So, I confess my father is a Baron, not a feudal type Baron or the enemy of Dangermouse, but a "Baron of the Cinque Ports". There were traditional rights and I wonder how many of these still apply because no one actually revoked them.
Exemption from Tax and Tallage (or Tolls). Right of Sac and Soc. (i.e. local self-government), Toll (right to levy tolls) and Team (authority to compel holders of stolen goods to divulge their source), Blodwit and Fledwit (authority to punish shedders of blood and seize those who fled from justice), Pillory and Tumbrill (punishment for minor offences). Infrangentheof and Outfrangeneof (power to detain and execute felons both inside and outside the Ports jurisdiction), Mundbryce (authority to try breeches of the King's Peace, Waifs and Strays (right to take lost or unclaimed goods after one year and one day), Flotsam and Jetsam or Legan (power to claim floating wreckage on the shore or goods thrown overboard). Privilege of Assembly as a guild, gave them the Authority to Act in all causes, including the Taxing of all men. Rights of Den and Strond (to land at Great Yarmouth - a fishing port on the east coast - dry and mend nets and to sell fish). The Bailiffs of Great Yarmouth and the Cinque Ports were meant to keep the peace (not always successfully). The Great Yarmouth Herring Fair was finally abandoned by the Ports in 1663. The Banner that they carried there for the last time was made in 1632 and now hangs in the Maison Dieu (Town Hall) Dover. (from here )
So, vigilante justice ahoy!
Damn! As my brother has pointed out I should have read on:
Local Government Reforms and Acts of the 19th and 20th Century have removed the remaining special administrative and peculiar judicial powers of The Confederation and its Members, but it and they still survive as a unique and memorable example of England's old traditions and history.