Early modern Chester 1550-1762: The civil war and interregnum, 1642-60

A History of the County of Chester: Volume 5 Part 1, the City of Chester: General History and Topography. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2003.

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'Early modern Chester 1550-1762: The civil war and interregnum, 1642-60', in A History of the County of Chester: Volume 5 Part 1, the City of Chester: General History and Topography, ed. C P Lewis, A T Thacker( London, 2003), British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/ches/vol5/pt1/pp115-125 [accessed 14 July 2024].

'Early modern Chester 1550-1762: The civil war and interregnum, 1642-60', in A History of the County of Chester: Volume 5 Part 1, the City of Chester: General History and Topography. Edited by C P Lewis, A T Thacker( London, 2003), British History Online, accessed July 14, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/ches/vol5/pt1/pp115-125.

"Early modern Chester 1550-1762: The civil war and interregnum, 1642-60". A History of the County of Chester: Volume 5 Part 1, the City of Chester: General History and Topography. Ed. C P Lewis, A T Thacker(London, 2003), , British History Online. Web. 14 July 2024. https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/ches/vol5/pt1/pp115-125.

In this section



Chester had great strategic importance during the Civil War. It could readily be garrisoned and defended, was the principal port for Ireland and the gateway to royalist north Wales, had road connexions with north-western and midland counties, and was close to the western route to Scotland. During the early months of the Civil War, when people flocked into the city as a refuge from lawlessness in rural Cheshire, the king's adherents strengthened its defences. Commissioners of array brought in men for the garrison, and the corporation raised 300 'volunteers'. Armed watchmen guarded the gates continuously (paid for by a monthly assessment on all inhabitants), muskets were stored in the Pentice, and the trained bands and 'volunteers' were mustered. In December 1642 the Assembly ordered a further assessment for arms, ammunition, ordnance, and additional fortifications. (fn. 1)

The city's involvement in the Civil War fell into four phases: January 1643 to March 1644, March to November 1644, November 1644 to September 1645, and September 1645 to February 1646. (fn. 2)

The first phase began with the arrival of the corporation's old opponent Sir William Brereton as parliamentary commander in Cheshire, headquartered at Nantwich. (fn. 3) To meet the threat the king appointed Sir Nicholas Byron as military governor of Chester, and the corporation agreed to continue the assessment for soldiers' pay and to levy £500 for more elaborate defences. (fn. 4) The work, supervised by Colonel Robert Ellis, a soldier with experience of Continental warfare, was completed by the summer. Earthen mounds were raised behind the walls to strengthen them, and new drawbridges were installed at the Northgate, Eastgate, and Bridgegate. Extensive outworks were made in the form of an earthen rampart with a ditch, dug in straight lengths with salients and flanks, mounts for cannon, pitfalls, and heavy gates. The line of the outworks, 3 km. long, ran from midway between the Water Tower and the Northgate in a north-westerly direction, then eastwards across Upper Northgate Street and Flooker's brook to Flookersbrook Hall, then south to Cockpit hill, east to Boughton, and thence to the Dee. (fn. 5)

During early 1643, although trade was dislocated, there was little military activity, and the Assembly met regularly for routine business. (fn. 6) In June all able-bodied men between 16 and 60 not already in the trained bands were enlisted for Francis Gamull's town guard. Soon afterwards Brereton's troops launched a probing attack against the new defences but were driven off and for three months thereafter were occupied elsewhere. During the lull the city's defenders demolished buildings at Boughton which could provide shelter for attackers. The corporation meanwhile took charge of c. £928 of the city's charitable endowments, (fn. 7) raised three troops of horse, stockpiled foodstuffs, and issued orders in the event of an alarm. (fn. 8) In November Brereton's forces moved into north Wales to cut the city's supply lines, while Chester was reinforced from Oxford and Ireland. The city rejected a summons to surrender, and the royalist army drove Brereton's troops from north Wales and weakened his position in Cheshire, although it was defeated in January 1644 while trying to capture Nantwich. (fn. 9)

Figure 6:

Civil war defences and siege works

Above: medieval defences and conjectural line of royalist defences, 1643-4.
Below: conjectural lines of royalist defences and parliamentarian siege works, 1645-6. Modern names, where different from the 17th-century ones, are given in parentheses.
Medieval defences: 1 New Tower (Water Tower); 2 Goblin Tower (Pemberton's Parlour); 3 raised platform (Morgan's Mount); 4 Northgate; 5 Phoenix Tower (King Charles's Tower); 6 Saddlers' Tower; 7 Kaleyards Gate; 8 Eastgate; 9 Newgate; 10 Bridgegate; 11 Watergate; 12 castle; 13 Cowlane Gate; 14 the Bars; 15 Further Bridgegate.
Earlier royalist outworks: 16 Morgan's Mount, first phase; 17 mount; 18 flank; 19 flank; 20 Rock Lane; 21 Dr. Walley's Mount; 22 mount; 23 flank; 24 Flookersbrook Hall; 25 Horn Lane Mount; 26 flank; 27 mount; 28 mount.
Later royalist outworks: 29 Cockpit Mount; 30 Justing Croft Mount; 31 Phoenix Tower Mount; 32 Reeds Mount; 33 Morgan's Mount, second phase; 34 Handbridge fort.
Parliamentarian siege works and breaches: 35 battery in St. John's churchyard; 36 breach near the Newgate; 37 battery in Foregate Street; 38 first northern battery; 39 second northern battery; 40 battery on Brewer's Hall hill; 41 breach near Goblin Tower; 42 bridge of boats and lower mount; 43 higher mount; 44 Eccleston Lane; 45 Hough Green; 46 battery in the bowling green; 47 Barnaby's Tower.

The Irish soldiers stationed in Chester, ill-supplied with clothing and food, were a burden on the city, and there was pilfering and disorder. (fn. 10) Other sources of dissent included rivalries between the royalist officers in the city and the county commissioners of array, and between the military commanders and the mayor. The deputy governor's decision in November to demolish the whole of Handbridge, later extended to all buildings outside the Northgate, was much resented. (fn. 11)

The second phase of the war began when the governor, Sir Nicholas Byron, was caputred in March 1644. The king recommended in his place the colonel of the town guard, Francis Gamull, but he was highly unpopular with the citizens and opposed by other royalist leaders, and Byron was replaced by his nephew John, Lord Byron. (fn. 12) Prince Rupert's visit of two days from 11 March heralded a strengthening of the outworks. The salient reaching to Flookersbrook Hall was cut off, the hall itself and other buildings being demolished; new works with mounts for cannon were built outside the north-eastern corner of the city and nearer the walls; ramparts were raised and ditches deepened; and there was more demolition in the suburbs. (fn. 13)

The governor's headquarters in the castle lay outside the city's jurisdiction, and from there he kept civic office-holders under surveillance. During the mayoralty of Randle Holme II, a strong royalist, the Assembly apparently did not meet between December 1643 and April 1644, and when it did, attendance had to be enforced. Some normal business was transacted, but the non-payment of rent and avoidance of market regulations suggest that the city's administration was disrupted. (fn. 14) A greater problem was the overcrowding caused by soldiers and their followers, royalist sympathizers, and refugees, who swelled the population to perhaps 7,600 by Easter 1644, increasing the pressures on supplies and the dangers of disorder and fire. (fn. 15)

The burdens on the city were increased in July, when, after the heavy royalist defeat at Marston Moor, Rupert returned to Chester, lodging in the bishop's palace and endeavouring to impress foot soldiers and collect funds. There was disaffection among the citizens, not least about the Irish soldiers, (fn. 16) and resistance to the garrison's financial demands, especially in September when the corporation decided to raise £600 over six weeks. (fn. 17) The limits to support for the royal cause were marked in the mayoral election of 1644. The first nominees of the aldermen J.P.s were Sir Francis Gamull (newly made a baronet) and Sir Thomas Smith, the city's M.P.s who by then were disabled from sitting. Eventually, however, Charles Walley was chosen with strong support from the freemen; a former mayor, he was a reluctant candidate who held no military or political post and was likely to put local interests first. (fn. 18)

Chester was too well defended for Brereton to take it by either assault or blockade. Nevertheless, during the third phase of the war the parliamentarians slowly established a siege in the face of occasional royalist attempts at relief. In late October 1644 an attack on the city was driven off, but by January 1645, with Brereton's garrisons as near as Christleton and after an unsuccessful sortie by the governor, (fn. 19) the position was serious. The Assembly agreed to a further assessment of £20 a week for eight weeks and the surrender of another £100 worth of plate for conversion into coin. (fn. 20)

Meanwhile the appearance of Prince Maurice's troops obliged Brereton to raise the close siege on 19 February. The prince concluded that the outer defences were still too long to hold and decided to abandon them round the northern suburbs and demolish buildings there; the new outworks began near the northeastern corner of the city and extended to Boughton and the river, and a new bastion for a heavy cannon was erected on the north wall. Maurice, who was joined for a time by Prince Rupert, departed in mid March, taking some of Chester's most seasoned defenders with him. (fn. 21) The parliamentarians, briefly reinforced by Scottish troops, quickly resumed the siege. In April they were less than a mile from the outworks on the Cheshire side and had drawn forces into north Wales after a diversionary attack on Handbridge. They had fortified camps but were insufficiently strong to hold off a relieving army or enforce a total blockade: the besieged grazed their cattle in Hoole, and a ship landed stores of powder and match. For Brereton the capture of Chester was the key to the parliamentarian hold on north Wales and much of north-western England, and he repeatedly pressed for reinforcements and a tighter blockade on the river. (fn. 22) For the royalists Chester was by now the only major garrison in the region.

As the siege was tightened conditions became more difficult. The weekly assessment of £20 was renewed in April 1645 for a further two months, there were signs of popular antagonism towards Sir Francis Gamull and Welsh soldiers, and fresh provisions were increasingly scarce and expensive. (fn. 23) Before the internal situation could deteriorate Brereton was ordered to abandon his advanced positions and withdraw his main forces beyond the Mersey because of the reported approach of a royalist army. (fn. 24) In mid June the parliamentary county committee took control of the war in Cheshire and scaled back military operations. With the siege less close, the city's defenders were able to send out foraging parties, clean the streets, and build a new fort at Handbridge to protect the approaches to the Dee Bridge. (fn. 25)

The final phase of the siege began on 20 September 1645 when parliamentarian troops under Colonel Michael Jones and Major James Lothian overran the eastern outworks and captured the eastern suburbs up to the Eastgate, a loss which the governor later blamed on the slackness of Mayor Walley and Gamull. The mayor's house in Foregate Street was captured (and with it the civic sword and mace) and became Brereton's headquarters. The defenders were now confined within the walls. (fn. 26) Immediately the besiegers began to use St. John's church tower as an observation post and stationed a battery in its churchyard, from which a breach in the walls was made near the Newgate on 22 September. The attackers, however, were repulsed, (fn. 27) and royal forces arrived the next day under Charles I himself, who stayed at Gamull's house. On 24 September the king's army engaged the parliamentarians on Rowton moor, where, after initial success, it was defeated with heavy losses; the king left the city the next day, giving permission for surrender if there was no relief within 10 days. (fn. 28) The first summons to surrender on 26 September, however, was rejected, the garrison was reinforced, and the damaged walls were repaired. (fn. 29)

The parliamentarians responded by occupying the northern suburbs, and by supplementing their battery at St. John's with newly acquired siege guns placed in Foregate Street and opposite the battery on the north wall, where the defenders' large cannon was soon destroyed and a breach made; breastworks were built near the gates for musketeers, and the besiegers used the captured outworks for their own protection. The guns at St. John's were turned on the Dee Mills, the Bridgegate waterworks, and the south-east corner of the walls. On the Welsh side the royalists still held the fort at Handbridge, from where they assailed parliamentarian troops in the villages beyond. In response the parliamentarians built a battery for a large artillery piece on Brewer's Hall hill, and linked their positions on either side of the river with a bridge of boats from Dee Lane to the Earl's Eye, protected by gun emplacements at the south end. (fn. 30) After a fruitless second summons to surrender on 8 October the besiegers mounted another heavy bombardment and attempted to storm the city; the defences were breached in several places but the onslaught was beaten off after heavy fighting. (fn. 31)

By then the corporation's business was almost entirely confined to raising money for the garrison, amid growing reluctance to pay. (fn. 32) Opposition to the royalist cause, a source of anxiety to the governor and already evident in the suspension of seven sheriff-peers and five councilmen in the spring, found further expression in the mayoral election. The royalist Sir Francis Gamull, although first choice of the aldermen J.P.s, received no votes from the freemen, and eventually a reluctant Alderman Walley was persuaded to serve again. (fn. 33)

There were no further attempts to storm the city after October 1645. Instead, the besiegers relied on a mixture of persuasion and intimidation: the forced removal of the remaining inhabitants of the suburbs into the city to put further pressure on accommodation and provisions; the use of St. John's tower by snipers, one of whom killed Sheriff Randle Richardson; and intermittent bombardments, which damaged the mills and the waterworks, threatening supplies of bread and drinking water. Papers offering inducements to surrender were shot into the city. The parliamentarians, again under Brereton's command from late October, were hampered by shortages of food and pay and fears of a relieving army. For their part Chester's defenders maintained an obstinate resistance: they made several sorties, shot burning arrows to set fire to any suburban buildings which remained to shelter the enemy, and frequently circumvented the blockade to bring in small stocks of food. (fn. 34) Hopes of improvement in royalist fortunes were dashed by the parliamentarian victory at Denbigh and the capture of Beeston castle, and on 18 November the city received a further summons to surrender. It was intended to sow dissension between the military and the citizens with an assurance that honourable terms would be granted, but the mayor and governor jointly rejected it. (fn. 35)

Brereton returned to intimidation during the following weeks, bombarding the city as heavily and frequently as his limited supply of ammunition allowed. His aim, however, was to force Chester's capitulation, not to destroy it, and to that end he endeavoured to tighten the already close siege. The royalists countered with a sortie across the Dee Bridge and by trying to float fire boats loaded with powder against the bridge of boats, but neither venture succeeded. Even when in December ice floes temporarily broke the bridge of boats and a large detachment of the besiegers was drawn off to counter a royalist force at Whitchurch (Salop.), the defenders were unable to take advantage, apart from bringing in a small quantity of wheat and oatmeal. (fn. 36) During the later part of December and early January 1646 the blockade in the Dee was tightened further. (fn. 37)

Morale in Chester was undermined by the bombardment, the continuing absence of a relief force, and the shortage of food and fuel, made worse by severely cold weather. (fn. 38) Civic government was disrupted and disaffection spread among civilians and soldiers alike, Governor Byron and his entourage finding themselves increasingly unable to rely on the support of the mayor and influential citizens. (fn. 39) Brereton, aware of the divisions, appealed to the townspeople on 3 January to force a surrender, but a formal summons four days later was without result. The governor tried to temporize, and even took a census of householders and food stocks to gauge the prospects of continuing resistance.

On 12 January the mayor joined him in rejecting another call to surrender, but within three days had persuaded him to negotiate. (fn. 40) The fighting ceased, and on 20 January tortuous negotiations began, each side initially offering terms which the other was likely to reject. The articles of surrender, agreed on 31 January and 1 February, included the following terms: the officers and a few soldiers were allowed to march out with arms and limited amounts of money; other soldiers were to leave their arms and horses behind; the governor and others were allowed to march to Conwy without hindrance; Welsh soldiers were permitted to go home, but those of Irish parentage were to be prisoners; the persons and goods of citizens were to be protected; no churches were to be damaged; imprisoned parliamentarians were to be released; and the city and castle were to be delivered to Brereton. (fn. 41) Chester surrendered for several reasons: the general collapse of the royal cause; the fact that its 1,600 defending soldiers were heavily outnumbered by Brereton's force; the effects of the blockade and the threat of starvation; the risk of a storming assault; and the absence of any prospect of relief. On 3 February Byron and those in the garrison who had chosen to stay with him marched out, and Brereton's forces marched in. (fn. 42)

Within a few days of the surrender Brereton reported that a garrison of 1,500 foot and 200 horse would be required to hold the city. (fn. 43) Colonel Michael Jones was appointed governor, and Alderman William Edwards took command of the town guard; arms, armour, and ordnance were collected in the castle. (fn. 44) The Assembly was suspended, the main royalist aldermen were removed or ceased to act, and the city was controlled jointly by the military and the remaining parliamentarian aldermen until the corporation could be formally reconstituted. (fn. 45) Between the citizens and the garrison there was ill feeling about parliamentary taxes, especially the excise, and complaints of thefts and indiscipline by soldiers. (fn. 46) Growing poverty resulted from the interruption of markets and overseas trade, the effects of the siege, the costs of defence, and military operations in the hinterland; (fn. 47) the city's funds were exhausted, its plate converted to coin, its charitable funds used largely for public purposes. The siege had caused widespread destruction, and it was said that a quarter of the city had been burnt. (fn. 48)

By the end of the siege there were c. 6,000 civilians crowded into the walled city. Filth accumulated in the streets, water supplies were restricted, and there was a serious shortage of food. (fn. 49) The passage of hundreds of soldiers bound for Ireland imposed a further strain, (fn. 50) and may have brought the plague which broke out in June 1647 and killed over 2,000. (fn. 51)


The purge of royalists from the corporation was made official in October 1646. No fewer than 14 of the 24 aldermen were displaced, together with four sheriffpeers and three councilmen. (fn. 52) Those dismissed became liable to sequestration and fines: Recorder Brerewood was fined £387, Thomas Thropp £177, Richard Broster £170; Sir Thomas Smith compounded at £3,350 and Sir Francis Gamull at £940. Governor Jones reported that Mayor Charles Walley had sent intelligence to the besiegers and helped to bring about the surrender; although Walley was fined £537 he soon made his peace with the victors and entered their service. (fn. 53) Among the aldermen who retained their places were three determined parliamentarians, William Edwards, Richard Leicester, and Thomas Aldersey; four others who took part in civic affairs during the siege, including Randle Holme I, seem to have been fined but not disqualified. (fn. 54) Edwards was appointed mayor and the Assembly immediately filled its vacancies. One of the two new sheriffs, Robert Sproston, had been suspended from the Assembly in 1645; two new counsel were named, one of whom succeeded John Ratcliffe (son of the puritan alderman prominent in the 1620s and 1630s), who became recorder. Eleven other aldermen were elected: nine were ex-sheriffs, seven of whom had been suspended from the governing body by the royalists in 1645. (fn. 55)

The plague epidemic of 1647-8 seriously delayed the return to normality in city government. Parliament suspended the mayoral election in 1647, appointing Robert Wright as mayor and naming the two sheriffs, arrangements confirmed in March 1648 when meetings of the Assembly resumed. (fn. 56) At sessions in March and May the Assembly appointed a new clerk of the Pentice and elected four more aldermen and seven councillors to fill vacancies; three of the new aldermen were ex-sheriffs, the other a councilman suspended in 1645. (fn. 57) The reconstituted aldermanic bench included two of Brereton's wartime associates, William Edwards and Richard Bradshaw, who, along with Calvin Bruen, Edward Bradshaw, Robert Wright, Peter Leigh, and John Ratcliffe, represented a strong puritan tradition. (fn. 58) Most of the new aldermen, however, were less committed and indeed had been members of the Assembly for most of the time that the city was under royalist control. (fn. 59) Chester's governing body therefore remained tainted with royalist sympathies and included men who were apparently content to wait upon events. Parliament's abolition of the sheriff-peers as a separate group, which would have increased the influence of the aldermen, may have been ineffective in practice, as there were still sheriff-peers on the council in 1662. (fn. 60)

There were no further purges of the corporation after 1646, but it proved difficult to enforce attendance and the Assembly did not meet at all between January and July 1649. (fn. 61) Although there were many Commonwealth supporters among the city's rulers, official reluctance to enforce the new oaths and a tardy response to the Act of 1650 requiring an Engagement of fidelity to the Commonwealth indicate some lack of commitment to the new regime. In March 1650 it was reported to the Council of State that only two of the aldermen had subscribed to the Engagement, which had been attacked by Presbyterian preachers in the city as contrary to the Covenant. (fn. 62) Two months later the Council ordered the dismissal of Mayor William Crompton, a non-subscriber, but the instruction was ignored. (fn. 63) In October it was more forceful, directing the corporation to impose the oaths and the Engagement on office-holders and deploying an armed detachment from the garrison during the mayoral election. Its presence in the streets secured the displacement of the candidate who had won the contest under the normal procedures. (fn. 64) In 1651 the Council of State demanded the names of those still refusing the Engagement and attempted unsuccessfully to fill an aldermanic vacancy with its own nominee; (fn. 65) it also forced the removal of the clerk of the Pentice, a non-Engager, (fn. 66) and of Recorder Ratcliffe, though the latter was made a counsel for the city in 1652 and was reappointed as recorder in 1657. (fn. 67) Government pressure resumed in 1653, when the mayor was ordered to take the city's charter for inspection in London by the committee for corporations, though it was eventually confirmed unchanged. (fn. 68)

The normal routine of civic administration returned after the siege and plague. In 1648 the corporation set its finances in order. (fn. 69) The recorder was involved in safeguarding the income from prisage and ensuring that the city, not the governor, received the profits from the sequestrated Dee Mills. (fn. 70) In 1649 a full audit was ordered and the rental was revised, and by 1655-6 receipts totalled £211 and expenditure only £197. The Assembly nevertheless renewed enquiries about rent arrears and repeated the attempt to draw up a full rental. (fn. 71)

The pre-war dispute between the officers of the mayor and sheriffs recurred from 1647, and finally in 1657 the Assembly abolished the right of the serjeantsat-mace to act as attorneys; in future the mayor, recorder, and sheriffs were to choose other citizens to act in that capacity. (fn. 72) Another old controversy was settled more readily in 1649, when the vicechamberlain of the palatinate offered to issue writs circumspectly in order to avoid clashes of jurisdiction with the city. (fn. 73)

During the Protectorate Chester came under the authority of Major-General Charles Worsley, whose commissioners for the city (mostly government supporters on the bench) were careful not to challenge the city's rights. The Assembly was even in the process of electing Worsley to an aldermanship at the time of his death in 1656. (fn. 74) From the early 1650s opportunities to influence the composition of the Assembly were in any case limited by the rarity of aldermanic vacancies. (fn. 75) After Oliver Cromwell's death in 1658, however, there was more open disaffection in Chester. The corporation's encouragement of Booth's rising in August 1659 had severe but in the event only temporary consequences. The government planned to purge the Assem bly and give the governor special powers, and indeed discharged the mayor and sheriffs, suspended the charter, and annulled the city's independent status as a county. Those measures were, however, revoked in February 1660, and in March elections were held and a new mayor and sheriffs chosen. The Assembly had apparently not met since September 1659, but when it was convened at the end of March it was functioning normally. (fn. 76)


War and plague left the city with social and economic difficulties from which recovery was very slow. (fn. 77) Unsettled times encouraged some to seek higher wages or practise occupations for which they were unqualified. In response the magistrates tried, apparently unsuccessfully, to regulate wages, (fn. 78) and enforced guild restrictions. Wartime disorder had weakened the city companies, which met irregularly, lost some of their meeting places (notably the Phoenix Tower), and suffered from non-payment of dues, avoidance of rules, and interlopers. (fn. 79) As early as December 1646 the corporation attempted to enforce regular enrolment of apprenticeship indentures. (fn. 80) In 1648 c. 250 freemen complained about encroachments by strangers on the privileges of freedom, and grievances were expressed then and in 1650 about the employment of outsiders by company widows. (fn. 81)

National legislation in 1647 and 1654 exempted from apprenticeship requirements those who had served the parliamentary cause, (fn. 82) but the Chester guilds still tried to defend restrictions, and some inter-guild disputes continued, as between the Saddlers and Spurriers and the Cutlers over the trade in spurs, (fn. 83) between the Joiners and the Carpenters about timber supplies, and between the Mercers and the Linendrapers over silk wares. (fn. 84) The Mercers complained that the Innholders competed unlawfully in the distributive trades, and textile craftsmen were aggrieved by the Drapers' attempts to monopolize the sale of cloth. (fn. 85) After a lengthy agitation, wheelwrights were admitted to the Joiners, Turners, and Carvers' company in 1657, whereupon they began to interfere with the privileges of the other occupations and were excluded from the guild aldermanship and custody of the records. (fn. 86)

From 1647 to 1660 admissions to the freedom approached an annual average of 40, (fn. 87) with 67 in 1647-8 in the immediate aftermath of the siege and plague. The leather crafts remained the largest category, and the biggest individual occupations included shoemakers, glovers, tanners, ironmongers, and tailors. During the 1650s there was a marked increase in the number of feltmakers, and in 1654 the Feltmakers' company claimed that 500 people were dependent on their work. (fn. 88) Very occasionally the corporation waived the regulations in order to attract those with particular skills: in 1653 strangers were allowed to work in the building industry on payment of 1d. weekly to the guild concerned, and in 1655 Thomas Hancock, a gunsmith, was permitted to work for the garrison. (fn. 89)

Adverse economic conditions continued to hamper the city's markets. During the later 1640s and in 1657 the corporation had difficulty in controlling private wholesale trading by strangers. (fn. 90) The need to safeguard food supplies was paramount, especially in view of additional demand from the garrison and troops bound for Ireland. On those grounds the corporation successfully obstructed parliamentary orders to demolish the Dee Mills and the causeway. (fn. 91) Bad harvests in 1648-9 prompted restrictions on buying corn by maltsters and brewers. (fn. 92) The epidemic of 1650, which caused cancellation of the Michaelmas fair, also led the authorities to impose constraints on corn dealers, but by then the Bakers' company had secured stricter controls on country bakers. (fn. 93)

The city's overseas trade recovered only very slowly from the war. The Continental trade in cereal exports and wine imports was beginning to improve by 1648- 9, but the Irish trade remained at a low ebb: small quantities of cloth and larger cargoes of wool were exported; hides, tallow, and herring were imported, but the livestock trade had yet to revive. The Irish trade was increasingly conducted by Irish merchants from the smaller ports of the Dee estuary, and its effects on the city's fortunes therefore remained limited. (fn. 94)

Poor relief and charity collapsed during the years 1642-8: regular collection of the poor rate seems to have ceased early in the war, the house of correction outside the Northgate was deliberately demolished by the city's defenders, and a large proportion of the charitable benefactions was appropriated for the city's funds in 1642-3. (fn. 95) Only three city-wide charities survived the war: those of Sir Thomas White, John Vernon, and Valentine Broughton. (fn. 96)

The numbers of poor increased after the siege, and in 1651 the Assembly instituted a regular monthly survey. (fn. 97) The outbreak of plague in 1654 prompted the corporation to rebuild the house of correction and 18 months later it appointed a new master with instructions to employ 60 people in making cloth. (fn. 98) In 1658 the corporation successfully petitioned Oliver Cromwell for control of the hospital of St. John at the Northgate and made plans for its reorganization. (fn. 99)

There were few signs of intellectual or artistic activity, for plays were officially proscribed and the musical traditions of the cathedral had lapsed. However, Randle Holme II sorted the corporation's records, (fn. 100) and in 1656 the engraver David King published his Vale Royal of England, a compilation of the writings of Cheshire antiquarians, including William Webb's material on the city. (fn. 101) Some local customs survived: the night bellman continued his rounds, on at least one occasion the mayor beat the bounds, and there was strong interest in reviving the Midsummer show. (fn. 102) Horse races were banned no later than 1654, however, and after festivities at Christmas were prohibited nationally the magistrates resolved to hold markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays irrespective of Christmas Day and other holy days. (fn. 103)

RELIGION, 1642-60

In 1642 Chester became a haven for royalist clergy; they included refugees from Ireland, one of whom, an unnamed bishop, ministered at St. Michael's in 1643- 4. In 1643 John Ley's former curate William Ainsworth, who had turned royalist and taken refuge in Chester, was named as divinity lecturer at the cathedral and city preacher at St. Peter's. (fn. 104) In 1644 the governor sequestered Ley's prebend, dividing the proceeds among various clerics in the city, and the corporation gave his Friday lectureship at St. Peter's to William Seddon, a protégé of Bishop Bridgeman. John Glendal's preferments were also transferred to other clerics. (fn. 105) At first the diocesan administration continued to operate, proving wills, issuing marriage licences, and holding a ruridecanal visitation of Chester and Wirral in 1643. The consistory court ceased to function, however, and the bishop and dean left the city in 1645. In 1646 two of the clergy, Thomas Bridge of St. Oswald's and Prebendary Edward Moreton, acted as royalist commissioners for the surrender, by the terms of which ministers were allowed to leave the city with their 'manuscripts, notes, and evidences'; among those taking advantage of the terms were the curate of St. Peter's and the vicar of St. John's. (fn. 106) Although some of the clergy remained in the city, none of those ministering there during the siege was allowed to continue in office; the 11 who were sequestered included Ainsworth of St. Peter's, Bridge of St. Oswald's, Richard Wilson of Holy Trinity, Richard Hunt of St. Mary's, Dean William Nicholls, and the surviving prebendaries and petty canons. (fn. 107)

The siege caused much damage to churches, notably St. John's and St. Mary's, and under parliamentarian control there was renewed destruction of stained glass, crosses, fonts, and other furnishings. Communion became irregular and Rogationtide ceremonies and other traditional observances ended. (fn. 108) After 1646 an attempt was made to improve clerical incomes. Capitular property was sequestered and the proceeds were redirected to the livings of the four main churches: £150 for St. Peter's, £120 for St. Oswald's, and £100 each for Holy Trinity and St. John's. Payments, however, soon fell into arrears and were never fully made up in the 1650s. (fn. 109)

After the city fell to the parliamentarians the familiar puritan preachers, John Ley, John Glendal, and Nathaniel Lancaster, resumed their ministrations at St. Peter's. Presbyterianism soon became dominant. There were new men first at St. John's, Holy Trinity, and St. Oswald's, and later at St. Mary's, but St. Bridget's, St. Martin's, and St. Olave's remained without ministers, and nobody was appointed to St. Michael's until 1650; by then the abolition of the cathedral chapter and the sale of the bishop's palace and furniture marked the collapse of the diocesan administration. (fn. 110) There was apparently no organized classis in the city, but the new clergy were all Presbyterians and signatories to the Cheshire Attestation of 1648, Ley and Lancaster being the most influential. Ley, who organized ordinations and was responsible for the Attestation, became a Presbyterian publicist, president of Syon College, and a prominent member of the Westminster Assembly; Lancaster, author of an account of the siege, seems to have been the dominant influence in the city's churches until his retirement in 1659. (fn. 111)

Although Presbyterianism was clearly stronger in Chester than Independency, several well known ministers of other persuasions preached in the city, including Edmund Calamy, the pamphleteer Simeon Ashe, and Samuel Eaton. The last, who was chaplain to the parliamentarian garrison, established Chester's first Independent congregation, to which John Knowles, a Socinian, ministered briefly before his ejection; Eaton held services during the 1650s but there is no evidence of extensive support. By then the more radical sects were active, partly because the governor, Thomas Croxton, was apparently tolerant; they included an enthusiastic group of Baptists. (fn. 112) Quakerism attracted adherents through the work of Elizabeth Morgan and Richard Hickock. The Quakers made enemies by haranguing citizens, disturbing church services, and mocking those in authority. The magistrates dealt severely with them, imprisoning many in unpleasant conditions by 1654, and they again suffered harsh treatment during the mayoralty of Peter Leigh (1656-7). Nevertheless, a flourishing meeting was established in Chester, and became a base for missionary activity, pamphlet-printing, and a county fund. (fn. 113)

The sects added to the disruption of parish life and services, but by the later 1650s there were signs of returning sympathies for the Church of England. Rogationtide was again being observed at St. John's and Holy Trinity, and former royalist clergy were active in the city. Some of them certainly preached at St. John's and possibly elsewhere, and Richard Hunt, the ejected rector of St. Mary's, was reappointed to the living when it became vacant in 1655. Finally, during Sir George Booth's rising, William Cook, minister at St. Michael's, played a part in persuading the citizens to yield up the city, and he and at least one other minister prayed openly for the exiled king. (fn. 114)


The parliamentarian garrison after 1646 was large and by 1648 a source of grievances. (fn. 115) By then rumours were current about Chester's uncertain political allegiance, and there were suggestions that as a precaution parliamentarian county gentry should be associated with the command of the city's militia. (fn. 116) In 1648 the deputy governor uncovered a supposed plot to betray the city to the king's forces. Nothing was proved against members of the corporation, but Brereton took the opportunity to add county gentlemen to the city's militia committee. (fn. 117) As the Scots advanced in July, the city was placed under defence, with a new company of foot and repairs to breaches in the walls. (fn. 118) Military precautions continued even after the Scots' defeat in August. (fn. 119) When the fighting in England ended in 1651 Chester became a venue for trials of royalist delinquents. (fn. 120) A garrison remained at the castle, although some munitions were transferred to the Tower of London in 1653. (fn. 121) Continuing precautions were justified at the time of John Penruddock's rising in 1655, when John Werden, a former royalist colonel, plotted to seize the castle; the small group of conspirators fled when they realized that the garrison had been strengthened. (fn. 122)

Hostilities in Ireland and Scotland involved the city authorities in organizing the passage of several thousand troops through the port in 1646-7. (fn. 123) Between 1648 and 1650 the city's officers were repeatedly asked to watch for royalists travelling between England and Ireland and to arrange for the dispatch of troops, money, guns, ammunition, clothing, and foodstuffs. (fn. 124) Involvement in organizing shipments of provisions, money, and equipment for garrisons in Ireland, Scotland, and the Channel Islands continued sporadically throughout the 1650s. (fn. 125) The corporation repeatedly but unsuccessfully sought some reduction in its consequent burdens, for instance pressing the county committee for repayment of £1,000 due for quartering troops, taking legal advice about parliamentary taxes, and petitioning in 1655 for a reduced monthly assessment. (fn. 126)

Chester's involvement with parliamentary politics was minimal, (fn. 127) and in the Interregnum the city's representation was reduced to one seat. (fn. 128) Political opinion was sharply divided by early 1659, when the second seat was restored, and there was a keenly fought contest, eventually won by supporters of the Protectorate. (fn. 129) In the summer the city became involved in the Cheshire rising headed by Sir George Booth. (fn. 130) Booth and his gentry associates colluded with members of the corporation opposed to the regime, notably Mayor Gerard Jones, Sheriff William Heywood, and Recorder Ratcliffe. Consequently, when Booth's force approached Chester on 2 August, Heywood ordered the gates to be opened and the insurgents took control of the city, while the governor, Colonel Thomas Croxton, withdrew his small garrison into the castle. Booth's 'Declaration' was proclaimed at the High Cross. The corporation raised three companies of foot and diverted the proceeds of the monthly assessment to the city's defence. Ministers openly supported the royal cause in church services, and Chester remained in rebel hands for almost three weeks, although the governor held out in the castle against a loose blockade and maintained contact with the government. After Booth's force was defeated at Winnington bridge on 19 August, however, the rising collapsed, and the city was taken by Colonel John Lambert. The main local supporters of the rebellion were sequestered and suspended from office. (fn. 131) In the elections to the Convention of 1660 Chester returned Recorder Ratcliffe and Alderman William Ince, the latter a moderate and possibly a Presbyterian who had survived the purge of 1646. (fn. 132)


  • 1. Fletcher, Outbreak of Eng. Civil War, 402; C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 59-60; Morris, Siege of Chester, 33-4; Morrill, Ches. 1630- 60, 60-4, 75, 128-9, 134. This section also draws on B.L. Harl. MS. 2155, ff. 108-26, printed in Morris, Siege of Chester, 215-36.
  • 2. S. Ward, Excavations at Chester: Civil War Siegeworks, 1642-6, 2.
  • 3. R. N. Dore, 'Early Life of Sir William Brereton', T.L.C.A.S. lxiii. 4-5, 18-20, 23-4; idem, Civil Wars in Ches. 25-8.
  • 4. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, f. 61; Morrill, Ches. 1630-60, 135.
  • 5. Ward, Civil War Siegeworks, 5-6, 11; Morris, Siege of Chester, 35.
  • 6. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 58v.-63v.; Johnson, 'Aspects', 99.
  • 7. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 63-4; ZML 2/288; Morris, Siege of Chester, 41; Johnson, 'Aspects', 92, 99.
  • 8. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, f. 64; ZML 2/292, 294, 295A, 295B, 296; Morris, Siege of Chester, 42-5.
  • 9. Morris, Siege of Chester, 45-9, 55-7; Kennett, Loyal Chester, 23.
  • 10. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, f. 64v.; ZML 2/290; J. Lowe, 'Campaigns of Irish Royalist Army in Ches. Nov. 1643 to Jan. 1644', T.H.S.L.C. cxi. 59; M. H. Ridgway, 'Chester Goldsmiths from Early Times to 1726', J.C.A.S. liii. 83.
  • 11. C.C.A.L.S., ZML 2/289, 293; Morris, Siege of Chester, 47-8; Morrill, Ches. 1630-60, 130 sqq.; Malcolm, Caesar's Due, 118; Johnson, 'Aspects', 312.
  • 12. Crisis and Order, ed. Clark and Slack, 211-12; Kennett, Loyal Chester, 20.
  • 13. Ward, Civil War Siegeworks, 11; C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, f. 67v.; ZAF 26/6; Morris, Siege of Chester, 58-9.
  • 14. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 63v.-69.
  • 15. S. Porter, Destruction in Eng. Civil Wars, 52; above, this chapter: Demography.
  • 16. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1644, 392, 394; Morris, Siege of Chester, 63- 4; Morrill, Ches. 1630-60, 134; Malcolm, Caesar's Due, 198-9.
  • 17. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, f. 68; Cal. S.P. Dom. 1644-5, 67-8, 95; Morris, Siege of Chester, 65-6; Dore, Civil Wars in Ches. 43; Morrill, Ches. 1630-60, 135-6.
  • 18. Crisis and Order, ed. Clark and Slack, 212-13; Letter Books of Brereton, ii, pp. 82, 590; Keeler, Long Parl. 183, 342.
  • 19. Letter Books of Brereton, i, pp. 9-10; Morris, Siege of Chester, 68-73; Dore, Civil Wars in Ches. 43 sqq.; Kennett, Loyal Chester, 23-4.
  • 20. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 69v.-70; J.C.A.S. liii. 83.
  • 21. Ward, Civil War Siegeworks, 4, 11; Letter Books of Brereton, i, nos. 7, 39, 141; ii, p. 86; Morris, Siege of Chester, 74-5, 78-9; Dore, Civil Wars in Ches. 47.
  • 22. Letter Books of Brereton, i, nos. 89, 130, 158, 177, 181, 238, 273, 289, 345, 375, 379, 408, 499.
  • 23. Ibid. nos. 119, 125, 193-5, 315; C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 70v.- 72; Morris, Siege of Chester, 76-85.
  • 24. Letter Books of Brereton, i, nos. 238, 315, 545-6, 570-1, 601; Dore, Civil Wars in Ches. 49.
  • 25. Ward, Civil War Siegeworks, 4; C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, f. 72; Morris, Siege of Chester, 96-8, 102-5; Dore, Civil Wars in Ches. 48-9.
  • 26. Ward, Civil War Siegeworks, 4, 11; Letter Books of Brereton, ii, pp. 83 n., 86 n., 190, and no. 809; Morris, Siege of Chester, 107-9.
  • 27. Ward, Civil War Siegeworks, 5, 12; Memorials of Civil War in Ches. (R.S.L.C. xix), 181-2; Morris, Siege of Chester, 109-10.
  • 28. Tracts relating to Civil War, 134-45; Morris, Siege of Chester, 110-12, 121; Dore, Civil Wars in Ches. 50-2; J.C.A.S. xxviii. 189-90.
  • 29. Morris, Siege of Chester, 127-9; Dore, Civil Wars in Ches. 52-3.
  • 30. Ward, Civil War Siegeworks, 12-13, 32 sqq.; Letter Books of Brereton, ii, no. 840 and p. 86 n.
  • 31. Ward, Civil War Siegeworks, 5; Letter Books of Brereton, ii, nos. 671-2, 682; Morris, Siege of Chester, 127-31.
  • 32. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 72-3; ZAF 27/15-16; ZML 2/295A, 295B; Letter Books of Brereton, ii, no. 884; Morris, Siege of Chester, 139.
  • 33. Johnson, 'Aspects', 316-18; idem, 'Politics in Chester', 213-14.
  • 34. Letter Books of Brereton, ii, nos. 684, 739, 742, 752, 766, 780-1, 790, 830-1; Memorials of Civil War in Ches. 185-6; Morris, Siege of Chester, 144-6.
  • 35. Letter Books of Brereton, ii, nos. 873, 878-9, 882; Morris, Siege of Chester, 141-3.
  • 36. Letter Books of Brereton, ii, nos. 895, 928, 936-7, 975, 1009- 10, 1066-7, 1107, 1112, 1116-17, 1133, 1146, 1153-4, and p. 591; Memorials of Civil War in Ches. 190-1; Morris, Siege of Chester, 143, 150, 152-7; Porter, Destruction, 50-1, 61.
  • 37. Letter Books of Brereton, ii, nos. 1139, 1143-4, 1236-9, 1247-9.
  • 38. Ibid. nos. 928, 978, 1018, 1071, 1155, and pp. 5-6; C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 73-4; Morris, Siege of Chester, 157-63, 168 sqq.
  • 39. Letter Books of Brereton, ii, pp. 584-92.
  • 40. Letter Books of Brereton, ii, nos. 1167, 1177, 1196-8, 1229- 30, 1251; Morris, Siege of Chester, 237-42.
  • 41. Letter Books of Brereton, ii, no. 1260.
  • 42. Ibid. nos. 1063, 1066-7, 1088, and pp. 582, 584-5, 591-2; Morris, Siege of Chester, 163.
  • 43. Hist. MSS. Com. 29, 13th Rep. I, Portland, i, p. 352.
  • 44. Morris, Siege of Chester, 197; Memorials of Civil War in Ches. 201.
  • 45. Johnson, 'Aspects', 318-19.
  • 46. J. S. Morrill, 'Mutiny and Discontent in Eng. Provincial Armies, 1645-7', Rebellion, Popular Protest, and Social Order, ed. Slack, 193-6.
  • 47. Hist. MSS. Com. 29, 13th Rep. I, Portland, i, p. 352.
  • 48. Ibid. p. 465; B.L. Harl. MS. 1944, ff. 98-9; Johnson, 'Aspects', 99, 211.
  • 49. Above, this chapter: Demography; B.L. Harl. MS. 2135, f. 98 sqq., reworked in Morris, Siege of Chester, 237-43.
  • 50. Cal. S.P. Dom. Addenda 1625-49, 698-9, 711; 1645-7, 532, 534, 536.
  • 51. Above, this chapter: Demography; Morris, Siege of Chester, 209-10; Shrewsbury, Hist. Bubonic Plague, 422-3, 425; C.J. v. 280; L.J. ix. 371; C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, f. 84v.
  • 52. Acts and Ordinances of Interregnum, ed. C. H. Firth and R. S. Rait, i. 876-9.
  • 53. Morris, Siege of Chester, 8-12, 205-7; Keeler, Long Parl. 182-3, 341-2; Letter Books of Brereton, ii, pp. 82, 584.
  • 54. Johnson, 'Aspects', 320-1; idem, 'Politics in Chester', 215-16; J.C.A.S. N.S. iv. 123-5; Morris, Siege of Chester, 12-13.
  • 55. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 78v.-81, 97; Crisis and Order, ed. Clark and Slack, 216-17.
  • 56. L.J. ix. 490; C.J. v. 337, 488; C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, f. 82.
  • 57. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 82-3.
  • 58. Letter Books of Brereton, ii, p. 15 and nos. 1147-8; Dore, Civil Wars in Ches. 68, 86; J.C.A.S. lxviii. 108-9; for Bradshaw: Letter Books of Brereton, ii, pp. 15, 310, and nos. 940, 959; D.N.B.
  • 59. Crisis and Order, ed. Clark and Slack, 217-18.
  • 60. Acts and Ordinances, i. 877; below, this chapter: The Restoration.
  • 61. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 84v., 86, 89v.; Crisis and Order, ed. Clark and Slack, 220.
  • 62. Acts and Ordinances, ii. 2, 241-2, 325-9, 348; Cal. S.P. Dom. 1650, 20-1; Crisis and Order, ed. Clark and Slack, 220-1.
  • 63. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1650, 137.
  • 64. Ibid. 385; Morrill, Ches. 1630-60, 262; Crisis and Order, ed. Clark and Slack, 222.
  • 65. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1651, 31, 316, 325, 329; C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, f. 96v.; Johnson, 'Politics of Chester', 222-3.
  • 66. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 93, 97; ZAF 31/6, 8.
  • 67. Ibid. ZAB 2, ff. 97, 99, 106v., 113; ZAF 32/3; ZAF 36/6; Cal. S.P. Dom. 1651, 384, 391, 420.
  • 68. C.C.A.L.S., ZML 3/347; B. L. K. Henderson, 'Commonwealth Charters', Trans. R.H.S. 3rd ser. vi. 156.
  • 69. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 84v., 86., 87v.-88, 90, 92; ZAF 29/6-7.
  • 70. Ibid. ZML 2/308-11, 313-16.
  • 71. Ibid. ZAB 2, ff. 92v., 107, 111v.; ZAF 31/5; Johnson, 'Aspects', 92.
  • 72. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 86v.-87, 104, 115v., 118; ZAF 33/20-1; ZML 2/303; Johnson, 'Aspects', 166.
  • 73. Johnson, 'Aspects', 178.
  • 74. Crisis and Order, ed. Clark and Slack, 224; C.C.A.L.S., ZAF 35/7.
  • 75. Crisis and Order, ed. Clark and Slack, 224-5, mistakenly counting 10 vacancies.
  • 76. Crisis and Order, ed. Clark and Slack, 226-8; C.J. vii. 854; C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 125v.-126v.; ZAF 37C/2-4; below, this section (Military and Political Affairs, 1646-60).
  • 77. Hist. MSS. Com. 29, 13th Rep. I, Portland, i, pp. 352, 465- 6; above, this chapter: Demography.
  • 78. Woodward, Men at Work, 189; C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, f. 102v.
  • 79. J.C.A.S. xxxix. 101.
  • 80. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 80, 84; ZAF 28/5; ZAF 29/15.
  • 81. Ibid. ZAB 2, ff. 85-6, 93v.; ZAF 29/6, 18-19; ZAF 31/12.
  • 82. Acts and Ordinances, i. 1055; ii. 1006-7.
  • 83. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 80v.-81; ZAF 28/12; Johnson, 'Aspects', 272-3; Chester: 1900 Years of Hist. ed. A. M. Kennett, 27.
  • 84. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 102v., 104-5; ZAF 33/22-4, 31.
  • 85. Ibid. ZAB 2, f. 118v.; ZAF 36/29; ZAF 37A/32.
  • 86. Johnson, 'Aspects', 267-8.
  • 87. What follows is drawn from figures supplied by Miss S. Richardson from Rolls of Freemen of Chester, i; cf. Johnson, 'Aspects', 26-7.
  • 88. C.C.A.L.S., ZAF 33/5, 16.
  • 89. Ibid. ZAB 2, f. 102v.; ZAF 35/13-19.
  • 90. Ibid. ZAB 2, ff. 89v.-90, 113v.-115v.; ZAF 27/18.
  • 91. Ibid. ZML 2/307-9; V.C.H. Ches. v (2), Mills and Fisheries: Dee Corn Mills.
  • 92. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 88, 89v.-90; ZAF 30/7, 14.
  • 93. Ibid. ZAB 2, ff. 94v.-95; ZAF 31/14.
  • 94. T.H.S.L.C. cxxii. 39-40.
  • 95. Johnson, 'Aspects', 92, 99, 211.
  • 96. Cal. Chester City Cl. Mins. 1603-42, 214-19; C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 92, 101v.-102; ZAF 30/24; ZAF 31/10-11, 13; V.C.H. Ches. v (2), Charities for the Poor: Municipal.
  • 97. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 84v., 86-7, 89, 95v.; ZAF 30/4, 8; ZML 2/295A-B.
  • 98. Ibid. ZAB 2, ff. 109, 110, 116; ZCHB 3, f. 169v.; ZML 3/376; Cal. S.P. Dom. 1654, 132, 168.
  • 99. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1656-7, 264; 1657-8, 226; 1659-60, 427; J.C.A.S. xxviii. 191; V.C.H. Ches. iii. 182.
  • 100. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 105, 108v.; ZAF 34/42.
  • 101. Eng. County Histories, ed. Currie and Lewis, 73-4.
  • 102. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 100-1, 119; ZAF 34/26; V.C.H. Ches. v (2), Plays, Sports, and Customs before 1700: City Watches and Midsummer Show.
  • 103. C.C.A.L.S., ZML 2/297; ZML 3/379.
  • 104. Ibid. ZAB 2, ff. 60, 66, 67v.; ZAF 26/18, 29; Letter Books of Brereton, i, no. 545; J.C.A.S. lxviii. 113-14.
  • 105. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, f. 66; J.C.A.S. lxviii. 113.
  • 106. V.C.H. Ches. iii. 36; J.C.A.S. lxviii. 114; Morris, Siege of Chester, 192, 195.
  • 107. Walker Revised, ed. A. G. Matthews, 88, 90-4, 230; L. M. Farrall, 'Holy Trinity Ch., Chester', J.C.A.S. xxi. 164; ibid. lxviii. 98, 114-15.
  • 108. J.C.A.S. lxviii. 115-16.
  • 109. Minutes of Committee for Relief of Plundered Ministers, and of Trustees for Maintenance of Ministers, 1643-54 (R.S.L.C. xxviii), 152, 193-4, 207-9, 216; 1650-60 (R.S.L.C. xxxiv), 5, 10, 34, 37-8, 43-7, 53, 70-1, 81-3, 87, 92-3, 103, 112, 140-1, 153-4, 210, 226, 317-18; C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, f. 92; ZAF 20/23; Cal. S.P. Dom. 1653-4, 122; 1657-8, 241; J.C.A.S. lxviii. 117.
  • 110. J.C.A.S. lxviii. 116-17; Miscellanies, i (R.S.L.C. xii), 48; Morris, Siege of Chester, 213; V.C.H. Ches. iii. 36, 190.
  • 111. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 84v., 124; ZAF 29/8; ZAF 37B/5; Morris, Siege of Chester, 212; Morrill, Ches. 1630-60, 20, 165-7, 267-8, 270; Kennett, Loyal Chester, 17; V.C.H. Ches. iii. 102-3; D.N.B.
  • 112. J.C.A.S. lxviii. 117; Dore, Civil Wars in Ches. 70, 84-5; Morrill, Ches. 1630-60, 264 sqq., 275; V.C.H. Ches. iii. 103; C.C.A.L.S., ZML 3/352, 355-6, 361-2; D.N.B.
  • 113. F. Sanders, 'Quakers in Chester under Protectorate', J.C.A.S. xiv. 36-76; W. C. Braithwaite, Beginnings of Quakerism, 125-7, 158, 168, 216, 268, 328, 388; V.C.H. Ches. iii. 103-4; Johnson, 'Aspects', 343 n.
  • 114. S. C. Scott, 'Extracts from Churchwardens' Accts. and Vestry Mins. of St. John's, Chester', J.C.A.S. N.S. iii. 57; ibid. lxviii. 116-18; H. D. Roberts, Matthew Henry and his Chapel, 1662-1900, 27.
  • 115. C.C.A.L.S., ZML 2/308-9.
  • 116. Ibid. ZML 2/312, 316; Morrill, Ches. 1630-60, 188-9.
  • 117. C.C.A.L.S., ZML 2/319-20; ZML 6/180; Hist. MSS. Com. 29, 13th Rep. I, Portland, i, p. 463; Memorials of Civil War in Ches. 214-16; Morris, Siege of Chester, 211-12; Morrill, Ches. 1630-60, 188-9; Dore, Civil Wars in Ches. 71-2.
  • 118. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, f. 84v.; ZAF 29/8-9.
  • 119. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1648-9, 183, 218; 1649-50, 229, 468, 535; 1650, 149, 301, 336; 1651, 524.
  • 120. Ibid. 1651, 137, 196, 379, 416, 422-3, 427, 496.
  • 121. Ibid. 1651-2, 179; 1652-3, 32, 215; 1654, 196; C.C.A.L.S., ZML 3/377.
  • 122. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1655, 78, 597; R. N. Dore, 'Ches. Rising of 1659', T.L.C.A.S. lxix. 53; Morrill, Ches. 1630-60, 254-5.
  • 123. Cal. S.P. Irel. 1633-47, 535-6; 1647-60, 731; Armour, 'Trade of Chester', 237 sqq.
  • 124. Cal. S.P. Dom. Addenda 1625-49, 717; 1648-9, 48; 1649- 50, 29, 107, 131, 141, 149, 160, 218, 228, 284, 296-7, 393, 495, 497, 533-4, 536, 572, 580, and passim.
  • 125. e.g. ibid. 1651, 183, 520, 522, 584; 1651-2, 551, 553, 611; 1652-3, 175, 228, 271, 474, 478, 480, 513; 1654, 146, 150, 368; 1655, 340-1, 607; 1655-6, 79, 246; 1656-7, 120; 1658-9, 27; C.C.A.L.S., ZML 3/349.
  • 126. Hist. MSS. Com. 29, 13th Rep. I, Portland, i, p. 465; C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, f. 86; ZAF 29/8-9, 12; ZML 2/300, 304-5, 319; ZML 3/344, 365-6; Cal. S.P. Dom. 1655, 133; M. J. Braddick, Parl. Taxation in 17th-Cent. Eng. 144, 278-9.
  • 127. Letter Books of Brereton, ii, p. 15 and no. 1148; Hist. Parl., Commons, 1660-90, iii. 315-16; V.C.H. Ches. ii. 114; D. Underdown, Pride's Purge, 372, 383; C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 79, 97, 99; ZAF 32/3; Crisis and Order, ed. Clark and Slack, 219-20.
  • 128. Cal. S.P. Dom. Addenda 1625-49, 698-9; 1655, 294-5; 1655-6, 208; C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, f. 101v.; V.C.H. Ches. ii. 114; Crisis and Order, ed. Clark and Slack, 223-4.
  • 129. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 113, 123v.; Crisis and Order, ed. Clark and Slack, 225; cf. P. J. Pinckney, 'Ches. Election of 1656', Bull. John Rylands Libr. xlix. 390-1.
  • 130. J. R. Jones, 'Booth's Rising of 1659', Bull. John Rylands Libr. xxxix. 416-43; T.L.C.A.S. lxix. 43-69.
  • 131. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 124v.-125; ZAF 37B/8, 10; Morrill, Ches. 1630-60, 307-9, 313-14; T.L.C.A.S. lxix. 63, 65, 67; Crisis and Order, ed. Clark and Slack, 225-8.
  • 132. Crisis and Order, ed. Clark and Slack, 227-8; Hist. Parl., Commons, 1660-90, ii. 632; iii. 315-16; Dore, Civil Wars in Ches. 94.