"For the rich men, the clothiers, be concluded and agreed among themselves to hold and pay one price for weaving, which price is too little to sustain households upon, working day and night, holy day and week day, and many weavers are reduced to the position of servants." The Liberty of St Edmund, covering the area of West suffolk, had been the barony of the Abbot of St Edmunds up to 1539.
After the dissolution in 1539, the rights of the Abbot returned to the Crown.
The government of the town was largely ignored by the new owners of the abbey lands and privileges, and any joint actions continued to be carried out through the Guildhall Feoffees, largely without any formal legal backing.
During the time of the abbey any form of local self determination by the townspeople of Bury existed solely through the Candlemas Guild and later the Guildhall Feoffment Trust.
The property of the Abbey of St Edmund was surrendered to the Crown on 4th November 1539 but much of the wealth had already been confiscated in the previous year.
The poorest in society would suffer most from many of these changes.
The library of books at the abbey does not seem to have attracted much attention from collectors at the time, and M R James thought that they were mostly acquired by local Bury people.
His father was Robert Bacon, of Drinkstone, Esquire and Sheep-reeve to the Abbey of Bury St. In 1540, some of the major local transactions carried out by the Court were as follows: In 1540 Sir Thomas Kytson was still extending his landholdings, and he bought eight of the previously monastic manors in Suffolk.
These were Fornham St Martin, Fornham St Genevieve, and Fornham All Saints, Chevington, Hargrave, Risby, Sextons Manor at Westley, and Monks Hall at Santon Downham. Unlike many other rich men who became landed gentry by buying up the newly privatised monastic lands, Kytson had first put his wealth into property in Suffolk when he purchased Hengrave in 1521. Sir Thomas Kytson died at Hengrave Hall shortly after making these transactions.
Unlike many other towns in England at this time, Bury was growing and prospering.
It did this largely independently of the Abbey's decline and eventual closure.
After about 1120 it seems to have become an hereditary post.