The Reformation and the end of the Guild

In 1547 King Edward VI closed the Guild down and confiscated its assets. He was continuing the reform of the English Church which his father, King Henry VIII, had begun in the 1530s.

The Guild was abolished, but the king still needed people he could trust to run Stratford from day to day. So in 1553 he used a Royal Charter of Incorporation to create Stratford Borough Council. The Council bought the Guildhall back from the government, and turned it into the Council’s headquarters, which it remained until 1848.

The charter also set up a new local court, the Court of Record. And it refounded the old Guild School as the King’s New School. Within about ten years the Borough Council, the Court of Record and the School were all based in the old Guildhall. This continuing use helped to secure the Guildhall’s future.

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