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Edward III: May 1368

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

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In this section

1368 May

Introduction 1368

Westminster

1 - 21 May

(C 65/25. RP , II.294-298. SR , I.388-390)

The proceedings of the parliament of 1368 are contained in a single roll, C 65/25, made up of 4 membranes, each approximately 320 mm. in width, sewn together in the chancery style. The condition of the roll is good. The text, written in a small, clear chancery script, occupies the rectos of the membranes only. The lower three-quarters of membrane 4 is blank. The dorses are blank, apart from the heading, 'Rotulus parliament de anno regni regis Edwardi tercii quadragesimo secundo', at the top of membrane 1 and the bottom of membrane 4, and the later notes, 'Parlement 42 Ed. 3', where the membranes are joined. There are no marginal headings. Arabic numerals throughout the roll are later. The roll does not appear to be incomplete. It does not identify the clerk responsible for its compilation.

Writs of summons were issued on 24 February 1368 for a parliament to assemble at Westminster on 1 May. (fn. f1368int-1) The crown chose to recruit a number of new men to the ranks of the lords on this occasion: William Boteler, John Botetourt, William Botreaux, William Latimer and Luke Poynings all received their first summons to parliament in 1368. Interestingly, these were all descendants and heirs of men who had received personal summonses to parliament in the first half of the fourteenth century: although each of the five had distinguished military records such as to justify their promotion, it seems that the crown was by now observing the general policy that only a line of descent from an earlier parliamentary peer justified a new (and thereafter permanent and hereditary) summons. (fn. f1368int-2) The crown also issued instruction to nine royal clerks and lawyers to attend the parliament. The names of 72 of the 74 knights of the shires are know from the well-preserved election returns, supplemented by the writs de expensis ; the same sources yield the names of some 140 citizens and burgesses returned to this assembly. The names of the fourteen barons (representatives) of the Cinque Ports returned to this parliament are also preserved. (fn. f1368int-3) The level of parliamentary experience among the knights of the shires was high, as had been common throughout the 1360s. (fn. f1368int-4) Among the petitions heard in the parliament was an interesting request, granted by the crown, for the release of the town of Chipping Torrington (Devon) from an obligation to return its own representatives to parliament (Appendix no. 4). (fn. f1368int-5) One of the clerical proctors to the assembly, Geoffrey Langton (who represented the clergy of the diocese of York), requested, and received, immunity from judicial proceedings being taken against him in the court of king's bench for the duration of the assembly (Appendix no. 2). (fn. f1368int-6) The opening of the assembly was, as so often, delayed by late arrivals: the plenary meeting on 1 May adjourned without further ado until Thursday 4 May (item 1).

Almost exactly two years elapsed between the parliaments of 1366 and 1368: in light of its statutory commitment to hold annual parliaments, recently confirmed in 1362, (fn. f1368int-7) it may well be that the crown felt an assembly to be due, if not over-due. There was also a fiscal imperative: although the speech made by Simon Langham (the former chancellor and now, since 1367, archbishop of Canterbury) on 4 May made no direct reference to an impending request for supply, he revealed the government's hand the following Monday, 8 May, when he sought, and was accorded, a grant of the wool subsidy for three years from Michaelmas 1368. The grant of the maltolt made in the parliament of 1365 was due to expire at Michaelmas 1368, so the new grant dovetailed with it, ensuring a steady continuation of income from this important source, though the rate was to be reduced slightly from £2 per sack to £1 16s. 4d. per sack payable by denizens and aliens alike (items 8-9). Archbishop Langham's strategy in arguing the case for a further peace-time extension of the subsidy was much the same as he had used in 1365: in his address to the lords (though not, apparently, the commons) he emphasises the continuing needs of defence on the frontiers of the Plantagenet empire in Calais, Guînes and Ponthieu, as well as stressing the need for military preparations in Ireland and on the march of Scotland (item 8). In the latter case, the lords had already agreed on Friday 5 May that the crown ought not to compromise its rights in negotiation with David Bruce (item 7), thus effectively (as Langham implied on 8 May) sanctioning a resumption of war should the situation necessitate it; although the wool subsidy was not requested, or granted, within the explicit context of imminent war, it was evidently negotiated in an atmosphere that assumed a likely renewal of the Scottish war. (In the event, hostilities did not begin until after the re-opening of the Anglo-French war in 1369.) (fn. f1368int-8)

The parliament was asked to sanction the wool subsidy before the commons entered and received replies to their petitions. The deadline fixed at the opening of the session for the delivery of private petitions was Monday 8 May (item 3), but it was not until Saturday 6 May that the commons were charged to prepare the common petitions and were given the date of Wednesday 10 May to deliver them (item 7). The common petitions follow the record of the grant of the subsidy on the parliament roll (items 10-19), so it seems obvious enough that they were not heard and answered until after the grant of taxation. However, it should also be remarked that the commons already knew at the time the subsidy was requested that they were to be allowed the right to enter petitions in the name of the commonalty. (fn. f1368int-9) The extant text of the petitions and the royal answers to them on the parliament roll is corroborated by the existence of a parallel text - perhaps a draft - of the replies to the common petitions (items 10-19 on the roll), which apparently survived as a file cover for a bundle of petitions from this parliament (either private petitions, or drafts of the common petitions) (Appendix no. 1).

The common petitions contain a preamble (item 9), typical of the increasingly ceremonious language of parliament discernible in the 1360s, in which the commons expressed their gratitude to the crown, perhaps consciously reciprocating the thanks offered by Langham to the political community at the beginning of the assembly (item 2). The list that followed was short (perhaps denoting a lack of time, or a shortage of political issues on which the commons could agree), (fn. f1368int-10) but ranged over some important matters and led to the promulgation of a statute. The general pardon of 1362 was to be confirmed (item 11), (fn. f1368int-11) as was the legislation of 1351 on the inheritance rights of children of English families born abroad, which was now explicitly extended to include those born in the king's lands in and around Calais (item 19). (fn. f1368int-12) An important decision was taken, at the commons' recommendation, to make more precise earlier legislation defining the status of those eligible for appointment as escheators, and it was determined that a minimum holding of £20 a year in landed income was necessary to support this office (item 14). This was part of a larger and lively debate during the 1360s about the authority and terms of service of the escheator, which has also produced legislation in 1362: by 1371 the commons were attempting to use the landed qualification secured for the escheator in 1368 and to extend it to the office of sheriff. (fn. f1368int-13)

The parliament also witnessed an important development in the peace commissions. The commons, 'who live by husbandry of their own lands or trade, and who do not have lordships or villeins to serve them' (a statement that has been taken to represent a self-conscious distinction between the economic regimes and interests represented in the lords and those that prevailed among the commons), (fn. f1368int-14) requested both that the labour laws of 1349 and 1351 be confirmed and that these be explicitly enforced by justices of the peace (item 15). Although the point was made rather obliquely, the commons were in effect requesting the reversal of the policy pursued since 1364, during which period the peace commissions had formally been deprived both of the authority to enforce the labour laws (and, incidentally, the power to determine felonies). (fn. f1368int-15) The crown obliged, and issued a statute declaring that new commissions of the peace would accordingly be issued with full competence to try cases under the labour laws. (fn. f1368int-16) When these commissions were eventually issued in July (their personnel perhaps influenced by discussions in the May parliament), they were also accorded the right to determine cases. (fn. f1368int-17) It remains somewhat unclear whether parliament had sought this latter measure or whether it was a unilateral initiative by the crown conditioned by the fact that determining powers were in any case being restored over actions (in this case, trespasses) under the labour laws.

Concerns about trade were also raised in this parliament. The commons put forward a petition made in the name of the 'mayor, aldermen and commons of the city of London and all other cities and boroughs of England' (item 16). The issue was that raised by the Statute of York of 1335, which had conferred the freedom to trade throughout England upon all merchants, both English and alien. (fn. f1368int-18) This ran counter to the terms of London's charter of 1327, which gave the city the right to regulate its own trade. (fn. f1368int-19) Since the confirmation of the Statute of York in 1351, (fn. f1368int-20) the Londoners had repeatedly sought release from its terms. It seems likely, then, that the petition of 1368 began as one from the city of London, but was taken up by the commons as a matter of more general importance and had its protocols appropriately re-worded to reflect the relevance of the matter to all urban communities (and, by implicit extension, to the realm at large). (fn. f1368int-21) The crown's response, however, was ambiguous: it suggested that the Londoners might temporarily regain their own control over the retail trade (a matter already conceded in 1367), (fn. f1368int-22) but upheld the rights of alien merchants; it was not, in fact, until 1376 that the Londoners, in the context of the Good Parliament, successfully reclaimed their right to regulate alien trade.

On another economic matter, the commons of 1368 appeared to gain more success. They petitioned that the crown should restrict trade in wine between Gascony and England to foreign merchants, on the grounds that the Gascon producers and traders were inclined to ask too high a price of English merchants and ought therefore to be encouraged to come to England and trade on an open and more competitive market (item 17). The commons asked only that the ban be imposed 'for a time ..., to see if this can assist the price at which wine is sold'; perhaps rather surprisingly, the crown chose to impose the resulting measure, which was effective from 1 August 1368 and was open-ended, by statute - a device that would normally imply its permanence. In the next parliament, in 1369, there was a plenary debate on this matter, and an interesting divergence of opinion developed between the crown on the one hand, which was concerned at reports that the customs revenues of Bordeaux were much reduced and therefore wished to repeal the legislation, and the lords and commons on the other, who felt that the measure was having a beneficial effect on the price of wine in England and argued that it should be maintained (parliament of 1369, item 23). Ultimately, the king's position prevailed, and the ban was lifted; but the statute issued on the matter in 1369 explicitly ordered that the 1368 legislation was not thereby annulled, but merely put into abeyance: (fn. f1368int-23) a further period of experimentation was evidently envisaged.

If the commons of 1368 kept to the tight deadline set for the delivery of the common petitions (10 May), then it seems that the king and council were somewhat leisurely in delivering their response: it was not until 21 May that the responses to the common petitions were read out in a plenary (and concluding) session of this parliament (item 20). Since there seem to have been relatively few private petitions entered in parliament (Appendix nos. 2-7), (fn. f1368int-24) and since neither the number nor the content of the common petitions was unduly problematic, it is possible that the delay was caused by the preparations for the trial of Sir John Lee, the former steward of the king's household, which took place after the plenary meeting and a meal hosted by the king (at which, interestingly, both lords and commons were present) (items 20-26).

The parliament roll does not say that the session was formally concluded before this meal: indeed, the parliament was evidently deemed to have ended only after the initial hearing of the accusations against Lee (item 26). It would seem, however, that the trial was considered to have taken place before the great council, meeting in a separate session after the dismissal of the commons (who obtained their writs de expensis on this day): (fn. f1368int-25) the roll says only that 'some of the commons' were present with the lords, and it is apparent from the record that ensues that the lords undertook the trial themselves (see especially items 20-22), with those members of the commons that were present merely evidently acting as onlookers (they are not otherwise mentioned between their arrival in the White Chamber at item 20 and their final departure at item 26) or, conceivably, as representing the interests of those 'many people' who were said to have made petitions in this parliament against Lee (item 20). (The delivery of such petitions strengthens the argument that the previous days had been spent in reviewing and organising the case against Lee.) It is also to be noted that the trial was unfinished when the 'prelates, dukes, earls, barons and commons departed' at the end of business on 21 May (item 26): the trial was brought to conclusion on an unspecified date before the great council (the exact composition of which is not specified) (items 27-8). Crucially, and contrary to what has sometimes been asserted, (fn. f1368int-26) there is no evidence on the parliament roll to suggest that the commons acted as Lee's accusers: the case was presented by Sir Robert Thorp, chief justice of the court of common pleas. The trial therefore ranks as a 'state trial' similar in some ways to that attempted against Archbishop Stratford and others in 1341 but quite distinct from that produced by the process of impeachment (where the accusations were formally presented by the commons acting in a corporate capacity) employed for the first time in parliament in 1376.

The interest of the Lee case is, nevertheless, considerable. Lee had been steward of the household between October 1361 and January 1368; he had recently been replaced in the office by Sir William Latimer (not, it should be noted, the William Latimer refereed to in the accusations against Lee). The circumstances of Lee's dismissal from office are unknown, but it is may be that he had already been discredited in the king's eyes and that the crown was prepared to allow the spectacle of his trial to proceed on the basis that he had already been derived of his position in the royal household. The accusations against Lee seem all to have been provoked by particular cases: even the most general of the charges, that he had abused his judicial authority by having people brought before him 'as if before the king's council ... outside any of the king's usual courts' (item 22) and by using his own responsibilities within the court of the verge to take arbitrary proceedings and make summary judgments (item 23), were supported by reference to specific named examples. It is particularly noticeable that those charges that might be considered to have involved Lee in a private capacity, rather than as steward of the household, were rendered more serious by the suggestion that he had used his official influence to assist his own private gain (items 21, 24): it is striking that his obligations as one 'sworn to the king's council' were cited in the accusation concerning his underhand dealings over a wardship that rightfully fell to the king's seigneury (item 25). In the end, however, the trial seems to have ended in compromise: the session concluded without rendering judgment, and Lee was committed to the Tower pending his negotiation of a fine for release from liability (item 26). When the great council re-convened, at an unspecified date, it was only to discuss the wardship dispute in which Lee had been involved with William Latimer of Dorset (items 21, 27-28). The most that can be said about the case is that, unlike certain other disgraced royal ministers during this reign, Lee did not return to the king's service. The trial within the parliament of 1368 therefore stands as one of the more public official scandals of a decade punctuated by various charges of corruption in high places. (fn. f1368int-27)

Text and translation

[p. ii-294]
[col. a]
[memb. 1]
ROTULUS PARLIAMENTI DE ANNO REGNI REGIS EDWARDI TERCII QUADRAGESIMO SECUNDO. THE ROLL OF THE PARLIAMENT OF THE FORTY-SECOND YEAR OF THE REIGN OF KING EDWARD THE THIRD.
1. Au parlement somons a Westm' lundy le primer jour de May, l'an du regne le roi Edward quarante second, adeprimes feust crie fait en la sale de Westm' qe touz les prelatz, ducs, countes, barons, communes et touz autres qe furent sommons au parlement se treisont en la chambre Depeintee; a quel jour l'ercevesqe de Canterbirs et autres prelatz, ducs, counts, barons et communes esteantz en la dite chambre, le dit arcevesqe monstra as seigneurs et communes coment le roi lour mercia moult q'ils estoient venuz le primer jour. Mes par cause q'il avoit bien entendu qe ascuns des grauntz et communes ne furent adonqes venuz ne presentz, et partant voleit qe le parlement fuisse continue tanqe judy proschein suant. Et issint departirent a cel jour. [Adjournment of parliament.]
1. At the parliament summoned at Westminster on Monday 1 May in the forty-second year of the reign of King Edward, first, an announcement was made in Westminster Hall that all the prelates, dukes, earls, barons, commons and all others who were summoned to the parliament should assemble in the Painted Chamber; on which day, with the archbishop of Canterbury and other prelates, dukes, earls, barons and commons being in the said chamber, the said archbishop declared to the lords and commons how the king greatly thanked them for coming on the first day. But because he well understood that some of the great men and commons had not yet arrived or appeared, he therefore willed that the parliament be postponed until the Thursday immediately following. And thus they departed on this day.
2. A quel jour de judy, le roi, prelatz, ducs, countes, barons et comunes esteantz en la dite chambre, le dit arcevesqe monstra a eux la cause du sommons du parlement, et dist coment nostre dit seignur le roi merciant a Dieu de tout et entier cuer et volunte des < graundes et > beles graces q'il lui avoit < fait > et monstre; adeprimes en victoirs de ses enemys, en peisible et quiete governance de son poeple tout son temps, et assy des grauntz eides et socours qe touz ses grantz et communes lui avoient faitz en touz ses afferes, sibien de lour corps come de lour avoir; desirant et voilliant par tieles causes et autres plusours soveraynement en pees, quiete et tranquillite ses ditz grauntz et communes nurrir et garder, et touz empeschementz a contraire oster et amender. Adeprimes, voet et commande qe touz ces qe se sentent grevez de riens mettont avant leur peticions en ce parlement a ces qe sont assignez de les receivre, et serront bonement resceus et responduz; et a ce faire ad assigne receivours et triours, les nouns des queux sont escriptz a desouz, et furent lues devant le roi, grauntz et communes; et puis commandee qe touz les prelatz, ducs, countes et barons fussoient lendemain a hure de my prime en la chambre Blanche et les communes en la petite sale; et ce fait departirent. [Opening of parliament.]
2. On which Thursday, with the king, prelates, dukes, earls, barons and commons being in the said chamber, the said archbishop declared to them the reason for the summons of parliament, and said how our said lord the king thanked God with all his heart and will for the great and wonderful favours which He has done and shown to him; first, in victories over his enemies, in the peaceful and quiet governance of his people throughout his reign, and also in the great aids and support which all his great men and commons had given him in all his affairs, of their bodies as well as of their possessions; desiring and wishing for such reasons, and many others, above all else to nourish and protect the peace, quiet and tranquillity of his said great men and commons, and to remove and amend all impairments to the contrary. First, he willed and commanded that all those who should feel themselves aggrieved of anything should put forward their petitions in this parliament to those assigned to receive them, and they would be properly received and answered; and to do this he assigned receivers and triers, whose names are written below and were read before the king, great men and commons; and then all the prelates, dukes, earls and barons were commanded to be in the White Chamber on the morrow, halfway between prime and tierce, and the commons were commanded to be in the Lesser Hall; and this done, they departed.
Les nouns des ditz receivours et triours issint assignez: [Receivers and triers of private petitions.]
The names of the said receivers and triers thus assigned:
3. Receivours des peticions d'Engleterre, Irlande, Guales et Escoce:

  • Sire David de Wollore
  • Sire Wauter Power
  • Sire Thomas de Cotyngham.
3. Receivers of the petitions from England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland:

  • Sir David Wollor
  • Sir Walter Power
  • Sir Thomas Cottingham.
4. Item, pur les peticions < de Gascoygne > et autres terres et paiis par dela la meer et les Isles:

  • Maistre Johan de Branketre
  • Sire Johan de Codyngton
  • Sire William de Mirfeld.
4. Also, for the petitions from Gascony and other lands and countries overseas and the Channel Islands:

  • Master John Branketre
  • Sir John Coddington
  • Sir William Mirfield.
Et ces qe voillent liverer peticions les liveront entre cy et lundy, le jour acomptee. And those who would deliver petitions should deliver them between then and Monday, the day assigned.
[col. b]
5. Et sont assignez triours des peticions d'Engleterre, Irland, Gales et Escoce:

  • L'evesqe de Loundres
  • L'evesqe de Nichole
  • L'evesqe de Salesbirs
  • L'evesqe de Norwiz
  • L'abbe de Seint Alban
  • L'abbe de Westm'
  • L'abbe de Waltham
  • L'abbe de Seint Austyn de Canterbirs
  • Le duc de Lancaster
  • Le counte de Cantebrugge
  • Le counte de Hereford
  • Le counte de Arundel
  • Le counte de Suff'
  • Le counte de Salesburs
  • Le sire de Percy
  • Monsir Rauf de Nevill
  • Monsir Guy Brian
  • Monsir Johan Knyvet
  • Monsir Robert de Thorp
  • Monsir Thomas de Lodelowe
  • Monsir William de Fyncheden
5. And the following are assigned triers of petitions from England, Ireland Wales and Scotland:

  • The bishop of London
  • The bishop of Lincoln
  • The bishop of Salisbury
  • The bishop of Norwich
  • The abbot of Saint Albans
  • The abbot of Westminster
  • The abbot of Waltham
  • The abbot of Saint Augustine's, Canterbury
  • The duke of Lancaster
  • The earl of Cambridge
  • The earl of Hereford
  • The earl of Arundel
  • The earl of Suffolk
  • The earl of Salisbury
  • Lord Percy
  • Sir Ralph Nevill
  • Sir Guy Brian
  • Sir John Knyvet
  • Sir Robert Thorp
  • Sir Thomas Ludlow
  • Sir William Finchden
- appellez a eux chanceller, tresorer, seneschal et chamberlein, quant mestir serra, et ils purront entendre; et aussint les serjeantz le roi, s'il busoigne. Et tendront lour place en la chambre du chamberlein pres la chambre Depeinte. - consulting with the chancellor, treasurer, steward and chamberlain when necessary, and when they are able to attend; and also the king's serjeants when necessary. And they shall hold their session in the chamberlain's chamber near the Painted Chamber.
6. Et sont assignez triours des peticions d'Aquitaigne et autres terres et paiis par dela la meer et les Isles:

  • L'evesqe de Duresme
  • L'evesqe de Hereford
  • L'evesqe de Wircestre
  • L'evesqe de Seint David
  • L'abbe de Seint Esmoun
  • < Le priour de l'hospital > Seint Johan
  • Le counte de Staff'
  • Le counte de Devenshire
  • Le counte d'Angos
  • Monsir Wauter de Manny
  • Monsir Roger de Beauchamp'
  • Monsir Johan Moubray
  • Monsir Thomas de Ingelby
  • Monsir William de Wichingham
6. And the following are assigned triers of petitions from Aquitaine and other lands and countries overseas and the Channel Islands:

  • The bishop of Durham
  • The bishop of Hereford
  • The bishop of Worcester
  • The bishop of Saint Davids
  • The abbot of Bury Saint Edmunds
  • The prior of the hospital of Saint John
  • The earl of Stafford
  • The earl of Devon
  • The earl of Angus
  • Sir Walter de Mauny
  • Sir Roger Beauchamp
  • Sir John Mowbray
  • Sir Thomas Ingelby
  • Sir William Witchingham
- appellez a eux chanceller, tresorer, seneschal et chamberlein quant mestir serra, et ils purront entendre; et aussint les sergeantz le roi, s'il busoigne. Et tendront lour place en la chambre Marcolf. - consulting with the chancellor, treasurer, steward and chamberlain when necessary, and when they are able to attend, and also the king's serjeants when necessary. And they shall hold their session in the Marcolf Chamber.
7. A quel lendemein, l'ercevesqe de Canterbirs et touz les autres prelatz, ducs, countes et barons en mesme la chambre esteantz, le dit ercevesqe monstra a eux coment sur le claym et droit qe le roi ad en la terre d'Escoce plusours tretees avoient este tenuz ove le conseil nostre dit seignur le roi et le conseil David de Bruys d'Escoce, et divers et sovers ofres et demandes d'ambpartz monstrez et parlez. Et ore au darrein tretee par le conseil le dit David a trenche respondu [p. ii-295][col. a] qe sauve au dit David et ses heirs l'entierete du roialme d'Escoce, et sanz nulle subjeccion au roi d'Engleterre, ou ascune chose faire au roi d'Engleterre ou a ses heirs qe poait soner ou estre dit servage ou charge perpetuel, ils se acorderaient bien sur tiel point treter de bone pees, si le conseil le roi d'Engleterre le savera ou vorra monstrer. Quele chose issint monstre, estoit demande as prelatz, ducs, countes, barons et autres grantz s'ils savoient trover ou monstrer ascune voie de trete de pees, sauvant au roi son droit et claym, et sauve au dit David et ses heirs les choses par lui sauvez come desus est dit. Queux prelatz, ducs, countes, barons et grantz, chescun par soi sur ce examine, acordaument respondirent qe, sauvez au dit David et ses heirs les pointz susnomez, ils ne savoient < veer ne monstrer nulle > voie de trete de pees qe ce ne cherroit overtement en desheriteson du roi et de ses heirs et de sa corone, et de eux aussint qe estoient jurrez a la corone, a quele chose ils ne se assenteroient pur riens; et issint departirent cel jour. Et le samady suant, les comunes esteantz en la dite chambre Blaunche, feurent chargez devant les grantz q'ils feissent lour peticions et q'ils les bailleroient avant le meskerdi suant. [Scotland.]
7. On the morrow, with the archbishop of Canterbury and all the other prelates, dukes, earls and barons being in the same chamber, the said archbishop declared to them that many negotiations had been held upon the claim and right that the king has in the land of Scotland with the council of our said lord the king and the council of David Bruce of Scotland, and that various and frequent offers and demands had been declared and spoken on both parts. And that at the last negotiation by the council, the said David answered outright [p. ii-295][col. a] that if the entirety of the realm of Scotland was reserved to the said David and his heirs, without making any subjection to the king of England or anything to the king of England or his heirs which could be expressed or said to be servitude or a perpetual charge, they should properly agree upon such provision to negotiate a good peace, if the council of the king of England would know or declare it. Which thing having been thus declared, the prelates, dukes, earls, barons and other great men were asked if they could find or declare any way to negotiate peace, saving to the king his right and claim, and saving to the said David and his heirs the points reserved by him, as is aforesaid. The same prelates, dukes, earls, barons and great men, each examined individually on this, answered in like manner that, having reserved to the said David and his heirs the points named above, they could not see or declare any way to negotiate peace so that it would not fall openly in the disinheritance of the king, of his heirs and of his crown, and also of those who were sworn to the crown, to which thing they should not assent on any account; and thus they departed this day. And on the following Saturday, the commons, being in the said White Chamber, were charged before the great men to make their petitions, and to deliver them before the Wednesday following.
8. Et le lundy suant, les prelatz et grauntz en mesme la chambre esteantz, feust monstrez a eux par l'ercevesqe coment le roi lour mercia de grant cuer de plusours eides q'ils lui avoient faitz, et moement del derrein eide q'ils lui fesoient en le darrein parlement [col. b] del subside et custume a lui graunte de leines, quirs et peux lanuz par un temps; et ja fust il qe la graunt fust chargeant a son poeple, nientmains poi vint ou demora au profit ou encres de lui, par cause des grauntz charges et paiementz faitz et sustenuz, sibien a Calais, Guynes, Pountif et ses autres < terres > dela come en Irlande et la marche d'Escoce, qe lour plust par tant avoir consideracion a son estat et honour, et as grauntz charges qe lui convent faire et sustenir devers la marche d'Escoce, pur la salvacion d'icelle, par cause qe semble plus la guere qe pees par les respons des Escotz. [Subsidy.]
8. And on the following Monday, with the prelates and great men being in the same chamber, the archbishop declared to them how the king thanked them wholeheartedly for the many aids which they had made to him, and especially for the last aid that they made to him in the late parliament [col. b] of a subsidy and custom granted to him for a time from wool, leather and woolfells; and although the grant was burdensome to his people, nevertheless little came or remained to his profit or increase, because of the great charges and payments made and sustained at Calais, Guînes, Ponthieu and his others lands overseas as well as in Ireland and the march of Scotland; and that it should therefore please them to have consideration for his estate and honour, and the great charges which he needed to make and maintain on the march of Scotland, for the salvation of the same, because the Scots' answer seemed to suggest war more than peace.
9. Sur queles choses, les prelatz et grauntz eu deliberacion plein ove les comunes, d'une accorde graunterent a nostre seignur le roi en eide de son estat et honour sauver et garder et des grantz costages qe lui covient faire et mettre par divers voies, les subsides et custumes des leins, quirs et peux lanuz qe passeront hors du roialme d'Engleterre, de la feste Seint Michel proschein avenir [memb. 2] par deux ans prochein ensuantz pleinement acompliz; c'estassavoir, de chescun sak de leyne qe passera hors du dit roialme et de chescun dusze vintz de peaux lanuz .xxxvi. s. .viij. d., et de chescun last de quirs quatre livres, aprendre outre l'ancien custume de demy mark de chescun sak de leyne et dusze vintz de peaux lanuz, et de une marc de chescun last de quirs. 9. On which matters, the prelates and great men having had full deliberation with the commons, they granted of one accord to our lord the king, in aid of saving and protecting his estate and honour and the great expenses that he needed to make and undertake in various ways, the subsidies and customs of wool, leather and woolfells which pass out of the realm of England from the feast of Michaelmas next coming [memb. 2] for two full years immediately following; that is to say, 36s. 8s. on each sack of wool that passes out of the said realm and on every 240 woolfells, and £4 from each last of leather, to be taken in addition to the ancient custom of a ½ mark from each sack of wool and 240 woolfells, and of 1 mark from each last of leather.
LES PETICIONS DES COMUNES ET LES RESPONS D'ICELLES, EN LA FOURME Q'ENSUYT: THE PETITIONS OF THE COMMONS AND THE ANSWERS TO THE SAME, IN THE FORM THAT FOLLOWS.
[col. a]
A nostre treshaut, tresexcellent et tresredoute seignur lige; regraciont humblement trestoutz ses comunes qe icy sont venuz par son comandement et somons de cest present parlement qe lui plust de sa graciouse seigneurie qe lour ad si graciousment et droiturelment governez tanqe a ore, et outre ceo continuer sa graciouse volunte a eux monstree; et principalment qe lui plust de sa graciouse seigneurie, si gracious pardon faire et continuer; et qe lui plust ses purveours a graunt ese et relevement de sa commune restreindre, et plusours autres graces queles ils ne poent trestoutz nomer. To our most high, most excellent and most dread liege lord; all his commons who have come here by his command and the summons of this present parliament humbly give thanks that it pleased him of his gracious lordship to have governed them so graciously and justly up to now, and further that he has shown them his gracious will to continue this; and particularly that it pleased him of his gracious lordship to make and continue such gracious pardon; and that it pleased him to restrict his purveyors to the great ease and relief of his commonalty, and many other favours, all of which they cannot name.
10. Primerement, prie la commune: qe la grante chartre et la chartre de foreste et touz les estatutz faitz devant ces hures pur profit de la commune soient tenuz et gardez a purpos et al effect q'ils furent faitz; et si nulles estatutz soient faitz de puisne temps a contraire des ditz estatutz, soient celles estatutz contraries veuwes et examinez, et par la sage discrecion et avisement des seignurs de parlement repellez, pur la profit de la dite comune, et pur la graunde sentence eschure q'est contenu en les chartres et estatutz susditz. [Confirmation of the Charters.]
10. First, the commons pray: that the Great Charter, the Charter of the Forest and all the other statutes made before this time for the profit of the commonalty shall be upheld and observed for the purpose and intention to which they were made; and if any statutes shall subsequently be made to the contrary of the said statutes, these contrary statutes shall be viewed and examined, and repealed by the wise discretion and advice of the lords of the parliament, for the profit of the said commonalty, and to avoid the great penalties contained in the aforesaid charters and statutes.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Le roi voet qe la grande chartre et la chartre de la foreste et toutz autres estatutz soient tenuz et gardez en toutz pointz, et si nul estatut soit fait a contrarie, soit tenu pur nul. (fn. ii-294-42-1) The king wills that the Great Charter, the Charter of the Forest and all other statutes shall be upheld and observed in all points, and if any statute is made to the contrary, it shall be treated as null. (fn. ii-294-42-1)
11. Item, prie la dite comune: qe come nostre seignur le roi, a son parlement tenuz l'an de son regne trent sisme, de sa bone grace graunta a sa dite comune pardon de toutz maneres de trespas, ignorances, necligences, mesprisions, articles de eire et qeconqes autres choses qe demaundent fin, ranceon, emprisonement ou peine pecuniere, forspris dettes et acomptes [col. b] dues au roi, faites devant sont [sic: read 'son'] dit parlement; le quele pardon, mesq'il soit alegge, n'est pas allowe devant ascuns de ses ministres, a grant damage du poeple; qe plese a sa dite seigneurie qe le dit pardon soit tenuz al entent qe ce feust grantee, et qe ses justices, barons del escheqier et autres ministres soient chargez en ceste present parlement de allower le pardon en la manere qe ce feust grauntee. [General pardon.]
11. Also, the said commons pray: that whereas our lord the king, at his parliament held in the thirty-sixth year of his reign [1362], of his good grace granted to his said commonalty pardon from all manner of trespasses, ignorances, negligences, misdeeds, articles of the eyre and any other things whatsoever committed prior to his said parliament which required fine, ransom, imprisonment or pecuniary penalty, except debts and accounts [col. b] due to the king; which pardon, if it is taken away, will not be allowed before any of his officers, to the great damage of the people; may it please his said lordship that the pardon shall be held to the purpose for which it was granted, and that his justices, barons of the exchequer and other officers shall be charged in this present parliament to allow the pardon in the manner in which it was granted.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Le roi voet qe le dit pardon soit tenuz en toutz pointz; et si nul se sente grevez contre la fourme d'icel, il avera brief en la chancellerie de allower les pointz du dit pardon. (fn. ii-294-47-1) The king wills that the said pardon shall be upheld in all points; and if anyone shall feel himself aggrieved against the form of the same, he shall have a writ in the chancery to allow the points of the said pardon. (fn. ii-294-47-1)
12. Item, purce qe plusours de vostre comune sont anientiz et destruitz par faux accusours, queux font lour accusementz plus pur lour vengeances et singulers profitz qe pur le profit de roi ou de son poeple; et les accusez par eux, ascuns ont este pris, et ascuns sont fait venir devant le conseil le roi par brief ou autre mandement de roi, sur grief peine, encontre la ley. Plese a nostre seignur le roi et son bon conseil, pur dreit governement de son poeple ordeigner qe si desore ascun accusour purpose ascune matire pur profit de roi, qe celle matire soit mandee a ses justices del un bank ou del autre ou d'assises d'ent enquere et terminer solom la ley; et si ce touche l'accusour ou partie, eit sa seute a la commune ley. Et qe nul homme soit mys arespoundre sanz presentement devant justices, ou chose de record, ou par due proces et brief original solom l'anciene ley de la terre; et si rien desore enavant soit fait al encontre, soit voide en ley et tenu pur errour. [False accusations at law.]
12. Also, because many of your commonalty are ruined and destroyed by false accusers who make their accusations more for their revenge and individual profit than for the profit of the king or his people; and of those accused by them, some have been taken, and some are made to come before the king's council by writ or other order of the king, upon severe penalty, contrary to the law. May it please our lord the king and his good council, for the just government of his people, to ordain that henceforth if any accuser proposes any matter for the king's profit, this matter shall be sent to his justices of either bench or of assizes to inquire and determine thereon according to the law; and if it is to the profit of the accuser or party, he shall have his suit at common law. And that no man shall be put to answer without presentment before justices, or matter of record, or by due process and original writ, according to the ancient law of the land; and if anything henceforth shall be done to the contrary, it shall be void in law and treated as being in error.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Purce qe ceste article est article de la grande chartre, le roi voet qe ceo soit fait come la peticion demande. (fn. ii-294-52-1) Because this article is an article of the Great Charter, the king wills that it be done as the petition requests. (fn. ii-294-52-1)
[p. ii-296]
[col. a]
13. Item, porceo qe commissions sont grantez en divers countees d'Engleterre al procurement de certeines persones d'enquere de certeins articles, les queux commissioners font lour enquerrez en places privez, et par gentz nient sufficeantz et de lour covyne, plus a profit de eux q'en avantage de roi ou de son poeple; qe, si plest au roi semble a la commune, qe justices del un bank et de l'autre, justices d'assises et justices de la pees devyont suffire sibien pur profit de roi come de la comune, pur touz maners d'enquerrez deinz le roialme. [Commissions of inquiry.]
13. Also, because commissions are granted in various counties of England, at the procurement of certain people, to inquire into certain articles, which commissioners make their inquiries in secret places and by people who are of insufficient status and of their faction, more to their own profit than to the advantage of the king or his people; that, if it pleases the king, it seems to the commons that justices of both benches, justices of assizes and justices of the peace shall be adequate for all manner of inquiries within the realm, for the profit of the king as well as of the commonalty.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Le roi le voet; sauve en l'office d'escheterie, en chose qe touche celle office. (fn. ii-294-57-1) The king wills it; saving in the office of the escheatorship, in matters which concern this office. (fn. ii-294-57-1)
14. Item, come avant ces heures ad este ordeinez par estatutz, pur comune profit, qe nul eschetour serroit en Engleterre s'il n'ust suffisantie de terre dont ils poent respondre a roi et a son poeple; par quoi prie la commune: qe celle estatut soit tenuz, et pur estre en certein qant as eschetours q'ore sont, soient eux et lour commissions ent examinez, et qe toutz eschetours q'ore sont nient suffisantz soient remuez; et qe ceux eschetours qe demorgent preignent lour enquestes solom l'estatut ordeine l'an trent sisme; (fn. ii-294-59-1) et qe nul eschetour soit fait s'il n'eit vint livree de terre au meins ou plus en fee; et qe ils facent lour office en propre persone; et si autre soit q'il soit ouste. [Office of escheator.]
14. Also, whereas it has previously been ordained by statutes, for the common profit, that no one shall be an escheator in England unless he has sufficient land by which he can answer to the king and his people; the commons pray: that this statute shall be upheld, and to be certain regarding current escheators, that they and their commissions be examined, and that all current escheators who are insufficient shall be removed; and that those escheators who remain shall take their inquests according to the statute ordained in the thirty-sixth year [1362]; (fn. ii-294-59-1) and that no one shall be made an escheator unless he has at least £20 of land or more in fee; and that they shall perform their office in their own person; and if it is otherwise, they shall be removed.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
< Il plest > au roi. (fn. ii-294-62-1) It pleases the king. (fn. ii-294-62-1)
15. Item, a nostre seignur le roi; prient la commune qe vivent par geynerie de lour terres ou marchandie et qe n'ont seignuries ne villeins pur eux servir: qe lui plese par son sage conseil ordiner remedie encontre la malice et grevouse cherte touchantz servantz, laborers et artificers, queux chescun an de plus et plus par lour exces et outrageouses prises et salaries destruent et enpoverissent a demesure le poeple, issint qe ceux qe vivont de lour terres achatent la vesture de lour terre apoy a la value. Par quoi la dite commune prie, en amendement del ancien estatut, qe commissions soient mandez as justices de la pees en chescun countee pur oier et terminer ent a seute de partie; et qe ceux qe serront atteintz facent restitucion del double a celuy qe suist. Et outre ceo eient les seneschalx, mairs et baillifs de franchise mesme le poair, et ceux qe serront atteintz soient amerciez. [Enforcement of labour laws.]
15. Also, to our lord the king; the commons who live by husbandry of their lands or trade, and who do not have lordships or villeins to serve them, pray: that it may please him by his wise council to ordain remedy against the malice and burdensome costs relating to servants, labourers and artisans, who each year, more and more, by their excessive and outrageous prices and salaries, destroy and impoverish a great number of people, so that those who live off their lands sell the produce of their land at scarcely its value. Wherefore the said commons pray, in amendment of the late statute, that commissions shall be sent to the justices of the peace in each county to hear and determine thereon at the suit of the party; and that those who are attainted shall pay double compensation to him who sues. And further, that stewards, mayors and bailiffs of franchises shall have the same power, and that those who are attainted shall be amerced.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Le roi voet qe l'estatut et ordenance faitz de laborers et artificers soient tenuz et gardez et duement executz; et sur ycelles soient commissions faites as justices de la pees en manere come est demande. Et quant a point de recoverir damage au double, il suffit qe sengles damages soient recoverez. (fn. ii-294-67-1) The king wills that the statute and ordinance made concerning labourers and artisans shall be upheld, observed and duly executed; and that commissions shall be made thereon to justices of the peace in the manner requested. And as regards the point about recovering double the damages, it suffices that single damages shall be recovered. (fn. ii-294-67-1)
16. Item, monstrent les mair, aldremans et communes de la citee de Loundres et touz autres citees et burghs d'Engleterre: qe come il soit contenu en la grande chartre qe la dite citee de Loundres et touz autres citees et burghs eient lour franchises et frankes custumes desblemyz, queux sont confermez par progenitours nostre seignur le roi et par lui mesmes, en meintenance de diverses charges queux ils soventfoitz susteinont; entre queles ils ont usez qe nul vendroit marchandises ne vitailles a retaille s'il ne fuisse enfranchee deinz les ditz citees et burghs; la quele usage ils ont eu en temps de touz ses progenitours, et en son temps tanqe l'an de son regne neofisme, qe lour feust tolu, (fn. ii-294-69-1) en anienticement de ses ditz citees et burghs. Plese a nostre dit seignur le roi en cest present parlement lour dites franchises granter et confermer, nient contresteantz les estatutz et ordinances faitz al encontre; et qe nul ne vende a retaille deinz les ditz citees et burghs s'il ne soit homme enfranchee entre eux; et qe nul marchant alien achate d'autre marchant alien [col. b] nules marchandises ne darrez deinz les ditz citees et burghs pur revendre. [Franchises of towns.]
16. Also, the mayor, aldermen and commons of the city of London and all other cities and boroughs of England declare: that whereas it is contained in the Great Charter that the said city of London and all other cities and boroughs shall have their franchises and free customs without impediment, which privileges have been confirmed by the progenitors of our lord the king and by himself, in recompense for the various burdens which they often bear; among which privileges they have observed the point that no one shall sell merchandise or victuals at retail unless he has been enfranchised in the said cities and boroughs; which practice they have followed in the times of all his progenitors, and in his time until the ninth year of his reign [1335], when it was taken away from them, (fn. ii-294-69-1) in destruction of his said cities and boroughs. May it please our said lord the king in this present parliament to grant and confirm their said franchises, notwithstanding the statutes and ordinances made to the contrary; and that no one shall sell at retail within the said cities and boroughs unless he is a man enfranchised among them; and that no alien merchant shall buy any merchandise or goods from another alien merchant [col. b] in the said cities and boroughs in order to resell them.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Est assentuz qe ces de Londres et nul autre vendent a retaille vitailles tantsoulement, et ceo del especiale grace du roi, tanqe al prochein parlement, sur condicion q'il soit bien reule et governee en le meen temps a commune profit; et est l'entencion du roi qe nul prejudice soit fait as aliens q'ont franchises par chartres des rois. (fn. ii-294-72-1) It is agreed that those of London and no other shall sell victuals (and nothing else) at retail only, and this of the king's special grace, until the next parliament, on condition that it shall be properly regulated and governed in the meantime to the common profit; and it is not the king's intention that any prejudice should be incurred by aliens who have franchises by royal charters. (fn. ii-294-72-1)
[memb. 3]
17. Item, porceo qe comune entendement est qe les marchantz d'Engleterre qe passont devers Gascoigne pur vins achatre treiont hors l'or de la terre a graunte plente, et les Gascoignes, veiantz le haste des Engleis q'ils ne poant longement demorer illoeqes sanzs grauntz costages, mettent les vins a haut pris pur le temps qe les Engleis y sont, issint qe si les ditz vins furent mesnez par les ditz Gascoignes homme les averoit a meillieur pris par moult: si semble as communes qe bon serreit de restreindre les Engleis pur un temps de lour passage qant as vins quere, pur veer si ceo purroit valer a pris de vins vendre; et qe nul singuler garant ent soit grantee as Engleis; et qe les vins es portz ou ils arriveront en Engleterre soient mys a la terre et gaigez pur profit de roialme. [Wine trade with Gascony.]
17. Also, because it is the common opinion that the merchants of England who cross to Gascony to buy wine take a great amount of gold out of the land, and the Gascons, seeing the haste of the English who cannot remain there for a long time without great expense, set the wine at a high price during the time that the English are there, whereas if the said wines were brought by the said Gascons, one would get a better price by far; it seems to the commons that it would be beneficial to restrict the English for a time from crossing to fetch wine, to see if this can assist the price at which wine is sold; and that no individual licence should be granted thereon to the English; and that the wines should be unloaded and weighed in the ports where they arrive in England, for the profit of the realm.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Est assentu et acorde pur profit du roialme qe nul Engleis passe en Gascoigne pur vins quere illoeqes, mes soient amesnez en Engleterre par les Gascoigns et autres aliens, et sur ce soit defens fait parmy le roialme. Et qe nul Engleis mette en meins des ditz Gascoigns ou aliens ne illoeqes mande or n'argent n'autre marchandie pur ent faire achat de vins al oeps des Engleis, sur forfaiture del or, argent ou marchandises issint mys es meins ou mandez. Et qe touz les niefs d'Engleterre et de Gascoigne qe viegnent en Gascoigne soient primerement frettez pur amesner vins en Engleterre, devant touz autres. Et qe nul Engleis bargaine ne achate tieux vins venantz en Engleterre avant q'ils soient mys a terre solonc la fourme de l'estatut ent fait. Et tendra ceste ordinance lieu a la goule d'Aust prochein avenir enavant; et qe nul garant soit fait a nul Engleis au contraire. (fn. ii-294-77-1) It is assented and agreed, for the profit of the realm, that no Englishman shall cross into Gascony to fetch wine there, but it shall be brought into England by the Gascons and other aliens, and a prohibition shall be made in this respect throughout the realm. And that no Englishman shall hand over gold, silver or other merchandise to the said Gascons or aliens, or send it there, in order to buy wine to the use of Englishmen, upon forfeiture of the gold, silver or merchandise thus handed over or sent. And that all the ships of England and of Gascony which come into Gascony shall first be chartered to bring wine to England, before all others. And that no Englishman shall bargain for or buy such wine coming into England before it is unloaded, according to the form of the statute made thereon. And this ordinance will take effect on 1 August next coming; and that no licence shall be made to any Englishman to the contrary. (fn. ii-294-77-1)
18. Item, prient les communes: qe la ou estretes de la verte cir sont mandez as viscontz pur lever les dettes le roi, les ministres des viscontz les levent par roules et autres remembrances et ne monstrent les ditz estretz desouz le seal, issint qe ceo q'est leve unfoitz vient autrefoitz en demande, par cause q'ils ne se chargent au plein de ceo q'est levee, en deceit de roi et graunt enpoverissement de son poeple. Qe plese a conseil nostre seignur le roi ordeiner qe homme veie les ditz estretes ensealez, et qe ceo q'est paie soit totte en mesmes les estretes mandez as viscontz sur la receit. Et issint semble qe les viscontz purront duement estre chargez, et le poeple quite de ceo q'est paie, totte ou rasee; qar les mesnes gentz pur petites sommes ne poont suir en l'escheqer s'il ne soit a trope grant costage en cas qe tort lour soit fait. Et si ascun viscont ou ministre face a l'encontre, soit tenu de respondre a la partie qe ce voet pleindre de ses damages en treble et face fyn au roi; et q'il eit sa seute sibien devant justices de la pees come devant autres justices. Et outre prient qe nul viscont ne soutzviscont ne clerk de viscont demurge en son office outre un an, come ordeine est par estatut. Et qe les viscontz soient tenuz acompter par mesmes les estretes issint tottez, et par nul autre; et ne soient les estretes doublez par le viscontz, mes la copie de les estretes en quanqe touche franchise des seignurs soient liverez as baillifs de franchises souz le seal des viscontz; et qe mesmes les baillifs rendent lour acomptz en l'escheqer par mesmes les [p. ii-297][col. a] copies issint liverez et tottez desouz le seal des viscontz. [Evidence for levying of estreats.]
18. Also, the commons pray: that whereas estreats of the green wax are sent to sheriffs to levy the king's debts, the officers of the sheriffs levy them by rolls and other remembrances, and do not show the said estreats under the seal, with the result that what has already been levied is demanded again, because they do not charge them fully for what is levied, in deceit of the king, and in great impoverishment of his people. May it please the council of our lord the king to ordain than a person shall see the said estreats sealed, and that which is paid shall be totted up in the same estreats and sent to the sheriffs by way of receipt. And thus it seems that the sheriffs can duly be charged and the people quit of that which is paid, totted up or erased; because lesser people are unable to sue in the exchequer for small sums unless they make very great expenditure in cases where wrong has been done to them. And if any sheriff or officer does the contrary, he shall be held to answer to the party who will complain in treble damages, and shall make fine to the king; and the party shall have his suit before the justices of the peace as well as before other justices. And they further pray that no sheriff, under-sheriff or sheriff's clerk shall remain in his office longer than one year, as is ordained by statute. And that the sheriffs shall be held to account by the same estreats thus totted up, and by no other means; and the estreats shall not be made in duplicate by the sheriffs, but the copies of the estreats relating to the franchises of lords shall be delivered to the bailiffs of the franchises under the seal of the sheriffs; and the same bailiffs shall return their accounts in the exchequer by the same [p. ii-297][col. a] copies thus delivered and totted up under the seal of the sheriffs.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Il plest au roi. (fn. ii-294-82-1) It pleases the king. (fn. ii-294-82-1)
19. Item, prient les communes: qe come avant ces heures les enfantz neez pardela hors de la ligeance d'Engleterre ne furent ables d'enjoier ne estre enheritez des terres lour auncestres en Engleterre; qe plese au roi ordeiner en cest present parlement qe touz les enfantz neez deinz les seigneuries de Calais, Guynes ou Gascoigne ou ailliours deinz les terres et seignuries quex appertiegnent a nostre seignur le roi depardela, q'ils soient si avant ables et enheritables de lour heritages en Engleterre come autres enfantz neez deinz mesme ceste terre, desicome les avantdites terres q'ore appertienent a nostre seignur le roi sont par le greindre partie enhabitez par les gentz nostre seigneur le roi d'Engleterre queux vont illoeqes par comandement nostre seignur le roi. [Rights of those born to English parents abroad.]
19. Also, the commons pray: that whereas before this time children born overseas out of the allegiance of England were not able to enjoy or have right of inheritance of the lands of their ancestors in England; may it please the king to ordain in this present parliament that all children born in the lordships of Calais, Guînes or Gascony, or elsewhere within the lands and lordships which belong to our lord the king overseas, shall henceforth be as fully able to inherit their inheritances in England as other children born in this same land, inasmuch as the aforesaid lands which now belong to our lord the king are for the most part inhabited by the people of our lord the king from England who went there by the command of our lord the king.
[editorial note: Responsio.] [editorial note: Answer.]
Soit la commune ley et l'estatut sur ce point autrefoitz fait tenu et gardez. (fn. ii-294-87-1) The common law and the statute previously made on this point shall be upheld and observed. (fn. ii-294-87-1)
20. Et apres, le vint primer jour du dit mois de May, le roi, prelatz, grauntz et communes en la chambre Blanche esteantz, et lue devant eux mesmes les peticions des communes et les respons sur ce faitz, et aussy monstre par l'ercevesqe au roi l'eide qe les grantz et communes luy avoient fait en ce parlement, le roi mercia durement et de grant cuer a ses grantz et communes de lour venue et de lour grant eide q'ils luy avoient fait. Et demorerent et mangerent ove le roi mesme le jour touz les grantz et plusours des comunes, et apres manger vindrent les prelatz, ducs, countz, barons et ascuns des communes en la dite chambre Blanche, et illoeqes feust fait venir Monsir Johan de la Lee, et mys a reson devant eux de plusours articles et pointz mys countre luy en ce parlement par peticions des plusours et autrement, et monstrez a luy par Monsir Robert de Thorp, chief justice du commune bank, del comandement des seignurs illoeqes assemblez; queux pointz et articles et ce q'estoit fait d'icelles est compris en manere q'ensuyt: [Sir John Lee.]
20. And afterwards, on 21 May, with the king, prelates, great men and commons being in the White Chamber, and the common petitions and the answers made thereon having been read before them, and the archbishop also having declared to the king the aid which the great men and commons had made to him in this parliament, the king greatly and wholeheartedly thanked his great men and commons for their presence and their great aid which they had made to him. And all the great men and many of the commons remained and ate with the king on the same day, and after the meal the prelates, dukes, earls, barons and some of the commons came into the said White Chamber, and there Sir John Lee was made to appear and was interrogated before them upon many articles and points brought against him in this parliament by the petitions of many people and in other ways, which Sir Robert Thorp, chief justice of the common bench, declared to him, by the command of the lords assembled there; which points and articles and that which was done thereon are set out in what follows:
21. William Latymer du countee de Dors' mist avant une peticion en ce parlement en la fourme qe ensuit: 21. William Latimer of the county of Dorset put forward a petition in this parliament, in the form that follows:
'A nostre seignur le roi et a son conseil monstre William Latymer, del countee de Dors', qe come nostre dit seignur le roi autrefoitz en la pestilence graunta al evesqe de Salesbirs la garde des manoirs de Dontissh et Develissh en le dit countee, en sa mein esteantz par le meindre age Robert fitz et heir Robert Latymer, chivaler, ensemblement ove le mariage le dit Robert le filz adonqe esteant del age de sis ans, pur certeine summe des deners a luy paiez, et rent annuel apaier; qi estat le dit William Latymer avoit tanqe Monsir Johan de la Lee, adonqes seneschal, par procurement Thomas de la Bere manda un Richard de Imworth, sergeant d'armes, en Dorsete au dit William, del amesner a Loundres en saufe garde come prisoner ove l'enfant avantdit, c'estassavoir le lundy prochein devant le feste de la nativite de Seint Johan le Baptistre, l'an nostre seignur le roi q'ore est trent neofisme, et il ensi fist: et adonqes le dit Monsir Johan chargea et comanda le dit William depar le roi, q'il ne irroit point hors de ville sur peine de mill marcz tanqe il en avereit de luy adepartir; et issint demora par un mois ensuant, et nulle congie ne pout avoir de ent departir tanqe il avoit sus rendu le corps le dit heir, la patente le roi a dit Monsir Johan, et le fait le dit evesqe du [col. b] purchas le dit William, et outre fait un fait de relees a dit Monsir Johan, et le conu en l'escheqier. Sur quoi le dit Monsir Johan lui comanda de tenir toutz les terres et tenementz avantditz tanqe al Seint Michel adonqes prochein ensuant pur une certeine somme de deniers. Et adonqes le dit Monsir Johan lessa au dit William la garde du dit manoir de Develissh, rendant quarant livres par an, et du remenant luy ousta, et des autres et tenementz qe le dit heir avoit de son purchas dont il fust seisi come prochein amy l'enfant, c'estassavoir Pulham, Helton', Whitchirch, Ocford et Stoket, et les ad arente a dit William, et as autres diverses persones, a sa volunte. Et issint par tiel durete, emprisonement, et arest, est le dit William mys a grantz meschiefs, tresgreves damages et perdes, en grant anientisement de son simple estat, dont il pri remedie.' 'To our lord the king and his council; William Latimer of the county of Dorset declares: that whereas our said lord the king previously during the pestilence granted to the bishop of Salisbury the custody of the manors of Duntish and Dewlish in the said county, being in his hands by the minority of Robert, son and heir of Robert Latimer, knight, together with the marriage of the said Robert, the son, then being six years old, for a certain sum of money paid to him and an annual rent to be paid to him; which estate the said William Latimer had until Sir John Lee, then steward, by the procurement of Thomas de la Bere, sent one Richard Imworth, serjeant at arms, into Dorset to the said William to bring him to London in safekeeping as a prisoner with the aforesaid child, that is to say, on the Monday immediately before the feast of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist in the thirty-ninth year of our present lord the king [23 June 1365], and it was done accordingly; and then the said Sir John charged and commanded the said William on behalf of the king that he could not leave the town under a penalty of 1000 marks until he would give up the said heir; and thus he remained for one month following, and was unable to have any licence to depart from there until he had surrendered the body of the said heir, the king's patent to the said Sir John, and the deed of the [col. b] purchase between the said bishop and the said William, and in addition to this deed, a deed of release to the said Sir John, and the recognisance in the exchequer. Whereupon the said Sir John ordered him to hold all the aforesaid lands and tenements until Michaelmas then immediately following for a certain sum of money. And then the said Sir John leased to the said William the custody of the said manor of Dewlish, rendering £40 a year, and removed him from the rest and from other tenements which the said heir had of his purchase, of which the said William was seised as nearest kinsman of the child, that is to say, Pulham, Hilton, Whitchurch, Okeford and Stoket, and he leased them to the said William and to other various people at his will. And thus by such hardship, imprisonment and arrest, the said William was put to great misfortune and very great damage and loss, in great destruction of his simple estate, wherefore he prays remedy.'
As pointz de quele peticion le dit Johan atte Lee respondy, et dist, qe par cause qe les manoirs, terres et tenementz < del heritage > l'eir compris en la dite peticion furent extenduz malement par l'eschetour, et lessez hors de la mein le roi a trope petit value, a grant damage et deceit du roi, il pursuy devers le roi, et fist reprendre mesmes les manoirs, terres et tenementz en la mein le roi, la garde de queux manoirs, terres et tenementz et le mariage du dit heir, le roi lui graunta tanqe al age du dit heir, et issint les tient il du grant le roi. Quele respons fust avys as seignurs nonresonable et meins sufficeant, par cause qe le dit William fust oustez de la garde et mariage susditz sanz proces et respons, et qe le roi avoit grante adevant la garde de mesmes les manoirs ove le mariage du dit heir al evesqe de Sarum tanqe al plein age du dit heir, a quele grante le dit William ne fust partie. Quele chose le dit < Johan > ne dedist point, et partant le dit William sanz coupe < de > deceit ou damage par lui fait au roi celle partie. The said John Lee answered the points of this petition, and said that, because the manors, lands and tenements of the inheritance of the heir contained in the said petition were badly assessed by the escheator, and leased out of the king's hands at too small a value, to the great damage and deception of the king, he pursued the matter for the king and caused the same manors, lands and tenements to be retaken into the king's hands, and the king granted him the custody of these manors, lands and tenements and the marriage of the said heir until the legal age of the said heir, and thus he held them of the king's grant. Which answer seemed unreasonable and insufficient to the lords, because the said William was removed from the aforesaid custody and marriage without process and answer, and the king had previously granted the custody of the same manors with the marriage of the said heir to the bishop of Salisbury until the legal age of the said heir, to which grant the said William was not party. Which point the said John did not deny, and therefore the said William was without guilt of the deceit or damage done by him to the king in this matter.
22. Et aussi fust le dit Johan mis a reson devant les seignurs de ce qe au temps q'il estoit seneschal del hostel le roi, il fist attacher diverses gentz par lour corps, ascuns par sergeantz d'armes, et ascuns par autre voie, come William Latymer et autres, et les fist venir devant luy mesmes come devant le conseil le roi, en places ou luy plust, hors de chescune place le roi acustumez a respondre de diverses choses dont la conissance dust appertenir as places le roi a ce ordeinez, contre la le et les usages du roialme. 22. And also the said John was interrogated before the lords because, when he was steward of the king's household, he caused various people to be attached by their bodies, some by serjeants at arms and some in other ways, such as William Latimer and others, and caused them to come before him as if before the king's council, in whatever courts he pleased, outside any of the king's usual courts, to answer various points the cognisance of which ought to belong to the king's courts ordained for this, contrary to the law and practices of the realm.
23. Item, aussint qe par la ou l'auctorite du seneschal se estent deinz la verge, il fist attacher divers gentz dehors la verge, come Johan Godard et autres, a respondre en la mareschalcie de chose faite dehors, et ascuns fist prendre et mander a la tour de Loundres de sa auctorite demesne, sanz comandement le roi, come Johan Sibile, Esmond Visdilieu et autres. 23. Also that, by the authority exercised by the steward within the verge, he caused various people outside the verge, such as John Goddard and others, to be attached to answer in the marshalsea for things done outside it, and some he caused to be taken and sent to the Tower of London on his own authority, without the king's command, such as John Sibile, Edmund Visdilieu and others.
24. Ensement, par la ou Hugh de Lavenham, provour, qe avoit apellez certeins gentz de felonie, et feust devant les justices le roi a Neugate, et divers gentz areinez a sa seute, de queux ascuns se mistrent en pays, et ascuns se defendirent par leur corps, et demorerent en prisone come la lei demande, le quele appellour feust lesse aler a large par comandement le dit Johan, contre la lei et comandement de justices. Et puis quant il avoit combatu en Smethefeld et fait son darrein, et dust avoir estee remesnez a la prisone pur autres appeulx nient terminez, le dit Johan prist le dit Hugh de sa auctorite demesne, et lui lessa aler a large, et ascuns nient appellez en roule de coroner a la suggescion le dit Hugh fist prendre et emprisoner, aussi come ils eussent estee appellez. 24. Also, Hugh Lavenham, approver, had appealed certain people of felony, and caused various people to be arraigned before the king's justices at Newgate at his suit, some of whom put themselves on their country and some of whom defended themselves by their bodies and remained in prison as the law required; which approver was allowed to go free by order of the said John, contrary to the law and the instruction of the justices. And then when the said Hugh had fought in Smithfield and made his proof, and ought to have been taken back to prison upon other undetermined appeals, the said John took the said Hugh of his own authority and allowed him to go free, and caused some people who had not been appealed in the coroner's roll to be arrested and imprisoned at the suggestion of the said Hugh, as if they had been appealed.
[p. ii-298]
[col. a]
25. Ensement, par la ou le dit Johan fust jurrez au roi et de son conseil, il bargayna ove Monsir Nichol Lovayn la garde du manoir de Reynham en Kent, esteant adonqes en la mein le dit Nichol par meindre age del fitz et heir Johan de Staunton'; par la ou par certeins evidences, come par lettres patentes du grant seal le roi come autres queux le dit Johan avoit et prist devers luy, apparuist overtement qe le dit manoir estoit tenuz de nostre seignur le roi en chief come del chastel de Dovre, et partant la garde d'icelle appertient au roi, a grant damage et deceit du roi, encontre son serment. 25. Also, when the said John had been sworn to the king's council, he bargained with Sir Nicholas Loveyn for the custody of the manor of Rainham in Kent, then being in the hands of the said Nicholas by the minority of the son and heir of John Staunton; whereas on sure evidence such as letters patent of the king's great seal and other things which the said John had and took from him, it was plainly apparent that the said manor was held of our lord the king in chief as of the castle of Dover, and therefore the custody of the same belonged to the king, to the great damage and deception of the king, against his oath.
[memb. 4]
26. Des queux pointz et articles il ne se poait duement ne sufficealment excuser par la lei, et partant fust le dit Johan comande a la tour de Londres, a ydemorer come prisone tanqe il eit fait fin et ranceon au roi a sa volunte. Et dit fust a Monsir Alein de Buxhull, conestable de la tour, q'il preist garde de luy. Et issint departirent les prelatz, ducs, countz et barons et communes. 26. Concerning which points and articles he was not able to excuse himself duly or sufficiently at law, and therefore the said John was sent to the Tower of London, to remain there as a prisoner until he had made fine and ransom at the king's will. And Sir Alan Buxhull, constable of the Tower, was told that he should take care of him. And thus the prelates, dukes, earls, barons and commons departed.
27. Et puis du comandement le roi fust le dit Johan fait venir hors de la tour en garde a Westm' devant le grant conseil, et autrefoitz examinez sur les pointz de la peticion le dit William Latymer, respondi [col. b] et dist qe nostre seignur le roi luy avoit commys la garde des manoirs, terres et tenementz del heir susdit tanqe al age le dit heir, ensemblement ove le mariage le dit heir; et aussi franchement come le roi mesme la garde luy dona, si franchement et entierment il la voleit rendre en la mein le roi; et illoeqes devant le dit conseil la susrendy. 27. And then at the king's command the said John was brought from the Tower under custody to Westminster, before the great council, and having been examined again on the points of the petition of the said William Latimer, he answered [col. b] and said that our lord the king had entrusted to him the custody of the manors, lands and tenements of the aforesaid heir until the legal age of the said heir, together with the marriage of the said heir; and just as the king had given him the said custody freely, so now he wished to return it freely and in its entirety into the king's hands; and there, before the said council, he surrendered it.
28. Par quoi del avys du dit conseil, eu consideracion as pointz < de la peticion > < le dit William, > fust acorde et assentu par le dit conseil qe les manoirs, terres et tenementz et le corps del heir avantdit deussent estre reseisez en la mein le roi et liverez al dit William Latymer, a tenir come il les tient du lees le dit evesqe tanqe al plein age l'eir susdit, fesant au roi pur ycels en manere come il fesoit avant qe le dit Johan luy ousta d'icells. Et qe les lettres patentes le roi faites al dit evesqe de mesme la garde et mariage, et les lettres le dit evesqe de mesme la garde et mariage faites au dit William et renduz al dit Johan par le dit William par duretee et manace, soient pleinement restitutes al dit William; et qe l'enroulement de le reles [...] au dit Johan par le dit William de mesme la garde et mariage issint par durete et manaces fait, et conu par le dit William en l'escheqier, soit cancellez, irritez et anientez et tenuz pur nul a touz jours; sauvant totefoitz au roi son droit en temps avenir. 28. Wherefore, with the advice of the said council, having considered the points of the petition of the said William, it was agreed and assented by the said council that the manors, lands and tenements and the body of the aforesaid heir ought to be re-seized into the king's hands, and delivered to the said William Latimer, to hold as he held them of the lease of the said bishop until the legal age of the aforesaid heir, doing to the king as he did before the said John removed him from the same. And that the king's letters patent concerning the same custody and marriage made to the said bishop, and the said bishop's letters concerning the same custody and marriage made to the said William, and surrendered to the said John by the said William through extortion and threats, should be fully restored to the said William; and that the enrolment of the release of the same custody and marriage made to the said John by the said William under extortion and threats, and acknowledged by the said William in the exchequer, should be cancelled, invalidated and destroyed and treated as null forever; saving always to the king his right in times to come.

Appendix 1368

1

Replies to the ten common petitions on the parliament roll of 1368 (items 10-19), with the heading 'les respons des petitions des communes'. The wording is identical to that found on the roll with the exception of minor orthographic differences. However, there are interlineations in the replies given in this text, not found on the roll; this suggests that this document represents a first, rough attempt at phrasing the replies that would be written up in fair copy on the roll. The dorse of the document is annotated 'les respons des petitions de la commune'. Also on the dorse, in a later hand, is the note: 'Petitiones communitatis Anglie anno regni Edwardi tercii xlii. xlii. xlii. xlii. [ sic ] ac responsiones et ordinaciones earundem in parliamento suo anno predicito'. It seems that the document was used as a cover to a file containing the private petitions entered in this parliament.

Source : C 49/8/12.

2

Petition of Geoffrey Langton, proctor of the lower clergy of the diocese of York, that a writ of capias sued against him in the court of king's bench prevents him from undertaking his duties in parliament, and requesting immunity. No endorsement. The crown issued Langton with a protection during the session of parliament, dated 3 February (sic) 1368.

Sources : SC 8/57/2804, printed in full in SCCKB , V.cxxviii; CPR 1367-70 , 85.

3

Petition of Gomez Peryt, alien merchant, requesting protection, inquiry and action in a dispute with subjects of the English crown. Various resulting chancery instruments dated 12, 13 and 14 May 1368 and warranted 'by petition of parliament'.

Sources : SC 8/67/3314; CPR 1367-70 , 108, 140; CCR 1364-8 , 430.

4

Petition (not extant) of the people of Chipping Torrington, Devon, for exemption from sending their own representatives to parliament; the resulting chancery instrument, granting the request, is dated 18 May 1368 and warranted 'by petition of parliament'.

Source : CPR 1367-70 , 115, printed in full in RP , II.459-60.

5

Petition (not extant) of William Hertlyngton. The resulting chancery instrument, granting a petition to inquire into the charges raised ain the petition, is dated 25 November ( sic ) 1368 and warranted 'by petition of parliament'.

Source : CPR 1367-70 , 201.

6

Petition (not extant) of Nicholas Berkeley and his wife, Cicely, resulting in a chancery instrument dated 15 May 1368, recording that the petition was heard 'before king and council in parliament', and warranted 'by petition of parliament'.

Source : CCR 1364-8 , 424.

7

Chancery instrument recording an order for inquisitions to be held regarding impediments on rivers and the need to maintain freedom of movement on waterways. The instrument is dated 20 May 1368 and warranted 'by petition of parliament'. It makes no specific reference to the petition from which it is drawn, and it is possible that this could have been either a private petition or a common petition not enrolled on the extant parliament roll.

Source : CCR 1364-8 , 429.

Footnotes

  • f1368int-1. RDP , IV.641-4.
  • f1368int-2. J.E. Powell and K. Wallis, The House of Lords in the Middle Ages (London, 1968), 366-7.
  • f1368int-3. Return of the Name of Every Member of the Lower House of Parliament 1213-1874 , 2 vols. (London, 1878), I.179-81; CCR 1364-8 , 479-81.
  • f1368int-4. K.L. Wood-Legh, 'The knights' attendance in the parliaments of Edward III', EHR 47 (1932), 406.
  • f1368int-5. For discussion, see A.F. Pollard, The Evolution of Parliament , 2nd edn (London, 1926), 394; J.G. Edwards, 'The personnel of the commons in parliament under Edward I and Edward II', in Historical Studies of the English Parliament , ed. E.B. Fryde and E. Miller, 2 vols. (Cambridge, 1970), I.166.
  • f1368int-6. This is an incidental reference. There are no extant returns of clerical proctors to this assembly in the Public Record Office class SC 10: A.K. McHardy, 'The representation of the English lower clergy in parliament during the later fourteenth century', SCH 10 (1973), 100 (n. 13).
  • f1368int-7. 36 Edw III c. 10: SR , I.374.
  • f1368int-8. For discussion of the constitutional position of this peace-time grant, see G.L. Harriss, King, Parliament and Public Finance in Medieval England to 1369 (Oxford, 1975), 469-70.
  • f1368int-9. Harriss, King, Parliament , 504 and n. 2.
  • f1368int-10. For a matter not recorded on the roll which may have arisen from a further common petition, see Appendix no. 7.
  • f1368int-11. 36 Edw III st. 2 ( SR , I.376-8); 42 Edw III c. 2 ( SR , I.388).
  • f1368int-12. 25 Edw III st. 1 ( SR , I.310); 42 Edw III c. 10 ( SR , I.389).
  • f1368int-13. 42 Edw III c. 5 ( SR , I.388); for discussion, see N. Saul, Knights and Esquires: The Gloucestershire Gentry in the Fourteenth Century (Oxford, 1981), 136-7.
  • f1368int-14. M.M. Postan, The Medieval Economy and Society (Harmondsworth, 1975), 170.
  • f1368int-15. A.J. Verduyn, 'The attitude of the parliamentary commons to law and order under Edward III', D.Phil. thesis, University of Oxford (1991), 152-5. For the possibility that the revival of the labour laws was occasioned by a further outbreak of plague, see W.M. Ormrod, 'The politics of pestilence: government in England after the Black Death', in The Black Death in England , ed. W.M. Ormrod and P.G. Lindley (Stamford, 1996), 157 and n. 30.
  • f1368int-16. 42 Edw III c. 6: SR , I.388-9.
  • f1368int-17. CPR 1367-70 , 190-5; B.H. Putnam, 'The transformation of the keepers of the peace into the justices of the peace', TRHS 4th series 12 (1929), 46-7.
  • f1368int-18. 9 Edw III st. 1 c. 1: SR , I.270-1.
  • f1368int-19. For what follows, see E. Lipson, The Economic History of England I: The Middle Ages , 10th edn (London, 1949), 521-3; W.M. Ormrod, The Reign of Edward III (London, 1990), 173-4.
  • f1368int-20. 25 Edw III st. 3 c. 2: SR , I.314-15.
  • f1368int-21. For the device of 'avowing' or adopting bills in this manner, see H.G. Richardson and G.O. Sayles, The English Parliament in the Middle Ages (London, 1981), chap. XXI, 9-12.
  • f1368int-22. Lipson, Economic History I , 523.
  • f1368int-23. 43 Edw III c. 2: SR , I.391-2.
  • f1368int-24. Note that at least one such petition was heard not by a committee of triers but by the king and council: Appendix no. 6.
  • f1368int-25. CCR 1364-8 , 479-81.
  • f1368int-26. T.F. Tout, Chapters in the Administrative History of Mediaeval England , 6 vols. (Manchester, 1920-33), III.259; IV.161.
  • f1368int-27. Ormrod, Reign of Edward III , 30, 91.
  • ii-294-42-1. SR , I.388 (c. i)
  • ii-294-47-1. SR , I.388 (c. ii), citing SR , I.376-8
  • ii-294-52-1. SR , I.388 (c. iii)
  • ii-294-57-1. SR , I.388 (c. iv)
  • ii-294-59-1. SR , I.374-5 (c. xiii)
  • ii-294-62-1. SR , I.388 (c. v)
  • ii-294-67-1. SR , I.388 (c. vi), referring to SR , I.388 (c. v), I.311-13; CPR 1367-70 , 191-5
  • ii-294-69-1. A reference to SR , I.270 (c. i)
  • ii-294-72-1. SR , I.389 (c. vii)
  • ii-294-77-1. SR , I.389 (c. viii)
  • ii-294-82-1. SR , I.389 (c. ix)
  • ii-294-87-1. SR , I.389 (c. x), citing SR , I.389 (c. ix), I.310