Corporation Proceedings Book

HRO: W/B2/2

f 25v (27 May)

The same daie & yere it is agreed that there shallbe geven in rewards owte of the Chamber of the Citie unto the plaiers of the Countesse of Derbie six shillings and eighte pence


  • Endnote

    The countess of Derby was Alice Spencer (1559–1636/7), the widow of Ferdinando Stanley (c 1559–16 April 1594), 13th Baron Strange of Knokyn and 14th earl of Derby. Some of Derby's men may have continued to tour for a short time after their patron's death by styling themselves the players of the widow.

  • Document Description

    Record title: Corporation Proceedings Book
    Repository: HRO
    Shelfmark: W/B2/2
    Repository location: Winchester

    These are the records of the twice-weekly meetings, called 'general assemblies,' held sometimes in the guildhall and sometimes in St John's House, attended by the mayor and about seven of his brethren (past mayors and after 1587 the recorder), mostly recording decisions about the granting of various tenements and lands to citizens. They also dealt with various administrative matters such as the prevention of disease by requiring citizens to clean up in front of their properties, the appointment of various city officials including the mayor, proclamations against malpractices of various sorts, and regulations prohibiting visiting traders, for instance, in time of plague. Authority was also given for the payment of certain sums of money either out of the city's coffers or by the chamberlains. The records also show the incorporation of various guilds such as the Tailors and the Fishmongers and the delivery to the city of its new charter in 1560. Each set of entries under a particular date is signed by the then mayor and such of his brethren as were present.

    In one of the Coffer Account Books (W/E6/1), on f [66v], dated 5 September 1591, there are two references to orders agreed 'in the booke of remembraunce.' Since most payments from the city coffers were authorized by orders recorded in the Proceedings Books and no Books of Remembrance are listed in the HRO catalogue, it has been necessary to undertake a lengthy investigation to discover what and where these Books of Remembrance might be. Alderman Jacob on p 4 of Top Win 3/2 (one of his scrapbooks of press cuttings) refers to 'Old records ... Coffer, sessional and Remembrance.' Further, in an article on Elizabethan trade, 'A Glimpse at Trade in Winton in Queen Elizabeth's Reign,' Hampshire Notes and Queries 4 (1889), 40–1, he quotes from 'a curious book: "The remembrance of thinges agreed in the Council House"' (p 40). From the records he quotes it has been possible to trace this book to what the HRO catalogue calls 'Proceedings Book A' (W/B2/2), which was rebound in the early part of the twentieth century and has the title on its cover, 'Proceedings of the Corporation.' From this evidence it was established that the orders 'in the booke of remembraunce' referred to in the Coffer Account Book and quoted above are at f 10v and f 11 of the HRO's Proceedings Book A and that therefore the Proceedings Books were originally known as Books of Remembrance. It appears that the original title must have been lost at the time of rebinding. The city archivist has now amended the HRO catalogue description to reflect these findings, although the books will not be renamed because of the number of references to them in printed sources.

    The modern binding wrongly gives the starting date of this volume as 7 November 1589 instead of 6 November 32 Elizabeth (1590). The closing date is given as 7 September 1598 instead of 29 September 1598. There are also some entries for 1602 after the first five entries for 1590.

    1590–8 and 1602–3; English; paper; ii + 56 + ii; 290mm x 250mm; modern foliation; some folios slightly torn at bottom, no relevant text affected, folios pasted onto stubs of paper when rebound; original parchment cover (probably a contemporary MS) retained inside early 20th-c. black leather binding, title on board and spine: 'City of Winchester Proceedings of the Corporation Nov 7 1589 to Sep 7 1598, A.'

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