RETIREMENT Florilegium Urbanum

Keywords: medieval King's Lynn friaries Augustinians maintenance contracts employment old age infirmity food pensions
Subject: Terms of employment and pension
Original source: Norfolk Record Office, King's Lynn archives
Transcription in: Dawson Turner, "Copies and translations of two deeds in the possession of the Corporation of Lynn," Norfolk Archaeology, vol.2 (1849), 194-95.
Original language: Latin
Location: King's Lynn
Date: 1379


This indenture, made on 26 February 1379 between the Prior and Convent of the Augustinian Friars of Lynn, on the one side, and Geoffrey de Gadgrave, their servant, on the other side, witnesses that Geoffrey shall reside with the present prior and convent and their successors for the term of his life, and he will serve them well and faithfully, to the best of his ability, in duties related to the bakery and mill, applying his skill and his efforts to perform whatever is required by those duties, but with all necessary materials being provided at the cost of the convent. Geoffrey is to receive annually from the prior and convent as wages for his labour, for as long as he shall be able to perform satisfactorily his specified duties, 30s. in cash paid promptly in equal portions at the usual four terms of the year. If it should happen that Geoffrey is afflicted by infirmity or old age, so that he is incapable of continuing work in those duties, he shall not receive the annual wages, but shall still receive board from the convent table as previously, being served the same food allowance as the friars. Furthermore, if ever Geoffrey is so seriously incapacitated with infirmity or old age that he is unable to bring himself to the convent table, then every week he is to receive in his chamber, which the convent is bound to provide for him, 8 conventual loaves and 7 pots of ale, and whatever allowance [of other foodstuffs?] is at that time issued to every friar of the convent. On condition, however, that those victuals are had by Geoffrey for his personal use; he shall not be permitted to sell any of them. Both the prior and convent on the one side, and Geoffrey on the other, agree faithfully to carry out faithfully this agreement. In testimony of which, Geoffrey's seal is appended to that part of the indenture to be in the possession of the prior and convent. Dated on the day and year aforesaid, in our chapter house in Lynn.


It seems to have been not uncommon for religious houses to make retirement provisions as part of employment agreements with its lay servants.



"Augustinian Friars"
The friary was located in the northern part of the town, on the edge of the populated area surrounding a marketplace.

"conventual loaves"
A conventual loaf was one of a particular size, intended as the daily allowance of a friar (or monk).

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Created: August 18, 2001. Last update: November 23, 2002 © Stephen Alsford, 2001-2003