Booklet uncovers Saffron Walden charters

10:10 08 May 2014

The Saffron Walden Charter, 1514

The Saffron Walden Charter, 1514

Archant

Five hundred years ago, in May 1514, Saffron Walden was granted the second of two charters that together marked the first tentative steps towards autonomy and local self-government for the town.

The charters were particularly important at the time as, in the previous century, Walden had become a Royal manor, burdened by excessive taxes that restricted trade and impoverished the town. The beautifully illuminated first charter, which is on display in Saffron Walden Museum, granted powers to found the Guild of the Holy Trinity and to hold an annual fair on the feast of St Ursula.

The second charter, less than two months after the first, gave the newly-founded guild a Saturday market, with its court of pie powder, and the office of clerk of the market. The windmill and malt mill were also given. The guild was now free to run these and to keep the profits from them all, paying the king an annual sum of £10 for the privilege.

Together these charters framed the economic life of the town until the Guild was abolished in 1547.

As part of the town council’s celebrations Dr Liz Allan, of Cambridge, has written a 24-page booklet about the charters and the small group of local men and women who obtained them.

The illustrated booklet, entitled The Saffron Walden Charter, 1514, describes social and economic life in Walden in the early 16th century and includes illustrations from the charters. The booklet was designed and edited by Martyn Everett and proof-read by Sue Hollingworth. Copies cost £2 and can be obtained from Saffron Walden Tourist Information Centre.

Dr Allan is also the author of Chepyng Walden: the Late Medieval Town, which will be published by Saffron Walden Historical Society in the autumn.

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Saffron Walden Reporter visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Saffron Walden Reporter staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Saffron Walden Reporter account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Yesterday, 15:01
Brother and sister saffron team David Smale and Penny Attwood, with Mark Starte of Saffron Walden Tourist Information Centre.

A brother and sister have teamed up to put the spice back into Saffron Walden.

Yesterday, 11:46
Councillors defeated the vote of no confidence in Uttlesford District Council (UDC) leader, cllr Howard Rolfe, by 31 votes to 10.

Last night (Thursday) the leader of Uttlesford District Council (UDC) survived a vote of no confidence, amid a meeting packed full of posturing, accusations and apologies.

Thu, 12:12
Peter Day pictured with UKIP leader Nigel Farage. PHOTO: Victoria Thirtle.

A former Cambridge city councillor has been announced as the UKIP candidate for Saffron Walden at the general election next year.

Thu, 10:36
Theresa Sandeman-Charles

A woman who had been battling one of the world’s rarest lung diseases died last Friday – 12 months after inspiring more than 10,000 people to sign up to the organ donor register.

E-edition

Most read stories