History of medieval Yarmouth


Oaths of officers and burgesses

Oath of the 24 [councillors]

  • To support and maintain the liberties of the town.
  • To keep secret matters discussed by the town council.
  • To be obedient to the bailiffs.
  • To be ready to attend on the bailiffs at all councils, whenever summoned.
  • To assist the bailiffs and counsel them in all matters regarding their official duties and the liberties of the town.
  • To uphold all the town ordinances.
  • To maintain the king's peace.

Oath of a burgess

  • To be faithful to the king.
  • To maintain, obey, and uphold the liberties and customs of the town.
  • To be at the command of the bailiffs, whenever summoned to serve on jury duty.
  • Not to conceal any strangers' goods.
  • To inform the bailiffs of any knowledge of traitors, spies, or, evildoers.

Oath of the bailiffs

  • To deal with rich and poor with equal impartiality.
  • To maintain, uphold, and execute the customs, statutes, and ordinances of the town.
  • Not tolerate any false usages or customs.
  • To collect the king's green wax and other debts due him.
  • To punish all who rebel against or infringe the liberties

  • [the text of the oath is either unfinished or missing]

Oath of the chamberlains

  • To well and truly levy and collect the rents, farms, fines, amercements, customs, and other duties belonging to the town.
  • To pay all expenses out of the same revnues, as instructed by the bailiffs.
  • To render true account when demanded.

Oath of electors of bailiffs and other officers

Hear this, you bailiffs and all good men, that I, A. B, shall well, impartially, and according to the ordinances of the town, make true election of the best and most discreet men of this town of Great Yarmouth to exercise and occupy the office of bailiffs of this town for the year next coming. And also I shall choose and make true and impartial election, according to the same ordinances, of all other officers; that is to say, 2 chamberlains, 2 churchwardens, 2 muragers, 8 herring wardens, 2 collectors of the half-doles, and 4 auditors. And I shall not fail to do this, not for friendship or affection of, favour from, or collusion with, any person, so help me God at the Last Judgement and by this book.

Yarmouth history

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Created: March 9, 2010 Last update: 17 April, 2010 © Stephen Alsford, 2010