The Malmesbury Charter
Malmesbury - History
A Charter refers to a grant of authority or rights. Anglo-Saxon Charters typically granted land or recorded a specific privilege, the oldest of which granted land to the Church.
Malmesbury may have received such a Charter as early as 880 under King Alfred’s reign (871-901), but the generally accepted date is 924 during the reign of Edward the Elder (901-925). Malmesbury was known for its fighting men and they had an active role under Edward, which is likely the key reason the town was given the Charter.
Hodge, Dr. Bernulf., A History of Malmesbury (5th Edition; The Friends of Malmesbury Abbey, Minety: 1990).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charter (last accessed on 06/06/2011).