An account of Sutton published in 1762, “The History of Sutton Coldfield by an Impartial Hand”, is in three parts. The first part, originally printed as a magazine article, is a description of the town and its history, the second, “Continuation”, is in the form of a letter to the magazine editor, refuting some points and adding others, while the third, “Addendum” by “Agricola” gives a less rosy account of the town. All three authors agree, however, that political controversy which raged in Sutton earlier in the eighteenth century “was the cause of some very disagreeable animosities; but all such petty distinctions now sleep in oblivion” and “Jacobitism is happily no more”.

Fresh in the memory of these writers was the rebellion of 1745, when Bonnie Prince Charlie marched out of Scotland with his Jacobite army as far south as Derby, tacitly supported by many of the local gentry. As far back as 1700 many Sutton men were Jacobites (those who supported James Stuart’s claim to the English throne) or non-jurors, meeting at a club in Coleshill to drink to the White Rose (King James III). Sutton had been strongly Parliamentarian in the 1650s, but, Riland Bedford noted, “the pendulum of popular opinion in Sutton Coldfield had swung round since the Civil War to Tory and Jacobite leanings”.

The appointment of the high-church Dr. William Watson to the rectory of Sutton in 1662 was unpopular with local puritans. In 1672 Samuel Stevenson, who had settled in Sutton on his marriage to Mary Mott in 1664, had his house (now 38 High Street) licensed for “nonconformist worship”, and the small congregation of Presbyterians who met there were opposed to the increasingly royalist tendency of the local gentry. The divisions were exacerbated in 1688 when the Glorious Revolution placed William and Mary on the throne in place of James II.

Charles Chadwick left his seat at Mavesyn Ridware and came to live in Sutton in 1688, possibly at 36 High Street, the house of his mother-in-law, Ann Sacheverell, who died in 1688. George Sacheverell of New Hall, Chadwick’s brother-in-law, was a Jacobite, but in Sutton Chadwick “acted as a magistrate several years with George Sacheverell, yet notwithstanding this Jacobite connection he remained a warm advocate for King William”. In 1697 his neighbour Samuel Stevenson was appointed High Sheriff of Warwickshire, being a Whig supporter of the government when so many other eligible Warwickshire gentry were Tory Jacobites. Charles Chadwick died in 1697, succeeded by his son Charles who continued to reside in Sutton despite having estates at Healey and Mavesyn Ridware.

Charles Chadwick’s Whig politics were at odds with his uncle Sacheverell’s Toryism, but he nevertheless represented his uncle at Derby when 77-year-old George Sacheverell was installed as High Sheriff of that county. George had arranged for his protégé the notorious rabble-rousing Henry Sacheverell to preach an inflammatory inaugural sermon at All Saints Church in Derby, after which Chadwick said to him “you’ll be at Rome before you are aware, Doctor.” He was angry with his uncle, whose great wealth he stood to inherit, “yet he was a violent Whig, and scorned to exchange his own principles for those of his uncle Sacheverell, who was a rank Tory, choosing rather to preserve his honour at the expense of a good estate”, according to Stebbing-Shaw in his History and Antiquities of Staffordshire of 1802. When George Sacheverell came to make his will in 1715, he left only a small sum of money to his nephew Charles Chadwick, the bulk of his estate going to his great-nephew Charles Chadwick.

The White Rose, symbol of James Stewart the Old Pretender (“King James III”).