Lincoln was one of the wealthiest English cities from the twelfth to the fourteenth century, although it subsequently declined. This 1911 volume edited by Walter de Gray Birch contains transcripts and translations of the royal charters issued to the city of Lincoln between the twelfth and seventeenth centuries. The introduction discusses the physical condition, content, and importance of the charters, and the necessity for their preservation and publication as the foundations of modern civic democracy. The charters cover a wide range of topics, including protecting the guilds from outside competition, permitting the election of civic officers, allowing building work, and the holding of regular markets. The city authorities were diligent in getting charters and privileges confirmed by successive monarchs, which preserved the content of early, now lost, documents. Although the translations do contain some errors and misunderstandings of the original, this is a valuable collection of documents on city administration.
The Royal Charters of the City of Lincoln
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