Ballad of Alan a Dale
Nottingham may have one sheriff and one prison but it has two boroughs, two courts, two markets and two traditions. A line drawn from York Gate along Bridlesmith Gate down Short Hill across the meadows to the River Trent divides Nottingham into two boroughs - English and French.
In the English borough Saxon tradition holds the youngest son inherits his father's estate whilst in the French the eldest son inherits. The English pray in St. Mary's church, the French in St. Peter and St. Nicholas. The English allow free passage along the ancient Roman highway along Stony Street whilst the French surround themselves with a ditch and wall defended by a castle.
If blood is drawn in a quarrel the offender pays the King 6s 4d in the English court but 18s in the French court. Now there is an old saying:
Well better accept that the Normans have been here for 140 years and are obviously here to stay. Best take London as an example where the people elect their own mayor and aldermen and administer their own courts. And does London prosper? Houses built for barons, bishops and abbots have paved courtyards, huge halls and spacious gardens. Houses are combined as shops with rear extensions and cesspits. The town boasts over 100 churches and many bustling markets. Suburbs are springing up outside its walls; a public cookhouse has been opened by the Thames serving fish and game dishes. To lessen the fouling of the streets a public riverside lavatory is in operation and a weekly horse sale that dwarf's that of Nottingham takes place outside the hospital and priory of St. Bartholomew's.
The only way for Nottingham to emulate London is for its two boroughs to unite as one with one court and one market.
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