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They stayed there as guests during visits to Chatsworth.
Another somewhat more ominous patron was Highwayman Higgins - alias Edward Hickson - who lived a double life in the 1750s and 60s wining and dining by day and burgling the local gentry by night.
They met there once a month during the winter to dance and play cards.
The grade II listed building closed in 2001 to make way for a £15million development of shops, restaurants, offices and apartments.
Then he and his church wardens would patrol the town's inns to make sure all drinking had finished and prevent anything untoward happening.
Fortunately, much of Knutsford's pub history tells a more favourable story of the town.
The Angel is difficult to date because it has gone through many changes but its main front is 18th century.
In fact, the pub you can see today is not the original, which was sited on the opposite side of King Street.
In the novel, this pub was where Lord Mauleverer stayed when the impoverished Captain Brown's house proved too humble.
In an essay she wrote a few years before Cranford - the novel recently adapted for a BBC television show - Gaskell described how intoxicated troublemakers would attack ladies on their way home from card parties.
As a solution, in 1809 the Reverend Harry Grey arranged for the church bell to be tolled at five minutes to nine.
For an attractive reminder of what Knutsford looked like in times gone by, you need look no further than the thatched and gabled White Bear Inn on Warrington Road.
This 16th century pub was popular with coach travellers waiting for The Aurora going north to Liverpool or south to Newcastle, Birmingham and London.
Among its customers were Highwayman Higgins who lived close by to the pub on Gaskell Avenue.