Holsworthy Markets and Fairs
Devon & Cornwall Notes and Queries vol. VII, (1912-1913), Exeter: James G. Commin. 1913, pp. 32-34.
Prepared by Michael Steer
Holsworthy is a historic market town with many hundreds of years of history and is mentioned in the Domesday Book, as being part of the estate of Harold Godwinson. The town has occupied a hill top site since Saxon times, and in 1154 became a safe trading centre (known as a port town). The date of the original charter for the market and charter fair is between 1154 and 1185. The article, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.
Note 9. HOLSWORTHY MARKETS AND FAIRS. By the courtesy of Mr. Apsley Petre Peter, we are able to print a copy of the translation, made by the late Mr. Richard Peter, of the grant of the Holsworthy Markets and Fairs.
PART 9 OF THE PATENTS OF THE EIGHTH YEAR OF THE REIGN
OF KING CHARLES .
"THE KING to all to whom etc. greeting.
Whereas by several inquisitions lately taken by our command before our Sheriff of our County of Devon returned into our Chancery and there remaining it was ascertained by the oath of approved and lawful men of the same County that it would not be to the injury or prejudice of Our self or others or to the damage prejudice or hurt of the neighbouring Markets and fairs in the County aforesaid if we grant to Nicholas Prideaux Esquire and his heirs that they might have and hold one Market to be held on Wednesday in every week at the Town of Hollisworthy in the County aforesaid And two fairs in every year one of which to be held there on the 15th and 16th day of April and the other upon the 20th and 21st day of September and during the whole of ithose days for ever Also that they might receive for themselves and their heirs the tolls and profits thence arising and accruing As by the same inquisitions remaining of record more fully appears. KNOW YE THEREFORE that we upon the Humble Petition of the same Nicholas of our special grace and of our certain Knowledge and mere motion have given and granted and by these presents for us our heirs and successors do give and grant to the said Nicholas Prideaux his heirs and assigns and We Will that he his heirs and assigns may have one Market on every Wednesday weekly at the Town of Hollisworthy aforesaid for ever to be held in addition to the Market there hitherto usually held on the Sabbath day in every week also two fairs there yearly for ever one of which to be held there on the 15th and 16th day of April and continuing and during the whole of those days and the other on the 20th and 21st day of September and continuing and during the whole of those days besides the holidays or fair accustomed to be held there yearly at the Feast of St Peter the Apostle Together with tronage "[a toll paid for weighing wool]" and the profits thereof to be received in the aforesaid Markets and Holidays or fairs as in markets and fairs there hitherto respectively and separately held and accustomed and together with the foot dust [or the Pie-pouder] there at the time of holding the said markets and holidays or fairs, And with all liberties and free customs tolls stallage piccage "[toll paid at fairs for breaking ground for booths]" fines amerciaments and all other profits commodities and emoluments whatsoever to the said markets and holidays or fairs belonging WHEREFORE we will and by these presents for us our heirs and successors affirm order and command, that the aforesaid Nicholas Prideaux his heirs and assigns may have one market to be held on Wednesday in every week at the town of Hollisworthy aforesaid for ever in addition to the Market hitherto accustomed to be held there on the Sabbath Day in every week Also two fairs there yearly for ever one of which to be held on the 15th and 16th day of April and continuing and during all those days and the other on the 20th and 21st day of Sep- tember and continuing and during all those days besides the holiday or fair accustomed to be held there yearly at the least of Saint Peter the apostle Together with tronage and the profits thereof to be received in the aforesaid market and holiday or fair, as in the market and fair hitherto there held have respectively and severally been accustomed to be received And together with the Court of Pie poudre to be held there at the time of the aforesaid markets and holidays or fairs and with all liberties and free customs tolls s!allage piccage fines amerciaments and all other profits commodities and emoluments whatsoever to the said markets and holidays or fairs belonging To have hold and enjoy the aforesaid markets and holidays or fairs fines amerciaments profits and other the premises by these presents before granted to the aforesaid Nicholas Prideaux his heirs and assigns for the sole and proper benefit and use of the said Nicholas his heirs and assigns for ever To be held of us our heirs and successors for such the same and the like services and enures as and upon which the said Manor of Hollisworthy is held and not for other nor different [services etc.] And yielding therefore ly to us our heirs and successors 26 shillings and eight pence of lawful money of England to be paid in every year at the receipt of our Exchequer at Westminster our heirs and Successors or into the hands of the Receiver General for the time being of the said County of Devon at the Feast of Saint Michael the Archangel Therefore etc. In testimony etc. Witness the King himself at Westminster on the 17th day of November By Writ of Privy Seal
11th March, 1879.
Notes. - The word Feriǣ means strictly holidays, but it latterly became used also for the institution which we now know as a fair.
Nundina is a Market or fair: The Romans held one on every 9th day (nona dies). This Nundine, by its regular recurrence was probably the precursor of our weekly Markets.
Piccage - Money paid at Fairs for breaking ground for Booths.
Tronage. - A Toll or duty paid for weighing wool.
Piepoudre was an ancient Court of record incident to every fair and market of which the Steward of him who owned or had toll was the judge. It had jurisdiction of all causes arising in the fair or market.
Fines were fixed penalties.
Amerciaments discretionary ones. R.P.