CTH 1/1

Let all those present and future that we Henry de Lacy, earl of Lincoln and constable of Chester, have given, conceded, and by this our present charter have confirmed, for us and our heirs to our free burgesses of Congleton that

  1. the aforesaid town shall be a free borough and our burgesses of the same borough shall have for evermore a merchant guild with all the liberties and free customs to the same guild belonging.
  2. Also they (the said burgesses) shall have housebote and haybote and common of pasture for all their beasts and cattle everywhere in our territory of Congulton, with abundant fuel and without hindrance from anyone on our part, when they need it as by digging, drying, and taking turves and peats anywhere in the turbary of Congleton.
  3. And that they shall be quit of pannage for as many pigs as they shall have within the bounds of Congleton.
  4. And that by pretext of the charter of concession and confirmation of the liberties of our burgesses which we have from the lord the king, they shall be freed forever throughout all places in Cheshire, whether by land or by water, under the defence and protection of ourselves and our heirs, with all their merchandise from toll, stallage, passage, pavage, pontage, lastage, and murage, and from all other impeachments which affect merchandise except from reasonable amends if they do transgress.
  5. And that they shall not be impleaded nor judged of any plea for their lands or tenements nor of any plea which "sonat in transgressione " done within the limits of the town aforesaid without their own proper borough. And if any of them fall to our amercement before judgement for default, it shall nor exceed 12d and after judgement reasonable amercement according to the extent of the trespass.
  6. And that they may grind their corn at out mill at Congleton to the twentieth grain provided the mill is sufficient.
  7. And that our burgesses aforesaid may choose to themselves a mayor and catchpole and taster of ale and shall present them openly in our great court there the Tuesday next after the feast of St Michael [29th September], and our bailiff shall take their oath of faithful service to the lord and community.
  8. Also we will and concede for us and our heirs and assigns that the aforesaid burgesses may have and hold their burgages and the lands to the burgage belonging and also the lands within the said lordship which can be reasonably appropriated and rented by the oaths of the aforesaid burgesses without hurt of their liberty and of their common aforesaid peaceably and quietly for ever viz. every burgage for 6d yearly and every acre of land for 12d at the usual rent terms of the said town.
  9. And that they shall make at our court three appearances on certain days. Yet when the writ of right is running in the said court they shall make suit from fortnight to fortnight for every other kind of service and demand.
  10. And that they may lawfully sell give mortgage or otherwise alienate at their will, except to religious persons, their burgages and lands aforesaid.
  11. And that the bailiffs of the said town if they have caught any felon in a known felony may lawfully behead him and, if the felony be unknown, to hold him for three days if they will in the stocks and afterwards deliver him to our castle of Halton with the chattels found with him, saving to them the "pelfe" which pertains to the serjeant.

And we the aforesaid Henry and our heirs will warrant acquit and forever defend all the aforesaid liberties, burgages, lands, and tenements with appurtenances etc with free usages of the town to the aforesaid burgesses, their heirs, and assigns, against all men.
In witness whereof to this present charter we have appended our seal, these being witnesses: John Deyville, William le Vavasour, Robert de Stokeport, Geoffrey de Chedle knights, Richard de Rode, Gralam of Tideby, Bertram de Saxeby, Vincent de Wombwell, Gervase the clerk, and others.