|Stoke-on-Trent Local History
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Burslem - Gazetteers and Directories
|Pigot & Co's 1828/9 Directory of Staffordshire
|Pigot & Co's 1841 Directory of Staffordshire
|William White, Sheffield. "1851, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire"
|Wilson's 1870-2 Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales
|Bartholomew's 1887 Gazetteer of the British Isles
|1893 advertising and trade journal - A descriptive account of The Potteries (illustrated)
|1898 Cassell's 'Gazetteer of Great Britain & Ireland'
|1907 Staffordshire Sentinel 'Business Reference Guide to The Potteries, Newcastle & District'
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Pigot & Co's 1828/9 Directory of Staffordshire
"BURSLEM, an ancient town, with a market held for a long period by custom, and subsequently sanctioned by an act of parliament, is about three miles from Newcastle and two from Hanley, entitled to the precedence of other towns in this district, as claiming to be the mother, as it is the metropolis, of the Staffordshire Potteries. In the Doomsday book it is noticed, and spelt therein Barker Deslem.
It stands on a rising ground, contains several streets and squares, and extensive and admirably arranged manufactories; is well paved and lighted with gas, under the provisions of an act of parliament, also dictating its police and municipal government, which is vested in a chief constable, chosen annually by the police commissioners. W. Sneyd Esq. is lord of the manor, and hold manorial courts occasionally; and the magistrates hold petty sessions monthly.
The market house is a neat and modern structure of brick, situated near the centre of the town; and the town hall is in the Market-place : one part of the building is used as the public office, where the town and parish business is transacted; over this is a large and elegant news-room, exceedingly well supplied with the daily London and provincial papers.
The church, dedicated to St. John, is a large modern brick edifice, with an ancient stone tower; the benefice is a rectory, in the patronage of William Adams, Esq. of Cobridge, and the incumbency of the Rev. Edward Whieldon, whose curates are the Rev. Samuel Jones and the Rev. John Buxton Marsden. Another church is the building at Dale hall; and in the parish of Burslem are no fewer than ten meeting houses for dissenters, and a Roman catholic chapel; all these places of worship have Sunday-schools attached; the one adjoining the Wesleyan chapel has been established forty years, and upwards of 1,500 children are instructed under that establishment. Here are besides, a national, catholic day and Sunday-schools, and a free grammar school for a small number of boys.
Burslem is the place where the first clod of that great national undertaking the Trent and Mersey canal, was cut, by the late Josiah Wedgwood, Esq. When the 50th anniversary of this memorable event was celebrated, which was a public dinner, various ancient specimens of earthenware were exhibited, descriptive of the progressive state of the manufacture during the last one hundred and fifty years, which were divided into epochs of fifty years, from the butter pot, mentioned by Dr. Plott, down to the time at which the excellent specimens of Queen's, or cream-coloured ware, jasper, &c, left by the late Mr. Wedgwood, were produced.
The market days are Monday and Saturday; and the fairs are, the Saturdays before Shrovetide, Easter and Whitsuntide, Saturday on or after June 24th, Saturday before Ember week and December 26th.
The parish of Burslem including the township of HULTON ABBEY contained, in 1821, 10,176 inhabitants."
Pigot & Co's 1841 Directory of Staffordshire
"BURSLEM is a market town and parish, three miles north east from Newcastle and two from Hanley. This place appears, from the most authentic records, to have been distinguished, at an early period, for the excellence and variety of clay with which its vicinity abounds; and to have been noted for its manufactory of pottery and earthenware - for which, in the 17th century, it became the principal station in this kingdom.
It was here that the first clod of that great undertaking, the Trent and Mersey canal, was cut by the spirited Josiah Wedgwood, Esq.; and when the fifteenth anniversary was celebrated by a public dinner, various ancient specimens of earthenware were exhibited, descriptive of the progressive state of the manufacture.
The town is pleasantly situate on a rising ground, and contains many admirably arranged manufactories, numerous dwellings for the workmen employed therein, many good houses for the superintendents of the works, and some handsome edifices for the proprietors: it is lighted with gas, under the provisions of an act of parliament, which also dictates its police and municipal government - the later being vested in a chief constable, chosen annually by the police commissioners.
The market house, or town hall, is a neat modern structure of brick, situated nearly in the centre of the town: one part of this building is appropriated to the uses of a police office; and a large and elegant news room, well supplied with the London daily and provincial papers, occupies another portion of the edifice. Adjacent to the town hall, and of more recent erection, is a handsome covered market, ornamented with a neat portico.
Burslem was formerly a chaperly in the parish of Stoke, but was constituted a separate parish by act of parliament in 1807. The old church is a brick erection, with a stone tower of greater antiquity than the body; the living is a rectory. Another church has been erected, partly at the expense of the church commissioners.
There are places of worship in the parish for Baptists, independents, the primitive, Wesleyan, and new connexion of methodists, and the Roman Catholics - all of which have Sunday schools attached. There are, besides, a national school, and a free grammar school for a limited number of boys. The markets are held on Monday and Saturday."
William White, Sheffield. "1851, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire""Burslem is a populous and well built market town, which claims the honour of being 'the mother of the Staffordshire Potteries', and holds a healthy and elevated situation in the northern division of that extensive and celebrated seat of the china and earthenware manufactures, being seated between Hanley and Tunstall, about a mile E of Longport Railway Station, three miles N of Stoke, and Newcastle-under-Lyme.
The parish of Burslem now has upwards of 18,000 inhabitants, in Burslem, Rushton Grange, Sneyd, and Abbey Hulton lordship. These four adjoining liberties comprise about 2930 acres, and include the villages and suburbs of Brown-Hills, Dalehall, Hamill, Longport, and the greater part of Cobridge, all lying within a mile of the town.
Burslem and Sneyd are in the manor of Tunstall-Court, of which Ralph Sneyd, Esq, is lord of the manor, and he is also lord of Hulton Abbey manor, but a large portion of the parish belongs to other landowners, the largest of whom are the Earl of Macclesfield, Lady Chetwynd, Lord Camoys, Miss Sparrow, the representatives of the late John Wood, Esq, William Davenport, Esq, and HH Williamson, Esq.
The villages in the parish may be considered as populous suburbs of the town, and are situated as follows: Brown-Hills, half a mile N, Hamill, on the north side of the town, Hulton Abbey, two miles E, near the Caldon Canal, Sneyd and Hot Lane, forming the south-eastern suburbs, Cobridge, including Rushton Grange, and the populous southern part of Burslem, near the top of Waterloo Road, and also a small part of Shelton, and Dalehall and Longport, extending one mile westward to the Trent & Mersey Canal, and Burslem Station on the North Staffordshire Railway."
Wilson's 1870-2 Imperial Gazetteer of England and WalesBURSLEM, a town, a township, a parish, and a subdistrict in the district of Wolstanton, and within the borough of Stoke-upon-Trent, Staffordshire. The town stands on the side of a hill, adjacent to the Grand Trunk canal and the North Stafford railway, 3 miles NNE of Newcastle-under-Lyne. It was known at the Conquest as Barcardeslim; it came early into notice, in connexion with excellent clays beneath and around it, for the manufacture of earthenware; it took the lead of all the towns and hamlets of England in improvements in pottery; it was the birthplace of Wedgwood, and the scene of his many achievements till his removal to Etruria; and it has been called, both on account of its history and on account of its occupying a central spot in the great Staffordshire pottery tract, the "Mother of the Potteries." It is irregularly, though substantially built; it consists of streets and thoroughfares so confusedly aligned as. to be perplexing to strangers; it has grown into junction with Longport, so as to be practically one place with that town; and it displays everywhere the murky and grotesque features of its staple manufacture. The townhall, built in 1855, is a redeeming object. The structure is an oblong, of 100 feet by 60, in the Italian style, with plastered Corinthian arcade, large end portico, and surmounting belfry; consists of three stories; and contains municipal offices, newsroom, lecture-rooms, and a spacious main hall. The Wedgwood Memorial Institute, opened in 1869, near the town hall, and near the place where Wedgwood's manufactory stood, comprehends a school of art, a museum, and a free library, and presents an ornamental façade decorated with terracotta mouldings, tile mosaics, Della Robbia panels, and other products of the ceramic art. St. John's church is a brick edifice, with a massive stone Norman tower. St. Paul's church, in Longport, is a handsome stone structure of 1828, built with aid of £8,000 from the church commissioners. Christchurch, in Cobridge, is an edifice of brick, with stone pinnacles, built in 1843. Sneyd church, in Sneyd hamlet, is a fine stone structure of 1852. There are chapels for Independents, Baptists, Wesleyan Methodists, and other dissenters; and there is a school with £27 from endowment. About forty pottery establishments are in the town and its neighbourhood, producing every variety of porcelain and earthenware; and these, together with glass-works, colour-mills, smelting-furnaces, and various works connected with the potteries and the mines, employ nearly all the inhabitants. The town has a post office‡ under Stoke-upon-Trent, a railway station with telegraph, two banking offices, and four chief inns; and is a seat of sessions and a polling place. Markets are held on Monday and Saturday; and fairs on the Saturday before Shrove Tuesday, the Saturday on or after 24 June, the Saturday before Ember-week, and 26 Dec. The township includes Longport and Dale-Hall. Real property, £51,264; of which £1,380 are in mines. Pop., 17,821. Houses, 3,510.-The parish includes also the hamlet of Sneyd, the ville of Rushton-Grange, and the lordship of Abbey-Hulton. Acres, 2,940. Real property, £65,240; of which £8,226 are in mines. Pop. in 1841, 16,091; in 1861, 22,327. Houses, 4,390. The property is much subdivided. Potter's clay forms a bed from 2 to 10 feet thick; fire clay lies below to considerable depth; and coal lies below the fire clay. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Lichfield. Value, £525.* Patron, J. Morris, Esq. St. Paul, Christchurch, and Sneyd are separate charges, with p. curates. Value of St. Paul, £300;* of Sneyd, £150;* of Christchurch, £142.* Patron of St. Paul and Christchurch, the Rector of Burslem; of Sneyd, alternately the Crown and the bishop.-The sub district is conterminate with the parish.
Bartholomew's 1887 Gazetteer of the British Isles
Burslem, par., mun. bor., and market town, N. Staffordshire, within the parl. bor. of Hanley, on Grand Trunk Canal, 20 miles NE. of Stafford and 149 miles NW. of London -- par., 3121 ac., pop. 28,249; bor., 2419 ac., pop. 26,522; 2 Banks. Market-days, Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday; is called- the "Mother of the Potteries" and produces porcelain, parian, encaustic tiles, &c.; birthplace of Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795), the great improver of the earthenware mfr. of Staffordshire. The Wedgwood Memorial (1865) comprises a school of art, a free library, and a museum. The town is very old. In the neighbourhood are coal mines.
1893 advertising and trade journal - A descriptive account of The Potteries (illustrated)
"To Burslem belongs the proud title of the "mother of the potteries." As early as the 17th century this town was noted above all others for the production of the best classes of pottery made in this country. Here, too, was born the greatest exponent of the potters' art whom the world has known - Josiah Wedgwood - who was born at Burslem in July, 1730; and was apprenticed at the Churchyard Works in this town. It will thus be seen that Burslem is, so to speak, the aristocratic town of the pottery district; and if, now, others have passed it in the matter of population, none can claim so long and uninterrupted a connection with the industry as this old borough. In the Doomsday Survey - for even in that early date Burslem was a place of some importance - the town appears, as "Burwardeslyn;" and frequent mention is made of it in ancient documents during the Middle Ages.
The town has been for many years a municipal borough; and it is largely due to its Mayor and Corporation, backed up by the public-spirited burgesses, that the borough is one of the cleanest, best built and healthiest devoted to industrial interests in the country. The streets have been lighted by gas, from works situated at Longport, ever since the introduction of that method of illumination; while there is a copious supply of excellent water by the North Staffordshire Potteries Water Works Company. The town is, too, admirably drained by a modern system of sewage, completed in December, 1879, under the supervision of Mr. E. M. Richards, C.E. These works cost the borough £30,450, and are among the most effective in the Midlands. The streets in the town are all wide and well paved, and there are many excellent specimens of modern architecture, bearing abundant testimony to the good taste of the authorities - a taste displayed throughout the pottery district, as we have stated in our introductory remarks.
Burslem was formed into a separate parish from that of Stoke (which formerly comprised nearly the whole district) by an Act of Parliament passed in 1807. The parish thus formed embraces the township of Burslem, the hamlet of Sneyd, and the ville of Rushton. It is divided into four ecclesiastical districts - St. John the Baptist; St. Paul, Longport; Christ Church, Cobridge; and Holy Trinity, Sneyd."
1898 Cassell's 'Gazetteer of Great Britain & Ireland'
"Burslem, pa., mun. bor., and mkt. to. (at. & S.), on the Grand Prank Canal, N. Staffs., 20 N.E. of Stafford; ac. of pa. 3,121, of bor. 2,419 The church of St. John the Baptist, restored 1878 is Perp. There are mission rooms, a Roman Catholic church, and Baptist, Congregational, Methodist, and Wesleyan chapels. Among the charities is the Haywood Hospital for the accommodation of 12 patients.
The well-laid-out cemetery of 28 ac. has a mortuary chapel. There is also a town hall, with large room for entertainments; and there are two covered markets, one of which (St. John’s) is for the sale of vegetables. To commemorate the connection of Josiah Wedgwood with B., and his services to the Staffordshire potteries a public monument in the form of an Institute was opened in 1869. The building is Pointed, and decorated with terracotta. A series of 12 panels on the outside illustrate the processes of pottery; above these, in high-relief, are life-size figures emblematic of the months; above these, again, are the signs of the zodiac. In the porch are bas-relief portraits of Bentley, Flaxman, and Priestley; and a statue of Wedgwood is In the centre of the façade. The Interior consists of entrance hall free library, reading-room, picture gallery, and lecture-room, besides classrooms for science and art. There is also accommodation for B. Free School and for meetings, and an additional wing provides space for a free museum. The free school, founded 1794, is for 80 boys. The B. sewage works has two intercepting sewers - one passing over, the other under, Fowlea brook, and take the sewage to a suction well in Longport valley. Here powerful double-action pumps force it up a main two miles long to different points 200 ft. to 250 ft. high, whence it gravitates over the corporation farm.
B., owing to the excellence of its clays and marls, was as early as the 17th cent, the chief seat of English earthenware production, and has been called "the Mother of the Potteries". Josiah Wedgwood (1735-1805) was born and died here. The staple trade is still the making of china and earthenware, parian, and porcelain, whiteware and blackware, ironstone, china and luster. There are large coal and ironstone works, colour works, brick and tile works, flint-mills, and a large glass factory."
1907 Staffordshire Sentinel 'Business Reference Guide to The Potteries, Newcastle & District'
Burslem is frequently referred to as the Mother Town of the Potteries, because the earthenware and china industries of North Staffordshire originated there. The population has grown from 1,800 in 1738 to about 40,000 at the present time. Josiah Wedgwood's factories were originally situated in Burslem (until they were removed to Etruria), and the town to-day contains the factories of many leading firms. The Sneyd and Grange Collieries and Parker's Brewery may also be mentioned. There are also engineering works.
Burslem is well supplied with shops, and possesses a handsome Town Hall (opened in January, 1857), and admirable markets (Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday). The principal thoroughfares are Waterloo-road (running south and north, and connecting Hanley and Tunstall) and Moorland-road and Newcastle street, running from Smallthorne, through the town, and on to Longport (N.S.R. main line) and Wolstanton. Burslem Station is on the loop-line of the N.S.R.. Burslem has always been noted for the enterprising spirit of its public representatives and its business men, and the earnestness of its religious life; and special attention has been paid to the development of education, particularly in the application of art teaching to the potting trade. The Wedgwood Institute, containing the Free Library and Museum and Science and Art Schools, was erected as a memorial to Josiah Wedgwood, mainly through the efforts of the late Mr. William Woodall, M.P. The foundation- stone was laid by Mr. Gladstone on October 26th, 1863. The late Mr. Thomas Hulme, who took a great interest in the Wedgwood Institute, gave a site opposite the Institute for a new School of Art, and this is to be opened in the present year. The town has its own gas and electricity undertakings, Gymnasium and Volunteer Drill Hall, a Cemetery, admirable Baths, a new Fever Hospital, a Park, a refuse destructor at the Electricity Works, and nearly £40,000 is now being spent on new sewage disposal works. There is also the Haywood Hospital. Water is supplied by the Potteries Waterworks Company. Burslem supplies Tunstall with electricity, and Wolstanton with gas and electricity, but the Wolstanton Council is about to provide its own gas supply. The Miners' Hall, the headquarters of the N.S. Miners' Association, and the residence of Mr. Enoch Edwards, the borough member, is in Burslem.
John Wesleyfrequently visited Burslem, and m addition to several churches, the Wesleyan, Primitive Methodist, Methodist New Connexion, and Congregational bodies, amongst others, have noteworthy places of worship.
From "time immemorial," a fair called "Burslem Wakes" was held in the borough, consisting of shows and stalls standing in the Market-place, " commencing on the Saturday before the first Sunday after the 24th June, and continuing on the Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday following the said Saturday, being originally, it is believed, the feast of the dedication of the parish church of St. John the Baptist." On the 30th April, 1870, the Burslem Corporation petitioned the Home Secretary to abolish this fair, and it was abolished accordingly, the Tunstall " Wakes " being abolished at the same time. Since then, the shows have been allowed to stand in the Market-place of Burslem by resolution of the Council, and last year the Council resolved that spaces in the Marketsquare should not be let for shows again. There is a Board of Guardians for the Burslem and Wolstanton district, of which Mr. George K. Downing is the chairman and Mr Joseph A. Lowndes is the clerk.; the offices are in Burslem.
A new Post Office was erected in Burslem recently, and the Corporation owns the site adjoining it, upon which it is proposed to erect Municipal Buildings. But though the Corporation has incurred a large expenditure during the past few years on new undertakings, the financial position of the town is regarded as favourable, as some old loans are being extinguished. The Burslem Association for the Prosecution of Felons furnishes the occasion for an annual dinner, which is attended by most of the leading townspeople - commonly called the Felons' dinner. Captain Russell commands the local Volunteer Corps.
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