Wednesbury in 1872


John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales - 1870-2

WEDNESBURY, a town and a parish in West Bromwich district, Stafford. The town stands on the South Staffordshire and Great Western railways, near the Birmingham canal, 8 miles NW of Birmingham; was called by the Saxons Wodensbury, after the god Woden; is now popularly called Wedgebury; had a castle, built in 916, by the princess Ethelfleda; was made a parliamentary borough, with one representative, by the reform act of 1867; includes, as a borough, West Bromwich and Tipton; was proposed, in the Boundary Commissioners report of 1868, to include also Darlaston;

It is a polling-place for South Staffordshire; publishes a weekly newspaper; carries on manufactures of railway iron-work, railway-carriages, patent axle-trees, gas tubes, steam and water pipes, and gun-locks, coach springs, hinges, screws, nails, and every kind of wrought iron-work; is managed by a local board of health, who have offices in the Italian style, built in 1857; and has a head post-office, two railway stations with telegraph, two banking-offices, several good inns, a police station, a later English church, restored in 1827 and 1866, two modem churches in the early English style, ten dissenting chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel, a mechanics' institute, a working man's club, with library and reading-room, eight public schools, charities £250, a weekly market on Saturday, and fairs on 6 May and 3 Aug.

Pop. in 1861, within the town limits proper, 15,298. Houses, 2,793. Pop. within the borough limits, as constituted in 1867, about 92,623. The parish comprises 2,175 acres. Real property, £59,557; of which £8,312 are in mines, £80 in quarries, and £11,987 in ironworks. Pop. in 1851, 14,281; in 1861, 21,968. Houses, 4,057. The manor belonged anciently to the Crown; passed to the Heronviles and the Beaumonts; and belongs now to Sir F. Scott, Bart, and Lady Emily Foley. Coal, iron ore, limestone, potters' clay, and brick clay abound.

The head living of St. Bartholomew's is a vicarage, and the livings of St. John and St. James are rectories, in the diocese of Lichfield. Value of St Bartholomew, £310; of St. John, £267; of St James, £300. Patron of St. Bartholomew, the Lord Chancellor; of St. John, Lady E. Foley; of St. James, J. N. Bagnall, Esq. The perpetual curacy of Moxley is a separate benefice. Lord W. Paget, who died in 1564, was a native. 

KINGSHILL, a place 1 mile from Wednesbury, in Staffordshire; with a post-office under Wednesbury.

[Description(s) from The Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72) - Transcribed by Mike Harbach ©2020]