A letter on economic conditions in Cheshire, 11 July 1646
(Catalogue ref: SP 23/197/39)
This is an extract from a letter written by George Manley to his brother Thomas.
George was in Cheshire and Thomas was in London.
The Civil War was virtually over. However, there were pockets of Royalist soldiers still fighting. Parliament and the army commanders were also very suspicious of areas of the country that had supported Charles, even if they were no longer fighting. As a result, they stationed large numbers of soldiers in these areas and forced the local people to pay for the soldiers through harsh taxes.
Cheshire had tried to declare itself neutral during the Civil War, but Parliament had not allowed this. The city of Chester supported Charles I and so did much of the rest of the county. Parliament forces besieged Chester. Cheshire people had to suffer both Royalist and Parliament armies in their county.
Even areas that had not supported Charles had to pay heavy taxes to support the army. As discontent with taxes grew, army control gradually got tighter.
From 1646 onwards the army became an increasingly powerful force. Taxes to pay for the army were far higher than they had ever been in the rule of Charles I. Parliament’s County Committees also controlled each county very closely.