Latin expert sought to decipher charter

Keighley News: Town councillor Lawrence Brocklesby holds a copy of Keighley’s market charter Town councillor Lawrence Brocklesby holds a copy of Keighley’s market charter

A history group is on the hunt for someone who can translate Keighley’s 700-year-old market charter.

A copy of the historic document is now in the hands of the chairman of Keighley & District Local History Society, Laurence Brocklesby.

But it is written in Latin.

King Edward I — who ruled from 1272 to 1307 — granted the charter in 1305, giving the town the right to stage its own market.

The original stalls would have been arranged on Church Green and the market did not move to its current site until 1833.

The charter is accompanied by a separate letter, written in English.

Mr Brocklesby, a Beechcliffe resident who is also a Keighley town councillor, said: “I’ve been interested in the town’s past as well as its future.

“I, along with other members of the history society’s committee, felt it would be to the town’s benefit if we could find where its market charter was kept.

“After some research we found it was in the Duke of Devonshire’s archives at Chatsworth House.

“We first obtained a small photo of it and were told it is written on velum and in Latin.

“We asked if it had been translated into English and were told ‘no’.

“We have now got a print of the document at almost the exact size and are trying to find someone who can translate it for us. Who knows what it will say?

“We are hoping that we can get it framed and possibly have it displayed in the town market.

“We are not a rich society and I earnestly hope we can receive help with the translation from someone in our town.”

He offered his thanks to everyone on the group’s committee who had helped find out more about the charter. The history society holds monthly meetings in Keighley Library and has more than 100 members.

Anyone able to help should contact Mr Brocklesby on 01535 216321.

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