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Build student releases transcription/translation of royal charter to bring medieval Latin to a wider audience

Story added 7th Dec 2017

Margaret's new book, a transcription of a Royal Charter, dating from 1579

Long-term Build Latin student Margaret Poulter, with two colleagues, has published a book, the core of which is a parallel transcription/translation of a royal charter of Elizabeth I, dated 7 July 1579.

This charter, written in Latin, granted incorporated borough status to what is now the village of Orford, a popular tourist attraction complete with a twelfth century castle, on the Suffolk coast. The grant of such a charter of incorporation meant that the town could essentially manage its own affairs with a Mayor, Portmen (or Aldermen) and Chief Burgesses.

Accompanying this is a brief history of the rise and fall of a typical small borough through the centuries - from the building of the castle in 1165-1173 to the abolition of the corporation in 1886. It includes the requisitioning of ships for the Hundred Years War, the wool and wine trade, piracy, the power to send two MPs to Parliament, the power struggle with the lord of the manor in the sixteenth century and much else, not least, 'speeding fines' and the mayor's inaugural feast.

This book is intended to help students, local historians and others interested in researching and undertaking similar projects, to get to grips with the documentary history of a typical small borough, and to make documents written in Latin more accessible to a wider audience.

Margaret is a professional archivist but sees her time at Build as forming a core part of the knowledge required to produce this book.

“It is one of the few venues, if not the only one, in London to provide such opportunities and has recently introduced a Medieval Latin class which supports this.”

For full details on how to obtain a copy of the book, click here.

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