Ordinance Books

HRO: W/B1/1

f 134 (26 October)


The same daye & yere it was agreid by the maior and the more part of the xxiiijti for that Steven Asheton did without anye warning gevin to the maior lices Bartilmew Lardner to sell bulls fleshe unbaighted contrary to the forme of proclamacion of the cyti that he shuld paye for a fyne fyve pence to the use of the chamber...


  • Footnotes
    • lices: for licens; one abbreviation mark missing
  • Glossed Terms
    • unbaighted adj unbaited, used here to describe the flesh of a bull that has not been baited
  • Endnote

    Most decisions were made by the mayor and his brethren (ex-mayors who assisted the mayor in day-to-day decision making) and the more important ones were later ratified by the mayor and the twenty-four and recorded in the ordinance books (Keene, Survey of Winchester in the Late Middle Ages, 75-82; Furley, City Government, 62-9). Steven Asheton was at this time one of the city bailiffs and later became mayor in 1573.

  • Document Description

    Record title: Ordinance Books
    Repository: HRO
    Shelfmark: W/B1/1
    Repository location: Winchester

    The ordinance books contain ordinances such as election of officials, granting of leases, and regulations to do with trade and health. Also included are elections to membership of the Merchants' guild and incorporation of various other guilds, such as the Fishmongers' and the Tailors' and Hosiers'. These books can be seen as the official register of decisions made at the general assemblies, the borough motes, held twice a year in either the guildhall or in St John's House and attended by the mayor, the twenty-four, other freemen of the Merchants' guild, and – supposedly – the commonalty, although it is doubtful whether the ordinary citizen had any formal say by this date or was even present, whatever may have been the case earlier (Keene, Survey of Winchester in the Late Middle Ages, 75–82; Furley, City Government, 62–9). Many are ratifications of decisions already made at the more frequent meetings of the mayor and his brethren and initially recorded in the Proceedings Books. The first book includes the queen's proclamation concerning the fate of Mary Queen of Scots and regulations, dated 16 October 1561, concerning the wearing of scarlet gowns by mayors, ex-mayors, and their wives, and the days on which they are to be worn. As the ordinances were amended or cancelled a marginal entry to that effect has been added.

    On f 99 there is an ordinance dated 7 November 1552 that all acts and ordinances in Winchester's black book (a forerunner of the ordinance books) that the mayor and the twenty-four considered still valid should be translated into English and bound into a new paper book. The rest of the black book was then to be 'voyde and vtterlye abolisshed for euer.' It appears that the new paper book forms the first ninety- eight pages of this ordinance book and records ordinances dating back to 1358.

    1552–1608; English and some Latin; paper; ii + 316 + vi; 310mm x 200mm; contemporary foliation; some pages torn but condition generally good; contemporary brown suede leather binding, gold-tooled title on spine: 'First Book of Ordinances.'

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