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Lascy, William de Bella-mount, Richard de Stapylton, Magridus Reimudus, Richard the clerk, William the son of Gerondas, and others. Sealed with the seals of Roger and Henry de Lascy.

The antiquity of the above charters cannot be too much admired They are couched in the old Saxon way, after the manner of the ancient canons of the church. Before the conquest charters were usually dated sometimes by olympiads, and inductions, and some times by calends, nones, and ides ; but most frequently by the year of our Lord.*

Henry de Lascy, who succeeded Roger de Lascy in the enjoyment of all his possessions, granted the following charter to the burgesses, in confirmation of all their former rights.

CHARTER OF HENRY DE LASCY.

(endorsed in original No. 2.) Henry de Lascy, earl of Lincoln, and constable of Chester, to all persons, to whom this present writing shall come, GREETING in the Lord,

KNOW YE, that we have inspected a charter of Roger de Lasny, our ancestor, in these words, (here follow the charters of Roger de Lascy.) We therefore, the said donation and concession ratifying and approving, the same for us and our heirs aforesaid, do, to the aforesaid, our burgesses, and their successors, grant and have confirmed, to have and to hold the same, to them and their heirs, of us and our heirs, for ever, as they were wont to have the same in the time of our ancestors. In witness whereof to this present charter, we have caused our seal to be affixed. These being witnesses : Sir Peter of Chester, Provost of Beverley, Sir John Beck, John le Vavasour, Alexander de Montforte, William le Vavasour, Robert fil. Thomas, Stephen le Wallensis, knights ; Simon de Thorp seneschall of Kirkbye, Nicholas de Burton, and others. Dated at Pontefract, on the day of the apostles Phillip and James, in the sixth year of the reign of king Edward. And for the confirmation, the aforesaid burgesses have given us a hundred marks of silver.

Henry de Lascy afterwards granted them another charter, dated in the sixth year of Edward I. 1278, whereby they should enjoy hereditary right in the sheds they had erected; which runs as follows :

CHARTER OF HENRY DE LASCY.

(endorsed in original No. 3.) Henry de Lascy, earl of Lincoln and constable of Chester, to ah persons to whom this present writing shall come, GREETING in the Lord,

* Tetlow's Hist. of Pontefract, p. 25.

1

Know ye, that We, even at the feast of the apostle Phillip and James, in the sixth year of the reign of king Edward, have granted, and by this present writing, for us and our heirs, have confirmed to our beloved burgesses, and men of Pontefract, all the sheds (or stalls) which they shall be, or their ancestors have been able to erect in the market, and our waste ground of the said village, to have, and to hold to our said burgesses, and men, and their heirs and successors, of us and our heirs freely, quietly, and fairly and peaceably, by hereditary right for ever, by rendering, therefore, annually to us and our heirs, the due and accustomed ferm, (or rent,) at the usual and accustomed times. And that we will and grant, that neither we nor our heirs, nor any other in our name, shall have, or set up henceforth, any right or claim in the said sheds, (or stalls,) but the due and acccustomed ferm or rent only. To this present charter, we have caused our seals to be affixed, and for this our grant and acquittance, the burgesses and our men have given to us forty pounds sterling. These being witnesses : Dom. Petr. de Cestiræ, Governor of Beverley, the lord John de Beck, Johrs de Vavasour, Alexandler de Montforte, William de Vavasour, Robert, the son of Thomas, Stephen le Wallensis, knights; Simon de Thorp, seneschall of Pontefract, Thomas de Birkin, constabularius ejusdem, Peter de Kirketon, William de Malton, Henry de Kirkeby, Nicholas de Burton, and others. Dated, apud Pontefract, St. Phillipæ et Jude dies, vi. Edwardi primi, 1278.

In the reign of William Rufus, Henry de Lascy had confirmed to him also, the customs belonging to the castle and honor of Pontefract.

In this state of dependence did the burgesses remain, until the dukes of Lancaster, who lost their titse in the kings of England, became possessors of the place. Henry V. and VI. ratified and confirmed all the grants, declarations and franchises, contained in all former charters, and which had been granted to the borough; as also, to the honor of Pontefract and Duchy of Lancaster; by letters patent, and with the consent, and authority of both houses of parliament.

Richard III. in the second year of his reign, incorporated the borough, electing John Hill, one of the burgesses, the first mayor. He ordained that they might have a merchant's guild; and use the same liberties, as the borough of Stamford ; that they might have a common seal, and chuse out of themselves, at a certain time, thirteen comburgesses, one of which should always be mayor. That they might chuse out of the burgesses, two serjeants, to carry the mace, with the arms of the king and his successors thereon engraved; and there is a particular clause what persons shall be capacitated to be chosen mayor. Many strong powers and privileges are contained in this charter; as follows:

RICHARD THE THIRD'S CHARTER OF INCORPORATION.

(endured in criziul, No. t.)

RICHARD, by the grace of God king of England and France, lord of Ireland and duke of Lancaster, To the Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Priors, Dukes, Earls, Barons, Justices, Sheriffs, Eschzetors, Officers, Ministers, and to all his bailiffs and faithful subjects Greeting,

KNOW Ye that We, not only for the love and affection which we have and bear for our town and borongh of Pontefract, and for our beloved and faithful bailiffs and burgesses of the same, but also being desirous that they be worthily rewarded for their services, heretofore so agreeable and pleasing to us, proportionably to their great costs and charges, repeatedly laid out in that behalf, now fresh in our mind, ont of our certain knowledge and mere motion, have ordained, constituted, and appointed and made our beloved subject John Hill, one of the burgesses of the said town or borough, the mayor of the said town or borough, and out of our special grace WE HAVE granted and by this our present writing have confirmed for us and our heirs, to them the mayor and burgesses of the said town or borough for ever, these liberties, franchises, remunerations and immunities hereunder written; that is to say, that the borough be from henceforth a free borough in reality and name, to consist of a mayor and burgesses, and that the said mayor and burgesses and their heirs and successors be free burgesses, and may have a MERCHANT'S GUILD, and use and enjoy the same liberties and franchises in the said borough, which the burgesses and inhabitants of the village or borough of Stamford have heretofore used and enjoyed, and use and enjoy.

MOREOVER We will, and grant, by these presents for us and our heirs, that the said present mayor and burgesses, and their successors aforesaid being mayor's and burgesses of the town or borough thus incorporated, be a body corporate for ever, in · realit

and name, by the name of the mayor and burgesses of the town or borough of Pontefract; And that they may have perpetual succession ; AND that the said present mayor and burgesses and their successors aforesaid by the said name, may he persons fit and capable in law to purchase lands, tenements, rents, services and possessions whatsoever ; AND to prosecute and defend all and singular pleas, suits, plaints, demands, actions, real, personal and mixed, now depending or to be depending in any of our courts whatsoever, or of our heirs or of any other persons whatsoever, as well before us and our heirs as before any justices and judges

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THE

HISTORY OF PONTEFRACT,

IN YORKSHIRE;

BY GEORGE FOX,

SOLD BY JOHN FOX, PONTEFRACT ;
ALSO, BY LONGMAN, REES, ORME AND BROWN-G. B. WHITAKER-
BALDWIN, CRADOCK, AND JOY, LONDON; JOHN BAINES
ROBINSON & HERNAMAN, LEEDS ; WOLSTENHOLME-
WILSON & SONS, YORK ; SHEARDOWN &
SONS, DONCASTER ; R, NICHOLLS,

WAKEFIELD.

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