An anthology of Chancery English

1438E28/62/36Petition of the Weavers of Oxford (Initialed) R h

To the Kyng ooure soueragne Lord Besechit mekely youre poure liege men of the crafte of weuers and of ffulleres of youre
Towne of Oxenford that whan Kyng Edward the furste yooure noble progenitour by his lettres patentes grauntyd vnto yooure
said poure men of the craft of weuers of the said Towne that they shold haue here Gylde and alle there libertees and frauncheses
that they hadde in the tyme of kyng Harry Aiel of kyng Iohn and in the tyme of the noble kyng ffader of the said kyng Edward
so that euere yere they shold paye to the said kyng Iohn on marke of golde and that no man shold werk the said craft of weuers
withynne fyfe myle a boute the said towne but onely with ynne the saide Towne and by men of the said craft of weuers of the
saide Towne And aftirward the said kyng Edward hauyng consideracion that where the numbre of the said craft of weuers in the said
Towne were wonede to be of lx persones and more in the tyme (of þe Aiel) of the said kyng Iohn. and how they
were but xv persones in his tyme and than they were so poure and nedy that they myght noght paie to the same kyng Edward the said
mark of gold the wheche amountyth to vj li of sterlinges of his special grace by his lettres patentes pardoned to the said
weuers of the said towne the said rent of a mark of gold yerely and the Arrerages of the same And furthermore grauntyde by hys
lettres patentes that the said weuers fro that tyme furth shuld paye yerly by the haundes of the meire and Bailees of the
said Towne the wheche for the tyme shold be xlij s half atte mighelmasse and half atte the feste of Estur in the same manere
as they were wonede and accustomed to paie the said mark of gold as in the lettres patentes of confirmacione of kyng Richard
the secunde after the conquest made vpon that is conteyned more pleynely And now hit is so souerayne lord that ther ben in the
said Town atte this tyme but ij persones of the said craft of weuers and they ben so poure and nedi that they han noght for to
paye the said xlij s. yerly by cause that othure that ben of the same craft dwelling wyth out the said Towne comyth dayly wythynne
the said towne and (.v.) mile abowte and there they purchace and taken the matere apperteynyng to the same craffte and cariene
hit a way out of the said towne and werkythe hit in to grete hindryng of the payement of the said .xlij s. yerely and also into
grete damage and destruccione of the said persones of the said Page  249 Craft of weuers in the said Towne but they be by yoou souerayne
lord socoured in this partie That hit please vnto yooure noble grace and roial maieste to considere graciousely the symple numbre
of folke of the said Craft of weuers that ben present dwellyng in the said Towne and that they ben so poure of here goodes that they
may noght paye to yow the said yerly rent of .xlij s. And vpon that to graunte to the said folk of the Crafte of weuers and ffulleres of
the saide towne to them and to theire successours for euer more to haue a Gilde entier to gedere in the said Towne wyth alle theire
libertees and fraunchises to entierely and frely as the said folk of the craft of weuers and here predecessours of the
said Towne euer han hadde in the tyme of yooure noble progenitours a forsaide. and that the said folke of the craft of weuers and
fulleres of the said Towne that now ben and theire successores the wheche for the tyme shall be. shal paie the said xlij s.
yerly by the handes of the said Mair and Bayllees of the said Towne at the festes aforesaid wythought beryng or supportyng
(for þabouesaid cause) ony othur charge And that the said folke of the craft of weuers and fullers and their
successoures among othur fraunchises and libertees fro this tyme furth haue suche libertees and fraunchises that they yerly in the
fest of the holy crosse in Septembre mow assemble their .ij. craftes in on place at theyre pleasire in the said Towne and there
chese ij persones of the moste wyse and discrete men of the said craftes that on of that on craft and that othur of that othur
craft the wheche ij maistres shall haue the gouernanance of the said craftes wythinne the said Towne by the yere and that no per soone
worke ne ocupie by hem self ne be othur. the said craftes ne ony of the said craftes ne take any maner (mat)ier apper teignyng
vnto the said craftes othur to ony of hem withynne the said Towne and .v. mile a boute but only the folke of the said
craftes (and of the said towne) vpon the payne of forfeture to yow souerayne lord such matere be them so taken And that
the said .ij. maistres of the said craftes shull make theyre serches fro tyme in to tyme for the said forfeture when hit shall lyke hem
for suche matere so taken withynne the said Towne and .v. mile aboute or to be caried out of the said Towne and .v. mi(le)
aboute as hit is forsaid. that yo souerayn lord haue that on halfe and the said craftes that othur half of such maner [deleted in MS]
of forfeture [deleted in MS] And also that the said maistres. of the said craftes the whyche for the tyme shall be. haue sufficiente
auctorite and pouere to make and ordeyne among the said Craftes alle goode constitucions and ordinances for the gode conseruacion
of the said Craftes as oftyn tymes as hem lyke wyth (oute) ony pechement of yoow souerayn lord othur of yooure
heires or Page  250 Officers what euyr they ben payyng yerly to yoow souerayne lord and to yooure heirs .xlij s. by the handes of the
Maire and Baillees of the said Towne for the tyme beyng. att the termes of Estur and Mighelmasse be euen porciones. ony [deleted in MS]
statutes or ordinaunces ymad in the contrare noght wythstondyng

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