Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/89

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59
COUNTRY LIFE AND CHARACTER

from ale-taster to chief alderman. Stratford, during the period of his prosperity, was a thriving commercial town. The trading companies represented skinners, tailors, shoemakers, saddlers, glovers, tanners, collar-makers, chandlers, soap-makers, ironmongers, and bakers. Pewterers, butchers, brewers, drapers, grocers, carpenters, painters, were numerous in the town. Tradesmen's shops were usually the downstairs part of their dwellings. A man frequently carried on trade in a number of different wares at the same time. Adrien Quiney, for instance, dealt in ginger, red-lead, Southwich cloth, lime, salad oil, and deal boards.

"Trade was maintained," says Mr. Lee, "at a normal rate of briskness by the weekly markets and the half-yearly fairs, the chief of which fell in September. The town council strictly regulated the procedure of the fairs, and appointed to each trade a station in the streets. Thus, raw hides at markets and fairs were to be laid down at the cross in Rother Market. Sellers of butter, cheese, and all manner of white meat, wick yarn, and fruits, were to set up their stalls by the cross at the chapel. A site in the high street was assigned to country butchers, who repaired to the town with their flesh, hides, and tallow. Pewterers were ordained to 'pitch' their wares in Wood