A History of the County of York: the City of York. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1961.
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About 80 crafts were responsible for performing the Corpus Christi plays in the early 15th century, (fn. 1) many of them having a guild organization. Other occupations are to be found, for example, in the freemen's rolls, (fn. 2) but presumably not all of them represent distinct guilds. The work of the guilds is discussed elsewhere in this volume, (fn. 3) as is the existence of religious fraternities within some of the craft guilds. (fn. 4) Many of the craft guilds held their meetings in St. Anthony's Hall after 1554, (fn. 5) but several crafts had separate halls. The only one to survive is the present Merchant Tailors' Hall in Aldwark. The large hall was probably built in the late 14th century and certainly by 1415; the smaller wing is somewhat later. The small hall was encased with brick in about 1672 and much of the great hall in 1715; the porch also dates from about 1715. The hall was subsequently used for many purposes including theatrical performances from at least 1685 until 1744. Restoration of the hall took place shortly after the Second World War. (fn. 6) Other halls known to have existed were the Butchers' Hall, near The Little Shambles, (fn. 7) and the Shoemakers' Hall, in Hungate. (fn. 8)
One trade organization, the company of the mercers and merchants, was more powerful than the craft guilds. The mercers and merchants had long dominated the guild of Our Lord and the Blessed Virgin before, in the early 15th century, they absorbed it and assumed control of its hall, chapel, and hospital in Fossgate. (fn. 9) In their present form the company's buildings date from the late 14th century (see plate facing p. 116). Buildings already stood on the site in 1356 but extensive reconstruction was proceeding during the years 1357-64; the hospital was founded in 1371 and built soon after; and the dilapidated chapel was rebuilt soon after 1411. (fn. 10) During the later 16th century a north wing was added to the hall, and the fore-building towards Fossgate containing the entrance to the hall was constructed or rebuilt. The buildings have been much restored in the 20th century. (fn. 11) The company also had a cloth hall on Ouse Bridge in the 17th century. In 1622 the corporation authorized the merchants to enlarge and use the former council chamber on the north side of the bridge (fn. 12) and the 'Cloth Hall' was leased from the corporation until at least 1701. (fn. 13) This was presumably the building in which, from 1650 to 1696, the courts of the Merchant Adventurers and Eastland Merchants of York were held 'on Ouse Bridge'; (fn. 14) the company still met there in 1737 (fn. 15) and may have done so until the rebuilding of Ouse Bridge in the early 19th century; it subsequently met in the Guildhall in Coney Street. (fn. 16)
Of the three great religious guilds—Corpus Christi, St. Anthony's, and St. Christopher and St. George's—that of Corpus Christi was outstanding in size and influence. This guild's activities, among them the organization of the Corpus Christi festival and plays, are discussed elsewhere in this volume. (fn. 17) It had no guild hall as such and before 1478 its meetings were sometimes held in the Merchants' Hall, Fossgate. (fn. 18) In 1478 the guild was united with the Hospital of St. Thomas, (fn. 19) situated outside Micklegate Bar, and in the same year 'the new house outside Micklegate Bar' was built. The 'new house', no doubt situated near the hospital, included a hall; a hall is mentioned among subsequent repairs to the hospital, and it was probably used for guild meetings. (fn. 20) After the Dissolution the hospital fell under the control of the corporation; (fn. 21) the 'house outside Micklegate Bar' was in 1576 granted by the Crown to John Mershe and others, (fn. 22) and in 1598 it was conveyed by William Hildyarde, the recorder, to the mayor, sheriffs and two others. (fn. 23)
The guild of St. Anthony was of complex origin. (fn. 24) A guild of that name existed in the early 15th century when it probably attracted the members of the suppressed guild of Holy Trinity and also absorbed the Paternoster Guild. (fn. 25) It was this enlarged guild which received a royal licence of incorporation in 1446; (fn. 26) it was incorporated as the guild of St. Martin and the erection of an image or an oratory to St. Anthony was forbidden, (fn. 27) but the old name of St. Anthony was nevertheless retained. (fn. 28) The dedication to St. Martin appears to have arisen from the presence of the chapel of that name on the land granted to the guild in 1446. A new chapel and a hall were forthwith built on the site, on the corner of Aldwark and Peaseholme Green. The 1446 licence provided for eleemosynary work by the guild and the institution is usually referred to as St. Anthony's Hospital.
After the Dissolution the guild fell under the governance of the corporation, who eventually dissolved it in 1627. (fn. 29) During this period the main guild function to be continued was the great triennial feast which all citizens might pay to attend. (fn. 30) The corporation put the hall to a variety of uses. In 1554 trade guilds which had no hall of their own were authorized to meet in St. Anthony's, (fn. 31) and in 1623 49 guilds contributed towards the repair of this, their 'mote hall'. (fn. 32) These meetings were probably held in the great hall on the first floor where playacting and archery also took place in the 16th century. The ground-floor chapel also had special uses as when, in 1579, the corporation authorized a school to be established there, (fn. 33) and it was presumably in the chapel that the 21 poor people in the hospital were in 1593 directed to attend prayers. (fn. 34)
Perhaps as early as 1551, and certainly from 1569, St. Anthony's was used as a corporation workhouse for the poor, and part of the hall was, in 1586, converted into a house of correction. It may have ceased to be so used in the earlier 17th century, but the 'lower house' of the hall was appointed a knitting school for poor children in 1614, (fn. 35) and by at least 1655 the lower story had been re-equipped as a house of correction; it remained in this use until 1814. (fn. 36) During the civil war the hall had been used as a storehouse and 'military' hospital. (fn. 37) A charity school (the Blue Coat) was established in part of the hall by the corporation in 1705 and was not closed until 1946. (fn. 38)
The corporation subsequently conveyed the hall to the York Civic Trust and it was opened as the Borthwick Institute of Historical Research in 1953. (fn. 39) A large collection of documents from the Diocesan Registry and the Probate Registry has been deposited there.
The buildings (fn. 40) may have been completed by 1453 when the chapel was consecrated, and the west end of the present building is of that date: the chapel and antechapel on the ground floor, and an aisled great hall with tie-beam roof on the first floor. The building was extended towards the east in the late 15th century with an aisled undercroft on the ground floor and a prolongation of the great hall above. The only notable change made during the 16th century was the replacement of the lead by tiles on the roofs of the aisles, a step recommended by the corporation in 1551.
While in use as a hospital for the poor the hall underwent substantial alterations, including the erection of chimneys, as a result of the generosity of Mrs. Beatrice Hudson in and shortly after 1621. Further extensive alterations followed the decision of 1655 to re-use the hall as a house of correction; eight fireplaces with chimneys were built and the timber-framed walls of the first floor had by 1656 been replaced by brick. The east and north walls were rebuilt at this time and there remains in the north wall a small cell window with iron bars, and with signs of others on either side of it.
Other changes were made after the establishment of the Blue Coat School in the hall in 1705; the cells were removed shortly after and the present internal walls built. Among 19th-century changes were the extensive repairs of 1828-9 which involved the erection of the main staircase. The Hall was extensively restored after the Second World War.
The guilds of St. Christopher and St. George were apparently united during the later 15th century, but the exact date is unknown; their work is discussed elsewhere in the volume. (fn. 41) St. Christopher's Guild is not known to have possessed a hall, but in 1445 it agreed to share with the corporation the cost of rebuilding the city's Guildhall and in return was entitled to use the hall on certain days each year. (fn. 42) In 1445, too, the guild received from the corporation a grant of land adjoining the Guildhall site; (fn. 43) it was on this land, fronting upon Coney Street, that the guild subsequently built its chapel and maison dieu. The chapel, much altered, later became the 'Cross Keys' public house, and in 1726 the Mansion House was built on the site. (fn. 44)
When St. George's Guild was incorporated in 1447 (fn. 45) it was given possession of the chapel near Castle Mills, 'long desolate' for want of resident chaplains and greater income. The chapel had belonged to the Knights Templar and stood on meadow land, adjoining their mills, which Henry III had granted them in 1232. (fn. 46) After the suppression of the Templars in 1312 the chapel came into the hands of the Crown and appointments of chaplains were made until 1437. (fn. 47) In 1358 it was found that land called La Holm, lying between the Castle and the Ouse and clearly the meadow granted to the Templars in 1232, rightfully belonged to the king's free chapel of St. George; it had been appropriated and used for boat-building, archery, wrestling, and games, but was now returned to the chapel. (fn. 48) The Templars had erected other buildings adjoining the chapel and these were used by the king's armourers and smiths in the 1330's. (fn. 49)
After the Dissolution the property of the guild was bought by the city (fn. 50) and the former chapel and other buildings subsequently let. (fn. 51) In 1566 the corporation decided that 'the mansion house called St. George's Chapel' should be taken down and the stone used for the repair of Ouse Bridge; the tiles, timber, and other materials were to be kept by the chamberlains. (fn. 52) If this order were carried out, St. George's House had certainly been rebuilt by 1569 when it became a workhouse; it was converted into a house of correction in 1576 and still so used in 1598. (fn. 53) The house was let by the corporation during the 18th century. (fn. 54) In the later 19th century a timber building was still standing and was known as Jersey House—perhaps a corruption of the original name. (fn. 55) It was taken down in 1856. (fn. 56)
St. George's Close (the former La Holm) had apparently been acquired by the city earlier than the chapel: the first of numerous 16th-century leases of it was granted in 1542. (fn. 57) It was used as a source of sand, as cattle pasture, and as a place in which to walk and shoot and where cloths might be bleached. (fn. 58) In the 18th century it was leased together with the house. (fn. 59) St. George's Field remained as an open space in 1959; it included the riverside New Walk, an avenue of elm trees planted in the early 18th century. (fn. 60)
A number of small religious guilds also existed in York; about ten such guilds are said to have been established in parish churches and one or two in religious houses. (fn. 61)
MARKETS AND FAIRS
It seems likely that most of the early medieval markets of the city lay within the district known as Marketshire, and that this was one of the seven Domesday shires. (fn. 62) The term Marketshire was still used in the 14th century when it was applied to The Shambles and, especially, to Pavement: (fn. 63) Thursday Market, too, had probably lain within the shire. Apart from Pavement and Thursday Market, other smaller markets were held elsewhere for individual commodities. (fn. 64)
Orders were frequently made in the 16th century for the exclusive use of the markets by 'foreigners' and countrymen: freemen were expected to sell goods only in their own shops. (fn. 65) At the same time 'foreigners' were obliged to sell only in the marketplaces, and hawking in the streets was prohibited. (fn. 66) Only in special circumstances was this relaxed: in 1550, for example, to improve meat supplies during a visitation of the plague, 'foreign' butchers were allowed to sell not only in Thursday Market but at Foss Bridge and in the churchyard of Holy Trinity, Micklegate. (fn. 67) Irregular markets were sometimes held, however, as when in the early 15th century the churchyard of St. Michael-le-Belfrey became a public market-place on Sundays and feast days. (fn. 68)
Until the early 14th century, Sunday was apparently observed as the city's market-day: (fn. 69) this was prohibited in 1322, (fn. 70) and the regulation market-days and hours subsequently varied from market to market. By the 16th century, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday were the market days in Thursday Market, Pavement, the Malt Market, and the Leather Market. Since 1836, when Parliament Street Market was opened, the chief market-day has been Saturday.
The city's markets were exempted from the jurisdiction of the royal clerk of the markets in 1316: the assize of bread and beer, the keeping and assay of weights and measures, and all other things belonging to the regulation of the markets were granted to the citizens, who had previously enjoyed them only in the absence of the king. (fn. 71) These privileges were confirmed by Edward III who was obliged, however, to appoint men to carry out the duties in 1335 because the mayor and bailiffs had not properly exercised their office. (fn. 72) The city's rights were confirmed in 1632, (fn. 73) and again in 1665, (fn. 74) when the mayor was appointed clerk of the market and given the powers which the royal clerk enjoyed elsewhere. This was confirmed in 1685. (fn. 75)
In pursuance of these charters, as well as by prescription, the corporation collected tolls and stallage in all markets and fairs held in the city, although the right to do so was frequently let. By the early 19th century some tolls had been relinquished and the payment of others was negligently enforced. (fn. 76) The Act of 1833 (fn. 77) reaffirmed the corporation's powers of regulating all markets and fairs in the city, and market by-laws and rates for tolls were established by the corporation in 1873. (fn. 78) Full control over all markets and fairs was confirmed to the corporation by the York Extension and Improvement Act of 1884. (fn. 79)
One of the two principal markets in the city was held in Thursday Market (now St. Sampson's Square) and no doubt existed long before the 13th century when the name first occurs. (fn. 80) The name suggests that a market may at first have been held here only one day each week, but by the early 16th century three market-days were kept 'according to the ancient custom heretofore used', (fn. 81) and, at different times, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday have all been market-days; furthermore, certain cloths were for a time sold in the market on Fridays. (fn. 82)
One of the chief commodities sold in Thursday Market was meat of various kinds. Orders about the sale of poultry, wildfowl, and other victuals were made in the late 14th century; (fn. 83) it was the sole place of sale for common poulterers in the late 15th and early 16th centuries; (fn. 84) and from at least the late 15th century the 'foreign' butchers were confined to Thursday Market: (fn. 85) freemen butchers were obliged to sell only in their own shops, many of them in The Shambles. (fn. 86) In 1528 the country butchers were instructed to come into York on Tuesdays and Saturdays only, (fn. 87) and in the 18th (fn. 88) and 19th (fn. 89) centuries Saturday was their market-day.
Cloth of various kinds was frequently directed to Thursday Market. In 1492, for example, country woollen-cloth sellers were ordered to retail their cloths there, and Kendal men were to do likewise although they might also sell in gross in their inns and lodgings; but 'poor creatures' who made a few cloths in their own houses were allowed to retail them in Pavement or elsewhere. (fn. 90) In the early 16th century the woollen- and linen-cloth sellers were often the subject of corporation orders, (fn. 91) among them those of 1545 which directed that Kendal cloth, broadcloths, and kerseys should be sold in the common hall. (fn. 92) However, the provisions of 1492 were reintroduced in 1551 with the addition of the common hall as an alternative venue to Thursday Market, (fn. 93) and certain coarse cloths were again directed to this market in 1579. (fn. 94) In 1593 it was confirmed that linen, hempen, and 'harden' cloth should be sold in Thursday Market on Fridays, and a yard wand was to be set on the cross as a common standard for these cloths; (fn. 95) this order was repeated in 1623. (fn. 96) Linen cloth had apparently been stored in the market cross since 1586 when the building's suitability for the purpose was considered. (fn. 97)
The full range of goods exposed in Thursday Market is revealed in orders of 1519 for the thriceweekly sale of poultry, swine, dairy produce, oatmeal, salt, coarse cloth, herbs, vegetables, hemp, and candles; (fn. 98) wildfowl and rabbits were added to this list in 1578. (fn. 99) Bread was also sold in this market: in 1554 the common bakers were authorized to sell their goods near the cross, a spot to which the tiplers and 'boll-bakers' were confined, and the minster clock was to set their market hours. (fn. 100) In 1569 the bakers were instructed to serve Thursday Market 'as they ought to do'. (fn. 101) Wool was sold in this market at certain periods: in 1522 the wool-sellers were ordered to conduct their sales 'as they have done in times past'. (fn. 102)
In the late 14th and early 15th centuries the market was supervised by keepers, (fn. 103) who presumably collected tolls. The market and its tolls were certainly leased to tenants by the corporation during the 16th and 17th centuries: the rent was £1 10s. a year in the 1520's but was increased to £2 10s. in 1533. (fn. 104) By 1542 the rent charge had been transferred to the revenues of the Ouse bridgemaster and he still received it in the early 17th century. (fn. 105) The lessee was responsible for the market cross and other buildings in the market-place. In 1421 the widow of John Brathwayt, a past mayor, gave 20 marks for the building of a new stone cross, (fn. 106) and it was presumably this erection which survived until 1704. It was surrounded by a shed or pent-house supported on eight pillars, to one of which was fastened a yard wand; (fn. 107) such a standard yard for the sale of cloth had been fixed there in 1593. (fn. 108) The cross was examined in 1646 to discover whether its ornaments should be removed as being 'superstitious'. (fn. 109) In 1704 Elizabeth Smith, the corporation's tenant of the market shops, stalls, guard-house (or lodge), cross, tolls, and customs, sought a renewal of her lease, together with permission to take down the cross, guard-house, and adjoining buildings and to replace them with a new structure, 16 yards long and 8 wide, standing on stone pillars, and having chambers, garrets, and a cellar. (fn. 110) In 1706 the building was completed and the lease renewed at £22 a year. (fn. 111) In the same year a clockmaker was enfranchized for making, installing in the cross, and maintaining a clock valued at £25. (fn. 112) The cross also bore a statue of George II which was removed to the Guildhall in 1786. (fn. 113)
In or after 1756 a school began to be held in an upper chamber of the cross; (fn. 114) it was removed in 1784 when the corporation ordered the cross to be altered and reroofed, and the market lessee's rent of £60 was reduced by £4—the rent which he had received for the school-room. (fn. 115) In 1815 the corporation agreed that the cross should be removed on condition that the petitioners for such an improvement (who were local residents) should pay £80 to the corporation and compensation to the lessee; (fn. 116) the materials of the cross were sold by auction. (fn. 117)
The final long-term lease of the market expired in 1818, and subsequent leases were for a year only: the lessee in 1826, Thomas Rayson, the elder, paid a rent of £140. (fn. 118)
After the construction of Parliament Street in 1836, (fn. 119) Thursday Market (by that time known as St. Sampson's Square) continued in use as a market for butchers; (fn. 120) it was reserved for the sale of fish in 1888. (fn. 121) St. Sampson's Square became a car park in 1955 when the stall-holders there were provided with a fresh site in Newgate. (fn. 122)
The second of York's principal markets was held in Pavement; in addition, the sale of goods in High Ousegate and Coppergate was inseparably connected with the Pavement market. Pavement, as an important part of Marketshire, was an ancient market-place and the scene of public gatherings, proclamations, and punishments: (fn. 123) it was perhaps one of the first streets in the city to become a 'paved way'. (fn. 124) The paving was probably maintained by the corporation; it was they who in 1497 imposed a payment of 12d. on each iron-bound wain or cart coming to Pavement which 'of new is made' (fn. 125) and in 1578 it was agreed that corporation and parishioners should share the upkeep of the roadways on either side of All Saints' Church in view of the wear and tear on market-days. (fn. 126) It is likely that from medieval times the market-days in Pavement, as in Thursday Market, were Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday; those were the days kept in Pavement in the 16th (fn. 127) and 18th centuries. (fn. 128)
Like Thursday Market, Pavement was a general market for a wide variety of produce, and at different times certain goods were sold in both places. In 1500 it was ordered that butter, cheese, eggs, pigs, poultry, and other victuals should be sold in Thursday Market and not in Pavement; (fn. 129) conversely, in 1579, corn, butter, cheese, eggs, and poultry were directed to Pavement and were not to be sold in Thursday Market; (fn. 130) and again, in 1630, the corporation considered the removal of the Saturday sale of butter, cheese, eggs, and poultry from Pavement to Thursday Market. (fn. 131) A similar range of goods was being sold in Pavement in 1784 (fn. 132) and 1829: (fn. 133) positions were allotted for the sale of vegetables, rabbits, poultry, wildfowl, eggs, butter, roasting pigs, corn, sieves and baskets, wooden ware, shoes, and leather goods. Cloth was also occasionally sold in Pavement: linen, 'sameron', and 'harden' cloths were restricted to this market in 1546 (fn. 134) and poor cloth-sellers were allowed to stand in Pavement despite orders for the sale of cloth in Thursday Market only. (fn. 135)
Before the establishment of the herb market in High Ousegate, herbs and vegetables had been sold in both Pavement and Thursday Market. (fn. 136) In 1727 the corporation decided to buy a riding school adjoining All Saints' churchyard for the site of the new herb market; the ground was built up with covered stalls and shops which were subsequently let, and in 1735 gardeners and dealers in garden produce were ordered to sell only in the new market. (fn. 137) The site of the herb market was added to All Saints' churchyard in 1782 when the parishioners received it in exchange for the site of the chancel of their church and another part of their churchyard, which were used to enlarge Pavement marketplace. (fn. 138) The sale of vegetables was transferred to Pavement. (fn. 139)
In the 14th century a corn market was held in Micklegate, (fn. 140) but the usual place for the sale of corn was at or near Pavement. In 1477 the oat market began at the ringing of All Saints' bell, and in 1505 Ouse Bridge bell announced the beginning of the corn market; but subsequently 16th-century cornsellers were regulated by the 'cornbell' in the Pavement. (fn. 141) Space in Pavement was restricted and efforts were made to enlarge the corn market during the 18th century: in 1769, for example, Hosier Lane (a row of shops in front of St. Crux Church) was bought by subscription and removed, (fn. 142) and the chancel and part of the churchyard of All Saints' were acquired in 1782. In 1829 the corporation ordered that wheat, rye, meslin, and barley should be sold in that part of Pavement between the site of the old market cross and St. Crux Church, and oats and beans from the site of the cross into Coppergate; (fn. 143) and in 1855 corn was sold at the east end of All Saints' Church. (fn. 144)
A company was formed in 1868 and a corn exchange erected in King Street (fn. 145) but the project was not supported by farmers. The Royal Commission on Markets was told that farmers had established as of right a custom of selling by sample in the open street, and that an average loss of £100 was made at the corn exchange in the three years ending 31 March 1888. (fn. 146) The exchange was closed in 1901; a theatre was built on the site in the following year. (fn. 147) A covered corn market was built by the corporation between Coppergate and High Ousegate in 1926, (fn. 148) but until at least 1939 sales continued to take place outside in Coppergate as well. In 1946 the corn market was moved to accommodation in the cattle market. (fn. 149)
From at least the mid-15th century, and for much of the 16th, the tolls of Pavement market were let by the corporation to individual toll collectors. In the 1520's a rent of £3 was paid, but this had been increased to £6 13s. 4d. by 1535 and to £10 10s. by 1543. From at least 1535 the corporation also let the tolls of the malt market in Coney Street; the rent of £3 6s. 8d. had been increased to £6 3s. 4d. by 1543. (fn. 150) In 1564 the corporation let the tolls of both Pavement and the malt market to the lord mayor to ease the charges of his office; (fn. 151) he paid the old rents (fn. 152) until 1677, when they were reduced to a total of £6 13s. 4d. (fn. 153) In 1736 the corporation decided that the corn tolls (for these were the principal tolls taken in Pavement, and the malt market may no longer have existed) should no longer be let to the lord mayor but offered for 3-year periods to the highest bidders; the first lessees paid a rent of £225; (fn. 154) the rent of the tolls fell to £200 in 1742 and to £170 in 1748. (fn. 155) In 1783 the corporation ordered a committee to inquire into the state of the corntolls, (fn. 156) and collection is said to have ceased in 1784. (fn. 157) Pavement toll-house was ordered to be repaired in 1723, (fn. 158) but the date of its removal is not known.
Pavement market cross was erected in 1671 at the expense of Marmaduke Rawden who gave £400 for the purpose. It was a small, square, domed building with 12 pillars, and stood near All Saints' Church. At the same time houses near the church were taken down, the market-place enlarged and the churchyard reduced in size. In 1672 the corporation raised the cross higher, adding a turret and vane. The cross was removed in 1813. (fn. 159) The market-place was also the scene of bull-baiting: there was a bull ring in that part of Pavement lying in St. Crux parish. (fn. 160) Near the pillory lay the 'Capon Call', taken down in 1633 (fn. 161) —a structure perhaps connected with the sale of fowls.
In the 16th century the malt market was held on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, near St. Martin's Church in Coney Street; the hours of sale to citizens and foreigners were regulated and a bell rung to announce its opening. (fn. 162) It was permissible for malt to be brought into the city on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays if it had already been sold. (fn. 163) For a long period the tolls of the malt market were leased together with those of the corn market. (fn. 164)
The wholesale butter market in St. Martin's churchyard in Micklegate appears to have originated in a corporation order of 1662 that all butter should be sold there. After 1665 several mayors attempted, by virtue of their office of clerk of the market, to have the butter market moved to Pavement, but their right to do so was disputed by the corporation (fn. 165) and the butter standard still stood in Micklegate in the early 18th century. In 1722 it was necessary to order that the butter weighers should be sued for money collected by them in 1719, 1720, and 1721; (fn. 166) it was widespread abuse of the market regulations that prompted the corporation to obtain an Act in 1722 (fn. 167) which provided that butter should be examined, weighed, and sealed before sale, and only Sunday was prohibited as a market-day. In Drake's time the usual market-days were, in fact, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. (fn. 168) The butter standard near St. Martin's Church needed repair in 1729, (fn. 169) was blown down in 1777, replaced in 1778, and finally removed in 1828. (fn. 170) The standard was leased to a toll collector whose rent decreased as the trade in butter declined: about 1790 the rent was £40, and 80,000 firkins of butter were weighed; but the rent had fallen to £30 by about 1800, and to £20 by 1818 when only 14,000-15,000 firkins were handled. The butter was bought by contractors and shipped to London. (fn. 171)
In medieval times hay may have been sold in The Shambles, for which an alternative name was Haymongergate, (fn. 172) but by the 18th century the hay market was held near Holy Trinity Church in King's Court. The available space was enlarged in 1768 after a house and part of the church had been demolished and part of the churchyard acquired. (fn. 173) In 1827 the market was moved to Peaseholme Green where a new weighing machine was provided; (fn. 174) in 1855 the market was held there each Thursday. (fn. 175) In King's Court the toll collector had received about £100 a year, one-third of which was allowed to him by the corporation. (fn. 176)
It has been suggested that the early wool market was held on Ouse Bridge; (fn. 177) some wool was sold in Thursday Market in the early 16th century. (fn. 178) The market appears to have lapsed for a long period, however, before being established by the corporation in St. Anthony's Hall in 1708; it was later moved into the street in Peaseholme Green where the wool was weighed and tolls collected; (fn. 179) the beam was in need of repair in 1728. (fn. 180) The market was in 1818 held on Thursdays from Lady Day to Michaelmas, (fn. 181) and in 1855 each Thursday from the end of May until the end of August, and each alternate Thursday in September, October, and November. (fn. 182) In 1862 sheds were erected in the cattle market for the accommodation of the wool market. (fn. 183)
In 1490 it was ordered that all tanned leather should be searched in the common hall, (fn. 184) where its sale was ordered to take place in 1544 and 1546; in the latter year, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday were the appointed market-days. (fn. 185) In 1579 'foreigners' were ordered to sell untanned hides only in the 'common market' (fn. 186) —probably Thursday Market. The tanned-leather market was in 1626 said to have usually been held in the common hall on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays; since the tanners and shoemakers found the building unsatisfactory, however, the market was in future to be held in Thursday Market on the same days. (fn. 187) In Drake's time leather was sold in Thursday Market on Thursdays. (fn. 188)
The medieval sea-fish market was held on Foss Bridge and is first mentioned in 1253. (fn. 189) In the mid15th century some tenements on the north side of the bridge were described as 'the fish shambles', but by the later 16th century no tenements were specifically ascribed to them: (fn. 190) by that time the fish market was probably an open one. Some fishermen's ordinances of 1586-7 decreed that freemen were to sell fish only between the gutters at the ends of the bridge. (fn. 191) The market was opened by the ringing of the 'scayt-bell', as in 1519 when different hours were laid down for purchase of fish by freemen and 'foreigners'. (fn. 192) A surveyor of all sea-fish brought to the market was appointed in 1550, (fn. 193) and tolls were presumably collected. In 1724 sheds were ordered to be built on the bridge for the market, (fn. 194) and in 1727 it was recalled that the tolls had been remitted when the new market was built; the tolls were then reimposed since their removal had been of no advantage to the market. (fn. 195) In Drake's time, when Wednesday and Friday were the market-days, free 'panniermen' sold fish on the bridge, and unfree panniermen in Walmgate, at the east end of the bridge. (fn. 196)
The medieval freshwater-fish market was held at the east end of Ouse Bridge. (fn. 197) Ground called the Fish Landing on the north side of the bridge there was in 1573 leased to Andrew True for 16d. a year on condition that he made a landing place and provided the fishmongers with access to it. (fn. 198) This was still the freshwater-fish market in Drake's time. (fn. 199)
The fish markets were apparently removed from Foss and Ouse bridges in the late 18th century: fish was sold in Pavement, near All Saints' Church, after 1782, (fn. 200) and in Thursday Market at about the same time; (fn. 201) in 1818 it was sold in both market-places. (fn. 202) In 1837 a new fish market was opened in what is now Silver Street, near St. Sampson's Church, (fn. 203) where it was still being held in 1855. (fn. 204) The market was later moved to St. Sampson's Square, and in 1955 to Newgate. (fn. 205)
Parliament Street Market
By the early 19th century the facilities offered by Thursday Market and Pavement were proving inadequate: only limited space was available in both and, moreover, the corporation had lost full control of the markets. By 1830 the restricted space of Pavement was being increasingly used for stalls of city shopkeepers, and by hawkers and pedlars, to the exclusion of legitimate stall-holders from the country; the corporation had neglected to enforce its regulations, and the offenders were well entrenched. (fn. 206) In Thursday Market and Pavement alike the corporation's negligence in collecting market tolls had encouraged the illegal erection of stalls, and occupiers of houses and shops around Thursday Market were themselves letting the ground in front of their windows to stall-holders who did not pay tolls to the corporation's lessee. (fn. 207) By way of remedy an Inspector of Markets was appointed in December 1829 to have control over all stall-holders; at the same time, different sections of Pavement were assigned to different commodities, and the sale of haberdashery, hardware, and other 'ordinary shop goods' in the market was prohibited. (fn. 208) Even these new regulations were flouted, and the corporation was uncertain how its authority might be reasserted. (fn. 209)
To solve the problem of space, many plans were put forward for improvements to existing markets, or for completely new ones: one scheme, for example, envisaged a new market on the site of the 'Water Lanes' near King's Staith. The plan eventually favoured involved the linking of Pavement and Thursday Market by a broad, new street, and the extensive demolition of old property. (fn. 210) The Act of Parliament obtained in 1833 (fn. 211) provided for both physical expansion and civic control: the new street was to be used only by the corporation which was to retain its powers of regulating all markets and fairs in York. (fn. 212) The work of demolishing old property and building new began in 1834, and the new market was opened in July 1836. (fn. 213) Thursday Market, about this time renamed St. Sampson's Square, remained in use but there were henceforth to be no stalls in Pavement. (fn. 214)
The cost of this work was met by the sale of demolished houses and of the new building sites, by a corporation contribution, from rates, and from loans. (fn. 215) By December 1836 about £31,000 had been borrowed, and nearly £17,000 remained to be repaid in December 1840. (fn. 216)
Throughout the second half of the 19th century proposals were continually being made for a covered market, but none materialized (fn. 217) and the market remains entirely open. Parliament Street, however, has itself proved inadequate for modern requirements and several plans have been put forward for the removal of the market to the area between Parliament Street and The Shambles; (fn. 218) the name 'Gell Garth', suggested for this new market, is presumably a corruption of Geil or Gail Garth which is said to have been the medieval name for the area, deriving from the 'gails' or lanes running into it. (fn. 219) By the end of 1955 the first stage of the transference had taken place, involving the erection of temporary stalls for a variety of goods, and the rehousing of the fish and meat markets in permanent stalls in Newgate; (fn. 220) St. Sampson's Square became a car park.
Markets have not been held in Parliament Street on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays as they were in Thursday Market and Pavement. In 1855 the chief market was held on Saturdays with a smaller one on Thursdays; (fn. 221) in 1888 Saturday was market-day although some people paid for stallage on other days; (fn. 222) in 1939-40 marketing took place every week-day in both Parliament Street and St. Sampson's Square although Saturday was still the principal market-day; (fn. 223) likewise since the establishment of the Newgate Market in 1955 sales have taken place there every week-day although Saturday has been the sole market-day in Parliament Street itself.
The modern cattle market replaced a number of small markets, as well as fairs held both in the city streets and at the Horsefair. (fn. 224) Toft Green, for example, was appointed as a cattle market in 1416, (fn. 225) and again in 1457, when a weekly market was to be held there on Fridays. (fn. 226) It was appointed as a swine market in 1738, (fn. 227) and swine were sold there on Wednesdays until shortly before 1818. (fn. 228) Swine were ordered to be sold at Peaseholme Green in 1500 (fn. 229) and 1572, (fn. 230) and they were also sold in Swinegate: the inconvenience caused resulted in the establishment of a swine market at Bean Hills (outside Fishergate Bar) in 1605. (fn. 231) In the 19th century a pig market was also held near Foss Bridge. (fn. 232) Between the late 16th and the 19th centuries the chief market for the sale of cattle was that provided by the Fortnight Fairs, held chiefly in Walmgate. (fn. 233)
The inconvenience of holding cattle markets and fairs in city streets and at the distant Horsefair eventually led the corporation, in 1826, to buy about 6 acres of land outside the city walls near Fishergate Bar. (fn. 234) The walled-up bar was opened, the dyke alongside the walls was covered over, pens were constructed, and the market was opened late in 1827. The Soulmas, Martinmas, Fortnight, and all the other stock fairs were thenceforth held there. The site was further improved in 1828 by the building of the City Arms Inn. (fn. 235)
Tolls were collected at the new market, and both market-place and City Arms Inn were let by the corporation: the rents were, in 1828, £310 and £90 a year respectively. The first Fortnight Fair, on 4 October 1827, brought receipts of over £18 and a profit of over £10; gross receipts for the first year, during which 32 fairs were held, amounted to over £352. (fn. 236)
The cattle market was reconstructed in 1855; accommodation for the wool market was provided in 1862 (fn. 237) and extended in 1876 and 1898-9; cement floors were laid in the market pens between 1879 and 1882; land was bought in 1898-9 for the extension of the market; and considerable improvements, including the addition of two auction rings, were made in 1904. (fn. 238) A railway siding and branch line to the market had been built in 1879. (fn. 239)
Continuing the Fortnight Fairs, markets were held fortnightly—with weekly sheep fairs in September and October—until 1914; thereafter markets were held weekly until 1926, (fn. 240) and after 1928 Monday and Thursday were the market days. (fn. 241) A Fat Stock Show, instituted in 1857, was still being held in 1939-40, in December. (fn. 242)
Most of the city's fairs were held in the marketplaces or streets, but the three of oldest foundation —two belonging to the city and one to the archbishop—were held at the Horsefair. This ground, lying outside the walls and at the northern end of Gillygate, was so-called from at least the early 15th century; it was then probably of greater extent than the area known in the mid-19th century as 'Milking Hill or the Horsefair' (now Clarence Gardens). (fn. 243)
The city's early fairs, held at Pentecost and at the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, were both apparently prescriptive and were in existence at least by the late 13th century, when receipts from them greatly decreased as a result of the Scottish wars. (fn. 244) In 1570 the city claimed to have certain rights within the forest of Galtres, (fn. 245) among them the holding of fairs in the Horsefair on the day after Pentecost and on the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, and the claim was upheld. (fn. 246) The Pentecost Fair had been extended in 1449 when the city received a grant of a fair to be held on the six days following Pentecost, (fn. 247) but it was later confined to Whit Sunday and Whit Monday. It was ordered in 1586 that the Whit Sunday Fair, which had formerly been held in 'Minster Garth' (presumably in the close), should no longer be kept, but that the Whit Monday Fair in Thursday Market should be frequented instead; (fn. 248) and in 1587 the Whit Monday horse fair was ordered to be held 'according to the ancient custom'. (fn. 249) Thus on Whit Monday there was, in the late 16th century, a fair for the sale of horses in the Horsefair and one for other goods in Thursday Market. The horse fair was still held in 1818, (fn. 250) and horses and other animals were sold at the fair in 1822, (fn. 251) but this was one of the fairs merged with the new cattle market in 1827. The festal part of the Whit Monday Fair continued throughout the 19th century, with stalls and shows at first in Thursday Market, Pavement, and Peaseholme Green, and later in St. Sampson's Square and Parliament Street. (fn. 252) In 1924 the fair was moved from Parliament Street to St. George's Field, where it continues as one of the city's three annual pleasure fairs. (fn. 253) The second of these city fairs, St. Peter's Fair, was still held in 1818 (fn. 254) but was merged with the new cattle market in 1827.
The archbishop's fair was held at least as early as the first half of the 12th century when grants from the proceeds of his fair of St. Peter's Chains were made to the canons of the minster and to St. Clement's Priory. (fn. 255) The fair was held at the Horsefair, and from at least the late 12th or early 13th centuries (when it was said to be prescriptive) it lasted from the day preceding to the day following the feast of St. Peter's Chains; during the fair the city sheriffs surrendered their authority to the archbishop who collected tolls and determined disputes for those three days. (fn. 256) Tolls were collected on goods passing through the city bars and posterns during the Lammas Fair (as it was later called) until the early 19th century; (fn. 257) it was for this reason that, in 1807, Archbishop Markham disputed the corporation's decision to remove Skeldergate Postern; his opposition was temporarily successful but he died later that year and the postern was later demolished. (fn. 258) The tolls apparently ceased to be collected about 1814, (fn. 259) but £10 is said to have been paid to the archbishop in 1825 in compensation for his loss of tolls when Castlegate Postern was demolished. (fn. 260) The fair was merged with the new cattle market in 1827. (fn. 261)
The entitlement of the Abbot of St. Mary's to hold a fair and market in Bootham was confirmed in 1308. (fn. 262) It is uncertain whether they were, in fact, held, for in 1318 the abbey was granted an annual fair and a weekly market there; this grant was subsequently cancelled as being prejudicial to the city. (fn. 263) That a market continued to be held in Bootham is suggested by the granting, in 1448, of permission for the abbot to appoint clerks of the market 'in the abbey, cells, lordships and so forth', thus excluding the jurisdiction of the royal clerks. (fn. 264)
The city sought in 1501 and received in 1502 a royal grant of a fair to be held on the Monday after the feast of the Ascension and the five days following. (fn. 265) In 1502 the first two days of the fair were for animals: cattle were sold in Fishergate, horses outside Walmgate Bar, and sheep on Heworth Moor; on the remaining days goods of many kinds were sold, different streets, all on the east side of the Ouse, being appointed for each. (fn. 266) No later mention of the fair has been found.
The royal grant of 1502 included a fair to be held on St. Luke's day and the five days following. (fn. 267) In 1502 the first two days of the fair were for animals: horses and cattle were sold in the streets outside Micklegate Bar and beyond St. James's Chapel, and on Knavesmire; on the remaining days goods of many kinds were sold, different streets, all on the west side of the Ouse, (fn. 268) being appointed for each. (fn. 269) In Drake's time St. Luke's was known as the 'Dish Fair', with small wares being sold in Micklegate. (fn. 270) This was apparently a fair the date of which was changed after 1752. (fn. 271) In 1827 the 'Black Fair' (apparently another name for St. Luke's) was held on 29 October: it was reported that only a slender show of wooden ware and a few ginger-bread stalls were to be seen in Micklegate. (fn. 272) St. Luke's Fair is said to have been discontinued about 1859. (fn. 273)
During the 16th and 17th centuries linen cloth and yarn were sold at the cross in Thursday Market, (fn. 274) and foreign hemp and 'line' sellers were directed to that market in 1731. (fn. 275) The first fair for hemp and flax was held at the cross in 1780, the appointed days thenceforth being Whit Monday, St. Peter's Day, and the Saturdays before Martinmas, Christmas, Candlemas, and Lady Day. (fn. 276) When the cross was taken down in 1815 the 'Line Fairs' were transferred to the Guildhall yard and the archway leading into it; (fn. 277) Lammas Day and the Saturday before Michaelmas Day were added to the fair days. (fn. 278) By 1823 the fairs had been removed to Peaseholme Green, (fn. 279) and they had apparently been discontinued by the mid-19th century. (fn. 280)
In 1590 the city received a royal grant of cattle fairs to be held on the Thursday before Palm Sunday and on alternate Thursdays between Palm Sunday and Christmas. (fn. 281) The fairs were then held in Walmgate, Fossgate, in the Bean Hills (outside Fishergate Bar), and outside Walmgate Bar. (fn. 282) The letting of the tolls of the fairs was discussed in 1591, (fn. 283) and the tolls were certainly let during the late-16th and the 17th and 18th centuries. (fn. 284) In the 17th century at least, sheep as well as cattle were being sold at these fairs. (fn. 285) Long Close, stretching within the city wall from Fishergate to Walmgate Bars, was used during the fairs until the early 19th century, (fn. 286) but the sale of animals continued in the streets as well and caused great inconvenience, particularly in Walmgate. Proposals were made for the removal of the fairs to various sites outside the city walls, (fn. 287) and in 1826 the corporation established the cattle market outside Fishergate Bar. (fn. 288) After this the Fortnight Fairs were held in the cattle market, but the fair held on the Thursday before Palm Sunday apparently preserved a separate identity: it still existed in 1855 and 1867, (fn. 289) but was said in 1906 not to have been held for many years. (fn. 290)
A fair to be held on the Thursday and Friday before Candlemas was granted to the city in 1632. (fn. 291) It was a cattle fair, held originally in Walmgate, Fossgate, and outside Walmgate Bar; (fn. 292) after 1827 it was held in the new cattle market.
A cattle and horse fair was held in Walmgate on All Souls Day (fn. 293) at least as early as 1736; in 1752 it was moved from 2 to 13 November. (fn. 294) The fair was still held in 1818; (fn. 295) after 1827 it was held in the new cattle market.
A Martinmas fair for horses and cattle, of which the origin is unknown, was in 1752 moved from 11 to 22 November. (fn. 296) In 1841 the sale of horses took place 'as usual' outside Walmgate Bar, with cattle in the new cattle market. (fn. 297) Martinmas Fair also served as the 'statute fair' for the hiring of servants, who offered themselves at first in Pavement and later in Parliament Street: the hirings were still held in 1906. (fn. 298) Throughout the 19th century this was also a pleasure fair, with stalls, shows and exhibitions in Parliament Street and elsewhere. (fn. 299) Martinmas Fair was in 1924 moved from Parliament Street to St. George's Field and continues as one of York's three annual pleasure fairs. (fn. 300)
A quarterly Leather Fair was established in 1815 and held on the last Wednesday in March, June, September, and December. (fn. 301) In 1837 these days were changed to the last Wednesday in February, May, August, and November, (fn. 302) and the fair was discontinued about the middle of the 19th century. (fn. 303)
In 1770 half-yearly shows for horses were held in summer on the Monday of Race Week and in winter on the Monday of the last whole week before Christmas. (fn. 304) The 'Christmas Horse Fair' was held in Blossom Street in the 19th century and continued until at least 1906. In 1818 and 1855 it took place during the last whole week before Christmas; (fn. 305) in 1906 it was held on 15 and 17 December. (fn. 306)
An August Bank Holiday Fair was established during the Second World War as the third of the city's pleasure fairs; it is held in St. George's Field. (fn. 307)