From the Conquest or even earlier they had, besides various lesser rights - (1) exemption from tax and tallage; (2) soc and sac, or full cognizance of all criminal and civil cases within their liberties; (3) tol and team, or the right of receiving toll and the right of compelling the person in whose hands stolen property was found to name the person from whom he received it; (4) blodwit and fledwit, or the right to punish shedders of blood and those who were seized in an attempt to escape from justice; (5) pillory and tumbrel; (6) infangentheof and r L outfangentheof, or power to imprison and execute felons; (7) mundbryce (the breaking into or violation of a man's mund or property in order to erect banks or dikes as a defence against the sea); (8) waives and strays, or the right to appropriate lost property or cattle not claimed within a year and a day; (9) the right to seize all flotsam, jetsam, or ligan, or, in other words, whatever of value was cast ashore by the sea; (10) the privilege of being a gild with power to impose taxes for the common weal; and (11) the right of assembling in portmote or parliament at Shepway or Shepway Cross, a few miles west of Hythe (but afterwards at Dover), the parliament being empowered to make by-laws for the Cinque Ports, to regulate the Yarmouth fishery, to hear appeals from the local courts, and to give decision in all cases of treason, sedition, illegal coining or concealment of treasure trove.
Jeake, Charters of the Cinque Ports (1728); Boys, Sandwich and Cinque Ports; Knocker, Grand Court of Shepway (1862); M.
Faversham was probably a member of Dover from the earliest association of the Cinque Ports, certainly as early as Henry III., who in 1252 granted among other liberties of the Cinque Ports that the barons of Faversham should plead only in Shepway Court, but ten years later transferred certain pleas to the abbot's court.
As a Cinque Port, Dover (Dofra, Dovorra) had to contribute twenty of the quota of ships furnished by those ports; in return for this service a charter of liberties was granted to the ports by Edward the Confessor, making the townsmen quit of shires and hundreds, with the right to be impleaded only at Shepway, and other privileges, which were confirmed by subsequent kings, with additions, down to James II.
Its incorporation under a bailiff, of which there is evidence in the 15th century, may have been due to the archbishop or to the court of Shepway, but it was not incorporated by the crown until 1885, when, by a charter under the Municipal Acts, the last bailiff was elected the first mayor.