Town privileges

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Town charter of Flensburg, of 1284

Town privileges were important things. They were special treaties or royal charters used in the Middle Ages. In such a charter, a sovereign, a monarch granted the town or city special rights. These usually included

  • The right to have a market, to form guilds
  • Some freedoms, like to determine the government of the town or city, or to judge criminals.
  • Some people who permanently lived in the town or city (called Burghers) had special rights. Getting these rights was a special privilege (and not granted to everyone).

Many of those charters were very similar. In the end, only few charters remained in use. Notable ones in the territory of modern-day Germany include the Lübeck law, the Magdeburg rights and the Kulm law.