The Annals of Bristol in the Eighteenth Century

By John Latimer

Author of ‘Annals of Bristol in the Nineteenth Century’.

Transcriptions by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2013


The Common Council, in June, 1771, resolved to set about the construction of the street (Union Street) from Dolphin Lane to Broadmead. Owing to the costliness of the undertaking, it was determined to reduce the proposed width of the thoroughfare from 40 to 30 feet. The butcher market at the Exchange being overcrowded, it was resolved to erect a market on the eastern side of the new street The undertaking presented considerable difficulties, many thousand


tons of earth having to be carted to the spot, and a lofty bridge constructed over the Froom. St. James's Market was opened on the 1st May, 1776. The outlay of the Corporation far exceeded the original estimate of about £4,000. In 1776, the Chamber ordered that £2,600, in addition to £6,000 already borrowed, be raised by means of life annuities, “for defraying the expence of making Union Street and the market there”.

The growing inconvenience to traffic caused by Redcliff Gate at length overcame the conservative instincts of the Corporation. On the 8th June, 1771, the Chamber unanimously ordered that the obstruction should be forthwith taken down. As already stated (p. 175), the gate had been rebuilt so recently as 1731. Redcliff Parade, on a site previously known as Adderclift, belonging to the dean and chapter, but held under lease by Mr. Sydenham Teast, was under construction at this time. In 1776 the capitular lease was renewed on payment of a fine of £650.

A great public improvement was determined upon in the autumn. The impetus came from London, where the corporation had just introduced flagged footways for pedestrians. The Common Council of Bristol resolved, on the 28th September, that a paved way, seven feet wide, should be made before the Exchange, to which it was also determined to remove the four brass pillars that had long stood before the Council House. This resolution must have been come to in view of the action taken in reference to footways by the paving authorities; for a writer in Felix Farley's Journal of October 26th, referring to various local improvements, applauds “the paved foot passages so commend ably begun in several of the streets”. In the following June a letter appeared in the Bristol Journal, in which “the Ladies of Bristol return thanks to the magistrates for encouraging the accommodation of their feet with smooth paved streets”; but complain that “four wheeled carriages called trucks” were allowed to be driven along the footways.

The removal of the brass pillars, just recorded, put an end to a singular annual ceremony, described by a London observer as follows:- “On the 5th November the eldest scholar of the city grammar school, standing on a brass pillar in the street, at the Tolzey, commemorates the deliverance in a Latin oration to the mayor, who attends to him at the Council-house door; and when the declaimer dismounts, rewards him with a piece or pieces of gold, as Mr. Mayor thinks proper; but the throng is always so great that very


little is heard”. The oration was afterwards delivered in the Council House, but was discontinued in 1780, and was only at intervals revived.

On the 7th November, John Shoals was tried at the Admiralty Court, London, for the murder of one M'Coy on board the Bristol ship Black Prince, in January, 1769. Shortly after the ship left Bristol on a slaving voyage, the sailors resolved to seize the vessel and become pirates. The captain and nine officers were accordingly forced into a boat, which soon after sank. M'Coy, who acted as cook, having incurred the displeasure of the crew, was tried by a mock court-martial, of which Shoals was a member, and, having been sentenced to be hanged, was suspended to the yard arm; but the rope broke, and the poor fellow fell into the sea and perished. The prisoner was acquitted of the murder, but was sentenced to death for piracy, and subsequently executed. The Black Prince was eventually stranded on the coast of Hispaniola.

On the 2nd January, 1772, the famous John Wilkes, having been invited by Sir William Codrington, Bart., Mr. Samuel Peach, Mr. Henry Cruger, and other influential citizens to pay a visit to Bristol, arrived at the White Lion inn, Broad Street, amidst the cheers of a vast crowd of admirers. The bells of St. Stephen's and St. Maryleport were rung in his honour; but many of the clergy, according to the Bristol Journal, prevented the ringing of a peal. Wilkes was entertained to dinner in Tailors' Hall, where about eighty gentlemen sat down, and 24 toasts were afterwards drunk, that of “the legal representative of Middlesex” being received with enthusiasm. Sarah Farley was venturesome enough to publish in her newspaper the speech of the gentleman who welcomed Wilkes's arrival; but his name, as well as the demagogue's after-dinner oration, was carefully suppressed.

Handel's oratorio of “Judas Maccabaeus” was performed on the 25th March in the theatre in King Street, to which the admission was five shillings. Master Linley, then a musical prodigy, was “first violin” in the orchestra.

An advertisement dated April 8th, 1772, appeared in the Bristol Journal, announcing that “Robert and Thomas Southey, linen drapers, mercers, and lace-men, have this day opened shop, next door to the Plume of Feathers, in Wine Street”. Tne premises were distinguished by “the sign of the Hare”. The senior partner, in the following September, married a Miss Hill, of Bedminster, daughter of Edward


Hill, attorney, deceased, and from this union was born, over the Wine Street shop, on the 12th August, 1774, Robert Southey, many years poet laureate, but better known as the biographer of Nelson and the author of “The Doctor”. The draper brothers dissolved partnership about 1778, Thomas migrating to Corn Street; but both became bankrupt in 1791. At the latter date the shop in Wine Street, since divided into two, was let for £44 a year.

On the 15th May, 1772, a man named Jonathan Britain was hanged at St. Michael's Hill for forging a bill of exchange for the sum of £10. The case excited much public attention. Britain had been an usher in the school kept by Mr. Donn in the City Library in King Street, and had also been a frequent contributor to an anti-ministerial paper called the Whisperer, In July, 1771, whilst at Reading, he attempted to obtain cash for four bills of exchange to the total value of £45; but doubts as to their genuineness having been aroused, he was arrested, and ultimately committed for trial on suspicion of forgery. Apparently in dread of the result, Britain soon afterwards declared that he was one of the persons concerned in setting fire to Portsmouth dockyard a short time previously, and that it was his intention to avail himself of the royal pardon promised in the London Gazette to any one making a full discovery of that crime. He followed up this statement by publishing in the Whisperer virulent attacks on members of the Government, and on the king's favourite, Lord Bute. These articles, which were continued for several months, and insinuated criminal charges against many prominent personages, excited attention all over the country. In the meantime, a Bristol firm acquainted the prosecutors at Reading that Britain had absconded from this city, after obtaining payment of three forged bills, amounting together to £35. This fact came to the knowledge of the Rev. William Talbot, vicar of St. Giles's, Reading, who had taken an inexplicable antipathy to Britain from the outset, and who, as he afterwards avowed, had resolved to rid the world of “an execrable villain”. It was foreseen that the charge of forgery at Reading could not be sustained, the prosecutors having neglected to retain the evidence of the fraud. It appeared also that the injured persons in Bristol had no intention of prosecuting the prisoner. Mr. Talbot therefore determined to prosecute the Bristol cases at his own expense, and made several journeys to the city to engage legal assistance and collect evidence, having stooped, it was alleged, to gross


dissimulation for the purpose of extracting information from Britain's friends. Two or three journeys were also made to London with the object of strengthening the case. Finally, on the Berkshire grand jury rejecting the Reading indictments, Britain, at Mr. Talbot's instance, was arrested by officers from Bristol, where he was brought up for trial on the 2nd May, 1772, on one of the three indictments laid against him. The prisoner had practically no defence, and his claim to be entitled to pardon under the Gazette notice referred to above was, of course, set aside. After conviction, Britain confessed that he really knew nothing about the Portsmouth fire, and that his articles on the subject were a tissue of falsehoods. The man was undoubtedly a vicious and heartless scoundrel; but the extraordinary manner in which he was dragged to the scaffold by a clergyman gave great offence, and Mr. Talbot's solemn assurances that his time and money had been lavished solely in the service of the public were received with general incredulity.

A letter in the Bristol Journal of the 13th June, addressed to the mayor by “a great number of the citizens liable to serve as jurors”, throws light on the accommodation provided for the due administration of justice. The writers suggested that seats should be placed in the Crown Court at the Guildhall for the use of the jurors, who, being obliged to stand throughout the trial of a prisoner, sometimes lasting for three or four hours, were often so much fatigued as to be unable to perform their functions. The appeal was unnoticed.

A great improvement near St. Stephen's Church was proposed during the summer, namely, the demolition of a number of old hovels which blocked up the approach to the church from the newly-constructed Clare Street. The Corporation subscribed £200 towards the fund raised for clearing the ground. Subsequently the vestry extended the design, and in 1774 an Act of Parliament was obtained to remove old buildings, including the former rectory, to widen the narrow streets in the neighbourhood, and to extend the churchyard. A witness deposed before the House of Commons that, owing to the confined area of the cemetery and the number of burials, the ground had become raised five feet above the natural level. Considerable alterations were also made in the church itself, though they are scarcely referred to by Mr. Barrett, whose indifference to the freaks of contemporary churchwardendom showed his lack of good taste, and caused marked defects in his history. In November, 1776, the vestry resolved on the immediate erection of


a new vestry room at the east end of the church, and this building caused the destruction of the east window of the south aisle. In the following May, it was resolved that “the foundation of the north aisle be built and brought up window high, so as to make it of an equal length with the south aisle”. It is probable that much of the old tracery of the windows was replaced about this time by work of a debased character. The cost of carrying out the improvements far exceeded the estimates, and, as will be seen hereafter, the parochial authorities were saved from insolvency only by the help of the Corporation.

Felix Farley's Journal of June 20th, 1772, acquainted the public that Thomas Boyce had completely fitted up “three large and elegant lodging houses on Clifton Hill”, which appear to have been built by himself at a cost of about £8,000, and received the name of Boyce's Buildings. Attached to the houses were a pleasure garden, three summerhouses, ten coach-houses, and stabling for 34 horses. The projector became bankrupt in the following November.

A coach to Leicester - an unprecedented enterprise - started in June, the owners undertaking to make the journey bi-weekly in two days. By intercepting the London coaches to Liverpool and Lancaster at Coventry, Bristolians were offered greatly increased facilities for reaching that part of the kingdom.

On the 4th September, Elizabeth Inchbald, who had not then completed her nineteenth year, appeared at the King Street theatre in the part of Cordelia; a play-bill of the evening, preserved in R. Smith's MSS., adds “being her first appearance on any stage”. The performance was for the benefit of her husband, an actor and painter, whom she had married a few weeks before. Mrs. Inchbald afterwards acquired a lasting reputation and a handsome competence by her dramas and novels. In the summer of 1774 the leading female performer on the local stage was Mrs. Canning (née Costello), widow of George Canning, an Irishman claiming descent from the renowned Canynges of Bristol, and mother of a four year old boy of the same name, destined to become Prime Minister. Mrs. Canning, who was much admired for her beauty, married an actor of repute, named Reddish, then manager of Bristol theatre, and frequently acted during three seasons. Reddish dying, his widow married one Hunn, who, according to Mr. Smith, was a liquor dealer in Tucker Street, but by another account was a draper at Plymouth, whom she also outlived.


The lady continued on the stage till 1801, when her son, who had been adopted by a banker uncle (father of Lord Stratford de Redcliffe), and had then been Under-Secretary of State for four years, arranged to have his pension of £500 a-year settled on his mother and sisters.

“Mr. Astley, performer of horsemanship, from London”, a man destined to attain fame as a circus proprietor, but who at this period picked up a precarious living as a showman at Bristol and other fairs, gave several equestrian entertainments on Durdham Down during the month of October, depending for his reward upon the liberality of the spectators. The chief attractions were the performances of his son, five years old, and of his wife, upon two bare-backed horses. The first local equestrian performance indoors seems to have taken place in June, 1786, when a troupe of Astley's company occupied the “new riding school in the Borough Walls, leading from Thomas Street to Temple Street”.

The bakers of the city were greatly irritated about this time by the proceedings of an interloper in the trade, named Jenkins, who persisted in selling bread at a lower price than that agreed upon by the Bakers' Company, and thereby gained great popular support. The publication of violent attacks on his character having proved ineffectual, the Company, in October, resolved to prosecute him under the law of Elizabeth, forbidding any one from pursuing a trade to which he had not served seven years' apprenticeship; but the grand jury ignored the indictment, and Jenkins triumphantly opened a shop in Wine Street, started a mill at St. Anne's to defeat a combination of millers, and sold more bread than ever. His family, who succeeded him, eventually acquired a fortune. This appears to have been the last attempt to enforce the old Act by which trade monopolies had been so long defended.

The local theatrical season had been hitherto limited to the summer months, during which the Hot Well was attended by fashionable and pleasure-seeking visitors. In November, 1772, an attempt was made by a band of comedians to supply a series of winter entertainments, and the Coopers' Hall was engaged for that purpose. The Act of 1737, branding players as rogues and vagabonds, being still in force, the company were reduced to the usual expedient for evading the law. The Bristol Journal of November 21st cautiously announced:- “We hear that the first theatrical concert at the Coopers' Hall will be on Wednesday


next”. No opposition having been offered, the following week's Journal says:- “We hear the next theatrical concert (between the parts of which will be introduced, gratis, Othello and the Lying Valet) will be on Monday next” Growing bolder, the next number announced that three “concerts” a week would be given, and similar advertisements were continued in later issues. The proceedings were doubtless very aggravating to the proprietors of the neighbouring theatre, but their hands were tied by the fact that the performances in their own house were as illegal as those at the hall. A correspondent of the Journal joyfully announced in January that the magistrates had at length put the law in operation against the intruders, and a few days afterwards four of the principal performers were fined £50 each; but the “concerts” nevertheless continued until the 3rd April. In the following winter, to the wrath of the theatre owners, the interlopers reappeared, the “concerts” being resumed on the 17th November, 1773. Three weeks later, however, the Council resolved to crush them, and on the 18th December the managers, Messrs. Booth and Kennedy (both either in hiding or in prison), announced their benefits, hoping that “their present situation”, which prevented them from personally waiting on their friends, would not deprive them of public support. A promise was added that the hall would be reopened after Christmas; but the luckless players were unable to fulfil the pledge.

In addition to the annual gift of wine to the two members for the city, the Council, in December, 1772, made a similar present to Mr. James Laroche, one of the Common Council, and M.P. for Bodmyn, “for his services in Parliament”. The gift was repeated in the five following years, the recipient having in the meantime been created a baronet for his zealous support of the King's American policy; and, though the present was withheld in 1778, it was resumed in 1779. Owing to commercial misfortunes, Sir James then retired from Parliament.

At a meeting of the Council in December, a pension of £30 a year was granted to William Stevens, an insolvent linen draper. The only claim for sympathy put forward on his behalf was that he had married a daughter of “John Bartlett, Esq., late a member of this House”. “When Stevens died, in 1780, his widow was granted a pension of the same amount. In 1790 a pension of £20 was proposed to be conferred on the widow of Bartlett's son. The motion was negatived; but the daughter of the widow forthwith


petitioned again, alleging that her mother had not sufficiently described her distressed state, and the House thereupon granted £30 a year to the daughter, for life!

On the 15th December, 1772, at a meeting of a few leading citizens, it was resolved to form an association under the title of the Bristol Library Society, having for its purpose the promotion of literature in the city. The original promoters of the movement were John Peach, John Ford, Joseph Harford, Samuel Farr, M.D., John Pryor Estlin, Richard Champion, Mark Harford, William BuUer, Abraham Ludlow, M.D., and Joseph Smith. Bishop Newton accepted the office of president. The subscription was fixed at a guinea, with an entrance fee of the same amount. (The latter was afterwards largely increased.) The society from the outset coveted the acquisition of the ”Library House“ erected by the Corporation in 1740 for the free use of the citizens, and private negotiations to attain that end soon took place, for in January, 1773, at the annual election of civic officials, Mr. Donn, the schoolmaster, who had been librarian for some years, was not reappointed. At the Council meeting in the following March, the Rev. Thomas Johnes petitioned for the vacant office of library keeper, and a memorial was presented from the society ”for increasing the library and rendering the same more useful to the publick“, begging for the free use of the building, and for Mr. Johnes' appointment. Both requests were granted (Mr. Johnes's salary was soon after raised to 12 guineas with rent-free apartments), and Mr. Donn was directed to quit the premises at Midsummer. The sum of £162 was next paid by the Chamber for renovating the premises and repairing the books. These preparations completed, the library was opened on the 1st July, 1773, the books belonging to the city, though kept apart from those of the society, being, of course, available to the members. Although the house was built for a free library, no reservation of the citizens' rights was made by the civic body, and the entrance of a non-subscriber into the building was soon treated by Mr. Johnes as an impertinent intrusion. In 1775 the Common Council rendered a further service to the new institution. In 1728 the Corporation had permitted Ezekial Longman, ancestor of the great London publishers, to erect a stable and coach-house in King Street, in front of the library, on his paying a rent of 20s. These constructions, with others added by the tenant, being found inconvenient, the Chamber purchased the whole for £392, and had them demolished


”to lay open the library house and widen the public way“, the Merchant Venturers contributing £100 towards the improvement. The Society was well supported, and being helped by various donations (the Society of Arts subscribed 10 guineas annually for upwards of half a century), its literary treasures rapidly increased. In 1786 it applied to the Common Council for a piece of void ground adjoining the library, upon which to build an additional wing. The land was granted at a rent of 2s. 5d., and a subscription of £100 was voted towards the intended building. The addition was completed in 1789. The restoration of the Library House to its original purpose was not effected until half a century later. See ”Annals of the Nineteenth Century“, p.333.

If travelling was slow during the eighteenth century, it was at least comparatively cheap. An advertisement in the Bristol Journal of the 13th February, 1773, intimates that a post chaise and pair of horses to Bath or Sodbury could be hired for 9s., or to Wells, 15s. These charges were about fifty per cent. higher than had been usual a few years earlier. In 1760 the price to Wells was half a guinea, and the average rate on level roads was then sixpence a mile in summer. The ordinary rate of travelling by post chaises was thirty miles per day.

At a meeting of the Council on the 27th March, 1773, a petition was read from owners of property on Kingsdown and St. MichaePs Hill, representing that they had within a few years built many new houses there, but were discouraged from making further improvements owing to the great damage done to their property by the populace during the execution of criminals, and praying that the gallows be removed to Brandon Hill. On the margin of the minute book is written:- ”Nothing done herein“.

A strike of tailors took place in April. The workmen, alleging that their weekly earnings averaged only 8s., demanded that the rate for the summer months, 12s., should be raised to 14s. The dispute was maintained for four months, and seems to have ended in the success of the men, for in 1777 there was another strike, caused by the employers reducing the rate from 14s. to 12s. In 1781, and again in 1790, the masters advertised for journeymen, offering 14s., their hands having demanded 15s. On both the latter occasions the workmen were defeated.

The weakness of rich Bristolians in reference to turtle was a theme for much sarcasm down to the first quarter of


the present century. Mr. Nugent has been shown describing the civic dignitaries as ”full of turtle“, and from his time to that of Byron, who said much the same thing, many jokes were cracked at the expense of the citizens. Of late years, thanks to Mr. Punch, the stream of banter has been diverted upon the Corporation of London, and the witticisms upon Bristol turtle eaters have been almost forgotten. The trade appears to have attained its highest point at the period now under review. The Bristol Journal of July 17th, 1773, announces:- ”Just imported, several large and small turtle from 2 to 120 lb., and from 1s. to 2s. per lb. To be sold at the Old Turtle Warehouse, next door to All Saints' Conduit, Corn Street“ - a convenient locality for the dignitaries at the opposite Council House. At this time a famous victualler, John ”Weeks, had just become tenant of the Bush tavern, fronting the Exchange, where he dressed turtle with such remarkable success that his soup became celebrated throughout the country, large quantities being prepared for distant consumption. In July, 1776, he advertised “turtle ordinaries every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday during the turtle season”, at 5s. a head. Weeks's renown as a caterer extended over thirty years, and he is said to have enjoyed the patronage of the Prince of Wales (George IV.). In 1781 the Corporation accounts contain the following item:- “Paid for a small turtle sent to the Recorder (Dunning) as a present, £6 16s. 4d”. In 1796 the proprietors of the Bush, White Lion, Talbot, and Montague hotels announced that fresh turtle was dressed by them every day during the season.

At a meeting of the Council in December, 1773, the master of Queen Elizabeth's Hospital and the mistress of the Red Maids' School were voted an extra sum of £42 each (£1 per scholar) on account of the high price of provisions. The children in the two charities were “farmed” by their teachers, the master of the Hospital being allowed at this time £10 per boy for clothing, food, and instruction, whilst the mistress of the girls received £7 per head, together with the profits derived from the needlework at which the children were almost constantly employed - their school lessons being confined to reading.

The Council, at the same meeting, ordered that a hogs-head of wine should be forwarded to the recorder, as an acknowledgment “for his advice”. The fee of the recorders from the time of Sir Michael Foster had been £60 for each gaol delivery. It was now probably thought that this


honorarium was insufficient. At all events, the gift of wine was renewed annually, and continued until the reform of the Corporation.

In the session of 1774 a Bill was promoted by the Bristol turnpike trustees for a renewal of their powers, then about to expire, and for the inclusion in the trust of Gallows Acre Lane, of the road from the top of Park Street to the bottom of Clifton Hill, of the lane from Stoke's Croft to the Blackbirds Inn Gate, Stapleton Boad, and of the road from Gallows Acre Lane to Whiteladies' Road. The two last-named proposals excited much local agitation, and petitions against them were adopted by the poor law guardians and by a public meeting of the citizens, on the ground that the large traffic between the Hot Well and Bath, as well as that between Wales and the South of England, then passing through Bristol, would be diverted, to the great loss of the inhabitants. The opposition was successful in forcing the trustees to modify their scheme. Power to make a turnpike road from the top of Stokers Croft to Stapleton Road was, however, obtained a few years later, and Ashley Road was opened in 1786.

On the 22nd February, 1774, the philanthropic John Howard paid his first visit to Bristol in the course of his remarkable exertions for the promotion of prison reform. It is difficult for later generations to render full justice to Howard's dauntless labours, inasmuch as the horrors he had to encounter have long passed away. That he ran no trifling risk is attested by the facts relating to Somerset prison recorded at page 172, and by the circumstance that a lord mayor, an alderman, two judges, and the greater part of a London jury perished from gaol fever caught in court in 1760. These and many other warnings had produced no effect on the authorities when Howard began his mission. The Castle prison at Gloucester, which he had visited before reaching Bristol, was found in a wretched condition. The floor of the main ward was so ruinous that it could not be washed; the male and female felons were herded together in a single day-room; a large dunghill lay against the steps leading to the dormitories; and the gaoler, having no salary, made his living out of the profits of the liquor sold to the prisoners, and by taxing the debtors brought under his charge. “Many prisoners”, Howard noted, “died there in the course of the year”. Newgate prison, in Bristol, was overcrowded with inmates, but was in a better sanitary state than that of Gloucester, though the “dungeon”, or


night room for male felons, often densely crowded, was eighteen steps underground, and only 17 feet in diameter. “No bedding, nor straw”. In the yard the criminals of all ages and both sexes mingled with the insolvent debtors, even the poorest of the latter class paying the gaoler, who had no salary, 10½d. a week for the lodgings in which they were incarcerated by their creditors. There were 38 felons and 68 debtors in Newgate at the time of Howard's inspection. Bridewell was in a worse state than the gaol, the rooms being very dirty, and the air offensive from open sewers. There was no bedding, no employment, insufficient water, and the only food was two pennyworth of bread per head daily. At Lawford's Gate Bridewell there was “a dark room, the dungeon, about 12 feet by 7, in which the felons slept, except those who could afford to pay for beds. The rooms were without chimneys, and yet the inmates were never allowed to leave them. A prisoner had no allowance for food, except he was very poor, when he had twopence a day”. Howard paid repeated visits to Bristol, where he generally stayed for some time at the Hot Well. He noted in December, 1776, that he had released a woman from Bridewell, who had been acquitted at the quarter sessions, but was detained for nonpayment of fees, 3s. 6d. Some improvements were effected in Newgate after the publication of Howard's reports; but he describes it in 1787 as “white without and foul within; the dungeon and several rooms very dirty. The allowance still to felons only a penny loaf before trial, and a twopenny loaf (1½lb.) after conviction”. At his last inspection, May, 1788, the gaol was found “much cleaner”, and Bridewell “perfectly clean”. The improvement, however, was of brief duration (See “Annals of the Nineteenth Century”, p.66).

A musical festival took place in the Cathedral on the 31st March, 1774, for the benefit of the Infirmary. During the morning service, to which the admission was free, the performances consisted of “the grand Dettingen Te Deum, a manuscript Anthem, and the Coronation Anthem, all composed by the late Mr. Handel”. In the evening “The Messiah” was given, “between the parts of which Master Charles Wesley performed a concerto on the organ”. The vocalists and instrumentalists were ninety-one in number. “Tickets, 5s. 3d. each”; and the committee promised that the Cathedral should be “well-aired” for the occasion. The festival realised a profit of £100.

The progress of the quarrel between the American


colonies and the mother country suspended the white slave trade, so long carried on under the name of emigration, to which repeated reference has been made. The latest record of the traffic has been found in the New York Gazette of May 10th, 1774, an advertisement notifying that a number of “servants” had just arrived, and were then for sale on board the Commerce, “amongst whom are a number of weavers, taylors, blacksmiths, masons, joiners, . . . and spinsters from 14 to 36 years of age. Apply to . . . the master, on board”. A letter in the Bristol Journal about a fortnight earlier quotes the price of these imports at New York and Philadelphia at about £16 currency per head. The trade revived after the colonies had gained their independence. In November, 1800, William Cobbett, in his Porcupine, stated that he had personally seen a cargo of emigrants put up for sale at Wilmington, and treated as mere cattle, in 1793; adding that an Irishman offered him a little girl, seven years of age, for six guineas, her servitude to last until she reached twenty-one years. The child, with her sisters, was to be sold to pay for the passage of her sick, and therefore valueless, mother.

At a meeting of the Council on the 13th August, 1774, an order was made for the demolition of Froom Gate, Christmas Street, “in order to make the way there more commodious”. A committee also reported that the removal of Small Street Gate would greatly improve the locality, and that certain inhabitants had offered to undertake the work, as well as to demolish some projecting tenements adjoining the barrier. On the recommendation of the committee, the Chamber voted £300 towards the estimated outlay of £600. (A further subscription of £60 was made in 1776.) Another street improvement was ordered three weeks later. A committee reported that Blind Steps, between Nicholas and Baldwin Streets, were very narrow, dark, and dangerous, and that it was desirable to make a better thoroughfare, by removing some old hovels and lofts, the property of the Corporation. The report was adopted, and orders were given for carrying out the work.

On the 29th August the rector and churchwardens of St. Michael's published a circular stating that the fabric of the church had been condemned by Mr. Thomas Patey, architect, as being in a ruinous condition. As it provided accommodation for only 660 persons out of an estimated population of 2,000, it was deemed inadvisable to repair the old structure, and Mr. Patey having reported that a “roomy,


elegant, and commodious new church” could be erected for £1,800 or £2,000, the authorities solicited subscriptions to carry his suggestion into effect. The parishioners responded liberally to this appeal; the Corporation contributed £300 and the Merchants' Society £160; and, the fund soon amounting to £2,400, the old church, with the exception of the tower, was demolished in the spring of 1776. In the following July the foundation stone was laid of the new edifice, and the building - a striking specimen of the bad taste of the age - was finished at an outlay of £3,100. The church was reopened on the 22nd June, 1777.

The dissolution of Parliament in the autumn of 1774 brought about the most interesting election that ever took place in Bristol. Lord Clare and Mr. Brickdale offered themselves for re-election; but the Whig party was much discontented with the conduct of the former, who was charged with having become an obsequious supporter of the King's American policy; and Mr. Henry Cruger, by birth an American, and an advocate of conciliatory measures towards the colonies, came forward in opposition to the once popular peer. A meeting of Whigs was held on the 6th October, when Mr. Cruger's action was unanimously approved. Some of the more zealous opponents of American taxation being desirous that both the seats should be claimed, the name of Edmund Burke was brought forward by two influential Quakers, Joseph Harford and Richard Champion, but the proposal was disapproved by Mr. Cruger's friends, and was not pressed to a vote. Burke was then at Bath, awaiting the decision of the party. Upon learning the result, he proceeded to Malton, where he was returned without opposition. The formal nomination of candidates for Bristol took place on the 7th October, when Lord Clare, Mr. Brickdale, and Mr. Cruger presented themselves; and after about a dozen votes had been recorded for each, the proceedings were adjourned. Lord Clare, mortified by the discovery that his popularity was at an end, and that many of his former supporters were working zealously for Cruger, left the city in the evening, after intimating that he should not continue the contest. His retreat revived the hopes of Burke's friends, who held a hurried meeting in the middle of the night, drew up a letter to the great orator pressing him to return, and despatched a messenger with it to Malton. Polling on the 8th was practically suspended owing to the announcement of Lord Clare's determination and to the excitement caused by the prospect of another candidate,


only twenty votes being tendered during the day. On the 10th (Monday) Burke was proposed by Richard Champion, in the midst of vehement protests by the friends of Brickdale, and the contest now fairly set in, the poll of the day being:- Cruger, 95; Burke, 71; Brickdale, 46. Mr. Burke reached Bristol from Malton in the afternoon of the 13th, after what was regarded as a break-neck journey of 270 miles in 44½ hours. Upon his arrival he proceeded to the Guildhall, and was cordially received upon offering his services. He subsequently, for several successive days, addressed numerous meetings of the electors, until he lost his voice through hoarseness. Hannah More, hearing of his mishap, sent him a wreath of flowers with the following couplet attached, conveying her mediocre esteem of her fellow citizens:-

Great Edmund's hoarse, they say; the reason's clear.
Could Attic lungs respire Boetian air?

The poll remained open 23 days, although the number of voters during the last week did not average much more than a hundred daily. At the close of the contest on the 2nd November, the numbers were:- for Mr. Cruger, 3,566; Mr. Burke, 2,707; Mr. Brickdale, 2,466; Lord Clare, 283. The formal declaration of the result was made on the 3rd; after which, says a local journal, “the members were carried through the principal streets in chairs richly ornamented, amidst an incredible number of people, whose acclamations were beyond everything of the kind that was ever seen or heard in this city”. The bells were, however, silent, by express order of the clergy. A series of private entertainments followed. Burke, writing to his wife on the 8th November, said:- “I begin to breathe, but my visits are not half over. ... The dinners would never end. But we close the poll of engagements next Saturday ”- (the 12th). Peculiar ideas as to freedom of election were then prevalent. Cruger's committee publicly thanked the mayor (C. Hotchkin) “for his great liberality in permitting the publicans in his ward to vote as they thought proper”. The aldermen of six other wards voted for Brickdale; it is significant that no similar compliment was offered to them. Only two aldermen supported Burke and Cruger. Not a single beneficed clergyman in the city supported Burke, and only one did not vote against him. Upwards of 400 freemen were brought from London; one came from Guernsey, two from Ireland, and one is recorded as “John Lloyd, merchant, Charlestown, South Carolina”. In addition to these, an immense number


of men (nearly 2,100) were placed on the freemen's roll, the fees being paid by the committees of the rival candidates. The right of no small portion of these persons was derived from their having sumilarily married the daughters of freemen for the mere purpose of obtaining a vote, the newly-united couples often separating for ever on leaving the church. (One of the devices for divorce imagined by such couples was to stand on each side of a grave in the churchyard, and to separate after repeating the words “Death us do part”.) The fees of these weddings were of course defrayed by the election agents. As the constituency was also copiously regaled throughout the contest, the gross outlay of the contending parties must have been enormous. Burke, in a letter to his wife's sister, stated that he had been returned at no expense to himself; but six years later, in a letter to Joseph Harford, he referred with “horror” to the burden he had entailed on his friends. Mr. Brickdale petitioned against the return, contending that the nomination of Burke after the poll had been opened was illegal, that great numbers had been allowed to vote whose freedoms had been granted after the issue of the writ, and that his defeat had been due to corruption. The last charge was withdrawn; the committee of the Commons decided that the post- nomination was valid; and as the petitioner's agents admitted that 772 of Brickdale's voters had been admitted freemen during the contest, the sitting members were declared duly elected. After the dismissal of the petition, Burke was requested to return to Bristol to take part in a triumphal procession, but he declined to neglect his “duty for such a foolish piece of pageantry”. Cruger accepted the invitation, and on the 27th February, 1776, he was met at Keynsham by about a thousand citizens on horseback and fifty private carriages, and escorted amidst cheering crowds to his house in Great George Street, a gay triumphal arch being reared in the newly-opened Clare Street. The story that Mr. Cruger was so incapable of public speaking as to be forced to cry at the declaration of the poll, “I say ditto to Mr. Burke”, is a silly fiction. Cruger, as senior member, was the first to return thanks, and made an appropriate address. He subsequently spoke so ably in the House of Commons on American affairs as to be complimented by his party leaders. Shortly after the election, a satire was published entitled “The Consultation, A Mock Heroick Poem”, written by James Thistlethwaite, who had served an apprenticeship to a stationer in Corn Street, and claimed to be a friend of


Chatterton. The author appears to have been utterly destitute of principle, but he was a not unskilful imitator of the style of Churchill, and excelled that master of invective in the vulgarity of his abuse. There are strong reasons for asserting that Thistlethwaite, after printing the book, in which upwards of a hundred Tory citizens were libelled, endeavoured to wring money out of his victims by offering to suppress it if he were compensated for his trouble. This trick meeting with slender success, the satire was published, and as personalities are always agreeable to certain minds, it had a rapid sale; and the slanderer jubilantly produced a second edition, with additional vituperation. A copy of the original pamphlet, annotated by Mr. Richard Smith, of gossipping fame, is in the Jefferies Collection. Some of the notes are amusing. Thus, in a reference to Sir Abraham Isaac Elton, the town clerk, Mr. Smith alleges that it was said the corporate functionary was all jaw and no law, while one Vernon, a contemporary local barrister, was described as all law and no jaw, and Rowles Scudamore, judge of the sheriff's court, neither law nor jaw. Speaking of Daniel Harson, collector of Customs, Smith says he was “formerly a dissenting minister”; while John Powell, who succeeded Harson, was “formerly a medical man on board a slave ship”. As to Henry Burgum, the pewterer, to whom Thistlethwaite dedicated the satire in vilifying terms, the note-maker states that twenty men whom Burgum brought up to vote for Cruger and Burke were decorated by him with pewter hats. Thistlethwaite, who walked about “with the butt ends of two horse pistols peeping out of his coat pockets”, produced another lampoon in 1775, styled “The Tories in the Dumps”, savagely commenting on the failure of the election petition. The author afterwards removed to London, where he was for some years a hack to booksellers and law stationers.

A more agreeable literary souvenir of the election is to be found in Thompson's Life of Hannah More. During the contest a party of Cruger's friends halted before the house of the Mores in Park Street (next door to Cruger's) and gave “three cheers for Sappho” - whom some of the assisting mob imagined to be a new candidate. Burke was a frequent visitor at the house, and, when his success was assured, the Misses More sent him a cockade, adorned with myrtle, bay and laurel, and enriched with silver tassels, which Burke wore on being “chaired”.

During the four weeks that Burke remained in Bristol, he was entertained by Mr. Joseph Smith, a merchant


residing at 19, Queen Square, but paid occasional visits to Blaize Castle, then belonging to Mr. Thomas Farr, and to the house at Henbury to which Richard Champion had shortly before removed. Grateful for the kindness of the Smith family, the new member requested Champion to exert his utmost skill in the manufacture of a china tea-service for presentation to his host's wife. Champion was preparing a still more exquisite specimen of his art in the shape of a service destined for Mrs. Burke. The result was the production of works which, for the purity of the material and the splendour of the ornamentation, have never been surpassed. For an adequate description of the services the reader must be referred to Mr. Owen's “Ceramic Art in Bristol”, pp. 95-98. The tea-pot of the Burke service was sold by auction in 1876 for £215 5s., a cup and saucer at the same time bringing £91 - more than thrice the value of their weight in gold. The cream jug was sold for 115 guineas some years previously. The teapot of the Smith set was sold in 1876 for £74 10s., and a cup and saucer have realised £55.

A special meeting of the Council was held in November, for the purpose of passing a vote of thanks to Lord Clare for his lengthy services to the city, and for conferring the freedom upon Mr. Burke. Lord Clare, in responding to the compliment, boasted of his “dutiful attachment” to the king, and of his “inflexible resolution to co-operate in maintaining the sovereign authority of the legislature over the colonies”. His lordship's devotion to the king and his policy was rewarded in 1776 by a further elevation in the peerage, the earldom of Nugent being bestowed upon him.

The Corporation, in December, voted a grant of £80 “to assist the inhabitants of Queen Square in removing the middle row of trees on each side of the square, and throwing the double walks there into one”. At the same meeting, the Council resolved to give £20 yearly to a chaplain to the Infirmary, and the Rev. Thomas Johnes, the newly-elected city librarian, was nominated to this post also.

In 1774 the Jamaica legislature passed two Acts to restrict the trade in slaves. But the Bristol and Liverpool merchants petitioned the Government not to sanction the measures, and their appeal was successful. The colonists remonstrated, but the President of the Board of Trade replied that “we cannot allow the colonists to check or discourage in any degree a traffic so beneficial to the nation”. In a History of Jamaica published in 1774, the author estimates that the yearly number of fresh slaves


required to keep up the stock in the British plantations was 6,000, which at the prices of that day involved an outlay of £360,000. The value of negroes had doubled in the previous 16 years. It was the practice, he adds, of speculators to buy slaves, for the purpose of hiring them to poor or thriftless planters, who not only paid from £8 to £12 a year for them, but made good losses by death, the proprietors thus earning a profit of about 16 per cent.

According to calculations made in 1775, when the first blood was spilt in the war with the revolted colonies in America, the yearly value of the produce imported into England from the thirteen settlements before the struggle began was upwards of three millions, while that of the home manufactures taken by the colonists sufficed to balance the account. Of this great trade Bristol possessed a very considerable share, and the effects of the quarrel, long before the actual outbreak of hostilities, was painfully felt in many branches of business. From casual notices in the newspapers, it appears that a single firm in the city employed 400 hands in making serges for America, and that the manufacture came wholly to an end. Another house was accustomed to purchase every spring, for export across the Atlantic, 3,000 pieces of stuff made at Wiveliscombe, but the quantity fell in 1774 to 200 pieces, and afterwards to nothing. Until the quarrel arose, the tobacco-pipe makers of Bristol - a numerous body - each sent 600 or 600 boxes of pipes yearly to the colonies, but the exports ceased after 1774. These facts, though not very important in themselves, indicate the depression caused in many industries by the disruption. In January, 1775, before the last fatal measures of the Government had been taken, a meeting of merchants trading with America at all the chief ports was held in London, to remonstrate against the proceedings of the Ministry, and to petition for a repeal of the Acts prohibiting trade with the colonies. Petitions to a similar effect were forwarded by the Merchants' Society and a numerous body of Bristol citizens. The appeals, however, fell upon deaf ears; and within a few weeks 8,000 tons of shipping had to return from America unloaded, the blockade preventing them from landing their cargoes. The Bristol West India merchants joined with their brethren of Liverpool and London in holding another meeting in the metropolis, and a strong remonstrance was again adopted with practical unanimity. It was stated at this gathering that the amount of English capital invested in the West


Indies was 60 millions sterling; that 20,000 hogsheads of sugar were taken by the American settlements, besides 10,000 hogsheads of refined sugar from England; and that the West Indies were dependent on the revolted States for food and timber. No effect was produced on the Cabinet, or rather on the Crown, which persisted in its attempt to trample down the “rebels” and to realise the merchants' predictions of wide-spread commercial disaster. Mr. Baines, in his History of Liverpool, states that the condition of that town so greatly deteriorated during the war that “not less than 10,000 out of the 40,000 inhabitants became dependent on charity for their daily support”. In Bristol the poor rates increased about 160 per cent., and great distress prevailed. The general depression, however, did not abate the determination of the influential local supporters of the Government to defend its policy. On the 18th September a memorial was addressed to the mayor by Thomas Tyndall, Michael Miller, John Vaughan, Slade Baker, and other leading Tories, asking him to summon the Council to address the King in support of the Ministerial policy. A meeting was accordingly convened for the 21st, but a quorum did not attend. The agitators then asked the mayor for the Guildhall to hold a public meeting, which took place on the 28th, when an address, expressing abhorrence of the rebellion and a wish for its forcible suppression, was adopted. Some opposition was manifested by American merchants and others, but a reporter notes that “numbers prevailed, and they were silenced”. The address, which was signed by nearly all the local clergy and many merchants, was “very graciously” received by the king. An address praying for conciliatory measures was, however, drawn up by John Fisher Weare, Richard Champion, and others, and was numerously signed. A few weeks later Mr. Burke attempted to introduce a Bill into the Lower House to lay the grounds for reconciliation, but was defeated by an immense majority. During the autumn the Americans began to fit out privateers, which were soon preying upon English merchantmen in all parts of the Atlantic, and even on our own coasts. The step provoked measures of retaliation, and the energies of the two nations were vigorously devoted to the destruction of commerce through the remaining years of the war. The foreign trade of Bristol rapidly declined, until it sank to a small fraction of its previous dimensions. In 1776 the number of ships paying mayor's dues was 629; in 1781 it shrank to 191.


(This, however, was partially due to the refusals to pay the dues about to be recorded.) The African trade was virtually suspended, and the ships laid up. Even the number of privateers was insignificant as compared with the ships sent out in previous wars. In January, 1778, it was stated in the House of Lords that the number of British ships destroyed or taken by the enemy was 559, of a computed value of £1,800,000; that of the vessels thus lost (many of which belonged to Bristol), 247 were engaged in the West India trade; and that all imports from America had risen enormously in price - tobacco from 7½d. to 2s. 6d. per lb., and other articles in proportion.

The extent of the Bristol postal establishment at this date is accidentally brought to light by a paragraph in the Liverpool Advertiser of February 17th, 1776. A memorial had been sent to the Postmasters General, complaining that there was only one letter-carrier for the delivery of all the letters received in Liverpool. The answer of the authorities was that only one letter-carrier was maintained in any provincial town, and that they did not think themselves justified in incurring for Liverpool the expense of another. An additional Bristol postman was, however, appointed previous to January, 1778.

A melancholy accident occurred on the 17th March to the Rev. Thomas Newnham, one of the minor canons of the Cathedral. The reverend gentleman, who was about 25 years of age, had gone with his sister and two friends to visit a singular cavern near Brentry, known as Pen Park Hole. Endeavouring to ascertain the depth of the cave, Mr. Newnham hung over the opening for the purpose of throwing down a line, when the small branch of an ash tree to which he was clinging suddenly broke, and he was precipitated to the bottom - nearly 200 feet - into a deep pool of water. Although repeated efforts were made to recover the body, it was not rescued until the 25th April.

A number of the inhabitants of St. Augustine's parish having offered to carry out the clauses of the Improvement Act of 1766 in reference to the removal of old houses standing on the Butts, or Quay, from opposite the end of Denmark Street to the end of Trinity Street, and to supplement this work by widening the narrow and dangerous road from St. Augustine's Back to College Green, the Common Council, on the 1st April, acceded to the proposal. The expense was estimated at £2,400, one third of which had been promised by the Merchant Venturers' Society; and


the Corporation contributed the same amount. The improvement was completed in 1776.

At a meeting of the Council in April, 1775, a committee recommended the prosecution of all persons, “particularly members of this House” who had refused to pay the town dues, that is the local tax on goods imported and exported, payable to the Corporation. The report was confirmed, and actions were soon after commenced against Mr. William Miles and Mr. Henry Cruger, two leading merchants, who contended that the dues were illegal, and who both served the office of mayor whilst the matter at issue remained unsettled. In January, 1778, the defendants published an appeal to their fellow merchants in Felix Farley's Journal. “The fee in dispute”, they wrote, “has within 5O years advanced more than treble, and still the body corporate are not satisfied, which growing evil necessarily alarms us, and is of such a nature that, if established, must put a stop in a great degree to the trade of the city”. The writers requested the citizens to attend a meeting in the Guildhall during the following week, “to consider of a proper mode to resist this attack”. No report of the gathering is to be found in the local journals, beyond the fact that Mr. Cruger presided and that Mr. Miles made a vigorous speech against the obnoxious burden. What pecuniary support they obtained from other merchants is unknown; but the civic records show that many firms refused to pay the dues. The Corporation seems to have been lethargic in pursuing the litigation, the actions not being brought to trial for more than twelve years. The matter excited much bitterness of feeling. A writer in Felix Farley's Journal of November 5th, 1785, asked, if Strafford was punished, “what punishment ought to fall on a Whig C____ in exercising a despotism under the pretence of prescription?”

The miserable condition of the unhappy people incarcerated in Newgate for non-payment of their debts led to the establishment of a local society for the relief of insolvent prisoners, a meeting of which was held on the 11th April The report stated that during the previous year 72 debtors had been released from gaol on payment by the society of £132 10s. - of which sum £32 12s. were demanded by the gaoler for fees. Many people were flung into prison for non-payment of only a few shillings, and, as they were compelled to provide their own food, some would have perished from hunger but for relief obtained from the charitable. The box provided for this purpose at the door


of the gaol was, in seasons of extremity, carried about the city. On at least one occasion, this was turned to account by heartless knaves, complaint being made in the newspapers that through the hawking of “false boxes” the debtors had been defrauded of many donations. The “true gaol box” afterwards bore the name of the governor as a security against imposition.

The coaching enterprise of John Weeks, the landlord of the Bush inn, excited much attention at this period. In April, 1775, he advertised that “the original Bristol Diligence, or Flying Post Chaise”, would thenceforth make the journey to London in sixteen hours - a feat which plunged old-fashioned travellers in equal astonishment and terror. The fare was 3d. a mile, and luggage was limited to 101b. a head. The coaches carried only four passengers each. Soon afterwards, Weeks started a fast coach to Birmingham, setting off early in the morning and completing the journey in the evening. The owners of the two-days coach tried to beat their rival off the road by reducing their fares, but Weeks lowered his rates also, and gave his passengers a dinner, with wine, into the bargain. One-day coaches to Exeter and Oxford followed, and the Bush soon attained the first rank amongst local coaching houses.

Amongst the curiosities of English taxation, the duty levied in the last century upon starch is entitled to a place. In July, 1775, the excise officers discovered an illicit starch factory in St. James's Back, and brought the owner before the magistrates, who fined him £500 for breaking the law. The custom of powdering the hair with starch was universal amongst the upper and middle classes at this period, causing a great consumption.

A now very scarce work, in two volumes, styled “The Philosopher in Bristol”, was published in July by George Routh, “printer, in the Maiden Tavern, Baldwin Street”. The book, which is a collection of desultory essays, was from the pen of a singularly prolific writer, William Combe, born in this city in 1741, and supposed to have been the illegitimate son of a wealthy merchant. Educated at Eton and Oxford, with a handsome person and engaging manners. Combe studied with a view to becoming a barrister, but soon floated into fashionable society, and rapidly spent all his means. Falling into complete destitution, he was by turns a common soldier, a waiter at a Swansea inn, a cook at Douai College, and a private in the French army. In 1772 he was again in England, and, probably through the


receipt of some legacy, he soon after mingled with the fashionable company at the Hot Well, amazing the public by his profuse mode of living, his couple of chariots, and his grand retinue of servants; from which he was commonly known as Count Combe. “The Philosopher in Bristol”, one of his earliest works, must have been written during this blaze of magnificence. A comedy called “The Flattering Milliner”, of which he was also the author, was played at the Bristol theatre on the 11th September, 1776. Having returned to London almost as poor as ever, he sought to gain a precarious living by literary labour, and produced a number of versified satires and other fugitive essays, which like all his works were published anonymously. In the eventful year 1789, when political discussions became a mania, he started as a party pamphleteer, and is alleged to have had no scruples in serving either camp. He gained, however, the favour of Mr. Pitt, and enjoyed a pension of £200 until the resignation of his patron. Later on he became one of the chief conductors of the Times. But although he was one of the few men of his age who totally abstained from intoxicants, his taste for extravagance was inveterate, and for the last forty years of his life he was compelled to live within the “rules” of King's Bench prison. His chief literary work was the “Tour of Dr. Syntax in Search of the Picturesque”, which originally appeared in Ackermann's Poetical Magazine, and won its author both reputation and profit. Combe also wrote histories of Westminster Abbey, Oxford, and Cambridge, finely illustrated. The list of his works in the “Dictionary of Biography” enumerates eighty-six publications, besides which he is known to have written over two hundred biographical sketches, seventy-three sermons, and an immense quantity of fugitive articles. Mr. Combe, whose private life seems to have been far from creditable in despite of his religious professions, died at Lambeth on the 19th June, 1823, in his 82nd year, leaving no legitimate descendants.

An enterprising local shopkeeper, dealing in tea, china and glass, announced in a local paper of August 19th, 1776, that a stock of “silk and other umbrellas” was also on sale. An umbrella was then a great novelty. Southey's mother, born in 1762, stated that when she was a child, a person displaying one in Bristol would have been hooted by the populace. (So late as 1778, a footman who had brought one from Paris was followed by jeering crowds in the streets of


London.) £1 14s. was paid in 1785 for an umbrella “for the use of the Council House”.

The old Assembly Room at St. Augustine's Back, having been taken on lease by Selina, Countess of Huntingdon, and fitted up at her expense as a chapel, was opened for divine service in August. Although the building was not consecrated, the Common Prayer Book was adopted, and the pulpit was supplied for several years by clergymen of the Church of England. The attendance was generally large, and many distinguished families, during their visits to the Hot Well, were accustomed to attend. Subsequently, a chapel at Clifton was thought desirable, and the building known as Hope Chapel, erected at the joint expense of Lady Henrietta Hope and Lady Glenorchy (neither of whom lived to see it completed), was opened on the 31st of August, 1788, “under the patronage of Lady Maxwell”. The patroness seems to have been a lady of “exclusive” ideas, for a local journal of August 7th, 1790, eulogises “the Rev. Mr. Collins, for asserting so nobly the rights of the public” on the previous Sunday, by “ordering admission for the multitude, who are excluded from that place of worship, now devoted to mercenary purposes”.

The Common Council, in December, granted a pension of £20 a year to the widow of Henry Casamajor, she being a daughter of Anthony Whitehead, a former member of the Chamber. A chaplain for Newgate was appointed at a salary of £35 a year. A subscription of 100 guineas was voted to the local movement for the relief of the troops engaged in America (the amount raised by the anti-American party for this purpose was about £2,000); and to denote more strongly the political views of the majority, the freedom of the city was conferred upon Lord North, the head of the Government responsible for driving the Americans into revolt. A similar compliment was paid to the Earl of Berkeley, lord lieutenant, and to the Duke of Beaufort.

The first Bristol Directory was published about the end of the year by James Sketchley, printer and auctioneer, 27, Small Street; who, it is said, not merely collected the names of all the upper class and commercial residents, but also numbered their dwellings throughout the city, and placed the figures on their doors for the consideration of one shilling per house. Copies of his book are so rare that it has escaped the attention of local historians. The commercial directory extends over 110 pages, and contains the names of


about 4,400 citizens. A list of 167 merchants, filling six pages, is appended to facilitate reference to that class. The list of the Corporation is interesting as showing the localities still in good repute. Alderman Morgan Smith resided at 78, Lewin's Mead, and had as next door neighbour Alderman William Barnes. Alderman Jeremiah Ames lived in Maudlin Street, and Alderman Mugleworth in Orchard Street. Two others dwelt in Prince's Street, two in St. James's Square, one in Park Street, one at Clifton, and two were non-resident. Of the Common Council, one gentleman resided in the Old Market, one in Nicholas Street, one in Back Lane, St. Philip's, two in Maudlin Street, one in Dove Street, six in Queen Square, four in College Green, one at Clifton, and the rest in various localities. Sir Abraham Elton, Bart., town clerk, lived in St. James's Barton. Dr. Tucker, Dean of Gloucester, lived in Trenchard Lane, and other beneficed clergymen in Wilder and Culver Streets. One of the striking features of the directory is the number - nearly a hundred - of “ship captains” recorded as householders. The textile industries common at the beginning of the century had nearly disappeared, but the city was well supplied with gunsmiths and pewterers, a great many tobacco-pipe makers, four buckle makers, as many patten makers, two workers in horn, and scores of peruke makers. Two “limners” and a miniature painter were the only representatives of art, with the exception of a china painter. One tradesman described himself as a harpsichord and spinnet maker, another as organ builder, and a third as organ builder and harpsichord maker. There were two old book shops on St. James's Back. Only one commercial traveller, described as a “rider and bookkeeper”, appears in the list. Some men cumulated trades: one was a gardener and schoolmaster, another a breeches and glue maker; a music-seller kept an alehouse in the Pithay, a ship captain relieved the tedium of life on shore by retailing beer and spirits, and John Cole, victualler and apothecary, invited patronage at the Pestle and Mortar, Prince Eugene Street. The most old-world tradesman in the Directory was Thomas Bennett, hour-glass maker. Wilder Street. About twenty distinctively French names, such as Daltera, Bonbonous, Laroche, and Peloquin, mark the Huguenot element in the population. Sketchley included Clifton in his work, but only 36 houses were numbered “on the hill” (Mr. Goldney's house being “No. 2”), and the number of merchants residing there was no more than four. In some notes descriptive of


Bristol the author states that a survey of the city, Clifton, and Bedminster had shown the total number of houses to be 6,570 (exclusive of 348 unoccupied), with a population of 35,440. Similar surveys, he adds, had credited Birmingham with a population of 30,804, and Liverpool with 34,407. It is certain, however, that the population of Bristol was greatly underrated in this return. The next Bristol Directory - printed at Birmingham - was published in 1783, and was followed by local works dated 1785, 1787, and 1792.

An Act of Parliament was passed in 1776, “to remove the danger of fire amongst the ships in the port of Bristol”, and for other purposes. The preamble recited that owing to the large importations of timber and other inflammable articles, the quays were often encumbered with such goods, and the danger of fire was much dreaded; that the Merchants' Company, to provide a remedy, had purchased certain (Champion's) docks at Clifton, and that it was desirable to enlarge these docks and erect warehouses for storing dangerous materials. The Act empowered the Company to carry out the works, prohibited timber, tar, etc., from being landed at the public quays, and permitted the customary dues to be collected at the docks. It being desirable that the property should be under civic jurisdiction, it was enacted that all that part of Clifton lying to the south of Hotwell Road (between “a little brook anciently called Woodwell Lake, but now a sluice carried under ground near a place where a lime-kiln stood... and a certain ferry called Rownham Passage”), should be separated from the county of Gloucester and become part of the city and county of Bristol; except as regarded local taxes and freeholders' votes at county elections.

In consequence of the complaints made by the parishioners of St. Nicholas of the inconvenience caused by the open markets on the Back, the Council, in April, 1776, gave orders for the erection (at a cost not exceeding £340) of a market house there, “for the sale of poultry, fruit, and other provisions brought from Wales”.

On the 29th April, Dr. Johnson, whilst sojourning with the Thrales at Bath, paid a visit to Bristol, accompanied by his faithful companion and biographer, for the purpose of inquiring into the authenticity of the so-called Rowley Manuscripts produced by Chatterton, over which a fierce battle was then raging in the literary world. Johnson had never doubted that the boy poet was the author of the


works, and only marvelled how the “young whelp” could have written them. The visitors were met at their inn by the steadfast Bowleian, George Catcott, who predicted to Boswell that he would make a convert of the doctor, but was doomed to disappointment. “We called”, adds the biographer, “on Mr. Barrett, the surgeon, and saw some of the originals, as they were called, but... we were quite satisfied of the imposture”. The enthusiastic Catcott, however, urged Dr. Johnson to visit St. Mary Redcliff, and inspect “with his own eyes the chest in which the manuscripts were found”. In spite of his asthma, the lexicographer good-humouredly toiled up to the old chamber over the north porch; but to the immense mortification of his guide, he remained as sceptical as before. Boswell's account of the Bristol visit is scanty and incomplete. The explanation is that he had a “tiff” with Hannah More whilst preparing his great work, and that he shabbily cancelled his account of the visit which Dr. Johnson paid to the Misses More. The visitors were much dissatisfied with the (unnamed) inn at which they stayed; Johnson jocularly describing it as so bad that Boswell wished himself in Scotland.

The open-air entertainments given during the summer season at “New Vauxhall”, near the Hot Well, have been already noticed. In 1761 the garden was offered for sale in building sites, and visitors had thenceforth to content themselves with the in-door amusements offered in the evening at the two assembly rooms near Dowry Square. At length, on the 23rd May, 1776, a few enterprising persons opened another Vauxhall on an estate “formerly called the Red Cliff”, and promised, in return for a moderate subscription, to give a grand concert every Monday and Thursday evening during the summer season. “Admission to non-subscribers, one shilling”. Handel's “Acis and Galatea” was performed in the following August, when there was “a transparency on the bowling green”. The place was extensively patronised at the outset, and occasioned the publication of a satirical poem entitled “A Trip to Vauxhall”, professedly written by a Bristolian “lately returned from Madeira” to a friend in that island. The author begins by lamenting the degeneracy of the citizens. Scarcely a trace of the downright honest trading class, he says, remains; Folly has taken possession of all, and the modest shopkeepers that formerly contented themselves with decent bob-wigs now parade about with tails down their backs, like monkeys, while their wives, starched out in silk and


lace, rattle along in fine coaches. As if a playhouse in the middle of the city did not offer sufficient scope for dissipation, a Vauxhall was opened by the limpid waters of the Avon.

They have here furnished up an old family seat, And built a saloon, in length seventy-five feet. The gardens were luckily laid out before, So some lamps stuck about there now needed no more. Six days out of seven in business begun Is ended in jollity, feasting, and fun.

On Sundays, he continues, the vanity-stricken throng to College Green to display their fine dresses. The nights are given up to fine suppers, upon which tradesmen squander all their profits. After this denunciatory exordium, the author proceeds to describe his visit to Vauxhall, where he beholds a breeches maker defending his fair cheeks from the sun with a pink silk umbrella, and another shopkeeper, renowned for his drinking, mirth and song, swaggering

With a large oaken stick, a slouch'd hat, and black stock, Cropt hair, leather breeches, and jockey-cut frock.

A drunken parson, a gouty alderman dubbed Turtle, and other personages receive similar irreverent treatment; the illuminations are ridiculed; and the voices of the singers are said to have been drowned by the uproar made by “the Bucks” in the neighbouring bowling-green. The satire can have had little effect on the fortunes of Vauxhall. The site, however, was inconvenient, as the garden could be reached from Clifton only by crossing the Avon (Vauxhall ferry still exists), and although the subscription concerts were continued in 1777, the speculation was soon after abandoned as unprofitable.

In the course of 1776 the rector of Christ Church, whose fixed income was only £25 or £30 a year, besought the vestry of the parish to contribute, out of the revenue derived from church lands, the sum of £100, which, with a similar subscription expected from the Corporation, would entitle him to a benefaction of £400 from Queen Anne's Bounty, and thus secure an increased rectorial income of £30 a year. The application having been refused, the rector was induced to enquire into his right to the meagre stipend granted him as a boon; and as his claim to a larger share of the estate seemed conclusive, and the vestry haughtily rejected his offers of accommodation, he filed a bill in Chancery in October, 1776. The cause was not heard until May, 1780, when judgment was given in the rector's favour. Finally, in June, 1782, to the great irritation of the parochial


authorities, whose fund for feasting was much curtailed, the amount to be paid to the incumbent out of the church estate was fixed at £80 a year, the court also awarding him ten years' arrears. The suit cost the vestry £1,400 in law costs.

The Common Council, in December, granted a lease of upwards of an acre of ground, “part of Brandon Hill”, to one Joseph Farrell, then building a house in Great George Street. The appropriation of this slice of public property excited no remark. In December, 1786, another lease of “part of Brandon Hill” was granted to Lowbridge Bright, then living in Great George Street. It is possible, however, that the two leases dealt with the same plot of ground.

In the year 1776, a woman, described as extremely young, of prepossessing appearance and graceful manners, but obviously of disordered intellect, entered a house at Flax Bourton, and asked for a little milk. After obtaining refreshment, she wandered about the fields, and finally took shelter under a haystack, where she remained three or four days. Some ladies in the vicinity having become acquainted with her condition, she was supplied with food, but neither solicitations nor threats induced her to sleep in a house, and as her mental derangement increased she was removed to St. Peter's Hospital in Bristol. How long she was detained there is unknown, but she regained her liberty in 1777 or 1778, and immediately returned to the stackyard at Bourton, where, strange to say, she remained nearly four years, receiving food from the neighbouring gentry, but obstinately refusing the protection of a roof, even in winter. Throughout this period, “Louisa”, or “the Maid of the Haystack”, as she was called, declined to give any account of her birthplace, parentage, or past life, though from casual remarks it was inferred that her family was of high distinction. A peculiar accent led observers to suppose that she was a foreigner, but there is no trustworthy evidence that she either spoke or understood any language except English. In 1781, the condition of the poor woman excited the interest of Miss Hannah More, who, with the assistance of friends, had her removed to a private lunatic asylum at Hanham; while the mystery of her antecedents was sought to be cleared up by the publication of “A Tale of Keal Woe” in a London newspaper. Although no pains were spared to elicit information by publishing translations of this story in the chief towns of France and Germany, the results for some years were wholly negative. But in 1785


[Ed: part of the following page is obscured, so the first few lines are incomplete.]

... French but probably
... .ce under the title of
... According to the writer,
... attentions paid her by the
... personages, was believed to be
... Emperor Francis I., had lived in a
... at Bordeaux from 1765 to 1769; she had
... at the instance of the Empress, carried
... and eventually conducted to a coast near
... where £50 was put in her hands, and she was
... to her wretched destiny". The purpose of the
pamphleteer, who did not produce a vestige of evidence in support of his story, was to identify the Bristol “Maid of the Haystack” with the alleged half-sister of the Queen of France. And in spite of the improbabilities surrounding his assumptions (Louisa, for example, could not have been ten years old when she was supposed to have set up a princely establishment at Bordeaux) Miss More and others appear to have firmly believed in the bare assertions of a masked libeller of the house of Austria, whose work was translated into English, and went through three editions. In the meantime the alienation of Louisa degenerated into helpless idiocy, and she was removed to a lunatic house connected with Guy's Hospital, London, where she died in December, 1800. Miss More continued to the last to contribute towards her maintenance, and paid the expenses of her funeral. The mystery surrounding the lunatic was never cleared up. The most probable supposition is that Louisa was of gipsy parentage, and had either escaped or been driven from her tribe.

A villainous scheme for destroying the shipping in the harbour was attempted on the morning of the 16th January, 1777. A vessel named the Savannah La Mar, loading for Jamaica, had been daubed during the night with pitch and other combustibles, and had finally been set on fire; but assistance being speedily at hand, the flames were extinguished before much damage was done. The Fame privateer and the ship Hibernia, lying at about an equal distance above and below the Savannah, had been also visited by the incendiary, but the fire he had lighted in each of them failed to communicate in the woodwork. The attempt was made at low water, when all the ships in port were aground, so that the devastation would have, been immense had not the flames been suppressed at the outset. A few hours later, whilst the excitement caused by the affair was at its height,


it was discovered that a warehouse occupied by Mr. James Morgan, druggist, Corn Street, had narrowly escaped destruction. The incendiary, after forcing an entrance into the building, had filled a large box with tow moistened with spirits of turpentine, and after placing it against some casks of oil, had applied a light to the materials. Through the dampness of the box, however, the match had failed in its purpose. Three days later (Sunday) a more successful attempt caused a general panic. Shortly before daybreak the warehouses of Messrs. Lewsley and Co., in Bell Lane, stored with Spanish wool, grain, etc., burst into flames, and in spite of vigorous exertions six buildings were destroyed in two or three hours. The premises had been fired by large torches, one of which, surrounded with inflammable material, was found when the firemen entered. Similar torches were picked up during the day in different parts of the city; and the sugar house of Alderman Barnes in Lewin's Mead was twice attempted to be destroyed by them. The inhabitants, now thoroughly alarmed, organised patrols in each parish, a rigorous watch being maintained day and night. “The town”, as Champion wrote to Burke, “had the appearance of a siege, and people in general were frightened out of their senses”. It is lamentable to add that political capital was sought to be made out of the matter by party fanatics. Tories, forgetting that some of the principal merchants were Americans, and that an American was the chief sufferer by the fire, taunted the Whigs with having instigated the outrages; while the latter as foolishly retorted that the whole affair was a factious manoeuvre of the Ministerialists. Walpole alleges, moreover, that the Government was much less alarmed by the fires than ready to turn them into matter of clamour against the “rebels”. A reward of 600 guineas, to which the king added £1,000, and Mr. Burke £50, was offered for the discovery of the incendiary, but for some weeks the mystery remained impenetrable. Suspicion was at length directed to a Scotchman who had lodged at various houses in the Pithay, but had suddenly disappeared; and a description of him having been circulated, he was arrested in Lancashire, where he had just committed a burglary. (The expenses of his apprehension, £128, were paid by the Corporation and the Merchants' Society.) On being taken to London, proofs were obtained (and in fact he ultimately confessed) that he was the man named James Aitken, alias Jack the Painter, who had set fire to the rope-house at Portsmouth dockyard in December, 1776. Being convicted


of that crime at Hampshire assizes, he was hanged at Portsmouth on a gallows 67 feet high. In his confession Aitken stated that the Bristol fires were devised solely by himself, and that he had made several other attempts, but had been thwarted by the vigilance of the patrols. Although only 25 years of age, he acknowledged having committed many burglaries, robberies, and outrages. (An extraordinary popular delusion in reference to this criminal's head shows that legends can arise from malefactors as well as from saints. At the time of Aitken's execution, a warehouse was being erected in Quay Street by a mason named Rosser, who, having purchased part of the ruins of Keynsham Abbey, stuck a corbel thus obtained into the front of the new building. For some inexplicable reason, many people firmly believed that the ornament in question was the veritable skull of Jack the Painter. The error was not confined to the lower classes. On the illumination of the city on the king's recovery in 1789, Sarah Farley's Journal recorded as a “good thought” that “a light was affixed on the head of John the Painter”, in Quay Street. The warehouse has since been rebuilt, and the fate of the corbel is unknown.)

On the 18th January, 1777, whilst the city was still panic stricken by the outrages, the Common Council resolved to present a congratulatory address to George III. on the success of his arms in America, expressing a hope that “the seeds of rebellion would speedily be eradicated”. The Chamber was nearly equally divided on the American question. Previous attempts to forward a “loyal” address had been defeated by the inability of its promoters to obtain a quorum. On this occasion, according to a letter of Champion to Burke, two weak-kneed Whigs went over to the Ministerialists, and the address was voted by a House of 22 members, 20 being absent. The majority, which succeeded after a warm debate in carrying a similar address in Merchants' Hall, did not content itself with paper sympathy. The Council offered bounties to sailors volunteering into the Navy, and although the Corporation was embarrassed by a heavy and increasing debt, £592 were thus distributed in less than a year. In August, moreover, the freedom of the city was conferred on the Earls of Suffolk and Sandwich, two Ministers notorious for their rancorous hostility towards the colonists. This compliment was voted just after the Newfoundland trade had been lost to local merchants, and several ships had been captured in the English Channel by American privateers. Burke, in a


letter to Champion, wrote:- “To choose the very moment of our scandalous situation as a season of compliment to Ministers seems to me the most surprising instance of insanity that ever was shewn out of the college [madhouse] of Moorfields”.

The Bristol newspapers were much too timid to criticise, or even to record, the amusements of the fashionable company that assembled every summer at the Hot Well, but contented themselves with publishing a list of the aristocratic arrivals. In May, 1777, however, Felix Farley's Journal, prompted by some sarcastic visitor, startled its readers by publishing “Bon Ton Intelligence” from the healing fountain. One paragraph says:- “We are informed from the Hotwells that it is there the prevailing ton for gentlemen to go and drink the waters at the Pump-room with their nightcaps on; and that this innovation of the head-dress somewhat alarms the ladies”. A fortnight later, under the same heading, appeared the following:- “We are informed that no considerable alteration in dress has taken place since the Revolution of the Nightcap, except the seemingly extravagant appendage of an extraordinary watch; as the gentlemen of the true ton wear one in each fob”. (The wearing of two watches by young men of fashion was often noticed by contemporary caricaturists.) Another paragraph refers to some passing folly of the fair sex:- “The season at the Hotwells is now truly brilliant, but no considerable alteration in polite amusements has taken place, except that the ladies and gentlemen have formed a resolution of going to the balls undressed”. This was the last quip of the Journal's “polite” contributor prior to his departure, and unfortunately he never reappeared.

Statistics showing the precise effects of the American war on local commerce are unfortunately unobtainable. That the decline in the shipping trade was very great is, however, beyond question. At a meeting of the Council, on the 16th August, a resolution was passed to the effect that, as the amount of the mayor's dues (40s. per vessel above 60 tons) had considerably fallen off during the previous year, as the expense of discharging the office of chief magistrate was considerable, and as the dignity of the Corporation was concerned in that office being duly supported, it was desirable that the mayor's income should not fall below £1,000. The chamberlain was accordingly ordered to pay Mr. Farr (mayor in 1775-6) such a sum as would raise his receipts from dues and fees to that amount. As the product of the


dues was expected to fall off still more seriously in the current civic year, a similar order was made in favour of Mr. Pope, and also of future mayors. By another resolution, Messrs. Edward Brice and John Noble were ordered to be paid such sum, not exceeding £1,000, as the mayor and aldermen should consider proper, for having served as sheriffs a second time in 1775-6; and the allowance of each future sheriff was fixed at £420.

A carrier named Somerton surprised the city in October by announcing that his “flying wagons”, carrying passengers and goods to London three times a week, would thenceforth accomplish the journey in forty-eight hours. Large bets were laid that the conditions would not be fulfilled, and there was much astonishment when Somerton carried out his pledge.

On the 30th October, during a gale, a windmill for grinding snuff on Clifton Down (on the site of the present Observatory) took fire, owing to the rapidity with which it was set in motion by the storm, and the building was gutted. No attempt was made to reconstruct the mill, which had been in existence only a few years.

Owing to the severe distress which prevailed amongst the poor at this time, highway robberies were extremely frequent. One evening during the autumn, the Birmingham coach was stopped within a hundred yards of Stoke's Croft by two footpads armed with blunderbusses, who robbed the passengers of about £5. The carriage of Mr. and Mrs. Trevelyan was attacked in Park Street, probably by the same thieves, and the inmates were stripped of their money and a gold watch. Highwaymen swarmed on all the great roads. A man eventually identified as John Caldwell, who kept the Ship tavern in Milk Street, and a companion robber named Edward Boulter, were so successful in their daring raids as to become for a time the terror of the western counties. Boulter had been previously sentenced to death for robbery, but pardoned on condition of entering the army. He soon deserted from his regiment, and concealed himself in the cellar of Caldwell's house, from whence he and his host, after having stolen two valuable horses near the city, sallied at intervals to prey upon travellers. Several marauding excursions, extending from Cheshire to Dorsetshire, were successful, and the plunder thus acquired was concealed in a deep hole made in Caldwell's cellar. Early in 1778 they were arrested in Birmingham, whilst trying to convert some of their spoil into cash, and were sent to


London for identification. Boulter, however, escaped from Clerkenwell prison, and had the audacity to return to Bristol, where he was soon after recaptured. At the summer assizes at Winchester, the two men were convicted of a robbery in Hampshire, for which they were executed at Winchester. Owing to confessions made by them before death, the police authorities in Bristol made a descent upon the Milk Street tavern, still occupied by Caldwell's wife. The hiding place must have been difficult to find, for the “sundry expenses” of the search, paid by the Corporation, amounted to £4. At length the hoard was brought to light, and several persons recovered their stolen watches and jewellery.

The dean and chapter, in December, 1777, granted leave to the Corporation “to erect a portico at the front door of the Mayor's Chapel”, on payment of an acknowledgment of 2s. 6d. annually. A sham Gothic structure was accordingly erected by order of the Corporation in 1778, at a cost of £92 10s. 6d. The abortion was removed in 1888.

The respect of the capitular body for pluralism on the part of their servants is exemplified in a minute which follows the foregoing. It being reported that one of the singing men was parish clerk of St. Stephen's, whilst another held the same office in All Saints', the chapter ordered that one shilling weekly should be allowed to each of them, “to get a clerk to officiate for them every Sunday morning”.

On the 19th January, 1778, a meeting of citizens approving of the Ministerial policy towards America was held in the Guildhall, the mayor (John Durbin) presiding, when a subscription was started “to strengthen the hands of the Government”. Thirty-nine gentlemen subscribed £200 each, and the fund eventually amounted to upwards of £21,000. A meeting of the opposite party had been held a few days previously, Mr. Joseph Harford in the chair, to raise money for the relief of the numerous distressed Americans detained as prisoners of war; but the total sum subscribed amounted to under £363. The mayor's zeal on behalf of the king's coercive policy was promptly recognised, the honour of knighthood being conferred upon him before the end of the month. Burke, writing to Champion in April, asserted that the local subscription in support of the war had “made America abhor the name of Bristol”. The promoters, after all their professions, were by no means so zealous as they wished the country to believe. According to an account


published by their committee in May, 1779, only £4,668 of the fund had been expended (in obtaining 1,146 recruits for the army), and £768 were said to remain on hand. The residue of the subscription, £16,500, was not accounted for, and was in fact never paid up.

A cock-fight on the largest scale took place at the Ostrich inn, Durdham Down, in February, 1778, and was attended by great numbers of West country squires, the match having been arranged between the gentry of Somerset and Devon. Fifty-one birds contended on each side, for prizes amounting to about 350 guineas.

At a meeting of the Council in March, the freedom of the city was ordered to be forwarded to the Earl of Sussex, “he being entitled to the same by having married the daughter of a free burgess”. The Bristol lady thus referred to was Mary, daughter of John Vaughan, goldsmith and banker. Lady Sussex died childless.

The mode in which ecclesiastical patronage was administered is illustrated by another minute made at the above meeting. The Bishop of Bristol had just conferred the vicarage of Almondsbury and also the rectory of Filton upon the Rev. John Davie, vicar of St. John's, and the recipient petitioned the Corporation to be permitted to retain his city incumbency, to which the Chamber at once consented. Mr. Davie, however, resigned it in the following year, on being presented to Henbury.

Early in April, Earl Nugent, the rejected representative of Bristol, gave notice in the House of Commons on behalf of the Govornmont of a motion for considering the laws regulating the trade and commerce of Ireland. His views as to the impolicy of existing restrictions were immediately applauded by Mr. Burke. A few days later, Lord Nugent brought forward resolutions dealing with the subject, his chief proposals being that all goods produced in Ireland (woollens excepted) should be allowed to be exported to the colonies, and that colonial products (indigo and tobacco excepted) should be permitted to enter Ireland direct. Under regulations then in force Irish imports and exports had to be first landed in England. Permission to export Irish glass to foreign countries, and to import Irish cotton yarn into England were minor features of the scheme, to which Burke added a proposal that Irish sailcloth and cordage should be permitted to enter England. Although the resolutions were received with approval on both sides of the House, they excited a tempest of indignation amongst


merchants and traders, and nowhere did the storm blow more fiercely than in Bristol, where the panic was as great as during the outrages of Jack the Painter. Lord Nugent's action in the matter was ascribed to a diabolical spite against the city on account of his rejection in 1774, whilst Burke was charged with a design to promote the interests of his native country by injuring those of England. The Corporation, the Society of Merchants, and the trading classes hastened to forward petitions to Parliament declaring that the proposed concessions to the Irish would have ruinous consequences to local commerce. The Common Council deputed two of its members to organise opposition against the scheme in the lobby of the House of Commons. No feature of the resolutions excited more passionate predictions of injury than did Burke's proposal to admit Irish sailcloth and ropes into England, although, as it was afterwards discovered, the prohibition of these imports had been abolished many years before. Every leading merchant who had supported Burke, with the exception of Richard Champion, seems to have been offended by his conduct, and some electors sent him positive orders to vote against the scheme in its future stages, whatever might be his private opinions. His replies to the Merchants' Company and to some personal friends may be found in his correspondence. In spite of the clamour, he was more energetic in support of the measure than were the Ministers themselves. Indeed Lord North, quailing before the wrath of the Tory boroughs, gradually withdrew all the important provisions, until little was left of the original scheme save the clauses favouring Irish linens. In the spring of 1779, a Bill introduced to allow Ireland to import her own sugars excited renewed irritation in Bristol, whence a deputation was again sent by the Common Council, and Lord North delighted local merchants by procuring the rejection of the measure. In a few months, however, the scene changed. The islands of St. Vincent and Grenada were captured by the French, whose navy held the mastery of the English Channel; American privateers threatened Hull and Edinburgh; whilst the Irish, invited to prepare for defence against invasion, had raised an army of volunteers, and threatened to follow the example of the Americans unless their grievances were redressed. Covered with humiliation. Lord North, on the 13th December, offered to concede to Ireland full liberty to trade with all the colonies, to remove the restrictions on her glass trade, and, hardest sacrifice of all, to permit the export


of her woollen manufactures. A Bill giving effect to this capitulation passed rapidly through Parliament, the opposition of Bristol and other ports becoming lukewarm when the measure was urged forward by the “king's friends”. Burke's advocacy of free trade was not, however, forgotten by his constituents, and his dismissal at the next election was already practically certain.

A writ of inquiry was opened at Gloucester on the 9th April, 1778, to assess damages in an action brought by David Lewis, a Bristol merchant, against the mayor and Corporation. It appeared that the water bailiff had demanded illegal fees of the plaintiff, and that, on his refusal to pay them, his goods had been seized and sold by order of the Corporation. A verdict, with £50 damages and costs, was given for the complainant. About eighteen months later an action was tried at Gloucester assizes, Lewis being again the plaintiff, whilst the defendants were Sir John Durbin and other commissioners of the Court of Conscience. The ground of the action was the assault and imprisonment of Lewis after an illegal judgment delivered against him. For some inscrutable reason, the Corporation paid the damages and costs (£116) in this case also.

A frigate of 32 guns, the Medea, was launched from Hilhouse's dock on the 28th April. Ship-building for the navy had been so long suspended in Bristol that the Journal very erroneously asserted that this was “the first king's frigate ever built in this port”. Four other frigates were then building in local yards.

After a slumber of forty years the question of establishing a Mansion-house was revived at a meeting of the Council on the 13th June. It was unanimously resolved that a committee of the whole Chamber should be appointed to consider “of the taking some convenient house to be constantly occupied and used as a Mayoralty House”. On the 22nd August the committee advised that a mansion should be provided forthwith, and suggested that the house of Sir Abraham Isaac Elton, in St. James's Barton, together with the adjoining dwelling, would be most eligible for the purpose. Sir A. Elton had made an offer of his house for £1,500, and the committee recommended its acceptance, provided he would sell the other house for £500. The report was confirmed. For some unexplained reason, however, the Chamber abandoned its intention, and in December it voted £300 to Sir A. Elton, as compensation for breaking the agreement with him.


Mary Ann Peloquin, sister of David Peloquin (mayor 1751), and last survivor of one of the Huguenot families that took refuge in Bristol in the previous century, died on the 23rd July, 1778. By her will, the sum of £19,000, lent by her some years before to the Corporation, was devised to that body, in trust to pay the interest, at 3 per cent., in yearly doles to 156 poor men and women - chiefly to decayed freemen or their widows, not paupers, or keeping alehouses. The testatrix left to the rector of St. Stephen's for the time being the sum of £5 per annum, and her residence in Queen Square, to be used as a parsonage. Dr. Tucker, dean of Gloucester, then incumbent of St. Stephen's, forthwith removed from his house in Trenchard Street. Neither the rector nor the Corporation felt so much gratitude to the benefactress as to inscribe even her name upon the Peloquin monument in her parish church. (The omission was repaired by the churchwardens of St. Stephen's in 1892.)

Owing to commercial disasters caused by the quarrel with America, the picturesque estate of Blaize Castle came into the market in August, 1778. The property, about 110 acres in extent, had been purchased about sixteen years previously from Sir Jarrit Smith by Mr. Thomas Farr, merchant (mayor 1775-6), one of Burke's most zealous supporters. Mr. Farr spent several thousand pounds in laying out drives and walks, affording access to striking points of view, and in erecting a castellated building on an eminence commanding the Bristol Channel. The estate also comprised a windmill (the ruins of which still exist) held of the trustees of Henbury School, subject to the yearly payment “of £4, two turkeys, and a chine”. The property was purchased by a gentleman named Skeate, who disposed of it a few years afterwards to Mr. John Scandrett Harford, by whom the mansion was rebuilt.

Mr. John Bull was elected mayor on the 15th September, but declined the office owing to illness, and the fine for refusal was remitted. This is said to have been the first time that a person elected mayor of Bristol repudiated the honour. Mr. Bull's action was anticipated, for the recorder's opinion had been previously taken as to the course to be pursued, several of the gentlemen who stood below Mr. Bull on the roll having positively declined to act until a Mansion-house was provided. It was pointed out that the charter of Anne required that a new mayor should be sworn-in by his predecessor, but supposing, as was probable, that the existing mayor could be induced to serve again, he obviously could not swear-in


himself. The recorder eluded the difficulty by advising that, if Mr. Bull refused to serve, the Council should not proceed to a new election, but allow Sir John Durbin to continue in the performance of his functions. This course was adopted, Sir John retaining office for another twelvemonth.

The Bristol Journal of September 26th, 1778, contains the following list of privateers belonging to the port. The number of those vessels had largely increased during the year, in consequence of the alliance concluded by France with the Americans. The contrast presented by the list with the roll of 1756 (see p.320) is highly significant.

 Guns.Men. Guns.Men.
Lord Cardiff20150True Briton1050

With but two or three exceptions, the owners of the above vessels sustained disastrous losses. Only one important prize, in fact, was captured - a richly laden French East Indiaman, brought into Kingroad in September, 1778, by the Tartar and Alexander, and which, according to the Bristol Journal, had been insured by London underwriters for £100,000. Great difficulty being encountered in reinforcing the troops in America, an Act was passed in 1779, by which able-bodied men who could not prove themselves to be exercising a lawful industry were liable to be impressed, and compelled to serve in the army for five years. The Government offered a bounty of three guineas a man for volunteers, to which the Corporation added a guinea to men joining in Bristol.

A minute of the proceedings of the Common Council on the 9th December affords testimony as to the family relations which existed between many members of the Chamber. A pension of £40 a year was voted to Rachel Hilhouse, widow of the late swordbearer, and grand-daughter of Alderman Barnes, deceased, “and being otherwise related to several other late as well as present members of this corporation”. This remark appears to have been objected to as more true than felicitous, and the phrase was struck through with a pen. In August, 1780, a daughter of Alderman Barnes was also voted a pension of £40 a year.


The Bristol Gazette of December 24th reported that a journeyman shoemaker had just been publicly whipped in the market, having been convicted of substituting inferior leather for that given out to him by his employer.

In 1778, William Fry, a distiller in Redcliff Street, and several years churchwarden of the parish, erected an Almshouse, which he styled “The Mercy House”, on Colston's Parade, for the reception of eight aged widows or spinsters. He subsequently endowed the institution with a yearly sum of about £60.

In February, 1779, during one of his visits to the city, John Howard inspected the French prisoners of war, detained in “a place which had been a pottery” (probably at Knowle). He found the arrangements better than those at Plymouth, the men, 151 in number, being at work. In March, 1782, Howard noted that a new prison had been built (at Fishponds). There was no chimney in the wards, which were very dirty, being never washed. The inmates consisted of 774 Spaniards and 13 Dutchmen. “Here was painted on a board that an open market is allowed from 10 to 3”.

An Act of Parliament was passed in 1779 authorising the enclosure of that part of Kingswood situated within the parish of Stapleton - in other words the modern parish of Fishponds. The locality of the New Pools, as it was called in the Kingswood map of 1610, was inhabited chiefly by colliers and quarrymen, living in cottages built by themselves. The landowners, with a liberality unusual at the time, allotted half an acre of land to each of these squatters, who were thus encouraged to convert their mud huts into comfortable stone dwellings.

For many years after steam-engines had come into extensive use for mining purposes, their manufacturers were unable to devise any method of producing a circular motion in machinery except by pumping water on the floats of a water-wheel. On the 10th March, 1779, however, a patent was granted to Matthew Wasbrough, brass-founder. Narrow Wine Street (the place of his birth), for converting a reciprocal into a rotary motion by a combination of pulleys and wheels, one of the objects being to adopt the principle “for moving in a direct position any ship or vessel”. The inventor had not brought his design into practical operation when, in August, 1780, another patent was obtained by one Pickard, who proposed to attain the same end by means of a crank; and Wasbrough, by an arrangement with the


inventor, adopted the improvement. The famous engineer, James Watt, who disliked his Bristol rival in trade, vehemently asserted at the time that Pickard had stolen an idea which he was himself about to carry into execution; but at a later period he admitted that the real inventor of the crank was the man who, in the infancy of civilisation, contrived the potter's wheel. The engines made down to this period had served only for pumping. By Pickard's ingenuity the steam-engine became capable of employment in a hundred other directions. In 1781 Wasbrough received an order from the Government to erect one of his engines for grinding flour at Deptford. Subsequently, however, the Navy Board asked the celebrated Smeaton for his advice as to the best engine for a flour mill, and upon his reporting that no rotary motion could ever produce such excellent results as those derived “from the regular efflux of water in turning a water wheel”, the order to Wasbrough was countermanded. The distress caused by this disappointment, aggravated by bodily indisposition, and anxiety arising from pecuniary losses, threw the unfortunate mechanician into a fever, of which he died on the 21st October in the same year, aged 28. Previous to this unhappy termination of what had promised to be a brilliant career, Wasbrough had used one of the new engines for the purpose of driving the lathes in his manufactory; a second was set up in Birmingham, to the intense irritation of Watt; and a third was made for the flour mill of Messrs Young and Co., in Lewin's Mead. In all of these he had introduced a “ flywheel”, in conformity with the specification of his patent of 1779. And although this important feature of an engine had been previously suggested by other projectors, Wasbrough is undoubtedly entitled to the merit of having been the first to bring it into practical use.

As two aldermen were noted in Sketchley's Directory as inhabiting Lewin's Mead in 1775, the fact that a high class boarding school for boys and girls was established in that thoroughfare can cause little surprise. The proprietor, a Quaker named Charles Sawyer, announced the reopening of the school after the (Easter) recess in Sarah Farley's Journal of April 3rd, 1779. The fee for boarders - who were taught the classical tongues, Hebrew, Spanish, French, and Italian - was 14 guineas per annum. Day boys and girls were instructed in the ordinary elements, with Latin or French, for 10s. a quarter, and they might have three months' dinners for 25s. a head. A superior school for “young


gentlemen” was established about this date in Back Street.

A vacancy having occurred in the lesseeship of the theatre, a proposal was made to the proprietors by Mr. John Palmer, the manager of the Bath house, who will soon present himself as the great reformer of the postal system of his time. Palmer having undertaken to make important alterations in the building, the proprietors, in April, granted him a lease for twenty years, at £200 per annum, and gave up the first three years' rent as a contribution towards his intended outlay. “The future plan”, says Felix Farley's Journal, “is to play once a week in the winter, three times a week part of the summer, and to have oratorios in Lent”. The chief feature of the alterations was the erection over the centre of the dress circle of a second tier of boxes. The theatre was reopened in October, 1779, but Palmer's name does not re-appear, as he had confided the property to Messrs. Dimond and Keasberry, who held the management for several years. Six oratorios were produced during Lent, 1780, a guinea being charged for admission to the series. Two oratorios were also given in 1781 and 1782. From 1779 to 1781 Mrs. Siddons and her husband were members of the theatrical company throughout each season, and the gifted actress on one occasion performed the part of “Hamlet” with great success. Her salary is said to have been £3 a week.

The dearth of entertainments during the summer encouraged a roving company to open the old “hut at Jacob's Wells” for a short season. Dreading the law against “rogues and vagabonds”, the conductors offered the traditional “concert” for the price of admission, adding a “Pantomime”, rope-dancing, etc., gratis. Bristol pantomimes up to this date had always been given during the summer, and some of them were received with favour for three and even four successive years. The above performances closed the history of the Jacob's Wells house.

At a meeting of the Merchants' Society, June 26th, 1779, an address to the King was adopted, offering “the utmost assistance and support” to his Government in its policy towards America, and a subscription of £1,000 was voted to encourage enlistments in the forces. An amendment, introduced by Mr. Joseph Harford and Mr. Richard Bright, praying the king for a change of Ministry, was negatived by a majority of three. The Common Council was convened on the same day, in the hope that it would adopt similar


resolutions, but a sympathetic quorum could not be obtained. At another gathering, a week later, when much dread prevailed of an invasion by the French, then masters of the Channel, Mr. G. Daubeny moved that the Chamber should subscribe £2,000 for the purpose of raising soldiers; but he was vigorously opposed by the Whigs, especially by Mr. Cruger, M.P., who asserted that the supporters of the war were convinced of its hopelessness. The motion was withdrawn by the friends of the Government to avoid the discredit of a defeat. On the 28th August, a public meeting was held to promote the formation of a volunteer corps. The movement met with slender support, but about the same time the anti-American committee reported that they had raised 1,306 men for the service of the Government, A new subscription was started to obtain 1,000 more infantry and marines, and about £2,000 were contributed. The local bounty paid to every able seaman entering the navy was 12 guineas.

Sailors, nevertheless, shunned the fleet, and the press-gangs were constantly on the alert to snap up victims. An impudent outrage occurred on the 12th July, in the Exchange, at the hour when merchants were accustomed to assemble; a press-gang entering the building and seizing Mr. James Caton, a retired ship captain and the owner of several vessels. The magistrates being set at defiance by the commander of the gang, application was made for a habeas corpus, which was granted, while Mr. Burke made remonstrances to the Admiralty. Mr. Caton, who was released in a few days, sued the officers of the press-gang for damages, and obtained a verdict for £160.

The sanitary advantages of sea-bathing appear to have been first urged by a London physician named Richard Russell, about 1760. For some years his converts were chiefly drawn from fashionable circles, but the pleasures and advantages of a change of air began to be recognised by all well-to-do people as soon as Weymouth was honoured by the patronage of George III. As that village was the nearest spot at which wealthy Bristolians could meet with clear water, it had been, even before the king's first visit, their favourite resort. At length an advertisement in Felix Farley's Journal announced that “the new Bristol and Weymouth Diligence, in one day”, would begin to run twice a week on the 9th August, 1779. The service was of course suspended on the approach of winter. It was not until twenty years later that citizens thought of bathing in the


troubled waters of the Bristol Channel. In April, 1797, an advertisement announced that Jane Biss and Son had fitted up two commodious houses at Uphill for the reception of families or single persons “for health or sea bathing”. Weston-super-Mare was then a scanty hamlet of labourers' hovels. Minehead next attempted to attract visitors, a lodging-house being first announced there in 1800.

Coffee-houses lost their early popularity about this date. The once famous Foster's Coffee-house, the site of which is absorbed in the corporate buildings in Corn Street, ceased to be a place of entertainment in 1779, and was purchased by the Corporation in 1782 for £660. The London Coffee-house, in Corn Street, and probably others, disappeared about the same time, leaving no record in the newspapers. A victualler announced in August that he had taken the West India Coffee-house, fitted up commodious drinking rooms, and provided himself with an ample stock of liquors.

The newspapers of November, 1779, announced the arrival of “the surprising Irish Giant, only 19 years of age, yet measuring 8 feet high. To be seen at Mr. Safford's, watchmaker, Clare Street”. O'Brien, the phenomenon in question, who attained a height of 8 feet 3 inches, visited the city annually at fair time, and eventually died at the Hotwells in September, 1806. His body was buried in the lobby of the Romanist chapel in Trenchard Street, in a grave cut 12 feet deep in the rock, and secured by iron bars, these precautions being taken to defeat the acquisitive intentions of certain local anatomists.

The price of tar having greatly increased owing to the American war, ingenuity was taxed to discover a substitute for an article indispensable to shipping. In Sarah Farley's Journal of April 29th, 1780, “the family of a person deceased” offer for sale his invention of a method of making English tar, information respecting which was to be obtained of Mr. William Champion. Works were shortly afterwards established in the city for extracting tar from coal.

The financial condition of the Corporation for some years previous to this date had been one of increasing embarrassment. Permanent loans being not always obtainable, a custom grew up of borrowing on promissory notes; and in 1778 and 1779, to meet liabilities, some civic property was sold. In February, 1779, a loan of £1,600 was obtained from Alderman Pope. Repayment being called for in 1780, a number of ground rents and plots of building land were disposed of for £6,100, but little more than half the amount


was applied to the liquidation of debt. Similar transactions took place in several subsequent years, yet the civic liabilities largely increased, in spite of the alienations of property. The increased receipts from town dues, towards the end of the century, at length arrested the Corporation in its downward course.

The No Popery riots which took place in London in June, 1780, produced some popular effervescence in Bristol. Great alarm was caused by an outbreak at Bath, where the Romanist chapel and five adjoining houses were burnt; and on the 10th June, on intelligence that a Bath mob was preparing to march westward, the Duke of Beaufort took the command of the Monmouthshire militia, then stationed here. The chapel in St. James's Back being threatened, a number of volunteers and constables were placed on guard until the danger had passed away, the magistrates sitting for several nights at the Council House. F. Farley's Journal of the 17th stated that “the proprietor of the Romish chapel in this city has taken part of it down in order to convert the building to another use, and also to remove any pretence of evil-disposed persons to destroy the same”. The Corporation voted £105 for distribution amongst the militia men; and “sundry expenses on account of a threatened and expected riot ”amounted to £85 12s. 5d.

The Common Council was convoked on the 15th August in consequence of the death of the mayor, Michael Miller, jun. Mr. John Bull was elected to fill the office for the few weeks that remained of the civic year.

At a meeting of the Council on the 23rd August, Mr. Joseph Smith, merchant (the host of Burke in 1774), was admitted a freeman on payment of a fine of £10. He was on the same day appointed a common councilman, and three weeks later he was elected sheriff. This method of “pitch-forking” members subsequently became common.

At the above meeting Alderman Thomas Harris artfully introduced a scheme destined to make his name memorable. When pressed by financial difficulties, the Corporation had often found it convenient to borrow money from the revenues of Queen Elizabeth's Hospital, of which it was trustee. At this time £4,716 had been so appropriated, and £2,400 were due for interest on the bonds - some of them outstanding for 36 years - given for the loans. Mr. Harris's proposal, which was adopted, was that a committee should be appointed to examine as to whether any and what sum of money was due to the charity by the Chamber. The


cause of what appeared to be an extraordinary motion was shortly after explained by the alderman. He had discovered that, soon after the death of John Carr, the founder of the school, the Corporation, in order to hasten its establishment, made advances of money, amounting to about £8,000, for the purpose of clearing off debts and legacies forming a prior charge on the estate. These advances, he alleged, had never been repaid, and by charging interest on the principal at rates varying from £10 to £3 per cent, per annum, the debt of the hospital to the Corporation was asserted to be £27,160. Mr. Harris did not mention that the Corporation, after speaking of those advances in the school charter, obtained from Queen Elizabeth, as money bestowed for charitable purposes, had, in 1600 and 1601, sold a large parcel of the hospital estates, for the purpose, as the minute books state, of paying off “all” the debts to which they were liable. The further fact that the Council had from time to time increased the number of scholars as the hospital income improved, and thus practically admitted that the charity was unencumbered, was also conveniently ignored. Mr. Harris's committee, accepting his statements and calculations, reported that the hospital was indebted to the Chamber in the large sum just mentioned, that the £4,715 drawn from the funds of the school should have been treated as instalments of debt repaid, and not as loans, and that consequently no interest was due upon the bonds. They further recommended a reduction in the number of boys in the school, so that its liabilities might be more speedily reduced. The report (signed by Wm. Miles, mayor, Thomas Harris, Nat. Foy, and others) was confirmed by the Council on the 4th August, 1781; when the bonds were ordered to be cancelled, and the number of scholars reduced to 36. The latter change was a practical violation of a pledge made by the Chamber to Edward Colston, in 1698, when the philanthropist endowed the hospital with an estate sufficient to educate six boys, upon the Corporation undertaking that not less than 36 scholars should in future be maintained. Subsequent to the donation of Colston, bequests had been made for the education of seven additional boys, so that either the pledge to him was broken or the later endowments were misappropriated. The pecuniary results of Mr. Harris's financial legerdemain were very agreeable to the Corporation. Instead of interest being paid on the £4,715 borrowed from the charity, £14,044 of the hospital income were appropriated between 1781 and 1820; at which latter date an account


was presented to the Charity Commissioners, claiming £46,499 as still due from the school estate! The final explosion of this impudent claim is related in the Annals of the present century (p.238).

A dissolution of Parliament took place in September, 1780, when Mr. Henry Cruger and Mr. Burke solicited reelection. An intention to oppose them had been announced in the previous spring by two staunch supporters of the king's American policy - Mr. Richard Combe, the candidate of 1768, who had just been appointed Treasurer of the Ordnance, and Mr. Matthew Brickdale, who sought to avenge his defeat in 1774. A contribution of £1,000 towards the election expenses of the Tory candidates was made, as will presently be shown, by George III. The issue of the contest, as regarded Burke, was foreseen by many of his friends. Lord Clare, during his long membership, paid court to the city during every recess, and made himself welcome to the lower class of voters by copious entertainments. Burke had been absent for four years, and his means did not permit him to treat the poor freemen. In despite of the indignation of the inhabitants, moreover, he had supported the repeal of the laws which crushed Irish commerce and manufactures to the profit of English shipowners and clothiers, and had assisted in passing the free trade measures of 1779. He had given offence to local shopkeepers, again, by ignoring their disapproval of a Bill affording some relief to the wretched people confined in prison for debt, and by speaking in its favour after they had petitioned against the measure. And Protestant feeling had been irritated by his avowed hostility to the political disqualifications imposed on Roman Catholics. The friends of Mr. Cruger consequently refused to coalesce with those of Burke, and maintained an attitude which indicated hostility rather than sympathy. It must be added that many of Burke's influential supporters in 1774 had been ruined by the suicidal rupture with America. In the face of these menacing circumstances, Burke on the 6th September met his supporters in the Guildhall, and uttered a vindicatory address, styled by one of his biographers the greatest speech ever delivered on an English hustings, in which he boldly challenged the approbation of the citizens for the very conduct they had disapproved. On the 8th, fixed for the formal nomination of candidates, Mr. Combe died suddenly at the house of a friend in College Green. His partisans thereupon nominated Sir Henry Lippincott, Bart., who, in right of his wife, represented the


old Bristol families of Cann and Jefferis. On the following morning, Mr. Burke, in a brief speech, announced his withdrawal from the contest, having become convinced of its hopelessness. (His action was doubtless largely inspired by a desire to save his friends from the enormous expense of a contest.) The death of Mr. Combe was characteristically seized by the orator to point a lesson on the vanity of human passions. The fate of the lamented gentleman, he said, snatched away “while his desires were as warm and his hopes as eager as ours, has feelingly told us what shadows we are and what shadows we pursue”. The poll continued open for nine days, although the issue was never in doubt. The sinister conduct of Mr. Cruger's committee was resented by many Whigs, more than a thousand of whom refused to record their votes, and Mr. Cruger withdrew on the 19th September, alleging that the majority against him was due to bribery and undue influence. At the declaration of the poll, on the 20th, the numbers were given as follows:- Mr. Brickdale, 2771; Sir H. Lippincott, 2518; Mr. Cruger, 1271; Mr. Samuel Peach, 788, Mr. Burke, 18. Mr. Peach, a wealthy linen-draper in Maryleport Street, had been nominated in the interest of his son-in-law, Cruger. Some of the ignorant freeman objecting to “plump” for that gentleman, Mr. Peach was set up to receive their second votes. The scurrilous Thistlethwaite seized the occasion to produce another local satire, entitled “Corruption, a Mock Heroick”, but the work, although as virulent as its forerunners, was treated with deserved neglect. A placard was issued by the Crugerites soon after the election, professing to be a playbill of performances “for the benefit of a weak Administration”. The assumed players in “All in the Wrong: or The Tories Distracted”, include “Dupe, by Sir H. L - p - tt; Orator Mum, by Mr. B - k - le; Sir George Woodbe, by Mr. Da - b - ny (Daubeny); Counsellor Clodpate, by Mr. H - b - se (Hobhouse); and Judas Iscariott, by Mr. F - y (Foy)”. “End of the Second Act, an Interlude, intitled The Poll Books, or a new method of securing a Majority. The part of Close 'em by Sir Henry Laughing Stock, from the Theatre at Gloucester. This is reckoned the first exhibition of the kind, and for his peculiar excellence therein the Performer was rewarded with a Title”. Lippincott was sheriff of Gloucestershire in 1776-7, during a fierce bye-election, in which he was charged with partiality. He was created a baronet in 1778, and as his only known merit lay in his adherence to the “king's


friends”, the sarcasm of the Crugerites was not without plausible foundation.

At a meeting of the Council in October, an offer was made, on behalf of the vestry of All Saints' parish, to take down the Merchants' Tolzey, opposite the Council House, and to rebuild “the late London Coffee-house”, at the east angle of the Exchange, in a style similar to that of the Post Office at the western corner (by which improvement Corn Street would be widened by 5½feet), provided the Corporation would subscribe £400 towards the outlay, and grant a lease of certain rooms, “formerly the Exchange Tavern”, at a rent of £100. The Chamber consented to both conditions. The plan involved the removal of the cistern of All Saints' Conduit, which was to be placed on the first floor of the new house, while the fountain itself was removed from Corn Street into All Saints' Lane.

Sir Henry Lippincott, Bart, M.P., whose election has just been recorded, died on the 1st January, 1781. On the following day, the Union (Whig) club addressed a letter to the Constitutional club of their opponents, proposing that an agreement should be made for dividing the representation between the two parties, and so restoring “peace and good neighbourhood”; but the Tories, assured of pecuniary assistance from the Crown, and counting upon continued discord in their enemies' camp, declined to comply. Their foresight was justified by events. The friends of Burke, although he had been elected for Malton, were anxious to reinstate him in his former seat; but the chief supporters of Cruger declared that unless that gentleman was promised the representation of Malton, they would bring another candidate forward for Bristol, and spare neither money nor labour to defeat Mr. Burke. A few days later, Mr. Cruger took the field, while Mr. George Daubeny was selected by the Ministerial party, an obtained, as will presently be seen, the approval of George III. The contest was of a virulent character, the Tories expatiating on the fact that Mr. Cruger was a “foreigner” (he was a native of New York) whose sympathies were wholly with the “rebels”; whilst it was alleged by the other camp that Mr. Daubeny and some of his prominent friends had openly avowed sympathy with the Jacobites during the rebellion of 1745. Both parties squandered large sums in “entertaining” the electors. One of Daubeny's handbills invited “all true Britons” to a dinner at the Full Moon inn, Stoke's Croft, “to try the difference between American bull beef and the roast beef of Old


England”, and “to drink a health to the Friend of the King and the Constitution”. In retort the Crugerites assured the freemen that “without Cruger we should have had no beef nor ale”, their placard concluding with “A large loaf, a full pot, and Cruger for ever”. Many collisions occurred in the streets between the hired mobs of the two parties, and it was alleged by the Crugerites that the pressgang was under the orders, if not in the pay, of their antagonists. The election, which began, on the 31st January, was not concluded until the 24th February, when the poll was declared to be: for Mr. Daubeny, 3143; for Mr. Cruger, 2771. A deadly affray marked the close of the contest. A party of Crugerites, passing along the quays, took offence at some flags displayed by a Swansea vessel, and ordered the crew to lower them. The demand being accompanied by some stone-throwing, the sailors fired several swivel guns upon the crowd, killing two men instantly, and wounding many other persons, including three children. The verdict of the coroner's jury on the bodies of the victims was “justifiable homicide”; but there is in Temple churchyard an inscription to their memory, alleging that they were “inhumanly murdered” by three men, whose names appear on the tombstone. Mr. Cruger petitioned against the return, but his case was ultimately withdrawn.

A singular proof of the manner in which employers considered themselves entitled to deal with their workmen at election times is unconsciously revealed in an abusive letter addressed to Mr. Cruger by an opponent, in one of the Tory journals. The writer says:- “At the election in 1774 you ruined so many of the labouring freemen by inveigling them to vote in opposition to their masters, and you were so constantly teased with the cries of their wives and children, that you removed from Park Street to Weston, near Bath, to prevent their craving solicitations from reaching your ears. You are now again spiriting up the journeymen freemen to disoblige their masters, and thereby to reduce them and their families to the same miserable situation”. The writer's inability to perceive the discredit he was heaping upon his friends is both amusing and edifying. Party spirit raged at this period with almost unexampled virulence. Mr. R. Smith states that many men regarded their political opponents as personal enemies, and that candidates or vacancies in the Infirmary staff had no chance of success unless they had the approval of the Tory club at the White Lion (Smith MSS.).


The assistance rendered by George III. to Mr. Daubeny, as a supporter of his American policy, was first brought to light by the publication of the king's letters to Lord North. Additional evidence has been produced by the Historical MSS. Commission (10th Report). The king, it appears, had an election manager in the person of Mr. John Robinson, Secretary to the Treasury, for whom he reserved £20,000 yearly to aid suitable candidates. The Premier, Lord North, in a letter to Robinson, dated April 13th, 1781, says: - “I suppose we must comply with the requests of Lord Sheffield [then contesting Coventry] and Mr. Daubeny . . . I suppose the following sums will do. Lord S. £2000, Mr. D. £1600, being £600 more than he asked for at first. But perhaps Mr. D. will not be satisfied, and it will be necessary to give him more. The demands on this occasion are exorbitant beyond the example of any former time”. As it turned out, Mr. Daubeny was so far from being satisfied with £1,600 that he applied for £6,000 from the royal bounty, and actually got them. Lord North, in sending the king an account of election charges just paid (in addition to the above they included £2,000 for Gloucestershire), pleaded that “only £1000” had been sent to Bristol at the general election, and that the Tory merchants, having contributed largely on that occasion, “as well as to many loyal subscriptions”, had thought it not improper to ask for help in the second contest. Lord North's letter shows that the king's outlay for the promotion of electoral corruption had reached in a few months to about £63,000, exclusive of two pensions amounting to £1,600 a year.

The Arethusa, a 44 gun frigate, one of five war vessels then being built on the Avon, was launched on the 10th April, 1781. The Arethusa for many years enjoyed a special popularity amongst Bristolians.

On the death, in April, 1781, of the Rev. Carew Reynell, minister of Redland Chapel, an unexpected dispute arose respecting the patronage attached to the building. Mr. Cossins, who built and endowed the chapel, and added a handsome house for the chaplain, appointed the first incumbent, and subsequent vacancies had been filled by his representatives, one of whom, Mr. John Innys, his brother-in-law, devised the chapel and advowson to Mr. Jeremy Baker, who appointed Reynell, and now proposed to select his successor. The chapel, however, had never been consecrated, and the Hon. Henry Fane, the patron of Westbury, in which parish it was situated, in conjunction with the Rev. John


Whetham, incumbent of the parish, refused to permit Baker's nominee to officiate. The chapel was accordingly closed, and the yearly income was transferred to the Infirmary, in accordance with Mr. Cossins's foundation deeds. Several years elapsed before further steps were taken. At length, Mr. Samuel Edwards, of Cotham Lodge, a friend of Baker's, purchased the advowson of Westbury, and Whetham was induced, no doubt for a satisfactory consideration, to resign the living. The new patron then nominated his nephew, the Rev. Wm. Embury Edwards, to the incumbency, and Mr. Baker presented the same person to Redland. And as it was clear that the incumbent of Westbury could at any future time prevent a minister from officiating in the latter building, it was agreed between the two patrons that the advowson of the chapel should be annexed to that of the parish, and that the nomination to both should be exercised alternately by themselves and their heirs, trustees being appointed to carry out the compact. Manuscripts narrating the above facts are preserved in the Consistory Court. Petition was next made to the Bishop for the consecration of the chapel and burial ground, and the ceremony took place on the 12th November, 1790. [The account of this dispute by the author of the Chronological History is a pure fiction.] Whetham, through the influence of the Fane family, was appointed Dean of Lismore in 1791.

At the Gloucestershire summer assizes in 1781, an action brought at the instance of the Society of Merchants against the lessee of the Hot Well, who had imposed a charge upon Bristolians taking water from the spring, contrary to the conditions of his lease, came on for trial, and resulted in a verdict for the plaintiff. It will afterwards be shown, however, that upon the lease being renewed at a greatly increased rent, the occupier was allowed to resume exactions on the local public, and raised at the same time the charges imposed on visitors, with disastrous effects on the popularity of the Well.

The long pending design of establishing a civic Mansion House was definitively approved at a corporate gathering on the 4th August, 1781. The Chamber, which had that day adopted Alderman Harris's scheme for despoiling Queen Elizabeth's Hospital, resolved, “unanimously, that a messuage in Queen Square in the occupation of Mr. James Harford be forthwith purchased at the price of £1,360, in order that the same may be used as a Mayoralty House”. The house in question - standing at the eastern end of the north row -


belonged to Miss Susanna Calwell, by whom it was let at £105 per annum. It was originally built by Alderman Shuter (mayor, 1711). A committee was appointed to conclude the purchase, and to arrange for the suitable furnishing of the house. Possession, however, was not obtained until March, 1783, and the alterations were conducted with extreme deliberation, £800 being spent in 1784 and £1,600 in 1786. The work of furnishing followed. The Council was at first in an economical mood, and restricted the furnishing committee to an outlay of £800. An additional sum of £360 was voted to supply the great room with chandeliers, etc.; and in August, 1786, the chamberlain was ordered to pay further charges incurred by the reckless committee, amounting to £3,400 (including £20 8s. 8d. for “crown glass for the windows in the Great Room”, £1 16s. for an umbrella, and £4 for a “large turtle tubb”). Whilst this outlay was going on, the Corporation was compelled to sell property to the value of £3,600, and to increase the city debt by nearly £6,300, in order to meet its expenditure. The Mansion House was occupied in the spring of 1786, when the scavenging authorities, desirous of getting a little profit out of the institution, raised the assessed value of the house from £70 to £400. On appeal, however, the rating was reduced to £90.

A maltster, named Joseph George Pedley. was the subject of much local objurgation about this period. According to his creditors, he raised about £10,000 by means of fraudulent representations, secreted a large portion of the money, and sought to conceal his knavery by setting fire to his premises in Little King Street, the books and papers in which were destroyed. Being declared a bankrupt, and suspected of arson, he was committed to Newgate, from which he escaped, but was again captured at Newcastle. A second attempt to break out of Newgate was detected and foiled. On a third occasion he filed through heavy fetters, and broke through the floor of his cell, but was unable to escape from the room below. At length he confessed that he had concealed upwards of £2,600 of his plunder in the western suburbs, and Felix Farley's Journal of the 24th Sept., 1781, announced that £1,000 in notes were found buried near “Tinkers' place”, Tyndall's Park, and 600 or 700 guineas near Gallows Acre Lane. The prisoner, who guided the searchers to the latter hoard, alleged that a third had been rifled. In April, 1782, Pedley was found guilty of destroying his house; but on the indictment being laid before the judges they declared that


the law did not prohibit the lessee of a dwelling from setting fire to it. The rogue was then committed for burning the adjoining houses. After lying in prison for more than a year, he was acquitted of this charge in May, 1783. His liberation as an insolvent did not take place until June, 1785. He was then immured for defalcations under the excise laws; and Mr. B. Smith saw him in the King's Bench prison in 1794, keeping a coal-shed. He was released only by death.

Sarah Farley's Journal of February 2nd, 1782, contains an advertisement offering the “Enterprise of the Bristol Water Works Company to be sold or let”. No adventurer coming forward to continue the undertaking, the service of water was soon after discontinued.

The wasteful system under which the Customs department was administered is illustrated by a letter from George III. to Lord North, dated February 11th. The king requests the Prime Minister to nominate Mr. Barnard, the royal librarian, to a sinecure employment of either comptroller or collector of the Custom-house at Bristol, held for above forty years by a Mr. Bowman, just dead at Egham. His Majesty habitually relieved the Civil List from pensions to dependents by throwing them in this manner on the ordinary revenue. Owing to the destruction of the Custom-house archives in 1831, the result of the king's letter cannot be discovered.

The killing of a refractory Spaniard by a sentinel in March, 1782, occasions the first mention in the local press of the Government buildings at Fishponds for the safe custody of prisoners of war. The place became so extensive that an engraved view of it was published in the Gentleman's Magazine (vol. 84). Belies of the prison - converted into a workhouse for the Bristol Union in 1833 - may still be seen.

By this time the country had become weary of the inglorious war against the revolted Americans which the Prime Minister was waging, against his own judgment, in deference to George III. Early in 1782, the Corporation of Bristol, repudiating its former sympathy with the Government, unanimously addressed a petition to the House of Commons against the further continuance of the contest, and prayed the House “to advise the King to a total change of the unhappy system which has involved the nation in such complicated misfortunes”. A similar petition was adopted at a public meeting of the citizens in the Guildhall. On the 27th February, on the motion of General Conway, an


Address, in which the above sentiments were practically embodied, was carried in the House of Commons, and three weeks later the Ministry resigned. At a meeting of the Common Council in April (17 members being absent), it was resolved to present the freedom of the city to General Conway for his exertions to hasten peace, and a similar compliment was paid to eight members of the new Rockingham Ministry. A vote of thanks was also passed to Burke for his great scheme of economical reform. A deputation of five gentlemen set off for London to convey these compliments, and were paid £92 for the expenses of their journey. About the same time, the war with France was marked with a naval triumph that flung Bristol into transports of joy. Five of the English plantations in the West Indies had been captured by the French, and as a commanding fleet under De Grasse was cruising in the neighbourhood, awaiting the junction of a Spanish flotilla, the loss of Jamaica was deemed only too probable. At this critical moment Admiral Rodney challenged the French navy to combat, and on the 12th April a desperate battle resulted in a decisive English victory. Intelligence of this great event arrived in Bristol on the 18th May, and as the fortunes of many wealthy citizens were involved in the fate of Jamaica, the demonstrations of joy were universal. In September, Rodney, who had won a peerage by his success, disembarked at Kingroad, and, on the invitation of Mr. Tyndall, spent a night at the Royal Fort. The only token of rejoicing that could be improvised was a torchlight procession of several hundred citizens, in which a prominent figure was John Weeks, of the Bush inn, who kept open house in honour of the occasion, and distributed liquor gratuitously to the assembled populace. Lord Rodney, in thanking the citizens for the demonstration, promised to return; and when he did so, on the 15th November, he met with a reception never before accorded to a subject. On reaching Totterdown he was welcomed by the sheriffs in a laudatory address, to which he briefly replied. An imposing procession was then organised. Equestrians and private carriages, forming a long line, were headed by a figure of Britannia, “supported by four javelin men”, seated in a car drawn by six horses, the drivers in the dress of sailors. Representatives of Mars and Minerva followed in similar state, together with three boats placed upon wheels, accommodating bands of music embowered in laurels, while from a ship of 40 tons burden, also on a carriage drawn by horses, the crew fired at intervals salutes from swivel guns.


Flags, insignia, and trophies of every kind added additional variety to the scene. The cavalcade passed through the principal streets to the Merchants' Hall, where the distinguished guest, before sitting down to a grand dinner, was presented with the freedom of the company. The day concluded with a general illumination. John Weeks, who was the leading spirit in preparing the manifestations, afterwards boasted that they had cost him £447. On this account, perhaps. Weeks “claimed the honour” of becoming one of Lord Rodney's postboys, on his departure next morning for Bath. This was the last local incident of note in connection with the war. The formal proclamation of peace took place on the 13th October, 1783, with the usual formalities.

An advertisement in Felix Farley's Journal of May 25th, 1782, affords a final glimpse of the famous Bristol China works of Richard Champion:- “Now selling, by hand, at the late manufactory in Castle Green, the remaining stock of Enamel Blue and White, and White Bristol China. The manufactory being removed into the north”.

At a meeting of the Common Council in May, a proposal of the St. Stephen's Improvement trustees was produced, offering to widen the thoroughfare on the Quay, near the church, from twenty-four to forty-four feet, provided the Corporation surrendered the site of the Fish-market. The Chamber accepted the terms; and gave orders for the removal of the market to a site between Nicholas and Baldwin Streets. The purchase of the required land, however, was not effected until 1786, and the retail dealers in fish long resorted to St. James's market.

At another meeting, in December, the Council resolved to present the freedom of the city to Lord Rodney for “his glorious and decisive victory, which saved Jamaica from an attack, and protected in an eminent degree the commercial interests of this city”. It seems strange that the Chamber did not discover this when Lord Rodney was in Bristol. The freedom was also voted to Lord Howe for his gallant relief of Gibraltar, and a similar compliment was paid in 1783 to Lord Hood “for his important services”.

In December, 1782, a patent was granted to a Bristol plumber named William Watts, for his newly invented process for the manufacture of shot. The invention (said to have been inspired by a dream) consisted in causing the liquid lead to fall from a considerable height, the metal assuming a spherical form in the air. Watts constructed a “shot-tower” on Redcliff Hill, and his products soon


acquired celebrity. A local journal of December, 1786, announced that the inventor was about to extend his works by building a new Gothic tower, which, with the old one, was expected to remind a spectator of “the prospect of Westminster Abbey”. In a few years Watts amassed about £10,000, which he invested in an unlucky building speculation at Clifton - the construction of Windsor Terrace. Owing to a peculiarity of the strata, the whole of the owner's capital was sunk in securing the foundation of the house overlooking the Avon, and in October, 1792, the building was advertised for sale in an unfinished state. In February, 1794, Watts was declared a bankrupt, and lost his interest in a discovery by which others made ample fortunes. In September, 1794, it was announced that the manufactory on Redcliff Hill would thenceforth be carried on by “Philip George and Patent Shot Company”. No later reference to Watts has been found. The statement made in some local works that he became a hosier in High Street is incorrect.

The civic accounts for March, 1783, record the payment of £3 17s. 11d. to a messenger despatched into Herefordshire to obtain the signature of Alderman Durbin to a number of corporate leases. A similar item occurs in 1784. The alderman, repudiating the duties of his office, which included a daily supervision of the constables of his ward, had taken up his residence near Hereford, and refused to resign his gown. His example was followed by other aldermen, nearly all of whom had ceased to reside in the city in the later days of the unreformed Corporation.

The spring of 1783 was a period of great distress amongst the poor owing to the high price of food. One of its consequences was a series of disorders, extending over three days, amongst the sailors of the port, who complained that their families could not subsist upon their earnings. The mayor at length allayed the discontent by promising to recommend the shipowners to pay 30s. a month to each man when at sea, and half that sum when in Kingroad. A few days later, the felons confined in Newgate prayed for relief through the newspapers, stating that they had nothing to live upon saving twopence a day. Untried prisoners received only a penny daily, and many must have starved but for the relief offered by the public. The misery caused by the dearth led to a frightful increase of crime, especially of burglaries and highway robberies. No protection being afforded to the new suburb of Kingsdown, the inhabitants, in April, advertised for “a few able-bodied young men, to


be employed as a nightly patrole” in that locality. This watch was continued, at intervals, for several years. The inhabitants of College Green were also compelled to take special measures against footpads and burglars, and in March, 1790, the dean and chapter gave them permission to erect a watch-box in the middle of the green “for their safety and protection”.

The Common Council, in May, presented the freedom of the city to the Earl of Surrey, son and eventually successor to the tenth Duke of Norfolk. His lordship took much interest in West Country affairs, and was thrice mayor of Gloucester. For the honour conferred upon him in Bristol he was indebted to his Whig politics, and to his fame as a gastronomist.

The Council, at the above meeting, admitted Mr. Thomas Daniel, jun., as a freeman on the payment of a fine of 12 guineas. Mr. Daniel was in 1786 elected a common councillor, was chosen mayor in 1796, and eventually became the famous alderman who, from his complete omnipotence in corporate affairs, was sometimes called King of Bristol.

A subscription on the tontine principle was started in July for completing a range of warehouses near St. Stephen's church, which the parochial trustees had begun, but were unable to finish. The number of subscribers was 196, and the estate was to be divided amongst the last survivors. (The final division did not take place until about 1860.) In March, 1784, an attempt was made to form a tontine for the building of houses in Great George Street, near Brandon Hill, but the scheme was unsuccessful.

The curious brass pillars in front of the Exchange once formed only a part of a numerous collection. The city chamberlain, in September, 1783, debits himself with £12 17s. 6d., “received for the metal tops of the ancient pillars removed from All Saints' Penthouse, and the Bridgwater slip on the Back”. Immediately afterwards, 17s. 6d. is obtained “for the top of a small pillar” removed from the former place. In 1784, there was a receipt of £8 6s. “for a pot metal pillar and cap, taken down under the Tolsey”; and £8 13s. 4d. was obtained in 1796 “for the cap or top of an old pillar supposed formerly to stand at the Bridgwater Slip, and which for many years last past lay useless in the Council House cellars. Weight, 2 cwt. 3 qr. 121b. of pot brass at 6½d. per lb”.

On the 10th December, 1783, the Council appointed Mr. Richard Burke, brother of the great orator, to the


recordership of the city, in the place of Lord Ashburton, deceased. Unable to foresee the imminence of events destined to transform the Burkes into ultra conservatives, the Tory councillors voted against the appointment.

The hackney carriages maintained in the city were still kept in the stable yards of their proprietors. On the 26th December, 1783, however, a coach took its stand near the Exchange, and it was styled “No. 1” by the civic officials. The adventure meeting with favour, “No. 2” coach made its appearance three months later, and also stood at the Exchange. The charge made to any place within the limits of the city was a shilling, and for half a mile beyond the boundaries 1s. 6d. By the summer of 1786 the coaches had increased to 18; but the Corporation had imposed no regulations in reference to fares, and there were loud complaints of imposition. The Chamber at length drew up a table of rates in September, 1787, when 20 vehicles were permitted to ply.

The local journals of March, 1784, announced that the extensive gardens appertaining to the Red Lodge were to be disposed of in building sites. Part of the ground was devoted to laying out a street, originally styled Red Lodge Street, connecting Park Row with Trenchard Street.

A dissolution of Parliament in the spring of 1784 gave rise to the longest and closest contest ever known in Bristol. Mr. Cruger's resolve to attempt a reversal of the decision of 1781 was well known, and although he was in America when the Houses were dismissed, his claims were strenuously championed by his father-in-law, Mr. Peach, and his brother, Colonel Cruger. The late members, Mr. Brickdale and Mr. Daubeny, jointly solicited re-election. It was the custom of that age for the voters to be brought up in “tallies”, or batches, by the agents of the respective candidates. In order to prevent Cruger's opponents from bringing up two tallies for one, and so giving them a large majority in the early days of the struggle, Mr. Peach was also nominated as a candidate. Cruger being absent, the opportunity was seized to publish a copious store of calumnies against him. A charge that he had torn down and trampled upon the English flag in New York was especially pressed, in spite of clear evidence as to its falsehood. The polling commenced on the 3rd April, and was continued until the 8th May - a period of five weeks and a day. For more than a month the competition between the friends of Daubeny and Cruger was so close as to leave the issue in doubt. Nearly a thousand


persons were admitted as freemen during the contest. The ultimate result was as follows:- Mr. Brickdale, 3458; Mr. Cruger, 3052; Mr. Daubeny, 2982; Mr. Peach, 373. Brickdale refused to be “chaired”, to the great wrath of the lower class of freemen, who were bountifully treated on such occasions. At the chairing of Colonel Cruger many gentlemen appeared “in blue coats, with pink capes, being the party colour”. In the evening, the White Lion inn - the Tory headquarters - was sacked by a Crugerite mob, after a battle with a Tory mob assembled in Broad Street. Mr. Daubeny petitioned against his opponent's return, alleging that Mr. Cruger had ceased to be an English subject, but the House of Commons affirmed the election.

One of the favourite relaxations of the trading class at this period was a Sunday excursion to one or other of the neighbouring villages, where the innkeepers provided a two o'clock “ordinary” for the entertainment of visitors. Almondsbury, Henbury, Shirehampton, and Brislington enjoyed especial popularity in this way. Owing to the number of excursionists, a Sunday coach to Shirehampton, viâ Henbury, was started in July, 1784.

The changing customs of city life during the century are illustrated by the fact that the Common Council, which assembled at nine o'clock in the morning in 1701, fixed the hour of meeting at noon in June, 1784. Perhaps an equally significant symptom of the later time is that the old fine of one shilling for non-attendance was increased to half a guinea. A week or two later, the fines for refusing the offices of mayor, sheriff, and councillor were again fixed at £400, £300, and £200 respectively, though, as will be seen afterwards, with no practical effect. In June, 1798, the hour of meeting was further postponed until one o'clock.

The Corporation announced in July that hay and straw would be permitted to be brought by carts into Broadmead for sale every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. The old haymarket there, which had become obsolete, was formally revived in the following September.

Down to July, 1784, the conveyance of letters between the principal English centres was generally effected in conformity with the system established in the reign of Charles II.; namely, by means of “post-boys” (generally sleepy old men), who travelled on wretched horses at an average rate of under four miles an hour. On the London and Bristol road, it had been found necessary to provide the post-boys with light carts for carrying the mail bags, but the


arrangement effected no acceleration in the time of transit - from thirty to forty hours, according to the state of the roads. An important reform in the service was at length accomplished at the instance of John Palmer, already mentioned in connection with the Bristol Theatre. In submitting his proposal in 1783 to Mr. Pitt, the Prime Minister, Palmer pointed out that the post, instead of being the quickest, was almost the slowest conveyance in the country, that robberies were frequent, that the mails were generally entrusted to idle “boys” without character, mounted on worn-out hacks, and that these men, so far from attempting defence or flight if attacked by a highwayman, were more likely to be in league with him. A letter despatched from Bristol or Bath on Monday was not delivered in London until Wednesday morning. On the other hand, a letter confided to the fast coach of Monday reached its destination on Tuesday morning, and the consequence was that Bristol traders and others sent letters of value or urgency by the coach, although the proprietors charged 2s. for each missive, or six times the ordinary postage. Palmer therefore urged the Government to establish mail coaches, protected by well-armed guards, the working cost of which would be defrayed by travellers desirous of increased speed and security, while the post office revenue would benefit by the recovery of the business that had fallen into private hands. Although his scheme was vehemently condemned by the leading officials of the Post Office, who alleged that it would prove not only costly but impracticable, and that robberies would greatly increase if the transit of letters took place daily at fixed hours, the Premier gave orders that it should be tried, as an experiment, on the road from London to Bristol. The coaches started on the 2nd August, 1784, the vehicles being timed to perform the journey in sixteen hours. Only four passengers were carried by each two horse “machine”, and the fare was £1 8s. The immediate effect was to accelerate the delivery of letters by a day. Palmer was installed in the London office to superintend the working of his scheme, and had to fight single-handed against the staff, which eagerly strove to expel the intruder and thwart his reforms. One of Palmer's proposals was that all the mails out of London should be despatched at the same hour. This the clerks protested against as impossible, and their mutinous behaviour threatened to bring the establishment to a deadlock, when new blood was imported into the office in the person of Francis Freeling, son of a journeyman sugar-baker on


Redcliff Hill, who, after being educated at Colston's School, had displayed unusual capacity as a subordinate member of the Bristol postal staff. Freeling soon succeeded in accomplishing the “impossible”, and was eventually rewarded by being raised to the head of the department. In the meantime the old-fashioned officials continued to conspire against Palmer's plan, and must have been nearly successful at one moment, for in February, 1785, the Bristol Common Council, the Society of Mercnants, and the trading community addressed memorials to the Treasury, representing the great benefits derived from the new system, and praying for its continuance and extension. The financial results of the reform were soon so satisfactory as to secure its general adoption. In July, 1787, the mails from Bristol to Birmingham and the north, previously three per week, were ordered to run daily. A mail coach started about the same time from London to Edinburgh, being only three nights and two days upon the road (see p.309). Lord Campbell, who made his first visit to the capital by this conveyance, states in his Diary that the speed of the journey was regarded as extremely dangerous, and that he was strongly advised to stay a day at York, “as several passengers who had gone through without stopping had died of apoplexy from the rapidity of the motion”. Palmer was ultimately driven out of office by his implacable enemies, and although the Ministry had promised him a commission of 2½ per cent, on the increased revenue that might be produced by his reform, it broke its engagement, and awarded him a fixed pension of £3,000 a year, being only a small fraction of his rights. After frequently claiming redress from the House of Commons, a grant of £60,000 was voted to him in 1813, about five years before his death.

The manufacture of lime was at this period a not unimportant local industry. A correspondent of F. Farley's Journal, commenting in August, 1784, upon a case tried at the assizes, remarked:- “There have been in this neighbourhood for upwards of 26 years past upwards of 28 lime-kilns, and they may on a fair calculation have been reckoned to draw on an average 240 bushels a week each”, making the yearly output nearly 360,000 bushels. About one third of the total was exported to the West Indies.

Although large sums had been expended from time to time in repairing old Christ Church, the edifice was condemned in 1784 as hopelessly ruinous. The vestry, which had to face the task of raising funds for a complete reconstruction,


showed considerable tact in easing the shoulders of those chiefly concerned, by claiming general help towards carrying out an important public improvement. Their appeal for assistance opened as follows:- “Many accidents having happened, and great inconveniences being daily experienced from the narrowness of the upper parts of Broad Street and Wine Street, the latter of which is only 17 feet in breadth”, etc. The south and west walls of the church, in fact, were covered with excrescences in the shape of houses and sheds; and the vestry offered to surrender some of the projections on being liberally compensated for the loss. In December the Common Council promised to contribute £1,600 towards rebuilding the church, provided the parish undertook to widen the two streets in the manner proposed. The Society of Merchants subscribed £600 and the Tailors' Company £100 on the same condition. The old church was a commonplace building, and possessed no exterior feature of interest save two figures placed near the clock, which struck the quarter hours upon a bell. An Act authorising its rebuilding, at an estimated cost of £4,200, of which about one half was to be raised by church-rates, was obtained in 1785; and the edifice was soon after removed. Southey, whose dwelling was close to the church, stated long afterwards that “sad things were said of the indecencies that occurred in removing the coffins, for the new foundations to be laid”. Some of the old monuments, however, were preserved. The foundation stone of the new church was laid on the 30th October, 1786, when Southey (then 12 years old), whose father was a churchwarden, deposited a few copper coins, amidst the indulgent smiles of the civic dignitaries. Barrett, whose history was being prepared for the press whilst the building was in hand, extolled the preposterous spire as “beautiful”, and described the whole edifice as “a great ornament to the city”.

A movement for the promotion of Sunday schools became general in 1784, and found warm patrons in Bristol. At a meeting held on the 17th November, Henry Hobhouse presiding, it was resolved to divide the city and suburbs into ten districts, local committees being desired to superintend the work. A few weeks later it was reported that the vestry of St. Nicholas refused to co-operate. Four parochial schools were, however, soon after established, and their success led to the general adoption of the system.

A glimpse of the costume of youthful citizens is afforded by a censorious writer in Felix Farley's Journal of the 20th


November. He states that he remembers when apprentices and attorneys' clerks were accustomed to dress in plain clothes. “But now, gold laced waistcoats, ruffled shirts, and silk stockings are become the ordinary wear of every shop-boy in the city”. The critic is silent respecting juvenile wigs; but no doubt he compounded for his own weaknesses by condemning those of others.

The Common Council gave orders in December, 1784, that the mayor's and sheriffs' sergeants, the sheriffs' yeomen, and the mayor's marshals (fourteen in all) should thenceforth provide themselves yearly with new uniforms. The Corporation undertook to furnish them with silver-laced hats. In 1789 the garments were ordered to be paid for by the chamberlain. But in 1790 it was again determined that the officers should provide their own clothes (blue coat, red waistcoat, and black velvet breeches), an allowance of £2 being granted to each.

During the year 1784 some local interest was excited by the poetic effusions of a woman named Anne Yearsley, who earned a scanty living by retailing milk. One of her poems having been brought under the notice of Hannah More, that lady made inquiries, the results of which were communicated on the 20th October in a letter to Mrs. Montagu. Anne Yearsley, she said, was 28 years old, the daughter of an old milkwoman, and had herself followed that calling from childhood; she had never received any schooling, but her brother had taught her to read. Having been married very young to a labourer, she had six children, and had been reduced to extreme distress in consequence of repeated misfortunes. In fact, the family were on the point of starvation, for they had concealed their misery, when a gentleman accidentally heard of their destitution, and afforded them relief. Miss More was struck with the simplicity of manners and good taste of the poor woman; and, in concert with Mrs. Montagu and her extensive literary circle, she resolved to “bring to light a genius buried in obscurity” by publishing by subscription a quarto volume of the milkwoman's poems. Through the exertions of Miss More, who afterwards declared that she had written a thousand pages of letters on the subject, upwards of £500 were obtained for the authoress, part of which sum was applied to paying off debts and restoring comfort to the family, while the remainder was invested by Miss More and Mrs. Montagu, who were constituted trustees, with power of control over the interest. One of Hannah More's biographers asserts that upon Anne Yearsley being made acquainted with


this arrangement, she charged her benefactress with envy and covetousness, and flung a sum of ten guineas, the balance of the fund, at that lady's head. The latter assertion was warmly contradicted by the accused in a later edition of her works, in which she reflected bitterly on her patroness. She refused, in short, to be kept in the tutelage which the trustees sought to impose upon her; and, with many exclamations on her ingratitude, they paid her the amount placed in their hands. With this money Mrs. Yearsley set up a circulating library at the Colonnade, near the Hot Well, where she published a second volume of poems in 1787. In 1789, her “historical play, Earl Goodwin”, was performed for four nights at the theatre, the proceeds of one evening being paid to the author. A novel, “The Man in the Iron Mask”, brought her in a further sum of £200. Being unsuccessful in business, she removed to Melksham, where she died, insane, in 1806.

Undeterred by the failure of their predecessors in 1712, the clergy of the city parishes, in January, 1785, determined on making a fresh application to Parliament for power to increase their incomes by imposing a rate upon the inhabitants. The intention of the promoters was to keep the project a secret whilst their Bill was being pressed forward at Westminster; but Dean Tucker, rector of St. Stephen's, was opposed to the scheme, and covered his colleagues with confusion by divulging their tactics. The indignation excited by the discovery led to the immediate retreat of the clergy; but a public meeting was held in the Guildhall on the 24th February “to perpetuate the feeling of the city”.

In Bonner's Bristol Journal of January 8th, 1786, is a communication from an old Bristolian professing to specify the fortunes left by eminent local merchants and traders deceased “within these fifty years, who had but small beginnings, but died rich”. Although the figures were probably founded only on the gossip of the Exchange, they clearly denote a remarkable period of prosperity. William Miller, grocer and banker, is entitled to the first place on the golden roll, his estate being valued at £190,000. Next follow John Brickdale and Zachary Bayley, with £100,000 each, John Andrews, with £90,000, and David Peloquin. with £80,000. Joseph Percival, Henry Hobhouse, Michael Atkins, Jeremiah Ames, and Gough and Burgess, drapers, are credited with £70,000 each; Henry Combe, Henry Tonge, John Lidderdale, and Henry Bright, with £60,000 each; John Turner, Thomas Foord, James Reed, James


Calwell, Stephen Nash, Thomas Evans, L. Richard, and R. Chamberlayne, £40,000 each; John Curtis and John Collet, £35,030 each; and William Matthews, James Hilhouse, Walter Loghan, William Jefferis, Wm. Gordon, Rich. Meyler, Joseph Loscombe, Manassah Whitehead, Sydenham Teast, R. Frampton, P. Wilder, and Richard Blake, £30,000 each.

The repugnance of the Puritans to ecclesiastical fasts and festivals affected national customs long after Puritanism itself was repudiated. Down to about 1780, Good Friday appears to have been as little regarded by the trading classes as Ascension Day is by the present generation. A movement, however, sprang up in London to promote the religious observance of the great fast, and the Bristol Journal of March 19th, 1785, shows that the agitation had spread westward:- “It is humbly requested that every shop and warehouse will be closed on Good Friday next. It has been too generally observed that the inhabitants of this city are more regardless of that day than in any other part of England. However, it is never too late to reform”. The revived custom gradually became general, Quakers alone refusing to recognise it. In 1798, Bristolians are recorded to have observed the day with “great and rather unusual solemnity”, while in 1800, says Felix Farley's Journal, “business appeared to be more universally suspended than we recollect it ever to have been on this occasion”.

Advertisements announcing that a new lessee was wanted for the Hot Well and the New Hot Well had appeared during the closing months of 1784, but without success. On the 6th March, 1785, the Merchants' Society issued a fresh notice, intimating that they proposed to let both the springs for a term of from 40 to 60 years, the precise period to depend on the amount which the lessee would undertake to ay out in improvements. The Society required £1,000 to be spent in rearing a quay wall, and £600 in fencing the old spring from the tide; and they further desired that the pump-room should be made more commodious for visitors. This proposal falling still-born, the springs were again fruitlessly offered to be let by auction. At length, on the 1st June, Thomas Perkins was appointed by the Society as caretaker for five years, and extensive repairs and improvements were soon after commenced at the Old Well. To insure the genuineness of the water, which was exported in large quantities, the Society had a seal engraved, bearing their arms and the words “Bristol Hot Well”, and this was


impressed upon every bottle. The New Well was abandoned (see p.265).

The success of the two Frenchmen named Montgolfier in constructing balloons caused a prodigious excitement in England. In January, 1784, a small balloon, similar to the toys of the present day, was launched at Bath, and to the astonishment of the public it travelled a distance of nearly ten miles, descending at a spot in Kingswood which still bears the name of Air Balloon Hill. The first ascent of an aeronaut in this country took place in September, 1784, in London. A few months later a Mr. Decker announced his intention to ascend at Bristol, provided tickets were taken to the amount of £160, the cost of hydrogen gas, etc., and his feat was eventually performed on the 19th April, 1786, from a field in St. Philip's. A correspondent of a London periodical stated that “the county of Somerset and all the parts adjacent seemed to be emptied of their inhabitants into this city, which perhaps never exhibited so incredible a concourse of people. [Another writer says that some persons travelled sixty miles to witness the sight.] Two guineas for a horse and three for a chaise were offered at Bath for 12 miles conveyance; and the best of the joke was that the thousands who marched hither from Bath marched back again with like rapidity, as the balloon bent its way to Lansdown”. The balloon descended near Chippenham, the journey being completed in what was thought the marvellously short space of 67 minutes. On the aeronaut returning to Bristol, his carriage was dragged through the streets by the enthusiastic populace. For some time after balloons were the rage of the day; they were figured on crockery, glasses, handkerchiefs, fans, head dresses, clock-faces, and copper tokens; and John Weeks, of the Bush, started a “balloon coach” to London.

The local newspapers of the 30th April, 1785, contain a notification by the poor law guardians, complaining that many “housekeepers” lodged and entertained strangers, who ultimately claimed relief as paupers, and giving notice that no strangers would be permitted to lodge for the future unless their places of settlement were first communicated to the authorities. The penalty for refusing compliance with this warning was 40s. From an explanatory note appended to the document, it appears that the “amazing increase of the poor rate” had roused the board into action. The charge for the poor had grown from £6,842 in 1763 to £16,548 in 1783, and unless strangers were prevented from renting


houses, and so securing settlements, it was alleged that the evil could not be remedied. Country overseers, it was added, frequently bribed poor families to enter Bristol, and sometimes rented houses for them in the city, in order to secure a settlement. The notice having failed to answer its purpose, a more peremptory advertisement was published in September, in which a reward of five shillings was offered to any one giving information respecting those who harboured strangers. The guardians next resorted to corporal punishment. On the 30th November, eight men and six women, chiefly from the suburban parishes (one from the out-parish of St. Philip), “were flogged, and sent home by a pass”; five other men were “flogged, seen out of the city, and ordered never to return”, and five women and two men, who had gained settlements, were “flogged and discharged”. A woman from St. Philip's out-district, on promising never to enter the city again, was dismissed, as were several who pleaded illness. These high-handed proceedings were continued weekly for some time.

During the session of 1785 a duty on female servants and a tax on shops were proposed in the Budget, and received assent in despite of the petitions of the trading classes. The impost on shops (10 per cent, on rentals of £25 and upwards) came into operation on the 6th July, on which day nearly every shopkeeper in Bristol closed his place of business, and surrounded its doors and windows with emblems of mourning. Many inscriptions were also exhibited condemning the conduct of Mr. Pitt (whose effigy, in many towns, was hanged and burnt). The bells of the various parish churches rang muffled peals throughout the day. As an illustration of the fiscal system then in favour, a local newspaper stated that a village shopkeeper, whose returns did not exceed 40s. per week, paid a license duty to deal in hats, a second for retailing tea, a third for selling patent medicines, a fourth for keeping a horse, and a fifth for a cart; “his little hut is now assessed to the shop tax”. The tax was reduced in the following year. In 1787 the product of the burden was only £108,000, of which London paid £42,000, Bristol and Bath £1,000, and the entire kingdom of Scotland £800. The duty was abolished in 1789.

At a meeting of the mayor and aldermen in August, 1786, the county of Gloucester was granted a piece of land in Wells Close, near Lawford's Gate, for the site of a new county house of correction, in consideration of the surrender of the old Bridewell (see p.112). Powers for constructing


the new prison had been comprised in the Gloucester Gaol Act of 1784. Howard noted in 1787 that the architect of the new building was “the ingenious Mr. Blackburn”. It was finished and opened in 1790. A writer in Felix Farley's Journal of Dec. 2nd, 1826, describes it as “a vile doghole, without light or air”. It was destroyed in 1831 (see Annals, p.161).

The Nassau frigate, pierced for 64 guns, one of the largest vessels ever built on the Avon, was launched from Mr. Hilhouse's yard on the 20th September, 1786. Amongst the crowds gathered to witness the ceremony were great numbers of “peasants, with red cloaks” - then very popular in the rural districts. “Three Irish bishops” - visitors at the Hot Well - were also present at the launch.

In the session of 1786, the Bristol Bridge trustees, in despite of the opposition of a number of citizens, obtained an Act for making a new street from Bridge Parade to the bottom of Temple Street, at a cost not exceeding £12,000. The new thoroughfare (Bath Street) ran for the most part over the site of the ancient Tucker Street - one fragment of which still remains to attest its narrow and sinuous character. Tucker Street Chapel was swept away under the powers of this Act, which also enabled the trustees to demolish Temple Cross, and to remove from the centre of Temple Street to another site the figure of Neptune and the fountain on which it was placed. The last named change took place in December, 1787, when the fountain and figure were erected at the corner of Bear Lane. The site, now occupied by an extension of Dr. White's almshouse, cost the trustees £46. The Cross, which had been used as a preaching cross by the vicar of Temple down to the close of the previous century, and perhaps later (Tucker's MS.), but had been in 1775 converted into a “commodious watchbox”, was suffered to remain for some years; but in January, 1794, the trustees ordered that it should be taken down. Private expostulation was probably the cause of delay in carrying out this destruction. The Cross - the last of many Bristol Crosses - was eventually removed in a quasi- surreptitious manner during the night of the 13th August following. The above statute repealed the clause in the Bridge Act requiring the trustees to build a bridge over the Avon, to connect Dolphin Lane with Temple Street.

The condition of the streets, described as “ruinous and dangerous” by two local journals in November, 1786, at length forced itself on the attention of the corporate body.


At a meeting of the Council in February, 1786, a committee that had been previously appointed to consider the defects in the paving and lighting regulations reported that the existing laws were feeble and inadequate, and that it was desirable to obtain legislative powers for confiding the maintenance and lighting of the streets to a body of commissioners. Statutory powers were also alleged to be necessary for the removal of houses obstructing the streets, for preventing losses through fire by means of party walls, for erecting proper offices for public business, and for regulating hackney coaches. Measures were thereupon taken for obtaining an Act. The Corporation proposed that the commissioners should consist of the whole of the aldermen and councillors, with an equal number (43) of persons elected by such of the citizens as were rated at or above £20 a year. The elected commissioners were each to be owners of property to the value of £300 per annum. The oligarchic character of the scheme excited disapproval, and delegates were appointed by the ratepayers in the various parishes to press for modifications. Some trifling concessions were thereupon offered; but the request of the delegates that the number of corporate commissioners should be reduced one third was rejected, and the Bill was postponed for a year. In 1787 the controversy was renewed, the inhabitants manifesting great want of confidence in the self-elected corporators, while the latter haughtily refused to abate their pretensions. The request of a public meeting that the elected commissioners should be increased to 60 having been rejected by the Council, the inhabitants resolved to lay their case before Parliament. The Corporation thereupon withdrew the Bill a second time. At length, in 1788, when the opposition of the citizens to the measure was again displayed, the Chamber abandoned its proposals in reference to paving and lighting. Its schemes dealing with encroachments, licensing public carriages, regulating party walls, widening Broad Street, and enlarging the Council House and Guildhall were embodied in throe Bills, which passed into law without opposition. (The Corporation had spent nearly £1,600 in its Parliamentary campaign.) The police of the streets thus remained unimproved.

For reasons explained at page 181, many of the incorporated trading companies silently disappeared during the closing years of the century. The Coopers' Hall was offered for sale by auction in February, 1786. In January, 1786, a similar rate befell the extensive premises - part of the old


Dominican Friary - belonging to the Smiths' Company. The estate consisted of “a very large new-built warehouse, with two lofts, three stables, an accounting house, a large yard, 100 feet by 80 feet, and the erection called the Smiths' Hall, a spacious building”, the whole being held for 999 years at a rental of £3. The hall, a medieval building supposed to have been the dormitory of the friars, was purchased in 1846 by the Society of Friends, and has been carefully preserved. The Bakers' Hall was also in the Black Friars, the company having been granted a portion of the cloisters. It now forms part of the Friends' premises.

On the 1st February, 1786, a banking house, styled the New Bank, was opened at No. 16, Corn Street, by Messrs. Levi Ames, John Cave, Joseph Harford, George Daubeny, and Richard Bright, the first and last-named of whom had been previously partners in the “Bristol Bank” of Deane, Whitehead, and Company, Small Street. A few years later, the partners in the New Bank were Messrs. Ames, Bright, Cave, and Daniel. At length, in June, 1826, the “Old Bank” coalesced with the junior institution.

A letter in Felix Farley's Journal of February 18th, 1786, contains some instructive facts concerning the spiritual condition of several of the Somerset parishes in this neighbourhood. The writer, the Rev. W. Baddily, ex-curate of Clevedon, stated that he had frequently but vainly represented to the Bishop (Dr. Moss) the state of many of the adjacent parishes. Mr. Goddard, of Long Ashton, held two livings, yet drove a “scandalous trade by preaching at Wraxall, Bourton, and Barrow, at the same time living among none of them”. The poor inhabitants of Nailsea were “obliged to go eight or nine miles through rain, frost, or snow, to a curate at Chew Stoke to bury their dead. The incumbent, one Simpkinson, never comes near the parish but once a year, to receive the farmers' money”. Bishop Moss had dismissed the writer from his curacy for exposing these abuses. The condition of the above parishes was by no means exceptional. Hannah More, writing to a friend from Cowslip Green in 1789, says:- “We have in this neighbourhood thirteen adjoining parishes, without so much as even a resident curate”. Again, “Mr. G. (incumbent of Axbridge) is intoxicated about six times a week, and very frequently is prevented from preaching by two black eyes, honestly earned by fighting”. As the labouring population of Bristol was largely recruited from the neglected districts, the above facts can scarcely be regarded as out of place.


The criminal law at this period well deserved the title of draconian. After the spring assizes of 1786 no less than nineteen criminals were executed in Gloucestershire and Somerset. There was no conviction for murder in either county, but many for highway robberies, some of which occurred in the neighbourhood of Bristol. Two of the Gloucestershire convicts, named Fry and Ward, lived in that portion of Kingswood included in the parish of Bitton, and raised to ten the number of criminals from that district executed within three years. The gang to which they belonged, said the Bristol Gazette of April 23rd, kept the neighbourhood in such dread that the inhabitants consented to pay a yearly fee to save themselves from being robbed. The blackmail varied from 5s. to half a guinea, according to the position of the victims, and was regularly and openly collected at Lansdown fair.

One of the greatest cock-fighting tournaments ever held in Bristol took place at the Angel inn cockpit, Redcliff, in April, 1786. The contest was waged between the gentry of Gloucestershire and those of Dorset. The stakes were £350, and the betting was proportionably heavy. Another “main”, between Devon and Gloucestershire, took place at Temple Back, in July, 1794, there being 30 battles at 4 guineas each, and a final one for 60 guineas.

The freedom was presented, in May, to the Hon. George C. Berkeley for “his great attention to the Act lately passed for regulating the Newfoundland fishery, in which the commercial interest of this city is materially concerned”.

In deference to the suggestions of the fashionable visitors to the Hot Well, who were inconvenienced by the want of a covered promenade in inclement weather, the erection of a “Colonnade” near the pump-room was commenced in the spring of 1786, and the double row of trees along the bank of the Avon was considerably lengthened. A protected walk of some kind had existed previously. A tradesman, in May, 1760, advertised that his warehouse was “under the Piazzas, near the Pump Room”.

Great difficulties arose after the loss of the American colonies in reference to the transportation of condemned felons. In October, 1786, the mayor and aldermen, taking into consideration that two women had been immured in Newgate since April, 1783, from want of opportunity to carry out their sentences (seven years' transportation), resolved to recommend the Crown to pardon them. The first deportation of local felons to Botany Bay took place in


the spring of 1787. One of the convicts had been sentenced to death for robbery a few years before, but had been pardoned on volunteering to serve in the army. Having forthwith deserted, he was known to have committed forty-two burglaries in and near the parish of St. James before he was captured and tried for a similar crime in Gloucestershire. The new transportation system was more costly than its predecessor. In the civic accounts is the following item: - 1789, June 27th, “Paid Daniel Burges, what he advanced in London to pay the passage of 9 female convicts to New South Wales, and his law charges thereon, £83 1s. 6d.” Four days later is the extraordinary entry:- “Paid for conveying a convict on board a ship in Kingroad bound to Ireland, 15s. 6d”.

A congratulatory address to the King, on his escape from the knife of a lunatic, was voted by the Corporation in August, 1786. A small deputation proceeded to London to present the document, and was paid £79 18s. 8d. for its expenses. Mr. Stephen Nash, one of the sheriffs, was knighted on this occasion. Mr. Nash was a woollen draper, but had been educated at Oxford, and was probably the only dignitary of the Corporation ever honoured with the degree of LL.D.

The Weavers' Company in 1786 had become so diminished in numbers that they ceased to maintain a hall. The building was transferred to the Jews, who decorated it in what Mr. Barrett terms “a neat expensive manner”, and opened it on the 16th September as a synagogue.

The Council House erected in 1704 (see p. 69) had been condemned some years before this date owing to the scantiness of its accommodation, but the authorities were long unwilling to face the main difficulty attending the work of reconstruction. The church of St. Ewen, of which the south aisle had been already absorbed in the civic buildings, stood immediately behind them; and no satisfactory extension could be effected unless the edifice were swept away. In 1784 the aldermanic body had treated with the rector for the union of his parish with that of Christ Church; but the incumbent seems to have refused his assent. In November, 1786, the living became vacant, whereupon it was determined that it should be united to Christ Church, and clauses legalising the junction, and permitting the demolition of St. Ewen's, were introduced into one of the Acts obtained in 1788. The Council House scheme was soon afterwards shelved, and beyond the purchase in 1795, for £1,337, of two


adjoining houses in Broad Street, belonging to the vestry of St. Ewen's, nothing more was done for nearly thirty years.

The Council, in November, 1786, empowered the city surveyors to remove “the gateway near the gaol of Newgate” for the greater convenience of traffic. About the same date, the salary of the gaoler was increased from £100 to £200, in compensation for the loss he had incurred from a new Act of Parliament forbidding the sale of intoxicating liquors within prisons. The gaoler's lost profits denote the dissipation that had prevailed.

A new item in the chamberlain's accounts makes its appearance about this time. As usually worded, it reads:- “Paid sundry coachmen belonging to the gentlemen of the corporation for attending with their masters' carriages on public days”. The amount varied considerably. For the six months ending September, 1786, the charge was £17 12s., while in a similar period in 1789 the outlay was £41 7s. The wide difference in the eyes of the Chamber between dignity and utility is brought out by another item. Highway robberies were then of constant occurrence. After having handsomely “tipped” the coachmen, the chamberlain paid two guineas each to two men “for parading the roads round Bristol to prevent robberies”. How long the paraders were on duty does not appear. They received no further reward.

After the death of the Earl of Hardwicke in 1764, the office of Lord High Steward of Bristol had remained vacant. On the 29th November, 1786, it was conferred upon the Duke of Portland. Soon afterwards his grace was made a freeman of the city, and was requested to pay it a visit. Accordingly, on the 11th April, 1787, the Duke made an entry in great parade, and was received at the Mansion House (being its first distinguished visitor) by the mayor, Mr. Daubeny. A grand banquet and a ball took place at the civic mansion, and £350 were afterwards voted to the mayor for the extra expenditure incurred.

The laying out of Berkeley Square, in 1786, gave evidence that some wealthy Bristolians at length appreciated the advantages of the western suburb. The square, however, like the adjoining Charlotte Street, commenced soon afterwards, remained long unfinished, several half-built houses being offered for sale in August, 1799.

The corn market between Wine and Maryleport Streets having been long deserted, the Council resolved to convert the ground floor into a cheese market, and it was opened for


that purpose on the 3rd January, 1787. Cheese tasting being provocative of thirst, the Chamber permitted the landlord of the Raven alehouse, in Maryleport Street, to open a passage from his house into the market. The latter was never successful, the receipts being generally insufficient to meet the cost of collection and repairs. The upper room of the building, was opened as a school in July, 1793.

The extent of the burial ground attached to Clifton Church was originally proportionate to the scanty population of the parish. As the residents increased, however, the insufficiency of the area became painfully manifest, and in 1779 the vestry applied to the Society of Merchants for the grant of “a piece of ground at the foot of Honey Pen Hill”, adding the interesting topographical fact that the site in question was on “the ancient road to Clifton before the present road was laid out”. The application was then unsuccessful, but the demand for enlarged accommodation continued to be urged by the inhabitants, who alleged that the state of the cemetery was dangerous to public health. (The number of burials in 1783 was 55, indicating a resident population of about 1,400.) The Merchants' Company at length conceded the above-mentioned plot of ground - part of the site of an extensive quarry - and in 1787 the vestry took measures to have it covered with earth, properly fenced, and consecrated.

In March, 1787, the Bristol Gazette published an interesting communication from an aged citizen, giving an account of the West India trade of the port in the first half of the century, from the recollections of the writer and of friends still older than himself. The letter states that many of the leading merchants had resided in the plantations, for the purpose of gaining experience, before commencing business in Bristol. About 1726, for example, Harington Gibbs, after making acquaintance in Jamaica with the great planters, “Beckford, Dawkins, Pennant (now Lord Penryn), Morant and others”, returned home and became their Bristol agent for the sale of sugar. This house was subsequently carried on by Mr. Atkins, and then by his nephew, John Curtis, both of whom had resided in Jamaica. About 1726, Mr. William Gordon returned from the same island, and opened the house “which was afterwards carried on by his nephew, the late alderman, and supported by the family, all of whom have been there”. Mr. Davis came from Jamaica in 1740, and set up the firm “still conducted by his son”. The principal tobacco importers about 1730 or


1740 were “Alderman King, Mr. Innys, Mr. Chamberlayne, and Mr. Farrell, all having resided in Virginia; ”they were succeeded by Lidderdale, Farmer, and others, “who had also resided there”. “The principal traders to Carolina were Alderman Jefferis and others who had resided there”. “About 1750, Mr. Bright, who had resided in St. Kitts and Jamaica, returned from the latter, and opened the channel which is continued by his family, one of whom also resided in Jamaica. About 1760, Mr. Miles returned from Jamaica, the extent of whose intercourse is well known. The imports from Barbadoes are principally carried on by Mr. Daniel and his son, who have resided there”. From the writer's remarks he apparently attributed the declining prosperity of the trade to the unwillingness of young men to follow the example of their forerunners. How rapidly this branch of commerce fell off will be shown at a later date. Attention must for the present be directed to incidents destined to inspire the commercial classes of the port with mingled astonishment and fury.

One evening in June, 1787, the Rev. Thomas Clarkson, who had resolved to devote his life to the work of destroying the slave trade, rode into Bristol for the purpose of investigating the evils of the traffic. On coming within sight of the city, just as the curfew was sounding, he says (History of the Abolition, p. 293), “I began to tremble at the arduous task I had undertaken of attempting to subvert one of the branches of the commerce of the great place which was then before me”; but his despondency subsided, and he entered the streets “with an undaunted spirit”. He first introduced himself to Mr. Harry Goady, who had been engaged in the slave trade, but had repented, and become a Quaker. The visitor next became acquainted with James Harford, John Lury, Matthew Wright, Philip Debell Tuckett, Thomas Bonville, and John Waring, all zealous sympathisers. He subsequently obtained warm assistance from Dean Tucker - who in a pamphlet issued in 1785 declared that the number of murders committed under the slave trade “almost exceeded the power of numbers to ascertain” - and also from the Rev. Dr. Camplin; but some other clergymen were indifferent, if not hostile. (It is a remarkable fact that the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, having had two plantations in Barbadoes bequeathed to it in 1710 by Governor Codrington, a Gloucestershire man, not only maintained the system of slavery upon the estates, but, down to 1793, purchased yearly a certain number of fresh


negroes from the importers to keep up the original stock of 300. Edwards' West Indies, ii. 36.) In conversing about the human traffic with the citizens generally, “everybody seemed to execrate it, but no one thought of its abolition”. It was admitted on all hands that the captains and officers of the slave ships were noted for their brutality, and that crews could be obtained only with extreme difficulty. In respect to the ship Brothers, then lying in Kingroad, unable to get seamen, Clarkson ascertained that the sailors had been so dreadfully ill-treated during the previous voyage that thirty-two of them had died. As to one of the survivors, a negro, it was found that for a trifling circumstance the captain “had fastened him to the deck, poured hot pitch upon his back, and made incisions in it with hot tongs”. This story was confirmed by Mr. Sydenham Teast, one of the principal shipbuilders of the port. It was next discovered that similar barbarities had been practised by the officers of the slaver Alfred, which had just returned to Bristol, and Clarkson obtained shocking testimony from some of the crew as to the cruelty of the captain, who had been previously tried for murdering a sailor at Barbadoes, but had escaped justice by bribing the principal witness to abscond - an act of which he delighted to boast. In two of the Alfred cases, the captain's brutality had caused the death of his victims, and Clarkson, with a view to a prosecution, communicated with Mr. Burges, then deputy town clerk, who had privately expressed his sympathy. “I say privately” adds Clarkson, “because, knowing the sentiments of many of the corporate body, he was fearful of coming forward in an open manner”. Mr. Burges's advice was that no prosecution should be attempted. The witnesses, he said, could not afford to stay on shore; it would be necessary to maintain them for some months pending the trial; in the meanwhile the merchants would inveigle them away by offering to ship them as petty officers, and when the hearing came on they would have disappeared. It would be an endless task, moreover, to deal with all the charges of cruelty that were reported, for Mr. Burges “only knew of one captain from the port in the slave trade who did not deserve long ago to be hanged”. As regards the sentiments of the shipowners, it is enough to say that the captains of the Brothers and of the Alfred were maintained in the command of those vessels in spite of atrocities that were the common talk of the city. Yielding to Mr. Burges's advice, Clarkson pursued his inquiry in a new direction -


the manner in which sailors were seduced to enter into the trade; and as three or four slavers were then preparing for the African coast, information was easily obtained. By the help of a respectable innkeeper, Clarkson paid numerous visits, between midnight and two o'clock in the morning, to drinking dens frequented by seamen. “These houses were in Marsh Street, and most of them were kept by Irishmen. The scenes witnessed were truly distressing. Music, dancing, rioting, and drunkenness were kept up from night to night”. The mates of the slavers allured the young sailor by offering high wages and various other temptations, and enticed him to the boats kept waiting to carry recruits to Hungroad. If he could not be caught in this way, he was often drugged with liquor until impotent to offer resistance, when a bargain was made between the landlord and the mate. Sailors, again, often lodged in these sties, where they were encouraged to run into debt, and then offered the alternative of a slaving voyage or a gaol. They were never permitted to read the articles they signed on entering a ship, and by the insertion in those documents of iniquitous clauses, empowering payments in colonial currency, etc., wages in the slave trade (30s. per month), though nominally higher, were actually lower than in other trades. Clarkson found, moreover, on examining the slavers' muster rolls, that more persons died “in three slave vessels in a given time than in all the other Bristol vessels put together, numerous as they were”. As to the conditions of the voyage from Africa, an idea of its horror may be formed from Clarkson's description of two little sloops then being fitted out in the Avon. One of them, of the burden of only 25 tons, was to carry seventy human beings. The other, of 11 tons burden, “was said to be destined to carry thirty slaves”. The sloops, on reaching the West Indies, were to be sold as yachts, the smaller one having been originally built as a pleasure boat, for the accommodation of six persons. In both, the space allotted to each slave was so contracted that a captive could not have stretched at full length throughout the voyage. Personal testimony respecting the working of the traffic was sought for; but the retired slaving captains avoided Clarkson “as if I had been a mad dog”, while those engaged in the commerce were silent from self-interest. At length, evidence was forthcoming against the mate of the ship Thomas, who had killed one of the crew by brutal ill-usage. When the offender was brought up for examination, “one or two slave


merchants were on the bench”, and one of the owners of the Brothers and the Alfred insolently addressed the mayor before the evidence was taken, declaring that the “ incredible” charge had been “hatched up by vagabonds”. The evidence as to the murder was, however, clear, and the prisoner was committed for trial before the Admiralty Court. But before the day of hearing, Mr. Burges's warning proved to be well grounded; for two of the witnesses had been bribed and sent to sea. Two others, who had resisted temptation, were working in a Welsh colliery to support themselves until the trial, and Clarkson, going in search of them, nearly lost his life in crossing the Severn in an open boat during a storm. The witnesses were found at Neath and despatched to London, but the guilty mate had been brought up a few hours before their arrival, and acquitted through want of evidence. The true character of the traffic now began to affect public opinion, and in 1788 a Bill was brought before Parliament to mitigate the sufferings of the negroes during their passage to the colonies by the prevention of overcrowding. The measure was vehemently opposed by the African merchants in London, Bristol, and Liverpool, who were heard by counsel and witnesses in both Houses. A Liverpool trader declared that he had invested £30,000 in the traffic, and would be ruined if the Bill became law. (Sir James Picton, in his history of Liverpool, estimated that the town was then making £300,000 a year by the slave trade.) Another witness, a ship captain, admitted that he had lost by disease, in a single voyage, 16 seamen out of 40, and 120 out of 360 slaves. It was proved that the space allotted to each slave during the voyage across the Atlantic did not generally exceed 5½ feet in length by 16 inches in breadth! Mr. Brickdale, M.P. for Bristol, seconded the motion for rejecting the Bill, but the opposition was ineffectual, and the measure became law. The protracted debates on this scheme, provoked by the merchants, intensified the public horror, it having been proved that 74,000 unhappy Africans were yearly torn from their country; and an agitation was started for the complete abolition of the trade. The first provincial committee formed to further this result was instituted at Bristol, Mr. Joseph Harford being chairman, and Mr. Peter Lunell secretary. Indignant at this movement, the local West India planters and merchants held a meeting at Merchants' Hall in April, 1789, Mr. William Miles presiding, when an influential committee was appointed to defend a traffic “on


which the welfare of the West India islands and the commerce and revenue of the kingdom so essentially depend”. Amongst the members of this committee, comprising a majority of the Corporation, were Aldermen Miles, Harris, Daubeny, Anderson, and Brice, Sir James Laroche, Thomas Daniel, Evan Baillie, John and William Gordon, Lowbridge and Richard Bright, John Fisher Weare, Robert Claxton, John Pinney, James Tobin, Philip Protheroe, Richard Vaughan, John Cave, James Morgan, James Harvey, Samuel Span, and Henry and Robert Bush. (Alderman Anderson had been for some years the captain of a slaving ship.) About the same time Mr. Wilberforce moved resolutions pointing to abolition in the House of Commons; when petitions against the proposals were presented by Mr. Cruger on behalf of the Corporation and of the principal merchants and traders of Bristol. Mr. Cruger urged that the trade should be regulated and gradually abolished; but if repression were determined upon, he contended that the injured interests should receive compensation, estimated at from 60 to 70 millions sterling. The resolutions were withdrawn, but the Act of the previous year was amended and renewed. From that time the number of Bristol slaving ships steadily declined, though the slave interest remained very powerful. During a debate in 1791, Lord Sheffield, one of the local members, declared that the arguments of the abolitionists were “downright phrensy”, and even denied the right of Parliament to suppress the traffic. The majority in favour of his views was 163 against 88. In the same year an extraordinary affair occurred on the African coast. The captains of six English ships, of which three, the Thomas, the Wasp, and the Recovery, belonged to Bristol, thinking that the native dealers asked too much for their slaves, sent a notice to the town of Calabar that they would open fire upon the place if the price were not reduced. No answer being received, the guns of the six vessels were brought to bear upon the defenceless town, and the bombardment was continued for several hours, until the natives submitted. In denouncing this transaction in the House of Commons, Mr. Wilberforce said that twenty negroes had been killed and many cruelly wounded in order that some Bristol and Liverpool merchants might make several hundred pounds additional profit. The facts, he added, were no secret in the two towns, where the conduct of the captains was considered so meritorious that they had been furnished with new appointments! At this period,


according to Edwards's History of Jamaica, the price of slaves in that island was about £50 for able-bodied adults, and from £40 to £47 for boys and girls. The price paid on the African coast being under £22 per head, the profit on a voyage was immense, and it is scarcely surprising to learn from Clarkson's biographer that the bells of the Bristol churches rang merry peals on the news being received of the rejection of one of Wilberforce's motions. About the same time, the Reverend Raymond Harris, of Liverpool, produced his “Scriptural Researches on the licitness of the slave trade, showing its conformity with the Sacred writings of the Word of God”; and the work was liberally patronised. Allowance must, of course, be made for sentiments and customs that had long been common to the whole commercial community, and had been applauded by eminent statesmen. It cannot be doubted, however, that there was a latent consciousness that the trade was inconsistent with reason, religion, and humanity; and that the suppression of right principles for the sake of profit lowered, to a certain extent, the tone of society in Bristol during the later years of the century.

“The Jacob's Wells Water Works”, held under a lease from the dean and chapter, were offered for sale in the local journals of April 7th, 1787. The water supplied the houses of the capitular body, and a few dwellings in or near College Green. The lease expired in 1800, when the owners granted a new demise of the spring and pipes, “together with the house in the Cloisters in which the cisterns are situate”, to George Rogers, chapter clerk, in trust for the dean and chapter.

The refusal of two leading merchants to pay the dues on imports demanded by the Corporation was recorded under 1776. At a meeting of the Council on the 30th June, 1787, it was reported that the actions against Messrs. Cruger and Miles had been heard in the Court of Exchequer, where the legality of the dues had been affirmed, and the defendants had been ordered to pay the amounts demanded from them, with costs. Nothing more was recorded respecting the matter until December, 1789, when the Council ordered that Elton, Miles and Co., Coghlan, Peach and Co., Bush, Elton and Bush, Jer. Hill and Sons, Ames, Hellicar and Son, and other leading firms that had also refused to pay the dues, should be forthwith prosecuted for arrears, Messrs. Miles and Cruger having submitted to the judgment delivered against them. The threatened firms at once surrendered.


The effect of the judgment was to put an end to the financial embarrassment under which the Corporation had been long labouring. In 1785 the dues produced only £291. In 1790 they brought in (exclusive of arrears) i;2,4-18, in 1791, £2,973, while in 1800 the receipts were no less than £3,861. The impost, however, being very burdensome, afterwards crippled the commerce of the port, and diverted much traffic to Liverpool and other rivals.

The creation of a new suburb around Brunswick Square having aroused an agitation in St. James's parish for a new church, the Common Council approved of the division of the parish, subscribed £400 towards the endowment of a new incumbency (of which it claimed the patronage), and undertook to pay the cost of the needful Act of Parliament. The Chamber subsequently voted £1,000 towards the building fund. At a meeting of the parishioners, in June, 1787, it was resolved to build the new church “in the gardens behind the new tontine buildings in Brunswick Square” - where the square named after the Duke of Portland was already in contemplation. In the autumn, Mr. James Allen, architect, produced a design in the Greek style, which the parochial committee accepted; but in December, in consequence of some occult manoeuvring, Mr. Allen was dismissed, and a plan of a so-called Gothic church, produced by Daniel Hague, an “eminent mason”, was definitively approved. The secret of this intrigue has never been clearly explained; but the belief of contemporaries seems to have been that the Rev. Joseph Atwell Small, D.D., the incumbent of St. James's, was the real inventor of the semi-Chinese tower that the mason fathered and carried out. The foundation stone of St. Paul's was laid by the mayor on the 23rd April, 1789. The church, which was as costly as it was ugly, and burthened the parish with a rate of 1s. 8d. in the pound for twenty years, was consecrated on the 22nd September, 1794, and opened for service on the 26th January following.

The original Infirmary building had been condemned, for some years previous to this time, as inconvenient and inadequate. In 1782, the medical staff strongly urged that the institution should be removed to the Red Lodge, but through the energetic opposition of Mr. T. Tyndall, who objected to the hospital being placed so near his park, the subscribers finally resolved to retain the old site (R. Smith's MSS.). After a long delay occasioned by want of funds, the foundation stone of the east wing was laid in June, 1784, and the work was completed in May, 1786. On the


24th June, 1788, the foundation stone was laid of the central building, the cost being chiefly defrayed out of invested capital. In December, 1792, it was determined to complete the house by adding another wing, at an estimated expense of £7,000, but the work was delayed for several years from lack of funds. For some inexplicable reason, the walls of the whole building were coated with black plaster, which gave it an extremely lugubrious appearance.

Henry Burgum, the pewterer, whose vanity and ignorance during prosperity were so artfully duped by Chatterton, suffered from painful reverses of fortune in the decline of life. In 1786, when he had lost the use of his limbs from gout, he was lodged as an insolvent debtor in a London prison, but was rescued by the subscriptions of sympathising friends. Having returned to Bristol, he arranged for a performance of the oratorio of “Judas Maccabaeus” in September, 1787, from which he netted a handsome profit. The ticket of admission to this performance (price five shillings) was beautifully engraved by Bartolozzi, and is now a great rarity. Another oratorio, “The Messiah”, was given in April, 1788, also for the benefit of Burgum, who died in the following year. Handel's greatest work was again performed in St. James's church in April, 1791.

A loose sheet of paper, containing a detailed account of the expenses incurred by Mr. Thomas Daniel in serving the office of sheriff in the year ending Michaelmas, 1787, has been preserved in one of the account books of the Corporation. Amongst the items are:- Sheriffs' dinner, £269 16s. 1d. A chariot, £149 2s. Trumpeters, £9 1s. 4d. French wines, £51 3s. Half of cost of plate given to the mayor, £38 12s. 11d. Ribbons for the Judge, £7 12s. 4d. Servants' hats, £15 8s. A variety of other items raises the total to £992 15s. 9d.; while the net allowance for serving the office is set down at £408 3s., showing that Mr. Daniel was nearly £600 out of pocket. His fellow-sheriff, Mr. Baillie, was a sufferer to the same extent. The preservation of the account in the corporate archives indicates that Mr. Daniel had complained of the inadequacy of the allowance, but the Chamber took no action in the matter.

After an interval of twenty years, the question of improving the accommodation offered to shipping frequenting the port again excited public attention. In September, the Merchants' Company instructed Mr. Joseph Nickalls, a London engineer, to make a survey, and that gentleman, on the 22nd November, produced a lengthy report narrating


the results of his inspection. A copy of this paper is in the Jefferies' Collection, and after its perusal it seems impossible to doubt that if Mr. Nickalls' advice had been followed the subsequent commercial history of Bristol would have been changed to an extent now hardly conceivable. The engineer pointed out the fatal defect of any scheme for a dock constructed at or above Rownham, namely the impossibility of the larger class of vessels entering it except at spring tides, owing to the rise of about ten feet in the bed of the Avon near St. Vincent's Rocks. He was therefore of opinion that the most desirable place for erecting locks for a floating harbour was near the foot of the Black Rock, by which an additional depth of several feet of water would be gained, and the navigation of the narrow and tortuous portion of the Avon would be rendered easy. The river bottom, at the point in question, being of rock, the task of construction would be inexpensive, while owing to the increased breadth of the stream the arrangements for dealing with land floods by hatches and “cascades” would be greatly facilitated. Ships of the greatest draught could ascend to Black Rock at the lowest tides, the depth there being nearly 40 feet; and thus, if a lock were constructed, instead of a large vessel being detained at Kingroad for nearly a fortnight, as often happened, it could at once proceed to Bristol even at neaps; and a similar saving of time would be secured on departures. The scheme possessed the additional advantage that no purchases of land would be necessary. Bridewell mill would be rendered useless, but its value was inconsiderable, and Mr. Nickalls suggested the erection of mills of vastly greater power at the proposed locks. In the following May another proposal was made by Mr. Jessop, the engineer who in the result so unhappily gained the confidence of the citizens. He proposed the building of a dam near Mardyke, with a cut for carrying off flood water through Rownnam Meads, at an estimated outlay of £32,300; observing in his report:- “On the head of expence I have no conception that Mr. Nickalls' dam at the Black Rock can be executed for less than £30,000”. Trifling as was the amount even by the admission of a rival, selfish interests and sluggishness stood obstinately in the way, and the question of port improvement was once more indefinitely postponed.

Compulsory church-going was in favour amongst Clifton vestrymen in 1787. On the 10th October the vestry resolved that, “As the poor of the parish do not frequent the service of the church, but loiter in idleness and are most


probable guilty of offences during the time of such service”, the able-bodied paupers should thenceforth be required to attend prayers every Friday before receiving relief, “and in default of attending shall not receive the usual pay for that week”. It was further determined to build a gallery in the church for the use of the paupers, so that they should be compelled to attend twice every Sunday, under pain of forfeiting their allowances. The vestry, two years later, passed a new order, requiring the overseer to withhold the parochial pittance from such of the poor as did not attend divine service twice every Sunday preceding the usual payday. A few days later, a Sunday School was established for the youthful poor of the parish.

In December, 1787, the local society for the relief of poor insolvent debtors secured the release from Newgate of a Frenchman calling himself F.C.M.G. Maratt Amiatt, who had practised in various English towns as a teacher and quack doctor, and had finally been incarcerated for petty debts in Bristol. The man forthwith disappeared, and it was not until some years later that he was identified in the person of the fanatical democrat, Jean Paul Marat, who was accustomed to howl in the French Convention for the heads of 100,000 nobles, and whose infamous career was cut short in 1793 by the knife of Charlotte Corday.

An advertisement in a local journal of January 26th, 1788, offers the cotton mill, “opposite the Hotwell”, to be sold or let, the proprietors being about to remove their manufactory to Keynsham. The mill, sometimes called the Red Mill, was afterwards used for grinding logwood.

John Wesley made one of his periodical visits to the city in March, 1788, and preached on the 6th upon the burning question of the slave trade. His sermon was interrupted by what he deemed a supernatural occurrence. “A vehement noise arose, and shot like lightning through the whole congregation. The terror and confusion were inexpressible. The benches were broken in pieces, and nine-tenths of the congregation appeared to be struck with the same panic. In about six minutes the storm ceased. None can account for it without supposing some preternatural influence. Satan fought lest his kingdom should be delivered up”. Ten days later Wesley preached at the Mayor's Chapel, and afterwards dined at the Mansion House. The indefatigable missionary paid his last visit to Bristol in July and August, 1790, when he was in his 87th year. At his chapel one morning, he records, he was without assistance, “so I was


obliged to shorten the service within the compass of three hours”. He preached during the afternoon of the same day near King's Square, Wesley preached at Temple Church as usual during his stay, and incidentally noted the energy of the Rev. Joseph Easterbrook, the vicar, who “had preached in every house in his parish”.

The Presbyterian (Unitarian) chapel in Lewin's Mead, having become insufficient for the accommodation of its supporters, was removed in the spring of 1788. Some adjoining property, belonging to the Bartholomew Hospital estate, was acquired, and a large chapel in a semi-classical style was opened on the 4th September, 1791. The congregation was then the wealthiest in the city, many of the aldermen and common councillors being members. Owing to the number of suburban families that drove to the chapel in coaches, a mews was built in the chapel yard for sheltering their horses.

A remarkable illustration of the slow gestation of some public questions in the corporate body is afforded by a minute of the Common Council, dated the 12th April, 1788. “A proposal” was then laid before the Chamber - it is not said by whom - for the conversion of the Drawbridge into a stone bridge. The project was “unanimously negatived”, and was not heard of again for nearly a century. The Corporation, shortly before the above date, forbade all carts to cross the Drawbridge, and the bridge was ordered to be drawn up for two days every year.

The lengthened popularity of the feast of the 29th May, in honour of the restoration of Charles II., can only be accounted for by the fact that the holiday was peculiarly cherished by the Jacobites, and served as a cloak for seditious manifestations. So late as 1788, there were influential Bristolians who dressed the front of their dwellings with oak boughs, and huge branches were brought into the city to meet the demand. A writer in Sarah Farley's Journal of the 24th May complains warmly of the injury done in the suburbs by persons who mutilated oak trees to supply decorations, and recommends the mayor to stop the practice. The outbreak of the French Revolution gave a new turn to popular demonstrations.

On the 13th June, 1788, the Rev. Joseph Easterbrook, vicar of Temple, assisted by six Wesleyan preachers and eight “serious persons”, held an extraordinary service in Temple Church, for the professed purpose of delivering a man named George Lukins, a tailor, of Yatton, from a


demoniacal possession. According to the account authenticated by Mr. Easterbrook, Lukins was violently convulsed upon the exorcists singing a hymn, and the voices of various invisible agents proceeded from his mouth uttering horrible blasphemies - a “Te Deum to the Devil” being sung by the demons in different voices whilst the ministers engaged in prayer. However, when the vicar formally ordered the evil spirits to depart, they obeyed with howlings, and the patient was delivered after a two hours' struggle. This account of the proceedings appeared in Sarah Farley's Journal of the 21st June, and gave rise to a vehement controversy. The exorcists were covered with ridicule by Mr. Norman, a surgeon, of Yatton, who stated that Lukins, who was a clever ventriloquist, had begun his imposture in 1770 by alleging, in the course of fits of howling and leaping, that he was bewitched, and had from time to time renewed his exhibitions of pretended torture, causing several infirm old people to be cruelly persecuted for bewitching him. Lukins's latest and most impudent fraud was attributed to a natural fondness for mystification, stimulated by the simplicity of his dupes.

The journey of George III. to Cheltenham in the summer of 1788, being the first royal visit to the West since the reign of Queen Anne, caused much excitement in the district. At a meeting of the Council, on the 26th July, a deputation was appointed to invite his Majesty to Bristol, and in the following month the mayor, recorder, and other dignitaries proceeded to Cheltenham in great pomp, to present an address. The king (whose mental infirmity a few weeks later has been attributed to his inordinate consumption of the aperient waters) was unable to respond to the invitation, but promised to visit Bristol at some future time.

The fame for good cheer of John Weeks, the landlord of the Bush hotel, reached its climax in September, when a complaisant London journal held up his hostelry to the admiration of the kingdom. “Any person who calls for three-penny worth of liquor”, says the writer, “has the run of the larder, and may eat as much as he pleases for nothing. Last Christmas Dny he sold 3000 single glasses of punch before dinner”. The usual Christmas bill of fare at the Bush, indeed, would have done honour to the table of Gargantua. For casual visitors - such as the 3,000 punch drinkers- there was a mighty baron of cold beef, weighing about 3501b., flanked by correspondingly liberal supplies of


mutton, ham, etc. For orthodox diners, the larder was piled with gastronomical dainties, the list of which occupied half a column in the newspapers.

With the year 1788 commenced a series of bad harvests and a long period of distress. With a view to reducing the price of meat, the Corporation offered bounties upon fish brought into the port. Upwards of £250 were spent in this way during the month of November, 1788, and £309 in the corresponding period of 1789. The bounty was continued until 1791. The increase of pauperism provoked a cry for relief from some of the central parishes, which were still contributing the share of the charge fixed by the first local poor Act of 1695, when the new suburban districts were mere fields. The matter was brought before the Court of King's Bench, which directed the local authorities to make a new assessment; and in the result the central parishes, previously paying nearly two-thirds of the poor rate, were charged little more than one half; the difference being thrown chiefly upon St. James's, St. Augustine's and Redcliff.

The building ground in Wine Street adjoining the reconstructed Christ Church was sold by auction on the 2nd March, 1789, when the ardour of purchasers excited astonishment. The four lots were of a total length of 101 feet, with a very shallow depth. For the whole a perpetual ground-rent was obtained of £221 4s. 10½., being about £2 5s. per running foot, equivalent to a fee-simple value of about £170 per yard frontage.

The king's recovery from mental alienation was celebrated early in March by a general holiday. The rejoicings cost the civic purse about £150. The Council deputed six gentlemen to present an address at St. James's, and the expenses of the deputation amounted to £189. The Merchants' Society not only forwarded an address, but presented the freedom of the company to Lord Thurlow, Lord Camden, and Mr. Pitt, the leading members of the Government. The fact is of historical significance, as it denotes that the predominance which the Whigs long possessed in the society had been wrested from them by their political opponents.

The Common Council, in March, increased the yearly payment made to the master of Queen Elizabeth's Hospital for feeding, clothing, and educating the boys from the modest sum of £10 to £12 per head. At a later meeting, the Chamber arranged the dietary of the scholars. Dinner was to consist of meat for five days, and of milk pottage for


two days weekly. Breakfast all the year round was limited to bread and table beer; for supper the provision was bread and cheese, with beer. Malt liquor figured at all the meals. The boys were to rise at 6 o'clock in summer and 7 in winter, and go to bed at 8 every evening.

A visitor to the Hot Well addressed a letter to a local journal in June, suggesting that a few stands for hackney coaches should be established in Clifton. As there was “no proper footpath” in the road to Bristol, strangers, he said, suffered much inconvenience. About the same time, a quarrel broke out between the lessees of the New Long Room and the Old Long Room, and as most of the visitors supported one or the other of the disputants the place was unusually animated. The question at issue was as to the days on which breakfasts and promenades should be held at the respective rooms. It was at length resolved that there should be a public breakfast and dance every Monday, a ball every Tuesday, and a promenade with dancing every Thursday, alternately at the two rooms. Admission to the breakfasts and promenades cost 1s. 6d. per head. For the balls a gentleman paid a guinea at each room for the season, and could introduce two ladies. The Bristol residents in Clifton received a vote of thanks from the visitors for having allowed the dispute to be arranged by the latter.

Owing to an augmentation of the stamp-duty on newspapers, the price of the local journals was advanced in July to 3½d. and shortly afterwards to 4d. The duty on advertisements, however short, was fixed at 2s. 6d. (increased in 1797 to 3s. 6d.). A clause in the Act imposing those burdens inflicted a penalty of £10 on any person lending a newspaper for hire. The tax on newspapers was repeatedly increased, and about the close of the century the price of each tiny journal was advanced to sixpence.

Little information has been preserved respecting the numerous glass manufactories carried on in the city during the century. In a local journal of August 22nd, 1789, Messrs. Wadham, Ricketts and Co. announced that they had entered upon “the Phoenix flint-glass works, without Temple Gate (late the Phoenix inn)”, a place which was subsequently converted into a bottle manufactory. Fourteen glass works were in operation in 1797, to some of which strangers and sight-seers were admitted twice a week.

In the autumn of 1789 the Misses More retired from the prosperous boarding-school conducted by them for upwards of thirty years. The sisters removed to Cowslip Green,


Somerset, where they had built a commodious retreat, and applied themselves with exemplary devotion to establishing Sunday schools in the benighted parishes around them. The boarding-school was continued by Selina Mills (who had been a teacher in the establishment), assisted by her sisters, one of whom married Mr. Zachary Macaulay, and became the mother of the historian. Lord Macaulay. Miss Mills's charge for boarders in 1789 was only 20 guineas a year per head.

The outbreak of the French Revolution this year seems to have inspired the corporate body with a desire to celebrate the centenary of a more wisely conducted incident in English history. The 4th November “being the anniversary of the Glorious Revolution”, was commemorated with unexampled rejoicing, £177 11s. 8d. being expended by the chamberlain, chiefly for liquor, to render fitting honour to William III. Animated, probably, by the same motive, the Common Council, in December, requested the Duke of Portland, the descendant of the Dutch King's favourite, to sit for his portrait. His Grace having assented, the commission was entrusted to Thomas Lawrence, the Bristol-born artist then fast rising into celebrity, who received 100 guineas for the picture and £44 for the frame.

Shiercliffe's Guide to Bristol, published in 1789, contains some information in reference to the winter balls held at the Assembly Rooms. Those reunions took place on alternate Thursdays, when “menuets” commenced at half-past six, and gave place at 8 o'clock to country dances. “No ladies to be admitted in hats. No children admitted to dance menuets in frocks”. The ladies were to draw for places in country dances, or to go to the bottom. No citizen was admitted unless he became a subscriber of two guineas, which freed himself and two ladies. Non-residents paid 5s. each evening, the fund arising from visitors being devoted to a cotillon ball at the end of the season. The master of the ceremonies, James Russell, Esq., had orders to close the balls at 11 O'clock precisely.

An Act of Parliament was obtained in 1790 for rebuilding the church of St. Thomas, then in a ruinous condition. The cost of reconstruction was estimated at £5,000. The Act empowered the trustees to appropriate a fund of £1,470 belonging to the parish, to borrow £700 on the parochial estates, including the tolls of St. Thomas's market, and to raise £3,600 on security of a church-rate. The original intention was to destroy the tower as well as the church,


but the former by some means escaped. Of the church, said to have been one of the finest in the city, not a fragment was preserved. On the 21st December the foundation stone was laid of the present edifice, which was opened for service precisely three years later.

Dr. Hallam, dean of Bristol, and other influential inhabitants, addressed a memorial to the Corporation early in 1790, pointing out the defects of the city gaol, and urging the adoption of Mr. Howard's suggestions for the better management of felons and other prisoners. The Council, in February, resolved to apply for powers to build a new gaol, and a Bill for that purpose was soon after laid before the House of Commons; but its provisions were no sooner discovered by the citizens than they raised a storm of indignant protests. Newgate, just a century old, had been built at the expense of the inhabitants, by means of a rate, yet the Bill declared it to be the sole property of the civic body. The Corporation had hitherto borne the expense of maintaining the gaol and bridewell, and this charge represented almost the only benefit which the inhabitants derived from the property of the municipality; but the Bill proposed to relieve the corporate estates from the burden (save a grant of £150 yearly), and to lay it upon the citizens in the shape of a county rate. The aldermen, as justices, were to have uncontrolled power in fixing the amount of the rate, while the Common Council was to be left equally unrestricted in its administration of the proceeds. Against these propositions, as well as against various details - notably the site of the new prison, which it was proposed to build in the crowded Castle Precincts - a formidable opposition was organised, and the Corporation withdrew the Bill. The scheme was revived in 1791, only to be again hotly opposed and to be again withdrawn - as it was supposed, definitively. The civic body, however, resorted to a manoeuvre. In 1792 the Bill, with all its unpopular features, was hurriedly passed through the House of Commons, and had been read a first time in the Upper House before its existence became known to the citizens. Petitions with 4,000 signatures were forthwith presented, and the objections of the opponents were heard by the Lords' committee; but after a brief delay the measure became law. The discontent of the citizens was intensified by the sharp practice of the Corporation. The mayor and several prominent civic personages were insulted in the streets, riots were threatened, and the parishes raised a fund of nearly £4,000 to prevent the Act


being put in operation. The attitude of the inhabitants at length alarmed the Corporation, and some leading members of the Council privately gave an assurance that the powers of the Act should be allowed to expire by afflux of time (seven years). The expenses of the delegates nominated to oppose the Bill, £680, were defrayed by subscription. The scandals of Newgate remained unreformed for another quarter of a century.

Stoke's Croft still retained a semi-rural character. At a meeting of the Council in March, 1790, a committee recommended that the local surveyors should view the trees and the Cross, or centre posts, in Stoke's Croft, and report on their condition. At the suggestion of the surveyors, the Council, in November, ordered the trees and posts in the Croft and North Street to be removed. The task was thrown upon the inhabitants, who displayed no zeal in undertaking it, for in the following year the Chamber issued a fresh order, requiring the tenants to remove the trees as “nuisances”. Double rows of trees ornamented King Square at this time, and St. James's Square, St. James's churchyard. Wilder Street, and part of Broadmead, were luxuriantly leafy in the summer months.

Mr. Henry Cruger, M.P., for many years one of the most influential of local politicians, sailed on the 8th April, to spend the remainder of his life in his native city of New York. He had previously issued a retiring address, in which he significantly referred to the commercial reverses caused by the disruption with America. He also surrendered his aldermanic gown, but continued a member of the Council until his death, thirty-seven years later. By his first wife, Miss Peach, Mr. Cruger had an only son, who assumed his mother's surname on succeeding to the estate of her father, Mr. Samuel Peach, of Bristol and Toekington.

The local newspapers of the 8th May contain an announcement that Mr. Samuel Powell had entered into occupation of “the Hotwells”. The terms of his lease from the Merchants' Society are unknown, but it is certain that the owners, wishing to profit from the outlay they had incurred for improvements, greatly increased the former rent. The tenant, in consequence, resorted to expedients for raising the receipts which not only defeated themselves, but brought about the complete loss of the spring's reputation. The fee for drinking the water was increased from a nominal sum to 26s. per month for each individual. Many upper-class families that had flocked to the pump-room in


the pursuit of pleasure rather than of health declined to pay the enhanced charge, and betook themselves to other watering places, and their example soon became contagious. Down to 1789 the Hot Well was crowded during the season by the aristocracy and gentry. Between noon and two o'clock the pump-room was generally so thronged that it was difficult to reach the drinking tables. In the afternoon the Downs were alive with carriages and equestrians. Three large hotels were fully occupied; two assembly rooms were kept open (a third, on Clifton Hill, was added in August, 1790); while lodging-house keepers (although charging only 5s. per room weekly in winter and 10s. in summer) frequently retired from business with comfortable fortunes. In a few years the place was deserted except by a slender band of invalids; the fashionable company had disappeared; one of the hotels and two of the assembly rooms were closed by the bankruptcy of the occupiers; many of the lodging-house keepers became insolvent; and the value of houses near the well greatly decreased. Short-sighted rapacity, in fact, had been emphatically punished. Powell's exactions, it must be added, were not confined to strangers. Soon after he entered upon the premises, the right of Bristolians to visit the well was denied, the pump previously reserved for them was shut up, and a charge of 3d. per bottle was demanded for the water. In spite of complaints, the Merchants' Company tolerated the proceedings of their tenant, and it was not until March, 1793, that the Common Council resolved to vindicate the public rights. Procrastination was successful in defeating those rights for a considerable further period, but in September, 1795, the Merchants' Company recognised the privilege of the inhabitants to drink the water at the “back pump”, and to carry it away in bottles if marked with their owners names.

The Ostrich inn, Durdham Down, was occupied in the summer of 1790 by an enterprising landlord, who turned the advantages of the house to good account. Breakfasts were provided for visitors from the Hot Well, many of whom rode over to play on the bowling green; dinners, with turtle soup, could be had at short notice, and on Sunday there was an ordinary at 2 o'clock (at one shilling per head) for excursionists from Bristol. The house became so popular a resort that Evans, the tenant, erected lamps on the Down, and undertook to light them nightly during the winter. In 1793 Evans removed to the York House hotel, Gloucester Place, Clifton (originally opened in August, 1790, by one John


Dalton), and the popularity of the rural inn declined with that of the Hot Well.

A general election took place in June, 1790. The sitting members, Messrs. Cruger and Brickdale, having retired, the local party leaders, to avoid the expense of a contest, had come to an understanding, the Tories bringing forward the Marquis of Worcester, while the Whigs selected Lord Sheffield. The latter, as has been already shown, was one of the persons who received a grant from the king's secret election fund in 1781. He was, in fact, a Tory in all but the name, but had made himself acceptable to the West India interest by his advocacy of the slave trade. He is now chiefly remembered as the literary executor of Gibbon. The party truce was distasteful to the lower class of freemen, who Avere deprived of a month's saturnalia, and their griefs were espoused by a clique of extreme Tories, led by a Rev. Dr. Barry, who were opposed to a compromise with the Whigs. Instigated, probably, by this coterie, Mr. David Lewis, an eccentric Welsh tradesman, came forward as a candidate. Unhappily, Mr. Lewis, as one of his friends put the matter, “laboured under a little disadvantage respecting the English language”. He was, in fact, grossly illiterate, and his attempts at oratory excited general ridicule. The official candidates were received by imposing processions, Lord Sheffield being met at Keynsham and Lord Worcester on Durdham Down by their respective partisans. The polling opened on the 19th June, and the result of the first day's voting was so emphatic that Mr. Lewis at once withdrew, charging the freemen with having falsified their promises and bartered their liberty for liquor. The numbers polled were as follows:- Lord Worcester, 544; Lord Sheffield, 537; Mr. Lewis, 12; Wm. Cunninghame (nominated without his consent), 5. The freedom of the city was soon afterwards presented to the new members.

A useful improvement was determined upon by the Council on the 9th June, when the aldermen of the various wards were directed to see that the name of each street and lane was set up in a conspicuous place. From some doggrel lines in a local journal, the work seems to have been completed in the spring of 1791. The writer notes that out of the numerous thoroughfares dedicated to saints, the only one complimented with its full name was St. John Street, which had then been recently opened.

A chapel in Trenchard Street dedicated to St. Joseph, the first building erected in the city since the Reformation for


Roman Catholic worship, was opened by Father Robert Plowden on the 27th June, 1790. Mr. Plowden was a Jesuit, and the chapel had been built under the directions of the Order, who had undertaken to serve the “Bristol mission”. The house on St. James's Back, previously used as a chapel, was disposed of, and was for a short time occupied by a few Swedenborgians.

In despite of public disapproval, and of the emphatic judgment of Lord Mansfield in the Somerset case, the practice of keeping negroes as domestic slaves was still not uncommon. In a letter to Horace Walpole, dated July, 1790, Hannah More wrote:- “I cannot forbear telling you that at my city of Bristol, during church-time, the congregations were surprised last Sunday with the bell of the public crier in the streets. It was so unusual a sound on that day that the people were alarmed in the churches. They found that the bellman was crying the reward of a guinea to any one who would produce a poor negro girl who had run away because she would not return to one of those trafficking islands, whither her master was resolved to send her. To my great grief and indignation, the poor trembling wretch was dragged out from a hole in the top of a house where she had hid herself, and forced on board ship”. Bonner's Bristol Journal of December 8th, 1792, stated that a citizen had recently sold his negro servant girl, who had been many years in his service, for £80 Jamaica currency, and that she had been shipped for that island. “A byestander who saw her put on board the boat at Lamplighter's Hall says, 'her tears flowed down her face like a shower of rain'”.

An “Equestrian Theatre”, or in modern parlance a circus, was erected in 1791, in Limekiln Lane, for the accommodation of the travelling companies that usually visited the city once a year. The eastern part of the building, which is described as of large dimensions, was fitted up as an amphitheatre for the spectators.

Much unwillingness having been shown by various members of the Common Council to serve the office of sheriff, an edifying by-law was enacted in March, 1791. The fine for non-acceptance of the dignity was fixed at £300. If all the members of the Corporation had served the office, an election was to be made out of the councillors by seniority, excepting those who had already served a second time, and also excepting any “gentleman who hath become bankrupt or hath compounded with his creditors, and not afterwards paid twenty shillings in the pound”. There is reason to believe


that persons entitled to the second exemption were by no means rare. Mr. J.B. Kington, the author of numerous letters signed “A Burgess”, published in the Bristol Mercury in 1833-4, asserted that “at one time a sixth part of the Council” consisted of insolvents, “each paying about 5s. in the pound, except one, who left the country without paying anything”.

On the 19th March the gossip mongers of the city were entertained by the romantic elopement of one of the pupils confided to the care of Miss Mills, of Park Street. The girl in question, Clementina Clerke, was under 16 years of age, and was the heiress of an uncle named Ogilvie, who had made a fortune of £6,000 a year in Jamaica. Her wealth having come to the knowledge of a dissipated but handsome apothecary named Richard V. Perry, he furtively sought her attention whilst she and her companions made their daily promenades. The precocious heiress offering tokens of affection, Perry one day slipped a note into her hand proposing that she should go off with him to be married at Gretna Green, and the evasion was facilitated by the bribing of a servant. The lovers had never spoken to each other when the girl joined Perry in the post-chaise which hurried them to Scotland, in company with an attorney named Baynton. Miss Clerke's schoolmistress followed the couple to Belgium and elsewhere, but without success. On returning to England, Perry was arrested on a charge of abduction, preferred by Mr. W. Gordon, the guardian of his child wife, but the latter, at the trial in April, 1794, swore that she had eloped of her own accord, and the prisoner was acquitted. Baynton, who disappeared for many months, was not prosecuted. He afterwards informed Mr. Richard Smith that he had lost £3,000 by the affair, but was never able to extract a guinea from his client, who had promised him £3,600. Mrs. Perry separated from her husband, and died in poverty at Bath about 1812. Her husband transported himself to Jamaica, where he took the name of Ogilvie, lived in magnificent style, and was a candidate for the House of Assembly in 1816 (R. Smith's MSS.).

The building trade of the city was possessed at this period with a speculative mania destined to end in widespread and prolonged disaster. The “rage for building” was first noticed by the local press in November, 1786, but was then chiefly confined to Clifton, where Sion Row was being constructed. In May, 1788, a letter in Sarah Farley's Journal stated that houses were rising fast near Brandon Hill and in


Great George Street, Park Street, and College Street, while preparations for others were being made in Lodge Street, various parts of Kingsdown, Portland Square, Milk Street, Bath Street, and elsewhere. Shortly after, the erection was noticed of houses in Berkeley Square and Rodney Place. In April, 1791, Felix Farley's Journal observed:- “So great is the spirit of building in this city and its environs that we hear ground is actually taken for more than 3000 houses, which will require some hundreds more artificers than are already employed”. Amongst the designs then proposed was the construction of the two imposing lines of dwellings afterwards known as Royal York and Cornwallis Crescents. In October Bonner's Journal announced that the Royal Fort and its parks (about 68 acres in area), late the property of Mr. Thomas Tyndall, who had died in the previous April, had been purchased (it was said for £40,000) by a party of gentlemen, who intended to convert the whole into building sites. A plan for a gigantic terrace in the park was soon afterwards designed by Wyatt, the fashionable London architect, but operations were suspended for a time in order that an Act might be obtained to empower the dean and chapter to grant a lease for 1,000 years of that portion of the land held under a capitular lease. The Act passed in 1792, when preparations were made for the erection of the terrace. At the same period, Mr. Samuel Worrall, who had a large estate adjoining Clifton Down, produced plans for the construction of a stately line of mansions, and urged the superiority of the site over that of Tyndall's Park. A terrace of 60 houses, to cost £60,000, was proposed to be built near Ashley Down about the same time. The mania had scarcely burst into full bloom before it evinced signs of coming decay. In December, 1792, an attempt was made to complete the erection of York Crescent, on which £20,000 had been spent, by the creation of a tontine, with a capital of £70,000 in £100 shares. A similar association, with a capital of £14,000, was proposed to finish King's Parade, where £8,000 had been laid out by the builder. Both these schemes proved abortive. On the breaking out of the French war, in 1793, there was a financial panic throughout the kingdom, and the failure of Messrs. Lockier, McAulay, and Co., the most extensive of the local speculators, heralded the ruin of a crowd of minor firms. More than 600 houses in course of construction were left unfinished, and the appearance of the suburbs, for many years after this collapse, reminded strangers of a place that had undergone


bombardment. The shells of thirty-four roofless houses stood in York Crescent, dominating similar ruins in Cornwallis Crescent, the Mall, Saville Place, Belle Vue, Richmond Place, York Place, and other localities. Kingsdown and St. Michael's Hill presented many mournful wrecks; Portland Square and the neighbouring streets were in the same condition; and Great George Street and its environs were in no better plight. Mr. T.G. Vaughan, the chief promoter of the Tyndall's Park scheme, became bankrupt before much progress had been made with the proposed terrace, the foundations of which were levelled when the estate returned into the hands of the Tyndall family in 1798. Many years elapsed before other traces of this calamitous mania disappeared. Mr. Malcolm, the historian of London, in a work published in 1807, described the “silent and falling” houses in Clifton and the tottering ruins in Portland Square as the most melancholy spectacle within his recollection.

Mr. Matthew Brickdale, ex-M.P. for the city, and a common councillor, had been repeatedly pressed to take the office of mayor, but had hitherto succeeded in evading the dignity. On the 16th September, 1791, he sent in a resignation of his office, but the Council, refusing to accept it, elected him chief magistrate. He, however, declined either to be sworn or to pay the fine. John Noble was thereupon elected mayor, and an action was commenced against Brickdale, who was eventually compelled to pay the penalty of £400 and the Corporation's costs.

Mr. Noble had a high sense of the dignity of his office, and availed himself of an ancient privilege to astonish the judges of the Court of Admiralty. On the 7th June, 1792, while the court was trying prisoners at the Old Bailey, London, the mayor of Bristol, in his state robes, proceeded to the bench, and claimed a seat with the other commissioners. An explanation being demanded, his worship showed that by an ancient charter the successive mayors and recorders of Bristol were constituted judges of the court. The claim having been admitted, Mr. Noble stated that his object was merely to assert a right, and, after saluting the judges, he withdrew. The mayor, who appears to have travelled to London expressly tor this purpose, notified the result a few days later to the Common Council, who passed a vote of thanks to him for his conduct, and the matter was registered in the civic minutes. (Mr. Nicholls recorded this incident as having taken place in 1762.)

The powers obtained in 1766 for widening the narrow


alleys connecting Christmas Street and Broad Street with Broadmead remained in suspension until September, 1791, when the Council resolved to obtain estimates for the work; but the authorities proceeded languidly in obtaining possession of the old hovels in Halliers' Lane and Duck Lane. In February, 1796, it was reported that property had been purchased at a cost of £8,860, and that the remaining houses required could have been had for £7,600 if the cash had been in hand; but the owners now demanded more, owing to a rise in the value of money. About the same time, a bridge over the Froom, known as Needless Bridge, connecting Broadmead and Duck Lane, was replaced by a more convenient structure. After some additional outlay, the street, one of the ugliest in the city, was opened in 1799, when the Chamber, in honour of the great naval hero of the age, ordered it to be styled Nelson Street.

On the recovery of the corporate finances after the revival of the town dues, the state of the accounts of Whitson's charities seems to have shamed the authorities into action. The sum of £4,000 had been borrowed for civic purposes from the charity funds on bonds, one of which had been outstanding for 31 years, another for 28, and six from 16 to 20 years, while interest had never been paid on any of them. The sum of £1,938 was now transferred to the charity, as interest on the loans.

The question of harbour improvement was temporarily resuscitated in October, the Council holding a special meeting to discuss a project “for floating the ships at the Quay”. A committee was appointed to report, and did so in December. After stating that the future prosperity of the port largely depended on the creation of improved facilities for commerce, so as to place the city on fairer terms with its rivals, and avoid the heavy losses to shipping caused by existing defects, they recommended the design of Messrs. Smeaton and Jessop for damming the Avon at Red Clift, and cutting a canal through Rownham Meads. The subject was soon after allowed to go to sleep again, notwithstanding the frequent occurrence of disasters in the harbour.

The mayor informed the Council in December that possession had been taken of St. Ewen's church on behalf of the Corporation, in whom the property was vested by the Act of 1788. The woodwork, bell, etc., were sold soon afterwards. The upper part of the tower (a mean structure built in the reign of Charles I.) was taken down in 1796, when some of the vaults and graves were “arched


over”: but the rest of the fabric remained standing until about 1820.

Down to this period, the aldermanic body claimed the right of filling up vacancies in its own number, independent of the Common Council. A death having occurred early in 1792, Jeremy Baker was elected an alderman in the customary manner, but for the first time in the history of the Corporation the dignity was rejected. A “case” having been sent to the recorder for his opinion, the learned gentleman replied in September that elections of aldermen ought to take place in the Common Council, though the mayor and aldermen were alone entitled to vote. This course was thenceforth adopted.

The embarrassments of the St. Stephen's improvement trustees have been already noticed. To assist in discharging their debts, the Common Council, in March, 1792, offered a subscription of £500, provided the parish would reconvey to the Corporation, for the sum of £1,000, the cemetery at the south end of Prince's Street. (This burial ground was granted to the parish by the civic body in 1676, at a fee farm rent of 3s. 4d. yearly.) The trustees made no response to this proposal for two years and a half. At length, in September, 1794, at a meeting of the landowners and inhabitants of the parish, when the debt of the trustees amounted to upwards of £3,000, it was resolved to assent to the offer, the meeting being moved thereto by the fact that “the said churchyard, owing to the numerous interments there, will in a short time be rendered of no use to the parish, and has long been considered and indicted as a nuisance”. The site of the cemetery is now partially covered by warehouses.

A letter in a local newspaper of April, 1792, reporting a carriage accident in Hotwell Road, sarcastically compliments the Society of Merchants upon the manner in which the highway was maintained. So long as the mud remains, says the writer, coaches will fall on a soft surface, “ consequently nothing but smothering remains to be dreaded”.

Owing to the great activity in the local building trades, disputes as to wages were numerous about this time. At the summer assizes at Gloucester, two brickmakers, of St. Philip's parish, were each sentenced to two years' imprisonment, for having combined, with others, to demand an advance of wages. Strikes were nevertheless common, and in some eases successful. It is worth observing that whilst the employers denounced workmen's combinations, and put the law against them in operation when they could, they


published advertisements announcing that they had themselves combined to maintain the old rates of wages, and to refuse work to strikers.

The population in the northern suburbs having become numerous, the Wesleyans were encouraged to build a chapel in Portland Street, Kingsdown, which was opened on the 19th August. The chief promoter was Thomas Webb, a lieutenant in the army, who frequently preached in his uniform to large congregations.

Bonner's Journal of November 10th announced that “a society is now forming in this city for promoting the happiness of blind children by instructing them in some useful employment, and the meeting-house in Callowhill Street is fitting up for their reception”. The building was a disused chapel belonging to the Friends, who were the most zealous promoters of the infant Blind Asylum.

The “canal mania” of 1792, though productive of less important results than the railway mama of 1845, was in many respects a counterpart of that memorable delirium. On the 20th November a meeting to promote the construction of a canal from Bristol to Gloucester was held in the Guildhall, when the scheme was enthusiastically supported by influential persons, and a very large sum was subscribed by those present, who struggled violently with each other in their rush to the subscription book. A few days later, a Somerset paper announced that a meeting would be held at Wells to promote a canal from Bristol to Taunton. The design had been formed in this city, but the promoters strove to keep it a secret, and bought up all the newspapers containing the advertisement. The news nevertheless leaked out on the evening before the intended gathering, and a host of speculators set off to secure shares in the undertaking, some arriving only to find that the subscription list was full. The third meeting was at Devizes, on the 12th December. Only one day's notice was given of this movement, which was to promote a canal from Bristol to Southampton and London, but the news rapidly spread, and thousands of intending subscribers rushed to the little town, where the proposed capital was offered several times over. The “race to Devizes” on the part of Bristolians, who had hired or bought up at absurd prices all the old hacks that could be found, and plunged along the miry roads through a long wintry night, was attended with many comic incidents. A legion of schemes followed, Bristol being the proposed terminus of canals to all parts of the country, and some of


the projected water-ways running in close proximity to each other. A pamphlet published in 1795, narrating the story of the mania, states that the passion for speculation spread like an epidemical disease through the city, every man believing that he would gain thousands by his adventures. The shares which were at 60 premium to-day were expected to rise to 60 to-morrow and to 100 in a week. Unfortunately for these dreams, the financial panic to be noticed presently caused a general collapse; and the only local proposal carried out was the comparatively insignificant scheme for uniting the Kennet with the Avon.

The closing weeks of 1792 were marked by an outburst of loyal enthusiasm, provoked by the insolent threats of the French revolutionary leaders and the frothy talk of a handful of Republican enthusiasts in London. At a city meeting in the Guildhall a declaration of attachment to the Constitution was cordially approved, and was subsequently signed by many thousands. Effigies of Tom Paine were burnt by the populace in every parish, and for several days the bells rang loyal peals.

A correspondent of a local journal of January 12th, 1793, complained that there were no public warm baths in the city, notwithstanding its wealth and population. A hot bath at Baptist Mills is, however, casually mentioned in a newspaper of the previous April.

War with France was declared in February, a few days after the execution of Louis XVI. Placing faith in the predictions of Burke as to the effects of the revolution, a vast majority of politicians believed that the defeat of the Anarchists would be speedily effected. It is remarkable, however, that the ardour for privateering manifested by Bristolians in previous wars was on this occasion entirely lacking. The newspapers do not record the fitting out of even a single cruiser. The heavy losses incurred during the American struggle may have contributed to this inaction, but it was doubtless chiefly due to commercial disasters unprecedented in local history. As has been shown, the years preceding the war had been marked in Bristol, in common with other mercantile centres, by excessive speculation, encouraged by the numerous banks, which prodigiously increased their issues of paper money. At the moment when credit was dangerously strained, the French Government declared war, and a violent financial revulsion at once took place all over this country. About one hundred provincial banks stopped payment, two of them in Bath, and for a few days crowds


of Bristolians possessing bank-notes rushed to the issuers to demand payment in cash. The banks met every claim, and confidence in them soon revived, but the sudden restriction of credits necessitated by the state of the country brought about an extent of misery and insolvency till then unknown in Bristol. Nearly fifty considerable local bankruptcies occurred within two or three months, and the aggregate losses were enormous. The effects of the panic on the building trade have been already noticed.

The Corporation manifested its zeal in supporting the Government at this crisis by largely increasing the bounties offered to sailors on joining the navy. Upwards of £700 were paid out of the civic purse in this manner at the beginning of the war. An amusing incident occurred about this time in the Common Council. Mr. Joseph Harford, for many years an influential Quaker, had been noted for his advanced Whig principles. His admiration of Burke, however, caused him to secede from his party, as he had already done from his sect, and he not only became an ardent champion of the war, but displayed an eager desire to push a near relative into the struggle. At a meeting of the Council on the 12th June, he moved that the Corporation “do recommend Lieut. John Harford, now on board H.M.S. St. George, to the Lords of the Admiralty for promotion, and that Mr. Mayor be requested to make such recommendation”. Although many members must have stared at the impudence of the proposal, it was carried without dissent. In December, 1794, no notice having been taken of the mayor's application, the ex-Friend, who had just actively promoted the embodiment of a local regiment, induced the Chamber to direct that the mayor should write to the Duke of Portland (to whom a butt of sherry was ordered to be sent at the same meeting) pressing the interests of the young lieutenant upon his attention. Probably to Mr. Harford's extreme annoyance, the second supplication was as fruitless as the first.

A penny postal system for letters and small parcels was established in July, 1793, for the accommodation of local business. Several parishes around the city were included in the arrangement, but the selection was capricious. In some cases a four-ounce packet was transmitted eighteen miles for a penny, while to other places within that distance such a parcel incurred a postage of 6s. 8d.

The most tragical local incident of the century, the Bristol Bridge riots, has been so fully narrated by Mr. Pryce and


others that it seems unnecessary to enter into lengthy details. Although the popular rising cannot be justified, it is equally clear that the conduct of the bridge trustees deserved severe condemnation. Under the provisions of the Act of 1785, the authorities were entitled to collect tolls on vehicles, horses, etc., until the money borrowed had been paid off, and a balance of £2,000 secured, the interest on which was to be devoted to lighting and maintaining the bridge. In September, 1792, when the debt had been reduced to £5,500, the trustees had a sum of £4,400 to their credit, and the net income of the following year was estimated at £3,000. The auctioneer employed to let the tolls and the solicitor to the trustees consequently informed the lessee that the tolls would cease in September, 1793; and this statement, which gave satisfaction to the citizens, was never contradicted. Shortly before the close of the lease, however, the trustees announced that the tolls would be let for another twelve-month. As a matter of fact, the required balance of £2,000 had not been obtained, and the authorities, under a belief that the interest of that sum would be insufficient to keep the bridge in repair, wished to increase the capital fund, and so avoid the expense of another Act. Had this been explained to the city, the plan might have won a certain measure of approval. But the acting trustees, most of whom were members of the Common Council, had all the Corporation's contempt for popular feeling, as well as its abhorrence of popular control. Although administering revenues entirely drawn from the pockets of the inhabitants, they had refused for 25 years to produce their accounts. They now haughtily refused to enlighten the city as to their purposes, and persisted in a step exceeding their lawful powers. On the 21st September the tolls were leased for another year, for £1,920, to Wintour Harris, an underling of the Corporation. The proper method of defeating the illegal proceeding would have been an appeal to the law courts. Unfortunately a small body of citizens, who had already taken action, resolved to meet usurpation by stratagem. Believing that if the toll were once suspended it could not be reimposed, they made a bargain with the lessee of the previous year for a relinquishment of his rights during the last nine days of the term; and on the 19th September the bridge was thrown open and traffic passed toll-free amidst the clamorous joy of the assembled populace, which made a bonfire of the gates and toll-boards during the evening. The trustees, greatly exasperated, offered a reward on the 20th for the discovery of the


offenders, pointing out that the destruction of the toll-boards was a capital crime; their placard further asserted that the liabilities of the trust still amounted to £2,500, which they did not offer to prove, and which was in substance untrue. On the 28th workmen were employed to erect new gates, to the great irritation of the lower classes, who gathered in increasing numbers as the day advanced; and at night, when a large mob had assembled, the new barriers were set on fire and destroyed. The magistrates now appeared on the scene, and warned the rabble as to the consequences of further rioting; but the justices were roughly hustled about, and their remonstrances were received with derision. The Riot Act was consequently read, and a party of the Herefordshire militia was sent for to keep order; but as great crowds followed the troops in their march to the spot, the tumult soon became greater than ever, and the justices and soldiers were assailed with volleys of stones. At length the militia received orders to fire, and one man was killed and two or three others wounded by a volley, which put an immediate end to the disorder. At noon on the 29th (Sunday), when the old lease expired, and men were posted on the bridge to collect tolls, assisted by the civil power, the spot was for many hours a scene of uproar and confusion, those who refused to pay the charge being seized by the constables, and often incontinently rescued by crowds of excited spectators. At length a few soldiers were brought down to support the toll-takers, and further resistance was abandoned. On Monday morning, however, the populace gathered in great numbers, and the disorders of the previous day were renewed with increased violence. Some of the magistrates were early in attendance, and the Riot Act was read three times, a warning being given at the third reading that the populace must disperse within an hour. The notice being disregarded, the militia were again summoned, and the magistrates superintended the collection of the tolls until about six o'clock, when, the mob having diminished in number, they withdrew, accompanied by the troops and constabulary, toll-collecting being abandoned for the night. Their retreat was almost immediately signalised by renewed rioting, one of the toll-houses being speedily sacked, and the furniture burnt in the street; while a few militiamen sent back to protect the building were driven off by volleys of oyster shells. The attitude of the mob now became very threatening, and when the magistrates, supported by the troops, again repaired to the bridge, they encountered a


storm of missiles, accompanied with yells of defiance. The justices, after commanding the populace to disperse, and being answered by more stone-throwing, ordered the soldiers to fire, the front rank discharging their muskets at their assailants on the bridge, while the rear, changing front, swept the crowd that was attacking them from High Street. The effects of repeated volleys, followed by a bayonet charge, were naturally tragical. Eleven persons were killed or mortally wounded, and 46 others were injured; and as is always the case in such calamities, several of the sufferers were harmless lookers-on, two being respectable tradesmen and one a visitor. The riot, however, was at an end, the mob flying in every direction. Judging from the opinions expressed by the coroners' juries on the following day (October 1st), the conduct of the bridge trustees and the magistrates was condemned by many citizens, verdicts of wilful murder by persons unknown being delivered upon ten of the bodies. Possibly excited by this decision, a large mob assembled in the evening, and destroyed the windows of the Council House and Guildhall. Further tumults were happily obviated by the public spirit of a few leading citizens, amongst whom Messrs. John Thomas, William Elton, Matthew Wright and John Bally were most prominent. Those gentlemen, raising the needful amount by private subscription, purchased an assignment of Harris's lease, paying over three months' rent to the trustees, who were thus enabled to purchase £2,230 in Consols after discharging all their liabilities. The tolls, never collected after Monday's bloodshed, were thus definitively abolished. The Corporation condemned this arrangement as a dangerous concession to the populace, but its opposition was ineffectual. The civic body, however, successfully thwarted the efforts of Dr. Long Fox, an eminent local physician, to bring the conduct of the trustees before the bar of public opinion. His request that the Guildhall might be granted for a meeting of the citizens was refused by the court of aldermen, all of whom were themselves trustees. Dr. Fox then obtained leave to use the Coopers' Hall, but through corporate intimidation the permission was withdrawn, and a similar result attended his engagement of a large warehouse. The Corporation next successfully exerted itself to prevent a public subscription for the families of the victims, starting at the same time a fund to provide shoes and stockings for the British troops in Holland. It next commenced an action for libel against the printer of a London newspaper called the Star, which had published


a letter from Bristol accusing Alderman Daubeny of brutal conduct during the disturbances; but the only apparent result of this step was the expenditure of about £189 in law costs. As will shortly be shown, the Chamber became so unpopular in consequence of the riots that it was found almost impossible for several years to induce respectable inhabitants to accept civic honours.

The first and only reference to street watering throughout the century occurs in the civic accounts for September, 1793, when ten shillings were paid for two years' watering before the Council House.

During the year 1793, Dr. Thomas Beddoes, who had distinguished himself as Reader in Chemistry at the University of Oxford from 1788 to 1792, but had found further residence there impracticable owing to his sympathy with the French Republicans, settled in Clifton, with a view to establishing a Pneumatic Institute for the treatment of diseases by inhalation. The reputation of the new comer as a vigorous and original thinker was already considerable in cultivated circles, and his fame amongst the visitors to Clifton - amongst whom the Marquis of Lansdowne, Earl Stanhope, and Mr. Lambton, father of the first Earl of Durham, were then conspicuous - soon spread amongst the Whig inhabitants. The apparatus for the intended experiment was constructed by James Watt, £1,500 of the outlay being contributed by Mr. Lambton, and £1,000 by Thomas Wedgwood, who removed to Clifton to enjoy Beddoes's society. Southey and Coleridge were also close friends of the doctor, whose talents and philanthropy they warmly eulogised. The institution was at length opened in Dowry Square in 1798, and, though it failed in its professed object, it is memorable for having fostered the genius of young Humphry Davy, who was engaged as assistant, and who there discovered the properties of nitrous-oxide gas in 1799, to Southey's enthusiastic delight. Dr. Beddoes closed the institution in 1801, and died in December, 1808, at a moment, says Davy, when his mind was purified for noble affections and great works. “He had talents which would have raised him to the highest pinnacle of philosophical eminence if they had been applied with discretion”.

In a treatise entitled “Of the Hotwell Waters, near Bristol”, by John Nott, M.D., published in 1793, the writer briefly refers to “the newly discovered hot spring . . . discovered some few years since on Clifton hill”. The water of Sion Spring, as it was called, was obtained by driving a


shaft through the limestone to the depth of about 250 feet, at a great expense to the adventurer, an attorney, named Morgan. A copious store being, however, reached (the spring yielded nearly 34,030 gallons daily), a steam engine was erected on the premises, supply pipes were laid to many neighbouring houses, and more distant customers were served by carts. Clifton had been previously deficient in springs, and Mr. Morgan proved a local benefactor. As the temperature of the water was 70 degrees, or nearly as high as that of the Hot Well, a pump-room was erected for visitors, and in June, 1798, Thomas Bird announced that he had fitted up the premises at a great expense, and had also provided his patrons with hot baths and a reading room. Although some physicians had declared the Sion water to possess all the healing properties of the lower well, and although the spring was not disturbed, like its more famous rival, by the spring tides of the Avon, the place was never successful in attracting visitors. In 1803 the pump room, “calculated for any genteel business”, was advertised to be let. The baths were continued for some years. The proprietor, moreover, obtained a considerable income from private dwellings, over 300 being eventually furnished with a supply from his property.

A duel was fought on the 10th December, 1793, in a field near the Montague inn, Kingsdown, between two officers of the army. Three shots were fired on each side, and one of the combatants nearly lost his life from a wound in the leg. The newspaper report states that the encounter was witnessed by a number of spectators.

Another attempt was made about this time to establish cotton weaving as a branch of local industry. An advertisement of the Bristol Cotton Manufactory, published in January, 1794, stated that the proprietors were offering for sale at their warehouse, adjoining the factory in Temple Street, a large stock of calicoes, bed ticks, etc. The concern employed about 250 persons, and seventy looms were at one time in operation. A small factory for spinning cotton yarn then existed at Keynsham. The Temple Street works were abandoned in 1806.

Mr. Burke, the recorder, the “honest Richard” of Goldsmith's “Retaliation”, having died in February, 1794, the Common Council, in the following month, appointed Mr. Vicary Gibbs to the vacant office. The new functionary, who was knighted on becoming one of the law officers of the Crown, and subsequently attained the chief justiceship


of the Common Pleas, gained the name of “Sir Vinegar” from the acridity of his temper and the sourness of his language, which spared neither litigants, barristers nor criminals. (The unfortunate Spencer Perceval asserted on one occasion that Gibbs's nose would remove iron-moulds from linen.) Soon after his election, the Common Council raised the annual honorarium of the recordership from 60 to 100 guineas.

On the 29th April, when much alarm prevailed owing to the French threats of invasion, a meeting was held in the Guildhall, to promote measures for increasing the security of the country. A subscription was opened, which soon reached nearly £5,000, and it was resolved to raise a regiment of infantry, to be called the Loyal Bristol Regiment - subsequently the 103rd of the Line. By offering a bounty of 6 guineas a head, 684 men were soon under the colours, and the Government appointed Lord Charles Somerset lieutenant-colonel. The accounts afterwards published showed the following disbursements:- Bounty, £3,691: extra accoutrements, 20s. per man, £684; colours and drums, £92; drink to men on embarking at Pill, £30; flags and ribbons for recruiting sergeants, £22.

Although the French revolutionists seemed irresistible on land, they were no match for the English navy. During the year, to the great joy of Bristolians, the principal West India colonies of the enemy fell into British hands. About the end of April the capture of Martinico was announced; a few weeks later the bells rang a whole day in honour of the conquest of Guadaloupe, and early in July there were similar rejoicings at the fall of Port-au-Prince. But the crowning naval event of the year was Lord Howe's famous victory over the French fleet on the 1st June, intelligence of which arrived on the 12th, and excited transports of enthusiasm. John Weeks, of the Bush inn, in the costume of a sailor, proposed loyal toasts through a speaking trumpet from the balcony of his house, drinking innumerable bumpers in their honour, while his servants distributed liquor amongst the delighted populace below. In the evening the city was illuminated.

The local journals of the 28th June announced that Mr. T. Davis had fitted up a pump-room at the mineral spring at the Tennis Court house, Hotwell Road. The medicinal qualities of the spa, originally discovered about 1785, were alleged to be superior to those of Cheltenham water, and astonishing cures were said to have been effected. Hot and


cold baths were subsequently constructed - to the annoyance of the renter of the neighbouring cold baths at Jacob's Wells, who invited public attention to the superior advantages of his establishment. In July, 1808, the spa, with its “pleasant garden bordering on the river”, was advertised to be let, and in January, 1810, the premises were converted into “the Mineral Spa coal wharf”, by J. Poole, coal wharfinger. The Jacob's Wells baths survived their rival for half a century.

The Corporation account books record a loan, in July, 1794, from a local bank of which no previous mention has been found. The proprietors - all men of high standing - were James Ireland, Philip Protheroe, Henry Bengough, Joseph Haythorne, and Matthew Wright. The Bristol City Bank, as it was called, was carried on at 46, High Street, until 1837, when the goodwill was purchased by the National Provincial Bank, which opened a branch in the old premises.

Until the death of the Rev. John Wesley, the services at the local Methodist chapels had been held at hours which permitted the congregations to attend their parish churches also. In the autumn of 1794, many Wesleyans, disapproving of the arrangement, urged that the services should be held simultaneously with those of the churches, while others protested against any change in Mr. Wesley's system. The denomination was also divided on another point - the celebration of the Communion - which had hitherto been conducted by clergymen who had received episcopal ordination, though many young Wesleyans contended that the ordinary ministers of the society were competent for its performance. In the result, the more fervent followers of Wesley's precepts continued to observe them at Broadmead and Guinea Street chapels, whilst their opponents assembled at Portland Chapel and other meeting houses. A dispute followed with the trustees of the chapel in the Horsefair, which was abandoned in 1795 for the newly erected Ebenezer in King Street, and Wesley's first edifice was opened in December, 1800, for “preaching the Gospel in the Welsh language”.

The Common Council, in September, elected Mr. John Fisher Weare to the office of mayor. On his refusal to accept the dignity, Mr. Joseph Harford was appointed, but also declined. Mr. Joseph Smith then consented to serve. It is probably significant that during his term of office the yearly allowance made to each mayor was raised from £1,000 to £1,200. In the course of a few months, three influential citizens, George Gibbs, Stephen Cave, and Robert Bush, jun.,


were severally elected councillors, but declined to enter the Chamber. In September, 1796, Mr, William Weare was elected mayor, but followed the example of his relative. Mr. James Harvey was then induced to assume the dignity. So great was the difficulty encountered in filling vacancies in the Council that a committee was appointed early in 1796 to consider the matter, and in conformity with its suggestion the fine for refusing office was increased to £300. The reluctance of the citizens, however, was not overcome, for Benjamin Baugh, Philip John Miles, James Brown, Henry King, and John Pinney soon afterwards refused to serve as councillors after being elected. A new embarrassment arose about the same time, several councillors declining to vote when questions were brought to a division. A case was laid before the new recorder, to elicit his opinion as to how the dumb might be made to speak, and the recalcitrants appear to have submitted to Mr. Gibbs's implied rebuke. In September, 1796, Mr. Richard Bright and Mr. Evan Baillie respectively paid the fine of £400 rather than assume the office of mayor, and Mr. Harvey remained in the civic chair for another twelvemonth. A little later, Thomas Pierce, Michael Castle, and Samuel Edwards refused to become councillors. The unpopularity into which the Corporation had fallen is sufficiently indicated by this imperfect summary of its perplexities.

Early in 1794 a thin quarto pamphlet made its appearance entitled, “Bristol, a Satire”. The anonymous author, Robert Lovell, was a young Quaker of some talent, who had married one of three ladies named Fricker, carrying on business as milliners in Wine Street, his two sisters-in-law, as will presently be seen, becoming the helpmates of poets of more lasting fame. Lovell's satire is marked rather by spleen than force. One of the chief complaints which he formulated against

Bristol's matchless sons,
In avarice Dutchmen, and in science Huns,

was that when they assembled in places of business resort, their conversation rolled exclusively upon business topics and commercial news, which does not seem a striking proof of unintelligence. He rates their stinginess, however, in permitting the reconstruction of the Infirmary to linger on from year to year; he mocks their stupidity in still assembling on 'Change in Corn Street, regardless of the elegant building raised close by for their accommodation; and he sneers at the want of taste of a community that refused to


enliven its dulness by supporting winter concerts, though six entertainments had been offered for a guinea a head. Some scathing lines follow, denouncing the oppression practised by the self-elected Corporation, which claimed by chartered right the privilege of doing wrong. In 1795, Lovell, in conjunction with his brother-in-law, Southey, published another volume of “Poems”, now much prized for its rarity.

The coinage in 1794 was in a state of utter disorganisation. The silver currency having become worn down to mere slips of metal, the manufacture of counterfeit coin became the easiest of processes, and false shillings were sold wholesale to knavish traders, waiters, etc., at the rate of 4s. 6d. for twenty. The counterfeiting of halfpence had been going on for some years, but received a new impulse from the silver frauds. Unscrupulous employers, buying largely from the coiners, paid away the worthless metal in wages to their workmen, and similar iniquity was only too common amongst low shopkeepers, turnpike men, and others. The evil became so great that the Bristol newspaper proprietors announced that halfpence would not be accepted by their newsmen. Some local tradesmen adopted an opposite course, offering to receive payments in any coin, but of course protecting themselves from loss by an unavowed increase of prices. Two shopkeepers, again, Mr. Niblock, draper, Bridge Street, and Mr. Bird, tea-dealer, Wine Street, issued halfpence bearing their respective names. Genuine silver coins showing any trace of the royal effigy were hoarded, or sold at a premium, until at length, in 1796, there was such a scarcity of change as to impede ordinary business. The production by forgers then became immense. On the 11th March, 1796, a meeting was held in the Guildhall to take measures to meet the evil. There being reason to believe that some inhabitants had leagued themselves with the coiners in order to plunder the public, it was resolved to offer rewards for the discovery of the offenders. The device was fruitless, and the frauds increased enormously during the year, the London Times remarking in October that scarce a waggon or coach left the capital that did not carry boxes of base coin to the provincial towns, “insomuch that the country is deluged with counterfeit money”. A large supply of new copper coin was at length furnished in 1797.

In July or August, 1794, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who had just conceived a sublime scheme for the regeneration of humanity, and had inoculated a few youthful associates


with his own enthusiasm as to its success, visited Bristol with some of his disciples, for the purpose of starting the enterprise. It was proposed to establish a philosophical and social colony, or Pantisocracy, on the banks of the Susquehanna, in the United States, where a select body of incorruptible and cultivated men and women would secure felicity for themselves, whilst striving to regenerate an effete civilisation by a revival of the communism of primitive Christianity. (The choice of the locality, it is said, was mainly due to the poetical beauty of the river's name.) Amongst the propounder's most zealous supporters were the Bristol-born Robert Southey, then an Oxford student disgusted with the Toryism and orthodoxy of his university, the young Bristol Quaker, Robert Lovell, already noticed, and George Burnett, the son of a Somerset farmer. Other converts were expected to arrive from the universities. Coleridge, with Southey and Burnett, lodged in the meantime at 48, College Street. [The numbering of the street has been altered, but the house in question now bears a tablet commemorating Coleridge's visit.] The dreams of the youthful philosophers were soon roughly disturbed by an encounter with the harsh realities of life. They had come to Bristol to provide themselves with the needful equipage for their proposed Elysium, the hire of a ship and the outlay for stores being calmly estimated by Coleridge at about £1,200. Their combined funds, however, were so limited that, in order to pay a lodging bill for seven weeks, they were compelled to ask for a loan of £5 from Joseph Cottle, poet and bookseller, who then occupied an old house ( afterwards burnt down) at the corner of High Street and Corn Street. Cottle's liberality to the enthusiasts will be remembered long after his prosy poetry is forgotten. He not only relieved their immediate distress, but, with a generosity uncommon in his trade, offered to give Coleridge and Southey - then unknown to the public - the sum of £30 each for two volumes of poems, following up this proposal by promising Southey 100 guineas (in money and books) for “Joan of Arc”, from which the author - a lifelong victim of self-admiration - anticipated immortal fame. Coleridge and Southey next proposed to improve their resources by delivering lectures in Bristol, the former choosing political and moral subjects, whilst his friend discoursed on history. Coleridge's first two lectures were delivered at the Plume of Feathers inn, Wine Street; others were given at the Cheese Market, and in a room in Castle Green; and several at the


Assembly Boom Coffee-house, on the Quay. Southey's twelve lectures (“tickets for the whole course 10s. 6d”.) were delivered in the Assembly Room, and were, like the others, well attended, in spite of the unpopular political and religious opinions of the two orators. Although Coleridge gladly availed himself of advances from Cottle, the manuscript of his poems was not forthcoming for many months. The dreamy philosopher, in fact, was in love, so far as was compatible with his peculiar nature. Every Pantisocratist, indeed, was to be married, for in the ideal society the women were to busy themselves with material affairs, in order to leave the men at leisure to philosophise and versify at their ease. A sort of matrimonial epidemic accordingly broke out in the family of Mrs. Fricker, a schoolmistress on Redcliff Hill, who had five marriageable daughters. Lovell had already married one of the young ladies, Southey was engaged to another, an unnamed Pantisocratist had laid siege to a third, who was too practical-minded to accept him, and in October, 1796, Coleridge was married at St. Mary Redcliff church to a fourth, named Sarah. A cottage at the then secluded village of Clevedon had been engaged for the young couple at a rent of £5 yearly, but Coleridge treated the question of furnishing with characteristic contempt, and two days after the marriage Cottle received a hurried epistle requesting him to buy and forward an assortment of domestic necessaries, including a tea-kettle, a couple of candlesticks, a dust-pan, two tumblers, two spoons, a cheese toaster, a pair of slippers, a keg of porter, and some groceries. Even a bit of carpet would have been wanting but for the thoughtfulness of a friend. A Pantisocratic life was thus lived for the first time in beautiful simplicity. But a residence twelve miles from books and society was soon found untenable, and Coleridge removed to Redcliff Hill in December. Robert Southey had already followed the example of his companion, having married Edith Fricker in November; but in this case the couple separated at the door of Redcliff Church, and the young husband - so poor as to be unable to buy a wedding ring without Cottle's help - immediately sailed for Lisbon. His desertion gave the finishing blow to the Pantisocratic system, for Coleridge's promise of a book in defence of his social reform - like many other similar promises - was never fulfilled. He was temporarily diverted, indeed, from his dreams by the action of the Ministry, who, by their own admission, determined to revive the despotic legislation of


the Tudors. Two Bills were brought into Parliament and speedily passed, by one of which any person who, by speech or writing, should incite “contempt” of the Government or of the unreformed House of Uommons was rendered liable to transportation for seven years; while by the other the right of public meeting was practically set aside, and the penalty of death was incurred by any twelve persons who remained assembled, even in a peaceable manner, for one hour after a magistrate had ordered them to disperse. Against proposals which he deemed monstrous, Coleridge was aroused to protest warmly. He delivered an address on the 26th November “in the Great Room, at the Pelican inn, Thomas Street; admission, one shilling”; and followed this up by two pamphlets, “Conciones ad Populum”, and “The Plot Discovered”, in which he emphatically denounced the tyrannical policy of Mr. Pitt. (According to Mr. Fitzgerald, the ablest authority on the subject, Coleridge was at this period constantly “overshadowed” by one of the army of spies maintained by the Government.) Various literary projects were next contemplated, Coleridge eventually resolving to publish a periodical miscellany, “to supply the places of a review, newspaper and annual register”. About 370 subscribers were obtained in Bristol; the roll was increased to 1,000 by a canvass made by the author himself in the great manufacturing towns; and on the 1st March, 1796, the first number was issued of The Watchman, price four-pence, which was to appear every eighth day, in order to avoid the heavy tax on newspapers. About half the subscribers, however, were lost by the publication in the second number of an article on public fasts, containing an unlucky Scriptural quotation (“My bowels shall sound like a harp”, Isaiah xvi.); the two next alienated the admirers of the French Republic; and the tenth intimated that The Watchman had run its course, as “the work did not pay its expenses”. The loss entailed by the publication was chiefly borne by Cottle. Coleridge, in the meantime, had removed from Redcliff Hill to Kingsdown, where his son Hartley was born. He was at this period an occasional preacher in Unitarian chapels, and Cottle gives an account of two characteristic performances in a Bath pulpit, where the philosopher, attired in a blue coat and white waistcoat, scared away the congregations by discoursing on the corn laws and the new tax on hair powder. During the summer, urged by his friend Mr. Thomas Poole, of Nether Stowey, he removed to a cottage at that place, and his preaching


came to an end. In 1797, Cottle published a second edition of Coleridge's poems, to which were added several pieces by his young friends, Charles Lamb and Charles Lloyd. In the same year, Coleridge published in a Bristol newspaper a poem on the death of Burns, which resulted in a handsome local contribution to the fund for the relief of the poet's family. In 1798, Mr. Thomas Wedgwood, then residing at Cote House, Durdham Down, determined, in conjunction with his brother Josiah, to allow Coleridge £150 yearly for life, and the munificent gift led to the recipient's departure from the West of England. Before leaving for Germany with Wordsworth, who had also been living near Stowey, Coleridge induced Cottle to give 30 guineas for another volume of poems, containing the Lyrical Ballads of his new friend (Wordsworth's first work), and his own immortal “Ancient Mariner”. The book fell almost still-born from the press, and the enterprising publisher, who soon afterwards retired from business, was informed by Messrs. Longman that the copyright was valueless. The sufferer presented it to Wordsworth, and afterwards consoled himself for his loss by reminding the public that he, a Bristol tradesman, had secured himself the fame - rejected by the great London houses - of publishing the first works of four of the most eminent writers of his generation.

An accident illustrating the dangers of the harbour occurred on the 24th September, 1794. The Esther, a new ship, which had just arrived from Barbadoes with a cargo of 519 hhds. of sugar and other goods, fell on her beam ends at ebb tide, and the whole of her contents, valued at many thousand pounds, was practically destroyed. The captain and crew had displayed remarkable gallantry a few days before reaching Kingroad. The Esther, which had only 18 men and 3 boys, was attacked by a French privateer with 20 six-pounders and about 140 men, but after an engagement lasting from 6 o'clock in the evening until 9 the following morning, the determined resistance of the Englishmen forced the enemy to sheer off.

A curiously shaped coach, running upon eight wheels, was introduced into the district about this time. Two of the vehicles were running daily between Bristol and Bath in November, 1794, carrying outside passengers at 1s. and inside at 2s. each, and performing the journey in 2½ hours. Southey mentions a Bristol coach to Birmingham carrying 16 persons inside, which must have been constructed on the same principle.


The Incorporation of the Poor, in spite of former failures, determined in 1794 to establish a manufactory at the workhouse for the employment of the youthful inmates. The making of flannels having been resolved upon, a building for the purpose was erected at St. Peter's Hospital. In 1799 it was reported that raw material had been purchased at a cost of £1,660, while the total sum obtained for the manufactured goods was only £1,394. The factory was thereupon closed, the premises being converted into wards for the greatly increased number of paupers.

The refusal of sailors to enter the navy led to an unusual stretch of power in February, 1795. By an Order in Council an embargo was placed on the merchant shipping and trows lying in the ports, and an Act was passed in the following month, ordaining that no British vessel should be permitted to clear outwards until the port at which it lay had furnished the navy with the number of seamen prescribed in the statute. The numbers fixed for the chief ports afford only too striking evidence of the comparative decline of Bristol shipping. London was required to find 5,704 men; Liverpool, 1,711; Newcastle, 1,240; Hull, 731; the Clyde ports, 683; Sunderland, 669; Bristol, 666. It may be interesting to show the relative positions of the other local ports. Gloucester was required to furnish 28 men; Chepstow (of which Newport was a creek), 38; Cardiff, 14; Bridgwater, 26; Minehead, 18; Swansea, 86; and Ilfracombe, 49. To quicken the recruiting, the Admiralty offered bounties of 26 guineas a head to able seamen, 20 guineas to ordinary seamen, and 16 guineas to landsmen. The Bristol contingent (half of the men being landsmen) was completed in May, when the embargo was removed. By another Act, passed in the same session, a further levy of men was made upon the kingdom generally, Gloucestershire, including Bristol, being required to produce 201. (The Corporation was greatly offended at the city being included in the shire, and refused to co-operate with the county authorities.) The manner in which the demand was met is shown by the minutes of the vestry of St. Stephen's parish, the clerk being ordered on the 10th September to make a rate to raise £60 13s. 6d, “to pay bounties to three seamen raised by the parish for the use of his Majesty's Navy”. The recruitment of the army presented similar difficulties. The Crown debtors in Bristol and other gaols were offered their liberty provided they would join a marching regiment, and in October a number of felons awaiting transportation were


treated in the same manner. The unpopularity of the forces was largely due to the abuses that prevailed. In the course of the year the Duke of York, commander in chief, issued a circular to the colonels of regiments, demanding a return to be made of the number of captaincies held by boys under 12 years of age - many commissions being in fact sinecures enjoyed by lads at school.

The manufacture of cloth, once the most important of local industries, rapidly declined during the later years of the century, scarcely any attempt having been made to compete with the Yorkshire clothiers in the production of more popular fabrics. A Bristol cloth mill “at the One Mile Stone, Stapleton Road”, was offered for sale in March, 1795, and is the last mentioned in the newspapers.

The following amusing illustration of the lawlessness of the Kingswood district has been found in the London Times of April, 1795. “Monday last, two bailiffs' followers made a seizure for rent at a house in Kingswood, near Bristol. An alarm being given, they were surrounded by a number of colliers, who conveyed them to a neighbouring coal-pit, and let them down, where they were suffered to remain till about 2 the next morning, when they were had up, and, each having a glass of gin and some gingerbread given him, were immersed again in the dreary bowels of the earth, where they were confined, in all, nearly 24 hours. On being released they were made to pay a fine of 6s. 8d. each for their lodging, and take an oath never to trouble, or molest, any of them again”.

The use of starch or flour for “powdering” the hair was long universal amongst the upper and middle classes of both sexes. A duty of 3¼d. per lb. was imposed on starch in 1787, and produced a considerable sum. In 1795, Mr. Pitt, fancying that he could raise a still greater revenue out of hair powder, placed a tax on those who adopted it; but merely hastened a reform which was already imminent. Powdering having been dropped in France at the Revolution, many youthful Englishmen followed the example; and when a succession of bad harvests raised flour to a famine price, the absurdity of diminishing the food supply for the sake of disfiguring a natural ornament was soon widely recognised. A correspondent of Felix Farley's Journal of the 16th May estimated the cost of powder to be at least 3 guineas per head yearly, and suggested that the amount saved by giving it up should be devoted to the relief of the distressed poor. Strangely enough, the military authorities persisted for some years in


requiring the infantry and militia to powder their heads, and when volunteering became popular, in 1797, the Government sought to encourage the movement by exempting citizen soldiers from the tax on hair powder.

The distress caused by the dearth was exceeding great, and every class was required to make sacrifices happily unknown to a later age. The harvest of the year proved even more deficient than that of 1794, and George III. gave orders that the bread used in his household should be made of mixed wheat and rye, an example extensively followed. The families of small tradesmen and working men were reduced to eat a bread composed of equal proportions of flour and potatoes. But even food of this kind was above the reach of the poor, who were occasionally driven to desperation by hunger, and on June 6th the populace attacked the butchers' shops in the High Street Market, carried off a quantity of meat, and sacked a (baker's?) shop. Riots also occurred in the eastern suburbs, and the Kingswood colliers seized several cartloads of corn on the way to market. But all these incidents were unreported in the newspapers, from a foolish dread that publicity might tend to increase the disorders. Our information on the subject is chiefly derived from the civic minute books:- “June 26: Expenses incurred during the late riots in the neighbourhood of this city, £119 6s. 9d.”; “Sept. 5, Resolved that an additional sum of £500 be paid to the mayor in consideration of extra expenses by a military force being called in to suppress the riots caused by the high price of provisions”. In July a public meeting was held to take measures for relieving the distress, at which it was announced that the sheriffs would curtail the entertainments given at the assizes, and contribute the cost of one banquet (£120) to the fund. Large subscriptions were offered, and daily distributions of rice and other grain at reduced prices were soon after established. The Corporation ordered the purchase of several cargoes of wheat and flour, which were sold to bakers at prime cost, the loss incurred by these transactions being more than covered by sales at market price to the distressed inhabitants of the adjoining counties. In August the average price of wheat rose to the unprecedented sum of 106s. 9d. per quarter. The magistrates had already forbidden the manufacture of bread made from fine flour, and for nearly two years more (the harvest of 1796 being also a failure) wheat had to be largely supplemented by barley, peas, rice, and potatoes.

One of the consequences of the dearth was a great advance


in the charges of boarding schools. In September, 1795, Mr. George Pocock opened a boarding school on St. Michael's Hill, where his fee for boys was 26 guineas each per annum. Pocock was a man of great mechanical ingenuity. His kite carriage is described in the Annals of the Nineteenth Century. Southey states that he also invented a machine for thrashing his scholars, which they called a “royal patent self-acting ferule”.

The ill-fated marriage of George, Prince of Wales, seems to have provoked little rejoicing. The corporate cash book, however, records a payment of £124 6s. 10d. “expenses attending the presentation of an address to the King, and compliments to the Prince on the occasion”. The cost of the civic deputations was mainly due to the mode in which they travelled. Three post chaises, each with four horses, were engaged for the aldermen, sheriffs, and chief officers, and a mysterious chariot followed. The journey each way occupied three days, and as turtle was carried in the chariot, the aldermen could not trust the delicacy to the country kitchen-maids, and the fish kettle was accompanied by a skilful cook and all his implements.

The commerce of the country was still largely carried on in vessels the dwarfishness of which would now excite astonishment. Many of the Bristol ships that conveyed emigrants to America did not exceed 100 tons registered burden. Felix Farley's Journal of July 25th, 1795, reports the arrival in Kingroad of a vessel “called the Jenny, of 75 tons, the property of S. Teast, Esq., after making a voyage round the world in one year and ten months”. The commerce of the port diminished greatly during the early years of the war. In 1792 the vessels paying mayor's dues numbered 480. In 1796 the total was only 304.

On the 27th November the Duke of York, after reviewing two militia regiments on Durdham Down, paid a visit to Bristol, and was presented with the freedom of the city. A grand dinner followed at the Mansion House, for which the mayor was voted an additional allowance of £212.

Mention was made at page 256 of the gunpowder magazine at Tower Harritz, from which privateers and merchant vessels obtained supplies of ammunition. In despite of its perilous character, the magazine existed down to the close of the century, and was so carelessly guarded that in April, 1796, its owners, Messrs. Elton, Ames and Co., offered a reward for the discovery of thieves who had broken into the premises and stolen four barrels of powder.


A dissolution of Parliament took place in May, 1796, when the Marquis of Worcester withdrew from Bristol to offer himself for Gloucestershire. Mr. Charles Bragge came forward in the Tory interest. Lord Sheffield solicited reelection, but had lost the confidence of many Whigs owing to his support of all the Government measures, especially those for suspending the Habeas Corpus Act and restricting the liberty of the press. The dissidents accordingly brought forward Mr. Benjamin Hobhouse, a native of Bristol, and member of the Merchants' Company. [Mr. Hobhouse's son, long afterwards created Baron Broughton for distinguished political services, was at this time being educated in the famous school conducted by the Rev. Dr. Estlin on St. Michael's Hill]. A coalition was immediately formed between the Tory leaders and the friends of Lord Sheffield, who were numerous in the Corporation. The nomination took place on the 27th May, and the poll opened on the same day, when Mr. Bragge received 364 votes. Lord Sheffield 340, and Mr. Hobhouse 102. The last named gentleman withdrew the same evening, but the eccentric David Lewis, for whom two votes had been tendered, kept the poll open for several hours on the following day. The final figures were - Mr. Bragge, 714; Lord Sheffield, 679; Mr. Hobhouse, 102; Mr Lewis, 4. The freemen were afterwards feasted at the joint expense of the new members. Lord Sheffield was unpopular amongst the labouring classes, and, in consequence of the prominent part taken on his behalf by the mayor and some of the aldermen, a mob demolished the windows of the Mansion House, of the Council House, and of the Bush hotel (Lord Sheffield's headquarters).

Trinity Chapel, appertaining to Barstaple's Hospital in Old Market Street, was rebuilt during the summer at a cost of £454. The mean and ugly structure produced for this sum has been since demolished in its turn.

An illustration of the ecclesiastical abuses of the time occurs in the minutes of a Common Council meeting held on the 3rd October. A memorial was presented by the Rev. Joseph Atwell Small, D.D., incumbent of St. James's and vicar of St. Paul's, representing that he had been offered two vicarages in Monmouthshire, but that his acceptance of them would not only cause him to vacate the rectory of Burnsall, Yorkshire, but jeopardise his right to hold his two livings in Bristol. He therefore prayed the Chamber to guarantee him against this further deprivation, and the Council complaisantly resolved that no advantage should be


taken of the possible avoidance of the two incumbencies. Dr. Small, who also held a prebend at Gloucester, presented another modest petition in June, 1799. It set forth that he desired to exchange the living of St. James's for the vicarage of Congresbury and chapelry of Wick St. Lawrence (held by the Rev. T.T. Biddulph). If permission to do so were granted, he undertook to exchange his two Monmouthshire livings for the rectory of Whitestaunton, Somerset, and he prayed the Chamber to permit him to remain in possession of the vicarage of St. Paul's, Bristol. The Corporation assented to all the requests of the reverend pluralist. Moreover, when he subsequently died insolvent, his “dilapidations” at Congresbury were defrayed out of the civic purse.

The West India trade of the port fell off to a surprising extent during the later years of the century. Out of a fleet of a hundred Jamaica merchantmen convoyed by the Royal Navy in 1796, only 7 vessels belonged to Bristol, 66 hailing from London, and 28 from Liverpool. In the Leeward Islands fleet of 97 ships in the same year, the Bristol vessels numbered only 14. In 1797 the Jamaica fleet comprised 144 merchantmen, of which 17 were bound for Bristol, while in 1798 the Bristol ships numbered 16 out of 150. Owing to the amazing decline in imports, the local sugar refineries had to look for supplies in other markets. Felix Farley's Journal of March 29th, 1800, records that “several cargoes of West Indian and American produce have been recently imported into this city from Liverpool”.

Previous to 1796, the difficulty of adequately lighting churches and chapels with candles or smoky lamps rendered evening services uncommon. The newly invented Argand burner, however, reached England about this time, and worked a little social revolution, brilliant lighting being thenceforth only a question of expense. An evening lectureship was soon after established at St. Werburgh's. Evening services were nevertheless rare until a quarter of a century later.

The threats of the French Directory to spread republican principles by fire and sword, and to crush English opposition by a conquest of the island, were continuous throughout 1796. An army was drawn up on the coast of Normandy, where extensive preparations were made for the menaced invasion. The English Government raised an additional militia force of 60,000 to meet this peril, but the successes of the French in Italy inspired apprehensions as to the


national security, and a feeling gradually arose in favour of a general armament of the country. Felix Farley's Journal of February 18th, 1797, stated that a body of “provisional cavalry” was being formed, and that a number of merchants and tradesmen, who had entered into an association with a view to guarding the prisoners of war at Stapleton in case the militia should be called away for active service, would hold a meeting that day to extend the movement. A numerously attended gathering consequently took place in the Guildhall, Evan Baillie, Esq., in the chair, when it was resolved to establish a “Military Volunteer Association”. The proposed corps was to be of infantry, 1,000 strong, and to be called the Bristol Volunteers, commanded by two lieutenant colonels, two majors, ten captains, ten lieutenants, and ten ensigns, the whole force to serve without pay. (The lieutenants were afterwards increased to twenty-two.) The Government were expected to furnish muskets, field pieces, ammunition, and drums; also the pay of an adjutant, ten sergeants, and ten drummers; and it was stipulated that in no exigency should the corps be removed above one day's march from Bristol. The mayor for the time being was nominated honorary colonel; Messrs. Evan Baillie (Park Row) and William Gore (Brislington) were recommended to the Crown as suitable lieutenant colonels, and Thomas Kington (Rodney Place) and Thomas Haynes (Castle Green) were designated majors. The opening of a subscription, to provide uniforms for the less wealthy Volunteers, closed the proceedings. The movement received a powerful stimulus by the landing of 1,400 French troops, four days later, in Pembrokeshire, for although the incapable commander surrendered in a few hours, the incident showed that the navy was an uncertain security against invasion. On the 2nd March, when the Volunteers were still without arms, a lively sensation was caused by a report that another French force had landed in South Wales, and was advancing on Bristol. The Bucks Militia and a few regular troops, quartered in the city, received immediate orders to march to Pill, where they embarked in pilot skiffs for Tenby. Many citizens volunteered wagons and horses for the conveyance of the baggage, others liberally regaled the soldiers, and to provide them with comforts during the voyage nearly £100 were collected from the crowd assembled in College Green to witness their departure. A few militiamen had been reserved to guard the 2,000 French prisoners at Stapleton, but the Volunteers prevailed upon Lord Buckingham to


despatch those men also, undertaking to perform the necessary duty. (When the alarm was at its height, it was proposed that the prisoners should be lowered into the Kingswood collieries of the Duke of Beaufort and Lord Middleton, and this would probably have been done if the city had been seriously menaced.) In the evening, however, the reported invasion proved a hoax, and the troops returned to their quarters. The Government, through the Duke of Portland, eulogised the patriotic zeal of the citizens, and the ranks of the Volunteers rapidly increased. Mr. Evan Baillie was afterwards gazetted as acting colonel, when Capt. Thomas Tyndall was promoted to the vacant lieutenant colonelcy. As the list of officers published in a local history is exceedingly incorrect, it may be as well to give the names of the gentlemen originally nominated by the corps and appointed by the Crown as captains and lieutenants:- No. 1 Company; Ralph Montague (Montague Street) and Azariah Pinney (Great George Street). No. 2 Comp.; Robert Claxton (Park Street) and Ralph Montague, jun. (Park Street). No. 3 Comp.; John Lambert (Clifton) and Henry King (St. Augustine's Back). No. 4 Comp.; John Span (Clifton) and J.S. Riddle (Portland Square). No. 6 Comp.; Gabriel Goldney (Clifton) and Thomas Corser (RedcliiF Street). No. 6 Comp.; Charles Payne (Queen's Parade) and Thomas Hill (Orchard Street). No. 7 Comp.; Joseph Bisset (Clifton) and George Gibbs (Park Street). No. 8 Comp.; Robert Bush (College Green) and H. Tobin (Berkeley Square). No. 9 Comp.; Thomas Tyndall (Berkeley Square) and John Gordon (Cleeve Hill). No. 10 Comp.; Philip John Miles (Clifton) and John Foy Edgar (Park Row). Mr. Stephen Cave (Brunswick Square) was quartermaster. Mr. W.B. Elwyn (Berkeley Square) was captain of a cavalry corps, called the Bristol Light Horse Volunteers, subsequently formed into two troops under Richard Pearsall and Levi Ames, John Vaughan and John Wedgwood being lieutenants. Both corps were presented with colours by the ladies of Bristol, and at their first review on Durdham Down the steadiness of the citizen soldiers won general applause. The corps at one time numbered nearly 1,600 effectives, exclusive of a Clifton corps of 132 and a Westbury corps of 136 men. The dress of the Volunteers has been preserved to posterity by two life-size marble figures sculptured upon the monument in the Cathedral to the memory of Lieutenant Colonel Gore. Many influential citizens served in the ranks, and somewhat fabulous statements


have been made as to the personal wealth represented by some of the companies.

Southey states in his Common Place Book that during the alarm of invasion the Rev. Samuel Seyer, the Bristol historian, furnished the boys in his boarding school with arms, and that the lads seriously thought of shooting their master, whose fondness for excessive punishments was abnormal even in those days. Their design was, however, discovered, and the affair was hushed up.

The French landing in Wales, in spite of its ludicrous failure, caused a financial convulsion throughout the country. The hoarding of gold had become prevalent in the later months of 1796, in consequence of the invasion alarms, and when news arrived of an actual descent, a rush was made on the banks for repayment of their notes. On Saturday, the 25th February, the bullion in the Bank of England was reduced to £1,272,000, with every prospect of being exhausted on the following Monday. The Privy Council, however, met on Sunday, and ordered the Bank to suspend cash payments. As the step was calculated to increase the panic and augment the demands on private bankers, a meeting, hurriedly convened by the mayor at the suggestion of the Government, was held at the Mansion House, Bristol, on Monday morning, when about seventy leading citizens (including many bankers) passed a resolution earnestly recommending the citizens to receive local bank notes in lieu of cash, and advising the banks to make no payments in specie, and to demand none in discharge of bills. The excitement afterwards gradually died away.

The Common Council, in March, 1797, presented the freedom of the city to Sir John Jervis, afterwards Earl St. Vincent, in honour of his brilliant victory over the French and Spanish fleets. In September a similar compliment was paid to Admiral Nelson, and in the following month to Lord Duncan for his triumph at Camperdown.

General Kosciusko, the celebrated Polish patriot, arrived in Bristol on the 13th June on his way to the United States, and was received with enthusiastic tokens of sympathy. The sheriffs tendered the congratulations of the civic body, but he became the guest of the American Consul until his embarkation. On the 17th, the general was presented by a deputation of citizens with an address eulogising his character and heroism, accompanied by a piece of plate, value 100 guineas. The exile sailed on the 19th amidst renewed demonstrations of respect.


The newspapers of the 24th June announced that Edward Bird, portrait, historical and landscape painter, had opened an evening drawing-school for young gentlemen - the first, so far as is known, attempted in the city. The academy was situated in what would now be deemed a strange locality, “Temple Back, near the Passing Slip” (a much frequented ferry). Mr. Bird's terms were as humble as was his residence. His fee for each pupil was one guinea a quarter for three lessons a week “from 5 to 7 o'clock”. The talented artist attained the rank of Royal Academician, but his merits were ignored by the city of his adoption, and he died, as he had lived, in poverty.

The ordnance officers charged with the first trigonometrical survey of the kingdom (commenced in 1784) pitched their tents on Dundry hill about the end of July, and commenced their work in this district. Three weeks later the camp - which caused great disquietude in the agricultural community, to whom the supposed magical powers of the surveying instruments suggested alarming intentions on the part of the Government - was removed to Lansdown. The local maps formed upon this survey were not published until twenty years afterwards.

The Common Council, in October, granted permission to the Rev. T. Broughton, rector of St. Peter's, to hold with that living the incumbency of Westbury, the chapelry of Redland and the chapelry of Shirehampton.

The defenceless state of the Bristol Channel naturally created much uneasiness at a time when the French Government was constantly threatening invasion. At a meeting of the aldermanic body, in October, it was resolved to address the Admiralty, drawing attention to the fact that between Lundy Island and Kingroad there was not a single fortified point of land, and praying that a gunboat be stationed off Portishead and another in the Bristol Channel. It was also resolved to make an appeal to the Duke of York for the erection of signal posts to guard against a surprise, and for the fortifying of certain points for the security of the harbour. The authorities held a deaf ear to these applications, apparently in the hope that the citizens would protect themselves. In April, 1798, the Admiralty recommended that all the serviceable long-boats in the port should be armed with cannon for the purpose of being used as gunboats at Kingroad, but neither men, arms nor ammunition were offered by the Government. A Pill row-boat and a ship's long-boat were shortly afterwards armed by a local


committee. A battery at the mouth of the Avon appears to have been constructed about the same time, and the old works at Portishead were repaired and garrisoned.

The local newspapers of the 18th November announced that two well-known surgeons, Mr. Francis C. Bowles and Mr. Richard Smith, were about to deliver a course of anatomical lectures at the Red Lodge. The movement was initiated by Dr. Beddoes, who induced the Marquis of Lansdowne, Earl Stanhope, and other friends then sojourning at Clifton to guarantee the lecturers from loss. The course, however, was so popular that, including £50 presented by the guarantors, a profit was made of about £140. The two surgeons subsequently determined to found a permanent School of Anatomy, and, having purchased a house in Trinity Street, they built a theatre on the stables behind it. But Mr. Bowles having died soon afterwards, the premises were transferred to a Philosophical Society; on the breaking up of which they were purchased by Dr. Kentish, who fitted them up for hot baths - the first, apparently, in the city. In 1806 Mr. Thomas Shute built an anatomical theatre at the end of College Street, where he lectured for nine years, thus practically founding the Bristol Medical School. In 1813, Mr. Frank Gold opened a rival establishment over part of the cloisters of the Cathedral. (The site is identified in O'Neil's view of the cloisters, a skeleton being depicted as looking out of the window of Gold's room.) After Mr. Shute's death, in 1816, Dr. Wallis occupied his theatre until 1822, when new rooms were built in the Bishop's Park, behind College Street. In the meantime Mr. Goodeve began lecturing over the cloisters in 1819, and continued to do so until about 1827. The extraordinary attachment of the professors for the Cathedral precincts will he remarked throughout these changes. In 1826 Mr. Clarke began to lecture in King Square. About 1830, a new school was erected in Park Square, behind College Street. Finally the long continued rivalry gave place to co-operation, and the Bristol Medical School was opened in Old Park on the 14th October, 1834, when Mr. Richard Smith delivered an opening address, from which the above facts have been derived.

On the 17th November, 1797, an obstinately fought duel took place near Durdham Down between Lieut.-Colonel Sykes, of the Berkshire Militia, and Mr. Charles F. Williams, a barrister, and one of the Bristol Volunteers. Four shots were exchanged on each side at ten paces distance, and on


each occasion one or other of the combatants had his clothes pierced by a ball. Eventually both were wounded, though not seriously, and the affair terminated with mutual apologies. The encounter arose out of some remarks made by Williams in a newspaper on the rude conduct of a militia officer at a concert.

On the 23rd February, 1798, at a time when Consols had fallen to 48, and the Government were extremely embarrassed to find means for maintaining the war, a meeting was held in the Guildhall to consider the best means of supporting the Ministry. To stimulate the enthusiasm of the citizens, Felix Farley's Journal of the 17th published the orders alleged to have been issued by General Hoche, the commander of the French troops that landed in Wales, to Colonel Tate, one of his subordinates. “The destruction of Bristol”, said this document, “is of the very last importance, and every possible effort should be made to accomplish it”. Tate was directed to sail up the Avon at night, land about five miles from the mouth on the right bank, and set fire to the quarter lying to windward, which would produce the total ruin of the town, the port, the docks and the vessels. The mayor, who presided at the meeting, reminded his hearers of the patriotic exertions of the citizens in 1745, when they raised such a sum for the defence of the country as excited the surprise of the whole kingdom. It was resolved to open a voluntary subscription. The list was headed by the Corporation, which voted £1,000, “after taking into consideration the low state of its finances”. The mayor gave £500, the Society of Merchants £600, Messrs. J. Hill and Sons £600, Mr. J. Powell, Messrs. A. Drummond and Son. Mr. T. Tyndall, Mr. L. Ames, Mr. Jos. Harford, and Messrs. W. Miles and Son £500 each, the Dean and Chapter, Mr. Evan Baillie, Mr. J. Ireland, and Mr. S. Worrall, £400 each, and Messrs. J. Cave and Co. promised £300 annually during the war. The vestry of St. Stephen's, partaking in the enthusiasm, deprived itself of the Easter feast usually given by one of the churchwardens, and the official in question subscribed 20 guineas to the fund “in lieu of the dinner”. Another item in the subscription list was:- “Nancy Bendall, out of her parish pay, 2d.” The newspapers of April 7th stated that the fund then amounted to £31,300). At the same date the LiveriX)ol subscription stood at £17,000, that at Manchester £20,000, and that at Birmingham £10,000. The local fund ultimately reached £33,260, but £4,070 of that sum were offered “in lieu of assessed taxes”.


Sir William Sydney Smith, who had been captured by the French during the siege of Toulon, but had escaped from prison after two years' ill-treatment, arrived in Bristol on the 26th May, 1798, and took up his quarters at the White Hart hotel. Broad Street, which was surrounded by thousands of citizens. “It is impossible”, says a local journalist, “to describe the ecstacy of the populace for many hours”. Sir Sydney posted himself at a window, where he proposed and drank numberless patriotic toasts amidst the acclamations of the crowd. Before his departure, three days later, the future “hero of Acre” was magnificently entertained at the Mansion House.

Felix Farley's Journal announced in June, 1798, that Traitor's Bridge, Wade Street, had been rebuilt, and was to be thenceforth called Froom Bridge. Popular appellations are rarely altered by authority, but the above order was not without some effect. Half a century later, although the term Traitor's Bridge was still remembered, many residents in the locality applied the name to another bridge, originally known as Quakers' Bridge from its propinquity to the Quakers' Almshouse.

Peculiar ideas as to recruiting the army and navy still lingered in magisterial minds. At the gaol delivery in 1798 a man named Thomas Brown was sentenced to death for forgery; but the mayor and aldermen, deeming it absurd to deprive the country of an able-bodied man when such men were hard to catch for the forces, besought the Duke of Portland to pardon the felon on condition of his entering the army. The Grovernment manifested unusual squeamishness in responding to this application. As already stated, convicts under sentence of transportation had been permitted to enter the army in 1795. The Duke, however, now replied that the War Office objected to enroll convicts; but if the magistrates approved he would direct Brown to be pardoned. The mayor and aldermen declined to ask for the criminal's discharge, and he was probably transported. As three men were hanged in the city for forgery only six months later, without the justices stirring a finger to save their lives, it is clear that their action in Brown's case was not inspired by any antipathy to the sanguinary punishments of the age.

The dirty and ill-regulated condition of even the most frequented streets of the city was noticed in the records of the earliest years of the century, and continued with little improvement until its close. Frequent complaints were raised in the newspapers of this period respecting the


heaps of mud permitted to encumber the thoroughfares, the absence of foot pavements in many streets, and the pitiful lighting arrangements through which the lamps often became extinguished before 8 o'clock in the evening. A local journal of October 27th, 1798, stated that a man had just been convicted for suffering seven pigs to wander in the streets. In the following week three men were fined for a similar offence, and three more cases occurred a week later. On the last occasion Felix Farley's Journal, which had previously complained of the filthiness of the thoroughfares, added:- “The city and its environs are much infested by such irregularities. Pigs, goats, and other animals are suffered to wander about the streets with impunity”. A writer in the Monthly Magazine (May, 1799) condemns another local nuisance, “the barbarous custom of using sledges in the public streets for the carriage of goods, which are continually endangering the limbs both of men and cattle”. The inefficiency of the lighting arrangements, producing only “a visible obscurity”, was repeatedly urged on the authorities by the newspapers. Reforms were constantly postponed, however, owing to the distrust in which the Corporation was held by the citizens, and to the arrogance of the former in maintaining its ancient rights. The inhabitants were willing to be taxed for carrying out an efficient system of police, but they required the money to be administered by elected commissioners. The civic body demanded that the control of the arrangements should remain, as before, in itself. The dispute, which excited much bitterness of feeling, continued for many years.

It may possibly have been to the dangers and difficulties of the streets that another social shortcoming was attributable. Felix Farley's Journal of December 16th, 1798, observes:- “The deficiency of public amusements in this populous and opulent city is not only a constant source of complaint to persons visiting it, but is also the subject of frequent regret to a great number of the respectable inhabitants”. The writer in the Monthly Magazine referred to in the last paragraph uttered a similar reproach:- “Perhaps there is no place in England where public and social amusements are so little attended to as here”. He added that the inhabitants had been in consequence stigmatised for their want of taste, and described as sordid devotees of Plutus, but that a more plausible reason for the monotonous dulness was to be found in the number of dissenters in Bristol.


Whatever may have been the cause of the singularity, so strikingly in contrast with contemporary descriptions of life in Norwich, York, Newcastle, and other towns, its existence is beyond question. Nevertheless, in Mr. Seyer's MSS. is a paper in the historian's handwriting, penned about the end of the century, which shows that a fashionable gathering known as a “rout”, invented in London, had its local devotees. With a commendable regard for readers of the present day, Mr. Seyer wrote:- “It is possible that a hundred years hence an account of that species of entertainment called a Rout may be curious to those who take a pleasure in watching the passing manners of a nation. A Rout is a large assembly of ladies and gentlemen meeting by invitation at the house of some friend, so that Assembly Rooms are ruined. The tickets of invitation are usually sent out near a month before the time appointed, in which tickets the expression is 'to tea and cards', or 'for the evening', or the like, the word Rout being a word of Undress, and never used formally though in every one's mouth. A company of less than forty would scarcely be called a rout, and there have been some here at which 200 persons have assembled; and as not many houses can furnish accommodations for such a party, some ladies have removed partitions and taken down beds in order to gain a room or two, for the greater the crowd the more honoured the entertainment: and sometimes you can scarce stir, and find no place to sit in but a staircase. Theu carriages begin to drive up to the door about 8 o'clock; a servant at the door of the first apartment announces the name of each visitor as they enter; and the mistress of the house (and perhaps the master too) is at hand to receive them. Every room is spendidly lighted with wax and coloured lamps. The visitors sit down to cards, usually at whist, but many of the younger people crowd to a large table, and play a round game. . . Presently the servants on silver salvers carry round biscuits, sweet cakes, &c., with glasses of wine, lemonade, ices, and the like, and this is repeated every half hour or thereabouts during the evening. . . Some stay only a few minutes, and depart, perhaps, to another rout in some other part of the town. In general the company gradually separates without supper before 11 o'clock, unless the invitations were for supper also, which is not the usual practice. Of this kind of assembly there have been in Bristol for several years past about a dozen every winter, besides one or two at the Mansion House”.


In view of the dearth of public amusements, it is surprising to learn that the magisterial hatred of billiard playing revived at this date. In the MS. diary of a citizen, in the Jefferies Collection, is the following entry dated November 13th, 1798:- “Mr. Claxton, mayor, caused two billiard tables to be destroyed in the Exchange; a measure which he intended to take with all, but did not pursue his purpose”. The destructive intentions of the magistracy were warmly approved in Bonner's Journal.

At a meeting of the Common Council on the 12th January, 1799, it was announced that Alderman John Merlott, who had died shortly before, had bequeathed £3,000 to the Corporation, in trust, and that the money had been invested in Consols. (Owing to the low price of securities at that time, the amount of stock secured was £6,114.) The Chamber undertook the administration of the income, which Alderman Merlott directed should be paid, in sums of £10 each yearly, to blind persons of 50 years or upwards. Subsequently Miss Elizabeth Merlott contributed £4,000 and the philanthropic Richard Reynolds nearly £2,460 to the charity, the income eventually sufficing to provide annuities for about 45 afflicted persons.

The heavy tax on salt imposed about this time was met by the manufacturers by so enormous an increase in its price as to cause suffering amongst the poor. The remedy devised by the Government was to pass an Act authorising the magistrates to fix the price of salt, and the mayor and aldermen of Bristol, in February, 1799, accordingly published a scale of prices at which dealers were compelled to supply the public. The bushel of 56lb. of rock or Bristol salt was to be sold at 13s. 6d. (the cost price of that quantity was then about a shilling). For a single pound the charge was not to exceed 3½d. Any person demanding higher prices, or refusing to sell at the fixed rates, was liable to a penalty of £20. The tariff was raised a few years later, when the tax was increased to 16s. per bushel, or about 3¼d. per lb.

The Government made a tempting proposal in the spring of 1799 to the owners of landed property for the redemption of the land tax by the contribution of a lump sum, liquidated by instalments. The Corporation resolved on availing itself of this offer in order to relieve the whole of the civic estates, and the first payment was made in July. The amount it expended in this way was nearly £14,800.

Readers of the present day are unable to realise the devastation committed a century ago by the smallpox. In


spite of attempts to check the malady by inoculation, every town in the kingdom was repeatedly swept by outbreaks of the scourge during the reigns of the first three Georges. At such seasons the last sound heard at night was a funereal knell, and the first tidings of each morning was the death of a neighbour or a friend. A man could hardly walk the streets without being a terror to those he encountered. On some occasions the rural population would neither send in supplies of food to towns, nor enter to make purchases. During an especial deadly visitation at Cirencester, in 1758, farmers and dealers held markets outside the town, business in the borough being practically suspended for three months. The local authorities finally announced in the newspapers that the sickness was greatly on the decline, adding the remarkable assurance that it must soon cease, “there being but few people remaining to have it”. The mortality in Bristol in that and other years is known to have been great, but the newspapers, in the interests of trade, suppressed disquieting details, and the statistics have perished. The disease was never so rife or so destructive as during the last ten years of the century, when 92 per 1,000 of the population - nearly one-tenth - are recorded to have died from smallpox alone, whilst at least twice that proportion narrowly escaped from the scourge, and were disfigured for life. A discovery which vastly diminished the amount of domestic sorrow and extended the average term of human life was at length made by Edward Jenner, born in 1749 at Berkeley. After a prolonged study of a disease called cow-pox, found by experience to protect dairy servants from smallpox, Jenner published in 1798 the result of his researches, which, in spite of the derision of many medical practitioners, soon produced a sensation throughout Europe. In May, 1799, the Bristol journals announced that Mr. Henry Jenner, surgeon, Berkeley, would visit the city once a week “for the purpose of inoculating for the vaccine disease”. Ignorance and prejudice impeded the diffusion of the discovery, but the prodigious diminution of mortality in some continental States, where vaccination was made compulsory, at length silenced hostile critics. In 1802, before a committee of the House of Commons, it was stated that Jenner, whose experiments had suspended the profitable exercise of his profession, might easily have earned from £10,000 to £20,000 a year had he kept his discovery a secret. A vote to him of £20,000 was proposed, but through the influence of the then Premier (Addington) it was reduced to £10,000.


Another bad harvest occurred in 1799, and the distress amongst the poor in that and the following year exceeded even the miseries experienced in 1796 and 1796. For a considerable time the price of coarse household bread was fixed by the magistrates at fourpence per pound, a rate implying semi-starvation amongst thousands of families. At the close of February, 1800, a subscription was opened for the purchase of food, to be distributed under cost price to the poor, and a fund amounting to £15,500, of which £2,000 were contributed by the Corporation, was raised in a few days. The Court of Aldermen, in May, offered bounties to encourage the importation of fish, the effect of the step being to largely increase the supply. Public and private benevolence, however, could make little appreciable impression on the vast mass of suffering, and in autumn, when the crops again failed, and prices rose higher than ever, there were alarming symptoms of popular discontent. A serious riot occurred on the 18th September. A baker near the Stone Bridge had promised to sell some damaged flour to the poor at 2s. 6d. per peck, but on receiving a higher offer privately he rejected the money of a crowd of applicants. A mob thereupon broke into his house, seized tne flour, and threw a quantity of it into the Froom. The rioters, charged by the military, were with difficulty dispersed. The affair was wholly unreported in Felix Farley's Journal, the editor avowing that he invariably suppressed such intelligence, but the civic minute book shows that the justices sat in permanence for three days through fear of further disturbances. Wheat continued to rise, and in December, though an unprecedented importation of foreign grain had taken place, and though the ordinary consumption of bread was said to have diminished by one fourth, the average price of wheat in the markets of Bristol and Gloucestershire reached the appalling sum of 159s. 10d. per quarter, and the civic authorities fixed the minimum weight of the shilling loaf of standard wheat bread at 2lb. 10½oz.! After a vote of £50,000 by the House of Commons for relieving the famishing poor, the Government purchased a number of cargoes of herrings in Scotland, one of which, consigned to Bristol, arrived about the close of the year. It was so gratefully received that another shipload was ordered by the mayor and other gentlemen. The dearth was accompanied by a terrible outbreak of fever amongst the underfed labouring classes, and the mortality was for many months enormous.


The Corporation's annual gifts of wine became greatly more expensive towards the end of the century, though it may be doubted whether the liquor had improved in quality. In 1709 the two pipes sent to the members for the city cost £50 5s. In April, 1800, Alderman Noble, for a similar consignment, to which was added a butt for the Lord High Steward and a hogshead to the recorder, received £227 17s., besides £25 2s. 6d. additional for the bottling of the previous year's presents, for which he had received £210. The yearly outlay subsequently rose to nearly £300. In despite of the increased prices intemperance was never more fashionable. “Heroic drinking” was patronised by the princes of the royal family, and men of the best education and social position drank like the northern barbarians of olden times - the “three bottle man” being an object of admiration. At the Colston banquets, it was the custom to drink about thirty toasts, and the festivity was kept up by determined topers until after breakfast on the following morning.

A musical festival took place at the Assembly Rooms on the 31st May, when Handel's “Messiah” was performed. Incledon, the greatest singer of the time, was engaged for the occasion. This appears to have been the tenth local performance of the oratorio, though Mr. Nicholls' history infers that the work was not attempted here until 1803.

The Common Council's difficulty in finding a gentleman willing to accept the chief magistracy again became acute at this period. Mr. Philip Protheroe was elected on the usual day, but refused the honour. Mr. John Gtordon was next chosen, but declined the office. After further delay, Mr. William Gibbons was appointed. It may be suspected that his acceptance was not unconditional, for the allowance made to the mayor was increased by the Chamber to £1,500. This profligate expenditure at a period of intense distress provoked severe criticism out of doors. Perhaps to allay discontent, the new mayor announced that the second course of the Mansion House dinners would be given up, and other efforts made to ensure economy. Thrift, however, was not a virtue much admired in civic circles. Soon afterwards the allowance to each chief magistrate was raised to £2,000.

In spite of the distress caused by bad harvests and the war, the theatre continued to be so well patronised that the manager was encouraged to increase its accommodation. The old gallery, which was erected over the dress boxes, was removed, a tier of upper boxes taking its place; and a


new gallery was constructed over the “undress circle” by raising the roof. The appearance of the interior was said to be improved by the alterations.

A great flood occurred in the valley of the Froom on the 9th November. Part of Stapleton Bridge was carried away, and along the whole of the lower course of the river, especially in the neighbourhood of the Broad Weir and Broadmead, there was a serious destruction of property.

Lethargy and selfishness marked too many ecclesiastical dignitaries during the eighteenth century, and, so far as the capitular body of Bristol was concerned, the latest minute of its proceedings coming under review betrays even greater demerit than the earliest. At a meeting of the chapter on the 1st December, 1800, it was resolved to empower the dean (Dr. Layard) “to see what he thinks wanting in the choir, and to dispose of the brass Eagle and the bell towards the expense of the same”. The prebendaries, in fact, determined to despoil the Cathedral of part of its requisites rather than slightly curtail their own incomes to provide for trivial repairs. The lectern, which weighed 6cwt. 20lb., was actually sold as old metal in the following year, realising about £27. The fate of the bell is not recorded.

A brief paragraph in the Bristol Gazette affords a glimpse of the state of the prison at Fishponds, occupied by Frenchmen captured during the war. Upwards of 3,000 soldiers and sailors were immured in Decemoer. They were said to be fairly fed, but disease was rife in the crowded wards, and 78 men died during the last six weeks of the year. Gambling was pursued with frenzied eagerness, and to pay their losses many prisoners sold their beds, their clothes, and even their food for several successive days, being sometimes found absolutely naked and famishing.

It is characteristic of the century whose annals have now been traced that the last incident to be recorded was a prize fight. On the 23rd December a battle for £100 was fought on Wimbledon Common between “the noted Jem Belcher, of Bristol” (then 21 years of age, and of remarkable muscular vigour), and an Irishman named Gamble. The combat was witnessed by several noble lords and members of Parliament, and upwards of £8,000 had been betted upon the issue. Belcher won an easy victory, and was for some years one of the most popular of pugilistic heroes. Two other Bristol men famed for their prowess about this time were “Bill Warr” and “Bob Watson”.



1691John Hall, died February 4, 1709.
1710John Robinson, translated to London, 1713; died 1723.
1714George Smalridge, died September 27, 1719.
1719Hugh Boulter, translated to Armagh, 1723; died 1742,
1724William Bradshaw, died December 16, 1732.
1732Charles Cecill, translated to Bangor, 1734; died 1737.
1734Thomas Seeker, translated to Oxford, 1737; to Canterbury, 1758; died 1768.
1737Thomas Gooch, translated to Norwich 1738; to Ely, 1748; died 1754.
1738Joseph Butler, translated to Durham, 1750; died 1752.
1750John Conybeare, died July 13, 1755.
1756John Hume, translated to Oxford, 1758; to Salisbury, 1766; died 1782.
1758Philip Yonge, translated to Norwich, 1761; died 1783.
1761Thomas Newton, died February 15, 1782.
1782Lewis Bagot, translated to Norwich, 1783; to St. Asaph, 1790; died 1802.
1783Christopher Wilson, died April 18, 1792.
1792Spencer Madan, translated to Peterborough, 1794; died 1813.
1794Henry Reginald Courtenay, translated to Exeter, 1797; died 1803.
1797Foliot H.W. Cornwall, translated to Hereford, 1802; to Worcester, 1808; died 1831.


1693George Royse, died April, 1708.
1708Robert Booth, died 1730.
1730Samuel Creswicke, promoted to Wells, 1739.
1739Thomas Chamberlayne, died September 15, 1757.
1755William Warburton, Bishop of Gloucester, 1759; died 1779.
1760Samuel Squire, Bishop of St. Davids, 1761.
1761Francis Ayscough, died August 15, 1763.
1763Cutts Barton, died December 10, 1780.
1781John Hallam, resigned 1800, died 1811.
1800Charles Peter Layard, died May 11, 1803.


The civic year, under the old charters, began and ended on the 29th September. (The occupations of the mayors have been obtained from a curious Calendar in the library of Mr. Alderman Fox.)

1700Sir William Daines, merchantRobert Bound, Isaac Davies
1701John Hawkins, brewer (knighted)Samuel Bayly, Richard Bayly
1702William Lewis, soapboiler (knighted)Abraham Elton, Christopher Shuter
1703Peter Saunders, merchantThomas Hort, Henry Whitehead
1704Francis Whitchurch, grocerAnthony Swymmer, Henry Walter
1705Nathaniel Day, soapboilerMorgan Smith, Nathaniel Webb
1706George Stephens, draperAbraham Hooke, Nicholas Hicks
1707William Whitehead, distillerOnesiphorus Tyndall. Thomas Tyler
1708James Holledge, merchantPhilip Freke, John Day
1709Robert Bound, shipwrightJames Haynes, Thomas Clement
1710Abraham Elton, merchantEdmund Mountjoy, Ab. Elton, jun.
1711Christopher Shuter, grocerWilliam Bayly, Poole Stokes
1712Thomas Hort, merchantRichard Gravett, Henry Watts
1713Anthony Swymmer, merchantJohn Becher, Henry Swymmer
1714Henry Whitehead, salt-makerWilliam Whitehead, Richard Taylor
1715Henry Walter, woollen draperJames Donning, Joseph Jefferis
1716Nicholas Hicks, mercerRobert Earle, Peter Day
1717John Day, merchant (see p.121); Thomas Clement, shipwrightHenry Nash, John Price
1718Edmund Mountjoy, soap-makerSamuel Stokes, Edward Foy
1719Abraham Elton, jun., merchantArthur Taylor, John King
1720Henry Watts, merchant (see p.128); Sir Abraham Elton, Bart.Robert Addison, Jacob Elton
1721John Becher, merchantJohn Rich, Noblet Ruddock
1722Henry Swymmer, merchantRobert Smith, Lionel Lyde
1723James Donning, merchantJohn Blackwell, Nathaniel Wraxall
1724Joseph Jefferis, merchantNathaniel Day, William Jefferis
1725Robert Earle, merchantMichael Puxton, Stephen Clutterbuck
1726Peter Day, merchantEzekial Longman, Henry Combe
1727Henry Nash, distillerRichard Bayley, John Bartlett
1728John Price, merchantHenry Lloyd, Abraham Elton
1729Samuel Stokes, soapboilerJohn Berrow, John Day
1730Edward Foy, merchantEdward Buckler, William Barnsdale
1731Arthur Taylor, distillerEdward Cooper, William Barnes
1732John King, merchantJohn Foy, Buckler Weekes
1733Jacob Elton, merchantMichael Pope, Benjamin Glisson
1734John Rich, merchantThomas Curtis, James Laroche
1735Lionel Lyde, merchantDavid Peloquin, John Clement
1736John Blackwell, merchantMorgan Smith, Abraham Elton
1737Nathaniel Day, merchantJoseph lies, Henry Dampier
1738William Jefferis, merchantJohn Combe, Giles Bayly
1739Stephen Clutterbuck, tobacconistMichael Becher, David Dehany
1740Henry Combe (linen draper)Walter Jenkins, William Martin
1741Richard Bayley (see p.238); John BartlettJohn Chamberlayne, Henry Mugleworth
1742Sir Abraham Elton, Bart.William Cossley, Jeremiah Ames
1743John BerrowIsaac Elton, John Durbin
1744John Day, merchantJohn Foy, Buckler Weekes
1745William Barnes, sugar-bakerThomas Marsh, John Noble
1746Edward Cooper, merchantHenry Swymmer, Richard Farr, jun.
1747John Foy, merchantJohn Berrow, Giles Bayly
1748Buckler Weekes, draperJohn Daltera, Isaac Baugh
1749Thomas Curtis, merchantWilliam Barnes, jun., John Curtis
1750James Laroche, merchantGeorge Weare, Joseph Love
1751David Peloquin, merchantHenry Dampier, Isaac Baugh
1752John Clement, shipwrightDaniel Woodward, Edward Whatley
1753Abraham Elton, merchantHenry Bright, Thomas Harris
1754Morgan Smith, sugar-bakerThomas Knox, Thomas Deane
1755Henry Dampier, merchantHenry Weare, James Hilhouse
1756Giles Baily, druggistNathaniel Foy, Austin Goodwin
1757William Martin, tobacconistRobert Gordon, Isaac Piguenit
1758Henry Mugleworth, upholderSamuel Webb, John Berrow
1759Jeremiah Ames, sugar-bakerCharles Hotchkin, John Noble
1760John Durbin, drysalterIsaac Piguenit, Samuel Sedgley
1761Isaac Elton, merchantJoseph Daltera, William Barnes, jun.
1762John Noble, merchantWilliam Weare, Thomas Farr
1763Richard Farr, merchantAndrew Pope, John Durbin, jun.
1764Henry Swymmer, merchantJames Laroche, jun., John Bull
1765Isaac Baugh, gentlemanIsaac Elton, jun., Michael Miller, jun.
1766William Barnes, jun., sugar-bakerWilliam Miles, Henry Cruger
1767George Weare, grocerEdward Brice, Alexander Edgar
1768Edward Whatley, sugar-bakerJohn Crofts, Henry Lippincott
1769Thomas Harris, merchantJohn Merlott, George Daubeny
1770Thomas Deane, merchantIsaac Elton, jun., Henry Lippincott
1771Henry Bright, merchantLevi Ames, Jeremy Baker
1772Nathaniel Foy, brewerJohn Noble, John Anderson
1773Robert Gordon, merchantAndrew Pope, Thomas Pierce
1774Charles Hotchkin, gentlemanJohn Durbin, jun., James Hill
1775Thomas Farr, merchantEdward Brice, John Noble
1776Andrew Pope, sugar-bakerJohn Farr, John Harris
1777John Durbin, jun., gentleman (knighted)John Fisher Weare, Philip Protheroe
1778Sir John DurbinBenjamin Loscombe, James Morgan, jun.
1779Michael Miller, jun., merchant (see p. 442); John BullEdward Brice, John Harford
1780William Miles, merchantSamuel Span, Joseph Smith
1781Henry Crugrr, merchantRobert Coleman, John Collard
1782Edward Brice, sugar-bakerRowland Williams, William Blake
1783John Anderson, merchantJohn Garnett, Anthony Henderson
1784John Farr, rope-makerJohn Fisher Weare, John Harvey
1785John Crofts, esquireJoseph Harford, Stephen Nash (knighted)
1786George Daubeny, sugar-bakerEvan Baillie, Thomas Daniel, jun.
1787Alexander Edgar, esquireJohn Morgan, Robert Claxton
1788Levi Ames, drysalterJames Hill, John Harris
1789James Hill, linen draperHenry Bengough, John Gordon, jun.
1790John Harris, hosierJames Moreran, Rowland Williams
1791John Noble, merchantJoseph Hariord, Samuel Span
1792Henry Bengough, attorneyWilliam Gibbons, Joseph Gregory Harris
1703James Morgan, druggistCharles Young, John Page
1794Joseph Smith, merchantRobert Castle, Joseph Edye
1795James Harvey, iron merchantDavid Evans, John Wilcox
1796James Harvey, iron merchantJohn Foy Edgar, Azariah Pinney
1797Thomas Daniel, merchantEdward Protheroe, John Span
1798Robert Claxton, merchantDaniel Wait, William Fripp
1799John Morgan, druggistHenry Bright, Worthington Brice
1800William Gibbons, ironmongerRobert Castle, Samuel Birch


(The compiler is indebted for this list to the Bristol Times and Mirror of July 22, 1885.)

1700James Holledge.1751James Laroche.
1701James Holledge.1752William Hare.
1702Thomas Hort.1753Nathaniel Foy.
1703Thomas Hort.1754Edward Cooper.
1704William Clarke.1755Henry Swymmer.
1705William Clarke.1756Cranfield Becher.
1706John Batchelor.1757Abraham Elton.
1707John Batchelor.1758Henry Casamajor.
1708Abraham Elton.1759Isaac Bauch.
1709Anthony Swymmer.1760Joseph Daltera.
1710Thomas Moore.1761William Hart.
1711George Mason.1762Richard Farr.
1712Abraham Hooke.1763Samuel Smith.
1713Philip Freke.1764Isaac Elton.
1714Henry Watts.1765William Reeve.
1715Sir John Duddleston (died); Henry Watts.1766James Bonbonons.
1716John Day (mayor).1767Sir A.I. Elton.
1717William Swymmer.1768Samuel Munckley,
1718Henry Swymmer.1769Andrew Pope.
1719Abraham Elton, jun. (mayor).1770William Jones.
1720James Downing.1771Thomas Farr.
1721Joseph Earle.1772James Daltera.
1722John Becher.1773Isaac Elton, jun.
1723Thomas Longman.1774Robert Smith.
1724Samuel Hunt.1775Paul Farr.
1725Jeremy Innys.1776Henry Garnett.
1726John Blackwell.1777Samuel Span.
1727John Norman.1778Michael Miller, jun.
1728Jacob Elton.1779John Powell.
1729Abel Grant.1780Thomas Perkins.
1730James Hilhouse.1781Henry Cruger (mayor).
1731Edmund Baugh.1782Sir James Laroche.
1732Peter Day.1783John Fowler.
1733Robert Earle.1784George Daubeny.
1734John Holledge.1785Jeremiah Hill.
1735James Day.1786Edward Brice.
1736John Duckinfield.1787John Vaughan.
1737John Coysgarne.1788Henry Hobhouse.
1738Richard Lougher.1789John Daubeny.
1739Thomas Eston.1790George Gibbs.
1740William Challonor.1791Jeremiah Hill, jun.
1741Lionel Lyde.1792Richard Bright.
1742John Day.1798James Martin Hilhouse.
1743Richard Henvill.1794John Garnett.
1744Walter Lougher.1795Joshua Powell.
1745Arthur Hart.1796Joseph Harford.
1746Robert Smith.1797Charles Hill.
1747Christopher Willoughby.1798John Scandrett Harford.
1748John Foy.1799Samuel Whitchurch.
1749Michael Becher.1800Timothy Powell.
1750Henry Dampier. 


Abbey gateway, 345.

Addison, Jos., in Bristol, 122.

Admiralty Court, Mayor and the, 495.

African trade, extent of, 89; defended, 89, 270-2; suspended, 416.

Ague, charm for, 294.

Aitken, James, 426.

Aldermen, absentee, 454.

Ale, see Beer.

Alehouses, number of, 18, 57, 199, 285, 268.

Algerine corsairs, 188, 281.

Almshouses, Tailors', 43; Foster's, 46; Stokes Croft, 134; Stevens', 116; Blanchard's, 134; Ridley's, 188; Old Maids', 218; Fry's, 437.

Almondsbury, 267, 359, 457.

Amelia, Princess, visit of, 164.

America, trade restraints, 205, 414; Stamp Act, 370; war, 415, 420, 428, 431, 439, 451; local trade with, 414, 429.

Ames family, 462, 468, 517.

Amusements, 24, 333, 487, 527.

Anchor Society, 280.

Anne, Queen, coronation, 43; visit, 44; portrait, 45; gift to, 56; death, 106.

Apple brandy, 101.

Army, recruited from gaol, 41, 69, 272, 514; desertions, 246; bounties, 270, 432, 436, 440; billeting, 235; vagrants impressed, 436; regiments raised, 256, 506.

Arno's Vale, 285, 359.

Art School, first, 523.

Ashburton, Lord, 370, 405, ib. Ashley Road, 406.

Assembly Rooms, 26, 208, 283, 307, 420,487.

Assizes, soldiers during, 223.

Augustine's, St., theatre in, 61; Assembly Room, 64, 420; great house, 84; improvements, 416.

Aurora Borealis, 114.

Aust, road to, 331.

Avon, nuisances in, 37, 254; Navigation schemes, 94, 369; boats to Bath, 161, 164; obstructions, 117, 254, ib. proposed floating harbour, 316, 362, 480, 496; defences, 523.

Baber's Tower, 244.

Back Gate removed, 211.

Backsword fighting, 27, 314.

Baggs, Richard, 148, 185.

BaUlie, Evan, 477, 508, 520.

Baker, Slade, 415; Jer., 448, 497.

Bakers' Company, 272, 401, 468; “foreign”, 22, 79; subsidised, 378, 516.

Baker, a rebellious, 214; knavish, 272; cheap, 401.

Balloon, first, 464.

Balls, early, 26, 208; 487.

Banking, early, 224, 282.

Banks, Bristol, 282, 297,892, 468, 507.

Baptisms, local, 8.

Baptist Mills brass works, 66, 71.

Barbers' Company, 219, 240, 381; charges, 309.

Barrett, William, 387.

Barrington, Daines, 341, 370; Lord, 312-3.

Barton, Dean, 347, 354.

Barton Hundred, 359.

Bath, coaches to, 140, 513; boats to, 161, 164.

Bath Street opened, 466.

Bathavon ferry, 246.

Baths, 269, 315, 395, 499, 524.

Bathing, sea, 24, 249, 440.

Bayley, Richard, 238.

Beaufort, Dukes of, 86, 110, 420.

Becher family, 179,210,268,807,893 Beckford, Rich., 310, 318.

Beddoes, Thomas, 504, 524.

Bedford, Rev. Arthur, 61, 62, 80, 86, 120.

Bedminster, 2, 274; gibbet at, 227; Bridewell, 227, 250; revel, 139; cunning woman, 350; clerical innkeeper, 159, 333; colliery, 318.

Beer, consumption of, 13, 16, 235; price of, 14, 235, 309, 356.

Bellman, city, 73, 492.

Bengough, Henry, 360, 507.

Berkeley Square, 471.

Berkeley, Norborne, 352; G.C., 469.

Berkeley, Earls of, 69, 111-2, 256, 313, 420.

Billiard tables, 26, 116, 371, 529.

Bird, Edward, E.A., 523.

Births and burials tax, 41.

Bishopric, poverty of, 35, 122, 316, 347.

Bishops, list of, 534; Hall, 36, 88; Robinson, 88, 100; Smalridge, 103, 119, 123; Boulter, 127; Seeker, 206; Gooch, 207; Butler, 202, 207, 283; Conybeare, 316; Hume, 316; Yonge, 345; Newton, 345, 366.

Bishops' Palace, 36, 283; park, 393; orchard, 185.

Bisse, Rev. Edw., Jacobite, 121.

Bitton parish, crime in, 469.

Black Castle, 68, 285, 329, 377, ib., 391.

Blackmail in Kingswood, 469.

Blacksworth, manor of, 141.

Blaize Castle, 413, 435.

Blenheim, victory of, 65.

Blind, Asylum for, 498; Merlott's charity, 529.

Blind steps, 368, 408.

Bonny, Wm., printer, 21, 48, 61.

Books, scarcity of, 11, 163; pedlars, 71.

Boulter, Bishop, 127.

Boundaries, city, 24; extended, 422; parish, 243.

Bowles, Francis C, 524.

Bowling-greens, 25, 202, 371.

Boyce's buildings, 400.

Bragge, Charles, 518.

Branding thieves, 69.

Brandon Hill, 378, 425.

Brandy, apple, 101; French, 101.

Brass works, 14, 66; extent of trade, 96.

Brass pillars, Corn St., 162, 183, 396, 155.

Bread, dear, see Dearth.

Breakfasts in 1700, 16.

Brice, Edward, 382.

Brickdale, John, 63, 304-5, 462; Matthew, 3, 383, 409, 444, 456, 491, 495.

Bricks, early, 43, 59.

Bridewell rebuilt, 125; enlarged, 225; sacked, 304; state of, 407.

Bridge, great house at, 45, 163.

Bridge Street, 369.

Bridges, James, 336, 352.

Bridges, Bristol, rebuilt, 334, 353; riots, 500; Bridewell, 373; St. John's, 327; Stone, 290; Needless, 196; Traitor's, 92, 526; Drawbridge, 99, 483.

Bridgwater elections, 246, 384.

Briefs, Church, 74, 266, 329.

Bright family, 392, 425, 439, 462, 468, 473, 477, 508.

Brislington, gibbet at, 227.

Bristol, Satires on, 221, 411, 423, 508.

Bristol in 1700, 1-36; in 1727, 161; in 1739, 222; views of, 3, 121; poetical description of, 96; plan of, 285; population, 6, 194, 292, 422; French designs on, 525.

Bristol regiments, 206, 506.

Bristol milk, 17, 104, 161.

Bristol manners censured, 8, 161, 377.

Bristol Channel defenceless, 528.

Britain, Jonathan, hanged, 398.

Broad Street, market, 4, 193; width of, 460, 467.

Brunswick Square, 372, 479; cemetery, 372.

Brutality, popular, 192, 273.

Bubb, John, 68.

Building mania. 493.

Bull, John, 435, 442.

Bullbaiting, 27.

Burges, Daniel, 474.

Burgum, Henry, 387, 412, 480.

Burials, tax on, 41; in woollen, 9, 302; in churches, 182, 357.

Burial grounds, 264, 355, 358, 372, 399 497.

Burke, Edmund, 409-13, 428, 431, 432, 444; tea service, 413; Richard, 455,505.

Bush family, 477, 507.

But and Cudgel playing, 314.

Butchers' ordinances, 211.

Butler, Bishop, 202. 207, 283.

Butter, Irish, seized, 112, 306.

Buttons, law respecting, 125.

Byng, Admiral, mania, 322.

Caldwell, J., highwayman, 430.

Calendar reformed, 298.

Callowhill Street, 318.

Cambric prohibited, 278.

Camplin, Rev. John, 315, 348, 478.

Canada, conquest of, 339.

Canal mania, 498.

Candle bell, 394.

Cann, Sir William, 251.

Canning's monument, 315; his coffer, 386.

Canning, Mrs., at theatre, 400.

Canons' Marsh, 36, 393.

Carbry Capt., bravery of, 281.

Carpenters, rules, 21, 181, 268; wages, 182, 208, 372.

Carriers, 73, 269, 288, 430.

Carts forbidden, 68, 175, 252.

Cary, John, 32, 49.

Castelman, Rev. J., 326.

Castle Gate removed, 351.

Castle Ditch bath, 395.

Catcott family, 119, 126, 353, 387, 389, 423.

Cathedral injured by storm, 57 candlesticks, 77; penitent in, 94 chapter house mutilated, 180 library, 315; services, 345; graves in, 357; lay pluralists, 151, 363, 431; choir, 151, 364; sale of lectern, 583.

Cave family, 468, 477, 507, 521.

Cemeteries, see Burial grounds.

Chamberlayne family, 463, 473.

Champion, William, 67, 244, 289, 362, 368; Richard, 364-5, 371, 381-3, 403, 409, 413, 453.

Chandlers' Company, 384.

Chapels: St. Clement's, 42; Dowry, 260; French, 155; Holy Spirit 358; Lady Huntingdon's, 420 Hope, 420; Lewin's Mead, 483 Mayor's, see St. Mark's Church; Quakers', 270; Redland, 173, 448; Romanist, 115. 366, 442, 491; Tabernacle, 306; Trinity, 518; Tucker Street, 466; Wesleyan, 204, 498, 507.

Charity School, first, 12; see Schools.

Charlotte Street, 471.

Charter of Queen Anne, 86; Charters printed, 195.

Chatterton, Thomas, 199, 358, 385.

China dinner ware, 188; Bristol, 286, 381, 413, 453.

Chocolate, Bristol, 177.

Chnst Church great lamp, 38; cemetery, 264; living, 424; ground rents, 485.

Christmas Day, “Old”, 298.

Churches: All Saints', 91; Christ Church, 228, 306, 459, 485; St. Ewen's, 470, 496; St. Leonard's, 368-9, 393; St. Mark's, 126, 305, 324, 362, 431; St. Michael's, 408; St. James', 154; St. Mary Redcliff, 73, 198, 321, 345, 358; St. Nicholas's, 40, 119, 179, 215, 266, 326, 352; St. Peter's, 281; St. Paul's, 479; St. Philip's, 283, 364; St. Stephen's, 57, 169, 181-2, 400, 435; Temple, 483; St. Thomas, 487; St. Werburgh's, 329, 519.

Church, absentees from, 326; compulsory attendance, 481.

Churchyards, 249, 264, 358, 399, 497.

Churchman, Walter, 177.

Cider, consumption of, 235; tax on, 357.

Circus, first, 401; 492.

Clare, Lord, see Nugent.

Clare Street built, 393, 399.

Clarkson, Thomas, in Bristol, 473.

Clergy: Incomes of, 92, 100; attempts to levy clergy rate, 98, 462; disloyal, 19, 119, 121; pluralist, 351, 432, 518, 523; non-resident, 468; credulous, 348, 483.

Clerke, Clementina, 493.

Clevedon, traffic with, 325.

Clifton (see Hot Well); In 1700, 2; in 1710, 87; in 1723, 189; in 1750, 245; in 1764, 363; in 1775, 421; in 1790, 490; church, 116, 381; churchyard, 472; value of living, 93, 109; grotto, 139; foxes, etc., killed, 140; whipping post, 140; rateable value, 313; tithes, 141, 851; first boarding school, 190; population, 87,472; Dowry Square, 158, 245, 363; Boyce's buildings, 400; Windsor terrace, 454; building mania, 493; the Crescents, 494; York hotel, 490; Vauxhalls, 245, 423; Sion Spring, 504; Hotwell Road spa, 506; turnpikes, 406; Hope Chapel, 420; proposed bridge, 309; part of included in city, 422; windmill burnt, 430; treatment of paupers, 481; volunteers, 521; Assembly room, 490.

Clothing trade, 41; decline, 81, 209, 236, 515.

Coaches, private, 8, 274; first public, 22; mail, 458; eight wheeled, 513; “flying”, 140, 172, 260, 309, 333, 359, 367, 400, 418, 464.

Coal famine, 156.

Coal tar discovered, 441.

Cobweb, wonderful, 106.

Cockfighting, 25, 140, 170, 179, 432, 469.

Cockthrowing, 294.

Cocoa manufacture, 177.

Coffee, price of, 82, 395.

Coffee houses, 17, 97, 240, 392; decline of, 241, 441.

Coinage, state of, 323, 509.

Coleridge, Sam. Taylor, 503.

College Green, 79, 325, 353; road to, 199, 416; watchbox, 455.

College Street built, 393.

Collieries, Bedminster, 313.

Collins, Emanuel, 159, 383.

Colston, Edward, in Bristol, 46, 84, 85; his school schemes, 46, 80, 83; elected M.P., 85, 102; conduct to a low churchman, 86; gifts, 92, 199; death, 129; portraits, 46, 130.

Colston, Francis, 110.

Colston Dinners, first, 85, 102, 111; Parent Society, 153; Loyal, 299; Dolphin, Grateful, and Anchor, 280, 532.

Combe, Henry, 213, 224; Rich., 883, 444; William, 418.

Companies, trading, 21; decline of, 181, 467; carpenters, 181, 268; coopers, 208, 239, 467; smiths, 468, bakers, 272, 401, 468; chandlers, 384; innholders, 189; barbers, 219, 240, 381; mercers, 181; tailors, 181, 460; weavers, 470.

Conduits, Temple, 185; St. Nicholas, 141, 353; St. Peter's Pump, 377; All Saints', 446; St. Stephen, 88.

Conjurer, travelling, 300.

Consistory Court, 94, 359.

Convicts forced into army, etc.. 41, 69, 272, 514, 526; pardoned, 90; transported, 150, 153; murderous plot, 130.

Conybeare, Bishop, 316.

Cook's Folly, 266.

Cooks, strike of, 21.

Coopers' Hall, 208, 239, 401.

Copper works, 66-8, 162.

Corn Street improved, 446.

Coroners, salaries of, 129.

Corporation: in 1700, 29; debt, 58, 441, 450; love of feasting, 31, 226; book of orders, 56, 232; pensions to members, etc., 69, 120, 128, 187, 206, 219, 288, 243, 263, 302, 361, 381, 402, 420, 436; fee farm rents, 70; payments to M.P.s, 77; citizens refuse to enter, 86-7, 219, 508; presents of wine, 77, 86, 87, 104, 209, 281, 311, 402, 582; defence of the slave trade. 89, 90, 249, 271, 477; dissenters disqualified, 94; mayor's chapel, 126, 305, 324, 362; hours of meeting, 16, 196, 457; state swords, 100, 291; civic maces, 134; mansion house, 191, 434, 449; defaulting chamberlain, 218; non-attendance, 237, 253, 457; secrecy of debates, 253; waits, 26, 114, 239; country jaunts, 31, 246, 255; entertainments, 300, 528; love of turtle, 323, 404, 517; quarrels with dean and chapter, 29, 126, 171, 340; insolvent members, 237, 361, 492; charity to West Indies, 378, 392; treatment of endowed schools, 374; and of city library, 403; American war policy, 420, 428, 440, 451; official salaries, 429-30, 507; illegalities of officials, 434; pitchforking members, 422; absentee aldermen, 454; family cliques in, 436; sales of property, 441, 450; appropriates charity funds, 443, 496; clothing of sergeants, etc., 461; opposed by city, 467, 488; fees to coachmen, 471; receipts from town dues, 479; refusals of the mayoralty, 435, 495, 507-8, 532; unpopularity of, 488, 504, o08, 527; election of aldermen, 497; costly deputations, 485, 517.

Corsairs, ships taken by, 188, 281.

Cossins, John, 173, 448.

Coster, Thomas, 66, 188, 224, 239.

Cotham, disorders at, 281, 404; tower, 303.

Cottle, Joseph, 510-13.

Cotton factories, 123, 196, 482, 505.

Cotton dresses forbidden, 42, 125, 196.

Council House rebuilt, 59; a free club, 217; proposed rebuilding, 467, 470.

Courtney, Stephen, 75, 146.

Crediton, subscription for, 249.

Credulity, see Superstition.

Creswick family, 243.

Creswicke, Dean, 170, 201.

Crewes Hole brass works, 67; water works, 83.

Cricket, early, 297.

Criminal law, state of, 347.

Crosses: High, 186, 325, 353; Temple, 466; Redcliff, 358; St. Peter's, 377.

Cruger, Henry, 391, 397, 409-11, 417, 440, 444, 446-7, 456, 477, 478, 489.

Cumberland Street, 372.

Cursing, profane, 169, 263.

Custom House, 60; new, 82, 107; strange collectors, 68, 412; sinecures, 451.

Daines, Sir Wm., 42, (36, 85, 102, 108, 124, 130-1.

Dampier, Ald. Henry, 291, 374.

Daniel, Thomas, 455, 468, 473, 477, 480, 525.

Darby, Abraham, 71; Mary, 336.

Daubeny, George, 440, 446-8, 456, 468, 477, 504.

Davis family. 366, 392, 472.

Davy, (Sir) Humphry, 504.

Day family, 45, 58, 121, 144, 168 206, 333; great house, 45, 163.

Deans: Royse, 36; Booth, 170; Creswicke, 170, 201; Chamberlayne, 276, 325; Warburton, 327; Squire, 828-9; Barton, 347, 354; Hallam, 488; Layard, 588.

Dean and Chapter, 86; estates, 141, 185, 393, 396; quarrels, 276, 325; negligence, 352, 345, 347; treatment of quire, 151, 364, 481; dispose of High Cross, 325; and of lectern, 538.

Deane, Thomas, 268, 350, 392.

Deanery repaired, 328.

Dearth and distress, 78, 87, 166, 209, 225, 303, 323, 377, 380, 454, 485, 516, 531.

Debtors, imprisoned, misery of, 225, 308, 3.55, 417; impressed into army and navy, 69, 514; released, 169, 247, 279, 417.

Defence, National, funds 256, 506, 525.

Delaval, ship, 117.

Demoniac, Yatton, 483.

Denmark Street, 115.

Dicker, Samnel, 267.

Dineley murder, 228; Lady 232; Edward, 238.

Directory, first local, 420.

Dissenters, treatment of, 91, 103.

Distilling trade, 7, 101, 290.

Dock, Champion's (Merchants'), 368, 422; Sea Mills, 98, 171, 296,; proposed floating, 317, 362, 480, 496.

Dolman, John, 265.

Dolphin Street, 369.

Dolphin Society, 280.

Donn, Benjamin, 367, 398, 403.

Dover, Dr. Thomas, 74, 76.

Dowry Square, 158, 245, 363.

Draper, Sir William, 374, 381.

Drawbridge, 99; proposed fixed bridge, 483.

Drawing school, first, 523.

Dress of citizens, 300, 423, 460.

Drinking habits, 18, 31, 40, 309, 532.

Drunkenness, 18, 27; punishment for, 169.

Ducie, Loid, 313.

Duckhunting day, 24, 129.

Ducking Stool, 27, 131.

Duddleston, Sir John, 57, 149.

Duels, local, 168, 505, 524.

Duke and Duchess privateers, 74.

Duncan, Lord, freedom to, 522.

Dunning, John, recorder, 370, 405, Durbin family, 330, 348, 431, 436, 454.

Durdham Down, mines, 105; races, 24, 122, 278; murders, 104, 248; Wallis's wall, 266; Ostrich inn, 25, 122, 279, 314, 432, 490.

Earle, Joseph, 85, 102, 108, 130, 160; Giles, 226, 334.

Early rising, 16-18.

Earthenware, early, 7, 14, 82,287.

Easterbrook, Rev. J., zeal and credulity, 483. ib. Easton, inn at, 359.

Ecclesiastical Court, 94, 359.

Education, state of, 11.

Edwards, Thomas, 102, 106; Sam., 449.

Elbridge, John. 199, 218.

Elections, parliamentary:- (1701) 42; (1702) ib.; (1705) 66; (1710) 85; (1713) 102; (1715) 108; (1722) 130; (1727) 159; (1734) 188; (1739) 224; (1741) 234; (1742) 239; (1747) 267; (1754) 309; (1756) 318; (1759) 340; (1761) 344; (1766) 378; (1768) 383; (1774) 409; (1780) 444; (1781) 446; (1784) 456; (1790) 491; (1796) 518.

Elections, abuses at, 29, 224, 378, 477; excessive cost, 109; 384; 411.

Elton, Sir Ab., 95, 130, 160, 162; family, 127, 160, 184, 188, 235, 239, 282, 381, 412, 434, 503, 517.

Embargo on shipping, 514.

Emigration, early, 152, 326, 408.

Entertainments, 300, 333, 401, 528.

Equestrianism, 333, 401, 492.

Esther, ship, gallantry of, 513.

Estlin, Rev. Dr., 518.

Evil, King's, touching for, 55, 56, 117.

Exchange, proposed, 118, 180, 218, 226; opened, 247; plate found, 238; brass pillars, 396; outrage at, 440.

Excise scheme, Walpole's, 183.

Excommunication of scolds, 360.

Executions, 27; list of, 136, 295; excessive number of, 469; survivals after hanging, 197; Capt. Goodere, 231; clergy at, 209; for trivial crimes, 347; curious case, 237; scenes at, 262, 294.

Fairs, the great, 64, 178, 390; West Street, 166.

Fane, Thomas, 261, 354.

Farley, family, 50, 51, 292.

Farr, family, 403, 413, 485.

Fecham, Stephen, 167.

Felons, made soldiers, 41, 69, 272, 514; pardoning of, 90; transported, 150, 153.

Fencing master, unlucky, 116.

Fillwood forest, 191.

Fire, precautions against, 53, 226, 356.

Fire Insurance offices, 54, 393.

Fires, fatal, 340, 356; incendiary, 171, 426.

Fish, supply, 394, 485, 531.

Fishing in Avon, 372.

Fishponds, prison, 487, 451, 520, 533; common, 437.

Floating harbours, proposed, 316, 362, 480, 496.

Flogging, punishment by, 180, 315, 356, 465.

Floods, great, 125, 208, 533.

Flower, Joseph, 288.

Food, cheapness of, 48; excessive dearness, 531.

Forlorn Hope Estate, 40. “Foreigners”, treatment of, 20, 116, 176, 186, 197, 215, 327, 356.

Foreign Protestants' Bill, 289.

Fortune telling, 224.

Fortunes, mercantile, 462.

Foster, (Sir) Michael, 192, 197, 224, 341.

Foundlings, disposal of, 386.

Fox, Dr. Long, 503.

Frank, Richard. 287; T., 382.

Franklyn, Joshua, 98.

Freedom, admissions to, 21, 123, 213, 260, 313, 340, 370, 374, 413, 420, 428, 452, 453, 455, 469, 491, 517, 522; excessive fees, 260, 356.

Freedom acquired by marriage, 411, 432.

Freeling, (Sir) Francis, 458.

Freeman's Copper Co., 67.

Freke family, 108, 145.

French Chapel, 155.

French man of war taken, 332.

French prisoners, 250, 339, 437, 451, 520, 533.

French wars, 42, 100, 343, 499.

French invasions menaced, 339, 519, 525.

Frenchay highwayman, 379.

Frigates built, 434, 448, 466.

Fripp, family, 178, 331.

Froom, fishing in the, 24; floods, 125, 176, 208, 533.

Frost, remarkable, 78.

Fry, Joseph, 177, 382.

Fry, William, Mercy House, 437.

Funeral customs, 8, 122, 129, 163, 169, 208.

Gallows, see Executions; disorders near, 281, 404.

Gambling, 116, 223.

Gaol, the, see Newgate.

Gardens, city, 25, 301.

Gates: Abbey, 345; Temple and Redcliff, 175, 211, 396; Newgate, 57, 377, 471; Back, 211; St. Nicholas, 3, 215, 225, 266, 335, 352; Needless Bridge, 341; Queen and Castle Street, 351; Pithay, 359; Blind, 394; Froom, 408; Small Street, 368, 408; Lawford's, 8, 175, 268, 391.

Gentry, county, and turnpikes, 156, 275.

George I., accession, 106; coronation riot, 106; dinner, 120; portrait, 114.

George II., accession, 159; portrait, ib..; quarrel with his son, 236; death, 342.

Greorge III., accession, 342; election gifts, 444, 448; attempted murder, 470; at Cheltenham, 484; recovery, 485.

German Protestant exiles, 80.

Gibbets, 104, 227, 248, 280, 350.

Gibbs, (Sir) Vicary, 505; Geo., 507.

Giles, Richard, 269, 348.

Gin drinking, 198, 290, 300.

Glass, table, 14, 45; price of, 318; local works, 163, 486. Gloucester Journal, 162.

Gloucestershire, elections, 42; wages in, 182; society, 45, 188.

Goldney, Thomas, 72, 74, 139, 297.

Goldwin, Rev. Wm., 96, 119.

Good Friday neglected, 463.

Goodere, Capt., murderer, 228.

Goods, rates of carriage, 78, 269.

Gordon family, 468, 472, 477, 493, 532.

Gore, Col. William, 520.

Grateful Society, 280.

Great George Street, 425, 494.

Greep, Henry, 50.

Grenville, Geo., a freeman, 370.

Greville, Giles, 205.

Ground rents, valuable, 485.

Gunpowder magazine, 256, 517, Gunpowder Plot Day, 340, 396.

Hackney coaches, first, 180; 277, 456, 467, 486.

Hair powder, 342, 418, 448, 515.

Hallam, Dean, 488.

Hangman, a, hanged, 237.

Hanover Street built, 115.

Hardwicke, Lord, 209.

Harford, Joseph, 364, 382, 403, 409, 431, 439, 468, 476, 500, 507; family, 382, 392, 435, 473.

Harford's Brass works, 67.

Harris, Thomas, 412, 477.

Harson, Daniel, 393, 412.

Hart family, 77, 107, 111, 130, 160, 194, 330.

Harvest, a plentiful, 246.

Hawkins, John, knighted, 45-6, 74, 154.

Hawksworth family, 67, 74, 175, Haystacks in city, 26.

Haystack, Maid of the, 425.

Haythome, Joseph, 507.

Henbury, excursions to, 457.

Heylyn, John, 307, 367.

High Street, 97, 225; market, 4, 193, 253.

Highwayman, “gentleman”, 379; Bristol, 430.

Highway robberies, 210, 227, 430, 471.

Hill, Rev. Rowland, 307.

Hippisley, John, 15, 63.

Hobbs, John, 95, 117.

Hobhouse, Isaac, 135, 142-5, 152; H., 462; Ben., 518.

Hoblyn, Robert, 239, 267, 281, 310.

Hogarth, Wm., pictures, 321.

Holledge, James, 74, 218.

Holmes, lighthouse at, 200.

Holworthy, Lady, 99.

Hooke, Andrew, 51, 240, 279; Abraham, 92, 94.

Horfield, living, 93, 109.

Horseback, travelling on, 48, 246, 255.

Hospitals, see Poor and Schools.

Hospital, proposed sailors', 269.

Hot Weil in 1703, 57; theatre, 62; fashionable life at, 139, 244, 245, 390, 429, 490; Pope's description of, 222; water sold in London, 151; poems on, 139, 288; Lebeck inn, 311; Lisbon earthquake, 316; lead works near, 321; Dr. Randolph on, 361; water hawked in streets, 361; Romanist scare, 366; Duke of York at, 367; Vauxhalls, 245, 423; public refused a supply, 449, 490; well to be let, 463; road to, 486, 497; inn quarrels, 486; high charges and decline, 489; Sion Spring, 504; spa near, 506; Colonnade built, 469.

Hot Well, the New, 264, 464.

Houses, timber, 3; meanly furnished, 10.

Howard, John, on prisons, 406, 437, 466.

Howe, Lord, his victory, 506, 453.

Huguenots, the, 126, 155, 421.

Hume, David, in Bristol, 189.

Huntingdon, Lady, 279, 420.

Impressment, see Press-gangs.

Improvement scheme, great, 368.

Incendiaries, Bristol, 171-2, 426.

Informers, common, 207, 278.

Inchbald, Mrs., 400.

Infirmary erected, 199; state of, 318; chaplaincy, 413; rebuilt, 479.

Innkeeper, a clerical, 159, 333.

Inns: White Lion, 17, 257, 392; Bear, 263; Lamb, 269; Ostrich, 25, 122, 279, 314, 432. 490; Guilders, 180; Three Tuns, 180, 280; Exchange, 248; Montague, 205; Barton Hundred, 359; Bush, 405, 485; York House, 490; carriers, 288.

Insolvents, see Debtors.

Insurance offices, 54, 393.

Intelligence office, 242.

Invasions, threatened, 339, 519, 525.

Irish leather, 96; butter, etc., prohibited, 7, 112, 306, 364, 384; copper coinage, 133; wool trade, 195, 432; vagrants, 227; trade opened, 324, 432-3; giant, 441.

Iron: early founder, 71; price of, 315; local trade, 205; American, 205.

Jack the Painter's fires, 426.

Jacobites: local, 19; riot, 107; plots to seize Bristol, 110, 113; arms seized, 113; disloyal clergy, 19, 119, 121; Lovell's case, 117; local demonstrations, 139, 164, 193, 257-8; capture of a warship, 256.

Jacob's Wells theatre, 63, 439; water works, 478; baths, 507.

Jamaica, prosperity of, 234.

James', St., Square, 114; Barton, 421, 434.

Jefferis, Wm., 150, 191, 203, 209, 463, 473.

Jenkins' cheap bread, 401.

Jenner, Henry, 530.

Jessop, William, 481, 496.

Jews' Naturalisation Bill, 299.

Jews' burial ground, 337; synagogue, 470.

John Street, 491.

Johnson, Dr., in Bristol, 422.

Jones, John, 123, 242.

Judges, entertainment of, 32, 48, 59, 165.

Juries, accommodation of, 399.

Kennet and Avon Canal, 499.

Kentish, Dr., 524.

Kidnapping, local, 56, 152.

King, John, 101.

Kingsdown, 2, 205, 343; patrol, 454.

King's Evil, magical cures, 55, 56, 117.

King's Parade, 494.

King's Square, 318.

Kings weston road, 65, 331; House, 224.

Kingswood, lawless colliers, 78, 156, 211, 219, 303, 469, 515; rangership, 190; Whitefield at, 201; schools, 203, 272; fire at, 267; church, 283; Common, 437; blackmail paid, 469.

Knight, Sir John, 77, 120, 290; Anne, 120; John, 78.

Knowle, prison at, 339, 437.

Kosciusko in Bristol, 522.

Labour, hours of, 72, 182, 351.

Ladies, illiteracy of, 12; ill-treated in streets, 278.

Lamb inn, witchcraft at, 348.

Lambton, Wm. Henry, 504.

Lamplighters' Hall, 389.

Land tax redeemed, 529.

Laroche, (Sir) James, 268, 384, 402, 477.

Lawford's Oate, 8, 175, 268; removed, 391; prison, 112, 407, 465.

Lawrence, (Sir) Thomas, 392, 487.

Leadworks nuisance, 321.

Leather, sales of, 297; bad, 154.

Lee, Bey. Charles, 374-6.

Leicester, a journey to, 89.

Levant trade, 305.

Lewdness, punishment of, 27, 170.

Lewin's Mead, residents in, 421, 488.

Lewis, Sir Wm., 56, 68; David, 484, 491, 518.

Library, City, rebuilt, 210, 367, 408; circulating, 168; Chapter, 315; Library Society, 408.

Licensing system, 268; see Alehouses.

Lighting, public, 5, 18, 30; new Act, 37; defects, 82; Bill, 217; Act, 277, 369; improvement Bill, 467; deficient, 527.

Lime trade, 459.

Lippincott, Sir Henry, 444-6.

Living, cheapness of, 88; dearness, 581.

Lock-out, early, 351.

Lodge Street, 456.

Lodgings, bill for, 88.

Logwood mills, 482.

London, first coach to, 22; wagons, 73, 269, 288.

Lord Lieutenants, 69, 110, 313, 352, 420.

Louisa, Story of, 425.

Lovell, Chris., 117; Robert, 508, 510.

Loyalty demonstrations, 237, 499.

Lukins, Geo., imposture of, 483.

Lunell, Peter, 476.

Macaulay, Lord, 487.

Maces, civic, 184.

Madagascar slave trade, 127.

Mail robberies, 210.

Mails: London, 17, 235; to Chester, 38; accelerated, 355; first coaches, 458; to Birmingham, 459.

Man of War, French, captured, 332; English recaptured, 259, 332.

Mansion House, civic, 191, 434, 449.

Manufactures, local, 7, 89, 414.

Map of environs, 367.

Marat, J.P., in Bristol, 482.

Markets: in streets, 4, 88, 198, 258; corn, 151, 471; hay, 176, 457; Exchange, 198, 253; St. James's, 395; on Back, 97, 422; fish, 88, 453; cheese, 152, 471; regulations, 193, 253.

Marriages, early hour of, 16; clandestine, 158, 235, 333, 493; notices of, 239, 330.

Marsh, Bristol, 25, 42; Canon's, 36, 393; Dean's, 185.

Mayor's dues, 194, 415, 517.

Mayors: list of, 534; attempt to obtain a lord mayor, 29; an unpopular, 65; deaths of, 121, 128, 288, 442; refusals to accept office, 435, 495, 507-8, 582; salary, 429, 507, 532; Chapel, 126, 305, 324, 362, 431; carriage, 209, 291; holiday, 196; scabbard, 36, 291; cursing a mayor, 117; freemen, 370; right to sit as judges, 495.

Meat, regulations touching, 211, 254; price of, 191, 344.

Medical schools, early, 264, 524; costumes, 173; licenses granted by Church, 258.

Members of Parliament: see Elections; payments to, 58; gifts of wine, 77, 86, 281, 311.

Mendicants, treatment of, 121.

Mercantile incomes, 7.

Merchants, fortunes of local, 462.

Merchant Venturers Society: List of Masters, 537; defence of the slave trade, 89; wharfage dues, 31, 99, 317; hall, 42, 99, 213; taboos Quakers, 91; politics of, 189; policy towards America, 370, 428, 439; change of politics. 485; dock, 368, 422; treatment at the Hot Well, 489.

Merchant Tailors Company, 181, 460; almshouse, 43.

Merlott, John, his charity, 529.

Methodism in Bristol, early, 200.

Michael's, St., the fashionable suburb, 97, 166.

Miles family, 298, 417, 443, 473, 476, 478, 508.

Militia musters, 69, 79, ib., 85, 324.

Miller, Michael, 190, 268, 305, 415, 442; Wm., 282, 297, 462. “Mint”, the, 33.

Money, difficulty in remitting, 180, 224.

Montague Street, 371.

More, Hannah, 331, 373, 410, 412 423, 425, 461, 468, 492.

Morocco, envoy from, 225.

Murders: Maccartny's, 104; by ship captains, 151, 198; by Capt.

Goodere, 228; Cann's coachman, 248; White Ladies', 279; of a woman, 280; of the Warner, 351; Mrs. Buscombe, 362.

Murderer's body destroyed, 192.

Musical Festivals, 161, 308, 327, 407, 480, 582; in theatre, 397, 489.

Nash, Stephen, 68, 468, 470.

Naturalisation Bill, 289.

Navigation School, 99.

Navy, recruited from gaol, 69; impressments, see Press-gangs; Bristol ships, 434, 448, 466; bounties for men, 69, 428, 440, 500, 514; successes of, 452-8, 506, 522.

Nelson (Lord), a freeman, 522.

Nelson Street opened, 496.

Neptune figure, 185, 466.

Newcastle. Duke of, freedom to, 340.

Newfoundland trade, 469.

Newgate, closed on Sundays, 57.

Newgate: the city gaol, 81; epidemics in, 126, 164; treatment of suspected criminals, 172; charges of keeper, 237, 279; drinking in, 355, 471; physician, 209; chaplain, 392, 420; repaired, 396; Howard's account of, 406; distress during dearth, 308, 454; proposed new gaol, 488. And see Debtors.

Newnham, Rev. T., killed, 416.

Newspapers, early, 48, 50; later, 292; restrictions on, 267; taxes on, 486.

Newton, Bishop, 345, 366.

Nicholas Street: narrowness of, 181; passage through crypt, 215; through tower, 353; conduit, 141, 358.

Nicholas', St., vestry, 326.

Noble, John, and the judges, 495.

Non-jurors, local, 19, 119.

Norfolk, Duke of, a freeman, 455.

North, Lord, a freeman, 420.

Northington, Lord, anecdote, 284.

Norton's Folly, 266.

Nott, Dr. John, 504.

Nugent, Robert (Lord Clare, Earl Nugent), 309, 311, 340, 344, 378, 383, 409, 413, 432.

Oar, silver, 263.

O'Brien, Patrick, 441.

Offices, meanness of business, 40.

Old style abolished, 298.

Oliffe, John, 128.

Orange, Prince of, visit of, 187, Orchard Street built, 115.

Ordnance Survey, 523.

Ormond, Duke of, 104, 110.

Osborne, Jeremiah, 260.

Packhorses, traffic by, 68, 73, 325, Palatines, poor, 80.

Palmer, John, 439, 457-9.

Panics, financial, 499, 522.

Paper hangings, 332.

Pardons for criminals, 90.

Parish clerks, 363, 431.

Parish feasts, 116, 525; boundaries, beating, 243.

Park Street built, 227, 332, 333.

Parliament, members of, see Elections; payments to, 77; gifts of wine, 77, 86, 281, 311; reporting debates, 162.

Patriotic funds, 256, 506, 525.

Patronage, Government, 124, 451.

Pauper badges, 78, 380.

Pauperism, see Poor.

Paving Act, 277; new Bills, 467.

Peace of 1713, 100; of 1749, 274; of 1763, 357; of 1788, 453.

Peach family, 68, 190, 390, 397, 403, 445, 456, 489.

Pedley, J.G., frauds, 450.

Peloquin, Mary Ann, charity, 435.

Penance in the cathedral, 94.

Penn Street, 318.

Penn, William, 77, 318.

Pen Park Hole fatality, 416.

Penpole, excursions to, 331.

Perry, Richard, and his wife, 493.

Petsr Street Cross and Pump, 377.

Pewter platters, 14, 45, 164, 188, 214, Philip's, St., and militia, 79; hedgehogs in, 140.

Philipps, Sir John, 310, 311. “Philosopher in Bristol”, The, 418.

Pigs in the streets, 4, 527.

Pill, road to, 325.

Pillars, Brass, Corn Street, 162, 188, 396, 455.

Pillory, the, 27; riotous scenes, 148, 207.

Pine, William, 177, 294.

Piracy by Bristol crews, 351, 397.

Pitt, W. (Earl of Chatham) a freeman, 340.

Pitts, Capt. Sam., gallantry of, 165.

Plan of Bristol, Rocques', 235.

Plate, silver, local stores, 13; corporate, 78; discovery of, 238.

Playbills, early, 61.

Pluralism, clerical, 351, 432, 518, 523; lay, 151, 363, 431.

Pneumatic Institute, 504.

Pocock, George, 517.

Podmore, John, 180.

Pointz Pool fair, 166.

Police constables, 172.

Political bitterness, 18, 103, 107, 447.

Poor, Corporation of; founded, 32; early troubles, 54, 81, 103; buys a farm, 55; credulity of guardians, 55; infant labour, 72, 514; educational views, 72, 80; gift to, 73; pauper badges, 78, 380; increase of pauperism and rates, 81, 103, 236, 252-3, 380, 464, 485; churchwardens become guardians, 103; party feeling, 103, 123; treatment of vagrancy, 121; debts, 124; whipping paupers, 465; redistribution of rates, 485; factory in workhouse, 514; Baggs' fraud, 185.

Pope, Alex., in Bristol, 222.

Popery, anti, riots, 442.

Population of city, 6, 194, 292, 422.

Port, danger from fire, 361; float schemes, 316, 362, 480, 496; regulations, 394; defences of, 523; see Mayor's dues and Town dues.

Port wine, first appearance, 101.

Portishead, manor, 31; battery, 524.

Portland, Duke of, visit of, 471; portrait of, 487.

Portland Square, 494.

Post chaise travelling, 262, 404.

Posts from London, 17, 235, 395; to Chester, 38; Exeter, 39; Salisbury, 355; rates of postage, 73, 344; Palmer's acceleration, 457; to Birmingham, 459; penny post, 500.

Post Office, early, 39, 242; in Corn Street, 263; extent of staff, 416; Francis Freeling, 4.58.

Potteries, Bristol, 7, 287-8.

Powell, William, 391, Press-gang brutalities, 168, 216, 314, 322, 337, 440.

Pretender, the, in Bristol, 257, 319.

Prince's Street built, 149.

Prisoners of war, see French.

Prisoners for debt, see Debtors.

Privateering: ships Duke and Duchess, 74; (1739) 216; (1744) 249; (1747) 267; (1756) 320, 338; (1762) 351; (1775) 415, 436; Royal Family priv., 255, 259; local losses, 338, 436; gallant feats of, 234, 247, 250-1, 256, 259, 268, 332, 343; crew turned pirates, 351.

Privateers, foreign, captured, 33, 268, 332.

Prizefighting, 27, 159, 273, 313, 341, 391, 533; by women, 168.

Profanity punished, 169, 263.

Protestants, foreign, 80, 289.

Protheroe, Philip, 477, 507, 532.

Public-houses, see Alehouses.

Publican, a clerical, 159, 333.

Pugilists, see Prizefighting.

Punishments, excessive, 27, 315, 347, 465.

Quakers persecuted, 19; boarding-school, 43; loan to Penn, 77; tabooed, 85, 91; decline and revival of sect, 178; fighting Quakers, 178, 285; tithe-owners, 178, 286; penitents, 278.

Quays, new, 149, 317.

Quay dues, 317.

Quebec taken: rejoicings, 339.

Queen Square, 25, 42, 45; nuisances in, 98; trees, 117, 413.

Race meetings, 24, 122, 278.

Randall, Joseph, 136, 257.

Randolph, Dr., 361.

Rebellion (1715) 110; (1745) 255, 264.

Recorders: Eyre, 123; Scrope, 166, 192; Foster, 192, 341; Barrington, 341, 370; Dunning, 370; Burke, 455, 505; Gibbs, 505; fees of, 123, 192, 341, 405, 506.

Recruiting tricks, 270.

Red Book of Orders, 56, 252.

Redcliff Cross and churchyard, 358.

Redcliff Gate, rebuilt, 175, 211; removed, 396.

Redcliff Parade, 396.

Redland Court, 173; Chapel, 173, 448; value of land, 284.

Red Lodge, 456, 479.

Reeve, William, anecdote of, 285, 370; see Black Castle.

Regiments, Bristol, 256, 506.

Rennison's Baths, 269.

Rents, 344, 398.

Revolution, centenary of, 487.

Reynolds, Richard, 72, 529.

Riding School, first, 344.

Ring, Joseph, 287-8.

Rings, funeral, 13.

Riots: (1709) 78; (1714) 107; (1726) 156; (1728) 167; (1738) 212; (1749) 274; (1753) 303; (1766) 378; (1780) 442; Bristol Bridge, 500; Food, 516, 531.

Roads: state of, 23, 40, 155, 170, 214, 270, 313, 497; Kingsweston, 65, 331; Pill, 325; Whiteladies, 331, 333; cleansing, 340.

Robinson, Mrs., see Darby.

Rodney, Lord, in Bristol, 452-3.

Rogers, Woodes, Capt., 74-7.

Roman Catholics, 115, 366.

Romsey, John, 54, 74, 77.

Roquet, Rev. J., 392.

Routs described, 528.

Royal Oak Day, 164, 483.

Royal Family privateers, 255, 259.

Ruddock, Noblet, 142, 237.

Rum trade, 101, 102.

Ruscombe, Mrs., murdered, 362.

Sailors, see Seamen.

St Vincent, Earl, freedom to, 522.

Sallee corsairs, 188, 225.

Salt refining, 289; tax on, 529.

Sansom, John, 54.

Savage, Richard, in Bristol, 219.

Scavenging, 30, 88, 82; gratuitous, 340.

Schoolmasters, 12, 123.

Schools: Queen Eliz. Hospital, 12, 16, 46; new school-house, 47; removed, 374; cost of boarding, 405, 485; funds misappropriated, 442; dietary, 485. Colston's, 80, 83; Grammar, 16, 119; removed, 374; speech day, 396. Red Maids', 12, 134; cost of boarding, 134, 405.

Charity, 12, 80, 134, 198, 218; Navigation, 99. Redcliff Grammar, 12, 358; Boarding, 43, 241, 272, 438, 517, 518; Misses More's, 331, 486; Day, 242, 367, 438.

Scolds, treatment of, 27, 132, 359.

Scrope, John, 160, 166, 188, 354.

Seafights, gallant, 234, 250, 259, 268, 332, 518.

Seamen, wages, 385, 454; forging their wills, 261; required for navy, 514; proposed hospital, 269; see Press-gangs.

Sea Mills dock, 98, 171, 296.

Sea walls, 266.

Sectarian divisions, 18, 103, 204.

Sedan chairs, 324.

Selkirk, Alexander, found, 75-6.

Sermons, fee for, 9, 99, 126.

Servants, domestic, 10, 182.

Seyer, Samuel, 243, 348, 374, 522, 528.

Shambles, the, 208, 335.

Shaving, Sunday, 27, 306, 336, 381.

Sheffield, Lord, 448, 491, 518.

Sheriff, list of, 534; gloves, 37; dinners, 226, 251; allowance, 251, 430; expenses, 480; fine for refusing office, 87, 492.

Sherry trade, 104.

Shipping, Bristol, 6, 89; seized by corsairs, 188, 281; size of vessels 6, 188, 371, 517; regulations, 394; ship sunk by a press-gang, 322; sunk in harbour, 117, 513; embargo on, 514.

Shirehampton, road, 65, 331; Sunday coach, 457.

Shoes, bad, destroyed, 155.

Shops, signs, 4, 278, 369; open, 3, 264, 327; tax on, 465.

Shot factory. 453.

Shrove Tuesaay sports, 138.

Siddons, Mrs., at theatre, 489.

Signs, tradesmen's, 4, 278, 369.

Silk imports prohibited, 42, 101, 372; local works, 372.

Simmons, John, 342.

Sketchley's Directory, 420.

Slander, actions for, 359.

Slave dealing: Assiento treaty, 100; extent of local trade, 89, 249, 271-2, 343, 380, 416, 477; with Madagascar, 127; defended by Corporation, 89, 249, 271; enormous profits, of, 142, 476-8; slave ship captains, 146, 380, 474; tragedies, 145, 301, 343; gin trade, 300; restrictions on, 413; value of negroes, 414, 478; Clarkson's crusade, 473-8; local agitation, 476-7; atrocities,. 477.

Slaves in Bristol, 15, 146, 384, 492.

Slaves, Christian, 188.

Sledges street, 3, 252, 527.

Small, Dr. J.A., 479, 518.

Small pox, ravages of, 529.

Smalridge, Bishop, 108, 119, 123.

Smith, Sir Sydney, 526.

Smith, Jarrit, 185, 228, 257, 318, 330, 344, 383; Joseph, 403, 412, 442; Richard, 524, Smiths' Hall, 306, 468.

Smoking, prevalence of, 9, 48, 52, 214, 217.

Snuff trade, local, 269, 302, 430.

Soap, Irish, seized, 312.

Somerset, wages in, 182; Society, 183.

South Sea Company, 90, 127.

Southey, Bobert, 397, 460, 510.

Southwell, Edward, 104, 224, 235, 267, 281, 310.

Southwell Street, 205.

Spain, irritation against, 174, 215; wars, 216, 351; losses of Bristolians, 175, 216, 286; peace, 274.

Spelter works, 67, 289.

Spencer, Hon. John, 318.

Spider's web, enormous, 106.

Sports, suburban, 27, 140.

Stables, circular, 344.

Stamp Office, 261.

Stapleton living, 98, 109; common, 487.

Starch, illicit, 418; duty, 515.

Steam engines, early, 244, 273; improvements, 437.

Steep Street, 331.

Stephen's, St., lamp-rate, 38, 82; constables, 305; windfalls, 306; Peloquints gift, 435; vestry, 244, 514, 525; improvements, 399, 458, 497.

Stewart, James. 242.

Stewards, Lord High, 87, 111, 209, 471.

Stocte, the, 27, 169, 207, 263.

Stoke Park, 352, 367.

Stokes Croft, 2, 166, 489; theatre, 61, 64.

Storm, great, the, 57.

Streets, narrowness of, 3, 131, 460; pigs in, 4, 527; nuisances, 169; encroachments, 83; fighting in, 355; footways in, 396, 527; bad condition, 356, 466, 526; names posted up, 491; watering, 504.

Strikes, 21, 70, 315, 385, 404, 497.

Styles, Old and New, 154, 298.

Sugar trade, extent of, 142, 302, 519.

Sunday restrictions, 56, 60, 306, 336; excursions, 359, 457, 490; schools, 460, 482; evening services, 519.

Superstition, popular, 56, 117, 224, 294, 348.

Sussex, Earl of, freedom to, 432.

Swetnam, J., 389.

Swimming baths, 269, 315.

Swords, state, 100, 291.

Tabernacle account book, 306.

Tailors' bill, early, 109; wages, 315; 404; hours, 351.

Tailors Company, 181, 460; almshouse, 43.

Talbot, Rev. Wm., 398.

Tanners' grievances. 96.

Tar, Coal, discovered, 441.

Tarring and feathering, 207.

Tea-drinking, 82, 314; price of tea, 82, 395.

Teast, Sydenham, 396, 463, 474, 517.

Temple Street, 97, Gate rebuilt, 175, 211; schools, 80; gardens, 98; Cross, 466; churchyard, 249; conduit, 135.

Tennis courts, 25, 313, 359, 506.

Theatres, early, 26; agitation against, 60; suppressed, 61-3; Jacob's Wells, 63, 439; at fairs, 64; Theatre Royal, 364, 400, 439, 582; at Coopers' Hall, 401.

Thistlethwaite, James, 411, 445.

Thomas, John, 71.

Thome, Nich., monument, 329.

Tobacco, see Smoking and Snuff; trade, 135; price of, 416.

Tokens, local, 509.

Tolzey, Mayor's, removed, 59; merchants, 17, 118, 446; brass pillars, 162, 183, 396; St. Nicholas', 60.

Tontines, Brunswick Square, 479; circular stables, 344; warehouses, 455; projected, 455, 494.

Tower, Oreat, on Quay, 119.

Town Clerk, insane, 251.

Town dues, 251, 417, 478; receipts from, 479.

Trade Unions, early, 21, 70.

Trade, restraints on, 21, 176, 181, 195, 260, 268, 401 (and see Foreigners); old, 123, 421.

Trading frauds, 154, 197, 272, 437.

Train bands, see Militia.

Traitor's Bridge, 92, 526. “Translator”, A, 128.

Transportation system, 91, 150-3, 287, 326, 469.

Travelling discomforts, 22; cheapness, 404.

Trees in the streets, 489.

Trinity Street built, 185.

Trucks, street, 68, 396.

Trumpeters, city, 59, 114.

Tucker, Josiah, 118, 238, 283-4, 289, 319, 322, 328, 435, 462, 473.

Tucker Street, 466.

Tuckett, Philip D., 473.

Turner, William, 373.

Turnpike roads, 155, 274, 331, 406; riots, 156, 274; cleansing, 340.

Turtle, civic love of, 323, 404, 517.

Tyburn ticket, 390.

Tyndall, Onesiphorus, 94, 145; family, 190, 219, 334, 415, 479, 521.

Tyndall's Park, 334, 494.

Type factory, 177.

Umbrellas, early, 134; Church, 187; modern, 419.

Underhill. John, 58.

Union with Scotland, 73.

Union Street, 369, 395.

Unity Street, 237.

Vaccination discovered, 530.

Vagrancy, treatment of, 121.

Vaughan, John, 186, 224, 282, 297, 415, 432; R., 477.

Vauxhall wardens, 245, 423.

Vernon, Admiral, 241; privateer, 217.

Vick, William, 63, 308.

Visitors, distinguished: Queen Anne, 45; Prince of Wales, 212; Dukes of York, 350, 367, 517; Princess Amelia, 164; Prince of Orange, 187; Jos. Addison, 122; T.

Clarkson, 473; Edward Colston, 46, 85; J. Howard, 406, 437, 466; Lady Huntingdon, 279, 420; Mrs.

Inchbald, 400; Dr. Johnson, 422; Kosciusko, 522; Marat, 482; Pope, 222; Duke of Portland, 471; Lord Rodney, 452; Admiral of Sallee, 225; R. Savage, 219; Scheck Schidit, 192; Sir S. Smith, 526; Admiral Vernon, 241; H. Walpole, 377; John Wilkes, 397.

Volunteer corps, 113-4, 256, 440, 516, 520; cavalry, 521.

Wade, Nathaniel, 78, 92.

Wade Street and Bridge, 92, 526.

Wade, General, in Bristol, 112.

Wages, rates of, 59, 168, 182, 268, 315, 372, 385, 404, 454.

Wagons, travelling, 73, 148, 268, 288, 430; forbidden in streets, 175.

Waits, city, 26, 114, 139.

Wales, Fred., Prince of, 196, 212, 236, 290; George, 336, 517.

Wales, French landing in, 520.

Wallis, John, 208, 266.

Walpole, Horace, 377, 388.

War proclaimed, 216, 249, 320, 499; losses by, 236, 258, 415.

War ships launched, 434, 448, 466.

Warburton, Dean, 327.

Ward, Edward, 52.

Wasbrough, Matthew, 437.

Watching Act, 30, proposed Bill, 217; Act, 311. Watchman, newspaper, 512.

Watchmen, city, 18, 30, 172, 197, 311, 340.

Water Bailiff's oar, 263.

Water Company, 82, 237, 451.

Watering places, seaside, 440.

Watts's patent shot, 453.

Weare, John Fisher, 415, 477, 507; Wm., 508.

Weavers, trade union, 70; assault women in streets, 125; washing place, 125; fatal riots, 166; wages, 168; Company, 470; truck system, 71, 209; decline of trade, 81, 209, 236, 515.

Wedgwood, Thomas, 504, 513.

Weeks, John, 405, 418, 458, 464, 484, 506.

Wesley, John, first visit, 203; at Hot Well, 265; at election, 319; his school, 272; at French prison, 339; alleged miracles, 266, 482; last visit, 482.

Wesley, Charles, 204.

Wesleyan Conferences, 204; disputes, 507.

West India trade, 6, 89, 142; prosperity of, 234; vessels, 371; French islands taken, 348; corporate sympathy, 378, 392; decline, 415, 519; names of merchants, 472.

West Street fair, 166.

Westbury, living of, 93, 109, 448, 523; volunteers, 521.

Westmoreland, Earl of, see Fane.

Weston-super-Mare, 441.

Weymouth, coach to, 440.

Whale, ship struck by, 208; fishing, 296.

Wharfage dues, 81, 99, 317.

Wheat, price of, 246, 516.

Wheelage toll, 252.

Whipping, public, 27, 65, 180, 224, 315, 356, 437; paupers, 465.

Whipping posts, 27, 140, 268.

Whitefield, Geo., in Bristol, 200, 306.

Whitehall, 33, 124, 225.

Whitehead's poem, 288.

Whiteladies Boad, 331, 333.

Whitson's charity funds, 496.

Whitsuntide sports, 314.

Wigs worn by boys, 158.

Wild, Jonathan, 130.

Wilkes, John, 391, 397.

William III,, statue, 178, 193, 278.

Williams, (Sir) Charles F., 524.

Wills, W. and H.O., 303.

Wills, local, 14; forgery of, 261.

Wiltshire Society, 183.

Wine, civic gifts of, 77, 86, 87, 104, 209, 281, 311, 402, 582; price of, 183, 319, 329, 356, 582; change of taste in, 100; “Shainpeighn”, 214.

Wine Street, scenes in, 4, 148; width of, 460; value of sites in, 485.

Witchcraft, 28, 249, 484; at Lamb inn, 348.

Women, treatment of, 27-8, 65; boxing by, 168; races by, 122, 279.

Wood's pence, 133.

Woollen, burials in, 9, 302.

Worcester, Marquis of, 491, 518.

Wordsworth, Wm., 513.

Worrall family, the, 261, 308, 351, 398, 494.

Wotton-under-Edge, post to, 39.

Wraxall family, 284, 308.

Wrestling, 314.

Wright, Matthew, 473, 503, 507.

Yate, Robert, 42, 58, 66, 85, 283.

Yearsley, Anne, 461.

Yonge, Bishop, 345.

York, Dukes of, 350, 367, 517.

York Street, 372. Zinc works, see Spelter.

Butler & Tanner, The Selwood Printing Works. Frome, and Londen.

OCR/transcript by Rosemary Lockie in August & September 2013.

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