The motto of the
borough of St. Edmundsbury, Sacrarium Regis, Cunabula Legis, means "Shrine
of a King, Cradle of the Law". The King is St, Edmund, King of the East
Angles, who was killed by invading Danes in 869AD. His shrine stood for
centuries in the medieval Abbey in Bury St. Edmunds and from him the town
derives its name. "Cradle of the Law" refers to the tradition that in 1214AD
the barons of England met in the Abbey Church and swore an oath to force
King John to accept the Charter of Liberties, this would become known as the
Bury St. Edmunds is a
mediaeval town which grew up around the gates of the great Benedictine
monastery founded in 1020AD. Bury was a prosperous market town with a
thriving cloth making industry. St Mary's Church was built in the 15th
century and it is here that Mary Tudor, sister of Henry VIII, is buried.
Many splendid Georgian buildings survive, but most are hidden behind elegant
17th and 18th century facades. The fine buildings in the town, are a
testimony to its prosperity in the 18th century.