During 1795 widespread rioting and civil disturbances affected many areas of the country, including Cheshire, in reaction to the dramatic increase in the price of staple foodstuffs caused by the severe winter of 1794-5, crop failure and dislocation due to the war. The Government attempted to comprehend the underlying causes of the food shortage by gathering information on the harvests, and to control the unrest it introduced the notorious Two Acts (36 Geo III c 7 & 8, 1795): see S.I. Mitchell, 'Food shortages and public order in Cheshire, 1757-1812', Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society, vol. 81 (1982), pp. 42-66.; E.P. Thompson, The making of the English working class (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1968), pp. 70-2, 156-62.
The papers include letters and circulars from the Duke of Portland, Home Secretary, requiring returns of the harvest, and correspondence between George Harry Grey (1737-1819), 5th Earl of Stamford, and Charles Potts re compiling the returns.
The wrapper is annotated: "Letters | & Papers | about Corn" in the hand of the 5th Earl of Stamford.