Sutton’s Lists: Sources, Abbreviations, Editorial Practice
In addition to compiling over 3300 individual biographies of London Mercers, which she generously donated to MLD, Dr Anne F. Sutton also compiled lists of Mercers who were Staplers (235 entries) and/or Merchant Adventurers (933 entries), designations that MLD includes in the Craft field. No medieval lists of these groups survives, so Sutton assembled her lists chiefly from their activities in the overseas customs accounts (TNA E122), notably the accounts of wool exports for the Staplers and accounts of cloth exports and imports of other goods for the Merchant Adventurers. She also used a variety of other sources, as detailed in the list of abbreviations below. Her main aim was creating material to use in her book, The Mercery of London : Trade, Goods and People, 1130-1578 (Routledge, 2005) to which users are directed for further details about Mercers who were also Staplers and/or Merchant Adventurers. The last addition made by Sutton to the list was August 2004, so sources published since then are not included.
Sutton’s lists were composed in a highly abbreviated format, which Liz Duchovni has expanded in the course of structuring the lists for entry into MLD. We have excluded Mercers only active after 1520, and excluded mercers who resided outside of London. Sutton often included men of the same name under one entry; we have tried as much as possible to use internal and external evidence to separate out different individuals in our MLD records.
Liz Duchovni also used Sutton’s lists (along with Sutton’s The Mercery and Jefferson edition of the Accounts of the Mercers) to compile summary biographies for Mercers who were omitted from Sutton’s Mercer Bios, which included those whose surnames started with W-Z.
Abbreviations used by Sutton’s lists in MLD.
|TNA, E122 Years||Sutton recorded the years in which the Mercer appeared in the London overseas customs accounts (TNA E122). We have expanded Sutton’s abbreviations for commodities exported (cloth, lead, tin/pewter) and imported (mostly linen and mercery–which includes small goods and haberdashery and large cloth, scarlets, etc… if they represent all of the shipment); whether mercery goods were imports or exports needs to be determined by the type of goods. Miscellaneous goods include imports such as woad, madder, onions, etc.. Her TNA lists also note exports of worsted cloth and Welsh goods (mostly exports of frieze).
Sutton noted only the year of the TNA account, not the archival reference. Most of the accounts from the late fourteenth century onwards have now been transcribed by Stuart Jenks and are available online; see the London TNA E122 accounts. To match the year Sutton gives to the corresponding account, see this Table of London Customs Accounts. For TNA E122 London wool accounts before 1382, see this TNA search list.
|1372||CFR 1369-77, pp. 149-51 (Haithi Trust only). Royal licence to merchants (c. 40 named for London) to export a specific number of wool sacks each to the staple in Middelburgh in Zeeland (Dec. 1471-Jan. 1472)|
|Antwerp1421||Was present at Merchant Adventurers’ meeting there|
|Ex1439||Merchant Adventurer involved in case before Exchequer for trading in Low Countries in time of ban.|
|1461int||Payment of expenses of representatives to conference to prorogue intercourse (Acts of Court of the Mercers’ Company 1453-1527, pp. 51-53)|
|1470CPR||CPR 1467-77, pp. 212-13; list of 28 merchants of the staple of Calais (c. 5 from London) given a general pardon for all offences (25 August 1470).|
|1472CPR||CPR 1467-77, pp. 315-16; list of 24 merchants of the staple of Calais (c. 9 from London) given a general pardon for all offences staples (18 Jan. 1472)|
|1472SC1||List of staplers in the fellowship at Calais ‘before this date’ submitted to Chancery in July 1472 (TNA SC1/57/111. Written in 6 columns with most names illegible. T. H. Lloyd (English Wool Trade, p. 283) says there are a total of 257 with repeats and 22 Mercers, but incorrectly cites the document as SC1/57/80. Alisoin Hanham (The Celys, pp. 242-3) notes the 21 legible names.|
|1480pardon||Mercers who exported wool granted a general pardon in May 1480 (CPR 1477-87, pp. 243-44) some of whom, but not all as the Calendar rather implies, are specified as a stapler. For context of customs evasion , see Sutton, The Mercery, p. 313 and Cobb, ed., Overseas Trade of London, xxx-xxxiii,|
|1500||Indenture of 26 Jan. 1500 between collectors of tunnage and poundage and wardens of Mercers listing 84 men [recte 68, because 16 are duplicates] expecting to pay this customs duty.|
|1502||Pardon of 16 June 1502 for trade offences, membership of Merchant Adventurers/Staplers not specified, CPR 1494-1509, pp. 282-84, and original petition for certain 49 mercers for pardon, offences not specified, 30 June 1502 [sic], Mercer Company Archives, 4/F1/2058, given as 1502ii.|
|STAC||List in the Star Chamber proceedings of individuals who were Staplers as well as Merchant Adventurers active at the time of a dispute in 1509-1511 (TNA STAC2/9, f. 21). Includes some who may have been deceased by the time the list was made. See Sutton, The Mercery, pp. 338-41 for context.|
|Jan 1516||List of Merchant Adventurers at Gen Ct, when John Clifford replaced as governor; (Acts of Court of the Mercers’ Company 1453-1527, pp. 432-34).|
|1565||In a list of 48 Mercer-Merchant Adventurer taken from J.E.G. Bennell, “The Import Trade of Early Elizabethan London as Shown by Port Book E 190/3/2,” (Unpublished B. Litt. thesis, University of Oxford, 1970).|