Cardiff Records: Volume 1. Originally published by Cardiff Records Committee, Cardiff, 1898.
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The Charters. - I.
Cotton MSS. Cleop. A VII. f. 101. Printed in Clark's "Cartae et alia Munimenta Glamorganniae. Ante 1147.
Et si illud burgagium fuerit de hereditate heres ipsius sive heredes ipsum habebunt. Et proximus heres mortuo predecessore a quo hereditas ei descendere debeat statim sine ostensione bayllivo vel preposito facienda hereditatem suam ingredietur. Et si burgensis habuerit duo burgagia et voluerit unum ipsorum alteri locare potest si voluerit locator eandem libertatem concedere ei qui dictum burgagium locaverit quam et ipse habet et ipse gaudebit.
Item quacunque morte burgensis preoccupatus fuerit nisi fuerit per nequitiam dampnatus uxor ejus et liberi sui habebunt catalla mortui vel proximi parentes ipsius tanquam heredes si non habuerit uxorem vel liberos.
Item burgensis paupertate compulsus burgagium suum vendere vel invadiare primo debet convenire heredem suum secundo et tertio et dicere ei quod inveniat sibi necessaria. Si autem noluerit de burgagio suo voluntatem suam faciat.
Et si burgensis summonitus fuerit ad hundredum et perexerit ad suum negocium extra villam vel fuerit presto recedere ita quod habeat unum pedem in strepo et inde habuerit duos vicinos testes quietus erit.
And if that burgage shall have been of inheritance, his own heir or heirs shall have it. And the next heir, at the death of the predecessor from whom the inheritance ought to descend to him, shall enter upon his inheritance forthwith, without having to give notice to the bailiff or prevost. And if a burgess shall have two burgages, and shall wish to lease one of them to another man, the lessor may, if he will, grant the same liberty to him who shall lease the said burgage as he himself has, and he shall enjoy it.
Also, by whatsoever death a burgess shall have been overtaken (unless he have been condemned for crime), his wife and his children shall have the dead man's chattels; or his next of kin as heirs, if he shall have no wife or children.
Also, a burgess compelled by poverty to sell or pledge his burgage, must summon his heir a first, a second and a third time, and tell him to find himself necessaries. But if he will not, let him do his will concerning his burgage.
And if a burgess be summoned to the Hundred, and shall have set out to his business without the vill, or shall be ready to depart so that he have one foot in the stirrup, and thereof shall have two neighbours witnesses, he shall be quit.
The Hereford Customs.
In the year 1284, amongst other places, Cardiff petitioned for leave to use such of the Hereford Customs as suited her requirements. In accordance with such petition John le Gaunter, Chief Bailiff of Hereford, caused the Customs to be collected. The document drawn up on this occasion is headed "John le Gaunter's Customs." The citizens of Hereford appear to have granted this application to the men of Cardiff by favour, stating they were not compelled to give their laws to towns under mediate lords. A money payment was probably made for the exemplification of the Customs. The document commences thus:—
"John le Gaunter, Chief Bailiff of Hereford, having called twelve men unto him, requested certain customs heretofore used and approved, and which it behoved them to send to be certified unto the men of Kerdiff then desiring the same, also for the use of other vills whose necessity should require them."
It goes on to define the customary laws of Hereford with regard to debts between merchants and traders, the punishment of wilful transgressors, the holding of various Courts, tenants' services, Writ of Right, Assizes of Bread and Ale, scolding women, and the means of defence "when our city shall be besieged by the Welshmen."
One of the Customs is as follows:—"We have used of old, without interruption of their lords respecting all things touching view of frank pledge, which have been presented by such tenants before our chief bailiff at the aforesaid inquisitions, which could not be amended in the courts of their lords, to make a convenient end thereof, that our chief bailiff to our use may make amends; and such may be amerced by their fellows, that they may be corrected before the said bailiff, which in the courts of such lords could not be corrected. . . . . . . If any [bondsman] buy a tenement in the city, or place himself or abide therein, and be scot and lot amongst us, he shall not be sought again of his lord by any manner of means; because whilst he dwells with us he is free, and of our condition. But let him take heed that he depart not from the city to any place within the power of his lord. If such an one hath got any tenements amongst us, neither his lord nor any for him shall claim it as their right; because he may at pleasure buy and sell without the reproach of any of us, his lord or any other whosoever, so long as he remain in the city."