Prices of accommodation, food and drink in 1625

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The following is extracted from an official survey of inns and markets in Southampton, taken in August 1625. (For those too young to remember ‘old money’, 6d = 2.5 p and 1s[hilling] = 5p: as a price comparison, foot soldiers dreamed of wages of 6d a day [‘and no foreign service’] in addition to their keep)

[Explanations and interpretations in square brackets and italics, thus]


Item, that every man being in company six or more together at dinner or supper good bread and drink,
beef and mutton boiled or roasted, or else veal boiled and pig, beef or veal roasted, or otherwise
upon fish days to have good bread and drink, salt fish or salmon, ling, egg and butter and so in default of
one meat to have another. Every man to pay for his meal.
6d
A feather bed with necessary apparel [bedclothes] for one man one night and so depart. 1d
A feather bed by the week for one man alone. 6d
The like feather bed for two together by the week. 10d
A mattress or flock [stuffed with wool] bed by the week for one or two. 6d
A chamber with two beds good furniture one night and so depart. 4d
A vacant or empty room, either a stable or chamber by the week. 4d
A bushel [varying measure of dry volume, often equivalent to 8 gallons] of beans and peas mingled with oats for horse provender in Inns. 4s 2d
A quart [two pints] of the best claret at the vintners. 6d
A quart of the best sack [a sherry-like wine] at the vintners. 10d
A kilderkin [18 gallons] of good ale or double beer with carriage. 3s 4d
A full quart of the best ale or beer by measure sealed. 1d
A full quart of single ale or beer [weak ‘small beer’] by measure sealed. ½d
A pound of best cheese in the shop or market. 2½d
A full pound of butter sweet and new the best in the market. 3½d
A stone [16 pounds weight] of the best beef at the butchers. 1s 2d
A quarter of best wether [castrated ram] mutton at the butchers. 2s 0d
A fat pig the best in market. 1s 4d
A lean or second pig. 1s 0d
A couple of capons [castrated cockerels, very fat] the best in market. 2s 0d
A couple of chickens the best in market. 8d
A couple of rabbits the best in market. 10d
A dozen pigeons best in market. 1s 0d
A pound of tallow candles made of wick. 4d


Compiled by Charles Kightly. A version was published in True Relation, 2008