How it all began…..
1 April 2015
Historic document discovery reveals FolkEast festival may enjoy ancient right
Organisers of a folk festival in East Suffolk are claiming to have ‘unearthed evidence’ of an ancient prescriptive right of charter to hold an annual fair on the Glemham Hall Estate, dating back to the eleventh century.
A spokesperson for FolkEast said that an old document was found among a pile of newspapers in an outhouse at the back of the hall. The newspapers were copies of The Easfolk Chronicle which they had never heard of before.
The document is currently being examined by a local historian who has not, as yet, come up with anything conclusive about its significance. However, on first glance it appears to mention a ‘prescriptive right’ to hold an annual fair in the manor of Little Glemham from around the time of William the Conqueror.
“This is quite an exciting discovery for us! We think the first of these annual fairs would probably of been set up around the time when Count Alan Rufus of Brittany (first duke of Richmondshire) was holding the manor. Apparently, he had a reputation for his love of the good life and would find any excuse for a party. The document refers to these events as “to-do’s”. They were apparently well known throughout the area referred to as the ‘Hundred of Eastfolk’.”
There is virtually no recorded evidence of prescriptive rights other than by word of mouth, passed down over the centuries. Royal grants or charters started to be recorded after 1199 and, as far as is known, there is no written record of a royal grant for a fair at Little Glemham at that time. It is possible, however, that a gathering, or folkmoot, continued under a prescriptive charter into the first part of the 13th century.
If this is the case, then FolkEast will have inadvertently and proudly reinstated a long lost tradition once held at Little Glemham.
Major Philip Hope-Cobbold at home in Glemham Hall enjoying an old Eastfolk Chronicle
Below is a copy of an Eastfolk Map discovered in a local antiquarian bookshop, appears to support the reference to Eastfolk hundred.