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Bridgwater Borough Records
Compiled by the Somerset Record Office following conservation 4 November 1964

1. Inspeximus, Edward II 5 March 11 Ed II [1318] {D\B/bw/39/1}
Inspeximus confirming charter of King John to William Brewer, dated 26 June 1200. Bridgwater to be a free borough, and to have a free market and annual fair lasting eight days from the feast of St John the Baptist, with tolls, passage money, pontage [duty for repairing bridge]. lastage [duty for loading vessels], stallage [duty for erecting stalls in fair] and all other liberties and free customs appurtaining; the burgesses to be free from all tolls etc throughout the land and in all ports except City of London.

2. Inspeximus, Edward III, 17 Oct. 45 Ed III [1371] {D\B/bw/39/2}
Inspeximus of charter of Edward II, dated 5 March 1318, confirming the original charter of John, dated 26 June 1200.

3. Inspeximus, Henry IV, 9 Nov. 2 Henry IV [1400] } {D\B/bw/39/3}
Inspeximus by Letters Patent of charter of Edward III, dated 17 Oct 1371, confirming charters of Edward II, dated 5 March 1318, and John, dated 26 June 1200.

4. Inspeximus, Henry VII, 5 Feb, 3 Hen VII [1488] {D\B/bw/2386}
Inspeximus by Letters Patent of charter of Edward IV, dated 18 June 1468, granting certain privileges to the borough on account of the ruinous state of the town and port. The Mayor, Bailiffs and Burgesses to be a corporate body using a common seal, a merchant gild to be formed, and a Recorder or Steward of the town elected; the extended boundaries of the borough of the borough specified.

5. Inspeximus, Henry VIII, 10 Feb 30 Henry VIII [1539] {D\B/bw/39/4}
Inspeximus by Letters Patent of Inspeximus of Edward III, and of Edward II, confirming original charter of John, dated 26 June 1200.

6. Grant, Mary, 21 May 1 Mary [1554] {D\B/bw/39/5}
Letters Patent granting to Bailiffs and Burgesses of Bridgwater an annual rent charge of 14s arising from lands of said Bailiffs and Burgesses in East Stower, Dorset, for perpetual maintenance of anniversaries and lights in parish church of Bridgwater; and also properties in Bridgwater, including premises formerly belonging to the chantries of Holy Trinity, St George and St Mary in the parish church, to be held in free burgage

7. Grant, Elizabeth, 4 July 29 Eliz [1587] {D\B/bw/39/6}
Letters Patent confirming the corporate body known as Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of Bridgwater, using a common seal. There are also to be two Bailiffs, a Common Council of eighteen burgesses, a Common Clerk and Protonotary, two Sergeants-at-Mace, a Court of Record, and a Clerk of the Market. The Midsummer Fair, the boundaries of the borough (described in the charter of Edward IV) and the property held by the borough (granted by Queen Mary) are all confirmed.

8. Inspeximus, James I, 16 Feb 11 Jac I [1614] {D\B\bw/39/8}
Inspeximus by Letters Patent confirming grant of Elizabeth, dated 4 July 1587.

9. Inspeximus, Charles I, 16 April 4 Car I [1628] {D\B\bw/39/9}
Inspeximus, by Letters Patent, of Inspeximus of James I, dated 16 Feb 1614, confirming grant by Queen Elizabeth, dated 4 July 1587. It also states that the boundaries of the borough are co-terminous with those of the parish, specifies the judicial powers of the Mayor, Recorder and Aldemen, makes provision for a Deputy Recorder, increases the number of burgesses in the Common Council from eighteen to twenty-four, and makes regulations concerning St Matthew's Fair, including the holding of a Court of Piepowder at that time.

10. Grant, Charles II, 8 Dec 35 Car II [1683] {D\B/bw/39/10}
Letters Patent confirming the ancient privileges of the borough, a corporate body known as the Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of Bridgwater, using a common seal; Mayor, two Aldermen, Common Council of twenty-four, Deputy Mayor, Recorder, Deputy Recorder, Common Clerk and Protonotary, Receiver of Pence, two Bailiffs, Coroner, Fair in the High Street held 28 and 29 Dec with Court of Piepowder, and two Burgesses in Parliament, all confirmed.

[11a. Grant, George III, 12 March 4 George III [1794] {D\B/bw/2418}
A printed copy as a paste down in a volume of miscellaneous documents. ]

11. Grant, William IV, 10 June 6 Will IV [1836] {D\B/bw/2387}
Letters Patent granting a separate Court of Quarter Sessions to the borough.

12. Great Seal of Queen Elizabeth {D\B/bw/39/7}
Found loose, unattached to any document.
{ } denotes the reference numbers in the Somerset Heritage Centre catalogue in 2012.
[ ] is an addendum of 30 August 2012.
Webpage 13 January 2013. All Content © Bridgwater Heritage Group, unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.

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