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mayors, sheriffs, escheators, coroners, bailiffs, constables, and all other officers, ministers, and liege subjects, and to every of them under the great forfeiture which may or can be forfeited to us our heirs or successors, by tenor of this our charter, firmly in command, that they and every of them, upon shewing of these presents in all and singular the premises, be ready and obedient without any writ or other process or mandate in that behalf to be directed, prosecuted, or obtained in any wise not contravening the same as in the charter aforesaid, from word to word more fully is contained: In testimony whereof, we have caused these our letters to be made patent. Witness ourself at Westminster, the first day of May, in the first year of our reign.

By Writ of Privy Seal and of the date aforesaid, by Authority of Parliament,

GUNTHORP.

Henry VII. recites and confirms the foregoing, A. D. 1492.

King Edward VI. in the fourth year of his reign (1551) by charter under the seal of the Dutchy of Lancaster, reciting all the other charters, confirms the fee-farm rent of £41. per annum, but releases forty shillings per annum in consideration of rents coming to the king, by the dissolution of the Abbeys, &c.

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Queen Elizabeth in the first year of her reign, (1558) recited and confirmed all the foregoing.

In the sixth of Charles I. A. D. 1630, all former charters were surrendered, and the borough was incorporated by the style of Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses, but the Common Council was to consist of the Mayor, Recorder, and Aldermen only, in which state, it continues to the present time. On account of the extreme length of this charter we have transferred it to the end of the volume.

Huntingdon first sent Members to Parliament 23 Edw. I. (1296)—the earliest epoch of acknowledged representation,—but the first return extant is 26 Edw. I. of this ancient document the following is a faithful copy.

Amongst the records in the Court of Chancery kept in the Tower of London, to wit writs of Parliament of the 26th year of the reign of King Edward I. after the Conquest.

"EDWARD by the grace of God King of England, Lord of Ireland, and duke of Aquitain to the sheriff of Huntingdon greeting. Because we propose being at

Yorke in this instant Feast of Pentecost (the Lord consenting,) and there desire to have a conference and treaty with the earls, barons, and other great men of our kingdom, upon business touching us and the state of the Kingdom, therefore we have commanded the said earls, barons, and great men, that they then be there to confer and treat with us upon the said business. We command and firmly enjoin you, that two knights of the county aforesaid, and of every city in the same county two citizens, and of every borough two burgesses of the more discreet and able men for business, without delay you cause to be chosen and to come to us at the day and place aforesaid, so that the said knights may then have there full and sufficient power for themselves and the community of the county aforesaid; and the said citizens and burgesses aforesaid themselves and the community of the cities and bo

roughs aforesaid, separately from thence to do what then by the Common Council shall be ordained in the premises, so that for default of such power the business aforesaid may not remain undone in any wise howsoever: and have then the names of the knights, citizens, and burgesses, and this writ. Witness ourself at Fuleham, the 13th day of April, in the twenty sixth year of our reign."

Endorsed

KNIGHTS ELECTED FOR THE COUNTY OF
HUNTINGDON.

Ralph de Leytone, of Cattewarth.

Richard Hollet, of the same.

Master Alan de Chartres, Knight.

Thomas de Cattewarth.

John, of the Trinity of Huntingdon.
Master Robert de Beause, Knight.
Lawrence, the Freeholder of Huntingdon.
William Bygenore, of the same place.
Master Robert Bulder, Burgess of the town

of Huntingdon.

John de St. Liz, of Huntingdon.

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Richard, the Freeholder of the same place.
Master John of the Trinity and Burgess of

the same town.

The reader will perceive that although the names of twelve persons (or rather of eleven, for John of the Trinity occurs twice and we presume means the same person,*) are indoron the writ, two only are designated as knights, and two as burgesses. Whether the others are to be considered as sureties for the attendance of the knights and burgesses, (for the office of Member of Parliament was then eagerly avoided, on account of its being considered an intolerable burthen) or whether they were the persons by whom the election was made, we profess ourselves unable to determine. It was then customary for the names of the sureties to be indorsed upon the writ, and this practice continued down to the fifteenth century.+

* John de Walcote was then the incumbent of Trinity Church, Huntingdon.

+ Luder's Reports, v. 1. p. 15.

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