The Funeral Wake of Abbot Adam of Peterborough Abbey

Adam of Boothby was Abbot of Peterborough from 1321 until his death on 25th November 1338.
Irthlingborough was owned by Peterborough Abbey from 1066 until the Dissolution, so Adam was our Abbot at that time.

Immediately upon the death of Abbot Adam;

  • 45 quarters of corn were given to the poor for making bread. This bread had to be baked in the Abbey oven for which a fee was charged!
  • 1,000 herrings were also distributed – 6 were given to each pauper.

The funeral of Abbot Adam was held on Saturday, 5th December and was led by the Abbot of Ramsey.

These are the provisions which were made for his Funeral Feast (the “Wake” in modern parlance);

To purchase:

  • Plates and dishes for 1,400 settings; 48 bowls; wooden cups for drinking wine and ale.
  • 300 earthenware pots for serving the wine and ale; 5 baskets;
  • 200 ells of linen for napkins and table cloths; (the “ell” is the measure from shoulder to wrist, about 22-23 inches.)
  • 20 quarters of wheat to bake bread;
  • 40 quarters of malt for brewing the ale;
  • One tun (252 gallons) and one pipe (1,008 pints) of wine;
  • 8,500 herrings; 100 large pike; 12 horse-loads of codling; 1 horse-load of haddock;
    1 horse-load of smelt; 24 salmon; 120 cod; 100 dogge drove (a deep sea fish);
    10 horse-loads of plaice; 1 conger eel; 5 sticks of large eels; 70 sticks of small eels
    (one “stick” = 25 eels); 5 sacks of whelks; and, 1 barrel of sturgeon.

So we assume everyone enjoyed seafood?

Data collected by Roy York and presented at our meeting on Tuesday 30th August.