Memorial XVII
Payments for Superstitious Uses, 1547


Centre for Metropolitan History



C. M. Clode (editor)

Year published




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'Memorial XVII: Payments for Superstitious Uses, 1547', Memorials of the Guild of Merchant Taylors: Of the Fraternity of St. John the Baptist in the City of London (1875), pp. 100-109. URL: Date accessed: 26 November 2014.


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1. With reference to the brief "Declaration," (fn. 1) printed at the close of this notice, it may be remarked that the Statute under which it was made (1 Edward VI., c. 14) confiscated the property of all Guilds (fn. 2) to the Crown, "other than such of mysteryes or craftes" (fn. 3) which, as a rule, saved the City Companies from confiscation. As to these latter Guilds the Act authorized Commissioners (fn. 4) appointed by the Crown to survey and examine their records, in order that they might ascertain what endowments the Guilds held for the maintenance "of any priest, anniversary or obit, or other like thing, light or lamp," and certify the same to the Augmentation (fn. 5) Office.

2. Interrogations were exhibited to the several companies to this effect:—

"1st. Whether they had any peculiar Brotherhood or Guild within their Corporation"? An enquiry directed to any Guild which not being a Mysterie or Craft would have become forfeited under the 7th Section of the Act.

2nd. (a) Whether they had any College, Chantry, Chapel or Fraternity, Brotherhood or Guild, within the same ? An enquiry directed to the discovery of property forfeitable to the Crown under the 37 Henry VIII., c. 4.

(b) What number of stipendiary priests they paid from bequests, and what were the amounts of such stipends ?

(c) Who were the donors, and what were the particulars of the estates left, with their yearly value, and the payments and deductions to be made from them?

3rd. Whether they possessed any and what jewels, goods, ornaments, chattels, and other things, pertaining to any chantry, or stipendiary priests, and if so to return all the particulars concerning them?

Lastly, whether they had any other yearly profits or advantages (exclusive of those above mentioned) which to their knowledge the King ought to have under the operation of the Act?

3. Herbert purports to give the certificate or answer returned to these enquiries by the Company; which from the payments of the Company for 1547–8 appears to have been prepared with some care under the advice of "Mr. Brooke, the Recorder of London, by John Huchenson, their clerk." (fn. 6) I have made the following extracts relating to landed property, thinking it scarcely necessary to print the certificate entire, as the substance of it is to be found in the "Declaration" of the King's Commissioners, or in the "Memorials" printed under the title of the "Associated Charities":—


"To the King's Commissioners touching Chaunteryes and such like, onno 1° E. 6.

"First, they certifie that wthin there gennerall corporac'on of the Master and Wardens of the Merchaunt Taylors and Fraternitie aforesaide, they have no prticuler brotherhood nor guyle.

"To the seconde article they certefie in like manner vnto yow that wthin there said corporac'on they have no colledge, chappell, fraternytie, brotherhood, nor guylde, but they have ix stipendiarie preistis, to whom they doe geve towardes theire lyvynge, out of certein landes and ten'ts certen stipendes, in manner and forme hereafter followinge, that is to say—


"Citezein and broderer of London, by his last will and testament, dated the xxth of Decembr, in the year of or Lorde God 1382, did geve and bequeath to the foresaid Master and Wardens, and to their successors for ever, one yearly rent of x mrkes, goinge owt off all those his ten'ts wth apprtenauncs wch he had upon the corner off Ad lane, in the prish off St. Albone, in Wood strete, in London, To the intente that they therewth shoulde fynde a preist to singe for him, wthin a chappell at the north dore at Paules. And, further, by his saide will, he gave vnto them xs quite rent, for ever, owt off the said landes and ten'ts, to kepe one yearely annivrsary, in the saide chappell wthin Pawles, for him and other in the said will comprized, as amonge other thinges in the said will is expressed.

"The yearely value of the said lands isixli viijs—deduc'ons inde.
To S John Trimmer, for his salary, p' ann'x mrkesxvjs
To the preiste and sexton, for th' obit, p' ann'ijs vjdxijd
To the poore people, yearely.vis viijd."


"Citizen and grocer of London, by his deed indented, bearinge date the xxth daie of July, in the yeare of the reigne of kinge Henry the Fourth after the Conquest, the sixth, did geve vnto the saide Mr and Wardens, and there successors, for evermore, fowre messuages and xvii shoppes, wth th' apprtenauncs, beinge in the prish of St. Marten Owtewich, of London. And vijs viijd off rente goinge owt off the ten'ts of Richarde Bedwyn, in the prishe of St Michaell, in Croked lane, of London. And also the advowson of the churche of St Martyn Owtwich, To th' entent that they should fynde a preist to singe for his sowle and others in the saide churche of St Martin's Owtwiche; and that they should pay yearely to the saide preists, x mrkes. And further, by the said deed indented, he willed and devised that they should fynde vnto one other preist there founded in the said churche, for the sowle off one Will'm off Owtwiche, and other in the saide dede comprized. And also willed and devised that they shoulde fynde a lampe contynually breunynge in the said churche for evermore. And further, willed and ordeyned that they shoulde fynde and keepe, for evermore, every yeare, one annivrsary in the saide churche, for him and other expressed in the said deed. And allowe and pay the resolutes and deduc'ons hearafter expressed; and the residue off the profitts to be imployed vpon suche poore men as they of almes doe kepe.

"The yearely value off the said landes, p' ann' is xxxli vjs viijd over and besides certen almes-howses.

"Resolutes and Deduc'ons inde.

First, To Sr John Wilkenson, serving for the said John Churchman, p' aun.vjlixiijsiiijdxijs
It'm. To Sr Richard Palmer, servinge for Will'm Owteswicheiijlivjsviijdxij qrs
It'm, Paed for the same lampe, every yeere, most comonly xvjs, or thereaboutsxvjsxij qrs
To the preists and clarkes of the said church, for the said obyttiiijsx qs
It'm, Payed, yearely, to the King's Highnes, for one quite rent, late belonginge to the late dissolved Priory off X'pist churche, Londonvijsx qs
It'm, Paied more to the Kinges Highnes, owt of the said landes, for a quite rent, late belonginge to the late dissolved priory of St. Mary Overysviijsx qs
It'm, Paied more for a quite rent, due to the Mrs of the Bridge houseijs
It'm, Distributed to the poore people yearelyijs
Summa inde s.xili xixs"

"To the iiijth article they aunswere, that they haue no jeuells, plate, goods, money, ornaments, cattalls, nor other things wch haue bene belonginge, or ought to be exercised about any chantry or stipendiary preists, other than is heareafter p'ticularly expressed—That is to say,—

"In the custody of Sr Rob'te Waterall, preist, servinge at Abchurch for Mr. Howden:

"First, A challes of sylver, wth a patent of the Trynitie, guylt, waying xv oz. lackinge dj oz.

"It'm, A pax of sylver and guylte, wth an image of or Lady, wayinge iiij oz. dj qrter.

"It'm, A vestment of crymesyn velvet, wth the Alb, and all belonginge to it.

"It'm, A vestement (fn. 8) of redd sarsenet and all apparell to yt.

"A vestement of grene St Thomas wosted [worsted], wth all apparell to yt.

"It'm ij curteins of blewe sarsenet.

"It'm ij alter clothes, blewe sarsenet, etc. Ut patet quoad bona et ornamenta in . . . . . . . pred."

"To the last article they aunswere, that they have no other yerely prfitts, advantages, or comodities wch, to their knowledges, the Kinges Grace ought or may lawfully be intituled vnto, by reason of the prmises, or any prcell thereof."

[Here is set out an enumeration of all the tenements held under the wills of Carleton, Churchman, and others previously set forth, with the names of the tenants, their rents, &c. Churchman's gift is thus entered:—

"Lord Wriothesley, a messuage and 2 Tenements, per annum1000
Henry Polsted " 5 " "1500
Richard Carill " "568

Also there is certain small tenements enclosed within one great gate which they have transposed and thereof made their almeshowses for the relief of theire poor people, not valued."

"Summa, 30l. 6s. 8d."]

4. It appears from the plea pleaded by the Corporation of London, to the Charge of Concealment (fn. 9) which was afterwards (1582) raised against the Corporation and the Guilds, that the Commissioners did not simply accept these returns, but that they came to the several Halls and made an examination there into the evidences which the Company laid before them. "Upon this Statute (the plea states), commissions were directed for London, to certein persons of the king's counsell learned, and other greate learned men in lawe, and suche as were of parliament, and prevye to the makynge of the lawe, and so beste understandinge the true meaninge of the statute.

"These commissioners came to the Halles of London, (fn. 10) and there had all the evidences of the companies laide before them, that they mighte, accordinge to theire understandinge, sett downe the rightes of the kinge.

"They, accordinge to the said exposition, did sett downe and certifie those profittes to bee the kinge's, as rentes-charge, and did not entitle the kinge to the landes themselves.

"The certificates were so accepted and allowed in the kinge's courts, no doubt, with the advise of the kinge's officers and judges and counsel learned.

"These rents were were accordingly paid to the kinge by the space of certen yeres, without question.

"Afterward the kinge, in the thirde yere of his raigne, having occasion to levie a great masse of money, did require the companies to purchase those rentes, which they were lothe to doe, but beinge urged by their dutie of love and service to the kinge.

"The companies accordingly purchased those rents, for which they paied to the kinge allmost xix thousand pounds.

"For the raisinge of this somme of 18,700l. they were enforced to sell divers of the said landes and tenements to paye for the reste." (fn. 11)

The "Declaration" of the Royal Commissioners (fn. 12) returned to the Augmentation Office was in these words:—

Nono lie Januarii Anno primo R. R. Edwardi vj°.

The Cytye of London and the County of Middlesex.That is to sayeA breef declaration made by vs Sr Roger Cholmeley Knight chief Baron of the Kinges Maiesties Eschequier, Nicholas Hare, Wymounde Carew and John Godsalue Knightes, Richard Goodricke, John Carrell, Richard Morrison and Heue Rosse, Esquires, Commissioners of our souv'aine lord the Kinge wtin the Citie of London and the Countie of Middlesex, assigned for thexecution of an Acte made in the furst yere of his heighnes reigne, concerninge Colleges, free chapelles, Chauntreis, fraternities, Gildes, Brotherheades and other landes whatsoever geven for or towardes the findinge of anny preestes, obite, leighte or lampes, and suche other like vses as in ye Kg Commission vnto vs directed in that behalf more playnelie appereth declaringe aswell the trewe value of all suche Colleges, free chappelles, Chauntreis, Brotherheades, Gildes, and other wt thyerly Repris annuall deduccions goinge out of them as also of all suche somes of monie cominge and growinge to the Kinges saied Majestie by reason of the fore named Acte of Parliament as hereafter more playnelie may appere.

The Corporacions and Companyes wtin the Citie of London.

[Note.—The estates marked * were purchased by the Company, of the King, under Patent 4 Edward IV.]

* Thoms Carleton (1382) gaue vnto the Mr and Wardens ther to finde a prest to singe at the Northe side of paules (fn. 13) and to kepe an obite for ever lande and Tenemente amounting to [9l. 8s.]ixviii
To Sr John Turnor, prest[6134]vjxiijiiijvijiijiiij
Spent upon Thobbite[0100]x
And then Remayneth Clere[248]xliiijviij
* John Churcheman (1405) gaue vnto the same Mr and Wardens to finde a prest and a lampe wtin the Churche of St. Mertens Owtewiche lands and tenements amounting to [30l. 6s. 8d.]xxxvjviij
To Sr John Wilkenson, prest[6134]vjxiijiiijxjxix
In Augment of a preste lyuing[368]lxvjviij
In quiterent to the kinge[0170]xvij
Spent vpon Thobbite[060]vj
Spent vpon a lampe[0160]xvj
And then Remayneth Clere[1878]xviijvijviij
William Turnell (1420) gaue vnto the same Mr and Wardens to kepe an obite wtin the poche of St Mary Abchurche for ever lands amounting to [2l.]xl
Spent vpon Thobbite [15s. 1d.]xvj
And then Remayneth Clere [1l. 4s. 11d.]xxiiijxj
* Raff Hollande (in 1452, see Mem. xlvi.) gaue vnto the same Mr and Wardens to kepe an obite wtin the Churche of Aldermary land and Tenements amounting to [6l. 16s. 8d.]vjxvjviiij
Spent vpon Thobbite [13s. 4d.]xiijiiij
And then Remayneth Clere [6l. 3s. 4d.]vjiijiiij
Edithe Hilliat gaue vnto the same Mr and Wardens to kepe an obite wtin the Churche of St. Martens Owtewiche lands amounting to [4l. 16s. 4d.]iiijxvjiiij
Spent vpon Thobbite [6s. 8d.]vjviij
And then Remayneth Clere [4l. 9s. 8d.]iiijixviij
* Elen Langewiche (1483) gaue vnto the same Mr and Wardens to kepe an obite wtin the Churche of St. Mary Abchurche lands amounting to [12l. 6s. 8d.]xijvjviij
To the King for quiterent[262]xlvjijlxijx
Spent vpon Thobbite[0168]xvjviij
And then Remayneth Clere (fn. 14) [9310]ixiijx
* Hewe Candysshe (in 1440, and see Mem. xlv.) gaue vnto the same Mr and Wardens to kepe an obite in the Churche of St. Mertens Owtewiche, lands amounting to [20l. 13s. 4d.]xxxiijiiij
Spent vpon Thobbite [16s. 8d.]xvjviij
And then Remayneth Clere [19l. 16s. 8d.]xixxvjviij
* The Mr and Wardens of the same Company in Consideracion of the some of [334l. 6s. 8d.] cccxxxiijli vjs viijd, and certen plate to them geven by the last will of Thoms Howdam (1520, and see Mem. LII.), do finde wt in the Churche of St. Mary, Abchurche, one prest to singe for his sole for ever, vnto whome they geve for his Stipende [7l. 3s. 4d.] viili iijs iiijd, and also do kepe an obite ther for his sole for ever, and do expend therst wt twelve shillinges and nyne pence geven to the poore [1l. 7s.] xxvijs in all [8l. 10s. 4d.]viijxiiij
* John Percevall (in 1507, and see Mem. xlvii.) gaue vnto the same Mr and Wardens to finde two prests and to kepe one obite wtin the Churche of St. Mary, Wolnothe, lands and tenements amounting to [43l.]xliij
To Sr John Palmer, prest[6134]vjxiijiiijxvxvjviij
To Sr Thoms Som'ton, prest[6134]vjxiijiiij
Spent vpon Thobbite[2100]l
And then Remayneth Clere[2734]xxvijiijiiij
* Dame Thamesyn Percyvall (in 1508, and see Mem. xlviii.) gaue vnto the same Mr and Wardens, in augmentacion of the saied two prests lyuings, singing in the Churche of St. Mary, Wolnoth, lands amounting to [18l. 13s. 4d.]xviijxiijiiij
In Augmentacion of the prests wages[2134]liijiiijvijxxij
Spent vpon the maynetennce of an Anthem and a Beame leight ther[268]xlvjviij
Spent vpon an obite[2110]xlix
And there Remayneth Clere[11116]xjxjvj
The Mr and Wardens are bounde during two yeres yet to come to finde one prest singing wtin the Churche of Alhallows in Bredstret, and to geve him for his Stipende [7l.] vijli, the no we Incumbent is one Sr Harry, and they are further bounde to kepe an obite ther by the same time, and to spende therat wt twentie and one penny geven to the poore [13s. 4d.] xiijs iiijd, in all [7l. 13s. 4d.]vijxiijiii
The same Mr and Wardens in consideracion of [200l.] ccli to them geven by Jone Hilton are bounde to finde during [72] lxxii yeres yet to come one prest to singe wtin the Churche of St. Mary, Wolnorth, the nowe Incumbent is John Fyssher, who hathe for his Stipende [7l.] vijli, and further they are bounde duringe the saied time to kepe an obite, and to spende thereat wt twentie and three pence geven to the poore [13s. 4d.] xiijs iiijd, in all yerelie [7l. 13s. 4d.]vijxiijiiij
* Mathewe Pemerton (1508) gaue vnto the same Mr and Wardens to finde a prest to singe in the Churche of St. Martens, Owtewiche, as muche ready monie as bought lands to the value of 124l. 14s. 8d.]xxiiijxiiijviij
To Sr George Sharpe, prest[800]viijviijxij
To the King for quiterent[0120]xij
And then Remayneth Clere[1628]xvjijviij
*The Mr and Wardens are bounde to kepe an obite wtin the Churche of St. Merten's, Owtewiche for the Sole of Gerard Braysebroke (in 1520, and see Mem. LIII.), and to spende therat [2l.]xl
The same Mr and Wardens in consideracion of one hundreth pounds to them geven by John Kirkebie, (fn. 15) are bounde to kepe an obite in the Churche of St. Mary, Colchwiche, for ever, and to spende therat [1l.]xx
* The same Mr and Wardens kepe an obite wtin the Churche of St Pancras for John Hadley, and spende therat [1l.]xx
The same Mr and Wardens do finde a prest singing in the Churche of St. Peter's in Cornehill, whose name at this present is Sr Robert Stocks, and they geve him for his Stipende [7l.].vij
The same Mr and Wardens do finde wtin the same Churche a beame leight, and spende thervpon [13s. 4d.]xiijiiij
Robte Shethergaue vnto the same Mr and Wardens to kepe an obite wtin the Churche of St. Michels in Cornehill, lands amounting to [4l. 1s.]iiijxij
Spent vpon the same obite [16s. 6d.].xvjvj
And then Remayneth Clere [3l. 4s. 6d.]lxiiijvj
The same Mr and Wardens in consideracion of graunts to them geven by John Coton, are bounde to kepe an obite for his sole for ever in the Churche of St. John (illegible in record) and to spende therat [12 pence] xijd to the pore [1l. 6s. 8d.]xxvjviij
* Richard Thomeson gaue vnto the Mr and Wardens to kepe an obite wtin the Churche of St. Mary, Abchurche, lands amounting to [6l. 1s. 4d.]vjxvj
Spent vpon Thobbite wt [13s. 11d.] xiijs xjd to the poore [1l. 0s. 6d.]xxvj
And then Remayneth Clere [5l. 0s. 10d.]
The same Mr and Wardens are bound to kepe an obite wtin the Churche of St. Anthonies for the Sole of Thoms Speight for (26) xxvj yeres to come, and to spende therat wt [4s. 10d.] iiijs xd geven to the poore [1l.]xx
The same Mr and Wardens are also bounde to kepe an obite wtin the Churche of St. Leon'ds in Estchepe for the Sole of John Palmer, for one yere yet to come, and to spende therat wt [12s. 9d.] xijs ixd to the poore [1l. 6s. 8d.]xxvjviij
The same Mr and Wardens are also bounde to kepe wtin the Churche of Aldermary for the sole of John Britton, for [15] xv yeres to come, and to spende therat wt [3s. 11d.] iijs xjd geven to the poore [15s.]xv
* The same Mr and Wardens are bounde to kepe an obite wtin the Churche of St. Merten's, Owtewiche, for Hewe Talbot, for howe longe they knowe not yet they spende therat yerelie wt [1s. 2d.] xiiijd geven to the poore [4s. 11d.]iiijxj


1 Extracted from the Public Record Office.
2 Sec. 7.
3 Was this penned by Mr. Brooke ? See page 526.
4 Sec. 8.
5 Sec. 12.
6 See entries at pp. 522 and 526.
7 After this, other Wills are set out in Herbert, vol. ii., pp. 442–9.
8 The vestments appear to have been handed over to the Crown Commissioner in 1551-2. See p. 528.
9 An information was brought in the Court of Exchequer against the Company for concealing 7l. a-year for a priest to sing mass for Sir William Fitzwilliam, and settled 29 April 1579, by payment of 103l. 5s.
10 The Company's Return was sent to the Commissioners sitting at "Haberdashers' Hall." See pp. 522 and 526.
11 The particulars of the property sold by the Company to realise 2,133l. 3s. 6d. is set out in the accounts of the year 1549–50. It came from these donors,— Tressawell, Candish, Holland, Sutton, Moncaster, Thomason, and Halleyate. See p. 527.
12 Extracted from the Public Record Office.
13 See Mem. VII., p. 50.
14 See the entries from the account books of 16 and 17 Edward IV., and 21 Edward IV.
15 The gift was of Plate. See Mem. xiii., p. 90.