SUPPLYING ARMS TO THE GARRISON AT CHESTER CASTLE ALBEMARLE (Sir George Monk, 1608-1670, Restorer of Charles II, 1st Duke)Sir

Document signed “Albemarle” addressed to the “right Honble Sir William COMPTON...” (1625-1663, Master of the Ordnance and Privy Councillor) desiring him “to take care of sending to His Majstys Garrison in Chester Castle three score and one snaphance muskets and three score and two Collars of Bandaleeres a partisan a halberd one Drum eight barells of powder and eight barells of bullett to bee delivered to Sr Theophilus Gilbey Governor of the said Castle or whom he shall appoint for the role of the sd Garrison. Dated at ye Cockpitt 8 Aug 1662...”, 1 side oblong 4to., 1 side oblong 4to., with an engraving of Monk, the Cockpitt, 8th August

During the Civil War siege of Chester it was the royalist headquarters, with a garrison commanded from 1642 by a military governor. It escaped physical damage and in 1646 was surrendered with all its arms, ordnance, and ammunition intact, to become the headquarters of a parliamentary garrison under a new military governor. During the Interregnum it remained a supply base for parliamentary troops in Ireland, and the location of monthly courts held by the county sheriff in the shire hall. In 1659 it was put into a state of defence during the rising of Sir George Booth, and shots were exchanged with the royalists who had entered the city. The Cromwellian governor, Robert Venables, was removed in 1660. Thereafter there seems to have been no garrison until 1662, when Sir Theophilus Gilbey was granted a warrant to enlist, arm, and keep under array about 60 foot soldiers. The castle, whose strategic importance on the route to north Wales and Ireland continued to be recognised, was then felt to be in need of defence against sedition aroused by dispossessed nonconformist ministers. Late in 1662 Sir Evan Lloyd was appointed governor and shortly afterwards Gilbey asked for provisions, weaponry, and soldiers; a garrison was then thought necessary to safeguard against the great numbers of Presbyterians in and around Cheshire. After the 1660s, however, royal interest seems to have waned, though Chester remained one of the army's principal strongholds, under the command of a governor and much visited by dignitaries travelling to and from Ireland.
At this time Albemarle was Captain General and was living in London at the Cockpit, on the west side of Whitehall (where the present Treasury building stands). At this period the army was reducing. In the early 1660s it went from 50,000 down to 3,000.
Sir William Compton was one of six remarkable Royalist sons of Spencer Compton, 2nd Earl of Northampton (killed in battle 1643). he was an active Royalist solider in the Civil War and after the Restoration Master of the Ordnance, Commissioner for Tangier and a Privy Councillors.
A shaphance musket is one with an early type of flint-lock. A bandoleer is a shoulder belt for cartridges, originally a belt to support the musket etc. A partisan is a long handled spear, the blade with one or more lateral cutting projections. A halberd is a combination of spear and battle axe (sharp edged blade ending in a point and a spear head, mounted on the handle, 5-7 foot long.

Item Date:  1662

Stock No:  39773      £2250

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