Later medieval Chester 1230-1550: Economy and society, 1350-1550

Pages 64-80

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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Medieval Chester housed no industry of national importance and, as a west-facing port, was unable to participate in Continental trade to any significant extent. The city's economy was broadly based but its activities were small in scale and none dominated. Although Chester did not share the spectacular success enjoyed by towns more closely associated with the wool and cloth trades, it was spared the consequences of the dramatic slumps in those industries. Even so, for much of the period the city was far from prosperous, and occasionally, as in the 1450s, in considerable decay. The citizens claimed in 1484 that it was 'wholly destroyed' because of the silting of the harbour, and in 1486 that it was 'thoroughly ruined . . . nearly one quarter destroyed' because access for shipping had been impossible for 200 years and Welsh traders avoided it because of high tolls. (fn. 1) Although such claims were undoubtedly exaggerated, they may well have reflected a depressed economy. By the 1490s, however, there were signs of revival and in the early 16th century Chester prospered. (fn. 2)

Throughout the period, commercial property remained dense around the High Cross, under the Pentice, up Northgate Street, down Bridge Street, and to a lesser extent westwards down Watergate Street. (fn. 3) In the early 16th century, while some plots were 'void' or in decay, (fn. 4) there was new building in Love Lane, Lower Bridge Street, and in the 'Boll Yard' near the corn market. (fn. 5) Commercial potential determined property values, with the highest rents of 27s.-30s. on the shops under and next to the Pentice, and on a house and cellar by the Eastgate. (fn. 6)

Chester and its region

Chester continued to play a role as the provincial capital of the north-western plain. The city served as an important market, an administrative and eccesiastical centre, and the premier port of the region. The origin of outsiders using its courts, although they accounted for no more than 7 per cent of cases in the early 16th century, was indicative of the extent of that region. (fn. 7) Those from elsewhere in Cheshire and the Welsh were the biggest groups. The former were drawn mainly from north and west Cheshire, with a few from market towns in mid Cheshire such as Frodsham, Northwich, Middlewich, and Nantwich. (fn. 8) Most Welsh litigants came from Denbigh, Wrexham, Mold, and Flintshire, a few from Beaumaris, Caernarfon, Conwy, and Colwyn (Denb.). (fn. 9) After them, the largest group was from Lancashire, especially Manchester and its region. (fn. 10)

The Rural Hinterland. Even in 1550 Chester had strong agricultural interests. Pigs roamed the streets in 1549 and freemen grazed sheep and other livestock on the city commons. Arable land was rented from the corporation, people had barns for storage, and farming was a common byemployment. (fn. 11) Several overseas merchants had large country estates and farms, or were members of established gentry families such as the Alderseys and Bostocks. Most of their property was probably inherited rather than newly acquired. (fn. 12)

Livestock was the mainstay of the local agrarian economy. Chester's market, protected by the prohibition in 1357 of new markets within 4 leagues of the city, (fn. 13) continued to be closely linked with the marshland pastures around the Dee and Mersey estuaries, and more importantly with the mixed farming of the rich townships to its south and east. (fn. 14) The city had especially close connexions with Christleton parish, barely 2 miles east of the Cross, (fn. 15) where farmers concentrated on fattening livestock and there was an occasional cattle market. (fn. 16) The city also obtained grain and above all meat from neighbouring parts of Wales. (fn. 17) Townsmen continued to buy land near Chester, seeing it as a source of wealth and status. In the early 15th century, for example, John Ewloe owned land in Handbridge, Claverton, and Mollington, (fn. 18) and John Whitmore in Caldy and Guilden Sutton; (fn. 19) both men served several terms as mayor. (fn. 20) Cestrians also owned fishgarths and fishtraps along the western shore of Wirral. (fn. 21)

The inhabitants of the hinterland used Chester's credit facilities and enforced debts at the Pentice court. (fn. 22) Although the city provided casual employment, especially for men carting goods to and from the anchorages further down the Dee estuary, (fn. 23) and for women in domestic service (fn. 24) and brewing, (fn. 25) there was apparently no annual hiring fair or fixed day in the year on which terms of service began. (fn. 26) Nor did the presence of fulling mills encourage the development of much textile production in the neighbourhood. (fn. 27) The area as a whole remained relatively underdeveloped in the period. Although the city's outports were busy, the volume of goods carried into the city and their final destination are unknown. A county regularly skimmed by its royal earls for cash to maintain English garrisons in Wales, (fn. 28) and routinely exploited by the earls' numerous lessees for short-term profit, (fn. 29) may have represented a limited market for imported goods. Some local gentry families certainly preferred to shop in London for major items and luxuries, such as cloth for liveries, jewellery, silver, and saddles. (fn. 30)

The Wider Region.The city's capacity to attract migrants from a distance may have been relatively limited. Few new freemen apparently came from beyond Cheshire, (fn. 31) but the fairs continued to attract traders from far afield. Although both sold goods of every kind, the Midsummer fair probably specialized in cloth and mercery wares, (fn. 32) and the Michaelmas fair in livestock. (fn. 33) By the 15th century the Midsummer fair had a core period of a week around 24 June, when receipts from gate tolls reached their peak. Receipts during Michaelmas week also rose slightly, but never matched those for Midsummer, and the Michaelmas fair was perhaps less well attended. The sums involved were very small, and the fairs may not have drawn large crowds in the 15th century. (fn. 34) The inauguration of the Midsummer show, perhaps in the 1490s, may have been an attempt by the civic authorities to enhance the fair's attractions. (fn. 35) By the early 16th century the city's horse fairs drew large numbers, especially from Shropshire and north Wales, (fn. 36) and drovers from Cheshire, north Wales, and Lancashire were bringing herds of up to 200 animals to Chester, supplying the city's important leather industry as well as butchers from as far afield as Warrington. (fn. 37)

Traders from beyond the region visiting Chester at other times of year included men from Staffordshire, Warwickshire, and the Marches as far south as Worcester, who came primarily for fish. By the 1390s they paid an annual fine to the city authorities, who recorded their names: in the 15th century numbers ranged from 9 to 24 in any one year. (fn. 38) They brought specialities of their own region for sale, including fruit and wood-ash from Worcestershire, (fn. 39) knives, hilts, and pommels from Shrewsbury, (fn. 40) metal horse-trappings from Newcastle-under-Lyme and Walsall (both Staffs.), (fn. 41) and scythes from Birmingham. (fn. 42) In the earlier 16th century country fishmongers regularly paid fines to retail in Chester, (fn. 43) from whose markets fish was sent to Nantwich and Shrewsbury among other places. (fn. 44)

Merchants from east of the Pennines were fewer in number and most used Chester merely as the port of embarkation for Ireland. In the early 15th century, when the English colony in Ireland was under sustained attack, they were almost invariably bowyers from Yorkshire, at least one of whom became a freeman of Chester; (fn. 45) later they were superseded by merchants from Halifax, Pontefract, and Bradford, exporting cloth from the West Riding and returning with Irish furs. (fn. 46) The few Yorkshiremen who did business in Chester itself supplied dyestuffs in the early 15th century, and cloth later. (fn. 47)

Chester had strong trading and social links with Liverpool, (fn. 48) whose Irish trade had perhaps already eclipsed its own by the late 15th century. (fn. 49) The city had close links with other Lancashire towns and villages which gave surnames to several prominent families, such as the Eccleses, Farringtons, Hales, Heywoods, Rainfords, and Rochdales. In the late 14th and early 15th century Chester continued to attract immigrants from the North-West, while other Lancastrians came to trade in cloth or travel to Ireland. (fn. 50)

By the early 16th century Lancastrians, in particular men from Manchester and its region, were increasingly active in the textile trade. (fn. 51) Business relations merged into closer ties, with members of the Gee and Aldersey families of Chester marrying into families from Manchester. (fn. 52) Men from Kendal (Westmld.) also appeared from time to time in the city courts, and Kendal cloth was sold and exported through Chester in the 16th century. (fn. 53) In 1547 specific imposts were demanded from Kendal and Manchester men selling in the city. (fn. 54)

Until the later 15th century the city with which Chester was most strongly linked was Coventry. Its merchants regularly passed through Chester en route for Ireland, taking with them cloth, dyestuffs, and occasionally the sweet wines of the Mediterranean, and perhaps returning with hides. (fn. 55) Such men, some of whom visited Chester as many as five times a year, (fn. 56) also traded in the city, selling cloth, wine, and dyestuffs, and buying horses, furs, and fish. (fn. 57) In Chester they registered debts owed to them by merchants from other towns, and turned to the Pentice court to enforce payment. (fn. 58) A few loaned money to Cestrians. (fn. 59) Some at least became freemen of Chester, and wealthy Cestrians in their turn joined Coventry's Trinity guild. (fn. 60) The number of Coventry merchants active in Chester fell after the mid 15th century, reflecting the decline of their own city. (fn. 61) None seems to have joined Chester's guild merchant after c. 1453, when it became an organization of privileged foreign traders. (fn. 62)

By the 15th century Cestrians had regular contact with Londoners, including skinners and fishmongers on their way to Ireland. (fn. 63) Londoners also sold fine woollen cloth and mercery wares, sweet wines, dyestuffs, paper, figs, and raisins in Chester itself. (fn. 64) Chester never attracted the leading London merchants, and those who did trade there often had local connexions, like Hugh Wych, who had kinsmen in Nantwich. (fn. 65) A few Londoners rented shops in the city, (fn. 66) and others may have invested liquid capital by providing loans for local merchants in order to facilitate trade. (fn. 67) Some visited or invested sufficiently to make membership of the guild merchant worth while. (fn. 68)

In the earlier 16th century several Londoners appeared in the city courts as plaintiffs pursuing local debtors. They included a brewer, a grocer, haberdashers, a mercer, merchants, salters, and aldermen. (fn. 69) Some Londoners shipped goods from Spain to Chester, (fn. 70) but their claim to trade there toll-free was disputed, and there was concerted opposition in 1533 to prevent a London grocer from retailing wine. (fn. 71)

As the taxation and customs centre for the region, Chester had a key role in the circulation of coins and the extension of credit. There was an unusually large number of goldsmiths working in the city, a group commonly associated with money lending, and they made regular appearances before the city courts as both plaintiffs and defendants. (fn. 72) Credit and perhaps cash loans flowed into Chester from further afield. A Dubliner impleaded a Chester goldsmith in 1540 for a 30s. debt, and in 1551 a London goldsmith was pursuing a Chester merchant for a debt of £10. (fn. 73) There is evidence of a bullion shortage in Cheshire in the early 16th century. Orders were sent to the mayor of Chester in 1499 that all coins were to be accepted in the city, however small, with the exception of Irish 'spurred' pennies, (fn. 74) and in 1535 counterfeit coins were said to be circulating from Valle Crucis abbey (Denb.) and Norton priory. (fn. 75) A shortage of good coins may have exacerbated a local problem. Pawning was quite common in the city, notably in the 1530s, (fn. 76) and there may have been some hoarding of coins. (fn. 77)

The port and overseas trade

In 1361 the citizens of Chester claimed that they lived by trade, (fn. 78) and even in the early 16th century the corporation continued to believe that the city's economic future depended upon its overseas contacts. (fn. 79) In the later Middle Ages, however, the port suffered from facing west, away from the Continent, and also perhaps from the silting of the Dee estuary, as was frequently alleged. (fn. 80) Ships with very heavy cargoes, such as wine and millstones, unloaded at anchorages in Wirral, the goods then being transferred to smaller craft or carts, (fn. 81) but the city's own harbour at Portpool handled fish, Welsh slates, woollen cloth, hardware, and malt, (fn. 82) and at high tide the smallest vessels could reach the New Tower at the north-western corner of the city walls. (fn. 83)

The records do not permit statistical analysis or quantification of Chester's trade in the late 14th and 15th century. (fn. 84) All that can safely be said is that an average of 49 ships arriving each year in the 1420s dropped to 40 in the 1450s, 35 in the 1460s, and 30 in the 1470s, but then apparently rose to 44 in the 1490s. The busiest single year was 1500-1, with 57 ships. Such totals were small in comparison with major ports on the east and south coasts, (fn. 85) and included tiny boats with only one or two crewmen. (fn. 86) Chester's overseas trade probably declined after the 1420s, reached its nadir in the 1470s, and began to improve in the 1490s, a recovery which ran counter to the citizens' claims about silting. (fn. 87)

In the early 16th century overseas trade with Ireland, Spain, Portugal, and Brittany expanded, but only merchants with a sizeable turnover could carry the heavy costs which arose from carriage from anchorages down the estuary and from high customs duties. The share of the port's trade controlled by Cestrians fluctuated. Dubliners dominated the Irish Sea trade, and there was strong competition for the rest of the overseas trade from English, Welsh, and Continental merchants. In 1538-42, during Chester's trading zenith, 40-45 per cent of traders were Chester freemen. (fn. 88) Most were probably only occasionally involved, and between 1500 and 1550 there were forty or so significant Chester merchants who shipped through the port. (fn. 89) Their trade was predominantly in importing iron and wine and exporting hides and cloth, but few were specialists. Even though Richard Grimsditch's main trading effort was with the Continent, for example, he also bought Irish cloth, (fn. 90) while Henry Gee in 1532 shared a cargo which included canvas, buckram, glass, honey, black soap, velvet, trenchers, a round table, and a bedcase. (fn. 91)

Irish and Coastal Trade. Throughout the 15th century the Irish trade dominated the port, and until the 1480s, when numbers of local vessels increased, most of the ships involved were themselves Irish. (fn. 92) The main ports from which they came were within the Pale: Dublin, Howth, Malahide, Rush, and Drogheda. Commodities exported from Ireland included sea fish and salmon from the Bann fisheries, hides, cloth, and yarn. (fn. 93) In the other direction Chester handled salt until c. 1450, and wine, high-quality woollens and other textiles, and a range of manufactured goods such as metal pots and pans throughout the period. (fn. 94)

By the later 15th century Irishmen were prominent in Chester's guild merchant; at least 6 of the 17 men entering the guild in 1474 came from Dublin and a seventh from Drogheda. (fn. 95) Others opted for citizenship. (fn. 96) Robert Nottervill, mayor of Chester in 1478-9, had apparently twice served as mayor of Drogheda. (fn. 97) Not all Irish immigrants were of high status, and in the early 15th century they included male and female labourers, and women who turned to keeping brothels in Chester. (fn. 98)

There was also a coastal trade with Anglesey. Ships from the island, mostly based in Beaumaris, regularly carried fish, wool, and cloth to Chester, and returned with metal, wine, almonds, and felt caps. (fn. 99) Occasionally men from the island married into city families. (fn. 100) By the 14th century Manxmen also settled in the city, (fn. 101) including the mayor John Armourer. (fn. 102) Although relatively few Manx ships visited Chester in the early 15th century, perhaps because the island's trade was only just developing under the lordship of the Stanley family, (fn. 103) by the 1450s there was regular trade with Castletown and other ports, especially in fish and cloth. (fn. 104) Manxmen also came to Chester to work as labourers, many as tenants of the nunnery, living in an area of poor housing in Nuns Lane. (fn. 105)

During the earlier 16th century changes in the pattern of trade around the Irish Sea initially boosted Chester's port activity but eventually led to its decline. From the 1490s the south-east Lancashire textile industry began to develop, trade with the Iberian peninsula and Brittany expanded, ships from Chester's outports in Lancashire began to appear south of the Ribble, and Welsh merchants increasingly took over the sea trade of west Wales. (fn. 106)

By 1500 Irish and coastal trade accounted for over 75 per cent of all inward sailings to Chester, rising to 95 per cent in 1548-9. (fn. 107) There was an active re-export trade between Chester and Ireland in both directions, suggesting that Irish merchants picked up what they could as return cargoes, and were perhaps more concerned with selling in Chester than with buying. Some traditional commodities had disappeared from Anglo-Irish trade. Cheshire salt was not exported via Chester after 1450 and had been replaced by salt from the bay of Bourgneuf carried in Breton and Gascon ships. (fn. 108) Irish corn imports faded after a ban in 1472. (fn. 109) Most cargoes were a mixture of cloth, fish, hides and skins, linen (both cloth and yarn), wool (fells, flocks, and yarn), honey, tallow, wax, and occasional reexports such as silk. (fn. 110) The trade was concentrated in the Pale, and not with wealthier Waterford, Cork, and Kinsale. (fn. 111)

Fish exceeded any other single commodity in quantity. (fn. 112) Eels, cod, herring, and salmon were regularly imported in ships from Ireland, Chester, Cumberland, the Isle of Man, and Wales. Salmon was the most valuable species, paying custom at more than double the rate for herring, (fn. 113) but accounting for far smaller quantities. In 1525-6 over 103 tons of herring was shipped but only ½ ton of salmon. A Chester merchant leased the Bann salmon fishery in 1519 and shipped its products to his native city in the 1520s. (fn. 114) Irish salmon continued to find a market in Chester and over 5 tons and 260 butts was imported in 1543-4. (fn. 115)

Both tanned and raw hides were sent from Ireland to Chester, together with tallow used in waterproofing, but skins were considerably more numerous. In 1525- 6, for example, Chester received some 2,200 hides, over 13,000 lambskins, 10,200 sheepskins, 2,300 badger pelts, 1,100 calfskins, 640 marten and otter skins, 300 fox skins, 90 goatskins, and 50 hart skins. (fn. 116) Alum and oil, used by glovers and tawyers to prepare light leathers, also came from Ireland. (fn. 117) Prices for skins in the luxury market rose fast between 1500 and 1550, marten tripling in price and otter quadrupling, and Irish skins were sold in London after preparation in Chester. (fn. 118)

The pattern of Chester's textile trade with Ireland was transformed in the early 16th century. The falling demand for clipped wool in the textile industry of Coventry (fn. 119) meant that only small quantities were imported through Chester after 1500. (fn. 120) Coarse friezes, checkers, mantles, blankets, and rugs accounted for most imports to Chester. (fn. 121) Checkers predominated and at least 2,000 yards and 1,500 pieces were imported in 1525-6, together with at least 300 yards and 550 pieces of linen cloth. Yarn was also important, some 8,000 lb. being sent to Chester in 1525-6. (fn. 122) By 1550 the composition of the trade had shifted from finished cloth to sheepskins and yarn for the expanding Lancashire textile industry. (fn. 123) Small quantities of Irish barley, rye, wheat, butchered beef, and honey were also shipped into Chester and re-exported to the Continent, (fn. 124) and some battery, brass, pewter, glass, and turpentine were also imported. (fn. 125) Chester's exports to Ireland in the early 16th century probably, as at Bristol in 1504, included coal and cloth. (fn. 126) Salt, wine, and Breton canvas were reexported from Chester to Ireland and vice versa. (fn. 127)

In the early 16th century the composition of the merchants involved in trade between Chester and Ireland was transformed. Coventry men virtually disappeared: only eight were active in 1500-1, two in 1508-9, and one or two thereafter. Occasionally a Coventry draper appeared in the Pentice court to recover debts from Cestrians. (fn. 128) From 1500 Drogheda merchants also abandoned the city in favour of Liverpool. Dubliners remained to dominate the Irish trade through Chester, a group which between 1520 and 1540 included several who rose to be mayors and bailiffs of their home city. (fn. 129) Perhaps only one in ten of the merchants involved in the Irish trade were based in Chester. (fn. 130)

A separate development after 1500 was the presence at Chester of more ships from Cumberland and Lancashire carrying herring, salmon, cod, and hides. (fn. 131)

Continental Trade. A few Cestrians were shippers of wine from Gascony and iron from Spain in the early 15th century, (fn. 132) but many more of the ships involved were based in the West Country, at Totnes, Dartmouth, and Plymouth in Devon, Fowey, Falmouth, and St. Ives in Cornwall, (fn. 133) and Bristol. (fn. 134) After the truce with France in 1463 a few alien vessels joined the trade, especially from St. Malo in Brittany. (fn. 135) Although the treaty of Picquigny in 1475 allowed greater freedom of trade, numbers remained low (fn. 136) until the late 1480s, when Spanish ships began to arrive, bringing wine, iron, and oil, and returning to their home ports in the bay of Biscay with calfskins, tallow, and coloured woollen cloth. (fn. 137)

The involvement of the city's leading merchants appears to have ceased between the 1460s and the 1490s. Thereafter, however, their share increased until in the 1510s they were dominant. Such merchants, generally aldermen or councillors, were engaged mainly in the Spanish trade but also maintained an interest in the Irish and coastal trade. (fn. 138) The number of ships owned by Cestrians in the late 14th and 15th century was small, until the 1490s never accounting for more than 13 per cent of vessels entering the port, and falling as low as perhaps 8 per cent in the 1450s and 3 per cent in the 1480s. (fn. 139) Indeed, in 1484 the citizens claimed that Chester had no merchant ships of its own, and in 1496, when they were licensed to trade with Gascony, they were allowed to use foreign vessels since they themselves had none suitable. In 1497-8, however, three Chester-owned ships accounted for 8 of the 49 recorded entries into the port. (fn. 140) Even when Chester's merchants began to trade further afield in the early 16th century and shipowning was increasing, most preferred to venture their cargoes in ships from other ports. (fn. 141)

After the treaty of Medina del Campo opened up trade with the Iberian peninsula in 1489, Spanish iron, and wine from Portugal, Spain, and Gascony became the basis for a dramatic expansion in Chester's overseas trade, which allowed other Mediterranean commodities to reach the city, and provided new markets for hides and cloth. Chester's trade with Spain focused on the Basque region. Iron imports from there rose from 939 tons in 1490-1500 to 4,273 tons in 1530-40, and although dropping below 1,000 tons thereafter, survived international tension as a regular item in Chester's trade. It was carried in both local and Iberian ships, but before 1540 alien merchants shipped the largest quantities: 77 per cent in 1490-1500, 36 per cent in 1510-20, 61 per cent in 1523-30, 52 per cent in 1530-40, and 28 per cent in 1540-50. (fn. 142) Besides iron, small quantities of angora, silk and velvet, liquorice, train oil, woad, and Cordovan skins were sometimes carried. (fn. 143) Trade with Portugal and Andalusia through the northern Spanish ports brought cork, dyestuffs, figs and raisins, litmus, pepper and herbs, oil, sugar, wax, and sweet wines to Chester from c. 1509. (fn. 144) Never extensive, it dwindled to only two shipments between 1542 and 1560. (fn. 145) From 1494-5 or earlier small loads of Spanish wine reached Chester, and occasionally southern ships also carried cargoes of Gascon wine. (fn. 146)

Cloth, hides, and skins comprised the main return cargoes. In 1539 Manchester cottons, friezes, kerseys, broad dozens, and goatskins were carted from Chester to four Spanish ships at anchor in the Dee estuary. (fn. 147) In 1536 Chester was brought into the national customs system for leather and in 1537-8 customs duties were paid on 10,681 tanned hides in five Spanish and five Chester ships. Figures for later years ranged from 700 to 1,600 hides, with Spanish merchants exporting the larger share. (fn. 148)

Chester was the most north-westerly port in England regularly handling wine, perhaps often as the terminus of voyages which had already called at Bristol or Dublin and intermediate ports. (fn. 149) Chester's wine imports doubled from 1,131 tuns in 1490-1500 to a peak of 2,451 in 1510-20. Imports remained high in the 1520s and 1530s before falling to 698 tuns in the 1540s. Chester regularly accounted for 3-4 per cent of national imports, except in 1509-10 when, remarkably, it took 9 per cent. Gascony was the main source, Portugal and Spain supplying only tiny quantities.

Ships from Gascony also carried alum, dyestuffs, honey, linen cloth, pitch, tar, train oil, salt, vinegar, and woad, some of which may have been taken aboard en route at Breton ports. Breton ships also carried Gascon products to Chester, as well as Breton canvas. Return cargoes were probably mainly hides and cloth. (fn. 150)

Trade with distant markets brought foreign merchants, who sued and were sued in the city courts. (fn. 151) In 1532 a Spaniard was killed in the city during a fracas with his fellows. (fn. 152) Trade was conducted directly by Cestrians at the port of dispatch or through agents. (fn. 153) Relations between the citizens and their Spanish and Portuguese counterparts were apparently good, (fn. 154) and Henry Gee, twice mayor between 1533 and 1540, left £5 to a Spanish business acquaintance. (fn. 155)

Overall, the period 1500-40 was a time of increasing imports, ended by hostilities with Spain and growing competition with other north-western ports. (fn. 156) Chester's administrative dominance over its outports guaranteed the palatinate's income from customs but not the presence of merchants or the carriage of goods into Chester. The north Wales ports were becoming busier, with coastal trade increasingly in the hands of Welsh merchants, (fn. 157) though a number of Chester merchants imported Breton canvas, iron, and wine through Beaumaris between 1517 and 1520. (fn. 158) Beaumaris also encroached upon Chester's role as a port of military embarkation for Ireland in the 1530s. (fn. 159)

Chester's greatest and ultimately triumphant rival was Liverpool. Competition was fiercest over the Anglo-Irish trade in yarn and cloth, and Chester's Assembly legislated against its own and Dublin citizens shipping through Liverpool. It forbade Cestrians to bargain with Irish merchants at Liverpool or elsewhere in 1532, (fn. 160) and to buy Irish goods which had not been through the city's customs registration system or to ship goods through Liverpool even in chartered vessels in 1549 or 1550. (fn. 161) The prohibition may have had little effect, for in 1535 Liverpool was described as the natural entrepôt for Irish yarn. (fn. 162) In the mid 16th century, while Chester exported more cloth to the Continent than Liverpool did, (fn. 163) Liverpool had overtaken Chester in the Anglo-Irish trade. (fn. 164) Liverpool's success was due in part to its location closer to the textile centres in Lancashire and in part to Chester's reluctance to adapt to market forces. No exemptions from Chester's local customs were allowed, except in a reciprocal agreement with Wexford. (fn. 165) While Chester freemen made a single payment of 4d. a vessel, outsiders had to pay on every major item imported and exported. (fn. 166) Dubliners claimed the lower dues payable at Liverpool as a major attraction in 1533, (fn. 167) and in 1550 the mayor of Dublin complained to his counterpart in Chester that increases in customs dues encouraged merchants to sail elsewhere. (fn. 168) Chester merchants, too, were driven away: Edmund, son of the incorruptible mayor Henry Gee, was importing wine with a Spanish partner into Liverpool in 1546. (fn. 169)

Trades and industries

By 1350 a great variety of specialist craftsmen worked in Chester. About 170 occupations were recorded during the later 14th and 15th century, a number which compares favourably with Winchester (163) and even London (almost 200). (fn. 170) Even allowing for those that were rare or indicative merely of a change in terminology there were still in 1476-7, for example, some 60 trades followed by the 288 townsmen whose occupations are known. Most crafts fell into three main groupings: victualling, the production of clothing, and leather working. By the early 16th century textile workers were the largest group, comprising 28 per cent of new freemen; leather workers came next with 20 per cent, followed by the victuallers (14 per cent), merchants and traders (10 per cent), metal workers (8 per cent), and building workers (2 per cent). After the 1530s the basis of the city's economy shifted towards leather and away from the textile trades. (fn. 171)

Victualling Trades. With perhaps 3,500 or more inhabitants in 1463, (fn. 172) Chester required considerable quantities of grain. In the later 14th century some of its needs were still met from Ireland, (fn. 173) and merchants from Drogheda and Malahide occasionally took wheat and malt there in the early 15th century. (fn. 174) By 1419, however, the use of Irish wheat by the city's bakers was unusual, and no shipments were recorded after 1420. (fn. 175) Other supplies came from Wirral, the Welsh Marches, (fn. 176) and the town fields. (fn. 177) Many leading citizens owned arable land and produced grain for sale in the market. (fn. 178)

Although all purchases were supposed to be made in the corn market, occasionally bakers were discovered intercepting supplies en route to the city. (fn. 179) They also regularly flouted their obligation to have corn ground at the royal mills on the Dee and went instead to the abbot's mill at Bache or to mills at Trafford and Eccleston. (fn. 180) Armed affrays between the bakers and the Dee millers were common. (fn. 181) By the mid 15th century the mills' profits had declined sharply; the quantities of grain which they handled decreased and prices fell, perhaps because of dwindling population. (fn. 182)

By the 1390s at least twelve bakers worked in the city. (fn. 183) Thereafter numbers seem to have fluctuated, often falling to as few as six and occasionally in the early 16th century rising to twenty or more. (fn. 184) They commonly included one or two women, an indication that it was perhaps normal for a widow to continue her late husband's business. (fn. 185)

The bakers' everyday customers included people from the Marches, whose withdrawal because of Owain Glyn Dwr's rebellion allegedly contributed to the city's decay. (fn. 186) By the late 15th century, except for large orders met directly by bakers, distribution was largely in the hands of women, often the femmes soles whose legal status allowed them to trade independently of their husbands. (fn. 187) Horse-bread made from peas and beans was also produced, (fn. 188) and in times of dearth served for human consumption. (fn. 189) Prices were regulated by statute and fixed with reference to the price of grain. As elsewhere, they were monitored by the assize of bread, held several times a year, often on market days. The mayor presided and two prominent citizens and two city bakers acted as assessors. (fn. 190)

Between the 1390s and the 1500s the number of butchers varied between nine and twenty. (fn. 191) The leading butchers were wealthy men and in the 15th century provided nine sheriffs. As earlier they occupied premises in both the Row and the undercrofts of Fleshmongers' Row near the Cross; (fn. 192) councillors and constables of that quarter of the city invariably included one or two of their number. (fn. 193) Butchers also had shops in Foregate Street, and kept livestock in the Crofts and in the town fields east of Cow Lane. (fn. 194) They were frequently in trouble for slaughtering beasts in their shops, hanging carcasses outside the doors, and discarding the heads and entrails into the streets. (fn. 195) They were also regularly accused of regrating and forestalling, perhaps in reality a device for licensing their trade. (fn. 196)

Apart from sheep from the Frodsham area, most livestock sold in Chester came from Wales. The town was the destination of two main droving routes, one from the west through Northop and Hawarden, the other from the south through Eccleston and Christleton. (fn. 197) Chester butchers had especially close relations with Welsh dealers, whom they often represented in court. (fn. 198)

Chester's butchers sold beef, veal, mutton, lamb, and pork. A few also dealt in fish. Sales, which by the late 15th century were supervised by elected representatives of the wards, (fn. 199) were to customers ranging from the abbot of St. Werburgh's to cooks and artisans. (fn. 200) The byproducts of butchering, notably hides, both untreated and tanned, were sold to Chester's numerous leather workers. (fn. 201) Butchers also produced tallow. (fn. 202) By the early 16th century they acted as middle men, trading in both light skins from Ireland and heavier hides from neighbouring counties. (fn. 203)

Inshore fishing was in the hands of leading citizens who owned stalls in the Dee, and fishermen who rented fishgarths and traps along the estuary shore. (fn. 204) The King's Pool by the bridge remained the most important fishery. The prime catch was salmon, often salted and available throughout the year, but lamprey, bass, eels, and sprats were also taken. (fn. 205) From deeper waters herring was routinely landed in the city, and Irish and Manx fish importers were prominent among those paying custom duties. The herring was generally preserved, either in brine or by smoking. Haddock and cod were also landed, together with the occasional seal, porpoise, sturgeon, and stockfish. (fn. 206)

In the later 14th century perhaps between 10 and 13 fishmongers regularly traded in Chester. (fn. 207) In the early 15th century numbers seem to have declined, (fn. 208) rising again only in the 1440s and 1450s. (fn. 209) In the late 15th century the trade was apparently concentrated in fewer hands. Its main focus was the Watergate, near which the Fishmongers' guild rented land, (fn. 210) and Watergate Street, in and around which lived fishermen and netmakers, and at the east end of which was the fish market.

Throughout the period Chester's wealthiest fishmongers owned seagoing vessels and traded on a relatively large scale. In the early 15th century, for example, Richard Smith traded with men from Carrickfergus, Drogheda, and Beaumaris, perhaps salting some of the fish he imported. Smith owned a cookshop on a prime site in Eastgate Street and also dealt in wine and cloth. (fn. 211) In 1436 a steward of the Fishmongers' guild sold salt and wine as well as salmon, herring, haddock, and whitefish, (fn. 212) and by 1500 fish was among the wide range of commodities handled by the most prominent city merchants. (fn. 213)

The city's cooks bought fish, meat, poultry, pigeons, and occasionally luxuries such as currants. (fn. 214) They perhaps only ever numbered six at any one time, but were nevertheless organized into a guild and put on their own pageant. (fn. 215) The cooks had close links with the bakers, and the Rows of the two trades adjoined, both probably forming part or an extension of the Dark Row at the corner of Northgate Street and Eastgate Street. (fn. 216) The wealth and status of cooks varied enormously, from men who served as sheriff down to traders with only a scarcely licit hearth obstructing a pavement. (fn. 217)

Few of the city's merchants traded as specialist spicers or grocers, and their commodities may have been sold by mercers. (fn. 218) Brewing, which catered for visitors and the immediate rural hinterland as well as residents, (fn. 219) was profitable, and leading citizens participated; they owned malt kilns, (fn. 220) employed bailiffs to oversee production, (fn. 221) and exported malt to Wales, a prohibited practice apparently licensed by fining it. (fn. 222) Large quantities of malt, especially unmilled oat malt, were handled and paid tolls at the Dee Mills. (fn. 223)

Brewing was a domestic activity and much of it was in female hands. (fn. 224) Some of Chester's wealthiest households brewed on a considerable scale under the wife's supervision, and female servants were employed both to produce and sell ale, often from the cellar beneath the family home. (fn. 225) Cellars were regularly named after their aldermanic owners, an association which perhaps explains the unusual absence of named alehouses and hostelries in late medieval Chester. (fn. 226)

The wives and widows of middling townsmen brewed on a smaller scale, often doing no more than sell their small household surplus from time to time. The more ambitious traded as femmes soles from rented cellars, some remaining in business for a decade or more. (fn. 227) All were regularly in trouble with the authorities for using false measures, adulterating their ale, or selling too dear; in 1497, for example, 94 people allegedly used false measures. (fn. 228) Most of the city's tapsters were based in the Eastgate Street district, many of them outside the walls in Foregate Street. Throughout the period numbers of men also sold ale, but their interest in the drink trade may have grown once the introduction of beer, perhaps as late as the 1470s, (fn. 229) allowed production on a commercial scale. By the 16th century women were effectively excluded.

Only the wealthiest Cestrians traded in wine. Most were prominent merchants involved with many commodities, and were rarely described as vintners. (fn. 230) The trade was probably modest, but the few ships paying prise may have been a poor indicator, since the tax was perhaps exacted at other ports while the wine was en route to the city. The trade may have grown in the 1490s and earlier 16th century, when it was dominated by Chester freemen. (fn. 231)

Although at least five taverners were recorded in the 1390s, they later dwindled in number, and disappeared entirely after 1451. Wine was probably retailed by the vintners, who may, as later, have used their undercrofts for both storage and sales. (fn. 232) In the 1530s several leading merchants certainly owned taverns. (fn. 233)

Textiles and Clothing. Throughout the period many workers in Chester produced textiles, both woollen and linen, and the city served as a cloth finishing centre for a wider hinterland. The industry, which produced cheap and coarse goods for local consumption, failed to attract large entrepreneurs and was small in scale. Wool came from Wirral, Anglesey, (fn. 234) and further afield, including Coventry and Derbyshire. (fn. 235) The workforce included female kempsters in the later 14th century, and cardmakers, who initially migrated from centres such as Oswestry (Salop.) and perhaps Tamworth (Staffs.) and Coventry, in the 15th. (fn. 236) Spinning was a female monopoly, partly organized under the puttingout system, with entrepreneurs providing both the spinning wheels and the raw material; sometimes, however, women sold their own yarn. (fn. 237)

The weavers, although poor, were one of the largest occupational groups. They were found in every quarter of the city and worked at home, often assisted by their wives. Linen weaving and woollen weaving may have been separate crafts, with the linen weavers occupying a subordinate position; often non-citizens paying an annual fine to work in Chester, they apparently congregated in Northgate Street (fn. 238) and probably produced coarse materials such as canvas. (fn. 239) The men who commissioned the weaving and supplied the yarn (often the city's walkers, dyers, or drapers) perhaps provided poorer craftsmen with equipment; more affluent weavers owned their own looms and undertook commissions in their own right. (fn. 240) The most prosperous acted as entrepreneurs themselves, buying raw wool, having it prepared for weaving, and distributing the yarn to weavers in the city and perhaps neighbouring villages. (fn. 241)

In the early 15th century Chester's chaloners, specialist weavers of bedding, were relatively prosperous craftsmen who perhaps congregated in the vicinity of St. John's Lane. (fn. 242) By 1550 their status had declined and the craft became the preserve of Welsh immigrants based in Handbridge. (fn. 243)

By the early 16th century some 70 per cent of Chester's textile workers were engaged in finishing, making up, and selling. (fn. 244) The dyers or hewsters, many of whom lived in or near St. John's Lane, (fn. 245) and whose dyestuffs and equipment were expensive, were the richest, (fn. 246) and were usually prominent citizens: 10 became sheriff between 1380 and 1509. After the early 15th century their numbers never fell below 10, even in the difficult 1440s and 1450s, perhaps in part because Chester finished cloth woven in Wales. (fn. 247) The city also supplied Welsh dyers with dyestuffs. (fn. 248) Woad and madder were probably the most commonly used, suggesting that grey and brown russets were the standard local product, but small amounts of the scarlet dye called grain were occasionally purchased. (fn. 249) In the early 15th century Yorkshire merchants visited Chester with dyestuffs but in later years Londoners apparently monopolized the trade. (fn. 250)

Fulling (or walking) and shearing were carried out by distinct groups, with the former dominant, occasionally employing shearmen or providing their tools. (fn. 251) Chester's leading walkers, who congregated around the Dee fulling mills, were considerable entrepreneurs who purchased wool, commissioned its weaving and dyeing, and sold the finished product. They included men who held high civic office. (fn. 252) By the late 14th century the fulling mills were leased by the Crown to the citizens. (fn. 253) Rebuilt in the early 1390s, when production appears to have reached a peak, their profitability thereafter is uncertain and the lessees were often in arrears. (fn. 254) There were especial difficulties between the 1450s and the early 1480s when the mills were in disrepair and the number of walkers declined. (fn. 255)

The cloth made at Chester, like the Welsh cloth brought to the city for finishing, was generally coarse, including fustian, falding, blanket, russets, and frieze. (fn. 256) Finer woollen textiles, manufactured especially in Coventry and the West Riding of Yorkshire, were marketed by the city's drapers, whose numbers apparently increased in the 1490s. (fn. 257) The drapers were wealthy men and over the period 1380-1509 provided 17 sheriffs and 9 mayors, their power being especially marked after 1460. Although they may have clustered in Northgate Street, where they apparently sold cloth from their own shops, no cloth hall was ever built in Chester and there was not even a distinct drapers' Row. (fn. 258)

By contrast the mercers were concentrated in an extensive Row on the eastern side of Bridge Street, (fn. 259) a prime site in keeping with the distinction enjoyed by their guild, which commonly occupied the first place in any list of companies. (fn. 260) The leading mercers included some of the city's most influential men. Between 1380 and 1509 twenty-five mercers became sheriff and fifteen mayor. Although they sold costly silks, velvets, damasks, and the fine linens of Flanders and Brabant, (fn. 261) until the late 1480s there was evidently little local demand for such fabrics and they also stocked other items, including ribbons, points (laces for fastening clothing), spices, and paper, (fn. 262) commodities probably largely obtained from London merchants. (fn. 263)

The tailors, one of the largest groups of craftsmen, included wealthy men who also sold cloth (fn. 264) and occasionally acted as pledges for members of the local gentry. (fn. 265) Most tailors, however, were poor, many of them Welsh immigrants, and few achieved civic office. They were concentrated in Bridge Street and Castle Lane. (fn. 266)

Although the boundaries between the clothing trades were fluid and some tailors also made hose, (fn. 267) there was a distinct craft of cappers in the late 14th and earlier 15th century, later replaced by the feltcappers, who were well established by the 1480s and shared a guild with the skinners. (fn. 268)

Leather Trades. Tanning and leather working were important enough to be among the earliest crafts to develop guilds. (fn. 269) Although the shoemakers emerged victorious from the dispute of the 1360s, (fn. 270) and thereafter some of their number were engaged in tanning, (fn. 271) the tanners remained active and apparently congregated in and around Barkers Lane (later Union Street), close to the company altar in St. John's church. (fn. 272) Hides were imported from Ireland, (fn. 273) or supplied by the city's butchers and other local traders. (fn. 274) The cobblers, always among the largest and humblest occupational groups, (fn. 275) had a Row in Bridge Street, (fn. 276) but were also scattered throughout the city. (fn. 277) the saddlers, who in the 14th century also had a Row in Bridge Street, may well have had a further base in Eastgate Street and beyond the walls, near the tanners. Never as numerous as the cobblers, they were apparently richer and occasionally held civic office. (fn. 278) Other leather workers included a few parchment makers, also perhaps based outside the Eastgate, (fn. 279) and glovers, mainly in Lower Bridge Street. The status of the latter and the importance of their trade apparently increased in the late 15th century, when three became sheriff and one mayor. By then, although Bridge Street apparently remained the focus of manufacture, retailing may have been in Eastgate Street, where Glovers' Row was recorded in 1426. (fn. 280) Skinners, who were particularly prominent in civic life in the mid 15th century, declined in numbers thereafter. They traded especially in squirrel, (fn. 281) although rabbit, fox, and beaver were also known. (fn. 282)

Metal Trades. Iron, bronze, pewter, gold, and silver items were made in Chester throughout the period. Among the most indispensable were horseshoes and iron tools, by the later 14th century in part produced from metal shipped from Spain, (fn. 283) and forged in smithies outside the walls, near the city gates and at the Bars, where the smiths also provided bread and ale for travellers and fodder and grazing for their horses. (fn. 284) Ironmongers were among the city's leading merchants, active in overseas trade and by the early 16th century combined in one powerful company with the mercers. (fn. 285) The smiths shared a guild with the declining number of marshals or specialist farriers. (fn. 286)

Lorimers, located in a Row near the abbey, were few and apparently disappeared by c. 1460. (fn. 287) The spurriers maintained their craft and were occasionally rich, although never numerous. (fn. 288) The cutlers declined in number throughout the 15th century. Occasionally men of considerable status, (fn. 289) but more usually not, (fn. 290) their decline suggests that knives were brought into town rather than manufactured there. (fn. 291)

A few pinners, cardmakers, and wiredrawers worked in late medieval Chester, occasionally combining the various crafts. (fn. 292) Locksmiths found steady employment, (fn. 293) and furbers, although never numerous, were in regular demand: weapons were routinely carried by many townsmen, (fn. 294) and the civic élite regularly bequeathed body armour, steel caps, swords, and daggers. (fn. 295)

Bells were cast in the city, (fn. 296) and pewter vessels were used there by 1391. (fn. 297) Pewterers, first recorded in 1429, increased in number in the late 15th and early 16th century, (fn. 298) when there was briefly a separate guild of founders and pewterers. (fn. 299)

Goldsmiths remained concentrated in Eastgate Street and Foregate Street in the late 14th and 15th century. (fn. 300) Their numbers were fairly constant even in the 1440s and 1450s, when other crafts perhaps declined. In the early 16th century they were a significant presence among the freemen, perhaps 1 per cent of the total. In general they were not rich, and few held high civic office. Some were involved in an additional craft, and one bore the surname Tinker. (fn. 301) Gold objects were rare in medieval Chester, although some residents owned silver-gilt cups and gilded buckles, (fn. 302) and the city's goldsmiths worked mainly in silver. (fn. 303) Leading craftsmen also perhaps offered their stone-built cellars for the storage of valuable goods, (fn. 304) and lent money, sometimes considerable sums. (fn. 305) As elsewhere, their role corresponded to that of a banker, although they themselves commonly fell into debt. (fn. 306)

Building Trades. Although most buildings in late medieval Chester were timber-framed, and stone buildings were thus prominent landmarks, (fn. 307) masons and stonecarvers were needed for the city's walls, castle, religious buildings, bridge, and the paving in thoroughfares such Eastgate and Bridge Streets. (fn. 308) Stone was available from quarries outside the Northgate and near the river. There seems to have been little new building between 1350 and the late 15th century, and in 1486 the citizens claimed that a quarter of the city lay in ruins. Thereafter new work at the abbey and some of the churches apparently led to an increase in the number of masons. (fn. 309) Brickmen were recorded from 1459, perhaps working with clay tiles rather than bricks as such. (fn. 310)

Carpenters and wrights were the most numerous of the building craftsmen. Although one became sheriff, (fn. 311) most were low-paid non-citizens who supplemented their income with small-scale retailing and casual labouring. (fn. 312) At the pinnacle of the craft were the master carpenters of the palatinate, some of whom participated in the life of the town and the guilds. (fn. 313)

Other building workers included thatchers and slaters. Because of fire risk, thatchers, who apparently lived mostly in Foregate Street, were employed chiefly on buildings outside the walls. (fn. 314) Slaters were more numerous and in 1407 were among those whose wages the city governors sought to control. (fn. 315) Although their pay was not high, in the early 15th century the trade attracted immigrant labour from Kendal and Ruthin, both towns in areas which perhaps also supplied slates. (fn. 316) None of Chester's resident slaters grew wealthy and they were scattered throughout the city with perhaps a concentration in Northgate Street. (fn. 317) They worked closely with other roofing craftsmen including tilers (fn. 318) and shinglers. (fn. 319)

Plumbers were never numerous and often worked in association with glaziers, a group with skills developed in the 14th century, when Chester was an important centre for window glass. (fn. 320) There is no evidence of glazing in domestic buildings, and the glaziers shared a guild with stainers and painters, all of whom presumably worked most commonly for ecclesiastical patrons. (fn. 321) Painters, however, occasionally decorated the principal chambers of the houses of important townsmen, (fn. 322) obtaining their colours from leading city merchants, notably the mercers. (fn. 323)

Other Trades. Weapon makers such as bowyers, fletchers, and stringers remained sufficiently numerous to form a craft guild, (fn. 324) the members of which occasionally attained civic office in the later 15th century. Ropers, porters, and coopers worked particularly in the distributive services associated with the harbour area. Cestrians also became carters and mariners. (fn. 325)

The corporation and the regulation of trade

By the mid 14th century market offences were presented at inquests held before the mayor and sheriffs, and dealt with in the portmote or crownmote. (fn. 326) At a comprehensive inquest of 1407 the city's butchers, fishmongers, and poulterers were indicted for trading offences 'both in the market and without', and the smiths, cutlers, goldsmiths, skinners, barbers, coopers, and slaters for trading without paying toll and custom to the earl and for paying excessive wages contrary to the Statute of Labourers. (fn. 327) By then the mayor was also responsible for regulating prices, hours of sale, the disposal of waste, and slaughtering. (fn. 328) He also dealt with all the more serious market offences, including raising prices, evading tolls, and holding illegal markets in private houses or outside the city liberties. (fn. 329) In 1506 the Great Charter established him as clerk of the market. (fn. 330)

Tolls were payable at the city gates, but the amounts collected were small; much Cheshire produce was exempt and a proportion was perhaps appropriated by the holders of the serjeanties of the gates. (fn. 331) From the late 15th century the markets were increasingly tightly regulated. (fn. 332) Already in the 1470s there were complaints that fishmongers who were not citizens sold fish outside the market, (fn. 333) and in 1506 the Great Charter required that all fish and flesh had to be retailed in the customary place. (fn. 334) During the 16th century the Assembly tightened its control over the economy as a whole by supporting guild monopolies and freemen's privileges. (fn. 335) Aliens born outside England and Wales were subjected to an entry fine of at least £10, and able non-free merchants were encouraged to take up the freedom of the city. Guild regulations were subjected to the mayor's approval from 1529. (fn. 336) The Tailors were extremely energetic in protecting their monopoly, and other guilds pursuing 'foreign' craftsmen in the city courts included the Carpenters, Dyers, Skinners, Tanners, and Smiths. (fn. 337)

The conduct of the city's food markets came under closer supervision from the 1530s, particularly over the conditions and times of sale; freemen had priority in buying, followed by resident non-freemen and then outsiders. The sale of corn and fish were of especial concern. (fn. 338) The Assembly pursued a strongly protectionist policy to discourage sales by or to non-freemen except during the two fairs. (fn. 339) It was, however, difficult to prevent private sales between citizens and foreigners in the scattered city markets, and in 1546-7 a common hall was built in Northgate Street where all goods brought to the city in bulk had to be deposited before being offered for sale. A clerk or keeper of the common hall was appointed and a scale of tolls was levied; Kendal and Manchester merchants were singled out to pay extra tolls. (fn. 340) Orders control ling wholesale trade were issued in 1549, banning all foreigners from the common hall and prohibiting freemen from acting as their agents under pain of a £2 fine for the first offence, and loss of citizenship for the second. (fn. 341)

An attempt to improve port facilities was under way by 1541, with the construction of a quay at Neston some 10 miles down river from Chester. (fn. 342) A committee of four, including three aldermen, was set up to supervise the work, voluntary contributions were gathered in each parish, and a customs levy was dedicated to the project. (fn. 343) The New Haven was used even though it remained uncompleted. (fn. 344)

The council continued to regulate food supply through the assize of bread and ale and the close supervision of bakers and butchers, whose names were recorded in the Mayor's Book. (fn. 345) The bakers took an oath before the mayor to abide by the assize and to bake wholesome bread, and in 1505 their monopoly was confirmed on condition that they baked enough to feed the city. They had to join the Bakers' company and leave copies of their marks in the Pentice. (fn. 346)

Dearth prompted action to ensure a free market. Regulations controlling the movement of grain were issued across the county in 1485, 1496, and 1507-8. (fn. 347) In 1536, when the price of barley rose, the council inveighed against regraters and forestallers and regulated the trade in barley and malt. (fn. 348)

The council supervised external trade through its management of a system of local customs which favoured the freemen. (fn. 349) Customs duties were dedicated to individual city officials. (fn. 350) All duties payable to the sheriffs were doubled for a fortnight before and after Midsummer and for one week before and after Michaelmas. Common bargains, the sale of forfeit goods, were also managed to the citizens' advantage. Because merchants incurred extra costs by using the Dee estuary ports, the council stipulated precise rates for off-loading into lighters and for carrying goods overland to the city. Portering rates were regulated, with set charges for transport from anchorages and within the city, and for installing goods in cellars.

Chester as a county capital

The presence of the palatinate and county courts brought a constant flow of visitors to the castle, including officials, lawyers, attorneys of absent recognitors, sureties, jurors, and suitors. (fn. 351) At the Chester exchequer, recognitors and their sureties alone numbered 363 between October 1512 and May 1513. (fn. 352) For a Cheshire gentleman, personal attendance at Chester was as vital as going to Westminster, giving access to patronage and important gossip. (fn. 353) The palatinate government had innumerable small posts to be filled, some carrying pensions, which were as eagerly sought as its major offices. Patronage was a powerful magnet, drawing men from beyond as well as within Cheshire. (fn. 354)

The local gentry were needed particularly to serve on the numerous juries empanelled at the palatinate courts. The county court, for example, which met eight or more times a year, usually for at least two or three days, (fn. 355) might require as many as 116 individual jurors for a single session. (fn. 356) There were also grand jury panels, drawn from the gentry in the area closest to Chester. Between 1523 and 1536 an average of 14 jurors were chosen from panels averaging 27, and during the early 16th century panels came to represent a higher social rank and it was routine to include the names of Cheshire's leading knights, albeit as absentees. (fn. 357)

Other courts generating visitors included those of the archdeaconry and after 1541 the diocese of Chester. (fn. 358) From 1543 the palatinate court of Great Sessions notionally met twice a year in Chester for sessions lasting six days. (fn. 359) The city's own courts also brought in well-to-do outsiders: in the late 1540s, in particular, the mayor's court was used to enrol statutory bonds for extraordinary sums ranging from £200 to £5,000 (fn. 360) and to pursue actions with Cestrians for debt. (fn. 361)

The convenience of the city and palatinate courts may have attracted some merchants and others to negotiate agreements and enrol debts even though their goods never entered the city. (fn. 362) Although many actions were between Welshmen, (fn. 363) no group was dominant and business spanned Chester's region in its widest sense, involving men from as far away as Kendal and Halifax. (fn. 364)

By the 16th century there was considerable intermingling of civic, county, and regional affairs. Citizens were drawn into county matters through acting as sureties for gentlemen and knights, presumably for some consideration. (fn. 365) They owned property throughout the region, including Lancashire and north Wales, and left money to men in Denbigh and to churches in Denbigh, Lymm, Tarvin, and Warrington. (fn. 366) The city's churches were similarly remembered by Cestrians in exile in Bristol and London. (fn. 367)

County figures in return participated in civic matters: the commission supervising the dissolution of Chester's religious houses, for example, comprised civic dignitaries together with Sir Piers Dutton and William Brereton, (fn. 368) while another commission appointed to inquire into disorder in 1547 included the mayor with four knights and four gentlemen. (fn. 369) County knights were invited in to arbitrate in quite minor disputes, (fn. 370) and together with other local gentlemen owned and leased property in the city for personal use or as an investment. (fn. 371)

By the early 16th century Chester was quite cosmopolitan, and in general relations with outsiders were cordial, those with north Wales being usually close. Welshmen rented and owned property in the city, became freemen, and were buried in the city churches, (fn. 372) while Chester merchants had similar ties with Denbighshire and mid Wales. (fn. 373) There was a strong Welsh presence in the city, both residents and traders using the markets and courts, and Welsh was spoken in the streets. (fn. 374) Spaniards traded and took disputes to the courts in person, and at least one married and settled in Chester, conducting an illegal trade in local cloth. (fn. 375) The Irish, on the other hand, although Chester's chief trading partners, were apparently rarely more than visitors. Occasionally tensions within and between the different groups erupted violently. There was an affray involving Welshmen in 1514, and in 1532 the mayor intervened in a murderous squabble between Spaniards. His successor bravely calmed a significantly larger disturbance in 1549, reputed to have involved 500 Irishmen in a bloody fight with the citizens. (fn. 376)


  • 1. Morris, Chester, 516-21.
  • 2. This acct. is based on the research which underlies J. W. Laughton, 'Aspects of Social and Econ. Hist. of Late Medieval Chester, 1350-c. 1500' (Camb. Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1994), and J. Kermode, 'Trade of Late Medieval Chester, 1500-50', Progress and Problems in Medieval Eng. ed. R. Britnell and J. Hatcher, 286-307.
  • 3. e.g. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 1, ff. 53-8; ibid. EDA 2/1, ff. 123-4.
  • 4. Ibid. ZAB 1, f. 38v.; 3 Sheaf, xxii, pp. 43-4.
  • 5. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 1, ff. 39v., 55, 70v.-71; cf. P.N. Ches. v (1:i), 10.
  • 6. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 1, ff. 53-54v.
  • 7. Progress and Problems, 299-301.
  • 8. e.g. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 443, rot. 4; ZSR 445, rot. 1d.; ZSR 506, rot. 64d.; ZSB 7, f. 70v.
  • 9. e.g. ibid. ZSR 504, rott. 10-11, 29, 35-6; ZSR 506, rot. 73d.; ZMR 111, rot. 1; ZSBC 1, f. 6; ZSBC 7, ff. 66, 107.
  • 10. e.g. ibid. ZSR 522, rot. 13; ZSR 535, rott. 12, 25d., 40; ZSR 543, rot. 12; ZSR 554, rott. 1, 6 and d.; ZSBC 1, ff. 50, 64, 69v.; ZSBC 7, f. 34.
  • 11. Ibid. ZAB 1, f. 82; ibid. WS 6/7; WS 17/1; EDA 2/1, ff. 188- 9; Morris, Chester, 263.
  • 12. C.C.A.L.S., EDA 2/1, ff. 188-9; WS 5/1; WS 6/3-4; WS 6/7; WS 8/1; WS 8/3; 3 Sheaf, xi, pp. 1-2; xvii, p. 30; Colln. of Lancs. and Ches. Wills (R.S.L.C. xxx), 189-90; Lancs. and Ches. Wills and Inventories, iii (Chetham Soc. [o.s.], liv), 25-30.
  • 13. Blk. Prince's Reg. iii. 261.
  • 14. e.g. P.R.O., CHES 25/11, m. 6; CHES 25/12, m. 31d.; CHES 25/15, mm. 5, 52; CHES 29/165, m. 15d.
  • 15. e.g. ibid. CHES 25/11, m. 21; CHES 25/12, mm. 6, 10, 23, 31d., 32d.; CHES 25/14, m. 23d.; CHES 25/15, mm. 38d., 51d.; CHES 25/16, m. 2d.
  • 16. Ibid. CHES 25/9, m. 37; CHES 29/177, m. 42; cf. CHES 25/12, m. 3d.; CHES 29/167, m. 23d.; CHES 29/186, m. 17d.; CHES 29/187, m. 37.
  • 17. e.g. P.R.O., CHES 25/14, m. 13; CHES 29/107, m. 17; C.C.A.L.S., ZMB 4, f. 62v.; ZSR 122, rot. 1; ZSR 135, rot. 1d.; ZSR 136, rot. 1; ZSR 155, rot. 1d.; ZSR 168, rot. 1; ZSR 169, rot. 1; ZSR 196, rot. 1d.; ZSR 251, rot. 1d.; ZSR 255, rot. 1; ZSR 281, rot. 1; ZSR 318, rot. 1d.; ZSR 349, rot. 3d.; ZSR 367, rot. 1d.; ZSR 380, rot. 1.
  • 18. C.C.A.L.S., ZMR 69, rot. 1 and d.
  • 19. P.R.O., SC 6/796/3, m. 13.
  • 20. V.C.H. Ches. v (2), Lists of Mayors and Sheriffs.
  • 21. P.R.O., CHES 25/16, m. 11d.; SC 6/796/3, m. 13; SC 6/801/8, m. 2d.
  • 22. e.g. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 161, rot. 1d.; ZSR 169, rot. 1; ZSR 206, rot. 1d.; ZSR 359, rot. 1d.; ZSR 371, rot. 1d.
  • 23. e.g. ibid. ZSR 67, rot. 1d.; ZSR 75, rot. 1; ZSR 104, rot. 1; ZSR 118, rot. 1; ZSR 148, rot. 1; ZSR 184, rot. 1; ZSR 239, rot. 1; ZSR 349, rot. 3; ZSR 372, rot. 1d.; ZSR 380, rot. 1; ZSR 402, rot. 1.
  • 24. Ibid. ZSR 197, rot. 1d.; ZSR 223, rot. 1d.; ZSR 239, rot. 2d.; ZSR 334, rot. 1; ZSR 387, rot. 1d.; P.R.O., CHES 25/16, m. 5.
  • 25. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 112, rot. 1; ZSR 219, rot. 1d.; ZSR 258, rot. 1.
  • 26. Ibid. ZSR 118, rot. 1d.; ZSR 123, rot. 4; ZSR 128, rot. 4; ZSR 197, rot. 1d.; ZSR 261, rot. 3; ZSR 300, rot. 1d.; P.R.O., CHES 25/16, m. 5.
  • 27. P.R.O., CHES 25/12, m. 22d.; CHES 25/14, m. 14; C.C.A.L.S., ZMB 3, f. 75v.; ZSR 118, rot. 1d.; ZSR 235, rot. 1; ZSR 237, rot. 1d.; ZSR 415, rot. 1.
  • 28. A. E. Curry, 'Demesne of Co. Palatine of Chester in Early 15th Cent.' (Manchester Univ. M.A. thesis, 1977), 284 sqq.
  • 29. e.g. Letters and Accts. of Wm. Brereton of Malpas (R.S.L.C. cxvi), 15, 48.
  • 30. Ibid. 238, 241; Lancs. and Ches. Wills and Inventories, i (Chetham Soc. [o.s.], xxxiii), 139-42; ii (Chetham Soc. [o.s.], li), 65, 126; iii (Chetham Soc. [o.s.], liv), 43.
  • 31. e.g. C.C.A.L.S., ZMB 1, f. 9; ZMB 2, ff. 48v., 73; ZMB 3, ff. 15v., 56, 57 and v., 105 and v.
  • 32. Ibid. ZMR 3, rott. 2d., 5; ZSR 51, rot. 2; ZSR 81, rot. 2d.; ZSR 135, rot. 1; ZSR 295, rot. 1d.; ZSR 308, rot. 1; ZSR 349, rot. 3; ZSR 375, rot. 1d.; ZSR 391, rot. 1d.; ZSR 449, rot. 1; P.R.O., CHES 25/16, m. 15d.
  • 33. Blk. Prince's Reg. i. 19; P.R.O., CHES 25/11, m. 12; CHES 25/15, m. 16d.; CHES 29/137, m. 35d.; CHES 29/165, m. 15d.; C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 288, rot. 1d.; ZSR 351, rot. 7d.; ZSR 420, rot. 1; ZSR 423, rot. 1d.; ZSR 424, rot. 1d.; ZSR 425, rot. 1; ZSR 427, rot. 1.
  • 34. C.C.A.L.S., ZMB 3, f. 67 and v.; ZMUB 1, ff. 1-6v.; ZMUR 1, mm. 1-2; ZSB 3, ff. 86v.-88.
  • 35. V.C.H. Ches. v(2), Plays, Sports, and Customs before 1700: City Watches and Midsummer Show (Midsummer Watch).
  • 36. Letters of Wm. Brereton, 43, 45-6; Johnson, 'Aspects', 234.
  • 37. C.C.A.L.S., ZSB 5, f. 61; ZSB 6, f. 19v.; ZSR 504, rott. 23, 37.
  • 38. Ibid. ZMB 1, f. 36; ZMB 3, f. 62v.; ZMB 4, f. 27; ZSB 2, f. 24; ZSB 3, f. 70v.; ZSB 4, f. 12; ZSR 109, rot. 1; ZSR 123, rot. 1; ZSR 130, rot. 1d.; ZSR 195, rot. 1d.; ZSR 245, rot. 1d.; ZSR 277, rot. 1d.; ZSR 311, rot. 1; ZSR 315, rot. 1d.; ZSR 334, rot. 1; ZSR 337, rot. 1; ZSR 359, rot. 1d.
  • 39. Ibid. ZSR 231, rot. 1d.; ZSR 237, rot. 1d.; ZSR 243, rot. 1.
  • 40. Ibid. ZSR 190, rot. 1; ZMB 4, f. 40v.; ZSB 1, f. 38v.
  • 41. Ibid. ZSR 249, rot. 1; ZSR 376, rot. 1.
  • 42. Ibid. ZSR 389, rot. 1d.
  • 43. e.g. ibid. ZSB 4, ff. 5-7, 11-12; ZSB 5, f. 47v.
  • 44. Ibid. ZMB 6, f. 36 and v.; ZSR 445, rot. 1d.
  • 45. Ibid. ZMB 3, ff. 100 and v., 105v.; New Hist. of Irel. ii, ed. A. Cosgrove, 529-30, 533-56.
  • 46. C.C.A.L.S., ZSB 1, f. 133v.; ZSB 3, f. 63; ZSR 255, rot. 1d.
  • 47. Ibid. ZSR 128, rot. 4d.; ZSR 290, rot. 1d.; ZSR 295, rot. 1d.; P.R.O., CHES 25/15, m. 53.
  • 48. e.g. M. J. Bennett, Community, Class and Careerism: Ches. and Lancs. Society in the Age of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, 13.
  • 49. C.C.A.L.S., ZSB 4, ff. 15v.-16, 63, 81v.; C. N. Parkinson, Rise of Port of Liverpool, 18-20.
  • 50. C.C.A.L.S., ZMB 1, f. 9; ZMB 2, f. 73; ZSB 1, ff. 29v., 30v., 38v., 71, 78-9; ZSB 2, ff. 66v.-67, 70; ZSB 3, ff. 5, 48, 56v.; ZSB 4, f. 102v.; ZSR 123, rot. 2; ZSR 219, rot. 1d.; ZSR 273, rot. 1d.
  • 51. K. P. Wilson, 'Port of Chester in Later Middle Ages' (Liverpool Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1966), i. 100; Pleadings and Depositions in Duchy Court of Lancaster, iii (R.S.L.C. xl), 6-10.
  • 52. C.C.A.L.S., EDA 2/1, ff. 188-9; ibid. ZSR 554, rot. 6; Lancs. and Ches. Wills and Inventories, i (Chetham Soc. [o.s.], xxxiii), 159.
  • 53. e.g. C.C.A.L.S., ZMR 111, rot. 6; ZSFB 2/11-12; ZSBC 1, ff. 20, 30; Wilson, 'Port of Chester', i. 103.
  • 54. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 1, f. 77 and v.
  • 55. Ibid. ZMB 3, ff. 35, 58, 95v.
  • 56. Ibid. ZMB 1, f. 60v.
  • 57. Ibid. f. 53; ZMB 2, f. 100v.; ZSB 1, ff. 30v.-31; ZSR 135, rot. 1; ZSR 160, rot. 1d.; ZSR 190, rot. 1; ZSR 206, rot. 1d.; ZSR 220, rot. 1; ZSR 277, rot. 1; ZSR 316, rot. 1; ZSR 327, rot. 1; ZSR 359, rot. 1d.; ZSR 394, rot. 1d.
  • 58. Ibid. ZSR 124, rot. 1 and d.; ZSR 160, rot. 1d.; ZSR 220, rot. 1.
  • 59. Ibid. ZSR 220, rot. 1d.; ZSR 316, rot. 1; ZSR 331, rot. 1.
  • 60. Ibid. ZMB 3, f. 56; Reg. of Guild of Holy Trinity, St. Mary, St. John the Baptist, and St. Katherine of Coventry, i (Dugdale Soc. xiii), 2, 13, 28, 37, 64, 91, 93.
  • 61. Wilson, 'Port of Chester', i. 91.
  • 62. C.C.A.L.S., ZMB 5, f. 180; ZMB 6, ff. 3, 33, 88.
  • 63. Ibid. ZSB 2, ff. 9, 53; ZSB 3, f. 111v.; ZSR 107, rot. 1d.; ZSR 156, rot. 1d.; ZSR 204, rot. 1d.; ZSR 210, rot. 1; ZSR 238, rot. 1d.; ZSR 261, rot. 3.
  • 64. Ibid. ZSB 1, f. 155; ZSR 111, rot. 1d.; ZSR 115, rot. 1d.; ZSR 261, rot. 1; ZSR 351, rot. 3d.; ZSR 360, rot. 1d.; ZSR 371, rot. 1; ZSR 413, rot. 1d.
  • 65. e.g. Wm. Wettenhall, Hugh Wych, Ral. Verney, and Thos. Cottingham: S. L. Thrupp, Merchant Class of Medieval Lond. 1300-1500, 371, 373-6; C.C.A.L.S., ZMB 4, f. 22v.; ZMR 96, rot. 1; ZSB 1, ff. 31v., 57v., 127, 128v., 172v.; ZSR 294, rot. 1.
  • 66. C.C.A.L.S., ZTAR 1/4, m. 1d.
  • 67. Ibid. ZSR 233, rot. 1d.; ZSR 319, rot. 1d.
  • 68. e.g. Jas. Wells: ibid. ZMB 5, f. 180; ZSB 2, ff. 9, 33v., 34v., 47, 68v.-74v.; ZSB 3, ff. 11, 28v.-29, 31v., 35, 49v., 52, 102v., 111v.
  • 69. Ibid. ZSR 504, rott. 36, 36Ad.; ZSR 522, rott. 5, 30d.; ZSR 535, rot. 27d.; ZSR 554, rott. 1, 3, 7; ZSBC 1, ff. 3, 25v., 35, 45, 53v.; ZSBC 7, ff. 5, 49, 52, 78, 98, 103, 122-3; ZMR 111, rot. 2.
  • 70. Ibid. ZAB 1, f. 78v.; Chester Customs Accts. 76-9, 83, 85-6, 88, 90, 94, 96, 99.
  • 71. L. & P. Hen. VIII, vi, p. 92.
  • 72. e.g. C.C.A.L.S., ZSBC 1, ff. 38v., 69v.; ZSFB 2/17.
  • 73. Ibid. ZSR 543, rot. 6; ZSR 554, rot. 1.
  • 74. 37 D.K.R. App. II, p. 144; cf. C. E. Challis, Tudor Coinage, 53.
  • 75. Letters of Wm. Brereton, 40-1.
  • 76. C.C.A.L.S., ZSB 5, ff. 130-1, 157; ZSB 7, ff. 9, 31, 67, 85.
  • 77. Ibid. ZSR 554, rot. 1.
  • 78. Blk. Prince's Reg. iii. 415-16.
  • 79. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 1, passim.
  • 80. Ibid. ZCH 28-31.
  • 81. Ibid. ZMB 6, f. 83; K. P. Wilson, 'Port of Chester in 15th Cent.' T.H.S.L.C. cxvii. 3, 6; Chester Customs Accts. 20-62; P.R.O., SC 6/785/5, m. 1d.
  • 82. C.C.A.L.S., ZSB 3, f. 94v.; ZSR 457, rot. 1d.; ZSR 454, rot. 1d.; ZSR 376, rot. 1d.; ZSR 467, rot. 1d.
  • 83. Ibid. ZSR 104, rot. 1d.; ZSR 121, rot. 1.
  • 84. Para. based on ibid. ZMB 2, ff. 37v.-42v.; ZMB 3, ff. 85v.- 86v.; Wilson, 'Port of Chester', ii, App. H.
  • 85. Cf. Brokage Book of Southampton, 1443-4 (Southampton Rec. Ser. iv, vi); Local Port Book of Southampton for 1439-40 (ibid. v); Customs Accts. of Hull, 1453-90 (Yorks. Arch. Soc. Rec. Ser. cxliv); Overseas Trade of Lond.: Exchequer Customs Accts. 1480-1 (Lond. Rec. Soc. xxvii), p. xxxviii.
  • 86. C.C.A.L.S., ZSB 1, f. 127; ZSB 4, f. 138.
  • 87. Ibid. ZCH 28-31.
  • 88. Wilson, 'Port of Chester', i. 163.
  • 89. C.C.A.L.S., ZSB passim; Chester Customs Accts. passim.
  • 90. C.C.A.L.S., ZSB 9, f. 68v.
  • 91. Chester Customs Accts. 64; Wilson, 'Port of Chester', i. 164-8.
  • 92. Cf. New Hist. Irel. ii. 512-14.
  • 93. C.C.A.L.S., ZMB 2, ff. 37v., 39v.-40v., 41v., 72; ZMB 5, f. 214v.; ZMUB 1, ff. 7-8v.; ZSB 4, ff. 138, 139v., 140v.-141; ZSR 245, rot. 1; ZSR 314, rot. 1d.; ZSR 364, rot. 1; ZSR 366, rot. 1.
  • 94. Ibid. ZMB 2, ff. 37v.-38v., 80v., 82; ZMB 3, ff. 58, 100v.; ZSB 1, f. 70v.
  • 95. Ibid. ZMB 5, f. 180.
  • 96. Ibid. ZMB 3, ff. 56, 105v.; New Hist. Irel. ii. 520; P.R.O., CHES 29/166, m. 8; CHES 29/167, m. 3.
  • 97. 3 Sheaf, xxix, p. 40.
  • 98. Cal. Pat. 1436-41, 281; C.C.A.L.S., ZSB 2, f. 8; ZSR 160, rot. 1d.; ZSR 190, rot. 1.
  • 99. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 126, rot. 2; ZSR 159, rot. 1d.; ZSR 320, rot. 1d.; ZSR 363, rot. 1d.; ZSR 364, rot. 1; ZSR 394, rot. 1; ZSR 399, rot. 1; ZSR 466, rot. 1.
  • 100. Cal. of Deeds and Papers of Moore Fam. (R.S.L.C. lxvii), no. 1028.
  • 101. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 60, rot. 1d.; ZSR 81, rot. 1d.
  • 102. P.R.O., WALE 29/291.
  • 103. Bennett, Community, Class, and Careerism, 130-1, 217, 220; C.C.A.L.S., ZMB 3, f. 33v.
  • 104. C.C.A.L.S., ZSB 1, f. 108v.; ZSB 2, ff. 49, 52; ZSB 3, ff. 11, 12v., 75, 77v.; ZSB 4, ff. 14, 15, 18v., 37, 56v., 103, 140v.-141v.; ZSR 318, rot. 1d.; ZSR 327, rot. 1d.; ZSR 401, rot. 1d.
  • 105. J.C.A.S. xiii. 105-9.
  • 106. Progress and Problems, 286-307.
  • 107. Wilson, 'Port of Chester', i. 105-7.
  • 108. New Hist. Irel. ii. 507; C.C.A.L.S., ZSB 5, f. 176.
  • 109. T. O'Neill, Merchants and Mariners in Medieval Irel. 27.
  • 110. e.g. C.C.A.L.S., ZSB 5, ff. 174-5.
  • 111. Wilson, 'Port of Chester', i. 96; New Hist. Irel. ii. 495.
  • 112. O'Neill, Merchants and Mariners, 31-40.
  • 113. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 1, f. 41.
  • 114. Ibid. ZSB 5, f. 177v.; O'Neill, Merchants and Mariners, 31-40.
  • 115. C.C.A.L.S., ZSB 8, ff. 39-99.
  • 116. Ibid. ZSB 5, ff. 174-197v.; ZSB 8, ff. 59-93; Chester Customs Accts. 132-42; cf. O'Neill, Merchants and Mariners, 78-9.
  • 117. C.C.A.L.S., ZSB 5, f. 176.
  • 118. A. K. Longfield, Anglo-Irish Trade in 16th Cent. 62-3; E. M. Veale, Eng. Fur Trade in Later Middle Ages, 169; D. M. Woodward, 'Chester Leather Ind. 1558-1625', T.H.S.L.C. cxix. 71.
  • 119. Wilson, 'Port of Chester', i. 91; C. Phythian-Adams, Desolation of a City: Coventry and Urban Crisis of Late Middle Ages, 33-67.
  • 120. C.C.A.L.S., ZSB 5, ff. 174-187v.
  • 121. Ibid. f. 178; ZSB 8, ff. 39-99; Longfield, Anglo-Irish Trade, 80-1.
  • 122. e.g. C.C.A.L.S., ZSB 5, ff. 175, 177.
  • 123. Longfield, Anglo-Irish Trade, 77.
  • 124. e.g. C.C.A.L.S., ZSB 5, f. 179v.; ZSB 7, f. 97v.; ZSB 8, ff. 23, 81v., 82v., 84, 89.
  • 125. e.g. ibid. ZSB 5, f. 178v.; ZSB 10, f. 175; Longfield, AngloIrish Trade, 126-7.
  • 126. Longfield, Anglo-Irish Trade, 170; Wilson, 'Port of Chester', i. 87.
  • 127. e.g. C.C.A.L.S., ZSB 5, ff. 174, 179.
  • 128. e.g. ibid. ZSFB 2/13; ZSBC 1, f. 13v.
  • 129. Wilson, 'Port of Chester', i. 94.
  • 130. Ibid. i. 166.
  • 131. Ibid. i. 97-8; C.C.A.L.S., ZSB 5, ff. 11v., 79v., 103, 125, 146-7, 174; ZSB 6, ff. 3v., 15; ZSB 7, ff. 5, 23, 62, 74v., 98v., 126v.; ZSB 8, ff. 66v., 71v.
  • 132. Chester Customs Accts. passim.
  • 133. C.C.A.L.S., ZSB 1, f. 56v.; ZSB 2, f. 96v.; ZSB 3, ff. 33, 54, 76, 80v.; ZSB 4, ff. 15v.-16, 139, 147v., 150v.
  • 134. Ibid. ZSR 156, rot. 1; ZSB 1, ff. 108, 125, 127; ZSB 2, f. 78v.; ZSB 3, ff. 12v., 14v.
  • 135. e.g. ibid. ZSB 2, ff. 53, 71, 74; ZSB 3, f. 55.
  • 136. Ibid. ZSB 3, ff. 71v., 78v., 81v.
  • 137. e.g. ibid. ff. 102v., 105 and v., 111v.; ZSB 4, ff. 16-17, 34v., 39, 62, 129, 147v.
  • 138. Chester Customs Accts. passim; Wilson, 'Port of Chester', i. 162-4; ii, App. H.
  • 139. Wilson, 'Port of Chester', ii, App. H; cf. C.C.A.L.S., ZSB 1, ff. 28v.-35v.; ZSB 2, ff. 68-75.
  • 140. C.C.A.L.S., ZSB 4, ff. 102-108v.
  • 141. Wilson, 'Port of Chester', i. 96, 148-9.
  • 142. Ibid. i. 124, 137; Chester Customs Accts. 69-71; D. M. Woodward, Trade of Elizabethan Chester, 130.
  • 143. Wilson, 'Port of Chester', i. 130; e.g. C.C.A.L.S., ZSB 5, f. 167; ZSB 7, ff. 21v., 23v., 59, 61, 141.
  • 144. e.g. C.C.A.L.S., ZSB 5, ff. 164v., 176v., 179; ZSB 7, ff. 4, 58, 73v.; ZSB 8, f. 44v.; Chester Customs Accts. 138-9, 142.
  • 145. Wilson, 'Port of Chester', i. 13.
  • 146. C.C.A.L.S., ZSB 4, ff. 52-62v.; Chester Customs Accts. 35.
  • 147. C.C.A.L.S., ZSB 7, ff. 122v., 125-126v.; cf. ibid. f. 74.
  • 148. Chester Customs Accts. 57-62.
  • 149. Para. based on ibid. esp. 70-2; Wilson, 'Port of Chester', i. 119, 121, 124.
  • 150. Wilson, 'Port of Chester', i. 135-6; C.C.A.L.S., ZSB 5, ff. 103, 164-165v., 176v.; ZSB 7, ff. 5, 7, 22, 38-54, 58, 73v.; ZSB 8, f. 16.
  • 151. e.g. C.C.A.L.S., ZMR 111, rott. 6, 11; ZSR 535, rott. 28, 37; ZSR 543, rot. 1; ZSFB 2/30.
  • 152. Liverpool Univ. Libr. MS. 23.5, f. 52.
  • 153. e.g. C.C.A.L.S., ZMR 111, rott. 8-11; ZMR 112, rot. 8d.
  • 154. e.g. ibid. ZSB 5, f. 121.
  • 155. Ibid. EDA 2/1, ff. 188-9; V.C.H. Ches. v (2), Lists of Mayors and Sheriffs.
  • 156. Wilson, 'Port of Chester', i. 128.
  • 157. E. A. Lewis, 'Contribution to Commercial Hist. of Medieval Wales', Y Cymmrodor, xxiv. 99, 129-33, 170-88.
  • 158. Ibid. 172-4.
  • 159. R. Bagwell, Irel. under the Tudors, i. 169; C.C.A.L.S., ZSB 7, f. 121.
  • 160. C.C.A.L.S., ZAF 1, f. 18.
  • 161. Ibid. ZAB 1, ff. 81v.-82v.; Wilson, 'Port of Chester', i. 169.
  • 162. Wilson, 'Port of Chester', i. 102; Leland, Itin. ed. Toulmin Smith, v. 40-1.
  • 163. Wilson, 'Port of Chester', i. 102; N. Lowe, Lancs. Textile Ind. in 16th Cent. (Chetham Soc. 3rd ser. xx), 79.
  • 164. Woodward, Trade of Eliz. Chester, 7-8, 13, 15.
  • 165. B.L. Harl. MS. 2057, f. 129.
  • 166. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 1, ff. 41-2.
  • 167. L. & P. Hen. VIII, vi, p. 148.
  • 168. C.C.A.L.S., ZML 5/1.
  • 169. Pleadings and Depositions in Duchy Court of Lancaster, iii (R.S.L.C. xl), 135-7.
  • 170. D. Keene, Survey of Medieval Winchester, i. 250; The English Medieval Town: Reader in Urban Hist. ed. R. Holt and G. Rosser, 7, 127.
  • 171. Analysis based on Rolls of Freemen of Chester, i (R.S.L.C. li); D. M. Palliser, 'Revised List of Chester Freemen' (TS. at C.H.H.); C.C.A.L.S., ZMB passim.
  • 172. V.C.H. Ches. v (2), Population.
  • 173. Cal. Pat. 1391-6, 17.
  • 174. C.C.A.L.S., ZMB 2, ff. 40v.-41, 42, 51.
  • 175. Ibid. ZMB 3, f. 112v.; ZSR 143, rot. 1d.; cf. Studies in Eng. Trade in 15th Cent. ed. E. Power and M. M. Postan, 199; New Hist. Irel. ii. 485.
  • 176. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 135, rot. 1d.; ZSR 155, rot. 1d.; ZSR 165, rot. 1d.; ZSR 196, rot. 1d.; ZSR 284, rot. 1; ZSR 352, rot. 1d.; ZSR 402, rot. 1d.; cf. H. Taylor, Historic Notices of Boro. and Co. Town of Flint, 103.
  • 177. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 164, rot. 1d.; ZSR 359, rot. 1d.; ZSR 401, rot. 1; ZSR 404, rot. 1; ZSR 417, rot. 1.
  • 178. e.g. ibid. ZMR 69, rot. 1 and d.; ZSR 238, rot. 1; ZSR 280, rot. 1d.; ZSR 353, rot. 1d.; ZSR 386, rot. 1d.; ZSR 412, rot. 1; P.R.O., SC 6/796/3, m. 13.
  • 179. P.R.O., CHES 25/10, m. 10.
  • 180. Ibid. CHES 25/10, m. 33; CHES 25/12, mm. 4, 38d.; CHES 25/14, m. 3d.
  • 181. Ibid. CHES 25/11, mm. 1, 5, 8, 22; CHES 25/12, mm. 18d., 38d.; CHES 25/13, m. 1; CHES 25/14, m. 3d.
  • 182. V.C.H. Ches. v (2), Mills and Fisheries: Dee Corn Mills.
  • 183. C.C.A.L.S., ZMB 1, ff. 5-7v., 40.
  • 184. Ibid. ZMB 2, ff. 9, 36, 52, 75v.; ZMB 3, f. 15; ZMB 4, f. 44v.; ZMB 6, f. 121v.; ZSB 3, f. 116; ZSR 174-93 passim.
  • 185. Ibid. ZMB 7, ff. 104v., 156; ZMB 8, ff. 60v., 128; ZMB 9A, f. 4v.; ZMB 9B, f. 15v.; ZMB 9c, f. 5; ZMB 9E, f. 12; ZMB 9G, f. 5.
  • 186. Ibid. ZCH 30; 36 D.K.R. App. II, pp. 60, 78, 225-6, 230, 247, 475, 544; cf. P.R.O., CHES 29/59, m. 23.
  • 187. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 360, rot. 1d.; ZSR 365, rot. 1; ZSR 386, rot. 1; ZSR 400, rot. 1; ZSR 406, rot. 1; ZSR 414, rot. 1d.; ZSR 420, rot. 1d.
  • 188. Letters of Wm. Brereton, 245.
  • 189. Ormerod, Hist. Ches. i. 233.
  • 190. C.C.A.L.S., ZMB 1, ff. 5-7v., 37v.; ZMB 2, ff. 9 and v., 35v.- 36v., 52v.-53, 102 and v.; ZMB 3, ff. 15, 47, 50v., 112 and v.
  • 191. Ibid. ZMB 1, f. 2; ZMB 2, ff. 29, 78; ZMB 3, ff. 62, 102v.; ZMB 6, f. 122; ZMB 7, ff. 120, 159; ZMB 8, ff. 60v., 128; ZMB 9A, f. 4v.; ZMB 9E, f. 12; ZMB 10, f. 2v.; ZQCR 10, m. 1; ZQCR 11, m. 1; ZSB 3, f. 65; P.R.O., CHES 29/109, m. 11d.
  • 192. C.C.A.L.S., ZMB 2, f. 95v.; ZMB 5, ff. 1, 41v.; ZMR 64, rot. 1d.; ZMR 72, rot. 1; ZMR 78, rot. 1; ZSR 126, rot. 2d.; 36 D.K.R. App. II, p. 98; 3 Sheaf, xliii, pp. 6-7.
  • 193. e.g. C.C.A.L.S., ZMB 5, ff. 85v., 109v., 129v.; ZMB 6, ff. 33v., 83v.; ZMB 7, f. 156; ZMB 8, f. 127v.
  • 194. Ibid. ZMR 78, rot. 1; ZSB 2, f. 40; ZSB 3, f. 64v.; B.L. Harl. MS. 2158, ff. 193-5, 197, 198v., 200, 204, 212v., 213v., 218.
  • 195. e.g. C.C.A.L.S., ZMB 1, f. 16; ZMB 2, f. 19; ZSB 3, ff. 60v., 65, 94v.; ZSB 4, f. 32v.; ZSB 5, ff. 35, 137.
  • 196. Ibid. ZMB 2, ff. 29, 78; ZMB 3, ff. 62, 102v.
  • 197. Ibid. ZSR 122, rot. 1; ZSR 155, rot. 1d.; ZSR 160, rot. 1d.; ZSR 168, rot. 1; ZSR 197, rot. 1; ZSR 239, rot. 4; ZSR 253, rot. 1d.; ZSR 255, rot. 1; ZSR 281, rot. 1; ZSR 268, rot. 1 and d.; ZSR 362, rot. 1; ZSR 369, rot. 1d.; ZSR 374, rot. 1; ZSR 383, rot. 1; ZSR 402, rot. 1d.
  • 198. e.g. ibid. ZSR 169, rot. 1; ZSR 261, rot. 3; ZSR 316, rot. 1d.; ZSR 349, rot. 3d.; P.R.O., CHES 25/15, m. 38d.
  • 199. C.C.A.L.S., ZCHB 2, f. 82v.
  • 200. Ibid. ZSR 170, rot. 1; ZSR 244, rot. 1d.; ZSR 262, rot. 1; ZSR 294, rot. 1; ZSR 349, rot. 3; ZSR 376, rot. 1; ZSR 399, rot. 1.
  • 201. Ibid. ZSR 150, rot. 1; ZSR 177, rot. 1; ZSR 239, rot. 4d.; ZSR 304, rot. 1; ZSR 315, rot. 1d.; ZSR 329, rot. 1.
  • 202. Ibid. ZSR 173, rot. 1d.; ZSR 227, rot. 1; ZSR 385, rot. 1d.; ZSR 427, rot. 1d.
  • 203. T.H.S.L.C. cxix. 68-73.
  • 204. C.C.A.L.S., ZMR 69, rot. 1 and d.; ZSB 2, f. 6; ZSR 296, rot. 1d.; P.R.O., SC 6/784/2, m. 12; SC 6/787/8, m. 2; SC 6/791/5, m. 3; SC 6/797/1, m. 1d.
  • 205. P.R.O., SC 6/787/9 to SC 6/796/10.
  • 206. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 130, rot. 1d.; ZSR 267, rot. 1d.; ZSR 275, rot. 1d.; ZSR 359, rot. 1; ZSR 372, rot. 1; ZSR 381, rot. 1.
  • 207. Ibid. ZQCR 4, m. 1; ZQCR 10, m. 1.
  • 208. Ibid. ZMB 3, f. 102v.; P.R.O., CHES 25/9, m. 37; CHES 29/108, m. 15d.; CHES 29/109, m. 11d.
  • 209. Rest of para. based on C.C.A.L.S., ZMB 1, f. 36; ZMB 3, f. 62v.; ZMB 4, f. 27; ZSR 104, rot. 1; ZSR 135, rot. 1; ZSR 237, rot. 1d.; ZSR 245, rot. 1d.; ZSR 254, rot. 1d.; ZSR 315, rot. 1d.; ZSR 323, rot. 1d.; ZSR 359, rot. 1d.; ZSR 394, rot. 1d.; ZSR 442, rot. 1d.; ZSR 458, rot. 1d.
  • 210. B.L. Harl. MS. 2158, f. 193.
  • 211. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 129, rot. 2d.; ZSR 135, rot. 1; ZSR 143, rot. 1d.; ZSR 165, rot. 1d.; ZSR 168, rot. 1d.; ZSR 190, rot. 1; ZMB 3, f. 86v.; Cal. of Deeds and Papers of Moore Fam. (R.S.L.C. lxvii), no. 1028.
  • 212. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 229, rot. 1d.; ZSR 263, rot. 1; ZSR 274, rot. 1; ZSR 275, rot. 1; ZSR 277, rot. 1; ZSR 312, rot. 1 and d.
  • 213. e.g. ibid. ZSR 403, rot. 1 (Tudor ap Thomas); ZSR 429, rot. 1d. (Jn. Walley); ZSR 432, rot. 1 (Jas. Manley); ZSR 449, rot. 1d. (Hugh Hurlton).
  • 214. e.g. ibid. ZSR 170, rot. 1; ZSR 266, rot. 1d.; ZSR 282, rot. 1d.; ZSR 346, rot. 2; ZSR 371, rot. 1d.; ZSR 408, rot. 1d.
  • 215. Ibid. ZMB 1, f. 2; ZQCR 10, m. 1; ZQCR 11, m. 1; ZSB 1, f. 156v.; ZSB 2, ff. 26, 40, 85v.; ZSB 3, ff. 2v., 37, 94v.; ZSR 356, rot. 1.
  • 216. B.L. Harl. MS. 2158, f. 216.
  • 217. Cal. Deeds Moore Fam. no. 1028; C.C.A.L.S., ZQCR 10, m. 1; ZQCR 11, m. 1; ZMB 2, ff. 59, 92; ZMB 3, ff. 101-2.
  • 218. e.g. Lancs. and Ches. Wills and Inventories (Chetham Soc. N.S. iii), 1-4.
  • 219. 36 D.K.R. App. II, pp. 78, 211, 230, 247, 373, 523, 544.
  • 220. P.R.O., SC 6/784/5, m. 5; B.L. Harl. MS. 2063, f. 122; C.C.A.L.S., ZMR 77, rot. 1.
  • 221. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 285, rot. 1d.
  • 222. e.g. ibid. ZSB 2, ff. 24v.-25, 27v.; ZSB 3, ff. 25v., 69v., 94, 96v.
  • 223. P.R.O., SC 6/784/5, m. 3; SC 6/787/9 to SC 6/801/2.
  • 224. This para. and next based on J. Laughton, 'The Alewives of Later Medieval Chester', Crown, Government, and People in the 15th Cent. ed. R. E. Archer, 191-208.
  • 225. e.g. P.R.O., CHES 25/12, m. 18d. (Alice wife of Jn. Armourer); C.C.A.L.S., ZMB 1, f. 15v. (Margaret wife of Wm. Hawarden); ZMB 2, f. 4 (Margery wife of Jn. Walsh).
  • 226. e.g. C.C.A.L.S., ZMB 3, ff. 12v., 71v.; ZSB 1, ff. 42, 47.
  • 227. e.g. Alice Duy: ibid. ZSR 167, rot. 1d.; ZSR 266, rot. 1; ZSR 272, rot. 1; ZSR 295, rot. 1d.; ZSR 309, rot. 1d.; Alice Buccy: ZMB 6, f. 166v.; ZSR 351, rot. 1; ZSR 367, rot. 1; ZSB 4, ff. 50, 94.
  • 228. Ibid. ZSB 4, f. 94 and v.
  • 229. Ibid. ZSB 3, f. 69 (first ref. to beer in Chester).
  • 230. e.g. ibid. ZMB 3, f. 64.
  • 231. K. P. Wilson, 'Port of Chester in Later Middle Ages' (Liverpool Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1966), i. 124; ii, App. A; Chester Customs Accts. 71.
  • 232. C.C.A.L.S., WS 1618, Button; WS 1621, Throppe; WS 1625, Aldersey; cf. H. Swanson, Medieval Artisans: An Urban Class in Late Medieval Eng. 22.
  • 233. L. & P. Hen. VIII, vi, p. 92.
  • 234. e.g. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 118, rot. 1; ZSR 123, rot. 2d.; ZSR 466, rot. 1.
  • 235. Ibid. ZMB 2, f. 100v.; ZMB 3, f. 98v.
  • 236. Ibid. ZSR 66, rot. 1d.; ZSR 69, rot. 1d.; ZSR 71, rot. 1; ZSR 106, rot. 1d.; ZSR 108, rot. 1d.; ZSR 110, rot. 1d.; ZSR 113, rot. 1; ZMB 2, f. 39; ZMB 3, f. 97v.; cf. Keene, Survey of Medieval Winchester, i. 299-300; R. H. Britnell, Growth and Decline in Colchester, 1300-1525, 75; Eng. Medieval Industries: Craftsmen, Techniques, Products, ed. J. Blair and N. Ramsay, 324.
  • 237. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 142, rot. 1; ZSR 240, rot. 1; ZSR 245, rot. 1; ZSR 263, rot. 1d.; ZSR 280, rot. 1d.; ZSR 295, rot. 1.
  • 238. Ibid. ZSB 1, ff. 118, 139; ZMB 3, ff. 45 and v., 60v.; ZMB 4, f. 41.
  • 239. e.g. ibid. ZSR 115, rot. 1d.; ZSR 124, rot. 1d.; ZSR 261, rot. 1; ZSR 319, rot. 1d.
  • 240. Ibid. ZSR 119, rot. 1d.; ZSR 153, rot. 1; ZSR 289, rot. 1d.; ZSR 302, rot. 1; ZSR 319, rot. 1.
  • 241. e.g. Jn. Herford: ibid. ZSR 197, rot. 1d.; ZSR 235, rot. 1; ZSR 237, rot. 1d.; ZSR 281, rot. 1d.; ZSR 285, rot. 1; ZSR 287, rot. 1d.
  • 242. Ibid. ZSR 111, rot. 1d.; ZSR 122, rot. 1; ZSR 123, rot. 2; ZMB 1, ff. 11, 13.
  • 243. Ibid. ZSR 338, rot. 1; ZSR 352, rot. 1; ZSR 371, rot. 1d.; ZSR 372, rot. 1d.; ZSR 455, rot. 1.
  • 244. Analysis based on ibid. ZMB passim; Rolls of Freemen of Chester, i; Palliser, 'Revised List' (TS. at C.H.H.).
  • 245. e.g. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 140, rot. 1d.; ZSR 210, rot. 1d.; ZSR 226, rot. 1d.; ZSR 237, rot. 1d.
  • 246. Ibid. ZSB 3, f. 59; ZSR 128, rot. 4d.; ZSR 236, rot. 1d.; ZSR 247, rot. 1d.; ZSR 259, rot. 1d.; ZSR 268, rot. 1; ZSR 368, rot. 1; ZSR 442, rot. 1d.; ZSR 449, rot. 1.
  • 247. Ibid. ZSR 142, rot. 1d.; ZSR 191, rot. 1; ZSR 230, rot. 1; ZSR 237, rot. 1d.
  • 248. Ibid. ZSR 159, rot. 1; ZSR 236, rot. 1d.; ZSR 360, rot. 1d.; ZSR 372, rot. 1d.
  • 249. Ibid. ZSR 128, rot. 4d.; Lancs. and Ches. Wills and Inventories (Chetham Soc. N.S. iii), 1-4.
  • 250. C.C.A.L.S., ZMB 2, f. 82; ZSR 128, rot. 4d.; ZSR 320, rot. 1d.; ZSR 360, rot. 1d.; ZSR 370, rot. 1; cf. Business Hist. Rev. lxv. 475-501.
  • 251. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 259, rot. 1; ZSR 288, rot. 1; ZSR 346, rot. 2d.; ZSR 373, rot. 1d.; ZSR 448, rot. 1d.
  • 252. e.g. Adam Rainford: ibid. ZSR 198, rot. 1; ZSR 239, rot. 1d.; ZSR 251, rot. 1; ZSR 267, rot. 1d.; ZSR 273, rot. 1d.; ZSR 279, rot. 1; ZSR 282, rot. 1d.; Hamon Goodman: ibid. ZSR 354, rot. 1; ZSR 420, rot. 1; ZSR 462, rot. 1; ZSR 471, rot. 1d.
  • 253. P.R.O., SC 6/787/9, m. 3; SC 6/788/2, m. 3; SC 6/788/6, m. 3; SC 6/789/5, m. 3; SC 6/789/7, m. 3.
  • 254. Ibid. SC 6/790/5, m. 4; SC 6/790/7, m. 4; SC 6/795/1, m. 7; SC 6/801/1, m. 4d.
  • 255. e.g. ibid. SC 6/798/4, m. 7; SC 6/799/1, m. 7d.; SC /799/9, m. 4d.; SC 6/800/1, m. 4d.; SC 6/800/4, m. 4d.; SC 6/800/5, m. 4d.; SC 6/800/8, m. 4d.; SC 6/801/1, m. 4d.
  • 256. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 78, rot. 1; ZSR 148, rot. 1; ZSR 166, rot. 1; ZSR 180, rot. 1; ZSR 209, rot. 1; ZSR 212, rot. 1; ZSR 224, rot. 1d.; ZSR 293, rot. 1d.; ZSR 303, rot. 1; ZSR 327, rot. 1; ZSR 344, rot. 1; ZSR 385, rot. 1d.; ZSR 396, rot. 1; ZSR 399, rot. 1; ZSR 458, rot. 1.
  • 257. Ibid. ZSR 148, rot. 1d.; ZSR 169, rot. 1; ZSR 180, rot. 1; ZSR 195, rot. 1d.; ZSR 206, rot. 1d.; ZSR 290, rot. 1d.; ZSR 295, rot. 1d.; ZSR 338, rot. 1d.; ZSR 419, rot. 1d.; P.R.O., CHES 25/15, m. 53.
  • 258. C.C.A.L.S., ZMB 7, f. 81v.; ZTAR 1/4; B.L. Harl. MS. 2158, ff. 197-9, 201v., 212v., 213v., 216 and v., 221v., 223v.
  • 259. P.N. Ches. v (1:i), 21.
  • 260. e.g. C.C.A.L.S., ZMB 6, f. 30.
  • 261. Ibid. ZSR 115, rot. 1d.; ZSR 124, rot. 1d.; ZSR 132, rot. 1d.; ZSR 162, rot. 1; ZSR 267, rot. 1d.; ZSR 333, rot. 1d.; ZSR 334, rot. 1; ZSR 351, rot. 3; ZSR 362, rot. 1d.; ZSR 365, rot. 1; ZSR 367, rot. 1; ZSR 368, rot. 1; ZSR 384, rot. 1.
  • 262. e.g. Lancs. and Ches. Wills and Inventories (Chetham Soc. N.S. iii), 1-4.
  • 263. e.g. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 115, rot. 1d.; ZSR 261, rott. 1, 2.
  • 264. e.g. ibid. ZSR 135, rot. 1; ZSR 144, rot. 1; ZSR 160, rot. 1; ZSR 231, rot. 1d.; ZSR 408, rot. 1d.
  • 265. e.g. ibid. ZSR 239, rot. 1.
  • 266. Ibid. ZSR 93, rot. 1; ZSR 94, rot. 1; ZSR 118, rot. 1d.; ZSR 129, rot. 2d.; ZSR 142, rot. 1; ZSR 149, rot. 1d.; ZSR 170, rot. 1d.; ZSR 216, rot. 1; ZSR 228, rot. 1; ZSR 247, rot. 1; B.L. Harl. MS. 2158, f. 195v.
  • 267. e.g. Jn. Pennington: C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 307, rot. 1; ZSR 326, rot. 1d.
  • 268. Ibid. ZSR 84, rot. 1; ZSR 133, rot. 1; ZSR 235, rot. 1; ZSR 310, rot. 1; ZSR 333, rot. 1.
  • 269. V.C.H. Ches. v (2), Craft Guilds: Origins.
  • 270. Above, this chapter: City Government and Politics, 1350- 1550 (Decay of the Guild Merchant).
  • 271. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 243, rot. 1 and d.
  • 272. Ibid. ZSR 136, rot. 1d.; ZSR 148, rot. 1d.; ZSR 158, rot. 1; ZSR 330, rot. 1.
  • 273. e.g. ibid. ZMB 2, f. 41v.; ZMB 3, ff. 92, 93; ZCAM 1, ff. 16-17v.
  • 274. Ibid. ZSR 139, rot. 1; ZSR 150, rot. 1; ZSR 173, rot. 1d.; ZSR 174, rot. 1; ZSR 209, rot. 1d.; ZSR 244, rot. 1; ZSR 246, rot. 1d.; ZSR 272, rot. 1; ZSR 306, rot. 1; ZSR 329, rot. 1; ZSR 370, rot. 1; ZSR 457, rot. 1.
  • 275. Ibid. ZSR 122, rot. 1d.; ZSR 147, rot. 1; ZSR 217, rot. 1; ZSR 277, rot. 1; ZSR 360, rot. 1.
  • 276. P.N. Ches. v (1:i), 21.
  • 277. e.g. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 346, rot. 1; ZSR 448, rot. 1.
  • 278. Ibid. ZSR 59, rot. 1; ZSR 90, rot. 1; ZSR 121, rot. 1d.
  • 279. e.g. ibid. ZSR 235, rot. 1.
  • 280. P.R.O., CHES 25/16, m. 15 (Ric. Wirral); C.C.A.L.S., ZMB 5, ff. 69v. (Jas. Norris), 129v. (Jn. Evans); ZMB 7, f. 158v. (Nic. Newhouse); ZMR 81, rot. 1d.; ZSB 3, f. 27v.
  • 281. e.g. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 113, rot. 1; ZSR 130, rot. 1d.; ZSR 208, rot. 1; ZSR 317, rot. 1d.; P.R.O., CHES 25/10, m. 26d.
  • 282. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 119, rot. 1; ZSR 191, rot. 1d.; ZSR 262, rot. 1; ZSR 369, rot. 1.
  • 283. Ibid. ZQCR 7, m. 1; Wilson, 'Port of Chester', ii, p. ii.
  • 284. C.C.A.L.S., ZMUR 1, f. 3; ZSR 174, rot. 1d.; ZSR 196, rot. 1; ZSR 277, rot. 1; ZSR 289, rot. 1d.; ZSR 290, rot. 1d.; ZSR 315, rot. 1 and d.; ZSR 338, rot. 1; ZSR 357, rot. 1d.; ZSR 363, rot. 1d.; ZSR 368, rot. 1; ZSR 401, rot. 1; ZSR 429, rot. 1d.; ZSR 458, rot. 1d.
  • 285. Ibid. ZSR 103, rot. 1; ZSR 126, rot. 2; ZSR 154, rot. 1d.; ZSR 174, rot. 1d.; ZSR 238, rot. 1d.; ZSR 317, rot. 1d.; ZSR 400, rot. 1d.; ZSR 429, rot. 1; Johnson, 'Aspects', 277.
  • 286. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 165, rot. 1d.; ZSR 166, rot. 1d.; ZSR 230, rot. 1d.; ZSR 233, rot. 1d.; ZSR 237, rot. 1d.; ZSR 264, rot. 1d.; ZSR 292, rot. 1d.
  • 287. Ibid. ZSR 251, rot. 1; ZSR 324, rot. 1; P.N. Ches. v (1:i), 22-3.
  • 288. e.g. Freget fam.: ibid. ZSR 134, rot. 1; ZSR 266, rot. 1; ZSR 270, rot. 1; ZSR 272, rot. 1d.; ZSR 273, rot. 1d.; ZSR 307, rot. 1; ZMB 3, f. 16; ZMB 4, f. 68v.; ZTAR 1/3, m. 1.
  • 289. e.g. Jn. Hey: P.R.O., CHES 25/10, m. 1.
  • 290. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 298, rot. 1; ZSR 367, rot. 1d.; ZSR 385, rot. 1; ZSR 466, rot. 1d.
  • 291. Ibid. ZMB 4, f. 40v.; ZSB 1, ff. 38v., 70v.; ZSR 190, rot. 1; cf. Keene, Survey of Medieval Winchester, i. 280.
  • 292. e.g. Rob. Leche: C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 419, rot. 1; ZSR 449, rot. 1.
  • 293. e.g. ibid. ZSR 193, rot. 1; ZSR 254, rot. 1; ZSR 304, rot. 1; ZSR 386, rot. 1; ZSR 459, rot. 1.
  • 294. e.g. ibid. ZSR 126, rot. 2; ZSR 230, rot. 1d.; ZSR 289, rot. 1; ZSR 301, rot. 1d.; ZSR 361, rot. 1; ZSR 455, rot. 1.
  • 295. Ibid. ZSR 461, rot. 1; P.R.O., WALE 29/291; 3 Sheaf, xvii, p. 105; xxxvi, p. 9.
  • 296. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 153, rot. 1d.; ZSR 157, rot. 1; ZSR 228, rot. 1; ZSR 404, rot. 1; ZSR 427, rot. 1d.; ZMB 8, f. 101v.
  • 297. Ibid. ZSR 104, rot. 1; ZSR 158, rot. 1; ZSR 250, rot. 1; ZSR 383, rot. 1d.; ZSR 457, rot. 1.
  • 298. Ibid. ZMB passim; Rolls of Freemen of Chester, i; Palliser, 'Revised List' (TS. at C.H.H.).
  • 299. V.C.H. Ches. v (2), Craft Guilds: List.
  • 300. B.L. Harl. MS. 2158, ff. 197, 200, 218, 221v.
  • 301. Analysis based on Rolls of Freemen of Chester, i; Palliser, 'Revised List'; C.C.A.L.S., ZMB passim; Ral. Mutlow: ibid. ZSR 250, rot. 1d.; ZSR 253, rot. 1d.; Wm. Tinker: ibid. ZSB 2, f. 6v.
  • 302. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 133, rot. 1; ZSR 143, rot. 1d.; ZSR 169, rot. 1d.; ZSR 241, rot. 1d.; ZSR 309, rot. 1; ZSR 341, rot. 1d.; ZSR 351, rot. 3; ZSR 376, rot. 1d.; ZSR 386, rot. 1; ZSR 419, rot. 1; ZSR 446, rot. 1; ZSR 453, rot. 1d.; ZSR 458, rot. 1.
  • 303. Ibid. ZSR 381, rot. 1d.; ZSR 410, rot. 1; ZSR 427, rot. 1d.; ZSR 440, rot. 1.
  • 304. Ibid. ZSR 136, rot. 1; ZSR 156, rot. 1; ZSR 177, rot. 1; ZSR 216, rot. 1d.; ZSR 243, rot. 1d.; ZSR 260, rot. 1; ZSR 380, rot. 1; ZSR 438, rot. 1; ZSR 467, rot. 1.
  • 305. e.g. ibid. ZSR 535, rot. 26; ZSR 543, rot. 12; ZSR 554, rot. 1; ZSBC 1, ff. 38v.-39, 69v.
  • 306. Ibid. ZSR 123, rot. 1d.; ZSR 159, rot. 1d.; ZSR 174, rot. 1d.; ZSR 187, rot. 1; ZSR 207, rot. 1; ZSR 249, rot. 1d.; ZSR 361, rot. 1; ZSR 389, rot. 1d.; ZSR 422, rot. 1; ZSR 444, rot. 1.
  • 307. e.g. P.R.O., CHES 25/12, m. 6d.; B.L. Harl. MS. 2037, f. 173v.; 3 Sheaf, lvi, p. 59.
  • 308. C.C.A.L.S., ZMUR 1, m. 3.
  • 309. Below, this chapter: Religion (Religious Communities, Parish Churches).
  • 310. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 312, rot. 1d.; ZSR 332, rot. 1d.; ZSR 419, rot. 1.
  • 311. Some Obits of Abbots and Founders of St. Werburgh's Abbey (R.S.L.C. lxiv), 91.
  • 312. P.R.O., SC 6/784/5, m. 5d.; SC 11/890, m. 1; C.C.A.L.S., ZMB 6, ff. 167, 170; ZSB 1, ff. 41v., 102; ZSB 3, f. 41; ZSR 175, rot. 1d.; ZSR 180, rot. 1; ZSR 239, rot. 3; ZSR 287, rot. 1d.; ZSR 290, rot. 1; ZSR 316, rot. 1d.
  • 313. 36 D.K.R. App. II, pp. 158, 425; 3 Sheaf, xxxvi, p. 54; C.C.A.L.S., ZMB 3, f. 25.
  • 314. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 237, rot. 1; ZSR 337, rot. 1d.; ZSR 351, rot. 1d.; ZSR 399, rot. 1d.; ZSR 418, rot. 1d.; cf. B.L. Harl. MS. 2037, f. 309v.
  • 315. C.C.A.L.S., ZQCR 11, m. 1.
  • 316. C.C.A.L.S., ZMB 3, ff. 8, 70v.; ZSR 401, rot. 1d.; ZSR 457, rot. 1d.
  • 317. e.g. ibid. ZSB 1, f. 65; ZSB 3, ff. 46, 70; ZSB 5, f. 5v.; ZSR 162, rot. 1; ZSR 238, rot. 1; ZSR 243, rot. 1d.; ZSR 329, rot. 1d.; ZSR 404, rot. 1.
  • 318. Ibid. ZMB 1, f. 32v.; ZMB 4, f. 53v.; ZSB 3, f. 20; ZSB 4, ff. 53, 74; ZSR 362, rot. 1d.
  • 319. Ibid. ZMB 8, f. 46; ZSR 366, rot. 1.
  • 320. Eng. Medieval Ind. ed. Blair and Ramsay, 277.
  • 321. C.C.A.L.S., ZMB 4, f. 63; ZSR 59, rot. 1; ZSR 342, rot. 1; ZSR 358, rot. 1d.; ZSR 383, rot. 1d.; ZSR 419, rot. 1d.
  • 322. e.g. J.R.U.L.M., Arley Deeds, box 25, nos. 13-14.
  • 323. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 142, rot. 1d.; ZSR 288, rot. 1; ZSR 300, rot. 1.
  • 324. V.C.H. Ches. v (2), Craft Guilds: List; cf. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 165, rot. 1d.; ZSR 238, rot. 1d.; ZSR 242, rot. 1; ZSR 273, rot. 1d.; ZSR 297, rot. 1; ZSR 326, rot. 1; ZSR 465, rot. 1; ZSR 471, rot. 1.
  • 325. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 287, rot. 1; ZSR 290, rot. 1d.; ZSR 303, rot. 1d.; ZSR 311, rot. 1; ZSR 315, rot. 1d.; ZSR 378, rot. 1d.; ZSR 449, rot. 1; ZSR 465, rot. 1d.
  • 326. Ibid. ZQCR 2, 4-5, 10; Sel. R. Chester City Cts. p. xviii.
  • 327. C.C.A.L.S., ZQCR 11.
  • 328. Ibid. ZAF 1, ff. 3-4.
  • 329. e.g. ibid. ZMB 1, ff. 2, 5, 6v.-7, 16v., 36, 37v., 52v., 69; ZMB 4, ff. 34, 53; Morris, Chester, 401-2.
  • 330. C.C.A.L.S., ZCH 32.
  • 331. Ibid. ZMB 3, f. 67 and v.; ZMUR 1, mm. 1-2; ZSB 3, ff. 27, 34 and v., 86v.-88; P.R.O., CHES 29/59, m. 23 and d.
  • 332. Johnson, 'Aspects', 229, 244-5; Morris, Chester, 522.
  • 333. Morris, Chester, 402.
  • 334. C.C.A.L.S., ZCH 32.
  • 335. e.g. ibid. ZAB 1, f. 79v.
  • 336. Johnson, 'Aspects', 245; C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 1, ff. 65v.-66, 69.
  • 337. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 445, rot. 1; ZSR 504, rot. 9; ZSR 506, rott. 51d., 56d., 60d.; ZSR 522, rot. 33; ZSR 535, rott. 23, 32.
  • 338. Ibid. ZAB 1, ff. 61, 64v.; Morris, Chester, 397.
  • 339. Johnson, 'Aspects', 231.
  • 340. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 1, ff. 76v.-77; Morris, Chester, 399-400.
  • 341. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 1, f. 79.
  • 342. B.L. Harl. MS. 2082, f. 14; Morris, Chester, 459-60.
  • 343. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 1, f. 91.
  • 344. E. Rideout, 'Chester Companies and the Old Quay', T.H.S.L.C. lxxix. 141-74.
  • 345. C.C.A.L.S., ZMB passim.
  • 346. Ibid. ZAB 1, f. 69; B.L. Harl. MS. 2025, f. 8; Morris, Chester, 416.
  • 347. 37 D.K.R. App. II, pp. 47, 96, 142, 362, 365, 436, 463, 597, 623-4, 772, 806.
  • 348. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 1, f. 65.
  • 349. Chester Customs Accts. 8-17.
  • 350. Rest of para. based on C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 1, ff. 41-46v.
  • 351. T. J. Thornton, 'Political Society in Early Tudor Ches. 1480-1560' (Oxf. Univ. D.Phil. thesis, 1993); V.C.H. Ches. ii. 18-25; D. J. Clayton, Administration of Co. Palatine of Chester, 1442-85 (Chetham Soc. 3rd ser. xxxv), 19, 241-3.
  • 352. P.R.O., CHES 5/1 (4 Hen. VIII).
  • 353. e.g. Bodl. MS. Lat. misc. c. 66, f. 63.
  • 354. 37 D.K.R. App. II, passim.
  • 355. Letters and Accts. of Wm. Brereton of Malpas (R.S.L.C. cxvi), 238, 240.
  • 356. Clayton, Administration, 134, 230-1; pers. comm. Dr. T. J. Thornton, Huddersfield Univ.
  • 357. P.R.O., CHES 24/86-7; pers. comm. Dr. Thornton.
  • 358. V.C.H. Ches. v (2), Law Courts: Middle Ages (Ecclesiastical Courts).
  • 359. V.C.H. Ches. ii. 35, 38.
  • 360. C.C.A.L.S., ZMR 112, rott. 1-2, 5-7.
  • 361. e.g. ibid. rot. 4d.; ZSR 554, rot. 3.
  • 362. e.g. ibid. ZSR 554, rott. 2, 7.
  • 363. Ibid. ZSFB 2/1-6; cf. ZSR 504, rot. 37; ZSR 506, rott. 68, 69d., 73d.
  • 364. C.C.A.L.S., ZSR 506, rot. 41; ZSFB 2/8; ZSFB 2/15.
  • 365. 37 D.K.R. App. II, pp. 48, 246, 502.
  • 366. C.C.A.L.S., WS 8/1; WS 8/3; 3 Sheaf, xi, pp. 1-2; xvii, p. 69; xviii, pp. 37, 90, 92.
  • 367. 3 Sheaf, xvi, pp. 56-7; xvii, p. 21; xviii, pp. 97, 101; Colln. of Lancs. and Ches. Wills (R.S.L.C. xxx), 168-9.
  • 368. J. Beck, Tudor Ches. 98; Morris, Chester, 149.
  • 369. C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 1, f. 78v.
  • 370. e.g. ibid. ZSR 504, rot. 18d.
  • 371. Ibid. ZAB 1, ff. 37v.-40, 53-8; ZMR 112, rot. 8; Colln. of Lancs. and Ches. Wills (R.S.L.C. xxx), 85; Lancs. and Ches. Wills and Inventories, i (Chetham Soc. [o.s.], xxxviii), 169, 179.
  • 372. e.g. 3 Sheaf, xviii, p. 101.
  • 373. Ibid. p. 92; C.C.A.L.S., WS 8/1; WS 8/3.
  • 374. e.g. C.C.A.L.S., ZSB 5, f. 37v.; ZSBC 1, f. 64 and passim; ZSR 504, rot. 36; ZSR 535, rot. 23.
  • 375. Ibid. ZSB 5, f. 166v.; ZSB 7, ff. 12-13; ZSR 535, rot. 37; ZSR 543, rot. 1; L. & P. Hen. VIII, ix, no. 794; Wilson, 'Port of Chester', i. 133.
  • 376. Morris, Chester, 66, 69; B.L. Harl. MS. 2125, f. 206; C.C.A.L.S., ZAB 1, f. 76v.; Liverpool Univ. Libr., MS. 23.5, ff. 257, 274, 291.