THE ACCOUNTS OF THE GUILD OF THE HOLY TRINITY, LUTON
1526/7-1546/7

Edited by BARBARA TEARLE
380pp 11 ILLUS (9 COLOUR) 2012 LIST PRICE: £25.00 H607

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Description
Religious guilds or fraternities proliferated throughout England until their dissolution in the late 1540s, yet few of their records have survived. Among the survivals are the last twenty-one years of the accounts of the Luton Guild of the Holy Trinity. They record several hundred transactions each year, including rents for the guild's properties, expenditure on wages to priests and clerks and dirges sung for deceased members of the guild. Purchases of food and hiring of cooks, kitchen helpers, utensils and entertainment show what extraordinarily lavish provision was made for the annual feast. The quantity of building materials that was purchased for the guild's properties suggests not only repairs but also modernisation and may be sufficient to attempt to reconstruct some of the houses. The guild was prosperous, well-connected and active, and its accounts provide an insight into daily life in mid-sixteenth-century Luton and the surrounding area.