Friday, July 27, 2018

Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury Raid: Aldermen Interviews July 29, 1303


Summary: One alderman each from London's 24 city wards told the king's justices about 33 Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury raid burglars and beneficiaries.


Guildhall's Court of Aldermen; Walter Thornbury's Old and New London, vol. I: Public Domain via Internet Archive

One alderman each from London's 24 city wards appeared July 29, 1303, before the king's appointed justices at the Guildhall to attest to the Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury raid burglars and beneficiaries.
The 24 aldermen's testimonies bore upon six questions brought up by King Edward I's (June 17, 1239-July 7, 1307) letter June 6, 1303, to his appointees. Edward considered crucial to "a hasty remedy" clarifying Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury raid "malefactors"; knowers; assistants, counselors and helpers; recipients; carryout method and itemization; and whereabouts. The king's appointed investigator distilled the six questions June 16, 1303, into a proclamation directed at discoverers, knowers, purchasers, recipients and sellers of stolen royal treasures.
The four justices entered each London meeting place with clerks, coroners, criers, guards, mayor, servants and sheriffs for encounters with each ward's 12- to 24-member jury.

Firefighting, law-enforcing Londoners, citizens by apprenticeship to seven-plus-year functioning tradesmen, inheritance of a trade or purchase from aldermen, the London Chamberlain and Mayor, filled ward juries.
Justices John Bakewell, Ralph de Sandwich, Roger de Southcote and Walter of Gloucester gathered at the Bishop of London's Palace near St. Paul's July 3, 1303. They heard Bishopsgate, Bread Street, Cordwainstreet, Cripplegate, Farringdon Ward and Queenshithe, and July 4, Alegate, Billingsgate, Bridge Ward, Candlewick Street, Castle Baynard, Cornhill and Walbrook, juries. They interviewed July 4, 5 and 6 goldsmiths at the Guildhall, Middlesex shire juries at Westminster's Great Hall and Suffolk juries and Surrey hundreds at Southwark.
Only Bishopsgate Ward jeopardized the proceedings with their judging that "The jurors say that they know nothing about the 'articles' under which they are being questioned."

Like jurors, aldermen knew Westminster Abbey sacristan Adam de Warfield, subprior Alexander de Pershore and treasurer Thomas de Dene as "ordainers and contrivers in the burglary." They learned that mason John of St. Albans, his servant John and Richard de Puddlicott "broke into the Treasury" and "carried away the Treasure and jewels." They mentioned that cellarer Roger de Prestok and monks Robert de Cherring, John de Noteley, John de Prescot and Thomas de Lichfield "were aiders and abetters." They likewise noted that St. Arnold's valet Walter, Keeper of the Palace John Shenche's valet William and Warfield's pages Adam and Roger "were aiders and abetters."
Puddlicott, who respectively offered William Torel and Walter de Walpole two and three gold rings, obtained £2,200 in coronels, gold girdles and silver cups and dishes.

Puddlicott provided girdler Geoffrey de Bradley with 14 pounds 15 shillings in silver-plate and goldsmith John de Bridgeford with 70 shillings in gold and oriental pearls.
John of Newmarket queued up three gems and 6 shillings in gold and, for Imania la/La Porteresse, 20 shillings in gems for Nicholas de Saint Botulpho. Imania reaped 42 shillings from gems to goldsmith Thomas Frowick who revealed four emeralds and five rubies from John of Newmarket at the Guildhall July 4. John de Uggele, John and William de Kynebaston and Alice and Castanea Barber spent May 3-5, 1303, near Fleet Prison days and nights, armed, in Westminster.
Twenty-four aldermen told the king's justices July 29, 1303, that the Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury raid took three ideators, three burglars, nine abetters and 12 accomplices.

Westminster Hall; Rudolph Ackermann's The Microcosm of London (1904): Public Domain via Internet Archive

Acknowledgment
My special thanks to talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the internet.

Image credits:
Of London's 24 aldermen wards, only one (Bishopsgate) had no information to give justices appointed by Edward I to investigate the 1303 Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury raid; illustration of Guildhall's Court of Aldermen, Walter Thornbury's Old and New London, vol. I, page 390: Public Domain via Internet Archive @ https://archive.org/stream/oldnewlondonnarr01thor_0#page/390/mode/1up
Four justices appointed by Edward I to investigate the 1303 Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury raid interviewed Middlesex shire juries July 5 at Westminster Hall, Palace of Westminster; illustration of Westminster Hall by Augustus Pugin (March 1, 1812- Sept. 14, 1852) and Thomas Rowlandson (July 14, 1756-April 22, 1827), Rudolph Ackermann's The Microcosm of London (1904), vol. III, opposite page 235: Public Domain via Internet Archive @ https://archive.org/stream/microcosmoflondo03pyneuoft#page/292/mode/1up

For further information:
Ackermann, Rudolph. 1904. The Microcosm of London or London in Miniature. Volume III. London, England: Methuen & Co.
Available @ https://archive.org/details/microcosmoflondo03pyneuoft
Doherty, Paul. 2005. The Great Crown Jewels Robbery of 1303. New York NY: Carroll & Graf Publisher.
Keay, Anna. 2011. The Crown Jewels. London UK: Thames & Hudson Ltd.
Marriner, Derdriu. 20 April 2018. "Richard Puddlicott and the Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury Raid, 1303." Earth and Space News. Friday.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2018/04/richard-puddlicott-and-westminster.html
Marriner, Derdriu. 4 May 2018. "Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury Raid in April and May 1303 in England." Earth and Space News. Friday.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2018/05/westminster-abbey-royal-treasury-raid.html
Marriner, Derdriu. 11 May 2018. "Mysteries of the April-May 1303 Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury Raid." Earth and Space News. Friday.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2018/05/mysteries-of-april-may-1303-westminster.html
Marriner, Derdriu. 1 June 2018. "King Edward I's Letter on the Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury Raid." Earth and Space News. Friday.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2018/06/king-edward-is-letter-on-westminster.html
Marriner, Derdriu. 8 June 2018. "Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury Raid: Royal Proclamation June 16, 1303." Earth and Space News. Friday.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2018/06/westminster-abbey-royal-treasury-raid_8.html
Marriner, Derdriu. 15 June 2018. "Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury Raid: Palmer Confession June 17, 1303." Earth and Space News. Friday.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2018/06/westminster-abbey-royal-treasury-raid.html
Marriner, Derdriu. 22 June 2018. "Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury Raid: Arrests June 18-19, 1303." Earth and Space News. Friday.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2018/06/westminster-abbey-royal-treasury-raid_22.html
Marriner, Derdriu. 29 June 2018. "Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury Raid: Indenture June 22, 1303." Earth and Space News. Friday.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2018/06/westminster-abbey-royal-treasury-raid_29.html
Marriner, Derdriu. 6 July 2018. "Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury Raid: Palmer Confession July 6, 2013." Earth and Space News. Friday.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2018/07/westminster-abbey-royal-treasury-raid.html
Marriner, Derdriu. 13 July 2018. "Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury Raid: Goldsmiths Talk July 4, 1303." Earth and Space News. Friday.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2018/07/westminster-abbey-royal-treasury-raid_13.html
Thornbury, Walter. "Chapter XXXIII: Guildhall." Old and New London: A Narrative of Its History, Its People, and Its Places. Vol. I: 383-395. London, England; Paris, France; New York NY: Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.
Available via Internet Archive @ https://archive.org/details/oldnewlondonnarr01thor_0


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