57. EDWARD II: HOUSEHOLD ORDINANCE (1318)
... The king should have a fit steward of the household, who, if he is a
banneret, is to have a knight, three squires, and a clerk for the
pleas that pertain to the stewardship, [all of them] eating in the hall. And
each night he shall receive for his chamber a sester of wine, twelve candles,
two tortis pur viu, and one torch, and more when he needs
them. And [he is to have] bedding for the whole year and wood for the winter
season — from the eve of All Saints to the eve of Easter — [to be
obtained] from the usher of the hall. And [he is to have] a livery for his
chamberlain: namely, a portion of bread, a gallon of ale, and a general serving
(messe de gros) from the kitchen. And [he is to have] dinners and
suppers when he wants them; and as fees 20m. a year, in equal
instalments on the feasts of Christmas and Pentecost. And if he is a simple
knight, he shall receive fees and robes like the other simple knights of the
household, and shall have two squires and his clerk eating in the hall.
A treasurer of the wardrobe, who is to have a chaplain, a clerk, and two
squires eating in the hall....
A chamberlain, who, if he is a banneret, is to have a knight and three
squires eating in the hall....
Item, a comptroller, who is to keep a counter-roll against the treasurer
of the wardrobe for all receipts and issues pertaining to the same wardrobe;
and he is to witness them in the exchequer in connection with the account of
the said treasurer. And he shall attend the receipt of wines in gross and shall
supervise all the offices of the household, such as the pantry, butlery,
cellar, larder, spicery, dispensary of oats (avenerie) and other
offices, [to see] that the wines and victuals that he finds in the said offices
are good and suitable for dispensing in the said household.... And he is to go
into those same offices every Monday to examine the remainders [of supplies]
and to see that they, with the amounts dispensed in the past week, agree with
the receipts of the aforesaid week. And he shall be in the kitchen for the
cutting of meat and the division of fish.... And every day, if he sees
reasonable cause, he shall be present at the account, together with
the steward and the treasurer. And this same comptroller of the wardrobe is to
have a clerk and a squire eating in the hall....
Item, a cofferer, who shall be appointed for the treasurer and shall
have a clerk eating in the hall....
Item, two clerks of the counting table, well able to write and perform
all duties touching the wardrobe and its account under the [direction of the]
Item, a fit clerk keeper of the privy seal, who is to have a squire
eating in the hall....
Item, a clerk purveyor of the great wardrobe, who should
sleep on guard when he is at court. And he shall have a squire eating in the
Item, a clerk of the spicery, chief usher of the wardrobe, who shall
receive from the clerk purveyor of the great wardrobe the wax, napery, linen,
cloth, canvas, spices, and the other things of all sorts that pertain to his
office, [and this] by indenture expressly mentioning price, yardage, weight,
and cost. And he shall cause to be weighed the wax which the
chandler is to have worked, and shall reweigh it after it has been worked. And
he shall oversee and cause to be recorded by his under-clerk the liveries of
chandlery made each day in the wardrobe, and on the next day he shall supervise
the putting away of the torches, the great candles, and the
mortars. Each day he shall record the parcels of all sorts of
things delivered and dispensed from his office, as counted since the day
before, and he shall answer concerning them at the account of the household.
And he shall oversee the carriages belonging to the wardrobe, as well for the
coffers and other things of his office as for the beds of the wardrobe clerks
which ought to be carried. And he shall make allowance in his roll for the
carriage and transportation reasonably used in connection with the king's
Item, a serjeant under-usher of the wardrobe, who shall live in the
wardrobe, sleeping within its door to safeguard all the things inside it. And
he shall be answerable if peril is incurred by his default. And he shall obtain
from the offices the liveries for all men of the wardrobe, and he shall carry
out their orders....
Item, a porter of the wardrobe, who shall carry the coffers and the
other furnishings of the wardrobe to the carts, and shall load and unload them.
And he shall be on the cart [while it is] on the road. And at night, if the
cart is outdoors wandering through the country, he shall remain on
Item, a squire fruiterer, who shall receive and take from the clerk of
the spicery confections and other spiceries, and figs and grapes for the king's
mouth. And each day he shall record for the said clerk what has been expended
on the previous day: as well the said spiceries and fruit, thus received from
the said clerk, as apples, pears, cherries, and other fruits which the said
fruiterer shall purvey....
Item, a serjeant chandler, who shall receive the wax and candlewicks by
weight from the clerk of the spicery, and shall have them worked according to
the assize contained in the statute....
Item, a confessor of the king and his companion....
Item, a chief chaplain, who is to have a squire eating in the hall ...
and five chaplains ... and six clerks....
Item, an almoner chaplain, who is to have a squire eating in the
Item, a physician....
Item, a surgeon....
Item, a clerk of the market, coroner of the king's household, who shall
enforce the assize of bread, wine, and ale; also the assize of all sorts of
measures, weights, and yards within the verge of our lord the king's presence.
And he shall have wrongdoers who have broken the assize, or who are found with
false measures, punished by imposition or fine....
Item, the king shall have a squire inspector and keeper of viands for
his mouth, and an inspector of his table; also a squire to carve before the
king and a squire to serve him with his cup....
Item, the king shall have two squires ushers of the chamber, one of whom
shall be serjeant purveyor of wood and bedding for the office of the
chamber.... And the serjeant purveyor shall have a servingman to help him in
Item, eight footmen of the chamber, who shall serve in the chamber
making beds, holding and carrying torches, and [doing] various other things
according to the commands of the king's chamberlain....
Item, the king is to have thirty serjeants-at-arms, properly armed and
mounted ... , who shall daily ride armed before the king's person while he is
journeying through the country, unless they have other commands from the king
or the steward....
Item, a knight chief usher of the hall, who shall have charge of the
door of the hall, [seeing] that it is well kept by the serjeants and valets of
the usher, as is fit. And he shall take care that the hall is well and
honourably served, and that no one eats there except those who rightfully
should, saving always that strangers are received and honoured as they ought to
be. And each day he should enter and inspect the offices of the household, [to
see] that the things sent by the purveyors are sufficient according to the
purchase, and that no one is permitted in the same offices except those who
ought to be there. And he shall have a squire eating in the hall....
Item, two serjeants ushers of the hall, of whom one shall be purveyor of
wood and of bedding for the service of the hall....
Item, two knights marshals of the hall, of whom one shall have charge of
lodgings and the other shall be on duty in the hall....
Item, two serjeants marshals of the hall, of whom one shall have charge
of lodgings and the other shall be on duty in the hall....
Item, a serjeant overseer of the sideboard for the hall, who is to
advise concerning the places that he serves, according as persons of high
estate and others may be seated in the hall....
Item, a chief clerk of the pantry and butlery, who ought to keep the
records of his office. And he is to respond each day at the account of the
household.... He shall be present at the receipt of bread, wine, and ale; and
he shall inspect and examine [them, to see] that they are of the proper weight,
measure, and value....
Item, a serjeant chief pantler, who shall receive the bread in gross by
view of the clerk or the under-clerk, and shall each day be answerable to the
chief clerk for the enrolment of what has been dispensed....
Item, a serjeant pantler for the king's mouth, who each day shall
receive from the great pantry the bread for the king and for his chamber, and
for no other place....
Item, a waferer, who shall serve the king, the hall, and the chamber
with wafers, as pertains to him....
Item, a serjeant baker, who shall bake all sorts of bread for dispensing
in the king's household — as well round loaves for all the commonalty as
demeine loaves for the king's mouth....
Item, a serjeant naperer, who shall perform his office in the king's
chamber and in the hall. And he shall receive the napery from the clerk of the
spicery and shall be responsible for it at the account whenever he is
Item, a ewerer for the chamber, who shall perform his office in the said
Item, a launderer for the king's chamber, who shall wash all sorts of
linen cut for the king's body ... and the covers used in the
service of the chamber....
Item, a launderer of napery, who shall wash all sorts of cut linen
pertaining to the said office of napery, and the covers from offices connected
with the hall....
Item, a chief butler, serjeant purveyor of wines.... And he shall do
that which pertains to him according to the content of the statute concerning
his office below.
Item, a serjeant butler of the household, who shall receive and dispense
all wine and ale that are dispensed in the household....
Item, a serjeant butler for the king, who shall receive from the butler
of the household all the wine and ale that are dispensed in the king's
Item, a chief clerk of the kitchen, who ought to make the enrolments
pertaining to his office. And every day at the account in the wardrobe before
the steward and the treasurer he shall be responsible for the parcels delivered
[in the kitchen] and for all other matters pertaining to his office. And he
shall be present at the cutting of meat and the division of fish. And he shall
oversee the purchase and the cost of meat and fish and of all other things
pertaining to his office, with the aid of the comptroller, the knight usher of
the hall or the knight marshal, and the sewer of the king's
Item, two serjeants cooks for the king's mouth....
Item, two serjeants cooks for the hall....
Item, a serjeant larderer, who shall receive the meat and fish that the
buyers cause to be brought to the larder, or which comes as a present; also the
venison which comes thither from the king's huntsmen or from any other source.
And he shall deliver the aforesaid meat and fish to be dispensed for the
household in parcels, and [this] under the inspection of the comptroller, the
knight usher of the hall or the knight marshal of the hall, the clerk of the
kitchen, the sewer of the king's table, and the chief cook. And he shall keep
the food on the sideboard and each day he shall give to the said clerk a record
of the parcels of the aforesaid meat and fish dispensed in the manner
Item, a serjeant poulterer, who shall attend to purchases and purveyance
of all sorts of things pertaining to his office....
Item, a serjeant of the scullery, who shall buy and purvey wood,
charcoal, and all sorts of vessels of brass, iron, and wood that belong
to the kitchen; also the pots and various other things pertaining to his
Item, a [second] serjeant of the scullery, who shall receive the silver
vessels from the wardrobe by number and weight ... , and shall keep them and be
responsible for them by number and weight in the same wardrobe at the end of
Item, a serjeant of the saucery, who shall buy and purvey flour for all
manner of sauces and other things needed for the office of the saucery and the
Item, a serjeant porter, who shall guard the door where the king sleeps,
so that none may enter except those who by right should do
Item, a chief clerk of the marshalsea....
(French) Tout, Edward II in English History, pp.
 The preamble explains that this ordinance was drawn up at
the king's request by the steward, the chamberlain, the treasurer, and the
comptroller of the wardrobe, to define the duties of the various officials and
to establish needed reforms in the administration of the household. On the
general significance of the document, see Tout, Place of Edward II in
English History, ch. v, and Chapters in Mediaeval Administrative
History, II, pp. 242 f.
 The banneret, as opposed to the simple knight or bachelor,
had the right to bear a square pennon on his lance.
 Large candles "for view (? display)"; see Oxford English
Dictionary under tortis. Henceforth the expression will be
translated merely as "great candles."
 All the greater officials received liveries similar to that
of the steward, but with considerable variation in the particular items.
Besides, each normally had his own chamberlain, who was entitled to food and
 Drawn up in the wardrobe; see no. 52C.
 Also four under-clerks with liveries.
 See above, p. 171, n. 8.
 This was a newly established reform, as is explained in the
next paragraph of the text.
 Bowls of oil with floating wicks.  Also an
under-clerk to assist him.
 I.e., a separate ordinance dealing with these matters. Two
serving-men under the chandler worked the wax.
 With four horses and three grooms.
 Also a clerk and a serving-man.
 Under the serjeants were two serving-men; under the knight
was a sewer, who had charge of setting the table.
 He was assisted by two squires sewers, who served the
meals in the hall. Besides, twenty-four squires were on duty in the hall, to
carry out the commands of the high officials.
 Also an under-clerk, who kept tallies for all bread, wine,
and ale received.
 Also a serving-man and two porters.
 Assisted by a serving-man for the chamber, and one for the
rest of the household.
 Cf. above, p. 66, n. 3. The baker was assisted by two
serving-men, one for the oven and the other for the mill.
 Also a serving-man.
 Also a serving-man, who acted as ewerer for the hall.
 This portion of the text is very corrupt.
 A separate ordinance added at the end of the survey.
 Also enumerated in the service of the butlery: a
serving-man of the cuphouse two drawers of ale and wine, a purveyor of ale, two
serving-men of the pitcher-house, and two porters.
 As assistants he had an under-clerk and two buyers, who
were to give money or tallies for anything taken by purveyance.
 Under each pair of cooks were five serving-men.
 Under him were an usher of the larder and two porters.
 Three serving-men assisted him in obtaining poultry and
preparing it for the kitchen.
 Also two serving-men.
 Here the text gives a detailed account of all the services
connected with the king's stables. The chief clerk, assisted by a purveyor of
oats, had charge of all records pertaining to the office, including tallies
given for oats, hay, straw, harness, etc. The actual care of the king's horses
— palfreys, chargers, pack-horses, draught-horses, etc. — devolved on
two serjeants harbingers and three serjeants marshals, under whom were numerous
serving-men, porters, and grooms. The record then describes the officers in
charge of the king's hunting, fishing, and fowling, and lists his trumpeters,
musicians, messengers, and archers. It ends with a group of particular
ordinances to regulate the duties of the chief butler, the arrangement of
lodgings for the court, the daily account in the wardrobe, the exclusion from
the household of undesirable persons, and many other matters.