NEWSLETTER HIGHLIGHTS - FEBRUARY 2022

To Billericay Market to buy a fat pig.
by J.K. Payne

From medieval days until last century, a visit to Billericay Market on Tuesday (19th Century) was an event when the farmer’s wife could buy such things as ribbons and gloves, gingerbread, oranges and toys, or, perhaps, fresh fish from Maldon.

Billericay being the only town in the ‘Barstable Hundred’ it had the privilege of a market. The monks of Stratford Langthorne Abbey who held the manor of Great Burstead had a grant of market rights in the reign of Henry III.

In 1478 a royal charter to hold a weekly market for swine and corn at Billericay was confirmed by Edward IV.

The bell at the chapel (now the parish church) was rung to announce the opening of the market and it was unlawful to buy or sell except in the market and during the market hours. In 1570 widow Whiting had to pay a fine pf 2s because she bought a measure of malt on her way to Billericay Market.

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Near Chapel Street stood the Market House and there was also a Market Cross.

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