The Church Records of St Andrew Hubbard, Eastcheap, c1450-c1570. Originally published by London Record Society, London, 1999.
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This volume publishes the fifteenth- and sixteenth-century churchwardens' accounts of the London parish of St Andrew Hubbard for a second time. J.C. Crosthwaite, rector of the united parish of St Mary at Hill and St Andrew Hubbard, printed them first between 1847 and 1849 in numerous instalments of The British Magazine, a periodical which he edited but which ceased publication before the run of St Andrew Hubbard's accounts was quite complete. (fn. 1) This journal is, however, so obscure and its presentation of the accounts so piecemeal that Crosthwaite's efforts were wasted in every respect other, perhaps, than in deterring subsequent scholars from repeating the exercise more effectively. There were, after all, other London parish archives to be retrieved. A flurry of archival activity in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a period when investigating medieval parish mores was a relatively popular pursuit, resulted in the publication of several sets of London's fifteenth- and sixteenth-century churchwardens' accounts. (fn. 2) This volume lifts the embargo which has, in effect, lain for so long on the St Andrew Hubbard archive; its appearance also marks the first publication of a series of London parish accounts for upwards of sixty years. Indicative of revived interest in the later medieval church as it operated on and in local communities, this particular volume also responds to the current debate on the causes and the effects of the Reformation, and especially to the need to establish quite what was changed, and how, during the sixteenth century. St Andrew Hubbard may have been a small and hitherto obscure parish but it repays scrutiny: as a City parish it stood in a sensitive location; its churchwardens' accounts survive in a virtually unbroken series, starting in 1454 and continuing into the 1620s (although this volume calls a halt at 1570); and, as well as being records accumulated during, and reflective of, remarkable times, they shed light on one among the City's more modest parish regimes which, while presumably the more typical, have generally failed to attract much attention. Having a good run of St Andrew Hubbard's accounts available in easily accessible form will improve our understanding not only of ordinary parishioners' practices and priorities, but also of the development of these over time and, ultimately, of the responses that a parish might make to government initiatives. In addition, this volume sees, to my knowledge, the first marriage of churchwardens' accounts with contemporary parishioners' wills. This is worthwhile both because of our continuing dependency on wills as windows onto long-dead individuals but also, more importantly, to promote record linkage where different categories of evidence might each shed light on the other. The impact, for instance, that royal policies had on parish government can be considered against the reactions apparently elicited from the individuals comprising the parish. If not affording quite as detailed an impression as one might have hoped for, the close examination of local records in parallel improves our appreciation of what was happening in a small society before the Reformation and, thus, of what was changed during it, adding perspective and detail to the broader studies that are available. (fn. 3)
The accumulation of so much material brings a serious problem in its wake. While a very great deal is there to be wrung both from the accounts and the wills, revealing much about parish life in London before and during the Reformation and, in addition, shedding a good deal of light on the pitfalls encountered when pressing accounts and wills into service as source material, this introduction is not the place for expansive deliberations. The provision of contextual information and a description of the documents is of course essential, but there is not much room for anything else. Lack of space has forced the decision to concentrate on the churchwardens' accounts. Whilst it has proved rewarding to gather the wills from just one parish – an exercise from which, I hope, many will profit – this exercise was prompted by curiosity arising from the discharge of my initial brief, which was to make the churchwardens' accounts accessible. The wills' claim for attention, in this volume at least, is secondary. Testamentary evidence has, moreover, received relatively sustained attention elsewhere, (fn. 4) but churchwardens' accounts are a source still awaiting what might be described as close and critical examination. I have taken the opportunity of subjecting those surviving for one parish, St Andrew Hubbard, to hard scrutiny. (fn. 5) I have written about them at some length in a study which also devotes the attention appropriate to the parish's testamentary evidence. This work will, I hope, soon be published elsewhere. Here, in addition to basic introductory material, I can offer no more than one or two salutary observations to be borne in mind by those who seek to use the St Andrew Hubbard accounts or, indeed, churchwardens' accounts more generally.
Situated in the south-eastern sector of the City, the parish of St Andrew Hubbard straddled Eastcheap in Billingsgate ward. (fn. 6) Of late Anglo-Saxon origin, it evolved like many of London's parishes during and after the period of Viking threat when population and commercial activity moved back inside the City's Roman walls. (fn. 7) Its shape bespeaks the relatively informal process of formation permissable in the early period: it appears a compact and organic growth determined by the course of two roads, the east-west artery being Eastcheap with a transverse, Botolph Lane to the south and Philpot Lane to the north, giving a slight cross shape. Like many of London's churches, St Andrew Hubbard was at the centre of the parish, to the south-east of the crossroads formed by Eastcheap and Botolph Lane. The earls of Pembroke held the advowson of the parish initially, but this was seized by the crown in 1369 when the patron, who had no legitimate issue, was killed in a tournament. (fn. 8) In 1427 Lord Talbot was declared Pembroke's cousin and heir and the advowson passed to the Talbot earls of Shrewsbury. If its patronage was in the gift of noble outsiders, St Andrew Hubbard remained very much a neighbourhood parish, relatively small and without apparent distinction – Stow, for instance, mentions it only in the most cursory manner, giving name and site but nothing more. (fn. 9) St Andrew Hubbard suffered the same fate as much of the rest of the City in the Great Fire of 1666. The church was never rebuilt as the ecclesiastical parish was absorbed by its southern neighbour, St Mary at Hill. (fn. 10)
The salient characteristics of the parish of St Andrew Hubbard emerge the more clearly when it is compared with St Mary at Hill. The fate of Andrew Hubbard, first, need occasion no surprise as it was the smaller and poorer of the two parishes. As to size, recent calculations indicate that the mean area of London's intra mural parishes was 4 acres; St Andrew Hubbard was some 2 acres in extent, whereas St Mary at Hill exceeded the mean at 4.4 acres. As for numbers, basing estimates on the 1548 Chantry Certificate which gives communicant populations, and reckoning that the mean for London's parishes stood at 310, St Andrew Hubbard's houseling population in the mid-sixteenth century was 282, whereas St Mary at Hill's stood at some 400. (fn. 11) St Mary at Hill was slightly larger than average with a population exceeding the mean by approximately one third; with a population somewhat less than the mean, St Andrew Hubbard comprised only half the average acreage. Indicative of the vitality of the south eastern sector of the City, both parishes were well populated and St Andrew Hubbard must have been quite densely packed. But it was poorer than St Mary at Hill: the 1541 subsidy return reveals that St Andrew Hubbard's assessment stood at £30 11s. 4d. while St Mary at Hill's was £64 19s. 8d. (fn. 12) Perusal of the subsidy return, indeed, serves to reveal how few rich parishioners lived in St Andrew Hubbard by comparison with its neighbours and, moreover, how high a proportion of its parishioners were said to be 'straungers', that is aliens. (fn. 13) Quite crowded, with (if Stow's silence means anything) an undistinguished church building, of only modest wealth and with many recent immigrants: all things considered, St Andrew Hubbard seems on first acquaintance a somewhat lacklustre parish.
This impression is reinforced by comparison of its budget with St Mary at Hill's, the survival of a good run of churchwardens' accounts for each parish inviting the exercise. (fn. 14) St Mary at Hill before the Reformation, with wealthy parishioners and some six or seven perpetual chantries whose incomes were included in the parish income, had an annual turn-over frequently in excess of £100, and it is apparent that wealth and the constant presence of half a dozen stipendiary priests made for the development of a sophisticated and elaborate liturgy. (fn. 15) After celebrants' salaries were paid and endowments maintained, the churchwardens were still responsible for an income of some £30 per annum. St Andrew Hubbard was different. William and Juliana Fairhead established a perpetual chantry there in the 1440s [254 and 255], but this foundered: their endowment proved inadequate and no subsequent parishioners succeeded where they had failed. (fn. 16) The parish commuted the Fairheads' chantry into a reasonably elaborate anniversary celebration and appropriated the remaining revenues. Given that recorded income in the later fifteenth and early sixteenth century ran, on average, at rather less than £10 per annum, the sums of between £1 and £2 per annum contributed by the Fairheads' endowment represented a significant proportion of the parish budget, reinforcing the impression that finances ran on a shoestring. Income rose only in the mid- and later sixteenth century when, in response to particular circumstances to be discussed shortly, the parish 'farmed the parsonage'. The inescapable conclusion would seem to be that before the Reformation anything other than a simple liturgy would have been beyond the means of the parish. But the theme that will emerge in what follows is that the churchwardens' accounts have their limitations; considerably more was afoot in the parish than is at first apparent. Such findings will have important implications for studying many other City parishes of the lower or middle rank.
The churchwardens' accounts of St Andrew Hubbard are preserved in two manuscript books [GLMS 1279/1 and 2]: the first contains materials from 1454 to 1523 and the second continues the run up to 1621, although this transcription calls a halt at 1570. The two volumes are externally uniform and a frontispiece in each reveals that both were rebound in 1808 by the order of the vestry of the united parish of St Mary at Hill and St Andrew Hubbard. Each volume has a full vellum binding and each had a brown leather dust jacket to which a leather label was affixed bearing the goldtooled inscription 'The Churchwardens' Accounts of St Andrew Hubbard' with the relevant dates. The second volume still has its dust jacket; the first preserves only the inscribed label which is now affixed inside the cover of the book. In the first volume there are 121 folios, almost all of which are used. In the second volume the accounts down to 1621 occupy the first 196 folios of the book, but thereafter the leaves are blank. If the second volume is fatter, its pages are slightly smaller. In the first volume the pages are 21cm by 29cm, and in the second 20cm by 28cm. The paper in the volumes is of good quality and hand-made. Each volume is made up of sections, discrete gatherings of folded paper, which have been sewn onto vellum slips; the slips have been laced through a vellum cover attached to the boards thus forming the book. Each volume is well finished with silk bands at both head and tail. These however hinder compositional analysis of the volumes: along with tight rebinding, the headbands conceal a good deal which might have indicated exactly how each volume was assembled. Some comments can be made nevertheless. All the sections in the first volume, save only the last, are on paper with a uniform watermark, a fleur-de-lys sitting above an 'M', clearly visible for instance on f.9v. The last section, from f. 104  (fn. 17) to the end (but not the endpaper, which has the fleur-de-lys again) has a watermark of a hand with straight fingers, the thumb at an angle and a flower with six petals attached to the middle finger. The second volume is much more varied. The first 56 folios have a faint watermark of an elaborate shield. A number of folios have been torn out thereafter, but those following have a watermark of flat hand with star flower similar to, but not the same as, that in the first volume. The elaborate shield mark re-emerges briefly on ff.73 and 74, but the remainder of the accounts with which we are concerned on ff.75 and following have a watermark of a heart under a crown. So, while the bulk of the paper on which the first volume is written is uniform, the second volume clearly has a more complex provenance.
The handwriting throughout the accounts is decidedly diverse and suggests many scribes: neither volume, nor indeed any very substantial run of accounts in either volume, was written up at one particular period. Individual accounts are usually in a uniform hand and some consecutive accounts, notably in the earlier half of the first volume, were clearly written in the same hand (for instance, the four accounts covering the years from 1469 until 1478, [17 to 27]). Indeed, the accounts up to f.81v in the first volume are altogether of a pleasing standard and in very neat writing, often commencing with an elaborately decorated capital letter. The first major insertion of extraneous, and much less tidy, material is to be found at the bottom of f.81v and extending to the top of f.82 , following the account for 1499–1502; it describes a judgement, made in 1505–6, condemning and fining the wardens who had been responsible for that account. Thereafter the accounts are again tidy, if of a somewhat lower standard; but from f. 104  onwards – the last section of the book which, as noted above, is written on paper with a different watermark – the first volume becomes more ragged. Two sets of accounts, for 1513 and 1514, are missing, which represents one of the worst gaps in the series; what does survive is often fragmentary, with accounts for 1515 and following years either lacking beginnings or ends, and with 96 either misdated, out of place in the run or representing an inexplicable repetition of effort; the survivals in this part of the book are, moreover, of a lower calligraphic quality. The second volume displays a number of affinities with the last part of the first volume: very generally, the accounts in it differ more markedly one from another and the writing, far from being the work of professional scribes, has the appearance of an 'in house' production. Overall, the first volume is certainly of a higher calligraphic standard than the second, and the mid- and later sixteenth-century accounts exhibit deterioration both in penmanship and quality of paper used, but may be the handiwork of the churchwardens themselves.
Since the volumes as they presently exist are in a binding or re-binding undertaken in 1808, the question of when the materials as we have them were first arranged is difficult to answer, and is not made any easier either by the silk headbands or the tightly bound pages. Some comments are possible, however. Originally the accounts would appear to have been entered into the sections or, as they would have been then, booklets, and clearly the booklets were kept for some time before being bound together. A number of factors suggest this: writing is frequently bound close in to the spine of the books; some pages well inside the volumes have denatured edges whereas other nearby pages are sound; similarly there are dampness stains on pages well inside the volumes when other pages close to bear no such marks. It would also explain why some accounts, particularly towards the end of the first volume, are fragmentary, abruptly starting or finishing either into or before the end of the year's record. The outer pages of the original booklets would appear to have been lost and the remaining materials simply bound in as they were. Moreover, the sections later in the run of accounts (noticeably in the second volume) become less uniform, each containing a number of accounts by different scribes. Composition appears increasingly haphazard, regularly – and probably currently – done to preserve a record of parish business. It must also be noted that the accounts towards the end of the first and also in the second volume contain material not found in the fifteenth-century accounts, such as lists of auditors and statements of audit [119, 150, 154, 224, 227], memoranda concerning collections for or arrears of the clerks' wages [140, 170, 214,] parish memoranda [195, 203] and lists of charges or tariffs [111, 120, 159].
The provenance of the accounts is perplexing and may never be wholly clarified. It nevertheless appears that at least two different types of document, compiled perhaps for different purposes, were bound up in the volumes, with the essential break coming before the end of the first volume, marked both by the half-page insertion of a list of funeral charges and the costs of the Fairheads' obit [93 and 94] and the change of watermark . The earlier accounts are filtered, constituting a tidied copy; the later accounts are closer to a working record of the parish, bearing signs of having been audited and containing more day-to-day information recording parish decisions and facilitating management, although not by any means reflecting all that was going on. Indeed, the insertion concerning the auditors' activity in 1505–6 , referred to above, is of significance in the St Andrew Hubbard archive: it represents the earliest evidence of managerial intrusion into the record as we have it. It is the first evidence of audit taking place and of the role played by the 'good men' of the parish as the effective management of the institution, although the churchwardens must have been submitting their respective records of financial affairs for scrutiny to such men long before this is recorded in the surviving material. Just prior to the change in paper type, there are in fact a number of novelties: the memorandum concerning Joan Roger's bequest , the use of arabic numerals, which may indicate that the surviving document was audited , and the list of auditors and assessors . There is a change: whereas the early accounts focus on what the wardens did, from the end of the first decade of the sixteenth century, broader managerial concerns, and the activities of a wider range of managers, emerge more fully. (fn. 18) To this extent, it is striking how the fifteenth-century accounts resemble the churchwardens' accounts contained in Bristol's All Saints' Church Book; these were copied to celebrate the good deeds of the parish's fifteenth-century churchwardens, just as other materials in the Church Book commemorate the generosity of other individuals 'so that they should not be forgotten but had in remembrance and be prayed for of all this parish.' (fn. 19) The lesson must be that fifteenth- and sixteenth-century 'accounts' could be compiled and kept for reasons which might vary, addressing briefs now concealed from us and decidedly at odds with present day custom.
The form and content of the accounts
Following pastoral reforms in the thirteenth century, congregations were obliged to contribute to the material circumstances of their parishes, ensuring that the church building (or at least nave and tower) was kept in good repair and that equipment essential for the administration of the sacraments was provided and maintained. Over time, the management of these responsibilities devolved on agents, known as churchwardens, who worked on behalf of the parish community. They kept accounts as proof of what they had received from and spent in the interests of fellow parishioners; the accounts were evidence, also, of the standard of provision in a parish, so that the bishop, or his deputy, such as the archdeacon, might inspect them on visitation. (fn. 20) At any one time in St Andrew Hubbard there were two churchwardens: they served sometimes for one year, sometimes for two and occasionally longer. Invariably they compiled a record of the income and expenditure for which they were responsible as wardens, although the periods covered by the accounts varied. (fn. 21) The balance sheet was submitted to the 'good men' of the parish – previous wardens, ordinarily, and known in the sixteenth century as auditors – for scrutiny. (fn. 22) Once the accounts had been approved as accurate the wardens might carry on or be discharged. It is important to note that the churchwardens' brief was limited. They were not responsible for every aspect of parish life and provision, nor were their responsibilities constant over time. The slice of parish finance reflected in their accounts is, to an indefinable extent, both incomplete and shifting. (fn. 23) Churchwardens' core responsibilities comprised collecting rents, dues and charges, which income was then spent maintaining church fabric and any property endowments, ensuring that fittings and equipment were kept in working order, procuring the wherewithal for the proper celebration of the liturgy (such as vessels and vestments, candles and candlesticks), and repairing and replacing items as necessary. Wardens' accounts ordinarily reflect the discharge of these obligations, itemising income first and then expenditure. At the end of each account, expenditure is subtracted from income and the surplus, or debit, usually carried forward. (fn. 24) In common with many churchwardens' accounts from the same period, those surviving for St Andrew Hubbard are in English, employ single entry book-keeping, and use Roman numerals, although arabic are occasionally to be found at the foot and in the margin of some pages starting early in the sixteenth century [85, for 1508], presumably representing the traces of an audit procedure where running totals were being kept.
In St Andrew Hubbard the bulk of the wardens' income derived from regular sources: from property rent, particularly from the Fairheads' endowment (described in Juliana's will [256. 12] and usually referred to as the Church House); from organised offerings, like paschal money, collections for the beam light, and the parish quarterage or 'pricking bill' as this came to be known; (fn. 25) from collections (like those commonly 'gathered in the street' on 9 May, the Feast of the Translation of St Andrew); (fn. 26) occasionally from testamentary gifts [83; 84 and 235. 10; 123 and 288.5], and also from charges, most commonly for 'pit and knell', that is for interment and the accompanying bell-ringing, and the other costs associated with burial. The different sources and sums are briefly described, listed and totalled. Expenditure followed, invariably much the longer section listing many small items. Recurrent expenses included the purchase of candles, tapers and lighting oil; the costs incurred at successive festivals in the calendar, like Candlemas, Easter week, Whitsun, Corpus Christi, All Saints and Christmas; the provision of obits, notably the Fairheads' kept in late January; (fn. 27) the purchase and mending of vestments and cloths; the payments to washerwomen who washed certain vestments and drapery, to the raker who cleaned the church and churchyard, and also to the scribes who engrossed and wrote up the accounts. The church fabric, its walls, roof, doors, windows and steeple received regular attention [6–7, 83–86, 103–108, 165], so too the fabric of the tenements of the Fairheads' endowment [10, 35, 38, 102, 149]. Possession of this property, moreover, obliged the parish to pay an annual quit-rent of 8s. to St Mary Spital. (fn. 28) Church decorations and furnishings, including hangings, paintings, images, the rood loft and pews, as well as the bells, the clock and the organ, had to be maintained. (fn. 29) On occasion the parish is revealed as more ambitious: it installed a new organ , commissioned new statues  and a new rood loft [109–110, 182], replaced decorations and fittings [21, 37, 192] and bought new vestments [52, 71–2, 152], liturgical equipment [25, 34, 50, 156–7, 177, 181–2] and books [56, 163]. A number of these changes were, of course, the result of directives issued by central government in the mid-sixteenth century, and the impact of the Reformation in St Andrew Hubbard must now be considered somewhat more detail.
The change apparent in the content of parish wills is firm evidence of the effects which the Henrician Reformation had wrought on individuals and their priorities by the 1540s. By contrast, of the hundreds of items of income and expenditure entered in the accounts for the latter part of Henry's reign, only a few suggest that anything out of the ordinary was afoot: a payment of 3d. in 1538 'for the proclamation in the church' , (fn. 30) in 1538–40, a payment of 9s. 'for one half of the Bible' , (fn. 31) and in 1545–47, payment of 3s. 'for writing and counsel for the church house before the king's commissioners' . (fn. 32) The accounts for these years suggest a certain irony, for the overwhelming impression is that of an indian summer of Catholic liturgy and observance. This may be a trick of the light, given that the accounts for this period, for whatever reason, are particularly detailed; nevertheless, parish income was buoyant and liturgical provision emerges in fine and full detail, hardly altered. Change came with Edward VI.
He succeeded to the throne in late January 1547. The new regime took a few months to establish itself and there was no change until royal Injunctions were issued in July. (fn. 33) As Hutton points out, in the 'ritual half' of the Christian year 'the old ceremonies were carried out as before', and indeed in the St Andrew Hubbard account for 1547 there are, for instance, payments for flowers and garlands on Holy Thursday and garlands and drink on Corpus Christi day . There follows an entry revealing that parish representatives were obliged to attend St Paul's 'in visitation', after which there was upheaval. The account records, inter alia, payment of 11s. 4d. for a pulpit at the choir door, 46s. 8d. for whiting the church, 6d. for mending a hole where St George stood, 6s. 8d. for an alms box, and 20d. for writing the table over the alms box. This is not the place to catalogue all the signs of change visible in the churchwardens' accounts for the late 1540s and early 1550s. Suffice it to say that by the second year of the reign there are no references to saints' days and festivals, a telling indication of how fast deeply ingrained practice vanished. (fn. 34)
Queen Mary succeeded her half-brother in July 1553. After temporary toleration of both creeds, Parliament repealed the Edwardian Statutes in December and the Queen ordered the resumption of, for instance, the Mass and the use of altars and crucifixes; in the following March she issued injunctions restoring all 'laudable and honest ceremonies'. (fn. 35) The reversal of practice in St Andrew Hubbard appears abrupt [177, cf. f.57v with f.58], but is impossible to date with precision. Following the payment of 3d. for a proclamation, the parish spent 15s. 2d. 'for making the brickwork of the altar', and paid a shilling to 'Master Sturton's clerks for recovering the best cope'. On the same folio side payments of 6s. 8d. for a Mass book, 20s. for cross, pyx and chrismatory, and 30s. for cope, vestment, alb and Mass book suggest that the liturgical reverse was accomplished speedily. But in addition to replacing equipment, the parish was obliged to engage in more building. Structural alterations were undertaken in 1554–56 , and at the same time the parish replaced the rood loft, employing John Clyfford as the carpenter and Foncer (also called Fannser, the man who usually maintained the parish clock) to do the ironwork involved [182, f.68v]. (fn. 36)
The restoration of Catholicism was expensive. In addition to raising £14 11s. by the prick roll, presumably by levying quarterages during the two years covered by the account, almost exactly the same sum was raised by an assessment for the rood loft . Parishioners were, in effect, bearing the burden of a double rate in these years. (fn. 37) At the audit in January 1556, the parish was indebted to the surviving churchwarden, John Grene, to the tune of £3 6s. . (fn. 38) His successors were obliged to levy another double quarterage in the second year of their term . (fn. 39) The parish marked the succession of Elizabeth by paying the clerk 20d. to sing a Te Deum . (fn. 40) Although it is certainly possible to trace the sale of old equipment [most notably 194] and the purchase of new, in the light of the preceding discussion perhaps the most striking entries are two found in the account for 1558–60: the parish paid 2d. for drink at the defacing of the rood loft and, in the very next entry, 6d. to Fannser when the rood loft was pulled down . (fn. 41) That the parish bothered, first, to deface what was in any case to be destroyed, and did so accompanied by drinking, having so recently invested money, effort and, presumably, reverence on the same rood loft, must give pause.
The parishioners of St Andrew Hubbard did as they were told. Whether or not changes promoted faction is a matter for speculation. That there were differences within the parish during this period is inescapable, as the two wills preserved in the Consistory records in the early 1540s [329, 330] disclose. The first of these testators, Agnes Agerton, would surely have detested Thomas Grene, her parson, who, to judge from his will  and sway over some, like the second testator, Thomas Alton, was a proselytising Protestant. Had Thomas Alton lived longer, he would surely have been at odds with Grene's successor, William Swift, who held the living from 1545 until 1568 and was clearly of conservative persuasions. (fn. 42) Indeed, it was apparently better for all concerned that he should absent himself during the reigns of Edward and Elizabeth, but parish wills reveal that he was resident during Mary's reign bringing pressure to bear on testators in a fashion reminiscent of, but opposite to, Grene's earlier influence. (fn. 43) The situation was clearly conducive to faction and it is conceivable that the rood loft was defaced by a radical element who returned to prominence within the parish with the accession of Elizabeth. It is perhaps safer to emphasise the element of outward obedience evinced by the surviving documentation, although the more one ponders the evidence the more one is bound to question the difference between willingness and conformity.
Two further observations may be made. The first concerns perhaps the most striking change, at least as far as accounting practice was concerned, to result from the Protestant dispensation. As mentioned, William Swift was absent during regimes which compromised his cure but, rather than resigning the living, he came to an agreement which, if not common, seems to have suited all parties and discharged legal and financial obligations. The parish 'farmed the parsonage.' (fn. 44) Starting in 1549–50, suspending the activity in Mary's reign, but resuming it in the year-and-a-half preceding Christmas 1560, the churchwardens collected both the tithe (achieved by levying quarterages 'by the prick roll') and the incumbent's other customary dues. (fn. 45) Using this income, they paid Parson Swift a retainer (often referred to as a quittance), employed a curate who could maintain appropriate services (conforming to the government's injunctions and, presumably, able to please the element in the parish who were currently influential), and discharged the incumbent's other financial responsibilities (like paying subsidy and tenths to the government, and dues and charges to diocesan officials). Usually the parish made a profit on the arrangement. In 1550–52, for instance, when parish expenditure exceeded income by a few shillings , the excess of parsonage income over expenditure was almost £4 10s. [173–174], which meant that a healthy surplus in excess of £4 could be carried over to the next year's accounts [175–176]. An even larger profit accrued in 1568–70. Deficits were still possible, however, as in 1562–64. (fn. 46) While serving overall to emphasise the maturity and flexibility of parish government, as well as the degree of control that the laity might happily and habitually discharge in St Andrew Hubbard, 'farming the parsonage' greatly increased the budget for which wardens were responsible. Similar sums must always have been levied by the incumbent but, as a result of the new dispensation, authority was concentrated in the hands of the elite and the wardens. The fiscal competence of the parish was confirmed and, indeed, enhanced.
Almsgiving, too, became a matter for parish obligation. (fn. 47) This must, in part, have been intended to compensate for the rejection of practices associated with good works, and to compensate also for the inevitable shortfall in charity which, if unchecked, would expose the City's social fabric to strain. The first obvious sign of compliance was the provision of an almsbox early in Edward's reign [162, f.51v]; and from 1561–62, alms for Christ's Hospital to benefit the City's indigents were regularly and officially collected in the parish, using 'collectors' . (fn. 48) The first collection raised £10 14s. 6d., of which £6 9s. 2d. went to Christ's Hospital, and £4 5s. 4d. to benefit the poor of the parish. Subsequently, the share tipped in the favour of the parish poor: by 1570, from a total of £8 14s. 8d., £2 13s. went to Christ's Hospital and £3 6s. 8d. to poor parishioners, with a Master Pealle receiving the remainder of £1 15s.. (fn. 49) What had been a matter for individual conscience before the Reformation had, by the 1560s, to be enforced and conducted through the parish, with the authorities depending upon established officials working for new purposes. Local and national government depended upon the parish as a unit of enforcement, drawing on long accumulated expertise; but this, it may be remembered, was rooted in the penitential response which underpinned pre-Reformation practice. (fn. 50)
For specific reasons, mid sixteenth-century churchwardens assumed responsibility for collecting the revenues supporting the incumbent. Ordinarily the accounts refer to the incumbent hardly at all. It is, for instance, striking that even when a tithe dispute wracked the parish in 1532, the accounts make no explicit reference to Sir Edward Pountesbury, who held the cure. The legal wranglings in this case were protracted and relations between clergy and laity fraught, but the accounts register hardly a ripple. (fn. 51) Such silence is a salutary reminder that churchwardens' accounts are a far from complete mirror of parish affairs. More generally, given that clergy and laity were obliged to work closely together to manage the parish, and seem for the most part to have done so harmoniously, the failure of the accounts to register the clergy's input means that anything approaching an integrated picture of parish life must elude us. (fn. 52) This shortcoming may lead us to consider others.
Churchwardens' accounts were obviously not compiled to provide distant generations with the means to reconstruct parish life and affairs; attempts to press them into service as an historical source reveal nothing so certain as their deficiencies. Two later fifteenth-century episodes illustrate the point. The first concerns the demise of the Fairheads' chantry. After a period of increasingly sporadic celebration, the decision was clearly taken in the mid- 1460s to abandon any pretence of providing a daily Mass and, while continuing to celebrate an elaborate anniversary for the Fairheads' souls, to plough the remaining revenue into the parish coffers. (fn. 53) This was, as suggested earlier, a decision of moment for parish finances, but it generated no descriptive comment. Further, the subsequent but temporary practice of keeping separate returns for the Fairheads' endowment is also salutary: accounting practice could, and did, vary significantly and, again, without explanation. Had the several discrete accounts [27, 31, 35, 38, 41] been lost rather than bound in to the manuscript book, it would then appear that, temporarily at least, the Church House had decayed or was forfeit. (fn. 54)
Silences and shifts are instructive, again, when considering the roughly contemporary 'emergence' of the parish clerk. There clearly were clerks in the parish in the mid-fifteenth century, but the churchwardens were either not responsible for them, or dealt with them in separate accounts, now lost. It will, of course, never be clear whether the demise of separate accounting for the Church House in 1485–86 , was in some way related to the emergence in the the following year's accounts of a lump sum payment for the clerk's stipend. St Andrew Hubbard was nevertheless a competently managed parish capable of evolving fast-changing strategies which might reshape both revenue and expenditure but which elude our grasp. Discarding the chantry service, adapting revenues and accounting techniques and explicitly bringing the clerk under the aegis of the churchwardens, when taken together, seem to have been elements in a co-ordinated strategy. Nothing of the sort is ever made explicit in the accounts, however. Subsequent developments in the clerk's funding reveal how terminology might fluctuate. An income raised, avowedly, for both beam light and clerk persisted for some years, but from the mid- 1490s [57, 1493–94] the beam light element disappeared and an income of about £5 per annum was designated simply as the clerk's wages. By the end of the 1490s [66, 1497–98] the same is described as a quarterage, and five or six years later was said to be 'received for the clerk's wages . . . as is shown by the pricking bills.' By the sixteenth century collections and payments to the clerk appear prominent in the wardens' budget, which impression is, if anything, reinforced by the occasional lists of parishioners and their quarterly assessment [139, 1538] or of those in arrears [214, ?1564]. It appears that the parish had developed new revenues and an unprecedented fiscal efficiency. But quarterages were not new, neither were collections for the clerk. They were simply activities which the early accounts, for whatever reason, never dwelt upon. If St Andrew Hubbard's management appears increasingly competent in the mid- and later sixteenth century, then it is worth bearing in mind that parish management had habitually discharged more than the early accounts disclose. More information and larger budgets need not imply that parish government was totally transformed. The parish's achievement could well have been more uniform or, perhaps more accurately, evolutionary than appearances suggest.
The 'rogue' accounts, c.1515–1523
One section of the accounts repays particular examination. As noted, the last section in the first book of accounts (from 95 to 113, c.1515 to 1523) differs from the material which precedes it. Far from tidied compilations, intended possibly to commemorate churchwardens' achievements, what survives resembles a series of first drafts containing unsifted information. Revealing more of what was ordinarily hidden, they improve our understanding of the practicalities of parish management and, equally, alert us to the limitations of what usually survives. The account kept by William Childerley and Robert Wylkyns for 1521–22 provides a useful starting point [105–108]. Both were experienced wardens, but their account is unorthodox as it reflects the division of labour between the two. The money that each collected and spent is accounted separately. Childerley, for instance, was in charge of building work, both on the steeple and the bell loft, and dealt also with James Nedham, a carpenter, for work on the rood loft. Wylkyns also made payments to Nedham and his workers, possibly for work elsewhere in the church, but his main responsibility was to provide 'necessaries', paying for lights, washing, cleaning and material repairs, for the different festivals observed in the church, for the Fairheads' anniversary and for auxiliaries' wages. Expenditure on parish projects was high, and at the end of the accounting year the parish was in debt to each warden – 44s. 6d. to Childerley and 6s. ½d. to Wylkyns: novel procedures were perhaps necessary. Summation may have been avoided perhaps because the parish owed each different sums. More likely is that the original returns made by each warden have survived. The division of labour implicit in this account is intriguing and probably an unusually accurate reflection of the way parish government actually worked. (fn. 55) It would, in many respects, have been sensible for wardens to divide responsibilities but this is customarily hidden by scribal tidying, the demands of a straightforward audit and the advisability, ultimately, of joint responsibility.
The incomplete account which presumably reflects the activities of 1519–1520  is similarly intriguing. It contains a striking preponderance of references to lights, repeatedly itemising the purchase of candles, of oil and of rushes, occasionally including the dates of purchases. The activities of whoever had responsibility for providing light in the church is depicted in some detail. But it is to be doubted whether this fragment was ever intended to be a final submission. It looks like an interim record, kept perhaps by one warden, or perhaps by some other agent. Other contemporary material is similarly quirky and unhoned. The receipts for 1518  start predictably enough itemising revenue from knells, the paschal light collection and a pricking bill for the clerk's wages; but these are augmented first by 14s. gathered 'towards the organs' and then by a long list of payments, ranging from 2d. to 13s. 4d. and totalling just under £2, from seventeen named parishioners who, to judge from the context, were giving these sums in addition to their allocated share on a pricking bill. An addendum to this account (oddly summarising two years' expenditure, when 99 and 100 deal only with one year) reveals that £4 13s. 4d. had been taken out of the church box to pay for organs. This entry repeated a scored item which had mistakenly found its way into the receipts for 1517 . Given that this is the sole reference to the actual acquisition of these organs, its lack of detail raises the possibility that responsibility for their purchase lay with agents other than the churchwardens on this occasion [cf 9]; it may also have been the case that the church box contained funds which the churchwardens might help to collect but which they could not, by themselves, administer. The list of donors and donations is nevertheless remarkable as a chance survival and suggests, again, how much has been lost.
The exceptional material preserved in the accounts for these years confirms parish finance and management as both a more intricate and variable business than is usually apparent. In addition to collections for purposes which may or may not be specified, it is striking how many donations and 'bills' seem to have been procured and levied. In 1520–21, for instance, a 'week bill' was gathered, (fn. 56) in addition to paschal money, 'gatherings at large' on 7 July and 20 November, a collection on St Andrew's day and two pricking bills for the clerk's wages . In Wylkyns and Childerley's account for 1521–22, it may be noted that while Wylkyns was responsible for the pricking bill paying the clerk's wages and for collections for the paschal and on St Andrew's day, Childerley received donations from individual parishioners, some of whom were generous. He took, in addition, 31s. 8d. from John Lawles for a pricking bill, raised another 9s. 7d. by an old pricking bill, and from Maryon Garrett took the sum of 13s. 7d., in hand 'gathered by the wives on Hock Monday and other times.' (fn. 57) In the following year, 1522–23, named parishioners again made donations, some of them generous, and money was collected both for the clerk and 'for the paschal' . The parish also levied a number of pricking bills: one on Palm Sunday, another on the 19th April, another on the 17th May, gathered by Thomas Hetell, in addition to which John Chowe and Thomas Cristyn gathered 11s. 8d. by a pricking bill. On 9th August, the sum of 13s. 4d. was taken from the brotherhood box.
The parish at this time was heavily involved with renovation and special efforts may have been required. In 1520–21, indeed, the parson was moved to give 24s. 4d. from his tithe 'to the building of the church' which, to judge from the surviving accounts, was an unparalleled act of clerical generosity . But we are impelled to ask quite what was unprecedented: the effort that the church was currently making, the parson's gift, or simply the detail and coverage of the accounts? The weight of probability is with the last of these. (fn. 58) Building and renovation were constantly recurring obligations which could, on occasion, lead parish regimes to preserve information otherwise either summarised, jettisoned or reserved – for, in addition to the material under discussion in the St Andrew Hubbard archive, an equally revealing appendix to the St Mary at Hill account for 1500 discloses both how the finances for building the steeple were managed and how members of the parish elite other than churchwardens controlled the project. (fn. 59) In each case the insight is extraordinary; the practice need not have been. Further, it is worth pondering the sums which parish wives are said to have gathered on Hock Monday, (fn. 60) and which, similarly, could be taken from the brotherhood box. (fn. 61) In addition, while church ales never figure prominently in the St Andrew Hubbard accounts, in 1516 the sum of 2s. 10d. was received 'of the ales for the clerk's wages'. Appreciable sums might suddenly be conjured from sources, common enough elsewhere, but absent otherwise from the St Andrew Hubbard archive: clearly, while parish wives regularly gathered cash on Hock Monday, or brewed ale, or while supplementary funds might be taken from the brotherhood box when necessary, none was in the wardens' purview. Just as Hock Monday money must, ordinarily, have been entrusted to the care of senior members of the parish other than churchwardens, so the rash of donations, bills and collections in the 'rogue' accounts again confirms parish life as more varied and its finance as more considerable than surviving churchwardens' accounts normally disclose. (fn. 62)
The extra material opens doors. Not only were there agents or managers other than the wardens but there were also procedures and provisions beyond the scope of the wardens' accounts. The organisation supporting parish life was more complex than is usually apparent with, for instance, major building works and purchases, as opposed to repairs and routine maintenance, falling outside the wardens' responsibility. (fn. 63) Confirmation of sorts may be had by comparing the last account in the first volume [for 1522–23, 109–10] with the first in the second [1524–25, 112–2]: only a fraction of the activity apparent in the former is found in the latter. It is surely inconceivable that consecutive years should have witnessed such profoundly different activity. Quite simply, more material has been preserved in the former affording a fuller impression of parish management and this confirms the selectivity of most accounts. (fn. 64)
Two related points arise. The work which men, like Thomas Hetel, John Lawles, Maryon Garrett, John Chowe and Thomas Cristyn, did in gathering money for the parish prompts the first. Their contribution seems routine although not ordinarily described. There is, however, among the items of income for 1506–07  a reference to the sum of 8s. 3d. received from William Childerley, which is said to have remained in his hands 'from when he was a collector'. It appears that an auxiliary officer, the collector, assisted churchwardens. Those who were named raising funds from bills may well have been collectors. None of the men mentioned, Hetel, Lawles and so on, had served as wardens, although some did subsequently. Childerley first served as warden in 1510–11, some three or four years after his work as collector, suggesting that the office was a step towards wardenship. (fn. 65) The second point is grounded in the pre-Reformation devotional regime which exalted good works as a means of expediting the soul through Purgatory, and is prompted by information which, while also exceptional, refers in all probability to common practice. In the account for 1520–21, there is a single entry itemising the expenditure of 2d. 'for the carriage of rushes that were given' . This is one small item, but accounts rarely concern themselves with gifts in kind. Tellingly this gift is specified only because transport had to be paid for. In the circumstances, when many parishioners demonstrated striking generosity towards their parish in their wills, one wonders how many gifts in kind the living, in particular, made to the parish leaving no trace in the accounts. They could have been both numerous and important.
Ambitious building, ornate furnishings and extravagant services all exceeded the churchwardens' brief, and in St Andrew Hubbard (and elsewhere) others were responsible for projects which went beyond maintaining adequate fabric and liturgy. Tried and tested parishioners acted for this parish (as did men of equivalent status in St Mary at Hill), delegating day-to-day affairs to the churchwardens, but co-ordinating more ambitious ventures themselves. Churchwardens had to be able to present their accounts to the diocesan to prove that basic obligations were being fulfilled; extravagant or supernumerary provision was a matter for the parish alone. It is easy to see why additional accounts do not survive, if indeed they were methodically kept in the first place.
The best impression of a layer of management apart from and apparently superior to the churchwardens in St Andrew Hubbard comes from audit material and associated parish memoranda. (fn. 66) This means that no information is to be had before the sixteenth century: the earliest follows and relates to the account for 1499–1502, and describes the disciplinary action taken in 1505–06 , where churchwardens are revealed as having submitted their accounts to scrutiny by the 'goodmen', or auditors, of the parish, who found them wanting. At the conclusion of the account for 1509–10 , four men are named as auditors and two as assessors. The total of six is significant. Subsequent lists of auditors, sometimes referred to as witnesses, disclose that almost all served in groups of six [88, 119, 139, 146, 150, 154, 158, 169, 175, 178, 183, 189, 224, 227; note, however, that 143 and 230 name eight, whereas 213 names four 'and others of the neighbours']. The list of 'auditors and assessors for the clerk's wages' for 1527 is particularly revealing: six names are listed to encompass both groups, and the men are later referred to as 'these six auditors' . It appears, then, that among any six auditors, two were also assessors (although, as noted, in one or two instances eight served). Who appointed these officers? In the list of 'auditors and assessors for the clerk's wages' for 1527, the six named men were said to have been chosen by the whole parish, a phrase whose meaning will be explored shortly. What did auditors and assessors do? Auditors were clearly appointed to scrutinise the wardens' record – the account in 1543, for instance, being specifically 'taken by the auditors appointed for the same' . As for assessors, a stray reference in the expenditure for 1535–37  reveals that the sum of 4d. was paid for bread, ale and coals 'at the assessing of the clerk's wages', information corresponding closely with the reference from 1527 , which also associates assessors with setting the clerk's wages. This task presumably involved the assessors in a series of decisions as to which parishioners might realistically pay what towards the clerk's stipend, thereby establishing the rates at which they would contribute to other levies.
The shape of parish government begins to emerge: a group of a dozen-or-so men, the parish worthies, were in charge. All these had served (or, in one or two cases, were about to serve) as churchwardens. The frequency with which the same names are encountered suggests a continuity of service at this level of parish life: if worldly success was a pre-requisitite, experience was also an asset and stability desirable. These deductions closely resemble conclusions for St Mary at Hill: there, too, an elite, all of whom had served previously as churchwardens, audited accounts and took important decisions. (fn. 67) It was to the respective elites in each parish that churchwardens were responsible, although in practice the two ranks collaborated where necessary. Wardens managed the parish on a day-to-day basis, but a reasonably coherent group of successful and experienced men exercised overall authority. In both St Mary at Hill and St Andrew Hubbard the group was referred to as 'the parish' and directed parish affairs in the name of parishioners. It generally seems to have been the case that 'the parish a lektyd' new churchwardens (to employ the terminology found in the statement of audit for 1543 ), as well as keeping track of parishioners in arrears in their contributions [140, 214,] and, presumably, coercing where necessary. (fn. 68) Significantly, when St Andrew Hubbard sold church goods early in Elizabeth's reign in response to another directive for change, the memorandum reveals that the wardens acted 'with the consent of 14 parishioners', who are listed and said to have witnessed the sale . A good proportion of these men also lent money to assist in the purchase of Myles's house in 1564 . The 'parish', hardly surprisingly, corresponded closely with the financial elite. (fn. 69)
St Andrew Hubbard had a clearly articulated structure of authority well before the Reformation. Information about the form and processes of parish government, although always sketchy, becomes more plentiful in the course of the sixteenth century. There is little to suggest that the structure of command or organisation had much altered. Indeed, the impressions of parish life which emerge from the 'rogue' accounts suggest a practised and competent parish accustomed to embarking on ambitious ventures and gathering revenues well in excess of those normally referred to in the accounts. The managerial expertise of eminent parishioners – of men, indeed, well versed in parish government – facilitated these initiatives.
These findings, no less than the earlier suggestions that the fifteenth-century accounts were essentially commemorative in intent, open up a number of possibilities for St Andrew Hubbard and, plausibly, other parishes in the City. It is, for instance, apparent that by the early sixteenth century St Andrew Hubbard maintained a worthwhile musical establishment managed by agents other than the churchwardens. (fn. 70) It is notable that a run-of-the-mill parish might maintain its fabric, provide a perfectly adequate range of furnishing, decoration, and festive provision, and strive to ensure that its parishioners should experience a liturgical context as structured, impressive and engaging as possible – and all this without an endowment income in any way comparable to St Mary at Hill's. London's richer parishes may have made ostentacious provision for building, equipment and liturgy, but the City's poorer parishes are not to be imagined as deprived. The inventory of parish equipment taken by Edward VI's commissioners in 1552, prior to the confiscation of church goods in 1553, reveals just how far the churchwardens' accounts mislead. (fn. 71) There was admittedly pressure to conceal goods, and plate may already have been sold, but the inventory nevertheless affords a snapshot of the Catholic regime at high tide. It opens the eyes. St Andrew Hubbard was much better provided for than would have been anticipated from reading the churchwardens' accounts, particularly as far as the variety and quality of its vestments and drapery were concerned. The equivalent inventory discloses that St Mary at Hill, predictably, possessed more, but St Andrew Hubbard was not in the least ill-equipped.
Permitting a rare and sudden sense of colour and opulence, the inventory reinforces two important points. The first is the significance of otherwise unrecorded initiatives on the part of the parish elite and of the generosity of devout parishioners. Second, if apparently modest parishes in the pre-Reformation City are revealed as achieving much higher standards of observance than previously thought feasible, then the compound implications for liturgical practice in London are considerable. (fn. 72) These lessons, when set against the changes visible in the wills in the course of the sixteenth century, prompt one last observation. The strong sense of continuity conveyed by the essential predictability of the accounts, even through the 1550s, suggests that the parish as corporation did indeed sustain itself. But parish wills expose the extent to which the priorities and imperatives of individuals, which had done so much to sustain the broader achievement within the pre-Reformation parish and City, were profoundly altered and increasingly atomised. The parish, central to the priorities of testators in the earlier period, fades from the wills almost entirely; family and friends shift very much to the fore; testamentary charity largely disappears and, as the accounts suggest, has to be extracted, for the most part, by rates. Institutional continuity versus personal realignment: if this is the overall lesson which emerges from the St Andrew Hubbard archive, it is at least a reasonable epitome of the change that the Reformation wrought in England.
As stated, the churchwardens' accounts of St Andrew Hubbard, Eastcheap, survive in two manuscript books [GLMS 1279/1 & 2]: the first preserves parish accounts from 1454 until 1523, and the second from 1525 until 1621. This edition prints a transcript of the accounts calling a halt at 1570. The run of accounts is comparatively long and reasonably complete, and although folios have been torn out of the second volume, following the account for 1548–50, this appears to have been the result of misbinding at some stage. By re-arranging extant folios relating to the mid 1550s a complete and coherent series emerges: no accounts appear to have been lost for this period, although other materials conceivably may have been. To facilitate use, I have modernised spelling and, to speed understanding and avoid archaism, I have changed word-orders when necessary. I have excised spare and repetitive verbiage (especially contracting one prevalent construction, for instance 'paid for the washing of the cloths', rendering it 'paid for washing the cloths'). It is, however, to be emphasised that this is not a calendar of the accounts: while I have modified text, nothing has been lost. Words in the original which are archaisms with no obvious present equivalent are in italics, as are those whose meaning is not clear, and the few which are of sufficient enigmatic interest to deserve a verbatim rendition. Where a meaning is likely but not totally certain, I have inserted a question mark before the word; in lists of names, where the spelling of proper nouns is uncertain and the hand-writing poor [eg 140], question marks have been used with some liberality. Square brackets are used to describe the appearance of the text (where a word is scored, or written in the margin, or written in a different hand, and so on), to indicate a word which is totally indecipherable, and occasionally to introduce the explanation of a particular phrase. I have not attempted to standardise the orthography of surnames but have preferred to repeat spellings in the manuscript; in the index, however, I have grouped references under the most common usage and indicated alternatives. I have given the Anno Domini equivalents to the regnal years on which the scribes often relied. The great majority of numerals in the original are roman; these have been rendered in the edition by arabic. In the few places where arabic numerals were used, often fairly informally, I have given indication by means of a note in square brackets. In accordance with the convention of the London Record Society I have divided up the text using bold numerals on the lefthand side of the page: while all the wills are each assigned one number, the accounts have been split up rather more, with successive numbers used to mark the receipts, expenditure and any memoranda in any one set of accounts. I have, however, noted folios, recto and verso, throughout the transcription of accounts.
Much the most important point to be made about the wills in this volume is that the numbering of clauses is mine: it articulates the documents and greatly facilitates reference, but is emphatically not in the original. The wills are arranged by source, starting with those proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, and in chronological order. The testators whose wills are enrolled in the P.C.C. registers were, generally, wealthier than those whose wills are enrolled in the Commissary registers: social distinctions among parishioners emerge more clearly when the wills are sorted by source, a feature which seemed worth preserving. When both a husband and his widow's wills were proved in the same court then, regardless of chronological disparity, the two are placed consecutively; but in the case of William and Marion Childerley (respectively 239 and 288), where his will was proved in the P.C.C. and hers in the Commissary, they have been left apart. (fn. 73) The wills of William and Juliana Fairhead are included (255 and 256), even though they predate the first surviving account, simply because their provision was of such importance to parish life; so too the wills of John Wilson and Richard Adams (253 and 254), even though they post-date 1570, because the accounts reveal that each played a noteworthy role in parish affairs. As with the accounts, I have modernised spelling and simplified word-orders, although the 'legalese' of some English wills is surprizingly hard to unravel and, as a result, there are some wills where the phrasing is somewhat archaic. I give indication in square brackets if a will is originally in Latin. As with the accounts, a few words in the wills are given in italics or with a question mark before them marking uncertainty, either to do with the original or my rendition of it. Words in square brackets are usually my insertions, either explaining items or adding relevant information derived from other sources.
The wishes of testators are given in full (unless otherwise indicated, as with 317, where the original is very long with many detailed lists of household goods which have been summarised). Some testamentary formulae (reflective of scribal practice rather than parishioners' wishes) have, however, been omitted. One such is the phrase 'In the name of God, Amen', with which wills invariably began; it is repetitious and adds little. In terms of diplomatic, however, its occurrence unerringly denoted a last will and testament. Also omitted are the distinctive (but lengthy) regnal year and royal status descriptions ushered in by and reflective of the hegemony exercised over the English church by Henry VIII and his two younger children. So, for instance, in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury registers, Ralph Bilby's (otherwise short) will  is dated '23 October in the thirty-sixth year of Henry VIII of England, France and Ireland, King, and in earth supreme head of the church of England and Ireland under God, and in the year of our most dread soverign Lord God 1544.' In the next reign, Thomas Clerk's will , for instance, begins 'In the name of God, Amen. 27 March 1548, 2 Edward VI, by the grace of God King of England, France and Ireland, defender of the faith and of the church of England and also of Ireland supreme head.' These preambles are, of course, one of the most striking aspects of the change wrought by the Reformation as far as the diplomatic of wills is concerned and emphasise the importance attached by 'reformed' administrations to title and profile. Such phrase-mongering, however, obviously reflected the instructions issued to scribes in the probate courts rather than mirroring any change in the laity's conceptions. The removal of these phrases from the transcript is regrettable, but unavoidable for reasons of space; they should nevertheless be borne in mind when using the printed text.
A few comments about the index are also called for. Most important is that it depends on the bold enumeration of the text, not on the pagination of the volume. It is in the main a name and place index. Given that virtually every account contains numerous payments for inter alia bells, the clock, to payments for festivals and processions, or to building and vestment cleaning, patching and repairs, and so on, it proved impossible slavishly to index all such entries. There is a lengthy section (under London parishes) on St Andrew Hubbard giving references to significant information as to parish personnel, practice and equipment and to the more noteworthy categories of information about the building and the liturgy which went on inside it. But as phrases like 'significant' and 'noteworthy' infallibly suggest, this selection is subjective. It is also a point of importance to note that problems accompany the personal names in the index. The orthography of proper names is so variable and perverse that, although every effort has been made to identify individuals, some may appear under more than one entry simply because the spellings of their name vary so much. Regrettably the obverse is also true: there are a number of instances where two people who share the same name also share the same entry, simply because there is insufficient information to distinguish one individual infallibly from the other. This problem has also meant that assigning trade affiliations to individuals in the index is impossible since there is no guarantee that all the entries under one name in fact refer to the same individual. Suffice it to say that all the above difficulites mean that the index must be used with a certain amount of caution and common sense. More generally, in view of the bulk and, in places, the difficulty of the material, I have no doubt made errors and perpetrated inconsistencies, despite all my efforts to the contrary. I hope that I may be forgiven for these.
While I am particularly grateful to the London Record Society for the opportunity to present corresponding accounts and wills cheek by crossreferenced jowl, gathering and processing St Andrew Hubbard's surviving evidence has been a lengthy task and I have incurred many debts. It is a pleasure to record my gratitude to all who have supported and encouraged me in this endeavour, but some dues must be specified. My debt to the Leverhulme Trust is fundamental for without its generosity this work could never have been started let alone finished. Dr Vanessa Harding first agreed to the publication of the accounts, was prepared to countenance the wills and also administered a firm shove towards the mid-sixteenth century which has undoubtedly transformed the volume. Dr Stephen O'Connor has demonstrated exemplary assiduity and tact as editor. The volume has greatly benefited from his expertise and I am deeply grateful. I owe thanks, too, to the staff of the London Guildhall Manuscript Room for their friendly efficiency, and to John Cuthbert, chief conservator of Guildhall manuscripts, for his help. Dr Caroline Barron has, as ever, been supportive above and beyond all reasonable expectation. It is a pleasure to acknowledge the steadfast support of my mother and father, and also to thank David Moncur for invaluable help at various stages. I would, however, like to dedicate the volume to the conveners and participants of the Late Medieval and Tudor London Seminar held at the Institute of Historical Research in summer terms. During my time in London this seminar has proved stimulating and convivial in equal measure. It has provided me and many others with the best of introductions to the intricacies and pleasures of London history. Let the following stand as a token of my appreciation.