St John the Baptist's Churchwardens' Accounts

HRO: 88M81W/PW1

f 53v (14 January 1591–24 February 1592) (Receipts)


Receved at the kyngale xx s. ix d.


  • Glossed Terms
    • kinge n in phr kinge ale, kingal, kingale, kingalle, kingeale, kyng ale, kyngale, kyngalle, kynge ale, kyngeale king ale, an inversion of order event in which a king — typically a local young man or farmer — was appointed to preside over the festival; kyng game, kynges game, king play, kynges play, kyng play synonymous with king ale; in phr king halle, kyng halle king hall, likely a bower built for the king of the king ale
  • Document Description

    Record title: St John the Baptist's Churchwardens' Accounts
    Repository: HRO
    Shelfmark: 88M81W/PW1
    Repository location: Winchester

    The parish of St John the Baptist lies just east of the River Itchen, outside Winchester's walls in the area known as the 'Soke,' which was under the jurisdiction of the bishop of Winchester. That makes it especially remarkable that St John's continued to hold king ales even after Bishop Cooper prohibited such activities throughout the diocese in 1585 (see Letter of Thomas Cooper, Bishop of Winchester, 1585). Williams believed the original accounts to have been lost and so used an eighteenth-century transcript, but the manuscript was found and is now held by the HRO (Early Churchwardens' Accounts, p 164). The accounts run from 1548 to 1596, after which there is a gap until a single year's account dated 19 January 1605/6. The accounting period varies, sometimes covering two or three years, and usually beginning in early January, though the date ranges from 29 December to as late as 24 February.

    1548–1606; English; paper; i + 64 + i; 296mm x 217mm; modern pencil foliation on ff 1–57, ff 58–64 unfoliated; in good condition; original parchment cover, torn and worm-eaten, faded writing on front cover: 'This Church booke d<.>de<.> Anno Domini 159<.>,' on inside of front cover: 'The Church booke of the parish of St Johns.' First two leaves are blank; f 3 contains an inventory dated 1659.

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