from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A steward or purchaser of provisions, as for a monastery or college.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A person in charge of purchasing and storing food and other provisions in a monastery, college, or court of law.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A steward; a purveyor, particularly of a college or Inn of Court.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A steward; a caterer or purveyor, particularly of an English college or inn or court.
For all the corruption at the top, someone was commanding each manciple in the army, laying out aqueducts with a few simple tools, making sure that the grain ships left Egypt on time, delivering the mail...
That the above is the true reading ( "the real passage"), and that it is to be applied to _the_ temple, appears to me from what follows, in the description of the manciple.
At the top of the spiral staircase is the “Homme au panier,” a statue 4 feet 6 inches in height, on a pedestal at the topmost step, representing a manciple or serving-man bearing a basket on his right shoulder, out of which spring, like so many stems of wheat, nearly a score of vaulting ribs for the roof that closes in the staircase.
The question, therefore, is involved in the same doubt which I at first stated; for the subsequent lines quoted by P.H.F. prove nothing more than that the person described was a manciple in some place of legal resort, which was not disputed.
In the same year, John Hordene, a scholar of Peckwater Inn, is fined six shillings and eightpence for breaking the head of Thomas Walker, manciple of Pauline Hall, and Thomas Walker is fined the like sum for drawing his sword on Hordene and for gambling.
The official or servile class includes the manciple, or buyer for a fraternity of templars, otherwise called an achatour, whence Cator, Chater a, the Reeve, an estate steward, so crafty that — "Ther nas baillif, ne herde, nor oother hyne, That he ne knew his sleighte and his covyne" and finally the Cook, or Coke — "To boylle the chicknes and the marybones."
I had, indeed, took the liberty of telling the manciple that you was not a gentleman to give more trouble than you could 'elp.
'Some societies would have been glad to shut themselves up by themselves, and enjoy the good things of the cook and manciple, without the intrusion of commoners who come for education.'
Prior repent of his courtesy, and ejaculate, --- 'Nay, but fair sir, now I bethink me, my Malkin abideth not the spur --- Better it were that you tarry for the mare of our manciple down at the Grange, which may be had in little more than an hour, and cannot but be tractable, in respect that she draweth much of our winter fire-wood, and eateth no corn.'
The manciple was to provide all wine and mead, the keeping up the stock of earthenware cups, jugs, basins, and other vessels, together with the lamps and oil.