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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 house was left to his wife, Margaret, and his only son, also called Thomas, who was born soon after his death.
There was also a post of Steward, or Under Steward, of the Liberty of Bury St Edmunds, covering the area of the town rather than the whole of West suffolk.
The Steward of the Liberty appointed his own Under Stewards to carry out his judicial duties.
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.