Tudor Tradesmen

Market Rasen was called East Rasen during the Tudor Period, it was not a big town but it was the centre of trade and industry for the area rather than agriculture. There was a market on Tuesdays each week.

Our source is the probate inventories listed in “Tudor Market Rasen, Life and work in a sixteenth century market town illustrated by Probate Inventories” MR WEA Branch 1985 and Lincolnshire Archives.

We can surmise that there were the following trades in the town.

The Tudor Period Market Rasen

Yeoman – Richard Cater, Richard Clerke,
Husbandman – Anthony Harwick
Miller – Richard Anderton, Isabel Johnson, Thomas Lamkyn, Jannet Sowden,
Christopher Sowden,
Draper – Anthony Cartwright
Glover – John Farthyngton, John Rawlinson, Christopher Sowden
Shoemaker – Francis Tibils, Hugh Saynton
Leather worker – Edward Moysie, Adam Harryson
Mercer -Thomas Newton, John Burnysley, John Howlt, Thomas Sowden,
Tanner – Ralph Pockley, William Lamyng (Lemyn), Richard Chapman, Legard
Howghtby, Thomas Rawlinson
Malsters – Christopher Sowden
Ironmonger/smithy – Hugh Stainforth
Tailor – William Lightfote, John Watson, John Watson,
Thomas Newton, John Burnesley, John Kent
Glazier – Martin Clark
Tallow chandler -Thomas Lamkyn
Carpenter -Richard Cowper
Pedlars – Emett Merrie
Packsaddles – Ralph Wodcocke, Thomas Sowden, Lawrence Pawlet
Vicar – William Storr (See Murder of William Storr on this website) Thomas Marshall
Usher at school – Nicholas Banks
Churchwarden – Richard Chapman, Thomas Rawlinson and Richard Cater

Other trades most likely to be in town-
Breweries and malsters, innkeepers, Wheel wrights, coopers, joiners and Farmers,
water and wind millers

There were several influential families- Cartwright, Rawlinson, Cater, Clerke,
Wryght, Moygne and Pattrickes.

Poor harvests, increased price of bread, sickness (six outbreaks of The Plague), and
poor sanitation were the norm during this time. However, the population rose from
250-320 in 1563 to over 600 in 1603. In 1539 it is recorded that East Rasen could
supply 79 archers or bill men for war (West 40 and Middle 49).

The parish church St. Thomas was well established being built in 12th century, it was
owned by Sixhills Priory, with the Priest been appointed by the Prior.
There is a list of vicars inside the church, in the 118 Tudor years.
The Priory also owned land, houses, and 3 water mills in Market Rasen and had
collected rent for over 250 years. When it was dissolved in 1538, there were
problems with the new landlords, some of the locals were not happy. Richard Clarke
was given the tithes of the church and the parishioners attacked him.
It would have been a very difficult time for the Vicar and all clergymen after the
Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536.
Several Nuns and Monks from the Priory moved to Market Rasen, Isabel Wright
from Sixhills Priory married John Burnyslay. She died in 1583/4.
John was a mercer and he died December 1558.
1537 Market Rasen men must have joined the Lincolnshire uprising, (See the Lincolnshire Uprising on this website) and marched to Lincoln. But there are no surviving records of who they were.
1563 The Burning in the Market Place of “the Rood with Marie and John with the rest of
the Idolatrous Images belonging to the abominable mass” was witnessed by the
parishioners and churchwardens. A few years later vestments, linen, ornaments,
stoles and amice were sold to R. Rawlinson, N. Bolden, R. Chapman and I. Houge
on the instruction of the parishioners.
1583 Sir Thomas St Paul left £17 per annum for the Schoolmaster of Market Rasen.
1602 Retired vicar William Storr was murdered.

More information

An Early Victorian Market Town by MR Local History group 1996
A Lincolnshire Town by BB Halfpenny 2006
Tudor Market Rasen “Life and work in a sixteenth century market town illustrated by Probate Inventories” MR WEA Branch 1985
Lincolnshire Archives, Lincstothepast.com