29. THE CONSTITUTION OF THE KING'S HOUSEHOLD1

This is the constitution of the king's household regarding maintenance (de procurationibus) .2

The chancellor [is to have] 5s. a day, one demeine simnel,3 two common [simnels], one sester of clear wine, one sester of ordinary wine,4 one big candle (grossum cereum), and forty candle-ends. The master of the writing office (scriptorium) at first [received] 10d. a day, one common simnel, half a sester of ordinary wine, one big candle, and twelve candle-ends; but King Henry increased [the allowance] for Robert [keeper] of the seal to the extent that, on the day of the king's death, he was having 2s., one sester of ordinary wine, one common simnel, one little candle (cereolum), and twenty-four candle-ends. The chaplain5 and the custodian of the chapel and of the relics [are to have] the allowance of two men, and four serjeants of the chapel [are to have] double food each. Two pack-horses of the chapel [are assigned] 1d. a day each and 1d. a month for shoeing. For the service of the chapel [are provided] two candles on Wednesday, two on the Sabbath, one candle every night [to be placed] before the relics, thirty candle-ends, and a gallon of clear wine for mass; also a sester of ordinary wine for washing the altar on the Day of Absolution,6 and for communion on Easter a sester of clear wine and one of ordinary wine.

Concerning the stewards: the steward, if he eats outside the household, [is to receive the same] as the chancellor; if [he eats] inside, 3s. 6d., two common simnels, one sester of ordinary wine, and a full allowance of candles (plenarie candelam) .7 The clerk of the issue (expensae) of bread and wine [is to have] 2s. a day, one common simnel, one sester of ordinary wine, one little candle, and twenty-four candle-ends. Concerning the dispensers of bread: the master dispenser of bread in constant attendance (assiduus), if he eats outside the king's household, [is to have] 2s. 10d. a day, one common simnel, one sester of ordinary wine, one little candle, and twenty-four candle-ends; if, however, [he eats] inside, 2s., half a sester of ordinary wine, and a full allowance of candles. Concerning the dispensers who serve in turn: if [they eat] outside the household, [each is to have] 19d. a day, one common simnel, one sester of ordinary wine, one big candle, and twenty candle-ends; if [they eat] inside, 10d., half a sester of ordinary wine, and a full allowance of candles. Concerning the naperers: the naperer8 [is to have] the customary food, 1d. a day for his man, 1d. for a pack-horse, and 1d. a month for shoeing. The usher9 of the dispensary [is to have] the same amount except [the allowance for] the pack-horse. The counter of bread10 [is to have] the customary food. Concerning the four bakers who serve together in their turn: the two who serve in the household are to eat in the household; the two who go abroad are to have 40d. for procuring a Rouen muid,11 from which they should supply 40 demeine simnels, 140 common [simnels], and 270 bakery loaves (panes de pistrino). A demeine simnel [is] for four men, a common [simnel] for two [men], a loaf for one man. The waferer12 [is to have] the customary food and 1d. for his man. The keeper of the tables (bordarius) [is to have] the same amount and in addition a pack-horse together with its livery. The bearer of the alms-dish is to eat in the household.

Concerning the dispensers of the larder: the master dispenser of the larder in constant attendance [is to have the same] as the master dispenser of bread and wine and in the same way. Likewise the dispensers of the larder who serve in turn [are to have the same] as the dispensers of bread and wine who serve in turn. The larderers who serve in turn [are to have] the customary food and 1d. a day for their man. The usher of the larder [is to be treated] in the same way. The butchers [are to have] only the customary food. Concerning the cooks: the cook of the royal kitchen is to eat in the household [and is to have] 1d. for his man. The keeper of the vessels (vasartus) is to eat in the household and [is to have] 1d. for his man; also a pack-horse together with its livery. The somler13 of the same kitchen [is to be treated] in the same way. The serjeant of the kitchen [is to have] only the customary food. The cook for the king's private family and the dispenser [are to be treated] in the same way.14 Ralph de La Marche, who while cook died before the death of the king, ate in the household and [had] 1d. for his man. Concerning the great kitchen: Owen Polchart15 [is to have] the customary food and 1d. for his man. Two cooks [are to have] the customary food each and 1d. for their man. The serjeants of the same kitchen [are to have] only the customary food. The usher of the spit-house [is to have] the customary food and 1d. for his man. The turnspit [is to be treated] in the same way and besides [is to have] a pack-horse together with its livery. The carter of the great kitchen [is to have] double food, and the rightful livery for his horse. The carter of the larder [is to be treated] in the same way. The serjeant who receives the venison16 is to eat inside and [is to have] 1d. for his man.

Concerning the butlery: the master butler [is to be treated] like the steward; they have the one livery and [receive it] in the same way. The master dispenser of the butlery [is to be treated] like the master dispenser of bread and wine. The dispensers of the butlery who serve in turn [are to be treated] like the dispensers of issue who serve in turn; but they have a larger allowance of candles, for they receive a small candle and twenty-four candle-ends. The usher of the butlery [is to have] the customary food and 1d. for his man. The keepers of the hose17 are to eat in the household and [are to have] 3d. each for their men. The keeper of the butts18 [is to have] the customary food, 3d. for his men, half a sester of ordinary wine, and twelve candle-ends. The workmen under the keeper of the butts [are to have] only the customary food, but the serjeant [is to have] in addition 1d. for his man and two pack-horses with their liveries. Concerning the cupbearers: four only should serve together in their turn, of whom two are to eat in the household and each [is to have] 1d. for his man. The other two are to have the customary food and likewise 1d. [each] for their men. The keepers of the mazers19 [are to have] only double food. Concerning the fruiterer: the fruiterer is to eat in the household and is to have 3d. for his men. The carter [is to have] the customary food, and livery for his horse.

The master chamberlain is the equal of the steward in livery. The treasurer [is to be treated] like the master chamberlain, if he is at the court and serving as treasurer.20 William Mauduit is to eat regularly in the household and [is to have] 13d. a day, one big candle, twelve candle-ends, and three pack-horses with their liveries. The porter of the king's litter21 is to eat in the household and [is to have] 1d. for his man and a pack-horse with its livery. The chamberlain who serves in his turn [is to have] 2s. a day, one common simnel, one sester of ordinary wine, one little candle, and twenty-four candle-ends. The chamberlain of the candles [is to have] 8d. a day and half a sester of ordinary wine. The king's tailor is to eat in the household and [is to have] 1d. for his man. The chamberlains, if they wish, are to eat in the household without other livery. The ewerer22 [is to have] double food and, when the king makes a journey, 1d. for drying the king's clothes; and when the king bathes, 4d., except on the three annual festivals. Concerning the launderer there is doubt.

The constables are to have liveries like the stewards and in the same way. William Fitz-Odo [is to have] one demeine simnel, one sester of clear wine, one little candle, and twenty-four candle-ends. Henry de la Pomerai, if he eats outside the household, [is to have] 2s. a day, one common simnel, one sester of ordinary wine, one little candle and twenty-four candle-ends. If, however, [he eats] inside, [he is to have] 14d., half a sester of ordinary wine, and a full allowance of candles. Roger d'Oilly [is to be treated] in the same way. The master marshal, namely John, [is to be treated] in the same way; and in addition he ought to have counterfoils for the gifts and liveries that are made from the king's treasury and chamber, and, as witness to everything, he ought to have tallies against all the king's officials. The four marshals who serve the king's household [including] both clerks and knights and also ministers, when they23 take lodgings or stay outside the court on the king's business, [are to have] 8d. a day, one gallon of ordinary wine, and twelve candle-ends. If [the marshals] remain inside, [they are to have] 3d. a day for their men and a full allowance of candles. But if any one of the marshals is sent on the king's business, [he is to have] only 8d. The serjeant of the marshals, if they are sent on the king's business, are to have 3d. a day each; if not, they are to eat in the king's household. The ushers [who are] knights themselves are to eat in the household and [are to have] 1d. for each of their men, and eight candle-ends. Gilbert Bonhomme and Ralph are to eat in the household and [are to have] 1d. for their men. The other ushers, [who are] not knights, are to eat in the household without other livery. The watchmen [are to have] double food, 1d. for their men, and four candles; and in addition each [is to have] of a morning two loaves, one dish [of meat], and a gallon of beer. The keeper of the hearth is always to eat in the household and, from Michaelmas to Easter, [is to have] 4d. a day for a fire. The Usher of the chamber [is to have] 4d. for the king's litter on each day when the king makes a journey.24 The curtainer25 is to eat in the household; and when he had the curtains carried, he used to have livery for one man [and] one pack-horse. Each of the four trumpeters [is to have] 3d. a day. Twenty serjeants [are to have] 1d. a day each. The velterers26 [are to have] 3d. a day each; also 2d. for their men, and for each greyhound d. a day. The king's pack (mueta) [is assigned] 8d. a day. The knights huntsmen [are to have] 8d. a day each. The cat-hunters [are to have] 5d. each. The leader of the liam-hound [is to have] 1d., and d. for the liam-hound. The berner [is to have] 3d. a day. The hunters with harriers [are to have] 3d. a day each; and four big harriers should have 1d., and six little harriers 1d. Two men [are required] for the big harriers and each [is to have] 1d. a day. The keepers of the brachs [are to have] 3d, a day each. The wolf-hunters [are to have] 20d. a day for horses, men, and dogs, and they should have twenty-four coursing dogs and eight greyhounds; also 6 a year for buying horses, but they themselves say 8. Concerning the archers who carry the king's bow: each [is to have] 5d. a day, and the other archers [are to have] the same amount. Bernard, Ralph le Robeur, and their fellows [are to have] 3d. a day each.

(Latin) Liber Niger Scaccarii, pp. 341 f.


1 Two copies of this document have been preserved: one in the Liber Niger Scaccarii (Black Book of the Exchequer), edited by Thomas Hearne; the other in the Red Book of the Exchequer (III, 807-13), edited by Hubert Hall. Both texts are badly jumbled and in places are almost unintelligible. With the exception of a few phrases, the following translation is based on the former, which is generally superior. For illuminating criticism of the document as a whole, see R. L. Poole, The Exchequer in the Twelfth Century, pp. 94 f., and J. H. Round, The King's Serjeants and Officers of State.

2 The domus regis, it should be noted, was not merely the king's palace, for his court was still migratory. To eat in the domus was to take one's meals with the household. The understanding of many passages will be aided by comparison with the household ordinances of Edward I and Edward II (nos. 52C, 57).

3 The simenellus dominicus is contrasted throughout with the simenellus sal' (occasionally salat'). The clerks who made the existing copies thus seem to have meant a "salt simnel," although, as remarked by Hubert Hall, one might prefer to find a connection with salarium, a salary or stipend, or with the French salle, the hall where most of the household ate. In any case, the original record clearly intended to make the same distinction as that found in a charter of William I, which grants to the abbot of Battle and two of his monks that, when summoned to the royal court, they shall have the following livery: two panes similagines de dominico, two panes similagines de communi, one sester of wine de dominico, one sester of wine de communi, six dishes of fish "or of whatever else may be at the court," two candles, and ten candle-ends (Calendar of Charter Rolls, III, 196; Davis, Regesta, no. 60). The later paragraph telling about the four bakers apparently makes the difference between the demeine and the ordinary simnel chiefly a matter of size. The liveries of food, drink, and candles were in addition to the regular meals; cf. no. 57.

4 Vinum expensabile, wine of issue.

5 Plural in the Black Book, singular in the Red Book — one of many such discrepancies.

6 Holy Thursday.

7 In the text the preceding sentence is obviously out of place, being inserted after the description of the master dispenser.

8 The officer in charge of cloths for the tables and related services.

9Ostiarius, which at this time still retained its original meaning of doorkeeper.

10 Evidently, as Round pointed out, the pannetier, whose title was eventually corrupted into pantler.

11 The modius was also a measure of wine; see above, p. 52, n. 10. In the present instance it is obvious that a considerable quantity of grain or flour is meant.

12Nebularius — the maker of the sweet wafers that were the more highly prized in an age when sugar was a great rarity.

13Sumelarius, French sommelier — originally a person in charge of packing utensils or produce; cf. sumarius, a pack-horse.

14 The text of this sentence and of the one following is badly corrupted.

15 See Round, King's Serjeants, p. 58.

16Venacionem; see below, p. 87, n. 2.

17 Probably wine-skins. At any rate, the hosarii were somehow connected with the receipt and distribution of wine; see Round, King's Serjeants, pp. 177 f.

18Butarius, presumably the man in charge of the casks in the cellar.

19 Maple-wood cups.

20 Originally a subordinate of the chamberlain, now his equal. The rise of this officer is eloquent testimony to the growing importance of financial administration.

21 The man responsible for carrying the king's bedding when he went on journeys.

22Aquarius, water-bearer.

23 The members of the household.

24 Perhaps this and the following sentence are misplaced, belonging rather Under the description of the chamber.

25Cortinarius, the man who cared for the tents and hangings used in connection with a royal progress.

26 The berner had charge of the ordinary coursing dogs; the velterers of the larger greyhounds. These two groups both hunted the quarry by sight. The liam-hound, on the other hand, followed a track by scent, like a bloodhound. The brachs were smaller dogs of the same sort. Harriers were apparently used for hunting hares. On this whole subject, see Round, King's Serjeants, pp. 268 f.