Town Records

  • Bateson, Mary, ed., Borough Customs. 2 vols. Selden Society, 24 (1904) and
    TEXT PAGES: 527. ORIGINAL LANGUAGE: Anglo-Norman, Latin & ME. TRANSLATION: Yes.
    RECORD AUTHORITY: Borough. RECORD TYPE: Custumal. DATES COVERED: late 12C-16C.
    COMMENTS: Text organized thematically, with each ordinance/custom printed in original language (many in AN) and then translated. Extensive introduction: vol. I, pp. ix-lix. Covers custumals as a source (with a list of all extant custumals she examined). Text covers type of court action (Crime and Tort: arrest, mainprise, appeal, judgements, punishments, trespasses), court procedure (summons, pledges, attachment and distress, essoins, wager of law, debt, contract); real and mixed actions (disseisin, fresh force, waste, landlord and tenant). Intro to vol. II pp. xv-xlvi covers process and execution, contract, alienation and inheritance, husband and wife, rights in land, minority, seignorial claims, wills and intestacy, and borough courts. Appendix on sursise of rent (clvii-clix). Text covers borough courts (pleading, borough officers), seignorial and family law (land, chattels, feudal dues, husband and wife), inheritance, wardship, merchant law, ecclesiastical relations. List of rarer words, pp. 215-16; Index to Custumals, pp. 217-20. Index of matters, 221-
  • Bickley, Francis B., ed. The Little Red Book of Bristol. 2 vols. Bristol: W. C. Hemmons, 1900. TEXT PAGES: ORIGINAL LANGUAGE: Anglo-Norman, Latin, and ME. TRANSLATION: Yes. RECORD AUTHORITY: Borough. RECORD TYPE: Register. DATES COVERED: ARCHIVAL REF:
    COMMENTS: Includes a wide variety of documents including ordinances on trade (many in Ango-Norman), the guild ordinances, the collection of town revenues, the duties of civic officials, and copies of letters received by and sent to other towns, lords, and the king.
  • Foster, Brian, ed. The Local Port Book of Southampton 1435-36. Southampton Record Series, 7, 1963. TEXT PAGES: 126. ORIGINAL LANGUAGE: Anglo-Norman. TRANSLATION: English with facing AN. RECORD AUTHORITY: Borough. RECORD TYPE: Customs Accounts. RECORD NAME: Local Port Accounts of Southampton. DATES COVERED: 1435-1436. ARCHIVAL REF: Southampton R.O., S.C. 5/4, item 3.
    COMMENTS: Introduction (7 pp) with comments on the manuscript and its author, the language of the accounts, and trade. The text is divided into four: the Common Book (non-Italian trade), Alien Book (the Italian trade); summary account and audit (pp. 120-3), and two indentures certifying the receipt of funds by the town bailiff (pp. 124-7). There is also a Bibliography (pp. 128-9), Glossary/index of Commodities (pp. 130-34) and Gender Index (names and places, pp. 135-40).
  • Furley, J. S. The Ancient Usages of the City of Winchester from the Anglo-French Version preserved in Winchester College. Oxford, 1927. TEXT PAGES: ORIGINAL LANGUAGE: Anglo-Norman. TRANSLATION: Yes. RECORD AUTHORITY: Borough. RECORD TYPE: Custumal. DATES COVERED: composed c. late 13C. ARCHIVAL REF: Winchester College.
    COMMENTS: First printed by Edw. Smirke in The Archaeological Journal, vol. 9, pp. 69-89. A Middle English translation made in the early years of Henry VI is printed in Toulim Smith, ed., English Gilds, EETS, o.s. 40, 1870, pp. 349-69. The ordinances relate to the civic government, trade, and pleas concerning land.
  • Gilbert, J. T., ed. “The Customs of Dublin,” in Historical and Municipal Documents of Ireland, 1172-1320. London, 1870. TEXT PAGES: ORIGINAL LANGUAGE: Anglo-Norman. TRANSLATION: No. RECORD AUTHORITY: Borough. RECORD TYPE: Custumal. DATES COVERED: surviving ms composed in early 14C, but at least parts of the custumal probably date to before 1229. ARCHIVAL REF: Dublin Chain Book, ff. 6-26.
    COMMENTS: Gilbert prints the text without commentary, but gives a brief abstract of the contents in his Calendar of Dublin Records, pp. 224-32. Some clauses also translated in Bateson’s Borough Customs. The custumal’s contents cover the duties of civic officials, court procedures, sanitation and safety in the town, debts, inheritance, mercantile dealings and many other issues.
  • Gras, Norman S. B., “A List of Local Customs Due in the Port of Ipswich (?) c. 1303,” inThe Early English Customs System: A Documentary Study of the Institutional and Economic History of the Customs from the Thirteenth to the Sixteenth Century. Cambridge: Harvard Economic Studies, vol. 18, 1918, pp. 159-63. TEXT PAGES: 5 ORIGINAL LANGUAGE: Anglo-Norman and Latin. TRANSLATION: No. RECORD AUTHORITY: Borough. RECORD TYPE: List of Tolls due at Port. DATES COVERED: c.1303. ARCHIVAL REF: PRO, E122/157/12.
    COMMENTS: The list is written in an alternating mix of Latin and Anglo-Norman. It consists mainly of the customs due ondifferent types of commodities. There is a similar local port customs list written in Anglo-Norman for Sandwich (in William Boys, Collections for an History of Sandwich in Kent with Notices of the Other Cinque Ports, etc. (Canterbury, 1792, pp. 435-40).
  • Murray, Katharine M. E., ed. “The Customs of Romney,” in The Register of Daniel Rough, Common Clerk of Romney, 1352-1380. Kent Archaeological Society Records Branch, 16, 1945. TEXT PAGES: 27. ORIGINAL LANGUAGE: Anglo-Norman and Latin. TRANSLATION: Yes, made in 1564, attached to back of volume. RECORD AUTHORITY: Borough. RECORD TYPE: Custumal . DATES COVERED: early 14C.
    COMMENTS: The beginning section is missing, but the remaining ordinances (most in Anglo-Norman) cover the responsibilities of the Jurats (the chief town officials), customs concerning trade, the freemen, inheritance, pledges, debts, crimes, and local taxes. The custumal also contains many clauses regarding the peculiar privileges of Romney as a Cinque Ports town. In addition, the editor provides extensive notes comparing Romney’s custumal to that of other Cinque Ports towns.
  • Murray, Katharine M. E., ed. The Register of Daniel Rough, Common Clerk of Romney, 1352-1380. Kent Archaeological Society Records Branch, 16, 1945. TEXT PAGES: 298. ORIGINAL LANGUAGE: Anglo-Norman and Latin. TRANSLATION: No, but English abstracts given. RECORD AUTHORITY: Borough. RECORD TYPE: Register . DATES COVERED: early 14C-15C, but esp. 1352-80.
    COMMENTS: The register contains the AN custumal (see the Bibliography entry above), as well as various letters and petitions sent by or received by the town of New Romney concerning their position as a Cinque Ports town, toll disputes with other towns, protests and inquests about Romney men elected to office at a local manor, inquests on vintners, letters testifying to good conduct of visitors, instructions to tax collectors, letters to foreign port towns regarding ships captured at sea, petitions about military service, and articles for an inquest by a justice of trailbaston. About half of the documents are in Latin, particularly those for the fifteenth-century additions. Index of Places and Names.
  • Riley, Henry Thomas, ed. “Liber albus,” in Munimenta Gildhallae Londoniensis: Liber albus, Liber custumarum, et Liber Custumarum. Vol. I. Rolls Series, no. 12, 3 vols. in 4, 1859-62.
    TEXT PAGES: 738. ORIGINAL LANGUAGE: Anglo-Norman & Latin. TRANSLATION: English with AN selections. RECORD AUTHORITY: Borough. RECORD TYPE: Custumal. RECORD NAME: Liber albus. DATES COVERED: up to1419. ARCHIVAL REF: London Guildhall.
    COMMENTS: Compilation of civic records, including oaths, fees, and duties of civic officials; procedures, writs, and pleas in city’s courts; city charters, ordinances, and trade regulations; customs regarding inheritance, dower, freedom admission, and immorality; misc. letters and other documents. Compiled c. 1419 by John Carpenter, the Common Clerk. Vol. I: Introduction (i-cxii); Summary of contents of Liber albus (cxii-cxxxi). Vol. III (1862) includes translations of Anglo-Norman passages (pp. 3-286, vol. III), along with glossaries of Anglo-Norman and Early English (289-372) and Medieval Latin words 375-407). Appendices contain extracts from the ‘Assisa Panis’ from 21 Edw I-16 Henry VI; and extracts from the Liber Memorandum, temp. Edw. II. Glossary to appendices; Index of Festivals; and General Index (479-520) and Index to Appendices. // Translation of the whole in H. T. Riley, ed., Liber Albus: The White Book of the City of London compiled 1419 (London, 1861). Some passages also translated in H. T. Riley, ed., Memorials of London and Lodon Life, 1276-1419 (London, 1868). See also, William Kellaway, “John Carpenter’s Liber Albus’, Guildhall Studies in London History, 3 (1978): 67-84.
  • Riley, Henry Thomas, ed. “Liber custumarum,” in Munimenta Gildhallae Londoniensis: Liber albus, Liber custumarum, et Liber Custumarum. Vol. II-Part I. Rolls Series, no. 12, 3 vols. In 4, 1859-62. TEXT PAGES: 490. ORIGINAL LANGUAGE: Anglo-Norman & Latin. TRANSLATION: English selections. RECORD AUTHORITY: Borough. RECORD TYPE: Custumal. RECORD NAME: Liber custumarum DATES COVERED: early 14c. ARCHIVAL REF: London Guildhall.
    COMMENTS: Compilation of civic records, including many city charters, ordinances, and correspondence; royal writs and proclamations; provisions to collect taxes; trade and guild regulations; and records regarding duties of civic officials, city revenues, courts, assizes, disputes with other authorities, and various court cases. Vol. II, Part I contains extracts from the Liber Custumarum. Portions now missing (some found in BL Cottonian Ms Claudius D. II (ff. 1-135, 266-77). Introduction (pp. ix-cxvi); Summary of Contents (cxvii-cxlvii). Text. Vol. II, Part II (1860) continues pagination with text to p 490. English translation of selected passages (pp. 517-623). Appendix I (pp.491-503): List of omitted portions: most are printed in Statutes of the Realm (1810), T. Rymer’s Foedera (1816-25), and Thorpe’s Ancient Laws and Institutes of England (1840). Appendix II: Charter of Wm the Conqueror to London. Appendix III (pp. 505-16): Contents of BL Claudius ms that are in Liber custumarum and Liber Legum Regum ‘Antiquorum’ (pp. 624-92). Glossary of Anglo-Norman, Saxon, and Early English Words (693-780); Glossary of Medieval Latin (781-838); Glossarial Index of Festivals and Dates (841-44); Index 9847-96).// See also N. R. Ker, “Liber custumarum and other manuscripts formerly at Guildhall,” Guildhall Miscellany, I, no. 3 (1954): 37-45.
  • Riley, Henry Thomas, ed. “Liber memorandum,” in Munimenta Gildhallae Londoniensis: Liber albus, Liber custumarum, et Liber Custumarum. Vol. III. Rolls Series, no. 12, 3 vols. In 4, 1859-62. TEXT PAGES: 26 ORIGINAL LANGUAGE: Latin. TRANSLATION: No. RECORD AUTHORITY: Borough. RECORD TYPE: Register. RECORD NAME: Liber memorandum. DATES COVERED: 1100-1298.
    COMMENTS: Extracts printed in Vol. III of series, pp. 430-56. Includes charters, trade and guild regulations; list of portcustoms at Queenhithe; list of early English words used in charters. Compiled c. 1298.
  • Schopp, J. W., ed. The Anglo-Norman Custumal of Exeter. History of Exeter Research Group, no. 2. Oxford, 1925. TEXT PAGES: 15. ORIGINAL LANGUAGE: Anglo-Norman. TRANSLATION: Yes. RECORD AUTHORITY: Borough. RECORD TYPE: Custumal DATES COVERED: composed c. 1240. ARCHIVAL REF: Devon R.O., Misc. Roll 2.
    COMMENTS: Introduction by Schopp and R. C. Easterling (pp. 5-23) discusses the language of the custumal, the manuscript, and the contents of the custumal. Appendix I (pp. 41-50); Appendix II notes clauses cited by M. Bateson in her Borough Customs; Appendix V is a Glossary. There is also an Index. The custumal describes local customary law regarding trade, civic officials, town dues, court procedure, and tolls on goods brought into town for sale. The volume also includes facsimiles of all folios.
  • Studer, Paul, ed. The Oak Book of Southampton. 3 vols. Southampton Record Society, 10 (1910), 11 (1911), 12 (1911); vol. 12 contains The Supplement to The Oak Book of Southampton. TEXT PAGES: 304. ORIGINAL LANGUAGE: Anglo-Norman & Latin & ME. TRANSLATION: Yes. RECORD AUTHORITY: Borough. RECORD TYPE: Custumal and Register. RECORD NAME: Rolls of Oleron; Guild Merchant Ordinances; etc… DATES COVERED: c 1230-1300. ARCHIVAL REF: Southampton Rec. Off. S.C. 2/1/1/.
    COMMENTS: Vol. I Intro (pp. v-xliii) discusses the guild merchant. Text of vol. 1 covers towns obligated to pay toll at Southampton (4-21), ordinances of guild merchant (22-81). Appendices print material from other Audit House mss; Appendix A gives translations of guild ordinances made in 1473 and 1770 (85-115). Appendix B prints ‘modern’ guild ordinances in use from 15c-19c (116-50) and Appendix C reproduces laws of mayoraly in 1473 (151-60). Vol. II Intro (pp. v-lxxi) discusses tolls, customs and trade at Southampton; assize of bread; rolls of Oleron (including their AN language). Text covers customs (in AN) charged at Southampton c. 1300 (2-17); agreement (in AN) with Salisbury on customs (18-27); assize of bread (28-37); dispute with Bp of Winchester (38-53); laws of Oleron (54-103); charter of Hospitallers (104-117); murage grant; dispute with justices of the county; fragment of accounts from late 14c; concord with Portsmouth (dated 1239); and Inquiry on bounds of town in 1253. Supplement contains notes on the Anglo-Norman dialect of Southampton (1-50); Glossary of AN (51-118); Index of Persons (129-34), Places (135-9), and Subject Matter (140-55). For corrections on dating of Laws of Oleron used by Studer, see also D. Burwash, English Merchant Shipping 1460-1540 (Toronto, 1954), 171-6. See also the entries for “The Laws of Oleron” and “The Anglo-French Ordinances of Southampton” in this bibliography.
  • Studer, Paul, ed. “The Anglo-French Ordinances of the Ancient Guild Merchant of Southampton,” in The Oak Book of Southampton. Southampton Record Society, 10, 1910. TEXT PAGES: 81. ORIGINAL LANGUAGE: Anglo-Norman. TRANSLATION: Yes. RECORD AUTHORITY: Borough. RECORD TYPE: Custumal. DATES COVERED: composed c. 1300. ARCHIVAL REF: Southampton R.O., Oak Book of Southampton, S.C.2/1/1.
    COMMENTS: The ordinances cover aspects of the guild merchant (i.e., the elite merchants of the town whose membership entitled them to trading privileges, the right to elect and serve as civic officials, and privileges in the local courts. The ordinances also include a list of boroughs free of toll in Southampton. Appendix A contains English translations of the ordinances made in 1473 and 1770. Text also published by Charles Gross, The Gild Merchant, vol. II (Oxford, 1890), 213-31, who drew on the transcription in Edward Smirke in The Archaeological Journal 16 (1859), 283-96, 351-2. A translation is in Davies, History of Southampton, 139-51.
  • Twiss, Travers, ed. “The Domesday of Ipswich,” in Monumenta Juridica. The Black Book of the Admiralty. Vol. II. Appendix-Part I.. Rolls Series, 1873. Vol. II of 4 vols. TEXT PAGES: 207. ORIGINAL LANGUAGE: Anglo-Norman & ME. TRANSLATION: Yes-in Middle English. RECORD AUTHORITY: Borough. RECORD TYPE: Custumal. RECORD NAME: The Domesday of Ipswich. Dates Covered: c 1200-1460s. ARCHIVAL REF: BL Add MS. 25,012 (AN), 25,011 (ME).
    COMMENTS: Contains Introduction (pp. vii-lxxxvii) on custumals of boroughs in England and N. France, esp. Ipswich; shows similarities between charters of la Rochelle (on maritime customs) and the Laws of Oleron (which are the customary laws, dating from c. 1300, that governed all maritime disputes in England and most of northern Europe). Also discusses other collections of maritime laws in medieval Europe, theories on origins of Laws of Oleron, and much else. Text includes Table of contents (1-13) and customs of Ispwich, which cover all aspects of town life. Remaining part of the volume print the Customs of Oleron and Judgements of the Sea (210-397); the Etablissements (Laws) of the Commune of Royan (in France) (406-29); later additions to the Rolls of Oleron on shipmasters, merchants, and mariners (432-81, in AN). Index (485-500). Note also the Glossary of Anglo-Norman and Gascon Words in Vol. IV, pp. 147-97.