Berkshire, Windsor, 1451–2

Accounts of St George's Chapel

St George's Chapel Archives and Chapter Library: XV 34 44

mb 1d (St George's Chapel necessary costs)


Et in iij vlnis emptis pro tunica vnius ludentis in festo pasche anno xxxmo xxj d.
Et in bote hyre apud Dachet ad ij vices ij d.
Et in ceruisia data lusoribus recitantibus ludum habitum in Collegio erga donatoris festum iiij d.
Et in iiij paribus emptis pro iiij aytires vj d.
Et in factura vnius tunice ad deseruiendum pro dicto ludo xj d.
Et in redelede empto ad pictandum iiij d.
Et in flax empto pro comibus inde factis pro dictis lusoribus ij d.
Et in goldefoile empto pro dicto ludo iij d.
Et in papiro empto pro dicto ludo j d.
Et solutos pro pictura diuersarum rerum circa dictum ludum xvj d.
Et solutos pro conduccione & mundacione diuersorum armorum ad deseruiendum pro dicto ludo xij d.
  • Footnotes
    • festo pasche: 9 April 1452
    • xxxmo: ie, the thirtieth year of the reign of King Henry VI
    • comibus: for comis (?)
  • Record Translation

    mb 1d (St George's Chapel necessary costs)


    And (they account) for 21d spent on three ells bought for the tunic of one player in the feast of Easter in the thirtieth year (ie, of the reign of King Henry VI).

    And for 2s (spent) on a boat hired at Datchet on two occasions.

    And for 4d (spent) on beer given to the players reciting the play held in the college at the time of the donor's feast.

    And for 6d (spent) on four suits (of clothing) bought for four costumes (attires).

    And for 11d (spent) on making one tunic to be used for the said play.

    And for 4d (spent) on red lead bought for painting (with).

    And for 2d (spent) on flax bought for the wigs made from it for the said players.

    And for 3d (spent) on gold foil bought for the said play.

    And for 1d (spent) in paper bought for the said play.

    And for 16d paid for the painting of various things about the said play.

    And for 12d paid for hiring and cleaning various arms to be used for the said play.

  • Glossed Terms
    • coma, -e n f hair; by extension, wig; comibus abl, in error, or of collateral 3rd decl form [DML, OLD coma]
    • par, -is n nt pair, set; by extension, suit
    • redelede n comp red lead
  • Endnote

    The word 'aytires' is conjectural. The form of the 'r' is unusual.

    It is REED policy not to include payment for entertainment for the court. Ian Lancashire mentions this record (Dramatic Texts and Records of Britain: A Chronological Topography to 1558, Studies in Early English Drama 1 (Toronto and Buffalo, 1984), p 285) and compares it to royal payments for Henry VI at Christmas 1449 (p 182). However, this record is not simply a ‘royal’ account. In a letter to the editor of this collection, Dr Lynn Muir of the University of Leeds wrote, 'St George's at that time was a college of secular canons and the reference [to college] may simply imply performance in St George's chapel itself. However, it may equally suggest performance in one of the College residential buildings such as the large hall, known as the vicar's hall [the present chapter library] built in 1415. It is important to note that St George's was NOT a chapel royal. It was/is the King's/Queen's free chapel of St George, 'free' indicating freedom from any episcopal oversight. The distinction is one of use – the sovereign only attended services in St George's upon special occasions usually connected with the order of the Garter of which this was the official chapel. It was, so to speak, a guild chapel. There was a separate Chapel Royal used by the royal family in the upper ward of the Castle near the state apartments. St George's is in the lower ward which is not crown property but is owned and run entirely by the College who are responsible for the upkeep of the Chapel and their own salaries etc. The play, therefore, wherever it was performed, had no royal connection and cannot therefore be linked as Lancashire suggests (1513) with the royal accounts.'

  • Document Description

    Record title: Accounts of St George's Chapel
    Repository: St George's Chapel Archives and Chapter Library
    Shelfmark: XV 34 44
    Repository location: Windsor

    The early membranes of this document that would have provided the dates of the accounting year are missing.

    1451–2; Latin; parchment; 2 mbs; 295mm x 140mm; earlier membranes missing; faded, ink has run in places causing obliteration of words, patch at the top edge.

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