Charter V
On the right of the townsmen to municipal self-government (1340)

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Institute of Historical Research

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Author

John Hobson Matthews (editor)

Year published

1898

Supporting documents

Pages

19-27

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'Charter V: On the right of the townsmen to municipal self-government (1340)', Cardiff Records: volume 1 (1898), pp. 19-27. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=48066 Date accessed: 30 August 2014.


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V.

Charter in the custody of the Town Clerk. 19 April 1340.

Hugo le Despenser Dominus Glamorgancie et Morgancie omnibus Balliuis et Ministris nostris, ac aliis fidelibus presentem Cartam inspecturis: salutem in domino. Sciatis quod de gracia nostra speciali dedimus et concessimus dilectis Burgensibus nostris ville nostre de Kaerdif omnes libertates subscriptas imperpetuum, videlicet quod ipsi et heredes sui quieti et liberi sint de theoloneo, muragio, pontagio, panagio, terragio, kayagio, et picagio, ac aliis diuersis custumis et consuetudinibus per totum dominium nostrum tam in Anglia quam in Wallia. Et quod ipsi eligere debeant annuatim Balliuos nostros de Burgensibus nostris eiusdem ville videlicet quatuor prepositos, de quibus Constabularius Castri nostri de Kaerdif duos recipiet ad voluntatem suam, unum balliuum et duos tastatores cereuisie qui debent recipi et iurari ad scaccarium nostrum de Kaerdif coram eodem Constabulario ad bene et fideliter faciendum quecumque ad officia sua pertinencia. Et quod iidem prepositi et tastatores onerari debeant in compotis suis de exitibus balliuie eorum, et eciam quod predicti duo prepositi et Balliuus qui pro tempore fuerint pro seruiciis suis de redditu vnius Burgagij sint quilibet eorum quieti per annum. et quod idem balliuus capiet de Molendinis nostris de Kaerdif pro seruicio et labore suo de tribus septimanis in tres septimanas vnum busselum frumenti per totum annum. Concessimus eciam predictis Burgensibus nostris quod de omnibus merchandisis tam per terram quam per aquam ad predictam villam venientibus seu transeuntibus demonstracio primo fiet Constabulario nostro predicto et postea prepositis ville priusquam aliquid inde sit venditum seu remotum sub pena qua decet. Et quod nullus de Burgensibus nostris predictis capi nec imprisonari debeat in Castro nostro predicto pro aliquibus eos tangentibus dum manucapcionem seu plegiagium ad exteriorem portam eiusdem Castri possent inuenire nisi in casu felonie cum manuopere tantum capti fuerint, seu pro aliquibus nos aut familias nostras specialiter tangentibus. Et de omnibus rebus infra libertatem ville nostre predicte factis prefatos Burgenses tenementa, seu, catalla eorum tangentibus vnde inquisicio capi debeat quod illa inquisicio sit terminata per intrinsecos eiusdem ville et non per alios. Concessimus insuper eisdem Burgensibus nostris quod ipsi nec heredes sui esse non debeant Receptores denariorum nostrorum nisi tantum de denariis exeuntibus de balliuia prepositatus ville nostre predicte. Nec distringi debeant ad blada, carnes, vina, seu alia victualia nostra contra voluntatem ipsorum emendenda set quod liberi sint per libertates eorum vendere omnia que habent vendenda cuicumque et quibuscumque et quo tempore voluerint absque aliquo impedimento. Preterea concessimus prefatis Burgensibus nostris quod ipsi et heredes sui libere legare possent omnia Burgagia sua per ipsos adquisita tam de tenementis quam de redditibus cuicumque et quibuscumque voluerint ad voluntatem ipsorum; Et quod iidem Burgenses nostri distringi non debeant exire antiquas Bundas libertatis ville predicte contra eorum voluntatem ad aliqua facienda, et tales sunt Bunde libertatis eorum videlicet de loco vocato appeldore iuxta Listelbont in parte boriali usque ad Bradestrem in mari in parte australi, et de Paynescros in parte orientali vsque ad crucem iuxta ffratres predicatores in parte occidentali. Et quod nullus extraneus extra Nundinas vel forum infra bundas predictas aliquas merchandisas de aliquo extraneo emet nisi tantum de Burgensibus nostris eiusdem ville, preter gentiles homines Glamorgancie pro victualibus eorum et non racione marchandisie. Nec aliquis teneat celdam apertam de aliquibus merchandisis, nec tabernam, nec Corf faciet in villa nostra predicta nisi fuerit cum predictis Burgensibus nostris lotant et escotant et infra Guldam libertatis ipsorum receptus. Necnon concessimus eisdem Burgensibus nostris quod ipsi et heredes sui Guldam inter eos facere possent quo tempore et quandocumque voluerint ad proficuum ipsorum. Et quod distringi non debeant pro debito alicuius nisi debitores, aut plegij pro eodem fuerint. Et quod nullus Balliuus sue Minister noster colore balliuie sue summoniciones seu attachiamenta faciet, nec infra Bundas supradictas districtionem capiet nisi tantum Constabularius predictus et Balliui eiusdem ville qui per ipsos Burgenses fuerint electi. Preterea concessimus prefatis Burgensibus nostris quod ipsi et heredes sui habeant commoinam pasturam pro aueriis suis in Brueris nostris vocatis Muchel heth et Litel heth prout iacent per antiquas metas et bundas et quod libere falcare possent omnes rustos et fodere omnes glebas pro focalibus eorum in eisdem Brueris crescentes, et quod habeant vnum messorem ad bene et fideliter custodiendum predictos rustos et glebas quod nemo ibidem falcet nec fodiat preter Burgenses ville nostre predicte, et si aliquos alios ibidem manuoperantes inueniat ipsos attachiare faciet et attachiamenta presentet ad hundredum ville nostre supradicte, et sint ibidem amerciati secundum quantitatem delicti. Insuper concessimus prefatis Burgensibus nostris quod omnes mercatores, tam pannarij, cerdones, pelliparij, cyrothecarij, quam alij diuersi qui ex vendicione et empcione viuant infra dominium nostrum Glamorgancie et Morgancie residere debeant in villis de Bourgh et non vpland, et quod omnimode merchandisas faciant in Nundinis foris et in villis de Bourgh et non alibi. Et eciam quod omnes mercatores cum eorum merchandisis alibi non transeant quam per regales vicos per villas de Bourgh ita quod nos nec heredes nostri tolnetum nostrum nec alias custumas nobis debitas aliquo tempore amittamus. Et quod predicti Burgenses nostri nec eorum heredes aliquam vigilacionem faciant nec aliquem fugitiuum in aliqua ecclesia custodiant extra muros ville nostre predicte. Concessimus vero predictis Burgensibus nostris quod per ordinacionem Constabularij predicti ordinaciones et clamaciones libere facere possint de assisis panis et cereuisie et aliis diuersis rebus ad voluntatem eorum eandem villam tangentibus quandocumque necesse fuerit ad emendacionem illius ville et proficuum populi. Nolentes eciam quod iidem Burgenses sint ligati per clamaciones in Comitatu nostro Glamorgancie aliquo tempore factas. Et quod habeant prisonam suam in eadem villa nostra ad malefactores et rebelles ibidem custodiendos et castigandos et ad legem implendam et tenendam, necnon execucionem faciendam coram Constabulario nostro predicto cum placito vel sine placito de omnibus rebus villam nostram predictam tangentibus. Preterea concessimus prefatis Burgensibus nostris quod due Nundine sint in eadam villa nostra quolibet anno sicut esse solebant tempore antecessorum nostrorum videlicet Nundine que incipiunt in vigilia Natiuitatis Sancti Johannis Baptiste durantes per quindecim dies sequentes In quibus vero Nundinis predictus Constabularius noster capiet tolnetum nostrum et alias custumas nobis debitas, et quod deceteris in eisdem Nundinis teneat omnia placita corone de omnimodis feloniis infra Bundas libertatis eiusdem ville durantibus illis Nundinis factis. ac alia placita de transgressionibus, debitis, Conuencionibus et aliis diuersis contractis vbicumque fuerint factis. Et concessimus predictis Burgensibus nostris quod durantibus predictis Nundinis nullus mercator aliquas merchandisas emat aut vendat extra illas Nundinas inter Rempny et Pulthcanau sub forisfactura earundem merchandisarum et grandi amerciamento. et alie Nundine sunt ad festum Natiuitatis beate Marie que Nundine quiete sunt de tolneto tantum in vigilia et in die sequenti. Concessimus insuper prefatis Burgensibus nostris quod omnia placita et querele tam de hutes clamore sanguine fuso quam de trangressionibus, debitis, Conuencionibus et aliis diuersis contractis de ceteris placitentur et terminentur in Hundredo ville nostre predicte, exceptis placitis corone, forstall, homsokne, et placitis terre. Volentes eciam et concedentes quod Constabularius noster de Kaerdif qui pro tempore fuerit teneat eadem hundreda nostra de quindena in quindenam et placita vocata Pipoudres de die in diem quandocumque necesse fuerit, et quod omnia alia libertates ville nostre predicte tangencia sint terminata et coram ipso verificata et quod ipse deceteris sit Maior eiusdem ville nostre. Nos autem donaciones et concessiones predictas ratas habentes et gratas eas pro nobis et heredibus nostris predictis Burgensibus nostris concedimus et confirmamus easque tenore presencium innouamus. Volentes et concedentes pro nobis et heredibus nostris quod Carta predicta in omnibus et singulis articulis suis imperpetuum firmiter et inuiolabiliter obseruetur eciam si aliqui articuli in eadem Carta contenti hucusque forsitan non fuerint obseruati. In cuius rei testimonium huic presenti Carte sigillum Cancellarie nostre de Kaerdyf duximus apponendum. Hiis testibus Venerabilibus viris Henrico abbate de Margan, Willelmo abbate de Neth, Dominis Willelmo de Ercalewe, Henrico de Vmframuilla, Johanne Dauene, Rogero de Berkeroles Militibus Johanne le Norreys Matheo le Soer et aliis. Datum apud Kaerdyf nono decimo die Mensis aprilis. Anno Regni Regis Edwardi tercij post conquestum Quartodecimo.

Endorsed—"Carta Hugonis de le Spencr." "14. E. 3. Hugh Spencer his graunt of the lib'ties to the towne of Cardiffe." (The Latin words of this endorsement appear to date from the reign of Henry VIII., and the English from that of James I.)

Note.—This Charter is in excellent preservation, and the ink very fresh and dark. The initial letter H is simply ornamented with a zigzag line of white on a black background. The Seal (repaired) is of green wax and is affixed with silk cords of blue and yellow intertwined. It represents the equestrian figure of the grantor, with the arms on shield and caparisons. Legend—"Sigillum Hugonis le Despenser Dominus Glamorgancie et Morgancie." Reverse: Escutcheon, Quarterly (I. and IV. diapered), in II. and III. a fret; over all, a bendlet. Supporters, lions. Legend—+ "Sigillum Hugonis le Despenser," etc., as obverse.

[Translation.]

Hugh Le Despenser, Lord of Glamorgant and Morgant, to all Our Bailiffs and Ministers and other faithful subjects who shall inspect the present Charter, health in the Lord. Know ye that of Our especial favour We have given and granted unto Our beloved Burgesses of Our Vill of Kaerdif all the underwritten liberties for ever, namely, that they and their heirs shall be quit and free of toll, murage, pontage, panage, terrage, quayage and picage and other divers customs and customary dues, throughout Our whole domain, as well in England as in Wales. And that they shall choose yearly Our Bailiffs from among Our Burgesses of the same Vill, to wit, four Prevosts, of whom the Constable of Our Castle of Kaerdif shall receive two at his will, one Bailiff and two Aletasters, who must be received and sworn at Our Exchequer of Kaerdif, before the same Constable, well and faithfully to do whatsoever things are to their offices pertaining. And that the same Prevosts and Tasters shall be charged in their accounts with the issues of their bailiwick; and also that the aforesaid two Prevosts and the Bailiff for the time being shall for their services be each of them quit for the year of the rent of one burgage. And that the same Bailiff shall take from Our mills of Kaerdif, for his service and labour, every three weeks one bushel of corn, throughout the whole year. We have granted also unto Our aforesaid Burgesses that of all merchandises coming to the aforesaid Vill or passing through, as well by land as by water, demonstration shall first be made to Our aforesaid Constable and afterwards to the Prevosts of the Vill, before any thereof be sold or removed, under the penalty which befits. And that none of Our aforesaid Burgesses must be taken nor imprisoned in Our aforesaid Castle for any things them touching, so long as they can find mainprise or pledge at the outward gate of the same Castle; except only they be taken in case of felony with mainour, or for any matters especially touching Us or Our households. And concerning all things done within the Liberties of Our aforesaid Vill, touching the aforesaid Burgesses, their tenements or chattels, whereof inquisition ought to be taken, that that inquisition be determined by the Inhabitants of the same Vill, and not by others. We have granted moreover unto Our same Burgesses that they nor their heirs shall not be receivers of Our moneys, except only of the moneys issuing from the bailwick of the prevostship of Our aforesaid Vill. Nor must they be constrained to buy corn, meat, wines or other victuals of Us, against their own will; but that they be free, throughout their Liberties, to sell all things that they have to sell, to whomsoever and at whatever time they will, without any hindrance. Moreover we have granted to Our aforesaid Burgesses that they and their heirs may freely bequeath all their burgages by them acquired, as well tenements as rents, to whomsoever they will at their own pleasure. And that Our Burgesses must not be constrained to go outside the ancient bounds of the Liberties of the aforesaid Vill, against their will, to do anything. And these are the bounds of their Liberties, to wit: From the place called Appeldore, nigh Listelbont, on the north, as far as the Bradestrem in the sea on the south; and from Paynescros on the east, as far as the cross nigh the Friars Preachers on the west. And that no non-inhabitant shall buy any merchandise of any non-inhabitant (except at the fairs or the market within the bounds aforesaid) but only of Our Burgesses of the same Vill, besides the gentlemen of Glamorgant for their victuals and not by reason of merchandise. Nor shall anyone keep an open stall of any merchandise, nor a shop, nor make a Corf in Our aforesaid Vill, unless they lot and scot with Our aforesaid Burgesses and (he) be received in the Guild of their liberty. Also We have granted unto Our same Burgesses that they and their heirs may make a Guild among themselves, at what time and whenever they will, for their own profit. And that they must not be distrained for the debt of anyone, unless they shall have been debtors or pledges for the same. And that no Bailiff or Minister of Ours shall by colour of his bailiwick make summons or attachments, nor take distraint within the bounds aforesaid, but only the aforesaid Constable and the Bailiffs of the same Vill who shall have been elected by the Burgesses themselves. Moreover We have granted unto Our aforesaid Burgesses that they and their heirs shall have common pasture for their cattle in Our heaths called Muchel heth and Litel heth as they lie by ancient metes and bounds; and that they may freely cut all whins and dig all turves growing in the same heaths, for their fuel; and that they may have one Cutter to well and faithfully guard the aforesaid whins and turves, that no one cut or dig there besides the Burgesses of Our aforesaid Vill; and if he find any others working there, that he cause them to be attached and present the attachments to the Hundred of Our Vill aforesaid, and that they be there amerced according to the quantity of the offence. We have granted, besides, unto Our aforesaid Burgesses that all mercers, as well drapers, curriers, fellmongers, glovers, as divers others who live by selling and buying within Our Lordship of Glamorgant and Morgant, must dwell in the towns of Burgh and not Upland; and that they shall in everywise make sale of their wares in marts, market places, and in towns of Burgh, and not elsewhere. And also that merchants with their wares shall not travel elsewhere than by the highways through the towns of Burgh, so that We nor Our heirs lose not at any time Our toll or other customs due unto Us. And that Our aforesaid Burgesses nor their heirs shall not do any watch, nor keep any fugitive in any church outside the walls of Our aforesaid Vill. And We have granted unto Our aforesaid Burgesses that by the ordinance of the aforesaid Constable they may freely make orders and proclamations concerning the assizes of bread and ale and other divers things, at their will, touching the same Vill, whenever it shall be necessary for the amendment of that Vill and the profit of the people. And We will that those Burgesses shall not be bound by claims made in Our County of Glamorgant at any time And that they shall have their prison in Our said Vill, for keeping and punishing there malefactors and rebels and for fulfilling and keeping the Law; as also for doing execution before Our aforesaid Constable, with plea or without plea, of all things touching Our aforesaid Vill. Besides we have granted to Our beforementioned Burgesses that there shall be two fairs in Our said Vill every year, as there were wont to be in the time of Our ancestors, to wit, the fair which begins on the eve of the Nativity of Saint John Baptist, lasting the fifteen following days. In which fair Our aforesaid Constable shall take Our toll and other customs due unto Us; and that henceforth he shall hold in the same fair all pleas of the Crown concerning all manner of felonies within the bounds of the Liberties of the same Vill done during that fair, and other pleas of trespass, debts, agreements and other divers contracts, wheresoever they shall have been made. And We have granted unto Our aforesaid Burgesses that during the aforesaid fair no merchant shall buy or sell any wares outside of that fair, between Rempny and Pulthcanau, under forfeiture of the same wares and a heavy fine. And the other fair is at the feast of the Nativity of Blessed Mary; which fair is quit of toll only on the eve and on the following day. We have moreover granted unto Our beforementioned Burgesses that all pleas and plaints, as well of hue and cry, bloodshed, as of Trespass, debts, agreements and other divers contracts, shall henceforth be pleaded and determined in the Hundred of Our aforesaid Vill; except pleas of the Crown, forestall, homesoken, and pleas of land. We will also and do grant that Our Constable of Kaerdif for the time being shall hold Our said Hundreds every fortnight, and the pleas called Piepowder from day to day, whenever it shall be needful; and that all other things touching the liberties of our aforesaid Vill shall be determined and adjudged before him, and that he shall in future be Mayor of Our said Vill. Now We, ratifying and approving the gifts and grants aforesaid, do grant and confirm them for Us and Our heirs unto Our aforesaid Burgesses, and do renew them by the tenour of these Presents. Willing and granting, for Us and Our heirs, that the aforesaid Charter shall for ever be firmly and inviolably observed in all and singular its articles, even if some articles in the same Charter contained have perchance not been hitherto observed. In witness whereof We have to this present Charter caused the seal of Our Chancery of Kaerdyf to be affixed. Witness the Venerable men Henry, Abbot of Margan; William, Abbot of Neth; the Lords William De Ercalewe, Henry De Vmframuill; John Dauene, Roger De Berkeroles, Knights; John Le Norreys; Matthew Le Soer, and others. Given at Kaerdyf on the nineteenth day of the month of April, in the fourteenth year of the reign of King Edward the third after the Conquest (1340).