| Library | Reference
| Teaching | General
| Links | About
ORB | HOME
The Men Behind the Masque:
Office-holding in East Anglian boroughs, 1272-1460
1 C. Gross, The Gild Merchant, (Oxford, 1890), I,
108, 110, 171; C. Colby, "The growth of oligarchy in English towns,"
E.H.R., V (1890), espec. pp.633-34, 643; A. Green,Town Life
in the Fifteenth Century, (London, 1894), espec. II, 221-22, 240,
255; A. Ballard and J. Tait, eds., British Borough Charters
1216-1307, (Cambridge, 1923), lviii; J. Tait, The Medieval
English Borough, (Manchester, 1936), 28, 302-03.
2 W. Benham, ed., The Oath Book or Red Parchment Book of
Colchester, (Colchester, 1907), i-ii; B. Strutt, The Constitutions
of the Burgh of Colchester, (Colchester, 1822), ix-x.
3 G. Martin, The Story of Colchester, (Colchester,
4 I. Gray and W. Potter, Ipswich School 1400-1950,
(Ipswich, 1950), 2; M. Weinbaum, The Incorporation of Boroughs,
(Manchester, 1937), 105-06; G. Martin, The Borough and Merchant
Community of Ipswich, 1317-1422, (Oxford PhD thesis, 1955), 23;
W. Hudson, ed., The Records of the City of Norwich, (Norwich,
1906), I, lx.
5 C. Platt, The English Medieval Town, (London, 1976),
ch.4; A. Bridbury, Economic Growth: England in the Later Middle
Ages, (London, 1962), 55-58; Carl Hammer, "Anatomy of an oligarchy:
the Oxford town council in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries,"
Journal of British Studies, XVIII (1978), 1-27. See also M.
Clarke, The Medieval City-State, (Cambridge, 1966), for an
interpretation of continental examples, which she summarised as "from
democracy, through plutocracy, to oligarchy" (p.50); however, she
exhibits some confusion in attempting to reconcile contradictory
evidence to this theory.
6 S. Reynolds, An Introduction to the History of English
Medieval Towns, (Oxford, 1977), 171.
7 Green, op.cit., II, 240.
8 All of these terms have been used conscientiously by one
writer or another, e.g.: E. Glover, King's Lynn 1400-1600,
(London M.Phil thesis, 1970), 8; Reynolds, loc.cit.; B.
Wilkinson, The Medieval Council of Exeter, (Manchester, 1931),
51; H. Hillen, History of the Borough of King's Lynn, (Norwich,
1907), I, 85-86; Hammer, op.cit., 25.
9 Before which, borough records are rather sparse. See G.
Martin, "The English borough inthe thirteenth century," Transactions
of the Royal Historical Society, 5th series, XIII (1963), 123-44.
10 E. Meyer, "English craft gilds and borough governments
of the later Middle Ages," University of Colorado Studies, XVII
11 Problems of comparability, lack of detail and
incompleteness regarding extant records inhibit the use of statistics
to provide more than impressionistic conclusions.
12 W. Richards, The History of Lynn, (Lynn, 1812), I,
620; M. McKisack, The Parliamentary Representation of the English
Boroughs During the Middle Ages, (Oxford, 1932), 105.
13 J. Wedgwood and A. Holt, History of Parliament:
Biographies of the Members of the Common House, 1439-1509, (London,
1936), x; R. Britnell, Colchester and the Countryside in the 14th
Century, (Cambridge PhD thesis, 1970).
14 It is fruitless to speculate on what important information
may be lost; the historian must work, cautiously, with what he has.
Analyses have not been attempted where the data has been considered
15 24, of whom 9 were M.P.s and possibly outsiders.
16 On this see R. McKinley, Norfolk and Suffolk Surnames
in the Middle Ages, (Chichester, 1975), espec. comments on pp.13, 94;
Platt, op.cit., 96.
17 G.C.R. 5-6 Ed.III m.2r.
18 Notably Martin, Borough and Merchant Community of
Ipswich; Britnell, op.cit.; A. Saul, Great Yarmouth in
the 14th Century, (Oxford PhD thesis, 1975); H. Sutermeister, The
Social and Economic History of Medieval Norwich, (L.S.E. PhD thesis,
19 This is the only town where a reasonably complete list
of coroners can be reconstructed.
20 The form of years sometimes used in this thesis (e.g.
1341/2) will be understood as referring to the borough administrative
year, which ran from Michaelmas to Michaelmas, except in Maldon where
it began and ended in January. In Norwich the mayoral year ran from May,
although the shrieval year continued to run (as the ballival year) from
September. At some time in fifteenth century Ipswich it is possible
that the election date of September 8 may also have become the date of
assumption of office.