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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 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.
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.
Over the next hundred years local government would replace the Abbots' Rule, but religious differences would cause bitter divisions in the country.
However, the town had now lost the use of the great library of the abbey, the access to the several hospitals which the monks had run, the grammar school was closed, and the various charities and good works of the monks were suddenly gone.
He had been a rich wool merchant, trading in Flanders, and had built Hengrave Hall on the proceeds from 1525 to 1538.