Tricks of the trades (City of London letter-book, 1327)

Another in the occasional series on contemporary accounts of events in the history of London, this one from the City of London letter-book of 1327 …

“A congregation of alderman and … sheriffs of London [was] holden at the Guildhall  …

John Brid, baker, was attached to make answer as to certain falsehood, malice and deceit, by him committed, to the nuisance of the common people; as to which … the same John, for … obtaining his own private advantage, did skilfully and artfully cause a certain hole to be made in a table of his, … [a]nd when his neighbours and others, who were wont to bake their bread at his oven, came with their dough …, the said John used to put such … over the hole before-mentioned  … ; and … piecemeal and bit by bit craftily [withdraw] some …

And the same John, … being asked how he will acquit himself of the fraud, malice and deceit aforesaid, personally in court says … he is in no way guilty …

And after counsel … had been held … as to passing judgment  … it was … ordained, that … [John] … should be put upon the pillory, with … dough hung from [his neck]; … and … so remain upon the pillory until vespers at St Paul’s … be ended”.

Medieval whipping-post and stocks, St Leonard Shoreditch

Medieval whipping-post and stocks, St Leonard Shoreditch

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