Bedford Times & Citizen
Unfortunately iPhone and iPad devices do not support flash, which is used by our current digital edition. To read your digital edition, use the same URL on any. 'Parishes: Dunstable', in A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 3, ed. but as he failed to appear in time the post was given to another; while waiting for the reversion he took . It bears the date on a rain-water head. Francis Thynn, Lancaster Herald, who visited Dunstable on 29 September , speaks of. Herald & Post - Luton & Dunstable, is no longer registered with ABC Company: Bedfordshire Newspapers Ltd Product Type: Regional Publications.
They had placed heavy relays along Watling Street to enable them to reach the Midlands in case of need, and Dunstable was one of their posting places. Even before the advent of the stage coaches private coaches used often to pass through the town. In Sir William Dugdale, travelling by coach, was robbed within a mile of Dunstable, fn.Gary Cooper in Dunstable
The journey was not unattended with danger, for the country round teemed with thieves, and reports of robberies were of common occurrence in the newspapers. This road was used by the coaches for nearly half a century, but in a new road was made, by which the ascent was avoided, as it wound round the bottom of the hill, which it left first to the right and then to the left, joining the original road just before Tilsworth turning.
The superiority of the railroad was not then recognized, and it was thought that if a cutting were made through Chalk Hill the shorter route would enable the coaches to compete with the railway. The earliest, mentioned inwere the 'Lion' and the 'Peacock' in North Street before the High Cross, the property of the priory, between which stood the 'Swan,' at that date in the possession of Alice wife of John Petever and daughter of Thomas Hobbes, the ringleader of the rebellious townsmen in The two former were important in the 17th century, and Charles I slept at the Red Lion Hotel in before the battle of Naseby.
A formidable menu has come down to us, testifying to the heavy nature of the repast prepared for the traveller. Whether there was any mediaeval settlement here before the reign of Henry I is doubtful. The early part of the 12th century was a period of borough development, new market towns with primitive borough rights were being established throughout the country.
It is not surprising, therefore, that Henry I should have selected so eligible a site as Dunstable, at the crossing of two important roads, for a royal borough. He probably first laid out the market-place at the junction of these roads in the beginning of his reign, and, it is said, encouraged settlers around it by promising them land at 12d.
Argent a pile sable with a horse-shoe affixed thereto by a staple or. These charters, of vital interest to the priors, were often menaced by the successive sovereigns, and confirmations were dearly purchased from necessitous kings in,, and The most important privilege was that of exemption of the prior and his tenants from appearance at any court save before the king or justices of the bench, and as a corollary the right that the itinerant justices, when in Bedfordshire, should always come to Dunstable to try there Crown pleas and other cases touching the liberty only.
The first recorded visit of the itinerary justices to Dunstable in is entered without comment by the annalist of the priory fn. As the prior refused to attend at Bedford, they seized his lands in the name of the king and extorted from him 10 marks before they would release them.
The attack, which almost succeeded, took place inand originated in Roger's refusal to go to Dunstable without a special letter from the king. When this arrived he ignored its tenor, and the prior therefore carried the case to Westminster, where the king confirmed his liberty. In the meanwhile some of the burgesses had obtained special judges by royal licence, a proceeding which aroused Roger to anger, unappeased by the revocation of their powers. He seized the liberty on the ground that the prior had one coroner only, not having replaced the other, who had died twelve years before, fn.
The prior was not allowed to sit with the justice, and was in danger of losing the liberty, which was handed over to the sheriff to answer for the issues. A fine of 40s. He claimed also goods of foreign felons when arrested in Dunstable and of his tenants wherever justice should be done to them, and said he was exempt from the rights exercised by the sheriff, and that he and his men and their goods were not to be molested by land or by sea.
They were anxious to hear there all pleas for Redbornestoke Hundred, and only desisted in their attempt after the prior had procured a special letter from the king telling them to go back to Bedford for all cases not touching the liberty. Unsuccessful in this, they harassed the prior in other ways, depriving him of his recording clerk, following the precedent established by Roger de Leyton. The prior's right to Crown pleas was specially in danger, but he was able to preserve the liberty intact except in the case of goods of foreign felons coming into the town, when the sheriff was to act notwithstanding the prior's charters and his long seisin of the same.
This strong pleading was overruled by the documents, charters and royal letters produced by the prior, who emerged triumphant from the trial with the loss of none of his privileges. Those ill or without the borough need only be present if plaintiffs or defendants in a cause, but could be called upon by the prior if, by a deficit of persons, judgement could not be pronounced. Barnabas' Day in April, fn. The cases tried at this view, which was presided over by the steward, were considered by the king's council in to be Crown pleas, and therefore the fines levied could not be limited to 4d.
Apart from the steward, the most important official was the bailiff who presided over the borough court, where he proclaimed the assizes of bread and ale, after having ascertained from the burgesses in court the price of corn and malt. The election of the coroner was under the control of the bailiff and took place in the borough court, fn.
The first important conflict between these two interest arose in over the question of tithes of trade, hay and altar offerings, withheld wrongfully by the burgesses.
It was decided before John, Archdeacon of Bedford, that in future oblations were to be given every Sunday of all trade wherever carried on; the transgressors to be excommunicated three times a year. If disputes should arise over other small tithes, the customs of Luton, Berkhampstead or of some of the neighbouring boroughs were to be followed.
At weddings and churchings money, candles or some other thing of good custom was to be given, and 'neither going nor returning from the altar shall they spend their offering on players or poor people.
The burgesses at first demanded that all fines should be limited to 4d. He was to free them and their goods wherever arrested in England, and no stranger was to be able to serve on any inquisition in the borough.
Moreover, no distinction could be made between rich and poor. On the demand of the prior, Hugh Bishop of Lincoln from the pulpit excommunicated the offenders, but a temporary reconciliation was effected by the Archdeacons of Lincoln and Bedford. They slandered the canons, abused their servants and all those who used the prior's mills and inflicted damage on their goods.
At this juncture the chancellor and chief justice happened to pass through Dunstable, and threatened the people, but when the sheriff's bailiff tried to distrain for tallage the men and women turned upon him and hindered him in his duty. The Bishop of Lincoln again excommunicated the offenders, who this time said they would rather go to hell than give way in the matter of taxation, and even went the length of treating with William de Cantlow for 40 acres of land where they might live toll free.
The judge, wearied out with the complaints of the prior, refused to act, but the quarrel was at last made up by the intervention of John, Archdeacon of Bedford, in By their decision the convention was modified, principally in the prior's favour, as the fine limitation was removed. Fired by the example of the riots at St. Albans, the townspeople took counsel together, and under their ringleader John Hobbes wrested a temporary charter of liberties from the prior, but nearly fell to blows with one another over a clause prohibiting neighbouring butchers and fishmongers from selling in the borough.
In the suppression of the rebellion those incriminated were harshly punished, but the prior, though soft words had failed to induce the burgesses to part with their charter, which they yielded only after citation before the king at St. Albans, interceded for the wrongdoers, so that none were hanged.
The parishioners already had their altar of St. John the Baptist in the north aisle of the nave which was consecrated in For some reason, however, they desired apparently to have another altar of Holy Trinity in the nave with a secular vicar to serve it, and built a wall in the nave to which the altar was attached.
This arrangement the prior considered an encroachment and an obstruction to the convent services. Disputes therefore arose which were settled by an ordinance in by the efforts of Sir Reginald de Gray, Sir William la Zouche and others. It was agreed that the burgesses should have the altar newly erected by them, and that the building of the new wall to which the altar was attached should not be considered a dividing in two sectio of the church of St.
Peter, but should be one and the same church of the monastery of St. Peter and not the church of the Holy Trinity. The upper part of the church was to be called the conventual church and the lower part the parish church, where the parishioners were to have all services except on the six chief feasts of the year when they were to attend in the chancel of the conventual church.
The monastery was to have its processions as usual in the lower part, and if any parish service should be going forward at the time of any procession it was to cease until the procession had returned to the choir.
At certain times the gospel was to be read in the chapel of St.
Finally the parishioners were to be responsible for the repair of the lower part of the church. John the Baptist, founded intook over some part of the town organization as similar gilds did elsewhere. The prior held the courts, made by-laws, appointed officials, and punished transgressors, and though the burgesses' interests, as shown above, were not always identical with those of their lord, the almost royal power exercised by the prior prevented any attempt at independent organization.
In certainly the tenants in chief of the prior acquired the right of holding a court of their own for their tenants in fee, fn. Even where the prior sought the advice of the burgesses or needed their consent, as inwhen he ordered the butchers to remove the wooden sheds covering their stables and to erect such only as should not touch the ground, he acted with the whole commonalty.
He is mentioned as early asfn. Thomas Hobbes, the spokesman of the mob who demanded a charter from the prior inhas been called 'the worthless mayor' of Dunstable, but the words capitalis pravus cannot be taken to mean more than worthless ringleader. Trade was regulated by the prior in his courts, and as he had the view of weights and measures, the assize of bread and ale, he was able to control the conditions under which goods were produced, their prices and quality. The burgesses and prior were at one in their efforts to establish well-regulated trade and definite ordinances for their guidance in the everyday affairs of life, and about the year an interesting set of customs was drawn up by the prior, doubtless with the assent of the burgesses.
They are ten in number, of varying import, though the majority deal with commercial matters and run as follows: Each burgess may erect in his fee a windmill, horse-mill, dovecot, oven and handmill, 'curalia,' wood pile and dunghill, unless the two latter are deemed to obstruct the king's highway or the prior's market, by view of the 'legemen' of the town. Shopkeepers may not brew in their shops for fear of fire, nor make pig-styes outside their doors, nor drive stakes in the ground without leave of the bailiff.
Butchers may not cast blood or filth in front of their houses nor in the street, to the hurt of their neighbours or of the market. The townsmen and strangers must carry away their booths the same day as they put them up in the market. The goods of any person feloniously slain or who runs away belong to the prior. The traders of this and other towns may not buy victuals before 1 o'clock, nor go out of the borough to meet the sellers.
If a trader buy out of a cart anything which is usually sold by tale, he may not lessen the tale nor sell it dearer that day. Bread made for sale at the price of a farthing shall be sold at same price, and in like manner ale when 4 gallons are worth 1d. When a widow gives up her free bench, she must deliver up to the heir the fixtures fastened to the ground by nails or pins.
Also the principal table with stools, the best wine cask, tub, basins, hatchet, best cup, coulter and share and the bucket of the well with the rope. All the rest she can dispose of by will or gift and she is not bound to answer for building a wall unless such wall was built after the prohibition of the king.
Luton News - BBC News
In such cases were dealt with at one court alone as the forestalling of victuals, false measures of wine and ale and excess of wages in trade. There seems to have been a desire on the part of the workpeople to leave their handicraft and seek adventure in the train of some nobleman, and to prevent such practice Henry VI during his stay there in caused a proclamation to be read in the town by one of his squires, forbidding any man of whatsoever craft or mystery to join any lord's company, except he be the lord's 'meynall man in howsolde.
The house and grounds, now occupied by Mr. Munt, were formerly included in the priory, and the rooms on the ground floor with vaulted ceilings are supposed to have been the hospitium. Though the burgesses might have wrested some degree of self-government from a necessitous king had the borough remained long enough in royal keeping, their hope was frustrated by its annexation in with other Crown lands in Bedford to the honour of Ampthill.
Excluded from interference in the borough before the Dissolution, he now forcibly ejected a tenant from his house, and when called upon by the constable of the town to keep the peace he put the latter in the stocks together with all those who resisted his authority and afterwards imprisoned them in Bedford gaol.
The townspeople became tenants of the Crown, and the franchises, fines, tolls of markets and fairs, assizes of bread and ale, profits of courts and other seigniorial privileges exercised by the prior became the right of the bailiff, a royal nominee who acquired the lease of the office for varying terms of years. A court leet was held on 26 Junewhen the steward reported the ale-taster for not carrying out his duties.
Though the latter contended that not having received a written warrant of appointment he was not liable to a fine, he was fined 1s.
Dunstable only once sent members to Parliament, inwhen two were returned fn. The Sheriff of Bedfordshire endorsed the writ with a remark that it had been sent to the bailiffs of Dunstable liberty, so that two burgesses from the town should be sent to Parliament, but Richard de Eveshall, bailiff of the liberty, had made no answer. An important source of revenue in the middle ages was derived from the tolls of markets and fairs, and it was the object of every lord of a manor or borough to obtain a grant conferring this right.
Dunstable, however, as its name implies, had from very early times possessed a staple or market which, with the borough, was bestowed on the priory by Henry I. The toll exacted by the prior was the cause of complaint by neighbouring towns and villages, all the more so that, as by the charter of Henry I the prior and his men were free of toll throughout England, there was no lawful means of retaliation. The Bedford burgesses were not able to enforce their privilege against Dunstable inbut with Woburn Abbey an amicable arrangement was arrived at in whereby for a sum of 8 marks and an annual rent of 3s.
The usual toll was charged for regrating, and the abbot undertook to do nothing in the market by private treaty or otherwise whereby the prior should be a loser.
When Edmund Earl of Cornwall came into possession, however, the prior obtained redress. The earl avenged the affront by taking seventeen of the prior's pigs at Chalton, and would not admit of any excuse offered by the prior in mitigation of the crime.
In Edward I spent five weeks at Ashridge during the winter season, when Dunstable was much oppressed in the furnishing and carriage of provender fn. Albans and Langley, that the market was so greatly injured.
Two hundred messes a day were not sufficient for his kitchen, and the royal servants raided Dunstable market, took whatever they could seize and paid for nothing, whether for sale or in the private houses of the burgesses, even to cheese and eggs.
The bakers and brewers were compelled to relinquish their bread and ale, and those who had none were forced to brew and bake. In the prior brought a case against a burgess to enforce his rights, in which the defendant, a butcher, said that all householders dwelling in the town had from time immemorial a right on market days to sell their merchandise in their own houses, or anywhere else it pleased them.
This claim if granted would have deprived the prior of the toll of 1d. The judgement was a compromise, and allowed butchers and all other traders to sell their goods in their own houses on market day where these adjoined the High Street, but the sale was to take place publicly, so that the prior's ministers could enforce the assize.
Frehemund which reposed at Dunstable Priory, bestowed upon the prior a fair on the Saint's Day 10 May and the two following days. Frehemund's fair was altered to 2 May. Reference has been made above to the prosperity derived by Dunstable from its position on Watling Street, and the traders who passed through in the middle ages created a demand for goods. Clause 5 Intrusion into grief or shock says that in cases involving personal grief or shock, any approaches by journalists should be sympathetic and discreet, and "publication handled sensitively".
The Code does not prohibit the publication of all unwelcome information in such cases, or all material that is critical or negative about the deceased; rather it makes clear that such details must be published in a sensitive manner. There could be no dispute that the newspaper was entitled to report the allegations against Mr Mohabeer and the existence of the criminal case in the context of his death. The Commission accepted the newspaper's position that the ongoing legal action was highly relevant, and it noted that Clause 5 makes clear that its terms should not be taken as restricting the right to report legal proceedings.
The newspaper had also been entitled to publish the reaction of a patient who had made allegations against Mr Mohabeer. However, its other obligations under Clause 5 remained. Mr Mohabeer's death had occurred just days before publication. The word "pervert" was clearly a pejorative and colloquial term, and it had been presented prominently as the headline on the front-page story. Given that Mr Mohabeer had been contesting the sexual abuse allegations at the time of his death, and he had not been convicted of any crime in this regard, the Commission judged the phrase to be unacceptable and gratuitous.
It therefore ruled that its presentation - so shortly after Mr Mohabeer had taken his own life - constituted insensitive publication under the terms of Clause 5. It upheld the complaint.
Press Complaints Commission >> Adjudicated Complaints >> Rod Hemley
It was clear that the newspaper had failed to take care not to publish inaccurate information, and that the article contained a significant inaccuracy, in breach of Clause 1 Accuracy of the Code. It was therefore incumbent on the newspaper to run an appropriate correction and apology. The newspaper had published a front-page print correction and apology on 13 October