John Petit of Cornwall (record texts)

From International Robin Hood Bibliography
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By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2020-07-22. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2020-08-12.

At least 11 government records from the mid-1330s to the late 50s refer to a John Petit (Petyt or similar) who was a sheriff of Cornwall and was often employed for various official tasks. It seems unlikely that he has anything to do with Robin Hood's sidekick, but he is certainly among the more prominent John Littles of the 14th century. He was in prison for debt in 1339.

Relevant records

The following 11 records are relevant:

1336 - John Petit of Cornwall

[16 Oct. 1336:]

Appointment of William de Ros of Hainelak, Ralph de Bulmere, Henry Auckland. Vavasour,' John de Eland, Robert de Scorburgh and William Scot, pursuant to a request to the king by the magnates and commonalty of the realm in the last great council at Nottingham to appoint persons in every [p. 368:] county of the realm to arrest suspected persons under the ordinance of the last Parliament at Westminster, to arrest such in the county of York; and to hear and determine the felonies whereof they shall be indicted.
By K. & C.
[... p. 371:...]

Thomas de Monte Hermerii
Ralph de Bloyowe
John de Arundell
John Petit
John Billoun
Silvester de Trefruthken

 

 ⎞

  ⎬

 ⎠



in the county of Cornwall, the said John Hilloun and Silvester to be one.[1]

1337 - John Petit of Cornwall

[17 Mar. 1337:]
The like [sc. commission of oyer and terminer] to Ralph Bloiou, John Petit and John Billoun, in the county of Cornwall, on petition before the king and council by Mounfrere de Sivill in Spain, master of a ship called la Seint Johan, setting forth that as he was bringing his ship laden with 92 tuns of wine of La Rochelle belonging to divers merchants, and other goods of him and his mariners, from Spain to Courtrey, some men from Cornwall and other parts of the realm boarded it near the port of St. Ives, carried it and the cargo away and used these at their will. By pet. of C.[2]

1339 - John Petit of Cornwall (1)

[10 June 1339:]
To the sheriff of Cornwall. Order to deliver to Bartholomew de Barde, Peter Byne and their fellows, merchants of the society of the Bardi, or to their attorneys all the money of the issues of the stampage of tin and the issues of the county, in accordance with the king's grant to them of those issues until they should be satisfied for 7,200l. which they paid at the king's request to Queen Isabella; and James Hamelyn, sometime sheriff of the county, paid 1,631l. 10s. 4d., and John Petit afterwards sheriff there paid 2,160l. 5s. 8d. of those issues by virtue of the king's order, as is found by their certificate sent into chancery, and the king wishes to satisfy the merchants for the residue. By C.[3]

1339 - John Petit of Cornwall (2)

[26 July 1339:]
To the keeper of the Flete prison, or to him who supplies his place. Order to deliver the person of John Petit, sometime sheriff of Cornwall and the king's steward there, to Nicholas de la Beche, constable of the Tower of London, or to him who supplies his place, without delay, to be detained in the Tower until he has satisfied the king, as John was judged to the Flete prison because he was bound to the king in divers sums for the arrears of his account, and because he did not answer to the king for the wool collected by him in that county and for the money of the tenth and fifteenth received by him there; and the king has learned that John does not care to satisfy the king because he is not so strictly guarded in the prison as is fitting, and the king wishes him to be detained in stricter custody because he needs money speedily for his affairs in parts beyond the sea. The king has ordered the constable and him who supplies his place to receive John and keep him as aforesaid. By the keeper and C.[4]

1339 - John Petit of Cornwall (3)

[31 July 1339:]
The like [sc. order] to the sheriff of Cornwall for John Petit and Oliver de Carmino, collectors in that county, to pay 440l. to the same merchants [sc. the merchants of the society of the Bardi].[5]

1339 - John Petit of Cornwall (4)

[28 Oct. 1339:]
John Petit, knight of co. Cornwall and Reginald Botreux, knight, William Daungerous, Robert Carnadoun, John de Walesby, John de Rosworgan, Henry Trewynard and John Lanergh of the same county, acknowledge that they owe to William de Monte Acuto, earl of Salisbury and marshal of England, 1,600l.; to be levied, in default of payment, of their lands and chattels in the said county.[6]

1339 - John Petyt of Cornwall (1)

[16 June 1339:]
To John Petyt, late sheriff of Cornwall. Order to pay to John de Pytte, the king's clerk, appointed to control the sum of wool collected in co. Cornwall and the cost of the packing and carrying thereof, 4l. for his wages for 40 days spent in that service at 2s. a day; as the king ordered the [p. 148:] sheriff of Cornwall to pay him such wages, and because the said clerk could not obtain those wages from the sheriff, he surrendered the writ to chancery to be cancelled, beseeching the king to order such wages to be paid to him.[7]

1339 - John Petyt of Cornwall (2)

[3 Nov. 1339:]
John Petyt, knight, of co. Cornwall, John Whalisby, John de Rosworgan and William Daungerous acknowledge that they owe to Philip de Bardes, Peter Byne and Nicholas Marny and their fellows, merchants of the society of the Bardi, 500 marks; to be levied, in default of payment, of their lands and chattels in co. Cornwall.
Cancelled on payment, acknowledged by Nicholas Marny.[8]

1339 - John Petyt of Cornwall (3)

[3 Nov. 1339:]
John Petyt, knight of co. Cornwall, John [Whalisby], John [de Rosworgan] and William [Daungerous] acknowledge that they owe to the same merchants and to Bonefacio de Peruch[iis] and John Baroncelli and their fellows, merchants of the society of the Peruzzi, 200l.; to be levied etc. in co. Cornwall.
Cancelled on payment, acknowledged by Nicholas Marini of the society of the Bardi and by John Rekonery of the society of the Peruzzi.[9]

1340 - Johan Petit on commission of enquiry (Cornwall)

[1340:]
Inspeximus and confirmation of letters patent of Edward, duke of Cornwall and earl of Chester, in these words: Edward eisne fils au noble roi Dengleterre et de France, ducs de Cornewaille et counte de Cestre, À tous nos tenaunts, sousgis et foials de nostre dite dusches et outres qui cestes lettres verrount ou oront, salus. Plusieurs fois les bones gents et communalte de nostre duschee susdite sentants eux estre noun duement damagez et grevez par ascunes choses qui sensuent, ount suy devers nostre trescher seigneur et piere, le roi, et devers nous, par peticion en Parlement, et se sount grevousement compleint de diverses grevances, extorsions, oppressions et desheritances a eux faitz par un court leve voluntrivement et saunz reson en temps monsieur Johan, nadgairs counte de Cornewaille, nostre trescher uncle, que Dieux assoille, et tenue a nostre chastél de [p. 19:] Launceveton et que, coment que la dite court soleit estre appele 'court de Geyte' et estre tenue en la porte du chastel susdit de certeins tenantz du dit chastel tauntsoulement, qui y estoient suters a ycelle, si est ja de novel meisme la court appelle 'court des fedz,' par colour de quel nom toutes les gentz de nostre duschee avantdite ount esté somons, attachez et distreintz a chescuny pleinte la ou nul ne soleit sure a celle court ne y respoundre a nulli sinoun les reseantz deinz le fee de Geyte, et ce des contracts deins le dit fee de Geyte sourdantz; hors de quelle court des fedz nul homme du pays ne poyt ne ne puit avoir sa court de ses tenantz selont la custume et usage du pays use du temps dount ne court memorie ne remembrance. Sur quelle peticion nostre dit trescher seigneur, del assent de son conseil en plein Parlement, fit agarder et faire une commission a monsieur Johan Lercedekne, monsieur Rauf de Bloyou, et monsieur Johan Petit denquere coment celle court soleit estre tenue et queux furent tenantz, et de queux fedz, et si celle court de fedz feut de novel controve ou nemye. Par quelle enqueste estoit trove que la dite court estoit de novel controve en temps le counte avantdit, et ovesque ce, par agard du dit Parlement, issit brief de la Chauncellerie as tresorer et barons del Eschequer qils, serchees les auncienes roulles et remembrances du dit Eschequer, certifiassent nostre dit trescher seigneur en meisme sa Chancellerie si nulle tiele court y esoit avaunt tenue. Lesqueux tresorer et barouns retournerent qils ne troverent mye qe nulle tiele court de fedz y estoit use ne tenue en temps passe. Siqe nadgairs au Parlement tenu a Westmoustre le mercredy proschein apres la feste de la Translacion Seint Thomas, monstrez devant le conseil nostre dit trescher seigneur toutes les evidences avantdites, et la matere contenues en ycelles diligealment debatue, si estoit ajugge par le dit conseil et par acord de Parlement qe la dite court esteit torteneusement leve et tenue, et qe elle sereit desore defaite et tout outrement lesse, et la court de Geyte avantdite tenue et use en manere et selont ce qe elle soleit estre auncienement, cest a saver des tenantz de meisme le fee de Geyte et de nuls autres et des contractz et covenantz sourdantz deins le fee susdit. Sur quei nous, en deliberacion et avisement ovesqe sages de nostre conseil, regardantz et considerantz toute la manere des choses avantdites, et voillantz faire a tous nos foials et souzgis equite et droiture saunz acrocher a nous par seigneurie on en autre manere autre chose qe nous ne devons apr reson, grantons pour nous et pour nos heirs par cestes nos patentes lettres a les dites bones gentz et communalte et a tous les habitants de pays et a lour heirs et a lour successours qe mès en nul temps la dite court de feds ne soit tenue, mes qe la court de Geyt susdit soit desore use et tenue selont ce qe eller soleit estre en templs passe, cest a saver des tenantz de mesme le fee de Geyte et des contractz et covenantz sourdantz deinz le dite fee, sicome desus est dit. En tesmoignance de queu chose nous avons fait faire cestes nos lettres sealees de nostre seal par ceux tesmoignes, Monsieur Nichole de la Beche, Monsieur William de Shareshull, Monsieur James de Wodestoke, Monsieur Robert de Bilkemor, Monsieur Robert de la Beche et autres. Don souz nostre prive seal a nostre manoir de Kenyngton, le 23 jour de Juyl, la[n] du regne nostre dit trescher seigneur et piere, le roi, Dengleterre quatorsisme, et de son regne de France primer.
By fine of 20s. Cornwall.


[IRHB translation:]
Edward, eldest son of the noble king of England and of France, duke of Cornwall and count of Chester, To all our tenants, subjects and faithful of our said duchy and others who shall see or hear these letters, greetings. Several times the good people and community of our said duchy, feeling themselves unduly damaged and aggrieved by various things that happen to them, have sued to our very dear lord and father, the king, and before us, by petition in Parliament, and have grievously complained of various grievances, extortions, oppressions and disinheritances of them done by a court established arbitrarily and without right in the time of Sir John, late count of Cornwall, our very dear uncle, whom God may save, and held at our castle of [p. 19:] Launceston and which, in accordance with the said court being usually known as 'court of Geyte', was held at the gate of the said castle by certain tenants of the said castle only, who had suit of it there, this same court is now newly called the 'court of fees', under colour of which name all the people of our foresaid duchy have been summoned, attached and distrained at each plaint there, where only the residents of the fee of the Geyte used to have suit or respond to others, and this concerning contracts originating within the said fee of the Geyte; outside of this court of fees nobody of this tract may or can keep court for his tenants according to the custom and use of the land, used from time back to which neither memory nor remembrance runs. On this petition our said very dear lord, with the assent of his council in full Parliament, let appoint and make a commission to Sir Johan Archdeacon, Sir Ralph de Bloyou, and Sir Johan Petit to enquire how this court used to be held and who were tenants, and of which feof, and if this court of fees was of new establishment or not. By this enquiry it was found that the said court was of new establishment in the time of the foresaid count, and on this basis, by appointment of the said Parliament, issued a brief of the Chancellery to the treasurer and barons of the Exchequer to search the ancient rolls and remembrances of the said Exchequer, certifying our said very dear lord in his own Chancellery if no such court was held there previously. The which treasurers and barons returned that they did not find that this was ever held as a court of fees in times past. These recently at the Parliament held at Westminster on the first Wednesday after the feast of the Translation of Saint Thomas, showed before the council of our said very dear lord all the foresaid evidences, and the matter therein contained was diligently debated, and so it was judged by the said council and by agreement of the Parliament that the said court was wrongfully established and held, and that it shall henceforth be abolished and quite left behind, and the aforesaid court of Geyte held and used in the form and way it used anciently to be held, That is for the tenants of the same fee of the Geyte and for no others and for contracts and covenants issuing from the aforesaid fee. On which we, in deliberation and with advice from the wise men of our council, taking into regard and consideration all the aforesaid, and wishing to do justice and right to all our faithful and subjects without wishing to accroach through our overlordship our in any other manner what we may not by right, grant on behalf of ourselves and our heirs by these letters patent to the said good people and community and all the inhabitants of these tracts, their heirs and to their successors that the said court of fees shall at no time be held, but that the aforesaid court of Geyt shall henceforth be kept and used in the way it used to be in times past, that is to say solely for the tenants of the same fee of the Geyte and contracts and covenants issuing from the said fee, in the manner said above. In testimony of which we have let make these our letters sealed with our seal with these witnesses, Sir Nicholas de la Beche, Sir William de Shareshull, Sir James of Wodestoke, Sir Robert of Bilkemor, Sir Robert of the Beche and others. Given under our privy seal at our manor of Kenyngton, the 23rd day of July, in the fortieth year of our very dear lord and father, the king's reign of England, and of his reign of France the first.[10]

1358 - John Petyt of Cornwall

[10 July 1358:]
To the sheriff of Cornwall. Order to cause John Petyt, knight, to have seisin of 2 messuages and 2 acres of Cornish land in Trenans, which John Rogeron of Trenans held, who was outlawed for felony, it is said, as the king has learned by inquisition taken by the sheriff that the said tenements have been in the king's hand for a year and a day, that John held them of John Petyt, and that Robert de Elford, late sheriff, had the year and day thereof and ought to answer therefor to the king.[11]

Notes

  1. [Isaacson, R.F., ed.; Maxwell-Lyte, Henry Churchill, ed.]. Calendar of the Patent Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office. Edward III. A.D. 1334-1338 (London, 1895), pp. 367-371.
  2. [Isaacson, R.F., ed.; Maxwell-Lyte, Henry Churchill, ed.]. Calendar of the Patent Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office. Edward III. A.D. 1334-1338 (London, 1895), p. 443.
  3. [Hinds, Allen B., ed.; Maxwell-Lyte, Henry Churchill, introd.] Calendar of the Close Rolls preserved in the Public record Office: Edward III. [Vol. I.] A.D. 1339-1341 (London, 1901), p. 149.
  4. [Hinds, Allen B., ed.; Maxwell-Lyte, Henry Churchill, introd.] Calendar of the Close Rolls preserved in the Public record Office: Edward III. [Vol. I.] A.D. 1339-1341 (London, 1901), p. 169.
  5. [Hinds, Allen B., ed.; Maxwell-Lyte, Henry Churchill, introd.] Calendar of the Close Rolls preserved in the Public record Office: Edward III. [Vol. I.] A.D. 1339-1341 (London, 1901), p. 177.
  6. [Hinds, Allen B., ed.; Maxwell-Lyte, Henry Churchill, introd.] Calendar of the Close Rolls preserved in the Public record Office: Edward III. [Vol. I.] A.D. 1339-1341 (London, 1901), p. 272.
  7. [Hinds, Allen B., ed.; Maxwell-Lyte, Henry Churchill, introd.] Calendar of the Close Rolls preserved in the Public record Office: Edward III. [Vol. I.] A.D. 1339-1341 (London, 1901), pp. 147-48.
  8. [Hinds, Allen B., ed.; Maxwell-Lyte, Henry Churchill, introd.] Calendar of the Close Rolls preserved in the Public record Office: Edward III. [Vol. I.] A.D. 1339-1341 (London, 1901), p. 273.
  9. [Hinds, Allen B., ed.; Maxwell-Lyte, Henry Churchill, introd.] Calendar of the Close Rolls preserved in the Public record Office: Edward III. [Vol. I.] A.D. 1339-1341 (London, 1901), p. 273.
  10. [Isaacson, R.F., ed.; Maxwell-Lyte, Henry Churchill, ed.] Calendar of the Patent Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office. Edward III. A.D. 1340-1343 (London; Edinburgh and Glasgow; Dublin, 1900), pp. 18-19.
  11. [Hinds, Allen B., ed.; Bird, W.H.B., ed.; Maxwell-Lyte, Henry Churchill, introd.]. Calendar of the Close Rolls preserved in the Public record Office: Edward III. Vol. X. A.D. 1354-1360 (London, 1908), p. 461.