1306 Swansea Charter
The following charter has been the subject of much scholarly interest, but has not yet been translated in full. Tensions between the lords of Gower and their subjects came to a head in 1306 when William de Briouze Jnr was forced to issue a charter establishing the rights of the people of Swansea and the Gower [National Library of Wales, MS PM 391]. These rights included: the accepted use of the woodland which surrounded the town of Swansea in the Middle Ages, and ships burgesses were allowed to build a year from it; the correct way to punish thieves and arsonists; the taxes and levies owed to the lords on items such as wine, beer, and crops; and the lords’ forfeits for contravening these agreed terms. So detailed are the items laid out in this charter, that it has since become known in some circles as ‘the Welsh Magna Carta’.