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records. A small quarto of sixty leaves in vellum in oak covers, one much larger than the other, and having a square hole in the lower part to put the hand through. On the outside are a couple of merchants' marks._ The Ordinances commence at the top of folio 10, and are written continuously without any break to the fifth line of folio 20th, the heading of each being in rubric. The handwriting is that of the first part of the 14th Century.
Prefixed to the ordinances on folio 9 is the guildsmen's or burgesses' oath, in which mention is made of a Mayor. The ordinances are of various dates, some of them belonging to the earliest period of the Guild.
It contains an imperfect list of the Boroughs of England, and particulars of the date of incorporation.
The oath in French administered to and sworn by the " Meyre, Bailiff, e bones gents of the town."
The Laws or ordinances and usages (in French) of the Town in 27 chapters, each chapter being headed with Rubric letters setting forth the contents.
Copies of dues and customs on merchandise. Copies of Deed of Concord of the 3rd of Ed. III., between the Mayor, &c., of Southampton and the Mayor of New Sarum, the determination of a controversy respecting tolls and customs.
Various copies of other Charters, Proceedings, Letters Patent, Inquisitions, &c.
The Oak Book has never been edited.J (6) The Black Book,
otherwise styled Liber niger nigro carbons notatus, otherwise niger papyrus, otherwise the Black Paper of the Town of Southampton.
A large folio containing 144 leaves, 1392-1560, last 32 blank.
Used from the 16th of Richard II. to 12th of Elizabeth as a book of Record for the enrolment of acknowledgments of deeds, with writings of conveyance and quit claims, and other legal instruments and writings of record.
This book has never been edited, but the Rev. R. H. Clutter-buck, F.S.A., commenced to do so, and had got on well with the work before he died. His MS. was given to the now defunct Hampshire Record Society.
Mr. Clutterbuck says " It is the chief book of important memoranda possessed by the town. To have deeds, agreements, and conveyances engrossed in it was for 150 years prized as the greatest available security. An indication of the value in which it was held occurs in fol. 43—" And this Act to be enroll in the Black Book, and so to be executed for ever.' Be it further enacted that the Black Book be all weyes kept under 2 lokys. 1505."
Many wills are copied into the Black Book, chieflv such as certain bequests affecting the town. One of them—that of John Stavelly, 1560—displays the relation in which the Mayor stood to the town, the testator desiring that his will be written in some one book in the Audit Office "for my children's well," and also requiring the Maior and his brethren to be as father to my children in all their honest suits unto theirs as they would pserlie be done by them and their children in all case.
Another, which has no date or testator's name. After directing certain settlements of a debt owing to him by one Martin Denbam, directs payment of £120 to his wife without any process in law. Notwithstanding that, her brother, Thos. Carter, did naughteley and like a villen arrest me for payment of the same in my bedd at Gillford as if I had been a vacobonde or a thiefe. He also commands all children to live and obey her as their mother, notwithstanding the yuyd demanor and dishonestve that her brother did unto me, but with the which Thos. Carter I commannde all my children never to have anything ado for the great sorrow he hath done me, for with the un-naturalness of him I never since had any joy in my heart as daylie I did tell his sister
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