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TOLLS AND CUSTOMS Florilegium Urbanum

Keywords: medieval Oxford murage tolls livestock food skins cloth hardware fish

Subject: Tolls to be collected at Oxford for purposes of murage
Original source: not identified
Transcription in: J. E. Thorold Rogers, ed. Oxford City Documents, Financial and Judicial, 1268-1665. Oxford Historical Society, vol.18 (1891), 304-06.
Original language: Latin
Location: Oxford
Date: mid-14th century


Customs of murage of Oxford

  • For any quantity of grain, a farthing.
  • For each cartload of grain, a halfpenny.
  • For each horse, mare, bull or cow, a halfpenny.
  • For each hide of horse, mare, bull or cow, whether salted, tanned or untanned, a farthing.
  • For each iron-shod cart [loaded with] fresh or salted meat, 1½d.
  • For five bacons, a halfpenny.
  • For each fresh or salted salmon, a farthing.
  • For each lamprey brought to market before Easter, a farthing.
  • For 10 sheep, goats or pigs, 1d.
  • For 10 woolfells, a halfpenny.
  • For each hundred fleeces or skins of sheep, goats, stags, hinds, bucks or does, a halfpenny.
  • For each hundred skins of lambs, kids, hares, rabbits, foxes, cats, or squirrels, a halfpenny.
  • For each broad-cloth, a halfpenny.
  • For each hundred linen cloths such as cloths of Ireland, Galway and Worstead, 1d.
  • For each silk cloth with gold saints[?], drapery and brocade, a halfpenny.
  • For each silk cloth without gilding but reinforced by "Chifs de Sendel", a farthing.
  • From any ship loaded with things for market, 3d.
  • For each tun of wine or ashes, 1½d.
  • For each horseload of ashes, 1½d.
  • For each cartload of honey, 1d.
  • For each sack of wool for sale, 2d.
  • For a truss of cloth brought, by cart, for sale, 2d.
  • For each horseload of cloth for sale, or other diverse small items for sale, a halfpenny.
  • For each cartload of iron, 1d.
  • For each horseload of iron, a halfpenny.
  • For each cartload of lead, 1d.
  • For each cartload of tan for sale, a farthing weekly.
  • For goods sold by weight, that is for a hundredweight, 1d.
  • For a wey of tallow or grease, 1d.
  • For each quarter of woad for sale, 2d.
  • For each hundredweight of alum, copperas, "Drigaylis", [or] verdigris, a halfpenny.
  • For two thousand onions, a farthing.
  • For 8 sheaves of garlic, a farthing.
  • For every thousand herring, a farthing.
  • For each cartload of sea-fish, 1d.
  • For each horseload of sea-fish, 1d.
  • For every hundred boards, a halfpenny.
  • For each millstone, a halfpenny.
  • For every thousand faggots.
  • For ten thousand turbot, a farthing.
  • From each ship loaded with turbot, 1d.
  • For each quarter of salt, a farthing.
  • For each wey of cheese or butter, a halfpenny.
  • For each cartload of combustibles or coal for sale, a halfpenny weekly.
  • For every thousand nails, a farthing.
  • For every hundred horseshoes or cart-hurdles, a farthing.
  • For each quarter of tan, a farthing.
  • For each truss of any kind of merchandize for sale that is worth more than 5 shillings, a farthing.
  • For every hundredweight of tin, bronze, or copper for sale, 2½d.
  • For every hundred steel bars, a halfpenny.
  • For every cartload of "Aberden", 1d.
  • For every hundredweight of stockfish, a farthing.
  • For ten stones of hemp, a farthing.
  • For ten gallons of oil, a halfpenny.
  • For every other thing, not otherwise specified, brought for sale that is worth more than two shillings, a farthing.


According to Rogers, this document dated from the reign of Edward III. Oxford, however, had a stone wall built in the early thirteenth century; so, if Rogers' dating is correct, this murage would presumably have been for repairs and maintenance.

In comparison to the lists of merchandize making its way to or through London and Ipswich, the list above reflects the fact that most of Oxford's imports and exports travelled by land-routes.



Worstead was a Norfolk village, and one of the main areas of settlement of Flemish immigrants, which helped it develop into a clothmaking centre. The cloth that took its name from the village was, however, a lower-grade cloth.

Alum, copperas, and verdigris were used in the dyeing process, and therefore Drigaylis is likely to have been either a dye or a mordant. A hypothetical translation, assuming the transcription is accurate, might be "dried gale" – the dried bark of the gale shrub having been used as a yellow dye, as well as a tan.

Attachments to the sides of a cart, to increase its loading capacity.

Perhaps the name for a kind of fish?

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Created: August 18, 2001. Last update: December 22, 2002 © Stephen Alsford, 2001-2003

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