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Faversham and Kings

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"It may not be improper to recite how highly this town hath been favoured by various kings of the realm in not less than 17 charters" 'History of Faversham' by Edward Jacob, 1774

English monarchs have for centuries been closely associated with Faversham.

The kings and queens listed below granted the town charters, gave it rights of self-government, endowed it with buildings of national importance and freed it from tax payments.

They conducted state business here, resided here and one was even buried here.

In return, the town produced goods that sustained the nation, worked and traded to increase its wealth, swore loyalty to the Crown and fought in the country's wars.

Reign

Monarch

Association

560-616

Ethelbert

Maintained a Royal residence at Faversham

691-725

Wihtred

Issued charter of Cilling (Nagden)

798-832

Cenwulf  

Issued charter describing it as "The King's Town'

925-939

Athelstan

Held a council meeting at Faversham

1066-1087

William I

Granted Faversham Church to St Augustine's Abbey

1147-1154

Stephen

Founded Faversham Abbey and buried there

1199-1216

John

Granted fishery rights, including oyster fishery

1216-1272

Henry III

Founded Maison Dieu on Ospringe Street. Granted charters giving legal  immunities to town and recognising the Abbot of Faversham should hear court cases

1272-1307

Edward I

Issued charters confirming immunities and freedom from taxes relating to Faversham as a Cinque Port and ordering port payments

1327-1377  

Edward III

Confirmed rights granted in earlier charters

1399-1413

Henry IV

Granted freedoms and privileges

1422-1461

Henry VI

Confirmed four earlier charters, granted immunities and supported claims on unlawful payments

1461-1483

Edward IV

Confirmed rights granted in earlier charters

1509-1547

Henry VIII  

Issued charter granting various privileges

1547-1553

Edward VI

Confirmed rights granted in earlier charter

1553-1558

Mary  

Visited Faversham

1558-1603

Elizabeth

Ordained that a Elizabeth Queen of England grammar school should be founded .

1660-1685

Charles II

Stayed in Faversham during the restoration of the monarchy

1685-1688  

James II    

Conferred various appointments and was imprisoned in Faversham when attempting to flee the country

1820-1830

George IV

Visited Faversham

 

General associations with Kings and Queens

  • Kings and queens stayed in or visited the town no fewer that 21 times between King John in 1201 and King George in 1821. At least three kings stayed overnight in the ‘king's chamber’ of the Maison Dieu.
  • Six roads in the town are named after Kings: Egbert (802-839), Ethelbert (860-866), Ethelred I (866-871), Athelstan (925-939), Ethelred II (987-1016), Canute (1016-1035), Harold I (1035-1040), Harold II (1066-1066) and there is also 'King's Road'.
  • Faversham is one of the few towns allowed to use the three lions from the Royal Arms on its Coat of Arms.
  • Finds of jewellery suggest that there may have been a royal palace at 'Kings Field'. The name Kingsfield and the jewellery found there in such abundance may be the most significant considerations of all for the town's close, long-standing Royal connections. On the basis of this combined evidence, Kenneth Witney, the authority on Jutish ('Anglo-Saxon') Kent, considered that Faversham was a major residence of the Kings of Kent.
  • "The King holds Favreshant" is how the entry for Faversham reads in the Domesday Book.