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Prices at the turn of the Century.


Statement taken before Charles Talber for Hugh May*, Esq.
Clerk of the Markets to his Majesty's Household.

                                                   Items.d.
First a quarter of the best wheat, clean and the finest in the market. 360
Item a quarter of third wheat in the market.26
Item a quarter of the best barley in the market16
Item a quarter of the best beans and peas.20
A bushel of beans and peas mingled with oats for provender in Inns.42
A quarter of the best oats in the market.16
And a bushel of the same oats in every Inn.52
A kilderkin (18 gals) of good ale or double beer with carriage.34
A full quart of the best ale or beer by measure sealed.1
A full quart of single ale or beer by measure sealed.1/2
A full pound of butter sweet and new the best in the market.3 1/2
A pound of best cheese in the shop or market.2 1/2
A stone of the beast beef at the butchers.12
A stone of second beast beef at the butchers.1
A quarter of best veal at the butchers.26
A quarter of best wether mutton at the butchers.2
A quarter of best lamb.14
A fat pig the best in market.14
A lean or second pig.1
A couple of capons the best in market.2
A couple of lean or second capons.18
A fat goose the best in the market.1
A couple of chickens the best in market.8
A couple of lean chickens.6
A couple of rabbits the best in market.10
A couple of second rabbits.8
A dozen pigeons best in market.1
A pound of tallow candles made of wick.4
A pound of cotton or watching candles.4 1/2
A feather bed with necessary apparel for one man one night and so depart.1
A feather bed by the week for one man alone.6
The like feather bed for two together by the week.10
A mattress or flock bed by the week for one or two.6
A chamber with two beds good furniture one night and so depart.4
Three horse loafs at the bakers weighing each 8 ounces troy.1
A load of straw for litter with carriage.4
A hundred weight of good and sweet hay.10
Every bottle (6 lb.) of hay.2
One hundred faggots with carriage.3
A load of good brush bavins with carriage.5
A load of great logged wood with carriage.6
A hundred good oak boards with carriage.8
A hundred good elm boards with carriage.6
One thousand bricks.14
A quarter of charcoals.14
A vacant or empty room, either a stable or chamber by the week.4
A quart of the best claret at the vintners.6
A quart of the best sack at the vintners.10

Item, that every man being in company six or more together at dinner or supper good bread and drink, beef and mutton boiled or roasted, or else veal boiled and pig, beef or veal roasted, or otherwise upon fish day to have good bread and drink, salt fish or salmon, ling, egg and butter and so in default of one meat to have another.

Every man to pay for his meal. 6d

  • In 1625 The Clerk to the Market salary was 13d. a day.


Estimation of the cost of emigration to New England were published in the 1600s. The following is a compilation from Higginson and from Josselyn first published about 1630.

                Food£sd                 Tools    £sd
Meal, one hogshead200Five broad hoes ???
Malt, one hogshead100Five felling axes76
Two bushels of oatmeal90Two steel handsaws 28
Beef one hundredweight 180Two handsaws100
Pork pickled, 100 pound150One whip saw100
Bacon, 74 pound 150A file, a rest10
Peas, two bushels 80Two hammers20
Greats, one bushel 60Three shovels 46
Butter, two dozen80Two spades30
Cheese, half a hundred 120Two augers 10
Vinegar, two gallons 10Two broad axes74
Aquavitae, one gallon28Six chisels30
Mustard seed, two quarts10Three gimlets6
Salt to save fish, half a hogshead100Two hatchets 36
One gallon of oil36Two frows to cleave pail30
                 Clothing Two hand bills34
One hat30Two pickaxes 30
One Monmouth cap 110Three locks and three pair of fetters510
Three falling bands 13Two curry combs 11
Shirt26A brand to brand beasts6
One waist coat26A coulter wieghing 10 pounds34
One suit of frieze190A hand vise 26
One suit of cloth150A pitchfork14
One suit of canvas76A share211
Three pair of Irish stockings50One wood hook10
Four pairs of shoes90One wimble, with six piercer bits16
Boots for men, one pair90Twelve cod hooks 20
Leather to mend shoes, four pound50Two lines 40
One pair of canvas sheets80One mackerel line and twelve hooks10
Seven ells canvas to make bed and bolster50           Wooden Ware
One coarse rug60A pair of bellows20
Handkerchief, twelve40A scoop9
One sea cape or gown, of coarse cloth160A pair of wheels for a cart40
               Household utensils Wheelbarrow60
One iron pot70A great pail10
One great copper kettle200A short oak ladder10
A small kettle 100A plough 39
A lesser kettle 60An axletree8
One large frying pan 28A cart 100
A brass mortar 30A casting shovel10
A spit 20A shovel 24
One gridiron 20A lantern13
Two skillets50


'Coming Over' D.Cressy Cambridge University Press 1987 (Highly recommended for further reading)