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Replica of Whittlesey Town Charter, 1714

A COPY OF THE CHARTER GRANTED BY GEORGE 1 GIVING WHITTLESEY THE RIGHT TO HOLD A WEEKLY MARKET AND THREE ANNUAL FAIRS.

Patent Roll I – George I – Part 9 – No. 4.

Of a grant to Downes gentleman

The King to all etc. Greeting.

As by a certain indented inquisition taken at Royston in our County of Cambridge on the 11th May in the 13th year of the reign of our late royal sister Anne Queen of Great Britain etc. before roger Pepyes Esquire Sheriff of the County aforesaid by virtue of a certain Writ of the said lady the late Queen of AD QUOD DAMNUM and then laterly issued from her chancery to the same sheriff directed and annexed to the inquisition aforesaid by the oath of worthy and lawful men of the County aforesaid

it was found that it was not to damage or prejudice of the said lady the Queen or of any other person or to the prejudice of the neighbouring fair (feriarum) or markets (nundinum) if the same lady the Queen granted to George Downes of the Inner Temple London gentleman in the writ aforesaid named licence that he and his heirs should have and hold within the vill of Whitlesey otherwise Whittlesey otherwise Whittlesea within the isle of Ely in the County aforesaid a market on the Friday in each week for ever for the buying and selling of all and all manner of corn flesh fish and other provision and all and all manner of goods wares and merchandize commonly bought and sold in markets

and also that he and his heirs should have and hold within the vill of Whitlesey otherwise Whittlesey otherwise Whittlesea aforesaid three fairs or markets yearly for ever that is to say one of the said fairs or markets upon the 11th day of June to continue for 3 days inclusive another upon the 25th of October also to continue for 3 days inclusive and the other upon the 25th day of January also to continue for 3 days inclusive unless any of the days aforesaid shall happen to be a Sunday and then upon the Monday next following such Sunday for the buying and selling of all and all manner of beasts and cattle and all and all manner of goods wares and merchandise commonly bought and sold in fairs or markets as well as courts of PIEDPOWDER and tolls and profits issuing and coming as by the said writ and inquisition remaining of record on the files of our court of chancery fully is clear and appears.

Now know that we of our special grace sure knowledge and mere motion have given and granted and by these presents for us our heirs and successors have given and granted and by these presents for us and our heirs and successors do give and grant to our dear and faithful George Downes licence that he and his heirs shall have and hold in the vill of Whitlesey otherwise Whittlesey otherwise Whittlesea aforesaid three fairs or markets yearly for ever that is to say one of the said fairs or markets upon the 11th day of June to continue for 3 days inclusive another upon the 25th of October to continue for 3 days inclusive and the other upon the 25th day of January to continue for 3 days inclusive unless any of the days aforesaid shall happen to be a Sunday and then upon the Monday next following such a Sunday for the buying and selling of all and all manner of beasts and cattle and all and all manner of goods wares and merchandize commonly in fairs or markets bought and sold with courts of PIEDPOWDER at the time of the fairs aforesaid with all tolls and profits to the aforesaid markets fairs and markets belonging and appertaining to have hold and enjoy the aforesaid markets fairs or markets and courts of PIEDPOWDER and other the premises above by the presents granted or mentioned to be granted to the same George Downes and his heirs to his and their sole and proper use to be held for ever.

And this without account or any other to us our heirs and sucessors thereof to be rendered paid or made Wherefore we will and by the presents for us and our heirs firmly enjoin order and charge that the aforesaid George Downes and his heirs shall have hold and keep and he and they may be able to have hold and keep for ever the aforesaid markets fairs or markets with courts of PIEDPOWDER and other the premises aforesaid according to the true intention of these our letters patents without molestation disturbance injury or contradiction of us our heirs or successors or of any sheriffs ESCHEATORS bailiffs officers or ministers of us our heirs or successors whatsoever.

And this without any other warrant writ or process after in the same part to be procured or obtained.

Amd further we will and by the presents for us our herirs and sucessors grant to the same George downes or his heirs that these our letters patents or the enrolement of the same may and shall be ood firm valid sufficient and effectual in the law for the same George Downes and his heirs according to the true intention of the same.

In witness of which thing etc.

Witnessed by the King at Westiminster on the 17th day of February.

By writ of privy seal.

Glossary:

AD QUOD DAMNUM (to what damage) a writ issued to a sheriff granting the right to hold fairs, markets etc.

13th year of Queen Anne’s reign was 1714. She died in that year.

PIEDPOWDER; Court of Pie Poudre (or of Dusty Feet, or the Pedlars) this court anciently decided summarily & on the spot about disputes which arose in fairs & markets. This Court was abolished by the Courts Act 1971.

ESCHEATORS; Officers anciently appointed to enforce the right of escheat (the reversion of land to the Lord, on failure of heirs or outlawry) on behalf of the Crown.