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History of medieval Ipswich


Account of revenues and expenditures, 1446/47

The account of Richard Tough and John James, chamberlains there [in Ipswich] from the festival of St. Michael Archangel [September 29] in the twenty-fifth year of the reign of King Henry VI to the same festival in the twenty-sixth year
Town rents [i.e. from community-owned properties]
Plus [rents separately listed] in the rental
Renders paid in cash
[viz. licences purchased by manors to have freedom from local tolls on merchandise; 4d per manor]
Renders paid for toll on grain
[viz. licences purchased by manors to have freedom from toll]
Plus, [outstanding] from the account of Roger Stannard
[chamberlain the previous year]

Leases of lands
Plus, [outstanding] from the account of Roger Stannard
Leases of houses
[including market stalls and the Gildhall cellar]
Farm of mills, fisheries and weirs
[notably, Horswade mill, and two mills at Stoke Bridge]
Farm of fullers stalls in the moothall
Plus, [outstanding] from the account of Roger Stannard
Farm of stalls in the butchery building
Plus, [outstanding] from the account of Roger Stannard
Stallage in the market and other places
[the other places included under the Moothall, a draper's stall being mentioned there]
Customs from woolpells and carcasses
Plus, [outstanding] from the account of Roger Stannard
Farm of the Woodbridge market with customs therefrom.
Paid by the Prior of Woodbridge, as per the composition between town and priory made in time-beyond-memory
Tronage and mensurage of salt, grain and coal
Plus, [outstanding] from the account of Roger Stannard
[these were fees for weighing and measuring amounts]
Customs on ships and boats, with cranage
[cranage was a fee for using the town crane to load or unload cargo]
Great Custom
[on wool exports, imposed 1275]
Fines paid by foreigners for [exemption from] toll and custom
Plus, [outstanding] from the account of Roger Stannard
[all of the 50 men purchasing the annual licence to trade without paying toll appear to be inhabitants of Ipswich; the fee ranged from 2d. to 3s.]
Toll on grain
Plus, [outstanding] from the account of Roger Stannard
[this was collected at the Cornhill market; an excuse was offered for the low yield on the grounds that many men had bought exemption from the toll]
Fines from [admission of] newly made burgesses
[three entrance fees of 40s. each; a fourth fee was said to have been received but not accounted for, due to concealment on the part of the chamberlains]
Profits from leet and courts
Remaining in the hands of Thomas Heyle, Richard Baker and George Page
[this section was a mini-account, viz:
  • £4 delivered by the sergeants (as above plus John Burgon) as court estreats
  • 32s. taken out of estreats by the sergeants, to pay for their liveries
  • 20s.4d from leet and courts already in the pyx (treasury)
  • 8s. from Burgon for court and leet profits
  • 6s.8d from Heyle for the same]
  • £7.7s.0d
    Plus, [outstanding] from the account of Roger Stannard
    taken from diverse persons as per ancient custom, viz. 1d from every messuage in town under a single roof
    [apparently calculated in exclusion of the amounts outstanding
    from Stannard and estreats 'still in the hands of'
    (probably meaning not yet collected by) the sergeants,
    although a small discrepancy still remains
    Rents resolute and fee farm
    [the borough owed rents from its property to the bailiffs of Wykes Ufford and of St. Peter's Priory; the fee farm was, and had been since the late 13th century, £60]
    Fees of bailiffs, officers and counsel of the town:
    • bailiffs, nothing – the money due from the sergeants having been [punitively?] allocated to their annual fees
    • Reginald Rous, counsellor to the town
    • William Bury of Colchester, counsellor to the town
    • Thomas Bishop, clerk of the courts
    • sergeants [as named above]
    • John Bole, collector of the Great Custom
    • Thomas Denys, town attorney in the common law courts
    • Thomas Depden, town attorney in the Exchequer
    • John James and Richard Tough, chamberlains
    • William Rideout and John Smith, parliamentary burgesses at Bury St. Edmunds (26s.8d each as per an agreement made with the bailiffs)


    Liveries of the servants [of the borough]
    [amounts paid for coloured woollen cloth for the uniforms of town clerk, collector of Great Custom, and sergeants]
    Costs of houses
    [payments for repair and maintenance of community-owned properties, such as the Fleshhouse (butchery), Woolhouse, and the tavern underneath the moothall]
    Costs of stalls
    [repair and maintenance of market stalls]
    Costs of mills
    [the numerous payments under this heading indicate that the mills required quite a bit of maintenance]
    Costs of [maintaining] the quay and the crane 9s.7d
    Purchase of cowskin
    [this section dealt with minor expenses of bureaucracy, including purchase of parchment and paper, and maintenance of the gaol]
    Expenses of bailiffs, burgesses and officers:
    • 6s.8d for breakfast for bailiffs and counsellors of the town, in the house of Thomas Bishop on 6 October 1446, to discuss and deal with town business
    • 5s.4d for breakfast for bailiffs, capital pledges and leet affeerors at the affeering of leet amercements
    • 14d for breakfast for bailiffs and John Smith, with payment to Smith for his expenses in riding to London on town business
    • 12d for a gallon and a half of wine for bailiffs and other officers when they collected moneys to pay a certain debt of Isabelle Astley [widow of a former bailiff]
    • 21s.6d for expenses of bailiffs and others of the town council on the day of arbitration with John Andrew [a Suffolk J.P., but perhaps in this context as son and executor of James Andrew, a prominent burgess]
    • 3s.4d for dinner of Reginald Rous when he came at the order of the bailiffs
    • 3s.8d to Christiana James for expenses [in lodging?] Reginald Rous when he came on town business at Corpus Christi
    • 3s.1d for expenses of Reginald's horses at that time, paid at Colchester
    Extrinsic expenses
    [viz. entertainment of, or rewards to, outsiders]
    Foreign expenses:
    • 20d to John Wode for conducting town business at London
    • 12s. to Thomas Bishop for riding to London on town business, taking money collected as a loan to the king; 3s.8d for his horse
    • 26s.8d to Thomas Denys and Roger Stannard for having the charter of town liberties enrolled in the king's court
    • 40s. to William Donton for riding to London, to the Duke of Suffolk, on town business
    • 2s. to Thomas Bishop for a horse when he went to London to obtain a new charter
    • 6s.8d to John Burgon for leading Henry Parker [a prisoner?] to London
    • 16s.8d to John French and John Douche as compensation for damages received from the sheriff, in matters touching the town liberty
    • 10s. for expenses of John Tough and John Bishop in riding to Norfolk, to speak with Isabelle Astley and John Holdirnesse [her husband?] on town business
    • 3s.4d for expenses of Thomas Bishop in riding to the said Isabelle and John
    • 6s.8d for a cart with two drivers taking victuals to the parliament at Bury
    • 8d to George Page for carrying the town charter to London
    • 23s.4d to Thomas Depden for his work in the Exchequer
    And paid to the bailiffs for their fee
    [it seems the auditors relented on their earlier decision to penalize the bailiffs for the failure of their sergeants to collect all the estreats]
    [again the calculations are imperfect]
    Thus the expenses exceed receipts by £23.0s.2d. Later 46s.8d handed over by William Whethereld, from the surplus of the king's fifteenth, was applied to this, leaving a deficit of £20.13s.6d. And 5s. was paid to the clerk for drawing up this account; therefore, £20.18s.6d.

    For purposes of comparison, the account of the sheriff from 25 March 1285 to 29 September 1286 included the following revenues for the last six months of that period:

    Ipswich history

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    Created: August 29, 1998 © Stephen Alsford, 1998-2003

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