3 February 1461

Each constable with four men of his constabulary shall attend the mayor, each group for eight days. Each of the jurats shall have one man for protection. Twenty of the men involved in the defence of the town shall attend the mayor daily, at the cost of the community (4d. a day), and eight men of whichever constabulary is on nightwatch shall guard the gates, viz. four at the south gate and four at the east gate. The jurats shall each find a man for the defence of the town, 12 on each alternate day.

[While this is not a general ordinance, but one providing a temporary response to a specific crisis, I have thought it worth including here as a rare example of efforts towards defending the town. The crisis was of course the civil war, now in full swing with the recently ascendant Duke of York killed at Wakefield and a Lancastrian army marching south. On 7 January, the Lynn constabularies were each assigned their section of the town perimeter to defend, both land-side and river-side. One week later it was decided to despatch a small force of 24 well-armed men to the royal commissioners raising troops in Norfolk, and a tax of £40 was to be assessed on all other full-bodied males to cover the wages of this contingent. Six days after the above ordinance, which seems mainly concerned with providing bodyguards for the town's governors and a standing force to respond to emergencies, it was elaborated with the specification that, of the 20 men attending the mayor, 4 each would be assigned to day-guard of the town's two main gates, and that an additional 12 men would be assigned to attend on the mayor. Three days later (on 12 February), there were more orders for stepping up the defences, including fines for constables and ward-captains neglecting their duties (in March, 4 men were imprisoned for this), and doubling of the nightwatch. After the Yorkist victory at Towton, concerns reduced and on 29 April the nightwatch was given a respite and attention turned to examining the costs that had been incurred in the defensive provisions.]