The corporation of Hereford: Corporation registers

Pages 288-289

The Manuscripts of Rye and Hereford Corporations, Etc. Thirteenth Report, Appendix: Part IV. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1892.

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II.—Corporation Registers.

The Registers now remaining are :—

1. A paper volume in quarto, containing 274 numbered leaves (not always in chronological order), bound in very unsuitable modern half-roau binding. A few leaves here and there are missing. This contains the minutes of proceedings from 15 Dec. 16 Hen. VII., 1500, to 12 Dec., 22 Hen. VIII., 1530. (fn. 1) There is little in it besides entries of recognizances. But at f. 176, under the year 1503, is given a list of the Corpus Christi pageants, which, although it has been printed (without reference) in Johnson's Customs of Hereford (p. 118), is worth reproducing here, especially as in that copy very many mistakes are made.

"The paiants for the procession of Corpus Christi.

Furst, Glovers Adam, Eve. Cayne and Abell (erased).
Eldest seriant Cayne, Abell, and Moysey, Aron.
Carpenters Noye ship.
Chaundelers Abram, Isack, Moysey cum iiiior pueris.
Skynners Jesse.
Flacchers Salutac[i]on of our Lady.
Vynteners Nativite of our Lord.
Taillours The iii Kings of Colen.
The belman The purific[i]on of our Lady, with Symyon.
Drapers The . . (blank) deitours goyng with the good Lord.
Sadlers Fleme Jordan.
Cardeners The castell of Israell.
Walkers The good Lord ridyng on an asse ("judging at an assize," in Johnson!) with xii Appostelles.
The tanners The story of Shore Thursday.
Bochours The takyng of our Lord.
The eldest seriant The tormentyng of our Lord with iiii tormentoures, with the lamentacon of our Lady [and Seynt John the evaungelist: faintly added by another hand].
[Cappers Portacio crucis usque montem Oilverii: added by the second hand.]
Dyers Jesus pendens in cruce [altered by the second hand from Portacio crucis et Johanne evangelista portante Mariam].
Smythes Longys with his knyghtes.
The eldest sariant Maria and Johannes evangelista (interlined).
Barbours Joseth Abarmathia.
Dyers Sepultura Christi.
The eldest seriant Tres Mariæ.
Porters Milites armati custodes sepulcri.
Mercers Pilate, Cayfes, Annas, and Mahounde. [This last name has been partly erased.]
Bakers Knyghtes in harnes.
Journeymen cappers Seynt Keterina with tres (?) tormentors."

Instances of disfranchisement occur. In 1491 one Roger Draper is disfranchished "pro inobedientia sua contra majorem," and in the following year Robert Nowell, "causa inobedientiæ suæ contra officiarios domini Regis," but he is subsequently restored. On June 6, 1514, Robert Carpenter is disfranchised "for as moche as the seid Roberto beynge one of the Councell house of the seid cite made affray upon one Thomas Tailour an other of the seid Councell house in the highe causey, and for reformacon thereof in example of other mysdoers he was ordred by the seid Councell to content and pay xxs. towards the reparacons of the walles and yates of the seid citie, uppon peyne of forfeture of his franches, which he utterly refused. Ideo, etc." Other cases occur in 1530. Extracts from ordinances in this volume are printed, but without references, in Johnson's Customs of Hereford. On the cover is this note: "N.B. This was one of the books stolen by Esther Garstone (who was convicted of larceny at Hereford Spring assizes before Baron Bolland, 1830), sold by her to Wm.. Beniams, grocer, Eign Street, and recovered from him 1 Jan. 1830."

2. "The great Black Book"; a folio volume, bound now in rough calf, with 468 numbered leaves of paper; of which the first is wanting. It contains the minutes of proceedings from Oct. 35 Hen. VIII. (1543), to 31 May, 34 Eliz. (1592). Prefixed on four quarto leaves is a table of the "acts and ordinances made at law-days and other special matters," by Griffith Reignolds, Mayor, 1685. And on the cover is this memorandum, "N.B. This book was stolen by Ester Garstone (who was convicted at the Spring assizes at Hereford, 1830, before Baron Bolland), and recovered 1 Jan. 1830 from Wm. Beniams, a grocer in Eigne Street." The chief contents of the book, in addition to ordinances made from time to time, are enrolments of recognizances and conveyances. Many extracts are given (but without reference to their source) in Johnson's Customs of Hereford.

The subsequent registers only begin at the year 1800, in consequence, as it seems, of the depredations committed upon the records referred to above.

One folio volume contains the Chamberlain's accounts from Mich. 1732 to the end of 1769.

A thin folio volume, in parchment cover, somewhat dilapidated, which was written in the 17th century, contains:—

1. The customs of the city, as established in 1486. This is printed at length in Mr. Johnson's book, pp. 11–45. Another and better copy is in the custody of the Town Clerk.

2. Notes of the city lands, rent-roll, and gifts (to about 1639).


  • 1. * One leaf, which evidently belongs to this volume, of 12 Edw. IV., 1472, has now been prefixed, which was found thrown aside in a drawer.