Cambridgeshire, Ely, 1631–2

Dean's Treasurer's Accounts

CUL: EDC 3/1/1

f 144 (24 June–23 June) (External expenses)


To Cambridg Musitians att Ely fayer yat Asent<..> 0 5 s. 4


f 144v


To the musitions att of Cambridg xiij s. 4 d.


  • Footnotes
    • Asent<..>: for Asention; ie, 10 May
    • 5s 4: 5 written over 4; 4 written very large over5 d.
  • Endnote

    The Ely Ascension Fair (f 144) began on the vigil of the Ascension and lasted for twenty-two days; in 1632, the fair ran from 9–31 May. For further details, see 'Historical Background: Travel and Roads.'

    The Cambridge waits paid for their performance at the Ely Fair beginning on the vigil of the Ascension (f 144) were also paid for an earlier performance at the Reach Fair, held Rogation Monday; see Nelson, Cambridge, vol 1, p 629. On the Cambridge waits, see also Nelson, Cambridge, vol 2, pp 738–45.

  • Document Description

    Record title: Dean's Treasurer's Accounts
    Repository: CUL
    Shelfmark: EDC 3/1/1
    Repository location: Cambridge

    The treasurer's accounts of Ely Cathedral, the college, the cathedral school, and the Dean and Chapter are all held in the Ely Dean and Chapter archives at Cambridge University Library (CUL EDC). Covering the period from 974 to the present day, the archive includes manorial court records, endowments, charters of foundation, rights, statutes, order books, and chapter minutes. The cathedral treasurer's accounts (1537–1873) are in good shape and provide continuous payments to entertainers over the course of the early modern period.

    Regular payments appear to the waits of King's Lynn, Newmarket, and Cambridge. The Cambridge waits, whose payments are for playing at the old and new Ely fairs, seem to have travelled to Ely from the Reach Fair outside of Cambridge. The Reach Fair was held around Rogation Monday. The old fair was held for one week around the feast of St Etheldreda (23 June), running from 20–26 June. The new fair, celebrating the feast of the Ascension forty days after Easter, would run for twenty-two days, beginning on the vigil of the Ascension (VCH: Cambridgeshire, vol 4, p 50, British History Online,, accessed 16 September 2021). See the Introduction, 'Historical Background,' for further details about Ely Cathedral, the cathedral priory, and the many annual fairs in the county.

    1587–1641; English; paper; i + 191; 380mm x 150mm; modern foliation; good condition; parchment binding; title on front cover: 'Longbook I | Eleemosina Calcetee A<..> | Pensiones Expensee forinsecæ | 1586 | to 1641 inclusiue,' label on spine: 'Treasurer | 1587–1641 | EDC 3/1/1.'

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