4.3 Edge 3: Moot Histories

Tuesday 13th June

Cloudy and windy 20C

Reith lectures. The day is for the living Hillary Mantell. About history and fiction. Lots of imperfect perspective fragments and filling in the gaps.


Read Ronald Blythe and look through history photos. Storms and Slaughden.
Sorted sketchbook.

Afternoon go to museum. Old Anglo Saxon, and Roman dig.

See Museum website

Back through churchyard with Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears. and along leafy tunnel lane.

Experimented with Procreate to program on gouache, pastel and ink bleed brushes.
Went back through carnival sketches.

Feeling despondent – not enough time and too much to learn. About technique and about drawing.

 About the moot hall

Built of red brick with timber insertions. External staircase access to upper storey which overhangs the base, used as council chamber and justices room. Beneath it are iron bars of the cell formerly used as a gaol or lockup. A Sundial was added in 1560 for 7s6d.

The ground floor was at one time partly open to allow space for market stall-holders. The square around it was used as market place with a market cross – now a war memorial. A row of capstans along the beach show fishermen landed their catches at this point because of easy access to the market place.

In 1818 quarter sessions it was reported that ‘the gaol is out of repair and should be adapted for the purpose of a prison consistent with the safe custody, health and necessary comfort of the prisoners.
Restored 1854. Decorated chimneys replicas of those originally erected in 16c.

Two poles at the top of the west hill were probably used to hoist flags and lanterns at night to help as guides in bad weather for fishermen to locate that part of the beach where their catches were to be landed in safety.

History notes



Possibly an important roman station which is why road is to north. Slaughden just fishing. Found roman pottery etc in the marshes.


Earliest recorded name in domesday book. Burc as fort. Seo ealde burh. The old borough. Burg as earthwork or fortified town. The nearby village name ‘Iken’ is from ‘Iceni’ tribe.


Attacks in east anglia from at least 10c. 993 anlaf sailed up the river orwell and sacked ipswpich. 1010 danes landed in force. Burial grounds between aldeburgh and snape show were piratical attacks. Need forfort near alde or on site of church.Early british and viking finds together.Foumd remains of a ship within which, under sepulchral chamber was skeleton of chief who commanded it. On his finger bone was a ring of gold set with intaglio that had been treasure of a roman. At his side lay his trusty sword, near his short blade of steel. Locks of auburn hair and fragment of comb. Fragments of a green glass vessel. Over 11 inches. Also early british pottery. The viking chief must have died on a pirate raid, and buried by his followers.


Originally part of See and Priory of Ely. Later Priory of Snape.

With manor in saxon times by uluric. Domesday area reduced. 2 chrches with 60 acres.

1099 manor and church of Aldeburc owned by William Martel. 1155 bequeathed to Bemedictnes of StJohn of Colchester. Right to flotsam and jetsom.

Wednesday market

Aldeburgh formed one of several communities in hundred of plomesgate which extended from saxmundgam and framlingham in north to wickham market in south.

King alfred crated counties, hundreds (100 families/land area?) and tithings (10). Tithings were composed of 10 families dwelling btogether and bound for each others behaviour. Developed into parishes, then hundreds. Hundred was basis of geld assessment and rating.

Business of hundred was in a hundred mote or moot. As court of judicature.



In Tudor times Aldeburgh was a major shipmaking centre, producing ships for the Elizabethan fleet against the Armada.



1524 granted by Henry VIII to Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk. 1547 created a borough by Edward VI.

Common seal. 1561. Incorporated bailiffs and burgesses.

‘This ship in the waves of the sea, all sayles bearinge, with a Lyon rampant in the mayne sayle, is assigned and granted unto ye Baylyffs and Burgesses of ye borough of Aldeborough. ‘Azure on Water in Case an ancient ship of three masts in full sail a Ladder affixed to the side amidships proper the mainsail charged with a Lion rampant the fore and aft sails and pennons each charged with a Cross Gules.’

Sea peas

1562 famine caused by blight siezing corn in full bloom made it inedible, saved by miraculous appearance of bountiful crop of pease on sea shore near orford. Seen as gift from heaven.

Seapeas were staple of. The poor. Crop was said to hae sprouted from a cargo of pease washed ashore from a shipwrecked ship loaded with a crago of peat. But it is different from domestic peas – small and bitter. Probably was there all the time. Then people notiiced it in the famine. It enabled people to survive.

Following autumnn was a good corn crop.

But 1594-97 was a series of bad harvests. But provision for the poor was one of best in europe.

1568 petition for a Saturday market – emphasise importance of fishing industry.

‘Yearly adventure and setting forth of so many fisher boats for herring boats as contain 800 mariners, and there are yearly taken 10000 lasts (fish) at the least, and 300 mariners for the sprat fare (season) taking yearly 3000 lasts; and fourteen ships and crayers are yearly manned into Iceland and North seas having 140 mariners at the least, taking yearly in the time of pax (peace) three or four thousand lings and cods. And there is a yearly set forth 100 mariners on mackrell fare, and in addition twenty sail of ships yearly in merchandise, having 130 mariners by means of which in time of wars the Queen and her progenitors have been served with divers ships, and with 100 or 200, and sometimes more, mariners.’

Fir proporion came from neighbouring townsan villages along ‘sailior’s walk from snape to blackheath. But over 1300 men shows importance of aldeburgh as centre of trade.

…the Wednesday market cannot supply half what is required, and the inhabitants have been served with victuals from neighbouring towns and villages… (competition from Dunwich traders)

The inhabitants at their own cost not only defend the borough from attacks in time of war, but also are a shield and defence to such part of the country as is nigh…for our borough is populous and so known to the enemy which is a terror and fear to them, and were it not that ward and watch were kept day and night the town would inevitably suffer. And not onloy this for had it not been for help at critical times by Aldeburgh mariners ships from Lowestoft, Woodbridge and Ipswich, and divers other towns would inevitably have fallen into the hands of the enemy.’ All had been done without recompense, and the ships in the bay had been helped with anchors, cables etc.

Elizabeth granted Saturday market. 9-3 in summer and 10-2 in winter.early hours ‘to stop the tricks of country butchers who brought corrupt and unwholesome meat into the market, and orolonged and deferred the sale thereof until nighttime, and do then bring out and sell the same by candlelight, when thequality thereof cannot be so weel discerned as in the daytime, whereby many people are much deceived and wronged.’

12 inn keepers. Forbiddem to supply mens servants after 8pm.

Shipwrights, barbers, ropemaker, foreign shoemaker, cobbler, foreign victualler and husbandsman. Foreign meanng from nearbyb townsand villages. Traders p43.

Marketplace had 16 stalls, 9 butchers and 5 cobblers. Demand for meat from passing ships.

Competition from saxmundham traders.

Great increase in vagrancy in tudor times. From suppression of monasteries, but also people seeking work and soldiers discharged from wars of roses, serviong men dismissed by gentry who had no money,, ploughmen out of work by enclosures of pastures, and bad harvests. ‘Tramps’.

Whipping post. A female delinquejt , forgas, had to be chastised over many yars ‘incorrigible maide’. Remained in use till 1631.

The whipping of ;’sturdy beggars’ was found to be no solution. Find employment forbthose, and charity for the impotent.

Blinde harry 1586 given 25s and 15s to buy musical instruments. Then apprenticed to a Peter for £10.

Poor relief was complusory by end elizabeth’s reign. Under stuart kings was a duty prescribed by national legislation for local authorities.

Court of Pie-powder. Deal with debt and trspass on local fairgrounds and markets. Justice so swift that people served ‘before dust shaken off feet’.

Made first election to parliament 1571.


Endemic. 1568 46 deaths, 1569 40. Entire lack of hygiene. Early 17c order issued forbidding ‘casting of muck, ashes, coaldust, sweepings and other noisome things into the streets, lakes, footpaths, etc., of this borough under penalty of 3s.4d.’

Mother bennet 1572 ran a nursing home…p45

Mr loggye new surgeom 1574 but still many shrouds. Cut off limbs etc.

Woman doctor for curing sore heads and legs for poor people.

Men less leg trouble.


Poorer inhabitants rented out to outdwellers. But these often left without paying.


Troubled period for coast towns of east anglia. Threats of war by spain. Pirates from dunkirk, civil war and 3 dutch wars. Loss of sailors and ships, heavy charges for ordnance, and of men for watching the coast. Cost of constructing jetties and groynes against sea encroachment.

Reasonably wealthy. But laxity in granting unsecured loans.

Festivals, repairetc expenses. Pp48-49.

A lot of expenses for entertaining offocial guests at election time.

1626 plague came again.

1646 smallpox and again 1653


Early 18c admin of poor law relief in hands of church,

First innoculations – but peopl tried to avoid.

1770 appointed a medical officer for the borough.


Victorian tmes ‘aldeburgh-next-the-sea’ aldeburgh-on-the-sea-coast’.