The corporation of Lincoln: Royal charters

The Manuscripts of Lincoln, Bury St. Edmunds Etc. Fourteenth Report, Appendix; Part VIII. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1895.

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Historical Manuscripts Commission, 'The corporation of Lincoln: Royal charters', in The Manuscripts of Lincoln, Bury St. Edmunds Etc. Fourteenth Report, Appendix; Part VIII, (London, 1895) pp. 2-14. British History Online [accessed 28 May 2024].

Historical Manuscripts Commission. "The corporation of Lincoln: Royal charters", in The Manuscripts of Lincoln, Bury St. Edmunds Etc. Fourteenth Report, Appendix; Part VIII, (London, 1895) 2-14. British History Online, accessed May 28, 2024,

Historical Manuscripts Commission. "The corporation of Lincoln: Royal charters", The Manuscripts of Lincoln, Bury St. Edmunds Etc. Fourteenth Report, Appendix; Part VIII, (London, 1895). 2-14. British History Online. Web. 28 May 2024,

In this section


[1154–8.] Transcript from the Records in the Tower of the recital in an Inspeximus Charter of 2 Richard II. of the grant by Henry II. to Robert Bishop of Lincoln and his successors, "ad edificia sua et domos suas," of "totam terram cum fossato de muro ballii mei Linc. in orientali parte per circuitum ecclesiæ beati Michaelis usque ad cœmeterium S. Andreæ, et a cœmeterio S. Andreæ usque ad murum civitatis versus orientem," free from langavel and picage and all other things; "et libere poterit perforare murum ballii mei ad portam faciendam ad introitum et exitum suum habendum versus ecclesiam, et ita edificare quod edificia sua extendantur in utrumque murum." Witnesses:— Roger, archbp. of York, Thomas the Chancellor, Rich. de Luci, Warin son of Gerold Chamberlain, William son of Hamo, Rob. de Dunstanville, Josc. de Balliol. At Lincoln.

An office copy, made by Geo. Holmes, and attested by W. Harvey, 24 Feb. 1704. [The original is on Charter Roll, 2 Ric. II., No. 5.]

[1157.] Charter of Henry II.—This, written in 16 lines, occupying 4½ inches on a parchment measuring altogether 6 inches (sewn sometime late in the 15th cent., or beginning of 16th, as appears from the handwriting of an endorsement, on another piece of parchment), is the earliest extant document among the city records. Its existence there was not known. The silk strings of the seal remain with a very small fragment of the wax on one of its parchment labels, together with a tin frame in which the seal was at some time placed, probably when the deed was affixed, for preservation, to its present parchment-back. The charter is as follows:—"H. Rex Angl. et Dux Norm. et Aquitan. et Comes And. Episcopo Linc. Justic., Vic., Baronibus, Ministris et Omnibus fidelibus suis Francis et Anglis Lincotscire; Salutem. Sciatis me concessisse Civibus meis Lincol. omnes libertates et consuetudines et leges suas quas habuerunt tempore Eduardi et Willelmi et Henrici Regum Anglie, et Gildam suam mercatoriam, de hominibus Civitatis et de aliis mercatoribus Comitatus; sicut illam habuerunt tempore predictorum antecessorum meorum Regum Anglie melius et liberius. Et omnes homines qui infra iiiior divisas Civitatis manent et mercatum deducunt; sint ad Geldas et Consuetudines et Asisas Civitatis; sicut melius fuerunt tempore Eduardi et Willelmi et Henrici Regum Anglie. Concedo etiam eis quod si aliquis emerit aliquam terram infra Civitatem de Burgagio Lincolie et eam tenuerit per annum et unum diem sine Calumpnia, et ille qui eam emerit possit monstrare quod Calumpniator extiterit in Regione Anglie infra annum et non Calumpniatus est eam; ex tunc in antea bene et in pace teneat eam et sine placito. Confirmo etiam eis quod si aliquis manserit in Civitate mea Lincol. per annum et unum diem sine Calumpnia alicujus Calumpniatoris, et dederit Consuetudines Civitatis, et Cives poterint monstrare per leges et Consuetudines Civitatis quod Calumpniator extitit in Regione Anglie et non Calumpniatus est eum; ex tunc in antea remaneat in pace in Civitate mea Lincol. sicut Civis meus sine . . . recto. T[estibus], Ph[ilippo] Episcopo Baioc. Ern[ulfo] Episcopo Lexov. Toma Cancellario, Comite Regin[aldo], Ric. de Humes Constabulario, H[enrico] de Essexa Constabulario. Apud Notingeham." [The King was at Nottingham in 1157.] [Enrolled in Chancery, Cart. Antiq., F. 16.]

1194, 23 Apr.—Charter of Richard I. See "White Book," f. 150, infra.

1200, 23 April. Charter of K. John. This, which is much creased and rubbed, was long since, for its better preservation, attached at the back to a fragment of a plea at Westminster in the time of Q. Elizabeth, while the fragments of the great seal were fastened in a tin frame within folds of paper sewn together. [The parts in the text within brackets are from the Charter Roll of 1 John, p. 2, m. 3.] "Jo. Dei gracia rex Angl. dom. Hib. dux [Normannie]. Aquit[annie et] com[es] And[egaviæ] archiepiscopis, episcopis, abbatibus, comitibus, baronibus, justiciariis . . . io et omnibus ballivis et fidelibus nostris . . . . Sciatis nos concessisse [civibus nostris] Linc. quod nullus eorum placitet extra muros civitatis Linc. de aliquo placito preter placita [de tenuris exterioribus, exceptis] monetariis et ministris nostris. Concessimus etiam eis quietanciam murdri intra civitatem et in Portsoc, et quod nullus [eorum] faciat duellum, et quod de placitis ad coronam pertinentibusse possint disracionare secundum consuetudinem quam Cives Civitatis Lond. habuerunt tempore Henrici regis patris nostri, et quod infra muros civitatis illius nemo capiat hospicium per vim vel per liberacionem Marescallorum. Hoc etiam eis concessimus quod omnes cives Linc. sint quieti de theloneo et lestagio per totam Angliam et per portus maris, et quod nullus de misericordia pecunie judicetur nisi secundum legem quam habuerunt cives nostri London. tempore predicti Regis patris nostri, et quod in civitate illa in nullo placito sit [meskenninga et quod] Burewaremot semel tantum in ebdomade teneatur, et quod terras et tenuras et vadia sua et debita sua omnia juste habeant [quicunque eis debeat, et] de terris suis et tenuris que infra civitatem sunt rectum eis teneatur secundum consuetudinem civitatis, et de omnibus debitis suis que accommodata fuerunt apud Linc. et de vadiis ibidem factis, placitum apud Linc. teneatur. Prohibemus eciam ne quis [ab eis] teloneum vel consuetudinem capiat in Anglia de hiis que ad nos pertinent super forisfacturam decem librarum, salvis in omnibus libertatibus civitatis Lond. Insuper ad emendacionem illius civitatis concessimus quod sint quieti de Bridtoll et de Childewite et de Gyereseyeue, (fn. 1) et de Scotale, ita quod prepositi nec alii ballivi scotalam faciant. Has predictas consuetudines eis concessimus et omnes alias libertates et liberas consuetudines secundum libertates Lond. et leges civitatis Linc. quas habuerunt cives nostri Lond. quando meliores vel liberiores habuerunt tempore predicti Regis patris nostri. Quare volumus et firmiter precipimus quod ipsi et heredes eorum hec omnia predicta [habeant et tene]ant hereditarie de nobis et heredibus nostris, reddendo per annum novies viginti libras numero de Linc. cum omnibus pertinentiis ad Scaccarium nostrum duobus terminis, ad Pascham scilicet et ad festum Sancti Michaelis, per manus prepositorum Linc. Preterea volumus et concedimus quod idem cives civitatis Linc. per commune consilium civitatis [eligant] duos de legalioribus et discretioribus civibus Linc., et presentent eos capitali justiciario apud Westm., qui bene et fideliter custodiant Preposituram civitatis Linc. et [non amoveantur quamdiu] in ballia sua se bene gesserint, nisi per commune consilium civitatis sue. Volumus eciam quod in eadem civitate [Linc. per commune] consilium civium eligantur [quatuor] de legalioribus et discretioribus civitatis ad custodiendum placita corone et alia que ad nos et coronam nostram pertinent in eadem civitate, et ad videndum quod prepositi illius Civitatis juste et legitime tractent tam pauperes quam divites. Testibus, W[ill.] Lond. episcopo G[alfrido] filio Petri comite Essex, Willelmo Mariscall, comite de Penbroc., "Hub. fil. Rogeri Houchard," (fn. 2) W[ill. Briwerr.] Dat. per man. S[imonis] archid. Well. et J. de Gre[i], archidiaconi de Gloecestre, apud Awelton xxiij die Aprilis et Regni nostri anno primo."

1227, 20 Apr.—Charter of Hen. III. mutilated by damp; seal lost. This was not in late years known to be in existence, but it is mentioned in a list of charters in Vol. IV. of Reports of Municipal Corporation Commission, p. 2345. The missing words are supplied, within brackets, from the Inspeximus of Edw. III. in 1330. "Henricus Dei gratia Rex [etc.] Sciatis nos concessisse civibus nostris Lincoln. quod nullus eorum placitet extra civitatem Lincoln. de aliquo placito preter placita de tenuris exterioribus, exceptis monetariis et ministris nostris. Concessimus etiam eis quietanciam murdri infra civitatem [et in Portsoca, et quod nu]llus eorum faciat duellum, et quod de placitis ad coronam pertinentibus se possint disrationare secundum consuetudinem quam cives London. habuerunt tempore H. Regis avi nostri [et quod infra civitatem] Linc. nemo capiat hospitium per vim vel per liberationem Marescalli. Hoc etiam eis concessimus quod omnes cives Linc. sint quieti de theloneo et lestagio per totam Angliam [et per portus maris, et] quod nullus de misericordia pecunie judicetur nisi secundum legem quam habuerunt cives nostri London. tempore H. Regis avi nostri. Et quod in civitate illa in nullo placito sit [Meskenninga, et quod Bu] rewaremote semel tantum in ebdomada teneatur, et quod terras et tenuras et vadia sua et debita sua omnia juste habeant quicunque eis debeat, et de terris suis et tenuris que [infra civitatem sunt rectum eis] teneatur secundum consuetudinem civitatis, et de omnibus debitis suis que accommodata fuerunt apud Lincoln. et de vadiis ibidem factis placitum apud Linc. teneatur. [Prohibemus etiam ne quis ab eis theloneum] vel consuetudinem capiat in Anglia de hiis que ad nos pertinent super forisfacturam decem librarum salvis in omnibus libertatibus civitatis London. Et si quis [in tota Anglia theloueum] ab hominibus Linc. ceperit postquam ipse a recto defecerit, prepositus Linc. namium capiat apud Linc. Insuper etiam ad emendationem illius civitatis concessimus eis quod sint [quieti de Bridtol et de] Childwite et Yeresgive (fn. 3) et scotala, ita quod prepositi nec alii ballivi scotalam faciant. Has predictas consuetudines eis concessimus et omnes alias libertates et liberas consuetudines secundum libertates London [et leges civitatis Lincoln quas] habuerunt cives nostri London. quando meliores vel liberiores habuerunt tempore predicti H. avi nostri vel habent. Quare volumus et firmiter precipimus quod ipsi et heredes eorum hec omnia [predicta habeant et teneant heredi]tarie de nobis et heredibus nostris. Reddendo per annum novies viginti libras numero de Linc. cum omnibus pertinentiis ad Scaccarium nostrum duobus terminis, ad Pascha scilicet et ad festum Sancti Michaelis [per manum] prepositorum Linc. Preterea volumus et concedimus quod ipsi cives Lincoln. per commune consilium civitatis eligant duos de legalioribus civibus Linc. et presentent eos capitali justiciario nostro apud Westmon. [qui bene] et fideliter custodiant prepositurum civitatis Linc. et non amoveantur quamdiu in ball'a sua se bene gesserint nisi per commune consilium civitatis sue. Volumus etiam quod in eadem civitate Linc. [per commune consilium] civium eligantur quatuor de legalioribus et discretioribus civitatis ad custodiendum placita corone et alia que ad nos et ad coronam nostram pertinent in eadem civitate, et ad videndum quod prepositi [illius civitatis juste] et legitime tractent tam pauperes quam divites. Concessimus etiam eis gildam suam mercatoriam de hominibus civitatis et de aliis mercatoribus comitatus, sicut illam habuerunt tempore [H. Regis avi nostri] et ut omnes homines qui infra quatuor divisas civitatis manent et mercatum deducunt sint ad gildas et consuetudines et assisas civitatis sicut melius fuerit tempore predicti H. Regis [avi] nostri. Concessimus etiam eis quod si aliquis nativus manserit in civitate nostra Linc. per unum annum et unum diem sine calumpnia, ex tunc in antea remaneat in pace in civitate nostra Lincoln. sicut civis noster. Sicut carte predicti H. Regis avi nostri, et R. Regis avunculi nostri et domini J. Regis patris nostri, quas inde habent rationabiliter testantur. Hiis testibus W. Carleol. G. Elyens. Th. Norwicen. episcopis, H. de Burgo. Comite Kantie Justiciario nostro, G. Comite Glouc. et Hereford, Henrico de Aldithel, Nich. de Veredun, Theobaldo Pincerna, Osberto Giffard, Radulfo filio Nicholai, [G. de] Crawecumbe, Ricardo de Argent[ein], Henrico de Capella, Radulfo de Raleg. et aliis. Dat. per manum venerabilis patris Radulfi Cycestr. episcopi Cancellarii nostri apud Westmon. vicesimo die Aprilis anno regni nostri undecimo." [Enrolled in Charter Roll of 11 Hen. III., pt. 1, m. 8.]

1226, 21 Nov.—Further charter of exemption from tolls, &c. See "White Book," fol. 150, infra.

1262, 7 March.—Letters Patent of Henry III. The great seal, in white wax, is very much broken and in a very brittle state. It has at some time about the end of the fifteenth century or in the sixteenth been enclosed in a tin frame, like that of the charter of Hen. II., and fastened up in several folds of paper, and the document mounted on another parchment, as noticed below. The document is injured by damp, which must have affected it before these precautions for its preservation were taken. It was not known until now to be in existence. "Henricus Dei gratia Rex Angl. Dominus Hibernie et Dux Aquitannie vicecomitibus et ministris suis comitatus Lincoln. salutem. Inspeximus literas quas dominus Henricus Rex avus meis fecit civibus Lincoln. in hec verba. H. Rex. Angl. et Dux Normanie Aquitannie et Com. And. vicecomitibus et ministris suis de Lincolnsire salutem. Precipio quod faciatis [forin]secos mercatores venire ad Lincoln. et ibi facere mercaturas suas ita racionabiliter et juste sicut facere solebant tempore H. Regis avi mei, ne prepositi Lincoln. amittant meas regias consuetudines. Teste, Ricardo de Lucy, apud Westmon. ["Wodes"[tock] Pat. Roll]. Nos igitur prefatis civibus nostris hoc [ipsum] tam in conservationem [juris nostri] quam juris eorundem volentes observari, precipimus quod mercatores forinsecos ad villam predictam venire faciatis, et ibi facere mercaturas suas ita racionabiliter et juste, sicut facere solebant temporibus predictorum H. Regis senioris, H. Regis avi nostri, necnon et Ricardi Regis avunculi nostri et Johannis Regis patris nostri, et eciam tempore nostro usque primam transfretacionem nostram in Britanniam. Et concedimus pro nobis et heredibus nostris quod hoc eisdem civibus a modo observetur per forisfacturam nostram decem librarum. In cujus rei testimonium has litteras nostras fieri fecimus patentes. Teste meipso apud Windelesoram septimo die Marcii anno regni nostri quadragesimo sexto." [Enrolled on Pat. Roll, 46 Hen. III., m. 14.]

This is mounted on a copy, on parchment, of a petition from the citizens of "Nicole" to the King (probably Edw. IV.) in Parliament, in French, praying for relief from the fee-farm annual rent to the Crown of 180l., which had become quite insupportable. Many of the inhabitants of the city have departed with all their goods, people will not trade there on account of the excessive charge, the highways as well as the lanes are empty and desolate for want of tenants, and the city is consequently on the verge of destruction. Of the aforesaid rent 80l. had been granted by the King's royal progenitors to the cathedral church of our Lady of Nicole, in three portions, viz. 17l. for the work ("al oeps") of the chapter, 40s. in augmentation of the stipend of the [chaplain] chanting for the King and his forefathers, and 60l. to the chaplains of the chantry for the soul of Sir Bartholomew Burgherssh; and the Lady de Roos, that is to say Beatrice who was the wife of Sir Thomas de Roos late lord of Hamelok, is seised for her life of the remaining part of the said rent, viz. 100l., as her dower, it having been granted to the Lord de Roos and their heirs in exchange for the Castle of Werk. The citizens pray therefore for confirmation of all their privileges, and for relief in some way or other from this burden.

1272, 12 Feb.—Charter of Henry III. This deed, like the preceding, has been mounted on parchment, and the broken great seal fastened up in a case of folds of paper, probably about the beginning of the sixteenth century. The existence of this original also was unknown.

"Henricus Dei gratia Rex Angl. Dominus Hib. et Dux Aquitann. archiepiscopis [etc.] salutem. Sciatis quod cum per cartam nostram quam inspeximus concesserimus civibus nostris Lincoln. quod nullus eorum placitet extra civitatam Lincoln. de aliquo placito preter placita de tenuris exterioribus, exceptis monetariis et ministris nostris, Nos eisdem civibus gratiam ampliorem ad ipsorum instanciam facere volentes concessimus eis et hac carta nostra confirmavimus quod omnia placita civitatis eiusdem et non alia decetero placitentur et teneantur in aula placitorum civitatis ejusdem que Gyldehalle vocitatur et non alibi contra voluntatem civium ipsorum vel successorum suorum, exceptis placitis de tenuris exterioribus et monetariis ac ministris nostris. Quare volumus et firmiter precipimus pro nobis et heredibus nostris quod omnia placita [etc.] sicut predictum est imperpetuum. Hiis testibus, venerabili patre W. Ebor. archiepiscopo Anglie primate, Roberto Aguillon, Elya de Rabayne, Petro de Chauent, Stephano de Eddeworthe, Matheo de Louaine, Willelmo de Sancta Eremina, . . . Euerarde, Rogero de Wautone, et aliis. Data per manum nostram apud Westmonasterium, duodecimo die Febr. anno regni nostri quinquagesimo sexto."

The parchment on which the charter is sewn is a fragment of a declaration, in English, by Robert Gyll mayor, Hamond Sutton, Thomas Wymbishe, John Stanlowe, esqs., Robert Bate, . . Long, William Chambre, William Toft, John Dycon and Henry Hygdon, aldermen, Roger Hogekynson, Thomas . . ney, Thomas Herde, Thomas Melburne, William Irchynnet, and Richard Codde, late sheriffs of the city, that Sir Robert Farford person of Blaunkney and vicar of Scoupwyke 14 or 15 years ago has been untruly and maliciously defamed by Sir Thomas Buknall, a priest, and unjustly proceeded against at law.

1291, 1 May.—Provisions (in French) by Edward I. for the staple of wool, leather, and skins in England, Ireland, and Wales. Part of the lower margin of the parchment has been cut, and the great seal, which is fastened up in folds of paper, is consequently detached. "Edward par le grace de Dieu [etc.] au Meire de sa cite de Nicole. Nous vous maundons fermement enioignantz que les choses desoubs escrites ordeinez par nous et notre conseil por comun profit et esement du people de tut notre roialme et povir facez crier et publier et fermement tenir et garder en notre cite auauntdite et par tut en votre baillie." The places assigned for the staple in England are Newcastle-upon-Tyne, York, Lincoln, Norwich, London, Winchester, Exeter, and Bristol; in Ireland, Dublin, Drogheda, and Cork; and in Wales, Shrewsbury, Carmarthen, and Cardiff, and for Cornwall, Lostwithiel and Trerew, and for Devonshire, Aysperton [Ashburton]. Eleven sections follow of trade regulations for alien merchants, and for those of England, Ireland and Wales; amongst which are provisions that the merchants and people of Gascony and the duchy of Guienne who are under the obedience of the King or his son, are not to be regarded as aliens but as denizens; that after Christmas next no person shall use any cloth bought after that date which was not made in England, Ireland, or Wales under pain of forfeiture and such punishment as the King and his Council may ordain, except the King and Queen, earls, barons, knights, their wives and children, archbishops, bishops, and other persons of holy Church, and such secular persons as can spend 40l. per an. of rents; cloth may be made of any length desired. "Et que gentz eient plus graunte volunte de laburrer sur les ouereignes des draps em (sic) Engleterre, Irlaund et Gales nous volums que totes gentz sachent que nous graunterums fraunchises covenables as folours, telers, teynturers, et as autres ouerurs des draps que de cest mester souereinement viuent quele hure que teles fraunchises nous soient demaundez. Et que graunte soit as marchauntz des leines que eux eient un maire des susdites estaples." No one to molest strangers in coming or going; otherwise the towns which they had visited to be answerable for damages and for capture of the malefactors. "Donetz a Kenylworthe le prime jour de May, lan de notre roialme dis et novisme."

c. 1300. See list of lost documents, infra.

1301, 25 Feb.—Inspeximus Charter of Edward I. reciting and confirming all the preceding charters to the city. Of these there are two original copies, one in beautiful and perfect condition, the other much mutilated and injured by damp. The latter is contained in a small black box. The great seals of both are enclosed in folds of paper, which consist partly of fragments of the records of the city court.

The Charter begins with the recital of the following grants from Henry II. which are not themselves extant.

i. "Omnibus Norensibus qui veniunt ad portum de Grimesby vel ad alios portus meos de Lincolnsire salutem. Precipio quod faciatis prepositis meis Linc. omnes rectitudines et consuetudines quas solebatis facere tempore Regis H. avi mei prepositis Linc. Et prohibeo ne quis vestrum detineat eis theloneum vel aliam consuetudinem injuste super decem librarum forisfacturam. T., W. filio Johannis apud Wirec[estriam]."

ii. "Precipio quod nullus mercator qui sit extraneus et deforis sit residens in Linc. pro tingendis pannis suis vel vendendis ad taleam nisi illi tantum qui sunt in gilda et ad omnes consuetudines ville et qui reddunt gelda mea cum eis sicuti solebant tempore H. Regis. T., Reg. comite Corn., H. de Essex constab., Ricardo de Humez."

iii. "Precipio quod omnes qui de mercato vivunt et mercatum deducunt infra quatuor divisas que pertinent civitati Linc. reddant communiter cum civibus meis Linc. gelda mea et assisas civitatis sicut reddere solent [lege, solebant] tempore Regis H. et sicut juste cum eis esse debent in cujuscunque terra maneant. T., Reg. com. Cornub., Henr. de Essex constab., Ricardo de Humez. Apud Notinge[ham]."

To the confirmation the following clauses are added:—"Et si forte iidem cives aliqua vel aliquibus libertatum in dictis cartis et literis contentarum hactenus plene usi non fuerunt, nichilominus volumus et concedimus pro nobis et heredibus nostris quod iidem cives et successores sui predicti libertate vel libertatibus illis decetero gaudeant et utantur. Concessimus insuper pro nobis et heredibus nostris eisdem civibus quod ipsi et successores sui predicti imperpetuum sint quieti de muragio, panagio, pontagio, wharuagio, stallagio et terragio per totum regnum nostrum et totam terram ac potestatem nostram. Hiis testibus, venerabilibus patribus R. Cantuar. archiepiscopo, A. Dunelm., J. Linc., W. Coventr. et Lichfield, et J. Karliol. episcopis, Johanne de Warrenne Surr., Thoma Lancastr., Roger le Bigod Norff. Marescallo Angliæ, Guidone de Bello campo Warr., et Radulfo de Monte Hermerii Glouc. et Hertford comitibus, Johanne de Britannia, Johanne de Sancto Johanne, Johanne de Segrave, Reginaldo de Grey, Johanne de Hastinges, Waltero de Bello campo senescallo hospitii nostri, Petro de Tatintone, et aliis. Dat. per manum nostram apud Linc. vicesimo quinto die Februarii anno regni nostri vicesimo nono."

1318, 6 Dec. At York.—Confirmation by Edward II. of a license from Edward I. to the Dean and Chapter to enclose the precinct of the Cathedral Church with walls and gates, and to crenellate, on account of the nocturnal inroads of thieves and other evil-doers, causing frequent manslaughter, etc.; with the addition of license to raise the walls twelve feet higher and to make as many turrets as they please.

An office copy from the Public Records, made by George Holmes and attested by W. Harvey, 24 Feb. 1704.

1327, 5 Dec. At Leicester.—Writ ad quod dampnum from Edw. III. directed to Walter de Friskeny and Robert de Malberthorp, upon an application from the Dean and Chapter for a grant of the wall of the bailey and a part of the city wall, which are ruinous, that they may repair and crenellate them and use them for part of the enclose of the precinct.

An office copy from the Public Records, made by Geo. Holmes, and attested by W. Harvey. 24 Feb. 1704.

1330, 22 February.—Inspeximus by Edw. III. of his own Inspeximus charter of 7 Oct. 1327, at Nottingham, (fn. 4) reciting the Inspeximus of Edw. II. of June 1316, and adding further privileges. The great seal is sewn up in folds of paper, being fragments of a court-book of the city probably of the time of James 1. The first charter confirmed in the charter of Edw. II. is one of Henry II., which does not appear to be recited elsewhere. "H. [etc.] justiciariis et vicecomitibus suis de Lincolscire salutem. Sciatis me liberasse civitatem meam Lincoln. civibus meis ejusdem civitatis ad illam firman ad quam solebat esse tempore H. Regis avi mei, cum omnibus consuetudinibus et libertatibus eidem civitati pertinentibus in civitate ex extra. T., com. Reg. et War. fil. Ger. Datum apud Stanford." The charter of Edw. II. confirmed to the city the wool-tolls, and granted assize of bread and beer, and of weights and measures; and also granted "prefatis civibus vacuas et vastas placeas nostras in civitate et suburbio predictis, habendum sibi et heredibus ac succesoribus suis predictis imperpetuum ad commodum suum inde faciendum, prout sibi melius viderint expedire; ita tamen quod illud faciant absque dampno et prejudicio cathedralis ecclesie beate Marie Lincoln. et liberi tenentis cujuslibet alterius, et quod vici in eadem civitate et suburbio ea occasione nimium non arceantur." To this charter of Edw. II. that of Edw. III. in 1327 added that an inquisition having been held upon his command by Walter de Friskeneye, Robert de Malberthorpe, and Peter de Lodyngtone, in the presence of Thomas de Newmarket lately sheriff of Lincoln, and returned into the Chancery, respecting the privileges used by the mayor and citizens, all these are now confirmed, including markets on the Monday, Wednesday and Friday in each week, and a yearly fair extending from the feast of St. Botulph (17 June) to that of SS. Peter and Paul (29 June); also the profit of the buildings which they have erected on the city wall "ex transverso de Neulandeyate usque mansum fratrum de ordine Minorum," in divers places near Walkergate and Soper lane, with power to erect additional buildings; with criminal jurisdiction, authority for maintenance of the peace, etc.; that, as hitherto, a Burghmanmot be held weekly in the Guildhall by the mayor and bailiffs for the hearing of all local pleas. Of the annual rent to the Crown of 180l. eighty pounds are to be paid in half-yearly payments at the Exchequer. The Inspeximus of 1330 adds to this charter that whereas the judges of assize have, as the mayor and citizens say, frequently summoned to their courts pleas of assize about tenements in the city because such pleas were not specifically mentioned, therefore these as well as all others are now exclusively reserved to the Burghmanmot. Witnesses, the archbishop of Canterbury, the bishops of Ely and Lincoln, John of Eltham earl of Cornwall, Roger Mortimer earl of March, Henry de Percy John Mautravers steward of the household, and others, at Windsor, 22 Feb. an. 4. This charter was not in recent years known to be in existence.

1361, 28 Jan.—Exemplification by Edw. III., at the request of the Mayor, bailiffs and citizens of Lincoln, of the record of a case tried before Martin de Littlebury and his companions, the justices itinerant in Lincolnshire, on the morrow of the first Sunday after Easter 47 Hen. III. (1263). Peter of Savoy claimed 500l. damages from the city of Lincoln because that for 12 years they had exacted market-tolls from the men of his honour of Richmond, whereas all those men were exempt. The city replied that while King Hen. I. held the city in his own hands he exacted the same tolls of every one, and that when he gave the citizens seisin of the city at the annual rent of 180l., he gave it with all the rights and privileges then used. The complainant replies that the right of taking tolls of his men could not have been among the rights thus conveyed, because the honour of Richmond had been free from the time of the Conquest. Finally, the parties agreed that the men of Richmond should be free of toll for all things born fed or grown within the limits of the honour, but should pay the same toll as others for any thing they may bring not thus exempted, and that for every ship coming with "helmerother" they shall pay twopence; and for every ship with "hauderother" one penny; this applying only to ships carrying merchandise first bought from others and then exposed to sale. The great seal is fastened up in paper.

The customary tolls levied at Lincoln are found from this record to have been these: for every horse bought or sold one penny, for every ox one halfpenny, for every cart twopence, for a ship fourpence, for 24 two-year-old sheep one penny, and for every quarter of corn one penny.

1377, Apr. 23.—See list of lost documents, infra.

1378, 16 March.—Inspeximus Charter of Rich. II. reciting and confirming the previous charters, and adding the clause, found also in some of those, that the non-use hitherto of any of the privileges granted in them shall not involve their loss. Witnesses, S. archbishop of Canterbury, bishops W. of London, A. of St. David's, Chancellor, Thomas of Exeter, Treasurer, H. of Carlisle, John King of Castile and Leon duke of Lancaster, Edmund earl of Cambridge, Thomas earl of Buckingham, (the King's uncles,) Richard earl of Arundell, Thomas Beauchamp earl of Warwick, Hugh earl of Stafford, Richard le Scrope, steward of the household, Guy de Briene, chamberlain, John de Fordham, keeper of the privy seal; Westm. 16 March an. 1. "Per peticionem de magno Consilio. Exam. per Rob. de Muscham et John de Burtone, clericos." The great seal is fastened within folds of paper cut from the records of the city court, as in preceding cases.

1379, May 10.—See list of lost documents, infra.

1380, 18 Apr. at Westm.—Inspeximus by Richard II. of the exemplification by Edw. III. of the record of the case between Peter of Savoy and the city. See under 1361, supra. "Exam. per Ric. de Holme et Joh. de Lincoln, clericos." The great seal, in green wax, is nearly perfect; but the impression is poor.

1390, 17 Oct.—Inspeximus by Rich. II. (an. 14) of an indenture of agreement (in French) between the Dean and Chapter and the Mayor and citizens upon a decree and award made by John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, as to the exemption of the cathedral close from all civic jurisdiction, and of a release made hereupon by the city; both dated 12 June 1390.

This is a copy made towards the end of the 17th century.

1409, 21 Nov.—Charter of Hen. IV. reciting and confirming the Inspeximus of Rich. II. in 1378, and adding these additional privileges: the election of two sheriffs instead of bailiffs, the city to be called the county of the city of Lincoln and the Mayor to be the King's Escheator, power to render accounts to the King's Exchequer by attorney, the Mayor and Sheriffs with four others to be justices of the peace, with defined jurisdiction, a yearly fair beginning fifteen days before the feast of the deposition of St. Hugh [17 Nov.] and continuing for fifteen days after, and the receipt in aid of the payment of the city rent of 180l. of the annual rent of 6l. paid to the Crown by the weavers of Lincoln; strictly and fully reserving the exemption from the jurisdiction of the city of the cathedral church, the close, and the Dean and Chapter. Witn., the archbishops of Cant. and York, the bishops of London, Durham, and Bath and Wells, Edward duke of York, John earl of Somerset, chamberlain, John Typtot, treasurer, master John Prophete keeper of the Privy Seal, and John Stanley, steward of the household. At Westm., 21 Nov. an. 11. "Exam. per Joh. Roderham et Ric. Bolton, clericos." The great seal (green wax, broken) is fastened up in folds of blank paper.

1414, 15 Dec.—Inspeximus by Henry V. of the preceding charter of Hen. IV. Witn. archbishop of Canterbury, bishop of Winchester the King's uncle and chancellor, the bishop of Norwich, Thomas duke of Clarence, John duke of Bedford, Humphrey duke of Gloucester, his brothers, Edward duke of York, Thomas earl of Arundel, treasurer, Richard earl of Warwick, Sir Henry Fitzhugh, chamberlain, Sir Thomas Erpyngham, steward of the household, master John Prophete, keeper of the privy seal. At Westm. 15 Dec. an. 2. "Exam. per John Frank et Will. Aghton, clericos." Great seal in green wax, broken.

1424–5.—Copies, on one membrane, of the Statutes made at Westminster and Leicester 3 and 4 Hen. VI.

Statutes at large, 1786, vol. I. pp. 472–4.

1424, 24 Jan.—Inspeximus by Henry VI. of the charter of Hen. V. in 1414. "Teste me ipso apud Westm." an. 2. "Exam. per Joh. Mapiltone et Nich. Wymbyssh, clericos." Part of the great seal, green wax.

1438, 6 Sept.—See Registers, vol. I. infra.

1439, 25 July.—Writ from Hen. VI. to the judges of assize in Lincolnshire, commanding them to permit the Mayor and citizens of Lincoln to enjoy without interruption the privileges with regard to the trial of causes formerly granted to the mayor and bailiffs. "Teste me ipso apud Dogmersfeld, xxv die Julii an. r. n. decimo septimo." This is sewn to the charter of Hen. V. in 1414.

1441, 26 Feb.—See Registers, vol. I. infra.

1447, 13 March.—License from Hen. VI. to the Mayor and citizens to acquire lands, tenements and rents to the value of 120l. per an., and exonerating them from all payment of tenths and fifteenths for the period of forty years. This is granted on the petition of John Ratheby, mayor, and the citizens, setting forth that, whereas they are bound to an annual payment of 180l., and have also to pay at every time of levying a fifteenth and tenth 100l., they are so depauperized by the withdrawal of merchants and by a great pestilence which has continued there for a long time and other worldly misfortunes, that scarcely 200 citizens remain in the city, and not one of them can bear the burden of the annual payment, notwithstanding that the King by authority of Parliament has relieved them from some part of the payment of the tenths and fifteenths. Great seal, green wax, broken.

1456, 24 Nov.—License from Hen. VI., in pursuance of his license in 1447 for acquisition of lands in mortmain, to John Markham, justice C.P., William Stanlowe and Joan his wife, John Busshby esq., Richard Hillingworth, Thomas Folkingham sen., Peter Idley esq., William Rither, John Waldeff, Nicholas Stathum, Thomas Ryby, chaplain, and Robert Peny of Lincoln, to convey to the mayor and citizens the manor of Canwyk with two shillings of rent in Braunstone, and also to William and Joan Stanlowe, John Berkestone chaplain, and Thomas Folkyngham, to convey one messuage, four tofts, ninety acres of land, sixteen of meadow, and one hundred of pasture, in Canwyk, which belonged to the late Alexander Hervy and are held of the Crown in chief; of which, by an inquisition taken before William Grymesby, late escheator, the manor and rent extend to twenty shillings, and the rest to thirteen shillings and four pence, as part of the value of 120l. licensed to be obtained. "Pro quinque marcis solutis in hanaperio. Kirkeham." Great seal, green wax, broken.

1463, Aug. 29.—See list of lost documents, infra.

1463, 11 Dec.—Inspeximus by Edward IV. of the preceding license in 1447 of Hen. VI. "nuper de facto et non de jure Regis Anglie." "Teste me ipso apud Dancastre," an. 3. "Pro decem libris solutis in hanaperio. Exam. per Will. Morland et Hen. Upton, clericos." Good impression of great seal, in white wax, broken in the rim. [Enrolled in the Memoranda of the Exchequer.]

1466, 15 Feb.—Charter of Edw. IV.: see the following Charter of 1484. A copy of this is also in the "White Book," infra.

1484, 30 Nov. at Westm.—Inspeximus by Rich. III. of a charter from Edw. IV. of 15 Feb. 1466, in which after reciting and confirming the charter of Hen. VI. of 24 Jan. 1424, by authority of Parliament held on 4 Nov. 1461, it was granted to the Mayor Thomas Grantham and the citizens, in relief of the desolation and ruin which had come upon the city, that the villages of Braunstone, Wadyugtone, Bracebrigge and Canwik should be separated from the county and annexed to the county of the city, with the transfer of all jurisdiction of sheriffs etc., that all their inhabitants should contribute to scot and lot and all the charges of the city, and none be allowed to dwell within the liberties of the city who should refuse so to do. There were also granted a large number of quit-rents paid to the Crown from various houses in the city, many of which had belonged to Jews, and which are all specified in detail. In the list the following names of Jews are found: Ursell Levy of Wickford in the parish of St. Mark, whose name occurs thrice; Diabella, a Jewess, condemned for felony, whose name occurs four times; Bealesset or Belasset, of Wallingford, a Jewess also condemned for felony, five times; Hagin son of Benedict, of Lincoln, and Agnu or Agni daughter of Benedict, one of whose houses is said to have come to the King's hands by the exile of Benedict; Jacob Levi in the parish of St. Benedict; Floria of London a Jewess of Lincoln, in the parishes of St. Martin and St. Cuthbert; Juda, in the bailly; Benedict le Count in the parish of St. John called "la poure"; Jacob Brauncegate, in the parish of St. George; Jocey Gabias, in the parish of St. Michael-on-the-hill; Salomon of London, in the parish of St. Martin and in Brauncegate; Manser de Bradeworth in the parish of St. George; Jocey of Colchester; Benedict of London, in Brauncegate; Hagin Calf; Elias Gaboys. Besides these there is a rent of 2s. partly from the burial-ground of the Jews, and 19d. paid by the bailiffs from various Jews' houses not specified. The charter goes on to grant the goods and chattels of felons and outlaws, with fines, forfeitures, waifs and strays, and treasure trove. For this confirmation by Rich. III., which fills three large membranes. 26s. 8d. were paid in the hanaper. The great seal (green wax, broken) is enclosed in folds of paper.

1484, Dec. 2. See list of lost documents, infra.
1509, May 28.

1515, 24 Oct.—Inspeximus by Henry VIII. reciting and confirming an Inspeximus of Hen. VII. of 8 July, 1498, an. 14. This is on four membranes, slightly mutilated and discoloured through exposure to damp, and is in its original leather-covered box. The great seal, in fragments, is attached in a tin box, with one lid of an outer box.

1546, an. 38, 11 Dec.—Charter of Henry VIII. granting to the city for relief of their burdens, and in consideration of the sum of 135l. 14s. 3½d. paid to the Treasurer of the Court of Augmentations, the advowsons and rectories of Hanslape, Bucks, and Hemyswell, Surflett and Beltone, Linc., saving the present incumbencies of Robert Bone rector of Hanslape, Roger Norton rector of Hemyswell, William Clyfton rector of Surflett, and John Pope rector of Beltone. The vicars appointed by the city are to be bound to residence, and each to have a fit dwelling-house, "unacum curtilagiis, ortis, pomeriis et gardinis eidem domui spectantibus," with stipends of 13l. 14s. 4d. for Hanslape and 11l. for the other parishes. Two membranes, with the great seal enclosed in a paper case. The initial letter contains an outline portrait of the King on his throne, with the inscription "Vivat Rex."

1549, an. 3, 13 May.—Exemplification by Edw. VI. of an Act passed in the second session of the Parliament held Nov. 1547.—Nov. 1548 for the union of certain parishes in the city of Lincoln. "Where[as] in the auncient citie of Lincolne and the suburbes of the same there are many parishe churches the benefyts whereof, for that the same parisshes were well peopled, were good and honest lyvinge for lerned incumbents and personnes of the same, by reason of privie tythes of the rich marchaunts, clothyers, artyficeres, and of the offrynges of a great multitude of people within the same parisshes, whiche lyvynges are now soo much decayed by the great ruyne and decay of the said citie and of the trade of clothmaking and merchaundise there that the revenues and profittes of dyvers the said benefices there are at this present not above the clere yerely value of thirtie shillinges, so that a great sort of these are not a competent and honest lyving for a good curate, and no personne wil take the cure of them, but that of povertie and necessitie there are some late religious personnes being stipendaries taken and appoynted to serve the said cures and benefices, whiche for the most parte are unlerned and verie ignoraunte personnes not able to do any parte of there dueties; by reason whereof the said citie is not only replenisshed with blynde guydes and pastours, but also the people very muche kept in ignorance and blyndnes as well of their dueties toward almightie God as also the Kinges maiestie their soueraigne lord, and the commen wealthe of this realme, and to the great daungier of their soules," therefore it shall be lawful for the Ordinary, with the Mayor, Recorder, and Justices of the peace, within six years after this session of Parliament, to unite parishes, so that the yearly value of any one shall not exceed 14l., to pull down superfluous churches, and to use the materials for repair of others, &c.; with reservation to dispossessed incumbents of a third part of the profits of their benefice, and the saving of all existing rights of others. Fragment of the great seal, in white wax.

1596, an. 39, 13 Dec.—Charter from Q. Elizabeth, granting that, whereas questions have arisen as to the power of the Mayor and the Town Clerk, otherwise called the Mayor's Clerk, to take recognizances of debts according to the form of the statutes of Acton Burnell and of Merchants, it shall be lawful for them so to do; and after the death of Leonard Carre, the present Town Clerk, his successors shall be Clerks of the Crown for such recognizances, which are to be sealed with a seal to be called the Queen's seal (or seal of the Crown). The initial letter has an outline sketch of the Queen, with "Vivat Regina." Of a beautiful impression, in brown wax, of the great seal only a portion remains.

The original leather box in which the charter is contained is lined with fragments of a curious black-letter chap-book apparently relating to some astrological or fortune-telling game with dice. There are headings "Aristotelus philosopher" "Socrates philosopher," with heads of Agamemnon, etc., and then, under various throws of dice, many such inscriptions as these, "Go to Venus, to the Spirit Rada; go to Mercurius, to the Spirit Efra; goe to ye Sunne, to the Spirit Mara."

1608, 26 Nov.—Letters of commission from James I. appointing commissioners, in pursuance of a statute made 43 Eliz., to enquire concerning all gifts assigned at any time for charitable purposes of every kind within the city and county of Lincoln, and into all abuses and breaches of trust of the same. Great seal lost.

1628, an. 4, 18 Dec.—Charter of incorporation by Charles I. (under which the city was governed until 1834) establishing the Common Council, with thirteen aldermen, four coroners, four chamberlains, etc., and regulating modes of procedure and jurisdiction; with reservation of the rights of the bishop, the dean and chapter, and the lord of the liberty of Bemon fee, and also saving "nobis et heredibus nostris in jure ducatus nostri Lancastriæ castro nostro Lincoln. ac fossatis et muris ejusdem infra et extra cum omnibus suis membris, visu franci plegii et quicquid ad visum franci plegii pertinet, et omnibus libertatibus privilegiis et franchesiis eidem pertinentibus." The initial letter has the customary outline portrait, with the motto "Carolus Rex." Only one half of the great seal remains, with the view of London and the greyhound. Four membranes. In a box.

1684, an. 36, 17 Dec.—Charter granted by Charles II. after the surrender by the city of their previous charters on 18 Oct. 1684, renewing the former privileges, enlarging powers of jurisdiction with regard to unlawful assemblies, conventicles, etc., granting a four-days' fair, and a weekly market on Tuesdays, with the same clauses of reservation as in the charter of Charles I.; but naming the mayor and all other officers, and reserving to the Crown power, by order in Privy Council, to remove all or any, at the King's free will and pleasure. On six membranes, with beautifully engraved arabesque borders containing shields of the royal arms, and a fine portrait of the King. Only fragments of the great seal remain. In a box.

1696, an. 8, 22 July.—Grant by William III. of a horse and cattle fair to be held yearly on the first Wednesday in September and two days following. With engraved portrait of the King, and engraved border. Only a small fragment of the seal remains.

List of Charters, &c. in existence a few years ago but now missing.

1. Circa 1300.—"Provisions" for the government of the city, "on a vellum membrane," with the Great Seal. Ross's Civitas Lincolnia, pp. 12–13.

2. 1377, Apr. 23.—Letters patent of Edward III. exemplifying a judgment given in favour of the privileges of the city in a case with the abbot of Tupholme in 1340, and a post mortem inq. on the death of Henry Lacy, earl of Lincoln in 1311; with the Great Seal. Ibid. pp. 17–18.

3. 1379, May 10.—Letters patent of Richard II. exemplifying a judgment in a suit at Westminster respecting property in the city; with the Great Seal. Ibid. pp. 12–20.

4. 1463, Aug. 29.—Letters patent of Edward IV. acquitting the city from payment of 100l., part of the fee-farm rent to the Crown of 180l., "on one large membrane"; with the Great Seal. Ibid. pp. 23–4.

5. 1484, Dec. 2.—Letters patent of Richard III., incorporating in the city the villages of Washingborough, Heighington, Fiskerton, Greetwell, Burton-juxta-Lincoln, and Cherry Willingham; granting an additional fair, with a court of Pie-poudre; &c. Ibid. pp. 27–8.

6. 1509, May 28.—General pardon to the citizens from Henry VIII.; with the Great Seal. Ibid. p. 29–30.

[Besides the notices of the foregoing charters, Mr. Ross's book contains also abstracts of others, taken from the enrolments in the Record Office.]


  • 1. In the Charter Roll this is written "jeresyeve."
  • 2. Instead of this name the enrolment has "Hug. Bard."
  • 3. In the Inspeximus this is written Gieresgieue and in the Charter Roll Gyeresiue.
  • 4. Of the charter of 1327 the Corporation possesses an office copy made in 1878 at the Public Record Office.