The Accounts of the Guild of the Holy Trinity, Luton

The Accounts of the Guild of the Holy Trinity, Luton


Edited by Barbara Tearle




The book contains a complete transcription of the accounts and an introduction presenting an overview of the guild's activities.
Religious guilds or fraternities proliferated throughout England until their dissolution in the late 1540s, yet remarkably few of their records have survived. Amongst the survivals are the last twenty-one years of the accounts of the Luton Guild of the Holy Trinity, hitherto unpublished in full.
The accounts record several hundred transactions each year, including rents for the guild's properties, and expenditure on wages to priests and clerks and dirges sung for deceased members of the guild. Purchases of food and hiring of cooks, kitchen helpers, utensils and entertainment show what extraordinarily lavish provision was made for the annual feast. The quantity of building materials which was purchased for the guild's properties suggests not only repairs but also modernisation and may be sufficient to attempt to reconstruct some of the houses.
The majority of 'brothers and systers' of the guild were drawn from a radius of about twenty-five miles of Luton and included the towns and villages in neighbouring Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. A small, but noticeable, group were from London, Canterbury, Boston and Kendal. The guild was prosperous, well-connected and active, and its accounts provide an insight into daily life in mid-sixteenth-century south Bedfordshire and the surrounding area.
The book contains a complete transcription of the accounts and an introduction presenting an overview of the guild's activities. It is fully indexed.

Barbara Tearle is a retired librarian, formerly working at the Bodleian Law Library, Oxford, and is currently engaged in local history research with the Oxfordshire Probate Group and as editor for the Bedfordshire Historical Record Society.


August 2012
9 colour, 2 line illustrations
380 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Publications Bedfordshire Hist Rec Soc
ISBN: 9780851550787
Format: Hardback
Beds Historical Record Society
BISAC HIS015000, HIS037020, BUS023000
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Table of Contents

Editorial method
Accounts from Michaelmas 1526 to Michaelmas 1527
Accounts from Michaelmas 1527 to Michaelmas 1528
Accounts from Michaelmas 1528 to Michaelmas 1529
Accounts from Michaelmas 1529 to Michaelmas 1530
Accounts from Michaelmas 1530 to Michaelmas 1531
Accounts from Michaelmas 1531 to Michaelmas 1532
Accounts from Michaelmas 1532 to Michaelmas 1533
Accounts from Michaelmas 1533 to Michaelmas 1534
Accounts from Michaelmas 1534 to Michaelmas 1535
Accounts from Michaelmas 1535 to Michaelmas 1536
Accounts from Michaelmas 1536 to Michaelmas 1537
Accounts from Michaelmas 1537 to Michaelmas 1538
Accounts from Michaelmas 1538 to Michaelmas 1539
Accounts from Michaelmas 1539 to Michaelmas 1540
Accounts from Michaelmas 1540 to Michaelmas 1541
Accounts from Michaelmas 1541 to Michaelmas 1542
Accounts from Michaelmas 1542 to Michaelmas 1543
Accounts from Michaelmas 1543 to Michaelmas 1544
Accounts from Michaelmas 1544 to Michaelmas 1545
Accounts from Michaelmas 1545 to Michaelmas 1547
Glossary of words and places


The Bedfordshire Historical Record Society and Barbara Tearle are to be congratulated for making widely available these fascinating accounts, which have been meticulously edited and well indexed. THE RICARDIAN

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