Shipley for the Vale of Clwyd,52 although the scarcity of extant documentary evidence suggests that they were not as successful as the Holywell Volunteers. The activities of the Flintshire Loyalist Association during the last decade of the eighteenth century mirror the feelings and aspirations experienced by the middle and upper classes in Britain as a whole. As the French Revolution gathered momentum, they increasingly feared for their position, wealth and influence, and as a consequence, the desire for self-preservation found an outlet in the formation of loyalist associations. One local landowner, Thomas Pennant, played a leading part in the activities of the Flintshire Association, and in many respects his death in 1798 left a power vacuum for there was nobody of his standing or inclination to take over the direction of affairs. However, his death did coincide with a decline in the Flintshire Association, for by the turn of the nineteenth century the political climate had changed, and as the threat of French invasion receded, the ruling classes no longer felt the urgency for such collective responsibility. Indeed, it is somewhat ironic that some landowners even came to view the volunteer corps as possible breeding grounds for revolutionary activists, and so began to urge the disbanding of such armed associations. The wheel had come full circle. 51 The Manuscripts of Lord Kenyon (Hist. MSS Comm., 1894), p.546, f.l400A. W. D. Shipley to Lord Kenyon, 4 March 1797: 'Many respectable gentlemen and yeomen in that part of the county of Flint which is situated at the extremity of the Vale of Clwydd are desirous of arming themselves and their dependants in support of the Government they live under, and for the more immediate purpose of protecting their families and their property from any predatory incursions that may be attempted by the enemy, on that coast