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the principal military stations that the Romans had in this island.
After the Romans departed from Britain in the fifth century, Chester fell under the government of the British princes. In their hands it remained till the year 603, when it was wrested from them by Ethelfrid, King of Northumbria.
Chester now seems to have been alternately possessed by the Britons, the Saxons, and the Danes; by the latter, however, it was held but a very short time, being restored to the Saxons by the valiant daughter of Alfred the Great, Elfleda, the wife of Ethelred, Duke of Mercia.
After the Norman Conquest, William created his nephew, Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester, and delegated the same sovereign jurisdiction to him in this county, which he himself possessed in the rest of the island. By virtue of this grant the earls held parliaments at Chester, consisting of the barons and tenants, which were not bound by the acts of the English parliament. The earls were petty princes, and all the landholders in the county were mediately or immediately their vassals, and under the same allegiance to them as to the kings of England.
Hugh Lupus, immediately after receiving the earldom, in order to secure himself from any incroachments either of Welsh or English, repaired the town walls, and erected the castle.
In several of the reigns subsequent to the Norman Conquest, Chester was made a place of rendezvous for the English troops in all expeditions against the Welsh. In consequence of this it frequently suffered very considerably. Camden informs us that the “ skirmishes here between the Welsh and English, in the beginning of the Norman times, were so numerous, the inroads and incursions, and the firing of the suburbs of Hanbrid beyond the bridge so frequent, that the Welshmen called it Treboeth, that is, Burnt Town. They tell us also that there was a long wall made there of Welshmen's Skulls."
From the time of Hugh Lupus, for near two centuries, Chester continued entirely under the jurisdiction of its earls; but on the death of John Scott, without issue male, in 1237, Henry III. took the earldom, and all the powers annexed to it, into his own hands; and in return, granted to the city its first royal charter.
Henry bestowed it on his son Edward, afterwards King Edward I., and ever since it has devolved upon the reigning monarch's eldest son.
In the Civil Wars, during the reign of Charles I., Chester adhered with great fidelity to the royal cause, and was consequently besieged by the parliament's army: but it was not till every hope had been cut off by the important victory which the latter had gained at Rowton Heath, that it was surrendered on the 3d of February, 1645-6, on the most honourable terms, after a gallant resistance for near five months, during part of which time the garrison were so much distressed for provisions, as to eat even their horses, dogs and cats.
In a chronological list of remarkable events which took place at Chester, the following occur :
1489. This year St. Peter's steeple was pointed, when a goose was eaten by the parson and others on the top thereof, and part cast into the four streets.
1517. The plague raged so shockingly, that the streets were deserted and grass grew a foot high at the cross.
1569. This year the two sheriffs, Peter Licherband, and William Massey, Gent. fought a battle, for which they were fined ten pounds towards the repair of the walls.
1617. King James visited Chester, and was presented by the body corporate with a gilt cup, and a hundred Jacobins
of gold, as a rich token of the attachment of the city to his crown and person.
To a singular stratagem of Elizabeth Edmunds, a female of this place, was owing the entire safety of the protestants of Ireland, in the reign of Queen Mary. Dr. Cole, a commissioner from the queen, on his way to that country, stopped one night at Chester. The mayor, in his official capacity, waited on him; he unguardedly spoke of the business in which he was engaged, and took out his commission in the presence of the hostess, who had a brother, a protestant, in Dublin. When the mayor left him, Dr. Cole politely attended him down stairs, and Mrs. Edmunds in the mean time took the commission from the box, and substituted for it a pack of cards, with the knave of clubs placed uppermost. The doctor, on his return, put up the box, and on his arrival at Dublin, presented it in form at the castle to the lord deputy and privy council. His lordship opened it, and the whole assembly, as well as the commissioner himself, were in the utmost astonishment at its contents. He assured them that it had contained a commission, but why it was not there then, and how the cards came into its place, he was as ignorant as they. Disappointed and chagrined, he returned to the English court for a fresh commission, which he obtained, but before he could again arrive in Ireland, the queen died. Her successor, Queen Elizabeth, rewarded the woman for this meritorious act with a pension of forty pounds a year for her life.
A whimsical story is told by Mr. Yorke respecting an expedition of James I. into Wales. When he was on the road near Chester, he was met by vast numbers of the Welsh, who came out of curiosity to see him, and the weather was so dry, and the roads so dusty, that he was nearly suffocated. He was completely at a loss in what manner to
« Oh yes,
rid himself of them civilly; at last one of his attendants
The manufacture of gloves for which Chester used to be famous, is now almost at an end. Shot are manufactured here to a considerable extent. There are also snuff mills, a small manufactory for tobacco pipes, an iron foundry, ship builders' yards, and other concerns, which afford some but not much employment for the poor.
The maritime business is of no great extent. It consists chiefly of the coasting and Irish trades, and a small portion of commerce with foreign countries. Great quantities of cheese, coals and lead are exported. The imports are principally linen cloth from Ireland; and hides, tallow, feathers, &c. from other quarters. The number of ships belonging to the port is but small. The business of ship-building is, however, carried on here.
Till the new channel was made for the river Dee, which was finished about the middle of the last century, vessels of twenty tons could scarcely reach the town, and ships of burthen were obliged to lie ten miles lower down, by Parkgate. But now, at the spring tides, vessels of near four hundred tons burthen are able to come up almost to the bridge.
* Royal tribes of North Wales. Ceffyl is the Welsh word for horse.
CHESTER TO NORTHOP.
Hawarden— Hawurden Castle - History of Hawarden Castle-Euloe
Is a small clean-looking town in Flintshire, celebrated only for its castle, which has been an extensive building, and was formerly of considerable importance to the interests both of the Welsh and the English. This building stood on an eminence at the east end of the town. The remains, which at present consist of little more than the fragments of the walls and keep, are within the grounds of Sir Stephen Richard Glynne, Bart., and near to his mansion, a modern building in the castellated style, to which the name of Hawarden Castle has been transferred. The entrance to Hawarden Castle is a little before the sixth mile stone from Chester.
The late Sir John Glynne was at the expense of having much of the rubbish removed from the ruins: and in one place there was discovered a long flight of steps, at the bottom of which was a door, and formerly a draw-bridge. This crossed a deep long chasm, to another door leading to two or three small rooms, probably places of confinement,
* Pronounced Harden.