You are in [Events] [Riot in Hungerford, c.1460-61]

Whilst researching various documents in the National Archives as background research helping Fred Bailey and the team writing "Hungerford - A History" (published by the Hungerford Historical Association, 2000), Hannes Kleineke MA PhD came across a number of interesting documents relating to Hungerford's early history.

One article related to a considerable riot in Hungerford in Sep 1460 or 1461. He says:

"I have selected one of the chancery petitions which struck me as being of exceptional interest, as it relates to rioting in the town of Hungerford.

This document must probably be seen in the context of the change of dynasties from Lancaster to York in 1460-61, the give-away phrase being 'the king's rebels'. It is unfortunate that it cannot be dated more precisely, as we cannot - as far as I can see - decide who supported which side.

The details given in these petitions can occasionally be somewhat exaggerated, particularly those relating to the violence alleged, so what we may be seeing may be purely the replacement of Lancastrian officials by Yorkists, or vice-versa. What makes the decision difficult is that the house of York was briefly in the ascendant in the second half of 1460, when Henry VI was still on the throne and when George Neville was first appointed chancellor. He did however remain in office after the Lancastrians had recovered the initiative in December 1460, an ascendancy which was to last until Edward IV's accession in March 1461.

This petition dates from the chancellorship of George Neville, while bishop of Exeter (1460-65), but before the death of Thomas Windslow in March 1463."

C1/28/421 [c.1460-3]:

''Petition to the chancellor, bishop of Exeter, by John Tuggill constable of the town of Hungerford, Berks., Thomas Hossekyn bailiff of the franchise of the same town, John Dighton tithingman of the same town, John Hossekyn, John Whitwey and Nicholas Hayward with many others, reciting that William Roches, William Drewe, John Ludlowe, Robert Tuggill, Richard Jenyn, Thomas Barbour dyer with many others of their affinity, maliciously disposed, rebels to the king, to the number of 80 persons and more in September last entered the said town of Hungerford and there robbed and spoiled divers persons who owed faith and good will to the king and also broke open the common chest of the said town and carried away such goods as they found therein and put the king's officers, the said complainants, from their offices, not allowing them to occupy nor execute the king's laws in their offices as they did before time, but put into the offices men who were of their affinity, and some even against their will, who dare not refuse because of the said rebels' threats, but occupy the office or else stand in jeopardy of their lives.

And so the said rebels still continue in their riot, so that neither justice nor law may be executed there, nor good rule kept to the great hurt of the well-disposed men of the same town and also of the country thereabout who would resort to their markets there and dare not because of the said rebels."