The corporation of Shrewsbury: Royal charters

Pages 2-6

The Manuscripts of Shrewsbury and Coventry Corporations [Etc] Fourth Report, Appendix: Part X. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1899.

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I.—Royal Charters.

1. Charter of Richard I., granting the town to the burgesses at an annual rent of 40 marks, of which ten are in lieu of providing two hunting-horses (" fugatoribus "). Dated at Westminster, 11 November an. 1 [1189]. Seal lost. Witnesses, H[ugh Pudsey] bishop of Durham, Geoffrey Fitz-Peter, Hugh Bard[olf], Hugh Pantulf.

A very accurate facsimile is given in Owen and Blakeway's History of Shrewsbury, I. 82.

2. John; confirming a (lost) charter of Henry II.; Farendon, 13 Apr. an. I. [1200]. Witn. William Marescall earl of Pembroke, Geoffrey Fitz-Peter earl of Essex, Hugh Bard[olf], William Briwerre, Hugh de Neoville, Symon de Pateshille. Seal lost.

Ibid. 83, but erroneously assigned, as well as the charter following, to A.D. 1199.

3. John; granting to the town the right of electing their provosts; Westm., 20 Apr. an. 1. Witn. the same, with the omission of Pateshillc and addition of Robert de Turneham. Broken fragments of seal, in a leather bag attached by silk strings.

4. John; granting to the burgesses the hundred with the town, at a rent of 45 marks; together with many additional privileges, including a fair, and providing that "terre et tenementa tractentur per legem Bretoll[iæ] et legem baronye et legem Anglescherye"; Notyngeham, 24 Feb. an. 6 [1205]. Witn., J[ohn de Grey] bishop of Norwich, Geoffrey Fitz-Peter earl of Essex, Rann[ulf] earl of Chester, William earl of Salisbury, William earl de Ferrars, Roger Constable of Chester, Roger de Thoeny, William Briwerre, Robert de Veteri Ponte (Vipount), Hugh de Neville, Eustace de Vescy, Peter de Stokes, Symon de Pateshille, William de Cantilupe, Thomas de Ardintone. Broken fragments of seal in a bag.

Abstract, ibid. 86–9.

[John. Charters in an. 11 and 17: see Miscell. Papers, infra, 1526.]

5. Henry III.; establishing the merchant-gild, &c.; Westm. 20 March, an. 11 (1227). Witn., Peter [de Rupibus] bishop of Winchester, Joscelin bishop of Bath, Richard bishop of Sarum, Hubert de Burgh earl of Kent, Hugh de Neville, Ralph de Trubleville (sic), Ralph FitzNicholas, Richard de Argenteom, Henry de Capella. Fragment of green seal. Of this there is a duplicate original.

Ibid., 100–1.

6. Henry III.; restricting the right of sale of fresh hides and unworked cloth to the burgesses; slightly mutilated; same date; witnesses the same; small fragment of seal.

Ibid., 102.

7. Henry III.; with respect to the execution of writs by sheriffs; at Feckenham, 10 Aug. an. 40 (1256); fragment of green seal. Witn., W[alter de Cantilupe] bishop of Worcester, John de Plessetis earl of Warwick, master Symon de Waltone, Robert Waleraund, Nicholas de Turri, Walkelin de Arderne, Ralph de Bakep[uz], Bartholomew le Bigot, William de St. Ermin, William Gernun.

Ibid., 120–1.

8. Henry III.; securing the goods of burgesses against seizure for debts of others; same date and witnesses; fragment of seal.

Ibid., 121–2.

9. Henry III. Writ to the bailiffs of Shrewsbury granting for seven years the customs upon articles brought in for sale, for repair of the town walls, in extension of a grant for three years made in the year preceding; Bruges, 22 Sept. an. 41 (1257).

10. [Henry III. Of a grant, in reward of the fidelity of the burgesses, of exemption from murage throughout the kingdom, and restricting woolmerchants from purchasing wool in the county except in the market towns, there is an office copy (certified by Robert Lemon) from the record in the Tower of London. Dated at Winchester, 22 Sept. an. 49 (1265)].

Ibid., 129.

11. [Henry III. Similar copy of the grant of a fair, for three days at the feast of St. Clement. Shrewsbury, 22 Sept. an. 51 (1267).]

12. Edward I. Grant, "in auxilium pontis ville vocati le Whalshebrugge qui dirutus est et confractus, ad grave dampnum et periculum hominum tam per pontem illum quam subtus eundem per aquam transeuntium," for three years of tolls to be levied on all articles brought into the town for sale, of which a long and minute table follows: Westm., 12 Feb. an. 12 (1284).

13. [Edward II. Office copy of a confirmation of the Charter of Henry III. in 1267, as above, granting a fair; Westm. 5 June, an. 2 (1309).]

14. Edward II. Inspeximus of the four Charters of Henry III., nos. 5–8 supra; Lughteburgh, 6 Feb. an. 13 (1320). Witn., W[alter Stapleton] bishop of Exeter, A[dam de Orleton] bishop of Hereford, Thomas earl of Norfolk, Adomar de Valence earl of Pembroke, Edmund earl of Arundel, Hugh le Despenser the elder, Bartholomew de Badelesmere, steward of the household. Half of the seal.

15. Edward II. Inspeximus of a charter of Henry III. embodying the privileges in the charter of John in 1205, no. 4 supra, dated at Westm., 10 March, an. 11, and of the three charters 6, 8, 10 supra. Date and witnesses same as in the preceding Charter. Greater part of the green seal remaining.

16. Edw. III. Grant of a fair for four days at the feast of St. Matthew in addition to the fair for three days granted by Hen. III., 20 Sept., an. 51, and that for three days at the feast of St. James, granted by Edw. II., 4 June, an. 2 (1309). Westm., 3 March, an. 1 (1327); part of green seal.

[17. Edw. III. Office copy of licence for the erection of corn and malt mills; Northampton, 12 May, an. 2 (1328).]

18. Edw. III. Inspeximus, in duplicate, of the charter of Hen. III. in 1256 (no. 7 supra), of the confirmation-charter by Edw. II. in 1320 (no. 15), and of the three charters of Hen. III., nos. 6, 8, 10. New Sarum, 5 Oct., an. 2 (1328). Both copies have the greater part of their respective green seals.

19. Edw. III. Confirmation-charter reciting the preceding Inspeximus, and providing that the burgesses shall not be hindered in the enjoyment of any of the privileges therein contained by reason of non-user. Westm., 10 March, an. 11 (1337). Fragment of green seal.

20. Edw. III. Charter, in duplicate, granted in parliament at the request of Richard earl of Arundel and other magnates, giving in addition to the privileges conveyed in the charter of Hen. III. in 1256 (no. 7 supra) further rights with respect to trials of burgesses and the powers of the bailiffs. Westm., 4 May, an. 15 (1341). Fragments of the seals, green.

Owen and Blakeway, I. 162.

21. Edw. III. Inspeximus of the charter of Henry III., no. 8 supra. Westm., 5 March, an. 51 (1377). Fragment of white seal.

22. Rich. II. Inspeximus of a confirmation-charter by Edw. III. of the two charters of Hen. III., dated at Westm., 20 March, an. 11 (1327), and of Edward's own charter in 1341 ut supra. Westm., 17 Jan., an. 1 (1378). Part of green seal.

23. Rich. II. Repetition of the preceding Inspeximus, with a saving clause against loss by non-user; Westm., 22 Nov., an. 13 (1389). Fragment of green seal. The initial letter is finely illuminated, on a gold ground, and represents the king seated, with the queen kneeling before him. This would seem to imply that the charter was granted at her request.

24. Rich. II. Warrant, in French, to the Archbishop of York, as Chancellor, to prepare letters under the great seal granting to the burgesses the tolls on persons bringing merchandise, for the term of four years, to repair the walls, gates, and bridges, the latter being greatly injured and almost destroyed by floods of the Severn; a previous grant for three years being now determined. Rokyngham Castle, 4 June, an. 15 (1392).

25. Rich. II. Contemporary copy of the letters patent issued in pursuance of the preceding warrant, with particulars of the tolls. Notyngham, 20 June (1392).

26. Rich. II. Letters patent granting to the bailiffs and community of Shrewsbury, that whereas some of them are sometimes, contrary to their privileges, arrested in Wales for debts not due from them, they shall have power, in case persons so arrested are not on demand liberated, to arrest any persons coming to Shrewsbury from the same parts of Wales and detain them until satisfaction is made. Notyngham, 7 Feb. an. 19 (1396). Green seal, broken.

27. Hen. V. Inspeximus (for which 20l. were paid) of an inspeximus by Hen. IV. (dated at Westm., 1 June, an. 1, 1400) of the confirmation by Rich. II. in 1389 (no. 24 supra) of the grant in 1396 (supra, 27), and of the inspeximus of Edw. III. in 1377 (supra, 22); Westm., 28 Sept., an. 1 (1413). Fragment of green seal.

28. Hen. VI. [?]. Contemporary copy of a grant of the tolls for three years, for the repair of the fortifications and walls, to be laid out under the supervision of the abbot of the town or his deputy; with the usual table of tolls; Westm., 6 Nov., an. 7. (1428). The name of the official copyist, "Sturgeon" is subscribed.

29. Hen. VI. Contemporary copy of a grant of the tolls for five years for the repair of the fortifications and walls, to be laid out under the supervision of the abbot or his deputy, or of John Asshfeld, Esq.; with a table of the tolls; Oxford, 9 Oct., an. 17 [1438]. The name of the official scribe, "Sturgeon" is written in the margin at the foot.

Also, another copy of a similar grant for twelve years, dated at Westm. 15 March, an. 20 (1442), the money to be laid out under the abbot or John Asshfeld. Subscribed, "Stopyndone."

30. Hen. VI. Charter granting many additional privileges; goods and chattels of felons, enquiry into escheats, hearing of civil causes, the bailiffs to be justices of the peace, &c., Westm., 7 June, an. 23 (1444). The initial letter and border are illuminated. There is an office copy of this, certified by Rob. Lemon.

31. [Edw. IV. Office copy of inspeximus of the confirmationcharter of Rich. II., &c.; containing also a confirmation of a charter of Hen. VI., 12 Jan., an. 24, confirming his grant of the tolls for twelve years on 15 March, an. 20 (supra, 29); Westm., 7 May, an. 2 (1462).]

32. Edw. IV. Exemplification, at the desire of the bailiffs and burgesses of Shrewsbury, of two statutes passed in Parliament 2 Hen. IV. and 2 Hen. V. for repression of incursions and robberies by the Welsh in the counties adjoining the Marches; Westm., 1 June, an. 10 (1470). Great seal nearly perfect.

33. [Hen. VII. Office copy of charter remitting for the term of fifty years the sum of ten marks from the annual rent of 30l. payable to the Crown, in consideration of the poverty and decay of the town; exonerating the inhabitants also from payment of fifteenths and other taxes; Westm., 12 Dec., an. 1 (1485).]

Owen and Blakeway, I. 255.

34. Hen. VII.—New and lengthy charter to the town, extending the boundaries, exempting from taxes, &c.; on four membranes; Westm., 14 Dec., an. 11 (1495). Fragments of seal in a bag.

Ibid., 268–9.

35. Hen. VIII. Grant to the bailiffs and burgesses of all the liberties and privileges enjoyed by the abbots of the dissolved monastery; Westm., 26 Apr., an. 34 (1542). On two membranes. The initial letter bears a large portrait of the King (not, however, resembling him) on the throne, and the top line is illuminated with coats of arms, lions bearing flags, &c. Fragments of seal in a bag.

Ibid., 338.

36. Edw. VI. Inspeximus of the preceding grant of Hen. VIII.; Westm., 12 Dec., an. 1 (1547). Two membranes; the initial letter has an outline pen and ink portrait of the King. Half of the seal.

37. Edw. VI. Inspeximus of the charter of Hen. VII. in 1495; Westm., 26 Nov., an. 2 (1548). Four membranes; the initial letter has the outline pen and ink portrait of the King. Fragments of the seal in a bag.

38. Edw. VI. Foundation-charter of the Grammar School; Westm., 10 Feb., an. 6 (1552). Outline pen and ink portrait in the initial letter. Fragment of the seal.

39. Elizabeth. Charter of incorporation of the town and suburbs; Westm., 20 Apr., an. 28 (1586). Four membranes; outline pen and ink portrait in the initial letter. Seal perfect.

Owen and Blakeway, I. 381–3.

40. Charles I. Charter constituting a new corporation of a mayor, twenty-four aldermen and forty-eight assistants, coroner, recorder, &c.; Westm., 16 June, an. 14 (1638) Six membranes; in the initial letter is a good portrait of the King. Seal in a bag, broken.

Ibid., 407–9.

The opinion of counsel (Edw. Bearcroft) upon the interpretation of some of the clauses, dated Lincoln's Inn, 6 Jan. 1787.

41. Charles II. Copy made in the 18th cent., in a folio volume, of a charter granted 16 June, an. 14 (1662), confirming and extending the charter of Q. Eliz., &c.

42. Charles II. Charter nominating mayor, aldermen, common councilmen, &c. 6 July, an. 16 (1664). Engraved portrait. Never sealed.

Ibid., 487.

Copy of the surrender of the charter of 1662 to the King, 11 Oct. 1684.

43. James II. Charter of re-incorporation ; Westm., 7 March, an. 1 [1685.] Two membranes; engraved portrait, and elegantly ornamented margins. Fragments of seal.

Ibid., 493–4.

44. William IV. Commission of the peace to the mayor and eight others; 17 Feb., an. 6 (1836). Seal in tin box.

45 William IV. Letters patent for the continuance of the separate court of quarter sessions; 23 Apr., an. 6 (1836). Seal in tin box.