Grade of king's messenger junior to the *nuncius regis and who travelled on foot. The term was first used in the *rolls c.1251. Initially, they were simply a spare pair of hands from the kitchens, used as casual messengers. Later, they were recognised as a group known as cokini or coquini. Being casual labour, they cost less than the full-time nuncius. Their pay was 2d a day, and they were not initially included in the annual distribution of *livery. On occasion, when they were in the company of a nuncius, a horse might be used. They came to be known as cursores when the association with the kitchens was felt undignified; the name cursor [Lat. = a runner] also had the advantage of suggesting speed and proficiency. Some cokini remained in service for 10 or 20 years; others were promoted to nuncius. Their numbers varied greatly from year to year, e.g. depending on whether there was a war being fought, in which case their numbers might increase to 40 or so. In time, they were given new cloaks and shoes annually: working for the king meant wearing his livery. [< Lat. coquinus = things to do with cooking, also a market where cooks were hired] -

Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases. .

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  • Coquini — See Cokini …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

  • Cursores — These men were sometimes also known as viatores, i.e. travellers or wayfarers; but they should not be confused with the *nuncius regis or *cokini. They were freelance messengers, making a living by obtaining writs in the king s *chancery on other …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

  • Kitchener — The *obedientiary who was overseer of all things pertaining to the cooking and serving of food in a monastery. He saw to it that supplies were maintained by those under him, with food ready on time and cooking utensils cleaned. The Latin form was …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

  • Nuncius regis — King s messenger. The king had a body of messengers whose task was to carry writs, letters and any kind of document throughout the kingdom. (On one occasion a messenger was sent to deliver part of the quartered body of a man executed for… …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

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