AND THE POTTERIES
by James Pigot (1818)
Newcastle-under-Lyme, A Borough and market town, in the hundred of Pyrehill,
distant from London iss
miles, is situated on a branch of the river Trent, and owes its name and origin to a castle
built here by Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, in the reign of Henry III. This edifice stood in
the centre of a considerable lake, but no vestige of it now remains. Leland says, the whole
was destroyed in his time, except one tower, and that it was originally erected to supply
the place of a more ancient fortress at Chesterton-under-Line. Hence the appellation New.
sastle. This town was incorporated soon after its foundation, and its privileges have
since been confirmed by Elizabeth and Charles II. It is governed by a mayor, two jus
tices, two bailiffs, and twenty-four common council-men, who have a right of holding
eourts for the recovery of debts under £40. It sends two members to parliament, and
has done so ever since the reign of Edward III. The right of election has been several
times disputed, but was declared, in 1792, to be vested “in the freemen residing in the
borough.” . The situation of the town is pleasant, and the houses display a neatness in
the architecture, as well as a uniformity in their arrangement; and the principal streets
are mostly broad and well paved. It is said there were anciently four churches in this
place, though it has now only one, having a square tower, with eight bells and chimes;
but there are numerous meeting-houses for various sects of dissenters. There are twenty
alms-houses, which owe their erection to the Marquis of Stafford and Lord Granville,
and appropriated for the accommodation of twenty poor women inhabitants of the
borough. A manufactory of hats, the clothing trade, and the potteries in the vicinity,
form the chief support both of the higher and lower orders of the inhabitants. And the
Grand Trunk canal, which connects the navigation of the Trent, the Mersey, the Severn,
and the Thames, with most of the principal towns in the kingdom, passing near this
place, renders its situation extremely favourable to trade and manufactures. The market day is on Monday; and there is also a great beast market every Monday fortnight. The fairs are, Shrove Monday, Easter Monday, Whit-Monday, Monday before July 15th, Monday after Sept. 11th, and Nov. 6th for cattle, &c. The population is now estimated at about 8000.
The district comprehended under this title, is nearly ten miles in length, and eight in breadth and the number of persons employed in the potting trade, is estimated at front 25 to 30,000. The towns and hamlets within its limits are Stoke, Hanley, Shelton, Goldenhill, Newfield, Smithfield, Tunstall, Longport, Burslem, Cobridge, Etruria, Lane-end, Lower-lane, Lane-delph, &c. the principal towns of which are:
BURSLEM, a market town, situated on a hill about two miles north from Newcastle, is
the most ancient in the whole pottery, and was undoubtedly the first seat of earthenware
manufacture in Staffordshire. *: a church with a square tower. The methodists have
two chapels here, and are by r the most numerous sect in the district; there are also
meeting-houses for other sects of dissenters; and two national schools for the education
of poor children. There is a neat market-house, surmounted with a clock. The market
days are Mondays and Saturdays.
cattle and horses.
The fairs are March 22, June 23, and Oct. 13th for
HANLEY, a market town, is situated about two miles north-east of Newcastle, and is
distinguished by the neatness and regularity of its streets, and the elegance of many of
the houses which compose them. It has an elegant church, built with brick, with a square
tower one hundred feet high, eight bells, and an organ. There are also methodist and
dissenting meeting-houses, and two national schools for children of all denominations.
The market is holden on Saturday.
LANE-END, a thriving market town, owing to some circumstance has two market-houses.
The market day is on Saturday. There is a new church built of brick in imitation of that
at Hanley; also places of worship for methodists and dissenters.
. Stoke, or, as it is commonly called, Stoke-upon-Trent, has recently been constituted
a market town, and has a market-house furnished with all the accommodations requisite
for its object. The church is an ancient structure, in the Gothic style of architecture,
with a square tower, The town contains many handsome buildings, and, from its
proximity to a wharf upon the Staffordshire canal, is most conveniently situated for trade and is rapidly increasing in size and population. Close to the town the canal is carried over the river Trent, by means of an aqueduct, constructed entirely of brick.