Edgar, King of the English:
Grant of Market Rights to Medhamstead Minster, 963
Market rights were sometimes extensive. Other markets might not exist in a given
area and exclusive rights were granted to the local lord of the manor. There was also a
very careful definition of the localities in which tolls might be levied.
I, Edgar grant and give today, before God and before Archbishop Dunstan, freedom to St.
Peter's minster at Medhamsted, from king and from bishop; and all the thorps that thereto
lie; that is, Eastfield and Dodthorpe, and Eye, and Paston. And so I free it, that no
bishop have any jurisdiction there, but the abbot of the minster alone. And I give the
town called Oundle, with all that thereto lieth, called Eyot-hundred, with market and
toll; so freely, that neither king, nor bishop, nor earl, nor sheriff, have there any
jurisdiction; nor any man but the abbot alone, and whom he may set thereto. And I give to
Christ and St. Peter, and that too with the advice of Bishop Athelwold, these
lands;---that is, Barrow, Warmington, Ashton, Kettering, Castor, Eylesworth, Walton,
Witherington, Eye, Thorp, and a minster at Stamford. These lands and all the others that
belong to the minster I bequeath clear; that is, with sack and soc, toll and team, and
infangthief: these privileges and all others bequeath I clear to Christ and St. Peter. And
I give the two parts of Whittlesey-mere, with waters and with wears and fens; and so
through Meerlade along to the water that is called Nen; and so eastward to Kingsdelf. And
I will that there be a market in the town itself, and that no other be betwixt Stamford
and Huntingdon. And I will that thus be given the toll;---first, from Whittlesey-mere to
the king's toll of Norman-cross hundred; then backward again from Whittlesey-mere through
Meerlade along to the Nen, and as that river runs to Crowland; and from Crowland to Must,
and from Must to Kingsdelf and to Whittlesey-mere. And I will that all the freedom, and
all the privileges, that my predecessors gave, should remain; and I will write and confirm
this with the rood-token of Christ . . . (sign of cross follows).
From: James Ingram, trans., Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, (London: J. M. Dent &
Sons, 1917), p. 93, reprinted in Roy C. Cave & Herbert H. Coulson, A Source Book
for Medieval Economic History, (Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Co., 1936; reprint
ed., New York: Biblo & Tannen, 1965), pp. 115-116.
Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by
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© Paul Halsall, September 1998