Talk:Charter fair

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject England (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject England, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of England on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.


Abingdon, Oxfordshire; Banbury; St Giles' Fair, Oxford. --Redrose64 (talk) 14:09, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Abingdon seems to have several Charter fairs: the Michaelmas Fair, originally a Hiring Fair, survives to this day as a funfair held on the Market Place, in High Street and Ock Street. The Charter of Incorporation, of November 1556 (Queen Mary I), which created the borough, grants the right to hold five fairs annually; there have been nine more Charters (Hasnip, Audrey, ed. (2006). Cameos of Abingdon: Celebrating our Charter Year. Abingdon Town Council. pp. 18–19,48. ) --Redrose64 (talk) 12:18, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Hammond, Nigel (1979). The Book of Abingdon. Buckingham: Barracuda. ISBN 0 86023 067 8. 
Abingdon's first charter was granted in 1556, which created the Borough and also granted the right to hold five fairs annually. (Hammond 1979, p. 51) These were held on the feasts of the translation of St Edmund (can we assume St Edmund of Abingdon?); St Margaret; the Nativity of Blessed Mary the Virgin; St Andrew the Apostle; and the first Monday in Lent. (Hammond 1979, p. 53) Further charters were granted in 1565, February 1609, March 1609, June 1620 (Hammond 1979, p. 51); that of March 1609 grants two more fairs. There were further Charters in 1676, 1686, 1739, 1774 and 1836 (Hammond 1979, p. 52) making ten in all.
  • Lent Fair was traditionally held on the first Monday in Lent, and was primarily for horses, cattle and sheep; other goods traded were grain, and "cottage goods". (Hammond 1979, p. 52)
  • The Bull Fair (or Lombard Street Fair), held in Spring, traded in horses, cattle, sheep, bulls, cheese, butter, cloth and basketry. (Hammond 1979, p. 52)
  • Ock Street Fair in June also involved horse- and cattle-trading, but was mainly a pleasure fair. (Hammond 1979, p. 52)
  • St. James' Fair in August was mainly lamb's wool. (Hammond 1979, p. 52)
  • The September Fair (or Broad Street Fair) was for horses, sheep, fat cattle, store cattle and cheese. (Hammond 1979, p. 52)
  • The Michaelmas Hiring Fair was largest, and most important. It extended the length of Ock Street, High Street and into the Market Place and was a means by which farm labourers, ploughmen, carters, thatchers, shepherds, milkmaids etc. - could find employment. Others there for the purposes of personal gain included pickpockets and other thieves. (Hammond 1979, pp. 52–53) - and still does, although is now purely a pleasure fair.
  • The Runaway Fair came soon after the Hiring Fair, and served a similar function. (Hammond 1979, p. 53)
  • The December Fair was mainly for cattle, horses and sheep. (Hammond 1979, p. 53)
I count eight here. Perhaps two of them counted as one. --Redrose64 (talk) 11:54, 1 July 2010 (UTC)


Here is a collection of images of fairs in art. These may or may not be added to the article because the article may or may not be exclusively dedicated to charter fairs in England (i.e. depictions of fairs in Europe may be deleted because they are not images of English fairs). So, when the article figures out whether it wants to be a specific article about fairs in England, or a broader discussion of fairs in general, including Europe and possibly the Middle East, someone might find these images helpful. I spent hours and hours studying art catalogues to find these paintings - and then searching Wiki Commons to see if there were public domain versions ready for upload, but it seems that they are not welcome at the present time. If at some point in the future, the article changes its focus, then an editor may wish to add some of these to the article.

Chartered fairs were known throughout Europe and Scandanavia in the middle ages - and the article mentions some of this in the intro, origins and the conclusion. The article title suggests a broad coverage of all types of chartered fairs, but in spite of that, apparently this article is really meant to be an article exclusively about English chartered fairs.

BronHiggs (talk) 12:11, 30 May 2017 (UTC)