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Already a centre for the delivery of grain tribute during the Early Middle Ages, Stafford was commandeered in July 913 AD by Æthelflæd, Lady of Mercia and daughter of King Alfred the Great, after the death of her father and of her husband, Æthelred, then ealdorman of Mercia in 911, in order to construct a burh there.
This new burh was fortified and provided with an industrial area for the centralised production of Roman-style pottery ("Stafford Ware") which was supplied to the chain of West Midlands burhs.
This meant his lands were distributed amongst the followers of William the Conqueror.
Robert de Tonei was granted the manor of Bradley and one third of the king's rents in Stafford.
In 1206 King John granted a Royal Charter which created the borough of Stafford.
Charles I visited Stafford shortly after the out-break of the English Civil War.
He stayed for three days at the Ancient High House.
Stafford was one of Æthelflæd's military campaign bases and extensive archaeological investigations, and recent re-examination and interpretation of that evidence now shows her new burh was producing, in addition to the Stafford Ware pottery, food for her army (butchery, grain processing, baking), coinage and weaponry, but apparently no other crafts and there were few imports.
The Lady of Mercia, Æthelflæd, ruled Mercia for five years after the death of her father and husband, dying in Tamworth in 918.
Recent re-examination of the evidence shows this was a misinterpretation – it was a tree-trunk coffin placed centrally in the first, timber, chapel at around the time Æthelflæd founded the burh, in 913 AD.