Roger of Wendover:
National Regulations of Weights & Measures, 1187-1228
In the same year , on the day of St. Edmund the king and martyr, King Richard, at
the instance of Hubert archbishop of Canterbury and justiciary of England, made a decree
at Westminster, that, throughout England all measures of corn and pulse, both in cities
and other places, should be of the same size, and especially the measure of ale, wine, and
the weights of merchants. It was also decreed that woolen cloths in all parts of the
kingdom should be two ells wide, within the borders, and should be as good in the middle
as they were at the sides. It was, moreover, decreed that no trader should hang up before
his shop red or black cloths, or anything else by which the sight of purchasers should be
deceived in choosing a good cloth. A decree was also passed that no dye, except black,
should be anywhere made use of in the kingdom, except in the capital cities or the
boroughs; and if any one should be convicted of transgressing any of these laws, that his
body should be imprisoned, and his goods confiscated to the revenue.
King Henry [III] kept Christmas with all due solemnity at York  and immediately
afterwards set out by the direct road for London. In this journey he found a deficiency in
the measures of corn, wine, and beer, of which he broke some and burnt others, and
substituting larger ones, he ordered the bread to be made of heavier weight, and that
those who broke this law should be heavily fined.
From: Roger of Wendover's Flowers of History, trans. by J. A. Giles, (London: H.
G. Bohn, 1849), Vol. II, pp. 169, 497, reprinted in Roy C. Cave & Herbert H. Coulson, A
Source Book for Medieval Economic History, (Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Co., 1936;
reprint ed., New York: Biblo & Tannen, 1965), pp. 103-104.
Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by
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© Paul Halsall, September 1998