1645

9th. July Wednesday
A pestilence visited the town; and from an ordinance of parliament, July 9, it appears that it raged with such violence that for many months none had been permitted to come in and go out of the town. The ordinance says: “Most of the inhabitants living upon trade are not only ruined in their estates; but many families are like to perish for want who cannot be sufficiently relieved by that miserably wasted country.” The parliament voted a grant of £1,000 “for the relief of Manchester,” and directed a collection to be made in all the churches and chapels of the metropolis for the same purpose. December. The proceeds were forwarded hither to John Hartley, of Strangeways Hall.(7)

16th. July Wednesday
Rev. Samuel Byland buried at the Collegiate Church 16th July. He was a native of the town, and was baptised 1st January, 1618-19. His will is printed in Earwaker’s Local Gleanings, No. 594. The several members of the family are known. There is a halfpenny token of the elder brother, who was a grocer.(7)

25th. December Thursday
Walter Balcanquell, D.D., died at Chirk Castle 25th December, and is buried in Chirk Church. He was a native of Scotland and chaplain of James I. On the death of Oliver Carter he was elected Fellow of the Collegiate Church, but had ceased to hold that position in 1638, when the new charter was granted. He was Dean of Durham in 1639, but was reduced to poverty by his zeal for the Royalist cause. He wrote The Statutes of Heriot’s Hospital; A Sermon Preached at St. Mary’s, Spittle, 1623; The Honour of Christian Churches, 1633; Rise and Progress of the Troubles in Scotland, 1639. In the curious case of Swinneston versus Mosley, in 1647, one of the witnesses testified that the plaintiff, Mrs. Anne Swinnerton, had told him that she had received £300 for withdrawing a charge of rape that she had preferred against Dr. Balcanquell. “This doctor,” said the witness, “I knew to be a reverend man, and to my knowledge is long since dead and in heaven.” (Harleian Mis­cellany, ed. Park. iii., p. 501.) There is some doubt whether Balcanquell resided in Manchester, but as his name passed into a phrase to describe an odd-looking man, it may be supposed that he was not entirely unknown here. A full notice of Balcanquell is given in the Raines MSS., vol. xli., p. 179.(7)

1645
Robert Burnell “came to be sexton of Manchester Church. The rates of graves in alleys, in the parish part, except middle alley and two cross alleys, were five shillings for a man or woman, and two shillings and sixpence for a child, and ten groats for a child, and six shillings and eightpence for a man or woman.” In 1649 they were doubled.(7)