Bere Regis Village, Dorset
 
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The 1542 Muster

Rolls

HENRY   VIII,   in   order   to   be   better   prepared   for   any   war   in   which   he   might   have   become   involved,   decided   to   carry   out   a   census   of   all   the   able bodied   men   in   England   who   could   be   called   upon   in   such   an   eventuality.   For   this   purpose,   reliable   men   in   each   locality   were required   to   compile   musters   or   lists   of   the   men   in   each   parish,   stating   the   weapons   they   possessed   (or   lacked)   and   their ability   to   use   them.   Most   were   either   billmen   or   archers,   and   if   the   latter,   they   were   compelled   to   practice   regularly   at   the `butts.' Where   the   cultivated   strips   of   the   old   open   fields   ran   parallel   to   the   con-ours   of   a   steep   slope,   centuries   of   ploughing   in   the same direction resulted in the formation of a series of terraces with banks between, known as butts, and where these lay conveniently   close   to   a   village   they   were   doubtless   used   at   this   time   for   archery   practice.   Such   a   case   occurs   at   Bere   Regis   where   a   tongue   of   the large open middle field reached down to Tower Hill, and where the terracing and butts can still be clearly   seen   in   the   small   field   immediately   west   of   Barrow   Hill.   Coupled   with   the   fact   that   Butt   Lane,   to   which   this   field   originally   extended,   is   so- called,   there   seems   little   doubt   that   this   was   the   site   of   the   16th   century   archery   butts.   Many   other   towns   and   villages   have   streets   or   other   localities where   the   word   butts   figures   in   the   name-Butt   Close,   Puddletown;   Lower   Butt   Street,   Poole;   Hillbutts,   Wimborne;   and   Butts   Pond,   Sturminster Newton to name but four in Dorset. The   Bere   Regis   muster   roll   was   compiled   in   1542,   and   commences   with   a   lengthy   loyal   auctress   to   tine   king,   together   with   a   rather   obscure explanation of the way in which the abilities of the archers and billmen have been set down : Every   person   being   an   able   archer   and   very   good,   thes   too   lrs   aA   and   upon   the   name   of   evy   pson   being   of   the   sede   sorte   and   yt   wyll   serve   a   time this   letter A   nut   a   pricke   and   lykewyse   upon   the   names   of   them   yt   be   able   bylrnen,   thes   too   lrs   ab   uppon   the   names   or   them   that   bythe   of   ye   sede sorte and wyl syrve, tnis rr b with a prycke. It   is   interesting   to   note   that   several   of   the   surnames   on   the   roll   still   survive   in   Bere   Regis   after   more   than   400   years,   although   the   spelling   has usually   undergone   changes   over   the   course   of   the   years.   In   addition,   other   names   appear   on   the   roll,   which   occur   in   other   connections   with   the parish - John Daw, wnose name   is   carved   on   one   of   the   old   church   bench   ends;   Roger   Gye   named   as   bailiff   of   the   Bere   manor   in   an   account   of   1535;   and   Nicholas   Grout, John Sargent and George Hart who signed the inventory of church goods in 1552. Some   of   the   terms   and   abbreviations   used   in   the   roll   should   perhaps   be   explained   (harnise   =   armour;   most   pvid   =   must   provide;   di'S.   off   arr   =   two sheafs   of   arrows;   a   byll   =   a   bill,   a   Kind   of   spear   on   a   wooden   shaft;   sallett   =   helmet;   a   p   of   spiets   =   a   pair   of   splents,   small   pieces   of   armour   to protect   the   arms.)   The   following   list   includes   portions   of   the   roll   for   Bere   Hundred   and   Barrow   Hundred   relating   to   Bere   Regis   itself   and   Shitterton, other tythings within these two hundreds, Milbourne Stileham, Winterbourne Kingston and Turnerspuddle etc, being omitted: The hundredd off Bere Regis The Tething of Bere. George   Turberffeld,   gent.   horses   &   harnise   for   ij   men   ij   bowis   ij   shefis   or   arrowis   ij   swerds   &   ij   daggars   &   narnise   for   a   bylma.   Jonn   Galton   most   p vid   a   bow   &   di'S.   on   arr.   (aA)   George   Frome   hathe   a   bow   &   a   S.   of   arr. Alis   Dyott   wydow   hathe   harnise   for   a   ma   a   bow   &   S.   off   arr   swerd   &   dagr. John   Welsted   hathe   a   Sallet   &   a   p   of   splets   a   bow   &   di'S.   off   arr.   (b)   Roger   Gardynr   hathe   a   byll   a   bow   &   a   S.   of   arr.   John   Lokear   hathe   a   bow   &   a S.   of   arr.   Jonn   Daw   most   p   vid   a   bow   &   di'S.   of   arr.   Nichos   Growte   hathe   a   byll   a   bow   &   vj   arr.   Roger   Gye   hathe   a   byll   a   bow   &   di'S.   of   arr.   Thorns Howlett   hathe   a   bille.   Thomas   Frye   hathe   a   bow   &   di'S.   of   arr.   (ab)   John   Gye   hathe   a   byll.   Henri   Golde   hathe   a   bylle.   (aA)   Thomas   Georke.   (b) Wyllm   Lokear   hathe   a   byll.   (ab) Thoms   Godwyn.   (b)   John Tratell   hathe   a   byll.   John   Knappe   hathe   a   byll.   Wyllum   Eylis   hathe   a   byll.   (aA)   John   Dyott hathe   a   bow.   (b)   Thomas   Burdon   hathe   a   bow.   John   Clothear   alyn.   most   delyvr   a   S.   of   arr   to   the   Costabull.   (ab)   Wyllum   Pleyer.   (b)   Thoms   Wolfrey. Wyllum   Meriwether   hathe   a   byll   a   sallett   &   a   p   of   splents.   (b)   John   Meriwether   hathe   a   bowe,   (b)   Roger   George   Smithe   most   p   vide   a   bow   &   vj   arr. Jonn   Golde   hath   a   bow   &   most   p   vide   vj   arr.   George   Harte   hathe   a   bow   &   vi   arr.   Edward   Gerard   hathe   a   bow.   Robt   Holm   most   p   vid   a   byll.   (aA) Richard   Blundell   most   p   vid   a   bowe.   John   Sergeantt   hathe   a   byll.   (b)   Richard   Matte   hathe   a   byll,   (A)   Henri   Holmr.   (aA)   Robt   Galton.   (b)   Hew   Serrell. (Alyn)   Wyllum   Gresell   most   p   vid   a   bow   di'S   of   arr   delyv   the   to   ye   costabull.   Robt   Dyott   hathe   a   byll,   (b)   Henri   Bolte   hathe   a   byll.   Jaffer   Harrice hathe   a   byll.   (aA)   Thomas   Medar   hathe   a   bow.   (b)   Thoms   Gwye   hathe   a   bow   &   most   p   vide   vj   arr.   (b)   Thoms   Golde.   Peter   Saunder   hathe   a   bow   & vj   arr.   (ab)   Rowland   Seland   most   p   vide   di'S.   of   arr.   (b)   Raff   George   hathe   a   byll.   (ab)   Wyllum   Humte   hathe   a   bill.   John   Swale   hathe   a   bylle.   (b) John   Pope   hathe   a   byll.   Sylvester   Harice   hathe   a   bow   &   vj   arr.   (ab)   Thomas   Valey   hathe   a   byll.   John   Maunsell   hathe   a   bill,   Nichos   Bucke   hathe   a bill. John Hayne hathe a byll. The   Tething   of   the   p   sons   Tething   of   Bere:   (aA)   Nichos   Humte   Tethingma   hathe   a   byll.   John   Tylley   hathe   a   byll.   Henri   Lambard   hathe   a   bille.   Robt Maundsell   hathe   a   byll.   (aa)   Robt   Donston   hathe   a   byll.   Thoms   Hechyns   hathe   a   byll,   (b)   George   Chyld   hathe   a   byll.   Xpofer   Bragge   hathe   a   bow   & vj arr. John Osye hathe a byll. Thes too Tethings above most p vid a comon harnise a bow & a S. of arr. a swerd & a dagger. The   hundred   of   Hundredds   barowe;   The   Tething   of   Sheterton   -   (aA)   Thorns   Gye   hathe   a   bow   &   most   p   vid   vj   arr.   Thorns   Clemet   hathe   a   byll,   (aA) Richard   Besaunt   most   p   vid   a   bow   &   di'S   of   arr.   (A)   Robt   Besaunt.   (b)   Richard   Gerard   hathe   a   byll.   Nichos   Dycke   alyn,   hathe   a   bow   &   di'S.   of   arr delyvid   dec.   Richard   Zeborne   hathe   a   bow   &   di'S.   of   arr   &   a   byll.   (b)   John   Besaunt   hathe   a   bylle.   John   Brounde   hathe   a   bow   &   most   p   vid   iij   arr. Hewght   Lucas   hathe   a   byll.   Alyn   Thomas   Byshoppe   hathe   a   bow   &   xvj   arr   delyvid   dec   This   Tething   &   the   Tething   of   Trnrspudell   her   next   folowing most p vid a comon harnise a bow a S. off arr a swerd & a daggar.
© 2003, Bere Regis Village Website.
Bere Regis Village
Bere Regis Village Website

The 1542 Muster

Rolls

HENRY   VIII,   in   order   to   be   better   prepared   for   any   war   in   which   he might   have   become   involved,   decided   to   carry   out   a   census   of   all   the able   bodied   men   in   England   who   could   be   called upon   in   such   an   eventuality.   For   this   purpose, reliable   men   in   each   locality   were   required   to compile    musters    or    lists    of    the    men    in    each parish,   stating   the   weapons   they   possessed   (or lacked)   and   their   ability   to   use   them.   Most   were either   billmen   or   archers,   and   if   the   latter,   they   were   compelled   to practice regularly at the `butts.' Where   the   cultivated   strips   of   the   old   open   fields   ran   parallel   to   the con-ours   of   a   steep   slope,   centuries   of   ploughing   in   the   same   direction resulted   in   the   formation   of   a   series   of   terraces   with   banks   between, known as butts, and where these lay conveniently   close   to   a   village   they   were   doubtless   used   at   this   time for    archery    practice.    Such    a    case    occurs    at    Bere    Regis    where    a tongue   of   the   large   open   middle   field   reached   down   to   Tower   Hill,   and where the terracing and butts can still be clearly    seen    in    the    small    field    immediately    west    of    Barrow    Hill. Coupled   with   the   fact   that   Butt   Lane,   to   which   this   field   originally extended,   is   so-called,   there   seems   little   doubt   that   this   was   the   site   of the   16th   century   archery   butts.   Many   other   towns   and   villages   have streets   or   other   localities   where   the   word   butts   figures   in   the   name- Butt     Close,     Puddletown;     Lower     Butt     Street,     Poole;     Hillbutts, Wimborne;   and   Butts   Pond,   Sturminster   Newton   to   name   but   four   in Dorset. The   Bere   Regis   muster   roll   was   compiled   in   1542,   and   commences with    a    lengthy    loyal    auctress    to    tine    king,    together    with    a    rather obscure   explanation   of   the   way   in   which   the   abilities   of   the   archers and billmen have been set down : Every   person   being   an   able   archer   and   very   good,   thes   too   lrs   aA   and upon   the   name   of   evy   pson   being   of   the   sede   sorte   and   yt   wyll   serve   a time   this   letter A   nut   a   pricke   and   lykewyse   upon   the   names   of   them   yt be   able   bylrnen,   thes   too   lrs   ab   uppon   the   names   or   them   that   bythe   of ye sede sorte and wyl syrve, tnis rr b with a prycke. It   is   interesting   to   note   that   several   of   the   surnames   on   the   roll   still survive   in   Bere   Regis   after   more   than   400   years,   although   the   spelling has    usually    undergone    changes    over    the    course    of    the    years.    In addition,    other    names    appear    on    the    roll,    which    occur    in    other connections with the parish - John Daw, wnose name   is   carved   on   one   of   the   old   church   bench   ends;   Roger   Gye named    as    bailiff    of    the    Bere    manor    in    an    account    of    1535;    and Nicholas    Grout,    John    Sargent    and    George    Hart    who    signed    the inventory of church goods in 1552. Some   of   the   terms   and   abbreviations   used   in   the   roll   should   perhaps be   explained   (harnise   =   armour;   most   pvid   =   must   provide;   di'S.   off   arr =   two   sheafs   of   arrows;   a   byll   =   a   bill,   a   Kind   of   spear   on   a   wooden shaft;   sallett   =   helmet;   a   p   of   spiets   =   a   pair   of   splents,   small   pieces   of armour   to   protect   the   arms.)   The   following   list   includes   portions   of   the roll   for   Bere   Hundred   and   Barrow   Hundred   relating   to   Bere   Regis   itself and   Shitterton,   other   tythings   within   these   two   hundreds,   Milbourne Stileham,     Winterbourne     Kingston     and    Turnerspuddle     etc,     being omitted: The hundredd off Bere Regis The Tething of Bere. George   Turberffeld,   gent.   horses   &   harnise   for   ij   men   ij   bowis   ij   shefis or   arrowis   ij   swerds   &   ij   daggars   &   narnise   for   a   bylma.   Jonn   Galton most   p   vid   a   bow   &   di'S.   on   arr.   (aA)   George   Frome   hathe   a   bow   &   a S.   of   arr.   Alis   Dyott   wydow   hathe   harnise   for   a   ma   a   bow   &   S.   off   arr swerd   &   dagr.   John   Welsted   hathe   a   Sallet   &   a   p   of   splets   a   bow   & di'S.   off   arr.   (b)   Roger   Gardynr   hathe   a   byll   a   bow   &   a   S.   of   arr.   John Lokear   hathe   a   bow   &   a   S.   of   arr.   Jonn   Daw   most   p   vid   a   bow   &   di'S. of   arr.   Nichos   Growte   hathe   a   byll   a   bow   &   vj   arr.   Roger   Gye   hathe   a byll   a   bow   &   di'S.   of   arr.   Thorns   Howlett   hathe   a   bille.   Thomas   Frye hathe   a   bow   &   di'S.   of   arr.   (ab)   John   Gye   hathe   a   byll.   Henri   Golde hathe   a   bylle.   (aA)   Thomas   Georke.   (b)   Wyllm   Lokear   hathe   a   byll. (ab)   Thoms   Godwyn.   (b)   John   Tratell   hathe   a   byll.   John   Knappe   hathe a   byll.   Wyllum   Eylis   hathe   a   byll.   (aA)   John   Dyott   hathe   a   bow.   (b) Thomas   Burdon   hathe   a   bow.   John   Clothear   alyn.   most   delyvr   a   S.   of arr   to   the   Costabull.   (ab)   Wyllum   Pleyer.   (b)   Thoms   Wolfrey.   Wyllum Meriwether   hathe   a   byll   a   sallett   &   a   p   of   splents.   (b)   John   Meriwether hathe   a   bowe,   (b)   Roger   George   Smithe   most   p   vide   a   bow   &   vj   arr. Jonn   Golde   hath   a   bow   &   most   p   vide   vj   arr.   George   Harte   hathe   a bow   &   vi   arr.   Edward   Gerard   hathe   a   bow.   Robt   Holm   most   p   vid   a byll.   (aA)   Richard   Blundell   most   p   vid   a   bowe.   John   Sergeantt   hathe   a byll.   (b)   Richard   Matte   hathe   a   byll,   (A)   Henri   Holmr.   (aA)   Robt   Galton. (b)   Hew   Serrell.   (Alyn)   Wyllum   Gresell   most   p   vid   a   bow   di'S   of   arr delyv   the   to   ye   costabull.   Robt   Dyott   hathe   a   byll,   (b)   Henri   Bolte   hathe a   byll.   Jaffer   Harrice   hathe   a   byll.   (aA) Thomas   Medar   hathe   a   bow.   (b) Thoms   Gwye   hathe   a   bow   &   most   p   vide   vj   arr.   (b)   Thoms   Golde. Peter   Saunder   hathe   a   bow   &   vj   arr.   (ab)   Rowland   Seland   most   p   vide di'S.   of   arr.   (b)   Raff   George   hathe   a   byll.   (ab)   Wyllum   Humte   hathe   a bill.   John   Swale   hathe   a   bylle.   (b)   John   Pope   hathe   a   byll.   Sylvester Harice   hathe   a   bow   &   vj   arr.   (ab)   Thomas   Valey   hathe   a   byll.   John Maunsell   hathe   a   bill,   Nichos   Bucke   hathe   a   bill.   John   Hayne   hathe   a byll. The    Tething    of    the    p    sons    Tething    of    Bere:    (aA)    Nichos    Humte Tethingma   hathe   a   byll.   John   Tylley   hathe   a   byll.   Henri   Lambard   hathe a   bille.   Robt   Maundsell   hathe   a   byll.   (aa)   Robt   Donston   hathe   a   byll. Thoms   Hechyns   hathe   a   byll,   (b)   George   Chyld   hathe   a   byll.   Xpofer Bragge    hathe    a    bow    &    vj    arr.    John    Osye    hathe    a    byll.   Thes    too Tethings   above   most   p   vid   a   comon   harnise   a   bow   &   a   S.   of   arr.   a swerd & a dagger. The   hundred   of   Hundredds   barowe;   The   Tething   of   Sheterton   -   (aA) Thorns   Gye   hathe   a   bow   &   most   p   vid   vj   arr.   Thorns   Clemet   hathe   a byll,   (aA)   Richard   Besaunt   most   p   vid   a   bow   &   di'S   of   arr.   (A)   Robt Besaunt.   (b)   Richard   Gerard   hathe   a   byll.   Nichos   Dycke   alyn,   hathe   a bow   &   di'S.   of   arr   delyvid   dec.   Richard   Zeborne   hathe   a   bow   &   di'S.   of arr   &   a   byll.   (b)   John   Besaunt   hathe   a   bylle.   John   Brounde   hathe   a bow   &   most   p   vid   iij   arr.   Hewght   Lucas   hathe   a   byll.   Alyn   Thomas Byshoppe   hathe   a   bow   &   xvj   arr   delyvid   dec This Tething   &   the Tething of   Trnrspudell   her   next   folowing   most   p   vid   a   comon   harnise   a   bow   a S. off arr a swerd & a daggar.