|Uproars, Mutinies and Riots. ||255
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
fortuned, that as a crew of Young and wealthy Citizens assembling together in
Night, assaulted a Stone House of a certain Rich Man, and breaking through the
the good Man of that House, having prepared himself with other in a Corner, when
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
with the Brand, he flew upon him, and smote off his right Hand, and then with a
Voice cried Thieves. At the hearing whereof, the Thieves took their flight, all
that had lost his Hand, whom the good Man (in the next Morning) delivered to
de Lucie the King's Justice. This Thief, upon warrant of his Life, appeached
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,
John Senex, who for as much he could not acquit himself by the Water Doom (as
Law was then termed) he offered to the King five Hundred Pounds of Silver for
Life. But forasmuch as he was condemned by judgment of the Water, the King
not take the Offer, but commanded him to be hanged on the Gallows, which was
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
thought obstructed their Benefit by their Trades, or upon Dearth of Provisions,
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
Tumults they have broken open Citizens Houses, spoyled their Goods, imprisoned
their Persons, and some they have wounded and slew. Such a dangerous
happened in the begining of King Edward the Third his Reign, (and had lasted for
Time) of the Bakers, Tavern-keepers, Millers, Cooks, Poulters, Fishmongers,
Butchers, Brewers, Cornchandlers and of divers other Trades and Mysteries;
with that loose Sort of People called Malefactors. For the suppressing and
them, the King sent his Letters to the Maior and the Sheriffs. In which Letters
Misdemeanours are thus described:
"That they went through the City by Night
by Day, with Swords and Bucklers, and other Arms, either by the Instigation of
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.
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
Sheriffs, for strict Care to be taken by them for the more effectual seizing of
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
Sheriffs of London, Greeting.
"Whereas it is given to us to understand, that
many Evildoers and Disturbers of our Peace have made divers
Knots, Confederacies, and unlawful Conventicles within the foresaid City and
of the same, since we have taken the Government of our Realm, and do wander
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
and imprisoning others, as well of the City and Suburbs, as those that come to
City and Suburbs about their Business; and detaining them in Prsion until, they
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
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
that knowingly receive and maintain them, and find out the Truth concerning
Articles more fully touching the Premises. And all those whom thereupon it
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
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
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
seditious People. And now the King issued forth other Letters for the
them; directed to his Judges, and the Maior, Sheriffs and Aldermen: According to
late Charter granted to the City, whereby the Maior, in all Places of Judgment
Liberties, was to sit as Judge, nay as Chief Judge; and the Aldermen that had
Maiors, to be Justices of the Peace within London and Middlesex. These Letters
Olivero de Ingham, &c. i.e.
"To Oliver de Ingham, to John Matravers, John
Stoner, Robert de Malberthorp, and John de Grantham; to the Maior, &c.
as our City of London is our Chamber; and on that Accout the Men of the said
London are more firmly obliged to the Defence of our Person, and Conservation of
Rights; We more heavily bearing the Premises, and willing that they be punished,
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
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
State of our Crown, willing to determine the said Inquisitions, and all other
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
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
be quelled by these Proceedings by the King's
Malefactors in the City still.