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England the eighteenth and of France the fifth, among other things many things were showed in full parliament, which were attempted by the party adversary to our sovereign lord the king, of France, against the truce lately taken in Britain, betwixt our said sovereign lord the king and his said adversary; and how that his said adversary enforceth himself as much as he may, to destroy our said sovereign lord the king, and his allies, subjects, lands, and places, and the tongue of England; and that was prayed by our said sovereign lord the king of the prelates, great men and commons, that they would give him such counsel and aid, as should be expedient in so great necessity: And the said prelates, great men and commons, taking good deliberation and advice, and openly seeing the subversion of the land of England, and the king's great business, which God defend, if hasty remedy be not provided, have counselled jointly and severally, and prayed with great instance our sovereign lord the king, that he would make him as strong as he might to pass the sea, in assurance of the aid of God and of his good quarrel, effectually this time to make an end of his wars, or by way of peace or else by force; and that nor for letters, words, nor fair promises, he shall let his passage, till he see the effect of his business; and for this cause the said great men do grant, to pass and to adventure them with him. And the said commons do grant to him, for the same cause upon a certain form two fifteenths of the commonalty, and two tenths of the cities and boroughs, to be levied in manner as the last fifteenth granted to him was levied, and not in other manner; and to be paid by two years, at the feasts of All Saints, and of Easter next following, for the first year; and in case that our sovereign lord the king doth pass the sea, to pay at the same terms a fifteenth and a tenth of the second year, and not in other manner; so that the money levied of the same, be dispended in the business showed to them in this parliament, by the advice of the great men thereto assigned, and that the aids beyond Trent, be put in defence of the North. And our said sovereign lord the king, for this cause, and in the ease of the said commons, and of all his faithful subjects of England, by the assent of the prelates,, great men, and commons, hath granted of his good grace these things underwritten:

67. A Grant of the Clergy for Three Years

(July, 1344. Latin text and translation, 1 S. R. 302. 2 Stubbs, 414.)

FIR

IRST, whereas many things have been attempted, by the party our adversary of France, against the truce late taken in Britain, betwixt us and him, and how that he enforceth himself, as much as he may, to destroy us, and our allies, subjects, lands, and places, and the tongue of England: And thereupon we prayed the prelates, great men, and commons, that they should give us such counsel and aid as there should be need of in so great extremity and the said prelates, great men and commons, having thereof good deliberation and advice, and seeing openly the subversion of the land of England, and of our great business, which God defend, if speedy remedy be not provided; have counselled jointly and severally, and with great instance prayed us, that in assurance of the aid of God, and our good quarrel we should make us as strong by all the good means that we might, at this time to finish our wars; and that for letters, words, nor fair promises, we should not let our passage, till we did see the effect of our business and for this cause, the great men aforesaid granted to pass, and to adventure themselves with us; and the said prelates and procurators of the clergy, have granted to us for the same cause, a triennial tenth, to be paid at certain days, that is to say, of the province of Canterbury, at the feasts of the Purification of our Lady, and of Saint Barnabas the apostle: and of the province of York, at the feasts of Saint Luke, and the Nativity of Saint John Baptist. And we for this cause, in maintenance of the estate of holy Church, and in ease of the said prelates, and all the clergy of England, by assent of the great men, and of the commons, do grant of our good grace the things underwritten; that is to say, that no archbishop nor bishop shall be impeached before our justices because of crime, unless we especially do command them, till another remedy be thereof ordained.

4.

68. Grant on Conditions

(April, 1348. French text, 2 R. P. 200. Translation by Editors.
2 Stubbs, 417, 606.)

NEVERTHELESS, provided that the aid now granted by the said commons be in no manner turned into wool neither by loan, nor by valuation, nor in other manner be levied nor more hastily, than in the form in which it be granted, and that in the meantime the circuits of the justices, as well of the forest as of common pleas and general inquisitions, cease throughout the land; that the aid be levied, and that the subsidy granted of forty shillings on each sack of wool cease at the end of three years, which will be now at Michaelmas next coming, and that henceforth no such grant be made by the merchants, inasmuch as it is only to the grievance and charge of the commons, and not of the merchants who buy the wool at so much the less. And also, that henceforth no imposition, tallage, nor charge by loan, nor of any other sort whatsoever, be put by the privy council of our lord the king without their grant and assent in parliament: and also, that two prelates, two lords, and two justices in this present parliament be assigned to hear and examine all the petitions previously put forward in the last parliament by the commons which have not yet been answered; and with them the petitions now set forth, in the presence of four or six of the commons chosen by them for this special purpose, so that the said petitions be answered reasonably in the present parliament, and of those which have been previously answered in full, that the answers be in force without change. And also that the merchants who have evilly deceived our lord the king, and have been extortionate toward his people in the matter of the twenty thousand sacks of wool of loan granted by the commons to our said lord, be put to answer before the justices having power to hear and determine throughout the counties of England, and that no release nor charter of pardon be allowed them. And that the said justices make inquisition of the false money which ruins the people. And that David Bruce, William Douglas and the other chieftains of Scotland be in no manner released neither for ransom nor on parole. And also that our lord the king restore to the commons the twenty thousand sacks of wool in time past taken from the commons by loan and that the aid for the marrying of the daughter of our

I

lord the king cease in the meantime. And that there be no Marshalsea in England, save the Marshalsea of our lord the king, or of the guardian of England when our lord the king shall be out of England, upon these conditions above named and not otherwise. And also, provided that the said conditions be entered on the roll of parliament as a matter of record, so that there can be remedy if anything to the contrary is attempted in time to come. Thus, the said poor commons, to their very great mischief, grant to our lord the king three fifteenths to be levied for three years commencing at Michaelmas next coming; so that each of the three years one fifteenth and no more be levied, at two terms of the year, at Michaelmas and at Easter, in equal portions. And that the said aid be assigned and kept solely for the war of our lord the king and in no manner for the payment of former debts. And also, if, by the grace of God, peace or long truce be made in the meantime, that the fifteenth for the last of the three years be not levied; but of that fifteenth the grant shall lose its force completely. And that letters patent of these conditions, and of the manner of this grant be made under the great seal to all the counties of England, without paying anything therefor. And that the said patents make mention of the great necessity of our lord the king, which has arisen since the last parliament. And also in case of war with Scotland that the aid granted north of the Trent be turned to the conduct of that war and in defense of that part of the country, as before this time has been done.

69. An Ordinance concerning Laborers and

Servants

(June, 1349. Latin text and translation, I S. R. 307.

THE

428, 476.)

2 Stubbs, 420,

Because a great

HE king to the sheriff of Kent, Greeting. part of the people, and especially of workmen and servants, late died of the pestilence, many seeing the necessity of masters, and great scarcity of servants, will not serve unless they may receive excessive wages, and some rather willing to beg in idleness, than by labor to get their living; we, considering the grievous incommodities, which of the lack especially of ploughmen and such laborers may hereafter come, have upon deliberation and treaty with the prelates and the nobles, and learned men assisting us, of their mutual counsel ordained:

1. That every man and woman of our realm of England, of what condition he be, free or bond, able in body, and within the age of three score years, not living in merchandise, nor exercising any craft, nor having of his own whereof he may live, nor proper land, about whose tillage he may himself occupy, and not serving any other, if he be required to serve in convenient service, his estate considered, he shall be bounden to serve him which shall so him require; and take only the wages, livery, meed, or salary, which were accustomed to be given in the places where he oweth to serve, the twentieth year of our reign of England, or five or six other common years next before. Provided always, that the lords be preferred before others in their bondmen or their land tenants, so in their service to be retained: so that nevertheless the said lords shall retain no more than be necessary for them; and if any such man or woman, being so required to serve, will not do the same, that proved by two true men before the sheriff, bailiff, lord, or constable of the town where the same shall happen to be done, he shall anon be taken by them, or any of them, and committed to the next jail, there to remain under strait keeping, till he find surety to serve in the form aforesaid.

5. Item, that sadlers, skinners, whitetawers, cordwainers, tailors, smiths, carpenters, masons, tilers, boatmen, carters, and all other artificers and workmen, shall not take for their labor and workmanship above the same that was wont to be paid to such persons the said twentieth year, and other common years next before, as afore is said, in the place where they shall happen to work; and if any man take more, he shall be committed to the next jail, in manner as afore is said.

6. Item, that butchers, fishmongers, hostelers, brewers, bakers, pulters, and all other sellers of all manner of victual, shall be bound to sell the same victual for a reasonable price, having respect to the price that such victual be sold at in the places adjoining, so that the same sellers have moderate gains, and not excessive, reasonably to be required according to the distance of the place from whence the said victuals be carried; ***

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