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The former editor of the Chester Courant Joseph Hemingway had transferred his political allegiance on taking on the editorship of the pro-Grosvenor Chester Chronicle in 1824 and some 11 per cent of voters changed sides between 1820 and 1826, including the silversmith John Walker.

Hemingway's will (he died 20 Dec 1837) reads:

  • I Joseph Hemingway of the City of Chester, Gentleman, Do make this my last Will and Testament in manner following: I direct my just debts Funeral and Testamentary expenses in the first place to be paid and discharged by Executor hereinafter named whom I direct to sell and dispose of all my Household Goods, Furniture, Plate Linen China Pictures, Books and all other [of] my effects as soon a conveniently may be after my decease and I authorize my said executor to receive all money due to me including my Annuity due from Mr Arnold Jones of Dublin and I direct my said Executor to pay Dr William Makepeace Thackeray the sum of Ten Pounds which I borrowed from him some years since and also to pay to my Servant the sum of Two Pounds to purchase Mourning if she thinks proper to do so. And as to all the rest residue and remainder of my Personal Estate I give and bequeath the same to my Nephew and Nieces Joseph Hemingway, Harrriett Selby and Sarah Tute all of Leeds in the County of York share and share alike. And I do hereby appoint Thomas Griffith of the said City Printer Sole Executor of this my Will. In Witness whereof have hereunto set my hand and Seal the Fifteenth day of December One thousand and eight hundred and thirty seven.


Hemingway's commentary on Chester is fascinating. In many ways he is a complete snob - toadying up to the aristocracy and denegrating the "lower orders". Writing in the 1830's, he claimed that:

..or worse, Handbridge as a whole was dismissed as "almost exclusively inhabited by the lower orders". Hemingway thought that there were few places in the country where the gentry formed such a high proportion of the population as in Chester and he was pleased that the lack of factories meant the absence of "the crowda of the lowest rabble they engender".

All available copies of Hemingways "Panorama" have a date of 1836 and his "History" was written in 1831. However the "Panorama" appears to have been written earlier than the "History"; as some descriptions in the "Panorama", such as that of the Infirmary, are correct in the "History" but wildly out-dated in the "Panorama".

Sources and links