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By Alan Everitt (eds.)

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Was the sole interest of the 'commoners' to obey? Clearly the 'commons', that is, the rest of the burgess population of Stamford, played a larger part in the government of the borough than just to listen and obey. In 1465 it was reported that 'the whole commons of the said town and borough . . have elected and chosen [the alderman] and the xj [sic] for the alderman's council and brethren', while they chose 'for them [ selves]' the Second Twelve and also the two serjeants. IS It was 'the commons' who appointed John Murdoke to the First Twelve and gave him a promise not to burden him with the office of alderman without his consent; and in 1488, when Henry Cok died in the office of alderman, the rest of the comburgesses and the commons met in the common hall, and the commons elected a new alderman.

The examples quoted here from the records of Durham Priory and of the corporations of Chester and Beverley serve to remind us how many valuable records of regional trade must be still inaccessible in manuscript. II. A RIVER PORT Long-distance trade to and from York was mainly carried on along the Ouse, then navigable as far as Boroughbridge. There was also road traffic, of course; the bequests of city merchants in their wills for the upkeep of highways testify to that. Goods were brought overland by the London carriers, and even the journey to Hull was often made on horseback by the city merchants, presumably for the sake of speed.

Clearly the 'commons', that is, the rest of the burgess population of Stamford, played a larger part in the government of the borough than just to listen and obey. In 1465 it was reported that 'the whole commons of the said town and borough . . have elected and chosen [the alderman] and the xj [sic] for the alderman's council and brethren', while they chose 'for them [ selves]' the Second Twelve and also the two serjeants. IS It was 'the commons' who appointed John Murdoke to the First Twelve and gave him a promise not to burden him with the office of alderman without his consent; and in 1488, when Henry Cok died in the office of alderman, the rest of the comburgesses and the commons met in the common hall, and the commons elected a new alderman.

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