Cows, pigs, scolds and a pile of rubbish

Blog Page 14From the Monk wardmote court held on Friday 5th June 1579 ….

Mr Palmer, Mr Slater, and the priests Sir John Hunter and Sir John Richardson were all fined 10 shillings for keeping cattle on the common.  None were registered as freemen of the city and therefore were not entitled to graze animals on common land.

Thomas Kyng was presented and fined 3s 4d because his wife had been scolding with her neighbours.  Her aggressively anti-social behaviour earned her a trip in the city’s thew, a cart that was pulled through the streets, exposing the occupants to the humiliation of insults and abuse from the crowd.

George Thomson, Thomas Jackson, Thomas Bowes and John Hunter were all fined 13s 4d for keeping pigs that roamed around the streets and were thought to spread disease. Thomas Carter’s fine was less – 6s 8d, or half a mark – because he only had one pig, while Uxor Bentley was fined the same amount ‘for kepinge of one little pigg’.

Mr Beckwith and Mr Robinson, both aldermen, were ordered to pave before their orchards in Hungate before the following Michaelmas, or forfeit 3s 4d.  This was known as being ‘laid in pain’.  If they complied, no more would be said about the matter, but those who failed to comply then forfeited the fine at the following court.

Mr Robinson, Mr Askwith and Mr Bolt were also laid in pain to get rid of their ‘ramell’ (rubbish, vegetable matter, weeds, etc) that was blocking the road at St Saviour’s church.  They had until Lammas to get it done, or forfeit the fine of 6s 8d.

Edward Exilby was laid in pain to get rid of the hay from his chamber (presumably because of the fire risk) before Lammas or face a fine of 3s 4d at the following court.


From YCA E31, p.14.  Excerpts reproduced by kind permission of City of York Council Archives and Local History.


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