History

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Colchester Waits

Waits or minstrels were recorded in 1379, 1384, and 1406; the first two were maintained by the borough. (fn. 67)
From: 'Medieval Colchester: Townspeople', A History of the County of Essex: Volume 9: The Borough of Colchester (1994), pp. 57-66.
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=21974&strquery=waits .


Summary of mentions of payments to Musicians in Colchester Chaimberlain’s Accounts 1681- 1818

1681: "Payd for 30 yds Blow Cloath for [Eleven?] Coats at 12d per yd comes to 18-0-0
  Payd for 20 yds of Blow Cloath for 5 Cloaks for the Towns Musicke at 12d per yd comes to 12-0-0
  For 25 yds of Silver and Gold……"  
  (to be continued when I've got a copy made and got someone to decipher it!
They bought another 2 yds of the same cloth later in the year "for the taylor" so I suspect he ran out.)
 

168[4?] "To his musicians 001-00-00"

1699 "To the musik att St Anns Fair by [Mr?] Mayor’s Order -10-00"

1704-05 "Ringers on several occaisions  
  Musick y like 1-0-0"

1705-1723 No accounts available  

1723-24 "Paid the ringers on Miches* Day -10-00"
  To Musick Same -10-00"
  "Paid the ringers on Fair Day -10-00"
  To Musick Same -10-00"
  Paid the ringers on Coronation Day -12-00"
  "To Musick Same -5-4-00"
  "Paid the ringers on 5th November -10-00"
  "To Musick Same -10-00"
  "To Musick on King’s Birth Day -10-00"
  "To Ringers -10-00"
  "To Musick on 5th August -10-00"
  "To Ringers -10-00"
  *Probably Michelmass as the accounts run from Michelmass of one year to the next and this is one of the first entries for the year

1724-25 "Musick -10-00"
  4 identical entries, usually along with "Ringers" at the same rate  

1725-26 "Musick -10-00"
  5 identical entries, usually along with "Ringers" at the same rate  

1726-27 "Musick -10-00"
  5 identical entries, usually along with "Ringers" at the same rate  
  "Drummers -5-00"
  1 entry under the first Musick  

1727-28 "Musick -10-00"
  4 entries, usually along with "Ringers" at the same rate  
  "Drummers -5-00"
  2 entries under the Musick  

1728-29 "Musick -10-00"
  3 entries, usually along with "Ringers" at the same rate  
  "Drummers -5-00"
  2 entries under the Musick  

1729-30 "Musick 1-00-00"
  "Musick -10-00"
  3 entries, usually along with "Ringers" at the same rate  
  "Drummers -5-00"
  2 entries under the Musick  

1730-31 "Paid the Musick -10-00"
  3 entries, usually along with "Ringers" at the same rate  
  "Paid the Musick -12-06"
  "Paid the Musick 1-00-00"
  "Paid the Drummers -5-00"

1731-32 "Paid the Musick -10-00"
  6 entries  
  "Paid the Drummers -5-00"

1733-1764 No accounts available  

1764-65 "Paid the Musick and Drums -13-0"

1765-66 "Paid the Musick and Drums 1-11-6"
  "Paid for liquor for them at the Swan -11-0"

1766-67 "Paid the Musick and Drums 1-11-6"
  "Paid for liquor for the musick etc -10-0"

1767-68 "Paid the Musick 1-1-0"
  "Paid the Musick and Drums 1-11-6"
  "Paid for liquor for the musick etc -14-0"

1768-69 "Paid the Musick and Drums 1-16-0"
  "Paid for liquor for [them?] -17-5"

1769-70 "Paid the Musick and Drums 1-16-0"
  Paid for liquor for [them?] -11-0"

1770-71 "Paid the Musick and Drums 1-13-6
  "Paid for liquor for the musick etc -13-10"


The next available accounts are for 1798-1818 and contain no references to musicians. They do contain plenty of payments to watchmen for attending sessions and elections and in lieu of coats which are not present in the earlier records.


Elizabeth Gutteridge 5/9/07



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