declare it to our lord the king and to the great men of his council.
Les queux chivalers et autres des communes, eu ent avisement de jour en autre, au darrein donerent lour respons en la manere qe s'ensuyt: The knights and others of the commons, having had counsel thereon from day to day, at last gave their answer in the manner that follows:
La grante faite par la commune. The grant made by the commons.
4. A lour treshonurable et tresredoutez seignur lige; monstre sa povere commune qe come a son drein parlement il envoia ses nobles countes de Lancastr' et de Norhampton', et autres grantz, de nuncier a sa dite commune qe sa volente ne feust a riens prendre de eux, ne sa commune charger. Queux choses la dite commune ad monstrez par tote la terre, pur quele demonstrance la dite commune mercient a lour dit lige seignur en quant q'ils scievent et poent, et prient pur lui nuyt et jour. Et ore a cest present parlement, pur noveles qe sont venuz, nostre dit seignur demande un trope grant charge de sa povere commune. Pleise a sa noblesce et < sa > treshaute seignurie d'entendre les meschiefs et charges qe sont et pendent sur sa dite commune; c'estassaver, le renable eide qe feust pardonez par estatut, l'an qatorzisme, dount chescun fee est chargez de .xl. s. saunz graunt de la commune, ou, par estatut, le fee serroit chargez forsqe de .xx. s. la quele charge est levez de la povere commune; et les quinzismes des communes, dismes des citees et burghs, gentz d'armes, hobelours, archers, prises des vitailles nient paiez, garde de meer; et auxint de la subside des leines, qe amont par an a .lx. milleli. par quoi chescun sac de leine, q'est le tresor de vostre terre, est vendue meins de la value de .xl. s.; et les .xx. mille sacs de leines d'aprest, qe amontent a grante somme; et par le lever des dites leines par ceux queux les marchantz qe les ount achatez a ce eslurent, par diverses extorsions, c'estassaver, par trier et refuis faire des bones leines, fauxe et outrageouse poys et autres grevances, a trope grante destruccion de vostre people, et dount a regard nostre seignur le roi ad poi d'avantage, des queux grevances si nostre seignur le roi eust pleine conissance trope grante pitee en avereit; et auxint par le restreindre de passage des autres leines tanqe les leines le roi furent passez, par quele restreindre vostre dite commune ne poaint vendre le remenant de lour leines a peyne pur la moite de la verroie value. Dount ils sont si grantment empoveriz et abessez par les charges avantdites, et deinz < si > brief temps sur eux levez et a lever, et < chers annez, > issint qe a grante peine vostre dite commune poet ascun charge porter ou endurer. Nient meyns, par issint qe l'eide ore a granter par sa dite commune ne soit en nulle manere tournez en leines, ne d'aprest n'en value, n'en autre manere soit levez ne plus hastiement q'en la fourme qe ele serra grantez, et qe eyres des justices en le meen temps, sibien des foreste come des communes pleez et generals enquerrez, [p. ii-201][col. a] par tote la terre cessent; si la qe l'eide serra levez et qe le subside grantez de .xl. s. de chescun sac de leine apres les trois aunz finez, qe serra ore a la Seint Michel proschein avenir, cesse, et qe desore en avant nulle tiele graunte se face par les marchantz, desicome ce est soulement en grevance et charge de la commune et nounpas des marchantz qi achatent de tant les leines au meyns. Et auxint, qe desore nulle imposicion, taillage ne charge, d'aprest n'en autre quecumqe manere, soit mys par le prive conseil nostre seignur le roi saunz lour grante et assent en parlement. Et auxint qe deux prelatz, deux seigneurs, deux justices, en cest present parlement soient assignez d'oier et esploiter totes les peticions autrefoitz au darrein parlement mys avant par la commune, qe ne furent pas adonqes responduz, et ovesqe ce les peticions ore a mettre, en la presence de quatre ou sys de la commune par eux eslutz a ce faire et pursuire, issint qe les dites peticions soient responduz en resoun a ce present parlement, et ceux qe furent adonqes responduz au plein, estoisent les respons en lour force saunz estre chaungez. Et auxi qe les marchantz qi malement ount desceuz nostre seignur le roi, et fait extorsion a son people endroit de les .xx. mille sacs de leines d'aprest, grantez par la commune a nostre dit seignur, soient mys en respons devant justices eantz poair d'oier et terminer par totes les countees d'Engleterre, et qe nulle relesse ou chartre de pardoun lour soit allowez. Et qe les ditz justices enquergent de fauxe monoie qe destruit le poeple. Et qe David de Bruys, William Douglas et les autres cheveteyns d'Escoce, en nulle manere soient delivers ni par raunceon ne sur lour foi. Et auxi qe nostre seignur le roi face restor a la commune de les .xx. mille sacs des leines autrefoitz pris de la commune < d'aprest. > Et qe eide a la fille nostre seignur le roi marier cesse en le meen temps. Et qe nulle mareschalcie soit en Engleterre sauve la mareschalcie nostre seignur le roi ou del gardein d'Engleterre quant nostre seignur le roi serra [col. b] hors d'Engleterre, sur cestes condicions desus nomez, et autrement nient. Et auxi, par issint qe les dites condicions soient entrez en roule du parlement, come chose de record, par quoi ils purront avoir remeide, si rien soit attemptez au contraire en temps avenir. Si grante la dite povere commune, a lour trope grante meschief, a nostre seignur le roi trois quinzismes, a lever par trois aunz comenceant a la Seint Michel proschein avenir; issint qe chescun an des trois aunz une quinzisme et nul plus soit levee, as deux termes del an, a la Seint Michel et Pask par oweles porcions. Et qe ceste eide soit assignez et sauvez soulement pur la guerre nostre seignur le roi, et ne soit en nulle manere assigne pur aunciens dettes. Et auxi, si, par la grace de Dieu, pees ou longe trewe se face en le meen temps, qe la quinzisme del darrein an des trois aunz ne soit pas levee; mes de celle quinzisme ce graunt de tut perde sa force. Et qe de cestes condicions et la manere de ceste graunte, solent faites patentes souz le grant seal as touz les countees d'Engleterre, saunz rien ent paier. Et qe les dites patentes facent mencion de la grante necessite nostre seignur le roi q'est avenuz puis le drein parlement. Et auxint, en cas qe la guerre se face devers les parties d'Escoce, qe l'eide grantez de la Trente soit tournez en profit de celle guerre et en defens de celles parties come avant ces heures ad este fait. 4. To their most honourable and most dread liege lord; his poor commons declare that whereas at his last parliament he sent his noble earls of Lancaster and of Northampton and other great men to inform his said commons that it was not his will to take anything from them or to charge his commonalty, (fn. ii-200-14-1) which things the said commons have declared throughout the land, the said commons thank their said liege lord for this demonstration as much as they know and are able, and they pray for him night and day. And now at this present parliament, as a result of news which has come, our said lord demands a very great charge from his poor commonalty. May it please his nobility and his highest lordship to consider the misfortunes and burdens of his said commons; that is to say, the rightful aid which was pardoned by statute in the fourteenth year, from which each fee was charged 40s. without the grant of the commons, where, by statute, the fee charged should be only 20s., which charge is levied from the poor commons; and the fifteenths from the commonalty, the tenths from the cities and boroughs, men-at-arms, hobelars, archers, unpaid prises of victuals; the keeping of the sea; and also of the subsidy of wool which amounts to £60,000 yearly, by which each sack of wool, which is the treasure of your realm, is sold for less than the value of 40s.; ad the 20,000 sacks of wool on loan, which amount to a great sum; and by the levy of the said wool by those whom the merchants who have bought it choose for this, by various extortions, that is to say, by testing and refusing good wool, by false and outrageous weights and other grievances, to the very great destruction of your people, and of which our lord the king has little advantage, and if our lord the king had full knowledge of such grievances, he would have very great pity; and also by the restriction of the export of other wool until the king's wool is exported, by which restriction your said commonalty can sell the remainder of their wool only with difficulty for half of its true value. As a result of which they are so greatly impoverished and diminished by the aforesaid charges, levied and to be levied on them in so short a time, and every year, that your said commonalty can only bear or endure another charge with great pain. Nevertheless, [they are willing to make a grant, on the following conditions:] that the aid now to be granted by his said commonalty should not in any manner be applied to wool, neither on loan nor in value, or levied in any other manner or more hastily than in the form in which it is granted; that in the meantime eyres of justices, of forests as well as of common pleas and general inquiries, [p. ii-201][col. a] should cease throughout the land until the aid is levied; that after the subsidy of 40s. on each sack of wool granted for three years from Michaelmas next coming has ended, no such grant should henceforth be made by the merchants, since it is only to the grievance and burden of the commonalty and not of the merchants who buy as much wool for less; that henceforth no imposition, tallage or charge on loan, or in other manner whatsoever, should be made by our lord the king's privy council without their grant and assent in parliament; that two prelates, two lords and two justices should be assigned in this present parliament to hear and expedite all the petitions previously put forward by the commons at the last parliament, which were not then answered, and also the petitions now to be put forward, in the presence of four or six of the commons chosen by them to do and expedite this business, so that the said petitions are lawfully answered at this present parliament, and concerning those which have already been fully answered, the answers should remain in their force without being changed; that the merchants who have evilly deceived our lord the king, and extorted his people as regards the 20,000 sacks of wool as a loan, granted by the commonalty to our said lord, should be brought to answer before justices who have power to hear and determine throughout all the counties of England, and they should be allowed no release or charter of pardon; that the said justices should inquire into false money which destroys the people; that David Bruce, William Douglas and the other Scottish leaders should not be set free in any manner, either by ransom or on their oath; that our lord the king should restore to the commonalty the 20,000 sacks of wool previously taken from the commonalty as a loan; that the aid for the marriage of our lord the king's daughter should cease in the meantime; that there should be no marshalsea in England except the marshalsea of our lord the king or of the keeper of England when our lord the king is [col. b] out of England, on the conditions named below, and not otherwise; and also that the said conditions should be entered on the parliament roll as a matter of record, by which the commonalty could have remedy, if anything is attempted to the contrary in times to come. Thus, the said poor commons, to their very great misfortune, grant our lord the king three fifteenths, to be levied for three years beginning at Michaelmas next; so that in each year of the three years one fifteenth and no more should be levied at two terms of the year, Michaelmas and Easter, by equal portions. And this aid should be assigned and reserved only for our lord the king's war, and should not in any manner be assigned for ancient debts. And also, if, by the grace of God, peace or a long truce is made in the meantime, the fifteenth of the last of the three years should not be levied; but in relation to this fifteenth, the grant should lose its force completely. And letters patent of these conditions and the manner of this grant should be made under the great seal to all the counties of England, without paying anything. And the said letters patent should mention our lord the king's great need which has arisen since the last parliament. And also, in the event that war is waged against Scotland, the aid granted beyond the Trent should be turned to the benefit of this war and in defence of these parts as has been done previously.
Et puis fu dit as dites communes qe touz les singulers persones qe vourroient liverer peticions en ce parlement les ferroient liverer au chanceller. Et qe les peticions touchantes les communes ferroient liverer au clerc du parlement. And then the said commons were told that all the individuals who would deliver petitions in this parliament should deliver them to the chancellor. And the petitions concerning the commons should be delivered to the clerk of the parliament.
Les queux communes liverent lour peticions au dit clerc en la manere qe s'ensuyt: The commons delivered their petitions to the said clerk in the manner that follows:
[memb. 2]
[col. a]
5. I. La commune de sa terre mercie molt a lour seignur lige de ce qe lui pleist entendre si bonement lour meschiefs et lour grant poverte, et dont de sa tresgraciouse seignurie q'il ad si grant compassion. Et porce q'il enbosoigne qe nostre seignur le roi soit eaidez a ceste foith, qe lui pleise, en profit de lui meismes et a ese et a relevement des qoers de sa dite povere commune, comander qe les vintz mille sakes des leynes, qe autre foith furent levez de la dite commune d'aprest, et dont nostre seignur le roi par les faux jettes des marchantz n'est pas servy de la tierce partie du profit, coment q'ils eient levez molt pluis de la dite commune par lour sutilte, et, estre ce, destourbez la vent del remenant des leynes d'Engleterre, soit enquis a pluis en hast come purra par toutes les countees d'Engleterre, par justices a eslire en cest present parlement par la dite commune; issint q'ils eient power a oiere et terminere, et qe ceste chose soit enquis et terminez devant qe nul autre eaide a grauntier soit levez. Et qe si nule relees ou autre faite d'acquitance soit fait a ascun des ditz marchantz par nostre seignur le roi, soit repelle. [I. Inquiries into forced loan of wool.]
5. I. The commons of his land greatly thank their liege lord because it pleased him to recognise so willingly their misfortunes and their great poverty, for which, of his most gracious lordship, he has such great compassion. And because it is necessary for our lord the king to be aided at this time, may it please him, to his own profit and to the ease and aid of the hearts of his said poor commonalty, to order that the 20,000 sacks of wool which previously were levied from the said commonalty as a loan, and with one third of which profit our lord the king was not provided, as a result of the false actions of merchants who have levied much more from the said commonalty by their trickery and, in addition to this, disturbed the sale of the remainder of the wool from England, should be inquired into as quickly as possible throughout all the counties of England, by justices to be chosen in this present parliament by the said commonalty; so that they should have power to hear and determine, and this thing should be inquired into and determined before any other aid to be granted is levied. And if any release or other deed of acquittance is made to any of the said merchants by our lord the king, it should be repealed.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
A ceste article fu respondez au drain parlement. (fn. ii-200-25-1) Et < pur > ce comandez est qe les choses contenuz en meisme l'article soient executz. This article was answered at the last parliament. (fn. ii-200-25-1) And therefore it was ordered that the things contained in the same article should be executed.
6. II. Item, prie la dite commune: qe come notoriment soit conuz par touz les countees d'Engleterre qe robeours, larons et autres mesfesours a pee et a chival vont et chivachent a grant route par tote la terre en diverses lieus, et font larcines et roberies; qe pleise a nostre seignur le roi charger les grantz de la terre qe nul tiel soit meyntenuz par eux, en prive n'en apert, mes [col. b] q'ils soient en eaide de arester et prendre tiels malveyses. Et outre ce, soient ore en ce parlement deux des grantz, les chivalers de chescun countee et deux hommes de ley esluz, qi eient commission d'oier et terminer, et q'ils soient jurrez a ce parlement de ceste chose loialment oier et terminer et enquere, a meyns trois foith par an, et qe certeyne fee lour soit ordinez des issues avenantz par vertue de lours commissions. Et qe mesmes les justices enquergent de la fauxe monoye, et qe la bone monoye ne soit en nule manere chaunge. [II. Maintenance by great men of the realm.]
6. II. Also, the said commons pray: that whereas it is notoriously known throughout the counties of England that robbers, thieves and other criminals travel and ride on foot and horse in rapid succession through all the land in various places, and commit thefts and robberies; may it please our lord the king to charge the great men of the land to maintain no such men, privately or publicly, but [col. b] that they should help to arrest and capture such evil people. And further, now in this parliament two great men, the knights from each county and two men of law should be chosen, and they should have a commission to hear and determine, and should swear at this parliament to hear, determine and inquire into this matter lawfully, at least three times a year, and a certain fee should be ordained for them from the issues arising by virtue of their commissions. And the same justices should inquire into false money, and good money should not be changed in any manner.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Respounduz est au drein parlement. (fn. ii-200-30-1) This was answered at the last parliament. (fn. ii-200-30-1)
7. III. Item, prie la dite commune: qe touz les autres peticions autre foith mys avant a drein parlement soient esploitez, et respounduz en lour nature a ce parlement sanz pluis longe deley, et pur commune profit de nostre seignur le roi et de la commune. Sire, s'il vous plest, qe ceo est fait ou parlez en avantage de vostre dite povre commune especialement tournera en vostre profit plus avant qe nul autre chose. [III. Answering of petitions.]
7. III. Also, the said commons pray: that all the other petitions previously put forward at the last parliament should be expedited and appropriately answered at this parliament without further delay, for the common profit of our lord the king and of the commonalty. Lord, if it pleases you, what is done or discussed for the advantage of your said poor commonalty will turn to your profit especially more than any other thing.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
La brevetee du temps ne soeffre mie qe ceste chose soit esploitez devant la Pasche. Et pur ce il plest au roi q'il soit esploitez tantost apres la Pasche. The shortness of time does not allow this thing to be expedited before Easter. And therefore it pleases the king that it should be expedited immediately after Easter.
8. IIII. Item, qe passage des leynes et des autres marchandises soient overtes sanz faire aprestes outre la custume a les marchauntz qe ount les custumes du roi pur un certeyn, le quele aprest tourne tot a profit les ditz marchantz, et outrageouse < grevance et > meschief de vostre commune. [IIII. Freedom to export goods.]
8. IIII. Also, that the export of wool and of other merchandises should be open without loans being made in addition to the custom to the merchants who have the king's customs for a certain term, which loan turns completely to the profit of the said merchants, and to the outrageous grievance and misfortune of your commonalty.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Soit le passage overt, et qe chescun passe franchement, sauvant au roi ce qe lui est due. The export should be open, and each person should export freely, saving to the king that which is due to him.
[p. ii-202]
[col. a]
9. V. Item, prie la commune: qe nul eyre des forestes le roi ne de la roigne ne de prince soit duraunt la guerre, ne autres eyres n'enquerrez, forsqe justice de la pees en chescun pays, de meisme < le pays, > d'oyer et terminer come au drein parlement estoit priez. (fn. ii-200-42-1) [V. Remission from the eyre.]
9. V. Also, the commons pray: that there should be no eyre of the forests of the king, the queen or the prince during the war, or other eyres or inquiries, except the justice of the peace in each region, from the said region, to hear and determine as was requested at the last parliament. (fn. ii-200-42-1)
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Soit par les grantz monstrez au roi, et le roi ent dirra sa volentee ce qe lui plerra faire de sa grace. It should be declared to the king by the great men, and the king will speak his will concerning what it will please him to do of his grace.
10. VI. Item, prie la commune: qe les cheveteyns d'Escoce qe sont en la garde nostre seignur le roi ne soient en nul manere deliveres, a damage de lui ne de son people. [VI. Scottish prisoners.]
10. VI. Also, the commons pray: that the leaders of Scotland who are in the custody of our lord the king should not be set free in any manner, to the damage of him or of his people.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Respounduz est au darrein parlement. (fn. ii-200-50-1) This was answered at the last parliament. (fn. ii-200-50-1)
11. VII. Item, prie la commune: qe si la guerre se teigne parentre nostre seignur le roi et ses enemyes d'Escoce, qe ce qe serra graunte et leve par dela Trent soit assigne et despenduz en la guerre susdite. [VII. Reservation of northern subsidies.]
11. VII. Also, the commons pray: that if the war lasts between our lord the king and his Scottish enemies, what is granted and levied beyond the Trent should be assigned and expended on the aforesaid war.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Si guerre soit devers celles parties, le roi ymettra ce la, et pluis s'il busoignera. If there should be war in those parts, the king will spend it there, and more if necessary.
12. VIII. Item, prie la commune: qe nul appel soit resceu de nul appellour des felonies faites hors del counte ou il est pris et emprisonez, mes des felonies faitz dedeinz meisme le counte soulement, sauf la fraunchise de Loundres. [VIII. Appeals of felonies.]
12. VIII. Also, the commons pray: that no appeal should be received from any appellor concerning felonies committed outside the county where he is taken and imprisoned, but only concerning felonies committed within the same county, with the exception of the franchise of London.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Il serroit affaire novelle ley, dont le roi n'est pas avys unqore. A new law will be made, of which the king is not yet advised.
13. IX. Item, prie la commune: qe come vostre estaple des leyns tenuz a Brugges en Flandres, qe de tot temps ad este franche qe totes maners des marchantz, Lumbards et autres, purroient leins au dit estaple fraunchement achatre et d'illoeqes par meer et par terre ou ils voleient amener, la quele fraunchise nadgairs fust restreint par les gentz de Flaundres qe nul marchaunt estraunge purreit leines achatre en le dit estaple ne d'illoeqes par meere ne par terre amener; la quele restreinte a pursuite de voz marchantz estoit ostiez et par les ditz gentz de Flaundres en la dite ville de Brugges crie, et ovesqe lour seyn, sovez qe totes maners des marchantz, Lumbards et autres, purroient leines achatre saunz destourbaunce, et hors du pays de Flaundres par meer et par terre amenere durant les trewes. La quele graunt estoit adonqes certifiez as grantz et communes de ceste terre. Puis quele temps les dites < communes > biaunz meillour deliveraunce de lour leins avoir, ount maundez en mayns des marchandes en pays de Flaundres grauntz summes des leynes. Et ore de novele, les ditz gentz de Flaundres pur lour singuler profit nient eaunt regarde as grauntz partes et damage de vostre commune d'Engleterre, coment qe par paroles veines et frivoles ount grauntez as marchauntz tenantz l'estaple en la ville susdite, q'ils tendront la crie susdite; nientmeyns les gentz de Flaundres ont comandez as touz marchantz estranges, Lumbardes et autres, sur peyne de < parte de > lour vies ou d'estre banniz hors du pays de Flaundres, q'ils n'achatent leynes des marchantz del estaple, a graunt abesement du pris de leynes et arerissement des grauntz et communes de ceste terre. Et ore avons entenduz qe messages du dit pays de Flaundres sont venuz a pursure diverses busoignes devers vous, tresdoutez seignur. Q'il vous pleise qe ceste meschief, perte et damage des grantz et de voz communes lour soit monstrez en ceste presente parlement, et qe par avis des grauntz et de voz communes remedie poet estre mys en ceste busoigne. [IX. Wool staple.]
13. IX. Also, the commons pray: that whereas your staple of wool held at Bruges in Flanders, which has always been free so that all manner of merchants, Lombards and others, could buy wool at the said staple freely and carry it by sea and by land wherever they wished, which franchise formerly was restricted by the people of Flanders so that no foreign merchant could buy wool in the said staple or carry it by sea or buy land; this restriction was removed at the suit of your merchants and proclaimed in the said town of Bruges with their bells by the said people of Flanders, so that all manner of merchants, Lombards and others, could buy wool without disturbance and carry it out of the country of Flanders by sea and by land during the truces. This grant was then verified to the great men and commonalty of this land. Since which time the said commons, having the expectation of the better delivery of their wool, have sent great amounts of wool into the hands of merchants in the country of Flanders. And recently, the said people of Flanders, for their private profit, having no regard for the interests and damage of your commonalty of England, by empty and frivolous words have granted to the merchants holding the staple in the aforesaid town that they would uphold the aforesaid proclamation; nevertheless the people of Flanders have ordered all foreign merchants, Lombards and others, not to buy wool from merchants of the staple on penalty of part of their lives or of being banished from the country of Flanders, to the great abasement of the price of wool and to the detriment of the great men and commonalty of this land. And now we have understood that messengers from the said country of Flanders have arrived to pursue various business with you, most dread lord. May it please you that this misfortune, loss and damage of the great men and your commonalty should be declared to them in this present parliament and that, by the advice of the great men and of your commonalty, remedy should be provided in this matter.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Le roi voet qe homme parle as messages de Flaundres sur les choses contenues en ceste peticion pur remede aver. Et nient meyns, le roi mandera ses lettres a les bones villes de Flaundres pur meisme la busoigne. The king wills that someone should speak to the messengers from Flanders about the things contained in this petition in order to have remedy. And nevertheless, the king will send his letters to the good towns of Flanders concerning the same business.
[col. b]
14. X. Item, prie la commune de vostre terre: qe les enquerres de noefismes cessent desore par tut, et qe les deners grauntez en ceste parlement soient despenduz sur la guerre, et nemy mys en autre oeps. [X. Inquiries into the ninth; reservation of supplies for war.]
14. X. Also, the commons of your land pray: that the inquiries into ninths should cease completely henceforth, and that the money granted in this parliament should be expended on the war, and not on other things.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Le roi s'avisera ce q'il purra faire pur eese de son poeple, sauvant son droit. The king will consider further what can be done for the ease of his people, saving his right.
15. XI. Item, prie la commune: qe come puis le drein parlement par vostre counseil estoit ordinez qe chescun homme passaunt la meer ove leines reportereit a vostre tour de Loundres deux marcz de plat d'argent a chescun sak de leine, et a ce serroit obligez par bone seurte en le double, (fn. ii-200-72-1) pur quele charge marchauntz n'osent achatre leines par cause q'ils ne poount plat d'argent en les parties de dela trover; et sur ce les gentz de Flaundres ont defenduz qe nul plat passe hors du pays, sur peyne de forfaiture de meisme le plat, a grant meschief et damage de vostre commune. Qe lui pleise cel charge ouster, et comander a chaunceller, de faire briefs as custumers des leines, de cele charge cesser, et les seurtees par cele cause faitz a les obligez rebailler. [XI. Repeal of bullion regulations.]
15. XI. Also, the commons pray: that whereas since the last parliament your council ordained that each man crossing the sea with wool should bring back to your Tower of London 2 marks of silver plate for each sack of wool, and that he would be bound to do this by twice the amount in good security, (fn. ii-200-72-1) as a result of which charge merchants do not dare to buy wool because they cannot find silver plate overseas; and thereon the people of Flanders have forbidden any plate to leave the country, on penalty of forfeiture of the same plate, to the great misfortune and damage of your commonalty. May it please him to remove this charge, and to command the chancellor to make writs to the customs officials of wool to cease this charge, and to give back the securities made to those who were bound for this reason.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Au drein parlement estoit ordenez qe de chescun sac de leine qe passeroit, les marchantz reporteront plate d'argent a la mountance de deux marcz, sur certeigne payne ordeignez a meisme le parlement, pur replener la terre de monoie. Par quoi le roi fra parler as messages de Flaundres, q'il soeffront la plat venir en Engleterre saunz destourbance, solonc l'ordenance susdite. At the last parliament it was ordained that the merchants should bring back silver plate to the value of 2 marks for each sack of wool which would cross, on a certain penalty ordained at the same parliament, to replenish the land with money. Wherefore the king will tell the messengers from Flanders that they should allow the plate to come into England without disturbance, according to the aforesaid ordinance.
16. XII. Item, prie la commune: qe briefs soient faitz as custumers des leines, de cesser de les deux soulz a sac ore a ceste Pasche, come feust grauntez a vostre drein parlement, sanz ce qe par procurement de nul certein marchaunt plus longement soit continuez. [XII. Repeal of additional subsidy on wool.]
16. XII. Also, the commons pray: that writs should be made to the customs officials of wool to cease the 2s. for each sack now at this Easter, as was granted at your last parliament, without it being continued for any longer by the procurement of any particular merchant.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Cesse a la Pask, come autre foitz fu acordez au darrein parlement. (fn. ii-200-80-1) It should cease at Easter, as was previously agreed at the last parliament. (fn. ii-200-80-1)
17. XIII. Item, prie la commune: qe come ascune soit assigne par commission d'ascune chose acomptable faire, ils sont demandez en l'escheqer, et sont mises as issues devant qe eux soient garniz, a grant perde de eux, encountre reson. Par quey prie la dite commune qe par estatut ceste ley soit amendez. [XIII. Obligation to account at the exchequer.]
17. XIII. Also, the commons pray: that when someone is assigned by commission to do something for which an account must be made, they are summoned to the exchequer and submitted for decision before they are garnished, to their great loss, contrary to reason. Wherefore the said commons pray that this law should be amended by statute.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Soit le proces fait en tieu cas adeprimes par le venire facias, et puis par le distringas; et sur ce soit brief mandez hors de la chauncellerie as tresorer et barons. The process in such cases should first be made by venire facias, and then by the distringas; and a writ should be sent thereon from the chancery to the treasurer and barons.
18. XIIII. Item, prie la commune: q'endroit de la bille de neifte qe au preschein parlement fuist mys avant, (fn. ii-200-87-1) la commune ley se tiegne, sanz ce qe par suyte d'ascune singulere persone soit chaungez, en destruccion de vostre dite commune. [XIIII. Exception of villeinage.]
18. XIIII. Also, the commons pray: that as regards the bill of neifty which was put forward at the last parliament, (fn. ii-200-87-1) the common law should be upheld, without being changed at the suit of any individual person, in destruction of your said commonalty.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Il est acordez qe ceste busoigne attende tanqe le conseil le roi soit ent meutz avisez. It is agreed that this matter should wait until the king's council is better advised thereon.
19. XV. Item, prie la commune: qe les commissions de generals enquerrez, et totes maners des eyrs des justices, cessent de tut durant les trois aunz, tanqe l'eide a vous a ceste parlement grauntez soit levez. [XV. Remission from general inquiries.]
19. XV. Also, the commons pray: that the commissions of general inquiries, and all manner of eyres of justices, should cease completely during the three years, until the aid granted to you at this parliament is levied.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Il semble au conseil qe tieux enquerrez cessent en eese du poeple s'il plest au roi, si sodeigne necessite ne surviegne. It seems to the council that such inquiries should cease in ease of the people if it pleases the king, unless sudden need arises.
20. XVI. Item, porceqe plusours sont desheritez par nouncleim eyent ils ja si bone droit, et nomement ceux qe ne sont mye apris de la ley, si prie la dite commune qe nouncleym soit anienty et defaite outrement. [XVI. Non-claim.]
20. XVI. Also, because many people, especially those who are not learned in the law, are disinherited by non-claim although they have such good right, the said commons pray that non-claim should be annulled and otherwise cancelled.
[p. ii-203]
[col. a]
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Il serroit affaire novelle lei, queu chose ne se purra faire a ore pur briefte de temps. A new law will be made, which thing cannot be done now due to the shortness of time.
21. XVII. Item, prie la commune: qe quant homme est atteint a suyte de partie pur trespas faite encountre la pees, et le trespasour pris et en garde des mareschals, et les mareschals le lessent a meynprise ou aler a large; q'ils soient chargez des damages avantditz. [XVII. Liability for damages.]
21. XVII. Also, the commons pray: that when a man is attainted at the suit of the party for a trespass committed against the peace, and the trespasser is taken into the custody of marshals, and the marshals grant him bail or to go free, they should be charged with the aforesaid damages.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Affaire issue de ceste article en la manere come ils prient, ce serroit a faire novelle lei, queu chose le roi n'est pas avisez de faire unqore. A solution will be made concerning this article in the manner they request, but this requires that a new law will be made, which thing the king is not yet minded to do.
22. XVIII. Item, prie la dite commune: < qe en > chescun enquest jurre, et grant assise, les jurrours puissent dire la verite du faite si veullent come en assise de novele disseisine. [XVIII. Jurors on inquests and the grand assize.]
22. XVIII. Also, the said commons pray: that in each sworn inquest and grand assize the jurors might speak the truth of the deed if they wish, as in an assize of novel disseisin.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Soit tenuz la lei q'ad estez usez en ce cas cea en arere. The law which has been used previously in this case should be upheld.
23. XIX. Item, prie la dite commune: qe come les purveours le roi pur ces vitailles parnent de sa povere commune .xij. bussels de chescun manere blee pur .viij. [d.] et le vendont a lour profit et a lour oeps demesne; et parnont argent de sa povere commune a desporter les uns et grever les autres, a grant destruccion de sa povere commune. Qe pleise a sa bone seignurie comander sa commission a deux bones gentz de counte ou tiels prises serront faitz, de prendre les vitailles et les liverer au purveour le roi par endenture. [XIX. Supervision of purveyance.]
23. XIX. Also, the said commons pray: that whereas the king's purveyors of victuals take from his poor commonalty 12 bushels of each type of corn for 8d., and sell it to their profit and own use; they take silver from his poor commonalty to deprive some and aggrieve others, to the great destruction of his poor commonalty. May it please his good lordship to order his commission to two good people of the county where such prises will be made to take the victuals and deliver them to the king's purveyor by indenture.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Il semble au conseil qe la lei autrefoitz ordeinez doit suffire. It seems to the council that the law previously ordained should suffice.
24. XX. Item, prie la commune: qe nul qe soit venuz par somouns a ceste < present > parlement par brief ne soit fait taxour ne cullour ne resceivour de ceste quinzisme trienale a vous grantez, a ore eaunt regarde a lour grant travaille a ses deux parlementz, desicome ils sont autres assetz par my la terre, et sufficeauntz. [XX. Release of members of the commons from service as tax-collectors.]
24. XX. Also, the commons pray: that anyone who has come by summons to this present parliament by writ should not be made a taxer, collector or receiver of this triennial fifteenth granted to you, now having regard for their great labours at his two parliaments, inasmuch as they are many other sufficient people throughout the land.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Le roi assignera bones gentz et loiax a ce faire quant a lui plerra. (fn. ii-200-120-1) The king will assign good and loyal people to do this as he pleases. (fn. ii-200-120-1)
[memb. 3]
25. XXI. Item, prie la commune: qe les jugmentz renduz en l'escheqer erroinment, puissont estre reverses en baunk le roi, come les jugmentz renduz en commune baunk, purce qe il n'est my semblable a verite qe un homme reversera une jugement encontre sa opinyon demesne. [XXI. Appeals on judgments in the exchequer.]
25. XXI. Also, the commons pray: that the judgments erroneously returned in the exchequer might be reversed in the king's bench, as are the judgments returned in the common bench, since it is unlikely that a man should take against his own opinion.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Ceste article est responduz au drein parlement. (fn. ii-200-125-1) This article was answered at the last parliament. (fn. ii-200-125-1)
26. XXII. Item, qe les gentz du countez de Cornewaille et Devenshire puissont vendre lour esteime a touz qe le volent achatre, sanz estre restreint par monsir le prince, come il ount fait de tout temps. [XXII. Sale of tin in Cornwall and Devon.]
26. XXII. Also, that the people of the counties of Cornwall and Devon should be able to sell their tin to all who would buy it, without being restricted by my lord the prince, as they have always done.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Responduz est au drein parlement. (fn. ii-200-130-1) This was answered at the last parliament. (fn. ii-200-130-1)
27. XXIII. A nostre seignur le roi; prie la commune de son roialme d'Engleterre: qe come ils eyent siwyz vers nostre dit seignur en son drein parlement, par lour peticions en cestes paroles, 'A nostre seignur le roi; prie la commune: qe come le roi Edward, aiel nostre seignur le roi q'ore est, jadis graunta a son poeple le poralee par totes les forestes d'Engleterre, et granta ses chartres a touz qe avoir les vorroient, comparnantz les boundes des dites forestes solonc la dite poralee, et puis le roi Edward, pier nostre seignur le roi q'ore est, par sa chartre meismes les choses ratifia et conferma; la quele chose ad este continuez tantqe ore tart, qe les ministres nostre dit seignur le roi, de sa malice, ount afforestez et s'afforcent de jour en autre d'enforester ce qe fuist desaforestez, et mettent en regard ce qe fuist hors de regard, [col. b] countre la poralee et chartres des rois susditz. Et auxint les ditz ministres font somondre mesne gent des foreynes lieux pur enditre la gent a lour volunte; et les fount travailler de lieu en lieu, et les manacent tantqe ils eyent fait enditementz a lour ordenaunce et desir. Et auxint les ditz ministres chivachent, et purposent < deaforester > villes costeines as forestes, la ou n'y ad beste savage a dis liwes entour, pur grever le poeple par sovent venir des foresters sanz profit faire au roi. Et auxint par la ou une foreste est en diverses countees, les ministres le roi parnent gentz del une countee et del autre a faire enditementz, et chacent par force gentz del une countee d'enditer gentz del autre counte, de quei ils ne syevent riens apres, a grant damage del poeple. Des queux grevances homme ne poet aver brief ne autre remedie en la chauncellerie. Dont la dite commune prie remedie, et qe l'estatut de la foreste soit ferement tenuz.' A quele peticioun nostre dit seignur le roi la sue mercye par avys de tut son consail respondist en ceste manere, 'Il plest a nostre seignur le roi qe la chartre de la foreste soit garde en touz pointz. Et endroit des ditz puraleez, si nul se voudra pleindre de grevance a lui faite, monstre en especialte sa grevance, et sur ce brief lui serra fait en la chauncellerie, qe droit lui soit fait.' (fn. ii-200-132-1) [XXIII. Perambulation of the forest.]
27. XXIII. To our lord the king; the commons of his realm of England pray: that whereas they sued to our said lord in his last parliament, by their petitions in these words, 'To our lord the king; the commons pray: that whereas King Edward, grandfather of our present lord the king, formerly granted to his people the perambulation through all the forests of England, and granted his charters to all who wanted them, containing the bounds of the said forest according to the said perambulation, and then King Edward, father of our present lord the king, ratified and confirmed the same things by his charter; this practice has continued until recently, when the officers of our said lord the king, of their malice, restored to forest, and from day to day strive to restore to forest, that which was deforested, and they put within the boundary that which was outside it, [col. b] contrary to the perambulation and charters of the aforesaid kings. And the said officers also cause common people from foreign places to be summoned and indict them at their will; and they cause them to travel from place to place, and pester them until they have made indictments at their order and will. And the said officers also bound and propose to restore to forest the vills bordering on the forests, where there is no game for ten leagues around, aggrieving the people by often coming with foresters without making profit for the king. And also, when a forest is in various counties, the king's officers take people from both counties to make indictments, and force people from one county to indict people from the other county, of which they later have no knowledge, to the great damage of the people; for which grievances one cannot have a writ or other remedy in the chancery. Wherefore the said commons pray remedy, and that the statute of the forest should be firmly upheld.' Our said lord the king thanked them for this petition and, by the advice of all his council, answered in this manner, 'It pleases our lord the king that the Charter of the Forest should be upheld in all points. And as regards the said perambulations, if anyone will complain of a grievance done to him, he should declare his grievance in detail, and a writ thereon will be made to him in the chancery, so that justice will be done to him.' (fn. ii-200-132-1)
28. Sur quei la commune du countee de Surr' ad, et autres communes des diverses countees d'Engleterre ont, siwyz en la chauncellerie nostre dit seignur le roi pur avoir brief des grevaunces a eux faitz par les ministres des forestes nostre dit seignur le roi contre la forme de la chartre de la foreste et le grant nostre dit seignur le roi, come desus est dit, et ne poient nul brief avoir en nulle manere, a grief damage et desheritesoun de la dite commune. Qe pleise au dit nostre seignur le roi, en oevre de charite et en salvacion de s'alme et de les almes de ses progenitours, graunter qe les puraleez de ses forestes soient tenuz par meismes les metes et boundes q'ils ount este chivachez, auxi bien en son temps come en temps de ses progenitours avantditz, et comander expressement a son chaunceller, qe briefs soient faitz as ministres de ses forestes pur touz ceux qe pleindre se voudront, auxi bien en commune come en especiale, des grevances a eux faites, contre la forme de la chartre de la foreste et des puraleez avantdites. [XXIII. Perambulation of the forest.]
28. Wherefore the commons of the county of Surrey, and other commons from various counties of England, have sued in our said lord the king's chancery to have a writ of the grievances done to them by the officers of the forests of our said lord the king, contrary to the form of the Charter of the Forest and the grant of our said lord the king, as is aforesaid, but they cannot have any writ in any manner, to the great damage and disinheritance of the said commonalty. May it please our said lord the king, in way of charity and in salvation of his soul and the souls of his progenitors, to grant that the perambulations of his forests should be held by the same borders and boundaries by which they have been bounded, in his time as well as in the times of his aforesaid progenitors, and expressly to order his chancellor to make writs to the officers of his forests for all those who will complain, in common as well as individually, of the grievances done to them contrary to the form of the Charter of the Forest and of the aforesaid perambulations.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
29. Soit l'ordenance ente faite au drein parlement tenuz, et qe briefs soient grauntez a ceux qi le voudront demander en general et especial, issint tote foitz qe droit soit fait au roi et au poeple. 29. The ordinance made thereon at the last parliament should be upheld, and writs should be granted to those who will require them in common and individually; so always that justice is done to the king and to the people.
30. XIIII. Item, prie la commune: qe les peticions liverees en le drein parlement par la dite commune, et par nostre dit seignur le roi, prelatz et grantz de la terre pleinement respondues et grantees soient tenues; et qe par nulle bille liveree en ce parlement en noun de commune ou de autri ne soient les respons avant grantez changez, qar la commune ne avowe nulle tiele bille, si ascune y soit liveree en parlement de faire le contraire. [XXIIII. Guarantee of answers previously given to petitions.]
30. XXIIII. Also, the commons pray: that the petitions delivered in the last parliament by the said commons and fully answered and granted by our said lord the king, the prelates and great men of the land should be upheld; and the answers previously granted should not be changed by any bill delivered in this parliament in the name of the commons or by anyone else, since if any such bill is delivered in parliament for doing the contrary, the commons will not acknowledge it.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Autrefoitz le roi, par avis des prelatz et grantz de la terre, fist respondre a les peticions des communes touchantes la lei de la terre, qe les leis eues et usees en temps passez, ne le proces d'icelle usez cea en arere, ne se purront changer saunz ent faire novel estatut. A queu chose faire le roi ne poait adonqes, ne unqore poet entendre, par certeines causes. Mes a plus tost q'il purra entendre, il prendra les grantz et les sages de son conseil par devers lui, et ordeignera sur cels articles et autres touchantz amendement de lei, par lour avis et conseilx, en manere qe reson et equite serront faites as touz ses liges et suggitz et a chescun de eux. Previously the king, by the advice of the prelates and great men of the land, caused the petitions of the commons concerning the law of the land to be answered, so that neither the laws upheld and observed in times past nor the process upon them used previously could be changed without making a new statute thereon. Which thing the king was then unable to do, and still cannot attend to, for certain reasons. But as soon as he can attend to it, he will bring the great and wise men of his council before him, and he will ordain on these articles and others concerning the amendment of the law by their advice and counsel, in such manner that reason and justice will be done to each and all his liege people and subjects.
[p. ii-204]
[col. a]
[memb. 2, dorse]
31. A nostre seignur le roi et son noble parlement; prient les povres gentz, overours de les draps de worstede et les marchantz d'icelles du countee de Norff': qe come nostre seignur le roi nadgairs granta a Robert de Poley, un de ses valletz, l'office de l'assai del aunage de worstedes en la citee de Norwiz et aillours en dit countee de Norff', quel un Johan Pecok l'eisne nadgairs avoit a terme de sa vie du grante le roi Edward piere nostre seignur le roi; et quel office le dit Johan, de l'assent et volente nostre dit seignur le roi et a la requeste dame Isabelle roigne d'Engleterre la miere, lessa et granta au dit Robert, a aver et tenir ove totes choses regardantes al dit office a terme de sa vie. (fn. ii-200-143-1) Nient meyns, pur ce q'il estoit monstrez expressement par les grantz de la terre, depar les avant ditz overours des ditz worstedes et marchantz d'icelles, a nostre dit seignur le roi et a son conseil, en son parlement tenuz a Westm' l'an de son regne d'Engleterre tierce, (fn. ii-200-143-2) qe la dite assai de les avantditz draps de worsted n'estoit ja usez ne acustumez en temps des progenitours nostre dit seignur le roi, et coment sibien l'avantditz overours des ditz worstedes come les marchantz d'icelles furent grantment endamagez, anientiz et empoveriz par mi l'office de l'assai avantdit grantez au dit Robert. Sur quoi diverses pleintes furent faites en dit parlement, de jour en autre, par qoi nostre dit seignur le roi, par bone deliberacion et sage avisement et en amendement, confort et eide de les avantditz overours et marchantz, par son noble conseil et commune assent de meismes les prelatz et grantz de la terre, fist repeller meisme sa grante avantdite, faite au dit Robert, del assai del aunage de les ditz worstedes susdite, et granta as avant ditz overours de les ditz worstedes, par commune assent de son dit conseil, prelatz et grantz avantditz, et par ses lettres patentes, q'ils purroient overir les avantditz draps de worstede et les vendre saunz ent estre fait assai de meisme cel temps enavant, nient contresteant la grante du dit office de nostre seignur le roi, ou de son piere avantdit, sicome piert plus au plein par les dites lettres patentes a eux ent faites. (fn. ii-200-143-3) [II. Makers and traders of worsted in Norfolk.]
31. To our lord the king and his noble parliament; the poor people, the workers of the cloths of worsted and the merchants of the same from the county of Norfolk, pray: that whereas our lord the king formerly granted to Robert Poley, one of his officials, the office of the assay of the alnage of worsteds in the city of Norwich and elsewhere in the said county of Norfolk, which one John Pecok the elder formerly had for the term of his life of the grant of King Edward, father of our lord the king; and which office the said John, of the assent and will of our said lord the king, and at the request of Lady Isabella, queen mother of England, leased and granted to the said Robert to have and hold with everything belonging to the said office for the term of his life. (fn. ii-200-143-1) Nevertheless, the great men of the land, on behalf of the aforesaid workers of the said worsteds and the merchants of the same, expressly declared to our said lord the king and his council, in his parliament held at Westminster in the third year of his reign of England [1329], (fn. ii-200-143-2) that the said assay of the aforesaid cloths of worsted had never been usual or customary in the times of our lord the king's progenitors, and how both the aforesaid workers of the said worsteds and the merchants of the same were greatly damaged, ruined and impoverished by the aforesaid office of the assay granted to the said Robert. Whereupon various complaints were made in the said parliament, from day to day, whereby our said lord the king, by good deliberation and wise advice and in amendment, comfort and aid of the aforesaid workers and merchants, by his noble council and the common assent of the same prelates and great men of the land, caused his same aforesaid grant of the aforesaid assay of the alnage of the said worsteds, made to the said Robert, to be repealed and, by the common assent of his said council, the prelates and aforesaid great men, and by his letters patent, granted the aforesaid workers of the said worsteds that they could work the aforesaid cloths of worsted and sell them without assay of the same being made henceforth, notwithstanding the grant of the said office of our lord the king, or of his aforesaid father, as more fully appears by the said letters patent made to them in this matter. (fn. ii-200-143-3)
Q'il pleise a nostre seignur le roi et a son dit parlement granter as avantditz overours et marchantz qe lour dites lettres, a eux issint grantees par le parlement susdit, soient renovellez, acceptez, ratifiez et confermez de novel. Et si nul office y soit grantez en present de novel < a nulli > de meisme l'assai de les avantditz draps de worstede en dit contee, contre l'ordinance et l'assent du dit parlement et encontre la tenour et purport de les dites lettres patentes faites as ditz overours et marchantz, q'adonqes il soit repellez et dampnez, et qe les avantditz overours et marchantz peussent desormes overir, achater et vendre les avantditz draps de worstede, saunz ent estre fait assai [col. b] en dit countee a touz jours, nient contresteant les grantes ou commissions nostre dit seignur le roi du dit office en dit countee, si nulles y soient ent faites a nulli par quecunqe manere; eantz regard qe chose q'est desclarez, grantez et terminez et faite par si bone deliberacion et sage avisement de les prelatz, countes, barons et autres grantz et sages du conseil nostre dit seignur le roi ne doit si legerement estre defait par favour de nully. [II. Makers and traders of worsted in Norfolk.]
May it please our lord the king and his said parliament to grant to the aforesaid workers and merchants that their said letters, thus granted to them by the aforesaid parliament, should be once again renewed, accepted, ratified and confirmed. And if any office of the same assay of the aforesaid cloths of worsted is now newly granted to anyone in the said county, contrary to the ordinance and the assent of the said parliament, and contrary to the tenor and purport of the said letters patent made to the said workers and merchants, then it should be repealed and annulled, and the aforesaid workers and merchants henceforth might work, buy and sell the aforesaid cloths of worsted, without assay being made thereon [col. b] in the said county forever, notwithstanding the grants or commissions of our said lord the king of the said office in the said county, if any are made thereon to anyone in any manner; considering that a thing explained, granted, determined and made by such good deliberation and the wise advice of the prelates, earls, barons and other great and wise men of our said lord the king's council should not be undone lightly in favour of anyone.
La copie de lour auncienes lettres patentes s'ensuyt: The copy of their former letters patent follow:
'Rex omnibus ad quos etc., salutem. Licet nuper concesserimus dilecto valletto nostro Roberto de Poleye officium assaie ulnagii de worstedes in civitate Norwici, et alibi in comitatu Norff', quod Johannes Pecok senior nuper habuit ad terminum vite sue ex concessione domini Edwardi nuper regis Anglie patris nostri, et quod idem Johannes de assensu et voluntate nostra pro commodo ipsius Roberti ad requisicionem Isabelle regine Anglie matris nostre carissime, dimisit, habuendum et tenendum cum omnibus ad officium illud spectantibus ad totam vitam ipsius Roberti, ita quod de forisfacturis et aliis ad nos inde spectantibus nobis responderet ad scaccarium nostrum, prout in litteris nostris patentibus inde confectis plenius continetur. Quia tamen intelleximus quod assaia hujusmodi de pannis de worstedes fieri nullatenus consuevit temporibus progenitorum nostrorum, et quod operatores pannorum illorum pretextu concessionis nostre predicte eidem Roberto de assaia predicta sic facte ab operacionibus suis se retrahunt, par quod tam ipsi quam mercatores et alii qui pannos hujusmodi emere consueverunt dampnificati sunt et depauperati, super quo diverse nobis querele per prelatos, magnates et alios de regno nostro indies diversimode deferuntur. Propter quod nos, de consilio et assensu eorumdem prelatorum et magnatum, dictam concessionem nostram prefato Roberto de assaia predicta sic factam duximus revocandam, et literas nostras predictas in cancellaria nostra per prefatum Robertum restitutas fecimus cancellari; volentes et concedentes quod omnes et singuli operatores hujusmodi pannorum de worstedes eos operentur et vendant absque assaia de pannis predictis de cetero facienda, non obstantibus concessione dicti patris nostri et nostra supradictis. In cujus rei testimonium, etc. Teste meipso apud Wyndesore, .xix. o die Julii, anno regni nostri tercio. 'The king to all those who etc., greeting. Although we formerly granted to our beloved officer Robert Poley the office of the assay of the alnage of worsteds in the city of Norwich and elsewhere in the county of Norfolk, which John Pecok the elder formerly had for the term of his life of the grant of Lord Edward, former king of England, our father, and which the same John, of our assent and will and at the request of Isabella, queen of England, our dearest mother, demised for the profit of the same Robert, to have and to hold with everything belonging to this office for the whole life of the same Robert, so that he would answer to us at our exchequer concerning forfeitures and other things belonging to us, as is more fully contained in our letters patent made thereon. Because, however, we have understood that the assay of the cloths of worsteds was never accustomed to be made in the times of our progenitors, and that the workers of those cloths withdrew themselves from their work as a result of our aforesaid grant to the same Robert of the aforesaid assay thus made, whereby both they and the merchants and others who usually buy these cloths were damaged and impoverished, whereupon various quarrels were brought to us every day in various ways by the prelates, great men and others of our realm. As a result of which, we, with the counsel and assent of the same prelates and great men, have caused our said grant of the aforesaid assay thus made to the aforesaid Robert to be revoked, and we have caused our aforesaid letters restored to our chancery by the aforesaid Robert to be cancelled; willing and granting that each and every of the workers of these cloths of worsted should work and sell them without any assay of the aforesaid cloths being made henceforth, notwithstanding the aforesaid grants of our said father and of us. In witness of which, etc. Witnessed by myself at Windsor on 19 July in the third year of our reign.
Per ipsum regem et consilium.' (fn. ii-200-150-1) By the king himself and the council.' (fn. ii-200-150-1)
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
32. Il semble au conseil q'il fait affaire, pur commune profit sibien des grantz come des petitz. (fn. ii-200-153-1) 32. It seems to the council that it should be done, for the common profit of both great and small. (fn. ii-200-153-1)

Appendix March-April 1348


Letters patent confirming the revocation (dated 19 July 1329) of a previous grant to Robert Poley, king's yeoman, of the office of the alnage of worsted cloth in Norfolk; the confirmation, dated 16 April 1348 and warranted 'by petition of parliament', arises from the petition (original not apparently extant) of the workers in worsted in Norfolk enrolled on the dorse of the parliament roll of March-April 1348 (item 31).

Source : CPR 1348-50 , 56; and cf. CPR 1327-30 , 31. For a further petition on the same matter, see SC 8/17/811, printed in full in RP , II.409; this latter document may be the petition that provoked the investigation into Poley's activities in 1328: CPR 1327-30 , 297-8.


  • f1348bint-1. RDP , IV.575-7.
  • f1348bint-2. Return of the Name of Every Member of the Lower House of Parliament 1213-1874 , 2 vols. (London, 1878), I.145-7. Only one of the proctors of the lower clergy can be identified: A.K. McHardy, 'The representation of the English lower clergy in parliament during the later fourteenth century', SCH 10 (1973), 100, n. 13.
  • f1348bint-3. K.L. Wood-Legh, 'The knights' attendance in the parliaments of Edward III', EHR 47 (132), 406, 408.
  • f1348bint-4. Knighton's Chronicle 1337-1396 , ed. G.H. Martin (Oxford, 1995), 88.
  • f1348bint-5. See Introduction to parliament of 1354.
  • f1348bint-6. G.L. Harriss, King, Parliament and Public Finance in Medieval England to 1369 (Oxford, 1975), 363-4, 365-6, 368-9, 372-3.
  • f1348bint-7. For the diplomatic and military context, see J. Sumption, The Hundred Years War , in progress (London 1990- ), II.1-50.
  • f1348bint-8. CCR 1346-9 , 511-12.
  • f1348bint-9. M. Jurkowski, C.L. Smith and D. Crook, Lay Taxes in England and Wales 1188-1688 (London, 1998), 47-8.
  • f1348bint-10. Full details of these levies are discussed by Harriss, King, Parliament , 376-465.
  • f1348bint-11. For the true value, see W.M. Ormrod, 'The English crown and the customs, 1349-63', EcHR 2nd series 40 (1987), 32-4.
  • f1348bint-12. For what follows, see Jurkowski, Smith and Crook, Lay Taxes , 50-1; W.M. Ormrod, 'The English government and the Black Death', in England in the Fourteenth Century : Proceedings of the 1985 Harlaxton Symposium , ed. W.M. Ormrod (Woodbridge, 1986), 182-5.
  • f1348bint-13. Harriss, King, Parliament , 414.
  • f1348bint-14. Harriss, King, Parliament , 454.
  • f1348bint-15. Harriss, King, Parliament , 429; W.M. Ormrod, The Reign of Edward III (London, 1990), 206.
  • f1348bint-16. Harriss, King, Parliament , 429, n. 6.
  • f1348bint-17. J.R. Maddicott, 'Parliament and the constituencies, 1272-1377', in The English Parliament in the Middle Ages , ed. R.G. Davies and J.H. Denton (Manchester, 1981), 82.
  • f1348bint-18. For the significance of this issue, see Introduction to parliament of January-February 1348.
  • f1348bint-19. For the procedural complexities involved when parliament had to take a recess over Easter and then re-convene, see Introduction to parliament of March-May 1340.
  • f1348bint-20. For the context, see T.H. Lloyd, The English Wool Trade in the Middle Ages (Cambridge, 1977), 202.
  • f1348bint-21. For context, see Ormrod, Reign of Edward III , 192.
  • f1348bint-22. A. Musson and W.M. Ormrod, The Evolution of English Justice : Law, Politics and Society in the Fourteenth Century (Basingstoke, 1999), 56.
  • f1348bint-23. For comment, see Ormrod, Reign of Edward III , 112.
  • ii-200-14-1. This matter is not recorded in the parliament roll of January-February 1348
  • ii-200-25-1. Parliament of January-February 1348, item 49
  • ii-200-30-1. Parliament of January-February 1348, item 53; and see also item 70
  • ii-200-42-1. Parliament of January-February 1348, item 70
  • ii-200-50-1. Parliament of January-February 1348, item 9
  • ii-200-72-1. CCR 1346-9 , 492
  • ii-200-80-1. Parliament of January-February 1348, item 11
  • ii-200-87-1. Parliament of January-February 1348, item 66
  • ii-200-120-1. CFR 1347-56 , 90-2
  • ii-200-125-1. Parliament of January-February 1348, item 26
  • ii-200-130-1. Parliament of January-February 1348, item 27
  • ii-200-132-1. Parliament of January-February 1348, item 40
  • ii-200-143-1. CFR 1327-37 , 32
  • ii-200-143-2. A reference to the great council summoned at Windsor on 23 July 1329: RDP , IV.390-1
  • ii-200-143-3. CFR 1327-37 , 32; CCR 1327-30 , 395-6, 483. The letters patent are transcribed below, at the end of item 31. See also Appendix no. 1
  • ii-200-150-1. This instrument is not recorded on the patent roll
  • ii-200-153-1. CPR 1348-50 , 56: see Appendix no. 1