Roll A 29: 1388-89

Calendar of the Plea and Memoranda Rolls of the City of London: Volume 3, 1381-1412. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1932.

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'Roll A 29: 1388-89', Calendar of the Plea and Memoranda Rolls of the City of London: Volume 3, 1381-1412, (London, 1932), pp. 148-169. British History Online [accessed 24 June 2024].

. "Roll A 29: 1388-89", in Calendar of the Plea and Memoranda Rolls of the City of London: Volume 3, 1381-1412, (London, 1932) 148-169. British History Online, accessed June 24, 2024,

. "Roll A 29: 1388-89", Calendar of the Plea and Memoranda Rolls of the City of London: Volume 3, 1381-1412, (London, 1932). 148-169. British History Online. Web. 24 June 2024,

In this section


Divers men adjudicated to prison in the time of Nicholas Twyford, knight, mayor

Membr. 1

1 June 1389

Thomas Derby, brodurer, was committed to prison at the suit of Lionel Vyvarde, merchant of Genoa, for a debt of £20 due to the said Lionel for an embroidered silk curtain.

28 Aug. 1389

John Whyte, lymenour, was committed to prison for a debt of 16s which Henry Gaysle, scriveyn, recovered against him on the award of the masters of the Lymenours (fn. 1), and for 40d which the court adjudged that he should pay to the chamberlain for disobeying the ordinances of his mistery.

30 Aug. 1389

John Kempe, boatman, unmarried (solutus), who was taken in adultery with Isabella Smyth, wife of Richard Smyth, in Billingsgate ward by John Kempe, smith, constable of the ward, was mainprised the same day by the said John Kempe and John Chiltre to appear before the Mayor and Aldermen where and when etc., under penalty of £40 (fn. 2).

Membr. 1 b

23 Jan. 1389

Whereas divers charters of divers misteries, granted to them by the king and his progenitors, had in the time of Nicholas Brembre, knight, been taken into the Chamber of the Guildhall into the custody of Richard Odyham, chamberlain (fn. 3), there to remain etc., and afterwards, when it should be necessary to the men of the misteries, to be handed back to them for production before the king and his council, the charter of the Drapers was on 23 Jan. 1389 delivered by the chamberlain to John Basse, Thomas Noket, Thomas Weylond and John Eston, drapers, who were mainprised to produce it before the Mayor and Aldermen and their successors where and when etc.

The same day the chamberlain delivered to Roger Excestre, Thomas Depham, Thomas Kirwode and Thomas Cole, saddlers, the charter of their mistery, under the same conditions (fn. 4).

24 Jan. 1389

The charter of the Goldsmiths was similarly handed over on mainprise of Thomas Polle, Thomas Panton, Andrew Stamelden and Reymund Standulf, goldsmiths; the charter of the Skinners by mainprise of William Olyver and William Horscroft, skinners; the charter of the Girdlers by mainprise of John Nasyng, William Sewall, William Picot and William Potenham, girdlers; and the charter of the Tailors by mainprise of John Dymmok, John Wilby, William Horston, Richard Rose, John Garnet and John Ballard, tailors.

15 July 1389

Martin Falimonica was mainprised by Ciprian de Mare and Isuellus Spinula to appear before the Mayor and Aldermen where and when etc. and to answer if any wished to sue against him.

Membr. 2

20 Sept. 1388

Further writ relating to the arrest of Hanse merchants in London in reprisal for the arrest of English merchants at La Sounde by men of Lubyk etc. (fn. 5) The king commands that the merchants, viz. Hermann Vynthorpe, Frowyn Stepyng, William de Bourne, Conrad de Ulpe, Bernard van Lunen, Henry Smythman, John Epenschede, Henry Mayresbek, John Knyght and Bernard Mekilkus, all of Cologne, Andrew Kilmere, Brunus Dycof, Hilbrand Ispelyngrode, Nicholas Leure, Frowin Balke, Albert Cleppyng and John Wystrote, all of Dortmund (Tremonia), and Nicholas Paternostermaker of Ungaria, should be disarrested and allowed to go at large, because the said Hermann Vynthorp, William de Bourne, John Pape, Hermann Huseman and Matthew Walkemolle had appeared before the king and his council and had entered into mainprise that English merchants should go and come with their goods, without injury or arrest, in the towns of Lubyk, Rustok, Wyssemere and Hamburgh and the districts of the same, excepting the town of La Sounde. Dated at Cantebrigg 20 Sept. 1388.

By virtue of this writ the mainprise of the merchants of Almaine was cancelled and they and their mainpernors were exonerated.

Membr. 2 b

16 Jan. 1389

Quitclaim from John Wantynge, son of Sibil, sister of Robert Hamull, citizen, whose heir he is, to William de Briene, knight, his heirs and assigns and other persons holding (fn. 6) the manor of Esthall co. Kent, of all his right and claim to the same manor and to a messuage, mill, 4 carucates of land, 13 acres of meadow, 60 acres of wood, £10 annual rent and a rent in kind of 120 hens and 400 eggs, in Esthall, Crei St Mary, Orpinton, Doune, Codham, Okeholte, Hese, Farneburgh, Pintham and Frenigham co. Kent (fn. 7), which the said Robert his uncle acquired of Richard de Esthall and Margaret his wife. Dated 15 Jan. 1389.

3 Oct. 1388

Writ of protection, dated at Cambridge 3 Oct. 1388, in favour of John Holbech of London, who was prosecuting divers pleas touching himself and the king in divers courts in England and was afraid of personal violence and damage to his goods by his enemies.

Further writ to the mayor and sheriffs ordering them to proclaim the above protection in the city and not to molest or trouble the said John.

23 Jan. 1389

Writ to the mayor that whereas letters patent of pardon (fn. 8) had been issued to Margery, widow of Hugh Bromhull, pinner, for all offences entailing penalty of life, limb or forfeiture, between 1 Oct. 1382 and 31 May 1388, whereof she might have been indicted, accused or appealed, the king wished to be certified as to whether the said Margery was one of the citizens of the city.

Return of Nicholas Twyford, mayor, that the said Margery was one of the citizens according to the custom of the city.

16 Jan. 1389

Memorandum that Robert de Whiteby, clerk and servant of John, duke of Lancaster, lately entrusted to Peter Mildenhale, skinner, a counterpane of ermine for a bed belonging to the duke, which the said Peter pledged as security to Thomas de Kent and Walter Pykenham, skinners, executors of Stephen Daubeneye, skinner, for a debt of £101 1s 8d, which he owed to Stephen, and afterwards the said Peter was arrested and imprisoned in the king's castle of Nottingham (fn. 9) on charges of felony and treason. Subsequently, when Robert asked for the counterpane, the executors refused to deliver it to him. Thereupon the king on 16 Jan. 1389 sent letters under his privy seal to the mayor and sheriffs demanding that they return the counterpane to Robert, as appears more fully in the file of letters received from the king and other lords and magnates. The mayor and sheriffs caused the executors to deliver the counterpane, and the latter were exonerated thereof.

Membr. 3

2 Dec. 1388

Pleas held in the Chamber of the Guildhall according to the custom of the city before the Mayor and Aldermen 2 Dec. 1388

Gilbert Bonet, executor of the will of Richard Lyons, was summoned, together with his co-executors John Warde and Thomas Medelane, to answer Isabella, widow of the said Richard, for detinue of 1500 marks, being her portion of the goods and chattels of her late husband according to the custom of the city, whereby a widow took a third part if there were children, and one half if there were no children. She alleged that when her husband died without issue on Corpus Christi day (13 June) 1381 he possessed goods and chattels in the parish of St James Garlikhithe to the value of 3000 marks, viz. gold and silver in money, silver vessels, linen, woollen and silk cloth, wine in tuns, pepper, ginger and other merchandise.

John Warde and Thomas Medelane making default, the defendant Gilbert appeared, after the great distress had been put upon him, and protested that he did not acknowledge the custom to be as alleged, or that the plaintiff was ever de jure the wife of Richard Lyons, or that the said Richard had any goods and chattels on the day of his death. He alleged that in 1363 before John Harald, commissary-official of the bishop of London, in St Paul's church the said Richard and Isabella, by the name of Isabella Pledour, were divorced at the suit of the said Richard on account of certain impediments, and such marriage as there was between them, so far as it went in fact, was declared annulled by definitive sentence. He demanded judgment whether the plaintiff could have any action against him.

The plaintiff answered that she was married (desponsata) to the said Richard long before the time of the alleged divorce and that the marriage (sponsalia) continued till the death of her husband, and that at the Husting of Common Pleas on 13 Nov. 1385 she sued John Wakelee and Maud his wife on a writ of dower for the third part of two messuages and sixteen shops in London, which John and Maud afterwards alleged that her union with Richard Lyons was not lawful wedlock. To this she had replied that she was married at the door of St Mary de Stanynge church in Aldrichesgate. As the court then considered that the case belonged to ecclesiastical jurisdiction and they had no power to demand information from the bishop of London, and they wished to consult further, the action had been adjourned from Husting to Husting until 12 Nov. 1386, when the king sent a writ of certiorari, returnable to Chancery, demanding the record and process, and afterwards sent the return with another writ to the justices of the Bench (fn. 10) to deal with it. She had appeared before the justices and, on the default of the said John and Maud, prayed that a writ of certiorari be sent to the bishop. After several writs had been sent to him, the bishop at last sent to the justices his letters patent and close saying that he had summoned the parties before himself and his commissaries and, the matter having been thoroughly discussed, it had been found that Richard Lyons and Isabella Pledour had lawfully contracted matrimony, which was solemnised according to the accustomed form of the church. Afterwards the king sent his writs to Robert Bealknappe, justice of the Bench, and to Thomas Haxeye, keeper of the writs of the Bench, ordering them to send to Chancery their certificate with all matters connected, which certificate they duly sent. Thereupon the king sent the record and process with the certificate to the Husting on 27 April 1388 in order that they might proceed. She said further that there had been no divorce, which she was prepared to verify, wherefore she prayed judgment.

Membr. 3 b

Membr. 4

As the court considered that the cognisance of the case belonged to the ecclesiastical court and that they had no power to demand information from the bishop, and because they wished to consult further, a day was given to the parties and process was continued until 15 Feb. 1389. Meanwhile the king by a writ of 8 Feb. demanded that the writ and process be returned to Chancery. Finally on 10 May 1390 the king sent a writ, sub pede sigilli sui, reciting the proceedings and informing them that the record and process had been forwarded by Chancery to Robert Cherlton and other justices of the Bench, who had obtained from the bishop of London a certificate, dated 15 Nov. 1389, to the effect that the marriage contracted between Richard Lyons and Isabella Pledour had been quashed and annulled (fn. 11).

Membr. 5

10 Feb. 1389

William Shrympelmerssh was attached to answer John Pygeon, piebaker, in a plea of deceit (fn. 12), wherein the latter complained that on 24 Sept. 1386 the defendant offered to sell him a house in the parish of St Andrew Baynardescastell in fee simple, free of all encumbrances, and guaranteed that it would let at 20 marks per annum and that he would rent it himself for 20 years at that amount, whereupon the plaintiff bought it for 100 marks, but found that it was burdened by two statute-staples, one to William Venour in £100 and another to Edmund Gyssyng in £40, and that it was worth only 12 marks per annum; and moreover the defendant, instead of finding security as promised and renting the house, fled to sanctuary at Westminster.

The defendant in bar of action pleaded an agreement of 2 Nov. 1386 in the parish of St Gregory as regards all claims of the plaintiff against him, except a claim for the enrolment of a deed in Guildhall, which claim he did not acknowledge, and that in accordance with the agreement he paid the plaintiff 21 marks.

The plaintiff answered that the agreement was made not in the parish of St Gregory but in that of St Mary Wolcherchehawe and that it was conditional on the defendant enrolling the deed of feoffment of the house, sealing indentures of a twenty years lease of the same and paying an old debt of 21 marks, which conditions, as regards the enrolment and the indentures, were not fulfilled.

On these issues a jury of the two parishes of St Gregory and St Mary brought in a verdict that the agreement was made in the latter parish and was conditional, and they assessed damages at 5s. Accordingly it was considered that the plaintiff recover damages as taxed by the jury and that the defendant be in mercy.

20 March 1389

Letter of attorney from Hugelin Gerard of Bolonia Crassa to Philip de Matuan of the same.

Membr. 5 b

15 March 1389

Robert Somersete, draper, who had been named in the will of Thomas Carleton, grocer, as an executor, together with the widow, Joan, and John Arnold, chaplain, came into court and renounced his executorship and prayed that his renunciation might be entered of record.

Membr. 6

16 Feb. 1389

Indentures between Thomas Sampson of co. Suffolk and John Otteleye, citizen of London, for a settlement on the marriage of Simon Sampson, son of the said Thomas, with Margaret, daughter of the late William Knightcote of London, and ward of the said John. The said John agreed to pay over to the said Thomas the said Margaret's inheritance, viz. £333 6s 8d, namely £100 in money and the remainder for the purchase of real property, when an opportunity should occur, for the benefit of Simon and Margaret and their children, or, failing children, the legitimate children of the survivor, with remainder to Thomas Sampson. It was further agreed that half of any goods and chattels which might accrue under the will of William Knightcote be used for the same purpose and half be paid to the said Thomas. Dated 9 Feb. 1389. [French]

18 Feb. 1389

Recognisance by Egbert Ludykesone of Campe (fn. 13) to Richard, earl of Arundel and Surrey, of a debt of £500 payable at Christmas at the earl's town-house (hostiel) of Pulteneys (fn. 14) in London. [French]

Membr. 6 b

8 April 1389

Letter of attorney from William Bacoun, son and heir of the late Richard Bacoun, stockfishmonger, to Sir John Gardyner, parson of the church of St Martin Oteswich, and John Douve to receive from Richard Bedewynd and Margaret his wife a quitrent of half-a-mark issuing from their tenement in the occupation of John Chircheman and situate in the parish of St Michael Crokedlane in Tamestret. Dated 1 Feb. 1389.

Membr. 7

27 Nov. 1388

Pleas held in the Chamber of the Guildhall before Nicholas Twyford, knight, Mayor, the Sheriffs and Aldermen (fn. 15) according to the custom of the city on Friday 27 Nov. A o 12 Ric. II

Whereas John Walpoll, tailor, and others had brought divers bills of trespass before the mayor against John Bodesham of Bury, late serjeant of the city, the said John was arrested and taken to the compter of Thomas Austyn, one of the sheriffs, on 5 Nov. 1388. Afterwards on 12 Nov. he was mainprised by Robert Litle, fishmonger, and seven others to keep the peace with the complainants and for his appearance in court where and when etc.

Among the bills above-mentioned was one affirmed at the suit of John Reymes, cordwainer, who complained that the said John Botelesham (sic) (fn. 16) on 19 Dec. 1384 in the parish of St Peter Westcheap, with several others in his company, sought for the plaintiff in his house and from house to house, with force and arms, in order to kill him, so that the plaintiff did not dare to approach his house to carry on his trade and make his profit for a quarter of a year, to his damage £100, and moreover the said John was the chief abettor of all the indictments made against the plaintiff. [French]

Thereupon the sheriff was ordered to bring the body of the defendant into court on 27 Nov. and to warn the mainpernors to have him there. But though the sheriff testified that the mainpernors had been warned, the defendant did not come. Accordingly, since the Mayor and Aldermen wished to be more fully informed as to the truth of the matter contained in the bill and as to the damages to be awarded, precept was given to summon a jury of the venue for 2 Dec. On that day came a jury of William Maryner and others, who said on oath that all the matter contained in the bill was true and that the said John Botelesham was guilty of the trespass alleged, to the plaintiff's damage £50. Judgment was reserved until 5 April, when, the sheriff's serjeant having testified that the mainpernors had been warned, judgment was given that the plaintiff recover his damages as taxed by the jury. The plaintiff then prayed that the defendant and the mainpernors be committed to prison until the damages be paid. Order having been given for their arrest, the sheriffs' serjeants, Nicholas Covele and Richard Clare, testified that the mainpernors Robert Litle, Thomas Neel, Thomas Prentys, William Poull, John Blake and Simon Rous had been arrested and committed to prison, but that the defendant and the other mainpernors Stephen Sedere and Walter Lynot could not be found within the liberty of the city.

Similar proceedings on a bill [French] of John Payn, goldsmith, and Joan his wife, who complained that when the said Joan on 1 Aug. 1386 was in Ludgate prison at the suit of Sir Nicholas Brembre, whom God assoil, the said John Botesham, then being keeper of the prisoners of Ludgate, out of envy, strong rancour and ill-will, conspired to ruin her and, desiring to please the said Sir Nicholas, procured and abetted the prisoners there to beat her in her bed and elsewhere so continually and so horribly that her life scarce endured, and then, venomously despoiling her of all her goods, he drove her, naked except for a single gown, to Newgate, where he confined her in a cell so hard and piteous that she came near to death, all of which horrible and outrageous hardship she would not willingly have suffered for £100.

Since the Mayor and Aldermen wished to be fully and completely informed, and since the more important men of the venue of Ludgate were either mainpernors of the defendant or belonged to his covin, they gave orders that 12 good men who were confined in Ludgate (fn. 17) at the time of the alleged trespass and were now at large should be summoned for 4 Dec. On that day the jury of William Strange and others said on oath that the whole matter contained in the bill was true, to the plaintiff's damage 20s. On 5 April 1389 judgment was given accordingly.

Membr. 7 b

27 Nov. 1388

Similar proceedings on a bill [French] of William Waleys, tailor, who complained that John Bodesham, when he was keeper of Ludgate prison, deprived him of his right to alms, during his imprisonment, to his great undoing, and also of his rights of Holy Church at Easter and at all other times, to his discomfort and unhappiness, and further, when the plaintiff received a grant of 26s 8d for his deliverance from prison, the keeper heard of it and out of enmity to him prevented his being set free. The plaintiff prayed a remedy, so that no other poor persons might in the future suffer such injustice.

The same jury as above said on oath that the defendant did not receive or retain the sum of 26s 8d as was charged against him, but all the rest of the material in the bill was true, and they taxed damages at 40s.

Membr. 8

27 Nov. 1388

Similar proceedings on a bill [French] of John Horlee of the parish of All Hallows Stanyng, who complained that when he was a prisoner for debt in Ludgate a year or more ago for 14 weeks, during which time he lay in his own clothes, borrowing no garments from any one else, some of his acquaintances gave the keeper the sum of 3s 4d for him, as the keeper himself admitted, and a certain Shalyngford also gave another 3s 4d, but the keeper not only retained these moneys but also charged him 3s for sleeping on the bare ground in the plaintiff's own bed and bed clothes, and demanded 8d more, taking a lined cloak (cloche double) from him as security, and then later, when the plaintiff, being delivered, went with his wife to ask humbly for the cloak and the alms due to him, the keeper suddenly leapt out on them and would have killed them with his drawn baselard, if they had not fallen on their knees and piteously begged for mercy.

The same jury found the defendant not guilty of retaining the cloak, but said that the rest of the bill was true and assessed damages at 13s 4d. Judgment was given on 10 April 1389 that the plaintiff recover the above amount, but be in mercy for his false claim as regards the cloak.

Membr. 8 b

27 Nov. 1388

Similar proceedings on a bill [French] of John Walpoll, tailor, formerly a prisoner in Ludgate, who complained that the keeper, John Bodesham, and his clerk, William Rounde, had ruled the prison extortionately and evilly, viz. when alms of 100s or 10 marks were received for the deliverance of poor and feeble prisoners, they put down in the calendar of deliveries the names of their own servants and the officers of the prison, who were at large, so that they might receive the alms, thus depriving the poor prisoners of their deliverance; and further, the common alms-box was shared out in the keeper's own chamber against the wishes of the prisoners, and he chose three or four prisoners, as he pleased, to share out the alms and do with them as they wished, whereas the box ought to be shared out in the presence of all the prisoners in their common room; and lately, when the prisoners had raised a great clamour against this unjust division of the alms, he had allowed them to divide the alms themselves, as was right and reasonable, but being angry because he could not have control of the box, he had forbidden the usual begging by two prisoners outside the prison of alms for the sustenance of the prisoners; and when the plaintiff prepared a bill of complaint to the mayor, containing all these matters, the officers of the prison delayed it for three weeks, so that when it reached the mayor, it found him too busy to deal with it; and then the keeper, to punish the plaintiff for his share of the bill, put him in the stocks and in irons for five weeks to the great damage of his legs and limbs, during which time, when a grant of 40s was made for his deliverance, the keeper heard of it and detained the money and by evil suggestion to the mayor had him transferred from Ludgate to Newgate, thus depriving him of his deliverance, and moreover he told charitable people that the plaintiff had been indicted, and he also detained his clothes and other things, of all of which matters and many others the plaintiff would inform the Mayor and Aldermen by word of mouth, if they would graciously listen to him.

The same jury appeared on 4 Dec., when the plaintiff prayed leave to amend his bill, which the court refused. The jury then said on oath that the defendant was guilty of the bodily trespass against the plaintiff to his damage £30.

Afterwards on 2 Feb. 1389 the plaintiff brought another bill [French], reciting the above proceedings and mentioning that his action had been abundantly affirmed by the verdict of the jury given in answer to questions by the court. On this occasion the plaintiff had submitted to the court that he was not learned in the law, and that his bill had been drawn up by lay persons and did not contain the day or year of the alleged trespass or the value of the goods detained or the amount of the damages, and he had prayed that his bill might be amended and that matters omitted might be inserted, in accordance with the advice of his counsel, as follows: the date of his imprisonment in Ludgate, 19 June 1388; the value of the goods, £10; and the damages, £60. The plaintiff again prayed that the bill might be amended, or alternately that the present bill might be put in the file and annexed to the former bill and record, and that judgment might be given.

The sheriff's counsel and the counsel of the mainpernors prayed that the above bill might remain in court among other bills to which objection could be made. The court agreed.

Process being continued, the plaintiff appeared on 10 April 1389 and prayed judgment. Whereupon, the record and process being heard, it appeared to the court that the original bill was defective for the reasons alleged by the plaintiff and for other reasons, that the bill was false in matter, since John Bodesham was not keeper of Ludgate during the mayoralty mentioned but had previously been relieved of his office, that the verdict of the jury had been taken inadvisedly, and that therefore judgment could not be rendered on that verdict, and further that by the custom of the city a bill in such a case could not be amended. Wherefore it was considered by the court that the bill be quashed and that the said John Walpole and his pledges be in mercy (fn. 18).

Membr. 9

14 April 1389

Writ of certiorari demanding the record and process of the actions brought by John Reymes and John Payn against John Botelesham and of the judgments against the mainpernors. Dated at Westminster 14 April 1389.

Return to the same.

28 April 1389

Note that the king sent a writ of corpus cum causa, followed by a similar writ sicut alias, and a further writ sicut pluries, demanding that the mainpernors imprisoned in connection with the above actions be brought to Chancery, together with the cause of their taking and detaining.

Return to the sicut alias of 28 April 1389.

Afterwards the record and process of the pleas between John Reymes, John Payn and John Horlee, on the one part, and John Bottlesham on the other, were sent before the justices at St Martin le Grand.

Membr. 10

10 May 1389

Writ of protection in favour of John Swan, son of Henry Swan of Mertok (fn. 19) co. Somerset, then about to proceed to Scotland on the king's service with Thomas, earl of Nottingham, marshal of England and warden of Rokesburgh Castle (fn. 20), to join the garrison of the castle under Thomas Swynburne, knight, the earl's lieutenant. Dated at Westminster 10 May 1389.

Membr. 10 b

20 June 1389

Writ of certiorari, to Nicholas Twyford, mayor, and Richard Odyham, chamberlain, inquiring whether John Nichol, son of Geoffrey Nichol of Bordeaux, was a freeman of London, and if so in what manner. Dated at Westminster 20 June 1389.

Return, that the said John had served his apprenticeship with John Clopton, late citizen and vintner, and was accepted as a freeman in the Husting of Common Pleas on Monday before the feast of St Dunstan (19 May) Ao 8 Ric. II (1385).

Membr. 11

12 June 1389

Letter of attorney from Robert de Grafton, burgess of Shrewsbury, to John Levere, fishmonger, to receive from the prior and convent of the house of the Salutation of the Mother of God of the order of the Carthusians near London, an annual pension of £10, and another annual pension of £10 owed to him by the prior and convent of the hospital of the Blessed Mary without Bishopsgate.

6 July 1389

John Costace, merchant of Gascony, demanded against John Forteneye, apprentice and attorney of John Mokkyng, merchant of London, the sum of £57 18s 4d due for 10 casks of Gascon wine at 110s 7d the cask, bought by the defendant at Sandwich on 9 Nov. 1388, which sum ought to have been paid on the quay late of Henry Picard in the parish of St Martin Vintry immediately the casks were put on shore, but though the casks were landed, gauged and filled, according to the agreement, the defendant refused to accept delivery or to pay the money. He demanded a remedy according to the custom of the city and the law merchant.

The defendant admitted the agreement, but declared that the plaintiff was not prepared to deliver the casks as agreed, and on this issue he put himself on the country. Precept was given to summon a jury of whom one half should be Gascons, according to the custom. After making default, the jury appeared by distress on 16 July, when the parties agreed to put themselves on the arbitration of four men of the mistery of Vintners chosen by Robert Kerry, viz. William Sharpyng, Richard Patesle, Richard Lyttlyngton and Thomas Say, who were sworn. The jury were exonerated. As the said William Sharpyng had to leave town (devillare) on business, the arbitrators went next day to the mayor's house next to the church of St John Zakary, and announced their award in favour of the plaintiff, which award the mayor recited and recorded before the aldermen in court on the following Monday. The defendant was committed to prison until he should pay the sum due, after which the wine was to be delivered to him.

Membr. 11 b

Afterwards the said John Forteneye brought a bill against his master, John Mokkyng, complaining that the latter had sent him to Sandwich with 13s 4d to buy the wine, which he did, sending word by a certain Robert Grey to his master, who approved of the bargain and assigned a portion of the wine to John Doget, and afterwards when the plaintiff returned to London, the master again said that he was content, but when the wine arrived in London, delivery was delayed for awhile owing to its being arrested by the sheriffs, after which the master refused to accept it. Since the bargain was not for his own but for his master's profit, he prayed a remedy.

The matter having been thoroughly examined in accordance with the law merchant, it appeared to the court that the apprentice had bought the wine for the use and profit of his master, in which case the latter was bound to save him harmless. Accordingly it was considered that John Mokkyng pay £57 18s 4d to John Costace and that the apprentice be delivered from prison. As the master had not that sum ready he was committed to prison. An account being held, 51s 8d was deducted for gauging and other expenses, and on 20 March 1390 the defendant paid the residue.

Information having been given to the mayor and chamberlain by Ralph de Cromwell, knight, lord of Tateshale (fn. 21), that a certain John Slory occupied a plot of waste ground annexed to his tenement in the parish of St Sepulchre without Newgate, claiming it as an appurtenance of his free tenement, whereas it was the soil and free tenement of the commonalty of the city (fn. 22) —the mayor and chamberlain ordered John Wykes, the serjeant of the Chamber, to summon an inquest of office from the neighbourhood to give a verdict. On 17 May 1389 a jury of Thomas Ermelyn and others were separately sworn to tell the truth. They said that at present they were not fully informed, but that certain good men of the neighbourhood, viz. Richard Storm, John Squyer, Henry Godchep, Richard Asshewell and Roger Totyng, were fully cognisant of the matter, and they prayed that they might be sworn to give them information. The above-named persons were summoned for the following Monday to be sworn and the jurors were ordered to attend on the plot of land on Thursday, when the informers would be there with them, so that they might give their verdict on 31 May. In addition Thomas Mallyng and Richard atte Chirche, masons, and Stephen Warde and William Endcote, carpenters, who were sworn to the city, were ordered to attend on Thursday to advise them, so that the law of the city might be observed in all things. The jurors with two of the informers duly appeared in the Chamber and declared that John Slory had met them on Thursday and had shown them deeds, which had been enrolled in the Husting, manifestly proving that he had certain messuages, houses and shops there, held from the king by service of 4d per annum, of which the plot in dispute was a parcel, and that the commonalty of the city had no title to the same. At the same time the masons and carpenters certified to the same effect.

Membr. 12

14 Jan. 1389

Stephen Brunne, grocer, came before the Mayor and Aldermen and, in accordance with the custom of the city and the law merchant, brought a bill of complaint, as administrator of William Barkham, grocer, who died intestate, against John Beaufrount. The bill alleged that the plaintiff and William Barkham had entered into a bond dated 28 Oct. 1374 to pay the said John Beaufrount and a certain William de Lubenham the sum of £200. Afterwards on 4 Oct. 1375 in the parish of St Thomas the Apostle John Beaufrount agreed that if William Barkham would deliver to him cloth to the value of £200, taking in return a payment of £40, he would restore the bond and give him an acquittance. But though the cloth was delivered at Winchester, as witnessed by certificates under the mayoralty seal of Winchester, John Beaufrount had not returned the bond or fulfilled the conditions. [French]

The defendant was summoned by John Harewell, the mayor's serjeant, and made default. Thereupon order was given to sequestrate him, by way of distress, by locking and sealing one door of his house, according to the custom of the city. On a second default another door was locked and sealed. On a third all the doors were locked and sealed. The defendant having failed to appear on a fourth summons, the plaintiff demanded judgment and damages, and in further proof of his action produced the following documents.

(1) Bond of William Berkham and Stephen Brune to pay £200 to John Beaufrount, woolman of London, and William de Lubbenham of co. Northampton. Dated 28 Oct. 1374. [French]

(2) Covenant of 4 Oct. 1375. [French]

(3) Testimonial letter of John Bette, mayor of Winchester, that in the presence of himself, John Moryne and John Broun, bailiffs of the same city, Thomas Warner, Richard le Frye, John atte zerd and Water Hogyn, clerk, and other neighbours, William Berkham of London had delivered 51½ cloths of divers colours to John Beaufrount, partner of William Lobbenham, of which cloths 27 were of Bristol, 2 of Winchester, one was blanket and the remainder were in dozens (en doseynes) (fn. 23), with which John Beaufrount acknowledged himself satisfied, the delivery taking place outside Stephen Haym's house. Dated at Winchester 30 April 1376. [French]

(4) Testimonial letter of John Chamberlayn, mayor of Winchester, Thomas Smyth and John Peverell, bailiffs, and John Craan, clerk, confirming the above. Dated at Winchester 18 May 1388. [French]

(5) A letter of administration under the seal of the President (fn. 24) of London to Stephen Brunne of the goods of William Berkham. Dated at London 10 Nov. 1382.

Membr. 12 b

Before judgment could be given a writ of supersedeatis was received reciting that John Beaufrount and William de Lubbenham were suing Stephen Brunne, pepperer, before the justices of the Bench at Westminster for £400 due on a bond, and that the said John Beaufrount had complained that the proceedings before the Mayor and Aldermen were merely intended to hinder the plaintiffs in their action and defraud them of their debt. The king, thinking it not consonant with reason that, where an action was pending for judgment before the justices of the Bench, the matter of that action or anything touching it should be dealt with in an inferior court, ordered the Mayor and Aldermen to supersede proceedings on the bill of Stephen Brunne. Dated at Westminster 20 Jan. 1389.

Afterwards on 8 July 1389 Stephen Brunne brought a writ of procedendo to the effect that John Beaufrount and William de Lubbenham had made default before the justices of the Bench, wherefore the Mayor and Aldermen were ordered to proceed. Dated 7 July 1389.

Accordingly John Beaufrount was summoned to show cause why judgment should not be given, but did not come. It was considered that the plaintiff recover the bond. A jury of the venue of St Thomas the Apostle, where the abovementioned covenant was made, taxed the plaintiff's damages at £10. Thereupon the plaintiff alleged in full court that too small a sum for damages had been allowed, since he had spent more than £40 in the action, and he prayed that the sum for damages might be increased in accordance with custom and the law merchant. The Mayor and Aldermen raised the damages to a further 5 marks, and gave judgment for the return of the bond and the damages. The plaintiff prayed that the defendant be taken and committed to prison until he paid, which was granted under condition that if the defendant appeared within a year and a day to submit to justice, he should be admitted to answer.

16 Aug. 1389

Letter of attorney from John de Mauernec, merchant of Bayon, to Arnald Brokas, Richard Wedon, stockfishmonger of London, John Newark and Arnald Gillyam of Cesze, to sue for and receive from Valence the sum of £60 and damages. Dated at London 16 Aug. 1389.

Membr. 13

12 July 1389

Alice (fn. 25), widow of William de Wyndesore, knight, brings a plaint of intrusion against John Wyndesore, squyer, John Elmeshall and William Preston, touching her free tenement in the parish of All Hallows the Less.

7 Sept. 1389

Quitclaim from John Southereye, tapicer, and Cecilia his wife to Neapolinus de Spinula, merchant of Venice.

1 Oct. 1389

Simon Rede was exonerated from his apprenticeship to John Wenborn, ironmonger, on the ground that the latter had not enrolled him and had fled the city for debt. Evidence was given by John Faukoner and Roger Parys, masters of the mistery of Ironmongers, that the said John Wenborn had no shop in the city and had not transferred the apprentice to any one else.

2 Oct. 1389

Membr. 13 b

In an action for debt at the suit of John Frankeleyn, draper, against Edmund Peyton, mercer, for the sum of £90 due on a bond, the defendant made four defaults and fled to the liberty of St Martin le Grand, whereupon the goods whereby he had been distrained were valued as a foreign attachment by oath of Thomas Prudaunce and Simon Casteleyn, mercers, Thomas Bacheler and John Hunte, drapers, John Wilyngham and Thomas Kirton, vintners, and John Lorymer and John Osby, as follows:

One dosser, one coster (fn. 26), 3 bankers and 2 quisshyns, 8s; 2 pieces of kanevas, 12d; one stuffed jakke (fn. 27), 3s 4d; one stauntys (fn. 28), 2d; ridelrynges (fn. 29) and countours, 2d; 5½ yards of black "fustian, 3s 4d; 14 yards of syndon (fn. 30), 9s 8d; 4 lbs of wax, 16d; one curtain of kanevas, 6d; 2 launternes, 4d; six stools, 3s; one yard of white worsted, 2d; one box, 3s 4d; one grate, 6d; one candlestick and one brandyre (fn. 31), 4d; 2 bows, 6d; one polhax, 8d; one sword, 4d; one pound of yarn and one reell, 2d; one piece of wardemol (fn. 32), 2d; one kanevas, 12d; one sarse (fn. 33), 8d; one mosefalle (fn. 34), 1d; one remnant of kanevas, 12d; earthenware pots, 4d; vessels (vesselementa) of wood, 4d; one risshbolt (fn. 35), 2d; one wooden bowl, 2d; talwode (fn. 36), 20d; one chair, 4d; one table with trestells, 16d; one large watertankard, 2s; one mortar with two pestles, 20d; one tub, 2d; one little form (formula) and one table with trestills, 6d; coal, 12d; one hogshead, 4d; one kemelyn (fn. 37), 2d; 7 empty tuns and one pipe, 10s; two kanevas in the cellar, 8d; three little forms, 12d; one quartpot of pewter, 8d; 6 tuns and one pipe of red wine, £13; 10 dozens of woollen cloth, £4; 2¾ yards of fustyan of Naples, 3s 8d; 9 ells of linen cloth, 6s 4½d; 5 yards of karde (fn. 38), 20d; 10 ells of linen cloth of Brabant, 5s 10d; 2 ells of bulters (fn. 39), 16d; one piece of bukerham, 8s 4d; one quylte, 3s 4d; one materas, 5s 6d; 2 lbs of lyure (fn. 40), 12d; 92½ yards of sengle worsted, 23s 1½d; one volaunt (fn. 41) of red worsted, 2s; 60 ostrich feathers, 20s; one breastplate, 2s; grapes (uvas), 3s 4d; total, £24 10s 1d.

Out of this sum was deducted £4 due to Peter Wotton for house-rent, 40s due to William Sele for the same, and 18s 4d due to William Hawe for the rent of a cellar, leaving £17 11s 9d.

As the court was informed that a certain Richard Langele, tymbermongere, owed the defendant £14 6s 8d, he was summoned. He proved by a deed that the money was not yet due. Accordingly judgment was given that the plaintiff receive the above-mentioned goods to the value of £17 11s 9d and the sum of £14 6s 8d when it fell due, under security of Richard Cornewaill, tailor, and Terry Trepston, broudurer, to answer therefor etc.


  • 1. Illuminators, Limners. Mentioned as an organised craft in the list of 1422 preserved in the records of the Brewers' Company.
  • 2. This offence, which was usually a matter for the ecclesiastical courts, had been made punishable in the Mayor's Court by a recent ordinance promulgated during Norhampton's mayoralty. Walsingham, Hist. Angl. (R.S.), ii, pp. 65-6, tells us that there was a campaign against immorality while Norhampton was mayor, and that he and his followers were animated by the teaching of Wiclif. The Bishop of London resented the infringing of episcopal rights but was afraid to protest. See Cal. of Letter Book H, pp. 176, 189; Munim. Gild. Lond., i, pp. 457-60. This was not entirelynew, since offences against morals had been punished in accordance with previous ordinances, probably as conduct likely to lead to a breach of the peace. Ibid., i, pp. 591-2 for civic ordinances on the subject.
  • 3. During the first mayoralty of Nicholas Brembre, 21 March 1377 to 13 Oct. 1378, the Common Council ordered that all masters of misteries should bring in their charters for the governance of their misteries to the mayor and chamberlain. Cal. of Letter Book H, p. 193. Unwin, Gilds of London, p. 156, regards this as aimed against the manufacturing guilds, but it appears to have applied to all the misteries, and was probably a move to strengthen the authority of the city government over the misteries. A writ of 1 Nov. 1388 ordered the misteries to produce their charters in Chancery before 2 Feb. 1389, Cal. of Letter Book H, p. 336, for which reason they were returned by the chamberlain. See Unwin, Gilds of London, pp. 157-8; Toulmin Smith, English Gilds, pp. 127-31.
  • 4. The Saddlers had refused to surrender their charter, and only obeyed when Brembre threatened to drive them out of the city by the sword. See Sherwell, Saddlers, p. 41.
  • 5. See above, p. 144.
  • 6. Et ceteris tenentibus manerium.
  • 7. East Hall, St Mary Cray, Orpington, Down, Cudham, Okeholte alias Shottys, a small manor held by the family of Shelley in Knockholt, Hayes, Farnborough, either Petham, Pedham Place west of Farningham, or Petham, Pedham Court in Eynesford, Farningham. See Hasted's Kent, i, pp. 304, 308.
  • 8. Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1385-9, p. 519.
  • 9. Cal. of Letter Book H, p. 312.
  • 10. De Banco, the Court of Common Pleas at Westminster.
  • 11. For further proceedings see below, p. 185.
  • 12. An offence at common law and by statute 3 Edw. I, c. 29.
  • 13. Kampen, Holland.
  • 14. See Kingsford's Stow, ii, p. 322; Archaeologia, LVII, pp. 268-9.
  • 15. Sitting for the conservation of the peace, in accordance with the city's jurisdiction therein.
  • 16. Alias Botkysham, Botlesham etc.
  • 17. See Cal. of Early Mayor's Court Rolls, pp. xlii-xliii, on the jury as a body of witnesses whose duty it was to inform the court. Cf. Pollock and Maitland, Hist. Eng. Law, ii, p. 622; Maitland, Social England, i, p. 291.
  • 18. For the sequel to this action see Cal. of Letter Book H, pp. 368, 374, 392-3, 395-6. The mayor and aldermen, not being expert in the law, had left the matter to the recorder on condition that he consulted with John Tremayn, the common serjeant, and William Cressewyk, an alderman. Though the common serjeant advised that the bill could not well be abated, as a verdict had already been taken, the recorder had abated the bill and given judgment against Walpole. The matter was taken on appeal to the justices at St Martin le Grand, but in 1393 Walpole was still unsatisfied and petitioned the duke of Lancaster. In 1395 Walpole attempted to bully the then mayor into taking up his case and was committed to prison. Two years later he was bound over in £100 for his good behaviour and released. See below, pp. 229, 242. Meanwhile Botelesham, the unjust gaoler, remained an officer of the city. William Cheyne, the recorder, was succeeded by John Tremayne, who is mentioned as recorder on 18 June 1390. Cal. of Letter Book F, p. 273.
  • 19. Martock.
  • 20. Thomas Mowbray, warden of the Scottish Marches, and afterwards first duke of Norfolk (1397).
  • 21. Lord Cromwell of Tattershall co. Lines.
  • 22. The city authorities exercised oversight on common and waste lands from an early time. In 1376 an Act of Common Council mentions a complaint that the Mayor and Aldermen had been granting pleusours terres et tenementz de comune soyl under the common seal without consulting the commonalty. Cal. of Letter Book H, p. 38. In 1435 it is stated as a law and custom of the city that tenements situated near the walls and gates should be distant sixteen feet or more, the space between being the common soil of the city. In 1444 the charter of Henry VI granted to the citizens all common soils, purprestures and approvements, in all wastes, commons, streets and ways... together with the profits thereof. Though in the time of Car. I (Birch, Historical Charters, p. 166) this grant was claimed to have been abrogated by the proceedings in the parliament of 28 Henry VI (Rot. Parl. v, pp. 183 seq.), it was not so understood at the time. Meanwhile, under licenses in mortmain and the charter of Edw. IV, A.D. 1478, lands were acquired by devise or purchase, which, with the common soils above-mentioned, were the foundation of the present City Lands.
  • 23. Here used in the sense of kersies and other coarse woollen cloths. See above, p. 108, n. 2.
  • 24. Another name for the "official," the presiding officer or judge of an archbishop's, bishop's or archdeacon's court. The letter is sealed sigillo officialitatis.
  • 25. Commonly known as Alice Perrers. William Wyndesore, summoned to Parliament 1381 to 1384, was king's deputy and lieutenant in Ireland temp. Edw. III. He died in 1384.
  • 26. A side-hanging for a chair, bed etc.
  • 27. Jacket; when made of leather, stuffed and quilted or covered with iron plates, it was known as a jakke of defense.
  • 28. Sc. standysh, a pen-tray.
  • 29. Curtain-rings.
  • 30. A fine linen fabric.
  • 31. Brandiron, in various senses, gridiron, trivet and andiron, see N.E.D.
  • 32. Wadmal, a coarse woollen material.
  • 33. Sc. searce, a cloth-sieve or strainer.
  • 34. Mousetrap.
  • 35. Rushbolt, possibly a rush-sieve for boulting meal.
  • 36. Firewood.
  • 37. Sc. kimnel, a tub.
  • 38. Sc. carde, a material used for canopies, curtains and linings.
  • 39. Boulting-cloths.
  • 40. There was a cloth of Lyre, i.e. of Lire or Liere in Brabant, but not usually sold by the lb., unless yarn or fringe is intended.
  • 41. Something floating or flying, a sleeve, cape or flounce.