Early modern Chester 1550-1762: City government and politics, 1662-1762

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: City government and politics, 1662-1762', in A History of the County of Chester: Volume 5 Part 1, the City of Chester: General History and Topography, (London, 2003) pp. 129-137. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/ches/vol5/pt1/pp129-137 [accessed 27 May 2024].

. "Early modern Chester 1550-1762: City government and politics, 1662-1762", in A History of the County of Chester: Volume 5 Part 1, the City of Chester: General History and Topography, (London, 2003) 129-137. British History Online, accessed May 27, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/ches/vol5/pt1/pp129-137.

. "Early modern Chester 1550-1762: City government and politics, 1662-1762", A History of the County of Chester: Volume 5 Part 1, the City of Chester: General History and Topography, (London, 2003). 129-137. British History Online. Web. 27 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/ches/vol5/pt1/pp129-137.

In this section


Three strands ran intertwined through the affairs of Chester's governing classes in the century after the Restoration. For the sake of clarity they are here separated out as military matters, parliamentary representation, and the city's own 'internal' politics, though each influenced the others and all had some effect on the city's routine government.

Military Affairs

Rumours of plots prevailed for some time after the Restoration. In 1661 doubts about the loyalty of the citizens led the corporation to pay for a permanent guard of 30 men and to stockpile match, while the county militia was also placed on alert. (fn. 1) In 1662 the government stationed 60 foot soldiers in Chester, and the following year, immediately after his appointment as governor, (fn. 2) Sir Geoffrey Shakerley repaired the city's fortifications and repressed dissent. (fn. 3) The defences were further strengthened in 1671. (fn. 4) Tensions with the city authorities over financing the repairs were exacerbated in 1668 when the mayor gaoled a soldier without first informing the governor, and in the early 1670s by resistance to the impressment of sailors. (fn. 5)

The Popish Plot in 1678 led to cancellation of the Midsummer show and the Christmas watch in successive years, as well as repairs to the city walls. (fn. 6) As the crisis passed, temporary additions to the garrison were disbanded, but the Secretary of State still interfered in the appointment of the city's militia officers. (fn. 7) The visit of the duke of Monmouth in September 1682 was accompanied by searches for arms, surveillance of those deemed disaffected, a few arrests, and frequent reports to London. (fn. 8) Both the Rye House Plot in 1683 (fn. 9) and the accession of James II in 1685 led to similar precautions, and in the latter year there was mob violence during the county election held in Chester. (fn. 10) Further measures followed the outbreak of Monmouth's rebellion in June 1685: the Midsummer fair was cancelled, suspects were imprisoned at the castle, and arrangements were made (in the event proving unnecessary) to send 1,000 foot from Ireland to protect the city. (fn. 11) The duke's cause evidently had some support in Chester, but there was no uprising. (fn. 12)

The garrison remained large enough to justify a new armoury in 1687 and to require billets in private houses. (fn. 13) Events in autumn 1688 emphasized Chester's military significance. Troops from Ireland, recalled by James II, began to arrive in October and were joined by others from Lancashire. Governor Peter Shakerley prepared to make a stand, but James II's flight weakened the garrison's resolve and in December Shakerley declared for William of Orange and ceded control of the castle to the Whig mayor, William Street. (fn. 14) Governors after the Revolution remained watchful, (fn. 15) and after the Lancashire Jacobite plot in 1694 more suspects were held in the castle. (fn. 16)

Chester's earlier importance as a base for military operations in Ireland was regained after the outbreak of the Irish rebellion in 1689. Troops passed through the city before embarkation from anchorages on the Dee. There were shipments of military supplies, money, and foodstuffs, while senior military officers and State dignitaries also sailed from Chester. (fn. 17) Sick and wounded soldiers were evacuated to a temporary hospital established in the city in 1691, while prisoners of war and occasionally an alleged spy were detained there. (fn. 18) The flow of troops continued in the later 1690s. (fn. 19)

Despite its Tory inclinations and some sympathy for the Jacobites, (fn. 20) the city made no move in support of the rising of 1715. The defeat of the rebels at Preston (Lancs.) in November spared it direct involvement in military operations, although its trained bands were called up and government troops marched through. Captured Jacobites numbering up to 500 at a time were brought for temporary imprisonment at Chester, crowding the castle and the city gaol and overflowing into houses throughout the city. Initially many perished of cold, hunger, and fever because local sympathizers were prevented from assisting them. (fn. 21) Two regiments were kept at Chester for almost a year, (fn. 22) and there was some friction between civil and military authorities. The recorder, Roger Comberbach, who had shown ostentatious enthusiasm for the Hanoverians, (fn. 23) fell foul of the colonel commanding at the castle in 1715 in a dispute over jurisdiction, and was briefly placed under house arrest in humiliating circumstances before the colonel was himself removed. (fn. 24) Despite occasional fights between soldiers and citizens, (fn. 25) relations between city and garrison later improved. (fn. 26)

The initially unexpected approach of the Jacobites in 1745 caused greater alarm than in 1715. In mid November part of the county militia was brought in to garrison the city. (fn. 27) The city gates were bricked up, save for wickets at the Bridgegate and Eastgate, the walls were patrolled, cannon were mounted to com mand the bridge, and the castle defences were improved. (fn. 28) Business came to a standstill, leading citizens evacuated their families and valuables, and refugees from outside flocked within the walls, where inhabitants were directed to lay in two weeks' provisions against a siege. In the event the Jacobite army went nowhere near Chester, but the city had been involved in heavy expense and had to turn to Sir Robert Grosvenor to obtain reimbursement from the government in 1746. (fn. 29)

Parliamentary Representation (fn. 30)

The M.P.s returned in 1661, Sir Thomas Smith, Bt., and the recorder, John Ratcliffe, upheld the city's interests in parliament but were not especially active. (fn. 31) The contested byelection on Ratcliffe's death in 1673, between Colonel Robert Werden, a courtier with local connexions, and the recorder, William Williams, involved serious disorder and accidental loss of life during the poll. Werden had a majority of 50 in a total of 1,152 votes, but his election was confirmed only in 1675, after the Commons had considered complaints about the mayor's admission of new freemen during the contest. By then the other M.P., Smith, had died, and Recorder Williams was apparently returned unopposed at the byelection. Werden was not prominent in parliamentary business, but Williams spoke frequently for the Country opposition. (fn. 32)

The byelections of 1673 and 1675 heralded a period of sharp political discord which reflected national divisions. At first the Whig and Tory factions were evenly balanced. (fn. 33) Recorder Williams was elected without a contest to the first two Exclusion parliaments in 1678 and 1679 along with the local landowner Sir Thomas Grosvenor, Bt., both men being associated with the Country opposition. By 1681 Grosvenor had become a Court supporter and probably did not seek re-election, being replaced by Colonel Roger Whitley, an opposition supporter. Anti-government opinion in Chester, hardened possibly by the city's trading difficulties, was demonstrated in 1682 by a tumultuous welcome for the duke of Monmouth. Recorder Williams tried to protect the Monmouth rioters from severe punishment and to stiffen resistance to the government's attack on the city's liberties. On the other hand, the new charter of 1685, which Grosvenor as mayor helped obtain, strengthened royal influence within the corporation. The election of 1685 completed the Tory reaction by returning Grosvenor and Werden unopposed. (fn. 34) The election for the county seats, also held in Chester, was marked by disorder, Whig complaints of official malpractice, and corporationsupported celebrations of the Tory success. (fn. 35)

With the political tide in Chester running strongly in the Court's favour there was no public response to Monmouth's rebellion in 1685, and Williams himself became one of the main Whig collaborators with James II, though he lost both his seat in parliament and his position on the council. (fn. 36) Mistrust of the king, however, was evident during his visit in August 1687, to the extent that the governor was unable to procure a loyal address from the corporation. (fn. 37) Local Tory dominance was eventually undermined by national events in 1688 and the débâcle over the remodelling of the corporation. When Williams was reinstated along with the old corporation he was quick to re-establish his Whig credentials. (fn. 38) Nevertheless, in 1689 there was a sharp contest for the city's seats in the Convention: Whitley and the Whig alderman George Mainwaring were opposed unsuccessfully by Grosvenor and Richard Levinge, the former recorder. (fn. 39)

In the 1690s the city's political alignment was in the balance. Chester needed influential connexions to obtain a scheme for the Dee navigation, relief from heavy taxation, and a relaxation of the regulations hindering the import of cattle and hides. Economic and political issues were therefore linked as Whig and Tory groups, led respectively by Whitley and Grosvenor, vied for control of parliamentary representation. There were also differences about the rights of dissenters and the method of choosing officers and members of the Assembly, though the parliamentary franchise undisputedly rested with the freemen. (fn. 40)

In 1690 Grosvenor and Levinge were returned, and Whitley and Mainwaring complained that the mayor had wrongly created 125 new freemen during the election. (fn. 41) Levinge later turned to a career outside Chester (though he was still an alderman in 1698), (fn. 42) and in 1695 Grosvenor was re-elected along with Whitley. The latter's death in 1697 left the city's Whigs in difficulties, enabling the Tories to win the election of 1698 decisively and establish a longer-term electoral ascendancy: Grosvenor was elected with Peter Shakerley, the High Tory former governor, who continued as M.P. until 1715, having been joined in 1701 (after Grosvenor's death) by another High Tory, Sir Henry Bunbury, who served in the Commons until 1727. Those two long-serving M.P.s, who worked hard for the city's interests, thus provided a measure of stability in Chester's political life in the early 18th century. (fn. 43)

City Politics

The city received its first post-Restoration charter in 1664. It confirmed Chester's liberties with minor amendments, including a standard clause making appointments to the recordership and the clerkship of the Pentice subject to royal approval. (fn. 44) Interference was minimal for many years, although in 1667 Governor Sir Geoffrey Shakerley helped to oust John Ratcliffe as recorder. (fn. 45) During 1680-1 government supporters accused the city's ruling Whigs of misconduct, including partiality in the admission of freemen. (fn. 46)

Local antagonisms were intensified by the duke of Monmouth's visit on 9 September 1682, planned earlier in the summer by Mayor George Mainwaring, Colonel Roger Whitley, and other leading Whigs. Monmouth was greeted enthusiastically by the populace and acted as godfather at the christening of the mayor's daughter. The disturbances which accompanied his visit, however, had serious consequences for the city. (fn. 47) Shakerley rightly suspected that the aldermen J.P.s would deal leniently with the rioters, and the government attempted to transfer the trial to a special commission under Sir George Jeffreys, chief justice of the palatinate of Chester, but in the end the city's quarter sessions heard the case and only two men were convicted. (fn. 48) Other Tory moves included interference by the governor's son and deputy, Peter Shakerley, in the mayoral election of 1682 to succeed Mainwaring. He persuaded some of the aldermen to support a moderate Whig, Peter Edwards, rather than Whitley, (fn. 49) but the plan misfired when Edwards as mayor maintained the line taken by the Whig magistrates. (fn. 50)

The defence of the charter against the quo warranto proceedings begun by the privy council in July 1683, which was led by Recorder Williams and backed by an association of some 500 freemen and a vote of the grand jury, was undermined by the Assembly's failure to support Edwards's successor as mayor, William Street. Denied the use of the common seal, Street appealed under his own official seal, but the document was deemed invalid and the city's charter was overturned in 1684. (fn. 51)

A new charter was procured in 1685 through Sir Thomas Grosvenor. (fn. 52) It largely confirmed the city's constitution, also empowering the mayor to appoint a deputy, but with a clause, normal at the time, allowing the Crown to remove civic office-holders. The charter disfranchised eight men, including Recorder Williams and Aldermen Street, Mainwaring, and Whitley, and made Sir Thomas Grosvenor mayor and Sir Edward Lutwyche, a newcomer, recorder; it also named the sheriffs, the clerk of the Pentice, and 22 aldermen, of whom six were new to the Assembly, and made changes among the Forty. The new recorder resigned later in the year on becoming a judge and was succeeded by Richard Levinge, son of the earlier recorder. (fn. 53)

The charter of 1685 extended royal influence on the city's affairs. (fn. 54) In 1688 the government removed the entire Assembly and obliged the city to petition for a new charter, which named the corporation and principal officers, reserved the Crown's right to dismiss individuals, dispensed all members from the prescribed oaths, and restricted the franchise to the corporation. (fn. 55) Of the 24 aldermen named in addition to the mayor and recorder only 11 had already served as aldermen and four as sheriffs. Grosvenor and William Stanley, earl of Derby, were among those displaced. Members removed in the purge of 1685 and restored in 1688 included Mainwaring, Whitley, and Peter Edwards. The attempt to conciliate Whigs and those with nonconformist connexions was fruitless: the nominated corporation apparently never met, and in October the charters of 1685 and 1688 were annulled and the city resumed its earlier privileges. (fn. 56)

In effect the charter of 1664 was confirmed, and the surviving members of the corporation of 1683-4 were reinstated, including William Street as mayor and William Williams (now knighted) as recorder. During the 1690s several of the newcomers imposed in 1685 became aldermen or sheriffs. (fn. 57) A few opponents of the Revolution of 1688-9 were also weeded out: in 1691 Thomas Simpson, an alderman for 20 years, was expelled for refusing the oaths to William and Mary, and in 1702 nine councilmen were displaced for refusing the oaths for the protestant succession. (fn. 58)

A sharp internal dispute followed about the interpretation of the electoral provisions of the 1664 charter. (fn. 59) In 1693, during Colonel Whitley's first mayoralty, Sir John Mainwaring, George Booth, and more than 400 supporters petitioned the Assembly that the Forty should be elected annually by the freemen, according to the letter of the charter, challenging the long-standing practice of co-option for life. Ignoring a counter-petition, the mayor, recorder, and aldermen J.P.s, with only two dissentients, called a citizens' meeting which elected a list nominated by the mayor. Some of the 20 ejected councilmen complained to the privy council, which left the matter to be settled in King's Bench. (fn. 60) With the re-election of Whitley as mayor in 1693, 1694, and 1695, and in the absence of the court's decision, the annual election of councilmen continued. In 1696, before leaving office, Whitley secured approval for detailed arrangements for future elections, giving freemen the right to reject serving councilmen, allowing the mayor to nominate candidates, and permitting the freemen to propose other names to be put to the vote. (fn. 61)

After Whitley had gone, however, the old system was gradually restored: in 1697 the Assembly co-opted to four aldermanic vacancies, two of them caused by the deaths of the leading Whigs Whitley and Street, (fn. 62) and in 1698 it formally abolished annual elections, restored 17 ex-councilmen, co-opted 23 others, and confirmed the existing 22 aldermen in office for life. (fn. 63)

From the 1710s the Grosvenor family repeatedly intervened in the city's affairs. Attempts to break their power were always thwarted, despite popular support and the presence within the corporation of a faction opposed to Grosvenor influence. (fn. 64) Membership of the corporation was occasionally conferred on the Grosvenors, their allies among the Cheshire gentry, and other outside supporters, including in 1720 their steward and political agent, Robert Pigot, who served as mayor in 1723-4. (fn. 65)

From the 1720s their growing interest in monopolizing parliamentary elections led the Grosvenors to try packing the body of freemen with supporters. Normally the Assembly admitted many new freemen before an election. Some were members of the county gentry and their dependants, (fn. 66) many of whom resigned the freedom as soon as the election was over. (fn. 67) Most, however, were inhabitants of Chester and its environs, entitled to the freedom by descent or apprenticeship but unwilling or unable to take it up until the Grosvenors paid the fees. The total numbers admitted could be very large, as for example 338 by birth and 162 by apprenticeship in 1720, (fn. 68) and c. 450 and c. 175 in 1732. (fn. 69)

Mayoral elections in the early 18th century continued under the previous arrangements, the freemen choosing each 13 October between two candidates nominated by the corporation. Sometimes as many as 500 or 600 freemen voted. Occasionally the aldermen overruled their choice. (fn. 70) The fiercest contest came in the early 1730s. To protect their position the Grosvenors needed to retain the support of the mayor, whose prerogative it was to call the Assemblies at which honorary freemen could be created. The Whigs first tried to win over the mayor of 1731-2, Trafford Massie, by offering clerical preferment for his son. Shortly before the election in 1732 the Whig candidate for mayor left £100 in gold with Massie in return for a written promise to call no further Assemblies. Meanwhile sporadic disorders culminated in a clash in Bridge Street in early October between a Whig mob (allegedly reinforced with disguised soldiers, revenue officers, and Liverpool sailors) and Tory supporters who included Welsh miners. The latter came off worse, and the Whigs, suspecting that Tory aldermen were admitting more freemen after dark, broke into and wrecked the Pentice. The mayor called for dragoons from Warrington to help restore order and appointed c. 270 special constables. The violence shocked the faction leaders into a truce, but when polling was adjourned the Whigs, supposing that their man had won, pursued the mayor and justices into the coffee house under the Exchange and carried off the mayoral sword and mace. In fact the Tories had won by c. 1,100 votes to c. 850, perhaps in part through intimidation. (fn. 71)

In the following year, 1733, incensed by the Tories' allegedly irregular co-option of Sir Robert Grosvenor and his ally Watkin Williams Wynn as aldermen, (fn. 72) the Whigs went to law to assert the rule of election by freemen laid down in 1506; a jury of Cheshire gentlemen, however, basing themselves on a lost order of 1525, ruled that the charter's terms should be overridden by constant practise. (fn. 73) From 1734 the Tories also adjusted the method of electing the mayor and the freemen's sheriff, thenceforth entirely excluding the freemen; (fn. 74) later mayors were normally chosen in order of seniority of their membership of the Assembly. Several times the mayoralty was held by the Grosvenors or their aristocratic or gentry allies in the county, two serving successively in 1736-8, and three between 1759 and 1762. By then the next mayor but one was also being formally designated at the time of his predecessor's election. Only twice, in 1744 and 1784, did open division among the aldermen permit the freemen to vote. (fn. 75) The mayoral election day was moved under an Act of 1753 from the Friday after St. Denis (9 October) to the Friday after 20 October in order to prevent its falling within the period of the Michaelmas fair; the starting date of the latter had changed from 29 September to 10 October as a consequence of the calendar reform of 1752. (fn. 76) In 1747 the House of Commons ruled that nonresident freemen might not vote in parliamentary elections, but the ruling did not prevent them from voting in mayoral elections, and the dominance of Grosvenor supporters in the corporation was unaffected. (fn. 77)

The city had always since 1714 celebrated Hanoverian royal anniversaries, (fn. 78) and in 1745 there was little overt sympathy for the Jacobites, though two cathedral choirmen were in trouble for making disloyal speeches. (fn. 79) The corporation, which was anti-Jacobite, (fn. 80) shared in the political reconciliation of the 1750s, for example making William Pitt a freeman on his resignation as Secretary of State in 1757. (fn. 81) Thereafter it proclaimed its loyalty to the Crown whenever a British military or naval victory or a royal family occasion gave opportunity. (fn. 82)

City Government

Despite the purges of 1662 and the 1680s the Assembly usually included some very experienced aldermen. (fn. 83) Two who had served without a break since before the Civil War, Robert Harvey and William Ince the elder, remained until their deaths in 1669 and 1678. Of the new appointees in 1662 two served until the 1690s. Apparently very few men tried to avoid service in the later 17th century, (fn. 84) though reluctance may have grown in the earlier 18th, since fines for refusal were set in 1703 and increased sharply in 1741 and 1754. (fn. 85) Except when outsiders were appointed during the 1680s, the cursus honorum remained as before. Repeated election as mayor became exceptional, the main instance being Colonel Whitley's service for four consecutive terms from 1692 to 1696, in unusual political circumstances. Aristocratic and gentry landowners and a broad range of urban occupations continued to be represented in the Twenty-Four, and among councilmen the range was even wider. The larger distributive trades, such as mercers, drapers, chandlers, upholsterers, ironmongers, and from c. 1730 linendrapers, produced almost a third of all Assemblymen after 1700, brewers and innkeepers about another seventh. Apothecaries and booksellers were also over-represented. Fewer manufacturers gained a place, especially as aldermen, and the building crafts and retail food trades were almost entirely excluded. New aldermen and councillors were almost always chosen by consensus, without voting. (fn. 86)

During the 1660s and 1670s there were normally six to eight recorded meetings of the Assembly every year, but the changes in the charters disrupted that routine: there were no meetings for 13 months from February 1684, (fn. 87) or between August 1688 and January 1689, or between February and September 1689. (fn. 88) Up to seven meetings a year were again being held by 1694, (fn. 89) but from October 1695, while the conduct of elections was in dispute, the Assembly met less frequently and minutes were also kept by the mayor and aldermen J.P.s gathered in the inner Pentice. They met there five times in December 1695 alone, 45 times in 1696, and 16 times during the first four months of 1697. (fn. 90) Once the dispute was over the Assembly again met more regularly, (fn. 91) up to 11 times a year under Queen Anne. (fn. 92) From the 1720s, however, it seldom met more than twice or thrice a year, attended by only half or two thirds of the full complement of 70 or more, with the aldermen J.P.s more assiduous than councilmen. From the late 1740s attendance was often low enough to allow sittings during the colder months to be held in the inner Pentice rather than the larger common hall at the Exchange. (fn. 93) By 1710 the mayor and aldermen J.P.s also met every Friday in the inner Pentice, (fn. 94) not as an 'inner cabinet', but rather as an administrative subcommittee to handle routine business between Assembly sessions. Its main concerns were poor-law settlement rights and the formal swearing-in of freemen. (fn. 95)

The Assembly's business during the later 17th and earlier 18th century, apart from financial matters, consisted mainly of responses to suggestions and requests made by other. (fn. 96) Much time was spent on filling vacancies and offices, guild affairs, and admissions to the freedom. From the 1670s petitions, most commonly for leases of city property or leave to enclose parts of the streets and Rows, were normally referred to small committees, rarely of more than six and at first just of aldermen but in the 18th century usually also including the mayor and recorder, and, when finance was involved, the treasurers. The committees' recommendations were almost invariably accepted by the full Assembly, which after 1700 hardly ever recorded votes, except on the level of fines for those admitted to the freedom. The quasi-parliamentary system of petition, report to the 'House', and final approval allowed for responses to difficult or unfavoured requests to be indefinitely postponed from one Assembly sitting to another without open rejection, especially in the 1750s. The Assembly also devised and enforced local regulations, in 1685 confirming a long list of bylaws. (fn. 97) From the 1690s minute-keeping was improved, (fn. 98) and arrangements were made for storing the city's records in rooms adjacent to the Pentice, where in 1762 they were set in order by the joint town clerk, Thomas Brock. (fn. 99)

In the earlier 18th century the main activities of the city government were still the traditional ones: caring for its public buildings, dispensing justice, maintaining order, upholding economic privileges, and occasionally encouraging trade. From the 1720s the magistrates devoted much effort to checking the finances of debtors imprisoned in the Northgate gaol. (fn. 100) Their criminal business mainly concerned assaults and theft. A few of those convicted were transported to America, (fn. 101) but more, especially women, were whipped through the streets from the Northgate to the Eastgate or Bridgegate, a penalty occasionally followed by brief imprisonment in the house of correction. (fn. 102) Most offenders were simply bound over for good behaviour. In the early 1750s a short campaign was waged against begging, gambling in the Rows after dark, disorderly houses outside the Northgate, (fn. 103) and swearing. (fn. 104) In the 1710s the city still maintained a whipping post and cucking stool, (fn. 105) and a gallows at Boughton, where in 1711 the mayor had a gentleman's servant, convicted of murder, hanged in haste before influence could secure a reprieve. (fn. 106)

The Assembly had in its gift many low-ranking civic posts, such as the mayor's and sheriffs' officers, night and day bellmen, common crier, city mason, water bailiff, and keepers of the Roodee and the common hall. (fn. 107) By the early 18th century many were treated as hereditary. (fn. 108) The corporation's two senior officers remained the clerk of the Pentice (or town clerk) and recorder. Both appointments were affected by the factional politics of the later 17th century, (fn. 109) but after 1700 patronage and family connexions were more influential. William Williams, a distinguished lawyer, served as recorder from 1667 until his death in 1700, though with an interruption in the 1680s. (fn. 110) His successor, clerk of the Pentice Roger Comberbach (d. 1720), was followed by his son-in-law Thomas Mather, (fn. 111) but when Mather died in 1745 William Falconer was chosen on the recommendation of Sir Robert Grosvenor. (fn. 112) Comberbach arranged in 1712 for the clerkship of the Pentice to be granted for life to his son, also Roger, then aged 19, jointly with Thomas Lloyd. (fn. 113) Lloyd had a deputy by 1735 (fn. 114) and died in 1754, after which in 1757 the younger Comberbach took out a new life-grant jointly with Thomas Brock, recommended by Sir Richard Grosvenor. (fn. 115)

Taxation caused the city many difficulties during the 1660s and 1670s, beginning with demands for arrears of the post-Restoration assessments and the administration of the hearth tax. (fn. 116) By 1670 the recorder and others were accused by the farmers of the excise of conniving with the city's brewers in their opposition to it. (fn. 117) Above all, from 1665 the corporation was in dispute with the county about their respective assessments for the Royal Aid and Further Supply. (fn. 118) During the first year (1664-5) the city paid a tenth of the whole for Cheshire under protest, but in the second year it refused. The matter was complicated in 1666 when Chester and the county were separated and the city's liability was reduced to a twentieth of the total. The city's commissioners used the lower rate for the third year, but by the end of 1667 a total of £1,178 remained uncollected. After intensive lobbying of the Treasury by both parties, it was finally decided in 1670 that the city should meet about two thirds of the arrears; they were paid off by 1672, partly through borrowing. (fn. 119)

Chester's financial resources and management were mainly unchanged in the later 17th century. The corporation frequently reviewed its leases and rents. (fn. 120) Income from grazing on the Roodee was rising after 1660, to £88 in 1691, (fn. 121) but the revenue from fees for admission to the freedom varied. Those duly qualified paid an amount fixed by custom, but for others the corporation could charge what it liked: the minister of St. Peter's, for example, was admitted gratis in 1666, but the normal fee in the 1670s was £30 or more, and in 1693 a flexible scale was fixed, starting at £10. (fn. 122) Income from tolls, collected by the swordbearer at the shambles and the macebearer at the gates, remained a source of contention, though in 1666 Francis Talbot, earl of Shrewsbury, sold his interest in the Bridgegate tolls and certain other rights to the corporation for the large sum of £200. (fn. 123) The tolls payable at the gates were confirmed in 1670, but there was evidently much evasion. (fn. 124)

Corporation finances were subsidized indirectly in the new collection of plate formed after the Restoration to replace that sold in the Civil War. The long-standing custom by which new aldermen and councilmen presented a piece of plate was revived, and Charles Stanley, earl of Derby, presented a mace in 1668. (fn. 125) Some plate was sold in 1685 to pay for the new charter, and in 1700 gifts of plate were commuted to cash payments towards the cost of the new Exchange. (fn. 126)

Smaller customary exactions from the mayor, sheriffs, leavelookers, other officers, and new aldermen and councillors went particularly to supplement the wages paid to the mayor's and sheriffs' attendants. (fn. 127) More important were ad hoc loans raised, for example, to meet arrears on the Royal Aid, repair the city walls in 1690, and build the Exchange, a project which also attracted outright gifts. (fn. 128) Whenever ordinary revenue proved inadequate, special assessments were made for particular purposes, including the renewal of the charter in 1664 and scavenging, street repair, and fire-fighting equipment in the 1670s and 1680s. (fn. 129)

Much of the revenue continued to go on salaries, wages, and fees, not least on arrears which had built up by the 1660s, due for instance to the school usher and the sons of former recorder Robert Brerewood and treasurer Randle Holme II. (fn. 130) The corporation made ex gratia payments to the family of another former recorder, John Ratcliffe, (fn. 131) and sent gratuities, treats, or gifts of cheeses to men of influence in London for help over the charters and the tax controversy. (fn. 132)

The regular income of the treasurers' accounts (which did not include the funds administered by the sheriffs and other office-holders) was rarely adequate. (fn. 133) In the early 1670s the Assembly therefore began closer scrutiny and audit of the accounts. Revenues, gifts, legacies, fees, and perquisites were inquired into in 1693, (fn. 134) prompted by the prospect of additional financial burdens. Hitherto the corporation had tried to avoid expensive undertakings, relying on others for the new waterworks and improvements to the Dee navigation, (fn. 135) but from 1687 it faced the need to rebuild the common hall. In 1692-3 a new building was approved, costing £1,000, a sum manageable only through gifts from the king and others. Progress on building was impeded by the dispute over Assembly elections, and an additional £500 had to be raised in 1698. (fn. 136)

The corporation's income remained inelastic in the earlier 18th century. (fn. 137) The largest of the traditional revenues was rent from city property, c. £270 a year, including over £120 from lands outside the liberties. Grazing on the Roodee and the rent of the flesh shambles each usually brought in at least £100, the Roodee sometimes up to twice as much after the 1720s. Other revenues were falling: the prisage of wines, once also yielding c. £100, was halved by the 1740s, and the leavelookers' income fell sharply as traders sold more 'by order' rather than bringing their goods into Chester and paying tolls. (fn. 138) The tolls themselves, whether taken at the gates or in the markets, were increasingly challenged by outsiders and from c. 1750 led to legal expenses in their defence. (fn. 139)

When deficits arose, the treasurers were expected to meet them personally and be reimbursed later. (fn. 140) The city's debts became especially pressing in the two decades after 1700. (fn. 141) It ordered minor economies, as in 1711, (fn. 142) and resorted to other expedients. The need in 1706 to meet long overdue payments for the Exchange led it to centralize the revenues collected by officers other than the treasurers. (fn. 143) In 1711 it prohibited new leases of corporate property for more than three lives or 21 years, and began letting its shops under the Pentice at rack rent. (fn. 144) In 1712, when it appeared that even regular expenditure would exceed income, the city empowered itself to sell freehold interests in property hitherto held for fee-farm rents, giving existing lessees first refusal. Sales were stopped in 1713, after helping pay off a £350 debt. (fn. 145)

There were more expensive projects c. 1750, as the city began to consider repairing the Exchange and building a workhouse. (fn. 146) Timber on its lands was sold in bulk for £100 in 1750. (fn. 147) In 1755, on the death of the macebearer, who collected the Eastgate tolls, the corporation took over the mayor's power to name his successor, and rented the tolls to its appointee, initially the deceased incumbent's son, for £80 a year. The mayor was compensated for his loss of revenue by assigning him a capital sum to meet his expenses. (fn. 148) Other offices previously filled by the mayor were likewise taken over in 1759. (fn. 149)

The city also reorganized its debt in the 1750s. Since 1700 it had repeatedly borrowed by issuing bonds, sometimes secured on particular revenues such as the murage duties. (fn. 150) Although interest rates were reduced from 6 per cent c. 1705 to 5 per cent by the 1720s, the accumulated debt had reached over £1,000 by the late 1730s. (fn. 151) In 1740 the city arranged to pay off all such sums owing to individuals by borrowing at 4 per cent from other funds under its control, especially the St. John's hospital trust, to which by 1750 it owed c. £1,600. (fn. 152) In 1757, to pay for repairs to the Exchange and building a poor-law workhouse, it decided to raise £6,000 by issuing annuities under the tontine system. Only £4,000 came in initially, but the city itself subscribed c. £2,000. (fn. 153) Of the money raised, a quarter was used to repay the loan from St. John's hospital, but in 1758 the corporation borrowed £1,500 back again, by mortgaging the new workhouse and the shops at the Exchange. (fn. 154)


  • 1. Ibid. ZAB 2, ff. 132v., 133v., 139v.; R. L. Greaves, Deliver us from Evil: Radical Underground in Brit. 1660-3, 54, 65; Morrill, Ches. 1630-60, 326-8; Bull. John Rylands Libr. lxiv. 364.
  • 2. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1661-2, 423, 436, 442, 452, 462, 467, 498, 565, 576; 1663-4, 248, 453; Childs, Army, 9; Greaves, Deliver us, 101, 104, 130-1; Hist. Parl., Commons, 1660-90, iii. 426.
  • 3. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1665-6, 58, 331, 509, 533, 541, 550-1; 1666-7, 530; 1667, 37, 210, 389, 441; C.C.A.L.S., ZAF 39A/10; ZML 3/393-5; Greaves, Deliver us, 189; idem, Enemies under his Feet: Radicals and Nonconformists in Brit. 1664-77, 43, 127; Bull. John Rylands Libr. lxiv. 364; J. H. Hodson, Ches. 1660-1780, 3-5; above, this chapter: Religion, 1662-1762.
  • 4. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1671-2, 8.
  • 5. Ibid. 330-1, 363, 429-30, 535; C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, f. 157v.; ZML 3/424; Willan, Eng. Coasting Trade, 32.
  • 6. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 188-92, 195v., 196v.; ZML 4/504, 506-7; Cal. S.P. Dom. 1678, 512.
  • 7. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1679-80, 370; 1680-1, 141, 452; 1682, 166.
  • 8. Ibid. 1682, 387-9; R. L. Greaves, Secrets of the Kingdom: Brit. Radicals from Popish Plot to the Revolution, 107-12, 120, 125; J. R. Western, Eng. Militia in 18th Cent. 62-3; above, this chapter: Religion, 1662-1762; below, this section (City Government).
  • 9. Hodson, Ches. 1660-1780, 13-14.
  • 10. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1684-5, 307; 1685, nos. 1060, 1062; Hist. Parl., Commons, 1660-90, i. 152; V.C.H. Ches. ii. 118.
  • 11. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 3, f. 2; Cal. S.P. Dom. 1682, 487, 537; 1685, 214, 226, 230-1, 234, 254-5; Childs, Army, 7.
  • 12. C.C.A.L.S., ZQSF 83; Greaves, Secrets, 274, 287-8, 291; Childs, Army, 100; below, this section (City Politics).
  • 13. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1687-9, no. 373; Childs, Army, 89, 113 n.; V.C.H. Ches. v (2), Castle: Buildings.
  • 14. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1687-9, no. 2102; By Force or by Default? The Revolution of 1688-9, ed. E. Cruickshanks, 35-7; Childs, Army, 180-1, 194; Britain in the First Age of Party, 1680-1750, ed. C. Jones, 24; J. R. Western, Monarchy and Revolution: Eng. State in 1680s, 274-6; C.C.A.L.S., ZML 4/525.
  • 15. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1689-90, 21, 124, 136, 233; 1690-1, 220, 232, 248, 447; 1693, 31; Western, Monarchy and Revolution, 302-3; C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 3, ff. 26v., 40v.
  • 16. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1694-5, 230, 232-3, 271, 312; 1695, 272, 276; 1696, 245; C.C.A.L.S., ZMF 113; Western, Eng. Militia, 70.
  • 17. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1690-1, 26 sqq., 152, 253, 273, 279, 285, 344, 381, 461, 502, and passim; 1691-2, 75, 85, 226, 399; 1693, 24, 213, 232, 238; C. Armour, 'Trade of Chester and State of Dee Navigation' (Lond. Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1956), 239; C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 3, ff. 25v.-26.
  • 18. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1690-1, 309, 463, 466; 1696, 82; 1697, 97.
  • 19. Ibid. 1694-5, 34, 108, 123, 302; 1695, 240, 243, 247, 298; 1698, 79, 113, 381; 1699-1700, 101; 1702-3, 249; C.C.A.L.S., ZMF 113; ZML 4/538, 555, 566, 568, 574, 576.
  • 20. Diary of Henry Prescott, i. 190; ii, pp. ix-x, 473-4, 480-1.
  • 21. Ibid. ii. 463-4, 470-6, 479, 481-3, 485, 496, 533; J. H. E. Bennett, 'Ches. and "The Fifteen"', J.C.A.S. xxi. 30-46; C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 3, ff. 229v.-230; ZML 6/204.
  • 22. J.C.A.S. xxi. 39, 44; cf. C.C.A.L.S., ZTAB 3, ff. 12, 20v.- 21v., 30v.; Diary of Henry Prescott, ii. 489, 501, 547.
  • 23. e.g. Diary of Henry Prescott, ii. 470, 476, 479, 481, 513.
  • 24. Ibid. ii. 481-3; C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 3, ff. 228v.-230; ZML 6/198-205; ibid. Cowper MSS., i, pp. 264-6.
  • 25. e.g. Diary of Henry Prescott, ii. 580.
  • 26. Letter from Freeman of Chester to Friend in Lond. on Late Election (Lond. 1733), 17, 23-4, 26.
  • 27. R. C. Jarvis, 'Rebellion of 1745', T.L.C.A.S. lvii. 49-67; C.C.A.L.S., Cowper MSS., i, pp. 277-80; cf. ibid. ZAB 4, f. 115v.
  • 28. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 4, f. 125.
  • 29. Ibid. ff. 119, 125v.
  • 30. A detailed treatment appears in V.C.H. Ches. ii. 127-35.
  • 31. Hist. Parl., Commons, 1660-90, i. 152-3; iii. 315-16, 444- 5; V.C.H. Ches. ii. 128.
  • 32. Hist. Parl., Commons, 1660-90, i. 153; iii. 689-90, 731 sqq.; Cal. S.P. Dom. 1672-3, 505-6, 559, 587; C.J. ix. 342, 346; C.C.A.L.S., ZML 3/485; V.C.H. Ches. ii. 99-100, 128-9.
  • 33. S. W. Baskerville, 'Establishment of Grosvenor Interest in Chester, 1710-48', J.C.A.S. lxiii. 61.
  • 34. Hist. Parl., Commons, 1660-90, i. 153; ii. 448-9; iii. 689- 90, 709-11, 731-5; M. Knights, Politics and Opinion in Crisis, 1678-81, 298-9; Cal. S.P. Dom. 1682, 280, 313-14, 342-3, 387- 9; V.C.H. Ches. ii. 117-18, 129-30; C.C.A.L.S., ZML 4/515-16; below, this section (City Politics).
  • 35. V.C.H. Ches. ii. 118; J.C.A.S. xxviii. 201-2; Hist. Parl., Commons, 1660-90, i. 152.
  • 36. V.C.H. Ches. ii. 129; Hist. Parl., Commons, 1660-90, iii. 734; D.N.B.
  • 37. Diary of Thos. Cartwright, 75; Childs, Army, 59, 131; Western, Monarchy and Revolution, 209; Hemingway, Hist. Chester, ii. 243.
  • 38. V.C.H. Ches. ii. 129; below, this section (City Government).
  • 39. Hist. Parl., Commons, 1660-90, i. 153-4; iii. 3-4, 709-11, 734; V.C.H. Ches. ii. 130.
  • 40. V.C.H. Ches. ii. 100, 127-31; below, this section (City Government).
  • 41. V.C.H. Ches. ii. 100; Cal. S.P. Dom. 1700-2, App. 547-9.
  • 42. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 3, f. 64v.; ZML 4/531A; D.N.B.
  • 43. J.C.A.S. lxiii. 61-71; Hist. Parl., Commons, 1660-90, iii. 427; 1715-54, i. 506-7; Diary of Thos. Cartwright, 81; Cal. S.P. Dom. 1689-90, 238-9.
  • 44. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 146, 148-9; ZAF 39A/12, 14, 22; ZML 3/399-400; J.C.A.S. xxviii. 192-4.
  • 45. V.C.H. Ches. ii. 129; iii. 104-5; Cal. S.P. Dom. 1667, 14, 25; Hist. Parl., Commons, 1660-90, iii. 731; cf. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 164v., 170-1, 174v.-175; ZML 3/427.
  • 46. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1680-1, 238-9, 600; 1682, 67.
  • 47. Ibid. 1682, 280, 313-14, 342-3, 387-9; G. W. Keeton, Lord Chancellor Jeffreys and the Stuart Cause, 164-5.
  • 48. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1682, 402, 406, 427, 439-40, 465, 467, 475; Keeton, Jeffreys, 165-9.
  • 49. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1682, 449, 471-2, 480, 487, 523-4, 537; R. G. Pickavance, 'Eng. Boros. and King's Government: Study of Tory Reaction, 1681-5' (Oxf. Univ. D.Phil. thesis, 1976), 379-84.
  • 50. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, f. 197; Cal. S.P. Dom. July-Sept. 1683, 188, 190; Keeton, Jeffreys, 170-2; Pickavance, 'Eng. Boros.' 365; M. Landon, The Triumph of the Lawyers: Their Role in Eng. Politics, 1678-89, 138-9.
  • 51. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, f. 197v.; Cal. S.P. Dom. 1683-4, 165-6, 200; 1684-5, 38-9; J.C.A.S. xxviii. 194-5; Keeton, Jeffreys, 159- 60; Landon, Lawyers, 139-41.
  • 52. Hist. MSS. Com. 17, 12th Rep. VI, H.L. ii, p. 298; J.C.A.S. xxviii. 200; Landon, Lawyers, 141.
  • 53. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 3, f. IV.; ZCH 39, m. 1; Cal. S.P. Dom. 1684-5, 215; J. Hall, 'Royal Charters and Grants to City of Chester', J.C.A.S. xviii. 65, 72; xxviii. 197; Landon, Lawyers, 141; below, this section (City Government).
  • 54. Diary of Thos. Cartwright, 75, 79; J.C.A.S. xxviii. 204.
  • 55. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1687-9, 252, 256-7; Hist. MSS. Com. H.L. ii, p. 300; Western, Monarchy and Revolution, 211 n.; J.C.A.S. xxviii. 206; E.H.R. lv. 50-1, 54-5; C.C.A.L.S., ZCH 40, m. 1.
  • 56. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1687-9, 324; Hist. MSS. Com. H.L. ii, p. 300; R. R. Steele, Tudor and Stuart Proclamations, i, no. 3881; Keeton, Jefferys, 160.
  • 57. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 3, ff. 19-20 and passim; ZCH 41.
  • 58. Ibid. ZAB 3, ff. 33, 60, 66v., 102; ZMF 113.
  • 59. Johnson, 'Aspects', 39-42; V.C.H. Ches. ii. 99-100.
  • 60. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 3, ff. 36-40v.; ZML 4/53A.
  • 61. Ibid. ZAB 3, ff. 46, 51v.-52, 53-4.
  • 62. Ibid. ff. 57, 58v., 59v.-61.
  • 63. Ibid. ff. 64, 66v.; J.C.A.S. xxviii. 208; lxiii. 61.
  • 64. J.C.A.S. lxiii. 59-84.
  • 65. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 3, f. 258v.
  • 66. e.g. ibid. f. 260; ZAB 4, ff. 52-3, 55-57v.
  • 67. Ibid. ZAB 4, ff. 59-65.
  • 68. Ibid. ZTAB 3, f. 62 sqq.
  • 69. Ibid. ZTAB 4, ff. 86v.-91.
  • 70. Ibid. ZAF 49-51; cf. Diary of Henry Prescott, i. 170; ii. 200, 331, 598.
  • 71. Letter from Freeman, 7-12, 14-17, 20-8; C.C.A.L.S., Cowper MSS., i, pp. 270-2; cf. ibid. ZAB 4, ff. 48, 70; ZAF 52, pt. 4 (mayoral election protocol, 1732); ZCL 113A-C (depositions); ZTAB 4, ff. 91v.-92v., 107; ZTAB 5, f. 7.
  • 72. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 4, f. 46v.
  • 73. Ibid. ZCL 1A-D; ZCL 2A-E; cf. ibid. ZAB 4, ff. 48 and v., 57v.-58.
  • 74. Ibid. ZAF 52-4.
  • 75. Ibid. ZAF 52 sqq. (attendance lists), esp. ZAF 53, pts. 14-15 (mayoral election protocols, 1744, 1748); V.C.H. Ches. v (2), Lists of Mayors and Sheriffs.
  • 76. Cattle Distemper, Vagrancy, Marshalsea Prison, etc. Act, 26 Geo. III, c. 34, s. 4, summarized in Rep. Com. Mun. Corp. pp. 2619-20.
  • 77. C.J. xxv. 425, 497-8, 504-5; cf. J.C.A.S. lxiii. 83-4; C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 4, f. 123v.
  • 78. C.C.A.L.S., ZTAB 3-5 passim; cf. ZAB 3, f. 137.
  • 79. Burne, Chester Cath. 199-200.
  • 80. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 4, ff. 114v., 115v.; cf. ibid. Cowper MSS., i, p. 280.
  • 81. Ibid. ZAB 4, f. 172v.; cf. ibid. f. 195; ZTAB 6, f. 95v.
  • 82. Ibid. ZAB 4, ff. 177, 194, 205; Adams's Weekly Courant, 19 Sept. 1758, p. 3; cf. ibid. 17 Nov. 1761, p. 3; C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 4, ff. 189v., 194 and v. Drafts of addresses: ibid. ZAF 54, pt. 9; cf. Complete Peerage, vi. 209.
  • 83. Para. based on V.C.H. Ches. v (2), Lists of Mayors and Sheriffs, and on C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2-3 passim.
  • 84. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, f. 176v.; ZAB 3, ff. 110v.-111.
  • 85. Ibid. ZAB 3, ff. 108, 110v.-111, 126, 169; ZAB 4, ff. 70, 94v.-95, 96v.-97, 160.
  • 86. Ibid. ZAB 2-4 passim.
  • 87. Ibid. ZAB 2, f. 197v.; ZAF 411-42A; ZML 4/521-2.
  • 88. Ibid. ZAB 3, ff. 16-21; ZAF 44-5.
  • 89. Ibid. ZAB 3, ff. 34v., 42 sqq., 46v. sqq., 51-58v.
  • 90. Ibid. ZMF 113.
  • 91. Ibid. ZAB 3, ff. 61v.-68v., 75-85.
  • 92. Rest of para. based on ibid. ZAB 3, f. 104 to end; ZAB 4, ff. 1-217; ZAF 49-54.
  • 93. e.g. ibid. ZAB 4, ff. 123v., 127v., 132, 149v., 153v.; cf. ZTAB 6, f. 16v.
  • 94. Ibid. ZAB 3, f. 194v.; cf. ibid. f. 256.
  • 95. Sampled: ibid. ZMIP 16, 36, 55.
  • 96. Para. based on ibid. ZAB 2-4 passim.
  • 97. Ibid. ZAB 3, f. 2v. sqq.
  • 98. Ibid. ff. 23v., 59, 72v., 75, 108v.
  • 99. Ibid. ZAB 4, f. 200 and v.
  • 100. e.g. ibid. ZQSF 92/2/11; ZQSF 93/1/92; ZQSF 93/2/14; ZQSF 95/1/90; ZQSF 97/1/33; ZQSF 98/2/152.
  • 101. e.g. ibid. ZQSF 92/2/178; ZQSF 94/1/22; ZQSF 95/2/175, 238; ZQSF 96/2/119; ZQSF 98/3/191; cf. ZTAB 6, ff. 61v., 67.
  • 102. e.g. ibid. ZQSF 90/1/150; ZQSF 92/2/122; ZQSF 93/1/97; ZQSF 93/2/192, 228; ZQSF 96/2/102, 164; cf. ZTAB 6, f. 114.
  • 103. Ibid. ZQSF 100/1/13; cf. ZQSF 96/2/133; Adams's Weekly Courant, 26 Mar. 1761, p. 3.
  • 104. C.C.A.L.S., ZQSF 100/1/39-74; ZQSF 100/2/83-125; ZQSF 100/3/146-76.
  • 105. Ibid. ZTAB 2, f. 24v.; ZTAB 4, f. 9.
  • 106. Ibid. ZTAB 3, ff. 20v., 48v.; cf. ibid. Cowper MSS., i, pp. 262-3; Adams's Weekly Courant, 2 Dec. 1760, p. 3.
  • 107. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 143, 162v., 163v., 172, 196; ZAB 3, ff. 21, 24v.-25, 27, 30v., 33v., 34v., 52, 62v.-63; ZAF 37C-47D passim.
  • 108. e.g. ibid. ZAB 3, ff. 136v., 143, 165v.; ZAB 4, ff. 75v., 166v.
  • 109. Clerkship: ibid. ZAB 3, ff. 20v., 23, 31v., 81, 83; ZAF 37C/ 20; ZAF 38B/6; ZAF 38C/4, 19-20; ZAF 39A/19, 44; ZAF 41G/17; ZAF 45B/19; ZCH 39, m. 1; ZCH 40, m. 1; J.C.A.S. xxiii. 16.
  • 110. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 135-136v., 158, 159; ZAB 3, ff. 25v., 81; ZAF 47c/29; ZCH 39, m. 1; ZCH 40, m. 1; ZCH 41; Cal. S.P. Dom. 1667, 14, 25, 44, 51; Hist. Parl., Commons, 1660-90, iii. 731-5; Keeton, Jeffreys, 357; D.N.B.
  • 111. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 3, ff. 253 and v., 255v.; ZAB 4, f. 16v.; cf. ZTAB 4, f. 63; ibid. Cowper MSS., i, p. 267.
  • 112. Ibid. ZAB 4, f. 112; ZAF 53, pt. 12 (letter May 1745).
  • 113. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 3, ff. 198v.-199, 221; cf. ZAF 49D, nos. 56-9.
  • 114. Ibid. ZAB 4, f. 69v.; cf. ibid. f. 192 and v.
  • 115. Ibid. ff. 158v., 169-70; ZAF 54, pt. 6 (letter Jan. 1757).
  • 116. Ibid. ZML 3/386-9, 391-2, 404-5, 469.
  • 117. Ibid. ZMF 87/5-6, 62, 70; ZMF 88-9 passim; ZML 3/445-7, 454-6, 458, 470-5, 480 (references kindly supplied by M. J. Braddick).
  • 118. M. J. Braddick, Nerves of State: Taxation and Financing of Eng. State, 1558-1714, 113-14, 157-8.
  • 119. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 152-77; ZML 3/406-84 passim; M. J. Braddick, 'Resistance to Royal Aid and Further Supply in Chester, 1664-72', Northern Hist. xxxiii. 108-36.
  • 120. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 167, 184, 185v., 190, 193v., 198; ZAB 3, ff. 32v., 37v., 43v.-44, 72v.
  • 121. Chester: 1900 Years of Hist. ed. A. M. Kennett, 38.
  • 122. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 157, 175, 177v., 187v.; ZAB 3, f. 38.
  • 123. Ibid. ZAB 2, ff. 138, 156, 158, 161, 188v.; ZAF 38B/23; ZML 6/189.
  • 124. Ibid. ZAB 2, ff. 167v., 168v., 187, 188v., 190v.; ZAB 3, ff. 21v.-22, 25v.-26, 76, 82; ZAF 40D/16, 40; ZAF 40G/67; ZAF 41C/32; ZAF 45A/25; ZMF 113.
  • 125. Ibid. ZAB 2, ff. 166, 173v., 177, 184; M. J. Groombridge, Guide to Charters, Plate, and Insignia of City of Chester, 45, 48-9.
  • 126. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, f. 199v.; J.C.A.S. xviii. 65; Groombridge, Guide to Charters, 48.
  • 127. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 183, 184v.-185; ZAB 3, ff. 8, 23v.
  • 128. Ibid. ZAB 2, ff. 171, 177; ZAB 3, f. 26v.; ZAF 47A/4.
  • 129. Ibid. ZAB 2, ff. 149, 166, 169, 172, 183, 187, 194; ZAB 3, ff. 6, 9, 10; ZAF 39A/14, 22.
  • 130. Ibid. ZAB 2, ff. 126, 131v., 142, 143, 179v.; ZAF 38A/15; ZAF 40F/30; ZML 3/398.
  • 131. Ibid. ZAB 2, ff. 157v., 178; ZAB 3, ff. 43v., 49, 94, 95v.
  • 132. Ibid. ZAB 2, f. 198; ZMF 87/38; ZML 3/442-4.
  • 133. Johnson, 'Aspects', 92-3.
  • 134. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 2, ff. 164, 167, 170v.-171, 178v., 184, 198; ZAB 3, f. 37v.
  • 135. V.C.H. Ches. v (2), Public Utilities: Water; Water Transport: River.
  • 136. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 3, ff. 13, 35v.-36, 54v.-59, 62, 63, 74, 83- 4, 85v.-86; ZAF 47A/4; ZML 6/195; Cal. S.P. Dom. 1694-5, 461, 495; V.C.H. Ches. v (2), Municipal Buildings: Exchange.
  • 137. This and following paras. based on C.C.A.L.S., ZTAB 2-7.
  • 138. Ibid. ZAB 3, f. 203; ZAB 4, ff. 115, 134v.-135v., 136v., 149v., 162, 169v.-170, 177v.
  • 139. Ibid. ZAB 3, f. 272; ZAB 4, ff. 4, 125, 135v., 139, 151 and v., 173; ZAF 50H, no. 20.
  • 140. e.g. ibid. ZAB 3, ff. 148, 182, 238v.-239; ZAB 4, ff. 81v., 118v., 158; cf. ZAB 4, f. 108.
  • 141. e.g. ibid. ZAB 3, ff. 155v., 160v., 182v., 187, 191v.; ZAB 4, f. 9v.
  • 142. Ibid. ZAB 3, f. 187v.
  • 143. Ibid. ff. 145v.-146v., 156-7, 193v.
  • 144. Ibid. ff. 187v., 200v.-201v.; cf. ZAB 4, ff. 58v., 65.
  • 145. Ibid. ZAB 3, ff. 193v.-194, 202, 207v.
  • 146. Ibid. ZAB 4, f. 174.
  • 147. Ibid. f. 133v.; cf. ZTAB 6, s.a. 1749-50.
  • 148. Ibid. ZAB 4, ff. 165v., 166v.; cf. ZAB 3, f. 202.
  • 149. Ibid. ZAB 4, ff. 189v.-190.
  • 150. e.g. ibid. ZAB 3, ff. 161, 177v., 189 and v., 224, 245v., 265v., 272v.; ZAB 4, ff. 19v., 24v., 92v.
  • 151. e.g. ibid. ZTAB 4, ff. 9 and v., 52v., 82v., 107; ZTAB 5, ff. 6v., 62.
  • 152. Ibid. ZAB 3, f. 255; ZAB 4, ff. 55, 89, 100v., 113, 139v., 196v.; cf. ZTAB 5, f. 88; ZTAB 6, ff. 7v., 18.
  • 153. Ibid. ZAB 4, ff. 170-171v., 173v.-174v., 183 and v., 187v.; ZTAB 6, ff. 104-5.
  • 154. Ibid. ZAB 4, ff. 176v., 178v., 196v.