Boston Waits

From: “The History and Antiquities of Boston”, by Pishey Thompson, 1856.

In 1573, “Edward Astell, of Boston, musician, with his several apprentices, were appointed the ‘waytes’ of the borough, to play every morning throughout the borough, from Michaelmas until Christmas, and from the twelfth day until Easter (certain holidays and Fridays excepted), unless reasonable cause be to the contrary. It was, therefore, agreed by the Mayor and burgesses, that for and towards their paynes and travail in this behalf, every alderman shall pay to the said Edward yearly, so long as he shall continue to be wayte of this borough, 4s., by equal payments at Christmas and Easter, and each of the common council, 2s. annually in like manner. All other inhabitants to pay yearly to the said Edward in like manner, such sums as they shall be taxed by the Mayor, recorder, and aldermen.”