The Old Town Book

The "Old Town Book" of Watton records some quaint items as to the life in the town. Some of the earliest of which refer to the various public feasts held annually on "Wisson Monday" and known as "Drynkyns". At these, there appears to have been a considerable consumption of food as well as drink, as shown by the "Bill of Fare" for the Drynkyn held in 1560 and included: — Paid for apples 10d. paid for 5 skore and four white herrings 2s. 4d. paid for 3 Vi Ibs. raisins 5d., anny seeds 1d., a pint of honey 5d., two pints of "boter" 7d., ounce of pepper 3d., paid to Aldean's wife for dozen bread Is., paid to France's wife for dozen cakes Is., and various bakins 5s. A firkin of beer Is. 3d., half a barrel of beer 2s. 6d. It appears that the Churchwardens and their wives were responsible for the catering on these occasions, but other people helped in providing the necessary food and drink. Collections were made to defray expenses and the balance went towards benefiting the poor, through the Churchwarden's accounts. In 1565 the balance for the poor was 14s. 6d and in 1566 it was 13s lOd.

Brockbank's Baker's & Confectioners Shop - "George Hotel" (now Lloyd's Bank} - Durrant's Shop (1890's)

There are a great many other interesting items in the "Old Town Book", a few of which are:
1561 Paid to Browster for mending ye Bardrych of ye bells Vld.
1597 Henry Turner, James Hansard, Robert Breett, Nycolas Cock, and Henry Firket were chosen by the inhabitance of the towne of Watton for laying the towne for nayfull verme and fowtes.
1587 George Hayward is appointed to look to the bells for one whole yere, he shall have for his labour I shilling.
1592 November 17th. Bought of Thomas Skeene, the greate belle wheel, and he is to make it new again if it breaks in five years after at his own cost and charge; for it he is paid V shillings.
1600 "Hugh Turner, dark and vicar of Watton, and Dorothy Dunn of Hingharn, a widow, were married on July 10th.
1603 It is recorded that Christopher Hey delivered to Humphrey Mosse and James Brat, I corslet, I pick, a sword, 2 daggers, I girdle, I headpiece with a cote and all things to it belonging. Prior to this there is an entry that £7 8s. was paid from the Church funds for "A sword skabberk, a daggerd and a payn hanger". The purpose of supplying this warlike equipment is unknown, but possibly the two men thus equipped were the policemen of the day.
1659 Put out the bells keeping, and to keepe out the dogges of the Church and to awake all sleepers which sleep in divine service, to old William Mayes for one whole year insueing 10/- per annum —2/6 to be paid every quarter by the Churchwardens.
1729 The "Terrier" of 1729 records: — "One pulpit cloth and cushion of purple with a good fringe; the former finely embroidered with silver and ye letters I.H.S. and ye date of ye year, given by good Mr. Scott, which cost him eight guineas".

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