[Citizens Privileges] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [by Charters.]362

[Citizens Privileges] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [by Charters.]

"ed, that this Concession be firmly observed; namely, that whereas before the Steward of the same Lord the King, and his Marshal, the King being 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 Houshold, 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, altho' 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 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."

Nor would the Citizens bear a Practice of the Court, sometime done in the latter end of King Henry III. his Reign; which was, to grant a Freedom to some of the Aldermen, and great rich Men of the City, from paying their Shares in the Taxes; when the Burden must therby lie heavier upon the rest of the Commonalty and meaner Rank. Which Favour, it is likely, was obtained by some Services or Gratifications done to the King, or some of his Great Men about him. Hence it was, that in an Inquisition made 3 Ed. I. by the King's Justices, the Jury of some of the Wards presented this Grievance as an Infringement of their Liberties. The Inquisition ran to this Tenor: Dicunt, quod cum Communitas London sessata sit libertatib. &c. i.e. "They say, that since the Commonalty of London hath been seized of Liberties, and the Liberties confirmed from King to King, and the same Liberties ought to be used and enjoyed communiter, indifferently by all in common; certain of the City coming against themselves, viz. Thomas Fitz Adam de Basing, Henry de Waleis, and others, shewed Charters of King Henry, whereby they are quitted of Tallage, and are not taxed with their Fellow Citizens. Whereupon the whole Burden of the Tallage falls upon the ordinary Sort, and not upon the Rich. Which is altogether ad exheredationem [Regis] & destructionem totius Communitatis; i.e. to the disinheriting [of the King] and destruction of the whole Commonalty."

A Charter to free some from their Tallages, complained of, as against the City's Liberties.

Quo Warr.

Bag in the Exchequer.

This was this complained of and presented by the sworn Men of another Ward: "That Stephen de Cornhul, Gregory de Rokesly, and others, [chiefly Aldermen] have used, and do use certain Charters from the Lord Henry, Father of the Lord Edward the King; which were granted against the Crown and Dignity of the Lord King, and against the Liberties of the City, as it seemed to them; because by occasion of the said Charters, they were quitted of Tallages, Quarterages, and from all other Aids which belong to the City of London. By reason whereof, the greater Part of the City, viz. the middling Sort, and the Poor, are beyond measure burdened, and worsted, and not a few who were rich before, now are Beggars."

It was customary in fomer Times, that to what Places soever the King came with hisCourt to reside for any Time, an Officer of the Master of the Houshold took up Harbours in any Man's House thereabouts, for the King's Retinue: A thing sometime very burdensome to the Subject. A Freedom from this the City obtained by their Charter. Notwithstanding, sometimes on this Occasion the King's Officer would take up Lodgings in the Houses of the Citizens. A stout Sheriff of London once withstood this with Force; as we meet with the Passage in one of the Books of the Chamber, relating the Pleas of the Court of the Lord the King at the Tower of London, before Tho. le Blunt, Steward and Master of the King's Houshold, 19 Edw. fil. Reg. Edw.

The Sheriff refuseth to harbour the King's Secretary, the King being at the Tower.

Lib. Alb. lib. 3. fo. 207. 19 Ed. 2.

John de Causton, one of the Sheriffs of London, was attached to answer to the King for Contempt within the Verge of the Tower, as Alan de Lek, Serjeant Steward of the Houshold, who sues for the King, saith: That when the said Lord the King with his Family was come to the Tower of London, on Monday next after the Translation of St. Thomas the Martyr, the 10th Year of the said King, there to abide for his Pleasure; and the same Alan had taken up Harbour for Richard de Ayermynne, the King's Secretary, at the House of the foresaid John de Causton, situate in the City of London at Billinsgate, as was incumbent upon him [Alan] to do, according to his Office: And for the knowledge of such Livery, * had made the accustomed Sign with a Cup upon the Doors of the said House, as was customary, and had likwise placed Men and Serjeants with the Horses and Harnesses of the said Richard, within the said Livery: The said Sheriff, the foresaid Day and Year, in the King's Presence, and within the Verge, &c. permitted not the said Alan to make this Livery, and pulled down maliciously the said Sign, and drove away thence the said Men and Servants, in contempt of the King.


John de Causton came and defended the Force and Injury, &c. and all the Contempt. And saith, that he is guilty in nothing. And upon this he puts himself upon his Country. In the Process, the Maior and Citizens come and say, that in the Charter of King Henry, Grandfather of the present King, made to the Citizens concerning divers Liberties, it is contained that none should take Harbour by Force, or by Livery of the said Master of the Houshold within the Walls of the City, nor in the Portsokne. Which Charter the present King granted and confirmed by his own Charter; which they produced. And they produced also the said King's Writ, directed to the Steward and Marshal, by which he commanded them, that they permit the said Citizens to use and enjoy their foresaid Liberties without Impediment, according to the Tenor of the Charter of Confirmation; and that they molest not, nor grieve them in any thing, contrary to the Tenor of the same. And they say, that by vertue of the foresaid Grant, that such Liveries [i.e. assigning of Harbour] in the City, were wont to be done at any coming of the King, by the Maior, Sheriffs, and Officers of the City, in the Presence of the Master of the Houshold, and not by others. Whereupon they desired their foresaid Liberty to be allowed them.

A Day was given to hear Judgment. In the mean time they [the Steward and Master of the Houshold] speak with the King. And at the Day the foresaid John was brought in faulty in nothing. And formerly it was testified before the King and his Council by John de Weston, late Master of the Houshold, that in the Times preceding, such Assignations of Harbours were wont to be made by the Maior, Sheriffs, and Officers of the City, in the Presence of the Master of the Houshold, and not by others. And