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HUGH WRIGHT, Maior.*
To the right Worpll. the Sheriffe of the Countie Pallatyne of Durham, and to his under Sheriffe.”||
On the 16th November, 1633, Bishop Morton granted the office of water-bailiff, with the anchorage, beaconage, &c., to Sir William Belasyse, Knight, and others, in trust for the use of the city of Durham.
Bishop Morton, desirous of encouraging the trade of the borough, in the year 1634, granted the following charter of incorporation to the burgesses and inhabitants, by the title of mayor, twelve aldermen and commonalty of the borough of Sunderland.
• Hugh Wright was mayor of Durham in 1602, 1615, 1623, and 1632; he was appointed one of the aldermen of Sunderland under Bishop Morton's charter. † John Richardson was appointed recorder of Sunderland in 1634,
Hugh Walton was mayor of Durham in 1633, 1634, 1639, and 1610; appointed an alderman of Sunderland by Bishop Morton.
$ Richard Whitfield was mayor of Durham in 1628. | Burnett's History of Sunderland, p. 23.
9 Spearman's Enquiry, p. 31.
BISHOP MORTON'S CHASTER.
SEfoomas, bji the ffirate of CSoi, 33tsfiop of Burfjam, to all to whom these presents shall come, greeting. Whereas our borough of Sunderland-near-the-Sea, in the county palatine of Durham, is, and time out of mind hath been, an ancient borough, known by the name of the New Borough of Weremouth, containing in itself a certain port where, from which, in which, and through which, very many ships and other vessels used by mariners, as well within the kingdom of England, as from foreign parts come and ply, introducing and importing merchandize, goods, and other saleable articles, and exporting from the said port sea-coals, grindstones, rubstones, and whetstones, and other merchandize, during the time aforesaid, both for the good of the state, and to the great profit and advantage of the kingdom of England, by the payment of duties for the loading and unloading, bringing and carrying the coals, stones, and merchandize aforesaid, which are now greatly increased by the multitude of seamen that resort to the said borough for the reasons aforesaid.
And whereas the said borough of Sunderland, the burgesses, freemen, and inhabitants of the said borough, during the time aforesaid, have had, held, and enjoyed various ancient liberties and free customs, as well by prescription as by virtue of sundry charters, as well by grants and confirmation of the most famous kings of England, as by sundry grants of our predecessors, Bishops of Durham.
And whereas the burgesses, freemen, and inhabitants of the said borough, have in times past sustained and suffered no small damage, by reason of the defects of some charters and letters patent granted by our predecessors, containing many privileges, rights, and liberties, for the good order and government of the said borough, the burgesses, freemen, and inhabitants of the borough aforesaid; and fearing that they should in time to come, for want of publication, explicitness, or proof, be molested, aggrieved, hindered, disturbed, and unhappily oppressed in their aforesaid ancient liberties, privileges, and free customs, they have most humbly besought us, that we would deign to confirm and enforce the liberties and free customs aforesaid; and also to grant further liberties, in words hereinafter to be expressed, to the same burgesses, freemen, and inhabitants of the borough aforesaid, and their successors, in form following: and to incorporate the same burgesses, freemen, and inhabitants, and to make, constitute, and create them persons able and capable in law in perpetual succession. We, therefore, for the improvement and enlargement of the said borough, for the better order and government of the same, and for the better sustaining and supporting of the great burdens and expenses thereunto appertaining, which they sustain, and are in danger of sustaining, and which they think very probable they will have constantly to sustain and support for the time to come, for the maintenance of the said borough, and the enlargement and defence of the
said port from time to time, being favourably inclined to their petition in this behalf, do, of our special grace, certain knowledge, and mere motive, ordain, constitute, and grant, for us and our successors, as far as in us lieth, that the said burgesses, freemen, and inhabitants of the borough of Sunderland aforesaid, may be, and shall be, one body corporate and politic, of mayor, twelve aldermen, and commonalty of the said borough, to endure for ever. And that the said burgesses, freemen, and inhabitants of the borough aforesaid may be, and shall be for ever one body politic and corporate, in deed, fact, and name, by the name of mayor, aldermen, and commonalty of the borough of Sunderland ; and we do by these presents, for us and our successors, as much as in us lieth, really and fully erect, make, ordain, constitute, and create them one body politic and corporate, by the name of Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of the Borough of Sunderland: and we do decree and declare, that they and their successors be for ever incorporated, united, and established one body; and that they be named, called, and for ever entitled the mayor, aldermen, and commonalty of the borough of Sunderland ; and by that name have perpetual succession, and may be, and shall be, in all future times, persons able and capable in law for the purposes aforesaid ; and that by the same name they may plead and be impleaded ; and under the aforesaid name may prosecute, defend, or answer, in and for all and all manner of causes, complaints, actions, and suits, real, personal, and mixed, of what nature or kind soever, before whatsoever judges, as well spiritual as temporal, in all our courts and those of our successors, within the county palatine of Durham and Sadberge, and as much as in us lieth in all other courts
and places whatsoever. And that the aforesaid mayor, aldermen, and commonalty of the borough aforesaid, and their successors, may also be able and capable in law to purchase and receive lands, tenements, annuities, rents, services, possessions, and hereditaments, of whatever kind, and also goods and chattels of whatever sort, as well spiritual as temporal, of any person or persons whomsoever who shall be willing to give, grant, leave, sell, or assign unto them so that the said lands, tenements, hereditaments, and premises, to be by them purchased and received, do not exceed the annual value of one hundred marks, and so that they be not held of our most sovereign Lord King Charles in capite, nor by military service, nor of us, nor of any of our successors, in capite, nor by military service; but to be held by them and their successors, according to the states and forms of the same sorts of gifts, grants, bequests, sales, and purchases, without our molestation or disturbance, or that of our successors, or of any of our officers or ministers whomsoever. And we also will, that the said mayor, aldermen, and commonalty of the borough aforesaid, may have, and do for ever have, a common seal, to seal all and singular writings, charters, and instruments any way touching or concerning them, the mayor, aldermen, or commonalty of the borough aforesaid, and their successors, or their lands, tenements, hereditaments, goods, chattels, or public affairs. And by these presents, for us and our successors, as far as in us lieth, we grant to the same mayor, aldermen, and commonalty of the borough aforesaid, and their successors, that they and their successors may for ever have and hold, within the borough of Sunderland aforesaid, one court, to be holden every day, from three weeks to three weeks, before their Re