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OF THE CHARTER OF RICHARD II TO
at the Council Chamber, Pembroke. 30/8/35
A.J. Williams, M.A. LL.B.)
by the grace of God, King of England and France, and Lord of Ireland too, all to
whom these present letters shall come, greeting.
have inspected the letters, patent and exemplification, under the seal of the
late Father, Adam, Bishop of Menevia, lately made in these words:
by divine permission, Bishop of Menevia, to all to whom the present letters
shall come, greetings, and the permanent memory of these exploits. We deem it
worthy and an acceptable work to God, and we trust to do a profitable service,
if through us the noble exploits of Kings, and things particularly useful to the
condition of our Diocese, which have long been buried in oblivion, be discovered
and brought to light by the aid of our pen. We have discovered in our Treasury,
and among the archives of our Church of Menevia, among other old records in an
ancient book, the perfect tenours of charters of the old text, free from all
faults and suspicions, granted by Henry of renowned memory, late King of
England, Duke of Aquitain and Count of Anjou, to the town and burgesses of
Pembroke and Haverford. The tenour of this Charter is a grant to the town and
Burgesses of Pembroke, with a rubic of that kind written in red ink, “The
Charter of Pembroke, word for word, with nothing added or taken away, is known
to be on this wise”.
by the grace of God, King of England, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine and Count
of Anjou, to the Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Earls and Justices, Barons and
Sheriffs, and to all his faithful people of all England, Wales, Ireland,
Normandy, Brittany, Anjou, Poitou, Gascony, ant to all his men, whether dwelling
on this side or beyond the sea, greeting. Know
ye that I have given and granted, and by this my present Charter, have confirmed
to my burgesses of Pembroke all their liberties, immunities and free customs as
freely and fully as they had them in the time of King Henry, my grandfather.
I will and firmly enjoin that all persons who shall enter the port of Milford
with merchandise, whether they wish to buy or sell on the land, shall come to
the bridge of Pembroke and sell and buy there. Or, if they wish otherwise, let
them do business at the Cross, discharging their lawful customs; and that all
merchandise which is bought in the County of Pembroke to be carried into
England, ought to be shipped at the bridge at Pembroke, paying their customs;
and that all persons who come to my market at Pembroke, shall have the security
of my peace from the ford of Landfey and from Stentbrigge, and from the Great
Ditch at Pencoyt and from the Passage from the hour of nine on the Sabbath to
sunset on Monday, if they do not break my peace I also command that if any of my
burgesses of the said town, for one year and a day shall hold house or lands
which belong to the said town, without reproach, and anyone shall afterwards
claim right, let him not have it if he shall have in the meantime remained in my
any man of whatsoever place remain in the same town for a year and a day,
without reproach, whether he be a freeman or a serf, he shall ever after remain
my freeman and a burgess of the same town.
when a burgess of the said town, by whatsoever death and in whatsoever place,
dies on land or sea with a will or without a will, his heir shall have all his
goods by payment of a relief of twelve pence.
also grant that the burgesses of the said town shall have grazing rights in my
forest of Nerbart and Coytrath, and timber rights in the same town by permission
of the forester, and they may take decayed wood to burn wheresoever they shall
find it; and if they shall have swine in my forests, they shall be acquitted of
also will and command that those things which the aforesaid burgesses shall
perform in the said town, if the debtors are willing to render in the same town,
they may take their pledge (Cattle). But, if it shall happen that my said
burgesses ought to go into our army, the safe keeping of my town being in the
hands of their warden, let them go with my bailiff, so that they may return at
night. But if the army be raised by their warden, so that the merchants may
serve me at my camp, the custody of the town being safe, they shall go.
merchandise any of my aforesaid burgesses shall buy, if anyone shall claim the
same as stolen, he shall acquit himself by oath and by his witnesses, and he
shall lose the same chattel and what he gave for it.
my aforesaid burgesses shall answer no plaint out of their hundred unless it be
that which pertains to the royal crown. Their forfeiture in the hundred and
shire court is twelve pence.
the merchants of the County of Pembroke, by the appointment of the warden of the
burgesses, shall come to their merchant guild.
also will and grant, and firmly enjoin that the same burgesses shall have the
aforesaid liberties and their customs well, quietly and freely, with the
addition of their other liberties and customs which they still remember.
Know ye, furthermore, that I have
given and granted, and by this, my present charter, confirm to the same my
burgesses acquittance from toll, pontage and havenage, and from all customs
whatsoever at Bristol, Gloucester, Winchester, Devon, Cornwall, Rochelle,
Normandy and throughout all my lands in commotes, in burgages, in castles, in
towns, in fairs and markets, in uplands, in woods, in plain, in roads, in lands,
in waters and in all other places. I also
forbid anyone to do injury to them in the matters which I have granted to them,
and by this my present charter, have confirmed; nor shall anyone draw them into
pleas concerning the liberty and acquittance granted to them under forfeiture of
fifty pounds sterling.
be it Known to you that I have given and granted to the same, my burgesses of
Pembroke, a fair of eight days at the feast of the Apostles, Peter and Paul, and
to all coming to the same, my firm peace, those being excepted who have
forfeited my peace, and they shall have the same liberties and customs at the
fair as they have at my market in the same town on Sunday.
if any heir is such, ( ie. in respect of his youth), that he cannot hold and
defend his land, if the burgess who has died left a will, let his heir and the
inheritance remain the custody to which he, on his death
bed, committed him. But, if he shall not have left a will, then the heir
and inheritance, by the advise and consent of the nearest relatives, being my
burgesses, shall remain in the custody of any one of his friends.
In witness of the foregoing, we have ordered our seal to be hereto
in our manor of Landfey, the seventh day of the month of March, in the year of
our Lord one thousand three hundred and sixty eight, and in the eighth year of
(Ie., Richard II ), therefore having perused the tenour of the exemplification
of the said letters of the aforesaid Bishop, at the request made to us by the
Burgesses of Pembroke, the tenour of these presents we have made to be
witness wherefore we have caused these, our letters, to be made patent. Witness ourselves at Westminster on the sixth day of the month of February in the first year of our reign.
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