Charter 400

The Charter Festival 1621 – 2021 A year-long Celebration of Our City

The Charter marked a momentous occasion in the development of Worcester City. On 2 October 1621, James I put his seal to the Charter that granted Worcester the rights and constitution that established the basis of the modern governance of the city and county of Worcester. Although many of the rights existed since 1189 (Richard Charter) this Charter is widely recognised as ‘creating’ the city of Worcester. The government of the city was entrusted to a Mayor, “six lawfull and discreet citizens” as Aldermen, a Sheriff and two Chamberlains, a body of twenty four including the Mayor and Aldermen and a body of forty eight including the two chamberlains.

The actual Charter is held by Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service at The Hive. A precis of the Charter can be found here. The Charter will be on display for public viewing throughout the year, locations will be revealed early in 2021.


In this 400th year we will celebrate this occasion with a year long Festival providing a backdrop to the many activities and events already planned and including specific events to mark the Charter itself. The list of events/activities will grow as the momentum builds throughout the year, including:

Feb 18th: Virtual Launch. Local event organisers have been invited to learn about the Charter and discover ways in which they can be involved.
Feb 19th: The Worcester Charter of 1621. A short film showing the Charter and explaining the significance to Worcester.
April: Know Your Place. The launch of the exciting new online website enabling the community to create & share their own life stories. It will also contain specific information on themes of interest in Worcester stretching back to the Charter in 1621 and beyond.
Oct 2nd: Charter Day Celebration. An event in the Guildhall to mark the historic date of the signing of the Charter on 2nd October 1621.

Get involved

There will be many opportunities to get involved with the Festival over the coming months. We’ll be posting events and activities on this page. If you’d like to find out more, feel free to get in touch.