Memorials: 1284

Page 23

Memorials of London and London Life in the 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries. Originally published by Longmans, Green, London, 1868.

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Acknowledgment made by a Painter.

12 Edward I. A.D. 1284. Letter-Book A. fol. xxxix. (Latin.)

On Friday, the Eve of St. Botolph [17 June], in the 12th year of the reign of King Edward, Nicholas Bacun, painter, (fn. 1) acknowledged that he was bound to Hugh Motun (fn. 2) in the sum of 20 shillings, for cinople, (fn. 3) vermilion, and canvas, varnish and verdigris; the same to be paid to the same Hugh or his certain attorney, 10 shillings at the Feast of St. Bartholomew [24 August], and 10 shillings at the Feast of St. Michael [29 September], without further delay. (fn. 4)


  • 1. There is probably no earlier passage in existence than this, in allusion to varnish-painting on canvas.
  • 2. The then City Chamberlain, who was probably a merchant as well.
  • 3. Sinople, a green colour mentioned in old French heraldry, is no doubt the one here meant.
  • 4. A passage in Liber Horn, fol. 341, temp. Edward II. (preserved at Guildhall), throws some light on this early allusion to oil-painting.—"Rules as to painting old and new saddles:—It is provided that no one put any but good and pure colours upon gold or silver; that is to say, good cynople, good green, good vermilion, or other colours, tempered with oil, and not brasil [a coarse red], or indigo of Baldas [? Bagdad], or any other bad colour."