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‘A Saturnalia of Nondescript Noise and Nonconformity’ – The Rise and Fall of the Charter Fair

Using newspapers from The Archive, in this special blog we take a look at the history of Charter Fairs, from their inception in the medieval period to their continuation in twentieth century Britain. In his June 1955 article for The Sphere, entitled A Partial Eclipse of the Fair, Brian Vesey-Fitzgerald notes how ‘Fairs are of very ancient origin,’ and have been part of British life for thousands of years. A Charter Fair was a fair endorsed by the Crown. Crown-issued

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