Letter

Scope and Content

Samuel Wood (Chester) to Sir John Trevor, MP (Cannon Row, Westminster): has not ceased 'to labour daily about that business for Gresford for I made ready the petition, conferred with Captain Ball and consulted especially where to find some of the quality to sign it willingly. On Thursday we hoped to have had many in the town at the market or attending the Committee but they sat not (though appointed so) and market people were thin yet about 6 we got and some of these scrupulous and unwilling to underwrite lest it might be prejudicial to their old Vicar, concerning which I told them how incapable he was become and that I had acquainted his own wife so and that we must petition for a good one or stand in present danger of having someone put in of whom we might repent, yet all this moved little. The next day this Captain Ball and a friend laboured all day with those who seemed likely to be willing but every man stand till he saw the hand of his superior neighbour to it so that I am as yet persuaded there will not be above 8 hands got to it this week and therefore unless they bring some more this morning I think it must stay till the next. Mr Owen Brereton and some others have been from home in Chester who I believe will readily subscribe against the next week. In the mean time I have by assessments of townships and information of neighbours laboured to get the number of families in the whole parish and chapleries thinking it the only ready way to attain to the likeliest number of communicants as you desired … As for the maintenance of the 3 chapels, that of Holt I find upon true information it had no more allowed than the yearly Easter tithings. Certainly allowed if they liked the man that was their curate they gathered him contributions and when they pleased withdrew them again. But the other 2 chapels had nothing but contributions only and for Allington chapel your uncle's allowance was 4 marks, the loan of a cow and sometimes if he liked the man he would let him have diet at his table and the cow some grass (which was but seldom). He allowed him also an house to dwell in. But all this was at his pleasure for ought I can discover, it was not a maintenance belonging to the chapel of right for it was ruined and he built it as I am told and many have complained to me 4 years ago that the chapel was unconsecrated and therefore not fitted for divine ordinances. That at Iscoyd is (as this) but a chapel of ease within the chaplery of Holt and it had need to be so for a great part of Iscoyd is 2 long miles from Holt chapel but it never had any maintenance certain but voluntary contributions only … The value of the vicarage per annum (which is only out of those townships which congregate at the parish church and nothing out of Holt chapelry) hath been accounted to be £140 p.a. at the most in the best times and some affirm that it is now worth so much and have offered to give so much for it and do demnonstrate it by particulars but Mrs Lloyd will not affirm it to have been worth above £100 p.a.'; a later written part of the letter then begins by saying he has now got 15 signatures to the above-mentioned petition and gives details of one, William Wright of Pulford; has not been able to find Owen Brereton but he is sure he and some others may send up their names later if required; for news of the election and county court writer refers recipient to Colonel Aldersey's letter; discusses Mr trevor's coming down before the election, 'Sir Thomas M[?ostyn] desires his coming down and the sooner it is the better because he is preparing to come up and would be willing to be in the country till it be past for both their sakes (as he tells me) lest any unexpected opposition appear'; financial arrangements; '… my Lady is in physic a little to prevent the jaundice but she is in pretty good strength'; 'I am told by a pryer into the state of North Wales that the excise will be like to be very much opposed in the upper counties and not a little in the nearer. He thinks it will hardly be endured at all'.

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