Roll A 6: 1349-50

Pages 224-240

Calendar of the Plea and Memoranda Rolls of the City of London: Volume 1, 1323-1364. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1926.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


In this section


Membr. 1

11 March 1349

Pleas held before John Lovekyn, Mayor, Simon Dolsely and Henry Pykard, Sheriffs, on Wednesday before the Feast of S t Gregory Pope [12 March] A o 23 Edw. III [1348-9]

Writ to the Mayor and Sheriffs to see justice done to John Shonke of Lesnes co. Kent, who complained that he was now confined in Newgate in connection with a bond to Robert, son of the late John Cros, fishmonger, although he had paid the money due under the bond. Dated at Westminster 7 March Ao 23 Edw. III [1348-9].

Thereupon precept was issued to summon the said Robert Cros, who appeared in court and denied that payment had been made to him. The plaintiff produced an acquittance, which was found by a jury to be genuine. Judgment was given for 100s damages taxed by the jury, and the defendant Robert was sentenced to imprisonment. (L)

22 May 1349

Pleas held before the Mayor and Aldermen on Friday the morrow of the Ascension [21 May]

Membr. 1 b

A scire facias was issued to William de Greyngham, serjeant, to summon John Anketel, woolman, to show cause why a debt of 100 marks due on a recognizance, made before Roger de Depham, Alderman, and Thomas de Maryns, Chamberlain, should not be levied from his goods and chattels, lands and tenements, and paid to the executors of his creditor, John Oweyn, called de Pulteneye (fn. 1), viz. to Henry Grene, William Norton, William Oweyn, father of the creditor, and Thomas and Robert his brothers. John Anketel being dead, his heirs and the tenants of his property were called upon to show cause etc. On their failing to appear, execution of the debt was granted and an inquisition was made of the property of John Anketel at the time of his entering into the bond. The jurors found that he possessed a quitrent, messuage, brewhouse and shops in the parish of St Mildred in the Poultry, which came into the possession of his kinsman and heir, John Anketel; and shops, a brewhouse, solars and warehouses in the parishes of All Hallows, Bread Street, and St Mary Magdalene, Milk Street, in the occupation of his widow Agnes. After the payment of quitrents to the Prioress of Kilburn, the Conversi (fn. 2) of "Chancellerslane," and a chantry in the church of St Mary Magdalene, the above properties were of an annual net value of £18. (L)

18 July 1349

Pleas held before the Mayor and Sheriffs on Saturday before the Feast of S t Margaret Virgin [20 July] A o 23 Edw. III [1349]

William de Osprenge, Ralph atte Hoke, John Chaumpeneys, William de Bergeveny, John de la Maneys, Martin le Mynour of Holborn and other bakers' servants were indicted for forming a conspiracy among themselves that they would not work for their masters except at double or treble the wages formerly given (fn. 3). They pleaded not guilty and demanded a jury. Meanwhile, at the request of the bakers, it was resolved by the Mayor and Aldermen that no servant should enter the service of a baker for a less period than a quarter of a year, and that his wages should not be paid otherwise than at the end of each quarter, in accordance with the custom in other misteries, except in case of illness or other urgent necessity, when a baker's servant might be paid his wages up to date, but not in advance. A fine of 40s, payable to the City Chamberlain, was appointed for any infraction of these rules. (L)

26 Aug. 1349

Pleas held before the Mayor and Sheriffs on Wednesday after the Feast of S t Bartholomew [24 Aug.] A o 23 Edw. III [1349]

John de Cantebrigg, chaplain, was summoned to answer William de Stokes and Margery his wife, who sued as next friends of Margery and Juliana, daughters of John de Sellyng draper deceased, on a charge of withholding from the children moneys left to them by their father. These moneys, according to the plaintiffs, came into the hands of John de Sellyng's administrator, Henry de Asshebourn, and on the latter's death, into the hands of his executor, the defendant, who now detained them. The defendant pleaded that he duly administered Henry de Asshebourn's estate and only 5 marks were left. A jury found that he still had in his possession sufficient goods belonging to the testator to pay the £10 due to the children, and judgment was given that they recover that amount. (L)

Membr. 2

1 Sept. 1349

Pleas held before the Mayor and Sheriffs on Tuesday after the Feast of the Decollation of S t John the Baptist [29 Aug.] A o 23 Edw. III [1349]

John de Romeseye and John Mark, white-bakers of St Botolph's Lane, were summoned for having paid their men part of their wages during the quarter, contrary to the recent ordinance (fn. 4). They pleaded guilty and threw themselves on the mercy of the Mayor and Aldermen. (L)

17 June 1349

Pleas held before John Lovekyn, Mayor, on Wednesday after the Feast of S t Barnabas [11 June]

Order was given to summon Nicholas Godwyn, skinner, before the Mayor and Chamberlain to show cause why the sum of £6 15s should, not be levied on his goods and chattels, lands and tenements for payment to Godescalcus atte Brok, merchant of Almaine, under a bond. The said Nicholas being returned as dead, his heirs and tenants were called upon to answer. Thereupon came Stephen Godwyn, heir of the aforesaid Nicholas, and said that the money ought not to be so levied inasmuch as his grandfather, Godewyn le Hodere, who was seised in fee simple of the property, devised it to the said Nicholas and his brother Thomas in tail (fn. 5), and the said Nicholas dying without an heir of his body, the property came to the defendant as son of Thomas. The Court on 11 Sept. found that this was the case, and the plaintiff Godescalcus prosecuted his plea no further. (L)

7 Sept. 1349

Pleas held before the Mayor on Monday before the Feast of the Nativity B.M. [8 Sept.]

Robert de Wodham, executor of Robert de Haugham who was executor of John le Parmenter of York, was summoned to answer William Spershore and Joan his wife, the next friend of the children of the said John, on a charge of withholding the property due to the children. The defendant admitted that he had in charge £30, a signet ring and other goods and chattels, which he was ready to pay as ordered by the Court. The Court directed that the defendant pay to Thomas de Walden, the City Chamberlain, the sum of £30 in gold nobles; which together with 27s 2d, being the value of the goods and chattels, were paid over to the saild William and Joan for the benefit of Ellen, the sole surviving child of the testator. ( L)

2 Sept. 1349

A Congregation of Mayor and Aldermen on Wednesday after the Feast of the Decollation of S t John the Baptist [29 Aug.]

Adam Reyner, "dighere," and Joan his wife bring a plaint of Intrusion against Alice Corteys, touching their free tenement in the parish of St Michael, Queenhithe. (L)

Membr. 2b

Robert de Hyngeston and Simon de Chikesond were attached to answer John de Pampesworth, chaplain, and Amy de Rokesbourgh, executors of Henry de Aysshbourn, who was executor of John de Sellyng, on a charge of carrying away a sack of wool, 13 silver spoons, and silver rings, buckles and cups, belonging to the children of the said John de Sellyng. A jury of Milk Street, viz. Henry Sutbury, William le Keu, Thomas de Wilchere, girdler, Robert Isemberd, Robert le Foundour, Richard le Weyte, William Cornhulle, founder, John Spryngold, brewer, John Balauncer, Thomas Fruter, William Pye and John Barthelee, found a verdict for the plaintiffs for 6 marks and 13s 4d damages. Judgment for those amounts and that the defendants be committed to prison. (L)

5 Oct. 1349

A Congregation of Mayor, Aldermen and Sheriffs on Monday after the Feast of S t Michael [29 Sept.]

The following butchers were sworn to see that meat was sold at a proper price, as was formerly accustomed (fn. 6). Butchers dwelling in the parish of St Nicholas Shambles: Simon atte Gate, Robert de Huntingdon, Richard Eyward, Edmund de Ware; at the Stocks: Thomas atte Hoke, Thomas de Caxton, William Fourner, Nicholas Longe; in East Cheap: John de Farnham, John Lemman, Henry atte Beche, John Vannere.

The same butchers declared on oath that the flesh of bulls that had not been baited was more wholesome than that of baited bulls (taurorum exagitatorum). (L)

Denys de Lyndesey, Adam Saunderson, Roger Brongore, Nicholas de Langetoft, Geoffrey Baroun, Laurence de Cornwall, Thomas de Chestre, William de Evisham, David de la Pole and Walter Bydowe, "wyndrawers," were charged with taking, for the drawing and carrying of wine, double what they were accustomed to take, contrary to a proclamation, made in accordance with the King's writ, that no workman should take more for his labour or merchandise than he was wont to take during the last five or six years. They pleaded guilty and were committed to Newgate. On Friday following they were brought into court by the Keeper of Newgate, and after taking an oath not to repeat the offence were allowed to go free. (L)

Juries were summoned to give verdicts on similar charges against Philip de Cornwall, winedrawer, and his servants, and against Stephen le Baker and his servants John Bechewod, William Mommyng, John Packere, John Rolleboys and William Bagard. (L)

16 Sept. 1349

A Congregation of Mayor and Aldermen in the Guildhall on Wednesday after the Exaltation of the Holy Cross [14 Sept.] A o 23 Edw. III [1349]

Agnes, relict of John Hamond, demands an Assize of Nuisance against Nicholas Bullet and Elizabeth his wife touching her free tenement in the parish of St Stephen Walbrook. (L)

Membr. 3

5 Oct. 1349

Further Pleas on Monday after the Feast of S t Michael [29 Sept]

Robert de Stretford, Bennet Walkelyn, Henry de Turneye, Roger de Botelston, Maurice de Devenisshire and other cordwainers were attached to answer a charge of having made a confederacy and agreed to sell shoes at 8d or 9d a pair instead of the former price of 6d, in contempt of the recent proclamation and the King's writ concerning prices and workmen's wages. They pleaded not guilty, and order was given to summon a jury. (L)

12 Oct. 1349

Pleas held before the Mayor, Aldermen and Sheriffs on Monday before the Feast of S t Edward King (fn. 7) [13 Oct.] A o 23 Edw. III [1349]

Robert de Stretford and other cordwainers, against whom proceedings were taken as recorded supra, made a complaint against Roger de Codyngton, John Phippe, William Aleger, Thomas de Caldecote and other curriers (corigiatores) for selling leather at a higher price than formerly, by charging 3s 6d for a side (fn. 8) (latus) of cowhide, as against the usual price of 2s, and 8s 6d or 9s for an oxhide instead of the old price of 4s 6d or 5s at most. The offenders appeared in court and promised on oath not to repeat their offence. The Cordwainers were ordered to make a scrutiny and bring before the Mayor and Aldermen any leather they found sold at an enhanced price. (L)

14 Oct. 1349

Pleas held before John Lovekyn, Mayor, on Wednesday after the above Feast

Roger de Codyngton, "coreour," was attached to answer Robert de Ely, cordwainer, for having sold to the prosecutor, through his servant John de Eynesford, one shoulder (humerum) of cowhide for 3s and another at 3s 6d, instead of at the proper price, viz. 2s each. The defendant denied any responsibility for the said sale. A jury of persons living round the warehouse, where the sale was alleged to have, taken place, found that the above John de Eynesford was the agent of the defendant, and sold the cowhide, by his orders, at the price above stated. The defendant was committed to prison, but was immediately afterwards mainprised, for the payment of a fine, by Thomas le Purser, Hardebon Pouchemakere, Gilbert de Chelchehuth, tanner, and Godfrey de Haveryng, brewer. (L)

Membr. 3b

Temp. Walter Turk, Mayor, A o 23 Edw. III [1349-50]

9 Nov. 1349

On Monday before the Feast of St Martin [11 Nov.], Robert Garson, cordwainer, was committed to prison for selling two pairs of shoes for 18d to Sir Denys, the King's Clerk, who lodged with Sir Thomas de Brembre—contrary to the proclamation made on the King's behalf. (L)

12 Nov. 1349

On Thursday after the above Feast Thomas Derle, cordwainer, was committed to prison for selling a pair of shoes for 8d to Isabella, widow of Richard de Rothyng, contrary to the proclamation. (L)

13 Nov. 1349

On Friday after the above Feast William Amery, mason, was committed to prison for refusing to do some work appertaining to his trade in the church of St Christopher for less than 5s, which another mason then performed for 12d. (L)

13 Nov. 1349

Pleas held before the Mayor the same day

Agnes Wombe of Bedford and Joan de Sloghteford were attached to answer a charge of having enticed away Joan la Whycchere, a servant, from the service of Thomas de Shene by flattering speeches (per sermones adulosos), during the period for which she was contracted to her master—contrary to the articles ordained by the King and his Council, which were proclaimed in the City in obedience to the King's writ (fn. 9). They pleaded not guilty. A jury from the neighbourhood of Queenhithe, where the plaintiff resided, was summoned. (L)

19 Nov. 1349

On Thursday before the Feast of St Edmund King [20 Nov.], Robert de Stratford, Thomas Jaye, William de Whatele, William de Bristoll, John de Lodelowe, Peter de Kyngeston, Richard de Carleton, John Capel, Walter Caus, Roger Coggere, William Spuk and Whatmann atte Brok, cordwainers, were sworn to keep the articles of their trade. (L)

14 Nov. 1349

On Saturday after the Feast of St Martin [11 Nov.] the above-mentioned and other cordwainers brought a bill of complaint before the Mayor and Aldermen against a number of their servants, whom they charged with entering into a conspiracy not to serve them except by the day and on their own terms—which was in contravention of the masters' right to rule the trade. They prayed also that the curriers and tanners might be summoned to court to give information as to the sale of leather, and they promised that, if this were done, the market for leather would not suffer thereby. (F)

The servants, being present in court, confessed to all that was contained in the bill of complaint and threw themselves on the mercy of the Mayor and Aldermen. In answer to questions they gave the names of several others who had joined their confederacy, and though they did not know the names of all of them, they said the total number was over sixty. They were committed to Newgate during the pleasure of the Mayor and Aldermen, but on Thursday after the Feast of St Katherine [25 Nov.] they were released on their promise to work for the same wages as formerly, and their masters entered into mainprise for their future good behaviour. (L)

Membr. 4

17 March 1350

Pleas held before Walter Turk, Mayor, and Adam de Buri and Ralph de Lenne, Sheriffs, on Wednesday after the Feast of S t Gregory [12 March] A o 24 Edw. III [1349-50]

Walter Martyn, John Aumbrey, Rose la Hokestere, William Tythynglomb, William Pikebon, Roland de Colbrook and others were indicted for being forestallers of poultry and other victuals. The above Roland was found not guilty. The rest were convicted and sent to prison, with the exception of William Tythynglomb, who, having been previously found guilty of a similar offence, was ordered to stand on the pillory. (L)

30 April 1350

Pleas held before the Mayor and Sheriffs on Friday the eve of the Feast of SS. Philip and James [1 May]

John le Wheler, Margery Ossekyn and others were convicted of forestalling poultry and other victuals and were committed to prison. (L)

11 May 1350

Pleas held before the Mayor and Sheriffs on Tuesday after the Feast of S t John ante Portam Latinam [6 May]

Eleven persons were indicted for forestalling tannery, tiles and poultry, of whom John atte Chapelle, Agnes, wife of Osbert de Mundene, Hugh Gardiner, Henry le Kook of East Cheap and John de Kyngesseye admitted their offence and were committed to prison. John de Edmyngton, tanner, William Forester, senior, William Forester, junior, John atte Brom, John Blackwell and Joan, wife of Walter Taylour, pleaded not guilty and put themselves on their country. (L)

Membr. 4b

14 May 1350

Pleas held before the Mayor and Sheriffs on Friday before Pentecost [16 May]

Thomas Clerk, William Cheseman, Alice Coppedok and others were charged with forestalling poultry and other victuals. The greater number were acquitted. Juliana de Ware, Gilbert Lord, Alice de Ware and Thomas Poleter were found guilty and committed to prison. (L)

Isabella de Toppesham, "hostelere," was attached to answer a charge of detaining 80 florins called "nobles," entrusted to her by Nicholas de Trouhgbrugge at her hostel near St Paul's Brew-house in Castle Baynard Ward. She pleaded not guilty and said she gave the money to William, the plaintiff's brother, at the plaintiff's request. A jury was summoned; and because the defendant could not find surety for her appearance, she was committed to prison. Eventually the jury found her guilty of detaining the money, and she was again committed to prison until she repaid the sum due with 13s 4d damages. (L)

7 June 1350

Pleas held before the Mayor and Sheriffs on Monday before the Feast of S t Barnabas [11 June]

Thomas de Kyngestone, clerk, and Edmund, son of Thomas de Ware, were attached to answer the King and the Common Serjeant, William de Iford, on a charge of causing an affray on London Bridge, and for assaulting, and using contemptuous and abusive words against John Lovekyn, the late Mayor, when he intervened—to the terror of passers-by and in contempt of the King £1000. They pleaded not guilty. A jury was summoned. (L)

Membr. 5

2 Dec. 1349

On Wednesday after the Feast of St Andrew [30 Nov.] Ao 23 Edw. III [1349], John Baltrip and Geoffrey le Cordwaner of Bassieshaw were committed to prison for selling shoes to Adam de Leynthale and Margaret Condal at an unlawful price—8d a pair. (L)

4 Dec. 1349

A Congregation of Mayor and Aldermen on Friday after the above Feast

A committee of Adam Brabazon, William atte Welde, Henry Pykard, William de Todynham, Aldermen, Richard de Wycombe, John Lytle, John Pele, Simon de Podyngton and William de Iford, Commoners, was chosen to buy 5 casks of wine and 7 pieces of wax as presents for divers magnates. (L)

16 Jan. 1350

Pleas held before the Mayor, Aldermen and Sheriffs on Saturday after the Feast of S t Hilary [13 Jan.] A o 23 Edw. III [1349-50]

John Berunger, currier, was attached to answer a charge brought by William de Whetelee, cordwainer, of having sold a side and a remnant of cowhide for 5s 9d, instead of the proper price 4s. The sale was alleged to have taken place in the Seld of the Curriers at St Michael at Corn. The said John pleaded guilty and was committed to prison during the pleasure of the Mayor and Aldermen. (L)

20 Jan. 1350

Pleas held before the Mayor and Sheriffs on Wednesday the octave of S t Hilary [13 Jan.]

Alan de Pynchebek, tailor, was attached to answer a charge of breaking into the house of Master Richard de Dovre, cook to Sir David de Wlnore in Fleet Street, and assaulting and beating his wife Cristina. He was found guilty by a jury and a capias was issued against him. (L)

10 April 1350

10 April Ao 24 Edw. III a precept was sent to each Alderman to cause four men of his Ward to be elected, that they might attend at the Guildhall on a certain day to discuss matters touching the City. The names of those elected were to be returned on Monday endorsed on the precepts. (F)

12 April 1350

Inquest taken before the Mayor and Sheriffs on 12 April, as to forestallers of oxen, cows, pigs, sheep, poultry, grain, malt and other victuals. The jury presented Thomas Austyn, butcher, as a common forestaller, who had gone out to Iseldon in Middlesex and had bought 80 sheep from John le Rous, and to Highgate, where he bought from Walter de Baldeswell 120 pigs on their way to market. Afterwards the above Thomas appeared in court by attachment and pleaded guilty. He was committed to prison, but next day was released on mainprise for his future good behaviour, and for his appearance in court to pay a fine when required. (L)

9 June 1350

On Wednesday before the Feast of St Barnabas [11 June], John de Drayton, Richard Carlel, William Passeware, Thomas Same, John Walsshe and John de York were accepted as mainprise for the appearance of Adam de Carlehull before the Mayor and Aldermen. (L)

Membr. 5b

24 May 1350

Pleas held before the Mayor and Sheriffs on Monday after the Feast of S t Dunstan [19 May] A o 24 Edw. III [1350]

Adam le Brewere, servant of John de Oxonia, skinner, was attached to answer the King and Thomas Spray on a charge of reviling the said Thomas and others, who had served on a jury of inquiry, and of saying that the Mayor and Aldermen ought not to regulate the brewers, and that he himself would gather together the brewers, and they would agree not to take service except by the day only and at a wage of 12d a day—all this being in contempt of the King and to the damage of the people. The defendant denied the offence, but being found guilty by a jury, was committed to prison during the pleasure of the Mayor and Aldermen. (L)

Roger Torold, taverner, and Bartholomew, the taverner of Nicholas le Blake, were attached to answer a charge of having refused to let a customer, John Cortoys, see his wine drawn, contrary to the proclamation (fn. 10) thereon made and in contempt of the King. They admitted the offence and were committed to prison until each should pay to the Chamberlain a fine of half-a-mark. (L)

3 June 1350

On Thursday after the Feast of St Petronilla [31 May], William Albon, Robert Lyghtfote, Roger atte Brok, John de Haukeshalle, Richard de Stortford and Thomas Wylcher were accepted as sureties that Richard, son of William de Hakeney, would keep the peace with William le Barber, beadle of Lime Street, and Roger le Caller. (L)

The same day Richard Lacer, Alderman, reported that William de Oxford, skinner, had caused an affray in his presence and had wounded Thomas Wylcher in St Hilary's Lane (fn. 11). The said William admitted his offence and was committed to Newgate. On the Monday following he was brought into court by the Keeper and begged to be allowed to find sureties for his future good behaviour. This was granted, and Simon de Bytlesdon, John de Stafford, Richard de Pollesworth, Adam Cope, John de Aysshebourn and Henry de York, skinners, were accepted as mainprise. (L)

12 June 1350

On Saturday after the Feast of St Barnabas [11 June], John de Navarre, taverner, was fined 40s for having bought two cart loads of gravel for 10d, contrary to the proclamation (fn. 12) of the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty, which fixed the price of sand and gravel at 3d a cartload. (L)

The same day Thomas le Coupere was committed to Newgate for having called a jury false and perjured, in the presence of the Mayor and Aldermen in open court. (L)

18 June 1350

On Friday after the Feast of St Botolph [17 June], Henry de Bradele, "correour," sold to John de Brampton, a foreigner living near Huntingdon, 8 skins of leather in Cheap contrary to the proclamation. The skins were seized by Robert de York, cordwainer, and brought before the Mayor and Aldermen. The said Henry confessed his fault. (L)

14 June 1350

On Monday after the Feast of St Barnabas [11 June], John Natus (fn. 13), Walter de Lyncoln, Thomas Shrousbury, John de Holne, Stephen de Cobham and William Combe, belonging to the mistery of Shearmen, were committed to prison for refusing to work except at double wages. Surety was accepted for their future good behaviour. (L)

The same day John Adam, spicer, paid to Thomas de Walden, the Chamberlain, a fine because his servant John Coumbe sold a gallon of wine by his orders at a price contrary to the proclamation. (L)

Membr. 6

13 July 1350

Pleas held before the Mayor, Sheriffs and Aldermen on Tuesday after the Feast of the Translation of S t Thomas the Martyr [7 July]

Two bills of complaint were brought against John Wodegate; the one by John de Wyndesore, tapicer, who charged him with failing to enrol the plaintiff's indentures of apprenticeship and to present him for the freedom when he had served his term; and the other from Thomas Andrew on behalf of the mistery of Tapicers, who complained that the said John Wodegate had several apprentices and had not enrolled their indentures during the first year of their terms or enfranchised them at the end of their terms, and that he was maintaining one Richard atte Brugge of Essex, who was a "pikere" and a "pulfrour (fn. 14)," and not fit to belong to the mistery. (F)

The defendant pleaded not guilty and denied that John Wodegate was ever his apprentice, and said that he served him for two years under a special arrangement. A jury found that John Wodegate was an apprentice and had served faithfully for ten years, that his master broke the indentures, and that the defendant maintained the said Richard atte Brigge (sic), who was a nightwalker and an evildoer and had since fled from the City. (L)

Membr. 7

28 June 1350

Pleas held before the Mayor, Aldermen and Sheriffs on Monday the eve of SS. Peter and Paul [29 June]

A bill of complaint was read in which the Commonalty of the land (la Comune de la terre) (fn. 15) charged the Fusters of the City, viz. Geoffrey Owyt, John Dunmowe, Thomas Payn, Robert Payn, John de Enfeld, Walter Brok, John Payn and Peter Dunmowe, with forming a confederacy and agreeing not to sell a saddle-tree (arson), which used to cost 6d or 7d, for less than 2s or 30d, although the wood of which it was made cost only 3d. They complained further that the Fusters had agreed not to take any apprentices, with the intention of restricting the number of their mistery, so that they could control prices. They also agreed to sell their saddle-bows to foreigners, if they could not obtain their price among citizens, and they were about to buy a charter from the King restricting the trade to those persons who were now confederated, which would result in the decrease of the mistery. A similar confederacy had formerly existed among the lorimers in copper, of whom there were now only two left to serve the whole people. (F)

The Fusters were attached to appear on Wednesday, when they pleaded not guilty, and one of them, Robert Payn, said he had taken an apprentice, Nicholas de Eston, and enrolled him within the last half year. On Friday a jury found that the Fusters were selling saddle-trees for 40d, though wood cost no more than formerly, that they had agreed in words, though not on oath, to raise the price of their work and to sell to foreigners if citizens would not buy, but that they were not guilty of refusing apprentices or seeking a charter. Judgment was given that they be committed to prison during the pleasure of the Mayor and Aldermen. (L)

On Monday after the Feast of the Translation of St Thomas the Martyr [7 July] the above-mentioned Fusters came into court, when William Pykerel on behalf of the Saddlers of the City produced a bill purporting to be an agreement by the good men of the Commonalty of the land, who had prosecuted the Fusters. They suggested that owing to the mischief caused by the Pestilence during the last two years, a new scale of charges for goods supplied by the Fusters to the Saddlers should be adopted for a half year, one year or two years, and that prices should revert to the former level or even lower as times (le seclee) improved. They demanded further that all saddle-trees should be of good material, that the Fusters should take apprentices, and that they should not sell to foreigners so long as there was a sale among citizens. (F)

After deliberating on these proposals of the Saddlers, the Fusters handed in a bill, in which they said that owing to a life of labour they were now feeble in strength, that they could not find apprentices or serving men to help them, and that at a time when they needed more comfort in the matter of food and clothing, conditions were so evil that the gallon of beer cost 2d instead of 1d, and other necessaries had also risen in like proportion. Consequently they could not sell at the prices suggested by the Saddlers, since they would be spending more in a year than they could earn in three. As regards selling to foreigners and citizens, they possessed the same rights as other freemen, and the proposals of the Saddlers were in prejudice of their liberties. They prayed the Mayor and Aldermen to accept a schedule of prices for certain kinds of saddle-trees. (F)

After consideration, and putting aside the arguments of both the Saddlers and the Fusters, the Mayor and Aldermen ordained certain prices for three kinds of saddle-trees, which were to be paid until affairs improved. These prices were accepted both by the Saddlers and the Fusters, and the latter swore to observe them. (L)

[Prices mentioned in the above dispute.]

Usual Price Saddlers' Fosters' Price fixed
A saddle-tree (fn. 16) " de cours "with seat complete 8d 10d 2s 12d
A saddle-tree called "liggere" with seat complete 10d 12d 26d 15d
A saddle-tree called "arson de poile (poille)" 14d 30d
A saddle-tree called "maletree" 10d 12d 30d 16d
A saddle-tree called " heukstree " or " for a heukstre" 10d 12d
A saddle-tree with an open seat 6d 12d
A saddle-tree for a "courser" 16d 18d
A saddle-tree for "destrers" 20d 2s
A saddle-tree for tournaments 20d 2s
A saddle-tree for jousts 6s 8d 8s


  • 1. Not the famous Mayor of this name.
  • 2. A house for converted Jews founded by Henry III in 1233. Stow tells us that it was annexed by patent to William Burstall, clerk, Custos Rotulorum, or keeper of the Rolls of Chancery, in 1377. Kingsford's Stow, ii, pp. 42-3. As the lane was known as " Chauncellereslane" in 1340, the connection is obviously older. Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1338-40, p. 305.
  • 3. The immediate result of the Black Death, which reached London in Nov. 1348, was a great increase in prices and labour, and an influx of beggars, who had fled from the countryside either to escape the pestilence or in search of higher wages. On 18 June 1349 an ordinance, known incorrectly as the Statute of Labourers, was issued by the King and his Council, forbidding labourers to receive more than their usual wage, and ordering all mayors and bailiffs of cities and boroughs to prevent sellers of victuals from raising their prices. Statutes of the Realm, i, pp. 307-9; Cal. of Letter Book F, p. 192. The City attempted to meet the difficulties of victuallers by insisting on long-service contracts so as to prevent labourers from exploiting their work in the labour-market. Later, in 1350, an ordinance was issued in the City regulating wages and prices in considerable detail. Set out in Riley's Memorials, pp. 253-8, from Letter Book F, fos. clxxxi-clxxxii.
  • 4. See above, p. 225, n. 2.
  • 5. Compare this case, showing that heirs in tail could not be charged with an ancestor's debts, with others, pp. 138-9, 142, 224-5, where land passing in fee simple was held to carry with it any obligations the owner had incurred.
  • 6. Before the Black Death. See above, p. 225, n. 2.
  • 7. The Translation of St Edward King and Confessor.
  • 8. Described in the next entry as a shoulder (humerus) of hide.
  • 9. This probably refers to the ordinance relating to labourers and servants, known as the Statute of Labourers, of 18 June 1349. Though there is no express mention of enticing away servants, c. 2 lays down the penalty of imprisonment for servants leaving their service without reasonable cause within the term of their service, and the same penalty for masters receiving or retaining any such in their service. Statutes of the Realm, i, p. 307. Enticing away servants or apprentices had for long been an offence against City ordinances.
  • 10. Proclamations to this effect were constantly issued. In 1321, when the Itinerant Justices were sitting at the Tower, six persons were chosen to present Assizes of wine, ale, poultry and meat, in which it was laid down qe chescun acatour puisse ver trere le vin qil devera acater et le merke del tonel. Subsequently the whole of the vintners of the City were amerced for contravening this regulation. See Lib. Cust. i, pp. 304, 425.
  • 11. As far as the editor can ascertain, this is the only mention of this lane in mediaeval documents.
  • 12. See the ordinance of 1350, set out in Riley's Memorials, pp. 253-8.
  • 13. Possibly we are intended to read "John, born Walter de Lyncoln."
  • 14. A picker and a pilferer. Cf. N.E.D. "A.D. 1580, Hollyband Treas. Fr. Tong. Desrobbeur & pilleur, a theef, a robber, a picker, a pilferer."
  • 15. "The good men of the Commonalty" appear to have been the Saddlers, who prosecuted the Fusters for an offence against the so-called Statute of Labourers. The Fusters were makers of saddle-trees, i.e. the wooden frames of saddles, including the pommel or front-bow, known as the "arzoun," the seat and the cantle or back-bow. Such frames were covered with linen or leather, or stuffed with horsehair by the saddlers, harnessed with metal-work by the lorimers of copper and iron, painted by the painters, and frequently ornamented with gold, silver and jewels by the goldsmiths and gilders. Disputes between these trades were frequent. See Lib. Cust. i, pp. 80-1, A.D. 1308; Letter Book E, fo. clxxvi in Riley's Memorials, pp. 156-62. A writ of 8 Dec. 1349 to the Mayor and Sheriffs directed them to prevent saddlers and other artificers from taking higher prices than before the Black Death. The present prosecution was obviously an attempt by the saddlers to transfer the blame to one of the subsidiary trades.
  • 16. The meaning of these terms is not in all cases clear. A saddle-tree "de cours" would appear to be the woodwork of an ordinary ridingsaddle. A "liggere" was possibly a "leger" or light saddle. "Arson de poile " may be a saddle-tree intended to carry hair-stuffing. A " maletree " was either a packsaddle, or a saddle fitted for carrying a male or box behind. Cf. N.E.D. c. 1386, Chaucer, Can. Yeom. Pro. 13, "A male tweyfold on his croper lay"; 1489-90, Plumpton Corr. 89, "Robert, my large to ride before my male." A "heukstree," also described as a saddle-tree for a "heukstre," possibly means a saddle for a huckster or pedlar, fitted with panniers. A saddle for a " courser " was a saddle for a racer or hunter, and a "destrer" was a war-horse.