Turners in London, 1310

Among the medieval documents preserved at the Guildhall in London is a quarto volume from the time of Edward II called the Liber Memorandum. From this the editor of several of the longer works kept at the Guildhall extracted the following piece, published in Appendix I (page 432) of:

Henry Thomas Riley, editor.
Munimenta Gildhallæ Londoniensis; Liber Albus, Liber Custumarum et Liber Horn. Volume 3.
Rerum Brittannicarum Medii Ævi Scriptores, or Chronicles and Memorials of Great Britain and Ireland during the Middle Ages.
London: Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts, 1862.


[De Turnariis Londoniarum]

Henricus le Tornour, manens in Wodestrate; Riceardus le Tornour; Johannes le Tornour, in venella Sancti Swithini de Candelwike; Robertus le Tornour, manens apud Flete; Willelmus le Tornour extra Portam de Bisshopesgate; Ricardus le Corveiser, Tornour, manens in Wodestrate :-

Omnes præscripti fuerunt jurati die Sabbati proxima ante Festum Sancti Thomæ Apostoli, anno regni Regis Edwardi, filii Regis Edwardi, quarto, coram Majore et Aldermannis, quod de cætero non faciant aliquas mensuras nisi galones, potellos, et quartas, et quod nullas facient falsas mensuras, prout mensuræ quæ vocantur ‘schopinas’ et ‘gilles,’ nec ad modum pixidum aut ciphorum, seu alio quovis modo; et quod omnes hujusmodi falsæ mensuræ cujusunque generis existant, et ubicumque inveniri contigerint, in manus turnariorum seu in alio quocunque loco, tam in manus forinsecorum quam intrinsecorum, attachiabunt, et ad Gihaldam coram Majore facient et præsentabunt, sub pœna gravis misericordiæ.

The following clumsy translation is provided as a placeholder until we hear from experts.

Henry the turner, residing in Wood Street; Richard the turner; John the turner, in Saint Swithins Lane of Candelwike [Street, now Cannon Street]; Robert the turner, residing near Fleet; William the turner outside the gate of Bishopsgate; Richard le Corveiser, turner, residing in Wood Street:

All pledged, being under oath on the Saturday before the feast of Saint Thomas the Apostle, in the fourth year of the reign of King Edward, son of King Edward, [21 December 1310?] in the presence of the Mayor and Aldermen, that hereafter they would not make any measures, except gallons, pottles and quarts, and none would ever make false measures, such as the measures which are called “chopines” and “gills,” nor in the shape of pyx or cipha*, or in any other fashion, and that all such false measures, whenever and wherever come upon, in the turner’s workshop or any other place, whether the work of foreigners or natives, shall be seized, and produced and presented at the Guildhall before the mayor, under penalty of a heavy fine.

*cipha: "a measure containing five quarters." See page 381 of Riley, cited above, for references to DuCange, etc.

The Turner’s Guild continues in existence, and has its own website. Their history page takes note of this memorandum: www.turnersco.com/history1.htm

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