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Although the citizens were at first sufficiently well disposed towards Edward II., his misgovernment led ultimately to grave dissatisfaction, which expressed itself in riots and revolt. The King was induced by his worthless advisers to make claims and attacks upon the rights of the citizens. He was always in want of money, and 41 believed, like many other Kings, that he wealth of the City was inexhaustible. In 1321 he deprived the citizens of their cherished right of electing their own Mayor, and from that time the condition of he City was perfectly wretched until the close of his reign. There was no proper authority at all; the King deposed one Mayor and set up another; the city generally supported Queen Isabella, and received her and Mortimer with enthusiasm. All who were thought to favour the King were in danger, and the attitude of the City was to a considerable extent responsible for the unhappy King’s deposition.
At this time, at Saint Michael, Lady Isabele, the Queen, and Sir Edward, her son, sent their letters to the commons of London, to the effect that they should assist in destroying the enemies of the land; but received no answer in return, as to their wishes thereon, through fear of the King. Wherefore a letter was sent to London by the Queen and her son, and was fixed at daybreak upon the Cross in Chepe, and a copy of the letter on the windows elsewhere, upon Thursday, that is to say, the Feast of Saint Denis [October 9], to the effect that the commons should be aiding with all their power in destroying the enemies of the land, and Hugh le Despencer in especial, for the common profit of all the realm; and that the commons should send them information as to their wishes thereon. Wherefore the Commonalty proceeded to wait upon the Mayor and other great men of the City, at the Black Friars Preachers in London, upon the Wednesday before the Feast of Saint Luke [October 18] which then fell on a Saturday; so much so, that the Mayor, crying mercy with clasped hands, went to the Guildhall and granted the commons their demand, and cry was accordingly made in Chepe, that the enemies to the King, and the Queen, and their son, should all quit the City upon such peril as might ensure. It happened also on the same day, at the hour of noon, that some persons
had recourse to arms, and seized one John le Marchal, a burgess of the City, in his own house near Wallbrook, who was held as an enemy to the City and a spy of Sir Hugh le Despencer; and he was brought into Chepe, and there despoiled and beheaded.