Monday, 2 March 2020

A Flemish chair from 1452 in the inventory of William Duffield, Canon Residentiary of York, Southwell and Beverley, and Fellow of Merton College, Oxford

In the Publications of the Surtees Society there lurks Testamenta Eboracensia - A selection of Wills from the Registry at York, Volume III  (Andrews and Co, Whittaker and Co, T & W Boone, Bernard Quaritch, Mrs Nutt and Blackwood and Sons, 1865).  At pp. 125 to 152 is to be found the extraordinary will and inventory of William Duffield, Canon Residentiary of York, Southwell and Beverley, and Fellow of Merton College, Oxford. In a very long inventory of many pages in Latin is to be found this paragraph:


"Tertia camera Ebor. De pretio j lecti, cum iij curtinis minoris assisae de rubio worsted, xiijs. liijd.; j peciae ejusdem worsted, long. vij virg. iiij s. viij d.; j chaufeour aenei xij d.; j cathedrae operis Flandrensis xx d. ; j paris forcipum iij d. ; j paris follium iij d. ; j cistae magnae, cum coopertorio rotundo, iiij s. ; j paris gardeviance iij s. iiij a. ; et j paris trussyngcofers ij s. Summa XXX s. vj d." (Reg. Test. Capit. Ebor. i. 272 et seq. et orig Inv.)

Here then, in 1452, is a record of a Flemish-work chair in the Canon's third room at his York residence.   What kind of chair it was cannot be known, but this import from Holland is of astoundingly early date.  It may not have been a rush-seated chair if it was valued at 1s 8d in 1452!

© Julian Parker 2020

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