CALLED in the Doomsday survey CHIDEMINSTER, is situated at the distance of 124
miles from London, and carries on very extensive manufactories of carpets, bombazines,
crapes, poplins, and tammies, with which the London and other markets are well supplied.
The Scotch carpet trade was introduced here about the year 1735, and shortly after the
manufacture of Wilton and Brussels carpets, all of which have been so much improved
by the ingenuity and emulation of the various manufacturers, in the variety and elegance
of the patterns, as well as the permanency and brilliancy of the dyes, as cannot be rivalled
by any manufactory in the world.——No country justice can exercise any judicial
authority in this town, the government of which is regulated by a recorder and two
magistrates, called the high-bailiff and justice; the high-bailiff, who always belongs to
the quorum, is annually elected by the twelve aldermen, with the concurrence of twenty
five common-council men, who collectively are authorised, by a charter bearing date the
12th. of Charles I., to make bye-laws for the government of the body corporate, the trade,
and the police of the town. Formerly this borough was represented in parliament.
A court-leet for the manor is occasionally held here, by a person deputed for that purpose
by lord Foley, who is lord of the manor. A court of requests is also held for the recover
ing of debts under 40s. and which, by a bill now in parliament, is expected will extend
to the recovering all debts under £10.--—The Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal,
which, in its progress to Stourport where it falls into the Severn, passing through Kidder
minster, opens an inland navigation with Liverpool, Manchester, &e.—The weekly
market is held on Thursday; and the annual fairs, which are for all sorts of merchandize,
are four in number, and held as follows—on Monday before Easter, on Ascension-day,
on the 20th. June, and the 4th. September.——Exclusive of its numerous and extensive
manufactories, shops, and warehouses, Kidderminster contains upwards of 1700 dwelling
houses, extending from north to south, nearly one mile, and in breadth about half a mile.
The population, according to the last census in 181 l, was upwards of 8000, but is now
supposed to be near 10000.--Kidderminster is 3 miles east of Bewdley, is south of
Bridgenorth, 7 south-west of Stourbridge, l l south-west of Dudley, 18 west of Birming
ham, 15 south-south-west of Wolverhampton, 9 north-west of Bromsgrove, and 14 north
of Worcester; between all which towns there are excellent turnpike roads.