The Cotterell Salter.

A cylindrical salter the body cased with scrolling leaves and three oval cartouches being line decorated. Above and bolew is a bead border. The slepped foot is of skirt form. The deep sunken centre is engraved with three merchants's marks and incribed, "Given in 1595 by Mr. Cotterell to be used by the Chief Magistrate for the time being".

Made in London 1589-90. Makers mark a branch but name unknown.

Alderman Cotterell was born in Dublin and educated in Law at Trinity College. He practiced law in Richmond in the Archdeaconry Court which conducted its business in premises adjoining Trinity Chapel, now the Green Howards Museum. Cotterell married a Richmond widow Anne Gower (nee Wray). She came from a distinguished family her brother, Sir Christopher Wray was Lord Chief Justice of England in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. The family lived at St. Nicolas, a mansion on the eastern outskirts of Richmond. He took an active part in Richmond affairs investing money in the expanding lead mining industry in Swaledale, and being the first Alderman (the equivalent of a modern Mayor) under the new Elizabethan Charter of 1576. Soon afterwards he moved to York taking his oath as, "Examiner" before the Lord President of the Council of the North in November 1578. In his will of 1597 he left three salters one each to Dublin, Richmond and York, only the Richmond Salter has survived. While the fate of the Dublin salter in unknown, York's salter was melted down in 1643 for coinage during the Civil War. Also under his will he left the sum of £8 to be paided annually to the incumbent of the living of St. Mary the Virgin, the Parish Church of Richmond and is still paid. The Cotterell Salter has therefore been in the possession of the town for more than four hundred years.

©Copyright of Alan M. Wilcox Town Clerk 1985-1997.