Capitula listed under the year 1272 were extracted from a royal charter of 1285, which itself was an exemplification of a charter of Henry III giving his approval to ordinances drawn up in October 1272. Although the 18th century antiquarian Swinden described this document as the town's custumal, it is really only a set of provisions made, in response to a period of internal troubles, by "burgesses and community" in order to re-establish peace within the town. The character of the ordinances is suggestive of the types of problems that had been occurring.

Capitula listed under the year 1300 were copied from the "Golden Book" copy of a document issued by bailiffs and community on 4 July of that year. Their purpose seems to have been to exert greater control over hosting, a system liable to abuse, and the herring trade in the context of the ongoing contest with the Cinque Ports in that regard.

In addition to the ordinances already mentioned, a series of customs from an older volume, written in French, was in 1491 copied into the Book of Oaths and Ordinances in an English translation made by the Steward of Yarmouth (an officer who provided legal counsel to the borough, much like the Recorder in other boroughs). The customs were of two types: generalized legal procedures based on national statutes, with examples from local court cases; customs that appear to have originated locally. This appears to have been a preface to the updating of local by-laws, embodied in a fresh set passed in that same year. All these appear here under the year 1491, subdivided into "customs" and "ordinances". Note the degree of detailed specification in the 1491 ordinances, as compared to those of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

In all cases, I have supplied the capitula titles.