Prices and Wages in England
Prices and Wages in England
Edition 1st Edition
First Published 1965
eBook Published 5 November 2013
Pub. location London
eBook ISBN 9781315031385
SubjectsEconomics, Finance, Business & Industry
Beveridge, W. (1965). Prices and Wages in England. London: Routledge, https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315031385
First Published in 1965. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PRICES AND WAGES IN ENGLAND servants at 6d. In periods of high prices 1s. 2d. or 1s. 4d. a week might be allowed for fellows. The allowances covered expenditure on food, drink and fuel for cooking, baking bread and brewing beer and for heating the Hall on feast days in winter, the only times when fires were per-mitted there. Two meals, dinner and supper, were served daily, with breakfast for those under sixteen years of age. If the total expense of food, drink and fuel in any year was less than the total allocations a surplus was accounted at the end of the year known as Excrescentia commonarum ; if the expense exceeded the allocations a deficit appeared in the Bursars’ Accounts. During the fifteenth century the total yearly allocations for commons were usually between £220 and £230, with variations due to the varying number of persons and to different rates, and there was nearly always a surplus, sometimes as great as £57 8s. (1456) ; between 1405 and 1475 a deficit occurred only in four years (1405, 1437, 1438 and 1446). Later the surplus disappeared and early in the sixteenth century there were usually deficits caused by the permanent rise in prices. Between 1534 and 1541 there was a deficit every year. A new method of accounting for commons was therefore adopted in 1542, in order to ensure a more comprehensive statement of the current expenses for food, drink and fuel. From 1542 onwards, the Bursars entered the total sums spent weekly on provisions and supplementary purchases by the Manciple in the Rolls or Books in place of the former Commons Account, which now disappeared. After the expenses of the departments, liveries, stipends and all other expenditure, a new section was henceforward added: the Staurum or Stock Account. This covered costs of food, drink and fuel used during the year and gave com-monly only a single total quantity for each commodity with the cost of the same. The accounts were not kept uniformly ; some bursars unfortunately omitted quantities entirely from their Staurum Accounts. Since a store was kept of most kinds of provisions, the consumption in any year consisted partly of the remainder unused purchased in the year preceding, partly of fresh purchases in the current year. In a few years entries were divided into “ left in store and used during the year ” and “ bought and used during the year,” and in these cases the average
WINCHESTER COLLEGE 11 as Staurum expenses rose substantially. In 1638 a detailed Rental was drawn up giving the exact sums due in money and provisions from each College property with the current value of the latter, while entries of all other profits such as fines, heriots, rent capons and sales of timber were meticu-lously entered. This Rental was used as a model for drawing up the annual rents in a series of documents known as the Audit Books, of which the first extant is for 1657 and the last is for 1762. From 1639 sums were no longer entered under Increment of the Granary but receipts of rent grain and money due for the Third Part were entered under individual estates. In the eighteenth century the Bursars’ Accounts were kept with less detail than before. Rates paid for many commodities are, from this period, unknown, though there are prices for grain, scholars’ cloth, fuel, meat, candles, hops and salt with a few other commodities. The Staurum Account was undetailed after 1705, quantities being entered only for grain and meat and from 1718 to 1720 for meat alone. Luckily a second series of Bursars’ Account Books is extant from 1737 with a single forerunner for 1725, and these contain detailed Staurum entries to 1782 with quantities for some provisions later. The original series was continued as Bursars’ Ledgers, in which current local “ Corn Prices ” corresponding to those in the Audit Books were entered under the name of Pretia. The Pretia were from sales in the Winchester market and were stated from 1788 to 1806 to be “ best market prices.” They were used as a basis for assessing rents. Money allocations were made to the Warden and Bursars in place of wheat for Election bread from 1629 and for malt for Election beer from 1631. From 1711 fellows were supplied from Staurum with bread and beer only ; money allocations to them and to the Warden for fuel and other commodities were included in Expenses under Costs of Necessaries and elsewhere. From 1735 yearly stipends of the fellows were increased by £15. They received their usual allocations for livery cloth and fuel and 10s. a week each in place of commons. They paid the Bursars for the bread and beer issued to them from the Staurum. From 1743 the Warden received a money allocation, based on current wheat prices, in place of a
PRICES AND WAGES IN ENGLAND former allowance of 2 bu. wheat for bread weekly and 5 bu. flour a year. Purchases on behalf of fellows and masters of provisions, other than commodities from the Staurum, were entered in the Manciple’s Book from the sixteenth century and few details for these exist. Though the Staurum continued to cover the main purchases for diets, the supplementary expenditure in theManciple’sBook became relatively higher. Although not strictly comparable because of the changes in methods of accounting, figures at 50-year intervals for the whole period are given in a table below to indicate the general development of receipts and expenses of the College.
WINCHESTER COLLEGE 13 first reference that has been discovered in the College records to the capacity of the College bushel is in June 1719 when the cooper who measured it testified that it was three pints larger than the other vessels made by him for local use. In 1776 the College bushel was again measured “very exactly ” and was found to “ exceed the 9-gallon bushel by one quart a half pint only,” that is to say it was 21/2 pints, not 3 pints, greater than the local 9-gallon bushel. These records show that the local bushel in use in Win-chester and its neighbourhood during the eighteenth cen-tury contained nine gallons, in place of eight gallons. This, in spite of the statute 22 Ch. II, c. 8 passed in 1670 and prohibiting any measure for corn other than one “ agreeable to the standard marked in his Majesty’s exchequer commonly called the Winchester measure con-taining eight gallons to the bushel and no more or less.” The origin and use of the term “ Winchester measure ” to describe the standard which the central authority attempted to enforce is discussed elsewhere. Here it is sufficient to say that the term dates from the time when the Exchequer was at Winchester, and has no reference to the measures used in Winchester or its neighbourhood. “ Winchester measure ” was not used at Winchester in 1670 or for 120 years thereafter, or so far as can be judged from the College records, at any time before 1670. The Act of 1670 was followed almost immediately by another (22 and 23 Ch. II, c. 12) which, while strengthen-ing its provisions in some ways, specifically exempted corn rents from it : “ Provided always and be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid That it shall and may be lawful for every person or persons, bodies publick or corporate, or any of them, to whom any salt, rent-corn, or tithe¬ corn is reserved or due by any lease, grant, contract, custom or usage, to receive and take all such rent or other duties of salt and corn as is or shall be so reserved or due, or the just and full value thereof in ready money, according to the proportion and quan-tity and by the like measures and in such manner as the same were due and paid before the beginning of this parliament ; any thing herein or in any other law or statute to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.”
PRICES AND WAGES IN ENGLAND The College accordingly was free to use for the deter-mination of corn rents, under leases or under the Act of 1576, the same measure after 1670 as it had been using before and there can be little doubt that this was the College bushel of something more than 9 gallons. This appears from the following considerations. First, from Christmas 1732 the prices of rent corn in the Audit Books are given as per bushel “ cum additamento”. The Pretia recorded in the Bursar’s Ledgers from 1737 onwards are noted in the same way as being cum addita-mento till the first term of 1781 ; in the second term, a note appears stating that “ the sixteenth is no longer added to the price annually it having been at once added to the quantity of corn.” The Corn Book notes further
WINCHESTER COLLEGE 15 having been at once added to the quarter of corn.” Third, from 1792(2), after an Act of 1791 (31 Geo. III, c. 30) had prescribed the weight of a given measure of each kind of grain, allocations and corn rent prices are one eighth above Pretia, showing that the Pretia are now for standard bushels of eight gallons each, while allocation and corn rent prices with the sixteenth already added to the quantity of corn are for the local bushels of nine gallons each, now superseded by sale by weight. The sixteenth which appears as additamentum in 1732 is, of course, somewhat more than the excess of the College bushel over the local measure ; 3 pints on 9 gallons is one twenty-fourth, not one sixteenth. But there can be little doubt that it was intended to represent this excess and to give the College the advantage preserved by the Act of 22 and 23 Ch. II of continuing to use its customary measure for determining corn rents when these came to be com-muted wholly into money, instead of being delivered largely in kind. This change in regard to wheat took place between 1725 and 1732. Up to 1725 the College took practically the whole of its supplies of wheat in kind as rent grain and passed the wheat on to the baker for turning into bread. By 1732 wheat rents were no longer being delivered in kind ; the College was obtaining its wheat by purchases through the baker, paying him for the amount of grain used according to the loaves of bread delivered by him. With malt, the position is somewhat different : more than half the malt used in 1725 was purchased, and on the other hand nearly half the malt used continued till 1816 at least to come as rent in kind from Stubbington. The prices entered in the Audit Books up to 1732 (Christmas) without additamentum must be regarded as applying to the local bushel, not to the College bushel. They are entered seven or eight times yearly from 1657 to 1720 as market prices ; it can hardly be supposed that in each such entry, the Bursars, without calling attention to the fact, added by calculation something to represent the greater size of the College bushel. It is likely, indeed, that the difference between the College and the local bushel was not appreciated until 1719, when the measurement referred to above was made. The measuring followed
PRICES AND WAGES IN ENGLAND on and was presumably connected with an agreement of a new type made with the College baker in 1718. In place of receiving a stipend, he was to be paid 1s. 1d. for baking a bushel of wheat ground at the College mill. The addition of one sixteenth to the local bushel did not affect corn rents delivered in kind, since these continued to be mea-sured by the College bushel, but it involved a raising of rents against any tenant who had been commuting rents at the local bushel prices. After the College bushel was replaced by the local bushel in the determination of Pretia (1781) and allocation prices (1787) it was apparently kept in use for buying malt, for receipt of corn rents such as malt from Stub¬ bington which continued to be paid in kind. The note from the Corn Book of 1777–81, cited above, as to the new valuation at Allington adds that “ Stubbington remains in its original state.” The purchase of malt by the College bushel was probably a concession made by the maltsters but in 1785 it is noted that the College maltsters have charged 6s. 2d. per bushel for the last three quarters of the year (while Pretia were at 6s.) and that the College bushel is larger than the local bushel. It is in accord with this continued use of the College bushel for malt rent and purchases, even after the standard eight-gallon bushel had been introduced for grain generally, that the rent and purchase prices for malt remain materially above the Pretia for malt, to the end of the series in 1817 ; the prices actually tabulated for malt represent Pretia, since purchases are confused with rents in the Staurum account for the Brewery. It has been assumed that purchases of oatmeal were made by the local bushel and prices have been reduced throughout by 1/9; but this is not of great practical importance, as the price became rigid at 80s. per (local) quarter after 1770. Since salt, as well as oatmeal, was supplied by the corn chandler it, too, was probably measured by the local bushel. It may be added that in 1789 a note states that 1s. 6d. per bushel for tax is to be deducted (from the Pretia) in making up the corn (i.e. malt) rents. The tax in force at this time was 1s. 4 1/2d.per bushel, and comparison of prices shows that in 1783(1) only 1s. 4 1/2d. per bushel had been deducted. This looks as if till 1789 or at least till 1783
WINCHESTER COLLEGE 17 the College were allowed to pay tax as on the standard bushel and only in that year were assessed more correctly on the bushel which they were actually using. The College had paid 1s. “ to the excise man for gauging the College bushel ” in 1778, and the raising of the rate of tax paid by them was perhaps a delayed consequence of the excise man’s observations. What is said above as to Pretia and additamentum applies not only to wheat and malt, but also to oats, for which Pretia were recorded in the same way. As there were no allocations of oats to the Warden and Bursars there is no direct evidence that the Pretia for oats were changed from the local to the standard bushel in 1793 or at any other date. But it is reasonable to assume that this change took place at the same time. Oat prices have been treated accordingly on the same lines as wheat and malt throughout, though a half line is drawn between 1792 and 1793 to indicate the transition from reduced to un-reduced prices. Prices for wheat, oats and malt accordingly, as recorded in the Winchester College accounts have been translated into prices for the standard “ Winchester ” measure by the following adjustments. Reduction by 1/9 to 1792(1) to allow for the difference between the local bushel and the standard bushel. Reduction by a further 1/17 from 1732 (Christmas) to 1781(1) to allow for the assessed difference between the College bushel and the local bushel, i.e. for the addition of a sixteenth. For some commodities extracted the information is insufficient for the compilation of tables in the main section but of sufficient interest to be included in an Appen-dix following the series notes (pp. 71–80).
WINCHESTER COLLEGE 19 of annual averages. Hence the Staurum figures are used until 1672 ; also in 1688–90 when rents are incomplete (Michaelmas 1688 and Lady Day 1691 only at 8.89s. per qr.) and in 1699 and 1700 (Rents : Lady Day 1700 and 1701 only at 16s. and 12s. per qr. respectively), Pretia are recorded from 1737 onwards, usually at Michael-mas, St. Thomas’ (21st Dec.), Lady Day and Midsummer. Rents at identical rates are also usually recorded at these four dates to 1762. Thus from 1737 the series is an aver-age of the four quarter days, except in 1741 (St. Thomas’ missing), 1742–44 and 1747 (Midsummer missing). The recorded prices have been reduced as stated in the Introduction, p. 17.
WINCHESTER COLLEGE 39 both for two dozen bottles : in 1811 at 5.83s. per bottle and in 1815 at 7s. per bottle. The bottle probably held a pint. Prices are tabulated by the doz. gals. A few purchases of 1 pipe of wine (i.e. 126 gals.) are recorded between 1409 and 1433 but belong to the second series rather than here and are dealt with below. Wine for the Election, recorded by the tun (i.e. 2 pipes), is frequently specified as claret. In 1619–21 it is stated to be for the Warden and the Election. A few early prices by the pipe occurring during the incidence of purchases by the gallon, and two prices by the hogshead (i.e. 1/2 pipe) and dolium (i.e. tun) respectively in 1548 and 1553, are possibly comparable with this series, although for no stated purpose. They are as follows :—
PRICES AND WAGES IN ENGLAND more precisely dated than in the Staurum, showing additional purchases for the Sickhouse from 1795 and for the Library from 1806. The series has been compiled from Staurum entries to 1744 and from the Ledgers thereafter, using the Staurum to fill gaps and supplement prices in a few years. Before 1738 only the total sums paid and the total amount purchased each year are recorded. From 1738 several entries occur annually, usually dated by the month or quarter. The annual averages from 1738 are the mean of quarterly averages calculated from the number of different prices recorded in each quarter. Coal bought for different purposes in one quarter at the same price has been treated as one entry only. From about 1745 entries usually occur in each quarter of the year but from about 1792 are mostly recorded in the 4th quarter. The cost of carriage is recorded in two years and may also be inferred in two years. In 1739 carriage from Red-bridge works out at 3.81s. per ch. In 1766 carriage, for
WINCHESTER COLLEGE 41 This discrepancy is assumed to be an abatement off the contract price as in 1815 and two entries of 1s. 9 1/2d. have been adjusted to 1s. 91/4d. and 1s. 8d. per bu. respectively. The entry in the first year of the series shows the chal dron at this date to be equal to 32 bu. and in 1683 the entry 8 ch. 4 bu. at 1s. 2d. per bu. = £15 17s. 8d. probably involves a 32-bu. chaldron and includes a charge for car riage. Calculations involving chaldrons and bushels in 1675, 1681 and 1699 have therefore been based on a 32-bu. chaldron. In all other years during this period, and later, except for coal for the Sickhouse from 1795, purchases are recorded by the bushel. In 1766 288 bu. are stated to be equal to 8 ch. (i.e. the London chaldron of 36 bu.) and in 1791 also the chaldron works out at 36 bu. Chaldron prices for the Sickhouse from 1795, by comparison with other prices per bu., are clearly for 36 bu., and in three years the alternative price per bu. is given at 1/36 of the price per ch. Hence it seems clear that coal was at first sup plied by local measure, i.e. by the bushel of 9 gals. with therefore only 32 bu. to a chaldron, and later by London measure—probably from the date when contracts were made with local dealers obtaining coal via Southampton Water, re-shipped from London and therefore by London measure. In tabulating, the 32-bu. chaldron in early years has been accepted as comparable with the later 36–bu. chaldron ; bushel prices up to 1710 have been translated to the chaldron by 32 : 1 and from 1739 by 36 : 1, i.e. the bare London chaldron throughout. The bushel quota tions indicate small purchases at a time and it is not deemed appropriate to raise prices by 21 : 20 to the full-pay ch., i.e. to 1/20 of the London score of 21 ch. The annual purchase rose from an average 91/2 ch. at the beginning of the series to about 30 ch. by the end. In addition, the Sickhouse received 1 ch. each year in 1792–94 and generally 2 ch. annually thereafter. The purchase for the Library from 1806 was 36 bu. annually. The quality is never specified. 1394–1657. Gross 264, Net 220. 1714–38. Gross 25, Net 18. 1771–1816. Gross 46, Net 45. These prices are for free purchases until about 1524,
PRICES AND WAGES IN ENGLAND from which date the chandler was paid for making candles from tallow supplied by the College. In 1524–55 the rate of 1s. a dozen lb. appears to represent 6d. for making (as for wax candles) plus an equivalent valuation of the tallow. In 1556–83 the tallow was apparently valued at l.50s. per doz. lb. since the charge for making wax candles is recorded at 6d. per doz. lb. till 1557 and tallow candles still cost only 6d. per doz. lb. for making in 1589 (candles are priced at 2.50s. per doz. lb. and tallow at 2s. in 1588– 89). Supplementary purchases occur in 1530 and 1543 at 1.25s. per doz. lb. Occasional higher priced purchases of watchlights (1.50s. per doz. lb.) also occur from 1501. But these were different from the normal candles used, the wicks having “ two ribs of the rind or peel to support the pith, while the wick of the dipped rush has but one. The two ribs are intended to impede the progress of the flame.” Watchlights were made regularly by the chand
PRICES AND WAGES IN ENGLAND though referred to in the chandler’s contracts as Chapel candles, the 20 doz. lb. delivered annually at 8s. in 1790– 1803 are recorded as being given to the fellows and bursars in lieu of an allowance. From 1788 a separate average 30 doz. lb. annually were used in the Chapel and about 100 doz. lb. elsewhere, including the Library. From 1813 onwards this 100 doz. lb. is divided into approximately 80 and 20 doz. lb., the latter quantity being 6d. per doz. lb. more than the rest. This higher level is possibly for mould candles and is not included in the table.
WINCHESTER COLLEGE 45 and 1452 and the fact that wax torches are lower in price than unmade wax suggest that old wax was normally used for making torches. Prices for old wax and wax torches are given below, the latter including 1s. per doz. lb. for making. An entry for torches in 1538 and a low price in 1555 (6s. per doz. lb.) have been assumed to be for old wax.
PRICES AND WAGES IN ENGLAND cloth at 36s. per piece and cloth for clerks of the Chapel and servants at 40s. per piece. (Cloth for clerks of the Chapel in 1394 is included with the purchase of scholars’ cloth.) Scholars’ and servants’ cloth at slightly different prices in 1554–55 have been averaged. In 1556 when a money allowance was made to scholars the price for servants’ cloth is given in the table. In 1610–38 the total sum paid for liveries is frequently the only information given in the Bursars’ Books and prices cannot therefore always be obtained. In 1620 an entry for 145 yds. for £56 13s. 9d. has been omitted. The quantity is probably incomplete and the price unaltered at 5s. per yd. (120s. per piece). In 1626 an exceptional purchase of 21 doz. 7 ells at 3.45s. per ell is omitted. In 1534–36 and 1538–39 4 or 8 doz. yds. were bought annually at 36s. for 24 yds. These quantities suggest that this cheaper cloth was being bought for choristers, a pur chase afterwards made at the same price as scholars’ cloth. Prices of coloured cloth for grooms conform with scholars’ and servants’ cloth from about 1450 but are on a slightly lower level before this date, showing irregular differences of from 1d. to 5d. per yd. They are not tabulated. The tax of 8d. in the £ levied from June 1548 to Novem ber 1549 seems obscured by a rise in price in a much greater proportion from 1547 to 1550, followed by a level still above that of the period before the tax.
WINCHESTER COLLEGE 49 1501 (3 pieces 10 1/4 yds.), 1503 (3 pieces 12 yds.), 1507–09 (3 pieces 4 yds.) and 1510 and 1514–16 (3 pieces 8 yds.), and price rises above 53.33s. per piece (the apparently normal price from 1481 to 1518) in these years, calculating 24 yds. to the piece, are roughly in proportion to the apparent decreases in quantity, again suggesting that the piece here was longer and that the price and quantity remained unchanged. The price in 1501, however, is higher in proportion to the apparent fall in quantity and probably represents a price-rise as well as a larger piece. From 1520 quantities are irregular and supply no guide to the size of the piece. In 1520 the price given is an average of 2 pieces 8 yds. for £10 10s. and 1 piece 41/2 yds. for £5 7s. 1d., calculating 24 yds. to the piece. In 1522, 1524 and from 1527 onwards prices are quoted per yd. and raised here to the piece of 24 yds., but other prices after 1520 are by the piece and are printed with a warning, as there is no evidence as to its size. For Servants, 1395–1464. Gross 70, Net 49. For Grooms, 1394–1454. Gross 61, Net 34. For Stewards and Gentlemen, 1406–76. Gross 71, Net 46. There has been much controversy as to the nature of this material but it seems probable that English ray was cloth made of russet or dark wool originally undyed,
PRICES AND WAGES IN ENGLAND shrunk was the same as that for plain coloured cloth. Servants’ ray cloth is generally quoted by the dozen to 1424 and generally by the piece thereafter. The entry in 1457, quoted per yd., seems to be on a high level and the resulting price per piece is printed with a warning. Grooms’ ray cloth is recorded throughout by the yard or the dozen, “ verges ” in 1438 being treated as dozens. Ray cloth for stewards and gentlemen is generally quoted by the dozen to 1430, by the piece from 1431 to 1437, by the yard from 1438 to 1456 except 1446–47 and 1450–51 by the piece, and from 1457 onwards by the piece. There is no evidence of any change in the size of the piece after 1468. It should be noted that the price of stewards’ ray cloth frequently drops to the level of that for servants, and stewards’ cloth at least cannot therefore be considered as of a constant quality throughout.
WINCHESTER COLLEGE 53 less 1 nail (2 1/4 ins.) : both were woven in pieces 100 ells long and in half-pieces. The piece was thus the length of a crest cloth of 25 crests each of 4 ells or 5 yds. Both lock¬ ram and dowlas were bought throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries at rates similar to ordinary canvas. Guernsey cloth, a linen similar to, though perhaps wider than crest cloth, was bought in the fifteenth century at rates analogous to better quality lockram. In the fifteenth century linen from the Low Countries was frequently undescribed, except for holland which was in use from 1394. Flemish linen was purchased until 1465 for albs, towels, cupboard and tablecloths under such names as Flemish, raw Flemish (unbleached) and Brabant
PRICES AND WAGES IN ENGLAND The cheaper linens used in the fifteenth century were French and these were easily accessible through import to Southampton. From the early sixteenth century holland came into general use except during the period 1620–40. The various linens bore no general price relation to each other, for fineness and width determined rates. From 1691 no quantities were entered in the accounts. Although there is an abundance of entries the lack of detailed information makes tabulation difficult. It cannot be said with certainty that any one kind was purchased continuously over the whole period. So many different prices occur for tablecloths and towels, for instance, and purchases are so irregular that it is impossible to disen tangle a series with any apparent homogeneity for either purpose till after 1550. On the other hand purchases for aprons, etc. (series A) become obscure before this date. Linen and canvas bought for similar purposes at similar prices are used to supplement each other in several of the tables. Entries for linen are printed in italics when inserted in a series mainly for canvas and canvas is printed in italics when inserted in a series mainly for linen. The width of any cloth is only specifically mentioned once : linen for tablecloths in 1395 at 4d. per ell is stated to be 3/4 ell wide. The measurements of two linen table cloths are also given in this year as 6 ells by 1 ell (Flemish, 5s. 2d.) and 6 yds. by 1 yd. (5s.). Apart from this year the only evidence of any widths is afforded by the occasional description of “ wide ” or “ narrow.” In the series tabulated all the cloth is recorded by the ell (except lockram 1643–48) and is probably all foreign. The ell measure cannot be taken as proof of foreign origin, however, since pannus vernaculus is recorded by the ell in 1631–40. Diaper is recorded usually by the yard but entries are irregular and for varying purposes, widths and/ or qualities ; no series can therefore be formed. Irish linen is mentioned only in 1468 and 1477, cheaper in price than canvas for aprons, etc. (series A).
PRICES AND WAGES IN ENGLAND The amount purchased annually was 20–40 ells till 1618 and usually about 35 ells thereafter. The third series is for prices of holland, preceded by canvas (1630 and 1632–36) and linen (1631, marked with an asterisk), for the fellows’ and masters’ tablecloths. In 1638 holland was bought for the chaplains’ tablecloths and canvas for the fellows’ at the same price ; the price is tabulated as holland. The purpose is not stated in 1667. The description “ wide ” in 1662 and 1664 probably applies to the whole series. In 1646 the cost of making is recorded in addition to the price, as 6s. 7 1/2d. for 18 3/4 ells (approximately 4 1/4d.per ell). No other particulars of the cost of making are recorded. The quantity purchased annually was usually 61/2 or 7 ells to 1650, usually 31/4 or multiples of 31/4 up to 13 ells from 1651 to 1664 and thereafter 7, 10 1/2 or 14 ells. The fourth series gives prices for lockram for towels with a few entries for tablecloths and some unspecified entries. Tablecloths occur in 1612, 1618, 1621 and 1642 ; unspecified entries in 1628, 1630 and 1660. In 1667 lockram for towels at 13.50s. per doz. ells is combined with unspecified linen at 14s. From 1671, when purchases of lockram are recorded for tablecloths they are at the same price as lockram for towels. In 1674 a separate purchase for tablecloths at 13s. is combined with lockram for towels at 12s. per doz. ells. From 1659 the members of the College to whom the towels were supplied are sometimes recorded. All entries have been used as being apparently for the same quality and width. In 1643–44 and 1648 the lockram is entered by the yard. These prices are tabulated per doz. yds. with a half-line at the beginning and end of this period. In 1639 3 ells are stated to be for one towel and in 1644 30 yds. made 21/2 doz. towels. The former was perhaps for a roller towel. The annual purchase was from 3 to 7 ells to 1641, 16–30 yds. 1643–48, and from 20 to 80 ells thereafter. Lockram appears to have been superseded by diaper after 1681 but entries are too irregular and lack sufficient detail to show if prices are comparable.
PRICES AND WAGES IN ENGLAND The biga as recorded, by comparison with entries per quarter and from composite entries, appears at first to equal 4 qrs. From 1577 to 1582, when prices per qr. are constant at 2s., bigas are at 10s., and two parcel entries for lime and coping tiles in 1578 give 11s. for 5 qrs. and 11s. per biga of lime (using 2d. per coping tile—the constant rate during this period). Hence the biga has been assumed to be equivalent to 5 qrs. in 1577–82. Prices by the quarter from 1584 indicate that the content of the biga now alternated between 4 and 5 qrs. As conclusion is somewhat arbitrary the following table is given to show (by exponents) the assumed quarter-content of the biga as recorded. Prices per quarter are given for comparison.
WINCHESTER COLLEGE 59 3s. and 3.33s. per qr. respectively. (There is another entry at 3s. per qr.) In 1616 a similar entry which works out at 3.20s. per qr. has been divided into 2.67s. and 3.33s. per qr. and the former rate omitted. A parcel entry for 4 bu. lime and 4 bu. sand = 3s. in 1663 has been interpreted as 6d. per bu. for lime and 3d. per bu. for sand. A few other entries omitted from the main table and not given above are as follows : 1586 5s. per biga ; 1599 6d. per bu. ; 1607 and 1609 2s. per qr. ; 1625 2.67s. per qr. From 1629 entries by the bushel on a high level have been omitted with other exceptional entries as follows :—
WINCHESTER COLLEGE 63 2d., i.e. 10.67s. per qr., the current rate, and laths at 15s. per 1,000. In 1409 a parcel entry of 150 tilepins and 32 coping tiles for 2s. 9d. has been interpreted as coping tiles at 1d. each—the price of another purchase in the same year —and 150 tilepins for 1d. This price for tilepins, how ever, is rather high. Great tilepins are mentioned in 1447 and 1497 and are omitted. In 1447 they are at 1 1/2d. per 1,000 with unspeci fied also at l 1/2d. and 1 1/4d. per 1,000 and tilepins for eave-stones at 2d. per 1,000. Those at 1 1/4d. per 1,000 only have been used. In 1444 tilepins at 2d. per 1,000 (5.33s. per qr.) have been omitted as being probably great and 1 1/2d. per 1,000 (4s. per qr.) only used. In 1497 great tilepins are at 3.33s. per qr. against unspecified at 2.67s. per qr. In 1503 tilepins at 2.67s. per qr. are assumed to be great and those at 2s. per qr. only used ; 2s. is the current rate at this time. At other times more than one level of prices have been accepted as for the normal kind of tilepin but the range should be noted in 1550—5.33s. and 4s. per qr., in 1588—8s. and 6.25s. per qr. and in 1591—8s. and 10.67s. per qr. Prices before 1443 are not printed in the tables as they are very scattered and variable and possibly include tilepins of different sizes. They are as follows :—
WINCHESTER COLLEGE 65 A purchase of pewter counterfeit occurs in 1409—1 1/2 doz. vessels weighing 95 lb. at 2d. per lb. By comparison with the price of cups, real pewter would probably be about 4d. per lb. in this year. There is also an entry for pewter dishes at 1 1/4d. per lb. but this is obviously the cost of exchange only, suggesting that old pewter was about 2 3/4d. per lb., i.e. counterfeit pewter cost less than old pewter. One may assume that the use of counterfeit pewter was an experiment that was not repeated. There is usually only one rate each year for both new and old pewter. Years giving more than one rate with an exceptional range are as follows : 1423 : new 4d., old 2d. ; new 31/4d., old 2d. ; new 3d., old 1 1/2d. per lb. ; 1568 : new 11d. and 8d., old 6d. and 5 1/2d. per lb. ; 1588 : 8d. and 6d. per lb. (these last two prices may be for new and old pewter respectively but Cambridge prices show a fall to
PRICES AND WAGES IN ENGLAND which by their level of prices fit a dozen of 12 and exclude a dozen of 20. Thus in 1400 there are two purchases of 1 doz. for 1s. 5d. and of 11 skins for 1s. 5d. In 1426 there are three purchases of 2 doz. for 5s., of 1 doz. for 3s., and of 6 for 1s. 4d. In 1466 3 skins for 8 1/2d. (i.e. 2.83d. each) compare with 2 doz. and 3 bought for 5s. 6d. in 1464 and 5 doz. and 10 bought for 12s. 6 1/2d. in 1465 ; with the dozen taken as 12, the price per unit of the small purchase in 1466 is higher than the price per unit in 1465 though not unreasonably higher, but would be out of all proportion with the dozen as 20. In 1568 purchases of 3 for 1s. and 18 for 6s. give a price of 4s. for 12 which is the price “ per dozen ” in each of the preceding five years 1563–67. After 1584 practically all purchases are by number, but all the few entries by the dozen by their price level fit a dozen of 12 and practically exclude one of 20. Acceptance of the exceptional entries of 1531 and 1533 as correctly recorded would mean, therefore, that, in a nearly continuous record, dozen changed from meaning 12 to meaning 20 and back again without any note of any kind in the record itself, and that for these two years or their surrounding decades dozen had a meaning in relation to parchment of which there is no trace in any other institution or in any of the material collected by Thorold Rogers. It is simpler to assume that the scribe in 1531 and 1533 made a slip in writing 4 score for 4 doz. and this assumption is made in tabulating the prices by the dozen and treating the dozen throughout as 12. It should be added that in 1579 a purchase is recorded of 5 doz. and 10 for 33s. 2d. at 6s. per doz. Since this occurs between and close to years when the dozen is certainly 12 (1568 and 1584), it may be another illustration of error in writing 1/2 score for 1/2 doz. This entry is discarded in tabulation as there is another straightforward entry at 6s. per doz. in the same year. The entries of 1531 and 1533 are tabulated with a warning. From 1646 two levels of price are apparent, the higher prices being specified as for large or great skins from 1675 to 1678. Occasionally three different prices occur in one year, presumably at times of changing prices, and it is sometimes difficult to decide whether the middle price belongs to the lower or to the higher level (1667 9s., 11s. and
PRICES AND WAGES IN ENGLAND for indentures. Purchases must have included materials for the Manorial, Court and Bursars’ Rolls to 1555 ; after that date paper was used for some documents and parch ment was kept mainly for legal records. The only mention of the precise size of any skins is in 1395 (29″ x 12″) when parchment is parcelled with paper. Interpretation of this entry (9 skins and 4 quires of paper = 4s. 10d.) assuming 6d. per quire as the likely price for the paper (q.v.), gives 3.78s. per doz. for the skins, com parable with the calf-skin parchment or vellum (see below) in 1398 and 1405. The number of skins bought annually is very irregular, as follows : until 1584 usually 3 or 4 doz. but occasionally 12 or 13 doz. or only 1 doz. or less ; 1585–1652 1–12 skins but occasionally several dozen ; 1655–68 1–3 doz. but occasionally less ; 1669–86 usually 1 doz. and 2 skins ; 1688 et seq. usually 5 skins. In 1413 an entry of 9 quaternis for 5s. and in 1418 7 quatrino at 6d. have been omitted. Some prices for calf-skin parchment or vellum are given below. Up to 1448 and in 1631 and 1670 they are probably for small skins, and from 1471 (except the lower prices in 1490, 1533 and 1535) for large skins. In 1631 the skins were bought for mending the organ. In 1670 the entry is for unspecified parchment but has been assumed, from its price, to be for calf-skins ; they were bought for the organ. The price in 1395 is interpolated (see above) from an entry parcelled with paper.
PRICES AND WAGES IN ENGLAND the years following. In 1395 interpolation has been made from an entry parcelled with parchment, q.v. Several years before 1426 appear to embrace more than one rate and are given in the table with a warning. Two prices may be suggested in each case, as follows :—1396 11.67s. and 10s. ; 1397 10s. and 8.33s. ; 1405 8.33s. and 6.67s. ; 1410 and 1423 6.67s. and 5s. per ream. In 1400 an entry at 1d. per folio is ignored. Three late isolated entries occur : in 1620 Charta ruled at 13s. 4d. per ream ; in 1644 paper for the Treasury and in 1682 for the Kitchen, both at 6s. 8d. per ream. Prices are most commonly quoted per quire. In 1416– 31 they are recorded by the quaterin, assumed to be another form of quaternum, i.e. quire. Prices for the cheaper quality are frequently quoted per ream from 1535 and larger quantities were then bought annually. All prices are given in the tables per ream of twenty quires. The annual purchase was irregular. Until 1535 it fluctuated round 3 or 4 quires altogether but occasionally rose to 10 quires. From 1535 1–2 reams of the cheaper kind and 3–6 quires of the dearer kind were bought annually. There is seldom more than one entry for either kind in any one year.
PRICES AND WAGES IN ENGLAND Park without cost from 1550 to the early seventeenth century and it is probable that supplementary purchases were made by the Manciple throughout the period. In the sixteenth century cheese was purchased at annual local fairs held at Magdalen Hill, at Wayhill, 18 miles distant, and at Andover, 15 miles from Winchester. Carriage charges from Wayhill were 7 1/2d. or 8d. a cwt. In 1582 and 1584 cheese was bought in Salisbury and brought to the College at 1s. a cwt., which appears to have been 112 lb. cheese, though the evidence is nowhere conclusive. From 1547 to 1550 cheeses were priced by number at varying rates probably dependent on weight. Purchases
WINCHESTER COLLEGE 75 All spices and dried fruits were measured by the lb. avoirdupois except saffron which was priced by the lb. troy at this period. Prices by the lb. occurring at only one period were : almonds 1393 3d., 1394 2 1/4d. ; mace 1552 15s., 1553 16s. ; saffron 1393–94 8s. ; ginger 1393 3s. 4d., 1394 4s. 4d. From 1542 to 1581 these commodities were usually bought in London and brought down to Winchester with other purchases, but occasional supplies came from Southampton, while in 1582–83 spices and sugar were brought from Salisbury. As there are no direct references to costs of carriage after 1583, it is probable that from this date purchases were made in Winchester. In 1393 2 lb. sugar were bought at 1s. 4d. a lb. ; in 1553 65 1/2 lb. were used of which 18 were priced at 1s. 3d., 2 7 | at 1s. 11/2d. and 17 3/4 at 1s. 1d. a lb. Such details were never entered subsequently, though in the years 1575–81 purchases were described as “ better and unrefined ” sugar. Total costs, therefore, cover two or three grades of sugar, though judging from the above example and analogies elsewhere, the difference in price of the various
PRICES AND WAGES IN ENGLAND 12s. 1743–1802 when the practice ceased. The cost to the College of 20 hogsheads small beer 1732–60 was that of 7 qrs. malt + 16 lb. hops + 30s. + slight additional expenses under contract. Thus in 1740 the cost amounted to £13 5s. 4d. or 13s. 3d. a hogshead plus charges. After
WINCHESTER COLLEGE 79 frequently two rates in one year with no differentiation except an occasional notice of Lucca oil. As purchases were mostly local and similar in quantity it is probable that the variation was one of quality and that in some years a single entry covered two purchases at differing rates. In 1500 the higher price included 1d. a gal. for carriage but this is exceptional, though the single entries for 1499 and 1501–03 covered a similar charge. Better quality oil was generally priced at 1s. 4d. a gal. in the years 1410–1530, second quality at 1s. 2d. while oil at 1s. and 10d. a gal. was also bought. The prices possibly show the degree of refinement, 2d. a gal. being the cost of each process, but the oil may have been partly olive and partly rape. Higher priced oil was at 1s. 6d. a gal. 1531–33 while entries at 1s. 3d. and 1s. 3 1/2d. 1504–39 were probably of second quality, thus showing a real advance in prices in the early sixteenth century. Separate rates are given in the table below when known. “ Ca ” is appended to prices in cluding carriage.
for wharfage, lighterage and carriage and above the rates quoted in 1665 4d. per cwt.) and in 1667 (6d. per pig). for weighing and porterage were made in In 1670 it is noted that “ Pig lead is delivered