This volume contains the administrative and parliamentary history of the county, a chapter on its forests, and a table of population. As a County Palatine in the later middle ages Cheshire developed institutions which differed from those of other English counties. No justices of the peace were appointed there until the 16th century, and the palatine courts were abolished only in 1830. The first part of the volume describes Cheshire's government in the middle ages and its gradual assimilation to `normal' counties, the work of the justices of the peace from the 16th to the 19th century, and that of the County Council until local government reorganization in 1974. Cheshire was also unusual in its failure to achieve parliamentary representation until the 16th century. The story of Cheshire's representation, including that of the city of Chester, is carried from that time to the second general election of 1974. It reveals the influence of many of the leading county families, and particularly that of the Grosvenors in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Much of Cheshire lay within the forests of Delamere and Mondrem, Macclesfield, and Wirral, whose administration is described in this volume. A table sets out the population of the county, and of all boroughs, urban and rural districts, ancient parishes with their constituent townships, and civil parishes, at every census between 1801 and 1971; the table therefore serves also as a key to the administrative geography and economic expansion of the county in the 19th and 20th centuries.