Some history on Birmingham in the County of Warwickshire
1845 Trade Directory for Birmingham
Birmingham, the capital of the Midland counties, an emporium of the mechanic arts, is what in other places should be called a city, on account of its importance but is not legally entitled to the designation. It was anciently called Bromwycham, the broom village home, several adjacent places having a similar derivative, as Castle Bromwich, Little Bromwich, West Bromwich, Bromsgrove, the Bromleys, Broom, Broomhill, etc. How the name came at an early date to be corrupted into Birmingham is not at all known. The old pronunciation is, however, it should be observed, still preserved among some classes, and is the popular term of Brummagem. The name has caused much controversy, and imposture even has been resorted to by the advocates of particular doctrines.
Birmingham is a borough, returning two members to Parliament, a market and union town, and polling place, in the Birmingham division of the hundred of Hemlingford in the north-west part of Warwickshire, on the borders adjoining Staffordshire and Worcestershire. It is situated on undulating ground, on the small river Rea, near its confluence with the Tame, a branch of the Trent. It is in latitude 52º 29' north, and longitude 1º 48- west; distant 97½ miles from Liverpool, and 112½ from London by railway. It is also at the junction of the London and Birmingham, Birmingham and Bristol, Grand Junction, and Birmingham and Derby railways, being a grand railway station, with access to all parts of the island. It is also on the Birmingham and Worcester, Birmingham and Walsall, Birmingham and Fazeley, and Warwick and Birmingham canals, which give it similar advantages with regard to canal communication. The River Rea, it should be observed, is only an insignificant mill stream.
Birmingham is on a high road from London to Lancashire and the north-west, and from the south-western counties to the midland and north-eastern. The ancient Roman way of Icknield Street passes through the suburbs of the town. The Dudley, or South Staffordshire coal and iron field approaches within three miles of the town.
Birmingham is the seat of a Roman Catholic bishop, and of a Roman Catholic college at Oscott, a Royal Medical college, and an Independent college, forming part of the University of London, and constituting, in fact, a local university.
Fairs are held for three days in Birmingham, on Whit Thursday and the last Thursday in September; and markets on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. There are also wakes, Bell wake, Chapel wake, Deritend wake, etc., The ironmasters' quarterly meetings are held in the months of January, April, July, and October.
Birmingham seems to have been the seat of a small Roman station on Icknield Street, and some antiquities of the Romans have been found there. It is first, however, noticed in history during the early English period, when it had already engaged in the iron manufacture. At the time of the Domesday survey it seems to have been a town held by Ulwin. The town is little mentioned in history, except with casual reference to its manufacture, until the Parliamentary wars, when the townsmen joined the Parliament, and were severely punished by Prince Rupert, who sacked and burnt part of the town in April, 1643
In the reign of Charles II Birmingham began to rise rapidly in importance, and its commercial progress then became its most distinguishing feature; the only other incident of importance being the disgraceful riots of July, 1791, against the Dissenters, when the houses and papers of the illustrious Priestley, of William Hutton, the Historian of Birmingham, and other distinguished men, were burned and destroyed. Birmingham has continued to improve; and profiting by its manufacturing facilities, by its situation in the central part of the island, and by its extensive communications, it has become one of the greatest towns in the country, and the capital of the Midland counties. Its progress has been very much facilitated by the exertions of the distinguished men who have been connected with its history, John Wilkinson, John Taylor, John Baskerville, Dr. Priestley, Watt, Boulton, Eginton, Murdoch, and many others, by whom the manufactures of Birmingham have been improved and extended.
The people of Birmingham have long been distinguished by their spirit of enterprise and mercantile distinction, and they have attained the supremacy in many branches of manufactures, with which they supply not only England, but the world. The population of the borough of Birmingham occupies 39,968 houses, and consists of 182,922 persons, of whom 88,573 are males [47,361, 20 years of age and upwards, and 41,211 under 20], and 94,350 females, [51,759, 20 years of age and upwards, and 42,598 under 20]; 128,202 persons were born in the county, and 54,720 elsewhere, namely, in other parts of England 47,388, Scotland 740, and Ireland 4,873, and abroad 557. The population is very little mixed, and the small number of Irish in such a large manufacturing town is surprising. The borough, under a charter granted by the crown, which was for a time matter of dispute, was divided into thirteen wards, with a population, in 1841, as follows: Ladywood 8,787, All Saints 13,719, Hampton 11,037, St. George 19,648, St. Mary 14,685, St. Paul 8,973, Market Hall 13,014, St. Peter 16,773, St. Martin. 13,526, St. Thomas 18,164, Edgbaston 6,609, Deritend and Bordesley [Aston] 18,019, Duddeston-cum-Nechells. The area of Birmingham parish is 2,660 acres, and Edgbaston 2,790. The assessment to the Income tax, in 1842, was £824,126.
The manufactures of Birmingham Consist of numerous articles, which are given in a classified form below, showing the pursuits of the population. The greatest benches are jewellery and plate, toys, glass, arms, metals. hardware, tools, etc. The population employed is as follows: metals 8,013, ironmongery and hardware 3,000, tools, machines, and measures 2,200, arms 2,400, cutlery 400, needles, etc. 300, tea-things 150, die-sinking 350, steel 820, watch-making 250, jewellery and plate 3,700, toys 5,300, glass 1,300, pottery 300, coach-making 400, wood and cabinet making 2,400, leather 2,500, brewing 500, dressmaking 2,000, chemicals 200, miscellaneous 600.
The public buildings of Birmingham are fine, and it contains many good streets. Great improvements have been made of late years. The town is governed by officers chosen at the court leet of the Lord of the Manor. They are a high bailiff, low bailiff, two constables, a headborough, two high tasters, or ale conners, two low tasters, or flesh conners, two affeerors, and two leather sealers. A charter of incorporation was recently granted, appointing a mayor, aldermen, and town council, it became the subject of litigation, but it was eventually settled in favour of the Charter.
The market rights, derived, from the Lord of the Manor, are vested in commissioners. The town is above two miles long, and nearly the same in breadth. There are very few ancient buildings. The chief streets are Bull Street, High Street, Digbeth, Snow Hill, Dale End, and New Street. The inhabitants consider it very healthy. Here was formerly a Hospital dedicated to St. Thomas Apostle, of which no remains exist, and a guild of the Holy Cross was the foundation of the Grammar School of King Edward, The chief buildings are the Town Hall, King Edward's Grammar School, Queen's College, Market Hall, and the churches.
St. Martin's, or the Old church, in Bull Ring, is the mother church, and is an ancient building, but disguised by a barbarous casing. The tower spire is 200 feet high, and contains a ring of 12 bells and chimes. In it are four early monuments, supposed to be those of the Lords de Birmingham. The register book dates from 1544. The benefice is a rectory in the patronage of trustees, valued at £1,048 per annum. It is to be observed, that the whole of Birmingham is in the diocese of Worcester. The parsonage house was built in 1826.
St. Philip's Church, Colmore Row, was built in 1711, and is of stone, in the Italian style, 140 feet long and 76 feet wide. It is capable of holding 2,000 persons. Moses Haughton, a painter, is buried here. In the tower is a ring of ten bells, and chimes. There is a parsonage house, and adjoining is the Theological library, founded by the Rev. William Higgs, a century ago, for the use of the clergy of the neighbourhood. The bishop is the patron and the benefice is a rectory, with the prebend of Shirley, in Worcester cathedral, annexed.
Christ Church, New Street, was built in 1805, as a free church, and the prebend or Tachbrooke, in Lichfield cathedral, is attached to the perpetual curacy, worth £370 per annum. The church is of stone, in the Roman Doric style, and is 140 feet long, and 71 feet wide. The altar piece is of carved mahogany, and the church will accommodate 1,600 persons.
St. George's Church, Tower Street, is in the Gothic style by Rickman, built in 1820, at a cost of £12,735; it consists of a nave, aisles, and western tower. It has a good organ. The dimensions are 98 feet long, and 60 feet wide. The tower is 114 feet high. The number of sittings is 1,959. Attached to the church are school rooms and a library. The benefice is a rectory, valued at £550 per annum, in the patronage of trustees.
St. Peter's Church, in Dale End, is in the Doric style, built in 1825, at a cost of £19,000 by Messrs. Rickman, with a portico of four columns and a bell turret, in the style of the choragic monument of Lysicrates. The length is 100 feet, the width 60, and it will accommodate 1,903 people. The stones of the portico are very large. The benefice is a perpetual curacy, in the presentation of the rector of St. Philip's.
St. Thomas's, in Bath Row, Holloway Head, was built in 1826, by Messrs. Rickman and Hutchinson, at a cost of £14,222. It is in the Ionic style, with an enriched ceiling, and is 130 feet long by 60 feet wide with a tower 130 feet high. It was opened for divine service in the year 1829, and is calculated to hold 2,049 persons. The western entrance of this beautiful structure is ornamented with six Ionic columns, under which, the arches to the centre and two side entrances have a picturesque appearance. The eastern end is also ornamented with Roman Ionic columns supporting a handsome pediment from the centre rises a quadrangular tower, supported by columns of a similar character; these sustain a light octagon cupola, surmounted by a gilt round ball and cross, which produce a very beautiful effect. This church, from being erected upon so elevated a site, may be seen from a great distance. The benefice is a rectory, in the patronage of trustees, and valued at £560 per annum to this, as to several others, a schoolroom and library are attached.
St. Bartholomew's Chapel, in Masshouse Lane, is a brick building, built in 1749, and has a good altar piece and communion plate. The benefice is a perpetual curacy valued at £160 per annum, in the patronage of the rector of St. Martin's. St. Mary's Chapel in Loveday Street was built in 1774, and is of brick. The benefice is a perpetual curacy, valued at £450 per annum, in the patronage of trustees.
St. Paul's Chapel, St. Paul's Square, was built in 1779, and has a good steeple, and fine window of stained glass by Francis Eginton, representing the Conversion of St. Paul. The benefice is a perpetual curacy, valued at £170 per annum, in the patronage of E. Latimer Esq.
St. John the Baptist's Chapel is at Deritend, in the parish of Aston, and was founded in 1381. The benefice is a perpetual curacy, and valued at £319 per annum, in the presentation of the inhabitants. The present building, of brick, was built in 1735, and has a square tower, with eight bells.
St. James's Chapel, Great Brook Street, Ashted, in the parish of Aston, was originally the dwelling house of Dr. Ash, and converted into a chapel in 1739. The benefice is a perpetual curacy, valued at £210 per annum, and in the patronage of the Bishop of Lichfield. Holy Trinity Chapel, at Bordesley, is in the Gothic style of King's College Chapel, built of Bath stone, by Francis Godwin, in 1820. The altar piece is Christ at the pool of Bethesda, by George Fogge. The sittings are 1,821. The dimensions are 135 feet long by 75 feet broad, and 45 feet high, and the cost £14,235. The benefice is a perpetual curacy, valued at £300 per annum, in the patronage of the Vicar of Aston.
Bishop Ryder's church is in Gem Street. The benefice is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of trustees. All Saints' Church constitutes a rectory, valued at £220 per annum, in the patronage of trustees. St. Mark's is a perpetual curacy. St. Matthew's, Duddeston, in the parish of Aston, is a perpetual curacy, in the presentation of trustees. Edgbaston has also a church, some part of which is ancient, and contains some monuments. The benefice is a rectory valued at £542 per annum, in the patronage of Lord Calthorpe. St. George's, Edgbaston, constitutes a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of Lord Calthorpe. St. Stephen's is in New Town Row. At Islington is the Magdalene Chapel.
St. Luke's Church, in Bristol Street, is a handsome stone building, in the Norman style of architecture; it consists of three aisles, at the west angle is a tower [the roof of which is also of stone], and contains one bell; it was erected by the Birmingham Church Building Society, at a cost of £3,700, and consecrated on September 28th, 1842. St. Matthew's and St. Mark's were built by the same Society. There are about 1,000 sittings, 246 of which are free for adults, and 225 for children. On the north side of the chancel is a tablet to the memory of the Rev. J. Oldham's infant son. At the rear of the church are extensive Sunday, day, and infant schools. The benefice is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of trustees. A new church is also in progress of erection [to be dedicated to St. Andrew, on a vacant piece of ground adjoining Garrison Lane and New Dartmouth Street, Deritend, the land for which was given by Mr. Ebenezer Robins; It is to be built by the Birmingham Church Building Society.
The Roman Catholic Cathedral, dedicated to St. Chad, is in Bath Street, and was erected in 1841 by Welby Pugin. It is in the Gothic style, and the front has two towers, each 85 feet high. The interior is in the form of a cross, and richly embellished. Under the altar are interred the relics of a saint. The pulpit was brought from Belgium. St. Peter's Chapel is in St. Peter's Place, near Broad Street. There is also a chapel in the Roman Catholic Convent.
The Jews have a synagogue in Severn Street, rebuilt in 1827. The Baptists have a chapel in Cannon Street, for Particular Baptists, founded in 1738, and rebuilt in 1806. There are others in Bond Street, Newhall Street, Graham Street, Heneage Street, and Well Lane. The General Baptists have a chapel in Lombard Street. The Unitarians have a meeting-house in Old Meeting Street founded in the reign of William III., and rebuilt in 1791. The new meeting house is in New Meeting Street and has a stone front. It was founded in 1730, and rebuilt in 1791. The celebrated Dr. Priestley officiated here.
Mount Zion, built in 1823 on Newhall Hill, is an octagon structure in the Doric style, capable of holding 2,100 persons. The Unitarians have also a meeting-house at the Unitarian and Domestic Mission Chapel, Hurst Street. The Society of Friends have a meeting-house in Bull Street. The Independents have a meeting-house in Carr's Lane, founded in 1748 but rebuilt in 1819 by Mr. Whitwell, and capable of holding 2,100 persons. Ebenezer Chapel, Steelhouse Lane, was built in 1817; it has a handsome front, and contains 1,200 sittings. Highbury Chapel, in Graham Street, seats 1,300, erected 1844, and those in Legge Street, Great Barr Street, Bordesley Street, Inge Street, Lozells, Saltley, and the Boatman's Chapel, are also Independent.
The Wesleyan Methodists have a meeting-house belonging to the Birmingham east and west circuits in Cherry Street founded in 1782, and rebuilt in 1825, Wesley Chapel, Islington Chapel, and those in Bristol Road, Summer Hill, Nineveh, Belmont Row, Bradford Street, and Newtown Row. The Association Methodists have a meeting-house in Bath Street. The Independent Methodists have a meeting-house in Buck Street. The New Connexion Methodists have meeting-houses in Oxford Street, Unett Street, and Nechells Mill.
The Scotch Church have a handsome meeting-house in Broad Street, dedicated to St. Andrew. The Welch Calvinistic Methodists in Peck Lane; it seats 200; erected 1842. The Huntingdonians have a meeting-house in Peck Lane; seats 900; erected 1843. The Calvinists have a meeting-house in Bartholomew Street called the Cave of Adullam. The Sweden-borgians have a small meeting-house in Summer Lane. The Christian Chartists have a meeting-house in Livery Street, The Plymouth Brethren have a meeting-house in Waterloo Street. The Irvingites are extinct. St. Jude's, in Newhall Street, is a peculiar meeting house. Trinity Tabernacle, on The Parade, is also for peculiar doctrines. The Birmingham General Cemetery is at Key hill, Hockley.
Queen's College, incorporated by royal charter in 1843, is an imposing Gothic structure, situated in Paradise Street, opposite the Town Hall, and was founded in the year 1828 by the indefatigable exertions of Wm. Sands Cox, esq., F.R.S. The college will provide for thirty resident students under the immediate superintendence of a warden, a graduate of Oxford or Cambridge. The college students wear the ordinary under-graduates' costume. The system of study pursued at this college constitutes a complete course of medical and surgical education. The lectures qualify for examination for the diploma of the University of London, the Royal College of Surgeons, and the Society of Apothecaries, without any residence elsewhere. Connected with the college are museums of human and comparative anatomy, containing upwards of two thousand preparations, to which the students are admitted daily. Under certain regulations and restrictions, they have access to an extensive museum illustrative of zoology, geology, and mineralogy, and the other departments of natural history. The library contains upwards of 1,300 volumes. The College chapel was consecrated in March 1845, by the Lord Bishop of Worcester. Four resident scholarships have been founded by the Reverend Dr. Warnford, of £10 each. The College Chapel was consecrated in March, 1845, by the Lord Bishop of Worcester. Four resident scholarships have been founded by the Rev. Dr. Warneford, of £10 each, to be held for two years. The prizes are, the Warneford gold medals, the interest of £1,000, to be applied for the institution of two prizes. The Jephson prize, twenty guineas are offered to the student who may pass the best public examination in all the branches of medicine and surgery, and who can produce testimonials of good conduct, with regularity of attendance on divine service, and on the warden's lectures. Two gold medals are offered by the governors of the college for regularity and good conduct; to be certified by the warden and professors. Silver medals are annually given by the professors, on a public examination, of proficiency in the respective departments of medical science, at the conclusion of the session. The Smith prize: five guineas are offered to the student who may pass the best examination in two French works. The Piercy prize: five guineas are offered to the student who may pass the best examination in two German works.
To the college is attached the Queen's Hospital. This charity is also indebted for its origin to Wm. Sands Cox, Esq. P.R.S. The foundation stone was laid in the year 1841 by the Earl Howe, and on the following year the wards were opened by the Lord Bishop of Worcester. It is situated at the west end of the town, at Islington, near St. Thomas's Church. It is supported by annual subscription and an annual ball, and accommodates 120 in-patients.
St. Mary's College, late Oscott, is for Roman Catholics, and has attained high rank. It is a branch of the University of London. The studies are in theology and arts. The Right Rev. Bishop Wiseman and the Hon. and Rev. George Spencer are among the superiors. Springhill College is a branch of the University of London, and is a theological school for Independents, including also a course in arts.
The Free Grammar School of King Edward VI., in New Street, is well endowed and is a splendid Gothic pile by Barry. It is of Derbyshire stone, 174 feet wide, 60 feet high, and 125 feet deep in the flembs, and cost £40,000. It is one of the ornaments of the town. There is a head master, second master, and ten others, for mathematics, classics, English literature English, French, drawing, and writing. There are ten exhibitions at the universities of £50 each per annum, and an endowment of about £9,000 per annum. There are branch schools for boys and girls in Gem Street, The Parade, and Meriden Street.
The Blue Coat School was built in 1724, and is in St. Philip's churchyard, providing for the maintenance of 130 boys and 60 girls. The Protestant Dissenters have a foundation charity school for girls, established in 1762, and occupying a handsome Gothic building in Graham Street. The Deaf and Dumb Asylum is at Edgbaston, founded in 1812. The Birmingham and Edgbaston proprietary school has eight masters. There is a Hebrew National School, several National schools for boys and girls, Lancastrian schools, Sunday and infant schools.
The Botanical and Horticultural Society have a good garden at Edgbaston. The Pathological Society meets at the Waterloo rooms. There is a Law Society in Waterloo Street. The Philosophical Institution has a good building in Cannon Street. The Polytechnic Institution is in Steelhouse Lane. The Society of Arts and Government School of Design occupy a very good building, The Society of Artists hold their exhibitions in the Athenaeum, Temple Row. The Savings' Bank is in Temple Row.
The General Hospital, in Summer Lane, is a large building, founded in 1766, and containing 222 patients. It has some portraits and busts. The Queen's Hospital is in Bath Row, and attached to the College of Surgery. The Lying-in Hospital is in Broad Street, Islington. The General Dispensary is in Union Street; a handsome stone-fronted building, erected in 1808. The Self-Supporting Dispensary was founded in 1828, and is in Colmore Row. The Town Infirmary is in Lichfield Street; the Eye Infirmary in Cannon Street; and there is an institution for the relief of deafness in Cannon Street. The Magdalene Asylum has a chapel attached, and was founded in 1828. There is a Medical Benevolent Society.
There are almshouses for about 150 persona. The Retreat, Warner Street, Bordesley, parish of Aston, containing 21 dwelling-houses and a chapel, was erected by James Dowell, Esq., of Bristol, but a long-time resident in Bordesley; this institution was endowed by his widow, now Mrs. Henshaw; in 1831, with certain land and buildings in the parishes of King's Norton and Aston. During the life of Mrs. Henshaw the institution is under her control, and afterwards is vested in trustees. The inmates are allowed 1s. 6d. each weekly, with an additional 1s. per week each to a nurse and door-keeper, together with £10 per year to a superintendent; all widows and spinsters, parishioners of Aston, or who may have resided therein twenty years, and being not more than seventy years old, with an income not exceeding £20 per annum, are eligible. Two tons of coals yearly, in addition to the above, are allowed to the respective inmates.
The Birmingham Workhouse is a large building in Lichfield Street, built in 1733, the left wing being used for the town Infirmary. The Birmingham Asylum, in Summer Lane, will contain 250 children. The Aston Workhouse is at Erdington.
The Theatre Royal, in New Street, is a large and fine building, with a stone front founded in 1774, but rebuilt in 1820, and capable of accommodating 2,000 persons. The Assembly and Concert Rooms are attached to the Royal Hotel. There is an Harmonic Society. Birmingham is celebrated for a triennial musical festival. The Birmingham, or old library, was founded in 1779, and is in Union Street, and contains 20,000 volumes. The new library was founded in 1796, and is in Temple Row West. The Theological Library is in St. Philip's churchyard. The News Room is at Bennett's Hill, and was built in 1825 by Messrs. Rickman.
Birmingham is the seat of an election for two members for the borough, and a polling place for the northern division of the county. A Court of Bankruptcy, in two divisions, is holden here, and also a Circuit Court for Insolvent Debtors. There is the Borough Court for recovery of debts up to £20, and a Court of Requests for debts under £5. The parish of Birmingham is a district for the registration of births, deaths, and marriages. There are surrogates for granting marriage licenses. Birmingham is the seat of the magistrates acting for the subdivision. There is also a commission of borough magistrates and commissioners of lamps and watch, the Town Hall, market, paving, etc.
The Town Hall is a remarkably magnificent building, in the Corinthian style, the pride of the town. It was built in 1834, and has a grand hall, 140 feet long, 65 feet broad, and 65 feet high, in which is a much admired organ, and a great deal visited as being one of the largest in the world. It was built by Mr. William Hill of London, in 1834, and cost about £3,000. The height of the case is 54 feet; it is 40 feet wide, and 17 feet deep. The bellows are very large, and contain 300 square feet of surface, and upwards of three tons weight upon the bellows are required to give the necessary pressure. There are four sets or rows of keys extending from CC to F in alt, 54 notes; but the choir organ extends to CCC. The fourth row of keys is called the combination organ, upon which, by means of a most ingenious contrivance, can be played any stop or stops out of the choir or swell without interfering with their previous arrangement. The trackers are of very great length, and if laid out in a straight line would reach above five miles. The pedal organ extends from CCC to F two octaves and five notes. There are 19 stops in the great organ, 10 in the swell, 9 in the choir, 25 in the combination. 15 in the pedal organ, and 8 copulas. There are seven composition pedals. The largest metal pipe, standing in front of the organ, is 35 feet 3 inches long, and 5 feet 3 inches in circumference. The largest wood pipe is 12 feet in circumference, and its interior measurement is 224 cubic feet. There are 4,119 pipes in the organ. The timber alone used in this instrument weighs between 20 and 30 tons; and the metal and other materials employed in its formation raise it to a total weight of at least 40 tons. A performance on the organ takes place every Thursday from one to two o'clock, admission one shilling. It is also used on Monday evenings from half-past seven to nine, when the working classes are admitted for three pence. It may be heard at other times by applying to the organist, Mr. Stimpson, 8, Calthorpe Street, Edgbaston. Here the grand triennial musical festivals are held, the proceeds of which are applied in aid of the general hospital, these festivals are attended not merely by the residents of Birmingham, but by the rank and fashion of all parts of the country and are distinguished occasionally by the production of original musical works.
The public office is in Moor Street, and has a prison attached. Aston prison is in High Street, Bordesley. The post office is a commodious building. The stamp office is in Waterloo Street. The assay office, in Little Cannon Street, was founded for the assaying of gold and silver plate made in Birmingham and 30 miles round. The gun barrel proof house was founded in 1813, and is in Banbury Street. This establishment is for proving the barrels of fire arms. The barracks were built in 1793, and will accommodate a considerable force.
The market hall was built in 1833, from the designs of Mr. Charles Edge. It is a fine building of Bath stone, with fronts in High Street and Worcester Street. It is 365 feet long, 108 feet broad, and has a covered area of 39,411 square feet. In Birmingham there is a bronze statue of Nelson, executed by Westmacott, at a cost of £3,000. The cattle market, pig market, and hay and straw market, are held in Smithfield. Over the small river Rea, which is a mill stream, is Deritend Bridge, at the foot of Digbeth, begun in 1788, and finished in 1813. There are bridges also in Bradford Street and Cheapside. Lady Well, near Smallbrook Street, is an ancient and public well, supplying also a bathing house, which has a large swimming bath.
There are two gasworks, one belonging to the Birmingham Gas Light Company, incorporated in 1819, and the other at West Bromwich, to the Birmingham and Staffordshire Gas Light Company, incorporated in 1825. The gas is brought to Birmingham by pipes six miles in length. The chamber of commerce was established in 1813.
The Birmingham Railway station is in Curzon street, and is a fine building with a portico of four large Ionic columns. The Appendages of the station constitute a large establishment. Adjoining is the station of the Grand Junction, also of the Birmingham and Bristol Railway, and of the Birmingham and Derby. Here is a curious machine, a lift for raising goods and carriages from one line to the level of the other. Many of the great factories constitute establishments almost of a public character. Soho is at Handsworth, two miles off, and was founded in 1757, but came into the possession of Matthew Boulton in 1762, since which time it has been much enlarged, and is still carried on as Boulton and Watt's. Strangers are not allowed to visit any part but the showrooms. Soho has been, and is, one of the great schools of engineering and the arts of design. Here is a steam engine factory, foundry, machine factory, mint and toy factory, and electro-plating on an extensive scale. The works cover several acres. From the mint have issued coinages for the English government, African Company, East India Company, Russia, etc. The tombs of Boulton and Watt, by Chantry are in Handsworth church, near the factory. Collis's, late Sir Edward Thomason's, is another lion of Birmingham; it is in Church Street. In the showrooms are many beautiful productions including a copy of the Warwick vase. Jennings and Bettridge have large show rooms for paper maché, at Constitution Hill. It is to be observed that many eminent artists have been trained in the factories of Birmingham, who now pursue the higher departments of art.
The offices of the Birmingham Banking Company are in the Corinthian style. Messenger and Sons factory in Broad Street, is for ornamental work in bronze and ormolu. Elkington's electro-plating and gilding works are in Newhall Street. Ratcliff's electro-plating, etc. works, in Suffolk Street, are worth seeing. Messrs. Rollason, in Steelhouse Lane, have fine rooms for cut glass, porcelain, chemical apparatus, etc. Cambridge Street works belong to Mr. Winfield and employ about 400 persons in iron and brasswork. Gas fittings are made here on a large scale. Attached to the factory is a school for 100 boys, liberally supported by the proprietor. At the percussion cap manufactory of Mr. Richard Walker, in Aston street, 300,000 caps are manufactured per day. In Graham Street is the extensive steel pen manufactory of Mr. Gillott.
1849 History and General Directory
of Birmingham by Francis White & Co.
Birmingham, a Parish, Market Town, and Borough, situated near the centre of the kingdom, in the north western extremity of the County of Warwick, in a sort of peninsula, the northern and western parts of which are bounded by Handsworth, in the County of Stafford; and the southern and eastern by King's Norton, in that of Worcester. In 52 degrees 29 minutes north latitude, 1 degree 55 minutes west longitude; 18 miles W. by N. from Coventry; 20 miles N.W. from Warwick; 22 miles N. by W. from Stratford-upon-Avon; 8 miles S.E. from Dudley; 14 miles S.S.W. from Wolverhampton; 82 miles S. by E. from Manchester; 104 miles S.E. by S. from Liverpool; and 109 miles N.W. from London, on the Holyhead Road. A small brook, at the distance of about 1½ miles from the centre of the town of Birmingham, separates this County from that of Stafford; and a narrow tongue from the County of Worcester runs into Warwickshire, on the east side of Birmingham.
The parish of Birmingham contains 2,660 acres of light sandy land; in 1841 it comprised 22,272 inhabited houses, 2,958 uninhabited houses, and 226 houses were building, having 138,215 inhabitants, of whom 67,317 were males, and 70,898 females. In 1801 the population was 60,822. In 1831, 146,896. The annual rental was assessed, in 1826, at £239,407. For Ecclesiastical purposes, Birmingham is divided into the district parishes of St. Martin, St. Philip, St. George, St. Thomas, and All Saints, in the Archdeaconry of Coventry and Diocese of Worcester, each of which respectively, in 1841, contained 94,316, 24,499, 15,078, and 4,322 inhabitants; but for all civil purposes it is still considered one parish. Birmingham was constituted a Borough after the Reform Act of 1832, and includes the hamlets and chapelry of Deritend and Bordesley, with those of Duddeston-cum-Nechells, in the parish of Aston, in Warwickshire, with 13,330 acres of land. The two former contained 3,630 inhabited houses, 451 uninhabited, and 28 houses were building, having 18,019 inhabitants, of whom 8,647 were males, and 9,372 females. Also the Parish of Edgbaston, in the Birmingham division of the Hemlingford Hundred, 1½ mile S.W. from Birmingham, and forming a suburb to the town, forms part of the Borough. Its parish contains 2,790 acres of land, and in 1841 here were 1,227 inhabited houses, 61 houses uninhabited, and 18 houses were building, with 6,609 inhabitants, of whom 2,660 were males, and 3,949 females, making a total for the entire Borough of Birmingham of 18,780 acres, which includes the entire area of Aston, with 36,121 inhabited houses, 3,841 uninhabited, and 323 houses building, with a population of 182,922 souls, of whom 88,572 were males, and 94,350 females. The extensive parish of Handsworth, in the Hundred of Offlow, and County of Stafford, adjoins the parish of Birmingham on the north west. The hamlet of Soho forms a populous suburb to the Borough of Birmingham, and will be included in the Birmingham Directory. The remaining part of the parish, as well as the remaining part of the parish of Aston, will be given, to follow the Birmingham Directory, with the necessary local information.
Birmingham ranks the fourth town in England as to population and commercial consequence, and it is generally considered as the second town as to manufacturing; yet from the great variety in its manufactures, the great extent, and the value of many of the articles, it is by many said to be the first in consequence; but on this there appears not data to decide. The town, previous to the Reform Bill, was governed by a High Bailiff, elected annually, who presided at all public meetings; a Low Bailiff, and a Chairman of the Court Leet. It was free from the restrictions of any corporate body, and open for any person to settle in it; this, joined with the local advantages of its situation, its proximity to the coal and iron mines, and the convenience of canals, has long contributed to the constant increase of its buildings and augmentation of its population and commerce. It has now become a great centre of railways, which greatly adds to the other advantages.
In 1690 Birmingham contained only four thousand inhabitants. In 1821 it contained 85,416, at which time Aston contained 19,189, and Edgbaston 2117 inhabitants; Dugdale supposes the name of the town to have been given by its Saxon proprietor, but it was more common for a man to take his name from the place, than to give name to it. Hutton, the historian of Birmingham, supposes it to be much older than any Saxon date. During the last four centuries the name has been variously written, Brurnwycham, Bermyngeham, Bromwycham, Burmynghnm, Bermyngham, Byrmyngham, and Birmingham; so late as the seventeenth century it was written Bromycham, The word has undergone various mutations; the original seems to have been Bromwych; Brom perhaps from broom, a shrub, for the growth of which the soil is extremely favourable, Wych, a dwelling, or a descent; this exactly corresponds with the declivity from the High Street to Digbeth. Two other places in the same neighbourhood bear similar names, Castle Bromwich and West Bromwich. From a series of prosperity its lord might reside in it, and assume its name, and the particle ham would naturally follow. Probably this happened under the Saxon Heptarchy, and the name became Bromwycham. Leland, in the reign of Henry VIII. describes Birmingham as being inhabited by "smithiers that used to make knives and all sorts of cutting tools, by lorimores that make bittes, and a great many nailours."
The town is approached from every side by ascent, except that from Hales Owen, north-west, which gives a free access to the air, and showers promote both cleanliness and health, by removing all obstructions. Ancient writers represented Birmingham as low and watery. Digbeth, formerly the chief street, bears that description. "Birmingham," Hutton says, "like the empire to which she belongs, has for many centuries been travelling up hill, and like that rising into consequence." There is not any natural river runs through the parish; its boundaries are marked by three, none of which supply family use. After penetrating into a body of sand, with a small strata of soft rock, and sometimes of gravel, at the depth of about twenty yards, plenty of water is found, rather hard. There are in the lower parts of the town two excellent springs of soft water, one at the top of Digbeth, the other Lady Well, or rather one bed of water with many outlets, continuing its course along the bottom of the hill, and sufficiently copious to supply a large city. A Chalybeate spring, in the manor of Duddeston, one mile from Birmingham, on the road to Coleshill, which Hutton observes has but one defect, it costs nothing; "here," he adds, "the afflicted might find a prescription without expense, efficacious as if signed by the whole College of Physicians; the stick and the crutch would be nailed round its margin as trophies of victory over disease. The bottle adds to the spirits but shortens life; this fountain is the renewer of health and the protractor of age."
The natural air of Birmingham cannot be excelled in this climate, the moderate elevation and dry soil evinces this truth; but it receives an alloy from the vast congregated body of human beings, the smoke of numerous fires, and the effluvia arising from particular trades. It is no uncommon thing to see a man with green hair or a yellow wig, from his constant employment in brass; if he reads, the green vestiges of his occupation remain on every leaf, never to be expunged. The inside of his body receives no doubt the same tincture, but is cleaned by being often washed with ale.
Ecclesiastically, as before noticed, the town of Birmingham is now divided into five parishes, having fifteen churches, besides six more within the borough, in the parish of Aston, and in Edgbaston. St. Martin, the ancient parish church, the antiquity of which is too remote for historical light, its records having fallen a prey to time, and the revolution of things. From various reasons its foundation is supposed to have been in the eighth century, or perhaps a little earlier, and it then was at a small distance from the buildings. The present edifice cannot be assigned to an earlier period than the beginning of the thirteenth century, it consists of a spacious nave with clerestory, chancel, south aisle with vestry at the east end, and north aisle, at the west end of which stands a large massive tower, surmounted by a spire of great symmetry; the interior windows of the belfry, as also other portions of the tower, are in the early decorated style of architecture, and during some late repairs a window or doorway of the same style was discovered at the west end of the south aisle; it therefore seems very probable that some portion of the church was erected by that Sir William de Birmingham whose monument is situated in the south aisle.
In the year 1690 the church and tower were cased with brick. The spire has been several times injured by lightning, and its altitude diminished. A meridian line on the south side the tower was placed there by Ferguson the astronomer. The living is a Rectory, valued in the king's books at £19. 3s. 6d. now £1,048, in the patronage of trustees, the Rev. John C. Miller, M.A. incumbent. This church was, in 1291, valued at seven and a half marks. In the year 1331 Walter de Clodshale, of Saltley, gave certain lauds and messuages for the founding of a Chantry at the altar of the Blessed Virgin, in this church, and for maintaining one priest to celebrate divine service there for the souls of himself, his wife, their ancestors, and all the faithful deceased. His son Richard gave other lands for the like purpose. In the twenty-sixth year of Henry VIII. the value of the lands and tenements was esteemed at one hundred and one shilling. Richard de Clodshale, who served as Sheriff for this County and Leicestershire, in 1426, by his last will, dated Edgbaston, 1428, bequeathed his body to sepulchre in this church, "within his own proper chapel of our Lady." The Rectory is a large neat mansion, near St. Thomas's Hospital, Bath Row.
During the year 1846, through the exertions of Mr. H. M. Blews, the restoration of the ancient monuments of the "Lords of Birmingham" has been effected. The most ancient of which is situated in the fifth window opening of the south aisle; it is the effigy of a knight, cross legged and recumbent, lying on a coffin-shaped slab, gradually rising on each side to an obtuse angle or ridge. It is supposed to represent Sir William de Birmingham. In the year 1297, he was in the service of his sovereign, Edward I, under the command of the Earl of Lincoln, who attempting to relieve Bellgard, then besieged by the French, was defeated by the besiegers, and the Earl, together with Sir William, eight more knights, and very many esquires, were taken prisoners, and carried in great triumph to Paris. He died in the latter part of Edward the First's reign, for in the year 1304, his widow, Isabel, presented John de Ayleston, clerk, to the church. In the west window of the south aisle, is the next ancient monument; but from the porous nature of the stone, and its extreme dilapidation, a perfect restoration of this was prevented; it is supposed to he the effigy of William de Birmingham, a man of great repute in the time of the Second and Third Edward. In the south aisle is a high altar tomb, of alabaster, divided into compartments, on which is the effigy of a knight in plate armour. The slab on which the effigy reclines, is of the form termed en dos dome. It is presumed to represent John de Birmingham, who, in the year 1379, was sheriff of this county and Leicestershire; he was one of the Knights of the Shire in the parliament held at Westminster, in 1382. The most interesting of these monuments is the effigy of an ecclesiastic, placed upon a high tomb of alabaster, divided into seven compartments, each consisting of a pointed arch, flanked by small pinnacled buttresses; beneath each arch, on a small projecting bracket, stands the figure of an angel, clad in an alb, with outstretched wings, supporting in his arms a shield; M. R. Bloxam has assigned the date to the latter part of the fifteenth century, and considers it one of the most curious monumental effigies extant.
About the year 1715, a small portion of the original parish of St. Martin, consisting of a district in the centre of the town, was formed into the parish of St. Philip; and in 1829, two other districts were formed into the parishes of St. George and St. Thomas; since which, in 1832, Birmingham Heath was formed into the district parish of All Saints'; since which, two other new parishes have been formed, St. Stephen, taken out of the parish of St. George, and St. Andrew, out of Aston parish.
St. Philip's Parish Church is a large handsome structure, in the Grecian style of architecture, combining the Corinthian and the Doric orders, and is much admired by architects. It is a stone structure, about 140 feet long and 75 feet broad. It was commenced in 1711, and was consecrated October 4th, 1715; and cost £5,012, exclusive of material and labour given. It is situated on the most elevated spot in the town, on an area of about four acres; and was, as well as the site on which the Blue Coat School stands, the gift of Mrs. Elizabeth Phillips, and her daughter and son-in-law, Mr. William and Mrs. Inge; it comprises a nave, chancel, north and south aisles, a tower, supporting a dome and cupola, containing a peal of ten bells. The interior is very handsome, and commodiously fitted up; it has two side and one end gallery; and will accommodate 2,000 persons. The living is a rectory not in charge, and is annexed to the prebend of Sawley, in the patronage of the Bishop of Worcester; the Hon. and Rev. Grantham Munton Yorke, M. A. incumbent. In 1845 the roof of the church was leaded, the interior cleaned and beautified, at a cost of £2,000. From the top of the tower, a fine view of the town is obtained. The Rectory house is situated at the corner of the church yard; and in it is a Theological Library, bequeathed by the Rev. William Higgs, about a century since, for the use of the clergy of the neighbourhood.
St. George's Parish Church, near Tower street, is a handsome structure in the early English decorated style of architecture, consisting of nave, chancel, side aisles, and a lofty square embattled tower, with pierced parapet and crocketed pinnacles, and cost, including the boundary walls and gates, £12,735, raised by subscriptions, aided by a grant from the Parliamentary Commissioners; it contains 1,378 free sittings. The first stone of the church was laid in 1820, and it was consecrated July 30th, 1822. The galleries are supported on iron shafts; the communion is ornamented with a fine altar piece, over which is a window of tracery work, decorated with painted glass. The living is a Rectory, not in charge, rated at £550, in the patronage of the Bishop of Worcester, Rev. John Garbett, M.A. [rural dean], incumbent.
St. Thomas's Parish Church, Holloway Head, is a handsome structure in the Grecian style; the front is almost semicircular, and ornamented with six chaste Ionic columns. The eastern end is also ornamented with Roman Ionic columns, supporting a pediment, with a handsome spire, connected in the lower part with the sides of the church by quadrants of the Ionic order. It was erected at a cost of £14,222, wholly defrayed by a grant from the Parliamentary Commissioners, and will accommodate 2,400 persons, 1,400 of whom are provided with free sittings. The church was consecrated on October 22nd, 1829. The living is a Rectory, not in charge, rated at £500. The executors of the late William Hawkes, Esq. had the first presentation. The Rev. George Stringer Bull, incumbent.
All Saints' Parish Church, Birmingham Heath, is an elegant brick structure, erected at a cost of £3,817, exclusive of boundary wall, was consecrated September 28th, 1833. It contains 1,200 sittings, of which 700 are free. The living is a discharged Rectory, rated at £220, in the patronage of the Rector of St. Martin's. The Rev. Francis Samuel Morgan, M.A., incumbent.
St. Stephen's Parish Church, Newtown Row, is built in the Norman Gothic Style of architecture, at a cost of £3,200, raised by the Birmingham Church Building Society. It will accommodate 1,000 persons, of which number 500 sittings are free. It was consecrated July 24th, 1844. It comprises a district of 11,000 persons, and was a part of St. George's parish. The living is a Perpetual Curacy, rated at £130, in the alternate patronage of the Crown and Bishop of Worcester. Rev. Edward Garbett, M.A., incumbent.
St. Andrew's Parish Church, Bordesley. A parish formed in 1846, under the Act of Parliament designated Sir Robert Peel's Act, and was the fifth church built by the Birmingham Church Building Society, formed for the erection of ten. The church was consecrated on September 30th, 1846, and cost £3,500. It consists of a nave, [86 feet], a chancel, [38 feet], and a north aisle. A vestry adjoins the chancel on the north and a porch on the south of the nave, added by the parishioners, who also added an organ at the cost of £260, a sweet-toned instrument, built by Banfield, it contains 18 stops and about 900 pipes. The gable has a fine light window at the west end, which with the bold tower and spire at the north west angle, has a pleasing effect. It is built of red sandstone, from a design by R. Carpenter, Esq., and is a correct specimen of the second pointed English architecture. The living is a Perpetual Curacy of the value of £150 per annum, with the pew rents, and is in the alternate patronage of the Bishop of Worcester and five Trustees; the Bishop and the Vicar of Aston always to be two of those Trustees. The Rev. David Brown Moore, incumbent.
St. Bartholomew's Church, St. Bartholomew's Square, is a plain brick building with a Cupola erected in 1749 on land presented by John Jennens Esq., as a chapel of ease to St. Martin; it has now a district of 8,500 souls awarded to it. The interior, a good specimen of the Tuscan Order, is graced with a richly carved altar piece, presented by the Earl of Denbeigh, the communion plate was presented by Mrs. Mary Careless. The Chancel of this church points to the north instead of the east; the living a Perpetual Curacy rated at £300 in the patronage of the Rector of St. Martin; Rev. William Duncan Long, incumbent.
St. Mary's Church, in St. Martin's parish, is a neat octagon brick structure with a tower and handsome spire; it was erected in 1774, in pursuance of an Act passed in 1772 for the erection of two additional chapels in Birmingham; the land was presented by Miss Mary Weaman, in whom the right of presentation was vested. The church was repaired and beautified in 1838, the interior is spacious, and comprises nave, chancel, side aisles, and galleries; the chancel is ornamented with a beautiful stained glass window representing the ascension. It will accommodate 1,690 persons, of which 470 seats are free. It was made a District Church in 1841, with a population of 8,500 souls assigned to it. The living is a perpetual curacy, rated at £520. in the patronage of trustees; Rev. John Casebow Barrett M.A., incumbent. The Parsonage, a neat residence in St. Mary's Row. No Fees are required at this church for baptisms and christenings from persons resident in the district.
St. Paul's Church, St. Paul's Square, is a handsome stone edifice in the Grecian style, comprising nave, chancel, side aisles, with a handsome spire. It was erected by subscription in 1779, at a cost of £1500 under the act for two additional churches passed in 1772; but the spire, which is much admired for lightness and elegance of design, was not erected till 1823. In 1791 a beautiful stained glass window, representing the conversion of St. Paul, was placed over the communion table. The neat burial ground, which encloses the church, is surrounded with trees, the land for the site being presented by Charles Colmore, Esq., A district of 11,000 souls is assigned to this church. The living a Perpetual Curacy, rated at £170. Rev. George B. P. Latimer, M.A. is patron and incumbent. The Parsonage, a neat residence, is also in St. Paul's Square.
St. Peter's Church, Dale End, is a neat stone edifice, in the Grecian style of architecture, with nave, chancel, and side aisles. A massive portico of the Doric order, supported by four columns, forms the entrance, an octagonal turret rising above the roof. It was erected at a cost of £13,087, and, including the site, about £19,000, and contains 1,431 free sittings; the Parliamentary Commissioners appointed for building new churches having defrayed a considerable portion of the expense. The first stone was laid in 1825, and it was consecrated August 10th, 1827; was made a district church in June, 1847, with a population assigned of 6,000 souls. In 1831, the interior was nearly destroyed by fire. The chancel window contains 'the Ascension,' in stained glass. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the presentation of the rector of St. Philip; Rev. Joshua Greaves, M. A., incumbent.
Bishop Ryder's Church, near Gem Street, Aston Street, is a neat brick structure, edged with stone. It was built by subscription, at a cost of £4,500, and consecrated December I8th, 1838, and has a lofty tower at the west end. The dense and increasing population of this part of the town, which was not supplied with any place of worship, attracted the attention of the late Bishop Ryder, by whose example and influence subscriptions were raised for the erecting of this church, which bears his name; it has an assigned district of 9,000 souls, and seats are provided for the poor. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of trustees. Rev. Sampson Jervois, incumbent.
St. Matthew's Church, Great Lister Street, Duddeston-cum-Nechells, Aston parish, is a handsome brick structure, in the Gothic style, with lancet windows, a tower and spire, and was built by the Birmingham Church Building Society, formed in 1838-9 to build ten churches, at a cost of £3,200, and consecrated October 20th, 1840. It has a district of about 11,000 souls assigned to it. The living, a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of trustees. Rev. George W. Chamberlain, M. A., incumbent. The Parsonage, a neat residence, is near the church.
St. Mark's Church, St. Mark's Street, Summer Hill, is a neat stone structure, with a tower and spire at the north-west angle, and consists of nave, chancel, and side aisles, and was erected by the Birmingham Church Building Society, at a cost of £3,100. It was consecrated July 29th, 1841, and has a district of 5,000 souls assigned to it. The living, a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Bishop of Worcester; the rector of St. Martin and others as trustees. Rev. Daniel Ledsam, M. A., incumbent.
St. Luke's Church, Bristol Road, is a handsome structure, in the Norman style of architecture. The foundation stone was laid July 28th, 1841, by the Bishop of Worcester, and it was consecrated September 28th, 1842. It consists of nave, chancel, and side aisles, with a tower at the south-west angle. It was erected by the Birmingham Church Building Society, at a cost of about £3,500; will seat 1,000 persons, of which number 500 are free; to which a district of 7,800 souls is assigned. The living, a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of trustees. The Rev. J. O. Oldham, M. A. incumbent.
St. Jude's District. For this district of 7,500 souls, the National School Room, in Pinfold Street, has been licensed for divine Service by the Bishop, where service is performed, Sunday morning at eleven, afternoon, half-past three, and Wednesday evening, half-past seven. The living is a perpetual curacy, rated at £130, in the alternate patronage of the crown and bishop. Rev. George Davenport, was, in 1847, appointed incumbent.
St. James's Chapel, Queen's College, Paradise Street, St. Martin's parish, which was consecrated November 15th, 1844, and divine service is performed daily at half-past seven, morning; Sunday morning at half-past eleven, and afternoon at three. Rev. George Richards, M. A., chaplain.
Christ Church, Head of New Street, in the parish of St. Philip, is a stone structure, with a lofty portico, supported on columns of the Doric order, and a spire. The church was consecrated on July 6th, 1813, and cost about £26,000. The body of the church is provided with free seats for the poor. The Altar Piece is of carved mahogany, supporting a Painting of a Cross, surrounded by Clouds. The land for the site was presented by William Phillips Inge, Esq., and a donation of £1,000 was given by his Majesty George III. The living is a perpetual curacy, rated at £200, in the patronage of the Bishop of Worcester. Rev. George Lea, M. A., incumbent.
Chapel at the Magdalene, Broad Street, Islington, licensed by the Bishop for divine service, was built by subscription, at a cost of about £1,400, built with brick and cemented, and opened April 28th, 1839, Service is performed on Sunday morning at half-past ten, evening, half-past six, and Wednesday evening, quarter past seven. The Rev. Sydney Gedge, M. A., and Rev. Thomas Arden, M. A., are the chaplains.
Churches in the Parish of Aston, within the Borough are included below, though St. Andrew, a parish church, and St. Matthew, a district church, are already noticed above. St. James's Chapel [see photograph above], Great Brook Street, Ashted, at the eastern extremity of Birmingham, is a substantial plain brick building, originally the private residence of the late Dr. Ash, the founder of the General Hospital, Birmingham. On his decease, it was converted into a Proprietary Chapel, by Dr. Crofts, and very neatly fitted up as a place of worship. On his decease, it was put up for sale by public auction, and was purchased by some friends of the late Rev. Edward Burn, incumbent of St. Mary's, at a cost of £1,200, repaired and re-fitted at an additional expense of £1,500, and consecrated by Bishop Cornwallis, September 7th, 1810, and vested in the hands of the Rev. Henry Ryder and three others, as trustees for sixty years, and the Rev. Henry Burn nominated as minister. In 1829, Mr. Burn resigned the care of the chapel, when the Rev. Josiah Airport, its present incumbent, was appointed. In 1830, the chapel was thoroughly repaired, and the galleries extended so as to provide 150 free sittings, at an expense of £1,500, previous to which, in this hamlet, containing nearly 12,000 souls, there was no accommodation for the poor. In 1835, the population around being more than doubled, the chapel was enlarged, at a cost of about £1,300, by the addition of at least one-third of its present length, forming it into a proper oblong; besides the construction of a suitable chancel, and the galleries extended throughout the new part. The chapel will now seat 1,500 persons, of which 600 are free seats, besides 250 sittings for the Sunday school children. A sweet-toned organ, built by Bishop, was, during the time of the Rev. Mr. Burn, placed in the chapel; and very recently, John Whittingham, Esq. bequeathed £200 for the erection of a clock in the turret, but which is wholly unsuited to such an advantageous appendage. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of trustees, as before stated, but has no endowment attached to it: the support of the minister, and defraying of all repairs and incidental expenses, rests solely on the seat holders. The present incumbent has four public services every Lord's day : commencing at nine o'clock in the morning, for the convenience of the military, in the barracks contiguous to St. James's; with congregational services at eleven, afternoon at three; and evening at half-past six.
St. John the Baptist Chapel, Deritend, was founded and endowed with lands to the value of £6. 13s. 4d., to support a priest. Henry VIII, in 1537, seized the property as Chantry lands, then valued at £13. 1s. 7d.; but it is supposed they were afterwards returned. In the windows of this ancient chapel were the arms of Lord Dudley, and Dudley impaling Barclay, both knights of the garter, and a whole figure of Walter Arden, Esq. The ancient building having fallen to decay, the present structure, which is a commodious place of worship, was erected in 1735. In 1762, a square tower was added at the west end, in which, in 1777, a clock and eight bells were placed. The chapel will accommodate 700 persons, and is a chapelry to the parish of Aston. The living is a perpetual curacy, rated at £319, in the patronage of the inhabitants, and incumbency of the Rev. William B. Smith, M. A.
Holy Trinity Chapel, head of Bradford Street, Bordesley, is a beautiful Gothic structure, faced with stone, built from the design of Godwin, of London. The noble arch which forms the entrance, constitutes its finest feature. It contains nave, chancel, side aisles, and galleries; cost £14,235, and was consecrated January 23rd, 1823. The church contains a fine organ, and a beautiful altar piece, painted by Fogge, representing Christ healing the sick at the pool of Bethesda. The nave and galleries are free; living, a perpetual curacy, rated at £300; patron, the vicar of Aston. Rev. Joseph Oldknow, M. A., incumbent, for whom a neat parsonage has been erected adjoining the church.
Church of the Saviour, Edward Street, Birmingham parish, is an elegant brick edifice, with a massive cemented front, in the Corinthian order; the entrance is a fine ornamented arch, supported by two enriched columns. The church was opened August 8th, 1847; will seat 1,500 persons; 500 of the sittings are free. In a niche at the upper end of the church, supported by two beautiful Corinthian columns, is a fine organ, which is accompanied by a first-rate choir; in front of which stands the pulpit, entered on either side by a flight of steps; from, the reading board is suspended an elegant piece of drapery, of crimson velvet, on which is a beautifully enriched emblem of the cross, in ornamental needle-work; on either side the rostrum stands a marble tablet, on which is engraved the commandments laid down by Christ, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God," This elegant structure is not an Episcopal place of worship. Rev. George Dawson, M.A., is the minister. On the last Saturday of each month, a divine service of music is performed in this church, as a means of the expression of religious feeling by that of sacred song.
Churches in Edgbaston Parish, which as previously explained, forms a part of the Borough of Birmingham. The appearance of the village of Edgbaston is very attractive, the houses are well built, the streets wide, straight, and lighted with gas. There are also numerous villas, and altogether it forms a fashionable appendage to Birmingham, extending two miles south west.
St. Bartholomew, the Parish Church, is an ancient structure, which Dugdale informs us "reposed amongst the trees which surround the Hall, and was utterly destroyed by the Parliamentary forces in the civil wars. After the Restoration it was rebuilt, and the interior decorated by Sir Richard Gough. The body of the church was rebuilt in 1810, and was repaired and re-roofed in 1845. In the square tower is a peal of bells, and in the interior an organ, and several monuments, principally to the Gough family. The living a vicarage, rated at £35, now £542, has been augmented with £200 private benefaction, and £200 Queen Anne's Bounty. In the patronage of Lord Calthorpe and incumbency of Rev. Isaac Spooner, M.A., for whom a neat parsonage house is about to be erected.
St. George's Chapel, Calthorpe Street, is a handsome Gothic structure, in the early pointed style of the 13th century, the first stone of which was laid 17th August, 1836, and it was consecrated November 28th, 1838; erected and endowed at the sole expense of Lord Calthorpe, aided by a legacy of £500 from the late Mr. Wheely, of Edgbaston, at a cost of about £6,000. It contains seats for 1,000 persons, and has 100 free sittings. The living is a Perpetual Curacy, in the patronage of Lord Calthorpe and incumbency of the Rev. Edward Lillingston, M.A.
A few years since the only buildings which Edgbaston contained were the Church, the Hall, the Parsonage, and a few farm houses. The present proprietor is Lord Calthorpe, who lets out portions of land on long building leases; and the number of its inhabitants is yearly increasing; and the business man of Birmingham carries with him into his retirement a correct taste not only for the useful, but also for the beautiful and picturesque. The Botanic Gardens and the Observatory are in this parish. The ancient Hall, formerly the seat of the lords of the manor, was burned by the populace at the revolution, who feared it might become a refuge for Roman Catholics. The present Hall was built by Sir Richard Gough. It is seated in a small well-wooded park, ornamented with a fine sheet of water, and is the seat of Edward Johnstone, Esq., M.D.
The Church of England Lay Association, was called into existence by requisition, dated 24th May, 1838. The object of this Association is exclusively the preservation of the rights and privileges of the Church, and its connection with the State. The Right Hon. the Earl of Dartmouth, President. James Taylor, Esq., Treasurer. Surrogates for granting marriage licenses for the Dioceses of Worcester and Lichfield. The Rev. J. C. Miller, Hon. and Rev. G. M. Yorke, Rev. J. Garbett, Rev. S. F. Morgan, Rev. G. S. Bull, Rev. R. Kennedy, Rev. G. O. Fenwicke, Rev. C. Pixell, and Rev. J. Allport.
The Roman Catholic Cathedral situated at the junction of Bath Street and Shadwell Street is dedicated to St. Chad, who was bishop of Lichfield in the seventh century. It is built with brick, having stone dressings after the example of many continental churches. The nave is divided from the aisles by twelve clusters of pillars, six on each side, from the capitals of which a series of pointed arches spring completely up to the roof without any break for a treforiam or clerestory, thus forming the loftiest range of arches in the kingdom, a handsome screen surmounted by the holy rood divides the choir from the nave, and a similar though richer screen partitions off the Lady Chapel or Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, from the top of the North Aisle. The windows in the choir and down the sides, with the exception of those in the transepts, are long laurlets, divided each into two bays, while the west window, and the windows of the transepts are very large apertures distributed each into six compartments affording great facilities for the display of stained glass; some good specimens of which are already to be found in the choir, representing ancient Saxon Saints in the Lady Chapel, where the Blessed Virgin stands in glory between St. Cuthbert and St. Chad; and in the north transept where St. James, St. Thomas, and St. Patrick are accompanied by the leading features in their history. Among the antiquities of the Cathedral may be mentioned the pulpit, an elaborate carving in oak of the sixteenth century; an Episcopal shrine and stalls of the fifteenth century; and a brass littern of the same period. All these are either of Flemish or German workmanship. Beneath the cathedral is a crypt or undercroft, dedicated to St. Peter, and divided into separate chantries, which subserve the double purpose of Oratories and burial places for the dead. Besides the principal Chantry or chapel three others are fitted up and appropriated. There is mass every Monday and Friday morning, at half-past six. The hours for mass in the cathedral, are every morning at seven, and on Sundays at seven, quarter past nine, and eleven o'clock; the one at eleven being the high mass. The vespers, followed by benediction, are at half-past six on Sundays, and there is a public service every Monday and Thursday evening, at half-past seven. The side doors of the cathedral are opened for private devotion every morning and evening at six o'clock. Visitors wishing to enter the church during the day must apply to the Sacristan, who lives near the north door in Shadwell Street. This church, one of the most magnificent erected in England since the Reformation, for Catholic worship, is in the middle age style of architecture, from plans of Mr. Pugin. It is 240 feet in length, 70 feet in width, and 57 in height divided lengthwise into three compartments. The cost of the building has been £60,000. it was consecrated on Tuesday, the 14th of July, 1838, by Dr. Wiseman, Bishop of the district, assisted by Dr. Doyle, the pastor of the Chapel. There were present the Archbishop of Treeves, the Bishops of Tournay, Chalons, and Chersonesees, with their caxons and chaplains, with 260 English and Foreign Priests, together with members of many religious Orders. There were also present the Earls of Shrewsbury, Arundel and Surrey; Lord Camoys, Lord Stafford, etc.; the entire body of the chapel being filled with Roman Catholic laity. Several distinguished members of the Protestant church were also present. The Bishops in their mitres with the various dresses of the different orders, youths bearing lights and lilies preceded and followed the procession. The whole ceremony presented a most imposing coup d'oeil. The tower and spire will, when complete, be 320 feet in height. The Organ, by Bishop, cost £750; there is also a smaller organ which cost £350. The metal works and altar furniture were by Mr. John Hardman, of Birmingham.
Roman Catholic Bishop of Birmingham. By a rescript from the Pope, the Right Rev. William Bernard Ullathorne, D.D. officiating Bishop of the Western District in England, was appointed Bishop of Birmingham, and enthroned at St. Chad's Cathedral, August 30th, 1848; the Pope's Bull being read by Dr. Weedall' and Dr. Wiseman, and the Hon. and Rev. G. Spencer, with a numerous body of Priests, took part in the ceremony. The Bishop's House, nearly opposite the west front of the Cathedral, in Bath Street, is the residence of the Bishop and such Priests as officiate about St. Chad's. The entrance is through an arched doorway into a short cloister, which communicates with one side of the kitchen offices, and an almonry for the poor, and on the other with the private and public rooms of the establishment. In the second or principal storey, are found the Bishop's apartments, the library, the domestic chapel, and the refectory or common hall, which is an apartment about 30 feet long, and is decorated in the style of a college hall; most of these are stencilled with various devices, have carved fireplaces, and are enriched with stained glass. The residents, are Right Rev. William Bernard Ullathorne, D.D. the Bishop, who also occasionally resides at St. Barnabas, Nottingham; Rev. John Moore, Arch Priest; the other priests, are Rev. Bernard Ivers, Rev. Thomas Leith, and Rev. William Molloy, and John Salt, Sacristan.
The Convent of Sisters of Mercy, situated in Hunters Lane, is a brick building, with stone doorways, windows, etc., and resembles in form and character the conventical buildings of the middle ages; it was provided by the late John Hardman Esq.; and consists of chapel dedicated to St. Mary, with cloisters, oratory, cemetery, refectory, reception room, cells and community room for the religious, and kitchen offices. The chapel is laid with encaustic tiles, and highly ornamented with painting and coloured glass. An open screen divides the chapel into two parts; in the interior of which are two ranges of stalls for the religious. Niches filled with ancient carvings, representing chiefly circumstances in our Lord's history, break the long line of the cloister walls. The Sisters of Mercy are a community of Ladies who have voluntarily forsaken the world, live in one common house, and labour together for the spiritual and temporal good of their destitute fellow creatures. The Rev. Miss Juliana Hardman is the Principal.
The House of Mercy, at a short distance from the Convent, and united to it by a very picturesque cloister, was erected at almost the sole expense of the sisterhood. In it poor destitute young women are entertained, if they can bring with them a good character; and they are boarded, clothed, and provided with work, until proper situations can be provided for them; they have every facility afforded them for improving themselves, and learning useful arts. There is an excellent laundry, washhouse, drying room, work room, bakehouse, and kitchen. There are several extensive well-aired dormitories, and medicines prepared under the direction of an experienced physician, in a dispensary on the premises. The number of young women in the house is usually about sixty, including eight or ten orphan children, who reside permanently in the houses, where every attention is paid to their habits and morals. Servants are sent from this establishment all over the kingdom, and application maybe made for the purpose, either personally or by letter.
St. Peter's Catholic Chapel, St. Peter's Place, Broad Street, is a neat plain brick building, erected in 1789, and enlarged in 1798; Rev. George Jeffries and the Rev. Michael O'Sullivan, priests. The chapel, previous to the erection of this, was at Edgbaston.
Catholic Church, Masshouse Lane. The first stone of this Church was laid by Brother Lee, of St. Mary Magdalene, alias Randolph, of the Holy Order of St. Francis, March 23rd, 1687. On the 16th day of August, 1688, the first stone of St. Marie Magdalen's Convent was laid at the north west corner of the above Church; it had five crosses upon it, with letters engraven; and on the 4th September, in the same year, the church was consecrated by the Right Rev. Father in God, Bonaventure Giffard, Bishop of Madaura, and Apostolical Vicar, and dedicated to God and St. Marie Magdalen. The church contained three Altars, the High Altar in Honour of God and St. Marie Magdalen, the North Altar in Honour of God and the Blessed Lady, and the South in Honour of God and the Holy Father, St. Francis. The sum of £1,281. 2s. 5d. was raised by subscriptions and donations, the whole of which was expended in building and fitting up the church. His Majesty, King James II, gave 125 tons of timber from Needwood Forest; Sir John Gage gave timber valued at £140.; Mrs. Ann Gregg gave £250; Queen Catherine Dowager gave £10. 15s.0d.; with many others. The church and part of the Convent was first defaced and most of it burnt within, to near the value of £400, by Lord Dellamere's orders, November 26th, 1688; and that day se'nnight the rabble began to pull the Church and Convent down, and ceased not till the foundations were pulled up; plate to the value of £340. only was saved. After this, a small Chapel was erected at Edgbaston, part of which is now a Farm house.
Wesleyan Methodists form a numerous and influential body in Birmingham, and have many Chapels in the Borough, and date their origin from John and Charles Wesley, who commenced their extraordinary labours in the year 1729. These eminent men devoted their unwearied efforts to the good of mankind, emphatically fulfilling their apostolic mission, by preaching to the poor and ignorant. They have two Circuits. The East Circuit comprises the large Chapels at Belmont Row, Bradford Street, New Town Row, Nechells Green, and Balsall Heath. Divine Services are performed three times every Sunday, and also on various Weekday nights. The circuit also extends to Small Heath, Coleshill, Whitacre, Bodymore Heath, Castle Bromwich, Hill, Water Orton, Curdworth, and Lord Street, where Services are performed twice or three times every Sunday, and on other days; it also extends to eleven other places, where Services are performed once a week; having five Itinerant Preachers, 36 Local Preachers, with five on trial, and eight Exhorters; Superintendent, Rev. Joseph Roberts.
The West Circuit comprises the large Chapels at Cherry Street, Wesley Chapel, Islington Chapel, Bristol Road, and Nineveh, where Divine Services are performed three times every Sunday, also on various weekday nights; the Circuit also extends to Summer Hill, Aston Ville, Streetley Street, Harborne, and Quinton, where Services are performed twice on Sundays, and also on other week days; and also extends to ten other places, where Services are performed once a week; having five Itinerant Preachers, 42 Local Preachers, with two on Trial, and nine Exhorters; Rev. Isaac Keeling, Superintendent.
New Connexion Methodists were founded by the Rev. Alexander Kilham, who separated from the Wesleyans in 1795. They have a Chapel in Unett Street, a plain brick building, and a small Chapel in Oxford street. The Primitive Methodist Chapel, New John Street, West, erected in 1848, having let to the Independents their Chapel in Bordesley Street.
Presbyterian Church, Broad Street, Islington, in connection with the Synod of the Presbyterian Church in England, and in communion with the Free Church of Scotland, established their small place of Worship, in 1834, which having become too small for the Society, the first stone of the New Church was laid, Monday, July 25th, 1848, by Charles Cowan, Esq., of Edinburgh. It is in the Italian style, from a plan by Mr. Bolham, of Birmingham. In external dimensions, 90 feet long, and 47 wide; the principal front next Broad street, is occupied by a tower, vestibules, and staircases, and the opposite end by a deep arched recess, for the minister's platform, with a vestry on one side of it, and a vestibule to the entrance in the flank of the building next Oozells Street. The body of the Church is 71 feet 6 inches long, and 43 feet 6 inches wide, and will accommodate 640 persons; a gallery at the tower end extending the whole width of the building, will afford accommodation for 260 persons; and provision is made for the erection of side galleries hereafter. The church is lighted from the roof. The interior is plain, but neatly finished. Rev. John Robinson Mackenzie is the Pastor.
Independents - The Chapel, in Carr's Lane, is a large brick building cemented, having an imposing front in the Grecian style; was erected in 1820, at a cost of £10,000, raised by subscription, and will seat 2,000 persons, and under the pastoral care of the Rev. Edwin Dorrington. In connection with this Chapel, is the Palmer Street Chapel, a small brick building, erected in 1832, in St. Andrew's Parish, Bordesley. Graham Street Independent Chapel, is a large handsome brick building, with stone facings, erected in 1844; will seat 1,200 persons. Rev. Brewin Grant, Pastor. The Independent Chapel, Legge Street, a neat small stuccoed edifice, to accommodate 160 hearers, originally built by the Primitive Methodists, but has been occupied by the Independents about 20 years. Rev. Peter Sibree, Pastor. Trinity Tabernacle [Independent], Parade, is a small brick building, of which Rev. James Jay, is Pastor. Independent [Boatmen's] Crescent Locks, is a small place, and has no regular Pastor. St. Jude's Chapel, New Hall, is a substantial building, under the pastoral care of the Rev. F. C. B. Earle. Salem Chapel, Peck Lane, a small cemented brick building, is occupied by a Calvinistic congregation. No regular minister. Ebenezer Chapel, Steelhouse Lane, is a large commodious brick building, erected in 1818, by a Calvinistic congregation. No Minister at present.
Baptist Chapels - Circus Chapel, Circus Street, is a large cemented brick building, formerly used as the Amphitheatre; it was purchased of Mr. Joseph Sturge, and William Lucey, by Mr. William Middlemore, and the Rev. Charles Hill Roe, for £1,050, and converted into a Chapel, at the expense of £1,200; it is well fitted up in the interior, and will seat 800 persons, and was opened, October 24th, 1848, by Dr. Raffles, from Liverpool, and the Rev. John Adescoe, from London. In connection with this, is a small neat Chapel, in Heneage Street, erected in 1842. Rev. Charles Hill Roe, Pastor. The Baptist Chapel in Bond Street is a neat substantial building, established in 1785. Rev. Isaac New, the Pastor. The Baptist Chapel in New Hall Street is a small plain building; has no stationary Minister. The Baptist [General] Chapel, Lombard Street, is a substantial brick building, erected in 1786; will seat 600 persons. Rev. George Cheatle, Pastor. The Baptist Chapel, Graham Street, is a large neat brick cemented building, erected in 1820; has galleries all round, and will seat 2,000 persons, under the pastoral care of the Rev. Mortclock Daniell. The Baptist Chapel at the foot of King Street was erected in 1848. No regular Pastor. Lady Huntingdon's Chapel, Peck Lane, is an elegant spacious building, of which the Rev. John Jones is the Pastor. New Jerusalem Church, Summer Lane, is a handsome commodious structure, was erected in the year 1830, to accommodate 600 persons. This Church was formed about fifty years ago. They are hearers of the doctrines of the word of God, as expounded in the writings of the Hon. Emanuel Swedenborg, a Swedish Nobleman, distinguished alike for his profound learning, as he was illustrious for his attainments in philosophy and science. Rev. Edward Madeley, Pastor.
Unitarian Church, New Hall Hill, is a large neat brick edifice, erected at a cost of £4,100, raised by subscription, and opened in July, 1834; it will accommodate 1,000 persons, and is under the pastoral care of the Rev. James Cranebrook. Unitarian New Meeting, Moor Street, is a neat building erected in 1730, at which time one in Digbeth went into disuse; the Rev. Samuel Bache, the pastor. Unitarian Old Meeting, Old Meeting Street, is a neat brick edifice, erected in 1794, at a cost of £5,000, and will seat 1,000 persons; Rev. Hugh Hutton, is the pastor. The Unitarians here have been foremost in every philanthropic effort to ameliorate the condition of the poor; and they have a Domestic Mission Chapel, in Lawrence Street, a neat brick edifice, to accommodate 500 persons; it is well attended by the poorest people; Rev. John Gent Brook, is the pastor. The Friends' Meeting House, Bull Street, is a plain building, having a neat interior, with a cemetery at the back. Unknown Tongue Chapel, New Hall Street, is a small plain building, formerly the Scotch Kirk. No regular minister. Latter Day Saints' Chapel, Livery Street, is a plain substantial building. No regular minister. Second Advent, a small body of Christians here, founded by Mr. Miller, an American, who have a room in Cambridge Street, and one in Anne Street, but no regular minister. The Jewish Synagogue, Severn Street, is a neat building erected in 1817, and enlarged 1823. They have a burial ground amidst some gardens near Broad Street. Rev. Maurice Jacob Raphall, M. A., Rabbi and Theological Doctor, Rev. L. Chapman, Reader.
The Church of England Cemetery, Warstone, Birmingham, was consecrated Tuesday, August 8th, 1848. It has been established by a proprietary of £20,000, raised in shares of £10 each, the whole of which has been expended. The purchase consisted of 16 acres of land, of which 9 acres are enclosed and consecrated. The Church of the cemetery is in what is called the third pointed perpendicular style of architecture, having a nave, chancel, tower and spire, it being thought proper to provide a place in which to administer the Holy Sacrament, to mourners under grief for the loss of their friends requiring such service or consolation. The nave of the building is formed by the introduction of a handsome open stone screen at the entrance, which, while separating that portion of the building intended for the burial service from that which is open to the people, is kept so low as not to interfere with the proportions of the interior, or to interscept the view through the tower arch of the lower west window. The nave has a fine open roof. Ranges of carved seats are placed on each side for those who attend the burial service, and in the centre of the nave is an ornamented stand for the bier, whence, by means of Bramah's hydraulic machine, the coffins are let down to the vaults below, and by a subterranean passage conveyed to the circular catacombs. The chancel is of ample dimensions, with a fine east window of three lights, fitted with stained glass, presented by Mr. W. Chance to the company, executed at his works. The roof is boarded with neat panelled work, and the floor laid with encaustic tiles, while that of the nave is plain chequered squares. The tower is formed at the base by three massive archways intended as a porch for the hearses. The architect has introduced cloisters, or ambulatory, extending north and south of the main entrance. This feature is quite unique in this country. These cloisters are cut off from the body of the chapel, and have a doorway to each on the eastern side, communicating with the grounds. This ambulatory is 150 feet in length, is of beautiful construction, having a long range of rich windows in the western front, and blank recesses of corresponding tracery for the reception of monuments on the other, seats having been formed out of the window sills, and recesses on each side for the accommodation of those who frequent them. This place was long a neglected sand pit, which will form a regular circle, and two ranges of catacombs be constructed in the banks faced with rough battlemented stonework. These, when seen at a distance, will form a sort of basement to the main building, crowning the summit of the hill. The entrance to the principal front, on immediately turning Frederick Street, Warstone, forms a commodious residence for the secretary, with a bold archway for hearses to drive through, and the directors; room over, with a handsome oriel window. On passing through this archway the funeral procession enters an avenue of cypresses and other funeral trees. The grounds are tastefully laid out and planted. The church is dedicated to St. Michael, patron, the Bishop of Worcester; Rev. James Brown, B.A., Chaplain; Mr. George Horton, Secretary.
The General Cemetery, Key Hill, Hockley, is a favourite place of resort for the inhabitants, and was formed by a proprietary of 1,200 persons, in shares of £10 each. It comprises about ten acres of land, tastefully laid out in walks, interspersed with lawns and shrubberies. In the centre of the ground stands the chapel, in which the burial service is performed; underneath which is a residence for the registrar. A large portion of the cemetery is on rock, in which are placed catacombs. The ground was opened in April, 1836, and contains some elegant and superior monuments; one in particular of white marble, by Mr. Hollins - flowers in full bloom, cut by the scythe - is very beautiful. Rev. Peter Sibree, chaplain; Mr. Joshua Hammond, secretary; Mr. George Barnes, registrar.
Schools are numerous in the Borough of Birmingham; Sunday Schools are attached to nearly every place of worship, and many have day schools. By a circular issued in 1846, relative to the establishment of Infant Schools, it was stated that, in regard to Children, between the ages of Seven and Fifteen, educational provision had been made, either by the Church of England, or Dissenting bodies, for 7,749 in daily schools, of which 5,837 were stated to belong to the Church of England. From a report dated 5th April, 1847, it is stated there were 18 Boy's, 18 Girl's, and 10 Infant schools belonging to the established churches in the Borough, in connexion with the National School Society; that Society contending that to profess the education of a child, and yet to to make nought, or to make light of religious belief and principle, is to endanger in youth the most fatal habit of mind and thought, and sap the foundation of all religion in the breast.
The Free Grammar, or King Edward's School, New Street, was founded by King Edward the VI., in the fifth year,  of his reign, and endowed with the revenues of the Guild of the Cross, which, prior to the dissolution, occupied the site of the present building. The endowment arising from land, at that time produced only £30 per annum, but now, from being let on building leases, produces from £8,000 to £10,000 per annum, which on the expiration of leases, is still increasing. The management is vested in a bailiff and 18 governors, who appoint a head master, second master, and usher, with a writing master and a drawing master. Visitors: The Lord Chancellor, and [in some cases] the Bishop of Worcester. A new and suitable edifice was erected in 1834 by the governors of this wealthy establishment, on a convenient site in the centre of the town, at an expense of nearly £50,000. The design was furnished by Mr. C. Barry, of London, and presents a mixed style of Gothic architecture, characterized by new but beautiful and appropriate combinations. The external form of the structure is quadrangular, and extends 174 in front, and 125 feet in flank; the internal arrangements embrace two courts similar in form, around and between which the different sections of the buildings rise; the wings of the front and flanking buildings form elegant mansions for the head and second masters, besides a fixed salary of £400. a year; the head master derives additional emoluments in proportion to the number of boys in the school, by a capitation fee on each boy, which, calculating the number of boys at 400, will make the salary £1,000 a year. The governors have recently obtained an act to enable them to appoint masters to teach mathematics, modern languages, and the arts and sciences in the grammar school. The head master is also entitled to receive 18 boarders, and the second master 12. An annual visitation of the school is held, at which three resident members of the universities attend and examine the boys, and report upon the state of the school to the governors. There are ten exhibitions of £50. a year each, for four years, attached to this school; they are open to any college, and are given by the governors to the boys who are declared by the examiners to be highest in classical attainments.
Five elementary schools on this foundation are under the inspection of the head master, the Rev. E. H. Gifford, M.A. viz., a Branch in Gem Street, a neat building erected in 1838, will accommodate 135 boys and 130 girls. A Branch in Meriden Street, a neat brick building, erected in 1838, to accommodate 240 boys; and a Branch in Edward Street, for boys and girls, to accommodate 140 each. It is a neat brick building erected in 1838. These schools are always fully attended, and by the report published in 1847, 1,200 children are returned for King Edward's School. The names of the teachers are given in the Directory. A sum of £39,000 has been paid to the Governors of the Grammar School, by the London and North Western Railway Company, for property required in Birmingham. The claim was for £42,000.
The Birmingham and Edgbaston Proprietary School, Five Ways, Edgbaston, founded in 1838, and the present building completed, in 1841, at a considerable expense, including the grounds. It comprises a handsome building in the Elizabethan style, with stone dressings; in the rear of the building are extensive play grounds. The building is divided into class rooms, one of which is 70 feet long, 30 wide, and 25 high. The frontage consists of the entrance to the school, flanked on each side with masters houses. The east wing, occupied by the commercial master, is a large and commodious house, fitted up in the first style of elegance, as a boarding establishment, and in which the comfort and convenience of the pupils has in every possible manner been studied, the number of boarders being limited. The west wing is occupied by the French and junior masters, each of whom take a few pupils as boarders. There are private establishments in Edgbaston, where pupils are received as boarders. The Rev. Edward Illingworth, M.A., the Principal.
Blue Coat Charity School, St. Philip's Churchyard, was established by subscription in 1724, for the maintenance, clothing, and education of twenty boys and ten girls. Its funds having been increased by additional subscriptions, donations, and legacies, the buildings were enlarged in 1794, and now form a noble substantial edifice. There are now 130 boys and 70 girls in the school, the average income being £2,400. Mr. George Kirkland, head master.
Protestant Dissenting Charity School, Graham Street. This institution was founded in 1760, by the societies of the Old and New Meeting Houses. It was originally devoted to the maintenance and education of children of both sexes, but in 1813 was confined to girls, who are trained up in it under the care of a governess, for some respectable and beneficial service. The school was originally situated in Meeting Street, whence, in 1791, it was removed to a house in Park Street, and in 1840 to its present situation, which comprises a large substantial brick building, erected in 1839 for its use. The institution is supported entirely by voluntary contributions, consisting of donations and annual subscriptions, and collections made annually after sermons preached in behalf of the charity, at the two places of worship with whose religious societies it originated. The management of the institution is vested in the hands of the Governors for the time being; an annual subscription of one guinea entitling any person to be a Governor. A meeting of the Governors is held on the last Monday in January, for the election of the committee and officers of the school for that year. Children are chosen for admission at any period between nine and twelve years of age, by a plurality of votes of the Governors present at the annual general meeting in January. The present number of girls is about 40, who are clothed, educated, and fitted for service. They are put out at the age of fifteen; their number is not limited. Mr. Samuel Bache, Secretary.
St. Philip's Industrial Free School, 19, Lichfield Street, originally established and the school erected in 1724, in St. Philip;s Churchyard: the present building being erected in 1846, where 170 children, boys and girls, are instructed.
National Schools - Schools are attached to all the Churches of the Establishment [18 in number] in Birmingham, for boys and girls, ten of which have infant schools, viz.:- All Saints', attended by 105 infants; St. George's, 269; St. Thomas's, 125; St. Matthew's, 160; St. Paul's 159; St. Mary's, 139; St. Stephen's, 82; and one each at St. Philip's, Christ Church, and St. Luke's. The number of children present at the 63rd anniversary meeting of the Birmingham Church, of England schools on Whit Friday, May 28th, 1847, including the Magdalen, Blue Coat school, Asylum, Edgbaston, and Bordesley, were 9,566. National Schools noticed by Parishes alphabetically :
All Saints', Birmingham Heath, is a neat brick building, with residences for the master and mistress, and erected in 1843, by subscription, aided by a grant of £500 from the National Society, and £616 from the Committee of Council of Education, will accommodate 750 children. The present average numbers are 100 Boys, 70 Girls, 90 Infants. Bishop Ryder's, Gem Street, Aston Street, a commodious brick building, erected 1837, to accommodate 170 Boys, and 300 Girls and Infants. The average attendance is 240. Bordesley, Aston Parish, a neat brick building, erected in 1831, will accommodate 180 Boys, and 180 Girls. The average attendance being 112 Boys, and 120 Girls. St. Andrew, Watery Street, Aston Parish, is entirely supported by the Rev. David Brown Moore, the Incumbent. Will accommodate 120 Boys, and 120 Girls and Infants. Also, an evening school is open on four nights in the week for such as may be employed during the day. St. Bartholomew's, St. Bartholomew Square. A neat brick building, erected 1834; will accommodate 200 Boys and 150 Girls. St. George's, Great Russell Street, is a neat brick building, adjoining the Church, erected 1842, with a house for the master. Will accommodate 180 Boys, 200 Girls, and 200 Infants. The average attendance being 150 Boys, 90 Girls, and 150 Infants. Also a night school for those who cannot attend in the day. In connexion with this School and Church, is the St. George's Instruction Society, established January, 1843. The object of this Society is the Diffusion of Religious and Useful Information, and it offers to the Subscribers the following advantages: A library, consisting of about 1,500 Volumes. A Reading Room, supplied with Newspapers and Periodicals. Lectures on different subjects, and Classes for improvement in the various departments of knowledge. Annual subscription, 5s., or 1s. 6d. per quarter. Also, a Provident Society, Clothing Club, and Ladies' Dorcas Society, etc. President, Rev. John Garbett, M. A. St. James's, Henry Street, will accommodate 200 each, Boys and Girls; 90 Boys and 70 Girls is the average attendance. St John's, Deritend, Aston Parish; a neat brick building, consisting of three rooms erected in 1848, having accommodation for 120 each, Boys, Girls, and Infants. St. Mark's, St. Mark's Street; a neat brick building, erected in 1843, to accommodate 200 each, Boys and Girls; 160 Boys and 100 Girls are the average attendants. St. Martin's, Well Lane, Allison Street, for Boys and Girls; 150 regularly attend. St. Mary's, Bath Street; a neat building, erected from, the exertions of the Rev. John Casebow Barrett, the Incumbent of St. Mary's Church, to supply the original school built in 1824. The land having been originally given by Mr. Jones, of Edgbaston. The new schools were opened 8th January, 1846. The building consists of school rooms for Boys, Girls, and Infants, with commodious class rooms, and a handsome and well supplied reading room and library, which latter by a moveable partition, can be thrown into the Girls' school room, thus forming a large elegant room for lectures and other purposes. The total cost of the building was £2,187, of which £1,090 was raised by subscription, and £1,100 from the National Society and the Privy Council Committee of Education. It is in the Gothic style of architecture, and allowed to be one of the neatest and most complete minor ecclesiastical buildings in the town or neighbourhood. It will accommodate at one time, in the various departments, 900 Children; in addition to the day and Sabbath schools, evening schools, and a Church Instruction Society, with its lectures, classes, library, and reading rooms, are earned on upon the premises. St. Matthew's, Lupin Street, a large substantial building, erected in 1841; will accommodate 200 Boys, 100 Girls, and 150 Infants; the average attendance being 98 Boys, 50 Girls, and 90 Infants. St. Paul's, Warstone Lane, Spencer Street, a handsome building, in a style of architecture, to correspond with St. Paul's Church. It was opened in January, 1845, and cost £2,000, raised by subscription, aided with grants from, the National Society and the Committee of Council of Education; the site being given by the Lord of the Manor. The school consists of a spacious lower and upper room, to accommodate 250 Boys, 170 Girls, and 250 Infants; the average being 170 Boys, 50 Girls, and 130 Infants. Adjoining is a house for the residence of the Teachers. St. Peters's, Dale End, a commodious brick building, established in 1844, to accommodate 400 children; the average attendance being 80 boys and 45 girls. St. Philip's, Lichfield Street, a large neat brick building, erected in 1842, to accommodate 300 each, boys and girls, with infants; the average attendance being 210. St. Stephen's, New Town Row, is a large quadrangular building, erected in 1846, at a cost of £2,400, raised by subscription, aided by a grant from the National Society; it consists of three airy well-ventilated rooms, to accommodate 150 each, boys and girls, and 160 infants; average attendance, 100 boys, 50 girls, and 50 infants.
St. Thomas's, Wood Street, is a large stuccoed brick building; average attendance being 300 each, boys and girls, and 100 infants. St. George's Parochial Schools, Carpenters Road, Edgbaston. This school was commenced in May, 1847, and completed the following December, and cost, with the interior fittings, £1,400 raised by subscription. The site, about three-quarters of an acre, was given by Lord Calthorpe, and ratified by his two next heirs. A house for the master and mistress is also to be erected, land being set apart for that purpose.
Infant Schools - A fund has been raised for the building of infant schools. The first stone of the first school to be built from that fund, was laid on Friday, November 10th, 1848, in Farm Street, near Hockley Hill, St. George's parish, by the Rev. John Garbett, rector and rural dean. The British School [for boys], Severn Street, erected in 1808, through the agency of Joseph Lancaster; average attendance, 273. There is in connection with this school, an extensive library and laboratory, for giving correct ideas of scientific subjects. An infant school in St. Ann Street, to accommodate 160 children, is supported by subscription, chiefly by the society of Friends; average attendance, 120. Infant School, Digby Street, to accommodate 160, but averages 60; in connection with the Legge Street Independent Chapel. The Infant School in Graham Street was erected 1821 to accommodate 80; average attendance, 60; in connection with the Baptist societies. Ragged School, 1, Windmill Street, established 1845, by William Chance, Esq., to accommodate 280; average attendance, 250. There is a library, for the use of the children. Also, the same generous individual, in November, 1848, established a Ragged School, in Digby Street; in connection with the Independent Chapel, Legge Street. Unitarian School, Lawrence Street; average attendance, 120. Catholic Schools, in Shadwell Street and in St. Peter's Place; the former erected in 1839, for boys and girls, with an average attendance of 230 children. They are both neat brick buildings, and well attended. Wesleyan Methodist Day Schools, Cherry Street School, a substantial brick building, to accommodate 120 boys and 80 girls; average attendance, 90 boys and 50 girls. Hatchet Street School, erected 1834, to accommodate 300 boys; average attendance, 200. Also an Infant School. Lawley Street School, to accommodate 200 boys; average attendance, 100. Also, an Infant School. Lord Street School, to accommodate 200 girls; average attendance, 100, Mott Street School, built 1831, accommodating 130 boys; average attendance, 90.
Independent Schools - New Meeting Street School, is a handsome substantially-built brick building, erected 1844, at a cost of £2,164. 17s. 9d.; the site having cost upwards of £800. It consists of an upper and lower room; the former used as the school, to accommodate 250 boys; average attendance, 230. The ground floor is used as a lecture room, and will seat 450 persons. The girls and infant schools are situated behind the lecture room, and will accommodate 150 girls and 120 infants, and averages 80 in the former and 70 in the latter.
Independent College, Spring Hill, for educating young men for the ministry, among the Independents, was established in 1838. The college is in connection with the University of London; and empowered to send students to take their degree at the University. Tutors: In biblical and classical philology, the Rev. J. R. Barker; in philosophy, the Rev. Henry Rogers; in theology, the Rev. Francis Watts. Honourable secretary to the committee of management, Thomas Beilby, Esq.
Unitarian, New Meeting Congregational Society, for the support of evening schools. The object of this society being to diffuse religions knowledge among the poor, by the establishment of evening schools; and to promote, as far as possible, their moral and intellectual improvement. By the report of 1848, these schools were well attended, and many, during the winter, were refused admittance for want of room. The adult classes were well attended, and an additional room opened for the young men. The Society also have afternoon sewing schools, in New Meeting Street, and Lawrence Street, which, from the exertions of the Misses Hawkes, and the Misses Bedford, have gone on well. About 120 children are taught to make and mend their own and their families' clothes. A Library, Reading, and News Room, is also appendent to this society; the library consists of 1,250 volumes; the number of members is upwards of 600 - for whose accommodation three daily papers and nineteen weekly ones are taken, besides some of the weekly and monthly magazines. This society has effected much good, and is supported by donations and subscriptions. Rev. Samuel Bache, President, A. S. Clarke, Honorary Secretary.
Hebrew National School, Lower Hurst Street. This school was built in 1843, for the instruction of youth in the Hebrew Language, as well as the English and French. The average attendance is 60 boys and 25 girls. Young Men's Instruction Society, 6, Edmund Street, was established in 1844, for mutual instruction, and consists of about 30 members, who each pay 1s. per quarter; meet every night, except Saturday, from half-past seven to ten o'clock; and Sunday morning and afternoon.
Polytechnic Institution, held in the Theatre of the Philosophical Institution, Cannon Street, was established in 1843. It embraces Public Classes for Instruction, in English Literature, Music, and Drawing, the French, Latin, and German Languages, Experimental Classes in Science, and Phonographic and Phonotypic classes. Lectures - of which 38 were delivered in 1837, with great benefit, and heard with great interest. A library, consisting of about 3,500 volumes. Mr. Macready, from a request made to him in December, 1846, gave, for the benefit of the Institution, a reading of the tragedy of Macbeth, by which the sum of £26 was raised. News and Reading Rooms, which are attended with great interest. The possession of larger and more commodious premises appears to be the only thing wanting to ensure permanent success. Members Quarterly Tickets for the News Room, Lectures, Library, and Classes, cost 5s. - all equally moderate. President - William Scholefield, Esq. Honorary Secretary - Charles M. Evans, Esq. Librarian - Mr. George Battison Haines.
Athenic Institute, Suffolk Street, established in 1848; its object being to provide its members with the means by which may be obtained mental, moral, and physical improvement, together with rational amusement. Edward Norton, Secretary. Terms very moderate.
Libraries - The Birmingham Library, 23, Union Street, was established in the year 1779; it comprises a handsome stone building with a circular portico. The reading room is circular, and is lighted by a dome lanthorn, resting on handsome Ionic pillars of porphyry. It was erected in 1798, at a cost of £900 raised by a tontine subscription of £5 shares. The society pays a ground rent of £12 per annum, and 2½ per cent, upon the building. At this time, , 100 of the nominees, out of 181, are alive. In 1845, the library was enlarged at a cost of £2,000. The institution is under the direction of a committee. The terms of admission, at the commencement, were one guinea, and an annual subscription of six shillings. In 1781, the annual subscription was raised to eight shillings; and, in 1782, the library received that stability and method without which no institution can prosper. In 1786, the admission was advanced to a guinea and a half - on the number of subscribers amounting to 300 - to two guineas; and when 400, to three guineas. In 1794, there were 437 subscribers, at ten shillings per annum, In 1798, that when the number of subscribers amounted to 500, the price of admission should be four guineas. In the year 1805, the annual subscription was raised, to fifteen shillings; in 1812, to seventeen and sixpence, and the price of admission to ten pounds. In the year 1820, the subscription was raised to one pound, and in 1835, to twenty-five shillings. In 1844, the Medical Library was admitted to join this, and in 1848, the subscription was raised to thirty shillings annually. The Library contains 1,000 folio volumes, 2,300 quarto, 14,000 octavo, 4,700 duodecimo, and 4,000 volumes on medicine, making a total of 26,000 volumes. Mr. William Alldrett, Librarian.
The Philosophical Society, Cannon Street, which had been established some years, in 1810 extended their plan, and erected a commodious Theatre for the delivery of Lectures, by their own members, and occasionally by eminent Professors in the various branches of science. They have a Museum, containing a fine collection of minerals and fossils; an extensive philosophical apparatus; a library and reading room. The Institution consists of 219 Proprietors and Subscribers. Of these 9 are permanent Trustees, 25 are Fellows, and 4 are Associates, under the management of a committee of 16 members. Gentlemen subscribing £1. 11s. 6d. annually, are entitled to a transferable ticket to the lectures, and to personal admission to the news room, museum, and library of the institution. Ladies subscribing £1. 1s. annually, are entitled to a ticket to the lectures, [transferable among ladies only], and admission to the museum and library. Subscribers as above are entitled to tickets to the lectures, transferable among the members of their respective households, at 15s. each. Subscribers of £1. 1s. annually are entitled to a non-transferable ticket to the lectures, and to personal admission to the museum and library. Minors, being children of non-residents subscribing 15s. are entitled to personal admission to lectures, museum, and library. The amount of income and expenditure of the institution exceeds £1000 per annum. The Right Hon. Lord Wrottesley, F.R.A.S., president; Mr. James Russell, treasurer.
At the Philosophical Institution, one of Osier's self-registering anemometers and rain gauges is in operation, by means of which a constant record is obtained of the direction and force of the wind, and quantity of rain which falls. A sheet of paper, having the requisite lines, etc. is placed daily in the instrument, and is moved on regularly by means of a clock, at the rate of about half an inch per hour; while three pencils, worked by the instrument, are employed in constantly registering; one the direction of the wind, another its force, and the third the quantity of rain that falls; recording at the same moment, the precise time at which any changes occur. For more particulars of the construction of this instrument, and the advancement of science, we must refer our readers to the reports published by the British Association.
Royal Birmingham and Midland Counties Art Union, 118, New Street. Established conformable to the provisions of the Act of Parliament for legalizing Art Unions. Its object is to aid in extending the love of the Fine Arts throughout England, and to give encouragement to artists beyond that afforded by the patronage of individuals; but more especially with a view to the attainment of that high condition of provincial art, which is essential to the perfection of English manufactures. Patrons: Her Majesty the Queen; His Royal Highness Prince Albert, K. G., etc. President: The Earl of Shrewsbury. Secretary: Capt. Henry Van Bearle.
Society of Artists, Athaeneum, Temple Row, was established in 1842, solely for the encouragement of the Fine Arts. An annual exhibition of modern paintings is held, which is kept open for the space of four months. President, Sir Martin Arthur Shee, P. R. A. Secretary, Mr. Henry Hams.
Society of Arts and School of Design, 69, New Street, in connection with the Government School of Design, Somerset House, London. This structure has a fine front, in the Grecian style of architecture, consisting of a lofty and bold portico, supported by fluted columns, with rich capitals, supporting a triangular pediment. The large exhibition room is of a circular form, 52 feet in diameter, and adjoining are smaller ones for the reception of casts and marbles, etc. now used for modelling, drawing from the antique, etc. The formation of this institution is due, in a great measure, to Sir Robert Lawley, who, in 1821, presented a collection of casts moulded from the original Grecian marbles. It has also received donations, presents of works of art, and valuable books from many noblemen and gentlemen. The management is vested in a committee. In 1843 the school was opened as a School of Design, a liberal grant and donation of casts and necessary furniture having been made by the Government School of Design, in London. The grant has been increased, and in 1847 was £350, which was hoped would be increased. The Provincial Schools are now placed under the special superintendence of Mr. Wilson, formerly Director of the Government School, in London. Many valuable gifts have been made to the permanent and lending libraries; and M. P. W. Boulton, Esq. has added to the works of art a series of the Soho coins and medals. The number of pupils are upwards of 350, who are admitted on the payment of small fees, on the nomination of a subscriber. There are male and female classes at stated hours. An annual meeting is held in May, when prizes are given to the most deserving. Honorary Secretary - J. W. Unett, Esq.
Newspapers - The periodical press of Birmingham furnishes four weekly newspapers. Aris's Gazette, established June 4th, 1741, by T. Aris; published and printed Monday, by John Caldicott, 71, High Street. The Birmingham Journal, established June 4th, 1825, has several times changed proprietors, now published and printed on Saturday, at 38, New Street, by John Frederick Feeney, on liberal principles. Midland Counties Herald, established July 28th, 1836, on the plan of a gratuitous circulation, principally devoted to advertisements; has an extensive circulation in Birmingham, and also through the principal towns and cities in England; printed and published Thursday, by Thomas Barber Wright, Union Street, for Wright and Dain, the first establishers. Birmingham Mercury, established December 30th, 1848, on strict independent principles; printed and published on Saturday, at 110, New Street, by William Benjamin Smith.
Queen's College, Paradise Street, Birmingham, was founded in the year 1828, by the indefatigable exertions of William Sands Cox, Esq., F.R.S. It is a handsome structure, in the later English style; erected under the superintendence of Messrs. Bateman and Drury, Architects, The College was Incorporated by Royal Charter, in August, 1843; and in 1847, a Supplemental Charter was added. By these Charters, the Principal and Council, and their successors, are empowered to take, purchase, and hold for the use of the said College, any goods, chattels, or personal property, whatsoever; and are also empowered, notwithstanding the statutes of mortmain, to take, purchase, and hold, not only all such lands, tenements, and hereditaments, and possessions, whatsoever, as may be from time to time used exclusively for the sites, and immediate purposes of the said College; but also for the use and maintenance of the said College, any other lands, tenements, and possessions, not exceeding the annual value of £2,500. Governors: A donor of £100 constitutes a Life Governor, with the privilege of nominating annually a student, who being approved by the Council, has preference of chambers, and pays reduced rent. A donor of £50. constitutes a Governor of the second class, and has the privilege of appointing a student annually, subject to the approval of the Council. A donor of £25 constitutes a Governor of the third class. The Council: as appointed under the Charter, consists of twenty-four persons, viz; a Principal, Vice Principal, Dean of the Faculty, Twelve Governors elected at the annual meeting of Governors, two Professors, two members of the Committee of Council of the Queen's Hospital, the Senior Physician, and Senior Surgeon of the said Hospital, the Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff of the County of Warwick, the Dean of the Cathedral of Worcester, the Archdeacon of the Archdeaconry of Coventry, the Mayor, the High Bailiff, and the Rectors of the Parishes of St. Martin and St. Philip. The Government of the College is vested in the Council, subject only to a general meeting of the Governors. The System of the College is based on that of Oxford and Cambridge, varied according to difference of time and circumstance; the general education is carried on in four distinct, yet mutually related departments: first, the Theological department; second, the department of General Literature and Science; third, the department of the Applied Sciences; fourth, the Medical department. Degrees: The course of education qualifies for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, Bachelor of Laws, Doctor of Law, Bachelor of Medicine, and Doctor of Medicine, to be conferred by the University of London; also for the Diplomas of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, and the Society of Apothecaries, without any residence elsewhere. Endowment: The system of the College was prominently brought under the notice of the Reverend Samuel Wilson Warneford, L.L.D. by the Rev. Vaughan Thomas, B.D. in a printed letter, dated August 18th, 1842. That great philanthropist has made the following endowments: For the endowment of a Chaplaincy, £1,000; for the endowment of a Professorship of Theology, £1,000; for the endowment of a Scholarship, £l,000; for the endowment of Prize Essays, £1,000; for the endowment of a resident medical tutor, £1,000; and for the endowment of a Professorship of Pastoral Theology, £2,000. The Rev. Chancellor James T. Law, M.A., Rev. Vaughan Thomas, B.D., and William Sands Cox, F.R.S., are Trustees under these endowments. Honorary Distinctions: Scholarships, medals, and certificates of honour, are annually offered by the College to the Students in the several departments. The Students are also admitted to contend for the Scholarships, Exhibitions, Gold Medals, and Books offered by the Senate of the University of London, and Students in the Medical Department are eligible to offer themselves for the Studentships of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
Museums and Library - Connected with the College are Museums of Human and Comparative Anatomy, containing upwards of 3,000 specimens; enriched by the collections of the late George Freer, and the late Alfred Tukes, surgeons of the General Hospital, and the late John Ingleby, surgeon of the Dispensary, the pathological models of the late Dr. Felix Thibert; also museums of Zoology, Geology, and the other departments of natural history; enriched by the invaluable collection of the late Earl of Mountnorris, and the late Viscount Valentia; also by the Weaver Museum, purchased at the sum of £1500. The Library contains upwards of 3,000 volumes, which includes some of the best editions of the classics, Works of Divinity, General Literature, towards the formation of which the late Dr. John Johnstone, the Rev. Dr. S. W. VVarneford, and the Rev. Chancellor James T. Law, have been great contributors. The Museums and Library are at all times open to the Governors, Fellows, Professors and Students, under certain regulations.
The Chapel - The foundation stone of the chapel was laid on the 18th August, 1843, by the Rev. Chancellor James T. Law; and consecrated by the Bishop of the Diocese, in November, 1844. The chapel has recently been enriched by a splendid painted glass window; the subject, "Christ healing the sick;" designed by Mr. Brooke Smith, and executed by Mr. Pemberton. The window was subscribed for through the exertions of James Vaughan Hughes, a distinguished student of the college. The arms of the visitor, the Rev. S. Warneford; of the principal, Lord Lyttleton; the vice-principal, the Rev. Chancellor Law; the late principal, Dr. Johnstone; and of the founder, William Sands Cox, occupy compartments of the window.
Dr. Johnstone, of Edgbaston Hall, was appointed the first principal under the charter, and on his retirement, at a public meeting, held in the Town Hall, October 28th, 1845, a resolution was unanimously passed: "The governors, council, professors, and students, beg to convey to Dr. Johnstone, on the occasion of his retirement from the office of principal, the earnest and affectionate expression of their gratitude, for his invaluable and unremitting services in promoting the formation, and in presiding over the councils of the college, for the long period of 18 years, etc.; and it is their earnest hope, that it may please Almighty Providence to continue long to him the enjoyment of health, and of every earthly blessing; and to the college, in council assembled, the protracted benefit of that fostering care and paternal advice, which have so essentially contributed to its present position and character." The expense of the charter, and supplemental charter, was almost entirely defrayed by the Rev. Dr. S. W. Warneford, and the Rev. James Thomas Law, chancellor of the diocese of Lichfield, [the vice-principal and honorary warden of the college], whose generous services have thus been recorded in the annals of the institution. "The council desire to have placed on record, the inestimable benefit the college has derived from the personal presence of the vice-principal, during his residence within their walls, in the honorary performance of warden. His presence raised the tone and gave elevation to the thoughts of the students; and the felicitous influence of the precepts "that teach by example," has been very prominently marked in the general regularity and practical working of the institution." At a meeting of the governors, held on the 26th of August, 1846, the council concluded their report by stating, that " under the blessing of God, now the institution was complete in all its parts: they could not refrain from referring to one, who may be virtually considered the founder of the Queen's College, and of the Queen's Hospital, "William Sands Cox, Esq.; who has at every personal sacrifice, given himself up, heart and soul, during a period of 21 years, to the institution; having thereby conferred a lasting benefit on the place of his birth, and secured to himself a claim upon the gratitude of his country."
Lunatic Asylum, Winson Green, 2½ miles W. from the Bull Ring. The first stone of this building was laid on 29th September, 1847, and it is to be completed in September, 1849. The estimated cost of the building is £45,000, and is to be defrayed out of the Borough Rate. The building is of brick, and consists of two wings, one for male, and the other for female patients, containing fine galleries in each, which will accommodate 350 persons, with rooms for the board of directors, superintendent, matron, surgeon, etc., and will occupy about fifteen acres of land, having eighteen airing courts or yards, besides extensive walks and pleasure grounds, and each wing will contain a suit of baths. Daniel Rowlinson Hill, Esq. is the architect, and Mr. John Hardwick, the contractor, both of Birmingham.
General Hospital, Summer Lane, a noble institution, for the relief of the poor inhabitants of the town. It is an extensive brick building, commenced in the year 1766, but the funds being exhausted, the structure was delayed till 1778, when other subscriptions, and donations were obtained, and in 1779 it was opened to the public. The wings were added in 1791. The interior is well arranged, containing fourteen wards, in which are one hundred and sixty five beds, for the accommodation of its sick inmates, with excellent ranges of offices and apartments for the medical and other officers connected with the institution. A fine room, in which the committee assemble, contains a portrait of Sir Joshua Reynolds, of Dr. Ash, an eminent physician, to whose exertions the establishment of the hospital is mainly to be attributed. It also contains a good portrait of the late Mr. Freer, by T. Phillips, B. A.; and a bust of the late Charles Lloyd, Esq.; also of William Rolfe, Esq., a great benefactor to the institution, and one to the late G. Barker, Esq. The institution is under the management of a committee, comprised of the Right Hon. the Earl of Dartmouth, the Hon. Frederick Gough, and sixteen others. Four physicians and four surgeons render gratuitous service; twelve visitors are appointed to inspect the wards, and a clergyman of the Church of England officiates as chaplain. There is also a resident surgeon and apothecary, with a steward and matron, who reside in the hospital. It is supported by subscriptions, donations, and by funds arising from the triennial Musical Festival. The first festival was held in September, 1776, at St. Philip's Church, the performances consisting of selections of sacred music, lasted three days. Since the town hall was completed they have been held there. The morning performances are generally an Oratorio of Handel, or of some other celebrated, composers; and the evening concerts, consisting of selections from the compositions of foreign and English masters, are, perhaps, the most magnificent that are held in the kingdom. The orchestra usually includes the first instrumental and vocal performers in Europe. On the last evening a dress ball is given. This, though a very uncertain source, yet from the extraordinary exertions used in providing this Grand Musical Festival, in 1846, the sum of £5,508 5s. 11d. was paid over by the committee of the Festival to the treasurer of the General Hospital; the largest sum ever received, except in, the year 1824, when it reached £5,807. The chief support to this Hospital, at its first establishment, arose from country subscribers. At the present time, about two thirds of the subscribers are resident in the town and immediate neighbourhood. Within a few years, hospitals have been erected at Leamington, Coventry, and Wolverhampton, each successive year therefore, increases the necessity of looking to the immediate locality for additional aid. Since the first opening of the Hospital, to the midsummer of 1847, the number of In-patients admitted was 74,234, and the number of Out-patients 189,024. During the period of that year 1,954 In-patients had been admitted, and, during the same period of that year, 140 deaths occurred; previous to which the average number of deaths was about 100 annually. The income for the year ending midsummer, 1847, was: Annual Subscriptions, £2,247.5s.0d., Dividends on Stock, Interest, etc., £1,082. 9s. 4d., Donations, £160. 12s. 1d., Legacies, £1,401.10s.0d., which, with the sum received from the Musical Festival, making a total of £10,400.3s.1d., exclusive of small contingencies. The real expenditure being £5,911.11s.8d., but which left a balance in the hands of the Treasurer, House Steward, and Matron, of £410.14s.4d. against a similar balance of £364.5s.0d. at the commencement of the year. The present Officers of the Hospital  are, President: Lord Ward. Vice-Presidents: Lord Brooke, Evylin John Shirley, Esq., M.P., Charles Newdigate Newdegate, Esq., M.P., Richard Spooner, Esq., M.P. Physicians: Dr. James Johnstone, Dr. John Eccles, Dr. George Fabian Evans, and Dr. Bell Fletcher. Surgeons: Mr. Richard Wood, Mr. Dickinson Webster Crompton, Mr. Samuel Holmden Amphlet, and Mr. Alfred Baker. Committee: Consisting of eighteen. Committee of Accounts: Mr. John Cadbury, and Mr. Sampson S. Lloyd. Auditors: Joseph Frederick Ledsam, Esq., and Mr. Thomas Goodman. Visitors: Consisting of twelve. Chaplain: Rev. Charles Hume. Treasurers: Messrs. Taylor and Lloyd. House Surgeon: Mr. Oliver Pemberton. Matron: Mrs. Rebecca Hawkes. Secretary and House Steward: Mr. Henry Howell. Collectors: John Culcope Bond. The Humane Society, for the recovery of persons apparently drowned, established in 1790, was, in the year 1803, attached to the General Hospital.
The Queen's Hospital, situated on an elevated site of deep red sand stone and gravel, at the west extremity of the town. It consists of a centre and two wings, called respectively the Victoria and Adelaide wings. This Institution was founded under the auspices of the Rev. James Thomas Law, Chancellor of the Diocese of Lichfield, by the unwearied exertions of William Sands Cox, F.R.S. The first stone was laid 18th June, 1840, by the Right Hon. Earl Howe. The Masonic body of the Town and Midland Counties attended on the occasion. The Rev. Vaughan Thomas, B.D., vicar of Stoneleigh., delivered a most impressive address to the spectators. The Wards were opened for the reception of patients, by the Lord Bishop of the Diocese in the following year, when an eloquent sermon was preached at St. Thomas's church by the Diocesan. The foundation stone of the detached Fever Wards was laid on the 16th July, 1845, by Edward Townsend Cox, Esq., and patients admitted within their walls 1st October, 1846. This building also contains a centre and two wings, and will accommodate 70 patients. The Hospital is a chaste and elegant structure from a design by Bateman and Drury, architects. The entire cost of the building was £8,746. 11s. 1d. The Chapel, the Physicians and Surgeons rooms, and the Dispensary, were fitted up at the expense of the Rev. Dr. Warneford; and the whole of the glass required in the Dispensary, was presented by T. Gammon, Esq. of the Belmont glass works. The Hospital contains 150 beds, and is approached by an elegant portico, surmounted by the arms of the Rev. Dr. Samuel Wilson Warneford, a great benefactor to the charity; who, to furnish the patients with the advantages of religious instruction and consolation, presented in the year 1842 to the committee, the munificent sum of £1,000. To relieve the Charity from a building debt in the year 1847, the artisans instituted a penny subscription, and through their chairman, Mr. Alderman Palmer, their treasurer, Mr. Alderman Phillips, and their Secretary, Mr. John Talbut, contributed the noble sum of £905, which is recorded on a marble tablet in the vestibule. Also here is placed a bust from the studio of Mr. Peter Hollins, of the Rev. Dr. Warneford. By Subscriptions and Donations for the year 1847, £1,051 was received; £315.18s. by Fees for Students, and £280 the proceeds of a Ball, and the sum of £453. 8s. 1d. remained in the Treasurers hands. The In-Patients were 908, and the Home and Out Patients, 2,264, Honorary Physicians, Edward Johnstone, M.D. and John K. Booth, M. D., Honorary Surgeon, Edward Townsend Cox. Physicians, John Birt Davies, John B. Melson, and Samuel Wright. Surgeons, William Sands Cox, F.R.S., G. B. Knowles, F.L.S, and Langston Parker. The Charity is open to the sick and lame poor, from whatsoever county recommended, and for the reception of all contagious fevers. As a dispensary for out and home patients, who enjoy the advantages of medical and surgical assistance at their own homes. As a maternity charity, for the benefit of poor lying-in married women, who are attended at their own homes, under the direction of the professors of midwifery, at Queen's College. Every governor is entitled to recommend for "Vaccine Inoculation" as many as he may think proper. Subscribers of one guinea have the privilege to recommend one In-patient, one Home-patient, and one Out-patient, and so in proportion. The management of the Hospital is by Subscribers of two Guineas and upwards. The general business is transacted by a Committee, called the Committee of Council, which consists of the Principal, Vice-Principal, and Dean, of the Faculty of the Queen's College, and two of the Professors, together with not more than twenty nor less than, twelve Governors, to be elected annually, by printed lists sent to each Benefactor and Governor. The medical officers attend daily at 9 o'clock, and on returning from, the Wards, enter their names in a book to the previously written or printed day of the month.
General Dispensary, Union Street, is a neat modern stone building, with a centre and two wings, having four lofty pilasters, supporting a triangular pediment. Over the entrance is an appropriate piece of sculpture in relief, the work of Mr. H. Hollins. The Dispensary was established in 1794: the object of the charity is to relieve poor patients, who must be recommended by a subscriber. The subscription is a guinea a year, and upwards. There are two resident surgeons, a dispensing apothecary, and an accoucheur. Three physicians and six surgeons give their gratuitous services. The total number of patients up to December 31st, 1847, was 117,927 sick, 26,937 midwifery, and 68,190 of vaccine inoculation. The expenditure amounts to about £1,100 per annum, and the receipts, from January 1st, to December 31st, 1847, to £1242. 11s. 4d., made up from an annual Subscription list amounting to £701.8s., from Dividends on Stock £98. 18s. 4d., Interest, from Worcester Canal Company, for Loan of £500, £23. 1s. 3d., and Interest of money in the hands of the Treasurers, £10. 9s. 11d., and £331. 1s. from legacies and donations during the year, leaving a balance in the hands of the Treasurers of £499, 13s. 1d. The Officers are, President: W. S. Dugdale, Esq. Committee of Governors: Consisting of ten gentlemen. Treasurers: Messrs. Moilliet and Son. Physicians: Samuel Wright, M.D., L.L.D., and James Russell, M.B. Surgeons: Messrs. G. Elkington, S. A. Bondley, James Harmar, W. M. Richards, Edward Cripps, and T. L. Hill. Resident Surgeons: Mr. John Carter and Mr. Thomas Shaw. Resident Surgeon Accoucheur: Mr. Richard Thomason. Dispensing Apothecary: Mr. Geo. Webb. Collector: Mr. Richard Beilby. In connection with the Dispensary, is a Fund for the relief of the destitute patients of the General Dispensary, which was established at a meeting held November 16th, 1842. This fund is principally supported by subscriptions, which, for the year ending Michaelmas, 1847, amounted to £54. 13., and a donation of £1. 1s. The expenditure was £60. 0s. 2d., which, however, left a balance of £68. 15s. 4d., in the hands of the Treasurers.
Birmingham and Deritend Self-Supporting Dispensary, Central office, 3, Colmore Row. The objects of this Institution are, to place within the reach of the provident and industrious among the working classes, who reside within three miles of St. Philip's Church, prompt and competent medical assistance, on the payment of a sum suited to their circumstances, to enable them, during health, to provide for the necessities of sickness, and enable them to prevent the danger of incurring medical expenses which they may never be able to discharge. Twelve surgeons, in various districts, give their attention to this Institution. The Registrar, Mr. Josiah Allen, 3, Colmore Row, can give tickets and every other information.
Homeopathic Dispensary, 13, Old Square - Disciples of Halmeinan. This Institution was commenced in 1847. Homoeopathy was first introduced into Birmingham in 1845, when only one family could be found to aver their readiness to be treated by it in acute illness, the practice being one of simples, and medicines greatly diluted, in opposition to the administering of extracts and strong chemical preparations. The present Dispensary was opened in May, 1847, so that, from the very beginning, it had many obstacles to contend with. Three medical men in Birmingham are now practising it exclusively, and the applications to this institution have greatly increased. Every subscriber or donor of one guinea is entitled to recommend for gratuitous treatment at the Institution, six patients annually, and one other to be attended at his or her home. Other persons, who do not seek relief, are prescribed for at the Dispensary, on paying two shillings and sixpence per month, or six shillings per quarter. By a Report, from the 10th May, 1847, to the 24th June, 1848, the sum of £363. 0s. 6d. was received from subscribing patients, and the sum of £151. 5s. 7d. from annual subscriptions and donations, making a total of £514. 6s. 1d. The total expenditure was £310. 16s. 1d., leaving a balance to the credit of the Dispensary of £203. 9s. 2d. Patients are admitted daily, from two to three o'clock. Every exertion is used in obtaining funds necessary for the reception of In-patients. The present Officers are, Patron: E. J. Shirley, M.P. A committee of nine persons as Managers. Medical Officers: Dr. Fearon attends on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Mr. Lawrence on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Mr. Pearson on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Secretary: Mr. George Taylor. Chemist: Mr. Corfield, 11, New Street.
Eye Infirmary, Cannon Street, was founded in 1823, and opened in April, 1824, for the relief of poor persons afflicted with diseases of the eye. Attendance is given every day [Sunday excepted], at one o'clock: patients, in certain cases, received as In-patients. Donors of ten guineas, annual subscribers of one guinea, and the medical officers, are governors, and possess the right of recommending an unlimited number of patients: and the head or other officer, for the time being, of any parish, township, body corporate, or society, making such donation or subscription, shall be a governor. The power of appointing all paid officers is vested in a committee. During the year ending 31st March, 1848, 3,325 patients were admitted, which exceeded the number in the previous year by nearly 500 cases. The whole number since 1824 is 51,026. The expenditure, during the year, was £154. 9s. 2d., with an income of £269. 14s. 9d., of which £188. 3s. was subscriptions, £10. 15s. donations, and £50 the legacy of Miss Primer. The sum of £2 in the charity box; interest on the bank account, £7., and on a loan to the Gas Company, £11. 4s. 7d. The regular subscriptions fall considerably short of the expenditure. The Committee are very anxious to obtain a more capacious and permanent building for the use of this Institution. The attending Surgeons are Mr. Ryland, Mr. Cheshire, and Mr. Soloman, and the consulting Surgeon Joseph Hodgson, Esq. F.R.S.
Institution for the Relief of Deafness. This Institution owes its establishment to William Dutton, Esq., M.R.C.C. The expenses for the year, ending November 30th, 1847, amounted to £53. 3s. 8d., and the income to £100. 12s. 10d., of which £47. 5s. was subscriptions, £50, a legacy from Miss Primer, and £3. 7s. 10d. the interest on the balance in the Treasurer's hands for one year, including interest on the legacy for four months - the balance in hand being £98. 5s. 11½d. During the year 253 eases were under treatment, many of which were of long standing; of these, 98 were cured, 84 relieved, 50 incurable, and 21 remained under treatment. President: Right Hon. Lord Ward. Medical Officer: William Dufton, Esq., M.R.C.S. Treasurer: W. L. Sargant, Esq. Honorary Secretary: W. Chance, jun., and a committee of eight gentlemen.
General Institution for the Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Children, Edgbaston, near Birmingham, established in the year 1812, This excellent charity was founded, principally, by the exertions of Drs. De Lys and Blair. It comprises a handsome building, having accommodation for sixty-five children, for which an annual rent of £75 is paid to Lord Calthorpe. No children are lodged or boarded in the asylum unless their friends, or the parishes to which they belong, contribute towards the expenses of their maintenance and clothing, according to a rate to be regulated, from time to time, by the Committee. Annual subscribers of one guinea are members, with the right of voting at General Meetings. Donors of £10 and upwards, [at one time], or executors paying a legacy of £50 or upwards, are entitled, for life, to the privileges of members. During the past year, ending October 1st, 1847, legacies and donations amounting to £753. 1s. 11d. have been received; of which, £400 was from the executors of the late Samuel Barber, and £150 from the executors of the late Joseph Walker. Annual subscriptions, amounting to about £500. per annum, are received from Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Gloucestershire, Shropshire and other Counties. The state of the institution is most satisfactory. During the year, £281.12s. 5d. was expended in building, repairs of buildings, etc.; the housekeeping expenses amounted to £638. 7s. 6d.; and £600 was invested in the three per cent, consols; 55 children were in the institution, of whom three were paid for by their friends. Mr. Arthur Hopper, B.A., the Instructor, who ranks high for his skill and diligence in the education of the pupils, has accommodation to receive a limited number of private deaf and dumb pupils; Secretary, Mr. Edward Everitt; Drawing Master, Mr. W. Green; Matron, Mrs. Green.
Institution for the Blind, 113, Broad Street. This institution for some time existed as a private establishment, but at the first annual meeting, held at Dee's Royal Hotel, on Monday, 24th April, 1848, it was resolved to form a public institution, to be called "The Birmingham Institution for the Blind." During the previous year the pupils had never exceeded 17, though 20 had been admitted; 11 other applications had been made, but the smallness of the premises prevented their admission, either as day pupils or boarders. The committee are searching for suitable premises, and for a great extension of the subscriptions and donations, etc. The annual subscriptions for the year ending Lady Day, 1848, amounted to £80. 18s.; donations, £123. 3s.; and a donation of £25 for extending the institution; £16. 3s. 9d. was received from the pupils, and £6. 4s. 8d. from the sale of articles manufactured by the pupils, with the sum of £1.15s. interest from the Savings' Bank, making a total of £253. 5s. 5d. The expenditure, including furniture and a piano, amounted to £199. 17s. 10d., leaving a balance of £53. 7s. 7d. President, James Taylor, Esq.; Chaplain, Rev. George Lea; Physician, Dr. Bell Fletcher; Surgeon, Mr. Thomas Chavasse; Treasurer, Mr. Thomas Goodman; Honorary Secretary, Mr. C. P. Higgs.
Birmingham General Provident and Benevolent Institution, established 1833. Central Office, No.25, Ann Street, with 13 other district offices and agents. On December 31st, 1847, there were 2,501 members on the books, of whom 2,147 were insuring medical attendance; 1,878 insuring a sum of money at death, [630 of them being children in the Sunday Schools;] 30 are paying double for 18 years and 7 months; 4 treble for 11 years; and 8 quadruple for 7 years and 9 months, to become independent of their weekly contributions to their sick club, and to insure an extra provision for their widows and orphans at their death; one is already independent, two are paying for independent endowments, and two for independent annuities; one is paying for an annuity after the age of 60, and thirty-one for annuities after the age of 65,256 are depositing in the saving's fund; and 58 are honorary members, subscribing to the benevolent fund only. This institution is rapidly increasing in usefulness, and has a balance in hand of £3,161. In 1841 the number of members were 670, and the balance in hand £686. The central office is open daily, from nine in the morning until six in the evening; Mr. W. Thompson, Secretary. Under the patronage of the Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Worcester. A Branch Office of the Birmingham Provident and Benevolent Institution is opened at St. Andrew's Parish, Bordesley, school house, Watery lane, every Monday evening, at 7 o'clock, Mr. E. Wigley, agent; also a Clothing Club at the same time. A Dorcas Society is also held at Mr. Moore's, the minister's house, 1, St. Andrew's Terrace; and a Sick Linen Society is held in connection with the Holy Trinity, Bordesley, and the hamlet of Deritend. The linen kept at William Rowley's, next the school house, Watery Lane.
Birmingham and Midland Counties Lying-in Hospital and Dispensary, Islington, instituted in the year 1812, by the indefatigable exertions of a few charitable individuals; and nearly £1,500 was received as the proceeds of a bazaar, held at the Town Hall. The objects of this institution is to supply medical and obstetric attendance to poor married women, at their confinements; either in their own houses, or within the wards of the hospital, and to afford medical relief in the diseases incident to women and children. From the commencement of the charity, to the year ending September 29th, 1847, upwards of 2,851 patients have received medical attendance, in the midwifery department; and 2,205 have been attended by the medical officers, and supplied with medicines, etc., in the dispensary department. A Museum is attached to the Hospital. The present building is quite inadequate to the wants of the institution; and it seems desirable, that this important subject should receive the immediate attention of the governors and friends of the Hospital. During the year, the annual subscriptions amounted to £263. 11s.; a legacy of £50 was received from the late Mr. Owen; and small donations amounting to £1.5s.; making £314.16s. also, during the year, was received donations in aid of the Building Fund, amounting to £245. Secretary and Collector, Mr. David Cope; Medical Officers, Francis Elkington, Esq., M.R.C.S., Eric Mackay, Esq., M.D., M.R.C.S., John Archer, Esq., M.R.C.S.; Resident Surgeons, Mr, Basset, and Mr. Deakin; Dispenser, Mr. Atkinson; Matron, Mrs. Saggers.
Magdalen Asylum, Broad Street, Islington, was instituted 1828, as a Penitentiary for unfortunate females, who profess themselves desirous to return to the paths of virtue; its object and design having respect to the formation of principles and habits, that will qualify their subject to live a reputable and useful life. A Chapel is connected with the institution, in which divine service is performed twice on a Sunday, at half-past ten, morning, and half-past six, evening. The number remaining in the Asylum, at the close of the year 1846, was 21; and eight applications had been rejected for want of room. Many donations have been made to the institution, since its establishment; and annual subscriptions, amounting to upwards of £160.; a collection at St. Martin's Church, to £30; with work and other sources of income; which renders the institution tolerably efficient. President, the Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Worcester; Physician, Samuel Wright, M.D., L.L.D.; Surgeon, Mr. Samuel Berry; Chaplain, Rev. Thomas Arden; Secretary, Mr. Joseph Rock; Matron, Elizabeth Carpenter.
Birmingham Town Mission; John Whitehouse Showell, Secretary, 26, Temple Street. Also, the Office for the Animal's Friend Society; and the Depot for the Religious Tract Society, London, and for the Sunday School Union. Bible Society's Depot, at William Haswell's, New Street. The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge's Depot, at Henry Charles Langbridge's, Bull Street. The St. George's Association, and the British and Foreign Bible Society's Depot, at William Deer's, 3, Great Russell Street.
Asylum for Children, Summer Lane, was formed in the year 1797, for the purpose of affording an Asylum to the infant children of the poor. It is under the management of a committee of overseers and guardians, and supported from the Poor's rate; it will accommodate 343 children, boys and girls; averaging upwards of 300. Every attention is paid to the morals and comfort of the children, the establishment being provided with a play ground, a bath, and a chapel for Divine Service. Those who are old enough, are employed in shoe-making, tailoring, sewing, etc. Master, Matthew Dixon; Matron, Hannah Silcock; Schoolmaster, Charles Tye; Schoolmistress, Jane A. Edwards.
The Manor of Birmingham was for many centuries the possession of the noble family of Birmingham. Hutton states that Cridda, a Saxon, came over with a body of troops, and reduced Mercia, [of which Birmingham was nearly in the centre] in 582; therefore as no revolution happened after, that would cause Birmingham to change its owner, and as the land was not in a very saleable state, there is the greatest reason to suppose the founder of the house of Birmingham came over with Cridda as an officer in his army, and procured this little flourishing dominion as a reward for his services. The succeeding generations of this family are too remote for historical penetration, and the mutations of time too various, until the reign of Edward the Confessor, the last of the Saxon Kings.
In 1050, Ulwin became its possessor; in 1060, Richard, who lived at the period of the conquest, succeeded him; In 1130, William, who like his unfortunate father, was in a state of vassalage; in 1154, Peter de Bermingham, the first of his family who took up the name of Bermingham, lived in affluence at the Moat near Bermingham; in 1216, William de Bermingham, whose uncle was supposed to be instrumental uinder Strongbow, in the reduction of Ireland, in the reign of Henry II., and who was rewarded with an estate and the title of Earl of Lowth; in 1246, William de Birmingham married the daughter of the eminent Thomas de Astley, and joined him under Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, and, in 1265, fell in the battle against Henry III. at Evesham. The barons were prescribed, and the manor of Bermingham [valued at £40 per annum] confiscated, and afterwards given by the King to Roger de Clifford, one of his favourites. In 1265 William de Bermingham redeemed his lands, and recovered the inheritance of his family; in 1306, William de Bermingham. succeeded, but was not knighted until 1317; in 1324, William de Birmingham, Lord Bermingham, raised troops under Edward II., and in the first year of Edward III. was for the first and only time summoned to parliament, by the title of Lord William de Bermingham. In 1340, Sir Fouk de Birmingham succeeded, was returned member for Warwick, 1352, 1362, and in several succeeding parliaments; in 1376 Sir John de Bermingham, was, in succession, returned member for the Counties of Warwick, Bedford, and Buckingham.
In 1500, Edward Bermingham succeeded his grandfather at the age of three, being born in 1497, and in his minority, Edward Lord Dudley was granted the wardship, by Henry VII. in 1502. The family estates then consisted of the manor of Bermingham, five others in the county of Oxford, one in Bucks, and one in Worcester; and after peaceable possession of these estates for nearly forty years, this ancient and illustrious family was overwhelmed by the ambitious and base John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, and his possessions surrendered to the crown under a special Act of Parliament, which allowed the said Edward and his wife £40 a-year during their lives. This Duke of Northumberland, being anxious to possess himself of this manor, by a wicked device contrived it that Edward de Bermingham was apprehended and prosecuted as one of a party of robbers, and his estates were given up to the crown as above stated; and remaining nine years, [probably so long that the world might not censure the act], was, on December 21st, the 37th of Henry VIII. granted, with the patronage of the Rectory, and all the other estates of Edward de Bermingham, to Viscount L'Isle, commonly known by the greater titles of Earl of Warwick and Duke of Northumberland. Mr. Hutton states that he knew of no branch of this family except that of which the Earl of Lowth was head.
In 1537, John Duke of Northumberland became lord of the manor of Birmingham, but it did not prosper under his government; although he exercised the ownership, he did not accept the grant until 1546, when these clamours had somewhat subsided. He kept possession six or seven years only, when, through his ambition and artifices, he was attainted in the first of Queen Mary, and losing his head, fell unlamented; and the manor reverted to the crown, which Queen Mary, in 1555, granted to Thomas Marrow, in whose family it continued nearly two centuries, when, from the male line failing, it became the property of four co-heiresses, who disposed of the private estate in the manor, to Thomas Sherlock, Bishop of London. It then amounted to about £400 per annum; in 1796 the annual rent increased to £2,400. The manor itself was sold for £1,700. in 1746, to Thomas Archer, whose family had resided at Omberslade, in this county, for more than six centuries. It descended from him to Andrew Lord Archer, who, at his demise, left the manor to his three daughters; one married the Earl of Plymouth. The present Lord of the Manor, who succeeded his father, is Christopher Musgrave, Esq. John Arnold, Esq. is the Steward, who holds a Court Leet annually, when the ancient officers are chosen. After the extinction of the Bermingham family, the lords did not reside on the manor. This place gives the title of Baron Birmingham to Lord Viscount Dudley and Ward, who, by the female line is descended from the Norman Barons, the Fitz-Ausculfs, the Paganalls, the Somerys, the Suttons, and the Dudleys.
Manor House - The Moat, the residence of the lords of Bermingham, was situated within sixty yards of St. Martin's church, and twenty west of Digbeth. The moat, which defended the manor house, was supplied by a small stream, which originally joined the Rea, at Vaughton's hole, and divided the parishes of Birmingham and Edgbaston. At the formation of the Moat, the course of this apparently insignificant stream, [which afterwards turned a thread mill for several years in Mill Lane], was changed, and was so level and gentle, that another, [appropriately called Pudding Brook, from receiving the washings of the town], ran parallel with it in an opposite direction. On the filling up of the Moat, the former stream, which had been diverted from the river Rea for about one thousand years, was again restored to it by an artificial channel, near Vaughton's Hole. The Moat was filled up in 1816, until which period some slight traces remained of the original Hall, where the Court Leets were held. The original site of the mansion and domain is now converted into a cattle market of great extent and utility, and named Smithfield, after that, of the metropolis. The Officers chosen at the Court Leet, are, High Bailiff, William James, Esq.; Low Bailiff, Robert Martin, Esq.; Constables, Messrs. George Turner and Edwin Smith; Headborough, Mr. George Redfern; Constable for Deritend, Mr. Thomas Wells Ingram; Flesh Conners, Messrs. John Schofield and Edward Shrewsbury; Ale Conners, Messrs. John Machin and Richard Bates.
Market Hall - This building, which is constructed of free stone, from a design by Mr. Edge, of Birmingham, extends from High Street to Worcester Street, and is 360 feet long, 108 wide, and 28 high up to the roof. It is a plain Grecian structure, with a deep base, and a projecting entablature, having one large and lofty entrance in High Street, and another in Worcester Street; two similar entrances, with plain pyramidal projecting facades in Philip Street, and two in Bell Street, to the under part of the building; and from thence by steps up to the hall. The roof is composed of a lantern middle part for air and light, and has fifty-six windows on each side, and five at each end, with seventeen large sky-lights at the top, and two side parts of the common angular construction, which have seventeen sky-lights each. The whole is sustained by seventeen series of beams, which are supported by seventeen pairs of iron pillars, 28 feet high, and 20 feet apart. There are twenty-six lofty circular-headed windows on each side of the hall; six at the north entrance, and two at the south; and altogether there are 225 windows in the building. In Bell Street, the west side, there is a row of vaults which are let for shops, twenty-three in number; and there are forty vaults under the building, in a long range of cellaring, which are used as stores. In the body of the hall there is room for accommodating 600 persons with stalls, with space sufficient for three or four thousand persons to perambulate. The cost of the building was about £25,000; and the erection occupied nearly two years. The annual rent paid for stalls amounts, probably, to between five and six thousand pounds. It is usually allowed to be one of the finest buildings in the kingdom. This hall was erected under an Act of Parliament, passed May 23rd, 1828, for improving the town of Birmingham, under which the Market Place was made very extensive. The Markets are Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Fairs are held, for horses and cattle, on Thursday, in Whitsun week, and the Thursday nearest to Michaelmas-day; the two days succeeding each are pleasure fairs.
In the centre of the Market Square stands Nelson's Statue. It is a bronze figure, by Westmacott. The figure rests on a round marble pedestal, which is ornamented with sculpture; the left arm reclines upon an anchor, and the group is made up with the model of a ship of war. The statue is surrounded by a square of iron palisades, the corners of which are appropriately ornamented with castings of cannon. It cost about £2,500 and was opened for public inspection in the year 1800. Also a New Market Hall, in Prospect Row, was erected in 1837, by Messrs. E. and C. Robins, at their own expense, the great increase of population in the immediate neighbourhood having induced thereto. The market is divided into compartments, and a house is attached, in which the superintendent resides. These Halls are for the sale of butter, eggs, poultry, fruit, vegetables, etc., Corn is sold at the Corn Exchange, High Street, Tuesday and Thursday, the latter being the principal day. Smithfield Cattle Market, St. Martin's, for horses and cattle on Thursday. Fish Market, Dale End, is generally supplied with every variety of fish in season, and also with game. St. Martin's Market, Jamaica Row, for wholesale butchers on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, from four till nine in the morning. Wholesale Vegetable Markets - Bull Ring, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. And a wholesale vegetable market also on the same mornings at Gosta Green. The Hat and Straw Market is on Tuesday, at Smithfield.
The Corn Exchange was erected by a Joint Stock Company, whose capital is £5,000., in shares of £25. each. It is a beautiful building, in the Doric order of architecture, and, including the vestibule, is 172 feet long. It is lighted from the roof, which is glass throughout the extent of the building. It is decidedly the most elegant Com Exchange in the kingdom, and the interior decorations and fittings reflect the highest credit on the architect. It was opened for business in October, 1847, and on Thursdays is crowded with farmers and dealers from, the town and country. Trade - among the early articles of trade in Birmingham, Leather formed one of its most extensive - it now forms one of the least. Digbeth not only abounded with tanners, but Birmingham was also a considerable market for the sale of hides, which arrived weekly, and the whole country found a supply of leather, deposited in the Leather Hall. Mr. Hutton considers this market of such antiquity as to have existed 700 years. It continued till the commencement of the eighteenth century. Houses and shops now cover the tan-vats, and the Leather Hall has disappeared.
The making of bellows, which, doubtless, was co-existent with the leather trade, is still extensively carried on. The making of nails was one of its earliest trades, and it is still extensively carried on, although it has undergone great changes. A large portion are cut by power, from rolled iron, and others are cast, or founded, from pig metal, and then annealed, or made malleable, the hammer-made nails being procured, mostly, by the merchants from country makers. Hutton observes, the "efforts of nature will produce a ten-fold crop in the field, and those of art, fifty." He also observes, , "there are not four thousand houses, in Birmingham, that pay the parochial rates, whilst there are more than seven thousand that do not." Hence we see the amazing number of the laborious part of mankind amongst us. "This valuable class," he observes, "are the prop of the remainder. They spread our tables, and oil the wheels of our carriages." The practice of the Birmingham manufacturer was, for ages, to keep within the warmth of his own forge, the foreign customer regularly making his appearance twice a-year; and, although this practice is not quite extinguished, a different one is adopted. The merchant stands at the head of the manufacturer, purchases his produce, and travels the whole island to promote the sale; nay, the commercial spirit of the age is such, that the whole world is made subservient to his desires. Genius seems to increase with multitude. John Taylor, Esq. effected great improvements; the spring and consequence of action were open to his view. He rose from small beginnings. To his uncommon genius the gilt button, the japanned and gilt sniff boxes, and the numerous classes of enamels, and the painted snuff-box, are due. A nobleman purchasing some of the articles, and, amongst the rest, a toy of eighty guineas value, whilst paying for them, observed, with a smile, that "he plainly saw he could not reside in Birmingham for less than £200 a day." Mr. Taylor died in 1775, at the age of 64, after acquiring a fortune of £200,000. The toy trades first made their appearance in Birmingham at the beginning of Charles II's reign, in an amazing variety, attended with all their beauties and graces. The late Mr. Boulton was unremitting in his efforts to advance the national character, and augment the national wealth, by extending manufactures and commerce, facilitating labour, and enlarging the sphere of human ingenuity.
In 1762 Mr. Boulton purchased the lease of the Soho, a hamlet in the parish of Handsworth, in Staffordshire, but forming a suburb to Birmingham; here was a small house and a mill, which but a few years before had only a naked hut, the habitation of a warrener. In 1764 he laid the foundation of the most superb and extensive manufacturing establishment in the world, which was finished the next year, at a cost of £9,000 and the manufactory removed there from Birmingham, where, in connection with his then partner, Mr. Fothergill, established a mercantile correspondence throughout Europe. To assist his water mill, in 1767, he made a steam engine on Savary's plan, with the intention of returning and raising the water twenty feet high. He soon after formed an acquaintance with Mr. James Watt, of Glasgow, who, in 1765, had invented several valuable improvements in the steam engine; and in 1775 Mr. Watt entered into partnership with Mr. Boulton, and they established a very extensive manufactory of steam engines at the Soho, and many of them were conveyed to the deep mines and extensive works where great power was required. About the year 1779, that ingenious art of copying pictures in oil colours by a mechanical process, was invented at Soho, and brought to such perfection as to be taken for originals by the most experienced connoisseurs. This was chiefly conducted by the ingenious Mr. Eginton, which led him to that of painting and staining glass, which, far surpassing that of the ancients, will long continue a monument of his unrivalled abilities. He executed for many extensive windows in all parts of the kingdom; he died March 25th, 1805. In 1788 a mint was erected at Soho, to be worked by the steam engine, from the rolling of the copper into sheets, afterwards passing it through polished steel rollers and cutting out the blanks, all which was performed with the greatest ease and regularity by children. The coining machines were worked with rapidity by boys from twelve to fourteen years of age, the machine depositing the blanks upon the dies, and when struck displacing those that had received impressions, and depositing other blanks in their place.
To facilitate the manufacturing of steam engines, Messrs. Boulton and Watt erected an iron foundry at Smethwick, on the banks of the Birmingham canal, where most of the laborious work is done by the steam engine. Steam engines of all sizes and power were manufactured, and the coining of medals, medallions, etc. of any size, carried on Mr. Boulton, on his removal to Soho, engaged the most celebrated artists of every sort. Silver and plated wares were manufactured to such an extent that it caused an application for an Assay Office, which succeeded, and was established in 1773, in Birmingham. The manufacture of plated goods consists in making such goods as had before been made of silver, of copper covered with silver, on either one or both sides, and that by such a heat of fusion as united them together as firmly as if one body; such union to be effected before the articles were made, in that respect differing from what had been long called French Plating. About the year 1743 Mr. Thomas Bolsover, an ingenious cutler, at Sheffield, commenced the plated manufactory, he having previously, when employed in repairing the handle of a knife partly of silver and partly of copper, being, by the accidental fusion of the two metals, struck with the possibility of uniting them, so as to form a cheap substance which should present only an exterior of silver, and which might therefore be used in the manufacture of various articles in which silver had before been solely employed. The Soho and the town of Birmingham early obtained a share in this lucrative business. Mr. Boulton commenced the manufacture of silver and plated articles of every description; tea urns, vases, tureens, dishes, candelabras, and every necessary article to decorate the table and the drawing-room. Metals of every description are here rolled to any length or breadth required; copying machines, fine polished steel fire irons, steel buttons, ornaments for stove grates, fenders, and any other article in steel, where taste and elegance are necessary. The Soho is now let to various persons. The heavy steel toy ranks amongst the most ancient manufacture of Birmingham, and is still extensively manufactured, which consist of hammers, hatchets, shears, etc.; and the light steel toy, under which is included corkscrews, snuffers, nutcrackers, nippers, pliers, tweezers, watch chains, etc.
The Buckle Trade, which at one time employed 20,000 persons, and the large plated buckle, worn so late as 1785, was, by the Prince of Wales appearing at a ball in shoe strings, completely ruined, and, with the exception of very small buckles, or those used at court on any particular occasion, are superseded by strings. The buttons are manufactured in great variety, though the most expensive of the engraved and ornamented sorts have not of late been so much in demand as formerly, yet the consumption is still immense. The pearl button is manufactured in immense quantities, and bone buttons to a great extent, and buttons from humble horn may be obtained at 5d. per gross, to the splendid button of one guinea each.
Iron Founding has attained singular excellence; every article that can cross the imagination is now cast; locks and keys, hinges with moveable joints, buttons to imitate steel, scissors, and even nails, and even needles, with various other articles in the coach and harness furniture line, which are annealed and made malleable, and converted so that they will draw out under the hammer, and harden and temper like steel, as well as stoves, ranges, saucepans, and all heavier articles. Brass Founding is carried on in every variety.
The Electro and Magneto Plating form branches of manufacture which essentially belong to Birmingham. It is among the more singular events of the age, that the accidental observation of a deposit, precipitated by the action of the galvanic battery cell, containing sulphate of copper, being a complete copy of such cell. Who would have thought, that the mere dissolving of metals by acid, or the revolving of a wire in front of the poles of a magnet, should be the means of establishing a trade which is useful, most beautiful, and promises to become the most extensive the art of working in metals may have to boast of. The galvanic or electro plating of the Messrs. Elkington and others, and magnetic plating of Mr. J. S. Woolrich, furnishes the means of performing these wonders of science. The methods of plating and gilding are almost entirely carried on by these processes, and from their enabling the manufacturer to use cast and richly ornamented goods, the style is daily improving over the rigid and stiff forms of the old branch of the plated wares manufacture. By the new methods, articles of any size, shape, or lightness, can be coated with the same cost as the plainest sheet of metal; consequently we see the manufacturers availing themselves of cast ornaments, which they could not do before; all had to be manufactured from the plated copper, the seams more or less showing the solder used in putting them together; and when the plate was worn off, Alexander, the coppersmith, necessarily protruded. The new process enables the manufacturer to make his goods from German silver, an alloy of nickel, which is hard and white; and after the articles are made and polished, they receive the last thing, a coating of the "precious metal," which entirely envelopes the white base; and the articles cannot then be detected by the eye from that of solid silver, and have the great advantage, when the silver is worn off, of not showing the red copper. The process was accused of peeling off, and want of hardness, which, by subsequent improvements, has been entirely mastered. The process is by means of large wooden vats, which contain a strong solution of silver, in which is placed at convenient distances, sheets of pure silver, connected with a wire, which forms one of the channels for electricity; and, resting upon the top of the vats, are likewise brass rods, which are connected together by a wire; after having been well cleaned, the various articles to be plated are suspended from these rods by wires between the sheets; a current of electricity is sent by the wire to the sheets, through the liquid to the articles, and then along the brass rods back to its source; the solution suffers decomposition, the silver, of which it is partly composed, is deposited on the articles, while at the same time the silver sheets loose the same amount of silver; this process goes on as long as required, so that the thinnest film, or the thickest coat, may be obtained; the goods being weighed before and after the process, shows the amount of metal deposited upon them. The electro, or galvanic plating, is performed by means of galvanic batteries, which are made with plates of zinc, copper, and dilute sulphuric acid; by the action of the acid upon these metals, electricity is generated; and which being passed, by the means described, into a solution of cyanide of potassium and silver, the plating is effected. This constitutes the essential part of the patent granted to Messrs. Elkington, in March, 1840, and which they carry on in their extensive works in Newhall Street.
The Magneto Process consists in the novelty of single currents of magnetic electricity, which are generated by simply revolving a coil of wire between the poles of a steel magnet, and is found to answer every purpose of a galvanic battery, without any of its uncertainty of action, expense, or trouble. The same machine admits being regulated in power for the largest or smallest articles. The objection to its use is, that it requires a, small, constant power, to turn the coil of wire; a thing of no moment, where steam, or other power is used; its regularity of action, however, constitutes one of its chief advantages. The amount of metal deposited is ascertained by the length of time the articles are under operation, and in this respect it is greatly superior to the battery, which is more or less incessant; and as there are many classes of articles which cannot be weighed, its excellency is self-evident. The solution employed, is sulphate of pottasa and silver; the deposit from this solution is much harder, and not so liable to tarnish as that from the cyanide. This process is carried on by the patentee at his establishment, 12, James Street, St. Paul's; the patent is dated August, 1842. Licenses have been granted under these patents to several manufacturers, but it is found that the process is more cheaply and better carried on, on a large scale. Establishments, therefore, have been opened where individuals can send their work to be plated and gilt. Another great superiority over the old mode of manufacturing plated wares is, when the silver may be worn off, they can be re-plated at a moderate expense. Another application of electricity consists in the deposition of metals upon wax casts, which, when melted out, leaves the precise form in metal; this process is known under the name of Electrotype, and which at some future period will be of immense moment to the manufacturers.
Type Founding and Printing. John Baskerville, a native of Wolverley, in Worcestershire, was, in succession, a stone cutter, a schoolmaster, a japanner, and lastly an eminent type founder and printer. He gave a name to the first, and his establishment of fame to the other. Hutton, his biographer, observes that in 1745 he took a building lease of about eight acres of land, to which he gave the name of Easy Hill; converted it into a Little Eden, and built a house in the centre, and it was soon surrounded with houses. Here he continued the business of japanner for life; his carriage [each panel of which was a distinct picture, might be considered as the pattern card of his trade] was drawn by a beautiful pair of cream-coloured horses. His inclination for letters induced him in 1750 to turn his thoughts to the press. His first attempt in 1756, was a quarto edition of Virgil; this he is said to have reprinted in 1758, and was employed by the University of Oxford upon an entirely new-faced Greek type. His talents were now generally appreciated, and he printed many extensive works, manufacturing his own paper, type, and ink. He had leave from the University of Cambridge to print a bible in royal folio, and two editions of the common prayer book, in three sizes, for the permission of doing which he paid a great premium. After the publication of this bible, Mr. Baskerville became weary of printing, and endeavoured, though unsuccessfully, to dispose of his types and printing materials. He died without issue, January 8th, 1775, aged 69, and by his will directed his body to be buried in a conical building on his own premises, heretofore used as a mill, which he had raised and painted, and in a vault prepared for it. A literary society in Paris, in 1779,for £3,700, purchased this valuable property, and expended £100,000 in printing, with Baskerville's elegant type, the works of Voltaire. Mrs. Baskerville died in March, 1788. John Ryland, Esq., made considerable improvements to Baskerville's house, which were but just completed, when, on the 15th of July, 1791, on the second day of the Birmingham riots, they were burned by the rioters, and the conic urn, placed to Baskerville's memory, lost in the ruins. In levelling the ground for the formation of some wharfs, his coffin, standing in an upright position, and in an entire state, was dug up; upon opening it the body was found not to be decomposed, and the teeth had the appearance of being perfectly sound.
Sir Edward Thomason's, now G. R. Collis & Co.'s, manufactory, in Church Street, with a splendid suite of show rooms attached to it, are replete with costly and elaborate specimens of workmanship, in gold, silver, plated ware, medals, bronzes, and the crystallized bases of metals. Among the more massive productions, is a statue in bronze, of his late majesty, George IV., in his coronation robes; it is more than six feet high, weighs forty-five hundred weight, and is so proportioned at its proper elevation, to present a fine resemblance in countenance, form, and stature, of the monarch when at the age of fifty. In a room, built entirely for the purpose, is a facsimile of the celebrated Grecian Vase of Lysippus, who flourished 325 years before the Christian era, dug from the ruins of Adrian's palace, near Tivoli, which was brought over to England by the late Sir William Hamilton, at the expense of Lord Warwick, and placed in the gardens of Warwick Castle. To this huge piece of art, which is more than twenty-one feet in circumference, six feet in height, and weighs ninety hundred weight, the proprietor, by the peculiar process which he adopted, has imparted a soft solidity of colour, unequalled by any example, both in the porphyritic oxyde of the ground, or field, and in the ancient green bronze of the arms, visors, panthers; skins, foliage, and other ornaments, with which it is embellished. Mr. Thomason, who was early initiated at the scientific school of Soho, also produced a beautiful series of sixteen scientific and philosophical medals of German silver, each containing within a circle of three inches in diameter, a complete epitome of one of the sciences: they are enclosed in a Morocco case, in the form and size of an imperial octavo volume. The present proprietors have their extensive rooms fitted up in the most elegant and costly manner, and visitors are conducted through their extensive manufactory, and never fail to be highly gratified.
Guns and Swords - The sword was, no doubt, the manufacture of Birmingham in the time of the Britons; but tradition says, King William, once lamenting that guns were not manufactured in his dominions, but that he was obliged to procure them from Holland, at a great expense, and greater difficulty, Sir Richard Newdegate, one of the members for the county, being present, told the King "That genius resided in Warwickshire, and that he thought his constituents could answer his Majesty's wishes." The King was pleased with the remark, and the member posted to Birmingham. Upon application to a person in Digbeth, the pattern was executed with precision, which, when presented to the royal board, gave entire satisfaction. Orders were immediately issued for large numbers, and the ingenious artists, so amply rewarded, Hutton says, that they have rolled in their carriages to this day. Government have at all times large stores of firearms in the Tower of London, yet, after the French revolution, in 1793, and England was threatened with an invasion, the numerous volunteers, who offered their services at that time to repel the enemy, required such a profusion to be distributed among them, that it became necessary to purchase large quantities from, any part of the continent where they could be procured; and the volunteers from, this town were supplied with muskets from Prussia. At that time the number of hands employed in the trade were but few. In the year 1804, they were enabled to supply five thousand stand of arms monthly. In 1809, government was supplied with, twenty thousand stand of arms monthly. In 1810, the number was increased from twenty-eight to thirty thousand monthly; and the number was regularly supplied until the peace of Paris. An act of parliament was obtained, in the year 1813, for the erection of a Proof House in this town, situated in Banbury Street, where all barrels of guns, pistols, blunderbusses, etc. must be proved and marked, under a severe penalty; and since that time the manufacturing of fowling pieces has very considerably increased; it is conducted under the direction of three wardens, who are chosen by certain trustees and guardians, under the act. The proof house, for the government department, Baggot Street, for manufacturing and proving small arms, is a large building. Capt. Frederick James Ranie, store keeper. The definitive treaty of the peace of Amiens arrived in Birmingham 9th March, 1802, when the intelligence was brought from London in ten hours and forty minutes.
Of the various improvements in the manufacture of firearms, the nipple and percussion, or detonating powder cap, which superseded the old hammer and flint in their discharge, was probably the greatest. It was the invention of a clergyman, and has been in use about forty years. Mr. C. J. Smith, of Birmingham, has lately obtained a patent for a self-priming gun, and a self-pruning revolving pistol. The weapon is not primed till the hammer is on full cock; thus rendering it perfectly safe in use, and the touch hole is covered and protected from damp and dirt. Compared with the ordinary gun, the length of the communication from the point where the detonating box explodes, to the body of the powder in the barrel, is reduced about one fifth, thereby greatly lessening the chance of missing fire; and the strength of the fire enhanced, and as the cap is altogether dispensed with, loading is greatly facilitated; the detonating powder is enclosed in copper. A revolving six-barrelled pistol does not require a cap or nipple, but is supplied by the action of the pistol itself, when in use, at the last instant. The pistol having no hammer, a clear and double sight for taking aim is reserved; and the nipple being horizontal, instead of perpendicular, renders a shield or guard unnecessary, so that the body of the weapon is reduced to the size of the barrel. Specimens of both were presented on Thursday, October 31st, 1848, to His Royal Highness Prince Albert; the Board of Ordnance, the Earl of Auckland, and the Board of Admiralty, and many distinguished officers of the army and navy; and the invention was generally approved of.
Birmingham, "The grand toy shop of Europe," a century and a half ago, was an insignificant market town, that never experienced the emanations of royal favour. We have endeavoured to describe some of its first great manufacturing and mercantile men; they have been constantly followed by successors equally ingenious, scientific, and spirited. And perhaps we cannot conclude these remarks on the trade better than by giving the last stanza of appropriate lines, written by John Morfitt, Esq., a gentleman who intended writing a history of Birmingham, and in these lines gives a lively description of its trade, etc.:
"Thine, too, the trinket that the fair adorn -
But who can count the spangles of the morn?
What pencil can pourtray this splendid mart,
This vast stupendous wilderness of art?
Where fancy sports in all her rainbow hues,
And beauties' radient forms perplex the muse;
The boundless theme, transcends poetic lays,
Let plain historic truth record thy praise."
Birmingham, during the last fifty years, by the spirited expenditure of individuals, and the judicious management of the street commissioners, has changed its character of blackness, closeness, and defective taste, for that of a town of spacious, wide, and well-paved streets, abounding in public buildings, in the offices of large trading companies, and in private undertakings, exhibiting generally a highly advanced state of architectural decorations, and a general air of substantial wealth and independence.
Municipal - Birmingham, until the passing of the Reform Act, in 1832, and the Corporation Reform Act, 9th September, 1835, was unrepresented in the great council of the nation. As previously stated, it now sends two members to parliament, and the borough is composed of the parishes of Birmingham and Edgbaston, and the hamlets of Bordesley, Duddeston and Nechells, and Deritend, in the parish of Aston, and in the county of Warwick. On the 31st October, 1838, it received a municipal charter; and on the 26th December, 1838, the first election of mayor, town councillors, and aldermen, took place, when William Scholefield, Esq., was elected mayor. The borough is divided into thirteen wards, of which the parish of Birmingham forms ten, the parish of Edgbaston, and the townships of Bordesley and Deritend, and of Duddeston and Nechells, each one. For the entire borough, sixteen aldermen are elected; of these one each is elected to represent each of the thirteen wards by the burgesses, and the other three are elected by the body corporate, and act in case of any of the representatives for the wards being absent; three councillors are elected for ten wards, and six each for the other three wards; making a total of forty-eight councillors. The ten wards of Birmingham, with the population of each, are, Lady Wood, 8,787; All Saints', 13,719; Hampton, 11,037; St. George, 19,648; St. Mary, 14,682; St. Paul, 8,973; Market Hall, 13,014; St. Peter, 16,773; St. Martin, 13,323; and St. Thomas, 18,254. A separate Court of Quarter Sessions has recently been granted. The Borough Gaol is situated at Winson Green, 2½ miles west from the Market Hall. The corporate body are Members of Parliament, J. G. F. Muntz, Esq., William Scholefield, Esq., Mayor: Samuel Thornton, Esq., Recorder. M. D. Hill, Esq., Magistrates: Samuel Beale, Esq.; Thomas Beilby, Esq.; Thomas Bolton, Esq.; Francis Clark, Esq.; John Birt Davies, Esq.; Charles Geach, Esq.; James James, Esq.; John T. Lawrence, Esq.; Howard Luccock, Esq.; William Mathews, Esq.; J. B. Melson, Esq.; John Meredith, Esq.; C. R. Moorson, Esq.; T. Pemberton, Esq.; C. C. Scholefield, Esq.; William Scholefield, Esq.; Charles Shaw, Esq.; Henry Van Wart, Esq. Town Council. Lady Wood. Alderman, John Palmer. Councillors. Mr. John Collins, Mr. Charles Sturge, Mr. James Baldwin. All Saints'. Alderman, P. H. Muntz. Councillors. Mr. I. Prime, Mr. J. Hinks, Mr. F. Matchett. Hampton. Alderman, C. Lawdew. Councillors. Mr. T. R. T. Hodgson, Mr. G. V. Blunt, Mr. Aaron Jennens. St. George's. Alderman, H. Van Wart. Councillors. Mr. W. Spicer, Mr. Ralph Heaton, Mr. G. Lingard. St. Mary's. Alderman, T. Weston. Councillors. Mr. Thomas Walker, Mr. Charles Cheshire, Mr. I. B. Wright. St. Paul's. Alderman, James James. Councillors. Mr. S. G. Onion, Mr. W. L. Sargant, Mr. E. Lucas. Market Hall. Alderman, Thomas Phillips. Councillors. Mr. J, Smith, Mr. J, B. Payne, Mr. A. Browett. St. Peter's. Alderman, H. Smith. Councillors. Mr. R. Smith, Mr. Joseph James, Mr. D. Barnett, Mr. C. Dollman, Mr. J. Shackel, Mr. C. Clifford. St. Martin's. Alderman, J. H. Cutler. Councillors. Mr. J. Rodway, Mr. J. Roderick, Mr. S. Briggs. St. Thomas's. Alderman, R. Martineau. Councillors. Mr. J. C. Wynn, Mr. J. Poolton, Mr. J. Harconrt. Edgbaston. Alderman, S. Beale. Councillors. Mr. W. Bolton, Mr. R. Underhill, Mr. S. Buckley. Deritend and Bordesley. Alderman, Charles Geach. Councillors. Mr, J. Hawkes, Mr. W. Boddington, Jun., Mr. H. Holland, Mr. T. Harding, Mr. R. B. Potter, Mr. T. Harlow. Duddeston-cum-Nechells. Alderman, W. Scholefield, Esq.,M.P. Councillors. Mr. W. Wood, Mr. H. Hawkes, Mr. W. Gammon, Mr. S. Haycock, Mr. E. Gwther, Mr, H. Cracklow. Aldermen not assigned to wards, Thomas Bolton, Francis Room. Coroner, J. B. Davies, Esq., M.D. Town Clerk. S. Bray, Esq. Clerk of the Peace. G. Edmonds, Esq. Deputy Clerk of the Peace. E. Wright, Esq. Treasurer. Mr. Henry Knight. High Constable. Mr. G. Redfern. Chief Superintendent of Police. Mr. R. A. Stephens. Prison Keeper. Mr. G. Glossop.
Public Offices and Prison, Moor Street, were erected in 1806, for the meetings of the magistrates. The Prison was separated from the Public Office by an extensive yard, and has two departments, one for male and the other for female prisoners. These premises are now transferred to the corporation.
The Police Force consists of one chief Superintendent, five Inspectors, six Sub-Inspectors, twenty-two Sergeants, and 282 Constables. Chief Police Station, First Divison, 60, New Street, opposite the Post Office. Chief Superintendent, Mr. Richard Alleyn Stephens. Inspector of Nuisances, James Bliss. First Division Inspector, John Leggett; Chief Clerk, John Austen. Sergeants: John Gaule, Melvill Burton, Thomas Hall, Joseph Timmins, Thomas Spear, Timothy Sullivan, and John Casey. Police Station, No.2, Sand Pits. Sub-Inspectors, Henry Freeth and John Taylor. Sergeants: Joshua Rest Frankish, Allen Hewson, William Orme, and James Baker. Police Station, No.3, Staniforth Street. Inspector, Edward Edmunds. Sub-Inspectors, Cornelius Sullivan and Edwin Hine. Section House, Bath Row and Crooked Lane. Officer of the Detective Force, Public Office, Moor Street. Mr. George Glossop, Inspector, and Mr. George Philip Tandy, Sub-Inspector.
Public Office, Moor Street, Petty Sessions, held daily. Quarter Sessions are fixed by the Recorder. The prison department contains, 16 cells, 8 for males, and 8 for females; four airing yards, and a bath room. There are also three bed rooms, set apart for the Governor's house, for the more respectable class brought here, who are accommodated with a feather bed and clean sheets, etc. for which a charge of one shilling per night is made, which goes to the Borough fund. The cells are fitted up with every convenience, and great credit is due to the Governor, Mr. George Glossop, for the cleanliness observed in this place; which is only used as a place of confinement before trial, or until fully convicted.
Borough Gaol. Previous to the grant of a separate Court of Quarter Sessions for the Borough, all prisoners after conviction by the magistrates, were sent to Warwick, to the county prison, to await their trials. A Borough Gaol was commenced, at Winson Green, in 1848, distant 2½ miles from the Market Hall; it is built after the model prison, Pentonville, London, to accommodate 340 prisoners, intended for males, females, juveniles and debtors, the estimated cost being £50,000, to be defrayed out of the Borough rate. The prison stands upon four acres of ground, built of brick and stone, a boundary wall twenty feet high, surrounding the prison, having four warder's turrets overlooking the prison yards.
In noticing a Petition about the year 1716, for a Corporation, addressed to King George I. Hutton says, "a more simple government cannot be instituted, nor one more efficacious;" and adds, "a town, governed by a multitude of governors, is the moat likely to be ill governed."
Provident Societies. Belonging to this class, there are in this town many Benefit Societies [Clubs], the members of which pay small monthly contributions to their respective funds, from which they are relieved in cases of sickness, infirmity, and "superannuation" and from which the friends of deceased members receive a certain sum of money to provide for their decent interment. Amongst these fraternities are several secret Orders, whose splendid Regalia gives an imposing effect to all public processions. Numerous other Provident Societies exist in Birmingham, of which the Permanent Equitable Benefit Building Society, established at Mr. J. Corbett's Temperance Hotel, 49, Paradise Street, on Friday, November 6th, 1846, and enrolled according to Act of Parliament, is conducted by four Trustees and twelve Directors; and its rates appear well calculated to ensure beneficial results.
General Provident Benevolent Institution, for the working classes, established in 1833, for various benevolent objects. The number of members on the books, December 31, 1847, were 2,501, of whom 2,147 were insuring medical attendance; 1,878 insuring a sum of money at death; 1,864 insuring weekly payments in sickness, [630 of them being children in the Sunday Schools;] 30 are paying double for 18 years and 7 months, and 4 treble for 11 years, and 8 quadruple for 7 years and 9 months, to become independent of their weekly contributions to the Sick Club; and to insure an extra provision for their widows and orphans at their death: 1 is already Independent; 2 are paying for Independent Endowments; and 2 for Independent Annuities; 1 is paying fox an Annuity after the age of 60, and 31 for Annuities after the age of 65: 256 are depositors in the Savings Fund; and 58 are Honorary members, subscribing to the Benevolent Fund only. 13 Offices are established in various parts of the Borough. Central Office, 25, Ann Street, open daily, from nine in the morning to six in the evening; Secretary, Mr. W. Thompson. Patron, the Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Worcester. President, the Rev. J. C. Miller, M. A.
The Saving's Bank, 9, Temple Row, is a provident institution, which affords a safe and beneficial investment of the savings of the humbler classes; it was established in 1827. A handsome building has been erected out of the surplus-fund, with a residence for the secretary. It is open from 12 till 2 every Monday and Thursday. The balance due to depositors, 20th November, 1847, was £337,216. 2s. 9d., in 18,634 accounts, of which there were 12,882 whose respective balances did not exceed £20; 3,161 were above £20., and not exceeding £50; 1,304 were above £50., and not exceeding £100; 378 were above £100, and not exceeding £150; 193 were above £150, but not exceeding £200; 48 were charitable societies, and 71 friendly societies; and of the above sum, £3,300 belonged to the separate surplus-fund. President: Right Hon. Lord Calthorpe. Vice-Presidents: Sir Fras. Lawley, Bart., and William Stratford Dugdale, Esq. Secretary: Mr. William Bolton.
Hackney Coaches - In 1775, a man was determined to try if a hackney coach would succeed; he had not mounted the box many times, before he inadvertently dropped the expression, "thirty shillings a day," and very soon a second rolled into the circus, and in 1793 were augmented to fifteen.
Banks - Previous to the year 1765, the discounting of bills was principally done by the drapers and grocers, but in that year two opulent individuals, Messrs. Taylor and Lloyd, established a regular bank; success produced a second, by Francis Cooke, Esq.; and a third, by Francis Goodall, Esq. and Co.; and, in 1790, a fourth, by Isaac Spooner, Esq. and Co. To enumerate the great variety of trades and occupations in Birmingham would be useless; we must therefore refer the reader to an examination of the Directory, which will present him with, the trades of every sort, and also with the number in each trade.
Antiquities - It has been truly remarked, that until Mr. Hutton's History of Birmingham, very little pains had been bestowed in describing a place, holding so high a rank throughout Europe, in the scale of its population and commerce, and in the mechanical and useful arts. Dugdale, the great historian of the county, only bestowed a few pages to its early history. Leland, in his Itinerary, compiled by the order of Henry VIII. says, "I came through a pretty street as ever I entered, into Birmingham town. This street, as I remember, is called Dirtey [Deritend]. In it dwell smiths and cutlers, and there is a brook that divides this street from Birmingham, an hamlet member belonging to the parish thereby. There is at the end of Dirtey a proper chapel, and mansion house of timber [the moat] hard on the ripe [bank] as the brook runneth down, and as I went through the ford by the bridge, the water came down on the right hand, and a few miles below goeth into the Tame. This brook, above Dirtey, breaketh into two arms; that a little beneath the bridge close again. This brook riseth, as some say, four or five miles above Birmingham, towards black hills. The beauty of Birmingham, a good market town in the extreme parts of Warwickshire, is one street going up alonge, almost from the left ripe of the brook, up a mean hill, by the length of a quarter of a mile. I saw but one parish church in the town. A great part of the town is maintained by smithes, who have their iron and sea-coal out of Staffordshire."
We have no histories of those times but what are left us by the Romans, who pursued Britain a whole century before they reduced it, which indicates they considered it a valuable prize. Though the Britons were not masters of science, like the Romans, yet by many testimonies, it is evident they were masters of plain life; that many of the simple arts were practised in that day as well as in this; the Romans themselves allow the Britons were complete masters of the chariot; that when the scythe was fixed at each end of the axletree, they drove with great dexterity into the midst of the enemy, broke their ranks, and mowed them down. The instruments of war used by the Britons, were a sword, spear, shield, and scythe. If they were not the manufacturers, how came they by these instruments. It cannot be supposed that either they or the chariots were imported, for that would give them much greater consequence. They must have been well acquainted with the tools used in husbandry; and bad as their houses were, a chest of carpenter's tools would be necessary to complete them. There is the greatest reason to suppose our forefathers, the Britons, were supplied with these necessary implements by the artists of the Birmingham forge. Iron-stone and coal are the materials for this production, both which are found in the neighbourhood in great plenty. The smelting of iron-stone was no doubt practised by the Britons; the vast heaps of slag or cinder remaining are sufficient evidence, and the great number of disused coal pits on Wednesbury Old Field, lead to the same conclusion. The chief, if not the only manufacture of Birmingham, from its first existence, probably as long before the days of Caesar as since, to the restoration of Charles the Second, was in iron; of this was produced the instruments of war, and of husbandry, furniture for the kitchen, and tools for the whole system of carpentry. The very roads that proceed from Birmingham are additional indications of her great antiquity and commercial influence; having been worn, by the long practice of ages, into deep holloways, some of them twelve or fourteen yards below the surface of the banks with which they were once even. Modern industry, and various turnpike acts, have changed these roads. Its inland trade was small, prior to the fifteenth century. The horse was the chief conveyer of burdens among the Britons, and for centuries after; if we, therefore consider the great length of time it would take for the rains to form these deep ravages, we must place the origin of Birmingham at a very early date. The ancient centre of Birmingham seems to have been the Old Cross, from the number of streets pointing towards it, many of them formed with narrow entrances. Hutton justly observes, "one generation, for want of foresight, forms a narrow entrance, and another widens it by Act of Parliament." Success, which ever waits on industry, produced a gradual but very slow increase in Birmingham; but having taken firm root, was able to stand the wintry blasts of fortune, and continued to wield her sparkling heat, in executing the orders of the sturdy Briton; then of the polite and heroic Roman; afterwards of our mild ancestors, the Saxons, and whether for the plundering Dane, is uncertain, his reign being short; and lastly for the resolute and surly Norman.
Birmingham, from its first formation to the present day, was never the habitation of a gentleman, the lords of the manor excepted. The smoke of Birmingham is very propitious to their growth, but not to their maturity. Gentlemen, as well as buttons, have been stamped here; but, like them, when finished, are moved off. They both originate from a very uncouth state, without form or comeliness, and pass through various stages; some of them at length receive the last polish, and arrive at perfection; while others, ruined by a flaw, are deemed wasters. Hutton says, "I have known the man of opulence direct his gilt chariot out of Birmingham, who first approached her, an helpless orphan in rags: I have known the chief magistrate of fifty thousand people, fall from his phaeton, and humbly ask bread at a parish vestry." The paternal ancestor of the late Sir Charles Holt, was a native of this place; and purchaser, in the beginning of the reign of Edward III. of the several manors which have been the honour and support of his house to the present time. Walter Clodshale was a native of Birmingham, who, in 1332, purchased the manor of Saltley. The Colmore family, of which a numerous branch still flourish here - of whom, the predecessor, in the reign of Henry VIII. is said to have occupied a shop, in High Street, as a draper, and general receiver of taxes - the head of it, in the reign of James I. erected New Hall, and himself into a gentleman. On this desirable eminence, about half a mile from the buildings, they resided, till time, fashion, and success, removed them, like their predecessors, the sons of fortune, to a greater distance. The place was then possessed by a tenant as a farm; but, Birmingham, a speedy traveller, inarched over the premises, and covered them with twelve hundred houses, on building leases; and the farmer was converted into a fellmonger.
Many other families were equally successful. Richard Smallbroke, bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, in the reign of George II. was a native of Birmingham. It has often been remarked, that wealth seldom continues for more than three generations in one family, and Hutton points out many fallen families to corroborate the above remark; he adds, "the families of those ancient heroes, of Saxon and Norman race, are chiefly by the mutations of time and of state, either become extinct or reduced to the lowest verge of fortune. These few, therefore, whose descent is traceable, may be carried higher than that of the present nobility; none of whom claim peerage beyond Edward 1, about 1295. Hence it follows, that for antiquity, alliance, and blood, the advantage is evidently in favour of the lowest class. Most of the ancient churches in England are of Saxon original, and were erected between the fourth and tenth century; that of St. Martin's is ancient beyond the reach of historical knowledge; but from various concurrent circumstances, it appears most probable to have been erected in the eighth century, and, no doubt, according to the custom of the tunes, was out of the precincts of the town, Digbeth and Deritend lying in the road to Stratford, Warwick, and Coventry; all places of antiquity were now formed, and this famous nursery of arts might by this time consist of six hundred houses. Deritend, as an appendage to Birmingham, long laboured under the inconvenience of being remote from the parish church of Aston, and, too numerous for admission into that of Birmingham, procured a grant in 1381, to erect a chapel of their own. It does not appear that Deritend was attended with any considerable augmentation from the Norman conquest to the year 1767, when a turnpike road was opened to Alcester, and when Henry Bradford publicly offered a freehold to the man who should first build upon his estate; since which time it has made rapid progress.
In 1309, William de Birmingham, Lord of the Manor, took a distress of the inhabitants of Bromsgrove and King's Norton, for refusing to pay the customary tolls of the market. The inhabitants, therefore, brought then action, and recovered damages, because it was said, their lands being the ancient demesne of the crown, they had a right to sell their produce in any market in the King's dominions. It appeared in the course of the trial, that the ancestors of William de Bermingham had a market here before the Norman conquest. An old author observes, that in the time of the Saxons, Birmingham, was governed by two constables; which says much in favour of the population and antiquity of the place. In Domesday book it is rated at four hides of land. A hide was as much as a team could conveniently plough in a year; perhaps about fifty acres. It was also said to contain woods of half a mile in length, and four furlongs in breadth. What difference subsisted in ancient times between half a mile and four furlongs is uncertain; we know of none now. The mile was reduced to its present standard in the reign of Queen Elizabeth; neither are there the least traces of those woods. Timber forms no part of the manufactory of Birmingham. The ancient increase of the town was towards the south, because of the great road, the convenience of water, the church, and the manor house, all which lay in that quarter; but the modern extension was chiefly to the north, the scions of her trade having been transplanted as far as Wednesbury, Walsall, and Wolverhampton. But particularly as approaching the coal depths, which, were considered the soul of her prosperity. The following extract from the register, will show her gradual increase, even before the restoration: In the year 1555, there were 37 christenings, 15 weddings, and 27 burials; in the year 1603, 65 christenings, 14 weddings, and 47 burials; in 1625, 76 christenings, 18 weddings, and 49 burials.
In 1251, William de Bermingham, Lord of the manor, procured an additional charter from Henry III., reviving some decayed privileges, and granting others; among the last was that of the Whitsuntide fair, to begin on the eve of Holy Thursday, and to continue four days. At the alteration of the style, in 1752, it was prudently changed to the Thursday in Whitsun week, that less time might be lost to the injury of work and the workmen. He also procured another fair, to begin on the eve of St. Michael, and continue for three days. Both of which fairs are still in great repute. By the interest of Audomore de Valance, Earl of Pembroke, a license was obtained from the crown, in 1319, to charge an additional toll upon every article sold in the market for three years, towards paving the town. Every quarter of corn to pay one farthing, and other things in proportion. At the expiration of the term, the toll was found inadequate to the expense, and the work lay dormant for eighteen years, till 1337, when a second license was obtained equal to the first, which completed the intention. Birmingham, in the twelfth century, was crowded with timber, within and without; her streets dirty and narrow. The inhabitant became an early encroacher upon her narrow streets; and sometimes the lord was the greatest. Her houses were mean and low, but few reaching more than one story, perhaps none more than two, composed of wood and plaster; she was a stranger to brick; no public building but the church.
In the fourteenth century her buildings were multiplied, but not much improved; and, besides the church, a priory of stone, founded by contribution, at the head of which stood her lord, the guild of timber, now the Free School; and Deritend chapel of the same materials, resembling a barn with something like an awkward dove cote at the west end, by way of steeple. The inhabitants were plain, industrious, and honest, In curious operations, known only to a few, the artist was amply paid. The great difference in the value of money will appear by the following transcripts from the churchwarden's ledger: "Paid for bread and ale to make my Lord Abbot drink in Rogation Week, 2d." An ecclesiastical nobleman accepting a twopenny treat from a country churchwarden would now be strange; the sum that served my Lord Abbot would now be devoured by a journeyman in four minutes. "1498, paid for repeyling the organs, to the organ maker, at Bromicham, 10s." Birmingham then discovered the powers of genius in the finer arts, as well as in iron. It appears while the artist could procure as much money for tuning; an organ as would purchase an acre of land, or treat near half a gross of Lord Abbots, the art of making money was as well understood by our fathers as by us.
Icknield Street. About five furlongs North of the Navigation Bridge, in Great Charles Street, runs the Ikenield Street, an ancient Roman Road, which rises near Southampton, extends nearly North, through Winchester, Wallingford, and over the Isis, at New-bridge; thence to Burford, crossing the Foss Way, at Stour in the Woulds, near Bitford Bridge, in the county of Warwick, to Alcester, by Studley, Ipsley, Beely, Wetherick-Hill, Stuteley streets, crosses the road from Birmingham to Bromsgrove, at Selley Oak, leaving Harborne a mile to the left; also, the Hales Owen road, a mile west of Birmingham; thence by the Observatory, in Lady Wood Lane, where it enters the parish of Birmingham, crossing the Dudley Road, at the Sand-pits, along Warstone Lane, through the Little-pool and Hockley Brook, where it quits the parish; thence over Handsworth Heath, entering a little lane on the right of Bristle land's-end, and over the river Tame, at Offord-house, [Oldford], directly to Sutton Coldfield. It passes the Ridgeway, 126 yards East of King's Standing, a little artificial mount, on which Charles I. is said to have stood, when he harangued the troops he brought out of Shropshire, at the opening of the civil wars in 1642: from thence the road proceeds through Sutton Park, and the remainder of the Coldfield; over Radley-moor, from thence to Wall, a Roman Station, where it meets the Watling Street, leaving Lichfield a mile to the left; it leads through Street-hay, over Fradley-heath; thence through Alderwas-hays, crossing the river Trent, at Wichnor-bridge, to Branson turnpike, over Branson-moor, where for about 200 yards it is visible; thence over Burton-moor, to Monk's-bridge, upon the river Dove; along Eginton-heath, Little-over, Stepping Lane, Nun-Green, and Darley Slade, to the river Derwent, one mile above Derby, upon the eastern banks of which stands little Chester, built by the Romans. The Romans properly termed their ways streets, a name retained by many of them to this day; one of the smaller roads issuing from London, passes through Stratford-upon-Avon, [Street-ford,] Monks path-street, and Shirley street, to Birmingham; all which serves to prove that Birmingham was a place of note in the time of Caesar.
The Priory was founded in the early reigns of the Norman Kings, by the Berminghams, lords of the manor of Birmingham, and was called the Hospital of St. Thomas; the priest being bound to pray for the souls of the founders every day, to the end of the world. In 1285, Thomas de Madenhache, Lord of the manor of Aston, gave ten acres of land in his manor; William de Bermingham, ten, supposed to be where the Priory stood; and Ranulph de Rukeby, three acres in Saltley. About the same time, sundry others gave houses and land in smaller quantities. The religious fervour of that day run high; it was unfashionable to leave the world, and not remember the Priory. In 1351, Fouk de Bermingham, and Richard Spencer, jointly gave to the Priory, one hundred acres of land, lying in Aston, and part in Birmingham, to maintain another priest, who should celebrate divine service daily at the altar of the Virgin Mary, in the church of the hospital, for the souls of William la Mercer, and his wife. The church is supposed to have stood upon the spot in Hutton's time, of No. 27, in Bull Street, In the garden belonging to the Red Bull, nearly opposite, have been discovered human bones, which has caused some to suppose it the place of internment for the religious belonging to the Priory. The Cemetery more probably extended North to the Minories, leading to the square, for in the premises of Charles Greatrex, many bushels of human bones were dug up in 1786, in great perfection, the polish of the teeth remaining. At the dissolution of the abbies, in 1536, the King's visitors valued the annual income at the trifling sum of £8. 8s. 9d. The land formerly used for the Priory of Birmingham, is now the property of many persons: upon that ground, where about thirty persons lived upon the industry of others, about three thousand live upon their own. In 1775, Mr. Hutton took down an old house of wood and plaster, which had been erected in 1567 - The foundation of this seemed to have been built with stones from the Priory, some of which were again used in the fire place of an under kitchen. Perhaps they are the only Gothic fragments remaining of that venerable edifice.
Walter de Clodshale, a native of Birmingham, who having acquired several estates in Birmingham, purchased the manor of Saltley; and in 1331, procured a licence from the lord of the manor of Birmingham, and from the crown, to found a chantry at the altar of St. Martin's Church, for one priest to pray for his soul, and that of his wife. This was dissolved in 1535, then valued at £5. 1s. per annum, and was seized by the King.
Old Cross, so called after the erection of the Welch Cross, previous to which it was simply called The Cross. This important article of religion was thought to answer two purposes, that of collecting the people, and containing a charm, against ghosts, evil spirits, etc.; with the idea of which that age was very much infested. To accomplish these singular ends, it was blended into the common actions of life; and at that period entered the Market Place. A few circular steps, from the centre of which issued an elevated pillar, terminating in a cross, was the general fashion throughout the kingdom; which continued with various reparations till 1702, when the Old Cross was erected at the expense of £30. 9s. 1d., and was the first upon that spot honoured with a roof, the under part being found a useful shelter for the market people; the room over it being designed for the court leet, and other public business. This building was taken down in 1784.
Welch Cross - The place where this stood was, 250 years ago, called the Welch End, perhaps from the number of Welch in its neighbourhood, or probably from its being the great road to that principality, and was at that time the extremity of the town. It was erected early in the seventeenth century for a Saturday market; but through time had brought it nearly in the centre of the town, it was not a favourite market. The markets were generally inconvenient and detached, till the late improvements.
John a Dean's Hole. At the bottom of Digbeth, about thirty yards north from the bridge, on the left, is a watercourse that takes in a small drain from Digbeth, but more from the adjacent meadows, and which divides the parishes of Aston and Birmingham, called John a Dean's Hole, from a person of that name, who is said to have lost his life there; and from the antiquity of the name, the time of this unhappy man's misfortune may be fixed about the reign of Edward the Third.
Battle of Camp Hill 1643 - Clarendon reproaches, with virulence, our spirited ancestors, for disloyalty to Charles I. The day after the King left Birmingham, on his march from Shrewsbury, in 1642, they seized his carriages, containing the royal plate and furniture, which they conveyed, for security, to Warwick Castle. They apprehended all messengers and suspected persons, frequently attacked and reduced small parties of the royalists, whom they sent prisoners to Coventry. Hence the proverbial expression, to a refractory person, "send him to Coventry." In 1643, the King ordered Prince Rupert, with a detachment of 2,000 men, to open a communication between Oxford and York. In his march to Birmingham he found a company of foot kept for the parliament, lately reinforced by a troop of horse from the garrison at Lichfield; but, supposing they would not resist a power often to one, sent his quarter-master to demand lodgings, and offer protection. But the sturdy sons of freedom, having cast up slight works at each end of the town, and barricaded the lesser avenues, rejected the offer and the officers. The military, uniting in one small and compact body, assisted by the inhabitants, were determined the King's forces should not enter. Their little fire opened upon the Prince; but bravery itself, though possessed of an excellent spot of ground for defence, was obliged to give way to numbers. The Prince quickly put them to silence; yet, under the success of his own arms, he was not able to enter the town, for the inhabitants had choked up with carriages the deep and narrow road then between Deritend and Camp Hill, which obliged the Prince to alter his route to the left, and proceed towards Long bridge. The spirit of resistance was not yet broken; they sustained a second attack, but to no purpose, except that of slaughter. A running fight continued through the town; victory declared loudly for the Prince; the retreat became general;part of the vanquished took their way to Oldbury. William Fielding, Earl of Denbigh, a volunteer under the Prince, being in close pursuit of an officer in the service of the parliament, and both upon the fall gallop, up Sherland Lane, in the manor of Smethwick; the officer, instantly turning, discharged a pistol at the Earl, and mortally wounded him with a random shot. The parliament troops were animated in the engagement by a clergyman, who acted as governor; but being taken in the defeat, and refusing quarter, was killed in the Red Lion Inn. The Prince, provoked at the resistance, in revenge, set fire to the town. His wrath is said to have kindled in Bull Street, and consumed several houses near the spot, afterwards No. 12. He obliged the inhabitants to quench the flames with a heavy fine, to prevent further military execution. Part of the fine is said to have been shoes and stockings for his people. The parliament forces had formed their Camp in the angle which divides the Stratford and Warwick roads, upon Camp Hill. The victorious Prince left no garrison, because their insignificant works were untenable; but left a humbled people, and marched to the reduction of Lichfield.
When the charter for the market was granted is uncertain, but it has been renewed both by Saxon and Norman Kings; and the day seems never to have been changed from Thursday.
The Plague - In 1665, Birmingham, as well as London, and many other parts of England, was visited with this dreadful mark of the divine judgment. The infection is said to have been caught by a box of clothes brought by the carrier and lodged at the White Hart. Depopulation ensued; the church yard was insufficient for the reception of the dead, who were conveyed to Ladywood Green, one acre of waste land, thence denominated the pest ground.
It has been asserted that Birmingham, at the restoration, consisted only of three streets; this remark, published in 1743, Mr Hutton thinks was not correct, and that it more probably consisted of fifteen; however, the same author says, from the restoration to the year 1700, the streets of Birmingham were increased to thirty-one. From the year 1700 to 1731, there is said to have been a further addition of twenty-five streets. From 1741 to 1781, Birmingham appears to have acquired the amazing augmentation of seventy-one streets, 4,172 houses, and 25,032 inhabitants; the total, then, as Mr. Hutton states, being 125 streets, 8,382 houses, and 50,295 inhabitants; and in 1791, he says, the streets were 203, the houses 12,681, and the population 73,653; which, as previously shown, has, to the present time, continued rapidly to increase.
Thomas Sherlock, Bishop of London, about the year 1730, purchased the private estate of the ladies of the manor, chiefly lands, about £400. per annum. The bishop was frequently asked to let building leases, but answered, "his land was valuable, and if built upon, his successor, at the expiration of the term would have the rubbish to carry off;" he, therefore, not only refused, but prohibited his successor from granting such leases. But Sir Thomas Gooch, who succeeded him, procured an act of parliament, about 1766, to set aside the prohibiting clause in the bishop's will. A considerable town was soon erected on his property, producing £2,400. per annum. Huttton says, "the inhabitants of Birmingham may justly be styled, masters of invention" but, if genius displays herself in the shops, she is seldom seen in the streets; there is not a street in the whole town, but might have been better constructed; for trespasses and encroachments appear to have been often connived at, previous to the year 1769, when the lamp act was obtained.
Petition for a Corporation - A petition, signed by eighty-four of the principal inhabitants, was addressed to King George I., about 1716, in which they beseech his majesty to incorporate the town, and grant such privileges as will enable them to support their trade, the king's interest, and destroy the villainous attempts of the Jacobites, etc.
Earthquake - At four in the morning, of November 15th, 1772, a shock of an earthquake was felt; it extended about eight miles in length, and four in breadth.
Military Association - Upon the change of the Lord North ministry, in 1782, the new premier, in a circular letter, advised the nation to arm, as the danger of invasion threatened us with dreadful aspect. Birmingham instantly responded to the call; public meetings were held, and the Birmingham association was formed, amounting to seventy. Each was to be officer and private by ballot, giving an idea of equality, and was called upon to exercise once a week. Hutton observes, "as their uniform resembled that of a commander, so did their temper. There were none to submit, and the farce ended by a quarrel." Probably Mr. Hutton is a little too severe, and the cause of their disbanding was that the danger had passed away.
Thomas Pitmore, a native of Cheshire, after spending a fortune of £700, was corporal in the second regiment of foot; and John Hammond, an American by birth, was drummer in the thirty-sixth, both of recruiting parties in Birmingham. Having procured a brace of pistols, they committed several robberies on the highways. At eight in the evening, of November 22nd, 1780, about five hundred yards short of the four mile stone on the Coleshill Road, they met three butchers of Birmingham, who closely followed each other in their return from Rugby fair. One of the robbers attempted the bridle of the first man, but his horse being young, started out of the road and ran away. The drummer then attacked the second, Wilfred Barwick, with, "stop your horse," and that moment, through the agitation of a timerous mind, discharged a pistol, and lodged a brace of slugs in the bowels of the unfortunate Barwick, who exclaiming, I am a dead man, fell. A fourth butcher and a lad coming up, who having heard the report of the pistol, seen the flash, and saw the drummer escape into a field, leaped over the hedge in pursuit of the murderer, and the drummer was captured. The drummer impeached his companion, who had retreated to Birmingham, and they were both that night lodged in the dungeon. Upon the trial, March 31st, 1781, the matter was too plain to be controverted. They were both executed, and hung in chains at Washwood Heath, April 2nd.
Riots - The scarcity of provisions, in 1766, excited the murmur of the poor; they began to breathe vengeance against the farmer, miller, and baker, for doing what they do themselves, procure the greatest price for their property. On the market day a common labourer formed the resolution to lead the mob. He, therefore, erected his standard, an inverted mop, and cried out, "Redress of Grievances." The colliers were to bring their dark retinue and destruction from Wednesbury. Amazement seized the town; the people of fortune trembled. John Wyrley, an able magistrate, swore in about eighty constables, to oppose the rising storm, armed them with a staff of authority, warm from the turning lathe, and applied to the war office for a military force. After a short exertion of power, the lime-powdered monarch gave way, and was committed to prison, and harmony restored without blood.
Hutton, always critical, at all times wished to show that industry, civility, and a peaceable disposition, greatly predominated in the inhabitants of Birmingham; but in 1791 found that bigotry, licentiousness, disorder, insult, rapine, burnings, and murder, possessed the people. These unhappy riots, which astonished all Europe, commenced on Thursday, July 14th, 1791, and were a shameful attack upon private property; they were a disgrace to humanity, and a lasting stigma on the place. About eighty-one persons, of various denominations, having met at the hotel to celebrate the anniversary of the French Revolution, the mob collected and broke the windows. They went afterwards to the New Meeting, [Dr. Priestley's] which they burnt, then to the Old Meeting, which they also left in ashes; from thence they marched to Dr. Priestley's house, about a mile from town. Here his valuable furniture, library, his philosophical apparatus, and his manuscripts, together with the extensive buildings, ended in flames. Friday, July 15, began with the conflagration of the mansion of John Ryland, Esq., at Easy Hill. And while one mob were consuming Bordesley Hall, the elegant and costly residence of John Taylor, Esq., another mob was destroying Mr. Hutton's house, stock-in-trade, books, and furniture. Saturday, 16th, commenced with burning Mr. Hutton's house and furniture at Saltley, two miles distant. Next the beautiful residence of George Humphreys, Esq., fell a prey to rapine. Also that of William Russell, Esq., of Showel Green, ended in a blaze. Moseley Hall, the property of John Taylor, Esq., next felt their vengeance. This was occupied by Lady Carhampton, mother to the Duchess of Cumberland. But neither the years of this lady, being blind with age, nor her alliance to the king, could protect it. She was ordered to remove her furniture, and "if she wanted help they would assist her." She was, therefore, like lot, hastened away before the flames arose, but not by angels. They next carried the faggot to the Rev. Mr. Hobson's, and burnt his all; then to Mr. Harwood's, whose house was licensed for public worship; then plundered that of the Rev. Mr. Coates, and also those of Mr. Hawkes and Thomas Russell, Esq. Sunday, the 17th, was ushered in with burning of Kings Wood Meeting House; the parsonage house, with that of Mr. Cox, licensed for divine service. Returning nearer Birmingham, they plundered Edgbaston Hall, the residence of Dr. Withering, and attacked that of Mr. Male; but hearing in the evening that a troop of light horse were near, they silently minished away. The damage by this outrage was more than £60,000. An act was obtained in 1793 to reimburse the sufferers. The sufferers, in their various trials, recovered £26,961. 2s. 3d., which were conducted at the expense of £13,000. The trustees of the New Meeting having lost their licence, were debarred a suit; the king was, therefore, graciously pleased, upon the application of Mr. Russell to Mr. Pitt, to grant a warrant upon the treasury for £2,000. The trustees of the Old Meeting House recovered at law damages to the amount of £1,390. 7s. 5d., and a New Meeting House was erected on the site of the former, at the expense of about £5,000.
Birmingham was, from January 1839, held in considerable alarm, from many meetings being held on that public instrument, well known as "the National Petition." The mayor and two magistrates, as a deputation, went to London, and had an interview with Lord John Russell, the Home Secretary. The deputation returned to Birmingham the afternoon of July 4th, accompanied by 60 police officers, under the command of inspector George Martin, and on arriving, almost immediately attended a meeting in the Bull Ring, with the mayor and Dr. Booth at their head; and the man then speaking was ordered to be arrested, but before that could be done, he had mingled with the crowd and escaped; and the populace fled in general consternation, and were pursued by the police, who had, from the moment they entered the Bull Ring, made very free use of their staffs, the only weapon they carried. In the eagerness of pursuit they became dispersed. Fired with resentment at the treatment to which they were so little accustomed, the people rallied, stood at bay against them; and after some time the police gave way, and were pursued by the people as far as the Public Office; the gates of which being closed, the military soon after arriving, the police were liberated, and the riot act read; and the approaches to the Bull Ring occupied by the soldiers; and under their protection the police acted with effect; and though a good deal of excitement continued for some hours, yet as the night advanced, the crowd kept dispersing. However, a cry for Holloway Head was raised, and, by evidence produced, it appears about 2,000 persons were there assembled; after some discussion, it was agreed to return to the centre of the town; and a party, on reaching St. Thomas's church, commenced tearing up the iron rails which fenced the burial ground; but on the arrival of a party of riflemen, sent by the magistrates, they immediately dispersed. From this time to July 15th, the London police appears to have acted as though martial law was in force, and all civil right at an end. Monday, the 15th of July, opened without any indication of those lamentable scenes which followed; nor does it appear that the magistrates were warned of the impending outbreak. A bellman, in the morning, gave notice of a meeting to be held at Holloway Head, at one o'clock, at which Mr. Attwood would preside, for the purpose of making a report as to the reception given by parliament to the National Petition. Mr. Attwood did not attend, and the bellman again, went round to call meetings, at three o'clock, and at six o'clock in the evening. The mayor continued at the Public Office until five o'clock, and all seemed quiet; and on his leaving, charged Mr. George Redfern, should there be any indication of disorder, to send for Dr. Booth and himself. About six o'clock, pursuant to the last notice given, people began to assemble in considerable numbers at Holloway Head; more than a thousand were quickly assembled; all were unarmed; there were no flags, no instruments of music; nothing to excite the public mind. The police had received orders to keep as much as possible out of sight; but it would appear did not act accordingly. Mr. Redfern soon recommended the superintendent to call in his men; however, various altercations took place between them and the people. At a little more than half-past eight, and quite light, the crowd entered the Bull Ring, probably about five hundred persons. The inhabitants began to be much alarmed, and to close in their shops; loud shouts were uttered, and the mob made a show of their weapons as they advanced; at the corner of Moor Street many threw down their arms and slunk away; the rest went straight to the Public Office. The police had retreated into the office, and the gates were closed; the mob called them to come forth, and proceeded to break the windows of the Public Office; after which shops were broken open, and in mere wantonness much property destroyed; others, bent on pillage, hurried away with their share of the spoil; meanwhile part of the crowd had made a bonfire in the open space near Nelson's Monument; and from this were carried brands, by which two houses were burned to the ground; Mr. Walker, one of the borough magistrates, ordered the Bull Ring to be cleared, which was easily effected by the police, who were soon joined by the military. The Riot Act was read, and the mob, as if glutted with revenge, were quickly dispersed in every direction. The town remained in an excited state for some days, and the number of special constables increased; yet the necessity of any extraordinary precaution soon ceased.
Cavalry Barracks - Great Brook Street, Ashted. In consequence of the riots in 1791, Government determined to form in Birmingham a military station for the security of the town, and these barracks were erected in 1793. The barrack yard is extensive, and on each side of it are ranges of stabling; above which are the rooms of the soldiers and non-commissioned officers. A handsome house is appropriated to the use of the officers. The head quarters of a regiment of cavalry, with three or four troops, are generally stationed here. Captain Frederick James Ranie, Barrack master. Infantry Barracks, occupy a spacious building formerly being apart of Beardsworth's horse and carriage repository. Since the riots of 1838, a regiment of Infantry have been stationed here in this temporary barrack.
William Hutton, the historian of Birmingham, was born September 30th, 1729, in Full Street, Derby, and was sent before five years of age to a poor day school of that town, but when he attained his seventh year, he was placed at the silk mill; after losing his mother and being cruelly treated by his master, he formed the resolution of seeking his fortune; passing, not without some distress, through Burton, Lichfield, Walsall, Birmingham, Coventry, Nuneaton, and Hinckley, in search of work, but in vain. He returned to Derby, and to his accustomed employment. He had now acquired an inclination for reading, and having become possessed of three volumes of the Gentleman's Magazine, he contrived to bind them together, a business he afterwards followed with some success. He afterwards opened a shop in Southwell, at the rent of 20s. per year, with about 20s. worth of books; and commenced business in Birmingham in 1750, in half a shop for which he paid one shilling a-week rent; he soon after purchased the refuse of a Dissenting Minister's library, and at the end of the year had saved £20. He took a house of £8. a-year rent, and extended his business and secured many friendships. In 1756, he married Sarah Cock, the niece of a neighbour, [Mr. Grace] and had several children, and after carrying on business 40 years, realized a considerable fortune; and in 1793, resigned his house to his son. Mr. Hutton became a publisher late in life; his first publication was "a History of Birmingham to the end of the year 1780" 8vo. published in 1782, and again, with additions, in 1783; and a third edition, with new engravings of the public buildings, in 1795; and a fourth was published in 1819. Mr. Hutton, in his 86th year, published a trip to Coatham, a watering place in the north extremity of Yorkshire; and observes, in taking leave of his readers, that he drove the quill thirty years, in which time he wrote and published thirteen books. He died September 20th, 1814, at the advanced age of 92, and was buried in Aston Church.
Longevity - Mr. Hutton observes, "it is easy to give instances of people who have breathed the smoky air of Birmingham for three score years, and yet have scarcely quitted the precincts of youth;" and, in his history, enumerates many of his acquaintance who were from 80, 85, 90, and Joseph Scott, 94 years of age. In 1780, he notices Hugh Vincent, who died at the age of 94; John Pitt, at the age of 100; George Bridgens, at that of 103; Mrs Moore, 104; and one man, who kept the market for about 80 years, who died at the age of 107.
Public Roads - During the last forty years the public roads had every where in England received the greatest attention. An immensity of capital expended in procuring turnpike acts and making the roads, to facilitate commerce and improve agriculture. In 1795, Mr. Hutton says, "twelve roads issue from Birmingham, as from a grand centre, that point to as many towns;" some of these, within memory, have scarcely been passable. He adds, "all are mended, and though much is done, more is wanted; and the stranger would be surprised to hear that through most of these twelve roads, he cannot travel in a flood with safety, for want of causeways and bridges." Since this period the roads have been brought into the most excellent state. But not satisfied with galloping ten or twelve miles in the hour, we must now travel forty, fifty, or sixty. Expedition has no bounds.
Canals - An act was obtained, in 1767, to make a canal between Birmingham and the collieries, about Wednesbury. Coal, before this act, was brought by land, at about 13s. per ton, but afterwards at 8s. 4d. This canal is extended, in the whole, to about twenty-two miles in length, until it unites with the Staffordshire canal, which, crossing the island, communicates with Hull, Bristol, and Liverpool. The expense was about £70,000. divided into shares of £140. each, no person to hold more than ten; and which, in 1782, sold for about £370.; and in 1792, for £1,170. The proprietors took a perpetual lease of six acres of land, of Sir Thomas Gooch, at £47. per annum, which is converted into a wharf, upon the front of which, a handsome office was erected. This canal passes over a hill, having six locks to reach the summit, and the same number to descend again; the level of both ends being nearly the same. These locks now, having the competition of railroads, are found very disadvantageous.
Bilston Canal - The profits of the canal company, above noticed, had increased the shares from £140. in 1768, to 400 guineas, in 1782. These emoluments being thought enormous, a rival company sprung up, which, in 1783, petitioned parliament for an act, for a parallel line to proceed along the lower level, and terminate in Digbeth. The new company urged the necessity of another canal, and among other allegations, said: "That the goods from the Trent would come to their wharf by a run of eighteen miles nearer than to the other." The old company alleged: "that they ventured their property in an uncertain pursuit, which, had it not succeeded, would have ruined many individuals; therefore the present gains were only a recompense for former hazard, etc." The new company promised much, for, besides the cut from Wednesbury to Digbeth, they would open another to join the Stafford and Coventry canals, in which a large tract of country was interested. As the old company were the first adventurers, the house gave them the option to perform this herculean labour, which they accepted. Thus the new, by losing, [Hutton says] save £50,000. and the old, by winning, become sufferers.
Since the above, acts have been obtained to open canals from the town to Worcester, Fazeley, Warwick, and Stratford. The Birmingham and Fazeley canal opens a water conveyance by Tamworth, Atherstone, Nuneaton, and Coventry, to Oxford; and hence by the Thames, to London. Thus Birmingham enjoys a most complete canal conveyance to all parts of England.
Railways - The London and Birmingham Railway was first surveyed in 1830, and ultimately constructed at an expense little short of £5,500,000. nearly double the original estimate; it connects the metropolis with this great manufacturing town, and affords increased capabilities to commerce. The bill, for its formation, was first introduced to the Commons in February, 1832; but in June was lost in the Lords. In the following session, the application was renewed; and, at last, the act was obtained, at a cost of £72,869. In June, 1834, the works were commenced; and on the 25th July, 1837, about twenty-five miles of the line were opened from London to Boxmoor; on October, 16th, 1837, it was opened to Tring, 31¾ miles; on April 9th, 1838, to Denbigh Hall, 48 miles; and from Birmingham to Rugby, 29 miles; and finally, the remaining portion between Denbigh Hall and Rugby, 35½ miles, September, 17th, 1838; making the total length 112½ miles. Originally it was to have eleven, but has now only eight tunnels - viz., the Primrose Hill, 1,164½ yards; Kensal Green, 322½ yards; Watford, 1,791¼ yards; North Church, 345¼ yards; Linslade, 272 yards; Stowe Hill, 418 yards; Kilsby, 2,398 yards; and Beechwood, about 600 yards. The London terminus is at Euston Grove, on the New Road. The line passes near the towns of Coventry, Rugby, Weedon, Wolverton, Leighton, Tring, Birkhamstead, Boxmoor, Watford, and Harrow.
The Birmingham Station, Curzon Street, of which the entrance forms the Queen's Hotel, [from London 112½ miles] consists of an establishment occupying several acres of ground. The Repository for Heavy Goods, is an extensive area, excavated out of the new red sand rock, to the left of Curzon Street. On the right is the splendid façade, adorned with four magnificent Ionic columns. The buildings, of which this is the front, contains the boardroom of the directors; the secretary's offices; the offices of the financial and correspondence departments, a refreshment saloon, etc. To the left of this building, while looking from the front, is the entrance to the booking offices, through which we pass to the London end, and emerge upon the departure parade, under the iron shedding, which covers a space of 217 feet long, and 113 wide; and is admitted to be the first structure of the kind that has ever been erected. At one end of the shedding may be seen the windows of the refreshment saloon; the entrance to which is on the arrival side, and at a little distance from the other end is the engine house, a large sixteen-sided building. Closely adjacent, is the Grand Junction Station, to which the policemen are ready to conduct passengers, if required. From the arrival parade there are numerous conveyances to all parts of the town. The Bristol and Birmingham Railway is now under the management of the Midland Company. The Station adjoins the London and Birmingham: by this line parties can proceed to all parts of the West of England, Devonshire, Cornwall, and the Southern Coast.
Grand Junction Railway, or North Western Line, Curzon Street, is still further on in the long range of building, which composes this general terminus. The royal assent was given to this railway bill in the year 1833, and the works were immediately commenced under the superintendence of Mr. Locke, the engineer to the company. In July, 1837, the line was opened for the conveyance of passengers. The cost of this railway was about a million and a half sterling. By means of this railway, between Birmingham and Warrington, communication is maintained with Walsall, Bilston, Wolverhampton, Penkridge, Stafford, the Potteries, Whitmore, Crewe, Hartford, Northwich, Warrington, Manchester, and Liverpool; and about 800 mail bags are taken up and set down every day on this line. Its whole course, to its junction at Warrington with the Liverpool and Manchester railway is 82½ miles; the expense of executing it was £18,180. per mile. The principal works on the line are the Birmingham Viaduct, which consists of a range of 28 arches thrown over Lawley Street, and the low grounds adjoining the Station; the Vale Royal Viaduct, and Dutton Viaduct, were constructed from the design of Mr. Stevenson, under the direction of Mr. Locke. The Birmingham terminus at Liverpool is 371 feet 5 inches above low water mark. The steepest part of the road is between Madeley and Crewe, where the inclination for nearly three miles is one in 180.
The Midland Railway Station, Lawley Street, lies in the hollow formed by the London and Birmingham and Grand Junction Railways; from this station parties may book to Derby, Sheffield, Leeds, York, Hull, Newcastle-on-Tyne, and Scotland. In the summer months, cheap trips are got up on this line to Matlock, and the Peak, in Derbyshire.
Manchester and Birmingham Extension Railway, to open a communication between the towns of Stone, Rugeley, Lichfield, Tamworth, Atherstone, and Nuneaton, and between all those places and Manchester to the North; and in conjunction with the Birmingham and Derby Railway, afford a communication between Derby and other places, to the eastward; and the Potteries, Manchester, Liverpool, and Chester. The length of the main line of this railway is 54 miles and 67 chains, and of the branch, seven miles and 56 chains; and the amount of the estimate of the costs and expenses to be incurred up to the time of its completion, is £1,158,683.
The Birmingham, Gloucester and Derby Junction Railway is 38½ miles in length, and was opened throughout on the second of August, 1839. The act was obtained in 1836, but the works were not commenced till 1837. The company was authorised to raise £630,000, in £100 shares, and further to borrow £200,000., and the works did not exceed the sums thus mentioned. A contract was signed in February, 1845, by Mr. Hudson, chairman of the Midland Company, for leasing the Birmingham and Gloucester and Bristol and Gloucester lines. The terms of the agreement are, that the Midland is to pay six per cent, per annum upon the £100. shares of the Birmingham and Gloucester, and to be allowed to purchase the shares at £150. each, any time the Midland like to do so. This arrangement is of immense interest to the Midland company, for it secures to them the whole of the cross traffic from Bristol to Hull, and even to Edinburgh.
Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Dudley Railway Company, now in progress, with a capital of £700,000., in shares of £20. each; will have a tunnel in Birmingham, commencing at Northwood Street, and ending at Vyse street, and the station at Snow Hill; the length of the whole line 12 miles. The Birmingham and Oxford Railway Company, now in progress, with a capital of £1,000,000., in shares of £20.; will have a tunnel in Birmingham, commencing at Moor Street, and ending at Monmouth Street; the station to be on Snow Hill; the entire length being 43 miles. Electric Telegraph Company's Office, Canal street, James Augustus Goldicutt, agent.
Public Accommodation. The Town Hall, situated at the top of New Street, and at the corner of two converging streets, is the most attractive and splendid building in the town. It was erected by Messrs. Hansom and Welch, from the model of one of the ancient temples of Greece. A rustic basement supports a series of noble Corinthian columns, which extend round the front and two sides of the building. The hall, esteemed the most spacious room in the kingdom, is ornamented with mural pillars, which rise to the elaborately worked roof. In a recess at the end, stands a magnificent organ, erected at an expense of between £3,000. and £4,000. The structure is of brick, faced with Anglesey marble, and was erected in 1833, at a cost of £18,000. The town hall is devoted to the public assemblies of the inhabitants, who frequently meet here in great numbers, on political and local objects. It is calculated that four thousand persons may assemble in the hall without inconvenience. The triennial musical festivals are held here, and a series of concerts are given in the season, which, from the beauty and extent of the building, the talent of the performers, and the number of well-dressed persons who attend, can scarcely be surpassed. The Birmingham Town Hall is a successful attempt to apply to modern uses the most beautiful examples of Grecian and Roman architecture. The following is the principal dimensions and characteristics of the building :- height of the basement, twenty-three feet; height of the columns, thirty-six feet; diameter of the columns, three feet six inches; height of the capital, four feet; weight of each column, twenty-six tons. Length of the great room, one hundred and forty-five feet; breadth, sixty-five feet; and height, sixty-five feet; making six hundred thousand cubical feet. Besides the principal room, the building contains extensive corridors, a saloon, a grand staircase and ante-rooms, under the gallery, a committee room and several other apartments. The basement of the building forms a promenade, whereon more than one thousand five hundred persons may conveniently stand. The magnificent organ is of the following dimensions :- the organ case is forty feet wide, forty-five feet high, and seventeen feet deep; the largest wood pipe measures, in the interior, two hundred and twenty-four cubic feet. The bellows contain three hundred square feet of surface, and upwards of three tons weight are required to give the necessary pressure. It is calculated that the trackers in the organ, if laid out in straight line, would reach above five miles. There are seventy-eight draw stops, four sets of keys, and above four thousand pipes. The weight of the instrument is about forty-five tons, and in the depth, power, variety, and sweetness of tone, far surpasses any in Europe. It was built by Mr. Hill, of London.
Town Surveyors' Office, Public Office, Moor Street. These offices were erected by the commissioners of the Birmingham, street act, for the purposes of their commission, in 1821, at a cost of £10,000. It is a stone building, presenting a handsome architectural feature to Moor Street. The general meetings of the commission are held in a room forty-two feet by twenty-five; there are also a suite of rooms for the convenience of the various committees, and for general purposes connected with the commission. The offices of the town surveyor and accountant, which are open from nine till five, when all business relating to the maintenance of the streets and roads, and the laying out of new streets and roads, and their levels; also matters relating to the sewerage, cleansing, paving, and flagging, are transacted. Adjoining to the above offices, are the Magistrates' Court, in which the sessions are held, and the various offices connected with the government of the borough; the office of the clerk of the peace, magistrates' clerks, and the lock-up prison.
Birmingham Rate Payers Protection Society. In the year 1828 the commissioners of the Birmingham street act applied to parliament for further powers and authorities, for the "better governing and improving of the town and parish of Birmingham." They succeeded in obtaining the repeal of the Act, 52nd George III.; and also a new Act, entitled the "Birmingham Improvement Act." By this Act the commissioners were authorized to erect a market house, a corn exchange, and a suitable town hall, for the holding of the meetings of the rate payers, and other public meetings. They were also empowered by the said act, to alter, enlarge, and improve the public offices, to enlarge the market place, enlarge and improve Smithfield Market, and to alter, widen, turn, and extend a number of streets, lanes, and passages. By a provision in the commissioners act, power was given to the governors of the general hospital, to put up an organ in the said town hall, the property of which organ to be solely vested in those governors. The commissioners, previous to obtaining their act, stated that they estimated the expense of erecting the town hall, at £20,000. including the purchase of the freehold of the site; but it cost the rate payers upwards of £31,000. In April, 1848, there was remaining a town hall debt of £22,300. Of £100,000. the commissioners were allowed to borrow on the credit of the highway, and lamp, and scavenger rate; the sum of £597,257. remains unpaid, making a total of £119,557 unpaid, and no corn exchange was erected by them; and not a tenth part of the improvements in the parish of Birmingham effected. According to a just principle of taxation, the parish of Birmingham, valued at £500,000.; the parish of Aston, at £140,000.; and the parish of Edgbaston, at £75,000.; making a total for the borough, of £715,000, A three shillings rate on this estimate, divided into quarterly payments, would yield a borough income, after deducting twenty per cent, for voids, compounding, etc., of £85,800. more than amply sufficient to meet the expenditure for all municipal purposes, etc. The society meet every Wednesday evening, at eight o'clock, at the Swan with Two Necks Inn, Aston Street. Mr. Joseph Allday, Secretary, 35, Union Street.
Post Office, 92, New Street, formerly a hotel, and admirably adapted for the increasing wants of the town. Since its removal from the corner of the opposite street, considerable improvements have been made. Branch offices have been opened in various parts of the town, and its suburbs. There are three deliveries a day.
The Excise Office, 94, New Street. Charles Instan Esq., collector of excise, and Mr. John Roberts, Collector's clerk. There are four supervisors, each having eight excise officers attached, and a permit writer. The Stamp Office is at: 40, Waterloo Street. Llewellyn Lloyd, Esq., distributor for the County of Warwick. The Tax Office is at: 105, New Street. I. H. Page, and B. and E. Morris, assessors. The Assay Office is at: 3, Little Cannon Street, open Mondays and Thursdays. Joseph W. Phipson, Esq., Assay master. The Stock Exchange is at: 2, Temple Row West, a spacious room in which the stock and share brokers meet daily, from eleven to twelve, forenoon; and from, half-past two to three, afternoon, except Saturday, on which day the meeting is held in the morning only. The Bankruptcy and Protective Office is at: 104, New Street. Charles Minshull, registrar.
Water - The town was formerly amply supplied with good water, obtained from wells; but as the number of dwellings increased, the supply became disproportionate, and the quantity deteriorated in many parts, by percolation from the vastly increasing manufactories; and also from the great extent of drains into which refuse were thrown. The principal sources from which wholesome water is now supplied, are the Lady Well, and several springs in Digbeth and Jamaica Row; but by far the largest supply is distributed through the town by the Water Works Company. This company was incorporated by an act of Parliament, obtained in the year 1825; and the works, which were designed by J. Rofe, Esq., C. E., and constructed under the superintendence of himself and son, were ready for a delivery of a supply in the year 1831. The principal reservoir of the company is situated at Aston, juxta Birmingham; at which place also are fixed two steam engines, of very great power, for the purpose of forcing the water into the main pipes. A second, or upper reservoir, is constructed at Edgbaston, which, from its elevated position, commands the entire town. The capital of the company, under their act of incorporation, is £120,000. raised in shares of £25. each, with power to raise £30,000. further if required. Mr. Henry Rofe, engineer; Mr. Richard Williams, secretary; Mr. Thomas H. Clark, collector; and Mr. James Price Horsfall, inspector.
Gas Works - Birmingham Gas Light and Coke Company's Office, 5, Cherry Street. The works, which are extensive, are situated in Gas Street, Fazeley Street, and Windsor Street; Alexander Smith, Engineer. The Birmingham and Staffordshire Gas Company - This Company was established at West Bromwich, in 1825, a distance of four miles from Birmingham, and is one of the largest establishments in the kingdom; afterwards, works were erected in Adderley Street, to which the gas is conveyed; and the Office is in Old Square. Hugh Young, and Edward Clift, are Engineers; John Gregory, Secretary and Manager; and Henry Laugher, Collector.
People's Hall, Lower Loveday Street, was erected in 1841; at a cost of £2,400, for the convenience of holding public meetings; the principal room is fifty feet square. The Democratic Club, Bath Street;established in 1848, for the promotion of social intercourse among young men holding Democratic opinions, and the attainment and diffusion of knowledge in politics and general literature.
Amusements. Assemblies are held periodically during the winter, at the Royal Hotel, Temple Row. The room is spacious, and elegantly fitted up; is also appropriated to the Subscription Concerts, which are supported by more than three hundred subscribers, under the patronage of the nobility and gentry of the neighbourhood; the orchestra combines the first-rate talent of the metropolis, with the professional skill of the town. A Triennial Music Meeting is regularly held in Birmingham, of which the clear proceeds are appropriated to the support of the General Hospital: they are held in the Town Hall; the principal vocal and instrumental performers in the kingdom are engaged, and the time is looked forward to with great anxiety.
Theatre - This is an elegant building, distinguished by the chasteness and beauty of its design. The front presents a piazza, surrounded by a colonnade, and is ornamented with wings at the extremities; in the wings are medallions, representing Shakespeare and Garrick. The first building erected on this spot for dramatic performances, was in 1774. In August, 1792, it was destroyed by fire, when a larger and more commodious edifice was built. The latter was again destroyed by fire, in 1820; but fortunately, on neither occasion was the front injured. The present theatre was built during the course of that year. It will contain about two thousand persons. The interior is elegantly decorated. It comprises a commodious pit, two rows of boxes, and an extensive gallery. The first performers are under a spirited management engaged; several talented actors have received their first meed of applause here - and of these, Macready is one. The entrance to the boxes, is in New Street; to the pit, from a small passage leading from Temple Street; and to the gallery, from a small street at the back of the theatre. Prices of admission: Dress boxes, three shillings; upper boxes, two shillings; pit, one shilling; gallery, sixpence.
Botanical Gardens, Edgbaston. The Company was formed in 1829, and the capital raised in shares of £5. each, now reduced to two guineas, with a subscription of one guinea per annum., whether a shareholder or not. The gardens occupy an area of 14 acres, most delightfully situated, having a gentle declivity to the south-west. On entering the Lodge, The Terrace Walk commands a most beautiful and diversified view, scattered villas, Edgbaston Park, the delightful village of Harborne, the Worcester canal, and the Birmingham and Gloucester railway, present themselves, with King's Norton Church, in the distance. On the north side, is the magnificent Eliptical Conservatory, one of the most ornamental in the kingdom; the right wing of which is the Green House, and the left a stove for the warmer plants: near to these, are four other Green Houses, for the cultivation of plants. South of the Terrace is the Lawn, which, from the beauty of its undulations, has admitted of the walks being so arranged from which many interesting features are seen; such as the Arboretum, Herbaceous arrangement, Rosarium, Pinetum, and many others. The collection of hardy plants is remarkably good, so are the Stove and Green House collections. In Ferns, the gardens are peculiarly rich. Every shareholder, who must be a subscriber, has the right of personal admission, with all the members of his family; and any number not exceeding four other persons, accompanied by some member of the family on all occasions, except on exhibition days, when the free admission is exclusively confined to the resident members of the shareholder's family, and to strangers. Every annual subscriber has personal admission, with all the residents of his family, on all occasions, except on exhibition days, when the free admission is confined to the subscriber, and one of the resident members of his family. Every annual subscriber, of ten shillings and sixpence, has personal admission to the gardens on all occasions. The charge for admission on the exhibitions is one shilling for each person, and sixpence for each child under ten years of age; but every shareholder can introduce one stranger, for every share he may possess. The gardens are open on Mondays to the working classes, at the nominal charge of one penny, and great numbers avail themselves of this privilege. Strangers are at all times admitted for one shilling each. On every alternate Thursday during the summer season, there is a public promenade, with an efficient band of music in attendance, which renders the gardens very attractive, and the time much looked for. Horticultural exhibitions take place three times in the year, for plants, fruits, and vegetables. At these exhibitions premiums are given by the society for the best productions of horticultural skill. These exhibitions are held in the gardens, in spacious marquees. The numerous attendance on these occasions shows the great interest taken in these trials of skill. The present number of shareholders and subscribers amount to about one thousand. President, the Earl of Dartmouth; Vice-President, the Hon. F. Gough; Treasurer, Thomas Clark, Esq.; Honorary Secretary, G. B. Knowles, Esq.; Curator, M. C. H. Catling.
Baths. Lady Well, a spring of clear, soft, and pure water, situated near the site of the old parsonage house, probably formerly devoted to the Virgin Mary. A portion of the town is supplied with water from this spring, by means of carriers. It also supplies a suite of baths, which, in Mr. Hutton's time, cost nearly £2,000. in fitting up, being seven in number; they are now increased to nineteen, and nearly an additional £2,000. has been expended upon them by Mr. Monro. The ladies' bath is laid with marble, and has an excellent dressing room adjoining. The gentlemen's cold bath, with dressing room, adjoining. A gentleman's cold bath, fifteen feet and a half square, and newly four feet and a half deep, receiving a supply from an abundant spring within itself, of twelve hogsheads per hour. It has private boxes fronting the water, and a convenient dressing room. The large swimming bath is upwards of one hundred feet long, and fifty feet wide, and the gradual depth from three to five feet. This bath is supplied with about one thousand hogsheads of water per hour from Lady Well, and the surrounding springs; is in the centre of a neatly laid out garden, well planted with high trees, and enclosed with high walls. The platform, flights of steps, and convenience for bathing, and dressing, are well constructed, and perhaps unequalled in any inland town in the kingdom. A temperate bath, and hot bath, with baths of the artificial waters of Harrogate, Leamington, and Cheltenham; also sulphurous, aromatic, and topical, fumigating, and vapour baths, all on admirable and improved construction, for invalids, who can be accommodated with apartments.
Baths, George Street, Balsall Heath. These baths were opened in 1846, by Mr. John Smith, and are acknowledged by the faculty to be situated in the most salubrious air round Birmingham - to have a continual supply of pure water, and the surrounding scenery most beautiful.
Vauxhall Gardens, Bloomsbury, Aston. These gardens have lately undergone considerable alteration. The principal lawn, which is surrounded by a line of majestic trees, is now disposed into picturesque parterres, beautified by flowers and evergreens. These radiate from a centre division, in which a handsome fountain is erected, and pours its liquid treasures into an ample basin. Under the trees, which fringe the square, snug, picturesque, and fantastic bowers cluster; and between each, a sloping bank, adorned with vases and flowers, form a striking combination; the whole constituting a beautiful promenade, which forms an invaluable outdoor recreation. These gardens were established about fifty years ago, and are the property of Mr. Joseph Steedman, but in the occupation of Mr. George Stewart.
New Vauxhall and Galton Arms Hotel, Pleasure Gardens, Duddeston-cum-Nechells, kept by Mr. Thomas Hale, comprises an elegant hotel, enriched with pictorial embellishments, and commanding a fine prospect of the gardens, which forcibly strikes the classic mind, of the regions of ancient Rome; for turn as may be, the eye rests upon a Medician Venus, an Apollo Belvidere, Hercules, Dying Gladiator, or some other celebrated relic of antique statuary, peeping through the leafy foliage of its umbraceous walks, which are furnished with every thing artificial as well as naturals which can charm the mind and elevate the understanding. The gardens are entered by a flight of steps, from an elegantly constructed colonnade, which forms both a delightful promenade, and a shelter for company during tempestuous weather. In front of the colonnade stand two statues, of colossal proportions, both of them admirably executed; one representing the Duke of Wellington, the conqueror of a hundred fights; the other, Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France. The gardens rise in gentle undulations, whose verdant green banks are embellished with many patches of flowers, and where the "earliest of the year oft are found." In a more central part of the garden are statues of the nine muses, and busts of the most eminent warriors and statesmen this country has produced; or of men in the pursuit of the arts, science, and literature. These gardens are laid out with great taste and effect; and the New Vauxhall Gardens are a popular resort for the numerous summer parties who visit Birmingham. They were established in 1844, by Mr. John Bradshaw, who is the lessee.
Prince Albert's visit to Birmingham, in 1844; the object of which was to visit the manufactories. He was accompanied by the Hon. G. E. Anson, and Colonel Bouverie, and in alighting at the terminus of the Birmingham and Derby railway, was received by the Earl of Warwick, the Lord Lieutenant of the County, Colonel Horn, the Military Commandant of the District, and the Mayor and Corporation. After having visited the principal manufactories, and places of business, the Prince entered the town hall, which was crowded, many hundred persons being anxious to obtain a glimpse of his Royal Highness. Mr. Stimson, the organist, fully displayed the powers of the organ, by playing God Save the Queen, Luther's Hymn, an Extempore, etc. His Royal Highness stayed fifteen minutes in the Hall, with the noble proportions of which, as well as with the power and flexibility of its magnificent organ, he expressed his high gratification. On leaving the Hall his Royal Highness proceeded to the Free Grammar School, where an elegant collation was provided by the Head Master, the Rev. J. P. Lee. After inspecting the school, his Royal Highness started for the railway station, and left Birmingham for Drayton Manor.
Birmingham Licensed Victuallers Asylum, erected by voluntary contributions, for the reception of the aged necessitous of their profession and society, who, to be entitled to its benefits, must have contributed to its funds. It is pleasantly situated on the east side of the Bristol Road, and not more than three quarters of a mile from the centre of the town. It is in the Elizabethan style of architecture, from a design by D. R. Hill, Esq., and built by Mr. Samuel Briggs; and from the beauty of the design, and the substantial workmanship, reflects great credit upon those gentlemen. It was founded at Vauxhall, at the Anniversary Dinner of the Victuallers' Society, in the autumn of the year 1845, the then Mayor of the Borough, Thomas Phillips, Esq. having accepted the chair on that occasion, and commenced the charity by subscribing the liberal sum of £50. The first stone of the building was publicly laid by that gentleman on the 30th day of August, 1848, [he being President and Treasurer to the institution], when he added another £50. to his former subscription. The building already consists of six houses, containing three rooms each, very conveniently fitted up for the comfort of the inmates, who will each have in addition to the house an allowance of coals, and about eight shillings per week. Four more dwellings will be added at some subsequent period, when occasion may require it. The front is guarded by an iron palisading, within which is a tastefully laid out ground, presenting an interesting and unique feature as a benevolent institution. John Brearley Payn, Esq., Honorary Secretary.
Victoria Benefit Building Investment and Land Society of Birmingham, and the Midland Counties, duly certified by the Barrister appointed by Government for that purpose, May 30th, 1848. Central offices for business, 25, Ann Street; open for the admission of members, from six to nine o'clock every Monday evening; and on Monday, Thursday, and Friday, from nine o'clock in the morning until five o'clock in the evening. The originators of this society having availed themselves of the experience furnished by the History of Building and Freehold Land Societies, in various parts of the Kingdom, have matured a plan, which they believe offers more advantages than any other in existence. The value of a full share is £120.; the payment, 2s. 7d. per week; or, 11s. 2½d. per month; and, accordingly, for proportionate shares. President: Frederick Isaac Welch, Esq. Secretary: Mr. Samuel Taylor, 25, Ann Street.
Steam Engines. By the report of the Birmingham Philosophical Institution, in October, 1836, it appears that 169 steam engines were erected in Birmingham, from 1780 to that period, of which 17 had been erected in 1834, and 24 in 1835. The total horsepower was equal to 2,700 horses. In 1839, it amounted to 3,436 horsepower consuming 240 tons of coal per day. In 1836, of the estimated horsepower, 275 were used for grinding flour; 1770 for working metals; 279 for pumping water; 87 for glass grinding; 97 for working wood; 44 for paper making and glazing; 37 for grinding clay; 61 for grinding colours and chemicals; and 50 for sundry purposes. The estimated consumption of coals, in 1836, was 216 tons per day. The estimated number of persons employed, were 4,000 males, and 1,300 females; and the estimated amount of power hired out, equal to 450 horses. These estimates were confined to engines within the borough. Of 1,770 horsepower employed in working metals, it was computed that 163 were used by iron founders, first applied in 1788; 570 in rolling copper, brass, and other metals, first applied in 1790; 150 in drawing wire, first applied in 1808; 201 in iron forges and wrought iron mills, first applied in 1816; 74 in nail cutting, first applied in 1813; 104 on screw making, first applied in 1819; and 24 in drawing metal tubes, first applied in 1822. The horsepower of steam, for every twelve hours of work, is equal to the labour of sixteen men - so that there were, in 1839, steampower within the borough equal to the labour of 54,976 men, exclusive of power hired out of the borough, equal to the labour of 7,200 men - making the amount equal to 62,176 men. To estimate that, since 1839, the increase in Birmingham to be 1,800 horsepower, would probably be within the amount, and give an addition of 28,800 - making, at the present time , a steam power in Birmingham, equal to the labour of 90,976 men - probably about 7,500 persons, men, women, and children, will be employed at the present time in the working of this steam-power. The amount of locomotive steam engines, passing in and out of the borough, is immense - but there is no data whereon to make a calculation - but the extent and expedition of the traffic saves many horses, and a great number of men.
Courts. An act for the recovery of debts, under 40s., was obtained in 1752, for Birmingham, constituting 72 commissioners, three to be a quorum. Two clerks, constituted by the act, attended the court, to give judicial assistance, are always of the law, chosen alternately by the lord of the manor, and by the commissioners, and continue for life. Once in every two years, ten of the commissioners were balloted out, and ten others chosen in their stead. A further act was obtained 47th George III. which extends to debts not exceeding £5., under the jurisdiction of one hundred and twelve commissioners, three of whom to be a quorum. In an act for the improvement of Birmingham, passed May 23rd, 1828, a clause, [CL. II.] empowers the commissioners of the Court of Requests to purchase of the lord of the manor of Birmingham, all his interest in or any way belonging to the Court of Requests, holden in the manor of Birmingham, and of all appointments, fees, etc. And all the costs and expenses attending the same, to be defrayed out of the monies collected by virtue of this act.
The New Small Debts Act, or County Courts. This important act, which will create a revolution in law proceedings, on actions for claims and demands not exceeding £20., took effect throughout England and Wales, on the 15th of March, 1847. By an order in council, all courts for small debts were abolished, on the 13th of March, with the exception of a few, from which day the excepted courts were to be holden at county courts, and governed by the provisions of the act, so to be enforced. Each district court to be presided over by a judge, who is to appoint a cleric, being an attorney, and he is to appoint other officers; the fees allowed by the act, are to be exhibited. The salaries of the judges and clerks, may by an order be fixed, so that in no case a judge is to be paid more than one thousand two hundred pounds, or a clerk, more than six hundred pounds a year. The jurisdiction of the court is thus defined in the 58 section:- "And be it enacted, that all pleas of personal actions, when the debt or damage claimed is not more than £20., whether a balance account, or otherwise, may be holden in the county court, without writ, and all such actions brought in the said court, shall be heard, and determined in a summary way in a county court, constituted under this act, provided always that the court shall not have cognizance of any action of ejectment, or which the title of any corporeal or incorporeal hereditaments, or any toll, fair, market, or franchise shall be in question; or in which the validity of any devise, bequest, or limitation, under any will or settlement, may be disputed; or for any malicious prosecution, or for any libel or slander, or for criminal conversation, or for seduction, or breach of promise of marriage. "Demands are not to be divided, but may be reduced to £20. Minors may sue for wages, executors may sue and be sued. The judge is to determine the case where no jury is summoned. In cases exceeding £5. in amount, a plaintiff or defendant may require a jury of five persons, on the payment of 5s.; and under that amount, the judge is to have a discretionary power as to a jury. Witnesses are to be paid their expenses, and may be fined for non-attendance. A debt may be paid by instalments, and a judge has power to order an execution against the goods of a defendant, except the wearing apparel and tools, to the amount of £5. A commitment for 40 days may be made, and is not to extinguish the debt. Actions in certain, cases, such as where the plaintiff resides more than twenty miles from the defendant, may be brought into the superior courts, but in other cases it is enacted - " that if an action shall be commenced after the passing of this act, in any of her majesty's superior courts of record, for any other cause than those hereinafter specified, for which a plea may have been entered into any court, holden under this act, and a verdict shall be found for the plaintiff, for a sum less than £20., if the said action is founded on contract, or less than £5., if it be founded on tort or wrong, the said plaintiff shall have judgment to recover such sum, and no costs; and if a verdict shall not be found for the plaintiff, the defendant shall be entitled to his costs, as between attorney and client, unless, in either case, the judge who shall try the cause, shall certify on the back of the record, that the action was fit to be brought in such superior court."
Circuit Court, 21, includes Birmingham, Atherstone, and Tamworth. For this circuit, the officers are : Judge, Leigh Trafford, Esq., Leamington. Clerks, John Guest, solicitor, Waterloo Street; William Havard Arnold, New Street. Assistant Clerks, John Eachus, William Grant, G. B. Goole, John Barlow. High Bailiff, Charles William. Elkington, New Hall Street. Assistant Bailiffs, Jonas Hewitt, Thomas Reynold. Courts held at Birmingham, about six days in the month for County Court: for Bankruptcy, four days in the month; and for Insolvency, three days in the month. Court House, Waterloo Rooms, Waterloo Street.
A list of Parishes in the District of the County Court of Birmingham, and their distances: Aston, 2 miles; Balsall Heath, 2; Bingham; Barr-Perry, 3; Coleshill, 10; Curdworth, 4; Edgbaston, 1; Herrington, 5;Handsworth, [except Smethwick], 4; Harborne, 1; Lee Marston, 8; Maxstoke, 5; Monmouth, 5;Moseley, 2; Northfleet, 6;Norton, [King's], 6; Saltley, 1; Sheldon, 8;Shustock, 8; Sutton Coldfield, 8; Whitacre, Nether 8; Whitacre, Over, 8; Wishaw, 6. The other Districts will be given in their proper places.
Court of Bankruptcy; Commissioners of Bankruptcy, John Balguy, Esq.Q. C.; Edmund Robert Daniell, Esq. Registrars, Hon. Francis James Curzon; Robert Emilius Wilson, Esq. Official Assignees, James Christie, Esq.; Frederick Whitmore, Esq.; Richard Valpy, Esq.; Thomas Bittleston, Esq. Messengers, Mr. Francis Ostler Bradham; Mr. William Boddill. Ushers, Mr. James Hotchkiss; Mr. Robert Eccles.
Court of the Honour of Tutbury and Duchy of Lancaster, commonly called the Three Weeks Court, extends to debts under 40s. This Honour belongs to the Crown, as a part of the Duchy of Lancaster; it extends into several Counties, and over the principal part of the Hundred of Hemlingford, in Warwickshire, with some other places in that County. This Court had for many years become nearly obsolete, having been superseded by Local Courts of Requests, but the late changes in the recovery of small debts have again made it to be much resorted to and practised in. The names of the places will be given with the History of the County. The officers are: Steward for Hemlingford, Thomas Brook Bridges Stevens, Esq. Bailiff for Hemlingford, Edward Greensill, 88, Aston Street, Birmingham. Officers for Hemlingford, the above Edward Greensill and John James, 61, Lichfield Street.
Streets. At the Restoration, Hutton supposes, there were fifteen streets, though not all finished; and from that period, to the year 1700, they were increased to twenty eight, and were as follows; Bell Street, Carr Lane, Castle Street, Colmore Street, Corn Market and Shambles, Dale End, Deritend and Bordesley, Digbeth, Dudley Street, Edgbaston Street, The Froggery, High Street, Lees Lane, Lower Mill Lane, Moat Lane [Court Lane], Moor Street, New Street, Old Meeting Street, Park Street, Peck Lane, Philip Street, Pinfold Street, St. Martin's Lane, Shambles, Spiceal Street, Stafford Street, Worcester Street. In 1731, an addition of twenty-three streets had been made, and the number of houses then were 2,122; and the population, 13,722. As the present list of streets will show, the increase has been rapidly progressing. The population of Birmingham, in the year 1801, decreased considerably; but in 1808 a reaction took place, trade revived, and about 200 houses were built, and 5,000 people added - being nearly double of the decrease in 1801. The short interval of peace, in 1802, produced a considerable effect. In 1811, although war was raging with great devastation, trade was in a flourishing state, and the population exceeded 80,000. In 1816, it was about 88,000, and from that period, till the conclusion of 1818, it is supposed that 300 additional houses were erected, and the total number of inhabitants amounted to 90,000. In 1821, they amounted to about 100,000; in 1824, there were said to be 2,000 houses erected in the town, and its environs; and in 1831, the population were returned at 146,986, as before stated; but in 1841, at 138,215 - showing a decrease of 8,771 souls. In reference to the effects of peace and war, Birmingham benefited materially in 1804, by the manufacture of firearms; thus making the instruments of death the sources of a livelihood to thousands. In 1809, and 1810, that trade increased in a six-fold proportion, when 30,000 stand of arms was supplied monthly, till the peace of Paris, in 1814. The peace of 1802 was here, as well as in every part of the nation, received with great transports of joy. It is said that a man, after the mail came in with the tidings, [being Sunday], ran with them to one of the churches, and, in his transport, threw his hat, loaded with laurel and ribbons, into one of the pews, exclaiming "Peace! peace! peace! God forgive me, but it is come, thank God, at last! Thank God peace is come at last!" The arrival of the definitive treaty of peace did not take place till 9th March, 1802, when the intelligence was brought from London in ten hours and forty minutes, and arrived at three o'clock in the morning, when the most lively joy was manifested.
Pantechnetheca, or the General Depository, was erected in 1824, for the exhibition and sale of articles in the finer department of the arts, selected from the various manufactories of the town. The exterior of the building is fronted on the basement story with a Grecian Doric colonnade, supporting another of the Ionic order, surmounted by a handsome balustrade, with projecting pedestals, on which are emblematical figures, well sculptured. The interior consists of two handsome showrooms, and now forms the extensive clothing establishment of Samuel Hyam, merchant tailor.
Callum's Horse and Carriage Repository, [late Beardsworth's], 1, Cheapside, near Smithfield Market, for the sale of horses and carriages by auction. The building comprises a spacious quadrangular area, around which are stables for 150 horses, exclusive of 24 boxes for hunters. Above these are galleries, on which there is room, for 400 carriages, a great number of which are constantly on sale. The whole is covered with a lofty shed roof, lighted by a double range of windows. On one side of the quadrangle, over which the roof is continued, there is a covered ride 180 yards in length and 40 in width.
Smoke Burning. By clause LVI., in the Birmingham Improvement Act, 9th George IV., it is enacted, that the owners and occupiers of all engines, commonly called steam-engines, which have been or shall be set up in the parish of Birmingham, shall use the method now adopted, or others equally efficacious, to consume or burn the smoke arising therefrom. Any person using such steam-engine without consuming the smoke, as aforesaid, shall forfeit and pay for every such neglect the sum of £50. to be recovered by action of debt, etc.
Workhouse. After the dissolution of the religious houses, in 1536, great distress prevailed in England, as many had lost their dependence. After various efforts to restore order and prosperity, and punish the idle and profligate, the Poor Law was passed in the 43rd year of Queen Elizabeth; by this law every parish in England was erected into a distinct fraternity, and obliged to support its own members. Under this law, which obliged the able bodied to be set to work, and the aged and infirm to be provided for, England became prosperous, and her people the envy of the world: but Workhouses did not become general till 1730. That of Birmingham was erected in Lichfield Street, in 1733, at the expense of £1,173. 3s. 5d.; and which, as Hutton observes, a stranger would suppose was the residence of a gentleman. The left wing, called the Infirmary, was built in 1766, at the cost of £400., and the right, a place for labour, in 1779, at the expense of £700. more. The building will accommodate 645 paupers, and is generally full. Various plans were devised to employ the paupers, and keep the rates down; in 1754, the spinning of packthread was introduced into the workhouse: in 1756, a mill for grinding corn was set up in the house, but was sold in 1761. In 1766, the spinning of mop yam was introduced, but the yarn proved of less value than the wool: various other plans were tried, but all failed, and the rates kept advancing. In 1780, two collectors of the rates were appointed, at fifty guineas each; which it was said, would save the town many hundreds; still the rates kept increasing. In 1783, four Acts were upon the anvil, to alter the law, and to remove the workhouse to Birmingham Heath, at an expense of £10,000., with powers to borrow £15,000. and by this means to reduce the levies one third; however, that was not then done. But in this year, , it seems to have been carried at various parish meetings, that a New Workhouse shall be erected on Birmingham Heath, sufficient to supply the wants of the parish. The parish of Birmingham is not in union with any other parish, except those parts of it which have been created ecclesiastical parishes within its own boundary; neither do the additions added to comprise the borough, keep their poor with the parish. The poor rates have, during the last one hundred years, increased in an amazing manner. Hutton gives a statement of the disbursements, from 1676 to 1792. In 1676, the first on record, £328. 17s. 7d. was disbursed; in 1700, £661.7s. 4½d.; in 1750, £1167. 16s. 6d.; in 1792, £12,045. 0s. 4½d.; and by Shaw, in 1818, £61,928. was expended. The expenditure for the half year, ending Lady-day, 1848, was £37,589; the second quarter of this period having shown a considerable increase on the first. The population of Birmingham, in 1700, is said to be 15,032 souls; in 1741, 24,660 souls; in 1781, 50,295; in 1791, 73,653; and now will be about 140,000, which, since 1700, is an increase of nearly eleven times over; but the rates since 1700, have increased more than 135 times in amount; and since 1769, to 80 times the amount; so that the rate has increased in a much greater ratio than that of the population, though the most stringent means have been resorted to for saving it. This has not been the state of Birmingham alone, but that of most other manufacturing towns, and of the whole kingdom. Thus, with all the aids of science and skill of which we have to boast, it seems to require a most searching investigation, to endeavour to discover why man has become so deteriorated - pauperised.
The Guardians consist of 109, to whom Mr. Edward Pitt is the Clerk; The Rev. Thomas Onion, B. A., Chaplain. Mr. Soloman Grosvenor Walters, and Mrs. Mary Bullivant Walters, master and matron; Mr. Henry Knight, Superintendent Registrar, and the Registrars of Births and Deaths; Joseph George Welch, for All Saints' district, Warstone Lane; Thomas Sansum, for St. George's district, 144, Great Hampton Street; Joseph Smith, for St. Paul's district, 19, Church Street; Joseph Gell, for St. Philip's district, 54, Hill Street; Horatio Nelson Grimley, for St. Peter's district, 65, Fazeley Street; John White, for St. Martin's district, 50, Benacre Street; Edward Penn, for St. Thomas's district, 4, Bristol Road; William Williams, for St. Mary's district, 6, St. Mary's Row; and Joseph Wood, for Ladywood district, 102, Grosvenor Street, West.
John Milward, by will, 1654, left certain lands and tenements, in Bordesley, in the county of Warwick, at the reserved rent of £26. annually; and a house in Birmingham, called the Red Lion, to the Principal of Brazen Nose College, in Oxford, for the time being; and the bailiff of the town of Birmingham, for the time being; and the mayor of the town and county of Haverford West, for the time being; and their successors for ever. That the said rent should, for the first two years after his death, be paid to his executrix; and afterwards, one-third part [£8. 13s. 4d.] as an addition of maintenance to the Free School of Birmingham; one-third to the College, to be bestowed on a scholar, towards part of his education; and the other one-third part to be paid to the school of Haverford West, etc. The estate, in Bordesley, is described as consisting of six tenements [now eight], and 52a. 0r. 29p. of land. The head master of the grammar school, at Birmingham, lets his third part at the ancient reserved rent - taking a fine for renewal every seven years; in 1816, the fine paid was £158. 17s. The Birmingham and Warwick Canal Company pay the sum of £31. 15s. 9d. as compensation rent to the tenant, occupying the Bordesley estate, for 5a. 1r. 8p. of land taken for the purposes of the canal. Of the house called the Red Lion, nothing is now known. It does not appear that any scholars have been sent to Brazen Nose College under this charity.
Elizabeth White, by will, 1722, devised to trustees, and their heirs, all her closes and lands, and tenements, called Brook House Fields, and Slow Moor, in the parish of Aston, juxta Birmingham, after certain contingencies for the use of the charity school in Birmingham, to be applied for the education of boys and girls, in such school as her trustees and their heirs should direct, recommending to them children whose parents were of the communion of the Church of England. The property now , produces £246. per annum.
Benjamin Salisbury, by will, 1726, left from certain property lying near Ladywood Lane, in the parish of Birmingham, the sums of 15s. each, to be paid to the Rectors of St. Martin and St. Philip's churches, for sermons to be preached by each of them; at St. Martin's on the 1st November, and at St. Philip's on the 5th of June, for the benefit of the charity school, etc.; and the sum of 20s. on each of the said days to the governors of the said school for the use of the said school; and the further sum of 5s. on each of the said days to the overseers of the poor of Birmingham, for the time being, to be laid out in penny bread, to be distributed at the church there, to poor old people of that place. The property thus charged is now , the property of Mr. John Clarke, by whom the annual sum of £2. for the use of the school has been regularly paid. The other sums, apparently from ignorance, have not been paid for many years, nor demanded, but Mr. Clarke expresses his readiness duly to pay them.
Thomas Duncombe, by will, 1729, left two messuages in Temple Row, Birmingham, to his wife, for her life; and after her death to two other persons, to be chargeable with the payment of the yearly sum of 40s. out of the same, for the benefit of the charity school for ever, by half yearly payments at Michaelmas and Lady-day. Mr. Humphrey Evett, the present owner , pays the charge.
The Lords of the Manor of Birmingham, by indenture, 1795, gave to trustees, in trust for the benefit of the Blue Coat School, a plot of waste land, newly to be enclosed, on Birmingham Heath, with all buildings thereafter to be erected thereon, to hold the same for the term of 999 years, at the yearly rent of one shilling. This land is on lease for a term of 99 years, from Michaelmas, 1825, at the yearly rent of £96. 10s., the lessee covenanting to expend £1,000. at least, in the improvement of the premises, and erect several messuages, according to description given in the lease.
William Brown, Henry Kempson and Joseph Gibbs, by indenture, 1799, gave to trustees, in trust for the benefit of the Blue Coat Charity School, one undivided moiety of certain premises, partly in Moor Street, in Birmingham, and in a piece of land, containing, by estimation, seven acres, called the Brick-kiln Piece, in the parish of Aston, near Birmingham, subject to a certain mortgage.
Humphrey Vaughn bequeathed £400. to the Blue Coat Charity School, to be laid out on securities, to produce an annual and permanent income. In the year 1806 the trustees paid off the above-named mortgage, amounting, with interest, to £231. 14s. 6d. and with the addition of £3. 14s. 6d. from the funds of the school, purchased the other moiety of the piece of land. This land is now , held under a lease for a term of 99 years, from Lady-day, 1825, at the rent of £162. 18s. 2d. with a covenant for erecting, during the first seven years, certain buildings of the yearly value of £40., etc. The moiety of the houses in Moor Street was sold to the Commissioners of the Birmingham Street Act, for the sum of £236. 2s. 6d., which has been added to the funded capital of the school. The present income of these charities, investments, and funded property, produces , the sum of £1,028. 18s. 4¼d. which, with the addition of annual subscriptions and collections, and casual benefactions, make in the whole an income of more than £2,000. The greatest part of this income is expended in the current expenses of the school, at which about 160 children, of both sexes, in addition to those of Fentham;s Charity, are instructed in reading, writing, and arithmetic, and the principles of the Christian religion; and entirely clothed, lodged, and boarded.
George Fentham, of Birmingham, mercer, by will, 1690, gave to four persons, and their heirs, etc. all his messuages, lands, etc. on trust, after the payment of certain legacies, and giving an annuity of £30. to the poor of Hampton-in-Arden. He further gave an annuity of £20., without any defalcations whatever, to be employed after his decease as follows, viz:- £10. to teach poor children to know their letters, spell and read English, either male or female, of poor inhabitants of Birmingham, dwelling within 200 yards from and about the Bull Ring, etc.; and £10. residue of the said annuity, to be employed in buying ten as good coats as for the same, without fraud, might be had for ten poor widows, inhabiting within the aforesaid district. And he appointed that one of such widows should wear, in some visible place upon her coat, the capital letters G and B, in some different colour from that of the coat, in memory of Goodyth Burridge, widow, deceased, by whose executorship he gained £20.; and he gave the residue of his estate to be divided into two equal parts; and that the yearly rents and profits of one part, should be for the relief of the poor inhabitants of Hampton, and the other to be for the poor of the parish of Birmingham; and in such manner as the major part of the male inhabitants dwelling within the space of 200 yards from and about the Bull Ring, etc. should from, time to time appoint, either by the relieving or making more easy the poor inhabitants, etc., or in teaching poor children to knit, spin, or sew, or in setting out poor children to be apprentices. By indenture, 1739, John Hanstead, clerk, and nine others, inhabiting within 200 yards of the Bull Ring, were appointed by the Master in Chancery, to whom the partition and establishment of the charity had been, referred; and in pursuance of the decree, 20th December, 1737, Samuel Packwood, as heir of the only surviving trustee, did transfer the property, etc. to the above ten persons. The income of this property, including £9. returned as interest, is £308., subject to certain deductions for repairs, improvements, etc. being on an average about £40. per annum. Of this income part is applied to the maintenance, clothing, and educating of poor children of both sexes, at the Blue Coat School. The number at school during the last eight years, has varied from 10 to 20. They are fully clothed once a year, and are distinguished by the colour of their coats and gowns, which are green. On leaving the school, [which they do at the age of 14], if an opportunity occurs, they are apprenticed, and an additional suit of clothes given them. Other part of the income is expended in providing gowns, handkerchiefs, and bonnets, for poor women, of whom an equal number is appointed by each of the trustees.
William Piddock, by will, 1728, devised to his wife Sarah, for life, his farm, at Winson Green, in St. Martin's parish; and after her death, he gave the same to his cousins, William and John Reddell, and their heirs, for ever, upon trust, to dispose of the rents and profits thereof, for the benefit of poor boys, of the parishes of St. Martin and St. Philip, Birmingham, either in schooling or setting them out apprentices, or otherwise. The property belonging to this charity now consists of a farm house and outbuildings, and four parcels of land, let on lease, , at the annual rent of £45. subject to a power of resuming any portion for building purposes, etc. After the year 1820 the property became untenanted, and the house was found in so ruinous a condition as to require rebuilding, which was done at considerable expense, and for some years caused a suspension of the charity, previous to which thirty guineas a year towards the support of the Madras school, in Birmingham, was paid for the instruction of sixty children.
Ann Crowley, by will, 1733, gave to William Hawks and Joseph Cartwright, and their heirs, her two messuages and gardens, etc. in or near Priory Street, upon, trust, out of the said rents to pay yearly the sum of 20s. on the first of May, to such dissenting minister as her said trustees or their heirs should appoint, without any deduction. And she further gave to the said trustees and their heirs, six messuages in Wittall's Lane, in Birmingham, on trust, out of the rents and profits thereof to pay yearly the sum of £5. to such poor persons as they should think fit; and the remainder, after deducting all expenses, to the maintenance of a school, in which ten poor children of Birmingham should be taught, gratis, to read English, by some poor woman. The annuity of £1. is paid from a large building in Priory Street, which covers the site of the premises subject to the charge. In the year 1796 [the six houses granted upon the other trusts of the will, in consequence of the ruinous condition of the houses] the trustees came to the determination to let them on a building lease, which they granted to Bohun Fox, for 99 years, from the 25th of March, in that year, at the clear annual rent of £12., he covenanting, within six years, to lay out £300. in building one or more dwelling house or houses, upon the site of the old ones, which he was to take down. This covenant was performed by building ten small houses; two in front of Steelhouse Lane, and the others in a court behind. A portion of this income, of £12, is applied to the relief of poor widows. Another portion is paid to a schoolmistress, for instructing, at her own house, ten girls, sent by the trustees.
Mrs. Scott, in the year 1804, made a donation of £100., for the use of children, and the schoolmistress, of this charity. This sum appears to have been laid out in the purchase of £175. three per cent consols, now paid over to two ladies, and disposed of in the purchase of cloth and worsted, and other materials, which are given to the girls, to be by them worked tip into clothing, for their own use.
Joseph Scott, by indenture, 1779, gave to trustees, certain property, for the use of protestant dissenters, called Independents, situated in Carr's Lane, Birmingham. Part of these premises is now greatly improved, by buildings; the reserved rent, £630. is paid by Mr. Perkins, the lessee. Of two closes, intended for a burial ground, the trustees intend, by the sale of the clay which they contain, to raise money sufficient to build a wall round the whole. The house called the Golden Fleece is supposed to he the same premises, of which a lease for 99 years, at 8s. per annum, has lately expired; the premises will, when put into a state of repair, produce about £15. per annum. The profits of the above are applied to the general purposes of the Carr's Lane Society of Independents.
The Protestant Dissenting Charity School, situated in Park Street, is generally supported by voluntary contributions, to which James Baker, in 1771, left £100.; George Davis, in 1783, £100.; Samuel Ray, in 1785, £100.; and Samuel Pemberton, in 1785, £30.
Lench's Trust. By an inquisition of charitable uses, 25th March, in 3rd year Charles I. it was found as follows:- that William Lench being seized in fee of certain lands in various parishes, to hold to the feoffees, their heirs and assigns, to stand seized to the use of the said William Lench, and Agnes his wife, for their natural lives, and the life of the longer liver of them; and after their deaths, they should stand seized to their own proper uses. By deed, 29th March, 31st year Henry VIII. a new en-feoffement was made, to the intent to distribute all the issues and profits arising out of the premises, and the same distribute for the uses following, viz.; the repairing ruinous ways and bridges in and about the town of Birmingham, and in default of such uses, to the poor living within the said town, where most needed, according to the appointment of the said feoffees. The following charities are vested in the same feoffees:
William Colmore gave an annuity of 10s., to be issuing out of certain premises, in Corn Cheaping; and that 5s. of the said sum should he employed in repairing the common ways; and the other 5s, given for the relief of the poor of Birmingham, every Good Friday.
John Vesey, being seized in fee of a parcel of land, called Loveday Croft, and by right of survivorship of Lench's lands, and of Colmore's annuity of 10s., conveyed the said trust premises to a new set of trustees, upon the like trusts.
William Wrixhan, clerk, formerly rector of the parish, church of Birmingham, being seized in fee of a tenement, in Spicers, or Mercers Street, by his will, 1568, gave the said tenement, the profits thereof, to be distributed yearly, on Good Friday, among the poor of the parish of Birmingham.
Thomas Redhill and Henry Shilton, being seized in fee, of a croft of land, called Woodcock's Croft, lying within the parish of Duddeston, in the county of Warwick, by indenture 9th of Henry VIII. granted the same, that the rent might be distributed in same manner as Lench's lands.
John Ward, by deed, dated December 16th, of Elizabeth, granted to trustees, and their heirs, a tenement, with all his lands, etc., situated within the hamlet of Marston Culie, in the parish of Bickenhill, in the county of Warwick, to the intent that two of the feoffees should receive the rents of the premises, and distribute one half thereof yearly, on the Friday next before St. Thomas's day; and the other half on Good Friday, to the poor and needy people in Birmingham.
Richard Kilcup, by will, 1610, devised a messuage and close of ground, in Bordesley, to trustees, on trust, to bestow all the rents and revenues of the premises, towards the relief of the poor, and the repairing the church, in Birmingham; 13s. 4d., being paid yearly to the churchwardens for that purpose, by the feoffees.
John Shelton, in his lifetime, gave 10s. yearly to the poor of Birmingham, by indenture, 1654. John Shelton, Esq., grandson of the above, conveyed a messuage, and garden, etc., situate in Moor Street, and a croft, in the foreign of Birmingham, containing two acres, to trustees, on trust, for the poor of Birmingham; which was so conveyed in discharge of the 10s. yearly, given by John Shelton; and, in consideration of £86. 10s., money, in the hands of Thomas Peake and others, belonging to the poor, and paid to John Shelton, Esq. It does not appear from what sources the above sum was derived; but some ancient benefactions are recorded on tablets in St. Martin's Church, of which nothing is now known.
Ann Scott. By indenture 12th May, 1808, certain premises were conveyed to the feoffees, for the sum of £630.; of this sum, £525. had previously been given by Ann Scott; of which, £25. was distributed on Michaelmas-day to the inhabitants of the alms houses. Ann Scott also gave £130. in addition, to make up the purchase; the rents and profits to be employed for the relief of the alms people, in Steelhouse Lane, and Dudley Street alms houses; either wholly on Michaelmas-day, or by two equal donations - part being on some other day.
The Almshouses, and Bell-Rope Croft, are noticed as being conveyed to the feoffees, in 1691, but no original documents remain. The alms house appears to have stood in Digbeth; but in 1765, the premises were let on a building lease. The croft is noticed in the church wardens' accounts of St. Martin, as early as 1688, the rent then being 8s. yearly, for the purpose of bell ropes. Some of the above premises have been sold under various acts of parliament, for improvements in Birmingham, which are fully accounted for in the report of the commissioners on Lench's feoffment; this report extends over twenty-three folio pages. The total annual value of the property, under this trust, amounts to £656. 10s. l0d.; the charges for the management being £44. 14s. 6d., which leaves £611. 16s. 4d. from which the following payments are  made; £8. as the rent of the Bell Rope Croft, and 13s. 4d. as Kilcup's gift are paid to the churchwardens of St. Martin's, £6. paid to the overseers of St. Martin's, £227. 14s. for repairing the streets, £140. paid to the almswomen, and £70. for the repairs and insurance of the Almshouses, being a total of £452. 7s. 4d., leaving a surplus of £159. 9s.
The Almshouses, in Steelhouse Lane, were built 1764; to these, three new houses were added in 1814, which cost £320.; and now contain forty apartments for poor widows and aged females, who receive 25s. each, annually, for coals; the rooms are furnished. The Almshouses, in Dudley Street, were built in 1801, at a cost of £539 4s., of which £120. was defrayed by the value of old materials of buildings previously standing on the site thereof; they comprised 38 apartments; these have been taken down by the Railway Company, and 50 others have been erected in their stead in Ravenhurst Street, of which the first stone was laid in April, 1848; built of brick, with stone dressings, in the gothic style; the cost is estimated at £5,400., and are to be completed early in 1840.
Of the Almshouses in Park Street, one half were built in 1815 and 1816, at the cost of £794. 15s., including £40. paid for the lease of the land on which they stand, and the other half in 1820, at a cost of £633. 3s.; they contain 32 apartments. Sums of money have at various times been borrowed by the feoffees in aid of the accumulations in hand for completing the Almshouses. In 1827 there was a cash balance of £110. 15s. 6½d., and £500. vested in notes of the Bank of Messrs. Moilliet, Smith, and Pearson, of Birmingham. This deposit has been accumulating since April, 1824, for the purpose of erecting an additional set of Almshouses, for which ground has been purchased in Hospital Street; and in 1828 nine houses were erected, forming a square, containing 34 rooms for poor widows in the parish of Birmingham, who have each 25s. per annum for coals.
Previous to the year 1802 various sums of money were distributed to the poor on Good Friday; since that year the feoffees consider the quarterly sums paid to the almswomen as satisfying all claims from the poor, and though it may fall rather short of being a full compensation to the poor, yet their reserve fund has from time to time been employed in building new Almshouses. The income of this trust, will, as the leases fall in, many of which are building leases, greatly increase, and from leases which will expire in 1849, 1851, and 1852, an addition to the present yearly rental of £1,500. may be expected, which will add greatly to its efficiency.
Richard Scott, by will, 1694, gave £100. to the Governors of the Free Grammar School of King Edward VI. in Birmingham, in trust that they should as soon as convenient, lay out the same in the purchase of property of inheritance, and settle the same upon trustees in trust to pay 40s. part of the rents thereof, unto the non-conforming minister or ministers in Birmingham, constantly officiating in the meeting-house, near Pinfold Street, and distribute the residue of the rents to the putting out a poor boy apprentice. In 1752, this £100. was placed in the hands of Samuel Eden, gent., who kept the same to the time of his death, but neglected to procure the same to be laid out agreeable to the donor's will. After Mr. Eden's death, the £100., with £50. 10s. interest thereof, was recovered from his daughter. In 1749, the sum of £204. 8s. 6d. as principal, with the interest which had accrued from it, was lent on bond, at 4 per cent interest, to Abel Walford. In August, 1823, the sum of £305. 5s. was invested in the purchase of £300. 4 per cent, stock, in the name of William Congreve Russell, and two others, from the accumulation of interest, yielding an income to the charity of £12. per annum, of which £2 per annum is paid to the two ministers, and apprentices are put out with £5. premium. In 1827, a balance of £57. 2s. 5d. remained in hand.
George Jackson, by will, 1696, gave his houses, etc., in Deritend, to trustees and their heirs, for binding out apprentices, male children of the poor of the parish of Birmingham. The premises were let on lease for 99 years, from 25th of March, 1735, at the rent of £6. per annum. A premium of £2.10s., and 7s. for the indenture, is paid with the apprentices; and in 1827, a small balance of £2. 1s. 9d. remained in hand.
Richard Banner and Samuel Banner. Richard Banner, at his death, left £100. to be laid out by his brother, Samuel Banner, in the purchase of freehold lands, within the town, or parish of Birmingham, or within ten miles of the same town; to be settled by him on trustees, upon trust, out of the rents thereof, to buy six cloth alms coats, on which the letters R B should be set, for six poor men of Birmingham; and the residue to be applied in placing out apprentices. In 1716, Richard Banner laid out the £100., and the further sum of £44. 14s. 3d., being interest money made thereon; and the further sum of £29. 5s. 9d., being his own property - amounting, in the whole, to the sum of £174. in the purchase of lands, in Erdington, in the parish of Aston. He directed his son, Richard Banner, to convey, and settle the same in manner following:- first, to lay out 25s. yearly, in buying two cloth alms gowns and petticoats, for two poor widows of Birmingham; to be given as the charity of Samuel Banner; and all the rest of the rents to be disposed of as the charity of Richard Banner. The property now consists of 11a. 0r. 21p. of land, now  let on lease for twenty-one years, at the yearly rent of £20. By a resolution of the trustees, 19th of September, 1827, it was resolved, that in future the funds of this charity should be applied strictly in conformity with the foundation deed.
Joseph Hopkins, by will, 1681, gave to the poor people of Birmingham, the sum of £200., to be laid out in lands, or tenements, in or near Birmingham, as his two executors should advise. In 1691, four parcels of enclosed land, called the Blake Moor, in Sutton Coldfield, were conveyed to the executors, for the use of this charity. This estate, according to a plan made in 1802, consists now of five closes, called the Bleak Moor, containing together 25a. 0r. 31p., held on a lease from Lady-day, 1825, for twenty-one years, at the clear yearly rent of £37. 10s. A sum averaging £32. a year is expended in the purchase of about sixty gowns for poor persons.
Mr. Joseph Pemberton, in 1722, gave 40s. per annum, payable out of an estate, in the parish of Tamworth; and also 20s. per annum, out of an estate, in the parish of Harborne; which said £3. was to be laid out yearly, by the churchwardens, in purchasing coats for four poor men, inhabiting in the town of Birmingham; to be given them at Christmas. These sums are regularly paid to the churchwardens, and applied in coats for poor men.
Elizabeth Hollier, by will, 1789, devised her land, and hereditaments belonging thereto, situate in the parish of Aston, near Birmingham, to trustees, in trust, to apply the clear yearly rents, in providing twelve coats, or gowns, and such other linen and clothing, as should seem convenient to them; to distribute yearly to twelve poor men or women, parishioners of Birmingham; and eight or more coats, or gowns, and other linen, etc., to be distributed to eight or more poor men or women, of Aston, next Birmingham; the same proportion of twelve to eight to be always observed. The trustees to be members of the Church of England. By a plan, the estate contains 9a. 0r. 37p. of land, in four closes, and now  produces a rental of £52. 10s. Coats for men, and gowns and shifts, for women, are provided by a draper in Birmingham, to the amount of the rent, as near as can be, and given at Christmas to the parties.
John Billingsley, by will, 1629, gave to his son and his heirs his two houses and gardens at Deritend, that they should pay every week 12d. to buy fourteen loaves of bakers' bread, to be given to poor people, inhabiting within the parish of Birmingham, and within the liberties of Deritend and Bordesley, equally; that is, to poor people of Birmingham seven loaves, and to poor people of Deritend and Bordesley seven loaves. By deed, John Billingsley, the son, in 1657, infeoffed the two houses, then made into one, to certain trustees in trust, to stand seized thereof to the above uses. The premises, partly by a subscription amounting to £180, raised in 1804, which with the interest thereon, and a sum borrowed by the trustees, making together £381. was, in 1813, laid out in rebuilding the premises, in three houses, now , let for £534. 1s. 6d., subject to poor rates, etc. The money borrowed was repaid in 1822. A small part of the net income is suffered to accumulate as a repairing fund, then the money is expended in bread, of which one half is distributed every Sunday afternoon, at St. Martin's Church, Birmingham, and the other half at St. John's Chapel, Deritend.
George Hill, by indenture, 1678, conveyed to trustees on trust, a messuage with gardens, orchards, etc. and three closes of land, in Ash Furlong, in the parish of Sutton Coldfield, with the herbage of the parry pits, reserving to himself and his heirs all stone and minerals that might be found in the quarry pits, part of the said property, with liberty to search for and carry away the same; to provide and distribute after morning service, at the parish church of Birmingham, 12 penny loaves of wheateu bread, to 12 poor old people, inhabitants of Birmingham; also to pay 20s. yearly to the minister of Deritend chapel, in the parish of Aston, next Birmingham; and to dispose of the residue of the rents towards the relief of five poor honest men, who had, or should study the Word of God, etc., whom the governors of the Free School, in Birmingham, should judge fit objects of this charity. By a survey, the premises contain 13a. 0r. 12p. of land; and there was timber fit for falling to the value of £200. The annual value of the estate is estimated at upwards of £35. per annum, but it was, in 1786, demised on a lease of three lives, for £10. per annum. The Charity Commissioners found, in 1827, that great mismanagement had taken place in respect of this charity, since the year 1780, and there was then a balance in the hands of Mr. Whateley, which had arisen under the last surviving trustee, Mr. Male, Mr. Whateley having agreed to pay 4 per cent, interest for the money in his hands. New trustees have been appointed, and the charity is now properly conducted, and greatly augmented by the accumulation.
John Crowley, by will, 1709, devised to Sarah Harper a messuage in Lower Priory Street, in Birmingham, also a garden, subject to the payment of 20s. yearly to the poor of Birmingham, to be laid out in sixpenny bread, and given on St. John's-day, at Christmas, by the overseers of the poor. The house on which this payment was charged was, about the year 1824, sold by the owner, Mr. E. V. Wilkes, of Birmingham, to the Commissioners of the Streets, and the site now forms part of the street. Mr. Wilkes declared to the Charity Commissioners, in 1827, his readiness to invest an adequate sum in a savings' bank, to provide for the annuity in future.
Mary Sheldon, by will, 1821, gave to the rector and churchwardens of St. Philip, in Birmingham, £1,000. in trust, to invest the same in the public funds, and to apply the dividends annually, in equal proportions, to ten old maidens, or single women, to be nominated by the rector and churchwardens. The sum of £915. was received on the 26th November, 1826. and laid out in the purchase of £1,160. 1s. 3d. three per cent. Reduced Annuities. The dividend, £35. 16s. per annum, is applied agreeable to the donor's will.
Thomas Ingram, of Ticknell, Esq. by a codicil to his will, 1816, gave out of his personal estate to the governors of the Free Grammar School of Birmingham, and their successors, the sum of £600. in trust, to be by them placed out on good security, or laid out in the purchase of land, etc. And he directed that the proceeds should be applied to one or more clergymen, on condition that he or they should annually preach in the parish churches or chapels of Birmingham, or elsewhere, if so directed, always instructing such clergyman to set forth in his sermon every argument he could for the merciful treatment of dumb animals, particularly the horse; and desired that masters might, previous to the sermon, have notice given in the Birmingham Gazette, to permit and direct their servants to go. The sum of £540. was received, after the payment of the legacy duty. It now stands in £533, 12s. 11d. four per cents. The proceeds are regularly applied by the governors.
Elizabeth Piddock, by will, gave 20s. per annum to the poor of Birmingham; nothing has, within memory, been received on account of this.
John Cooper, gave one croft for the making of Love-days amongst Birmingham men. This croft is noticed amongst Lench's trust; and there it appears John Vesey gave this croft, but probably he was only a trustee thereof.
The following Charities are also noticed on the Benefaction Tables, but of which no information could be obtained: Edward Smith, in 1612, gave £20. the interest to be given to the poor yearly. Mr. Barnaby Smith, in 1633, gave £20. to be lent to poor tradesmen. Mrs. Catherine Roberts, in 1642, gave £20. the interest for the poor yearly. Mr. John Jennings, in 1651, gave 50s. per annum for the buying and making of coats for poor aged people. He also gave 20s. per annum, to be given on St. Thomas's day to the poor. Richard Smallbrook gave 10s. per annum to the poor of Birmingham, arising out of a salt vat at Droitwich. It is probable the first four of these were applied, in 1654, in the purchase of Shelton's premises, as mentioned in Lench's trust. Glover's Almshouses, Steelhouse Lane, consist of four houses, which contain sixteen rooms for poor widows and aged females, who have 10 cwt. of coals per year. Built about 1826.
James Dowell, Esq's., Retreat, Warner Street, consists of twenty houses, with a chapel in the centre, built of brick in the Gothic style; over each door is a figure, Faith and Hope. The houses are for poor old women, who each receive 1s. 6d. per week, and two tons of coals per year. The houses are furnished. Mr. John Davis is the sole manager; at his death the management will devolve upon sixteen trustees.
Wealth. Mr. Hutton, in 1783, in his visionary chapter, supposes there are in Birmingham, 3 persons who possess £100,000.; 7 possessing £50,000.; 8 £30,000. each; 17 £20,000. each; 80 £10,000. each; 94 £5,000. each; thus selecting 209 persons, commanding a property of £3,500,000., from a population of 50,000. persons. He adds, out of the 209, 103 began the world with nothing but their own prudence; 35 more had fortunes added to their prudence, but too small to be brought into the account; and 71 persons were favoured with a larger, which in many instances, is much improved. Hence it follows, that the above sum is chiefly acquired by the present inhabitants, but we are not to suppose Birmingham, during this age, has increased in wealth to that amount. While these 209 fortunes have been making, twice that number of various sizes have been spent, divided, or carried off. But all the 209 are of modern date, not one of them having passed through three descents. A fortune justly gained, is a credit to the man who gains it. A man cannot acquire £10,000. by fair trade, without 10,000 persons being gainers by the acquirement. Fixed property bears a value according to its situation; thus assemblages of people mark a place with value. Moveable property is of two sorts; that which, with the assistance of man, arises from the earth, and the productions of art, which wholly arise from his labour. A small degree of industry supplies the wants of nations; a little more, furnishes the comforts; and a further little, the luxuries. The larger the body of people, the more likely to cultivate a spirit of industry; the greater that industry, the greater its produce; consequently, the more they will supply the calls of others, and the more lucrative will be the return to themselves. The above is a very sound argument with men in a constant and full state of employment; but since Mr. Hutton wrote, the overwhelming use of inanimate power has greatly changed the condition of man, and often leaves him without labour, or makes it very unproductive. He is rich whose income is more than he uses. Industry, though excellent, will perform but half the work; she must be assisted by economy; without this, a ministerial fortune would be defective; these two qualities, when united, become valuable. Economy, without industry, will barely appear in a whole coat. Industry, without economy, will appear in rags. The people of Birmingham, Mr. Hutton adds, are more apt to get than keep.
Market Hall - Additions and Alterations. [See above.] At a meeting of the Commissioners under the Birmingham street act, held in the public office, on Monday, January 1st, 1849, considerable alterations in the market hall were brought under discussion, for which plans had previously been prepared by the surveyor. In the new organization of the market hall, the object will be to improve its general appearance, and increase the accommodation of the public; and in which the public will not only be supplied with the common necessaries of life, but with the more luxurious articles, which in combination, will give a greater interest to the whole, and the noble building be appropriated to its legitimate purposes, instead of being occupied by the vendors of manufactured articles, to the great injury of the fair and honest shopkeeper; a class of purchasers may be brought into the hall, and the finest Market Hall in England, become the depot of the more beautiful productions of floral and horticultural art. The panelling or divisions of the stalls will be four feet high, capped with light mahogany; nothing will be permitted above that height, so that a view of the whole interior of the hall is obtained. There will be on either side of the High Street entrance, nineteen fruit shops, fitted with moveable sashes, sash doors, and stall boards; each shop containing an area of from 80 to 130 square feet, and will be similar to the shops in the centre avenue of Covent Garden Market, London. There will be seven fish, game, and poultry shops, fitted also with moveable sashes, sash doors, and marble slabs; each containing an area of 110 square feet. There will also be twelve butchers' shops fitted with moveable sashes, sash doors, and appropriate fittings, etc.; each containing 65 square feet. There will be eighteen fish stalls in the centre of the hall, each containing an area of 90 square feet, with moveable marble slabs four feet wide, and rampant elbow divisions; each of these stalls, as well as the fish and game shops, to be fitted with a water tap, and an independent drain to each; the whole of these drains discharge themselves into a shaft, into which the overflow from, the fountain falls, effectually carrying away all filthy matter, and preventing any escape in the hall of any offensive effluvia, into which shaft, also, occasionally, arrangements will be made to discharge the fountain basin, which will contain about 500 gallons of water, effectually driving away every particle of filthy matter. The centre avenue will be widened five feet, making it nineteen feet wide. The whole of these improvements, including the magnificent fountain, are estimated to cost £2,000.; this is exclusive of £1. per annum for each fish stall for water; and also, £20. per annum for a supply of water to the fountain for eight hours each day. The probable return for this expenditure, has been estimated at £500. per annum in the way of increased rental. The paramount consideration, is the greatly increased accommodation to all persons visiting the market, and the general improvement in the appearance of the market hall.
Manor. The late Christopher Musgrave, Esq. the father of the present Lord of the Manor of Birmingham, obtained the manor by marrying the Honourable Lady Ann Elizabeth Archer.
Edgbaston, a parish in the Birmingham Division of the Hemlingford Hundred, and in the Union of King's Norton, Warwickshire, and forms the western part of the Borough of Birmingham. The appearance of this village is very attractive: the houses are neat mansions and villa residences, being built on long leases, and principally occupied by merchants and manufacturers who have their business in Birmingham. The churches, chapels, and public buildings are all fully noticed in the History of the Borough of Birmingham.
Charities. Roger Taylor, by will, 1728, directed that 30s. a year should be paid by his executors to the churchwardens and overseers of the poor of Edgbaston, to be paid by two equal portions, till the sum of £30. which he willed they should raise out of his personal estate for the purpose, should be invested in the purchase of some freehold estate, and should have settled the same for the above purpose. In 1832, Mrs. Russell, the widow of a Mr. Russell, solicitor, of Birmingham, who had paid 15s. annually on account of this charity, refused to pay any longer. Another daughter of the testator married a Mr. Thomas Colmore, who, it is supposed, should have paid the other moiety, but it does not appear that it was ever paid.
Mrs. Elizabeth Gough, who died 1825, left by will the sum of fifty guineas for the relief of poor persons of this parish. This sum was laid out in the purchase of £75. 13s. 6d. Three per Cent. Consols, producing a dividend of £2. 5s. 4d. per annum, and standing in the names of the vicar, and three other inhabitants, to be applied for clothing for aged.
Samuel Wheeley, by will, 1829, directed his executors to transfer £300. Three per Cent. Consolidated Bank Annuities, of which he was possessed, into the names of themselves, the Rev. Charles Pixell, vicar of Edgbaston, and six others, who should receive the same as trustees, for the purpose of receiving the dividends, and applying the same in the purchase of bread, to be distributed by the churchwardens for the time being, at the parish church, on the first Sunday in January, and on Trinity Sunday, every year. And he desired his executors to put up a monument in the church to commemorate it, to be paid for out of his personal estate. Mr. Wheeley died in September, 1831, and the Stock was transferred, as directed, 21st August, 1832. The interest given in bread.
The Soho, a hamlet and chapelry in the parish of Handsworth, in the south division of the Hundred of Offlow, county of Stafford, but forming a populous suburb, on the north west, to the Borough of Birmingham. In 1838, a handsome gothic church was erected here, at an expense of £3,000.
Aston, juxta Birmingham, is an extensive parish, of which a considerable portion forms a part of the Borough of Birmingham, viz.: Deritend and Bordesley Chapelry, and Duddeston-cum-Nechells Hamlet and Chapelry, both of which are fully noticed with the Borough. The entire parish contains 13,876 acres of land, and in 1841, 45,718 inhabitants; in 1801, 11,693; 1821, 19,189; 1831, 32,118; rateable value, £150,000. The great increase of population is attributable to its participation in the trade and prosperity of Birmingham. It comprises seven other considerable hamlets, besides those annexed to the Borough of Birmingham. The entire parish is in the Birmingham division of the Hemlingford Hundred, keep their poor together, but their roads separate, and form, the head of a Poor Law Union.
Aston, or Aston Manor, an extensive, well-built, scattered village, 2¼ miles N. E. by E. from Birmingham, occupying a descent to the river Tame; containing, in its hamlet, 943 acres; and, in 1841, 551 inhabited houses, 35 uninhabited, and 16 were building; and 2896 inhabitants, of whom 1329 were males, and 1567 females. Kaylinge Greenway, Esq. is the lord of the manor, and with Mr. Whitehead, are considerable owners; also, Robert Wheeler, J. W. Unett, Josiah Robins, Esqrs., with many others, are owners. The parish church, dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, is an ancient structure, with a handsome tower and spire, in the later style of English architecture, with other parts of an earlier date, but much modernized. The chancel contains some altar tombs with effigies, and the windows much stained glass. The living is a vicarage, rated in the King's books at £21. 4s. 9½d., now at £2075, in the patronage of the executors of the late Rev. G. Peake, and incumbency of the Rev. Geo. Ouseley Fenwiclte, assisted by four curates. The vicarage is a handsome brick mansion, near the church. The tithes are commuted, the vicarial is £1,800., and the remainder for £203. which is the property of Mr. Josiah Robins and Mr. Richard Fowler. This place, in Saxon times, belonged to the Earls of Mercia, and at the conquest was the property of the unfortunate Edwin. By the Domesday survey, it is called eight hides, valued at £5. per annum, a mill, 3s; and a wood three miles long, and half-a-mile broad; the mill probably stood near Sawford bridge, where a mill now stands, but the hides and the wood are not now to be explained. Fitz-Ausculf became at the conquest the successor of Edwin, but Godmund, who had held it under the Mercian Earls, continued to hold it under the Norman.
In a swamp, 100 yards north from the church, stood the Hall, probably erected by Godmund, or his family, and was the residence of the lords down to the Holtes, but has, for about four hundred years, been desolated; the trenches are obliterated, and the place unobserved by the stranger. When the Saxon family of Godmund became extinct is uncertain, but Sumeri, Fitz Ausculf's successor, about 1203, granted the manor to Sir Thomas de Erdington, ambassador to King John, who had married his sister, paying annually a pair of spurs, or sixpence, as a nominal rent. The Erdington family, about 1275, sold it to Thomas de Maidenhache, who left four daughters. Sibel married Adam de Grymsorwe, who took with her the manor of Aston. A daughter of this house, in 1367, sold it John atte Holte, of Birmingham, in whose family it continued 415 years, till 1782, when Heneage Legge, Esq. acceded to possession, which Hutton notices as one of the most unaccountable assignments that ever resulted from human weakness; the barring, unprovoked, an infant heiress of £7,000. a-year, and giving it, unsolicited, to a stranger. The Holtes, a Birmingham family, raised from the forge and anvil. Sir Thomas Holte, in 1647, purchased the manors of Aston, and Erdington. Sir Thomas endowed an almshouse at Aston, which, was erected in 1655 by his grandson. [See Charities.] The Birmingham and Fazeley Canal passes through this parish, and the Grand Junction Railway here crosses the canal by a viaduct of ten arches.
The Hall, a noble structure in the Elizabethan style, having a fine avenue of trees in front, and sheltered on all sides by foliage, was erected by Sir Thomas Holte, Bart, in the reign of James I. He had the honour of entertaining Charles I. there, where he slept two nights previous to the battle of Edge Hill. In consequence of which the Parliamentary forces levied heavy contributions on Sir Thomas Holte, and cannonaded the Hall; the marks of the balls are still shown on the staircase. It was late the residence and property of James Watt, Esq., son of the eminent engineer and improver of the steam engine. It is now the property of Keylinge Greenway, Esq. but at present unoccupied.
Castle Bromwich, an extensive hamlet, chapelry, and scattered village, 5½ miles E. from Birmingham, and 4½ miles W. by N. from Coleshill, containing 2,701 acres of land, and, in 1841, 132 houses and 779 inhabitants. The Earl of Bradford, Earl of Digby, Charles Bowyer Adderley, Esq. M. P., John Chattock, Esq., and John Smallwood, Esq. are the principal owners. The chapel, dedicated to St. Mary and St. Margaret, is a large brick structure, with stone dressings, having nave, chancel, and side aisles. The living is a perpetual curacy, rated at £315.; patron, the Earl of Bradford; the Rev. Edward Kempson, M.A., incumbent. The Parsonage, a neat residence near the church. Bromwich Hall, an ancient brick mansion, is the property of the Earl of Bradford, who occasionally resides here. Lord Ferrers, of Chartley, who was the proprietor of Birmingham in the reign of Henry VI. enjoyed this estate by marriage, and his granddaughter brought it to the family of Devereux, Lords of Sheldon. Edward, about the latter end of Queen Elizabeth's reign, erected the present Hall, which is capacious, of a pleasing appearance, and most pleasantly situate. About the year 1657, John, son of Orlando Bridgeman, Keeper of the Great Seal, purchased this estate, whose descendants have been ennobled with the title of Earl of Bradford, and Viscount Newport. In this hamlet are some remains of Roman entrenchments, and several implements of war have formerly been discovered. A small Wesleyan Methodist chapel was erected here in 1846. Here is a Free School for 12 boys, [see Charities.] The Birmingham and Derby railway have a small station about half a mile north from the chapel.
Little Bromwich, now called Ward End, a chapelry, three miles East of Birmingham. Mr. Hutton gives the same derivation for this and Castle Bromwich, from plenty of broom, which is still retained by part of the precincts, Broomford [Bromford.] This hamlet contains 1,075 acres, of which the principal owners are William Ward, Esq., and the trustees of the late Thomas Hutton, Esq. At the conquest, Fitz-Ausculf had this manor, and granted it to a favourite, who took its name. The place afterward passed through several families, till the reign of Henry VII. One of them, of the name of Ward, changed the name to Ward End. In 1512 it was the property of John Bond, who enclosed a park of thirty acres, and stocked it with deer. In 1517 he erected a chapel for the convenience of his tenants, being two miles from the parish church of Aston. The manor, by a female, passed through the Kinardsleys, the Brandwoods, and subsequently by the Wards. The chapel, dedicated to Holy Trinity, Blessed Virgin, and St. Margaret, was built in 1835, and consecrated in 1841. It is a neat cemented edifice, with a small embattled tower at the west end, and cost £1,500. raised by voluntary contributions. It contains a nave and chancel, and will seat 306 persons, including 178 free sittings. The living is a perpetual curacy, rated at £70. Patron, the vicar of Aston. Rev. Thomas Farebrother, incumbent. The old castle has been gone to ruin upwards of a century.
Deritend and Bordesley form a hamlet, of which the former contains 92 acres, and the latter 1850 acres, now forming part of the Borough of Birmingham, and valued to the borough rate, with Duddeston-cum-Nechells, at £140,000.
Duddeston-cum-Nechells forms a hamlet containing 936 acres, now forming part of the Borough of Birmingham. These parts of the Borough keep their poor with the parish of Aston.
Erdington, an extensive hamlet, chapelry, and considerable well-built village, 4 miles N.E. from Birmingham; it contains 3,622 acres of land, and, in 1841, here were 442 houses, and 2,579 inhabitants. The principal owners are Rev. E. A. Bagot; Wyrley Birch, Esq.; W. H. Bracebridge, Esq.; Richard and William Fowler; Richard Powell, Esq.; Edward Weston, Esq.; Fantham's Trust; Trustees of Oscott College; Rev. J. H. Harrison, and many other small owners. At the conquest Edwin, Earl of Mercia, lost this manor in favour of William Fitz-Ansculf, who granted it on Knight's service to his friend and relation of Norman race. He erected the Hall and the Moat, and took his name, Erdington, from the place. His descendants resided here, with great opulence, near 400 years. The manor left the Erdington family in 1472, and for 175 years acknowledged for its owners George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence; Sir William Harwurt, Robert Wright, Sir Reginald Bray, Francis Englefleld, Humphrey Dimocke, Walter Earl, Sir Walter Devereux, and was, in 1647, purchased by Sir Thomas Holte, in whose family it continued till 1782, when Heneage Legge became seized of the manor. The Hall is now the property of Mrs. Bracebridge, and the seat of William Wheelwright, Esq. The etymology of this village seems to be a town in a wood, from the word Arden, which signifies a wood. One of the first proprietors after the conquest, struck with the security offered by the river, erected the present fortifications, which cover three parts of the Hall, and the river itself the fourth. The present Hall is the second on the premises, and was erected by the Erdingtons. None of the lords have resided on the premises since the departure of the Erdingtons.
The Chapel, a handsome structure in the decorated style of architecture, with a pinnacled tower, is dedicated to St. Barnabas, and was consecrated July 28th, 1824. It was built by the Commissioners, at a cost of £5,000., towards which £1,000. was raised by subscription. The living is a perpetual curacy, rated at £45, in the patronage of the vicar of Aston, the Rev. Hyla Holden, M.A., incumbent; the Rev. Hyla Holden Rose, M. A., the officiating curate. A National School was erected in 1824, by subscription, aided by a grant from the National Society, to accommodate three hundred children.
A small Catholic Chapel was erected here in 1847. A Roman Catholic Church, dedicated to St. Thomas, of Canterbury, is now in course of erection, at the sole expense of the Rev. Daniel Haigh, the priest. It is an elegant Gothic structure, estimated to cost £6,000., and expected to be completed in 1849.
The Independents have a neat Gothic chapel, erected in 1839, at a cost of £1,500. exclusive of the site; previous to which, there was a small chapel, which is about to be converted into a lock-up prison. The Rev. Francis Watts is the minister. Under the present chapel is a school-room to accommodate 100 children: about 80 attend. The Aston Poor Law Union Workhouse is in this hamlet.
Bromford, a small hamlet, one mile S. E. from Erdington. Here it appears was a mill prior to the Norman conquest, afterwards called Bromford Forge.
Gravelly Hill, a hamlet and small village, one and a-half miles S. W. from Erdington.
Oscott College, a Roman Catholic establishment, two miles N. by E. from Erdington. It is an extensive structure of brick, with stone quoins, in the Gothic style of architecture, situated on a commanding eminence, and on the verge of Warwickshire; the stables and outbuildings being in the county of Stafford. It was opened in 1838. President: Rev. John Moore; Vice President: Rev. Peter Davis; Professor of Theology: Rev. Thomas Flannagan, with four tutors.
Saltley and Washwood, a hamlet and chapelry which conjointly contain 1089 acres; and in 1841, 149 houses, and 696 inhabitants. Saltley, an increasing village, 2 miles E. from Birmingham and Washwood, 2½ miles E. from Birmingham. At the conquest, this came into the hands of William Fitz-Ansculf, baron of Dudley Castle, and was granted in knight's service to Henry de Rokeby. A daughter of Rokeby, carried it in marriage to Sir John Goband, whose descendant, in 1332, sold it to Sir Walter de Clodshale; an heiress of Clodshale, 1426, brought it to the ancient family of Arden; and a daughter of this house, to that of Adderley, and Charles Bowyer Adderley, Esq., M. P., is the principal owner. William Ward, Esq. and the trustees of the late Thomas Hutton, Esq., also have estates. The castle, Hutton concludes, was erected by Rokeby, in which the lords resided till the extinction of the Clodshales. It has been gone to ruin upwards of three hundred years. On Tuesday, October 24th, 1848, the first stone of a new church was laid by the Right Hon. Lord Littleton, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England having constituted it a district for spiritual purposes. The church, having ample accommodation for the rapidly increasing population of this district, is a stone structure, from a design of Mr. R. O. Hussey, the architect, and will comprise nave, clerestory, aisles, north and south transepts, and porches, with a chancel. On the west side of the south transept is an embattled tower, eighty-five feet high, having an octangular turret at its south west corner. The church has an open timbered roof, and is calculated to hold 1,000 persons; and cost £6,000., of which sum Charles Bowyer Adderley, Esq. gave £3,000., with the site, and has added an endowment, £150. per annum, in whom the patronage will be vested. The Coventry Archdeaconal Society gave £600.; the Church Building Commissioners, £300.; Joseph Ward, Esq., £200.; Henry Wright, Esq., £300.; D. Gatton, Esq., £30.; C. W. Digby, Esq., £50.; Mr. Chataway, £50.; with various others. The site is high ground, above Saltley Hall; the Rev. George Poole is the incumbent. At Saltley, an extensive railway carriage manufactory was established in 1845, by Mr. Joseph Wright; it covers five acres of land, and gives employment to about six hundred persons and is said to be the largest in the kingdom. A great number of new houses have been erected during the last four or five years. The Warwick and Birmingham Junction Canal, and Birmingham and Derby Railway, are immediately connected with the works; thus offering every facility for the receipt of materials, and the transmission of carriages. The Independents have a small neat brick chapel, with a cemented front, it cost £800., which was given by the late Mr. Green, of Nechells Cottage, and will accommodate 250 persons, and is under the pastoral care of the Rev. Greenway. Saltley School is a neat building, in the Italian style, and erected by Mr. Joseph Wright, at a cost of £6,000., for the accommodation of the children of the village, and those of his workmen. National School, at Washwood, to accommodate one hundred children.
One of the earliest, if not the first, wholesale brewery to be established in Birmingham was established in the Hinckleys in 1752. However, this enterprise soon fell to decay due to the town's publicans brewing their own ales. In 1782 another brewery was erected in Moseley Street. Two years later, in 1784, a brewery was established in Warstone Lane, to furnish the town with porter in the London style. This was reportedly supplied by a small rivulet which once served to guard the castle. The historian William Hutton said: "the proprietor may be said to barrel up a river, and the inhabitants to swallow a stream, which runs useless for ages."
Below I have placed some information on the breweries of Birmingham, some having links to their own section within the website.
Ansell's Brewery Ltd.
This brewery was founded by Joseph Ansell in 1857. He was originally a maltster and hop merchant but, together with two of his sons, he moved into the brewing business in 1881. I have a fair amount of information on this brewery so have created a separate page for the company. Click here to read more about Ansell's Brewery Limited of Aston.
Atkinson's Brewery Ltd.
This brewery was founded as Atkinson's Brothers and based at the Aston Park Brewery. The company operated taverns in the surrounding areas, particularly in the Black Country and Warwickshire. The brothers came to Birmingham when the original Model Brewery founded by William Smith was sold off in 1878. I have a bit of information regarding this firm so have created a separate page for the company. Click here to read more about Atkinson's Brewery Limited of Aston.
Davenport's Brewery Limited
The forefathers of this brewery concern go back to the 18th century. However, it was John and Edward Davenport that first moved their business to Bath Row, the road on which the brewery is most associated. I have a reasonable amount of information on this brewery so have created a separate page for the company. Click here to read more about Davenport's Brewery Limited.
Grigg & Brettell Ltd.
This brewery was located in Kyrwicks Lane in Sparkbrook. Former gunsmith Edward Knight was the proprietor in the mid-1870s. In April 1876 he succeeded Thomas Smith as the licensee of the Cottage of Content public house at No.51 Kyrwicks Lane, though it is not certain if the brewery was behind the pub or based at another location in the street. Henry Grigg acquired the business in 1895. The firm was registered in 1907 but, as part of the bigger breweries movement that mopped up the local competition, the brewery was bought out by the Holt Brewery Company in 1912. It is not clear how many public houses were tied to Grigg & Brettell Ltd. The company must have been supplying a number of properties to have attracted the attention of the Holt Brewery Company.
Located in Nursery Terrace [Later Nursery Road], close to the corner of Villa Street, this brewery is thought to have commenced in business during 1833 and was owned by the partnership of Cox & White. The partnership was dissolved in October 1835 from which date George Skinner Cox continuted as the sole proprietor. His business partner had been Robert White. Recorded as a farmer, maltster and brewer, George Skinner Cox operated Bromford Farm near Erdington with his wife Rhoda. The couple had married in December 1812 at Saint Philip's Church. The family also had an interest in the Forehill Farm near Alvechurch. It would seem therefore that brewing was a vertical extension strategy and that George Cox was processing the ingredients produced on land farmed by the family in two locations.
The Skinner family, a large clan, lived at Nursery Terrace when the brewery business was developing. George Skinner Cox died in 1846 and the Hockley Brewery passed to his sons George Henry Cox and Edwin Cox. Interestingly, George and Rhoda Cox's fourth son, Alfred, would establish the Rowley Brewery next to the Ashley Hotel, a public house that he also built at Blackheath.
George and Edwin Cox continued the Hockley Brewery until 1851 when they sold the business to George Taylor and George Cowell who traded as Taylor & Cowell, Hockley Brewery. George and Edwin, together with their brother Charles continued as maltsters and occupied part of the site, no doubt supplying the brewery with ingredients for the beers. Indeed, Edwin Cox and his wife Naomi remained in the house attached to the brewery. Eldest son George and his wife Elizabeth moved to Clifton Villa on the Lichfield Road.
George Taylor became the sole proprietor of the Hockley Brewery in 1858. He continued in business for many years before the Hockley Brewery was acquired in 1889 by Showell's Brewery Co. Limited. This was the same year in which the Langley Green-based firm also bought the Brookfields Brewery at Stockport.
Holder's Brewery Limited
This brewery was founded in the mid-19th century by Henry Holder one of Birmingham's pioneers of the music hall. The beers were produced for patrons of the Rodney Tavern on Coleshill Street, though the brewery was around the back and accessed from Gem Street. Henry's son John Charles Holder developed the brewery and tied estate throughout the latter half of the Victorian period. Click here to read a more comprehensive history of the brewery and the Holder family.
Holt Brewery Company
This brewery was founded in February 1887 although the company was established to formally acquire the brewery of Henry Fulford created in 1872. Holt's were fairly aggressive and acquired other local breweries in order to gain and secure their share of the Birmingham market. They expanded their estate considerably when they bought the Sparkbrook-based Grigg & Brettell Ltd. in 1912 and Myatt's of Wolverhampton in 1927. By the time the company had 250 public houses, Holt's were themselves acquired by Ansell's Brewery Limited in 1934.
Homer's Vulcan Brewery
This brewery, which was eventually located near Aston Cross, was established by Alfred Homer. His parents, Joseph and Ann Homer, kept the Britannia in Brewery Street off New Town Row, during the late 1840s. Joseph was recorded as a Silversmith and Beer Seller, suggesting that he only retailed beers from his beer house rather than brewing himself.
Alfred Homer grew up in the Britannia and, although he probably spent much time learning the ropes, he worked as a gun polisher. In 1858 he married Sarah Field at West Bromwich and took over the Britannia from his parents. Sarah Field was born in Redditch which makes sense as her father was a needle-maker. However, the Field family moved to Swan Village at West Bromwich. Sarah went into service and worked at the Shakespeare's Head on Constitution Hill. This is where she crossed paths with Alfred Homer.
Alfred Homer was clearly not a man to merely retail beers made by another business. He decided to set up his own brewery. Following the death his wife Sarah, Alfred married her younger sister Mary in 1876 and moved to larger premises at 24 Park Road in 1878 - this was called The Vulcan Brewery. The company prospered and moved again, this time to Tower Road on a dedicated site that served a tied estate of around 56 houses. The brewery can be seen within the above advertisement.
Having become affluent, Alfred moved with his wife Mary to Amberley House on Lichfield Road at Erdington. This became a favourite place of residence for the brewers. He was a neighbour of William Atkinson and Alfred Hood. The brewer and maltster died on May 30th 1895, leaving his large estate to sons Alfred, Henry and Thomas. The latter was also a brewer at the company.
The business was registered as a limited company in May 1898, with a capital of £200,000 in £10 shares. The first directors of the company were Alfred Homer, H. Homer and O. C. Hawkes. In October of the same year the company acquired the brewery of Henry Charles While, in Mott Street. This acquisition brought a number of freehold and leasehold properties into the portfolio of the Vulcan Brewery. Henry While subsequently joined the board of directors of Alfred Homer Limited.
The newly-formed Mitchell's and Butler's targeted Alfred Homer Limited in 1899. The Cape Hill brewery were after the tied estate of public-houses and had no interest in the Vulcan Brewery. The site was acquired in 1902 by Edwin Samson Moore, the founder of the Midlands Vinegar Company who subsequently launched HP Sauce in 1903.
As an interesting footnote Alfred Homer Jr., a former assistant secretary of Aston Villa, was appointed the first full-time manager/secretary of Bristol Rovers in 1899, a post he held until 1920.
Key Hill Brewery
No details of this brewery yet. I will have to dig into this when I can. I stumbled on this advertisement when looking for something completely different. However, I thought I would upload the image as it as it may be of interest.
Robin Hood Retail Brewery
Samuel Forrest was the proprietor of this brewery when the above sale notice appeared in 1854. It was by accident that I happened upon this advertisement for the Robin Hood Retail Brewery and, after doing a little digging, I found that it actually the earlier name of the St. Matthias' Tavern on the corner of Great Russell Street and Bridge Street West at Hockley. The name was changed around this time to the Russell Brewery Tavern. Retail brewer Samuel Forrest hailed from Cradley and was previously a bayonet maker. His son William had continued in this field of work in Birmingham. Samuel Forrest returned to Cradley where he rented out property.
Rushton's Brewery Limited
This brewery, based at The Lion Brewery on Aston Road North, was founded in 1879 by William Thomas Rushton. He was a schoolboy friend of Joseph Ansell and no doubt the two men, despite operating rival companies, shared their knowledge and expertise. Born in 1840, William Rushton began in business life as a maltster, later combining the trade of hop merchant. Brewing was a natural extension for the business. A tied estate was developed and the brewery supplied 100 public houses before the company was incorporated with Ansell's in 1922. This was a year before the death of William Rushton and was possibly a move to secure the future prosperity of the Rushton family. His son Harold Petit Rushton was appointed to the Ansell's board. Since its inception, William Rushton was associated with the Birmingham and Midland Counties Wholesale Brewers' Association, the treasurership of which he held from 1901 to February 1923. He was also identified with the public life of Aston, being for thirteen years a member of the Aston Board of Guardians, and was a member also of the Aston School Board. William Rushton was also a governor of the Harborne Industrial School and a life governor of the Children's Hospital.
The mugshots below are of people who were convicted as habitual drunkards. As a result, the convicted persons were banned from entering any licensed premises in Birmingham. They were convicted in 1902 and the ban lasted for three years. If, during this period, the convicted person attempted to buy an alcoholic drink on licensed premises they were to be arrested and brought before the magistrates. Moreover, any publican who was caught serving them with alcohol would also be charged and the fine would be ten pounds for a first offence and twenty pounds for any subsequent offence. The photographs are taken from a Black Book compiled and distributed to houses operated by the Holt Brewery Company from 1902.
The scruffy-looking Richard Flemming was convicted of being drunk and disorderly in February 1903. The hawker and news vendor was sentenced to 21 days' with hard labour. Nicknamed "Dirty Dick" or "Dick the Devil," the 40 year-old had previously lived in Oxygen Street. Of slim build, he measured 5ft. 2ins., but had more presence, not to mention his "fetid bouquet." He spent some of his formative years in the workhouse and died later in the Edwardian period.
A resident of a back-to-back in Park Lane, 31 year-old Catherine Finnerty was convicted in February 1903 for being drunk and disorderly. She served a sentence of 21 days' hard labour. This was a woman who, it would seem, you wouldn't mess with. She only measured 5ft. 2ins., but she had a scar on her right eyebrow, her nose had been broken, her upper lip was scarred, and the first finger on her left hand was missing. It seems that she had been in a number of bar brawls. The press worker had three tattoos on her arms which only served to underline her menacing character.
When he wasn't getting into trouble after a few pints, George Smith worked as a wood chopper. The 34 year-old man with menace in his eyes lived near the Why Not Inn at Moseley Street and, judging by his marks, was a bloke who frequently got involved in a punch-up. He had a scar down the left side of his nose which had been broken a few times. He also had several scars at the back and top of his head. He also bore a scar on the left temple and his right little finger was bent. In 1903 he was sent down for 21 days' hard labour for being drunk and disorderly.
Sarah Ann Thomas looks somewhat pleased with herself as she has her mugshot taken. The thirty-seven year-old umbrella worker was convicted in 1903 for being drunk and disorderly. She may have longed for a spell in prison for she was homeless before getting into trouble. Despite her hard labour, she would, at least, have a roof over her head.
The son of a solicitor, Ernest Poncia looks a bit of a dandy rather than a troublesome drunk. The 34 year-old fresh-faced clerk was hauled before the bench in March 1903 on a charge of being drunk and incapable, an episode for which he was fined ten shillings and costs. He had been living in lodgings at Balsall Heath but was rendered homeless at the time of his conviction.
Charlotte Humphries looks a pitiful creature in this photograph. If she couldn't raise the fine of ten shillings and costs, she was to spend fourteen days in prison with hard labour. Not that it looks as if she has had an easy life. The 42 year-old bedstead polisher looks like she has worked her fingers to the bone. Living in Park Lane, she was colloquially known as "Lottie Connolly" and bore a scar under her left eye. In the late 1880s Charlotte Humphries kept what was called a "Gay House" in Hurst Street but the vigilance of the police had compelled her to give it up. She later moved into a court in Edgbaston Street. Two years before this arrest, in March 1901, she was charged with violently assaulting Thomas White, landlord of the General Havelock in Hope Street. In court it was stated by Police Constable Kinman that she had struck the publican in the ribs with a bottle. Following this mugshot she was sent to Winson Green Prison. Following her release on a Saturday afternoon she went straight back on the lash and was found drunk and disorderly in Smallbrook Street. She was subsequently sent back to prison for a month with hard labour.
This bloke could not be described as a heart-throb of Birmingham. Thomas Wall was not only a blacksmith but he was dubbed "Smith" in the pubs that he frequented. The 31 year-old resident of Kenyon Street landed himself in a bit of bother when arrested for being drunk and disorderly. He had quite a few injuries and marks to his head, though these may have been caused by his job at the anvil. Not that this was a concern for "Smith" who had to contemplate his sentence of fourteen days' hard labour.
Being employed as both a charwoman and a prostitute may be the reason that Eliza Cowley had a number of aliases. The hard-looking 26 year-old was also known as "Callow," "Collis," "Smith," and "Sollis." Her residence was given as the Court in Moor Street. Consequently, a term behind bars would not be such a change of scene. She was sentenced to 21 days' hard labour in February 1903.
Thomas Riley looks a little like a French resistance agent - he was born before his time! He could have earned a fortune in the post-war film industry. The 22 year-old earned a living as a packer and resided in Fox Street. He may have had a reputation in and around the town for he was dubbed "Young Punch." He was found guilty of being drunk and disorderly in April 1903 and sentenced to 21 days' hard labour. Four years later he was arrested for being drunk and disorderly along with his father. He managed to pay the fine - but only by using money he embezzled from his employer. He was subsequently sent to prison for three months.
At least Elizabeth Thompson could turn up to court dressed up to the nines. Unfortunately for her, her attire held no sway with the bench and she was sentenced to fourteen days' hard labour following her conviction of being drunk and disorderly. A dressmaker and prostitute living in Francis Road, the 29 year-old was also known as "Nellie Hodgetts" and "Amy Thomas" within the circles she kept.
Unlike many of the women featured above, Tamar Edwards was married. This may have influenced the bench who only sentenced her to seven days' hard labour for being drunk and disorderly in March 1903. Living at No.21 Montague Street, she was also known as Leah in her locality. Her punishment did little to change her inebriate ways. In January the following year she was drunk and assaulted a policeman. At the court hearing it was stated that she would not be allowed in an inebriates' home as she was too violent. The magistrates sent her to prison again.
A resident of Pritchett Street, 33 year-old Annie Hodgkins would have had to make alternative arrangements in her role as hawker because the bench at Birmingham City Police Court decided to send her to prison with 21 days' hard labour, following her conviction of being drunk and disorderly in March 1903. She did not reform. Indeed, in November 1930 she made her 127th appearance before the Birmingham magistrates!
James Shields proved that some old lags never learn. The 65 year-old scaffolder was sentenced to a relatively long term of one months' hard labour for being drunk and disorderly in March 1903. Living in 23 court, 10, Mole Street, Shields was employed by Barnsley & Son, a building firm based in Ryland Street. One wonders whether they left his job open for him whilst he served his time. He bore some of the marks of his rowdy night out when he was hauled before the bench. He had a scar on the bridge of his nose which was deformed, along with some cuts to his head.
Rose Taylor must have led a colourful life on her way to being convicted in 1903. Found guilty of being drunk and disorderly, she was sentenced to twenty one days' hard labour. The 32 year-old press worker of William Street was also known as "Holloway" and "Conner" which hints of a dodgy lifestyle. She was described as being pock-pitted, scarred on her forearms and having partly lost the use of her left arm from a stroke.
36 year-old charwoman Ellen Heaton was sentenced to one calendar month of hard labour for being drunk and disorderly in January 1903. She had been living in a back-to-back house in Fisher Street before her conviction.
Margaret Flynn went from being a flower seller to a prison inmate doing a spell of one month with hard labour after being convicted of being drunk and disorderly in June 1903. She was also known as "Moran" or "Finn" in and around Digbeth and the Bull Ring, a short distance from her home in Park Lane. She had several scars from her involvement in many a pub fracas. During the previous year she had been attacked by a man wielding a chopper.
If I did not know that this photograph was taken in June 1903, I'd have guessed that this was Richard Burton in drag! Being married may have saved Martha Follett from doing time behind bars when she was convicted of being drunk and disorderly. The 41 year-old bore the marks of previous inebriated struggles for she was described as having scars on her forehead, her left eyebrow and also a scar under her lower lip. Although being placed on the blacklist, she was discharged in order to wander back to the family home in Miller Street. She was soon back on the skids and during the following year she and another habitual drunkard named Minnie Reeves were sent to Brentry Homes for Inebriates for three years.
Walter Harrison was a cocky-looking character. He certainly liked to look dapper. At 62 years of age, he had retired from his position as boot manufacturer. However, it would appear that this resident of No.44 Alcester Street was spending a little too much time "on the pop." Things caught up with Walter when he was charged with being drunk and disorderly in June 1903. However, although found guilty at Birmingham Police Court, he was discharged - but not before being placed on the pub blacklist.
Minnie Osborne was well-turned out when arrested on a charge of drunk and disorderly in June 1903. She earned a living as both japanner and charwoman whilst living in Nelson Street. The 38 year-old was described as being "subject to fits" which may be the reason she landed herself in court.
The tough-looking heavy-set Benjamin Bloxsidge was a boatman and, judging by his description, had been involved in a number of bar fights. He had scars on his cheek bone and right eyebrow, and also had a deep cut mark on the top of his head. The 36 year-old sandy-haired canal worker was brought before the police court in June 1903 but was released to continue his merry way on the waterways - but NOT to step foot in another Birmingham pub!
A resident of a back-to-back household in Duke Street, 50 year-old Sarah Theresa Evans was convicted of being drunk and disorderly in January 1903, a crime for which she was given fourteen days' hard labour. I wonder if Mr. Dodd of Steelhouse Lane allowed her to return to her job as a gun barrel smoother. The woman with a sallow complexion had a speech impediment as a result of her nose being broken on several occasions. She also had scars to her left cheek and in the corner of her right eye.
Kate Kibble looked old before her time, suggesting she'd had a hard life. Living in Cecil Street, the 50 year-old had lost her eye at some point in her life, along with having crooked fingers. She was found guilty of being drunk and disorderly but allowed to return home to her husband. Further offences resulted in her being sent to the Brentry Homes for Inebriates. Not long after being discharged she summoned her husband John Kibble of Rawlins Street in Ladywood, for desertion. Her husband pleaded that his wife still got drunk. The Bench made a separation order against the husband who was allowed to keep the couple's only child.
John Brushe was hauled before the bench in July 1903 on a charge of being drunk and disorderly. Colloquially known as "Ross," the labourer lived in Little Edward Street. He had a scar on his left eyebrow, and a large burn scar under his chin and left jaw. He was ordered not to frequent an alehouse for three years.
Well at least Rebecca Barnsley turned up in court looking respectable. Slight in figure, she measured 4 feet 11½ inches and was described as having a fresh complexion and brown hair. Born in 1849, she lived in a back-to-back house in Florence Street and worked as a metal cutter. She was convicted on a charge of drunk and disorderly on 3rd August 1903. The widow, residing at Ridley Street, took her own life two years later by drinking chloric add. At the inquest her daughter said that her mother had attempted her life on four previous occasions, by poison, cutting her throat, hanging, and drowning. She told the inquest that her mother was of intemperate habits, and was on the black list. On Sunday May 21st 1905, she returned home and went upstairs, where she remained screaming for some time until she was found dead upon the floor with a cup by her side, and a bottle, containing a solution of the acid nearby. The jury returned a verdict of "Suicide whilst of unsound mind."
Alice Loxley had a look of mischief about her when placed in front of the camera in August 1903. The 34 year-old lived at No.26 Barford Street and she worked as a hawker. She had the initials R. T. tattooed on her right forearm and P. D. on her left forearm. She had three scars on the middle of her forehead and a scar across her right cheek. Were these the result of bad behaviour in public houses? She did not escape the long arm of the law when, in August 1903, she was found guilty of being drunk and disorderly.
More banned people to follow....
"William Gale, convicted of stealing a quantity of copper cheques, belonging to the Theatre, was sentenced to twelve months, and Thomas Walton,
for stealing property belonging to Mr. Smith, of the Shakespeare Tavern, to nine months imprisonment: both these offences were committed during the late fire."
"Stealing after Fire"
Aris's Gazette : January 17th 1770.
"Thomas Wells, charged on the oath of two soldiers with uttering seditious language on January 1st at the Star public house, in this town,
pleaded guilty to the charge; and in consideration of his contrition, of the character given him, and of his having a family dependant upon him, he was sentenced to
three months' imprisonment only."
Aris's Gazette : January 17th 1770.
"William Foxall, who appeared in Court with half of his forehead considerably larger than the other half, and covered with a patch, was accused
at the Guildhall on Wednesday, before the Mayor and W. Ward, Esq., with assaulting Mark Leadbetter, one of the County Court bailiffs. Leadbetter stated that the day before
he went to levy an execution in the house of Emma Moore, a young lady bound to the defendant by tender though not legal ties. Emma was very violent, declared with
imprecations that the house was not hers nor the property, and before he should touch a stick either he or she should die, and then went for the defendant, who, when he came,
reiterated the Palafoxian determination of his Amazonian bed-fellow. The bailiff proceeded to do his duty by giving a looking-glass to his assistant. Foxall recovered
the spoil, and the bailiff retook it. On this Foxall showed fight, struck the bailiff, and was returning to the charge, when the latter in self-defence laid his head
open with his staff. A scuffle ensued, in which the woman took part, but which ended in the discomfiture of the rebels, Foxall being taken prisoner. Charles Bucknell, the
assistant, corroborated the statement of his principal. The defendant said the order came when he was "doing a month," and he knew nothing about it. The Chief
Constable said he believed the other execution involved in the "doing of a month" was for felony. "No," quoth defendant, "vagary they call it." It
was afterwards proved that vagrancy was the offence. Mr. Bicknell, assistant bailiff, showed that the payment of the money into Court since proved that the right man had got
into the right place. He added that the high bailiff had no desire to prosecute any one, that he and his man were as lenient as possible, but that such conduct as Foxall's
could not be passed over. The defendant was fined 20s. and costs, or fourteen days' hard labour."
"Assaulting County Court Bailiffs"
Birmingham Daily Post : December 6th 1857.
"In this case, the circumstances of which appeared in The Post on Saturday evening, the prisoner, George Clulee, was brought up
on remand, the learned Stipendiary having adjourned the case for the purpose of enquiries being made into the youth's character. His father, a respectable artisan,
appeared and stated that everything that could be done had been done for the boy, but it was his "criminal connections" that brought him into this position. Mr.
Kynnersley: How long has he been out of prison? Sergeant Claxton: Only three months, Sir. Mr. Kynnersley enquired of the father how old the boy was, as his
statement about being seventeen did not appear to be correct. The parent answered that he was not yet turned fourteen. Upon hearing this Mr. Kynnersley, who had just before
passed sentence of three months' hard labour, revoked his decision, and ordered that the lad to be imprisoned for a month, and at the end of that time to be kept in a
Reformatory School, to be hereafter named, for four years. The prisoner, it was said, was tried a short time ago before the Recorder, for house-breaking."
"The Charge of House-Breaking Against a Lad"
Birmingham Daily Post : December 8th 1857.
"Frederick Lowndes, a respectable-looking young man, described as a watch maker, and residing at Nineveh, was brought up, charged with
throwing stones at and assaulting Police Constable Montgomery, 116, in the execution of his lawful duty. It seemed that on Saturday night there was a disturbance in
the Soho Tavern, and the prisoner, with a number of other persons, endeavoured to force their way into the house to see what was the matter. Montgomery prevented them
entering, and Lowndes gave him a violent blow on the chest and ran away. The officer followed him, when the prisoner taking up a stone flung it at him, but fortunately
missed his aim. The Bench ordered him to pay a fine of £5., and the costs; in default, two months' hard labour."
"Throwing Stones and Assaulting a Constable"
Birmingham Daily Post : December 8th 1857.
"William Jones, a young man, living in Lancaster Street, by trade a cordwainer, was charged with stabbing George Edward Williams, a lad
residing in Bromsgrove Street. Mr. Palmer appeared for the prisoner. Police Constable Newman, 222, said the surgeon had written the following certificate: "This is
to certify that George Edward Williams, now at the Queen's Hospital, suffering from dangerous stabs, is not in a state to be removed at present. December 7th Allis
Smith, House Surgeon." Under these circumstances the prisoner was remanded until Wednesday."
Birmingham Daily Post : December 8th 1857.
"Fines and costs amounting to £121 were imposed upon Rushton's Brewery Ltd., at Birmingham, yesterday, when they were summoned by
the Ministry of Food, on four counts, for contravening the Beer Prices and Description Order by issuing beer of an inferior quality to that marked on the barrels. It was
stated that samples of the beer were taken from the Unicorn Inn, Holloway Head, and the Wylde Green Hotel, Sutton Coldfield. Analysis showed in each case that the beer
should have been priced at 8d. per pint, instead of 9d. It was contended for the defence that the beer, when it left the brewery, was of the correct quality, but had
been tampered with afterwards, although it was not suggested that the licensees of the houses had done so."
Birmingham Daily Gazette : September 14th 1920 Page 3.
BIRMINGHAM LICENSING SESSION
"The Adjourned Licensing Session for the city of Birmingham was resumed at the Victoria Courts today, Mr. A. M. Chance presiding. Yesterday,
of the 37 houses the renewal of the licenses of which had been objected to by the magistrates on the ground redundancy, 18 had been dealt with, and 19 remained for
consideration. Before going on with the applications, Mr. Chance said he had only one statement to make, and that was with reference to an inn called the Swan, Washwood
Heath Road, the licensee being James Parsons. He [Mr. Chance] wanted to say from the Bench that the Justices took note of the fact that Parsons had refused to
supply a respectable working man with tea when asked for it at half-past eight in the morning, which, under the new act, he was bound to supply, and the magistrates
would make note it in connection with the next licensing day. In the course of the hearing of one application Mr. Chance remarked to Mr. J. Ansell. "You are in a
most reasonable frame of mind this morning. How long will it last?" Mr. Ansell: "I hope this sweet reasonableness of mine will have its reward later
on." In connection with the Star beer house, it was stated that there had been twelve transfers in ten years. Mr. Chance: "Do you mean to make fight
of this?" Mr. Willes: "I hope to." Mr. Willes pointed out that there was a shooting gallery, but it was not in the bar. Mr. L. Bradley remarked that
there was a dangerous trap-door in the kitchen. Mr. Willes said he had been to the bouse and did not see the trap-door, but it could be remedied. He admitted the
house was in a congested district, but it was not the worst house in the locality. It was, said the solicitor, a shooting star, because it had a shooting gallery. It was
not a star of the first magnitude, but was equal to others in that particular constellation. It was not a comet because it had not a golden record. Dealing with the
Prince of Wales beer house, Cheapside, Mr. Ansell explained that a lady had invested her all in it. Although one had come to the conclusion that the house itself
was neat, clean, and tidy, he felt one could not resist its inclusion on the list for the reasons stated, that it opened into a common yard, was incapable of police
supervision, and the redundancy of houses in the vicinity. One felt that this lady must be sacrificed what was called the common weal. He only interposed on behalf of
the lady, and to show how hard some of the cases were. Mr. Chance remarked that he could only hope those for whom she had made large incomes would take care of her. In
urging the claims of the Nag's Head, Charles Henry Street, Mr. J. Ansell said his instructions were to fight the case vigorously. He knew the position of the
committee in dealing with these matters was not an enviable one. Mr. Chance: "I agree with you." Mr. Sambidge: "Hear, hear." Proceeding, Mr.
Ansell claimed that the house was well conducted, was geographically well situated, and was in fair condition, and there had been very few transfers. He thought, too, he
had some moral ground for asking for the retention of the licence, as he had so sweetly consented to the removal of the Swansea, immediately adjoining. Mr. Ansell pointed
out that certain clubs met at the premises, including a fishing club. Mr. Chance: "What does that meet for?" Mr. Ansell: "I think they meet for
the discussion of terminological inexactitudes of a piscatorial character. [Laughter.] The licensee, Joseph Guy. gave evidence to the effect that he had been in
occupation for the last ten years. Mr. Ansell: "You will agree that the fishing club meets to discuss terminological inexactitudes? Witness: Yes, certainly.
[Laughter.] Mr. Chanoe: "You had better ask him what means." Mr. Ansell: "I think I will leave it at that." [Renewed laughter.] Mr.
Hurst pleaded on behalf of the Eagle, Mary Street, which had, he said, been in the occupation of Edgar Baker for the past eighteen years. The trade, he said, was
largely outdoor trade, and during last year brewers supplied 176 barrels of beer and no fewer than 1,081 dozen bottles of beer. Counsel explained that there were
forty-five years' lease to run. Messrs. Butler, Wolverhampton, gave £l,OOO. for it. Mr. Chance: "That was the good old days of the brewery trade."
Mr. Hurst: "Yes." Mr. Chance: "I don't suppose they would pay now." Mr. Hurst: "I don't suppose they would under the conditions
under which we meet now." The tenant, who was very deaf, caused some amusement on going into the witness box informing the magistrates that the trade had fallen off
and bad been very bad during the past two or three weeks. Mr. Chance remarked that he hoped counsel would put more tenants into the box. Mr. Hurst: "I hope they
won't be deaf." Mr. Chance: I hope they will be intelligent." The witness, continuing said when he first went in the house the takings were about £2.
a week, but he worked it up to £20. It had since fallen off, but he thought £9. a week was the lowest point reached lately. With respect to the Dublin Arms,
Watery Lane, Mr. Ansell said Messrs. Rushton were the assignees, and had nine years to run. They intended trying get an extended lease. The negotiations were not yot
completed, but when they were he could assure the justices that the structural defects referred by the police would be remedied if the bouse was left in the list. Mr.
Ansell pointed out that Messrs. Rushton were rather hard hit, as they had no less than six houses scheduled in the list, and appealed strongly for the retention of the
Dublin Arms and the Plough, Rea Street. Mr. Chance pointed out that when the magistrates made up the list they had not the slightest knowledge as how many belonged
to this or that brewer. Mr. Ansell, proceeding, said they were told that some other body should be substituted for the present authority. He had had forty years of
municipal life, and he should be very sorry indeed to see any other body substituted for the present justices. Mr. Chance: "It is very nice of you to say so."
Mr. Ansell: "I mention this incidentally. I am quite sure I can appeal to the general sense of fairness which pervades you in your decisions. In connection with
the Beehive, Bagot Street, Mr. Hurst said a petition had been signed by people who were impressed by the quality of the beer, and it was suggested that one man
had moved in order that he might be nearer the house. There was more amusement when Mr. Joseph Wilson, tenant of the Royal Oak, Stoke Street, went into the witness
box to supplement Mr. Ansell's appeal on behalf of the house. "You have," said Mr. Ansell "an anti-swearing club?" Witness: "Yes."
Mr. Sambidge: "What is that?" Mr. Ansell: "I know sufficient about it to say that it contains no golfers." [Laughter.] Witness: We
levy a small fine, and another penny if they do not come clean shaved. [Laughter.] Mr. Ansell: "Need I say more?" Mr. Barradale: "Is the
money obtained spent on beer?" Witness: "No; it is kept for a general outing in August." The last application to the board was in connection with the
Albion, Trevor Street, and at the close Mr. Chance announced that the Sessions would be adjourned until the 29th Inst., when the justices would give their
"Birmingham Licensing Session"
Birmingham Mail : March 9th 1906 Page 2