A History of the County of Durham: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1928.
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CITY OF DURHAM
The erection of the new foundation in 1541 has been described elsewhere. (fn. 1) Not the least important part of the establishment was the reconstitution of the ancient grammar school. (fn. 2) Further changes took place in the cathedral in the autumn, when many of the relics were turned out and the shrines were broken down. (fn. 3) In December, as two bills (fn. 4) in the Cathedral Library still attest, the place where St. Cuthbert's shrine had been was levelled and covered in with a marble slab. (fn. 5)
Gloomy years now followed. War broke out with Scotland in 1542, and the passage of troops to and fro kept the city in excitement. Special requisition was made on the townsfolk for transport service, (fn. 6) and Tunstall came down to the castle to superintend the levies. Next year rumours were brought in of a French fleet off Hartlepool, (fn. 7) and some confused story about local insurrection. (fn. 8) In 1544, one of the most severe in the long series of plagues befell the city and neighbourhood. (fn. 9)
So the reign of Henry passed to its close. In Edward's first year, the pressure of drastic change was felt in the dissolution of Kepier Hospital, and particularly in the suppression of the Corpus Christi gild, round which so much of local trade had centred. (fn. 10) The old plays and functions came to an end now entirely, or, at all events, in large measure. The citizens saw with curious eyes, if not with indignation, the visitors sent round in the summer of 1547 to inaugurate the changes. Next year, in connection with Scottish affairs, a commission from London came to search the palatinate records in Durham. It was soon after this that the city became an important item in the programme that the Duke of Northumberland was scheming. The intention was to make Durham the capital of a northern principality over which the duke was to preside, whilst his son Guilford Dudley should be Prince Consort in the south to Lady Jane Grey ruling in London. In forwarding this design, the duke meant the castle to be the residence of the new northern ruler, suggesting that 'his Majesty receive both the castle which hath a princely site, and the other stately houses which the bishop hath in this county.' The king did resume all the episcopal property in Durham and elsewhere, but he did not make over to Northumberland his heart's desire. (fn. 11)
The reign of Mary soon restored what had been torn from the see in Durham. The palatinate power was restored to the bishop, and he regained the castle as well. The queen granted him the patronage of the prebends, and so instituted a right which gave the bishop, for the time being, the opportunity of filling the stalls with men agreeable to himself. When in 1554 the papal jurisdiction was restored, Durham hailed it with satisfaction. Great festival was held at the cathedral and the bill still exists for ' Expens. maid the day that the proclamation and bonefyrs war maid for the receyving of the Pope in this realm agayn.' (fn. 12)
The interest of the early years, at all events, of the long reign of Elizabeth is largely religious, and will not be dealt with in detail here. The sympathies of the city were very clearly with the Marian order, which was now altered. In the queen's first year the city formed one of the centres of the great ecclesiastical visitation. (fn. 13) The visitors made it abundantly evident that the government would brook no opposition, so that the citizens probably made up their minds to bide their time in the hope that one more rapid revolution of the wheel would bring back what the visitors were driving away. It was in a city so actuated that the planning of the Northern Rebellion in 1569 kindled new hope and interest. Every notice of Durham during the closing months of that critical year indicates suppressed excitement and strong antipathy towards the government. The moment the control of the government was relaxed the inhabitants very largely joined in with the insurrection and were willing participators in the events which centred round the cathedral. When the premature movement had collapsed in the gloomy winter days Durham bore a foremost part in the vengeance that followed. The unfortunate Earl of Westmorland lost the houses which he held within the city. In this way the New Place near St. Nicholas' Church was confiscated, and somewhat later became the property of the corporation. Other tenements were also transferred to the queen.
Just before this ebullition of Durham's latent sympathy a civic event of great significance took place in the issue of the first charter of incorporation. Until 1565 the old mediaeval order continued, bailiffs and their underlings being appointed by the bishop. There is no particular clue as to the motives of the grant. The reason may have been that the bishop might ingratiate himself with the inhabitants, at a time when Pilkington's letters show that he was sorely in need of friends. More probably the real circumstances have to be sought in the altered conditions of life in the city. A new Durham rose which knew nothing of the old pilgrim bands, of the trade which they brought, of the great Cuthbertine fairs and festivals, of the sanctuary privileges. It may be supposed that the mediaeval trade was largely in connection with monastery, pilgrims and fairs. The city itself was not populous, (fn. 14) and the wants of its inhabitants were readily supplied by the members of the trades gilds whose origin we have marked. Durham no longer attracted great crowds all the year round, and its fairs have left no clear record in their perhaps attenuated survival. Probably the only direct compensation for the great blow the changes had dealt to the city's trade was the commencement of the proverbial hospitality shown by dean and prebendaries during residence. A chapter act indicates that certain lands were annexed to the individual prebends in augmentation of hospitality, and the enactment goes to prove that one of the distinctive ordinances of the Marian statutes (fn. 15) was to be no dead letter. It directs that the prebendaries 'keep residence and hospitality.' One of the earliest references to the custom belongs to the reign of Charles I, when the ' Three Norwich Soldiers,' whose charming diary still exists, visited Durham, and were entertained in strict accordance with the statute. It is probable that such hospitality was not unequal in volume to the entertainment of strangers by the monastery, but what of the almoner's doles, the corrodies, and the old customary subventions of earlier dates? Apparently there are no Elizabethan notices extant of such benefaction on any large scale by dean and canons. It might on reflection seem likely that no little bitterness would exist among the keepers of lodging-houses and taverns, who had been wont to receive pilgrims into their houses, and amongst the sellers of objects of piety who had to deplore the passing of their trade, and yet had the mortification of seeing dean and canons lodged more comfortably and luxuriously than their monastic predecessors. It has been suggested that a traditional jealousy between city and cathedral is due to a condition of affairs which made the chapter bless the new, and the townsmen deplore the old. But, on any showing, the trade of the city was precarious in the later 16th century, and probably more precarious than in later times.
How far Bishop Pilkington was concerned to improve the trade may be questioned, though its need of patronage can scarcely be doubted. The charter is dated 31 January 1565, shortly after the bishop's appearance in the north and before the Rebellion of the Earls, with its attempted swing-back to older conditions. It seems to be modelled upon the ordinary charter of the time, which may be illustrated at Hartlepool and elsewhere. The subservience of the corporation to the bishop is defined at every point. The twelve assistants bore office during good behaviour and for so long a period only as the bishop should think fit. An oath was taken in the bishop's presence or in that of his chancellor, and the burgess undertook to keep his lord's counsel. The rules, decrees and regulations should be subject to the bishop's approval. In fact, the bishop preserved a rigid control over his corporation of Durham. The first alderman was Christopher Surtees, who was probably of the same family as Robert Surtees, the historian of Durham, though not a direct ancestor. (fn. 16) The family furnished other aldermen or mayors in later days. Christopher Surtees and his early successors have left no record of their tenure of office. They raised no voice of protest that has left any echo from the rebellion of 1569. Possibly the magistrates were overawed, but more probably the majority of the citizens desired the old times and the old conditions back again.
Pilkington was concerned not only for the incorporation of the city but for the reformation of manners therein. To this end he erected a Consistory Court in 1573, which undertook to survey the morality of city and diocese, and to press pains and penalties for sins against the public decency. He ordered his own procedure and appointed Robert Swift, one of the Durham prebendaries, as his official. Some of the acts of this court survive, and these, together with various contemporary references to church discipline, bear witness to the rigorous measures which were employed in this connection. Such a régime had been first commenced by the visitors of 1559, acting under Royal Commission. (fn. 17) Pilkington pressed it forward, not as prelate only, but as High Commissioner under Letters Patent of 1561. (fn. 18) Bishop Barnes, his successor, continued the policy, and was particularly zealous in disciplining his diocese. (fn. 19)
About this time we get the commencement of several parish documents which throw some light upon life in and near Durham. Thus we have the Gilesgate Grassmen's Accounts from 1579. It was the duty of the Grassman to take charge of the common lands of the parish. In the parish of St. Giles these lay to the east, on what is known as Gillygate Moor. The two officers elected yearly on the Sunday after Ascension Day presented their accounts on going out of office. The returns are interesting mainly from the narrower parochial point of view as giving some brief notes of local changes and local names. Thus we appear to trace the surrounding of the moor dike with a quickset hedge about 1580. Houses and allotments for the poor of the parish had been apportioned on the moor. (fn. 20) The vestry books of St. Oswald begin in 1580, and are largely of the usual type of churchwardens' accounts, with notes of repairs to parish buildings, while entries here and there reflect passing occurrences. These accounts of St. Oswald's are of some importance owing to the large extent of the parish in those days, far beyond the boundaries of the city.
The latent sympathy of many in the city with the older order is a constant factor in Durham life, so that a cathedral set and a set of irreconcilables were characteristic of the place for many a long day. How readily this latter portion of the populace took the side of the earls in 1569 has already been seen. The disappointed rebels acquiesced from that point with an ill grace, and were probably ready to join in any new enterprise if occasion offered. At the time of the Armada there was considerable fear of some sympathetic movement, and an elaborate muster was made. Reference has already been given to the romantic side of the story in the chequered fortunes of the Jesuit and secular missionaries who began to give trouble from about 1580. (fn. 21) Durham was largely a centre from which they worked.
A great deal of local Roman Catholic history is interwoven with old Elvet, which was their particular resort. (fn. 22) Gibbet Knowle, or Knoll, near the present county hospital, was the scene of several executions. In 1591 four seminary priests were put to death on one day, and a story was long told in Durham which is worthy of some primitive martyrology and evidently made a deep impression. The young bride of Mr. Robert Maire of Hardwick was present with her husband, and the pair were so much moved by the constancy of the dying priests that they both went over to the Roman Church, to which their descendants have belonged ever since. The lady was niece of John Heath, who had settled at Kepier some years previously, founding a family long connected with the city and ultimately the ancestors of the Vane-Tempests. Her father was Mr. Henry Smith, who diverted his estates from his 'graceless Grace,' as he calls her, and made them over in large measure, as we shall see, to the city of Durham.
It may be supposed that there was some stir of trade after the incorporation of the city. At all events, more than one trade gild was established or confirmed in Elizabeth's reign, viz., the mercers, grocers, haberdashers, ironmongers and salters in 1561, the fullers in 1565, and the curriers and chandlers in 1570. The charter of the last-named shows the same subservience to the bishop which is characteristic of the city charter. The title of the fullers' company is 'Clothworkers and Walkers.' (fn. 23) The latter name is still seen in Walkergate, near St. Nicholas' Church, which has been recently revived instead of the colloquial and customary Back Lane. The oldest of all the city gilds, that of the weavers, was refounded, or at all events rehabilitated towards the end of the reign. (fn. 24) Some reference will be found above to the inception of the earlier gilds, (fn. 25) but it may be convenient to repeat here the chronological order of their commencement so far as it is known: Weavers 1450, cordwainers 1458, barbers 1468, skinners and glovers 1507, butchers 1520, goldsmiths 1532, drapers and tailors 1549. Constant changes, however, were made in the titles and the composition of the gilds in the 17th century. The gilds, with their curious inclusion of unallied arts, were probably incorporated together according to locality. Then the mercers and their allies centred round the market place, whilst modern names indicate the habitat of walkers, saddlers, and fleshers. Recent use, however, has merged Fleshergate into Saddler Street (properly Gate), and Sutor Pell, the old locality of the cobblers, has long since given way to Elvet Bridge. There does not appear to be sufficient evidence to follow the development of trade under the supervision of the gilds during the Elizabethan period. The general impression given by a cursory survey of their meagre records for that time tends to show a stagnant condition of affairs in this particular respect. It is not improbable that some of the minor unions justified their existence as social clubs rather than as serious commercial organizations. Thus the cordwainers ' paid for the minstrell' 18d. in 1568, in 1575 ' to William Weddrell our mynstrell' 18d., in 1578 'to the waytts ' 2s. In 1588 the drapers and tailors have an item 'gyven to the mynstrall at our dinner 3s. 4d' There are entries, too, of special benefactions to deserving and necessitous persons, and occasionally a payment for some public festivity, as, for instance, in 1599, when one company ' paid for ye tar barrels 12d.,' no doubt at a time of thanksgiving for the passing of the plague.
But the most enduring excitement in Durham during the last years of the 16th century was the constant search for Jesuits and seminary priests, to which allusion has already been made. (fn. 26) The prison in the north gate of the castle above Saddler Street was often full of recusants, not to mention the debtors who were constantly there. The first recorded benefaction for the latter was made in 1572 by John Franklyn of Cochen Hall, who bequeathed a small annual sum to the prisoners and other poor people of the city. (fn. 27) In the Armada year there was some stir in Durham in connection with the probability of a Spanish descent upon the coast, and preparations were made, apparently, to defend the city against any sudden incursion, (fn. 28) but the pikes and the corselets were never used in battle array. A visit from Bothwell in 1593 seems to have caused little interest. (fn. 29)
The long reign ebbed out miserably. There were several visitations of plague, with no evidence of any activity on the part of the new corporation in preventive measures. A severe outbreak in 1589 had been preceded two years earlier by a failure of the crops, which brought prices up to famine pitch, as the parish registers attest with much detail. (fn. 30) As in the days of the Judges, such scarcity was aggravated by marauders. The Scots, who had been comparatively still for many a long year, made frequent incursions into the bishopric if not into Durham itself. A letter of 1595 from the Secretary of the Council of the North says: ' Raids, incursions and frays [are] more common into the Bishopric than heretofore on the Border.' (fn. 31) In 1598 the keeper of the gaol at Durham described in much detail the robberies perpetrated by the Scots. But locally all these troubles and rumours of mischief paled before the terrible plague of 1598, which broke out again in the autumn of the next year. This pestilence was long remembered for its appalling mortality, nor did the gloom it occasioned lift for some years. It may be said to have disorganized the city and neighbourhood. The St. Nicholas register records of 1597: 'In this year was the great Visitation in the Cittie of Durham.' The summer assizes were postponed because of its violence. It first broke out in Elvet, and there was soon a general flight of all who could leave. The poor had booths and huts made upon the moors outside Durham, but they died off rapidly, so that, as one account says: 'poor Durham this year was almost undone.' The gaol did not escape, and twenty-four prisoners were carried out for burial from it. In addition to these 400 died in Elvet, 100 in St. Nicholas, 200 in St. Margaret's, 60 in St. Giles', 60 in the North Bailey; and Durham was not alone in the disaster, for the disease spread to many of the towns and villages in the neighbourhood.
The one bright spot in a time of terrible gloom was the institution of Smith's Charity in 1598. This eventually became the main conduit into which the minor city charities were brought. Henry Smith, to whom reference has already been made, (fn. 32) was a prominent citizen. He had married the daughter of John Heath the elder, of Kepier, and was doubly identified with the city. By his will he left real and personal estate of some value to the city of Durham, ' chiefly that some good trade may be devised for the setting of youth and other idle persons to work as shall be thought most convenient whereby some profits may appear to the benefit of this city, and relief of those that are past work and have lived honestly upon their trade.' Before long, as we shall see, this benefaction became the means of promoting the cloth trade in Durham, and after many vicissitudes, frequent inquiries, and several new schemes, the charity still exists as an important factor in the charitable funds of the city. (fn. 33)
The Elizabethan period was not marked by much building in Durham. A return of 1564 had noted the decay of Elvet and Shincliffe Bridges. Elvet Bridge was newly built in 1574. In 1588 the county house was erected on Palace Green. (fn. 34) This building was of wood, and was used by the justices for the dispatch of business. A legend over the door of an upper room for the jurors contained the words ' God preserve our gracious Queen Elizabeth the founder hereof 25 July 1588.' Separated by a passage from the wooden county house was a court room for the judges of assize, which was built over the bishop's stables. Cosin made great changes in these buildings some eighty years afterwards.
There are several references to 'decays in the bishopric ' (fn. 35) in contemporary documents, and mention is made in one paper under date 1593 of decays in bishopric houses, (fn. 36) but there is no special mention of Durham itself in this connexion, though a story is preserved of the poor accommodation found by a queen's messenger who visited the city in 1594. (fn. 37) A note of 1589 speaks of wanton damage to Neville's Cross during the night. (fn. 38)
With Elizabeth's last year we reach a landmark of considerable local importance in the charter of Bishop Matthew, which superseded the earlier charter of Pilkington. He was one of the few men in high office in the bishopric who really knew Durham before his elevation. He had been dean for thirteen years, and in that position (fn. 39) exercised wide influence as High Commissioner and member of the Council of the North. To this intimate knowledge of the place and its needs we may attribute the new grant. Attention has been already drawn to the bondage of the city to the bishop's will: dummodo episcopus non contradixerit had been its keynote, at least three times repeated in Pilkington's charter. There had been no increase in the trade and well-being of Durham, and the troubles of the last decade of the sixteenth century had greatly exhausted the resources of the district. Bishop Matthew's charter was an honest attempt to improve matters by giving the corporation greater independence, so increasing their energy and self-respect. Complaints had been made in recent years that the grants of various bishops were somewhat nebulous. Probably Pudsey's charter, still preserved at that time in the city archives, had been vaguely cited and misunderstood, as has been its fate in still more recent days. (fn. 40) The bishop now granted a mayor to be elected annually with twelve aldermen appointed during their good behaviour, and without the obnoxious provision of submission to the bishop's pleasure. There was to be a common council of twenty-four annually elected out of the twelve chief crafts or gilds which by this time had received incorporation. Thus in the order of the charter two were elected by the mercers, grocers, haberdashers, ironmongers and salterers; two by the drapers and tailors; two by the skinners and glovers; two by the tanners; two by the weavers; two by the dyers and fullers; two by the cordwainers; two by the saddlers; two by the butchers; two by the smiths; two by the carpenters and joiners; two by the free-masons and rough-hewers. Thus the common council consisted of thirty-six persons, a number which was maintained. (fn. 41) Much is made of the authority given to make laws and ordinances for the city, but it is provided that these are not to be repugnant to any statutes of the realm. Fuller grant of fees is made than under the earlier charter, and liberties and customs held by charter or prescriptive right were confirmed. The very amplitude of the privileges confirmed led to dispute in a future that was not very distant. It was not difficult to press a good many claims under cover of 'custom and prescriptive right.' For the present, however, there was no friction, and the improved administration of the city was soon seen when another visitation of the plague came, but with inconsiderable damage, owing to the excellent measures taken by the corporation to prevent the spread of infection. (fn. 42)
With the accession of the house of Stuart greater prosperity came to Durham. The Tudors had never been its friends, and never visited the city with the exception of the memorable stay of Princess Margaret. (fn. 43) In 1603 her great-grandson James VI of Scotland and I of England passed through on his way to the south, and from this point, for nearly half a century, several royal visits were paid, which had the effect of directing some attention to the place, and were certainly appreciated by the inhabitants. An interesting account of the king's progress survives. He entered by Framwellgate Bridge and was met in the market-place by the corporation in all the glory of their new livery, with the Mayor of Durham, James Farrales, at their head. Reference was made to 'so great a sorrow as had lately possessed them all,' and this is as likely to refer to the still recent visitation of the plague as to the late queen's death. The cavalcade then passed up Saddlergate and into the castle, where the bishop received his Majesty attended by a hundred gentlemen in tawny liveries. An act of clemency marked the occasion, the king signing a royal warrant for the release of certain prisoners in the gaol.
Events of considerable civic interest took place in Durham during the next few years. In 1606 Matthew Pattison, (fn. 44) the son of a burgess, and either son or brother of John Pattison, mercer, mayor in 1608, presented a seal of fine design to the corporation. The seal is an excellent piece of mediaeval art representing a bishop vested, mitred and holding his staff in his left hand, raising his right hand in attitude of blessing. He stands in a niche under a trefoil arch with canopy rising to three spires between which are the sun and moon. On either side of the shafts of the niche is a shield of England ensigned with a mitre, the rim of which is not heightened with the coronet of the Palatinate. Below the figure of the bishop are the arms of the city. The legend is in Lombardic capitals: S' COMVNE CIVITAT' DVNELMIE. The gift of the seal probably coincided with a royal confirmation of Matthew's charter in February 1606. There is no evidence to show how or why this confirmation was made by the king. In the light of subsequent events, it is possible that some representation was made by the city to the king, and that he was not unwilling to do the citizens a favour notwithstanding the fact that the action was in derogation of the bishop's authority. The seal is still in use as the official seal of the corporation. The arms of the city of Durham given at the visitation of 1615 (fn. 45) and used for some time later are as here shown. In the eighteenth century it became usual to adopt the arms of the see: azure, a cross of St. Edward or, between three lioncels argent. This adopted episcopal coat has been assumed by the city in lieu of its own achievement, and has been widely usurped by the county as well. (fn. 46)
In the summer following the intrusive Letters Patent of James I referred to above, Bishop Matthew was transferred to York. For the second time a Dean of Durham was appointed bishop. The new prelate, William James, seems to have been very much the college don. He was probably a better Ecclesiastical Commissioner than dean or bishop. His tenure of office in the deanery left little trace, but as bishop he came into collision with the city at a point where the new corporation were exceedingly sensitive. In the mediaeval constitution of the city the chief officer was the bishop's bailiff. Until Pilkington's charter this official, with the name of the bailiff of the borough and city of Durham, had been responsible to the bishop for collecting a variety of dues, such as land-male, rents, tolls, profits, fines and amerciaments of courts, fairs, and markets. In effect he was, until the charter of incorporation, the chief magistrate of the city. More particularly there had been time out of mind an ancient borough court which the bailiff and his underling, the steward of the borough, held in the Tolbooth. This building stood at the side of the market-place, and consisted of shops and stalls on the ground floor, surmounted by an upper story containing a court-room of some size, which was used for the borough court and for other civic purposes. The building had been rebuilt by Bishop Tunstall, and bore his arms emblazoned upon it. (fn. 47)
Over the holding of the fortnightly court and other privileges fierce strife arose between Bishop James and the corporation. On the natural interpretation of the charter of 1602 the mayor was the proper president of the court under the new constitution. This, at all events, was his own contention, and friction had been of long standing on the subject, (fn. 48) but had only become acute at the time when Bishop James was appointed. The bishop maintained that the mayor was usurping authority over the court, and accordingly took upon himself to revert to the old arrangement of holding the court under the presidency of a bailiff to be appointed. He nominated Edward Hutton as bailiff, and John Richardson as steward. When these gentlemen took their seats in the court room on Mayor's Day 1609, and proceeded to open the court in the bishop's name, they were opposed by a concerted arrangement between the six mayors who had served under Matthew's charter. One of them tried to pull the bailiff out of his chair. Another coming to his aid succeeded in hustling the unfortunate man out of the Tolbooth, whilst confederates seized the bishop's court books and threw them into the street. Below in the market-place invective was heard against bailiff and steward, many of the inhabitants congregating about them and calling aloud to commit them to the stocks or even to duck them in the pant hard by. At last with much ado the two officers effected their escape from the crowd, carrying the tale of their outrageous treatment to the bishop. It was not possible to brook an insult such as this, and Bishop James hoping, it may be, to make an example of the rebellious corporation began a suit in the Court of Exchequer instead of dealing with the matter, as he might have done, in the ordinary assize. The suit was heard in Easter Term 1610. The depositions of the various witnesses in response to the lengthy interrogatories form one of the most useful sources of information that we possess in regard to the corporation history. Opportunity was taken not only to discover the main question at issue but to elucidate other matters, such as the customs of the city in respect of fees, commons, fairs, and so forth. The hearing was adjourned from term to term, being completed in June 1610, when the Exchequer decree was issued.
The bishop recited all the rights for which he contended, laying claim to all the local courts, fees, commons, and their privileges. He asserted that the mayor merely pretended that he was principal of the courts to the manifest disherison of the bishop; that the defendants being of the greatest wealth in the city had conspired to deprive the bishop of his rightful possessions in the city; that they had tried to usurp privileges, and, in order to give colour to their action, had procured and obtained a new grant of incorporation and in virtue of this strove to challenge and take away the privileges mentioned; that before and since the assault they entered the tolbooth and claimed certain rights—e.g., the clerkship of the market, assize of bread and ale, etc.; that they started new tolls, erected a mayor's court, nominated their own steward; that they set forth in speeches their claim; that they used the common lands as their freehold; that they held court leet for cases determinable only in the sheriff's turn. The defendants in their responsive plea urged their charters. They asserted that the city was a body corporate by prescription. They produced what is evidently Pudsey's charter in order to prove their mediaeval corporate status. (fn. 49) They claimed gilds, tolbooth, (fn. 50) clerk of market, courts leet, borough court as belonging to the corporation. If they conceded that the bishop was in the last resort the owner of the common lands they had the right of pasture thereon. They claimed all burgages, messuages, and tenements in the city connected with the corporation as theirs. Then with some historical retrospect they mentioned controversy before Privy Council upon such matters as were now in dispute. After Pilkington's incorporation there was no difficulty, they said, until recently. Finally they laid stress on the fact that they enjoyed their liberties until Edward Hutton and John Richardson by the bishop's appointment disturbed them. The bishop in reply to this reaffirmed his points. He further said that the town was governed by the bishop's bailiff until about 10 Elizabeth, when Richard Raw, then bailiff, assigned the office to some of the burgesses, reserving his fee of 20 nobles. Then the town got a grant from Pilkington of alderman and assistants with courts, fees, etc. After Raw came William Mann, as bishop's bailiff, who assigned as Raw did. Under Bishop Hutton the townsmen renewed their grant of alderman with the grant of a new fair, but these two grants were not confirmed. The clerkship was an ancient office granted under patent. The bishop strongly maintained his rights over the commons. Once more the defendants replied denying the bishop's seisin of streets, wastes, soil, and burgages: these had always been corporation property. The tolbooth was not the bishop's, and any building thereon had been merely of devotion and Christian charity for the relief of a poor corporation. Raw and Mann made no assignment of fees as alleged. Burgage fines were not paid to the bishop, nor did the gilds originate with him. Eventually the final hearing came on in London. Serjeant Hutton, Mr. Prideaux, and Mr. Topham were counsel for the bishop, and for the mayor and other defendants Serjeant Nicholls, Mr. Davenport, and Mr. Brown. It appeared that the bishop was seised of city and borough, of the courts, fees and so forth, and that the appointment of bailiff rested with him, whilst all the matters claimed by the city were his. Accordingly it was ordered that the bishop should hold the tolbooth, shops and houses, fees, markets, fairs, and the old rights of stallage, pickage, and scavalhire, appointing his bailiff to receive the same. In fact, all the points in dispute were conceded to the bishop, and it was decreed that the defendants should erect no new fairs, hold no courts, and receive no fees. (fn. 51)
The decision was a triumph to the bishop, and a bitter disappointment to the city. Neither side was wholly in the right, but in view of the unequivocal phrasing of Bishop Matthew's charter granting courts and fees to the corporation it is difficult to see how the Court of Exchequer could fairly reach the conclusion at which they ultimately arrived. It was not disputed that the corporation had in point of fact exercised many of the privileges which were in question, and it could not be gainsaid that the charter of 1602, confirmed by the king himself, gave good title to these rights as the city contended. (fn. 52) It does not appear that the bishops had consistently appointed bailiffs since 1565 nor that the mayor's bailiff had been prohibited from holding courts and taking fees. It would seem probable on a review of the whole evidence that the city had gained ambiguous concessions from a weak bishop, and had improved upon these despite sundry questions and objections raised from time to time in Elizabeth's reign. (fn. 53) Then came the charter of 1602 and the Letters Patent of 1606 (fn. 54) which the corporation doubtless hailed as bestowing upon them all that they had usurped. At last Bishop James called in question the whole tenure of their independent privileges, with the result sketched above. But the townsmen did not forget their discomfiture, and the bishop probably regretted his triumph in the long embitterment which followed. Next year his hands were full with the case of Lady Arabella Stuart, for whom he was bidden to prepare rooms in Durham Castle. It is not wonderful that Bishop James broke down under the strain of his cares, and was obliged to seek for a change at Bath, (fn. 55) where he nursed his feelings as well as he could. As we shall see, the feud with the town can be traced for some time, and this is seen in the next episode of Durham history to which we now pass.
In the spring of 1617 King James paid a memorable visit to Scotland. His passage through the bishopric was a local event of considerable interest. Much preparation was made for it. In the city a memorial of the occasion was erected which was long a prominent feature of the market place. Reference has been made above to the transference of the Gillygate sanctuary cross to the site of the pre-Reformation tolbooth. It would seem probable that the marble cross then set up was already much weathered when it was placed within the market area. Thomas Emerson, a retainer of the Nevill family who now in his old age lived in London, presented the city with a new market cross covered with lead and supported by twelve pillars of stone on which he carved the arms of his ancient masters 'for the ornament of the city and the commodity of the people frequenting the market of Durham.' This cross was ultimately removed in 1780 and its place was then taken by the Piazza of nine arches which stood until, within living memory, the P Hs of local phrase (fn. 56) was taken down.
The king reached Auckland as the bishop's guest on Maundy Thursday. Perhaps on his own initiative, but more probably at the suggestion of some one in position, James sent a messenger to the mayor to announce his intention of visiting the city in state on Easter Eve. Preparations were made for his reception, and with such elaborate care that previous arrangement is at once suggested. The mayor, George Walton, on horseback, met the king's retinue on Elvet Bridge, where the aldermen and council stood round him as he made a speech to the monarch. This speech records that the king 'finds this city enabled with divers liberties and privileges.' It goes on in a strain which is clearly intended to reflect upon the bishop's attitude: 'all sovereignty and power spiritual and temporal being in yourself, your Majesty was pleased to give unto us the same again and also of gracious bounty to confirm them under your great seal of England.' The reference is, of course, to the intrusive confirmation of Matthew's charter in 1606. A presentation of a silver bowl was next made to the king. The procession was then formed, the mayor riding over the bridge in front of the king; another halt was made in the market place, apparently where a stand had been erected from which an apprentice recited certain verses which, (fn. 57) poor as they are, could scarcely, perhaps, have been prepared since the two days' notice of the visit which the king had given. They show clearly how the corporation were seizing the opportunity in order to steal from the king, if it might be, some concession or privilege, at the least, though no doubt they ventured to hope for the restitution of the liberties they had so recently lost. (fn. 58)
The king made no recorded response to the effusion of the corporation, but continued his progress to the cathedral and spent the next few days mainly at the castle, which he ultimately left on 24 April. At the castle something took place which had a tragic ending. For some neglect, perhaps, or for some other reason the king took the bishop aside and soundly rated him; whereon the unfortunate prelate took it so much to heart that he fell ill and died in less than three weeks. It may be that King James hectored the bishop on behalf of the corporation whom his majesty had already tried to serve by his ill-considered confirmation of the 1602 charter. Whether this is so, or whether some other neglect were charged against the bishop, (fn. 59) it is certain that his funeral took place at night, obviously to avoid any hostile demonstration. When two months later a more popular appointment was made in the person of Bishop Neile, the delayed obsequies were more fitly celebrated, but meanwhile, the night after the interment, riots occurred in the city with threats of damage to the bishop's property, intended as a civic protest against the action of the late prelate. (fn. 60)
It was no doubt the triumph of the bishop in the Exchequer suit which quickened the local desire for Parliamentary representation. The matter was first mooted at this time at a meeting of quarter sessions in 1615 when the gentlemen assembled considered the proposal. In 1620 there was drawn up 'the humble petition of the knights, gentlemen, and freeholders of the County Palatine of Durham together with the Mayor and Citizens of the City of Durham.' On this was framed a bill giving two members to the county, two to the city, and two to Barnard Castle. (fn. 61) The bill was passed by the Commons in 1621 and was thrown out by the Lords. The agitation began again in 1626 and in 1629. (fn. 62) Cromwell was the first to grant representation to city and county. Cosin withstood its continuance after the Restoration, nor was it again allowed until 1675. The surrendered liberties of 1610 were not forgotten meanwhile. Whilst the king was in Durham in 1617 John Richardson, who had been so roughly handled in the tolbooth fracas, drew up under seventeen heads 'by way of breviate' a description of 'the form and state of the government of the city of Durham used since the time of Edward III.' (fn. 63) The case is stated very much from the bishop's point of view, and the corporation are attacked for 'their discontented humour and clamour.' Later in the same year the mayor wrote up to London wishing to know when 'the vindication of the city liberties can be heard.' (fn. 64) It does not appear that any such appeal was really tried, but instead Bishop Neile effected a compromise. In 1627 he demised to Thomas Mann, Thomas Cook, Thomas Tunstall and William Walton, the borough of Durham and Framwellgate, including the tolbooth and its appendages, with fees, courts, markets, fairs, etc. The grant was for twenty-one years and the yearly payment £20. Accordingly these three citizens, of whom Mann became mayor in 1630, farmed the city until the grip of the Scots was laid upon Durham in the troublous days that followed. (fn. 65)
In the recent dispute a variety of small rights and dues connected with the fairs and markets had come into question. The new farmers of the city had considerable difficulty with one of these which figures largely in the controversy. Scavage, otherwise Schevage, Schewage, or Skewage, but often locally spoken of as Scavell, was a very ancient toll taken from merchants and others for wares exposed for sale within the liberty. In Durham the toll was of ancient right and had been exercised, it is probable, for hundreds of years. (fn. 66) The local custom was to exact it in the name of the bailiff or other officer at the ringing of what was called the corn bell. The seller of corn, or other grain, of oatmeal, and of salt, had to pay a measure from every bushel of twelve gallons. The measure was a reputed pint. In point of fact, however, the pint had come to be rather more, and was frequently heaped up by the officer. It was said that at Darlington and Auckland the measure was smaller, and this was urged as a grievance. Sometimes the due was farmed out for a fee paid. The farmers under the lease of 1627 worked the due themselves at a considerable profit, using the larger measure and heaping up the grain. Persons who lived at a distance had been put to considerable inconvenience by the delay occasioned in taking the tax, so that the afternoon of fair or market day was often reached before they were able to open sale, and sometimes they were constrained to pass the night in Durham, riding home on Sunday. Against these grievances one Margaret Forster made petition to the bishop, and a Durham chancery suit was the result. It was ordered that the old arrangement be continued, but with certain modifications. Henceforth the scavage measure was to be a uniform pint, and 'shall not be upheaped but by hand-stroke, and even stricken by the taker.' The corn-bell was henceforth to be rung at noon, and, if it was not rung, the sellers should be at liberty to begin the sale. The whole question had been further complicated by the claim of certain people, e.g., the tenants of Newton Hall, to be quit of the due, and also by the uncertainty as to whether corn sold privately on other than fair and market days should be liable to toll. Freemen of the city naturally claimed to be toll free, but the farmers had been exacting the due even from them, though of ancient right, goods and cattle belonging to freemen had paid no due. (fn. 67)
Some evidence of the interest taken by the Corporation in their position and prestige is to be seen in a compilation of 1626 in which George Walton, mayor for that year, drew up an inventory 'of such things as doth belong to the said city,' for which the mayor was answerable. Several of the items had been dispersed, but were collected by Walton and handed over to his successor. These possessions consisted partly of old grants, including the charter of Pudsey, partly of newer grants like Matthew's charter, and partly of recent rentals, decrees, and commissions. More interesting than these were the Corporation plate, consisting of a silver-gilt bowl, a drinking cup, the seal referred to above, (fn. 68) a mace. All these articles have been lost, and the book, (fn. 69) later known as the Corporation book, disappeared within living memory. The existing Corporation plate, other than the seal, is of later date. (fn. 70) The evidence also refers to one or two benefactions of then recent date.
The Arminian movement was now beginning to attract attention, and for some years to come the 'innovations' in progress drew on Durham the eyes of England. All this has been recorded in a previous volume. (fn. 71) The dispute figures largely in State documents of the time. (fn. 72) The outstanding event of the story from the point of view of the city was the visit of the King in 1633. Again great preparations were made, and the roads were repaired for the regal progress. Another visit was made in 1639 (fn. 73) in which the city took special interest, holding a meeting 'to set down a convenient and fit taxation and sessment to be raised and levied out of the several trades and occupations within the said city and suburbs.' Unfortunately the question of proportion led to some bickering, and a suit in the Durham chancery. (fn. 74) The occasion of this visit was the King's northern progress in connection with the first Bishops' War. The cloud which then hung over the north disappeared for the time being, but only to gather again next year.
One or two local changes prior to the great dividing line of 1640 may be mentioned in passing. In 1614 an important partition of the commons of Crossgate and Elvet was effected. A commission of six was first appointed to arbitrate and an award was made embodying their decision. (fn. 75) In 1630 Kepier was granted away from the Heaths to the Coles, who in 1674 sold it to the Musgraves. In 1631 the Abbey bells were recast. In 1632 a house of correction was built on the south side of Elvet Bridge, (fn. 76) an inscription on the door giving that date. This place of imprisonment was used as a lock-up until 1821, when the new gaol at the end of Elvet was built. (fn. 77) In 1633 when King Charles came to Durham 'a way was made for him to come in at Elvet Head,' thus passing from the Shincliffe Bridge round Nab End and along the Hollow Drift. (fn. 78) In 1637 the old church of St. Mary-le-Bow was disused and lay waste until its rebuilding fifty years later. The tower fell in, bringing with it a large part of the western portion of the church. (fn. 79) In the same year a suit was instituted in the Durham Chancery against Cuthbert Billingham, a descendant of the original 15th-century Billingham, who had given the water conduit which supplied the market place. The water had been recently diverted and the result of the suit was to restore to the citizens the interrupted supply. A little later than this the Bishop's Mill was rebuilt below Crook Hall with a straight dam across the river some 200 yards below its present position. (fn. 80)
The second Bishops' War in 1640 made Durham a military camp held sometimes by Scots and sometimes by English troops. This began in the summer when soldiers were billeted in the city on their way to repel the Scottish army. After Newburn fight they came running back, and their rapid passage was the signal for a general flight of the church party from Durham, leaving castle and cathedral to the Scots, who soon followed up their victory. There was undoubtedly some sympathy in the place with the covenanting party, though this probably vanished as the Scots held city and palatinate in their grasp, and the unfortunate inhabitants were forced to pay an indemnity of large amount. (fn. 81) The Scots were inclined to be somewhat reckless, and Durham tradition has preserved instances of iconoclasm perpetrated by them in the cathedral and elsewhere. (fn. 82) They destroyed the cathedral organ which had been set up in 1621, and the old font, doing other damage elsewhere in the city. (fn. 83) The day of their departure in August 1641 was gratefully remembered, but they went only to return in 1644, and to stay much longer. The Civil War had broken out in the meanwhile, and the Scots again occupied Durham on their way to Marston Moor, (fn. 84) after which the Royalist cause went down in the north. This second invasion was further aggravated by an outbreak of plague in 1644, the worst visitation since 1598. (fn. 85)
The disturbed state of Durham during the Commonwealth and Protectorate is seen in the irregular way in which the local records are kept from this time until the Restoration. (fn. 86) For this reason it is not possible to follow the history of the city with any great detail. Durham saw Charles again in 1647, when he passed through in custody of the Scottish commissioners. At this time the church lands (and these included most of the city) had been confiscated and placed in the hands of trustees for disposal. (fn. 87) There is practically no light as to what happened in detail in Durham. Probably dean and chapter property and episcopal lands and houses were leased out: their sale in such uncertain times is scarcely likely to have been carried out widely. One or two sales we can trace. The castle was bought in 1650 by Sir Thomas Andrews, draper, and Lord Mayor of London (1649). He died before the Restoration, (fn. 88) and the disposition of his property in Durham is not known. In 1651 the trustees sold to the mayor, aldermen and commonalty of Durham 'all that the borough of Durham, with the rights, members, and appurtenances thereof, also the office of baileywick, all markets, fairs, court of pie-powder, tolls, courts.' (fn. 89) In fact, everything which the bishop had claimed in the dispute of 1610 was sold outright under this instrument to the persons specified. Then the arrangement of 1627 was abrogated before the lease of that year expired. (fn. 90) Apparently the corporation had gone on with some modification introduced, it is probable, by themselves. Then we hear of a recorder and town clerk in 1649. (fn. 91) Petition was made in 1650 for reconstitution of the local courts of justice, (fn. 92) for the establishment of a college at Durham, (fn. 93) and for the continuance of dean and chapter payments to the school. (fn. 94) In July Cromwell passed through the city on his way to the battle of Dunbar. After the battle came the memorable imprisonment of the Scots in the cathedral which did so much damage to the building in the dull autumn days. For the great number of sick and dying among them, the castle was used as a hospital. The survivors only left Durham in 1652.
It is, apparently, the case that the civic sympathies were largely with the Parliament throughout this disturbed period. This would be the natural result of the corporation's long struggle for independence which had now been crowned with belated success, thanks to the overthrow of bishop, dean and chapter in Durham. In 1650, when the recent act for enforcing the engagement was put into operation, there were great rejoicings at Durham, the citizens expressing their resolution to stand by the Parliament, and presenting Lt. Col. Hobson (fn. 95) with the freedom of the city. Another letter of near date to this speaks of the strong Parliamentarian feeling in the county. But there were exceptions to it, even in the corporation, for next year a report was circulated that the Mayor of Durham, one John Hall, had slighted the celebration of the thanksgiving day after the battle of Worcester. (fn. 96) In 1653, with the establishment of the protectorate under Cromwell, a petition was sent up once more (fn. 97) for representation in Parliament. Accordingly, in 1654, the city was, for the first time, represented by a member, one Anthony Smith, a mercer, who was again returned in 1656, after which there was no member for city or county until 1675. The exclusion of the county and city from the Parliament of 1659 called forth a petition for representation. (fn. 98)
The Restoration was acceptable in the county, (fn. 99) but not very largely in the city. The cries of protest, which must have greeted the re-entry of the church landlords upon the lands and houses alienated since 1646, were doubtless vigorous, but soon died away in the effervescing loyalty to the throne which now became the order of the day. Cathedral and castle had suffered from the Scottish prisoners, and on every hand signs and sounds of repair and rebuilding were observable. It is noted by Cosin, the great Restoration bishop, that ' the violence of the times and neglect of men ' (fn. 100) had desolated the city. The bishop's carefully preserved accounts show what was done in and round the castle, (fn. 101) whilst various references indicate the widespread restoration of the college and the furniture of the cathedral. (fn. 102) The parish churches had suffered, and were, to some extent, refitted, as the parish books testify. A work of importance was the new conduit to convey water from Elvet Moor across the river to the college and precincts, where it was carried again across Palace Green to the Castle. (fn. 103) It was probably at this time that the old castle well, sunk by the Normans, was finally abandoned, to be reopened only in 1903. In 1664 the County House, otherwise the Assize Court, built in 1588, was pulled down, it may be surmised owing to recent injury, and was rebuilt by the bishop. The gilds were asked to contribute, but in general refused to aid the prelate. (fn. 104) Civic life, as regulated under the Commonwealth, was at first uninterrupted, but in 1662 commissioners were appointed for regulating corporations in the palatinate, (fn. 105) and it is presumed that they carried out the restoration of the corporation to its former condition. The Assize system was brought back, and the judges entertained as of yore. (fn. 106)
But the years were not restful. Fanaticism had sprouted during the anxious times, (fn. 107) and soon developed into disaffection. The city became the centre of the plot which is known as the Derwent Dale plot. It was reported that a large number of fighting men were ready in Durham. (fn. 108) Indeed, Durham was no longer safe. (fn. 109) The excellent precautions taken for repressing the plague were largely effective, though it was reported that one house at least was infected in 1665. (fn. 110) An interesting feature of the post-Restoration period is the increasing connexion of the members of the chapter with ecclesiastical and political notabilities outside Durham. Improving communication with the south and the better type of prebendaries now appointed, began to give the place a more prominent position in the regard of the outer world. Barwick, Sancroft, Brevint, Basire, all prebendaries of Durham, and other important men were good correspondents and well known in the university and other circles. Cosin himself was a strong connecting link between the south and north. Within the city itself he was no great favourite. Men remembered ancient controversies. He kept a strong hand on his rights. Though he was a good friend to the neighbourhood in building almshouses, founding and endowing his library, and so bringing better trade to the city, he allowed no concession of the independence which the corporation lost at the Restoration. He strenuously resisted the petition of city and county for Parliamentary representation. (fn. 111) The question came up again and again, and through the bishop's pertinacity was constantly postponed during his episcopate.
Bishop Crewe resided largely at Durham. He seems to have made much of the place, and to have entertained widely during his long episcopate of nearly half a century. The more the castle is inspected the more numerous are the traces of his residence, e.g., the extension to the chapel, the rooms placed within the Norman Gallery, the fine spout-heads bearing Crewe's arms, the addition of the house now used as the master's lodge. (fn. 112) Various pictures at present hanging within the castle give a rough idea of Durham in his day, e.g., his gondola on the river, his coach with six black horses, the gardens sloping to the Wear below Silver Street, the treeless banks, Framwellgate bridge with turrets and centre chapel. Crewe gave way almost at the outset on the question of Parliamentary representation, so that Durham was duly represented from that time forth, the freemen of the city being the electors. On the first occasion there were 838 electors, a number which increased in 1761 to 1,050. (fn. 113) It was probably at his instigation in 1681 (fn. 114) that the city took its share in the addresses which were pouring in on the King. (fn. 115) It was the year of Absalom and Achitophel and a wave of Toryism deluged the country. The year 1684 saw Judge Jeffreys going the Northern Circuit. London had surrendered its charter to the King, and pressure was being brought to bear upon corporations all round the land to induce them to submit themselves to the King's right of veto. (fn. 116) Of this particular Assize, North said that Jeffreys 'made all the charters like the walls of Jericho fall down before him.' Durham was among the number, surrendering Bishop Matthew's charter to the bishop at the end of August.
In March 1685 Crewe, being then in London, delivered a new charter to the city. It so closely followed the old charter of 1602 that it is not easy to see at first sight what object was gained by the trouble and expense of drawing up a document which gives no new privileges and reserves no rights granted by Bishop Matthew. Probably the bishop had intended little more than formal compliance with the fashion set by King Charles in securing the surrender of the charter, and was glad to bestow it afresh on the first available opportunity. (fn. 117) Yet there is one important clause in the new document which prescribes that the Mayor and aldermen and councillors are 'to be conformable to the Church of England.' Whether this was to be pressed, however, or not does not much matter, since the new charter soon passed into oblivion and was not quoted at any subsequent confirmation. At all events Crewe was on good terms with the corporation, and it is to his gift that most of the corporation plate is due, a silver tankard, six silver candlesticks, a silver loving cup and cover, and a silver whistling pot with cover attached. The dates of the hall-marks vary from 1672–3 to 1694–5. The hall-marks on the candlesticks are illegible. (fn. 118)
A few miscellaneous matters connected with the later years of the 17th century may be mentioned here. Crewe entertained royalty at Durham in 1677 when Monmouth, not yet a rebel, came to the castle, and in 1679 when the Duke and Duchess of York were received with all possible honour. In 1685 the rebuilding of St. Mary's in the North Bailey was completed. It was largely the work of George Davenport, formerly Cosin's chaplain and rector of Houghton le Spring. The old bells were sold off, but a new tower was added in 1702. An interesting account of post-stage communication with Durham at this time has been preserved by Surtees. (fn. 119) Regular stage coaches did not yet run, though there is a notice of a much earlier attempt to arrange some kind of service. (fn. 120)
A note of 1696 referring to the new coinage speaks of the difficulty of obtaining 'current money' in Durham, a difficulty which is referred to in local correspondence on more than one occasion. The recall of tokens in 1672 had been presumably compensated by the issue of halfpence and farthings, but the 'current money' of the quotation means crowns, halfcrowns, and shillings. (fn. 121) In 1691 Durham had its own baronet in the person of John Duch, one of the Aldermen in Crewe's charter of 1685 and Mayor in 1680, whose romantic career has always been a matter of interest to the citizens. (fn. 122) He, at all events, was able to amass a considerable fortune in the city, and it seems probable that trade was improving as time passed. A benefaction by George Baker which became operative in 1699 was devoted to establishing a woollen manufactory and did good service for a long period of years. (fn. 123) Wood's charity was an important help for prisoners. (fn. 124)
Crewe's chief connection with the city of Durham probably took place after the Revolution. He was not trusted by William and Mary, and when in 1691 he became Baron Crewe, on his brother's death, it was natural for him to live much in the retirement of Stene, Auckland, or Durham. His second marriage in 1700 to Dorothy Forster of Bamburgh probably tended to keep him in the north. The triumphal entry of the bishop and his bride into Durham (fn. 125) provoked great interest, and for the next year or two there is evidence of his entertaining the city gilds at the castle. (fn. 126) There is, however, no proof of any Jacobite sympathy in Durham at the time with a solitary exception. (fn. 127) Mr. Smith of Barn Hall was titular Bishop of Durham in connection with the non-juring cause; (fn. 128) the late dean was a non-juror; (fn. 129) Mr. Cock, vicar of St. Oswald's, founder of the library there, (fn. 130) and benefactor to the parish, was also deprived as a non-juror. Otherwise the local non-jurors are far to seek. The rising of 1715 awoke no response in Durham. No local contingent was raised. (fn. 131) When the body of Lord Derwentwater was brought from London to Northumberland it rested at White Smocks, (fn. 132) an inn on the direct road from Darlington to Newcastle. Local tradition preserved the memory of the fact, which as late as 1912 was recounted by a Durham resident aged ninety-three, who had it from his grandfather as a matter of personal remembrance.
The outstanding event of the 18th century is the industrial revolution, but that did not make itself felt until the reign of George III. The city of Durham did not, apparently, increase much if at all in population until the revolution began to manifest itself. If in 1635 the inhabitants numbered about 2,000, (fn. 133) such hints as we get through the earlier part of the 18th century cannot be adduced in proof of any rapid increase. A visitor in 1780 describes Durham as 'not populous,' whereas 'Sunderland is a very populous place.' (fn. 134) Yet from the point of view of wealth there had probably been distinct progress. Means had improved after the Restoration and money derived from the Church was spent in the place. The Restoration prebendaries were inclined to lavish hospitality and at the end of 1662 a Chapter Act was drawn up to forbid any extreme 'either of parsimony or profuseness.' (fn. 135) Dean Grenville records abundant hospitality in 1687. (fn. 136) Such a complaint as that which described the city in 1617 as a 'cell of earth' (fn. 137) is not heard seventy years later. The residence of well-to-do and often aristocratic prebendaries with their families brought considerable gain to the tradesmen. A local suit of Queen Anne's reign goes to show that fancy trades were developing. The old gild of drapers and tailors, which had the monopoly of the interests they represented, roused themselves in 1705 'to put off the manty-makers.' Accordingly next year they sued four defendants otherwise unknown for that they being 'foreigners' did infringe the liberties of the citizens, threatening not only to continue but to introduce others into the city, thus drawing away the greatest part of the trade. The defendants incidentally stated that 'mantoes is a forreigne invencion and brought from beyond sea and not used in England till about the year 1670.' One deponent had lived with the Clerk of the Spicery to Charles II and remembered the Duchess of 'Mazarene' who came from beyond sea that year and brought 'the garb of mantoes' (fn. 138) with her. Another said that the tailors, or the major part of them, did not understand 'the art of mantoe-making' so well as women. She had some spoiled by a man tailor in Durham and believed that the women tailors 'are greatest artists at women's work than men tailors.' The suit is valuable (fn. 139) as showing the kind of thing that was bound to take place when local requirements outran narrow local means of supply. It also shows, perhaps, that the Durham ladies were anxious to encourage local industries in order to serve their own convenience.
About the same time a scheme was mooted which, if carried out, would have had large influence upon Durham trade and life. As early as 1705 the great Wear scheme was first propounded. In that year an entry in the books of the important company of 'Mercers, Grocers, Haberdashers, Ironmongers, and Salters,' founded or re-founded by Pilkington in 1561, records that a sum was paid 'for completing the petition and bill for making the Wear navigable.' (fn. 140) The undertaking floated like a vision before the imagination of the citizens for the best part of a century. It reappeared in 1717, in 1754, (fn. 141) and in 1796, when it was finally abandoned. The petition alluded to does not seem to be traceable, but there is fuller light for the later stages of the proposal. An Act of 1717 appointed a commission for twenty-one years to carry out a scheme for making the Wear navigable up to Durham. It was stated that shoals and sand would have to be removed between Chester-le-Street and Durham with locks, dams, sluices and cuts. It was urged that navigation to the city would benefit trade and the poor, encouraging the woollen manufactory, providing carriage of lead, coals, lime, stone, timber, deals, butter, tallow, etc., to and from Durham, Westmorland, Cumberland, Yorkshire, and other counties to and from Sunderland, London, and other parts, British and foreign, tending to the employment and increase of watermen and seamen, and preserving the highways. The corporation took up the scheme with something like enthusiasm, (fn. 142) and were ready to place the accommodation of boats of twenty tons burden or more. When the question came up finally in 1796, (fn. 143) it was merged with the much more extensive project of providing water conveyance between the German Ocean and the Irish Sea, which was to link up connections at various points with the different northern cities. Plans and estimates were prepared. A canal was to be cut from the Tyne to Chester-le-Street, whence the idea of 1754 was to be carried out. The vision charmed the more enterprising business men of the north, but it put no money into the pockets of any. Steam traction, which was at this time coming within the range of possibility, was destined ultimately to take the place of this elaborate design of water communication.
There was some zeal for education in Durham during the 18th century. Durham School, rebuilt in 1661, on the Palace Green, soon became, instead of a local grammar school, a north-country public school of repute and wide influence. We can trace from the Restoration onwards not only the familiar city names such as Salvin, Wilkinson, Hutchinson, Blakiston, Fawcett, Greenwell, Tempest, but representatives of the historic families of Northumberland and Durham, e.g., Hilton, Vavasour, Burdon, Grey, Shafto, Blackett, Forster, Heron, Lambton, Bowes, Calverley, Cole. One of the chief distinctions of the school is the succession of local historians and antiquaries who drew their inspiration from the venerable association of the old school on the Green. Most famous of these is James Mickleton (1638–93), without whom no history of mediaeval or 17th-century Durham would be possible. (fn. 144) Local history owes very much to Elias Smith, a notable head master (1640–66) who did his best to preserve the cathedral library through the Protectorate troubles, and to Thomas Rudd, head master (1691–9 and 1709–11), who indexed the Cathedral manuscripts. Later than these comes Thomas Randall (head master 1761–8), who made a large collection of manuscript material for local history.
There existed on the opposite side of the Palace Green a smaller school of ancient foundation 'for the bringing up of young children, and to be instructed in the catechism, and farther made fit to go to the Grammar School and likewise to be taught their plain song and to be entered in their prick song.' The relation of this school to the more important institution was the subject of some controversy in the days of Cosin (1670–72) and Crewe (fn. 145) (1674–1721). It was supplemented in the 18th century by the Blue Coat School, which was first founded in 1718 by civic enterprise. (fn. 146) The Corporation had administered, had often maladministered, the various charitable funds, of which some mention has been made above. In the opening years of the century and under the will of the non-juring Vicar of St. Oswald's, John Cock, some kind of elementary instruction was given in the parish. The scheme took effect in 1717. Possibly the Corporation were provoked to jealousy by this suburban scheme. At all events they lent two rooms in the New Place near St. Nicholas' Church rent free, and here rudimentary education was furnished under their direction to a foundation of six boys, though it may perhaps be presumed that paying pupils were also admitted to swell the meagre roll of scholars. The establishment grew in course of time and excited much interest in city and county. The minute-book begins in 1705 and bears testimony to this interest, in the steady growth of the list of subscribers, and the augmentation of the foundation. Six girls were added in 1736 and in 1753 a bequest from Mrs. Ann Carr made provision for seven more boys. By the end of the century thirty boys and thirty girls were being educated, and soon outgrew the original premises.
Private schools existed in Durham in addition to the public institutions named. The Grammar School had a formidable rival for some time in the establishment of a Mr. Rosse at the end of the 17th century. (fn. 147) In 1732 a Quaker called Glenn provided instruction for ' a great many scholars both of his own persuasion and others.' He was reputed to teach Latin and to ' pretend to Greek.' (fn. 148) The first mention of a ladies' boarding school noted so far is in 1757, when a diarist's niece ' came to the boarding-school at Durham.' (fn. 149) This establishment would perhaps be in the North or South Bailey, where living memory can trace a long succession of girls' schools. (fn. 150) There was also a famous ladies' school by 'The Chains' in Gilesgate.
Attention has already been drawn to the exclusiveness and rigid protection of the City trade-gilds. One instance has been given of an invasion of these privileges. (fn. 151) It is by no means the only case that might be cited. In 1699, for instance, when much building was in progress, the masons' company, with its wide inclusion of 'Free-masons, Rough masons, Wallers, Slaters, Paviours, Plasterers and Bricklayers,' in fact the whole building trade, strove to oust all competition of country masons in the college. The carpenters and joiners subscribed to the expenses of the suit. It was urged that 'foreigners ' had in many cases worked in the college, castle, and elsewhere without interruption and a plea was put in that the places in question were not legally within the city as incorporated, so that the ' foreigners' were not liable. Various other suits (fn. 152) may be cited of similar general import, all going to prove that the strictest protection was exercised, whilst on the other hand there was a constant tendency to override trade privileges. Accordingly in 1728 a meeting of the Corporation was held, at which the principle of rigid adhesion to the exclusion of outsiders was confirmed. All infringement of the rule was henceforth to be punished by heavy fines. Further, because of some irregularity in admitting freemen which had grown up it was ruled that all admissions were henceforth to be under careful surveillance. There were to be no amateur freemen: all were to be approved by mayor and aldermen, whilst apprentices were to serve their time and to be actually taught the trade or mystery.
The policy thus pursued had a result which was perhaps not contemplated by the members of the Corporation, who were naturally concerned only or mainly about trade interests. Ever since the Restoration it had been the fashion to admit to gild freedom many of the leading men in city and county, though quite unconnected with the special craft. (fn. 153) In this way Percy, Lambton, Tempest, and other important names, appear on the lists of admission. The decree of 1728 seems to have restricted the honour to those who were able to take up their freedom by patrimony, save in exceptional cases as when the bishop was admitted. Now, since the admission of the City to representation in Parliament, the gild had been the electors, but the new rule tended to restrict the increase of the electorate. In days of growing political excitement the privilege of a vote had an increasing value, and was no doubt coveted in proportion. In 1757 Robert Green, a citizen of Durham, made an attempt to override the principle of the rule made in 1728, claiming to be free of the Masons' Gild, although he had not complied with the strict formalities prescribed. (fn. 154) The case was taken to the King's Bench, and it was ruled that Green had not made good his claim in view of the explicit provision of the ordinance referred to. His was evidently a test case and the decision was not popular.
When the famous election of 1761 (fn. 155) took place, Tempest and Lambton, who had represented the city since 1747, were returned, Ralph Gowland, of Durham, being an unsuccessful candidate. Lambton died suddenly, and a new election followed before the year ran out. With this election pending, advantage was taken of the recent decision to 'let in a shoal of freemen.' The bylaw of 1728 was deliberately rescinded by the Corporation, and freemen were admitted pell-mell. No less than 215 of these mushroom burgesses were entered on the roll. (fn. 156) Two candidates were put forward for the vacancy in the representation of the city, General Lambton and Ralph Gowland. The new freemen carried the election in favour of the local candidate, and Gowland was returned by a majority of twenty-three. An election petition soon followed, when Gowland was unseated, his adversary being welcomed into the city in procession amid great enthusiasm, which was not shared, it may be presumed, by the Corporation, whose action had been so signally rejected.
A stigma now attached to the Corporation, which it was not easy to efface. Whilst it is not easy to follow the exact steps taken, it seems clear that dissensions arose among the aldermen and councillors. Some of the aldermen were non-resident, and this in violation of the charter. Matters came to a crisis in 1766 on Mayor's day, when attention was drawn to the abuse of the provision of the charter. A suit in the King's Bench followed, which deprived the mayor of his position. A local writ of quo warranto unseated four of the aldermen, and a fifth resigned. Under the terms of the charter, the number of seven aldermen present and voting was prescribed as necessary for a valid election. With only four aldermen no such election was possible, and the Corporation virtually ceased to exist. There appears to be no record of what was done in this wholly irregular, if not invalid, and shapeless civic constitution. Mayors were certainly elected until 1770, but from that point until 1780 no further municipal election took place. There was no formal surrender of the charter; it was defunct. The gilds made petition to Bishop Trevor for a new charter in the impasse which had been reached. He soon after died, but his successor, Bishop Egerton, in 1773 consulted the Attorney-General of Durham. His opinion was that 'the powers and authorities vested in the Corporation are suspended,' and that 'it is impossible for the Corporation to preserve or continue itself,' a position of affairs much to be deprecated. He advised the Bishop to exert his jura regalia and to issue a new charter. After some delay this course was adopted.
Accordingly, in 1780, the last episcopal charter was issued. The document makes no reference whatever to Crewe's abortive charter. It was drawn up on the model of Matthew's grant of 1602. It begins with a recital of the main provisions of that instrument, and then calls attention to the present deadlock in which the 'corporation of the said city of Durham and Framwellgate is incapable of doing any corporate act, and is dissolved, or in great danger of being dissolved.' It recalls the terms of the petition for a new charter of incorporation unattended by the inconveniences to which the old constitution was exposed. The 2 October was selected for the ceremony of bestowing the new charter. The members of the corporation were introduced to the bishop in what was called the breakfast room at Durham Castle. This room had been recently improved by Egerton, and formed the lower one of two chambers in a space cut off from the hall at its northern end by Bishop Neile about 1620. The document was received by Mayor Bainbridge on bended knee, the aldermen put on their gowns, and the oaths were taken. Outside in the hall the freemen were regaled whilst the corporation lunched with the bishop. In the courtyard the townsfolk were entertained with a fountain that ran with liquor. After this a procession was formed, consisting of corporation, city officers, constables, trades gilds with their banners, who took their way to the town hall, where speeches were made to the crowd assembled in the market-place. (fn. 157) The city was governed by Egerton's charter until the Municipal Reform Act of 1835. (fn. 158) A memorial of the turning point in Durham history was erected in the shape of a Piazza, which took the place of the old market-cross of 1617.
The year of Egerton's charter is the main dividing line in the history of Durham in the 18th century, as the events of 1640 and 1660 are landmarks in the previous hundred years. Taking our stand at this point, we may look back for a moment to notice other events and characteristics not hitherto mentioned. The city was not populous. There are no sufficient data for very precise statistics. A traveller passing through in 1780 lays stress on the fact that 'this place is very large, but not populous.' (fn. 159) In 1732 there were 440 householders in the most densely populated parish, that of St. Nicholas. In the parish of St. Giles there were 120 householders in 1753. (fn. 160) No other estimate of the period seems to be available. A hundred years before this there had been 514 householders in Elvet, the Baileys, Crossgate, Framwellgate, Gillygate, and St. Nicholas. That may be held, perhaps, to represent a total population of from two to three thousand in 1635. The numbers for St. Nicholas are 177 at that date, as against 440 in 1732; for St. Giles 73, as against 120 in 1753. At this rate it may be surmised that towards the middle of the 18th century the proportional increase since 1635 would bring the sum total up to some point between four and five thousand. (fn. 161)
Communication with this small city was probably not very good. We have seen the attempt to link it up with the outside world by waterways, and the condition of the high roads alleged as one reason for carrying out the scheme. Regular communication with Durham by stage coach, instead of by the ordinary means of posting, was first planned in 1658. (fn. 162) In October 1712 a great step forward was taken when in the Newcastle Courant it was announced: 'Edinburgh, Berwick, Newcastle, Durham and London stage-coach begins on Monday the 13th October 1712.' (fn. 163) It was added that the proposed stage-coach 'performs the whole journey in thirteen days without any stoppage (if God permit), having eighty able horses to perform the whole stage.' (fn. 164) The fare from Edinburgh to London was £4 10s. (fn. 165) No local record has been traced to give an account of the fortunes of the coach. Probably it did well, but there was not sufficient demand yet for more local inter-communication. In 1748 a coach from Sunderland to Durham, and from Durham to Newcastle, was put on the road, but the roads were bad, and the scheme did not pay. A post-chaise took the place of the coach, but this fared no better, and was given up. (fn. 166) As late as 1772 a posting journey from London to Durham occupied a week. (fn. 167) Travelling was not yet safe. Coaches were robbed now and again, (fn. 168) and Faas or Faws, as they were called, that is gipsies and perhaps highwaymen, were still known to lurk in the neighbourhood of the highway. (fn. 169) External events were duly celebrated at Durham and anniversaries were kept punctiliously. In the midst of the unrest caused by the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 Gunpowder Plot was remembered, and volleys were fired in the market-place. (fn. 170) The king's birthday was observed, and on occasion even a hogshead of wine was broached for the people. The birth of Prince George in 1762, afterwards George IV, was the occasion of a great demonstration, and the city was brilliantly illuminated. (fn. 171) In 1770, when Wilkes was set free, the church bells were rung at intervals through the day. (fn. 172)
Visits to Durham naturally increased in number. We have various accounts of short visits paid, as recorded in private correspondence such as the journey of Lord Harley in 1725. He describes the place and a meeting with Rudd the Librarian and Master of Durham School, who was then occupied upon his index. (fn. 173) Twenty years later Lady Oxford passed through Durham, and put up at the Red Lion (fn. 174) in the North Bailey, 'an exceeding good and clean inn.' Incidentally she says that the cathedral 'is now cleaning and repairing.' (fn. 175) More elaborate printed accounts appear in books published at intervals. The North of England and Scotland in 1704 describes the city and speaks of the badly weathered stone of the cathedral. (fn. 176) In 1720 Magna Britannia gives valuable information about the then fairly recent rebuilding of the prebendal houses. (fn. 177) In 1724 H. Mell's New Description of England and Wales speaks of the good trade and the many gentry residing in Durham. (fn. 178) Pennant's description of Durham in his Tour to Scotland, 1769, has often been quoted. Grose's Antiquities with one or two pictures executed in 1775 gives some historical details. (fn. 179) The Beauties of England, 1777, has some account of the place. (fn. 180) Sullivan's Observations during a tour through parts of England, Scotland, and Wales, in a series of Letters 1780 has a gossiping reference to the city (fn. 181) in which he says that 'some of the inhabitants . . . complain of being priestridden.' Allusion is made by Sullivan to the banks of the river: 'the good people have not been inattentive to their improvement.' (fn. 182) Dr. Spence, Prebendary of Durham (1754–68), has the credit of laying out or improving the banks. (fn. 183) Grimm's drawings taken about 1790 illustrate many interesting bits in Durham buildings and Durham life. (fn. 184)
No time of invasion or straitness afflicted the city in the 18th century like the Scottish occupation of former days. Life was more secure. Yet more than one trial befel the populace in the lower parts of the district. In 1722, for instance, there was a severe flood long remembered as 'Slater's Flood.' There were also floods nearly as bad in 1752 and 1753, but these three visitations paled before the calamity of 1771, which swept away or greatly damaged most of the bridges in the county, and at Durham broke down three arches from Elvet Bridge, carried away the Dean and Chapter Bridge (100 yds. above the present Prebend's Bridge), the Abbey Mill on the left bank, and buildings on Framwellgate Bridge. (fn. 185) In the winter of 1739–40 a severe frost continued for many weeks. The ice on the Wear was strong enough to bear skaters from Durham to Chester-le-Street, and a fair was held on the frozen river. (fn. 186) The harvest of the following summer failed, and food was scarce, entailing much suffering on the poor. Grain merchants in the neighbourhood took advantage of their extremity-to make a 'corner' in wheat in Durham and in Newcastle. (fn. 187) At the latter place local riots broke out which occasioned a good deal of trouble. Durham again took no part in the famous' 45, (fn. 188) but the billeting of soldiers in and near the city was once more resorted to. Local volunteers were raised, and the Militia were called out. The Duke of Cumberland hurrying up to meet the Pretender passed through Durham, and the opportunity was taken by mayor and corporation to escort the prince through the town. (fn. 189) In 1749 the great cattle-plague occasioned a vast loss of beasts despite the prompt measures taken in the county generally to check the distemper. Riots had attended the first attempts to put into force the Militia Act of 1757 when Pitt made his re-entry upon office conditional on the raising of a territorial force to repel invasion. (fn. 190) This movement, however, chiefly affected counties south of the Tees, but when in 1761 local ballots were being taken, resistance developed, and a meeting held in Durham pledged the resisters to oppose any enlistment for service outside the county. (fn. 191) Durham had no concern with the spread of the rebellion which presently took place in Northumberland. In 1765 the first recorded coalstrike took place, and lasted for several weeks; but although it must have affected Durham city it left no permanent impression. (fn. 192)
The city buildings bore the impress of the years now in review. In 1715 the old workhouse or factory on the south of Elvet Bridge connected with the house of correction at the northern end (fn. 193) was repaired and made over to the woollen manufactory already mentioned. In 1729 the Neptune which still adorns the present Pant was first set up in the centre of the market place beside the conduit. (fn. 194) Rather later than this a good deal of building was in progress at the castle when Bishop Butler set Sanderson Miller to work on the northern terrace where the walls were dangerously out of the perpendicular. (fn. 195) In 1752 extensive alterations were made in the Town Hall when Mr. George Bowes restored or adapted what is now the mayor's parlour. (fn. 196) A year or two later the members for the city, Henry Lambton and John Tempest, refaced, if they did not entirely rebuild, the front of the Town Hall. In 1760 the tower on the city side of Framwellgate Bridge, so long one of its main defences, was pulled down in order to give more easy access to Silver Street. In 1774 one of the flanking towers to the Great North Gate of the castle, probably that towards the keep, fell in ruins. Possibly the tower had been loosened by recent excavation, of which some record exists.
The social life of Durham in the 18th century is pleasantly illustrated not only by occasional letters from bishops, deans and prebendaries, which have survived, but by diaries. Jacob Bee, a skinner and glover of Crossgate, who died in 1711, has left notes of local occurrences from 1681 to 1707, taking up the story from the point at which Davenport's correspondence fails us. He is followed from 1748 to 1778 (fn. 197) by the really valuable local journal of Thomas Gyll, Solicitor-General of Durham, and in 1769 Recorder of the city. These documents, particularly the latter, give a very fair idea of the atmosphere of Durham life. The best idea, however, may be gained from the pages of Sylvestra, a novel published in 1881, and written by Mrs. Raine Ellis. The authoress, who was daughter of the well-known antiquary, Dr. James Raine, edited the Diary of Fanny D'Arblay, and by means of the general knowledge of the times acquired by this minute work, in addition to help gained from private memoranda and correspondence, has written what is surely a life-like portraiture of ecclesiastical life in Durham in the reign of George III. A few of the details gleaned from the diaries may be mentioned. In 1733 the first races were run on the Smiddyhaughs, now the University cricket ground. This annual institution continued until 1887 with little interruption. A letter from James Gisborne, a Durham prebendary and rector of Staveley, describes in an amusing way his stolen sight of the races in 1750, and shows how the race-week was at that time an important social event. (fn. 198) In 1735 a Durham paper was started under the title of the Durham Courant, but it had an ephemeral existence. (fn. 199) No copy of it is known to have survived. Conjecture attributes it to the first Durham bookseller of those days whose name has come down to us, one Patrick Sanderson. (fn. 200) Dr. Hunter the antiquary was a friend of Sanderson. In 1749 died in the Bailey Mme. Poison or Poisson, a Huguenot refugee, whose cardparties were a feature of life in the Bailey. In 1760 'died old Mrs. Proud of the coffee-house.' The longevity of many Durham persons was notorious, and cathedral appointments often survived in person or in connexion for a great number of years. (fn. 201) Thus, Sir John Dolben, the last dignitary of Crewe's nomination, survived until 1756, closing the brief list of the prebendaries who were Jacobites at heart. He had been installed in 1718. In 1771 a small theatre was opened in Saddler Street. It gave its name to the adjoining vennel or passage which was nicknamed Drury Lane and is still so called. A document of about this time, or a little earlier, hints at another side to Durham life in the thieves ready to make their way into the Baileys when bolts and bars were not used. Hard by, too, were the unfortunate prisoners in the great gaol within the north gate of the castle, who were visited by Howard in 1774. His account of the prison is gloomy reading, and Neild thirty years later regards the gaol as one of the very worst. (fn. 202)
Eighteenth-century descriptions of Durham have been mentioned: it remains to chronicle the first local guide-books to the city. The earliest yet noticed is the compilation of the antiquary Dr. Christopher Hunter, published in 1733, when recent additions (fn. 203) to the cathedral and, perhaps, improved travelling may have combined to direct fresh attention to the building. He took the edition of the Rites of Durham published in 1672 by John Davies, of Kidwelly, inserting some rather useful notes of his own in the body of the work and adding an appendix containing notes of recent personages buried in the church. A reprint was issued in 1743 and published by John Richardson. After this comes a larger edition of the foregoing under the title The Antiquities of the Abbey, or Cathedral Church of Durham. It is a reprint of Hunter's work, notes, appendix and all, with a particular description of the Bishopric or County Palatine of Durham and a list containing the names of the various officers of the Church up to the year 1767, which is the date of the book, a list of eminent Durham men and other matters. The description of the county is based upon the Magna Britannia of Cox. The editor of this rather inaccurate volume was a local bookseller called Pat. Sanderson at the sign of Mr. Pope's Head in Saddler Street. (fn. 204) There is no reason to think that Dr. Hunter, who left Durham in 1757, (fn. 205) had anything to do with this performance. Apparently no attempt was made to improve upon Sanderson's book for many years. True, a puff of the Butterby waters (fn. 206) and of the advantages of Durham as a health resort had been published by Dr. Wilson under the name Spadacrene Dunelmensis, but this was not a book for visitors. (fn. 207) At length Robert Henry Allan, son of the more famous George Allan, of Darlington, having come to reside in Durham, renewed the line of local antiquaries interrupted by Dr. Hunter's death in 1783 and brought out his Historical and Descriptive View of the City of Durham and its Environs. (fn. 208) The date is 1824 and the book is the direct parent of all subsequent guides to the city. (fn. 209)
We may now return from this review to the year 1780, and the new civic era then inaugurated and so pass to the modern period. The history of the years that intervene between Egerton's Charter and the Municipal Corporations Act of 1835 is not marked by any very startling events of local occurrence. Moreover, the internal record of what did take place is surprisingly meagre. No very active antiquary was at work to collect materials. Cade, who lived in Durham from about 1775 to 1785, was engrossed in speculation as to the Roman period. Hutchinson, who published the first volume of the History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham in 1785, produced a second volume in 1787, with a section of 320 pages relating to the city and its environs, bringing it down to the issue of the charter in 1780. His subsequent researches until his death in 1814 had to do with localities and events outside the city. Mr. R. H. Allan and Dr. Raine the elder, when they came on the scene about 1820, were interested in the more ancient Durham, making no collection for their own days. Mr. Robert Surtees, in his monumental History of Durham, is surprisingly meagre in his record of events within his own lifetime. The local newspapers do not begin until 1814 and 1820, from which points they are, of course, invaluable. The Newcastle papers which cover the obscure years have no very full tale to tell of Durham events. Our transient glimpses reveal a certain amount of activity. A woollen factory was started about 1780 behind St. Nicholas' Church, apparently by the Corporation, and with funds of which they are the trustees. (fn. 210) The premises comprised workrooms and a dye-house. What amount of employment was given it does not seem possible to determine. The lessee was Mr. John Starforth, under whose administration the work went forward until 1809, when it was given up and the premises were sold outright to Mr. Gilbert Henderson. Under this gentleman the carpet industry was introduced in 1814, giving some repute for their manufacture to the city, and providing increasing employment. (fn. 211) It has been already noticed that a woollen manufactory had been established by Elvet Bridge in 1715, (fn. 212) and it is probable that it continued separately. In 1796 on the south of St. Oswald's Church, Messrs. George and Henry Salvin removed their machinery from Castle Eden and set up a cotton manufactory and built houses for their work-people. This was the most considerable accession to local industry that had yet been made, but it had a most unfortunate ending in 1804, when the whole enterprise was ruined by fire. (fn. 213) This disaster and the coincident decline of the woollen manufactory proved a heavy blow to local trade. The cotton factory had been set up, no doubt with considerable anticipation, in the very year that the great canal and river scheme was revived and expanded. The city, too, was improving, for the Act of 1790, (fn. 214) however imperfectly administered, must have proved a new era in the lighting, paving, and general amenity of the place. In 1791 a new theatre was opened, taking the place, it is believed, of that mentioned above. In the same year the old Claypath gate was removed. Two years later the Durham infirmary, which had been established in 1785, was ready to receive patients. The occasion called forth a great display of interest with a service at the Cathedral, a civic procession, a public dinner, a special performance of Cato at the theatre. (fn. 215)
The French war soon absorbed attention, and its echoes were heard even in Durham. In 1795 (fn. 216) a French privateer had landed its crew on the Northumbrian coast, raiding the seat of Lord Delaval, and recalling to men's minds the incursions of Danes in far distant times. In the summer, encampments of local levies were established at the chief convenient spots for troops to occupy along the coast line or near to it. In 1797 when banks all over the country were feeling the strain caused by small tradesmen who were eagerly turning their capital into ready money, the Durham banks passed through a most anxious time. (fn. 217) A run on them began, but, as was done elsewhere, local men of means came forward to inspire confidence. (fn. 218) A declaration was signed by a large number of gentlemen from the counties of Durham and Northumberland indicating their willingness to take banknotes from all the banks in Durham, Newcastle, and Sunderland. Paper money, save for sums under £1, came in this way to be the means of exchange for some years. In 1798, when the fear of invasion paralysed the land, armed associations were formed in various places. In Durham 500 men offered themselves, and of these 300 were chosen and embodied under Col. Fenwick. (fn. 219) Their colours, presented by Lady Millbank, were given some years later to the University of Durham, (fn. 220) and still hang in the Castle Hall. A body of cavalry was also raised, and the two corps remained under arms until the treaty of Amiens in 1802 brought a temporary peace. The bad harvest of 1799 aggravated the miserable condition of the poor in the city. A time of great poverty followed, so that in 1800 a public soup kitchen was opened to relieve the distress. (fn. 221)
The war began again after the few months' lull in 1803. The local volunteers were called out again in November, (fn. 222) and were not disbanded for ten years. The anxious months dragged on, and in February 1804 tension became acute. In Durham arrangements were all complete for the volunteers to assemble within two hours of summons on Palace Green. A series of beacons was arranged, Gateshead signalling to Pittington Hill, and Pittington to Durham. (fn. 223) Otherwise, too, it was a gloomy year in the city, the cotton factory having been burnt down in January, throwing many out of employment. Gradually, however, the immediate fear of invasion began to abate, though the clouds did not disperse for a long time.
Meanwhile, some attention had been directed to Durham in no very enviable way. John Carter, the celebrated architectural draughtsman employed by the Society of Antiquaries, had visited Durham in 1795. The dean and chapter, who had been carrying out the extensive repairs begun in 1776, called in the aid of Wyatt in 1798. His extraordinary proposals, of which the draft may still be seen in the Dean and Chapter Library, were fortunately never fully carried out. He left his mark, however, on the building, introducing what Carter scornfully called 'his alterations and modern conveniences.'
Men's minds were at the time full of the French war, but even so the publicity of the Gentleman's Magazine gave the work done at Durham wide notoriety. (fn. 224) Public opinion, however, in days of slow communication, was not formed quickly enough to prevent the destruction of the revestry with its mediaeval furniture. It was pulled down in the very year that Carter's letters appeared.
The same magazine which published the doings of Wyatt gave further notoriety to Durham, as stated above, owing to the condition of the gaol, parts of which Neild described as 'amongst the very worst in the kingdom.' (fn. 225) There can be no doubt that the local conscience was touched. It was proposed to remove the prisoners from Langley's gaol to a new site. The scheme went farther, for it was decided to built new courts as well as a new prison. The County House or Assize Courts, an inconvenient building restored by Cosin, (fn. 226) was to be transferred to Old Elvet, where, in 1809, with full masonic ritual, and in the presence of the bishop and others, the foundation stone was laid. (fn. 227) The building was opened in 1811, but the gaol was not finally ready until 1819. (fn. 228) The year 1809 was also memorable for the jubilee of George III, when large munificence was shown to the poor. (fn. 229) On this occasion it was estimated that 1,000 poor families were helped, the number, if correct, indicating the strain and poverty of the times. (fn. 230) And, indeed, the shadow of trouble was never very far distant. Colliery riots broke out in the autumn of the jubilee year. The old gaol and the house of correction at Durham overflowed with prisoners, until some were drafted off to be guarded by the volunteers in the Castle stables. (fn. 231)
The end of the war, as it was thought to be, in 1814, was hailed with delight. A great illumination marked the celebration of the Allies' entry into Paris, and Buonaparte was burned in effigy in the market-place. (fn. 232) A few months later the first number of the Durham County Advertiser was published in Durham. It had been originally the Newcastle Advertiser, but was now transferred to Durham. The printer and publisher was Mr. Francis Humble. (fn. 233) The acute suffering that followed the peace of 1815 does not seem to have been so much felt in Durham as in some other parts. With the accession of George IV began those discussions and debates which a few years later bore fruit in the ecclesiastical and civil changes of the thirties, changes which brought in an entirely new Durham. They came, however, from without, and were forced upon the city to a great extent, and there is little evidence of active and sympathetic agitation within for such a complete reshaping of the municipality, and of the cathedral establishment, as the reign of William IV brought in. (fn. 234) The population was increasing. The war, perhaps, and certainly the failure of local manufacturers reduced the numbers by nearly 800 between 1801 and 1811, but from the latter year they rose again rapidly until in 1821 they were over 9,800, an average increase of 300 a year since the census of 1811. The augmentation must have been in the poorer districts, as there is no evidence of wide building operations on the peninsula. (fn. 235)
The coming changes were heralded almost significantly by a series of local alterations. Then in 1820 the great North Gate of the Castle, which spanned the top of Saddler Street, was removed, the apartments used for the gaol being no longer necessary. (fn. 236) In the same year, the old county house of Bishop Cosin's time (fn. 237) was pulled down, all assize business being now transferred to the new centre in Old Elvet. Bishop Barrington erected on the site a diocesan registry office partly at his own expense, and partly by subscription. (fn. 238) In 1823 gas-works were erected below Framwellgate bridge, the lighting of the streets constituting a new epoch in the history of the city (fn. 239) when it was introduced in the following year. In 1825 a local event of even greater importance took place in the opening of the Stockton and Darlington railway, the county, if not the city, leading the way in the new enterprise. Nineteen years, however, passed before Durham itself was linked with the outer world by a railway of its own. (fn. 240) In 1827 a further revolution was inaugurated when the London General Steam Navigation Company began regular steam communication between the Tyne and the Thames. (fn. 241) It was, perhaps, characteristic of the new spirit that was now spreading when the dean and chapter in 1827 gave permission to Mr. James Raine to open the grave of St. Cuthbert in order to dissipate the myth as to the body of St. Cuthbert. Scott's Marmion had aroused interest in 1808, and this was further spread by the opening of St. Cuthbert's church in Old Elvet at the end of May 1827. Raine's conclusions as published by him in 1828 were vigorously opposed by Dr. Lingard and Archbishop Eyre, and the controversy was reopened in 1900. (fn. 242) The shrine of Bede was examined in 1830, and the present inscription on the slab was added in 1831. (fn. 243) One or two other contemporary alterations may be mentioned. In 1828 the approach to Framwellgate bridge was improved, and the old battlements were taken down. (fn. 244) In 1829 the cathedral churchyard was levelled, the earth being removed to the western end, and helping to form the rise in the ground which is so observable. (fn. 245) In the autumn a public meeting in Durham proposed the construction of a new road from Framwellgate bridge towards Dryburn. The immediate occasion was the rumour of a plan to run a road from Farewell Hall on the Darlington Road to Neville's Cross, which would divert traffic on the Great North Road from the city. It was urged that the menace to trade and property was considerable. (fn. 246) Eventually King Street (fn. 247) was formed, and was opened in 1831, so called in the coronation year from King William IV. It did not, however, obviate the making of the road from Farewell Hall.
These last matters were coincident with the Reform agitation. Durham itself did not rise to any great enthusiasm. At the outset, the cholera scare checked it, and although the city did not suffer, the very severe visitation at Newcastle and in Sunderland (fn. 248) brought fear to the inhabitants. The fast day in 1832 was observed in the city with great sincerity. (fn. 249) The protest meeting, which was held in Old Elvet, after the Lords' rejection of the Reform Bill a few months earlier, was a highly decorous affair, though attended by more than 8,000 persons. (fn. 250) So was a second meeting held after the resignation of the Ministry in May 1832, (fn. 251) and a third in June. (fn. 252) Meanwhile, the dean and chapter by an Act of chapter in 1831 had approved the foundation of a university, and the bill received the royal assent in July 1832, whilst the charter bears date 1837. It will still be debated by some whether the new foundation endowed by dean and chapter and bishop was a sop to Cerberus, or the long deferred realization of a plan which was as old as the days of Henry VIII. (fn. 253) From the point of view of the city at large, it was hailed with great satisfaction, and it must be admitted that the scale of expense for many years must have brought considerable profit to local trade. (fn. 254) Builders, furnishers, purveyors, tailors, and others all received benefit from the new institution. (fn. 255) The rapid increase of railway communication after a very few years rather damped the hopes of the promoters of the scheme, who expected the new university to rival the older foundations of Oxford and Cambridge, not only in learning, but in numbers.
These years which saw the birth of the university, and the altered scheme of cathedral establishment, also witnessed the inauguration of the modern civic constitution under the Municipal Reform Act. From this point we started for this general chronological review of Durham history, and with it we now conclude our survey. We have seen the boundary commission of 1832 and its provisions. In 1833 a fresh commission was appointed, in that epoch of commissions, to carry out an exhaustive inquiry into local conditions. Two years were occupied in this thorough investigation of the various municipalities. The report made curious disclosures. The dependence of the city upon the bishop was now regarded as an anachronism, and, unless Durham were to be excepted from the unifying procedure recommended by the commission, the annexation of the palatine jurisdiction to the crown was bound to follow the provisions of the Municipal Corporations Act. The most important clauses in modifying the old constitution are the following. The corporation was no longer styled 'Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of the City of Durham and Framwellgate,' but 'Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the City of Durham.' (fn. 256) The Aldermen were now to be six, the Councillors eighteen, and there were to be three wards. The time-honoured Mayor's day was changed to 9 November. Constables superseded the old arrangement of 1790 and 1822. A police-office was erected. A commission of peace for the borough was formed. A clerk of the peace was appointed. The Reform Act had given the franchise to many who were not freemen of the city. The latter were confirmed in their electoral privileges, and in such property right as they had prior to the passing of the Act. All gift or purchase of the freedom of the city gilds was abolished. All the old exclusive trade-rights of the gilds were swept away, and by this one blow a most characteristic piece of Durham history ceased to exist. (fn. 257)
In fact the Municipal Corporation Act metamorphosed the city in its civic aspect. Next year, the annexation of the palatine jurisdiction to the crown (fn. 258) terminated the temporal powers of the bishop, though the Act made it clear that the sovereign did not abolish, but assumed for himself those powers. (fn. 259) Accordingly the king is to-day Comes Palatinus and the city of Durham, as capital of the palatinate, stands in unique relation to the monarch. (fn. 260) All this legislation was rounded off by the various acts considered elsewhere (fn. 261) which so greatly altered the old ecclesiastical status in Durham.