In the Middle Ages life was not all work and no play, there were many holidays on Saints Days, and on the feast of St Matthew (21st September) in 1374 there was a disturbance which led to an official enquiry. In January 1375 Edward III set up a Commission to enquire into "dissensions and debates" which had arisen between the King's tenants of Oakham and Langham and Sir Thomas le Despenser's tenants of Burley. It appears that on St Matthews Day 1374 five Langham men named Robert Noris, Henry and Thomas Dykeman, John Bernewell and John Bythebroke carried a pot full of ale towards the mansion at Burley to drink it there. Sir Thomas le Despenser's steward Robert Parker asked them what they were doing and told them to drink the ale where they were, and laid hands on Robert Noris. There was a dispute, and a cook from Oakham struck Parker with a staff, three of the Langham men had their heads broken and took sanctuary in Burley Church. They sent a message to Oakham and Langham for help, and many people came. A man called William Wolverton shot two arrows at Parker; he missed, but Parker shot back and hit Wolverton. William Chamberlayn from Oakham and many others beat up a number of Burley men and drove them into the manor house and "called for fire to burn it but no fire could be found". A man called John de Multon who was "Constable of the Peace" managed to pacify the mob and everyone retired to the inn for a drink. The Commissioners referred the matter to the King for a decision, and nothing more is known of the outcome of the enquiry.
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A Mediaeval Dispute - 1374
Langham Village History Group