Uproars, Mutinies and Riots. 255

Uproars, Mutinies and Riots.

" their Crew, they would presently murder him: insomuch that when the Night was come, no Man durst adventure to walk in the Streets. When this had continued long, it fortuned, that as a crew of Young and wealthy Citizens assembling together in the Night, assaulted a Stone House of a certain Rich Man, and breaking through the Wall, the good Man of that House, having prepared himself with other in a Corner, when he perceived one of the Thieves, named Andrew Bucquint, to lead the Way, with a burning brand in one Hand, and a Pot of Coles in the other, which he assaied to kindle with the Brand, he flew upon him, and smote off his right Hand, and then with a loud Voice cried Thieves. At the hearing whereof, the Thieves took their flight, all saving he that had lost his Hand, whom the good Man (in the next Morning) delivered to Richard de Lucie the King's Justice. This Thief, upon warrant of his Life, appeached his Confederates, of whom many were taken, and many were fled. Among the rest that were apprehended, a certain Citizen of great Countenance, Credit, and Wealth, named John Senex, who for as much he could not acquit himself by the Water Doom (as that Law was then termed) he offered to the King five Hundred Pounds of Silver for his Life. But forasmuch as he was condemned by judgment of the Water, the King would not take the Offer, but commanded him to be hanged on the Gallows, which was done, and then the City became more quiet for a long Time after."

Nightwalkers murthered all they met.

Rich Thieves most worthy to be hanged.

The judgment of Fire and Water, called Ordeal, as condemned by Pope Innocent the third 1205. Decretal. lib. 5.

Cause why Watches in the Night were commanded and when.

These Uproars and Mutinies have often happened in the City, raised by the more ordinary sort of Tradesmen, upon some Disgusts taken either at Strangers, whom they thought obstructed their Benefit by their Trades, or upon Dearth of Provisions, or some Impositions put upon them by the Governours, or for the Rescue of some of their Members imprisoned. They have got into great Numbers with Arms, and soon joyned with Ruffians, Serving Men, and other loose Persons; who in the old Records were called Malefactors, or Evildoers: that were the chief Mischief-makers. And in these Tumults they have broken open Citizens Houses, spoyled their Goods, imprisoned their Persons, and some they have wounded and slew. Such a dangerous Insurrection happened in the begining of King Edward the Third his Reign, (and had lasted for some Time) of the Bakers, Tavern-keepers, Millers, Cooks, Poulters, Fishmongers, Butchers, Brewers, Cornchandlers and of divers other Trades and Mysteries; together with that loose Sort of People called Malefactors. For the suppressing and punishing of them, the King sent his Letters to the Maior and the Sheriffs. In which Letters their Misdemeanours are thus described: "That they went through the City by Night and by Day, with Swords and Bucklers, and other Arms, either by the Instigation of others, or their own Malice; and some they beat and misused, and committed other Wickednesses, and manifold Enormities against the King's Peace, to the no small Damage and Grievance of his faithful Subjects."

Mutinies in the City.

J. S.

Record. Turr. Pat. 2. Ed. 3. p.2. m.11.

There was yet another Letter near the same Time wrote by the King to the Maior and Sheriffs, for strict Care to be taken by them for the more effectual seizing of these Lawless Malefactors, and bringing them to condign Punishment: Whereby may be further seen their Violences.

Rex Majori & Vicecomitibus London, Salutem &c. i.e. The King to the Maior and Sheriffs of London, Greeting. "Whereas it is given to us to understand, that very many Evildoers and Disturbers of our Peace have made divers Knots, Confederacies, and unlawful Conventicles within the foresaid City and Suburbs of the same, since we have taken the Government of our Realm, and do wander about and run here and there, beating, wounding and misusing the People, and wickedly killing some of them, and spoiling others of their Goods and Possessions; and taking and imprisoning others, as well of the City and Suburbs, as those that come to the said City and Suburbs about their Business; and detaining them in Prsion until, they have made them give Fines and Redemptions; and committing other Misdemeanors; and not desisting daily to commit them; to the Breach of our Peace, and the terror of our People in those Parts, and manifestly tending to Commotion: WE, willing to have such Malefactors punished, and the Tranquility of our People to be inviolably kept; as we are bound to do by our Oath, Command you that, by the Oath of honest Men of your Bailiffwick, ye diligently enquire of the Names of the foresaid Melefactors, and of them that knowingly receive and maintain them, and find out the Truth concerning other Articles more fully touching the Premises. And all those whom thereupon it shall happen to be judged, and also those whom ye shall find doing such Things as are premised, ye cause without Delay to be taken, and to be safely kept in our Prison, until ye shall have some further Command from us hereupon. And that ye so behave your selves in this behalf, that the Damages and Lewdnesses aforesaid may not happen there any more. Whereby we might take it heavily of you, as of them to whom we have committed the Custody of the said City, under the Danger that is incumbent. In Witness whereof, &c."

The King's Letter for the seizing of the Disturbers of the Citizens.

It may not be amiss to see the further Progress of this Business. The Maior and Sheriffs had, according to the aforesaid Letters, taken up many of these disorderly seditious People. And now the King issued forth other Letters for the Prosecution of them; directed to his Judges, and the Maior, Sheriffs and Aldermen: According to the a late Charter granted to the City, whereby the Maior, in all Places of Judgment within the Liberties, was to sit as Judge, nay as Chief Judge; and the Aldermen that had been Maiors, to be Justices of the Peace within London and Middlesex. These Letters were as ensueth.

Olivero de Ingham, &c. i.e. "To Oliver de Ingham, to John Matravers, John de Stoner, Robert de Malberthorp, and John de Grantham; to the Maior, &c. Forasmuch as our City of London is our Chamber; and on that Accout the Men of the said City of London are more firmly obliged to the Defence of our Person, and Conservation of our Rights; We more heavily bearing the Premises, and willing that they be punished, as it is fit, have commanded you our said Maior and Sheriffs of London, that ye should enquire diligently of the Premises, and should take those whom ye should find culpable by the same Inquisition, and keep them safe, until ye should have some further Command thereupon from us. And because the Premises do specially touch us and the State of our Crown, willing to determine the said Inquisitions, and all other Things touching the Premises according to the Exigence of Law, We have assigned you our Justices to hear and determine the Inquisitions and Indictments made by the same Inquisitions, &c."

And for the judging of them. Pat. 2. E. 3. p.2. m.11. dorso.

These Riots of Ruffians going in Armour and using Violences in the City, could not yet be quelled by these Proceedings by the King's

Malefactors in the City still.