The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 1

Allen, Thomas


History of London from the reign of Edward the Second to the reign of Richard the Second.

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:--

The Account of H. Leicester, Coffrer to Thomas, Earl of Lancaster.
To the amount of the charge of the pantry, buttery, and kitchen340500
To three hundred and sixty-nine pipes of red wine, and two pipes of white104176
To all sorts of grocery wares180170
To six barrels of sturgeon1900
To six thousand dried fishes of all sorts4167
To seventeen hundred and fourteen pounds of wax, vermillion, and turpentine31474
To the charge of the earl's great horses, and servants' wages43643
To linen for the earl, his chaplains, and table43170
To one hundred and twenty-nine dozen of skins of parchment, and ink4830
To two scarlet cloths for the earl's use, one of russet for the Bishop of Angew, seventy of blue for the knights, twenty-eight for the squires, fifteen for the clerks, fifteen for the officers, nineteen for the grooms, five for the archers, four for the minstrels and carpenters, with the sharing and carriage for the earl's liveries at Christmas460150
To seven furs of powdered ermine, seven hoods of purple, three hundred and ninety-five furs of budge for the liveries of barons, knights, and clerks, and one hundred and twenty-three furs of lamb, bought at Christmas, for the esquires147178
To one hundred and sixty-eight yards of russet cloth and twenty-four coats for poor men, with money given to the poor on Maunday-Thursday8167
To sixty-five saffron-coloured cloths for the barons and knights in summer, twelve red cloths for the clerks, twenty-six cloths for the squires, one for the officers, and four ray cloths for carpets in the hall345138
To one hundred pieces of green silk for the knights, fourteen budge furs for surcoats, thirteen hoods of budge for clerks, and seventy-five furs of lambs for liveries in summer, with canvas and cords to tie them72190
To saddles for the summer liveries5168
To one saddle for the earl200
To several items, the particulars in the account defaced241141
To horses lost in service868
To fees paid to earls, barons, knights, and squires623155
To gifts to French knights, Countess of Warren, Queen's nurses, squires, minstrels, messengers, and riders92140
To twenty-four silver dishes, twenty-four saucers, twenty-four cups, one pair of Pater-nosters, and one silver coffin, all bought this year, when silver was at 1s. 8d. per ounce10356
To several messengers34198
To sundry things in the earl's bed-chamber00
To several old debts paid this year88160 3/4
To the countess's disbursements at Pickering44005
To two thousand three hundred and nineteen pounds of tallow candles, and eighteen hundred and seventy pounds of lights, called Paris candles, or white wax candles31143
Sum Total7309126 3/4

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.

There followed this famine,

says Stow,

a grievous mortalitie of people, so that the quicke might vnneath bury the dead. The beasts and cattell also, by the corrupt grasse whereof they fedde, dyed; whereby it came to passe, that the eating of flesh was suspected of all men, for flesh of beasts not corrupted was hard to finde: horse-flesh was counted great delicates: the poore, stale fatte dogges to eate; some, (as it was saide) compelled through famine, in hidde places, did eate the flesh of their owne children; and some stale others, which they devoured. Theeves that were in prisons, did plucke in peeces those that were newly brought amongst them, and greedily devoured them halfe alive.

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:--

To the most excellent Prince, and their most dear Lord, the Lord Edward, by the grace of God, the most illustrious King of England, Lord of Ireland, and Duke of Aquitain: John de Wengrave, Mayor of the city of London, the aldermen, sheriffs and the whole community of the same city, themselves and their heirs: your excellency may know we have assigned our beloved fellow-citizens, John de Cherleton, William de Flete, and Roger de Palmere, or two of them, and have given to them, or two of them, full and sufficient power, by these presents, to do in this your instant parliament, to be holden at York three weeks after Michaelmas, what shall be ordained in the foresaid Parliament by common advice, according to the form of your writ, lately to us directed. In witness whereof we have made these our letters patents, to be sealed with the seal of our community, or commonalty aforesaid. Dated at London, the sixteenth day of October, in the twelfth year of your reign.

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

So called,

says Rapin,

on account of certain white marks by which the adherents of the barons were to know



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:--

Edward, by the grace of God, King of England, Lord of Ireland, and Duke of Aquitain; to all to whom these present letters shall come, greeting. Know ye, that whereas the mayor, and the good men of the city of London, have of late thankfully done us aid of armed footmen at our castle of Leeds, in our county of Kent; and also aid of like armed men now going with us through divers parts of our realm for divers causes ;


, willing to provide for the indemnity of the said mayor and men of our city of London in this behalf, have granted to them, for us and our heirs, that the said aids to us so thankfully done, shall not be prejudicial to the said mayor and good men, their heirs, and successors: nor shall they be drawn into consequent for time to come. In witness whereof we have caused these our letters to be made patents. Witness myself at Aldermaston, the

twelfth day of December

, in the


year of our reign.

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

they would with due obedience honour the king and queen, and their son, who was lawful heir to the realm, and that they would shut their gates against all foreign traitors; yet they would not go out of their city to fight, except they might, according to their liberties, return home the same day before sun-set.

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

maintained at their own expense, and to march wherever commanded.

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.


says Stow,

without respect of any, they beheaded such as they took to be the queen's enemies, among which they beheaded


of their owne citizens, named John Marshall, because hee was familiar with Hugh Spencer the yoonger.

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

betwixt the great crosse,

says Stow, (which stood opposite to the end of ),

and the great conduite nigh Soper-lane,

(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

on her knees,

the king and council were pacified;


says Stow,

shee purchased greate love of the people.

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.

He also upbraided them for the little regard they had had to their oaths, by suffering bread, wine, beer, and other kinds of victuals, to be sold in the city at such excessive rates;

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.

The Assessment.
Tower Ward *36500
Billingsgate Ward76300
Bridge Ward76568
Dowgate Ward660100
Langburn Ward35268
Wallbroke Ward91100
Bishopsgate Ward55968
Lymestreet Ward11000
Cornhill Ward31500
Cheap Ward517100
Broadstreet Ward58800
Vintry Ward634168
Breadstreet Ward461168
Queenhithe Ward435134
Cordwaynerstreet Ward219534
Faringdon Ward Within730168
Faringdon Ward Without114134
Cripplegate Ward462100
Colemanstreet Ward1051168
Candlewickstreet Ward13368
Aldgate Ward3000
Portsoken Ward27100
Castle Baynard's Ward6368
Bassishaw Ward79134
Aldersgate Ward57100

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,

and so wasted and spoyled the people, that scarce the


person of all sorts were left alive.

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,

made at the instance of the Londoners,

is recorded in Stow's Annals, under the year .

After the Epiphanie, a parliament was holden at


, wherein an ordinance was made, that no known whore should were from thenceforth, any hoode, except reyed or striped of divers colours, nor furre, but garments reversed, or turned the wrong side outward, upon paine to forfeit the same.

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

of gold or silver, or silvered, or garnished,

any where within the city and its liberties, and the county of Middlesex, or in the presence of the king, his

mother, consort, and children.

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:--

To the petition of the citizens of London asking remedy, in that the steward and marshal of the king's household drew them into plea without the said city, against the form of the liberty, and against the tenor of the charters made to them upon this by the king and his progenitors; it was thus answered, That the king willeth, that if a transgression be made to any of the king's household, within the liberty of the city of London, and within the verge of the king, the plea of such transgression be held before the steward and marshal of the king's household; and if inquisition must be made, let that inquisition be taken within the said city; and it is enrolled in the rolls of John de Kirkeby, of the parliament of the king, held in the Quinden of St. John Baptist, in the thirteenth year of his reign. And further,

Be it remembered, that at the parliament of our Lord King Edward, in the thirtieth year of his reign, by the said king it was granted and commanded, that this concession be firmly observed; namely, that whereas before the steward of the same lord the king and his marshal, the king at London or at Westminster, or elsewhere near the foresaid city, certain inquisitions ought to be made upon transgressions, or other facts within the foresaid city, between any of the said city, or between them and other foreigners, or between some of the king's household and another of the city, or any foreigner whatsoever; and of which transgression the cognizance belongs to the same steward and marshal by right:

That all those inquisitions be taken within the city, and not elsewhere, although the parties of those inquisitions have pleaded without the city before the steward and marshal, and have put themselves in the former inquisition, whilst some Jurors of that inquisition were of the said city, and remained within the same.

And this the lord the king granted in favour of the poor workmen of the said city, who lived of the work of their own hands; that they want not their food, or be more impoverished: and it was enrolled in the rolls of Lord Gilbert Fitz-Robert, the king's justice.

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

all bulls, oxen, hogs, and other gross creatures, to be slain for the sustentation of the said city,

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 :

The King to the Sheriffs of London, greeting. Because the people of our realm, as well of good quality as mean, have commonly in their sports before these times exercised the skill of shooting arrows; whence, it is well known, that honor and profit have accrued to our whole realm, and to us, by the help of God, no small assistance in our warlike acts; and now the said skill being as it were, wholly laid aside, the same people please themselves in hurling of stones, and wood and iron; and some in hand-ball, foot-ball, bandy-ball, and in cambuck, or cock-fighting; and some also apply themselves to other dishonest games, and less profitable or useful, whereby the said realm is likely, in a short time, to become destitute of archers:

We, willing to apply a seasonable remedy to this, command you, that in places in the foresaid city, as well within the liberties as without, where you shall see it expedient, you cause public proclamation to be made, that every one of the said city, strong in body, at leisure times on holidays, use in their recreations bows and arrows, or pellets, or bolts, and learn and exercise the art of shooting, forbidding all and singular on our behalf, that they do not after any manner apply themselves to the throwing of stones, wood, iron, hand-ball, foot-ball, bandy-ball, cambuck, or cockfighting, nor such other like vain plays, which have no profit in them, or concern themselves therein under pain of imprisonment. Witness the king at Westminster, the twelfth day of June.

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,

By her overmuch familiarity with the king,

says Stow,

she was cause of much mischief in the realme; for, exceeding the manner of women, shee sate by the king's justices, and sometimes by the doctors in the Commons, perswading and diswading in defence of matters, and requesting things contrary to lawe and honestie.

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:--

On the Sunday before Candlemas, in the night, one hundred and thirty citizens, disguised and well horsed, in a mummery, with sound of trumpets, sackbuts, cornets, shalmes, and other minstrels, and innumerable torch lights of wax, rode from Newgate, through Cheap, over the bridge, through Southwark and so to Kennington, besides Lambeth, where the young prince remained with his mother and the Duke of Lancaster his uncle, the Earls of Cambridge, Hertford, Warwicke, and Suffolke, with divers other lords.

In the first rank did ride 48 in likeness and habit of esquires, two and two together, clothed in red coats, and gowns of say or sendal, with comely vizors on their faces.

These maskers, after they had entered the manor of Mummers Kennington, alighted from the horses, and entered the hall on foot; which done, the prince, his mother, and the lords came out of the hall, whom the mummers did salute; shewing by a paire of dice on the table, their desire to play with the prince, which they so handled, that the prince did always winne, when he came to cast at them. Then the mummers set to the prince three jewels, one after another, which were a boule of gold, a cup of gold, and a ring of gold, which the prince wonne at threes casts. Then they set to the prince's mother, the duke, the earls, and other lords, to every one a ring of gold, which they did also win. After which, they were feasted, and the music sounded, the prince and lords danced on the one part, with the mummers, who did also dance; which jollity being ended, they were again made to drink, and then departed in order as they came.

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

florins resembling gold

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

his presumption and contempt, in undertaking an affair of so high a nature without the King's permission,

that he was summoned to answer for it before the King and Council; but

he made so good a defence,

says Rapin,

and with so much modesty, that he was dismissed without further trouble.

In , at a parliament held in St. Andrew's Priory, Northampton, in November, was passed an Act for levying a poll-tax



every person in the kingdom, being man or woman, passing the age of


years, and being no beggar:


to be levied of every person of every parish, according to their estate; so as the rich doth bear with the poor; and the richest, for him and his wife, be not set above

twenty shillings

; and the most poor, for him and his wife, no lesse than



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,

to enrich themselves with other mennes goods;

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

smote him with his lathing staffe, that the brains flew out of his head, where through great noyse arose in the streets, and the poore people being glad, every


prepared to support the said Tyler.

Thus, the

commons being drawne together,

says Howes, from whose edition of Stow's Annals the ensuing extracts are made,

went to Maidstone, and from thence back to Blackheath, and so in short time they stirred all the country, in a manner, to the like commotion, and forthwith besetting the waies that lead to Canterbury, arrest all passengers, compelling them to sweare, first, that they should keepe their allegiance unto King Richard, and to the commons; and that they should accept no king that was named John, for envy they bare unto John, Duke of Lancaster, who named himself King of Castile; and that they should be ready whensoever they were called, and that they should agree to no taxe to be levied from thenceforth in the kingdom, nor consent to any, except it were a fifteen.

The fame of these doings spread into Sussex, Hertford, Essex, and Cambridgeshire, Norfolke, Suffolke, &c. and when such assembling of ye common people daily took increase, and yt their number was now almost infinite, so that they feared no man to resist them, they beganne to show some such actes as they had considered in their minds, and tooke in hand to behead all men of lawe, as well apprentises, as utter baristers, and olde justices, with all the jurers of the country, whom they might get into their hands: they spared none whom they thought to be learned: especially, if they found any to have pen and inke, they pulled off his hoode, and all with one voice of crying, Hale him out, and cut off his head.

They also determined to burne all court-rolles and olde monuments, that the memory of antiquities being taken away, their lordes should not be able to challenge any right on them from that time forth. These commons had to their chapleine, or preacher, a wicked priest, called Sir John Ball, who counsailed them to destroy all the nobility and cleargy, so that there should bee no bishop in England, but one archbishoppe, which should bee himself; and that there should not bee aboue two religious persons in one house; and their possessions should be deuided among the laye men; for the which doctrine, they held him as a prophet. They going towardes London, met diuers lawyers, and twelue knights of that country, whom they forced to swere to maintain them, or else to be beheaded. This being known to the king, on Wednesday following hee sent messengers to demaund the cause of their rising; who answered, yt they were gathered together for his safety, to destroy those that were traytors to him and his kingdom. The king by messengers replied, that they should cease their assemblies vntill hee mought speaker with them, and all matters should be amended. Whereupon the commons requested the king to come and see them on the Blackeheath; and the king, the third time, sent word that hee would willingly come to them the next day. At what time, the king being at Windsore, remooued in all haste to London; whom the maior mett, and safely brought to the Tower, whither the Archbyshop of Canterburie, Chancellor; the Byshop of London; the Pryor of St. John, Treasurer; the Earles of Buckingham, Kent, Arundale, Warwicke, Suffolke, Oxford, and Salesburie; and other of the nobility and gentlemen, to the number of sixe hundred, did come: and on Corpus Christi eeve, the commons of Kent came to Blackeheath, three miles from London, to meete with the king, having displayed before them two banners of Saint George, and threescore penons. The commons of Essex came on the other parte of the riuer Thames, to haue also aunswere from the king; at what time, the king being in the Tower, commanded barges to bee made ready, and taking with him his counsel, and foure barges for his retinue, was rowed to Greenewich; where the chancellor and treasurer persuaded the king, that it were great follie to goe to a number of menne without reason: and thereupon hee stayed. The commons, therefore, sent to him, requiring to bane the heades of John, Duke of Lancaster, and fifteen other lordes, whereof fourteene were present with him in the Tower; to wit, Simon Sudburie, chancellor; Sir Robert Hales, treasurer; the Bishoppe of London; Iohn Fordham, Clearke of the Privie Seale; Robert Belknape, Chiefe Justice; Sir Ralph Ferers; Sir Robert Plessington, Chiefe Baron of the Exchequer; John Legge, Sergeant at Armes; Thomas Bampton, and others; whereunto the king would not assent, but willed them to come to him to Windsore on Monday next, where they should have sufficient answere to all their demands. The commons hadde a watch-word which was this, With home hold you? and the answer was With King Richard, and the true commons; and who could not that watch-word, off went his head. The king being warned that if hee came to the commons, hee should be carried about by them, and forced to grant them their requests whatsoeuer, he returned toward London, and entered the Tower about three of the clock.

The commons being certified that the king was gone, they on the same day, toward euening, came to Southwarke, where they brake down the houses of Marshalsey, and loosed the prisoners: amongst other, they brake down the house of Iohn Inworth, then Marshall of the Marshalsey, the King's Bench, and all the houses of the Jurers and Quest-mongers; continuing that outrage all the night. At what time the commons of Essex went to Lambeth, a mannor of the Archbishoppe of Canterbury, entered the house, spoyled and burnt all the goods, with the books, registers, and remembrances of the chancery. The next day being Thursday, and the feast of Corpus Christi, or the thirteenth of June, the commons of Essex, in the morning, went to the mannor of Highbury, two miles from London, north; this mannor, belonging to the Pryor of St. John of Jerusalem, they wholy consumed with fire. On which day, also, in the morning, the commons of Kent brake down the Stew-houses neere London Bridge, at that time in ye hands of the frowes of Flaunders, who had farmed them of the Maior of London. After which, they went to London Bridge, in hope to have entered the city; but the maior coming thither before, fortified the place, caused the bridge to be drawne up, and fastened a great chain of yron across to restraine their entrie. Then the commons of Surrey, who were risen with other, cried to the wardens of the bridge to let it down, whereby they mought passe, or else they would destroy them all; whereby they were constrained for feare to let it downe, and give them entry: at which time ye religious persons were earnest in procession and prayer for peace. The commons passed through the city, and did no hurt; they take nothing from any man, but bought all things at a just price; and if they found any man with theft, they beheaded him.

Now talking with the simple commons of procuring them liberties, and apprehending traytors, (as they termed them, especially the duke of Lancaster), they shortly got all the poore citizens to conspire with them: and the same day, after the sunne was got on some height that it waxed warme, and that they had tasted at their pleasures of diners wines, whereby they were become as made as drunken, (for the rich citizens had set open their sellers to enter at their pleasure), they beganne to take of many things; amongst the which, they exhorted each other, that going to the Sauoy, the duke of Lancaster's house, to the which there was none in the realme to be compared in beauty and statelinesse, they mought set fire on it, and burne it: this take pleasing the commons of the citie, they straight ranne thither, and setting fire on it round about, applied their trauaile to destroy that place; and, that it mought appeared to the communalty of the realme, that they did not any thing for covetousness, they caused proclamation to be made, that none, on paine to lose his head, should presume to conuert to his own use, any thing that there was, or mought be found, but that they should break such plate and vessels of gold and silver, as were in that house in great plenty, into small peeces, and throw the same into the Thames, or in to some priuies ; clothes of gold, silver, silke, and veluet, they should teare; rings and jewels set with precious stones, they should bruse in mortars, that the same mought bee to no vse, &c. and so it was done. Henry Knighton writeth, that when the rebelles burnt the Sauoy, one of them (contrary to the proclamation) tooke a goodly silver peece, and hid it in his bosome, but an other that espied him told his fellowes, who forthwith hurled him and the peece of plate into the fire, saying, we bee zealous of truth and justice, and not theeves or robbers. After this, they getting a rich garment of the duke's, (commonly called a jack, or jackquit,) setting it on a speare's point for a market, they shoote at it with their bowes and arrowes; but when they could that way doe it little hurte, they tooke it down, and laying it on the ground, with their swordes and axes they all to broke it. To the number of two and thirtie of those rebels entered a seller of the Sauoy, where they dranke so much of sweete wines, that they were not able to come out in time, but were shut in with wood and stones yt mured up the doore, where they were heard crying and calling seen days after, but none came to helpe them out till they were dead.

In this meane time, the commons of Kent brake up the Fleet, and let the prisoners goe where they would. They destroyed and burnt many houses, defaced the beautie of Fleete-streete: from thence they went to the Temple to destroy it; and plucked down the houses, took off the tyles of the other buildings left; went to the church, tooke out all the books and remembrances, that were in the hutches of the prentises of the lawe, carried them into the high street, and there burnt them. This house they spoyled for wrath they bare to the pryor of Sainte Iohns unto home it belonged. After a number of them hadde sacked this Temple, what with labour, and what with wine, being overcome, they lay down under the walles and housing, and were slaine like swine, one of them killing an other for old grudge and hatred; and others also made quicke dispatch of them. A number of them that burnt the Temple, went from thence towards the Sauoy, destroying all the houses yt belonged to the hospital of Saint Iohn: and after they went to the place of the bishop of Chester, by the Strand, where Iohn Fordham remained, elect of Durham; they entered his seller, ruling out the tunnes of wine, drinking excessively, not doeing any more harme. Then they went towards the Sauoy, burning many houses of Quest-mongers. At the last, they came to the Sauoy, brake the gates, entered the house, came to the wardrobe, tooke out all the torches they could finde, which they sat a fire, and with them burnt all ye feather beddes, couerlet (whereof one with armes was esteemed worth 1,000 marks,) and all other goods that they might finde, with the houses and buildings belonging thereunto, which were left by the commons of the citie of London. And (as it was saide) they found three barrels of gunne powder, which they thought had been golde or silver; those they cast into the fire, which more sodainely then they thought, blew up the hall, destroyed the houses, and almost themselves. From thence they went to Westminster, burning diners houses: and amongst other, the house of Iohn Buterwike, under shrine of Midlesex. They brake ye prison at Westminster; and returned to London by Holborne; and, before the church of Saint Sepulchre, burnt the house of Simon, the hostile, and others; they brake the prison of Newgate, let forth the prisoners, &c.

The same Thursday, the said commons went to Saint Martins le Grand, in London, and tooke from the high altar in that church one Roger Legat, chief Sisar, (or questmonger), led him into Cheape, and cut off his head. At that time also, they beheaded xviii in diuers places of the cities. During which time, diuers of the commons went vnto the Tower, there to haue spoken with ye king, but could not be heard; wherefore they be sieged the Tower on that side towards Saint Katherins. The other commons that were in the citie, went to the hospitall of St. Iohn, and by the way burnt the house of Roger Legat, lately beheaded; they burnt all the houses belonging to Saint Iohns, and then burnt the fayre priory of the hospital of Saint Iohn, causing the same to burne the space of seuen days after. At what time, the king being in a turret of the Tower, and seeing the mannours of Sauoy, the priory of Saint Johns Hospitall, and other houses, on fire, hee demanded of his council what was best to do in that extremitie; but none of them could counsaile in that case. The king there, in a tower towards Saint Katherines, made proclamation, that all people should depart to their houses peaceably, and hee would pardon them all their trespasses: but they, with one voice, cried, they would not go before they had the traitors within the Tower, and charters to free them from all service; and of other matter which they would demand. This the king granted, and caused a clearke to write in their presence as followeth:--

Richard, King of England, and of France, doth greatly thanke his good commons, because they so greatly desire to see and hold him for their king; and doth pardon to them all manner of trespasses, misprisons, and felonies, done before this time; and willeth and commandeth from henceforth, that euery one hasten to his owne dwelling, and set down all his greeuances in writing, and send it vnto him; and he will, by aduice of his lawfull lords, and good counsel, prouide such remedy as shall bee profitable to him, to them, and to the whole realme. Whereunto he set his signet in their presence, and sent it vnto them by two knights; one of them standing up in a chaire above the rest, that euery one might heare. During which time, the king remained in the Tower to his great griefe; for when the commons heard the writing, they said it was but a mockery; and therefore, returned to London, proclaiming through the citie, that all the men of lawe, all they of the chancery, and of the exchequer, and all that could make any writ, or letter, should bee beheaded, wheresoeuer they might bee found. The whole number of the common people were at that time divided into three parts; of the which, one part was attending to destroy the mannor of Highbery, and other places belonging to the Prior of Saint Iohn. Another company lay at the Miles end, caste of the citie. The third kept at the Tower hill, there to spoyle the king of such victuals as were brought towards him. The company assembled on the Miles end, sent to command the king, that hee should come to them without delay, vnarmed, or without any force; which if he refused to doe, they would surely pull down the Tower; neither should hee escape aliue; who, taking counsel of a few, by seen of the clocke, the king rode to the Miles end, wh his mother, in a whirlicote, (or chariot, as we now terme it,) and the Earles of Buckingham, Kent, Warwicke, and Oxford, Sir Thomas Percie, Sir Robert Knowles, and the Maior of London, wh divers others knights and esquires. Sir Aubery de Vere bare the king's sword. Thus, with a few vnarmed, the king went towards the rebels in great feare: and so the gates of the Tower being set open, a great multitude of them entered the same. There was the same time in the Tower 600 warlike men, furnished with armour and weapons, expert men in arms, and 600 archers, all which did quaile in stomacke. For the basest of the rusticks, not many together, but euery one by himself, durst presume to enter into the king's chamber, or his mother's with their weapons, to put in feare each of the men of warre, knights, or other. Many of them came into the king's priuy chamber, and plaid the wantons in sitting lying and sporting them on the king's bed; and that more is, inuited the king's mother to kisse with them; yet durst none of those menne of warre (strange to be said) once withstand them: they came in and out like masters, that, in times past, were slaves of most vile condition. Whilest therefore these rusticks sought the archbishop with terrible noyse and fury, running up and down, at length, finding one of his seruants, they charge him to bring them where his master was, whom they named traytor; which seruant, daring doe none other, brought them to the chappell, where, after masse hadde been said, and having receiued the communion, the archbishoppe was busie in his praiers; for, not vnknowing of their coming and purpose, hee hadde passed the last night in confessing of his sinnes, and in deuout praiers. When, therefore, hee heard they were come, with great constancie hee said to his men, Let us now goe; surely it is best to die, when it is no pleasure to liue; and with that, ye tormentors entring, cried, Where is the traitor? The archbishop answered, Behold, I am the archbishoppe whom you seek, not a traitor. They therefore laid hands on him, and drew him out of the chappell; they drew him out of the Tower gates to the Tower hill, where being compassed about with many thousands, and seeing swords about his head drawne in excessive number, threatening to him death, he said unto them thus: What is it deere brethren you purpose to doe; what is mine offence committed against you, for which ye will kill me; you were best to take heed, that if I be killed, who am your pastor, there come not on you the indignation of the iust reuenger, or at the least, for such a fact, all England be put vnder interdiction. He could vnneath pronounce these words, before they cryed out with an horrible noyse, that they neither feared the interdiction nor the pope to be above them. The archbishop seeing death at hand, spake with cofortable words, as he was an eloquent man, and wise beyond all wise men of the realm: lastly, after forgiveness granted to the executioner that should behead him, he kneeling down, offered his necke to him that should strike it off; being stricken in the neck, but not deadly, he, putting his hand to his necke, said thus: A ha, it is ye hand of God: he had not removed his hand from the place where the payne was, by that being sodainly stricken, his fingers ends being cut off, and part of the arteries, he fell down; but yet he died not, till, being mangled with 8 strockes in the necke and in the head, he fulfilled most worthy martyrdome. There lay his body unburied all that friday, and the morrow till afternoon, none daring to deliuer his body to the sepulture; his head these wicked tooke, and nayling thereon his hoode, they fixe it on a pole, and set it on London Bridge, in place where before stood the head of Sir John Minstarworth. This Archbishoppe, Simon Tibald, alias Sudbury, sonne to Nicholas Tibald, gentleman, borne in the towne of Sudbury, in Suffolke, Doctour of both laws, was 18 yeeres Byshoppe of London; in the which time, he builded a goodly college in place where his father's house stoode, and indued it with great possessions; and furnished the same with secular clerks, and other ministers; valued, at the Suppression, 122 pound, 18 shillings, in lands, by yeere. He builded the upper ende of Saint Gregories Church at Sudbury. After being translated to the Archbishopric of Canterbury, in an. 1375, he re-edified the walles of that cittie from the west gate (which hee builded) to the north gate, which had been destroyed by the Danes before the conquest of William the Bastard. He was slaine as ye haue heard, and afterwards buried in the Cathedrall Church of Canterbury. There died with him, Sir Robert Hales, a most valiant Knight, Lord of Saint Iohns, and Treasurer of England; and Iohn Legg, one of the King's Serients at Armes; and a Franciscan Frier, named William Apledore, the King's Confessor. Richard Lions, also, a famous lapidary, or goldsmith, late one of the Sheriffes of London, was drawne out of his house, and beheaded in Cheape. There were that day beheaded manie, as well Flemings as Englishmen, for no cause but to fulfill the crueltie of the rude commons; for it was a solemn pastime to them, if they could take any that was not sworne to them, to take from such a one his hoode with thair accustomed clamour, and foorthwith to behead him. Neyther did they shew any reuerance vnto sacred places, for in the uery churches did they kill home they had in hatred; they fetcht 13 Flemings out of the Augustine Fryar's Church in London; and 17 out of another Church, and 32 out of the Vintree, and so forth in other places of the citie, and in Southwarke; all which they beheaded, except they could plainly pronounce bread and cheese; for if their speech sounded any thing on brot or cawse, off went their heads, as a sure make they were Flemings.

The King comming to the Miles-ende, the place before recited, was sore afraid, beholding the wood commons, who, with froward countenance, required many things which they before had put in writings to be confirmed by the King's letters patent.

The first, that all men should bee free from seruitude and bondage, so as from thenceforth there should be no bondmen.

The second, that he should pardon all men of what estate soeuer; all manner actions and insurrections committed, and all manner reasons, fellonies, transgressions, and extortions, by any of them done; and to graunt them peace.

The third, that all men from thence foorth might be infranchised to buy and sell in euerie counties, citie, borough-towne, fayre, market, and other place, within the realme of England. The fourth, that no acre of land, holden in bondage or service, should be holden but for 4 pence; and if it had been holden for lesse aforetime, it should not hereafter be inhaunsed.

These, and many other things, they required. Moreouer they tolde him, he hadde been euilly governed till that day, but from that tyme hee must be gouerned otherwise.

The king perceiuing he could not escape, except he granted to their request, yeelded to the same: and because the chancellor was beheaded, the king made the Earle of Arundale, for the time, Chancellor, and Keeper of the Great Seale: and also made diners clarkes to write charters, patents, and protections, granted to the commons, for the foresayde matters, without taking fine for the seale or writing thereof; and so toward even, the king, craning licence, departed from them. The next day, being Saturday, and the 15 of June, a great number of the commons came to the abbey of Westminster, and there found Iohn Inworth, Marshall of the Marshalsey, and master of the prisoners there, imbracing a marble pillar of Saint Edward's shrine for his defence against his enemies; they plucked his arms from the pillar, and led him into Cheape, where they cut off his head. In which time they tooke out of Bredstreete one Iohn Greenfield, led him into Cheape, and cut off his head, notwithstanding that the king had at this time made proclamation through the citie, that euery one should peaceably goe into his country, without doing further euil; whereunto they would not assent.

The same day, after dinner, about two of the clocke, the king went from the wardrobe, called ye Royall, in London, toward Westminster, attended on by the number of 200 persons, to uisit Saint Edwards shrine, and to see if the commons had done any mischief there. The abbot and convent of that abby, with the chanons and vicars of Saint Stephens chappell, met him in rich copes, with procession, and led him by the charnell house into the abbey, then to the church, and so to the high altar, where he devoutly prayed, and offered. After which he spake with the anchore, to whom he confessed himself. Then he went to the chappell called our Lady in the Pewe, where he made his prayers: which being done the King made proclamation, that all the commons of the country, that were in London, should meete him in Smithfield, which was done accordingly: and when the king was come with his people, hee stoode towardes the East, neere to S. Bartlemewes priory, and the commons towards the West, in forme of battaile. The king therefore sent to them, to shewe them that their fellowes, the Essex men, were gone from thenceforth to live in peace, and that he would grant to them the like forme of peace, if it would please them to accept thereof. Their chief captain, named Wat Tyler, of Maidstone, hee, I say, being a crafty fellow, of an excellent wit, but lacking grace, answered, that peace he desired, but with conditions to his liking; minding to feede the king with fayre words till the next day, that he might in the night have compassed his perverse purpose; for they thought the same night to spoyle the citie, the king first being slain, and the great lordes that cleaved to him, and to have burnt the city, by setting fire in four parts thereof; but God did sodainely disappoynt him. For when the forme of peace was in three several charters written, and thrice sent to him, none of them could please him; wherefore at length the king sent to him one of his knights, called Sir John Newton, not so much to command as to intreate him (for his pride was well enough known) to come and talk with him about his own demands to have them put in his charter; of the which demands I will put one in this chronicle, that it may the more plainely appeared, the other to be contrary to reason. First, he would have a commission for him and his, to behead all lawyers escheters, and other whatsoever that were learned in the law, or communicated in the law, by reason of their office; for hee hadde conceived in his mind, that this being brought to passe, all things afterward should bee ordered according to the fancy of the common people; and, indeed, it was sayde, that with great pride, he had but the day before sayd, putting his hand to his lips, that before 4 days came to an ende, all the lawes of Englande should proceed from his mouth. When Sir Jo. Newton was in hand with him for dispatch, he answered with indignation, If thou art so hastie, thou mayest get thee back again to thy master: I will come when it pleaseth mee. Notwithstanding, he followed on horseback a slow pace: and by the way there came to him a dublet-maker of London, named John Ticle, who had brought to the commons 60 dublets, which they bought and ware, for the which dublets he demanded 30 markes, but could have no payment. Wat Tyler answered him, Friend, appease thyself; thou shalt bee well payd or this day be ended: keepe thee neere me; I will bee thy creditor. And therewith he spurred his horse, departed from his company, and came so neere the king, that his horse head touched the crope of the king's horse; and the first word he sayd was this: Sir King, seest thou all yonder people? Yea, truely, quoth the king; wherefore saist thou so? Because, said he, they be all at my commandement, and have sworne to mee faith and truth, to do all yt I will have them. In good time, said the king, I will well it be so. Then said Wat Tyler, Beleevest thou, king, that these people, and as many moe as bee in London at my commandement, will depart from thee thus, without having thy letters? No, said the king, ye shall have them; they be ordered for you, and shall be delivered to euery each of them; with which words, Wat Tyler seeing the knight, Sir John Newton, neere to him on horsebacke, bearing the king's sworde, was offended, and said, It had become him better to be on feete in his presence. The knight (not having forgot his old accustomed manhoode) answered, that it was no harme, seeing himselfe was also on horsebacke. Which words so offended Wat, that he drew his dagger, and offered to strike at the knight, calling him traytor. The knight answered that he lyed; and drew his dagger likewise. Wat Tyler not suffering such a contumely done to him before his rustickes, made as if he would have run on the knight. The king, therefore, seeing the knight in danger, to assuage the rigor of Wat, for the time commanded the knight to light on foote, and to deliver his dagger unto the said Walter; and when his proude mind coulde not be so pacified, but he would also have his sword, the knight answered, it was the king's sword, and quoth he Thou art not worthy to have it; nor thou durst aske it of me, if here were no more but thou and I. By my faith, said Wat Tyler, I shall never eate till I have thy head; and would have runne on the knight: and with that came to the king, William Walworth, maior of London, and manie knights and esquires on the king's side, affirming, that it were a great shame, such as had not been heard of, if, in their presence, they should permit a noble knight so shamefully to be murdered before his face; wherefore, he ought to be rescued speedily, and Tyler to bee arrested. Which thing being heard, the king, although he were but tender of years, taking boldnesse unto him, commanded the maior- of London to set hand on him. The maior being of an incomparable boldness and manhoode, without any doubting, straight arrested him on the head. Wat Tyler furiously strake the maior with his dagger, but hurt him not by meane he was armed. Then the maior drew his baselard, and grievously wounded Wat in the necke, and gave him a great blowe on the head, in which conflict an esquier of the king's house, called John Cavendish, drew his sword, and wounded him twise or thrise, even unto death; and Wat, spurring his horse, cried to the commons to revenge him. His horse bare him about fourscore foote from thence, where he fell down half dead; and by and by they which attended on the king, invironed him all about, whereby he was not seene of his company; and other thrust him with their weapons in divers places of his body, & then they drew him from amongst the peoples feete into the hospital of St. Bartilmewe, which when the commons perceived, they cried out that their captain was trayterously slain; and hartening one another to revenge his death, bending their bowes: the king, shewing both wisdom and courage, pricking his horse with the spurres, rode to them, and sayd, What a work is this, my men; what meane you to do; will you shoote at your king? Be not quarrelous, nor sorry for the death of a traytor and ribald: I will be your king, your captayne, and leader; followed mee into the fielde, there to have whatsoever your will require.

This the king did, least the commons, being set in a bitterness of minde, should set fire on the houses in Smithfield, where their captain was slaine. They therefore followed him into the open field; and the soldiers that were with him, as yet not knowing whether they should kill the king, or bee in rest, and departed home with the king's charter.

In the meane time, the maior of London, only with one servant, riding speedily into the cittie, beganne to cry, Ye good citizens, help your king, that is to be murdered ; and succour me your maior, that am in the like danger: or, if you will not succour me, yet leave not your king destitute. When the citizens hadde heard this, in whose hearts the love of the king was ingrafted, sodainely, seemely arrayed, to the number of a thousand men, tarryed in the streets for some one of the knights to lead them to the king; and by fortune Sir Robert Knowles came in that instant, home they all requested to be their leader, least coming out of order, and not in good array, they mought easely be broken; who gladly brought part of them. Sir Parducase Dalbert, and other knights, brought the rest to the king's presence. When the maior came to Smithfield, and did not find Wat Tyler, as he left him wounded, hee greatly marvayled, demanding where the traytor was, and it was told him that he was carried into the hospital of St. Bartlemew, and laid in the master's chamber. The maior went straight thither, and made him to bee carried into Smithfield, and there caused him to bee beheaded; his head to bee set on a pole, and borne before him to the king, then remaining in the field; and the king caused it to be borne neere unto him, therewith to abash the commons, greatly thanking the maior for that acte.

The king, and those that were with him, knights and esquires, rejoycing at the unhoped--for coming of the maior, and those armed men, sodainly compassed all the multitude of the commons.

There night a man have seen a wonderful change of God's right hand, how the commons did now throw done their weapons, and fall to the ground, beseeching pardon, which lately before did glory that they had the king's life in their power; now they hid themselves in caves, ditches, come fields, &c. The knights, therefore, coveting to be revenged, besought the king to permit them to take off the heads of an hundred or two of them; but the king, not condescending to their request, commaunded the charter which they had demanded, written and sealed, to bee delivered unto them for the time, to avoyde more mischief, knowing that Essex was not yet pacified, nor Kent stayde, the commons and rustickes of which countreyes were readie to rise again, if hee satisfied not their pleasure the sooner. The commons having got this charter, departed home, but ceased not from their former evill doings.

The rude people being thus dispersed and gone, the king commanded William Walworth to put a basenet on his head for feare of that which might follow; and the maior requested to know for what cause he should so doe, sith all was quieted. The king answered, that he was much bound to him, and therefore he should be made knight. The maior again answered, that hee was not worthy, neither able to take such estate upon him, for he was but a merchant, and to live by his merchandise. Notwith standing, at the last, the king made him put on his basenet, and then tooke a sworde with both his hands, and strongly with a good will strake him on the necke: and the same day hee made three other citizens knights for his sake, in the same place; which were John Philpot, Nicolas Brembre, and Robert Laund, Aldermen; and Sir John Candish [Cavendish], in Smithfield was knighted. The king gave to Sir William Walworth 100l. land, and to the other 40l. land, to them and their heires for ever. Upon the sand-hill, towards Iseldome, were created the Earles Marshall and Pembroke: and shortly after, Nicholas Twiford and Adam Francis, Aldermen, were also made knights. Sir Robert Knowles, for his good service in the citie, was, by the king's commandement, made a free man of the citie.

The king, with his lordes, and all his company, orderly entred into the citie of London with great joy. The king went to the lady princess, his mother, who was then lodged in the Towre Royall, called the Queene's Wardrobe, and there shee had remayned two daies and two nights, right sore abashed; but when she saw the king, her sonne, she was greatly rejoyced, and said, Ah, fayre sonne, what great sorrow have I suffered for you this day! The king answered, and said, Certainely, madame, I know it well; but now rejoyce, and thanke God, for I have this day recovered mine heritage, and the realme of England, which I had neere hand lost.

The Archbishoppe's head was taken down off the bridge, and Wat Tyler's head was set in that place.

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,

brought unto drawing, hanging, and heading.

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.



This man being taken,

says Stow, speaking of Jack Straw,

when at London he should, by judgement given by the maior, lose his head, the maior spake openly to him thus: John (quoth hee,) behold thy death is at hand without al doubt, and there is no way through which thou mayst hope to escape; wherefore, for thy soules health, without making any lye, tell us what you purposed amongst you to have done; to what ende did you assemble the commons And when he had stayd a while, as doubtful what to say, deferring his answer, the maior added, Thou knowest surely, O John, that the things which I demand of thee, if thou doe it, the same shall redound to thy soules health, &c. He, therefore, animated with fayre promises, beganne as followeth:

Now (saith hee) it booteth not to lye, neither is it lawfull to utter any untruth, especially understanding that my soule is to suffer more strayter torments if I should so doe, and because I hope of two commodities by speaking the truth: first, that these things that I shall speaker may profit the common wealth; and secondly, after my death, I trust by your suffrages to be succoured according to your promises, (which is to pray for me,) I will speaker faithfully without deceipt.

The same time (sayeth he) that we came to Blacke Heath, when wee sent for the king, we purposed to have murdered all the knights, esquires, and gentlemen that should have come with him, and to have ledde the king royally up and down, that with ye sight of him, all men (especially the common people) might have come unto us the more boldely; and when we had got together an innumerable multitude, we should have sodainely put to death in every country, the lords and masters of the common people, in whom might appeared to bee either counsel or resistance against us; and specially wee would have destroyed the knights of St. Johns. Lastly, wee would have killed the king himself, and all men that had been of any possession; bishops, monkes, chanons, parsons; to be briefe, we would have dispatched: only begging friers should have lived, that might have sufficed for ministring ye sacraments in the realme ; for we would have made kings; Wat Tyler in Kent, and in every other shire one. But because this our purpose was hindered by the Archbishop, wee studied how to bring him shortly to his ende.

Against the same day that Wat Tiler was killed, we purposed that evening (because that the poore people of London seemed to favour us) to set fire in four corners of the cittie, and so to haue burnt it, and to haue decided the riches at our pleasures amongst us.' He added, that these things they purposed to haue done, as God should helpe him at the ende of his life.

After this confession made, he was beheaded, and his head set on London Bridge by Wat Tiler's and many other.

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

certain dayes together, in which both the Englishmen showed their force, and the queen's countrymen their prowesse.

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,

by frequently walking the streets in a riotous manner, attended by a vast concourse of people,

and sentenced to have

all his effects seized to the king's use, and himself consigned to perpetual imprisonment.

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

divers eminent citizens,

who had been concerned in his

seditious practices,

were pardoned at the intercession of the , they

having confessed themselves guilty of high treason.

Among the infringements now made, or rather enforced, were the claims of the Constables of the Tower to certain

customs, pence, and profits,

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


Richard, by the grace of God, King of England and France, and Lord of Ireland, to the Mayor and Sheriffs of London sendeth greeting. Forasmuch as we have understood that the Constables of our Tower of London, time out of mind, even to the time now last past; and in particular John Darcy, John de Beauchamp, Robert le Morle, Richard la Vache, and Alan de Buxhill, heretofore Constables of the said Tower, have had the customs, pence, and profits underwritten, by right belonging to the foresaid. Tower; and in quiet manner taking them by themselves, or their servants; to wit, of every boat laden with rushes brought to the foresaid city, such a quantity of rushes to be laid upon Tower Wharf, as may be contained within a man's arms; of every boat accustomed to bring oysters, muscles, and cockles to the foresaid city, one maund thence to be brought and laid upon the said wharf;. from every ship laden with wines coming from Bourdeaux, or elsewhere, one flagon before the mast, and another behind the mast; Whatsoever ship, barge, or boat, or other vessel, which shall go loose by reason of storm or wind, or the ropes and cordage being broke, shall float from London-bridge to Gravesend, or from thence to the said bridge, to be taken by the Constable of the said Tower, or his servants, and to be applied to the use of the said constable. What swans soever coming under the said bridge towards the sea, or from the sea toward the said bridge; all manner of horses, oxen, cows, hogs, and sheep, which have fallen from the said bridge into the water of Thames, which the foresaid constable, or his servants may take any such like creature swimming through the middle of the said bridge to the foresaid Tower, which the same constable or his servants aforesaid have taken; of every foot of such like creature, feeding within the ditch of the said Tower, one penny. Every cart, empty or laden, which shall fall into the foresaid ditches, as forfeiture or fee of the constable; and that the foresaid constables, as well those before-named as others, have used and enjoyed the usages under-written, from the time beforesaid; to wit, that no cart empty or laden ought to come from the end of the street called Petty Wales, upon the said Tower-hill, nor near the foresaid ditch, to the high street, called Tower-street, unless it be taken and brought within the said Tower. And that no cart shall pass beyond the bridge, between the ditch of the said castle and the ditch of the hospital of Saint Catherines, without the licence of the Constable of the said Tower; and if it do, and break the bar, that cart ought to be brought within the said Tower; and to make satisfaction for the transgression, according to the said constable's will. We, willing to maintain all and singular the rights and liberties of our Tower aforesaid, that they perish not, or be unlawfully taken away, command you, that you permit our beloved and loyal Sir Thomas Murrieux, our constable of the Tower, to take and have the customs, pence and profits by himself, and his servants, in form aforesaid, and to use and enjoy the foresaid usages freely, without any impediment, as he ought to take and have such customs, pence, and profits, and to use and enjoy the foresaid usages; as he, and all other constables of the said Tower, have reasonably accustomed to take and have those customs, pence, and profits, and to use and enjoy the foresaid usages, from the time beforesaid; and that by no means ye neglect this. Witness myself, at Eltham, the sixteenth day of November, in the sixth year of our reign.

By the KING.

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.


Nicholas Brembre, knight, was chosen alderman of the said ward, by the discreet men of the said ward.

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,

since God created the world, there never had been so many great ships together,

the king sent the following writ to the city:--

The King to his beloved the mayor and aldermen, and the rest of the citizens of London, sendeth health. Knowye, that as well the walls and other


forts of the said city be old and weak, and, for want of repair, are falling down in some places; as also the ditches of the same city are exceedingly filled with dirt, dunghills, and other filth, and with grass growing in the same, not only to the evident danger of the said city and inhabitants thereof, (and chiefly at this present time of war) but also to the manifest disgrace and scandal of us and the whole 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,

with a joy inexpressible, began to regale themselves and friends in a most sumptuous manner.

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

assume the government of the realm, and to execute justice on all those that were concerned in the bad management of public affairs, and had ruined the country by intolerable and grievous taxations, in order to enrich themselves.

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

with a great power of men

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

no fraude, deceit, or perill, should be prepared.

The necessity of this precaution was made apparent by the result; for

when the lords,

says Stow,

had prepared themselves according to the covenant, the foresaid mediators for peace sent them word, that treason was devised by an ambush layd for them in a place called the Mewes, neere to Charing Crosse, and therefore willed them not to come, but with sure hand. The kinge demaunding why the lords kept not covenant, the Bishop of Ely answered, because there is an ambush played of a thousand armed men, or more, in such a place; and therefore, they neither come, nor repute you to be faithfull The king, moved forthwith sware he knew of no such thing, and therefore commanded the Sheriffs of London, that going to the Mewes, they should kill, if they found any assembled there for that cause: but Thomas Trivet and Nicholas Brembre, knights, had secretly sent away the armed men to London.

At the meeting which followed, the nobles justified their proceedings, on the ground that it

was done for the king's profit, and the realme's, and to plucke from him the traitors which he kept about him,

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

was pacified,

says Stow,

for that time.

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

should dare to supply it either with arms, ammunition, or provision under pain of death and confiscation of effects.

Matters being thus carried to extremity, the lords issued a counterproclamation, and

having assembled an army of neere hand fortie


, hasted to London the morrow after Christmas-day, anno


,) and mustered in the fields, where they might be seen of them in the Tower. The Londoners were then in great feare, weying divers perilles; as the kinges displeasure, if they opened their gates to the lords; and if they shut them foorth, the indignation of the indiscreete multitude.

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

at large of reformation of all matters.

Yet they had scarcely quitted the Tower, before he sent them word, that he

would not meet them.

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.

Soon after,

the king sent to the Londoners, requesting to borrow of them one thousand pound, which they stoutly denied; and also evill entreated, beete, and neer hand slew, a certain Lumbard that would have lent the king the said summe; which, when the king heard, he was marvellously angried, and calling together almost all the nobles of the land to Stamford, on the five and twentieth day of May, hee opened to them the malitiousnes of the Londoners, and complained of their presumption: the which noble men gave counsel, that their insolencie should with speed bee repressed, and their pride abated. By the king's iudgment, therefore, was the maior of London, and the sheriffes, with other the best citizens, arrested to appear at Nottingham, where, on the eleventh of June, John Hinde, maior, was deposed, and sent to Windsor castle. The sheriffes were also deposed, and sent the one to the castle of Wallingforde, the other to the castle of Odiham; and the other citizens to other prisons; till the king, with his councell, hadde determined what should bee done with them: and there it was determined, that from thencefoorth the Stat. Larg. 12 Ric. II. Londoners should not choose nor have any maior; but that the king should appoint one of his knights to be ruler of the cities: their privileges were revoked, their liberties disannulled, and their lawes abrogated.

In the meane time, through suite of certain knights, but specially of the Duke of Glocester, the king is somewhat pacified, and by little and little abateth the rigour of his purpose, calling to mind your divers honours, and the great gifts hee hadde received of the Londoners, whereupon he determineth to deale more mildly with them; and to call them to some hope of grace and pardon, hee sendeth commandment to them to come to Windsore, there to shewe their privileges, liberties, and lawes, which being there shewed, some of them were ratified, and some condemned: but they could not obtain the king's full favour, till they had satisfied the king for the injuries which was said they hadde done. The king, at this assembly at Windsore, had got together almost all the lordes, and so great an armie, that the Londoners had cause to be afraid thereof; about the which preparation he was at great charges, for the which it was sure that the Londoners must pay. They, therefore, not ignorant that the ende of these things was a money matter, submitted themselves to the king's pleasure, offering ten thousand pound. They were yet dismissed home to return again, uncertain what satisfaction and sum they should pay.

When the citizens were returned, and that the nobles and other were gone home, the king hearing that the Londoners were in heavinesse, and dismayed, hee sayd to his men, I will go (saith he) to London, and comfort the citizens, and will not that they any longer despair of my favour; which sentence was no sooner known in the citie, but all men were filled with incredible joy, so that every of them generally determined to meet him, and to be as liberal in giftes as they were at his coronation. The king, therefore, as he came from Shene, in Surrey, to London, with Queene Anne his wife, on the 29 of August, the principall citizens all in one livery, to the number of 400 horsemen, rode to meet them at Wandsworth, where, in most lowly wise, they submitted themselves unto his grace; beseeching him of his special pardon in all such things as they before had offended him: and the recorder of the citie, in the name of the whole citizens, instantly required him, that he would of his great bounty, take such paine upon him as to ride through his chamber of Lon-don, to the which request he graciously consented: so hee held on his journey till he came to St. George's church in Southwarke, where they were received with procession of Robert Braybroke, Bishop of London, and all the cleargie of the citie, who conveyed them through London; the citizens of London, men, women and children, in order meeting the king at London-bridge, where he was by them presented with 2 fayre white steedes, trapped in cloth of golde, parted of red and white, hanged full of silver belles; the which present he thankfully received; and after he held on his way through the citie toward Westminster.

And as they passed the citie, the streets were hanged with cloth of golde, silver, and silk. The conduite in Cheape ran with red and white wine; and by a child, angel-like, he was presented with a very costly crowne of golde, and the queene with another. A table of the Trinitie, in golde, was given to the king, valued worth eight hundred pound; and another to the queene, of Saint Anne, because her name was Anne; with divers other gifts, as horses, trappers, plate of golde and silver, clothes of golde, silke, velvets, basons, and ewers of gold; also gold in coyne, precious stones, and jewels so rich, excellent, and beautiful, that the value and price might not well be esteemed: and so the citizens recovered their ancient customers and liberties ; and then the King's Bench from Yorke, and the Chancery from Nottingham was returned to London. And it was granted to them that they might choose them a maior, as before time they had done. The Londoners believed that, by these gifts, they had escaped all danger, and that from thenceforth they should be quiet, but they were deceived; for they were compelled to give the king, after this, 10,000 pound, collected of the commons in great bitterness of minde; for the which summe, the king became benevolent to the citizens, and forgave them all trespasses, by his patents dated at Westminster, the 28 of February; and so the troubles of the citizens came to quietnesse.

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

lieu of all demands.

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 :

The charge of every Ward in London at XV.
 taxed in London atin the exchequer accounted for
The Wards in the west of Walbrook.
The ward of Cheap72l. 16s.72l.
The ward of the Vintry36l.35l. 5s.
The ward of Queenhithe20l.20l.
The ward of Baynard Castle12l.12l.
The ward of Cordwainers-street72l. 16s.72l.
The ward of Bread-street37l.36l. 10s.
The ward of Farringdon Without35l.34l. 10s.
The ward of Farringdon Within54l.53l. 6s. 8d.
The ward of Aldrychgate7l.7l.
The ward of Cripplegate40l.39l. 10s.
The ward of Cripplegate Without10l.10l. N. B. This was not a separate ward, but only a liberty, or part of the former, under one alderman, as at present.
The ward of Bassyngshawe7l.7l.
The ward of Coleman-street19l.16l.
The Wards on the east side of Walbrook
The ward of Walbrook40l.39l.
The ward of Dowgate36l.34l. 10s.
The ward of Brydge50l.49l. 10s.
The ward of Byllingsgate32l.31l. 10s.
The ward of the Tower46l.45l. 10s.
The ward of Portsoken9l.9l.
The ward of Aldgate6l.9l.
The ward of Lyme-street40s.40s.
The ward of Byshopsgate22l.21l. 10s.
The ward of Broad-street27l.25l.
The ward of Cornhill16l.16l.
The ward of Langborne21l.20l. 10s.
The ward of Candlewick-street16l.16l.

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

certain other lords of Scotland, came to England, to get worship by force of arms,

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

was not a lord, a bishop, a gentleman, or rich burgess,

says Walsingham,

but what was obliged to lend him money; though it was well known that he never designed to repay it;

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:--

This yeere the king kept a most royall Christmas, with every day justings and running at the tilt ; whereunto resorted such a number of people, that there was every day spent xxviii or xxvi oxen, and

three hundred

sheep, besides fowle without number. Also the king caused a garment for him to be made of gold, silver, and precious stones, to the value of

3000 marks


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,

Long live the good Duke of Lancaster, our deliverer!

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.

[] Stow.

[] 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.

[] Ibid.

[] Ibid.

[] Ibid.

[] 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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 Title Page
 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