Cheshire: Chester - Quarter Sessions Records and other records of the Justices of the Peace


Abstracts of Selected Documents 1528 - 1760

Northwich: 1592

Concerning the larceny of a goose.

The confession of Ellen Backensoll taken by oath the 12 Oct 1592 Anno R.R. Eliz 34 cora Will'm Brereton Milit, 1592. This examinant sayeth that upon Tuesday last past Wm. Joneson of Sandbache, weaver, persuaded her to go to some place to steale a goose to eat, so as this ex'nt went upon the Wednesday next following to one Richhard Spearepoynt's house of Brereton and late in the eveninge she did steale a goose there and carried it to the said Joneson's workehouse in Sandbache where she every night did lye: and earlie in the morninge this present 12 Oct 1592 Wm. Joneson did call upon her, who was then asleep, and asked of her whether she had gotten a goose, and answering that she had one arose and took it with her into Wm. Joneson's house and delivered it unto Wm. Joneson and his wife. And she said Joneson's wife presentlie dressed the goose and retained it in her keepinge: and further this examinant sayeth that Wm. Joneson demanded of her whether she had the goose far enough and she answered in the presence of Joneson's wife that she had it at one Richard Spearepoynt's house in Brereton foresaid and further cannot say.

W. Brereton.

See S. B. 2A, 17 Oct 1592. for the indictment of Ellen Backensoll and William Joneson. The former pleads guilty and the latter places himself on the mercy of the Court.


Middlewich, 25 Oct 1603. 1 Jac. 1st, Relief for infected Towns.

It is ordered that a contribution and assessment amounting to the fourth part of a mize be speedilie made and collected for the relief of the inhabitants of the townes of Macclesfield and Congleton, being now visited with sickness, through the countie whereof two parts to be paid to Sir Vrian Leigh, Sir Thomas Stanley knights and Randle Davenport esquire for the use of Macclesfield and the other third part for the use of Congleton to be paid to the hands of William Liversage and Henry Manwaringe esquires before the 10 Nov next. And letters for the speedie collection thereof to be sent by the Clerke of the Peace to the high Constables in everie hundred, provided that the hundreds of Macclesfield and Northwich (together with the township of Boughton being now likewise visited) be exempted from this taxation.


Northwich, 26 Apr 1608 , 6 Jac. 1st, Order of the Privy Council to stay the transportation of corn.

Whereas my Lords of the Council by their letters directed unto me thought fit to stay at this time the transportation of corn, both in respect that the price of grain is already grown to an extraordinary rate through the late unseasonableness of the year, as also by reason of information which their Lordships have received of some fear conceived by the poorer sort of people of a further dearth if the transportation of grain should not at this time be forborne. And therefore for the good of the Commonwealth and for the better satisfaction of the people, their Lordships have resolved that there shall be a restraint of all transportation until it be necessary for the benefit of the state, to set it again at liberty. And their Lordships have required me that I should give order unto the officers of the ports throughout the Realm for a general restraint of transportation of grain in such manner as aforesaid. And withall that certificates should be from time to time sent unto me by the Justices of Peace touching the ordinary rate of grain for the better ordering of restraint or liberty of transportation as just cause shall be made unto their Lordships. These are not only to signify that by this messenger I have sent my letters to his Majesty's officers of the ports within the Shire for stay of the transportation of corn, but also specially to require you to certify me under six of your hands at the least, at the next Quarter Sessions and so quarterly from time to time of the usual rates of all sorts of corn and grain to the end their Lordships may be the better guided either to continue or release this restraint.

I wish you heartily well to fare: from Dorset House this 30 Jan 1607.

Your very loving friend

T. Dorset(1)

To the Justices of Peace within the County of Chester.

(1)  The Earl of Dorset, Lord Treasurer.


Northwich, 26 Apr 1608 , 6 Jac. Order concerning Bridges.

Lastly it is ordered at this Sessions that no bridges in the County shall at any time hereafter be builded or repaired at the charge of the whole County before they have received a due examination in open Sessions by examination of witnesses inhabiting the towns or parishes next adjacent, whether the bridge or bridges ought of right to be builded or repaired by any hundred, parish, town, private person, body politic or corporate, or by the whole county. And for that such proof doth commonly consist in the testimony of very aged men who haply are not able to travel to the Sessions. It is further ordered that such persons as shall prefer a petition to the Justices to have bridges builded or repaired upon the charge of the whole county shall first procure a commission pro. Dno. Rege. out of the Exchequer at Chester directed to the Justices of that hundred wherein the bridges are, to examine such aged persons and others who can yield their testimony how such bridges ought of right to be made or repaired. The petitioners, on return of the commission, shall bring True copies of the depositions taken by the commission under test of the Court of Exchequer, which shall be given in evidence to the Jury at the next Quarter Sessions. And the same jury shall then enquire, and deliver a verdict, who of right ought to repair or amend such bridges. And the Justices at these sessions shall proceed to take order thereupon according to the statute in such case provided.


Nantwich, 11 Oct 1614 12 Jac. Letter concerning appointment of a High Constable.

Cosen Maynwaring. There was nominated unto the Justices at the last Sessions at Northwich Henry Houghe of Knutsford for High Constable of the Hundred of Bucklow.

I have informed myself (upon complaint of his unfitness for the place) of his estate, and I find his freehold of land is exceeding small, so small as suits not to bear that office, and the more unnecessary for him in regard his best means is by trading in commodities, being a Shopkeeper.

I desire you will make known unto the Justices at this Sessions that some other fitter man may be chosen for that service.

Dunham, 09 Oct 1614. G. Bouthe.

Note on face: Wm. Foxley to be spared.

Addressed: Mr. Peter Maynwaring, Deputy Clerk of the Peace.


Northwich, 19 Apr 1632. 8 Car. 1st, An old soldier's petition.

To the Right Hon. William Earl of Derby, Lord Lieutenant, the hon. Sir John Savage Knt., Sir George Bouth and Sir Richard Wilbraham Barts. with the rest of the noble Knights and gentlemen his Ma'tie's Justices for this County of Chester.

The humble petition of Bully Kent an old soldier of the King's, or the King's old soldier.

Prayeth pardon to relate and to acknowledge with thanks that it was your worships' good pleasure (some six years now past or thereabouts) to appoint a certain pension of four marks p. Ann. to be payed your petitioner during his life. That he received his pension the three first years and sithence not a penny. For your Petitioner hath not resided in this kingdom the last three years but been on the seas in a man-of-war coasting or travelling lands remote and far distant from this country. Where missing his wished for hope he touched only that Cape and fell short of the fortunate Islands.

Therefore at this time he becomes a most humble suppliant that it would please you to re-establish unto the Bully his stipend formerly granted, and to give your order good directions that the arrears may be paid.

Let my deputye leftenants take this petition into their consideration which I hold but reasonable to be granted.

Will: Derby:

Allowed as not to be denied. John Savage.

Tho: Savage, G. Booth, Will: Brereton, Tho. Brereton, Tho: Smith, William Foster, G. Byrom, Hen: Birkhened, Hugh Wilbraham.



Knutsford, 09 May 1633. 9 Car. 1st, The petition of John Kent a Soldier of the King.

To the Right hon: William Earl of Derby and the rest of the Justices. Shewing that in Apr last at the Sessions houlden at Northwich it was ordered by the Justices that the sum of 8 of arrears of your petitioner's pay should have been paid unto him by the Treasurer of the County on the sight of the order. Nevertheless, ever since he cannot get one penny but is posted off with excuses that the moneys due to him are transferred to the erecting or amending of their House of Correction.

Your petitioner prayeth some redress (such as to your wisdoms shall be thought meete) that he may receive such moneys as have been formerly allotted him, as also what may appear due since.

Note on document: That it would please Sir George Boothe to take presente course for the relief of the petitioner and to acquainte the Clerk of the Peace with the contents in regarde I did expect I should have been no further troubled and therefore am to desire you further to see the petitioner satisfied.

Will: Derby:

Justices at above Sessions report that Kent received his pay at midsummer 1630 , so that in Jan 1632 when he made his petition there was but one year and a half unpaid, 4 and no more. F.1, D.37, 1632. It appeared that he had untruly informed the Earl of Derby and Justices. Yet upon a second recommendation of the Earl it pleased the Bench at Christmas Sessions last to cause the 4 to be paid to Kent. The Court is desirous that the Earl should be satisfied and is pleased to restore Kent his pension of four markes p. ann.


Northwich, 06 Oct 1635. 11 Car. 1st,

Letter from Sir Thomas Aston, Sheriff, to Sir George Booth respecting accounts for the repair of Frodsham bridge and the Shire Hall; also for shipmoney.

Good Sir George, I shall desire you to acquaint the rest of the Justices that whereas they were pleased to nominate Sir John Savadge and myself for the receipt of moneys for the repair of Frodsham bridge; and also myself and others for receiving moneys to be collected for the repair of the Shire Hall, both the works are almost finished and yet part of the money for both is behind in the hands of the head constables especially of Francis Newton head constable for the Hundred of Bucklowe, who hath long since received great part of the bridge money and not paid it over.

Many townships he pretends to be yet unpaid upon pretence of holding of St. John's of Jerusalem, which I desire you to take into consideration and to give some order as you shall find cause. I appointed the constables of Warburton to attend you with their Charter. It is a great discouragement to others in such leyes as are for public use that all do not bear their equal shares having equal benefit. And for the money received by Newton I desire you will order him to pay it, or to fine him for his negligence as shall be thought fit. Further I shall desire you to advise whether it be not convenient to remove him from his place, for that in this great leavy for the ship I am directed to imploy head constables for collecting the money; and if so great sums should fall into the hands of so ill a paymaster the country and the King's service might suffer by it. So desiring to be excused that I could not wait on you. With the tender of my best respects to your associates I rest ...


Northwich, 06 Oct. 11 Car. 1st.

Order of Bench: Upon complaint this day by Francis Newton gent that the Townships and persons hereunder named have refused to pay their several assessments towards the repair of Frodsham bridge and the Shire Hall ... This Bench doth order that Francis Newton shall direct his precepts to the petty constables requiring them to give notice to such persons that have refused to pay their leys to appear before the Judges at Chester upon Tuesday in the Assize weeke next to answer their contempt before them.


Northwich, 02 May 1648.

Cleansing of Bostock Hall from the Sickness. Petition of Samuel Caryngton, Clerk, for the return of certain goods he claims which are about to be sold.

To Sir George Booth, Thomas Standley Esq and Colonel John Leigh or to any of these gentlemen. Humbly sheweth. Whereas it appears by an order under your hands bearinge date 05 Oct 1647 that the goods of John Mainwaringe, late of Bostocke gent, should bee seized and sold towards the cleansinge of Bostocke Hall from the sickness. May it please your honors your peticoner's wife layd upp certaine goods with her sister, wife unto the said John Mainwaringe now deceased, to be kept from plunder, and they beinge now found in the possession of John Mainwaringe are with the rest of the goods seized on and by Thomas Church and others though well knowne by them to bee your peticoner's, have under pretence of the foresaid Order offered them to sale in Middlewich to the great wronge ...

May it please you therefore to grant an Order directed both to the old and new Constables of Bostocke, to Thomas Church and Thomas Barrow that forthwith they deliver unto your peticoner's wife a suite of greene cloth for a bed, with greene and white lace and fringe of the same color, one bible in folio, a geneva print lent unto the said John Mainwaringe in the time of his sickness and with other goods shee lent to her sister which shee may make just claime unto.

Order: Shee to have them delive'd unto her, giving security to be responsible for the same in case the sequestrators goe against her.


Northwich, 03 Apr 1649. Petition of Elinor Stambridge concerning an assault on her person by John Stockton.

To the Honourable Bench of Justices at Northwich.

The humble petition of Elianor Stambridge, Sheweth that upon 23 Jul last past being the Lord's Day and the sacrament of the Lord's Supper being appointed to be administered that day: your Petitioner went in the morning to milk her father's kine intending to be partaker at the Lord's table: but as shee was milking shee was violently set upon by one John Stockton (who stands bound to appear at this Sessions.) who tooke your Petitioner and threw her upon the ground with a purpose to abuse her body. But being not able to accomplish his ungodly designe, the Lord in mercie strengthening her to resist: he sought to take away her life by putting her into a pit of water, from whence your petitioner endeavouring to recover herselfe he put her down into the water a second time. And when she cryed out for helpe, Stockton did lay fast hold upon her bosome, And would not let her goe, till a neighboure mayd who was going to the Kine, hearing her cry out came running towards her and was come within two or three roods of them.

Your Petitioner humbly desires your worships to take the evill dealing of the above said John Stockton into your serious consideration, and to grant her justice against him, that hereafter shee may goe about her lawfull occasions without feare and others may be afraid to offer the like violence.

Jur. Elinor Stambridge 03 Apr 1649 confirmed ye contents of this peticon to be true.

John Stockton is bound over againe.


Ibid., 1650. Petition of Katharin Stubbs for compensation for the distruction of her house at Northwich.

To Col. Croxton with the rest of the Justices at the Sessions sitting att Middlewich. The Humble peticon of Katharin Stubbs formerly the wife of John Stubbs of Witton Deceased, sheweth That whereas your peticoner haveing her habitacon without the walls of Northwich in the tyme of the Garrison, and being her house Joynd unto the outmost guard, upon the comeing of Prince Rupert against the towne as the Officers and Souldiers within the towne suspected, the Officers and gentlemen within the towne caused ffower bayes of her building to be pulled downe for feare of giveing advantage to ye Enimye soe that your poore peticoner sustayned great losses there, after a greater and former losse, viz.: loosing her deare husband in the service as is not unknown to many of the gentlemen.

The Humble peticon of your peticoner is that you would be pleased to looke upon my poore condicon and be pleased to afford some small contribution towards my reliefe

Order: The treasurer to pay her, or else to shewe cause to Colonel Gerrard to the contrary.


Ibid., 1651. Escape of Scotch prisoners incarcerated at Brereton.

To the Justices of Peace of the County Palatine of Chester. The humble Petition of John Child of Northwich. Sheweth that your Petitioner being in the pursuit of the seattered Army of the Scotts took five of them and committed them to the Constables of Brereton who comanded William Cleark and Richard Perepoynt of the town to bee their Guard, as may be testifyed and also confessed before Justice Bradshaw of Congleton. To which guard Armes were deliverd by your Petitioner to the intent to secure the Prisoners. But so it is that they neglecting their trust and in their own default and voluntarily suffered the prisoners to escape in contempt of the General's order and such was their malignity that they directed by lights other soldiers of this County troope to injuretheir own friende to take his horses so carefully gained and change their Hatts with the prisoners as a token of affection to them. May it therefore please yor Honors to grant out your Order to produce the said William Cleark and Richard Perepoynt to answer your Petitioner for these horses and Prisoners.


Ibid., 1651. Petition for pensions of John Littler and Ellen Nickoe, widow, whose two sons were killed at Dunbar.

To the Justices of the Peace met at the Quarter Sessions held at Northwich.

The peticon sheweth that your peticoners had two sonnes who were alwayes well affected to the Parliament and in the late warres did beare armes under sevrall Commands in England and had great arreres of pay due to them for the said service.

That when Colonel William Daniell raised his Regiment for the service of the State in Scotland your peticoners sonnes inlisted themselves in his Reg'nt under the Command of Capt. Aldersey and marched with him into Scotland and at the fight at Dunbarre lost their lives.

That the said sonnes were in their lifetime the very support of your peticoners.

May it therefore please you to allow them some yearly stipend or pension etc.

Order: To bee Certified from Col Daniel.


Ibid., 1651. Petition for Pensions made by Widows of Cheshire men killed in Scotland.

To the Justices of the Peace assembled att the Sessions att Northwich. The peticons of Anne Merryman widowe late wife of John Merryman late of Ollerton, Elizabeth Crowther widowe, late wife of Thomas Crowther of Knottsford and Katherine Peake widowe late wife of William Peake of Millington deceased, Shewe that their late husbands were slaine in Scotland in the State's service, being in Col Daniells Regiment under the Comand of Capt. Hugh Birtles as may appeare among other things by a certificate or letter hereunto annexed sent from the said Captaine. And your peticoners are left in great necessity, etc.

May it therefore please your honours to extende your clemency unto the peticoners and to admitt them severally Penconers.

Children. Ann Merriman

Eliz Crowther

Kath: Peak

Ann Parker

Ellen Cotton




1 a very poore woeman.


Order: Overseers of poore to provide till next Sessions.


Idem. 1660. The Cheshire Rising 1659. Petition for the return of a horse taken after the defeat at Northwich.

03 Oct 1660. To the Justices assembled at their Sessions at Nether Knotsford.

The petition of John Burges of Stiall, husbandman. Sheweth that your peticoner beinge tenant to Sir George Booth in Aug 1659 (in promotion of the designe then on ffoot) sent forth his eldest sonne and a Horse to waite on Sir George Booth to be ready for what service he should be Comanded. That after the party was defeated your peticoner's sonne was Comanded to Chester prisoner where he came before Coll: Gerrard and others: at the same tyme Coll: Gerrard demanded of your peticonr, his sonne, where his horse was that he did ride upon in the service under Sir George Booth who made answere that he was in Chester: whereupon Coll: Gerrard, Comanded one of his servants to goe with your peticoner and his sonne to fetch the horse and to bring him to Coll: Gerrard which he did, notwithstanding the horse was your peticoner's and not his sonne's and was of vallue 8.

May it please your Wor'ps to grant your order that the said Coll Gerrard may restore to your peticoner the Horse or the price of him in money.


Northwich, 15 Jan 1660/1. The Cheshire Rising 1659. Petition for promised pay.

To his Ma'tie's Justices at their generall Sessions holden at Northwich 16 Jan : The peticon of Robert Adshead and Thomas Burges of Adlington in the Countie, Husbandmen. Sheweth, that whereas the Inhabitants of Adlington were by warrant Commanded in his Ma't's behalf to raise a certaine number of foot souldiers in the late Ingagement of Sir George Booth of Dunham under the Command of Tho: Legh of Adlington Esquire, by reason whereof your peticoners in Consideracon of the sum of Three pounds to either of them of lawfull English money well and truly promised by the Inhabitants of the Township: to be paid unto either of them severally upon demand did thereupon inlist themselves for the said Towns'p: and did continue faithfull therein untill they were Discharged by Legall Authoritie from the same and the Designe over, immediately whereupon your peticoners Demanded the moneye soe promised to them, yett the said Inhabitants have hitherto denied and refused to make paym't thereof and still doe refuse to doe the same, against all right equitie and good conscience and to the great losse and hinderance of your peticoners because their Advarsaries are rich and powerfull and themselves unable, beinge weake in state, to contende at commonn Law with them for their reliefe. Prayeth therefore that your wors'ps will be pleased to make good their cause.


Northwich, 15 Jan 1660/1.

The Cheshire Rising, 1659. Order of the Justices recognizing warrants for raising men and necessaries for bringing in his Majesty sent out by Sir George Booth and others in Aug 1659.

Whereas many petitions have bin presented to the Court and Diverse of his Ma't's Justices of peace at theire Moneth's Meetings from several Constables and Inhabitants of several Townshipps within the County uppon receipt of warrants from Sir George Booth Bar't and others for bringing in his Majesty in Aug 1659 and haveing sumoned the Inhabitants of some respective Townships by and uppon their consent (as appeares) for the hyreing of Souldiers and supplying other necessaryes in that service and whereas many of the Townshipps and persons (disaffected) to the service refuse to contribute their several proporcons due to be paid for the accomplishment thereof. It is therefore ordered this present Sessions that all and every the proportions and necessary Charges heretofore imposed assessed or to be charged uppon the several Townships or persons within the County for the said service are hereby ordered to be Assessed and gathered by the respective Constables of the said Townshipps in and uppon the several Townes charged or chargable therewith, and that in case any difference doe arise touching the Assesments or proporcons that then the Justices of the peace of this County are hereby Authorized and desired to heare and dettermine the same at their moneth's meeting and uppon refusal of obedience to the order of the Justices the persons soe refussing to be bound over to the next Assizes to be held for the County then and there to Answeare their several Contempts.


Middlewich, 16 Apr 1661.

The Cheshire Rising, 1659. Examinations respecting incidents after defeat at Northwich.

06 Sep 1660. Att Budworth Before Sir Peter Leicester, Sir Phillip Egerton Knts. Henry Brook and Thomas Marbury Esqs, Justices.

Thomas Mason of Dutton husb: sworn saith that hee was brought Prisoner before Mr. Gerrard of Crewood to Chester (for being on Sir G. Booth's Party) after the defeat and that Mr. Gerrard told him hee was an impudent rogue for not confessing hee was sent by my Lady Kilmorey to Sir G. Booth, who denyed but that he went voluntarily. Then Mr. Gerrard told him that he should be forthwith hanged without mercy, and in regard this Ex't smiled att him hee caused him to pay 4s down on the nayle to the souldiers, the red Coates, and said it should bee something for them and commanded souldiers to comitt him to prison where 6s was taken out of his pockett besides 2s. 6d. to the Marshall and all his charges, and 4s 6d more to the Marshall.

Thomas Roe of Stretton within the County husb: aged 34 yeares or thereabouts sworne: said that being Constable for the Towne att the time after the defeat att Northwich received a warrant to bring all concerned att Northwich with Sir G. Booth to Chester, and goeing to make a returne thereof Lieu: Colonel Gerrard bade him pursue all such with hug and cry, and if they overwent him to them, and if they took any howse, to fire that howse on their heads.


Ibid., 1665. Concerning a cottage erected in 1635.

To the Justices assembled at the above Sessions.

The peticon of Thomas Jackson of Blackden Lane within the parish of Over, husbandman, Sheweth that whereas your peticoner by an antient Order of this Court held at Northwich the 06 Oct in the eleventh yeare of the Raigne of our late Souveraigne Lord Charles the first was lycenced to erect the Cottage wherein hee now dwells upon the waste grounds in Blackden Lane and hath continued therein ever since without the disturbance of any person whatsoever. Till of late time Mr. Edmund Pershall of Over, by reason that your peticoner would not attorne and become his Tenant after he had sold the Manor and Lordship of Over and the Royaltyes etc., molested sued and impleaded your peticoner in the Courts at Westminster. And being conscious to himself of the wrong hee had done, did not proceed in his said suit, but hath since threatned and menaced your peticoner. May it therefore please the Court to confirme the order aforesaid and the continuance of your peticoner in the cottage.



Northwich, 24 Apr 1666. 18 Car. 2nd. Petition concerning repairs of Highways at Witton.

To the Justices at the above Sessions. The Petition of the Inhabitants of Witton, Sheweth that whereas by several statutes yet in force touching highways it appears that every parish ought to keep in repaire ye highways within their parish, and accordingly antiently the inhabitants of Northwich have ayded and assisted ye township of Witton (being within ye same Chappelrye and adjoining to it), in repaire of ye highways, which are yearely cut out chiefly by reason of ye exceeding number of carts coming to Northwich with coals, or to fetch salt. Yet soe it is that though the highways of Witton are much out of repair by the occasion aforesaid yet ye inhabitants of Northwich refuse to joyne with and ayde your peticoners as formerly they have done.

An order of the Justices is requested. "Nil."


Idem, 1667.

A presentment of Richard Shawe one of ye Headconstables of ye Hundred of Northwich as followeth:

John Kennerley, John Furnyfall and William Sandbach of Wimberley, quakers, for not coming to ye church within this month last past. I have noe more to pr'sent within my Division yt I knowe of.

Vera Billa.


Idem, 1667.

30 Apr 1667.

A pr'sentment of John Tompson for his division, one of the Head constables of the Hundred of Northwich as followeth:

1. Thomas Warren of Sandbach, Raphe Bann of Congleton, Moode Brookes of Smallwood, widow, Alles Jodrill of Smallwood, Recusants.

2. William Hall, Edmund Sutton, Thomas Welch all of Congleton, Quakers, for not comeing to the Church within this month last past.


Northwich, 19 Apr 1670. 22 Car. 2nd,

Orders concerning the unauthorized erection of a Cottage in the Forest of Delamere.

Whereas by the humble peticon of Richard Glent read in open Courte it hath appeared that about twenty yeares since Rich: Glent his wife and Children Inhabited in Hargreave in the Townshipp of Stapleford and that his habitacon being then burnt by the direccon of Jonathan Bruen of Stapleford Esq hee did erect a Cottage upon some parte of his Ma't's fforrest of Delamere where hee hath since inhabited And forasmuch as the Cottage being erected in the said fforest a place Extraparochiall, by order from his Grace WilliamDuke of Newcastle Lord Cheife Justice in Eyre of all his Ma't's fforrests Chases Parkes and Warrens on the North side of the Trent the sayd Cottage is to bee demollished, whereby Richard Glent his wife and Children will bee utterly destitute of an habitation. It is therefore thought fitt and soe ordered by this Courte that Richard Glent his wife and Children bee forthwith remanded to Hargreave afores'd the last place of their Legall settlem't where the Constables and overseers of the poore or some of them are hereby required to receive and provide for them according to Lawe.

To all to whom these presents shall Come, William, Duke, Marquis and Earle of Newcastle, Earle of Ogle, Viscount Mansfeild and Baron of Bolsover of Ogle Bothall and Heple, Knight of the most noble order of the Garter, Gent. of his Ma't's Bedchamber, one of the Lords of his Ma't's most hon'ble privye Counsell and Lord Cheife Justice in Eyre of all his Ma't's fforests on the Northside Trent, sendeth Greeting. Whereas Credible Informacon is given unto the L'd Cheife Justice in Eyre That Jonathan Bruen of Stapleford in the County of Chester Eqr. in the time of the late unhappy warrs did make Divers purprestures and Incroachments by erecting a Cottage house and Sheep Coate within the fforrest. And hath likewise there also made an Inclosure of Divers Acres of Ground about ye pr'myses And that hee the said Jonathan hath not onely soe erected and Inclosed the afores'd pr'misses but doth alsoe unlawfully still Continue the same, All which by the Lawe of fforests are not onely Incroachm'ts but also Comon Nusances by the Lawes and Assizes of the fforest, and are to be demolished and removed; These are therefore to require and authorize John Crew Eqr. his Ma't's Cheife Forrester in ffee of the afors'd fforrest to view the Nusances and in Case hee finde the above Informacon to bee true, that then hee Cause them to bee demolished. And as well the High Sherriffe as alsoe all his Ma't's Justices of peace &c to be ayding Jo: Crew in ye due execucon and p'formance of his Ma't's speciall service.

W. Newcastle.


Knutsford, 06 Oct 1685 1 Jac. 2nd, Concerning the stealing of Barley.

Examination taken at Leftwich in the County of Chester 05 Sep 1685 before Leftwich Oldfield Esq. one of his Ma'ty's Justices.

Alice Bagaley of Witton in ye County of Chester, spinster, aged 47 years and upwards, sayth that she did on Monday last (being ye last day of Aug ) with other Reapers reap some Barley in the Town field of Witton for John Stealfox of Witton, Tanner, which hee had sowed to halfe parts for Rachel Sudlow of Witton, widow, And she sayth that the said Barley was sett up into Ryders by Peter Yannis of Northwich, Cooper, which Yannis told this deponent that there were thirteen Ryders of Barley sett up that night, where upon she did count the same twice over and found it true as she passed through the Town field that same evening from milking cows. And this examinant further saith as she went to milk the same way againe ye next morning, haveing heard that Ellen Axon of Witton widow, (a notorious Pilferer) had bin mett with corn that same Monday night nere ye Townfield, this Dep't did count ye same Ryders againe and said that there were then but twelve.

John Bennett of Witton, Blacksmith, aged 22 years and upwards, sayth that on Monday night last being appoynted by his master William Leigh of the Cross, Blacksmith, to tend an unluckey cow that used to gett into the corn, hee mett Ellen Axon about midnight with a burn of Barley in Sheafs bound together upon her head in the next field but one to the Townfeild goeing towards her own house, but how many sheafs hee cannot tell, but conceived about the quantity of a Ryder. And this Ex't further sayth that she shun'd him at first, where upon hee ran towards her, and overtook her as she step'd into a ditch. And this Ex't demanding of her where she had the Barley, she answered that she had it of her own. But this Ex't hath heard and doth believe that she had sown noe Barley this year and told her noe less when he met her.

Ellin Axon upon her Examinacon denyes that she had ye Barley ye Depositions mencond, or ever medled with the same; She denyes also that she mett, or saw, or had any discourse with John Bennett on Monday night last, but sayth she was not out of her house that night between daylightgate and sunrise next morning.

Confessed 05 Sep 1685.


Chester, 29 Apr 1701. 13 Wm. 3rd, Convictions for uttering prophane oaths.

I Thomas Lee Esq (one of his Ma'ty's Justices) do hereby certifie to the Clerk of the Peace that the persons whose names are under written were since the last Sessions convicted before me for prophane swearing and curseing such number of oaths and curses as are to their several names annexed. Given under my hand and seal 05 May 1701.

03 Mar 1700/1 Samuel Dean of Dunham sup. Mont. 8 oaths

20 Mar 1700/1 John Creighton of Middlewich, Shoemaker 2 oaths

23 Apr 1700/1 Peter Beckett of Wimbaldsley, Labourer 3 oaths

24 Apr 1700/1 Peter Barlow of Northwich Jun'r, the second conviction for 14 oaths


Chester, 14 Apr 1702. 1 Anne, Unrequited affection.

The Examinacon of Mary Smith of Northwich taken before Thomas Lee Esq, Justice, 08 Apr 1702.

The Examin't deposeth that upon Friday was three weeks at night about the time of lighting up of candles, Richard Ditchfeild of Northwich, Feltmaker, came into her father's house, and asking her for two shillings which her father owed him for a hatt, this Depon't replied she had told her father of it often enough, he did not need to ask her againe, to which Ditchfeild said he could not come to find her father in the house and began to play the Rogue with her. He told her he would give her a penny to go see the show with him to Thomas Smith's woodyard and he would kiss her there but this depon't deny'd him and withal told him she would rather have his roome than company and upon that sate down by the fire and began to mend her Mantue(1), but Ditchfeild hindered her and said she should not mend it so long as he staid ... After which this Depon't's brother (a boy) came in and her father. She farther saith, near a year agoe, the said Ditchfeild offered to give her a shilling when she was washing to kiss her ...

(1) A corruption of Manteau, due to association with the place-name Mantua. A loose gown worn by women in 17th and 18th c.


Knutsford, 02 Oct 1705 , 4 Anne, Concerning an assault in Northwich market.

An Examinacon taken upon oath at Over Tabley on 03 Aug 1705 before Samuel Daniell Esqr. Justice.

Robert Littler of Northwich, Sadler, aged about thirty years saith that on this present day one Samuel Phillips now belonging to the Salt Works at Northwich as an Officer for her Ma'ty did assault Catherine Basnett of Barnton and likewise took away her goods by force as she declared to this Depon't, being Constable of Northwich; upon which he asked Samuel Phillips why he wouldoffer to abuse any one that came to the publick market to the great injury of the market, whereupon Samuel Phillips struck this Depon't, whereupon he and his partner did set Samuel Phillips in the Stocks near three quarters of an hour, who then being set at liberty declared he would kill this Depon't and all his family and likewise swore in this Depon'ts hearing twenty oaths.


Northwich, 15 Jan 1705/6 , 4 Anne, Opposition to Recruiting in Queen Anne's Reign.

Examinacons of witnesses taken at Kermincham in the County of Chester, 27 Dec 1705. Before Roger Manwaring Esq Justice.

Mathew Holford of Goostrey, Schoolmaster deposeth that Tuesday was seven-night last past, to his best remembrance for the time, he going upon some business to the house of William James the elder upon or near the Comon called Rudheath about eleven of the clock in the afore noon of the same day, he found William James the younger and Charles King of Cranage labourer in the said house, the one with an Axe and the other with a Pitch fork or Pikle by them. And after some discourse the said William James the younger and Charles King told this Examin't that they kept those weapons by them to defend themselves from any Constable or other Officer that should attempt to seize them for soldiers; for that they would lose their lives before being taken. And the first person that made any such attempt, they were resolved should dye. And further told this Examin't that John Yarwood and Isaac Sutton both of Goostrey, had been together several nights before and that sometimes they lay in Barns ... And further said they were resolved to leave fire and sword behind them for they would only be forced for soldiers att last.

William Jackson of Goostrey Husbandman, deposeth that upon Thursday last he accidentally met with the above named Mr. Holford and he told this Exam't that there were several persons in their neighbourhood gathered together and resolved to go on with fire and sword and they would begin at the head. And that Sutton had got a sythe in a pole two yards long and that he told this Exam't he had such a weapon in his house and that if any Officer came to seize him or his son for soldiers he would have a leg or an arm of him, but at the same time he said he would obey the Constable if he came.


Nantwich, 14 Jul 1713 , 12 Anne, Concerning a Coroner's Inquest.

The Examination of Charles Reley of the Townshipp of Geaton taken before John Hurleston Esq one of her Ma'ty's Justices, 26 May 1713. This deponent saith that on 01 Dec last past (whichwas in the year 1712 ) Anne Ellis, wife of Sam'll Ellis of Geaton and daughter of depon't departed from his house to go to Neston, about two miles distance in order to transact some business, she being lately married. In the town of Neston the horse she did ride upon happened to fall to the ground by which fall Anne broke her arm and, having a sister of her husband's inhabiting in the Towne, recovered herself and walked to her sister's house where William Robinson of Ness did sett or splent her arme.

Anne continued with her sister, Anne Jones, for a week and in that time her arme gott pretty well, but in about three or four days after about the 09 Dec or 10 Dec she began to be much troubled with stitch in her side of which a feaver ensued and on the thirteenth of the month departed this life. Whereupon John Hall of Northwich, Bayliff, having, as he told the said Depon't, a deputation from his father, came to this dep't's house in or about the months of Apr or Mar last past and threatened to have ye said Anne Ellis's grave digged open and an inquest sitt upon her body, threatening to put the Town of Neston to ifty pounds charge for offering to inter the said Anne before the Coron'r's Inquest had passed upon the body. But if this Depon't would give him, the said Hall, two guineas he would not give him any farther trouble. Whereupon this Depon't counted him forty shillings into his hands as a composition or fee in the name of Coroner.


Ibid., 1757. Concerning the loss of Salt in the River Weaver.

Robert Fox of Northwich, Mariner, Master of the Flatt called the Lucy and Alley and Thomas Wilson of Northwich, Sailor, severally make oath that on Friday 07 Jan last there was laden on board the said Flatt at Leftwich eight hundred and eighty Bushells of White Salt from the works of Mr. John Barrow and four hundred Bushells of Rock Salt, and on his proper Risque and Account. (The Duty whereof was paid or secured to be paid to Mr. John Smith his Majesty's Collector of Duties on Salt at Northwich). To be carried thence down the Rivers of Weaver and Mercey to Leverpoole in order to be exported to Foreign Parts. And these Deponents further make oath that when the Flat sailed from Leftwich she was then firm and in good condition, and all the hatches locked down by some of his Majesty's Officers at Northwich, and the Flatt lay at her moorings in the River Weaver at a place called Dutton Bottoms and that between the hours of twelve and one in the night betwixt the 16 Jan and 17 Jan when both these Deponents were in bed on Board the water came on the Cabbin sheets and on examining the Flatt they found a hole in the bow occasioned as they verily believe by the current of the River Weaver carrying down large quantities of ice which struck against the Flatt and occasioned the water to flow amongst her lading.

And these Deponents say that all proper means were used to lighten the Flatt and save her lading. And on re weighing the same there appeared to be but eight hundred and eight Bushells of White Salt and two hundred and ninety one Bushells of Rock Salt, so that then and there was lost seventy two Bushells of White Salt and one hundred and nine Bushells of Rock Salt before the Exporter could be entituled to the drawback or allowance for the Duties or any part thereof.

26 Apr 1757.

This Court doth Certify the above.



Whereas the Inhabitants of the Township of Wincham were presented by the Grand Jury assembled at the General Quarter Sessions held at Nether Knutsford 02 Oct 1759 for not repairing the King's Highway in Wincham aforesaid leading from Witton Bridge near Northwich to the Market town of Warrington, being twenty Roods in length and twenty foot in breadth. Now we whose names are subscribed, two Justices, do hereby Certify that we have lately viewed the Road so presented and find that the same is in good and sufficient repair and likely so to continue. As witness our Hands 07 Oct 1760.

J. Smith Barry, George Heron.


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