[Pleas of the Crown] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [held at the Tower.]388

[Pleas of the Crown] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [held at the Tower.]

Rents, how they shall recover them, &c. All these Questions, with their Answers, were enrolled in the Tower, in the 15th of the same King, before the same Hubert, when there was another Itinerary. Again, the Pleas of the City of London were again held the 28th of the same King Henry, Son of King John, at the Tower, before William de Eboraco, Provost of Beverly, Jeremy of Caxton, and Henry of Bath. Which held from Easter Day for fifteen Days together. There had been no Pleas of London pleaded for eighteen Years past. It was then granted to the Barons of London, that as soon as they ought to begin to plead, they have, without the Gate of the Tower of London, their own Doorkeeper; and the Porter of the Lord the King to be within Doors: and that they have likewise their own Doorkeeper without the Hall Door, when they are to plead, to bring in the Barons and others of the City, who were to plead, and of whom they have Knowlege: and that the Doorkeeper of the Lord the King be within: and that they have their own Serjeants with their Rods.

It is worth seeing what was done at this sitting of the abovesaid Justices Itinerants at the Tower. First, they delivered to the Maior, &c. Chapters concerning what they were to answer concerning the Pleas of the Crown. And here were terrible Retrospections, and Matters long before past and gone, now called to Account. For the old Pleas of the Crown, which had been at another time before the King's Justices, and not determined, which were many, were all called over again; as well as the new Pleas of the Crown, which afterwards arose in Time of Peace. Pleas were also had of those which were in the King's Mercy, (that is, subject to Forfeitures) and which were not: of Dues to King John, the Father of the Lord the King; due both before the War, and after; (and that was a long time before,) and who were the Debtors; and if dead, who their Heirs. Again, Pleas of those who within the Liberty of the City, had maliciously thrown down some Mens Houses, or burnt them, against the King's Peace: Who they were, and whose Houses they were. And if they made Peace together without the King's License. Pleas of Valets and Boys, who are and ought to be in Custody of the King: Whether they were married, or to be married: And if married, To whom? Of the Services of the Lord the King, what they are, and who holds them. Of Churches; what they are, and ought to be, of the King's Donation. Of the Escheats of the Jews; as well of the Tenements of the Jews as Christians: and who holds them. Of Purprestures made upon the King, either on Land or Water, &c. And a great many more Enquiries concerning their Pleas.

What was done by the King's Justices, 8 H. 3. Anno 1244.

Concerning these, if it might be proved, that it was not so used in the Times of former Kings, all the Barons were in the King's Mercy; that is, at his Mercy to fine them as he pleased. And so the Chapters were delivered them.

The third Day, according to the Custom, the Barons came and answered. And Simon Fitzmary [one of the Aldermen] came and offered to the Lord the King an hundred Marks; so that the Pleas of the City might be held and pleaded as they were pleaded in the Time of King Richard and King John. And they were admitted. And he [Simon Fitzmary] putteth all his Goods in Pledge of the said hundred Marks.

Then came the Maior; and he and the Aldermen answered concerning the old Pleas of the Crown before mentioned.

The Kings of England would sometimes send their Justices to sit upon these Pleas of the Crown, in some Displeasure conceived against the City, or some of its Members. And the Justices would be very captious in watching for Advantages to mulct or imprison them, or to take away the Charter.

And the Citizens in insisting upon their Liberties, would sometimes speak so plain, that it drew them into Danger, and their Liberties too. As it happened at the said Pleas of the Crown 28 Hen. III. when one John de Coudres, [some public Officer, as it seems, of the City] had said before the King's Justices, That the Liberties of the City, and the Life and Limbs of the Citizens, [which related to the Pleas of the Crown] ought to be equally regarded. The Justices concluded, that the King must be spoke with upon this. And he was arrested by the King's Commandment at the Tower of London. After, at the Petition of the Citizens, the King delivered the said John to them by Bail, under Danger of all their Liberties that they had, to have him before the King at his Pleasure; thence to answer to our Lord the King. And so he was set at Liberty.]

Citizens speak home for their Liberties.

Pari passu ambulent.