(1901), 4529. It lies on the left bank of the Severn, at the junction of the Stour and the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal. The town grew up after the opening of the canal in 1768. Ironworks, carpet-weaving and tanneries occupy many hands. At Redstone, the site of a former important ferry over the Severn, is a curious hermitage, excavated out of the red sandstone bank.
STOVE, an apparatus for heating a room, building, greenhouse or hothouse, or for cooking. It is essentially closed or partially closed, as distinct from the open grate or fireplace, and consists of a receiver in which the fuel is burned, of cast or sheet-iron, tiles cemented together and backed or even of solid masonry. Stoves may be classified according to the fuel burned (see Heating). The word was originally of wider meaning and was used of a heated room, house or chamber, thus the O. Eng. stofa glosses balneum, and mod. Ger. Stube and Dan. stue mean merely a room, O. H. Ger. Stuba, Stupa being used of a heated bathroom; early Du. stove also was used in this wider sense, the later form stoof is used as in modern English, and this may be the immediate source of the present meaning, the early word having been lost. Romanic languages borrowed it, e.g. Ital. stufa, Ft. Stuve, O. Fr. estuve, whence was adapted Eng. "stew," properly a bath or hothouse, used chiefly in plural "stews," a brothel, and "to stew," originally to bathe, then to boil slowly, and as a noun, a mess of stewed meat. "Stew," a fish-pond, is a Low German word stouwe, dam, weir, fish-pond, from stouwen, to dam up, cf. Ger. stauen, Eng. stow.
STOW, JOHN (c. 1525–1605), English historian and antiquary, was the son of Thomas Stow, a tailor, and was born about 1525 in London, in the parish of St Michael, Cornhill. His parents were poor, for his father's whole rent for his house and garden was only 6s. 6d. a year, and Stow himself in his youth fetched every morning the milk for the family from a farm belonging to the nunnery of the Minories. He learned the trade of his father, but possibly did not practise it much after he grew up. In 1549 he "kept house" near the well within Aldgate, but afterwards he removed to Lime Street ward, where he resided till his death. About 1560 he entered upon the work with which his name is associated. He made the acquaintance of the leading antiquaries of his time, including William Camden, and in 1561 he published his first work, The woorkes of Geffrey Chaucer, newly printed with divers addicions whiche were never in printe before. This was followed in 1565 by his Summarie of Englyshe Chronicles, which was frequently reprinted, with slight variations, during his lifetime. Of the first edition a copy was said to have been at one time in the Grenville library. In the British Museum there are copies of the editions of 1567, 1573, 1590, 1598 and 1604. Stow having in his dedication to the edition of 1567 referred to the rival publication of Richard Grafton (c. 1500–c. 1572) in contemptuous terms, the dispute between them became extremely embittered. Stow's antiquarian tastes brought him under ecclesiastical suspicion as a person "with many dangerous and superstitious books in his possession," and in 1568 his house was searched. An inventory was taken of certain books he possessed " in defence of papistry," but he was apparently able to satisfy his interrogators of the soundness of his Protestantism. A second attempt to incriminate him in 1570 was also without result. In 1580 Stow published his Annales, or a Generate Chronicle of England from Brute until the present yeare of Christ 1580; it was reprinted in 1592, 1601 and 1605, the last being continued to the 26th of March 1605, or within ten days of his death; editions "amended" by Edmund Howes appeared in 1615 and 1631.
The work by which Stow is best known is his Survey of London, published in 1598, not only interesting from the quaint simplicity of its style and its amusing descriptions and anecdotes, but of unique value from its minute account of the buildings, social condition and customs of London in the time of Elizabeth. A second edition appeared in his lifetime in 1603, a third with additions by Anthony Munday in 1618, a fourth by Munday and Dyson in 1633, a fifth with interpolated amendments by John Strype in 1720, and a sixth by the same editor in 1754. The edition of 1598 was reprinted, edited by W. J. Thoms, in 1842, in 1846, and with illustrations in 1876. Through the patronage of Archbishop Parker, Stow was enabled to print the Flores Historiarum of Matthew of Westminster in 1567, the Chronicle of Matthew Paris in 1571, and the Historia brevis of Thomas Walsingham in 1574. At the request of Parker he had himself compiled a "farre larger volume," An history of this island, but circumstances were unfavourable to its publication and the manuscript is now lost. Additions to the previously published works of Chaucer were twice made through Stow's "own painful labours" in the edition of 1561, referred to above, and also in 1597. A number of Stow's manuscripts are in the Harleian collection in the British Museum. Some are in the Lambeth lihrary (No. 306); and from the volume which includes them were published by the Camden Society, edited by James Gairdner, Three Fifteenth~Century Chronicles, with Historical Memoranda by John Stowe the Antiquary, and Contemporary Notes of Occurrences written by him (1880). Stow's literary labours did not prove very remunerative, but he accepted poverty in a cheerful spirit. Ben Jonson relates that once when walking with him Stow jocularly asked two mendicant cripples " what they would have to take him to their order." In March 1604 James I. authorized him and his deputies to collect " amongst our loving subjects their voluntary contributions and kind gratuities," and himself began "the largesse for the example of others." If the royal appeal was successful Stow did not live long to enjoy the increased comfort resulting from it, as he died on the 6th of April 1605. He was buried in the London church of St Andrew Undershaft, where the monument erected by his widow, exhibiting a terra-cotta figure of him, Still remains.
Stow's Survey of London has been edited with notes by C. L. Kingsford (Oxford, 1908).
STOWE, HARRIET ELIZABETH [Beecher] (1811-1896), American writer and philanthropist, seventh child of Lyman and Roxana (Foote) Beecher, was born at Litchfield, Connecticut, U.S.A., on the 14th of June 1811. Her father (the Congregational minister of the town) and her mother were both descended from members of the company that, under John Davenport, founded New Haven in 1638; and the community in which she spent her childhood was one of the most intellectual in New England. At her mother's death in 1815 she came most directly under the influence of her eldest sister Catherine, eleven years her senior, a woman of keen intellect, who a few years later set up a school in Hartford to which Harriet went, first as a pupil, afterwards as teacher. In 1832 her father, who had for six years been the pastor of a church in Boston, accepted the presidency of the newly founded Lane Theological Seminary at Cincinnati. Catherine Beecher, who was eager to establish what should be in effect a pioneer college for women, accompanied him; and with her went Harriet as an assistant, taking an active part in the literary and school life, contributing stories and sketches to local journals and compiling a school geography. She was married on the 6th of January 1836 to one of the professors in the seminary, Calvin Ellis Stowe. In the midst of privation and anxiety, due largely to her husband's precarious health, she wrote continually, and in 1843 published The Mayflower, a collection of tales and sketches. Mrs Stowe passed eighteen years in Cincinnati under conditions which constantly thrust the problem of human slavery upon her attention. A river only separated Ohio from a slave-holding community. Slaves were continually escaping from their masters, and were harboured, on their way to Canada, by the circle in which Mrs Stowe lived. In the practical questions which arose, and in the great debate which was political, economical and moral, she took a very active part. When, therefore, in 1850, Mr Stowe was elected to a professorship in Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, and removed his family thither, Mrs Stowe was prepared for the great work which came to her, bit by bit, as a religious message which she must deliver. In the quiet of a country town, far removed from actual contact with painful scenes, but on the edge of the whirlwind raised by the Fugitive Slave Bill, memory and imagination had full scope, and she wrote for serial publication in The National Era, an anti-slavery paper of Washington, D.C.,