Textiles as Seen in Medieval Account Books and Household Accounts from c.1240-1389

Annotated Bibliography of Primary Sources (Listed Chronologically):

  1. “Letter from Adam Marsh to Eleanor de Montfort, countess of Leicester, c1250” [From J.S. Brewer, ed., Monumenta Franciscana, 2 vols, Rolls Series, London, 1858-82, I, pp. 294-6; in Latin] found in Women of the English Nobility and Gentry 1066-1500, Edited and Translated by Jennifer Ward, Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 1995.  ISBN# 0719041147 Page 53-55
    1. Adam March (c.1200-1259) was a Franciscan friar, biblical scholar and teacher.  He also served King John. (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography)
    2. Eleanor de Montfort (c.1258-1282) was the princess of Wales, wife of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd.  (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography)
  1. ——, The Household Book of Queen Isabella of England for the Fifth Regnal Year of Edward II: 8th July 1311 to 7th July 1312, Edited by F.D. Blackley and G. Hermansen. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: The University of Alberta Press, 1971. ISBN#0-88864-001-3
    1. Queen Isabella of England (1295-1358 and sometimes called Isabella of France), daughter of the King of France, wife to Edward II of England (1284-1327), also known as the she-wolf of France.  These portions of her household accounts were during the period when her relationship with her husband was cordial if strained and before Gaveston was killed.  She was also pregnant with their first child during much of this period.  The household account lists several items of textiles, including cloth of gold and a few gowns.  If you add cloth for horses there are further examples.  (As an additional note this is also an excellent source for those who are interested in cooking as her kitchen and spices take up most of the ledger.)  (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography)
  1. “Gifts given by Eleanor, countess of Guelders, on her marriage, 17-20 May, 1332” [PRO, E. 101/386/7, fos. 10r-10v] found in Vale, Malcom, The Princely Court: Medieval Courts and Culture in North-West Europe.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.  ISBN#978-0-19-926993-8, Page 313
  1. “Some extracts from the English Great Wardrobe Accounts Relevant to the Making of Special Garments and the Costs and Lengths of Stuffs in General Use” [E101-390-5; 800E101/392/3; E101/392/3; E101/394/9; E101/390/1; E101/391/4 and E101/394/12] found in Newton, Stella Mary, Fashion in the Age of the Black Prince, Rochester NY: Boydell & Brewer, 1980. ISBN# 0-85115-767-x, Pages 136-139
    1. Edward III of England
  1. “The provisioning of Elizabeth’s de Burgh’s household according to her wardrobe account of 1350-51” [From Public Record Office, London, E101/93/8; in Latin] found in Women of the English Nobility and Gentry 1066-1500, Edited and Translated by Jennifer Ward, Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 1995.  ISBN# 0719041147 Page 162-179 and 81
  1. “Elizabeth de Burgh’s private expenditure, 1351-52” [From Public Record Office, London, E101/93/12, m. 1, 2, in French] found in Women of the English Nobility and Gentry 1066-1500, Edited and Translated by Jennifer Ward, Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 1995.  ISBN# 0719041147 Page 183-185
  1. “Elizabeth de Burgh’s bequests to the Bardolf family; the will is dated 1355 but Elizabeth did not die until 1360” [From Lambeth Palace Library, London, Register of Simon Islip, fos 165v-166r; in French] found in Women of the English Nobility and Gentry 1066-1500, Edited and Translated by Jennifer Ward, Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 1995.  ISBN# 0719041147 Page 82
    1. Elizabeth de Burgh (also known as the Lady of Clare and Elizabeth de Clare) (1294/4-1360) was the youngest daughter of Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester and Hertford and Joan of Acre, daughter of Edward I of England.  She was married to John de Burgh, eldest son of the earl of Ulster.  They had one son, William de Burgh.  She and her two sisters became the sole heirs to estates valued at about £6000 a year in 1314.  She has a long and interesting history, too much for this brief bio, so I encourage you to look her up.  She was also the magnate and founder of Clare College, Cambridge and she is known for managing her own estates. (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography)
  1. “Extracts from the will of William de Ferrers of Groby, referring to his mother, wives, daughters and siblings” [From Lambeth Palace Library, Register of William Whittlesey, fos 124v-125r; in Latin] found in Women of the English Nobility and Gentry 1066-1500, Edited and Translated by Jennifer Ward, Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 1995.  ISBN# 0719041147 Page 83
    1. William de Ferrers was the third Lord Ferrers, (1333-1371).  As a young boy £50 were set aside for his maintenance (his father died when he was only 10).  He married Margaret, coheir of William Ufford, earl of Suffolk.  They had two children.  His second marriage was to Margaret daughter of Henry Percy, second Lord Percy.  His will is dated to June 1, 1368.  He died in January 8, 1371. (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography)
  1. “Examples of plate, furnishings and jewellery bequeathed by Phillipa countess of March, 1378” [From Nicolas, Collection of All the Wills of the Kings and Queens of England, page 99-101; in French] found in Women of the English Nobility and Gentry 1066-1500, Edited and Translated by Jennifer Ward, Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 1995.  ISBN# 0719041147 Page 186-7
  1. “Examples of the lady’s dress from the accounts of Mary de Bohun, countess of Derby, 1387-88” [From Public Record Office, London, DL28/1/2, fos 19-25; in Latin] found in Women of the English Nobility and Gentry 1066-1500, Edited and Translated by Jennifer Ward, Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 1995.  ISBN# 0719041147 Pages 187-8
  1. ”Entries from the accounts of Mary de Bohun, countess of Derby, giving details of purchases for her children, 1387-88” [From Public Record Office, London, DL28/1/2, fos. 19r-24v; in Latin] found in Women of the English Nobility and Gentry 1066-1500, Edited and Translated by Jennifer Ward, Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 1995.  ISBN# 0719041147 Page 73
    1. Mary de Bohun was the younger daughter and coheir of Humphred de Bohun, 11th earl of Hereford.  She was married to Henry IV of England (in February 1381) as arranged by John Gaunt in July 1380.  Mother to Henry V of England.  They had 5 children in all: Henry, Thomas, John, Humphrey, Blanche, and Philippa.  She died giving birth to Philippa in 1394.  (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography under Henry IV)
  1. “The maintenance of Lady Katherine Swynford and her daughter in the household of Lady Mary de Bohun, countess of Derby, John of Gaunt’s daughter-in-law, 1387” [From Public Record Office, London, DL28/1/2, fos 21, 24, Lady Mary’s chamber and wardrobe account; in Latin] found in Women of the English Nobility and Gentry 1066-1500, Edited and Translated by Jennifer Ward, Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 1995.  ISBN# 0719041147 Page 63
    1. Katherine Swynford, duchess of Lancaster (1350?-1403) was the mistress and third wife of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster.  She was the daughter of Sir. Payn Roelt, a knight of Hainault.  (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography)
  1. “Lady Alice West of Hampshire, 1395, Will” [found at Fifty earliest English wills in the Court of Probate, London: A. D. 1387-1439 : with a priest's of 1454, Church of England. Province of Canterbury. Prerogative Court.  Frederick J. Furnivall, http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=cme;idno=EEWills;rgn=div1;view=text;cc=cme;node=EEWills%3A8 ]
    1. Bequests blankest and bedding to children and servants.  Bequests vestments to the church.
  1. “John, son of Henry, duke of Hereford and Mary de Bohun, in the household of Margaret de Brotherton at Framlingham, 1397” [From Public Record Office, London, DL28/1/6, fo 25v; in Latin] found in Women of the English Nobility and Gentry 1066-1500, Edited and Translated by Jennifer Ward, Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 1995.  ISBN# 0719041147 Page 74
    1. John was one of the sons of Mary de Bohun, Queen of England.  Please see previous entry for Mary de Bohun.
  1. “The servants of Elizabeth countess of Salisbury, according to her will 1414 (the servants were remembered in hierarchical order)” [From Lambeth Palace Library, London, Register of Henry Chichele Part 1, fo 268b; in Latin] found in Women of the English Nobility and Gentry 1066-1500, Edited and Translated by Jennifer Ward, Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 1995.  ISBN# 0719041147 page 189-90
  1. “Thomas Tvoky, Esquire, will 1418” [found in Fifty earliest English wills in the Court of Probate, London: A. D. 1387-1439: with a priest's of 1454, Church of England. Province of Canterbury. Prerogative Court.  Frederick J. Furnivall, http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/textidx?c=cme;idno=EEWills;rgn=div1;view=text;cc=cme;node=EEWills%3A19]
    1. A large number of textiles and garments are listed in this short will almost to the exclusion of all else.
  1. “John Rogerysson, of London, 1419-20, Will” [from found at Fifty earliest English wills in the Court of Probate, London: A. D. 1387-1439: with a priest's of 1454, Church of England. Province of Canterbury. Prerogative Court.  Frederick J. Furnivall, http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/textidx?c=cme;idno=EEWills;rgn=div1;view=text;cc=cme;node=EEWills%3A21
    1. A large number of garments and bed clothes given to associates.  He seems to be a commoner rather than royalty/nobility.
  1. “Countess of Warwick, Will, 1439” [from found at Fifty earliest English wills in the Court of Probate, London: A. D. 1387-1439: with a priest's of 1454, Church of England. Province of Canterbury. Prerogative Court.  Frederick J. Furnivall, http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/textidx?c=cme;idno=EEWills;rgn=div1;view=text;cc=cme;node=EEWills%3A53]
    1. The countess of Warwick and Worcester, Isabelle (July 26, 1400-1439), was the daughter of Thomas le Despenser and the countess of York.  She married Richard de Beauchamp, 1st earl of Worcester (d.1422) and later Richard de Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwick (her 1st husband’s cousin).  She had 3 children, Elizabeth de Beauchamp, Lady of Abergavenny, Henry Earl of Warwick and Anne Beauchamp, Countess of Warwick.   There are several bequests of garments including cloth of gold made in this will.
  1. “Will of Sir Thomas Cumberworth, knight, of Somerby 1450-1451” [Found in Lincoln diocese documents, 1450-1544 edited by Andrew Clark, 1856-1922, London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. Ltd. Humphrey Mildord, Oxford University Press, 1914. http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/textidx?type=simple;rgn=div2;c=cme;cc=cme;idno=LinDDoc;q1=cloth;submit=Go;view=text;subview=detail;node=LinDDoc%3A1.2]
    1. This will has several bequests of cloth of various types and garments.
  2. “Examples of plate and furnishings bequeathed by Matilda Lady St. John, 1452” [from Lambeth Palace Library, London, Register of John Kemp, fo. 314r; in Latin] found in Women of the English Nobility and Gentry 1066-1500, Edited and Translated by Jennifer Ward, Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 1995.  ISBN# 0719041147 Page 187
  1. “Wardrobe Accounts of Edward IV (1480)” [From Privy Purse Expenses of Elizabeth of York: Wardrobe Accounts of Edward IV Preface, Introductory Remarks and Remarks on the Wardrobe Accounts, Editor and Translator Nicholas Harris Nocolas, Esq. 1830, Online Transcription by Judie C. Gall, found at the Richard III Society/American Branch/ORB: The Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies : www.r3.ord/bookcase/wardrobe/ward1.html]
  1. “Privy Purse of Elizabeth of York: March 1502-1503” [From Privy Purse Expenses of Elizabeth of York: Wardrobe Accounts of Edward IV Preface, Introductory Remarks and Remarks on the Wardrobe Accounts, Editor and Translator Nicholas Harris Nocolas, Esq. 1830, Online Transcription by Judie C. Gall, found at the Richard III Society/American Branch/ORB: The Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies : www.r3.ord/bookcase/wardrobe/ward1.html]

Further accounts can be found in the references below, however they are in medieval French or Latin.

Woolgar, C.M. Household Accounts from Medieval England, Part I & II: Diet Accounts (ii), Cash, Corn and Stock Accounts, Wardrobe Accounts, Catalogue.  New York: Oxford University Press, 1993. ISBN# 01972611362

This 2 volume set includes 28 partial transcriptions of household, privy, and account books for English households but they are not translated or complete.  Some of them are available above (in translation) and some of them are not.  C.M. Woolgar also included a list of all available accounts books in medieval England and their locations if you choose to go find them.

One Response to Textiles as Seen in Medieval Account Books and Household Accounts from c.1240-1389

  1. Sarah says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! I’m very excited to start digging through sources.

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