1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Uttoxeter

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UTTOXETER, a market town in the Burton parliamentary division of Staffordshire, England, 15 m. N.E. by E. of Stafford by a branch of the Great Northern railway. Pop. of urban district (1901) 5133. It is also served by the North Staffordshire railway. The town lies pleasantly on high ground near the river Dove, a western tributary of the Trent, here the boundary with Derbyshire. There are large works for the manufacture of agricultural implements, and brewing and brick-making are carried on. Several agricultural fairs are held annually. The church of St Mary has a Hue decorated tower and spire; the rest of the fabric dates from 1828. Alleyn’s grammar-school was founded in 1558. In the market-place here Dr Johnson stood hatless in the rain doing voluntary penance for disobedience to his father. A bas-relief commemorates the incident. The name of the town is locally Uxeter, or an approximate pronunciation. At Denstone, 5 m. N. of Uttoxeter, is St Chad’s College, a large middle-class school for boys, founded in connexion with St Nicholas’ College, Lancing. Uttoxeter (Wotocheshede, Uttokeshather, Utcester, Uttoxater) was probably not a Roman site, although the termination of the name suggests one, and a few remains have been discovered. It formed part of the estates of Algar, earl of Mercia; at the time of the Domesday Survey it was held by the king; later it passed to the Ferrers family and was included in the honour of Tutbury. In the early 12th century Earl Robert de Ferrers constituted Uttoxeter a free borough, and granted to the inhabitants freedom from all tolls, tonnage, poundage and other ex actions. These privileges were confirmed and amplified by a charter, dated August 15, 1251, from William de Ferrers, earl of Derby. Uttoxeter, with the rest of the honour of Tutbury, es cheated to the Crown in 1266 owing to the complicity of Robert Ferrers in the barons' rebellion; it was regranted to Edmund Crouchback, ancestor of the dukes of Lancaster, under whom it became part of the duchy of Lancaster, from which it was not severed until 1625. The Wednesday market, which is still held, was granted by Henry III. to William Ferrers, earl of Derby, together with a fair to be held on the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin (September 8), which was kept up in the 18th century. In 1308 Thomas, earl of Lancaster, obtained the grant of a fair on the vigil, day and morrow of St Mary Magdalene. In Leland's time “ the men of the town used grazing ” in the “ wonderful pastures upon Dove,” and in the 17th and 18th centuries the market was the greatest in that part of England for cattle and provisions; in the 18th century it furnished cheeses to many London cheese mongers. In 1648, on the defeat of the invading Scottish army under the marquis of Hamilton by Cromwell, its leader was captured here by Lambert.