1 Chapter 1.
2 An integral part of the freeman's oath was the promise that he would not reveal the secrets or counsels of the assembly.
3 Rye, "The Norwich riot in 1272," 21.
4 C.P.R. 1343-45, 166-68, 385.
5 Rye, "The Norwich riot in 1272," passim; Red Paper Bk., 36-37.
6 E.g. see Jeayes, "Court rolls of Colchester," 83-87.
7 C.P.R. 1317-21, 366, 474-75, 1343-45, 98, 1350-54, 411-14.
8 C.Cl.R. 1337-39, 448, 1399-1402, 489; D/B 3/1/2 f.22. The 1401 record gives no further specification but, feasibly, the trespass was against the jurisdictional rights of the lords; N.B. that an episcopal charter of liberties followed in 1403, perhaps a settlement of disputes?
9 J.I.1/612/2; Rot.Parl., I, 37; Rot.Hundr., I, 542-43; C.P.R. 1292-1301, 113, 1313-17, 57-58; Harrod, Report on the Records of Lynn, 18; R. Howlett, "Tolls levied at the Lynn Tolbooth in the thirteenth century," Norfolk Antiquarian Miscellany, 1st series, III (1887), 609.
10 C.P.R. 1313-17, 404; Cal.Inq.Misc., 1307-49, 421; Add.Ms. 30158 f.14b. Official touring of boundaries periodically was (to a lesser degree, like town walls) an assertion of the extent of borough jurisdiction.
11 C.Cl.R. 1374-77, 432; D/B 3/1/2 f.22; White Domesday f.70b.
12 See Britnell, op.cit., 497-98, for an example of how specific changing conditions affected the rivalry of Colchester and the Abbey of St. John's.
13 Red Reg. ff.156, 157; I/C7/1/7 m.3d.
14 Reynolds, op.cit., 131-35; Green, op.cit., II, 244, 422; Wilkinson, op.cit., 3; C.P.R. 1301-07, 284, 287; Bridbury, op.cit., 57; Leach, op.cit., 7.
15 See the analogy given by Reynolds, op.cit., 185, comparing borough society to a "trifle rather than a cake: its layers were blurred, and the sherry of accepted values soaked through them."
16 Morey, op.cit., 32.
17 Reynolds, op.cit., 181.
18 Platt, op.cit., 118; Alsford, Urban Administration in Medieval Norwich, 142-43; Records of Norwich, I, 269.
19 Reynolds, op.cit., 182-83; Cutts, op.cit., 128; Ramsay, op.cit., 169. However, conceivably the revolt may have strengthened the determination of the Norwich rulers, at least, to consolidate their grip on power at the expense of community authority.
20 Gross, op.cit., I, 107-110.
21 Green, op.cit., II, 271. But, as we have seen, what little administrative experience was necessary was available outside of gild contexts: in leet administration, the financial office, and business life generally.
22 Bridbury, op.cit., 56-58.
23 Meyer, op.cit., XVII, 416-20.
24 Tingey, "The grants of murage to Norwich, Yarmouth and Lynn," 131-33.
25 However, see capitula 17 of the 1468 custumal (D/B 3/1/2 f.12b) for an indication that factionalism among the wardemen was not unknown.
26 The silence of national records is also significant.
27 Red Parch. Bk., 31-33.
28 Britnell, op.cit., 376-79, 384-85, 398-401.
29 Red Parch. Bk., 35-36.
30 Ibid., 34-35; Red Paper Bk., 15-16. There is no evidence that the exclusion of bailiffs from the electoral committee was ever contravened.
31 Gross, op.cit., II, 119; I/C1/1/2/6; Add.Ms. 30158 f.7; White Domesday f.11.
32 Custumale Gippovicense f.27.
33 E179/242/42; P.P.R. 15-16 Ed.I (b) m.4d.
34 Members of these families are found in the 1228 tallage (E179/180/1) and/or the rental of Holy Trinity Priory c.1255.
35 I/C2/23/1; G.C.R. 8-9 Ed.I m.4r, 21-25 Ed.I m.9r, 26-29 Ed.I m.1d, 15-16 Ed.II m.3r; P.P.R. 28-29 Ed.I m.8r, 29-30 Ed.I m.17r, 33-34 Ed.I mm.2r, 15d; C.P.R. 1281-92, 97, 1321-24, 227; C.Cl.R. 1288-96, 200.
36 C.P.R. 1317-21, 512; C.Cl.R. 1323-27, 179; E101/457/5; CP25(1): 59/2, 60/3; P.P.R. 32-33 Ed.I m.11r, 16 Ed.II m.2r; G.C.R. 33 Ed.I-1 Ed.II m.6; R.R. 11-12 Ed.II m.1d.
37 C.P.R. 1317-21, 512; G.C.R. 14-15 Ed.II m.1r.
38 Black Domesday ff.71b-76b; Liber Albus, 141-44.
40 G.C.R. 16-17 Ed.II m.2d, 17-18 Ed.II m.1r. The accused included Gilbert and Richard Robert, William le Fevre, Geoffrey Stace, and John de Whatefeld.
41 C.P.R. 1317-21, 605.
42 Ballard, op.cit., 245.
43 See C.P.R. 1321-24, 55, 1324-27, 65, 67, 72.
45 G.C.R. 16-17 Ed.II m.1r; see chapter 6.
46 For a more detailed account of this conflict, see: Martin, Borough and Merchant Community of Ipswich, 60-73; Martin, Ipswich Recognisance Rolls, 11-12; Martin, "The records of the borough of Ipswich, to 1422," 90; Alsford, "Thomas le Rente," passim.
47 Saul, op.cit., 195, 206, 244-46; C.P.R. 1358-61, 74, 78, 276, 283; C.Cl.R. 1354-60, 647, 652.
48 C.Ch.R. 1257-1300, 185-86; C.P.R. 1266-72, 677, 1272-81, 469, 1292-1301, 308, 320, 1301-07, 284, 287, 455. The communities of Norwich, Ipswich, and Lynn also complained of forestalling in 1304.
49 Rutledge, Court Rolls of Great Yarmouth, 4; Swinden, op.cit., 491-93. The reluctance to introduce constitutional changes, except under pressure and the threat of disruption of the peace, shows the essential conservativeness of the town rulers.
50 Saul, op.cit., 172, 246-47; C.Cl.R. 1374-77, 415, 431, 470-71; Rot.Parl., II, 352-53.
51 C.P.R. 1307-13, 42; Records of Norwich, I, 20, 61-62, 194-95.
52 C.Cl.R. 1369-74, 222, 302, 345-46; Records of Norwich, I, xlviii-xlix, 191-92.
53 Records of Norwich, I, 64-65.
54 Ibid., 66-107.
55 For detailed accounts of Wetherby's Contention see Hudson, Records of Norwich, I, lxxix-xciii; Blake, op.cit., 60-72; Lawson, op.cit., 117-24; Haward, "Economic aspects of the Wars of the Roses," 175-78. Also Morey, op.cit., I, 423-27, II, 15; Tanner, op.cit., 281-82; Rose, op.cit., 70. The differences of Hudson and Blake centre partly on the latter's failure to grasp the former's use of the term "unpatriotic" as applying to sentiment towards the city.
56 C.Cl.R. 1234-37, 316; Rot.Hundr., I, 543. The danger of extortionate practices had been anticipated in the agreement between Bishop and Earl of c.1240; Arundel Castle Ms. MD 1472; KL/C48/4.
57 Ballard and Tait, op.cit., 362.
58 Harrod, Report on the Records of Lynn, 13; C.P.R. 1292-1301, 163, 382, 458, 1307-13, 129, 240; Ballard, op.cit., 142; KL/C10/6; R232B, box 2, #4141; Bodl.Norf. Roll 8; SC2/193/17. Only a handful of husting rolls are extant (KL/C16/1, 2; SC2/193/16; Arundel Castle Ms. MD 1473) and the only one not from the period of usurpation of presidency by the mayor is incomplete, its heading missing.
59 Hillen, op.cit., I, 115-16; Weinbaum, op.cit., 82; C.F.R. 1337-47, 387.
60 C.P.R. 1345-48, 170, 1348-50, 506-07, 551; C.Cl.R. 1346-49, 338; C.F.R. 1337-47, 489, 496; Cal.Inq.Misc. 1307-49, 502, 520; Rot.Parl., II, 207. The case was muddied by the claims of an heir of Arundel to a share in the lordship of the leet.
61 KL/C4/4; Add.Ms. 37791 f.52b.
62 The assault was apparently a spontaneous, though predictable, reaction to the Bishop's undiplomatic (if technically legitimate) demands. Foxe, op.cit., 560; A. Gransden, "A fourteenth-century chronicle from the Grey Friars at Lynn," E.H.R., LXXII (1957), 278; C.Cl.R. 1377-81, 85; Bodl.Norf.Ch. 244; Hillen, op.cit., I, 131.
63 Formerly Sunolf's Fleet, and later Mill Fleet.
64 Harrod, Report on the Records of Lynn, 85; M. Legge, ed., Anglo-Norman Letters and Petitions from All Souls Ms. 182, (Oxford, 1941), 45, 50, 52, 92, 368, 370; C.P.R. 1391-96, 144, 147-49, 157, 1401-05, 67, 274; C.Cl.R. 1399-1402, 575, 1402-05, 166, 358, 575; KL/C39/43 m.3r; KL/C10/2 f.19; KL/C10/6 f.4; Glover, op.cit., 58.
65 There were additional issues involved, however. C.P.R. 1258-66, 671, 1266-72, 388, 483, 485; see chapter 1
66 Green, op.cit., II, 403; Jeaffreson, H.M.C. 11th Report, appendix, part III, 146; Morey, op.cit., 32; Glover, op.cit., 68. All the elements of this amalgamation of interpretations are exaggerated and misleading.
67 Bodl.Norf.Ch. 244 petitions the king (for relief from interdict) only on behalf of the middle and upper classes.
68 C.P.R. 1272-81, 239, 1301-07, 280, 287, 325, 1307-13, 317-18.
69 KL/C10/6 f.3b.
70 Green, op.cit., II, 408; Hillen, op.cit., I, 179; Glover, op.cit., 57-58.
71 KL/C37/3 m.1r.
72 C.P.R. 1334-38, 441; C.Cl.R. 1369-74, 413, 1374-77, 137; Red Reg. ff.155b-157, 160b-162.
74 KL/C17/14 m.1r; KL/C39/45 m.2r; Rot.Parl., III, 565; Legge, op.cit., 106; C.P.R. 1405-08, 152.
75 KL/C10/2 f.18.
76 Cal.Inq.Misc. 1399-1422, 290; C.Cl.R. 1409-13, 179, 206; see also Red Reg. f.147b; KL/C10/2 f.17b.
77 KL/C39/48; KL/C4/6; KL/C10/2 ff.3b, 17, 24b, 32b. This last success may have been achieved in November 1412 rather than November 1411 according to KL/C6/3 m.16r.
78 It was charged that ex-mayors John Brunham, Edmund Belleyetere, Robert Botkesham, and Thomas Waterden had made private conspiracy against the Bishop and pursued the suit without common consent.
79 KL/C10/2 ff.10b, 34b-35, 45-47b, 49; KL/C39/43, 49.
80 KL/C39/48, 49; KL/C10/2 f.28; KL/C6/3 passim; KL/C2/27; C.Cl.R. 1409-13, 353, 404, 408, 1413-19, 88; Cal.Inq.Misc. 1399-1422, 290.
81 Cal.Inq.Misc. 1399-1422, 291; C.P.R. 1413-16, 345; C.Cl.R. 1413-19, 148; KL/C43/1; KL/C2/29; KL/C39/91 f.58; KL/C6/3 m.11r; KL/C10/2 ff.41b, 102-05, 109b, 121.
82 C.Cl.R. 1413-19, 232; KL/C43/1; KL/C10/2 ff.105b-108b.
83 KL/C39/51 m.9r.
84 C.P.R. 1413-16, 411, 1416-22, 3; KL/C39/91 f.76; KL/C10/2 ff.100b, 101.
85 KL/C10/2 ff.101b-102, 105, 114b-115; KL/C4/11. The settlement was not formally issued until 1420, but was clearly in operation earlier; it is unlikely that the Bishop did anything more than approve the terms agreed upon by the Lynn parties.
86 KL/C6/4 mm.3d, 5r, 7r; KL/C39/52 m.7r.
87 Reliance has been placed primarily on the H.M.C. report, which printed mainly the more formal documents relating to the constitutional conflict. A major source of information - a formulary/chronicle/letter book compiled by the town clerk (KL/C10/2) in the reign of Henry V - was used in 1812 by Richards (who misread several entries) but was not known to later students of Lynn's history.
88 H.M.C. 11th Report, appendix, part 3, 228; Harrod, Report on the Records of Lynn, 12; Richards, op.cit., 363-64; Hillen, op.cit., I, 153-54; Green, op.cit., II, 402; Morey, op.cit., 416-17. Morey's statement that the attack on episcopal officials in 1402 was made by a group which cut across class boundaries is misleading; of the 24 accused, 14 were jurats that year, one was town clerk, one chamberlain, 3 or 4 became jurats prior to 1411, and 2 others were almost certainly supporters of the potentiores; C.Cl.R. 1399-1402, 575. More recent interpretations of this affair, both with a certain amount of merit as contributing, factors, point to economic tensions stemming from decline of the wool trade, and to the national political conflict in which Bishop Despenser (a supporter of Richard II and still fresh in the minds of Lynn's rulers as an active opponent of their governmental authority) was temporarily disempowered by Henry IV, encouraging a resurgence of borough opposition to episcopal overlordship; Michael Myers, "The failure of conflict resolution and the limits of arbitration in King's Lynn 1405-1416, pp.81-107 in Traditions and Transformations in Late Medieval England, ed. S. Biggs, S. Michalove and A. Reeves, Leiden, 2002; Kate Parker, ""A little local difficulty: Lynn and the Lancastrian usurpation", pp.115-129 in Christopher Harper-Bill, Medieval East Anglia, Boydell Press, 2005.
89 Copies of which are included in KL/C10/2 ff.9b-12 and KL/C2/27, the latter the source of the transcript in the H.M.C. report (pp.191-93); both the transcript and the former copy contain a few errors. Associated documents and post-award submissions giving a few extra names are KL/C10/2 ff.45-47b, 49; KL/C4/9-10.
90 KL/C39/48 m.9r, /49 m.11r and schedule; KL/C6/4 m.20d; KL/C10/2 ff.103-05. These documents specify occupations in most cases.
91 However, when his cause desperately required financing, Petypas seems to have demanded the full traditional payment of fines from the entrants; KL/C43/1.
92 KL/C7/2 ff.15-17; KL/C6/2 m.1r; KL/C10/2 f.102b.
93 KL/C10/2 f.125.
94 By comparison, the Common Council of 1420 comprised 13 merchants, 12 artisans, and 2 unknown.
95 Mediocres: 36 merchants, 12 artisans, 38 unknown; inferiores: 7 merchants, 115 artisans, 10 professionals (mostly barbers and sailors, but also a lawyer, a scrivener, and an illuminator), 36 unknown. Of the unknown inferiores 16 have occupational surnames (15 artisan), some of which almost certainly indicate occupation accurately.
96 See C.P.R. 1416-22, 3; C.Cl.R. 1409-13, 206; KL/C6/3 m.18.
97 E.g. the refusal of the jurats to be sworn in on 29 August 1412, to protest the unorthodox electoral proceedings; but even the records, made by a town clerk who slightly favoured the potentiores, admit that the proceedings were supported by the majority (178 persons) of townsmen then present; KL/C6/3 m.18.
99 1 mediocre, 11 unknown. C.P.R. 1413-16, 411.
100 Analysis of a group of non-burgess residents summoned to a 1422 assembly shows 6 merchants, 42 artisans, 4 professionals, 14 unknown; KL/C6/6 m.10d.
101 KL/C38/10; Red Reg. f.115b; KL/C7/3 f.28; E122/95/27.
102 E122/94/14; C.F.R. 1405-13, 108; Cal.Inq.Misc. 1399-1422, 290; KL/C43/1; KL/C39/46; Liber Lynn f.35b.
103 C.Cl.R. 1413-19, 148; C.P.R. 1422-29, 160, 292, 1429-36, 36-37, 525; C.F.R. 1430-37, passim; Cal.Inq.Misc. 1399-1422, 290; E122/94/14; Smit, Bronnen..., I, 823; KL/C10/2 ff.1b, 18, 79, 114b; KL/C39/49 m.1r, /51 m.9r; KL/C6/5 m.13d; Red Reg. f.158b. N.B. that Exeter was formerly the Earl of Dorset who was appointed arbitrator between the rival parties.
104 Cal.Inq.Misc. 1399-1422, 290; E122/95/27; Harl.Roll H.23; KL/C6/2 m.1r, /3 m.10r, /4 m.3d; KL/C10/2 ff.1b, 28b, 105b-107, 121.
105 E122/95/12, 14, 16; Harl.Roll H.23; C.F.R. 1391-1405, passim; C.P.R. 1391-96, 526, 1396-99, 428, 1401-05, 358; C.Cl.R. 1402-05, 456, 1405-05, 245; KL/C17/15 m.4d; KL/C39/49 m.3r; Morey, op.cit., 338, 376; Legge, op.cit., 58.
106 But two are not mentioned at all and may have died, whilst the third could be merely a case of retirement.
107 Chapter 3.
108 Red Reg. f128b.
109 Despite the annulment of the 1412-14 entrances, those involved were allowed to re-enter, for the traditional fine, if they wished.
110 But not an original goal, as the office of prolocutor suggests.
111 Since financial maladministration was the basis of popular grievances. In this the Common Council fits nicely into the reform tradition emphasising checks and balances on executive control over borough revenues.
112 That only freemen could serve in borough offices was a principle that even the reformers did not question.
113 KL/C7/4 ff.44b-45. Non-burgesses had equal access to major assemblies; Ibid. f.64b.
114 "The failure of conflict resolution and the limits of arbitration in King's Lynn 1405-1416", pp.81-107 in Traditions and Transformations in Late Medieval England, ed. S. Biggs, S. Michalove and A. Reeves, Leiden: Brill, 2002. He argues plausibly that the committee of eighteen (1411/12) did not meet contemporary expectations of an arbitration process, settling points of dispute in a fashion that was one-sided and punitive rather than compromising and conciliatory, and that the potentiores initially acquiesced in the process only as a delaying tactic while they sought to have matters reviewed by a higher authority and thereby regain the advantage.
115 Kate Parker, "A little local difficulty: Lynn and the Lancastrian usurpation", pp.115-129 in Medieval East Anglia, ed. C. Harper-Bill, Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2005. She further elaborates her interpretation in "Politics and Patronage in Lynn, 1399-1416", pp. 210-227 in The reign of Henry IV: rebellion and survival, 1403-1413, ed. G. Dodd and D. Biggs, Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2008. Her papers contain much that adds to our understanding of this episode in Lynn's history, but must be read with caution as she is very selective in the information she presents to support her theory. For example, to bolster her perspective, she resorts to identifying Galyon as the leader of the opposition party and an indicator of a local divide through the middle of Lynn society, rather than across social strata; however, it seems clear that Galyon was really little more than a willing figurehead, perhaps expected to be of value because past services to the Crown had given him some connections within the central government. Dr. Parker virtually ignores the role of Petypas in events.
116 As Lancastrian agents manipulating the course of local events to further the interests of factions operating on the national scene, Dr. Parker first fingers Edmund Gurney and then Henry Nottingham, both lawyers. The former, who was also a lawyer for the Duchy of Lancaster, she represents as the legal advisor retained by the borough. While true that he was one of a number of county lawyers consulted in the aftermath of the townsmen's ill-advised assault on Bishop Despenser (1377), and that earlier in that decade he, as a county J.P., had been involved with gaol deliveries and arrays of arms at Lynn, his manorial seat being some twenty miles outside the town, and that he may have been a retained counsel for the city of Norwich, there is no indication he had any close or ongoing relationship with Lynn officialdom. Nor could he have had any influence with the town's rulers around the time of Henry IV's usurpation. since he had died in 1387 (although his son John was Henry IV's first sheriff of Norfolk, and earlier one of the earl of Arundel's stewards in the county, indicative of political affiliation). Henry Nottingham, who was given the post of town clerk at Lynn in 1401, was also an officer of the duchy of Lancaster and possibly a political appointee, succeeding another non-local lawyer who had connections with the Howard family of Norfolk and with a chief clerk of the Crown of Richard II's Chancery. If the appointment of Nottingham was imposed on the borough by the king, perhaps as a reward to a servant (who in March 1401 had received a royal grant of a life annuity), we may question to what extent it was welcomed by Lynn's corporation: during his brief two-year term of office, it was felt necessary to have the mayor served by a separate clerk, and Nottingham's role may have been primarily as legal advisor (he appears to have been retained in such a role in later years, perhaps up to the early 1420s); nor was Nottingham's salary as clerk paid promptly, he being among the corporation's creditors for the amount of two years' salary, in 1405, and still owed part of his salary arrears in 1424. Nottingham was certainly associated with Lynn's jurats in their legal dispute with the bishop in 1402, and the Lancastrianization of power structures is now well established. Part of that trend was Lancastrians in East Anglia working to undermine Bishop Despenser men such as Thomas Erpingham, who persuaded the Norwich authorities to back him, support that helped gain the city an expanded charter of liberties from the new king; Richard Allington-Smith, Henry Despenser: the fighting bishop, Dereham: Larks Press, 2003, 127.
117 Parker, "A little local difficulty", 129.
118 See, for example, Samuel J. Cohn, Popular Protest in Late Medieval Europe, Manchester: University Press, 2004.
119 A quality evaluated according to prosperity, an indicator of success in business and thereby the quality of decision-making faculties.
120 Records of Norwich, I, 81; KL/C6/3 m.17r.
Structure of Borough Government | Social and Economic Background of Office-Holders
Monopolisation of Office | Attitudes Towards Office-holding | Professionalism in Administration
Quality of Government | Conflict and Solidarity in Urban Politics
|Created: July 30, 1998. Last update: December 26, 2010||© Stephen Alsford, 1998-2010|