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when in 1417 Henry V had recourse to a loan levied by voluntary contributions from individuals, as security for which the King pledged a Spanish sword mounted with gold and enriched with jewels of the estimated value of £2,000, we find six Drapers conspicuous among the contributors.1 The sword was surrendered to the King in return for a custom on wool given to those who subscribed.
During the first half of the century the Drapers almost The Drapers monopolized the office of Mayor, five Drapers holding the take Pa?m office and two of them twice." Nor were they absent from ^^n«s the great festal and funeral processions of which that age was geants 0f so fond. Thus, on October 28, 141:?, the Mayor, Nicholas the Day. Wotton a Draper, the Aldermen, and an immense number of the community went on foot like pilgrims to Westminster to return thanks for the joyous news of the victory at Agincourt.3 In 1422 the Livery Companies provided 211 torches at the burial of Henry V, the Chamberlain presenting to each torchbearer a gown and a hood of 'blanket' (a white cloth) at the cost of the Commonalty, and the Drapers and Mercers went to Westminster in barges instead of riding as had hitherto been the custom.4 In 1432 Henry VI, on returning from being crowned King of France, was met by the Mayor and more than 1,200 citizens, who rode to Blackheath to meet the King, and brought him to Westminster, where he was received in London with great pageants.3
Gregory's Chronicle thus tells the tale of this, one of the earliest pageants described :6
'And whenne the kynge come to Londyn Brygge there was made a towre, and there yn stondynge a gyaunte welle arayde and welle
1 Nicholas Wotton subscribed £ 100, one of the highest; William Crowmer £100; John Gedney and William Norton £10 each; Thomas Fauconer 40 marks; Thomas Pyke £5o. Cf. Letter Book I, fo. 118 b.
3 William Crowmer, 1413-14, 1413-4; Nicholas Wotton, 1415-16, '430-1 ; John Gedney, 1417-8; John Brokeley, 1433-4; Robert Clopton, 1441-1.
3 Letter Book I, fo. 159. 4 Letter Book K, fo. 1 b; Herbert, i. 98.
5 Letter Book K, fos. 103 b, 104 b.
6 Gregory's Chronicle, ed. Gairdner, 1876, p. 173. Cf. also Fabyan, ed. 1811, p. 603.
be-sene, whythe a swerde holdynge uppe on hye, sayynge thys reson in Latyn," lnimicos ejus induam confusione ". And on every syde of hym stode an anttloppe, that one holdynge the armys of Ingelond and that othyr the armys of Fraunce. Ande at the drawe brygge there was a nothyr ryalle toure, there yn stondynge III empryssys ryally arayde, whythe crownys on hyr heddys, the whyche namys folowyn here: fyrste, Nature; the secunde, Grace; the thyrde, Fortune, presentyng hym whythe gyrtys of grace. The fyrste gaffe hym Scyence and Cunnynge, and the secunde gaffe hym Prosperyte and Ryches. And on the right syde of the emperyssys stode VII fay re maydyns clothyde alle in whyte, i-powderyde whythe sonnys of golde, presentynge the kyng whythe VII gyftys of the Holy Goste in the lykenys of VII whyte dovys by fygure outwarde, whythe thys resonys: "Impleat te Dominus spiritu sapiencie et intellectus, spiritu consilii et fortitudinis, sciencie et pietatys, spiritu timorys Domini." And on the lyfte syde of thes emperysse stode VII othyr fayre maydyns in whythe, powderyde whythe sterrys of golde, presentynge the kyng whythe VII gyftys of worschyppe. The fyrste was a crowne of glorye, the seconde with a cepter of clennysse, the III whythe a swyrde of ryght and vyctorye, the IIII whythe a mantelle of prudence, the V whythe a schylde of faythe, the VI an helme of helme, the VII a gyrdylle of love and of parfyte pes. And thys maydens song an hevynly songe unto the Kynge of praysynge and of his vyctorye and welle comynge home. And whenne he come unto Cornehylle, thereyn the
VII scyence, and every scyence schewynge hys propyr comyng wondyrly i-wroughte.
And whenne he come to the Condyte of Cornhylle there was a tabernacule, and there yn syttynge a kynge whythe a ryalle aparayle. And on the ryght syde sate the lady of Mercy, ande on the lyfte syde sate the lady of Troughthe, and the lady of Clennysse hem imbrasyng with Reson. And by-fore the kyng stode II jugys of grete worthynys, whythe
VIII sergauntys of lawe ther presente for the comyn profy e representynge of dome and of rightuysnysse, with thys scryptura,
"Honowre of kyngs in every mannys syght
And so the kyng rode forthe an esy passe tylle he come unto the Grete Condyte, ande there was made a ryalle syghte lyke unto Paradys, whythe all maner of frontys of delys. And there were vyrgynnys there, drawyng waterys and wynys of joye, and of plesaunce and comforte, the whyche ranne to every mannys comforte and helthe. Thes maydyns were namyd: Mercy, Grace, and Pytte. And in this Paradys stode II o!de men lyke hevynly folke, the whyche were Ennocke and Ely, saluynge the kynge whythe wordys of grace and vertu.
And soo rode he forthe unto the Crosse in Cheppe. There stode a ryallc castelle of jasper grene, and there yn ii grene treys stondyng uppe ryght, shewing the ryght tytyllys of the Kyng of Inglond and of Fraunce, convaying fro Synt Edwarde and Synt Lowys be kyngys unto the tyme of Kyng Harry Vlth, every kynge stondynge whythehys cote armowre, sum Iyberdys and sum flourdelysse; and on that othyr syde was made the Jesse of owre Lorde ascendyng uppewarde from Davyd unto Jesu. And so rode he forthe unto the Lytylle Condytc. And there was a ryalle mageste of the Trynyte, mile of angelys syngyng hevynly songys, blessynge ande halowynge the kyngys whythe thes resonys in Latyn wrytyn: '* Angelis suis mandavit de te ut custodiant te, &c. Longitudinem dierum replebo in eum et ostendam illi salutare meum." And thenne went he forthe unto Poulys, and there he was ressayvyd whythe many byschoppys and prelatys whythe the dene and the quere, and whythe devoute songe, as hyt longythe to a kynge. Ande so he offerryd there and thankyd God of hys goode speede and of hys welfare. And thenne he rode to Westemyster, and there he rested hym; and on the nexte day folowynge the Mayre and the Aldyrmen whythe certayne comeners that were worthy men, and they presentyde the kynge whythe an hampyr of sylvyr and gylte, whythe a Ml1' (£1000) there yn of nobellys, Sec'
In 1441 the Mayor, Clopton, again a Draper, and members of the Livery Companies were present at a very different spectacle. When the unfortunate Eleanor Cobham, the wife of Humphrey Duke of Gloucester, had to make her three days' walk of penance for her supposed treacherous designs against the King Henry VI and his Queen, they showed their sympathy by attending her.1
With the year 144a the earliest Wardens'Accounts come to an end, and no private records of the Fellowship have survived till we come to the accounts of 147s. Nothing, however, of importance to the Fellowship or to the City appears to have happened until the outbreak or the Wars of the Roses in 14.ss, except the inauguration of the custom that the Mayor should go by water to Westminster on his election procession. This is attributed to John Norman, the Draper who was Mayor in 14^3. It is said that the reason for this change was that the worthy Draper was lame. But the practice was confirmed by an order of the Common Council in the same year, and was henceforth followed by the Mayors in going to Westminster, although later
1 Nicolas, Chron. of London, p. 119.
Edward IV, the City,and the Gilds.
Mayors at least returned by land, and, as the State Barges of the Gilds contributed to the future magnificence of the Mayors' election processions and gave good employment to the watermen, the memory of Norman was recorded in a doggerel rhyme.1
It does not, however, appear that the procession of 14.sl was peculiarly magnificent. Nor had the City much cause for rejoicing. In the previous July the unfortunate King Henry VI had lost his reason, and, if there was at the moment a brief reconciliation between the rival parties of Somerset and York, they were to appeal to arms before two years were out.
Of the attitude of the Drapers during the Wars of the Roses we know hardly anything. Tneir accounts stop in 1441, and we have no authority till 1+l$. But in all probability they followed the temporizing policy of the City. Until 1460 it adhered to Henry VI, but then wavered in its allegiance. 'Then come tydyngs of the comyng of the Erie of Marche (Ed. IV) unto London; thenn alle the cytte were fayne, and thonkyd God and sayde that " He that had London forsake wold no more to them take ", and sayde " Lette us walke in a new wyne yerde and lette us make us a gay garden in the monythe of Marche with this fayre white rose and herbe, the Erie of Marche ".''
Edward IV depended on the commercial classes. He is said to have obtained the loans and other financial assistance he received from the burgesses by the kisses he bestowed upon their wives, and his alliance3 with Charles the Bold, the powerful Duke of Burgundy, was popular owing to the trade with the Netherlands, which formed part of the Duke's dominions. His reign
1 Strype, Stow, ed. 17*f, ii. in. John Norman 'caused a barge to be made at his own Charge, and every Company had several Barges, well decked and trimmed, to pass along with him. For Joy whereof, the Watermen made a Song in his Praise, beginning "Row thy Boat, Norman, &c."' This was not, however, the first time that the Gilds used barges. The Drapers went in a barge to the funeral of Henry V. They hired a farge for the Sheriffs procession as early as 1415. Nor again had the Drapers a barge of their own till the sixteenth century. Cf. Letter Book E, p. xii, Rep. 405, fos. 13 a, 47 a.
2 Gregory, Chronicle, ed. Gairdner, p. i1f.
3 Charles the Bold married his sister Margaret.
is marked by Charters to ten other Gilds 1 besides that of the Drapers. He also confirmed Henry IV's grants to the City of the tolls of Billingsgate and Smithfield and the weighing of the wool at the Tron, as well as the right to hold a yearly Fair and a Court of Pie Powder in the vill of Southwark," which had originally been granted to London by Edward III.3 Finally, by his protective policy he nursed the manufacture of cloth, as well as of other articles, and he favoured the Gilds, whose whole history is based on the exclusion of the foreigner.4
1 They were:
The Tallow Chandlers ) , The Musicians 1471
The Barbers J * The Parish Clerks H7f
The Ironmongers 1463 The Carpenters 1477
The Pewterers 1468 The Fullers 1480
The Dyers 1471 The Cooks 1481
3 Sharpe, i. 308. The Borough of Southwark consisted of three Manors: the Gildable Manor or Vill, the King's Manor, and the Great Liberty Manor. It was the first of these that had been granted by Edward III. It was not till 1550 that all the royal franchises were sold to the City, and that it became one of the Wards, under the name of the Ward of Bridge Without. Sharpe, London, i. 441; Beaven, Aldermen, II. xv.
3 Sharpe, London, i. 308. This was in return for a loan.
The King's Beam, Tron, or Balance was used for weighing all heavy articles of merchandise sold by weight in the City, for the purpose of estimating the does. Whereas by ancient custom the buyer had been allowed a 'draft' or bonus on his purchase, in 1157 this bonus was fixed at 4 lb. in each cwt. Edward I in the Statute de Nova Custuma gave offence to the citizens by further changing the method of weighing goods at the King's Beam. In 1309 the bonus was abolished, and fairness al1ke for buyer and seller was ordained. Besides the King-s or Great Beam there was in the City a small Beam for weighing silks, drugs, and groceries.
S1nce the reign of Henry IV the City enjoyed the privilege of farming out the Beams. But the Grocers soon secured the right of electing the weigher of the Great Beam and the Mercers that of the Small Beam. Cf. Liber Albus, ed. Riley, p. 199; Letter Book B, Introduction, p. v; C, Introduction, p. xv; D, Introduction, p. xvi, and fos. 97, 118-97; F, xxxiii, Arnold's Chron., ed. 1811, p. 100.
* The policy was not entirely new, but it became more systematized under Edward IV. 3 Ed. IV, c. 1, limited the export of wool to denizens; 3 Ed. IV, c. 4, and 4 Ed. IV, c. 7, prohibited the importation of a long list of foreign manufactures including cloth; 7 Ed. IV, c. 3, forbad the exportation of cloth not finished and fulled. The policy was continued by Henry VII and Henry VIII; e.g. 3 Hen. VII, c. 11, No cloth to be taken out of the country till it be 'barbed, rowed and shorn '. Cf. Rastall, Stats. Draperie.