Parish Fraternity Register: Fraternity of the Holy Trinity and SS. Fabian and Sebastian (Parish of St. Botolph without Aldersgate). Originally published by London Record Society, London, 1982.
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The register of the fraternity of the Trinity and SS. Fabian and Sebastian in the parish of St. Botolph without Aldersgate is preserved as British Library Additional MS 37664. Its contents, printed in the present volume, consist of the records of the Trinity fraternity, from its foundation in 1377 until 1446, when that fraternity combined with the fraternity of SS. Fabian and Sebastian. Thereafter it contains the records of the combined fraternity to about 1463, together with a small number of miscellaneous entries until 1548. The records comprise rules, lists of members, accounts, a cartulary of deeds from the thirteenth century and sundry memoranda. Fraternities or guilds (fn. 1) of this kind were a common feature of late medieval life but records of their activities have seldom survived. Records of parish fraternities have been published, for example for Coventry and Norwich, (fn. 2) but no London example has previously been published in full. (fn. 3)
Association for mutual protection is not only a response to a basic human need but is characteristic of medieval society. The ideal of Christian brotherhood was an inspiration to many, and at a time when only dependence on one's fellows could mitigate some of the harshness of daily life the impulse to form and to join such brotherhoods was strong. Such associations, whether called guilds, brotherhoods or fraternities, were founded for a number of reasons and used for a number of purposes. (fn. 4) At the heart of them all lay delight in social activities: friends who lived near together or who had some common interest met regularly and celebrated at an annual feast, and it was the social cohesion of the group which gave the fraternities their strength. In the medieval world such activities took place in a religious context: the brotherhood was attached usually to a parish church and the annual feast followed a mass in honour of the patron saint on the saint's day. (fn. 5)
Christian beliefs and obligations added greater impetus to the need for cooperation. Prayers of the living were believed to alleviate the sufferings of souls in Purgatory. Hincmar, Bishop of Rheims, in his Capitula Presbyteris of 852, gave instructions for the conduct of guilds and fraternities and referred specifically to offices for the dead. (fn. 6) The tenth-century ordinances of the London frith guild refer to offerings of bread and other food, presumably for funeral feasts, and the singing of fifty psalms for the soul of a deceased brother. (fn. 7) Prayers for dead brethren and attendance on their bodies are provisions in the ordinances of four eleventh-century Anglo-Saxon guilds. (fn. 8) Most of the parish fraternities of the later Middle Ages provided for at least an annual requiem for dead brethren (16). This was an inestimable advantage for those of modest means who, unlike wealthy men and women, could not afford the considerable sums necessary for the endowment of a personal chantry priest or for an annual mass to be said in perpetuity. (fn. 9) Many men left bequests for masses to be said for their souls, some to a priest in the local church, either annually on the day of their death or, for instance, for a daily mass for a year (125), but others left bequests to their fraternities for this purpose. They were further comforted by the knowledge that the obit was likely to be observed by their friends in the fraternity, who were fined for non-attendance, that members would attend their funeral rites and that if necessary their bodies would be escorted back to the parish if they died up to five miles away from home (3). Sometimes, in case of need, funeral costs themselves, and the provision of torches and tapers, were covered out of the fraternity's funds (130).
Brotherly love was also expressed in other ways; for instance, in a salutation on meeting (139). But it was particularly directed to the care of those who had fallen into poverty through old age, sickness or misfortune. Both the thanes of Cambridge and the Exeter guild made provision for mutual support: the Exeter brethren, for example, contributed also to the assistance of members whose houses were burnt down. (fn. 10) Some London fraternities similarly specified particular ways in which help might be given: some offered short term loans (4), or urged brethren to help younger members who were without work (139). Others helped those unjustly imprisoned and arranged for weekly visits, (fn. 11) or helped to resolve disputes between members to avoid recourse to law (9).
Where members had not only a care for each other's personal and spiritual welfare but had economic interests in common, the fraternity developed an important range of additional functions which made membership highly desirable. A mixture of religious, charitable and economic aims is recorded in the ordinances of eleventh-century continental guilds. (fn. 12) In London, fraternities of men engaged in a particular trade and living in the same area were probably the nucleus of many craft guilds: the saddlers had a fraternity in St. Martin le Grand in the twelfth century and the goldsmiths a fraternity of St. Dunstan before 1273, while many others were in existence by the late fourteenth century. (fn. 13) But whether greater emphasis rested on religious or economic aims, the fraternities had many practices in common and provided similar services for their members. (fn. 14)
Much of our information on the fraternities of the fourteenth century comes from the guild certificates, a series of returns preserved among the records of Chancery, (fn. 15) made as a result of an enquiry instituted in the Cambridge Parliament which met between 9 September and 17 October 1388. (fn. 16) Amidst the general economic and social unrest which prevailed during the 1380s, particularly in London, the fraternities, whether wealthy and privileged guilds or poor and humble brotherhoods, came under suspicion as potential hotbeds of sedition. The Commons in Parliament launched an attack on livery and maintenance and this was followed by provision for the suppression of guilds and fraternities and the confiscation of their goods, with the exception of genuine chantries, foundations with royal charters 'et autres choses ordenez al honour de seint esglise et encres de divine servise sanz livere, confederacie, meintenaunce ou riotes en arrerissement du ley'. (fn. 17) On 1 November 1388 writs were issued to all sheriffs to make proclamation to the masters and wardens of misteries, crafts, guilds and fraternities. (fn. 18) A return of the authority and form of their foundation, oaths, meetings, liberties, privileges, statutes, customs, property and chattels, with their value, was to be made to Chancery by the Feast of the Purification under pain of loss of privileges and property. In addition they were to produce their charters and letters patent. (fn. 19)
At the Public Record Office are preserved 471 of these returns. (fn. 20) About two-thirds of the certificates provide dates of foundation and all but 19 of the fraternities were founded in the fourteenth century; other certificates either give no date or merely state that the guild is old. The eastern part of England is most heavily represented, four-fifths of the returns coming from London, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. A small number of returns are associated with craft guilds or guilds merchant. Although there are only 39 certificates altogether for London, of which 10 are for craft fraternities, yet it is probable that there were more than 65 parish fraternities in addition to the craft guilds in London at the end of the fourteenth century. (fn. 21) Some certificates may have been lost but it is likely that poor or ill organised fraternities failed to make returns.
Fraternities in the church of St. Botolph without Aldersgate
The earliest references to the church and parish of St. Botolph occur in two charters of Henry I. (fn. 22) The church was appropriated to St. Martin le Grand, 29 November 1399, the dean henceforward being rector of St. Botolph. (fn. 23) Three fraternities in the church of St. Botolph returned guild certificates in 1389: the Trinity, SS. Fabian and Sebastian and St. Katherine. Apart from the guild certificate (140) little is known of the fraternity of St. Katherine, although in 1378 there was an altar in the church dedicated to that saint. (fn. 24) No details of the fraternity's foundation are given in the certificate and there is no mention of the fraternity in the register. In view of the close connection between the other two fraternities, it is noteworthy that the two wardens of St. Katherine mentioned in the certificate appear not to have been Trinity members. The earliest churchwardens' accounts for St. Botolph, for 1464–6, (fn. 25) refer to the maintenance of St. Katherine's light, but the fraternity itself is not mentioned. The complete absence of any information later than 1389 about the fraternity suggests that it may have been shortlived.
There are two accounts of the foundation of the Trinity fraternity; one in the guild certificate (138) and another in the register (21–2). According to the certificate the fraternity was founded at Easter 1374 in honour of Corpus Christi, with the object of maintaining thirteen tapers around the sepulchre at Easter when every brother was to offer 1d.; but five years later (probably at Easter 1379), since the fraternity had grown, it was agreed that every brother should pay 12d. a year to maintain these lights and to support a chaplain to say mass at dawn for workmen. Because it was not convenient for the brothers to meet on so solemn a feast as Easter, the feast of Trinity was set as the day when brethren should gather to hear mass in honour of the Trinity and Corpus Christi. (fn. 26) A similar but shorter account in the register (21) does not give foundation dates but the list of founder members (22) is dated 51 Edward III (25 January–21 June 1377).
The ordinances of the Trinity fraternity are to be found only in the register (fn. 27) and even there are incomplete, because two folios (originally numbered i and ii) which presumably contained the first five clauses (2n) are missing. It is probable that these five clauses were similar to those in the ordinances of the fraternities of SS. Fabian and Sebastian and St. Katherine. These ordinances are set out in English in the guild certificates (fn. 28) and a comparison of the rules of the three fraternities is therefore possible. Clauses 6, 9 and 12–19 in the Trinity rules have no parallel in the returns of SS. Fabian and Sebastian and St. Katherine. Under clause 6 a brother betraying the fraternity's business is liable to fine or expulsion. Clause 9 concerns arbitration in disputes between brethren; the record of one award made as a result of such arbitration, was entered in the cartulary (78). Clauses 12–19 concern the officers of the fraternity, the auditing of accounts and the duties of the priest.
The Trinity fraternity, according to the rules, was to be governed by the masters or wardens who were to be chosen by the out-going masters on the feast of Trinity (15), (fn. 29) with the approval of the brethren (10). They were to be chosen from the inhabitants of the parish and out-going masters were responsible for the good behaviour of their successors (12). No one was to serve a second term within five years (19) but in practice this rule was not always observed. Two responsible men chosen to keep the treasure were, with the assistance of a clerk, to render accounts within a month of the feast of Trinity (8). On the day of account, the masters were to produce a list of entrants to the fraternity during their year of office (11, e.g. 21–39). The keepers of the treasure appear in practice to have been the masters or wardens, and the masters of the previous year audited the accounts of their successors (13). The date upon which the fraternity's financial year began varied: in 1414–15 it was Michaelmas (39) but in the period 1432–41, Trinity, the Assumption, August and Christmas all occur (126–30). The accounts for 1438–41 (128–30) were presented by four individuals described as wardens of the church.
The chief duties of the fraternity's priest were the annual and weekly requiem masses and the daily early-morning mass for workmen (16–18). A requiem for dead brethren was to be said each Monday and in addition, on the Saturday night and Sunday after All Souls, a dirige and requiem, to be attended by all brethren. After the annual requiem the names of all living and dead brethren were read, followed by the De Profundis. The fraternity priest was also to keep the personal obits of benefactors. Benefactors are listed in the calendar (1) and the keeping of their anniversaries is recorded in the accounts. Apart from his duties on behalf of the fraternity, the priest was obliged to assist the parish clergy. The priest received a salary of 10½ marks per annum (18) (fn. 30) which was the normal stipend of London chantry priests in the late fourteenth century. (fn. 31) He also received a hood of the livery worn by the brethren. His dwelling place is not recorded but the accounts for 1438–9 contain an entry for making a window and chimney in the priest's chamber (128).
According to the guild certificate the Trinity possessed a missal and a chalice in 1389. The other fraternities in the church also record these items, as well as vestments. The chalices and patens of the Trinity and SS. Fabian and Sebastian are mentioned in an inventory of 1463 (103), together with a missal and a crucifix. All these valuables had been used as security for debt but were redeemed in 1460 (123). (fn. 32)
The fraternity of SS. Fabian and Sebastian was also in existence by 1378 but once again the guild certificate gives no foundation details (139). The dedication to SS. Fabian and Sebastian is unique among the guild certificates, nor was any London city church dedicated to these saints. (fn. 33) Besides being the patron saint of archers and soldiers, St. Sebastian was also invoked against the plague. St. Fabian, a pope who suffered martyrdom under Decius, was buried in St. Sebastian's basilica in Rome, and the two saints share a feast day, 20 January. (fn. 34) The fraternity had its own altar in St. Botolph by 1395 and its own chaplain by about the same date (80, 89). The fraternity of SS. Fabian and Sebastian was absorbed by the Trinity fraternity when the latter was refounded by letters patent of 9 July 1446 (102). The register originally belonged to the Trinity fraternity, so that properties and obits peculiar to the fraternity of SS. Fabian and Sebastian are not mentioned in the Trinity accounts up to and including June 1446 (e.g. 40–5, 47–8) but in a statement of account rendered in January 1449 (52) the fraternity is called the brotherhood of the Trinity and SS. Fabian and Sebastian for the first time. Properties formerly belonging to SS. Fabian and Sebastian are included in the rental (104) and in the cartulary, (fn. 35) and obits of benefactors of both fraternities are entered in the calendar (1).
There was some overlap in the membership of the two fraternities before 1446. Members of SS. Fabian and Sebastian appearing in cartulary entries in the register and as masters in the guild certificate seem also to have been members of the Trinity. For example, Richard Gaynesburgh and John Dancastre were at different dates masters of both fraternities (25, 28–30, 91, 139). Benet Gerard, master of Trinity 1392–3, was a benefactor of SS. Fabian and Sebastian (91), while John Bradmore, the chief benefactor of the Trinity, left 3s. 4d. to SS. Fabian and Sebastian in his will (72).
After the refounding of the Trinity fraternity in 1446 there was only one fraternity in the parish. Chantries might be amalgamated, as several in St. Paul's cathedral were by Robert Braybrooke, bishop of London, in 1391, (fn. 36) because their individual endowments were too small to provide a living for a priest. But although the Trinity accounts in the years preceding 1446 do not suggest affluence, (fn. 37) the income in rent for 1445–6 amounted to £9 6s. 8d. (47), which comfortably covered the priest's salary of 10 marks (£6 13s. 4d.). (fn. 38) Furthermore, the refounding of the Trinity fraternity does not appear to have resulted from a decline in its membership. Indeed, although there was some fluctuation between 1377 and 1446, such figures as we have suggest a comparatively static situation. In 1377 there were 55 founder members (22). Sums collected for quarterage suggest a membership of about 55 in 1432–3, but an average of 43 a year in 1433–6 (126–7). (fn. 39) On the other hand, itemised quarterage lists for 1443–5 (46) indicate a total of 102 members, but only 57 in 1445–6 (49). Whatever their motives, there was no doubt that the two fraternities combined could more easily bear the expenses of obtaining a charter of incorporation. (fn. 40)
Incorporation by letters patent was deemed desirable as a means of protecting a fraternity's rights and in particular of making its property more secure. In the years immediately following the enquiry of 1389, several of the great London companies had sought new charters granting corporate status, and more companies did so in the reign of Henry VI. Ten London companies received charters between 1428 and 1452 and incorporation gradually became the aim of the lesser companies. (fn. 41) The Trinity was not the only fraternity to be refounded by letters patent at about this time. (fn. 42) Memories of 1389 may have been revived among the fraternities by an act of parliament of 1437 (fn. 43) which provided that all incorporated fraternities and companies should register their charters and have their ordinances approved by the city or borough authorities. Fear of enquiry into their privileges may have led established fraternities to seek a firm foundation for their rights. The letters patent of the fraternity of St. Mary and St. Thomas the Martyr of Salve Regina in St. Magnus mention that the fraternity had petitioned for a charter on the grounds that their society was not duly founded. (fn. 44)
The letters patent of the Trinity fraternity of 1446 named three founders (102). The first was Dame Joan Asteley, formerly nurse to the king, for which service she received an annual grant of £20 subsequently increased to £40. (fn. 45) She was the wife of Thomas Asteley of Leicestershire. (fn. 46) Asteley was dead by 12 July 1438 (fn. 47) but the last recorded grant to Dame Joan was made in 1461. (fn. 48) She is mentioned nowhere else in the register but it is possible that she resided in the parish.
The second founder, Robert Cawode, is stated to be a parishioner of St. Botolph and his wills of 21 and 23 March 1465, (fn. 49) proved on 8 August 1465, mention his dwelling house in the parish, which he held from the prior of St. Bartholomew. Cawode was Clerk of the Pipe, and had seen long service in the Exchequer. He was appointed to the clerkship on 20 April 1431 (fn. 50) and on 10 July 1444 was granted 12d. a day from the farm of Yorkshire, as reward for over thirty-seven years service. (fn. 51) Cawode's earliest appearance in the register is as witness to a deed in 1429 (118). Subsequently he took a prominent part in the fraternity's affairs, although there is no record of his ever having been master or warden. His obit note (1) mentions the benefits conferred on the fraternity during his lifetime: he was obviously held in great esteem, his name appearing before that of the master in the lists of members electing wardens in 1454–6 (57–9). In his will he left 140 marks for a chantry of two chaplains to pray for his soul for seven years, as well as 10s. to the Trinity and 10 marks to be invested for keeping the anniversaries of the fraternity. He was obviously a man of substance: his wills mention property in St. Andrew Eastcheap, and at Bexley, East Wickham and Welling in Kent, as well as the house in St. Botolph; and the schedule of his goods includes a long list of plate. His will requested that he be buried before the altar of the Trinity.
The third founder was Thomas Smith. A parishioner of St. Botolph and a brewer, he was warden of the fraternity or churchwarden for most of the period 1432–41 (63, 126–30) and became master of the fraternity in 1446 (50). Between 1449 and 1453 he heads the list of members approving accounts and elections, although he held no office at that time. It is probable that it was he who became master of the Brewers' Company in 1438. (fn. 52) He lent the fraternity money (60) and in 1456 £13 was still owing to him. An attempt by Thomas Philippe, who had married Smith's widow, to recover this sum in December 1460 was unsuccessful (124).
The letters patent of 9 July 1446 gave licence for the foundation of the Trinity fraternity as a corporation with a common seal. It was granted a perpetual chantry of one chaplain to celebrate at the altar on the south side of the church, presumably the location of the Trinity chapel (103), and licence was given to hold property worth 10 marks in London. Soon after the licence was obtained, a foundation ceremony took place, probably on 31 July 1446. (fn. 53) The founders called together 'dyverse worshipfull men and women', appointed a master and wardens and founded the fraternity in the presence of the company, in honour of the Holy Trinity, the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Botolph and SS. Fabian and Sebastian. Provision was made among the founders' ordinances for a chantry of two priests (fn. 54) and for seventeen tapers annually. The founders also gave the masters and wardens authority, with nine, eight or seven of the 'worthyest' of the parish to alter the ordinances or make new ones (cf. 10). Reference is made to a written foundation deed dated 31 July 1446: this may have contained all the ordinances but has not survived. The letters patent refer to the ordinances of the founders which were to govern the conduct of divine service and other pious works. These may be the statutes and ordinances referred to (103) as enrolled on f. xxxj of 'this blake boke'. Our register is almost certainly the book in question but the folio originally numbered xxxj is now missing.
Provision was made in the letters patent for the election of a master and two wardens on the feast of Trinity or whenever was convenient. In fact, elections were held on 16 November in 1447 (51) and by this time it was customary for accounts to be rendered in January. An account was made on 16 January 1447 for the period 24 June 1443 to 29 September 1446 (50) and from then on accounts were made early in January for the preceding year ending at Michaelmas. Masters and wardens were elected on the day of account (52). The master and wardens each had a set of keys for the fraternity's storage chests (103), and presumably the chests could only be opened if all three were present. The inventory of 1463 (103) sets out the moveable property of the fraternity: besides the archives and devotional works and objects, these consisted chiefly of a small store of linen and table ware, a table and form, and building materials.
If, in fact, the Trinity absorbed SS. Fabian and Sebastian for financial reasons, the new foundation does not seem to have been an immediate success. The accounts for the three and a quarter years ending in September 1446 show a surplus of £10 (50); but in 1448 when Richard Emmesley was warden there was a deficit of £45 (52), which may have been due to building expenses. Richard Emmesley petitioned the dean of St. Martin le Grand for repayment of money owed to him for four years by the Trinity fraternity for repairs to the Saracen's Head. (fn. 55) The summaries of accounts for the next three years show small deficits or surpluses but for the following year, 1451–2 (56), a deficit of £33 was perhaps caused by the cost of litigation concerning property bequeathed to the fraternity by John Bradmore (59, 78–9).
When the account for 1451–2 was rendered on 5 January 1453, Roger Welles became warden, his partner being Thomas Wake, who had been a warden since 1449. The total debt of the fraternity by January 1453 was over £86 and an account of the debt is set out in the register (60). Roger Welles was warden for three years and by January 1456 he had succeeded in paying off half the amount outstanding. The accounts are fuller for this period and most of the repayments can be traced, but there does not seem to have been any unusual source of income to assist in the clearance of debts. Also, the sum collected in quarterage declined from 42s. in 1452–3 to 31s. and 27s. in the succeeding years, which may indicate a dwindling membership. The account for 1455–6, the last in the register, nearly balances, but only 16s. was collected in quarterage and no further repayment of outstanding debts is recorded. Debts of £13 each to Thomas Smith and John Leycester were still outstanding in 1460 (123–4).
In spite of financial difficulties the fraternity survived, cushioned by its holdings of property, until the dissolution of the chantries in the reign of Edward VI, (fn. 56) but the only entries later than 1463 in the register consist of a few memoranda with one list of entrants in 1499–1500 (132–7). References in the churchwardens' accounts for St. Botolph (fn. 57) show that the fraternity was prosperous enough to have money to spare: in 1489–90 the fraternity gave the churchwardens £6 13s. 4d. to make a new cross for the church. (fn. 58) In 1497–8 the churchwardens borrowed £4 from the fraternity for building repairs, (fn. 59) and there were twenty new entrants in 1499–1500 (133). One at least of the stained glass windows in Trinity Hall was put in in the first quarter of the sixteenth century. (fn. 60)
The medieval fraternities in St. Botolph Aldersgate in many ways differed little from other fraternities in London. From a comparison of the guild certificates it does not appear that their administrative and religious functions were unusual. The amounts paid in quarterage were about average, most fraternities charging between 1s. and 2s. a year. (A few charged less: St. Austin in St. Augustine by Paul's Gate charged 8d. and Holy Trinity in St. Stephen Coleman Street, 4d. yearly. At the other end of the scale, Our Lady in All Hallows London Wall charged 4s. a year while Our Lady in Bethlehem Hospital charged an entry fee of 20s.) But the Trinity fraternity's pastoral concern was not restricted to their own members. When in 1379 the fraternity was able to support a chaplain, his main function was to celebrate mass daily at dawn for working men or labourers. Only one other fraternity, that of St. Dunstan in the East, offered early morning mass for the common people. (fn. 61)
The first properties acquired by the Trinity fraternity were four tenements, two in Aldersgate Street and two in the Barbican, remaindered under the will of John Bradmore in 1412 (72–9). The tenements in Aldersgate Street lay on the east side of the street, opposite the east end of the church (104). Bradmore had lived in the southernmost of the two tenements, which had a walled garden 64 feet long. The Aldersgate Street property was later let as three tenements and in the reign of Edward VI the northernmost of the three abutted on Cooks' Hall. (fn. 62) A quitrent was paid from the Aldersgate Street tenements to the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's (79). The tenements in the Barbican adjoined one another on the north side of the street: both were in the parish of St. Botolph.
The Trinity acquired the Falcon on the Hoop brewery on the west side of Aldersgate Street from the executors of John Mason, who by his will of 1431 had left half of the residue of his estate to be employed for his soul's benefit (125). This property was later used as the fraternity's hall and known as Trinity Hall. (fn. 63) It lay to the north of Little Britain on the site of Trinity Court. In 1356 the Falcon belonged to William Bever (114). (fn. 64) In 1443 the property was leased as a brewhouse (121), and in 1460 it was leased for fourteen years to John Joye, who lived there (123). There is no evidence that it was used as the hall in the period covered by the register. (fn. 65) Meetings for the declaration of accounts were held at the Falcon in 1455 (58) and at Arthur's Hall in 1456 (59). In 1453–6 documents were stored in Trinity chapel (60) and in 1463 the fraternity's table, cups and linen were stored in the rood loft of the church (103).
Trinity Hall can be clearly visualised from plans and drawings made in the eighteenth century. (fn. 66) The hall itself was on the first floor, measuring 54 feet 8 inches from east to west by 15 feet 8 inches from north to south: at the east end a bay window with stained glass overlooked Aldersgate Street and at the west end was a buttery with a gallery over it. The entrance was on the south side in Trinity Alley and stairs led up to the hall entrance by the buttery. Under the hall were a kitchen, cellar and a tenement. (fn. 67)
In 1782 the stained glass in the hall depicted: (fn. 68) a monkey in a monk's habit shaving a dog, which is seated in a chair; St. Basil the Great, opponent of the Arian heresy; a man and woman kneeling at prayer, with the device of the Trinity and an inscription to Roger Russell and Anne his wife; (fn. 69) and a man kneeling in prayer. Nine stained glass shields in the windows were sketched by Nicholas Charles, Lancaster Herald, in 1611. (fn. 70) The first two shields, identified by Charles as 'Cavendish' and 'Smyth', show respectively the stags' heads of the arms of the dukes of Devonshire and arms similar to those of Smith of Cavendish, Suffolk. (fn. 71) A Thomas Cavendish was churchwarden of St. Botolph in 1495–6 (fn. 72) and warden of the fraternity in 1499–1500 (133). Almost certainly this is the Thomas Cavendish, an exchequer official and ancestor of the dukes of Devonshire, who married Alice Smith of Cavendish, Suffolk. (fn. 73) Katheryn Cavendish, probably Thomas's mother, was buried in St. Botolph in 1499–1500. (fn. 74) In his will, dated 13 April 1524 and proved 22 August 1524, Cavendish made bequests to St. Botolph and the Trinity fraternity. (fn. 75) The other seven shields, some of which were also identified by Charles, include the royal arms and the arms of William Purchase, mayor of London (1497–8).
Adjoining the Falcon to the south in Aldersgate Street was a tenement also owned in 1356 by William Bever (114), which formed part of the endowments of Bever's chantry of two priests in St. Botolph. (fn. 76) In 1516–17 the property, which also included three messuages in Little Britain, was too ruinous to support the priests and was conveyed by Bever's trustees to the Trinity fraternity on condition that Bever's obit should be observed. (fn. 77) In 1546 the tenement in Aldersgate Street was called the Red Lion and was divided into fourteen tenements, eight of which were known as Trinity Alley. Of the other six tenements, the northernmost adjoined Trinity Hall on the north and the southernmost adjoined the George on the south. (fn. 78) The southernmost of the three tenements in Little Britain, the Woolsack, lay about 50 feet north of Pylkyngton's Place. (fn. 79)
The Trinity was receiving the rent of the Saracen's Head in Aldersgate Street by 1438 but it had been keeping the obit of its original owner, John Bathe (126, 128) since 1432. John Bathe had left the property (fn. 80) to the rector and churchwardens of St. Botolph in 1390 to maintain an annual chantry for himself and his wife, any surplus to be spent on repair of the property and on the ornaments of the church. Since Bathe did not obtain a licence in mortmain the property was forfeited in 1399, (fn. 81) but in the following year a licence was procured (100). The tenement was on the east side of Aldersgate Street (fn. 82) and lay to the south of a tenement of the prior of Hounslow. In the rental (104) it is described as the Saracen's Head with three adjoining tenements. By 1432 an arrangement must have been made for the Trinity to keep the obit and in 1456 the fraternity was granted a ninety-nine year lease (99). An inventory of the Saracen's Head made in April 1463 (101) lists chiefly brewing vessels but also mentions a hall, kitchen and three stables.
The fraternity of SS. Fabian and Sebastian acquired property earlier than the Trinity. In 1379 a tenement was granted to trustees of the fraternity by John de Thornton and his wife, the widow of John de Thame, who thirty years previously had willed that the tenement should be remaindered for charitable uses (82–3). In 1392 Thornton obtained a licence in mortmain jointly with Philip atte Vyne to alienate one tenement each in the parish to the rector of St. Botolph, and soon afterwards both tenements were conveyed to the rector (84, 86). Three years later the rector granted the rent of the Thornton tenement to the churchwardens for the fabric of the church and that of the Vyne tenement to the support of the chaplain of SS. Fabian and Sebastian (88–9). The tenements both lay on the east side of Aldersgate Street to the south of the abbot of Walden's Inn and backing on to the Jews' Garden. (fn. 83) The Thornton tenement had a quitrent owing from it to Walden Abbey (87). (fn. 84) The Vyne tenement lay at the east end of an alley called Fabian and Sebastian's alley, afterwards Lamb Alley (93–5). In the rental (104) it is described as a chief tenement and thirteen others. A quitrent of 8s. was payable to St. Bartholomew's Hospital and the tenement's ownership can be traced back to 1291 in the Hospital's cartulary. (fn. 85)
Under the will of John Triggelowe, 1428 (113), the fraternity of SS. Fabian and Sebastian acquired a tenement called Arthur's Hall on the north side of Long Lane in the parish of St. Botolph (104). This was to come to them on the death or remarriage of his wife: presumably the widow had remarried by 1439 (110), since in 1447 she was the wife of John atte Wode (111–12).
The only property of the fraternities not in the parish of St. Botolph was two tenements in St. Gabriel (All Hallows) Fenchurch, on the north side of Fenchurch Street, an interest in which was acquired by SS. Fabian and Sebastian in 1434 under the will of Alan Bret (62). (fn. 86)
The register contains accounts for repairs to fraternity property, frequently giving details of materials purchased and work carried out. In 1438–40 and 1443–5 extensive repairs were made to the Falcon. In 1438–9 (128) materials purchased included loam, sand and lime, used for daubing and mortar work, lath nails and 3,000 tiles. A mason spent six days making a chimney, a dauber and his labourer worked for eleven days and a carpenter for five days. A hearth was laid for the chimney and repairs done to the floorboards. In addition a new sign was carved, painted and set up. In the following year, 1439–40 (129), a tiler and labourer worked for a total of twenty-nine days, perhaps laying the tiles purchased in the previous year. Other items include timber, nails, carpenter's wages, repairs to the horsemill, installation of a new millstone and the purchase of brewing equipment. In 1443–5 (43) the chief items of expenditure were for making a privy with a shaft or conduit and for making a new leaden tap trough. Boards were purchased for the manger and another new millstone was provided. The other properties for which there are building accounts are Bradmore's rents in Aldersgate Street and the Barbican for 1443–5 (41–2). The chief works on the Aldersgate houses were paving and carpentry to windows and stairs. Over 2,000 tiles were purchased for one of the houses in the Barbican, and tilers were at work there for a total of twenty-two days.
Members of the fraternities named in the register total 667 during the period from 1377 to 1463. Generally speaking, members lived locally. According to the ordinances the masters of the fraternity were expected to be parishioners (12). Like Robert Cawode and Thomas Smith, the benefactors of the fraternity were parishioners: John Bradmore, Philip atte Vyne, John Triggelowe and John Mason wished to be buried in the church (72, 80, 113, 125). Both Bradmore and Alan Bret lived in Aldersgate Street (74, 93). Fraternity members occur as churchwardens of St. Botolph (91) and as tenants of property owned by the fraternity (94). The dwelling places of some members in the parish can be traced in the cartulary and elsewhere. The Ramsey family, for example, held property in Aldersgate Street in the fourteenth century (80, 115). (fn. 87) Members were prominent on juries in Aldersgate Ward—twelve out of twenty-four on an inquisition of 8 July 1393 were members. (fn. 88)
Some members did not live in the parish. For example, William Turnell, waxchandler, who entered the fraternity in 1400 (32), had a house in the parish of St. Michael Wood Street and by his will of 1418 requested that he be buried in the parish of St. Michael. (fn. 89) John Westyerd, vintner, who entered the fraternity in 1408 (36) had property in the parish of St. Botolph and also in St. Giles Cripplegate and St. Nicholas Shambles, but it was in the church of the last named parish that he asked to be buried. (fn. 90) Beside his name in the list of entrants appear the words 'Et pro anima domini Thome Stowe'. Stowe was dean of St. Paul's in 1400–5, and probably a member of the fraternity in 1377 (22). Westyerd in both his wills of 1423 made provision for a chantry in St. Paul's for Thomas Stowe but the relationship between the two men is not known.
Some indication of the economic status of members may be gained by comparing the membership with the subsidy lists of 1412 (fn. 91) and 1436. (fn. 92) The subsidy of 1412 was granted on all lands and rents worth £20 or more per annum in London, at the rate of 6s. 8d. for each £20. Although it provides a useful indication of landed wealth it does not take into account moveables or property outside London. Forty-five names appear in the subsidy that can be reasonably identified as those of fraternity members, three-quarters of them with some certainty. Twenty-seven were assessed at under £5 (seventeen at £2 or less), ten at between £5 and £10 and five at between £10 and £20. The proportion of brethren in these categories corresponds roughly to the proportion of individuals similarly assessed in the subsidy as a whole. The same is not true, however, for the higher assessments. Whereas seventy-five people in the subsidy (i.e. 7% of the total number of those assessed) were assessed at over £30, only one fraternity member is in this category. The subsidy of 1436 was on lands and rents worth £5 and over, including property outside London, at the rate of 6d. in the pound for assessments of £5 to £100. Of the 358 names on the list, twelve may be of fraternity members but only four can be identified with any degree of confidence and none of these four has an assessment over £16, whereas in the subsidy as a whole there are 120 assessments over £20, including thirteen over £100. It would appear, therefore, that few members of the fraternity were wealthy, which accords with the findings of the editors of the 1319 and 1332 subsidies who both class Aldersgate as one of the poorer wards. (fn. 93)
The only alderman who was a fraternity member was Andrew Newport (22), alderman for Aldersgate ward in 1397. (fn. 94) There is no evidence that any of the other aldermen for Aldersgate ward were members. Six of the sixteen common councilmen elected for Aldersgate ward between 1384 and 1388 were fraternity members: John Bathe, weaver, John Bokkyng, weaver, William Clophill alias Kellesey, brewer, John Pynchebecke, Philip atte Vyne, capper, and John Lesenes, mason. (fn. 95) Two of them, Bathe and Lesenes, had also been elected common councilmen by their respective crafts in 1376 and 1381–2; other members of the fraternity, Richard Lincoln, capper, and Roger Marke and Walter Hoper, smiths, were similarly elected. (fn. 96) Two fraternity members were common councilmen in 1454: John Joye, brewer, and John Brown, cooper. (fn. 97) In both 1458–9 and 1460–1 two of the four councilmen for Aldersgate ward were fraternity members: in 1458–9 Brown was elected with Richard Emmesley, saddler, and in 1460–1 Thomas Wymark and Robert Walpole, brewers, were elected. (fn. 98)
Out of a total of 667 members the trades of 124 can be readily identified, partly from the register and partly from other sources, (fn. 99) while the status of 119 individuals who can be classed as gentry, clergy and officials has been established in a similar way. Of the forty trades or occupations (fn. 100) in question only the following had more than three representatives: butchers, dyers, maltmen and smiths (four); carpenters (six); goldsmiths, grocers or spicers and tailors (seven); and brewers (twenty-five at least). Of the grocers and spicers, only one appears in the livery lists, (fn. 101) while none of the goldsmiths was prominent in his company and before 1463 only one is known to have held office in the fraternity. (fn. 102) Seventeen members are known to have been masters or wardens of their craft, namely eight brewers, one cooper, one dyer, three hatters or cappers, one tiler, one waxchandler, and two weavers. (fn. 103)
It is noticeable that brewers form not only the largest group of identified traders, but also a predominant group among the senior members of the fraternity. Of forty-nine masters or wardens of the fraternity between 1377 and 1463, thirteen were brewers, four of these being masters or wardens of the Brewers' Company. Three of the fraternity's benefactors were brewers, namely John Triggelowe, John Mason and Benedict Gerard. Triggelowe was a benefactor of SS. Fabian and Sebastian and Mason of Trinity, while Richard Gaynesburgh, brewer, was master of both (28, 91). Brewhouses are frequently mentioned in the register. The Falcon on the Hoop was a brewhouse, held by Alan Bret in 1417, Bret being described here as a brewer (fn. 104) (116) although elsewhere as a carpenter. Philip atte Vyne was a capper but owned a brewhouse called the Cock on the Hoop (113) and the Saracen's Head, belonging to the fraternity, was used as a brewery in 1463 (101). Beer being the staple drink of the people, the brewing trade was a profitable sideline. (fn. 105)
The non-trading element in the fraternity, of whom 119, including 70 clergy, may be identified, was as involved in the society as the craftsmen and traders: several members of this group were wardens or masters, for instance John Michell, sergeant-at-arms (36–7) and Henry Markham, priest (79). Many of them lived in the parish, like Robert Cawode. John Gurney, esq. (44, 46), 'cook for the king's mouth' was granted the Bell in Aldersgate Street for life on 20 February 1446. (fn. 106) Lord Willoughby d'Eresby held the Barbican. (fn. 107) John Herteshorne, sergeant-at-arms, lived in Aldersgate Street (72, 74). Robert Malton, baron of the exchequer in 1413, (fn. 108) Cawode's predecessor in the office of clerk of the Pipe, had previously lived in the house in the parish that Cawode inhabited. (fn. 109) The connexion of Lord Roos of Helmsley, the Scropes of Masham and of retainers of the earl of Westmorland is not so obvious: the town houses of these magnates were not in the vicinity of Aldersgate. (fn. 110) Lord Henry Scrope did, however, marry Joan, widow of William, fifth Baron Willoughby d'Eresby in September 1410, (fn. 111) which may account for the membership of his brother and two of his household (38).
The proximity of religious houses was another influence on membership. Joan, Lady Greystoke, and the prioress of Clerkenwell entered the fraternity in 1402–3 (34): Lady Greystoke died at Clerkenwell in 1403. (fn. 112) Two deans of St. Martin le Grand were members, and they were also rectors of St. Botolph by virtue of the appropriation of the rectory in 1399: Richard Derham (39) had been a royal clerk and chaplain and Richard Caudray (46) a royal secretary. (fn. 113) The prior, sub-prior and two canons of St. Bartholomew priory became members in 1408–9 (36), and laymen connected with the priory also entered, for example Ralph Brasebrygge (38) and William Yrby (36). Richard Bruges, Lancaster king of arms (36), apparently lived in the priory precincts. (fn. 114)
It is striking that more than fifty-five members who may be identified as clergy, gentry or officials, entered the fraternity in the period 1408–15 (36–9), at a time when an entry fee seems to have been payable. Particularly remarkable, however, were the entrants of 1408–9 (36), an extraordinary year in the fraternity's history. Amongst these entrants we find Lord Willoughby; Thomas de Berkyng, abbot of St. Osyth's; Lord de Roos and his esquires, John de Roos and Geoffrey Paynell; the prior, John Watford, and sub-prior, John Yonge, of St. Bartholomew priory; Sir William Faryngdon, probably the constable of Bordeaux; (fn. 115) Thomas Hunden, abbot of St. Augustine, Canterbury; Simon Gawnstede, later keeper of the chancery rolls and of the great seal during Henry V's absence abroad in 1416; (fn. 116) John Owdeby, Beauchamp chamberlain of the receipt of the exchequer 1396–1414, (fn. 117) and John Hotofte, controller of the household of the prince of Wales and later treasurer of the household. (fn. 118) It is especially noteworthy that the Willoughby family had held the Barbican from 1382 (fn. 119) but no member had previously joined the fraternity. Why, then, did the fraternity become so fashionable at this time? During the summer of 1409 Henry IV, who was recovering from a serious illness, spent some time at St. John Clerkenwell and at St. Bartholomew priory. In July an eight-day joust was held at Smithfield between the knights of the garter and the steward of Hainault: the king stayed at St. Bartholomew priory while the joust was in progress. (fn. 120) The proximity of the court to the parish of St. Botolph may well help to account for the sudden influx of gentry and officials at this time.
The references to membership in the register after 1463, supplemented by evidence from the churchwardens' accounts from St. Botolph, do not suggest that the status of fraternity members altered substantially between 1463 and 1548. Craftsmen predominate in the list of members assenting to the sale of fraternity property in 1548 (134). Of eleven masters and wardens after 1463 whose status has been identified, six, three brewers, two goldsmiths and a currier, were connected with trade. Of the other five, three were exchequer officials.
The Fraternity and the Reformation
The religious changes of the mid-sixteenth century brought about the dissolution of the Trinity fraternity. An act of parliament of 1545 (fn. 121) had enabled Henry VIII to appropriate the property of chantries, guilds, fraternities, chapels, colleges and hospitals on the grounds that money was needed for the wars against Scotland and France. Some surveying was carried out and a number of institutions were seized. Edward VI's Chantries Act (fn. 122) attacked chantries for encouraging superstitious practices and errors. Secular guilds and fraternities were subject to the Act in so far as their funds were devoted to superstitious uses. New surveys of the chantries were completed in the summer of 1548 (fn. 123) and in August of that year two commissioners were appointed by Protector Somerset to assign pensions to dispossessed priests and arrange continuance of necessary institutions, for example schools and outlying chapelries in large parishes.
The entry for the fraternity on the Brief Certificate (fn. 124) records pensions of £5 to Oliver Lingard, chantry priest, and of thirty shillings to Richard Harres, conduct. The Certificate also lists Richard Gregorye, stipendiary priest, and records the appointment of one assistant to the cure because the parish was large. By this time the dispersal of the fraternity's property had begun. The masters and wardens on 7 December 1547 were licensed to alienate the fraternity's property to William Harvey, Somerset herald. The property in question comprised Trinity Hall, Bradmore's gift in Aldersgate and the Barbican, and the messuages formerly belonging to William Bever's chantry. (fn. 125) The property was granted to Harvey on 4 July 1548 (fn. 126) but two days later he leased the hall back to the parish for thirty years to be used for parish meetings and for the business of parish officers, and the parish repurchased the freehold on 4 July 1561. (fn. 127) In 1613 the hall was leased to the Farriers' Company with provision that the wardmote should still be held there. (fn. 128) Members of the fraternity agreed on 12 March 1548 to the sale of the Long Lane tenements to Sir Richard Southwell (134). The Saracen's Head was sold to its tenant, Richard Watters, on 4 June 1548. (fn. 129) Philip atte Vyne's tenement was bought on 20 November 1548 by its tenant, Roger Taylour, goldsmith, who was a member and former warden of the fraternity (134–5). (fn. 130) The tenements in Fenchurch Street were granted to Henry Codenham, gent., and William Pendred, founder, on 14 July 1549. (fn. 131) The church of St. Botolph survived the Great Fire, but was demolished prior to rebuilding in 1789. (fn. 132) Trinity Hall was still standing in 1790 but was largely demolished by 1810. In 1829 part of the property still stood at 166 Aldersgate Street and was used as a chapel Sunday school. (fn. 133)
The register is described in an inventory of the fraternity's goods, made in June 1463 (103), as a black register book with calendar. The inventory also mentions a second register used as a means of referring to the present manuscript, as well as a rental roll, quarterage roll, deeds and accounts, and the common seal of the fraternity. Some of the records are also referred to elsewhere in the register (57–8, 127). A vellum book of 'Seyntes Fabyan and Sebastyan' is mentioned, but whether this was a record of the fraternity or a book of devotion is not clear.
John Stow may have been referring to the register as 'Liber S. Buttolph' in his Survey of London, when discussing the Jews' Garden, (fn. 134) but no annotations in his hand appear in the register. In the early part of the nineteenth century the book was in the possession of William Hone, the bookseller and pamphleteer. (fn. 135) He describes the fraternity in a chapter of his work Ancient Mysteries Described (1823), 77–89, and the manuscript bears pencilled annotations apparently in his hand, for example on f. 74b. Hone had collected a great deal of material of a religious and political nature in connection with the satires he published in 1817, which led to his imprisonment and trial in that year. Works of this kind were disposed of at a sale of Hone's books in 1827, but the register was not among them. (fn. 136) It had, however, been acquired by Craven Ord, the antiquary, by 1829, and was purchased at the sale of his books in that year by Thomas Thorpe, the bookseller, for £22. (fn. 137) In the same year, Thorpe sold it to Sir Thomas Phillipps, who numbered it 3795. (fn. 138) Finally, it was acquired by the British Museum in 1908 at a sale of Phillipps' manuscripts at Sotheby's on 17 June (Lot 486), and catalogued as Additional MS 37664. (fn. 139)
The manuscript measures 11½ inches × 8½ inches and is bound in an early nineteenth-century blind-tooled brown russia binding. It consists of 10 folios of vellum and 104 folios of paper. The paper bears the water-mark of a fish. (fn. 140) Only 98 folios bear modern B.M. foliation and the paper section also bears medieval foliation. The volume is composed as follows:
(a) Four flyleaves of vellum, two at the front and two at the back. The front leaves bear the following memoranda:
(i) f. lb. 'Memorandum that ther is delyuered to Thomas Cauendyssh and W[illiam] Gibbonson now wardyns by Reynold Filoll' [and] Richard Downe late wardens of the fraternyte of the Holy Trynyte lij li. remaynyng in the box and a chalys for iiij li. of which lij li. we haue take xl s. and so remayneth styll in the box 1 li.' ? 1499 (see 133).
(ii) f. 2b. In a seventeenth century hand, the heading 'CARTULARIUM S. TRINITATIS in S. BOTULPHO EXTRA ALDERSGATE LONDON', and a memorandum on the state of the manuscript at that time, which probably accords with its modern state.
(b) A Calendar in red, black and blue on a vellum quire of 6 folios, late fourteenth century. All the feasts are among those in the Sarum calendar printed in F. Proctor and C. Wordsworth, Breviarium ad usum insignis ecclesiae Sarum, i (1882), except for the following: St. Leo, 14 March; St. Eustace, abbot and confessor, 29 March; St. Mildred, 23 Feb. (instead of 20 Feb.). The feast of St. Anne is included (26 July, in red), but not the Visitation (2 July) indicating a date between 1381 and 1389. (fn. 141) The following have been erased: the word 'pape' on four occasions (ff. 4, 5b, 8, 8b); St. Thomas of Canterbury (ff. 6, 8b); St. Edward the Confessor (f. 3). (fn. 142) The obit entries on the Calendar are written in three fifteenth-century hands which occur elsewhere in the manuscript.
(c) Paper section of 104 folios, covering old folios iij–cxlviij. The gatherings are as follows: i12 (1 and 2 lacking), ii12, iii6, iv–v12, vi–vii10, viii14 (1, 5–10 missing), ix12, irregular from f. 86. A number of leaves with old foliation are missing and when the manuscript was foliated at the B.M. in 1908 no number was given to blank pages although they bore old folio numbers.
From examination of the handwriting it appears that the rules, except for the final excised article (20), were written up at the same time as the first lists of entrants (21–8). The list of entrants for 1398–9 (28) bears additions in various hands and the following sections (29–39), containing lists of entrants and memoranda for various years 1399–1415, are written in a number of hands and would appear to be annual entries. It is probable, therefore, that the register was begun around 1398.
The back of the manuscript was used for fair copies of accounts, entries for 1432–6 and 1438–41 appearing on ff. 90–2 (126–30). This may have originally been a larger section, as the preceding four leaves, old folios cxxix–cxxxij, together with cxxxiv and cxxxvij–cxl, are missing. The accounts are in a neat mid-fifteenth century hand and appear to be fair copies.
The central part of the book was used for accounts and quarterage lists of various kinds, 1443–56 (40–61). Some of these bear contemporary alterations and signs of auditing (40, n.1.). This section is followed by the cartulary (62–125), written in a mid-fifteenth century hand. The latest entries are dated 12 April 1463 (101) and 18 June 1463 (103), so that it would seem that the cartulary was written at about this time.