The following chronology lists all currently known records relating to Thomas Staunton’s actions against Geoffrey Chaucer and Cecily Chaumpaigne.

October 16, 1379: Writ under the Statute and Ordinance of Laborers brought by Thomas Staundon against Geoffrey Chaucer and Cecily Chaumpaigne, with Chaumpaigne described as a former servant of Staundon. They are initially summoned to appear in court on the morrow of Martinmas (November 12–17, 1379), but the case is later postponed to Hilary and then Easter terms 1380.1

Michaelmas term (undated but presumably in morrow of Martinmas): Chaucer appoints an attorney, “Stephen del Falle,” in King’s Bench to answer a charge of “trespass and contempt” brought by Thomas Staundon. The action referred to here is not a new or separate trespass charge under the common law, but is instead that brought by Staundon under the Statute of Laborers.2

April 9, 1380: Chaumpaigne appoints attorneys, “Stephen Falle” and Edmund Herryng in King’s Bench, to answer Staundon’s charge under the Statute of Laborers.3

May 1, 1380 (acknowledged May 4): General release recorded from Chaumpaigne to Chaucer, releasing him from all actions concerning “de raptu meo.”4 Rather than being produced in response to a charge brought by Chaumpaigne against Chaucer, it relates to Staundon’s action and releases Chaucer from any legal involvement with Chaumpaigne’s departure from Staundon’s service, most likely through procurement.

May 7, 1380: The release is enrolled a second time, this time as a memorandum in the plea rolls of the Court of King’s Bench.5 The terminology of the enrollment is standardized to match the language of the royal law courts, and processed by legal clerks including Chaumpaigne’s attorneys.

Unknown date after April 9, and likely after May 7, 1380: Chaucer and Chaumpaigne have now both seemingly satisfied Staundon or mitigated the charges against them sufficiently to cause Staundon to cease his case. The original writ is annotated to state that the case is no longer being prosecuted by Staundon.6

June 28 (acknowledged June 30), 1380: General release recorded in the plea and memoranda rolls of the City of London, by Richard Goodchild, cutler, and John Grove, armorer, to Chaucer, and by Chaumpaigne to Goodchild and Grove, of all actions of law.7

July 2, 1380: Recognizance by Grove that he owed Chaumpaigne £10, payable at Michaelmas (which appears to have been paid).8



TNA, KB 136/5/3/1/2 (morrow of Martinmas, London).


TNA, KB 27/475, attorney rot. 1d.


TNA, KB 145/3/3/2, unnumbered membrane, warrant of attorney.


TNA, C 54/219 m. 9d.


TNA, KB 27/477, rot. 58d.


TNA, KB 136/5/3/1/2 (morrow of Martinmas, London).


LMA, CLA/024/01/02/024, rot. 5d.


LMA, CLA/024/01/02/024, rot. 5d.

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