The Cartulary of Holy Trinity, Aldgate London Record Society 7. Originally published by London Record Society, London, 1971.
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The cartulary of the Augustinian priory of Holy Trinity (otherwise called Christ Church) has been in the custody of the University of Glasgow since 1807. It is MS. U.2.6 of the manuscripts in the Hunterian Museum Library and forms part of the collection bequeathed by Dr. William Hunter, a famous London surgeon and obstetrician, to his old university. Who acquired the cartulary upon the dissolution of the priory in 1532 is not known, but it was in the hands of Dr. Stephen Batman, an Elizabethan antiquary, who helped Archbishop Parker to collect the library now in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and it was used by John Stow in his Survey of London. (fn. 1) Batman signed his name on f. 203 and made a rather unsuccessful attempt at an Anglo-Saxon script and elsewhere wrote part of the Lord's Prayer in the same script (341). William Dugdale, in 1661, does not appear to have known about the manuscript, neither did Dr. Thomas Tanner in 1695, but the 1744 edition of his Notitia Monastica refers to it. A letter dated 27 January 1713/14 prefixed to the cartulary shows that Tanner knew that John Anstis had acquired it at least two months before that date. John Anstis, who was Garter King of Arms from 1718 until his death in 1744, was a noted collector of manuscripts, and Tanner writing to him from Norwich expressed the view in his letter that the cartulary had been written by Thomas de Axbridge, owned by Batman, much used by Stow and that it had been much enquired after in the contest between Dr. White Kennett and Dr. Richard Hollingsworth. (fn. 2) Thomas Hearne also used the cartulary when it belonged to Anstis and printed ff. 1–7 in his edition of William of Newburgh's Historia published in 1719. (fn. 3) Tanner, as another letter from Norwich prefixed to the manuscript shows, borrowed the cartulary in 1720–1. John Stevens, in his two volumes which appeared in 1722–3 as a supplement to Dugdale's Monasticon, printed in translation ff. 1–8, 149–50 and 179–96 and indicated in his preface that Garter King of Arms had 'courteously furnished a very curious Register Book of the Monastery of Regular Canons of the Holy Trinity, near Aldgate, London'. William Maitland also used the register in the preparation of the second edition of his History of London which appeared in 1756. On the other hand, Richard Newcourt appears to have relied upon Stow and not to have known of the cartulary's existence when he was preparing (probably in the last decade of the seventeenth century) the first volume of his Repertorium (1708).
The cartulary was apparently unknown and unused between 1603 when the second edition of Stow's Survey appeared and some time between 1708 and 1713. It seems highly improbable that its whereabouts during the seventeenth century will ever be traced, but it was also 'lost' in the nineteenth century. Caley, Ellis and Bandinel when they revised Dugdale's Monasticon did not find it. (fn. 4) During that century scholars relied either upon a transcript of the register made according to R. R. Sharpe about 1769, (fn. 5) but in fact probably written about 1840–1, (fn. 6) or upon copies of certain charters and narrative parts of the cartulary which appear in the City's Letter-Book C and Liber Dunthorn, the former being the more reliable. H. C. Coote (fn. 7) did not know of the cartulary, W. J. Loftie (fn. 8) recorded its existence in a footnote but did not use it, Charles Gross (fn. 9) used Letter-Book C and J. H. Round does not appear to have known of the register's existence in 1888 (fn. 10) or 1892. (fn. 11) But by 1899 (fn. 12) Round had discovered it in the University of Glasgow. Sharpe referred to it in his calendar of Letter-Book C in 1901 and Dr. P. Henderson Aitken completed the Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of the Hunterion Museum in the University of Glasgow begun by Dr. John Young and saw it through the press in 1908. Only between 1892 and 1899 did the cartulary become again known to medievalists generally, despite its listing in the appendix (fn. 13) to the Third Report of the Historical Manuscripts Commission as early as 1872.
From its acquisition by John Anstis in or shortly before 1713 the cartulary remained the property of himself and his son until it was sold to Thomas Astle on Wednesday 14 December 1768 for £10 5s., (fn. 14) but it must have been sold by him to Hunter before the latter's death on 30 March 1783. Hunter in fact had put in a bid of 5 guineas at the sale. In all probability he acquired it some time between the establishment of his museum in Great Windmill Street in 1769–70 and his death and he may well have owned it when Andrew Coltee Ducarel examined it in 1773 or 1779. (fn. 15) By Hunter's will the collections were left to three trustees for a period of thirty years (fn. 16) and thereafter to the University of Glasgow.
The description (item 215) in the Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of the Hunterian Museum, supplemented by the note on the illuminations written by Professor Francis Wormald, (fn. 17) is so full that no further account of the physical characteristics of the cartulary is necessary. It was written by Thomas de Axbridge between 1425 and 1427 and he tells us that he made use of ancient books and arranged his work according to parishes and listed the property of the house held in each parish with the names of tenants, rather than grouping all grants and concessions made by priors in chronological order (31). All this he did because of the demand for written evidence when disputes arose over payments of quit rent to the house. There is no evidence which leads us to believe that Thomas was negligent in his work, but concerning some matters he was ill informed. While he is reasonably accurate in his information concerning the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, he is inaccurate about the thirteenth, and his list of priors, although Caley, Ellis and Bandinel did something to revise it, (fn. 18) misled writers on Holy Trinity for five centuries. On occasions he could not read the documents which he was copying and this led him to write names which, from other sources, can be shown to be wrong. The foundation and other charters in the first seven folios are connected by pieces of narrative, which, along with the passage on the soke (ff. 149–50), provide a fairly full history of the house. These chronicles would seem to be a feature of the cartularies of Augustinian houses. (fn. 19)
The passage on the boundaries of the soke of Aldgate is an important source for the topography of twelth-century London and it defines, at an early date, the limits of the ward of Aldgate. Folio 149 (871) contains an account of the English Cnihtengild, an institution which has been learnedly discussed by, among others, Gross, (fn. 20) F. M. Stenton (fn. 20) and F. E. Harmer (fn. 21) and upon which the present editor has no further contribution to offer. Again, great importance lies in the territorial definition of the soke for the boundaries given are those of Portsoken ward of which the prior some time after 1125 became ex-officio alderman. 960 illustrates the difficulties which the house had in exercising its privileges over the soke against two custodians of the Tower of London. The narrative passage (986) supplements the charter evidence on the relationship between the hospital of St. Katherine and Holy Trinity and demonstrates vividly the ill will between the house and Henry III's consort, Queen Eleanor. Folio 208 contains a list of early mayors and sheriffs. Thus it will be seen that the narrative passages, which form an integral part of the cartulary, are of considerable historical importance.
The foundation and importance of the priory
According to the opening narrative or Historia, Holy Trinity, also known as Christ Church, was founded in 1108 by Matilda, queen consort of Henry I, on a site where a certain Syredus had begun to establish a church which owed an annual rent of 30s. to the dean and chapter of Waltham Holy Cross. It was in some way subject to Waltham, for Matilda's charter (4) specifically exempts Holy Trinity from all subjection to any church save St. Paul's. The group of secular canons under a dean who lived at Waltham in Essex had been established there since 1060, (fn. 22) so it cannot be certainly known when Syredus began to found his church or how far he had progressed with it when Matilda decided upon her foundation for canons regular. On Anselm's advice she gave the governance of the house to Norman, who is said to have been the first Augustinian in England. (fn. 23)
Doubtless there were many groups of secular canons in the country who were seeking some rule (fn. 24) by which to live and the Gregorian reform had introduced an element of compulsion to accept one. Such a rule was devised for secular canons on the Continent in the last quarter of the eleventh century and attributed to St. Augustine. Norman, who had studied under Anselm in France, probably at Bec, knew enough about the so-called rule of St. Augustine to inform the canons of St. Botolph's Colchester that it would be a suitable one for them to follow. Ainulf the priest of St. Botolph's asked him to find out more about the rule and Archbishop Anselm provided him with an introduction to the prior and convent of Mont-St Eloi, a house some six miles north-west of Arras. Although the chronicle does not mention this house further, it informs us that Norman and his brother went both to Chartres and Beauvais and perhaps it is reasonable to assume that Norman undertook this journey after Anselm's return to England in September 1106, unless he wrote to the prelate or sought him out on the Continent during his exile in order to obtain the introductory letter. (fn. 25) After his visit Norman returned to Colchester and the group of canons there accepted the Augustinian rule, Ainulf becoming prior and Norman one of the cannons. Colchester readily agreed to Norman's departure, a move which may or may not argue that the house was well established (fn. 26) when he was called by the queen to preside over her new foundation in London on 5 April 1108. However, the date 5 April 1107 is also given (fn. 27) for Norman's creation: this may be a scribal error or may indicate that the foundation was a year earlier.
From the first, the house had powerful patrons; the king and queen, the archbishop of Canterbury and Richard de Belmeis I, bishop of London. Richard was elected bishop on 24 May 1108 and consecrated on 26 July of that year, so that Matilda's foundation charter (4) and Henry I's confirmation (2) of it addressed to Richard must post-date the actual establishment of the house. This was not unusual. (fn. 28) It was originally endowed with the gate of Aldgate and the soke belonging to it and with £25 blanch from the city of Exeter which formed part of the queen's income. Norman appears, from the beginning, to have spent lavishly on buildings, books, ornaments and vestments to such an extent that food was in short supply. But the priory immediately became popular with the citizens of London and some women decided that each of them would provide a loaf on Sundays for the canons; a practice which assured the bread supply for the rest of the week.
After Matilda's death in May 1118, Henry I (fn. 29) continued to favour the house, allowing it to close a road between the conventual buildings and the wall of the City (12), but he did not give all the land which the queen had wished Holy Trinity to have (13). But the financial position of the priory was improving even before the grant of the soke of the English Cnihtengild in 1125. This grant conveyed to the priory an area later known as the ward of Portsoken. The acquisition of superiority over such a large area and of rights over the church of St. Botolph without Aldgate certainly helped towards the doubling of the priory's income which Norman achieved (13). The house suffered from a disastrous fire in 1132 (13) when one of the frequent medieval miracles occurred, on that occasion the saving of a wooden cross, and again during Ralph's priorate it was damaged by fire (31).
Ralph, the second prior, was on close terms with Stephen and Matilda and he acted as confessor to the queen as Norman had done to Henry I's consort. Under his sagacious rule, the rents due to the priory doubled in value, although he initiated the policy of selling land with a perpetual reserved rent in order to pay for the rebuilding after the fire. It was during his tenure of office that Queen Matilda founded the hospital of St. Katherine (fn. 30) in 1147 or 1148 on land which Holy Trinity had released to her and for which it was given compensation (973–4). The link with the new hospital was obviously intended to be a close one, for Holy Trinity was to have perpetual custody of it (975), which authority the priory maintained until 1261. Again, as in Henry I's reign, the king and queen were good friends to Holy Trinity, for they helped to secure the return of land which Geoffrey de Mandeville had seized from the house (961). Although Henry II did not apparently take so keen an interest in the priory, it remained within the royal circle. It can be fairly asserted that, for eighty years after its foundation and until new religious orders were attracting greater attention, the Augustinian order remained popular and the number of communities living according to its rule expanded. Holy Trinity, situated as it was in the leading English city and on the doorstep of one of the most important royal residences, remained the foremost house of regular canons and established several daughter communities. (fn. 31)
The chronicle tells us little of the work of the third prior Stephen, if indeed he merits that number, for during the vacancy from 1167 to 1170 Edmund, Osbern and William are mentioned. (fn. 32) During Stephen's priorate from 1170 to 1197 and that of his successor, Peter of Cornwall, from 1197 to 1221 a steady growth in the priory's prosperity may be assumed from the increasing number of grants made by these two priors. Peter increased the prestige of the house by his scholarship for he was one of the foremost theologians of his day (16). But the greatest business activity took place under Richard, prior from 1222 to 1248: 115 years after its foundation all fears of an inadequacy of daily bread had long been removed from the minds of the canons regular serving God in the eastern end of the City.
The priory and its possessions
Holy Trinity was from its inception a house which obtained much support from the citizens of London; hence it is not surprising to find that, by 1288–91, (fn. 33) the property within London (including that in Kentish Town) was valued at £125 15s. 9½d., whereas that outside the City was worth only £71 17s. 5d. p.a. Spiritual income was £22 2s. 7½d. (fn. 34) The cartulary bears witness to the generosity of Londoners in granting land with or without houses and quit rents to the priory which they held in such high esteem. This cartulary contains the record of London property alone and there are few references to the convent's holdings outside the City which were mostly in Middlesex, Hertfordshire and Essex.
Roughly sixty per cent of the temporal income came from the City itself and, even if spiritual income is added to the total, over fifty-seven per cent of the house's income was drawn from London. With such a large City income, it is to be expected that Holy Trinity's interests would extend into almost every parish: it held properties or quit rents in some eightyseven parishes. Only in the extreme western parts of the City beyond St. Paul's did the priory have few assets, although even in this quarter the parishes of St. Martin Ludgate and St. Sepulchre with St. Audoen provided incomes of 6s. and 25s. p.a. respectively. The priory had no property or quit rents in the parishes of All Hallows the Less, St. Antholin, St. Helen, St. Margaret Moses Friday Street, St. Mary Magdalen Milk Street, St. Michael le Quern, St. Nicholas Acon, St. Olave in the Jewry, St. Peter Paul's Wharf, St. Peter le Poor, St. Peter ad Vincula and nothing in a group of western parishes which included St. John the Evangelist, St. Anne and St. Agnes, St. Andrew by the Wardrobe, St. Nicholas Shambles and St. Olave Silver Street. The assessment of the rent and other temporal income on which the royal tenth or clerical subsidy was based (1030) does not contain all the rents which the house enjoyed, but it will be seen from it that Holy Trinity's main sources of revenue were in the parishes of St. Botolph without Aldgate, St. Mary Colechurch, St. Michael and St. Katherine Cree and St. Olave Hart Street. These four parishes provided the priory with £60 2s. 9½d., almost half of its temporal income from land and rents. With the exception of St. Mary Colechurch, all these parishes were in the vicinity of the conventual buildings.
The income which the house enjoyed fell into two main categories. Firstly, as has been mentioned, from the time of Prior Ralph onwards, the prior and convent sold lands while retaining to themselves fixed annual rents in perpetuity. The second source was from quit rents which pious donors had given to them either from lands which they owned or from parts of rents which were paid to the grantors. But these quit rents were not always gratuitously given to the priory, for, on occasion, the convent would enter the market to purchase quit rents. 52 shows the canons paying 8s. for the purchase of an annual quit rent of 12d., a transaction which, at eight years' purchase, was a profitable one for the house. The prices paid for quit rents varied between nine (306) and thirteen and a third years' (283) purchase; the most frequently found prices were nine or ten years. Sometimes a quit rent might be, in effect, an addition to a rent already being paid (60). In this instance, William Ganter (the Glover) was paid 20s. by the canons for his additional rent of 2s. p.a. that he added to the 5s. which he was under obligation to pay. A rough calculation shows that rather less than fifty-five per cent of the City income was provided by rents from properties which the priory still possessed and just over forty-five per cent from quit rents which had been granted to the house either gratuitously or by purchase. As Holy Trinity was dissolved in 1532, no record of its assets exists in the Valor Ecclesiasticus, but apparently the value of its income in the City increased between 1288–91 and the early sixteenth century. (fn. 35) It is important to distinguish between these two types of income, as, if arrears occurred, somewhat different procedures were required to recover them. (fn. 36)
Another source of income about which the cartulary provides few details derived from the churches collated to the priory. The first chapter of the document is headed 'in the parishes of Holy Trinity, St. Michael, Mary Magdalen and St. Katherine' and these apparently formed one parish. The church of St. Katherine Christ Church known as St. Katherine Cree was, at one time, a chapel served by the canons of Holy Trinity, but in the fifteenth century it became a parish church of which the prior and convent were patron. (fn. 37) All Hallows Fenchurch later called St. Gabriel Fenchurch came to the priory because it had belonged to the Cnihtengild (109) and St. Augustine Papey as part of the soke of Aldgate (789) while the house presented to St. Edmund King and Martyr (358). The gift of the cnihts also gave Holy Trinity the possession of the parish church of St. Botolph without Aldgate and 964 illustrates the keenness with which the house defended its right to mortuaries, while 1045 shows it maintaining its baptismal rights over the children of parishioners of this church appropriated to the priory. All Hallows London Wall was granted to the house (779) between 1128 and 1134 by a priest named Ranulf who gave it to the convent when he entered religion at Reading abbey. The priory encountered certain difficulties with the bishop of London, Gilbert the Universal (1127–34), but its claim was made good (780) and the incumbent paid 3s. p.a. rent to the prior and convent.
The ward of Portsoken was a valuable possession not only for the income which it brought to the priory but also for the prestige which it conferred upon the prior. (fn. 38) He was ex-officio alderman of the ward. A careful reading of the cartulary has not brought to light any new facts concerning the relationship between the soke of the Cnihtengild and the City authorities. There is no justification for thinking that the men of the Cnihtengild had any special authority over the City: in fact, the soke was only exempt de warda and the men of the soke were subject to the Husting court, whereas those of the soke of Aldgate were free from it. (fn. 39) The fact that the successor to the Cnihtengild, the prior, was alderman may indicate that the gild had some special position, but on the other hand the ward of Portsoken could have been created after the soke came into the possession of Holy Trinity. (fn. 40) Neither does the cartulary say anything about the manner in which the prior exercised his aldermanic powers. (fn. 41) Holy Trinity, well endowed with property and quit rents, was a prominent London house which compared favourably in size and wealth with other London religious communities. (fn. 42)
Some aspects of the social and economic life of medieval London
Perhaps the most important reason for making the contents of the cartulary more widely available to scholars is to be found in the hope that such a work will, to quote the late Miss E. Jeffries Davis, 'throw much light on the early topography of London'. (fn. 43) Its publication should reinforce work already done on the topography of medieval London and it should also illuminate the history of the urban land market. Sopers Lane is called a new street in 1257 (505), St. Pancras designated a parish church in 1253–4 (501) and 'Brodeselde' is first mentioned in 1255–6 (510). Many documents bear witness to the active market that existed in quit rents: the most usual figure, as has been mentioned, for the purchase of a quit rent was nine or ten times its annual value, but evidence as to any special factors which may have influenced any particular purchase price is lacking. The figures appear over a period of nearly 300 years and it would be unwise, on the evidence available, to postulate marked changes in the market value of annual quit rents at different periods. The sale of quit rents was obviously one method of mobilizing capital for business purposes (195, 197, 218, 369, 505, 1056 et al.). The priory was prepared to invest in quit rents and those selling them frequently state that they needed the money 'ad negocia mea expedienda'. The cartulary also shows an active land market to have existed in London from the twelfth century.
Holdings in London were in burgage tenure and citizens had free testamentary disposition of their property, except that they were compelled to leave one-third to their widow and one-third to their children. Traces of obligations remain, however, that may indicate tenures which, if they were not strictly feudal, were slightly less free. Such may be the rent of a silver mark to Holy Trinity as chief lords of the fee in 222. If we knew more about the function of the prior's soke reeve (945 et al.), it might be possible to adjudge the degree of dependency of some tenures, but it would appear that even in the twelfth century any obligations other than those of rent were few. As the late Miss Jeffries Davis wrote, 'the seigneurial system was obsolete in the City'. (fn. 44) Citizens of London were allowed to leave property to religious houses notwithstanding the provisions of the Statute of Mortmain. (fn. 45) Leaving aside sales or gifts of quit rents, the conveyances fall into two groups, firstly those in which the prior and convent granted land and secondly those made between citizens in which Holy Trinity was in some way involved, usually as the recipient of an annual rent. The cartulary indicates that the greatest activity in the land market, judged by the volume of conveyances, took place during the tenure of Prior Richard between 1222 and 1248. The general economic trend of this period was expansionist and the second quarter of the thirteenth century, following the successful struggle for the independence of the City in the previous thirty years, probably saw considerable advances in London, but it can only be conjecture as to whether Holy Trinity was at this time enlarging or improving its buildings and needed money for such a purpose. However, during Richard's priorate the house granted away land, either with or without houses, upon which a total annual rent of £16 1s. was reserved and received in gersums £178 18s. Of these thirty-two properties a nominal rent of ½ lb. of pepper (555) and 1 lb. of cumin or ld. (818) was reserved upon two of them, but, of the remaining thirty, an annual rent ranging between £6 13s. 4d. and 2d. was paid. The house invariably reserved to itself the right to repurchase the property at a price below its full market value. The clause 'si A.B. etc. voluerit terram vendere etc. canonici et successores sui propriores erunt omnibus aliis de uno besancio duorum solidorum si illam voluerint habere', meaning that the prior and convent should have preference over other purchasers to the amount of a bezant of 2s., is frequently found in the deeds. There are slight variations of the formula, 'si quoque voluerit feodum suum invadiare vel vendere canonici debent esse adeo propinquiores ut aliquis alius si voluerint habere', but the general tenor of these clauses indicates that the priory was placed in a favourable position. Frequently a restrictive clause appeared in the deed preventing the grantee from leasing or selling the property to Jews or to religious houses.
Generalizations from these documents upon aspects of social and economic life may be dangerous, but there is enough evidence to show that a considerable amount of land which was not built upon existed within the City walls: both references to gardens and agreements to grant land on condition that houses were built upon it are ample testimony to these empty spaces, as, indeed, is the mention of 'le More' within the walls (782). The size of tenements is fully documented in most deeds in the cartulary. Although some measurements are given in feet and inches, usually holdings are measured in ells with careful notes of the frontage and depth of the tenement. In some deeds (e.g. 410) sufficient detail is given of the abutments and the streets for the topographer to reconstruct small areas of the city. This is not the place to discuss the problem of the measures used to describe properties; whether the ells were of 45 inches or were, in fact, yards, (fn. 46) is not determinable from the cartulary. Some illustration is given in 372 of the actual business methods employed in land purchase. Something is also shown of the legal process. Thomas de Axbridge's aim was not only to copy charters and lists of tenants paying rent subsequently to the initial grant or lists of those paying quit rents but also to make a record of any process that would make the priory's claims more secure: to that end he made copies of pleas in the Husting court. A number of these suits were undoubtedly collusive (e.g. 391), brought in order to establish title. Where the rent is said to have been in arrears for many years or where the prior remitted all the arrears we can be tolerably certain that such suits were collusive. Another aspect of interest to the social historian is the remarkable longevity of some London inhabitants. Although one cannot be certain that no names have been omitted, in one list only three tenants held one property in 104 years and other instances of tenures of considerable length can be found (454, 254 contd.). The pressure of a growing population in the City is demonstrated by the frequent sub-division of properties. Large holdings were divided among two or three tenants and they and their heirs became responsible for portions of the rent due to Holy Trinity. Sometimes the properties originally granted were of small dimensions and 586 illustrates what may have been the size of a typical fishmonger's shop 3½ ells 1 inch by 3¾ ells. Instances are to be found of a citizen adding one property to another (210), but they occur rarely in comparison with the frequent division of holdings. The historian of prices will obtain some useful data on rents, but less information on the price at which property changed hands, for it is frequently concealed in the phrase 'for a certain sum of money', although 190 may disclose the true market price of a house sold to the priory. On occasion the priory took steps actively to encourage building by beneficial rents or even by the remission of rents for a period of years (737). References to quays, stone houses, gardens, tenter-grounds for the racking of cloth and brewhouses illustrate aspects of commerce, building and industry in medieval London.
Notes on the edition
Calendaring rather than the printing of full text, despite some inherent disadvantages, has been the only method of making this large register available to scholars: its size, 208 folios, has until how been a serious obstacle to its publication. All essential details contained in the various types of document have been included and the full text of any doubtful or particularly significant passage has been given. Warranty clauses have, however, been omitted from calendared entries because they are common to all grants. It has also been decided not to give the full text of early charters both because so many originals exist and because most of the earliest ones are in print, but the Historia has been printed in the Appendix. (fn. 47) References have been given to the principal places where the deeds may be found in print, but when a full list of printed references appears in such works as Regesta Regum Anglo-Normannorum all these references have not been repeated. Whenever an original deed has been calendared in the Catalogue of Ancient Deeds, a reference is given to that source, but P.R.O. references are given only to those few deeds not included in the Catalogue. With a few exceptions, all charters and wills enrolled in the court of Husting have been traced on the rolls of that court or in Sharpe's Calendar of Wills, but no attempt has been made to trace pleas in the cartulary which appear on the Husting Common Plea Rolls.
With a document in which the entries extend in date over three centuries, the question of the treatment of surnames is a difficult one, for names which are clearly, before c. 1280–1300, trade or occupational names, may after that date become surnames proper. Generally the word 'the' has been placed before a trade or occupational name where it occurs before the reign of Edward I or when there is justification for believing that the man or woman may have followed that calling. Where place-names appear as surnames, 'de' rather than 'of' has been used in rendering them, unless there is reason to believe that the person named came directly from that place. The original spelling of surnames and places has been followed, but Latin place-names have usually been translated. Most of the commoner Latin forenames have been translated, but the form Matilda has been retained in preference to Maud. Suspension marks at the end of names have generally been ignored. Round brackets within words have been used to indicate doubtful readings.
Dates in both the heading and the entries have been given in days, months and years, and the years have been reckoned to begin on 1 January and not on 25 March. Dates of sheriffs have been taken from P.R.O. Lists and Indexes, no. 9, those of aldermen from Beaven, Aldermen of the City of London, and those of ecclesiastical dignitaries from the latest editions of Le Neve, Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae. (fn. 48)
The index contains entries for persons, places and subjects. Certain subjects occur too frequently in the text to make indexing profitable; these have been dealt with by a reference to the first and last item in which they are mentioned.