Imatges de pàgina


the judges, as we have seen, were about forty CHAP: marks': but there is reason to think that they had certain perquisites and boons, which 1307. tended considerably to increase the gross amount of their revenue ; this may be regarded as pretty strongly corroborated to us by a line of Chaucer formerly quoted :

The judgé dremeth how his plees be spedde'.

Each of the dreamers mentioned in this

pazsage of Chaucer, dreams of the thing about which he was anxious when awake, and fancies that it turns out in the manner that he then wished: the judge therefore would certainly not have found a place in this enumeration were it not that his emoluments de pended either


the number of the causes he tried, or upon


in which he decided them.


Chap. XVIII, p. 67. • Parliament of Birds, ver. 101. See Chap. XXI, p. 174.



Montagu, afterward earl of Salisbury, for his services in the overthrow of Roger Mortimer, was rewarded with an income of fr. 1000 per annum'; and, some years after, his younger brother, sir Edward Montagu had a grant of a pension of £. 100 per annum. The annuity granted to Robert of Artois, first instigator of the wars of Edward III. for the crown of France, was of the amount of twelve hundred marks ".

The king likewise conferred a pension of £. 1500 per annum upon the duke of Brabant for life*; and the pension of Baliol, subsequently to his surrender of all his claims upon the crown of Scotland, was fr. 2000 %. This was also the amount of the allowance settled upon Joan, wife to David Bruce the reigning king of Scotland, and sister to Edward III ”. The


? Collins, Peerage of England : duke of Manchester.
" Rymer, Tom. IV, 11 Edv. 3, May 5.
* Ditto, Tom. 5, 13 Edv. 9, Dec. 28.

Ditto, Tom. VI, 31 Edv. 3, Feb. 4.
Rymer, Tom. IV, 2 Edv. 3, May 1.


income of Philippa queen of England was CHAP. fr. 15000 per annum

In the writ con

1367. veying to John of Gaunt a certain portion of duke Henry's inheritance, which had been reserved till one of the daughters, coheiresses, should have issue, the value of the lands hereby assigned, independently of the property which had fallen to him at the death of his father-in-law (and the other part of

a Rymer, Tom. IV. 2 Edv. 3, May 5. The sum here put down is undoubtedly too high, but it is perhaps impossible to ascertain the exact value of these grants. The word in the instrument of dower, both to Joan and Philippa, answering to £, is not libra, but librata terræ & redditus. This term is explained by Spelman as equivalent to an acre; and an acre of land, according to Fleetwood, was worth at this time on an average three pence per annum (Chronic on Preciosum, Chap. IV). This would reduce the value of queen Philippa's income to £. 262 : 10 : per annum, and of queen Joan's to £. 25 per annum. Cowel, on the contrary, rates the denarius terræ as an acre, and consequently the libra, or librata terræ, as two hundred and forty acres. This would raise queen Philippa's revenue to £. 63,000 per annum, £. 7000 above the revenue of the whole kingdom. Ducange, Glossarium, in yoc. is inclined to consider the librata terræ as signifying so much land as would yield a revenue of £. I per annum ; and Ducange's authority is followed in the text.



CHAP: which he took possession at the death of the

duchess Matilda), is estimated at little less 1367.

than £. 3000 per annum'. Lastly, the ransom of Brucé, husband to queen Joan, after eleven years imprisonment, during which he was constantly attended by the royal matron was fixed at one hundred thousand marks d., and that of John king of France at three millions of

crowns, each

crown, by the conditions of treaty, to be equal to the fourth part of a mark, English money.

To complete our view of this subject, let us add that the ordinary revenue of the crown, from the time of Henry III'. to Henry V, a period of about two hundred years, appears from an authentic document, taken at the close of this period", to have been nearly £.55,714 : 10:10 per annum.

• Rot. Fin. 35 Edv. 3, m. 23, apud Collins, History of Joba of Gaunt. • Hollinshed, Scotland, A.D. 1358.

Rymer, Tom. VI, 31 Edv. 3, Oct. 3.
• Rymer, 34 Edv. 3, May 8.

Hume, Chap. XIX.
* Rymer, Tom. X, 9 Hen. 5.


The result of these documents, and of cha P. others which will hereafter be produced,

1367, tends to confirm us in the opinion, that the different ranks of society were treated with somewhat more inequality in Chaucer's time than at present. The pension granted to sir Edward Montagu the younger son of a noble family is of nearly eight times, and that granted to his elder brother seventy-five times, the amount of that bestowed upon Chaucer; while the salaries of the judges only double his annuity. The pension granted to lord Montagu, which, estimated according to the proportion above laid down, is worth £18,000 per annum of our money, and that to the titular king of Scots, worth £.36,000, would undoubtedly in the present times be admitted to be princely ; lord Montagu's was so much clear addition to his hereditary estate. The fragment of John of Gaunt's inheritance abovementioned, was equivalent to £. 54,000 per annum of our money. The disbursements of Thomas earl of Lancaster, great-uncle to the princess Blanche, for one year (the year 1313), are


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