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cases respecting Poole,
Poole, that the word “ commonalty” meant the corporation only. In the Preston case, however, it is due to the cause of justice to remark, that the words “ all the inhabitants” having a right to vote, means all the inhabitants at large of the said town.
Members who have served in Parliament for this Borough.
George Frevil, Esq. John Hales, Esq.
1547 Anthony Brown, Esq. Thomas Fleetwood, Esq.
1552 William Gerard, Esq. Anthony Brown, Esq.
1557 John Alford, Esq. Richard Cooke, Esq.
1558-9 Gilbert Moreton, Esq. Roger Askham, Esq.
1563 Edward Basshe, Esq. Reginald Williams, Esq.
1571 James Hodgekinson, Esq. George Horsey, Esq.
1572 Edward Basshe, Esq. Reginald Williams, Esq.
1592 John Brograve, Esq. John Stanhope, Kt.
of William Pooley, Kt. chosen
George Gerard, Esq. Thomas Fanshaw, Esq.
William Langton, Esq.
Nicholas Fazakerley, Esq.
Sir Frank Standish. Bart. .
Right Hon. John Burgoyne, Sir Henry Hoghton, Bart.
John Horrocks, Esq.
Samuel Horrocks, Esq.
The guilda mercatoria, or merchant's guild, is a liberty or privilege granted to merchants, whereby they are enabled to hold certain pleas of land, &c. within their own precincts, and is confirmed by charters given in the 37th Edward III. and 15th Richard II. It is of Saxon origin, and is derived from the word gile, signifying money, by which certain fraternities enter into an association, and stipulate with each other, to punish crimes, make losses good, and acts of restitution, in proportion to offences ; for which aforesaid purposes they raised sums of money amongst themselves, and put the same into one common stock ; they likewise endowed chantries, for priests to perform oraisons for the defunct. Fraternities and guilds were therefore in use, in this kingdom, long before any formal licences were granted to them, though at this day they are a company combined together with orders, and laws, made by themselves, by the king's licence. Guilds were held by the Saxons, as may be seen from their records,
which runs thus :-“ In Quibus Gilhala Burgensium,” &c. The guild of Coventry will shew how all the rest were held, and were used before any regular licence or charters were granted. The guild is generally a gay and festive meeting ; oratorios, balls, masquerades, and plays, continue for many
weeks. St. John the Baptist is the special patron of Preston guild.
It is a sort of public Carnival or Jubilee.-It begins about the latter end of August, and by the charter which obliges the corporation to celebrate it at the end of every twenty years, on pain of forfeiting their elective franchises and their rights as burgesses. By public proclamation it is declared, that in failure of doing so, they are ever after to be debarred of the same on any future occasion.
This guild was instituted in the days of Henry the 2nd, who was Duke of Normandy, A. D. 1172, and the late one, in 1802, makes the eighteenth, which has been held under the reign of twelve monarchs. His late Majesty, George the 3rd, is the only sovereign during whose reign three of these festivals have been celebrated.
The method of holding a Guild.
The town crier proclaims twenty-eight days' grace, for all burgessess to renew their freedom, whether acquired by ancestry or purchase. The sports and revelry which are inseparable companions of the guild, and the processions of the various trades and occupations of the inhabitants, draw together, on this occasion, immense multitudes of people, from various parts of the united kingdom ; and Preston thereby becomes the resort of all that is brilliant and fashionable.
At the grand court of election, holden at the Moot or Guild-hall, within the borough, previous to the guild commencing, the greatest care is taken that the capital burgesses be men of good manners, education, and ability, in order that they may reflect credit, during this festival, upon the whole body corporate, and the town to which they have the honour to belong, as they have specially to attend the guild mayor, in all the public assemblies during this carnival, where the nobility, and other men of high birth, together with ladies of distinction, assembled here from various parts of the kingdom, are to be treated with becoming courtesy, by the mayor and his retinue, upon this occasion, in every way becoming their rank and dignity, so that it may redound to the honour and dignity of the guild merchants of the borough of Preston.
The grand seneschal, or town clerk, reads over, at the