The town was incorporated in 1467 by Edward IV., who granted a gild merchant and appointed that the town should be governed by a mayor and two serjeants-at-mace elected every year by the burgesses.
Kap..cipa, an arched chamber), in law, a word applied at one time to the English judges' chambers in Serjeants' Inn, as distinct from their bench in Westminster Hall.
On Sunday, the 11th of May 1729, when going out to preach before the judges at Serjeants' Inn, he was seized with a sudden illness, which caused his death on the Saturday following (May 17, 1729).
In each county the list opened with the holding of the king himself (which had possibly formed the subject of separate inquiry); then came those of the churchmen and religious houses; next were entered those of the lay tenants-in-chief (barones);° and last of all those of women, of the king's serjeants (servientes), of the few English "thegns" who retained land, and so forth.
In 1618 the borough received its first charter of incorporation from James I., instituting a governing body of a mayor, 12 chief burgesses, and 12 assistant burgesses, with a recorder, deputy-recorder, townclerk and two serjeants-at-mace; a court of record every fortnight on Tuesday; and fairs at Michaelmas and on the second Tuesday after Trinity Sunday, which were kept up until within the last fifty years.
In 1573 Elizabeth granted a charter creating Bideford a free borough corporate, with a common council consisting of a mayor, 5 aldermen and 7 chief burgesses, together with a recorder, town-clerk and 2 serjeants-at-mace.