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AMONG the Records belonging to the City of York are six Registers containing a list of the Freemen of that City from 1 Edward I., 1272, to the present time. This list, generally known as the Freemen's Roll,' is supposed to contain the names of all persons who took up the freedom of the city during that period, and this is probably the case if, perhaps, the reign of Edward I. be excepted.

The earliest volume, commencing in 1272, extends into 1671. The second, commencing in 1671, extends into 1800. The fourth, commencing in 1800, extends into 1812. The fifth, commencing in 1812, extends into 1847. The sixth, commencing in 1847, extends to the present time. The third, arranged alphabetically, is a duplicate of parts of Volumes I. and II., covering the years 1651 to 1742.

As the Corporation, under the editorship of the late Mr. Robert Davies, their Town Clerk, published, in 1835, in a pamphlet of eighty pages in extent, a list of those who took up their freedom from 1760 to 1835, this work is limited to such as were enrolled during the previous 488 years, and contains, in round numbers, the names of 36,500 freemen. In this volume, which terminates with the reign of Philip and Mary and covers the first 286 years, the names of 19,900 freemen are to be found, and Volume II., covering the subsequent 202 years, to the end of the reign of George II., will contain the remaining 16,600. Together they include all those entered in the earliest register, and in the first 125 folios of the second.

It is perhaps desirable, before going further, that the contents of the earliest register should be described, for it

is not only a register of freemen, but also of other officials, interspersed with matters of more or less interest relating to the government of the city. To the other five registers it is unnecessary to allude, for they are devoted to the one purpose only.

In the first three folios of the earliest register, are to be found the oaths required of those taking up the freedom and of the various officials of the city on their election to office; the heading to each being in Latin, the oaths in English. They are arranged as follows:

Sacramentum pro intrantibus Libertatem.
Juramentum servientis ad Clavam.
Juramentum Clerici Communis.

Juramentum Majoris.

Juramentum Aldermanorum.

Juramentum Civium Civitatis adtunc in Guildhall ejusdem Civitatis congregatorum.

Juramentum Camerariorum.

Juramentum Custodum Pontium Use et Fosse.

[Decretum] contra disoperientes et revalentes consilium. Juramentum Armitorum.

Juramentum Constabulorum.

Juramentum Aldermanorum et XXIV.

Juramentum Scrutatorum Artificiorum (twice).

Sacramentum Vicecomitis.

Juramentum Communis Concilii.

Folios 4 to 27 contain a list of the mayors from 1 Edward I. to 7 Henry VIII., when the separate list is discontinued and reference is made to the head of the Freemen's Roll of each year for those subsequently chosen. With the mayors are to be found from the 39 Edward III. to the same date, the names of the officers annually chosen as their attendants, and from the 48th of the same reign, the common clerks.1 Originally, the mayor appears to have had but one officer as his attendant, the first being described thus: Johannes de Moreby electus est in servientem maioris et capiet pro feodo xls.' In 12 Richard II. the King presented the mayor with a sword of state to be carried before him, and this rendered it necessary that a second officer should be appointed, Thomas

The common clerk is known now as the town clerk.

Barneby being the first who was chosen, 'ad portandum gladium coram maiore,' with a salary of six marks. To his colleague, 8 Henry IV., the duties of mace-bearer 'pro clavam portando,' are here' first ascribed. These officers are both at first described as 'Sergeants,' subsequently as 'Gentlemen,' and very shortly afterwards as Esquires of the Mayor,' a title they still hold. They appear at first to have been elected for one year only, but once elected their re-election seems to have been assured; and as the appointments carried with them a certain dignity, they were eagerly sought after by men belong. ing to families of good position in the city.

On folios 28 to 30 are to be found certain ordinances of the mayor and council, in one of which, dated 16 Henry VIII., it is resolved that no citizen shall take the office of chamberlain without having first been a bridgemaster, under a penalty of 4., and this penalty was thirteen years later increased to 61. 13s. 4d. In another dated 3 Edward VI., it is decreed that the sheriff must previously have served as a bridgemaster and as a chamberlain, and should he not have filled these offices, or, on his election, refuse to serve as sheriff, in either case he was to pay a certain sum of money to the Common Chamber 'such as the mayor and his brethren shall determine.' There is another relating to a dispute with the town of Hull, concerning dock dues, which was carried to such a pitch that the citizens of York were warned to have no dealings with the town of Hull, and were threatened with heavy penalties should they disobey. An account of this dispute has been already printed in certain histories of the city.

The 'Freemen's Roll,' from 1 Edward I. to 4 Philip 5 Mary is entered on folios 31 to 209, and on the back of folio 209 are the names of the sheriffs elected in the 23, 24, 25 years of Henry VIII. The list of freemen from 5 Philip 6 Mary to A.D. 1650 is continued on folios 210 to 287, and on the face of folio 288 are the names of those citizens who from 12 to 30 Edward III. were chosen to act for the city before the Justices de Banco. On the back of the same folio and on those following, to 294, is a list of the bailiffs of the city from 1 The Mace was presented 16 Richard II. by the King.

Edward I. to 19 Richard II., when this office was abolished and that of sheriff substituted for it. The names of the latter to 4 Philip 5 Mary follow on folios 294 to 310, except that there is no record in this register of those who were élected during the 19, 20, 21, 22 Henry VIII., and, as stated above, the names of the sheriffs for the 23, 24, 25 years of the same reign are to be found on folio 209.

Folios 311 to 317 are devoted to certain miscellaneous extracts, chiefly from the Great Rolls, some of which have already been published, and 318 to 320 to the names of the custodians of the bridges from 1 Edward III. to 12 Henry IV. On folio 321 there is a list of chamberlains from 18 Edward I. to 9 Edward III., and of the custodians of the bridges from 13 Henry IV. to 11 Henry VIII. on 322 to 329. The names of the chamberlains from 10 Edward III. to 6 Henry V. occupy folios 330 and 331, and those of the sheriffs from 5 Philip 6 Mary to 9 James I., folios 332 to 338. The Freemen's Roll from 1651 to 1661 is continued on folios 339 to 351, and here a slip has been inserted into the register, the 5 first folios being renumbered 344 to 348. On these the names of those who claimed their freedom by patrimony from 11 Henry IV. to 9 Henry VI. are entered, but not in regular order, and on the back of folio 348 there is a complaint against the Scrutatores Artificiorum. The nine folios following are unnumbered; they contain the names of the freemen admitted during the years 1662 to 1670, and then the renumbering is continued, folio 349 containing the names of certain citizens who were appointed to arbitrate in a dispute between the city of York and one Thomas Santon. On folio 350 and the face of folio 351 are the names of those who claimed their freedom by patrimony during 3 Edward II., 2, 3, 4 Richard II., and from the twentieth of the latter King's reign to 9 Henry IV., and here it should be noted that such portions of the Roll as are out of place in the register are to be found under their proper years in the text, with references to the folios from which they were taken. The remaining folios 351 to 356 are occupied by matters relating to the defence of the city and with a short but imperfect list of the custodians of the walls.

The register contains nominally 356 but actually 374

folios of two pages each, and in addition to the Freemen's Roll, which is to be found on folios 31 to 209, 210 to 287, 339 to 351, duplicate folios 344 to 348, and the 9 unnumbered folios following, and on the renumbered folios 350 to 351, there is a complete list of mayors from 1272 to 1670; of bailiffs and their successors, the sheriffs, from the same date to 9 James I. (except for the four years above named); of chamberlains from 18 Edward I. to 1670; and of custodians of the bridges from 31 Edward III. to 11 Henry VIII., as well as other matters. There is not only a separate list of mayors to the 7 Henry VIII. but the name of the mayor, in office, heads the list of freemen for each year, and at the end of the separate list the searcher is referred to the Roll of freemen for its continuation. The list of mayors given herein differs somewhat from those previously printed, none of which seem to agree in every respect, probably from being copied from different sources.

That the register is a transcript from other documents. seems evident, for long periods have been written by the same person and in a few instances the name, presumably, of the writer may be found in the margin with the word 'hic' before it. There are errors too, especially in the earlier portions, which could not have occurred had the names of the freemen been entered at the end of each year. The date of the year is one of the most prominent of these and does not, for years in succession, particularly during the Plantagenet period, correspond with the date of the King's reign or with the date the mayor for the time being held office; and in one or two instances the name of the mayor at the head of the list is inaccurate. The correction of these errors caused no little trouble, but the separate list of mayors, with the date of the election of each, was a most valuable guide. There are also many short and, often, unfinished notes following the names of several of the freemen the meaning of which, in certain cases, it is difficult to understand; in others, however, it is clear that they refer to matters that occurred some years subsequent to the dates on which the persons to whom they allude took up their freedom. These notes were undoubtedly written at the same time as the Roll and by the same copyist. Moreover had it

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