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The Regulation of Brothels in Later Medieval England Author(s): Ruth Mazo Karras Source: Signs, Vol. 14, No.

2, Working Together in the Middle Ages: Perspectives on Women's Communities (Winter, 1989), pp. 399-433 Published by: The University of Chicago Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3174556 . Accessed: 23/09/2013 15:38
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THE REGULATION OF BROTHELS IN LATER MEDIEVAL ENGLAND
RUTH MAZO KARRAS

Medieval society recognized prostitution as a necessary evil. Sinful men, theologians held, would corrupt respectable women-even their own wives-or turnto sodomy if they did not have the prostitute as a sexual outlet: "Remove prostitutesfromhuman affairs and you will destroy everythingwith lust."' Though they argued
Versions of this paper were presented to the Western European History Workshop at the Universityof Pennsylvania, the seventh Berkshire Conference on the Historyof Women, the Fordham UniversityCenter forMedieval Studies Conference on Gender and the Moral Order in Medieval Society,and the Universityof Oregon I thankthe audiences there and the readers forSigns fortheir departmentof history. comments on earlier versions; Caroline Barron, Martha Carlin, and Maryanne Kowaleski for help, advice, and access to unpublished work; and J. B. Post for permission to use his edition of the Southwarkcustomary.Travel funds forresearch in Britain were provided by a grant fromthe University of Pennsylvania Research Foundation. 1 Augustine, De Ordine 2.4, Patrologiae Cursus Completus Series Latina (hereaftercited as PL), ed. J. P. Migne (Paris, 1845), 32:1000, quoted by Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, 2.2.10.11, in Opera Omnia (Rome: Sacred Congregation for Propagation of the Faith, 1895), 8:93. Augustine held that it was better fora man to have nonprocreative sex with a prostitutethan with his own wife because then he at least would not be corrupting an innocent woman (Augustine, De Bono Conjugali 11, PL, 40:382).
[Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 1989, vol. 14. no. 2] ? 1989 by The Universityof Chicago. All rightsreserved. 0097-9740/89/1402-0222$01.00

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Karras / REGULATION OF BROTHELS

that prostitution was necessary because of men's natural,if sinful, sex drive, this did not lead to respect forthe prostitute herself.The church considered her one of the worstof sinners: lust was considered the woman's sin par excellence and the prostituteepitomized among a celibate male elite, preachers in England as elsewhere spread the notion to the general public as well.3 Though medieval thinkersattributedthe prostitute'schoice of profession to her sinfulness, for many prostitutesthe choice was dictated by the available alternatives. Many women were not able to marry-because of lack ofdowries, because of sex ratios,because too few men were in a position to marry-and had to supportthemselves.4 Opportunities for women in the labor marketvaried, but in late medieval Europe as population rose again aftera period of labor shortage following the Black Death of 1348, their access to guild membership or other skilled work tended to be limited.5Not
it.2 While the notion of woman as temptress might be expected

2 On women as more lustfulthan men, see, e.g., Charles T. Wood, "The Doctors' Dilemma: Sin, Salvation and the Menstrual Cycle," Speculum 56 (1981): 711-13. In the iconography of the sins, lust (luxuria) is often represented by a woman and depicted with avarice represented by a man (see, e.g., Adolf Katzenellenbogen, Allegories of the Virtues and Vices in Medieval Art [London: WarburgInstitute, 1939], 58-59, 76). The woman whom Luke 7:37 identifiesonly as "a sinner" was identified in medieval hagiographyas Mary Magdalen whose sin, it was assumed without scriptural basis, was lust. See Marjorie M. Malvern, Venus in Sackcloth: The Magdelene's Origins and Metamorphoses (Carbondale: Southern Illinois UniversityPress, 1975); and Helen Meredith Garth,Saint Mary Magdalen in Medieval Literature, Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science, ser. 67, no. 3 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UniversityPress, 1950), forreferences to medieval literaryrepresentationsof Mary Magdalen. 3 Women's sexual immorality, love of ornament,and shrewishness were common themes ofmedieval sermons (see, e.g., G. R. Owst, Literature and Pulpit in Medieval England [Cambridge: Cambridge UniversityPress, 1933], 375-404). 4 The "Western European marriagepattern"identifiedforearly modern Europe, involving relatively late ages of marriagecompared to other preindustrialsocieties and a high proportionof the population who never marriedat all, may have applied in the Middle Ages as well (Richard M. Smith,"Some Reflectionson the Evidence forthe Origins of the 'European Marriage Pattern'in England," in The Sociology of the Family: New Directions for Britain, ed. Chris Harris, Sociological Review Monograph no. 28 [Keele, England: Universityof Keele, 1979], 74-112). 5 See P. J. P. Goldberg, "Marriage, Migration, Servanthood and Life-Cycle in Yorkshire Towns of the Later Middle Ages: Some York Cause Paper Evidence," Continuityand Change 1 (1986): 141-69, and "Female Labour, Service and Marriage in the Late Medieval Urban North,"Northern History 22 (1986): 18-38, for the towns thatmay have led women to turn demographic situation in fifteenth-century a decline in work opto prostitution:a low sex ratio due to female in-migration, portunities,and a decline in nuptiality.

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turned to prostitution. Bettler und Gaukler.Frankfurt Prostitutionin Medieval Society: The History of an Urban Institution in Languedoc (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. print. Kriegk. 1:74047. 1987)."Deviant Insiders: Legalized Prostitutesand a Consciousness of Women in Early Modern Seville." in Women of the Medieval World. 264 (1980). 19. mentions rape victims turningto prostitution. 2:292-329. Robert Forster and Orest Ranum (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UniversityPress. placing it under strict controlwithoutabolishing it totally. Philippe Aries and Andr6 Bejin (Oxford: Basil Blackwell. but like any other service industryit was concentrated where people were concentrated. 1 (Berlin: Louis Marcus." in Western Sexuality: Practice and Precept in Past and Present Times. but draws on other material fromapproximately 1350-1550.a suburb of London. 1984). Rossiaud. "Prostitution. The regulation of brothels in England must be seen against the background of the tolerated and institutionalizedbrothels found elsewhere in Europe. 1969). Die Prostitution. trans. 401 This content downloaded from 199. Jacques Rossiaud." 1toryWorkshop.. 1978). 1985). 76-94. This articlefocuses on the regulations evil.but it was one of a limited range of options. which date fromthe fifteenth century(see App.In many parts of medieval and early modern Europe this meant establishing licensed. societe et politique a Venise a la findu moyen age. "Prostitutionand Repentance in Late Medieval Perpignan.was the locus of this necessary valve. of course. Mary Elizabeth Perry. though not an analytical study. "Police des moeurs." Revue historique.and Otis.in Deviants and the Abandoned in French Society. Elisabeth Pavan. Prostitution was not restrictedto towns. this societal safety of brothels in medieval England.Sex and Society in French Towns in the Fifteenth Century. no. Jacques Rossiaud. Lyndal Roper. is found in Iwan Bloch.ed. 211-41. brothels or officialred-lightdistricts. 1985). von Posern-Klett. ream Main: Sauer & Auvermann. Handbuch der gesamten Sexualwissenschaft in Einzeldarstellungen.vol.). 137-60.Winter1989 / SIGNS all. and the Reformation in Augsburg. It deals mainly with regulations forthe bathhouses of Southwark." Comparative Studies in Society and History 27 (1985): 138Fem58. Leah Lydia Otis.7 6 Personal as well as structural factorsplayed a role. The Margins of Society in Medieval Paris."trans. 1912). 179-227. G." inist Studies 4 (1978): 195-214. ed. Dirnen und Henker: Randgruppen und Aussenseiter in Koln 1300-1600 (Kbln: Greven Verlag. Municipal authoritiesall over Europe recognized the social value of prostitution but triedto keep it as unobtrusiveas possible.17."His"Discipline and Respectability: Prostitution Youth and Society.2 vols. ed. 19 (1985). Deutsches Biirgerthumim Mittelalter nach urkundlichen Forschungen (1871. See also Bronislaw Geremek. Youth and Society in the Towns of Southeastern France in the Fifteenth Century. hereaftercited as Prostitution. or even municipally owned. 1985).no. and " 'Lost Women' in Early Modern Seville: The Politics of Prostitution. Franz Irsigler and Arnold Lassotta. 241-88.6 The brothel.to medieval society." Archiv fir Siichsische Geschichte 12 (1874): 63-89. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . "Prostitution. L.14 on Mon. 46. Julius Kirshnerand Suzanne Wemple (Oxford: Basil Blackwell."Frauenhauser und freie Frauen in Sachsen. Elborg Forster. "Prostitution. Jean Birrell (Cambridge: Cambridge UniversityPress. 7 The most complete list of towns with legal brothels.249. 3-28.

J.J. Augsburg.14 on Mon. Trexler.17.Youth and Society. forwealthy individuals or institutionswithin the town.preventing homosexuality. See also Abraham Flexner.10 florentineau XVe siecle: Patronages et clienRichard C. Roper. Rossiaud. 1969).N.: Rutgers UniversityPress.the women were defined in termsof their relationships to men.'" 209-10."'Lost Women.Prostitutionand Victorian Society (Cambridge: Cambridge UniversityPress.Karras / REGULATION OF BROTHELS The philosophy behind the official establishmentand regulation of brothels in France. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . N."'Lost Women. and Rossiaud. "Prostitution.8 The medieval European towns that licensed or sponsored brothels did so not forthe protection of the prostitutesbut forthe maintenance of social order. "Prostitution." toleration and officialestablishment of brothels followed unsuccessful earlier atwithin the town.J. Dijon. MerryE. Recent scholarship on municipal or municipally regulated brothels in Florence. By would awaken the prostitutes initiatingmen intothejoys ofheterosexual intercourse.53-55.rape. Gustav Wustmann. Prostitutionand the State in Italy. 983. discusses how brothels in German towns fitinto a male understanding of the "good of the community. argues that prostitutionwas not only acceptable but a buttress of the moral order because of the necessary outlet it provided." 3-4.Youth and Society.J. Germany."Even where the brothel was supposed to benefitrespectable women by makingthe streetssafe forthem.249.Montclair. 5.103rid the streetsof 5.N. and Italy followed church doctrinein treating as degraded and defiled but tolerated prostitutes their activitybecause of male demand. Otis. Mary Gibson. 10For examples. Often the in Leipzig im Mittelalter. argues thatthe authoritiesthoughtinstitutionalizedprostitution that set a bad example and encouraged respectable women free-lance prostitution to lasciviousness." Annales economies societes civilisations 36 (1981): 983-1015. in them a desire to marry. Prostitution. Roper.: Princeton University Press. Otis. 1985).: Rutgers "Frauenhauser und freieFrauen UniversityPress. Working Women in Renaissance Germany (New Brunswick. fora discussion of regulated prostitution 9 Trexler.'" 196 and 204-6. and seduction." 13. Youth and Society. 4." 21-25. "La prostitution teles.: Patterson in Europe by a contemporary.Perry. 1987).Spain. Wiesner. suggests thatthe town of Dijon deliberately provided young men with opportunities forfornicationwith prostitutesas a remedy foran epidemic of rape that he sees as having been violence directed against the governingelite. "Prostitution. Rossiaud. in the case of licensed brothels. JillHarsin.9They also could be important sources of income for the town itself or. Policing Prostitutionin NineteenthCentury Paris (Princeton. N. Archivfur Kulturgeschichte5 (1907): 469-82.and the towns of Languedoc in the medieval and early modern periods agrees that regulated brothels were seen as a foundationof the social order. See JudithWalkowitz. Seville. 1980). Uneasy Virtue: The Politics of Prostitution and the American Reform Tradition (New York: Basic. Prostitutionin Europe (1914. Smith. 1986). 1986). 402 This content downloaded from 199. discuss apprentices or other young unmarried men as the main clientele. 1860-1915 (New Brunswick. 97-105. Prostitution. see Perry. reprint. and Barbara Meil Hobson. suggests that in Florence the purpose of institutionalization was to shore up a declining birthrateby turning men away from homosexuality. tempts to ban prostitution 8 A similar philosophy grounded nineteenth-centurylicensing and policing movements.

79-80.Prostitutes were either required to wear some sort of distinguishing clothing or else forbiddento wear certain types of garmentsor jewelry. Kriegk. not according to the number of customers they had. 13 brothels in Germany. Triibner. Some of the continental regulations specifically authorized the brothel keeper to imprison a woman fordebts she owed him.60-61.99. or the keeper could have lent her money. 104.472. lent to them or to a relative (see Roper. 6. on German regulationsforbiddingkeeping women in the brothels for debt. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 403 This content downloaded from 199. J.12 These provisions apparentlyaimed to protect nonprostitutesfrombeing taken forprostitutes.1889). and Kriegk. Prostitution.319. In most places.82. und 15 Jahrhunderts(Strasbourg: Karl J.'3 In Languedoc the prostitutespaid the brothel keeper for room and board. In France some municipal brothels were farmedby women only. von Posern-Klett. Brucker.312. 299.Winter1989 / SIGNS While the regulation of prostitutionand brothels varied across continental Europe.l In many places they were forbidden to attend church with or speak to respectable women. ed.and even when a man held the farm a woman (known as abbesse) might administer it. 15 Italian regulations are cited in Otis. although there is no evidence thatthis problem concerned the women themselves. NurnbergerPolizeiordnungen aus dem XIII bis XVJarhrvol. Roper. Rather.17.the prostitutemightalso have to performother work 1 Otis.83 (Venice was an exception). see also. prostitution was forbiddenexcept in particular streets or (especially in smaller towns) in one particularbrothel.see Otis. 102.men wanted to protect bourgeois wives by labeling prostitutesand restricting them to brothels. thiswas no doubt a factor in keeping a prostitutein the brothel on a permanent basis. Wiesner. 12 Roper.Brucker.469.81. Wiesner. terarische Verein. 7. 14 Otis. 814-15. 470 (in Leipzig. Wustmann. sometimes a woman. seven pfennigs a week plus one per customerand three forevery man who spent the night). while in Germanythe paymentsfrom the prostitutesmightvaryaccording to their income. for Strasbourg.474-75. Prostitution.' " 201).14 on Mon. Perry. Otis. Joseph Baader.15 When she had no customers. a number of characteristicswere common. Prostitution. and Kriegk. 246. Geremek. they were mostly men. 119 (in Nuremberg.'4 The chances of a prostitute'sowing money to the brothel keeper were great: she mighthave ended up in the brothel in the first place because of her own or her family's debts. 98.StrassburgerZunft-und Polizeiverordnungen des 14. On women runningofficial Wustmann. Bloch. 63 (Stuttgart:Lithundert. von Posern-Klett.The brothelkeeper in German towns was usually a man.249. Prostitution. 97-100.83-84. Prostitution. apparently a weekly charge only). The regulations generally gave the brothel keepers a great deal of controlover the prostitutes. Bibliothek des LitterarischenVereins in Stuttgart.. 768. 459. Bloch. 10.67. according to Wiesner. 1861). Wustmann. See Wiesner. In some towns it seems thatwomen were put into the trade in the first place in order to repay capital " 'Lost Women.

no married men. 217.21 Some towns' restrictions on who could visit the brothels- no clerics. the prostitutesas long as they did not maim them. 102. which had an officialred-lightdishad to leave trictratherthan a municipal brothel. Youthand Society. Prostitution."23. 3. 21 Otis.249. 6). 101.provides thatthe prostitutescannot be forced to board there (Baader.There prostitutes to not allowed the brothels before curfew and were practice the towns the regIn some after curfew. "Prostitution.see Kriegk. 119). 72. 18 Geremek (n. L'ordre des penitentes Rossiaud. Irsiglerand Lassotta (n.85-87."21. forGermany. on varyingGerman regulations on women boarding with the brothel keeper.82-83. 180. Wiesner (n. "Prostitution.Youth and Society. Otis. also indicate some concern forstandardsof sexual morality.Karras / REGULATION OF BROTHELS forthe profitof the brothel keeper. An ordinance from Nuremberg. usually.20Such rules can only be considered half-heartedgiven the officialestablishment of the brothels.the municipalities ofcontinentalEurope stillpaid lip muservice to the Church's ideals ofsexual purity.315.314. 7 above). 316. 19Ordinances of Perugia and Foligno. Wustmann(n. particularlyin Italy. 404 This content downloaded from 199. physical abuse. cited in Otis.17.84. Andre Simon. 83. de Ste. Rossiaud. 7 above). 7 above). 22Roper (n. inforat least did provide an alternative could marry cluding prostitutes. cites regulations fromboth France and Italy. These rules were constantlyinfringedupon. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . was a necessary feaDespite their recognitionthat prostitution tureofsociety. Regulations from nicipal brothels in Languedoc and in Germany provide that the houses should not be open for business on holy days or that the women should all leave the brothelduringHoly Week. also Rossiaud.16In most cases the prostitutes were required to live in the brotheland.the brothel keepers were allowed to strikethe On the whole. Prostitution.but the appearance of religious orders forrepentantprostitutesand movements to provide dowries so thatpoor women. 7 above). Marie Madeleine en Allemagne au XIIIme siecle (Fribourg: Imprimerie et Librairie de l'oeuvre de Saint-Paul. See Youth and Society" (n. although they still had to conduct theirtrade in the brothel.72-76. a control that was not even ostensibly forthe protectionof the prostitutes. 17 Sometimes they could have theirdwelling elsewhere on payment of a special sum. 7 above). a few. Otis. Kriegk.19 a of controlover deal of brothel exercised a great keeper municipal the lives of the prostitutesemployed there. 7 above).. no Jews-although not well enforced. 6 above). Prostitution.18 profession fromtheir homes but in from ulations protectedthe prostitutes others. 1918). the brothel keeper could require the prostitutesto spin yarn forhim during the day or else reimburse him forlost earnings (Roper. 190.where women do seem to have lived in the brothels. 473. 7 above). Prostitution (n. 5.had to board there too. During Lent and especially Holy Week the prostituteswere to listen to sermons intended to sway them fromtheir life of sin. 20Otis. "Prostitution. Wiesner.17One exception was Paris. von Posern-Klett(n. See Kriegk. Irsigler and Lassota. Prostitution. ed.14 on Mon.22 16In Ulm.

84-85. she was not customer. Prostitution. Rossiaud. they stigmatized witha roofovertheirheads and Yet.prostitution was made availableto all who qualified. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .14 on Mon.27 The prostitutes themselvesdid not have anyformal collectiveorganization.249. in Southwark. ed. Frantisek Graus. "Prostitution. [n. The regulations Southwark are exceptionalforEngland. Bloch (n. 186-88. discuss how the stigmawas worse forthe women in the officialhouse than forothers. Prostitution. Otis. butthe official brothel did were not the rule in England. 61.26 wished. who also suggests thatthe sharingofprostitutes as common propertystrengthenedmale bonding.6.69. Prostitution. 27 Otis.17.25 The officially or municipally in many owned brothels regulated Continental towns took away the prostitutes' and their mobility to set theirown working restricted theirright to ability conditions. None of the regulations that I have read or seen reference to mention particularsexual acts even to prohibitthem. Youth and Society" (n. She was notallowed in some places to support a procurer or even to have a favorite In some places. "Randgruppen der stadtischen Gesellschaft im Spatmittelalter. leave theprofession whenever and them. has a good deal in common withgeneralpatterns in continental from the official brothelsin Europe. Wiesner. indeed could notbe rapedbecause she was consideredto belong to all men and thushad no right to withhold consent. Prostitution (n.68-69. 26 Irsigler and Lassotta.23 allowed to rejectanycustomer.theyprovidedthe prostitutes reducedthe need for themto seek outtheirown customers. speaks ofprostitutes as an officially recognized corporate body but apparently only because the brothels were official.there is no evidence thattheyhad any organizationamong themselves.28 The municipal brothels were establishedto servethe necessary function ofrestraining male sexuality. 7 above). There are severalexamplesfrom Franceofprostitutes from official brothels taking collectiveactionto protest the replacement ofa female brothel not keeperby a manorto stampoutclandestine prostitutes connectedwiththe brothel. but theyalso controlled the ofthe prostitute or at least denied heranycontrol overit sexuality herself. 24Examples are given by Roper. 14 above]. and thewomenwho providedit had no say in determining how theirbodies were to be used. 405 This content downloaded from 199. 25 The Nuremberg regulation makes this particularlyclear: the common women "should be common according to their name" (nach irem namen gemin sein sollen) (Baader.'Zeitschrift fur historischeForschung8 [1981]: 429). 121).24 As a municipalservice. 98-99. See also Wiesner. 670.but from themone may infer muchabout the manner in whichothertownsdealt withthe 23Otis. 7 above).Winter1989 / SIGNS bring prostitutestogether. 99. 6 above). 28The oftenrepeated statementthatprostitutesformedan officialguild in many towns has not been borne out by recent research (Otis.alOfficially regulatedbrothels instanceof legal brothels thoughthe one well-documented there. 25.

but secular courtsalso dealt with any sexual offensesthataffectedpublic order: Often rape.Karras / REGULATION OF BROTHELS was prohibited. e.g. When the records state that a certain person "is a procurer for divers women living in her house. Where prostitution was willing to tolerate them in practice if not in English society were permittedby law.. 6r. the survivingregWhere brothels theory.illicitbrothelsflourished. not just where prostitutes The termprostibulum. the accusation mentions specific parties ("tenet bordellum interx et y").fol.London Commissary Court Act Books.and it is often are difficultto tell precisely when they referringto established thatindividuals were show records court The houses ofprostitution. but even the termsbordellum. Boroughs (legally chartered towns) or manors lord had jurisdiction) had theirown courts (over which a territorial and their own systems of fines foroffenses. The factthat someone had been charged with an offense in the secular court could be used as evidence against her or him in ecclesiastical court (see.London Church Courts and Society on the Eve of the Reformation. and brothel In medieval England the regulation of prostitution in the hands was of most other like order. 30In Nottingham..17.27v). in English usually bawd) than of keeping brothels..e.g. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . however. or go-betweens for couples. and lupanar could referto places where adulterous couples could meet. prostitution. or lena.29 The ecclesiastical courts served a punitive ratherthan a regulatory function. Mass. Guildhall Library. the standard accusation was that someone "tenet bordellum et enormitatem[or 'tenet lenocinium'] infradomum suam" ("keeps a brothel and immoralityin her [or his] house"). 1981). and brothels are The only survivingrecords about prostitution court the textsof municipal regulations and records. e. leno.: Medieval Academy of America. of local authorities.Speculum AnniversaryMonographs. and sometimeseven adulteryor fornication.The controlwas more pragmatic and less moralistic than elsewhere in Europe.14 on Mon. ulations indicate that prostitutionwas to be tolerated only under the firmest control. implyingthatthe accused 406 This content downloaded from 199." this is probably a brothel.controlthatwould keep sexually active women fromthreateningthe social order. the same people were finedin both secular and ecclesiastical courts. public aspects keeping. lenocinium. Sexual offensesof all sortscame under the purview ofthe ecclesiastical courts. their records provide some evidence for how brothels operated but not forthe reasons behind the control of brothels. Richard Wunderli. 7 (Cambridge.30 29 See.London. 9064/1. or much more oftenaccused ofbeing prostitutes procurers(in Latin usually pronuba. The procurerswere probably pimps forindividual women. In some cases.249. 99. rather than keepers of brothels.rare but occasionally used in Enworked. issue.g. but it involved a similar response to the threatof independent female sexuality. no. Department of Manuscripts.Those prosecuted forharboringprostituteswere probably merelyrentingpremises to independently operatingwomen.

membrane 16d. 14. Y/C4/199membrane 13.34 This de facto was not a brothel keeper but rather a go-between or facilitator(Nottinghamshire Record Office. Y/C4/196membrane 12. in 1542 (CLRO. See also Derek Keene. Taverns and gamblingdens Record Office(hereafter PRO).g. The Coventry Leet Book. e. L-B D). Martha Carlin. and 9064a.14 on Mon. diss. to prostitutesin general Clay. Survey of Medieval Winchester. 2 (Oxford: Clarendon Press. ed. on finesas licensing fees fortradespeople. no. 357r.membrane 15.as is domus meretricum. 9064/1. L-B and their letter designation (e. 1983).Winter1989 / SIGNS gland.3 The courtsoccasionally connected prostitution with tavernsor gaming houses that may also have operated as brothels.."in Women and Workin Preindustrial Europe. on the question of whetherthe finesforbrothelkeeping amounted to a licensing fee. 1200 to 1550" (Ph.Y/C4/194 membrane 21. 146.no. whether connected with brothels or not. Reginald R.Borough Quarter Sessions. LetterBook D. 407 This content downloaded from 199. ed.membrane 1. CroftonHemmons. 1901].. is a clearer indication of a brothel. "The Urban Development of Southwark c. 153v. 10. fol. J. 1900].promote and aid adultery. and foment. C8/1/20. Corporation of London Records Office(hereafter CLRO). Coventry in 1445 (Mary Dormer Harris.32 Most English towns explicitly prohibited prostitution. 2:291). ed. The Little Red Book of Bristol [Bristol: W.. and passim). 1985). 1907].fol.membrane 1: "William Porter is a procurer[leno] and JohannaPorterwife ofthe said William is a procuress [pronuba] and they keep a brothel and house of prostitutes[prostibulum & domum meretricis] and prostitution in Ipswich . Bickley. CA/1 ff. 32 For example. 300r). University of Toronto. 1:33-34).. Early English Text Society. Journalsofthe Court ofCommon are stillconnected withprostitution Council. This does not necessarily mean that In many places repeated they seriously attemptedto eradicate it... repeat offenders were finedmore heavily with each offense. 1:391. Y/C4/ 200 membrane 10.]. 1902]. 188v. Y/C4/201 membrane 9]). 134 [London: Early English Text Society..D.17.g.. 263-64)-books in thisseries will hereafter be referredto as Cal. Barbara A. Y/C4/162.g.see. 34See Maryanne Kowaleski. and Ipswich (Suffolk Record Office. vol. vol. fol.249. Records of the Borough of Leicester [London: C. "Women's Work in a Market Town: Exeter in the Late FourteenthCentury. ed. For innkeepers accused of procuring. SC2/191/55.. 506-7. Centre for Medieval Studies.g.Y/C4/ 161. 1986). 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 33Legislation in many towns ordered brothels outside the city walls: e. C7/1/27. appear commercial activitythatamounted to licensing fees.).Winchester Studies. Cal. 1:219-20). Public membrane 2. Alice Dymmok of Great Yarmouth[NorfolkRecord Office.33 of the same for brothels indicates not simply fining people keeping of but offenders also a punishment continuing system of de facto such fines in the same rolls as fines for court licensing fees. Y/C4/198membrane 12.fornication.. in the records of Great Yarmouth(NorfolkRecord Office. ed. 131r-132r (Letter-BookD in Calendar ofLetter-BooksPreserved among theArchives of the City of London at the Guildhall. fol. between men and prostitutesand continue to keep the house of prostitutes and brothel as a procurerand procuress"). Leicester in 1467 (Mary Bateson. In some instances (e. fol. Repertories of the Court of Aldermen [hereafterRep. Sharpe [London: Corporationofthe City ofLondon. Guildhall Library. 31 For example. Hanawalt (Bloomington: Indiana UniversityPress. Bristol had similar ordinances referring and not brothels (Francis B.

larcenies.homicides. see also Riley. in Riley. of bad and evil life.outside the city's jurisdiction. journal 8. 193v [Cal. 283.14 on Mon. in H. trans. British Medieval Population (Albuquerque: Universityof New Mexico Press. See also CLRO. Letter-Book I. Memorials of London and London Life in the Thirteenth. 647]). L-B H. CLRO. an ordinance probably dating from 1483 again banned prostitutesfrom the city (CLRO. 178.249. 535). and the most highly organized.. vol.Karras / REGULATION OF BROTHELS toleration. 120r. 1 (London: Longman. 189v. ed. 1859). T. Liber Albus. fol..journal 2. L-B A. Letter-Book D. 18v-19r. 1868]. pt. 535). fol. brothels in England. Riley. Cal. fols. disturbances. 12. Letter-BookA. fol. fol. Riley. T. 218: Assizes of the City of London. on the evolution of the city's legal authoritythere). 1 of Munimenta Gildhallae Londoniensis: Liber Albus. fol. The law was not entirely effective. have in the stews. 1969]. ed. 402. trans. Southwark. Letter-Book H. fol. 1310 that all brothels in the city be shut down. Some element ofpunishmentor stigmawas involved.and sojourning. and other common nuisances" that occurred "by reason and cause of the common resort. 287r (Cal. Letter-BookL. as did the but the territory liberties of other high churchmen (see David J. damages. held by the Bishop of Winchester remained separate. fol. see Josiah Cox Russell. journal 2. abominations. 38Individuals were still allowed to have bathhouses forthe cleanliness of their own households (CLRO. London. L-B H. 287r. Letter-Book H. murders. journal 1.37In 1417 stews were forbidden in London and the suburbs under its control on the grounds of "many grievances. 459.Southwark and the City [London: Corporation of London. In 1428 the ordinance was changed so that those free of the city could keep stews but not foreigners(which included English people not citizens of London) (CLRO. Johnson. Liber Custumarum. 130r (Cal. in the libertyof the bishop of Winchester in Southwark. harbouring. 408 This content downloaded from 199.in Cock's Lane. CLRO. 116r (Cal. 1948). L-B D. in Riley. Rolls Series vol. et Liber Horn. but fineswere clearly not high enough to deter.35 Despite customs ofthe citythatdeclared thatno prostitute mightstaywithin a in and the walls on pain of forty royal command in days prison. is where one mightexpect to findthe highest concentration of. L-B I.Fourteenth and FifteenthCenturies [London: Longman.which lewd men and women. across the Thames fromLondon.36 to make prostitutesstay This was the only exception to the effort in "the stews [bathhouses] on the other side of the Thames"-that is. fol. 41r-v. city authoritiesby 1393 tolerated brothels in one part of the city. trans.even if it was a result of failed attemptsat eradication. 43-60.17. 282302. 106v). CLRO. 402. 246). with fourtimes as greata population at the next largest town. came under the city's jurisdiction in 1327. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 1276-78). fol. 36H. 37 CLRO. (Cal. shows a practical stance on the part of local secular authorities."38 Some bathhouses were later permittedin London if their keepers 35On population of medieval towns in Britain. 206). L-B L.

membrane 11 [Cal. in CLRO.In 1446. journal 2. 9064/1-11). 95).32v-33r. servants.55v.Winter1989 / SIGNS could assure the authorities thattheykept an "honest stew" and did not permitwomen in a men's bathhouse. fol. like the one in Grub Street indicted in 1422 "which is a common house of prostitution [putre] and bawdry. 64r (Cal. Letter-BookB. membrane 14 [Cal." although this involved arrangingliaisons elsewhere than in his stew (CLRO.9064/1. fol. membrane 2. PMR 1:167. Letter-Book K.14 on Mon. 42 Several instances from the London cityadministrationand ecclesiastical court records indicate how procurersoperated. 1246]. fols. trans. 17]. 54r. journal 2. In 1423 Alison Boston took apprentices whom "she hired out to various persons forvarious sums of money to execute and exercise with them the horrible vice of lechery" (CLRO. fol. 134v).40 Therewere highly organized at a higherlevel of the tradethan the manyprocurers operating to a clienteleof typicalbrothelkeeper. CLRO. 5:17)-hereafter Cal. PMR 1:109. 107v).484-86]). llv [Cal. "stewmonger. She sent the women out to the men's lodgings rather than having the men come to her house (CLRO.113r-v.by extension a place where people took hot baths.41 and apprentices." was accused ofbeing "a common procurer. L-B B.g. Letter-Book L. Plea and Memoranda Roll A66. 136). 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . ed. membrane 4b. fol. membrane 5 (Cal. fols. Thomas [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. membrane 8 (Calendar of Plea and Memoranda Rolls Preserved among the Archives of the Corporation of the City of London at the Guildhall.g. Other examples with details are found.fol. fol. L-B H. journal 2.in Riley. 41 There is little direct evidence forthe involvement of apprentices. CLRO. 19r). 34r. CLRO. A.249. H. 6-7]. Some stewhouses were not organized brothels but meeting places.42 39 CLRO. 194v [Cal. CLRO Plea and Memoranda Roll A5.35r. 1926]. Letter-Book H. but from the scantyevidence that in the cityitself does notseem to have been survives. CLRO. 409 This content downloaded from 199. Cal.and in which thieves and also priests and their concubines are received" (CLRO. between 1465 and 1481 with some years missing) does a fairlyfull series of presentmentsexist. CLRO.. Plea and Memoranda Roll A51. Letter-BookK. 5:14). For only one ward (Portsoken. 114r (Cal. 40Not many London court records survive. Guildhall Library. PMR.39 did notsucceed in banishing brothels Clearlythe authorities to Cock's Lane and Southwark." and originallymeant a hot room. Plea and Memoranda Roll A3. e. 108v. fol. L-B L. L-B K. Scattered indictmentsforkeeping brothels in other wards are extant. In 1385 Elizabeth Moryngwas accused of recruitingwomen as apprentice embroidresses but then hiring them out as prostitutes to friarsand chaplains. journal 4. 24b.and those indictmentsname "common strumpets"and "common bawds" but not specifically brothel keepers. 271. 3r [Cal. The word "stew" comes fromthe same root as "stove. L-B K. 32 above]. These procurers servedtheindividual customer thankeeping rather a house open to all comers. 188]. see also CLRO.Fines forkeeping unlicensedstewsmayreflect theuse ofthese stewhousesas brothels. fol.68v. Nicholas Croke. with the same people often indicted for receiving nightwalkers or stolen goods (e. Plea and Memoranda Roll A66. PMR 4:154).. PMR. journeymen. 75-76.17.who likelycateredlargely unmarried lower clergy. though servants appear in ecclesiastical court records as frequentersof prostitutes(Guildhall Library [n. prostitution orconnected withpermanent houses.

372]).45 for these offenses had a fiscal as well as a punitive functionand probably did not represent an attemptto wipe out the trade.which administeredtheirown justice. Many suburbs were under the jurisdiction of manorial lords. oftenmonasteries. 36 above]. 264v [Cal. in press). 7:551 (1345). Several cases fromthe London Eyre of 1276 deal with violent crimes that happened to have taken place at houses of prostitutes. 110.14 on Mon. Edward III (London: His/Her Majesty's Stationery Office.1904). 9:184 (1351). ed. London customs.43 The London urban area included more thanjust the cityof London itself. ed. Rosser. probably indicating that the prostituteswere independent operators. 46 Calendar of Close Rolls. fol. [n.1903).There the bathhouses were so notoriousthat centurya whole neighborhood in by the middle of the fourteenth the liberty of the bishop of Winchester came to be called "Les Stuwes. SC2/191/56-59 (scattered years from1418 to 1534). 12:24 (1361). CLRO.Karras / REGULATION OF BROTHELS Where prostitutesin London congregated in houses. see also 37-38. G. they did not necessarily live under the supervision of a brothelkeeper..249. ed. Henry Peticors and Roger le Stedeman were killed in a quarrel with some foreignmerchantsat the house of six prostitutes. Calendar of Early Mayor's Court Rolls Preserved among the Archives of the Corporation of the City Press. officiallysponsored brothels and the only one about 43 Martin Weinbaum. Letter-Book H. Medieval Westminster (Oxford: Oxford UniversityPress. prohibited any boat keeper fromtakingany may go back to the thirteenth man or woman to "les Estouves" at night (Riley. 1976). I thankDerek Keene and Martha Carlin forsuggesting this manor.. The include accusations of recourt rolls forthe manor of Westminster Most of the presentbrothels. The London Eyre of 1276 (London: London Record Society.and brothels in the suburbs no doubt served a London clientele. Thomas. 44 Westminster Abbey Muniments Room 50699-50773 (1364 to 1508).The woman fromwhom the six rented the house had to appear in courtbut was acquitted. H.both offenses forkeeping prostitutes the citybut also thatmighthave drawn undesirable customersfrom The fines from activitiesa manorial lord mightprofit throughfines. 34. 211. The manor 1200-1540 of Westminsteris fullydiscussed in A."46This is one of two jurisdictions in England where there were legal. see A. 1298-1307 (Cambridge: Cambridge University 1924). For other examples of brothels.who seem to have operated independently as a group.17. Calendar of Patent Rolls. Edward III (London: His/Her Office.d. 45 PRO. 410 This content downloaded from 199.which Majesty's Stationery century.44 and keeping ceiving prostitutes ments in the extant East Smithfieldmanorial court rolls are either in one's house or forgambling. The suburb of London most connected with houses of prostitutionwas Southwark. of London at the Guildhall a. 242. L-B H. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . This is a court held before a special royal commission. For example.

See also Carlin. Proclamations 11/194:"A Proclamation to avoyde the abhominable place called the Stewes" (also in Paul L. The regulations cannot be taken as representative of brothels in those English towns where prostitutionwas il47 By the fifteenth centurythe bishop had sold or granted ownership of all but two of the stewhouses to others but retained jurisdiction over them all (Carlin [n. Larkin. 1964].49The stews were eventually closed not by the bishop but by the central government: the eighteen legal stews were closed for a short time in 1506 and only twelve reopened. fols. fol.17.14 on Mon. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . married men (e. 506. people accepted the stews of the Winchester liberty but did not want them to spread. 4:511 (1436). D. 51 Kent Archives Office. 217v. Sa/ACl. eds. 331.6 vols. 52 Kent Archives Office. prostitutes. a husband and wife. Thomas and I. 70r). Sandwich Year Book 1 (Old Black Book). That the brothels were legal within thatjurisdiction-a libertywhere the bishop in his capacity as territorial lord took the place of a municipal government47-does not mean thatchurch courts accepted them as legal: men were still prosecuted in ecclesiastical court forvisiting them.fol. Two brothel keepers. too. Thornley.52 411 This content downloaded from 199. 1938). 32 above]. see Society ofAntiquaries. 48 At least. For more on the finalclosing in 1546. vol.) provides the best information as to how brothels operated. 50 On the 1506 closing and subsequent reopening oflegal stews. Tudor Royal Proclamations..: Yale University Press. 35r-35v. 1.249. and in 1546 Henry VIII ordered all the bathhouses in Southwark. see A. Jones.48 Repeated petitions and complaints fromSouthwark residents to king and Parliament indicate thatthere were brothels elsewhere in the suburb. 4:447 (1433). a port town in Kent. fol. 1767-77). Guildhall Library. In 1475 the mayor and commons of the town entered into an exchange of land in order"to make a common house ofstews to be called the Galye. Court records from the jurisdiction of the city of London in 1539 indicate thatbrothels were being kept there (CLRO. 60-69). were named along with four The fifteenth-century set of regulations surviving from the Southwarkstews (see App.50 The only otherEnglish town withan official or municipal brothel seems to have been Sandwich. The Great Chronicle of London (London: George W.g. Sa/AC2.Sandwich Year Book 2 (White Book).Winter1989 / SIGNS which much informationsurvives. Hughes and James F. 2r).board. The Early Tudors [1485-1553] [New Haven. (London: Record Commission. 365-66)."51 This was not just a municipal bathhouse: in 1494 the council decreed "that a house shall be ordained forcommon women as has been the custom" and set the amounts the brothelkeepers (lenones) could charge the prostitutes(ancillae) forroom.9064/6. closed. 33v. Conn. 2:282 those partsof Southwarkunder (1390). 39C/SCM1..eds. and ale. 49Rotuli Parliamentorum.. London.officially recognized or not. H.

5 Winchester is not included in the table. nine were women. 1:391. membrane 2 [Cal. SP1/18/365/5/iii. Plea and Memoranda Roll All.Karras / REGULATION OF BROTHELS ofwhat is knownfrom elsewhere. 56Kowaleski finds men being accused and fined for their wives' activities in Exeter.Eccles. Table 1 indicates the numbers ofwomen. and several are women.to Carlin.17. by prostitutesthemselves. 156.or a man mightbe fined for activities carried out by his wife alone. I owe the referenceto this court this manor. Accusations against women alone range from34 percent to 59 percent of total accusations. In 1366 an apprentice roll.14 on Mon. not just for brothel keeping but for other economic activities (Kowaleski [n. PMR 2:54]).). they could be accompanied by theirwives. against complaint brought forabusing him. 34 above). A list from 1519 of suspicious persons arrested at the stewhouses also lists the keeper of each house.It is possible. 491. brothels there were run either by men. PRO (n. but considered in the context they do reveal something of English attitudes to prostitutionand brothel keeping. or even by both partners. If a couple ran the operation. but no unmarried woman could keep a stewhouse. stewholders presented forvarious offensesin the Southfol.even when the offensewas one oftenconnected with women. 34 above]. London. thatwomen were simply more likely than men to be accused. men. I 85/1. only the man mightbe accused and fined. Maryanne Kowaleski.53Nonetheless. or by husband/wifepartnerships.56 It is unlikely that a woman alone would be fined foractivities carried out by her husband alone. Of the twenty-two wark court sessions in 1505-6.54The proportionsof women to men who kept illicit brothels varied fromtown to town within England. The regulationsplaced strict controlson the prostitutesbut did not allow the brothel keepers a free hand over them and at least made it possible forthe prostitutesto operate without harassment fromthe London authorities. who kept stews in Southwark. According to Keene (n. but it is more likely thatthe court rolls underestimatethe proportionof brothelkeepers who were women than the reverse. Joan Hunt. Numerical referencesto these ordinances will hereafterbe cited parentheticallyin the text. The Southwark regulations required that the stewholders be men. the husband would probably be 53 Number B22 of the ordinances (see the App. 54Hampshire Record Office.the only one thatsurvives from his a mistress. 32 above). personal communication. but it is not certain whether this stewhouse was in the Bishop of Winchester's liberty(CLRO. 232. legal. fines assessed on stewholders in the Bishop of Winchester's libertyin 1505-6 show that women did run stewhouses. ofcourse. July 1987). 412 This content downloaded from 199.249. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and marriedcouples accused in several jurisdictions.55That so many were women indicates that this was an importantarea for female entrepreneurship.

C7/1/3-27. Thiscountincludes forkeeping a brothel notthoseaccusedof receiving onlythoselisted (bordellum).50699-50773.In addition are notcomplete.as brothel The recordsdo keepers..andI havenotcounted them as brothel Richard Wunderli Church Courts andSociety on theEveofReformation. prostitutes. forseveralwomenliving in their house. Illustrative of the Discipline of the Church of England & John (London:Francis Rivington.Those listed ofthoseaccusedof receiving were also accusedof receiving Many thieves.50753).Mayor's CourtRolls. This includes lt Suffolk those presented for brothelkeeping or for and receiving various "supporting. Maryanne RecordOffice. 413 This content downloaded from 199.92-93. Commissary Court Act Books. % OF BROTHEL Men No. 1847). These 124-26."theykeepa brothel. Some ofthoselisted prostitutes as receivers not may be brothel de Bone and Margery keepersbut keepersof cheaplodgings.. Monographs. refer to pronubae accused ofprocuring forspecific Many (procurers) people. 1338-40* Diocese of London. membrane Office.A Seriesof Precedents records.sevenare menandthirteen are women. I I (Calendar membrane ofPlea andMemoranda RollsPreserved of The Corporation of theCityofLondon amongTheArchives at theGuildhall. rolls Cambridge 167. butit appears thata pronuba for a woman and a fautor lenocinii acceptedmoney providing a place (forpayment?) for provided the illegal act.Because thetypes of records are so different andsomeare much morecomplete than others andbecausethetimeperiods coveredvary.RollAS. (London Speculum Anniversary no. 9064/1-11and 9064a These are ecclesiastical courtrecords tGuildhall Library. *Corporation 4b. andillegible they inplaces. ?Westminster Room(hereafter AbbeyMuniments above include receivers ofprostitutes. In some cases it is specified in their tenements rather than their to homes.17." whichmight mean eitherbrothelkeeping century or committing themselves. Extending from the Year 1475 to 1640. intheir houses"(WAM. only RecordOffice. 1453-1550"' Exeter Mayor's Tourns.. Thomas[Cambridge: Press.50716). them rather than brothels probably renting keeping (WAM.royally article). either dealing mostly sexualoffenses or defamation. abetting andadultery" persons intheirhouses.See Wunderli forfull discussion oftheserecords. Plea and Memoranda Rolls. the latter.-The percentages to the smallsize of some of the givenhere shouldbe takenonlyas roughguides. with moral offenses. CourtsLeet dealtwithmany ofthesamesortsofcasesas Sessions ofthePeace inaddition to commercial offenses. and Proceedings in Criminal Cases. explains.g. RecordOffice. % KEEPING IN LATE M. the figures cannotbe usedto compareabsolute numbers of accusedbrothel towns. contain University 1926]. WAM).. mostoftheserieshavebiggaps. andtheextant rolls are damaged samples. Mass.ed. 1337-1445. "Scribes used thewordpronuba Academy 1981]). A. CA/I-45b (the seriescontinues.Thesecourtrollscontain formunicipal I thank offenses. 1:109. Courtscribes neverclearly indicate thedifference lenocinium) betweena pronuba anda fautor lenocinii. to refer to a maleor female buton occasion indiscriminately lenocinii pimp.or andkeep a common brothel" "theyare common procurers (WAM. 13671548** Ipswich Courts Leet and Sessions of the Peace. 7 [Cambridge. court.Extracted from theAct Books of Ecclesiastical Courtsin the Diocese of London. membrane 14. Couples No. 1415-1544t73 32 59 34 17 86 76 98 53 46 57 53 121 53 12 57 No. 1327-67.' "Procurer" is a bettertranslation than"pimp"forpronuba because"pimp"in modern is one parlance usually who livesoff a prostitute's thanbeing to provide a prostitute). membrane 2. Y/C4/81-249 but onlythose up to 1550 were examined (the seriescontinues **Norfolk forthisarticle). Onlya fewentries statethatthe specifically offense is brothel thatis.. 1422-1534t Westminster Views of Frankpledge. notgivethedisposition ofmostofthecases. EC9. 1470-1516t East Smithfield Views of Frankpledge. Mayor's K7..:Medieval of America. % Total 9 50 8 86 54 80 43 22 24 46 40 44 . Forpublished from these excerpts see William Hale Hale. "Nottinghamshire but onlythose up until1550 were consulted forthis Sessions ofthePeace wereheldbefore ofthePeace. Of these. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . ed.249. from medieval only London. 1364-1508? Nottingham Borough Sessions.50739).TABLE I BREAKDOWN BY SEX OF ACCUSATIONS MEDIEVAL ENGLISH COURT RECORDS Women Record Series and Dates London. from several wards andwhathassurvived isobviously a small presentments fraction ofallsuchaccusations only. immorality # Devon RecordOffice. Thesefigures do notinclude appointed those presented in the sixteenth for"kepyng of bawdry. keepersindifferent of London Records Plea and Memoranda RollA3. keepers.14 on Mon. 13271445# Great Yarmouth Courts Leet and Sessions of the Peace. C5/12-13.The numbers include tThiswas a manorial in their people listedas keeping houses. I haveincluded earnings (rather thosewho fovent paidbya client and thoseaccusedof beingpronubae lenocinium.unknown menand prostitutes keeping: e. (PublicRecordOffice).notthoseonlylisted prostitutes as procurers SC2/191/55-59.One prescommitting prostitution [scortum] entment refers to a brothel as "comunelupanarium et apertu stue" (common brothel andopen stew) (C7/11/5 membrane Id). theyalso usedthe wordsfautor (or one who fovet forthe same purpose.. presentments Kowaleski forsharing herexpertise withthe Exetercourtrolls. 57 7 16 4 6 . TournRolls. 188). C8/1/5-34.g. H. Entries about are morecommon than thoseforkeeping receiving prostitutes thistableincludes brothels. Justices local officials. were bothlistedas receivers e. 25 22 8 3 3 21 228 32 188 134 184 46 57 37 60 5 6 4 6 124 95 NOTE.Johanna of Nayler the same prostitute thatpeople receiveprostitutes (WAM50711).

those presented as brothel keepers had other occupations as well. Lacey.. 59For example.perto haps. name a wide range of occupations.none of which required major capital investmentor permanent.17.249. teenth-century brane 14d).57 In the case ofthe records from the London ecclesiastical courts. rented to the prostitutes prostitutes.Y/C4/186. xii-xiii). and women's moraltransgressions may have been presented more commonly (especially by their neighbors) than men's. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Lindsey Charles and Lorna Duffin(London: Croom Helm. membrane 15. 414 This content downloaded from 199. 29 above). see Kay E. there are also instances of men who "let out theirhouses to farmto themselves ratherthan to brothelkeepthatis. however. nicipalityconsidered them to be responsible parties.notjust absent landlords. 146-47. 34 above]. on the prosecution of sexual crimes by London ecclesiastical courts. In othertowns. "Women and Work in Fourteenth and Fifteenth Century London.Y/C4/199.year-roundactivity(see Barbara Hanawalt's was a naturaloutlet to Hanawalt. ed. ed." in Women and Workin Pre-Industrial England. [n.14 on Mon. The male propertyowners were fined higher amounts. 81-102.g.On laws regardingwomen as entrepreneursin London. See also Kowaleski. where brothels were legal and officiallyestablished. 60This patternholds true formost occupations in which women worked in the Middle Ages. denied entrance to many of the skilled trades and guilds.60 aspects ofthebrothel In Southwark.membrane 16d). simply because the court thoughtthey could betterafford muthe that indicates at all fined were that fact the but they pay.less likely to be aimed only at those deemed fiscallyresponsible. NorfolkRecord Office.Karras / REGULATION OF BROTHELS in a betterposition to pay the fines. esp. which also appear in the table.g. perhaps because they were accorded more blame or. forexample.58 When women did manage brothels. The Nottingham records. Records fromGreat Yarmouth indicate thatwomen there oftenmanaged brothelsthatwere the propertyof men. systematicerrorprobably worksin the opposite direction: these are accusations of moral offenses. 58See Wunderli (n. 24-82.59Just as women were likely to enter occupations that required littlecapital. and were sometimes finedless than were brothel keepers (e. including 57 In medieval English law a husband could be held responsible forhis wife's activities and not vice versa." ers. 1985). brothel keeping was more likely to be a permanent occupation than elsewhere in England. Prostitution introduction for casual unskilled labor. and brothel keeping also may have allowed women to take advantage of available opportunitiesand the supply of prostitutes. From the same town. NorfolkRecord Office.. though this does not mean that those women whose names appear were unmarried. NorfolkRecord Office. This rentingto prostitutesalso shows up in sixmemSessions of the Peace (e.Y/C4/222. 42-45. theywere more likely to be involved in those business thatused someone else's investment. theyworked at a wide varietyof tasks (especially brewing and spinning).it may still have been men who owned them and profitedfromthem.

259). The majorityof those so labeled were in fact Hollanders or Brabanters. 415 This content downloaded from 199. "Dutch" brothel keepers seem to have been particularlycommon. 64For example.thirty-eight are listed laborer. the Tudor chronicler John Stow explained that "English people disdayned to be baudes.of the sevlaborer. althoughthe degree to which one could make a livingat it alone would depend on the size ofthe townand the demandforprostitutes. See Keene (n. is a common receiver of and other malefactors. nineteenas widow.14 on Mon.seven as spinster(perhaps simplymeaningunmarried woman). and theirappearance as brothel keepers may simply reflecttheir importance in the population. I 85/1). J. a dressmaker.membrane 2. 53. E.two as and one as tipler(tavern In Exeter. in the Winchester records he has found prostituteswho worked as spinsters. ofthe women. and 143 forher table 1. for 1381: "William Taylour. prostitutes.62 61 NottinghamshireRecord Office.Even the Southwark brothels probablydid not have a very 93. The term "Dutch" can also include Germans or Flemings (see Sylvia Thrupp. forexample.6 Foreigners. n. 65PRO. "Dutch" people often appear in the Yarmouthrecords forotheroffensesas well.5 A Southwark stewhouse attacked during the Peasants' Rebellion in 1381 was runby "frowsde Flaundres". folk Record Office.Winter 1989 / SIGNS forthe men accused. SC2/191/55. some of the other names could also be Dutch or Flemish). keeper). A. 62Kowaleski (n. on prostitutionas a secondary occupation. as housewife(oras "wifeofso-and-so"). were oftenaccused of keeping brothels. Hollaender and William Kellaway [London: Hodder & Stoughton. membrane 3 (these are cases where "Duchewoman" is given as a surname or appellative.perhaps in part because foreignerswere generally distrusted. 251-72. 1:392. esp. and a wool-comber.Dutchman. Kowaleski's study of Exeter forthis twenty-year period is based on a much wider range of documents than is my tabulation of brothel-keeping statisticsfor a longer period.ed.perhaps because foreignwomen had few other opportunitiesavailable to them. "Aliens in and around London in the FifteenthCentury."in Studies in London History. all are also listed in the courtrolls as having otheroccupations.17. 63Records of stewholders finedin 1506 show thatsix of twelve brothelshad more than one keeper during the year (Hampshire Record Office.particularlyfromthe Low Countries.61 enteen womenlisted as brothelkeepersduringthe period 1373- long-termstaff.membrane 14d).perhaps because there would have been a large foreign clientele for brothels as many foreign merchants in port towns would not have their families with them. where a sizable Dutch community was settled.CA/1-45b.and is a common regraterof beer" (Northieves. Froes of Flaunders were women forthat Brothelkeepingwas a sideline and not a profession in itself. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and a netmaker. 154. 34 above).64 The East Smithfieldcourtrolls show several "Dutch" women as brothel keepers.Y/C4/92.a laundress. in Great Yarmouth.Eccles. 34 above). 1969].249.

69Banning prostitutesfromthe libertyon religious holidays may have been a concession by the bishop of Winchester to the Church's disapproval of prostitution.ed. 287r (Cal. fol. and 1:00 to 6:00 P. 9064/8. PMR 1:124-25]). a widow.which may have been inserted by the publisher of Stow's 1603 edition ratherthan by Stow himself. Galbraith. (the forbiddenhours are shorterin the winter).g. B15. London ecclesiastical the Southwark courtrecords referto people harboringwomen from fact live elsein did the that evidence further prostitutes stews. Trexler (n. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Letter-BookH. a woman of St.during Parliament or a meeting of the king's council the bishop himselfwas likely to be at his Southwark residence next to the stews and may have wanted the 66 V.67 The brothel keepers of the Southwarkstews had a great deal of control over the workingconditions of the prostitutesbut not over all aspects of their lives. membrane 14 [Cal. 85/1) show that closing on holy days was one of the regulations they were oftenaccused of infringing. Plea and Memoranda Roll A3. B10). 45 (Manchester: Manchester UniversityPress. or that it may also be that Flemish women had a general reputationforprostitution Flanders. trans.. 7 above). was accused of being a procuress forher daughter. L-B H.17. Juliana Colson.stewholderscould notforcethem prostitutes or even allow them to board there (A2.9064/3. and finds that the largest group is fromFlanders."and allowing her to have access at nightto the Stewsside and come back the next day" (Guildhall Library. Michael ofWood Street parish was accused of being a prostitutein the Stews side (Guildhall Library. This quotation is a marginal rubric. 140. The brothels had to close at certain times: the prostituteshad to leave not only the house but the entire lordship on holy days from6:00 to 11:00 A.. 535).68 Not only did the not live in the brothels.a clear indication that there elsewhere than had been Flemish women involved in prostitution the Winchester liberty."66The 1393 ordinance banishing prostitutes Cock's Lane and to the stews specificallyblamed "Flemish women. 986. 1333-1381. The Anonimalle Chronicle. 36 above]. I.249. Kingsford(Oxford: Oxford UniversityPress. B16). where.fol. were called Flemish in slang even iftheywere notactuallyfrom prostitutes 67 CLRO.M. Charles L. fol. 147v).Karras / REGULATION OF BROTHELS in London to purpose. University of Manchester Historical Series. 402. 416 This content downloaded from 199. ed.14 on Mon. The ordinances forbade the prostitutesto live in the stewhouses (B1). who profess and follow such shameful and dolorous life. 1908). A3. 215r).in Riley [n. 310. While this may be coincidental. has studied the geographical origins of women in Florentine brothels. CLRO. 69 Harboring a prostitute meant allowing her to lodge. Other Londoners accused of harboring unspecified prostitutes may also have been rentingrooms to women fromthe stews (see. not necessarily sheltering her from justice. e. 1927). as well as male employees of the brothels (not male prostitutes).M. A Survey of London. H.and at nightduring the sitting of Parliament (Bll. 8 The presentmentsof stewholders (Hampshire Record Office.Eccles. John Stow." forthe disturbances causes by prostitution. no.

see also fol. fromsome 20d. The brothel keeper did not directlyemploy the prostitutesand they did not live in her or his house. 35r. 16d. Six Centuries of Workand Wages [New York: Putnam's. 72 Carlin (n. 69r. in the same book others are accused of "keeping bawdry both day and night" (fol. and A History of Agriculture and Prices in England [1866-1902. paid annually by each prostitutefor her room to the 20s. the London ecclesiastical court accused a woman of "being in a brothel all Monday night".the prostitutesmay have picked up their customers elsewhere: there are references to men taking women to the stews. Even in the case of the legal brothels. per year plus board for laundresses in Oxford (James E. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 70 For example.17. Guildhall Library. in so many court rolls.Vaduz: Kraus Reprint. but the regulations referonly to prostitutespaying a weekly rent.14 on Mon. 18. 73 Kent Archives Office.5-2d. fol. perhaps giving them less group solidarity but also giving them more freedomof movement than ifthey had lived there.The amount may also be compared to fifteenth-century wages of 1.9064/1. 71 For example.72The amount charged by brothel keepers in Sandwich was similar. compares the 60s." implyingthatthey did not live there (Westminster Abbey Muniments Room. fol. Procurersnot connected with official els might make more favorable deals: for example.71 The stewholders could also have rented rooms by the night to couples even if the women did not usually work there. The effectof forcingthe prostitutesto have their actual dwellings elsewhere did minimize the women's ties to the brothel. 329.d.9064/6.or 14-18s. implyingthat it was not the brothel (Guildhall Library. 417 This content downloaded from 199.].70 This may explain why. 169v). In the Southwark brothels each woman was to pay 14d. a week forboard and lodging. 32 above).249. This was much higher than usual rents at the time. n.Winter1989 / SIGNS area cleared up temporarily. William Redwode and his wife Isabella were "procurers fordivers women and received fromdivers men sums forthese women. The illicit brothels elsewhere in England may have operated similarly. per day plus board forwomen agriculturalworkers. reprint.who paid a high rent ratherthan a brothpercentage oftheirfees. 1963]. a week for her room-her place of business and not her residence (B2). 50782.Sa/AC2. she or he merely rented to them their working premises. and these may be prostituteswho normally worked there. Thorold Rogers.with prostitutes working there and living elsewhere.73 The regulations give no indication thatthe stewholders received any money from the customers. n. 487. those who received or harbored prostitutesin their houses are mentioned separately fromkeepers of brothels. 86r. per annum for tenements owned by Sir John Fastolf in Southwark.. the latter probably paid the prostitutes. fol. lv). her residence is also given. 3:660-63). 2r-2v).fol. A Westminster court book entryfromthe reign of Henry VIII accuses Anne Warrenof "keeping whores daily in her house. 8d.

fol. and fromsome fourshillings at the The regulationsfrom both Southwarkand Sandwich show a great The Sandconcern thatthe prostitutesnot be exploited financially.fol.Her petition alleged not that he breached the regulations by suing her but rather that the action of trespass was false.76This regulation. as in at least one case a stewholder did succeed in having a woman imprisoned because she would not work for him to pay offa debt. the Southwarkregulations prohibited all prostitutes fromboarding at the brothel.9064/8. A penny seems a more typicalpaymentfora prostitute herself (Guildhall Library. thou whore" (Guildhall Library.21v). The exact date of the petition is unknown. 9064/3.249. so that she would have to remain in prison unless she agreed to work forhim as a prostitute. 76The term"spinster" began to be applied to single women in general because it was so common an occupation.14 on Mon. wich regulations limited the price the brothel keeper could charge the women forale. particularly forsingle women. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . The stewholder's surname is clearly Bowde ratherthan Bawde. "forwhom he received weekly two shillings from hall Library. Eden Johnsonwas accused ofbeing a procurer: she demanded paymentfrom JohnParnesse and his lover. he broughtan action against her in the courtofthe bishop ofWinchesterin Southwark to get a judgment fora sum she would never be able to pay. 75 PRO. worthof single beer" forthe second cake and a farthing forone nightand "a farthing (Guildhall Library.9064/6. When the term "spinster inhabiting the stews" most. 80r).. as is the result." to which he responded. Sometime between 1473 and 1475 Ellen Butler petitioned the chancellor for a writof habeas corpus to release her fromthe bishop of Winchester's prison. He took her to his house on the Stews side of the riverand "would have compelled her to do such service as his other servants do there. One woman received froma priest 4d. The Southwark rule against the stewholder lending money to the women-if he did so. She had been looking fora position as a servant and had met a man in London named Thomas Bowde who had asked if she wanted a good job. fromsome 40d.75 The Southwark stew regulations also aimed at protectingthe prostitutesfromother formsof exploitation.saying "I have been bawd between you two a dozen times and thou owest me 16s. he could not bring suit for its recovery (A6)-seems intended to keep the women fromfalling into his debt and thereforeinto dependence on him. 57r." When she refused. 79v).thereby preventingthe stewholder from overcharging them. This regulation was breached in practice.OF BROTHELS Karras / REGULATION fromsome 30d.17.. Prostitutescould not spin or card with the stewholder (B13).217r). Alexander Elwold kept two prostitutesin a certainpriest" (Guildhis house.fol.though it could be seen 74 Guildhall Library. fol. C/48/191.9064/1. "I paid thee at the stews side."74 418 This content downloaded from 199.fol. Spinning was the most common occupation forwomen in the later Middle Ages.9064/1.

77In Sandwich the regulationsspecifiedthatany disputes between brothelkeeper and prostitutes were instead to be broughtbeforethe mayorand jurats (Kent Archives Office. The Southwark regulations as they survive do not contain a prohibition on beating the prostitutes.14 on Mon. The others were keeping their houses open on holidays. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . a provision punishing the beating of women was probomittedat some point in the manuscripttransably once included but inadvertently mission." which all appear in the regulations. fol. "spinster. buying and selling women. and having women "to board. The regulations required thebishop'sofficials tosearch for regularly womenbeingkeptagainst theirwill and stipulated thata pendinglegal actioncould notpreventa prostitute from leavingthe stewsand the lifeofprostitution whenevershe wished (A5). This is not to say thatall single women were equated with prostitutes. fol. According freedomof set out to solve was thatthe prostitutes' regulations movement had been takenfrom them. againsttheir the women should convertand give up prostitution.249. theproblem the tothepreamble. In both Southwark (B40) and Sandwichthe brothel to beat the prostitutes.s.17.Winter1989 / SIGNS as an attempt to limitthe workoptionsof prostitutes. The abuses these regulations to preventwere very attempted real and continuedafter the issuance ofthe regulations. I 85/1).Yettheregulations did notproposethat tution.Eccles.77 keeperwas forbidden The Southwark regulations place greatstresson the freemovementoftheprostitutes. beingexposedtomore"horrible bystressthat in not be the stews. 39C/SCM1. 32r). rather they tooka practical that also who could not benefited women approach or did not wantto leave the profession. just thatthose fromthe Southwark stews were. 419 This content downloaded from 199.or in a lifeofprostiing theymight kept wishes. prostitutesin particular. Margaret in 1439 arranged with"a certaingentleman" to have a Hathewyk stews for younggirlnamed Isabella Lane kept in the Southwark four acts. The term "spinster" was used as the legal designation ofan unmarriedwoman from the seventeenthcentury. it undoubtedly referred to single women.but the question about beating the prostitutes (B40) is the only one in the list of thirty-three questions thatdoes not parallel the regulations themselves. 35r)."but appears to have meant the same in popular parlance even earlier.The preamblepresentsthe reissuanceof the regulations as a way to preventthe prostitutes from sin" thannecessary. Beating the prostituteswas clearly forbiddenby the early sixteenthcentury as it was one of the offensesforwhich the stewholders were being fined (Hampshire Record Office.Sa/AC2.v."NicholasCroketookChristiana days"tobe used in lustful stews and forcedher to remainthere Swynoweto the Southwark was used in a 1543 ordinance (CLRO. did reduce to spin and card thebrothel theprostitutes to force keeper'sability forhis profit.and not specifically women who spun. according to the Oxford English Dictionary.

5:13-14).fol. fol." was put on the pillory in London forhaving enticed two women "to become his servants and to have been common within his house at the Stews.fol. B8). The stewholder could not sell food or other goods in his house (B29) or keep a boat (B21). 134v. indicates both the demand forprostitutes the problems facing unskilled young women. 7 above). he also "took a certain Margaretto the Stews side. Barton was convicted and sentenced to the pillory."'8 These women may have gone to be prostitutesin Togood's house voluntarilyratherthan by forceor subterfuge. fol. journal 3.eds."80 Coercion. oftennew in the city and without connections. The Southwark regulations had neither the sole intention nor the sole functionof protectingthe prostitutes.17. or havinghis person or belongings detained in the house because of debts (B3.Karras / REGULATION OF BROTHELS nine days. 176v. Similarly. choosing protect they life out of economic necessity. 157v-158r. aided by the wife of the watermanwith whom Bartonlefther while he went to negotiate with the brothel keeper.As Otis.78 In 1490. her servant. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . points out.249.J. being pulled into the brothelby his clothing(B7. see RobertGottfried.but they may have had little real choice. B6). being forced Though regulationsmightprotectwomen from that women from could not into prostitution.14 on Mon.9064/9.82 customer from 78 CLRO. 79Guildhall Library.They also aimed to protectthe customerfrombeing harassed in the street(B13). a "bawd of the Stews.journal 4.9064/4. 1978). including the sale ofyoung girls(iuvenculae) not only to brothel keepers but also to individual customers. Brunswick. 15v. Rep. The girl managed to escape.to someone who took her to the Stews (Guildhall Library. 258. CLRO. Plea and Memoranda Roll A66. sickness" stews of any women with "burning (B25) protected the disease.oftenrich merand chants fromoverseas. Prostitution(n. 41. Henry Whiteherewas accused in ecclesiastical courtof solicitingwomen to fornicatewith othermen."79 on her first visit to London to the stews and making "covenant with a bawd to set the said maiden with the said bawd. probably in order to protectthe customer from at inflatedprices as being forcedto purchase food or transportation from the The banishment partof his transactionwith the prostitute. N. 108r). PMR. (n. Letter-Book N. who saw no alternativeto a life of prostitution. In 1495 Thomas Togood. 62.Anna Chester sold a young girl. 82 It is not clear whetherthe "burning sickness" is syphilisor some othervenereal England (New Epidemic Disease in Fifteenth-Century ailment. 81 Thomas and Thornley. membrane 5 (Cal.: Rutgers UniversityPress. and there sold her to a certain In 1517 JohnBarton was accused of takinga young girl procurer. 50 above). 3. 47v. 80CLRO. fol. on the identityof the "French Pox" of the late fifteenth century. fol. 420 This content downloaded from 199.

e. CLRO. "A Fifteenth-Century Customary of the Southwark Stews.14 on Mon. 1901]. and several other English towns.Winter1989 / SIGNS Though London itself. ing but could also be a garmentworn by a bishop. this was probably due to a copyist's error. There is no reason why this provision need even have referredspecifically to venereal disease.the cucking-stool. especially if she supported him financially (B12. 33 above). Letter-BookH. a fine.." Journal of the Society of Archivists 5 (1977): 422. ed.and banishment fromthe lordship. 1975]. B. to which canon lawyersagreed she had a right. 130v (Cal L-B A. but it could possibly reflect higher penalties once the "French disease" had arrived.. 267). ed. (n. Letter-Book F.g. 36 above]. fol. Post. 83On restrictions concerning dress. 421 This content downloaded from 199. B50).249. trans. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 139r (Cal. It could be an acknowledgment that intimate contact could spread many diseases. 32 above). fol.. Great YarmouthCourts Leet. 85The question based on this regulation (B50) indicates thatthe concern is with her maintaining the lover financially. fol.85 For this she could get three weeks of prison.g.v. Sherman M. Triibner & Co. in Riley [n. The penalty forviolating this regulation was higher in the later manuscript tradition.458). trans. The Southwark brothel regulations levied harsh punishments against the prostitutewho had a paramour. and prohibited them from prostitutes wearing the dress of "good and noble ladies. 241. Trench. As J. Frederick J.17. "napron"). 27r. 10 (n. 220). 208r (Cal.83 The city of London complained in 1538 about "the evil example of the gorgeous apparel of the common women of the stews to the great temptationof young maidens." ed. but a measure intended mainly the Middle Ages had a long traditionof connecting prostituteswith disease. An English treatise of the fourteenthcentury gives the danger of "meseles" (probably leprosy) as one reason fornot visitingprostitutes(Robert of Brunne's "Handlying Synne." but the regulations fromthe fifteenth centurywere not concerned with restricting the prostitutesto keep them fromtempting or contaminatingrespectable women. wives and apprentices. s. Rep. 2:238). see e. striped hoods) that had to wear.84As long as they were being controlled by theirrelation to the official brothelstheydid not need to be identifiedas a group. Letter-BookA. An apron was a linen garmentworn over otherclothOffice. 84The complaint by the city of London can be found in CLRO. Early English Text Society Original Series 123 [London: Kegan Paul.Y/C4/90. Kuhn [Ann Arbor: Universityof Michigan Press. NorfolkRecord membrane 12.in Riley. The regulations may have been directed against pimping in orderto protectthe prostitute'scontrolover her income. explains.. the closing of brothels in times of plague. 176. 2:229. it could be that women were mocking the bishop of Winchester by wearing this type of garment(Middle English Dictionary. L-B H. see Bickley. fol. For othertowns.g. L-B F. had legislation about certain types of clothing (e. Furnivall." the Southwark brothels had no restrictions on the dress of the prostitutesother than that they not wear aprons (B28).

87 This regulation also controlled the prostitute'schoices about her own sexuality. LetterBook I.in Riley. L-B H. King's Lynn Inquisitions before the Constables. Probably the most central concern of both the Southwark authoritiesand cityofficialsin othertowns in shaping the regulations and prohibitionsdirected at prostitutes. 9 (London: British Academy.86 Some of the prostitutesof the stews did have people who drummed up business for them." Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 1.n. King's Lynn Borough Archives. 837-38. ed. trans. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . CA 3011. Similarly. 91An example fromGreat Yarmouthfrom1436: "Isabell Merssh keeps a brothel and supportsbrawlersand vagabonds in her house. 88CLRO.To work in a public brothel she must not be attached to any one man. brothels. 287r (Cal. Nottingham Mickletourn JuryRoll. who belonged to a man or to God.The concern with public order appears. L-B 1.more generally. Letter-BrookH.249.92The cityofLondon 86 For a discussion of medieval canon law as it see James pertainsto prostitution. but these were not necessarily their lovers. W. 1309.Records ofSocial and Economic History.91A provision in the Southwark stew regulations requiring a prostituteto spend the whole nightwitha customeris probablymeantto discourage people from wandering around the area at night(B20). 89 Calendar of Patent Rolls. Stevenson [London: Bernard Quaritch.88 Prostitution was connected withothercrimes: as a royalcommission of 1460 put it. ed. "Prostitutionin the Medieval Canon Law."89 class receivers of prostitutes with receivers of thieves or. fol. esp.s. A. 4 (Summer 1976): 825-45. Henry VI (London: His/Her Majesty's Stationery Office.90Disturbing the neighbors is oftenpart of the formulaforaccusations of brothel keeping. for example. H.. NorfolkRecord Office.fol. 1910).Y/C4/92. in the preamble to London's antiprostitution legislation. 1984). 178. were not to be received in the stewhouses (B4).14 on Mon.Karras / REGULATION OF BROTHELS to protectthe prostitute would hardlypunish her so severely. The Making of King's Lynn: A Documentary Survey.wives or nuns. in Dorothy M.535). in Riley. A receiver (receptator) would be one who knowinglyharbors the wrongdoer.Y/C4/143.membrane 14d. to the nuisance ofher neighbors" membrane 12).suspicious persons. which required control over female sexuality.17. Brundage. 6:610.and brothelkeepers was the preservation of public order. 419. but there is significance in the formulaadopted. trans. 647). 90For example. plunderings and imNot only legislation but also courtrolls proprietieshave occurred. 87 Edward Newton and his wife Margaretwere listed as procurersforprostitutes of the Stews. "owing to the number of prostitutesin Southwark and other places adjacent many homicides. This typeofaccusation is formulaic (NorfolkRecord Office.membrane 2d. 1883] 2:62). King's Lynn Leet Roll KL/C17/21. 193v (Cal. procuringboth priests and laymen (Guildhall Library9064/9. Nottinghamshire Record Office. 402. 92 It can hardly have been the case that a prostitutehad to spend a whole night with each customer since the stews were open during the day and the women must 422 This content downloaded from 199.42v). fol. 1408 (also in Records of the Borough of Nottingham. Owen. no.

The regulation in Riley. 79-82. WestminsterAbbey Muniments Room. 7 above). 34 above). and Wiesner (n. His bailiffsand other officials enforced the regulations. 372). 760. although not in his capacity as bishop. PRO. was subject to a curfew and night-walking or frequentingbrothels. Although the bishop himself would have been fullyaware of what was going on in Southwark (many of the bishops of Winchester served as royal chancellors and spent a good deal of time at their London palace. 36 above).95Any woman making public scenes and quarrels. 264v (Cal.. the Bishop of Mainz. does not give any rationale. discusses sexual offenses as a proportion of ex officiocases treated by these courts but does not separate out prostitution. it is often the same women accused of scolding or defaming and of prostitution(Guildhall Library.The regulations thus attempted not to stamp out prostitutionas immoral but rather to control it as disorderly. 63). fol. Medieval Ecclesiastical Courts in the Diocese of Canterbury (London: Oxford UniversityPress. The Southwarkregulations show remarkablylittle concern with sexual moralityin general. The church condemned and brothel keeping. From the list of questions later in the manuscript(B54). ed. e. see also Keene (n.but the simple presence of independent women might are veryoftenaccused of being scolds also violate order: prostitutes as well. etc. 97. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .17. e.was a threatto order.but this did not deter the bishop of Winchester fromsanctioning and regulating brothels. adjacent to the stews). L-B H. he was not personally concerned about it. Letter-BookH..94 oftenconnected with prostitution Brothels might violate the public order because they fomented violentcrime. fol.14 on Mon.96Fines fromthe stews contributedto the bishop's income and probably formed a major motivation for forbadeboat ownersto take people to or from the stews at night have had more than one customer per day.g. on Germany. on ecclesiastics as landlords ofbrothels in the town ofWinchester. not even paying lip service to the goal of making the prostitutesleave their sin. 50709.9064/1-11). owned brothels. CLRO. Letter-Book D. 423 This content downloaded from 199. Letter-BookB. 95 In the London ecclesiastical court records."93London was a common offense. 93 CLRO. 81-102. 131r (Cal. (Westminster). or accused prostitutesare listed in court rolls along with accused scolds.The Bishop of Winchester was not entirely unique in his sanctioning of brothels. 7 above). it appears thatthe problem would arise only ifshe accepted money to spend the whole night and then did not do so. 1:392. 3r (Cal. 94 For example. or misbehaving sexually.. e.although these were not officially condoned. The combination or juxtaposition is also found oftenin other court rolls.Winter 1989 / SIGNS "lest misdoers be assisted in their coming and going. L-B D. 6). see Wunderli (n. (n. See Bloch (n. fol.g.249. as is apparent fromthe numerous prostitution accusations in ecclesiastical courts. 1952). 29 above). 50707. Brian Woodcock. 277. Sc2/191/55membrane 1 (East Smithfield).g. L-B B. 96Concerning accusations in ecclesiastical courts.

shall receive any man or woman person whatsoever. 499.or other Alderman.By allowing brothels to exist there thatwere illegal elsewhere.. (n. ed. Letter-Book I.who owned one of the stewhouses.See also 487. ifleading citizens owned brothels. trans in Riley [n. 32 above). Indeed."98 The bishop of Winchester was not the only powerful figureto frombrothels. on high rentspaid by stewholders to the owners of the houses. seems to have had some qualms about owning brothels since they inserted a clause in the leases of other tenements in the area forbiddingtheir use as brothels (496). 491-92.evil and vicious life. 98 PRO. fol. 100 CLRO. 140. he was unique only in that his jurisdiction in profit Southwarkmade the brothels legal.. L-B 1. C1/64/897. 194r (Cal.99Apparently Walworth was not the only leading or brothelkeepers. the bishop was proclaimingthatin this corner of the London suburbs he was the lord of the manor: the brothel regulations also stipulate that all residents of the liberty must sue each other in the bishop's court ratherthan the king's (A7). 649). n. The bishop's exclusive jurisdiction also permittedabuses of power by brothel keepers: because they were licensed and accepted. 178.William Walworth. they could wield power in the bishop's courts. as a tenant . Henry Saunder complained that Thomas Dyconson.theycould not make the brothelslegal. owned the brothel attacked by the rebels in 1381.or known to be of.In a petition to the chancellor between 1475 and 1485. 38. who has been indicted or charged as of. his own power over the stewholders.Lord Mayor of London. n. but they could often ignore the law with impunity. 97 Carlin 424 This content downloaded from 199.17. the ownership of brothels by powerful cit(n. 18. the bishop of Winchester's regulation of brothels may have been a way of asserting his jurisdiction over the liberty. 99Galbraith.Karras / REGULATION OF BROTHELS notjust condoning but also actually encouraging the brothels: both prostitutesand stewholders paid fines forviolations of the regulations. and stewholders paid rents well above marketrate to those who owned the houses."100 Indeed." had had him arrested in the Bishop of Winchester's libertyon false charges and that Saunder's just defense had not prevailed because all the members ofthe jury were "occupiers and keepers of such unclean and infamous places as the said Thomas is. Elsewhere in England. I owe this referenceto Carlin. Margaret's Church in Southwark.The Fraternityof the Assumption of the Virgin in St. "a keeper of one of the unclean houses on the other side of the Thames.249. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . in 1417 the London citizen to rentto prostitutes substantial that "no council decreed Commoner. 36 above]. mostly ecclesiastical institutions.by regulatingthe stewholders' the bishop or his representativeasserted power over the prostitutes.97In addition.14 on Mon. has collected evidence fromthe Winchesterpipe rolls of the early sixteenthcenturyabout amercementsofbrothelkeepers forvarious offenses. 66 above).

" lovers.Winter1989 / SIGNS izens could be one reasonwhytownsdid notestablishmunicipal brothels.mayhave been among the intendedclientele.If women unobtrusive.103 As some men were excluded from the 101 This does not mean thatany unmarriedwoman was assumed to be a prostitute. not those who owned them." 102 The financial element was less importantto medieval theorists than that of promiscuity(see Brundage [n. L-B I.could do verywell out of the business.'02 ertyof one man and would make her sexual license much more offensive. In B22.charging high rents. e. and could notchoose their women.249.theirsexual behaviormustbe strictly regulatedby the male civil authorities. Letter-Book I. 86 above]."'?1 theproperty ofthecommunity. The regulations to the prostitutes as emphasize this by referring If nottheproperty ofone.17. CLRO.g. forexample. 286-90 (Cal. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .The same social prostitutes they forces that their as theleastofa number ofevils legitimated activity seized control ofthatactivity to place thewomenat the disposalof on who could be customers anyman.a husband. fols. 273-77). who could notmarry and who were often apprentices. theywere "common "single women. The brothel keeperswho were finedwere usuallythose who actuallymanagedthe brothels.14 on Mon.Because brothels were ilcould enforce thelaws strictly and close brothlegal theauthorities els when theyso chose because of particular but in complaints. 825-29). theauthorities generalthebrothels to control provideda meansfor and ensurethat wouldbe available.The lackofrestrictions means thatthe brothels were a sexual outletfor morethanjust unmarried The clergy. morally The prostitutes of the stewswere publiclyaccepted as prostitutesand thus as promiscuous. thebrothel werefined and stigmatized keepersand prostitutes bybeinglabeled as such. to be to stay indoorsand not walk the streets. preferred illegality The regulation ofbrothels in Southwark was in partan effort to female under the of control men. Female sexuality keep sexuality was to be kept withinbounds: to disappear on holy days. "single" clearly just means "unmarried. were notthe property ofa particular man.The derlaythe treatment brothels wererecognized as seedbedsofsinand disorder. Such people mightnot look kindlyon a municipaltakeoverof the trade and withineffective enforcement. but the example of Southwark shows thatthe landlord. accused ofadultery withLondoners'wives. The same principleprobablyunofillicitbrothels elsewherein England. 103 See. 425 This content downloaded from 199. Whatmade theprostitute less offensive tomedievalmorality thanan adulteressor foricatrixwas thatshe was available to all Forherto have a particular loverwould makeherthepropmen..but theycontinuedto operate.

both daily and permanently.14 on Mon. In effectthe Southwarkbrothel regulations made the prostitute's sexuality a commodityand controlled its sale. they were protected fromtoo strictcontrolby a particular man. institution women not under the controlof the family had to be tolerated to prevent these men fromdisruptingthe families of others. regulations the practitioners'lives outside the trade: thatwas forotherauthorities. Like othertrades in medieval towns prostitution with were not concerned But trade the of the regulated.Karras / REGULATION OF BROTHELS of the family.but some sortof group solidaritymay have been under which theyoperatedhave lefttraces. brothelsdo seem concerned to help the prostitutes The controlover theirsexual behavior was delegated to the brothel keeper but he (or she. involved. in the stews of Southwark ratherthan illicitly elsewhere: diminished harassmentby the law and a steady streamofcustomersprobably played a part. little The Southwark brothel regulations provide frustratingly themselves and how the brothelsand on the prostitutes information brothel keepers shaped theirexperiences. could not be made to pay the stewholder more thantheirrent.Even as their sexuality remained under the control of male society in general. They could leave the stews. in practice) did not controltheirlives in other and ways. While we may surwas dictatedby economic mise thatthe choice ofworkas a prostitute choose to work we do not know what made a prostitute constraints.249. Prostitutionforthese women was a trade. Department of History Universityof Pennsylvania 426 This content downloaded from 199. The restrictions themselves have not. The brothels fulfilledthis functionas intermediaries forthe bishop of Winchester or other local authorities. More thanelsewhere in Europe the regulationsofthe Southwark in practicalways. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .and one can only inferfrom but the prostitutes their circumstances the choices they may have made. Though they were much more specificallyconcerned withthe trade as trade than were regulations fromelsewhere. There is no evidence as to whether the prostitutesof the stews felt any group identityin contrastwith illicit prostitutesor otherwomen.17. as the regulations acknowledge: a prostitutewas defined as a woman who lives by was her body (B2). theystill existed withinthe same general contextof seeing women's sexual activityas a threatto the social order and a defilementof the woman herself. But the women still had to remain under some sort of patriarchal control.

any single woman to go and come at all times when they wish. and so confirmedby the king and all the lords of the said parliament. Several manuscripts of the ordinances survive: Bodleian MS. And as to the lord at every courtheld within to forfeit oftenas they do the contrary.according to the old customs that have been used and accustomed there out of time of mind.17. 105The date 1162 is clearly false (Parliament did not even exist then) (see Post. E. Theobaldus then being archbishop of Canterbury and Thomas Becket then being archdeacon of the same. according to the said old thatno stewholder nor his wife hinder customs contained in the customary. (n. The Bodleian MS. the others omitted. see Post.upon pain of losing to the said lord. 427 This content downloaded from 199. time out of mind. 104What follows is a modernizationof the English textofthe ordinances. at every default so made. to the great displeasure of God and great hurt unto the lord. 1877 contains two articles not in the Bodleian text. The numeration is that used by Post in his edition of the Bodleian MS. in the parliament held at Winchester in the eighth year of the reign of King Henry II [1162]. 229. forthe eschewing of these inconveniences and of all others thereofcoming.those thatdeal with prostitution included. a hundred shillings.) MS. Mus. Harleian (hereafterHarl.249. fromthe late fifteenth century (clearly based on earlier material) and three in the British Museum.we ordain and make. thereofmade before.105 We ordain and make to the said lord's [the Bishop ofWinchester's] avail divers ordinances and constitutionsto be kept forevermore withinthe said lordship and franchise. by all the assent of the commons. we ordain and make that no great householder shall keep any women to board.This translation follows the Bodleian manuscriptexcept where Harl. (A3) Also. also contains ordinances made by the manorial have been Court Leet in the mid-fifteenth century. and also to the great multiplication of horrible sin upon the single women. For a discussion of the manuscript traditionand various textual problems. which now of late were broken.1989 / SIGNS Winter Appendix Text of ordinances'04 This act and ordinance was made. therefore. 82 above). 420). 1877 has been used to supply missing material.in the same year and time of parliament there so held. of which one. the said lordship when they are presented by the constables there.14 on Mon. Portions originally appearing in Latin are italicized. as hereinafterappears in this book. (A2) Also. but that they be expelled between now and Whitsuntide next coming afterthe date of this present writing. who ought to have their as it appears by the old customs freegoing and coming at theirown liberty. we ordain and make that no great householder keep open his doors upon any holy days according to the old customs and customary. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . (Al) First. three shillings fourpence. and utter undoing of all his poor tenants there dwelling.

laundress and male ostler in the house.of whatever degree he or they be. (B1) There should be a wife. that then they and either of them be broughtinto the prison. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .shall make a due search in every greathouse.17. action. (A6) Item. that the women that are at common brothel be seen every day what they are. and if they or any of them do the contrary theiraction or actions.or any of them.to be determined and ended there. unless the stewholder brings such persons to the lord's prison as the law wishes. but only within the said lord's court. we ordain and make that no great householder shall lend nor trust to any single woman more than the sum of six shillings and thereof. ten pounds.except if it is foran obligation above the sum of forty shillings. (A7) Item.that then eightpence.and no woman forostler. First. Item. and a woman that lives by her body [be allowed] to come and go.upon the pain of forfeiting to the said lord at every time thattheyor any of them so do the contrary.14 on Mon. great any any matteragainst them. we ordain and make thatthe bailiffof the said franchisefor the time being shall see all the single women expelled every holy day out of the aforesaid lordship. at all times [she] shall have free license and libertywithoutany interruption by the stewholders.249. as long as she pays her duty as old custom is. upon pain of ten pounds to be forfeited any stewholder or his wife hinder him. (B2) Fourteen pence are to be paid every week for the room of each woman. according to the old customthereofhad and made. and forfeit unto the said lord forty shillings. upon pain of a hundred shillings.Karras / REGULATION OF BROTHELS nor keep any of their women within the houses against their will.according to the old custom thereupon made. that no stewholder that holds or keeps any stewhouse have nor keep any woman dwelling with him but his wife and a laundress and a man forhis ostler.withoutin any way removingout of the said court. he thatdoes otherwise shall pay twenty shillings at every time and as oftenas he breaks this ordinance. that is to say every week fourteenpence forher chamber. and that he begin to do the same before the feast of Whitsuntide now next to the said lord. It shall then be lawful to the said bailiff and constables and other honest men of the said lordship to expel the said from women out of the said lordship withoutany hindrance or interruption or other his for man's householder wife or cause. And if coming. 428 This content downloaded from 199. we ordain and make thatno man nor woman dwelling within the said lordship and franchise. Item. there to answer as the court will award to every party thatwill say anythingagainst him. whethertherebe any single woman found and kept there against her will that would depart and leave her sin and never come there any more. shall commence or take any action or process against another forno matteror cause in any court of the king. if any of them that holds any stewhouse keeps any man against his will within his house as prisoner forany debt that he owes to him or forany othercause. we ordain and make that the bailiffand constables of same franchises four times in the year. (A4) Also.to be taken or commenced in any way. so many and no more. that is to say once every quarter. (A5) Item. (B3) Those who detain someone in theirhouses because of debts.condemnationor condemnationsthereof shall utterly stand void and annulled.

Winter1989 / SIGNS (B4) Religious women and wives are not to be received in the stewhouses. that the lord's officers. that no stewholder receive any woman of religion. upon the pain contained in custom ofthe manor. Item. (B7) Women who draw men in by the clothing or otherwise. upon pain of twentyshillings at every time that this ordinance is broken. (B10) Those who have women at board contraryto the custom. choose which they will. (B9) Those who hinder the officersin making their weekly searches. but that they go to board elsewhere they wish. (Bll) Those who do not keep theirhours of absence on holy days. (B6) Those who have the goods of another in custody and do not want to give them back. that he have deliverance of his belongings again at his going. her husband and she shall be amerced to the lord in forty shillings. that is the constables.249. (B8) Wives of stewholders who draw men in similarly. or if she draws any man by his gown or by his hood or by any other thing. and ifany man or woman hinder them he or she shall be amerced unto the lord in a hundred shillings.14 on Mon. it maybe a mistakefortwelve shillings. if any woman of the brothel hinders any man. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .And from Candlemas until Michaelmas thattheybe not found there on holy days fromsix o"clock in the morninguntil eleven o'clock at 106 Twelve pence seems exceedingly low.she shall make a fine to the lord of twentyshillings. if there be any stewholder's wife that draws any man into her house without his will. Item. thatno woman be found withinthe lordship on holy days fromMichaelmas [September 29] to Candlemas [February 2] aftereight o'clock in the morning until eleven o'clock at noon. and that they be expelled at one o'clock afternoon until five o'clock at night. bailiffand surveyor. or else the householder shall bring the ostler or the woman that has withheld it to prison and turnover the belongings to my lord and make satisfactionto the party. MS. nor any man's wife. that no stewholder hold any woman that lives by her body to board. under pain of twelve pence. Item.And ifthe ostler or the woman goes away with the belongings the householder shall answer forthemand make a fineoftwenty shillings. if a woman comes into this lordship and would be kept secretly within.107they shall let the officers know upon the pain of forty shillings. and the same woman shall be taken and fined twenty shillings and be set three times upon the cucking-stool and then forswearthe lordship. but that they let the lord's officersknow that such default is found. every week when they like best shall search every house of the stews. Harl. if it be known. Item. and it is not the stewholder's wife.17. other than sit still at the door and let him go or come. 107 Reading "wif" for"wil.106 (B5) Women who want to be kept secretly as though unknown. if any man comes into this lordship to any stewhouse and leave any belongings with the wife or with the ostler or any other woman therein. 1877 has a fine of forty shillings." 429 This content downloaded from 199. Item. Item. Item. Item.

(B18) Those who take ostlersfor more than a half year contraryto the custom. and in those that copy directlyfromit but found in Harl. Item. to Candelmas"here. treasureror bailiff. such officershall be put in custody and kept in prison until the time thathe makes a fineat the lord's will.threepence.twentyshillings. she shall make a fine at every time she does so of six shillings eightpence. is omitted in the Bodleian 108 an error. or its direct copies. Item. Item. ifany woman is found within the lordship afterthe sun is gone to rest.or else casts any stone or makes any face at any man going by the way. Item. 1877. or from two o'clock in the afternoonuntil between five and six at night.she shall be in prisonthreedays and threenightsand make a fineofsix shillingseightpence. the steward as councillor to the lord's bailiffthere shall have and take of every common woman forquarterage at each of the fourquarters of the year. if any woman that lives by her body chides any man or makes a fray.at every time threepence forher quarterage. constable. if any officer. treasureror bailiffallow any man or woman bail.249. (B19) Officials that allow anyone bail or mainprise. or is taken within any common hostel fourtimes in the year.clearly Michaelmas The MS.109 (B16) Women who do not remove themselves at night in Parliament time.108 (B12) Women who have theirown lovers contraryto the custom.afterthe custom ofthe manor. Item. or do other than present them at every court. 430 This content downloaded from 199. thatno constable.ifany stewholder opens his door on holy days fromthe time of matins until noon. if any woman that lives by her body holds any paramour against the use and custom of the manor she shall be three weeks in the prison and make a fineof six shillings eightpence and then be set once on the cucking-stool and forswearthe lordship. Item.the king being at Westminster and holding there either Parliament or council. (B15) Those who keep theirhouses on holy days.Karras / REGULATION OF BROTHELS noon. she shall make a fine of three shillings fourpence. and then be expelled by one o'clock afternoon and not come there until six o'clock at night upon the same pain. Item. if any stewholder takes any ostler in any way longer than fromhalf year to half year. Item. and at the like days of every of them and of every ostler fourpence toward his dinner. either by water or by land. conceals any ofthe defaultsabove rehearsed. 110 This provision and the one thatfollows are found in Harl. mainprise or other '09 The amount of the amercement. as (B17) Officers who conceal any of the above.14 on Mon.he shall be amerced in twentyshillings at every time thatthat default is found. has "from MS. 1877 but not in the Bodleian MS. (B13) Women who spin contrary to the custom. and of the lord by the hands of the bailiffsix shillings eightpence forhis said dinner. he shall make a fine to the lord of twentyshillings. until the sun is up in the morning. if any woman that lives by her body spins or cards with the stewholder. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . with reasonable hire forhis service. (B14) Women who scold contrary to the custom.110 Item. he [margin: bailiff] shall have and take of every woman that is common. Item.17.

(B27) Those who keep bitches in heat within the lordship contrary to the custom. coal. (B28) Women using clothes which are called aprons.upon the pain of paying a fine to the lord of a hundred shillings.he shall make a fine of six shillings eightpence. upon the pain of making a fine unto the lord of twentyshillings. (B21) Those who hold or occupy boats contrary to the custom. (B23) Pregnant women found in stews. Item.thatno bailiff nor constable shall take more than fourpence at the most forarrest.11 (B20) Women who take money to lie with men and do not do it. Item. fish.Winter 1989 / SIGNS pledge. flesh. upon pain of a fine to be made to the lord at the discretion of the steward and the constables. if any stewholder holds or occupies any boat in any manner against the custom of the manor.wood. (B24) The bailiff allowing bail without the license of the court. Item. if any single woman holds or keeps any stewhouse within the lordship against the custom of the manor. afterreasonable warning. that any man keeping a stewhouse neither sell nor retail out of the same house bread. (B29) Those who sell victuals out of the house to those who do not enter. that the bailifflet no woman nor man make bail or mainprise without the leave of the court. 431 This content downloaded from 199. (B26) Arrestsand pleas to be madefor certain pence. Item. (B22) Women who keep stewhouses and do not have husbands. upon pain of a fineto the lord. that no stewholder keep any woman within his house who has any sickness of burning. Item. but bring him to the lord's place to prison as they ought to do. Item. and the woman to pay six shillings eightpence. that no stewholder nor any tenant within the lordship receive any woman that lives by her body if she be known to be with child. unless she lies still with him until it be the morning and then arise. if any common woman wears any apron. Item. she shall forfeit it and make a fine afterthe custom of the manor. Questions to be made of the stewholders and each of them: (B30) Does he have any woman forostler against the ordinance? (B31) Does he have more laundresses than one? 11 "Mainprise"is defined as surety. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .and the clerk twopence forthe complaint. as oftenas they so do. Item. candle or any other victual. if any man within the lordship holds any bitch that goes into heat within the same lordship he shall make a fine for it to the lord of three shillings fourpence. upon the pain of paying to the lord twentyshillings. but that she be put out. Item. she shall at every court make a fine of twentyshillings until the time that it is reformed.17. six shillings eightpence. ale. if any woman takes any money to lie with any man. upon the pain of losing. (B25) Those who keep women who have a horrible disease. unless it be fora great sum or fora great trespass. she shall make a fine of six shillings eightpence.14 on Mon. Item.249.

or cast stones? (B53) Is she absent in the parliament and council time? it? (B54) Does she take any money to lie with men.14 on Mon. 112 tobe askedaboutthewomen.249.17. with their procurers. notdirectly position clearly to be?" to answerthequestion"Is she withchild?"notjust "Is she known 432 This content downloaded from 199. of those who falsely multiply gold and silver. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .Karras / REGULATION OF BROTHELS (B32) Does he have any more servants in his house of women? (B33) Does he take more for the women's chamber in a week than fourteenpence? (B34) Does he prevent the women fromcoming and going freely? (B35) Has he imprisoned any person in his house fordebt or trespass? (B36) Does he keep in his house any woman of religion or any man's wife? (B37) Does he keep any woman secretly within his house? (B38) Does he keep any man's belongings in distress forany debt or otherwise? in making his due search? (B39) Does he hinder any officer (B40) Does he beat any woman belonging to his house? (B41) Does he keep any of the women to board against the ordinance? (B42) Does he let his doors stand open on the holy days? (B43) Does he hold any boat or vessel against the ordinance? (B44) Does he keep any woman that is with child? (B45) Does he keep any woman that has the perilous infirmity? (B46) Does his wife draw any person into the stewhouse against his will? Questions to be made of the common women and each of them: (B47) Does she draw any man by his clothes against his will? frommaking his due search? (B48) Does she hinder any officer her hours on the holy days? she not Does (B49) keep (B50) Does she hold or keep any paramour. (B64) Item. prostitutes and their customers. thesewerequestions that indicates Thisquestion than thewoman no one wouldbe in a better for ofthem. and not perform (B55) Is she single and keeps a stewhouse? (B56) Is she known to be with child?"2 (B57) Does she customarilywear any apron? Questions of the officersto be answered by the surveyorand twelve men: (B58) Does any constable bailiffor treasurermake any mainprise? (B59) Do any of them take any person to bail withoutthe court? take any more fees than are ordained by custom? (B60) Does any officer (B61) Does any person hold any bitch that is in heat? (B62) Does any stewholder retail any victual or other necessity? (B63) Item.against the ordinance? (B51) Does she spin or card with any stewholder? (B52) Does she chide with any person.

at the leet day held the seventh day of October. This ordained at the leet day held the eleventh day of October in the thirty-sixth year of the king's reign above-said [1457] by twelve men sworn forthe king. (G1) Also.14 on Mon. at the leet held the twenty-fourth day of April the thirtieth year of the reign of the king aforesaid [Henry VI. under the pain of six shillings eightpence to be paid to the lord as oftenas he so disturbs or hinders them or any of them. etc. 1452]. and theyare to be inquired of by twelve men sworn forthe king. (F1) Also.17. under pain of forfeit lord of the franchiseas oftenas he does so.113 (El) Also. of common scolds and causers of disputes among men.Winter 1989 / SIGNS (B65) Item. contrary (HI) Also.249. 23 Sep 2013 15:38:21 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . it being understood thatthey do not go to board withinthe common hostel wherein to the old ordinance above rehearsed. the twentyfourthyear of the reign of the king abovesaid [1445]. it was ordained that no person keeping any common hostel or stewhouse have or occupy any person for his ostler that before this time has been a soldier in the of a hundred shillings unto the parts beyond the sea. they are abiding. it was ordained that no man keeping any common hostel or stewhouse shall disturbthe common women of the same hostel fromgoing to board and to have meat and drink where they wish. it was ordained that any constable or treasurer of the said franchise shall not keep any common woman to board or table at meat and drink under pain of forfeiting forty shillings to the lord. 113 These last three itemsare givenonlyin Latin rubrics. at the leet day held the last day of September the thirty-third year of the reign of the king abovesaid [1454]. 433 This content downloaded from 199. but that the constables yearly at the leets shall make their presentmentsof them. that no man's wife dwelling within the said lordship be brought into prison for scolding as the common women are.