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WILTSHIRE MAGAZINE

“MULTORUM MANIBUs GRANDE LEVATUR ONUs.”—Ovid.

FACTS AND OBSERVATIONS

35 to the 3mtient Štate of #larlborough,

By F. A. CARRINGTON, ESQ.

2y § ūTH respect to this subject, I am not unmindful that § !!Marlborough has already its History, and that there also was a Lecture on the Castle (now the College), by the Bishop of Calcutta; and that I am therefore only a Leazer in the Antiquarian field; and that my niches of leased Antiquarian lore would have been small in size and but few in number if my friend Mr. T. B. Merriman had not for this purpose kindly thrown open his very extensive and valuable collections relating to Marlborough. I therefore intend to advert to such matters as have been hitherto either unnoticed, or have been only slightly touched on by others. I will commence with THE Poll, TAx, which was collected in the reign of Richard 2nd, (1378); the Marlborough assessment being in the general Record office. This tax was imposed on all persons above fourteen years old, except clergymen, married women, and common beggars. Two hundred and seventy-four persons paid the tax in Marlborough, whose names and callings are given. Peter Ramenhall, Esq., Adam Kyneton, Liberus (probably a considerable freeholder), and John Janevyne (a tanner who was the Mayor), paying each six and eightpence, the tax on an esquire. Two hostellers, paying each three and fourpence, the same tax as was paid by gentlemen. The inhabitants of the town then consisted of three fishmongers, three fishermen (no doubt from the number of maigre days), ten tanners, one skinner, one currier, three peliparii (leather sellers), ten VOL. VII.-NO. XIX. - B

souters (shoemakers), three butchers, one baker (which showed that most people then baked at home), three tailors, one shearman, two merchants, one mercer, two ironmongers, one plumber, four weavers, one webber, one saddler, four carpenters, two coopers, one mason, four heliers (tilers), one mustard maker, one glazier, one netmaker, one honeymonger, (a considerable trade before the introduction of West India sugar), one victualler, two brewers, twenty-five men servants (of whom William the Rector's footman was one), fortyeight female servants. Many of the servants of both sexes had no surnames. Eleven labourers were taxed at sixpence each, as were eleven Liberi (probably small freeholders), the tax upon servants being fourpence each, and on the artizans sixpence. There is one Mareschal who is charged sixpence, but it is stated by Mr. Riley in his introduction to the Liber Albus, that notwithstanding his high sounding appellation, a Mareschal means a shoeing smith. It has been erroneously supposed that there was no Poll Tax after the revolt of Wat Tyler, in the reign of Richard 2nd : this is not so, as by an Act passed in the eighteenth year of the reign of Charles 2nd, every subject in this kingdom was assessed to a Poll Tax according to his degree; a Duke a hundred pounds, a Marquis eighty pounds, a Baron fifty pounds, a Baronet thirty pounds, a Knight twenty pounds, an Esquire ten pounds, and every common person one shilling. And in the 1st and 2nd years of King William 3rd and Queen Mary a general twelvepenny Poll Tax was granted by the Parliament for the public service.

THE CHURCHES.

I will next advert to the Churches, as to which the Commissioners of Chantries (2 Edw. 6, 1548, certif. no. 58), say:

“The Towne of Marlbrowe is a great Towne, wherein be three parisshe Churches, and in the same a thousand and sixty-one people, which receyve the blessed Communion; in every of which papisshe Churches there is a Vicar inducted, albeyt there lyvingis be so small and their Cures so great, that withoute helpe of some minister they be not able to serve the said Cures.”

This number of Communicants appears to be very large, but by

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