By Kevin Matthias
In his The Markets and Fairs of England and Wales (1985), 149.. Roy Atkinson tells us that,’…… the general retail market actually takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays with livestock being sold on Mondays and Fridays throughout the year, with Wednesday added in August and September. It is strange that there is no apparent record of later charters changing the days, bearing in mind the town’s obvious importance as a market centre.’
Once a medieval marcher lordship, Mold undoubtedly possessed a trading charter before the town fell into ‘decay’ during the early sixteenth century. In 1653 there were two annual fairs; 20 July and 11 November [FRO, D / K K / 263 . ] Below is probably the first of the modern charters conveyed upon the town :
By an inquisition held at Mold, co Flint, on 20 September 1732 before Robert Trice, esq. sheriff of the county, it was ascertained on the oath of worthy and law-abiding men of the said county that it would not do any harm or prejudice to the Crown or to the merchants and traders in the neighborhood if we were to grant to Anthony Langley Swymer, esq. Lord of the manor of Mold, and his heirs, licence to hold a market within the boundaries of the said town on Wednesday in each week and four fairs annually, viz. on 22 July (unless it happens to fall on a Sunday and then on the Monday next following) for two days, on 11 November, being the feast of St Martin (unless it happens to fall on a Sunday and that on the Monday next following), for two days, on 10 March unless it happens to fall on a Sunday and then on the Monday next following) and on ‘Wednesday immediately preceding Ascension ‘Day, for ever, for buying and selling all fends of fowl, meat, fish, fruits, grains, roots and herbs and other provisions and all other fends of merchandise usually bought and sold at markets and fairs, together with a court of ‘pie powder’* at the time of the said fairs and all tolls and profits arising from the said markets and fairs. And the said inquisition is filed in the Court of Chancery as a permanent, full and open record. known therefore that we have granted and by these presents do grant on behalf of ourselves and our heirs and successors to the said Anthony Langley Swymer and his heirs licence to hold a market in the town of Mold on ‘Wednesday in each week and four fairs [as above] together with the court of together with the court of ‘pie powder, tolls and profits [as above]. To have, hold and enjoy the said markets and fairs, etc, to his and his heirs sole and own use for ever without any charge or other payment to us, our heirs and successors and it is our meaning and clear intention that they should continue without let or hindrance from our successors or any of our sheriffs, eschaetors, bailiffs, officials or ministers or their successors.
[ Signed and sealed at Westminster, 14 December in the 6th year of George II.] Flints R.O., NT/1435. Another charter must have been granted before 1794 because in that year George Kay’s The General View of Agricultural in North Wales : Flintshire records Mold as having five fairs 13 February, 21 March, 12 May, 2 August and 22 November (St.Cecelia). The March fair had been dropped by 1830.[Clwyd Historian, 6 (1980)23]
* The Piepowder Court was Norman in origin and settled local trading disputes.
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