For references to craft ordinances sanctioned or petitions and disputes heard by the mayor and aldermen, see Table 1: Occupations and Crafts in Medieval London, which lists all occupations we have found in medieval London, along with brief notes on how the occupation developed into a recognized craft, with references to essential works. Table 2: Civic Engagement by Medieval London Crafts records instances when the craft engaged directly with the city’s government, usually a good indication of the status of a craft at particular moments in time.
Letters from the Mayor and Corporation of London Calendar of Letters from the Mayor and Corporation of the City of London, circa A.D. 1350-1370, enrolled and preserved among the archives of the Corporation at the Guildhall, ed. Reginald R. Sharpe (London, 1885). English summaries of official letters from the Mayor and Aldermen addressed primarily to the civic officials of other towns in Britain, the Low Countries, and France. The letters were usually in defense of Londoners’ commercial dealings, but they also ask other towns for help in finding runaway apprentices, finding debtors to Londoners, and recovering properties of Londoners. Also on Haithi Trust.
Letter Books A-K Calendar of Letter-Books Preserved Among the Archives of the Corporation of the City of London at the Guildhall. Ed. R. R. Sharpe, 11 vols (A-L) (London, 1899-1912). English calendar of the entries in the eleven extant medieval Letter Books, which contain much miscellaneous business of the city of London, including numerous debt recognizances (especially with merchants of Gascony and Spain), deeds, ordinances, and the assize of bread. They also contain considerable information on the activities of the city Chamberlain (responsible for handling most of the city’s finances); the pre fifteenth-century proceedings in the Court of Common Council and the Court of Aldermen. The memoranda are often recorded out of chronological order by a variety of clerks, but each volume largely relates to a specific period, as follows (links go to archive.org) : A: 1275-1298; B: 1275-1313; C: 1291-1309; D: 1309-1314; E: 1314-1337; F: 1337-1352; G: 1352-1375; H: 1375-1399; I: 1400-1422; K: 1422-1461; L: 1461-97. Letter Book J was lost by c. 1541. Later Town Clerks of London drew heavily on the Letter Books when drawing up their compilations of London customs and ordinances (such as the Liber Horn and Liber Albus), which in turn were used by many of the London chroniclers. Digital editions are available on BHO and Google Books and electronic pds on the subscription-based MEMSO.
Middle English Extracts from the Letter Books, in A Book of London English 1384-1425, ed. R. W. Chambers and M. Daunt (Oxford, 1931), 92-115, 250-3. Full text provided, mostly of proclamations by the civic administration on wrestling, Jews, punishments of wrong-doers, mumming, and brokers but also ordinances of the shearmen and physicians and surgeons (1423).
Memorials of London and London Life in the XIIIth, XIVth and XVth Centuries, ed. H. T. Riley (London, 1868). Translations of key texts from the Letter Books (often in a more complete form than in the printed volumes), organized chronologically with a detailed table of contents, in a massive volume of 706 pages. The Introduction notes early references to wards and streets, to trades, names and surnames, tavern signs, and miscellaneous issues, many relating to trade. The subjects chosen vary widely, but there is especially good coverage of craft regulations and charters and what could be called quality of life issues, such as maintaining safe streets, a clean environment, and fair trade. There are also records dealing with civic administration, including a list of the men elected from each ward to the first Common Council in 1347. On archive.org, BHO, and Haith Trust.
Correspondence relating to the war with France, 1415-24, in A Book of London English 1384-1425, ed. R. W. Chambers and M. Daunt (Oxford, 1931), 64-89, 248-9. Includes letters in Middle English between the Mayor and Aldermen onthe one hand and Henry V, the Duke of Clarence and the Duke of Bedford on the other, as well as proclamations regarding wartime preparations.