England’s Grievance Discovered in relation to the Coal Trade Spread 0

England’s Grievance Discovered in relation to the Coal Trade Spread 0 cover


England's Grievance Discovered was written by Ralph Gardiner and printed in London in 1655. Ralph Gardiner was born on the 29th August 1625, the son of Devereux Gardiner, gentleman, of Newcastle upon Tyne and baptised in St John's Church, Newcastle. At the time of writing this book Gardiner was 28 years old, a brewer, living in Chirton, North Shields.

The prosperity of Newcastle upon Tyne at this time was based, to a large extent, on the coal trade and the navigation of the river Tyne. Trade and transport on the river was subject to a jealously guarded monopoly by the hostmen and Corporation of Newcastle, granted by Royal Charter. Ralph Gardiner disputed this claim and petitioned Parliament on behalf of himself and many others for freedom of trade and navigation on the river.

The Free Hostmen of Newcastle claimed, on the authority of a clause in Queen Elizabeth's Charter, to bake and brew for all the ships in the port of Tyne. The Corporation of Newcastle was very strong and they gave "warneing to Mr. Gardiner to surcease brewing". He refused, and was subsequently gaoled. Five months later he escaped from gaol and remained at liberty for several months before once again being gaoled. It was during this incarceration that he wrote his case against Newcastle contained in his volume "England's Grievance Discovered".

"Grievance", with its pictorial illustrations, is of great value as it illustrates the municipal, commercial, and social history of Newcastle at that time.

This particular edition is part of the Mackey Collection which is housed in the new City Library.

Collection: Mackey
Number: L338.2