The corporation of Bury St. Edmunds: Minute-books (1652-1835)

The Manuscripts of Lincoln, Bury St. Edmunds Etc. Fourteenth Report, Appendix; Part VIII. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1895.

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Historical Manuscripts Commission, 'The corporation of Bury St. Edmunds: Minute-books (1652-1835)', in The Manuscripts of Lincoln, Bury St. Edmunds Etc. Fourteenth Report, Appendix; Part VIII, (London, 1895) pp. 144-155. British History Online [accessed 21 May 2024].

Historical Manuscripts Commission. "The corporation of Bury St. Edmunds: Minute-books (1652-1835)", in The Manuscripts of Lincoln, Bury St. Edmunds Etc. Fourteenth Report, Appendix; Part VIII, (London, 1895) 144-155. British History Online, accessed May 21, 2024,

Historical Manuscripts Commission. "The corporation of Bury St. Edmunds: Minute-books (1652-1835)", The Manuscripts of Lincoln, Bury St. Edmunds Etc. Fourteenth Report, Appendix; Part VIII, (London, 1895). 144-155. British History Online. Web. 21 May 2024,


These books only begin at the year 1652, and up to the commencement of the present century form four volumes.

I. 1652–1691. ff. 255. Up to about the year 1679 this register appears to have been often kept irregularly, many leaves being left blank for entries never made.

1653, 29 Dec.—Five shillings to be paid to the ringers for ringing yesterday at the proclamation of the Lord Protector.

1654, 30 Oct.—Mr. Yaxley elected minister of St. James's in the place of Mr. John Gibbon, deceased. But on 9 March following Mr. Browneing was elected instead. Then on 28 May it was ordered that June 8 be set apart as a day to seek God in the hehalf of a minister to supply the place in the parish of St. James, and that Mr. Ray of Watfield, Mr. Lea of Groton, Mr. Browneing and Mr. Clegate be desired to assist in the carrying on of the work of that day. And on 16 July Mr. Samuel Slater was elected.

1657, 16 July.—Thanks given to Richard Child, M.D., for offering to give advice to poor sick people without fee.

1660, 18 Oct.—Ordered that the charters and evidences belonging to the Corporation be severed from the evidences and writings belonging to the feoffees of the Guildhall feoffment, and put into several chests within the evidence house.

1660, 11 March.—"At this meeting it was put to the question as followeth and voted:

1. First, whether Mr. Nicholas Clegate and Mr. Samuel Slater are fit persons to be continued ministers of this burgh or not, in regard they do refuse to be conformable to the discipline of the Church, according to the known laws of the kingdom. And it was carried in the negative.

2. Secondly, whether in respect of their non-conformity they shall continue ministers of the respective parishes of St. Mary and St. James for any longer time than to our Lady-day next or not. And this was also carried in the negative.

3. Thirdly, whether they shall be permitted to preach in St. Mary's parish only until midsummer next, and no longer, they admitting the Book of Common Prayer to be duly read there during that time, and having paid unto them for their salaries for preaching the Sundays' sermons and the Friday lectures in that parish, during the said time, twenty pounds apiece. And this was carried in the affirmative, nemine contradicente.

March 18, 1660.—We do subscribe and agree to these three votes. In witness whereof we have put our names, Nicholas Claget, Samuel Slater."

1661, 20 June.—Mr. John Burrough, rector of Ingham, elected minister of St. James.

1661, 20 Jan.—Order respecting trustees of Lady Rivers' bequest of 8l. per an. for four quarterly sermons.

1662, 4 Aug.—Five pounds given to Mr. Thomas Stephens as a gratuity for preaching and officiating at St. James's, to be laid out in books.

1663, 12 Oct.—The town being without any settled ministers, the alderman is to be allowed such charges as he shall be at in providing ministers and giving them and their attendants fit and necessary entertainment for the time they stay in town.

1663, 9 Nov.—Mr. William Williams elected to be one of the ministers at a salary of 80l. per an., with a dwelling house, or in lieu thereof 6l., to preach once on Sunday and to catechise, and the Friday lecture once a fortnight; the proposed salary increased on 16 Nov. to 100l. per an. to preach twice on the Lord's day, and to visit the sick. But Mr. Williams professing inability of body to bear the burden of preaching twice on the Lord's day and once a fortnight on Friday, his election was annulled on 11 Jan. Dr. William Starkey was elected in his place on 21 Jan., and Mr. Thomas Johnson to be the other minister on 21 July, 1664, both on the same terms.

1664, 18 Aug.—Letter from the King, of 22 July, recommending John Moore to be town-clerk, in consideration of his good services to Charles I. and his sufferings for the same, and a letter to the same effect from the Earl of St. Alban's; letters of assent from the Corporation; and reply from Sir Will. Morice, Secretary of State, on 10 Sept.

1664, 27 Oct.—Draft of the new charter approved.

1664, 10 Dec.—Letter from the Earl of St. Alban's, of 26 Nov., desiring that Mr. John Moore's name may be inserted in the new Charter as town-clerk.

1665. 10 Aug.—"Whereas it is conceived very necessary in these dangerous times of God's visitation timely to provide a pesthouse in case it should please God to send the plague amongst us, it is ordered and agreed that the great barn called Almoner's Barn belonging to the Corporation be used for that purpose, it being thought to be the most convenient place about the town, and the Corporation having no use for the said barn this year."

1668, 27 March.—45l. paid to Mr. John Clarke for two maces.

Catechising for instructing the poor people of St. Mary's parish, according to Mr. Jasper Sharpe's will, to begin on Tuesday, 7 Apr., and 4l. per an. to be paid to the officiating minister; Mr. John Temple, curate of St. Mary's, to be the minister pro temp.

22 May.—The alderman and burgesses having received intelligence that the King intends shortly to come in person to the town, and conceiving it a duty incumbent upon them to present him with a sum of money in acknowledgment of their thankfulness for his and his grandfather King James's large and ample bounty and favour bestowed upon this Corporation, it is agreed that 100l. in guinea gold be presented to him, to be borrowed on their personal securities.

28 May.—Demand being made by the King's servants, upon his passing through the town on Sunday last, for 36l. 6s. as their due fees, the Recorder is to use his best endeavours to get the charge taken off at London, but if he cannot prevail he shall engage for payment thereof.

1668, 3 Aug.—The new charter presented and read.

1668, 29 Aug.—Mr. Henry Meriton signs an agreement on being appointed minister of St. James, to do what was required of the previous minister, and so to preach on Christmas Day, 30 Jan., 29 May, 5 Nov., and upon all public humiliation and thanksgiving days; he shall administer the Lord's Supper as enjoined by the canons of the Church of England, and visit the sick if requested, and be resident in the town, supplying the place by himself.

1668, 15 March.—Particulars of the bill of homage-fees demanded by the King's servants on his passing through the town (including 10s. for the King's jester), upon which payment is made to Mr. Thomas Duppa, gentleman usher, who has come to the town to receive an answer, and who gives the Corporation to understand that in case they are not paid a pursuivant will suddenly come for the alderman, and carry him up to London, which will be a great discredit and charge to the Corporation.

1669, 3 March—Resolved that Mr. Meriton is not a fit person to be continued minister of St. James, the King having made known his pleasure to that effect to the Recorder by word of mouth, and that the concurrence of the bishop of the diocese be desired therein.

Then follow these copies of letters:

"Mr. Recorder's report delivered to the Corporation as he had it from the King's own mouth, touching Mr. Meriton.

His most excellent Majesty having commanded his attendance upon him upon Sunday 20 Feb. 1669, he obeyed accordingly, and being there his Majesty commanded him to represent to the Corporation that he took it not well from them who had received so many favours from him and his predecessors to choose a minister into the pulpit to instil bad principles into them and his people (of which he had received some information), and that he did expect a removal of him. To which Mr. Recorder answered (on the Corporation's behalf) that he knew they would be sorry for any actions of theirs whereby they should incur His Majesty's displeasure or reproof, and therefore doubted not but if upon mistake any such things were done it should be amended, and promised to represent unto them his Majesty's displeasure against the present minister Mr. Meriton. To which his Majesty replied, Let it be done, and tell them that he was much unsatisfied with the person in respect of his illcarriages in the pulpit (or to that effect), which is an improper place for sowing of sedition, and therefore wished him again to let them know that he expected his removal, and that he would not suffer the pulpit to make reflections upon him or his government, which showed that he had a presbyterian spirit, and therefore his Majesty wished Mr. Recorder again to represent it to the Corporation, that he might hear no more of it, lest it should reflect more upon them than they were aware of; which Mr. Recorder promised to do, and doubted not but that the Corporation would answer his Majesty's expectations in everything that was suitable to their trust and the great favours bestowed on them by the Crown.

Sir John Duncombe's letter written to Mr. James Cobbs touching Mr. Meriton.

Mr. Cobbs, I thought it fit to let you know what hath passed here about Mr. Meriton, there having been many complaints made to the King of him from several persons of his indiscretion and unfitness for that place. His Majesty was pleased to call to him Mr. Sotherby your Recorder, and told him that he would not stand to defend and prove, but he expected that the Corporation should dismiss him, and choose another orthodox and able minister; 'twas a great trust reposed in the Corporation to choose their ministers, and his ancestors had given the tithes to support them, and if they did not prefer such as was fit for that duty, he would take care to see better provision made. I cannot doubt but the Corporation will in this express their obedience to his Majesty's commands. I took liberty to excuse this their choice, and said I thought they had been mistaken in the man, and that he proved not what they expected; but I doubted not so soon as they understood his pleasure they would render a present obedience to his will. Which pray let me knew when they have done it, that I may present his Majesty with the knowledge of it. Present my service to the Corporation, and assure them I am their very affectionate friend, and ready to serve them in all occasions. So soon as Mr. Sotherby's return to you, he will acquaint the Corporation with what his Majesty gave him in command.

Your affectionate friend and servant, J. Duncombe.

Feb. 22, '69.

Sir John Duncombe's second letter to Mr. James Cobbs.

Sir,—I presented to his Majesty your accompt of what had passed in the Corporation, who was pleased very well to accept of the respect and duty . . . (blank) to him and his commands to dismiss Mr. Meriton. I did not omit to let him know how well Mr. Recorder had observed his directions, of Mr. Alderman's and your own concern in his service, and the zeal of others. I did forbear aggravating the failings of some in their slowness (to call it by no worse name) to meet in so extraordinary an occasion, hoping they will be warned by this gentle notice taken of it not to do the like for the future. I must not forget to remind you of one thing which the King recommended to you by your Recorder, that you take care to choose an orthodox and discreet minister. I need not after that say anything. I hope you will be as observant in this as in what you have done, being so much your own good. If there be any appear to be unsatisfied, 'twere well you advise them to understand their duty better. Present my affectionate service of the Corporation.

I am your very faithful friend, J. Duncombe.

March 10. '69.

(These letters were ordered on 17 March to be entered in the book.)

1669, 17 March.—Mr. William Lyng elected minister in place of Meriton, but on 10 May he comes and declines to accept it, but at length consents to act until Michaelmas next.

1670, 18 Aug.—Dr. William Harbert, "an able and an orthodox divine," elected, but on 17 Oct. he also declines election.

1670, 4 March.—Mr. John Edwards (about whose qualifications bishop Gunning of Chichester had been consulted) elected minister of St. James, and admitted on 13 March.

1672, 30 March.—15l. to be paid towards the new building of chambers at the Shirehouse, which if not built as is promised and the judges expect, the assizes, as it is conceived, will be removed from the town.

1672, 12 Apr.—A letter from Mr. Edwards, from St. John's College, Cambridge, 3 Apr., resigning his place as minister of St. James; hopes his successor may by residing please the town better than he hath done. Dr. William Herbert is again elected and on 22 Apr. admitted.

—, 29 Apr.—Dr. William Starkey surrenders his place as minister of St. Mary's. On 20 May Mr. Charles Darby elected, who on 3 June declines acceptance, being settled among people who do so well affect him and he them. On 12 Dec. Mr. William Clagett is elected, and is admitted.

1675, 12 June.—Ordered that the King's arms be set up at the front end of the Market Cross as formerly they had been.

1676, 13 July.—The following letter from the King to the Corporation was read:—

"Charles R. Trusty and well beloved we greet you well. Whereas we have been given to understand that upon the last vacancy of the place of a reader for the parish of St. Mary's by the death of — Piggott, two persons standing to be elect into the said place, the one William Stewkley, an orthodox divine, the other John Bull, a young man, and unqualified for such an office, as not being in priest's orders and under age, the said John Bull was for the reasons aforesaid protested against by the alderman and several of the burgesses of the Corporation at a general hall called for the said election, not one member of the aforesaid parish being for the said John Bull as we are informed; whereupon the said William Stewkley being recommended to the bishop of the diocese by the consent of the said alderman and chief of the society as well approved of for the said place, the bishop did license him to serve the said cure, and also gave his determination that the said John Bull could not undertake such an office, being not capable by qualification, but did inhibit the said John Bull from giving further trouble to the said William Stewkley therein; notwithstanding which the said John Bull still giving disturbance to the said William Stewkley and the Corporation, in regard he had one voice more than the other at the election, yet considering the difference of their qualifications and the judgment of the bishop in the case. We thought fit, for the preventing of further inconvenience that might grow thereupon, to send message to the Corporation that they would acquiesce in the choice of the said William Stewkley, nevertheless we understand that there are some of the said Corporation who still dissent from it, and seem to make some doubt of the truth of our said message, We therefore, calling to mind that we did authorise the delivery of the said message, and being still desirous to prevent all disturbance and animosity that may arise by any further dissension in our said Corporation concerning this election, have thereupon thought fit by these our royal letters to let you understand that we did send you the said message for your acquiescing in the said election, and we do hereby reiterate and confirm the same, recommending it to all parties concerned that for the peace of the parish and your Corporation you do all acquiesce therein, and receive and accept the said William Stewkley for reader of the forementioned parish church according to the determination and license of the said bishop, without any further trouble or opposition thereunto. And so we bid you farewell. Given at our Court at Whitehall, the 8th day of July 1676, in the eight and twentieth year of our reign. By his Majesty's command.
"H. Coventry."

Hereupon Stewkley is unanimously elected, with a salary of £20 per an. and is admitted. A copy of the King's letter was ordered on 11 Dec. to be given to John Bull.

1677, 5 May.—Mr. Isaac Wragg resigns his readership at St. James's, and Mr. John Bull is elected, with a salary of £20 per an.

1678, 24 Oct.—A bond given to Mr. William Clagett for payment of £98 arrears due to him. [The bond not discharged until 21 Jan. 168½.]

1679, 25 Aug.—Sir Thomas Hervey, knt. and Thomas Jermyn, esq., elected burgesses in parliament by the major past present.

—, 31 Aug.—Order for payment of arrears of 50l. 4s. 7d. to Dr. Herbert.

1680, 26 July.—Mr. Clagett's resignation of St. Mary's parish accepted. A letter to be sent to the earl of St. Alban's certifying that Mr. Nicholas Battely is an honest, sober, and orthodox diviue, and a person of very good abilities, the earl desiring to have such testimony before presenting him to the living of Noughton, resigned by Mr. Gooding.

—, 6 Nov.—Ordered that all the charters belonging to the Corporation be delivered to the Recorder, and by him carried up to London to be made use of to defend the election of Sir Thomas Hervey and Thomas Jermyn, esq. the present burgesses in parliament.

Agreed that no minister having ecclesiastical preferment shall be chosen to be preacher at St. Mary's.

—, 5 March.—Hervey and Jermyn unanimously re-elected burgesses for the parliament to be holden at Oxford. They being present accepted the election, and did freely remit the wages given by Act of parliament to members serving there.

—, 10 March.—Application of Dr. Herbert's widow granted, that she may supply preachers at St. James's until Midsummer. [Orders for payment of arrears due to her follow at intervals up to 1 March 1682/3].

—, 21 March.—Mr. Nicholas Clagett elected minister of St. Mary's, and Mr. Thomas Lynford minister of St. James's. Their signatures are attached to the agreements.

1681, 19 Sept.—An address ordered to be presented to the King [no particulars given].

—, 15 Dec.—Three silver cups which formerly belonged to the alderman for the time being ordered to be changed into a silver tankard.

1682, 27 March.—An address to be presented to the King at Newmarket by all the members of the Corporation in detestation of the Association.

—, 10 June.—The Cross, the chancel of St. James's church, &c. to be repaired. The orders are renewed on 14 June 1683, when it is added that the chancel be repaired for as little a sum as may be ex pended; and that St. Mary's chancel be repaired for a sum not exceeding £10.

1683, 14 June.—Mr. Michael Batt elected preacher at St. James's in the place of Mr. Lynford, who resigned at Midsummer, 1682; he is admitted and signs on 7 July.

—, 17 July.—An address to the King agreed upon, and ordered to be engrossed, upon the discovery of the [Rye House plot]. "We cast this humble address at your Majesty's feet, whereby we renew that loyalty which ever was and still is engraven in our hearts in indelible characters, and to manifest our just abhorrence of the treasonable designs and conspiracies of factious, turbulent and anti-monarchical spirits, who have lately confronted heaven itself by designing to murder your sacred majesty and royal brother, and thereby to subject to ruin and destruction the best of governments;" &c.

1684, 12 Apr., 7 May.—Agreed, nemine contradicente, to surrender the charters to the King; with the form of surrender adopted, praying the King to re-grant the choosing of officers, and the liberties and franchises, in such manner as he shall judge most conducing for the good government of the burgh.

—, 2 Oct.—Thanks given to Sir Thomas Hervey, knt., for the mayor's sword, which he presented to the Corporation upon his Majesty's creating them a mayor town.

—, 29 Dec.—Ordered that the mayor shall have the sword and mace carried before him on such days as the mace was formerly carried before the alderman.

—, 24 Jan.—Strict inquiry to be made, by two in every ward, how many houses are visited with the small pox, and the churchwardens of each parish to give an account how many have died of the small pox since 1 May last.

The charter to be left in the evidence house, and not in one single man's hands, and three keys to be made for the place where it lies.

1685, 9 Apr.—Sir Thomas Hervey and William Crofts. esq., unanimously chosen burgesses in parliament.

—. 15 May.—A room under "Moses Hall" assigned to Edward Worton.

—, 20 June.—The market cross to be tiled. A moveable "Kucking stool" (sic) to be forthwith erected.

—, 8 March.—St. Mary's chancel to be repaired. A further order on 6 Aug. 1687.

1686, 17 Apr.—A "ducking stool" to be forthwith erected at the Eastgate water. [This was removed in 1838.]

—, 14 June.—The glass window in St. James's chancel to be repaired.

—, 13 Dec.—All the charters to be put into the chest in the evidence house, with three locks and three keys.

—, 1 Feb.—The Stamford music to be town music; to be allowed 10l. a year and liveries once in two years.

1687 [–8], 23 Jan.—The members present being informed that the Lord Dover was very ill satisfied with the Corporation, it was put to the question whether they should make suitable application to his lordship to regain the good opinion which he hath had of them; and it passed in the affirmative. [There follows a proposed letter professing great concern at his dissatisfaction, that they have always in election of burgesses of parliament taken their measures from the recommendations of his family, and proposing, in order to show their gratitude for favours, that when the King calls a parliament, he and his brother Lord Jermyn should recommend some gentlemen of the county of the religion of the Church of England, from whom they would be ready to elect two. The major part present, however, desired time to consider of this till the next meeting, and no further entry about a letter occurs until 29 March infra, when the intruded members of the Corporation write in a different strain.]

1687, 21 Feb.—Out of the respect which the Corporation bear to the four ministers and curates, Mr. Nich. Clagett, Mr. Mich. Batt, Mr. Will. Stewkeley and Mr. John Bull, instruments are sealed confirming their respective appointments to them for their lives.

1687 [–8], 16 March.—One of his Majesty's messengers brought two instruments for removing Richard Pryme, mayor and alderman, five other aldermen, and ten common-council men, and for forthwith electing and admitting John Stafford to be mayor and alderman, and others into the other places, without administering to them any oath or oaths but the usual oaths for the execution of their respective places. The orders are obeyed, and immediately afterwards Richard Pryme, the late mayor delivered to Stafford the new mayor, the sword, two great maces, two little maces, and the common seal and seal of office. [One of the aldermen named, Thomas Covell, declined acceptance.]

1688, 29 March.—The following letter was agreed to be sent to Lord Dover.

"May it please your lordship, when we call to mind the great obligations your lordship's family hath formerly laid upon the government of this town, and that your lordship still retains the generous undertakings of your predecessors, we find ourselves not only bound in duty to offer this our acknowledgment of the personal favours you have shown to this Corporation, but also to beg your lordship's patronage of us whom his Majesty hath placed in this government, and to return our humble duties and thanks to his Majesty for the same, assuring him that as we have accepted this trust under his Majesty, so we shall employ it for his service, and we shall express our zeal for the preservation of his person and government, and will never fail upon all occasions in performing the trusts reposed in us according to the duty and obedience that become, Right Hon., your lordship's most obedient servants."

—, 14 May.—An order from the Council for removing four more aldermen and eight common council men, and admitting others without any oaths but those for the execution of their places; which order is at once carried into execution.

—, 17 May.—An address to the King agreed upon, to be presented by Lord Dover.

—, 7, 11 June.—A letter to Lord Dover agreed on, promising to elect such members for parliament as shall comply with his Majesty in all his gracious intentions.

Ordered that all charters and muniments be brought to the hall, They are given to the new mayor on 19 July.

1688, 11 June.—A letter to be written to Lord Dover to request his favour to procure the holding of the next assizes for the county at Bury.

—, 28 June.—The following letter from Lord Dover was read.

"June 26, 1688.—Gentlemen, Some time since I received a letter from you very full of duty and loyalty to our King, which you desired I would communicate to his Majesty from your Corporation. I was extremely glad of so good an opportunity of serving a body of men I always much esteemed and ever had inclinations to be kind to. Your King was pleased to read your letter himself, seemed much satisfied to find such an alteration in Bury, commanded me to thank you for it, and to assure you from him that as he expects you will make good your word to him, so likewise his Majesty will most inviolably keep whatever he has promised in his Declaration.

"After having obeyed his Majesty's commands, give me leave in my own particular to return my sincere acknowledgments for your kind expressions to me. If ever it be in my power to deserve it from you, assure yourselves I shall do it with all the readiness imaginable, and not more than you ought to expect from one that is so much, Gentlemen, your affectionate humble servant,

—, 19 July.—The deputy-recorder, John Sotheby, and the townclerk, Thomas Hustler, removed by order from the King and Council of 6 July, and Edmund Coleman and Jonathan Perry admitted by order of 7 July, without taking any oaths but those for the execution of their offices.

—, 10 Aug.—Edmund Coleman sworn in as Recorder with all the oaths according to the statutes, and a common-council man admitted in the same manner, taking the oaths of allegiance and supremacy and the oath mentioned in stat. 13 Car. II. cap. 1.

—, 23 Aug.—Two aldermen sworn in as assistant justices, taking all the statutory oaths.

—, 18 Sept.—Order from the Privy Council for removing two aldermen (Thomas Burrough and Thomas Hustler, of whom the latter had been appointed on 16 March) and four common-council-men (of whom two had been appointed on 14 May) and appointing certain others in their places without any oaths but that for the execution of their office.

—, 12 Oct.—Two addresses to the King submitted for consideration, of which one was passed by a majority, to be presented by some of the members with all possible expedition. It is ordered to be entered in the book, but the page which follows is left blank.

—, 22 Oct.—The King's proclamation for restoring corporations is read, and entered at length; and the charter of surrender made to Charles II. not being enrolled in any of the courts, and all persons appointed since by any patent or grant being dismissed by the proclamation, Martin Spencely, gent., is elected alderman under the old charter, and all the surviving members of the old Corporation are restored and the places vacant by death filled up.

—, 12 Jan.—Sir Rob. Davers, bart., and Sir Tho. Hervey, knt., elected members for the convention-parliament.

—, 19, 24 Jan.—John Covell elected town-clerk; he takes the oath for due execution of his office, and signs the statutory declaration, but the Recorder refuses to administer the oaths of allegiance and supremacy "in regard King James had left the realm, and it was conceived those oaths would be abrogated and new oaths appointed in their stead.

1689 [–90], 6 March.—Sir Rob. Davers, bart., and Henry Goldwell, esq., elected for parliament.

—, 17 March.—The town music discharged from future service in attending the Corporation, nemine contradicente.

1690 [–91], 16 March.—Whereas endeavours have been made for some years, and in all likelihood will be in the future, to prevail with the judges to hold the assizes for Suffolk at Ipswich, now, forasmuch as the conveniency of the shire-house at Bury is beyond that of theirs at Ipswich, which with respectful and generous entertainment of the judges and their associates, officers and attendants, will very much conduce to prevail with them to continue the assizes at this place, which entertainment must be answerable to their qualities and expectations, and not inferior to what is offered them in other places, it is recommended to the innholders, vintners, butchers, bakers, and such like retailers of provision, to forthwith subscribe a competent sum of money, proportionable to each man's takings, which will certainly return to their advantage.

1691, 7 May.—One arch in the north "oyle" of Moses Hall excepted from a lease of the building.

II.—The second volume, containing 665 numbered pages and leaves, extends from 21 Dec. 1693 to 22 Dec. 1767, and is a very full and complete register. An index of matters, written on loose sheets, lies in the volume, and there are also two separate index-books of matters and names, one to the year 1713, the other to 1767.

1695, 11 Oct.—The offer of 80l. per an. or of the tithes great and small is made to the ministers of the two parishes, archd. Nich. Clagett and Mr. Mich. Batt; and on 25 Jan. they accept the former offer, subject to payment of parliamentary taxes.

—, 11 Oct.—Mr. John Bull, curate of St. James's, to reside within the borough before Christmas and to officiate in his office, or to be discharged. He is "amoved for non-residence" on 21 May, 1703.

1696, 9 Apr.—An "Association" in defence of King William and in abhorrence of the conspiracy against him, signed by the Corporation and inhabitants.

1698, 20 March.—The cage and pillory to be removed from their present place, and set up against the workhouse or castle wall.

1707, 10 May.—Dr. Francis Hutchinson requested to print the admirable sermon preached by him at St. James's on 1 May upon the celebration of the happy union of England and Scotland, and thanks returned to him for his great labour therein. (fn. 1)

1708, 29 Apr.—Schedule of irons and goods in the gaol. The list commences with "Widowes arms and bolts, three neck-collars"; there are thirty-two "bassils."

1710,.10 June.—Ordered that there be engraved upon the large piece of plate, used for a punch-bowl, given by the Lady Hervey, wife of John lord Hervey, the cause of the gift, and the arms of lord Hervey and his wife and of the Corporation.

1711, 18 Aug.—Thanks to be presented to John lord Hervey for the present of his picture.

1713, 20 Aug.—Thanks to be returned to Thomas Sutton, gent., for a present made by him of a picture of John Sutton, gent., his late uncle, a pious benefactor to this borough.

1714, 11 Sept.—Address to George I. on his accession.

1715, 19 Sept.—Address to him on threatened invasion from abroad and riots and rebellions at home.

1718, 11 Dec.—100l. given by the Earl of Bristol in consequence of the town having been long afflicted with the small pox, for the relief of the families of the greatest sufferers.

1720, 8 Dec.—Dr. Fr. Hutchinson resigned his place as minister of St. James's, on being appointed bishop of Down and Connor.

1722, 16 Oct.—Mr. Benj. Malfalguirat, or Malfalgueyrat, surgeon, elected a common-council-man. He was elected one of the chief burgesses 19 July, 1735, and on 7 June in that year Misael Remon Malfalquyerat, surgeon, was admitted as one of the common-council.

1724, 4 Aug.—Four persons are appointed to be the town music. On 4 Oct. 1733 five persons are appointed to be "the corporation music and town waits," with a salary of 40s. each yearly.

1727, 4 May.—Address to George II. on the war with Spain.

1728, 16 Dec.—Order for the repair of the maces. 25l. 17s. 6d. paid on 21 Aug. 1729 for their repair.

1732, 8 March.—Resignation by Dr. Rob. Butts of his office of lecturer at St. James's on being appointed bishop of Norwich.

1734, 13 Aug.—Ordered that St. Matthew's fair shall not for the future be continued longer than 2 Oct.; advertisements to that effect to be inserted in the Bury newspapers and the Whitehall Evening Post.

—, 24 Oct.—Ordered that the scholars of the Free Grammar School have liberty to act plays at the playhouse over the market cross at any time before 10 Nov. next gratis, they making good all damage that shall be done thereby to the playhouse or seats or scenes there.

1735, 28 March.—Ordered that all leases, writings and evidences relating to the Corporation be brought in, to be deposited in the Evidence house.

1737, 19 Apr.—Order regulating burials in the chancels of the two churches.

1745, 19 Sept.—Address to George II. upon the rebellion "in favour of an abjured pretender, by the dregs of a restless motley faction, outlaws and abandoned men, irreconcileable to one another in every other principle and view but that of overturning our happy establishment."

1748, 18 Aug.—Five guineas to be paid to Mr. Thomas Warren towards the expense he has been at in taking the plan of this town, and for the plan presented by him to the Corporation.

[This plan now hangs in a room in the Guild Hall, framed and glazed.]

1751, 22 Aug.—Bequest by the Earl of Bristol of 200l. for the poor.

1760, 29 Nov.—A lengthy address to Geo. III. upon his accession.

1761, 27 March.—Consent given for the taking down of the five gates of the town on account of their ruinous and dangerous condition. On 6 June, 1765, a committee is appointed for the taking down of the West gate, who report on 22 Aug. that it has been taken down at a cost of 10l. 9s., and the materials sold for 10l. 10s.

1762, 28 Oct.—Address to the King on the birth of the Prince of Wales, and on the victories gained by sea and land.

1767, 20 Aug.—The sergeants-at-mace and the beadles when they have new coats once in two years to have at the same time hats laced with gold lace.

III. The third volume of the Minutes contains 300 pp. and extends from 18 March 1768 to 19 Apr. 1805; and the fourth volume, of 614 pp., from 9 Aug. 1805 to 21 Dec. 1835. These volumes are indexed.

The municipal regalia consist of two silver-gilt maces, 36½ inches long, each of them having on a circular cup-shaped top the rose, thistle, harp, and fleur-de-lis, each set between the initials C R, with a circlet of crosses, and fleurs-de-lis above and the royal arms within; the whole surmounted by a crown with orb and cross. Round the lower part of the stem is the inscription, "New cast in 1729. Wm Allen, Aldn," as noticed in the extracts from the Minute books above. This must, however, refer only to the stem, since the upper part is evidently original, but repaired. The goldsmith's initials R.C. are on one of the maces, but without date letter; the other mace has no mark. The initials R.C. are not infrequently found on plate of the early years of the reign of Charles I., but the name they represent is not known. The sword of state is 51½ inches long, of which the blade measures about 37. It has a massive silver handle, on one side of which is a figure of Justice, sitting, with sword and scales, and on the other a sitting figure holding a charter with four seals pendent. There is no goldsmith's mark or year-letter. The upper part of the blade is ornamented with arabesque gilding. It is enclosed in a red velvet sheath, having solid silver ornaments on both sides of crown and garter, rose and crown, the borough arms, &c. There are two halberds.


  • 1. This sermon was reprinted by Bishop Hutchinson at Dublin in 1734, at the end of his Defence of the ancient Historians.