p 96 (25 March–25 March) (Receipts)
|Item Receyvyd off the wyfes ffor the gatheryng at hocktyde||xxix s. viij d.|
|Item Receyvyd off the men ffor the gatheryng at hocktyde||vij s.|
|Item Receyvyd off the yong men ffor ther gatheryng at Wytsontyde||x s. xj d.|
|Item Receyvyd for the Tree þat stode in the mercat place||iiij d.|
p 97 (Expenses)
|Item payd to a mynstrell on our dedicacion day||v d.|
Kerry suggests that the dedication of the original church (destroyed when the abbey was built in 1121) was St Matthew (Municipal Church of St Lawrence, pp 4–5). If the original patronal day was kept, the date would be the feast of St Matthew, 21 September. The feast of St Laurence is 10 August. The dedication day was a favourite time for parish festivities in the early sixteenth century (see, for example, 1503–4 and 1512–13).
Richard Turner, mercer, was a major figure in Reading in the period from 1523–4 when he was first chosen mayor. He was chosen mayor five more times, 1527–8, 1531–2, 1535, 1537–8, and 1541–2, the last time by Cromwell's agent Thomas Vachell acting alone in place of the deposed abbot (Guilding, Reading Records, vol 1, pp xl–xli). That year the town managed to acquire the much coveted provisional charter (see Historical Background). Turner was a key figure in those negotiations. He is listed in the parish inventory of 1517 as having donated a book of processionals and vestments (Dils, St Laurence Churchwardens' Accounts, pt 2, p 188). In 1511–12 he was a major contributor to the cost of building a new organ (Dils, St Laurence Churchwardens' Accounts, pt 1, p 63). He paid for 1/4 of a man in the levy assessment of 1513 (Guilding, Reading Records, vol 1, p 128). In that year also he contributed to the purchase of the 'great bell' in memory of his father (Dils, St Laurence Churchwardens' Accounts, pt 1, p 73). He heads the list in 1542 of contributors to the levy for the Scottish wars with the donation for 2/3 of an armoured horse (Guilding, Reading Records, vol 1, p 180). He was churchwarden first in 1509–11 and again in 1520–2 and remained active in the parish until his death in 1546 (Dils, St Laurence Churchwardens' Accounts, pt 2, p 213).
Record title: St Laurence's
Shelfmark: D/P 97/5/2
Repository location: Reading
The churchwardens rendered their accounts on the feast of the Annunciation (25 March) until 1516 when they adopted the Michaelmas–Michaelmas pattern rendering their accounts on 29 September.
1498–1626; English; paper; 250 leaves; 330mm x 225mm; modern pagination; some display capitals; pp 1–2, 490–3 are separated but have been repaired and put separately in a brown paper wrapper; bound in boards covered in parchment, title on front cover: 'The Book of the | Church-Wardens Accounts | of the Parish | of | St Laurence.'