These royal charters give us fantastic insight into how Daventry’s town laws were passed centuries ago. The museum is lucky to hold four charters (two under the name of Queen Elizabeth I, one under James I and the other under Charles I). The charters gave Daventry the right to such actions as trading, holding town fairs, collecting taxes and electing officials. They were all handwritten on parchment (the skin of a calf, goat or sheep), which must have been treated especially for the purpose by wetting, stretching and scraping. All legal documents right up until the 19th century were written on parchment. You wouldn’t want to make any spelling mistakes…

New – explore our Interactive Charter

Find out all about the charters the Museum has here