St Leonard's Churchwardens' Accounts

Wisbech and Fenland Museum: LEV/CA/2

f 152 (1 February 1563/4–31 January 1564/5) (Payments)


Item gyven to men ye xj day Iune in ye yeare of our lord god 1564 when they where her to showe ye bayne of thyre playe vj s. viij d.
Item spent ye same daye in bread & drynke ij s. iiij d.


f 152v


Item payd to ye players of Wysbyche at the commaundement of Master bryan with other of ye paryshe xx d.


f 153 (Payments)


Item paid to the yonge children that came fro wysbych and to the schollemaster ij s. iiij d.


  • Footnotes
  • Glossed Terms
    • baene n ban, a public proclamation [OEDO n.1]; bayne
  • Endnote

    For possible play performances originating in Kirton Fen in the mid-1500s, see records included in James Stokes (ed), Lincolnshire, REED, 2 vols (Toronto and Buffalo, 2009), particularly the St Mary's churchwardens' accounts, Long Sutton, vol 1, pp 227, 330, and vol 2, p 425–6). Stokes notes that 'the many players who cried the banns of their plays in other towns were by definition usually amateur actors (though some might have been companies of professional waits), as in the players of ... Kirton'; these performances would have included 'history, saint, biblical, passion, morality, and (in Lincoln) Pater Noster plays' (Lincolnshire, vol 2, pp 404, 406).

    Stokes notes that records such as these (f 153) serve as an 'indicator of involvement by schools in drama during the second half of the sixteenth century': '[a]t Long Sutton in 1564–5 the churchwardens paid 6s 6d "to the children of wisbich whan they played here"; and in 1572–3, 20d "to the children of Spaldinge"' (Lincolnshire, vol 1, p 229; vol 2, p 433).

  • Document Description

    Record title: St Leonard's Churchwardens' Accounts
    Repository: Wisbech and Fenland Museum
    Shelfmark: LEV/CA/2
    Repository location: Wisbech

    St Leonard's Church is the parish church of Leverington. Built in the mid-thirteenth century, the lower stages of its tower and part of the south wall and arcading between the chancel and the south chapel date from this period; the south aisle and porch from the fourteenth century, and a fifteenth-century nave and north aisle replaced the original thirteenth-century construction (VCH: Cambridgeshire, vol 4, pp 186–97, British History Online,, accessed 18 September 2021).

    1570–1600; English; paper and vellum ; xi + 199; two later pencil foliations, one no longer in numerical order, the other followed here; good condition; bound out of chronological order, extensive repairs c 1950, leaves mounted into paper frames, rebound at the same time, burgundy cloth over boards; title on spine: LEVERINGTON PARISH BOOK–VOLUME II.

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