I. Exchequer, K. R., Subsidy Roll, 144/2.
The roll consists of six membranes of various size, the text being
written in two columns, with one exception on the recto side.
Mem. 1 begins with Bridge ward, which occupies col. 1 and
part of col. 2. The remainder of col. 2 is filled by Queenhithe ward,
which is continued on the verso side, col. 1.
Mem. 2: Cripplegate Infra (col. 1) and Cripplegate Extra (col. 2).
Mem. 3: Dowgate (col. 1) and Walbrook (col. 2).
Mem. 4: Cordwainer (col. 1) and Vintry (col. 2).
Mem. 5: Bishopsgate Infra (col. 1, upper half) and Extra (col. 2,
upper half). Bassishaw (col. 1, lower half) and Portsoken (col. 2,
Mem. 6: Billingsgate (col. 1) and Broad St (col. 2).
Before the names of most of the wards and of each taxpayer and
also before the sum total at the end of wards is placed a paragraph
mark in the form of two long s's, which has not been reproduced
in the reprint.
Two main hands can be distinguished. Hand 1 wrote the greater
part of the text, viz. Mem.s 1, 2, 3, and 6 entire, Mem. 4, col. 2,
and of Mem. 5 the last 11 entries and the sum total under Bas and
the last 12 entries and the sum total under Ports. Hand 2 wrote
Mem. 4, col. 1 (Cordw) and of Mem. 5 the upper part of both
columns (Bish and the first three entries under Bas and the first
11 entries under Ports, also the headings of these two wards).
There seems to be no reason to doubt that the sums total at the
end of wards are in the same hand as the preceding text. The S of
Summa is of one type in the parts written by hand 1, of another
type in those written by hand 2.
Only one more hand can be distinguished in the roll. The original
sum total in Cripplegate ward has been cancelled as erroneous and
a fresh sum added, apparently in a third hand. The abbreviation for
solidus (s.) is formed by a flourish going from the top of the s
towards the left in this entry, while hands 1 and 2 place a small
semicircle on top of the s.
Below the sums total the number of "heads" (taxpayers (fn. 1) ) of
some wards is indicated in the form "Capit' Cj" or "Cap' Liiij"
(presumably Capita). Under Queenhithe the "heads" are given
separately at the bottom of Mem. 1 r., col. 2, and at the end of the
ward on Mem. 1 v., col. 1. The number of "heads" is not given for
BroadSt, Dowg, Vintry, Walbr. The number of heads under Bridge
is given as 101, but is really 100. That for Crip (127) is one short.
Doubtless Gilbert de Pelham [CripI 40], inserted between the lines,
was overlooked or had not been added when the calculation was
made. These entries appear to be all in hand 2, since the C of Capita
agrees with that used by hand 2, not so well with that of hand 1.
Hand 1 is fluent and rather careless. Small letters are frequently
used as initials in names, even font-names, and there are not a few
obvious errors. (fn. 2) The scribe uses a peculiar sort of a, which may often
be mistaken for an o at first sight, though it is generally distinct from
it. His C has the form of a C with a flourish inside. Hand 2 is more
careful, more pointed, even elegant. Capital letters are used more
regularly and are generally well executed. The a is often pointed
at the top and can never be mistaken for an o. The C has the form
of a C with one or two vertical strokes inside. The portions found
on Mem. 5 are in a smaller hand than those on Mem. 4, doubtless
owing to exigencies of space.
It is curious that there is a change of hands in Bas and Ports.
The fresh hand (hand 1) sets in higher up in col. 1 than in col. 2.
But there can be no doubt that there is a change of hand at the
places indicated. The forms of the paragraph-mark in front of
entries used by the two scribes are not identical, and the last 11
(12) entries in both columns have the form used by hand 1 and also
have it placed slightly farther left than in the preceding entries.
Under Ports Billirica [no. 11] has the typical form of a used by
hand 2, while Walter [no. 12] has the a of hand 1.
The extant roll is a copy of the original returns, which we may
suppose to have been drawn up by different scribes for the various
wards. In this way it differs from the roll for the subsidy of 1319.
There are some indications that the various original returns had
certain characteristics of their own.
The Anglo-Saxon letter p (wynn) is found only in the returns for
BroadSt, Crip, Ports, Vintry and Walbr, th, y being solely used in the
other wards. The p usually denotes p (pwrgode BroadSt 22, in pe
hyrne Ports 23, reperhepe Vintry 59, pele Walbr 63). In brimperd
BroadSt 14, 15 it stands for y. pork CripI 17 probably denotes
York. Further Walbr has z, Z for p in mareworze 33, Zindene 68.
The return for Crip is characterized by frequent loss of initial
h and addition of an inorganic h: Al(l)ingbery, -biry CripI 15, 61,
hodiam 29, harnald 37, handreu le hirreys 38, Akonnby CripE 31.
Inorganic h is found also in Bridge (helis 16, heure 59, hivn 67) and
once in Walbr (heynesham 5), loss of h in affeld Walbr 34.
In the return for Bridge there is a predilection for Rec' instead
of Ric' (Richard), Rec' being found under nos. 3, 11, 14, 26, 42,
while Ric' occurs under nos. 71, 89. It is possible that the original
return had a form of i that could be mistaken for e.
In the return for Vintry whole French phrases or sentences, such
as ke maint en sa shope "who lives in his workshop", form a prominent feature, which has no parallel in the other returns.
In the return for Dowgate the e of the preposition de is regularly
elided before names beginning in a vowel: darraz (bis), darmenters,
dabindone, doffintone. In the returns for other wards only such
forms as de Arras (Arraz, Araz), de orlyenes are found.
In the font-names various wards show differences as regards the
use of Latinized and French forms.
The roll is on the whole in a fair state of preservation, though
the writing is sometimes a little faint. The upper right-hand corner
of Mem. 5 has been torn away, the assessments for the first five
taxpayers of BishE being lost, apart from the d. of no. 4 and the s.
of no. 5. There are a few holes in Mem. 2, but the readings can be
supplied with practical certainty. M . . . . burne [CripI 57] is obviously
for Meldeburne. The tax of Thomas de Oxon' [Walbr 3] may be
xl d. or xl s. The writing is so blurred that it is impossible to be
certain which is right, though s. seems the more probable. However,
since the sum total of the ward obtained agrees exactly with that of
the return, if the assessment was 40s., the correct reading is obviously xl s.
II. Exchequer, K. R., Subsidy Roll, 144/3.
The roll consists of 24 membranes of various size. One membrane
is generally set aside for each ward, and those used for the smaller
wards are naturally small, while those used for the larger wards are
of considerable size. Farringdon Infra and Extra occupy one membrane each, both the recto and the verso side being used. Cripplegate
Extra is on the verso side of the membrane for Cripplegate Infra.
The last 19 entries for BreadSt are on the verso side, and the return
for Cheap fills the greater part of both sides of the skin. The return
for Vintry is missing.
The roll is indented, the skins being cut vertically. The extant
Exchequer copy is the left-hand half of the original membranes.
The membranes are ruled in the returns for BreadSt, Cand,
ColemSt, CripI, FarrI (the recto side), and Tower. On vertical
rules found in some returns, see p. 13. A line is regularly drawn
from the name of the taxpayer to his assessment. The same is the
case in the earlier roll.
A great number of different hands can be distinguished. The
main text of the returns for the various wards, comprising the
headings and the names of the taxpayers, was doubtless written by
the clerks of the sub-taxers, presumably the clerk of the respective
ward. Since the return for Vintry is missing, 23 different hands can
probably be distinguished for this part of the roll, supposing the
same scribe for FarrI and FarrE; these may be called the main
hands. Though some of these main hands show a certain similarity
to each other, there is hardly anything to suggest that any scribe
wrote more than one return. (fn. 1) Some of these hands are very characteristic, while others are of a more conventional type. Some of the
returns are very fine specimens of penmanship, as those for Dowgate and Candlewick, which show very similar hands. It is clear
that the hands are those of professional scribes. It would be improfitable to discuss the characteristics of these hands in detail. In the main hands are occasional notes such as "Respice in tergo" or the like. It is doubtful if these hands can be traced anywhere else
in the returns.
Besides the 23 main hands, several other hands can be distinguished, but in this place it will be enough to say that the Ingress,
found on the membrane for Walbrook, the "Colophon" at the end
of CripE, the assessments, the sums total (often detailed) at the end
of wards, and the marginalia are not in the main hands, and it will
hardly be possible to establish with certainty how many different
persons took part in finishing the roll. This question will be dealt
with in some detail in the next chapter. An analysis of the various
subsidiary hands may throw some light on the way in which the
roll reached its actual form.
The roll is on the whole in a good state of preservation, but the upper part of the return for Billingsgate is badly damaged by damp.
Also the last few entries under Queenhithe are very faint, and
there is a hole in the skin just here. Holes in some other skins have
made a name or an assessment or two illegible or partly so. Minor
defects are not gone into here.
The roll must be the exemplar sent in to the chief taxers and
used by them for the final assessment. The other half of the indenture, which was kept by the City authorities, is not preserved, but
on it may have been founded the "Schedule of the amount levied
in each ward" in connection with the Subsidy, which is printed in
LBE, p. 124 f. The amounts in the Schedule show some interesting
differences from the definitive ones in the Roll; see further Chap.
VI, iv, (e).