Lincoln Wills: Volume 1, 1271-1526. Originally published by British Record Society, London, 1914.
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Beforelsdars. Before the elders, homage, jury or council (cp. 'consell', p. 70) [of the manorial court]. The clause on p. 70, with which this one should be compared, provides for the renewal of the tenure, on payment of a fine to the lord and his heirs, at the end of each period of 99 years. The present clause (p. 72) provides for the appointment of new feoffees when the number of feoffees is reduced to two, without the payment of a fine to the lord and his heirs. If the word makyndg' is treated as redundant the meaning is plain. (cp. p. 127, last line). 72
Black monks of Lincoln. The monks of the Benedictine priory of St. Mary Magdalene on the eastern side of Lincoln, now popularly known as 'Monks' Abbey'. The priory was a cell of St. Mary's Abbey, York. 4, 140, 150
Blacker. A wheelwright's tool (see context). Probably a variant of 'blocker,' a tool for some form of blocking: a.d. 1407, 'Lego Petro apprenticio meo j. chipax . . . j. blokker, j. twybyll' (Testamenta Eboracensia [Surtees Society], i, p. 347, quoted by N.E.D.). 32
Capital messuage or mese, cheyff messe, hed hous, hed place, principal place, principal messuage. The messuage occupied by the owner of a property, containing several messuages. 5, 26, 39–41, 56, 64–5, 72, 152, 160, 169, 171
Clerk. A member of any of the orders, including the minor orders, of the Church. As the scholarship of the Middle Ages was practically confined to the clergy, the notarial and secretarial work of the kingdom was done by such clerks. Passim. See King's clerk
(i) Vespers of the Office of the Dead, which took place on the evening before the funeral-day, was known as Placebo, because the office began with the antiphon Placebo Domino in regione vivorum (Psalm cxvi, 9, in Book of Common Prayer). 24, 27–9, 60, 64, 71, 80, 105, 114, 118–19, 153–4, 175, 177, 181
(ii) Matins of the Office of the Dead, which began nominally soon after midnight, but in practice considerably later. It was known as Dirige, dirge, durge, etc., because it began with the antiphon, Dirige, Domine, Deus meus, in conspectu tuo viam meam (founded on Psalm v, 8). 24–9, 42, 50, 60, 64, 71, 73–5, 79–80, 94–5, 105, 114, 118–19, 122–3, 133, 135, 153–4, 168–9, 171, 175–7, 179, 181, 182
Sometimes to add to the impressiveness of the service, the reading or the singing of particular antiphons and psalms and the reading of particular collects and lessons was assigned to different persons. Nine lessons are specified in obits on pages 153–4. In one case the testator directs that Placebo and Dirige are to be done in his house where his body lies (p. 24).
Oratio. Tibi, Domine, commendamus animas famulorum famularumque tuarum, et omnium fidelium defunctorum: ut defuncti seculo tibi vivant: et que per fragilitatem mundanæ conversationis peccata admiserunt tu venia misericordissimæ pietatis absterge. Per Christum, etc.
In Morley church, near Derby, there is a copy of an inscription on a small brass plate which is above the piscina in the chapel. It is a direction for the Commendatio Animarum to be said privately at mass on behalf of members of the family of Stathum, and seems to have been put up by John Stathum (died 1454), who is buried in the north chapel of the chancel— 'Ffor the sowles of Rafe, Godyth, Thomas, Elizabeth, Cecill and John & of theyr suxcessoures & for all cristen sowles: de profundis, &c.: pater noster, &c.: ave maria: et ne nos: requiem eternam, &c.: domine exaudi oracionem: with this orison Inclina domine, &c. John Stathum ordeynd this to be said & more writen in other diuers bokes'.
In modern Roman Breviaries the Commendatio Animarum is merged in the ordinary office of the dead as its concluding portion; and the name Commendatio Animæ is given to the litany and prayers used at the departure of the soul.
In one passage (p. 175) it is specified that Placebo and Dirige are to be sung with the 'suffrage thereoff'. In the second copy of the will in Book 1543–56 (f. 64d.), 'suffrages' was first written and then the final s was struck out. 'Suffrage' seems to be used here in a collective sense for a form of prayer largely composed of suffrages, and to correspond to what is elsewhere called Commendation (v.s.).
(iii) Mass for the Dead, was known as Mass of Requiem, owing to its introit Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine; et lux perpetua luceat eis. 24–9, 42, 50, 60, 64, 71, 79–80, 94–5, 105, 114, 118–19, 122–3, 133, 135, 153–4, 168–9, 171, 176–7, 179, 181
In the foregoing account of the Funeral Services the editor is greatly indebted to Dr. Clark's Sixty-three Lincoln Diocese Documents, pp. 8–9 (Early English Text Society); and, in the case of 'commendation', to Mr. A. Hamilton Thompson.
(i) The Funeral Services described above were in many cases repeated on the Seventh Day after death (pp. 2, 6, 25, 27, 33, 42, 44, 60, 74, 84, 118, 175–6); on the Thirtieth Day or Month's Mind (pp. 25, 27, 33, 42, 44, 84, 175–6, 181); and on the anniversary of death, called the Anniversary, Obit, Year-day, ℍer daye, Twelve-months Day (pp. 2, 3, 6, 11, 14, 20, 26, 28–9, 42, 45, 50–1, 59, 62–4, 66, 71, 77, 80, 84, 88, 94–6, 98, 100–1, 103, 105–6, 110, 114, 118–19, 121–3, 127–8, 130–1, 137, 139, 142–3, 145, 151, 153–4, 157–8, 162, 165–6, 168–9, 171, 176, 179, 181–2). Such obits were often ordered to be continued for a term of years (pp. 6, 51, 59, 101, 143, 153–4, 165); sometimes for long periods, e.g. 80, 96, 98 or 99 years (pp. 114, 139, 154, 157, 162, 179); and frequently in perpetuity (pp. 20, 28–9, 66, 71, 77, 80, 98, 110, 121, 171).
(ii) A Trental was a set of thirty requiem masses, said on one day or on thirty different days. 27, 32, 39, 44, 51–2, 56, 58–9, 61, 63–4, 77, 84, 88, 95–7, 112, 116, 118, 121–2, 128, 142, 151–2, 162, 178, 180–1, 183, 185
The rule about saying the thirty masses of the trental of St. Gregory, referred to on page 64, was as follows:—Whoever may desire to keep the trental of S. Gregory must celebrate three masses of the Lord's Nativity, three of the Lord's Epiphany, three of the Purification of St. Mary, three of the Annunciation of the same, three of the Lord's Resurrection, three of the Lord's Ascension, three of Whitsun-Day, three of the Trinity, three of the Assumption of St. Mary the Virgin, three of her Nativity, and let these masses be celebrated within the octaves of the above-mentioned feasts, all as on their day, but with special collects after the collect for the day. Let him also say daily Placebo and Dirige with nine psalms, lessons and anthems, except in Eastertide, when the service must be said with three; and let the Commendation of Souls be said so many times, etc.—(Sarum Missal).
(iii) Daily masses for terms of varying length—three months (p. 67), one year (pp. 25, 30, 32, 53, 67), two years (pp. 65, 144, 184), three years (p. 39), seven years (p. 27), forty years (p. 65), from Ash-Wednesday to Low Sunday for sixty years (p. 87).
(v) There is a very interesting account of the founding of a 'Donative' in the church of Croft 'for ij speciall causys', namely prayer for the souls of certain persons and 'the mayntenynge of the service of god of the halyday' (p. 70). The priest is to have liberty to go pilgrimage to Rome, or to St. James (Santiago de Compostela, q.v.) or elsewhere (p. 71); and to go to his friends and make merry with them one month in each year (p. 72); and his tenure of the office is to be perpetual except in the case of misconduct (p. 72). 70–2. See also Beforelsdars, Donatyffe
(vi) A perpetual Deaconship was founded in the church of Bolingbroke 'to have godd the more honorably servyd' and certain souls 'prayed for there fore evermore' (pp. 68–9). The context shows that the office was to be served by a priest, and the term 'deaconship' is unusual in this connection. Its use may be compared with the word 'deaconry', a name given to the chapels and oratories in Rome, under the direction of the regionary deacons or cardinal deacons. There was a deaconship at Sedgebrooke, the incumbent of which was called 'deacon' (Subsidy, p. 70; L.R.S., ii, p. 204; ibid., viii, p. 70).
The bequests for funeral and commemorative services often include additional sums with a view to adding to the impressiveness of the services and to ensuring a large attendance of worshippers, both of priests (pp. 13, 85, 122, etc.) and of the poor and others (pp. 26–7, 42, 45, 84, 114, 122–3, 153, 177, etc.), Sometimes the church bells are to be rung (pp. 27, 95, 114, 169, 176–7, etc.). Twice deacons are to ring (pp. 27, 169). In some cases the bell-man, 'goyng in the town as is accostomyd', is to summon the worshippers, thus 'doyng his duete' (pp. 27, 169, 176). Sometimes food is to be provided for those who come, e.g. 'bred and drynke' to the value of 2s., which the visiting priests are to have 'with the parishe prest . . . within the churche' (p. 26); 'white breed or kakes' and 'ayle' (p. 29); bread, ale and 'chese' (p. 153). In some cases the services are to be performed cum nota, i.e. sung to music (see Note). Frequently torches, tapers and other lights are to be provided (see Torch; also Index of Subjects, s.v. Wax).
Conveyances of buildings 'with the ground, etc., under them.' The instances of this form of conveyance all occur in the neighbourhood of Kirton in Holland, and the same form is sometimes used in conveying land in that district at the present day. 47, 64, 87, 90–1, 103, 111, 160, 167
Corporas, corporys cloth. A cloth, usually of linen, upon which the consecrated elements are placed during the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, and with which the elements, or the remnants of them, are covered after the reception. The usual form is corporal. 14, 77
Cossy or hayres. Cousin or heirs. The final n in cossy has probably been carelessly omitted by the scribe. 'Cousin' in ancient legal language meant 'next of kin', and the phrases 'cousin or heir' and 'cousin and heir' frequently occur in legal documents of former days. 32
(a) Cup or, in Latin, Cupa, a general word, probably used especially of a vessel with a foot and stem, and therefore called 'a standyng cupp' (p. 85), 'a standyng cope' (p. 114). Sometimes it had a cover (p. 85). At page 15, lines 20–2, the Latin 'cupa' is used three times, and in the last case the 'cupa' is accompanied by a gilt ewer of the same set (secta). 15, 85, 114
(b) Goblet, which occurs in English wills and has been used to translate the Latin 'Ciphus' (in classical Latin 'scyphus'), a general word, but used especially of a large drinking-bowl, without handles, with (p. 15) or without (p. 6) a foot, sometimes furnished with a cover (pp. 15, 16, 55), which in one case apparently covered three vessels (p. 21). Some of the owners of these bowls seem to have had a particular affection for them since they gave them names—'Nutte' (p. 6), 'Nut' (p. 16), 'Boll' (p. 16). In the ordinances of St. Michael's gild, Lincoln, mention is made of four of the goblets (ciphos) which are called fullas having been filled with ale. Perhaps 'fulla' = 'olla,' and means a flagon. In the ordinances of a Grantham gild there are 'tres ciphos vocatos masers', which are valued at 40s. These instances suggest vessels of a considerable size (Toulmin Smith, English Gilds, pp. 173n, 174n). 5–6, 15–17, 21, 50, 55
(d) Mazer, maser, masour, masser, mazer goblet, etc., in Latin ciphus de murrha, ciphus murreus. Mazer properly means a hard wood, usually maple, used as a material for drinking cups, whence it came to signify a bowl, drinking cup or goblet, generally of a considerable size, made of 'mazer' wood, with a band of metal round the brim and a small disc of metal at the bottom. There is a fine specimen of such a mazer in Epworth parish church. A mazer seems generally to have had a foot but no stem; in three places, however, a 'standing' mazer is mentioned (pp. 34, 44–5), which probably means that the vessel had a very short stem. A cover is mentioned on page 34, and again on page 45, where it is described as 'of wood.' Geoffrey le Scrope was accustomed to drink from a black mazer (p. 17). For a long note on the word 'mazer', see Peacock, English Church Furniture, pp. 194–5). 6, 17, 22, 34, 44–5, 49–50, 83, 91, 110, 136, 138–9, 174
(e) Pece, in Latin pecia, a cup, especially a wine-cup, or drinking vessel, called 'peciam vel cupam' (p. 5); sometimes furnished with a cover (pp. 15, 16, 17, 22, 44). In one case two peces are encased in one boiled skin (pp. 15–16). In Middle English 'pece' is a common spelling of 'piece', from which 'pece' in the sense of a drinking vessel may, perhaps, be a development, cp. 'a piece of plate' (N.E.D.). 5, 15–17, 22, 44, 84
Dominus (Lat.). This title has generally been translated 'Sir', q.v.; but on page 16 (1. 9, and 1. 2 from foot) it has been rendered 'lords', since those to whom it is applied were persons of great account. Passim
Fabric, fabrica (Lat.), warke, worke, werkes, churchewarke, church werkes. The fabric or works fund of a church. The bequests to these funds for the maintenance of the fabric of parishes churches are very numerous. Scarcely less common are the legacies to the fabric fund of the cathedral, 'owr ladys warke' (p. 94), 'our lady werkes' (p. 35), 'the wark of the moder church' (p. 67), etc. Out of this fund certain chaplains were maintained to offer mass on behalf of the fabric in the northernmost chapel of the great south transept, popularly called 'the Works chantry' (L.R.S. vii, p. 142, n 3). Sometimes in the Latin wills 'opus' is used instead of 'fabrica,' and 'operatio' occurs once in the same sense (p. 59). Passim
Handfast, handfest, my wyffe afor gode and recorde. My wife, handfast before God and witnesses. Handfasting sometimes means betrothal, and sometimes, as here, a probationary form of marriage. The latter meaning of the word is explained by Scott in The Monastery (chapter xxv), 'She is not my wife— but she is handfasted with me, and that makes her as honest a woman . . . We Border-men are more wary than your inland clowns of Fife and Lothian— no jump in the dark for us—no clenching the fetters around our wrists till we know how they will wear with us—we take our wives, like our horses, on trial. When we are handfasted, as we term it, we are man and wife for a year and a day— that space gone by, each may choose another mate, or, at their pleasure, may call the priest to marry them for life—and this we call handfasting'. (See N.E.D.). Brand (Popular Antiquities, ed. 1841, ii, pp. 54–5) sees a Danish origin in the custom, and says that strong traces of it remain in the villages in many parts of the kingdom, instancing Portland Island, where 'the young women, selecting lovers of the same place (but with what previous Rites, Ceremonies, or Engagements, I could never learn), account it no disgrace to allow them every favour, and that too from the fullest confidence of being made wives the moment such consequences of their stolen embraces begin to be too visible to be any longer concealed'. Perhaps some of the peculiarities of Scottish marriage law may have their origin in this custom. 41
Hegyng. The word is inexplicable, and there is probably some mistake in the text. The sense seems to be that the land was to be sold under the supervision of the testator's executors or feoffees [see Occupyers] for 4l. 13s. 4d. to the gild for 105 years (see Peeres), out of which money the gild was to have 6s. 8d. given to it; or, if the gild was unwilling to purchase, the land was to remain to Roger, who was to give 4l. 13s. 4d. to the executors or feoffees and 6s. 8d. to the gild. (For instances of devises for religious purposes for terms of 80 and 99 years see pages 157, 162, 179). 134
Hoggeshed of yrne. A hogshead of iron. Hogshead was sometimes used as a measure of weight—'1600 Hyll Arith. xiii 66, 112 Poundes weight maketh 1. hundred weight. 5. of those hundreds . . 1. Hogshead weight' (N.E.D. s.v. Hogshead). 77
Inclina. This was one of the collects used at Matins or Lauds of the Office of the Dead, and sometimes in the Commemoration of Souls (see Commemoration). The collect was as follows—'Inclina Domine, aurem tuam ad preces nostras, quibus misericordiam tuam supplices deprecamur: ut animam famuli tui, quam de hoc seculo migrare jussisti, in pacis ac lucis regione constituas, et sanctorum tuorum jubeas esse consortem. Per Christum, etc.' 64
Jack, Jacke, Jake. A Jack, a coat of fence, a kind of sleeveless tunic or jacket, formerly worn by foot-soldiers and others, usually of leather quilted, and in later times often plated with iron (N.E.D.). 91, 102, 142
Jesse, aula de (Lat.). Tapestry of Jesse, that is, a hanging embroidered with a genealogical tree representing the genealogy of Christ from the root of Jesse, used in churches in the middle ages. 9. See Aula
Kirtle, kertill. A man's tunic or coat; frequently used as the equivalent of Latin tunica. As the common name of an article of male attire, kirtle seems to have gone out of use about or shortly after 1500. Also a woman's gown; a skirt or outer petticoat (N.E.D.). 61, 67, 84, 110, 130–1
Lantern-light. The light, sheltered by a lantern, which was used when the Sacrament of the Altar was taken to the sick. Sometimes, however, lanterns were used in church—'For Candyll for burning in the lanteryn on Wynter mornings in the body of the Churche' (Cox, Churchwardens' Accounts, p. 167). 54, 56, 63, 67, 152
Makes, I. I make. The use of the final s has been verified. In most cases the final es is plainly represented by the usual contraction for es, and not by a mere flourish after the k (pp. 30, 32, 55, 68, 82–3, 88, 90, 92, 95, 98, 101, 123, 135, 163–4, 167–71, 175, 180–1). But in some instances the word is uncontracted— 'makes' (pp. 30, 50), 'makys' (pp. 20, 67, 94, 174). Cp. 'maketh', 'makyth' (p. 89); also 'I . . . giffes' (p. 32), 'I . . . ordens' (p. 142), 'I . . . settes' (pp. 166, 186); also Testamenta Eboracensia, part iv, 'I . . . gyff and bewittes' (p. 30), 'I . . . ordeyns and makes' (p. 26), 'I . . . ordeigne, maketh and declarith' (p. 41).
Mass-pence, mass penny, mespeny. A penny or, in a more general sense, a payment to a priest for saying a mass; also a payment to other ministers assisting the priest. 64, 75, 94, 100, 105, 123, 153, 169, 177
Minster. Minster, which is a shortened form of 'monastery,'=a monastery, or the church of a monastery; also applied to any church of considerable size or importance, especially a cathedral or collegiate church. It is very commonly applied to the cathedral church of Lincoln. The use of the word 'monastery' (p. 31) in this sense is unusual. 31, 142, 171
Mortmain. The condition of lands held inalienably by an ecclesiastical or other corporation. Such alienations, being injurious to the rights of the king and the mesne lords, were restrained by various statutes, and could only be made by royal licence. Attempts to evade the statutes were made by appointing feoffees in trust for long terms of years (see pp. 70–2). Mortmain, or the 'dead hand,' seems to be a metaphorical expression for impersonal ownership. 8n, 13n, 162
Mortuary, mortuare. A gift or offering due by custom to the incumbent of a parish from the estate of a deceased parishioner. Its nature was regulated by local custom, but it commonly consisted of the best beast, best garment or other chattel; for which reason it was sometimes called the 'principal' (in Lat. 'principalium', pp. 19, 35, 74). The offering was often brought with the corpse and presented at the church door, which practice seems to have led to the name of corse-present or corpse-present being given to it— 'my corsepresent to be gyffyn of my best goodes as use and custome requiryth' (Will of Thomas Cowde, 1529, Lincoln Consistory Court, Book 1520–31, f. 259). Selden (History of Tythes, 287, c.10) says that a mortuary is an offering to the church as a satisfaction for the supposed negligence and omissions that the defunct had been guilty of in not paying his personal tithes; but in the present volume there are very many instances of bequests to the testator's church or its high altar (passim) or to the sacrament (p. 126) for tithes and oblations forgotten in addition to the provision for the payment of a mortuary. In one case only (p. 119) does a testator bequeath his 'best beyst' for his mortuary and 'forgoten tythes.' Passim
Note, nott, noytt, with; notatus (Lat.). With musical notation, with music; used to describe a service which was sung as opposed to one that was said. Cp. 'To be buryed with note of the hole qwere' (Lincoln Consistory Court, 1520–31, f. 263 d.). 16, 42, 50, 60, 135, 179
Pair of rosaries. A 'pair' in the 14th century and later was often used in the sense of a set (not limited to two) of separate parts forming a collective whole, such as the several parts of a structure or of a complicated musical instrument, etc. Cp. 'a pair of stairs'='a flight of stairs'; a 'pair of organs'='an organ' (see Organs); 'a pair of cards,='a pack of cards'. Perhaps 'a pair of rosaries' here='a rosary', the plural being used to express the composite nature of such a string of beads. Cp. the similar use of the plural in Organs (q.v.). 43. See also Aueℍ
Pannetus (Lat.). Paned or slashed, made of strips of different coloured cloth joined together, or of cloth cut into strips, between which ribs or stripes of other material or colour are inserted (N.E.D.). 5
Pechisse, pechys. Hides (cp. p. 83, 1. 8). 'Petch, a dried pelt or skin used to make size for warps (Yorkshire)' (The Dialect Dictionary. The word, however, rests on the authority of one correspondent). Spetch (not obsolete)=a piece or strip of undressed leather, a trimming of hide, used in making glue or size; another form is 'speck' (N.E.D.). 84, 93
Penny. This coin was of silver for a long period, and it was for many hundred years the only coin in circulation in England. Hence 'penny' was used as a general or vague term for a piece of money, a sum of money, money. 3, 76. Cp. Pennyworth, Thyrd peny
Plates. Plates here are evidently armour, since they are mentioned along with a helmet and aventail. A pair of plates would probably be a breast-plate and back-plate. The fact of their being, in this case, covered with red velvet, suggests that they were intended to be used as defensive additions to ordinary clothing, and not for war. 16
Quey, que, quie, quye, qwy, qwye. Properly, a young cow before it has had a calf; a heifer; but note 'a que of iij yeres old' (p. 110), 'a qwey that hath a calffe' (p. 170). 49, 110, 122, 145, 147, 170, 182
Red Ark, the. Evidently a well-known box for offerings in Lincoln cathedral, which probably derived its name from its colour. Mauncer Marmyon (a.d. 1505) bequeathed 'to the Reparacion of the moder churche of lincoln iijs. iiijd. to be put in to the Red arke' (Lincoln Consistory Court, 1532–4, f. 40), which suggests that the contents of the box were devoted to the fabric-or repair-fund. 113, 138, 162
Rowel. A ring or hoop, wherein candles were fixed, to hang before the rood or an image. Such a ring was often called a trendal or trendle: in the Midlands and East Anglia roundel, rindel were more usual forms (see Cox, Churchwardens' Accounts, p. 165). 71, 139
Sack, friars of the. This was a small order of friars, which had about nine houses in England. Their proper style was 'Friars of the Penance of Jesus Christ', but they were more commonly called 'Friars of the Sack', from their habits being either shaped like a sack, or made of sack-cloth. Their house at Lincoln was situated in the suburb of the city in Thornbridgegate street. The order was suppressed, that is forbidden to admit new members, in 1274 (Dugdale, Monasticon, vi, pp. 1606–7; Victoria County History, Lincolnshire, ii, p. 225).
Santiago de Compostela. Called 'St. James' in the text (p. 71), a town in Spain where, according to the legend, the bones of St. James (San Jago) were discovered, in a.d. 835, by the bishop of Iria Flavia (the ancient name of Padron), who was guided thither by a star; hence the name Compostela (Campus stellœ, the field of the star). The relics were, in 1884, solemnly affirmed by the pope to be still beneath the cathedral. The shrine attracted many thousands of pilgrims in the Middle Ages, and was an especial favourite with Englishmen (Chambers' Encyclopœdia). 71
Scala Caeli. Santa Maria Scala Caeli is the circular church—one of three churches —in the abbey of Tre Fontane, outside the Porta San Paolo at Rome, on the site of St. Paul's martyrdom. In it St. Bernard is related to have had a vision of souls, for whom he was saying mass, ascending by a ladder into heaven, and to it an indulgence was attached. Hence, the name was applied to chapels and altars in England, and to the masses said there, to which the same indulgence was attached (see N.E.D.). Among the privileges granted in 1510 by Pope Julius II to the members of the gild of our Lady in St. Botolph's church, Boston, were the following—that whosoever should come every Friday to the chapel of our Lady in St. Botolph's church, should have as much remission of sins as if he went to the chapel of our Lady of Scala Caeli; and that whosoever should say or cause to be said in the same chapel at Boston masses for souls departed in the pains of purgatory should have the full remission due to those who visited the chapel of Scala Caeli and also obtain full remission for the souls in purgatory (Fox, Acts and Monuments, ed. 1684, ii, p. 420; Thompson, The History and Antiquities of Boston, pp. 136–8).
The present volume contains several bequests for masses at Scala Caeli— page 95, where the place of performance is not specified; page 165, 'att boston or order place'; pages 106, 142, presumably at Lincoln; page 100, probably at Grimsby; page 116, 'in our ladyes quere in Spillesby. . . if it may be componed for the offering to our ladies gild in Boston', i.e. if a composition can be made [by a suitable payment] with the gild for the loss which it would suffer through the saying of the masses elsewhere than in Boston. Other wills in the Lincoln Consistory Court mention masses at Scala Caeli 'in our lady chapell in boston' (Book 1520–31, f. 209d.), at Boston (ibid., ff. 157, 157d.); and at either Lincoln or Boston (ibid., f. 234). 95, 100, 106, 116, 142, 165
Sheder. A female sheep; especially a lamb from eight or nine months old to her first shearing (N.E.D.). The words, heder (masc.) and sheder (fem.) are, however, sometimes used of other animals, e.g. 'ij sheder calvys. . . .ij heder calvys' (Lincoln Consistory Court, Book 1532–4, fo. 57d., 58); 'iij heder burlynges' (ibid., fo. 59). 182
Staple or Estaple, merchant of the. The merchants of the staple were those merchants who had the monopoly of exporting the principal raw commodities of the realm, especially wool, woolfels, leather, tin and lead; wool figuring the most prominently among these staple wares. A staple (originally=a scaffold for the sale of goods) was a town to which the staple wares had to be brought for sale or exportation, and at which they were weighed and sealed under the seal of the mayor of the staple. At such staples as were ports the wares were also weighed by or in the presence of the collectors of the king's customs. At various times Lincoln and Boston were staple towns. Sometimes there was only one staple town, and this was situated abroad, at Bruges or Calais or elsewhere. From the time of Richard II until 1558 the foreign staple was at Calais (C. Gross, The Gild Merchant, i, pp. 140–3). 175
Super-tunic (in Latin supertunica). The super-tunic or surcoat, as it was sometimes called, was a long garment with sleeves, which were sometimes tight and sometimes loose and open, reaching to the wrists. It was used, at least in early times, only by persons of rank, by whom it was worn over the tunic (q.v.) (Clinch, English Costume, p. 20). 3, 5, 6
Toft, toffte. Originally, a homestead, the site of a house and its out-buildings Often in the expression 'toft and croft', denoting the whole holding, consisting of the homestead and attached piece of arable land (N.E.D.). 23–4, 69, 124, 152, 156, 184
Torch. A torch is properly something twisted. Torches, which were very commonly used at funeral and commemorative services, were made of resinous wood, or of twisted hemp or other similar material, soaked with tallow, resin, etc., or, sometimes, of twisted wax (Cox, Churchwardens' Accounts, pp. 161, 165). Serges, q.v., and tapers, on the other hand, seem to have been nearly always made of wax. The torches were sometimes of enormous size, as also were the tapers— 'xx torches of the length of xij feet by the ell' (p. 12); 'viij torches and iiij tapurs of viij lib' weight of wexe' (p. 27); 'two tapers of xx pounds weight of wax shall then be burnt about my body' (p. 12). 12, 27, 106
Tunic (in Lat. tunica). A garment, in shape like a modern shirt, generally bound about the waist with a girdle, worn by all classes from Roman times till (at least) the fourteenth century (pp. 1, 3, 17). In a later will, a.d. 1514, a testator leaves 'unam blodiam tunicam vocatam Jakytt' (p. 60). 1, 3, 17, 60. See Kirtle
Vestment. A vestment usually included the amice, alb, stole, fanon or maniple, and chasuble worn by the priest at the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, and sometimes the dalmatic and tunicle (or pair of tunicles, as they were often called) with the amices, albs, girdles and maniples for the gospeller and epistoler, and a stole for the deacon (Inventories of Church Goods, Surtees Society, vol. xcvii, p. 172 and passim). A complete vestment with all its equipment (pp. 14–15) also included one or more copes, and sometimes hangings for the altar, etc. 'I bequeath . . . the complete suit of my vestment of red cloth-of-gold, namely, nine copes, a chasuble, tunicles or dalmatics, a frontal and sub-frontal with the curtains belonging to the same, and a cloth for the lectern, with albs, amices, stoles, and maniples to the same belonging' (Testamenta Eboracensia, part i, p. 399, Surtees Society). 'A vestment of fyne black velvet that is to say iij coopis a vestment and ij tonacles with the albes and other things thereto belonging, price lxvjl. xiijs. iiijd.' (Will of William Brown, of Stamford, P.C.C., 22 Milles. Cp. the will of Dame Margaret Broune, P.C.C., 30 Milles). Vestment, 14–15, 67, 71, 77, 96, 174; alb, 15, 174; amice, 14–15; chasuble, 13, 15; cope, 13, 96, 139; dalmatic, 13; maniple, 15; tunicle, 13
Weeght weeke, xxti stone. Perhaps for '20 stone weight of wheat', 'weeke' in that case being a clerical mistake for 'weete'. The large quantity specified seems to forbid the interpretation 'wick' for lamps. 133
Will and testament. At the period covered by this volume the words 'will' and 'testament' were not synonymous. 'Will' was applied to a disposition of realty and 'testament' to a disposition of personalty. Passim
Witt, wite, wyt, wytt, I. I bequeath (pp. 28–9, 32, 35, 99, 100, 105, 110, 120, 149); and (in the past participle) witt, wite, witted, wyt, wyten, wytton= bequeathed (pp. 29, 32, 52, 77, 100, 106, 108, 128, 138, 164, 166, 171, 174, 177, 186). Cp. unwite=unbequeathed (p. 88), and wittword=a legacy (p. 83). It is probable that 'witt' was originally a perverted form of 'quethe' (obsolete, except in the past tense 'quoth')=to speak, say, declare, bequeath; but it seems to have become established, at least in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, as a separate word. Or it may have descended by a process of shortening and corruption from 'bequeath', which appears in old wills under many different forms— 'beqweth', 'bequete', 'bewete', 'bewhete', 'bewithe', 'bewite', 'bewit', 'bequit'. The transition from 'bequeath' to 'witt' would not be difficult. First the two syllables of 'bequeath' would be written as separate words, and then the first would disappear. Thus we have 'beqwyet', 'be witt', 'be wytt' (p. 32), 'be queth' (p. 62), 'be witted' (p. 30), 'witt', 'wytt' (p. 32). Numerous instances of 'witt', etc., occur in Testamenta Eboracensia— 'wit', 'wite', 'witt', 'wyt', 'wyttis'='bequeath' (part iii, pp. 223, 239; part iv, pp. 13, 24, 41, etc.); 'bewit'='bequeathed' (part iv, p. 30); cp. 'be wit', 'bewitt'='bequeath' (ibid., pp. 27, 169, 183).