I was joined again today by the man we like to call, MR RAYLEIGH, Mike Davies, chairman of the Rayleigh Town Museum and today Mike took us back to at least 1181, which is the date to which the origins of Rayleigh market can be traced, when Henry II was on the throne.
In point of fact the market could well have existed from a much earlier time given that markets were either held by virtue of a specific royal grant, usually embodied in a charter or by prescriptive right based on an immemorial custom.
Of course in those days it would have been very much a farmers’ market where local livestock and produce was brought in and the town’s people and visitors from nearby villages would have gathered to buy provisions and to enjoy the hustle and bustle of market life.
The market would have been alive with acrobats, musicians and surrounded by busy local taverns, especially given that the market in Rayleigh would have been the only one for 20 miles and so would have attracted custom from afar, although Sir Guy de Rochford obtained permission from Henry III for a market in Rochford in 1247 when it hosted regular cattle and livestock sales.
On 18th February 1227 King Henry III granted Hubert de Burgh (Earl of Kent) and his wife Margaret unspecified markets at 3 manors, including Rayleigh. This was reconfirmed by Henry III on 28th November 1228. But in April 1248 and January 1249 the Countess of Kent alleged that her market at Rayleigh was being damaged by the market at Prittlewell.
This is clearly a far cry from the market of today although even as recently as the 1950’s there was an active cattle market in the town.
But if you missed it listen again here to what Mike had to say on this subject, and hear about some of the dramas that have befallen the market over the years: –
In the second hour of today’s show we heard about the man who was gobsmacked after he stopped off at a local McDonald’s only to spot his own car arriving at the drive thru!
It seems that before heading in for a quick burger, he’d dropped his car off at a local garage to have it checked over.
After returning to collect his vehicle, he raised the issue with the manager only to be told that they’d had to change something so decided to drive it round a bit to check that everything was OK.
He also learnt that in any event if it was close to their lunch break it would not be unusual for mechanics to use client’s cars for a food run.
Our hero said it was a a pity they hadn’t told him what they were going to do as he could have hitched a ride and saved himself a 10 minute walk!
Well there’s food for thought!
Well I think I’ll nip off now before someone decides to take my car out for an unscheduled “spin”.
Hope to have the pleasure of your company again tomorrow,