11 Henry VII chapter 4
(1495)

The text is that printed in Statutes at Large, vol. II, pages 570-572, with the following changes: Extra paragraph breaks have been added, even in the middle of sentences, because such chunking of the text makes it easier for a modern reader to grasp the meaning. The special ligatures and symbols needed to represent abbreviations common in 15th-century handwriting, for which no equivalents exist in online fonts, have been spelled out, and the thorn letter replaced with “th”.

In the cedule, the names of the counties, etc., abbreviated in the original, have been spelled out or replaced with their modern equivalents, even though the boundaries do not always coincide.


Chapter 4

Praien the Commons in this present parliament assembled, that where divers actes statutes and ordinaunces in the tymes of the noble progenitours and predecessours of oure nowe Sovereign Lord the King have be made that oon mesure and oon weight shuld be used thurghoute this noble reame, And also that in every Cite Burgh and Towne within the same realme, upon certeyn and severall paynes in the seid Statutes and Ordinaunces limytted, shuld be common balaunce with common weightis and mesures marked according to the Estandard of the Eschequer, by the which and other like balauncez weightis and mesures marked according to the seid Estandard all men shuld bie and sell, in avoiding of all fraude and discorde in that behalfe to be used; which actis statutes and ordinaunces have not be observed and kepte, as nowe in this present parliament it hath be openly by divers persones of divers parties of this realme remembred, to the great hurte and vexacion of divers and many of the Kingis subgettis of this his realme;

[Those attending parliament to take legal standards home with them]

for remedye whereof be it of {youre haboundant grace and charge}¹ oure moost gracious Sovereign Lord by thasssent of the Lordes spirituall and temporall and by the Commons in this present parliament assembled and by auctorite of the same enacted and establisshed, that unto the Knyghtis and Citesyns of every Shire and Citie assembled in this present parliament, Barons of the v. portes and certain Burgeises of Burgh Townes, [ere]² they departe from this present parliament, be delivered oon of every weight and mesure, which now our Sovereign Lord hath caused to be made of Brasse for the common Wele of all his Subgettis and lieges within this his realme of Englond according to the King our Sovereign Lordis standard of his Estchequer, of weight and mesure as be in the Eschequer of our seid Sovereign Lord;

And that the seid Knightis Citezens and Burgeises, to whome the seid weights and mesures shalbe delivered as is afore seid, suerly convey or cause the same to be conveyed on this half the fest of Ester next comyng by the seid Citezens to their Citees, and by the seid Knightis unto such Burgh Toune corporate or market Towne within the shire for which they be elected as is specified and conteined in a cedule unto this present bill annexed, there to remain for ever in the keping of the Maire Baille or other hed officer for the tyme being of the same Citie Burgh or Toune as the Kingis standard of weight and mesure.

And that thinhitauntes [i.e., the inhabitants] of all Cities Burghs and Market Townes within every of the said shires shall, on this halfe the fest of the Nativite of Seynt John Baptist next comyng, make or cause to be made common mesures and weightis according to the weights and mesures aboveseid, to remayne within the same Cities Burghs and Market Townes and every of theym.

And the same weightis and mesures to be vewed examyned printed signed and marked by the Maire Bailly or other hed officer in whose possession the aforseid standard shall remayne; And that every of thaforseid Maire Bailly or hede officer havying the seid weightes and mesures signed and printed {as is aforeseid have auctorite and power to make signe and printe under the signe and printe for the same with a letter H. crowned to be printed to signe and printe}3 like weightis and mesures unto every the Kinges leiges and subgeites duly requiring the same; Taking for marking of every busshell j d. 

And that from the seid fest of the Nativite of Seint John Baptist noe merchaunt ne other persone ne persones within eny Citie or Market Toun bye ne sell with any weight or mesure excepte it be marked signed or printed in manner and fourme aforseid, ne any other persone or persones out of the seid Cities Burghs and Market Townes except it be like and egall with the seid standard. And that every persone aswell without Cities Burghs and Market Tounes as within bie and sell with a busshell sealed signed or marked after the fourme aforseid and in noon otherwise. 

[Biannual examination of weights and measures, penalties]

And that all the Maires Baillifs and all other hed officers of every Citie Burgh or Market Town shall cause, twise in the yere or oftener as they shall thinke necessary, all weightis and mesures within the seid Cities Burghs and Market Townes to be brought afore theym and to be dewly vewed and examyned, and such as they shall upon the seid examynacion finde defectif immediatli to be broken and brent, and the parti or parties which in that behalf hath offended and be found defectif shall forfeite for the first time vj s. viij d. the forfeiture thereof to be unto the seid Maire Bailli or any other havying jurisdiccion and correccion in that behalf; and at the secund tyme the seid offender like wise to forfait xiij s. iiij d. and at the iijde time like wise to forfeit xx s. and for ferther punysshment to be sett upon the pillory to thensample of other. 

[Justices of the Peace]

And that ij Justices of the Peas whereof oon shalbe of the Quorum4 have auctorite aswell by examynacion as by enquerry to here and determyn the defautes of the seid Maires Bailles or other hed officers in that behalf, and also of all biers and sellers doing contrary to this present acte and ordinaunce and to set fyne and mercement upon the offenders by their discrecion; and the saidweightes and mesures so found defectif to be forfit and brent.

[Definition of quarter, stone and sack]

Be it also enacted that ther be but only viij busshelles rased and stricken to the quarter of Corne, and xiiij lb. to the stone of Wolle and xxvj stone to the sakke.

[Scope of Justices' authority]

Be it also ordeyned by auctorite aboveseid that the Justices of the Peas aboveseid have auctorite to make like proces ayenst all persones founden as is aboveseid defectif, and for suche fines and amerciamentis as upon them shall be cessid, as if they were endited afore them for breking of the Kingis peas; And that where by other Statutes and Ordinaunces afore lymytted it is ordained that every Cite Burgh and Toun that hath a Constable shuld have common weightis and mesures sealed, upon penalties in the same limytted, that thike penalties in that behalf extende not to any Toun which is no Citie Burgh nor Market Toun.

[Exception for Water Measure]

Provided alwey that this Acte shall not extend nor be prejudiciall to any persone selling or byeng by water measure within the Ship borde; And that it be by auctorite aboveseid enacted, the permysses or any other ordinaunce tofore made not withstonding, that the seid Watermesure within the Ship borde shall onely conteyn v. pekkis after the seid standard rased and streken.

[Exception for the Cinque Portes]

Provided also that thaxamynacion of defautes aboveseid and punysshment to the offenders of every offence commited herafter within eny of the seid v. portes, shall be had doon and admynystred by the Lorde Warden of the seid v. portes or by his lieutenant of the same for the tyme beyng and by none other, the premysses notwithstanding.

[Exception for taxation of the tin mines of Cornwall]

Provided alwey that this Acte of weightis and mesures extend not nor be in any wise hurtfull or prejudiciall to the Prince within the Duchie of Cornewall for any weightis apperteynyng and belonging to the Cunage of Tynne within the Counties of Cornewall and Devonshire; but that all such weightis be used ordered demeaned and corrected as it hath been used and ascustumed before this tyme, the seid acte and ordynaunce notwithstonding.

[The "Cedule"]

The names of the Tounes lymitted for the sauf custodie of weightis and mesures, according to the Kingis Standard, for the Shires folowing as particularly apperith.

Westmoreland...the Toune of Appulby.

Northumberland...the Toune of Neucastell.

Cumbria...the Citie of Carliol.

Lancashire...the Toune of Lancaster.

Eboracum...the Citie of York.

Lincoln...the Citie of Lincoln.

Derbyshire...the Toune of Derby.

Nottinghamshire...the Toun of Notingham.

Leicestershire...the Toune of Leycestre.

Warr..the Citie of Coventry.

Rutland..the Toun of Uppyngham.

Northhampron...the Toune of Northampton.

Bedfordshire...the Toun of Bedford.

Buckinghamshire...the Toune of Bukyngham.

Cambridgeshire..the Toune of Cambrige.

Huntingdonshire..the Towne of Huntingdon.

Norff...the Citie of Norwich.

Suffolk..the Toun of Seint Edmondes Bury.

Essex...the Toun of Chelmsford.

Herefordshire...the Toun of Hertford.

Middle..in Westmynster.

Kent...the Toun of Maideston.

Surrey..the Toun of Guldeford.

Sussex...the Toun of Lewes.

Oxfordshire...the Toun of Oxford.

Berkshire...the Toun of Reding.

Shropshire (Salop) ...the Toun of Stafford.

Staffordshire...the Toun of Stafford.

Herefordshire...the Citie of Hereford.

Gloucstershire...the Toun of Gloucester.

Wygorn...the Citie of Worcetur.

Wiltshire...the Citie of Newe Salysbury.

Sutht...the Citie of Wynchestre.

Somerset...the Toun of Ilchestre.

Dorset...the Toun of Dorchestre.

Devon...the Toun of Excestre.

Cornwall..the Toun of Lostudyell.

London...the same Citie.

Bristoll...the same Toun.

The Five Ports...the Castell of Dover.

Civitas Coventry...the same Citie.

Southhampton...the same Toun.

Civitas Cester..the same Citie.

 


Notes

1. For the words in curly brackets, the early printed copies say "the abundant grace of". [back]

2. Manuscript has "or"; "ere" from early printed copy. [back]

3. For the words in curly brackets, the oldest printed copies read “under the signe prynte for the same with a Letter H. crowned to be prynted to assigne and prynte”. Other old printed copies read “under the sign and print for the same with a Letter H. crowned have Authority and Power to make sign & print”. [back]

4. Quorum: A select group of Justices chosen for their learning and ability. [back]

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