The Sharington Pardon
The Sharington Pardon is one of the most spectacular and elaborate documents in the Lacock archive. Its lavish illustrations and exquisite lettering announced the royal pardon of William Sharington.
William Sharington had previously been found to have defrauded the Bristol Mint which he had been commissioned to run. He had also been connected with a plot to kidnap the boy king, Edward VI with Thomas, Lord Seymour, however the plot was discovered before it could be enacted. His lands, including Lacock were confiscated by the crown. Fortunately, William Sharington was pardoned, which this document proclaimed, due to the assistance of friends such as Francis Talbot, 5th Earl of Shrewsbury and his own personal confession.
Summary of pardon:
Edward VI, by the grace of God King of England, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith... send greeting to all to whom these letters patent will come. Know that we, in consideration of £4,866 2 shillings 2 pence in full consideration of all his debts to us paid by our beloved William Sharington, knight, and in consideration of 8,000 pounds paid in ready money by the aforesaid William... we are satisfied and contented that the same William Sharington, his heirs, executors and assigns, should be acquitted and exonerated by these present letters patent... we give and grant to the aforesaid William Sharington, knight, all those lordships and manors of Lacock, Bewley, Notton, Woodrow, Seend, Sendrew, Winterborne, Charlton, Awbury, Avebury, Catcombe, Luddington, Coate and Medbourne (and other named places)... all late of the same William Sharington ... in our hands by the attainder of the said William or forfeited by him; and all deeds touching the premises. To hold to the said William Sharington ... (with certain named exceptions)... of the King in chief by the service of one knight's fee and yearly rents... and also we grant... all goods and chattels, offices, fees, wages, profits, annuities, jewels, and debts which he possessed at the time of his attainder or were forfeited by him thereupon. Provided always that these letters patent extend not to granting to the said William the office of under treasurer of the Mint in Bristol or any profit pertaining to that office.
More information about William Sharington himself can be found here.
Or if you want a more detailed look at the Sharington Pardon you can visit the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre's website where you can zoom in on the document.