Catalogue description The earliest parts of the book (folios 5r-27r and 30r-38v) appear to have been written...

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Details of Fa/LC/1
Reference: Fa/LC/1

The earliest parts of the book (folios 5r-27r and 30r-38v) appear to have been written in the early years of the fifteenth century, probably soon after, 1404, followed closely by folios 27r-28v. Other sections (folios 39r-43v and 47r-52v) were written about the middle of the century. The remaining entries consist principally of forms of oath, and appear on folios 2r, 2v (part), 3r, 53r (part), 54v (part) - late 15th century; folios 1r-1v, 3r-4v, and 53r - early 16th century; 29r, and 52v (part) - late 18th century; 2v (part), 28v (part) and 44r (part) - early 17th century, and later memoranda of admissions of Town Clerks on folios 44r and v, 1655-1740.




Inside front cover Damce [ ? ] Le Maire


Folio 1r. Notes of expenses in food, boat hire, gruel, horse-meat, horse-hire, shoeing, oats and hay, at Rochester, Gravesend, Dartford, Southwark, Westminster, Eastcheap, Saracen's Head, and London, including payments on behalf of Robert Dryland, in chambers, to Burgoyne, Sheriff of London, and to de la Rewe for his counsel. n.d.


1v. Memorandum that on 11 December, 1 Henry VIII [1509] Robert Wythiott, Mayor, with Lauraunce Streynsham and William Sparowe, Jurats, John Love, Baily, and John Goodwyn, one of Chamberlains, appeared at 9 a.m. at the High Court of Shipway, with the Mayors, Bailiffs and some Jurats of the Cinque Ports and their Members 'in the best maner of apparell that thei had', when Sir Edward Ponyngges, Knight, was sworn Lord Warden, by John Westclyf of Sandwich, gentleman, and given a purse of blue velvet with a hundred marks [£66. 13. 4.] in new nobles, the gift of the Cinque Ports and Members, to which Faversham contributed 40s. (Written by Robert Wythiott in his own hand).


2r. Oath of the Common Porters. Duties include execution of the pillory, kukkyng stool, breaking of baker's ovens, scolds, harlots, bawds and cut-purses, the transport of beer brewed in the town from the brewers to the tapsters, and the return of empty vessels. They are forbidden to procure any tapster to transfer from one brewer to another, and to defame any brewer's wares. 'So help you god & all his Seyntes. And Kis the booke &c.' [late 15th century]


2v. Oath of a xii man [Jurat]. Duties include assistance to Mayor, maintenance of the King's peace and of laws and customs of the town; 'you shall true recorde bere of Herth and Seith [dwelling], you shall true Jugementez giff, you shall do right and equyte, as well to Staungers as to yndwellers..... So god helpe you, And bye the holye contentes of thys booke' [The last seven words are written partly over an erasure of about three words] [late 15th century]


Oath of the Town Clerk. Duties include being always ready at Mayor's and Jurats' sending, keeping their lawful counsels secret, entering plaints between party and party, keeping records of the town, and giving no copies thereof that are not granted by the court or by licence of the Mayor. This oath taken 2 June 1602 by Thomas Kenett, then admitted Town Clerk by Robert Allen, Mayor. [1602]


3r. Oath of a Freeman, (to King 'Harre' VII and his heirs). Duties include maintaining franchises of the town, coming to summons of the Mayor and blowing of common horn, paying taxes and tallages, keeping the counsel and secrets of the town, maintaining the peace, having their own and no other man's goods 'So god helpe you, and bye the holye Contentes of thys booke' [The last seven words are written partly over an erasure of about three words]. [late 15th century]


3v-4r. Proclamation to be made by the Mayor each year by ancient usage, written by Robert Wythiott, Mayor, 6 October, 1 Henry VIII [1509] that no man shall buy or sell on market day, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, any victuals coming to the Market Ward until they are put on open sale in the accustomed market place at half past eight in the morning or later, that is wheat, barley, pulse, malt, oats, flesh, wildfowl, pullet, pig, goose, pigeons, eggs, butter, fresh fish, and any other kinds of victual, upon pain of forfeiture of the victual bought, and imprisonment of the buyer and seller at the will of the Mayor and his brethren; and that every badger that sells flesh in the market shall bring the skins with the flesh of all beasts that have skins, and the head with boar and hog, upon pain of forfeiture of the flesh. [1509]


4r. Oath of the Common Councillor. Duties include to keep the day of burmothe [burghmote], to give true counsel to the Mayor, and keep the counsel of the burghmote. 'Soe helpe me God & by the hollye contentes of this Boke' ['& ' inserted; 'by' and 'contentes of' written over erasure].


4v. Oath of the Mayor. Duties include loyalty and obedience to the King and his laws, maintenance of rights of Faversham and King's peace and administration of impartial justice, 'So God me help And bye the holye contentes of thys booke' [The last nine words are written partly or wholly over an erasure].


Cross references to the oaths of the Serjeant [folio 28v], an Attorney [folio 29r] and a Presentor or Overseer for the Streets [folio 29r].


Half sheet - part of inside front cover. [blank both sides]


5r. Copy of royal letters patent to Barons of Faversham, dated [at Westminster, 4 June] 36 Henry III [1252]


[See Fa/I/1]. [early 15th century]


5r-7v. Copy of royal letters patent to Barons of Faversham, dated at Westminster, 14 November, 30 Edward I [1302]


[See Fa/I/3]. [early 15th century]


7v-9v. Copy of agreement between the Abbot and men of Faversham in the King's Court at Westminster, on the morrow of the Purification [3 February], 42 Henry [III, 1257/8] before the King, Robert Wallerond, William de Grey and Imbert Pugis, Stewards, Henry de Breton and Nicholas de Turry, Justices. The Abbot complains that the men of Faversham should perform for him the due customs and services for the free tenements which they hold of him in Faversham; and that they have, contrary to his liberties and the agreement made at another time between them in the King's Court, rescued a certain John le Noreys and imprisoned him elsewhere than where they should, and they have raised new gallows and hung the said John; and that they have levied tallage on the men of Faversham without licence from the Abbot, and usurped many new liberties from him. Whereupon it was agreed between them in Court that the men of Faversham, that is of Trentdeus Haughes, acknowledge to the Abbot and his successors as their lord the services etc. which they have usually offered to the Abbot, his predecessors, and the Kings of England, when they held the manor of Faversham; and that in future they will permit the Abbot to use his just summons etc. within the town for his services, and to have over them all the liberty and jurisdiction in quarrels, attachments, pleas, etc. as he, his predecessors and the Kings of England have had; which services were in great part acknowledged by the agreement of the parties at an inquisition taken before Walter [de Gray] Archbishop of York, and others of the King's Council while the King was in Gascony [May 1242-September 1243]; so that the Abbot and his church shall lose none of their rights to the said services by reason of the King's charter concerning their liberties which the men of Faversham obtained, except concerning the prison of Kynggesmell that none of the town shall be imprisoned there, but in the Abbot's prison which they caused him to have in Trentdeushaghes, as agreed between them: that is that after making the prison they should choose a man to keep it for their own protection, and present him to the Abbot as the Abbot's bailiff, to keep the prison with a man of the Abbot from Kyngesmell. And the Abbot shall receive from them an oath that they will keep the prison and his prisoners whether they are inhabitants or not, wherever they are taken, whether within the hundred or in Trentdeushaghes, for the protection of the men of Faversham and of the Abbot; so that if anyone escapes the whole town shall answer for half the escape, and the holder of Kyngesmelle for the other half on behalf of the Abbot; and the town shall hold itself responsible for the Warder whom they present on their behalf; and they shall swear freely to receive those taken by the Abbot's bailiffs, and to take them to the Abbot's court at once on his command, and to take back into safe custody those who should be taken back until justice is fully done; so that if a man is taken in Trentdeushaghes the men of the town shall take him to the Abbot's court, and if he deserves to lose life or limb for his offence, judgment shall be in the court, and execution in Trentdeushaghes by the men of the town in the presence of the Abbot's bailiff if he wishes to be present; and if the man indicted escapes by the neglect of the townspeople, the whole town shall answer to the Abbot with a fine of a hundred shillings and other damages that occur; as for other thieves and malefactors taken in the Abbot's hundred outside they shall be judged by the hundred outside [the town] in the Abbot's court, without the men of Faversham and without any claim upon them.


And in return the Abbot grants that the men of Faversham each year shall choose three men of their town and present them to the Abbot and he shall choose one of them for the office of Alderman; and the alderman shall give to the Abbot his oath for the faithful execution of his office in all that belongs to the King and his peace and towards the Abbot and church of Faversham and all other men of the town; but if none of the three is suitable, he will not be accepted. And the men of the town may make collections in the town, that is for a common necessity that has arisen for the town, as for a ship which they must find for the King, or for doing aid or honour for the King, the Abbot or any other persons, for the maintenance of their freedom; then the alderman of the town and two of the more worthy men of the town shall come and announce this to the Abbot, and the Abbot shall appoint a day within the next four days when all may be summoned to the presence of him or the bailiff whom he shall appoint, and twelve shall be chosen who will swear there to assess the collection faithfully on rich and poor without oppressing anyone. The Alderman shall have one roll and the Abbot's bailiff another roll by which they shall levy the collection at the same time in person; and when it is levied it shall be handed in the sight of lawful men of the town to the Alderman to keep to his own use and to answer for it; and if the Abbot's bailiff refuses to be present at the levying of the collection, then it shall be levied by the Alderman and four lawful men of the town, and there shall be no punishment therefor unless the bailiff wished to be present.


And when the said assembly is to take place, the Alderman shall sound the common horn, and the horn shall not be sounded but when Burghmot is to take place, for the death of a man, for the order of the King, for fire, for watch in the town or against the sea and for malefactors; if the horn is sounded for any other purpose, the Alderman shall be in the mercy of the Abbot; the Alderman shall have his Serjeant as he should and usually does to do what pertains to his office. If anyone should wish to go against the aforesaid, the King in his court will see that it is maintained, and be harsh with offenders.


This agreement is made in the presence of the heirs of Kyngesmelle, on whom it is enjoined by judgment of the court, that although one of them is under age, they keep the guard of the prison in the town of Faversham with the men of the town, as aforesaid, it being understood that the guard is to be kept for their own benefit.


9v-13r. Uses and customs of the town of Faversham, being in Dover Castle, and returned under the common seal of the town.


[Titles in Latin, text in Anglo-Norman]


The people are to be summoned by the common horn, called Burghorn, each year on the Monday after Michaelmas to the place called Ildhalgren, where they will choose three men for the office of Mayor and a common serjeant, who, with the man appointed by the tenants of Kyngismelle, will have the custody of the town prison. The three men chosen with the serjeant are to be presented to the Abbot, the Lord of the town, and one of them is to be chosen for the office. The serjeant is to swear an oath as provided in an agreement between the Abbot and men of the town [the agreement of 3 February 1257/8 above]. On Sunday the Mayor by virtue of his office is to assemble the people in Wardmot, and to choose, by their agreement, twelve of the more sufficient of them and make them swear to be loyal in their assistance to him and the maintenance of the King's peace in the town, to give loyal judgments, and within the franchise do right and equity to all, natives and strangers, and to maintain the laws and customs there. If the Mayor dies in his year another of the Twelve shall be chosen by the people in the presence of the Abbot or his steward or another deputed by him to perform the office of Mayor for the time, and if this happens, the Mayor shall have another one elected as one of the Twelve in his place in the manner aforesaid.


As for pleas of the crown held by virtue of the franchise, they have cognizance of pleas when any felon is taken within the franchise, with suit and mainour [stolen property]; immediately following the attachment made by the bailiff of the town, the Mayor shall have the horn sounded to the four parts of the town and the Jurats and commons assembled, and at the delivery to go from hour to hour between prime and vespers, and so if he works to continue it for three days following, if the attached person wishes to put himself on the people of the franchise. If not, his punishment is to be judged by common law; and if the plaintiff withdraws from the action, he and his pledges shall be heavily amerced, and the prisoner, with the mainour shall be put in safe custody until his delivery by the constable guarding him by command and warrant of the King.


Upon the death of a man the Mayor as coroner of the King within the franchise shall issue a writ to the bailiff of the town for an inquest to be summoned of the Jurats and commons, and shall have the horn sounded as aforesaid, and the commons with the Jurats shall take an inquest, and he shall put them to their oath. If anyone is indicted he shall take the indictment under seal, and straightaway he shall order the bailiff to attach the body of the accused and retain him safely in prison as a felon until delivery is made by the Constable guarding him by command and warrant of the King.


If any misfortune happens within the franchise the Mayor shall have the commons assembled in haste as aforesaid, and as coroner of the King shall take an inquest by summons of the bailiff and act according to common law, as belongs to the office of coroner.


In case of an appeal about the death of a man, the Mayor with the bailiff of the town shall take the appeal with sufficient sureties for prosecution at the next Halmote, and by virtue of this the Bailiff shall take the body of the person appealed and put him in safe custody until delivery is made by the constable guarding him as aforesaid or as the King orders by his warrant.


As for pleas of land if anyone wishes to move an action of free tenement within the Trentdeuxhaughes he shall take a writ founded on his case from the Steward of the Abbot, Lord of the town, and on the day assigned by the Steward or his deputy, after summons of fifteen days, the Mayor shall have the horn sounded and the Jurats or the greater part of them with the Commons shall assemble in Halmote held each three weeks, and shall determine the plea according to the nature of the writ purchased, and shall owe judgment at their peril, but the adjournment belongs to the Steward or his lieutenant. And they have in this court cognizance of all pleas of land by all kinds of writs that can be taken within the franchise of the Cinque Ports, by adjournment of three weeks from one court to the next. Saving the summons of Parliament, if the King's writ of Parliament comes, or the summons for Cinque Port service, or the summons for the court of Shepweye, or from the Nativity of Our Lady [8 September] until St. Andrew [30 November] during the fair of Jernemuth.


In case of an assize of novel disseisin the plaintiff shall seek the writ from the said Steward, and the defendant shall have fifteen days attachment, and shall make his plea within three days after the first day assigned for the plea. The same process is to be used in case of writ of mort d'ancestre or of dower. But the adjournment in such cases can be made for three weeks at a time as seems best to the Steward or his Deputy. The parties can be essoined at three courts in such cases except in a plea of assize of novel disseisin or mort d'ancestre. If the plaintiff wishes to plead a fresh disseisin, he shall seek a bill, instead of a writ of fresh disseisin, whenever he wishes within forty days after the disseisin is made, and such plea shall be held and determined at any hour within three days after the attachment of the defendant without delay. If forty days pass the plaintiff shall have a writ of novel disseisin and the defendant shall have fifteen days attachment.


As for agreements for levying fines, where a writ of covenant of free tenement is brought, the defendant shall have summons as at common law. When the writ is returned to court, the foot shall be drawn according to the agreement of the parties. If it affects the rights of a married woman, she shall be examined by the Mayor and Bailiff in the presence of four, five or six Jurats of the town, and upon such acknowledgment the fine shall be engrossed, and shall remain there on record for ever. It is also the custom that when a man takes feoffment of a free tenement from another man, native or stranger, within the franchise, and it concerns the rights of his wife, the Mayor and Bailiff can, at the request of the parties without summons or writ, in the presence of at least three Jurats, examine the wife outside the court, and at the next Halmote put it all on record in the presence and by the witness of the said three Jurats. The form of such an acknowledgment is endorsed on the charter of feoffment, and the names of the Jurats and other witnesses if any are present. Then the endorsement is enrolled, and is also afterwards of record.


As for personal pleas, the usage is that if any stranger, merchant or otherwise, wishes to plead against any native of the town, the plea shall be held from hour to hour until concluded, whether it is a plea of trespass, covenant or debt. If a stranger pleads against a stranger the bailiff shall decide the matter from hour to hour according to custom, that the parties may not be delayed. In pleas of debt and covenant it is the usage to summon the defendant and then make attachment and then greater distress [i.e. of goods within as well as without the house] until he wishes to appear. In a plea of trespass concerning battery, bloodshed, homsokyne [assault on a man in his house] or affray with force of arms, attachment is the usage, if the defendant is a native and is sufficient by pledge or distress; if not, that is if he is a stranger and not answerable to them, they attach him by his body until he wishes to answer the suit of the plaintiff. If any one makes an affray in deed or appearance to the disturbance of the peace, he is attached by his body until he wishes to answer by law.


In case of threats made to anyone affecting his person he is attached as soon as there is witness to the menace, until he finds surety for the peace, as at common law.


If any native or stranger is accountable to another for money or other goods received in the franchise and the plaintiff can show this to be a fact, that is in writing or tally or by the evidence of four good men of the town of its receipt, he is attached by his body if he is not sufficient. If he is sufficient he is driven to render account by distress. Auditors are assigned by the Mayor, Bailiff and Jurats at the next court. If he is found in arrears by the evidence of the auditors, he is put in prison until he makes satisfaction or finds a surety for the plaintiff, as seems reasonable. If anyone is resident or has a free tenement or marries the daughter of a freeman of the town, he is thereby made free.


As to withernam the usage is, as elsewhere, that if anyone elsewhere is a debtor to one of the commons, the mayor shall send a letter witnessing to the debt to the Mayor, Bailiff or Wardens of the town where the debtor resides, asking that Justice be exacted from the debtor for the member of the commons. If no reasonable reply is made, he shall send another letter, and then a third time another letter under their common seal. If nothing is then done about it, it will be permissible that, the next time that any of the said town where the debtor resides come with merchandise into those parts, at the suit of the said commoner such goods shall be attached and received to the value of the due demand, in place of withernam, until he is satisfied in his demand in the opinion of the Mayor and Jurats.


If any felon indicted or outlawed for felony done outside the franchise comes within the town in order to have sanctuary there, the Mayor and Jurats of the Commune, immediately that they become aware of it, pursue him thence, without allowing him to remain among them. This is the usage when a felon comes there in flight, that is that he may not be given sanctuary by the franchise, but is not troubled by the common people in enforcing this. If any flees to the church in the franchise, after forty days he shall make the abjuration [of his country] before the Mayor as coroner of the King.


As for assize of bread and ale and assay of measures, they all belong to the Lord of the town, but are carried out in the presence of the Mayor and any Jurats who wish to attend. But no assize is made on the breath of ale, because the town is Stofheth [limb harbour ?] as has always been allowed before the King's steward. Bakers, if their bread is found below standard, are fined first 21d, a second time 42d, and the third time 7s. If they are found in default a fourth time, their furnace is pierced or broken, and the baker shall quit this trade for a year and a day afterwards.


The Mayor and commons claim that since they contribute to charges and costs [of the Cinque Port Confederacy] as others of the Cinque Ports, they should not be charged by the chief port of which they are member with the paying of any cost or contribution except when they are warned and have knowledge of the cause, and that if the charges are made with their consent, and it is for a reasonable cause, that they should not for any cause be charged in their absence.


None of the wardens or other minister shall meddle in the town in order to obtain anything in it or make execution except in case of express and notorious default of justice, and at the actual suggestion of a party.


They claim to enjoy every one of the franchises in the past, as the other Cinque Ports, according to the grants and confirmations made by the ancestors of the King which are well known as of record; and they do what belongs to their service, as they have always before been ready to do what belongs to them, as others of the franchise.


13r-14v Other notable usages in the town and liberty of Faversham.


When a man wishes to be made a freeman of the franchise, he shall be so made at a Wardmote by agreement of the Mayor, Jurats and Commons there being, by offer and proffer how much he will pay to the commons. The Mayor in this shall have 12d for his fee, the Clerk 2d, and the Mayor's serjeant 2d. Then he shall be charged on a book by the Mayor or his deputy as follows: You shall bear faith and loyalty to the King and his heirs, and you shall loyally according to your power maintain the franchise of the town of Faversham. You shall come loyally to the summons of the Mayor and the sound of the Common Horn. You shall loyally pay taxes and tallages to which you shall in future be assessed. You shall loyally keep the counsels and secrets of the town. You shall loyally according to your power maintain the peace, and no other goods but your own shall you free or acquit by virtue of the franchise, so God help you and his saints.


The usage in pleas of trespass, debt, covenant, detinue and account is that the plaintiff may have an essoin before appearance, if the defendant is put to sureties and not in prison. The defendant after the attachment in a plea of trespass and after summons and attachment in other pleas aforesaid, before appearance, can have three essoins and make one default, and afterwards to be distrained three times and his pledges amerced each time on each plea, if he is a native resident 3d, and if a stranger 4d. Afterwards there is grand process against the pledges to make them come and answer, if the plaintiff demands it. Otherwise the pledges shall be amerced at each court until they come. The process against pledges is a summons. If they come at the first court or not the plaintiff shall proceed against them as against the principal, regarding them as pledges of the principal. The pledges have no answer but the acquittal of the plaintiff or a record by the Mayor or a Jurat of payment made before them or agreement over the dispute. If they have no such acquittal or record they shall be condemned as the principal in the suit without any damages against them. Afterwards a writ of fieri facias shall be granted if it was finished in the last year, but if more than a year ago a writ of scire facias and then a fieri facias of the goods and chattels of the pledges or of one of them who is sufficient, and this shall be done by the bailiff at the order of the Mayor, and the bailiff shall execute it with all speed and levy the money to the value adjudged against the pledges from their goods; the pledges shall never be imprisoned for the debt, if they have goods to the value. If the defendant comes in answer before the pledges are proceeded against, they shall be excused if they so wish, and the defendant shall remain in prison or find other pledges. If he comes under distress and not by pledges, then all the goods distrained shall be delivered to him [the plaintiff] if he asks, and he [the defendant] shall remain in prison or find pledges untill he has excused himself to him [the plaintiff] or made satisfaction for the said demand, and if he [the defendant] has found pledges and they do not give satisfaction then there shall be granted against the pledges a scire facias and a fieri facias or a fieri facias in the manner aforesaid. And in this case the plaintiff shall recover damages against the pledges as against the principal, because he took his law at his peril. (This sentence is inserted in different ink at the foot of the page.) If they do not come in response after the three essoins defaulted and the three distresses as aforesaid, the plaintiff shall proceed against the distresses as against the principal, and the distresses shall be appraised in court by lawful appraisors sworn thereto, who are the best chosen to appraise; and afterwards the appraisal shall be entered in court, and the distresses delivered to the plaintiff to the value of his demand [and damages taxed - crossed out in different ink] as aforesaid, as soon as he finds surety in the said court to answer for it to the defendant whenever he wishes to clear himself within a year and a day afterwards; if there is any surplus, it shall remain in the hands of the Bailiff to the use of the defendant by law and right. After the summons for default of distress or pledges found, the Mayor shall grant a capias, if the plaintiff asks it in all the said pleas. When the defendant comes in answer, the custom has been that he shall acquit himself by his [wager of] law in pleas of trespass, debt and detinue, unless the plaintiff shows title or answers that his law need not be accepted because the Mayor or one of the twelve Jurats has knowledge that his action is true; and if one of them, that is the Mayor or one of the Jurats is willing to testify in court on the day assigned, as he is vouched, the plaintiff shall be barred from his action permanently, and the defendant is discharged. That is, a native inhabitant shall make his [wager of] law with the third hand [i.e. witness] and a stranger with the twelfth hand. In a plea of covenant the plaintiff shall prove his covenant with two witnesses to seeing and hearing, whether he is a native or stranger, if he wishes to prove it, or otherwise he can grant an acquittance to the defendant in the above manner. In a plea of account auditors shall be assigned by the court as is more fully set out in the above customs; otherwise the defendant shall acquit himself by his law as set out in other pleas. That is, in all the above pleas after anyone is allowed by the court to make his law, to produce record, or prove his covenant, as aforesaid, whichever party it be, he who wishes can be essoined and both of them can be essoined to the first court afterwards and no more, as soon as any party is in prison, but he who is in prison can be essoined as aforesaid if he wishes to delay. That is to say after the continuance [of the hearing] no essoin lies. In a plea of land after view on request of the parties three essoins lie, as is said.


The usage is that if a man is taken with the property stolen in petty larceny, he shall not suffer judgement of life or limb therefor, but shall have the judgment of the pillory and then shall leave the town; and if a cutpurse is taken and arraigned, he shall have the judgment of the pillory and lose an ear and leave the town.


14v-15r. Here begins the purlieu of Faversham


To the wise and noble Knight, Sir Steven de Penserst, Constable of Dover and Warden of our lord the King of his Cinque Ports, the servants (?) to his honour, the Mayor and commons of the town of Faversham, greetings, respects and friendship. Sir, since you wish to be informed of the limits and the bounds of the franchise of our town, for which the service of one ship is due to our lord the King of England, we would have you know that there is a place which is called le thorn at Ewellesflete, and it extends to the north of the Abbey, and by it it leads southward to a certain style called dedmannystill; and from that place to the end (chief) of the east to a certain place called Colleker, to a tenement which belonged to Salmon fitz Basily; and from that same place to a lane which is called Pelnellane to a stone which is a certain bound in the field called Kynggisfeld; and from that stone to Kaystrete which is towards the south, to the water which runs through Ospringe; and from this place to the mill of the meson dieux of Ospringe water [sic] which is towards the north, to the gate of the heirs of Peter de la Broke, which is towards the north-east; and from that place to the water which runs from the mill of the said heirs of Peter de la Broke, through the marsh towards the Northflete, which water-course is the boundary between the franchise of the Prior of Canterbury [and the franchise of Faversham], to the place named above and called le thorne at Ewelflete. Furthermore we would have you know that, within the limits and bounds of our franchise, the Abbey of Faversham holds eight acres of land in a croft called ore [now ?] androwecroft; and three acres and a half of land which belong to the Almonry of the Abbey. Furthermore the Abbey holds there ten tenements and a half in Northstrete, and in the lane called Seintmarilane half a tenement, and in the marketstrete seven tenements and a half, and in loddrilane two tenements and a half, and in Eststrete one tenement, and in Prestonstrete seven tenements and a half; and in Gorwellane one tenement, and in Weststrete one tenement next to the tenement, formerly of Grane, and at Bermondeseystrete one tenement and a half, and in Tannerstrete seven tenements of which one Abel is tenant. These lands and tenements are geldable by the Abbot, and give scot and lot with us to the service of the King. [In margin: Note, a certain land mentioned below is charged by the Abbot and Convent of Faversham with service to the King, that is ship service]


15r-15v. Felons fleeing to church.


Concerning those who flee to monastery or church for their offence, we will that the coroner see them and inquire and hear why they stay in the monastery; and if they do not wish to acknowledge their felony and come outside the church to submit to law, so they shall lose their chattels by their deed. And straightaway the coroner shall have their lands and chattels seized into our hands, and shall have their chattels appraised and delivered to the town; and the acknowledgment they make that they do not wish to submit to our peace is to be enrolled, so that they may not be in our peace until they are acquitted of the charges. Moreover the coroner shall not see him if he does not wish, although the fugitive wishes to acknowledge the felony and beg a grant of deliverance. And if the fugitives remain more than forty days from the time that the coroner comes to them, first all the county shall be charged with guarding them, and they shall be held as felons or outlaws; and if they acknowledge the felony and ask to quit our kingdom, and beg the protection of Holy Church until they have instructions for their going, then we will that they shall have such protection for forty days from the coming of the coroner there. And straight after the enrolment of their acknowledgement, they shall be delivered to the guard of the town, that they may not be allowed to escape from the church in the meantime. The abjuration [of the Kingdom] shall be made in the following manner at the gate of the churchyard: Hear ye, Coroner and other good men that I, J. of B., for such a deed that I feloniously did or agreed to do, will depart outside the Kingdom of England and Ireland and never therein return, unless by leave of the King of England or his heirs, so help me God and his saints. And straightaway he shall choose the sea-port or place for crossing into Scotland outside the Kingdom; as far as which port or crossing we receive such persons in our protection, if they make no mischief where they wish to pass. Moreover they are forbidden upon peril of life and limb to turn anywhere from the highway, until they have traversed the land and Kingdom and gone to the port or crossing-place that they have chosen and no other as quickly as they can without making mischief. Then they shall go on their way with a cross of branches in their hands, without shoes and (deschenez) with head uncovered, in clean tunics. We forbid on peril of life and limb that anyone should kill them as long as they are found travelling the road, and also that anyone should allow them to escape, if he can in any way capture them outside the highway. If such fugitives remain at the church more than forty days after the appearance of the coroner then they shall forfeit the grace of abjuration remaining, and shall be held as felons so that they cannot take the cross again or appeal(?). We forbid all people upon forfeiture of life and limb, and clerks upon peril of exile at our will to give such persons food or drink after the forty days, or associate with them in anyway. In case any man in fear forfeits our realm and then is attainted, we will that he shall not be blamed in any way for the felony that he has acknowledged, but can safely return, and that such mens heirs shall not be disinherited of their goods, and that they should not then be forjudged in their suit. And we will that the abjuration should be held null, and that it may be withdrawn and wiped out, if this was done by any one who meddled in office and had not been in anyway authorised by us or our predecessors and also if the coroner was not even authorised in his own person. In abjuration for our venison or other trespass we do not wish there to be disinheritance of goods or chattels.


16r. Abjuration made there in 2 Henry IV [1401] [wholly in Latin]


William Clerk, hosier, on Wednesday after St. Alphege, 2 Henry IV [20 April 1401] fled to the church of St. Saviour in Faversham for sanctuary; William Ledes, Mayor and Coroner, went there at his request, and he confessed himself a felon, and said that on Sunday, St. Stephen, [26 December], the same year [1400] at Newcastle-on-Tyne, he stole a pair of beads, worth two shillings from Agnes Thornton of Newcastle-on-Tyne, and asked to be delivered from the church. He was led to the doors of the church and, in the presence of the coroner, abjured the realm. The Coroner assigned Dover as his port of passage.


16r-16v. Precept made by the Mayor to the Bailiff for the death of a man at first view etc.


W. de L., Mayor and Coroner, to the Bailiff of Faversham. On behalf of the King I order you that you cause to come before me this present Monday (or otherwise whatever day it is) twenty-four honest and lawful men from the said community, by whom the truth may be inquired into upon certain articles touching the King. You are to have their names and this precept there. Given at Faversham on such a day and year. [thus far in Latin] That is to say the Bailiff straightaway should summon as many as the precept requires, and will return their names on the dorse of the precept, or on a sheet annexed thereto, before the Mayor and Jurats sitting where the dead body is. Then the Mayor shall make the bailiff call those who are summoned by their names, first without any penalty, but secondly and more upon penalty at the wish of the Mayor, until he has twelve, which twelve shall be charged by the Mayor on a book held by the Bailiff in the following manner. First the first man returned shall put his hand on the book and shall say as the Mayor or his clerk charges him: 'You shall enquire loyally the truth of the thing with which you are charged on behalf of our lord the King and this you shall not neglect in any way for shame or for love, and you shall keep the King's counsel and your own: so may God and his saints assist you'; and he [the first man returned] shall say it after and shall kiss the book; and afterwards they shall all swear, one after another as follows 'To such oath as A. here did, you shall hold for your part; so may God and his saints assist you', and he shall kiss as before. This is the method of charging all those in inquests, for here no challenge lies. Afterwards all twelve so sworn shall come together, without any others among them, and the Mayor shall say to them 'Sirs, you see this dead man; we charge you by the oath that you have made that you certify to us who killed him, when, how and in what manner, and with what instrument, and if it was by misfortune or by his personal assent [suicide] or feloniously by the force and malice of some other, and what goods and chattels the killer had on the day of the felony, and in whose hands they now are; and of all the matter and circumstances of this you shall certify the truth in writing under your seals'. The Mayor can charge for the King two others for the inquest if he wishes. Now the inquest goes to see the body, and the Mayor and all others, his companions, can go where they wish until the inquest is agreed. The Bailiff shall guard the inquest. The Mayor after view of the body can command the burial of the body if he wishes, even though he orders another inquest to be taken, for the view was general by sound of the common horn. When they are agreed the Mayor shall take their verdict under seal as aforesaid, and shall keep it well and secretly, and shall make the bailiff do execution if anyone is indicted who lives within the franchise in the manner otherwise declared in the above-written customs. And the verdict begins thus.


16v-17r. Method of making an inquisition follows [wholly in Latin]


Inquisition taken at Faversham on such a feast (or day) in 3 Henry IV [1401-2] before W. de L., Mayor and Coroner, S. de T., J. de ., W. de M., J. de B., R. de S. and R. de S., Jurats, and others, on view of body of John atte Noke, by oath of A. de L., etc. (to the number of twelve, reciting who were before sworn), who say on their oath that L. de N. feloniously killed John atte Noke with a dagger (or in any other way, saying how he was killed) or thus:- that John atte Noke died in a place called N. by sudden death or by misfortune, without harm or injury from any other person. In witness whereof to this Inquisition they place their seals. At Faversham, the day and year abovesaid.


17r. Method of receiving acknowledgment of a fine follows [wholly in Latin]


On the Monday next after or before such a feast (or on such a day) in such a year of the reign of King, etc., before W. de L., Mayor of Faversham, J. de B., bailiff, W. de S., R. de M., (to the number of six or four at least), Jurats of the same town and others, there came J. de L. and E., his wife, and acknowledged a messuage etc. in Faversham within the liberty of the Cinque Ports to be the property of R. de S., being that which he had from the gift and feoffment of J. de L. and E. his wife, to have and hold to him and his heirs and assigns [for ever, inserted] (or by other form of entail), of the chief lords of that fee by services due. And furthermore the said J. de L. and E., his wife granted for them and their heirs that they would warrant the messuage to R. de S. and his heirs, etc. against all men.


17r-17v. Method of making a fine follows [wholly in Latin]


This is a final concord made in the Halimote held at Faversham on such a day, etc., before W. de L., Mayor of Faversham, etc., between R. de S. plaintiff, and J. de L. and E., his wife, deforciants, concerning a messuage and acre of land in Faversham, etc., whereupon a plea of agreement was made between them in the court, that is that J. and E. recognised the tenement etc. as the property of R., etc. [as above] And for this recognition, warranty, fine and concord R. gave to J. and E. a hundred shillings sterling (or more, according to the size of the tenement), etc.


17v. [Writ of] fieri facias for the recovery of debt in court etc. follows [wholly in Latin]


From the goods and chattels of J. de B. within Faversham you shall cause to be made twenty shillings (or how much it may be) which R. de S. recovered before us in court here etc., so that you have the money here with this order at the next court.


17v. Making return to our Warden on a royal writ [wholly in Latin]


To his revered lordship, lord J. de R., Constable of Dover Castle, Warden of the Cinque Ports, his humble servants the Mayor and Bailiff of Faversham send all the respect and honour due to so great a lord. We have received your respected order and have executed it in the manner following (reciting then the result of the order, thus) W. Managh, Mayor, has been distrained and taken in custody by R. de L., J. de R., W. de S. and A. de M., the proceeds of which is 6d. etc. Walter Hunt, Bailiff, is dead and has no goods or chattels within the liberty by which he can be distrained (or otherwise reciting the return as agrees with the truth). At Faversham under the seal of office of the Mayor, on such a day, in the fourth year of the reign of King Henry.


17v-18r. Allowance for making a fifteenth etc.


The names of the Barons of the Cinque Ports of the liberty of the town of Faversham having goods and chattels in the hundred of Faversham, being assessed for the grant of a fifteenth of a penny to the King (or for the grant of a moiety of a fifteenth) in the third year of Henry IV [1401-2]: Robert atte Nok, 5 shillings, W. de B. four pence, etc. (and so it is recited how much they are, that is each hundred by itself in separate indentures). In witness of all which, the seal of the office of Mayor is put to one part which remains with H. de L., T. de R. etc., sub-collectors of the fifteenth (or otherwise) in the said hundred. To the other part, which remains with the Mayor, the seals of H. de L., T. de R. etc. are put. On such a day and year etc.


18r-18v. Declaring liberty under the seal of the Mayor for a Baron of the town and liberty.


To all Christians to whose notice this comes, the Mayor and Jurats of the town of Faversham, Barons of the Cinque Ports, send greeting. We ask your affection and discretion towards John de B., bearer hereof, a Baron of our town, whom we recommend as praiseworthy and faithful. When he comes to your parts, with goods and merchandise, to buy and sell, goes through you, stays or moors, you will admit him among you as our combaron, free of all customs, in no way troubling or allowing to be troubled or injured him or his goods or merchandise, contrary to the liberties and franchises granted to us and the said John by Edward I and his progenitors throughout the Kingdom, and confirmed by the present King Henry [IV]. But let him have among you as all our Barons of the Cinque Ports have and have had from time beyond memory all his liberties and franchises, with soc and sac, toll and theam, infangtheof and outfangtheof; let him be copefree, lovecopefree, theamfree, Wytefree, and lastagefree; let him have den and strand at Gernemeuth, and all his trove by sea and land; let him be quit of all toll and custom, that is of lastage, tallage, passage, keyage, pontage, murage, spissage, and all wreck and all his purchase, sale and repurchase; let none have a share in his purchase and repurchase without his consent; considering also that by charters of King Edward [the Confessor] William I and II and the other progenitors of the Kings of England upon the grant and confirmation of all the said liberties it was granted and forbidden that anyone should unjustly disturb us or him or the other combarons or his market in the said franchises and liberties, upon pain of forfeiture to the King of ten pounds. If you please the said John in these matters, you will cause us to feel more favour to you and yours, and you will find us the more favourable and ready helpers in a like or greater case. In witness whereof we have caused these our letters to the said John to be made patent, sealed with the seal of the office of Mayoralty at Faversham, 6 April, 5 Henry IV [1404].


18v-19r. Other letters on the same subject.


To all to whom this comes, the Mayor and Jurats etc. send greeting. We inform you that J. de B., bearer hereof, is one of our Barons, and should be quit of all toll and custom whatsoever within the realm of the King, both at home and overseas as appears more fully by charters granted heretofore to us and our successors by the progenitors of the present King Henry; which charters King Henry IV has accepted, approved, ratified and confirmed to us and our successors. In witness whereof etc. (as above).


19r. Cocket under seal of the Mayor concerning carrying wool to parts of England for security.


To all to whom this comes the Mayor and King's Searcher in the port of the town of Faversham send greeting. Know that J. de B. merchant has delivered to H. de G., master mariner, a poke (or sarpler [half sack]) of wool (reciting how much they are) to carry in his ship bound for the city of London (or otherwise towards parts of England) and not outside the Kingdom, and there to discharge it; for which pokes or sarplers, to be carried in the said manner, according to the statute and not otherwise, the said J. has found sufficient security with us. In witness whereof the seal of office of Mayor is appended. At Faversham, 10 April, 5 Henry IV [1404].


19r-19v. Letter on behalf of a man imprisoned for debt for begging by friends in his name.


To all Christians to whose notice this comes, the Mayor and Jurats of the town of Faversham send greeting. Because it is pious and meritorious to give testimony to the truth and most of all in those things which concern the health of the souls of poor prisoners, because help [would be] opportune. We inform you that a certain J. de B., formerly a merchant, having sufficient of his own wherewith to live, has lately been despoiled by robbers who fell on him in a place called L., and has come to such misery and lack of money that he has not wherewith to satisfy his creditors, unless he is assisted by Christians by way of charity, and he tries to endure the punishment of prison in Faversham for nine marks in which sum he is condemned to one of his creditors by the force of law and the persuasion of justice, until he satisfies the creditor, as is just; he has endured imprisonment for ten weeks past to his bodily harm and the danger of his life in future time more accustomed. Wherefore he presently proposes to send certain friends, J. de B. and W. de S. to divers parts to collect alms from pious persons and bear them to the said J. for his release, humbling begging you all with tears that you will deign generously to extend your helping hands to him at the time of his need.


19v. Another letter for someone held in foreign parts.


To all (as above). We inform you that W. de B., bearer hereof, during the last voyage of King Henry in Scotch parts in a ship of our town with our combarons of the same town, and others of the Cinque Ports, being at N. in the chapel of St. James was beaten, wounded and captured by our unspeakable Scotch enemies, led thence to the castle of K., where he was straitly imprisoned for half a year or more, so that he nearly lost all the nails from his fingers to his no slight bodily harm; he was so detained in prison until he agreed with the Scots to pay twenty marks within a year in order to have his release; which twenty marks he can in no way pay, nor has he means to live, but by the charity of Christians. Wherefore we ask you all in friendship to deign in charity to help him as an honest beggar for these reasons when he comes and passes among you, that by your alms he may be speedily freed from the punishment of prison which he must endure for life unless he faithfully pays the twenty marks. And we will be bound in future to render kindness to you and yours in a similar or greater matter. In witness (as above) to last for one year etc.


20r. Letter for a debt acknowledged, to be witnessed to below.


To all Christians (as above) Because it appears pious and meritorious to give testimony to the truth, that darkness of conscience may be lightened, and the enormity of falsehood driven out, and because the hearts of all faithful men are the more willingly moved to do justice in similar causes, the more notice they receive of the causes by trustworthy witness; therefore we inform you all that on such a feast in such a year etc. within the liberty of Faversham, in the presence of our combarons, W. de B., R. de S. and others whom we declare truthful, a certain J. de B. acknowledged that he owed to R. de J. of such a county forty marks, to be paid to him or his heirs within two years next following, whenever and wherever in England it should be demanded, as W. and R. and others declare before us on oath, and although the two years are now long past, the said R. de J. is not satisfied with the forty marks or any part of it, as he declares on oath, to his own impoverishment and contrary to the acknowledment made before W. and R. etc. In witness whereof the seal of our office of Mayor (as above).


20r-v. Another letter, on request of the parties, that he may not be arrested when he comes, etc. [text in Anglo-Norman]


To all who see or hear these letters, the Mayor and Jurats of the town of Faversham, health in God. We inform you that J. de B. etc. has granted before us to R. de C. licence to come freely to Faversham, and stay there, and depart thence when he pleases during the seven days next following his coming, without being arrested, troubled or harmed by the said J. de B. etc., or any of them, or by their procurement in any way, in order that R. de C. may treat with J. de B. etc. concerning certain debts, owed to them by him. In witness whereof, at the request of J. de B. etc., we have put the seal of our office of Mayor to this. Given at Faversham, etc.


20v. Another letter for an arrested ship, etc. [Latin]


To all Christians, etc. (as above). We inform you all that by the account of W. de L. we have received information that a ship belonging to him, called M., was arrested, as being the ship of J. de B. in the City of London on such a day, by W. de S. and his colleague, Sheriffs of London, and was detained, as forfeit to the King by reason of a felony committed, as is said, by J. de B., and was kept under arrest until W. de L. could find sufficient security for the sheriffs that he would bring letters testimonial under authentic seal, that the ship was and is the ship of W. de L. and R. de S., and not of J. de B. Now that diligent and faithful inquiry has been made on these matters by some trustworthy inhabitants of Faversham, we find on their oath that the said ship with all its equipment long before the arrest was, and now is the ship of W. de L. and R., bought by them with their own money, and J. de B. has no possession in it, but was in it as a mariner at the cost and expense of W. de L. and R. We require and ask you all that W. de L. be discharged of the security found for the sheriffs, now remaining with the King and the sheriffs, and that you hold him and his pledges totally quit for the above reason, as is just. In witness whereof, (as above)


20v-21r. A copy of the common composition of the Cinque Ports follows.


Be it known to all seeing or hearing this indenture that as great debates have been carried on among the barons of the Cinque Ports and their members by reason of the tallages, assessments, and payments and other charges and costs often falling due among them, from which debates no certain allowance or amendments have been ordered or made retrospectively to the great damage of them all, at last on Tuesday following St. Dunstan, 35 Edward I [23 May 1307] in full court of Shepweye, before my lord Henry de Cobham, then Warden of the Cinque Ports, it was agreed and accepted among them by their good will that all debts owed before that Tuesday, as is more fully contained in a deed of account made between the King and the Barons of the Cinque Ports, should be levied by apportionment, that is the port of Hastings a third part, the port of Romney and Dover, a third part, and the port of Sandwich and Hythe a third part. So, nevertheless, that the payments, assessments, tallages and divers other charges and costs which may be granted or levied among them or by them, in whatever manner or form or for whatever cause, shall from that Tuesday henceforth be levied on chattels and moveables of the debtors within the franchise of the Cinque Ports, so that each man bears his charge equally with what he has saved by the franchise of the Cinque Ports, saving nevertheless the costs of engaging in the service of the King which is due him at sea in his wars, for which service each port is of right bound in a fixed amount. If any promise is made from this day forward without the consent of all the Cinque Ports, such promise shall be at the peril and cost of him or them who made it. If any tallage, assessment or payment or other different charges or costs, from that day forward shall be made by their consent contrary to the form of this writing such tallage, assessment or payment shall be without prejudice to this writing, which shall remain in force for ever. In witness whereof we the Barons of the Cinque Ports, that is of Hastings, Winchelsea, Rye, Pevensey, Romney, Hythe, Dover, Sandwich, Fordwich and Faversham, for us and our members, have appended our common seals hereto.


21v-22v. Inquisition taken at Chilham in Kent, before William de Septevance, Nicholas atte Crouche and Thomas Chiche of Balnerle by Royal Commission to inquire and certify to the King in Chancery whether the Mayor and Commonalty of Faversham have sent presents to the former constables of Dover castle and Wardens of the Cinque Ports for their good lordship, favour and help in their doings, sometimes of a thousand herrings, sometimes of a quarter of a hundred of salt fish, sometimes a hundred salt fish, and whether on that pretext succeeding Constables and Wardens have yearly claimed and exacted from the Mayor and Commonalty a hundred salt fish, as belonging to their office, although they do not so belong, and have each year contrary to their will, without right or justice demanded from them a hundred salt fish called greyling, on Monday before the Annunciation, 11 Richard II [23 March 1388], by the oaths of Thomas atte Tonne, William Bernevile, Laurence Breule, Reginald Kyngesland, John Okenfold, Stephen Leveton, Robert Dreylond, Semeine atte Sole, Henry Hemyng, Thomas atte Donne, John Stopyndon, Thomas Stowke, who say that Edward [I] in his thirtieth year [1302] by letters patent shown to them in evidence granted to the Barons of the town of Faversham inter alia all the liberties and immunities that the Barons of the Cinque Ports then had, provided that they gave annual ship service with the Barons of the Cinque Ports at their own cost for fifteen days on the summons of the King, without any other service to the King; and that, upon obtaining these liberties and letters patent, the Barons, that is the Mayor and Commonalty, appropriated to themselves all the customs and liberties anciently belonging to the Abbot of Faversham, as lord of the town, so that disputes arose between the Abbot and Mayor and Commonalty, and Roger Urre, then Mayor, and the Commonalty in 33 Edward [I, 1304-5], gave two thousand herrings, then worth ten shillings to Robert de Burghersh, then Constable and Warden, by way of a present for his aid and favour against the Abbot, and the following year, as the dispute remained unsettled, they gave to the said Robert three quarterns of fish called melewel, worth 35s., and from that time until 1 Edward III [1327-8] they gave no presents of fish or anything else, except bread and wine of little value given to Henry de Cobham and Nicholas de Kyrrel, when they were Constables and Wardens; and in 1 Edward III of their own will they gave a hundred salt fish called Greylyng, worth 30s., to Bartholomew de Burghersh, then Constable and Warden, for a similar service, as appears by evidence shown to the jurors. And afterwards William de Clynton, Earl of Huntingdon, Constable and Warden, because of this gift, unlawfully claimed a hundred salt fish from the Mayor and Commonalty as belonging to his office, and forced them to pay the fish to him each year during his office; and on this pretext other subsequent Constables and Wardens demanded a hundred salt fish called greyling, which were worth at the time eleven, twelve or thirteen marks, from the Mayor and Commonalty, to be paid annually on St. Peter ad Vincula, at the time of the fair [tempore nundinarum] of this kind of fish then held in the town, and they have so demanded until now, to the harm and impoverishment of the Mayor and Commonalty; and [the jurors] say that this payment of a hundred fishes or anything else does not belong to the office and never did so belong, but the payment took its origin in the sending of a gift to the Constable and Warden, and then by the power of other Constables and Wardens the fishes were allowed to be extorted from them until now, and were received not with justice. In witness whereof the jurors have set their seals to this inquisition at Chilham, the day aforesaid.


22v. In all cases and articles in pleas royal and personal of which no mention is here made, the Mayor, who is judge with the jurats, has recourse to the natural law upon which and from which are given all laws and customs agreeing with the law.


23r-24r. Royal letters patent: exemplification, at the request of Nicholas Aspiloun, one of the Barons of the port of Sandwich, now Mayor of the town of Sandwich, of a certificate sent into Chancery by the Treasurer and Barons of the Exchequer of services due from the Cinque Ports to the King. Dated at Reading, 29 November, 33 & 20 Edward III [1359]. [Printed in Rymer's Foedera and in Charters of the Cinque Ports, by S. Jeakes, 1728, pp.26-8]


24r-26r. Concerning the custody of orphans.


Royal letters patent: inspeximus of royal letters patent given under the hand of H. de Wells, Archdeacon of Wells, dated at Portem. [Portsmouth] 6 June, 7 John [1205] ordering that the men of Sandwich shall have fully all their customs, rights and immunities from toll, and from all things and customs, as in the time of King Henry [II] and of King William and his predecessors; they shall not plead but where they ought and are accustomed; and they shall have peace that no-one injures or hurts them in this on penalty of £10, as witnessed by the charter of Henry [II]. Witnesses: R. Earl of Clare, R. Earl of Chester, William, Earl of Salisbury, W. Earl of Arundel.


And of Royal letters patent, dated at Westminster, 26 July, 7 Edward [II, 1313] inspeximus and confirmation of royal letters patent, dated at Westminster, Henry [II(Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury died in 1161. The date of this charter is therefore between 1154 and 1161.)] ordering that the men of Sandwich and Sarre shall have all their customs, rights and immunities of toll and passage as they had them in the time of King Henry [I] and of King William and his other predecessors, and forbidding that anyone should injure them therein upon pain of forfeiting £10. They shall plead only where they have been accustomed, and shall have the King's firm peace. Witnessed by Theobald Archbishop of Canterbury and Walter, Bishop of Rochester and the Earls of the Kingdom. The confirming letters patent witnessed by W[alter Reynolds], Bishop of Worcester, J[ohn Drokensford], Bishop of Bath and Wells, and W[illiam Stapeldon], Bishop of Exeter, Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester and Hertford, John de Britann [Bretagne], Earl of Richmond, Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, Hugh le Despenser, Robert FitzPain, Edward de Malo Lacu [Maul], Steward of the Household, and others.


And of Royal letters patent, dated at Westminster, 15 February, 18 Edward [I, 1289/90] addressed to the Mayor and Jurats of the Port of Sandwich, stating that the King has learnt that orphans have not hitherto been guarded in due manner after the death of their ancestors, until they reach full age, with all their lands and goods. In order that they may not be disinherited for lack of ward, the Mayor and Jurats are to assign as Guardians for such orphans, Barons of the port who can expect no reversion of the inheritance of the said orphans, and who will keep the property safely without waste, except for their reasonable expenses, and restore it to the orphans when they reach full age upon view and consideration by the Mayor and Jurats, together with the surplusage of their expenses. If no guardian can be found to whom a reversion might not come, then the Mayor and Jurats shall arrange that the custody of such orphans be entrusted to sub-stantial, trustworthy persons, subject to the distraint of the Mayor and Jurats; and the same is to be understood and observed concerning ships and all other moveable property concerning the orphans. The Mayor and Jurats or one of them shall have custody of this kind unless [it has been entrusted] by lawful disposition of the ancestor of the orphan to a person or persons to whom no inheritance can revert; and however it happens concerning safety, care shall always be taken that it [custody] is taken faithfully in the said form. The Mayor and Jurats are to have full power to supervise all the goods of the orphans each year as often as necessary and particularly once a year, and to order concerning them and their goods as seems expedient. But if the Mayor and Jurats, contrary to this provision, negligently or in any way, make or promise forfeiture against these orphans, the Warden of the Cinque Ports, shall in default of the Mayor and Jurats have free entrance to the port, and shall correct their default and forfeiture.


Confirmation of all the above to the men of Sandwich and Sarre for their good services in the past and future. Grant that, although they or their predecessors have not used any of the said rights, they may enjoy all of them fully without hindrance. Witnesses: S[imon Langham] Bishop of Ely, and Chancellor, J[ohn Barnet] Bishop of Bath and Wells and Treasurer, Lionel, Duke of Clarence, John Duke of Lancaster, Edmund Earl of Cambridge, sons of the King, Humfrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford, Richard Earl of Arundell, Edward le Despenser, Guy de Brian, John atte Lee, Steward of the Household and others. Dated at Westminster, 18 July, 38 Edward III [1364]. By the King on the information of William de Wykeham.


26v-27r. Royal letters patent: stating that the King has been informed that the Steward, Marshal and Clerk of the Market of the Household and other ministers and officials have come to Sandwich before the King's arrival there and also at the time when he was waiting there for favourable winds and a quick crossing to Britanny, and the Steward and Marshal have held their pleas there and made various attachments and executions of their pleas, and the Clerk of the Market and other ministers have exercised their offices and perpetrated various oppressions and injuries contrary to the liberties long used in that town. Declaration that the arrival and entrance of these officials into the town for the execution of their offices, and the oppressions of the Mayor, Barons and others which they did there shall not be damaging to the Mayor, Barons, etc. and the liberties in future; but the Mayor, Barons, etc. shall enjoy all the liberties etc. accustomed before the arrival of these officials without hindrance. Dated, at Westminster, 19 May, 17 & 4 Edward III [1343]. By writ of Privy Seal.


27r-28v. Deed made between the Mayor and Commonalty of Dover, and the Mayor and Commonalty of Faversham. Whereas the Mayor, Bailiffs and other worthy persons of the Cinque Ports by ancient custom assemble yearly at Brodhell on the Monday after St. Margaret to survey and account among themselves for all the foreign costs and expenses incurred for maintenance and government concerning the universal franchises of the Cinque Ports for the year past, except the costs incurred in the services due to the King, on the sea and in war, of which each port knows its charge; of the total of which foreign expenses found due in the account, the towns of Dover, Faversham, Folkestone, Birchington, Margate and the hamlet of Kingsdown near Dover have been and still are charged with the payment of a sixth part, by the agreement of all the Cinque Ports. On the contribution of this sixth part there have been debates between Dover and Faversham, which on the mediation of the Mayors etc. of the other Cinque Ports assembled at Romney for this cause on Sunday, the vigil of St. Laurence, 18 Richard [II, 9 August 1394] it was agreed that the Mayor and Commonalty of Dover grant to the Mayor and Commonalty of Faversham that each year after the general account is rendered at Brodhull, and after their portions, that is the sixth parts of the foreign expenses is allotted to the towns and hamlets to be raised, the Mayor of Dover shall send his letters to the Mayor and Commonalty of Faversham for four persons chosen by them to be sent at his expense to Dover to be there on a day named in the letters. The Mayor and Commonalty of Dover agree that they will show these four men a declaration of the account made at Brodhull and the circumstances thereof, and will give them clear information of the manner of the true apportionment of the costs of Parliament, the fair at Jernemuth, the allowance for the fifteenth and of the promise granted by agreement of all the Cinque Ports to their Warden, comprised in the said sixth part, if there be any for the last year, without concealing anything in the account at Brodhull which could benefit or discharge Faversham, and without adjusting any charge in the account which could aggrieve them. The amount of such costs, if any, of Parliament, etc. shall be set by itself and dealt with apart from the sixth part of foreign expenses. It shall be equally divided into three parts; one part is to be paid by the Mayor and Commonalty of Faversham to the Mayor and Commonalty of Dover, as their full contribution, without any other contribution to the men of Dover for other expenses in future which could be challenged or demanded by them. The payment of the third part is to be made as follows. First the men of Faversham shall recoup from the said third part for each of the four persons for each day they are occupied in the business, from the time they leave Faversham to the time they return, 3s. 4d. The remainder due shall be paid within seven days without more delay. Whenever dispute occurs on their arrival at Dover because of concealment of the true declaration of the account made at Brodhull, or the adjustment of any charge unduly to the damage of Faversham which the agreement does not support (?) then during the period of the dispute their business at Dover shall cease, and a day shall be fixed at the next Brodhull before the other worthy men of the Cinque Ports. The dispute shall be declared before them, and if in their opinion the fault in the dispute be found in the Mayor and men of Dover who made the demonstration of the account to the four men from Faversham, then the Mayor and Commonalty of Dover agree that each time such fault is found they will pay the expenses of the four men not only for their time at Dover, but also for the time at the Brodhull, in going, staying and returning for each day for each person 3s. 4d., which shall be recouped first of all in the next account made between them. If the fault in the dispute be found in the four men from Faversham by award of the said worthy men, then on this occasion their costs at Dover and at the Brodhull shall be disallowed, provided always that the manner of the account, the payment of the contribution and the allowance of the expenses shall remain in force in all ways as has been said at any other time that a dispute arises on such manner of account. The Mayor and Commonalty of Dover agree also that the men of Faversham who come to Dover on this matter or for any other cause touching the franchise of the Cinque Ports, can come freely to Dover and remain there and return at their pleasure without being stopped, hindered or harmed during the time of their coming. The parties hereby have reciprocally agreed well and truly to hold and comply with these covenants, and in witness thereof have reciprocally set their seals. Dated: 21 August, 18 Richard [II, 1394].


28v. Oath of the Sarjeaunt. Duties include execution of the Mayor's commands, making all manner of arrests and attachments upon the body or goods of persons within the liberty, and certification of them at the next court of Portmouth, service at the court of Portmouth and other courts held before the Mayor, execution of commands, warrants, etc. of any such court, levying of fines and amerciaments of the said courts, and accounting for them to the auditors of the town. So help you God. [late 16th century]


29r. Oath of an Attornie, admitted to the Court by the Mayor. Duties include prosecution of all plaints and suits in this court for his client, refusal to enter pleas that may put this court out of jurisdiction, maintenance of liberties of Faversham. So help you God. [mid 16th century]


29r. Oath of a Presenter or Overseer. Duties include looking to all new incomers, and giving notice of them to the Mayor, taking notice of all nuisances, gutters, dunghills, purprestures etc. within the town, and all drunkards, alehouse-haunters, swearers, and those that make unlawful games, affrays, etc., keep unlicensed alehouses, or allow drinking contrary to law, or unlawful gaming, or sell less than a quart of best beer for a penny, or less than a bottle of the smallest beer for a penny. They are to present all these offences without favour, fear, malice or affection. So help you god. [mid 16th century]


29v. [blank]


30r-33v. Chronicle from creation of world to 1382. [written in period 1382-1399]


Creation of world and of Adam. Chronology from Adam to Noah according to Hebrews, the Septuagint, Jerome and Methodius; chronology from Noah to Abraham, from Abraham to David, from David to the exile in Babylon, and from the exile in Babylon to Christ.


1105 B.C. Story of arrival of Brutus and his companions, their arrival in England, fight with Gogmagog, etc. Building of London under name of Trinovantium. After Brutus reigned fifty-eight Kings, then King Lud, who fortified London etc. Then Cassibellanus, his brother, in 58 B.C. In his time Julius Caesar came to Britain, etc., was twice defeated, but the third time, being recalled by Androges, Duke of Kent, he was victorious.


[Story of Brutus repeated, partly in elegiac couplets.]


Brutus left Italy in his fifteenth year, and in response to Diana's oracle went to Albion and began to rule there in his 34th year.


In 1245 year after death of Brutus, King Lucius.


144 A.D. Coronation of Lucius, who reigned as a Christian 77 years.


From death of Brutus to reign of Arthur there reigned severally in England 100 Kings of whom 16 were Christians.


516 A.D. Coronation of Arthur who reigned 26 years.


586 England divided by Angles into eight Kingdoms, Kent Sussex, Wessex, Mercia, Essex, East Anglia, and Bernicia.


601 King Sebert, renovator of the church of Westminster.


635 Coronation of Oswald.


636 Coronation of Oswin, buried at Tynmouth.


776 Coronation of Ethelbert, buried at Hereford.


821 Coronation and martyrdom of Kenelm, buried at Wynchecumbe.


855 Coronation of Edmund at Bures.


870 Coronation of Alfred, first King of England, buried at Winchester.


List of Kings of England, giving dates of coronation, length of reign and place of burial, with other brief notes, from 901 to 1326 (Edward III) with entry also of Translation of St. Edward, King and Confessor, in 1164.


1348, 1st July, Edward III defeated French by sea at the Sclws [Sluys].


1346, 25th September, French defeated by English at Crecy and the King of Bohemia was killed.


1346, 3rd September, Edward III laid seige to Calais, and continued it to the 3rd August next year, when it surrendered. 17th October the Scots were defeated by the English at Durham.


1356, 19th September, John, King of France, was taken at Poitiers by Prince Edward.


1376, 13th June, Prince Edward died.


1377, 21st June, King Edward died; buried at Westminster. 16th July, coronation of Richard II, aged 11, at Westminster.


140 Finding of image of crucifix at north door of St. Paul's, London, in river Thames, by Lucius, first Christian King of England.


1087, 7th July, church of St. Paul's, London, with great part of city, destroyed by fire, in the time of Maurice, Bishop of London, in the time of William the Conqueror who founded Battle and Bermondsey Abbeys.


1132, 13th April, city of London burnt by fire starting in house of Gilbert Beket.


1137. Church of St. Paul destroyed by fire beginning at London Bridge, and proceeding to the church outside the bars of the New Temple of London [St. Dunstan-in-the-West].


1050 Thames frozen so that horsemen could cross.


1202 Four-cornered hail-stones the size of eggs fell, causing damage to trees, vines and crops and injury to men. Birds seemed to carry down lighted coals in their beaks and set fire to houses.


1204 The order of Friars Preacher began in the area of Toulouse under Dominic. Hard winter lasted from 1st January to 25th March.


1214 St. Francis founded order of Friars Minor near Assisi.


1224 The first Friars Minor came to England, two years before death of St. Francis.


1221, 13th December. North wind shook houses, orchards, groves and church towers, and fiery dragons and evil spirits were seen to fly in the whirlwind.


1263 At Tewkesbury, a Jew fell into a latrine on Saturday and would not allow himself to be pulled out that day because of his reverence for the day, but Richard de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, would not allow him to be pulled out on the Sunday, because of his reverence for the day, and so he died.


1316 A great plague of animals and men, and flooding by summer and autumn rains, whereby there was such a lack of corn that a quarter of grain was sold for forty shillings, and so many died.


1348 A great pestilence began at London about Michaelmas and lasted to St. Peter ad Vincula [1st August] following.


1361, 15th January, a terrible wind throughout England. A second pestilence, in which Henry, Duke of Lancaster died.


1368 A third pestilence, in which Blanche, Duchess of Lancaster died, and was buried in St. Paul's, London.


1382, 21st May, after dinner, a great earthquake throughout England.


34r-37r. Royal letters patent


Inspeximus, dated 18 July, 38 Edward [III, 1364] of letters patent dated 20 May, 5 Edward [I, 1277] [as in Jeakes, Charters of the Cinque Ports, pp. 13-14, or Calendar of Patent Rolls, Edward I, 1272-1281, pp. 203-4] and of letters patent dated 31 March, 33 Edward [I, 1305] [as in Jeakes, pp. 15-17, or Calendar of Patent Rolls, Edward I, 1301-1307, pp.329-30], concerning disputes between the Barons of the Cinque Ports and the men of Yarmouth.


37v. [blank]


38r-v. Quotations concerning the rule of a King, from the following authors, all in Latin, followed by approximate English translations: Aristotle, Plato, Sortes, Averoye, Democritus, Avicenna, Alanus, Boycius [Boethius ?], Empodocles, Leucippus, Aristippus, Socrates, Zeno, Cato, Hippocrates, Bede, and four anonymous lines concerning the political value of archers, soldiers, knights and a queen.


39r-41r. Part of the prophecies attributed to Saint John of Bridlington (d.1379) [as in Political Poems and Songs relating to English History, ed. Thomas Wright, Rolls Series, 1859, pp. 123-215]. This extract consists of 116 lines of Latin hexameters.


41v-43v. Agreement between the Mayor and Commonalty of Dover and the Mayor and Commonalty of Faversham concerning contributions demanded by Dover from Faversham in addition to ship service and a present given to the Warden of the Cinque Ports. Agreement for payment of annual rent of 40 shillings to Dover, for election of a Baron of Faversham as one of Barons of Dover in Parliament, etc., 1 August 1438 [as in Dover Charters and Other Documents, by Rev. S.P.H. Statham, London, 1902, pp. 184-195].


44r. Town Clerk's oath. Duties including entering plaints, keeping records of town, and making no copies thereof unless ordered by the court or the Mayor, 12 July 1639.


John Kenet admitted Town Clerk, 1639


Henry Knowler admitted Town Clerk, 1655


John Moore admitted Town Clerk, 1662


44v. John Kennett admitted Town Clerk, 1666


Thomas Buck admitted Town Clerk, 1740.


45-46. [blank]


47r-48v. Royal letters patent to Mayor Barons and Commonalty of Faversham, dated at Westminster, 28 November, 25 Henry [VI, 1446] [see Fa/I/7 in catalogue].


49r-50r. Summary of liberties and franchises granted of old to the Mayor and Barons of Faversham:


By Charter of 36 Henry III [1252], to plead nowhere but at Shipwey [see Fa/I/1].


By Charter of Edward I [1302], made for payment of five hundred marks, to be free of tallage and summons before justices and to plead nowhere but at Shipwey etc. [see Fa/I/3].


By Inquisition taken at Chilham on 23 March, 11 Richard II [1388], concerning presents to the Warden of the Cinque Ports [see ff.21v.-22v. of this book].


50r-v. Franchises newly granted to the Mayor and Barons by the present King [Henry VI, by his letters patent of 28 November 1446: see Fa/I/7], concerning presents to the Warden of the Cinque Ports, etc.


50v-51r. Letter from King Henry [VI] to Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, his uncle, Constable of Dover Castle and Keeper of the Cinque Ports dated at Westminster, 20(?) January, 25 Henry VI [1446/7]. Reciting his letters patent dated 28 November [1446: see Fa/I/7], and that he has been informed that his uncle has by divers warrants arrested divers men in Faversham contrary to the said letters patent. Order that any persons so arrested or compelled to appear at Dover Castle or elsewhere shall be released, and that the Mayor, Barons and Commonalty shall be allowed to enjoy the privileges of the said letters patent without molestation.


51v-52v. Letters close dated 12 January 15 Henry [VI, 1437] to the Sheriff of Kent. Order to make proclamation that no one shall ship for export wool, wool-fells or other merchandize belonging to the Staple of Calais at any other place in the Kingdom than the quays etc. in the ports assigned by statute where the King's weights and weighing beams are, and that the Keeper of the ports where such goods are shipped shall take sufficient security that the goods shall be taken to the Staple of Calais and shall bring back a certificate from the Staple; and that any such goods found being shipped in any other place, with the ships containing them and other goods therein shall be forfeit, and the masters and sailors shall be detained during the King's pleasure, half of the forfeited goods etc. remaining to the King the other half going to the person who discovers them; and that if any such goods are exported other than to the Staple at Calais, except those exported to western parts, then unless it appears by certificate from the said Staple that the goods were bought there, the governors of the towns where they are brought may take them and use them as their own; and if in future it can be proved that any such goods have been exported to the said parts overseas without such a certificate and have not been taken by the governors of the towns, then the ship and its master shall be arrested when they return to the Kingdom and held until they make full satisfaction for the value of the goods so exported.


52v. Note by Thomas Norton, Mayor, dated 3 September 1562 that there are 53 leaves in the book, 'siseryd' [counted ?] by him.


53r. Translation [abandoned after the first line] of the purlieu of Faversham [see ff. 14v-15r. of this book] by Robert Wythiott, Mayor, on 15 September, 2 Henry VII [1486].


53r. Note of a plea: Edmund Bake of Chilham complains [against] Fadman, by Lewis Meddon (?) [his attorney].


53v. Abstract of a tax assessment on Faversham:-


East Street 18s. 2d.


Preston Street 48s.


Collectors R[ichard] Fen


John Ranyn with a man of the said Abbot


[Thomas dominus written above and below the word Abbot]


Always saving extra penalty [superforisfactoura]


C[ourt ?] Street 20s. 8d.


North Street £4. 11s. 2d.


Collectors Richard Lese


Thomas Childemew


West Street £4. 4s. 10d.


Collectors John Wotton


John Parys William Richardson of Ospringe, weaver


Always saving the royal dignity lest anyone.....


Total: £13. 2s. 10d.


Mayor Garbour


Mayor Marten


[The remainder of the page is covered with disconnected jottings, such as 'and not to be put in assizes', 'from all', 'R.I.R.', 'For as much as the twenty', 'to all faithful Christians'.]


54r. 10s. 8d. 13s. 4d. Rynges 5s.


Written upside down:-


Mr. J. Keres ....... 1575


W. Phersse (?) ....... 1575


T. Jirke (.?) ....... 1575


Note that there are 54 folios in this red book, written and not written, delivered by Robert Wythiot, lately Mayor of Faversham to John Soole, now Mayor of the same.


54v. formerly glued to end-board [blank]

Held by: Kent History and Library Centre, not available at The National Archives
Language: English
Physical condition: Description; The book consists of 56 parchment folios, each approximately 7¾ ins. x 5½ ins. It was originally sewn on double cords, pegged into oak boards, covered in vellum with leather straps and clasps. The volume was later placed in a red leather sewn cover with yap-style edges. Recently leather straps and clasps were added, the cover was repaired, and dark leather dressing applied to the outside of the covers. The volume has been rebound in the Kent Archives Office in 1959. It has been sewn on reversed guards, (the end papers with leather joints) on single cords pegged into new oak boards, quarter bound in white sheepskin. The old boards and covers have been preserved. Collation; Gathering 1 Inside front cover, folios 1-4 and half sheet un-numbered six folios; Gathering 2 Folios 5-12 eight folios; Gathering 3 Folios 13-20 eight folios; Gathering 4 Folios 21-28 (edges of folio 22 cut away after numeration; notch cut in bottom edge of folio 24) eight folios; Gathering 5 Folios 29-38 ten folios; Gathering 6 Folios 39-46 (most of folio 46 cut away) eight folios; Gathering 7 Folios 47-53 and inside back cover eight folios; The first gathering has hair side to hair side. The fifth gathering has sometimes skin to hair, sometimes hair to hair. The remaining gatherings have skin to hair, with skin on the outside.
Access conditions:

The original is in the custody of the Mayor and Corporation of Faversham. A copy is catalogued and stored as TR880/1.

Administrative / biographical background:

The custumal passed out of the possession of Faversham Corporation at some time between 1740 and 1936, when it was offered for sale by Messrs. Sotheby. It was purchased for £70 by Lord Wakefield and presented to Hythe Museum where it remained until October 1948, when the corporation of Hythe presented it to the corporation of Faversham. Some repairs were carried out by the British Museum soon after this date, and a complete photographic copy was made by C.F. Doyle Ltd. of Weston Works, Faversham.

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