The Freemen of York, vol. 1. The Surtees Society, 1897. Hdbk. Green cloth boards, faded gold lettering on spine. A very few light marginalia in pencil, easily removed. Detailed Index at the end. 358 pp.
Serious medievalists know all about the Surtees Society. It was founded in 1834, and is still going strong. Victorian antiquarians would have been loath to miss a copy of any of their publications. Its prime aim has always been publish “manuscripts illustrative of the history of the ancient kingdom of Northumbria, principally of County Durham and Northumberland in North East England”. However, sometimes, as in the present instance, they strayed further south into Yorkshire.
This volume concerns itself with listing all the Freemen of that great city, and is a fascinating resource for family and local historians, containing much valuable information about medieval trades and professions (‘pistors’, ‘girdlers’, ‘skynners’, ‘sausemakers’, ‘coleourmakers’, ‘vyntners’, ‘fysshmongers’, ‘barbours’, ‘tapytours’, ‘habberdasshers’ etc.), and about medieval names. £9.99