History

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Extracts from The Record of the Burgery of Sheffield, Commonly called the town trust, by John Daniel Leader, Published 1897

Extracts from
The earliest book of accounts of the Sheffield Burgery


1567
item, paid for iii yerds of whyte clothe for the pyper or wayte of the towne after xvii d the yerde.

iiiis

iiid

item, paid for lyttonge the same (dying)

viid

ob

item, paid for makynge the saqme coote

xiid

1568
item, payde for iiire yerds of clothe for the whyetes coote

iiiis

vid

item, payde for lyttynge the same clothe, vz the half Redde

viid

ob

item, paid for makynge the same

xiid

1570
item, paid the xiith daye of December for vii yerds and a halfe of White Carsaye for the waytes

xs

item, for the lyninge to the same cootes

xviiid

item, for making of the same cootes and ii badgeis

iis

viiid



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1572
item, paid for the vii yerdes and a halfe of whyte Carsay for the pypers

xs

item, paid for lyninge makinge of the saame coates

iiis

viiid

1572
item, payd for vii yerds and halfe of whyte carsaye for the waytes

xs

item, for Lyttinge of the same cootes

xxiid

item, paid to Roberte Rawlinson for making of the same coats and ii badges

iiis

viiid

item, for their ffees

vs

1574
item, paid to Rawlenson for iii yerds and dd of carsey for the waytes

vs

xd

item, delivered to Fayrebancke for iii yerds iii quarters of carsey for the same

vs

viid

item, paid to Wood wiffe for dyeing of the half of the same

xixd

item, paid to Rowlinson for making of the sayd ii pypers coates

iis

vid



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1577
item, payde to Jhames Hauldsworthe for ii yeardes and a quarter of narrow redde to make the Wayte of the Towne a cote of

iiiis

iiiid

and for ii yerdes of whyte carsaye at xxd the yearde

iiis

iiiid

1578
item, payd oute of the whole to Roberte Raulensone for makynge of the pypers cote

xviiid

item, payd for a coate clothe for the pyper of whyte ii yerdes at xxiid the yerd to Fraunciss Rollenson

iiis

viiid

item, to James Haldsworth for ii yerdes and a halfe redd clothe

iiiis

item, payd to Rollenson for makeing the Coate

xviiid

1579
item, paid for a yeard and iii quarteres of Red & for a yeard & iii quarters whyte carsaye the xxit. daye of December for the pyper coate

viis

1580
item, paid for a yerd and di. of Redd flammall for the pypers coat

xiis

vid

item, for Lyneing to the same coat

iis



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item, paid to Twigg for making of the said coat

xvid

item, to Rollenson for a badg for the same coat

vid

item, paid to Edward Hellyefeld to gyve Smith the pyper at his departure

xiid

1581
item, paid to James Haldsworth for a yard and dd (half) of Redd flannell to make the waytes coat agaynst Christenmas

xiiiis

iiiid

item, paid to the same James for ii yerdes of whyte cotton for to Lyne the quarters of the sayd Coate

xxd

item, to Robert Bawer Junior for buttons, sylke facinge & Lyninge to the said Coat

iiis

viiid

item, paid to Nicholas Hawke for makeing of the same coate

xvid

1585
item, payd for the pypers coat at Christenmas 1583 cloth xvs. vid. lyning xviiid and lyning for the boddy sylke fasing and Buttens iiis. vid. and making xvid

xxjs

xd



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item, payd for the pypers Coate at Christenmas 1584, as for cloth xvs. lyning for quarters xviiid. lyenig at the boddye fasyng buttens and sylke iiiis and makeing xvid

xxis

xd

item, payd for the pypers Coat-as for the clothe xvis. lyning for quarters xviiid facynge lyening and buttons vs. xd and makeing xvid

xxiiis

iiiid

item, payd for the pypers coat at Christenmas 1586 with the lyning facing and buttons and silk and makeing

xxiis

ixd

item, payd to Ollyver Hurst for a yeard and dimidio of Redd Stamnell to make the pyper his coat at Christenmas 1589

xiiiis

item, payd to John Sheldon for a yeard and dimidio of Redd Stamnell for the pypers coat anno 1592

xiiiis

1595
item, payd for the coat of Michael Stones the wayte and for buttons fasinge and lyninge

xviiis

item, for the pypers coat and facing buttons and lyening 1594

xviiis

viiid

1596
item, paid for the pypers coate in December last

xviis

viid

item, paid for the piper coat, sylk buttons and making the xith of
December last

xxis



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1598
item,paid for the pyper cote

viiid

1599
item, paid to Michaell Stone xiiith of December for Michaell Stone
and his man's cotes

xxiiiis

1600
item, paid the xvith day of December for Michaell Stone and his mans coate

xxvis

viiid

1601
item, paid unto Michaell Stone for his cotes

xxvis

viiid

1602
item, paid for the waytes coates

xxvis

viiid

1603
item, paid for the waytes coates

xxviis

1604
paid for the piperes coates the xxviith of December

xxviis

1605
also paid for the pyper cote

xxs

1608
december15. to Michaell Stone the Wayte for his cote

xxs

1609
delivered to Michaell Stoone for his Coate

xxs

1610
december xiith To Michaell Stone for his cote

xxs

1611
To Michaell Stone for his Cote

xxs

1612
To Michaell Stone for his cote

xxs



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1613
To Michaell Stone for his cote

xxs

1615
To Michaell Stone for his cote

xxsn

To Michaell Stone for his cote

xxs

1616
To Michaell Stone for his cote

xxs

1617
To Robert Stone (the waite of the Towne) for his cote

xxs

1618
To Michaell Stone (the waite of the Towne) for his cote

xxs

1619
To young Stone (the waite) for his cote

xxs

1620
to young Stone (the waite) for his cote

xxs

1621
to young Stone (the wayt) for his cote

xxs

1622
-to young Stone(the waite) for his cote

xxs

1623
to young Stone (the waite) for his cote

xxs

1624
as above

xxs

1625
as above

xxs

1626
to Stone (the waite) for his cote

xxs

1627
as above

xxs



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1628
To Stone (the waite) for his coate

xxs

1629
ditto

1630
To Stone(the waite) for his cote

1

0

0

1631-1646
- ditto

1647-49
-no records

1650
To (Edward) Berry the waite for his cote

1

0

0

(Michael Stone was waite to the town 15 dec
(Robo. Stone
(Michael Stone
("Young" Stone
(Stone

1607-1615)
1616)
1617)
1618-1624)
1625-1647)

1653

s.

d.

To Berry (the waite) for a year and a halfe paie

1

0

0

1654
To Berry (the waite) for a year paie

1

0

0

1655
To the waite for his Coate

1

0

0

1655
ditto



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To Edward Berry for his cote

1

0

0

1653
To two Trumpetters at the proclaiming of the lord protector

0

10

0

To Edward Berry (waite) and 4 other musicians at that time

1

0

0

1658
To the waytes for 2 yeares wages

3

0

0

1659
To the Townes Waites

0

15

0

1660
To the waytes for a yeares wages

3

0

0

1662
To the waites for a quarter wages

0

15

0

To the waites for a quarter wages

0

15

0

To the waites for a halfe of a years wages

1

10

0

1663
To the waytes of the towne for their stypend

2

7

6

1664
To the whaites for their yeares wages

2

0

0

1665
paid the whaites for their wages

2

0

0

1666
to the whaites for their wages

2

0

0

1667
Paid the whaits for their yeares wages

2

0

0

1668
paid the Towne Whaits for a years wages

2

0

0



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1669
paid to the Whaits of the Town for their wages

2

0

0

1670
paid to the whaits for their wages

2

0

0

1671
paid to the whaits for their yeares wages

2

0

0

1672
to the whaits for their wages

2

0

0

1673
paid to the whaits of the Towne

2

0

0

1674
To the whaits for their wages this yeare

1

11

0

1675
To the waits for 1 year wages and a quarter for one
of them

2

5

0

1676
paid to the whaits for their wages for 2 yeares

2

15

0

1677
To the waits of the towne of their wages for the yeare
1677

2

0

0

1678
To the town whaits for their yeares wages for the year 1678

2

10

0

payd for 3 Cloakes for the whaits and for makeing
them as by a by ll

6

0

10

1681
Paid the whaits for 2 yeares and an halfe from Lady Day 1679

7

5

0

1682
paid the Townes whaits for their halfe yeares wages

1

0

0

1683
paid for 2 cloakes for the whaits and makeing

5

9

0

paid the Town Whaits

2

5

0

1685
To the whaits for 2 yeares sallarie

4

0

0

1686
To the whaits for their yeares wages

2

0

0

1687
Paid the whaits for this years wages

2

0

0

1688
Then Alsoe agreed that Jeremiah Ward, Thomas Vnwyn, and ...........be the whaits of the Towne and shall have 20s a peece for the yeare following and each man a cloake and a badge, which cloakes they are to restore to the town if they leave the town within three years, their badges when-soever.

To the whaits for playing att the Trustees dynner

0

3

0

Acq. To Robert Hancock for makeing 3 cloakes for the whaits

0

10

6

Ac. To the whaits their years wages

2

15

0

1689
Paid the whaits their years wages

3

0

0

1690
For ribbin for the whaits to hang their Badges in

0

4

0



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1691
To the whaits att the last accompt Dynner

0

2

6

To the whaits their yeares wages

3

0

0

1692
To the whaits att last reckoning

0

3

0

Paid the whaits their yeares wages

3

0

0

For 3 new cloakes for the whaits

7

9

11

1693
Paid for ribbin for the whaits

0

4

0

To the whaits their sallarie

3

0

0

1694
Paid the whaits for their yeares sallarie

3

0

0

Paid them for playing att the last Dynner

0

3

0

Paid for 6 yards of ribbin for them

0

5

0

Paid for parte of their new Instruments

4

0

0

1695
Paid the whaits for their wages

3

0

0

To Mr Wordsworth for ribbin for the whaits and
beadle

0

6

6

1694
To the whaits for playing att Dynner att the last accompt takeing

0

3

0

To the whaits their wages

3

0

0

To Mr Wordsworth for the whaits cloaks

10

6

0



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For Ribbins for the whaits and mending the
beadles coate

0

7

10

To the whaits for playing 2s (at Trustees diner) and
Shephards entrance 2s 6d (?)

0

4

6

1696
To the whaits

3

0

0

For wyne and to the whaits (dynner for accounts)

0

6

0

1697
The waites their years waiges

3

0

0

The waite Ribbins

0

11

0

To the waites (peace with France)

0

5

0

1698
Paid the last feast to the waites

0

3

0

Gave the waites theire years sallary

3

0

0

Paid Mr Wordsworth on their Account and Beadles

1

16

5

1699
paid the waites their wages

3

0

0

To Mrs Hobson for the Whaites Cloakes

9

9

0

To the whaites for playiing att Dinner at the last Account
takeing

0

3

0



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1700
Paid the waites att the last feast

0

3

0

To the waites a quarter waiges

0

15

0

7 yards � of Ribbin for the waites and the Beadle at 14d
per yard

0

8

9

To the waites a quarter waiges

0

15

0

" " " " " "

0

15

0

a quarters waiges to the waites

0

15

0

1701
To the waites

3s

Paid the musishoners their years wages

3

0

0

To Mr Wordsworth for Ribbin for the waites

0

7

9

(Queen Anne 8/3/1702)
Paid for ribbings att the Proclamacion day for the Waites
To the Drummers then
To the Waites at the Proclamacion
To the Trumpitter at the Proclamation

0
0
0
0

6
12
7
2

0
2
6

1703
Musitioners

0

3

0

To the Musitioners a quarters waiges

0

15

0

Paid the Musitioners halfe a years waiges

1

10

0

Musitioners a quarters waiges

0

15

0



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1703
3rd November-Memorandum, George Dowler, Thomas Stubbins and William Wilburne are allowed by the Townes Burgesses to be the musitioners of this towne soe longe as they doe theire office as they ought to do, and we the said George Dowler, Thomas Stubbing and William Wilburne doe acknowledge that the cloakes musicall instruments and silver badges doe belonge to the townes Burgesses and that if it happen that wee or any of us doe leave the business we hereby promise to deliver to the towne collector the cloakes instruments and Badges and if wee or any of us dye in the said empolyment wee hereby promise that our executors or administrators shall peaceably deliver to the towne collector the said cloakes instruments and Badges.

to the Musicioners

0

3

0

Paid the musissioners a years waiges all but 5s

2

15

0

Paid Mr Wordsworth for Ribbin for the new mewsisioner

0

2

1

1704
paid the musicioners a quarters waiges

0

15

0

paid the Musicioners at the last feaste

0

3

0

paid the Waites 3 quarters waiges

2

5

0



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1705
Coates and Cloakes for the Waites, Beadle and Bellman

16

12

3�

the waites Beadle and scavingers waiges

15

6

8




This is the last relevant entry in the Burgery accounts

Extract from "The Seally Quest or Great Court Leet"

1609
No person shall make any wedding dinner for above vid a person

Extracts from 18th Century Accounts and minutes

1707-1709

24th Aust paid Mr Wadsworth for Ribbins as by rect for the waites

7s

3d

paid the waits for halfe a yeares waiges they being but two l li

paid them being three for 1 year and 3qrs more 5li 5s

paid Mr Wadsworth for musihoners and beadle as by rect 9s 8d

9 Oct 1713
At the same meeting Daniel Brearly was chose one of the waites of this Towne in the roome of John Greenwood deceased



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4yrs Accounts 1708, 9, 10, 11
To Mr Wordsworth for Dowlers one of the waits cloaks that was pawned to him

l li

Ribbings for the waits att Xmas(1708)

7s

3d

paid waits 4 years and � ending Christmas last

13 li

10s

16 Nov 1710-Cloakes for the waits and the makeing as by bill and rect

11 li

15s

7d

18 March 1710-paid Mr Wordsworth for a coat for the beadle and ribbings for the waits as by bill and rect

2 li

3s

6d

4 Dec 1711-paid Mr Watson a coat for the beadle and trimmings and ribbings for the waits as by rect

1 li

9s

30Dec 1712-paid Mr Wordsworth for ribbon for the waits and beadle as by rect

19s

4d

To the Townes waits
To Rotherham drummer
Trumpeters
John Moor a drummer



1 li

15s
2s

2s


6d

(Peace of Utrecht Proclaimed)

15Oct 1712 - Gave the singers towards treating them

10s

a base viell and charges as by the bill

2 li

15s

31March 1714- paid Mr Stear as by bill and rect for ribbons for the waits 2 years

1 li

6s

10d

ribbons for beadle and waits

8s

4d

paid the waites in Lieu of Cloaks

1 li

5s

paid the Waites 10s coronation of GI 31oct 1714
to the drummers

4s

6d

paid Mr Trevis chains and badges for the waits in lieu of ribbons

3 li

19s

9d

paid the waits wages at 3li ann 2years and 1 quarter from Martinmas 1713 to Lady day 1716

6 li

15s

2 August 1716-ale to the musitioneres and at the fire

6s

September 1 1716-paid Mr Wordsworth for the cloaks for the waites and hatts ut per and rect

16 li

5

to the waites and spent at Mrs Peggs

14s

6d

Sept 18 paid the musitioners mending Base viole

3s

1718-19
musick

3s

April 19 1721- paid Mr Wadsworth for silver, orris and lace 1c for the waits

2 li

2s

1724 31 August-at Mrs Wodds for Worsop waits

5s

November 7th 1727-paid Mr Turner for advertising about the Waites

2s

Dec 9th pa'd Mrs Wood when Bingham the fidleers came candidates

14s

8d

Dec 11th Gave Staleys Fidlers which came candidates

3s

December 13th-paid Mrs Wood when wee agreed with Binghams to be waites

7s

6d

December 30th-paid Mrs Travis for mending and boyling the waites badges

2s

6d

February 17th-paid Mrs Hall for three Hats for the waites
paid Mr Hurt for lace and buttons

1 li

1s
11s

6d

June 4th-A Baseviol and case 4li, 12s carriage it being returned twice
For a Bassoon, Bag, Box and Carriage


5 li

9s
5s


1735-John Bingham for varnishing the Baze viole

5s

1746-September 16th-To John Shore for Base viol as per receipt

3 li

3s

1747-August 14th-Spent at a meeting to consult whether the waits might have coats and hatts or no

3s

4d



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1749-Jan29th - Spent at a meeting about the waits, the Legacy of William Parkin, Esq and to reduce the interest of money borrowed by the town

12s

5th Nov 1755 - Memorondum. At the meeting this day at the Towne Hall Cordee was discharged from the office of one of the Towns waits for misbehaviour

Minutes-Sept 1801
1802

Town Musicians

John Dawson appointed one of the musicians for the Town of Sheffield in the room of Richard Mosely deceased and William Taylor appointed an additional musician at the usual salary
Also resolved that the Townes musicians shall be at the discretional call of the Trustees apon any occassion which they shall think proper to demand their attendance, not to exceed four times in each year.

1806
Ordered that the public waits be paid the yearly allowance made to them for the present year, and have notice that they will then be discontinued.

So end the Waites of Sheffield!

Leader includes in his book a short chapter about the Sheffield Waites interpreting the above entries. However to further enhance his descriptions of their duties he quotes extensively from the Manchester Court Leet Records and I include these below.



Extracts from "Manchester Count Leet Records"

1563
Richard Kirshow and Randall Legh were authorised to "exercise the office of common wait in the Towne of Manchester and so to continue from time to time doing his duty and using himself honestly as an honest man ought to do or else another to be put in his room and to gather their wages by the help of the constables or their deputies.

1567
Legh is joined by Richard Wirrall "if they from time to time do their duties in playing morning and evening together according as others have been hereafter accustomed to do"

1569
Randall Legh is made sole wait. "with one other to serve with him of his own servants upon a condition that the town is well served"

April 1577
"The jury doth request that all those who have withdrawn their good wills or such stipend money as they have been accustomed to give the waites, that they would the rather at our request extend their good wills to further their stipened and not to hinder it.



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October 1600
a pain is laid of 2s against every one hindering the waits with other music and as it had been ordered that no other minstrels should play at weddings but the waits of the town it is now added that no inhabitants shall suffer any other minstrel to play at his house at wedding dinners, but only the waits under a penalty of 3s 4d

1603
"the jury doth order that in regard the waits of this town have lately received a man skillful in music into their society and company and also that they have been secluded by foreign and other musicians at wedding dinners in this town from the favourable and friendly contribution which the inhabitants of this town their loveing friends, would willingly and liberally have imparted and bestowed upon them, in remedy whereof this jury doth now order that the said waits shall hereafter be received to play music at all and every wedding dinner in this town as aforesaid and the foreign musicians and all others be henceforth rejected and that no inn-keeper do admit any in contempt hereaf sub pena to every such innkeeper and alehouse keeper so affending 3s 4d

Oct 1606 -further complaints of intruding minstrels

5 Oct 1620 -Waits not walking abroad as they ought.-

"Wereby they might discover many dangers and misdemeanours which may happen to fall out in the night"

This jury doth further order that they shall not henceforth be reputed as waits of this towne and not expect any pay or wages of any burgesses or inhabitants within the town of Manchester.

1647
This jury doth order that whereas there hath been formerly allowed certain number of waits to go through the town in the dead time of the night wereby hath been prevented many dangers not only of night walkers and robberies but also great danger of fire discovered and prevented and other general benefits accruing thereby to many hereafter.
It is ordered that Henry Reignolds, Alexander Williamson, with some others assistants as waits aforesaid, shall according to former custom, serve this towne for their pains to ask and receive once every quarter the gifts and allowance of every inhabitant.

Oct 1669-enjoined-according to ancient custom "to play through the town every Thursday in the evening".

April 1672-"We this present jury do order the said waites to perform the aforesaid order, which if they shall refuse to do it is the desire of this jury that they may not be hence forth encouraged as formerly by the town.

That is all that Leader includes, but it looks as though the Manchester record office would be worth a visit!

Comments on Extracts from "The Records of the burgery of Sheffield".
Roger Offord of The Doncaster Waits.

Following your enquiry it seems obvious to me (looking at the attached records) that the terms piper and Wait are interchangeable, at least between 1567 & 1605, which is the last reference in the Sheffield document.

Strangely enough the Doncaster records apart from the first entry of 1457 refer consistently to Waites. Though I do have a burial of a Piper in 1658. So when did the term piper begin to mean Bag piper?

The Sheffield Waits seem to have been a lonely lot with only one wait being in office for a considerable time, though he does appear to have been fairly well dressed. Lots of references to badges both on the coats and badges in ribbons or chains, non-still exist to my knowledge. Is there any information on the size of Waites bands with relation to the size of town?

The 18th Century accounts are interesting for mentioning the Worsop (Worksop. Not in your list in York Music) Waits just south of Doncaster in N Lincs (1724,p10). Who the esteemed Mrs Wood was I don't l know. But the concept of advertising for a Waite band is fascinating. I don't suppose Sheffield newspapers go back that far, it would be interesting to know what the advert said!

The Manchester entries are fascinating and full of colourful description. It seems obvious here that the Waites received no salary at all. But rather made their income as a result of holding the post. The 1603 entry is brilliant with all the hidden meaning that they didn't get booked because they were bad at playing! (This comes as a great solace to those of us in the modern Waites who do not consider ourselves to be musicians. To know that if we sound bad, at least it is authentic!)

What is it with Waites and Wedding Feasts? Sheffield Doncaster and Manchester all have references though I note York doesn't. In York you have references to "hunts up" but so far I have seen no references elsewhere.

How much did the Waites actually play? The "gigs" are fairly obvious. But the street patrols seem to vary a lot. Manchester Thursday evenings (1669), but in 1567 "morning and evening". Doncaster between 8 & 9pm, but only in the winter!

And of course the big question is, "What is a night walker"?



Excerpt from “A Musical Pilgrimage in Yorkshire” by J. Sutcliffe Smith (1928).

SHEFFIELD (p. 187)

In the year 1727, and probably a long time previous to that date, Sheffield had a flourishing company of Waits or Mussishioners of whom we have certain records. They were paid a pound a year plus many advantages; they were, if in sufficiently good health, employed as night-watchmen; they were on the whole a jolly company, who on festive occasions made a brave show in their brilliant uniforms, and who were proud of the position they occupied. Moreover, we further read that there was strong competition for the membership of the Company of Waits in which the Binghams the fiddlers and the Staleys the fiddlers, were candidates; also that the instruments played included the bassoon and the bass viol. At this early period we learn that Music was ever ready to assist worthy causes and institutions, and that quite substantial sums were realised by concerts, some of which were described as 'rehearsals and sermons'.



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