The Tetbury Feoffees were first appointed in 1633, as lords of the manor of Tetbury in trust for the town; this arrangement followed upon the agreement made by the inhabitants and known as the Tripartite Deed, for purchasing the manor, advowson and tolls, etc., from George, Lord Berkeley, and his mother. The town was an ancient manorial borough founded by the de Braose family and came into possession of the Berkeleys by marriage in the 15th Century.
Before the appointment of the Feoffees the town administration had been vested in a bailiff, the Thirteen and the Four and Twenty, under a steward appointed by the lord of the manor, Lord Berkeley. During the 18th century the Feoffees came to dominate the government of the borough and parish; the overseers of the poor acted on their orders.
The acquisition by the townsfolk of a lease of the market tolls gave them the means to secure control of their own affairs in 1633 by the purchase of the manorial rights, and from that date the government of the town was carried on by a group of Feoffees assisted by a consultative body called the Thirteen.
The Feoffees exist in their modern form as trustees of the charities which enable them to continue the same work as was initiated in 1633, the improvement and development of Tetbury and its people.