Memorials: 1358

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

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'Memorials: 1358', Memorials of London and London Life in the 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries, (London, 1868), pp. 300-302. British History Online [accessed 19 June 2024].

. "Memorials: 1358", in Memorials of London and London Life in the 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries, (London, 1868) 300-302. British History Online, accessed June 19, 2024,

. "Memorials: 1358", Memorials of London and London Life in the 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries, (London, 1868). 300-302. British History Online. Web. 19 June 2024,

Ordinance of the Waxchandlers.

32 Edward III. A.D. 1358. Letter-Book G. fol. xcii. (Latin and Norman French.)

(fn. 1) This Ordinance was made in the time of John de Stodeye, Mayor, at the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist [24 June], in the 32nd year.—

(fn. 2) "For redress of many grievances and damages that divers folks have in many cases suffered in the City of London, as to the which remedy has not been ordained heretofore; the Mayor, Aldermen, and Sheriffs, with the assent of the good folks of the Commonalty, have ordained the Articles underwritten, for the profit of the common people.—

"In the first place,—it is ordained that all the Waxchandlers who are dwelling within the said city, and in the suburb, as well freemen as foreigners, who shall make torches, cierges, (fn. 3) torchys, (fn. 4) priketz, (fn. 5) great candles, or any other manner of wax-chandlery, for sale, shall make such torches, cierges, torchyz, priketz, and all other things which pertain unto their trade, of as good wax within as without, making the whole thereof of the same wax; and that they shall not put into their wykes (fn. 6) any fat, code, (fn. 7) rosin, or other manner of refuse; (fn. 8) nor shall they use old wax and worse within, and new wax without. And that they shall not make their wykes, which they put into such manner of work, of excessive weight, so as to be selling wyke for wax, to the damage, and in deceit, of the common people; but let their wyke be in accordance with the quantity of the wax, as it reasonably ought to be. And if any waxchandler shall from henceforth do to the contrary of this Ordinance, and of the same be duly convicted, the first time, all the torches, cierges, torchyz, priketz, and other waxchandlery, that shall be found in his possession made, shall be burnt before the door of him who shall have made the same, at the place where he dwells, and his body shall be committed to prison; until he shall have made fine to the Commonalty, at the discretion of the Mayor and Aldermen, for such manner of deceits and falsities committed, to the damage of the common people and the scandal of the said city. And on a second default, let the torches and other works be burnt as is before ordained, and his body be put upon the pillory. And the third time, he is to forswear the City, and all torches and such work.

"And that this Ordinance may be the more surely kept and maintained, let there be forthwith chosen two or four of the most lawful folks of the said trade; who shall be sworn before the Mayor and Aldermen, lawfully to present all the defaults that they find in their trade, from one day to another. But in case any reputable man shall come to the aforesaid waxchandlers, and shall wish them to make torches, torchiz, prykes, cirgez for mortuaries, (fn. 9) or other large candles, of old and new wax, mixed together for his own use, the waxchandlers may have the same made at the will of the owner, without hindrance thereof, so that he make no sale thereof, on the pain aforesaid."


  • 1. In Latin.
  • 2. In French.
  • 3. Wax tapers; torches being twisted candles, of probably larger size.
  • 4. A variety of the torch; perhaps the same as "torchettes," sometimes mentioned.
  • 5. Wax candles, for placing on a perk, or spike of metal.
  • 6. Wicks.
  • 7. Cobbler's wax.
  • 8. litour.
  • 9. Funeral obsequies, or rites in remembrance of the dead. Hence probably the term "mortar," still applied to a certain kind of candle.