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This town was formerly remarkable for its extensive broad-cloth manufactory; and still carries on a considerable trade in that branch of business; as also in card-making.  It is a borough of very great antiquity, being one of the five boroughs returned by the sheriff of the county in the reign of Edward I but it has long lost the privilege of sending members to parliament.  It is now governed by a bailiff chosen annually.  The town gives the title of Viscount to Earl Berkeley.  Here is a handsome market-house, built in 1738, of freestone; market on Thursday; and fairs on the 6th of May, and 4th of December.  The town consists of two narrow streets, forming something like the letter T, with a hamlet without the borough, containing more houses than either of them.  On the S. side of the church-yard rises perpendicularly a copious spring, which drives a fulling-mill within a hundred yards of it.  The church is large with two aisles and a tower.
Dursley, it is said, has been formerly noted for a sharp over-reaching people; whence arose a proverbial saying of a tricking man, “He is a man of Dursley.”  Contiguous to the town are the remains of a rock of towfe stone, remarkable for its extreme durability: the exterior walls of the noble castle of Berkeley were built with this stone; and although upwards of six centuries have passed since their erection, they do not shew the least appearance of decay.  Adjoining to the town, an excellent and extensive paper-manufactory has been recently established by Mr. Joseph Smith.  At Cambridge, (on the Bristol road,) four miles from Dursley, is a very extensive manufactory of edge-tools; the proprietor of which is Mr. William Underwood.  Stinchcomb Hill, near Dursley, commands prospects of as great extent and beauty as any eminence in the kingdom.
Banker – Richard Williams draws on Vere, Lucadou, Troughton, Lucadou, and Smart, No. 77, Lombard-street, London.
Postmaster, Matthew Church; post in and out daily. – Distributor of stamps, Richard Williams.
Waggons to London, Bristol, Gloucester, and Tetbury, weekly.  In Dursley is but one good inn, the Old Bell. – Dursley is distant from Gloucester 15 miles; Stroud 10; Tetbury 10; Cirencester 20; Berkeley 5; Wotton 4; and from London 107.

The following is a list of the principal inhabitants:

Gentry, &c.
Adey Samuel, Esq.
Blackwell Nathaniel, Gent. (F.)
Cooper Richard Bransby, Esq.
Cam John, Gent. (F.)
Compton Robert, Gent. (F.)
Jones Mrs. Mary
King John, Esq. (F.)
Morse Thomas, Esq. (F.)
Morse Mrs. A.
Purnell Thomas Purnell, Esq. (F.)
Purnell William, Esq. (F.)
Phelps John de la F. Esq. (F.)
Phelps James, Esq.
Phillimore Samuel, Esq. (F.)
Wallington John, Esq. (F.)
Wallington Mrs. Arabella
Wiltshire William, Esq. (F.)

Webster Rev. James, L.L.B. (F.) Rector and Archdeacon of Gloucester

Gregory Thomas, Apothecary
Shrapnell William Fisher, Surgeon
Williams Isaac, (F.) Surgeon and Apothecary

Hill John, Attorney
Holbrow William, Attorney
Vizard William, (F.) Attorney
Whithorne Conway, (F.) Attorney and Deputy Clerk of the Peace

Traders, &c.
Ball John, (F.) Card-maker
Bendall John, Baker
Blackwell Isaac, Millwright
Brown John, (F.) Grocer & Chandler
Browning John, (F.) Yeoman
Church Matthew, Victualler (Old Bell)
Champion Samuel, Sadler
Dando Stephen, Hatter
Danford Rachel, Mealwoman
Dawe William, (F.) Mason
Dimery Daniel, Maltster
Drew William, (F.) Yeoman
Elliotts Samuel, Shopkeeper
Gethen John, (F.) Maltster
Hitchins Jonathan, (F.) Plaisterer
Hitchins Thomas, (F.) Plaisterer
Hitchins William, (F.) Plaisterer
Hopkins Richard, (F.) Victualler
Jones Isaac, (F.) Glazier
Lewton Joseph, (F.) Sadler
Lewton Thomas, Card-maker
Lewton Ann, Milliner
Longstreeth Daniel, (F.) Shopkeeper
Mear Thomas, Watch-maker
Moore Thomas, Grocer and Chandler
Millard Edward, Carrier
Neale Eliza and Co. Milliners
Neale Thomas, Victualler
Nicholas James, (F.) Card-maker
Phelps William, Clothier
Roach William, (F.) Roper
Richards William, (F.) Gloucester and Tetbury Carrier
Richards Thomas, Cornfactor
Robbins William, Carpenter
Sanegar Abraham, (F.) Card-maker
Sanegar Samuel, (F.) Card-maker
Smith Joseph, Paper-maker
Sims Edward, Victualler
Taylor William, (F.) Baker & Maltster
Tippitts Thomas, Clothier
Tilton John, Brazier
Trottman Richard, Baker
Wallington Edward, Clothier
Williams Richard, (F.) Mercer
Williams Rice, Mealman
Williams Edmund, Baker

The following gentlemen have seats in the neighbourhood of Dursley: Robert Kingscote, Esq. (F.) Kingscote. – Thomas Daunt, Esq. (F.) Owlpen. – Nicholas O. S. Owen, Esq. (F.) and John Hall, Gent. (F.) North  Nibley. – Daniel Weight, Esq. (F.) Clingre. – William Henry Field, Esq. Peers Court. – John Mabbett, Esq. (F.) Stinchcombe. – Richard Bigland, Esq. (F.) Frocester. – Rev. George Hayward, (F.) Frocester. – Robert Phillimore, Esq. (F.) Cam. – Rev Richard Lockey, (F.) and Rev. John Thomas, Cam.

Adjoining parish to Dursley is the populous village of Uley, in which the clothing business is carried on to a very considerable extent.

The following are the principal inhabitants of Uley:

Baker Rev. William Floyd, (F.)
Gregory Rev. John, (F.) Rector

Traders &c.
Blagden Richard, (F.) Clothier
Cole John, (F.) Hatter
Harris George & James, (F.) Clothiers
Hawker Thomas, (F.) Clothier
Jackson Edward, (F.) Clothier
Knight Thomas, (F.) Soapboiler
Lloyd Nath. and Daniel, (F.) Clothiers
Manning Francis, (F.) Maltster
Price John, (F.) Maltster
Sheppard and Hickes, Clothiers
Souls Samuel, (F.) Innkeeper
Went Thomas, (F.) Clothier
Went Samuel, (F.) Maltster
Williams Rice, Baker

Source: Universal British Directory 1791