Introduction chapter II: subsidies

Pages 8-24

Two Early London Subsidy Rolls. Originally published by [s.n.], [s.l.], 1951.

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In this section


The Subsidies.

1. Exchequer, K. R., Subsidy Roll 144/2.

The subsidy is undated. In a previous work the editor has on inner grounds given its date as 1292, but, as noticed subsequently, the roll has been held to represent the returns for the subsidy of 1290 (Unwin, Finance and Trade under Edward III, p. 21, etc.).

This may be correct, but the date 1292 suggested is likewise correct.

The following considerations are conclusive.

Some of the wards are named from aldermen. Of particular importance is here the fact that BroadSt appears as the ward of Thomas de Stanes. Thomas was alderman from 1291 till 1293. He is first mentioned as alderman May 14, 1291, his predecessor, Robert de Arras, being present on Feb. 12, 1290-1. Thomas de Stanes was re-elected on June 16, 1293, and his will was enrolled in March 1293-4. His successor, Salomon le Coteler, acted on Feb. 22, 1293-4. Thomas must have died before the latter date. Billingsgate ward is called the ward of Wolmar de Essex. He was alderman from before 1275 and acted on Jan. 26, 1292-3. On June 16, 1293 the ward was vacant. These facts really suffice to fix the date of the assessment between May 1291 and June 1293. There is, of course, the possibility that the wards may have continued to be referred to as the Wards of Thomas de Stanes and Wolmar de Essex for some time after their tenure of office.

The result so gained is corroborated by further evidence, which allows us to establish the date more accurately.

Some taxpayers can be identified with persons whose wills tell us that they must have died not later than 1293. Laurence Cheuerelmonger [CripE 37] must be identical with Laurence le Cheverler, whose will was enrolled in October 1293. Robert Lambin [Bridge 88] and Thomas le Batur [BroadSt 45] must be the Robert Lambyn and Thomas le Batour whose wills were enrolled in February and March 1293-4. These persons must have died not later than the autumn of 1293. This fixes the terminus ante quem.

For the terminus post quem we have cases where widows appear as taxpayers instead of their lately deceased husbands. Of particular importance are the following three.

Sabine, widow of Philip le Tailor, is assessed in Vintry (no. 61). Philip le Tailor was alderman of Bishopsgate and acted as such on May 5, 1292. His will was enrolled in October 1292. He must have died in the summer or early autumn of 1292.

Dame Alice Hautein, assessed in BroadSt (no. 6), was the widow of Walter Hautein, who acted as alderman of ColemanSt on March 6, 1291-2. His will was enrolled in January or February 1292-3. He must have died in 1292.

Alice de Arraz, assessed in Cordwainer ward (no. 62), was the widow of Robert de Arras, who acted as alderman of BroadSt Feb. 12, 1290-1. His successor was present on May 14, 1291. Robert must have died between Feb. 12 and May 14, 1291.

We may add that Leticia la Aylere [Bridge 94] was the widow of Luke le Ayler (or Garlecmongger), whose will was enrolled in May, 1292, and that Juliana la Jouene [Bridge 95] was the widow of John le Juvene, whose will was enrolled in January or February 1292-3.

Absolutely conclusive evidence is afforded by the cases of Sabine, widow of Philip le Tailor, and Alice Hautein, since the deaths of their husbands can be fixed within very narrow limits. The appearance of Sabine as a taxpayer in the roll shows that the assessment must fall after May 5, 1292. Had the assessment been made even so late as 1291, Philip le Tailor, Walter Hautein and Robert de Arras must have appeared as taxpayers, not their wives.

The result must be that the assessment cannot have been made earlier than the summer of 1292 and not later than the summer or autumn of 1293. In all probability the date was the autumn of 1292.

The roll can thus not be that for the subsidy of 1294. Since no subsidy is known to have been granted between 1290 and 1294, the probability would seem to be that Subs 144/2 is to be identified as that of 1290, but that the assessment for it, as far as London was concerned, was deferred till 1292.

But there are two circumstances, apart from the date of the assessment, which may tell against this identification. The Subsidy of 1290 was a fifteenth, and the lowest assessment in Subs 144/2 is 2s. This would imply that the taxable minimum of the Subsidy of 1290 was 30s., an unexampled sum. Further, the aggregate of assessments for the City of London in the Subsidy of 1290 was £2,860 odd, (fn. 1) but the aggregate of assessments in Subs 144/2 can hardly have exceeded £1,000 and was very likely less. These difficulties can perhaps be overcome, and the question will be further discussed in the chapter on assessments. There is good reason to believe that our roll is really that for the Subsidy of 1290, but in view of the difficulties indicated it seems safest to refer to it as the Subsidy of 1292 (1292 S), especially as 1292 is doubtless the year when the assessment was made.

It is not likely that the roll contains the returns for a special subsidy granted by the City in 1292. The last instalments of the Subsidy of 1290 were to be paid in in 1292, and another heavy subsidy would hardly have been demanded from the City in that very year.

The subsidy of 1290, as already stated, was a fifteenth. The royal writ concerning it was dated Sept. 22, 1290. It stipulated that the chief taxers were to deliver at the Exchequer half the money collected at Easter and Michaelmas 1291, the other half at the same times in 1292. The "form" of the Subsidy, or the instructions to the chief taxers, decreed that the assessment was to be made on goods in hand between August 1 and Michaelmas Day, 1290. No minimum of taxable property was stated, and it was expressly provided that in cities or boroughs no movables were to be exempted from taxation. By a later writ, dated Feb. 23, 1290-1, however, the king granted that some goods were to be exempted also in cities and boroughs, namely, one gown (roba) for the man and one for his wife; one bed for the two; one ring, one clasp (firmaculum, fermail) of silver or gold, one girdle of silk, if they are worn every day; one cup of silver or mazer, out of which they drink. Also the morrow of Michaelmas Day (Sept. 30) was substituted for the period at first laid down (Aug. 1-Michaelmas Day). See further Vincent, op. cit., pp. 177 f.

It is clear that if the chief taxers were to make their first payments at Easter 1291 the assessments must have been made not later than the early part of 1291.

II. Exchequer, K. R., Subsidy Roll 144/3 (1319).

The roll describes itself in the Ingress as the Taxation for the Twelfth granted to Edward II in his twelfth regnal year.

On this subsidy very detailed information is available. It was granted by the Parliament held at York May 6-25, 1319 (Stubbs II, 361, note 2). The form of the Subsidy, issued at York, is printed in the original French in Parliamentary Writs II, ii, 213, and a rendering into Modern English will be found LBE 122 ff. The goods exempted were the same as in 1290, and the minimum value of taxable property was half a mark (6s. 8d.). Six or more persons, who had never acted as taxers before, were to be selected from each ward to make the taxation, and these sub-taxers were to be assessed by the chief taxers. The tax was on goods in hand on Michaelmas Day 1319 (cf. Willard, p. 55).

The Letters patent appointing Master John de Everesdone, John Abel, Robert de Wodehous, and Augustine de Woxebrugge, (fn. 2) three or two of them, to assess the twelfth in the City of London and suburbs, are dated at York July 20, 1319 (LBE 106). All four persons mentioned actually functioned as chief taxers.

The King's writ to the Mayor and Aldermen that they receive the rolls of assessment made by John Abel and his fellow-taxers and duly levy, each in his ward, the amount so assessed for the twelfth, and forward the same to the Exchequer, is dated at York Oct. 28, 1319 (LBE 109). The sheriffs had been ordered to render assistance when called upon.

The assessment seems to have been made before the middle of November 1319, since there is mention, in Ann Lond 287, of a violent contention at the Guildhall on Nov. 16, caused by the high assessment of certain citizens. On this incident more will be said in the chapter on assessments.

There is no information in the London records as to the time when the tax was paid, but the usual thing was for the first payment to be made early in the year following the assessment (Willard 185). On this point see further p. 351 f.

The subsidy was an eighteenth and a twelfth, that is, an eighteenth in country districts and a twelfth in cities and boroughs, inclusive of London.

The assessment was made in the first instance by citizens resident in the respective wards, sub-taxers. On the sub-taxers, the names of many among whom are given, something will be said in the chapter on assessments. We have no information on the work of the sub-taxers in London, but the first step taken by them will have been to draw up a list of taxpayers. That the extant lists were not written after the assessment had been made is indicated by the fact that several persons are included who were later exempted (sometimes struck out) because of poverty or for other reasons.

The names of taxpayers in the returns are regularly preceded by a De, the font-name being in the ablative: De Johanne Lambyn, etc. In all the returns except those for Walbr, Crip, Aldersg, and Tower, also BroadSt 69 entries are preceded by an "it" (item), which has not been reproduced. In several returns there is a vertical rule in front of the list of taxpayers (and also one in front of the assessment column). It may be noted that the item is always placed to the left of the rule.

The sub-taxers must have put down their assessments somewhere, and a practical way would have been for them to use for this purpose the assessment column of the right-hand half of the membranes, intended to be kept by the City authorities. This may well be what actually happened. The returns will then have been handed over to the Chief Taxers. The latter and their clerks are apparently responsible for most of the text of the Exchequer roll, apart from the lists of names.

The assessments in the Exchequer copy cannot be in the hands that wrote the lists of names. They appear to be the work of three, or at most four, different scribes, presumably the clerks of the Chief Taxers. The chief criterion is the form of the abbreviation for dimidia marca (di. mar.). In the returns for 9 wards (Bish, BreadSt, Bridge, Cand, Castle, CripI and CripE, Dowg, Queenh, Walbr) the abbreviation of dimidia is formed by a sort of ligature of a very short d and a very short j. The form is very characteristic and absolutely identical in the returns for these wards, and the same scribe will have written the assessments in these returns. The abbreviation for libra, so far as exemplified, is li., and that for solidus an s with a small semicircle on top. In three wards (ColemSt, Cordw, Farr) the abbreviation for dimidia has the form of a d followed by a long j with a wide loop (2 exx. in ColemSt, 4 in Cordw, 8 in FarrE). In FarrI this type occurs in 7 cases, while in four the j. is without the loop, but is curved towards the left at the bottom. The abbreviation for solidus is the same as in the preceding group. That for libra is lj. in Cordw, but is missing in the other wards. It is probable that the same scribe wrote the assessments in these three wards. In the remaining wards, so far as the tax of half a mark occurs, the abbreviation for dimidia has the form di. or is formed by a d followed by a long straight tapering j. The form di. is used alone in the returns for Bas, Cornh, LimeSt, but there are only two examples in Cornh and one in each of the other two wards. In three wards di. varies with dj.: Aldersg (2 di., 2 dj.), Bill (one di., one dj.), Cheap (4 di., 3 dj.). The form dj. is found alone in the returns for BroadSt (3 exx.) and Tower (9 exx.). The abbreviation for libra is li. (found in Bill, BroadSt, Cornh, Tower). That for solidus is generally an s with a small semicircle on top, but in BroadSt and Tower it is nearly always an s with a flourish drawn from the top towards the left, and this type is occasionally found also in Aldersg, Bill and Cheap. It is not clear if one or two scribes are to be assumed for the assessment column of these 8 wards.

The assessments in the Exchequer Roll were apparently not entered till the sums had been definitely fixed. There are in the roll no examples of sums having been crossed out and replaced by others. (fn. 3) We know that the chief taxers altered some assessments made by the sub-taxers, and this would be shown in the returns if the lists of the sub-taxers had been entered on the Exchequer copy without change. If the assessments are the final ones of the chief taxers, the absence of such corrections is explained.

The sums total and the hands in them form a complicated problem, which can only be touched upon here. It will hardly be possible to establish how many hands are represented in them, since we only have the word Summa and the forms of figures and abbreviations of libra, solidus and the like to go on. The abbreviation di. mar. never occurs in the sums total.

Where both sides of membranes were used there is sometimes a sum of the assessments on the recto side and one of those on the verso side, namely in the returns for Cheap, FarrI and FarrE. These entries are in a characteristic neat hand, perhaps the same in all three returns.

In most wards there is only one sum total at the end of the lists of taxpayers. Under Bish, BreadSt, Cand, Cheap, ColemSt, Dowg, FarrE and Langb there are two sums total, a preliminary one that was cancelled and a corrected definitive one. Evidently the preliminary sums total were entered at the same time as the sums total in wards with one sum only, and the probability is that they were entered by the chief taxers or their clerks. The hands in these entries are generally not very characteristic, but the identical form of Summa under Cordw and Tower indicates that the same scribe wrote the sums total in these two wards. Perhaps three or four more hands may be reckoned with in these entries.

The corrected definitive sums seem to be in different hands from those in the preliminary ones, at least in most cases. The same hand is apparently seen in the definitive sums total under Dowg, FarrE and perhaps Bish. Nothing definite can be suggested for the other wards. On these definitive sums total see also the remarks on p. 18.

After the sums total had been verified they were approved and an abbreviated probatur entered directly after them. The probatur is missing under Cheap and Walbr, no doubt owing to an oversight. On Langb see infra. There are three different types of this probatur.

There is first one in a small thin hand, not quite evenly written, but rising from left to right. Its form is "prob" with an abbreviationmark for ur above the line (in the reprint "prob[at]ur"). It is found alone under Aldersg, Bas, Bill, Cordw, Cornh, CripI and CripE, Queenh, Tower, in all which wards there is only one sum total, and with a probatur of the second type under LimeSt, where there is likewise only one sum total. It is found after the preliminary sum of Bish, ColemSt and Langb, and was cancelled with it except under ColemSt. Under Langb no fresh probatur was added after the definitive sum. Here we notice the interesting fact that the sum total for three wards was altered after it had already been approved by one auditor.

There is secondly an upright "prob." (without an abbreviationmark for -ur) of various size. It occurs alone under Aldg, Bridge, BroadSt, Castle, FarrI and Ports, where there is only one sum total, under Cand, (fn. 4) Dowg, and FarrE with the definitive sum total, and under Bish and ColemSt, where the preliminary sum is followed by a probatur of the first type, after the definitive sum. On LimeSt see supra. A probatur of this type was never cancelled.

There is lastly under BreadSt an upright "proba." with an abbreviation-mark for -ur above the line (in the reprint "proba[t]ur").

A number of taxpayers, on whom see further Chap. VI, I (d), have an "in R." or "in Ro.", meaning "in Rotulo", written in big letters, placed before their names. They were taxpayers who for some reason did not pay their taxes at the terms fixed for the collection. In the returns for wards with such taxpayers the sum total is followed by a note about amounts in Rotulo (referred to infra as Add. 1), and in all these returns, except that for BroadSt, the net sum remaining after deduction of amounts in Rotulo is given (Add. 2). These entries are of sufficient length for it to be possible to identify different hands.

It seems three, or possibly four, hands can be identified in the entries referred to as Add. 1, and these hands are apparently in some cases seen also in the preceding sums total.

Under wards with only one sum total Add. 1 is in a different hand from the sum total, except under Walbr, on which see infra. One scribe (hand 1) apparently wrote Add. 1 under Aldg, BroadSt, and Cordw, another (hand 2) that under Tower, a third probably that under Bridge, but the writing is here very small and difficult to judge. The form of the entry under Bridge is quite different from that under the other wards.

In the returns for BreadSt, Cheap and Dowg there are two sums total, and the hand of Add. 1 agrees with that of the definitive sum total under Cheap and Dowg, perhaps also under BreadSt. Under Dowg the sum total and Add. 1 are in hand 1, under Cheap the sum total and Add. 1 in hand 2, and under BreadSt at least Add. 1 in hand 2. Under Cheap Add. 1 was entered thrice in different forms. First the preliminary sum total was corrected by ix.s. being added above the original vj.s. and a brief form of Add. 1 written below it in a hand different from that of the sum total, possibly in hand 1, but it is difficult to be sure, and this may be a fourth hand. Next this Add. 1 was cancelled and a fuller one written below it, apparently in hand 2. This entry does not seem to have been well formulated, and eventually the original sum total and Add. 1 (no. 2) were cancelled and the definitive sum total with Add. 1 (no. 3) entered in hand 2.

Walbrook has only one sum total, which appears to be in the same hand as Add. 1, this being hand 2. The agreement of the hand in the sum total and Add. 1 is noteworthy and may indicate that there was originally a preliminary sum total, which has been erased or cut away. There may be some remnants of writing at the bottom of the membrane, the upper parts of some letters or figures being apparently visible.

It may be added that the definitive sum total under Bish and FarrE, where there are no amounts in Rotulo, may well be in hand 1.

The probatur is placed between the sum total and Add. 1, but is missing under Cheap and Walbr.

Add. 2 is generally written smaller than the sum total and Add. 1 and seems to be in the same hand in all the returns except that for Dowg, where it is apparently in the same hand as the sum total and Add. 1. Under Dowg there is a preliminary form of Add. 2 in the left margin, perhaps in the same hand.

Add. 1 and Add. 2 were presumably entered at the Exchequer after the collection had been made, and it looks as if some of the definitive sums total were entered there too.

The numerous marginalia were doubtless inserted at various stages in the history of the roll.

The entries Tax', Taxat' and Nomina tax', indicating the subtaxers and placed in the left margin, cannot have been written by the clerks who wrote the main text. The Nomina tax' appears to be in the same hand all through, and the same is probably true of the entries Tax' and Taxat'.

There are a good many entries giving the reason for exemption or the like, placed in the left or the right margin or in the assessment column. Most are short notes such as "pauper" or "extranius", but there are also longer entries such as "vacat hic quia moratur in warda de Langebourne" (Tower). Many of these entries seem to be in one hand.

The long marginal note on Mem. 7 over against John de la Nonneys [Cand 25] concerning a tax on 24 sacks of wool must have been entered at a late stage.

A big-sized t is placed before the majority of names in the lists, being absent only if the person was exempted from taxation or has an "in R(o)." before his name. In one case the t was entered by mistake, but cancelled (Langb 39). Lady Stenton notes that in early Pipe Rolls a t is written in the left margin to indicate that a fine or the like had been totally paid, and suggests that the t is used in the Subsidy Roll in a similar way. This is doubtless correct. The t must then indicate that the tax had been fully paid, and it cannot have been entered till after the collection was finished. Cf. p. 351.

Perhaps before the roll was sent in to the Exchequer, the membranes were arranged in some order, and an Ingress was added at the top of the first membrane in the bundle, which happened to be the return for Walbrook. There is sufficient room for an ingress at the top of several other membranes, and there is no reason to suppose that Walbrook was singled out beforehand to head the list. It may be noted that the order of the wards is totally different in the Schedule. Here Walbrook comes a long way down the list, and Tower, last in the roll, comes first. The Ingress is not in the hand that wrote the return for Walbrook. It is fluent and clear and very similar to that found in the marginal notes Tax' and Taxat'. The Taxacio of the Ingress and the Taxat' in FarrE look a good deal alike. The Ingress is repeated in a shorter form at the bottom of Mem. 16 v., after the return for CripE, apparently in the same hand. The probability is that the return for CripE was originally the last membrane in the bundle, and that the entry is here a kind of colophon. If so, the original order of the membranes must have been disarranged before they were joined together.

III. Arrangement of taxpayers in the returns.

An attempt has been made to find out whether any principles can be discovered as regards the arrangement of taxpayers in the various wards. It might seem that an arrangement by parishes or streets or else by occupations might have been convenient for the collectors, and a systematic arrangement would have precluded the omission of some people. If a principle of this nature could be established, it would help in localizing taxpayers in various parts of the wards, or in finding out their occupation. Unfortunately, a definite principle of arrangement cannot be discovered except in some particular cases.

Sub-taxers, so far as they are indicated, this being the case only in 1319 S, are placed at or near the end of the lists of taxpayers. In the wards where the sub-taxers are not indicated, they are therefore no doubt to be sought among the last few taxpayers. It is even probable that names entered after the sub-taxers were generally added after the first draft of the return had already been made; cf. p. 7, foot-note.

On the placing of taxpayers with "in R(o)." before their names, see p. 95 f.

In the Subsidy of 1319 most of the high taxpayers in some wards are placed at the head of the lists. In Tower ward the first 20 taxpayers are assessed at from £10 to 10s. The following 42 are mostly smaller taxpayers with taxes of from 6s. 8d. to 12d. In Dowgate the first 13 taxpayers have assessments ranging from 40 marks to 1 mark. The first was alderman of the ward, and the highest taxpayer comes fourth. In BroadSt the first five are high taxpayers, the first two being aldermen at the time. In Cordwainer the list is headed by the alderman of the ward, followed by two other aldermen, a lady (the widow of an alderman), one small and three high taxpayers. In Queenhithe the first name is that of the alderman, and the following 14 have high or fairly high taxes. In Cripplegate Infra the first 18 taxpayers have taxes ranging from 40 marks to 10s. The alderman of the ward comes first, followed by the aldermen for Farringdon, Billingsgate and Castle Baynard, the last with the highest tax. Here there seems to be an arrangement by seniority.

It might be suggested that the taxpayers forming these various groups were neighbours, but this cannot always have been the case.

There are very few traces of a similar arrangement in the earlier subsidy, but here aldermen are omitted. The only alderman in the roll, Robert de Rokesle (Dowg), included apparently by mistake, since he has no assessment, comes as no. 33. The taxpayer placed first has a tax of 40d, the second and the third 2s. each. In Walbrook the highest taxpayer comes second after one with a tax of 40d. In Bishopsgate Infra four high taxpayers and in BroadSt the two highest taxpayers come first. Generally the persons heading the lists have small or moderate assessments.

Also in the Subsidy of 1319 a tendency to begin with the high taxpayers is not always to be seen. In Cheap, for instance, the first taxpayer paid 40d., the second 20d., the third 5 marks. In Walbrook no. 1 has a tax of 4s. 4d., no. 2 40d., no. 3 20d.

Definite instances of arrangement by parish or street can be established only to a limited extent. The parish or sometimes the street in which people lived can be determined with comparative certainty in a considerable number of cases, but for the majority sufficient information is not available. Our most important source is here the Calendar of Wills, but also other records give valuable information. As regards wills, however, it must be remembered that many are a good deal later than the date of the subsidies, and it is possible, in some cases even known, that testators had moved from one parish to another in the interval. Many wills are brief and give no information on the property of the testator. Not rarely a testator simply left all his tenements to his wife. Many testators had property in more than one parish, and it does not always appear in which his chief mansion was. If a testator founded a chantry or desired to be buried in the church or churchyard of a certain parish, we may conclude that he lived there, but sometimes he founded chantries in more than one church. In some cases it is evident that testators did not mention all their houses, and not rarely the chief mansion must have been omitted, probably because it was entailed and passed automatically to the eldest son. There are many instances of testators mentioning only some tenement in another ward than that in which he is assessed in the subsidies. But if a testator who appears as a small taxpayer in one of the subsidies disposed only of one tenement situated in the ward where he was assessed, it may generally be concluded that he lived there.

It is difficult to draw definite conclusions from the indications in the Coroners Rolls. It was the usage in proceedings on cases of death by other than natural causes, to "attach" persons present in the house and neighbours living on either side of the house. To "attach" meant to exact sureties from these people (Riley, Memorials, p. 4, foot-note 1). The neighbours attached would thus presumably have lived in the parish where the death had occurred. In the commentary to the texts the parish in connection with which a person was attached is indicated after the reference. But it is obvious that persons attached did not always live in the parish where a death had occurred. Not rarely the same person was attached in connection with two or more parishes in the same year or within a few years. In some cases the explanation is very likely that the house was situated on a parish boundary. This source of information is valuable, but it must be used with much criticism.

In view of the limited information available, and the many uncertainties bound up with it, the following considerations are offered with much reserve.

A tendency to group taxpayers by parish is sometimes to be seen. In Tower ward a few shipwrights of Petite Wales in All Hallows Barking appear in the Subsidy of 1319 as nos. 54, 55, 56, 58, 60, but no. 57 was at any rate not a shipwright and no. 59 was a cordwainer, and there is nothing to show that they were of All Hallows Barking. Moreover, another shipwright of Petite Wales is found in another part of the return. Butchers were numerous in Farringdon Infra, and they seem mostly to have lived in St. Nicholas Shambles. In 1319 S nos. 95-100, 102-109 were doubtless butchers, many with certainty of the said parish, and it is not improbable that no. 101 was a butcher, and that nos. 95-109 were all of St. Nicholas. But it has not been possible to establish a similar grouping of taxpayers in other parishes, and there are probable taxpayers of St. Nicholas in other parts of the list. In Aldersgate it seems probable that the taxpayers from 20 on were mostly of St. Botolph without the wall. For Bishopsgate a distinction is made in 1292 S between BishI and BishE. This distinction is not kept up in 1319 S, but it looks as if the taxpayers from 24 on were mostly of St. Botolph without Bishopsgate, apart from three sub-taxers.

Shorter series of taxpayers belonging to the same parish are found here and there. Thus under Walbrook in 1292 S nos. 57, 59, 60, 63 seem to have been of St. John Walbrook, and under BroadSt in the same subsidy nos. 44-8 of St. Margaret Lothbury. Under Farringdon E in 1319 S nos. 3-7 appear to have formed a family group and to have been resident in St. Martin Ludgate. Partners are of course often placed together and sometimes two neighbours, as 1292 S, Vi 10 f., 1319 S, CripI 74 f.

In most cases a local arrangement does not seem to have been followed. Thus to take Tower ward, for which comparatively good information is available, among the 20 first taxpayers in 1319 nos. 1-3, so far as can be seen, were of All Hallows Barking, nos. 5 and 6 of St. Dunstan, no. 7 again of All Hallows Barking, nos. 9 and 10 of St. Dunstan, nos. 11 and 12 of All Hallows Barking, no. 14 perhaps of St. Olave Hart St, nos. 15 and 16 of St. Dunstan, no. 19 of St. Olave.

An arrangement by occupation may sometimes at least have been aimed at. The cases of the butchers of Farringdon and the shipwrights of Tower may be cited in this connection also. In Walbrook there were numerous skinners and burellers. There are groups of both skinners and burellers. In 1292 S, out of the taxpayers in the series 3-19, 11 were certainly or probably skinners, while others are of unknown occupation. One is tempted to suppose that these latter were also skinners. A similar series is formed by nos. 49-72, where 12 or 13 were doubtless skinners. The burellers are found in the series 28-45. Some among the persons of doubtful occupation in this series may well be supposed to have been burellers. Similar groups are found in this ward also in 1319 S. Nos. 32-41 were skinners, with the possible exception of no. 39, and skinners are in the majority in the series 50-66, but a few had other occupations. In the series 15-31 no less than 11 were certainly burellers or widows of such.

In FarrE (1319 S) nos. 90-8 were tanners.

It may be that if more illustrative material becomes available, it will be possible to establish some more system in the arrangement of taxpayers. So far as the evidence goes now, it would be rash to conclude merely from the fact that two persons appear side by side in the lists that they were neighbours or that they had the same occupation.

We may here note a curious case under Queenhithe in 1319 S. In the left margin opposite to nos. 54 and 55 there is a small circle with a central dot from which a line is drawn to the space between nos. 54 and 55. This circle corresponds to a similar small circle (yet without a dot) placed in the margin over against nos. 80-2, which are bracketed, a "b" indicating that these names were meant to be moved to the place between nos. 54 and 55. This may seem to point to a definite plan of arrangement. But the simple explanation may be that the clerk missed out the three names when writing the left-hand half of the indenture, so that there was a disagreement between the two copies, which was thus obviated. The supposition must then be that the right-hand half was written first.

A similar explanation may possibly apply to the cases where taxpayers have been entered between the lines. There is only one instance in 1292 S, Gilbert de Pelham CripI 40. In 1319 S there are several instances, namely John Hautein BroadSt 3 (a big taxpayer), Robert Godfelawe ColemSt 28, Peter le Peyntour CripI 63, Walter ate Brom ib. 84, William de Bradele ib. 100, Richard ate Longe FarrE 7. On these see also p. 7 (foot-note), where it is shown that the names thus added in 1319 S seem to be in a different hand from the main list. Items 80-2 in Queenh, on the other hand, were evidently written by the same scribe as the main list.


  • 1. Vincent, Lancashire Lay Subsidies, p. 180.
  • 2. Master John de Everdone (or Everesdone) was a keeper of the Exchange of London 1305 f. (C1), a commissioner of assessment of the twenty-fifth of 1310 (LBD 223) and a Justice assigned to assess the tallage at the Guildhall in 1312-13 (ib. 306). He is described as a Baron of the Exchequer in 1312 (ib. 19), and was Dean of St. Paul's in 1325 (Cor 127 f., where it is stated that he had a hostel in St. Gregory, Castle Baynard). John Abel is described as a Baron of the Exchequer in 1312 (LBD 19) and was likewise one of the Justices assigned to assess the tallage at the Guildhall in 1312-13 (ib. 306). Robert de Wodehous, King's clerk, became a Baron of the Exchequer in 1318, Archdeacon of Richmond in 1328, second Baron of the Exchequer in 1329, Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1330-1, and appears to have died in or about 1345 (DNB). He had a hostel in St. Peter Cornhill in 1322-3 (LBE 177). Augustine de Woxebrugge was a clerk, no doubt a King's clerk. He appears as A. de Wyxebrigg', clerk 1315 C1, as A. de Woxbrigg', clerk 1315-16 ib., as A. le Waleys of Woxebrigg 1320 Fine, A. (le) Waleys 1319 LBE 106, 1338 C1 (collector of the new custom). He appears to have been resident in St. Katherine, Aldg in 1326 (Cor 163). He was a layman, since he is mentioned with Maud de Rothingges his wife t. Edw. 2 (HMC 9th Rep. 7 a). His wife was no doubt the Maud de Rothing who got land and houses in St. Katherine near Aldgate by the will of John de Chaddeworth, clerk (1313 CW 243), perhaps identical with Maud, daughter of Hamo de Rothing, valet of the King, who was admitted a freeman in 1309-10 (LBD 48) and whose will was enrolled in 1310-11. Augustine le Waleys was a landowner in Ovington (Ess) in 1316-17 (EssFF II, 173), in Littleton (Mx) in 1346 (MxFF 123), and a claimant in Colham (with Maud, his wife) in 1329 (MxFF 224) and in Uxbridge in 1351 (ib. 131).
  • 3. But in three cases an assessment was cancelled and the taxpayer exempted. In one case (Master Henry le Mareschal, Langb 54) the entry was crossed out. In two cases (William Huberd, Aldersg 37, and Roger Chauntecler, FarrE 102) the assessment was erased. In all three cases the change must have been made before the (original) sum total was entered. In a few cases an assessment has been wholly or partly erased and replaced by another. The following cases have been noted. Mem. 1 (Walter de Hallyngberi, Walbr 19). Assessment x.s., but a letter has been erased after "x." and a dash fills up the gap between it and "s.". Very likely the clerk first wrote "x.d." by mistake. Ib. (Maud de Cakestone, Walbr 20). Something has been erased after xl.s., perhaps iiij.d., no doubt a clerical error. Mem. 2 (Gosselin le Seriaunt, Bridge 14). Assessment xiij.s. iiij.d., the "ii" of "xiij" being on erasure. The original figure appears to have been xvj, probably a clerical error, since an assessment of xvj.s. iiij.d. is not found elsewhere. Mem. 3 (Thomas Cok, Dowg 4). Assessment xl.mar., the "mar." being on erasure. A "li." can perhaps be discerned under "mar.", and the clerk may have written "" first. As the assessments of nos. 3 and 5 are odd and respectively, a clerical error is easily accounted for. A change from £40 to 40 marks would mean a reduction by £13 6s. 8d., which would at any rate not explain the difference between the original and the final sums total of the ward (£9 13s. 4d.). A clerical error seems most probable. Mem. 3 (Reginald de Wodeham, Dowg 33). The assessment (1 mark) is possibly on erasure, but the original assessment cannot be made out. Mem. 6 (Edmund le Marchal, Cornh 5). Assessment viij.d. An "xj" seems to have been first written, doubtless by anticipation of the xj.s. of the next assessment. Mem. 12 (Philip Gentil, ColemSt 19). Assessment xiij.s. iiij.d., the "xiij" being on erasure. The original figure has disappeared completely. Mem. 19 (Ric. Larmurer, FarrE 23). Assessment viij.s. xd.; the x on erasure. Mem. 20 (William de Caustone, FarrI 27). The assessment (x.mar.) is on erasure, nothing being visible of the original reading. A change of assessment may have been made or a clerical error rectified. On the whole there is very little to suggest that in the cases discussed we have to do with changes of sub-taxers' assessments made by the chief taxers. A few other instances of erasure in the Subsidy of 1319 may be noted here. Mem. 1 (Walbrook). There is an erasure at the bottom between "Summa" and the sum total, the gap being filled by a dash. The only partly erased letters seem to be "ix.", apparently the "ix." of the "ix.s." following "Lxxix. lj.", which the clerk seems to have anticipated. Mem. 11 (Ports). The "viij.d." in the sum total seems to be on erasure. Mem. 19 v. (FarrE). An entry has been erased at the end of the list of taxpayers. An assessment is not visible. Mem. 24 (Tower). The marginal note against the name of Bernard de la Pouche [no. 64] is partly on erasure, and traces of an earlier entry are visible.
  • 4. Under Cand it is actually placed after the cancelled preliminary sum total, probably owing to an oversight.