Book of Fines

Southampton City Archives: SC5/3/1

f 97v (29 September–29 September) (Payments)


Item to the Quenes Iester Mr Renerd iij s. iiij d.
Item ij mens chargys to Willtonn to fett disgysinge apparrell and to tychefylde for the horsemen in the Maye vj s. viij d.
Item for thinges fett at Mr Goddardes for the gowne of Satten made for the May v s. ix d.


Item for vij yardes of grene Satten A bridgis at ij s. vj d. the yarde for the Mayes gowne remaynynge in the handes of Mr Vincente xvij s. vj d.


  • Marginalia
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  • Footnotes
  • Glossed Terms
    • a bridgis adj phr of a type made in Bruges [OEDO a prep.2 8; Bruges n 1.b,c]
    • mayes gowne n phr May's gown, a gown belonging to a character in a May game(?)
  • Endnote

    The third entry contains an apparently otiose vertical line between 'Satten' and 'made.' The fourth entry appears to end at 'gowne' with the final line added, with a bracket at the right extending down to the end just above the horizontal line following 'Vincente.' Only a single amount is entered for these lines.

    For 'fett' in the second and third entries (that is, 'fetch' and 'fetched' respectively), Burch reads 'sett' (p 30), but the ligature from 's' to 'e' in this hand usually comes from the top right hand end (the right end of the curving top of the stroke), whereas this ligature comes from the middle of the vertical stroke, as if the crossing of the 'f'; 'f' and 's' are otherwise indistinguishable in this hand.

  • Document Description

    Record title: Book of Fines
    Repository: Southampton City Archives
    Shelfmark: SC5/3/1
    Repository location: Southampton

    This account book was started to record only the receipts from 'casualties': here, fines for offences such as fighting, burgesses verbally attacking each other, married men being caught in the stews, and citizens and foreigners buying and selling in violation of the town's ordinances, as well as admission fees paid by those desiring to practise a craft in the city. These receipts provided the mayor with a small fund from which to pay for rewards to players, messengers, noblemen and their servants, and the like, and occasionally for minor repairs to town buildings. After a few years of accounts the payments also begin to be recorded here, so that in fact the accounts are not just a record of fines, but are the complete mayors' accounts. In the second half of the sixteenth century the accounts, especially the payments, become more detailed and broader in content, including much more extensive expenses for construction and repair, and detailed accounts for poor relief. The accounting year runs from Michaelmas to Michaelmas. The Book of Fines has been transcribed by Butler, Book of Fines, 3 vols.

    The dating of these accounts by regnal years gets a year out of step with the heading of the 1573–4 accounts as 16–17 Elizabeth (f 147r), following the accounts for 14–15 Elizabeth: there is no set of accounts headed 15–16 Elizabeth. The error was only rectified in 1586–7, which is correctly headed 28–9 Elizabeth. (1585–6 is also, incorrectly, labeled 28–9 Elizabeth.) Dates given within the accounts are correct, further revealing the error, as in the accounts for 1576–7, which are headed 19–20 Elizabeth (which would be 1577–8) but twice dated internally to June and July 1577.

    29 September 1488–29 September 1594; English with some Latin; paper; 252 leaves; 417mm x 285mm; modern pencil foliation (numbering in upper right corner of the rectos has been used throughout rather than numbering of some folios at bottom left, which is often 1 higher than the correct numbering but has been used by Cheryl Butler in her edition); good condition (only last 2 leaves have lost any written space, several leaves lost between ff 41 and 42, so there are no accounts for 1514–15, 1515–16, or 1516–17, many different hands; contemporary parchment cover in poor condition, title on front of cover much faded.

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