Archive centreCarlisle
TitleAdministrative records
DescriptionThe composition and powers of the Common Council were set forth in the letters patent of 1637 CA/1/19 which vests government of the city in the mayor, 11 other aldermen, the two bailiffs and 24 chief or capital citizens. The Court of Aldermen, of which first mention appears in the rough minute papers, comprised the mayor and aldermen only and its minute books record the admission, resignation or removals of aldermen and common councillors, with occasional reports and informations concerning misbehaviour of aldermen or common councillors. The rough minutes CA/2/13 consist of papers giving notes of proceedings in council; some are no more than lists of absentees with date, but others contain orders or memoranda of the numbers voting for a particular issue with the decision taken. With few exceptions there is no heading. The extracts transcribed in Ferguson and Nanson "Municipal Records" include almost every order recorded before the council order books begin as a continuous series in 1689. The ordinances of 1445 and 1464 CA/2/15-16 with others made in 1487, no longer extant, were exemplified in 1566. CA/2/70. The exemplification is transcribed and translated in Ferguson "Royal Charters". Certain constitutions relating to the government of the city, as revised in 1658, and confirmed in 1661 or 1667 by the corporation, are contained in the second Audit Book CA/4/140. The Dormont Book has been included in this section because the earliest entries in it are a series of rules for the good government of the city. Subsequently, it was put to a number of other uses but none of them for long, and a good deal of the volume consists of blank pages. It is used currently for enrolments of honorary freemen of the city. CA/2/23-25 contain the declarations of city officers to uphold the Established Church in accordance with with Act of 9 Geo. IV. c. 17, 1828, repealing the Test and Corporation Acts.Lady Day 25 March is the Grand Day for Admitting of Freemen here 1762, D/Jan/6/99 March 6. The majority of the lists and schedules of documents CA/2/416-445 are fragementary, or were made when specific documents were removed from the corporation chest for use as evidence in lawsuits. CA/2/432 is the first surviving with any attempt at completeness, but it is confined principally to the charters and corporation deeds. The lists of 1828 and 1831 are slightly wider in scope. The most comprehensive list is that of 1883 CA/2/435 but documents are usually very brief indeed, being just sufficient for identification purposes, and numerous items are omitted. The poor law records CA/2/450-468 are presumably strays from the parish records of St. Mary's and St. Cuthbert's, Carlisle, as the Corporation had no jurisdiction with regard to the poor law, or possibly papers produced before the magistrates
ContextAdmission to the freedom of the city was a subject of dispute from time to time between the Corporation and the trade gilds. After 1791 admission as a freeman was through prior admission to one of the trade gilds, of which there were eight in Carlisle.
Related materialA few council orders are contained in the Chamberlains' day book CA/4/9. For declarations against the Solemn League and Covenant and forms of oaths to be taken by city officers, see CA/2/17 and CA/2/19-20. Lists of freemen admitted appear also in the Chamberlains' accounts, 1619-1627 CA/4/2 and the memoranda of demissions of tolls 1541-1596 CA/4/141. For Gild Admission see also D/GC and D/LONS/L. There are other related poor law records at CA/3/4/61-74

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