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Friday, 22 July 2011

Lyme's royal connection

The first recorded royal visitor to Lyme Regis was Edward I (1239 -1307), who came to the town in May 1297. England was at war with France, and three years earlier Edward had ordered the town to build a galley of 120 oars to help with the war effort. It had to be finished by the time of his visit... and it was, although it only had 54 oars!

It was Edward I who, in 1284, had granted Lyme its royal charter, allowing the town to add "Regis" to its name (Regis is Latin for "of the King"). The charter had its positive and negative points. On the one hand, it entitled the town to two members to parliament and a merchant's guild. On the other hand, the town had to pay taxes to the King and build him a warship when he ordered them to!

For more information on the history of Lyme Regis, see the museum website.

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