Thomas Usk, The Testament of Love: Appendix 2


1 "in conflict with each other"

2 "if they all died for it together there and then"

3 "they had already rejected them"

4 "in those evilly conceived plots" -- that with a plural noun and the sense "those" is common
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Thomas Usk, The Testament of Love: Appendix 2

by: Thomas Usk (Author), R. Allen Shoaf (Editor)
from: The Testament of Love  1998

The Appeal of Thomas Usk against John Northampton (1384) (TL 1.6-8) I print here the text as found in A Book of London English 1384-1425, ed. R. W. Chambers and Marjorie Daunt (Oxford: Clarendon, 1931), pp. 22-31, with the heading supplied by Strohm (1992), p. 146. The text is from MS Public Records Office, Miscellanea of the Exchequer 5/26. I reproduce Chambers and Daunt's typographical markers of emendations and omissions. I indicate page numbers in their edition inside bold-face brackets. Finally, I print their glosses of a few difficult phrases as footnotes to my copy.

Appell[um] . . . Vsk f[a]c[tu]m coram Joh[ann]e Charn[eye] . . . London.

   The * * * the vijt day in the eyghte yer of the regne of our lord the king R[ic]hard
[Scde] I, Thomas Vsk, in the presence of John . . . . . . . co . . . . . . . . . . of london
knowleched thes wordes & wrote hem with myn owne [honde]. * * * * To f . . . . eue .
. . . . . [con]seil in the tyme of John Norhampton mair ther sholde [kome] . . . in to a
. . . . . . . that ys to seye in J[ohn] Willynghames taverne in the Bowe, . . . . . . . . es of xx
of the [C&D 23] craftes that hielde with hym, a man or two that for thilk yer was chose
[to] be in the comun conseyl, & . . . . . . . . . . . . . John More, mercer, Richard Norbury,
mercer, & William Essex, draper, and I also, Thomas Vsk, to write thair billes, & ther
sholde al . . . . . . . e be s * * * * * so th[at] atte comun conseil these, that tho wer present,
myghten be on voys accorde vpon the purpos to-forn take, & ther vpon they sholde atte
day of comun conseil crie ayein [the purpos to-forn take] * * * * and be * * * purpos
that thilk John Norhampton, John More, Richard Norbury & William Essex wolden, wer
it fals wer it trewe, & did * * * * be cause that Sir William Walworth & other suche worthy
persones as aldermen & comuners weren in the contrarie opynion of the or[dinances of
John] Norhampton, yt was accorded be the forseyde John More, Richard Norbury, &
William Essex that the mair myghte take to hys conseyl whom th[at] he wolde, as for
hys tyme, & leue hem that so wolde contrarie hym, & that of tho craftes that heilden a-
yeins hym shulden come but tho that weren presented be the selue craft & no mo; but
of other craftes that hielden with hym sholde kome as many as he wolde, & so he loked
to haue so many holdyng with hym that the tother syde myght noght avayle & her-of I
appele the forseyde John Norhampton, John More, Richard Norbury, & William Essex.
   Also it was ful purposed be John Norhampton & hys conseyl, that ys to seye John
More, Richard Norbury, & William Essex & be al the craftes that hielden with hym,
that four poynt3 shulden, with al the lordship & Frendeship that they myghten, [C&D
] be kept & stablisshed; that ys to seyn, that the aldermen sholden be remoued fro yer
in to yer, & that the comun conseyl sholde kome be craftes, & that ther sholde no
vitailler bere office judicial, & that al strang[e] vitaillers sholden with thair vitailles
frelich kome to the Cite, to selle thair vitailles as wel be retaile as in other wyse, hauyng
no reward to the Franchise. And, truly, the ful entent was that al the ordinances that
wer ordeyned in hys tyme, wer they neuer so badde, sholden haue be meigtened euer
more afterward with strength of meigtenance of the poeple a-yeins any mayr that wolde
haue do the contrarie. And, in thys wyse, whan the worthy & wysest of the town had
left such vnthrifty conseilles, the forseyde mair, John Norhampton, John More, &
Richard Norbury, & William Essex, drogh to hem the comun poeple for to stonde be
thes purposes to lyue & to dye. And ate euery conseyl was John More, Richard Norbury,
& William Essex, &, otherwhile, Adam Bame; but the mair wolde otherwhile do be hys
own avys, and also on Willyngham, a scryuen, & on . . . . . . Marchaund, clerk, writen
many thynges in myn absence, & atte some tymes wer ther mo[r]e pryuier than I. And,
certeinly, the ful purpos of the persones to-forn nempned was to haue had the town in
thair gouernaile, & haue rulid it be thair avys, & haue holden vnder, or elles de-voyded
owt of towne, al the persones that had be myghty to haue wyth-seyde hem, &, the
remenant, that had non such myght, to haue holden hem vnder for euer; & her-of I
apele John Norhampton, John More, Richard Norbury & William Essex.
   Also, for the elde officers of the town loued noght the opinions of the forseyde mair,
al the elde officers sholden haue be remoued by proces of tyme, & sette in her place
suche as wolden haue meigtened & loued hise opinions, for they seyden that thilk
persones that hielden the contrarie of hys menyng wer Enemys to alle gode menyng.
And that was euer-more an excitation to the pore poeple to make hem be the more
feruent & rebel a-yeins the grete men of the town, & ayeins the officers [C&D 25] ek,
& yt was seide thus to the poeple that euer the grete men wolden haue the poeple be
oppression in lowe degre, for whiche wordes, & be thair meigtenance, the dissension
ys arrise be-twene the worthy persones & the smale people of the town; & her-of I
apele John Norhampton, John More, Richard Norbury & William Essex.
   Also, ayeins the day of the seconde eleccion of John Norhampton mair, be-cause
that Sir John Philpot had be a-yeins the badde doynges to-for seyde, John More was on
of the chief cause to procur that a bille sholde be put vp be the comunes conseyl, to aske
of the forseyde Sir John the mone that he had borwed in tyme of hys mairalte; and it
was ment that he sholde haue ther-by ben i-jugged of al maner of estat of office in the
town for euer; & her-of I appele John More.
   Also, a-yeins the forseyde seconde eleccion, [ther] was made mochel ordinance be
John More, Richard Norbury, Adam Bame, William Essex, & many a[lso] mo, & be me
Thomas Vsk, to make ful [certei]n the comunes atte that day shulde chese the forseyde
John Norhampton to be mair & non other, to that entent that al hys ordinances mighten
be confermed be our lord the kyng in hys statut, to haue dured euer-mor; so that thilk
ordinances sholden bothe haue be stablisshed be statut, & be meigtened ek be myght of
people, as yt ys to-forn write; & her-of I apele John More, Richard Norbury, Adam
Bame, & William Essex.
   Also, ayeins the parlement than next folwyng, the mair, John Norhampton, made
me, Thomas Vsk, go to the comunes to enforme hem of the [ord]inance a-yeins the
Fisshmongers, & for to haue thair wil ther-of amonges the other, that they sholde chese
for the comunes to the [parlem]ent Richard Norbury & William Essex, & he wolde
ordeigne amonges the aldermen [C&D 26] to chese John More & Thomas Carleton, for
the [sam]e entent, that ys to seyn, they wer ordeyned; & so they diden pursuwe thynges
a-yeins the Franchise of london for euer; & her-of I [appele] John Norhampton.
   [Also, a]tte thilk parlement, was pursuwed a patent to the mair for to chastise vsurers,
yf any man wolde pleigne, or elles be enditement, be whiche patent yt was fully as-
sented ferst to haue don execucion vpon any man that had be proued giltyf ther jnne
acte, [or ther]of partie; & in thys wise, be fals compassement & ymaginacion to-forn
cast, many of the worthiest of the town sholde haue [be] ther-by enpesched, & be
execucion ydo so vpon hem, that they sholde noght haue bore nomore estat in the town;
and now [I] wot wel that, vnder colour ther-of, shulde haue be broght a-boute mochel
of the euel menyng, to haue vndo the worthy membres of the town that had be a-yeins
hym, & for non other entent of wel menyng but only for malice, to put ovte of the town
al the worthiest was thilk patent purchaced, & be suche fals purposyng & ymaginacions
of destrucion sholden the worthi persones of the town have ben for-jugged ovt of
towne; wher-for it was cast al redy of officers bothe for the mairalte, aldermanries, &
shirreuehod, & suche other degrees, for yeres komyng, so that the aduersairs of John
Norhampton sholde noght haue be in non offices her-after, wher thorw me may wel se
the destruxion of the [t]own with-jnne a litel proces of tyme, as for to haue so many
thrifty men owt of towne; & ther-of I apele John Norhampton, John More, Richard
Norbury, and William Essex.
   Also, atte procurement of John More, Walter sybile John horn & Adam Carlett wer
endited, & altheigh ther wer take many inquisicio[ns], we that serued our lord the king
best wer returned; & truly, Robert Franceys & other, I not whiche now, wolden haue
endited Sir Nichol Brem[bre] of meigtenance [C&D 27] of Thomas Farndon, and John
More ferst was ther-to assented, & afterward he letted it, so that it nas noght execut; &
her-of I apele John More.
   Also, ofte to-forn that Sir Nichol Brembre was chose mair, the mair, John
Norhampton, John More, & Richard Norbury, senten William Essex & me, Thomas
Vsk, to the goldsmithes halle to speke with men of the comun conseyl for chesyng of
the mair, & also ther-for weren al [that weren] of the commun conseyl take me be John
Norhampton, that I, Thomas Vsk, sholde speke to hem that I knewe. And ther, atte
Goldsmithes [halle, amo]nges hem that wer assembled, it was accorded that certein
persones of diuers craftes, [th]o that wer entred for the comun conseyl, sholde be
[called] atte eleccion day in to the comun conseil for to helpe to the eleccion of John
Norhampton, [&] the smale poeple was drawe in to be [partie therof], to that entent
that fully thair hertes sholde stonde with John Norhampton, & that yf, in tyme komyng,
a-nother mair, that wer [to be chose], wolde oght do a-yeins hym, he myghte haue hem
redy to meigtene hym [ayei]ns al that they wolde seye a-yeins hym, &, if he had ben
mair, I wot wel he wolde haue meigtened al hys ordinances, or elles haue sette al the
town in a rore; & her-of I appele John Norhampton, John More, Richard Norbury, &
William Essex.
   Also, the night to-for the day of the eleccion of the mair, John More warned al hys
sergeant3 & hys men to be armed on the [morwe atte] yeldehalle. For he kyde he & hys
felawe wolde kepe the dores that day, to that entent that ther sholde non haue kome jn
but onl[y that] wolde haue chose John Norhampton to be mair; & her-of I appele John
More. [C&D 28]
   Also, that day that [Sir] Nichol Brembre was chose mair, a-non after mete kom John
Norhampton to John Mores hows, & thider kom Richard Norbury & William Essex, &
ther it was a[ccor]ded that the mair, John Norhampton, sholde sende after the persones
that thilk time wer in the comun conseil of craftes, & after the wardeyns of craftes, so
that thei sholde kome to the goldsmithes halle on the morwe after, & ther the mair
sholde speke with hem, to loke & ordeigne how thilk eleccion of Sir Nichol Brembre
myght be letted; &, nad it be for dred of our lord the kyng, I wot wel eueri man sholde
haue be in others top.1 And than sente he Richard Norbury, Robert Rysby & me, Tho-
mas Vsk, to the Neyte, to the duk of lancastre, to enforme hym in thys wyse: "Sir, to
day, ther we w[olde]n haue go to the eleccion of the mair in goddes peas & the kynges,
ther kom jn an orrible companye of criers, no man not wh[ic]he & [t]her, with oute any
vsage but be strength, chosen Sir Nichol Brembre mair, a-yein our maner of eleccion
to-forn thys vsed; wher-fore we preye yow yf we myght haue the kynges writ to go to
a Newe eleccion." And the duk seide: "Nay, certes, writ shul ye non haue, auise yow
amonges yowr selue." & her-of I appele John Norhampton, John More, Richard Norbury,
& William Essex.
   Also, atte Goldsmithes halle, when al the people was assembled, the mair, John
Norhampton, reherced as euel as he koude of the eleccion on the day to-forn, & seyde
that truly: "Sirs, thus be ye shape for to be ouer-ronne, & that," quod he, "I nel noght
soeffre; lat vs rather al be ded atones than soeffre such a vylenye." & than the comunes,
vpon these wordes, wer stered, & seiden truly they wolde go to a-nother eleccion, &
noght soeffre thys wrong, to be ded al ther-for attones in on tyme2; and than be the
mair, John Norhampton, was euery man boden gon hom, & kome fast a-yein strong in
to Chepe with al her craftes, & I wene ther wer a-boute a xxx craftes, & in Chepe they
sholden haue sembled to go to a newe eleccion, &, truly, had noght the aldermen kome
to trete, & maked that John Norhampton bad [C&D 29] the poeple gon hoom, they
wolde haue go to a Newe eleccion, & in that hete haue slayn hym that wolde haue letted
it, yf they had myght; and her-of I appele John Norhampton.
   And, vpon al thys matirs be-forn seide, tho that John Norhampton atte tat tyme mair,
John More, & Richard Norbury, & William Essex & otherwhile Adam Bame, seyen that
the worthy persones wer drawe fro hem for willesful gouernaile & fiebel conseyl, &
that they had made refus of hem to-forn tyme,3 tho they drewe to hem many craftes &
mochel smale poeple that konne non skyl of gouernance ne of gode conseyl & be
confederacie, congregacion, & couyne, purposed & to-forn cast for to meigtene be
myght thair fals & wykked menyng, vnder colour of wordes of comun profit euer more
[charg]ed the people fro day in to other to be redy to stonde be hem in that euel pur-
posed matirs4; & so, as wel sithe he was noght mair as to-forn, they han euerich of hem
on hys syde stired, confedred, & conspired the matirs to-forn nempned, saue Adam
Bame, sithen that he was noght mair, that I wot of, hath noght entremeted hym. And
also the forseide John Norhampton, John More, Richard Norbury, & William Essex, so
fer forth wolden depraue the worthy men of towne that the people was, & ys, the more
enbolded to be rebel a-yeins thair gouernours that bien now, & that shul bien in tyme
komyng, be her fals informacion & excitacion, couyns, & gadrynges, & confederacies
atte that tyme maked & euer sithen continued, as it ys to-forn seyde; & so be hem, &
be ther procurementy, & confederacies, & excitacions, the debates & the grete stryf,
that yet ys regnyng in the cite, ys komen jn principalich be John Norhampton, John
More, Richard Norbury, & William Essex; so that ys in poynt to truble al the realme; &
the cite hath stonde in grete doute & yet doth. To which euel menyng I was a ful helpere
[C&D 30] & promotour in al that euer I myght & koude, wher-for I aske grace &
mercy of my lyge lord the kyng, & afterward of the mair, & of al the worthy aldermen,
& of al the gode comunes of the town, as he that wol neuer more trespace a-yeins the
town in no degre. And, truly, Adam Bame was noght so comunly, ne so bysy on thys
purpos [& confederaci]es as [wer] the tother; & her-of I apele the forseyde John
Norhampton, Richard Norbury, John More, & William Essex.
   And euer sithen that he was noght mair the forseide John Norhampton, John More,
Richard Norbury & William Essex han ben [a]boute * * * * * to drawe the poeple to be
to hym ward & hym self most y-maked assembles & gadringes of companyes to sto[nd]e
w[ith] h[ym] * * * * he b[ad] me Thomas Vsk to the Bowe amonges other folk that he
had gadred, & ther he shewed a bille that was maked a[yeins hym & he] procured that
companye to stonde be hym and with oute seche thynges as wol[d]e [put?] * * * * that
* * sholden . . . . . . neghbours to stonde be hym in ryght & in wrong & haue [soe]ffred
no man of London * * * * hym * * * * * Robert Franceys, John Lyncoll goldsmithes &
I Thomas Vsk haue made al * * * go * * * londe or m . . . . * * duk of lancastre to
enfourme hym that John Northampton was the beste ma[ir] that euer [was] * * * * al
that we myg[ht] * * * * Sir Nichol Brembre & hys gouernance to hym & * * will to vs
wardes * * * parlement alwey bisied vs to helpe that John N[orhampton] * * * kome to
hys . . . ser * * * den that the men * * * * [arrested?] * * * cause * * * * lok * * * * of
w . . . . . [en]formed [C&D 31] the duk how * * * * . . ade arme * * the wal of * * *
* al the * * * * we * * * * stered the lord * * * * to speke w[ith] * * ted me to helpe faste
/I>th my presence * * therto that he sholde haue al * * * was euer a-boute to haue holpe
that * * * * r And of al thys matirs I crie to my [lyge] lo[rd] the kyng euer- more of
grace & of mercy & after to my * * * * persones of London & truly I wol [neuermore]
* * * * but euer stonde be the town & be the worthy * * * ght may do next my lige
[lorde] wol * * be redy [at] al tymes wher I shal to a vowe * * * * * * now me thynketh
the * * * gode & trewthe & al maner of felicite to the cite * * * * that * be * * * *
informacion And therof euer as verrey repentant as I kan * * * * I haue desired &
hervpon I apele John Norhampton Richard Norbury * *

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