License granted to John Allen to Bait Bears in Southwark

TNA: SP 4/1

mb [1] (December)


A licence for Iohn Alen, yeoman of my lorde princes beares to baight his beares in Southwarke or thereaboutes or els where from tyme to tyme for his moost commoditie. preferred by Mr Secretarie pagett.


  • Marginalia
    • 20
  • Footnotes
    • Mr Secretarie pagett: William Paget (c 1506–63), first Baron Paget of Beaudesert, principal secretary to Henry VIII, 1543–7
  • Endnote

    There is also evidence that John Allen, licensed here to bait the prince's bears (or another prince's bearward), was circulating on the road during the same period, 1543–4; see P&P.

    A John Allen appears in 1557 as liable for taxation in the royal household but not in Surrey; see TNA: E 115/9/144. Allen may also have been a butcher; see Carlin, Medieval Southwark, pp 187, 238.

  • Document Description

    Record title: License granted to John Allen to Bait Bears in Southwark
    Repository: TNA
    Shelfmark: SP 4/1
    Repository location: Kew

    Following the proclamation that bearbaiting was to cease on Bankside issued in April 1546, this license was issued to John Allen in December; see Proclamation of Henry VIII against the Stews. By 1552 he appeared as a tenant of Henry Polsted at the 'Bearyard and Bearehouse' on the Unicorn property; see Henry Polsted's Tenants in St Saviour's Parish.

    This roll is one of many monthly registers of bills, warrants, and letters dry stamped with Henry VIII's signature and then submitted to the king for clearance. The king checked each register and authorized that month's use of the dry stamp by personally signing the register.

    September 1545–January 1547; English; parchment; 3 membranes; 1640mm x 360mm; originally unnumbered; sewn end to end; fair condition with some folds and tears. Now folded and mounted on a paper binding strip, numbered 20 out of 64 items, and bound with eighteen other rolls for September 1545–January 1546/7 in a red leather board volume, title gold-stamped on the spine: '[double rule] S. P | HEN. VIII. | | [double rule] | | [double rule] | SIGNATURES | BY | STAMP. | [double rule],' stored in a brown cardboard box. Item 20 is listed in the MS 'Index Nominarum' on f 2 as 'Allen, John To bait bears Dec. 1546. 20.'

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