The Common Paper
Statement, Feb 1395/6 regarding Sundays and festivals

Sponsor

London Record Society

Publication

Author

Francis W. Steer (editor)

Year published

1968

Supporting documents

Pages

65-66

Citation Show another format:

'The Common Paper: Statement, Feb 1395/6 regarding Sundays and festivals', Scriveners' company common paper 1357-1628: With a continuation to 1678 (1968), pp. 65-66. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=35906 Date accessed: 23 November 2014.


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Statement, Feb 1395/6 regarding Sundays and festivals

[p. 281 translation] Remember that in the nineteenth year of the reign of King Richard the Second, in the time of John Cossier and Martin Seman, joint Wardens, the following incidents happened: (fn. 1)

The assembly, sitting at London, [before] Martin Seman and John Cossier, men of judgment and scriveners of London, and authors [of this statement], send greeting. Wherefore, as we understand, certain public scriveners of the court letter of the City of London, of which scriveners we are appointed guardians (as is sworn), are keeping shop or their stalls [open] on holy days, Sundays and other feasts instituted to the glory of God, against the form and tenor of certain letters made and drawn up to revere, in Christ, the fathers, and [by] Lord Robert, by the grace of God, Bishop of London, and containing specific instructions (fn. 2) —and [these scriveners], with everyone arriving to avail themselves of their craft, deserve open rebuke by being liable to the penalties in the said letters, we therefore entrust to you and command you that diligent inquiry should be made concerning the names and surnames of all and singular these scriveners who contravene or do not observe the said instructions, so that we, about next Eastertide, having arranged a suitable place and time, may be able to apply the remedy due in this matter to correct such irreverence of their souls. Given at London on the last day of February under the foot of our official seal at London which presents, from the present, we have at hand, A.D. 1395.

According to which command, the aforesaid Wardens presented to the said assembly the names [les nons] (fn. 3) in the following manner.

Scriveners

In that he keeps shop, or holds his stall open, on holy days and double feasts, and writes and pursues his craft openly on the said days in sight of the people, and hangs outside many documents and various writings to the great disgrace of all upright men of his craft, and as a wicked example to other crafts, and in clear contempt of the life-giving Mother Church and against the instruction of the Lord Bishop.

In that he keeps his shop open on holy days and double feasts and writes and pursues his craft openly in sight of the people on the said days and hangs outside many of his documents and various writings to the great disgrace of all upright men of his said craft, and as a wicked example to other crafts, and in clear contempt of the life-giving Mother Church and against the prohibition of the guardians of his craft and against the instruction of the Lord Bishop.

In that he keeps his shop open on holy days and double feasts so that all his documents and various writings are seen, and he writes and pursues his craft openly on the said days, in sight of the people to the great disgrace of all upright men of his craft, and as a wicked example to other crafts, and in clear contempt of the life-giving Mother Church, and against the prohibition of the guardians of his craft and against the instruction of the Lord Bishop and against an earlier rebuke in the assembly in the same circumstance.

In that he keeps part of his shop open on holy days and double feasts and hangs outside his documents and various writings, and writes and pursues his craft in sight of the people to the great disgrace of upright men of his craft, and as a wicked example to other crafts, and in clear contempt of the life-giving Mother Church and against the instruction of the Lord Bishop.

In that he keeps part of his shop open on holy days and double feasts and hangs outside his documents and various writings, and writes and pursues his craft openly in sight of the people to the great disgrace of all upright men of his craft, and as a wicked example to other crafts, and in clear contempt of the life-giving Mother Church and against the instruction of the Lord Bishop and prohibition of the guardians of his craft.

They were acquitted, etc.

[p. 282] Item, soon after the said five people were thus on their own,1 other persons of the said craft met up with them and suggested forming a party in opposition to their Wardens and their said craft, and they did not wish to come to their assembly, for which reasons the same Wardens put forward the following bill—

Most honourable sire, the Mayor of the City of London, making complaint [are] the Wardens of the craft of scriveners of the court letter of the said City against one Robert Huntyngdon', scrivener, in that the said Robert for a long time has been rebelling against the said Wardens and, through which rebellion, certain other persons of the said craft, influenced by his bad example, have become rebellious in the same way towards the said Wardens to the great trouble and disruption of the said craft, for which reason the said Wardens are deposed from carrying out their duty and are no longer able to control the said craft. For which they make plea for redress, according to the usage of the said City, in the work of charity.

By virtue of which bill, the said Robert was judged by the Mayor and Aldermen and committed to prison until he had conformed with his craft, and after an end was made to the rebellion.

Footnotes

1 Then follows, in another hand, this statement (in translation): Regarding shops open on festival days, the Wardens made warning that they should be shut, and if anyone should disobey this warning, it happened as is written below.
2 See pp. 5 and 6 of the Common Paper (printed pp. 4, 5).
3 The sense is that what follows are the forms of allegation employed against those five unnamed scriveners who contravened the instruction about closing their premises on festivals.