Tutbury Minstrels’ Guild Charter, 1380

Translated from the French original

Submitted by Alan Radford

John by the Grace of God King of Castile and Leon, Duke of Lancaster, to all them who shall see or hear these our letters Greeting. Know ye we have ordained constituted and assigned to our wellbeloved the King of the Minstrells in our Honour of Tutbury, who is, or for the time shall be, to apprehend and arrest all the Minstrells in our said Honour and Franchise, that refuse to doe the Services and Minstrelsy as appertain to them that doe from ancient times at Tutbury aforesaid, yearly on the days of the Assumption of our Lady: giving and granting to the said King of the Minstrells for the time being, full power and commandement to make them reasonably to justify, and to consytrain them to doe their Services, and Minstrelsies, in manner as belongeth to them, and as it hath been there, and of ancient times accustomed. In witness of which thing, we have caused these our Letters to be made Patents. Given under our privy Seal at our Castle of Tutbury the 22 day of August in the fourth year of the reigne of the most sweet King Richard the second.

The Tutbury Guild governed civic and household minstrels through much of the Midlands – Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Northamptonshire, Shropshire, but not Cheshire where the Dutton family’s privileges held sway.