Court Leet Assizes
What are the Assizes?
By the time of Magna Carta (1215) abuses of weights & measures were so common that a clause was inserted in the Charter to correct those on grain and wine demanding a common measure for both.
A few years later a Royal Ordinance entitled ‘Assize of Weights & Measures’ defined a broad list of units & standards so successfully that it remained in force for several centuries thereafter (Source : Encyclopedia Britanica).
The Court Leet Market Officers – Fish & Flesh Taster, Bread Weigher and Searcher & Sealer of Leather once a year conduct a formal Assize of invited High Street traders. This may or may not include an Ale Tasting as determined by the High Bailiff.
These ceremonies reflect the historical duty of the Court to ensure that food and goods sold in the Market were of a satisfactory standard and the dealings were ‘fair and honest’.