The ordinary business of the ports was conducted in two courts known respectively as the court of brotherhood and the court of brotherhood and guestling, - the former being composed of the mayors of the seven principal towns and a number of jurats and freemen from each, and the latter including in addition the mayors, bailiffs and other representatives of the corporate members.
The salt-houses were divided between the king, the earl of Chester and certain resident freemen of the neighbourhood.
In 1553 The electors consisted of an indefinite number of freemen, about 50 in all, indirectly nominated by the mayor and corporation, which existed by prescription.
Slaves were recruited by purchase abroad, from captives taken in war and by freemen degraded for debt or crime.
On the present occasion it was evidently regarded as quite a formal and introductory matter, and the same remark applies to the general grant of liberties to all freemen and their heirs, with which the chapter concludes.