Georgian Colchester: Economic history

A History of the County of Essex: Volume 9, the Borough of Colchester. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1994.

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A P Baggs. Beryl Board. Philip Crummy. Claude Dove. Shirley Durgan. N R Goose. R B Pugh. Pamela Studd. C C Thornton, 'Georgian Colchester: Economic history', in A History of the County of Essex: Volume 9, the Borough of Colchester, (London, 1994) pp. 135-147. British History Online [accessed 26 May 2024].

A P Baggs. Beryl Board. Philip Crummy. Claude Dove. Shirley Durgan. N R Goose. R B Pugh. Pamela Studd. C C Thornton. "Georgian Colchester: Economic history", in A History of the County of Essex: Volume 9, the Borough of Colchester, (London, 1994) 135-147. British History Online, accessed May 26, 2024,

Baggs, A P. Board, Beryl. Crummy, Philip. Dove, Claude. Durgan, Shirley. Goose, N R. Pugh, R B. Studd, Pamela. Thornton, C C. "Georgian Colchester: Economic history", A History of the County of Essex: Volume 9, the Borough of Colchester, (London, 1994). 135-147. British History Online. Web. 26 May 2024,

In this section


The bay industry, well known for the quality of its products, was vulnerable in the 18th century to disruption by wars, competition from rival manufacturers, and the import of cotton cloth. Despite occasional revival the trade declined, and had ceased by the end of the Georgian period. Diversification, however, and enterprise by merchants, manufacturers, and shopkeepers, the growth of banking, insurance, and legal facilities, improved communications, the intermittent presence of a military garrison, and the attractions of the town's social life, enabled Colchester to consolidate its role, already established by its markets, fairs, and port, as a centre of commerce. The establishment of ironfoundries at the turn of the century enabled it to recover some of its local importance in manufacturing. (fn. 1)

The Decline of the Bay Trade

In 1707 the Dutch governors of the bay corporation introduced bylaws which stinted the production of bays and limited entry to the corporation to men who had been apprenticed to baymakers, whereas formerly it had been open to freemen who had served apprenticeship in any branch of the textile industry. Between 1707 and 1715 only 18 new men were admitted to the bay corporation, while c. 70 died or left the trade, 4 of them through bankruptcy, so that in 1715 there were 57 baymakers and only 11 of their 27 apprentices were likely to succeed them. (fn. 2) To reduce the cost of production, a new, lighter bay had been introduced that was more suitable to some markets and could be woven more cheaply. Some baymakers revived truck systems of payment and forced weavers to rent houses from them and to pay 'rawboots' money, the bay hall fines collected by the Dutch corporation for substandard products. By 1715, although the export of says, bays, serges, and perpetuanas direct from Colchester to Rotterdam continued, the post-war rise in exports of Colchester bays to Spain and Portugal through the London factors had declined. (fn. 3) Contemporary observers attributed the decline of trade to the export of British wool to France, the introduction of French manufactures into Spain, and the import of calicoes. (fn. 4)

In 1715 the weavers' resentment erupted into violence to enforce redress of their grievances. The Dutch bay governors capitulated after an armed mob had broken open the gaol to release weavers arrested by the mayor, and had threatened to pull down the bay hall and private houses. The Privy Council, responding belatedly to the mayor's appeal for help, mediated between weavers and baymakers. It reinforced anti-truck bylaws proposed by the Dutch bay governors and recommended other measures favourable to the weavers. (fn. 5) The weavers, threatened by the cheap labour of an excessive number of apprentices and the increasing employment of people not qualified as weavers by apprenticeship, demanded restoration of their former freedom to become baymakers. Although the baymakers and the London factors, who marketed Colchester bays, warned against the over-production that free entry would cause, parliament in 1716 nullified the restrictive bylaw of 1707, and enabled anyone who had served an apprenticeship in the woollen industry in Colchester to become a baymaker. (fn. 6)

During the next decade the baymakers had difficulty in maintaining their corporation. Their rent of the bay hall was abated in 1716 because of bad trade and two of their number were bankrupt by 1720. In the financial frenzy of that year a speculative bubble for the more effectual making of Colchester bays was floated, and the borough and workhouse corporations began a lawsuit to recover from the Dutch bay governors arrears of rent and the 'rawboots' money paid by the English, which should have been been passed to the mayor for distribution to the poor. Trade improved after 1720, when plague halted French competition, but such booms fuelled demands, made by rioting weavers in 1724, for higher wages and led to over-production. (fn. 7) In 1727 optimism rose again at the prospect of access to the Spanish market and the justices confirmed bylaws made by the weavers to regulate their trade. (fn. 8)

In 1728 the Dutch bay governors dissolved their corporation, abandoning the privileges granted to their refugee forebears. Two of those privileges, the right to make bylaws and protection by the privy council from harassment, may have seemed less secure after the events of 1715, and dissolution, made feasible by the assimilation of the Dutch into the native population, had economic advantages for the baymakers. Collectively they paid a 'foreign' fine, although many had acquired the freedom of the borough. They bore the expense of renting the bay hall, where they supervised the quality of bays produced by Dutch and English alike, and collected the bay hall fines known as 'rawboots' money. (fn. 9)

Soon after the outbreak of war with Spain in 1740 two more baymakers, Thomas Hills and William Sherman, were bankrupt. (fn. 10) After the war trade improved and optimism rose, (fn. 11) but death and bankruptcy had reduced the number of baymakers by 1749, when weavers complained that the few who remained took no apprentices, and had prospered by reducing wages from 15s. 6d. to 12s. 6d. for a bay, which took two weeks to weave. The weavers wanted to be paid by the bay or by the week. (fn. 12) Compared with wages of nearly 9s. a week paid to Exeter serge weavers in 1750, the Colchester rate was low, but it helped the baymakers to capture overseas markets from west country clothiers. (fn. 13) The fly shuttle, invented by John Kay in 1738 when he lived in Colchester and with which one weaver did the work of two, was not named among the weavers' complaints. (fn. 14)

Portuguese prosperity in the 1750s increased the trade in bays, (fn. 15) and in the 1760s there were 24 baymakers among voting, resident freemen. (fn. 16) Resistance to innovation, although occasionally menacing, was apparently short lived, (fn. 17) and Colchester weavers had probably accepted the fly shuttle by 1760, when it was in general use. (fn. 18) John Baker introduced a method, patented by him in 1769, of making striped baize. Isaac Boggis's intention to introduce a roughing mill, to replace the hand method of raising nap on the finished cloth, provoked a threat against him in 1762, but several such mills had been installed by 1770 and in 1782 manufacturers from Witney (Oxon.), seeking improved methods of roughing, adopted that of Colchester. (fn. 19) Although the industry received a few new men it seems to have suffered in the general depression of the 1770s. (fn. 20) Three baymakers, James Robjent a former mayor, Benjamin Smith a former chamberlain, and Bezaliel Blomfield the younger, were bankrupt in 1772, (fn. 21) and John Baker, by will proved 1775, instructed his executors not to carry on his business. (fn. 22)

In 1782 Colchester baymakers, seeking to limit French competition, joined in opposition to the wool growers' petition to allow the export of British wool to France. (fn. 23) The preliminary peace treaty with America later that year encouraged hopes of renewed trade, but by 1788 many families traditionally employed in the cloth industry had been driven to find other work. The number of weavers who voted in elections fell from 224 in 1768 to 115 in 1790. (fn. 24) Among surviving baymakers were Michael Hills, who by 1787 had a manufactory where he employed weavers who paid rent to him, and his son-in-law Thomas Boggis (d. 1790). Thomas's brother Isaac (d. 1801) carried on the business, assisted by Peter Devall, who had bought a bankrupt baymaking business and also worked for Thomas Boggis. (fn. 25) The outbreak of war with France in 1793 was said to have reduced the weekly output of Colchester bays from 400 to 160 pieces. As late as 1802, however, there were signs of defiant optimism for the trade, (fn. 26) but in 1812 only the Mansfields, the Devalls, and William Argent remained as baymakers and Thomas Hocker, a former baymaker, had become a yarnmaker. The Mansfields' business ceased soon afterwards and Argent, whose warehouse was recorded in 1818, was dead by 1822. (fn. 27) Peter Devall, who concentrated the preparation of yarn in his two mills at Bourne Pond and Lexden and weaving in his warehouse in Priory Street, extended the range of his products and continued in business into the 1830s. (fn. 28)

Diversification from the Mid 18th Century

Some redundant spinners and weavers may have found employment in Michael Boyle's silk and ribbon factory established c. 1790. (fn. 29) A few years after Boyle's death in 1809 a firm in Wyre Street was producing silks, velvets, and bombazines, and after the Napoleonic war a co-operative of silk weavers began to produce materials for the local market. (fn. 30) Stephen Brown & Co. had apparently established silk mills in St. Peter's Street by 1824, when two men in St. Botolph's parish sought relief pending employment in the silk trade. In 1827 the overseers of that parish withheld relief from paupers who refused to send their children to work in the mills, and in the 1830s the industry employed mostly women and children. (fn. 31)

The clothing industry benefited from the growing demand for fashionable clothes and for uniforms when the town was garrisoned. In the early 19th century Charles Keymer, woollen draper, also traded as a tailor employing a foreman, 9 journeymen tailors, and 2 apprentices; in 1810 Alexander Fordyce Miller, wool merchant, draper, and the principal tailor in the town, employed c. 40 men mainly making uniforms for entire regiments. Journeymen moved from one master tailor to another, and in 1813 their representative successfully negotiated with the masters collectively for increased wages. The trade seems to have suffered little from the closure of the barracks; in the 1820s even a small tailoring business had plenty of work, and in 1832 directories listed 20 tailors in the town. (fn. 32) The wholesale manufacture of clothing, important in Colchester later in the 19th century, originated in 1817 when Hyam Hyam, a pawnbroker with a quantity of cloth on his hands, speculated in ready-made clothing. (fn. 33)

Among non-textile artisans those engaged in the leather and building industries were probably the most numerous. Leather workers formed the predominant group throughout the period. Most of them were cordwainers, (fn. 34) who maintained their own constitution in 1723 and a friendly society in 1785, when they sought to restrict the trade to apprenticed men. (fn. 35) From 1800 boot- and shoemakers received nearly a third of the boys apprenticed under the poor law. (fn. 36) Local tanneries may have produced the dressed calf skins exported from Colchester in 1716, 1729, and 1730. (fn. 37) A tannery survived in Lexden in the 18th century. (fn. 38) One in St. Peter's parish seems to have ceased by 1754, but in 1770 Francis Abell, saddler in that parish, built a new tannery there, (fn. 39) which was acquired by William Swinborne c. 1776. At about the same time Swinborne acquired Cole's tannery, established by 1760 near East bridge, and he retained both until his death c. 1792. (fn. 40) Edward Capstack, currier, had the tannery in St. Peter's parish by 1798 and may have had an interest in the other at East bridge, (fn. 41) but from 1823 John Golding was tanner at East Street and Edward Goode at Middleborough. They were succeeded c. 1832 by Robert Dakin at Balkerne Lane and J. C. Eisdell at East Bridge. Eisdell and F. W. Warmington, tanners, curriers, and leather merchants of Colchester and Bethnal Green (Mdx.), played an important role in the development of the local shoemaking industry in the 19th century. (fn. 42)

The building trade thrived during the period as public and private buildings were improved or rebuilt. Carpenters, masons, and bricklayers added the fashionable windows, brick fronts, and interior woodwork which distinguished the town houses of the period. A few builders such as James Deane, Isaac Green, and William Phillips were locally notable. (fn. 43) Building materials, including bricks, pantiles, galley tiles, mortar, and wainscot boards, were recorded among imports from Rotterdam in the early Georgian period. (fn. 44) Brick-earth was available locally and there were kilns at Mile End and the Hythe. (fn. 45)

Many small industries recorded in Colchester in the period (fn. 46) were found in similar towns, but oysters and candied eryngo root were specialities for which Colchester was notable. (fn. 47) There were usually eight or more clock- and watchmakers in the town during the first half of the 18th century, and c. 375 surviving Colchester clocks have been recorded. The Hedge family started as clockmakers in 1739 and ran a factory from 1745 to c. 1778; Joseph Banister (d. 1875), partner and successor of Nathaniel Hedge (d. 1818), patented an improved escapement for clocks and watches in 1836. (fn. 48) A long-established kiln making clay tobacco pipes flourished throughout the period. A cork cutting business, recorded 1793-c. 1902 may have been the only one in the county. (fn. 49) Seedsmen and gardeners were recorded throughout the period, providing seeds, plants, and trees for the gardens that were attached to most town houses. The Cant family's nursery, founded in St. John's Street in 1765, continued to flourish on various sites in the 20th century. (fn. 50) John Aldus on East Hill was succeeded by his son John in 1767. Also in St. James's parish was Thomas Essex (d. 1799), nurseryman and seedsman from 1760 or earlier, who planted cherry trees in Childwell field in 1770 and enlarged his nursery in 1781. (fn. 51) John Agnis, who offered pineapple plants for sale at his nursery in East Street in 1771, survived in 1793, when there were six or more other seedsmen in the town. (fn. 52)

Some industries arose from Colchester's position as a port and a centre of an improving agricultural economy. A saltworks had been established at the Hythe by 1712, when Richard Freshfield acquired it for refining rock salt, imported mainly from Liverpool, which in 1737 shipped 9,200 bushels to Colchester. (fn. 53) By 1786 Colchester grocers were importing their own salt, probably already refined. (fn. 54) Between 1798 and 1801 only 34 qr. of salt was carried coastwise from Colchester compared with 303 qr. from Maldon, and although James Thorn was refining salt at Colchester c. 1812, the saltworks there closed soon afterwards. (fn. 55)

Most of the watermills that ringed the town were used for fulling at some time in the Georgian period and as the cloth industry declined they were converted for grinding seed or grain in competition with c. 12 windmills. (fn. 56) In the early 18th century malt was exported from Colchester to Rotterdam to supply the Dutch distilleries; (fn. 57) later in the period local maltsters and brewers established their own distilleries in Colchester and acquired many local inns. A malting established at the Hythe by 1706 was bought in 1727 by Richard Freshfield, who had a brewery in St. Giles's parish by 1735 and acquired a number of inns. (fn. 58) Samuel Todd had established a distillery near Headgate by 1749, when he bought Second mill, Lexden Road, with its malting house. (fn. 59) The mill and malting business survived Todd's bankruptcy and were said in 1785 to be extensive, but the malting and kiln had fallen into disuse by 1787. (fn. 60) In 1807 the Colchester brewery of Robert and Samuel Tabor acquired nine public houses within the borough. (fn. 61) Samuel Bawtree and George Savill bought Hull (or Distillery) mill in 1811 and built a distillery on the site and a rectifying house in Culver Street. (fn. 62) Thomas Andrews's brewery, recorded from 1774, passed c. 1815 to his kinsmen, the Cobbold family, who had maltings at the Hythe. (fn. 63) Cinder ovens recorded at the Hythe in 1773 and 1786 probably provided coke for malting kilns until a gasworks was established in 1817. (fn. 64)

Shipbuilding was carried on at the Hythe throughout the period. Most of the vessels built there and registered in the port 1779-1822 were smacks, sloops, cutters, and yawls, of between 10 and 25 tons burthen, but some larger vessels were built there, including four sloops (67 to 108 tons), three sailing barges (82-93 tons), and a brigantine (104 tons). (fn. 65) In 1790 the Colchester yard built 13 ships, but in 1791, 1804, and 1805 the numbers were 4, 6, and 5 respectively. (fn. 66) William Stuttle, shipbuilder at the Hythe from 1790 or earlier, employed 5 shipwrights and 2 apprentices building merchant ships there in 1804. That yard had passed to Westerby Stuttle by 1818, and may have been acquired soon afterwards by Philip Sainty who built ships at Colchester from c. 1819 until 1848 or later. (fn. 67)

Considerable quantities of iron and some steel were imported from Sweden in the 1720s and 1730s by Colchester merchants, principally the aldermen John Blatch and his political adversary George Gray, plumber and glazier, who kept an iron warehouse. (fn. 68) Swedish and Russian iron was apparently being imported in 1767 when William Seaber the younger introduced American iron in competition with it. (fn. 69) Some of the metal was probably used by Colchester craftsmen. Among freemen voters in 1768 there were 7 whitesmiths, 4 cutlers, and an ironmonger. (fn. 70) There were at least as many in the 1780s and it is likely that whitesmiths and ironmongers were making castings for domestic ironware and the building industry before foundries were established. The later ironfounders Joseph Wallis, Richard Coleman, and William Dearn were formerly described as whitesmiths or ironmongers. (fn. 71)

Access to raw materials through the port and to limekilns and coke ovens at the Hythe, the demands of the building industry and agriculture, and the presence of skilled metalworkers made Colchester a suitable site for ironfoundries at the end of the century. (fn. 72) In 1792 Joseph Wallis built a foundry on Winnock's charity land at the west end of High Street as an adjunct to his ironmongery shop. (fn. 73) Richard Coleman, whitesmith, who probably had a business attached to his house in Wyre Street from 1802, had established a foundry at the Hythe by 1807, when he made railings for All Saints' church. Surviving examples of Coleman's ironwork include the gates of his own foundry (fn. 74) and those at St. Martin's church, Spring House, Lexden, and Trinity House, Wivenhoe. Wallis's foundry and shop were favourably situated to attract trade from farmers attending the market, and his products also included 8 cast iron columns for the office of the Essex & Suffolk Equitable Insurance Society, built on the site of the old corn exchange in 1819, and 26 castings of coats of arms in Essex churches. (fn. 75) Wallis (d. 1827) and Coleman (d. 1828) were succeeded by their sons Charles and Richard, who formed a short-lived partnership soon afterwards, leaving the Hythe and extending the High Street premises. By 1834 Coleman on his own had established the Abbeygate works. (fn. 76) William Dearn, nailmaker, who had settled in Colchester by 1816, was also an ironmonger and brazier by 1826. He built a house in St. Botolph's Street c. 1832 and later added a foundry to his business there. (fn. 77) John Oakes, engineer, had a foundry in the 1830s. (fn. 78) Engine building and general engineering, for which Colchester and West Ham were the two main centres in Essex in the 19th century, developed after the establishment of the early foundries. A millwright's and engineering business was started c. 1810 by Mr. Sansom at Greenstead. (fn. 79)

External Trade

Colchester was well placed as a centre of internal and external trade to take advantage of the consumer revolution of the 18th century. (fn. 80) It was linked to English and Continental ports by sea and to London and Harwich by road also. In the early 19th century a Colchester grocer, James Lovett, bought goods not only from suppliers in London, the home counties, and East Anglia, but also from Cheshire, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Staffordshire, and Yorkshire. (fn. 81) Fairs were held five times a year between April and October. The popularity of the St. Dennis's or October fair, said to be waning in 1748, (fn. 82) suffered further when cattle sales were stopped because of disease between 1748 and 1755. (fn. 83) In 1769, however, the midsummer fair was the largest known for 20 years, (fn. 84) and goods were brought from London for sale at the October fair, by both London and Colchester tradesmen. (fn. 85) The April fair had ceased by 1803, but the other four survived at the end of the Georgian period and the town's markets continued to draw cereals, meat, and vegetables from the countryside and fish from the sea. (fn. 86)

The river Colne was navigable to large ships only as far as Wivenhoe, three miles below the Hythe, but hoys and lighters could reach the quays and a customs house there. (fn. 87) Merchants such as John Blatch, George Gray, Henry Walker, John Savill, Daniel Blyth, and John Baker and the families of Freshfield, Kendall, Rogers, and Tabor flourished throughout the period, usually dealing in more than one commodity. (fn. 88) The goods passing through the port in the early Georgian period were probably similar to those listed in 1669 as subject to tolls and other charges, (fn. 89) but with significant additions among imports. They included Holland linen, Silesia lawns, tea tables, close stools, bricks, and paper. The overseas exports were mainly bays, says, serges, and skins to Rotterdam and oysters to Dieppe and Dunkirk. In the 1720s the principal imports were iron, steel, and timber from Sweden and Norway and pantiles and brandy from Rotterdam.

Coastal shipping carried coal from Sunderland and Newcastle, rock salt from Liverpool, fuller's earth from Rochester; from London came raw wool, raw and tanned skins, foreign linen, spices, lemons, oranges, snuff, and tobacco. Bays were the main commodity sent coastwise to London, with some potash, seeds, and re-exported Holland linen. (fn. 90) Legitimate trade with the Continent was vulnerable during the wars with France. In the 1740s the export of bays was said to be hampered by the lack of proper convoys to protect ships from enemy attack, (fn. 91) although contraband traffic in tea, wine, brandy, and coffee continued. (fn. 92)

Trade recovered between the wars and in 1754 the wares of a Colchester merchant, John Rogers, included Liverpool, Bow, and foreign china, Staffordshire stoneware, Dutch stoneware and tiles, and India fans. (fn. 93) Coastwise trade continued during the 1780s but not without risk; in 1781 a cargo of rock salt bound for Colchester from Liverpool was captured by a French privateer off Beachy Head. (fn. 94) Exports of bread grains were disrupted during food crises. (fn. 95) Wheat, barley, and malt were shipped to London, Rochester, Southampton, and Berwick-on-Tweed. Cereals and malt exported from Colchester between 1780 and 1786 amounted to 152,681 qr. of wheat, 77,135 qr. of barley, and 70,571 qr. of malt, compared with 133,946 qr., 64,658 qr., and 218,314 qr. respectively from Harwich. (fn. 96) In 1800 there belonged to the port 156 vessels, totalling 4,663 tons and employing 434 men, compared with 137 vessels, 7,015 tons, and 814 men belonging to Harwich. (fn. 97) In terms of the tonnage of coastwise shipping Colchester rose in rank among 79 English ports, London excepted, from 31st to 22nd place between 1737 and 1751. (fn. 98) Estimated by tonnage of shipping owned, Colchester held fourth place among the five major East Anglian ports in 1709. All those ports increased their tonnage between 1709 and 1792, but by 1751 Colchester had lost rank to Ipswich. (fn. 99) The river channel was apparently impeded by shoals and silt by 1818, when ship owners and masters of Colchester and Maldon asked for a buoy on the southern extremity of the Colne bar and for the appointment of river and harbour pilots. Trinity House instituted a pilotage service in 1819, (fn. 100) but no major improvement was made to the channel in the Georgian period. (fn. 101) Between 1817 and 1820 coal imports rose from 22,439 chaldrons to 25,383 chaldrons, the increase being ascribed partly to the lack of wood for fuel. (fn. 102) By 1832 there were 8 or more coal merchants trading from the Hythe. (fn. 103)

Smuggling of wine and spirits from the Continent, and of tea, spices, china, and textiles from the Far East flourished along the Essex coast, as elsewhere, in the period. (fn. 104) Its effect on Colchester's economy and the extent to which local merchants and tradesmen dealt in contraband goods are not known. In 1717 attached to the custom house at the Hythe were a collector, a surveyor, a landwaiter, a searcher, two tidesmen, another searcher at Wivenhoe, two boatmen at Brightlingsea, and a boatman at Mersea Island, the collector's jurisdiction being co-extensive with the port of Colchester. The revenue vessel, based at Wivenhoe, was merely a smack in the 1720s and 1730s. It was replaced c. 1740 by a sloop, which was still in service in 1760, but had itself been replaced by a cutter by 1770. The number of seamen, under a commander and a mate, was increased from 9 and a boy in 1730 to 11 by 1742, and 24 and a boy by 1790. (fn. 105) Appointment to customs posts was in the Rebow family's patronage for many years. (fn. 106) The annual value of contraband goods seized within the port of Colchester usually ranged between £800 and £1,000, but in 1722 it amounted to £1,347 and in 1770 to £2,350.

Rowing boats and coasters were the most common smuggling craft taken, but in 1745 an armed cutter was seized. (fn. 107) Goods seized by the revenue men were sold at the custom house at the Hythe, and boats were broken up in local shipyards. (fn. 108) Among Colchester men identified as smugglers were Mason, a glazier (fl. 1715), John and Edward Harvey and John Johnson, indicted in 1726, Henry Hubbard taken in 1730, John Skinner, farmer at Old Heath who was hanged in 1746 for killing his servant, and Henry Sadler taken in 1770. A Colchester gang was active in 1729; similar gangs kidnapped a customs officer in 1744, retrieved contraband tea from the custom house at the Hythe in 1748, attacked a revenue sloop carrying a cargo of tea in 1778, and captured the sloop when it was an unmanned in 1781. (fn. 109) In 1779 tradesmen of Colchester and neighbouring parishes were among petitioners to parliament for relief from smuggling, (fn. 110) and the Twining family, tea traders in London and Colchester, constantly urged governments to reduce the punitive tax on tea to make smuggling less profitable. (fn. 111)

Retail Trade

The introduction in 1715 of a fine on shopkeepers who were not freemen, its enforcement by imprisonment in 1725, and the assessment of 88 'foreign' shopkeepers in 1735 suggest that the number of shops was growing early in the period. (fn. 112) By 1730 the intrusion of hawkers and pedlars was seen as a threat to resident traders and shopkeepers. (fn. 113) In 1764, when restrictions on Sunday trading were invoked after a lapse of several years, a walking draper from Epping was among those indicted. (fn. 114) The incursion of dealers into the main streets of the town, deplored by Philip Morant, (fn. 115) proceeded throughout the period as houses and warehouses, some formerly associated with the bay industry, (fn. 116) were acquired by merchants, tradesmen, and shopkeepers. (fn. 117)

Besides traditional craftsmen selling their own wares, there were shopkeepers who bought goods from both local and London warehouses, so that a wide range of food, wine, clothing, furniture, hardware, textiles, watches, clocks, and trinkets could be bought in the town as well as books, paper, prints, and music. (fn. 118) Advertisements stressed connexions with London fashion or advantage over London prices. (fn. 119) Fashionable china and glass were sold to the public direct from warehouses in the town; one on North Hill offered Liverpool ware in 1742; in the 1750s William Hassells, a Staffordshire potter, traded twice a week from his warehouse in Wyre Street, and in 1791 Christopher Potter advertised French china from his new Paris factory. (fn. 120) In 1788 the tax on retail shops in the town, valued above £5 and excluding those selling only bread, flour, meal or bran, (fn. 121) amounted to £23 15s. 9d. The largest sums were raised in the parishes of St. Runwald (£8 3s. 4d.), St. Peter (£6 10s. 1d.), and St. Nicholas (£5 2s. 8d.).

The victualling trade in Colchester sometimes provided a second line of business for other tradesmen and an opportunity for redundant clothworkers. (fn. 122) Many inns and public houses flourished in the town. The alehousekeepers' threat to withhold the annual fine of 10s., imposed on non-freemen under a bylaw of 1715, and their subsequent action in King's Bench led to the borough justices being fined for misdemeanour in 1740. (fn. 123) With those of other towns they complained at the billeting of soldiers and their horses. (fn. 124) The building of infantry barracks in 1794 only partly relieved the problems of billeting, and stables were added to the barracks only in 1800. (fn. 125) The large numbers of soldiers in the town brought custom to many inns, whose names proclaimed their military connexions. A number of inns were staging posts, and kept horses and vehicles for hire. The principal inns were more than victualling houses; they provided rooms for political clubs, auctioneers, travelling salesmen, and entertainers. (fn. 126)

Banking and Insurance

Capital for business improvements was usually raised locally by mortgaging real property, and short-term circulating capital helped to prime the local economy. (fn. 127) In the earlier 18th century local merchants provided some banking services. Among them were Charles Whaley, wine merchant, and John Mills, tea dealer, whose activities gave rise to two rival banks. Mills, who was negotiating his customers' bills and notes by 1740, (fn. 128) opened a tea warehouse in High Street in association with his cousins Richard and John Twining of London in 1766, and in 1787 opened the Colchester and Essex bank in partnership with them. Mills, entitled to all profits and subject to all losses, indemnified the Twinings in every respect. The partnership was dissolved in 1797, but the bank survived in the hands of Mills's son, John Fletcher Mills, and John Bawtree. (fn. 129) Charles Whaley was a principal creditor of three Colchester bankrupts between 1737 and 1743. (fn. 130) The Whaley family joined with the Crickitts in a bank established in High Street by 1774. (fn. 131) George Round joined the firm in 1790. When Crickitt's Chelmsford bank stopped payment in the bank panic of 1825, the Round family acted swiftly to restore confidence and Crickitt withdrew from the firm. (fn. 132) The Colchester bank for savings was instituted in 1817 for the deposit of small sums which were invested by trustees drawn from the local gentry, clergy, and businessmen of the town. (fn. 133)

The incidence of bankruptcy throughout the period reflects the vulnerability of the textile industry and the victualling trades, but also suggests confidence and expansion of business activity in the town. Among 43 Colchester men against whom bankruptcy proceedings were initiated in the period 1700-1800 there were 8 baymakers and 7 vintners or innholders; two thirds of the failures occurred after 1750. Failed tradesmen were usually indebted to other Colchester tradesmen or merchants, suppliers in London and Suffolk, or local gentry who had provided loans. Debts owed to creditors in remoter provinces include those of two woolcombers to a Leicestershire gentleman, probably for wool, in 1719 and 1722, and of a 'chapman' to a Huddersfield clothier in 1725. (fn. 134)

The Essex Militia Insurance Office was established in 1762 by William Seaber the elder, draper turned wine merchant, in partnership with William Keymer, bookseller, to insure men liable for service in the militia. (fn. 135) The Essex Equitable Insurance Society, founded in 1802 at the instigation of the banker John Bawtree, was among the earliest provincial fire insurance companies started in reaction to and independent of the cartel formed by the old established London companies. Its 24 directors, drawn equally from Colchester and the county, acquired a lease of the corn exchange in 1803, bought its first fire engine in 1812, in 1819 built an office on the site of the exchange, and in 1820 promoted the Essex Life Insurance Society. (fn. 136)

Colchester's economy responded quickly to some of the national financial crises of the 18th century. The vehemence of a petition to parliament from the corporation and inhabitants following the South Sea Bubble in 1720 suggests that many Colchester people suffered from the collapse, which probably caused the unusually high number of six bankruptcy cases initiated in 1720-1. (fn. 137) The frequent elections for parliament and borough offices required generous spending by the candidates which profited mainly the victualling trades, but occasionally contributed to the bankruptcy of candidates and their supporters. In the crisis year of 1772 the London bank in which the unsuccessful parliamentary candidate, Alexander Fordyce, was partner, failed. Bezaliel Blomfield, one of three baymakers brought to bankruptcy that year had supported Fordyce; he and others may have suffered financially from the involvement. (fn. 138) The failure of Daniel Whittle Harvey in the parliamentary election of 1815 (fn. 139) contributed to the bankruptcy of Henry Thorn, silversmith turned rag merchant, who had bought Battleswick manor. (fn. 140)

The Poor

The vicissitudes of the bay industry immediately affected weavers working at home on a single loom and many were driven to seek poor relief. (fn. 141) By so doing they forfeited their right to vote as freemen, so that their declining numbers cannot be estimated from poll books, but 12 men identified as weavers in 1788 were recorded in other trades in 1812. (fn. 142) Some baymakers, cardmakers, and multi-loom weavers survived by acquiring real estate, taking up a secondary occupation, obtaining paid offices, or sending their sons into other trades or to other towns. In the 1730s John Skingsley was baymaker and distiller, Peter Cresswell was weaver and victualler, and Joseph Duffield was cardmaker and coal merchant; Ellis Clarke on his death in 1723 owned 8 tenements, including 2 inns. The Triggs family turned from weaving and woolcombing to innkeeping between 1768 and 1772; some members of the Shillito family survived as cardmakers and were appointed masters of the house of correction in 1744 and 1757. (fn. 143) Unemployed weavers and the old were usually the majority among recipients of parish poor relief, but Colchester did not bear the whole cost of recession in the trade for many spinners employed by baymakers lived beyond the borough and liberties. (fn. 144)

Three almshouses and a number of bread charities were founded to ease the plight of the old and the poor; (fn. 145) when war or bad harvests made food scarce and raised prices, private charity supplemented parish doles with immediate gifts of food. An ox was given to feed the poor in 1771 and in 1795 a subscription raised £700 to provide 4,000 food tickets. (fn. 146) The corporation, with no direct role in poor relief, reiterated statutory controls on bread and on weights and measures. (fn. 147)

Protests by and on behalf of the poor occasionally erupted into riot. In 1740 rioters threatening to stop wagons laden with corn from reaching the Hythe for shipment were prevented by a party of dragoons, and the justices appealed to parliament to restrict the export of grain. (fn. 148) In 1766 the mayor apparently dealt successfully with a threat of violence to enforce price-fixing and the borough's M.P.s promised to support prohibition of corn exports and local efforts to relieve the poor. (fn. 149) In 1772 rioters stopped farmers' carts and for a week enforced the sale of meat, flour, and wheat below market prices, (fn. 150) and James Ashwell, a prominent grocer, received a letter threatening farmers, millers, shopkeepers, and butchers in general and his own life in particular. (fn. 151) The corporation petitioned parliament for the free import of grain and other provisions, and the mayor promised to protect carts coming into the town. (fn. 152) The justices sentenced thieves of food or livestock to transportation. (fn. 153) When, in July 1789, as revolution grew in France, a mob seized a wagon of wheat, Francis Smythies, town clerk, rescued it and conducted it to the Hythe. The dragoons, summoned in case of further disturbance, arrived in the town soon afterwards. (fn. 154) During a shortage of flour in 1795 a meeting of the principal inhabitants recommended methods of economy in the use of flour and potatoes and raised a subscription for relief. (fn. 155) In the barracks the bread ration was reduced and soldiers were allowed to seek employment in the harvest fields. (fn. 156)

Protesters at the turn of the century claimed that the poor were starving to death and that a man had no choice but to steal or abandon his family. To the rising cost of poor relief (fn. 157) was added, in wartime, the maintenance of militia men and their families, which in 1797 and 1800 amounted to a 6d. rate. Further rates were raised to provide statutory recruits to the army and navy. (fn. 158) Supplying the garrison in time of war brought prosperity to farmers, market gardeners, and shopkeepers, some of whom suffered a severe reverse of fortune when the barracks were demolished at the end of the Napoleonic War. (fn. 159) Shipments of corn and wool through the port declined from 81,442 qr. and 3,959 cwt. respectively in 1817 to 54,463 qr. and 2,146 cwt. in 1820. A shortage of corn to ship to London caused one carrier, Charles Parker, to lay up two of his five ships in 1820. By 1821 Colchester banks restricted credit as the price of wheat fell; many farmers who had started business with high wartime prices on borrowed capital were ruined and Parker was bankrupt in 1822. The shortage of cash and credit among farmers affected the traders with whom they customarily dealt. In 1821 John Metcalf, woollen draper, estimated that his trade had declined by more than a third; he had plenty of wool to sell but few customers for his cloth. John Rouse, ironmonger, claimed that his trade in agricultural tools had declined and that blacksmiths and wheelwrights to whom farmers owed money were consequently in debt to him. (fn. 160)

The Professions

Many professional men were attracted to Colchester. The existence of 12 churches in Colchester, although most of their livings were poor, ensured the presence in the town of a number of clergymen. Lawyers and doctors established practices in Colchester. Attorneys were prominent throughout the period in politics and public affairs, especially in the disputes about the borough's charter, and served the borough's court of quarter sessions. (fn. 161) Attorneys also served as town clerks and on navigation, improvement, and bankruptcy commissions. (fn. 162) In private practice they were investment brokers, conveyancers, and landowners' stewards and agents. (fn. 163) Among them were Charles Gray, attorney in the quarter sessions court in 1719 and later M.P., (fn. 164) Samuel Ennew (d. 1795), town clerk, recorder, and clerk of the peace for the county, William Mayhew (d. 1764), campaigner for the recovery of the borough charter, Francis Smythies (d. 1798), controversial town clerk and leader of a Tory faction, and Smythies's more dignified son of the same name, who as town clerk guided the old corporation in its last years. (fn. 165) Apothecaries, physicians, and surgeons were recorded in the town throughout the period. They were appointed to the gaol and, on a casual basis, attended and occasionally inoculated the poor in parish workhouses. (fn. 166) In 1779 seven of the 19 members of the Colchester Medical Society lived in the borough. (fn. 167) Directories listed 8 medical men in 1793 and 11 in 1832, (fn. 168) by which time the Essex and Colchester hospital had been established, with an honorary staff of two physicans, three surgeons, and a salaried apothecary or house surgeon. (fn. 169)

Colchester's maritime interest stimulated the teaching of mathematics and navigation, especially in nonconformist boys' schools, and produced a number of land surveyors and mapmakers. The schoolmasters William Cole, John, Joseph, and Willam Kendall, J. Nelson, and Hayward Rush were among the nine or so Colchester land surveyors and map makers active in the late 18th and early 19th century, whose work is known. (fn. 170) Cole's son-in-law Robert Hale, formerly a baker, became a land surveyor and mapmaker; his grandson, William Hale (1797-1870), who patented an hydrodynamic method of ship propulsion in 1827, was commemorated as a pioneer of rocket propulsion by the naming of Hale's crater on the moon in 1970. (fn. 171)


  • 1. Above, Tudor and Stuart Colch. (Econ., Growth and Development); Morant, Colch. 78 n.; V.C.H. Essex, ii. 396-9.
  • 2. C.J. xviii. 280-1; E.R.O., T/A 146/10.
  • 3. C.J. xviii. 171; P.R.O., E 190/627/8; E 190/636/6.
  • 4. J. Smith, Chronicon Rusticum-Commerciale or Memoirs of Wool (1747), ii. 132, 148; C.J. xix. 231, 605.
  • 5. Bull. Inst. Hist. Res. xxix. 220-2; A. F. J. Brown, Essex at Work 1700-1815, 18.
  • 6. C.J. xviii. 171, 280-1; 1 Geo. I, c. 41.
  • 7. P.R.O., B 4/3, pp. 5, 161; E.R.O., D/B 5 Gb7, pp. 37, 75, 92, 106, 179; C.J. xxiii. 660; W. Lee, Daniel Defoe, iii. 279-80; D. Macpherson, Annals of Commerce, iii. 98; D. Defoe, Plan of Eng. Commerce (1927), 201-2; Morant, Colch. 78 n.
  • 8. E.R.O., D/B 5 Sb5/2, p. 130; Ipswich Jnl. 24 June 1727.
  • 9. Morant, Colch. 78-9; V.C.H. Essex, ii. 399; Immigrants and Minorities, i. 261-80.
  • 10. P.R.O., B 4/10, p. 39.
  • 11. Morant, Colch. (1748), Bk. I. 75.
  • 12. E.R.O., Q/SBb 184/1.
  • 13. W. G. Hoskins, Industry, Trade and People in Exeter 1688-1800, 56.
  • 14. E.R.O., Q/SBb 184/1; P. Mantoux, Industrial Revolution in 18th Cent. (rev. edn.), 206-8.
  • 15. Econ. H.R. 2nd ser. xvi. 219-33.
  • 16. Poll Bk. 1764.
  • 17. Brown, Essex at Work 1700-1815, 23-4.
  • 18. J. Bischoff, Comprehensive Hist. Woollen and Worsted Manufacture, i. 279-80; E.R.O., Q/SBb 184; V.C.H. Essex, ii. 399.
  • 19. Brown, Essex at Work 1700-1815, 19; J. BensusanButt, House that Boggis Built, 10; E.R. xix. 112; xxxvi. 84-5.
  • 20. Poll Bk. 1784; T. S. Ashton, Econ. Fluctuations in Eng. 1700-1800, 158-63.
  • 21. E.R.O., Acc. C281; ibid. T/P 146/10; Ipswich Jnl. 24 Oct. 1772.
  • 22. P.R.O., PROB 11/1006, f. 266.
  • 23. E.C.L. Colch., Rebow scrapbook, p. 6.
  • 24. E.R. liv. 51; Poll Bk. 1768, 1784, 1788, 1790.
  • 25. P.R.O., PROB 11/1147, f. 293; Bensusan-Butt, House that Boggis Built, 14, 30-2, 34; A. F. J. Brown, Essex People 1750-1900, 80-9.
  • 26. V.C.H. Essex, ii. 402.
  • 27. Poll Bk. 1812; E.R.O., D/B 5 Sb6/10, 19 Oct. 1818; D/B 5 Gb9, p. 452; T. Cromwell, Hist. Colch. 289.
  • 28. V.C.H. Essex, ii. 403-4; E.A.T. x. 47-54.
  • 29. Universal Brit. Dir. (1793), ii. 522; Ipswich Jnl. 1 Nov. 1794.
  • 30. Brown, Colch. 1815-1914, 7; below, Modern Colch. (Econ., 19th-cent. town).
  • 31. E.R.O., D/P 203/8/2, 3; J. Booker, Essex and the Industrial Revolution, 58-9; Returns of Factories, H.C. 41, pp. 222-3 (1839), xlii.
  • 32. Brown, Essex People, 109-10, 113-14, 203; Pigot & Co. London and Provincial Commercial Dir. (1832), p. 291.
  • 33. V.C.H. Essex, ii. 484; Brown, Colch. 1815-1914, 10.
  • 34. Poll Bk. 1768, 1784, 1788, 1831; Pigot, London and Provincial Commercial Dir. (1832), 289; Robson's Gazetteer (c. 1838), 42.
  • 35. E.R.O., D/B 5 Aa1/35, f. 97; Brown, Colch. 1815-1914, 107.
  • 36. Below, Par. Govt. and Poor Relief.
  • 37. P.R.O., E 190/627/8; E 190/636/6.
  • 38. Below, Outlying Parts (Lexden, Econ.)
  • 39. E.R.O., D/DU 115/21; Ipswich Jnl. 14 Apr., 24 Nov. 1770.
  • 40. E.R.O., D/P 178/11/3; D/P 138/11/8-12; Ipswich Jnl. 30 Oct. 1762; T. Sparrow, Map of Colch. (1767); Brown, Essex at Work, 61.
  • 41. E.R.O., D/P 178/11/4; D/P 138/11/11-13; Universal Brit. Dir. (1793), ii. 522; W. Cole, Map of Colch. (1805).
  • 42. Pigot, London and Provincial Commercial Dir. (1822-3 and later edns.); V.C.H. Essex, ii. 460, 487-8; below, Modern Colch. (Econ., 19th-cent. town).
  • 43. Below, this chapter, Topography.
  • 44. P.R.O., E 190/627/8; E 190/630/6; E 190/636/6.
  • 45. Ipswich Jnl. 21 May, 1757; Brown, Essex at Work, 62.
  • 46. Universal Brit. Dir. (1793), ii. 521-5; Pigot, London and Provincial Commercial Dir. (1832), pp. 289-92.
  • 47. Ibid. ii. 371-2, 425-35; below, Fishery.
  • 48. B. Mason, Clock and Watchmaking in Colch. 22-3, 221, 329-69.
  • 49. V.C.H. Essex, ii. 413, 418; E.A.T. 3rd ser. i. 49.
  • 50. E.R.O., D/ACR 19/518; D/DU 559/125, 134-5; ibid. Acc. C47, C.P.L. 547; E.C.S. 23 May 1975; Universal Brit. Dir. (1793), ii. 523; Colch. Gaz. 23 Sept. 1815.
  • 51. E.R.O., Acc. C281; ibid. D/P 138/11/8-10; Ipswich Jnl. 31 Jan. 1767; E.C.L. Colch., Crisp MSS. 'Colch. Monumental Inscriptions', v. 65.
  • 52. Ipswich Jnl. 26 Oct. 1771; Universal Brit. Dir. (1793), ii. 522.
  • 53. E.R.O., D/B 5 Sr98, rot. 6; D/B 5 Sb5/1, pp. 123, 223, 327; ibid. T/A 424/4/1,2; ibid. Q/SBb 68/1; Q/SBb 303/18; T. S. Willan, Eng. Coasting Trade 1600-1750, 185.
  • 54. E.R.O., D/B 5 Sb6/7, ff. 111v.-112.
  • 55. E.R.O., D/B 5 Sb6/9, 8 Jan. 1798; ibid. Acc. C32, f. 22; 2nd Rep. Cttee. on Laws relating to Salt Duties, H.C. 142, App. 17 (1801), iii; V.C.H. Essex, ii. 445; Brown, Colch. 1815-1914, 15.
  • 56. Below, Mills.
  • 57. P.R.O., E 190/627/8; D. Ormrod, Eng. Grain Exports and Structure of Agrarian Capitalism 1700-60, 23, 31, 33, 67-8.
  • 58. Below, this chapter, Topography; E.R.O., D/DHt T72/58, 97; D/B 5 Sb6/1, f. 12; P.R.O., PROB 11/815, f. 254.
  • 59. E.R.O., D/DE1 B3, p. 29; ibid. Acc. C47, C.P.L. 969.
  • 60. Ibid. D/DE1 B3, pp. 33-40; K. G. Farries, Essex Windmills, iii. 88-9.
  • 61. E.R.O., D/DO T485.
  • 62. Booker, Essex and the Industrial Revolution, 71; Cromwell, Hist. Colch. 295; E.R. lix. 198; E.R.O., Acc. C104 (estate and family papers, box 2).
  • 63. E.R.O., D/P 178/11/3-7; Universal Brit. Dir. (1793), ii. 521; Pigot, London and Provincial Commercial Dir. (1823), p. 289; ibid. (1832), p. 674.
  • 64. E.R.O., P/6 R3; ibid. D/B 5 Sb6/7, f. 109v.; below, Public Services (Gas Supply).
  • 65. E.R.O., Acc. 6323 (shipping registers).
  • 66. Ships and Vessels built in Gt. Brit. 1790-1806, H.C. 243, p. 6 (1806), xiii.
  • 67. E.R.O., Acc. 6323 (Shipping reg. no. 2); ibid. D/P 203/11/29; Visitation of Dockyards, H.C. 193, p. 7 (1805), viii; White's Dir. Essex (1848), 98.
  • 68. P.R.O., E 190/628/10; E 190/631/11; E 190/636/6; E.R.O., D/B 5 Sb5/2, p. 301; below, this chapter, Town Govt. and Politics.
  • 69. Ipswich Jnl. 28 Mar. 1767.
  • 70. Poll Bk. 1768, 1784, 1788.
  • 71. Universal Brit. Dir. (1793), ii. 522, 525; Pigot, London and Provincial Commercial Dir. (1823), 290; V.C.H. Essex, ii. 496 n.; E.A.T. 3rd ser. xiv. 102.
  • 72. Account based on V.C.H. Essex, ii. 496-7; Booker, Essex and the Industrial Revolution, 8-12; E.A.T. 3rd ser. xiv. 102-10.
  • 73. E.R.O., D/Q 31/1/2.
  • 74. Colch. Mus., Hythe file.
  • 75. Guide to Essex Chs. ed. C. Starr, 73.
  • 76. Below, Modern Colch. (Econ., 19th-cent. town).
  • 77. Foster, Church of St. James the Less and St. Helen, Colch., 9; E.R.O., Boro. Mun., Improvement Com. Mins. 1811-33, p. 338; below, Modern Colch. (Econ., 19th-cent. town).
  • 78. E.A.T. 3rd ser. xiv. 107.
  • 79. V.C.H. Essex, ii. 498.
  • 80. N. McKendrick, J. Brewer, and J. H. Plumb, Birth of a Consumer Soc. 1-6.
  • 81. E.R.O., Acc. C32, ff. 14-65, 74-141.
  • 82. Below, Markets; Morant, Colch. (1748) Bk. I, p. 77.
  • 83. E.R.O., Q/Smg 16-18.
  • 84. Ibid. Acc. C281.
  • 85. Brown, Essex at Work, 68.
  • 86. Below, Markets.
  • 87. Below, Port.
  • 88. P.R.O., E 190/627/8; E 190/636/6; E 190/630/10; E.R.O., T/A 424/1; S. D'Cruze, 'Middling Sort in Provincial Eng.: Politics and Social Relations in Colch.' (Essex Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1990), 386; Universal Brit. Dir. (1793), ii. 526; Pigot, London and Provincial Commercial Dir. (1832), 290-1.
  • 89. Morant, Colch. App. XII.
  • 90. P.R.O., E 190/627/8; E 190/630/10; E 190/636/6.
  • 91. E.R.O., Q/SBb 184/1.
  • 92. P.R.O., CUST 21/45-9.
  • 93. Ipswich Jnl. 1 June, 5 Oct. 1754.
  • 94. The Times, May, June, 1785; E.R.O., Q/SBb 303/18.
  • 95. Below, this chapter, this section.
  • 96. Account of Wheat, Barley and Malt sent coastwise, Christmas 1780-Christmas 1786, H.C. papers Geo. III, xlix, p. 219.
  • 97. D. Macpherson, Annals of Commerce, iv. 535-6.
  • 98. T. S. Willan, Eng. Coasting Trade 1600-1750, 220-2.
  • 99. P. J. Corfield, Impact of Eng. Towns 1700-1800, 36.
  • 100. E.R.O., D/B 5 Gb9, pp. 383-4; E.C.S. 8 Aug. 1969.
  • 101. Below, Port.
  • 102. Rep. Sel. Cttee. on Agric. H.C. 668, p. 177-8 (1821), ix.
  • 103. Pigot, London and Provincial Commercial Dir. (1832), p. 290.
  • 104. Cf. Neville Williams, Contraband Cargoes, 108 sqq.
  • 105. P.R.O., CUST 18/115, CUST 18/132, CUST 18/167, CUST 18/198, CUST 18/214, CUST 18/321, CUST 18/452; H. Benham, Once Upon a Tide, 173.
  • 106. D'Cruze, 'Middling Sort in Provincial Eng.', 436.
  • 107. P.R.O., CUST 21/22-73.
  • 108. Brown, Essex People, 92; The Times, 6 Oct. 1787; H. Benham, Smuggler's Century, 128-30; Chelm. Chron. 21 Dec. 1764; 8 Jan. 1765.
  • 109. P.R.O., E 190/636/6, f. 2v.; E.R.O., T/A 124, pp. 6, 8; ibid. D/B 5 Sb5/2 1723-34, p. 95; ibid. Acc. C281; Benham, Smuggler's Century, 21, 24, 132; V.C.H. Essex, ii. 299.
  • 110. C.J. xxxvii. 213.
  • 111. Williams, Contraband Cargoes, 153.
  • 112. E.R.O., D/B 5 Gb7, p. 19; D/DY 2/1 (Chamberlain's accounts 1736-7).
  • 113. C.J. xxi. 663.
  • 114. E.R.O., D/B 5 Sb6/3, ff. 69v., 87v.
  • 115. Morant, Colch. 80.
  • 116. e.g. Ipswich Jnl. 12 Sept. 1767; 10 Feb. 1781.
  • 117. Below, this chapter, Topography.
  • 118. Universal Brit. Dir. (1793), ii. 522-6; advertisements in Ipswich Jnl.; E.R. lxiv. 253-9; Local Historian, xvii. 158-61.
  • 119. Ipswich Jnl. 19 Jan. 1771, s.v. Steph. Candler; ibid. 23 Jan. 1773, s.v. Steph. Hooker; ibid. 8 May, 1773, s.v. Eliz. Shillito.
  • 120. E.R.O., Acc. C210, J. B. Harvey Colln. iv. 171; Ipswich Jnl. 8 Oct. 1791.
  • 121. 25 Geo. III, c. 30; 26 Geo. III, c. 9; Local Historian, xiv. 348.
  • 122. D'Cruze, 'Middling Sort in Provincial Eng.', 36, 151, 218.
  • 123. E.R.O., D/B 5 Gb7, p. 19.
  • 124. e.g. C.J. xxviii, pp. 125, 600.
  • 125. Below, Barracks.
  • 126. Brown, Essex at Work, 68-75.
  • 127. D'Cruze, 'Middling Sort in Provincial Eng.', 40.
  • 128. E.R. lxv. 19.
  • 129. Jnl. Bankers' Inst. Oct. 1906, 320; E.R. lxi. 35; S. H. Twining, House of Twining 1706-1956, 44, 58-60.
  • 130. P.R.O., B 4/9, pp. 50, 142; B 4/10, p. 277.
  • 131. G. Martin, Story of Colch. 85; Jnl. Bankers' Inst. Oct. 1906, 320.
  • 132. E.R.O., D/DR F62; Ipswich Jnl. 24 Dec. 1825.
  • 133. T. Cromwell, Hist. Colch. 392-3; E.R.O., D/DE1 F8.
  • 134. E.R.O., T/P 146/10.
  • 135. D'Cruze, 'Middling Sort in Provincial Eng.', 221; Ipswich Jnl. 2 Jan. 1762.
  • 136. B. Drew, Fire Office; Hist. Essex and Suff. Equitable Insurance Soc. Ltd. 1802-1952, 10-12, 14-15, 39, 49.
  • 137. C.J. xix. 552; P.R.O., B 4/3, pp. 161-2, 168, 183, 219.
  • 138. P.R.O., B 3/3675-6; E.R.O., Acc. C281; Poll Bk. 1768.
  • 139. Below, this chapter, Town Govt. (Parl. Rep.).
  • 140. P.R.O., B 3/4929-30; below, Outlying Parts (West Donyland).
  • 141. D'Cruze, 'Middling Sort in Provincial Eng.', 395; E.R.O., Q/SBb 206/7.
  • 142. Poll Bk. 1798, 1812.
  • 143. D'Cruze, 'Middling Sort in Provincial Eng.', 36-7, 504-8; Brown, Essex at Work, 23.
  • 144. Morant, Colch. 79; Brown, Essex People, 80.
  • 145. Below, Charities.
  • 146. E.R.O., Acc. C281; Ipswich Jnl. 10 Jan. 1795.
  • 147. e.g. E.R.O., D/B 5 Sb6/3, f. 72; D/B 5 Sb6/4, ff. 71, 74v.; D/B 5 Sb6/9, 20 Jan. 1800; D/B 5 Sb6/10, 19 Oct. 1818.
  • 148. Ipswich Jnl. 24, 31 May, 29 Nov., 13 Dec. 1740.
  • 149. E.R.O., Acc. C419.
  • 150. Ibid. Q/SBb 269; ibid. Acc. C281; V.C.H. Essex, ii. 240.
  • 151. D. Hay and others, Albion's Fatal Tree: Crime and Soc. in 18th-Cent. Eng., App. III, p. 329.
  • 152. C.J. xxxiii. 677; Ipswich Jnl. 11, 18 Apr. 1772.
  • 153. E.R.O., D/B 5 Sb5/1-7, Sb6/1-10, passim.
  • 154. Ipswich Jnl. 1, 15 Aug. 1789.
  • 155. E.R.O., Q/SBb 360/37.
  • 156. P.R.O., WO 79/51.
  • 157. Below, Par. Govt. and Poor Relief.
  • 158. E.R.O., D/P 200/8/4; D/P 200/11/3; D/P 200/11/4; D/P 200/17/3.
  • 159. P.R.O., WO 79/51-6; Brown, Essex People; 112.
  • 160. P.R.O., B 3/3971-2; Rep. Sel. Cttee. on Agric. H.C. 668, pp. 176-83 (1821), ix; cf. Pigot, London and Provincial Commercial Dir. (1832), p. 290.
  • 161. Below, this chapter, Town Govt.
  • 162. E.R.O., T/P 146/10; ibid. D/B 5 Gb7-10, passim; ibid. Boro. Mun., Improvement Com. Mins. 1811-33, pp. 1, 6.
  • 163. E.A.T. 3rd ser. xix. 223-4.
  • 164. E.R.O., D/B 5 Sb5/1, p. 149; below, this chapter, Town Govt. (Parl. Rep.).
  • 165. E.R.O., D/DE1 F3; D'Cruze, 'Middling Sort in Provincial Eng.', 385; E.A.T. 3rd ser. xviii. 63-74; xix. 223-30.
  • 166. e.g. E.R.O., D/B 5 Sb6/10, 19 Oct. 1818; below, Par. Govt. and Poor Relief.
  • 167. J. B. Penfold, Hist. Essex County Hosp. 168; E.C.S. 25 Jan. 1974; E.J. xxvi. 47.
  • 168. Universal Brit. Dir. (1793), ii. 521; Pigot, London and Provincial Commercial Dir. (1832), 290-1.
  • 169. Below, Hospitals (Essex County Hospital).
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