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Cambridge University Library


From the early 16th century, if not earlier, the University elected three appraisers with the duty of setting a monetary value on goods offered to the university chests against loans, and goods forfeit to the university courts against unpaid fines. They are, however, most visible in their work of drawing up inventories post mortem for the administration of probate in the (Vice-)Chancellor’s Court. Many of the early appraisers were drawn from the ranks of the esquire bedells, and at least one of them was always a stationer (and so adept at setting a value on second-hand books).