12 September, 2008

Household Ordinance of 1318, Part Two

The second part of my translation, from the French, of parts of the 1318 Household Ordinance of Edward II, this time focusing on the Marshalsea, or stables - a vital office in a household as itinerant as Edward II's was. Here are a few of the jobs as detailed in the Ordinance:

Item, 1 segeant herberiour (harbinger, stableman) of the king's palfreys, who will guard the palfreys, destriers, coursers and other horses of the king's stable. And he will ride alongside the king, in his company, and will carry the saddle-cloths of the horses the king will mount. And he will lead to the king the horse which he will mount; and he will receive the king on his dismount. And he will make purveyance of all manner of harnesses which belong to his office...And he will eat in the hall. When he is outside the court on the king's business, at the testimony of the said chief clerk of the marshalsea, he will take 4p a day for his wages [recorded in] the rolls of the marshalsea; and livery for 2 horses, and livery for 1 boy; 2 robes per year, or 46 shillings and 8p in money; and for his bed a gallon of ale, 3 candles.

Item, 1 valet herberiour beneath him, who will stable the king's destriers, palfreys, coursers and other horses...He will find a cresset [lamp] every night burning in the stable, and will take every day for the said cresset 2p; for wages, 2p a day; 1 robe per year, or 1 mark in money; and for shoes, 4 shillings and 8p for 2 seasons of the year.

Item, 1 sergeant herberiour of pack-horses (or sumpter-horses) and carthorses.

Item, 1 valet herberiour beneath him, who will stable the said horses, pack-horses and carts, and ensure that the said horses are well and comfortably provided for; and he will help in doing all things of this same office according to the instructions and commands of the said sergeant.

Item, 1 chief clerk purveyor of the oats, who will make the purveyances of hay, oats, straw, harnesses, and other things required by the office of the marshalsea...And he will take livery for one horse, and wages for 1 boy, 1p per day, and 2 robes per year, or 40 shillings in money. And his bed shall be carried on the cart of his office.

Item, 1 sergeant marshal, who will make sure that the horses are well guarded, and will make medicines, and will receive money from the Wardrobe for the medicinal items of his office...

Item, there shall be 20 carts for the offices, each to 5 horses...and for the said carts there shall be 20 carters...

Item, there shall be 34 pack-horses, 16 for the king's chamber, 18 for the other offices of the household; to the keeping of which shall be assigned 34 sumpters (drivers), who will guard the said pack-horses...

Item, 1 hackneyman (that word is written in English: hakeneyman)

Item, 1 sergeant marshall, keeper of the great horses lodged outside the court...And the said sergeant will have as many valets to guard the said horses as there are horses in his keeping, and no more. And each of the said valets will take 2p per day for wages, 1 robe per year, or 10 shillings in money.

Item, 1 sergeant marshal, keeper of the young horses, who shall be moved out of the king's stud, the other horses also, who will be delivered to him to look after at any time by the king's command; who will look after the young horses well and comfortably, until such time as they are ready to work, and when the king wishes. And he will take livery of hay and oats for the horses, 1 boy at 1p a day wages, and 2 robes per year, or 40 shillings in money. And he will have as many valets as he has horses, and no more; and each of the valets will take 2p a day wages, 1 robe per year or 10 shillings in money, and for shoes 3 shillings and 4p.

And the other jobs of the Marshalsea:

- chief clerk
- chief clerk purveyor
- 2 valet purveyors of oats
- 1 carrier of grain, "who will carry sacks full of grain"
- 1 groom for sick horses.


Carla said...

That's quite a big department, but then it had a big job to do. I suppose the approximate equivalent nowadays would be a logisitics company :-)
I wonder why they used the English word for hackneyman? Was there really no French equivalent, or do you suppose it's an indication that English was spoken some of the time even if the official records were all in French?

Jules Frusher said...

It always amazes me to see the various jobs in these households - and how many people were employed.

I take it that this was just Edward's household and that Isabella would have had her own horses - and so would Hugh?

Nice bit of translating by the way :-)

Kathryn Warner said...

Carla: that's a good analogy - imagine the enormous logistical issues of moving a household of 500+ people every few days! ;)

I don't think there was a French equivalent of hackneyman - they also used the word 'hakeney' for 'hackney'. I'd love to know whether, or to what extent, they spoke English, though.

Thanks, Lady D! These were only Ed's horses - Isa had a separate household, and though I'm sure Hugh's horses were also kept in the royal stables, the ordinance only names the men responsible for the king's horses.

Anerje said...

Interesting to see how the stables were managed - and how vast they were! The court 'on the move' as it were, must have been an amazing sight!

Gabriele Campbell said...

In a documentary about Charlemagne who traveled from one palatine caslte to the next a lot, they staged such a scene. With 6 or 7 people - what a measly retinue. I bet you could add a few zeros to get closer to reality. :)