The Bodleian library is lending Portsmouth Museum a 14th century copy of the charter granted by Richard I in 1194 to celebrate its 825th anniversary.  The Portsmouth Charter will be on display at Portsmouth Museum from 19 April 2019 to 19 July 2019. 

On 2 May 1194 the people of Portsmouth were given their first royal charter by Richard I who was based here while waiting to sail to France with his army. The charter outlines the king's wish for Portsmouth to develop as a royal town. It grants permission for a 15 day fair to be held in August (the Free Mart Fair) and a market on a Thursday every week 'with the same free customs as citizens of Winchester and Oxford have'. 

To celebrate, Portsmouth Museum will be hosting an event called 'Knights at the Museum', featuring Anglo-Norman enactment group Historia Normanis including combat, crafts and court re-enactments on 27 April from 10am - 4.30pm. View @PortsCityMuseum on Twitter for more details. 

During the week commencing 29 April there will be tours from Central library to the Lord Mayor's corridor to view the later royal charters. During that week there will also be workshops for adults and children on calligraphy and charter making at Central Library.

The Portsmouth Paper on the Charter written by Sarah Quail will be re-issued to provide all the history of the period and the charter. The city museum will host an analysis workshop of the painting 'The Free Mart Fair' by Richard Ubsdell. 

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