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Particular Book, or pay-book, of James Nedeham [also Nedam], clerk and general surveyor of the King's Works

 Single Item
MS. Don. c. 206
Held at the Weston Library

  • Request

The particular books of James Nedam (see Related Material) form a record of the costs of building and repairs to the royal manors, castles and palaces between 1532 and 1543. This volume is arranged monthly, with each month occupying a separate gathering. Payments recorded begin with labour costs, with details of the work carried out by individually named labourers and artificers, and the days they worked. Feast days (holidays) are also recorded. This is followed by payments for purchases ('empcions') of materials, and carriage costs. The accounts for Greenwich, the More, Westminster Hall and Enfield are written on the original pages of the volume. The accounts for Windsor, Woking and Ampthill are briefer, and have been inserted at the end of the volume on larger leaves. Unlike the particular books in the Rawlinson collection at the Bodleian, this volume has retained its original binding.

  1. (fols. 1-57) Greenwich, Nov 1539-Aug 1540, including repairs associated with the arrival of Anne of Cleves (see fol. 18v for example, where work is recorded as 'against the queen's coming in'). Includes references to (fols. 5r-11v) alterations to the king and queen's privy kitchens, including the construction of an entry between them, and to the queen's private apartments including (fols. 16r-19v) to her 'jakes' [latrine] and to her privy closet [private chapel], where Henry and Anne were married on 6 January 1540; (fols. 25r-26v) setting up and taking down of a scaffold for a play to be performed on Candlemas night in the king's chamber; (fol. 18r) payments to the organmakers William Bitton and his son, also William, and Roger Emerson, for repairs to the 'great organ' in the chapel; (fols. 41r-49v) work on the royal kennels at Deptford.
  2. (fols. 58-124) The Manor of the More or Moore [Moor Park], Sep 1539-Oct 1540. Mainly relates to fencing and work on the moat and sluices and in the park, including (fol. 85r ff) the construction of a new bridge to go over the river, and (fol. 98r ff) the construction of a 'standing' [hunting stand] in the park.
  3. (fols. 125-8) Manor of the More with the park, Mar-Apr 1535. These pages are inserted at this point but not bound in.
  4. (fols. 126-99) Westminster Hall, Oct 1539–Dec 1540. Mainly relating to repairs to the hall roof and guttering, with references to the king’s fish house and the exchequer.
  5. (fols. 200-14) Windsor Castle, Jun–Sep 1540, mainly relating to maintenance and functional additions, with (fol. 211r) payments relating to a new bridge in the Little Park (later the Home Park)
  6. (fols. 215-23) Woking (Oking) Manor, Aug 1540. Includes reference to a lodging of Sir Anthony Browne (c1500-1548), a courtier in the latter part of Henry VIII's reign
  7. (fols. 224-32) Ampthill Manor, Aug-Sep 1540
  8. (fols. 233-54) Enfield Manor (the prince's palace), Jun–Sep 1540
  9. (fols. 254-5) James Nedam's own costs as Clerk of the Works relating to the above places, including ordinance, surveying, building and repairing, and 'ridinge by his graces commaundement to diverse other mannors & gevinge attendaunce his grace removinge from place to place[,] to knowe his gracis plesure', from Michaelmas 31 Hen. VIII to Michaelmas 32 Hen. VIII [29 Sep 1539 - 29 Sep 1540]. The account includes payment of 6d a day 'for a clarke to make the bookes ingrossed and kepinge a juste reknynge'.


  • Creation: Creation: Majority of material found within Bulk, 1539-1540
  • Creation: Creation: 1535-1540


1 volume

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Don. c. 206, fols. 1-2].

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MS. Don. c. 206

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 6239


Particular Book of James Nedeham, clerk and general surveyor of the King's Works, 1535-1540

Biographical / Historical

James Nedeham (d 1544) was the son of Christopher Nedeham, citizen and carpenter of London, and the grandson of John Needham of High Needham, Derbyshire. In March 1531 he was made master carpenter of the king's works, and in October 1532 he took overall control of the works as surveyor. For further details see the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Custodial History

Formerly part of the Foljambe collection, Osberton Hall.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased 30 Apr 2008, Christies, sale of Foljambe Collection removed from Osberton Hall, lot 169.

Related Materials

The volume forms part of a sequence of pay-books, eleven of which are Bodleian Libraries, MSS. Rawlinson D. 775-785. The Rawlinson volumes include accounts for the same manors as the present volume at earlier and later dates between 1532 and 1543, as well as accounts relating to other royal buildings. Three further volumes, 1535-1542, are at Nottingham University Library, Ne/O/1-3. An account book of Apr 1543 to Apr 1545 is in the National Archives, E 101/504/2; another account book of 1545-1546 is at the British Library, Add MS 10109.

Physical Facet

Contemporary stationery binding in blind-stamped calf, laced leather overbands.

Catalogue of the particular book of James Nedeham, clerk and general surveyor of the King's Works, 1535-1540
Finding aid prepared by Jill Gascoigne and Mike Webb
Language of description
Script of description
Purchased with the help of the Friends of the Bodleian.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom