August 1491

Whenever the revenues for the accounting year produce a clear surplus (all expenses being paid and the chamberlains' fee and other allowances being made) of £4, then the bailiffs who were in office during the accounting year shall have the £4 by way of a reward, for their gowns [i.e. towards the cost of their ballival liveries], to be divided evenly between them. All revenues accounted for in any year that exceed the said £4 shall be deposited in the common chest for the profit of the community. Whenever it is found from the chamberlains' accounts that the profits, revenues and receipts are not sufficient to cover the reasonable expenditures for that year, those who were bailiffs during the accounting year shall bear the cost between them to the sum of £10 (maximum) and thereby preserve the town [from debt]. And if the expenditures exceed revenues beyond the amount of £10, the bailiffs then in office are to set [a date] for a common assembly within four days after the account is audited, so that a satisfactory solution may be commonly agreed for acquitting the bailiffs and chamberlains of the deficit beyond the £10 to be borne by the bailiffs. So that these ordinances may be better observed and kept, the chamberlains shall be sworn upon a book at Michaelmas, according to ancient custom; if any newly-elected chamberlain refuses to accept the office, or is negligent or contrary and will not do as these ordinances prescribe, he who is found to be in default will forfeit 40s. to be levied to the profit of the town and also be deprived of his burgess status.