Laurence Tilbury

Glover, Master of the Mistery
London in the reign of King Richard II

From "Calendar of letter-books of the City of London: H: 1375-1399"
(published 1907)
Available at the Centre for Metropolitan History
& British History Online

Masters of Misteries sworn

Folios cxi-cxx: May 1379- (pages 127-47)

"Glovers: John Salesbury, Henry Moncslowe, and Laurence Tilbury sworn Masters of the mistery, 11 Nov., the same year." [1379]
Folios cxxxi-cxl: March 1380-1 (pages 161-79): Folio cxxxvi/b.

"Glovers: Laurence Tilbury, John Gofaire, and John Goldesburgh, sworn 5 May, 5 Richard II. [A.D. 1382]."
Folios ccliii-cclx: Aug 1390- (pages 354-66)

"Glovers: John Goldesburgh, Laurence Tilbury, Reginald Deyneman, Richard Parys, similarly sworn. [No date.]"

Late 14thC, civil, military dress, from "History of British Costume" by James Robinson Planche, 1847
1327-1377 Edward III, 1377-1399 Richard II (Plantagenet)
1399-1413 Henry IV (Lancaster)

London, late 14thC, early 15thC

Black's Guide to London and Its Environs, by Adam and Charles Black, 1863
(chiefly extracted from contemporary writers)

The Tower of London

"Richard II took refuge here with his court and nobles to the number of 600 persons at the time of Wat Tyler's insurrection. In 1399 whilst being imprisoned here he was deposed."

London pageants, 1831 (J. B. Nichols & Son)

V. King Richard The Second, 1377

by Walsingham; pages 10-11

"In the days of Richard the Second, the main business of the day took place after dinner. On the feast of St. Swithin, being Wednesday the 15th of July, after dinner, the Mayor and citizens assembled near the Tower, when the young King, clad in white garments, came forth with a great multitude in his suite; the Duke of Lancaster officiating as Lord High Steward, and Lord Percy as Earl Marshal. Sir Simon Burley bare the sword before him, and Sir Nicholas Bond, on foot, led the King's horse by the bridle. The city was in every way most richly adorned, and the conduits ran with wine for three hours. In the upper end of the Cheap* was erected a castle with four towers; on two sides of which ran forth wine abundantly. In the towers were placed four beautiful virgins, of stature and age like to the King, apparelled in white vestures; these damsels, on the King's approach, blew in his face leaves of gold, and threw on him and his horse counterfeit golden florins. When he was come before the castle, they took cups of gold, and filling them with wine at the spouts of the castle, presented the same to the King and his nobles. On the top of the castle, betwixt the towers, stood a golden angel, holding a crown in his hands; and so contrived, that, when the King came, he bowed down and offered him the crown.

This was the most striking of several pageants with which the citizens were eager to evince their hopes from the activity of the untried yout of their new monarch, and their joy at anticipated relief from those grievances which had been attributed to the "slothfulness of the aged king deceased, and the covetousness of those who ruled about him.""

"* The Cheap (i.e. the market) continued for many centuries the name of the principal thoroughfare of the metropolis: "Cheapside," originally applied to houses on the side of the Cheap, is, as the name of the whole street, comparatively modern."

VI. King Richard The Second, 1392

by Knighton & Fabian; pages 12-13

"In 1392, on the restoration of the City's privileges, which had been forfeited on account of riots, King Richard came to receive its homage in person. On leaving his manor of Sheen (now Richmond), he was met on the heath by four hundred of the citizens on horseback, clad in one livery, who in the most humble manner, craving pardon for their offences past, besought him, by their Recorder, to take his way to his palace at Westminster through the city of London. The request having been granted, he pursued his journey to Southwark, where, at St. George's church, he was met by a procession of the Bishop of London, and all the religious of every degree and both sexes, and above five hundred boys in surplices. At London bridge a beautiful white steed, and a milk-white palfrey, both saddled, bridles, and caparisoned in floth of gold, were presented to the King and Queen. The citizens received them, standing in their liveries on each side the street, crying, "King Richard, King Richard."

In Cheap a conduit ran with wine, which was handed to the Royal visitants, as on the last occasion, by a little boy apparelled in white like an angel. At the Standard a very sumptous stage was erected, on which were stationed various personages, and an angel that put on the King's head as he passed a rich crown of gold garnished with stones and pearl, and another on the head of the Queen. Shortly after (probably at the goldsmiths' shops, which from other sources we learn were at the western end of Cheapside, near the cathedral*) were presented to the King a golden tablet of the Trinity, of the value of 8000l.; and to the Queen another of St. Anne, whom she held in especial devotion and reverence, because her own name was Anne.

The King then rode to St. Paul's, and made his offering; after which the Mayor and his company accompanied him to Westminster.

On the morrow they went again to the palace, to present the King with two gilt basins and two thousand nobles of gold; and the third day after they received a new confirmation of their liberties; but they did not entirely clear themselves until they had further presented a golden tablet of the story of St. Edward, for the shrine of that royal martyr in Westminster abbey, and a tax of ten thousand pounds."

"* by the foundation charter of the Goldsmiths' Gild, 1 Edw. III. all of the trade were directed to sit in their shops in the High Street of Cheap."

VII. Henry Duke of Lancaster, 1399

from Tyrrell's History of England (MSS in Lambeth Library); page 13

"At the Duke's approach to London, with his captive Monarch, he was received in great pomp by the Mayor, Aldermen, Sheriffs, and all the several Companies in their formalities, with the people incessantly crying, "Long live the good Duke of Lancaster, our deliverer!"

VIII. King Henry The Fourth, 1399

by Froissart; page 13

"On Sunday the thirteenth of October Henry left the Tower after dinner, on his return to Westminster. He was bareheaded, and had round his neck the order of the King of France. The Prince of Wales, six Dukes, six Earls, and eighteen Barons, accompanied him, and there were, of Knights and other nobility, from eight to nine hundred horse. The King was dressed in a jacket of the German fashion, of cloth of gold, mounted on a white courser, with a blue garter on his leg -

"Mounted upon a hot and fiery steed,
Which his aspiring master seem'd to know,
With slow but stately pace kept on his course,
While all tongues cried, 'God save thee, Bollingbroke!'"

The streets of London were handsomely decorated with tapestries and rich hangings. There were seven fountains in Cheapside, and other streets he passed through, which perpetually ran with white and red wines. He was escorted by prodigious numbers of gentlemen, with their servants in liveries and badges; and the different Companies of London were led by their Wardens, clothed in their proper livery, and with banners of their trades. The whole cavalcade amounted to six thousand horse. The King was crowned the same day at Westminster."

A Few Gloves

Fair Rosamond

He said he had his gloves from France;
The Queen said, "That can't be;
If you go there for glove-making,
It is without the 'g' "

In the dispute between the Earl Marshal and the Earl of Derby, which "Richard of Bordeaux" (Richard II) allowed to foment before banishing both from the kingdom, a glove was used in the challenge. Froissart records the Earl Marshal as saying:

"Earl of Derby, I charge you with having thought and spoke disrespectfully against your natural lord the king of England, when you said he was unworthy to hold his crown: that without law or justice, or consulting his council, he disturbed the realm; and that, without any shadow of reason, he banished those valiant men from his kingdom who ought to be its defenders, for all of which I present my glove, and shall prove, my body against yours, that you are a false and wicked traitor."

Froissart continues with the Earl of Derby's reply:

"Earl marshal, I say that thou art a false and wicked traitor, which I will bodily prove on thee, and here is my glove."

The Earl Marshal then took up the glove, thus accepting the challenge.

Leather riding-gloves were found in Richard II's tomb, and an illustration can be seen on page 91 of the book "Medieval Costume and Fashion" by Herbert Norris. There are several illustrations of 14th-15th century gloves and gauntlets; 14thC buttoned almost up to the elbow with elongated pointed cuffs from which hang pendants, others heavily embroidered, or with slits for rings to be seen. This book is online at google books, but viewing is only through logging in (easy to create a - free - account, just needs your e-mail address and a password of your choice).

From "The History of English Poetry" by Thomas Warton, B.D. (edited 1824)

13th Century: footnote

"Gloves were antiently a costly article of dress, and richly decorated. They were sometimes adorned with precious stones."

From "The Record of Providence" edited by John Young, 1832

Stolen Gloves

"In the winter of 1765, a countryman near Sunderland, who was employed in repairing a hedge on the borders of an old stone-quarry, went to eat his dinner, which he had brought with him, in a deep cavity, or hollow place, in the quarry, for the purpose of obtaining shelter from the weather. Before he left his work in order to dine, he laid down his hedging-gloves on one side of his scene of labour. While he was at his repast, he observed a raven come and take up one of the gloves, and fly away with it; and soon after, the bird returned, and seized the other, with which he flew away as before. The Man, upon this, rose up to look after his gloves: but he had hardly left the quarry, before a large quantity of ground, full of loose pieces of rock, came tumbling down, and overspread the very spot on which he had been just sitting, and where, if he had remained a minute longer, he must have been crushed to atoms."

14thC ladies hunting


From "Essays" by Leigh Hunt, 1841

Geoffrey Chaucer

"... was born in London, in the year 1328, apparently of a gentleman's family, and was bred in the court of Edward the Third. He married a sister of Catherine Swynford, mistress, and afterwards wife, to the King's son, John of Gaunt; and was employed in court offices, and in a mission to Italy, where he is supposed to have had an interview with Petrarch. In the subsequent reign he fell into trouble owing to his connexion with John of Gaunt's party and the religious reformers of those days; upon which he fled to the Continent, but returned; and, after an imprisonment of three years, was set at liberty, on condition of giving up the designs of his associates; - a blot on the memory of this great poet, and apparently, otherwise amiable and excellent man, which he has excused as well as he could, by alleging that they treated him ill, and would have plundered and starved him. He died in the year 1400, and was buried in Westminster Abbey, close to which he had had a house on the site where Henry the Seventh's chapel now stands: so that the reader, in going along the pavement there is walking where Chaucer once lived."

"The Streets of London", by John Thomas Smith, Charles Mackay, 1861

John of Gaunt

"The Palace of the Savoy ... formerly one of the most magnificent buildings upon the banks of the Thames ... obtained its name from Peter de Savoy, uncle of Eleanor, Queen of Henry III. [Peter] was created Earl of Savoy and Richmond, and had a grant of this piece of ground between the Strand and the Thames. It appears ... there were houses standing upon it ... "In 30 Henry II. the King granted to Peter de Savoy the inheritance of those houses in the street called the Strand, in the suburbs of London, and adjoining to the river of Thames ..."

... it descended to ... the famous John of Gaunt, who lived here in almost royal state, and where ... Geoffrey Chaucer was his frequent guest.

The Savoy Palace before the riot and fire

Here, under the protection of the Duke and his amiable Duchess Blanche, Chaucer passed the happiest hours of his life, and here also he found a wife in the person of Philippa, a lady of the Duchess's household, and sister to the Lady Catharine Swynford. Some of his happiest poems were composed in the Savoy, and were on the subject of its inmates; among which must be especially noticed the one entitled 'Chaucer's Dream', which is an allegorical history of the loves of John of Gaunt and Blanche of Lancaster, and of his own marriage with the Lady Philippa. Whether the poet were married in the Savoy, or in the neighbouring church, does not appear.

Late 14thC, gentle & serving ladies, from "History of British Costume" by James Robinson Planche, 1847

During John of Gaunt's occupancy, the Savoy was twice pillaged by a mob. The first occasion was in the year 1376, when the Duke had made himself unpopular by his bold speech to the Bishop of London in St. Paul's Church at the citation of Wickliffe ..."

[The second resulted in the destruction of house and contents - the latter thrown into the Thames or burned, and the former destroyed when barrels of gunpowder were thrown into the fire, causing an explosion which also destroyed surrounding houses.]

1711 Engraving of the ruins of the Savoy Palace in London
(fonts: Technical, Times New Roman)