Last Updated on

Is a small inconsiderable town, but a very extensive and populous parish, in which the broad-cloth manufactory is carried on to a very considerable extent, particularly at Chalford, a village in this parish.  The church is very large and spacious, and on account of its situation may be seen several miles round.  Here is a free-school for boys, and a donation for clothing 6 widows yearly.  The canal, that unites the Thames with the Severn, runs through this parish; and on the verge of it commences that wonderful exertion of art and labour, a tunnel, which conveys the water of the canal 2 miles 5 furlongs under ground.  Their majesties honoured this stupendous undertaking with a visit in August 1788.  Bisley is distant from London 97 miles, Gloucester 10, Painswick 4, Hampton 3, and Cheltenham 12 miles.  It has no market; but two large annual fairs, chiefly for sheep, viz. May 4, and November 12.  Hampton, or Minchinhampton, is the post-town.  The New inn is an excellent house for accommodation.
The following are the principal inhabitants, including the parishes of Misserdine and Chalford:

Gentlemen.
Allaway John, Gent.
Aldridge Edward, Gent.
Baker Mathias, Gent. (F.)
Bidmead Samuel, Gent. (F.)
Blackwell Arthur, Gent. (F.)
Driver William, Gent. (F.)
Hancox Thomas, Gent. (F.)
Mills William Yarnton, Esq. (F.)
Partridge Harry, Gent. (F.)
Robertson William, Gent. (F.)
Rogers Nathaniel, Gent. (F.)
Selfe John, Esq. (F.)
Sevill William, Gent. (F.)
Smith William, Gent. (F.)
Turner William, Esq. (F.)
Tayloe William, Gent. (F.)

Clergy.
Hawkins Rev. Edward, (F.) Vicar
Jones Rev. – , Dissenter
Moore Rev. William, Curate
Milles Rev. Thomas, (F.) Clerk
Parry Rev. – , (F.) Clerk, Misserdine

Physic.
Cullurne Joseph, Surgeon

Traders, &c.
Bath Jacob, (F.) Draper
Ballinger Charles, (F.) Clothier
Child Charles, Cornfactor
Chew James, Musician
Clissold Mary
Drake Thomas, Draper
Jones John, sen. Clothier
Jones John, jun. Clothier
Innell John, sen. (F.) Clothier
Innell John, jun. Clothier
Innell William, (F.) Clothier
Innell James, Grocer
Matthews Thomas, (F.) Clothier
Matthews Thomas, (F.) Draper
Milles John, (F.) Soapboiler
Parker Thomas, (F.) Clothier
Phillips Catherine
Sevill William, (F.) Woolstapler
Tayloe William, (F.) Clothier
Trottman John, (F.) Clothier
Vander Perren Joseph, Innkeeper
Wynne Robert, Clothier

Chalford is two miles from Bisley, but in the same parish: it is a narrow but pleasant vale, the Thames and Severn canal running quite through it, with a large stream of water besides, on which are erected a great many mills for dressing of cloth, as the place is very noted for making of all sorts of broad cloths.  The situation of this place is singularly romantic, and uncommonly pleasing.  Here is carried on the woollen manufacture in different branches, and here are eight fulling mills, with tenters, &c.  Its church has been new paved.  It is lofty and large, with a nave and two aisles, and a high spire; in it are some ancient monuments.

Source: Universal British Directory 1791