The corporation of Shrewsbury: Guild and merchant rolls

Pages 7-9

The Manuscripts of Shrewsbury and Coventry Corporations [Etc] Fourth Report, Appendix: Part X. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1899.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


III.—Gild-Merchant Rolls.

This series is remarkable as exhibiting the record of admissions to burgess-ship in the town from the year 1209 to 1510. The genealogical information afforded by them is important, as they give the names of parents and specify the children. For 1209, xi. Joh., there are two rolls. The first is headed, "Sanctus Spiritus assit nobis. De illis qui sunt in Gilda mercand. in burgo Salop., et quorum patres pridie non fuerunt in libertatibus Gilde, anno xi regni regis J., et quorum finis est v sol. iiijd." Other headings of subdivisions are, "De illis qui intraverunt gildam. De forinsecis qui intraverunt gildam, et de fine eorum. Isti intraverunt ad ultimam assisam primo." The second roll is headed, "De Gilda mercand. burgi Salop. ad quartam assisam anno xi regni regis J. in festo Sancti Bartholomei. De illis quorum patres fuerunt in gilda, unde assisa de xxxijd (not as given in Blakeway, xxijd) apponitur, et pacaverunt iiijd." This is endorsed with (3) another list headed, "De ultimis qui intraverunt assisam gilde primo anno iiijo regni regis H. fil. regis J. in crastino Sancti Jacobi apostoli," (26 July, 1220). These earliest rolls are now in course of being printed in the Transactions of the Shropshire Archæological Society by Rev. C. H. Drinkwater, M.A.

4. 1232. "De forinsecis et aliis in gilda ultima intratis ad viijam assisam in crastino Sanctæ Trinitatis anno r. r. H. fil. J. xvj."

5. 1239. "Rotulus de ghylda mercatorum burgo Salop. ad novam (sic, for "nonam" (fn. 1) ) assisam. Primus dies sessionis fuit die Martis prox. post festum Sancti Dionisii anno r. r. H. xxiijo."

6, 7. 1252. "Rotulus de illis qui quatuor denarios sunt pacaturi. Nomina Theynesmen"; twelve names. Then, "Rotulus de ghylda mercatorum in burgo Salopp. ad nonam assisam. Primus dies sessionis fuit dies Mercurii prox. post festum Sancti Barnabe apostoli anno r. r. H. fil. J. xxxvjo." (In the figures of the regnal year the first x is nearly obliterated, and the date has hence been sometimes taken as xxvi., but Blakeway read it correctly.) There is also another roll, "De forinsecis de ghylda mercantorum (sic) ad assisam nonam" on the same day, in which the regnal year is written in full, "tricesimo sexto."

8, 9. 1268. Two rolls "de forinsecis de gilda mercatoria ad assisam nonam," on St. Barnabas' day 52 Hen. III., of which the second has the sub-heading, "Isti subscripti sunt qui tunc primo finierunt."

10. Another short roll of foreigners, without date.

The preceding rolls are described in Owen and Blakeway's History, I. 102–5, with a few errors.

11, 12. Two rolls of the time of Hen. III., distinguishing the persons who paid 3d., 4d., and 7d. respectively. These are evidently burgess-rolls, but had been placed amongst those of the subsidies. Printed, with notes by Rev. C. H. Drinkwater, in Trans. of Shr. Archœol. Soc., 2nd S., I. 29–52.

13. A curious very small roll of the same reign contains a list of names in sections divided by crosses, without any heading or explanation, except that one section with seven names is headed "Masuns." The names are these: "Willelmus de Drayton, Rogerus de Farnecete, Rogerus le Hunte, Thomas de Helecete, Willelmus Alberburi, Water de Abbeton, Thomas de Teculwardin."

14–18. Five rolls temp. Edw. I., of which three belong to an. 9, 1281, and two to an. 32, 1304.

19–22. Edw. II. Four rolls of his twelfth year, 1319, at the f. of St. Jo. Bapt., of which two are "de forinsecis." The "Nomina Theynesmen" occur again here.

23. One very long roll contains the lists in various years from 12 Edw. II. to 21 Rich. II., 1318–1397.

24. At the f. of St. Laurence (10 Aug.) 28 Edw. III., 1354.

25. "De forinsecis," of the same date.

26. "Eleccio burgensium facta in anno r.r. Edw. tercii xlvi," 1372. The names of the new burgesses' sons are given.

27. "De gilda mercatoria, de forinsecis ad nonam assisam," beginning on Monday after Mich. Day, 46 Edw. III., and ending on Christmas Day, 47 Edw. III., extending thus from Mich. 1372 to Christmas 1373. A long roll.

28. At the f. of St. Margaret, 8 Rich. II., 1384.

29. "De speciali gilda," Thursday before Christmas Day, 21 Rich. II., 1397.

30. "De generali gilda," Thursday before Christmas Day, 6 Hen. IV., 1404.

31. "De generali gilda," Tuesday after Conv. of St. Paul, 9 Hen. IV., 1408. The first entry here is interesting as showing in the case of an honorary admission that the ill-will which at a later period existed between the men of Shrewsbury and of Oswestry had not then arisen: "Johannes Wele, capitaneus d'Osewestre, pro amore et bono auxilio suo burgensibus ville et communitati ac libertati ejusdem ville habitis et imposterum habendis."

32. "De generali gilda," Monday after f. of All SS., 14 Hen. IV., 1412.

33. "Burgenses facti tempore Rogeri Corbet et Johannis Perle"; scil. 1417–8. A very short roll.

34, 35. Thursday before f. of St. Denis M., 29 Hen. VI., 1450. Two rolls; on the second is added the list made on Monday, the vigil of St, Peter ad Vinc., 31 July, 30 Hen. VI., 1452; entered "per Johannem Phelypps."

36. A roll containing three admissions at a session on the Monday next after SS. Phil. and James, 16 Hen. VII., 1501, and six at sessions on several days in Jan., 19 Hen. VII., 1504.

37. A roll with 13 admissions on 1 Oct. 2 Hen. VIII., 1510, of which the first is that of "Robertus Sutton, alias dictus Robertus Dudley, armiger, filius Edmundi Dudley de Dudley in com. Stafford, militis."

From this date up to 1863 the admissions are found in the Assembly Books, and in several separate volumes, one of which extends from 1463 to 1758. There is a modern alphabetical index of names.

In 1632 there is a draft on paper of an agreement by the bailiffs that the free men and women of the craft of Turners shall be hereafter (as hitherto understood to be) free of the crafts of Bowyers, Fletchers, Cowpers, Stringers, Joiners, Feltmakers, and Haberdashers.

There is a parcel of petitions to the bailiffs, in number 14, with one to the Council of the Marches, extending from the end of the fifteenth century to the beginning of the seventeenth, which relate to the companies of Weavers, Bakers, Tailors, Shoemakers, Saddlers, Joiners, and Butchers. Amongst these the following may be specially noted:—

From the Shermen, otherwise called Clothworkers, praying that certain reformed ordinances, which they have had drawn by learned counsel, may be enacted, to prevent the ruin of their trade; temp. Jas. I.

From the Saddlers and Glasiers, complaining that, whereas the Curriers have always been freemen of their Company, certain young men now refuse to take out their freedom.

From Gyllem Wisbeche and others, joiners, complaining that Maderne Wisbecke "namynge hymself doctor of Physike" and Griffith ap Madock, wardens of their craft, admit carpenters into it; with the reply of the said Wardens annexed. For an account of a subscription made for the relief of Dr. Wisbeche in 1574, see under that date in the notes from the Registers infra.

Several other petitions relating to various companies will be found among the Miscellaneous Papers.


  • 1. Nonam and novam are written by a careless scribe indiscriminately; generally novam.