This chapter chronicles the life of John Pell in Cheshire from 1665 to 1669. London's worst-ever episode of bubonic plague, which killed roughly one quarter of the city's population, prompted Pell to leave the city and travel north-west to Brereton Hall, the handsome Elizabethan house in Cheshire that was the home of his patron William Brereton. Pell was making a long-term change of residence (he would not return until 1669), and doing so in response to a long-standing invitation. William Brereton had succeeded his father in April 1664, inheriting his title, his estates, and his manifold debts; and within a few weeks he had sent a letter to Pell, inviting him to come to Cheshire. How Pell spent most of his time at Brereton is not known. Possibly he participated in Brereton's ‘vigorous’ chemical researches. He may have taken an interest in the education of Brereton's son (who was born in 1659), but he was not employed to teach him.
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