Medieval Yarmouth, England

Medieval Yarmouth,


Yarmouth was a town consisting of two
major sections, Great and Little Yarmouth. The founder of Yarmouth is believed
to be a man named Cedric, who was a Saxon leader, but people still doubt
this to this very day. One of the main reasons for the foundation of Yarmouth
is the Herring, a fish that was very healthy to eat, and especially important
to the lower classes because it was cheap and readily available. Fishing
was a very important part of their society. The seal of the town of Yarmouth
has everything to do with fishing, including a Herring boat and a picture
of St. Nicholas. Yarmouth consists of several rivers, which was important
for its economy. All of the rivers flow into a big estuary, which then
flowed into the ocean. Two main features of Yarmouth, were its port and

Another major function of this town is
silting, which developed from a huge sandbank formed over a long period
of time. The sandbank became strong enough to become a place for the salting
and smoking of Herring, and a great dock for boats. This attracted many
fisherman from all over the continent, including the Clique Port fishermen.

After awhile silting became very useless and migration began to occur towards
the south part of the town.

In the royal domain, Yarmouth was known
as a borough, in which they had to pay "every third penny" of revenues
to the Earl. Yarmouth was a very small town compared to others in the region.

According to the Doomsday survey, it had at least seventy burgesses by
ten sixty six. Yarmouth was known as a frontier town due to its lack
of role of administration in the area. In addition, the king never set
up anything financially significant in Yarmouth.

There was one church in Yarmouth, St. Nicholas\'s

Church, which was dedicated to St. Benedict. It was founded by the Bishop
of Norwich. The Church became a major attraction to townspeople. Another
marketplace was built shortly after the church. Due to the migration and
construction, the town wall was expanded around the Church. Another significant
building, St. Mary\'s Hospital was soon built, and covered up a large portion
of the East Side of the town.

For centuries , government was a huge problem
for Yarmouth, resulting in many changes of power. The town started out
with a Reeve, which was an official appointed by the King. Shortly thereafter,
the king granted the town their first self-administration. A royal charter
was granted, which included conditions such as: "free borough",and "the
right to choose your executive officer of your local government".

The town was divided into four main sections,
therefore, four bailiffs were appointed who were elected annually. Despite
these changes, government became conflicted, resulting in violence, and
formation of a town council to assist the bailiffs. In response to the
conflict, officers responsible for the borough treasury, also know as the"pyx", were created. Balance of power soon shifted from democracy to oligarchy,
and bailiffs were downsized. A second council was created featuring a Chamberlain,
whose main responsibility was finances, and a water bailiff, who collected
the bills.

Originally the meeting place for the administration
was the Toll house. It was too small and a second "common hall" was built
to replace it. The borough court presided each Monday to deal with
pleas, but soon extra days were added for special occasions. One day a
year was set out for Leers to present various suggestion to help the town,
including annual fairs.

Conflicts emerged between the Yarmouth
and Clique ports administrations . The conflicts were caused in part because
the King granted Clique the ability to administer justice in cases involving
their own townsmen. In Twelve Seventy Seven, king Edward the First had
a plan to compromise power between the groups by making a shared jurisdiction.

This attempt failed, as well as many different interventions during the
reign of Kind Edward. In addition, a deadly fight broke out between the
two towns, resulting in many lost ships. The fairs had to be regulated,
hoping to supervise the sales of goods during this time. Soon new conflicts
prevailed as Clique complained to the King about new regulations, and that

Yarmouth had control over the fishing areas. Problems with France pressed
the communities to set aside some of the conflict for a short period of
time, but soon that problem was resolved.

Yarmouth, then had yet another problem.

The inhabitants that lived by the harbor area were avoiding payments and
were getting very disrespectful to the King\'s rules. In response to the
disobedience, the King annexed the area of loading and unloading cargoes,
and taxed the town for