History of London from the reign of Edward the Second to the reign of Richard the Second.
The reign of Edward the began with an act which prognosticated no favor from the crown to the citizens; for there being left unpaid of the for the , the sum of a writ of was issued by the court of exchequer, and directed to the sheriffs of London, commanding them to distrain the goods and chattels of the mayor, aldermen, and whole community of the city for the same. And this was followed by another writ of the court, returnable in Michaelmas term, directed to the said sheriffs, commanding them to summon Nicholas de Farndon, alderman of Farringdon ward, and several others of the aldermen, collectors of the tallage, lately assessed in London by Roger de Hagham, &c. to appear in the exchequer, and pass their accounts of the said tallage; and, if any of the said aldermen were dead, then to summon the executors of such persons deceased, in order to finish their accounts.
The king being indebted to sundry persons in London, to the amount of above , and likewise to several foreign merchants and others the sum of , for necessaries for the royal household and wardrobe, the mayor and citizens undertook to pay the same; in consideration whereof the king assigned to them the farm and other issues of the city, arising by aids, tallages, &c. to the amount thereof.
A resolution was soon after taken by the king and his council, to tax his several demesnes; under which appellation the city of London was included, of which John Gisors the mayor, aldermen, and sheriffs of the city were made acquainted, and at the same time interrogated by the privy council, sitting at the White Friars, in , if they would fine for their tallage, or, like others, by a poll-tax, and a general assessment on their estates, both real and personal, raise the sum required. They desired time to consult the commonalty upon that subject, and then returned for answer, that the king might tax his demesnes at pleasure; but, as such, the city of London could not be taxed, for, by their
|ancient rights and liberties, confirmed by divers charters, especially that of Magna Charta, they were free, and consequently not liable to any such tallage; and that, in lieu of all services, they paid the king a certain annual sum for the fee farm of their city, therefore humbly desired, that the intended tallage might be deferred till the meeting of the approaching parliament, when they should have an opportunity of conferring upon that affair, with divers of the nobility, who were proprietors of sundry lands and tenements in the city. To which it was replied, that, if they would lend the king , the assessment should be deferred according to their request. But the citizens not readily agreeing to this proposal, commissioners were sent to , to assess the said tallage. However, their commission being read, and the Friday following being appointed for the citizens to begin the said assessment, the mayor, &c. were so intimidated, that they proposed a loan of , on condition that the king would, by his letters patent, take care that no tallage singly by poll, or in common upon their goods, chattels, rents, or tenements, might be assessed before the next parliament: to which his majesty assented, desiring it to be paid to Ingelarde de Warlee, keeper of the wardrobe.|
Before we close the history of the present year, it may be matter of entertainment to our readers to add the following account; in which is shewn the ancient and costly manner of housekeeping of the English nobility, being the debit side of the account of H. Leicester, cofferer to Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, containing the amount of all the disbursements of that noble family, relating to domestic expenses in the present year:--
In the above account, Mr. Maitland says, it is to be observed, that silver was then at per ounce; so that ounces went to a pound sterling; by which it does appear, that the sum total expended in that year amounts, in our money, to and ; whereby is shewn, that the earl must have had a prodigious estate, especially considering the vast disparity between the prices of provisions then and now. Therefore we may justly conclude, that such an estate at present would bring in at least per annum.
Between the years and , the city, in common with the rest of the kingdom, suffered greatly from a scarcity of provisions, which eventually produced a complete famine, although different ordinances were made by the parliament, to limit the consumption, and restrain the prices of corn, meat, poultry, &c.
The favour shewn at this time (A. D. .) by the court to the magistrates of the city added so much to their power, that they assumed the sole right to appoint officers, and to continue their mayor for divers years successively in that supreme office; and, notwithstanding the frequent presentments of the wards to the judges itinerant in the Tower against their impositions, they ceased not to lay arbitrary taxes upon their fellow-citizens, spared themselves in all assessments and rates, and otherwise oppressed the commonalty, as may be discovered by the tenor of the articles of agreement. But the freemen, no longer able to bear these arbitrary proceedings and impositions, which were entirely inconsistent with, and destructive to their liberties, carried their resentment to such a pitch, that the city must once more have become a prey to the crown, had they not agreed among themselves to various constitutions drawn up by the consent of both parties. The king this same year sent his writ from Nottingham, directed only to the sheriffs of London, (and not to the mayor, aldermen and community, as the return insinuates) commanding them to chuse of their fellow-citizens to represent the
|city in the parliament to be held at York; but instead of , they returned representatives, as by the following return does appear:--|
By this parliament (the exigency of the nation requiring it) it was ordained, that every city and town in England, according to its ability, should raise and maintain a certain number of soldiers against the Scots, who at that time, by their great depredations, had laid waste all the north of England, as far as York and Lancaster. The quota of London to that expedition was men, being times the number that was sent by any other city or town in the kingdom,
Complaints being made to the treasurer and barons of the exchequer of divers murders, robberies, and other outrages lately committed in the city of London, and in particular by the pope's nuncio, that on the preceding Midsummer-day, during vespers, or evening prayers, or of the populace armed, repaired to , and there insulted a certain Lombard, and others in his company; the mayor and aldermen were ordered to attend the treasurer, barons and council upon that affair. In obedience to which order, John de Wengrave, the mayor, attended by divers of the aldermen and sheriffs, appeared before the treasurer, in presence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of Exeter, and Humphrey Earl of Hereford, who examined the mayor touching the grievances complained of; for which, and other neglects of duty on the like occasion, being severely reprimanded, and strictly enjoined to enquire into that riot, and to bring to exemplary punishment the ringleaders thereof, he was dismissed with orders so to deport himself in his office, that the king might not have occasion to set a custos over the city, and to get the inquisitions he should take in the said affair ready against such a time, upon pain of forfeiting the city liberties. The mayor, &c. having taken the said inquisitions, returned and acquainted the
|council, that they had thoroughly scrutinized into that affair, and would take care for the future, that their deportment should be such in respect to the good government and peace of the city, that thenceforth there should be no cause of complaint.|
The mayor and aldermen again assumed illegal authority, and imposed taxes, &c. in an arbitrary manner. For this, a presentment was made against them before the Lord Treasurer, and other judges, then sitting at the Tower, by the Jury of ; but whether any further proceedings were instituted, does not appear.
In , when the insolence of the Spencers, Edward the 's favorites, had incensed the barons to confederate against them, the Parliament of the White Bandsnote
met at ; and the barons, to secure their purpose, marched their army to London, and encamped in the suburbs of the city. The mayor, from motives of precaution, and to restrain the license of these troops, appointed a guard of a citizens, completely armed, to keep watch at the city gates, and other places, from in the morning till in the evening; after which they were to be relieved by a night guard, consisting of the same number of men, attended by aldermen, and other officers, who patroled the streets to keep the guard to their duty. Soon afterwards, however, the barons' army was admitted into the city, by the orders of the king, who found himself compelled to ratify the sentence of banishment against the Spencers, though it was soon after reversed; and they were no sooner restored to favour, than they petitioned the king against the barons; setting forth the great damages they had sustained by them: by which petition it appears, that the father's estates were vastly great: his real estate consisted of manors, and his personal of crops of corn, in barns, and the other upon the ground; in cash, jewels, silver and golden utensils, &c., ; armour for men, warlike engines, and the destruction of his houses, ; the furniture of his chapel and wardrobe, ; -and- sheep; oxen and heifers; cows, with their calves for years; mares, with their foals for years; cart-horses; hogs; kids; tons of wine; bacons; carcasses of beef; muttons in larder; tuns of cyder, and -and- sacks of wool; with a library of books.
About the feast of St. Michael, the queen, Isabella, being on pilgrimage to Canterbury, was refused admittance into Leeds castle,
| of which Bartholomew de Badlesmere, of the associated barons, was then owner; and though he was not present when this indignity was offered, he afterwards justified it in a very insolent letter written by himself to the queen. Edward, incensed at the affront, and stimulated to vengeance by Isabella, assembled an army, principally composed of Londoners, and besieged the castle; and having forced it to surrender, he caused Sir Thomas Culpeper, the governor, and some other inferior officers to be immediately hanged. Flushed with this success, he turned his arms against the barons; who, not being prepared for such an unexpected change, were either obliged to fly the kingdom, or throw themselves upon his mercy. In reward for the eminent services rendered by the Londoners on this occasion, Edward, by his letters patent, dated in December, in the of his reign, granted as follows:-- |
It is probable that this favour prevailed upon the citizens to give Edward the sum of , towards his war in Scotland.
Notwithstanding this charter, the king's favour proved but of short duration; for, availing himself of the dissensions which still prevailed on account of the last presentment, Edward seized on the city liberties, but was afterwards persuaded to grant permission to the aldermen and commonalty, by a mandate from Gloucester, anno , to elect their own custos or mayor.
The ascendancy which Edward had obtained over the refractory barons, was but short lived, though it had been cemented with blood. He recalled the Spencers, who quickly assumed their wonted arrogance, and were the means of bringing many of the old nobility to the scaffold. At length, the popular discontents grew too strong to be controlled; and the queen herself,
|after enduring many affronts, resolved to engage in the overthrow of the favorites. With this intent, after intriguing for some months in France, she procured assistance, in troops and vessels, from the Earl of Hainault, and landed in England in .|
Edward immediately demanded a supply of men and money from the citizens of London; but, instead of complying, they made answer, that
This answer was dictated through the incensed opposition which had been excited by some recent conduct of the king, who, in violation of his late charter, had compelled the citizens to furnish him with men at arms, to be
Edward being greatly provoked by this reply, gave immediate orders for storing the with all military provisions, leaving his son, John of Ulham therein, under the government of Sir John de Weston, and committed the custody of the city to Walter Stapleton, Bishop of Exeter. He then left London, and hastened into the western parts, to raise an army. Meanwhile, the mayor and citizens received letters from the queen, exhorting them, in a strenuous manner, to unite in defence of the common cause, and free their oppressed country from the bondage of favoritism. The letter was stuck upon the cross in West-cheap, or , and many copies of it put up in other places; this led the Bishop of Exeter, by virtue of his commission, to demand the keys of the city from the mayor; upon which, the populace assembling in a riotous manner, seized upon that magistrate, and obliged him to swear to obey only their orders.
They next proceeded in search of the Bishop of Exeter, and having burnt the gates of his palace, they entered; but not finding him, they carried off his jewels, plate, and furniture. In the interim, the unfortunate prelate, returning on horseback from the fields, endeavoured to take sanctuary in , but was seized by the rabble at the north door, and beaten in a very inhuman manner. They then dragged him to the standard in West-Cheap; where, having proclaimed him a traitor, they cut off his head, together with those of of his domestics, and afterwards
|buried their bodies under the rubbish of a fortress which the bishop was erecting near the river Thames. They were the more revengeful towards this prelate, because, being high treasurer, he had persuaded the council that the itinerant judges might sit in the city; by whose inquisition, the citizens had been found guilty of various mal-practices, for which their liberties were seized, and many of the principal fined in pecuniary mulets, whilst many others suffered imprisonment.|
On the following day, the keys of the Tower were taken by force from the constable, Sir John de Weston, and the prisoners being all set at liberty, the citizens dismissed the king's officers, and appointed others under John of Eltham, whom they constituted guardian of the city and kingdom. Soon afterwards, Robert de Baldock, the chancellor, to whom most of the miseries of the kingdom were imputed, having been brought from Hereford to London, and committed to the bishop's prison, was taken thence by the mob, and dragged to Newgate, as a place of more security; but the unmerciful treatment he met with on the way, occasioned him to die there within a few days, in great torment, from the blows which had been inflicted.
At length, the queen's party were completely successful; the king was taken prisoner, and both the Spencers were hung. The head of the younger was sent up to London, and received there with brutal insult, and set up on a pole upon the bridge. Shortly after, Isabella entered the metropolis in triumph, with Prince Edward, and many of the clergy and nobility; and a parliament being summoned for the purpose, the captive monarch was solemnly deposed, and the crown given to his eldest son, Edward the .
The services rendered by the citizens had been so grateful to the court and ministers of the young king, that in the March following his accession, they procured his signature to new charters. In the is contained not only a confirmation of all the ancient and valuable liberties and immunities of the citizens, but likewise the following additional and advantageous privileges: viz. That the mayor shall, at all times thereafter, be of the judges of Oyer and Terminer, for the trial of criminals confined in Newgate. The citizens to have the right of and ; the former being a privilege of trying a thief or robber, taken within the jurisdiction of the city; and the latter a right of reclaiming a citizen apprehended elsewhere for felony, in order to try him within the city. A right to the goods and chattels of all felons, convicted within the jurisdiction of the city. A. remission of per annum, heretofore unjustly extorted from the citizens, for the fee-farm of their city and county of Middlesex, contrary to their charters. A privilege of devising in mortmain, which is an alienation of lands and tenements to any guild, corporation, or fraternity, and their successors, without
|the king's leave, according to ancient custom. The sheriffs of London and Middlesex to be amerced no otherwise than their brethren south of the river Trent. All foreign merchants to dispose of their merchandizes within days, thereby to prevent enhancing the prices of their several commodities. The citizens not chargeable with the custody of those that take sanctuary in churches. The king's marshall, steward, nor clerk of the household, to exercise any authority in the city. The office of escheator conferred upon, and given in perpetuity to the mayor. For the greater convenience of the citizens resorting to country fairs, they have granted to them the valuable privilege of holding a court of in such place, for the determination of all contests that happen in each of the said fairs. That the citizens shall be free from all tallages, other than being assessed in common with their fellow-subjects, towards general subsidies, grants, and contributions. A great and just privilege, that the city liberties shall not hereafter be seized for a personal offence, or iniquitous judgment of any of its magistrates. That none of the king's purveyors, &c. presume to rate any sort of goods belonging to the citizens, nor to deal in any sort of merchandise within the city. And that no market be kept within miles of the city of London. And, by the charter, is granted for the good and benefit of the citizens.|
Yet, in this same, there passed an iniquitous grant from the crown to Simon, a merchant of London, to exempt him not only from serving the offices of mayor, alderman, sheriff, and coroner of London, but likewise from the charge of all taxes and duties whatsoever, in all parts of the kingdom.
During or years after the commencement of the new reign, the peace of the city was frequently disturbed by bodies of ruffians, composed principally of the lower classes of the populace, who rambled about the streets in desperate gangs, armed with swords, and other weapons, and committed many outrages, as assaults, robberies, and mutilations; and sometimes they even proceeded to the guilt of murder. The measures pursued by the king and the magistracy, were, for some time, ineffectual in preventing these villanies ; yet, at length, an instance of well-timed severity had its due effect: this was the instant execution of daring wretches, named Haunsart and Le Brewere, who, with others, had resisted the mayor and sheriffs in their endeavours to quell a tumult that had arisen between the companies of Fishmongers and Skinners; being overpowered, they were immediately carried to , where, having pleaded guilty, they were condemned to die, and were forthwith carried into West Cheap and beheaded.
On the arrival of Edward's queen, Philippa of Hainault, in London, in , she was received with great pomp, and magnificently entertained by the mayor and citizens. It is not
| improbable that the remembrance of this reception disposed her the more to clemency, when, in the following year, the king's anger was excited by an accident that happened at a solemn |
or Tournament, in . The lists were appointed
says Stow, (which stood opposite to the end of ),
(now :) and across the road, near the cross, was erected a stately scaffold, resembling a tower, in which the queen, and principal ladies of the court, were seated, to behold the spectacle. The justings continued days, on of which the scaffold brake down, and the queen and many ladies were precipitated to the ground, but fortunately escaped unhurt. Edward threatened the builders with exemplary punishment; but, through the intercession of Philippa, made
the king and council were pacified;
In the spring of , corn was so much injured by excessive rains, that a general dearth ensued; and provisions of all kinds becoming very scarce in the metropolis, through the arts of regrators, and the abuses committed with bad weights and measures, the king gave a severe reprimand to the mayor and sheriffs, for not taking better measures against a time of scarcity.
and strictly commanded the mayor, upon the penalty of his all, forthwith to convene the aldermen and commonalty, to regulate the prices of provisions according to the prime cost, so that the citizens might be no more imposed on. The measures pursued in consequence of this command, combined with the want of specie, which had been drained by the sums levied throughout the kingdom to support the Scottish war, were so effectual in reducing the high prices, that soon afterwards, as appears from Fabian's Chronicle, the best wheat was sold at per quarter; the best ox for , the best sheep for , the best goose for , the best pig for penny, and of the best pigeons for a like sum.
In , an extraordinary affair happened in the city, as appears by the following petition:--
To our Lord the King, and his council, Richard de Bettoyne of London sheweth,
That whereas at the coronation of our lord the king, that now is, he, [Richard de Bettoyne] being then Mayor of London, performed the office of butler, with valets
|clothed in livery, each carrying a white silver cup in his hand, as other mayors of London, time out of mind, used to do at the coronation of the kings, your progenitors; and the fee appendant to that service, that is to say, a gold cup with a cover, and with an ewer of gold enamelled, was delivered to him by assent of council, by the hands of Sir Robert Woodhouse: and now there comes an estreat out of the exchequer to the sheriffs of London, for levying of , for the said fee upon the goods and chattels of the said Richard; wherein he prays that remedy may be ordained him.|
And the mayor and citizens of Oxford are bound by charter to come to London at the coronation, to assist the mayor of London in serving at the feast, and so have always used to do. Or, if it please our lord the king and his council, we will willingly pay the fee, so that we may be discharged from that service.
As by this petition it appears, that the state anciently used at coronations by the chief magistrate of this city was very great, so does the royal return at this time shew itself to have been as mean and pitiful, by endeavouring to recover the said fee.
In the next year, the parliament granted the king a great subsidy for the support of his war, and conquest of France; but present money being wanted, the city of London, at the king's desire, advanced him , upon the credit of that part of the aid to be raised upon the citizens. This being the general assessment upon the city that I can find published, it cannot be unacceptable to the reader, to shew him the proportions the several wards were charged with; by which we perceive which of the said wards were then esteemed the most opulent.
Fabian, in adding up the several sums above-mentioned, has over-reckoned , whereby he has given a balance of to the king; whereas, by the sum total of the above, there appears to have been due to the city and and eightpence, to make up the sum of .
And it may be a matter of enquiry, how the city was by this assessment found divided into wards, when we are certain there were no more than in the year : and that the division of Farringdon Ward, into Farringdon Within, and Farringdon Without the walls, was not made till the of Richard II. A. D. , by order of parliament.
The king, having taken a resolution of going beyond sea, granted a commission to the mayor, aldermen, and commonalty of London (dated in the preceding year) for the conservation of the peace in the city, till his return; commanding them at their peril to exert themselves to the utmost of their power, for the good and quiet of the city, during his absence: and that, if they should apprehend any malefactors and disturbers of the said city, they should cause due and speedy punishment to be done upon them.
About the year , a dreadful pestilence spread itself westward through every country on the globe, reached England,
Its ravages in London were so great, that the common cemeteries were not sufficiently capacious to receive the dead ; and various pieces of ground, without the walls of the city, were therefore assigned for burial-places. Among them was the waste land now forming the precinct of the , which was purchased and appropriated for the purpose by Sir Walter Manny, and in which upwards of bodies of those who died of the pestilence were then interred.
|This destructive disorder did not entirely subside till the year .|
The following singular enactment,
is recorded in Stow's Annals, under the year .
In the same year, the staple or mart, for wool, was removed from Bruges, in Flanders, to the principal cities in England and Ireland; of the places appointed was , which, from this period and circumstance, began to attain an enlarged degree of that consequence which it now possesses.
In , Edward granted to the mayor, sheriffs, &c. that the serjeants belonging to the city, should have liberty to bear maces either
any where within the city and its liberties, and the county of Middlesex, or in the presence of the king, his
All other serjeants were at that time restricted to carry maces of copper only. In the following year, the citizens, to testify their affection for the king, raised, at their own expense, for the army then preparing for the conquest of France, men at arms, and archers, all arrayed in livery.
Edward, Prince of Wales, or the Black Prince, having routed the French army at Poictiers, and taken John their king prisoner, he and his royal captive upon their arrival in the neighbourhood of this city, were met in by above a of the citizens on horseback, richly accoutred; and were received at the foot of London-bridge by the mayor, aldermen, sheriffs, and the several companies of citizens in their formalities, with stately pageant. Every street through which the cavalcade passed, exhibited a display of all the riches, beauty, and splendor, of an opulent metropolis, emulously engaged to confer every token of respect on a beloved prince, and the captive French monarch. Hangings of tapestry, and streamers of silk, decorated every mansion, whilst vessels of gold and silver ostentatiously announced the wealth of its inhabitants. The implements and ornaments of war were displayed with peculiar pride and exultation. The beauty and gentility of the whole kingdom had flocked to the capital, to enjoy this rare spectacle. The captive John, arrayed in royal robes, was mounted on a beautiful white steed, whilst the victorious Prince of Wales, as modest as brave, in a plain dress, rode by his side on a little black palfrey, with the air of an attendant, rather than of a conqueror. The concourse of people on this occasion was so prodigiously great, that the cavalcade
|held from in the morning till noon; so that it may be justly affirmed, that such a pompous entry, or stately procession, had never been seen in London before. This zenith of splendor was soon eclipsed--the life of this excellent prince terminated in , in the year of his age, and universally deplored.|
When a controversy happened, wherein a citizen of London was concerned, and the matter in dispute to be tried before the steward of the royal household, he used frequently to draw them out of the city to plead, contrary to the known liberties of the citizens; for the preventing of such pernicious practices for the future, the city after this joyful occasion, petitioned the king for redress, and received the following most gracious answer:--
A. D. , corn became so very scarce, that wheat was sold
|at the quarter at London. And in the next year the French landed in Sussex, with an army of men, where they committed the most unheard of cruelties, by sacking and burning of towns, killing the men, and ravishing the women. These terrible depredations and barbarities enraged the nation to such a degree, that in a short time the city of London, and other ports of the kingdom, fitted out a potent fleet of sail, whereon were embarked men; who sailing to the coast of France, without opposition from the French fleet, they landed where they pleased, and ravaged, burnt and spoiled the country at pleasure.|
In , the plague having made its re-appearance in France, measures of precaution were taken to prevent its spreading in England; and Edward sent a letter to the mayor and sheriffs of London, commanding that
should not be killed at a less distance than (le Bow) on the side, and on the other. This was done that the air of the city might no longer be rendered corrupt and infectious, by means of the putrid blood and entrails which the butchers had been accustomed to throw into the streets, or cast into the Thames. Every precaution, however, proved ineffectual; the pestilence reached London; and its ravages were so destructive, that upwards of persons are recorded to have fallen victims in the course of days.
A. D. , the kings of Scotland, France, and Cyprus, came into England to visit King Edward, who, together with the said kings, the Prince of Wales, his son, and most of the nobility, were sumptuously entertained at dinner, by Henry Picard, late Mayor of London; and Lady Margaret, his wife, kept her chamber, says our author, for the same intent; which ought not only to be commemorated to the praise of that public-spirited citizen, but also to the honor of the city, in having had so generous and worthy a chief magistrate.
Notwithstanding the great advantages accruing to the nation by the use of archery, it was at this time so much in disuse, that the king, to enforce the practice thereof; sent the following letter to the sheriffs of London :
About the same time arrived in London above a Dutch enthusiasts, wearing hats with red crosses before and behind; the upper parts of their bodies were naked, and the lower covered with a linen garment, with a whip of knotted cords in each of their hands. Thus accoutred, they walked in procession through the streets of the city, with of their company singing before them; and being answered by the rest, they unanimously fell a lashing and cutting their bodies with their whips, in a cruel and most surprising manner, insomuch that the blood issued from their wounds very plentifully. This wholesome discipline they practised twice a day, sometimes in , and at other times in the streets.
The plague broke out again in the year , and swept away abundance of people; yet, through the great scarcity of corn, a dearth prevailed to that degree, that wheat was sold at the quarter; and corn continuing to rise, by reason of a wet harvest, wheat, the succeeding year, was sold at the excessive price of the quarter.
The citizens having ran too much into the abominable practice of usury, to the great hurt of trade in general, and the oppression of their fellow-subjects, Mr. John Not, the mayor, devised and published such ordinances for the putting of the laws in execution against the extortioners, that an effectual stop was put to this growing evil. And this proceeding was so highly approved of by the king and parliament, that all the rest of the nation were strictly enjoined to follow the example.
In the same year, a grand tournament was held in Smithfield to
| gratify the pride of Alice Pierce, or Perrers, whom Edward, in his dotage, had chosen for his mistress; and on that occasion had dignified with the appellation of She appeared by the king's side, in a triumphal chariot, clothed in gorgeous apparel, and accompanied by a great number of ladies of high rank, each of whom led a knight on horseback by the bridle. The procession set out from the Tower, and was attended by the principal nobility, richly accoutred; and many gallant feats of arms were performed by the knights who entered the lists, which were kept open during successive days. Alice is represented by our historians as a woman of high ambition, but little principle, |
About this period, various complaints and remonstrances were made to the parliament, by the citizens, against the privileges that the king's policy had occasioned him to bestow on foreign merchants, some of whom had even obtained grants of liberties wholly abrogatory of certain parts of the city charters. Redress was, after a considerable length of time, awarded by the king's letters patent in the year ; and under this grant, merchants, who had procured licenses to act contrary to the ancient franchises of the citizens, were severely punished by imprisonment and confiscation of property. Still the city had at that time but little interest with the king's council, and various grievances that had been complained against, were passed over either in a slight or contemptuous manner.
In , a remarkable mummery was made by the citizens of London, for disport of the young Prince Richard, son to the Black Prince:--
The young prince was at this time only years old; and succeeded to the throne of his grandfather in the same year, viz. .
It may not be amiss to introduce some account of this sport. It was derived from the Saturnalia, and so called from the Danish mumme, or Dutch momme, disguise in a mask. Christmas was the grand scene of mumming, and some mummers were disguised like bears, others like unicorns, bringing presents. They who could not procure masks, rubbed their faces with soot, or painted them. In the Christmas mummeries, the chief aim was to surprise by the oddity of the masks, and singularity and splendour of the dresses. Every thing was out of nature and propriety. They were often attended with an exhibition of gorgeous machinery. It was an old custom also to have mummeries on night. They were the common holiday amusements of young people of both sexes; but Edward III. the mummers and masqueraders were ordered to be whipped out of London. Sometimes they were very splendid, with grand processions, music, &c.
The annexed engraving is taken from a beautiful manuscript, written and illuminated in the reign of Edward III. in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.
About this time, John Wickliff, Doctor of Divinity in the University of Oxford, began to publish his belief upon several articles of religion, wherein he differed from the common doctrine. Pope Gregory XI. being informed of it, condemned some of his tenets, and commanded the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Bishop of London, to oblige him to subscribe the condemnation, and, in case of refusal, to summon him to Rome. It was not easy to execute this commission. Wickliff had now many followers in the kingdom, and for protector the Duke of Lancaster, whose authority was very little inferior to the King's. Nevertheless, to obey the Pope's orders, the Archbishop held a synod at at London, and cited Wickliff to appear. Accordingly he appeared, accompanied by the Duke of Lancaster, and the Lord Percy, Marshal of England, who believed their presence necessary to protect him. After he had taken his place according to his rank, and been interrogated by the Bishop of London, (Courteney,) he would have answered sitting, and thereby gave occasion for a great dispute. The Bishop insisted upon his standing, and being uncovered; but the Duke of Lancaster pretended that Wickliff was there only as doctor to give his vote and opinion, and not as a party accused. The contest grew so high, that the Duke of Lancaster proceeded to threats, and gave the Bishop very hard words; whereupon, the people that were present, thinking the Bishop in danger, took his part with such heat and noise, that the Duke and the Earl Marshal thought fit to withdraw, and take Wickliff with them. Their withdrawing appeased not the tumult. Some incendiaries spread a report, that, at the instance of the Duke of Lancaster, it was moved that day to the King in council, to put down the office of Lord Mayor, take away the city privileges, and reduce London under the jurisdiction of the Earl Marshal. This was sufficient to enrage the people: they ran immediately to the Marshalsea, and freed all the prisoners: but they did not stop there. The rioters, whose numbers continually increased, posted to the Duke of Lancaster's palace in the Savoy, and missing his person, plundered the house, and dragged his aims along the streets. The Duke was so provoked at this affront, that he could not be pacified, but by the removal of the Mayor and [several] aldermen, whom he accused of not using their authority to restrain the seditious.
The dissentions between the Duke and the citizens were not wholly subsided, when the King, worn out by a lingering disease, died at his palace of Shene, near Richmond, in Surrey, on the .
On the day of Edward's decease, a deputation of citizens, with the Mayor of London at their head, waited upon Prince Richard, his grandson, at , and acknowledged him for their
| lawful sovereign, requesting him to favor the city with his presence, and future residence. Soon afterwards, they submitted all differences between themselves and the Duke of Lancaster to his decision; and a final accommodation being effected in consequence within a few days, the new King came from Shene to London, accompanied by his chief officers of state, and principal nobility. On his entry into the capital, he was met by the Mayor and citizens in splendid procession; and, during his course through the city, a stately pageant, resembling a castle, that had been erected in , continued to flow with wine. The mantling liquor was served out from golden cups to the youthful monarch, and his nobility, by beautiful damsels, about the King's own age; and they also bestrewed his head with gilt leaves, and distributed |
among the populace. The general festivity was heightened by the affability of the Duke of Lancaster, who, on this occasion, strove to obtain the good will of the citizens. On the of the following month, Richard was solemnly crowned in Hall; the Mayor, with his attendants, as customary, performing the office of Chief Butler.
The year is memorable in the city annals, for the Expedition fitted out by John Philpot, Lord Mayor, against Mercer, the Scottish pirate, who, taking advantage of the little attention that had been lately given to naval affairs by the government, carried off all the shipping from the port of Scarborough ; and continuing to infest the northern coast, was frequently making considerable prizes. The complaints made by the suffering merchants were but little regarded by the council, when Philpot, with an ardent desire to revenge the insults offered to his country, and protect the commerce of his native city, fitted out a fleet at his own expense, and manning it with a men, completely armed, went himself on board as commander in chief, and sailed in pursuit of the piratical Scot. In a short time he came up with Mercer, and a long and desperate engagement ensued; but at length Philpot obtained the victory, and obliged the pirate to surrender, with most of his ships, among which were Spanish vessels, richly laden. The conqueror returning in triumph to London, was received with great exultation by his fellow citizens; yet the lordlings of the court were so much offended at
that he was summoned to answer for it before the King and Council; but
In , at a parliament held in St. Andrew's Priory, Northampton, in November, was passed an Act for levying a poll-tax
| on |
This was the occasion of producing, in the following year, of the most dangerous insurrections that ever threatened to overthrow the monarchy of this kingdom, and in which the metropolis particularly suffered.
The tax was exacted with great rigour from the people, it having been farmed out to a set of rapacious courtiers, who were desirous, as Stow remarks,
and the clause enjoining the rich to assist the poor, was so extremely vague, that it was evaded in most instances, and rendered the people more sensible of the weight of the imposition. The insolence of the collectors, and the many acts of base indecency which they committed, to ascertain the age of the females whom they set down as liable to the charge were additional causes of irritation, and at length kindled the sparks of that sedition, which soon after burst into an open flame.
The insurrection begun in Essex, but very quickly spread through the neighboring counties, and particularly in Kent, where the daughter of Wat Tyler, so called from his trade, which was that of a tyler and slater of Dartford, having been most indecently treated by a collector, the father
says Howes, from whose edition of Stow's Annals the ensuing extracts are made,
Whilst these things were transacting in the metropolis, similar, and even greater excesses were committed in Essex and Norfolk: but the were at length overcome by the conduct and intrepidity of the Bishop of Norwich; and a dyer, named Litistar, their chief,
Had the insurgents acted from any determinate plan, or had their leaders been men of able abilities, it is extremely probable that, at this eventful period, the government would have received a more popular form, even if it had escaped an entire overthrow. But the want of concert in the measures pursued in the different counties, and the senseless extravagance of the low-born ribalds who attained ascendancy in command, gave to the king's party a preponderating strength, which it would otherwise have wanted. The
of Jack Straw, who was next in command to Wat Tyler, if really made by him, will give an idea of the daring lengths to which some of the insurgents carried their schemes: yet its authenticity has never been fully established; and conjecture has sometimes assumed, that it was purely invented with the insidious intention of bringing the cause of the people into discredit.
says Stow, speaking of Jack Straw,
Thus terminated of the most extraordinary and formdable insurrections that London ever witnessed. Like most other popular commotions, it presented instances of private revenge, more striking than those of public feeling, and that too, in of the most prominent characters who figured in it, Wat Tyler, and Sir William . The former had been in the service of Richard Lions, an eminent wine merchant, and sheriff of London, who had inflicted personal chastisement upon him. When the rebel chief reached London, he caused his old master to be beheaded, and his head carried before him on the point of a spear, though it is, perhaps, too much to charge this act on Wat Tyler's resentment, since to be rich was a sufficient crime to insure the punishment. As for Sir William , whose name is perpetuated in a populous suburb, his loyalty is, perhaps, as questionable as Wat Tyler's patriotism. He was a principal sufferer by the insurrection, which had levelled to the ground a number of tenements, which this citizen possessed on the bank side, and which were let out for the worst of purposes. It is not too much, therefore, to suspect, that private feeling may have prompted his activity to put down the rebellion, and punish its leader.
About the close of the same year, Anne of Luxembourg, sister to the Emperor Winceslaus, and bride-elect of the young king, arrived in England. On her progress to London, she was met at Blackheath, by the mayor, aldermen, and principal citizens, on horseback, arrayed in splendid habiliments, and was thence conducted in the greatest pomp through the streets of the city to , where the nuptial ceremony was performed on the . On her coronation, which followed shortly after, justs were held
In the same year, various regulations were made, on the authority of John Northampton, the mayor; who, observing that lewdness and debauchery were connived at by the bishops and their subordinates, set about reforming the licentiousness and immoralities of the citizens, severely punishing those found guilty of whoredom, by causing the women to be carried through the streets with their heads shaven, with pipes and trumpets sounding before them. However, these proceedings of the mayor drew upon him the hatred of the bishops and inferior clergy, for usurping their authority, as they pretended, and breaking in upon their
|jurisdiction; wherefore, they strictly enjoined him to desist from such practices in future. But Northampton, without regarding this order, or the threats attending it, proceeded in the work of reformation, in opposition to the practices of the mendicant friars, who, instead of discouraging vice, (according to some) were the chief promoters of it; and in order to enrich themselves, though contrary both to their institution and oaths, they approved of the vices of the nobility and gentry, and encouraged the commonalty in all manner of wickedness, calling good evil, and evil good, by which they became gainers by the vices of both; and whose practice was to seduce princes by flattery, and the populace with lies, precipitately hurrying both to destruction by corrupting their manners and debauching their morals.|
Among other local arrangements for the general benefit, this magistrate caused the market for fish, which had previously been confined to the Company of Fishmongers, to be thrown open. These proceedings were the means of procuring him many enemies, as well as much popular commendation, yet the former eventually prevailed; and within eighteen months after the expiration of his mayoralty, being accused by his own chaplain, he was condemned before a convention of the nobility held at Reading, for having raised a great sedition in the city,
and sentenced to have
This sentence was rigorously executed; most probably with a view to deter the citizens from making any violent opposition to the various attempts that the king and his minions were now practising against the city liberties. A few of the more intimate associates of Northampton afterwards suffered: but
who had been concerned in his
were pardoned at the intercession of the , they
Among the infringements now made, or rather enforced, were the claims of the Constables of the Tower to certain
which had previously been exacted by these officers; and which Richard, by the following instrument, directed to the Mayor and Sheriffs of London, commanded should be taken agreeably to prior
These claims were soon afterwards confirmed to the constables by parliament, notwithstanding repeated remonstrances and petitions of the citizens against them; nor did the contention finally cease, till James the annulled the grants that had been made to the chief officers of the Tower, and restored the city to its ancient franchises.
In the year of King Richard II. at a great meeting of the commons, or common hall, petitions were presented to the mayor, setting forth that, for want of sufficient persons chosen, divers things were passed in common council, more by clamour than reason; for prevention whereof, several articles were proposed to be experimented, and, if found good and useful, to be confirmed; amongst which, is, that the common council might consist of sufficient people. And it was ordained, that the alderman of each ward should cause to be chosen of each ward for common councilmen. Which choice of common councilmen appears by the to have been aforetime in certain mysteries or crafts; some of which chose , others , and others only .
By the means of Nicholas Brembre, then () mayor, most, if not all, the aldermen of the city, were turned out by the common council, and new ones chosen in their room for the respective wards. The return whereof begins thus:--
Bread-street-Dominus i. e.
Which proceedings and elections were confirmed by a warrant from the king, dated the , at , an. reg. mo.
The citizens of London lent the king ; for the security and re-payment of which, he granted the mayor and commonalty of the city an obligation in French, under the broad seal, dated this same year.
On the last day of July, in the year of Richard II. in a common council held before the mayor and aldermen, it was ordained, that the common council should be chosen by the wards days after St. Gregory; and that they should chuse those who had served the year before, or others; and that once a
|quarter, at least, the common council should be assembled to consult and take care of the affairs of the city.|
In the year of the said king, there was a confirmation and settlement of the choice of common councilmen by the wards, by , , and , according to the size of each ward.
In , immense preparations having been made to invade England, by Charles the of France, of whose mighty armament, Froissart says,
the king sent the following writ to the city:--
And for the more effectual repairing the same, the king empowered the mayor and citizens to take, not only of merchandise, but also of all sorts of victuals brought to the city, a certain toll, (as King Edward I. had done before, A. D. ) for the term of years. The necessary reparations were then immediately commenced; yet, on the French expedition being soon afterwards laid aside, they were as precipitately abandoned; and the citizens,
The mal-administration and haughty conduct of Richard's favourites, Robert de Vere, and Michael de la Pole, and their partizans, so incensed the other nobility, that the latter, with Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester, (the king's uncle,) and the Earl of Arundel at their head, associated, with intent to drive them from the government, and otherwise punish them for their respective malversions. After an imprudent attempt to save his favorites, and overawe the Parliament, then sitting at , anno , Richard was constrained to give way to the torrent. De Vere, who had been recently made Duke of Ireland, was sent thither with a pension of only, his great estates being confiscated; and the chancellor was imprisoned at Windsor, and obliged to restore all the grants he had received from the king, the value of which, when now computed together, appeared so excessive, that Richard himself was surprised, and upbraided his minion for abusing his good will. On the breaking
| up of the parliament, however, the king recalled his favorites, restored them to their posts, and loaded them with new honours, as if in atonement for their late disgrace. Exulting in this triumph, and with hearts thirsting for revenge, these worthless parasites immediately plotted against the life of the duke, and endeavoured to prevail on Nicholas or Richard de Exton, then Mayor of London, to join in the conspiracy, and to invite the duke to a feast to be held in the city, at the house of Sir Nicholas de Brembre, where they purposed to have had him assassinated with others of his friends. Exton, instead of complying, is supposed to have informed the Duke of Gloucester of the intended villainy; and this prince, in retaliation, as appears from Froissart, who mentions many particulars of these events that are not noticed by our own historians, joined in the circulation of a report throughout the kingdom, that the king's ministers intended to levy a poll-tax so excessive, as to amount to a noble a head. In the ferment which this occasioned, the citizens of London sent a deputation to the Duke of Gloucester, requesting him to |
The duke declined compliance; but advised the citizens to engage the other cities and towns severally to address the king on account of their grievances. This was accordingly done at Windsor on the ensuing day; and their united remonstrances having been properly seconded by the Dukes of Gloucester and York, a parliament was ordered to assemble at , on the .
But the king, to screen his favorites from parliamentary enquiry, retired, in the mean time, to Bristol; taking with him the Duke of Ireland, whom he secretly commissioned to raise troops in Wales, in order to reduce the refractory to obedience. Before this could be executed, however, the Duke of Gloucester, with the Earls of Warwick and Arundel, assembled
in Hornsey wood; and Richard, through the mediation of the Bishop of Ely, and others, agreed to meet the lords in Hall; the mediators taking oath on the king's part, that
The necessity of this precaution was made apparent by the result; for
At the meeting which followed, the nobles justified their proceedings, on the ground that it
of whom they accused De Vere, and De la Pole, Nevil, Archbishop of York, Judge Tresilian, and Sir Nicholas Brembre. Richard promised redress in the ensuing parliament; all
Richard's intention was only to temporize till the Duke of Ireland had assembled a sufficient force to enable him to re-assume coercive measures; but his favorite having been defeated at Radcot Bridge, in Oxfordshire, he found himself compelled to take refuge in the Tower; yet, in order to distress the confederate army, he caused proclamation to be made in London, that no person
Matters being thus carried to extremity, the lords issued a counterproclamation, and
Ultimately, the keys of the city were delivered to the Duke of Gloucester, and the confederate nobles, who, in a forced conference with the king, obtained his promise to attend them on the next day at , there to treat
Yet they had scarcely quitted the Tower, before he sent them word, that he
Incensed at this fickleness, they immediately let him know, that if he came not to according to his engagement, they would go thither by themselves, and proceed to the election of a new king." This precise declaration so alarmed the imprudent monarch, that he punctually kept his appointment; and not only consented to banish his favorites, but also to every other measure that the lords proposed. Tresilian, Sir Nicholas Brembre (late Mayor of London) with some other knights, &c. were afterwards hanged for high treason at Tyburn; several eminent prelates and nobles were committed to prison; and many others removed from their offices at court, and about the king's person. The ascendancy which
|the lords had now obtained, was for a time submitted to by Richard with seeming content, and he diverted his chagrin by a recurrence to those amusements in which magnificence and pageantry were equally blended.|
A. D. , the streets of London were so abused with common lay-stalls, to the great annoyance of the citizens, that a proclamation was made throughout the city, by authority of parliament, that no person whatsoever should presume to lay any dung, guts, garbage, offals, or any other ordure, in any street, ditch, river, &c. upon penalty of , to be recovered by an information in Chancery.
In , the king appointed a great tournament to be held in London, and sent heralds to proclaim his intention to all the principal courts of Europe. Many princes and nobility from France, Germany, the Netherlands, &c. attended the spectacle, which commenced on the Sunday after Michaelmas, and was begun by splendid cavalcade from the Tower. ladies appeared in the procession, magnificently habited, mounted on fine horses, richly caparisoned, each leading an armed knight by a chain of silver, attended by their esquires. The justs were held in Smithfield, in the presence of the King, (who himself justed on the day,) and all his court; and the concourse of spectators was very great. Various entertainments accompanied the tilting; and open house was kept at the king's expense during the whole time, days, at the Bishop of London's palace, for all persons of distinction; and every night the diversions were concluded by a ball.
When Richard suspended the magistrates of London from their offices, he fined them , and ordered the city to pay the vast sum of yet both these mulcts were afterwards commuted for the mentioned above, and which the king received in
These, and many other extortions, which wholly deprived Richard of the affections of the citizens, were not enough to support the enormous profusion in which he lived, and which eventually led to his deposition and death. He is stated to have maintained from to persons daily in his palace; in his kitchen alone , and a proportionate number in the queen's apartments. Even his inferior servants were richly clad; and all historians agree, that he kept the most splendid court of any English monarch since the conquest.
In , the courts of judicature, which, during the king's displeasure, had been held at York, were removed back to London, as mentioned above; and about the same time it was enacted, among other things, by the parliament which was now held at Winchester, that all the filth of a certain lay-stall upon the bank of the river Thames, be forthwith removed; and for preventing the like for the future, the butchers of London were, before the ensuing Easter, to erect
|a house, or houses in a proper place, fit for the reception of all their ordure, whence it was to be carried in boats into the middle of the said river, and there to be thrown in at the turn of the tide at high water; and that no person whatsoever should presume to throw any muck, rubbish, laystage, or other ordure, in at the sides of the Thames, or lay any filth or nastiness on the banks of the same, between the palace of and the , upon the penalty of . Whence it is observable, that at that time, a greater regard was had to the cleanness of the river at the sides, than to its navigation.|
On Christmas day following, a great dolphin of feet in length was taken at London-bridge. His coming so far up the river was looked upon as a presage of that stormy and tempestuous weather, which soon after happened.
The Parliament soon after enacted, that from henceforth the aldermen of the city shall not be annually elected, but shall remain in their offices during their good behaviour. And that the great ward of Farringdon should be divided into the Out and In wards, with a right for each to chuse its aldermen. By this division a and ward was constituted.
It was also enacted in this parliament, that the said wards should be rated or assessed in the following proportions :
It was also enacted, that all malt, coming from the several counties of England to London, for the domestic uses of the king, nobility, and citizens, should be thoroughly cleansed from all dust and filth, so that the buyer might have bushels of clean malt to the quarter. And for the more effectual execution of this act, the mayor of London was empowered to search all the malt brought to the city, to prevent the great frauds of the country maltsters.
In , the Earl of Mar, who, with
was overthrown by the Earl of Nottingham, at a tilting match, or justing in Smithfield; and of his ribs having been broken by the fall, he died on his return homewards.
The country graziers frequenting Smithfield-market petitioned the parliament, complaining of the grievous and intolerable exactions of the city officers belonging to the said market, by their unjustly extorting from many persons carrying cattle thither the beast; for which scandalous imposition, the mayor and sheriffs were ordered to answer before the council.
In the , , and years of King Richard, the mayor, aldermen, and citizens of London presented their sheriffs to the treasurer and barons of the exchequer for admittance, with their reasons, as mentioned in the year , for the said sheriffs not taking an oath in the exchequer, nor any where else but in the city; wherefore they were refused to be admitted, and at the said times were severally cautioned by the barons not to act as sheriffs at their perils, without qualifying themselves as is necessary and customary on such occasions.
It seems, the mayor and citizens had better considered of this affair; for in this year, Nicholas de Farendon, the mayor, &c. presented Adam de Saresbury and John Oxford for their sheriffs, who were admitted and sworn to behave themselves well and truly; for, if a sheriff of London being chosen, did not go to the exchequer, in obedience to the king's command, to take upon him the office of sheriff, he was to be amerced for the contempt, as is manifest in the case of Philip de Taylur, who was fined in the and of Edward the , in the sum of , for his contempt in not appearing at the exchequer to qualify himself as aforesaid.
The mayor of this city having received advice of the king's arrival at Dover, with his young consort Isabella, a daughter of France; he, with his brethren the aldermen, accompanied by a select body of citizens well mounted and dressed in sort of apparel, with a symbol of their respective mysteries richly embroidered on each of their sleeves, met them on Blackheath, where the recorder, on behalf of the city, in a congratulatory oration, joyfully welcomed and conducted them to ; from whence, soon after, the young (then but years of age, therefore called the ) queen, was brought to the with the utmost pomp and state. On which occasion, the crowds of spectators were so exceedingly great, that persons were crowded to death on London-bridge, among whom were the Prior of Tiptree in Essex, and a worthy lady of . And the day following, the queen passed through the city, with the greatest magnificence, to..
Richard, being apprehensive of new broils, was desirous to know what power the city of London could bring into the field, upon an emergency; to which end, he caused the citizens to be mustered upon Blackheath; where, having reviewed them, he was exceedingly delighted with their fine and numerous appearance.
Adam Bamme, the mayor, dying soon after, and before the completion of his mayoralty, the king, by his own authority, and in an arbitrary manner, without consulting the citizens, put into that office for the remaining part of the year Richard Whittington, who was afterwards chosen by the citizens to that office for that time.
The king's accustomed extravagance, with the charges of his late marriage, having entirely exhausted his exchequer, though the parliament which met at , in , had granted him a very considerable aid, he had again recourse to his usual methods of extortion. There
and, among other new and base expedients, he compelled the richest of his subjects to set their seals to blank grants, or charters, which were afterwards filled up with whatever sums he thought proper to- exact. Some idea of the profuse expenditure of this monarch may be formed from the ensuing extract:--
According to Froissart, the citizens of London, at the instigation of the Duke of Gloucester, the king's uncle, petitioned the king, that seeing the war with France was happily ended, they might have all grievous taxations annulled; and also that his Majesty would not enter into any treaty with the King of France about the delivering up of Calais.
Which proceedings of the citizens were in a proper time highly resented by the king, who intended to punish them severely for their insolence: but, by the mediation of their good friends, Roger. Walden, Archbishop of Canterbury, and their own worthy bishop Robert Braybroke, they were again taken into favour.
Richard became at last so odious to his subjects, that the principal of the nobility, gentry, and people invited Henry, Duke of Hereford, son to John of Gaunt, late Duke of Lancaster, and grandson to Edward III. then an exile in France (who sometime before was unjustly banished the kingdom) to come and head them, in order to extricate an oppressed nation from an abyss of slavery they were sunk into. Henry accepted of their invitation, and landing at Ravenspur, in Yorkshire, was quickly joined by the nobility and gentry of those parts, and by persons of all ranks on his march southward; so that his army in a few days increased
|to men. With these he hastened to London; wisely concluding, if the capital should declare for him, he would have nothing to fear from the king or his adherents. The citizens received their deliverer with open gates, hearts, and hands, (supplying his army with a superfluity of all sorts of provisions) expressing their joy with magnificent shows, solemn processions of the clergy, and loud acclamations of the people.|
The duke, having his interest greatly strengthened by the accession of this potent and opulent city, thought he might safely march thence to secure the western parts of the kingdom, where Richard soon after arrived with his army from the reduction of Ireland. But the king, being soon deserted by most of the great men about him, thought proper to accept of the terms offered him by the Earl of Northumberland, on behalf of the Duke of Lancaster, which the earl solemnly swore to see performed; nevertheless he perfidiously seized upon the king's person, carried him prisoner to Rothland Castle, and thence to that of Flint, and there delivered him to the duke, who brought the king to London. At some distance from which, he was met by the recorder of the city, accompanied by a great number of knights and esquires, who, in a most inhuman and barbarous manner, desired the duke, in the name of the whole community of London, to behead the king and all those that were taken with him. But the duke would, by no means, oblige them in the perpetration of such an unparallelled and horrid act of cruelty; telling them, that if he should agree to their unreasonable request, it would be an eternal reproach to him and all his adherents; wherefore, he would leave him and them to the disposal of the ensuing parliament. But other authors only write, that the London rabble intended to have assassinated Richard on his approach to the city, had they not been prevented by the mayor and aldermen. At the duke's approach to London with his prisoners, he was received in great pomp by the mayor, aldermen, sheriffs, and all the several companies in their formalities, with the people incessantly crying,
And the duke, having secured the king in the , went to to return thanks to God for his great success.
In the parliament which met in Hall, on the , the Duke of Lancaster was declared king in place of the deposed Richard, who was cruelly murdered in Pomfret Castle, on the of the ensuing February.
 Mad. Hist. Excheq. A.D. 1311.
 Maitland, i. 113.
 Stow's Ann. 328.
 Fab. Chron. p. 7.
 Wal. Hist. Angl.
 Rapin's Hist. i. 395, 396.
 Maitland's Lond. i. 118.
 Madox Hist. Excheq. 1322.
 Stow's Chron. p. 338.
 Maitland's London, first ed. p. 76.
 Stow's Chron. p. 351.
 Maitland, i. 124.
 Blount Anc. Tenures.
 Chron. folio 207.
 Stow's Ann. 578.
 Stow's Ann. 380.
 Ibid 390.
 Hollinshed Chron.
 Chron. Preci.
 Maitland's London, i. 130.
 Stow's Ann.
 From that valuable and curious work, Rev. T. D. Fosbroke's Encyclopedia of Antiquities, vol. ii. p. 595.
 History of Lambeth, p. 352.
 Rapin, vol. i. p. 444.
 Cott. Rec. p. 188.
 Cott. Rec. p. 189.
 Brayley's Lond. i. 179.
 Stow's Ann. p. 461. In this queen's dayes beganne the detestable use of piked shooes, tyed to their knees with chaines of silver and gilt. Also noble women used high attire on their heads, piked like horns, with long trained gowns, and rode on side-saddles after the example of the queen, who first brought that fashion into this land; for, before, women were used to ride astride like men.
 Maitland, i, 142.
 Ex Rot. Claus. de ann. 6 reg. Ric. II.
 In Rym. Fod. Vol. vii, p. 359, is a receipt given by King Richard for his crown and jewels, now delivered up, which he had formerly pawned to the city of London for 2000l.
 De Murag. pro Civit. Lond. Pat. 10, Ric. II. in Turr. Lond.
 Rapin's Eng. i, 463
 Stow's Ann. p. 473.
 Rapin's Eng. Vol. I. p. 465.
 Brayley's London, i. 187.
 Brayley's Lond. i. 191.
 Hollin. Chron.
 Stow's Ann. p. 505.
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|Chapter I: History of London and its environs, from the earliest period of authentic record to the defeat of the Britons by Suetonius|
|Chapter II: Historical account of Roman London, with notices of remains discovered.|
|Chapter III: History of London from the departure of the Romans till the time of the Conquest|
|Chapter IV: History of London from the Conquest to the reign of Henry the Third|
|Chapter V: History of London from the reign of Henry the Third to the reign of Edward the Second|
|Chapter VI: History of London from the reign of Edward the Second to the reign of Richard the Second|
|Chapter VII: History of London from the reign of Henry the Fourth to the reign of Edward the Fourth|
|Chapter VIII: History of London from the reign of Edward the Fourth to the reign of Henry the Eighth|
|Chapter IX: History of London during the reign of Henry the Eighth|
|Chapter X: History of London from the reign of Edward the Sixth to the accession of Elizabeth|
|Chapter XI: History of London, during the reign of Elizabeth.|
|Chapter XII: History of London during the reign of James the First|
|Chapter XIII: History of London during the Reign of Charles the First|
|Chapter XIV: History of London during the Commonwealth and the reign of Charles the Second|
|Chapter XV: History of London during the reign of James the Second|