The Pardon

In 1392, Richard II wanted to borrow £1000 from the citizens of London. They turned him down. In fact, they didn't just turn him down: when a man from Lombardy offered to lend the money to the king, they killed him.

Unsurprisingly, the king was quite put out; he took away many of the citizens' rights, and then put the mayor in prison.

To win back the king's favour, four hundred of the leading citizens of London dressed in matching livery, and rode to meet him as he travelled through Wandsworth. They gave him with two white horses covered in silver bells, and gold and cloth worth at least eight hundred pounds, all to win back his favour; which in the end he granted - after they'd paid him ten thousands pounds into the bargain.

Read more stories about royalty.

Read more stories about money.

Read more stories about the fourteenth century.

Read more stories about Wandsworth.

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Picture by shaggy359, under a by-nc-sa license under which this version is also released.
Story source: John Stow, 1592: The Annals of London.