The corporation of Hereford: Royal charters

Pages 284-288

The Manuscripts of Rye and Hereford Corporations, Etc. Thirteenth Report, Appendix: Part IV. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1892.

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1.—Royal Charters, &c.

In an iron chest are preserved the following royal charters and documents:—

1. 1189, Oct. 9. Charter of Richard I.

"Ricardus Dei gratia Rex Angl. Dux Norm. Aquit. Com. And., archiepiscopis, episcopis, abbatibus, comitibus, baronibus, justiciariis, vicecomitibus, ministris et omnibus fidelibus suis Francis et Anglis totius Angliæ, salutem. Sciatis nos concessisse eivibus nostris Hereford in Wallia villam de Hereford tenendam perpetuo pro xl. libris reddendis per annum ad Scaccarium. Ita quod - ipsi auxilium præstabunt ad claudendam villam. Et ipsi pro hac concessione dederunt nobis xl. marcas argenti. Et ideo præcipimus quod prædictam villam illam habeant et teneaut perpetuo per prædictam firmam, cum omnibus libertatibus et liberis consuetudinibus suis, et cum omnibus pertinentiis suis. Ita quod Nullus vicecomitum Nostrorum intromittat aliquid super eos de aliquo placito vel querela aut occasione vel de aliqua re ques ad prædictam villam pertineant. T., H[ugone Pudsey] Dunolm. episeopo, W. de Sancto Johanne. Dat. apud Westm. primo anno regni nostri, ix. die Octobris, per Manum W. de longo Campo Elien. Electi Gancellarii Nostri." This charter measures 5½ inches by 4½. Seal lost.

2. 1227, March 23, 11 Henry III. Westm.—Grant to the citizens of a three days' fair, on the feast of St. Denis and the two days following Seal almost entirely lost.

3. 1256, August 8, 40 Hen. III. At Worcester.—Grant of return of writs. Seal lost.

4. 1256, Aug. 8, 40 Hen. III. At Worcester.—Grant of exemption from arrest for debt in cases where they are not bail or principal debtors unless they have means sufficient to satisfy their debts; and that the goods of persons dying intestate shall not be confiscated; &c. Fragment of green seal.

Of this charter there is a duplicate, with a small fragment of the seal.

5. 1265, July 24, 49 Hen. III. At Hereford.—Grant by the King to Thomas son of William Thebaud of Hereford of all the land which was Mansell the Jew's in Bischopesgate in Hereford "in recompensacionem dampnorum quæ idem Thomas sustinuit occasione amocionis domorum suarum quas extra portam de Ighene Hereford prostravit per preceptum nostrum." Witnessed by Simon de Monteforti, Hugh le Despensier, Peter de Monteforti, Giles de Argenten, Roger de St. John, Walter de Crepping, Stephen Soudan, Bartholomew le Bygod. Fragment of green seal. This charter was granted by the King while a prisoner at Hereford.

6. 1267, Oct. 23, 51 Hen. III. At Monemuth.—Pardon from Prince Edward to the men of Hereford. "Pardonavimus . . . . . . omnem iram et rancorem quos contra eosdem habuimus pro quibusdam transgressionibus nuper factis et illatis per eosdem contra nos, videlicet a prima turbacione nuper in Anglia mota usque ad festum Omnium Sanctorum proximo venturum." Small fragment of green seal.

7. 1268, 6 March, 52 Hen. 3.—Writ of Hen. III. to the citizens of Hereford to admit Roger de Clifford. "H. Dei gratia Rex Angliæ Dominus Hiberniæ et Dux Aquitaniæ, ballivis et probis hominibus suis Herefordiæ, salutem. Sciatis quod concessimus dilecto et fideli nostro Rogero de Clifford quod moram faciat in villa nostra Herefordiæ ad eam defendendam ad modum obsidionis Troiæ, a die Pasch. proximo futuro in unum mensem, de gratia nostra speciali. Et ideo vobis mandamus quod prædictum Rogerum villam prædictam ingredi et ibidem morari permittatis in forma prædicta. In cujus rei testimonium has literas nostras fieri fecimus patentes. Teste me ipso apud Westm. vi. die Marcii, anno r. n. L, secundo." This writ (which measures 67/8 inches in length by 1¾ in breadth) is now placed in the box with the royal charters; it was found amongst miscellaneous papers of late date. The extraordinary expression "ad modum obsidionis Trojæ" is very puzzling. If the date of the writ had been but a little subsequent to the time of the King's captivity at Hereford it would have seemed to be a far-fetched allusion to the wooden horse; one of the King's partisans was to be admitted to defend the city, in order that thereby he might the better secure it for the King. But it is issued three years after that captivity, when no one was disputing his sovereignty. And yet no other interpretation suggests itself.

8. 1271, Feb. 8, Hen. III. At Westm.—A renewal of the grant of July 24, 1265 (ut supra), in the same terms; witnessed by Robert Aguillun, Elias de Rabayn, William de St. Cremina, William Belet, Richard de Monet, Ralph de Bakepuz, William de Faukeham, Roger de Wauton. The larger portion of the great seal remains, in white wax.

9. 1298, June 6, 26 Edw. I. At Wartre.—Grant to the bailiffs and citizens of Hereford of the right of levying numerous tolls for five years for the purpose of walling the city for its security and safeguard. Seal lost.

10. 1307, Sept. 21. 1 Edw. II. At Lincoln.—Inspeximus of a charter of Edw. I. dated at York, Sept. 16, 1280, confirming the charter granted by Hen. III. at Worcester, Aug. 8, 1256, with regard to arrest for debt, and the goods of persons dying intestate. Green seal, nearly perfect.

11. 1314, Sept. 16, 8 Edw. II. At York.—Inspeximus 1, of the charter of Rich. I. in 1189; 2, of a charter of John, granted at Clarendon, July 10, 1215, granting "gildam mercatoriam cum hansa," and "quod si aliquis nativus alicujus in præfata civitate manserit et terram in ea tenuerit, et fuerit in præfata gilda et hansa, et loth, et schot, cum eisdem civibus nostris per unum annum et unum diem, deinceps non possit repeti a domino suo, sed in eadem civitate liber permaneat"; 3, of a similar charter of Hen. III., dated at Westm., March 23, 1227; 4, 5, of the charters for the fair and return of writs, ut supra. Granting also further privileges with regard to pleas, with the right of Utfangenethef. For this charter and for the following a fine of 100l. was paid. Fine and perfect seal, in green wax.

12. Same date.—Charter generally to the same effect as that of Sept. 21, 1307. Green seal, broken.

13. 1327, July 15, I Edw. [III.] At Durham.—Inspeximus of the confirmation-charter of Edward II. granted at York, Sept. 16, an. 8. Green seal, imperfect, but exhibiting the greater part. Also a duplicate, with part of the seal.

14. 1331, Jan. 28, 5 Edw. [III.] At Hertford.—Inspeximus of the same charter of Edward II.; granting also exemption from murage, panage, kayage, and picage throughout England, in addition to the freedom from tolls granted by Henry III. Green seal, nearly perfect.

15. 1333, July 26, 7 Edw. [III.] At Berwick-on-Tweed.—Pardon to John Pyteman of Holme Lacy. "Sciatis quod de gratia nostra speciali et pro bono servicio quod Johannes Pyteman de Lacishomme nobis in instanti guerra Scociæ impendit, pardonavimus ei sectam pacis nostræ quæ ad nos pertinet pro omnibus feloniis et transgressionibus per ipsum in regno nostro tam contra pacem domini E. nuper Regis Angliæ patris nostri perpetratis, unde judicatus, rectatus seu appellatus existit, ac eciam utlagarias si quæ in ipsum his occasionibus fuerint promulgatæ, et firmam pacem nostram ei inde concedimus, excepta secta nostra pro morte dicti patris nostri, necnon erga illos qui homines de regno nostro ceperunt et eos detinuerunt quousque cum eisdem redempciones pro voluntate sua fecerunt. Ita tamen quod stet recto in curia nostra si qui versus eum loqui voluerint de feloniis et transgressionibus prædictis, et quod idem Johannes in obsequium nostrum ad vadia nostra proficiscatur quociens et ubi super hoc fecerimus præmuniri. In cujus rei testimonium has literas nostras fieri fecimus patentes. Teste me ipso apud Berewicum super Twedam, vicesimo sexto die Julii anno regui nostri septimo." The greater part of the seal remains; white.

16. 1383, Jan. 18, 6 Rich. [II.] At Westm.—Grant to the bailiffs and citizens of Hereford, "in auxilium et emendacionem pontis civitatis nostræ prædictæ, qui dirutus est et confractus ad grave dampnum et periculum hominum per pontem illum transeuntium et ad eandem civitatem veniencium," of the right to levy certain specified tolls upon all articles brought over the bridge for sale, for the term of ten years next ensuing. White seal, partly imperfect.

17. 1383, Jan 29, 6 Rich. [II.] At Westm.—Grant to the commonalty of Hereford of thirty oaks from the King's forest of la Haye, near Hereford, for repair of the bridge "ultra ripariam de Waye apud Hereford, qui quidam pons jam tarde per cursum et impetum aquæ prædictæ confractus extitit, ut dicitur"; and also of forty perches of stone from the quarry within the said forest, as much as may be wanted for the same purpose. Fragment of white seal.

18. 1383, Nov. 5, 7 Rich. II. At Westm.—Grant to the citizens of Hereford, at the request of John Burley, knight, that the bailiff for the time being shall be named Mayor, and shall be annually elected as in time past. Part of the seal; green.

19. 1393, Feb. 2, 16 Rich. [II.] At Winchester.—License to the Mayor and commonalty of Hereford, because they have no house, as they say, within the castle or city of Hereford in which the sessions of the justices of assize or of peace, or the pleas of the city, can be held, to acquire in mortmain the messuage, worth sixty shillings annually, which belongs to Thomas Chippenham, William Bowode and Thomas Hoppeleye, and is held of the Crown in free burgage by the annual service of 18d. Green seal, nearly perfect.

1392, Sept. 28, "die sabati pr. ante f. S. Mich. Arch.," 16 Rich. II. At Hereford.—Grant by Henry Cachepolle, citizen of Hereford, to Thomas Chippenham, William Bowode, and Thomas Hoppeleye of the tenement called Bothehalle; [being that to which the preceding license refers]. Good impression of a seal with a merchant's mark; "Sigill' Heurici Cachepol." Two of the witnesses are William Breyntone and John Troney, then bailiffs. In the same box with these charters.

20. 1394, 3 Sept., 18 Rich. II. At Hereford.—Translation (written at the beginning of the 16th century), of a charter granted by Rich. II. to the Mayor and citizens of Hereford, that whereas they have complained of frequent wrongful arrests for debts when passing through the lordship of Wales, although the persons arrested be neither debtors nor sureties, whereby they are compelled to cease passing through Wales for the practising their occupation of merchandise, and procuring of fish and other victuals, it shall be lawful for them hereafter, when such arrests are made and no deliverance follows, to arrest in like manner any persons belonging to the lordship of Wales found within the city and the liberties, until satisfaction be made for the losses sustained.

21. 1399, June 23, 23 Rich. II. At Westm.—Contemporary copy of a charter granting to the Mayor and citizens, in consideration of the receipt of 100l., the goods of felons, deodands, fines, etc. This is certified by Thomas Lee, clerk to Sir John Borough, and by Richard Ravenhill and Thomas Seycill, on Feb. 16,1636, to agree with the record in the Tower.

22. 1399, Nov. 20, 1 Hen. IV. At Westm.—Inspeximus of a charter of Edw. III. dated at Westm., June 20, an. 23, confirming previous charters.

23. 1457, Oct. 16, 36 Hen. VI. At Westm.—Charter exempting the citizens from being chosen collectors of any tenths, fifteenths, taxes or subsidies, granted to the Crown, except within the city and its liberties. Fragment of green seal.

24. 1463, Nov. 18, 3 Edw. IV. At Westm.—Inspeximus of a confirmation charter of Hen. VI. of Nov. 20, an. 1, 1422, confirming also the preceding charter of 1457. Green seal, nearly perfect.

25. 1536, July 20, 28 Hen. VIII. West.—Charter granting license to the city to acquire lands to the value of forty marks. Good impression of the seal, broken but nearly perfect. In a tin box.

26. 1553, June 8, 7 Edw. VI.—Exemplification in Chancery of the privileges granted to the city. Poor impression of seal.

27. 1597, Aug. 19, 39 Eliz. Westm.—Charter of incorporation, and confirmation of former charters. On four sheets of vellum. Seal lost. In a tin box.

28. 1619, July 12, 17 Jac. 1. Westm.—Similar charter, on six sheets of vellum. Seal perfect. This charter is now kept in an embossed leather box said in Johnson's Customs of Hereford to belong to the preceding charter.

29. 1682, Apr. 28, 34 Car. II. Westm.—New charter, upon the surrender of the old one; in which the King reserves to himself the confirmation of the appointments of steward, aldermen, and town-clerk. Seal broken. In a tin case.

30. 1690, Apr. 5, 2 Will. and Mar.—Charter granting a three days' fair at Easter, with a court of piepowder. Seal perfect. In a wooden box. The seal is said by Mr. Wyon, in his work on the Great Seals of England, to be the most perfect impression known of the seal of these sovereigns.

31. 1697, June 14, 9 Will. III.—Charter from Will. III. on nine sheets of vellum; seal perfect. In a wooden case.

32. 1836, June 3, 6 Will. IV. Westm.—Charter granting a court of quarter sessions. In a wooden box.