Record Series - 138  

York Civic Records

edited by Deborah Sutton (1978)


Record Series 138This book intends to continue the work of Angelo Raine in his edition of the York Corporation House Books, published in eight volumes by the YAHS in its Record Series between 1939 and 1953. The text transcribed here, begins in 1588, where he left off, and continues until January 1591.

Even a brief glance at the earlier volumes, which begin in 1474, will reveal how much circumstances had changed in the administration of city affairs and life in general. In his introduction to the first volume Raine points out that the House Books were not exactly minute books, but of the nature of memoranda books. By 1588, however, the entries in House Book 30 are much closer in presentation to the traditional minutes of any corporate body. Thus, the later books, although they are more comprehensive, do not include, for example, the examinations of individual parties to disputes, which we find in earlier ones. In addition to the changing nature of the records, we have to take account of the great social change which took place in the period which they cover: the Reformation, with all its implications for York – the dropping of the Creed plays and other traditional ceremonies, the gradual dismantling of decorations in churches and hospitals – and the settling down of Corporation routine – a process partly encouraged by the important charter of Henry VIII, which fixed the organization of elections.

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