DCD Billingham account 1330-1

Account of John Lukkelyne serviens of the manor of Billingham from Sunday after St Michael [30 September] 1330 to Sunday before St Ambrose next following [31 March] '331 through 25 weeks.

Apart from the fact that it does not cover a full year, from one Michaelmas to the next, a typical example of a manorial account, with the cash account beginning at the head of the face, followed by accounts for various categories of grain (wheat, barley, beans, oats, malt) running over onto the dorse, and stock (draught horses, a foal, oxen, a boar, sows, porkers, piglets, geese, capons), and ending with hides and iron. Various items appear in more than one section: the iron in its own section and also in the cash account where the purchase of the 7 stone for 3s. 6d. was recorded; the purchase of the 4 cockerels from which the capons were made in the cash account and the capons section; the malt made from barley grown on the manor 'Braseum ordeaceum. Idem respondit de Liij. quarteriis. ij. rasuris brasei ordeacei prouenientibus de .xl{v}. quarteriis .j. rasura .ij. kenning- ordei superius fusis Et sunt de incremento {.viij. quarteria .ij. kenning- Et totum computatum Missum est Granario Dunolm- per talliam contra Granetarium .scilicet. dominum Hugonem.' [view] The quantity of oats malted was altered, both here and in the oats section, while the amount of increment was added in a space that had been left.
The account is marked by a significant number of alterations and additions, no doubt as a result of the audit conducted by the estate officials. They had evidently asked, given the presence of 4 geese and a gander, about goslings, but accepted '{De exitu non respondit quia fuerunt in cubando in recessu suo}' [view]. More seriously they uncovered the fact that not as much wheat had been used for seed as the accountant claimed, and that he had overestimated the quantity still in sheaves, giving him the opportunity to sell some clandestinely, for 3s. 3d. Much worse, he had sought to pretend that the number of oxen [view] at the beginning of the accounting year had been 24, a deceit that went back to the previous year, but in fact there were 26 and the accountant had covertly sold two, for 24s.; the account bears clear signs of the consequent alterations. Such discoveries prompted a thorough examination of John Lukkelyne's accounts, which went back to 1325 at least, and, while he was able to make fine of 38s. 2½d. for the errors found, 100s. remained outstanding, for which he was arrested and bailed [view]. The uncovering of these matters co-incided with the replacement of John de Crepyng with Alexander of Lamesley as the monk holding the office of terrar, or chief land-agent of the main monastic estate: John had also held at the same time the office of bursar, the other principal estate officer, and the monastic chronicler recorded that he had operated on his own account ("capite proprio"), contrary to the community's wishes (Historiae Dunelmensis p. 113).