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30 ENGLISH MINSTRELSY.
The-total sum expended was about 200£, which according to the preceding estimate would be equal to about 8,000?. of our money.
The minstrels seem to have been in many respects upon the same footing as the heralds; and the King of the Heralds, like the King at Arms, was, both here and on the Continent, an usual officer in the courts of princes. Heralds seem even to have been included with minstrels in the preceding account, for Carletone, who occupies a fair position among them, receiving 11. as a payment, and hs. as a gratuity, is in the latter case described as Carleton " Haralde."
In the reign of Edward H., besides other grants to " King Robert," before mentioned, there is one in the sixteenth year of his reign to William de Morlee, " The king's minstrel, styled Roy de North" of houses that had belonged to John lc Boteler, called Roy Brunhaud. So,.among heralds, Norroy was usually styled Roy d'Armes de North (Anstis. ii. 300), and the Kings at Arms in general were originally called Reges Heraldorum, as these were Reges Minstrallorum." —Percy's Ussay.
The proverbially lengthy pedigrees of the Welsh were registered by their bards, who were also heralds.b
In the reign of Edward H., a.d. 1309, at the feast of the installation of Ralph, Abbot of St. Augustin's, at Canterbury, seventy shillings was expended on minstrels, who accompanied their songs with the harp.— Warton, vol. i., p. 89.
In this reign such extensive privileges were claimed by these men, and by dissolute persons assuming their character, that it became a matter of public grievance, and a royal decree was issued in 1315 to put an end to it, of which the following is an extract:—
"Edward by the grace of God, &c. to sheriffes, &c. greetyng, Forasmuch as...many idle persons, under colour of Mynstrelsie, and going in messages, and other faigned business, have ben and yet be receaved in other mens houses to meate and drynke, and be not therwith contented yf they be not largely consydered with gyftes of the lordes of the houses : &c....We wyllyng to restrayne suche outrageous enterprises and idleness, &c. have ordeyned.....that to the houses of prelates, earles, and barons, none
resort to meate and drynke, unlesse he be a Mynstrel, and of these Minstrels that there come none except it be three or four Minstrels of honour at the most in one day, unlesse he be desired of the lorde of the house. And to the houses of meaner men
* Heralds and minstrels seem to have heeri on nearly the same footing ahroad. For instance, Froissart tells ns " The same day th' Erie of Foix gave to Heraudei and Minttrtttet the somme of fyve hundred frankes: and gave to the Duke of Tourayn's Minstrel.es gowns of Cloth of Gold, furred with Ermyns, valued at two hundred franks."—Chronicle Ed. 1525, hook 3, ch. 81.
b "The Welshman's pedigree was his title-deed, by which he claimed his hirtbright in the country. Every one was obliged to shew his descent through nine generations, in order to be acknowledged a free native, aud by which right he claimed his portion of land in the community. Among a people, where surnames were not in use, and where the right of property depended on descent, an attention to pedigree was indispensable. Hence arose the second order of Bards, who were the Arwyddvierdd, or Bard-Heralds, whose duty it was to register arms and pedigrees, as well as undertake the embassies of state.
The Anvyddvardd, in early Cambrian history, was an officer of national appointment, who, at a later' period, was succeeded by the Prydydd, or Poet. One of these was to attend at the birth, marriage, and death of any man of high descent, and to enter the facts in his genealogy. The Marwnad, or Elegy, composed at the decease of such a person, was required to contain truly and at length his genealogy and descent; and to commemorate the survivor, wife or hushand, with his or her descent and progeny. The particulars were registered in the hooks of the Arwyddvardd, and a true copy therefrom delivered to the heir, to be placed among the authentic documents of the family. The bard's fee, or recompense, was a stipend out of every plough land in the district; and he made a triennial Bardic circuit to correct and arrange genealogical entries."—Extracted from Meyrick's Introduction to his edition of Lewis Durm's Heraldic Visitations of Wales 2 vols. Mo. Llandovery. 1846.