Later Parliamentary History and Wealth

In 1747 Chippenham was at the centre of a Parliamentary scandal involving the bribery and corruption of the two members for Chippenham leading to election irregularities which brought down Sir Robert Walpole's government.

Records of the town in the late 17th and early 18th century and surviving burgesses houses clearly show the wealth that was generated from agriculture and the growth of the weaving trade. In 1792 the Chief Cloth Factor in England, Sir Samuel Fludyer, guaranteed to purchase all of the supplies of wool and finished cloth. The cloth and weaving owners acquired great wealth and used this to improve their houses along the High Street, the Market Place and St Mary's Street using local stone and Bath stone, which led to Chippenham being called 'Little Bath'.