Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/780

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958
STAFFORDSHIRE

and at Tunstall, glassworks at Tutbury; there are also a considerable textile industry, as at Newcastle-under-Lyme, paper-mills in that town and at Tamworth, and manufactures of boots and shoes at Stafford and Stone.

Communications.—The main line of the London & North-Western railway runs from south-east to north-west by Tamworth, Lichfield (Trent Valley), Rugeley and Stafford. This company and the Great Western serve the towns of the Black Country by many branches from Birmingham, and jointly work the Stafford—Shrewsbury line. The London & North-Western has branches from Trent Valley to Burton-upon-Trent, and from Rugeley through the Cannock Chase coalfields. The North Staffordshire railway runs from Stafford and from Burton-upon-Trent northward through the Potteries, with a line from Uttoxeter through Leek to Macclesfield. The Manifold Valley light railway serves part of the Dovedale district. The west-and-north line of the Midland railway (Bristol-Derby) crosses the south-eastern part of the county from Birmingham by Tamworth and Burton, with a branch to Wolverhampton. The Great Northern, with a branch from its main line at Grantham, serves Uttoxeter, Burton and Stafford. A considerable amount of coal-transport takes place along canals, the Black Country especially being served by numerous branches. The principal canals are—the Grand Trunk, which follows the Trent over the greater part of

1911 Britannica - South Staffordshire.png

its course within the county, the Coventry, Birmingham and Fazeley, Daw End and Essington canals, connecting the Grand Trunk with Warwickshire, the Black Country and Cannock Chase; the Liverpool and Birmingham junction; the Staffordshire and Worcestershire, running from the Severn at Stourport by Wolverhampton and Penkridge to the Grand Junction near Stafford, and the Caldon canal running eastward from the Potteries into the Churnet Valley.

Population and Administration.—The area of the ancient county is 749,602 acres, with a population in 1891 of 1,083,424; and in 1901 of 1,234,506. The area of the administrative county is 744,984 acres. Staffordshire contains five hundreds, each having two divisions. The municipal boroughs are: in the southern industrial district, Smethwick (pop. 54,539), Walsall (86,430), Wednesbury (26,554), West Bromwich (65,175), Wolverhampton (94,187); in the northern industrial district, Newcastle-under-Lyme (19,914), and the several formerly separate boroughs amalgamated under the “Potteries Federation” Scheme (1908) under the name of Stoke-on-Trent (q.v.); elsewhere, Burton-upon-Trent (50,386), Lichfield (7902), Stafford (20,895), Tamworth (7271). Burton, Hanley, Smethwick, Walsall, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton are county boroughs; Lichfield is a city, and Stafford is the county town. The urban districts are—in the southern industrial district, Amblecote (3218), Bilston (24,034), Brierley Hill (12,042), Coseley (22,219), Darlaston (15,395), Handsworth (52,921), Heath Town or Wednesfield Heath (9441), Perry Bar (2348), Quarry Bank (6912), Rowley Regis (34,670), Sedgley (15,951), Short Heath (3531), Tettenhall (5337), Tipton (30,543), Wednesfield (4883), Willenhall (18,515); in the northern industrial district, Audley (13,683), Biddulph (6247), Fenton (22,742), Kidsgrove (4552), Smallthorne (6263), Tunstall (19,492), Wolstanton (24,975); elsewhere, Brownhills (15,252), Cannock (23,974), Leek (15,484), Rugeley (4447), Stone (5680), Uttoxeter (5133). Among other towns may be mentioned Abbots Bromley (1318), Brewood (2535), Cheadle (5186) and Eccleshall (3799). The county is in the Oxford circuit, and assizes are held at Stafford. It has one court of quarter sessions, and is divided into 23 petty sessional divisions. The boroughs of Hanley, Lichfield, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Walsall, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton have separate commissions of the peace and courts of quarter sessions, and those of Burslem, Burton, Longton, Stafford, Stoke-upon-Trent, Smethwick, Tamworth and Wednesbury have separate commissions of the peace only. The total number of civil parishes is 277. The county is almost wholly in the diocese of Lichfield, but has small parts in those of Worcester, Hereford, Southwell and Chester; it contains 348 ecclesiastical parishes or districts, wholly or in part. Staffordshire is divided into seven parliamentary divisions each returning one member—Burton, Handsworth, Kingswinford, Leek, Lichfield, North-West and West. The parliamentary borough of Wolverhampton returns a member for each of three divisions, and the boroughs of Hanley, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stafford, Stoke-upon- Trent, Walsall, Wednesbury and West Bromwich each return one member.

History.—The district which is now Staffordshire was invaded in the 6th century by a tribe of Angles who settled about Tamworth, afterwards famous as a residence of the Mercian kings, and later made their way beyond Cannock Chase, through the passages afforded by the Sow valley in the north and Watling Street in the south. The district was frequently overrun by the Danes, who in 910 were defeated at Tettenhall, and again at Wednesfield, and it was after Edward the Elder had finally expelled the Northmen from Mercia that the land of the south Mercians was formed into a shire around the fortified burgh which he had made in 914 at Stafford. The county is first mentioned by name in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 1016 when it was harried by Canute.

The resistance which Staffordshire opposed to the Conqueror was punished by ruthless harrying and confiscation, and the Domesday Survey supplies evidence of the depopulated and impoverished condition of the county, which at this period contained but 64 mills, whereas Dorset, a smaller county, contained 272. No Englishman was allowed to retain estates of any importance after the Conquest, and the chief lay proprietors at the time of the survey were Earl Roger of Montgomery; Earl Hugh of Chester; Henry de Ferrers, who held Burton and Tutbury castles; Robert de Stafford; William Fitz-Ansculf, afterwards created first Baron Dudley; Richard Forester; Rainald Bailgiol; Ralph Fitz Hubert and Nigel de Stafford. The Ferrers and Staffords long continued to play a leading part in Staffordshire history, and Turstin, who held Drayton under William Fitz Ansculf, was the ancestor of the Bassets of Drayton. At the time of the survey Burton was the only monastery in Staffordshire, but foundations of canons existed at Stafford, Wolverhampton, Tettenhall, Lichfield,