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Shelley Family Origins

Shelley Family Origins

DNA indicates the family originates from Northern Europe and Anglo-Saxon in establishment. The surname Shelley has been attributed to an English locality of that name*. Three locations named Shelley anciently existed, in Suffolk nr Sudbury, in Essex nr Ongar and in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The earliest of these places, recorded in Old English, is ‘Schelfeage’ in Suffolk c 995. In the Domesday Book it is Sceveleia. The name precisely describes the home manor location. ‘Shelley’ is derived from…

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Freemen’s Dictionary and Glossary of Terms

Freemen’s Dictionary and Glossary of Terms

(Old English Trade Descriptions) As a result of a question raised in the Open Forum at the 2012 FEW AGM as to what the difference between a Freeman and a Burgess was, I produced the following paper. To this I have added a dictionary of olden terms relating to civic and trade descriptions for ease of reference. Burgess or Freeman – is there a difference? Some confusion arises out of the use of these two expressions. The terms can be…

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Patron of FEW – The Right Honourable, the Earl Bathurst

Patron of FEW – The Right Honourable, the Earl Bathurst

Popular among the important members of Gloucestershire and Cotswold society, Earl Bathurst is known for his amiable and forthright personality. Hard working, fair minded, and a man of the people with a clear approach to duty and among other things currently an avid supporter of ‘Help the Heroes’. Locally, Lord of Cirencester, serving on several charitable boards, he is a director of the Housing Society and Trustee of the St Lawrence Hospital Trust. As an ambassador of agriculture, his limits…

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Miscellaneous Borough Legislation

Miscellaneous Borough Legislation

Borough Regulation The culture of English society really began in the boroughs created by Alfred the Great. In such an insular self-governing enclosure it was necessary to create rules and regulations. As mentioned previously in my comments on borough freemen, the law of custom determined that responsibilities would be shared upon the kinship of families. The local laws developed and were governed via the Moot hall. Digressions would normally result in monetary fines. Deliberate injuries or crimes against a neighbour…

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Norman family de Clare

Norman family de Clare

The chevrons of the de Clare family can be seen on many civic coats of arms in England and Wales. Our Association of Freemen owe much to this family who have founded freedoms in many boroughs and were instigators of the Magna Carta. Richard de Clare (1035-1090) a Norman kinsman of William the Conqueror, created a dynasty so powerful as to threaten the king. Their lordships stretched across England into Wales and Ireland. When Richard ‘Strongbow’ de Clare, prominent Marcher…

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St Nicholas, the Freemen’s Civic Church, Gloucester

St Nicholas, the Freemen’s Civic Church, Gloucester

This church building has great importance in the history of the ‘Freemen of Gloucester’. Built in the 12th century in the Westgate ward of the old city, it performed a principal part in the support of the ancient burh (borough). The church became redundant in 1971 and is now under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. Strategically located within the early burgage plots it was central in serving the Corporation and the industrious trades merchants of the City. The…

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Gloucester – The Case for Royal Entitlement

Gloucester – The Case for Royal Entitlement

To whom it may concern The City of Gloucester has good grounds for consideration of entitlement as a ‘royal’ town. Initiated by Alfred the Great and by Ethelred and Aethelflaed whose palace was at Gloucester. From earliest times it has been a place of noble patronage. Bede spoke of it as ‘one of the noblest cities in the Kingdom’. Alfred’s grandson Athelstan, first king over all of England was raised and died in Gloucester (buried in Malmesbury Abbey). Gloucester was…

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Of Gloucester & York

Of Gloucester & York

The County towns of Gloucestershire and Yorkshire while unique in themselves have much in common with each other in forming our English nation. It is interesting to discover the several historic parallels between these two ancient cities. Their capital importance within the history of England is sometimes overlooked by modern society. Historically they were only second to London and Westminster. An indication of the importance of York is given to its Archbishop, whose position is ranked directly after the Archbishop…

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Peggs vs Lamb Law Report

Peggs vs Lamb Law Report

Law Report: Trusts to benefit whole borough: Peggs and others v Lamb and others – Chancery Division (Mr Justice Morritt), 12 March 1993. Paul Magrath, Barrister 20 April 1993. The freemen of the ancient borough of Huntingdon did not have a statutory right to share equally between them all the income of the land, proceeds of sale and investments currently held by the trustees of the Huntingdon Commons Charity and Lammas Rights Charity. The original and charitably valid purpose of…

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Shelley Successions at Sudbury

Shelley Successions at Sudbury

For centuries the Shelley’s were ‘freemen’ trading in Sudbury, clearly succeeding directly from Richard Shelley who is recorded in 1632. The family operated in the woollen weaving business employing apprentices and yeomen weavers. Eventually they moved into blacksmithing and established a flourishing operation at the east of the town in the area known as Wigan End. In the 1860s Charles Thomas Shelley was head of the family, with premises at nos 9, 10 and Il East Street (Wigan End) with…

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