Tag Archives: assize matters

Assize (still) matters (?)

Clearing out a lot of stuff from my house, as times are very much a-changin’ … came across a cache of overhead projector slides from some long-ago talk on price regulation (odd how that has just hit the news again …). Time to get rid, seeing as I don’t think OHPs are actually going to be coming back. But these are great, so I thought I would snap them for the blog.

Both images come from the Liber de Assisa Panis, a London MS about bread price/quality regulation. That sort of thing was an important part of my PhD thesis, and also formed the basis of an article with the main title ‘Assize Matters’. Not sure whether the editor of the Journal of Legal History at the time did, or did not, get the smutty joke, which owed something to these suggestive car ads … A career high in any case: can’t beat a good pun.

Smut aside, I do love the fact that the top image shows a bit of a space-planning fail. The artist seems to have made everything a bit too big, so that the horses pulling the sledge had to be squashed in (or were the horses drawn by somebody else?) The second one is much more rough and ready, and they decided not to bother with the horses at all. Very ‘relatable’ – horses are hard. I remember that my big sister used to arrange any drawings featuring horses in such a way that she only had to draw the horse’s backside, tail and back legs, because horse heads were so difficult. We are a very artistic family … Also love the fact that this cruder drawing has a label, so we can be in no doubt that it is John de Stratford, whose transgression appears in the entry beside it.  Just in case the likeness was not absolutely apparent.

Enough reminiscing – time to move on (though not dragged on a sledge, I hope ,,,)