By the Queene

By the Queene.
A Proclamation for Waightes published by the Queenes Majesties commaundement.

PUBLISHED BY the Deputies of Christopher Barker




FOra&s;much as (by Gods Lawes and mans lawes) there hath beene and ought to be in all places, true, just, and certaine Waightes and Measures, and the same also (by the lawes of this Realme) to be established, published, and made knowen to all people, that every one may take the benefit and use thereof: Our Soveraigne Lady the Queene being informed, that the greatest part of her loving Subjectes of this Realme of England, and Wales, be ignorant of contentes, differences, and true knowledge and uses of the Waightes of the same Realme, and that the Waightes commonly used within the Realme be uncertaine, and varying one from an other, to the great slaunder of the same, and the deceiving of many doth Buyers and Sellers: doth by the advise aswell of her privy Councell, as of her Counsell learned in the L [...]wes, & other men of perfect skill and understanding in Waights, give all her loving Subjects hereby to understand, that by the Statutes and Ordinances of the Realme, there hath bene, is, and ought to be lawfully in use within the same, one Waight, commonly called the Troy Waight, according to the auncient Lawes, Treatize, and Ordinance, for composing of Waights, and Measures, and is & ought to be used onely for the weying of Golde, silver, Bread and Electuaries, and ought to be in all parts of the Realme of one and the same content. And that there is and ought to be one other Waight likewise in use, commonly called the Auoir depoiz Waight, and is to be used for the weying of Spices, and all other things vendible by Waights, and ought also to be of one and the same content in all parts of the Realme: which Waights aswell of Troy, as of Auoir depoiz, alwayes ought to be according to certaine Standerds of Waights thereof made and remaining in the Exchequer at Westminster, heretofore commonly called the Kings standerd of Waights of his Eschequer. And further, that upon information given divers yeres past to the Lord Treasourer, under Treasourer, and Barons of her Majesties sayd Exchequer, of the said uncertainty and variance of Waights, and by intermission of long time, no just and perfect standerds being then extant and remaining in the sayd Exchequer, to size & reforme all other Waights of the Realme, but such as were there sound extant did vary one from an other: They caused two severall Juries of Aldermen, and other substantiall Merchants and Goldsmiths of the City of London, to come before them in the sayd Court of Exchequer, and charged them upon their othes, amongst other things, to examine and try the sayd standerdes, and certayne other Waights delivered unto them from sundry Cities and other places of the Realme, and by those Waights, and by other meanes, to cause one certaine, just, and true standerd of all sortes of Waights within the Realme to be made and sized, and to present the same to the sayd Lord Treasourer, under Treasourer, and Barons in the sayd Court, there to remayne & be kept, as the Queenes just and true standerd of the sayd Exchequer of Waights, to examine, try, & size all other Waights of the Realme by from time to time as occasion should require, which Juries presented to the sayd Lord Treasourer, under Treasourer, and Barons, severall Brasse Piles of the Troy Waight, and certayne Bell Waights, and round flat Waights of the Auoir depoiz Waights to be standerds of the sayd severall Waightes, and also severall Bores conteining in them small Poizes and Waights of the sayd Troye Waight: and that thereupon her Majestie after long deliberation, hath by the advise of her privie Counsell, ordeined and established such of the said Piles & Waightes as be hereunder mentioned, to be her just and true standerdes of Waightes of her Exchequer, for the sizing, examining and trying of all other Waights by, for that the same be found to be agreeing with the just & true Waightes that have had long continuance and use in this Realme, and with the standerds used both for moneys of Plate, of Silver and Golde, and other things sold by Waight.

And further, her Majestie hath given order and commaundement by her warrant signed with her hand and under her privy Seale, to the Lord Treasourer, under Treasorer & Barons of the Exchequer, forthwith to cause to be made, sized, and approoved by the sayd standerds now brought into the Exchequer, & there established for the true standerds of weights, so many other like standerds of brasse as shall sustice for her Majesties Mint, & for her Clerke of the Market, and for every Citie and Shire towne within the Dominion of Wales, and also for every City, Borough Towne and place limitted by the Statute made in the xi. yere of the raigne of the late King of famous memory King Henry the vii. to have and keepe standerds of Waigtes, according to the meaning of that Statute, and for such other as shall make suite for the having of any of the sayd Waightes, and also to cause every of the sayd Standerds of Troy Waightes of one halle quarter of a pounde or more, to be printed and marked with [...]crowned, and a Homaine I with Rus R [...]con [...]o [...]ned, and every of the sayde [...] of [...] quarter of a pointed and man, to be printed and martied with [...]crowned and a [...]omane A for a difference to diserne and know both [Page] kindes of Waightes, and all of them with letters and Stampes denoting the true contents. Her Majesties will and pleasure is therefore, that the Majors, Bailiffes, and other head Officers of every of the said Cities, Boroughes, Townes and places, before the feast of S. John Baptist next comming, at the common charge of the same place, shal send some sufficient person to the saide Exchequer, authorised to receive such Standerds as shalbe delivered unto him by the order of the said Court, for the said Citie, Borough, Towne, or place, and to pay such reasonable price for the same, as upon true valuation of the same by the said Court shalbe rated: which Standerds every of the said Majors, Bailiffes, or other head Officers to whome it shall appertaine, shall safely keepe or cause to be kept in the same, in some sure and convenient place of the same Citie, Borough, or Towne, and by them shall make or size, and cause to be made and sized other common Waights for the use of all maner of people in the same Citie, Towne or place, that shall have cause to use those Waightes. And shall also signe and print with like letters like waightes of Brasse, Copper, Leade, Tinne, or other competent stuffe, unto every of the Queenes Subjectes duely requiring the same, taking such fees for the doing thereof, as by the Statute made in the vii. yeere of the saide late King Henry the vii. is allowed, and no more, viz. of every hundred waight one penie, of every halfe hundred waight, one halfe penie, and of every waight under, one farthing, and not above. And every of the said Majors, Bailiffes, and other head Officers shall further doe and cause to be done all such other Act and acts, thing and things for the providing, having, and using of the saide Standerds and waightes agreeing with the same, and also true Balances and Scales both common and other, as bee limitted and appointed to their or any of their authoritie, by the said Statute made in the xi. yeere of the late King Henry the vii. or any other Statute or ordinance whatsoever, so as all the waights throughout the Realme may be reformed and made according to the saide Standerd of the Exchequer, as by the Statute in such case provided is required.

And her Majestie further commaundeth and ordeineth, that no person or persons shall from the feast of Michaelmas next comming, use in selling, buying, or weighing of any thing, any other waight or waights, but such as shalbe made or sized, and respectively agreeing to and with the said Standerds, and printed and marked with such markes and letters, as is before limited, neither shal use any Troy waight so made, sized, marked and printed, but onely for waighing of Bread, Gold, Silver, and Electuaries, and for no other thing: nor the said Auoir depoiz Waight for the waighing of any Gold, Silver, Bread, or Electuaries, but of Spices, Woolles, Leade, and all other things vendible by Waightes, upon paine to be apprehended and committed to prison, fined and punished, as contrivers and users of false Waights, according to the Statute made in the ix. pere of Hen. v. and other Statutes in that case made and provided.

And that this Proclamation, for the better instructing of her Majesties Subjects, shal before the twelfth day of January nowe next comming, be proclaimed in every Market Towne through the Realme, and bee hanged up and fastened in a Table in the Market place by an Officer, where it may hang drie, to continue, and be seene and read by any that will. And further, that it shalbe read in every Church, before the feast of the Purification of our Lady next, in a time and space betweene the beginning and end of Common prayer, upon some Sunday or Holy day, by the Minister or Clarke of the Church, and so from thenceforth, once at every feast of the Annunciation of our Lady, and once at every feast of S. Michael Tharchangel, by the space of foure yeeres next comming, and be also hanged up and fastened, and preserved in every Church in a Table, to be seene and read at all times by any that will. And that the defaults of Officers, and Ministers, Clerks, & Church wardens in this behalfe, shalbe enquired of and punished by the Justices of Assise, and Justices of peace in their Sessions, according to their discretions, as comtempts of her Majesties commandement. And that al the Standerds and Waights whatsoever, not sized, marked & printed, and made respectively agreeing to and with the sayd new Standerds, and the meaning of this Proclamation, shal from the said feast of Michaelmas next comming, be reputed and taken for untrue Waights, and shall within foure weekes after the sayd feast, be broken, defaced, and destroyed by the owners of the same, or by the Officers having authoritie to enquire of false Waights. And for the execution thereof, all Majors, Baylifes, and other head Officers of every Citie, Shire Towne, Borough, or Market Towne, shall immediatly after the said feast of Michaelmas, and so from time to time according to the Statute of xi. Hen. vii. cause to be brought before them all the Waights within the same Citie, Borough, or Towne, to be duely viewed and examined, and such as they shall finde defective, to cause to be broken, and further punishment to be done, according to that Statute. And that the Justices of peace, or two of them, whereof one to be of the Quorum, shal with al diligence, and from time to time, by examination or enquirie, heart and determine the defaults of all Majors, Bailifes, and other head Officers within their limits or authorities in that behalfe, and also of all buyers and sellers doing contrarie to the same Act and to set Fines and amerciaments upon the offenders, by their discretions, and those to estreate into the sayd Court of E [...]chequer, [...]that upon paine of the punishment due for such a contempt. Lastly, her Majestie straightly [...]geth and commaundeth all Justices of Assise, Justices of [...] [...]s, Bailifes, Stewards of Liberties, Clarke of the Market, and all other Officers & Ministers whatsoever, to cause this present Proclamation, and all Lawes, Statutes and [...] the [...] and [...] of true [...] and [...]the [...] of fa [...], to be put in but execution, according to undefined span of [...], as they tender [...]


1.2. A Pile of Troy Waightes, conteining xiiii. peeces of the severall poizes following, viz.

The Standerd for Troy Waight in the Queenes Exchequer.
  • The Case or Capitall Waight being CClvi. ounces. Cxxviii. ounces. lxiiii. ounces. xxxii. ounces. xvi. ounces. viii. ounces. iiii. ounces. ii. ounces. i. ounce. di. ounce. {que}. ounce. di. {que}. ounce. ii. peeces farthing golde Waight. Poiz altogether v. C. xii. ounces, which is xlii. ii. viii. ounces, every pounde conteining xii. ounces Troy.
  • One Juerie boxe conteining one ounce, which is xx. penny waight, one halfe ounce, which is x. penny waight, one quarter ounce, which is v. penny waight, one fift part of an ounce which is foure penny waight, iii. penny waight, ii. penny waight, i. penny waight, which is xxiiii. Graines, i. halfe penny waight, which is xii. Graines, i. fourth part of a penny waight, which is vi. Graines, iiii. Graines, iii. Graines, ii. Graines, i. Graine, being in all xiii. peeces.
Note: {

1.3. A Sute of Bell Waights of Auoir de poiz, conteining vii. peeces of the severall Poizes following, viz.

The Standerd for Auoir de poiz in the Queenes Exchequer.

  • One halfe hundred waight being lvi. li. one quarter of a C. waight being xxviii. li. one halfe quarter of a C. waight being xiiii. li. vii. li. iiii. li. ii. li. i. li. Poiz altogether five score xii. li. which is the hundred waight of Auoir de poiz nowe in use, every pound conteining xvi. ounces Auoir de poiz.
  • One round flatte Pile of small waights of Auoir de poiz, wherein the pound waight is devided into xvi. ounces, viz. viii. li. iiii. li. ii. li. i. li. di. li. {que}. li. di. {que}. li. which is ii. ounces i. ounce di. ounce {que}. ounce di. {que}. ounce, ii. xvi. partes of an ounce. Poiz altoghether xvi. li. Auoir de poiz, and be in nomber xiii. peeces.

Note: {

[God save the Queene.]

Imprinted at London by the Deputies of Christopher Barker.

Printer to the Queenes most excellent Majestie.

This is the full version of the original text


goldsmith, justice, merchant, peace, treasurer

Source text

Title: By the Queene. A Proclamation for Waightes published by the Queenes Majesties commaundement.

Author: England and Wales

Publisher: the Deputies of Christopher Barker

Publication date: 1587

Edition: 2nd Edition

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Early English Books Online: Bib name / number: STC (2nd ed.) / 8167 Bib name / number: Steele, R. Tudor and Stuart proclamations, 797. / Physical description: 3 leaves Copy from: Bodleian Library

Digital edition

Original author(s): England and Wales. Sovereign (1558-1603 : Elizabeth I)

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) whole


Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: Britain > official legislation

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.