Book of Fines

Southampton City Archives: SC5/3/1

f 125v (29 September–29 September)



paymentes by the saide mayor
when the Quens maiesty was here.

Imprimis presented to the quens maiesty in the forsaide purse the ixth of september xl li.
Item geuen to the clarke of the markett for a rewarde xx s.
Item to the quens harwarde xx s.
Item to her sargeante of the armes xx s.
Item payed her fote men xx s


f 126

Item payed her trumpeters xx s.
Item payed the musicions xx s.
Item payed the marshall for a proclimacion v s.
Item payed the marshall for his fees x s.
Item payed to the clarke of the marketes cryer ij s.
Item payed to the skylors v s.
Item payed to the drome and flute of portismothe x s.
Item payed certaine Lordes minstrells v s.
Item to the yemen of the mayell v s.
Item to the yemen of the bottells x s.
Item payed Peter glasier for his drome and flute v s.
Item payed the Quens maiestis porters vj s. viij d.


  • Footnotes
    • the saide mayor: John Crooke, mayor in 1568–9 and 1584–5
    • harwarde: for barwarde
    • skylors: meaning uncertain; the second letter is a 'k,' but the most likely explanation is an error for 'a' – thus 'saylors,' ie, 'sailors'
  • Glossed Terms
    • barward n bearward; barod(?), bererd, berewood, berherd, berode, berrerd
    • drome n drum; here used to refer to a drummer
    • yemane of the malle n pl household officials, servants, or attendants; specific duties are unknown [OEDO yeoman n C3.a]; yemen of the mayell
  • Endnote

    The remaining payments are of a general nature and not related to the queen's visit, although no indication appears in the manuscript at the end of the items for the queen's visit. The mayor's rough accounts (SC5/3/6) survive for this year and give the same set of payments, differing only in the mayor's highly idiosyncratic spelling. 'Peter glasier' was also known as Peter Breme, and he was paid for glazing and painting of civic buildings, as well as for playing his drum and flute for musters. In 1583 he received cloth for his livery, along with other civic officials.

  • Document Description

    Record title: Book of Fines
    Repository: Southampton City Archives
    Shelfmark: SC5/3/1
    Repository location: Southampton

    This account book was started to record only the receipts from 'casualties': here, fines for offences such as fighting, burgesses verbally attacking each other, married men being caught in the stews, and citizens and foreigners buying and selling in violation of the town's ordinances, as well as admission fees paid by those desiring to practise a craft in the city. These receipts provided the mayor with a small fund from which to pay for rewards to players, messengers, noblemen and their servants, and the like, and occasionally for minor repairs to town buildings. After a few years of accounts the payments also begin to be recorded here, so that in fact the accounts are not just a record of fines, but are the complete mayors' accounts. In the second half of the sixteenth century the accounts, especially the payments, become more detailed and broader in content, including much more extensive expenses for construction and repair, and detailed accounts for poor relief. The accounting year runs from Michaelmas to Michaelmas. The Book of Fines has been transcribed by Butler, Book of Fines, 3 vols.

    The dating of these accounts by regnal years gets a year out of step with the heading of the 1573–4 accounts as 16–17 Elizabeth (f 147r), following the accounts for 14–15 Elizabeth: there is no set of accounts headed 15–16 Elizabeth. The error was only rectified in 1586–7, which is correctly headed 28–9 Elizabeth. (1585–6 is also, incorrectly, labeled 28–9 Elizabeth.) Dates given within the accounts are correct, further revealing the error, as in the accounts for 1576–7, which are headed 19–20 Elizabeth (which would be 1577–8) but twice dated internally to June and July 1577.

    29 September 1488–29 September 1594; English with some Latin; paper; 252 leaves; 417mm x 285mm; modern pencil foliation (numbering in upper right corner of the rectos has been used throughout rather than numbering of some folios at bottom left, which is often 1 higher than the correct numbering but has been used by Cheryl Butler in her edition); good condition (only last 2 leaves have lost any written space, several leaves lost between ff 41 and 42, so there are no accounts for 1514–15, 1515–16, or 1516–17, many different hands; contemporary parchment cover in poor condition, title on front of cover much faded.

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