Robert Smithfield, Merchant

Robert Smithfield, a merchant, was repeatedly in trouble with Chester's authorities for failing to pay the required tolls on entry to the city.

In November 1457, Robert Smithfield of London was accused at the sheriffs’ inquiry of bringing goods into the city but failing to pay the required customs and tolls. He entered the city in July with four butts of wine – namely tyre, malmsey and rumney – and ten ballets of madder and woad (for use in dyeing) to sell. Apparently this wasn’t the first time Robert had failed to pay his tolls – nor was it the last. When he arrived in Chester in April 1465 he was assaulted by four prominent citizens and driven out of the franchise.