- 1) (The King's or Great)Used for weighing heavy goods, "avoirs du pois" (Cal. L. Bk. A. p. 191), in contradistinction to the small beam for weighing light goods.Foreign merchants were, by the customs of the City, bound to weigh their heavy goods at the King's beam or balance, and in 1269, it being discovered that they were evading this regulation and making use of their own balances, the enactment was enforced against them by fine and imprisonment (Lib. de Ant. Leg. p. 118).In 1285 it was ordained that the King should have his weights in different places in the City and that goods over 25 lbs. in weight should be weighed there (Lib. Albus I. 285).Further enactments, regulating the procedure to be observed, were made in 1305 and 1309 (Cal. L. Bk. C. p. 127, and D. p. 209).The Great Beam was let out to ferm in the same way as the Small Beam (ib. G. p. 204).See The Weigh House, Eastcheap.2) (The Small)Used for weighing small goods, those dealt in by the pound weight. It belonged to the Chamber of the City, and was let out by the citizens to ferm. at an annual rent, 1291 (Cal. L. Bk. B. p. 55, 1299-1300) (ib. C. p. 56).In 1310 it was let out to Richard de Redynge at the King's request, but in 1313 he made complaint that the receipts had fallen off and that people would not bring woven and dyed silks to be weighed (Cal. L. Bk. D. p. 227).The small beam or balance was remade in 1344, and new provisions enacted as to the method of weighing, etc. (ib. F. p. 113).See The Weigh House, Eastcheap.
A Dictionary of London. Henry A Harben. 1918.