Unknown manorial term

Whilst transcribing a perambulation of Old Sodbury in Gloucestershire from 1783, I came across two of the participants who were described as being ‘carnivals’.  They were listed with the steward, bailiffs, hayward and scavenger – manorial occupations of which I had heard.  But I have never seen the position of a carnival (or carnivall) before.

Does anyone know what a carnival did?


2 thoughts on “Unknown manorial term

  1. Hello, coming late to the party as I have only today discovered your very interesting blog.
    I, too, have never heard of carnivall (or carnivall) as a manorial office. I do, however, live only a few miles from Chipping and Old Sodbury which were apparently for many years the same parish so know a little of their traditions. One of the abiding traditions of Chipping Sodbury, to this day, is their Mop Fair, still held each spring and autumn and I wonder whether the function of the Carnivals was to organise the fairs?
    I know that the travelling fair community still stick wherever possible to their annual fair routes, centuries old, and regard their visits to Chipping Sodbury as part of their historic route. Organising these events would have been quite important to the town and probably quite a busy job, perhaps justifying two officials, especially if their dutues also included the markets which were a major feature of life in CS. Just a thought!

  2. Hi, it’s a long time since I wrote that, too, and I have not come across the term since then! I suspect that you my be right in that the carnival organised fairs and markets. Liz

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