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MACCLESFIELD

Monmouth, receiving, according to Pepys, the sum of £12,000 as solatium. On the 231'd of Tuly 1679 Gerard was created earl of Macclesfield and Viscount Brandon. A few months later he entered into relations with Monmouth, and co-operated with Shaftesbury in protesting against the rejection of the Exclusion Bill. In September 1685, a proclamation having been issued for his arrest, Macclesfield escaped abroad, and was outlawed. He returned with William of Orange in 1688, and commanded his body-guard in the march from Devonshire to London. - By William he was made a privy councillor, and lord lieutenant of Wales and three Western counties. Macclesheld died on the 7th of January 1694. By his French wife he left two sons and two daughters. »

His eldest son Charles, 2nd earl of Macclesfield (c. 1659-1701), was born in France and was naturalized in England by act of parliament in 1677. Like his father he was concerned in the intrigues of the duke of Monmouth; in 1685 he was sentenced to death for being a party to the Rye House plot, but was pardoned by the king. In 1689 he was elected member of parliament for Lancashire, which he represented till 1694, when he succeeded to his father's peerage. Having become a major general in the same year, Macclesfield saw some service abroad; and in 1701 he was selected first commissioner for the investiture of the elector of Hanover (afterwards King George I.) with the order of the Garter, on which occasion he also was charged to present a copy of the Act of Settlement to the dowager electress Sophia. He died on the 5th of November 1701, leaving no legitimate children.

In March 1698 Macclesfield was divorced from his wife Anna, daughter of Sir Richard Mason of Sutton, b, y.act» of parliament, the first occasion on which a divorce was so granted Without a previous decree of an ecclesiastical court. The countess was the mother of two children, who were known by the name of Savage, and whose reputed father was Richard Savage, 4th Earl T Rivers (d. 1712). The poet Richard Savage (q. v.). claimed that he was the younger of these children. The divorced countess married Colonel Henry Brett about the ear 1 oo and died at the age of eighty-five in 1753. Her daughter Anna Margaretta Brett was a mistress of George I. The 2nd earl of Macclesfield was succeeded by his brother Fitton Gerard, 3rd earl (c. 1665-1702), on whose death without heirs the title became extinct in December 1702.

In 1721 the title of earl of Macclesheld was revived in favour of Thomas Parker (c. 1666-173 2). The son of Thomas Parker, an attorney at Leek, young Parker was a student at Trinity College, Cambridge, and became a barrister in 1691. In 1705 he was elected member of parliament for Derby, and having gained some reputation in his profession, he took a leading part in the proceedings against Sacheverell in 1710. In the same year he was appointed lord chief justice of the queen's bench, but he refused to become lord chancellor in the following year; however he accepted this office in 1718, two years after he had been made Baron Parker of Macclesfield by George I., who held him in high esteem. In 1721 he was created Viscount Parker and earl of Macclesfield, but when serious charges of corruption were brought against him he resigned his position as lord chancellor in 1725. In the same year Macclesfield was impeached, and although he made a very able defence he was found guilty by the House of Lords. His sentence was a fine of £30,600 and imprisonment until this was paid. He was connned in the Tower of London for six weeks, and after his release he took no further part in public affairs. The earl, who built a grammar school at Leek, died in London on the 28th of April 1732. . Maccleslield's only son, GEORGE, (c. 1697-1 764) 2nd earl of Macclesfield of this line, was celebrated as an astronomer. As Viscount Parker he was member of parliament for Wallingford from 1722 to 1727, but his interests were not in politics. In 1722 he became a fellow of the Royal Society, and he spent most of his time in astronomical observations at his Oxfordshire seat, Shirburn Castle, which had been bought by his father in 1716; here he built an observatory and a, chemical laboratory. The earl was very prominent in effecting the change from the old to the new style of dates, which came into operation in 1752. His action in this matter, however, was somewhat unpopular, as the opinion was fairly general that he had robbed the people of eleven days. From 1752 until his death on the 17th of March 1764 Macclesfield was president of the Royal Society, and he made some observations on the great earthquake of 1755. His successor was his son Thomas (1723-179 5), from whom the present earl is deséfjsnded.

For the earls of the Gerard family see Lord Clarendon, History of the Rebellion, ed. by W. D. Macray; E. B. G, Warburton, Memoirs of Prince Rupert and the Cavaliers (3 vols., IS49); State Papers of John Thurloe (7 vols., 1742); R. Phillips, Memoirs of the Civil War in Wales and the Marches, 1642-49 (2 vols., 1874); and the duke of Manchester, Court and Societywfrom Elizabeth to Anne (2 vols., 1864). For Lord Chancellor Macclesfield, see Lord Campbell, Lives of the Lord Chancellors and Keepers of the Great Seal (1845-1869).


MACCLESFIELD, a market town and municipal borough in the Macclesheld parliamentary division of Cheshire, England, 166 m; N.W. by N; of London, on the London & North-Western, North Staffordshire and Great Central railways. Pop. (1901), 34,624. It lies on and above the small river Bollin, the valley of which is flanked by high ground to east and west, the eastern hills rising sharply to heights above 1000 ft. The bleak upland country retains its ancient name of Macclesfield Forest. The church of St Michael, standing high, was founded by Eleanor, queen of Edward I., in 1278, and in 1740 was partly rebuilt and greatly enlarged. The lofty steeple by which its massive tower was formerly surmounted was battered down by the Parliamentary forces during the Civil War. Connected with the church there are two chapels, one of which, Rivers Chapel, belonged to a college of secular priests founded in 1501 by Thomas Savage, afterwards archbishop of York. Both the church and chapels contain several ancient monuments. The free grammar school, originally founded in 1502 by Sir John Percival, was refounded in 1552 by Edward VI., and a commercial school was erected in 1840 out of its funds. The county lunatic asylum is situated here. The town-hall is a handsome modern building with a Grecian frontage on two sides. Originally the trade of Macclesfield was principally in twist and silk buttons, but this has developed into the manufacture of all kinds of silk. Besides this staple trade, there are various textile manufactures and extensive breweries; while stone and slate quarries, as well as coal-mines, are worked in the neighbourhood. Recreation grounds include Victoria Park and Peel Park, in which are preserved the old market cross and stocks. Water communication is provided by the Macclesfield canal. The borough is under a mayor, 12 aldermen and 36 councillors. Area, 3214 acres. The populous suburb of Sutton, extending S.S.E. of the town, is partly included in the borough.

Previous to the Conquest, Macclesfield (Makesfeld, Mackerfeld, Macclesfeld, Meulefeld, Maxfield) was held by Edwin, earl of Mercia, and at the time of the Domesday Survey it formed a part of the lands of the earl of Chester. The entry speaks of seven hedged enclosures, and there is evidence of fortification in the 13th century, to which the names Jordangate, Chestergate and Wallgate still bear witness. In the 15th century Henry Stafford, duke of Buckingham, had a fortified manor-house here, traces of which remain. There is a tradition, supported by a reference on a plea roll, that Randle, earl of Chester (1181–1232) made Macclesfield a free borough, but the earliest charter extant is that granted by Edward, prince of Wales and earl of Chester, in 1261, constituting Macclesfield a free borough with a merchant gild, and according. certain privileges in the royal forest of Macclesfield to the burgesses. This charter was confirmed by Edward III. in 1334, by Richard II. in 1389, by Edward IV. in 1466 and by Elizabeth in 1564. In 1595 Elizabeth issued a new charter to the town, confirmed by James I. in 1605 and Charles II. in 1666, laying down, a formal borough constitution under a mayor, 2 aldermen, 24 capital burgesses and a high steward. In 1684 Charles II, issued a new charter, under which the borough was governed until the Municipal Reform Act 1835. The earliest mention of a market is in a grant by James I. to Charles, prince of Wales and earl of Chester, in 1617, In the charter of 1666 a