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burgessess of New Ross (nova Rosse) was granted an exemption from murage dated 12/12/1389.

12 Dec. 1389 Kilkenny
INSPEXIMUS of a certain charter of liberties granted by Roger Bygot [Bigod], sometime earl of Norfolk and marshal of Eng. [1283X6], to the burgesses of New Ross, sealed with the seal of the same Roger. INSPEXIMUS also of certain liberties, uses and customs held and used by the burgesses of the town of Kilkenny, and other liberties granted to them by charters of William Marshal, sealed under the g.s. that the lords of the royal liberty of Kilkenny used in their chancery there, and shown before the K. in his chancery, by which they claim the following:1 '[30] To have a hundred in that town before its provost. [31] To hold personal pleas arising within the bounds of the town [32] To hold pleas of agreement, of disobedience [hinys], and of hue and cry, and of bloodshed. The amercement for bloodshed is 5s; and for hue and cry, 12d. [33] To hold pleas of affrays. [34] The sovereign ought to take cognizance of and concern himself with regrators and forestallers of victuals and other articles for sale coming to that town. [35] If any burgess is impleaded before any judge of trespass, debts, accounts, agreements or any other contracts made outside the town, half the jurors shall be burgesses of the town and the other half of the outside place. [36] Concerning all contracts or trespasses done or to be done within the bounds of the town, that the inquisition should be made up entirely of the town and not from outside. [37] Concerning debts of 6d or less, the sovereign at the request of the plaintiff shall send his serjeant to the debtor, and if he acknowledge before the serjeant that he owes so much, then the serjeant shall take security of the debtor and deliver it to the creditor for that debt. [38] They claim to have fairs in the town one a year at Pentecost and the fortnight following. [39] The sovereign and bailiffs ought to choose two provosts of the merchant guild [de chepmenyelde] each year at Michaelmas. [40] The provosts ought to have correction of the assize of bread and ale, and to make correction by amercement and punishment of the pillory, according to statute. [41] The sovereign, with the lord's bailiffs, ought to ordain and proclaim all victuals for sale in that town or coming there for sale to be sold at a fixed price, and to correct those who offend against the proclamation by amercement and fines. [42] They ought to have in that town a whipping-post, pillory and tumbrel [castigatorium, collistrigium, tumbrellum], and all pleas pertaining to them. [43] Before Michaelmas each year, the community of that town ought to elect four from that town to the office of provost, and present them to the lord of the town or his attorney, and the attorney ought to accept one of them to serve for half the year namely from Michaelmas to Easter, and another to serve from Easter to Michaelmas. And none of the provosts ought to attorn anyone in his place in that office unless by assent of the sovereign and community of the town. [44] Judgements rendered in the hundred shall be rendered by the provost and four burgesses of the town, and if any judgement be difficult to render then several of the wiser burgesses [plures burgenses sapienciores] of the town shall be called together to render that judgement. [45] They ought to have view of arms of all residents in the town, and put them in arms according to statute, and correct defaults. [46] They ought to have return of all mandates both of the K. and the lords [of the town], so that execution of the mandate ought to be made by the bailiffs and provosts of the town, and not by others. [47] The lord's pleas in assizes and in eyres and sessions shall be held in the tholsel or common court of the lords, and not in the burgage of the town to the injury of the burgesses. [48] Pledges for debts that are undischarged for a year and a day are to be valued and sold after being shown before the provost at the hundred on three occasions. [49] They claim that heirs of burgesses succeeding on the death of their ancestors may alienate their tenements at their will from the age of 14 years. [50] Burgesses or their servants or tenants convicted before any judge and imprisoned, should be detained in the tholsel of the town and not elsewhere. [51] Anyone threatening life or limb, or arson, is to be arrested and held in the tholsel until he finds surety, the threat having been proved before the sovereign of the town by witnesses who heard the threats or were present. [52] Any burgess who wishes to complain of any other of any plea may arrest the defendant until the coming of the serjeant of that town. [53] The burgesses of that town shall not be compelled to perform military service [ad exercitum viagium] outside the bounds of the town or to parley with Irish or any other enemies, or to muster before the seneschal or keepers of the peace, or to escort or prevent anyone, unless they freely wish to do this. [54] Measures of grain, viz. bushels of wheat, oats, rye and all other kinds of grain for purchase or sale, ought to be measured by the hands in full and heaped measures. [55] They claim that they are not bound to answer for any tallage, charge or carucate unless assessed by the sovereign and community. [56] They claim that the sovereign, by assent of the community, has the power to remove all markets from one place to another within the walls of the town. [57] No burgess should answer in the castle or anywhere else outside the bounds of the town but only at the tholsel, whether at the suit of the lords [of the town] or anyone else. [58] All labourers, bakers, tailors, shoemakers, fullers, ale-wives, brewers and other workmen, and all craftsmen living within the bounds of the town, shall be corrected by fine and amercement before the sovereign and provost of the town, and not before others; and those fines and amercements are to be divided, half to the lord of the town and the other half to the sovereign and community. [59] If any servant men or maids of the sovereign or burgesses commit trespass, they are to be brought to the tholsel and whipped without receipt of any fine or amercement from them. [60] No foreign or outside merchant may dispose of goods without licence of the sovereign and burgesses. [61] The sovereign and burgesses may lawfully shut their gates, if they have any, in time of war, uncertainty or peril. [62] Burgesses of the town may leave all lands and tenements acquired by them in their wills, just as they leave their other goods by their wills, so that that legacy shall remain firm and stable forever. [63] The provost and serjeants have power to arrest anyone at the suit of any burgess complaining of a plea of debt. [64] The sovereign and burgesses are to be quit of toll, lastage, passage, pontage, murage and all other customs and dues throughout the realm and lordship of the K. of Eng., just as the burgesses of Gloucester are by virtue of the said honour of Gloucester. [65] As various burgesses of the town who dwell outside the town have various empty tenements within the town and will not repair or build them, the sovereign and community claim power to distrain them to do so by their land and rents within the bounds of Kilkenny. [66] No outside merchants may buy any fresh skins within the bounds of that town, except by licence of the sovereign and community.’ The sovereign, burgesses and commons of the said town of New Ross have humbly pleaded by their petition displayed to the Jcr and council in Ire. in the K.’s parliament lately summoned and held at Kilkenny on Friday after St Andrew last [3 Dec. 1389], and later adjourned to the town of Castledermot and thence to the town of Balymore, and from that town to the town of Naas, that among other liberties granted to them by the charter of the said late earl of Norfolk, it was granted that all burgesses of New Ross should be as free throughout the land and power of the said earl of Norfolk and his lordship in Ire. as the burgesses of Banna or Kilkenny or Wexford, or any other burgesses of Leinster, are. The K. has approved, granted, ratified and confirmed both the charter of liberties granted by the late earl of Pembroke to the burgesses of Kilkenny, and also the other liberties and uses claimed by the said burgesses [etc.]. CONFIRMATION, GRANT and LICENCE to the burgesses of New Ross that they and their heirs and successors may henceforth freely use and enjoy all those liberties, uses and customs confirmed by the K. to the burgesses of Kilkenny.
Attested: John Stanley, Jcr

Granted by Rcihard II. (Regnal year 13).
Primary Sources
A Calendar of Irish Chancery Letters, c. 1244–1509, PR 13 Ric. II View CIRCLE record
Irish Record Commission, 1829-30, Chartae Privilegia et Immunitates p. 84-6 (ref. E Rot. Mem 34 & 35 Eliz. m. 5-9)
Mac Niocaill, G., 1964, Na Buirgéisí: XII-XV aois Vol. 2 p. 300–15

Footnotes: The text of the charter is given full in Mac Niocaill, Na Buirgéisí, ii, pp 300–4. The numbered clauses in the summary translation correspond to the numeration in Mac Niocaill, Na Buirgéisí, ii, pp 304–15. (CIRCLE)
This is a royal confirmation of earlier (undated but C13) lordly charters. Quite how much authority a lordly granted tax exemption had in practice, beyond that lords holdings, may be in question.

Record created by Philip Davis. This record created 14/05/2012. Last updated on 19/01/2013. First published online 6/01/2013.

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