Richard and Katherine Laurenson, Maintainers of the Northgate drawbridge

Richard and Katherine Laurenson lived by the Northgate and were obliged to keep the drawbridge in operation.

In October 1403 Richard Laurenson and his wife Katherine leased an empty plot of land within the walls of the Northgate from the mayor and citizens. The plot was on the west side of the gate and measured 12 virgas regias in length and 8 in width; the annual rent was 12d due at the religious festival of the Nativity of John the Baptist. They were required to rebuild the drawbridge and guard it when necessary by night and day. Hotspur’s rising against Henry IV had ended in defeat at Shrewsbury in July 1403, but it seems that the authorities in Chester were still watchful. The Northgate continued to be an important defensive feature.