Its History and Antiquities, &c. under the government of
Mayors, sucessively, down to the present time.
We come now to speak of the civil government of Nottingham, its successive grants,
privileges, history, &c.
In pages 490 and 491 we find in Thoroton the following account.
"It seems the Conquerour, or one of his sons, gave the Dominion of Nottingham,
and the Forest, to William Peverel his Bastard son, and in that time it changed the
name from Snotingham to Nottingham. For William Peverell in the Foundation of the
Priory of Lenton (which was Founded in Henry the first his time, before the death of
William, Henry the firsts son) where the words are, Pro salute Domini mei Henerici
Regis, & Matildæ Reginæ uxoris ejus, & filii eorum Willielmi, & filiœ eorum Matildæ,
he gives to this Monastery the Tythe of his Fish, of the Fishing of Nottingham; and
further gives them (Concedente Domino meo Henrico) the Church of St. Mary, of the
English Borough of Nottingham, the Church of St. Peter, the Church of St. Nicholas,
the Church of Radford, with many others.
'The first Charter to this Ancient Borough appearing on Record, or that I could
ever hear of, was made by Henry the second, and it is Burgensibus de Nottingham,
and he thereby gives them all those Free Customs which they had in the time of King
Henry his Grandfather, viz. Tholl, and Theme, and Infangtheise, and Tell from the
(Ductu) way beyond Rempston unto Redford in le North, and from Thurmesien unto
Newarke, of all passing the Trent; by the same Charter he grants to them, That all
men coming ad forum de Nottingham cum quadrigis & summagiis suis a vespere diei veneris
us, ue ed vesperum diet Sabbati non namentur nisi pro firma Regis.
'By all this it clearly appears they were a Corporation before, and had those Free
Customs, kept a Market, and paid a Ferme to the Crown.
King John, when he was Earl Mortayne, had all Nottinghamshire, and the Forest,
in a kind of Regal manner, and in that time he granted to the Burgesses of Nottingham
a Charter of Liberties to the same effect, as he did in the first year of his Reign, for
that when he was King hath relation to the Charter he granted, cum essemus Comes
Mortayne; and I have seen that old Charter without a Seal. In his Charter as King,
he grants them in effect, what his father had granted, and what they held in the time
of his great Grandfather; and further gives them Gildam mercaoriam, and appoints
that whoever should by them be constituted (Præpositus) Bayliff of that Borough,
should pay the King's Ferme at his Exchequer at Easter and Michaelmas, and forbids
the infringing of these Liberties upon forfeiture of ten pounds.
'In the Charter of Henry the third the Ferme is expressed to be 52l. blank, and for
that Farm they had by that Charter the aforesaid Town given to them and their heirs
(a phrase in that ancient time including Successors) and further that they should take
Trouage, and have Coroners.
Edward the first granted unto them that they might elect a Major and two Bayliffs
Secundum consuetudinem utriusque Burgi, and that their Major should be Escheator within
the Borough. The distinction of the Boroughs continues to this day, and are called
the English and French Borough. In the English Borough bloodshed is but 6s. 4d.
in the French Borough it is 18s. And in the Plea Rolls of Common Pleas, M. 5 E. 2.
there is a Custom within the English Borough of Nottingham, That Infants after fifteen
years may sell their Lands as if they were of full age.
'From Edward the first till the 27 H. 6. they continued Burgesses in their Corporation, and then the King made the Borough a County, and turned the Bayliffs into
Sheriffs, and incorporated them by the name of Major and Burgesses, in which plight
they continue at this day."
In support of the above, Deering asserts that Nottingham was, doubtless, an ancient
borough by prescription long before the conquest; and governed by a Reave or Bayliff
(prepositus) for above the space of 200 years, reckoning no farther back than the conquest. Deering took much pains to procure a correct list of the mayors of this place;
but his attempt was ineffectual, particularly of those who served prior to 1600. The
first given in his list is
1302 Johannes fil de le Paumer. (fn. 1)
I am apprehensive that the intermediate years between Paumer and Ingram might be
served by one or both of them, so on in other instances.
1314 Robert Ingram.
1330 Nicholas de Shelford.
This year Edward the III. held a parliament in this town.
1332 Lawrence de Spicer.
About this time the 5th of Edward III. a great council met here for the purpose of
overthrowing the great favorite of the Queen Mother, Roger Mortimer, Earl of March;
a story too well known to be recited here, particularly as the transaction is related in
the description of Mortimer's hole, page 28. It appears however, upon good authority,
that two of the Earl's friends were slain in the struggle when surprized: viz. Hugh de
Turpliton knight, and John de Monmouth. The Earl himself died on a gallows called
the Elms near Smithfield, on which his body hung two days and two nights, before
1334 William de Amyas.
In 1337 a parliament was also held here in which an act was past favourable to the cloth
trade, and great encouragement was given to foreigns in that business to settle in
England. At this time also were obtained a grant of a tenth from the clergy and the citizens
and burgesses of great towns, and likewise of those who dwelt out of large towns a fifteenth.
1334—5 Roger de Botchal.
1340 Ralph de Wolaton.
1367 John Samon.
1370 John Saumon.
1379 John de Plumtree.
1382 John de Samon.
1384 John de Samon.
1389 John de Croweshagh.
The 11th of Richard II. the King being offended with his last parliament, commanded all his justices, &c. to meet him at the castle of Nottingham on the morrow after
St. Bartholemew day. Present the Archbishop of York, the Duke of Ireland, Earl
Suffolk, the two chief Justices Trisilian and Belknapp, with others their brethren of the
several Benches. Here many weighty matters were settled respecting his regal dignity.
1390 John de Croweshawe.
1391 Henry de Normanton.
1393 William Huntsman.
1394 John de Plumtree.
The 15th of Richard's reign also, that King held a great council here, and sent for
some Londoners to lend him £1000. which they not only refused themselves; but beat
and abused an Italian because he offered to lend the King the sum required. The King
however soon humbled the pride and insolence of the citizens, for he seized their liberties
and their power, appointed a governor of the city himself; and before they recovered
their franchies he made them pay ten instead of one thousand pounds.
In 1397 the same King was at Nottingham on special business.
1399 John de Tannesley.
Here it may not be amiss to introduce, as set down in Thoroton, those transactions
he has noticed respecting Nottingham, during the period we have been speaking in this
section. In which, the reader will observe, several of the names, of the mayors above
mentioned, recited; reserving his account of the religious houses and hospitals, and a
further account of the corporation to be inserted in their respective places, to which they
more immediately belong.
"There is a place on the high Pavement near the corner of St. Maries Church yard,
called the Kings Hall, which is not within the County of the Town; in that Hall the
Assizes, and Sessions, and other like businesses for the County are held, and under it,
and by it is the Goal or Prison; but whether this be the Prison which King John
erected at Nottingham, about the third year of his Reign, or that which is lower in the
Street under the Towns Hall, where the Assizes, &c. for that County are kept, I
cannot certainly determine."
"The Reparation of the Bridge of Nottingham, 10 Joh. was undertaken by the Bre
thren of the Hospital of St. John in Nottingham."
"In the year 1241. Walter Grey Arch-bishop of York sent to Robert Alwin, Master
of the Hospital of St. John Baptist at Nottingham, and to the Fathers there serving
God, a Statute Rule for the Brethren and Sisters of that Hospital: first, that they
should provide two or more Chaplains to celebrate Divine Service for ever, &c.
This Master and Brethren, 36 H 3. were to have two Cart Loads of Wood out of the
Woods of Hugh Nevil in Arnhall."
"The Lepers of the Hospital of St. Leonard at Nottingham, 10 H. 3. had reasonable
Estover of dead Wood to be gathered in the Forest of Nottingham."
"The Jury, 30 E. 1. found it not to the Kings loss if he granted licence to John le
Paumer of Nottingham, and to Alice his wife (who was sister and heir of Hugh de
Stapleford, son of Robert de Stapleford of Nottingham) to give 6l. 13s. 5d. Rent,
with the Appurtenances in Nottingham, to a certain Chaplain to celebrate Divine
Offices for their Souls, &c. in the Chapel of St. Mary on Hethebethe Brigg, where
there is one Arch, yet known by the name of Chappell Arch. This Alice out lived
her Husband, who was called John le Palmer the elder, and had interest at Algarthcrp
by Basford, as in that place may be observed."
"There have been many considerable persons resident in this Town, and many Traders and Officers here, from whom Families of good esteem and worship have sprung.
From Raph Bugge of this place descended the Willoughbies of Wollaton and Risley;
the Binghams, Bugges of West Leke; and I suppose Bigge of Stanford upon Sore, as
in several places of this Book may be seen."
"The Jury, 32 E. 1. found it not to the Kings loss if he granted to Richard de
Willughby, that he might give five Marks Rent, with the Appurtenances in Nottingham, held of the said Richard, to a Chaplain in the Church of St. Peter at Nottingham, &c."
"Bugge Hall in Nottingham descended to Sir Richard de Bingham, Knight, or
which name some continued in this Town till the Reign of Edward the third, or
after, whereof one Adam, son of Adam de Bingham of Nottingham, 13 E. 2. passed
to Richard de Bingham of Nottingham his brother, a Messuage on the high Pavement,
scituate between the Lane by St. Maries Church-yard, and a Tenement of Sir Richard de Willughbies, afterwards given to the Chantry of Sutton Passeyes; and John,
son of Richard de Bingham of Nottingham, 21 E. 3. conveyed it to Henry de Baukewell, and Alice his wife, to whom Cicily and Alice, daughters of Richard de Bingham, and Robert, son and heir of Richard de Bingham, also, 22 E. 3. released it, so
that afterwards it had the name of Bakewell Place, and 4 R. 2 was passed to Thomas
de Betalle of Nottingham, whose son Mr. Roger Bottale, Arch-deacon of Cardygan,
3 H. 5 settled it on John Bottale his brother, and the heirs of his body, which John
had a daughter called Joane Bureley, widow, who, together with William Molyneux, son and heir of Nicolas Molyneux, 37 H. 6. conveyed it to Richard Campyon,
who, 1 E. 4. released it to John Hunt of Nottingham, Merchant, as did also, 5 E. 4.
Richard Bingham the Judge, who had been enscoffed thereof, together with John
Manchestre, then dead, by Thomas Kay, Son and Heir of Thomas Kay, sometime
of Nottingham, from which John Hunt it came by Inheritance, according to the Descent in Hockerton to Gilbert Boun, Serjeant at Law, who made it his Mansion House
from whence, after he had been imprisoned at Darby a year or more, by the first setters up of the late horrid Rebellion in these parts, he was, with the loss of all he had,
violently expelled by the Governor of Nottingham."
"There was an House over against this, which in 17 E. 3. belonged to Robert
Wolaton, and Alice his wife; and in 27 Eliz. is said to lie between the House of
Nicolas Kinnersley, Gent, and Joane his wife (but since Sir Thomas Hutchinsons) and
the Common Hall of the County, which said House was by Francis Leeke of Sutton
in le Dale in the County of Darby, Esquire, then conveyed to John Boun, Father of
the said Gilbert, who some years before the said Rebellion, gave it to be used by the
Country at the Assizes as an Hall, for the more convenient Tryals of Nisi Prius, and
it was made with Arches open to the Street on that side for that purpose, as it remains
at this day, so that the other Hall adjoining, is free for Criminal Causes, or other
business of the Crown."
"Beyond this new Hall was a pleasant little Garden, which the Lady Katherine
Hutchinson (the relict of the said Sir Thomas) much affecting, about the Kings Return purchased of John Boun, Esquire, the Serjeants elder son, to enlarge her own,
to which it was contiguous, as she did also (perhaps for the Gardens sake, wherein
she takes great delight) the dwelling House, but that she shortly after sold to Robert
White the present owner, who in the place of an old Barn or Stable hath built a pretty
New Brick House sacing St. Maries Church-yard."
"There was a fine levyed at Nottingham the Munday next after the Feast of St. Martin, 3 E. 3. between Walter, son of Robert Ingram, Quer and Robert Ingram,
Chivaler, and Orframma his wife, Deforc. of four Messuages, one Oven, forty Acres
of Land, six Acres of Medow, and 100s. Rent, with the Appurtenances in Nottingham, which were then settled on the said Walter Ingram, and the heirs of his body;
remainder to the said Robert, and Orsramma, and the heirs of Robert. John Ingram
of Nottingham, 4 R. 2. conveyed to Sir Gervas Cliston, Knight, Hugh de Willughby, Raph de Adurley, Richard de Gifford of Nottingham, Thomas Martell, Thomas
Whatton, Raph de Adurley, junior, and Thomas Ingram, Chaplain, all his Lands,
Rents, and Services in Sneynton, and other where in England, &c. Edmund Ingram of
Nottingham, 8 R. 2. passed all his Lands, Rents, and Services in Sneynton, to Sir
Edmund Perepunte, Knight, and his heirs, and likewise the yearly Rent of eight
Marks issuing out of all Lands and Tenements in Nottingham, and Willeford, and
Whatton: The Witnesses were John Samon of Nottingham, John Croweshawe, of the
same, Henry de Plumtre, then Bayliff of Nottingham, Robert de Watton, John de
Burton, &c. I guess that my Lord Marquess of Dorchesters House, wherein his
Grandfather Sir Henry Pirrepont dwelt, on the top of St. Mary Hill, was Sir Robert Ingrams, for in 13 E. 2. St. Mary Lane is said to lead from the Kings Hall to
the Tenement of Robert Ingram, &c. he is named in Sneynton also, if that Robert was
not his father, or other Ancestor, as by the time he should."
"Luke de Crophill, Clark, son of Gregory de Crophill, gave one Messuage in
Nottingham, which William de Stoke sometime held of him, to the Priory of Thurgarton in pure Alms. William, son of Roger de Crophull, 5 E. 3. passed a Croft,
&c. to William, son of William de Crophull in Nottingham of which place they were
both then Inhabitants: The Witnesses were Laurence le Spicer, the Major, Robert
de Morewode, Bayliff, Robert de Crophull of Nottingham, Roger de Botehale, Nicolas de Shelford, &c. On the Seal of Arms of Nicolas de Crophill of Nottingham,
within the Circumscription of his name, 35 E. 3. is, A Lion Rampant, as there is on
the Seal of John Crophull of Nottingham, Skinner, 16 H. 6. and at other times,
empaling A Chevron between three Bulls heads Cabossed. Many of the chief men
of Nottingham had Seals of Arms within a fair Circumscription of their names, as
Hugh le Spicer, son of Laurence le Spicer of Nottingham, which Hugh married
Joane, the daughter of William de Amyas, and had upon his Shield a Crosse Formie,
and on a Chief three Palletts, 8 E. 3. As Robert de Morewode, 9 E. 3. had A
Chevron between three Holly Leaves slipped erect. And Roger de Hopwelle of
Nottingham also, 44 E. 3. had a Bend ingrailed between two Crossecrosletts. Richard Samon, and Thomas de Amyas, 5 E. 3. were Bayliffs of Nottingham, and 40
E. 3. John Samon was Major. These Samons had interest in Gotham, and some of
them settled at Annesley Woodhouse, whereof I have found the Entry set down in the
"The Arms of this Family at length were. Three Samons in pale, which quartered
with Arg. a Bend ingrailed Azure between a Mullet, and an Annulet Gules, which
are in the South Window of St. Maries Church, and supposed to belong to St. Almond, or Samon of Nottingham."
It is said that Henry the 4th was some time at Nottingham when a combat was appointed to be determined here.
1404 Robert Glade.
1412 Robert Glade.
1415 Thomas Kay.
1422 Thomas Poge.
Henry the V. made the mayor, recorder and four others whom the mayor should
chuse justices of the peace, and ordered the county magistrates, who, heretofore acted
in the town, to discontinue that usage.
1425 William Stokes.
1427 John Plumtree.
1429 William Brooholme.
It has been seen above, in Thoroton's account, that Henry the VI. made the town
of Nottingham a county of itself, and changed the bailiffs into sheriffs. He also gave
power to the burgesses to chuse cut of themselves, seven aldermen one of which always to
be mayor, and that such aldermen should all be justices of the peace, and wear scarlet
gowns of the same fashion as the mayor and aldermen of London use to do. (fn. 2) In this state
things remained till the reign of James I. (of which hereafter) altho' the town received
confirmation of their charters by most of the Kings and Queens in that intermediate space
1437 John Plumtree.
1438 William Webster.
1441 William Halisax.
1444 Thomas Alaster.
1447 Enalfrid Knyveten.
1449 Thomas Thurland.
1458 Thomas Thurland.
1467 John Hunt.
In continuation of Thoroton's account of respectable families of Nottingham, he says,
"Besides these before mentioned many persons and Families of good note have been
here resident, and sprung from this place, John de Tannesley and Thomas de Mapurley, named in Basford, flourished here in the latter part of the Reign of Richard the
second. Galsr. Knyveton was Major 25 H. 6. And before that, viz. 19 H. 6.
William Halyfax, on the back-side of whose House, now Ed. Holymans, is a blind
Lane called I suppose from him Halyfax Lane. In 37 H. 6. Thomas Thurland
was Major, and a great Merchant; his large House is now the Earl of Clares, as is
also the Town of Gameleston, where some of his posterity are noted."
"Richard Mellors, Bell Founder, lived in the time of Edward the fourth, his
wifes name was Agnes, and after his death stiled the Lady Mellors, and Dame Agnes
Mellors, being a Vowess it seems; she gave to the Free School at Nottingham divers
Lands and Tenements of good value; her son and heir Robert Mellors followed the
same Trade, and was also a Benefactor to the School, to which by his last will bearing
date 16 July, 1515, he gave a Close which he bought of one William Page lying in
Basford Wong, and an House in Bridlesmithgate which he bought of the same person
or else the money which should be gotten for it; but if the School should not be kept
according to the Foundation as it was granted, his heirs should re-enter and have the
said Close, with the Appurtenance, again. He was Burgess in Parliament for this
Town, and had to wife Julian, daughter and heir of. . . Mapurley, after his death
married to one Nicolas Quarneby; Elizabeth the only daughter and heir of this Robert Mellors, was married (perhaps by her Father-in-laws procurement) to (his Nephew) Humfrey Quarneby, who was son and heir of his brother Thomas Quarneby,
and of Elizabeth his wife, one of the two daughters and co-heirs of Henry Tickhill,
and Margaret his wife, one of the daughters and co-heirs of Thomas Pembrug,
which said Henry Tickhill was son of Robert Tickhill, and Agnes his wife, daughter
and heir of Henry Wychard of Chaddesden near Darby. This Humfrey Quarneby
was also Alderman of this Town, and served for it as Burgess in Parliament; his son
and heir Robert Quarneby had two daughters and heirs, Elizabeth, wife of John
Kyme (descended from a branch of the House of Kyme of Friskeney in Lincolneshire)
and Mary the wife of Thomas Blyth of Espley-Wood-Hall. John Kyme by his wife
the said Elizabeth had two sons, John, who married Gertrude, the daughter of John
Rosell of Radcliffe, Esquite, but had no issue; and Philip who died a Batchelor; and
two daughters, Anne, wife of John Hunt of Aston in the County of Darby, who left
no Child; and Mary, wife of George Alton, who had two daughters, Mary married
to one John Major, who lived in London; and Elizabeth, whom her Grandfather the
said John Kyme made his heir, and married to John Gregorie of Nottingham, Gent,
son and heir of William Gregory, Alderman, who by Grazing raised a very considerable Estate from the lowest beginning, yet it seems he was descended from a younger
branch of the Family of Gregory of Highhurst in the County of Lancaster, who bore
for their Arms Party per pale Arg and Azure, two Lions Rampant averse (which
some call endorsed, viz. back to back) Counterchanged; howbeit in the year 1662,"
when William Dugdale, Esquire, Norroy King of Arms, made his Visitation, George
Gregorie, Esquire, son and heir of the said John and Elizabeth, not exhibiting such
sufficient proof as since he hath, thought sit to take a grant of the Arms and Crest he
now useth from the said Norroy, in relation to his Descent from the Antient Family of
Kyme. He hath the last year, viz. 1674, rebuilt most of the old Mansion House,
which is esteemed one of the best Seats in the whole Town, having also a pretty Close
besides the Gardens adjoyning to it. His Grandfather the said George Alton, was
son of John Alton an eminent Physitian in Nottingham, who had a daughter named
Elen, wife of Thomas Bray of Eyam in the County of Derby, to whom she bore....,
the wife of John Martin, Gent. a considerable owner in Nottingham, and Elizabeth,
who having ten thousand pounds of her said Grandfather Dr. Alton's Estate to her
Portion, was preferred in marriage to the Honourable Francis Pierreponte, Esquire,
third son of Robert Earl of Kingston, which said Francis built a fair House, wherein he
lived and died himself here at Nottingham, which remains the principal dwelling of Robert Pierrepont, Esquire, his son and heir. Humfrey Quarneby, before named, had
a daughter called Margery, wife of John Gregorie, related to those of that name now
seated at Barneby on Dun in Yorkeshire, Alderman also of this Town, whereof he was
Major 29 Eliz. which John had a son William Gregory, who was Town-Clark, and
served in Parliament as Burgess, and a daughter . . . . wife of William Greaves, who
had Robert Greaves, Town-Clark also, and Burgess, who for his loyalty to King
Charles the first, being in Newark Garrison, suffered great loss of his interests here;
his brother William Greaves was Parson of Nutthall, and left three sons of good rank
in this Town, William, who is Alderman and Register of the Arch-deacon's Court;
John, and Edward Greaves the Apothecary; Humsrey their Uncle, brother of the
said William the Parson and of Robert the Town-Clark, hath a son John Greaves,
Parson of Whitwell in Darbyshire."
1469 Thomas Alestre.
1470 Robert Englishe.
King Edward was at Nottingham, while the castle was enlarging this year.
1471 Thomas Lockton.
1475 Thomas Hunt.
1486 William Hygin.
In 1483, Richard III. was at this town, in the month of August, whence he took a
circuit, northward, while the murders of his nephews were accomplished. He also was
here in 1485, with his brave little army, immediately before he fought the renowned
battle of Bosworth, which cost him his crown and life. Hutton is of an opinion, that
his army, when they marched from Nottingham, must have covered at least three miles
of the road. His forces, chiefly consisting of foot, he separated into two divisions; the
first marched five in rank, then followed his baggage, then himself upon a large white
courser, richly caparisoned, attended by his body guards. The second division marched
five abreast also. The horse formed the wings and kept the centre. Such was the
manner that this great General, but murdering Prince, left Nottingham, and approached
Leicester, on his passage to his grave.
1487 Richard Ody.
Henry the 7th was at Nottingham, immediately before the battle of Stoke, in this
Before the year 1503, there was no house in Nottingham, but what was thatched with
straw or reed, and built of wood and plaster. This year the Unicorn Inn, the last
house on the Long-row, was tiled, which circumstance is expressed in the writings of
1506 Richard Melleurs.
No names occurring, in the list of Mayors, between the names of Ody and Melleurs,
seems to militate against the opinion, page 35, that the intermediate time might be
served by one or both of them.
1507 Richard Pickerde.
1522 Thomas Mellers.
Between the mayoralty of Pickarde and Mellers, is another unaccounted for space of
years, respecting the list of Mayors. It is, however, no unpleasant thing to observe,
that in this intermediate space of time, the widow of the opulent Bell-founder, Melleurs
or Mellers, who was Mayor in 1506, founded a grammar school in this town, A. D.
1513. The indenture, by which this female, (who was a vowess, and often called lady
Mellers) settled the free school, being of a curious nature, we give it a place here without
"To all christian people, to whose knowledge this present writing triplicate indented
shall come to be seen or read, Agnes Meller, widow and vowess, sendeth greeting, in
him that is the root of Jesse, produced to the salvation of all people."
"Whereas the most excellent and famous prince king Henry VIII. of his right
blessed disposition and meer mercy, by his letters patents sealed under his great seal, has
licensed, authorized and granted, to his well beloved counsellor Thomas Lovel, knight,
treasurer of his most honourable houshold, and me the said Agnes, and to our executors,
and to every one of us, license, power and authority, to begin, found and erect, unite,
create and establish, one free-school, of one schoolmaster and one usher perpetually to
be kept in the parish of our lady in the town of Nottingham, for evermore to endure
after the ordering, institution and will of us the said Thomas and me the said Agnes, or
one of us, our executors or assignes, or the executors of either of us hereafter to be made,
and further things, as in the same letters patents more plainly appeareth."
"Know ye that I remembring how the universal faith catholick by clergy and commons most firmly corroborated. and by learning the public weale commonly is governed,
ardently have designed to the honour of almighty God, laud and praise to the elect and
chosen mother of mercy and virgin, our lady St. Mary, to accomplish the said virtuous
and blessed Grant, and by force thereof, begin, erect, found, create, establish and
make one free-school, of one master and one usher, to teach grammar, everlastingly to
endure, and to be kept in the parish of our blessed lady St. Mary the virgin a within the
town of Nottingham, willing, ordaining and establishing, that the said school be evermore
called the free-school of the town of Nottingham. And John Smith parson of Bilborow
I make schoolmaster of the same, as long as it shall seem to me and the mayor of the
said town of Nottingham for the time being convenient. And to my right trusty friends
Mr. William English and William Barwell, I make deputies, and ordain guardians,
keepers and surveyors of the said free-school during their lives: I will also, ordain and
establish, that the mayor, aldermen and common-council of the said town of Nottingham
and their successors, after the decease of the said Williams, shall yearly from year to year
on the feast of the translation of St. Richard the bishop, chuse two discreet persons, bur
gesses, to be chamberlains, guardians, keepers and surveyors of the lands and tenements
and possessions, pertaining and bequeathed, given, or hereafter to be given and bequeathed and belonging to the said free-school, to rule, govern and support, the charges,
payments and business, of the same, from the same feast of translation, to the said feast
of St. Richard next following, at which feast or within eight days then next following, I
will that the said guardians, now by me named, or hereafter to be named, made and
elected, shall make account to the said mayor and aldermen, and their successors, of all
things by them received or taken to the use of the said foundation, and after their accounts so made and finished, new guardians, or else the same, by the advice and discretion of the said mayor and aldermen to be elected and chosen, and that the same guardians,
keepers and surveyors, by the name of the guardians of the free-school of Nottingham
may plead and be impleaded before all judges of every court, and also writs and actions
maintain and have. Moreover I will that the said mayor, aldermen and common-council of the said town of Nottingham, with the guardians that now be of the said school, or
hereafter shall be, or eight of them at the least, whereof the mayor and guardians of the
same free-school, I will, shall be three, after the decease of the said Mr. John Smith,
parson of Bilborow, or after such time as it shall fortune that the said Mr. John Smith,
shall leave or be removed from the said office of schoolmaster, shall conduct and hire one
other able person of good and honest conversation, to be schoolmaster of the said freeschool, and one usher, at such time, and as soon as the lands and possessions given to the
said free-school, will support the charge thereof, and the same school master and usher,
for good and reasonable causes, or either of them, to amove and expel, and others in his
or their stead, to take, retain, and put in, from time to time, as often, and when they
shall think requisite and necessary."
"And furthermore I will and ordain, that the schoolmaster for the time being, and
his usher, or one of them, shall daily when he keeps school cause the scholars every
morning in their school-house e're they begin their learning, to say, with an high voice
the whole credo in deum patrem, &c."
"Also I ordain and establish, that the guardians of the said free-school for the time
being and their successors, shall yearly on the feast of the translation of St. Richard,
which is the 16th of June, keep or, cause to be kept and done solemnly in the church of
St. Mary in Nottingham, the obiit of the said Agnes Mellers, my husband's and mine
after my decease, and give, pay and expend, of the rents, issues and profits, given and
bequeathed, pertaining and belonging to the said free-school, for our soul's health 20s.
in form following: That is to say, to the vicar of the said church, personally being present, from the beginning of the dirge and mass of the same obiit to the ending thereof,
for his attendance, and for his lights at that time burning 3s. and if he occupy by deputy,
then to have but 2s. and to every priest of the same church and either of the clarks of
the said parish there also being, for such like time 4d. and also the mayor of the town of
Nottingham, for the time, being personally present at the beginning and ending of the
same mass and dirge. 6d. and to every alderman of the same town, there also being
present, for such like time, 4d. and the mayor's clark and his two serjeants being and
attending on their master and aldermen at the beginning of the said mass and dirge, and
for serving such things as shall be prepared for them at the said obiit, to each of them 2d.
and to the parish clarks for the great bells ringing eight peals, and after the accustomable
length, 3s. and that the said guardians shall retain and keep in their own hands for either
of them for their own use —for their business and attendance, in providing
bread, ale and cheese, and towels, cups, pots, and necessary things at the said obiit; and
there shall expend in bread, to be sent to the aldermen, &c. according to the custom in
the church 2s. in cheese 8d. in ale 16d. and the residue remaining over this mine ordinance and will performed, if any be left, I will shall be distributed to the poorest scholars
of the said free-school, to pray for our souls and all of our friends."
"I will also, ordain and establish and strictly enjoin, that the schoolmaster and usher
nor any of them, have, make nor use, any potations, cock fightings, nor drinking, with
his or their wife or wives, hostess or hostesses, but once or twice in the year, nor take
any other gifts or vails, whereby the scholars or their friends should be charged, but at
the pleasure of the friends of the scholars.------Wages to be paid by the said guardians."
"And here if it fortune the said mayor, aldermen and common-council, to be negligent and forgetful in finding and choosing of the schoolmaster and the usher, forty days
next after such time as it shall fortune him to be amoved, or deceased, keeping and doing
the obiit yearly, in manner and form above expressed in such like time; or the lands
and tenements or hereditaments, and other possessions, or the yearly rent of them into
other uses than finding of the said free school, to convert; then I will, ordain and
establish, that the prior and convent of the monastery of the holy trinity of Lenton, for
the time being, and their successors, shall have as a forfeiture, the rule, guiding and
oversight, of the said lands, tenements, or hereditaments, &c. schoolmaster, with all
other things to the premisses in any wife appertaining, to the intent above express'd, in
as ample and large wife as the mayor and burgesses have or should have had the same,
by this my present constitution and ordinance."
"Also I do ordain and establish, that the ordinances, statutes and establishments and
constitutions, for the good governance and rule of the said free-school, by me made in
my life, under my seal, by me determined, everlastingly to be kept, and each one of
them stedfastly shall be holden, observed and kept for ever, without any diminution or
abridgement, or changing of them or any of them any wife, and that it shall be lawful
to the said mayor, aldermen and common council and their successors at all times hereafter, from time to time, at their liberty, other constitutions, statutes, and ordinances
for the good governance and continuance of the said free-school to make, them or part
of them by their discretion to repeal, and admit at their pleasures as often and whensoever
they shall think it most necessary and convenient, so that such constitutions, statutes and
ordinances, of new to be made, nor any of them, be in any wife contrary or repugnant
to the statutes and establishments and ordinances by me, in my life, under my seal, made,
written and determined. In witness whereof, &c. &c &c."
To the above have been added several gifts and benefactions, at various periods,
besides those given by her son, mentioned by Thoroton, page 40. The school was
repaired in 1689, and in 1708.
A curious bequest also took place in 1524, that of Mr. Thomas Willoughby, one of
the aldermen of Nottingham, an abstract of which is inserted, in some measure, to shew
the complection of the times, with respect to religious ceremonies. His gifts to his
kindred, and things of less consequence to readers in general, I have purposely omitted.
"In the name of God Amen, the 4th day of the month September in the year of our
Lord God 1524. I Thomas Willoughby of Nottingh. beinge in holle and perfect mind
doe make my testament and last Will in manner of these articles following:"
"First. I bequeath my soule to almyghty God, and to our Saviour, St. Mary, and
all the company of heaven and my body to be buried within the parish church of St.
Mary's in Nottingham, by Ladies-Chappell nigh unto my seat, and my principal to be
given after the laudable custom there used."
"Item. I will that myn executors shall give unto every priest of the said church
being at my burial 6d. and to every estranger priest there being, 4d. and either of the
freers if they come holle to my burial, 3sh. 4d."
"Item. I will have 13 torches born light at my burial and every torch-bearer 2d.
and all other charges about my burial to bee done by the diseretion of myn executors."
"Item. I bequeath to the high alter for tythes and oblations forgotten, 10 sh."
"Item. I bequeath 28l. to be dispersed in manner following: That is to say, that
myn executors shall have the keeping thereof and to give yearly to a priest to sing for
my soule in St. Mary's church of Nottingh. for the space of six years next after my decease
and every year 4l. 13th. 4d. to be given to the same priest. If it fortune my wife to
marry and take an husband, then I will that the residue of this xxviii pound unto the
prior and covent of the abby of Newsted, there to remain to find a priest as is aforesaid
in the church of saint Mary's in Nott. and the said prior and covent to bee bounden to
my executors by their covent seale for performeinge of the said priests findinge."
It has been said that Henry the VIII. was at Nottingham on an affair of gallantry;
but to this little credit is due. Of this king, however, (whose attachment to the fair
was generally, of short duration) the corporation have in their possession a note for
£147. 13. 4. which he, by leave, obtained from the inhabitants, in and for the war
against France and Scotland. (fn. 3) By this, it should seem, notwithstanding the immense
riches, which he obtained from the plunder of the religious institutions, that he had not
1544 John Plumbtree.
From Thomas Mellors to Plumbtree is another great vacuum in the list.
1548 Robert Lovat.
1551 Thomas Cockayne.
1557 William Atkinson.
Dr. Plot mentions a violent tempest which happened in this neighbourhood, in 1558,
that was terrible in its consequence. All the houses of the little hamlet of Sneinton,
which adjoins to Nottingham, and those of Gedling, with both their churches, were blown
down; and the water and mud from the Trent, was carried a quarter of a mile and cast
against some trees with such amazing force that they were torn up by the roots. Stow
notices this event, and says it was on the 7th of July. A child, he says, was taken
forth of a man's hand, two spear length high, and carried an hundred foot and then let
fall, wherewith the arm was broke, and so died. Five or six men were also slain, by
this tempest, and the hail stones that fell, during its existence, measured 15 inches
The 15th of Eliz. the mayor of Nottingham received a commission to muster the
militia; but as this was common to most places, it is considered more a national than
a provincial concern to relate.
In 1562, Sir Thomas Manners gave £5 per ann. to the poor of Nottingham for ever.
1571 John Gregory.
1574 Robert Burton.
1576 Henry Newton.
1577 Richard James.
1578 William Scot.
1580 Robert Alvey.
The inhabitants of Nottingham, as well as those in other places in the kingdom, about
this time, were tinctured with religious frenzy. Reports were every where spread abroad
that the pope and the king of Spain had conspired to conquer England. Disputant catholics in consequence challenged protestants, and protestants personally abused the
catholics, in a manner not justifiable to a fallen enemy. A proclamation as harsh, as
some of the sanguinary laws of France at this period, were issued forth at length, forbidding any one to harbour any jesuit or popish priest on pain of being punished as rebels.
1581 Robert Burton.
1584 Peter Clark.
1585 William Scot.
1586 John Gregory.
The family of Gregory was of considerable import, long in Nottingham.
1587 Robert Alvey.
William Willoughby, by will this year, gave a sum of money to buy gowns for four
poor persons, and 20s each to six poor men every five years for ever.
1588 Robert March.
1589, the year after the defeat of the Spanish armada, the stocking frame, which has
brought such wealth to the inhabitants of this place, was invented. Deering says:
"The inventor of the Stocking Frame was one Mr. William Lee, M. A. of St.
John's College, in Cambridge, born at Woodborough, a village in Nottinghamshire, about
seven miles from the town of Nottingham. He was heir to a pretty freehold estate; of
whom the traditional story says: That he was deeply in love with a young townswoman
of his, whom he courted for a wife, but she, whenever he went to visit her, seemed
always more mindful of her knitting, than the addresses of her admirer; this slight
created such an aversion in Mr. Lee, against knitting by hand, that he determined to
contrive a machine, that should turn out work enough to render the common knitting
a gainless employment: Accordingly he set about it, and having an excellent mechanical
head, he brought his design to bear, in the year 1589; after he had worked a while, he
taught his brother and several relations to work under him. Having for some years
practised this his new art, at Calverton, a village about five miles from Nottingham;
either himself or his brother James, worked before Queen Elizabeth, in order to shew
an experiment of this kind of workmanship, offering at the same time this discovery of
his to his countrymen, who instead of accepting the offer, despised him, and discouraged his invention: Being thus discountenanced by his native country, and soon after invited over to France wich promise of great rewards, priviledges and honour, by King
Henry IV. he embraced the seeming fair opportunity, and went himself, with nine
workmen his servants, and as many frames, to the city of Roan in Normandy, where
they wrought with so great applause from the French, that in all likelihood the trade was
to have been settled in that country for ever, had not the sudden murder of that monarch
disappointed Mr. Lee, of his expected grant of priviledge, and the succeeding intestine
troubles of that kingdom, delay'd his renewed suit, and at last frustrated all his hopes, at
which seized with grief, he ended his life at Paris. After his death seven of his workmen, (being left to shift for themselves) returned with their frames to England, two only
"These seven with one Aston, who had been an apprentice to Mr. Lee, and by him
was before left at home, and who also added something to his master's invention, did lay
the foundation of this manufacture in England, and in the space of fifty years, this art was
so improved, and the number of able workmen became so great; that the heads among
them thought it necessary for the better regulating their members, and keeping this valuable business from spreading abroad, to petition Oliver Cromwell, to constitute them a
body corporate, which however, for what reason I cannot tell, they did not obtain at
"King Charles II. after the restoration granted them at last a charter, by which
their jurisdiction extended to ten miles round London."
"In process of time, when the trade spread farther into the country, they also in
proportion stretch'd their authority and established commissioners in the several principal
towns in the county where this trade was exercised, there they held courts, at which
they obliged the country framework-knitters, to bind and make free, &c. whereby,
they, (for many years) drew great sums of money, till some person of more spirit than
others in Nottingham brought their authority in question and a trial ensuing, the company
was cast, since that time the stocking manufacture has continued entirely open in the
1590 John Bronlow.
About this time the burgesses of Nottingham began to benefit by the bounty of Sir
Thomas White. This Gentleman, whose good intentions to posterity has far exceeded
his most fanguine wishes, was a citizen of London, and once lord mayor of that place.
He belonged to the merchant taylors company. In the year 1546, he placed into the
hands of the mayor and commonalty of the city of Coventry, £1400, to purchase lands,
the rents of which he was to receive for life, and after his death it was to be applied,
agreeable with his will, as under. This sum of £1400, bought land which brought
him in £70 per annum. Sir Thomas dying in 1556, it was found that his will directed
the whole to be applied to charitable uses. Out of this £70 per annum, £40 the
will ordered to be paid to four young men of Coventry, £10 each, who could find security for the money, free of interest for nine years. After the expiration of the nine years
the said trust was directed to pay to two young men, free of Coventry, the like sum to be continued for thirty years, each holding the money for nine years as in the first instance. After
this the towns of Northampton, Leicester, Nottingham, and Warwick, respectively were to receive the £40, as in the first case. He willed also that no person should receive this benefit
twice. The income now to each of these places is amazingly increased, and it is lent out
instead of £10 as heretofore, in sums of £40 and £50 to each person.
In the town-hall parlour, in Leicester, is a portrait of Sir Thomas White, in his alderman's gown. Under his arms in the same place is written:
Lo! here a ship a merchant royal fraught,
With store of wealth from whose rich sides unsought,
Plenty of metal hath been largely given;
White's name, White's gifts, White's soul, White's saint in Heaven.
Whose arms wee (least wee shew ourselves ingrate)
Properly blazoned here do celebrate;
The which eternal monument shall be
Of White's renown to all posterity.
Die then and rot and stink ye hulks of shame,
Who charg'd with wealth have nothing but a name
Of dying rich, whose tombs shall never speak
Your praises, one White shall all your credit break.
1591 Peter Clark.
1592 William Stot.
In 1591 there was an uncommon drought, which was exceedingly injurious to vegetation, particularly on the sandy grounds about Nottingham. It being succeeded, this
summer, by strong westerly winds and little rain, the Trent and other rivers were almost
without water. The Thames, historians say, was so dried up that a man might ride over
it, on horse-back, near London-bridge.
1593 William Trott.
1594 Robert Alvey.
1595 Robert Hurt.
1596 Richard Morehaghe.
1597 Peter Clark.
As a parochial matter, I will just mention, that an act of parliament, this year, passed
for erecting workhouses for the poor.
1598 Anker Jackson.
Below this date, the reader will perceive, that the list of the chief magistrates, of
Nottingham, is nearly regular.
1600 Humphrey Bonner.
As another parish concern, I mention that an act of parliament passed which provided,
especially, for the relief of the poor and appointing overseers.
1602 Richard Hurt.
1603 Richard Morehage.
Alderman John Parker, by will, this year left 20s annually, to buy bread for the
poor for ever; and 20s for the minister of St. Mary's, for preaching a sermon on christian love and charity, on Good Friday.
1604 Richard Welsh.
1605 Anker Jackson.
In commemoration of the gunpowder plot, which was discovered this year, and the
deliverance from the Spanish Armada, in the former reign, a Mr. Jackson of London,
left 40s annually, for a sermon to be preached on each of those days on the occasion, at
St. Peter's Church. To the poor of this parish he was also a benefactor.
1606 William Freeman.
1607 Humphrey Bonner.
In the reign of James I. a great dispute arose about the disposal of the town's money.
The aldermen contending that they had a right to fit in council and vote at the disposal
of all bridge money, and school lands, &c. The councel opposed that practice as
being contrary to antient usage. The business was at length left to the opinion of the
judges, who determined it that the aldermen had no right to vote on those occasions.
At this time the number of the council was reduced to 24, of which, six was to be elected
by the burgesses at large: these are called junior council.
1609 Richard Hurt.
1610 Richard Morehage.
1611 Richard Welch.
1612 Anker Jackson.
1613 William Freeman.
1614 Marmud Gregory.
1615 Robert Stapels.
King James I. was six several times at Nottingham. His queen also visited this
place. (fn. 4)
1616 Thomas Nix.
1617 Leonard Nix.
This year the county or shire hall was built. See Sect. 6.
1619 Anker Jackson.
1620 Marmaduse Gregory.
In imitation of Sir Thomas White's charity, a Mr. Parkes gave £30 to be lent,
without interest, to six young burgesses £5 each, for seven years. And so on, in like
manner, at the expiration of that time, to six others for ever.
1621 Richard Parker.
1622 Robert Stapels.
1623 Robert Sherwin.
1624 Leonard Nix.
Of the respectable family of Skeffington, was one, named William, who was an inhabitant of Nottingham, of whom Thoroton says:
"William Skeffington, Esquire, and Elizabeth his wife, the relict of Francis Thornhaugh, reside in this Town in an House on St. Mary Hill, purchased of Thomas
Mucklow of Broughton Sulney, who had it by the marriage of one of the daughters
and heirs of Alderman Parker, of which name and kindred there are now two John
Parkers Aldermen, the one a Mercer, the other an Apothecary, of which Trade there
were lately above twenty more than formerly have been, when the gains and employment were greater, whereof Adrian Gardiner was the oldest, who brought up many
sons very well, his eldest is Mr. Robert Gardiner of Sleeford in Lincolneshire; his two
youngest, which were by a latter wife, were Doctors, Joseph of Physick, who died
at Nottingham, and James of Divinity, who is now Subdeane of Lincolne, and Chaplain to his Grace the Duke of Monmouth. Thomas Charleton, Esquire, named in
Cbillewell, married Tabitha, the daughter of William Nix, Alderman, whose House
in Bridlesmith Gate is now the dwelling of the said Thomas, who hath built there, as
Mr. Samuel Stables (named in Maperley) who was successour of Alderman Stables
hath done, nigh the Swine Greene."
1625 Stephen Hill.
1626 Peter Parker.
1627 John James.
1628 Richard Parker.
1629 Alexander Stapels.
1630 Robert Sherwin.
1631 Leonard Nix.
Mr. Richard Stapels, this year, gave to the mayor and burgesses, and their successors,
£40 to be lent to eight young men £5 each, in like manner as Parker's above, A. D.
1620. The £5 to be held only six years.
1632 William Gregory.
1633 Robert Parker.
Charles the first visited this place in the month of August on his return from Scotland,
where he was entertained, by the then Earl of Newcastle, in a most sumptuous and
splendid manner. Prior to this he was also entertained, at Nottingham, by the said Earl,
on his journey to Scotland. When Prince of Wales, it is said, he was twice at Nottingham.
1634 John James.
1635 Richard Hardmeat.
This year brought £100 to the poor of Nottingham, (the interest of which was to be
paid them annually) from the bounty of Sir Richard Peckham, a physician; this considerate
gentleman was a Roman Catholic. Lilly, the astrologer, gives the following account
of him. "In the year 1634, I taught Sir George Peckham, Knight, astrology, that
part which concerns sickness, wherein he so profited in two or three months, he would
give a very true discovery of any disease, only by figures. He practiced at Nottingham, but unfortunately died in 1635, at St. Winsrid's Well, in Wales; in which he
continued so long mumbling his pater noster and Sancta Winefreda or a pro me, that
the cold struck into his body, and after his coming forth of the well he never spoke
1636 William Nix.
1637 Robert Sherwin.
1638 Robert Burton.
Anthony Acham this year left a rent charge of £5 per ann. to the poor of Nottingham.
1639 William Gregory.
1640 William Drury.
1641 John James.
A petition, this year, was sent to parliament from Nottinghamshire and Lancashire
against the hierachy.
1642 Richard Hardmeat.
Altho I have not room here to detail the various methods made use of, about this
time, some to irritate and others to conciliate the minds of the people, by the different
parties which agitated this then unhappy kingdom, and which was about to deluge it in
the blood of its inhabitants; yet I judge it an incumbent duty, to insert, from its mode
ration and good sense, the following letter to the Knights of the Shire for the county a
Nottingham, to shew the opinions then held by its principal inhabitants.
A Copy of a Letter sent from divers Knights and Gentlemen of Nottinghamshire to the Knights serving for that County in Parliament. July
——N. B. His Majesty's declaration to the Lords and others of the PrivyCouncil attending his Majesty at York, bears date the 13th of
To our much honoured Friends Sir Thomas Hutchinson, Knight, and
Robert Sutton, Esq; Knights of the Shire for the County of Nottingham.
"Finding to our great grief (by divers printed declarations) the unhappy differences
betwixt his Majesty and his Parliament and from thence apprehending great fear of farther
distractions, we have thought fit to impart our hearts freely unto you, as men chosen by
us and intrusted for us to represent us and our desires in your honourable house of Commons: Where in the 1st place, upon all occasions we desire you to tender the acknowledgement of our humble and hearty thanks for the many good laws which by their care
and wisdom together with his Majesty's grace and favour have been obtained for us both
for the securing us in the point of our property, and also for the freeing us from the unlimited power of arbitrary government: and herein his Majesty having concurred with
you in all that we could expect or can desire both for our persons and estates, and at several times promised to join with his parliament for the reforming and reducing both the
doctrine and discipline of the church to the best and purest times since the reformation;
and if this were done, what others would expect we know not, we desire no more."
"And now we cannot but stand amazed to fee the King, the Lords and Commons
agree in all that we can think necessary for reformation, and for securing us hereafter to be
governed according to the good laws of the land in force, and yet such great distraction
amongst those three estates."
"We heard long since reports and saw printed papers of the great dangers of papists,
and that even in our own country, but believe there was no truth nor ground of any such."
"We heard great rumour of a foraigne force from France and Denmark; but thanks
be to God we see no such danger: and yet under these pretences, there is great preparation of putting us in a posture of defence and a great necessity pretended of settling the
militia: but we see more cause to fear the remedy, than the disease, for this posture (as
you call it) of defence does carry a face of war with it, even among ourselves, and concerning it, we are distracted with contrary commands. The House of Parliament command one thing, the King forbids that command, and we are at a stand and yet we are
ever ready to yield obedience to all the known laws of the land, and we have ever been
taught, that all those laws made in parliament consist of three estates, the Commons,
Lords and King, and we think it dangerous to untwist that triple cord; and we hold it
our greatest privilege that the King and Lords whom we have heard some time in council joined could not make a law to bind us without our consent in parliament, and by the
same reason, we cannot expect that the Commons with the Lords should make a law or
ordinance of the force of a law to bind without the King, especially against the King.
And as we do not yield any act of obedience to the King's command simply but as it is
warranted by law, made by his authority with the consent of both Houses, so we shall
not conceive ourselves bound to obey one or both Houses without the King, but in such
things as are according to the known laws of the land."
"When the King by his writ gave us power to chuse you it was to treat de quibusdam
arduiis &c: We never conceived your only votes should be our law, nor conceived we
had such a power to confer upon you, and we require you not to consent to lay any such
command upon us, nor to engage us in a civil war for the maintenance of such votes,
under colour of priviledges against our lawful King, to whom many of us by the appointment of the law have taken the oath of supremacy, and allegiance, to which all of
us are bound. And beside, we have at the command of both Houses taken the late
protestation, wherein we have vowed to maintain the doctrine of the church of England,
his Majefty's royal person, honour and estate, the priviledges of Parliament and the liberties of the subject: and we shall endeavour to maintain every part and clause thereor
respectively with our lives and fortunes. And we conceive our best directions therein
to be the known laws, the maintenance whereof we account our liberty and defence.
And we account the surest way to enjoy the benefit of these laws, is to join and comply
with his Majesty, under whose protection next under God we can only hope to enjoy the
benefit thereof; especially his Majesty having since this parliament, joined in the making
as good laws as ever any King has done, and made so gracious promises of his future
government according to the laws, and given abundant satisfaction for some unhappy
accidents in his past government, that we conceive great cause to return him cheerful
thankfulness for these laws, and to yield him faithful obedience, and to confide in him
for the future."
"This is the clear expression of our hearts, this is that we desire you to consent in
for us. And we shall heartily pray that we might be an example to many others to
make the like expressions. And then we should not doubt but this would bring a right
understanding betwixt the King and his people, and take away all fears and jealousies,
and settle a firm peace amongst us."
We should gladly and with all humility have petitioned your honourable House, but
still to this purpose. And we understand some countries have done so which has been
displeasing unto them because contrary to their sense; and we perhaps through ignorance
might fall into the same errour. Yet we hope it will not be displeasing unto you, that
we give you our sense freely, for you are us, and we hope you will not be unwilling to
follow our sense, so far as you conceive it to be the sense of your county whose you are
and for whom you serve. And so we rest your very loving friends and countrymen."
JOHN DIGBY, High Sherifr.
The King came to Nottingham July the 10th following, and there promised to act according
to the protestation at York; and in August 22 he erected his standard at Nottingham. (fn. 5)
"Nalson in his trial of King Charles I. mentions the evidence of one Samuel Lawson, of Nottingham, maltster, who deposed that about August 1642, he saw the King's
standard brought forth of Nottingham castle borne upon divers gentlemen's shoulders,
(who as the report was) were noblemen, that he saw the same by them carried into the
hill-close adjoining to the castle, with an herald before it, and there the said standard was
erected, with great shouting, acclamations and found of drums and trumpets, and that
when the said standard was so erected, there was a proclamation made, and that he saw
the King present at the erecting of it, &c."
"This difference of time and place may easily be reconciled by the unquestionable
tradition of persons yet living, who heard their fathers say, that the standard was first
erected on the highest turret of the old tower, (which Thoroton attests as his own remembrance, to have been the 22d of August, in the castle,) but that after a few days,
people not resorting to it according to expectation, it was judged that upon the account
of the castle being a garrison, where every body had not so free access to the standard as
if it was erected in an open place, it might be proper to remove it out of the castle,
which was accordingly done on the 25th of August, into the close adjoining to the north
side of the wall of the outer-ward of the castle, then called the Hill close, and afterwards
for many years Standard Close."
"One remarkable accident happened at the first setting up of this standard in the just
mentioned close, viz. That the weather grew so tempestuous that it was blown down
soon after it was erected, and could not be fixed again in a day or two. This (as Rushworth, Hooper, and some others take notice,) was looked upon by many melancholy
people as a fatal presage of the war."
"The following other particulars remarkable, happened during the king's stay at
"The day after his arrival at Nottingham he reviewed his horse, which were 800, and
no sooner was this review over but the king received information that two regiments of
foot were marching to Coventry by the earl of Essex's order; whereupon he hasted thither
with his cavalry, in hopes of preventing the parliament's forces, and possessing himself of
that city, before which he accordingly arrived a day before the two regiments, but the
mayor of the city, tho' without a garrison, shut the gates against him, and fired upon
his men; the king was very sensibly touched with this indignity, but as there was no
remedy he was forced to return to Nottingham, leaving the command of his cavalry to
commissary-general Wilmot; Rapin adds from Clarendon: that on the 2d of August
the king imagined that setting up his standard at Nottingham would draw great numbers
of people, thither, but was very much disappointed; he had with him but 300 foot and
some trained bands, drawn together by Sir John Digby, sheriff of the county; his horse
(as has been said) consisted only of 800; his artillery was still at York, from whence it
was difficult to bring it, many things being yet wanting to prepare and form it for marching; nevertheless he had given out many commissions and ordered his forces to repair to
Nottingham; he expected them in that town, tho' not without danger, the parliament
having at Coventry, 5000 foot, and 1500 horse."
"The king was certainly in great danger at Nottingham, the town was not in a condition to resist long, the king having scarce any forces and the parliament troops were
not above twenty miles off, which had they marched directly to Nottingham, the king
must either have retired with dishonour to York, or else have hazarded his being made
prisoner; this danger was evident, and yet quitting Nottingham could not be very prejudicial to him: He was therefore advised to send a message to both houses with some
overture to incline them to a treaty; the king refused it, was offended at it, and broke
up the council: the next day the same motion was renewed, but under a different view,
i.e. it was advised to send a message to both houses only to gain time, the king was still
reluctant, but upon it being represented to him that very likely both houses would reject
the offer, they would thereby render themselves odious to the people, who were desirous
of peace, and who would be the more inclinable to serve his majesty for his endeavours
to procure it, that if the overture was accepted, the king would have an opportunity of
demonstrating that the war on his part was purely defensive; in short, that the bare offer
of peace would of course recard the preparations of the parliament, because men's minds
would be in suspence, whilst the king's levies might be continued by virtue of the commissions already sent out: The king yielded to these reasons, and on the 25th of August
three days after the setting up of the standard [within the castle] a message was sent by
Thomas Wriothesley earl of Southampton, Sir John Culpepper, the earl of Dorset and Sir
William Uvedale, knight." (fn. 6)
This overture, every one knows, was rejected with indignation. While the king was
at Nottingham, this year, he sent a letter to the mayor and corporation of Leicester dis
owning his having any knowledge of a letter sent by his nephew, Prince Rupert to that
body demanding a loan from them of £2000. (fn. 7) The kings letter.
"Trusty and well-beloved we greete you well. We have seen a warrant under o'r
nephew Rupert's hand dated ye 6th of this month, requiring from you and other Inhabitants of our Towne of Leicester ye loan of £2000, wih as wee doe utterly disavow and
dislike, as being written without our priority or consent. Soe wee doe hereby absolutely free and discharge you and that our Towne from yeelding any obedience to the
same, and by our owne letters to our said Nephew wee have written to him to rebuke
ye same, as being an act very displeasing to Us: Wee indeede gave him directions
to disarm such persons as appeared to be disaffected to our Person and Government,
or the peace of this our kingdome, and should have taken it well from any of our
Subjects that would voluntarily assist us with ye Loane of Armes or Money, but it is
soe farr from our hartt or intentions by Menaces to compel any to it, as wee abhor
ye thought of it; and of this truth our accions shall bear testimony."
"Given att our Court att Nottingham, 8 Septbris, 1642."
The demand of Rupert and the gentle hint, at nearly the conclusion of this letter, that
a voluntary loan would be taken well, shews that the king began the war with empty
1643 William Nix.
Nottingham was in the hands of parliament, and so continued to the end of the war.
A notable prisoner, John Hotham, governor of Hull, was sent to Nottingham castle this
year, as a place of safety; but he found means to escape thence. (fn. 8)
1644 William Nix.
1645 Thomas Gamble.
1646 John James.
Henry Hanley Esq. by deed dated 1646, and by will dated 1650, left the annual
rent of £120 for charitable and pious purposes, chiefly to this town: £20 of which sum
he left for a lecture to be preached, weekly, at St. Mary's church.
1647 William Drury.
I may observe that, during these unpleasant times, the Elector Palatine and his brother,
prince Rupert, were several times at Nottingham.
1648 William Richards.
1649 William Nix.
Money was so scarce, about this time, that tradesmen, of note, coined their own
money. This fort of cash was chiefly of brass, with the names of the owners thereon,
called tradesmen's tokens. The plate, subjoined, contains copies of many of those made
for the use of the respectivè tradesmen &c. of Nottingham. This collection was made by
Mr. William Stretton of Nottingham, for this history, (to whom I acknowledge myself
beholden, also, for other favours in the prosecution of this work) none are earlier than
1648, nor of a later date than 1672.
1650 Thomas Gamble.
Exemplification of the King's ancient possessions in Nottingham in the time
of the Civil War.
Parcell possess. antiq. Coron. Angl.
Villa Nott.increment infrascrip val. in
"Increm. reddit. reservat pro fœda firma vil. Nott. et pro diversis
franchesiis et libertatibus p. litter as patentes Henrici quondam regis
Anglie sexti anno regni sui XXIX. majori, hominibus et burgensibus ville predicte XIII sh. IIII d. concessis five confirmatis p. ann."
"I find the above said rent of XIIIs. IIIId. per annum upon the mayor, men and
burgesses of the town of Nottingham; became first charged in the annual roll of the exchequer, the 33d year of Henry VI. since which time the same rent has continued so
charged in the subsequent annual rolls, but the date of the letters patents or the days,
time and place when and where the same rent is reserved payable, I cannot certify for
that I have not seen the letters patents or any copy or inrollment thereof.
vill. Nott. redit. infra script. val. in.
"Annual, redit, de censu domorum plurimorum in vill. Nott. per
annum XXIIIsh. VId. solubit et de Tostis monetariorum cum incremento p. annum IXsh. solubit. p. homines vill Nott. prout p. magnum
rotulum scaccarii de anno VII Johannis quondam regis Angl. et annual. rotul. scaccarii
subsequend viz. XXXIIsh. VId."
"I find that the last abovesaid premises became first charged in the annual roll of the
exchequer of the 6th year of Richard I."
"But cannot further explain or set forth the particulars out of which the said XXXIIsh.
VId. p. ann. do arise, neither can I find any grant or further improvement made thereof
"But I find by the annual roll of the 20th year of Henry III. that the men of Nottingham were discharged of VIsh. VIIId. p. ann. by the King's writ, for the house of one
William Jourdan, which the King had assigned to Reginald of Mendec and Esolot his
wife in recompence of their house by the ditch of the barbican of the castle of Nottingham,
and that VIsh. VIIId. p. ann should be every year computed to the bailiffs of Nottingham
out of the XXXIIsh. VId. p. ann. de censu demorum, which has been allowed yearly
unto the men of Nottingham ever since. But I have not seen the said writ. Whether the
same ought to be allowed so hereafter, is offered to consideration."
Ex. Hen. Crcke.
Vill. Nott. redit infra script. val in
"Annual. redit. reservat de tenemento illo quod fuit Mosei de de
Suabur, Judei et de tenemento illo in eadem villa quod fuit Peytengu
quondam Judei Nott. et Eliæ filii ejus et de domo illa que fuit schola
judeorum in eadem villa, p. literas patentes Eduardi quondam regis Anglie Imi. gerent.
datum quinto die maji anno regni sui XX. Hugoni Putrell de Thurmeston et heredibus suis
imperpetuum concess. reddend. eidem summam die sancti Michaelis p. manus ballivorum
Nott. qui pro tempore suer. p. ann. — — 1d."
"I have made these five particulars by order from the honourable trustees according
to an act of parliament of March 1649, for the sale of Feofarm rents, &c. belonging to
the late King, Queen and Prince."
27th of April 1650. "Exp. Hen. Croke. Cl. Pipe."
1651 Richard Dring.
Dr. Calamy gives an account of three clergymen who settled at this place, this year,
who, while living, studied together, lived together and preached together. One of them
of the name of Whitlock, a dissenting minister, died in 1708, aged 83. Reynolds and
Barret, the other two, settled at Nottingham, in consequence of an invitation from the
churchwardens and some of the principal inhabitants of St. Mary's parish. In 1660 they
were indicted for not reading the common prayer of the church, and Reynolds was
excommunicated. After this they were seized at a meeting-house at Colwick, near
Nottingham, and again in 1665. In 1685, on the Duke of Monmouth's landing, they
were imprisoned. In 1697–8, Reynolds died peaceably at Nottingham, aged 73. Barret, during the troubles, was some time minister of St. Peter's church, where he met
with much opposition. We have no account of his death. We may readily give the
Doctor credit for his assertion that these three puritans studied together, and lived together (perhaps in one house) but what he means by their preaching together is not
easily accounted for.
1652 William Drury.
1653 Francis Toplady.
1654 John Parker, Mercer.
1655 Thomas Huthwait.
During Cromwell's usurpation the framework-knitters addressed him by petition that
they might be incorporated, by charter, under the great seal of England. This request
was couched in strong and manly language; but it did not succeed.
1656 William Richards.
1657 Thomas Gamble.
1658 Richard Dring.
That accomplished general, accomplished hypocrite, and accomplished tyrant, Oliver
Cromwell, died Sep. 3, 1658.
1659 William Drury.
1660 Francis Toplady.
1661 John Parker.
1662 Christopher Hall.
On St. Bartholomew's day, this year, on which the act of uniformity was to take
place, two thousand presbyterians, conscientious ministers, chose rather to give up their
livings than submit to the conditions of the act. Several of these were from Nottingham
1663 William Greaves.
1664 Ralph Edge.
1665 William Jackson.
1666 Richard Hodgekins.
1667 Joseph Wright.
This year Nottingham was visited by the plague. It is worthy remark, that it made
much greater ravages in the higher than in the lower part of the town; this was attributed
to the effluvia from the tanyards, in the lower part of Nottingham, where there were then,
in number, 47.
1668 John Parker.
1669 Christopher Hall.
1670 William Greaves.
1671 Ralph Edge
1672 William Jackson.
A good old blacksmith, Barneby Wartnaby, of Nottingham, willed, at this time,
some considerable property to a numerous kindred. Besides which he left a token of
his affection to the poor of Nottingham, Lincoln, and Newark, noticed in the 4th Section.
1673 Richard Hodgekins.
1674 Joseph Wright.
1675 John Parker.
1676 Christopher Hall.
1677 William Greaves.
1678 Ralph Edge.
1679 John Parker.
1680 Gervas Rippon.
1681 Gervas Wyld.
About this time a surrender of corporate charters was attempted by the crown; in
many places it was effected, but here there was a considerable contest. The burgesses
were in general much against the measure; but the mayor, and his party put the corporation seal to an instrument of that purport, August 12th, 1681. In consequence
a new charter was sent down on Michaelmas day following. On the succeeding choice
of mayor, the new charter-men elected William Toplady and the old William Greaves.
In the issue, after much riotous behaviour, those friendly to the new charter succeed. In
2684 a trial came on before Judge Jefferies, in Westminster-hall, against William Sachaverel, Esq. and others, for a riot, where all were sined and bound to keep the peace for
twelve months. Sachaverel's fine was 500 marks.
1682 William Toplady.
1683 Christopher Hall.
1684 William Petty.
1685 Robert Wortley.
1686 John Parker.
1687 Gervas Rippon.
James II by unwarrantable means attempted to new model the corporation, in which
he reserved to himself a power of placing and displacing the members of that body. He
sent his Duo Warranto, this year, to the town, which turned out of office, Gervas Rippon, and the five preceding gentlemen, in the above list, and replaced them with John
Sherwin, George Langford, Charles Harvey,—Hyde, and—Crisp. John Sherwin
died in his mayoralty, George Langford was in office the succeeding year. In the
succeeding reign this town received a full confirmation of all their rights, privileges, and
1688 George Langford.
George Langford, the mayor, was a diffenter, firm and manly, but respectful to his
sovereign in those trying times, when a great and extraordinary event was upon the eve of
presenting itself to Europe, the revolution of 1688, which dethron'd a native prince, and
brought an alien, without a pretence to hereditary claim, to weild his septre.
On the 20th of November, the earl of Devonshire, at the head of a great number of
gentlemen, at Derby, declared for a free parliament, agreeable to the prince of Orange's
declaration. On the 23d the nobility, gentry and commonalty, who had collected in
considerable force, from all the northern counties, in the interest of that prince, subscribed to a declaration to join the prince of Orange, "whom they hoped God Almighty had sent to rescue themselves and their posterity from the tyranny of a jesuitical privy
council and an arbitrary government."
Deering, whose book was published in 1751, says, "There are men still living in
this town who well remember, that above ten days before the foregoing declaration was
made public, the duke of Devonshire, the earl of Stamford, the lord How, and other noblemen, and abundance of gentry of the county of Nottingham, resorted to this town and
went to meet one another at their respective inns, daily increasing in number, and continued at Nottingham till the arrival of lord Delamere, with between 4 and 500 horse;
this nobleman quartered at the feather's inn, whither all the rest of the noblemen and
gentlemen came to meet him; and 'till this time the people of the town were unacquainted with the result of these frequent consultations, when the above-mentioned lord,
after he had staid a while in the town, having a mind to try the disposition of the populace, on a sudden ordered the trumpets to found to arms, giving cut that the king's
forces were within four miles of Nottingham, whereupon the whole town was in alarm,
multitudes who had horses mounted and accoutred themselves with such arms as they
had, whilst others in vast numbers on foot appeared, some with fire locks, some with
swords, some with other weapons, even pitchforks not excepted, and being told of the
necessity of securing the passage over the Trent, they immediately diew all the boats that
then were near at hand, to the north bank of that river, and with them, and some timber
and boards on the wharf, with barrels, and all the frames of the market-stalls, barricaded
the north side of the Trent. My lord Delamere and his party, well pleased with the
readiness of the people to give their assistance, his lordship sent his men and some officers
to the prince of Orange, but himself with a few officers staid till the next day, being
Saturday, which is the principal market-day, when he, the duke of Devonshire, the lord
How, &c. appeared at the malt-cross, and in the face of a full market, the lord Delamere in a speech declared to the people, the danger their religion and liberty were in
under the arbitrary proceedings of the king, and that providence had sent his highness
the prince of Orange, under God, to deliver them from popery and slavery, for which
reason according to the prince his declaration, they were for a free parliament and hoped
their concurrence; this was seconded by a speech of the duke of Devonshire, and also of
the lord How, which was followed by the shouts of the people, who cryed out a free
parliament! a free parliament! This done lord Delamere departed to follow his troops,
whilst the duke and lord How, made it known that they were for raising horse in defence
of their liberty, and would list such as were willing to be entertained, whereupon upwards
of an hundred men who offered themselves, were entered that same day.
In this month of November, princess Anne privately withdrew from court, leaving a
letter to the queen behind her, to shew the reasons of her retreat, which if it had not
been produced, the king's own guard would in all probability have joined the enraged
mob, and have torn the popish party to pieces, upon a surmise that they had either
made away with her or confined her to the tower. This princess with the lady Churchill
and the lady Berkeley, took coach privately at the bishop of London's house and went
directly to Nottingham, attended by that prelate, the earl of Dorset, and about 40 horsemen; but there the earl of Devonshire (after she had staid several days in Nottingham)
gave her a guard of 200, from whence she retired to Oxford, where prince George
soon after met her, with a detachment of the prince of Orange's forces."
"Some days before her departure it was reported that the queen had treated her
very rudely, and proceeded so far as to strike her, which probably might cause that
suspicion in the mob, and excite them to go to Whitehall."
1689 Charles Harvey.
Henry Martin, this year, settled a rent charge of £3 per annum, to apprentice a
poor boy annually for ever.
1690 John Hawkin.
1691 Joseph Turpin.
1692 William Greaves.
William and Mary, at this time, renewed the town's charter, and granted the town
an indemnity for what had past.
1693 Thomas Trigge.
John Parker, alderman, by will dated this year among other things, gave £9 every
other year to put poor boys to trades. The lady also of Sir Thomas Grantham gave
£200, the interest of which to be applied to the same benevolent purposes.
1694 Arthur Richards.
1695 John Hoe.
1696 Francis Samon.
1697 Samuel Leland.
1698 William Greaves.
1699 Thomas Collin.
1700 Samuel Watkinson.
1701 John Rickards.
1702 John Peake.
1703 Samuel Smith.
Mr. Robinson by indenture, this year, gave the interest of £100 towards the support
of the poor in bread, for ever.
1704 William Barke.
The benevolent Abel Collin, by will, this year, amongst a variety of bequests, gave
the interest of £20 towards apprenticing poor boys and girls, £55 to buy coals for the
poor, one shilling weekly to the debtors in the town and county jails, and a £100 to be
distributed amongst the poor. He also left the remainder of his personal estate towards
the building and endowing an hospital. See Sect. 4.
1705 John Shipman.
1706 Francis Samon.
1707 William Drury.
Queen Ann granted a patent to Sir Thomas Willoughby, Bart. and his heirs, the
high stewardship of the ancient Peverel court, which was formerly held in Nottingham.
1708 Samuel Watkinson.
1709 John Peake.
A William Lees, at this time, in a fit of inebriation (to which he was addicted)
leaped into a well, 23 yards deep, out of which, he was soon after taken, without receiving any material injury.
1710 Samuel Smith.
1711 Benjamin Green.
Mr. Thomas Sanderson left 40s per annum to the poor of Nottingham.
1712 William Barke.
1713 John Collin.
In this mayoralty the destructive appellations of the English and French boroughs,
where before this time separate juries were impannelled, were disused. (fn. 9)
A great flood, this year, placed many of the houses, near the river Leen, under
1714 John Shipman.
Anthony Walker, a traveller, gave by will to the poor of the parish where he might
die, £6 annually in bread. He died in the parish of St. Nicholas.
1715 Thomas Hawkesley.
The former was displaced in March, after he was chosen. This, like all occurrences
of this nature, occasioned ill will, disgust, and bickerings.
1716 John Sherwin.
1717 Thomas Trigge.
1718 Marmaduke Pennel.
1719 Richard Bearn.
A man, named Rook, had a most miraculous escape from death in this mayoralty.
He being employed to clean a well, at the Cock, in high pavement, which was thirty
yards deep, and being in the well, those above who were employed in drawing up
the bucket, by carelesness let it fall, when it was near the top; in consequence its velocity, in going down, drew after it the barrel, about which the rope was wound; the
man perceiving his danger cast both his arms over his head, as a guard, they receiving
the violent shock saved him from destruction. He was, however, as might be expected,
very much bruised.
1720 William Bilbie.
A miraculous escape from death also happened in the month of July, this year. John
Chambers, a gingerbread baker, got very much in liquor while the duke of Newcastle
kept open house at the castle; but he made a shift to ramble from the paved yard upon
the rock, in a frolic, whence he fell backwards, down the precipice, about 133 feet,
almost perpendicular, into a garden, near the Leen river, and escaped with but little
1721 Benjamin Green.
William Gregory and John his son gave 2s a week to be laid out in bread for the
poor of St. Mary's parish for ever. Also Hannah and Elizabeth Metham left a rentcharge of £50 yearly to be laid out in bread for the poor of the same parish for ever.
1722 Alexander Burden.
A man of loyalty, about this time, whose name was Thorp, left 10s. per ann to the
vicar of St. Mary's to preach a sermon on the 29th of May.
1723 Thomas Trigge.
1724 Marmaduke Pennel.
1725 Richard Bearn.
1726 William Bilbie.
1727 Joseph Walters.
Dr. Deering, page 84, tells a long and ridiculous story of a Langford Collin, Esq.
who lived at York, about this time, who heard three loud knocks at his door, in the dead
of the night, exactly at the time that his cousin, Thomas Smith, of Nottingham, died
in London. More likely the knocks of a Bacchanalian spirit than that of a messenger
from heaven. The knocks were given it is said " as if done with a sledge hammer."
Another story Dr. D. tells of the said Collin of a piece with the former with respect to
knocking; only the latter was like the driving of nails into a coffin; this was about
three years after the former, and happened at the exact time, we are told, of the death of
1728 Benjamin Green.
1729 Alexander Burden.
1730 William Trigge.
1731 Thomas Trigge.
1732 John Huthwait.
August the 15th, this year, a woman named Eleanor Beare, was tried at Derby assize
for such a complication of shocking crimes scarcely ever heard of; upon whose trial it
came out that she once went to Nottingham to destroy the fœtus of a girl with child there,
for which practice she was secretly famed.
This wretch was tried upon three misdemeanors, first. in endeavouring to persuade a
man to poison his wife, secondly, for destroying the fœtus in the womb of Grace Belfort, by
putting an iron instrument up into her body and thereby causing her to miscarry. And thirdly,
On whom it was satisfactorily proved, was principally instrumental, to the persuading of her
servant maid, to be an accomplice in a murder, for which she was executed the preceding
March, by whose confession these horrid scenes of wickedness were brought to light. (fn. 10)
1733 Thomas Langford.
1734 William Bilbie.
1735 Benjamin Green.
1736 Alexander Burden.
By a flood, in July, the ground floors, in the houses near the Leen, were two feet
deep in water.
Henry Ward died this year, at the advanced age of 109. This man was made a
burgess of Nottingham, in 1733.
About this period, Deering informs us, that a child fell into a well at the end of Narrow-Marsh, and that three men, successively, went down into the well in search of it;
the first could not find it; the second, the child's father, after finding and bringing it
up in his arms, great part of the way, let it fall in again, from an extraordinary agitation
of mind; the third brought the child out alive, which was perfectly recovered the next
The small-pox raged, at this time, with great violence, at Nottingham, in the month
of May. There were buried at St. Mary's, in that short period, 104 souls. The burials this year exceeded the births by 380.
1737 William Trigge.
1738 John Newton.
George Tacy died about this time at the age of 100 years.
1739 James Huthwaite.
An high toned address, or rather instructions, was sent from a part of the burgesses and
freeholders of this place, to their representatives, Borlace Warren, and John Plumtre,
Eqrs. on the score of placemen and pensioners of the crown, in which they speak of their
bleeding hearts in consequence of the great and dangerous influence of such men.
Mary Riley, commonly called Goody Riley, died at the age of 100. This woman
was a pauper, and till within a few years of her death travelled to London, on foot, to fee
1740 Thomas Langford.
This gentleman was chosen alderman while he was sheriff; and when he was mayor
the second time, was high sheriff for the county.
One Crampton died, at this time, aged 100.
1741 Alexander Burden.
A Mrs. Freeland died this year aged 99.
1742 William Trigge.
John Rolleston, who lay ill of a violent fever, in a garret, in Barker gate, in a delirious fit, threw himself from a window of his room, into the yard; thence he ran into
the street and jumped into a well, where he remained up to the chin in water about an
hour before he was taken out. He was then put to bed, and in a short time got well,
and married soon after. This man was living in Deering's time.
1743 John Hornbuckle.
Chapel-bar was pulled down this year.
1744 John Burton.
In June, the boot-catcher, at the Crown inn, in his sleep, got up from bed and fell
from a window four stories high, upon the pavement, and received no fracture from the
fall. He was however otherwise much hurt.
1745 Henry Butler.
Of the rebellion, which happened at this time, but little occured here more than in
other places, near which the forces of prince Charles approached. Some however were
panic struck at their so extraordinarily advancing into the heart of the country, and
others, friendly to the cause, shewed signs of friendly intentions, but very few of them
indications of courage; very few joined this daring little host of Scotchmen.
During the rebellion, three butchers of Nottingham, then in the duke of Kingston's
regiment, killed, at the battle of Culloden, fourteen rebels. (fn. 11)
1746 James Huthwaite.
1747 Thomas Langford.
1748 William Trigge.
1749 John Hornbuckle.
May 15, in Nottingham, and in many parts of the county; in Derbyshire and Leicestershire, fell an extraordinary storm of hail, many of the stones measured 4 inches round.
It destroyed fruit trees, broke many windows, and killed several rooks in Donnington
1750 John Burton.
At Nottingham, in particular, and Retford, Tuxford, and many other places in the
county, was felt a severe shock of an earthquake, on Thursday the 23d of August,
about 7 in the morning; but no material damage was done in consequence: it was a
remarkable calm day before and after the shock.
1751 Henry Butler.
1752 James Huthwaite.
1753 Thomas Langford.
1754 William Trigge.
1755 Samuel Fellows.
About this time strong northern lights appeared here, and in many parts of England called
the Aurora Borealis. These lights, people have imagined, portend some approaching
calamity to the places where they are most visible, and some say that they were never seen in
England, till March 1715. In contradiction to the latter opinion, Matthew Westminster
has given many instances of similar appearances. His words on what happened in 743,
are "Visi sunt in acre ictus ignei, quales nunquam mortales illius avi viderunt, Kal. Jan."
That on the first of January, certain fiery streamers were seen in the air, such as the men
then living had never beheld before. Mr. Whiston would have us believe that those
lights are more frequent since 1715, and that they are intended to indicate the approach
of the good event of the restoration of the Jews, and the commencement of the millennium.
1756 John Burton.
1757 Cornelius Huthwaite.
1758 Henry Butler.
1759 Isaac Wylde and Thomas Langford.
William Andrew Horne, of Butterley hall, Derbyshire, Esq. aged 74, was executed at
Nottingham, December 11, for the murder of an illegitimate male child, three days old;
which crime was committed thirty-five years before! He was convicted the preceding
summer assize, before the Right Hon. Lord Chief Baron Parker; but respited from
time to time, on account of the extraordinary circumstances attending his case. The
principal evidence was Mr. Horne's brother, who had some share in the transaction, and
disgraceful to tell, it appeared upon the trial, had repeatedly threatened the sufferer that
he would hang him if he refused him money, as often as he wanted it. He had, however, some years before the murder came to light, seemingly, conscientiously, applied
to a magistrate, and related the whole transaction, who persuaded him, for the credit of
his family, not to reveal a crime of that heinous nature done so many years before. It
appeared upon the trial, that the crime was committed in the following manner. Mr.
Horne took the child from its mother, carried it to a remote farm-yard (in Nottinghamshire) and there covered it with straw, under a hay stack, by which it was smothered.
It was discovered in this position, next morning, by a servant man who stuck the prongs
of his fork into its body. The man of course was terrified at the discovery of the child.
Much pains was taken at that time to discover the perpetrators of this soul deed, but in
vain. Old Horne, died almost insensible to his awful exit. The crowds of people attending his execution were immense.
1760 Robert Huish.
1761 James Hornbuckle.
1762 Humphrey Hollins.
There is an old adage of the biter being bit. It was never more verified than in the
A stocking-maker, who lived near Nottingham, bought a piece of veal, some time in
May 1762, in Nottingham market, took it home, and desired his wife to dress it for dinner, by 12 o'clock. The veal, the obedient wife cooked accordingly; but the husband
being not punctual to his time, the wife being somewhat ill, set it by without tasting it.
The wily husband returned about 4 o'clock, and brought with him some beef-steaks,
which he would have cooked for his dinner. The poor woman fried the steaks with the
veal dripping; the man ate his dinner; but was almost instantly taken ill. The man
being alarmed, questioned his wife about the cooking of the veal, from which he soon
learnt that the steaks had been fried with the veal dripping, upon which he said that he
was a dead man. He then confessed that he had rubbed the veal all over with arsenic to
poison his wife, and soon after expired. The surgeon who examined the veal, declared
that it retained as much poison as would destroy a hundred persons. (fn. 12)
1763 Cornelius Huthwaite.
1764 Henry Butler.
In June, there was the most dreadful flashes of lightning and thunder ever remembered
at Nottingham. And in the succeeding month fell the heaviest rain ever known there,
attended with thunder and lightning, from which several people were stricken to the
ground, but none killed.
1765 William Cooper.
1766 Robie Swan.
July 21st, a ball of fire struck the house of a Mr. Cox, in Back-side, now Parliamentstreet, which tore the window frames, where there was iron, in sunder, and damaged
other parts of the house; but it struck none of the inhabitants therein. At Goose fair
this year a man was shot fitting by his cheese, during the riots about the high price of
1767 James Hornbuckle.
1768 William Foulds.
1769 Humphrey Hollins.
In May, one of the most heavy storms of hail fell here, and in several parts of the
county, ever known. It dashed to pieces the windows of many houses, broke the glass
also in the windows of many gentlemen's hot houses, gardener's hand glasses, &c. &c.
In the preceding April died a Mrs. Butler, in Narrow Marsh, aged 92, where, it is
remarkable, she had lived all her life time.
1770 Richard Butler.
January 27. About 10 o'clock at night, after a very warm day, a remarkable vivid
flash of lightning immediately succeeded by a tremendous clap of thunder, shook the
houses to such a degree in Nottingham, that the people apprehended it to have been an
earthquake. The lightning was seen as a general conflagration for some moments.
In June, this year, one Dominick Lazarus walked 25 times round Nottingham race
ground, for a wager of 4 guineas. He began at 6 o'clock in the morning, and finished
a quarter before 5 in the evening. This was looked upon as a very extraordinary performance.
1771 Cornelius Huthwaite.
1772 Henry Butler and Richard Butler.
In February, several people perished, in the forest, going from market, in consequence of extreme cold and a great fall of snow. Many sheep also perished.
1773 Thomas Oldknow.
In July, a woman of the name of Toplis, went to a well, in Backside, to draw water,
in which attempt her cloaths by some accident got fastened to the rope and chain, by
which means she was dragged into the well, and killed.
1774 John Carruthers.
1775 John Fellows.
August 11, died in Nottingham, John Collin, gent. a descendant of Law. Collin,
appointed by Oliver Cromwell, to the command of a company doing duty at Nottingham
castle, from whom deseended Abel Collin, founder of the hospital which bare his name.
He died a batchelor. In March, this year, a young man of the name of Voce was
hanged for the murder of Mary Dusty, a washer-woman. He was an inhabitant of
Sneinton, near which the murder was committed.
1776 Thomas Sands.
1777 Richard Butler.
This year the first stone of the grand stand was laid, on the race ground, by Mr.
Stretton, an eminent builder, and one of the undertakers. Mr. John Carr, of York,
architect. It is doubtless one of the finest buildings of the sort in the kingdom.
A remarkable occurrence happened about this time at a place called Derry Mount.
As some workmen were clearing a way the rubbish at this place, they discovered several
human bones but little injured by remaining in the ground. In a scull there was the
appearance of a bullet hole. A dagger was likewise found with the skeletons, 5 in
number, and a piece of silver coin about the size of a shilling, the legend not legible;
also a copper-coin, called a tradesman's token, on which was Thomas Cheshire at the
King's Head, Fore street, 1669, his halfpenny. It is imagined that these things had lain
here ever since the days of Cromwell.
1778 Thomas Oldknow.
1779 William Huthwaite.
In August, John Spencer was executed at Nottingham gallows, for the murder of
William Yeadon, toll collector, and his mother at Scrooby turnpike, and was afterwards
hung in chains near the spot. He confessed that he accomplished the horrid deed in the
following manner: That he knocked at the door of the turnpike house in the dead of the
night and said that he had some beasts to go through, and that when the young man
opened it he knocked him down with a hedge stake; then went up stairs, where
the mother lay asleep in bed, and with the same weapon he killed her also. The young
man was found on the road nearly dead by the drivers of two Yorkshire waggons.
A watch the murderer stole from the house led to the discovery of the murderer.
1780 John Smellie.
February 12, the foundation stone of the infirmary was laid. See Sect. 4.
1781 John Carruthers.
1782 John Fellows.
March 27, Cooper Hall, who was convicted at the preceding assize for robbing the
mail, was executed at Nottingham gallows pursuant to his sentence; which was also that
his body should be afterwards hung in chains; but this part of his sentence was not carried into execution, on account of his former good character and ingenuous confession
that he made. It appeared on the trial that Hall set off from Newark where he lived,
on the night of the 24th of November to meet the post boy, which he did, and persuaded
him to take him into his cart as a poor traveller, cold, tired, and benighted. The weather being severe, he easily persuaded the post-boy to take a dram of spirituous liquor
which he had in his pocket, which was mixed with opium for the purpose of accomplishing his design. This liquor operated on the boy as Hall would have it: it laid
him down in a found sleep, while the robber stole five bags of letters which he carried
home; but in endeavouring to negociate the bills, his booty, he was detected.
1783 Richard Butler.
1784 William Howitt.
1785 William Huthwaite.
1786 John Carruthers.
September 27, died at Nottingham, Mr. Matthew Unwin, author of a small volume
of poems, sacred and evangelical, 1783.
November 4, died Mr. Charles Wilkinson, formerly that eminent master of the
academy at Nottingham, which he resigned a few years before his death to the Rev. J.
Blanchard. His industry in his prosession was scarcely ever equalled; his mathematical
knowledge was eminently great, and he excelled in penmanship and drawing. The
duties of his prosession he discharged in a way honourable to himself, and satisfactory to
the parents of the youth he was intrusted to educate. He was sanctioned and applauded
by the learned and ingenious as a teacher of the highest class.
1787 Joseph Lowe.
1788 William Howitt.
Lieutenant and surgeon Bright, of the Nottinghamshire militia, after having spent the
evening on the 7th of June with his brother officers of the regiment, left them to go to
bed; in his room, by some accident the candle flame caught his shirt, and thence communicated to the other parts of his cloathing; he was so shockingly burnt before he
could be assisted in extinguishing the fire, that he lingered about thirty hours, and then died.
1789 William Smith and Richard Butler.
The latter gentleman was chosen mayor, agreeable to a writ of mandamus issued from
the court of king's bench. The burgesses at large insisted upon their right to vote; but
were over-ruled by reading the charter of Henry VI.
1790 John Fellows.
1791 William Huthwaite.
The town-hall rebuilt.
1792 Joseph Oldknow.
March 2, An alarming shock of an earthquake was felt in several of the midland
counties; but particularly at Nottingham, where many of the inhabitants fled from
their houses into the streets, expecting their habitations to fall upon them. The shock
was preceded by a rumbling noise like the rolling of a cannon ball on a boarded floor.
This shock happened 20 minutes before 9 o'clock in the evening.
May 12, a riot of an alarming nature broke out on account of the high price of
butchers meat. The people in a frantic fit broke the doors, shutters, &c. of the shambles, and the books they found in the shops they destroyed by fire, in the market-place;
but by the well-timed order of the magistrates to the military, peace was restored for
that time; but on the Sunday and Monday following, symptoms of the same disorder
appeared, which was prevented coming to a serious head by the vigilance of the magiftrates.
An extraordinary occurrence happened this year in St. Mary's church yard. It was
found necessary to improve the passage by the side of the church yard leading to the
county hall, which could not be effected without taking down some houses, and the
church yard wall which stood on the south side the church; and the better to widen the
road it was also necessary to use a part of the church yard. The ground being much
higher here than in the street, when the sence wall was removed, there happened, one
night, a heavy shower of rain, which washed away a considerable portion of the earth
from the church yard, in consequence several coffins were left bare of covering, and
some removed; amongst which was one that contained the remains of Mr. William
Moore, who sometime lived at the sign of the Black Swan, near the church, and who
had been buried about 12 years. The coffin being broken there was found in his remains a concretion not unlike a pumice stone, but rather whiter, and as large as the liver
of an ox, pieces of which are in the possession of several people of Nottingham. Mr.
Moore was a remarkable man for having a large belly, which projected more on one
side than the other. He often observed to his friends that he perceived a hard substance
forming within him when he was only 22 years of age, which grew slowly while he
lived. He died about the age of 70. He has been also heard to say that he felt but
little pain from this substance; but found it troublesome. It may be worthy remark
that the ribs, on that side it grew, were much bowed outwards. Doctors Hodges,
Nevil, and Ford, had examined him while living, several times; to the survivor of
whom he had promised his body to be opened when dead; but he happening to survive
those gentlemen, his body was interred without being opened. Nothing, says my informant (fn. 13) would have brought this curious phenomenon to light had it not been for this
In plate page 176 is a representation of a piece of this substance, which Mr.
Walker gave me. The piece I have is very porous and weighs about two ounces.
In May, this year, the canal bill passed, in consequence of which there was great
rejoicings at Nottingham. It forms a junction with the Cromford thro a country inexhaustible in coal and iron.
In the same month a very serious riot happened about the price of butchers meat.
1793 Henry Green.
Was shot by his own son, Francis Walsh, shoe-maker, on the evening of the king's
birth-day. The youth wantonly discharged his piece close to the shoulders of his father
with a view to frighten him; but the wadding pierced his shoulder, and could never be
extracted. He died in the infirmary in great agonies.
1794 Thomas Caunt.
This year is marked by the loyalty of the inhabitants of the town and county, in
support of that constitution which Englishmen admire. Four troops of gentlemen
Yeomanry and Cavalry were raised out of the most respectable of the inhabitants, similar
to what was done in other places; their cloathing scarlet and buff; their commander
Anthony Hardolph Eyre, Esq. of Grove, near Retford. None shewed more loyalty on
this occasion, by way of subscription, than a club in Nottingham called the Loyal
British gratitude was also shewn this year by a liberal subscription at this place, and
in the county for extra warm cloathing for the British troops on the continent.
In May, an act for improving the navigation of the river Trent was obtained, and
for making a navigable canal to join the Nottingham canal.
July the 2d, towards evening, a serious disturbance took place, in this town, in consequence of some people, evil affected, shewing signs of pleasure on the arrival of some
disagreeable news from the continent, wearing in their hats, emblems, "the meaning
of their hearts." (fn. 14) A party, composed of royalists, in consequence, ducked several
supposed disaffected people in the river Leen. But not stopping here, the mob at night
set fire to some outworks of Mr. Denison's cotton mill, where some Jacobins, as they
were called, had taken shelter, whence some shot were fired. The vigilance of the
magistrates and their friends, however, and the light horse, from Nottingham barracks,
prevented further mischief than burning some premises which were suffered to blaze out.
The next day also was a day of ducking and disorder.
1795 Benjamin Hornbuckle.
This year will be memorable, in this place, on account of the great flood which happened
on Sunday February the 7th, after a frost of nearly 7 weeks, which was succeeded by a
rapid thaw, which, in two or three days, occasioned the greatest flood ever remembered
by the oldest person living, and, we fear, has caused the greatest damage to individual
property that was ever sustained in so short a time. "So awful, so sudden a visitation,
worked upon the feelings of all descriptions of people; the rich and the poor, in different
places, were all alike involved in the general catastrophe; each one endeavoured to save
his own from the perishable and destructive elementary fluid; but the condition of those
unhappy sufferers who reside in the newly-built houses in the Meadow plat, was truly
afflicting, for their 'little all' were literally swimming away!—As yet, no idea can be
adequately formed of the calamities that have happened; we are afraid the mournful
catalogue we shall have to present to our readers the ensuing week will develope scenes
that will agonize every humane breast. The assluent, no doubt, on this sad occasion,
will be ready to afford consolation and assistance to the indigent sufferers.—The
accounts we have for the present, are, that many families, not only in this town, but in
all the villages bordering upon the Trent, have been very great sufferers, in the loss of
cattle drowned, and goods damaged;—the new gravel road from hence to the Trentbridge, which was heightened and improved at different times, at a considerable expence;
the beautiful canal cut, which forms a collateral branch with the Leen, have received
such immense fractures, as will make their repairs amount to a considerable sum on the
whole;—the new Leen-bridge, the arches to drain off the water from the road, are also
materially injured; but, by the timely exertions of the corporation, in setting a number
of hands belonging to the Grantham canal immediately to work, under the direction of
Mr. Oldknow, bridge-master, and Mr. Green, surveyor, it is hoped part of the damage
will be repaired, so as to admit passengers in a day or two.—The mail, which should
have arrived on Tuesday, did not arrive till this morning (Friday) which also brought
the bags for Wednesday and Thursday." (fn. 15)
On Wednesday March 25th, was executed at Nottingham gallows, David Proctor,
for a rape on his daughter-in-law; what is remarkable, he denied the charge with his last
April the 19th, a mob arose in consequence of the high price of provisions; but no
very serious consequences attended this tumult. The troops of Nottingham gentlemen
Yeomen assembled on this occasion, fully accoutred, with a troop of heavy Dragoons,
who secured about 13 of the ringleaders, which restored peace to the town.