p 28 (25 March–25 March) (Receipts)
|Item receyvyd at hoktyd of the wymmen gadering||xxiiij s.|
|Item receyvyd of the mennys gadering at the same tyme||vij s. vj d.|
|Item receyvyd of the yongmen gadering at seynt phylyppe day & Iacob||v s. ij d.|
||xxiij s. viij d.|
|Item receyvyd for aldren polys left of the pley||v d.|
p 29 (Expenses)
|Item paied for the wymmen soper a hok monday||xxij d.|
|Item paied to Sybel Derling for Nayles for the sepulcre & for rosyn to the resurreccyon pley||ij d. ob.|
|Item paied to Iohn Cokk for wryting off the fest off Iesus & for vj heddes and berdes to the church||xviij d.|
|Item paied for the makyng of a dublett of lethur & j peyr off hosyn off lethur agaynst corpus christi Day||viij d.|
|Item paied to Roberd Glouer for Schepskynnys||xviij d.|
|Item paied for a Lode of aldrenpolles||xij d.|
|Item paied a Carter for carying off pypys & Hogesheddes into the forbury||ij d.|
|Item paied to the Laborers in the forbury for setting vp off the polles for the schaphold||ix d.|
|Item paied to Roberd Lynacre for havyng awey off all maner off thinges owȝt off the forbury||vj d.|
|Item paied to henry peynter for hys labor þe corpus christi day||xx d.|
|Item paied for brede ale & bere þat longyd to þe pley in the forbury||ij s. vj d.|
|Item paied for a bagg for the whyȝte sute||v d.|
|Item paied for j ell quarter of crescloth for adam for to make j peyr of hosyn & j ell for a dowblettes||ix d.|
|Item paied for course canvas to mak xiij Cappes with the makyng & with the heres ther to longyng||ij s. iiij d.|
|Item paied for ijo elles dimidium off crescloth for to mak eve a cote||x d.|
|Item paied for ij o qweyr of paper for the pagenttes||v d.|
|Item paied for dyed flex iij li||v d.|
The Forbury was the large forecourt of the abbey. The tower and west door of St Laurence faced the town. The east end of the church was in the Forbury. Built against the north wall of St Laurence were almshouses and against the south wall the West or Compter Gate into the abbey precinct. The abbot held two annual four-day fairs in the Forbury on the feast of St Philip and St James (1 May) and on the feast of St James (25 July) (VCH: Berkshire, vol 3, p 342).
The Darling family was prominent in the parish. John Darling is among the first named as renting pews in 1498–9 (BRO: D/P 97/5/2, p 2; Dils, St Laurence Churchwardens' Accounts, pt 1, p 3). Sybil Darling's husband died during this year (1506–7) and was buried in the church (BRO: D/P 97/5/2, p 28; Dils, St Laurence Churchwardens' Accounts, pt 1, p 33). John Darling 'the younger' served as churchwarden 1503–5 (Dils, St Laurence Churchwardens' Accounts, pt 2, p 211).There is no other specific mention of Henry Peynter. This may be a craft name. However, he may also have been a member of a prominent family of the parish. A Robert Peyntour contributed 4s to the new roof in the early fifteenth century (Kerry, Municipal Church of St Lawrence, p 22). John Paynter was paid for gilding the two 'Tabernacles in the quere' in 1519–20 (BRO: D/P 97/5/2, p 131; Dils, St Laurence Churchwardens' Accounts, pt 1, p 112). In 1521–2 he was paid 20d for painting the mural of St Leonard left unpainted 'by the wyffs' and 12d for painting the lent altar cloth and 'the Judas' (BRO: D/P 97/5/2, p 142; Dils, St Laurence Churchwardens' Accounts, pt 1, p 126). He helped construct costumes in 1522–3 (BRO: D/P 97/5/2, p 149; Dils, St Laurence Churchwardens' Accounts, pt 1, p 132). John died in 1524–5 (BRO: D/P 97/5/2, p 155; Dils, St Laurence Churchwardens' Accounts, pt 1, p 140) and his wife Alice seems to have taken over his business since she was paid that year for gilding the St Vincent tabernacle (BRO: D/P 97/5/2, p 157; Dils, St Laurence Churchwardens' Accounts, pt 1, p 142). Alice died in in 1533–4 (BRO: D/P 97/5/2, p 192; Dils, St Laurence Churchwardens' Accounts, pt 1, p 187). Both are buried in the church. Another John was prominent in the construction of the statue of St George in 1535 (BRO: D/P 97/5/2, p 198; Dils, St Laurence Churchwardens' Accounts, pt 1, p 195). An entirely new generation was active in 1568 when one Edward Paynter was paid 3d for colouring the communion table (BRO: D/P 97/5/2, p 329–30; Dils, St Laurence Churchwardens' Accounts, pt 2, p 166–7).
There seem to have been three mimetic performances in the parish this year – the resurrection play at Easter (see Performance Traditions), a play on Corpus Christi, and a play on 23 August, the day before St Bartholomew's Day, in the Forbury – on the abbey grounds. It is possible that the August production was a remount of the play first performed on Corpus Christi and perhaps written that year. The reference to John Cokk's (Cox's) provision of wigs and beards is coupled with a reference to his writing of the 'feast of Jesus.' This may be the copying of the liturgy for Corpus Christi since there is an item on p 30 paying 2s 8d for 'ijo bokes of the fest of Iesus & the vycytacyon of our lady.' Given the other playmaking references this year it may, however, be a record of the composition of the play done on Corpus Christi. The play involved Adam and Eve and with the provision of both leather suits and cloths probably portrayed the Fall. Cokk appears in the next year's accounts mending the pricksong book of the Jesus Mass and his wife mending various vestments. John Cokk (Cox) was a notary and first appears in the records as clerk of the market later becoming a burgess and the clerk of the Gild Merchant (Slade, Reading Gild Accounts, pt 1, p xcvii). He petitioned for admission to the guild in 1496–7, which was granted under the sponsorship of Richard Cleche and Richard Smith, and was admitted in 1498–9 again with the sponsorship of Cleche and Smith (Guilding, Reading Records, vol 1, p 91).
Doran records an entry 'Paid for a book of the resurrection play ... 6 d' for 1507 (Town and Borough of Reading, p 145). A careful search of the first twenty years of these accounts has not found the reference.
Record title: St Laurence's Churchwardens' Accounts
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.'