Letters patent

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Letters Patent Issued by Philip and Mary

The words of the letters patent issued by Philip and Mary on 6 January 1554-5 that resulted in the founding of Boston Grammar School.

Philip and Mary, by the Grace of God King and Queen of Jerusalem, and Ireland, Defenders of the Faith, Prince of Spain and Sicily, Arch Duke of Austria, Duke of Milan, Burgundy, and Brabant, Earl of Hapsburgh, Flanders, and Tirol, - To all Persons to whom these Presents shall come, - Greeting.

Whereas our Borough of Boston, in our County of Lincoln, is an ancient Borough, and whereas Eighteen Presbyters, Fifteen Clerks, and Twelve Poor Men, have been lately maintained within the said Borough, for the glory and honour of God, out of Issues and Revenues of certain Lands, Tenements, Possessions, and Hereditaments, of certain Guilds or Fraternities, erected and founded within the said Borough:

And whereas, by virtue and under pretence of a certain act of parliament, made in the first year of the reign of our late most dear brother Edward the Sixth, late King of England, amongst other things, for the Dissolution of divers Chanteries, Colleges, Guilds, Fraternities, Free Chapels, and other things, the said Lands, Tenements, Possessions, and Hereditaments, came to the hands of our late said brother, under pretence of which, Divine Worship, and Relief and Support of the Poor Inhabitants of the said Borough, was withdrawn and take away, to the extreme grief of all honest and catholick inhabitants there:

  1. Now we, thinking upon the premises, and deeply considering that the Reformation of the said enormities, and to provide for Divine Worship, and Maintenance of the Poor and the Pious, and good Education of the Youth and Children, of this our kingdom, belongs to our Regal Office and Function; in consideration of the premises, and the humble petition of our faithful and beloved subjects, the Mayor and Burgesses of our said Borough of Boston, and in consideration of the great charges and expences which the said Mayor and Burgesses daily and continually sustain in and about the Reparation of the Bridge, and our Port there, and to the end that the said Mayor and Burgesses may be the better enabled to support the charges and expenses of the Repairs, and Maintenance of the said Bridge and Port; * of our special grace, certain knowledge, and mere motion, have given and granted, and by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, as much as in us lies, do give and grant, to the said Mayor and Burgesses or our Borough of Boston, One Acre and a Half of Land, with the appurtenances, lying and being in Wormgate, in Boston, in the said County of Lincoln; and our Two Acres of Land and Pasture, with the appurtenances, lying in a Close of land of one Rose Taverner, in Boston aforesaid; and Two Acres of Arable Land, with the appurtenances, lying and being in Boston Field, in Boston aforesaid, now or lately in the tenure of or occupation of John Panowe; and One Messuage or Tenement, with the appurtenances, at the Horse Pit, in Boston aforesaid, now or lately in the tenure or occupation of Richard Pedder; and one Great Messuage or Tenement, with the appurtenances, near the Churchyard, now or lately in the tenure or occupation of Edward Turner; and one Messuage or Tenement, with the appurtenances, in Boston aforesaid, now or lately in the tenure or occupation of John Johnson; and one Great Messuage or Tenement, with the appurtenances, in Boston aforesaid, now or lately in the tenure or occupation of Hugh Pyle; and our Nineteen Acres of Land, Arable and Pasture, lying and being in Skirbeck, in the said county of Lincoln, now or late in the tenure or occupation of William Kydd; and our one Messuage or Tenement, and one Orchard, with the appurtenances, in Bargate, in Boston aforesaid, now or lately in the tenure or occupation of John Pinner; and one Messuage or Tenement, and one Orchard, and Five Acres of Land and Pasture, situate, lying, and being in Skirbeck aforesaid; and One Acre of Land, Arable, in Boston aforesaid, with all their appurtenances, now or late in the tenure or occupation of Nicholas Field and our one Messuage or Tenement, with appurtenances, in Boston aforesaid, situate at the Horse Pit, now or late in the tenure of Thomas Thompson and our One Messuage or Tenement, with the appurtenances, in Boston aforesaid, now or late in the tenure or occupation of Robert Butler; and our one Messuage or Tenement, with the appurtenances, near the Horse Pit there, now or lately in the tenure or occupation of Henry Bell; and our one Messuage or Tenement, newly built, with the appurtenances, in Boston aforesaid, near the Horse Pit there; and our one Messuage or Tenement, called Piggot’s Hall; and Seventeen Acres of Pasture and Arable Land, with the appurtenances, situate, lying, and being in Donington and Quadring, in the said county of Lincoln, now or late in the tenure or occupation of Thomas Rayner; and one Messuage or Tenement, with the appurtenances, in Boston, in the Market End there, now or lately in the tenure or occupation of Lawrence Meryall; and one Messuage or Tenement, and Thirty-seven Acres of Pasture and Arable Land, with the appurtenances, situate, lying, and being in Skirbeck aforesaid, now or late in the tenure or occupation of Peter Orkyn; and our one Messuage or Tenement, with the appurtenances, in Boston aforesaid, in the Bargate there, now or late in the tenure of William Mendicke; and Two Acres of Land, Arable, with the appurtenances, lying in Wyberton, in the said county of Lincoln, in Nuns Farm there, now or late in the occupation of Nicholas Penny; and our one Messuage or Tenement, with the appurtenances, in Boston aforesaid, in Bargate there, now or late in the tenure or occupation of Thomas Farbarne; and our one Messuage or Tenement, with the appurtenances, in Boston aforesaid, in Bargate there, now or late in the tenure or occupation of Edward Pinchbeck; and one Messuage or Tenement, with the appurtenances, lying and being in Boston aforesaid, in the Market-place there, now or lately in the tenure of Thomas Ditton; on our one Messuage or Tenement, with the appurtenances, lying in Bargate there, in Boston aforesaid, now or late in the tenure of John Cundall and our one Messuage or Tenement, with the appurtenances, in Boston aforesaid, now or late in the tenure or occupation of Robert Ward; and our one Messuage or Tenement, with the appurtenances, in Boston aforesaid, in the Market-place there, now or late in the tenure or occupation of John Cotts; and our one Messuage or Tenement, with the appurtenances, in Boston aforesaid, in Wormgate there, now or late in the tenure or occupation of Agnes Ditton; and our one Messuage or Tenement, with the appurtenances, called the Chancery House, or Chantery, in South End, in Boston aforesaid, now or late in the tenure or occupation of George Hanks Chaplin; and our one Messuage or Tenement, with the appurtenances, lying in Boston aforesaid, in the Flesh Row there, now or lately in the tenure of John Johnson; and one Messuage or Tenement, with the appurtenances, lying in Boston aforesaid, in the Market-place, on the west side of the water there, now or late in the tenure or occupation of Francis Colt; and our Two Acres of Pasture, with the appurtenances, lying in Boston aforesaid, in a Close of Thomas Tilney’s, now or late in the tenure of Robert Gye; and our one Messuage or Tenement, with the appurtenances, lying in Lincoln Row, in Boston aforesaid, now or late in the tenure or occupation of Margaret Savage; and our one Messuage or Tenement, with the appurtenances, lying in Boston aforesaid, now or late in the tenure or occupation of Edmund Parker; and our one Messuage or Tenement, and Fifteen Acres of Pasture and Arable Land, with the appurtenances, lying and being in Wrangle, in the said County of Lincoln, now or late in the tenure or occupation of John Ride, gentleman; and our one Messuage or Tenement, with the appurtenances, lying in Boston aforesaid, in the Market-place there, now or late in the tenure or occupation of Robert Pawson; and our one Messuage or Tenement, with the appurtenances, in Boston aforesaid, now or late in the tenure or occupation of William Clarke and out one Messuage or Tenement, with the appurtenances, in Boston aforesaid, in the Market-place there, now or late in the tenure or occupation of John Bell; and our Two Messuages or Tenements called Stonething and Tolething, and other Houses, Meadows, Feedings, and Pastures, and Arable Land, with their appurtenances, lying and being in Walcote, in the said county of Lincoln, which were late John Robinson’s ad are now or late in the tenure or occupation of Robert Mallard; and our one Messuage or Tenement, with the appurtenances, in Boston aforesaid, at Holybredale there, now or late in the tenure of John Bennett; and our one Messuage or Tenement, with the appurtenances, and Two Acres and a Half of Arable Land, lying and being in Boston aforesaid, near Bargate there, now or late in the tenure or occupation of Richard Sibsey; and Six Acres of Pasture and Two Acres and a Half of Arable Land, with the appurtenances, lying near Chosell Hill and Harder Field, in Wyberton aforesaid, now or lately in the tenure or occupation of John Wilkinson; and our one Messuage or Cottage, and Four Acres of Pasture and Arable Land, with the appurtenances, in Wyberton aforesaid, now or late in the tenure or occupation of William Hutchinson; and our one Messuage, with the appurtenances, lying in Boston aforesaid, on the west side of the water there, now or late in the tenure or occupation of William Maidenwell; and one House or Hall, called our Lady’s Hall; and our one Garden, on the south side the said Hall, with the appurtenances, * situate, lying, and being in Boston aforesaid, in the South End there, now or late in the tenure or occupation of the mayor and Burgesses of Boston aforesaid; all and singular which premises were lately parcel of the Lands, Possessions, and Hereditaments of the late Fraternity or Guild of the Blessed Mary, in Boston, in our said county of Lincoln, now dissolved, and afterwards were parcel of the Lands, Possessions, and Hereditaments of William, late Marquis of Northampton, attainted of high treason.
  2. Also we give, and by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, do grant, unto the said Mayor and Burgesses, all those our Three Acres of Arable Land, with the appurtenances, lying in Boston aforesaid, in the Long Field there, now or late in the tenure or occupation of John Powe; and our one Messuage or Tenement, and Orchard and Twenty-seven Acres of Pasture and Arable Land, with the appurtenances, situate, lying, and being in Skirbeck aforesaid, now or late in the tenure or occupation of Francis Hall; and Four Acres of Pasture and Four Acres of Arable Land, with the appurtenances, lying in Wyberton aforesaid, now or late in the tenure or occupation of John Wilson; and one House, in which is kept a Grammar School, with the appurtenances, in Boston aforesaid; and Five Acres and a Half of Arable Land, with the appurtenances, lying and being in Skirbeck aforesaid, now or late in the tenure or occupation of Peter Orkin; and our one Messuage or Tenement, and one Garden, with the appurtenances, in Boston aforesaid, in Bargate there, now or late in the tenure or occupation of Agnes Huddlestone; and our one Messuage or Tenement, and one Garden, with the appurtenances, in Boston aforesaid, now or late in the tenure of William Fareby; and our one Messuage or Tenement, and one Garden, with the appurtenances, in Boston aforesaid, now or late in the tenure or occupation of John Wadesley; and our one Messuage or Tenement, and one Garden, with the appurtenances, in Boston aforesaid, now or late in the tenure or occupation of Agnes Carter; and our one Messuage or Tenement, and one Garden, with the appurtenances, in Boston aforesaid, now or late in the tenure or occupation of Emett Claxby; and our one Messuage or Tenement, and one Garden with the appurtenances, in Boston aforesaid, now or late in the tenure or occupation of Robert Butler; and our one Messuage or Tenement, and Three Acres of Arable Land, with the appurtenances, situate, lying, and being in Gosberkirk, in the said county of Lincoln, now or late in the tenure or occupation of Bartholomew David; and our one Messuage or Tenement, with the appurtenances, in Boston aforesaid, in Prone Lane there, now or late in the tenure or occupation of Richard Starr; and our one Cottage or Tenement, with the appurtenances, in Boston aforesaid, now or late in the tenure or occupation of Henry Tashley; and our one Messuage or Tenement, with the appurtenances, in Gawnt’s lane, in Boston aforesaid, now or late in the tenure or occupation of Robert Drope; all and singular which premises last granted and recited, were late parcel of the lands, possessions, and hereditaments of the late Fraternity or Guild of St. Peter and St. Paul, in the said Town or Borough of Boston, and afterwards were parcel of the lands, possessions, and hereditaments of the said William, late marquis of Northampton.
  3. We give further, and by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, do grant unto the said Mayor and Burgesses, our one Acre and a Half of Pasture, with the appurtenances, lying in Wormgate, in Boston aforesaid, now or late in the tenure or occupation of John Parrow; and our one Messuage or Tenement, and Twenty-five Acres of Pasture Land and Arable, with the appurtenances, situate, lying, and being in Wrangle aforesaid, now or late in the tenure or occupation of John Rede, Gentleman; and our Half Acre of Pasture, with the appurtenances, lying in Wrangle aforesaid, now or late in the tenure or occupation of Richard Goderyke; and all those our Seven Acres of Pasture and Arable Land, with the appurtenances, in Wrangle aforesaid, now or late in the tenure or occupation of Walter Willows; and Five Acres of Pasture, and Three Acres of Arable land, with the appurtenances, lying in Wrangle aforesaid, now or late in the tenure or occupation of Thos. Dove; and Two Acres of Pasture Land, and Five Roods of Arable Land, with the appurtenances, lying and being in Wrangle aforesaid, now or late in the tenure or occupation of Richard Stephenson; and all those our Seven Acres of Pasture, with the appurtenances, lying in Wrangle aforesaid, now or late in the tenure or occupation of Thomas Knight; and our Eleven Acres of Arable and Pasture Land, with the appurtenances, lying in Wrangle aforesaid, now or late in the tenure or occupation of William Scrime; all and singular which premises last granted and recited, were lately parcel of the lands, possessions, and hereditaments of the late dissolved Fraternity of Perpetual Guild, erected and founded to the honour of the Holy Trinity, in the town of Boston aforesaid, and afterwards were parcel of the lands, possessions, and hereditaments of the said William, late Marquis of Northampton.
  4. And also we give, and by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, do grant unto the said Mayor and Burgesses, and their successors, all and all manner our Woods, Underwoods, and Trees whatsoever, growing and being in and upon the premises, and the Reversion and Reversions whatsoever of all and singular the premises, and of every parcel thereof, and also the Rents and Annual Profits whatsoever, reserved upon whatsoever demises and grants, in anywise made of the premises, or any parcel thereof, as fully, freely, and entirely, and in as ample a manner and form, as any Master, Alderman, Keeper, or any other the said Governors of the late Fraternity or Guilds, or of any of them, or the said William, late Marquis of Northampton, or any other heretofore having, possessing, or being seized of the premises, or any part thereof, ever have had, held, or enjoyed, or ought to have had, held, or enjoyed the same or any part thereof, and as fully, freely, and in as ample a manner and form, as all and singular the premises come, or ought to have come, to our hands, or to the hands of our most dear brother Edward the Sixth, late King of England, by reason or under pretence of any act of parliament, or by reason or under pretence of the attainder of the said William, late Marquis of Northampton, or by whatsoever other means, right, or title the same are or ought to be in our hands and disposal; all and singular which premises above expressed and specified, are extended or valued at the yearly value of Sixty Pounds; to have, hold, and enjoy the aforesaid Messuages, Cottages, and Gardens, Lands, Tenements, Meadows, Feedings, Pastures, Woods, Underwoods, Rents, Reversions, and Services, and all and singular other the Premises above expressed and specified, and the Reversion and Reversions of the same, with all their appurtenances, unto the said Mayor and Burgesses of our said Borough of Boston, and their successors, for ever, for the finding, maintaining, and establishing, for ever, a Free Grammar School in Boston aforesaid, and a fit master to teach, instruct, and serve the said School, for the Education and Instruction of Boys and Youth in Grammar, and also for the finding Two Presbyters for the Celebration of Divine Service in the Parish Church of Boston aforesaid; and Four Poor Inhabitants of the Borough aforesaid, to pray there, for ever, for our good and prosperous state whilst we live, and, after our decease, for the Souls of us and our Ancestors, to be held of us, and of their heirs and successors of the said Queen, as of our Manor of Castor, in our said county of Lincoln, by fealty only, in free soccage and not in capite, for all Rents, Services, Exactions, and Demands whatsoever,
  5. And further, we give, and by these presents do grant, unto the said Mayor and Burgesses of the Borough of Boston, all the Issues, Rents, Reversions, and Profits of all and singular the premises, with the appurtenances, growing or coming from the time of the Attainder of the said William, late Marquis of Northampton, to this time, to have the same to the said Mayor and Burgesses, of our Gift, without yielding any account, or paying or doing any other thing, for the same, in anywise.
  6. And we will and do order, that the mayor and Burgesses aforesaid, and their successors, shall lay out, expand, and convert all the Issues, Rents, and Profits, from time to time coming from the Messuages, Cottages, Lands, Tenements, and Possessions aforesaid, above by these presents granted, for the Maintenance of a Schoolmaster and Usher of the School aforesaid, and of the Chaplains and Poor men aforesaid, and other necessary things only, touching and concerning the said Borough, School, Chaplains, and Poor Men aforesaid, and the Support and Maintenance of the same, and not in any other manner, nor to any other uses or intents.
  7. We will also, and by these presents do grant, unto the said Mayor and Burgesses of the said Borough of Boston, that they may and shall have, these our Letters Patents, in due manner made and sealed under our Great Seal of England, without yielding, paying, or doing in any wise for the same, to us, in our Hanaper or elsewhere, to our use, any fine or fee, great or small, that (to wit) express mention is not made in these presents, of the true yearly value or any other value or certainty of the premises, or any of them, or of other Gifts or Grants heretofore made by us, or by any of our ancestors, to the said Mayor and Burgesses of the said Borough of Boston, or any Statute, Act, Ordinance, Provision, or Restriction, to the contrary thereof, made, published, ordained, or provided, or any other thing, cause, or matter whatsoever, in anywise, notwithstanding.

In witness whereof, we have caused these our Letters to be made Patents. Witness ourselves at Westminster, the Sixth Day of January, in the First and Second Years of our Reign. (1554-5.)

By Writ of the Privy Seal.

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