The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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RYE                                    381
franchise to desirable immigrants. It does not appear to have mattered whether the applicant were of British birth or not, ideas of nationality had hardly grown up, and in theory Christendom was one state under the rule of an Emperor Holy and Roman.
"The mayor and jurats may make of no free­man a freeman in this manner, that is to say, where any stranger cometh unto the town and inhabiteth, and there dwells by a whole year and a day, and occupieth some honest craft, and is of good guiding and conversation, and desireth the franchise, he shall come before the mayor and jurats in the playne common court praying to have the franchise; upon the which his petition it shall be awarded what he shall pay to the commonalty for the said franchise; having which award he shall be entered in the common book and his name. Also he shall make his oath under these words:
"' I (A. B.) shall faith and truth bear unto our sovereign lord the King of England, and to his heirs Kings of England, and to the mayor, and jurats, and commonalty of the town of Rye from henceforth ; and the state and the franchises and liberty of the same town shall help, keep, and maintain to the best of my power. And I shall not in no wise be knowing or consenting to break them nor hurt them. And my scot and lot of my goods and chattels, unto the aforesaid commonalty, I shall well and truly pay, and content when I shall be scotted and lotted; so God me help.' And then incontinently kiss the mayor, and so he shall be accepted a freeman into the franchises; and he shall pay unto the mayor's sergeant two shillings and to the common
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