they have livery and wages to the double or treble of that they were wont to

They have livery and wages to the double or treble of

This preview shows page 35 - 38 out of 45 pages.

they have livery and wages to the double or treble of that they were wont to take the said twentieth year, and before, to the great damage of the great men, and impoverishing of all the said commonalty, whereof the said 35
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commonalty prayeth remedy: wherefore in the said parliament, by the assent of the said prelates, earls, barons, and other great men, and of the same commonalty there assembled, to refrain the malice of the said servants, be ordained and established the things underwritten .... Item, that the said stewards, bailiffs, and constables of the said towns, be sworn before the same justices, to inquire diligently by all the good ways they may, of all them that come against this ordinance .... and that the same justices, at every time that they come [into the country], shall inquire of the said stewards, bailiffs, and constables, if they have made a good and lawful certificate, or any conceal for gift, procurement, or affinity, and punish them by fine and ransom, if they be found guilty: and that the same justices have power to inquire and make due punishment of the said ministers, laborers, workmen, and other servants; and also of hostelers, harbergers [innkeepers], and of those that sell [food], or other things here not specified .... And in case that none will sue, to have again such excess, then it shall be levied of the said servants, laborers, workmen, and artificers, and delivered to the collectors of the Quinzime [a tax of fifteen per cent], in alleviation of the towns where such excesses were taken. 32 What are the concerns of Edward and his Parliament? What effect does he hope this statute will have? It was a short step from peasants refusing to perform their accustomed duties, seeking better terms of employment, or paying taxes to outright rebellion. Such revolts occurred throughout Europe in the four decades after the plague struck. The chronicler Jean Froissart described one jacquerie – a peasant revolt based on the ‘common man’s name of Jacques Bonhomme -- in northeastern France in 1358: Source 19. For certain people of the common villages, without any head or ruler, assembled together .... In the beginning they passed not a hundred in number: they said how the noblemen of the realm of France, knights and squires, shamed the realm, and that it should be a great wealth to destroy them all; and each of them said it was true, and said all with one voice: "Shame have he that doth not his power to destroy all the gentlemen of the realm!" 36
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Thus they gathered together without any other counsel, and without any armour saving with staves and knives, and so went to the house of a knight dwelling thereby, and brake up his house and slew the knight and the lady and all his children great and small and [burned] his house. And they then went to another castle, and took the knight thereof and bound him fast to a stake, and then violated his wife and his daughter before his face and then slew the lady and his daughter and all his other children, and then slew the knight by great torment and burnt and beat down the castle. And so they did to divers other castles and good houses; and they
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