Regulations as to wages and prices in the City.
24 Edward III. AD. 1350. Letter-Book F. fol. clxxxi (Norman French.)

To amend and redress the damages and grievances which the good folks of the City, rich and poor, have suffered and received within the past year, by reason of masons, carpenters, plasterers, tilers, and all manner of labourers, who take immeasurably more than they have been wont to take, by assent of Walter Turk, Mayor, the Aldermen, and all the Commonalty of the City, the points under-written are ordained, to be held and firmly observed forever; that is to say.—

In the first place,—that the masons, between the Feasts of Easter and St. Michael [29 September], shall take no more by the working-day than 6 d., without victuals or drink; and from the Feast of St. Michael to Easter, for the working-day, 5 d.  And upon Feast-days, when they do not work, they shall take nothing. And for the making or mending of their implements they shall take nothing.

Also,—that the carpenters shall take, for the same time, in the same manner.

Also,—that the plasterers shall take the same as the masons and carpenters take.

Also,—that the tilers shall take for the working-day, from the Feast of Easter to St. Michael 5 1/2 d., and from the Feast of St. Michael to Easter 4 1/2 d.

Also,—that the labourers shall take in the first half year 3 1/2 d., and in the other half 3 d.

Also,—that the master daubers shall take between the Feasts of Easter and St. Michael 5 d.. and in the other half year 4 d.; and their labourers are to take the same as the labourers of the tilers.

Also,—that the sawiers shall take in the same manner as the masons and carpenters take.

Also,—that no one shall pay more to the workmen aforesaid, on pain of paying 40 s. to the Commonalty, without any release therefrom; and he who shall take more than the above, shall go to prison for forty days.

Also,—that the thousand of tiles shall be sold for 5 s., at the very highest.

Also,—that the hundred of lime shall be sold at 5 s., at the very highest.

Also,—that a cart with sand, and with clay, that comes from Algate as far as the Conduit, shall take 3 d. for its hire; and if the cart shall pass the Conduit, let it take 3 1/2 d. And in the same manner, let the carts from Crepulgate to Chepe take 3d.; and if they pass that place, 3 1/2 d. And if the cart with sand, or with clay, shall not enter the City, but only bring it to serve folks who live in the suburbs without the Gates, let it take 2 d.: and let the carts be of the capacity of one quarter, well heaped up, as they used to be.

Also,—that the carters, called 'waterleders,' shall take for the cart, from Douuegate to Chepe, 1 1/2 d.; and from Castle Baynard to Chepe, in the same manner; and if they pass beyond Chepe, they are to take one penny [more] ; and if they do not come so far as Chepe, 1 1/4 d.

Also, —that carts which bring wares coming from beyond sea shall rake, from Wollewarfe to Chepe, 4 d.

Also,—that the cart which brings firewood, [for] talwode, shall take for the hundred, at Crepulgate 6 d., and for the hundred of fagates 4 d.

Also,—that the tailors shall take for making a gown, garnished with say and with sandel, 18 d.

Also,—for a man’s gown, garnished with linen thread and with bokeram, 14 d.

Also,—for a cote and hood, 10 d.

Also,—for a long gown for a woman, garnished with say or with sendal, 2 s. 6 d.

Also,—for a pair of sleeves, to change, 4 d.

Also,—that the porters of the City shall not take more for their labour than they used to take in olden time, on pain of imprisonment.

Also,—that no vintner shall be so daring as to sell the gallon of wine of Vernage for more than 2 s., and wine of Crete, wine of the River, Piement, and Clare, and Malveisin, at 16 d.

Also,—that one person of every company may see that the vessel into which their wine is drawn is clean, and from what tun their wine is drawn; on pain of imprisonment, and of paying to the Chamber, for the first time, half a mark; for the second time, one mark; for the third time, 20 s.; and every other time that a person shall be found in like default, let his fine be increased by half a mark.

Also,—that the measures shall be standing upright, and sealed with the seal of the Alderman of the Ward; and he who shall sell by other measures, let him go to prison, and further, be amerced in half a mark.

Also,—that the pelterers shall make their furs according to the ancient ordinances, of olden time ordained, and according to the purport of their Charter; on pain of forfeiture and punishment for the same, as of old ordained.

Also,—that no one shall go to meet those who are bringing victuals or other wares by land or by water to the City for sale, for the purpose of buying them or bargaining for them, before that they shall have come to certain places assigned thereto, where they ought to be sold; on pain of forfeiture of the victuals and other wares, and of their bodies being committed to prison, until they have been sufficiently punished, at the discretion of the Mayor and Aldermen.

Also,—that the wheat and barley which come towards the City by land or by water, for sale, shall come wholly into the Markets, and shall there be sold to all folks by the hands of those who bring the same, for the support and sustenance of their households, and to the bakers for serving the people. And that no hosteler shall demand to have any victuals, if they be not solely for the sustenance of his hostel, and that, for his money down, as other folks do.

Also,—that the men of the serjeants who take cartage, shall not take more carts or more horses, than there is need, and then of the traventers, and from such horses as are let on hire; and not those of poor folks who bring victuals and other wares to the City, while they spare the carts and horses that are on hire.

Also,—that the hostelers of the City shall be good folks, proper, and sufficient, as regards serving their guests well and lawfully; that so every one who is lodged [with them] may be sure both as to body and to chattels.

Also,—if any man or woman shall be dwelling in any Ward, who is notoriously known or convicted of being of bad repute, let the Alderman of the Ward be warned forthwith to remove the same.

Also,—that a pair of shoes of cordwan shall be sold for 6 d., and a pair of shoes of cow-leather for 6 d., and a pair of boots of cordwan and of cow-leather for 3 s. 6 d.

Also,—that a pair of spurs shall be sold for 6 d., and a better pair for 3 d., and the best at 10 d. or 12 d., at the very highest.

Also,—that a pair of gloves of sheepskin shall be sold for one penny, and better pair at  1 1/2 d. and 2 d., so going on to the very highest.

Also,—that the shearmen shall not take more than they were wont to take; that is to say, for a short cloth 12 d., and for a long cloth 2 s.; and for a cloth of rayed say, for getting rid of the rays, and shearing the same, 2 s.

Also,—that the farriers shall not take more than they were wont to take before the time of the pestilence, on pain of imprisonment and heavy ransom; that is to say, for a horse-shoe of six nails 1 1/2 d., and for a horse-shoe of eight nails 2 d.; and for taking off a horse-shoe of six nails or of eight, one halfpenny; and for the shoe of a courser 2 1/2 d., and the shoe of a charger 3 d.; and for taking off the shoe of a courser or charger, one penny.

Also,—if any workman or labourer will not work or labour as is above ordained, let him be taken and kept in prison until he shall have found good surety, and have been sworn to do that which is so ordained. And if any one shall absent himself, or go out of the City, because he does not wish to work and labour, as is before mentioned, and afterwards by chance be found within the City, let him have imprisonment for a quarter of a year, and forfeit his chattels which he has in the City, and then let him find surety, and make oath, as is before stated. And if he will not do this, let him forswear the City for ever.

Also,—that the servants in the houses of good folks shall not take more than they were wont to take before the time of the pestilence; on pain of imprisonment and heavy ransom, and of paying to the City double that which they shall have taken in excess. And he who shall pay more than he used to pay before the time, above-mentioned, shall pay to the City treble what he shall have so paid in excess.

Also,—that no cook shall take more for putting a capon or rabbit in a pasty than one penny, on pain of imprisonment.

Also,—that a quart of bren shall be sold according to the value of a pound of wheat.

Also,—that no cordwain or bazen shall be carried out of the City, on pain of forfeiture thereof; and he who can spy out the same, shall have half the thing so forfeited.

Also,—that four good men, or two, of every Ward, shall be chosen to keep all these points; and if victuals or other wares coming towards the City by land or by water shall be sold in any other manner than is before mentioned, let the same be forfeited by award of the Mayor [and] Aldermen; and let one part thereof be delivered to the Chamberlain, to the use of the Commonalty, and a second part to the Sheriffs, if they or their officers are ready in aid of the wardens in seizing the said things; and the wardens shall have the third part for their trouble ; saving always to the Sheriffs what shall appertain to their ferm, according to the purport of the Charters of the liberties of the City. And he who shall contravene any article above written, where no punishment has been before ordained thereon, shall pay to the Commonalty 40 shillings. And it shall be fully lawful for the Mayor, Aldermen, and good folks of the Wards sworn, or others in their places, if any of them have been taken by God unto himself, to increase or diminish, or make amendment in, the Articles aforesaid, for the common profit, according as the times shall shape themselves.