Town Minute Book

BRO: W/AC1/1/1

f 35v (20 January)


At the gret Court holdyn byfore Willyam aDeane there Mayour Thomas polkyngton & Thomas Gay aldermen with thassent of all the hole Burges then there beyng present yt ys Innactyd that from that where/ as there byn an olde Auncyent Custom to fynde & kepe a certeyn daunce vppon hock Twyseday withyn the seid Towne And ffor asmoche as the honour of wallyngford ys nowe callyd the honour of Ewelme/ yt ys nowe therfore Innactyd for esmoche as the Burgeys of the same Town haue byn at sumptyous Costes in The borrowyng of certeyn Rayment for the daunceres there to be occpyed at yat day They haue Innactyd yat the same daunce shalbe no more kept there the same day <...> that onlesse there be provyd here after yat the levyng of the same daunce schulde be eny preiudice/ to eny of ther nor mynysshyng of ther priuelege/ of ther seide Towne.

  • Marginalia
  • Glossed Terms
    • esmoche adv in conj phr for esmoche as forasmuch as
    • levyng vb n leaving
    • sumptyous adj sumptuous
  • Endnote

    No exact date is given for this entry but it falls between one dated 7 October 1539 and one dated 11 October 1541. The merging of the honour of Wallingford into the honour of Ewelme by parliamentary act of Henry VIII, 24 July 1540, marked a significant change in Wallingford's political and juridical authority, and appears to have affected directly the anciently kept, annual Hock Tuesday dance (Hedges, History of Wallingford, vol 2, pp 90–2).

    This unusual entry concerns a Hock Tuesday 'dancing day' that seems to have been a performance with expensive costumes. Similar 'dancing days' in Salisbury on Whitsun were followed by a 'gathering' that functioned as payment for the dancers – a variant on the simple 'gathering' of young men and young women during the summer festivals familiar in many parishes as a means of raising money for the parish. (See Audrey Douglas, '"Owre Thanssynge Day": Parish Dance and Procession in Salisbury,' Alexandra F. Johnston and Wim Hüsken (eds), English Parish Drama, Ludus: Medieval and Early Renaissance Theatre and Drama, vol 1 (Amsterdam and Atlanta, 1997), 41–63.) The 'dancing day' in Wallingford seems to have been an event for the honour of Wallingford rather than a parish event. Here the mayor and burgesses of the town of Wallingford seem to be trying to ensure that cancelling the expensive event would not further affect the standing of the town now that the honour of Wallingford has been absorbed by the honour of Ewelme.

  • Document Description

    Record title: Town Minute Book
    Repository: BRO
    Shelfmark: W/AC1/1/1
    Repository location: Reading

    The Town Book is a miscellany volume. It contains some decisions of the burghmote court, some accounts, copies of wills, indentures, deeds, etc. There is no apparent order or logic to the entries.

    1507–1683; English and Latin; paper; iv + 202 + iv; 400mm x 270mm; 18th-c. foliation; bound in cardboard covered with soft leather, now in a purpose made carboard box, no title.

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