1563

30th. September Thursday
Richard Kyrshaw appointed common wayte (minstrel) by the Court Leet. This is the first mention we have of waytes as officials of the town. September 30. It was customary for each place to have its musicians, who some­times performed outside their own town. Various instances of this are given in the Shuttleworth Accounts, published by the Chetham Society. The Manchester waits (in the Court Leet Records) attended the wedding parties and otherwise discoursed sweet music for the burgesses. Their emoluments were the gifts of those who heard them, and probably most of their inceme came from marriage feasts. The tendency to extravagance at the moment of entry upon matrimony was severely repressed by the Court Leet by orders that not more than fourpence a head should be paid at a wedding dinner. In the other Ales or “Drinking in assembly” we may see the survival of still older customs, which doubtless were not infrequently detrimental to the peace of the town. They were prohibited, but Ales for highways, bridges, and churches were allowed. At these social meetings collections were made after the fashion of the charity dinners. (Harland’s Court Leet.)(7)