Category: Staffordshire

Staffordshire Family History Guide

Parishes in Staffordshire

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Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

STAFFORDSHIRE, or Stafford, an inland county; bounded, on the NW, by Cheshire; on the NE, by Derbyshire; on the E, by Derbyshire and Leicestershire; on the SE, by Warwickshire; on the S, by Worcestershire; on the W, by Salop. Its outline is somewhat ellipsoidal, with the longer axis extending N and S. Its boundary line, along part of the NW, is the river Dane; along the NE, is the river Dove; along most of the E, is the rivers Dove, Trent, and Tame; along small part of the W, is the river Tern; and along most other parts, is entirely artificial. Its greatest length is 54 miles; its greatest breadth is 35 miles; its circuit is about 210 miles; and its area is 728,468 acres. The NE section, to the extent of about one-sixth of the entire area, is upland, variously moorish, pastoral, and picturesque; rises to an average altitude of from 300 to 600 feet above the general level of the rest of the county; and has summits 1,200 and 1,500 feet high. The NW section, nearly identical with Pirehill hundred, is prevailingly champaign. The central sections include the large and elevated tract of Cannock chase; and all, excepting that tract, are either undulated or level ground. The S section includes the hills and cliffs of Dudley and Sedgeley, and the isolated mountain of Rowley-Regis; but elsewhere is all prevailingly champaign. The chief streams are the Trent, the Sow, the Tame, the Blythe, the Dove, the Manyfold, the Hamps, the Churnet, the Penk, the Stonr, and the Tern. Silurian rocks form two small tracts in the S; lower carboniferous rocks form considerable tracts in the NE; upper carboniferous rocks, mainly of the coal measures, form large tracts in the S and in the N; permian rocks form a tract around most of the S coal measures, and another tract to the S of the N coal measures; and triassic rocks form nearly all the rest of the county, chiefly across its central parts, and amounting to about one-half of the entire area. Ochre, fullers’ earth, black chalk, fire-clay, brick clay, porcelain clay, Rowley ragstone, fine-grained sandstone, alabaster, marbles, limestone, lead ore, copper ore, ironstone, and coal are worked. North Staffordshire, in 1859, produced 143,500 tons of iron ore, and had 7 iron-works, 29 furnaces, and 127 collieries; South Staffordshire and Worcestershire, in the same year, produced 475,300 tons of iron ore, and had 71 iron-works, 184 furnaces, and 422 collieries; and all Staffordshire, in that year, produced 6,125,000 tons of coal. A new industry, in the manufacture of oil from cannel coal, was initiated shortly before 1867; and, in the neighbourhood of Burslem and Tunstall, produces nearly 100 tuns of crude oil per week.

The soils, in a general view, are either argillaceous, arenaceous, calcareous, mixed, or peaty, according to the rock formations on which they lie. About 500,000 acres are in tillage. The Norfolk rotation is usually practised on the light soils; but very various courses of cropping are followed on other soils. The chief crops are wheat, rye, barley, oats, beans, turnips, and potatoes. Grass lands of great extent are in the vicinity of all the large towns; and meadows lie along the banks of most of the streams. The cattle are chiefly of the long-horn breed, and partly of several varieties. The sheep are variously grey-faced natives, black-faced natives, white-faced natives, Leicestershires, Southdowns, and mixed breeds; and they amount to about 87,000, and yield about 3,500 packs of wool. Estates are of all sizes; and farms range from 20 to 1,000 acres, and are held either at will or from 14 to 21 years. Chief manufactures are earthen-ware and porcelain in the N, and hardware, silver-plated ware, glass, and kindred articles in the S; and other manufactures are cotton, silk, mohair, woollen, worsted, hats, tape, boots and shoes, malt liquors, and chemicals at one or more of the principal towns. Railways are abundantly ramified in most parts of the county, particularly in the S, the SE, the centre, and the NW; canals are more extensive and better ramified, in proportion to the area, than in almost any other part of the world; and the paved streets, turnpike roads, and other highways have an aggregate of more than 2,800 miles.-The county contains 138 parishes, parts of 12 other parishes, and 15 extra-parochial tracts; and is divided into 5 boroughs, part of another borough, and 10 hundreds. The act of 1844, for consolidating detached parts of counties, severed from Staffordshire the parishes of Broom and Clent, and annexed to it part of Scropton township. The registration county excludes 93,083 acres of the electoral county; includes 116,551 acres of adjoining electoral counties; comprises altogether 755,017 acres; and is divided into 16 districts. The market-towns are 21; the towns with each upwards of 200 inhabitants, 17; and the smaller towns, villages, and hamlets, upwards of 400. The chief seats include Trentham, Beandesert, Ingestrie, Alton-Towers, Sandon, Sandwell, Shugborough, Enville, Stone Park, Weston, Chartley, Eccleshall, Tiddesley, Himley, and Wrottesley; and amount to about 200.

The county is governed by a lord lieutenant, a vice-lientenant, a high sheriff, and about 140 magistrates; is in the Midland military district, and the Oxford judicial circuit; and, excepting part of Stottesden deanery, is all in Lichfield diocese. The assizes and the quarter sessions are held at Stafford; the county jail also is there; and a city jail is in Lichfield. The police force in 1864, exclusive of separate forces in Lichfield, Newcastle-under-Lyne, Walsall, and Wolverhampton, comprised 438 men, at an annual cost of £36,187. The crimes committed, in the same year, exclusive of the four boroughs mentioned, were 943; the persons apprehended, 743; the known depredators and suspected persons at large, 3,613; the houses of bad character, 655. The county was divided, under the reform act of 1832, into two sections, N and S, for parliamentary representation; and the S section was divided, by the reform act of 1867, into two parts, E and W. Each section or part sends two members to parliament. Electors of the N div., in 1833, 8,756; in 1865, 10,703. Electors of the S div., in 1833, 3,107; in 1865, 10,841. The Poor rates for the registration county, in 1863, were £233,858. Marriages in 1863, 7,219,- of which 827 were not according to the rites of the Established Church; births, 32,733; of which 1,998 were illegitimate; deaths, 19,117,-of which 9,918 were at ages under 5 years, and 276 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 65,731; births, 285,423; deaths, 172,046. The places of worship within the electoral county, in 1851, were 317 of the Church of England, with 161,217 sittings; 4 of English Presbyterians, with 1,150 s.; 63 of Independents, with 20,676 s.; 35 of Baptists, with 10,057 s.; 6 of Quakers, with 798 s.; 6 of Unitarians, with 571 s.; 191 of Wesleyans, with 50,443 s.; 54 of New Connexion Methodists, with 17,585 s.; 128 of Primitive Methodists, with 22,542 s.; 3 of the Wesleyan Association, with 1,631 s.; 1 of Wesleyan Reformers, with 200 s.: 1 of Welsh Calvinistic Methodists, with 180 s.; 1 of the New Church, with 35 s.; 5 of Brethren, with 302 s.; 8 of isolated congregarions, with 1,544 s.; 5 of Latter Day Saints, with 585 s.; 34 of Roman Catholics, with 9,442 s.; and 1 of Jews, with 30 s. The schools were 440 public day schools, with 44,489 scholars; 878 private day schools, with 21,698 s.; 643 Sunday schools, with 93,572 s.; and 39 evening schools for adults, with 773 s. Real property, in 1815, £ 1,200,325: in 1843, £ 2,441,553; in 1860, £ 3,601,479, – of which £ 4,279 were in quarries, £ 432,691 in mines, £ 409,173 in iron-works, £ 210 in fisheries, £ 95,479 in canals, 177,844 in railways, and £16,042 in gasworks. Pop. in 1801, 242,693; in 1821, 345,972; in 1841, 509,472; in 1861, 746,943. Inhabited houses, 147,105; uninhabited, 9,043; building, 1,082. Pop. of the registration county in 1851, 630,545; in 1861, 769,541. Inhabited houses, 151,656; uninhabited, 9,246; building, 1,117.

The territory now forming Staffordshire belonged to the ancient British Cornavii; was included, by the Romans, in their Flavia C æsariensis; and formed part of the Saxon kingdom of Mercia. Battles were fought, in 705, between the Mercians and the Northumbrians, near Mere; in 713, between the Mercians and the West Saxons, at Wednesbury; in 907, between the Saxons and the Danes, at Tettenhall; in 911, between the same parties, at Wednesfield; in 1459, between theYorkists and the Lancastrians, at Blore-Heath; and in 1643, between the royalists and the parliamentarians, at Hopton. Other public events are noticed in our articles on Burton-upon-Trent, Lichfield, Tamworth, and Tutbury.- Druidical stones are at Biddulph. Ancient British remains are at Beandesert, Apeswood, Stonall, Billington, Elford, and Okeover. The Roman Watling-street, the Roman Icknield-street, and the Via Devana traverse the county. Roman stations were at Wall, Knightley, Uttoxeter, and near Penkridge. Roman camps are at seven places; Saxon camps, at five; and Danish remains, at three. Old castles, of note, were at Cannock, Darlaston, Chartley, Alveton, Healy, Stafford, Stourton, Bonebury, Burton, Eccleshall, and Tutbury. Old abbey remains are at Burton, Croxden, and Dieulacres; a priory, at Wroxton; and interesting old churches, at Lichfield, Stafford, Clifton Campville, Over Arley, Tamworth, Tutbury, Pipe-Ridware, and Wolverhampton.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

West Bromwich Holy Trinity Staffordshire Family History Guide

West Bromwich Holy Trinity is an Ecclesiastical Parish in the county of Staffordshire, created in 1841 from West Bromwich All Saints Ancient Parish.  Parish church: Parish registers begin: Parish registers: 1841 Bishop’s Transcripts: None...

West Bromwich Christ Church Staffordshire Family History Guide

West Bromwich Christ Church is an Ecclesiastical Parish in the county of Staffordshire, created in 1837 from West Bromwich All Saints Ancient Parish. Parish church: Parish registers begin: Parish registers: 1829 Bishop’s Transcripts: 1829...

West Bromwich All Saints Staffordshire Family History Guide

Bromwich, West All Saints is an Ancient Parish in the county of Staffordshire.  Alternative names: West Bromwich Other places in the parish include: West Bromwich North-East and West Bromwich South-West.  Parish church: Parish registers...

Willenhall Holy Trinity Staffordshire Family History Guide

Willenhall Holy Trinity is an Ecclesiastical Parish in the county of Staffordshire, created in 1846 from Wolverhampton St Peter Ancient Parish.  Alternative names: Short Heath Other places in the parish include: Portobello. Parish church:...

Willenhall St Stephen Staffordshire Family History Guide

Willenhall St Stephen is an Ecclesiastical Parish in the county of Staffordshire, created in 1846 from Wolverhampton St Peter Ancient Parish.  Parish church: Parish registers begin: Parish registers: 1848 Bishop’s Transcripts: None Nonconformists include:...

Wychnor Staffordshire Family History Guide

Wychnor is an Ecclesiastical Parish in the county of Staffordshire, created in 1792 from chapelry in Tatenhill Ancient Parish.  Alternative names: Wichnor Parish church: Parish registers begin: Parish registers: 1731 Bishop’s Transcripts: 1660 Nonconformists include: Adjacent Parishes Alrewas...

Willenhall Staffordshire Family History Guide

Willenhall Staffordshire comprises of the following parishes:  Willenhall Holy Trinity, Staffordshire Willenhall St Stephen, Staffordshire Historical Descriptions The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870 WILLENHALL, a town, a township, four chapelries, and a...

Wiggington Staffordshire Family History Guide

Wiggington is an Ecclesiastical Parish in the county of Staffordshire, created in 1778 from chapelry in Tamworth Ancient Parish.  Alternative names: Wiggington with Coton and Comberford, Wigginton Other places in the parish include: Camberford.  Parish church: Parish registers...

Whittington Staffordshire Family History Guide

Whittington is an Ancient Parish in the county of Staffordshire.  Parish church: Parish registers begin: Parish registers: 1574 Bishop’s Transcripts: 1663 Nonconformists include: Adjacent Parishes Weeford Alrewas Fulfen Elford Freeford Tamhorn Lichfield St Michael Historical Descriptions The Imperial...

Wetton Staffordshire Family History Guide

Wetton is an Ancient Parish in the county of Staffordshire.  Other places in the parish include: Ecton.  Parish church: Parish registers begin: Parish registers: 1657 Bishop’s Transcripts: 1660 Nonconformists include: Independent/Congregational and Wesleyan Methodist. Adjacent Parishes Ilam Alstonfield...

Weston upon Trent Staffordshire Family History Guide

Weston upon Trent is an Ancient Parish in the county of Staffordshire.  Alternative names: Weston under Trent Other places in the parish include: Shirleywich.  Parish church: Parish registers begin: Parish registers: 1538 Bishop’s Transcripts: 1666 Nonconformists include: Adjacent...

Weston under Lizard Staffordshire Family History Guide

Weston under Lizard is an Ancient Parish in the county of Staffordshire.  Alternative names: Weston under Liziard Parish church: Parish registers begin: Parish registers: 1701 Bishop’s Transcripts: 1660 Nonconformists include: Adjacent Parishes Tong Sheriffhales Blymhill Historical Descriptions The...

Wellington Staffordshire Family History Guide

Wellington is an Ecclesiastical Parish in the county of Staffordshire, created in 1845 from Hanley Ecclesiastical Parish.  Alternative names: Hanley St Luke Parish church: Parish registers begin: Parish registers: 1845 Bishop’s Transcripts: None Nonconformists include: Adjacent Parishes Stoke...

Wednesfield Staffordshire Family History Guide

Wednesfield is an Ecclesiastical Parish in the county of Staffordshire, created in 1755 from chapelry in Wolverhampton St Peter Ancient Parish.  Other places in the parish include: Wednesfield Heath and Heath Town.  Parish church:...

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