A.D. 1444.

8th Dec. 1444

Henry by the grace of God King of England and France and Lord of Ireland To all to whom these presents shall come greeting Know ye that we considering in what manner the Burgesses of our Borough and Town of Kidwelly in South Wales within our Dutchy of Lancaster have manifoldly suffered no small losses and burnings of their houses and divers oppressions which the Welchmen of their malice heretofore have often brought upon them & that therefore the sd Town which is an ancient Borough of our said Dutchy is now in a manner Waste and desolate for the want of Burgesses there dwelling, and willing therefore as well for the assistance and relief of the sd Town and Borough of Kidwelly as of our County more amply to provide for the convenience peace & quiet of the sd Burgesses have granted and by these presents Do grant to the sd Burgesses and resiants within the sd Town and Borough of Kidwelly to their heirs and successors that they shall have a Commonalty amongst themselves and that the said Burgesses on the morrow of the Epiphany of our Lord next ensuing may chuse from among themselves one Mayor and two Bailiffs who after they shall have heen elected shall take their Corporal Oaths in the Exchequer of Kidwelly before the Receiver or Auditor there then being for the due performance and execution of the Offices of Mayor and Bailiffs from the sd Morrow of the Epiphany to the next Sunday after the feast of St Michael the Archangel then next ensuing and the said Mayor and Bailiffs thus elected the sd Offices of Mayor and Bailiffs for the sd time shall perform and execute and that the said Burgesses their heirs and Successors from thenceforth may elect from among themselves a Mayor and 2 Bailiffs once every year that is on the next Sunday after the feast of St Michael the Archangel who immediately after they shall have been thus elected and sworn to the due performance of their sd Offices in the sd Church before the Receiver or Auditor there for time time being the Offices of Mayor and Bailiffs there duly may perform exercise and execute And if it happens that any Mayor or Bailiff should die within a year after such election that then the sd Burgesses their heirs and successors may chuse from among themselves one other Mayor or other Bailiff or Bailiffs in the place of him or them so dying who have taken the oath as aforesd may do & execute the Office of Mayor or of Bailiff or Bailiffs for all time remaining part of that year And that 2 Officers to be chosen by the Mayor of the sd Town for the time being may have and carry each of them one Mace with our arms of our said Dutchy engraved on it And that the sd Mayor and Bailiffs thus elected and officers and commonalty of the sd town and Borough be one incorporate body and fully capable and fit to purchase lands and tenements and other possessions for themselves and their successors by the names of Mayor Bailiffs amid Commonalty of the Town and Borough of Kidwelly and that by the sd names they may plead and be impleaded answer and be answered and have perpetual snccession. We have also granted to the sd Burgesses their heirs and successors for ever our Town and Borough aforesaid with the market and fairs of the sd Town and Borough Stallage pickage tolls and all other customs profits and commodities thereunto belonging also tolls of the country and rent of Assize and all lands escheated in the Town and Borough aforesaid We have also granted to the sd Burgesses their heirs and successors that they shall have a Court or Hundred of Kidwelly and all fines issues and amerciaments in the sd Court or Hundred forfeitures and other perquisites and advantages thence proceeding or to the sd Hundred or Court in any way appertaining or belonging And that the Mayor of the sd Town then being may hold before him all Pleas real personal and mixed to the sd Hundred belonging or any wise appertaining as well concerning lands & tenenments situate in the sd Town and Borough as other lands and tenements without the sd town and Borough which are of Burgage tenure as of debts trespasses reckonings agreements and other contracts and causes whatsoever within the said Town and Borough and their precincts arising as also pleas of piepowder and fairs at the suit of any person whatsoever prosecuting or desirous to prosecute before them by writ or without writ as fully and perfectly as our Stewards or the Stewards of our Ancestors there being were accustomed to hold pleas so that neither Steward Bailiff nor other Officer of us or of our heirs shall on any account intermeddle with the sd Hundred or with the holding of any pleas to the sd Hundred belonging or which ought of old to belong And that the Mayor Bailiffs and Commonalty of the said Town their heirs and Successors by the Bailiffs of the sd Town for the time being shall have Returns of all writs and precepts of us and our heirs Justices escheators and others our Judges or those of our heirs whomsoever and executions of the said writs and precepts in all pleas real personal and mixed and all causes within the said town and Borough and the limits and precincts of the same as well in the Borough as in the Forensia within the four ancient crosses that compass the said Town so that neither eacheator Steward or other Bailiff or Minister of us and our heirs within the said town and Borough nor in any other place within the said limits and precincts thereof shall enter to make any execution or on any other account interfere And that the Mayor and Bailiffs of the said town for the time being be Justices for preserving of the Peace for us and our heirs within the said Town and Borough and precinct thereof as well in the Borough as in the foreland within the sd four Crosses and that they shall have full power to hear and determine all things belonging to the Office of Justice of the Peace to be executed within the Town and precincts aforesd so that no Justice Steward Constable or other Officer of us or of our heirs shall enter the sd Town and Borough or precincts of the same to do & execute there any thing that belongs to the office of Justice of the Peace We have also granted to the sd Burgesses their heirs and successors that they shall have or may chuse from among themselves every year on the day aforesd One Coroner who having taken the usual oath may do and execute all that belongs to the Office of Coroner in the sd Borough and precincts thereof And further of our more abundant grace We have granted for us and our heirs that the sd Burgesses their heirs and successors their Servants and also the tenants of the sd Burgesses their heirs and Successors residing within the Town and Borough afsd shall not in future be impleaded or forced to answer before any Judges or other Officer of us or our heirs on any indictment accusation or Appeal of Treason or for trespasses rectis injuriis misprisons or other crimes or offences whatsoever or in any actions or pleas real personal and mixed at the suit of us and our heirs or of any other person whatsoever in any Court within the Lordships of Kidwelly Carnwillion and Iskennen except in the sd Hundred or before the Justices in eyre of us and our heirs when they shall come into those parts and shall not nor shall any of them be convicted or tried within the said Lordships by any foreigners but by entire Englishmen of the sd Borough and not by any Welshmen for ever We have also granted to the sd Burgesses their heirs and successors that no fair or market be kept in the vicinity of the sd Borough within the distance of 5 miles of the same and that no wares merchandizes or victuals be exposed to Sale in any Publick Place within the sd 5 miles but in the Borough itself except Bread and Beer bought in the said Borough which afterwards may lawfully be sold without the Borough by such as have bought within the Borough except flesh and fish cut up in like manner first bought within the sd Borough and except milk cheese eggs Poultry and such like small victuals which may he lawfully bought and sold in the houses of those to whom such small Victuals belong so than they shall not be exposed to Sale in any publick place withit the said Borough And that the market of the said Town be kept within the walls of the sd Town in the usual and accustomed place on Wednesday and Sunday in every week and not otherwise as it used to be done And that they may have before the sd Mayor and Bailiffs in the Hundred of the said Town cognizance and punishment of all and singular the offenders in regrating and forestalling of all wares and victuals of such as are desirous of frequenting the market of the said Town for the provision and supply of our Castle there and the sd Town and to impose fines on them according to their deserts which fines are to be levied at the option of the said Burgesses their heirs and successors And that they may have cognizance and punishment of breach of assize of Bread and Beer and of other broken victuals in the sd Town and Borough and Assize of weights measures and balances within the sd Town and Borough so that no Steward or Marshal of our Household or of our heirs or Clerk of the market Justice or any other whatsoever shall enter or interfere in any wise with the Assize of those measures weights and balances or any other thing which belongs to the office of Clerk of the Market to be done and executed within the sd Town and Borough And that it shall he lawful for any Burgess of the sd Borough his heirs and successors to hold what he has purchased in the sd Borough as his Chattels and by his last Will bequeath them accordingly to whomsoever he shall chose And that neither the sd Burgesses their heirs and successors within the said Borough during their residence there shall contribute to any payments concerning any customs grants aids tallage or fines whatsoever granted or to be granted through the whole realm to us and our heirs unless in the sd Borough with the Burgesses where they are conversant as they were used to pay and that none of the said Burgesses their heirs and successors their tenants or Vassals within our land and power shall be distrained or attached for the debt or trespass of any of his neighbours unless he be a principal Debtor or Surety & whosoever shall be the Surety of another shall not be compelled to pay so long as the principal debtor has wherewith to pay and that the Court of Welshmen and foreigners and Sessions which were wont to be held within the sd Town and Borough of Kidwelly may henceforth be held there for ever according to usual custom rendering therefore yearly to us and our heirs by the hands of our Receiver of Kidwelly for the time being 26 13s 4d at the feasts of Easter and St Michael the Archangel by equal portions for all Services customs and demands In witness whereof we have caused these our Letters to be made patent Given under our Seal of our said Dutchy at our Castle at Windsor the 8th day of December in the 22nd year of our reign by Bill signed by the Kings hand and sealed with the signet of the Eagle.

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