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burgesses of Oswestry (burgesses of Oswaldestre) was granted an exemption from murage dated 14/8/1398.

Whereas the town of Oswaldestre lies within the principality of Chester on the march between England and Wales, and from time immemorial has been privileged with all the liberties belonging to a town and borough merchant;
now the king, of special grace, for the betterment of the said town and at the request of its burgesses, has granted to the same the following:-
the burgesses in the same borough by the common council of the township may choose two of the more lawful and discreet of the burgesses to keep the pleas of the crown and all else belonging to the king and his crown in the said borough and to see that the provosts of the borough treat lawfully and justly both the poor and the rich;
the burgesses for the trespasses or forfeitures of their servants shall not loose their chattels or goods found in their servants' hands or by their servants deposited anywhere, so far as they can prove ownership;
if the burgesses or any of them shall die testate or intestate within the king's realm or power, the king will not confiscate their goods, but their heirs shall have the chattels of the deceased so far as ownership is proved, provided that knowledge or proof can be had of the said heirs;
no sheriff, bailiff, or minister shall in future take any prises within the liberty of the said town beyond the due and wonted customs, save with the consent of the owners of the goods taken;
the burgesses may distrain in the borough their debtors for debts which the burgesses have allowed their debtors to contract at the same borough; and of pledges both of lands and of other things pledged within the borough the pleas shall be held there;
the assizes of victuals shall be kept by the good men of the said borough and by the king's bailiffs upon pain of forfeiture to the king;
the burgesses shall have thol and theam, sok and sak and infangenethef within the said borough;
the burgesses shall have a gild merchant with a hanse and other customs and liberties belonging to the said gild; and no one who is not of that gild shall trade in the borough save with the consent of the burgesses;
if any bondman shall remain in the said borough and keep himself (se tenuerit) therein and be in the said gild and hanse, lot and skot with the said burgesses for a year and a day without being claimed, he shall not thereafter be redemanded by his lord, but shall remain a free man in the said borough;
the burgesses shall be quit through all the king's land of toll, lestage, passage, pontage, stallage, leve, danegeld, gaywit and all other customs and exactions, through all the king's dominions in England and elsewhere, saving the liberty of the city of London;
no one shall buy within the said borough fresh hides or raw cloth unless he be in lot and scot and in assize and tallage with the said burgesses;
the burgesses through all the king's land and power shall have this liberty, to wit that neither they nor their goods, wherever found, shall be arrested for any debt whereof they are not sureties or principal debtors, unless the debtors be of their commune and power and have wherewith to discharge the debt in whole or in part, and the burgesses have failed to do justice to the creditors who can prove such failure;
the burgesses shall be quit of all payment of murage in the realm;
none of the king's burgesses or men or others of the town shall be impleaded or put to question on any appeals, indictments (rettis), wrongs, trespasses, charges, claims or any other matters charged against them within the liberty of the said town, but only before the bailiffs of the town; nor shall they be convicted by any foreigners but only by their peers of the said town and liberty, unless the matter touch the commonalty of the town; and in that case they shall be treated according to the liberties of the town of Shrewsbury as hitherto used and approved;
no burgess shall be put on assizes, juries, recognitions or inquisitions to be taken concerning any charges, trespasses or other matters before any of the king's justices, saving those to be taken within the said town before the bailiffs, and then of matters done within the said liberty, unless in cases touching the king's crown and within the town and liberty of Oswaldestre;
the burgesses shall have attachments, their own prison and the keeping of prisoners attached or adjudged to prison in the liberty of the town, as the burgesses of Shrewsbury have;
all pleas and plaints within the town and its liberty shall be held before the bailiffs of the town, excepting those which belong to the crown;
no burgess or man of the said town of Oswaldestre and no other person shall be impleaded of his lands or tenements or other matters arising within the said town and liberty before any judges or ministers of the king but only before the bailiffs of the town, by whatever writ or in whatever manner they may be impleaded;
no sheriff, bailiff or minister of the king shall enter the said town or its liberty or intermeddle therein in any way with the burgesses or men of the town and liberty in any plea, plaint, occasion, trespass or other matter arising in the said town and liberty, save in case of default by the said burgesses ; saving to the king the pleas of the crown, which shall be attached by the burgesses until the coming of the king's justices;
through all the king's land and power the burgesses shall have all liberties and free customs approved and hitherto used, which the burgesses of Shrewsbury have; provided that the bailiffs of Oswaldestre shall be accountable to the king for fines, amercements and forfeited issues there arising and other profits due to the king from the said town, as they were before the making of this charter.
By p.s. {12286} and for 20 marks paid in the hanaper.

Granted by Richard II. (Regnal year 22). Granted at Westminster. Grant by By p.s. and for 20 marks paid in the hanaper..
Primary Sources
Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1916, Calendar of Charter Rolls 15 Edward III - 5 Henry V 1341-1417 Vol. 5. (HMSO) p. 373-75 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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