This month’s Flower comes from the Northumberland border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed. The borough account book records some youthful shenanigans in the streets of Berwick in the early 1540s.
An undated order from 5 Edward VI (1541/42) records that children in the town are ‘suffered’ (allowed) ‘to run abroad and make cryings’ and cause mayhem in the streets, and that in the evenings sundry youths and others ‘make great revel and misrule’, and ‘play many bad and lewd parts’:
We fynde and presente a greate faulte that children are suffered to
Rune abroade & make crynges misrule in the strete in the eveninges yt
Is a thinge not comely nor lawfull in this place, It were good that
The parentes were generallye varned hereof that they may restrain
The order continues:
Alsoe there are sundrye youthes in the towned & otheres yt
Will com abroade on the nyhte tyme & make a great revell & misrule
Upp & downe the towne & playe many badd & lewde partes it were good
They were watched & taken & trewlye punished for it is againste
The order(es) & statutes of thys towne.*
It is not quite clear what the ‘many bad and lewd parts’ the sundry youths of Berwick were playing, but clearly the city authorities took issue and wanted something done about it!
*record from the Berwick Borough Account Book 1603-1610, 36r, order #21
|Alnwick Castle||Castle||55.415898,-1.705846||Alnwick Castle, Alnwick, Northumberland NE66 1NQ. Traditional seat of the Dukes of Northumberland.|
|Bamburgh Castle||Castle||55.608936,-1.709944||Bamburgh, Northumberland NE69 7DF.|
|Berwick-upon-Tweed Record Office||Library, archive or collection||55.772397,-2.002219||Berwick-upon-Tweed Record Office, a branch of the then Northumberland County Archives Service. Council Offices Wallace Green, Berwick-upon-Tweed TD15 1ED. 01289 301 865. Fax: 01289 330 540. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. REED-NE material includes: Borough accounts, Haggerston and Scope family papers, Calendar of Border Papers|
|Lindisfarne Priory||Church, abbey, priory or similar||55.669332,-1.80101||Lindisfarne Priory, Holy Island, Berwick Upon Tweed, Northumberland TD15 2RX|
|St. Laurence Church (RC)||Church, abbey, priory or similar||54.976321, -1.573620||St. Laurence Church, Pittington, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear NE6 2NS. The current building dates from c. 1100.|
|Tyne & Wear Archives Service||Library, archive or collection||54.969153,-1.62465||Tyne & Wear Archives Service, Newcastle Discovery, Blandford Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear NE1 4JA. 0191 232 6789. REED-NE material includes: Newcastle Quarter Sessions and City council records; papers of at least six Newcastle families; records of thirteen Newcastle guilds.|
|Woodhorn Museum and Northumberland Archives||Library, archive or collection||55.188865,-1.548572||Woodhorn Museum and Northumberland Archives, Ashington NE63 9YF 01670 624455. REED-NE material includes: records for 8 parishes; Manor Court documents and stewards’ papers for Hexham, Anick Grange and Allendale; Sheriff of Northumberland quietus roll; Quarter Session and Court Of Exchequer records; papers of at least six Northumberland families; records of six Newcastle guilds; state documents about alehouses.|
This month’s Flower was kindly provided by Professor Suzanne Westfall, editor of REED: Northumberland.