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Late Sixteenth Century Copy Petition of the Mayor and Burgesses of Totnes, Devon
c.1590 ?, 1590. The modern synopsis of the document is . "The Rt Hon Francis Earle of Bedford Lord Lieut of Devon (note in corner that the petition must be with (?) the Lords of the Council, not the Lord Lieut.) Recites Totnes is an ancient Corporation and the Mayor and ex-Mayor are the justices of the Peace within the Borough. That the town stands on the River Dart 7 miles from Dartmouth and from thence a daily passage by water within 4 miles of Torbay a spacious bay able to receive 500 ships and about 14 hrs sail from the coast of Normandy and Brittany and well -known to the French and others by continual trade. Is required to have a magazine of 84 barrells of powder with lead and match at the town charge. The principal strength is 60 trained soldiers 40 musketeers and 20(?) cornets who are summoned to general musters sometimes 6 or 8 miles from the town and that year 20 miles leaving the town naked and indefensible. The petitioners (?) to be allowed to raise a trained band of 100 and have same privilege as Weymouth Plymouth Dartmouth and Barnstaple to choose our officers and muster only within our precincts." On watermarked paper neatly folded and bound into half calf lettered in gilt along the spine with marbled boards. Delivered contemporaneously with the Armada (1588), this petition from the good officers of Totnes reflects the continued threat from across the channel, and the need for towns along the channel coast to arm themselves sufficently. Almost certainly a contemporary copy, it would seem unlikely the original is still extant, not found in the Devon Record Office Online Catalogue. 4to (unfolded 390 x 300mm). Book.
      [Bookseller: Roger Collicott Books]
Last Found On: 2014-12-26           Check availability:      Biblio    

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