In the medieval period burgesses were originally the free resident householders, enrolled in the borough court, and bearing their part in the public burden in terms of taxation and duties. However, from the 14th century admissions to burgess-ship were granted for special reasons. Residency in the town was required of a burgess, who forfeited their position if they were absent from the town for more than a year and a day, though sometimes this rule was dispensed with.
History of Southampton, by Reverend Sylvester Davies, p190-208. (HS/h)
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