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mayor and burgesses of Bedford was granted an exemption from murage dated 3/1/1396.

Inspeximus and, in consideration of the resistance offered by the mayor and burgesses of Bedford to certain evil-doers late in rebellion against the king, confirmation, with clause licet, in favour of the said mayor and burgesses of the following: -
{various charters}
Further in amplification of the clause in the charter of Richard I granting to the burgesses that they should have the liberties and laws which they then had in common with the citizens of Oxford, the king has hereby granted to them the following liberties:-
none of the burgesses shall plead or be impleaded before the king or any of his justices or ministers without the borough of lands or tenements therein, nor of trespasses, agreements or contracts made therein or of aught else there arising; but all such pleas summoned or attached before the king or the justices of the bench, or other justices or ministers, to be pleaded without or within the borough, shall be pleaded and determined within the borough before the mayor and bailiffs and no others; unless those pleas touch the king or the commonalty of the borough;
the burgesses shall not be put with foreigners upon assizes, juries or inquisitions, which are to be taken, before the king, his justices or ministers touching any tenements, trespasses or other foreign matters so long as they remain in the borough ; nor shall foreigners be put with them on the like, which are to be taken touching lands or tenements in the borough or trespasses, contracts or agreements or other matters therein arising;
touching any pleas arising within the borough the burgesses shall not be convicted by foreigners but only by their fellow burgesses, unless the matter touch the king or his heirs or the commonalty of the borough;
the mayor and bailiffs of the borough shall have power to make all executions within the borough of all things recovered before them and of damages adjudged, as in the city of London, is done;
writs of right patent shall in future be addressed (scribatur) to the mayor and bailiffs of the borough of Bedford, as to the mayor and sheriffs of London;
the burgesses in all actions touching their tenements, rents and tenures shall have power to plead by the king's writ of right patent, making protestation (protestatione) at their choice according to the form of the writ to be pleaded;
the clerk of the king's market shall not, in the king's presence, intermeddle in any matter touching the said borough, saving that if any complain in the king's presence that the mayor and bailiffs are negligent in executing the office of the market, the chancellor or a clerk of the chancery to be by him appointed shall over-look the matter complained of, and shall correct any defect found and shall punish the mayor and bailiffs, saving to the king the fines and amercements thence arising;
the burgesses throughout the king's realm and power, by land and, water, within London and without may freely buy all merchandise and victuals from aliens and natives and sell the same to them, as the citizens of London do;
no merchant or other person shall meet merchants or others coming by land or water to the said borough with victuals or other goods, to purchase for resale, until such goods have been exposed for sale in the borough in the place ordained, upon pain of forfeiture of the thing purchased, and prison, whence he shall not escape without duo punishment;
no one shall expose for sale merchandise, which owes custom, until the custom has been levied thereon, upon pain of the usual forfeiture;
the burgesses shall be quit throughout the king's realm and power of toll, murage, pavage, pontage, passage, stallage, lastage, quayage, picage, carriage, rivage, anchorage, strandage, chiminage, terrage, and the like from all their goods and merchandise ; and if anyone shall exact from the burgesses, toll or any custom of which they are quit, if he fail to do right therein, the mayor and bailiffs may take distraint (namium) at Bedford and keep the same, until full restitution is made;
no one who is not of their gild shall sell wine or other merchandise in the town by retail;
the burgesses shall be quit of giving money for murder within the borough;
none of them shall do battle; of pleas of the crown they may deraign themselves according to the law and custom of London; the husting is only to be held once a week in the borough;
the mayor and bailiffs may hold twice in the year view of frank pledge, and do all things that may pertain to that view and the keeping of the peace. By p.s. {10387 at King's Langley.}

Granted by Richard II. (Regnal year 19). Granted at Westminster. Grant by By p.s..
Primary Sources
Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1916, Calendar of Charter Rolls 15 Edward III - 5 Henry V 1341-1417 Vol. 5. (HMSO) p. 356-58 view online copy

Record created by Philip Davis. This record created 03/03/2009. Last updated on 19/01/2013. First published online 6/01/2013.

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