Trading Histories

The Early Market

The establishment of a market in Sheffield, adapted from notes produced for Krys Zasada (1996) A history of Sheffield Castle and markets.

The early history of Sheffield markets is inextricably linked with that of Sheffield Castle. The site of the castle and the surrounding market area formed the heart and origin of the city.

In 1296, King Edward I granted a royal charter to Thomas de Furnival, Lord of Sheffield Manor, allowing a market to be held there every week on Tuesdays and an annual fair during the three days over the feast of the Holy Trinity.

Sheffield probably had a market before this date. Thomas de Furnival, in 1280, claimed that previous lords of Hallamshire had enjoyed rights to a pillory and the assize of bread at Sheffield, indicating that a market had existed.

The 1296 Charter

[Charter Roll, 24 Edw I, No 3]

Edward, by the grace of God, King of England, Lord of Ireland and Duke of Aquitaine to his archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, earls, barons, justices, sheriffs, reeves, ministers, and all his bailiffs and his faithful [people] greeting

Know ye that we have granted and by this our charter have confirmed to our beloved and faithful Thomas de Furnivall that he and his heirs for ever may have one market in every week on Wednesday at his manor of Wyrkesop in the county of Nottingham, and one fair there in every year to last for eight days, that is to say on the eve and on the day and on the morrow of St Cuthbert the Bishop and for the five days following. And one market in every week on Tuesday at his manor of Sheffeld in the county of York. And one fair there in every year to last for three days, that is to say on the eve and on the day and on the morrow of the Holy Trinity, unless those markets and fairs are a nuisance to neighbouring markets and fairs. And that they may have free warren in all their demesne lands of Wyrkesop in the aforesaid county of Nottingham and in all their demesne lands of Sheffeld in the aforesaid county of York. Provided that the same lands be not within the metes of our forest, so that no one may enter those lands to chase in them or to take anything which appertains to the warren without licence and will of the same Thomas or his heirs upon forfeiture to us of ten pounds. Wherefore we will and firmly enjoin ourselves and our heirs that the aforesaid Thomas and his heirs for ever may have the aforesaid markets and fairs at their aforesaid manors with all the liberties and free customs pertaining to such like markets and fairs, unless those markets and fairs be to the injury of neighbouring markets and fairs. And that they may have free warren in all their demesne lands aforesaid, so long, however, as those lands be not within the metes of our forest, so that no one may enter those lands to hunt in them or to take anything which pertains to the warren without the license and will of the said Thomas or his heirs, under forfeiture to us of ten pounds as is aforesaid.

These being witnesses, the Venerable Fathers A of Durham, W of Ely and W of Bath and Wells, bishops, Roger le Bygod Earl of Norfolk and Marshal of England, Humfry de Bohun Earl of Hereford and Essex, Hugh le Despenser, Reginald de Grey, John Wake, Robert Fitz Roger, John de Hastanges, Robert de Tateshall, Peter de Chauvent, Peter de Patyngton and others.

Given by our hand at St Edmund’s on the 12th day of November in the twenty fourth year of our reign.