Memorial VII: Religious Privileges

Pages 49-52

Memorials of the Guild of Merchant Taylors of the Fraternity of St. John the Baptist in the City of London. Originally published by Harrison, London, 1875.

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1. For asmoche as amonges all werks medefull, most meritory is in this oure lyfe, naufrage and perilous, the allectyfes of goostly helth deryvied from the moste mercyfull and plenteous founteyn of oure moder holy chirche to be publysshed, ministred and declared to all Cristen people as the perfite preparatyfes guydyng mannes soule to eternall salvacyon; Therfore it ys that we—John Prynce, late Maister, Thomas Pye, Richard Sutton, John Martyn and Thomas Burgeys, late Wardeins of the ffraternitee of Seint John Baptist of Taillours in the Citee of London beyng possessed of goostly tresoure and willyng all Cristen people to be partiners of synguler and all suche Indulgences, Pardons and Remissions by oures of blessed memory precessours and predecessours of entier charitee purchased long tyme secrete: now of oure goostly mocyon to meve the reders and herers to devocyon of all & singuler such Indulgences, Pardons and remissions in oure moder tonge as is in this table ensuyng, have made a declaracyon. First, this reverent ffraternitee stablisshed in hymself to have that blessed prophete Seint John Baptist for their patrone, thurgh (fn. 2) theire deservyng were admitted to be partiners of the right holy hospitall house of Seint John in Jerusalem (fn. 3) after the tenoure here ensuyng.

"Frere John Pavely, of the holy hospitall house of Seint John in Jerusalem prioure of th'ordoure in England, and all the brethern of the same hospitall, to oures welbeloved in Crist, all and singuler Taillours in the Citee of London which are of the ffraternitee of Seint John Baptist in the saide Citee of London and to all other of the said ffraternitee brethern & sisters, helth in our Lord Jesu.

"Advertisyng & brynging to mynde the grete zele and right many benefyttes by you don to oure religion and trustyng to be don, we, yelding love for love, have receyved & receyve you all and singuler into oure ffraternitee and of th'ole religyon we admitte you withouten ende, (fn. 4) grauntyng you to be partyners of masses, mateins and other houres of prayers, fastynges, almesdedes, hospitalitees, abstynences, watches, pilgrimages, goostly laboures and of all other goode dedes by the brethern of oure religyon don or to be don worlde withouten ende."

This graunte is confermed by Robert Malory late prioure of the saide religion in England.

2. This devoute ffraternitee willyng th'encrease of Godde's honoure by lowly supplicacion, (fn. 5) were admitted of theire right reverent fader in God, Symon (fn. 6) the Bisshoppe of London, to have in theire moder chirche of Powles a Chapell which is halowed in th'onoure of Seint John Baptist atte North syde of Powles where they have ordeyned, by graunt of theire said right reverent fader, preestes to the grete laude of God, specyally to sey masses dailly and to praye for the sowles of brethren and systers of the said ffraternitee deceased from oure mortalytee, and dayly contynued ys in goodenes for the preservacyon of theym that are or shalbe of the said ffraternitee. (fn. 7)

3. Oure [ (fn. 8) moste holy fader in God Bonyface pope the sixth of that name] hath of his mere mocyon to cause people to devocion, to all Cristen people that wyll putte to theire helpyng handes to the makyng of the said chapell or to the mayntenaunce of Goddes service in the said place and to all theym truly penitent and shryven that visyt the said chapell in the ffeestes of Cristmas, Circumcisyon, Epiphanie, Easter, th'Ascencyon, Pentecost, Corpus Christi, th'adnunciacyon, Purificacyon & th'Assumpcyon of our blessed Lady Saint Mary, and in the ffeest of the Nativitee of Seint John Baptist the ffest of Peter & Paule and in the ffeest of the dedicacyon of the said chapell, hath mercifully for eche of these ffeestes graunted vij yeres and vij lentes of remissyon, and whoso within th'utasses of Cristmasse, th'Epiphanie, Easter, th'Assencyon, Corpus Christi, the Nativitee and th'Assumpcyon of the blessed Virgyn Mary, the Nativitee of Seint John Baptist, the ffeest of the blessed Apostels Petir & Poule and of the vj dayes immediatly ensuying the ffeeste of Pentecost, are willyng devoutely to visyte the said Chapell or to put to theire helpyng handes for every daye within th'utasses hath mercyfully graunted [c dayes of indulgence]. (fn. 9)

4. Also the right reverent faders in God Symon th'archebisshoppe of Caunterbury, William of London, William of Wynchestre, John of Lincoln, Robert of Coventre & Lychefelde, John of Bathe & Welles, Thomas of Excestre, Thomas of Ely, Rauf of Salesbury, John of Herforde, Henry of Norwych, William of Chichestre, Adam of Seint Davyd, Thomas of Rowchestre, John of Bangor, Roger of Landaffe and William of Seint Asse, (fn. 10) Bisshoppes, have graunted to all theim that put to theire helpyng handes to the laude of God in this Chapell to be mayntened to exorte Christian people to devocyon eche of theim [xl dayes of remissyon]. (fn. 11)

5. Also right reverent faders in God, first Garsias Martyn of Savoy Channon and proctour generall of the Convent of th'ospitall of oure Lady of Roscydevale (Rounceval), (fn. 12) Maister & keper of the Chapell founded atte Charyngcrosse, hath receyved this worthy ffraternitee into theire ffraternitee, grauntyng theym to be parcyall of the benefyttes in theire religion don or to be don of all indulgies graunted or to be graunted confermed or to be confermed by holy faders worlde withoute ende.

This graunte ys confermed by the priours in the generall chapitre by name "Examinacion De Aynore."

6. Also William Wardon, Abbot of the monastery of oure Lady nygh the Toure of London (fn. 13) hath receyved this saide ffraternitee into the brotherhed of theire religyon ever to be partyners of theire suffragies perpetually.

7. Also William, (fn. 14) the Prioure of the Monastery of the Trinitee in London, hath admitted this notable ffraternitee in breder of theire religion and to be prayde fore perpetually.

8. Also William Hesperby the prioure of th'ospitall of oure Lady Withoute Bisshoppesgate of London hath graunted to this saide ffraternitee to be partyners of theire suffragies for ever.

9. Also Robert Draycote, prioure of the hospitall of oure Lady of Elsyngspitell (fn. 15) within Crepilgate of London, hath graunted this saide ffraternitee to be partyners with theym in all theire goode werkes goostly for ever.

10. Also William Gedney, prioure of the monastery of Seint Barthilmewe (fn. 16) in Smythfelde of London, hath by th'assent and consent of his brethern admitted this right devoute ffraternitee into theire all & singuler suffragies don or to be don in theire religion withoute ende.

11. Also all these places of religion have graunted that whan any brother or sister of this devoute ffraternitee shall decease from this mortalitee, that than they of the name certefied shall do and make to be done in all thynges as is or shall be don for any brother of the saide religion.

12. Also all they that are or shalbe of this blessed ffraternitee by the privilege of Roscydevale to them graunted ben released of the vijth. parte of theire penaunce by oure most holy faders in God Nicholas the iiijth. and Innocente the vjth. popes of blissed memory confermed.

13. Also Elizabeth, abbasse, and Thomas, generall confessoure and all the congregacion of sisters & brethren of the holy monastery of Seint Brigitte (fn. 17) of Syon, have graunted unto this saide ffraternitee to be partiners with theym, as wele in this lyf as after, of all masses, prayers, prechynges, fastynges, abstynencies, watches, disciplynes, almesdedes and all other good dedes don or to be don by theym and theire successours for ever.


  • 1. Does the entry at page 520 relate to this?
  • 2. Through.
  • 3. The Ordinance of 1417 (printed elsewhere) shows the celebration of the Feast of the Decollation of St. John the Baptist, at the Church of St. John's of Jerusalem, near Smythfield, to have been then an annual custom, and the following entry from Machyn's Diary (p. 93) shows the same to have prevailed in 1555:—"The xxix day of August (which) was the day of Decolacyon of Saint John Baptyst, the Merchand-tayllers kept masse at Sant Johnes be-yonde Smyt-feld, and my Lord of Sant Johnes dyd offer at masse, and ser Hare Hubylthorne, ser Thomas Whytt and Master Harper, Althermen, and all the Clothyng. And after the iiij Wardens of the Yeomanry, and all the compene of the tayllers, a 1d. a pesse; and the qwyre honge with Cloth of arres, and after masse to the Tayllers' Hall to dener." See also p. 308.
  • 4. These conventions were said to be common with religious guilds.—See Brentano Essay (1870), p. lxxxiv.
  • 5. Edward III.'s letter to the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, complaining of the deficiency of Priests there (1345).—Riley's London.
  • 6. Simon de Sudbury, alias Tybold, appointed to London in 1361, translated to Canterbury in 1371, and beheaded by the Rebels in Wat Tyler's rebellion, on 14th June 1381, whose skull is said to be preserved in a niche in the vestry wall of St. Gregory, Sudbury, Suffolk.
  • 7. The early records of the Company show that the expenses of a Priest and of Public Worship, at Powles, were borne by the Company. Thus in accounts from 31 Henry 6 to 32 Henry 6, this entry is found by Mr. Martin, "Paid for 4 Wax Candles, of which 2 are in the Chapel of St. John's in Powles, and 2 in the Chapel in the Hall—4 lbs. at 7d. a lb." Dame Beatrice Rose granted an annuity for the service, which was redeemed in 4 Edward VI. (see p. 527), and Hugh Carleton in 1382 also endowed the Chapel (see p. 102).
  • 8. There is an erasure here in the Ordinance Book, and a blank left, which Mr. Martin has revived, and restored the words here given in [ ].
  • 9. The rest of this part of the record is erased and has been also revived.
  • 10. This Bishop, as the latest in consecration, was appointed Bishop of St. Asaph in 1376; and this grant was probably made at or about this date.
  • 11. Another erasure and revival here.
  • 12. Founded by William Marechal, Earl of Pembroke, in Henry III.'s reign, upon the site of Northumberland House (Strand), and was suppressed in Edward VI.'s reign.
  • 13. See page 156 (79).
  • 14. See page 156 (82).
  • 15. P. 155 (15). Sion College occupies the same site (p. 373).
  • 16. P. 155 (13).
  • 17. Founded at Isleworth by Henry V. (1420) as a memorial of the Battle of Agincourt. The only house of Bridgetines in England.