1539 Muster Roll of Cuttlestone Hundred Staffordshire


Introduction and Glossary of Terms Used

Transcriptions of the individual Muster Rolls can be found on the appropriate Parish Page under the topic "Military Records" The transcriptions are from "Collections for a History of Staffordshire Vol IV, (NS), 1901"


Harry lord Stafford, John Gyfford, knight, Edward Aston, knight, John Harecourt, knight, Edward Lyttelton, Esquyer, Thomas Gyfford, Esquyer, and Thomas Moreton Comissioners of our sovereign lorde the kynge for takynge of the musters of his grace's subjectes within the Countie of Stafford.

By force of hys grace's Comyssion unto us directed, do certefye hys grace and hys Counsell by thys our wrytynge that we the said Comissioners by
force of the said Comission did take apon us the execucion of the same Comission in the hundreds of Cutleston and Pyrehill within the said Countie of Stafford and have caused to muster afore us the kyng's subjects within the said hundreds beynge aboff the age of XVI yeres and have vewed and seyn them and their horses and harnes, and have caused them to make harnes accordynge to the contents of the said Comission.

And forthermore we do certefye in certen leffes of papyr to thys certificat annexed as well the names of all persons as be abull to serve the kyng's grace in hys warres as the townes that they dwelle in with their horses and diversite of weppons and hames as also the names of all persons within the said hundreds with the names of the townes that they dwell in that have horses and harnes to serve the kyng in his warres and also the dyversite of ther harnes and weppons as in the said papyr leffes hit doth playnly appere and also we do certefye the horses and the diversite of harnes that we the aboffe named Comissioners and other Commissioners dwellynge within the said hundreds have our selfes to serve the kynges grace as appereth under wrytton.
In wyttenes whereof we the said Comissioners to thys certificat have put our seales the iiijth dey of May the xxxj yere of our seid sovereyn lord the kyng's reyn.



Harry lorde Stafford, horse and harnes complete for x men.

John Gyfford, knyght, horse and harnes complete for vij men.

Edward Lyttelton, Esquyer, horse and harnes complete for vj men.

Thomas Gyfford, Esquyer, horse and harnes complete for iiij men.

Thomas Skrymsher, Gentilman, horse and harnes for iij men.

Thomas Moreton, Gentilman, a horse and harnes for ij men


The following meanings of the terms used in the Muster Roll are taken principally from Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words: — 

A Gesturne, Gestrone, or Gessaraunte is a jacket without sleeves, on which were fastened small oblong plates of steel overlapping one another. 

A Jack is a doublet, or defensive garment, padded, and quilted with strips of leather. 

Splents or splints was armour for the arms, where they were left unprotected by the Gesturne or Jack. 

A Salet (French, Salade) was a light steel cap with a projection behind extending over the nape of the neck. 

Harness was any kind of armour, and was not used in the modern contracted sense of the word as referring only to the horse. It probably comprised all kinds of defensible armour, including the Jack, which contained no iron or steel; it also included defensible armour for the horse. 

" Almain rivets " were rivets with elongated holes which admitted of the plates moving one upon the other. Halliwell quotes from " Testamenta Vetusta " : — " My coat of black velvet furred with martens, with six pair of Almain rivets complete with splints, sallets, etc." 

A bill was a pike with a long handle and a spear head with a bill-hook, which was used to drag a man off a horse. In this reign the pike was often 18 feet in length.