Lord of Alderley demands share of market profits


The dispute over market rights continues as the Lord of Alderley has written to Christine Munro asking for a percentage of the profits from the Alderley Edge Farmers' Market.

In June I met with the James Hadfield-Hyde who told me he owned a Royal Charter, which was granted to his predecessor the de Ardennes in 1254, which means that any market held within 6.5 miles of the manor of Alderley requires his permission.

At the time he told me he was taking legal advice because the Council had disregarded his right by granting Christine Munro consent for the farmer's market 13 years ago, which is held at the Festival Hall once a month.

Christine told me "I received a letter from Mr Hadfield-Hyde on 11th August requesting a percentage of the profits since I set the market up. I have written a short letter back just saying I was given permission, as have the organisers of the other 5 markets within six and two third miles of his seat.

"It is up to him if he wants to go to court which is what he is threatening to do.

"I find this all very worrying. I just like a quiet life and it's a hassle. At the end of the day if he does have the market rights I can't do anything about it, I won't be able to carry on."

Speaking with James Hadfield-Hyde today he told me "What I want from Christine is for my Royal Charter and market rights to be respected. I don't want to close the market but in view of the fact she raises money for charity I want part of the money to go the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital. That's all I ever wanted and I made that perfectly clear.

"I've been deeply upset by the way I've been treated. Christine Munro has made it perfectly clear she doesn't want to speak to me, my ownership has not been respected at all so unless she wants to sit down and agree we split the money we'll go down the route of litigation which will cost a fortune and I'm sure she and I would not want to make the lawyers rich.

"The Council have washed their hands of it, it is not encroaching on their rights so they're not bothered which is why they allowed her to do it.

"If Christine doesn't want to go down the route of sharing the money so be it, but I will protect what is mine and my property. I won't be ridden rough shot by anybody. Ownership of property is sacrosanct to all of us and if you own something you have a right to protect it."

Christine told me when she received the letter from James Hadfield-Hyde she was bed ridden as she had just hurt her leg so spent a lot of time on the internet and contacted the Manorial Society of Great Britain for advice.

The Manorial Society responded with a very interesting letter which stated that the manor of Alderley was bought by Mr Hadfield-Hyde in about 1990 off the Treasury Solicitor. Apparently the property had fallen to the Crown when the Lord Stanley of Alderley went bankrupt in the 1930's.

The letter goes on to say this raises the important question of whether the franchise of the market was included in this purchase and whether Lord Stanley owned the franchise before his bankruptcy. The letter also says that given Christine Munro has been running the market for 13 years, even if Mr Hadfield-Hyde does own the franchise the Judge could rule that he is too late to stop it now.

Christine attended the Alderley Edge Parish Council meeting last night to discuss plans for next year's May Fair as well as the letter she has received from James Hadfield-Hyde and the future of Alderley Edge Farmers' Market.

I caught up with Councillor Frank Keegan this morning to discuss his view on the situation.

Councillor Keegan told me "He says he is the Lord of Alderley but he doesn't say what his rights are. It's up to him to prove that he did buy manorial rights to Alderley Edge.

"If he went to court it would cost him a lot of money, he might not win anyway and if he did win it has taken him so long to assert a claim that the outcome might be he cannot interfere with the farmers' market but can hold his own.

"If he has a claim and goes to court the first people in the firing line will be the Council because they allowed the market to operate in the first place. He has to take the Council on.

"The onus is on him to prove he has the right not for others to prove he doesn't."

For more background information read my previous article Lord of Alderley disputes market rights.

Alderley Edge Farmers Market, Christine Munro, Lord of Alderley


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Vin Sumner
Tuesday 6th September 2011 at 4:50 pm
I thought the silly season was over
Alan R Davies
Tuesday 6th September 2011 at 5:05 pm
Somebody should let the self-styled Lord of Alderley know that the feudal system died out in the Middle Ages. Maybe it's time for another Peasants' Revolt.
Julian Rosebury
Tuesday 6th September 2011 at 5:23 pm
What a freeloader. This isn't the dark ages.
Mike Healing
Tuesday 6th September 2011 at 6:26 pm
One would have thought that was resolved by now.

Unfortunately the opening paragraph of this article demonstrates the power of the word, or in this case missing words. It suggests that Mr Hadfield-Hyde is claiming some of the proceeds for himself, whereas in a later paragraph it confirms that he is requesting that some of the proceeds to go to the Royal Manchester Childrens Hospital - for whom he has helped to raise considerable (audited) sums in recent years. It really should be very easy for a 'charitable organisation' such as Mrs Munro's Farmers market to see the stark facts and come to an agreement with Mr Hadfield-Hyde based on the well documented Royal Charter.

Two things concern me. Firstly there is an awful lot of 'fog' emanating from 'the market' in an attempt to cloud the issue regarding 'rights' and the lame attempt to hide behind the fact that five other markets have (erroneously) been granted permission. Six wrongs do not a right make!

Secondly the bluster from Cllr Keegan based purely on 'ifs buts and maybe's' does little to enhance the reputation of an Authority that appears sadly lacking in knowledge of its own history. I don't think the threat of having "to take the Council on "will concern someone who has documentary evidence to support his claim. Court records are littered with Council's having lost cases against individuals and still paying the cost!

So come on Alderley Edge, own up to having got it wrong and, using your audited accounts, make part of your proceeds available to a very worthwhile cause. Think of the kudos! After all if the market closed Christies would get nothing instead of something.
Andy Miller
Tuesday 6th September 2011 at 6:30 pm
If The Lord of Alderley wishes the money he collects from this "medieval" right to go to Manchester Children's Hospital then why not just give them the money he would pay to the lawyers. After all they are the only ones who will profit from this debacle.
What next, "Prima Nocta" ?
Sue Joseph
Tuesday 6th September 2011 at 7:13 pm
Alderley Edge did not 'get it wrong' if anyone did do so it would be the old Macclesfield Borough Council who originally permitted the farmer's market. If Mr Hadfield-Hyde has such a right as he claims all that is necessary is to produce a copy of the evidence of his rights in this matter. Whilst I agree six wrongs do not make a right why is Mr H-H not following up his rights with the other markets held within his 'manor'. Could it be that he sees Mrs Munro as a 'soft' target? I can imagine the response he would receive if he tried these tactics on the owner of the Chelford Boot Sale among others!
Ricky Lee
Tuesday 6th September 2011 at 7:25 pm
Simple, lets move the market to Chelford or Wilmslow, so that it's over 6.5 miles away!
Lisa Reeves
Tuesday 6th September 2011 at 7:33 pm
Mike - The reason my opening paragraph does not say that James Hadfield-Hyde wants the money for charity is because from what I understood the letter he sent to Christine Munro doesn't say this.

The latter part of my article is quoting what James told me today.

I have double checked with Christine this evening and she has told me "Just reading through the letter again he doesn't say anywhere in it that he wants the money for charity, he says the profits belong to him and he must defend his legal rights, which are a property right and an asset forming part of his estate."

In the letter sent to Christine, Mr Hadfield-Hyde has written "The Limitation Act 1980 provides that I have a right to account of profits from the illegal markets which you have held in the last six years. I should, however, emphasis that in law, any such profits belong to me regardless of how you may have applied them, and any credit which I may give you would be purely an act of charity on my part. I cannot allow you to continue with your market except by means of a licence granted by me, subject to formal and transparent accounting."

Referring to the letter, Christine also told me "Mr Hadfield Hyde has asked me for my accounts for the past six years and if I don't let him have them within fourteen days of the date of his letter then he will seek a Court Order for an account of profits, damages for infringement of his Royal Charter rights of market, an injunction to restrain further such infringements and an order for costs incurred in defending his rights."

Whilst James Hadfield-Hyde told me this morning, as I have quoted, that he wants the money for the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital there is no mention of this in the letter sent on August 11th and therefore no mention of this in my opening paragraph.
Paul Allman
Tuesday 6th September 2011 at 9:37 pm
Given the fact that Mr. H-H has said he wants the money to go to the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital (no doubt a good cause), I wonder if they would be happy to accept a charitable donation that has been raise by what some may call intimidation of a "soft target" (re: S.J's comment)??
Be interesting to find out what they make of this, can't see them wanting someone's livelihood taken away in their name.
Just a thought.
Frank Keegan
Tuesday 6th September 2011 at 11:02 pm
Vin Sumner,

The silly season is never over when it affects issues like this.

There is a whole pile of bluff and bluster here, but none of it from Cllr Keegan.

If a person claims money on the basis of having bought the rights to a market, the first thing anyone does is ask him to prove it. Not just to assert it, but prove it.
Alan R Davies
Wednesday 7th September 2011 at 9:43 am

Proof would indeed shed some light on this seemingly endless saga. Mike Healing, who only seems to comment on this site as a supporter of James Hadfield-Hyde, refers to the "well documented Royal Charter", yet nobody except Mr Hadfield-Hyde seems to have seen this august document. In the absence of publication, maybe we should all deny this self-publicist the oxygen of publicity which he clearly craves.
Mike Norbury
Wednesday 7th September 2011 at 1:45 pm
I am extremely saddened and sickened by this person's bully-boy "look-at-me" attitude.

I am a born and bred villager. My wife and I keep bees, as some of you may be aware. We have had to contend with threats to our stock from varroa mite, keep diligent watch for potential disease threats in the north west and take evasive action. In the face of this adversity we have managed to increase from 2 healthy colonies to at present 35+.

We could not afford to do any of this without selling our surplus honey and beeswax to the good people of Alderley at the Alderley Edge farmers' market, ensuring we can carry on our quest to breed a disease-resistant honey bee strain hardy to its locality.

Our customers seem to have an avid interest in "how the bees are doing?" every month, so Mr Hadfield-Hyde will you kindly come to the market this Sunday and explain to us why you feel justified in scuppering our hard work over the last 9 summers? Your titular claim is, I trust, written on genuine 12th century paper for me to examine?
James Hadfield-Hyde
Wednesday 7th September 2011 at 3:41 pm
(1) If I've said it once, I've said it fifty times. It has never been my intention to make personal gain from Alderley Farmer's Market, based on the fact that Mrs. Monro claims to run it purely as a vehicle for raising funds for Christie's. If that be the case, the people of Alderley Edge have a right to know exactly how much of their money ends up going to the charity. Total transparent accounting is imperative when one makes such claims.

In view of the fact the market's existence is an encroachment of my rights, and for 26 years I was the Patron of the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital Research Equipment Fund, among others. I suggested she split the money from Alderley between my favourite local children's charity and Christie's. I thought this wouldn't be an unreasonable request considering she runs five other markets else ware, presumably all with a similar purpose. It was not necessary to reiterate the above in my letter to her, but merely to emphasise the legal implications. A licence from me is all she requires.

(2) To answer Councillor Frank Keegan's question as to whether I own the Manorial Rights to Alderley, allow me to quote from the conveyance of Title from the Crown to me....

"this conveyance in the Manor or Lordship of Alderley in the County and Diocese of Chester together with all Manorial Rights issuing out of the same or appurtenant thereto including all ancient rights and privileges to this demesne."

If Councillor Keegan is unfamiliar with how protective councils are over their Charter Rights, I suggest he examine a typical local authority attitude, as follows...
Publications. Market Rights Fact Sheet.
Quote; Market Charters can be enforced by their owners under Common Law, this is reinforced by Case Law.

I have nothing further to say on this website.
James Hadfield-Hyde, Lord of Alderley
Kirsteen Peel
Wednesday 7th September 2011 at 5:04 pm
"I have nothing further to say on this website.
James Hadfield-Hyde, Lord of Alderley"

Well at least that's a relief!

Our "Lord" just doesn't get it does he - all his blustering and posturing doesn't change the fact that the good work Christine is doing and has been doing for such a long time doesn't need his interference.

Additionally, he really can't bludgeon Alderley-Edgers into his way of thinking, it seems we are not greatly impressed by his so-called title or the bits of paper he apparently purchased...
Mike Norbury
Wednesday 7th September 2011 at 5:07 pm
Look man stop pretending you're the Sheriff of Nottingham. Face facts, you have a piece of paper that is out-dated. The people of Alderley Edge do not need you or anyone else to be their 'lord'. The Stanleys were the last bona fide lords and they're long gone.

May I also suggest that instead of tormenting a 70+ year old lady who does a lot of good for this village that you go and try and get a slice of Scott's car boot empire (also on your manor) and Frank Marshall (ditto) for your charities and see what they say to you.
Ricky Lee
Wednesday 7th September 2011 at 5:22 pm
Lets start a petition and send it to Buckingham Palace to have his title removed.
Frank Keegan
Wednesday 7th September 2011 at 6:43 pm
Councillor Keegan knows exactly how protective Councils are of their Charter Rights; I was in Cabinet at Macclesfield Borough when we decided to authorise markets provided they were more than 6.67 miles from Market Square Macclesfield.

The quoting of appurtences etcetera, etcetera, ad infinitum, does not cover the extent of Alderley. The Stanleys owned the land in Nether Alderley: but the De Traffords owned the land in Alderley Edge.

Thus, prove you have the rights over land owned by De Trafford!!
Ruth Norbury
Wednesday 7th September 2011 at 7:23 pm
And ..... please will you stop bullying Christine and openly withdraw your threat of legal action against her. You are causing a lot of stress for someone who helps the village.

You contribute nothing, you don't even live here. Please go away.
Claire MacLeod
Sunday 11th September 2011 at 5:05 pm
Regardless of what you post on here, James, this is not really about legal entitlement, is it? It is about Doing The Right Thing. The number of people who have posted on this and the page published earlier in the year, expressing dismay at your position, James, (vs the lone voice of Mike Healing, who is, no doubt, a personal friend of yours), serves to illustrate the vast majority of the residents of Alderley Edge oppose your proposed actions. Clearly you have no interest in winning a popularity contest, judging by your stubborn and repeated insistance of 'my rights'. It would appear that purchasing a title does not automatically entitle you to subserviance and respect, either. That must be disappointing.

If you continue on this course, James, no-one wins. Is protection of your ego really worth a lengthy and expensive court battle and the enormous stress it will place on Christine and ire it will fuel amongst Alderley residents? Why don't you divert your tenacious energies in a direction where everyone wins instead (preferably not in Alderley Edge, please)? Why don't you get over your own self-importance (which, after all, is underpinned with a purchased title), and Do The Right Thing?
James Hadfield-Hyde
Monday 12th September 2011 at 9:21 am
Dear Claire, I appreciate your comments. The simple fact is. It is illegal to operate a market within the bounds of an existing Market Charter without Licence from the owner. Macclesfield allowed Mrs.Monro, (and possibly others) to open her market because she was not encroaching upon their Market Charter rights.

When Neil Hamilton MP was the Minister, he attempted to change the existing law by introducing the Deregulation Bill 1995. This was strongly opposed by councils and charter owners from around the country, (including Macclesfield) and he was forced to withdraw the Bill.

All that is required by law is that Mrs.Monro asks that I grant her a Licence, I have no problem with that, and never have. My other request is that, as she claims to run the market for charity, I would want to receive some of the money for my own favourite children's charity.

This whole sorry affair could easily have been avoided had Macclesfield Borough Council done their job properly. It is clear from his previous statement that Councillor Keegan does not understand that land ownership has no bearing whatsoever on Market Charter rights. If it were so, Macclesfield Council would have to own all the land within their Charter boundary of 6.67 miles.

I appeal to Mrs.Monro, that she and I to sit down quietly together and sort this out amicably, as we originally agreed. Without the assistance of Pub politicians or Bar room Barristers.
Yours Aye, James
David Hadfield
Monday 12th September 2011 at 10:06 am
James Hadfield-Hyde is still bullying Mrs Monro. He should go away and try to enter the House of Lords if he wants to play games.
He cannot even keep to his own agenda because a few days ago he said ..... "I have nothing more to say on this website" ....................... (if only he could keep his word) !!!
David Hadfield (definitely no relative to James H-H)
Kriss Coombes
Monday 12th September 2011 at 5:24 pm
Good Lord of the Manor,

No matter how valid your 'Market Rights' may or may not be, is it really worth creating such a hoo-ha about such a minor matter ? Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and we are constantly bombarded with reminders of man's inhumanity to man throughout the world.

I find this pathetic parochial attitude quite laughable and perfect material for a great Ealing comedy,( material for John Wallace ?), but in reality I feel quite sorry for you and your need to seek your power and authority over the residents.

Christine Munro has earned the admiration and respect of this community by her hard work and generosity of spirit. Because of the monies raised by the farmer's market, Christies have reaped the benefit which they would otherwise not have received, and having worked at the M/C Children's Hospital (I am delighted that you give this wonderful place your support), I also know that many of the children there, also receive treatment and care at Christies.

So come on James, try demonstating your generosity of spirit and goodwill to all men..... and women, (It's not just for Christmas ) and leave things be.
Claire MacLeod
Tuesday 13th September 2011 at 12:50 pm
Beautifully put, Kriss.

James, you still have a chance to give Christine a licence, gratis, with no conditions or provisos, as a gesture of goodwill. It might earn you the respect you clearly yearn for.
Vin Sumner
Wednesday 14th September 2011 at 12:16 am
Well said Kriss, we are at the dawn of new age where social and community values will outstrip those based on ownership whether legal or not ....
James Hadfield-Hyde
Friday 16th September 2011 at 3:16 pm
Dear Claire, thank you for your comment. I have no problem in giving Mrs. Monro a licence. All she has to do is to phone me.
I have been involved in fundraising for children's charities for forty years and every single penny raised has always been open to the scrutiny of all. It does not seem unreasonable to ask Mrs. Monro how much of the money goes to Christies? I am quite shocked that nobody has ever asked the question before!
It has never been my intention to bully Mrs. Monro in any way whatsoever. Any market operating outside the law will be dealt with accordingly, whether they encroach upon a charter owned by a Council, an individual, a company or me!.
There was a question raised in your local newspaper as to whether the law would be enforceable because of the length of time Mrs. Monro has been operating the market. I ask them to refer to the Prescription Act of 1832. The limit stated within that Act is 20 years not 13 years.
Again, I ask that Mrs.Monro gets in touch with me and we can put an end to all this unpleasantness.
Yours Aye,
Alan R Davies
Friday 16th September 2011 at 5:16 pm
Oh no, he's back again, still trying to establish a precedent that he has the right to grant a licence. It seems that "noblesse oblige" can be inherited, but it can't be bought.