The corporation of Hereford: Miscellaneous papers, 1601-1760

The Manuscripts of Rye and Hereford Corporations, Etc. Thirteenth Report, Appendix: Part IV. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1892.

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Historical Manuscripts Commission, 'The corporation of Hereford: Miscellaneous papers, 1601-1760', in The Manuscripts of Rye and Hereford Corporations, Etc. Thirteenth Report, Appendix: Part IV, (London, 1892) pp. 338-353. British History Online [accessed 27 May 2024].

Historical Manuscripts Commission. "The corporation of Hereford: Miscellaneous papers, 1601-1760", in The Manuscripts of Rye and Hereford Corporations, Etc. Thirteenth Report, Appendix: Part IV, (London, 1892) 338-353. British History Online, accessed May 27, 2024,

Historical Manuscripts Commission. "The corporation of Hereford: Miscellaneous papers, 1601-1760", The Manuscripts of Rye and Hereford Corporations, Etc. Thirteenth Report, Appendix: Part IV, (London, 1892). 338-353. British History Online. Web. 27 May 2024,

Miscellaneous papers, 1601–1760

1601[–2], March 13. At Dublin.—Pass signed by Sir Christopher St. Laurence, knt., capt. of 150 footmen in Ireland, addressed to all mayors, sheriffs, &c. for Francis Voughan, a soldier discharged by reason of grievous harts and wounds, desiring that he may be assisted to lodging and relieved in his necessities. Subscribed with a certificate by Will Vawere, mayor of Bristol, that he landed there on 21 March, and was allowed to pass to Welshpool.

temp. Eliz. Not dated.—Letter from "Blancsh" Parry [a maid of honour to Q. Eliz.] to the Mayor and Aldermen, thanking them for their courtesy and goodwill, "beseechinge yowe to doe my comendacions to all your wyves, wishinge yowe and them with mee to take parte of your one gift."

1604, Dec.—William Goulston brings an action against James Berrowe, gent., for breach of covenant, alleging that the latter engaged him to attend from 1 Sept. to Michaelmas Day in the house of John Berrowe, gent., upon the said John and other persons, who were sick "de pestilencia vocata le Plague" for the sum of 5l.; that he went accordingly and remained the whole time, but has only received 46s. 8d., the said James refusing to pay. To this James Berrowe replies that Goulston left at the end of two weeks, accepting 46s. 8d., and refusing the 5l., and went to the house of Will. Morgan, of Killpeck, gent.

1608, July 21.—Various persons are examined concerning "a libel" dispersed in the city, but the contents of which are not mentioned; one copy was fixed on Mr. Pembridge's door with wax, and was thence taken, and copied by several persons; another copy had been brought by a butcher two months before, written in a fair hand; a third was picked up in the market-house, which had been thrown down by a Welshman.

1610, May 28, 8 Jas. I.—Bond from Humfrey Walden of Bromsgrove, chirurgion, to John Havard, of Kinnerton, Radnorshire, gent., that in consideration of the sum of 3l., he will by the help of God cure Sibill, wife of Matthew Maddock, of Evengeob, Radnorshire, and Elizabeth Havard, sisters to the said John Havard, of the several diseases wherewith they are grieved, by the feast of the Nativity of St. John Bapt. next ensuing, and that they shall continue whole and perfectly cured until the month of March next; failing which he shall repay the sum of 3l.

1612.—The name of a bell-founder at Hereford, Thomas Stone, is met with in this year. He is questioned about the pawning of a silver spoon.

1613.—Jury presentment against Thomas Dansey, late of Brynshoppe, gent., Thomas Smyth, of the same, gent., Robert Smyth, of the same, gent., Leonard Wallwene, late of Hereford, gent., with 24 other malefactors unknown, for assembling in warlike array on 17 April in the city of Hereford, armed with swords, reaping-hooks, sticks, knives, and other weapons offensive and defensive, "riotose, routose, et modo novæ insurrectionis," and attacking one Lewis Burche, a constable, whom "riotose et routose verberaverunt, mutulaverunt sive maihaverunt, vulneraverunt et maletractaverunt, ita quod de vita ejus desperabatur." The cause of the riot does not appear.

There is a similar presentment against four tradesmen, with ten other persons, for like assembling on 22 Apr., and breaking into the house of one Michael Nicholson and there assaulting Katherine Leath.

1615–6.—The Court-book for this year is stitched up in a fragment of a breviary of the 14th century, for the 2nd and 3rd Sundays after Easter and the Rogation days.

1617.—In October the butchers' company petition that the country butchers may not be permitted when they come to market to remain all day in town, but that they may be limited from 8 o'clock to 1, as it is in Worcester and Gloucester, and promise that, whereas they have been asked to contribute towards the renewing of the charter, they will give 10l. if this limit be fixed and enrolled in the charter. The freemen also petition against foreigners coming in to inhabit and to set up malt-making and brewing, and desire that no foreigner may be admitted as a freeman but upon allowance of the Council and inquests, and on payment of 10l.

1619.—In the month of August, Philip Trehearne, an innkeeper, one of the Common Council, was sent to prison by the Mayor, for revealing the secrets of the Council to outsiders, and for refusing to pay his assessment towards the expense of procuring a renewal of the charter, and encouraging others to do the like, saying that it was but faction and of purpose to serve private men's turns, saying he would appeal to the Privy Council. In October he was again brought up before the Mayor from prison, but still obstinately refused to yield. The conclusion of the case does not appear upon the Files.

1622–3, Feb. 7.—Hugh Nicolls and Rob. Major, chapmen, examined about certain clippings ("crippings") of gold coin, which they had offered for sale to Francis Hyde, a goldsmith, say that they bought the same of Mrs. Ralings in Monmouth, who said she had had them since the time that her husband was sheriff of the county, and they gave her in exchange 1l., and 3 bales of tobacco value 9s.

1623–4.—In the Court files :—"Mr. Mayor. I praye you to lett Leonard Stephens depart out of the warde, for he and I have agreed—

But noe moe monie as yet I have
Which you may easie finde.
Therefore I praye you no longer him
Into your book to binde.
And if that Barabas be kepte close
Yet Belzebub's abroade;
And rather than that hee shall lacke
Shall steale yet manie a loade."

1625, Sept. 30.—Philip Millward, baker, is fined 13s. 4d., and bound over to appear at the Sessions, for having sent a man privately to the city of London when that city was so grievously infected [with the plague], that no one therein knew himself free from the said infection, and by the return of the said person he might have endangered this whole city and the people therein.

1627[–8], Feb. 26.—A list of the names of those who made choice of Sir John Scudamore, bart., and John Hoskins, esq., serg.-at-law, to be burgesses in Parliament for the city of Hereford, being 38 in number, who attach their own signatures. With the indenture of election.

1628, Oct. 6.—The Mayor's accounts (a parchment roll). The total of receipts is 38l. 2s., of which 15l. 8s. 5d. are from fines, and 10l. 10s. in payments from the "gildæ mercatorum." The payments appear to largely exceed the receipts, but the total sum is obliterated.

1632.—In the presentments for this year the jury present as the default of James Carwardine, gent., that "a paire of buts usuallie to bee kept in the Greene Lane haue beene carried away, and presented formerlie, and as yet not repaired."

1633.—Frequent presentment is made that the High Cross in the market-place is in decay in default of the chamberlains of the city, and "that the barlingams or common washing place is in decay in defaute" of the same.

1635.—In the calendar of the gaol delivery on 9 Apr. there is the following charge of witchcraft.

Elizabetha Williams de Kenchurch in com. Hereford, vidua, capta apud civitatem Heref. et commissa per majorem, videlicet, pro practizando et exercendo quasdam diabolicas et nequissimas artes detestandas, Anglice, inchauntmentes, charmes and sorceries." She was bailed by Richard Howells of Muchdewchurch, yeomen, and David Phillipps, of Rowlstone, weaver, in 20l. each, and herself in 10l., and Francis Smith was bound over in 10l. to prosecute. But nothing more is found about the case.

1636–7.—Jonathan Bryden, vicar of St. John the Bapt., and parson of St. Owen's, petitions the mayor and justices on behalf of some poor children for apprenticeships. "Whereas the sayd Jonathan Bryden doth find in the sayd parishes many poore children whose parents are no wayes able to bring them up, and whereas the sayd Jonathan doth believe that he is bound by virtue of his pastorall charge to take care of the poore to his best power, the sayd Jonathan doth humbly intreate your worships, according to a statute in that case provided, to commend these poore children undernamed as apprentices to those whom your worships know to be able men and fitt to take them, and upon there refusall, according to the statute, to command them." The names of thirteen children are subjoined.

The mayor in this year, Thomas Church, has for his seal a church with a steeple, together with his initials.

1642[3], Feb. 22. The Commissioners of Array, Francis Conyngesby, W. Croft, and Wm. Rudhale, to the Mayor of Hereford.—Whereas all persons summoned to bear arms in pursuance of his Majesty's commission of array ought to have free egress and regress without molestation, we are given to understand that one Thomas Watkins, of Bridg-Sollers, summoned to appear before us this day to do such service as he should be enjoined for his Majesty, is by some of your officers attached in an action of debt; these are therefore to require you to set him at liberty forthwith, if he be detained for no other cause.

1644, Dec. 22.—Certificate (on vellum) by Herbert Croft, dean of Hereford, that Richard Ravenhill, senior, of the parish of St. Owen, had been cited as a recusant in 1639, had been excommunicated for non-appearance, and remains excommunicate at this time. In 1676 and in other years before and after that date, Richard Ravenhill, gent., probably the son, occurs amongst those who are presented by the city inquests for non-attendance at church. They were Roman Catholics.

1650–1.—A large parcel of returns by petty constables, &c., of letters respecting charities in the county, and of petitions respecting the same, addressed to the Commissioners for Charitable Uses. The places concerned are the following:—

Marden and Sutton; will of Jane Shelley, 1609.

Maunsel Lacy.


Ross ; Rudhall's Hospital: Almshouse; Miscellaneous Charities.

Hereford: Vicker's Charity, Chin's Charity, Price's Hospital, Kerry's Hospital, will of Rich. Bromwich, with bequest to the poor of St. Giles, 1606; Trinity Hospital; Shelley's Hospital, parish of St. Nicholas.

  • Moccas.
  • Stanton-upon-Wye.
  • Erdisland.
  • Pembridge.
  • Whitchurch.
  • Meincell Gamedge [Mansel Gamage].
  • Bromwich.
  • Crasswall.
  • Goodrich.
  • Llansillo and Rolston.
  • Ringsland.
  • Llandinaboe.
  • Cannon Pyon.
  • Pipe.
  • Leominster.
  • Weston subtus Penyard.
  • Bishopston.
  • Kingscaple.
  • Hentland.
  • Stretton.
  • Much Cowarne.
  • Kynton.
  • Sellack.
  • Much Dewchurch.
  • Brampton Abbots.
  • Eton Tregos.
  • Vowchurch.
  • Wormbridge.
  • Bodenham.
  • Shobdon.
  • Ledbury; Chantry lands of St. Anne, Holy Trinity, and B.V.M., in 1638.
  • Dewswall.
  • Grendon Bishop.
  • Briddenbury.
  • Putley.
  • Warton.
  • Thornbury.
  • Taddington.
  • Almeley.
  • Clifford.
  • Lanwarn.
  • Upton Bishop.
  • Yatton.
  • Walterston.
  • Mordiford.
  • Holmer.
  • Caldicott.
  • Dore.
  • Hope-under-Dinmore.
  • Eastnor, with a return of all the moneys laid out in 1644–7 from the parish rents.
  • Bacton and Newton.
  • Erdisley or Yardisley.
  • Lugwardine.
  • Lynton.
  • Colwall.
  • Sutton.
  • No Charities.
  • Brombury.
  • Kinnersley and Letton.

These are followed by some similar papers in the year 1664, in return to inquiries about charities misemployed, for the following places:—

  • Bosbury.
  • Clifford.
  • Longtown.
  • Weston.
  • Marstowe.
  • Yarkhill.
  • Nothing to return.
  • Wooffevlowe.
  • Crasswall.
  • Calowe and Turford.
  • Lanwarne.
  • Madley.
  • Nothing to return.
  • Mordiford.
  • Langaran, nothing to return.
  • Vawchurch.
  • Hereford; Trinity Hospital; Shelley's Hospital.
  • Brainton.
  • Bullingham.
  • Garway.
  • Bodenham.
  • Nothing to return.
  • Moreton-upon-Lugg.

At the end is a list written out some time after 1692 of the sums of money left by various benefactors to the city of Hereford.

1651, Apr. 26. Mintridge. W. Bridges to Thomas Dannett and the rest of the trustees for the parish lands in Bosbury.—I have received your letter of Apr. 23, importing power given to you by the Commissioners for pious uses in the county of Hereford, to demand of me and other the late feoffees intrusted for the free School in Bosbury, all decrees, deeds, and other writings touching the same. I desire first that you will let me see your order and give me a copy, and then that you will appoint some day and place convenient at Bosbury, that I and my fellow-trustees may deliver over to you our trust. (This and the following letter are with the returns of Charities.)

— Apr. 21. Kington. Mich. Broughton to Thomas Raulins, esq., Thomas Seaborne, gent., and other the commissioners for charitable uses in Herefordshire.—It is presumed by the executors of Charles Vaughan that there is due to them from my uncle Broughton 200l., but what part of this supposed debt is given by Charles Vaughan to charitable uses I cannot acquaint you.

1651, Oct. 9.—Printed broadside of the Act for the increase of shipping. Much torn.

1653[–4], Jan. 10.—Petition to the Protector from the High Sheriff, justices, grand jury, mayor, aldermen, etc., praying that divers weirs placed in the rivers Wye and Lugg, whereby floods are caused, may be removed, and the current of the rivers may have free passage.

1654, March 29 and Apr. 3.—Depositions against Mr. Matthew Lock as being a papist. On March 22, he, with one Henry Wall, accompanied one Thomas Walton, who was to be hung for murder, and who was not known to be a papist, to the gallows, speaking to him on the way; and being come to the place they all three kneeled down several times for the space of a quarter of an hour at a time, Walton sometimes reading in a prayerbook and sometimes falling on his face; and shortly after Walton declared that he was a Roman Catholic, and well confirmed in that religion, and desired all his friends that loved him to live and die in that religion, which was the only and best way to heaven. Also, on Mr. Lock's being told that a Jesuit affirmed that it was as good a faith to believe that Toby's dog did wag his tail as to believe that Christ died for sinners, Mr. Lock answered that it was so because one Scripture was to be believed as well as another, or words to that effect.

1655.—In a presentment of one Thomas Swayles for keeping a disorderly ale-house, where tippling and card-playing went on during the Lord's day, the old form of words "at the time of divine service and sermon," which was originally written, is twice altered into "at the time of divine exercise and publique sermon."

1656, Oct. 17.—Will of John Walter, citizen and draper of London, with numerous legacies to parishes in London; proved May 7, 1857. An official copy made in 1706; 14 folio leaves.

1660.—On the Court files of this year is a short series of depositions sworn on 5 June and 12 July against the Puritan minister of Staunton-upon-Wye, Mr. Edmund Quarrell, and his wife, which are well worth transcription in full.

  • 1. "The deposition and information of John Dickes, of the parish of Brobury, in the county of Hereford, sworne and examined before me Walter Wall [justice of the peace in Hereford], 6 June.

This deponent sayth, That about eight yeares since he beinge a servant in the house of one Mr. Quarrell, minister of the parish of Staunton upon Wye . . . he did heare Mary, the then and now wife of the said Mr. Edmond Quarrell, say these words followinge, viz., Kinge Charles is the son of a papist whore, and that he woulde never be in quiet untill he came to the death that his father had, meaning the late Kinge, and that one Philip, a souldier belonginge to the garrison of the castle of Hereford, was then present and in heareinge of the said words. And this deponent sayth that he did acquaint severall persons of the speakeinge of the words aforesaid by the said Mary in manner and forme aforesaid, but durst not question her the said Mary for the said words by reason of the then dangerous tymes and then governement.

  • 2. "Walter Freeme of the parish of Staunton . . . . sworne . . . . This deponent sayth that aboute eight or nyne yeares now past, or there aboutes, he beinge in the house of Mr. Quarrell . . . . . when John Dickes was then a servant to the said Mr. Quarrell, and upon some discourse then which this deponent had with Mary the then and now wife of the said Mr. Quarrell, concerninge the cominge in of the Kinge, she, the said Mary, replyed that if he (meaninge the Kinge that now is) did come in he should be served as his father was (meaninge as the late Kinge was served). And this deponent beinge demanded wherefore he did not discover the words and person that spoke them as aforesaid, he sayth that he durst not by any meanes devulge the same in respect of the then tyme of governement, for feare of his the deponent's life and fortunes.
  • 3. "Richard Meredith of Staunton . . . sworne [&c.]. This deponent sayth, That in and aboute the latter end of December last past, this deponent was at the house of Mr. Quarrell . . . . . where upon some discourse had betweene the said Mr. Quarrell, Mary his wife, and this examinant, concerninge the Kinge, he, the said Mr. Quarrell did say, as followeth : Alas you poor Cavialiers! you doe thinke to have a Kinge to rule here, but you shall never see it; to which this deponent replyed sayinge, I hope we shall see a Kinge to rule here, otherwise we shall never have any peace in England. Whereupon the said Mr. Quarrell to his wife said, Did I not tell you, Sweetbart, what a stronge Cavialer the butcher was? meaninge this deponent.
  • 4. "Edward Baker and Walter Freeme, of Staunton, sworne in Court, doe say that the said Edmond Quarrell did mayntaine half a dragoone for the Parliament for foure yeares or thereabouts.
  • 5. "The examination of the said Edmond Quarrell taken the 6th day of June . . . . .

"The said examinant being examined whether about the time above-mentioned or at any other time he did speake any such words as above are specified and layed to his chardge, utterly denyeth that ever hee did speake the same or use or utter any such words concerning his Majestie to the best of his remembrance. But sayeth that the said Richard Meredith hath byn oftentimes in this examinant's house, for that he did usually imploy him in slaughtering of his catell, he being a butcher by trade. Edmond Quarrell.

  • 6. "The deposition of Thomas Hunt, of the parishe of Staunton-upon-Wye . . . . . . before Walter Wall, esq., 12 July. "This deponent saieth that in and about a yeare agoe this deponent being att church in the parish church of Staunton, where he did heare one Edmond Quarrell, then minister, preaching in his pulpitt, said, That in Hell there is a cassie [causeway] pitched with Kings' sculls. Further, this deponent saieth that hee' being in companie att the dwelling howse of Richard Merrickes in the parishe of Staunton with Edmond Quarrell and others, whoe did then heare him saie, as hee was discourseing with Humphery Baker, that the divell did make the booke of Common Prayer; and further deposeth not.
  • 7. "The deposition of Thomas Vaughan [&c.], 12 July. "This deponent saieth, That in or about seaven yeares agoe hee being in the barne of Mr. Edmond Quarrell's, in the parishe of Staunton, a threashing, did heare Marie, the wyef of the said Edmond Quarrell, speake and utter these words, That itt was not fitting such a bastard to inheirett the land, meaneing the King that now is: and further saieth not.
  • 8. "The deposition of Humphery Baker, gent. [&c.], 12 July. "This deponent saieth, That in or about a yeare agoe this deponent haveing divers conferences to and with Mr. Edmond Quarrell, minister of Staunton's parishe, concerning the reading of the booke of Common Prayer, that hee the said Edmond Quarrell then replyed and answeared him, this deponent, That it was the divell's worke, and therefore hee would never reade itt; and further saieth not.
  • 9. "The deposition of Anne Clarke, wyef of John Clarke, of the parish of Staunton in the countie of Hereford . . . . This deponent saieth that about seaven yeares last past comeinge from church upon sabboth daie with somme other of the nighbours shee prayed for the Kinge, whereupon somme of them that were there in her companie and heard her pray for the Kinge did, as shee heard, aquainte Oliver Chambers thereof, whereupon the said Oliver did goe to Mr. Quarrell and Mrs. Quarrell, and complained to them that the said Anne Clarke prayed for the Kinge, whereupon the said Mr. Quarrell and Mrs. Quarrell did within a short time after ride to the city of Hereford, and there procured a warrant from the then Governour and Mr. Rawlings, which warrant was directed to the constables of Staunton upon Wye to bring the said Anne Clarke before them forthwith, which the said constable did, and there was in the said warrant the names of Lucy Baker and Susanna Chambers to testify against her, and after her examination before the said Governour and the said Mr. Rawlings, shee confesseing the words before them, that shee prayed for the King, shee was then by them required to procure a freind to engage for her not to offend against the States (sic), whereupon Edward Baker, beinge then the constable of Staunton aforesaid, said hee would engage for her to the value of one hundred pounds that shee should not offend in that kinde, whereupon shee, the said deponent, was discharged; and further saith not."

Quarrell is then bound over on his own recognizance in 500l., and with two sureties, Matthew Price of Hereford and James Whiting of Dorston. in 100l. each, to appear at the sessions when called upon; but the bond is marked at the foot, "Discharged."

1660, Mich.—The Mayor's accounts from Mich. 1659 (a parchment roll). The total of receipts is only 22l. 14s. 4d. Besides the ordinary fee of 10l. the Mayor "craveth allowance for one besance in the Exchequer, 2s." "For wine and other gifts bestowed uppon strangers comming to the citty uppon the publike service this yeare, 1l. For candle light and other extraordinary expences concerning the late troubles, and guifts to the messengers that brought proclamations, 2l. 10s." The total of the payments is 55l. 19s. 9d. The entries in the Mayors' accounts for many years from this time forward are only of the most ordinary and routine character.

1661, Nov. 19.—John Giles of the parish of St. John's, Smithfield, London, tailor, being taken as a wanderer and examined, refuses to take the oath of allegiance, saying that he could not swear that the Pope has no power to dispose of his Majesty's kingdoms, or to discharge his subjects from their allegiance, "for that, for ought he knows, the Pope hath power so to do."

1662.—John Cule is presented for keeping a billiard table.

Jane Merrick petitions for relief, who when the Scots besieged the city was wounded by a cannon shot in the leg as she was doing service for the city in making up a breach in Wigmore Street; his late majesty, of ever blessed memory, promised that she should be taken care of. A second petition from her is found in the following year, which is noted with an order that she should have 20s. out of Wood's money.

Mary Hodges, a widow, is informed against for keeping a disorderly alehouse, and for frequently railing at and cursing her neighbours, but chiefly as being suspected "to forespeak," or bewitch, cattle, one horse having died suddenly and another being sick which belonged to a person whom she had cursed. This appears by "her usual and frequent manner of witchcraft privately in her house, for at night when her household is gone to bed, and she as is conceived going to bed, she is observed to take the andirons out of the chimney and put them cross one another, and then she falls down upon her knees and useth some prayers of witchcraft, and (with reverence to the court be it spoken) she then makes water in a dish, and throws it upon the said andirons, and then takes her journey into her garden. This is her usual custom night after night, which doth occasion fear that she intends mischief against . . . her neighbours." She is bound over to good behaviour.

1663–4.—Among petitions for relief in these years are several from men who had served the King at the defence of Hereford and elsewhere. And amongst them is one from a brickmaker named Henry Traunter, aged 91, who upon the entry into the city of Charles I. "had a verbal and personal grant" from him of leave to build a small cottage on the waste of the castle, which he accordingly did, but which was afterwards demolished by order of Wroth Rogers, governor of the castle and city, and carried away to the College to repair breaches there. In 1684 there is a petition from one John Evans who served as a foot-soldier in Prince Rupert's regiment and company, and was taken prisoner at Naseby fight, and conveyed with others to London, where he was detained in thraldom of misery for sixteen weeks, being likewise maimed and wounded in the service. Fourpence a week is allowed him.

1665.—In the presentment of the Jury at the sessions on 13 July, there is reference to the Plague then in London. "Seeing the heavy hand of God doth lye uppon the citty of London by visiting them with the plage, which without care may inevitably by the carriers that goe to that place, and passengers with them comeing downe, come into our citty, wee humbly pray that the Maior and Justices of the peace of this citty may take care therein. And for prevention thereof wee pray that any person or persons whatsoever that doe keepe any swyne within this citty may suddainely bee compelled eyther to keepe them up close in the house or to send them out of the citty, upon every default 6s. 8d. fine. Item, wee pray that the inhabitants of this citty that have pumpes in theire house or backside may bee ordered during the tyme of hott. weather to keepe the pumpes goinge for halfe an hower and all at a prefixed tyme, soe that the channells and gutters of the streete may bee cleansed, and our citty preserved from nastiness which may produce infection, and that every inhabitant doe make cleane before theire dores and water it twice in every day. And that all persons within the citty doe within 6 days remove theire miskens out of the streets and back lanes, sub pena 6s. 8d., and after proclamation made within 24 howers next after proclamation." On the same day orders are made by the Justices that during the hot weather all the inhabitants that have pumps in their houses shall pump for half an hour every day to clean the channels and gutters, and shall make clean before their doors and water twice in every day, with orders also for removal of miskens and keeping of swine; seeing that the heavy hand of God doth lie upon the city of London and other places by visiting them with the plague, which without care may inevitably fall upon this city.

On 7 April nine poor prisoners, "free denizens of this nation," petition the Mayor and justices to allow them a daily portion of bread while awaiting trial, an interval which they say "usually lyes undetermined"; they represent themselves as being unable to support life, while the alms which some of them beg from commiserating Christians "sufficeth not to sustaine our weake and hungry natures."

William Raynolds, a blind freeman, aged 65, petitions for an almsman's place, and says that heretofore in the time of the Scottish siege of the city he withdrew himself into it for defence thereof, whereby he lost all his goods by the Scottish plunder. His petition is marked "1s. a weeke untill an hospital fall."

And Richard Landon, blacksmith, petitions for help, who in the time of Charles I. was impressed for service in Ireland, where he continued for five years under the command of the late hon. Col. Meend [Mynne,] sometime governor of Hereford, "with whom your petitioner was upon service at Ridmarley [in August, 1644], where his said collonell was slaine, and your petitioner by the adverse party there upon service receaved a perillous maime with the violent blowe of a muskett upon his lefte arme, which did not much trouble your petitioner till of late yeares." 6d. a week until the next sessions. He petitions again in 1675 when about 80 years of age and in 1682 (q.v.) when he says he is aged 92. In the next year, 1666, there is a petition from one Thomas Reynolds who served in the defence of the city against the Scots, and was wounded in the head and left arm upon a sally out against them.

1667, Oct. 3.—W. Mallowes to the Mayor, etc. Whereas I have caused one Wendland to be bound over to good behaviour, I desire that I may have liberty to demand of his master Roberts or of him what offence I have ever given unto them that they should make outcries and hooting after me, and my servant when I came to market and whether the recognizance is not forfeited by calling after one of the witnesses, and setting on others to run after me in the streets. As they have made me a ridiculum through city and country, I desire to have the favour granted me of saying on what false grounds they build their clamours, with a few considerations which aggravate their crime: 1. I am a gentleman by birth: 2. A minister by profession, 30 years in holy orders: 3. I have preached once yearly for seven years in the Minster: 4. I have lived in the county 16 years in good repute: 5. And in the neighbourhood 7 without offence: 6. I have expended 100l. in the shops of the city since that time: 7. If I may not have quiet ingress and regress for my servants, we must try another place, where we may make better markets. Lastly, I desire that Wendland may continue bound until next sessions.

1668, May 7.—Albon Willis, yeoman, of Clifford, deposes that upon his discoursing this day with one John Bullock about some money to be returned from London, the said Bullock demanded some further security for its return, alleging as a reason that the city of London would lie in ashes by the tenth day of May, and that the French would invade the kingdom with 150,000 men. Bullock is committed till he finds security to appear at the sessions. The paper is endorsed with this note: "Mr. Gipps his lre dated the 2 of May from London intimated to Mr. Morgan Thomas that London was like to bee fyred upon the Munday before that."

1668–9.—John Howells, a tailor, aged 67, petitions for relief as being a maimed faithful soldier in the service of K. Charles I., in the regiment of the late Sir Ralph Dutton, under the command of Lieut.-Col. Hawkins, at the fight of Edgehill, "ould Brainford," Newbury, Naseby, Bristol, Ciceter, "and upon the siedge against the Scotts here, and in diverse other fights elsewhere." The petition is attested by Owen Greeneley, who had been clerk to Sir R. Dutton's regiment, Francis Rawlins, "one of the gentlemen of the pyke," and Thomas Whitney, being "some of the marching soldiers living in this city.

1673. —Four parchment rolls of fines imposed on frequenters of conventicles in May. These probably afford the names of all the known non-conformists in Hereford and the neighbourhood at the time. In 1669 59 persons were presented for non attendance at Church; in 1686, 47.

—, Nov. 26 and Dec. 1.—Depositions by some of the bakers of Hereford against William Morse, one of the wardens of the Company, for not attending with the Company at evening quire prayers on Nov. 5, and not entertaining them at his house that night according to ancient custom, which is a night solemnized by an Act of Parliament.

1675.—Presentment is made of the need of providing buckets, hooks and other instruments necessary for preventing the danger of fire. While this city has been preserved, other places have been deeply sensible of such calamity, which not only calls on the citizens to bless God for their own preservation, but to endeavour the use of all lawful means for prevention.

Various persons are examined respecting a traitorous libel reflectin abusively on the King and Government with regard to the excise, which had been received from one Ely Walwin in London, and sent from Hereford to Gloucester.

Philip George, a cooper, aged 76, petitions for relief. He was apprehended and kept some time in prison when Col. Birch invaded the city, for keeping the secrets of the city, and was unmercifully handled and burned in both his arms and legs for not disclosing great concerns, whereby he has been since troubled with the dead palsy. He was a sergeant in arms for the defence of the city when the Scots beseiged it, and served the King in Ireland as well as in England upon perilous adventures. Seven pounds are granted to him "out of Harper's money." He petitions also again in the same year to be settled in a hospital.

Richard Landon, aged 86, petitions for relief on the ground that he was impressed for the service of his Majesty's father and amongst others sent to Ireland to fight against the rebels in the time of the mayoralty of John Powell, (fn. 3) under the command of Col. Meend, whose regiment was brought back to serve the King in England, where at Ridmarley the petitioner was shot and maimed in his left arm. Four-pence per week is allowed him.

Presentment is made of the condition of the city-gates, which it is desired may be repaired, Widmarsh gate having neither covering nor gate, and the roof of Eigne gate being in such danger that it may cost the life of some passenger, the archwork being in decay through there being no covering on the top to keep out the rain. Weybridge gate had been presented in preceding years, and was again presented in this.

1677.—Dr. Brigstocke Harford (M.D.) is presented on Oct. 23 for ploughing up an ancient way in the Portfield, and is pained in 39s. if it be not thrown open by Nov. 30; the presentment is repeated on May 7 in 1677 and in other years. In the presentments for 1684 his name often appears for turning a water-course, stopping up two paths, &c.; and he is ordered to amend his encroachments under heavy penalties. In 1686 a maid-servant petitions the magistrates for recovery of wages due from him.

1677, May 7.—It is ordered that every person that inhabits within the city who shall ride on the gallop along the streets, except it be when the horse is exposed to sale, shall be pained 2s.

1678, Sept. 29.—Grant from the Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Council to Thomas Mathewes, esq., late Mayor, whereas he has been lately put to great charges in new erecting of the High Cross of the city, of all the tolls received for standings in the markets and fairs until he has been reimbursed the sum of 60l. 14s. 9d., with ordinary interest, and one year's receipts over and above that sum. (In the box numbered 3.)

Examinations are made of several persons respecting libellous verses circulated in Hereford entitled A public vindication of Paul Foley, esq., to be left at the coffee house with the letters, and respecting which one Godwin Aubrey of Hereford said to a person who remarked that there was neither wit nor sense in it, "If that be not enough you shall have ten times more, for we can rip up more old stories." Col. Birch, Samuel Saunders, and others, were mentioned in it.

1682.—Petition from Richard Landon, aged 92, who was impressed out of the city to serve in the army of Charles I., and was sent into Ireland in the regiment of Col. Meend, formerly governor of Hereford, and who lost the use of his left arm by a bullet-shot; he has only an allowance of 4½d. weekly out of the parish of St. John Bapt. See under 1665.

In a general presentment of all persons who do not frequent their parish church, it is said that all connivance or indulgence "upon any pretence is a ready way to bring in popery," and that "popery and phananticism (sic) are equally dangerous to the government by law established." The parishioners of St. Owen's are bound to go to the church of St. Peter, the former church being demolished and the parishes being united.

1683, 19 Apr.—An order is made at Quarter Sessions that whereas the chief and petty constables in the several parishes are not well known and distinguished from other persons as they are in other cities, by constables' staves for security of their persons and as a badge of their offices, the churchwardens of each parish do forthwith take care to provide such staves, with the King's and city's arms upon them, the chief constables' staves not exceeding the value of 5s. and the rest not exceeding 3s. This order is among papers of 1685, in which year it was renewed.

In April, at the quarter sessions, a presentment is made of "all wandering persons, especially Scotchmen, who under pretence of trade go as spies about the country having no habitation, nor paying his Majesty any tribute, but subverting his Majesty's subjects by taking their trade out of their hands. And if a rebellion should happen, which may God forbid, they would prove very dangerous to this nation, as this city and county can affirm by woeful experience."

1684[–5], Jan. 9.—Stephen Arundel, a shoemaker, is informed against for saying "that he hoped to hear of the King's death before his own, that the government might be better settled, and drank the Duke of Monmouth's health;" he is bound over to appear at the sessions. And in July George Langford, a glover, is indicted for saying on June 23, when the King's troops were marching through the county on their way against Monmouth, "I am sorry to see such men go to fight against the son of a King, and I would not for the room full of gold hurt the hairs of Monmouth's head, nor for the city of Hereford touch him."

1685, Oct. 14.—Thomas Parry deposes that one Oliver Whitney being at his house the day before "spoke these scandalous and libellous words, viz., That he would drink the Duke of Monmouth's health, and that the Duke was not dead yet."

Nov. 15.—Deposition by the Sergeants at Mace of their arresting six quakers at a conventicle held in the house of James Exton, of Burghill, yeoman; with the record (on a parchment roll) of the conviction of the said persons before the Mayor, and their being fined 5s. each, (three of them being ordered to pay the fines for the other three, who were unable so to do), Exton being fined 20l.

1687, Sept. 8. Badminton.—The Duke of Beaufort to the City Council. The remoteness of Mr. Marshall Brydges' usual abode from the city, and the indispensable occasions that frequently call him into Somersetshire, render him unfit to serve the city in those public capacities which his station will require. I therefore desire you will take from him the resignation of his Council-man's place. It is no want of loyalty or readiness to serve his Majesty, and the corporation that makes him decline it, but purely the reasons aforementioned.

In a parcel of petitions of this year is one from a glover, James Carwardine, who, being a drummer in the company of Major Cornwal, had one of his legs broken in his return out of the West in Monmouth's rebellion.

1689.—In pursuance of the Act of Toleration passed in this year, "the people of God called Quakers" make a return on Oct. 10 that they have one meeting place for religious worship in the city suburbs without Fryne gate in the parish of St. Nicholas "so called."

1691.—Presentment by the Grand Jury. "Wee present all the constables as well chief as petty within the said citty of Hereford and liberties thereof for suffering idle vagabonds and sturdy beggars to wander about the streets of the said citty, and desire they may be punished according to law for that their neglect of their office. And whereas the best of laws are but as a dead letter without being put into execution, and the best of customes useless without being rightly upheld, Wee, the representatives as well of the inferior better and capitall citiizens of this citty humbly desire Mr. Mayor our head, not only to putt these our presentments, but all other good laws and customes, in execution, for the incouragement of vertue and orderly living and disincouragement of vice and ill mannerrs. And wee doo most heartily congratulate our present Majesties safe arrivall, who under God was the reformer of our religion, laws, liberties, preserving our lives and antient customes from the greedy jaws of Popery and slavery, and ever since hath been our royall champion and preserver of the same, whom God graunt long to raigne, and lett all the people say Amen."

1692.—Nathaniel Preist is held to bail in 40l. for drinking the health of K. James and his Queen and wishing her a safe return home; he also offered to drink the Pope's health "as he is a prince and a gentleman.

1693.—Various persons are presented and fined for having wooden "fimbrills" in their houses for chimneys, very dangerous for firing. Presentments of this kind are found under several other years.

1694[–5], Jan. 17.—An alehouse called the Catherine Wheel, kept by Bridget Andrewes, is suppressed, on account of a riot which occurred there on Jan. 12, with some soldiers there quartered, upon which depositions are made which prove that "divers persons disaffected to the present government do weekly and daily resort thither, and read private, false and seditious news letters to corrupt his Majesty's subjects." Upon one of the soldiers drinking the health of William III., one Rowland Andrewes began another health "to him that had lost fifteen shillings," saying "Three crowns was good money," and wishing that if ever it came into his hands again he would play his game better. Here-upon a general fight followed, in which the landlady, her daughter and her servant all took part against the soldiers, as well as one Mr. Timothy Geers, who said he was a stranger and a gentleman of the gown, Mr. William Bowdler, Mr. Richard Traherne and Mr. Richard Bell. These are said to usually meet at the alehouse three times a week and drink the health above mentioned, and read private news letters, and while they are reading the maid-servant would commonly stand sentry at the door to give a caution, often using the words "Have a care."

1695.—Inventory of the stock of Roger Williams, bookseller, seized for debt and appraised. There are 42 volumes in folio, eight in quarto, and 120 volumes or parcels in octavo, chiefly English theology, history, and school-books; with the prices at which they were valued. The debt for which they were seized was one of 40l. but the total amount raised by stock and goods was only 35l. 6s. 7d.

1706.—At the April sessions a labourer was presented for going through the city in the week before Easter, being Passion week, clothed in a long coat with a large periwig, with a great multitude following him, sitting upon an ass, to the derision of our Saviour Jesus Christ's riding into Jerusalem, to the great scandal of the Christian religion, to the contempt of our Lord and his doctrine, and to the ill and pernicious example of others. He was bound over to appear at the next sessions.

1708.—Persons are now presented, not for not going to church but "for not going to some place or other of worship on the Lord's day," and the constables for not suppressing the boys for gaming and sporting on the Lord's day, and the Mayor is humbly desired to mind them of their duty. The commencement of the disuse of an old word is seen in a presentment for erecting "a miskin or dunghill."

1713, Aug. 1.—Indenture (on vellum) of the election of Hon. James Brydges and Thomas Foley, esq. as members of Parliament for the city.

1715.—Some evidence is taken on 13 July of some design for pulling down the meeting-house in the city, but what the house was, whether of Quakers or others, is not specified. On the next day William Carpenter of the parish of Hampton Bishop is prosecuted for keeping "an unlawfull game commonly called skittles or a tenne pins," and also he with others for an unlawful game "lately found out being called by the name of Rooley Pooley." (fn. 4) A labourer is mentioned in 1714 who had the singular Christian name of Patriarch.

1723.—The porters of the gates of the city present a petition, "That whereas there are five porters belonging to the gates of this city, and according to the custom of the same city each porter usually attended on the worshipful the Mayor, Aldermen, and chief citizens to church and other places with decent sticks, clubs or staves, which by length of time or otherwise are lost or mislaid, there being only three old sticks left, your petitioners therefore humbly pray that they may have new sticks made, for the use aforesaid, which your petitioners presume will be ornamental to their masters, as your petitioners walk in procession before them, to and from church and other places." (fn. 5)

1737, Dec. 24.—The Mayor and late mayor to the Duke of Argyll [Commander-in-Chief], regretting that an inquiry was made into a recent little scuffle between some citizens and two or three troopers. The parties were only bound over in order to show that none were exempt from the civil power, and to obviate any colour of pretence for returning supposed injuries. We have hitherto lived in good friendship with all officers and soldiers quartered amongst us, and shall endeavour to continue the good understanding, and to do justice to your troops now quartered here. We have no manner of cause to complain of them, for their behaviour in general is very good.

1753, Aug. 3.—Faculty from the Vicar General of the diocese, assigning a certain seat on the south side of the middle aisle of the parish church of All Saints, containing in length 8 feet 9 inches, and in breadth 2 feet 6 inches, to the Mayor and his successors in office "for the Mayor's wife for the time being, to sit stand and kneel therein to hear divine service and sermon." (In the box with the Royal charters.)

1759, July 20.—Agreement (on vellum) by the Mayor and Corporation with the Bishop of Hereford, that the room which is about to be built with the aid of private subscriptions for a Guildhall in the place of the present ruinous hall shall be free for the meetings of the choirs of Hereford, Gloucester and Worcester whenever requested by the stewards thereof. (In the box with the Royal charters.)

1760, Oct. 16.—Letter from William Underwood to the Mayor and Corporation, offering to give 4l. 4s. per annum for the farm of the Hop fair.

This fair has long since ceased to be held.

William Dunn Macray.


  • 3. * Powell was mayor in 1650–1. The petitioner's memory therefore was at fault, or else he served not the King but the Parliament.
  • 4. * In 1676, 1688, and other years about that time persons are presented for having nine-pins (called in 1677, nine pigs) and shuffle-board.
  • 5. † Two of these "sticks" are still in use, together with four maces.