Online Medieval Sources Bibliography

An Annotated Bibliography of Printed and Online Primary Sources for the Middle Ages

Source Details

Gras, Norman Scott Brien, The Early English Customs System (Cambridge: Harvard University Press) Read this source online

Text name(s): 

Number of pages of primary source text: 0


    Dates: 1228 - 1558

    Archival Reference: 

    Original Language(s): 

    • English - Middle English
    • Latin
    • Anglo-Norman


    • Original language included.

    Translation Comments: 

    Geopolitical Region(s): 

    • British Isles
    • England


    Record Types: 

    • Account Roll
    • Custumal
    • Guild Records

    Subject Headings: 

    • Towns / Cities
    • Economy - Trade
    • Economy - Guilds and Labor
    • Economy - Crafts and Industry
    • Material Culture: Food, Clothing, Household
    • Maritime


    • Index
    • Introduction


    Documents about customs are provided with helpful headnotes indicating their context and import. Headnotes also explain key words for customs in the language transcribed. These documents include sources on local customs (for London, Ipswich, Sandwich, Southampton, Dunwich, and other cities), including tolls, port customs, murage, petty customs, and other dues; semi-national customs (lastage, prisage, and scavage duties) at various ports, including London, Sandwich, and Skirbeck; national customs of King John (including the Winchester assize of 1203); the ancient custom of 1275 (customs on wool, woolfells, and hides at Bristol, London, Hull, Wales, Ireland, Weymouth); the new customs of 1303 (including liberties granted to foreign merchants, goods exported or imported by aliens, customs on wax and cloth) at Ipswich, Sandwich, Bristol, Lynn, Southampton, and Circhester; the cloth custom of 1347; the petty customs of Lynn and London; and the subsidies on wool, woolfells, hides, and other goods in Boston, Bristol, Exeter, Lynn, and London.

    Introduction Summary: 

    The extensive introduction, spanning several chapters, discusses the institutional history of the customs up to 1275 until 1558, then addresses the economic history of the customs and the documents from which this study is drawn. An index(pp. 725-756) concludes the volume.

    Cataloger: HEB