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Berwick upon Tweed
Chapter XII, 1685—1887

ABOUT 1680 a very serious matter occurred—serious, at least, in its threatened consequences. Charles Jackson, son of Stephen Jackson, of London, desired to become a freeman. He was the youngest of four sons, of whom the eldest died without obtaining his freedom. The second, as heir, inherited, and was made free, but the Guild refused to receive his younger brother, as it was contrary to their practice. Jackson got a ' mandamus,' and sent it on to Berwick. Still the Guild would not yield. Then after two or three years' quarrelling, Daniel Collingwood and Jackson seem to have urged the King's Counsellors to demand the surrender of the charter of the town. After considerable opposition the Guild at last agreed to surrender it unconditionally, and appointed the Mayor, William Ogle, Esq., and Captain J. Wallace as a deputation to wait upon the King in London concerning it. They set out with the charter on Tuesday, January 6th, 1685, and on Sabbath, January 18th, they reached London. On the 23rd they waited on his Majesty.

An exact account of their reception is given by Samuel Wilson, who, having once been employed in the Town Clerk's office in Berwick, was then in London, and interviewed the Mayor upon the whole case. He wrote thus:

'On Friday, January 23, 1684, at eleven o'clock forenoon, Mr. Mayor and Mr. Wallace and Mr. Ogle went with the Charter to the King, being introduced by the Marquis of Halifax, and they kist the King's hand and laide their Charter att the King's feete with the Town's resignation thereof and a peticion for a new one, he smilingly said: "Is the Charter of Berwick cotrtdf' (The Duke of York being by a little before the delivery thereof, said: "Now will Mr. Mayor and these gentlemen engage that the towne will be better people in time comeing," but he was no way answered to it.) It was committed to the Lord Middleton's care, who is one of the Secretaryes of State. There was present at the delivery Captain Ralph Widdrington and Captain Biggerstaffe, but they stood aside and were taken noe notice of. However, they two are the towne's irreconcileable enemies, and they endeavour to have the Charter so drawn that all the towne's grounds may be given to the garrison, and that all the burgesses be no burgesses, and only a certain number as they please to name to be incerted in the new Charter, and these only to be burgesses, and impose a parcel of justices of peace upon the town, etc. After delivery of the Charter, the Duke of Albemarle invited Mr. Mayor home to dinner, and he was very kinde to him and Mr. Wallace, etc., and sorry his occasions called him away from being with them att the delivery. Soe the town's friends are the Duke of Albemarle, Marquis Halifax, Earl Sunderland, Lord Dartmouth, Sir Philip Musgrove, Sir John Fenwick. The town's enemies, Captain Biggerstaffe, Captain Ralph Widdrington, Deputy Governor of Berwick, who instigate all they can against the town, and designe, if possible, to have Mr. Mayor turned out. This following is the copy of the town's petition with the Charters drawn by Sir Thomas Stringer:

To the King's Most Excellent Majesty—

"The humble petition of the Mayor, Bailiffs and Burgesses of the Borough and Corporation of Berwick-upon-Tweed sheweth:

"That your petitioners doe humbly and voluntarily surrender their Charter, with all their lands, debts, franchises, and liberties in your Majesty's hands, and humbly prayes your Majesty's acceptance thereof.

"And humbly pray your Majesty to grant unto your petitioners a new Charter with all and singular their former powers and privileges, and with such other clauses and alterations, additions and restrictions as to your Majesty in your greate wisdom shall seeme fitt.

"And your petitioners shall ever pray, etc."

His Majesty recommended them to my Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys, to consult and frame the new Charter, and in order thereunto he designed on the 2nd day of February to waite upon the Lord Chief Justice, but that very morning about eight o'clock after His Majesty was dressed, he fell down in his chair dead in an apoplective fitt, and continued speechless for an houre and a half, to the great terror and consternation of all the cittie that heard it, soe that Mr. Mayor was prevented of meeting with the Lord Chief Justice that day. His Majesty continued sick till the Friday morning following, viz., the 6th of February, 168|, and about one o'clock that morning he departed this life ; and, betwixt the houres of foure and five in the afternoon that same day, his Royal Highness James Duke of York and Albany, the said King's only brother, was proclaimed King of England, etc. Soe this sudden change of affairs put a stop to the Mayor's proceedings about the Charter till the 19th day of February they petitioned King James for a new Charter .'

The Petition was in these words :

"To the King's Most Excellent Majesty—

"The humble petition of the Mayor, Bailiffs and Burgesses of the Borough and Corporation of Berwick-upon-Tweed sheweth:

"That your petitioners did humbly and voluntarily surrender their Charter with all their lands, debts, franchises and liberties into the hands of their late Gracious Soevereign Lord King Charles II., of Blessed Memory, which he was graciously pleased to accept of.

"Now your petitioners are become your Majesty's humble suppliants, and humbly pray your Majesty to grant unto them a new Charter with all and singular" (and soe verbatim as in Petition to King Charles II.).

Upon which the King said to Mr. Mayor: "You shall have a new Charter, but you must bring in more honest men into the town," and thereupon signed a warrant to his Attorney-General to further them in their new Charter, and afterward proceeded to govern by commission in Berwick; and by the misrepresentation of Captain Ralph Widdrington and Captain Biggerstaffe, they rendering the inhabitants and officers of the town to be soe dangerous and fractious, the King forthwith caused Mr. Fenwick, Mayor, Thomas Watson, John Luck and George Watson, Aldermen of the town, and Mark Scott, Town-Clerk, Lyonall Davison, Hew Hewitson, Sergeants-at-Mace, and all the other town's officers, and Esquire Carr, the Recorder, etc., to be put out of their offices (only continuing Justice Catterall in his office), and in their steads on the 16 March, i68|, there was by the King's order proclaimed at Berwick Ferdinando Forster, Maior, Duke of Newcastle, Recorder, and they, by a mighty hand, proceeded to election of Parliamentary Burgesses for Berwick and least burgesses and others should oppose them in their choice, they at one time cited and excommunicated Seaven Score Burgesses and Inhabitants, and gott out excommunicated capiendo against most of them to deprive them of their vote and made twenty Burgesses that were for their purpose, but would admit of none (though it was their right) that might appear against them in their election. And soe they returned Widdrington and Biggerstaffe Parliament men though Captain Wallace and Esquire Ralph Grey, former Parliament men stood much up to the towne's representatives. Yett their interest was of noe force to gainstand such violent proceedings, but this of the Parliament is by way of digression. So I goe to name what other officers were proclaimed the sayd 16 of March, viz. James Crawforth, Robert Temple, Robert Rodham and James Douglas, Bayliffs, John Pratt, Alderman for the Year, and Coroner, Charles Jackson, Town-Clerk, Isaac Baseur, Deputy Recorder, Thomas Bowring, Ralph Ellis, James Luck and James Suddis, the four Sergeants-at-Mace. Nathaniel, Bishop of Durham, Ralph Widdrington, John Fenwick, Richard Loyd, Chancellor of Durham, Dronesy Granville, Dean of Durham, Isaac Brazier, D.D., Wm. Turner, D.D., John Harper, Vicar of Berwick, Wm. Strother of Fowberry, Wm. Ogle of Cawsey Park, Philip Biggerstaffe of Chirton, James Wallace, Esq., Thomas Forster of Cornhill, James Catterhill, Wm. Fenwick, Wm. Lawson, to be Justices of the Peace and also of the Common Council, and a number of others to be of the Common Council.'

This new ruling authority was very busy in Berwick, but they were greatly hampered through their having no charter, as they had no security upon which to raise money ; so they wrote to Bickerstafle, asking him to urge on his Majesty to grant the charter. On August 31st, 1686, Charles Jackson was ordered to bring it down from London. It cost ^250 altogether, but money was so scant the Guild could only send up a bill for 50, and hope that it will be sent on. On November 4th, 1686, it is recorded: The New Charter shall be received with all the respect the town is able to show.' A new Mayor was chosen on receipt of the charter on December 12th, and after appointing the Common Council they voted that the new Mayor shall have ^iooa year to maintain the dignity of his office. His salary had been rising of late. From 10 it was doubled, then doubled again, and 40 remained the salary till 1656. Ferdinando Forster, the Revolution Mayor, was not allowed to continue. Next year William Lawson was elected in his room, and Forster and some companions were dismissed the Council for 4 misbehaviour,' but of what kind is not recorded.

For two years this spurious Council governed the town ; and governed it very badly: their main object was to turn out the ordinary freemen, and fill the Guild Roll with a host of names altogether foreign to the town. Three hundred and thirty-two of that class were now added. Soon, however, King James abdicated his position, even before the new charter had been entered as legally passed ; so that it never came to be acted upon. The Royal proclamation, intimating to the Guild that William of Orange reigned, was read in town; the officers of the Council were dismissed; those who held office before the eventful 1685 were brought back, and Marke Scott, the previous Town Clerk, chronicled his own return to power on October 26th, 1688. The previous charter of James I. was restored into full force, when we may say that the reign of the malignants was finally over. An order was entered at this time in the Guild Books, which shows that a great load had been removed from the town's authorities. 'All the names of those made free since surrender of the charter are now to be deleted. All the old officers of the town are recalled.' The revolution was completed on December 16th, 1688, when Lieut.-Colonel Rupert Billingsley, Commander-in-Chief of the Forces in the garrison here, told the Mayor after morning sermon that he and the whole garrison were resolved to stand for the preservation of his Majesty's person, the Protestant religion, the laws of the kingdom and liberties of the subject, and a free Parliament; and he desired to know what course the Corporation would adopt. They, after consideration, said that they were determined to assist his Highness, the Prince of Orange, to carry on and perfect his glorious and heroic design of rescuing England, Scotland, and Ireland from slavery and popery, and of establishing the religion, homes, and equal liberties of these kingdoms upon a sure and lasting foundation in a free Parliament. When William and Mary were proclaimed on March 26th, 1689, similar rejoicings were again indulged in—hogsheads of wine, bells' ringing, bonfires, and other necessaries for the solemnizing that day.' This reign passed over very quietly in Berwick, and we have the Guild, in 1702, sending a letter of condolence to Queen Anne on the decease of the illustrious monarch and of congratulation at the happy accession of her Majesty.

During the last sixty years the billeting of soldiers on the townspeople had become very burdensome. It seemed to grow more intolerable as time went on. Now (1704) the Guild began to think of barracks, and resolved to write their representatives to use their influence in this matter. What helped on the project was the demand of Colonel Maine, Governor, who, on May 2nd, 1706, wanted a regiment lodged in town for twenty days; the public-houses were already foil— some had six and others four persons—so that he requested that private houses be allowed. The case lay dormant till 1710, when John Sibbit, Town Clerk, stated the case folly to the M.P.'s:

Sir, it would be endless for me, troublesome to you, to give an account of the miseries that many poor people have suffered here on this account. The town has often lost great sums by garrisons, and particularly by one regiment commanded by Sir Lieut. Walden in the reign of King Charles, upwards of 3,000, which reduced a great many families who were then in a flourishing condition to such penury and want as obliged them to beg their bread. And at this present many of our alekeepers are brought very low, and are daily laying aside that business from the hardship they suffer in quartering soldiers, for such as have not conveniency in their houses are obliged to pay 2s. or 2s. 6d. per week to get their quarters abroad without any allowance from the soldiers. Double inconveniency that the town suffers is this. The soldiers are dispersed in quarters in every corner of the town, by which they have opportunity in the night to rob alehouses and shops as they frequently do, which would be absolutely prevented were they in barracks every night.'

The town petitioned her Majesty on the same lines as the above letter, but it was not till 1715 that the prospect of success was bright. Mr. Pulteney, Secretary at War, became interested in the project, and, in 1717, the building was begum Six hundred thousand bricks were made for the service of the barracks on the east side of c Eytell Way' by John Tully, and stones for the building were obtained from the castle. The town was thus at • length eased of an intolerable burden. When the soldiers were about to enter the barracks, which was not till 1721, the Board of Ordnance had no money to spend on utensils and furniture. The keepers of the alehouses and others on whom the soldiers might be quartered raised sufficient money for this purpose, and the soldiers actually marched in in the end of July, 1721.

This was the age of addresses to the throne. During Queen Anne's reign many were sent, especially upon the battles fought in the Marlborough campaigns. We can only find space for a paragraph of one, as a sample of the others. Sibbit, the Town Clerk, and John Scott, of the Grammar School, were the writers:

'We take this opportunity to declare our utmost abhorrence and detestation of all and-revolutional, arbitrary, and enslaving principles, how cunningly soever disguised under plausible names and expressions, and to send our assurances to your Majesty that we will support, stand by, maintain, and defend your Majesty's person and government, the Protestant Succession as by law established, and the Act of Toleration against all the open and secret attacks not only of your Majesty's and their declared enemies, but also of all your Majesty's and their pretended friends, who mean no other thing than a Popish Prince and a French Government. May the bravery and conduct of the Generals your Majesty hath abroad, the faithfulness, sagacity and experience of the present Ministry, the loyalty, steadiness, and active courage of the Parliament we are blest with at home, soon put a period to the present tedious and expensive but necessary war, that as your Majesty hath with wonderful cheerfulness and resolution endured the fatigues of it, so you may solace yourself with the comfort and satisfaction of an honourable and safe peace until it shall be the pleasure of the

Sovereign disposer of all things to translate your Majesty into a State of eternally perfect tranquility after a reign of many, many years yet to come.'

George I. succeeded Anne, August 1st, 1714, and, on the 3rd September, the Guild congratulated the King on his ascension, and the magistrates made an entertainment and invited whom they pleased, and each member of the Guild received 2s. to drink his Majesty's health. The address was not sent on till October 8th, after the King had landed in this country, when it was given to the Duke of Roxburgh for presentation, and, on the 12th November, they thanked the Duke for so fully stating their loyalty to the King.

The rumours of the rising of 1715 reached the Corporation, and immediately an address, on August 15th, was sent to his sacred Majesty, in which they renewed their expressions of loyalty and attachment to the throne. Along with the commander of the garrison they began to put themselves in order, so as to prevent any surprise. Two men were appointed to watch each gate from the opening to the shutting, for which each man received is. per diem. Three inhabitants out of each quarter were summoned to appear every night at the Town Hall at six o'clock, there to remain all the night, provided with arms for their defence, and with lanthorns, coals, and candles. Then, on hearing of the rising in Northumberland, under Derwentwater and Forster, the Guild formed ten companies of volunteers of forty men each, the Mayor and Justices to be captains of the same; and ordered them at once to meet for discipline, that they might be in readiness for all contingencies.

On the forenoon of October 17th, the magistrates of the town and officers of the garrison, and Captain Philips, an engineer, placed here by the Government, deliberated and decided that the houses in Castlegate and the Greens be demolished and levelled with the ground. An estimate of the expense was made out, and signed by the commanding officer, Laton, and Captain Philips. Undoubtedly the necessity for this course arose from the fact that the Middle Mount was rendered of no avail if houses stood right in front of it, and then the houses gave shelter and hiding-places to an enemy. The estimate for the property ordered to be destroyed amounted to 815. That part of the town was not much built up. Eleven houses and gardens, stables and outhouses, were all that were utterly destroyed. Damages to neighbouring property were estimated at 26 10s. The whole autumn and winter, till December 16th, was spent in keeping strict watch; after this the watch was disallowed, save in the Town Hall, where State prisoners* were kept. The Rebellion and its dangers had entirely passed away before October 10th, 1716, for on that day all arms were again delivered to the store, and the ten companies dismissed. The money for the Castlegate property was not so soon paid. In November, 1716, the Guild petitioned the Prince of Wales for it without effect. In October, 1717, they knocked at the door of the House of Commons in vain. Early in 1720, they sent a deputation to London to sue for it; and on April 7th of that year, Barrington, their representative, informed them that the Castlegate money would soon be in their hands. On the same day a letter from Neville Grey intimated that if the money was not forthcoming very soon, his brother, Mr. H. Grey, and himself would pay it. The thanks of the Corporation were returned for their good intention. The money was forwarded very soon after this letter was received.

The romantic story of the two Erringtons, and their bravery in taking the Castle of Holy Island, in 1715, for the Pretender, was first told by Grose, next by Hutchinson, and it has since been often repeated; but there is in reality very little of truth, and still less of bravery, in the tale. From depositions made before the Mayor of Berwick immediately afterwards, it was proved that the whole garrison, instead of consisting of twelve or fourteen men, consisted in reality of only seven; and that of the seven, two only were in the castle when it was seized ; of the other five, two were at the time off duty, and in the town, and the other three were absent; but there is no proof that they were in a state of intoxication on board of the trader belonging to the Erringtons. The depositions of the parties implicated in the affair at once divested the story of all pretence to the marvellous, and prove it to have been, at best, but a paltry and even cowardly exploit.'1 The story shortly is this: Lancelot Errington obtained admittance to the castle on the pretence of having his beard shaven. Samuel Phillipson, one of the men in the castle at that moment, acted as barber. After this office was accomplished, Lancelot went away, but returned shortly after, pretending to seek his watch-key. When he was a second time in presence of Phillipson, he drew out his pistol, and swore that the castle was his ; calling his brother Mark to his assistance, he soon overpowered Phillipson, and thrust him out of the castle ; the other, Francis Amos, was likewise thrust out. After which the Pretender's flag was hoisted, and the castle was theirs.

Next day, some soldiers from Berwick Garrison were sent to rescue the castle from the Erringtons' power. It took no great labour to do this, and to secure the persons of the two Erringtons, who were brought to Berwick and lodged in gaol in the old Tolbooth. There they lay for some months, when they were assisted to escape out of prison by Thomas Hunter, joiner, Thomas Peach, mason, Thomas Bowring the younger, and one Young, a journeyman butcher, with Joseph Forster, burgess. It seems from depositions taken in Berwick from 15th to 21st March, 1716, that Thomas Bowring the elder was the prime mover in this escape. It was he that mentioned the matter first to Hunter, it was he that gave 10s. to Young to go to Edinburgh to secure a man who could undo irons and locks, whom Young said he knew. Young went to Edinburgh and obtained this man. Information is not given how all these assisted ; but the Erringtons and two other criminals escaped about two in the morning by pulling up the flags under the doorway of the gaol, and evidently coming through below the door. They were let over the wall by a rope which had been taken by Hunter out of Mrs. Eleanor Ord's house without the knowledge of its owner. The Erringtons were never apprehended. They were seen about Budel, and it is supposed they escaped abroad for some time. One of them afterwards kept the Salutation Inn, at the head of the Flesh Market, Newcastle. It is said that he died of grief for the victory of Culloden.

Hunter, Peach, Young, and Bowring were apprehended, and in December, 1716, were taken, at an expense of 40 19s., to Carlisle to be tried. Bowring alone seems to have been a freeman of the burgh, for, on 1st June, 1716, it is decreed by the Guild, in order that the Corporation' might declare their just resentment of so wicked and villainous an enterprise, that a summons be left at his house requiring him to appear at next head Guild.' He did not appear, and there being no doubt of his guilt, he was disfranchised, stript of all the privileges of a burgess, and his name razed from the roll.

In 1729, they were beginning to find that the Main Guard in High Street was a nuisance, and this year they petitioned Parliament for its removal. Curiously enough, they, at the same time, determined to level Hide Hill, and lay a causeway in the middle of the street 'for easier passage should not stand on the New Gate Head, where they had been acustomed to stand time out of mind, ' to play music to Mr. Mayor, Justices, Aldermen, and Bailiffs on their return from the riding of the Bounds ; and that the guns on the ramparts should not fire a returning salute.' The difference was settled by the garrison giving way to the Guild on the point of dispute.

A bridge over the 'Whitteter' was erected for the first time in the year 1739. The proposal for the erection came from the gentlemen of the county, and the Guild readily agreed to the proposal, subscribed 50 to the fund, and allowed quarry leave on their grounds for this purpose.

The Forty-five Rebellion caused little stir in Berwick. There was a general uneasiness throughout the country, from the feeling that a French invasion was possible. The Guild sent an address to his Majesty after he had newly returned from his warlike expeditions in Europe:

The guild congratulate your Majesty on your seasonable and happy return to your British dominions at a time when your inveterate enemies abroad and rebellious subjects at home have entered into a most detestable conspiracy to deprive your subjects of the best of Kings, of their religion and liberties, to introduce popery and slavery, to overturn our present happy constitution and destroy the balance of power in Europe.'

On the 17th of September, the burgesses determined to observe the same orders as in 1715, only more caution was taken. They wrote to Government for warrant to take up arms, and a warrant was issued from the Treasury to form companies and stand in arms for the safety of the kingdom. Watch was set at the gates, and four days after this was done the Battle of Prestonpafis was fought, where Cope was completely defeated. He rode off the field to the south, got to Coldstream, then to Berwick, where at last he thought he was safe. A little excitement was caused in the town till it was known by which road the Pretender would enter England. When that by Carlisle was determined on, the burgesses of Berwick breathed freely, and, except an address to his Majesty on the 'glorious victory of Culloden Moor,' no further notice was taken of this rebellion. A Berwick burgess had been impressed into the service, but, on remonstrance with the authorities, he was liberated, for it was contrary to the terms of the charter to impress a freeman.

The next work that engaged the attention of the Guild was the building of a new town-hall. The site, where the hall stands, had been in possession of the burgesses since the time of Alexander III., when Simon Maunsel, a noted burgess of that period, bequeathed the ground. Here the Guild had held their meetings for nearly five hundred years—not in the same erection, for twice at least in those centuries had the Tolbooth been rebuilt; and now, for a third time, and with a new name, was the Guild to erect a place of meeting for their Council, and the present Town Hall arose in all its stateliness of structure. The first mention of the project occurs in 1747—they began to consider ways and means ; but in 1749 they proceeded to decided action, for the Tolbooth had fallen down, and the bell steeple was in great decay, and a strong gaol was likewise needed. Since there was no money to carry this scheme into execution, they laid a tax of 2s. per acre upon all meadows, and the town fields were divided into lots. A different manner of raising the money was speedily adopted. Two gentlemen in London offered 2,500 each for annuities of 200. With this money the debt was paid off, and a considerable sum was left to begin the proposed hall. In 1750 the contractors, Messrs. Pattison and Dods, made a start with the building, the architects of which were Messrs. Samuel and John Worrall, who had drawn the plans, two elevations and one section, of the new town-house and steeple, for which the Guild paid them 31 10s.

When the Guild had determined upon a new hall, they likewise decided on a new peal of bells and a new clock. The old bells were sent to London and recast at a cost of 353, which was paid by purchasing an annuity of 150, borrowing 100, and ordering Mr. Hal1, the Treasurer, to pay 103 as the balance. On the tenor bell are cast these words: 1 These eight bells were cast in the mayoralty of William Temple, Esq., 1754, Berwick-on-Tweed. Thomas Lister and Thos. Rach, of London, fecit 1754/ An entirely new clock was ordered at a cost of 90, and 10 extra for a man to fit it up. The big wheels are 18 inches in diameter, and others in proportion ; the hands are 3 feet in length. It chimes the quarters upon three bells. The figures on the dials are cut in stone.

On the 28th of January, 1757, the committee reported that the new town-house was finished, and that Mr. Joseph Dods said that he had lost 135 9s. i^d. by the contract. This amount was paid, as well as 160 of extras allowed him by the arbitrators. The Berwick arms were affixed to the front of the hall, which piece of carving out of Den wick stone* was done by Christopher Richardson, of Doncaster, for 42.

The Town Hall is an imposing structure at the foot of the High Street. It is furnished with a steeple 150 feet high, in which are placed the bells and the clock. This is the only peal of bells in the town, and the structure is so much more ecclesiastical in appearance than the parish church that it has more than once been mistaken for it.

The following extract from Notes and Queries is interesting in this connection: Can anyone favour me with a parallel or similar case, in respect to bells, to what I recently met with at Berwick-on-Tweed? The parish church is a mean structure in Cromwell's time, and is without either tower or bell; and the people are summoned to divine service from the belfry of the Town Hall, which has a very respectable steeple. Indeed, so much more ecclesiastical in appearance is the Town Hall than the church, that (as I was told) a regiment of soldiers, on the first Sunday after their arrival at Berwick, marched to the former building for divine service, although the church stood opposite the barrack-gate. My kind informant also told me that he found a strange clergyman (Rev. Charles Simeon) one Sunday morning trying the Hall door, and rating the absent sexton, having undertaken to preach a missionary sermon, and become involved in the same mistake as the soldiers.'

In the Town Hall the Council Chamber is placed, as well as a large hall where the County Court used to sit, and where the Quarter Sessions are held. The Police-office and a room where the Justices sit to dispose of trivial cases, which room is likewise used as a committee-room for the Council, are situated on the same floor. The second floor is fitted up with prison-cells, where prisoners are still kept overnight before they are either dismissed or remanded to a higher court. The ground-floor has always had piazzas for shops, and formerly it had cells for prisoners. The latter are now abolished, and the space is occupied by a good, strong safe for preserving the town's records. Under the east end of the Hall the weekly egg and butter market is held.

A greater variety of trade began to be carried on in Berwick, to which we will now refer. In October, 1751, Arthur Byram got a grant of land below the eight-gun battery, to begin a ship-building trade, and he was allowed to 4 import coastwise oak-planks, oak-timber, blocks, sails, rigging, and other materials the town cannot supply for carrying on said business, at such easy rates as in other towns of England, and free of town's duties and water-bailiff's fees.' The work was carried on up to 1759 without interruption, when Byram was told that unless he employed freemen smiths he would be compelled to stop his work, and all his privileges would be taken from him. This difference was settled shortly afterwards, and Byram was allowed to go on unmolested in his operations. In 1789, the ground and the privileges granted to Byram were granted to Robert Gowan at an annual fee of id. In 1825 Arthur Byram Gowan was granted a lease for forty years of the same ground, on which he intended to erect a slip at an expense of 1,600. Ship-building beginning in 1751 immediately led to a ropery starting in town. On February 28th, 1752, a ropemaker from Newcastle obtained a lease of a piece of ground for 5s. a year for this purpose. The ground is described as 4 that which runs from the old Scotch Gate along by the Bell Tower, towards the Gate in the Back Greens that leads to the Maudlin Fields'—the same piece of ground that is now used for the ropery.

The Berwick Ropery Company was formed immediately to assist Loch of Newcastle to carry on his work. The original members of this Company were Fenwick Stow, William Stow Lundie, William Temple, William Jeffreys, William Hall, Thomas Rutherford, John Proctor, George Forster, and George Loch. The shares of these several holders were gradually sold at an average price of 16, until they were all in the hand (in 1794) of Richard Todd, Ferrow Marshall, and James Landels, of Berwick, coopers. In the same year John Robertson of Berwick and John Miller Dickson joined the company, and a lease for fifty-seven years was obtained in the name of the Berwick Ropery Company. John Miller Dickson Patterson became sole proprietor in later years.

Various other trades were started at this time, but none of these came to any perfection. In 1771, Mr. Johnston, a non-freeman, commenced selling cloth and stockings by retail in Berwick: the Guild, as usual, attempted to hinder him, but JohnstQn appealed to the Northumberland Assizes. A large committee was appointed to prosecute the case to a conclusion in the superior courts. In the Assize Court the case was decided in Johnston's favour, not on the ground of the charter, but because the Guild had allowed non-freemen in some instances to carry on trade without opposition. That this was true was proved before the Court by witnesses. An appeal was then carried to the Court of King's Bench, and there, after counsel had debated the question at length, it was decided entirely in favour of the defendant, and the whole costs came to be paid by the Corporation. After the case was so far settled the opinion of counsel was again taken, which was in favour of a new trial before a less prejudiced jury than the last; but a better course prevailing, the committee was dismissed, and the unfreeman element was now at full liberty to trade in Berwick-upon-Tweed.

About 1750 there began a great movement for the improvement of the roads throughout the country. The Guild subscribed 50 towards helping a Turnpike Act through Parliament, and thanks were sent to Lord Barrington for his indefatigable pains in procuring an Act for making a turnpike from Buckton Burn to Lammerton Hill, and several branches from that road. In October, 1754, Commissioners were appointed to make this road through Berwick. This Act did not include a road along the south of Halidon Hill. The fence on the south side had existed for 4 many years, if not beyond the memory of manbut the north side had always been unenclosed till 1760, when the Guild ordered it to be ditched, dyked, and fenced, leaving the road sufficiently wide, as by law directed. This road now enclosed was left altogether unmade, so that, in 1762, the complaint could not be without foundation 4that for months past it was so bad that travellers cannot pass thereon without great danger, which has obliged them not only to pull down the new made fences, but also the ancient fence on the opposite side of the road, and the carriages flying from the bad road, have utterly destroyed the meadow ground that the ancient fences enclosed, to the great damage of the proprietors of the said meadow ground.'2 It then became a question who was bound to make the road. The Guild consulted Mr. Yates, barrister-at-law, who clearly decided that the Corporation were liable. 4 Since they had shut up the carts to a given tract, they were bound to make that tract passable for conveyances.'

In 1760 the Guild entered upon two great lawsuits. The first determined that Thomas Watson, the owner of the Magdalene Fields, and not the Corporation, had the right to win limestone on the sea-banks between high and low water mark. The second—a much more elaborate case—arose out of a quarrel in Guild, in which two burgesses, Henry Cowle and Andrew Mitchell, were indicted to appear in the Berwick Court. They refused, on the ground that a fair trial was not possible, and appealed to the Court of Queen's Bench. The Guild opposed this application on the ground that the King's Writ did not run in Berwick, and that they were not bound to answer any summons to appear in another court. After a long and elaborate argument Lord Mansfield showed that this contention of the Corporation could not be sustained, and concluded: 4 Therefore we are all of opinion that these indictments may be tried in this court by a jury of the County of Northumberland.'

Having settled the disputed point, the case was afterwards tried at the Newcastle Assizes with this issue. The defendant Cowle appeared in court at the bar, and was by the judges severely reprimanded for his riotous behaviour in the Guild of Berwick, as set forth in his submission ; and, in public court, confessed his crime, declared his sorrow, and asked pardon of Mr. Mayor and the magistrates for the same. His submission follows:

Whereas at a Guild holden March 3, 1758, Henry Cowle, burgess and late bailiff, was guilty of a most notorious offence by assaulting Henry Hodgson, Esq., then Mayor, in the execution of his office, and also by assaulting James Todd, Town Clerk of Berwick, in the execution of his office, and endeavouring by violence to wrest from his hands an order of Guild he was reading by the said Mayor's directions, and afterwards in confederacy with one Andrew Mitchell of the said Burgh, burgess, in which Mr. Mayor's White Rod, the insignia of his office, was broken, and many other insults offered his person by the instigation of the said H. Cowle and the said Andrew Mitchell . . . I do openly confess, with the greatest concern, that I am guilty of the offences aforesaid, and do submissively acknowledge the lenity of the prosecution and clemency of the magistrates, and do humbly implore pardon of them and of the Guild in general, and do submit myself to the costs of the prosecution, and do fully consent that this declaration be read in Guild and made public in what other way the magistrates may think fit.'*

During the latter part of the century there was constant uneasiness caused by fear of a French invasion. It manifested itself in Berwick only in giving large bounties to anyone who would voluntarily enlist in the regular army, until 1794, when, on permission being granted by the Government (conveyed to the Guild by a letter from the Right Hon. H. Dundas, Home Secretary) to raise two companies of Volunteers, the Guild immediately met and passed the following resolutions, which were all moved by the Mayor:

1st (Seconded by Burnett Roger Grieve), that it was the indispensable duty of every loyal subject to step forward in defence of the present established Government in Church and State, of King, Lords, and Commons.

2nd. (Seconded by W. Jeffreys, Esq.), that we shall, as a body corporate and individually, most cordially co-operate in raising the force offered and accepted by subscription, and by any other means in our power.

3rd. That the Corporation subscribe jioo for this purpose, and the following be the committee. Mr. Mayor and Justices, Jeffreys, Burnett Roger Grieve, Waite, Thomas Todd, James Bell, Major Maclean, John Jeffreys, William Grieve, Burnett Grieve, Balderston, and Samuel Burn.

4th. That thanks be given to the gentlemen who took the lead in the matter.

5th. That the minutes be printed in the London, Edinburgh, and Newcastle papers.'

Thus Berwick was able to show its loyalty and to put itself in a position to defend its shores from the invader. They were very liberal at this period and onward, as long as the Guild had an existence. For the widows and children of those who had been killed in each of the glorious battles of the Nile, Camperdown, and Waterloo they subscribed 100, and gave 1,000 as a bounty to the State, to enable them to carry on the war vigorously.

In 1802, the Guild began to consider Queen Elizabeth's Pier, and, on June 25 th, a committee was appointed to examine into its condition. The report presented shows that that part of it from Crabwater Bat, or the angle above the gut down to the lowest beacon, was in a most ruinous state. The gut through the pier, which was made (and still remembered by many now alive) so small as only to admit a boat to pass into the Meadow Haven, was now a gap so large as to divert the currents of flood and ebb from their natural channel; the other part of the pier, from Crabwater to the land, was not so ruinous. Lord Lisburne's tenants were carrying off, to burn in their lime-kiln, the ridge of rocks which form k natural barrier against the influx of the sea.

From the report of this committee action was taken to go on with a new pier, the old being too much wasted to repair. An Act of Parliament was obtained in June, 1808, the main clause of which was: ' Power given to Commissioners to scower, cleanse, and deepen the Harbour, and to dig and remove fishings, bats, stands, rocks, stones, sands, etc. Also to build and make piers, jetties, buildings, quays, wharfs, docks, and other conveniences in or adjoining said Harbour, for preserving and improving the Navigation, and for the better accommodation of shipping and the trade of the port, and to make other roads, giving satisfaction done to property ; also to erect a Lighthouse on the Pier.' In the Act there was a grant to the Commissioners of a duty on goods, a tonnage duty on ships, harbour dues and ballast dues. On obtaining the Act the Commissioners took steps at once to carry out its object. Preparations were made, and the foundation-stone laid on July 27th, 1810. The Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital allowed stones to be taken from a quarry on the sea-bank of Scremerston for building the pier, a trifle being paid for rent. The stones were brought by a railway for nearly two miles, through the village of Spital to a wharf on the river, and thence in barges down the river to the pier, which is on the north side of the entrance to the harbour.

The length of the arm of the pier from the Magdalen Field Bank to the turn at the river is 320 yards, from the turn at Crabwater to the end, 640 yards; total length, 960 yards. It was finished in 1821. The account for these twelve years' work stands thus:

On February 17th, 1826, the foundation of a lighthouse at the east end of the pier was laid by Admiral Stow.

What is to be said of the trade of the town must be said in few words. From the last time that Berwick was Scotch, in 1482, we learn little of its export trade. We then saw that salmon was its chief export, and it remained so during all the vicissitudes of the town ; but other branches of trade suffered through the intensely warlike condition of the neighbourhood till 1603, when the complaint was made that the garrison had so afforded a means of livelihood to the inhabitants that, on its dissolution, no trade was left whereby they might live. During the centuries that follow, the corn trade seems to have flourished most. At one time there was an immense exportation of eggs, especially during the wars in the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of this century—to France in particular. On the peace of 1815 being declared the egg trade ceased entirely. As much as 20,000 per annum was sometimes netted as the price of eggs exported from Berwick Harbour. They were carefully packed in boxes made for the purpose with the narrow end down, and sent on to London. The exportation of corn continued to be extensively carried on till the railway was started, when different channels for this trade were opened up. In the very end of last century about 27,000 quarters of corn were shipped in Berwick port. In 1820, about 62,000 quarters, and in 1833, 85,000 quarters, were exported. This continued to be the average amount till the carriage by rail superseded the coasting trade ; and now the shipping trade of the port is almost entirely confined to importation of timber and raw material for manure.

A new dock has been made on the Tweedmouth side of the river, to which the North-Eastern Railway laid a line of rails ; and the harbour has been greatly improved of late years ; but trade does not flow to the old town, and at no period in its history have the signs of decay been more legibly written on it than in the year 1887.


Berwick being in early times a Scottish town, we may look for coins struck here by the early Kings of Scotland. The earliest known Berwick coins are those of David I. It is doubtful if any of Malcolm IV.'s reign are extant. Of William the Lion's reign coins are undoubtedly known. Two of his moneyers in Berwick were called William and Adam. Coins of the two Alexanders that follow were likewise made in Berwick. But Berwick specimens of all these coins are rare, and of considerable value. Their value at the time of coinage was one penny. Of course they were all made of silver. On the reverse of David's coins are found the inscriptions: Eola on Ber,' 4 Eola on Bern,' .. on Berv,' . . . alt on Ber,' and ... on Ber. And on the reverse of those of William the Lion's reign, there is the name of the minter and the town where minted, as 4 William on Ber.' Alexander's Berwick penny has the legend, Iohan on Be.'fOf the other Scottish Kings—Alexander III., Baliol, Bruce, or David II.—no Berwick coins are known, for the place of mintage is in no case mentioned.

There seems no reason to doubt that the three Edwards, I., II., and III., coined at Berwick. In direct evidence of Edward I., Hawkins (first edit., p. 96) says, with reference to the coins of Edward I., Villa Berevvici, 4 or with a bear's head in one quarter, instead of pellets,' 4 or with a bear's head in two quarters/ 4This object on the reverse has always been called a boar's head, but it is intended for that of a bear, in reference to the armorial bearings and name of the place.' Chalmers says that Edward II. had a mint at Berwick, and adds that Radulphus Sutton was appointed Controller of the Customs and of the Mint at Berwick. Again (First Coll. ex Vesp., c. xvi., p. 20), Roger de Goswyk was Keeper of the King's Mint in the Town of Berwick-on-Tweed, and the issues this year, 1312, produced 19 18s. Edward III. minted at Berwick, for, in the Pipe Rolls 7 Edward III., the Treasurer is credited with receiving 13s. 4d., in 9 Edward III. 1, and in 10 Edward III. 1 2s. 3^d. profits of a certain mint in Berwick for making halfpennies and farthings at 4d. for every pound weight so made ; and in 11 Edward III. the same Treasurer is credited with 3s. id. at 3d. in the pound, and no more this year, for the minter died on the 20th February. Snelling, in his 'Coinage,' says that both Edwards I. and II. coined at Berwick; and Ruding adds, 4 that in the year 1296 Berwick was taken from the Scots by Edward I., who, at some period not now to be ascertained, placed a mint there, and struck money, specimens of which still remain. They have a boar's head on one quarter of the reverse. Edwards II. and III. likewise coined here. Edward III.'s coin bears legend " Edwardus D.G.R. Villa Bervici," and has boars' heads on two quarters of the reverse, instead of one, as in coins of Edwards I. and II.' This remark of Ruding's must be erroneous, for it is impossible to distinguish coins of the Edwards. The legend, according to other authorities, on the Edwardian coins is, • Edwa. R. Angl. Dn. Hyb.,' and 4 Vill | a Be | rev | vici | .'

The value and name of the Scottish and English coins remained the same till 1355 ; but, in this year, when David II.'s ransom came to be paid, Scotland was denuded of its coinage to such an extent as to compel the authorities to resort to the expedient of debasing what was left, and, after this date, the Scottish coins could no longer circulate promiscuously in the two countries. When Berwick was in the hands of James III. of Scotland, he seems to have coined to a considerable extent in the town. In some of his groats and half-groats, on the reverse he has a mallet in each quarter of the cross, and, in the inner circle,Villa Berwici. The legend on the obverse is 4 Jacobus D. Gra. Rex. Scotorreverse, 4 Dns. Ptector ms et Libator.'* The Act of Parliament 1 James IV. (a.d.1488), c. ii., mentions groats struck by Gilbert Fish, commonly called c Barwick groats.'

There have been many coins found along the Borders and in different parts of the country. A considerable number of Spanish coins were found in Spital in1885. The largest hoard that has been found was discovered at Aberdeen in the summer of 1886. The following extract from the Scotsman will explain:

On the 31st of May, 1886, some workmen, while making an excavation about four feet below the pavement of a lane called Ross's Court, in the Kirkgate of Aberdeen, unearthed the most extensive collection of ancient coins that has ever become available for scientific investigation in Scotland. The find was, as usual, taken possession of on behalf of the Crown as Treasure Trove, and forwarded to the Queen's Remembrancers, at whose request the late Mr. George Sim, F.S.A.S.Sc., kindly undertook the laborious task of minutely examining this very important hoard.' The published list shows 12,267 coins. 'They were found enclosed in a metal pot, which measures 11 inches in height and 32 inches in widest circumference. This is an ordinary three-legged cooking pot of the period, with two " lugs " by which the ancient Briton of the Bruce and Baliol days might hang his dinner over his fire, just as so many of us have seen the West Highlander do in his hut in these present years of advanced civilization. Unlike the Montraive hoard (the next largest found in Scotland), where there were groats and half-groats, as well as pennies or sterlings, this find consists entirely of sterlings, for the most part of the reigns of Edwards I., II., and III. of England.'

I should not have been justified in referring to this had it not been that a large number of these coins were minted in this town. The largest numbers were struck at London, Canterbury, and Durham; but 220 were coined at Berwick, all of the reigns of Edwards I., II., and III. Some Scottish coins were found, and a number of foreign coins of various nationalities. The hoard is being distributed to various public institutions; and, before this volume is in the hands of its readers, the Berwick Museum will most likely have received its due share of the native coins. A few of them are figured on the accompanying illustration.

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