Roll A 1a
April 1323 - Aug 1326

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Centre for Metropolitan History

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Author

A.H. Thomas (editor)

Year published

1926

Pages

1-10

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'Roll A 1a: April 1323 - Aug 1326', Calendar of the plea and memoranda rolls of the city of London: volume 1: 1323-1364 (1926), pp. 1-10. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=36651 Date accessed: 02 September 2014.


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CALENDAR OF THE PLEA and MEMORANDA ROLLS of the CITY OF LONDON ROLL A 1 a

Membrane 1

No date

Letter from the Mayor to the Earl of Kent, acknowledging his request of 20 Jan. for a force of 50 arbalesters for service against the Castle of Wallingford (fn. 1) , which was then held by rebels. The matter had been laid before the Commonalty, who replied that it was impossible to raise the men, because the citizens had undertaken to hold the City for the King, as surety for which the Queen and her children were dwelling in London, and the duty of guarding the City against sudden surprise, as well as losses by piracy at sea, had greatly impoverished the citizens. (F)

6 April 1323

The King's writ (fn. 2) to the Mayor and Sheriffs, to the effect that the people of middle condition in the City [mediocris populi] had complained of interference by the Mayor and Sheriffs with their ancient right of selling small wares at the head of Cheap in the evening, whereby their livelihood was taken from them. They are to be allowed to sell as before, unless the Mayor and Sheriffs can show sufficient reason to the contrary. Dated at the Tower of London, 6 April Ao 16 Edw. II [1323]. (L)

15 April 1323

Another writ to the same effect. Dated at the Tower, 15 April the above year. (L)

A note that a proclamation was made in accordance with the writs. (L)

28 July 1323

Further writ with regard to sales during the evening hours at Cornhill. A presentment had been made before Hervey de Staunton and the other Itinerant Justices at the Tower that Simon Ricongey and others had sold old clothes, shoes and other goods by night at Cornhill in deception of the people, although such sales were lawful only between sunrise and noon, and judgment had been given that in future these goods should not be exposed for sale after vespers struck at the Church of St Thomas the Martyr of Acon. Owing to subsequent complaints, the Mayor and Aldermen had been several times ordered to proceed against offenders, but had been remiss in levying the fines due from them to the King, on the ground that these writs had been obtained by John Waldeshef (fn. 3) against the liberty of the City, to which jurisdiction in this matter and the fines arising therefrom were claimed to belong. Moreover the above John, although he had no part in obtaining the writs, had been removed from the counsel of the City, forbidden to practise in the Courts, and deprived of the pension which he had enjoyed. Accordingly the Mayor and Aldermen are commanded to revoke their measures against him, and to collect the fines due to the King without delay, any question as to the latter being reserved for the consideration of the King's Court. Dated at "Couwik," 28 July Ao 17 Edw. II [1323]. (L)

3 Sept. 1323

Letter from the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the City of London to the Mayor, Barons and Bailiffs of Dover on behalf of Roesia, widow of John de Boreford of London, whose goods had been arrested in Dover for the payment of £9. They are requested to notify the cause of this arrest by the bearer. Dated 3 Sept. Ao 17 Edw. II [1323]. (F)

Membr. 1b

26 Aug. 1323

The King's writ forbidding the Mayor and Sheriffs to exact from the merchant-vintners of Aquitaine a new toll of two shillings for each cask of wine unloaded in London, since the Charter of Edw. I (fn. 4) had granted to such merchants freedom to sell wholesale and retail, subject to a toll of two shillings on each cask, payable to the King, and the payment of the ancient dues to the authorities of the City. Dated at "Daneby," 26 Aug. Ao 17 Edw. II [1323]. (L)

30 Aug. 1323

Further writ "alias" commanding the Mayor and Sheriffs to obey previous writs on the same subject, or else to appear before the King within fifteen days of Michaelmas. Dated at "Grenhou," 30 Aug. (L)

Return to the effect that the above two writs were received on Friday before the quinzaine of Michaelmas, and that it was impossible to obey the writ "alias" owing to the shortness of time. (L)

No date

Letter from Nicholas de Farndon, Mayor, and the Sheriffs to the King acknowledging receipt of his orders to seize all letters which were prejudicial to him or related to Master John de Stratford (fn. 5) , who had accepted the bishopric of Win Chester against the King's wish. The writers report that on Stratford's arrival in London they had seized nineteen Bulls, of which five were patent and three close. The Bishop had forbidden them to look at these Bulls, because they related to the King's private affairs, which he had in charge. Accordingly they had forwarded them to the King under their seals. Nine other Bulls Close were directed on the covers to the Queen, the Prelates and other magnates of the realm. These also had been sealed and would be delivered to the King by a serjeant. (F)

No date

Letter from Nicholas de Farndon, Mayor, and the Commonalty of London to the Mayor and Bailiffs of Faversham on behalf of Hugh de Brandon of London, whose goods had been arrested in Faversham at the suit of Robert de Selgrave for a debt owed to the latter by Hamo le Barbier of London. They are requested to return the goods to their rightful owner. (F)

Membr. 2

No date

Letter from Hamo de Chigwell, Mayor, and the good men of the City of London to the Mayor and Bailiffs of Dover on behalf of John de Grantham of London, whose factor, William de Thorneye, had been forcibly deprived of his master's goods by a certain William Virgil of Dover, on the ground that Henry Nasard of London owed the latter 100s. They are requested to secure the restoration of the goods, lest the Mayor of London should find it necessary to make reprisals. (F)

No date

Further letter acknowledging a reply from the Mayor and Barons of Dover. The Mayor of London had never received any letters from Dover asking him to give execution against Henry Nasard for the debt due, nor could he learn that others had received them, otherwise he would have done as requested. The Mayor etc. of Dover are again desired to order restitution to John de Grantham. (F)

30 June 1324

Letter from Hamo de Chigwell, Mayor, the Aldermen and Commonalty of the City of London to the King, praying him to confirm certain writs of Edw. I with regard to the punishment of fraudulent bakers, millers and brewers, and nightwalkers. By virtue of the first writ (fn. 6) of Ao 10. Edw. I [1281] the good men of the City had ordained the punishment of the hurdle for bakers offending against the Assize of Bread and for millers who stole corn, and imprisonment in the Tun for nightwalkers, and had instituted the weighing of all corn sent out of the City to the millers, and of all flour delivered by the latter, in order to prevent the practice of mixing chalk, white sand and bran in the flour. For this purpose weights, balances and weighing-houses had been provided, for the upkeep of which a toll of one halfpenny on each quarter weighed had been imposed. By a subsequent writ, Edw. I had confirmed these ordinances. Recently, however, the bakers and millers had sued before Geoffrey le Scrope and his fellow-Justices for the abolition of the toll and pesage. The King is desired to order the Justices to stay proceedings. Dated 30 June Ao 17 Edw. II [1324]. (F)

11Aug. 1324

Letter from the same to the Mayor and Barons of Winchelsea, on behalf of William de Merwell, John Vyncent, Thomas le Werreor and John Hurer of London, whose goods and papers had been seized by men of Winchelsea out of a ship called "Clays Nyfrard" of "Gravenynge," and another ship of which Eustace le Fevre was master, under the impression that these goods belonged to French merchants. The writers had caused careful inquiry to be made and were satisfied that the goods were the property of the abovenamed London citizens. Dated 11 Aug. Ao 18 Edw. II [1324]. (F)

Marginal note that a similar letter was sent to the Mayor and Barons of Sandwich. (L)

Letter from the Mayor etc. to Robert de Kendale, Constable of Dover, desiring him to assist the above-mentioned London citizens to recover their goods. (F)

Membr. 2b

18 Sept. 1324

Letter from the same to Henry de Cobeham, Constable of Rochester Castle, on behalf of Thomas Colebrond of London, whose factor, William le Clerk of Sautrie, had bought a quantity of millstones (moeles de molyn) in Normandy for sale in Kent. These goods had been arrested by the Constable's men under the supposition that they belonged to French merchants. Dated 18 Sept. Ao 18 Edw. II [1324]. (F)

No date

Letter from the same to the Mayor and Bailiffs of Northampton, desiring them to constrain Philip Everard of Northampton to pay to John de Oxenford of London a sum of 14½ marks due to the latter on a sale of wine. In answer to previous letters, the Mayor etc. of Northampton had declared that the wine had been taken without payment from the above Philip by the Earl Marshal at the tournament in Northampton, that Philip would pay anything due as soon as account had been rendered between himself and John, and that the authorities of Northampton could not force a man to pay a debt except by process of law. The writers now wish to point out that Philip had acknowledged the debt, which was further witnessed by a tally for 16 marks, of which 20s had been paid, so that no further rendering of account was necessary. As for the plea that the burgesses of Northampton were bound by the common law not to distrain for a debt except by process of law, the writers would have them know that the citizens of London were entitled by their franchises (fn. 7) to take distresses from the fellow-citizens or fellow-burgesses of debtors. Accordingly once more they desire the authorities of Northampton to take steps against the above Philip, who was a fellow-burgess of theirs and under their jurisdiction. (F)

No date

Further letter from the Mayor etc. of London to the Mayor etc. of Northampton, threatening that if payment were not made to the above John, they would exact the amount from Northampton burgesses visiting London. (F)

27 April 1325

Letter from the same to John Stormi, Admiral, and William de Kirkeby, clerk of the King, informing them that they had dispatched their Serjeant, John atte Rye, with arms and necessaries, to lead and equip the London contingent (fn. 8) of foot-soldiers sent to Harwich, about whom complaint had been made to the King. Dated 27 April. (F)

No date

Further letter to the "Bacheler (fn. 9) " John Lestormy, Admiral of the North, thanking him for his solicitude for the London foot-soldiers and for having appointed John Lespicer, citizen of London, as their captain. In answer to his request for arms, the writers inform him that they are sending herewith suitable arms, and money for a horse, and that they are anxious to fulfil all his requirements. (F)

9 July 1325

Letter from the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of London to the Mayor and Aldermen of Oxford (fn. 10) , in answer to their inquiry as to the method of proving and executing a will in a case where one person comes forward to claim a portion of the tenements devised as his fee and right, and another person declares that a writ of novel disseisin is pending in the King's Court with regard to another portion, while the remainder of the land devised is not challenged. The writers say that in London a will is proved by two witnesses sworn and examined, and if, after proclamation made, any one challenges the will, then the will and the challenge are enrolled, and execution is granted. If the execution is disturbed, then the disturber (destourbour) is summoned to explain the reason of his disturbance, and if it be found that the testator had such an estate that he was able to devise it, then execution is carried out, saving to the claimant his right of action if he wishes to pursue it at another time. Dated 9 July Ao 19 Edw. II [1325]. (F)

No date

Letter from the same to the Mayor, Bailiffs and good men of Newcastle-on-Tyne on behalf of John de Wrotham of London, for the recovery of a debt due to him from Gilbert Haukyn of Newcastle-on-Tyne. (F)

Membr. 3

20 July 1325

Letter from the Mayor and Commonalty of the City of London to the King, complaining that certain men of Flanders had captured the ship "la Katerine," belonging to Reginald de Conduit, off the coast of Thanet between Foreness and Margate, and had carried it away to "le Swyne " in Flanders, and that the master, William Fraunceis, and the crew had escaped with difficulty in the ship's boat. At that time the ship was on a voyage from Colette in Poitou to London with a cargo of 1480 quarters of salt, value £296, belonging to the above Reginald and John de Grantham. The ship itself, which was of 220 casks of wine burden, was valued at £300, including the mast, sail, yard, a wooden luff (fn. 11) (loof), forecastle and poop-works (cum castello navis et hurdicio ante et retro) and "topcastel." The gear and stores included 7 anchors value £25, 8 large cables of which 3 were new, value £40, 3 cables called "haunsers," 8 lines (linee) and 2 "handropes" value 110s, wooden and iron vessels value £10 7s 2d, 2 casks of wine and 80 gallons of beer value £6 10s, corn and baked bread value 50s, beef and mutton value 30s, salt-fish value 70s, arms for the crew value 100s, and fishing-nets value 40s. The writers pray the King to order his Chancellor to give redress, and to intercede with the Count of Flanders. Dated 20 July Ao 19 Edw. II [1325].

(F)

4 Aug. 1325

Letter from the same to Henry, lord of Poland, Stralsund (Scargadensis) and Rostock (fn. 12) , desiring him to compel John le Whit of Germany to pay debts owed to London citizens. The above John had secretly left London owing money to Richard de Hakeneye (fn. 13) , William Prodhomme, Robert le Bret, John Priour, Richard de Betoigne, Henry le Palmere, William le Hattere, Remund de Burdeux, Thomas de Evenefeld, John de Wrotham, Adam de Salesbirs, John de Balsham and John le Balauncer, and was then reported to be in Henry's dominions. Dated 4 Aug. 1325. (L)

17 Feb. 1326

Letter from the Mayor etc. to the King, reminding him that the citizens of London possessed the privilege of free trade at Southampton, Yarmouth, Gorleston and all other towns in England. Recently the burgesses of Yarmouth, relying on a charter from Edw. I, had challenged this right, and a plea was pending before the King's Justice, Geoffrey le Scrope. The King is desired to order the latter to allow the ancient customs of London. Dated 17 Feb. Ao 19 Edw. II [1325-6]. (F)

Similar letter to some person unnamed, bespeaking his favour in the same matter. (F)

Note that other letters were sent to the Chancellor and Sir Geoffrey le Scrope. (L)

25 Feb. 1326

Letter from the Mayor etc. to the King, praying him to write to the Burgomasters, Echevins, Aldermen and Commonalty of Lübeck (fn. 14) to obtain payment by John le White of Germany and Arnold his brother of a sum of money, due to Richard de Hakeney of London on a sale of wool. Dated 25 Feb. Ao 19 Edw. II [1325-6]. (L)

10 Aug. 1326

Letter from the same to the Burgomasters, Echevins and Commonalty of Bruges. The writers had heard that the Burgomasters etc., at the request of Arnold le White, had written to the authorities of Lübeck alleging that a plea between the above Arnold and Richard de Hakeney was pending before them, and this they had done in order to prevent Richard de Hakeney from obtaining payment of the debt owed to him. They are desired not to hinder the said Richard any further. Dated 10 Aug. 1326. (F)

Membr. 3b

No date

Letter from the same to the Burgomasters etc. of Lübeck on behalf of Richard de Hakeney, whose debtors, John le White and Arnold his brother, were said to be in Lübeck. (F)

23 Aug. 1326

Letter from the same to the Echevins and Bailiffs of Sluys in Flanders on behalf of Henry le Bere of London, who had been arrested by them at the suit of Stephen le May of Bayonne, on the supposition that he was a certain Reginald le Ropere, or else factor and partner of the said Reginald and John Pik. The. writers certify that the above Henry had no connection with Reginald and John, and pray the Echevins etc. to restore to him his goods, and to discharge Walter Gawelos, who had acted as mainpernor for him. Dated 23 Aug. 1326. (F)

No date

Letter from the same to the Mayor, Echevins and Bailiffs of Louvain, desiring them to obtain from John Andres, merchant of Louvain, payment of a debt due on a bond from him to Robert le Callere of London. The bond provided for payment at St Ives at the last Feast of the Ascension, with a penalty of 40d for each day that it was in arrears. (F)

Footnotes

1 The Castle of Wallingford had been seized by rebels in an unsuccessful plot to liberate the imprisoned followers of the late Earl of Lancaster. Many citizens were suspected of complicity, and on 7 April 1323 the King issued a commission to Henry le Scrope and others to hold sworn inquiries in the City. Rymer's Foedera, vol. ii, pt. i, p. 514. The deposition of Hamo de Chigwell from the Mayoralty on 4 April was probably due to these events. French Chronicle (Camden Society), pp. 45–46; Walsingham, Historia Anglicana (Rolls Series), vol. i, pt. i, p. 170.
2 The following three writs refer to the evening fairs, or "evechepyngs," held on Cornhill and Cheapside, to which the City authorities were opposed, and had the illogical effect of countenancing one fair and forbidding the other. Both fairs continued in spite of occasional ordinances directed against them. See Calendars of Letter Books, B, p. 236, D, p. 229, E, pp. 156–9, etc. Liber Custumarum (Rolls Series), pp. 426–7.
3 John de Waldeshef practised in Chancery as an attorney between 1318 and 1322, mainly on behalf of City merchants. He is described as Common Pleader of the City in March 1319, when he was presented with the freedom and an annuity of 100s for his services at the Parliament of York (20 Oct. 1318), and in divers of the King's Courts. On 7 May 1319 he was assigned with four others to attend the Parliament at York (6–25 May) and to do therein that which should be ordained by common consent. In neither case is he mentioned in the returns to the writs of Parliamentary summons. He was probably engaged in legal business before the Council in 1318, and in 1319 he attended in connection with the obtaining of the new City Charter, which the King sealed on 8 June. In August 1322, at which time he is described as "serviens" or Serjeant, he was charged with being opposed to granting an aid to the King for the war in Scotland, and with disseminating discord. He left the City, and in his absence was deprived of the freedom and his annuity, removed from his position as counsel to the City and forbidden to plead for any one in the City. This is the last mention of him in the City Records, and there is no evidence that the City obeyed the King's command to reinstate him. Cal. Close Rolls, A.D. 1318–23, pp. 47, 106, 328, 452. Cal. of Letter Book E, pp. 20, 32, 103, 104, 139, 161.
4 Charter of 1 Feb. 1303, variously known as the Statutum de Nova Custuma, the Carta Mercatoria and the Carta Vasconum. For text see Lib. Cust. 1, pp. 205–211.
5 John de Stratford, Archdeacon of Lincoln, was ambassador at the Papal Court from 1321 to April 1323. On the death of his colleague, Reginald de Asser, Bishop of Winchester, at Avignon on 12 April 1323, Stratford obtained a Papal Bull conferring the bishopric upon him, although the King had directed him to secure the appointment for Robert de Baldok. The King refused to acknowledge him and withheld the temporalities of the See till 28 June 1324. Stratford played an important part in the events which led to the deposition of Edw. II, and in the subsequent movement against Mortimer, being supported by the City on both occasions. He was afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury and King's Chancellor. See Rymer's Foedera, vol. ii, pt. ii, pp. 515, 526–7, 557 et passim. Chronicles of the Reigns of Edw. I and Edw. II (Rolls Series), i, pp. 305, 315, 324, 343, 360; ii, pp. 280, 312; and below, pp. 13, 68, 80.
6 See Cal. of Letter Book A, p. 213, for this writ, dated 28 Nov. Ao 10 Edw. I [1281]. Fraudulent bakers were drawn through the streets on a hurdle, with the deficient loaves round their necks and preceded by minstrelsy, to the Tun at Cornhill. See the illustration from the City's Assisa Panis reproduced in Liber Albus (Rolls Series), ii, to face title-page.
7 The Charter of Henry I to London authorized the citizens, when a debtor refused to pay, to take payment from men of the debtor's town or county. W. de G. Birch, Historical Charters of the City of London, p. 4.
8 Late in 1324 Edw. II determined on an expedition to defend Gascony against the French. London was required to send 300 foot-soldiers, armed with haketon, habergeon or plates, bascinet and gauntlets of iron or whalebone, to Portsmouth on Sunday in Midlent 1325. Palgrave's Parliamentary Writs and Writs of Military Summons, vol. ii, pt. ii, p. 688. Subsequently the number was reduced to 140, and they were ordered to report to John Sturmy at Harwich on Sunday after Midlent for the voyage to Gascony. Ibid. p. 698. The expedition, consisting of 100 ships, set sail from Portsmouth on 3 May. French Chronicle, p. 48.
9 Defined by N.E.D. as "a young knight, not old enough or having too few vassals to display his own banner, and who therefore followed the banner of another, a novice in arms" —which is scarcely applicable to the Admiral of the North. The Black Prince uses the same term for Sir Neele or Nigel Loring, a distinguished soldier. Letter Book G, fo. 54. It probably means at this time a simple knight of any age who had not yet been advanced to the rank of banneret for services in the field.
10 The Charter of Henry III to Oxford, dated 16 Feb. 1229, granted that the burgesses of Oxford should enjoy the same customs, liberties and laws as the citizens of London, and directed them, in case of doubt or dispute in rendering judgment, to send messengers to London, and to accept the judgment of London. Lib. Cust. ii, pp. 671–3. Frequent consultations with London on difficult points show that the privilege was greatly prized by Oxford.
11 The New English Dictionary suggests that the luff was either a rudder or paddle to assist in the steering. It was sometimes raised and lowered by chains, and its purpose was to bring the ship close up to the wind. The idea that it was some kind of machine for operating on the sails probably arises from the fact that a helmsman "luffs up" in order that sail may the more easily be taken in.
12 Cf. Cal. Close Rolls, 1327–30, p. 75, for letters of reprisal directed to the Sheriffs of London, 3 March 1326–7, against the subjects of Henry de Matlenbergh, lord of Wismere, Rustok and Stralsund.
13 Hakeneye was Alderman of Bishopsgate, and Palmere of Castlebaynard. The others were all prominent wool merchants of the time.
14 The King's letter to the Burgomasters of Lübeck, written in accordance with this request, is dated 3 March 1326. Cal. Close Rolls, 1323–7, p. 548.