The Registers, extending from 1421 to the present time (with the
blank hereafter noted), are contained in thirteen folio volumes, in good
preservation. But the actual continuous record of municipal proceedings only commences at the year 1511.
I. The earliest Register is contained in a thick folio volume consisting now of 320 vellum leaves, (of which ff. 235–40, 260–73, and 306–
16 are blank) which is called (from its once white leather binding), on
the last fly-leaf, the "Whyt Boke." This begins at the year 1421, and
its contents, extending to 1729, are as follows:—
"Ordines [sc. ordinationes] feriæ" f. 1b.
Extract from the episcopal register of bishop Grosteste of the admission of Robert de Hanney to the vicarage of Hanslape with the chapelry
of Castlethorpe, with specification of its endowment; 8 Feb. an. 18
"Ordinatio pro bona gubernacione sigilli communis; 13 Nov. 1421,
with the names of all the burgesses, in number 238, who attended the
"communis congregacio totius communitatis" f. 2b. Followed by a
proclamation that all writings sealed henceforward contrary to this
ordinance were to be cancelled.
Ordinances made 21 Apr. 1422, with like list of names, f. 3b.
Amongst these orders is one that no mercer should sell any boots
("caligas"), under the heavy penalty of ten marks; no doubt, to prevent interference with the trade of the cordwainers. That the mayor
should have allowance for only two servants, viz., his macebearer and
clerk, and livery for three minstrels at eight shillings each, and eight
shillings for a common messenger should such an one be employed.
Another order is about the enrolling of apprentices.
1423, 14 Sept.—Orders regulating the election of mayor, and that no
common carter should carry anything in iron-bound carts over the city
pavement under a penalty of 3s. 4d., f. 5.
1436. Extract from the Plea-rolls of a trial at Westminster involving a
question of jurisdiction, in Hilary term, 1436, respecting a strange riot
in the Cathedral, f. 6b.
"— extitit præsentatum quod Thomas Cokayne, capellanus, Nicholaus Bradborne, gentilman, Thomas Atkyn, notary, Laurencius Marsshall, yoman, Petrus Marsshall, yoman, Ricardus Knyght, yoman,
Ricardus Ireton, grome, et John Bosse, clerke, servientes Johannis
Makeworthe, decani ecclesiæ cathedralis beatæ Mariæ Lincoln., cum
multis aliis ignotis, riote congregati et modo guerrino arraiati, per
mandatum, consensum et preceptum ipsius decani, vicesimo octavo die
Junii, anno terciodecimo [Hen. VI., 1435] in Petrum Partryche, cancellarium ejusdem ecclesiæ, in choro ecclesiæ prædictæ apud Lincoln.
hora vesperarum tunc et ibidem super divina servicia intendentem vi
et armis insultum fecerunt, et male tractaverunt, in affraiacionem ejusdem Petri et omnium divina tunc et ibidem ministrancium, ita quod de
vita ejus desperabatur, et ipsum Petrum a stallo suo in choro predicto
violenter extraxerunt, et [h]abitum suum laceraverunt totaliter et ruperunt."
The indictment was quashed on technical grounds, and the issue of
the case does not appear.
1438, Sunday, 14 Sept.—The order made in 1423 about election of
mayor is annulled, and letters patent from K. Hen. VI. dated 6 Sept.
are enrolled, strictly enjoining that in future only the more influential,
discreet and worthy persons shall be elected to that office. f. 9b.
1440, 18 Jan.—Ordinance respecting barbers, f. 10b. Amongst other
rules are some regulating prices: e.g. a farthing for shaving a poor
person and a halfpenny for a priest, and if they go to the houses of
mayors and sheriffs and other leading citizens, or to conventual houses,
then according to agreement. Sunday shaving is forbidden.
1441, 21 and 26 Feb.—Letters patent and warrant from Hen. VI.
permitting the mayor and citizens to export to Calais annually for three
years sixty sacks of wool free from the tax on wool lately imposed for
a subsidy by Parliament, ff. 11b, 12. This is followed by an extract
from the Memoranda in the Exchequer of the exoneration of the collectors of customs at Kingston-upon-Hull from the amount which would
otherwise have been due for the wool thus exported.
Following this, at f. 14, comes an entry of an agreement between the
Chapter and the City, upon a complaint made by Master John Brasbryge, master of the grammar schools of the city, against the schools
for the choristers and for others the kindred of members of the cathedral body; allowing that the latter may be freely taught grammar at
any days and hours, but that yearly at Michaelmas, Christmas and
Easter they shall go down once to the general grammar schools of the
city, and there at the accustomed hour be "sub regimine" and "sub
doctrina proprii magistri." This agreement is headed, "Compositio
. . . . . pro scola grammaticali invent. per Thomam Grantham."
1448–9.—Ordinances respecting the common seal. f. 15.
1450–1729.—Enrolments of numerous deeds relative to conveyance
of property in Lincoln, recognizances, and a few pleas in civil cases in
the city court. ff. 15b, 18, 19, 20b–31, 34–46, 81b–305.
1452.—Record of a case in which the sheriff Thomas Boyvyle is
compelled to make a public confession and apology (in English) to the
mayor Robert Bright for disobeying his order to make an arrest, and
for violently assaulting him. f. 16.
1461.—Lease for 99 years by Alex. Prowet, precentor, of the site
and churchyard of the destroyed church of St Peter at the Skin-market
("ad forum pellium") which belongs to his dignity, and is now annexed
to the church of St Michael-on-the-hill; in order that the said churchyard may be decently kept and no longer used for the deposit of filth.
1471, 26 Sept.—Enrolment of a grant of privileges and exemptions
made by Hen. III., 20 Apr. 1235, to the abbey of Tupholme. f. 33.
1480.—"Her after ensuyth the custemare of the cite of Lincolne of
old auncien tyme acustomyd and usyd and be speciall poynt of chartyr
be the Kynges nobulle progenitours grauntyd, and be Kyng Edward the
iiiite confermyd, that ys, to ocupie and injoye Omnes libertates et consuetudines concessas civibus Londoniarum et leges Lincoln., wych
custemare ys compyled and drawn owte of Franch into Inglysh be Thomas
Grantham that hathe beyn Mayr of the same cite, and Mayr of the
stapulle at Cales in the tyme of Robert Hodylstone Mayr and William
Long and Henricus Higdoyn scheryffes, the yeyr and (sic) reygne of
Kynge E. iiiite xxo, at the costys and labur and wrytyng of the sayd
Thomas. And be the hole commeute admittyd to be perpetuall os weyll
in the tyme of Wylliam Chambyr beyng Mayr os in the tyme of Robert
Hodylston." f. 46b. This collection of the civic rules and customs is
very clearly written by Grantham in a large hand, with ornamented
initial letters and marginal rubrics. The pages have been much
rubbed and slightly injured by the wear and tear of continual use.
There are some alterations and additions, and at f. 58 one paragraph
has been entirely scraped out and another substituted. Grantham's
compilation ends at f. 59 with the following section.
"Homo recedens non atachetur in solempnitate natalis Domini.
"Off sent Thomas day the apostylle befor Crystemes. When the
Mayr of the Cite be his officers hathe proclamyd the prewalege, gyrthe,
and the solempnite of the fest of the byrthe of oure Lord, that then after
the sayd proclamacion made evere franchest man and denyssen inhabite
within this Cite schalle have free liberte and sayffegarde in honeste
mirthe and gam sportis to goo or doe what hym pleys. And nogth to
be attachyd or arrestyd be any officere of this Cite for any accion personelx withowt the kyng be parte or servyd be the Kyngis wryt.
And this to be observyd and kept to twelff day callyd the fest of the
Epyphany be past, and then evere man take thayr awantage in the
1466.—Copies of the charter of Hen. VI. in 1424 and that of Edw. IV.
exemplifying and confirming it in 1466, from the Memoranda Rolls:
"Et scripta sunt ex exspencis et costagiis Thome Grantham." ff. 60b,
1447, 31 Aug.—Settlement by arbitration of a dispute between the
city and the Prior (John Busseby) and Convent of St. Katherine, respecting encroachments by the latter in building. f. 77.
1511, 12 Feb.—Articles of agreement between the dean and chapter,
the prior of St. Katherine, the Master of Burton Lazars, and others,
of the one part, and the city, of the other part, respecting the laying
open of certain unauthorized enclosures. f. 79b.
1459, 11 June.—Letters patent of Hen. VI. certifying that the tenants
of the manor of Chirchetoun [Kirton-in-Lindsey], which is of the
ancient demesne of the Crown, are by virtue thereof free from tolls and
taxes throughout England. f. 86b.
In 1486 there are similar letters from Hen. VII. as to Blideburi in
Suffolk. f. 91.
1492, 25 July.—Will of John Eylestone, of Lincoln, esq. f. 87.
His body to be buried in the cathedral "in illo scanno petrino in quo
corpus Roberti Bedale requiescit humatum, viz. ad pedes ejus." The
following legacies amongst many others deserve special notice: to the
fabric of the church of Eylestone 3s. 4d..and to the chapel of St. Edmund
["Edi."] the King in the same village, xiid.; to the prior and convent
of Nocton Park "unum ciphum de argento cum pede et cooportorio
swaged [a loose cover ?] ad exorandum pro animabus magistri Nicholai
Wymbysshe et mei"; to Thomas Wymbyssh, esq., his girdle harness
with silver, his gilt sword, "et meum librum de campo Lincoln," and
to John Wymbyssh, son of Thomas, "librum de picturis armorum;"
to the guild of the clerks of Lincoln "meum coleriam quod Edwardus
Rex quartus michi dedit."
1498, 12 Dec.—Will of Hugh Weston, of Braunstone. f. 90b.
1502, 16 June.—Mention occurs of Robert Clerke of Lincoln, "belfownder." f. 91.
1505, 10 June.—Will of Alice Sympson alias Taverner, widow.
1505, 10 Oct.—Will of Ralph Hodylstone, merchant.