The Corporation: Officers

Historical Account of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Including the Borough of Gateshead. Originally published by Mackenzie and Dent, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1827.

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Eneas Mackenzie, 'The Corporation: Officers', Historical Account of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Including the Borough of Gateshead, (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1827), pp. 611-627. British History Online [accessed 25 June 2024].

Eneas Mackenzie. "The Corporation: Officers", in Historical Account of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Including the Borough of Gateshead, (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1827) 611-627. British History Online, accessed June 25, 2024,

Mackenzie, Eneas. "The Corporation: Officers", Historical Account of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Including the Borough of Gateshead, (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1827). 611-627. British History Online. Web. 25 June 2024,

In this section


The corporate officers at present are, a mayor, recorder, sheriff, ten aldermen, twenty-four common council, twenty-four electors, two coroners, a town-clerk, undersheriff, sword-bearer, clerk of the chambers, eight chamberlains, eight serjeants at mace (whereof the water-bailiff, who bears the great mace, and the sheriffs' serjeant, are of the number), a water-bailiff, quay-master, gaoler, corn-inspector, town-marshall, town-surveyor, and common cryer. There are, besides, a few other officers, and the constables of the twenty-four wards of the town.


Newcastle was made a mayor town in 36th Henry III. which privilege was confirmed by Edward I. The office of mayor is one of great trust, labour, and dignity. The salary at present is £2000 per annum; besides which, the Mansion-house is kept in repair, and provided with every necessary article of furniture. A state coach and barge are also maintained at the expense of the corporation.

The annual election of mayor is conducted agreeably to the charter of 42d Elizabeth, and that of James I. Each of the twelve mysteries of the town name and present two men. These 24 delegates, called former electors, elect the old mayor and three aldermen. The four thus elected then elect and add to their own body seven aldermen, and one person, who either is or has been a sheriff of the town; or, if they cannot find seven aldermen, they have to elect eight persons who have been sheriffs; or, if they cannot find these, they have to elect eight burgesses. The old mayor and three aldermen, when joined to these eight, are called the twelve first electors. Each of the twelve mysteries next send one of their body, out of which the first electors choose six, who, joined to themselves, make eighteen electors. Each of the fifteen by-trades also choose one of their body, who again choose twelve freemen, out of which the eighteen electors before mentioned choose six, making in all the number of twenty-four electors; which twenty-four, or the greater part of them, elect the mayor, recorder, and other officers. There are, according to this plan, seven elections before the actual election! But all the puzzling intricacy which it exhibits will be found, on examination, a despicable mockery of independence.

[Where a chasm occurs in the date, it is to be considered as occupied by the preceding mayor.]
1251 Peter Scot (fn. 1)
1254 Henry Carliol
1264 Thomas Carliol
1269 Nicholas Scott (fn. 2)
1271 Thomas de Karle
1275 John Rogerson
1276 Thomas de Carliol
1277 Thomas Karl
1278 John Rogerson
1279 Thomas de Karle
1280 John Rogerson
1282 Robert Mitford
1283 William Hawkwell (fn. 3)
1286 Henry le Scott
1291 Hugh de Carliol
1294 Hugh de Gubyone (fn. 4)
1295 Hugh de Carliol
1297 John Scott
1304 Peter le Draper
1306 Richard de Emeldon
1308 Nicholas Carliol
1311 Richard Emeldon
1314 Thomas Carliol
1315 Richard Emeldon
1319 Nicholas Carliol
1321 Richard Emeldon
1322 Nicholas Scott
1323 Richard Emeldon
1327 Sir Nicholas Scott
1328 Nicholas Carliol
1329 Richard Emeldon
1330 William Burnton
1331 Richard Emeldon
1333 Richard Acton
1334 Hugh Hecham
1336 John Denton
1337 Nicholas Scott
1338 Hugh Heckam
1332 Waleranus de Lumley
1340 Sir William Felton
1341 John Denton
1342 Robert de Halliwell
1343 Richard Galloway
1344 Robert Shilvington
1345 Robert Faghill
1346 Robert Shilvington
1347 Peter Draper
1351 Gilbert Duxfield
1352 William Strother
1353 Peter Draper
1355 William Strother
1361 John Chambre
1362 John Chambers
1363 Robert Angreton
1365 Richard Stanhope
1366 William Acton
1369 Robert Angreton (fn. 5)
1375 William Scot
1376 John Bulgham
1379 Richard Stanhope
1382 William Bishopdale
1386 Adam Bulkham
1390 William Bishopdale (fn. 6)
1396 Sampson Harding
1400 Roger Thornton

All the preceding mayors were assisted by four bailiffs. The last bailiffs were, Laurence Acton, John de Aukland, William Jonson, and Henry de Carliol. But, in 1400, Henry IV. made Newcastle a county of itself, and granted that a sheriff should be annually chosen instead of the bailiffs. Six aldermen were also permitted to be chosen, to assist in the government of the town.—See page 605.

List of Mayors continued, to which is added the Names of the Sheriffs.
1401 Roger Thornton William Redmarshall
1402 Robert Chirdon John Bywellgne
1409 William Aughton William Middleton
1414 Robert Hebborn The same
1416 Roger Thornton John del Strother
1421 William Essington Laurence Acton
1422 The same John Chirdon
1423 William Ellerby The same
1425 The same John Jay
1426 Roger Thornton The same
1428 John Rhodes The same
1429 The same John Clark
1431 The same Edward Bertram
1432 Laurence Acton Thomas Chirdon
1433 The same Thomas Penrith
1434 Richard Hall Richard Brown
1435 Robert Whelpington Thomas Wardel
1436 Richard Hall John Chambers
1437 Laurence Acton Thomas Pendreth (fn. 7)
1438 Robert Whelpington John Castle
1439 John Clark William Harding
1440 John Chambers John Musgrave
1441 William Harding Simon Weldon
1442 Thomas Wardell William Jay
1443 John Musgrave Thomas Headlam
1444 William Harding Thomas Bee
1445 William Jay John Ward
1446 William Harding John Wintonalias Ovington
1447 The same Robert Baxter
1448 John Ward John Richardson
1449 William Harding Alan Bird
1450 John Ward George Carr
1451 Robert Baxter John Baxter
1452 William Harding John Penritht
1453 John Carliol Nicholas Wetwang
1454 John Richardson William Roddam
1455 The same Thomas Cuthbert
1456 The same John Nixon
1457 The same Richard Stevenson
1458 John Penreth Henry Fowler
1459 John Richardson Richard Stevenson
1460 John Baxter Nicholas Hayning
1461 John Richardson Nicholas Wetwang
1462 Alan Bird Henry Forster
1463 The same William Blaxton
1464 John Nixon Nicholas Hayning
1465 Alan Bird William Thompson
1466 John Nixon Robert Chambers
1467 William Blaxton John Esington
1468 John Nixon John Cook
1469 Richard Stevenson John Fisher
1470 William Blaxton Thomas Lokwood
1471 John Nixon John Carr
1472 William Blaxton Thomas Snow
1473 The same Robert Harding
1474 Nicholas Hayning William Hodshon
1475 John Carliol John Semple
1476 The same Peter Bewick
1477 John Cook John Heaton
1478 Robert Chambers John Ridsdale
1479 John Semple William Scot
1480 John Carlisle William Bewick
1481 George Carr William Cunningham
1482 John Cook Robert Harding
1483 John Carlisle Robert Stockett
1484 George Carr George Bird
1485 Robert Chambers Thomas Harbourn
1486 George Carr Robert Brigham
1487 The same John Penreth
1488 Thomas Lockwood William Richardson
1489 George Carr William Chambers
1490 Peter Bewick Thomas Morpeth
1491 George Carr Robert Harding
1492 The same Bartholomew Young
1493 George Bird Thomas Hardbread
1494 The same Thomas Green
1495 The same Christopher Brigham
1496 The same William Hayning
1497 Robert Harding William Davel
1498 George Carr John Penrith
1499 Robert Brigham John Snow
1500 George Carr William Riddell
1501 Bartholomew Young William Selby
1502 George Carr Thomas Hall or Hill
1503 John Snow Robert Baxter
1504 Christopher Brigham John Blaxton
1505 The same John Brandling
1506 George Bird Thomas Sanderson
1507 Bart. Younghusband William Harbred
1508 Robert Baxter Thomas Leighton
1509 John Brandling Edward Baxter
1510 Thomas Riddell Roger Dent
1511 Chris. Brigham (fn. 8) John Paslopp
1512 John Brandling Thomas Horsley
1513 John Blaxton William Harding
1514 Thomas Horsley Robert Watson
1515 Roger Dent Robert Russell
1516 John Brandling Peter Chaitor
1517 Edward Baxter Nicholas Richardson
1518 The same Thomas Baxter
1519 Thomas Horsley Gilbert Middleton
1520 John Brandling Henry Anderson
1521 Thomas Riddell George Davell
1522 Edward Baxter Robert Bertram
1523 The same James Lawson
1524 Thomas Horsley Robert Brandling
1525 The same John Watson
1526 Thomas Riddell Edward Swinburn
1527 John Blaxton William Carr
1528 Edward Swinburn Andrew Bewick
1529 James Lawson Bartholomew Bee
1530 Gilbert Middleton Roger Mitford
1531 Henry Anderson John Anderson
1532 Robert Brandling Ralph Carr
1533 Thomas Horsley (fn. 9) William Dent
1534 Ralph Carr Peter Bewick
1535 Thomas Baxter Thomas Bewick
1536 Robert Brandling John Orde
1537 John Sanderson John White
1538 Andrew Bewick George Selby
1539 Henry Anderson John Hilton
1540 James Lawson Robert Brigham
1541 James Hilton Robert Lewin
1542 Henry Anderson Mark Shaftoe
1543 Robert Brandling Bartholomew Anderson
1544 Robert Lewin Cuthbert Ellison
1545 George Davell Oswald Chapman
1546 Henry Anderson Edward Baxter
1547 Robert Brandling Thomas Scott
1548 Mark Shaftoe Cuthbert Blunt
1549 Cuthbert Ellison Richard Hodshon
1550 Robert Brigham Cuthbert Musgrave
1551 Bart. Anderson Cuthbert Mitford
1552 Robert Lewin John Raw
1553 Cuthbert Blunt Robert Ellison
1554 Cuthbert Ellison William Dixon
1555 Richard Hodshon John Wilkinson
1556 Christopher Mitford William Dent
1557 Bart. Anderson William Carr
1558 Oswald Chapman Andrew Surtees
1559 Robert Ellison Robert Anderson
1560 Cuthbert Musgrave Francis Anderson
1561 John Wilkinson Stephen Southeren
1562 William Dent George Selby
1563 Bertram Anderson Thomas Liddell
1564 Robert Brandling William Selby
1565 William Carr Anthony Swinburn
1566 Richard Hodshon Henry Brandling
1567 Robert Anderson John Watson
1568 Henry Brandling William Jennison
1569 Christopher Mitford George Simpson
1570 Robert Ellison George Briggs
1571 William Jennison Henry Anderson
1572 Thomas Liddell Robert Barker
1573 William Selby Mark Shaftoe
1574 John Watson Roger Rawe
1575 Henry Brandling William Ridle
1576 The same Christopher Lewin
1577 Robert Barker Edward Lewin
1578 Mark Shaftoe Henry Leonard
1579 Roger Rawe James Carr
1580 Richard Hodshon Robert Atkinson
1581 William Jennison Henry Chapman
1582 William Riddell Henry Mitford
1583 Henry Anderson Roger Nicholson
1584 Henry Mitford Lionel Maddison
1585 Robert Barker George Whitfield
1586 Henry Chapman Robert Dudley
1587 Edward Lewin Edward Lewin
1588 Roger Nicholson George Farnaby
1589 William Selby John Gibson
1590 William Riddell Ralph Jennison
1591 George Farnaby William Greenwell
1592 Roger Rawe Thomas Liddell
1593 Lionel Maddison William Jennison
1594 Henry Anderson George Selby
1595 William Riddell Francis Anderson
1596 Ralph Jennison (fn. 10) Adrian Hedworth
1597 Thomas Liddell William Huntley
1598 George Farnaby William Warmouth
1599 William Jennison James Clavering
1600 George Selby Robert Anderson
1601 Francis Anderson Thomas Riddell
1602 Robert Dudley Francis Burrell
1603 William Warmouth Matthew Chapman
1604 Thomas Riddell Peter Riddell
1605 Lionel Maddison Henry Maddison
1606 Sir George Selby Hugh Selby
1607 James Clavering Robert Shaftoe
1608 Henry Chapman William Hall
1609 Thomas Liddell Thomas Liddell
1610 William Jennison Timothy Draper
1611 Sir George Selby Alexander Davison
1612 Francis Anderson Roger Anderson
1613 Sir Henry Anderson Henry Chapman
1614 William Warmouth John Cock
1615 Francis Burrell Robert Bewick
1616 Sir Thomas Riddell Nicholas Milburn
1617 Lionel Maddison William Bonner
1618 James Clavering John Clavering
1619 Sir Peter Riddell Robert Anderson
1620 Henry Chapman Nicholas Tempest
1621 William Jennison Henry Liddell
1622 Sir George Selby Richard Ledger
1623 Henry Maddison Henry Bowes (fn. 11)
1624 William Hall Lionel Maddison
1625 Sir Thomas Liddell Ralph Cole
1626 Alexander Davison Ralph Cock
1627 Henry Chapman Henry Cock
1628 Robert Bewick Ralph Grey
1629 John Clavering Robert Shaftoe
1630 Robert Anderson James Carr
1631 William Warmouth Henry Warmouth
1632 Sir Lionel Maddison Francis Bowes
1633 Ralph Cole (fn. 12) Nicholas Cole
1634 Ralph Cock John Marley
1635 Sir Peter Riddell Leonard Carr
1636 Thomas Liddell Henry Lewen
1637 John Marley Peter Maddison
1638 Alexander Davison Mark Milbank
1639 Robert Bewick John Emmerson
1640 Sir Nicholas Cole Francis Liddell
1641 The same Francis Anderson
1642 Sir John Marley Henry Maddison
1643 Sir Nicholas Cole Thomas Liddell, qu.
1644 Sir John Marley§ James Cole
1645 John Blackston Christopher Nicholson
1646 Henry Dawson Henry Rawling
1647 Thomas Ledger Robert Young
1648 Thomas Bonner Ralph Jennison
1649 William Dawson Samuel Rawling
1650 George Dawson John Lodge
1651 Thomas Bonner Peter Sanderson
1652 Henry Dawson John Butler
1653 William Johnson Robert Johnson
1654 The same John Rumney
1655 Robert Shaftoe Henry Thompson
1656 Henry Rawling George Blakiston
1657 George Dawson George Thoresby
1658 Mark Milbank John Watson
1659 Thomas Bonner James Briggs or Bigg
1660 John Emerson William Blackett
1661 Sir John Marley (fn. 13) Thomas Jennison
1662 Sir Francis Anderson Henry Brabant
1663 Sir James Clavering Robert Shaftoe
1664 Sir Francis Liddell Francis Liddell
1665 Henry Maddison William Carr
1666 William Blackett Timothy Davison
1667 Henry Brabant Ralph Grey
1668 Ralph Jennison Robert Jennison
1669 Thomas Davison John Rogers
1670 William Carr Richard Wright
1671 Ralph Grey Matthew Jefferson
1672 Mark Milbank Robert Mallabar
1673 Timothy Davison George Morton
1674 Thomas Jennison Henry Jennison
1675 Sir Francis Anderson William Christian
1676 Sir Ralph Carr Michael Blackett
1677 Robert Roddam Timothy Robson
1678 Matthew Jefferson Nicholas Fenwick
1679 George Morton William Aubone
1680 Sir Nath. Johnson Joseph Bonner
1681 Timothy Robson John Squire
1682 Nicholas Fenwick Nicholas Ridley
1683 William Blackett John Rumney
1684 William Aubone William Proctor
1685 Sir Henry Brabant Ralph Elstob
1686 Nicholas Cole Thomas Paise
1687 John Squire (fn. 14) William Ramsay
1688 William Hutchinson (fn. 15) Matthias Partis
1689 William Carr William Featherston
1690 William Ramsey Thomas Wasse
1691 Matthew White Joseph Atkinson
1692 Thomas Wasse Benjamin Davison
1693 Sir Ralph Carr George Whinfield
1694 Joseph Atkinson Robert Eden
1695 Timothy Robson George Henderson
1696 George Whinfield William Ramsay
1697 Nicholas Fenwick George Cuthbertson
1698 Sir William Blackett Edward Harrison
1699 Robert Eden Jonathan Hargrave
1700 George Anderson John Bowes
1701 William Ramsay William Boutflower
1702 William Carr John Bell
1703 Matthew White Allan Bateman
1704 Thomas Wasse Matthew Matfen§
1705 Sir Ralph Carr William Ellison
1706 Nicholas Ridley Matt. Featherstonehaugh
1707 Joseph Atkinson Henry Reay
1708 Robert Fenwick Edward Johnson
1709 George Whinfield Henry Dalston
1710 William Ellison Ralph Reed
1711 M. Featherstonhaugh Francis Rudston
1712 Henry Reay Joseph Green
1713 Richard Raey Joseph Green
1714 Edward Johnson Roger Matfen
1715 Henry Dalston Nathaniel Clayton
1716 Ralph Reed Francis Johnson
1717 Francis Rudson John Kelly
1718 Sir Willm. Blackett (fn. 16) Thomas Stephenson
1719 Joseph Green Cuthbert Fenwick
1720 Nicholas Fenwick Jacob Rutter
1721 Francis Johnson Stephen Coulson
1722 William Ellison Robert Sorsbie
1723 M. Featherstonhaugh (fn. 17) Richard Swinburn
1724 William Carr James Moncaster
1725 Nathaniel Clayton Thomas Wasse
1726 Nicholas Fenwick Joseph Liddell
1727 Cuthbert Fenwick Robert Johnson
1728 Stephen Coulson John Stephenson
1729 Henry Reay Cuthbert Smith
1730 Francis Rudston William Harbottle
1731 Robert Sorbie Challoner Cooper
1732 Richard Ridley William Fenwick
1733 Matthew Ridley John Simpson
1734 William Ellison Robert Ellison
1735 Walter Blackett John Wilkinson
1736 Nicholas Fenwick Matthew Bell
1737 William Carr Jonathan Sorsbie
1738 Nathaniel Clayton William Greenwell
1739 Cuthbert Fenwick Cuthbert Collingwood
1740 Edw. Collingwood (fn. 18) Ralph Sowerby
1741 Robert Sorsbie John Ord
1742 John Simpson William Peareth
1743 Ralph Sowerby George Colpitts
1744 John Ord (fn. 19) Aubone Surtees
1745 Cuthbert Smith Henry Partis
1746 Nicholas Fenwick Henry Eden
1747 The same William Watson
1748 Walter Blackett John Vonholte
1749 Robert Sorsbie Robert Heron
1750 Ralph Sowerby William Clayton
1751 Matthew Ridley Matthew Scaife
1752 Henry Partis Francis Rudston
1753 Henry Eden John Harrison
1754 Cuthbert Smith William Rowell
1755 William Clayton William Harbottle
1756 Sir Walter Blackett John Erasmus Blackett
1757 Matthew Bell John Scurfield
1758 Ralph Sowerby Edward Mosley
1759 Matthew Ridley Matthew Stephenson
1760 Henry Partis John Baker
1761 Aubone Surtees Fletcher Partis
1762 Cuthbert Smith Hugh Hornby
1763 William Clayton Francis Forster
1764 Sir Walter Blackett Thomas Blackett
1765 J. Erasmus Blackett Charles Atkinson
1766 Matthew Scaife John Hedley
1767 Edward Mosley Richard Lacy
1768 John Baker William Coulson
1769 Francis Forster William Reed
1770 Aubone Surtees James Liddell
1771 Sir Walter Blackett Christopher Wilkinson
1772 J. Erasmus Blackett James Rudman
1773 Matthew Scaife (fn. 20) William Yielder
1774 Sir M. W. Ridley Francis Johnson
1775 Charles Atkinson William Cramlington
1776 John Baker James Thomas Loraine
1777 John Hedley Robert Clayton
1778 Hugh Hornby James Wilkinson
1779 Francis Forster Isaac Cookson
1780 J. Erasmus Blackett William Surtees
1781 Edward Mosley John Wallis§
1782 Sir M. W. Ridley Richard Bell
1783 Charles Atkinson Christopher Soulsby
1784 James Rudman Edward Dale
1785 William Yielder Aubone Surtees
1786 Francis Johnson Richard Chambers
1787 William Cramlington Joseph Forster
1788 John Hedley Robert Newton Lynn
1789 Hugh Hornby Nathaniel Hornby
1790 J. Erasmus Blackett Charles John Clavering
1791 Sir M. W. Ridley Shaftoe John Hedley
1792 James Rudman Matthew Pringle
1793 William Yielder Henry J. Hounsom
1794 Francis Johnson Archibald Reed
1795 Richard Chambers Anthony Hood
1796 William Cramlington Nicholas Hall
1797 Anthony Hood Thomas Smith
1798 John Wallis William Wright
1799 R. S. Hedley Henry Cramlington
1800 Archibald Reed Aubone Surtees, jun.
1801 Joseph Forster Matthew Hedley Issac Cookson, jun.
1802 Thomas Clennell Dixon Brown
1803 Thomas Smith Thomas Cookson
1804 Robert Clayton Benjamin Sorsbie
1805 Henry Cramlington N. J. Winch
1806 Archibald Reed John Cookson
1807 Anthony Hood Thomas Burdon
1808 Joseph Forster Thomas Burdon, 2d time
Benj. Sorsbie, 2d time
George Shadforth
1809 Isaac Cookson, jun. Job James Bulman
1810 Thomas Burdon William Smoult Temple
1811 George Forster Thomas Burdon, jun.
1812 Robert Clayton Thomas Anderson
1813 Thomas Smith Thomas Smith, jun.
1814 Benjamin Sorsbie Richard Brewster
1815 Henry Cramlington Ralph Naters
1816 Sir Thomas Burdon Thomas Logan
1817 Robert Clayton William Clayton
1818 Joseph Forster Henry Clayton
1819 Archibald Reed Nicholas Naters
1820 George Forster John Anderson, jun.
1821 Aubone Surtees Alfred Hall
1822 Robert Bell Edward Johnson
1823 William Wright Edward John Jackson
1824 Henry Cramlington George Shadforth, 2d time
1825 George Forster John Lionel Hood
1826 Archibald Reed Alfred Hall, 2d time

In 1808, Thomas Burdon, Esq. was re-elected sheriff, but, on December 24, was succeeded by Benjamin Sorsbie, Esq. who resigned on the 23d of February following, when George Shadforth, Esq. was elected to that office. His nonage prevented his earlier election, and no other person could be procured. The unusual circumstance of so many gentlemen having been lately re-elected sheriff, arises from the great difficulty experienced in persuading persons to accept the office.

From the great increase of the trade and population of the town, the office of chief magistrate requires extraordinary attention, patience, and decision. It has been proposed to engage a stipendiary magistrate, properly qualified to assist the mayor in deciding on the numerous cases heard in his chamber; as few gentlemen engaged in manufacturing or commercial pursuits can be expected voluntarily to sacrifice a great portion of their time in the public service. The present mayor has been honoured at different times with the thanks of the stewards of the incorporated companies, the committee of stewards, and the auditors, for his meritorious public conduct. The present sheriff is also distinguished for the independence, dignity, and hospitality, which he displays in office.


Robert Clayton, Esq. elected alderman in March, 1797, in the room of C. Atkinson, Esq. who was killed by falling down a pit in Scotland.

Thomas Clennell, Esq. elected alderman October 20, 1800, in room of Aubone Surtees, Esq. deceased.

Thomas Smith, Esq. elected alderman June 2, 1803, in room of Robert Shaftoe Hedley, Esq. deceased.

Henry Cramlington, Esq. elected alderman September 24, 1805, in room of Francis Johnson, Esq. resigned.

Isaac Cookson, Jun. Esq. elected alderman September 22, 1807, in room of William Yielder, Esq. deceased.

George Forster, Esq. elected alderman July 9, 1810, in room of William Cramlington, Esq. deceased.

Benjamin Sorsbie, Esq. elected alderman August 8, 1810, in room of Anthony Hood, Esq. deceased.

Aubone Surtees, Esq. elected alderman in room of Sir Thomas Burdon, Knt. who resigned Oct. 3, 1818.

Robert Bell, Esq. elected alderman April 20, 1820, in room of Joseph Forster, Esq. deceased.

William Wright, Esq. of North Shields, elected alderman September 8, 1823, on the resignation of Isaac Cookson, Sen. Esq.

October 13, 1797, the electors and burgesses of the corporation met at the Spital, for the election of an alderman, in room of Richard Chambers, Esq. resigned; when Alexander Adams, Jonathan Sorsbie, George Lake, William Darnell, and William Kent, Esqrs. were successively elected, but, on their refusing to take the office, were fined 100 marks each. The meeting was adjourned to the 20th of October following, when John Wallis, Esq. was elected. This singular reluctance to accept office arose from an apprehension that the corporation would become insolvent, in consequence of 3d. a chaldron having been deducted from the corporate duty on all coals shipped, by the verdict given in the trial between Sir William Leighton and the corporation.

Isaac Cookson, Sen. Esq. was elected alderman June 1, 1810; but refusing to stand, George Forster, Esq. was at last persuaded to volunteer to the office. On June 30, 1814, Isaac Cookson, Sen. Esq. was elected alderman, in room of John Erasmus Blackett, Esq. deceased. On this occasion, the fine formerly inflicted on Mr. Cookson, for refusing the office, was remitted.


The charter of James I. directs that the twenty-four electors, upon the Monday next after the feast of St. Michael the Archangel, "shall elect and nominate one discreet man, skilled and learned in the laws of this our realm, to be recorder of the aforesaid town; although such person so elected, or to be elected to be recorder of the said town, be not a burgess of the said town, to remain in his office of recorder for one whole year then next following, if he the recorder, so elected and nominated, live so long, and well behave himself in the said office." If it "happen that the recorder of the aforesaid town, for the time being, shall depart, die, or be removed from his office, or forsake the said office, that then the aforesaid electors for the time being, or the greater part of them, in the presence of the said mayor, can and may, within twenty days next after such decease, death, or removal, elect another fit person, learned and skilled in the laws, although he be not a burgess of the said town, in the place of that recorder that so died, departed, was removed, or forsook the office of recorder as aforesaid, for the residue of that year then to come, such recorder so newly chosen and elected first taking his oath for the executing his office duly and lawfully." Collier, in his Essay on Charters, page 73, mentions a new charter, given after the above of James I. in 1604, by which the places of recorder, town-clerk, and chamber-clerk, are for life. The salary of the recorder is £59 per annum. (fn. 21)

List Of Recorders.

Robert Fulbury occurs February 26, 1466.

Thomas Tempest occurs next in 1517, and Sir Thomas Tempest in 1536.

"Mr. Caverley, Gent." occurs as recorder in 1588, in St. Nicholas' register.

Sir John Savil, a baron of the exchequer, is named in Queen Elizabeth's charter, granted in 1600.

Sir John Jackson, Knt. occurs in 1609, and again in 1621.

Sir Thomas Riddle appointed about 1622, occurs in 1637.

Sir George Baker was displaced, by order of parliament, on May 26, 1645.

Edward Wright, of Grey's Inn, Esq. succeeded the above.

Mark Shaftoe, Esq. occurs in 1648. He died February 25, 1658.

Sir Robert Shaftoe, Knt. occurs in 1660; made serjeant-at-law in 1664; died May 21, 1705.

Henry Lampton, Esq. occurs as "deputy recorder" in 1685, when the above is called the "late recorder."

Joseph Barnes, eldest son of Alderman Barnes, became deputy recorder by the mandate of James II. December 24, 1687, when Mr. Lampton was removed.

Sir Robert Shaftoe was restored to the office of recorder at the Revolution.

William Davison, of Beamish, Esq. chosen in 1705, but did not act, and soon resigned.

John Cuthbert of Durham, Esq. elected January 18, 1706. He afterwards became serjeant-at-law, and died April 5, 1726.

John Isaacson, Esq. elected January 21, 1725. He died January 3, 1737.

Edward Collingwood, barrister-at-law, chosen February 13, 1737. Resigned in November, 1739.

William Cuthbert, Esq. barrister-at-law, elected November 12, 1739. He died August 29, 1746.

Christopher Fawcett, Esq. barrister-at-law, appointed September 3, 1746; resigned 1753.

Edward Collingwood, of Chirton, Esq. had been made an alderman, but was re-chosen recorder on the resignation of Mr. Fawcett.

Christopher Fawcett, Esq. re-appointed, on Mr. Collingwood's resignation, December 6, 1769.

Robert Hopper Williamson, Esq. barrister-at-law, succeeded Mr. Fawcett in 1794.


In the charter, 42 Queen Elizabeth, it is said, "Whereas the town of Newcastle upon Tyne is a town of merchants, a mart or market of great fame, and filled with a multitude of merchants, dwelling therein, and of others, as well home-bred thither flowing, and there expecting their trade of merchanting, and thereupon it is necessary to order and establish a certain order within the said town, and the speedy recovery of debts to merchants, &c. due. (fn. 22) The queen appoints William Jackson, gentleman, to be her first and then modern clerk, for taking recognizances of debts, within the said town, to enjoy the same during his life; and after his death, the mayor and burgesses, &c. are empowered to prefer to the said office another of the burgesses of the said town, to be the queen's clerk (as before), and to continue so long as it should please the mayor, &c. And shall have a seal, in two pieces, for sealing the said recognizances; the mayor to have the custody of the greater piece, and the clerk to have the custody of the lesser piece of the said seal; so that if a merchant or any other shall be made a debtor, he may come before the mayor and clerk of recognizances, and before them acknowledge his debt and day of payment. And the said mayor and clerk may do and dispatch all other things, which by the statute aforesaid are requisite, The said mayor and clerk are to have such wages, fees, rewards, and emoluments, for the execution of the said office, as any other mayor and clerk of recognizances, of any other town or city in England, lawfully and of right hath or receiveth."

William Jackson, Gent. 1660.

Robert Clavering.

Claudius Delavall.

Robert Delavall.

Thomas Riddle occurs in 1637; knighted by Charles I. in May, 1639; surrendered about 1645.

William Greene, doctor of civil laws, succeeded Sir Thomas Riddle.

Edward Man, merchant, appointed by parliament on Greene's death, May 26, 1645.

John Blaikston, Esq. chosen February 14, 1655. He surrendered

Mr. Bowes, town-clerk, occurs June 10, 1661.

Robert Marley, son of Sir John Marley, mayor, chosen June 14, 1662, on the surrender of Blaikston.

William Jennison, Gent. elected May 6, 1675, on Marley's resignation.

John Douglas, Gent. elected September 27, 1699. Jennison surrendered.

Joshua Douglas elected April 13, 1709. His father, John Douglas, resigned.

George Cuthbertson, Gent. elected October 4, 1742, Mr. Douglas having surrendered.

George Cuthbertson, Jun. chosen December 17, 1750, his father having vacated the office.

William Gibson succeeded February 28, 1756, on Mr. Cuthbertson's death. (fn. 23)

Nathaniel Clayton, Gent. elected in July, 1785; resigned on December 23, 1822. (fn. 24)

John Clayton, Gent. succeeded his father, N. Clayton, Esq. on the same day. (fn. 25)


The burgesses of Newcastle were, in 1253, by charter of Henry III. granted the liberty of choosing fit and proper persons to be coroners, and who were to be sworn in full court. By the charter, 42d Elizabeth, they are directed "to make a return of all juries, inquisitions, pannels, attachments, and inquests, by them taken," before the mayor, recorder, and aldermen of the town; and to attend them at all gaol deliveries, and execute the precepts of the said mayor, recorder, and aldermen, in the same manner and form as any sheriff of the realm of England. (fn. 26) The coroners for the present year (1827) are, Mr. William Fife and Mr. George Bulman.


William Scourfield appointed August 10, 1642.
Thomas Milbourne, October 1, 1645.
Richard Walker succeeded August 20, 1655.
William Astell was the next under-sheriff.
William Jackson, September 23, 1658.
John Douglas, September 28, 1674.
John Ord, April 14, 1685.
Peter Potts, February, 1703.
Charles Clark, December, 1721.
John Ord next occurs.
Richard Burdus, on Ord's resignation, about 1766.
Philip Gibson succeeded, November 28, 1772.
Nathaniel Puncheon appointed December 15, 1774.
Walter Heron chosen in June, 1807, on the resignation of Mr. Puncheon.
John Adamson (fn. 27) elected July 13, 1811, on the death of Mr. Heron.


This ancient office is held by a free burgess, who is chosen annually by the twenty-four electors. By the charter of the 42d Elizabeth, the "clerk of the chamber for the time being, or his deputy, shall and may have power and authority, in the presence of the chamberlains of the said town for the time being, or two of them, from time to time, as occasion shall require, to exhibit and administer such corporal oaths to whatsoever pilots, masters of ships, mariners, and every of them, arriving at the port of Newcastle, as he hath heretofore been used or accustomed to exhibit and administer." The salary of the chamber-clerk is £400 per annum.

"John Cartington, common clerk," occurs in 1477.
George Dent was nominated clerk of the chamber in Elizabeth's charter, dated March, 1600.
"William Simpson, clarke of the chamber," occurs January, 1602.
Edward Wood occurs on September 22, 1645.—Common council books.
William Bonner held the office September 14, 1655.
Timothy Bonner occurs May 13, 1657.
Henry Peireth occurs September 21, 1701; surrendered July 26, 1725.
"William Peareth" occurs October 11, 1736.
Jonathan Sorsbie is the next that occurs.
Henry Shadforth held the office in 1781.
Robert Clayton occurs in 1786, and was Shadforth's deputy some years before his final appointment.
William Armstrong chosen at Michaelmas, 1812. (fn. 28)


King Richard III. by his letters patent, dated January 25, 1391, granted to William Bishopdale, then mayor of Newcastle upon Tyne, and to all his successors in office, to have a sword borne before them, in honour of the town. The annual salary formerly attached to this office was £20, with £1, 13s. 4d. for inviting the judges, and £5, as a gratuity; but now the sword-bearer receives a fixed salary of £55 per annum.


John Lasseles, buried in July, 1582, occurs in St. Nicholas' register.
Francis Comynge occurs in the same register, 1582.
Ralph Raw buried October 3, 1596 (ibid).
Robert Winter occurs May 31, 1601 (ibid).
Matthew Randell occurs January, 1619 (ibid).
Charles Metcalf occurs in the common council books, July 9, 1660.
Gerard Robson occurs October 7, 1700.
Timothy Tully succeeded on July 9, 1711.
Anthony Tully was appointed successor to the former.
James Hall succeeded, but surrendered Sept. 7, 1732.
Robert Makepeace appointed October 6, 1732.
Nathaniel Bayles chosen September 10, 1745, the former having resigned.
John Gale chosen October 4, 1790.
William Brumwell appointed October 1, 1792 (fn. 30)
Robert Pinkney elected September 30, 1793.
Gilbert Grey appointed at Michaelmas, 1815.


This is an office of great credit and trust. He is to prevent all defaults against the haven and river of Tyne; to seize to the use of the mayor and burgesses of Newcastle, all such merchandises as are conveyed on shore in suspected places; and to look after, preserve, and maintain the royalties, privileges, and liberties of the port of Tyne, and is allowed a deputy to assist him in the execution of his very extensive duty. His title was anciently "The Serjeant of the Water." He is sworn at his admission to his office. It was the duty of this officer to bear the mace before the mayor and corporation in their solemn processions; but another person was lately appointed to be mace-bearer. The annual salary of the water-bailiff was formerly £6, 10s. At present, it is £100; and he receives, besides, £100 for the office of harbour-master, which he also holds.


Charles Mitford occurs May 9, 1623.
Michael Bonner appointed February 20, 1646.
Nicholas Fenwick occurs May 24, 1703.
Thomas Fenwick mentioned July 20, 1721.
Thomas Fenwick in 1737.
Joseph Gamul in 1738.
John Kelly chosen January 19, 1745.
William Watson elected November 10, 1758.
Stephen Watson succeeded the above about 1786.
Edward Dale occurs October 6, 1794.
Jonathan Cram elected October 2, 1797.
William Bruce elected October 6, 1799.
Robert Blackett chosen October 6, 1800.
John Ostle elected September 18, 1802, vice R. Blackett deceased.


The salary of this officer, which was formerly £10 per annum, is now 20 guineas.
Robert Urwen succeeded Henry Eden in 1641.
William Cutter sworn June 23, 1657.
Francis Anderson, merchant, succeeded October 31, 1661.
Francis Anderson, Jun. succeeded August 31, 1669.
Patrick Kelly, merchant, chosen October 1, 1719.
John Higgins, merchant, May 23, 1720.
Joseph Kelly appointed September 8, 1720.
Peter Potts, Jun. succeeded April 29, 1729.
Peter Russell succeeded July 15, 1734.
Christopher Wilkinson succeeded Sept. 25, 1777.
Henry Brown succeeded Peter Row, Nov. 12, 1823.


This officer is appointed by the corporation of Newcastle, to attend on the Quay or wharf there. He is to prevent any damage being done to the Quay; to appoint the births or stations of ships; to assess or rate by the ton such ballast as shall be cast by warrant directed to him into any keel or boat upon the new Quay, out of ships stationed there; to indorse on the said warrant the number of tons and due casting of them without damage to the river, after which the said warrant to be returned into the ballast-office. Brand says, "While that part of the town-wall that ran along this Key was standing, he had the charge of its numerous water-gates. Several fees are paid to this officer for what is called the groundage of ships, besides a stated salary from the corporation." The present stated salary is £80 per annum.

Robert Carr held this office before 1653.
John Huntley occurs October 14, 1653.
Bertram Anderson occurs December 14, 1655.
Baptist Johnson succeeded his father Francis May 6, 1704.
Daniel Soulsby occurs February 26, 1711.
John Green occurs September 30, 1736.
William Harrison is mentioned March 19, 1740.
George Stephenson occurs March 19, 1749.
Henry Shadforth held the office in 1786.
George Fothergill appointed April, 1809.


The corporation keeps an officer called the town-marshal, who performs duties which were anciently executed by the marshals of the armies, or of justices itinerant. (See page 604.) The income of this officer, arising from salary, gratuity, and notes of invitation, was variable. The whole, last year, amounted to £125, 9s. 6d. The present active marshal is also inspector of weights and measures, keeper of the imperial standard, (fn. 31) and superintendent of police, with a fixed salary of £150 per annum.

List Of Town-Marshals.

Robert Sharp chosen April 6, 1655.
John Harrison succeeded March 27, 1705.
Joseph Langstaffe succeeded March 26, 1716.
Wilcocks Wall, his successor, chosen Sept. 30, 1745.
William Trotter chosen Dec 15,1766; Wall dismissed.
Richard Owen, March 21, 1776, vice Trotter deceased.
Edward Manners chosen March 21, 1785.
Richard Hill elected June 15, 1791.
James Sopwith succeeded April 28, 1809.
Thomas Forsyth appointed March 29, 1827.


This officer has many important duties to perform, which require both skill and diligence. His salary, at present, is £200 per annum, to which a gratuity of £50 is usually added.

Henry Moore appointed March 27, 1666.
John Pigg seems to have held the office after Moore. (fn. 32)
James Quincey chosen September 24, 1691.
William Sowerby Sept. 26, 1716, vice Quincey dec.
Michael Dawson occurs May 3, 1736.
William Errington succeeded September 26, 1757.
John Craister is the next mentioned.
John Fen wick, April 11, 1774, vice Craister removed.
Cuthbert Pigg appointed in 1793.
Thomas Gee succeeded in December, 1809.


The mace was anciently a heavy weapon, used by cavalry or ecclesiastics, who were not permitted to carry swords. It is now a highly ornamented emblem of the authority of the chief officer of a corporate body, before whom it is carried on state occasions. The annual salary of this officer is £5.

There are eight serjeants at mace, including the water-bailiff and sheriffs' serjeant. Seven of these serjeants constitute the police establishment of the town, and are paid £225 per annum. (fn. 33) They are occasionally assisted by the constables of the twenty-four wards of the town.


This is one of the inferior officers appointed by the corporation of Newcastle. He seems to have been called "hougher," from his duty in former times, to cut the sinews of the houghs of swine that were found infesting the streets. He is also the executioner of felons. Alexander Robinson was appointed to this office by the common council, September 25, 1705, to be "common executioner in hanging of felons, putting persons in the pillory, clearing the streets of swine, and to doe and perform all other matters belonging to the place and duty of hougher." Thomas Bearman, the present whipper and hougher, receives an annual salary of £4, 6s. 8d. exclusive of fees.

There are many other officers appointed by the corporation, such as Collector of Port Dues,—Land Agent,—Viewer,—Gamekeeper,—Corn Inspector,—Inspector of Manufactories,—Weigh-house Keeper,—Toll Collector on Quay,—Warder of the Castle,—Impounders,—Knolt Herds,—Steam Boats Regulator,—Bellman, or Common Cryer,—Court Keeper,—Door Keepers, &c. &c. (fn. 34)


  • 1. Sir Peter Scot founded the house of Black Friars in Newcastle upon Tyne.---See page 126.
  • 2. This mayor is styled "capitalus balivus."
  • 3. This mayor is styled "custos villæ."
  • 4. He is mentioned with the titles of "knight, sheriff of Northumberland, and custos villæ Novi Castro."
  • 5. A deed occurs, remaining in All Saints' vestry, dated 47 Edward III. wherein William de Acton is mentioned as mayor.
  • 6. A deed belonging to St. Andrew's church, dated the vigil of All Saints, 1395, mentions Laurence Acton as mayor.
  • 7. In a deed remaining in St. Andrew's vestry, dated St. Matthew's day this year, Robert de Whelpington occurs as mayor, and Robert de Buthe sheriff.
  • 8. A deed of this date mentions Robert Baxter as mayor, and Alan Carr as sheriff.
  • 9. Mr. Bird died in office, and was succeeded by Christopher Brigham.
  • 10. Thomas Horsley founded the Free Grammar-school of Newcastle.—See page 415.
  • 11. Mr. Jennison died in his mayoralty, and was succeeded by Henry Chapman.
  • 12. Sheriff Bowes was buried June 4, 1624, and was succeeded by William Jackson.
  • 13. In Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting, vol. iii. page 134, is an engraved portrait of Sir Ralph Cole, Bart. with the following account:—"Sir Ralph Cole appears as the painter of a picture of Thomas Windham, Esq. from which there is a mezzotinto."— When Brancepeth Castle was in the possession of the Bellasis family, there was a portrait of Sir Ralph Cole there.
  • 14. He was chosen mayor by a mandamus from the king. After the town was taken, Henry Warmouth was mayor, and Robert Ellison sheriff.
  • 15. Mr. H. Dawson was deputy mayor.
  • 16. "Sir John Marley, formerly governor of Newcastle, which he betrayed to Cromwell for L.1000. He is now governor of it again, and pardoned his former treachery, that his vote might follow the bribe-master-general, and very poor." From "Flagellum Parliamentarium, being sarcastic Notices of nearly 200 Members of the first Parliament after the Restration."
  • 17. ohn Squire was removed by mandamus from the king, December 24, and Sir William Creagh placed in his stead. Samuel Gill was also appointed sheriff in room of William Ramsay.
  • 18. William Hutchinson, a Dissenter, and brother-in-law to Alderman Barnes, was turned out at the Revolution, and succeeded by Nicholas Ridley; and Matthew White was appointed sheriff in place of Matthias Partis.
  • 19. Matfen died July 24, 1705; and was succeeded by Jonathan Roddam.
  • 20. He was succeeded on June 28, 1710, by Jonathan Roddam.
  • 21. See page 51.
  • 22. Thomas Twizell, baker and brewer, refused to elect because he was an auditor, and the last year's account was not passed. The mayor was chosen by the election men of the preceding year; and Twizell was disfranchised by the common council.
  • 23. Thomas Gibson Smith was disfranchised for breaking the mayor's rod in his hand, at the public guild, Newcastle.
  • 24. Mr. Ord died about July 1, 1745, and was succeeded by Matthew Ridley.
  • 25. Mr. Scaife died January 16, 1774, and was succeeded by Edward Mosley.
  • 26. Mr. Wallis, having contracted heavy debts by gambling, left Newcastle about four months after his election.
  • 27. Cases in law, requiring the decision of mayors, continually increasing with the increase of trade and commerce, it became necessary to choose a learned man as recorder, to direct the court and chamber in all matters of difficulty according to law.—Isaac's History of Exeter, page 50.
  • 28. An old document, appended to Tim Tunbelly's Letters, published in 1823, states the following sums as the prices for which the undermentioned places were sold by the corporation:—                                                              £.     s.     d. "Town-clerk                                  2153     15   0 The chamber-clerk                        1050     0     0 The water-bailiff                           1500     0     0 The deputy water-bailiff                 800     0     0 The sword-bearer                            267     15   0 The quay-master                              630     0     0 Serjeants at mace                               50     0     0 The keeper of the weights, &c        380     0     0 The sheriffs' serjeants                      200     0     0 For assessing ballast                        367     0     0 Assessing ballast at Shields           1050     0     0 The two herds                                   150     0     0 The bellman                                      105     0     0 Beadle to the Court of Conscience   57     15   0 The two fish-cutter's, each                 50     0     0 The keeper of the hutch                    100     0     0 "Scheme relating to places bought of the corporation:—1. Every magistrate for the time being is to give his bond for £— not to receive any fee or reward, nor any for him, and on the disposal of any place in the corporation, and in case a proof of any sum being received, to forfeit the penalty of the bond, and each mayor to have £— per quarter added to his present salary, in lieu of the power he formerly made use of in the disposing of places. 2. In case any officer desire to transfer: The corporation to pay him five-sixths of what the place cost him, and the common council to dispose of such place as they please for the benefit of the corporation. 3. In case an officer neglect his duty, &c. The corporation to remove him, and pay him threefourths of what the place cost him, and the common council to dispose of such place for the benefit of the corporation. 4. In case of the death of any officer, the corporation to pay his executor one-half of what the place cost, and the common council to dispose of such place for the benefit of the corporation."
  • 29. Formely, the annual salary of the town-clerk was only £60 (viz. as clerk to the common council £10, clerk to the river jury £10, attending; the mayor £30, and for calling in rents £10); but after the election of the present town-clerk, it was resolved that the entire sum of 500 guineas be paid him yearly, in lieu of all demand for performing the verious duties of his offce. The Deputy Town-clerk. This officer is appointed by the town-clerk, and usually acts as his representative in the mayor's chamber as clerk to the magistrates. His office has become one of great labour and high importance. His salary arises principally from the fees of court. During N. Clayton's time, this office has been held by Mr. Joshua Robinson, Mr. William John Grey, Mr. Joseph Willis, and Mr. Thomas Brown, who was appointed in February, 1800, but resigned in favour of Mr. John Brown, the present town-clerk's deputy, in 1808, in consequence of having become a partner in the firm of Clayton, Brumell, and Co.
  • 30. Mr. Adamson is Fellow of the Linnæan Society, Fellow of the Antiquarian Societies of London and Edinburgh, a secretary and the treasurer of the Antiquarian Society of Newcastle, junior secretary of the Literary and Philosophical Society of the same place, translator of Dona Inez de Castro, a tragedy from the Portuguese, and author of Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Luis de Camoens.
  • 31. The coroner is an ancient officer, and occurs in King Athelstan's charter to Beverley. He is so named because he has principally to do with pleas of the crown. It was formerly an office of great dignity; and the duties, even in extensive counties, were performed gratuitously.
  • 32. John Scott, secretary to the revenue committee, is paid £100 yearly.
  • 33. The following account of the duties of the sword-bearer was written in the reign of George II.:— "Michaelmas.—The Sunday next after the election of the mayor, &c. he receives the compliments of the late mayor, aldermen, &c. at the Mansion-house, who accompanye him to church in scarlet robes, the aldermen giving place to the late mayor. The town-waits play before the mayor from the church to his house. On Monday following, being Guild-day, the late mayor, coming down the Exchange-stairs, upon the foot pace, salutes en-passant his senior brethren, takes his place, and accompanys the mayor to dinner. "Sword-bearer, ex-officio, invites, by direction of the mayor, the judges at the assizes to eat and lodge with him and other noblemen, &c. to entertainments; also invites (by order of the mayor) the recorder, aldermen, and sheriff, at their houses, to dine with him on Guild-days; also invites, upon quarter-session days, the recorder, aldermen, sheriff, coroners, counsellors, town-clerk, and attorneys on the bench, as also the grand jury, to dine with him; and on common council days, invites the aldermen, sheriff, and common council, to dine with him, with his gown on. Sword-bearer, by order of the mayor, invites the recorder, aldermen, and sheriff, at their houses, to dine with him. "On all days appointed for thanksgiving, as the 5th of November, the 11th of June, the 29th of May, and other days of rejoicing, the mayor, &c. go to church in scarlet robes; also on high festivals, as Christmasday, New-year's day, Easter-day, Twelfth-day, Whit-Sunday, Ascension-day, &c. when the waits play before the mayor from the church door to his own house. "The mayor, &c. put on scarlet robes when they go to any church for the benefit of the poor, as on St. Stephen's day to All Saints' church, on St. John's day to St. John's church, &c.; but if either fall on a Sunday, the mayor, &c. go to St. Nicholas' church in the afternoon. "On all days of humiliation, as the 30th of January, Good-Friday, and other accidental days, the mayor, &c. go to church with the white rod in black gowns, without the regalia; on Iunocent's day, in black gowns, with the regalia. "At the assizes, the mayor and aldermen meet in the chamber, and salute the judges at the foot of the Exchange stairs, thence go directly into the Guildhall, and accompanys them to the foot of the stairs again, where the high sheriff of Northumberland takes them in his coach to the Moot-hall. The mayor returns home, keeping on his gown until the judges come, and welcomes them to his house. Next morning, they go to church. The county sheriff's bailiffs walk first; then the judge's marshalls, cryers, and train-bearers; then the mayor's serjeants, water-bailiff, and sword-bearer, walking before the mayor's coach; the high sheriff for the town, his under sheriff, the jailor, the sheriff's serjeant, and the mayor's eldest serjeant behind, attending the judges' coach. Divine service ended, the sheriff of Northumberland takes the judges in his coach to the Moot-hall, the sheriff of the town conducting them, attended as above, to the Black Gate, where, waiting their return, they then come to the Town-court, at the door of which they are received by the mayor with the regalia. Business ended, they proceed to the mayor's to dinner." The above shews the etiquette formerly observed by the officers of the corporation. Their solemn processions are now much less imposing. About 30 years ago, the mayor was generally accompanied to church by seven or eight aldermen, and the serjeants at mace were never permitted to be absent. The splendour of the corporate body is now confined within the walls of the Mansion-house.
  • 34. William Brumwell, having purchased the situation for the sum of 255 guineas, seems, from his addresses to the public, to have understood that he was to hold it for life; but W. Yielder, the mayor, nominated Mr. Pinkney, contending that he, as mayor, had a right to nominate whom he pleased, in which decision he was warmly supported by the late Sir M. W. Ridley and others; and Mr. Brumwell finally lost his election by a large majority.—See the Newcastle Newspapers of that period; also page514.
  • 35. It appears that King Edward II. granted the office of tronage, and clerk of the market of Newcastle upon Tyne, to Gilbert Haukyn, during his royal pleasure. In the merchants' books are the following entries:—A. D. 1563, an act to restrain "the tronne and skail" from strangers, &c. When also they appear to have "paid for amending of the weights in the Quenes Majies waye-house 9s. 4d."—" A. D. 1567, paid to Henry Brandelyng for his fee in keping the weyhouse from strangers this yere, 40 shillings." March 6, 1606, an order that no brother shall sell any lead to any stranger, "before he shall bring the same to the Kinges Majesties beame in the weigh-house of this towne, &c." The office of tronor and poisor of Newcastle upon Tyne appears to have been granted by King William III. by letters patent, for three lives, to the mayor and burgesses of that town. (Common council books, September 23, 1734.) July 4, 1717, Isabel Wetwang, widow, occurs ibid. as tronor and poisor. June 16, 1772, John March, and Isabella his wife, occur as resigning that office, to which the corporation of Newcastle appointed Thomas Valentine.—Brand, vol. ii. page 149.
  • 36. See page 539.
  • 37. The present serjeants at mace are, Matthew Gilpatrick (sheriff's serjeant), James Atkin, Joseph Wake, Charles Sloan, Joshua Elliott, Thomas Barkas, and John Lough. Formerly, little attention was paid to age, activity, or intelligence, in the choice of serjeants, who were, in general, ill qualified to discharge the arduous duties of their office. To remedy this defect, Mr. Forsyth, a non-commissioned officer in the Northumberland militia, was selected to re-organize the police of the town; and by his acuteness, promptitude, and courage, it has become little inferior to the best establishments of the kind in London. He has just been promoted to the office of town-marshal, as noticed above.
  • 38. Amongst the officers and servants of the corporation, formerly employed, were the following:— Muster-Master.—Captain Thomas Jackson is the first muster-master mentioned, "for the training up of youth and the trained bands within this town." He was succeeded by Ralph Errington, who resigned in favour of William Bowes in 1638. The salary was £20 per annum. Thomas Wilkinson held the office in 1642, and, in 1664, was succeeded by Henry Milburne. Richard Stanley occurs in 1711. The last that occurs as holding this office is Thomas Potts in 1729. Town's Physician.—Dr. Robert Henryson held this office, with a salary of £40 per annum. Dr. Samuel Rand succeeded, but was displaced for negligence in 1643, and re-admitted in 1652. He lived but two years afterwards; and his successor, Dr. George Tunstall, was not appointed until 1660. On the removal of Dr. Tunstall in 1664, Dr. Richard Luck was chosen to the office, and was succeeded by Dr. Henry Atherton in 1682. Dr. Richard Gray, who died before the end of March, 1701, was the last town's physician, for the corporation refused to appoint another. Town's Solicitor.—The celebrated John Rushworth, "having been found to be a man verie able, and well experienced in the matters of this towne," was appointed to this office, with a salary of £30 per annum, on March 28, 1638. By another entry, dated March 17, 1656, Samuel Hartlib was appointed town's agent at London, on the death of Mr. Maddison. Michael Tempest was joined in this commission in 1668. Mr. Rushworth was removed from the office of solicitor in September, 1684; and Edward Ridley was appointed his successor. Brand says that a Fool was anciently kept (as in kings' palaces) by the corporation of Newcastle, and mentions "Edward Errington the towne's fooll," buried at St. John's in August, 1589; but the late Alderman Hornby, in his MS. notes on Brand, controverts this opinion. He says, "I think it appears plainly, from entries in the town's books of payments, that the Fools have been idiots, kept at the expense of the corporation. Edward Errington and John Watson are both mentioned at the same time. Another payment is for 'hose and showes to Thomas Dodds, a natural,' in 1594. A petticoat is sometimes mentioned as part of the clothing. (Fools) in 1595, 'Paide Dame Clarke for keeping Allon the Foole xijd.' In 1566, item, 'paide for cowllinge of Bartye Allyson the Fool this year xvjd.' Among other payments, in 1595, are the following, for clothes:—Allon, Foole, 'a long cote—Thomas Dodds, Foole, a petticoat.' In the same year, 'Paide to John Lawson, Foole, towards mendinge of his sore legg xijd.' (Fool) January, 1561, 'item paid for ij payr of shoes to the ij ffulles agaynste Chrystynmas ijs. iiij.' In the same year, a payment is made for 'vij yardes of yalowe carsaye and vij yardes of blewe carsaye for the fulles cottes and cappes agaynste Christymas.'"—Extracted and communicated by Mr. John Sykes.