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Title: Showell's Dictionary of Birmingham - A History and Guide Arranged Alphabetically
Author: Harman, Thomas T., Showell, Walter
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Showell's Dictionary of Birmingham - A History and Guide Arranged Alphabetically" ***

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[Transcriber's note: There are small sections where the print is missing
from the original. Missing words have been marked [**]. Minor obvious
typographical errors have been corrected. Fractions: example four and a
half = 4-1/2. Bold text is denoted by ~]


Dictionary of Birmingham.


Arranged Alphabetically,

Containing Thousands of Dates and References to Matters of
Interest connected with the Past and Present History of the Town--its
Public Buildings, Chapels, Churches and Clubs--its Friendly
Societies and Benevolent Associations, Philanthropic and Philosophical
Institutions--its Colleges and Schools, Parks, Gardens, Theatres, and
Places of Amusement--its Men of Worth and Noteworthy Men,
Manufactures and Trades, Population, Rates, Statistics of progress,
&c., &c.

       *       *       *       *       *

Compiled by THOS. T. HARMAN, Author of "The Local Book
of Dates," "Notes and Records," &c.,



       *       *       *       *       *


Printed by J.G. Hammond & Co., 136-38 Edmund Street; and Published by


~Dictionary of Birmingham.~


~Birmingham to the Seventh Century.~--We have no record or traces
whatever of there being inhabitants in this neighbourhood, though there
can be little doubt that in the time of the invasion of the Romans some
British strongholds were within a few miles of the place, sundry remains
having been found to show that many battles had been fought near here.
If residents there were prior to King Edward the Confessor's reign, they
would probably be of Gurth's tribe, and their huts even Hutton,
antiquarian and historian as he was, failed to find traces of. How the
name of this our dwelling-place came about, nobody knows. Not less than
twelve dozen ways have been found to spell it; a score of different
derivations "discovered" for it; and guesses innumerable given as to its
origin, but we still wait for the information required.

~Birmingham in the Conqueror's Days.~--The Manor was held, in 1066, by
Alwyne, son of Wigod the Dane, who married the sister of the Saxon
Leofric, Earl of Mercia. According to "Domesday Book," in 1086, it was
tenanted by Richard, who, held, under William Fitz-Ansculf, and included
four hides of land and half-a-mile of wood, worth 20s.; there were 150
acres in cultivation, with but nine residents, five villeins, and four
bordarers. In 1181 there were 18 freeholders (_libere tenentes_) in
Birmingham cultivating 667 acres, and 35 tenants _in demesne_, holding
158 acres, the whole value being £13 8s. 2d.

~Birmingham in the Feudal Period.~--The number of armed men furnished by
this town for Edward III.'s wars were four, as compared with six from
Warwick, and forty from Coventry.

~Birmingham in the Time of the Edwards and Harrys.~--The Manor passed
from the Bermingham family in 1537, through the knavish trickery of Lord
L'Isle, to whom it was granted in 1545. The fraud, however, was not of
much service to the noble rascal, as he was beheaded for treason in
1553. In 1555 the Manor was given by Queen Mary to Thomas Marrow, of

~Birmingham in 1538.~--Leland, who visited here about this date, says in
his "Itinerary"--"There be many smithies in the towne that use to make
knives and all manner of cutlery tooles, and many lorimers that make
bittes, and a great many naylors, so that a great part of the towne is
maintained by smithes, who have their iron and seacole out of
Staffordshire." He describes the town as consisting of one street, about
a quarter of a mile long, "a pretty street or ever I enterd," and "this
street, as I remember, is called Dirtey."

~Birmingham in 1586.~--Camden in his "Britannica," published this year,
speaks of "Bremicham, swarming with inhabitants, and echoing with the
noise of anvils, for the most part of them are smiths."

~Birmingham in 1627.~--In a book issued at Oxford this year mention is
made of "Bremincham inhabited with blacksmiths, and forging sundry kinds
of iron utensils."

~Birmingham in 1635.~--As showing the status the town held at this date
we find that it was assessed for "ship money" by Charles I. at £100, the
same as Warwick, while Sutton Coldfield had to find £80 and Coventry

~Birmingham in 1656.~--Dugdale speaks of it as "being a place very
eminent for most commodities made of iron."

~Birmingham in 1680-90.~--Macaulay says: The population of Birmingham
was only 4,000, and at that day nobody had heard of Birmingham guns. He
also says there was not a single regular shop where a Bible or almanack
could be bought; on market days a bookseller named Michael Johnson
(father of the great Samuel Johnson) came over from Lichfield and opened
a stall for a few hours, and this supply was equal to the demand. The
gun trade, however, was introduced here very soon after, for there is
still in existence a warrant from the Office of Ordnance to "pay to John
Smart for Thomas Hadley and the rest of the Gunmakers of Birmingham, one
debenture of ffour-score and sixteen poundes and eighteen shillings,
dated ye 14th of July, 1690."--Alexander Missen, visiting this town in
his travels, said that "swords, heads of canes, snuff-boxes, and other
fine works of steel," could be had, "cheaper and better here than even
in famed Milan."

~Birmingham in 1691.~--The author of "The New State of England,"
published this year, says: "Bromichan drives a good trade in iron and
steel wares, saddles and bridles, which find good vent at London,
Ireland, and other parts." By another writer, "Bromicham" is described
as "a large and well-built town, very populous, much resorted to, and
particularly noted a few years ago for the counterfeit groats made here,
and dispersed all oven the kingdom."

~Birmingham in 1731.~--An old "Road-book" of this date, says that
"Birmingham, Bromicham, or Bremicham, is a large town, well built and
populous. The inhabitants, being mostly smiths, are very ingenious in
their way, and vend vast quantities of all sorts of iron wares." The
first map of the town (Westley's) was published in this year. It showed
the Manorhouse on an oval island, about 126 yards long by 70 yards
extreme width, surrounded by a moat about twelve yards broad. Paradise
Street was then but a road through the fields; Easy Hill (now Easy Row),
Summer Hill, Newhall Hill, Ludgate Hill, Constitution Hill, and Snow
Hill pleasant pastures.

~Birmingham in 1750.~--Bradford's plan of the town, published in 1751,
showed a walk by Rea side, where lovers could take a pleasant stroll
from Heath Mill Lane. The country residences at Mount Pleasant (now Ann
Street) were surrounded with gardens, and it was a common practice to
dry clothes on the hedges in Snow Hill. In "England's Gazetteer,"
published about this date, Birmingham or Bromichan is said to be "a
large, well-built, and populous town, noted for the most ingenious
artificers in boxes, buckles, buttons, and other iron and steel wares;
wherein such multitudes of people are employed that they are sent all
over Europe; and here is a continual noise of hammers, anvils, and

~Birmingham in 1765.~--Lord and Lady Shelburne visited here in 1765. Her
ladyship kept a diary, and in it she describes Mr. Baskerville's house
(Easy Row) as "a pretty place out of the town." She also mentions
visiting a Quaker's to see "the making of guns."

~Birmingham in 1766.~--In "A New Tour through England," by George
Beaumont, Esq., and Capt. Henry Disney, Birmingham is described as "a
very large populous town, the upper part of which stands dry on the side
of a hill, but the lower is watry, and inhabited by the meaner sort of
people. They are employed here in the Iron Works, in which they are such
ingenious artificers, that their performances in the smallwares of iron
and steel are admired both at home and abroad. 'Tis much improved of
late years, both in public and private buildings."

~Birmingham in 1781.~--Hutton published his "History of Birmingham" this
year. He estimated that there were then living ninety-four townsmen who
were each worth over £5,000; eighty worth over £10,000; seventeen worth
over £20,000; eight worth over £30,000; seven worth over £50,000; and
three at least worth over £100,000 each.

~Birmingham in 1812.~--The appearance of the town then would be strange
indeed to those who know but the Birmingham of to-day. Many
half-timbered houses remained in the Bull Ring and cows grazed near
where the Town Hall now stands, there being a farmhouse at the back of
the site of Christ Church, then being built. Recruiting parties paraded
the streets with fife and drum almost daily, and when the London mail
came in with news of some victory in Spain it was no uncommon thing for
the workmen to take the horses out and drag the coach up the Bull Ring
amid the cheers of the crowd. At night the streets were patrolled by
watchmen, with rattles and lanterns, who called the hours and the

       *       *       *       *       *

~AB House,~ so called from the initials inscribed thereon to show the
division of the parishes of Aston and Birmingham near to Deritend
Bridge. Early in 1883 part of the foundations were uncovered, showing
that the old building was raised on wooden piles, when the neighbourhood
was little better than a swamp.

~ABC Time Table~ was first issued in July, 1853. A rival, called the
"XYZ Time Table," on a system that was to make all the puzzles of
Bradshaw as plain as pikestaves, was brought out in August, 1877, but it
required such extra wise heads to understand its simplicity that before
one could be found the whole thing was lost, the old Alpha being
preferred to the new Omega.

~Accidents and Accidental Deaths~ are of constant occurrence. Those here
noted are but a few which, from their peculiar nature, have been placed
on record for reference.

A woman fell in Pudding Brook, June 3, 1794, and was drowned in the

In 1789, a Mr. Wright, a patten-maker, of Digbeth, attempted to cross
the old bridge over the Rea, fell in and was "smothered in the mud."

The Bridge in Wheeley's Road was burst up by flood waters, November 26,

Five men were killed by the fall of a scaffold in New Street Station,
Oct. 11, 1862.

A lady was accidently shot in Cheapside, Nov. 5, 1866.

Pratt, a marker at Bournebrook Rifle Range, was shot April 12, 1873.

The body of a man named Thomas Bishop who had fallen in a midden in
Oxford Street, was found Oct. 3, 1873.

Charles Henry Porter, surgeon, Aug. 10, 1876, died from an overdose of
prussic acid taken as a remedy.

Richard Riley was killed by the bursting of a sodawater bottle, June 19,

Alfred Mills drowned in a vinegar vat at the Brewery in Glover Street,
March 7, 1878.

Two gentlemen (Messrs. W. Arnold and G. Barker), while on a visit of
inspection at Sandwell Park Colliery, Nov. 6, 1878, were killed by
falling from the cage. Two miners, father and son, were killed by a fall
of coal in the following week.

A water main, 30 inches diameter, burst in Wheeler Street, June 17,

On the night of Sep. 5, 1880, Mrs. Kingham, landlady of the "Hen and
Chickens," fell through a doorway on the third storey landing into the
yard, dying a few hours after. The doorway was originally intended to
lead to a gallery of the Aquarium then proposed to be built at the back
of the hotel.

January 12th, 1881.--A helper in the menagerie at Sanger's Exhibition,
then at Bingley Hall, was attacked and seriously injured by a lion,
whose den he was cleaning out. The animal was beaten off by the keeper,
the said keeper, Alicamoosa (?) himself being attacked and injured a few
days after by the same animal.

A child of 17 months fell on to a sewer grating in River Street, May
28th, 1881, and died from the effects of hot steam arising therefrom,
neighbouring manufacturers pouring their waste boiler water into the

~Accidental Deaths by Drowning.~--Five persons were drowned at Soho
Pool, on Christmas Day, 1822, through the ice breaking under them.

In 1872, John Jerromes lost his life while trying to save a boy who had
fallen into Fazeley Street Canal. £200 subscriptions were raised for his
wife and family.

A boat upset at the Reservoir, April 11, 1873, when one life was lost.

Boat upset at Kirby's Pools, whereby one Lawrence Joyce was drowned, May
17, 1875. Two men were also drowned here July 23, 1876.

Three boys, and a young man named Hodgetts, who attempted to save them,
were drowned, Jan 16, 1876, at Green's Hole Pool, Garrison Lane, through
breaking of the ice.

Arthur, 3rd son of Sir C.B. Adderley, was drowned near Blair Athol, July
1, 1877, aged 21.

Four boys were drowned at the Reservoir, July 26, 1877.

Two children were drowned in the Rea at Jakeman's Fields, May 30, 1878.

Rev. S. Fiddian, a Wesleyan Minister, of this town, aged nearly 80, was
drowned while bathing at Barmouth, Aug. 4, 1880.

A Mrs. Satchwell was drowned at Earlswood, Feb. 3, 1883, though a
carrier's cart falling over the embankment into the Reservoir in the
dusk of the evening. The horse shared the fate of the lady, but the
driver escaped.

~Accidental Death from Electricity.~--Jan. 20, 1880, a musician, named
Augustus Biedermann, took hold of two joints of the wires supplying the
electric lights of the Holte Theatre, and receiving nearly the full
force of the 40-horse power battery, was killed on the spot.

~Accidents from Fallen Buildings.~--A house in Snow Hill fell Sept. 1,
1801, when four persons were killed.

During the raising of the roof of Town Hall, John Heap was killed by the
fall of a principal (Jan. 26, 1833), and Win. Badger, injured same time,
died a few weeks after. Memorial stone in St. Philip's Churchyard.

Welch's pieshop, Temple Street, fell in, March 5, 1874.

Two houses fell in Great Lister Street, Aug. 18, 1874, and one in Lower
Windsor Street, Jan. 13, 1875.

Three houses collapsed in New Summer Street, April 4, 1875, when one
person was killed, and nine others injured.

Four houses fell in Tanter Street, Jan. 1, 1877, when a boy was lamed.

Two men were killed, and several injured, by chimney blown down at
Deykin & Sons, Jennens Row, Jan. 30, 1877, and one man was killed by
wall blown down in Harborne Road, Feb. 20, same year.

Some children playing about a row of condemned cottages, Court 2, Gem
Street, Jan. 11, 1885, contrived to pull part on to their heads, killing
one, and injuring others.

~Accidents from Fire.~--February, 1875, was an unfortunate month for the
females, an old woman being burnt to death on the 5th, a middle-aged one
on the 7th, and a young one on the 12th.

~Accidents through Lightning.~--A boy was struck dead at Bordesley
Green, July 30, 1871. Two men, William Harvey and James Steadman, were
similarly killed at Chester Street Wharf, May 14, 1879. Harvey was
followed to the grave by a procession of white-smocked navvies.

~Accidents at Places of Amusement.~--A sudden panic and alarm of [**]
caused several deaths and many injuries at the Spread Eagle Concert
Hall, Bull Ring, May 5, 1855.

The "Female Blondin" was killed by falling from the high rope, at Aston
Park, July 20, 1863.

A trapeze gymnast, "Fritz," was killed at Day's Concert Hall, Nov. 12,

A boy was killed by falling from the Gallery at the Theatre Royal, Feb.
16, 1873.

At Holder's Concert Hall, April 1, 1879, Alfred Bishop (12) had his leg
broken while doing the "Shooting Star" trick.

~Accidents in the Streets.~--On New Year's Day, 1745, a man was killed
by a wagon going over him, owing to the "steepness" of Carr's Lane.

The Shrewsbury coach was upset at Hockley, May 24, 1780, when several
passengers were injured.

The Chester mail coach was upset, April 15, 1787, while rounding the
Welsh Cross, and several persons much injured.

Feb. 28, 1875, must be noted as the "slippery day," no less than forty
persons (twelve with broken limbs), being taken to the Hospitals through
falling in the icy streets.

Captain Thornton was killed by being thrown from his carriage, May 22,

The Coroner's van was upset in Livery Street, Jan. 24, 1881, and several
jurymen injured.

~Accidents on the Rails.~--An accident occurred to the Birmingham
express train at Shipton, on Christmas Eve, 1874, whereby 26 persons
were killed, and 180 injured. In the excitement at Snow Hill Station, a
young woman was pushed under a train and lost both her legs, though her
life was saved, and she now has artificial lower limbs.

Police-officer Kimberley was killed in the crush at Olton Station on the
Race Day, Feb. 11th, 1875.

While getting out of carriages, while the train was in motion, a man was
killed at New Street Station, May 15, 1875, and on the 18th, another at
Snow Hill, and though such accidents occur almost weekly, on some line
or other, people keep on doing it.

Three men were killed on the line near King's Norton, Sept. 28, 1876.

Mr. Pipkins, Stationmaster at Winson Green, was killed Jan. 2. 1877.

Inspector Bellamy, for 30 years at New Street Station, fell while
crossing a carriage, and was killed, April 15, 1879.

~Acock's Green,~ a few years back only a little village, is fast
becoming a thriving suburban town. The old estate, of about 150 acres,
was lotted out for building in 1839, the sale being then conducted by
Messrs. E. and C. Robbins, August 19. The Public Hall, which cost about
£3,000, was opened December 20, 1878; its principal room being 74 feet
long, 30 feet wide, and 30 feet high.

~Adderley.~--Sir Charles B. Adderley was gazetted a peer April 16, 1878,
his title being Baron Norton, of Norton-on-the-Moors, Staffordshire.

~Adderley Park~ was opened Aug. 30, 1856. Its area is 10a. Or. 22p., and
the Corporation hold it as tenants under a 999 years' lease, at 5s.
rental. A Reading Room and Branch Library was opened on Jan. 11, 1864.

~Advertisements.~--The duty on advertisements in newspapers was
abolished Aug. 4,1853. One of the most attractive styles of advertising
was that adopted by Messrs. Walter Showell and Son, August 30, 1881,
when _The Birmingham Daily Post_ gave up a whole page for the firm's
use. 10,000 copies were sent to their customers by early post on day of

~Afghan War.~--A stormy "town's meeting" on this subject was held in the
Town Hall, Dec. 3, 1878, memorable for the interference of the police by
order of the Mayor, and the proceedings consequent thereon.

~Agricultural Labourers.~--Jos. Arch, their champion, addressed a
meeting in their behalf at Town Hall, Dec. 18, 1873, and other meetings
were held April 15 and July 3 following. A collection made for some of
the labourers on strike amounted to £137 9s. 2-1/2d.

~Agricultural Shows.~--The Warwickshire Agricultural Show (with the
Birmingham Horse Show, and the Rose Show) began at Aston, June 17, 1873.
The first exhibition here of the Royal Agricultural Society took place
July 19-24, 1876, in Aston Park, specially granted by the Corporation.--
See _Cattle Shows, &c_.

~Albion Metal,~ tin rolled on lead, much used for making "lace," &c.,
for coffin decoration, was introduced in 1804, being the invention of
Thomas Dobbs, a comic actor, then engaged at the Theatre Royal. He was
also the designer of a reaping machine, and made one and showed it with
real corn for his "Benefit" on the stage of the Theatre Royal in 1815.

~Alcester~ Turnpike road was first used in 1767.

~Aldermen.~--See _Corporation_.

~Ales and Alehouses~ were known in this country nearly 1,200 years ago,
but the national beverage was not taxed until 1551, a few years previous
to which (1535) hops were first used in place of wormwood, &c. In 1603
it was enacted that not more than 1d. (equal to 9d. value now) should be
charged per quart for the best ale or beer, or for two quarts of the
"smaller" sort. An additional excise duty was imposed on ale and beer in
1643. See also _Breweries_.

~Almanacks.~--The first English-printed Almanack was for the year 1497,
and the London Stationers' Company had the monopoly of printing them for
nearly 300 years. The first locally printed Almanack was the "Diaria
Britannica" (or "British Diary"), by Messrs. Pearson and Rollason,
issued in 1787 for 1788, at 9d. per copy, in addition to the 1s. 6d.
required for stamp duty. It was barely half the size and not a tenth the
value of the "Diary" published by Messrs Walter Showell and Sons, and of
which 20,000 copies are given away annually. The stamp duty was removed
from Almanacks in 1834. "Showell's Almanack" in past years was highly
esteemed before we had been supplied with "Moody's," the "Red Book,"
&c., and a copy of it for the year 1839 is valuable as a curiosity, it
being issued with a partly printed page with blanks left for the
insertion of the names of the members of the Corporation, whose first
election under the charter of incorporation was about to take place. To
prevent any mistake, the "Esqrs." were carefully printed in where the
names of the new Aldermen were to go, the blanks for Councillors being
only honoured with a "Mr."

~Almshouses~ for Lench's Trust were built in Steelhouse Lane in 1764. In
later years other sets of houses have been built in Conybere Street,
Hospital Street, Ravenhurst Street, and Ladywood Road, the inmates, all
women, numbering 182. Jas. Dowell's Almshouses in Warner Street,
consisting of 20 houses and a chapel, known as the "Retreat," were built
in 1820. Mrs. Glover's Almshouses in Steelhouse Lane for 36 aged women,
were erected in 1832. James Lloyd's twenty-four Almshouses in Belgrave
Street were erected in 1869.

~Aluminium.~--This valuable material for the use of one of our staple
trades was first obtained by a German chemist in 1837, but was not
produced in sufficient quantity for manufacturing purposes until 1854,
at which time its market value was 60s. per oz. It gradually cheapened,
until it is now priced at 5s., and a company has lately been formed for
its more easy manufacture, who promise to supply it at about as many

~Amphitheatres.~--Astley's celebrated amphitheatre was brought here in
October, 1787. Mr. and Mrs. Astley themselves had performed in
Birmingham as early as 1772.--A local amphitheatre was opened in Livery
Street in 1787, on the present site of Messrs. Billing's printing works.
After the riots of 1791 it was used for a time by the congregations of
Old and New Meeting, while their own chapels were being rebuilt. An
attempt to bring it back to its old uses failed, and "the properties"
were sold Nov. 25, 1795. Several sects occupied it in after years, the
last being the Latter-Day Saints. It was taken down in 1848.--Another
amphitheatre was opened at Bingley Hall, December 29, 1853, by the
plucky but unlucky John Tonks, a well-known caterer for the public's

~Amusement,~ Places of--Notes of the Theatres, Concert Halls, Parks,
&c., will be found under the several headings. Among the most popular
series of concerts of late years have been those of a Saturday evening
(at 3d. admission) in the Town Hall, which began on Nov. 8, 1879, and
are continued to present date.

~Analyst.~--Dr. Hill was appointed Borough Analyst in Feb., 1861, his
duties being to examine and test any sample of food or drinks that may
be brought or sent to him in order to prove their purity or otherwise.
The fees are limited to a scale approved by the Town Council.

~Ancient History~ of Birmingham can hardly be said to exist. Its rise
and progress is essentially modern, and the few notes that have come to
us respecting its early history will be found briefly summarised at the
commencement of this book.

~Anti-Borough-Rate Meeting.~--In 1874 the Town Council asked for power
to lay a Borough-rate exceeding 2s. in the £., but after three days'
polling (ending March 30) permission was refused by a majority of 2,654
votes. The power was obtained afterwards.

~Anti-Church-Rate Meetings~ were frequent enough at one period of our
history. The two most worthy of remembrance were those of Dec. 15, 1834,
when the rate was refused by a majority of 4,966 votes, and Oct., 1841,
when the polling showed 626 for the rate and 7,281 against.

~Anti-Corn-Law Meetings~ were also numerous. The one to recollect is
that held Feb. 18, 1842.

~Anti-Papal Demonstration.~--A town's meeting took place in the Town
Hall, Dec. 11, 1850, to protest against the assumption of ecclesiastical
titles by the Catholic hierarchy. About 8,000 persons were present, and
the "No Popery" element was strong, but Joseph Sturge moved an amendment
for freedom to all parties, which so split the votes that the Mayor said
the amendment was not carried and the resolution was lost.

~Anti-Slavery.~--The first Anti-Slavery meeting held here was that of
Nov. 27, 1787. A local petition to Parliament against the slave trade
was presented to the House of Commons, Feb. 11, 1788. A local society
was formed here in 1826, Joseph Sturge being secretary, and many
meetings were held before the Day of Abolition was celebrated. The most
noteworthy of these was that at Dee's Assembly Room, April 16, 1833,
when G.F. Muntz and the Political Union opposed the agitation; a great
meeting, Oct. 14, 1835; another on Feb. 1, 1836, in which Daniel
O'Connell and John Angell James took part. This last was the first large
town's meeting at which the "total and immediate" abolition of slavery
was demanded. Joseph Sturge following it up by going to the West Indies
and reporting the hardships inflicted upon the blacks under the
"gradual" system then in operation. Aug. 7, 1838, the day when slavery
dropped its chains on English ground, was celebrated here by a
children's festival in the Town Hall, by laying the foundation-stone of
"The Negro Emancipation Schools," Legge Street, and by a public meeting
at night, at which Sir Eardley Wilmott, D. O'Connell, Dr. Lushington,
Edward Baines, &c., were present.

~Anti-one-thing-or-t'other.~--True to their motto, Birmingham people are
always ready to oppose the wrong and forward the right, but what is
right and what wrong is only to be ascertained by public discussion, and
a few dates of celebrated "talks" are here given:--

In 1719 the apprenticing of Russian youths to local trades was objected

In the Christmas week of 1754 public protest was made against the tax on
wheel carriages.

March 12, 1824, a deputation was sent to Parliament to protest against
our workmen being allowed to emigrate, for fear they should teach the

A proposed New Improvement Bill was vetoed by the burgesses, Dec. 18,
1855. We _have_ improved a little since then!

An Anti-Confessional meeting was held Nov. 8, 1877.

An Anti-Contagious Diseases Act meeting, April 19, 1877.

An Anti-giving-up-Fugitive-Slave meeting, Jan. 1, 1876, when a certain
Admiralty Circular was condemned.

An Anti-Irish-Church-Establishment meeting was held June 14, 1869.

An Anti-moving-the-Cattle Market meeting Dec. 14, 1869, Smithfield being
preferred to Duddeston Hall.

An Anti-Railway-through-Sutton-Park meeting, April 15, 1872, but the
railway _is_ there.

An Anti-Rotten-Ship-and-Sailor-drowning meeting, with Mr. Plimsoll to
the fore, May 14 1873. Another July 29, 1875.

An Anti-Ashantee War meeting Sept. 29, 1873.

An Anti-Turkish Atrocity meeting, Sept. 7, 1876; followed by one on Oct.
2nd, properly settling the Eastern question.

An Anti-Six-Million-War-Vote meeting was held on Jan. 28, 1878, when the
Liberal majority was immense. A Tory opposition meeting, in support of
the vote, was held Feb. 12, when chairs and forms were broken up to use
as arguments, the result being a majority of 2 to 1 for both sides.

An Anti-War meeting, May 3, 1878.

Anti-Vivisection meetings. April 24, 1877, and May 6, 1878.

~Apollo, Moseley Street.~--Opened as a public resort in 1786, the Rea
being then a clear running brook. The first tenant did not prosper, for
in the first week of March, 1787, the _Gazette_ contained an
advertisement that the Apollo Hotel, "pleasantly situate in a new
street, called Moseley Street, in the hamlet of Deritend, on the banks
of the River Rea," with "a spacious Bowling Green and Gardens," was to
be let, with or without four acres of good pasture land. When closed as
a licensed house, it was at first divided into two residences, but in
1816 the division walls, &c., were removed, to fit it as a residence for
Mr. Hamper, the antiquary. That gentleman wrote that the prospect at the
back was delightful, and was bounded only by Bromsgrove Lickey. The
building was then called "Deritend House."

~Aquariums.~--The Aquarium at Aston Lower Grounds was opened July 10,
1879. The principal room has a length of 312 feet, the promenade being
24 feet wide by 20 feet high. The west side of this spacious apartment
is fitted with a number of large show tanks, where many rare and choice
specimens of marine animals and fishes may be exhibited. On a smaller
scale there is an Aquarium at the "Crystal Palace" Garden, at Sutton
Coldfield, and a curiosity in the shape of an "Aquarium Bar" may be seen
at the establishment of Mr. Bailey, in Moor Street.

~Arcades.~--The Arcade between Monmouth Street and Temple Row, was
commenced April 26, 1875; first illuminated August 19, 1876, and opened
for public use on 28th of that month. It is built over that portion of
the G.W.R. line running from Monmouth Street to Temple Row, the front
facing the Great Western Hotel, occupying the site once filled by the
old Quaker's burial ground. It is the property of a company, and cost
nearly £100,000, the architect being Mr. W.H. Ward. The shops number 38,
and in addition there are 56 offices in the galleries.--The _Central
Arcade_ in Corporation Street, near to New Street, and leading into
Cannon Street, is from the designs of the same architect and was opened
September 26, 1881. Underneath the Arcade proper is the Central
Restaurant, and one side of the thoroughfare forms part of the shop of
Messrs. Marris and Norton.--The _North-Western Arcade_, which was opened
April 5, 1884, is like a continuation of the first-named, being also
built over the G.W.R. tunnel, and runs from Temple Row to Corporation
Street. The architect is Mr. W. Jenkins, and the undertakers Messrs.
Wilkinson and Riddell, who occupy the principal frontage. Several of the
twenty-six shops into which the Arcade is divided have connection with
places of business in Bull Street.--The _Imperial Arcade_, in Dale End,
next to St. Peter's Church, is also a private speculation (that of Mr.
Thos. Hall), and was opened at Christmas, 1883. It contains, in addition
to the frontage, thirty-two shops, with the same number of offices
above, while the basement forms a large room suitable for meetings,
auctions, &c., it being 135ft. long, 55ft. wide and nearly 15ft. high.
Two of the principal features of the Arcade are a magnificent stained
window, looking towards St. Peters, and a curious clock, said to be the
second of its kind in England, life-size figures of Guy, Earl of
Warwick, and his Countess, with their attendants, striking the hours and
quarters on a set of musical bells, the largest of which weighs about
5cwt.--_Snow Hill Arcade_, opposite the railway station, and leading to
Slaney Street, is an improvement due to Mr. C. Ede, who has adopted the
designs of Mr. J.S. Davis.--The _Hen and Chickens Arcade_ has been
designed by Mr. J.A. Cossins, for a company who purpose to build it,
and, at the same time, enlarge the well-known New Street hotel of the
same name. The portico and vestibule of the hotel will form the entrance
in New Street to the Arcade, which will contain two-dozen good-sized
shops, a large basement room for restaurant, &c.; the out in Worcester
Street being nearly facing the Market Hall.

~Area of Borough.~--Birmingham covers an area of 8,400 acres, with an
estimated population of 400,680 (end of 1881), thus giving an average of
47.7 persons to an acre. As a means of comparison, similar figures are
given for a few other large towns:--

              Area in    Population  Persons
                Acres     in 1881    to acres
Bradford   ...  7,200     203,544     28.2
Bristol    ...  4,452     217,185     48.3
Leeds      ... 21,572     326,158     15.1
Leicester  ...  3,200     134,350     42.0
Liverpool  ...  5,210     549,834    105.6
Manchester ...  4,293     364,445     84.9
Nottingham ...  9,960     177,964     77.9
Newcastle  ...  5,372     151,822     28.3
Salford    ...  5,170     194,077     37.5
Sheffield  ... 19,651     312,943     15.9
Wolverhmptn     3,396      76,850     22.6

~Arms of the Borough.~--The Town Council, on the 6th day of August,
1867, did resolve and declare that the Arms of the Borough should be
blazoned as follows: "1st and 4th _azure_, a bend lozengy _or_; 2nd and
3rd, parti per pale _or_ and _gules_."--_(See cover)_.

~Art and Artists.~--An "Academy of Arts" was organised in 1814, and an
exhibition of paintings took place in Union Passage that year, but the
experiment was not repeated. A School of Design, or "Society of Arts,"
was started Feb. 7, 1821; Sir Robert Lawley (the first Lord Wenlock)
presenting a valuable collection of casts from Grecian sculpture. The
first exhibition was held in 1826, at The Panorama, an erection then
standing on the site of the present building in New Street, the opening
being inaugurated by a conversazione on September 10. In 1858, the
School of Design was removed to the Midland Institute. The "Society of
Artists" may be said to have commenced in 1826, when several gentlemen
withdrew from the School of Design. Their number greatly increased by
1842, when they took possession of the Athenæum, in which building their
exhibitions were annually held until 1858. In that year they returned to
New Street, acquiring the title of "Royal" in 1864. The Art Students'
Literary Association was formed in September, 1869.

~Art Gallery and School of Art.~--In connection with the Central Free
Library a small gallery of pictures, works of Art, &c., loaned or
presented to the town, was opened to the public August 1, 1867, and from
time to time was further enriched. Fortunately they were all removed
previous to the disastrous fire of Jan. 11, 1879. A portion of the new
Reference Library is at present devoted to the same purpose, pending the
completion of the handsome edifice being erected by the Gas Committee at
the back of the Municipal Buildings, and of which it will form a part,
extending from Congreve Street along Edmund Street to Eden Place. The
whole of the upper portion of the building will be devoted to the
purposes of a Museum and Art Gallery, and already there has been
gathered the nucleus of what promises to be one of the finest
collections in the kingdom, more particularly in respect to works of Art
relating more or less to some of the principal manufactures of
Birmingham. There are a large number of valuable paintings, including
many good specimens of David Cox and other local artists; quite a
gallery of portraits of gentlemen connected with the town, and other
worthies; a choice collection of gems and precious stones of all kinds;
a number of rare specimens of Japanese and Chinese cloisonné enamels;
nearly a complete set of the celebrated Soho coins and medals, with many
additions of a general character; many cases of ancient Roman, Greek,
and Byzantine coins; more than an hundred almost priceless examples of
old Italian carvings, in marble and stone, with some dozens of ancient
articles of decorative furniture; reproductions of delicately-wrought
articles of Persian Art work, plate belonging to the old City Companies,
the Universities, and from Amsterdam and the Hague; a collection of
Wedgwood and other ceramic ware, the gift of Messrs. R. and G. Tangye,
with thousands of other rare, costly, and beautiful things. In
connection with the Art Gallery is the "Public Picture Gallery Fund,"
the founder of which was the late Mr. Clarkson Osler, who gave £3,000
towards it. From this fund, which at present amounts to about £450 per
year, choice pictures are purchased as occasion offers, many others
being presented by friends to the town, notably the works of David Cox,
which were given by the late Mr. Joseph Nettlefold.--The _School of
Art_, which is being built in Edmund Street, close to the Art Gallery,
is so intimately connected therewith that it may well be noticed with
it. The ground, about 1,000 square yards, has been given by Mr. Cregoe
Colmore, the cost of election being paid out of £10,000 given by Miss
Ryland, and £10,000 contributed by Messrs. Tangye. The latter firm have
also given £5,000 towards the Art Gallery; Mr. Joseph Chamberlain has
contributed liberally in paintings and in cash; other friends have
subscribed about £8,000; Mr. Nettlefold's gift was valued at £14,000,
and altogether not less than £40,000 has been presented to the town in
connection with the Art Gallery, in addition to the whole cost of the
School of Art.

~Art Union.~--The first Ballot for pictures to be chosen from the Annual
Exhibition of Local Artists took place in 1835, the Rev. Hugh Hutton
having the honour of originating it. The tickets were 21s. each,
subscribers receiving an engraving.

~Ash, John, M.D.~--Born in 1723, was an eminent physician who practised
in Birmingham for some years, but afterwards removed to London. He
devoted much attention to the analysis of mineral waters, delivered the
Harveian oration in 1790, and was president of a club which numbered
among its members some of the most learned and eminent men of the time.
Died in 1798.

~Ashford, Mary.~--Sensational trials for murder have of late years been
numerous enough, indeed, though few of them have had much local
interest, if we except that of the poisoner Palmer. The death of the
unfortunate Mary Ashford, however, with the peculiar circumstance
attending the trial of the supposed murderer, and the latter's appeal to
the right then existing under an old English law of a criminal's claim
to a "Trial of Battel," invested the case with an interest which even at
this date can hardly be said to have ceased. Few people can be found to
give credence to the possibility of the innocence of Abraham Thornton,
yet a careful perusal of a history of the world-known but last "Wager of
Battel" case, as written by the late Mr. Toulmin Smith, must lead to the
belief that the poor fellow was as much sinned against as sinning, local
prejudices and indignant misrepresentations notwithstanding. So far from
the appeal to the "Wager of Battel" being the desperate remedy of a
convicted felon to escape the doom justly imposed upon him for such
heinous offence as the murder of an innocent girl, it was simply the
attempt of a clever attorney to remove the stigma attached to an
unfortunate and much-maligned client. The dead body of Mary Ashford was
found in a pit of water in Sutton Coldfield, on the 27th of May, 1817,
she having been seen alive on the morning of the same day. Circumstances
instantly, and most naturally, fastened suspicion of foul play upon
Abraham Thornton. He was tried at Warwick, at the Autumn Assizes of the
same year, and acquitted. The trial was a very remarkable one. Facts
were proved with unusual clearness and precision, which put it beyond
the bounds of physical possibility that he could have murdered Mary
Ashford. Those facts hinged on the time shown by several different
clocks, compared with the standard time kept at Birmingham. But the
public feeling on the matter was intense. An engraving of the scene of
the alleged murder, with a stimulating letter-press description, was
published at the time, and the general sense undoubtedly was, that the
perpetrator of a very foul murder had escaped his just doom. Hoping to
do away with this impression, a well-known local lawyer bethought
himself of the long-forgotten "Appeal of Murder," trusting that by a
second acquittal Thornton's innocence would be acknowledged by all.
Though the condition of all the parties was but humble, friends soon
came forward with funds and good advice, so that within the year and a
day which the law allowed, proceedings were taken in the name of William
Ashford (Mary's brother, who, as next heir, according to the old law,
had the sole power of pardon in such a case) for an "Appeal of Murder"
against Abraham Thornton. What followed is here given in Mr. Toulmin
Smith's own words:--"I have seen it stated, hot indignation colouring
imagination, that here was a weak stripling nobly aroused to avenge the
death of his sister, by tendering himself to do battle against the tall
strong man who was charged with her murder. The facts, as they stand are
truly striking enough; but this melodramatic spectacle does not formally
true part of them." A writ of "Appeal of Murder" was soon issued. It
bears the date of 1st October, 1817. Under that writ Thornton was again
arrested by the Sheriff of Warwick. On the first day of Michaelmas Term,
in the same year, William Ashford appeared in the Court of King's Bench
at Westminster, as _appellant_, and Abraham Thornton, brought up on writ
of _habeas corpus_, appeared as _appellee_. The charge of murder was
formally made by the appellant; and time to plead to this charge was
granted to the appellee until Monday, 16th November.--It must have been
a strange and startling scene, on the morning of that Monday, 16th
November, 1817, when Abraham Thornton stood at the bar of the Court of
King's Bench in Westminster Hall; a scene which that ancient Hall had
not witnessed within the memory of any living man, but which must have
then roused the attention of even its drowsiest haunter. "The appellee
being brought into Court and placed at the bar" (I am quoting the
original dry technical record of the transaction), "and the appellant
being also in court, the count [charge] was again read over to him, and
he [Thornton] was called upon to plead. He pleaded as follows;--'Not
Guilty; and I am ready to defend the same by my body.' And thereupon,
taking his glove off, he threw it on the floor of the Court." That is to
say, Ashford having "appealed" Thornton of the murder, Thornton claimed
the right to maintain his own innocence by "Trial of Battel;" and so his
answer to the charge was a "Wager of Battel." And now the din of fight
seemed near, with the Court of King's Bench at Westminster for the
arena, and the grave Judges of that Court for the umpires. But the case
was destined to add but another illustration to what Cicero tells us of
how, oftentimes, arms yield to argument, and the swordsman's looked-for
laurel vanishes before the pleader's tongue. William Ashford, of course,
acting under the advice of those who really promoted the appeal,
declined to accept Thornton's wager of battel. Instead of accepting it,
his counsel disputed the right of Thornton to wage his battel in this
case; alleging, in a very long plea, that there were presumptions of
guilt so strong as to deprive him of that right. Thornton answered this
plea by another, in which all the facts that had been proved on the
trial at Warwick were set forth at great length. And then the case was
very elaborately argued, for three days, by two eminent and able
counsel, one of whom will be well remembered by most readers as the late
Chief-Justice Tindal. Tindal was Thornton's counsel. Of course I cannot
go here into the argument. The result was, that, on 16th April, 1881,
the full Court (Lord Ellenborough, and Justices Bayley, Abbott, and
Holroyd) declared themselves _unanimously_ of opinion that the appellee
(Thornton) was entitled to, wage his battel, no presumptions of guilt
having been shown clear enough or strong enough to deprive him of that
right. Upon this, Ashford, not having accepted the wager of battel, the
"appeal" was stayed, and Thornton was discharged. Thus no reversal took
place of the previous acquittal of Thornton by the Jury at Warwick
Assizes. But that acquittal had nothing whatever to do with any "trial
by battel;" for I have shown that the "wager of battel" arose out of a
proceeding later than and consequent upon that acquittal, and that this
"wager of battel" never reached the stage of a "trial by battel."

What became of Thornton is unknown, but he is supposed to have died in
America, where he fled to escape the obloquoy showered upon him by an
unforgiving public. The adage that "murder will out" has frequently
proved correct, but in this case it has not, and the charge against
Thornton is reiterated in every account of this celebrated trial that
has been published, though his innocence cannot now be doubted.

~Ashted,~ now a populous part of the town, takes its name from Dr. Ash,
whose residence was transformed into Ashted Church, the estate being
laid out for building in 1788.

~Assay Marks.~--These consist of the initials of the maker, the Queen's
head for the duty (17/-on gold, 1/6 on silver, per oz.), a letter
(changed yearly) for date, an anchor for the Birmingham office mark, and
the standard or value mark, which is given in figures, thus:--for gold
of 22-carat fineness (in oz. of 24) a crown and 22; 18-carat, a crown
and 18; 15-carat, 15.625; 12-carat, 12.5; 9-carat, 9.375. The value mark
for silver of 11 oz. 10 dwts. (in lb. of 12 oz.) is the figure of
Britannia; for 11 oz. 2 dwts. a lion passant. The date letter is changed
in July. At present it is k. The lower standards of 15, 12, and 9-carat
gold (which are not liable to duty), were authorised by an Order in
Council, of December 22, 1854, since which date an immense increase has
taken place in the quantity assayed in Birmingham.

~Assay Office.~--There are seven Assay Offices in the country, the
Birmingham one being established by special Act in 1773, for the
convenience of silversmiths and plateworkers. A few hours per week was
sufficient for the business at that time, and it was conducted at the
King's Head in New Street; afterwards, in 1782, in Bull Lane, in 1800 at
a house in Little Colmore Street, and from 1816 at the old Baptist
Chapel in Little Cannon Street. In 1824 the Act 5, George IV., cap 52,
incorporated the assay of gold, the guardians being 36 in number, from
whom are chosen the wardens. On July 14, 1877, the foundation stone was
laid of the New Assay Office in Newhall Street, and it was opened for
business June 24, 1878.

~Assizes.~--Birmingham was "proclaimed" an assize town January 14, 1859,
but the first assizes were held in July, 1884.

~Aston.~--Eight hundred years ago, Aston filled a small space in the
Domesday book of history, wherein it is stated that the estate consisted
of eight hides of land, and three miles of wood, worth £5, with 44
residents (one being a priest), and 1,200 acres in cultivation. The
present area of Aston Manor is 943 acres, on which are built about
14,000 houses, having a population of some 60,000 persons, and a
rateable value of £140,000. In the first ten years of the existence of
the Local Board (1869 to 1878) £30,000 was spent on main drainage works,
£10,000 in public improvements, and £53,000 in street improvements.
Aston has now its Public Buildings, Free Library, &c., as well as an
energetic School Board, and, though unsuccessful in its attempt in 1876
to obtain a charter of incorporation, there can be little doubt but that
it will ultimately bloom forth in all the glories of a Mayor, Aldermen,
and Burgesses. Aston parish, which extends in several directions into
the borough of Birmingham, has an area of 13,786 acres.

~Aston Almshouses~ were built in 1655, according to the provisions made
by Sir Thomas Holte previous to his decease.

~Aston Church~ was probably built about the year 1170, the nave and part
of chancel being added in 1231, the east end and arch of chancel in
1310, and the tower and spire in 1440. The old building, which contained
an interesting collection of monuments in memory of the Holtes, the
Ardens, the Erdingtons, and other county families, has been lately
enlarged by the extension of the nave and aisles eastward, and widening
the chancel so as to accommodate about 1,200 people, instead of 500. The
whole of the monuments have been replaced in their relative positions.

~Aston Cross Tavern~ was opened as a licensed house and tea gardens in
1775, the first landlord, Mr. Barron, dying in 1792, his widow keeping
it till her death in 1817. Of late years it has been a favourite resort
of all classes of athletes, though from being so closely built to it has
lost much of the attraction which drew our grandfathers to its shady
arbours when on country pleasure bent. The park wall extended to the
corner of and along the side of Park Lane, opposite the tavern.

~Aston Hall and Park.~--This building was commenced by Sir Thomas Holte
in April, 1618, and finished in April, 1635, Inigo Jones being
accredited with the design. King Charles I., in his days of trouble,
paid a short visit to the Hall, his host being punished afterwards by
some of Cromwell's soldiers and the malcontents of Birmingham besieging
the place in the week after Christmas, 1643. The brick wall round the
park, nearly three miles long, but of which there are now few traces
left, was put up by Sir Lister Holte about 1750, and tradition says it
was paid for by some Staffordshire coal-masters, who, supposing that
coal lay underneath, conditioned with Sir Lister that no mines should be
sunk within [word missing--presume "its"] boundary. The Hall and Park
were held by the various generations of the family till the death of the
late Dowager Lady Holte. (For an accurate and interesting description of
the edifice see Davidson's "Holtes of Aston.") The Act authorising the
sale of the Aston estates received the royal sanction on July 10, 1817,
and the sale of the furniture and effects in the Hall was commenced by
Messrs. J. and C. Robins on September 22. The sale lasted nine days,
there being 1,144 lots, which realised £2,150; the farming stock, &c.,
being sold afterwards for £1,201. The Hall and Park was put up on April
15, 1818, and was bought by Messrs. Greenway, Greaves, and Whitehead,
bankers, of Warwick, the estate of 1,530 acres being let off by them in
suitable lots. The herd of deer, reduced to 150 head, was sold December
21. The Hall was rented by Mr. James Watt, son of _the_ James Watt, and
for many years it was closed to the public. At his death, in 1848, the
changes which had been going on all round for years begin to make
themselves seen in the shape of huge gaps in the old wall, houses
springing up fast here and there, and a street being cut through the
noble avenue of chestnut trees in 1852. By degrees, the park was reduced
to 370 acres, which, with the Hall, were offered to the town in 1850 for
the sum of £130,000; but the Town Council declined the bargain, though
less than one-half of the Park (150 acres) was sold immediately after
for more than all the money. In 1857 a "People's Park" Company was
started to "Save Aston Hall" and the few acres close round it, an
agreement being entered into for £35,000. Many of the 20s. shares were
taken up, and Her Majesty the Queen performed the opening ceremony June
15, 1858. The speculation proved a failure, as out of about £18,000
raised one-half went in repairs, alterations, losses, &c., and it would
have been lost to the town had not the Corporation bought it in
February, 1864. They gave £33,000 (£7,000 being private subscriptions),
and it was at last opened as a free park, September 22, 1864. The
picture gallery is 136ft. long, by 18ft. wide and 16ft. high. In this
and various other rooms, will be found a miscellaneous museum of
curiosities, more or less rare, including stuffed birds and animals,
ancient tapestry and furniture, &c.

~Aston Lower Grounds,~ the most beautiful pleasure grounds in the
Midland counties, cover 31 acres, and were originally nothing more than
the kitchen and private gardens and the fish-ponds belonging to Aston
Hall, and were purchased at the sale in 1818 by the Warwick bankers, who
let them to Mr. H.G. Quilter, at the time an attempt was made to
purchase the Hall and Park "by the people." Adding to its attractions
year by year, Mr. Quilter remained on the ground until 1878, when a
limited liability company was formed to take to the hotel and premises,
building an aquarium 320 feet long by 54 feet wide, an assembly-room,
220 feet long, by 91 feet wide, and otherwise catering for the comfort
of their visitors, 10,000 of whom can be now entertained and amused
under shelter, in case of wet weather. Mr. Quilter's selling price was
£45,000, taking £25,000 in shares, and £20,000 cash by instalments. The
speculation did not appear to be very successful, and the property is
now in private hands. The visitors to the Lower Grounds since 1864 have
averaged 280,000 per annum.

~Asylum,~ in Summer Lane, was opened in July 1797, by the Guardians of
the Poor as an industrial residence and school for 250 children. It was
dismantled and closed in 1846, though the "Beehive" carved over the door
was allowed to remain on the ruins some years after.

~Athenæum~--For the "diffusion of Literature and Science" was
established in March, 1839, but has long been merged in the Midland
Institute. In the building called the "Athenæum", top of Temple Street,
some of the early exhibitions of paintings were held.

~Athenic Institute,~ founded in 1841, was an institute of a somewhat
similar character to the Athenæum, though including athletics, and
existed no longer.

~Athletic Clubs.~--The first festival of the Birmingham Athletic Club
was held in 1868. On the 1st of March, 1880, an association was
organised of many of the bicycle clubs, cricket clubs, football clubs,
and similar athletic bodies in the town and neighbourhood, under the
name of "The Midland Counties Amateurs' Athletic Union."

~Atlantic Cables.~--It would have been strange if Birmingham had not had
a hand in the making of these. For the cable laid in 1865, 16,000 miles
of copper wire, weighing 308 tons, were turned out by Messrs. Bolton and
Sons and Messrs. Wilkes and Sons. The cable itself was 2,300 (nautical)
miles in length.

~Baby Show.~--Let Mr. Inshaw, of the "Steam Clock," have the _honour_ of
being recorded as the first to introduce the Yankee notion of a "baby
show," which took place at his Music Hall, May 15, 1874.

~Bachelors.~--In 1695, bachelors over 24 had to pay a tax of 1s., if "a
common person," the scale running as high as £12 10s. for a duke!
Judging from the increase of the population about that time, we doubt if
even a "common" bachelor paid here. The married folks had not much to
laugh at though, for they had to pay duty on every child that was born.
Funny time, those!

~Balloons.~--A Mr. Harper was the first to scale the clouds in a balloon
from this town, January 4, 1785. He rose again on the 31, from the
Tennis Court, in Coleshill Street, and is said to have sailed a distance
of 57 miles in 80 minutes. Mr. Sadler went up from Vauxhall, October
7th, 1811, and again on October 20th, 1823. Mr. Green rose from Newhall
Hill, July 17th, 1827, and several times after.

~Balsall Heath.~--In some ancient deeds called "Boswell Heath." The land
round Mary street, known as the Balsall Heath estate, was sold in
building lots (234) in 1839, the last day's sale being August 26, and
the auctioneers, Messrs. E. & C. Robins. Edwardes-street takes its name
from the last owner of the estate, who, if he could now but glance over
the property, would be not a little astonished at the changes which have
taken place in the last forty years, for, like unto Aston, it may be
said to really form but a portion of the ever-extending town of
Birmingham. Balsall Heath, which is in the parish of King's Norton, has
now a Local Board (with its offices in Lime Grove, Moseley Road) several
Board schools, chapels, and churches, a police court, and that sure mark
of advancement, a local newspaper. One thing still wanting, however, is
a cemetery. Though an appropriate and convenient spot near Cannon Hill
Park was chosen for the last resting-place, the ratepayers, at a meeting
held July 21, 1879, decided that they could not yet afford the required
outlay of some £17,000 necessary for the purpose, notwithstanding that
the annual rateable value of the property in the neighbourhood is
something like £70,000, and increasing by three to four thousand a year.

~Banks and Bankers.~--The Birmingham Branch Bank of England (drawing on
the parent Bank of England), is in Bennett's Hill.

The local Branch of the National Provincial Bank of England (Lim.),
Bennett's Hill, also draws on its headquarters. It commenced business
here on New Year's Day 1827.

The Birmingham Banking Company (Lim.), also in Bennett's Hill, draws on
the London and Westminster. It opened its doors Sept. 1, 1829, with a
nominal capital of £500,000, in £50 shares, £5 being paid up at
starting. An amalgamation took place in the year 1880 with the
Stourbridge and Kidderminster Bank (established in 1834) the united
company having a paid-up capital of £286,000 and a reserve of £312,000.

The Birmingham and Midland Bank (Limited) opened in Union Street, August
23, 1836, removing to New Street in 1869. London agents, the Union Bank
of London. Authorised capital, £2,400,000.

The Birmingham, Dudley, and District Banking Co. (Limited) was commenced
in Colmore Row July 1st, 1836, as the Town and District Bank, with a
capital of £500,000, in £20 shares. London agents, Barclay and Co., and
Williams and Co.

The Birmingham Joint Stock Bank (Limited) opened in Temple Row West,
Jan. 1st, 1862, with a capital of £3,000,000, in £100 shares, £10 paid.
Agents, London Joint Stock. Has branches in New Street and Great Hampton

Lloyds' Banking Co. (Limited) Colmore Row, dates from June 3rd, 1765.
when it was known as Taylor and Lloyds, their first premises being in
Dale End [hence the name of Bank Passage]. This old established firm has
incorporated during its century of existence a score of other banks, and
lately has been amalgamated with Barnetts, Hoares, and Co., of London,
the present name being Lloyd, Barnett, Bosanquet, and Co. (Limited).
There are sub-offices also in Great Hampton Street, Deritend, Five Ways
and Aston. In this and adjoining counties, Lloyds' number about 40
branch establishments.

The Worcester City and County Banking Co. (Limited), drawing on Glynn
and Co., removed from Cherry Street to their newly-built edifice in
Colmore Row, June 1, 1880.

The Union Bank of Birmingham (Limited), Waterloo Street, commenced
business with a nominal capital of £1,000,000, in £20 shares, £5 paid.
London agents, the City Bank. It has since been taken over by the
Midland Bank.

~Banks.~--A popular Penny Bank was established in 1851, but came to
grief in 1865, closing March 16, with assets £1,608, to pay debts
£9,448. Another penny bank was opened in Granville Street, April 13,
1861, and is still carried on at the Immanuel Schools, Tennant Street,
with about 5,000 depositors at the present time.

A Local Savings Bank was opened in May, 1827, and legalised in the year
after, but ultimately its business was transferred to the Post Office
Savings Bank, which opened its doors in Cannon Street, Dec. 1, 1863. By
a Government return, it appeared that at the end of 1880 the total
amount to the credit of depositors in the Post Office Savings Banks of
the Kingdom stood at £30,546,306. After the Metropolitan counties of
Middlesex, Surrey, and Kent, Warwickshire comes next with a deposit of
£1,564,815, the average for the whole of the English counties being but
little over £500,000.

~Banks Defunct.~--The old-established concern known so long as Attwood
and Spooner's closed its doors March 10, 1865, with liabilities
amounting to £1,007,296. The Joint Stock Bank took the business, and
paid 11s. 3d. in the £.

Bank of Deposit stopped Oct. 26, 1861.

The Borough Bank, a branch of Northern and Central Bank of England,
stopped Feb. 24, 1840.

The Commercial (Branch) Bank, closed July 27, 1840.

Coates, Woolley and Gordon, who occupied the premises at corner of
Cherry Street and Cannon Street in 1814, was joined to Moilliet's, and
by them to Lloyds.

Freer, Rotton, Lloyds and Co., of 1814, changed to Rotton, Onions and
Co., then Rotton and Scholefield, next to Rotton and Son, and lastly
with its manager transferred to National Provincial.

Galton, Galton and James, of 1814, retired in 1830.

Gibbins, Smith, and Co. failed in 1825, paying nearly 20s. in the £.

Gibbins and Lowell, opened in 1826, but was joined to Birmingham Banking
Co. in 1829.

Smith, Gray, Cooper and Co., of 1815, afterwards Gibbins, Smith, and
Goode, went in 1825.

~Banknotes.~--Notes for 5/3 were issued in 1773. 300 counterfeit £1
notes, dated 1814, were found near Heathfield House, January 16, 1858. A
noted forger of these shams is said to have resided in the immediate
neighbourhood about the period named on the discovered "flimsies." When
Boulton and Watt were trying to get the Act passed patenting their
copying-press the officials of the Bank of England opposed it for fear
it should lead to forgery of their notes, and several Members of
Parliament actually tried to copy banknotes as they did their letters.

~Bankrupts.~--In the year 1882 (according to the _Daily Post_) there
were 297 bankruptcies, compositions, or liquidations in Birmingham, the
total amount of debts being a little over £400,000. The dividends ranged
from 2d. to 15s. in the £, one-half the whole number, however, realising
under 1s. 6d. The estimated aggregate loss to creditors is put at

~Baptists.~--As far back as 1655, we have record of meetings or
conferences of the Baptist churches in the Midland district, their
representatives assembling at Warwick on the second day of the third
month, and at Moreton-in-the-Marsh, on the 26th of the fourth month in
that year. Those were the Cromwellian days of religious freedom, and we
are somewhat surprised that no Birmingham Baptists should be among those
who gathered together at the King's Head, at Moreton, on the last named
date, as we find mention made of brethren from Warwick, Tewkesbury,
Alcester, Derby, Bourton-on-the-Water, Hook Norton,
Moreton-in-the-Marsh, and even of there being a community of the same
persuasion at Cirencester. The conference of the Midland Counties'
District Association of Baptist Churches met in this town for the first
time in 1740.--For Chapels see "_Places of Worship_."

~Barr Beacon.~--A trial was made on January 10, 1856, as to how far a
light could be seen by the ignition of a beacon on Malvern Hills. It was
said to have been seen from Snowdon in Wales (105 miles), and at other
parts of the country at lesser distances, though the gazers at Worcester
saw it not. The look-out at Dudley Castle (26 miles) could have passed
the signal on to Barr Beacon, but it was not needed, as the Malvern
light was not only seen there, but still away on at Bardon Hill,
Leicester.--Many persons imagine that Barr Beacon is the highest spot in
the Midland Counties, but the idea is erroneous, Turners Hill, near Lye
Cross, Rowley Regis, which is 893 ft. above mean sea level, being
considerably higher, while the Clee Hills reach an altitude of 1,100 ft.

~Barber of Birmingham, The.~--The knights of the pole (or poll) have
always been noted for getting into mischief, and it is not therefore so
very surprising to find that in March, 1327, a royal pardon had to be
granted to "Roger, the barber of Birmingham," for the part he had taken
in the political disturbances of that time. Was he a Con., or a Lib.,
Tory or Rad.?

~Baron of Birmingham.~--One of the titles of Lord Ward.

~Barracks.~--Built in 1793, at a cost of £13,000, as a consequence of
the riots of 1791.

~Barring Out~--On the 26th of Nov. 1667, the scholars of the Grammar
School "barred out" the Master, and then left the school for a time.
When they returned they found the worthy pedagogue had obtained
admission and intended to keep his young rebels outside. Whereupon, says
an old chronicler, they, being reinforced by certain of the townsmen "in
vizards, and with pistolls and other armes," sought to re-enter by
assault, threatening to kill the Master, and showering stones and bricks
through the windows. When the fun was over the Governors passed a law
that any boy taking part in future "barrings-out" should be expelled
from the School, but the amusement seems to have been rather popular, as
an entry in the School records some ten years later show that a certain
Widow Spooner was paid one shilling "for cleansinge ye Schoole at
penninge out."

~Baskerville (John).~--This celebrated local worthy was a native of
Wolverley, near Kidderminster, having been born in the year 1706. He
came to this town in early life, as we find that he kept a writing
school in 1726. In 1745 he built himself a residence at Easy-hill, and
carried on the business of japanner afterwards adding to it that of
printer and typefounder. His achievements in this line have made his
name famous for ever, though it is said that he spent £600 before he
could produce one letter to his own satisfaction, and some thousands
before he obtained any profits from his printing trade. He was somewhat
eccentric in personal matters of dress and taste, his carriage (drawn by
cream-coloured horses) being a wonderful specimen of the art of
japanning in the way of pictured panels, etc., while he delighted to
adorn his person in the richest style of dress. The terms of his
peculiar will, and his apparent renunciation of Christianity, were
almost as curious as his choice of a place of sepulture. He was buried
in his own grounds under a solid cone of masonry, where his remains lay
until 1821, at which time the canal wharf, now at Easy Row, was being
made. His body was found in a good state of preservation, and for some
short period was almost made a show of, until by the kindness of Mr.
Knott the bookseller, it was taken to Us present resting-place in one of
the vaults under Christ Church. Mr. Baskerville died January 8, 1775,
his widow living till March 21, 1787, to the age of 80 years.

~Baths.~--Ladywell Baths were said by Hutton to be the most complete in
the island, being seven in number, that for swimmers 36 yards long by 18
wide, and cost £2,000. The place is now occupied by a timber yard, the
old spring being covered in, though fitted with a pump for public use.
For many years a tribe of water carriers procured a living by retailing
the water at a halfpenny per can. The red sand from the New Street
tunnels was turned to account in tilling up the old baths, much to the
advantage of Mr. Turner, the lessee, and of the hauliers who turned the
honest penny by turning in so near at hand.

~Baths and Wash-houses.~--The local movement for the establishment of
public Baths first took practical shape at a meeting held Nov. 19,1844,
within a week of which date subscriptions amounting to £4,430 were
received for the purpose. The Association then formed purchased a plot
of land in Kent Street in June, 1846, and presented it to the Town
Council in November following, though the Baths erected thereon were not
opened to the public until May 12, 1851. It was at that time imagined
that the working classes would be glad of the boon provided for them in
the convenient wash-houses attached to the Baths proper, and the chance
given them to do away with all the sloppy, steamy annoyances of
washing-day at home, but the results proved otherwise, and the
wash-houses turned out to be not wanted. The Woodcock Street
establishment was opened August 27, 1860; Northwood Street, March 5,
1862; Sheepcote Street in 1878, and Ladywood in 1882. Turkish Baths are
now connected with the above, and there are also private speculations of
the same kind in High Street, Broad Street, and the Crescent. Hardy
swimmers, who prefer taking their natatory exercises in the open air,
will find provision made for them at the Reservoir, at Cannon Hill Park,
and also at Small Heath Park. The swimming-bath in George Street,
Balsall Heath, opened in 1846, was filled up in 1878, by order of the
Local Board of Health.

~Bath Street~ takes its name from some baths formerly in Blews Street,
but which, about 1820, were turned into a malthouse.

~Battle Of the Alma.~--A disturbance which took place at a steeplechase
meeting at Aston, Monday, March 26, 1855, received this grandiloquent

~Battles and Sieges.~--It is more than probable that the British, under
their gallant Queen Boadicea, fought the Romans more than once in the
near vicinity of this district, and very possibly in those happy days of
feudalism, which followed the invasion of the Normans, when every knight
and squire surrounded himself with his armed retainers, sundry
skirmishes may have taken place hereabouts, but history is silent. Even
of the battle of Barnet (April 14, 1471), when the Earl of Warwick and
10,000 men were slain, we have not sufficient note to say, though it can
hardly be doubted, that many Birmingham citizens went down. But still we
have on record one real "Battle of Birmingham," which took place on the
3rd of April, 1643. On that day our town was attacked by Prince Rupert,
with some 2,000 horse and foot; being pretty stoutly opposed, his
soldiers slew a number of inhabitants, burnt nearly 80 houses, and did
damage (it is said) to the extent of £30,000. It took five days for the
news of this exploit to reach London. In the week following Christmas of
the same year, a number of townspeople, aided by a party of the
Commonwealth soldiers, laid siege to, and captured, Aston Hall.

~Bazaars.~--When originated none can tell. How much good done by means
of them, nobody knows. But that immense amounts have been raised for
good and charitable purposes, none can deny--and then, "they are _such_
fun!". "Grand Bazaars" have been held for many an institution, and by
many different sects and parties, and to attempt to enumerate them would
be an impossibility, but the one on behalf of the Queen's Hospital, held
in April, 1880, is noteworthy, for two reasons:--first, because the
proceeds amounted to the munificent sum of £5,969, and, secondly, from
the novelty of the decorations. The body of the Town Hall was arranged
to represent an English street of the olden time, a baronial castle
rising tower upon tower at the great gallery end, and an Elizabethan
mansion in the orchestra, with a lawn in front, occupied by a military
band. The sides of the Hall constituted a double row of shops, the upper
storeys (reaching to the galleries) being filled with casements and
balconies, from whence the doings in the street could be witnessed.

~Bean Club.~--The first anniversary we read of was that held July 17,
1752, at which meeting Lord Fielding gave £120 to erect an altarpiece in
St. Bartholomew's.

~Beardsworth (John).~--Founder of the Repository, began life as driver
of a hackney coach, in which one night he drove a beautiful young lady
to a ball. John went home, dressed, procured admission to the ball,
danced with the lady, handed her to the coach, drove her home, and some
time after married her. The lady's cash enabled him to acquire an ample
fortune, being at one time worth nearly a quarter of a million, most of
which, however, was lost on the turf. The Repository was the largest
establishment of the kind in the kingdom, and Beardsworth'a house
adjoining was furnished in most splendid style, one centre table (made
of rich and rare American wood) costing £1,500.

~Beelzebub.~--Watt's first steam engine was so christened. It was
brought from Scotland, put up at Soho, and used for experimenting upon.
It was replaced by "Old Bess," the first engine constructed upon the
expansive principle. This latter engine is now in the Museum of Patents,
South Kensington, though Mr. Smiles says he saw it working in 1857,
seventy years after it was made.

~Beer.~--Brewers of beer were first called upon to pay a license duty in
1784, though the sellers thereof had been taxed more or less for 250
years previously. The effect of the heavy duties then imposed was to
reduce the consumption of the national and wholesome beverage, which in
1782 averaged one barrel per head of the then population per annum, down
to half-a-barrel per head in 1830, its place being filled by an
increased consumption of ardent spirits, which from half-a-gallon per
head in 1782, rose by degrees to six-sevenths of a gallon per head by
1830. In this year, the statesmen of the day, who thought more of the
well-being of the working part of the population than raising money by
the taxation of their necessaries, took off the 10s. per barrel on beer,
in the belief that cheap and good malt liquors would be more likely to
make healthy strong men than an indulgence in the drinking of spirits.
Notwithstanding all the wild statements of the total abstainers to the
contrary, the latest Parliamentary statistics show that the consumption
of beer per head per annum averages _now_ only seven-eighths of a
barrel, though before even this moderate quantity reaches the consumers,
the Government takes [see Inland Revenue returns, 1879, before
alteration of malt-tax] no less a sum than £19,349 per year from the
good people of Birmingham alone. Of this sum the brewers paid £9,518,
the maltsters £425, beer dealers £2,245, and beer retailers £7,161.

~Bells.~--There was a bell foundry at Good Knave's End, in 1760, from
whence several neighbouring churches were supplied with bells to summon
the good knaves of the day to prayers, or to toll the bad knaves to
_their_ end. There was also one at Holloway Head, in 1780, but the
business must have been hollow enough, for it did not go ahead, and we
find no record of church bells being cast here until just a hundred
years back (1732), when Messrs. Blews & Son took up the trade.
Birmingham bells have, however, made some little noise in the world, and
may still be heard on sea or land, near and far, in the shape of door
bells, ship bells, call bells, hand bells, railway bells, sleigh bells,
sheep bells, fog bells, mounted on rockbound coasts to warn the weary
mariner, or silver bells, bound with coral from other coasts, to soothe
the toothless babbler. These, and scores of others, are ordered here
every year by thousands; but the strangest of all orders must have been
that one received by a local firm some fifteen years ago from a West
African prince, who desired them to send him 10,000 house bells (each
3/4 lb. weight), wherewith to adorn his iron "palace." And he had them!
Edgar Poe's bells are nowhere, in comparison with

  Such a charm, such a chime,
  Out of tune, out of time.
  Oh, the jangling and the wrangling
  Of ten thousand brazen throats.

 Ten bells were put in St. Martin's, in 1786, the total weight being 7
tons, 6 cwt. 2 lbs.

The peal of ten bells in St. Philip's were first used August 7, 1751,
the weight being 9 tons 10 cwt. 22 lbs., the tenor weighs 30 cwt.

A new peal of eight bells were put up in Aston Church, in May, 1776, the
tenor weighing 21 cwt. The St. Martin's Society of Change Ringers
"opened" them, July 15, by ringing Holt's celebrated peal of 5040
grandsire triples, the performance occupying 3 hours 4 minutes.

Eight bells and a clock were mounted in the tower of Deritend Chapel, in
1776, the first peal being rung July 29.

The eight bells in Bishop Ryder's Church, which weigh 55 cwt., and cost
£600, were cast in 1868, by Blews and Sons, and may be reckoned as the
first full peal founded in Birmingham.

There are eight bells in Harborne Parish Church, four of them bearing
date 1697, two with only the makers' name on, and two put in February,
1877, on the 24th of which month the whole peal were inaugurated by the
ringing of a true peal of Stedman triples, composed by the late Thomas
Thurstans, and consisting of 5,040 changes, in 2 hours and 52 minutes.
The St. Martin's ringers officiated.

The six bells of Northfield Church were cast by Joseph Smith, of
Edgbaston, in 1730.

St. Chad's Cathedral has eight bells, five of which were presented in
1848 as a memorial to Dr. Moore; the other three, from the foundry of W.
Blews and Sons, were hung in March, 1877 the peculiar ceremony of
"blessing the bells" being performed by Bishop Ullathorne on the 22nd of
that month. The three cost £110. The bells at Erdington Catholic Church
were first used on February 2, 1878.

~Bellows to Mend.~--Our townspeople bellowed a little over their losses
after Prince Rupert's rueful visit, but there was one among them who
knew how to "raise the wind," for we find Onions, the bellows-maker,
hard at work in 1650; and his descendants keep at the same old game.

~Bennett's Hill.~--There was a walled-in garden (with an old brick
summer-house) running up from Waterloo-street to Colmore-row as late as

~Benefit and Benevolent Societies.~--See "_Friendly Societies_."

~Bellbarn Road~, or the road to Mr. Bell's barn.

~Bermingham.~--The Irish family of this name descended from Robert, son
of Peter de Bermingham, who left here and settled in Connaught about the
year 1169.

~Bibles and Testaments.~--In 1272 the price of a Bible, well written
out, was £30 sterling, and there were few readers of it in Birmingham.
The good book can now be bought for 6d., and it is to be hoped there is
one in every house. The Rev. Angell James once appealed to his
congregation for subscriptions towards sending a million New Testaments
to China, and the Carrslaneites responded promptly with £410 8s., enough
to pay for 24,624 copies--the publisher's price being 4d. each. They can
be bought for a penny now.--A local Auxiliary Bible Society was
commenced here May 9, 1806.

~Bingley Hall~--Takes its name from Bingley House, on the site of which
it is built. It was erected in 1850 by Messrs. Branson and Gwyther, at a
cost of about £6,000, the proprietary shares being £100 each. In form it
is nearly a square, the admeasurements being 224 ft. by 212 ft., giving
an area of nearly one acre and a half. There are ten entrance doors,
five in King Edward's Place, and five in King Alfred's Place, and the
building may be easily divided into five separate compartments. The Hall
will hold from 20,000 to 25,000 people, and is principally used for
Exhibitions and Cattle Shows; with occasionally "monster meetings," when
it is considered necessary for the welfare of the nation to save sinners
or convert Conservatives.

~Bird's-eye View~ of the town can be best obtained from the dome of the
Council House, to which access may be obtained on application to the
Curator. Some good views may be also obtained from some parts of Moseley
Road, Cannon Hill Park, and from Bearwood Road.

~Birmingham.~--A horse of this name won the Doncaster St. Leger in 1830
against 27 competitors. The owner, John Beardsworth, cleared £40,000. He
gave Connolly, the jockey, £2,000.

~Birmingham Abroad.~--Our brethren who have emigrated do not like to
forget even the name of their old town, and a glance over the American
and Colonial census sheet shows us that there are at least a score of
other Birminghams in the world. In New Zealand there are three, and in
Australia five townships so christened. Two can be found in Canada, and
ten or twelve in the United States, the chief of which is Birmingham in
Alabama. In 1870 this district contained only a few inhabitants, but in
the following year, with a population of 700, it was incorporated, and
at once took rank as a thriving city, now proudly called "The Iron
City," from its numerous ironworks, furnaces, and mills. Last year the
citizens numbered over 12,000, the annual output of pig-iron being about
60,000 tons, and the coal mines in the neighbourhood turning out 2,000
tons per day. The city is 240 miles from Nashville, 143 miles from
Chattanooga, and 96 miles from Montgomery, all thriving places, and is a
central junction of six railways. The climate is good, work plentiful,
wages fair, provisions cheap, house rent not dear, churches and schools
abundant, and if any of our townsmen are thinking of emigrating they may
do a deal worse than go from hence to that other Birmingham, which its
own "daily" says is a "City of marvellous wonder and magic growth," &c.,

~Birmingham Begging.~--Liberal to others as a rule when in distress, it
is on record that once at least the inhabitants of this town were the
recipients of like favours at the hands of their fellow-countrymen. In
the churchwardens' books of Redenall, Norfolk, under date September 20,
1644, is an entry of 6s. paid "to Richard Herbert, of Birmingham, where
was an hundred fifty and five dwelling house burnt by Pr. Rupert."

~Birmingham Borough,~ which is in the hundred of Hemlingford, and wholly
in the county of Warwick, includes the parish of Birmingham, part of the
parish of Edgbaston, and the hamlets of Deritend-and-Bordesley, and
Duddeston-cum-Nechells, in the parish of Aston. The extreme length is
six miles one furlong, the average breadth three miles, the
circumference twenty-one miles, and the total area 8,420 acres, viz.,
Birmingham, 2,955; in Edgbaston, 2,512; and in Aston, 2,853. Divided
into sixteen wards by an Order in Council, approved by Her Majesty,
October 15, 1872. The mean level of Birmingham is reckoned as 443 feet
above sea level.

~Birmingham Heath.~--Once an unenclosed common, and part of it may now
be said to be common property, nearly 100 acres of it being covered with
public buildings for the use of such as need a common home. There is
not, however, anything commonplace in the style of these erections for
sheltering our common infirmities, as the Workhouse, Gaol, and Asylum
combined have cost "the Commons" something like £350,000. The Volunteers
in 1798 made use of part of the Heath as a practice and parade ground.

~Birmingham Bishops.~--The Rev. John Milner, a Catholic divine and
eminent ecclesiastical antiquary, who was educated at Edgbaston, was
appointed Bishop Apostolic in the Midland district, with the title of
"Bishop of Castaballa." He died in 1826, in his 74th year.--Dr.
Ullathorne was enthroned at St. Chad's, August 30th, 1848, as Bishop of
the present Catholic diocese.--The Rev. P. Lee, Head Master of Free
Grammar School in 1839, was chosen as the first Bishop of Manchester.--
The Rev. S. Thornton, St. George's, was consecrated Bishop of Ballarat,
May 1, 1875.--The Rev. Edward White Benson, D.D., a native of this town,
was nominated first Bishop of Truro, in December, 1876, and is now
Archbishop of Canterbury.--The Rev. Thomas Huband Gregg resigned the
vicarage of East Harborne in March, 1877, and on June 20 was consecrated
at New York a Bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church.

~Birmingham~ (~Little~).--In a record of the early date of 1313 there is
mention of a place called Little Birmingham (parvam Birmingham), as
being in the hundreds of North and South Erpyngham, Norfolk.

~Birmingham in the Future.~--It has been proposed that the Borough
should be extended so as to include the Local Board districts of
Harborne and Handsworth, Balsall Heath, Moseley, King's Heath, part of
King's Norton parish, the whole of Yardley and Acock's Green, part of
Northfield parish, all Aston Manor, Saltley, Witton, Little Bromwich,
and Erdington, covering an area of about 32,000 acres, with a present
population of over half a million.

~Blind Asylum.~--See "_Philanthropic Institutions_."

~Blondin~ made his first appearance at Aston Park, June 8, 1861; at the
Birmingham Concert Hall, December, 1869, and March, 1870; at the
Reservoir September, 1873, and September, 1878. Mrs. Powell, who was
known as the "Female Blondin," was killed at a fête in Aston Park, July
20, 1868, by falling from the high rope.

~Bloomsbury Institute.~--Opened in 1860. The memorial stones of the
lecture-hall in Bloomsbury Street were laid August 6, 1877, the £750
cost being given by Mr. David Smith. Seats 500.

~Blue Coat School.~--See "_Schools_."

~Blues.~--The United Society of True Blues was founded in 1805 by a
number of old Blue Coat boys (formerly known as "The Grateful Society")
who joined in raising an annual subscription for the School.

~Board Schools.~--See "_School Board_."

~Boatmen's Hall,~ erected on Worcester Wharf, by Miss Ryland, was opened
March 17, 1879.

~Bonded Warehouses.~--Our Chamber of Commerce memoralised the Lords of
the Treasury for the extension of the bonded warehouse system to this
town, in December, 1858, but it was several years before permission was

~Books.~--The oldest known Birmingham book is a "Latin Grammar, composed
in the English tongue," printed in London in 1652, for Thomas Underhill,
its author having been one of the masters of our Free School.

~Book Club (The).~--Commenced some few years previous to 1775, at which
time its meetings were held in Poet Freeth's, Leicester Arms,
Bell-street. As its name implies, the club was formed for the purchase
and circulation among the members of new or choice books, which were
sold at the annual dinner, hence the poet's hint in one of his
invitations to these meetings:--

  "Due regard let the hammer be paid,
    Ply the glass gloomy care to dispel;
  If mellow our hearts are all made,
    The books much better may sell."

In these days of cheap literature, free libraries, and halfpenny papers,
such a club is not wanted.

~Books on Birmingham.~--Notes of Birmingham were now and then given
before the days of that dear old antiquary Hutton, but _his_ "History"
must always take rank as the first. Morfitt's was amusing as far as it
went; Bissett's was ditto and pictorial; but it remained till the
present period for really reliable sketches to be given. The best are
Langford's "Century of Birmingham Life," Harman's "Book of Dates,"
Dent's "Old and New Birmingham," Bunce's "Municipal History," and the
last is "Showell's Dictionary of Birmingham."

~Botanical Gardens.~--See "_Horticultural Societies_."

~Borough Members.~--See "_Parliamentary Elections_."

~Boulton (Mathew).~--The son of a hardware manufacturer of the same
name, was born here on September 3, 1728 (old style) and received his
education principally at the academy of the Rev. Mr. Anstey, Deritend.
He is accredited with having at the early age of seventeen invented the
inlaying of steel buckles, buttons and trinkets, which for many years
were in great request. These articles at first were exported to France
in large quantities, being afterwards brought from thence and sold in
London as the latest Parisian fashion. In 1762 (his father having left
him a considerable property) Mr. Boulton leased a quantity of the land
then forming part of Birmingham Heath, where at a cost of over £10,000
he erected the famous Soho Works, and later on (in 1794) he purchased
the freehold of that and a considerable tract of the adjoining land. In
1767 steam was first brought into use to supplement the power derived
from the water wheels, and in 1769 he became acquainted with James Watt,
with whom he afterwards went into partnership to make steam engines of
all kinds, sinking £47,000 before he had any return for his money. Mr.
Boulton lived to the patriarchal age of fourscore and one, leaving this
life on August 7, 1809. He was buried at Handsworth, 600 workmen,
besides numberless friends, following his remains; all of whom were
presented with hatbands and gloves and a silver medal, and regaled with
a dinner, the funeral costing altogether about £2,000.--See "_Coinage_,"

~Bourne College,~ erected by the Primitive Methodists and their friends,
at Quinton, at a cost of nearly £10,00, was formally opened on October
240 [Transcriber's note: as original] 1882. When completed there will be
accommodation for 120 students.

~Bowling Greens.~--These seem to have been favourite places of resort
with our grandfathers and great-grandfathers. The completion of one at
the Union Tavern, Cherry Street, was announced March 26, 1792, but we
read of another as attached to the Hen and Chickens, in High Street, as
early as 1741. There is a very fine bowling-green at Aston Hall, and
lovers of the old-fashioned game can be also accommodated at Cannon Hill
Park, and at several suburban hotels.

~Boys' Refuge~ is at corner of Bradford Street and Alcester Street, and
the Secretary will be glad of help.

~Boyton.~--Captain Boyton showed his life-preserving dress, at the
Reservoir, April 24, 1875.

~Bracebridge.~--A very ancient family, long connected with this
neighbourhood, for we read of Peter de Bracebrigg who married a
grand-daughter of the Earl of Warwick in A.D. 1100, and through her
inherited Kingsbury, an ancient residence of the Kings of Mercia. In
later days the Bracebridges became more intimately connected with this
town by the marriage in 1775 of Abraham Bracebridge, Esq., of
Atherstone, with Mary Elizabeth, the only child and heiress of Sir
Charles Holte, to whom the Aston estates ultimately reverted. Many
articles connected with the Holte family have been presented to
Birmingham by the descendants of this marriage.

~Bradford Street~ takes its name from Henry Bradford, who, in 1767,
advertised that he would give a freehold site to any man who would build
the first house therein.

~Breweries.~--In the days of old nearly every publican and innkeeper was
his own brewer, the fame of his house depending almost solely on the
quality of the "stingo" he could pour out to his customers. The first
local brewery on a large scale appears to have been that erected in
Moseley Street in 1782, which even down to late years retained its
cognomen of the Birmingham Old Brewery. In 1817 another company opened a
similar extensive establishment at St. Peter's Place, in Broad Street,
and since then a number of enterprising individuals have at times
started in the same track, but most have come grief, even in the case of
those whose capital was not classed under the modern term "limited." The
principal local breweries now in existence are those of Messrs. Holder,
Mitchell, and Bates, in addition to the well-known Crosswells Brewery of
Messrs Walter Showell and Sons, noted in next paragraph. The principal
Vinegar Brewery in Birmingham is that of Messrs. Fardon and Co.
(Limited), in Glover Street, which was formed in 1860, and is well
worthy of the stranger's visit. The annual output is about 850,000
gallons, there being storage for nearly a million gallons, and 36,000
casks to send the vinegar out in.

~Brewery at Crosswells.~--Though by far the most extensive brewery
supplying Birmingham, the Crosswells cannot claim to be more than in the
infancy of its establishment at present, as only twelve years ago the
many acres of ground now covered by its buildings formed but part of an
unenclosed piece of waste land. Nevertheless, the spot was well-known
and often visited in ancient times, on account of the wonderful and
miraculous cures said to have been effected by the free use of the water
gushing up from the depths of the springs to be found there, and which
the monks of old had christened "The Wells of the Cross." Be its
medicinal qualities what they might in the days before Harry the Eighth
was king, the Cross Wells water retained its name and fame for centuries
after the monks were banished and the burly king who drove them out had
himself turned to dust. It has always been acknowledged as one of the
purest waters to be found in the kingdom; but its peculiar and special
adaptability to the brewing of "good old English cheer" was left to be
discovered by the founder of the firm of Messrs. Walter Showell and
Sons, who, as stated before, some twelve years back, erected the nucleus
of the present extensive brewery. Starting with the sale of only a few
hundred barrels per week, the call for their ales soon forced the
proprietors to extend their premises in order that supply should meet
demand. At first doubled, then quadrupled, the brewery is now at least
ten times its original size; and a slight notion of the business carried
on may be gathered from the fact that the firm's stock of barrels tots
up to nearly 60,000 and is being continually increased, extensive
cooperages, blacksmiths' shops, &c., being attached to the brewery, as
well as malthouses, offices, and storehouses of all kinds. The head
offices of the firm, which are connected by telephone with the brewery,
as well as with the stores at Kingston Buildings, Crescent Wharf, are
situated in Great Charles Street, and thus the Crosswells Brewery
(though really at Langley Green, some half-dozen miles away as the crow
flies) becomes entitled to rank as a Birmingham establishment, and
certainly not one of the least, inasmuch as the weekly sale of
Crosswells ales for this town alone is more than 80,000 gallons per

~Brickkiln Lane,~ now called the Horse Fair, gives its own derivation.

~Bright.~--The Right Hon. John Bright, though not a Birmingham man, nor
connected with the town by any ties of personal interest or business,
has for the last quarter-century been the leading member returned to
Parliament as representing the borough, and must always rank foremost
among our men of note. Mr. Bright is the son of the late Jacob Bright,
of Greenbank, near Rochdale, and was born November 16, 1811. He and his
brother, Mr. Jacob Bright, M.P. for Manchester, began business as
partners in the affiliated firms of John Bright and Brothers, cotton
spinners and manufacturers, Rochdale, and Bright and Co., carpet
manufacturers, Rochdale and Manchester. At an early age Mr. Bright
showed a keen interest in politics, and took part in the Reform
agitation of 1831-32. In those days every householder was compelled by
law to pay the Church-rates levied in his parish, whatever his religious
creed might be, and it is said that Mr. Bright's first flights of
oratory were delivered from a tombstone in Rochdale church-yard in
indignant denunciation of a tax which to him, as a member of the Society
of Friends, appeared especially odious. It was not, however, till 1839,
when he joined the Anti-Corn Law League, that Mr. Bright's reputation
spread beyond his own immediate neighbourhood; and there can be no doubt
but that his fervid addresses, coupled with the calmer and more logical
speeches of Mr. Cobden, contributed in an appreciable degree to the
success of the movement. In July, 1843, he was returned as M.P. for the
city of Durham, which he represented until the general election of 1847,
when he was the chosen of Manchester. For ten years he was Manchester's
man in everything, but the side he took in regard to the Russian war was
so much at variance with the popular opinions of his constituents that
they at last turned on him, burnt his effigy in the streets, and threw
him out at the general election in March, 1857. At the death of Mr. G.F.
Muntz, in July following, Mr. Bright was almost unanimously selected to
fill his place as M.P. for this town, and for 25 years he has continued
to honour Birmingham by permitting us to call him _our_ member. (See
"_Parliamentary Elections_.") Mr. Bright has been twice married, but is
now a widower, and he has twice held office in the Cabinet, first as
President of the Board Of Trade, and more lately as Chancellor of the
Duchy of Lancaster.

~Bristol Road.~--Trees were first planted in this road in the spring of

~Britannia Metal.~--A mixed metal formed of 90 parts of tin, 2 copper,
and 8 antimony, brought into use about 1790, and long a favourite with
manufacturers and public alike. The introduction of electroplating did
much towards its extended make at first, but latterly it has been in
great measure, replaced by German silver and other alloys.

~British Association~ for the Advancement, of Science first met in this
town Aug. 26, 1839. They were here again Oct. 12, 1857, and Sep. 6,

~Brittle Street~ formerly ran from Livery Street to Snow Hill, about the
spot where now the entrance gates to the Station are.

~Broad Street.~--150 years ago part of what is now known as Dale End was
called Broad Street, the present thoroughfare of that name then being
only a pathway through the fields.

~Brunswick Buildings.~--Erected in New Street, by Mr. Samuel Haines in
1854. A funny tale has been told about the original lease, which
included a covenant that at the expiration of the term of 100 years for
which it was granted, the land was to be delivered up to the Grammar
School "well cropped with potatoes." In 1760 New Street _was_ a new
street indeed, for there were but a few cottages with gardens there
then, and the potatoe proviso was no doubt thought a capital provision;
but fancy growing that choice edibie there in 1860!

~Buck.~--Henry Buck, P.G.M., and Sec. of the Birmingham district of the
Manchester Order of Oddfellows for twenty-five years, died Jan. 22,
1876, aged 63. A granite obelisk to his memory in St. Philip's
churchyard was unveiled Sep. 17, 1877.

~Building Societies~ took early root here, as we find there were several
in 1781.--See "_Friendly Societies_."

~Buckles~ were worn as shoe fasteners in the reign of Charles II.--See

~Buttons.~--Some interesting notes respecting the manufacture of buttons
will be found under the head of "_Trades_."

~Bulgarian Atrocities, 1876-7.~--A considerable amount of "political
capital" was made out of these occurrences, but only £1,400 was
subscribed here for the relief of the unfortunates; while merely £540
could be raised towards helping the thousands of poor Bosnian refugees
driven from their homes by the Russians in 1878, and of this sum £200
was given by one person.

~Bullbaiting~ was prohibited in 1773 by Order in Council, and an Act was
passed in 1835, to put a stop to all baiting of bulls, badgers, and
bears. At Chapel Wake, 1798, some law-defying reprobates started a
bullbaiting on Snow Hill, but the Loyal Association of Volunteers turned
out, and with drums beating and colours flying soon put the rebels to
flight, pursuing them as far as Birmingham Heath, where the baiters got
a beating, the Loyals returning home in triumph with the bull as a
trophy. The last time this "sport" was indulged in in this neighbourhood
appears to have been early in October, 1838, at Gib Heath, better known
now as Nineveh Road.

~Bull Lane~ was the name once given to that part of the present Colmore
Row between Livery Street and Snow Hill, though it has been better known
as Monmouth Street.

~Bull Street.~--Once called Chapel Street, as leading to the chapel of
the ancient Priory; afterwards named from the old inn known as the Red
Bull (No. 83).

~Burial Grounds.~--See "_Cemeteries_."

~Burns.~--Excisemen, when Robert Burns was one of them, were wont to
carry pistols, and those the poet had were given him by one of our
gunmakers, Mr. Blair. They were afterwards bought by Allan Cunningham,
who gave them back to Burns' widow.--Birmingham lent its rill to the
great river of homage to the genius of Burns which flowed through the
length and breadth of the civilised world on the occasion of the Burns'
centenary in January, 1859. The most interesting of the three or four
meetings held here was one of a semi-private nature, which took place at
Aston Hall, and which originated, not with Scotchmen, but with
Englishmen. Some forty-five or fifty gentlemen, only some half-dozen of
whom were Scotch, sat down to an excellent supper in the fine old room
in which the Queen lunched the previous year. The chairman was Mr.
Samuel Timmins, and the vice-chairman was Mr. Ross.

~Cabs, Cars, and Carriages.~--The hackney carriages, or four-wheelers,
of this town, have the credit of being superior to those used in London,
though the hansoms (notwithstanding their being the inventions of one
who should rank almost as a local worthy--the architect of our Town
Hall) are not up to the mark. Prior to 1820 there were no regular stands
for vehicles plying for hire, those in New Street, Bull Street, and
Colmore Row being laid in that year, the first cabman's license being
dated June 11. The first "Cabman's Rest" was opened in Ratcliffe Place,
June 13, 1872, the cost (£65) being gathered by the cabman's friend, the
Rev. Micarah Hill, who also, in 1875, helped them to start an
association for mutual assistance in cases of sickness or death. There
are sixteen of these "shelters" in the town, the cabmen subscribing
about £200 yearly towards expenses. As a rule, the Birmingham cabmen are
a civil and obliging body of men, though now and then a little sharp
practice may occur, as in the instance of the stranger who, arriving in
New Street Station one evening last summer, desired to be taken to the
Queen's Hotel. His luggage being properly secured, and himself safely
ensconced, Mr. Cabby cooly took the rug from his horse's back, mounted
his seat and walked the animal through the gates back to the building
the stranger had just left, depositing his fare, and as calmly holding
out his hand for the customary shilling as if he had driven the full
distance of a mile and a half. The fares laid down by the bye-laws as
proper to be charged within the Borough, and within five miles from the
statue in Stephenson Place, in the Borough, are as follows:--

_By time_, the driver driving at a rate not less than five miles per
hour, if so required:--

                                           s. d.
  For every carriage constructed to
   carry four persons, for the first
   hour, or part of hour  ..   ..          3  0
  For every additional 15 minutes, or
   part of 15 minutes.    ..   ..          0  2
  For every carriage constructed to
   carry two persons, for the first
   hour, or part of hour  ..   ..          2  6
  For every additional 15 minutes, or
   part of 15 minutes..   ..   ..          0  6
  Any person hiring any carriage
   otherwise than by time is entitled
   to detain the same five minutes
   without extra charge, but for
   every 15 minutes, or part thereof,
   over the first five minutes, the
   hirer must pay    ..   ..   ..          0  6
  _By distance_:--
  Cabs or Cars to carry 2 persons not
   exceeding 1-1/2 miles  ..   ..          1  0
  Per 1/2 mile after ..   ..   ..          0  4
  One horse vehicles to carry 4
   persons, not exceeding 1 mile ..        1  0
  For any further distance, per 1/2 mile
   after ..  ..  ..  ..   ..   ..          0  6
  Cars or Carriages with 2 horses, to
   carry 4 persons, not exceeding 1
   mile  ..  ..  ..  ..   ..   ..          1  9
  Per 1/2 mile after ..   ..   ..          0  9
  _Double Fares_ shall be allowed and
   paid for every fare, or so much of
   any fare as may be performed by
   any carriage after 12 o'clock at
   night, and before 6 in the morning.

~Calthorpe Park,~ Pershore road, has an area of 3la. 1r. 13p., and was
given to the town in 1857 by Lord Calthorpe. Though never legally
conveyed to the Corporation, the Park is held under a grant from the
Calthorpe family, the effect of which is equivalent to a conveyance in
fee. The Duke of Cambridge performed the opening ceremony in this our
first public park.

~Calthorpe Road~ was laid out for building in the year 1818, and the
fact is worthy of note as being the commencement of our local West End.

~Calico, Cotton, and Cloth.~--In 1702 the printing or wearing of printed
calicoes was prohibited, and more strictly so in 1721, when cloth
buttons and buttonholes were also forbidden. Fifty years after, the
requisites for manufacturing cotton or cotton cloth were now allowed to
be exported, and in 1785 a duty was imposed on all cotton goods brought
into the Kingdom. Strange as it may now appear, there was once a
"cotton-spinning mill" in Birmingham. The first thread of cotton ever
spun by rollers was produced in a small house near Sutton Coldfield as
early as the year 1700, and in 1741 the inventor, John Wyatt, had a mill
in the Upper Priory, where his machine, containing fifty rollers, was
turned by two donkeys walking round an axis, like a horse in a modern
clay mill. The manufacture, however, did not succeed in this town,
though carried on more or less till the close of the century, Paul's
machine being advertised for sale April 29, 1795. The Friends'
schoolroom now covers the site of the cotton mill.

~Canals.~--The first Act for the construction of the "cut" or canal in
connection with Birmingham was passed in 1761, that to Bilston being
commenced in 1767. The delivery here of the first boat-load of coals
(Nov. 6, 1769) was hailed, and rightly so, as one of the greatest
blessings that could be conferred on the town, the immediate effect
being a reduction in the price to 6d per cwt, which in the following May
came down to 4d. The cutting of the first sod towards making the Grand
Junction Canal took place July 26, 1766, and it was completed in 1790.
In 1768 Briudley, the celebrated engineer, planned out the Birmingham
and Wolverhampton Canal, proposing to make it 22 miles long; but he did
not live to see it finished. The work was taken up by Smeaton and
Telford; the latter of whom calling it "a crooked ditch" struck out a
straight cut, reducing the length to 14 miles, increasing the width to
40 feet, the bridges having each a span of 52 feet. The "Summit" bridge
was finished in 1879. The Fazeley Canal was completed in 1783, and so
successfully was it worked that in nine years the shares were at a
premium of £1170. In 1785 the Birmingham, the Fazeley, and the Grand
Junction Companies took up and completed an extension to Coventry. The
Birmingham and Worcester Canal was commenced in 1,791, the cost being a
little over £600,000, and it was opened for through traffic July 21,
1815. By an agreement of September 18, 1873, this canal was sold to the
Gloucester and Berkeley Canal Co. (otherwise the Sharpness Dock Co.),
and has thus lost its distinctive local name. The Birmingham and Warwick
commenced in 1793; was finished in 1800. Communication with Liverpool by
water was complete in 1826, the carriage of goods thereto which had
previously cost £5 per ton, being reduced to 30s. For a through cut to
London, a company was started in May, 1836, with a nominal capital of
£3,000,000, in £100 shares, and the first cargoes were despatched in
August, 1840. In April, 1840, an Act was passed to unite the Wyrley and
Essington Canal Co. with the Birmingham Canal Co., leading to the
extension, at a cost of over £120,000, of the canal system to the lower
side of the town. There are 2,800 miles of canals in England, and about
300 miles in Ireland. The total length of what may properly be called
Birmingham canals is about 130 miles, but if the branches in the "Black
Country" be added thereto, it will reach to near 250 miles. The first
iron boat made its appearance on canal waters July 24, 1787; the first
propelled by steam arrived here from London, September 29, 1826. The
adaptation of steam power to general canal traffic, however, was not
carried to any great extent, on account of the injury caused to the
banks by the "wash" from the paddles and screws, though, when railways
were first talked about, the possibility of an inland steam navigation
was much canvassed. When the Bill for the London and Birmingham Railway
was before Parliament, in 1833, some enterprising carriers started (on
Midsummer-day) an opposition in the shape of a stage-boat, to run daily
and do the distance, with goods and passengers, in 16 hours. The
Birmingham and Liverpool Canal Company introduced steam tugs in 1843. On
Saturday, November 11, they despatched 16 boats, with an aggregate load
of 380 tons, to Liverpool, drawn by one small vessel of 16-horse power,
other engines taking up the "train" at different parts of the voyage.
Mr. Inshaw, in 1853, built a steamboat for canals with a screw on each
side of the rudder. It was made to draw four boats with 40 tons of coal
in each at two and a half miles per hour, and the twin screws were to
negative the surge, but the iron horses of the rail soon put down, not
only all such weak attempts at competition, but almost the whole canal
traffic itself, so far as general merchandise and carriage of light
goods and parcels was concerned. "Flyboats" for passengers at one time
ran a close race with the coaches and omnibuses between here,
Wolverhampton, and other places, but they are old people now who can
recollect travelling in that manner in their youth.

~Canal Accidents.~--The banks of the Birmingham and Worcester Canal,
near Wheeley's Road, gave way on May 26, 1872, causing considerable
damage to the properties near at hand. A similar occurrence took place
at Aston, July 20, 1875; and a third happened at Solihull Lodge Valley,
October 27, 1880, when about 80ft. of an embankment 30-ft. high

~Canal Reservoir,~ better known as "The Reservoir," near Monument Lane,
a popular place of resort, covers an area of 62A. 1R. 5P., and is
three-quarters of a mile long. Visitors and others fond of boating can
be accommodated here to their heart's content.

~Cannon.~--The first appearance of these instruments of destruction in
connection with the English army was in the time of Edward III. in his
wars with the Scotch and the French, the first great battle of
historical note in which they were used being that of Cressy, in 1346.
The manufacture of "small arms," as they are called, has been anything
but a small feature in the trade history of our past, but
cannon-founding does not appear to have been much carried on, though a
local newspaper of 1836 mentioned that several 250 and 300-pounder guns
were sent from here in that year for the fortifications on the

~Cannon Hill Park~ covers an area of 57a. 1r. 9p., and was presented to
the town by Miss Ryland, the deed of conveyance bearing date April 18th,
1873. The nearest route to this Park is by way of Pershore Road and
Edgbaston Lane, omnibuses going that way every half-hour.

~Caps.~--The inventor of percussion caps is not known, but we read of
them as being made here as early as 1816, though they were not
introduced into "the service" until 1839. The manufacture of these
articles has several times led to great loss of life among the workers,
notes of which will be found under the head of "_Explosions_." See also

~Carlyle.~--The celebrated philosopher, Thomas Carlyle, resided here for
a short time in 1824; and his notes about Birmingham cannot but be worth
preserving. Writing to his brother John under date Aug. 10, he says:--

  "Birmingham I have now tried for a reasonable time, and I cannot
  complain of being tired of it. As a town it is pitiful enough--a mean
  congeries of bricks, including one or two large capitalists, some
  hundreds of minor ones, and, perhaps, a hundred and twenty thousand
  sooty artisans in metals and chemical produce. The streets are
  ill-built, ill-paved, always flimsy in their aspect--often poor,
  sometimes miserable. Not above one or two of them are paved with
  flagstones at the sides; and to walk upon the little egg-shaped,
  slippery flints that supply their places is something like a penance.
  Yet withal it is interesting for some of the commons or lanes that
  spot and intersect the green, woody, undulating environs to view this
  city of Tubal Cain. Torrents of thick smoke, with ever and anon a
  burst of dingy flame, are issuing from a thousand funnels. 'A thousand
  hammers fall by turns.' You hear the clank of innumerable steam
  engines, the rumbling of cars and vans, and the hum of men interrupted
  by the sharper rattle of some canal boat loading or disloading, or,
  perhaps, some fierce explosion when the cannon founders [qy: the
  proof-house] are proving their new-made ware. I have seen their
  rolling-mills, their polishing of teapots, and buttons and
  gun-barrels, and lire-shovels, and swords, and all manner of toys and
  tackle. I have looked into their ironworks where 150,000 men are
  smelting the metal in a district a few miles to the north: their coal
  mines, fit image, of Arvenus; their tubes and vats, as large as
  country churches, full of copperas and aqua fortis and oil of vitroil;
  and the whole is not without its attractions, as well as repulsions,
  of which, when we meet, I will preach to you at large."

~Carr's Lane.~--Originally this is believed to have been known as
"Goddes Cart Lane," and was sufficiently steep to be dangerous, as
evidenced by accidents noted in past history.

~Carr's Lane Chapel,~ the meeting house of the old Independents, or as
they are now called, the Congregationalists, will be noticed under
"_Places of Worship_."

~Cartoons.~--If some of our fore-fathers could but glance at the
illustrations or the portait caricatures of local public men and their
doings, now given us almost daily, we fear they would not credit us
moderns with much advancement in the way of political politeness,
however forward we may be in other respects. Many really good cartoons
_have_ appeared, and neither side can be said to hold a monopoly of such
sketchy skilfulness, but one of the best (because most truthful) was the
cartoon issued in October 1868, giving the portrait of a
"Vote-as-you're-told" electer, led by the nose by his _Daily Post_.

~Castle.~--Birmingham Castle is named in an ancient document as being
situated a "bowshot southwestward of the church," but the exact site
thereof has never been traced. It is supposed to have been erected about
the year 1140, and to have been demolished by order of King Stephen, in

~Castle Street~ takes its name from the hostlery once so famous among
our coach officers.

~Catacombs.~--There is a large number of massively-built stone vaults
underneath Christ Church, each divided into tiers of catacombs, or
receptacles for the dead. It is in one of these that the remains of
Baskerville at last found a resting place.--The catacombs at the General
Cemetery are many, being cut out of the sandstone rock known as Key
Hill, and a large number have been and can be excavated underneath the
church in the Warstone Lane Cemetery.

~Cathedral.~--See "_Places of Warship--Catholic_."

~Cat Shows.~--The first Cat Show held here was opened November 29th,
1873, and was a very successful speculation; but the exhibitions of the
two following years did not pay and since then the grimalkins have been
left at home.

~Cattle Show.~--As first started (in 1849, when it was held near Kent
Street), and at Bingley Hall in the following year, this was an annual
show of cattle, sheep, and pigs only, but after years has made it a
gathering place for specimens, of nearly everything required on a farm,
and the "Show" has become an "_Exhibition_," under which heading full
notice will be found.

~Cemeteries.~--The burial grounds attached to the Churches were formerly
the only places of interment save for suicides and murderers--the former
of whom were buried at some cross-road, with a stake driven through the
body, while the latter were frequently hung in chains and got no burial
at all. In 1807 the first addendum to our churchyards was made by the
purchase of 13,192 square yards of land in Park Street, which cost
£1,600. Having been laid out and enclosed with substantial railed walls
at a further outlay of £764, the ground was duly consecrated July 16,
1813, and for some years was the chief receptacle for decaying humanity
of all classes, many thousands of whom were there deposited. By degrees
the ground came to be looked upon as only fit for the poorest of the
poor, until, after being divided by the railway, this "God's Acre" was
cared fir by none, and was well called the "black spot" of the town.
Since the passing of the Closed Burial Grounds Bill (March 18, 1878) the
Corporations have taken possession, and at considerable expense have
re-walled the enclosure and laid it out as a place of health resort for
the children of the neighbourhood. The burial grounds of St.
Bartholomew's, St. Martin's, St. Mary's, and St. George's have also been
carefully and tastefully improved in appearance, and we can now venture
to look at most of our churchyards without shame.

The General Cemetery at Key Hill was originated at a meeting held Oct.
18, 1832, when a proprietary Company was formed, and a capital fixed at
£12,000, in shares of £10 each. The total area of the property is about
twelve acres, eight of which are laid out for general burials, in a
edition to the catacombs cut into the sandstone rock.

The Church of England Cemetery in Warstone Lane is also the property of
a private Company, having a capital of £20,000 in £10 shares. The area
is nearly fifteen acres, the whole of which was consecrated as a burial
ground for the Church on August 20, 1848.

The Catholic Cemetery of St. Joseph, at Nechell's Green, received its
first consignment in 1850.

The introduction and extension of railways have played sad havoc with a
number of the old burial grounds belonging to our forefathers. As
mentioned above the London and North Western took a slice out of Park
Street Cemetery. The Great Western cleared the Quakers' burial ground in
Monmouth Street (where the Arcade now stands) the remains of the
departed Friends being removed to their chapel yard in Bull Street, and
a curious tale has been told in connection therewith. It is said that
the representative of the Society of Friends was a proper man of
business, as, indeed, most of them are, and that he drove rather a hard
bargain with the railway directors, who at last were obliged to give in
to what they considered to be an exorbitant demand for such a small bit
of freehold. The agreement was made and the contract signed, and Friend
Broadbrim went on his way rejoicing; but not for long. In selling the
land he apparently forgot that the land contained bones, for when the
question of removing the dead was mooted, the Quaker found he had to pay
back a goodly portion of the purchase money before he obtained
permission to do so. In clearing the old streets away to make room for
New Street Station, in 1846, the London and North Western found a small
Jewish Cemetery in what was then known as the "Froggery," but which had
long been disused. The descendants of Israel carefully gathered the
bones and reinterred them in their later-dated cemetery in Granville
Street, but even here they did not find their last resting-place, for
when, a few years back, the Midland made the West Suburban line, it
became necessary to clear out this ground also, and the much-disturbed
remains of the poor Hebrews were removed to Witton. The third and last
of the Jewish Cemeteries, that in Betholom Row, which was first used in
or about 1825, and has long been full, is also doomed to make way for
the extension of the same line.--During the year 1883 the time-honoured
old Meeting-house yard, where Poet Freeth, and many another local
worthy, were laid to rest, has been carted off--dust and ashes, tombs
and tombstones--to the great graveyard at Witton, where Christian and
Infidel, Jew and Gentile, it is to be hoped, will be left at peace till
the end of the world.

In 1860, the Corporation purchased 105 acres of land at Witton for the
Borough Cemetery. The foundation stones of two chapels were laid August
12, 1861, and the Cemetery was opened May 27, 1863, the total cost being
nearly £40,000. Of the 105 acres, 53 are consecrated to the use of the
Church of England, 35 laid out for Dissenters, and 14 set aside for
Catholics and Jews.

~Census.~--The numbering of the people by a regular and systematic plan
once in every ten years, only came into operation in 1801, and the most
interesting returns, as connected with this town and its immediate
neighbourhood, will be found under the heading of "_Population_."

~Centre of Birmingham.~--As defined by the authorities for the
settlement of any question of distance, Attwood's statue at the top of
Stephenson Place, in New Street, is reckoned as the central spot of the
borough. In olden days, Nelson's monument, and prior to that, the Old
Cross, in the Bull Ring, was taken as the centre. As an absolute matter
of fact, so far as the irregular shape of the borough area will allow of
such a measurement being made, the central spot is covered by Messrs.
Harris and Norton's warehouse in Corporation Street.

~Centenarians.~--John Harman, better known as Bishop Vesey, died in
1555, in his 103rd year. James Sands, who died at Harborne in 1625, was
said to have been 140 years old, and his wife lived to be 120. Joseph
Stanley, of Aston, died in May, 1761, in his 106th year. Wesley, under
date of March 19, 1768, wrote of having seen George Bridgens, then in
his 107th year; Hutton, in noticing the long life of Bridgens, also
mentions one John Pitt who lived to be 100, a Mrs. Moore who reached
104, and an old market man who completed his 107th year. A Mr. Clarkson
died here, in February, 1733, aged 112. William Jennens, _the_ Jennens
of untold, but much coveted, wealth, died in June, 1798, aged 103. John
Roberts, of Digbeth, had a family of twenty-eight children, six by his
third wife, whom he married when nearly eighty, and lived to see his
103rd year, in 1792, dying July 6. Thomas Taylor, a cobbler, stuck to
his last until a week of his death, July 8, 1796, at 103. T. Blakemore
died November 12, 1837, aged 105. Mrs. E. Bailey, founder of the Female
Charity School, was also 105 at her death, December 2, 1854. Another old
lady was Elizabeth Taylor, who died at Sparkbrook, March 5, 1864, aged
104 years. Mary Hemming, of Moseley Wake Green, died December 5, 1881,
in her 104th year.

~Centenary Celebrations~, more or less worthy of note, are continuously
recurring, and the date of some few are here preserved. Our loyal
grandfathers honoured the hundredth, anniversary of the Revolution of
1688, by a public dinner, November 4, 1788. Old Bluecoat boys in like
manner kept the centenary of their school, August 24, 1824. Admirers of
the Philosopher Priestley chose All Fools' Day, 1831, as the fitting day
to celebrate the anniversary of his birth. The Centenary of the
Protestant Dissenting Charity Schools was worthily celebrated by the
raising of a special sum amounting to £1,305, as an addition to the
funds. In January, 1859, Robert Burns' anniversary was remembered by the
holding a supper in Aston Hall, at which only half-a-dozen Scotchmen
were present out of half-a-hundred guests. The Dissenting Ministers of
this and the neighbouring counties, who, for a hundred years, have met
together once a month, celebrated the event by a quiet luncheon-dinner,
December 13, 1882. The Tercentenary of the Free Grammar School was
celebrated with learned speeches April 16, 1852; that of Good Queen
Bess, by a public prayer meeting, November 16, 1858; and that of
Shakespeare, April 23, 1864, by the founding of a Shakespeare Memorial
Library. The thousandth anniversary of Alfred the Great, October 29,
1849, was made much of by the Political Knowledge Association, which had
not been in existence it thousand days. The fact of John Bright being
M.P. for Birmingham for a quarter of a century, was celebrated in June,
1883, by the Liberal Association, who got up a "monster" procession in
imitation of the celebrated Attwood procession of the old days of
Reform. The holiday was most thoroughly enjoyed by the public generally,
and immense numbers of people thronged the streets to hear the bands and
see what was to be seen.

~Chamberlain Memorial.~--See "_Statues_," &c.

~Chamber of Commerce.~--In 1783 there was a "Standing General Commercial
Committee," composed of the leading merchants and Manufacturers, who
undertook the duty of looking after the public interests of the town
(not forgetting their own peculiarly private ditto). That they were not
so Liberal as their compeers of to-day may be gathered from the fact of
their strongly opposing the exportation of brass, and on no account
permitting a workman to go abroad.

~Chamber of Manufacturers.~--When Pitt, in 1784, proposed to tax coal,
iron, copper, and other raw materials, he encountered a strong
opposition from the manufacturers, prominent among whom were Boulton
(Soho), Wilkinson (Bradley), and Wedgwood (Potteries), who formed a
"Chamber," the first meeting of which was held here in February, 1785.
The Minister was induced to alter his mind.

~Chandeliers.~--Many beautiful works of art have been manufactured in
this town, which, though the wonder and admiration of strangers, receive
but faint notice here, and find no record except in the newspaper of the
day or a work like the present. Among such may be ranked the superb
brass chandelier which Mr. R.W. Winfield sent to Osborne in 1853 for Her
Majesty, the Queen. Designed in the Italian style, this fine specimen of
the brassworkers' skill, relieved by burnishing and light matted work,
ornamented with figures of Peace, Plenty, and Love in purest Parian,
masks of female faces typical of night, and otherwise decorated in the
richest manner, was declared by the late Prince Consort as the finest
work he had ever seen made in this country and worthy to rank with that
of the masters of old. Not so fortunate was Mr. Collis with the
"Clarence chandelier" and sideboard he exhibited at the Exhibition of
1862. Originally made of the richest ruby cut and gilded glass for
William IV., it was not finished before that monarch's death, and was
left on the maker's hand. Its cost was nearly £1,000, but at the final
sale of Mr. Collis's effects in Dec. 1881 it was sold for £5.

~Chapels and Churches.~--See "_Places of Worship_."

~Charity.~--Charitable collections were made in this neighbourhood in
1655, for the Redmontese Protestants, Birmingham giving £15 11s. 2d.,
Sutton Coldfield £14, and Aston £4 14s. 2d. On the 6th of June, 1690,
£13 18s. 1-1/2d. were collected at St. Martin's "for ye Irish
Protestants." In 1764 some Christmas performances were given for the
relief of aged and distressed housekeepers, and the charitable custom
thus inaugurated was kept up for over seventy years. In the days of
monks and monasteries, the poor and needy, the halt and lame, received
charitable doles at the hands of the former and at the gates of the
latter, but it would be questionable how far the liberality of the
parsons, priests, and preachers of the present day would go were the
same system now in vogue. It has been estimated that nearly £5,000 is
given every year in what may be called the indiscriminate charity of
giving alms to those who ask it in the streets or from door to door. By
far the largest portion of this amount goes into the hands of the
undeserving and the worthless, and the formation of a central relief
office, into which the charitably-disposed may hand in their
contributions, and from whence the really poor and deserving may receive
help in times of distress, has been a long felt want. In 1869 a "Charity
Organisation Society" was established here, and it is still in
existence, but it does not appear to meet with that recognised support
which such an institution as suggested requires. In 1882 a special fund
was started for the purpose of giving aid to women left with children,
and about £380 was subscribed thereto, while the ordinary income was
only £680. The special fund can hardly be said as yet to have got into
working order, but when the cost of proving the property of the
recipients, with the necessary expenses of office rent, salaries, &c.,
have been deducted from the ordinary income, the amount left to be
distributed among the persons deemed by the officials deserving of
assistance is small indeed, the expenses reaching about £330 per year.
In 1880 it cost £329 18s. 4d. to give away food, cash, and clothing,
&c., valued at £386 16s. 6d., an apparent anomally which would not be so
glaring if the kind-hearted and charitable would only increase the
income of the Society, or re-organise it upon a wider basis.--For
statistics of poverty and the poor see "_Pauperism_" and "_Poor Rates_."

~Charitable Trusts.~--See "_Philanthropical Institutions_," &c.

~Chartism.~--Following the great Reform movement of 1832, in which
Birmingham led the van, came years of bad harvests, bad trade, and
bitter distress. The great Chartist movement, though not supported by
the leaders of the local Liberal party, was taken up with a warmth
almost unequalled in any other town in the Kingdom, meetings being held
daily and nightly for months in succession, Feargus O'Connor, Henry
Vincent, and many other "orators of the fiery tongue," taking part. On
the 13th of August, 1838, a monstre demonstration took place on Holloway
Head, at which it was reckoned there were over 100,000 persons present,
and a petition in favour of "The Charter" was adopted that received the
signatures of 95,000 people in a few days. The Chartist "National
Convention" met here May 13, 1839, and noisy assemblages almost daily
affrighted the respectable townsmen out of their propriety. It was
advised that the people should abstain from all exciseable articles, and
"run for gold" upon the savings banks--very good advice when given by
Attwood in 1832, but shockingly wicked in 1839 when given to people who
could have had but little in the savings or any other banks. This, and
the meetings which ensued, so alarmed the magistrates for the safety of
property that, in addition to swearing in hundreds of special
constables, they sent to London for a body of police. These arrived on
July 4, and unfortunately at the time a stormy meeting was being held in
the Bull Ring, which they were at once set to disperse, a work soon
accomplished by the free use they made of their staves. The indignant
Brums, however, soon rallied and drove the police into the Station,
several being wounded on either side. The latent fury thus engendered
burst out in full force on the 15th when the notorious Chartist Riots
commenced, but the scenes then enacted, disgraceful as they were, may
well be left in oblivion, especially as the best of "the points" of the
Charter are now part of the laws of the land. Besides many others who
were punished more or less, two of the leaders, Wm. Lovett and John
Collins, were sentenced to one year's imprisonment for a seditious libel
in saying that "the people of Birmingham were the best judges of their
own rights to meet in the Bull Ring, and the best judges of their own
power and resources to obtain justice." On the 27th July, 1849, Lovett
and Collins were accorded a public welcome on their release from prison,
being met at the Angel by a crowd of vehicles, bands of music, &c., and
a procession (said to have numbered nearly 30,000), accompanied them to
Gosta Green where speeches were delivered; a dinner, at which 800
persons sat down, following on the site of "The People's Hall of
Science," in Loveday Street. In 1841, Joseph Sturge gave in his adhesion
to some movement for the extension of the franchise to the working
classes, and at his suggestion a meeting was held at the Waterloo Rooms
(Feb. 25th, 1842), and a memorial to the Queen drawn up, which in less
than a month received 16,000 signatures. On the 5th of April, 87
delegates from various parts of England, Ireland, and Scotland,
assembled here, and after four days' sitting formed themselves into "The
National Complete Suffrage Union," whose "points" were similar to those
of the Charter, viz., manhood suffrage, abolition of the property
qualification, vote by ballot, equal electoral districts, payment of
election expenses and of members, and annual Parliaments. On the 27th of
December, another Conference was held (at the Mechanics' Institute), at
which nearly 400 delegates were present, but the apple of discord had
been introduced, and the "Complete Suffrage Union" was pooh-poohed by
the advocates of "the Charter, the whole Charter, and nothing but the
Charter," and our peace-loving townsman, whom _The Times_ had dubbed
"the Birmingham Quaker Chartist," retired from the scene. From that time
until the final collapse of the Chartist movement, notwithstanding many
meetings were held, and strong language often used, Birmingham cannot be
said to have taken much part in it, though, in 1848 (August 15th),
George J. Mantle, George White, and Edward King, three local worthies in
the cause, found themselves in custody for using seditious language.

~Chauntries.~--In 1330 Walter of Clodeshale, and in 1347 Richard of
Clodeshale, the "Lords of Saltley," founded and endowed each a Chauntry
in old St. Martin's Church, wherein daily services should be performed
for themselves, their wives, and ancestors, in their passage through
purgatory. In like manner, in 1357, Philip de Lutteley gave to the
Lutteley chantry in Enville Church, a parcel of land called Morfe Woode,
"for the health of his soul, and the souls of all the maintained of the
said chantry;" and in 1370 he gave other lands to the chantry, "for the
priest to pray at the altar of St. Mary for the health of his soul, and
Maud his wife, and of Sir Fulke de Birmingham," and of other benefactors
recited in the deed. It is to be devoutly hoped that the souls of the
devisees and their friends had arrived safely at their journeys' end
before Harry the Eighth's time, for he stopped the prayers by stopping
the supplies.

~Cherry Street~ took its name from the large and fruitful cherry orchard
which we read of as being a favourite spot about the year 1794.

~Chess.~--See "_Sports and Sporting_."

~Chicago Fire.~--The sum of £4,300 was subscribed and sent from here
towards relieving the sufferers by this calamity.

~Children.~--A society known as "The Neglected Children's Aid Society,"
was founded in 1862, by Mr. Arthur Ryland, for the purpose of looking
after and taking care of children under fourteen found wandering or
begging, homeless or without proper guardianship. It was the means of
rescuing hundreds from the paths of dishonesty and wretchedness, but as
its work was in a great measure taken up by the School Board, the
society was dissolved Dec. 17, 1877. Mr. Thos. Middlemore, in 1872,
pitying the condition of the unfortunate waifs and strays known as
"Street Arabs," took a house in St. Luke's Road for boys, and one in
Spring Road for girls, and here he has trained nearly a thousand poor
children in ways of cleanliness and good behaviour prior to taking the
larger part of them to Canada. A somewhat similar work, though on a
smaller scale, is being carried on by Mr. D. Smith, in connection with
the mission attached to the Bloomsbury Institution. In both instances
the children are found good homes, and placed with worthy people on
their arrival in Canada, and, with scarcely an exception all are doing
well. The total cost per head while at the Homes and including the
passage money is about £16, and subscriptions will be welcomed, so that
the work of the Institutions may be extended as much as possible.

~Chimes.~--The earliest note we can find respecting the chimes in the
tower of St. Martin's is in a record dated 1552, which states there were
"iiij belles, with a clocke, and a chyme."

~Chimnies.~--Like all manufacturing towns Birmingham is pretty well
ornamented with tall chimnies, whose foul mouths belch forth clouds of
sooty blackness, but the loftiest and most substantial belongs to the
town itself. At the Corporation Wharf in Montague Street the "stack" is
258 feet in height, with a base 54 feet in circumference, and an inside
diameter of 12 feet. About 250,000 bricks were used in its construction,
which was completed in September, 1879.--Householders of an economical
turn must remember it is not always the cheapest plan to clean their
chimnies by "burning them out," for in addition to the danger and risk
of damage by so doing, the authorities of Moor Street have the peculiar
custom of imposing a penalty (generally 10s.) when such cases are
brought before them. Should such an event occur by mischance keep all
doors and windows shut, and do not admit the sweeps who may come
knocking at your door, unless fully prepared with the half-crowns they
require as bribes not to tell the police. As a rule it is cheaper to
trust to "Robert" not seeing it.

~China Temple Field~ was a noted place for amusements about the year
1820, and was situate where Cattell Road is now. Originally it formed
part of the grounds of Bordesley Hall, which was wrecked in the riots of

~Choral Society.~--This Society held its first Choral Concert, August 2,
1836. The Festival Choral Society was established in 1845.

~Cholera.~--This dreadful epidemic has never yet been felt in severity
in this town, though several fatal cases were reported in August, 1832.
In July, 1865, great alarm was caused by the fact of 243 inmates of the
Workhouse being attacked with choleraic symptoms, but they all

~Church Pastoral Aid Society.~--There is a local branch of this Society
here, and about £1,300 per annum is gathered in and forwarded to the
parent society, who in return grant sums in aid of the stipends of
thirty Curates and as many Scripture readers, amounting to nearly £4,700
per year.

~Churchrates.~--Prior to 1831, Churchrates had been regularly levied,
and, to a great extent, cheerfully paid, but with the other reforms of
that Reforming age came the desire to re-form this impost, by doing away
with it altogether, and at a meeting held on August 7, 1832, the
ratepayers assembled not only denounced it, but petitioned Parliament
for its entire abolition. Between that year and 1837, Churchrates of 6d.
to 9d. in the £ were not at all infrequent, but in the latter year there
was a sweet little row, which led to an alteration. At a vestry meeting
held March 28, the redoubtable George Frederick Muntz, with George
Edmonds, and other "advanced" men of the times, demanded a personal
examination of the books, &c., &c., with the result doubtless
anticipated and wished for--a general shindy, free fight, and tumult.
For his share in the riot, G.F.M. was put on his trial in the following
year (March 30 to April 1) and had to pay over £2,000 in the shape of
costs, but he may be said to have won something after all, for a better
feeling gradually took the place of rancour, and a system of "voluntary"
rates--notably one for the rebuilding of St. Martin's--was happily
brought to work. The Bill for the abolition of Churchrates was passed
July 13, 1868.

~Church Street.~--In 1764 at Warwick a legal battle was fought as to a
right of way through the New Hall Park, the path in dispute being the
site of the present Church Street.

~Circuses.~--The first notice we have of any circus visiting Birmingham
is that of Astley's which came here October 7, 1787. In 1815 Messrs.
Adams gave performances in a "new equestrian circus on the Moat," and it
has interest in the fact that this was the first appearance locally of
Mr. Ryan, a young Irishman, then described as "indisputably the first
tight-rope dancer in the world of his age." Mr. Ryan, a few years later,
started a circus on his own account, and after a few years of tent
performances, which put money in his pocket, ventured on the speculation
of building a permanent structure in Bradford-street, opening his "New
Grand Arena" there in 1827. Unfortunately, this proved a failure, and
poor Ryan went to the wall. The circus (known now as the Circus Chapel),
long lay empty, but was again re-opened May 19, 1838, as an
amphitheatre, but not successfully. In 1839 the celebrated Van Amburgh,
whose establishment combined the attractions of a circus and a
menagerie, visited this town, and his performances were held, rather
strangely, at the Theatre Royal. On the night of the Bull Ring Riots,
July 15th, when there was "a full house," the startling news that a
number of buildings were on fire, &c., was shouted out just at the
moment that Van Amburgh was on the stage with a number of his
well-trained animals. He himself was reclining on the boards, his head
resting on the sides of a tawny lion, while in his arms was a beautiful
child, four or five years old, playing with the ears of the animal. The
intelligence naturally caused great excitement, but the performer went
quietly on, hoisting the little darling to his shoulder, and putting his
animals through their tricks as calmly as if nothing whatever was the
matter. In 1842, Ducrow's famous troupe came, and once again opened
Ryan's Circus in the Easter week, and that was the last time the
building was used for the purpose it was originally erected for.
Cooke's, Hengler's, Newsome's, and Sanger's periodical visits are
matters of modern date. The new building erected by Mr. W.R. Inshaw, at
foot of Snow Hill, for the purposes of a Concert Hall, will be adaptable
as a Circus.

~Climate.~--From the central position in which Birmingham is situated,
and its comparative elevation, the town has always been characterised as
one of the healthiest in the kingdom. Dr. Priestley said the air
breathed here was as pure as any he had analysed. Were he alive now and
in the habit of visiting the neighbourhood of some of our rolling mills,
&c., it is possible he might return a different verdict, but
nevertheless the fact remains that the rates of mortality still contrast
most favourably as against other large manufacturing towns.

~Clocks.~--One of Boulton's specialties was the manufacture of clocks,
but it was one of the few branches that did not pay him. Two of his
finest astronomical clocks were bought by the Empress of Russia, after
being offered for sale in this country in vain. His friend, Dr. Small,
is said to have invented a timepiece containing but a single wheel. The
"town clocks" of the present day are only worth notice on account of
their regular irregularity, and those who wish to be always "up to the
time o' day," had best set their watches by the instrument placed in the
wall of the Midland Institute. The dome of the Council House would be a
grand position in which to place a really good clock, and if the dials
were fitted with electric lights it would be useful at all hours, from
near and far.

~Clubs.~--No place in the kingdom can record the establishment of more
clubs than Birmingham, be they Friendly Clubs, Money Clubs (so-called),
or the more taking Political Clubs, and it would be a hard task to name
them all, or say how they flourished, or dropped and withered. In the
years 1850-60 it was estimated that at publichouses and coffeehouses
there were not less than 180 Money Clubs, the members paying in weekly
or fortnightly subscriptions of varying amount for shares £5 to £100,
and though there cannot be the slightest doubt that many of our present
mastermen owe their success in life to this kind of mutual help, the
spirit of gambling in money shares proved, on the whole, to be
disastrous to the members who went in for good interest on their
deposits. Of Friendly Clubs we shall have something to say under another
beading. Respecting the Political Clubs and those of a general nature we
may say that the earliest we have note of is the "Church and King Club,"
whose first meeting was held at the Royal Hotel, Nov. 27, 1792. Of a
slightly different nature was the "Hampden Club," established in 1815,
but which was closed by the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act in 1817.
During the troublous times of 1830-40, many clubs, or "smoke-room
palavers," existed, but, perhaps the only one that really showed results
was the Branch Club (or local agency), connected with the Land Scheme of
Feargus O'Connor [see "_Land Societies_"], and that ultimately dwindled
to naught. On July 5, 1847, a club on the plan of the London
"Whittington" was started here, but when or why it ended deponent
knoweth not.--The Union Clubhouse, corner of Newhall Street and Colmore
Row, which cost £16,000, was built in 1868-9, being opened May 3rd of
the latter year. This must be considered as the chief neutral ground in
local club matters, gentlemen of all shades of politics, &c., being
members. The number of members is limited to 400, with 50 "temporary"
members, the entrance fee being £15 15s., and the annual subscription £7
7s.--The Town and District Club, opened at the Shakespeare Rooms, in
August, 1876, also started on the non-political theory: the town members
paying £3 3s per annum, and country members a guinea or guinea and half,
according to their residence being within 25 or 100 miles.--A Liberal
Club was founded October 16, 1873, under the auspices of Mr. Joseph
Chamberlain and took possession of its present rooms in Corporation
Street, January 20, 1880, pending the completion of the palatial edifice
now in course of erection in Edmund Street, at the corner of Congreve
Street. The "Forward Liberal Club," opened in Great Hampton Street,
October 30, 1880. A "Junior Liberal Club" celebrated their establishment
by a meeting in the Town Hall, November 16, 1880. The Conservatives, of
course, have not been at all backward in Club matters, for there has
been some institution or other of the kind connected with the party for
the last hundred years. The Midland Conservative Club was started July
4, 1872, and has its head-quarters now in Waterloo-street, the old
County Court buildings being remodelled for the purpose. A Junior
Conservative Club opened in Castle Street, June 25, 1874; a Young Men's
Conservative Club commenced July 26, 1876; the Belmont Conservative
Club, July 30, 1877; and the Hampton Conservative Club, August 21st of
same year. In fact, every ward in the borough, and every parish and
hamlet in the suburbs now has its Conservative and Liberal Club; the
workingmen having also had _their_ turn at Club-making, the Birmingham
Heath working men opening up shop, August 25, 1864; the Saltley boys in
October, 1868; the St. Albanites following suit December 1, 1873; and
the Ladywood men, November 30, 1878. A Club of more pretentious
character, and called _par excellence "The_ Working-man's Club," was
begun July 20, 1863, but the industriously-inclined members thereof did
not work together well, and allowed the affair to drop through. Backed
by several would-be-thought friends of the working class, another
"Working Men's Club" sprung into existence April 29, 1875, with a
nominal capital of £2,500 in 10s. shares. Rooms were opened in Corn
Exchange Passage on the 31st of May, and for a time all promised well.
Unfortunately the half-sovereigns did not come in very fast, and the
landlord, though he knew "Nap" to be a very favourite game, did not
choose, to be caught napping, and therefore "took his rest" at the end
of the fifth half-year, and in so doing rent the whole fabric of the
club.--The Edgbaston Art Club was organised in 1878; the Chess Club in
1841; the Germania Club in 1856; the Gymnastic Club in 1866; the
Dramatic Club in May, 1865; the Farmer's Club in May, 1864, the Pigeon
flying Club at Quilter's in 1875, &c., &c. Club law has great
attractions for the Brums--every profession and every trade hath its
club, and all the "fanciers" of every sort and kind club by themselves,
till their name is "Legion."

~Coaches.~--From its being situated as it were in the very heart of the
kingdom, Birmingham, in the olden days, and it is but fifty years ago,
was an important converging central-point of the great mailcoach system,
and a few notes in connection therewith cannot be uninteresting. Time
was when even coaching was not known, for have we not read how long it
took ere the tidings of Prince Rupert's attack on our town reached
London. A great fear seems to have possessed the minds of the powers
that were in regard to any kind of quick transmission whatever, for in
the year 1673 it was actually proposed "to suppress the public coaches
that ran within fifty or sixty miles of London," and to limit all the
other vehicles to a speed of "thirty miles per day in summer, and
twenty-five in winter"--for what might not be dreaded from such an
announcement as that "that remarkable swift travelling coach, 'The Fly,'
would leave Birmingham on Mondays and reach London on the Thursdays
following." Prior to and about 1738, an occasional coach was put on the
road, but not as a regular and periodical conveyance, the fare to London
being 25 shillings, "children on lap, and footmen behind, being charged
half-price." A "Flying Coach" commenced running direct to the Metropolis
on May 28th, 1745, and was evidently thought to be an event of some
importance, as it was advertised to do the distance in two days "if the
roads permitted." In July, 1782, the same journey was accomplished in 14
hours, showing a great improvement in the arrangements of the road. The
first mail coaches for the conveyance of letters was started by Mr.
Palmer, of Bath, in 1784, the earliest noticed as passing through here
being on August 23, 1785, but the first direct mail from this town dates
only from May 25, 1812. In February, 1795, the Western mailcoaches were
delayed nearly a week together in consequence of a rapid thaw rendering
the roads impassable. In 1777 fifty-two coaches passed through here to
London and sixteen to Bristol every week. In 1829 at least 100 departed
from or passed through the town daily, 550 persons travelling between
here and London. In 1832 Mr. Lecount estimated the general results of
the road and canal traffic between here and London as follows:
Pessengers, 233,155; goods, 62,389 tons; parcels, 46,799; beasts,
50,839; sheep, 365,000; pigs, 15,364; the amount expended in cost of
transit being £1,338,217. In 1837 it was estimated that £6,789 was
received per week from coach passengers on the road from here to London,
£1,571 for parcels per coach, and £729 from persons posting along the
same roads; and that £8,120 was received for goods by canals and
waggons, not including iron, timber, cattle, minerals, or other goods at
low tonnage--£17,209 _per week_. There was, notwithstanding the large
number of coaches leaving here every day, no direct conveyance from
Birmingham to Edinburgh. The best and usual route was by Walsall,
Manchester, Preston, and Carlisle; distances and times being,
Manchester, 78-1/2 miles, 8 hours, fare, 14s.; Manchester to Carlisle,
118 miles, 12 hours 55 minutes by the mail, including stoppage of fifty
minutes at Preston for post office purposes, fare, £1 2s. 6d.; Carlisle
to Edinburgh, 95 miles, 9 hours 35 minutes, fare, 18s.; coachmen and
guards' fees about 15s.; all hotel charges, &c., were paid by the
passenger. Total distance, 291-1/2 miles; travelling time, 30-1/2 hours;
cost, £3 9s. 6d., in all. The mail coach which left the Albion reached
London in 10-1/2 hours, which would be reckoned as very good travelling,
even in these days. For some time after the introduction of railways,
the coaching interest was still of some account, for as late as 1840
there were 54 coaches and omnibuses running from here every 24 hours.--
There has been a kind of modern revival of the good old coaching days,
but it has not become popular in this part of the country, though quite
a summer feature on the Brighton Road. A four-in-hand, driven by the
Earl of Aylesford, was put on the road from here to Coventry, at latter
end of April, 1878; and another ran for part of the summer, in 1880, to
Leamington. The introduction of railways set many persons to work on the
making of "steam coaches" to travel on the highways. Captain Ogle coming
here on one of his own inventing September 8th, 1832, direct from
Oxford, having travelled at from ten to fourteen miles per hour. Our
local geniuses were not behindhand, and Messrs. Heaton Bros., and the
well-known Dr. Church brought out machines for the purpose. Both parties
started joint-stock companies to carry out their inventions, and in that
respect both parties succeeded, for such was the run for shares, that in
June, 1833, when Heatons' prospectus came out, offering to the public
2,000 £10 shares, no less than 3,000 were asked for in one day. There
was also a third company in the field, the "London, Birmingham, and
Liverpool," with a nominal capital of £300,000; but none of them
prospered; for though they could construct the engines and the coaches,
they could not make receipts cover expenses. Heatons' ran theirs for
some little time to Wolverhampton and back, and even to the Lickey; the
Doctor came out every month with something new; and even the big Co.
managed to bring one carriage all the way from London (August 28th,
1835). Others besides Captain Ogle also came here on their iron horses,
and there was plenty of fun and interest for the lookers-on generally--
but no trade and no interest for the speculators. For steam coaches of
the present day, see "_Tramways_."

~Coal~ was not in common use much before 1625, and for a long time was
rather shunned by householders, more especially in the rural parts where
the black diamonds were looked upon as something altogether uncanny.
Prior to the opening of the first canal, the roads leading from the
Black Country daily presented the curious feature of an almost unending
procession of carts and waggons bringing the supplies needed by our
manufacturers, and high prices were the rule of the day. The first
boatload was brought in on November 6th, 1769, and soon after the price
of coal at the wharf was as low as 4d. per cwt.--See "_Trades_."

~Cobbett~ delivered a lecture on the Corn Laws, &c., at Beardsworth's
Repository, May 10 1830.

~Cobden.~--There was a general closing of places of business here on
April 6, 1865, the day on which Richard Cobden was buried.

~Cockfighting.~--_Aris's Gazette_ of December 26, 1780, announced in one
of its advertisements that "the Annual Subscription Match of Cocks"
would be fought at Duddeston Hall, commonly called "Vauxhall," on the
New Year's day and day after.--The same paper printed an account of
another Cockfight, at Sutton, as late as April 17, 1875.

~Coffeehouses.~--Coffee, which takes its name from the Abyssinian
province of Kaffa, was introduced into this country in the early part of
the 17th century, the first coffeehouse being opened in London in 1652.
Until very late years coffeehouses in provincial towns were more noted
for their stuffy untidiness than aught else, those of Birmingham not
excepted, but quite a change has come o'er the scene now, and with all
the brave glitter of paint and glaring gas they attempt to rival the
public-houses. The Birmingham Coffeehouse Company, Limited (originally
miscalled The Artizan's Clubhouse Company), which came into existence
March 27, 1877, with a capital of £20,000 in 10s. shares, has now near
upon a score of houses open, and their business is so successful that
very fair dividends are realised.

~Coffins.~--Excluding textile fabrics and agricultural produce,
Birmingham supplies almost every article necessary for the comfort of
man's life, and it is therefore not surprising that some little
attention has been given to the construction of the "casket" which is to
enclose his remains when dead. Coffins of wood, stone, lead, &c., have
been known for centuries, but coffins of glass and coffins of brass must
be ranked amongst the curiosities of our later trades. Two of the latter
kind polished, lacquered, and decorated in a variety of ways, with
massive handles and emblazoned shields, were made here some few years
back for King Egbo Jack and another dark-skinned potentate of South
Africa. "By particular request" each of these coffins were provided with
four padlocks, two outside and two inside, though how to use the latter
must have been a puzzle even for a dead king. The Patent Metallic
Air-tight Coffin Co., whose name pretty accurately describes their
productions, in 1861 introduced hermetically-sealed coffins with plate
glass panels in the lid, exceedingly useful articles in case of
contagious diseases, &c., &c. The trade in coffin "furniture" seems to
have originated about 1760, when one ingenious "Mole" pushed it forward;
and among the list of patents taken out in 1796 by a local worthy there
is one for "a patent coffin," though its particular speciality could not
have met with much approval, as although some thousands of bodies have
been removed from our various sepultures nothing curious or rarer than
rotten boards and old lead has been brought to light.

~Coinage.~--So far had our patriotic forefathers proceeded in the art of
making money that about the middle of the last century it was estimated
over one half the copper coin in circulation was counterfeit, and that
nine-tenths thereof was manufactured in Birmingham, where 1,000
halfpennies could be had of the makers for 25s. Boulton's big pennies
were counterfeited by lead pennies faced with copper. One of these would
be a curiosity now. The bronze coinage was first issued December 1,
1860, and soon after Messrs. Ralph Heaton & Sons made 100 tons of bronze
coins for the Mint. They are distinguished by the letter "H" under the
date. The number, weight, and value of this issue were as follows:--

  Tons                            Nominal Value.
  62 or 9,595,245 pennies     ..  £25,396  17   1
  28 or 5,504,382 halfpennies ..   11,469  10  11
  10 or 3,884,446 farthings   ..    4,096   5   4
  ----------------                 --------------
  100 or 15,484,043 pieces    ..  £40,962  13   4

The same firm has had several similar contracts, the last being in hand
at the present time. The bronze is composed of 95 parts copper, 4 tin,
and 1 zinc.

~Colleges.~--See "_Schools_," &c.

~Colmore Row,~ which now extends from the Council House to the Great
Western Hotel (including Ann Street and Monmouth Street) is named after
the Colmore family, the owners of the freehold. Great Colmore Street,
Caroline and Charlotte Streets, Great and Little Charles Streets,
Cregoe, Lionel, and Edmund Streets, all take their names from the same

~Colonnade.~--This very handsome and (for Birmingham) rather
novel-looking building, was opened Jan. 10, 1883, being erected by Mr.
A. Humpage, at a cost of about £70,000, from the designs of Mr. W.H.
Ward. The Colonnade proper runs round the entire building, giving
frontage to a number of shops, the upper portion of the block being
partly occupied by the Midland Conservative Club, and the rest of the
building, with the basement, fitted up as a Temperance Hotel and

~Comets.~--The inhabitants were very much terrified by the appearance of
a comet in December, 1680. At Michaelmas, 1811, an exceedingly brilliant
comet appeared, supposed to have been the same which was seen at the
birth of Jesus Christ. Donati's comet was first observed June 2, 1858,
but was most brilliant in September and October. The comets of 1861 and
1883 were also visible here.

~Commissioners.~--The first local governing body of the town, though
with but the merest shadow of power as compared with the Corporation of
to-day, were the Street Commissioners appointed under an Act of Geo.
III. in 1769, their duties being confined almost solely to repairing,
cleansing, and "enlightening" the streets of the town, appointing
watchmen, &c., their power of raising funds being limited to 1s. in the
£. By succeeding Acts of 1773, 1801, 1812, and 1828, the powers of the
Commissioners were considerably enlarged, and they must be credited with
the introduction of the first set of local improvement schemes,
including the widening of streets, clearing the Bull Ring of the houses
round St. Martin's Church, making owners lay out proper streets for
building, purchasing the market tolls, building of Town Hall and Market
Hall, regulating carriages, and "suppressing the smoke nuisance arising
from engines commonly called steam engines," &c., and, though they came
in for their full share of obloquy and political rancour, it cannot be
denied they did good and faithful service to the town. The Commissioners
had the power of electing themselves, every vacancy being filled as it
occurred by those who remained, and, as the Act of 1828 increased their
number to no less than 89, perhaps some little excuse may be made for
the would-be leading men of the day who were left out in the cold. Be
that as it may, the Charter of Incorporation put them aside, and gave
their power and authority into the hands of a popularly-elected
representative body. The Commissioners, however, remained as a body in
name until the last day of December, 1851, when, as a token of
remembrance, they presented the town with the ornamental fountain
formerly standing in the centre of the Market Hall, but which has been
removed to Highgate Park. On the transfer of their powers to the
Corporation, the Commissioners handed over a schedule of indebtedness,
showing that there was then due on mortgage of the "lamp rate," of 4 per
cent, £87,350; on the "Town Hall rate," at 4 per cent., £25,000;
annuities, £947 3s. 4d.; besides £7,800, at 5 percent., borrowed by the
Duddeston and Nechells Commissioners, making a total of £121,097 3s. 4d.

~Commons.~--Handsworth Common was enclosed in 1793. An Act was passed in
1798 for enclosing and allotting the commons and waste land in
Birmingham. The commons and open fields of Erdington and Witton were
enclosed and divided in 1801.

~Concert Halls, &c.~--The Birmingham Concert Hall, better known as
"Holder's," was built in 1846, though for years previous the house was
noted for its harmonic meetings; the present Hall has seats for 2,200
persons. Day's Concert Hall was erected in 1862 the opening night,
September 17, being for the benefit of the Queen's Hospital, when £70
was realised therefor; the Hall will accommodate 1,500.--The Museum
Concert Hall was opened Dec. 20, 1863, and will hold about 1,000
people.--A very large building intended for use as a Concert Hall, &c.,
will soon be opened in Snow Hill, to be conducted on temperance
principles.--A series of popular Monday evening concerts was commenced
in the Town Hall, Nov. 12, 1844, and was continued for nearly two
years.--Twopenny weekly "Concerts for the People" were started at the
Music Hall, Broad Street (now Prince of Wales' Theatre), March 25, 1847,
but they did not take well.--Threepenny Saturday evening concerts in
Town Hall, were begun in November, 1879.

~Conferences and Congresses~ of all sorts of people have been held here
from time to time, and a few dates are here annexed:--A Conference of
Wesleyan ministers took place in 1836, in 1844, 1854, 1865, and 1879,
being the 136th meeting of that body. Four hundred Congregational
ministers met in Congress Oct. 5, 1862. A Social Science Congress was
held Sept. 30, 1868. A Trades Union Conference Aug. 23, 1869. National
Education League Conference, Oct. 12, 1869. National Republican
Conference, May 12, 1873. Conference on Sanitary Reform, Jan. 14, 1875.
A Co-operative Societies Conference, July 3, 1875. A Conference of
Christians in Needless Alley, Oct. 27, 1875. The Midland Counties'
Church Defence Associations met in the Exchange, Jan. 18, 1876, and on
the 9th of Feb. the advocates for disestablishing and disendowing the
Church said their say in the Masonic Hall, resolutions in favour of
sharing the loaves and fishes being enthusiastically carried by the good
people who covet not their neighbours' goods. A Domestic Economy
Congress was held July 17, 1877. A Church Conference held sittings Nov.
7, 1877. The friends of International Arbitration met in the Town Hall,
May 2, 1878, when 800 delegates were present, but the swords are not yet
beaten into ploughshares. How to lessen the output of coal was discussed
March 5, 1878, by a Conference of Miners, who not being then able to
settle the question, met again June 17, 1879, to calmly consider the
advisableness of laying idle all the coalpits in the country for a time,
as the best remedy they could find for the continued reduction of wages.
The 18th Annual Conference of the British Association of Gas Managers
was held here June 14, 1881, when about 500 of those gentlemen attended.
A considerable amount of gassy talk anent the wonderful future naturally
arose, and an endowment fund of £323 was banked to provide a medal for
"any originality in connection with the manufacture and application of
gas," but the Gas Committee of Birmingham, without any vast improvement
in the manufacture, still keep to _their_ original idea of sharing
profits with ratepayers, handing over £25,000 each year to the Borough
rates. On Bank Holiday, August 6, 1883, a Conference of Bakers took
place here, and at the same date the 49th "High Court" of Foresters
assembled at the Town Hall, their last visit having been in 1849.

~Conservative Associations~ have been in existence for at least fifty
years, as the formation of one in December, 1834, is mentioned in the
papers of the period. The present one, which is formed on a somewhat
similar plan to that of the Liberal Association, and consists of 300
representatives chosen from the wards, held its first meeting May 18,
1877. Associations of a like nature have been formed in most of the
wards, and in Balsall Heath, Moseley, Aston, Handsworth, and all the
suburbs and places around.

~Constables.~--In 1776 it was necessary to have as many as 25 constables
sworn in to protect the farmers coming to the weekly market.--See also

~Consuls.~--There are Consulates here for the following countries (for
addresses see _Directory_):--Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chili, France,
Germany, Greece, Liberia, Portugal, Spain and Italy, Turkey, United
States, United States of Columbia, and Uruguay.

~Convents.~--See "_Religious Institutions_."

~Co-operative Societies~ at one time were put in the same category as
Chartist, Socialist, and Communistic Associations, all banned alike.
Nevertheless, in the old "Reform days" the theory of co-operation was
most enthusiastically taken up by the workers of this town, even more so
than in any other place in the kingdom. As early as 1828 several
attempts had been made to form such societies, but the one which
appeared the most likely to succeed was the so-called "Labour Exchange,"
situated in the old Coach Yard, in Bull Street, formed on the basis so
eloquently and perseveringly advocated by Robert Owen. The principle of
this Exchange was to value all goods brought in at the cost of the raw
material, plus the labour and work bestowed thereon, the said labour
being calculated at the uniform rate of 6d. per hour. On the reception
of the goods "notes" to the value were given which could be handed over
as equivalent for any other articles there on sale, and for a time this
rather crude plan was successful. Sharp customers, however found that by
giving in an advanced valuation of their own goods they could by using
their "notes" procure others on which a handsome profit was to be made
outside the Labour Mart, and this ultimately brought the Exchange to
grief. Mr. William Pare and Mr. George Jacob Holyoake, were foremost
among the advocates of Co-operation at the period, and a most
interesting history of "Co-operation in England" has been written by the
latter gentleman. Other societies were also in operation from time to
time, the longest-lived being the "Economic Provision Company," which
was commenced at Handsworth in 1830 by some of the workers at Soho and
Soho Foundry, 139 of whom clubbed 20s. each as a starting fund. After a
few months' trial, the profits were allowed to accumulate until they
made up £5 per share, on which capital no less than £6,000 were paid in
dividends during the first thirty years. The Supply Associations of the
present day are somewhat differently constituted, such establishments as
the one in Corporation Street (formerly in Cannon Street) and that in
High Street being on the most extensive scale, offering to the general
public all the advantages derivable from the use of large capital,
combined with a fair division of profits to the customer, as well as to
the shareholders. The Birmingham Household Supply Association in
Corporation Street supplies all the necessaries required in the
household, in addition to eatables and drinkables of the very best
quality, including Messrs. Walter Showell and Sons' ales, which are sent
out at the same prices as from the firm's own offices, either in cask or

~Cornavii.~--The ancient inhabitants of this part of England, but who
were subdued by the Romans. Whether the said inhabitants had any name
for the particular spot now called Birmingham must for ever remain

~Corn Exchange,~ in High-street, was opened October 28, 1847. The
original capital of the Company was £5,000, in shares of £25 each; but
the total cost of erection was a little over £6,000. The length of the
interior is 172 feet and the breadth 40 feet.

~Corn Laws.~--Long before the formation of the Anti-Corn Law League in
1838, a movement for the repeal of the obnoxious imposts had been
started in this town, a petition being sent from here to Parliament in
March, 1815, with 48,600 signatures attached. The doings of the League
and their ultimate success is an off-told tale, the men of Birmingham of
course taking their part in the struggle, which culminated on the 26th
of June, 1846, in the passing of Sir Robert Peel's Bill for the total
repeal of all duties levied on corn and breadstuffs.

~Coroners.~--The first borough coroner, the late Dr. Birt Davies, was
appointed May 15, 1839, and he held the office till July, 1875, when Mr.
Henry Hawkes was chosen as his successor, only one member of the Town
Council voting against him. The preent coroner has introduced several
improvements on the old system, especially in the matters of holding
inquests at public-houses, and the summoning of jurors. Formerly the
latter were chosen from the residents nearest to the scene of death,
some gentlemen being continually called upon, while the occasional
exhibition of a dead body in the back lumberroom of an inn yard, among
broken bottles and gaping stablemen, was not conductive to the dignity
of a coroner's court or particularly agreeable to the unfortunate
surgeon who might have to perform a _post mortem_. Thanks to the
persevering tenacity of Mr. Hawkes we have a proper court in
Moor-street, and a mortuary at every police station to which bodies can
at once be taken. The jurors are now chosen by rotation, so that having
been once called upon to act as a good citizen in such a capacity no
gentleman need fear a fresh summons for some years to come. Mr. Hooper,
the coroner for South Staffordshire, received his appointment in 1860.

~Corporation.~--The Charter of Incorporation of the Borough of
Birmingham, authorising the formation of a Governing body, consisting of
Mayor, Aldermen, and Councillors, duly elected by the Burgesses, dates
from October 31, 1838. The elections took place in December, the first
meeting being held on the 27. The borough was originally divided into 13
wards, but has since been, by Order in Council, made into 16, though the
number of Aldermen (16) and Councillors (48) has not been increased. The
Mayor is elected for one year, the Councillors for three, and the
Aldermen for six. The first Mayor chosen was William Schofield, Esq.,
who was succeeded by P.H. Muntz, Esq., in 1839 and 1840, the election
taking place at the November sitting in each year. Since 1840, the
Mayoral chair has been successively filled by:--

1841, S. Beale; 1842, J. James; 1843, T. Weston; 1844, T. Phillips;
1845, H. Smith; 1846, R. Martineau; 1847, C. Geach; 1848, S. Thornton;
1849, W. Lucy; 1850, W. Lucy; 1851, H. Smith; 1852, H. Hawkes; 1853, J.
Baldwin; 1854, J. Palmer; 1855, T. R, T. Hodgson; 1856, J. Ratcliff;
1857, J. Ratcliff; 1858, Sir J. Ratcliff, Kt.; 1859, T. Lloyd; 1860, A.
Ryland; 1861, H. Manton; 1862, C. Sturge; 1863, W. Holliday; 1864, H.
Wiggin; 1865, E. Yates; 1866, G. Dixon; 1867, T. Avery; 1868, H.
Holland; 1869, T. Prime; 1870, G. B. Lloyd; 1871, J. Sadler; 1872, A.
Biggs; 1873, J. Chamberlain; 1874, J. Chamberlain; 1875, J. Chamberlain;
1876, G. Baker; 1877, W. Kenrick; 1878, J. Collings; 1879, R.
Chamberlain; 1880, R. Chamberlain; 1881, T. Avery; 1882, W. White; 1883,
W. Cook; 1884, W. Martineau.

The members of the Council in 1862 subscribed £200 for the purchase of a
"Mayor's Chain," the first to wear "the glittering gaud," strange to
say, being a Quaker, Charles Sturge to wit. To this chain a valuable
addition has since been made in the shape of a stone, worth £150,
presented to the Town Council by Mr. W. Spencer, June 27, 1873, as being
the first diamond cut in Birmingham, and which was appropriately
mounted. For the names and addresses of the Aldermen and Councillors of
the various wards (changes taking place yearly) reference should be made
to "The Birmingham Red Book" published annually, in which will also be
found a list of all the borough officials, &c.

~Corporation Stock.~--The balance against the Borough in the shape of
loans, or mortgages on the then rates, when the Town Council took over
from the Street Commissioners was £121,100. By the end of 1864 the
Borough debts stood at £638,300, at varying rates of interest. After the
purchase of the Gas and Water Works, and the commencement of the
Improvement Scheme, this amount was vastly increased, the town's
indebtedness standing in 1880 at no less than £6,226,145. The old system
of obtaining loans at the market price of the day, and the requirement
of the Local Government Board that every separate loan should be repaid
in a certain limited number of years, when so large an amount as 6-1/4
millions came to be handled necessitated a consolidation scheme, which
has since been carried out, to the relief of present ratepayers and a
saving to those who will follow. The whole of the liabilities in the
Borough on loans were converted into Corporation three and a half per
cent. stock at the commencement of 1881, the operation being performed
by the Bank of England. The tenders for same were opened Jan. 18th, when
it was found that £1,200,000 had been applied for at and slightly over
the minimum rate of £98 per £100. The remaining £800,000 was allotted to
a syndicate, who afterwards applied for it at the minimum price. Persons
having money to invest cannot do better than visit the Borough
Treasurer, Mr. Hughes, who will give every information as to the mode of
investing even a £10 note in the Birmingham Corporation Stock.

~Council House.~--See "_Public Buildings_."

~County Areas.~--The total areas of this and adjoining counties are:--
Warwickshire 566,458 acres, Worcestershire 472,453, Staffordshire
732,434, and Shropshire 841,167.

~County Court.~--First opened in Birmingham at the Waterloo Rooms,
Waterloo Street, April 28th, 1847. R. G. Welford, Esq., Q.C., acting as
judge until September, 1872. He was followed by H. W. Cole, Esq., Q.C.,
who died in June, 1876; James Motteram, Esq., Q.C., who died Sept. 19,
1884: the present judge being W. Chambers, Esq., Q.C. The Circuit (No.
21) includes the towns and places of Aston, Atherstone, Balsall Heath,
Curdworth, Castle Bromwich, Erdington, Gravelly Hill, Handsworth,
Harborne, King's Heath, King's Norton, Lea Marston, Little Bromwich,
Maxstoke, Minworth, Moseley, Nether Whitacre, Perry Barr, Saltley, Selly
Oak, Sutton Coldfield, Tamworth, Water Orton and Wishaw.

~County Officials.~--For names and addresses of the Lord Lieutenant,
Deputy Lieutenant, High Sheriff, County Magistrates, and other official
gentlemen connected with the county of Warwick, see "Red Book."

~Court of Bankruptcy~ holden at Birmingham (at the County Court, in
Corporation Street) comprises all the places within the district of the
County Court of Warwickshire holden at Birmingham, Tamworth and
Solihull, and all the places in the district of the County Court of
Worcestershire holden at Redditch.

~Court Of Judicature.~--Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Walsall, and
Worcester, are District Registries of the Supreme Court of Judicature.

~Court Leet.~--The origin of that peculiar kind of Local Government
Board, known in the olden days as the Court Leet of the Manor of
Birmingham, is lost in the misty shadows of our past history. Doubtless
there were many onerous duties connected therewith, and very possibly
the officials considered themselves as "men of high degree," but what
those duties actually were, and what the remuneration for their due
fulfilment, appears to have been matter of doubt, even so late as a
hundred and a few odd years ago. The rights, powers, and privileges of
the officers of this Court had evidently been questioned by some of our
Radical-minded great-grandfathers, as we find it was deemed necessary to
assemble a jury on the 20th day of October, 1779, to "ascertain and
present" the same, and from a little pamphlet at that time published, we
extract the following:--

_The Office of Low Bailiff_.--"The Jury find and present that this
officer is annually elected by the Jury, and that his office is in the
nature of Sheriff of the Manor; that to him all the process of the Court
is to be directed, and that it is his right and duty to summon all
Juries to this court. And the Low Bailiff, at each fair, is entitled to
one penny for each stall or standing pitched in the said fairs."

_The Office of High Bailiff_.--"The Jury find and present that this
Officer is annually elected by the Jury; and that it is his duty to see
that the fairs be duly proclaimed, and that due order be preserved in
the fairs and markets; and if he sees any person in such fairs or
markets using unlawful games, to the injury of ignorant persons and
thoughtless youths, he may seize them and commit them to custody, to be
taken before a proper magistrate. That it is his duty to see that all
persons exposing any wares for sale in the fairs or markets, or as
shopkeepers within the manor, have legal weights and measures."

The other officers of the Court Leet, whose duties are also defined in
the aforesaid pamphlet, are the "Constables," the "Headborough," two
"Affeirers" (who looked after the rents and dues belonging to the Lord
of the Manor), two "Leather Sealers" (once important officers, when
there was a Leather Market, but whose duties in and about the year named
seemed to be confined to attending at the yearly dinners given by the
High Bailiff), two "Ale-conners, otherwise high tasters," and two
"Flesh-conners, otherwise low tasters." From their name it might be
thought the duties of the last named officers were limited to the
inspection of meat or flesh, but it will be seen that they were of a
more comprehensive character:--

  "Their duty is to see that all butchers, fishmongers, poulterers,
  bakers, and other sellers of victuals, do not sell or expose to sale
  within this Manor any unwholesome, corrupt, or contagious flesh, fish,
  or other victuals; and in case any such be exposed to sale, we find
  that the said Officers, by the ancient custom of the Manor may seize,
  burn, or destroy the same, or otherwise present the offenders at the
  next Court Leet to be holden for this Manor."

As we are now officered, inspectored and policed, and generally looked
after as to our eating and drinking, &c., in the most improved modern
style possible, it is not necessary to further fill space by saying what
the "Headborough" had to do, or how many "Constables" assisted him. The
last meeting of the Court Leet, long shorn of all its honours and
privileges, was held October 28, 1851.

~Court Of Record.~--This was also called the "Mayor's Court," and was
authorised in the Charter of Incorporation for the recovery of small
debts under £20, the officers consisting of a Judge, Registrar, and two
Sergeants-at-Mace. In 1852 (Oct. 26) the Town Council petitioned the
Queen to transfer its powers to the County Court, which was acceded to
in the following spring.

~Court of Requests.~--Constituted by Act of Parliament in 1752 this
Court for "the more easy and speedy recovery of small debts within the
town of Birmingham and the adjoining hamlet of Deritend" continued in
operation until the present County Court system became the law of the
land. Its powers were originally limited to debts not exceeding 40s. in
amount (which was increased to £5 by an Act passed in 1807), the periods
of imprisonment to which defaulting debtors were liable being
apportioned out at the rate of one day in durance for each shilling due,
except in special cases, wherein an addition (not to exceed three
months) might be the reward for fraudulent concealment of property from
creditors. The "Court" consisted of no less than six dozen judges, or,
as the Act styled them, "Commissioners," from whose decisions there was
no appeal whatever. These Commissioners were at first chosen from the
ratepayers in a haphazard style, no mental or property qualification
whatever being required, though afterwards it was made incumbent that
they should be possessed of an income from real estate to value of £50
per year, or be worth £1,000 personalty. From the writings of William
Hutton, himself one of the Commissioners, and other sources, we gather
that justice, or what was supposed to be equivalent thereto, was
administered in a rough-and-ready fashion of the rudest kind, the cases
being frequently disposed of at the rate of thirty to forty per hour,
and when we consider that imprisonment resulted at an average of one
case in ten the troubles attendant upon impecuniosity in those days may
be better imagined then described. The Court House, which is now
occupied by sundry tradesmen, lay a little back from High-street, nearly
opposite New-street, and in itself was no mean structure, having been
(it is said), erected about the year 1650, as the town house of John
Jennens, or Jennings, one of the wealthy family, the claims to whose
estates have been unending, as well as unprofitable, barring, of course,
to the long-robed and bewigged fraternity. A narrow passage from the
right of the entrance hall leads by a dark winding staircase to the
cellars, now filled with merchandise, but which formerly constituted the
debtors' prison, or, as it was vulgarly called, "The Louse Hole," and
doubtless from its frequently-crowded and horribly-dirty condition, with
half-starved, though often debauched and dissipated, occupants, the
nasty name was not inappropriately given. Shocking tales have been told
of the scenes and practices here carried on, and many are still living
who can recollect the miserable cry of "Remember the poor debtors,"
which resounded morning, noon, and night from the heavily-barred windows
of these underground dungeons. The last batch of unfortunates here
confined were liberated August 16, 1844.

~Creche.~--An institution which has been open in Bath Row for several
years, and a great blessing to many poor mothers in its neighbourhood,
but it is so little known that it has not met with the support it
deserves, and is therefore crippled in its usefulness for want of more
subscribers. The object of the institution is to afford, during the
daytime, shelter, warmth, food, and good nursing to the infants and
young children of poor mothers who are compelled to be from home at
work. This is done at the small charge of 2d. per day--a sum quite
inadequate to defray the expenses of the charity. The average number of
children so sheltered is about 100 per week, and the number might be
greatly increased if there were more funds. Gifts of coal, blankets,
linen, perambulators, toys, pictures, &c., are greatly valued, and
subscriptions and donations will be gladly received by the hon.

~Crescent,~ Cambridge Street.--When built it was thought that the
inhabitants of the handsome edifices here erected would always have an
extensive view over gardens and green fields, and certainly if chimney
pots and slated roofs constitute a country landscape the present
denizens cannot complain. The ground belongs to the Grammar School, the
governors of which leased it in 1789 to Mr. Charles Norton, for a term
of 120 years, at a ground rent of £155 10s. per year, the lessee to
build 34 houses and spend £12,000 thereon; the yearly value now is about
£1,800. On the Crescent Wharf is situated the extensive stores of
Messrs. Walter Showell & Sons, from whence the daily deliveries of
Crosswells Ales are issued to their many Birmingham patrons. Here may be
seen, stacked tier upon tier, in long cool vistas, close upon 6,000
casks of varying sizes containing these celebrated ales, beers, and
stouts. This stock is kept up by daily supplies from the brewery at
Langley Green, many boats being employed in the traffic.

~Cricket.~--See "_Sports_."

~Crime.~--A few local writers like to acknowledge that Birmingham is any
worse than other large towns in the matter of crime and criminals, and
the old adage respecting the bird that fouls its own nest has been more
than once applied to the individuals who have ventured to demur from the
boast that ours is _par excellence_, a highly moral, fair-dealing,
sober, and superlatively honest community. Notwithstanding the character
given it of old, and the everlasting sneer that is connected with the
term "Brummagem," the fast still remains that our cases of drunkenness
are far less than in Liverpool, our petty larcenies fewer than in Leeds,
our highway robberies about half compared with Manchester, malicious
damage a long way under Sheffield, and robberies from the person not
more than a third of those reported in Glasgow; while as to smashing and
coining, though it has been flung at us from the time of William of
Orange to the present day; that all the bad money ever made _must_ be
manufactured here, the truth is that five-sixths of the villainous crew
who deal in that commodity obtain their supplies from London, and _not_
from our little "hardware village." But alas! there _is_ a dark side to
the picture, indeed, for, according to the Registrar-General's return of
June, 1879 (and the proportionate ratio, we are sorry to say, still
remains the same), Birmingham holds the unenviable position of being the
town where most deaths from violence occur, the annual rate per 1,000
being 1.08 in Birmingham, 0.99 in Liverpool, 0.38in Sheffield, 0.37 in
Portsmouth, the average for the kingdom being even less than that--"the
proportional fatality from violence being almost invariably more than
twice as large in Birmingham as in Sheffield."

~Cross.~--In the Bull Ring, when Hutton first came here, a poor wayfarer
seeking employ, there was a square building standing on arches called
"The Cross," or "Market Cross," the lower part giving a small shelter to
the few countrywomen who brought their butter and eggs to market, while
the chamber above provided accommodation for meetings of a public
character. When the Corn Cheaping, the Shambles, and all the other
heterogeneous collection of tumbledown shanties and domiciles which in
the course of centuries had been allowed to gather round St. Martin's
were cleared away, the Market Cross was demolished, and its exact site
is hardly ascertainable. At Dale End there was a somewhat similar
erection known as the "Welsh Cross," taking its peculiar name, says
Hutton, from the locality then called "Welsh End," on account of the
number of Welsh people living on that side of the town; though why the
"Taffies" were honoured with a distinct little market house of their own
is not made clear. This building was taken down in 1803, the 3-dial
clock, weathercock, &c., being advertised for sale, October 12, 1802.

~Crown.~--The old Crown Inn, Deritend, is one of the very few specimens
we have of the style of architecture adopted in the days of old, when
timber was largely used in place of our modern bricks. Leland mentions
the Crown Inn as existing in 1538, and a much longer history than that
is claimed for it. In 1817 there was another Old Crown Inn in New
Street, on the spot where Hyam's now stands, access to the Cherry
Orchard being had through its yard, the right of way thus obtained being
the origin of the present Union Passage.

~Crystal Palaces.~--It was proposed in August, 1853, that the
Corporation should join with the Midland Railway Co. and the Corporation
of Sutton in the erection of a "Sydenham Palace" in Sutton Park:
Birmingham to lease 250 acres for 999 years, at 1s. per acre, find from
£20,000 to £30,000 for the building and divide profits, the Midland
Railway Co. being willing to make branch from Bromford and run cheap
trains. The scheme was highly approved, but the Suttonites killed the
goose that was to lay them such golden eggs by refusing to lease the
land for more than ninety-nine years and wanting 20s. per acre rent. In
July, 1877, a "Sutton Park Crystal Palace Co. (Lim.)" was registered,
with a capital of £25,000 in £5 shares, for buying Mr. Cole's Promenade
Gardens, erecting Hotel, Aquarium, Skating Rink, Concert Hall, Winter
Gardens, &c., and the shares were readily taken up. Additional grounds
were purchased, and though the original plans have not yet been all
carried out, a very pleasant resort is to be found there. Day's, in
Smallbrook Street, is also called a "Crystal Palace," on account of the
style of decoration, and the immense mirror the proprietor purchased
from the Hyde Park Exhibition of 1851.

~Curzon Hall~, built originally for the purposes of the Dog Shows, was
opened in 1865. It is the property of a company, and cost about £7,500.
The building is well suited and has been often used for exhibitions,
panoramas, circus entertainments, &c., the hall being 103 ft. long by 91
ft. wide; the stage is of the fullest width, with a depth of 45 ft.
There is room for 3,000 seats.

~Danielites.~--A tribe who eschew fish, flesh, and fowl, and drink no
alcohol; neither do they snuff, smoke, or chew tobacco. At a fruit
banquet, held on August, 1877, it was decided to organise a "Garden of
Danielites" in Birmingham.

~Dates.~--The most complete work giving the dates of all the leading
events in the world's history is "Haydn's Book of Dates," the latest
edition bringing them down to 1882. For local events, the only "Local
Book of Dates" published is that of 1874, but "Showell's Dictionary of
Birmingham" (by the same author), will be found to contain more reliable
data than any book hitherto issued. For information of a general
character, respecting the immediate neighbourhood and adjoining
counties, our readers cannot do better than refer to the files of
Birmingham newspapers, preserved in the Reference Library, or write to
the present editors of the said papers, gentlemen noted for their
urbanity, and readiness to tell anybody anything.

~Dawson,~ George, _See "Parsons, Preachers, and Priests_," and

~Deaf and Dumb Asylum.~--_See "Philanthropic Institutions_."

~Debating Societies.~--From time immemorial the Brums have had their
little Parliaments, mostly in public-house parlours and clubrooms, and
certain Sunday nights gathering at "Bob Edmonds" and other well-known
houses have acquired quite an historical interest; but the
regularly-constituted "Spouting Clubs" of the present day cannot claim a
very long existence, the Birmingham Debating Society having held their
first palaver on the 3rd of Dec., 1846. In 1855 they joined the
Edgbastonians. The latest of the kind started in 1884, is known as the
Birmingham Parliamentary Debating Society, and has its premier, parties,
and political fights, in proper Parliamentary style.

~Deer Stealers.~--There was a taste for venison in more classes than one
in 1765, for it was found necessary to offer rewards for the detection
of those persons who stole the deer from Aston Park.

~Dental Hospital.~--_See "Hospitals_."

~Deodands.~--Prior to the passing of 9 and 10 Vict., 1846, Coroner's
Juries had the power of imposing a "deodand" or penalty on any article
or animal which had been instrumental in causing the death of a human
being, the said animal or article being forfeited if the owner did not

~Deritend.~--In some antique records the name has been spelt
"Duratehend." For this and other reasons it has been thought to have had
its origin rather from the ancient British, as "dur" is still the Welsh
word for water, and its situation on the Rea (a Gaelic word signifying a
running stream) seems to give a little foundation therefor. Mr. Tonlmin
Smith, in whose family the "Old Crown House" has descended from the time
it was built, and who, therefore, is no mean authority, was of opinion
that the name was formerly "Der-yat-end," or "Deer-Gate-End," from the
belief that in ancient days there was here an ancient deer forest.
Leland said he entered the town by "Dirtey," so perhaps after all
Deritend only means "the dirty end." Like the name of the town itself,
as well as several other parts of it, we can only guess at the origin.

~Deritend Bridge.~--Old records show that some centuries back there was
a bridge here of some sort, and occasionally we find notes of payments
made for repairs to the roads leading to the gates of the bridge, or to
the watchmen who had charge thereof, who appear to have been in the
habit of locking the gates at night, a procedure which we fear our
"Dirtyent" neighbours of to-day would be inclined to resent. The Act for
building the present bridge was obtained in 1784; the work was commenced
in 1789, but not completed till 1814.

~Dickens,~ Charles, made his first appearance amongst us at a
Polytechnic Conversazione held February 28, 1844, his last visit being
to distribute prizes to students of the Midland Institute, January 6,
1870. In December, 1854, he gave the proceeds of three "Readings,"
amounting to £227, to the funds of the Institute, in which he always
took great interest.--_See also "Theatrical Notes," &c._

~Digbeth,~ or Dyke Path, or Ducks' Bath, another puzzle to the
antiquarians. It was evidently a watery place, and the pathway lay low,
as may be seen at "Ye Olde Leather Bottel."

~Dining Halls.~--Our grandfathers were content to take their bread and
cheese by the cosy fireside of a public-house kitchen; this was followed
by sundry publicans reserving a better room, in which a joint was served
up for their "topping customers." One who got into trouble and lost his
license, conceived the idea of opposing his successor, and started
dining-rooms, sending out for beer as it was required, but _not_ to his
old shop. This innovation took, and when the railways began bringing in
their streams of strangers, these dining-rooms paid well (as several of
the old ones do still). The next step was the opening of a large room in
Slaney Street (June 8, 1863), and another in Cambridge Street, with the
imposing title of "Dining Halls," wherein all who were hungry could be
fed at wholesale prices--provided they had the necessary cash. Our
people, however, are not sufficiently gregarious to relish this kind of
feeding in flocks, barrackroom fashion, and though the provisions were
good and cheap, the herding together of all sorts spoilt the
speculation, and Dining Halls closed when "Restaurants" opened.--See
"_Luncheon Bars_."

~Diocese.~--Birmingham is in the diocese of Worcester, and in the
Archdeaconry of Coventry.

~Directories.~--The oldest Birmingham Directory known was printed in
1770, but there had been one advertised a few years earlier, and every
now and then, after this date one or other of our few printers ventured
to issue what they called a directory, but the procuring a complete list
of all and every occupation carried on in Birmingham appears to have
been a feat beyond their powers, even sixty years back. As far as they
did go, however, the old directories are not uninteresting, as they give
us glimpses of trade mutations and changes compared with the present
time that appear strange now even to our oldest inhabitants. Place for
instance the directory of 1824 by the side of White's directory for 1874
(one of the most valuable and carefully compiled works of the kind yet
issued). In the former we find the names of 4,980 tradesmen, the
different businesses under which they are allotted numbering only 141;
in 1874 the trades and professions named tot up to 745, under which
appears no less than 33,462 names. In 1824, if we are to believe the
directory, there were no factors here, no fancy repositories, no
gardeners or florists, no pearl button makers, no furniture brokers or
pawnbrokers (!), no newsagents, and, strange to say, no printer.
Photographers and electro-platers were unknown, though fifty years after
showed 68 of the one, and 77 of the latter. On the other hand, in 1824,
there were 78 auger, awlblade and gimlet makers, against 19 in 1874; 14
bellows makers, against 5; 36 buckle and 810 button makers, against 10
and 265; 52 edge tool makers and 176 locksmiths, against 18 of each in
1874; hinge-makers were reduced from 53 to 23; gilt toy makers, from 265
to 15. (Considering the immense quantity of gilt trifles now sent out
yearly, we can only account for these figures by supposing the producers
to have been entered under various other headings). Among the trades
that have vanished altogether, are steelyard makers, of whom there were
19 in 1824; saw-makers, of whom there were 26; tool-makers, of whom
there were 79, and similorers, whatever they might have been. Makers of
the time-honoured snuffers numbered 46 in 1824, and there were even
half-a-dozen manufacturers left at work in 1874. The introduction of
gas-lighting only found employ, in the first-named year, for three
gasfitters; in 1874, there were close upon 100. Pewterers and
manufacturers of articles in Britannia metal numbered 75 in 1824,
against 19 in 1874, wire-drawers in the same period coming down from 237
to 56. The Directories of the past ten years have degenerated into mere
bulky tomes, cataloguing names certainly, but published almost solely
for the benefit (?) of those tradesmen who can be coaxed into
advertising in their pages. To such an extent has this been carried,
that it is well for all advertisers to be careful when giving their
orders, that they are dealing with an established and respectable firm,
more than one bogus Directory having come under the notice of the writer
during the past year or two. The issue of a real Post Office Directory
for 1882, for which the names, trades, and addresses were to be gathered
by the letter-carriers, and no body of men could be more suitable for
the work, or be better trusted, was hailed by local tradesmen as a
decided step in advance (though little fault could be found with the
editions periodically issued by Kelly), but unfortunately the proposed
plan was not successfully carried out, and in future years the volume
will be principally valued as a curiosity, the wonderfully strange
mistakes being made therein of placing the honoured name of Sir Josiah
Mason under the head of "Next-of-Kin Enquiry Agents," and that, too,
just previous to the exposure of the numerous frauds carried out by one
of the so-called agents and its curiousness is considerably enhanced by
the fact that a like error had been perpetrated in a recent edition of
Kelly's Directory.

~Discharged Prisoners' Aid Society~ in 1882 gave assistance to 642
persons, at an average cost of 9s. 9-1/2d. each--£315 19s. 4d. £161 16s.
5d. of this amount came from the convicts' gratuities, while the cost of
aiding and helping them took £192 2s.

~Dispensary.~--Established in 1794; the first stone of the building in
Union Street was laid December 23, 1806, and it was opened for the
reception of patients early in 1808, the cost being about £3,000. It has
been one of the most valuable institutions of the town, thousands
receiving medical assistance every year, and is supported by voluntary
subscriptions. A branch Dispensary was opened in Monument Road, Feb. 27,
1884. Provident Dispensaries, to which members pay a small monthly sum
for medicine and attendance, were organised in 1878, the first branch
being opened at Hockley in October of that year. In the first fifteen
months 3,765 individuals, paid subscriptions, and about £577 was paid
for drugs and doctors fees. There are also branches at Camp Hill and
Small Heath.

~Dissenters.~--In 1836 there were 45 places of worship belonging to
various denominations of Dissenters here; there are now about 145.--_See
"Places of Worship_."

~Distances~ from Birmingham to neighbouring places, county towns, trade
centres, watering places, &c. Being taken from the shortest railway
routes, this list may be used as a guide to the third-class fares--
Reckoned at 1d. per mile:--

  Aberdare........... 111
  Aberdeen........... 437-1/2
  Abergavenny   .....  79
  Abergele .......... 109
  Aberystwith   ..... 123-1/2
  Acock's Green .....   4-1/4
  Albrighton ........  20
  Alcester   ........  24
  Aldershot.......... 111-1/2
  Alnwick   .........  52-1/2
  Alrewas   .........  26
  Alton Towers ......  52-1/2
  Alvechurch.........  13-1/2
  Arbroath........... 310
  Ashbourne..........  56-1/4
  Ashby-de-la-Zouch .  41-1/2
  Ashton-under-Lyne..  84-1/2
  Aylesbury   .......  84
  Bala...............  94
  Banbury ...........  42
  Bangor............. 135
  Barmouth   ........ 116
  Barnsley .........   95-1/2
  Barnstaple ........ 181
  Barnt Green  ......  12
  Barrow-in-Furness   160
  Basingstoke........ 108-1/2
  Bath...............  98-1/2
  Battersea ......... 115-1/2
  Bedford    ........  82
  Beeston Castle.....  64-1/2
  Belper ............  50
  Berkswell..........  13
  Berwick   ......... 281
  Bescot Junction ...   7-1/2
  Bettws-y-Coed...... 134
  Bewdley ...........  22-1/2
  Bilston ...........   9-1/2
  Birkenhead ........  90
  Blackburn ......... 113
  Blackpool ......... 124
  Bletchley .........  65-1/2
  Blisworth .........  49-1/2
  Bloxwich ..........  10-1/2
  Bolton ............  95-1/4
  Borth ............. 113
  Bournemouth ....... 173
  Bradford .......... 120-1/2
  Brecon ............  95
  Bredon ............  40-1/2
  Brettle Lane ......  12
  Bridgnorth ........  20
  Bridgewater ....... 127
  Brierley Hill .....  11-1/2
  Brighton .......... 166
  Bristol ...........  94
  Bromsgrove ........  16
  Bromyard ..........  41
  Buckingham ........  70-1/2
  Builth Road .......  88
  Burslem ...........  49
  Burton-on-Trent ...  32
  Bury St. Edmunds .. 133
  Bushbury Jun'tion .  13
  Buxton ............  79
  Cambridge ......... 111-1/2
  Cannock ...........  15-1/2
  Canterbury ........ 175-1/2
  Cardiff ........... 109
  Carlisle .......... 196
  Carmarthen ........ 187-1/2
  Carnarvon ......... 143-1/2
  Castle Bromwich ...   5-3/4
  Castle Douglas .... 248-1/2
  Chapel-en-le-Frith   89
  Cheadle ...........  77
  Cheddar ........... 115-1/2
  Chelsea ........... 110
  Cheltenham ........  49-1/2
  Chepstow ..........  84
  Chester ...........  75
  Chesterfield ......  65-1/2
  Chippenham ........ 117
  Chipping Norton ...  60
  Chirk .............  62-1/2
  Church Stretton ...  54
  Cinderford ........  83-1/2
  Cirencester .......  84-1/2
  Clapham Junction .. 113
  Clay Cross ........  62
  Cleobury Mortimer .  29
  Clifton Bridge ....  97
  Coalbrookdale .....  30
  Codsall ...........  16-1/2
  Coleford ..........  80
  Coleshill .........  11-1/2
  Colwich ...........  25-1/2
  Colwyn Bay ........ 115
  Congleton .........  58
  Conway ............ 120-1/2
  Coventry ..........  18-1/2
  Cradley ...........   9
  Craven Arms .......  61-1/2
  Crewe Junction ....  54
  Croydon ........... 123
  Crystal Palace .... 120
  Darlaston .........   9-1/2
  Darlington ........ 175-1/2
  Deepfields ........   9-1/2
  Denbigh ...........  97
  Derby .............  42-1/2
  Devizes ........... 143-1/2
  Didcot ............  76
  Dolgelly .......... 106
  Doncaster .........  96-1/2
  Dorchester ........ 184
  Dorking ........... 133
  Droitwich .........  23
  Dublin ............ 232
  Dudley ............   8
  Dumfries .......... 229
  Dundee ............ 347
  Dunstable .........  79
  Durham ............ 198
  Edinburgh ......... 297-1/2
  Elgin ............. 450
  Ely ............... 127
  Erdington .........   4-1/2
  Etruria ...........  47
  Evercreech Junct'n  121
  Evesham ...........  34
  Exeter ............ 170
  Falmouth .......... 286-1/2
  Farrington ........  87
  Fearnall Heath ....  25
  Fenny Compton .....  34-1/2
  Fenny Stratford ...  67
  Festiniog ......... 145
  Filey ............. 178
  Fleetwood ......... 126
  Flint .............  87-1/2
  Folkestone ........ 202
  Forfar ............ 304
  Forge Mills .......   9
  Four Ashes ........  19
  Frome ............. 138
  Furness Abbey ..... 158-1/2
  Garstang .......... 115
  Glasgow ........... 286
  Glastonbury ....... 140
  Gloucester ........  56-1/2
  Gosport ........... 150
  Gravelly Hill .....   3
  Great Barr ........   4-1/2
  Great Bridge ......   7
  Grimsby ........... 136-1/2
  Guildford ......... 120
  Hagley ............  13-1/2
  Halesowen .........   9
  Halifax ........... 122-1/2
  Hanley ............  47-1/2
  Harborne ..........   4
  Harlech ........... 126
  Harrowgate ........ 133
  Harrow ............ 101
  Hartlebury ........  22
  Hartlepool ........ 186
  Hastings .......... 192-1/2
  Hatton ............  17-1/4
  Haverfordwest ..... 218-1/2
  Heath Town ........  12
  Hednesford ........  17-1/2
  Henley-on-Thames .. 103
  Hereford ..........  57
  Hertford .......... 108
  Higham Ferrers ....  69-1/2
  High Wycombe ......  95
  Hitchin ...........  92
  Holyhead .......... 159-1/4
  Holywell ..........  91-1/2
  Huddersfield ...... 105-1/2
  Hull .............. 134
  Ilfracombe ........ 195
  Inverness ......... 490
  Ipswich ........... 167
  Ironbridge ........  30
  James Bridge ......   9
  Jedburgh .......... 263
  Keighley .......... 116-1/2
  Kendal ............ 148
  Kenilworth ........  21
  Kidderminster .....  18-1/2
  Kilmarnock ........ 278-1/2
  Kings Heath .......   5
  Kings Norton ......   6
  Kingstown ......... 226
  Kingswood .........  13
  Knowle ............  10-1/2
  Lancaster ......... 127-1/2
  Langley Green .....   5-1/4
  Leamington ........  21
  Ledbury ...........  43
  Leeds ............. 115
  Leicester .........  39-1/2
  Leominster ........  80
  Lichfield .........  18
  Lincoln ...........  91-1/2
  Liverpool .........  97-1/2
  Llanberis ......... 143
  Llandudno ......... 123
  Llanelly .......... 167-1/2
  Llangollen ........  72-1/2
  Llanrwst .......... 131
  Llanymynech ......   69
  London ............ 113
  Longton ...........  48
  Loughborough ......  50
  Lowestoft ......... 201
  Ludlow ............  69-1/2
  Lydney ............  79
  Lye Waste .........  10-1/2
  Lynn .............. 135
  Macclesfield ......  66
  Machynllyth ....... 101
  Maidenhead ........ 105-1/2
  Maidstone  ........ 175-1/2
  Malvern (Great) ...  36-1/2
  Manchester ........  85
  Margate ........... 187
  Market Bosworth ...  27-1/2
  Market Drayton ....  48
  Market Harboro'....  46
  Marlborough ....... 133-1/2
  Marston Green .....   6-1/2
  Maryport .......... 224
  Matlock Bath ......  59
  Menai Bridge ...... 136
  Merthyr ........... 111-1/2
  Middlesbro' ....... 176
  Milford Haven ..... 228
  Milverton .........  21
  Mold ..............  87
  Monmouth ..........  96-1/2
  Montrose .......... 401
  Moreton-in-Marsh ..  46
  Moseley ...........   3-3/4
  Much Wenlock ......  33
  Nantwich ..........  56
  Neath ............. 105-1/2
  Netherton .........   8
  Newark ............  71-1/2
  Newcastle-on-Tyne . 215
  Nwcstle-udr-Lyme ..  47-1/2
  Newmarket ......... 126
  Newport (Salop) ...  39
  Newport (Mon.) .... 101
  Newton Road .......   5
  Newton Stewart .... 278
  Northallerton ..... 160
  Northampton .......  49
  Northfield ........   8-3/4
  North Shields ..... 216-1/2
  Norwich ........... 181
  Nottingham ........  58
  Nuneaton ..........  20
  Oakengates ........  28-1/2
  Oldbury ...........   5-1/2
  Oldham ............  85
  Olton .............   5
  Oswestry ..........  62-1/2
  Oxford ............  66
  Paisley ........... 286
  Pelsall ...........  11
  Pembroke Dock ..... 175
  Penkridge .........  22-3/4
  Penmaenmawr ....... 125
  Penrith ........... 178
  Penzance .......... 302
  Perry Barr ........   4
  Pershore ..........  43-1/2
  Perth ............. 344
  Peterborough ......  96-1/2
  Plymouth .......... 222-1/2
  Pontypool .........  90
  Port Dinorwic ..... 139
  Portishead ........ 105-1/2
  Portmadoc ........  134
  Portsmouth ........ 162-1/2
  Prestatyn ......... 101
  Princes End .......   9-1/2
  Prollheli ......... 138
  Queen's Ferry .....  82
  Ramsgate .......... 192-1/2
  Reading ...........  93
  Redcar ............ 189
  Redditch ..........  17
  Reigate ........... 138-1/2
  Rhyl .............. 105
  Rickmansworth  ....  98
  Rochdale .......... 104-1/2
  Ross ..............  70
  Rotherham .........  88
  Round Oak .........  10-1/2
  Rowsley ...........  63-1/2
  Ruabon ............  67-1/2
  Rugby .............  80-1/2
  Rugeley ...........  21-1/2
  Runcorn ...........  75
  Ruthin ............ 116
  Ryde .............. 160
  St. Alban's ....... 101
  St. Asaph ......... 111
  St. Helens ........  85-1/2
  St. Leonard's ..... 190-1/2
  Salford Priors ....  28
  Salisbury ......... 157-1/2
  Saltburn .......... 191
  Sandbach ..........  58-1/2
  Scarboro' ......... 173
  Selly Oak .........   2-1/2
  Sharpness .........  75
  Sheffield .........  79
  Shepton Mallett ... 152
  Shifnal ...........  25
  Shrewsbury ........  42
  Shustoke ..........  12
  Smethwick .........   3-1/2
  Solihull ..........   6-1/2
  Southampton ....... 139
  Southport ......... 107-1/2
  South Shields ..... 209
  Spon Lane .........   4-1/2
  Stafford ..........  29
  Stamford ..........  72
  Stechford .........   3-1/2
  Stirchley Street ..   3-1/2
  Stirling .......... 336
  Stockport .........  79
  Stoke .............  45-1/2
  Stokes Bay ........ 150
  Stourbridge .......  13-1/2
  Stourport .........  22
  Stranraer ......... 301
  Stratford-on-Avon .  26
  Stroud ............  70
  Sunderland ........ 208
  Sutton Coldfield ..   7
  Swansea ........... 156-1/2
  Swan Village ......   5-1/2
  Swindon ........... 100
  Tamworth ..........  18
  Taunton ........... 138-1/2
  Teignmouth ........ 184
  Tenbury ...........  38
  Tewkesbury ........  44-1/2
  Thirsk ............ 151
  Thrapstone ........  75-1/2
  Tipton ............   8
  Torquay  .......... 195-1/2
  Towcester .........  54
  Trefnant .......... 113
  Trentham ..........  43
  Trowbridge ........ 128
  Truro ............. 275-1/2
  Tunbridge Wells ... 165
  Tunstall ..........  47
  Tutbury ...........  37
  Ulverstone ........ 152
  Uppingham .........  61-1/2
  Upton-on-Severn ...  49
  Uttoxeter .........  45-1/4
  Uxbridge .......... 118
  Wakefield  ........ 101-1/2
  Wallingford .......  84-1/4
  Walsall ...........   8
  Warminster ........ 120
  Warrington ........  78
  Warwick ...........  21-1/2
  Water Orton .......   7-1/2
  Wednesbury  .......   8
  Wednesfield .......  12
  Weedon ............  42
  Welshpool .........  61
  Wellington ........  32
  Wells ............. 123
  Wem ...............  52
  West Bromwich .....   4
  Weston-supr-Mare .. 114
  Weymouth .......... 191
  Whitacre Junction .  10-1/2
  Whitby ............ 187
  Whitchurch ........  51
  Whitehaven ........ 193
  Wigan .............  91
  Willenhall ........  11
  Willesden Junction  107
  Wilnecote .........  16-1/2
  Wincanton ......... 130
  Winchester ........ 127
  Windermere ........ 156
  Windsor ........... 113
  Winson Green ......   2-1/2
  Wirksworth ........  56
  Witton ............   3-1/2
  Woburn Sands ......  70
  Wokingham ......... 100
  Wolverhampton .....  12
  Wolverton .........  60
  Worcester .........  27-1/2
  Worthington .......  50
  Wrexham ...........  72
  Wylde Green.......   6
  Yarmouth .......... 201
  Yeovil ............ 152
  York .............. 130-1/2

~Dogs.~--A 5s. duty on dogs came into force April 5, 1867; raised to 7s.
6d. in June, 1878; This was not the first tax of the kind, for a local
note of the time says that in 1796 "the fields and waters near the town
were covered with the dead carcases of dogs destroyed by their owners to
avoid payment of the tax." The amount paid per year at present for "dog
licenses" in Birmingham is about £1,800. The using of dogs as beasts of
burden (common enough now abroad) was put a stop to in London at the end
of Oct. 1840, though it was not until 1854 that the prohibition became
general. Prior to the passing of the Act in that year, dogs were
utilised as draught animals to a very great extent in this neighbourhood
by the rag-and-bone gatherers, pedlars, and little merchants, as many as
180 of the poor brutes once being counted in five hours as passing a
certain spot on the Westbromwich Road. There have been one or two
"homes" for stray dogs opened, but it is best in case of a loss of this
kind to give early information at the nearest police station, as the art
of dog stealing has latterly been much cultivated in this town, and it
should be considered a duty to one's neighbour to aid in putting a stop

~Dog Shows.~--The first local Dog Show was held in 1860, but it was not
until the opening in Curzon Hall, December 4, 1865, that the Show took
rank as one of the "yearly institutions" of the town.--See

~Domesday Books.~--The so-called Domesday Book, compiled by order of
William the Norman Conqueror, has always been considered a wonderful
work, and it must have taken some years compiling. Some extracts
touching upon the holders of land in this neighbourhood have already
been given, and in a sense they are very interesting, showing as they do
the then barrenness of the land, and the paucity of inhabitants. Though
in Henry VIII.'s reign an inventory of all properties in the hands of
Churchmen was taken, it did not include the owners of land in general,
and it was not till Mr. John Bright in 1873 moved for the Returns, that
a complete register of the kind was made. It would not be easy, even if
space could be given to it, to give the list of individuals, companies,
and corporation who claim to be possessors of the land we live on in
Birmingham and neighbourhood; but a summary including the owners in this
and adjoining counties may be worth preserving. As will be seen by the
annexed figures, Warwick and Stafford rank high in the list of counties
having large numbers of small owners (small as to extent of ground,
though often very valuable from the erections thereon). There can be no
doubt that the Freehold Land and Building Societies have had much to do
with this, and as Birmingham was for years the headquarters of these
Societies, the fact of there being nearly 47,000 persons in the county
(out of a total population of 634,189) who own small plots under one
acre, speaks well for the steady perseverance of the Warwickshire lads.
That we are not wrong in coming to this conclusion is shown by the fact
that leaving out the Metropolitan Counties, Warwick heads, in this
respect, all the shires in the kingdom.

                                 Extent   Gross
                                   of   estimated
                                 lands.   rental.
  Owners of              Numbr.  Acres      £
Less than 1 acre ....... 46894     5883  1808897
    1 acre and under 10   1956     7727    93792
   10 acres     "    50   1328    31485   114243
   50   "       "   100    447    31904    76178
  100   "       "   500    667   137372   398625
  500   "       "  1000     82    55542   134005
 1000   "       "  2000     47    67585   208718
 2000   "       "  5000     34   100185   275701
 5000   "       " 10000      8    53380    90848
10000   "       " 20000      4    49953    74085
No areas given .........    49     --    43205
              Total .... 51516   541021  3318303


Less than 1 acre ....... 33672     4289   974133
    1 acre and under 10   4062    14164   252714
   10 acres     "    50   1891    44351   224505
   50   "       "   100    544    39015   124731
  100   "       "   500    557   111891   881083
  500   "       "  1000     90    62131   177372
 1000   "       "  2000     79    70637   278562
 2000   "       "  5000     28    90907   219792
 5000   "       " 10000     13    82560   136668
10000   "       " 20000      7    96700   212526
20000   "       " 50000      1    21433    41560
No areas given .........  2456     --   606552
No rentals returned ....     1        2     --
              Total .... 43371   638084  3630254


Less than 1 acre .......160[**]8   4733   444945
    1 acre and under 10   2790    10136   151922
   10 acres     "    50   1305    31391   138517
   50   "       "   100    457    32605    92257
  100   "       "   500    589   118187   258049
  500   "       "  1000     66    46420   122817
 1000   "       "  2000     34    46794    89267
 2000   "       "  5000     25    78993   131886
 5000   "       " 10000      5    33353    54611
10000   "       " 20000      3    38343    88703
No areas given .........   522     --   112107
              Total .... 21804   441061  1685735

~Duddeston Hall,~ and the Holte Family.--The first record of this family
we have is towards the close of the thirteenth century when we find
mention of Sir Henry Holte, whose son, Hugh del Holte, died in 1322. In
1331 Simon del Holte, styled of Birmingham, purchased the manor of
Nechells "in consideration of xl _li_ of silver." In 1365 John atte
Holte purchased for "forty marks" the manor of Duddeston, and two years
later he became possessed by gift of the manor of Aston. For many
generations the family residence was at Duddeston, though their burial
place was at Aston, in which church are many of their monuments, the
oldest being that of Wm. Holte, who died September 28, 1514. That the
Holtes, though untitled, were men of mark, may be seen by the brass in
the North Aisle of Aston Church to the memory of Thomas Holte, "Justice
of North Wales, and Lord of this town of Aston," who died March 23,
1545. His goods and chattels at his death were valued at £270 6s. 2d.--a
very large sum in those days, and from the inventory we find that the
Hall contained thirteen sleeping apartments, viz., "the chambur over the
buttrie, the chappel chambur, the maydes' chambur, the great chambur,
the inner chambur, to the great chambur, the yatehouse chambur, the
inner chambur to the same, the geston chambur, the crosse chambur, the
inner chambur to the same, the clark's chambur the yoemen's chambur, and
the hyne's chambur." The other apartments were "the hawle, the plece,
the storehouse, the galarye, the butterye, the ketchyn, the larderhowse,
the dey-howse, the bakhowse, the bultinge howse, and the yeling howse,"
--the "chappell" being also part of the Hall. The principal bedrooms
were hung with splendid hangings, those of the great chamber being "of
gaye colors, blewe and redde," the other articles in accordance
therewith, the contents of this one room being valued at xiij li. xiv.
s. iiijd. (£13 14s. 4d.) The household linen comprised "22 damaske and
two diapur table clothes" worth 4s.; ten dozen table napkins (40s.); a
dozen "fyne towells," 20s.; a dozen "course towells" 6s. 8d.; thirty
pair "fyne shetes" £5; twenty-three pair "course shetes" £3; and
twenty-six "pillow beres" 20/-. The kitchen contained "potts, chafornes,
skymmers, skellets, cressets, gredires, frying pannys, chfying dishes, a
brazon morter with a pestell, stone morters, strykinge knives, broches,
racks, brandards, cobberds, pot-hangings, hocks, a rack of iron, bowles,
and payles." The live stock classed among the "moveable goods, consisted
of 19 oxen, 28 kyne, 17 young beste, 24 young calves, 12 gots, 4
geldings, 2 mares, 2 naggs and a colte, 229 shepe, 12 swyne, a crane, a
turkey cok, and a henne with 3 chekyns"--the lot being valued at £86 0s.
8d. Sir Thomas's marriage with a daughter of the Winnington's brought
much property into the family, including lands, &c., "within the townes,
villages, and fields of Aston, next Byrmyngham, and Wytton, Mellton
Mowlberye (in Leicestershire), Hanseworthe (which lands did late belonge
to the dissolved chambur of Aston), and also the Priory, or Free
Chappell of Byrmyngham, with the lands and tenements belonging thereto,
within Byrmyngham aforesaid, and the lordship or manor of the same,
within the lordship of Dudeston, together with the lands and tenements,
within the lordship of Nechells, Salteley, sometime belonging to the
late dissolved Guild of Derytenne," as well as lands at "Horborne,
Haleshowen, Norfielde and Smithewicke." His son Edward, who died in
1592, was succeeded by Sir Thomas Holte (born in 1571; died December,
1654), and the most prominent member of the family. Being one of the
deputation to welcome James I. to England, in 1603, he received the
honour of knighthood; in 1612 he purchased an "Ulster baronetcy," at a
cost of £1,095 [this brought the "red hand" into his shield]; and in
1599 he purchased the rectory of Aston for nearly £2,000. In April,
1618, he commenced the erection of Aston Hall, taking up his abode there
in 1631, though it was not finished till April, 1635. In 1642 he was
honoured with the presence of Charles I., who stopped at the Hall Sunday
and Monday, October 16 and 17. [At the battle of Edge Hill Edward Holt,
the eldest son, was wounded--he died from fever on Aug. 28, 1643, during
the siege of Oxford, aged 43] The day after Christmas, 1643, the old
squire was besieged by about 1,200 Parliamentarians from Birmingham
(with a few soldiers), but having procured forty musketeers from Dudley
Castle, he held the Hall till the third day, when, having killed sixty
of his assailants and lost twelve of his own men, he surrendered. The
Hall was plundered and he was imprisoned, and what with fines,
confiscations, and compounding, his loyalty appears to have cost him
nearly £20,000. Sir Thomas had 15 children, but outlived them all save
one. He was succeeded in his title by his grandson, Sir Robert, who
lived in very straightened circumstances, occasioned by the family's
losses during the Civil War, but by whose marriage with the daughter of
Lord Brereton the Cheshire property came to his children. He died Oct.
3, 1679, aged 54, and was followed by Sir Charles, who had twelve
children and lived till June 15, 1722, his son, Sir Clobery, dying in a
few years after (Oct. 24, 1729). Sir Lister Holte, the next baronet, had
no issue, though twice married, and he was succeeded (April 8, 1770), by
his brother, Sir Charles, with whom the title expired (March 12, 1782),
the principal estates going with his daughter and only child, to the
Bracebridge family, as well as a dowry of £20,000. In 1817, an Act of
Parliament was obtained for the settlement and part disposal of the
whole of the property of this time-honoured and wealthy family--the
total acreage being 8,914a. 2r. 23p, and the then annual rental £16,557
Os. 9d.--the Aston estate alone extending from Prospect Row to beyond
Erdington Hall, and from Nechells and Saltley to the Custard House and
Hay Mill Brook. Several claims have been put forward by collateral
branches, both to the title and estates, but the latter were finally
disposed of in 1849, when counsel's opinion was given in favour of the
settlements made by Sir Lister Holte, which enabled the property to be
disposed of. The claimants to the title have not yet proved their title
thereto, sundry registers and certificates of ancient baptisms and
marriages being still wanting.

~Duddeston Ward Hall.~--The name tells what it is for. The first stone
was laid Dec. 15, 1877; it was opened June 1, 1878; will seat about 300,
and cost £3,500, which was found by a limited Co.

~Dungeon.~--This very appropriate name was given to the old gaol
formerly existing in Peck Lane. A writer, in 1802, described it as a
shocking place, the establishment consisting of one day room, two
underground dungeons (in which sometimes half-a-dozen persons had to
sleep), and six or seven night-rooms, some of them constructed out of
the Gaoler's stables. The prisoners were allowed 4d. per day for bread
and cheese, which they had to buy from the keeper, who, having a beer
license, allowed outsiders to drink with his lodgers. This, and the fact
that there was but one day room for males and females alike, leaves but
little to be imagined as to its horrible, filthy condition. Those who
could afford to pay 2s. 6d. a week were allowed a bed in the gaoler's
house, but had to put up with being chained by each wrist to the sides
of the bedsteads all night, and thus forced to lie on their backs. The
poor wretches pigged it in straw on the floors of the night rooms. See
also "_Gaols_" and "_Prisons_."

~Dwarfs.~--The first note we have of the visit here of one of these
curiosities of mankind is that of Count Borulawski, in 1783: though but
39 inches high it is recorded that he had a sister who could stand under
his arm. The next little one, Manetta Stocker, a native of Austria, came
here in 1819, and remained with us, there being a tombstone in St.
Philip's churchyard bearing this inscription:--

  Who quitted this life the fourth day of May, 1819,
  at the age of  thirty-nine years.
  The smallest woman in this kingdom,
  and one of the most accomplished.
  She was not more than thirty-three inches high.
  She was a native of Austria.

General Tom Thumb (Charles Stratton) was exhibited at Dee's Royal
Hotel, in September, 1844, when he was about ten years old, and several
times after renewed the acquaintance. He was 31 inches high, and was
married to Miss Warren, a lady of an extra inch. The couple had
offspring, but the early death of the child put an end to Barnum's
attempt to create a race of dwarfs. Tom Thumb died in June 1883. General
Mite who was exhibited here last year, was even smaller than Tom Thumb,
being but 21 inches in height. Birmingham, however, need not send abroad
for specimens of this kind, "Robin Goodfellow" chronicling the death on
Nov. 27, 1878, of a poor unfortunate named Thomas Field, otherwise the
"Man-baby," who, though twenty-four years of age, was but 30 inches high
and weighed little over 20lbs., and who had never walked or talked. The
curious in such matters may, on warm, sunny mornings, occasionally meet,
in the neighbourhood of Bromsgrove Street, a very intelligent little man
not much if any bigger than the celebrated Tom Thumb, but who has never
been made a show of.

~Dynamite Manufacture.~--See "_Notable Offences_."

~Ear and Throat Infirmary.~--See "_Hospitals_."

~Earthquakes~ are not of such frequent occurrence in this country as to
require much notice. The first we find recorded (said to be the greatest
known here) took place in November, 1318; others were felt in this
country in May, 1332; April, 1580; November, 1775; November, 1779;
November, 1852, and October, 1863.

~Easy Row,~ or Easy Hill, as Baskerville delighted to call the spot he
had chosen for a residence. When Mr. Hanson was planning out the Town
Hall, there were several large elm trees still standing in Easy Row, by
the corner of Edmund Street, part of the trees which constituted
Baskerville's Park, and in the top branches of which the rooks still
built their nests. The entrance to Broad Street had been narrow, and
bounded by a lawn enclosed with posts and chains, reaching to the elm
trees, but the increase of traffic had necessitated the removal (in
1838) of the grassplots and the fencing, though the old trees were left
until 1847, by which time they were little more than skeletons of trees,
the smoky atmosphere having long since stopped all growth.

~Eccentrics.~--There are just a few now to be found, but in these days
of heaven-sent artists and special-born politicians, it would be an
invidious task to chronicle their doings, or dilate on their peculiar
idiosyncracies, and we will only note a few of the queer characters of
the past, leaving to the future historian the fun of laughing at our men
of to-day. In 1828 the man of mark was "Dandie Parker," a well-to-do
seedsman, who, aping Beau Brummel in gait and attire, sought to be the
leader of fashion. He was rivalled, a little while after, by one Meyers,
to see whom was a sight worth crossing the town, so firm and spruce was
he in his favourite dress of white hat and white trousers, dark green or
blue coat with gilt buttons, buff waistcoat, and stiff broad white
neckcloth or stock, a gold-headed cane always in hand. By way of
contrast to these worthies, at about the same period (1828-30) was one
"Muddlepate Ward," the head of a family who had located themselves in a
gravel pit at the Lozells, and who used to drive about the town with an
old carriage drawn by pairs of donkeys and ponies, the harness being
composed of odd pieces of old rope, and the whip a hedgestake with a bit
of string, the whole turnout being as remarkable for dirt as the
first-named "dandies" were for cleanliness.--"Billy Button" was another
well-known but most inoffensive character, who died here May 3, 1838.
His real name was never published, but he belonged to a good family, and
early in life he had been an officer in the Navy (some of his
biographers say "a commander"), but lost his senses when returning from
a long voyage, on hearing of the sudden death of a young lady to whom he
was to have been married, and he always answered to her name, Jessie. He
went about singing, and the refrain of one of his favourite songs--

  "Oysters, sir! Oysters, sir!
     Oysters, sir, I cry;
  They are the finest oysters, sir,
     That ever you could buy."

was for years after "Billy Button's" death the nightly "cry" of more
than one peripatetic shellfishmonger. The peculiarity that obtained for
the poor fellow his _soubriquet_ of "Billy Button" arose from the habit
he had of sticking every button he could get on to his coat, which at
his death, was covered so thickly (and many buttons were of rare
patterns), that it is said to have weighed over 30lbs.--"Jemmy the
Rockman," who died here in September, 1866, in his 85th year, was
another well-known figure in our streets for many years. His real name
was James Guidney, and in the course of a soldier's life, he had seen
strange countries, and possibly the climates had not in every case
agreed with him, for, according to his own account, he had been favoured
with a celestial vision, and had received angelic orders no longer to
shave, &c. He obtained his living during the latter portion of his
existence by retailing a medicinal sweet, which he averred was good for
all sorts of coughs and colds.--Robert Sleath, in 1788, was collector at
a turnpike gate near Worcester, and, 'tis said, made George III. and all
his retinue pay toll. He died here in November, 1804, when the following
appeared in print:--

  "On Wednesday last, old Robert Sleath
  Passed thro' the turnpike gate of Death,
  To him Death would no toll abate
  Who stopped the King at Wor'ster-gate."

~Eclipses,~ more or less partial, are of periodical occurrence, though
many are not observed in this country. Malmesbury wrote of one in 1410,
when people were so frightened that they ran out of their houses. Jan.
12, 1679, there was an eclipse so complete that none could read at
noonday when it occurred. May 3, 1715, gave another instance, it being
stated that the stars could be seen, and that the birds went to roost at
mid-day. The last total eclipse of the sun observed by our local
astronomers (if Birmingham had such "plants") occurred on May 22, 1724.
An account of the next one will be found in the _Daily Mail_, of August
12, 1999. On August 17, 1868, there was an eclipse of the sun (though
not noticeable here) so perfect that its light was hidden for six
minutes, almost the maximum possible interval, and it may be centuries
before it occurs again.

~Economy.~--Our grandfathers, and _their_ fathers, practised economy in
every way possible, even to hiring out the able-bodied poor who had to
earn the cost of their keep by spinning worsted, &c., and they thought
so much of the bright moonlight that they warehoused the oil lamps
intended for lighting the streets for a week at a time when the moon was
at its full, and never left them burning after eleven o'clock at other

~Edgbaston.~--The name as written in the earliest known deeds, was at
first Celbaldston, altered as time went on to Eggebaldston, Eggebaston,
and Edgbaston. How long the family held the manor before the Conquest is
unknown; but when Domesday Book was written (1086), the occupying tenant
was one Drogo, who had two hides of land and half a mile of wood, worth
20s.; 325 acres were set down as being cultivated, though there were
only ten residents. The Edgbastons held it from the lords of Birmingham,
and they, in turn, from the lords of Dudley. Further than the family
records the place has no history, only 100 years ago Calthorpe Road
being nothing but a fieldpath, and Church Road, Vicarage Road, and
Westbourne Road merely narrow lanes. After the opening up of these and
other roads, building sites were eagerly sought by the more moneyed
class of our local magnates, and the number of inhabitants now are
sufficient to people a fair-sized town. In 1801 the population was under
1,000; in 1811, just over that number; in 1851, it was 9,269; in 1861,
12,900; in 1871, 17,442, and on last census day, 29,951; showing an
increase of more than 1,000 a year at the present time; while what the
rentals may amount to is only known inside "the estate office." Some
writers say that the parish church dates from about the year 775. The
earliest register book is that for 1635, which escaped the notice of
Cromwell's soldiers, who nearly destroyed the church in 1648; and from
an entry in the register of St. Sepulchre's Church, Northampton, for
1659, it would appear that there were collections made towards repairing
the damage done by those worthies. This entry quaintly states that
"seven shillings and sixpence" was received towards the repairs of the
church of Edge Barston, in the county of Warwick, adding also that there
was "never a minister in the said parish."

~Edgbaston Hall.~--The last of the Edgbastons was a lady by whose
marriage the Middlemores came into possession, and for nearly three
hundred years the old house echoed the footsteps of their descendants.
In the troublous times of the Commonwealth, Edgbaston House and Church
were seized by Colonel John Fox, the latter building being used as a
stable for his horses, and the former garrisoned by the soldiers kept
there to over-awe the gentry and loyal subjects of the country, to whom
"Tinker Fox," as he was dubbed, was a continual terror. This worthy
carried on so roughly that even the "Committee of Safety" (never
particularly noted for kindness or even honesty) were ashamed of him,
and restored the place to its owner, Robert Middlemore, the last of the
name. By the marriages of his two grand-daughters the estate was
divided, but the portion including the manor of Edgbaston was afterwards
purchased by Sir Richard Gough, Knight, who gave £25,000 for it. In the
meantime the old house had been destroyed by those peace-loving Brums,
who, in December, 1688, razed to the ground the newly-built Catholic
Church and Convent in Masshouse Lane, their excuse being that they
feared the hated Papists would find refuge at Edgbaston. Sir Richard
(who died February 9, 1727) rebuilt the Manor House and the Church in
1717-18, and enclosed the Park. His son Henry was created a Baronet, and
had for his second wife the only daughter of Reginald Calthorpe, Esq.,
of Elvetham, in Hampshire. Sir Henry Gough died June 8, 1774, and his
widow on the 13th of April, 1782, and on the latter event taking place,
their son, who succeeded to the estates of both his parents, took his
mother's family name of Calthorpe, and in 1796 was created a peer under
the title of Baron Calthorpe, of Calthorpe, county Norfolk. Edgbaston
Hall has not been occupied by any of the owners since the decease of
Lady Gough, 1782.

~Edgbaston Pool~ covers an area of twenty-two acres, three roods, and
thirty-six poles.

~Edgbaston Street.~--One of the most ancient streets in the Borough,
having been the original road from the parish church and the Manor-house
of the Lords de Bermingham to their neighbours at Edgbaston. It was the
first paved street of the town, and the chosen residence of the
principal and most wealthy burgesses, a fact proved by its being known
in King John's reign as "Egebaston Strete," the worde "strete" in those
days meaning a paved way in cities or towns. This is further shown by
the small plots into which the land was divided and the number of owners
named from time to time in ancient deeds, the yearly rentals, even in
Henry VIII's time being from 3s. to 5s. per year. At the back of the
lower side of Edgbaston Street, were several tanneries, there being a
stream of water running from the moat round the Parsonage-house to the
Manor-house moat, the watercourse being now known as Dean Street and
Smithfield Passage.

~Electric Light.~--The light of the future. The first public exhibition
of lighting by electricity, was introduced by Maccabe, a ventriloquial
entertainer of the public, at the entrance of Curzon Hall, September 30,
1878. On the 28th of the following month, the novelty appeared at the
Lower Grounds, on the occasion of a football match at night, the
kick-off and lighting-up taking place at seven o'clock. At the last
Musical Festival, the Town Hall was lit up by Messrs. Whitfield, of
Cambridge-street, and the novelty is no longer a rarity, a company
having been formed to supply the houses, shops, and public buildings in
the centre of the town.

~Electro Plate.~--As early as 1838, Messrs. Elkington were in the habit
of coating ornaments with gold and silver by dipping them in various
solutions of those metals, and the first patent taken out for the
electro process appears to be that of July 6, 1838, for covering copper
and brass with zinc. Mr. John Wright, a surgeon, of this town, was the
first to use the alkaline cyanides, and the process was included in
Elkington's patent of March 25, 1840. The use of electricity from
magnets instead of the voltaic battery was patented by J.S. Wolrich, in
August, 1842. His father was probably the first person who deposited
metals for any practical purpose by means of the galvanic battery. Mr.
Elkington applied the electro-deposit process to gilding and
silverplating in 1840.--See "_Trades_," &c.

~Electoral Returns.~--See "_Parliamentary_."

~Emigration.~--In August, 1794, Mr. Russell, of Moor Green, and a
magistrate for the counties of Warwick and Worcester, with his two
brothers and their families, Mr. Humphries, of Camp Hill Villa, with a
number of his relatives, and over a hundred other Birmingham families
emigrated to America. Previous to this date we have no record of
anything like an emigration movement from this town, though it is a
matter of history how strenuously Matthew Boulton and other
manufacturers exerted themselves to _prevent_ the emigration of artisans
and workpeople, fearing that our colonies would be enriched at the
expense of the mother country. How sadly the times were changed in 1840,
may be imagined from the fact that when free passages to Australia were
first being offered, no less than 10,000 persons applied unsuccessfully
from this town and neighbourhood alone. At the present time it is
calculated that passages to America, Canada, Australia, &c., are being
taken up here at an average of 3,000 a year.

~Erdington.~--Another of the ancient places (named in the Domesday Book
as Hardingtone) surrounding Birmingham and which ranked as high in those
days of old, though now but like one of our suburbs, four miles on the
road to Sutton Coldfield. Erdington Hall, in the reign of Henry II., was
the moated and fortified abode of the family of that name, and their
intermarriages with the De Berminghams, &c., connected them with our
local history in many ways. Though the family, according to Dugdale and
others, had a chapel of their own, the hamlet appertained to the parish
of Aston, to the mother church of which one Henry de Erdington added an
isle, and the family arms long appeared in the heraldic tracery of its
windows. Erdington Church (St. Barnabas) was built in 1823, as a chapel
of ease to Aston, and it was not until 1858 that the district was formed
into a separate and distinct ecclesiastical parish, the vicar of Aston
being the patron of the living. In addition to the chapel at Oscott, the
Catholics have here one of the most handsome places of worship in the
district, erected in 1850 at a cost of over £20,000, a Monastery, &c.,
being connected therewith. Erdington, which has doubled its population
within the last twenty years, has its Public Hall and Literary
Institute, erected in 1864, Police Station, Post Office, and several
chapels, in addition to the almshouses and orphanage, erected by Sir
Josiah Mason, noticed in another part of this work. See also
"_Population Tables_," &c.

~Estate Agents.~--For the purposes of general business, Kelly's
Directory will be found the best reference. The office for the Calthorpe
estate is at 65 Hagley Road; for the William Dudley Trust estates, at
Imperial Chambers B, Colmore Row; for the Great Western Railway
properties at 103, Great Charles Street; for the Heathfield Estate in
Heathfield Road, Handsworth; for the Horton (Isaac) properties at 41,
Colmore Row; Sir Joseph Mason's estate at the Orphanage, Erdington.

~Exchange.~--Corner of Stephenson Place and New Street, having a
frontage of 64 feet to the latter, and 186 feet to the former. The
foundation stone was laid January 2, 1863, the architect being Mr.
Edward Holmes, and the building was opened January 2, 1865, the original
cost being a little under £20,000. It has since been enlarged (1876-78)
to nearly twice the original size, under the direction of Mr. J.A.
Chatwin. The property and speculation of a private company, it was
(December 2, 1880) incorporated, under the Joint Stock Companies' Act,
and returns a fair dividend on the capital expended. In addition to the
Exchange and Chamber of Commerce proper, with the usual secretarial and
committee rooms appertaining thereto, refreshment, billiard, and
retiring rooms, &c., there is a large assembly-room, frequently used for
balls, concerts, and entertainments of a public character. The
dimensions of the principal hall are 70 feet length, 40 feet width, with
a height of 23 feet, the assembly-room above being same size, but
loftier. The central tower is 110 feet high, the turret, in which there
was placed a clock made by John Inshaw, to be moved by electro-magnetic
power (but which is now only noted for its incorrectness), rising some
45 feet above the cornice. Other portions of the building are let off in

~Excise.~--It is but rarely the Inland Revenue authorities give the
public any information showing the amount of taxes gathered in by the
officials, and the return, therefore, for the year ending March 31,
1879, laid before the House of Commons, is worth preserving, so far as
the Birmingham collection goes. The total sum which passed through the
local office amounted to £89,321, the various headings under which the
payments were entered, being:--Beer dealers, £2,245; beer retailers,
£7,161; spirit dealers, £1,617; spirit retailers, £8,901; wine dealers,
£874; wine retailers, £2,392; brewers, £9,518; maltsters, £408; dealers
in roasted malt, £17; manufacturers of tobacco, £147; dealers in
tobacco, £1,462; rectifiers of spirits, £11; makers of methylated
spirits, £10; retailers of methylated spirits, £33; vinegar makers, £26;
chemists and others using stills, £4; male servants, £1,094; dogs,
£1,786; carriages, £4,613; armorial bearings, £374; guns, £116; to kill
game, £1,523; to deal in game, £136; refreshment houses, £366; makers
and dealers in sweets, £18; retailers of sweets, £42; hawkers and
pedlars, £68; appraisers and house agents, £132; auctioneers, £1,210;
pawnbrokers, £1,958; dealers in plate, £1,749; gold and silver plate
duty, £17,691; medicine vendors, £66; inhabited house duty, £21,533.

The Excise (or Inland Revenue) Offices are in Waterloo Street, and are
open daily from 10 to 4.

~Excursions.~--The annual trip to the seaside, or the continent, or some
other attractive spot, which has come to be considered almost an
essential necessary for the due preservation of health and the
sweetening of temper, was a thing altogether unknown to the old folks of
our town, who, if by chance they could get as far as Lichfield,
Worcester, or Coventry once in their lives, never ceased to talk about
it as something wonderful. The "outing" of a lot of factory hands was an
event to be chronicled in _Aris's Gazette_, whose scribes duly noted the
horses and vehicles (not forgetting the master of the band, without whom
the "gipsy party" could not be complete), and the destination was seldom
indeed further than the Lickey, or Marston Green, or at rarer intervals,
Sutton Coldfield or Hagley. Well-to-do tradesmen and employers of labour
were satisfied with a few hours spent at some of the old-style Tea
Gardens, or the Crown and Cushion, at Perry Barr, Aston Cross or Tavern,
Kirby's, or the New Inn, at Handsworth, &c. The Saturday half-holiday
movement, which came soon after the introduction of the railways, may be
reckoned as starting the excursion era proper, and the first Saturday
afternoon trip (in 1854) to the Earl of Bradford's, at Castle Bromwich,
was an eventful episode even in the life of George Dawson, who
accompanied the trippites. The railway trips of the late past and
present seasons are beyond enumeration, and it needs not to be said that
anyone with a little spare cash can now be whisked where'er he wills,
from John-o'-Groats to the Land's End, for a less sum than our fathers
paid to see the Shrewsbury Show, or Lady Godiva's ride at Coventry. As
it was "a new departure," and for future reference, we will note that
the first five-shilling Saturday-night-to-Monday-morning trip to
Llandudno came off on August 14, 1880. The railway companies do not fail
to give ample notice of all long excursions, and for those who prefer
the pleasant places in our own district, there is a most interesting
publication to be had for 6d., entitled "The Birmingham Saturday
Half-holiday Guide," wherein much valuable information is given
respecting the nooks and corners of Warwick and Worcester, and their
hills and dales.

~Executions.~--In 1729 a man was hung on Gibbett Hill, site of Oscott
College, for murder and highway robbery. Catherine Evans was hung
February 8, 1742, for the murder of her husband in this town. At the
Summer Assizes in 1773, James Duckworth, hopfactor and grocer, of this
town, was sentenced to death for counterfeiting and diminishing the gold
coin. He was supposed to be one of the heaviest men in the county,
weighing over twenty-four stone. He died strongly protesting his
innocence, On the 22nd Nov., 1780, Wilfrid Barwick, a butcher, was
robbed and murdered near the four mile stone on the Coleshill Road. The
culprits were two soldiers, named John Hammond (an American by birth)
and Thomas Pitmore (a native of Cheshire) but well known as "Jack and
Tom," drummer and fifer in the recruiting service here. They were
brought before the magistrates at the old Public Office in Dale End;
committed; and in due course tried and sentenced at Warwick to be hanged
and gibbeted on Washwood Heath, near the scene of the murder. The
sentence was carried out April 2, 1781, the bodies hanging on the gibbet
in chains a short time, until they were surreptitiously removed by some
humanitarian friends who did not approve of the exhibition. What became
of the bodies was not known until the morning of Thursday, Jan. 20,
1842, when the navvies employed on the Birmingham and Derby (now
Midland) railway came upon the two skeletons still environed in chains
when they were removing a quantity of earth for the embankment. The
skeletons were afterwards reinterred under an apple-tree in the garden
of the Adderley Arms, Saltley, and the gibbet-irons were taken as
rarities to the Aston Tavern, where, possibly, inquisitive relic-mongers
may now see them. Four persons were hung for highway robbery near Aston
Park, April 2, 1790. Seven men were hung at Warwick, in 1800, for
forgery, and one for sheep-stealing. They hung people at that time for
crimes which are now punished by imprisonment or short periods of penal
servitude, but there was little mercy combined with the justice then,
and what small portion there happened to be was never doled out in cases
where the heinous offence of forgery had been proved. On Easter Monday
(April 19), 1802, there was another hanging match at Washwood Heath, no
less than eight unfortunate wretches suffering the penalty of the law
for committing forgeries and other crimes in this neighbourhood. There
would seem to have been some little excitement in respect to this
wholesale slaughter, and perhaps fears of a rescue were entertained, for
there were on guard 240 of the King's Dragoon Guards, then stationed at
our Barracks, under the command of Lieut.-Col. Toovey Hawley, besides a
detachment sent from Coventry as escort with the prisoners. The last
public execution here under the old laws was that of Philip Matsell, who
was sentenced to be hanged for shooting a watchman named Twyford, on the
night of July 22, 1806. An _alibi_ was set up in defence, and though it
was unsuccessful, circumstances afterwards came to light tending to
prove that though Matsell was a desperado of the worst kind, who had
long kept clear of the punishments he had deserved, in this instance he
suffered for another. There was a disreputable gang with one of whom,
Kate Pedley, Matsell had formed an intimate connection, who had a grudge
against Twyford on account of his interfering and preventing several
robberies they had planned, and it is said that it was his paramour, Kit
Pedley, who really shot Twyford, having dressed herself in Matsell's
clothes while he was in a state of drunkenness. However, he was
convicted and brought here (Aug. 23), from Warwick, sitting on his
coffin in an open cart, to be executed at the bottom of Great Charles
Street. The scaffold was a rough platform about ten feet high, the
gallows rising from the centre thereof, Matsell having to stand upon
some steps while the rope was adjusted round his neck. During this
operation he managed to kick his shoes off among the crowd, having sworn
that he would never die with his shoes on, as he had been many a time
told would be his fate. The first execution at Winson Green Gaol was
that of Henry Kimberley (March 17, 1885) for the murder of Mrs. Palmer.

~Exhibitions.~--It has long been matter of wonder to intelligent
foreigners that the "Toyshop of the World" ("Workshop of the World"
would be nearer the mark) has never organised a permanent exhibition of
its myriad manufactures. There is not a city, or town, and hardly a
country in the universe that could better build, fit up, or furnish such
a place than Birmingham; and unless it is from the short-sighted policy
of keeping samples and patterns from the view of rivals in trade--a
fallacious idea in these days of commercial travellers and town
agencies--it must be acknowledged our merchants and manufacturers are
not keeping up with the times in this respect. Why should Birmingham be
without its Crystal Palace of Industry when there is hardly an article
used by man or woman (save food and dress materials) but what is made in
her workshops? We have the men, we have the iron, and we have the money,
too! And it is to be hoped that ere many years are over, some of our
great guns will see their way to construct a local Exhibition that shall
attract people from the very ends of the earth to this "Mecca" of ours.
As it is, from the grand old days of Boulton and his wonderful Soho,
down to to-day, there has been hardly a Prince or potentate, white,
black, copper, or coffee coloured, who has visited England, but that
have come to peep at our workshops, mayor after mayor having the
"honour" to toady to them and trot them round the back streets and slums
to where the men of the bench, the file, and the hammer have been
diligently working generation after generation, for the fame and the
name of our world-known town. As a mere money speculation such a
show-room must pay, and the first cost, though it might be heavy, would
soon be recouped by the influx of visitors, the increase of orders, and
the advancement of trade that would result. There _have_ been a few
exhibitions held here of one sort and another, but nothing on the plan
suggested above. The first on our file is that held at the Shakespeare
rooms early in 1839, when a few good pictures and sundry specimens of
manufactures were shown. This was followed by the comprehensive
Mechanics' Institute Exhibition opened in Newhall Street, December 19th,
same year, which was a success in every way, the collection of
mechanical models, machinery, chemical and scientific productions,
curiosities, &c., being extensive and valuable; it remained open
thirteen weeks. In the following year this exhibition was revived
(August 11, 1840), but so far as the Institute, for whose benefit it was
intended, was concerned, it had been better if never held, for it proved
a loss, and only helped towards the collapse of the Institute, which
closed in 1841. Railway carriages and tramcars propelled by electricity
are the latest wonders of 1883; but just three-and-forty years back, one
of our townsmen, Mr. Henry Shaw, had invented an "electro-galvanic
railway carriage and tender," which formed one of the attractions of
this Exhibition. It went very well until injured by (it is supposed)
some spiteful nincompoop who, not having the brain to invent anything
himself, tried to prevent others doing so. The next Exhibition, or, to
be more strictly correct, "Exposition of Art and Manufactures," was held
in the old residence of the Lloyd's family, known as Bingley House,
standing in its own grounds a little back from Broad Street, and on the
site of the present Bingley Hall. This was in 1849, and from the fact of
its being visited (Nov. 12) by Prince Albert, who is generally credited
with being the originator of International Exhibitions, it is believed
that here he obtained the first ideas which led to the great "World's
Fair" of 1851, in Hyde Park.--Following the opening of Aston Hall by Her
Majesty in 1858, many gentlemen of position placed their treasures of
art and art manufacture at the disposal of the Committee for a time, and
the result was the collecting together of so rich a store that the
London papers pronounced it to be after the "Great Exhibition" and the
Manchester one, the most successful, both as regarded contents and
attendance, of any Exhibition therebefore held out of the Metropolis.
There were specimens of some of the greatest achievements in the arts of
painting, sculpture, porcelain and pottery, carving and enamelling;
ancient and modern metalwork, rich old furniture, armour, &c, that had
ever been gathered together, and there can be little doubt that the
advance which has since taken place in the scientific and artistic trade
circles of the town spring in great measure from this Exhibition.--On
the 28th of August, 1865, an Industrial Exhibition was opened at Bingley
Hall, and so far as attendance went, it must take first rank, 160,645
visitors having passed the doors.

_Agricultural Exhibitions_.--The Birmingham Agricultural Exhibition
Society, who own Bingley Hall, is the same body as the old Cattle Show
Society, the modern name being adopted in 1871. As stated elsewhere, the
first Cattle Show was held in Kent Street, Dec. 10, 1849; the second in
Bingley Hall, which was erected almost solely for the purposes of this
Society, and here they have acquired the name of being the best in the
kingdom. To give the statistics of entries, sales, admissions, and
receipts at all the Shows since 1849, would take more space than can be
afforded, and though the totals would give an idea of the immense
influence such Exhibitions must have on the welfare and prosperity of
the agricultural community, the figures themselves would be but dry
reading, and those for the past few years will suffice.

                           1877. 1878. 1879. 1880. 1881. 1882. 1883.
Cattle ...................  113   125   152   108   161   150   101
Sheep ....................   69    91    64    47    88    85    75
Pigs .....................   64    73    52    60    58    67    69
Corn .....................   27    58    29    36    55    67    66
Roots ....................   94   112   175   182   124   131   117
Potatoes .................   76   116   138    88   104    96   187
Poultry .................. 2077  2149  2197  2247  2409  2489  2816
Pigeons ..................  629   715   702   815   902   838  1332
                           3149  3439  3505  3583  3901  3923  4763

                    1877.  1878.  1879.  1880.  1881.   1882.  1883.
No. of Visitors .. 53,501 65,830 38,536 47,321 55,361  50,226
Receipts ......... £1,673 £1,997 £1,206 £1,585 £1,815  £1,665

[Transcriber's note: No figures are given in the original for 1883 in
this table.]

In addition to the Christmas Cattle Show, the Society commenced in
March, 1869, a separate exhibition and sale of pure-bred shorthorns,
more than 400 beasts of this class being sent every year. Indeed, the
last show is said to have been the largest ever held in any country. The
value of the medals, cups, and prizes awarded at these cattle shows
averages nearly £2,400 per year, many of them being either subscribed
for or given by local firms and gentlemen interested in the breeding or
rearing of live stock. One of the principal of these prizes is the
Elkington Challenge Cup, valued at 100 guineas, which, after being won
by various exhibitors during the past ten years, was secured at the last
show by Mr. John Price, who had fulfilled the requirements of the donors
by winning it three times. Messrs. Elkington & Co. have most liberally
given another cup of the same value. In 1876, for the first time since
its establishment in 1839, the Royal Agricultural Society held its
exhibition here, the ground allotted for its use being seventy acres at
the rear of Aston Hall, twenty-five acres being part of the Park itself.
That it was most successful may be gathered from the fact that over
265,000 persons visited the show, which lasted from July 19th to 24th.

_Poultry_ forms part of the Bingley Hall Exhibition, and numerically the
largest portion thereof, as per the table of entries, which is well
worth preserving also for showing when new classes of birds have been
first penned:

               1876 1'77 1'78 1'79 1'80 1'81 1'82
Brahma Pootras  407  258  366  376  362  439  429
Dorkings ...... 167  178  220  209  194  238  277
Cochin ........ 331  415  412  433  421  431  412
Langshans .....  --   --   --   49   66   49   47
Malay .........  63   38   49   47   48   36   43
Creve Coeur ...  93  117   94   38   28   33   24
Houdans .......  --   --   --   56   65   54   71
La Fleche .....  --   --   --   --   --   --   12
Spanish .......  48   33   45   27   32   31   37
Andalusians ...  --   --   --   16   23   29   43
Leghorns ......  --   --   --   25   12   20   17
Plymouth Rocks   --   --   --   --   --   17   20
Minorcas ......  --   --    7    8    6    9    3
Polish ........  78   76   98   91   83   98   63
Sultans .......  --   --   --    6    7    8    6
Silkies .......  --   --   --   --   --   11    7
Game .......... 351  341  314  241  267  287  353
Aseels ........  --   --   --   27   28   20   11
Hamburghs ..... 148  175  145  159  129  141  153
Other Breeds ..  35   47  126   20   20   21    7
Selling Classes  --   --   --   66   90   93  102
Bantams .......  95   63   82   70  105   96  105
Ducks ......... 100  102  115  137  163  144  141
Geese .........  21   21   31   22   31   21   23
Turkeys .......  95   96   52   82   67   81   60
Pigeons........ 670  629  715  702  815  903  838
   Total ......---------------------------------
               2072 2569 2873 2899 3062 3316 3325

Fanciers give wonderfully strange prices sometimes. Cochin China fowls
had but lately been introduced, and were therefore "the rage" in 1851-2.
At the Poultry Show in the latter year a pair of these birds were sold
for £30, and at a sale by auction afterwards two prize birds were
knocked down at £40 each: it was said that the sellers crowed louder
than the roosters.

_Fine Art_.--The first exhibition of pictures took place in 1814, and
the second in 1827. In addition to the Spring and Autumn Exhibitions at
the New Street Rooms, there is now a yearly show of pictures by the
members of the "Art Circle," a society established in 1877, for
promoting friendship among young local artists; their first opening was
on Nov. 28, at 19, Temple Row. On Nov. 17, 1879, Mr. Thrupp commenced a
yearly exhibition of China paintings, to which the lady artists
contributed 243 specimens of their skill in decorating porcelain and

_Horses and hounds_.--The first exhibition of these took place at the
Lower Grounds, Aug. 12, 1879. There had been a Horse Show at Bingley
Hall for several years prior to 1876, but it had dropped out for want of

_Birds_.--An exhibition of canaries and other song birds, was held Aug.
18, 1874. Another was held in 1882, at the time of the Cattle Show.

_Pigeons_.--The first exhibition of pigeons in connection with the
Birmingham Columbarian Society, took place in Dec., 1864. The annual
Spring pigeon show at the Repository, opened March 20,1878. There have
also been several at St. James' Hall, the first dating Sept. 24, 1874.

_Dogs_.--Like the Cattle Show, the original Birmingham Dog Show has
extended its sphere, and is now known as the National Exhibition of
Sporting and other Dogs. The show takes place in Curzon Hall, and the
dates are always the same as for the agricultural show in Bingley Hall.
There is yearly accommodation for 1,000 entries, and it is seldom that a
less number is exhibited, the prizes being numerous, as well as
valuable. At the meeting of the subscribers held July 19, 1883, it was
resolved to form a new representative body, to be called the National
Dog Club, having for its object the improvement of dogs, dog shows, and
dog trials, and the formation of a national court of appeal on all
matters in dispute. It was also resolved to publish a revised and
correct stud book, to include all exhibitions where 400 dogs and upwards
were shown, and to continue it annually, the Council having guaranteed
£150, the estimated cost of the publication of the book. This step was
taken in consequence of the action of certain members of the Kennel
Club, who passed what had been called "The Boycotting Rules," calling
upon its members to abstain from either exhibiting or judging at shows
which were not under Kennel Club rules, and excluding winning dogs at
such shows from being entered in the Kennel Club Stud Book, many of the
principal exhibitors being dissatisfied with such arbitrary proceedings,
evidently intended to injure the Birmingham shows. At each show there
are classes for bloodhounds, deerhounds, greyhounds, otterhounds,
beagles, fox terriers, pointers, English setters, black-and-tan setters,
Irish setters, retrievers, Irish spaniels, water spaniels (best Irish),
Clumber spaniels, Sussex spaniels, spaniels (black), ditto (other than
black), dachshunds, bassett hounds, foreign sporting dogs, mastiffs, St.
Bernards, Newfoundlands, sheep dogs, Dalmatians, bulldogs,
bull-terriers, smooth-haired terriers, black-and-tan terriers (large),
small ditto black-and-tan terriers with uncut ears, Skye-terriers,
Dandie Dinmonts, Bedlington terriers, Irish terriers, Airedale or
Waterside terriers, wire-haired terriers, Scotch terriers (hard haired),
Yorkshire terriers, Pomeranians, pugs, Maltese, Italian greyhounds,
Blenheim spaniels, King Charles spaniels, smooth-haired toy spaniels,
broken-haired ditto, large and small sized foreign dogs.

                   1876. 1877. 1878. 1879. 1880. 1881. 1882.

No. of Visitors.   14981 17948 19500 14399 16796 16849 15901

Receipts at doors.  £664  £740  £820  £580  £728  £714  £648

Sales of Dogs.      £556  £367  £485  £554  £586  £474  £465

In 1879, the exhibition of guns and sporting implements was introduced,
an additional attraction which made no difference financially, or in the
number of visitors.

_Sporting_.--An exhibition of requisites and appliances in connection
with sports and pastimes of all kinds was opened in Bingley Hall, Aug
28, 1882. In addition to guns and ammunition, bicycles and tricycles,
there were exhibited boats, carriages, billiard tables, &c.

_Dairy Utensils_.--The first of these exhibitions, June, 1880, attracted
considerable attention for its novelty. It is held yearly in Bingley

_Bees_.--An exhibition of bees, beehives, and other apiary appliances
took place at the Botanical Gardens, in Aug., 1879.

_Food and Drinks_.--A week's exhibition of food, wines, spirits,
temperance beverages, brewing utensils, machinery, fittings, stoves and
appliances, was held in Bingley Hall, December 12-20, 1881.

_Building_.--A trades exhibition of all kinds of building material,
machinery, &c., was held in 1882.

_Bicycles, &c._--The Speedwell Club began their annual exhibition of
bicycles, tricycles, and their accessories in February, 1882, when about
300 machines were shown. In the following year the number was nearly
400; in 1884, more than 500; in 1885, 600.

_Roots_.--Messrs. Webb, of Wordsley, occupied Curzon Hall, November 20,
1878, with an exhibition of prize roots, grown by their customers.

_Fruit, Flowers, &c._--The first flower show we have note of was on June
19, 1833. The first chrysanthemum show was in 1860. The first Birmingham
rose show in 1874 (at Aston); the second, five years later, at Bingley
Hall. The Harborne gooseberry-growers have shown up every year since
1815, and the cultivators of _pommes de terre_ in the same neighbourhood
first laid their tables in public in Sept., 1879.

~Exhibitions of 1851 and 1862.~--Even as Birmingham may be said to have
given the first idea for the "Great Exhibition" of 1851, so it had most
to do with the building thereof, the great palace in Hyde Park being
commenced by Messrs. Fox, Henderson & Co., July 26, 1850, and it was
finished in nine months at a total cost of £176,031. In its erection
there were used 4,000 tons of iron, 6,000,000 cubic feet of woodwork,
and 31 acres of sheet glass, requiring the work of 1,800 men to put it
together. 287 local exhibitors applied for space amounting to 22,070
sup. feet, namely, 10,183 feet of flooring, 4,932 feet of table area,
and 6,255 feet of wall space. The "glory" of this exhibition was the
great crystal fountain in the centre, manufactured by Messrs. Osler, of
Broad Street, a work of art till then never surpassed in the world's
history of glass-making and glass cutting, and which now pours forth its
waters in one of the lily tanks in Sydenham Palace. Many rare specimens
of Birmingham manufacture besides were there, and the metropolis of the
Midlands had cause to be proud of the works of her sons thus exhibited.
Fewer manufacturers sent their samples to the exhibition of 1862, but
there was no falling off in their beauty or design. The Birmingham Small
Arms trophy was a great attraction.

~Explosions.~--That many deplorable accidents should occur during the
course of manufacturing such dangerous articles as gun caps and
cartridges cannot be matter of surprise, and, perhaps, on the whole,
those named in the following list may be considered as not more than the
average number to be expected:--Two lives were lost by explosion of
fulminating powder in St. Mary's Square, Aug. 4. 1823.--Oct. 16, same
year, there was a gunpowder explosion in Lionel Street.--Two were killed
by fireworks at the Rocket Tavern, Little Charles Street, May 2, 1834.--
An explosion at Saltley Carriage Works, Dec. 20, 1849.--Two injured at
the Proof House, Sept. 23, 1850.--Five by detonating powder in
Cheapside, Feb 14, 1852.--Thirty-one were injured by gas explosion at
Workhouse, Oct. 30, 1855.--Several from same cause at corner of Hope
Street, March 11, 1856.--A cap explosion took place at Ludlow's, Legge
Street, July 28, 1859.--Another at Phillips and Pursall's, Whittall
Street, Sept. 27, 1852, when twenty-one persons lost their lives.--
Another in Graham Street June 21, 1862, with eight deaths.--Boiler burst
at Spring Hill, Nov. 23, 1859, injuring seven.--An explosion in the
Magazine at the Barracks, March 8, 1864, killed Quartermaster McBean.--
At Kynoch's, Witton, Nov. 17, 1870, resulting in 8 deaths and 28
injured.--At Ludlow's ammunition factory, Dec. 9, 1870, when 17 were
killed and 53 injured, of whom 34 more died before Christmas.--At
Witton, July 1, 1872, when Westley Richards' manager was killed.--At
Hobb Lane, May 11, 1874.--Of gas, in great Lister Street, Dec. 9, 1874.
--Of fulminate, in the Green Lane, May 4, 1876, a youth being killed.--
gas, at St. James's Hall, Snow Hill, Dec. 4, and at Avery's, Moat Row,
Dec. 31, 1878.--At a match manufactory, Phillip Street, Oct. 28, 1879,
when Mr. Bermingham and a workman were injured.

~Eye Hospital.~--See "_Hospitals_."

~Fairs.~--The officers of the Court Leet, whose duty it was to walk in
procession and "proclaim" the fairs, went through their last performance
of the kind at Michaelmas, 1851. It was proposed to abolish the fairs in
1860, but the final order was not given until June 8th, 1875. Of late
years there have been fairs held on the open grounds on the Aston
outskirts of the borough, but the "fun of the fair" is altogether
different now to what it used to be. The original charters for the
holding of fairs at Whitsuntide and Michaelmas were granted to William
de Bermingham by Henry III. in 1251. These fairs were doubtless at one
time of great importance, but the introduction of railways did away with
seven-tenths of their utility and the remainder was more nuisance than
profit. As a note of the trade done at one time we may just preserve the
item that in 1782 there were 56 waggon loads of onions brought into the

~Family Fortunes.~--Hutton in his "History," with that quaint prolixity
which was his peculiar proclivity gives numerous instances of the rise
and fall of families connected with Birmingham. In addition to the
original family of De Birmingham, now utterly extinct he traced back
many others then and now well-known names. For instance he tells us that
a predecessor of the Colmores in Henry VIII.'s reign kept a mercer's
shop at No. 1, High Street; that the founder of the Bowyer Adderley
family began life in a small way in this his native town in the 14th
century; that the Foxalls sprang from a Digbeth tanner some 480 years
ago; and so of others. Had he lived till now he might have largely
increased his roll of local millionaires with such names as Gillott,
Muntz, Mason, Rylands, &c. On the other hand he relates how some of the
old families, whose names were as household words among the ancient
aristocracy, have come to nought; how that he had himself charitably
relieved the descendants of the Norman Mountfourds, Middemores and
Bracebridges, and how that the sole boast of a descendant of the Saxon
Earls of Warwick was in his day the fact of his grandfather having "kept
several cows and sold milk." It is but a few years back since the
present writer saw the last direct descendant of the Holtes working as a
compositor in one of the newspaper offices of this town, and almost any
day there was to be seen in the streets a truck with the name painted on
of "Charles Holte Bracebridge, Licensed Hawker!"

~Famines.~--In the year 310, it is said that 40,000 persons died in this
country from famine. It is not known whether any "Brums" existed then.
In 1195 wheat was so scarce that it sold for 20s. the quarter; ten years
after it was only 12d. In 1438, the times were so hard that people ate
bread made from fern roots. In 1565, a famine prevailed throughout the

~Fashionable Quarter.~--Edgbaston is our "West End," of which Thomas
Ragg (before he was ordained) thus wrote:--

  --Glorious suburbs! long
  May ye remain to bless the ancient town
  Whose crown ye are; rewarder of the cares
  Of those who toil amid the din and smoke
  Of iron ribbed and hardy Birmingham.
  And may ye long be suburbs, keeping still
  Business at distance from your green retreats.

~Feasts, Feeds, and Tea-fights.~--Like other Englishmen, when we have a
good opinion of people we ask them to dinner, and the number of public
breakfasts, dinners, teas, and suppers on our record is wonderful. We
give a few of the most interesting:--3,800 persons dined with our first
M.P.'s., Attwood and Scholefield, at Beardsworth's Repository, Sept. 15,
1834.--A Reform banquet was the attraction in the Town Hall, Jan. 28,
1836.--Members and friends of the 'Chartist Church' kept their Christmas
festival, by 'taking tea' in Town Hall, Dec.28, 1841.--1,700
Anti-Cornlawites (John Bright among them) did ditto Jan. 22, 1843.--The
defeat of an obnoxious Police Bill led 900 persons to banquet together
April 9, 1845.--A banquet in honour of Charles Dickens opened the year
1853--The first anniversary of the Loyal and Constitutional Association
was celebrated by the dining of 848 loyal subjects, Dec. 17, 1855.--
dinner was given to 1,200 poor folks in Bingley Hall, Jan. 25, 1858, to
make them remember the marriage of the Princess Royal. Those who were
not poor kept the game alive at Dee's Hotel.--John Bright was dined in
Town Hall, Oct. 29, 1858.--A party of New Zealand chiefs were stuffed at
same place, March 16, 1864--To celebrate the opening of a Dining Hall in
Cambridge Street, a public dinner was given on All Fools' Day, 1864.--On
the 23rd April following, about 150 gentlemen breakfasted with the
Mayor, in honour of the Shakespeare Library being presented to the
town.--The purchase of Aston Park was celebrated by a banquet, Sept. 22,
1864.--Over a hundred bellringers, at Nock's Hotel, 1868, had their
clappers set wagging by Blews and Sons, in honour of the first peal of
bells cast by them, and now in Bishop Ryder's Church.--The Master
Bakers, who have been baking dinners for the public so long, in
December, 1874, commenced an annual series of dinners among themselves,
at which neither baked meats, nor even baked potatoes, are allowed.--Of
political and quasi-political banquets, there have been many of late
years, but as the parties have, in most cases, simply been gathered for
party purposes, their remembrance is not worth keeping.--To help pay for
improvements at General Hospital, there was a dinner at the Great
Western Hotel, June 4, 1868, and when the plate was sent round, it
received £4,000. That was the best, and there the list must close.

~Females.~--The fairer portion of our local community number (census
1881) 210,050, as against 197,954 males, a preponderance of 12,096. In
1871 the ladies outnumbered us by 8,515, and it would be an interesting
question how this extra ratio arises, though as one half of the
super-abundant petticoats are to be found in Edgbaston it may possibly
only be taken as a mark of local prosperity, and that more female
servants are employed than formerly.--See "_Population" Tables_.

~Fenianism.~--It was deemed necessary in Jan., 1881, to place guards of
soldiers at the Tower and Small Arms Factory, but the Fenians did not
trouble us; though later on a very pretty manufactory of dynamite was
discovered in Ledsam Street.--See "_Notable Offences_."

~Ferrars.~--The De Ferrars were at one time Lords of the Manor, Edmund
de Ferrars dying in 1438. The ancient public-house sign of "The Three
Horseshoes" was taken from their coat of arms.

~Festivals.~--Notes of the past Triennial Musical Festivals for which
Birmingham is so famous, the performances, and the many great artistes
who have taken part therein, will be found further on.

~Fetes~ were held in Aston Park July 27, and September 15, 1856, for the
benefit of the Queen's and General Hospitals, realising therefore
£2,330. The first to "Save Aston Hall" took place August 17, 1857, when
a profit of £570 was made. There have been many since then, but more of
the private speculation class, Sangers' so-called fête at Camp Hill,
June 27, 1874, being the first of their outdoor hippodrome performances.

~Fires.~--When Prince Rupert's soldiers set fire to the town, in 1643,
no less than 155 houses were burned.--Early in 1751 about £500 worth of
wool was burned at Alcock's, in Edgbaston Street.--May 24, 1759, the
stage waggon to Worcester was set on fire by the bursting of a bottle of
aqua-fortis, and the contents of the waggon, valued at £5,000, were
destroyed.--In November, 1772, Mr. Crowne's hop and cheese warehouse,
top of Carr's Lane, was lessened £400 in value.--The Theatre Royal was
burned August 24, 1791, and again January 6, 1820.--Jerusalem Temple,
Newhall Hill, was burned March 10, 1793.--St. Peter's Church suffered
January 24, 1831.--There was a great blaze at Bolton's timber yard,
Broad Street, May 27, 1841.--At the Manor House, Balsall Heath, in
1848.--Among Onion's bellows, in March, 1853.--At the General Hospital,
December 24, 1853.--At the Spread Eagle Concert Hall, May 5, 1855.--At a
builder's in Alcester Street, October 4, 1858.--At Aston Brook Flour
mill, June 1, 1862, with £10,000 damage.--At Lowden & Beeton's, High
Street, January 3, 1863; the firm were prosecuted as incendiaries.--At
Gameson's Tavern, Hill Street, December 25, 1863; six lives lost.--On
the stage at Holder's, July 3, 1865; two ballet dancers died from fright
and injuries.--At Baskerville Sawmills, September 7, 1867.--In Sutton
Park, August 4, 1868.--In a menagerie in Carr's Lane, January 25, 1870.
--At Dowler's Plume Works, March 16.--In Denmark Street, May 23; two
children burned.--At Worcester Wharf, June 2, 1870; two men burnt.--At
Warwick Castle, Dec. 3, 1871.--At Smith's hay and straw yard, Crescent,
through lightning, July 25, 1872.--In Sherbourne Street, June 25, 1874,
and same day in Friston Street; two men burned.--At the hatter's shop in
Temple Street, Nov. 25, 1875.--At Tipper's Mystery Works, May 16, and at
Holford Mill, Perry Barr, August 3, 1876.--At Icke and Co.'s, Lawley
Street, May 17, 1877; £2,500 damage.--At Adam's colour warehouse,
Suffolk Street, October 13, 1877; £10,000 damage.--In Bloomsbury Street,
September 29, 1877; an old man burned.--In Lichfield Road, November 26,
1877; two horses, a cow, and 25 pigs roasted.--January 25, 1878, was a
hot day, there being four fires in 15 hours.--At Hayne's flour mill,
Icknield Port Road, Feb. 2, 1878, with £10,000 damage; first time steam
fire engine was used.--At Baker Bros'., match manufactory, Freeth
Street, February 11.--At Grew's and at Cund's printers, March 16, 1878;
both places being set on fire by a vengeful thief; £2,000 joint damage.
--At corner of Bow Street, July 29, 1878.--At Dennison's shop, opposite
Museum Concert Hall, August 26, 1878, when Mrs. Dennison, her baby, her
sister, and a servant girl lost their lives. The inquest terminated on
September 30 (or rather at one o'clock next morning), when a verdict of
"accidental death" was given in the case of the infant, who had been
dropped during an attempted rescue, and with respect to the others that
they had died from suffocation caused by a five designedly lighted, but
by whom the jury had not sufficient evidence to say. Great fault was
found with the management of the fire brigade, a conflict of authority
between them and the police giving rise to very unpleasant feelings. At
Cadbury's cocoa manufactory, November 23, 1878. In Legge Street, at a
gun implement maker's, December 14, 1878; £600 damage.--And same day at
a gun maker's, Whittall Street; £300 damage.--At Hawkes's looking-glass
manufactory, Bromsgrove Street, January 8, 1879; £20,000 damage.--The
Reference Library, January 11, 1879 (a most rueful day); damage
incalculable and irreparable.--At Hinks and Sons' lamp works, January
30, 1879; £15,000 damage.--At the Small Arms Factory, Adderley Road,
November 11, 1879; a fireman injured.--At Grimsell and Sons', Tower
Street, May 5, 1880; over £5,000 damage.--Ward's cabinet manufactory,
Bissell Street, April 11, 1885.

~Firearms.~--See "_Trades_."

~Fire Brigades.~--A volunteer brigade, to help at fires, was organised
here in February 1836, but as the several companies, after introducing
their engines, found it best to pay a regular staff to work them, the
volunteers, for the time, went to the "right about." In 1863 a more
pretentious attempt to constitute a public or volunteer brigade of
firemen, was made, the members assembling for duty on the 21st of
February, the Norwich Union engine house being the headquarters; but the
novelty wore off as the uniforms got shabby, and the work was left to
the old hands, until the Corporation took the matter in hand.  A
Volunteer Fire Brigade for Aston was formed at the close of 1878, and
its rules approved by the Local Board on Jan. 7, 1879. They attended and
did good service at the burning of the Reference Library on the
following Saturday. August 23, 1879 the Aston boys, with three and
twenty other brigades from various parts of the country, held a kind of
efficiency competition at the Lower Grounds, and being something new in
it attracted many. The Birmingham brigade were kept at home, possibly on
account of the anniversary of the Digbeth fire. Balsall Heath and
Harborne are also supplied with their own brigades, and an Association
of Midland Brigades has lately been formed which held their first drill
in the Priory, April 28, 1883.

~Fire Engines.~--In 1839 the Birmingham Fire Office had two engines,
very handsome specimens of the article too, being profusely decorated
with wooden battle axes, iron scroll-work, &c. One of these engines was
painted in many colours; but the other a plain drab, the latter it was
laughingly said, being kept for the Society of Friends, the former for
society at large. The first time a "portable" or hand engine was used
here was on the occurrence of a fire in a tobacconist's shop in
Cheapside Oct. 29, 1850. The steam fire engine was brought here in Oct.
1877.--See "_Fire Engine Stations_" under "_Public Buildings_."

~Fire Grates.~--The first oven grate used in this district was
introduced in a house at "the City of Nineveh" about the year 1818, and
created quite a sensation.

~Fire Insurance Companies.~--The Birmingham dates its establishment from
March 1805. All the companies now in existence are more or less
represented here by agents, and no one need be uninsured long, as their
offices are so thick on the ground round Bennet's Hill and Colmore Row,
that it has been seriously suggested the latter thoroughfare should he
rechristened and be called Insurance Street. It was an agent who had the
assurance to propose the change.

~Fish.~--In April, 1838, a local company was floated for the purpose of
bringing fish from London and Liverpool. It began swimmingly, but fish
didn't swim to Birmingham, and though several other attempts have been
made to form companies of similar character, the trade has been kept
altogether in private hands, and to judge from the sparkling rings to be
seen on the hands of the ladies who condescend to sell us our matutinal
bloaters in the Market Hall, the business is a pretty good one--and who
dare say those _dames de salle_ are not also pretty and good? The supply
of fish to this town, as given by the late Mr. Hanman, averaged from 50
to 200 tons per day (one day in June, 1879, 238 tons came from Grimsby
alone) or, each in its proper season, nearly as follows:--Mackerel,
2,000 boxes of about 2 cwt. each; herrings, 2,000 barrels of 1-1/2 cwt.
each; salmon, 400 boxes of 2-1/2 cwt. each; lobsters, 15 to 20 barrels
of 1 cwt. each; crabs, 50 to 60 barrels of 1-1/4 cwt. each; plaice,
1,500 packages of 2 cwt. each; codfish, 200 barrels of 2 cwt. each;
conger eels, 20 barrels of 2 cwt. each; skate, 10 to 20 barrels of 2
cwt. each.--See "_Markets_."

~Fishing.~--There is very little scope for the practice of Isaac
Walton's craft near to Birmingham, and lovers of the gentle art must go
farther afield to meet with good sport. The only spots within walking
distance are the pools at Aston Park and Lower Grounds, at Aston Tavern,
at Bournbrook Hotel (or, as it is better known, Kirby's), and at Pebble
Mill, in most of which may be found perch, roach, carp, and pike. At
Pebble Mill, March 20, last year, a pike was captured 40 inches long,
and weighing 22 lbs., but that was a finny rarity, and not likely to be
met with there again, as the pool (so long the last resort of suicidally
inclined mortals) is to be filled up. A little farther off are waters at
Sarehole, at Yardley Wood, and the reservoir at King's Norton, but with
these exceptions anglers must travel to their destinations by rail.
There is good fishing at Sutton Coldfield, Barnt Green (for reservoir at
Tardebigge), Alcester, Shustoke, Salford Priors, and other places within
a score of miles, but free fishing nowhere. Anyone desirous of real
sport should join the Birmingham and Midland Piscatorial Association
(established June, 1878), which rents portions of the river Trent and
other waters. This society early in 1880, tried their hands at
artificial salmon-hatching, one of the tanks of the aquarium at Aston
Lower Grounds being placed at their disposal. They were successful in
bringing some thousand or more of their interesting protegees from the
ova into fish shape, but we cannot find the market prices for salmon or
trout at all reduced.

~Fishmongers' Hall.~--Not being satisfied with the accommodation
provided for them in the Fish Market, the Fish and Game Dealers'
Association, at their first annual meeting (Feb. 13, 1878), proposed to
erect a Fishmongers' Hall, but they did not carry out their intention.

~Flogging.~--In "the good old days," when George the Third was King, it
was not very uncommon for malefactors to be flogged through the streets,
tied to the tail end of a cart. In 1786 several persons, who had been
sentenced at the Assizes, were brought back here and so whipped through
the town; and in one instance, where a young man had been caught
filching from the Mint, the culprit was taken to Soho works, and in the
factory yard, there stripped and flogged by "Black Jack" of the Dungeon,
as a warning to his fellow-workmen. This style of punishment would
hardly do now, but if some few of the present race of "roughs" could be
treated to a dose of "the cat" now and then, it might add considerably
to the peace and comfort of the borough. Flogging by proxy was not
unknown in some of the old scholastic establishments, but whipping a
scarecrow seems to have been the amusement on February 26th. 1842, when
Sir Robert Peel, at that day a sad delinquent politically, was publicly
flogged in elligy.

~Floods~--The milldams at Sutton burst their banks, July 24, 1668, and
many houses were swept away.--On the 24th November, 1703, a three days'
storm arose which extended over the whole kingdom; many parts of the
Midlands being flooded and immense damage caused, farmers' live stock
especially suffering. 15,000 sheep were drowned in one pan of
Gloucestershire; several men and hundreds of sheep near to Worcester;
the losses in Leicestershire and Staffordshire being also enormous.
Though there is no local record respecting it here, there can be little
doubt that the inhabitants had their share of the miseries.--July 2,
1759, a man and several horses were drowned in a flood near Meriden.--
Heavy rains caused great floods here in January, 1764.--On April 13,
1792, a waterspout, at the Lickey Hills, turned the Rea into a torrent.
--The lower parts of the town were flooded through the heavy rain of
June 26, 1830.--There were floods in Deritend and Bordesley, Nov. 11,
1852.--June 23, 1861, parts of Aston, Digbeth, and the Parade were
swamped.--Feb. 8, 1865, Hockley was flooded through the bursting of the
Canal banks; and a simmilar accident to the Worcester Canal, May 25,
1872, laid the roads and gardens about Wheeley's Road under water.--
There were very heavy rains in July and October, 1875, causing much
damage in the lower parts of the town.--Aug. 2 and 3, 1879, many parts
of the outskirts were flooded, in comparatively the shortest time in

~Flour Mills.~--The Union Mill Co. (now known as the Old Union, &c.) was
formed early in 1796, with a capital of £7,000 in £1 shares, each
share-holder being required to take a given amount of bread per week.
Though at starting it was announced that the undertaking was not
intended for profit,--such were the advantages derived from the
operations of the Company that the shareholders it is said, in addition
to a dividend of 10 per cent., received in the course of couple of years
a benefit equal to 600 per cent, in the shape of reduced prices. Large
dividends have at times been received, but a slightly different tale is
now told.--The New Union Mill was started in 1810; the Snow Hill Mill
about 1781; the Britannia Mills in 1862.

~Fly Vans.~--"Fly Boats" to the various places connected with Birmingham
by the canals were not sufficient for our townspeople seventy years ago,
and an opposition to the coaches started in 1821, in the shape of Fly
Vans or light Post Waggons, was hailed with glee. These Fly Vans left
the Crescent Wharf (where Showell and Sons' Stores are now) three
evenings a week, and reached Sheffield the following day. This was the
first introduction of a regular "parcels' post," though the authorities
would not allow of anything like a letter being sent with a parcel, _if_
they knew it.

~Foolish Wager.~--On July 8,1758, for a wager, a man named Moraon got
over the battlements of the tower at St. Martin's, and safely let
himself down to the ground (a distance of 73 feet) without rope or
ladder, his strength of muscle enabling him to reach from cornerstone to
cornerstone, and cling thereto as he descended.

~Football.~--See "_Sports_."

~Forgeries.~--The manufacture of bogus bank-notes was carried on here,
at one time, to an alarming extent, and even fifty years ago, though he
was too slippery a fish for the authorities to lay hold of, it was
well-known there was a clever engraver in the Inkleys who would copy
anything put before him for the merest trifle, even though the
punishment was most severe. Under "_Notable Offences_" will be found
several cases of interest in this peculiar line of business.

~Forks.~--Our ancestors did without them, using their fingers. Queen
Elizabeth had several sent to her from Spain, but she seldom used them,
and we may be quite sure it was long after that ere the taper fingers of
the fair Brums ceased to convey the titbits to their lips. Even that
sapient sovereign, James I., the Scotch Solomon, did not use the foreign
invention, believing possibly with the preacher who denounced them in
the pulpit that it was an insult to the Almighty to touch the meat
prepared for food with anything but one's own fingers. Later on, when
the coaches began to throng the road, gentlemen were in the habit of
carrying with them their own knife and fork for use, so seldom were the
latter articles to be found at the country inns, and the use of forks
cannot be said to have become general more than a hundred years ago.

~Forward.~--The self-appropriated motto of our borough, chosen at one of
the earliest committee meetings of the Town Council in 1839. Mr. William
Middlemore is said to have proposed the use of the word as being
preferable to any Latin, though "Vox populi, vox Dei," and other like
appropriate mottoes, have been suggested. Like all good things, however,
the honour of originating this motto has been contested, the name of
Robert Crump Mason having been given as its author.

~Fogs.~--Bad as it may be now and then in the neighbourhood of some of
our works, it there is one thing in nature we can boast of more than
another, it is our comparatively clear atmosphere, and it is seldom that
we are troubled with fogs of any kind. In this respect, at all events,
the Midland metropolis is better off than its Middlesex namesake, with
its "London particular," as Mr. Guppy calls it. But there was one day
(17th) in December, 1879, when we were, by some atmospheric phenomena,
treated to such "a peasouper" that we must note it as being the
curiosity of the day, the street traffic being put a stop to while the
fog lasted.

~Folk-lore.~--Funny old sayings are to be met with among the quips and
quirks of "folk-lore" that tickled the fancies of our grandfathers. The
following is to [**] with several changes, but it [**] good to be

  "Sutton for mutton,
  Tamworth for beeves,
  Walsall for knockknees,
  And Brummagem for thieves."

~Fountains.~--Messrs. Messenger and Sons designed, executed, and
erected, to order of the Street Commissioners, in 1851, a very neat, and
for the situation, appropriate, fountain in the centre of the Market
Hall, but which has since been removed to Highgate Park, where it
appears sadly out of place.

  The poor little boys, without any clothes,
  Looking in winter as if they were froze.

A number of small drinking-fountains or taps have been presented to the
town by benevolent persons (one of the neatest being that put up at the
expense of Mr. William White in Bristol Road in 1876), and granite
cattle-troughs are to be found in Constitution Hill, Icknield Street,
Easy Row, Albert Street, Gosta Green, Five Ways, &c. In July, 1876, Miss
Ryland paid for the erection of a very handsome fountain at the bottom
of Bradford Street, in near proximity to the Smith field. It is so
constructed as to be available for quenching the thirst not only of
human travellers, but also of horses, dogs, &c., and on this account it
has been appropriately handed over to the care of the Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. It is composed of granite, and as it
is surmounted by a gas lamp, it is, in more senses than one, both useful
and ornamental.--The fountain in connection with the Chamberlain
Memorial, at back of Town Hall, is computed to throw out five million
gallons of water per annum (ten hours per day), a part of which is
utilised at the fishstalls in the markets. The Water Committee have
lately put up an ornamental fountain in Hagley Road, in connection with
the pipe supply for that neighbourhood.

~Foxalls.~--For centuries one of the most prosperous of our local
families, having large tanneries in Digbeth as far back as 1570;
afterwards as cutlers and ironmongers down to a hundred years ago. They
were also owners of the Old Swan, the famous coaching house, and which
it is believed was the inn that Prince Rupert and his officers came to
when Thomas, the ostler, was shot, through officiously offering to take
their horses.

~Fox Hunts.~--With the exception of the annual exhibition of fox-hounds
and other sporting dogs, Birmingham has not much to do with hunting
matters, though formerly a red coat or two might often have been seen in
the outskirts riding to meets not far away. On one occasion, however, as
told the writer by one of these old inhabitants whose memories are our
historical textbooks, the inhabitants of Digbeth and Deritend were
treated to the sight of a hunt in full cry. It was a nice winter's
morning of 1806, when Mr. Reynard sought to save his brush by taking a
straight course down the Coventry Road right into town. The astonishment
of the shop-keepers may be imagined when the rush of dogs and horses
passed rattling by. Round the corner, down Bordesley High Street, past
the Crown and Church, over the bridge and away for the Shambles and Corn
Cheaping went the fox, and close to his heels followed the hounds, who
caught their prey at last near to The Board. "S.D.R.," in one of his
chatty gossips anent the old taverns of Birmingham, tells of a somewhat
similar scene from the Quinton side of the town, the bait, however,
being not a fox, but the trail-scent of a strong red herring, dragged at
his stirrup, in wicked devilry, by one of the well-known haunters of old
Joe Lindon's. Still, we _have_ had fox-hunts of our own, one of the
vulpine crew being killed in St. Mary's Churchyard, Feb. 26, 1873, while
another was captured (Sept. 11, 1883) by some navvies at work on the
extension of New Street Station. The fox, which was a young one, was
found asleep in one of the subways, though how he got to such a strange
dormitory is a puzzle, and he gave a quarter-hour's good sport before
being secured.

~Freemasons.~--See "_Masonic_."

~Freeth, the Poet.~--The first time Freeth's name appears in the public
prints is in connection with a dinner given at his coffee-house, April
17, 1770, to celebrate Wilkes' release from prison. He died September
29, 1808, aged 77, and was buried in the Old Meeting House, the
following lines being graved on his tombstone:--

  "Free and easy through life 'twas his wish to proceed.
  Good men he revered, whatever their creed.
  His pride was a sociable evening to spend,
  For no man loved better his pipe and his friend."

~Friendly Societies~ are not of modern origin, traces of many having
been found in ancient Greek inscriptions. The Romans also had similar
societies, Mr. Tomkins, the chief clerk of the Registrar-General, having
found and deciphered the accounts of one at Lanuvium, the entrance fee
to which was 100 sesterces (about 15s.), and an amphora (or jar) of
wine. The payments were equivalent to 2s. a year, or 2d. per mouth, the
funeral money being 45s., a fixed portion, 7s. 6d. being set apart for
distribution at the burning of the body. Members who did not pay up
promptly were struck off the list, and the secretaries and treasurers,
when funds were short, went to their own pockets.--The first Act for
regulating Friendly Societies was passed in 1795. Few towns in England
have more sick and benefit clubs than Birmingham, there not being many
public-houses without one attached to them, and scarcely a manufactory
minus its special fund for like purposes. The larger societies, of
course, have many branches (lodges, courts, &c), and it would be a
difficult matter to particularise them all, or even arrive at the
aggregate number of their members, which, however, cannot be much less
than 50,000; and, if to these we add the large number of what may be
styled "annual gift clubs" (the money in hand being divided every year),
we may safely put the total at something like 70,000 persons who take
this method of providing for a rainy day. The following notes respecting
local societies have been culled from blue books, annual reports, and
private special information, the latter being difficult to arrive at, in
consequence of that curious reticence observable in the character of
officials of all sorts, club stewards included.

_Artisans at Large_.--In March,  1868, the Birmingham artisans who
reported on the Paris Exhibition of 1867, formed themselves into a
society "to consider and discuss, from an artisan point of view, all
such subjects as specially affect the artisan class; to promote and seek
to obtain all such measures, legislative or otherwise, as shall appear
beneficial to that class; and to render to each other mutual assistance,
counsel, or encouragement." Very good, indeed! The benefits which have
arisen from the formation of this society are doubtless many, but as the
writer has never yet seen a report, he cannot record the value of the
mutual assistance rendered, or say what capital is left over of the
original, fund of counsel and encouragement.

_Barbers_.--A few knights of the razor in 1869 met together and formed a
"Philanthropic Society of Hairdressers," but though these gentlemen are
proverbial for their gossiping propensities, they tell no tales out of
school, and of their charity boast not.

_Butchers_.--A Butchers'  Benefit and Benevolent Association was founded
in 1877.

_Coaldealers_.--The salesmen of black diamonds have a mutual benefit
association, but as the secretary declines to give any information, we
fear the mutual benefit consists solely of helping each other to keep
the prices up.

_Cannon Street Male Adult Provident Institution_ was established in
1841. At the expiration of 1877 there were 8,994 members, with a balance
in hand of £72,956 15s. 5d. The total received from members to that date
amounted to £184,900, out of which £131,400 had been returned in sick
pay and funeral benefits, the payments out varying from 4s. to 20s. a
week in sickness, with a funeral benefit of £20, £8 being allowed on the
death of a wife.

_Carr's Lane Provident Institution_ was commenced in 1845, and has 299
male and 323 female members, with a capital of £5,488, the amount paid
in 1883 on account of sickness being £242, with £54 funeral money.

_Chemistry_.--A Midland Counties' Chemists' Association was formed in
May, 1869.

_Christ Church Provident Institution_ was established in 1835, and at
the end of 1883, there were 646 male and 591 female members; during the
year £423 had been paid among 138 members on account of sickness,
besides £25 for funerals. Capital about £5,800. A junior or Sunday
school branch also exists.

_Church of the Saviour Provident Institution_ was started in 1857.

_Church School Teachers_.--The Birmingham and District Branch of the
Church Schoolmaster's and Schoolmistresses' Benevolent Institution was
formed in 1866, and the members contribute about £250 per year to the

_Druids_.--The order of Druids has five Lodges here, with nearly 400
members. The United Ancient Order of Druids has twenty-one Lodges, and
about 1,400 members.

_Ebenezer Chapel Sick Society_ was established in 1828. Has 135 members,
whose yearly payments average 32s. 6d., out of which 17s. dividend at
Christmas comes back, the benefits being 10s. a week in sickness and £10
at death.

_Foresters_.--In 1745 a few Yorkshire-men started "The Ancient Order of
Royal Foresters," under which title the associated Courts remained until
1834, when a split took place. The secessionists, who gave the name of
"Honour" to their No. 1 Court (at Ashton-under-Lyne), declined the
honour of calling themselves "Royal," but still adhered to the antique
part of their cognomen. The new "Ancient Order of foresters" throve
well, and, leaving their "Royal" friends far away in the background, now
number 560,000 members, who meet in nearly 7,000 Courts. In the
Birmingham Midland District them are 62 courts, with about 6,200
members, the Court funds amounting to £29,900, and the District funds to
£2,200. The oldest Court in this town is the "Child of the Forest,"
meeting at the Gem Vaults, Steelhouse Lane, which was instituted in
1839. The other Courts meet at the Crown and Anchor, Gem Street;
Roebuck, Lower Hurst Street; Queen's Arms, Easy Row; White Swan, Church
Street; Red Cow, Horse Fair; Crown, Broad Street; White Hart, Warstone
Lane; Rose and Crown, Summer Row; Red Lion, Suffolk Street; Old Crown,
Deritend; Hope and Anchor, Coleshill Street; Black Horse, Ashted Row;
Colemore Arms, Latimer Street South; Anchor, Bradford Street; Army and
Navy Inn, Great Brook Street; Red Lion, Smallbrook Street; Union Mill
Inn, Holt Street; Vine, Lichfield Road; Wellington, Holliday Street;
Ryland Arms, Ryland Street; Star and Garter, Great Hampton Row; Oak
Tree, Selly Oak; Station Inn, Saltley Road; Drovers' Arms, Bradford
Street; Old Nelson, Great Lister Street; Ivy Green, Edward Street; Iron
House, Moor Street; Green Man, Harborne; Fountain, Wrentham Street;
King's Arms, Sherlock Street; Shareholders' Arms, Park Lane;
Shakespeare's Head, Livery Street; Criterion, Hurst Street; Acorn,
Friston Street; Hen and Chickens, Graham Street; Albion, Aston Road; Dog
and Partridge, Tindal Street; White Horse, Great Colmore Street;
Carpenters' Arms, Adelaide Street; Small Arms Inn, Muntz Street;
Weymouth Arms, Gerrard Street; General Hotel, Tonk Street; Railway
Tavern, Hockley; Noah's Ark, Montague Street; Sportsman, Warwick Road;
Roebuck, Monument Road; Bull's Head, Moseley; Swan Inn, Coleshill; Hare
and Hounds, King's Heath; Roebuck, Erdington; Fox and Grapes, Pensnett;
Hazelwell Tavern, Stirchley Street; Round Oak and New Inn, Brierley
Hill; The Stores, Oldbury; and at the Crosswells Inn, Five Ways,

_General Provident and Benevolent Institution_ was at first (1833) an
amalgamation of several Sunday School societies. It has a number of
branches, and appears to be in a flourishing condition, the assets, at
end of 1883, amounting to over £48,000, with a yearly increment of about
£1,400; the number of members in the medical fund being 5,112.

_Grocers_.--These gentlemen organised a Benevolent Society, in 1872.

_Independent Order of Rechabites_.--Dwellers in tents, and drinkers of
no wine, were the original Rechabites, and there are about a score of
"tents" in this district, the oldest being pitched in this town in 1839,
and, as friendly societies, they appear to be doing, in their way, good
service, like their friends who meet in "courts" and "lodges," the
original "tent's" cashbox having £675 in hand for cases of sickness,
while the combined camp holds £1,600 wherewith to bury their dead.

_Jewellers' Benevolent Association_ dates from Oct. 25, 1867.

_Medical_.--A Midland Medical Benevolent Society has been in existence
since 1821. The annual report to end of 1883 showed invested funds
amounting to £10,937, there being 265 benefit members and 15 honorary.

_Musical_.--The Birmingham Musical Society consists almost solely of
members of the Choral Society, whose fines, with small subscriptions
from honorary members, furnishes a fund to cover rehearsal, and sundry
choir expenses as well as 10s in cases of sickness.

_New Meeting Provident Institution_ was founded in 1836, but is now
connected with the Church of the Messiah. A little over a thousand
members, one-third of whom are females.

_Oddfellows_.--The National Independent Order of Oddfellows, Birmingham
Branch, was started about 1850. At the end of 1879 there were 1,019
members, with about £4,500 accumulated funds.

The Birmingham District of the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows in
January, 1882, consisted of 43 lodges, comprising 4,297 members, the
combined capital of sick and funeral funds being £42,210. Tho oldest
Lodge in the District is the "Briton's Pride," which was opened in 1827.

The first Oddfellows' Hall was in King Street, but was removed when New
Street Station was built. The new Oddfellows' Hall in Upper Temple
Street was built in 1849, by Branson and Gwyther, from the designs of
Coe and Goodwin (Lewisham, Kent), at a cost of £3,000. Tim opening was
celebrated by a dinner on December 3rd, same year. The "Hall" will
accommodate 1,000 persons. The Oddfellows' Biennial Moveable Committee
met in this town on May 29th, 1871.

The M.U. Lodges meet at the following houses:--Fox, Fox Street; White
Horse, Congreve Street; Swan-with-two-Necks, Great Brook Street; Albion,
Cato Street North; Hope and Anchor, Coleshill Street; 13, Temple Street;
Wagon and Horses, Edgbaston Street; Crystal Palace, Six Ways, Smethwick;
The Vine, Harborne; Prince Arthur, Arthur Street, Small Heath; George
Hotel, High Street, Solihull; Bell, Phillip Street; Bull's Head,
Digbeth; Edgbaston Tavern, Lee Bank, Road; The Stork, Fowler Street,
Nechells; Three Tuns, Digbeth; Town Hall, Sutton Coldfield; Coffee
House, Bell Street; Coach and Horses, Snow Hill; Roe Buck, Moor Street;
Drovers' Arms, Bradford Street; Co-operative Meeting Room, Stirchley
Street; Black Lion, Coleshill Street; Queen's Head, Handsworth; No. 1
Coffee House, Rolfe Street, Smethwick; New Inn, Selly Oak; Wagon and
Horses, Greet; Talbot, Yardley; Saracen's Head, Edgbaston Street;
Dolphin, Unett Street; Grand Turk, Ludgate Hill; Roebuck, Moor Street;
White Swan, Church Street; White Lion, Thorpe Street; Queen's Arms, Easy
Row; Rose and Crown, Wheeler Street, Lozells.

The National Independent Order was instituted in 1845, and registered
under the Friendly Societies' Act, 1875. The Order numbers over 60,000
members, but its strongholds appear to be in Yorkshire and Lancashire,
which two counties muster between them nearly 40,000. In Birmingham
district, there are thirteen "lodges," with a total of 956 members,
their locations being at the Criterion, Hurst Street; Bricklayers' Arms,
Cheapside; Ryland Arms, Ryland Street; Sportsman, Moseley Street; Iron
House, Moor Street; Exchange Inn, High Street; Red Lion, Smallbrook
Street; Woodman, Summer Lane; Emily Arms, Emily Street; Boar's Head,
Bradford Street; Turk's Head, Duke Street; Bird-in-Hand, Great King
Street; Tyburn House, Erdington.

_Old Meeting Friendly Fund_ was commenced in 1819, and registered in
1824. Its capital at the close of the first year, was £5 14s. 10-1/2d.;
at end of the tenth year (1828) it was nearly £264; in 1838, £646; in
1848, £1,609; in 1858, £3,419; 1868, £5,549; in 1878, £8,237; and at the
end of 1883, £9,250 16s. 2d.;--a very fair sum, considering the numbers
only numbered 446, the year's income being £877 and the out-goings £662.

_Railway Guards' Friendly Fund_ was originated in this town in 1848. It
has nearly 2,200 members; the yearly disbursements being about £6,000,
and the payments £40 at death, with life pensions of 10s. and upwards
per week to members disabled on the line. More than £85,000 has been
thus distributed since the commencement.

_Roman Catholic_.--A local Friendly Society was founded in 1794, and a
Midland Association in 1824.

_Shepherds_.--The Order of Shepherds dates from 1834, but we cannot get
at the number of members, &c. August 9, 1883 (according to _Daily
Post_), the High Sanctuary meeting of the Order of Shepherds was held in
our Town Hall, when the auditor's report showed total assets of the
general fund, £921 15s. 4d., and liabilities £12 6s. 9-1/2d. The relief
fund stood at £292 18s. 8d., being an increase of £66 0s. 11d. on the
year; and there was a balance of £6 13s. 9-1/2d. to the credit of the
sick and funeral fund.

_St. David's Society_.--The members held their first meeting March 1,

_St. Patrick's Benefit Society_, dating from 1865 as an offshoot of the
Liverpool Society, had at end of 1882, 3,144 members, the expenditure of
the year was £857 (£531 for funerals), and the total value of the
society £2,030.

_Unitarian Brotherly Society_, registered in 1825, has about 500
members, and a capital of £8,500.

_United Brothers_.--There are nearly 100 lodges and 10,000 members of
societies under this name in Birmingham and neighbourhood, some of the
lodges being well provided for capital, No. 4 having £8,286 to 186

_United Family_ Life Assurance and Sick Benefit Society claims to have
some 8,500 members, 750 of whom reside in Birmingham.

_United Legal_ Burial Society, registered in 1846, like the above, is a
branch only.

_Union Provident Sick Society_.--Founded 1802, enrolled in 1826 and
certified in 1871, had then 3,519 members and a reserve fund of £8,269.
At end of 1883 the reserve fund stood at £15,310 16s. 9d., there having
been paid during the year £4,768 17s. 2d. for sick pay and funerals,
besides 15s. dividend to each member.

There are 15,379 Friendly Societies or branches in the kingdom,
numbering 4,593,175 members, and their funds amounted to (by last
return) £12,148,602.

~Friends (The Society of).~--Quakerism was publicly professed here in
1654, George Fox visiting the town the following year and in 1657. The
triends held their first "meetings" in Monmouth Street in 1659. The
meeting-house in Bull Street was built in 1703, and was enlarged several
times prior to 1856, when it was replaced by the present edifice which
will seat about 800 persons. The re-opening took place January 25, 1857.
The burial-ground in Monmouth Street, where the Arcade is now, was taken
by the Great Western Railway Co. in 1851, the remains of over 300
departed Friends being removed to the yard of the meeting-house in Bull

~Froggery.~--Before the New Street Railway Station was built, a fair
slice of old Birmingham had to be cleared away, and fortunately it
happened to be one of the unsavoury portions, including the spot known
as "The Froggery." As there was a Duck Lane close by, the place most
likely was originally so christened from its lowlying and watery
position, the connection between ducks and frogs being self-apparent.

~Frosts.~--Writing on Jan. 27, 1881, the late Mr. Plant said that in 88
years there had been only four instances of great cold approaching
comparison with the intense frost then ended; the first was in January,
1795; the next in December and January, 1813-14; then followed that of
January, 1820. The fourth was in December and January, 1860-61; and,
lastly, January, 1881. In 1795 the mean temperature of the twenty-one
days ending January 31st was 24.27 degrees; in 1813-14, December 29th to
January 18th, exclusively, 24.9 degrees; in 1820, January 1st to 21st,
inclusively, 23.7 degrees; in 1860-61, December 20th to January 9th,
inclusively, 24.5 degrees; and in 1881, January 7th to 27th,
inclusively, 23.2 degrees. Thus the very coldest three weeks on record
in this district, in 88 years, is January, 1881. With the exception of
the long frost of 1813-4, which commenced on the 24th December and
lasted three months, although so intense in their character, none of the
above seasons were remarkable for protracted duration. The longest
frosts recorded in the present century were as follows:--1813-14,
December to March. 13 weeks; 1829-30, December, January, February, 10
weeks; 1838, January, February, 8 weeks; 1855, January, February, 7
weeks; 1878-79, December, January, February, 10 weeks.

~Funny Notions.~--The earliest existing statutes governing our Free
Grammar of King Edward VI. bear the date of 1676. One of these rules
forbids the assistant masters to marry.--In 1663 (_temp_. Charles II.)
Sir Robert Holte, of Aston, received a commission from Lord Northampton,
"Master of His Majesty's leash," to take and seize greyhounds, and
certain other dogs, for the use of His Majesty!--The "Dancing Assembly,"
which was to meet on the 30th January, 1783, loyally postponed their
light fantastic toeing, "in consequence of that being the anniversary of
the martyrdom of Charles I."--In 1829, when the Act was passed
appointing Commissioners for Duddeston and Nechells, power was given for
erecting gasworks, provided they did not extend over more than one acre,
and that no gas was sent into the adjoining parish of Birmingham.--A
writer in _Mechanics' Magazine_ for 1829, who signed his name as "A.
Taydhill, Birmingham," suggested that floor carpets should be utilized
as maps where with to teach children geography. The same individual
proposed that the inhabitants of each street should join together to buy
a long pole, or mast, with a rope and pulley, for use as a fireescape,
and recommended them to convey their furniture in or out of the windows
with it, as "good practice."--A patent was taken out by Eliezer Edwards,
in 1853, for a bedstead fitted with a wheel and handle, that it might be
used as a wheelbarrow.--Sergeant Bates, of America, invaded Birmingham,
Nov. 21, 1872, carrying the "stars and stripes," as a test of our love
for our Yankee cousins.

~Funeral Reform.~--An association for doing away with the expensive
customs so long connected with the burying of the dead, was organised in
1875, and slowly, but surely, are accomplishing the task then entered
upon. At present there are about 700 enrolled members, but very many
more families now limit the trappings of woe to a more reasonable as
well as economical exhibit of tailors' and milliners' black.

~Furniture.~--Judging from some old records appertaining to the history
of a very ancient family, who, until the town swallowed it up, farmed a
considerable portion of the district known as the Lozells, or Lowcells,
as it was once called, even our well-to-do neighbours would appear to
have been rather short of what we think necessary household furniture.
As to chairs in bedrooms, there were often none; and if they had
chimnies, only movable grates, formed of a few bars resting on "dogs."
Window-curtains, drawers, carpets, and washing-stands, are not,
according to our recollection, anywhere specified; and a warming-pan
does not occur till 1604, and then was kept in the bed-room. Tongs
appear as annexations of grates, without poker or shovel; and the family
plate-chest was part of bed-room furniture. Stools were the substitutes
for chairs in the principal sitting-room, in the proportion of even
twenty of the former to two of the latter, which were evidently
intended, _par distinction_, for the husband and wife.

~Galton.~--The family name of a once well-known firm of gun, sword, and
bayonet makers, whose town-house was in Steelhouse Lane, opposite the
Upper Priory. Their works were close by in Weaman Street, but the mill
for grinding and polishing the barrels and blades was at Duddeston, near
to Duddeston Hall, the Galton's country-house. It was this firm's
manufactury that Lady Selbourne refers to in her "Diary," wherein she
states that in 1765 she went to a Quaker's "to see the making of guns."
The strange feature of members of the peace-loving Society of Friends
being concerned in the manufacture of such death-dealing implements was
so contrary to their profession, that in 1796, the Friends strongly
remonstrated with the Galtons, leading to the retirement of the senior
partner from the trade, and the expulsion of the junior from the body.
The mansion in Steelhouse Lane was afterwards converted into a
banking-house; then used for the purposes of the Polytechnic
Institution; next, after a period of dreary emptiness, fitted up as the
Children's Hospital, after the removal of which to Broad Street, the old
house has reverted to its original use, as the private abode of Dr.

~Gambetta.~--The eminent French patriot was fined 2,000 francs for
upholding the freedom of speech and the rights of the press, two things
ever dear to Liberal Birmingham, and it was proposed to send him the
money from here as a mark of esteem and sympathy. The _Daily Post_ took
the matter in hand, and, after appealing to its 40,000 readers every day
for some weeks, forwarded (November 10, 1877) a draft for £80 17s. 6d.

~Gaols.~--The Town Gaol, or Lockup, at the back of the Public Office, in
Moor-street, was first used in September, 1806. It then consisted of a
courtyard, 59 ft. by 30 ft. (enclosed by a 26 ft. wall) two day rooms or
kitchens, 14 ft. square, and sixteen sleeping cells, 8 ft. by 6 ft. The
prisoners' allowance was a pennyworth of bread and a slice of cheese
twice a day, and the use of the pump. Rather short commons, considering
the 4 lb. loaf often sold at 1s. The establishment, which is vastly
improved and much enlarged, is now used only as a place of temporary
detention or lockup, where prisoners are first received, and wait their
introduction to the gentlemen of the bench.  The erection of the Borough
Gaol was commenced on October 29, 1845, and it was opened for the
reception of prisoners, October 17, 1849, the first culprit being
received two days afterwards. The estimated cost was put at £51,447, but
altogether it cost the town about £90,000, about £70,000 of which has
been paid off. In the year 1877, three prisoners contrived to escape;
one, John Sutcliffe, who got out on July 25, not being recaptured till
the 22nd of January following. The others were soon taken back home. The
gaol was taken over by the government as from April 1, 1878, Mr. J.W.
Preston, being appointed Governor at a salary of £510, in place of Mr.
Meaden, who had received £450, with certain extras.--See "_Dungeon_" and
"_Prisons_."  The new County Goal at Warwick was first occupied in 1860.

~Gaol Atrocities.~--The first Governor appointed to the Borough Gaol was
Captain Maconochie, formerly superintendent over the convicts at Norfolk
Island in the days of transportation of criminals. He was permitted to
try as an experiment a "system of marks," whereby a prisoner, by his
good conduct and industry, could materially lessen the duration of his
punishment, and, to a certain extent improve his dietary. The
experiment, though only tried with prisoners under sixteen, proved very
successful, and at one time hopes were entertained that the system would
become general in all the gaols of the kingdom. So far as our gaol was
concerned, however, it proved rather unfortunate that Captain
Maconochie, through advancing age and other causes, was obliged to
resign his position (July, 1851), for upon the appointment of his
successor, Lieutenant Austin, a totally opposite course of procedure was
introduced, a perfect reign of terror prevailing in place of kindness
and a humane desire to lead to the reformation of criminals. In lieu of
good marks for industry, the new Governor imposed heavy penal marks if
the tasks set them were not done to time, and what these tasks were may
be gathered from the fact that in sixteen months no less than fifteen
prisoners were driven to make an attempt on their lives, through the
misery and torture to which they were exposed, three unfortunates being
only too successful. Of course such things could not be altogether
hushed up, and after one or two unsatisfactory "inquiries" had been
held, a Royal Commission was sent down to investigate matters. One case
out of many will be sufficient sample of the mercies dealt out by the
governor to the poor creatures placed under his care. Edward Andrews, a
lad of 15, was sent to gaol for three months (March 28, 1853) for
stealing a piece of beef. On the second day he was put to work at "the
crank," every turn of which was equal to lifting a weight of 20lbs., and
he was required to make 2,000 revolutions before he had any breakfast,
4,000 more before dinner, and another 4,000 before supper, the
punishment for not completing either of these tasks being the loss of
the meal following. The lad failed on many occasions, and was fed almost
solely on one daily, or, rather, nightly allowance of bread and water.
For shouting he was braced to a wall for hours at a time, tightly cased
in a horrible jacket and leather collar, his feet being only moveable.
In this position, when exhausted almost to death, he was restored to
sensibility by having buckets of water thrown over him. What wonder that
within a month he hung himself. A number of similar cases of brutality
were proved, and the Governor thought it best to resign, but he was not
allowed to escape altogether scot free, being tried at Warwick on
several charges of cruelty, and being convicted, was sentenced by the
Court of Queen's Bench to a term of three months' imprisonment.

~Garibaldi.~--At a meeting of the Town Council, April 5, 1865, it was
resolved to ask Garibaldi to pay a visit to this town, but he declined
the honour, as in the year previous he had similarly declined to receive
an offered town subscription.

~Garrison.~--Though a strong force was kept in the Barracks in the old
days of riot and turbulence, it is many years since we have been
favoured with more than a single company of red coats at a time, our
peaceful inland town not requiring a strong garrison.

~Gardens.~--A hundred to 150 years ago there was no town in England
better supplied with gardens than Birmingham, almost every house in what
are now the main thoroughfares having its plot of garden ground. In 1731
there were many acres of allotment gardens (as they came to be called at
a later date) where St. Bartholomew's Church now stands, and in almost
every other direction similar pieces of land were to be seen under
cultivation. Public tea gardens were also to be found in several
quarters of the outskirts; the establishment known as the Spring Gardens
closing its doors July 31, 1801. The Apollo Tea Gardens lingered on till
1846, and Beach's Gardens closed in September, 1854.

~Gas.~--William Murdoch is generally credited with the introduction of
lighting by gas, but it is evident that the inflammability of the gas
producible from coal was known long before his day, as the Rev. Dr. John
Clayton, Dean of Kildare, mentioned it in a letter he wrote to the Hon.
Robert Boyle, in 1691. The Dr.'s discovery was probably made during his
stay in Virginia, and another letter of his shows the probability of his
being aware that the gas would pass through water without losing its
lighting properties. The discovery has also been claimed as that of a
learned French _savant_ but Murdoch must certainly take the honour of
being the first to bring gas into practical use at his residence, at
Redruth, in 1792, and it is said that he even made a lantern to light
the paths in his evening walks, the gas burned in which was contained in
a bag carried under his arm, his rooms being also lit up from a bag of
gas placed under weights. The exact date of its introduction in this
neighbourhood has not been ascertained though it is believed that part
of the Soho Works were fitted with gas-lights in 1798, and, on the
occurrence of the celebration of the Peace of Amiens, in 1802, a public
exhibition was made of the new light, in the illumination of the works.
The _Gazette_ of April 5, 1802 (according to extract by Dr. Langford, in
his "Century of Birmingham Life") described the various devices in
coloured lamps and transparencies, but strangely enough does not mention
gas at all. Possibly gas was no longer much of a novelty at Soho, or the
reporter might not have known the nature of the lights used, but there
is the evidence of Mr. Wm. Matthews, who, in 1827 published an
"Historical Sketch of Gaslighting," in which he states that he had "the
inexpressible gratification of witnessing, in 1802, Mr. Murdoch's
extraordinary and splendid exhibition of gaslights at Soho." On the
other hand, the present writer was, some years back, told by one of the
few old Soho workmen then left among us, that on the occasion referred
to the only display of gas was in the shape of one large lamp placed at
one end of the factory, and then called a "Bengal light," the gas for
which was brought to the premises in several bags from Mr. Murdoch's own
house. Though it has been always believed that the factory and offices
throughout were lighted by gas in 1803, very soon after the Amiens
illumination, a correspondent to the _Daily Post_ has lately stated that
when certain of his friends went to Soho, in 1834, they found no lights
in use, even for blowpipes, except oil and candles and that they had to
lay on gas from the mains of the Birmingham and Staffordshire Gas
Company in the Holyhead Road. If correct, this is a curious bit of the
history of the celebrated Soho, as other manufacturers were not at all
slow in introducing gas for working purposes as well as lighting, a
well-known tradesman, Benjamin Cook, Caroline Street, having fitted up
retorts and a gasometer on his premises in 1808, his first pipes being
composed of old or waste gun-barrels, and he reckoned to clear a profit
of £30 a year, as against his former expenditure for candles and oil.
The glassworks of Jones, Smart, and Co., of Aston Hill, were lit up by
gas as early as 1810, 120 burners being used at a nightly cost of 4s.
6d., the gas being made on the premises from a bushel of coal per day.
The first proposal to use gas in lighting the streets of Birmingham was
made in July 1811, and here and there a lamp soon appeared, but they
were supplied by private firms, one of whom afterwards supplied gas to
light the chapel formerly on the site of the present Assay Office,
taking it from their works in Caroline Street, once those of B. Cook
before-mentioned. The Street Commissioners did not take the matter in
hand till 1815, on November 8 of which year they advertised for tenders
for lighting the streets with gas instead of oil. The first shop in
which gas was used was that of Messrs. Poultney, at the corner of Moor
Street, in 1818, the pipes being laid from the works in Gas Street by a
private individual, whose interest therein was bought up by the
Birmingham Gaslight Company. The principal streets were first officially
lighted by gas-lamps on April 29, 1826, but it was not until March,
1843, that the Town Council resolved that that part of the borough
within the parish of Edgbaston should be similarly favoured.

~Gas Companies.~--The first, or Birmingham Gaslight Co. was formed in
1817, incorporated in 1819, and commenced business by buying up the
private adventurer who built the works in Gas Street. The Company was
limited to the borough of Birmingham, and its original capital was
£32,000, which, by an Act obtained in 1855, was increased to £300,000,
and borrowing powers to £90,000 more, the whole of which was raised or
paid up. In the year 1874 the company supplied gas through 17,000
meters, which consumed 798,000,000 cubic feet of gas. The Birmingham and
Staffordshire Gas Co. was established in 1825, and had powers to lay
their mains in and outside the borough. The original Act was repealed in
1845, the company being remodelled and started afresh with a capital of
£320,000, increased by following Acts to £670,000 (all called up by
1874), and borrowing powers to £100,000, of which, by the same year
£23,000 had been raised. The consumption of gas in 1874 was
1,462,000,000 cubic feet, but how much of this was burnt by the
company's 19,910 Birmingham customers, could not be told. The two
companies, though rivals for the public favour, did not undersell one
another, both of them charging 10/-per 1,000 feet in the year 1839,
while in 1873 large consumers were only charged 2/3 per 1,000 feet, the
highest charge being 2/7. The question of buying out both of the Gas
Companies had been frequently mooted, but it was not until 1874 that any
definite step was taken towards the desired end. On April 17th, 1874,
the burgesses recorded 1219 votes in favour of Mr. Joseph Chamberlain's
proposition to purchase the Gas [and the Water] Works, 683 voting
against it. On Jan. 18th, 1875, the necessary Bills were introduced into
the House of Commons, and on July 15th and 19th, the two Acts were
passed, though not without some little opposition from the outlying
parishes and townships heretofore supplied by the Birmingham and
Staffordshire Co., to satisfy whom a clause was inserted, under which
Walsall, West Bromwich, &c., could purchase the several mains and works
in their vicinity, if desirous to do so. The Birmingham Gas Co. received
from the Corporation £450,000, of which £136,890 was to be left on loan
at 4%, as Debenture Stock, though £38,850 thereof has been kept in hand,
as the whole was redeemable within ten years. The balance of £313,000
was borrowed from the public at 4%, and in some cases a little less. The
Birmingham and Staffordshire Gas Co. were paid in Perpetual Annuities,
amounting to £58,290 per year, being the maximum dividends then payable
on the Co.'s shares, £10,906 was returned as capital not bearing
interest, £15,000 for surplus profits, £30,000 the half-year's dividend,
and also £39,944 5s. 4d. the Co's Reserve Fund. The total cost was put
down as £1,900,000. The Annuities are redeemable by a Sinking Fund in 85
years. For their portion of the mains, service pipes, works, &c.
formerly belonging to the Birmingham and Staffordshire Company, the
Walsall authorities pay the Corporation an amount equivalent to
annuities valued at £1,300 per year; Oldbury paid £22,750, Tipton
£34,700, and West Bromwich £70,750.

~Gas Fittings.~--Curious notions appear to have been at first
entertained as to the explosive powers of the new illuminator, nothing
less than copper or brass being considered strong enough for the
commonest piping, and it was thought a great innovation when a local
manufacturer, in 1812, took out a patent for lead pipes copper-coated.
Even Murdoch himself seems to have been in dread of the burning element,
for when, in after years, his house at Sycamore Hill changed owners, it
was found that the smaller gas pipes therein were made of silver,
possibly used to withstand the supposed corrosive effects of the gas.
The copper-covered lead pipes were patented in 1819 by Mr. W. Phipson,
of the Dog Pool Mills, the present compo being comparatively a modern
introduction. Messengers, of Broad Street, and Cook, of Caroline Street
(1810-20), were the first manufacturers of gas fittings in this town,
and they appear to have had nearly a monopoly of the trade, as there
were but three others in it in 1833, and only about twenty in 1863; now
their name is legion, gas being used for an infinitude of purposes, not
the least of which is by the gas cooking stove, the idea of which was so
novel at first that the Secretary of the Gas Office in the Minories at
one time introduced it to the notice of the public by having his dinner
daily cooked in a stove placed in one of the office windows. An
exhibition of gas apparatus of all kinds was opened at the Town Hall,
June 5, 1878, and that there is still a wonderful future for development
is shown by its being seriously advocated that a double set of mains
will be desirable, one for lighting gas, and the other for a less pure
kind to be used for heating purposes.

~Gas Works.~--See "_Public Buildings_."

~Gavazzi.~--Father Gavazzi first orated here in the Town Hall, October
20, 1851.

~Geographical.~--According to the Ordnance Survey, Birmingham is
situated in latitude 52° 29', and longitude 1° 54' west.

~Gillott.~--See "_Noteworthy Men_."

~Girls' Home.~--Eighteen years ago several kind-hearted ladies opened a
house in Bath Row, for the reception of servant girls of the poorest
class, who, through their poverty and juvenility, could not be sheltered
in the "Servants' Home," and that such an establishment was needed, is
proved by the fact that no less than 334 inmates were sheltered for a
time during 1883, while 232 others received help in clothing &c.,
suited to their wants. The Midland Railway having taken Bath House, the
Home has lately been removed to a larger house near the Queen's
Hospital, where the managers will be glad to receive any little aid that
can be rendered towards carrying on their charitable operations.

~Glass.~--In the reign of Henry VI. the commonest kind of glass was sold
at 2s. the foot, a shilling in those days being of as much value as a
crown of today. The earliest note we can find of glass being made here
is the year 1785, when Isaac Hawker built a small glasshouse behind his
shop at Edgbaston Street. His son built at Birmingham Heath on the site
now occupied by Lloyd and Summerfield. In 1798 Messrs. Shakespeare and
Johnston had a glasshouse in Walmer Lane. Pressed glass seems to have
been the introduction of Rice Harris about 1832, though glass "pinchers"
(eleven of them) are named in the Directory of 1780. In 1827 plate-glass
sold at 12s. per foot and in 1840 at 6s., ordinary sheet-glass being
then 1s. 2d. per foot. There was a duty on plate-glass prior to April 5,
1845, of 2s. 10-1/2d. per foot. The "patent plate" was the invention of
Mr. James Chance, and Chance Brothers (of whose works a notice will be
found in another part of this book) are the only manufacturers in this
country of glass for lighthouse purposes--See also "_Trades_," &c.

~Godwillings.~--In olden days when our factors started on their tours
for orders, it was customary to send a circular in advance announcing
that "God willing" they would call upon their customers on certain
specified dates. In the language of the counting-house the printed
circulars were called "Godwillings."

~Goldschmidt.~--Notes of the various visits of Madame Goldschmidt,
better known by her maiden name of Jenny Lind, will be found under the
heading of "_Musical Celebrities_."

~Good Templars.~--The Independent Order of Good Templars, in this town,
introduced themselves in 1868, and they now claim to have 90,000 adult
members in the "Grand Lodge of England."

~Gordon.~--Lord George Gordon, whose intemperate actions caused the
London Anti-Papist Riots of 1780, was arrested in this town December 7,
1787, but not for anything connected with those disgraceful proceedings.
He had been found guilty of a libel, and was arrested on a judge's
warrant, and taken from here to London, for contempt of the Court of
King's Bench in not appearing when called upon to do so. It has been
more than once averred that Lord George was circumcised here, before
being admitted to the Jewish community, whose rites and ceremonies,
dress and manners, he strictly observed and followed; but he first
became a Jew while residing in Holland, some time before he took
lodgings in such a classic locality as our old Dudley-street, where he
lay hidden for nearly four months, a long beard and flowing gaberdine
helping to conceal his identity.

~Gough.~--Gough Road, Gough Street, and a number of other thoroughfares
have been named after the family, from whom the present Lord Calthorpe,
inherits his property.--See "_Edgbaston Hall_."

~Grammar School.~--See "_Schools_."

~Great Brooke Street~ takes its name from Mr. Brookes, an attorney of
the olden time.

~Great Eastern Steamship.~--The engines for working the screw propeller,
4 cylinders and 8,500 horse-power (nominal 1,700) were sent out from the
Soho Foundry.

~Green's Village.~--Part of the old [**]ookeries in the neighbourhood of
the [**]nkleys.

~Grub Street.~--The upper part of Old Meeting Street was so called until
late years.

~Guardians.~--See "_Poor Law_."

~Guildhall.~--The operative builders commenced to put up an edifice in
1833 which they intended to call "The Guildhall," but it was only half
finished when the ground was cleared for the railway. Some of the local
antiquaries strongly advocated the adoption of the name "Guildhall" for
the block of municipal buildings and Council House, if only in
remembrance of the ancient building on whose site, in New Street, the
Grammar School now stands.

~Guild of the Holy Cross.~--Founded in the year 1392 by the "Bailiffs
and Commonalty" of the town of Birmingham (answering to our aldermen and
councillors), and licensed by the Crown, for which the town paid £50,
the purpose being to "make and found a gild and perpetual fraternity of
brethren and sustern (sisters), in honour of the Holy Cross," and "to
undertake all works of charity, &c., according to the appointment and
pleasure of the said bailiffs and commonalty." In course of time the
Guild became possessed of all the powers then exercised by the local
corporate authorities, taking upon themselves the building of
almshouses, the relief and maintenance of the poor, the making and
keeping in repair of the highways used by "the King's Majestie's
subjects passing to and from the marches of Wales," looking to the
preservation of sundry bridges and lords, as well as repair of "two
greate stone brydges," &c., &c. The Guild owned considerable portion of
the land on which the present town is built, when Henry VIII., after
confiscating the revenues and possessions of the monastic institutions,
laid hands on the property of such semi-religious establishments as the
Guild of the Holy Cross. It has never appeared that our local Guild had
done anything to offend the King, and possibly it was but the name that
he disliked. Be that as it may, his son, Edward VI., in 1552, at the
petition of the inhabitants, returned somewhat more than half of the
property, then valued at £21 per annum, for the support and maintenance
of a Free Grammar School, and it is this property from which the income
of the present King Edward VI.'s Grammar Schools is now derived,
amounting to nearly twice as many thousands as pounds were first
granted. The Guild Hall or Town's Hall in New Street (then only a bye
street), was not _quite_ so large as either our present Town Hall or the
Council House, but was doubtless considered at the time a very fine
building, with its antique carvings and stained glass windows emblazoned
with figures and armorial bearings of the Lords right Ferrers and
others. As the Guild had an organist in its pay, it may be presumed that
such an instrument was also there, and that alone goes far to prove the
fraternity were tolerably well off, as organs in those times were costly
and scarce. The old building, for more than a century after King
Edward's grant, was used as the school, but even when rebuilt it
retained its name as the Guild Hall.

~Guns.~--Handguns, as they were once termed, were first introduced into
this country by the Flemings whom Edward IV. brought over in 1471, but
(though doubtless occasional specimens were made by our townsmen before
then) the manufacture of small arms at Birmingham does not date further
back than 1689, when inquiries were made through Sir Richard Newdigate
as to the possibility of getting them made here as good as those coming
from abroad. A trial order given by Government in March, 1692, led to
the first contract (Jan. 5, 1693) made between the "Officers of
Ordnance" and five local manufacturers, for the supply of 200 "snaphance
musquets" every month for one year at 17/-each, an additional 3/-per
cwt. being allowed for carriage to London. The history of the trade
since then would form a volume of itself, but a few facts of special
note and interest will be given in its place among "_Trades_."

~Gutta Percha~ was not known in Europe prior to 1844, and the first
specimens were brought here in the following year. Speaking tubes made
of gutta percha were introduced early in 1849.

~Gymnasium.~--At a meeting held Dec. 18, 1865, under the presidency of
the Mayor, it was resolved to establish a public gymnasium on a large
scale, but an present it is non-existent, the only gymnasium open being
that of the Athletic Club at Bingley Hall.

~Hackney Coaches~ were introduced here in 1775. Hutton says the drivers
of the first few earned 30s. per day; those of the present day say they
do not get half the sum now. Hansom Cabs, the invention, in 1836, of the
architect and designer of our Town Hall, were first put on the stands in

~Half-Holiday.~--Ten to twelve hours a day, six days a week, used to be
the stint for workpeople here and elsewhere. A Saturday Half-holiday
movement was begun in 1851, the first employers to adopt the system
being Mr. John Frearson, of Gas Street (late of the Waverley Hotel,
Crescent), and Mr. Richard Tangye. Wingfields, Brown, Marshall & Co.,
and many other large firms began with the year 1853, when it maybe said
the plan became general.

~Handsworth.~--Till within the last thirty or forty years, Handsworth
was little more than a pleasant country village, though now a
well-populated suburb of Birmingham. The name is to be found in the
"Domesday Book," but the ancient history of the parish is meagre indeed,
and confined almost solely to the families of the lords of the manor,
the Wyrleys, Stanfords, &c., their marriages and intermarriages, their
fancies and feuds, and all those petty trifles chroniclers of old were
so fond of recording. After the erection of the once world-known, but
now vanished Soho Works, by Matthew Boulton, a gradual change came o'er
the scene; cultivated enclosures taking the place of the commons,
enclosed in 1793; Boulton's park laid out, good roads made,
water-courses cleared, and houses and mansions springing up on all
sides, and so continuing on until now, when the parish (which includes
Birchfield and Perry Barr, an area of 7,680 acres in all) is nearly half
covered with streets and houses, churches and chapels, alms-houses and
stations, shops, offices, schools, and all the other necessary adjuncts
to a populous and thriving community. The Local Board Offices and Free
Library, situate in Soho Road, were built in 1878 (first stone laid
October 30th, 1877), at a cost of £20,662, and it is a handsome pile of
buildings. The library contains about 7,000 volumes. There is talk of
erecting public swimming and other baths, and a faint whisper that
recreation grounds are not far from view. The 1st Volunteer Battalion of
the South Staffordshire Regiment have their head-quarters here. Old
Handsworth Church, which contained several carved effigies and tombs of
the old lords, monuments of Matthew Boulton and James Watt, with bust of
William Murdoch, &c., has been rebuilt and enlarged, the first stone of
the new building being laid in Aug, 1876. Five of the bells in the tower
were cast in 1701, by Joseph Smith, of Edgbaston, and were the first
peal sent out of his foundry; the tenor is much older. The very
appropriate inscription on the fourth bell is, "God preserve the Church
of England as by law established."

~Harborne~ is another of our near neighbours which a thousand years or
so ago had a name if nothing else, but that name has come down to
present time with less change than is usual, and, possibly through the
Calthorpe estate blocking the way, the parish itself has changed but
very slowly, considering its close proximity to busy, bustling
Birmingham. This apparent stagnation, however, has endeared it to us
Brums not a little, on account of the many pleasant glades and sunny
spots in and around it. Harborne gardeners have long been famous for
growing gooseberries, the annual dinner of the Gooseberry Growers'
Society having been held at the Green Man ever since 1815. But Harborne
has plucked up heart latterly, and will not much longer be "out of the
running." With its little area of 1,412 acres, and only a population of
6,600, it has built itself an Institute (a miniature model of the
Midland), with class rooms and reading rooms, with library and with
lecture halls, to seat a thousand, at a cost of £6,500, and got Henry
Irving to lay the foundation-stone, in 1879. A Masonic Hall followed in
1880, and a Fire Brigade Station soon after. It has also a local railway
as well as a newspaper. In the parish church, which was nearly all
rebuilt in 1867, there are several monuments of olden date, one being in
remembrance of a member of the Hinckley family, from whose name that of
our Inkleys is deducible; there is also a stained window to the memory
of David Cox. The practice of giving a Christmas treat, comprising a
good dinner, some small presents, and an enjoyable entertainment to the
aged poor, was begun in 1865, and is still kept up.

~Hard Times.~--Food was so dear and trade so bad in 1757 that Lord
Dartmouth for a long time relieved 500 a week out of his own pocket. In
1782 bread was sold to the poor at one-third under its market value. On
the 1st of July, 1795, the lessee of the Theatre Royal, Mr. McCready,
gave the proceeds of the night's performance (£161 8s.) for the benefit
of the poor. The money was expended in wheat, which was sold free of
carriage. Meat was also very scarce on the tables of the poor, and a
public subscription was opened by the High Bailiff to enable meat to be
sold at 1d. per lb. under the market price, which then ruled at 3d. to
6d. per lb. In November, 1799, wheat was 15s. per bushel. In May, 1800,
the distressed poor were supplied with wheat at the "reduced price" of
15s. per bushel, and potatoes at 8s. per peck. Soup kitchens for the
poor were opened November 30, 1816, when 3,000 quarts were sold the
first day. The poor-rates, levied in 1817, amounted to £61,928, and it
was computed that out of a population of 84,000 at least 27,000 were in
receipt of parish relief. In 1819 £5,500 was collected to relieve the
distressed poor. The button makers were numbered at 17,000 in 1813,
two-thirds of them being out of work. 1825 and 1836 were terrible years
of poverty and privation in this town and neighbourhood. In 1838,
380,000 doles were made to poor people from a fund raised by public
subscription. In the summer of 1840, local trade was so bad that we have
been told as many as 10,000 persons applied at one office alone for free
passages to Australia, and all unsuccessfully. Empty houses could be
counted by the hundred. There was great distress in the winter of
1853-4, considerable amounts being subscribed for charitable relief. In
the first three months of 1855, there were distributed among the poor
11,745 loaves of bread, 175,500 pints of soup, and £725 in cash. The sum
of £10,328 was subscribed for and expended in the relief of the
unemployed in the winter of 1878-79--the number of families receiving
the same being calculated at 195,165, with a total of 494,731 persons.

~Harmonies.~--See "_Musical Societies_."

~Hats and Hatters.~--In 1820 there was but one hatter in the town, Harry
Evans, and his price for best "beavers" was a guinea and a half,
"silks," which first appeared in 1812, not being popular and "felts"
unknown. Strangers have noted one peculiarity of the native Brums, and
that is their innate dislike to "top hats," few of which are worn here
(in comparison to population) except on Sunday, when respectable
mechanics churchward-bound mount the chimney pot. In the revolutionary
days of 1848, &c., when local political feeling ran high in favour of
Pole and Hungarian, soft broad-brimmed felt hats, with flowing black
feathers were _en regle_, and most of the advanced leaders of the day
thus adorned themselves. Now, the ladies monopolise the feathers and the
glories thereof. According to the scale measure used by hatters, the
average size of hats worn is that called 6-7/8, representing one-half of
the length and breadth of a man's head, but it has been noted by
"S.D.R." that several local worthies have had much larger craniums,
George Dawson requiring a 7-1/2 sized hat, Mr. Charles Geach a 7-3/4,
and Sir Josiah Mason a little over an 8. An old Soho man once told the
writer that Matthew Boulton's head-gear had to be specially made for
him, and, to judge from a bust of M.B., now in his possession, the hat
required must have been extra size indeed.

~Hearth Duty.~--In 1663, an Act was passed for the better ordering and
collecting the revenue derived from "Hearth Money," and we gather a few
figures from a return then made, as showing the comparative number of
the larger mansions whose owners were liable to the tax. The return for
Birmingham gives a total of 414 hearths and stoves, the account
including as well those which are liable to pay as of those which are
not liable. Of this number 360 were charged with duty, the house of the
celebrated Humphrey Jennens being credited with 25. From Aston the
return was but 47, but of these 40 were counted in the Hall and 7 in the
Parsonage, Edgbaston showed 37, of which 22 were in the Hall. Erdington
was booked for 27, and Sutton Coldfield for 67, of which 23 were in two
houses belonging to the Willoughby family. Coleshill would appear to
have been a rather warmer place of abode, as there are 125 hearths
charged for duty, 30 being in the house of Dame Mary Digby.

~Heathfield.~--Prior to 1790 the whole of this neighbourhood was open
common-land, the celebrated engineer and inventor, James Watt, after the
passing of the Enclosure Act being the first to erect a residence
thereon, in 1791. By 1794 he had acquired rather more than 40 acres,
which, he then planted and laid out as a park. Heathfield House may be
called the cradle of many scores of inventions, which, though novel when
first introduced, are now but as household words in our everyday life.
Watt's workshop was in the garret of the south-east corner of the
building, and may be said to be even now in exactly the same state as
when his master-hand last touched the tools, but as the estate was
lotted out for building purposes in May, 1874, and houses and streets
have been built and formed all round it, it is most likely that the
"House" itself will soon lose all its historic interest, and the
contents of the workshop be distributed among the curiosity mongers, or
hidden away on the shelves of some museum. To a local chronicler such a
room is as sacred as that in which Shakespeare was born, and in the
words of Mr. Sam Timmins, "to open the door and look upon the strange
relics there is to stand in the very presence of the mighty dead.
Everything in the room remains just as it was left by the fast failing
hands of the octogenarian engineer. His well-worn, humble apron hangs
dusty on the wall, the last work before him is fixed unfinished in the
lathe, the elaborate machines over which his latest thoughts were spent
are still and silent, as if waiting only for their master's hand again
to waken them into life and work. Upon the shelves are crowds of books,
whose pages open no more to those clear, thoughtful eyes, and scattered
in the drawers and boxes are the notes and memoranda, and pocket-books,
and diaries never to be continued now. All these relics of the great
engineer, the skilful mechanic, the student of science, relate to his
intellectual and public life; but there is a sadder relic still. An old
hair-trunk, carefully kept close by the old man's stool, contains the
childish sketches, the early copy-books and grammars, the dictionaries,
the school-books, and some of the toys of his dearly-beloved and
brilliant son Gregory Watt."

~Heraldry.~--In the days of the mail-clad knights, who bore on their
shields some quaint device, by which friend or foe could tell at sight
whom they slew or met in fight, doubtless the "Kings-At-Arms," the
"Heralds," and the "Pursuivants" of the College of Arms founded by
Richard III. were functionaries of great utility, but their duties
nowadays are but few, and consist almost solely of tracing pedigrees for
that portion of the community whom our American cousins designate as
"shoddy," but who, having "made their pile," would fain be thought of
aristocratic descent. In such a Radical town as Birmingham, the study of
_or_ and _gules, azure_ and _vert_, or any of the other significant
terms used in the antique science of heraldry, was not, of course, to be
expected, unless at the hands of the antiquary or the practical heraldic
engraver, both scarce birds in our smoky town, but the least to be
looked for would be that the borough authorities should carefully see
that the borough coat of arms was rightly blazoned. It has been proved
that the town's-name has, at times, been spelt in over a gross of
different ways, and if any reader will take the trouble to look at the
public buildings, banks, and other places where the blue, red, and gold
of the Birmingham Arms shines forth, he will soon be able to count three
to four dozen different styles; every carver, painter, and printer
apparently pleasing himself how he does it. It has been said that when
the question of adopting a coat of arms was on the _tapis_, the grave
and reverend seniors appointed to make inquiries thereanent, calmly took
copies of the shields of the De Berminghams and the De Edgbastous, and
fitted the "bend lozengy" and the "parti per pale" together, under the
impression that the one noble family's cognisance was a gridiron, and
the other a currycomb, both of which articles they considered to be
exceedingly appropriate for such a manufacturing town as Birmingham.
Wiser in their practicability than the gentlemen who designed the
present shield, they left the currycomb quarters in their proper _sable_
and _argent_ (black and white), and the gridiron _or_ and _gules_ (a
golden grid on a red-hot fire.) For proper emblazonment, as by
Birmingham law established, see the cover.

~Heathmill Lane.~--In 1532 there was a "water mill to grynde corne,"
called "Heth mill," which in that year was let, with certain lands,
called the "Couyngry," by the Lord of the Manor, on a ninety-nine years'
lease, at a rent of £6 13s. 4d. per year.

~Here we are again~!--The London _Chronicle_ of August 14, 1788, quoting
from a "gentleman" who had visited this town, says that "the people are
all diminutive in size, sickly in appearance, and spend their Sundays in
low debauchery," the manufacturers being noted for "a great deal of
trick and low cunning as well as profligacy!"

~Highland Gathering.~--The Birmingham Celtic Society held their first
"gathering" at Lower Grounds, August 2, 1879, when the ancient sports of
putting stones, throwing hammers, etc., was combined with a little
modern bicycling, and steeple-chasing, to the music of the bagpipes.

~Hill (Sir Rowland).~--See "_Noteworthy Men_."

~Hills.~--Like unto Rome this town may be said to be built on seven
hills, for are there not Camp Hill and Constitution Hill, Summer Hill
and Snow Hill, Ludgate Hill, Hockley Hill, and Holloway Hill (or head).
Turner's Hill, near Lye Cross, Rawley Regis is over 100ft. higher than
Sedgley Beacon, which is 486ft. above sea level. The Lickey Hills are
about 800ft. above same level, but the highest hill within 50 miles of
Birmingham is the Worcestershire Beacon, 1395ft. above sea level. The
highest mountain in England, Scawfell Pike, has an elevation of 3229ft.

~Hailstorms.~--In 1760 a fierce hailstorm stripped the leaves and fruit
from nearly every tree in the apple orchards in Worcestershire, the hail
lying on the ground six to eight inches deep, many of the stones and
lumps of ice being three and four inches round. In 1798, many windows at
Aston Hall were broken by the hail. A very heavy hailstorm did damage at
the Botanical gardens and other places, May 9, 1833. There have been a
few storms of later years, but none like unto these.

~Hector.~--The formation of Corporation Street, and the many handsome
buildings erected and planned in its line, have improved off the face of
the earth, more than one classic spot, noted in our local history,
foremost among which we must place the house of Mr. Hector, the old
friend and schoolfellow of Dr. Samuel Johnson. The great lexicographer
spent many happy hours in the abode of his friend, and as at one time
there was a slight doubt on the matter, it is as well to place on record
here that the house in which Hector, the surgeon, resided, was No. 1, in
the Old Square, at the corner of the Minories, afterwards occupied by
Mr. William Scholefield, Messrs. Jevons and Mellor's handsome pile now
covering the spot. The old rate books prove this beyond a doubt. Hector
died there on the 2nd of September, 1794, after having practised as a
surgeon, in Birmingham, for the long period of sixty-two years. He was
buried in a vault at Saint Philip's Church, Birmingham, where, in the
middle aisle, in the front of the north gallery, an elegant inscription
to his memory was placed. Hector never married, and Mrs. Careless, a
clergyman's widow, Hector's own sister, and Johnson's "first love,"
resided with him, and appears by the burial register of St. Philip's to
have died in October, 1788, and to have been buried there, probably in
the vault in which her brother was afterwards interred. In the month of
November, 1784, just a month before his own decease, Johnson passed a
few days with his friend, Hector, at his residence in the Old Square,
who, in a letter to Boswell, thus speaks of the visit:--"He" (Johnson)
"was very solicitous with me, to recollect some of our most early
transactions, and to transmit them to him, for I perceived nothing gave
him greater pleasure than calling to mind those days of our innocence. I
complied with his request, and he only received them a few days before
his death." Johnson arrived in London from Birmingham on the 16th of
November, and on the following day wrote a most affectionate letter to
Mr. Hector, which concludes as follows:--

  "Let us think seriously on our duty. I send my kindest respects to
  dear Mrs. Careless. Let me have the prayers of both. We have all lived
  long, and must soon part. God have mercy upon us, for the sake of our
  Lord Jesus Christ! Amen!"

This was probably nearly the last letter Johnson wrote, for on the 13th
of the following month, just twenty-seven days after his arrival in
London from Birmingham, oppressed with disease, he was numbered with the

~Hinkleys.~--Otherwise, and for very many years, known as "The Inkleys,"
the generally-accepted derivation of the name being taken from the fact
that one Hinks at one time was a tenant or occupier, under the Smalbroke
family, of the fields or "leys" in that locality, the two first narrow
roads across the said farm being respectively named the Upper and the
Nether Inkleys, afterwards changed to the Old and New Inkleys. Possibly,
however, the source may be found in the family name of Hinckley, as seen
in the register of Harborne. A third writer suggests that the character
of its denizens being about as black as could be painted, the place was
naturally called Ink Leys. Be that as it may, from the earliest days of
their existence, these places seem to have been the abode and habitation
of the queerest of the queer people, the most aristocratic resident in
our local records having been "Beau Green," the dandy--[see
"_Eccentrics_"]--who, for some years, occupied the chief building in the
Inkleys, nicknamed "Rag Castle," otherwise Hinkley Hall. The beautiful
and salubrious neighbourhood, known as "Green's Village," an offshoot of
the Inkleys, was called so in honour of the "Beau."

~Hiring a Husband.~--In 1815, a Birmingham carpenter, after ill-treating
his wife, leased himself to another woman by a document which an
unscrupulous attorney had the hardihood to draw up, and for which he
charged thirty-five shillings. This precious document bound the man and
the woman to live together permanently, and to support and succour each
other to the utmost of their power. The poor wife was, of course, no
consenting party to this. She appealed to the law; the appeal brought
the "lease" before the eyes of the judiciary; the man was brought to his
senses (though probably remaining a bad husband), and the attorney
received a severe rebuke.

~Historical.~--A local Historical Society was inaugurated with an
address from Dr. Freeman, Nov. 18, 1880, and, doubtless, in a few years
the reports and proceedings will be of very great value and interest.
The fact that down to 1752 the historical year in England commenced on
January 1, while the civil, ecclesiastical, and legal year began on the
25th of March, led to much confusion in dates, as the legislature, the
church, and civilians referred every event which took place between
January 1 and March 25 to a different year from the historians.
Remarkable examples of such confusion are afforded by two well-known
events in English history: Charles I. is said by most authorities to
have been beheaded January 30, 1648, while others, with equal
correctness, say it was January 30, 1649; and so the revolution which
drove James II. from the throne is said by some to have taken place in
February, 1688, and by others in February, 1689. Now, these
discrepancies arise from some using the civil and legal, and others the
historical year, though both would have assigned any event occurring
_after_ the 25th of March to the same years--viz., 1649 and 1689. To
avoid as far as possible mistakes from these two modes of reckoning, it
was usual, as often seen in old books or manuscripts, to add the
historical to the legal date, when speaking of any day between January 1
and March 25, thus:

              8(_i.e._ 1648, the civil and legal year.
  Jan.30. 164- (
              9(_i.e._ 1649 the historical year.

or thus, January 30, 1648-9.

This practice, common as it was for many years, is, nevertheless, often
misunderstood, and even intelligent persons are sometimes perplexed by
dates so written. The explanation, however, is very simple, for the
lower or last figure always indicates the year according to our present

~Hockley Abbey.~--Near to, and overlooking Boulton's Pool, in the year
1799 there was a piece of waste land, which being let to Mr. Richard
Ford, one of the mechanical worthies of that period, was so dealt with
as to make the spot an attraction for every visitor. Mr. Ford employed a
number of hands, and some of them he observed were in the habit of
spending a great part of their wages and time in dissipation. By way of
example to his workmen he laid aside some 12/-to 15/-a week for a
considerable period, and when trade was occasionally slack with him, and
he had no other occupation for them, he sent his horse and cart to Aston
Furnaces for loads of "slag," gathering in this way by degrees a
sufficient quantity of this strange building material for the erection
of a convenient and comfortable residence. The walls being necessarily
constructed thicker than is usual when mere stone or brick is used, the
fancy took him to make the place represent a ruined building, which he
christened "Hockley Abbey," and to carry out his deceptive notion the
date 1473 was placed in front of the house, small pebbles set in cement
being used to form the figures. In a very few years by careful training
nearly the whole of the building was overgrown with ivy, and few but
those in the secret could have guessed at the history of this ruined
"abbey." For the house and some fifteen acres of land £100 rent was paid
by Mr. Hubert Gallon, in 1816 and following years, exclusive of taxes,
and by way of comfort to the heavily-burdened householders of to-day, we
may just add that, in addition to all those other duties loyal citizens
were then called upon to provide for the exigencies of the Government,
the parochial taxes on those premises from Michaelmas, 1816, to
Michaelmas, 1817, included two church rates at 30s. each, three highway
rates at 30s. each, and _thirty-six_ levies for the poor at 30s. each--a
total of £61 10s. in the twelve months.

~Hollow Tooth Yard.~--At one time commonly called the "Devil's Hollow
Tooth Yard." This was the name given to the Court up the gateway in Bull
Street, nearest to Monmouth Street.

~Holt Street,~ Heneage Street, Lister Street, &c., are named after the
Holte family.

~Home Hitting.~--The Rev. John Home, a Scotch divine, who visited
Birmingham in 1802, said, "it seemed here as if God had created man only
for making buttons."

~Horse Fair.~--Formerly known as Brick-kiln Lane, received its present
name from the fairs first held there in 1777.

~Horses.~--To find out the number of these useful animals at present in
Birmingham, is an impossible task; but, in 1873, the last year before
its repeal, the amount paid for "horse duty" in the Borough was £3,294
7s. 6d., being at the rate of 10s. 6d. on 6,275 animals.

~Hospital Saturday.~--The fact of the contributions on Hospital Sundays
coming almost solely from the middle and more wealthy classes, led to
the suggestion that if the workers of the town could be organised they
would not be found wanting any more than their "betters." The idea was
quickly taken up, committees formed, and cheered by the munificent offer
of £500 from Mr. P.H. Muntz towards the expenses, the first collection
was made on March 15th 1873, the result being a gross receipt of £4,705
11s. 3d. Of this amount £490 8s. 10d. was collected from their customers
by the licensed victuallers and beerhouse keepers; the gross totals of
each year to the present time being--

1873   . .   £4,705   11   3
1874   . .    4,123   15   2
1875   . .    3,803   11   8
1876   . .    3,664   13   8
1877   . .    3,200   17   0
1878   . .    3,134    5   0
1879   . .    3,421   10   2
1880   . .    3,760    9   0
1881   . .    3,968   18   7
1882   . .    4,888   18   9
1883   . .    5,489    9   0
1884   . .    6,062   16   6

After deducting for expenses, the yearly amounts are divided, _pro
rata_, according to their expenditures among the several hospitals and
similar charities, the proportions in 1883 being:--General Hospital.
£1,843 4s. 1d.; Queen's Hospital, £931 8s. 3d.; General Dispensary, £561
1s. 7d.; Children's Hospital, £498 0s. 4d.; Eye Hospital, £345 0s. 4d.;
Birmingham and Midland Counties' Sanatorium, £211 0s. 4d., Women's
Hospital, £193 1s. 9d.; Homoepathic Hospital, £195 5s. 3d.; Orthopædic
Hospital, £138 13s. 6d.; Lying-in Charity, £67 6s. 5d.; Skin and Lock
Hospital, £44 14s. 8d.; Ear and Throat Infirmary, £26 12s. 8d.; Dental
Hospital, £9 5s. 3d.; and Birmingham Nursing District Society, £34 17s.
7d. The total sum thus distributed in the twelve years is £48,574 18s.

~Hospital Sunday.~--There is nothing new under the sun! Birmingham has
the honour of being credited as the birth-place of "Hospital Sundays,"
but old newspapers tell us that as far back as 1751, when Bath was in
its pride and glory, one Sunday in each year was set aside in that city
for the collection, at every place of worship, of funds for Bath
Hospital; and a correspondent writing to _Aris's Gazette_ recommended
the adoption of a similar plan in this town. The first suggestion for
the present local yearly Sunday collection for the hospitals appeared in
an article, written by Mr. Thos. Barber Wright, in the _Midland Counties
Herald_ in October, 1859. A collection of this kind took place on
Sunday, the 27th, of that month, and the first public meeting, when
arrangements were made for its annual continuance, was held in the Town
Hall, December 14th same year, under the presidency of Dr. Miller, who,
therefrom, has been generally accredited with being the originator of
the plan. The proceeds of the first year's collection were given to the
General Hospital, the second year to the Queen's, and the third year
divided among the other charitable institutions in the town of a like
character, and this order of rotation has been adhered to since.

The following is a list of the gross amounts collected since the
establishment of the movement:--

1859  General Hospital..........£5,200    8   10
1860  Queen's Hospital.......... 3,433    6    1
1861  Amalgamated Charities..... 2,953   14    0
1862  General Hospital.......... 8,340    4    7
1863  Queen's Hospital.......... 3,293    5    0
1864  Amalgamated Charities..... 3,178    5    0
1865  General Hospital.......... 4,256   11   11
1866  Queen's Hospital.......... 4,133    2   10
1867  Amalgamated Charities..... 3,654    9    7
1868  General Hospital.......... 4,253    9   11
1869  Queen's Hospital.......... 4,469    1    8
1870  Amalgamated Charities..... 4,111    6    7
1871  General Hospital.......... 4,886    9    2
1872  Queen's Hospital.......... 5,192    2    3
1873  Amalgamated Charities..... 5,370    8    3
1874  General Hospital.......... 5,474   17   11
1875  Queen's Hospital.......... 5,800    8    8
1876  Amalgamated Charities..... 5,265   10   10
1877  General Hospital.......... 5,280   15    3
1878  Queen's Hospital.......... 6,482   12   10
1879  Amalgamated Charities..... 5,182    3   10
1880  General Hospital.......... 4,886    1    8
1881  Queen's Hospital.......... 4,585    1    3
1882  Amalgamated Charities..... 4,800   12    6
1883  General Hospital.......... 5,145    0    5
1884  Queen's Hospital..........

~Hospitals.~--_The General Hospital_ may be said to have been commenced
in the year 1766, when the first steps were taken towards the erection
of such an institution, but it was not formally opened for the reception
of patients until 1779. The original outlay on the building was £7,140,
but it has received many additions since then, having been enlarged in
1792, 1830, 1842, 1857 (in which year a new wing was erected, nominally
out of the proceeds of a fête at Aston, which brought in £2,527 6s.
2d.), 1865, and during the last few years especially. The last additions
to the edifice consist of a separate "home" for the staff of nurses,
utilising their former rooms for the admittance of more patients; also
two large wards, for cases of personal injury from fire, as well as a
mortuary, with dissecting and jury rooms, &c., the total cost of these
improvements being nearly £20,000. For a long period, this institution
has ranked as one of the first and noblest charities in the provinces,
its doors being opened for the reception of cases from all parts of the
surrounding counties, as well as our own more immediate district. The
long list of names of surgeons and physicians, who have bestowed the
benefits of their learning and skill upon the unfortunate sufferers,
brought within its walls, includes many of the highest eminence in the
profession, locally and otherwise, foremost among whom must be placed
that of Dr. Ash, the first physician to the institution, and to whom
much of the honour of its establishment belongs. The connection of the
General Hospital with the Triennial Musical Festivals, which, for a
hundred years, have been held for its benefit, has, doubtless, gone far
towards the support of the Charity, very nearly £112,000 having been
received from that source altogether, and the periodical collections on
Hospital Sundays and Saturdays, have still further aided thereto, but it
is to the contributions of the public at large that the governors of the
institution are principally indebted for their ways and means. For the
first twenty-five years, the number of in-patients were largely in
excess of the out-door patients, there being, during that period, 16,588
of the former under treatment, to 13,009 of the latter. Down to 1861,
rather more than half-a-million cases of accident, illness, &c., had
been attended to, and to show the yearly increasing demand made upon the
funds of the Hospital, it is only necessary to give a few later dates.
In 1860 the in-patients numbered 2,850, the out-patients 20,584, and the
expenditure was £4,191. In 1876, the total number of patients were
24,082, and the expenditure £12,207. The next three years showed an
average of 28,007 patients, and a yearly expenditure of £13,900. During
the last four years, the benefits of the Charity have been bestowed upon
an even more rapidly-increasing scale, the number of cases in 1880
having been 30,785, in 1881 36,803, in 1882 44,623, and in 1883 41,551,
the annual outlay now required being considerably over £20,000 per year.
When the centenary of the Hospital was celebrated in 1879, a suggestion
was made that an event so interesting in the history of the charity
would be most fittingly commemorated by the establishment or a Suburban
Hospital, where patients whose diseases are of a chronic character could
be treated with advantage to themselves, and with relief to the parent
institution, which is always so pressed for room that many patients have
to be sent out earlier than the medical officers like. The proposal was
warmly taken up, but no feasible way of carrying it out occurred until
October, 1883, when the committee of the Hospital had the pleasure of
receiving a letter (dated Sept. 20), from Mr. John Jaffray, in which he
stated that, having long felt the importance of having a Suburban
Hospital, and with a desire to do some amount of good for the community
in which, for many years, he had received so much kindness, and to
which, in great measure, he owed his prosperity, he had secured a
freehold site on which he proposed to erect a building, capable of
accommodating fifty male and female patients, with the requisite offices
for the attendants and servants, and offered the same as a free gift to
the Governors, in trust for the public. This most welcome and munificent
offer, it need hardly be said, was gratefully accepted, and a general
appeal was made for funds to properly endow the "Jaffray Suburban
Hospital," so that its maintenance and administration shall not detract
from the extending usefulness of the parent institution. The site chosen
by Mr. Jaffray is at Gravelly Hill, and it is estimated the new branch
hospital, of which the first stone was laid June 4, 1884, will cost at
least £15,000 in erection. Towards the endowment fund there have been
nine or ten donations of £1,000 each promised, and it is hoped a fully
sufficient amount will be raised before the building is completed, for,
in the words of Mr. Jaffray, we "have great faith in the liberality of
the public towards an institution--the oldest and noblest and ablest of
our medical charities--which for more than a century has done so much
for the relief of human suffering: and cannot help believing that there
are in Birmingham many persons who, having benefited by the prosperity
of the town, feel that they owe a duty to the community, and will gladly
embrace this opportunity of discharging at least some part of their
obligation." Patients are said to be admitted to the General Hospital by
tickets from subscribers; but, in addition to accidents and cases of
sudden illness, to which the doors are open at all hours, a large number
of patients are admitted free on the recommendation of the medical
officers, the proportion of the cases thus admitted being as six to ten
with subscribers' tickets.

It is estimated that a capital sum of at least £60,000 will be required
to produce a sufficiently large income to maintain the Jaffray Suburban
Hospital, and donations have been, and are solicited for the raising of
that sum. Up to the time of going to press with the "Dictionary," there
has been contributed nearly £24,000 of the amount, of which the largest
donations are:--

G.F. Muntz, Esq...............£2,000   0   0
The Right Hon. Lord Calthorpe  1,000   0   0
Trustees of Dudley Trust...... 1,000   0   0
W.B. Cregoe Colmore, Esq...... 1,000   0   0
Ralph Heaton, Esq............. 1,000   0   0
James Hinks, Esq.............. 1,000   0   0
Lloyds' Old Bank.............. 1,000   0   0
W. Middlemore, Esq............ 1,000   0   0
Mrs. Elizabeth Phipson........ 1,000   0   0
Miss Ryland................... 1,000   0   0
Mrs. Simcox .................. 1,000   0   0
Messrs. Tangyes (Limited)..... 1,000   0   0
Henry Wiggin, Esq., M.P....... 1,000   0   0
Mr. John Wilkes............... 1,000   0   0

About £5,000 more has been sent in hundreds and fifties, and doubtless
many other large gifts will follow.

_The Queens Hospital_ was commenced in 1840, the first stone being laid
by Earl Howe on the 18th of June. His Royal Highness the Prince Consort
was chosen as first president, and remained so until his death, the
office not being filled up again until 1875, when Lord Leigh was
appointed. Many special efforts have been made to increase the funds of
this hospital, and with great success; thus, on Dec. 28, 1848, Jenny
Lind sang for it, the receipts amounting to £1,070. On July 27, 1857, a
fête at Aston Park added £2,527 6s. 2d. (a like sum being given to the
General Hospital). In 1859, Mr. Sands Cox (to whom is due the merit of
originating the Queen's Hospital), commenced the arduous task of
collecting a million postage stamps, equivalent to £4,166 13s. 4d., to
clear the then liabilities, to erect a chapel, and for purposes of
extension. Her Majesty the Queen forwarded (Feb. 15, 1859) a cheque for
£100 toward this fund. On January 16, 1869, the workmen of the town
decided to erect a new wing to the Hospital, and subscribed so freely
that Lord Leigh laid the foundation stone Dec. 4, 1871, and the
"Workmen's Extension" was opened for patients Nov. 7, 1873. In 1880 a
bazaar at the Town Hall brought in £3,687 17s., increased by donations
and new subscriptions to £5,969. The system of admission by subscribers'
tickets was done away with Nov. 1, 1875, a registration fee of 1s. being
adopted instead. This fee, however, is not required in urgent cases or
accident, nor when the patient is believed to be too poor to pay it. The
ordinary income for the year 1882 was £5,580, as compared with £4,834 in
the previous year, when the ordinary income was supplemented by the
further sum of £4,356 from the Hospital Sunday collection, which falls
to the Queen's Hospital once in three years. The chief items of ordinary
income were, subscriptions 1881, £2,780; 1882, £2,788; donations, 1881,
£397; 1882, £237; Hospital Saturday, 1881, £711; 1882, £852; legacies,
1881, £208; 1882, £870; dividends, 1881, £178; 1882, £199; registration
fees, 1881, £538; 1882, £597. The expenditure for the year was £7,264,
as compared with £6,997 in 1881. The number of in-patients in 1882 was
1,669, as compared with 1,663 in 1881; the number of out-patients was
16,538, as compared with 14,490 in the preceding year. The cost of each
in-patient was £3 2s. 3-1/4d. Of the in-patients, 811 were admitted by
registration, the remainder being treated as accidents or urgent cases.
Of the out-patients, 8,359 were admitted by registration, the remainder,
namely, 8,179, were admitted free.

_The Children's Hospital_, founded in 1861, was first opened for the
reception of patients Jan. 1, 1862, in the old mansion in Steelhouse
Lane, fronting the Upper Priory. At the commencement of 1870 the
Hospital was removed to Broad Street, to the building formerly known as
the Lying-in Hospital, an out-patient department, specially erected at a
cost of about £3,250, being opened at the same time (January) in
Steelhouse Lane, nearly opposite the mansion first used. The Broad
Street institution has accommodation for about fifty children in
addition to a separate building containing thirty beds for the reception
of fever cases, the erection of which cost £7,800; and there is a
Convalescent Home at Alvechurch in connection with this Hospital to
which children are sent direct from the wards of the Hospital
(frequently after surgical operations) thus obtaining for them a more
perfect convalescence than is possible when they are returned to their
own homes, where in too many instances those important aids to recovery
--pure air, cleanliness, and good food are sadly wanting. In addition to
the share of the Saturday and Sunday yearly collections, a special
effort was made in 1880 to assist the Children's Hospital by a
simultaneous collection in the Sunday Schools of the town and
neighbourhood, and, like the others, this has become a periodical
institution. In 1880, the sum thus gathered from the juveniles for the
benefit of their little suffering brethren, amounted to £307 9s. 11d.;
in 1881, it was £193 10s. 5d.; in 1882, £218 5s. 2d.; in 1883, £234 3s.
1d. The number of patients during 1883 were: 743 in-patients 12,695
out-patients, 75 home patients, and 475 casualties--total 13,998. The
expenditure of the year had been £4,399 0s. 3d., and the income but
£4,087 14s. 2d.

_Dental_.--This Hospital, 9, Broad Street, was instituted for gratuitous
assistance to the poor in all cases of diseases of the teeth, including
extracting, stopping, scaling, as well as the regulation of children's
teeth. Any poor sufferer can have immediate attention without a
recommendatory note, but applicants requiring special operations must be
provided with a note of introduction from a governor. About 6,000
persons yearly take their achers to the establishment.

_Ear and Throat Infirmary_, founded in 1844, and formerly in Cherry
Street, has been removed to Newhall Street, where persons suffering from
diseases of the ear (deafness, &c.) and throat, are attended to daily at
noon. During the year ending June, 1883, 6,517 patients had been under
treatment, and 1,833 new cases had been admitted. Of the total, 1,389
had been cured, 348 relieved and 116 remained under treatment. The
increase of admissions over those of the previous year was 181, and the
average daily attendance of patients was 25. The number of patients
coming from places outside Birmingham was 577. The income of this
institution is hardly up to the mark, considering its great usefulness,
the amount received from yearly subscribers being only £129 13s. 6d.,
representing 711 tickets, there being received for 875 supplementary
tickets, £153 2s. 6d., and £15 11s. from the Hospital Saturday

_The Eye Hospital_ was originated in 1823, and the first patients were
received in April, 1824, at the hospital in Cannon Street. Some thirty
years afterwards the institution was removed to Steelhouse Lane, and in
1862 to Temple Row, Dee's Royal Hotel being taken and remodelled for the
purpose at a cost of about £8,300. In 1881 the number of patients
treated was 12,523; in 1882, 13,448 of whom 768 were in-patients, making
a total of over a quarter of a million since the commencement of the
charity. Admission by subscriber's ticket. Originally an hotel, the
building is dilapidated and very unsuitable to the requirements of the
hospital, the space for attendants and patients being most inadequate.
This has been more and more evident for years past, and the erection of
a new building became an absolute necessity. The governors, therefore,
have taken a plot of land at the corner of Edmund Street and Church
Street, upon a lease from the Colmore family for 99 years, and hereon is
being built a commodious and handsome new hospital, from carefully
arranged plans suitable to the peculiar necessities of an institution of
this nature. The estimated cost of the new building is put at £20,000,
of which only about £8,000 has yet been subscribed (£5,000 of it being
from a single donor). In such a town as Birmingham, and indeed in such a
district as surrounds us, an institution like the Birmingham and Midland
Eye Hospital is not only useful, but positively indispensable, and as
there are no restrictions as to distance or place of abode in the matter
of patients, the appeal made for the necessary building funds should
meet with a quick and generous response, not only from a few
large-hearted contributors, whose names are household words, but also
from the many thousands who have knowledge directly or indirectly of the
vast benefit this hospital has conferred upon those stricken by disease
or accident--to that which is the most precious of all our senses. It is
intended that the hospital should be a model to the whole kingdom of
what such an institution ought to be; the latest and best of modern
appliances, both sanitary and surgical, will be introduced. There will
be in and out departments, completely isolated one from the other,
though with a door of communication. From sixty to seventy beds will be
provided, special wards for a certain class of cases, adequate
waiting-rooms for out-patients, and the necessary rooms for the officers
and medical attendants, all being on an ample scale.

_Fever Hospital_.--There was a Fever Hospital opened in March, 1828, but
we have no note when it was closed, and possibly it may have been only a
temporary institution, such as become necessary now and then even in
these days of sanitary science. For some years past fever patients
requiring isolation have been treated in the Borough Hospital, but the
Health Committee have lately purchased a plot of land in Lodge Road of
about 4-1/2 acres, at a cost of £4,500, and have erected there on a
wooden pavilion, divided into male and female wards, with all necessary
bath rooms, nurses' rooms, &c., everything being done which can
contribute to the comfort and care of the inmates, while the greatest
attention has been paid to the ventilation and other necessary items
tending to their recovery. This pavilion is only a portion of the scheme
which the committee propose to carry out, it being intended to build
four, if not five, other wards of brick. A temporary block of
administrative buildings has been erected at some distance from the
pavilion. There accommodation is provided for the matron, the resident
medical superintendent, the nurses when off duty, and the ordinary
kitchen, scullery, and other offices are attached. When the permanent
offices have been erected this building will be devoted to special fever
cases, or, should there be a demand, private cases will be taken in. The
cost of the whole scheme is estimated at £20,000, including the sum
given for the land. It is most devoutly to be wished that this hospital,
which is entirely free, will be generally used by families in case of a
member thereof be taken with any nature of infectious fever, the most
certain remedy against an epidemic of the kind, as well as the most
favourable chance for the patient being such an isolation as is here
provided. The hospital was opened September 11, 1883, and in cases of
scarlet fever and other disorders of an infectious character, an
immediate application should be made to the health officer at the
Council House.

_Homoeopathic_.--A dispensary for the distribution of homoeopathic
remedies was opened in this town in 1847, and though the new system met
with the usual opposition, it has become fairly popular, and its
practitioners have found friends sufficient to induce them to erect a
very neat and convenient hospital, in Easy Row, at a cost of about
£7,000, which was opened November 23rd, 1875, and may possibly soon be
enlarged. A small payment, weekly, is looked for, if the patient can
afford it, but a fair number are admitted free, and a much larger number
visited, the average number of patients being nearly 5,000 per annum.
Information given on enquiry.

_Hospital for Women_.--This establishment in the Upper Priory was opened
in October, 1871, for the treatment of diseases special to females. No
note or ticket of recommendation is required, applicants being attended
to daily at two o'clock, except on Saturday and Sunday. If in a position
to pay, a nominal sum of 2s. 6d. a month is expected as a contribution
to the funds, which are not so flourishing as can be wished. The
in-patients' department or home at Sparkhill has accommodation for 25
inmates, and it is always full, while some thousands are treated at the
town establishment. The number of new cases in the out-patient
department in 1883 was 2,648, showing an annual increase of nearly 250 a
year. Of the 281 in-patients admitted last year, 205 had to undergo
surgical operations of various kinds, 124 being serious cases;
notwithstanding which the mortality showed a rate of only 5.6 per cent.
As a rule many weeks and months of care and attention are needed to
restore the general health of those who may have, while in the hospital,
successfully recovered from an operation, but there has not hitherto
been the needful funds or any organisation for following up such cases
after they have left Sparkhill. Such a work could be carried on by a
District Nursing Society if there were funds to defray the extra
expense, and at their last annual meeting the Managing Committee decided
to appeal to their friends for assistance towards forming an endowment
fund for the treatment of patients at home during their convalescence,
and also for aiding nurses during times of sickness. An anonymous
donation of £1,000 has been sent in, and two other donors have given
£500 each, but the treasurer will be glad to receive additions thereto,
and as early as possible, for sick women nor sick men can wait long. The
total income for 1883 amounted to £1,305 16s. 4d., while the expenditure
was £1,685 4s. 11d., leaving a deficit much to be regretted.

_Lying-in Hospital_.--Founded in 1842, and for many years was located in
Broad Street, in the mansion since formed into the Children's Hospital.
In 1868 it was deemed advisable to close the establishment in favour of
the present plan of supplying midwives and nurses at the poor patients'
homes. In 1880 the number of patients attended was 1,020; in 1881, 973;
in 1882, 894; in 1883, 870. In each of the two latter years there had
been two deaths in mothers (1 in 441 cases) about the usual average of
charity. The number of children born alive during the last year was 839,
of whom 419 were males, and 420 females. Four infants died; 37 were
still-born. There were 6 cases of twins. The assistance of the honorary
surgeons was called in 24 times, or once in 37 cases. The financial
position of the charity is less satisfactory than could be wished, there
being again a deficiency. The subscriptions were £273, against £269 in
1882 and £275 in 1881. There was a slight increase in the amount of
donations, but an entire absence of legacies, which, considering the
valuable assistance rendered by the charity to so many poor women, is
greatly to be deplored. The medical board have the power to grant to any
woman who passes the examination, the subjects of which are defined, a
certificate as a skilled midwife, competent to attend natural labours.
One midwife and four monthly nurses have already received certificates,
and it is hoped that many more candidates will avail themselves of the
opportunity thus readily afforded to them, and supply a want very
generally felt among the poor of the town. Subscribers have the
privilege of bestowing the tickets, and the offices are at 71, Newhall

_Orthopædic and Spinal Hospital_--Was founded in June, 1817; the present
establishment in Newhall Street being entered upon in December, 1877.
All kinds of bodily deformity, hernia, club feet, spinal diseases,
malformations, and distortions of limbs, &c., are treated daily (at two
o'clock) free of charge, except where instruments or costly supports are
needed, when the patient must be provided with subscribers' tickets in
proportion to the cost thereof. In 1881 and 1882, 4,116 cases received
attention, 2,064 being new cases, and 678 from outside Birmingham. The
variety of diseases was very numerous, and instruments to the value of
£420 were supplied to the patients.

_Skin and Lock Hospital_, Newhall Street, was founded in 1880, and
opened Jan. 10, 1881. Admission on payment of registration fee,
attendance being given at two o'clock on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and
Thursday in each week.

_Smallpox Hospital_.--A few years back, when there was a pretty general
epidemic of smallpox, a temporary ward or addition was attached to the
Workhouse, but many persons whose intelligence led them to know the
value of isolation in such cases, could not "cotton" to the idea of
going themselves or sending their friends there. The buildings in Weston
Road, Winson Green, and now known as the Borough Hospital, have no
connection whatever with the Workhouse, and were opened for the
reception of persons suffering from smallpox and scarlet fever in Nov.
1874. The latter cases are now taken to the Hospital in Lodge Road, so
that present accommodation can be found in the Borough Hospital for
nearly 250 patients at a time should it ever be necessary to do so.
Persons knowing of any case of smallpox should at once give notice to
the officers of health at Council House.

~Hotels.~--This French-derived name for inns, from what Hutton says on
the subject, would appear to have been only introduced in his day, and
even then was confined to the large coaching-houses of the town, many of
which have long since vanished. The first railway hotel was the Queen's,
at the entrance of the old railway station, Duddeston Row, though
originally built and used for officers for the company's secretaries,
directors' boardroom, &c. As part of the New Street Station, a far more
pretentious establishment was erected, and to this was given the title
of the "Queen's Hotel," the Duddeston Row building reverting to its
original use. The Great Western Hotel was the next to be built, and the
success attending these large undertakings have led to the erection of
the handsome Midland Hotel, opposite New Street Station, and the still
grander "Grand Hotel," in Colmore Row, opened Feb. 1, 1879. The removal
of the County Court to Corporation Street, and the possible future
erection of Assize Courts near at hand, have induced some speculators to
embark in the erection of yet another extensive establishment, to be
called the "Inns of Court Hotel," and in due course of time we shall
doubtless have others of a similar character. At any of the above, a
visitor to the town (with money in his purse) can find first-class
accommodation, and (in comparison with the London hotels of a like kind)
at reasonably fair rates. After these come a second grade, more suitable
for commercial gentlemen, or families whose stay is longer, such as the
new Stork Hotel, the Albion, in Livery Street, Bullivant's, in Carr's
Lane, the Acorn, the Temperance at the Colonnade, and the Clarendon, in
Temple Street, Dingley's, in Moor Street, Knapp's, in High Street,
Nock's, in Union Passage, the Plough and Harrow, in Hagley Road, the
Swan, in New Street, the White Horse, in Congreve Street (opposite
Walter Showell and Sons' head offices), the Woolpack, in Moor Street,
and the other Woolpack, now called St. Martin's, at the back of the

For much entertaining information respecting the old taverns of
Birmingham, the hotels of former days, we recommend the reader to
procure a copy of S.D.R.'s little book on the subject, which is full of
anecdotes respecting the frequenters of the then houses, as well as many
quaint notes of the past.

_The Acorn_ in Temple Street.--The favourite resort of the "men of the
time" a few score years ago was at one period so little surrounded with
houses that anyone standing at its door could view a landscape
stretching for miles, while listening to the song birds in the
neighbouring gardens. It dates from about 1750, and numbers among its
successive landlords, Mr. John Roderick, the first auctioneer of that
well-known name, Mr. James Clements, and Mr. Coleman, all men of mark.
The last-named host, after making many improvements in the premises and
renewing the lease, disposed of the hotel to a Limited Liability Company
for £15,500. It is at present one of the best-frequented commercial
houses in the town.

_The Hen and Chickens_.--In _Aris's Gazette_, of December 14, 1741,
there appeared an advertisement, that there was "to be let, in the High
Street, Birmingham, a very good-accustomed Inn, the sign of the Hen and
Chickens, with stables, &c." Inasmuch as this advertisement also said
"there is a very good Bowling Green joining to it," it has been quoted
by almost every writer of local history as an evidence of the popularity
of those places of recreation, or as showing the open aspect of the then
existing town. This establishment is believed to have been on the site
of Messrs. Manton's cabinet warehouse, the adjoining Scotland Passage
leading to the stables, and possibly to "the Bowling Green." In 1798,
the tenant, Mrs. Lloyd, removed to a new house in New Street, and took
the Hen and Chickens' title with her, the place becoming famous as a
posting-house, and afterwards, under Mr. William Waddell, as one of the
most extensive coaching establishments in the Midlands. A mere list
only, of the Serene Highnesses, the Royalties, Nobility, and celebrated
characters of all kinds, who have put up at this hotel, would fill
pages, and those anxious for such old-time gossip, must refer to
S.D.R.'s book, as before-mentioned. At the close of 1878, the premises
were acquired by the "Birmingham Aquarium Co., Limited," who proposed to
erect a handsome concert-room, aquarium, restaurant, &c. The old
building has been considerably altered, and somewhat improved in
appearance, but the aquarium and concert-room are, as yet, _non est_, an
Arcade being built instead.

_The Midland_, New Street.--One of the modern style of hotels, having
over a hundred good bedrooms, besides the necessary complement of public
and private sitting and dining rooms, coffee, commercial, smoking and
billiard rooms, &c., erected for Mr. W.J. Clements in 1874; it was sold
early in 1876 to a Limited Company, whose capital was fixed at £40,000
in £10 shares.

_The Royal_, in Temple Row, was erected on the tontine principle in
1772, but was not called more than "The Hotel" for a long time
afterwards the word Royal being added in 1805, after His Royal Highness
the Duke of Gloucester slept there (May 4) on his way to Liverpool. In
1830 the Duchess of Kent, and Princess Victoria (our present Queen)
honoured it by their presence. In June, 1804, the Assembly Room (for
very many years the most popular place for meetings of a social
character) was enlarged, the proprietors purchasing a small piece of
adjoining land for the purpose at a cost of £250, being at the rate of
£26,000 per acre, a noteworthy fact as showing the then rapidly
increasing value of property in the town. The portico in front of the
hotel was put there in 1837, when the building had to be repaired, in
consequence of the kind attentions of the Birmingham Liberals at the
time of the general election then just passed. The whole of the front
and main portion of the hotel is now used for the purposes of the Eye
Hospital, the Assembly Rooms, &c., being still public.--Portugal House,
in New Street, on the present site of the Colonnade, prior to its being
taken for the Excise and Post Offices, was used for hotel purposes, and
was also called "The Royal."

_The Stork_.--The Directory of 1800 is the first which contains the name
of the Stork Tavern, No. 3, The Square, the host then being Mr. John
Bingham, the title of Hotel not being assumed until 1808. For a few
years the one house was sufficient for the accommodation required, but
as time progressed it became necessary to enlarge it, and this was
accomplished by taking in the adjoining houses, until, at last, the
hotel occupied one-fourth of The Square, from the corner of the Minories
to the Lower Priory, in which were situated the stables, &c. It was in
one of the houses so annexed to the hotel (No. 1) that Dr. Hector, the
friend of Dr. Johnson, resided; and at the rear of another part of the
premises in the Coach Yard, there was opened (in 1833) the "The
Equitable Labour Exchange." The whole of the hotel buildings were sold
by auction, Sept. 26, 1881, and quickly razed to the ground, which was
required for Corporation Street; but the Stork, like the fabulous
Phoenix, has risen from its ashes, and in close proximity to the old
site, stands boldly forth as one of the magnificences of that-is-to-be
most-magnificent thoroughfare.

_The Union_, in Cherry Street, was built in 1790, but much enlarged in
1825. It was one of the principal coaching houses, but will be
remembered mostly as furnishing the chief saleroom in the town for the
disposal of landed property. The site being required for Corporation
Street, the building was "knocked down" on the 21st April, 1879.

_The Woolpack_, in Moor Street, saw many strange events, and had in its
olden days undergone some few changes for there are not many sites in
Birmingham that can compare with this in regard to its recorded history,
but at last it is being cleared to make way for a more modern structure.
It is believed there was a tavern called the Green Tree here close upon
500 years ago, and even now there is still to be traced the course of an
ancient "dyche" running through the premises which was described as the
boundary dividing certain properties in 1340, and forming part of that
belonging to the Guild of the Holy Cross. The house itself was the
residence of William Lench, whose bequests to the town are historical,
but when it was turned into a tavern is a little uncertain, as the
earliest notice of it as such is dated 1709, when John Fusor was the
occupier. It was the house of resort for many Birmingham worthies,
especially those connected with the law, even before the erection of the
Public Offices, and it is said that John Baskerville used to come here
for his tankard of ale and a gossip with his neighbours. In the time of
the Reform agitation it was frequented by the leaders of the Liberal
party, and has always been the favourite shelter of artists visiting the

_The Woolpack_, in St. Martin's Lane.--Some eighty odd years ago the
tavern standing at the corner of Jamaica Row and St. Martin's Lane was
known as the Black Boy Inn, from the figure of a young negro then placed
over the door. Being purchased in 1817 by the occupier of a neighbouring
tavern called the Woolpack, the two names were united, and for a time
the house was called the "Black Boy and Woolpack," the first part being
gradually allowed to fall into disuse. Prior to its demolition it was
_the_ noted market hostelry for cattle dealers and others, the respected
landlord, Mr. John Gough, who held the premises from 1848 till his death
in 1877, being himself a large wholesale dealer. When the Town Council
decided to enlarge and cover in the Smithfield Market, the old house and
its adjuncts were purchased by them, and a new hotel of almost palatial
character has been erected in its place, the frontage extending nearly
the entire length of St. Martin's Lane, and the Black Boy and the
Woolpack must in future be called St. Martin's Hotel.

~Hothouses.~--Those at Frogmore, comprising a range of nearly 1,000 feet
of metallic forcing houses, were erected in 1842-3, by Mr. Thomas Clark,
of this town, his manager, Mr. John Jones, being described by the
celebrated Mr. London, as "the best hot-house builder in Britain."

~House and Window Tax.~--See "_Taxes_."

~Howard Street Institute.~--Founded in 1869. The first annual meeting,
for the distribution of prizes, was held in December, 1872. The many
sources for acquiring knowledge now provided at such institutions as the
Midland Institute, the Mason College, &c., have no doubt tended much to
the end, but, considering the amount of good derived by the pupils from
the many classes held in the Howard Street rooms, it is a pity the
Institute should be allowed to drop.

~Humbug.~--The Prince of Humbugs, Phineas Barnum, at the Town Hall,
February 28, 1859, gave _his_ views of what constituted "Humbug." As if
the Brums didn't know.

~Humiliation Days.~--February 25, 1807, was kept here as a day of
fasting and humiliation, as was also September 25, 1832.

~Hundred.~--Birmingham is in the Hundred of Hemlingford.

~Hungary.~--The first meeting in this town to express sympathy with the
Hungarians in their struggle with Austria, was held in the Corn
Exchange, May 23, 1849, and several speakers were in favour of sending
armed help, but no volunteers came forward.

~Hunter's Lane~ and Nursery Terrace take their names from the fact that
Mr. Hunter's nursery grounds and gardens were here situated. The "Lane"
was the old road to Wolverhampton, but has a much older history than
that, as it is believed to have been part of the Icknield Street.

~Hurricanes.~--The late Mr. Thos. Plant, in describing the great storm,
which visited England, on the night of Sunday, 6th January, 1839, and
lasted all next day, said it was the most tremendous hurricane that had
occurred here for fifty years. A large quantity of lead was stripped off
the roof of the Town Hall, the driving force of the gale being so
strong, that the lead was carried a distance of more than sixty yards
before it fell into a warehouse, 'at the back of an ironmonger's shop in
Ann Street.--See "_Storms and Tempests_."

~Hurst Street,~ from Hurst Hill, once a wooded mount (the same being the
derivation of Ravenhurst Street), was originally but a passage way,
leading under an arch at the side of the White Swan in Smallbrook Street
(now Day's establishment). Up the passage was a knacker's yard, a shop
for the dyeing of felt hats, and a few cottages.

~Icknield Street.~--Britain was formerly traversed by four great roads,
usually called Roman roads, though there are some grounds for believing
that the Ancient Britons themselves were the pioneers in making these
trackways, their conquerors only improving the roads as was their wont,
and erecting military stations along the line. These roads were
severally called "Watling Stræte," which ran from the coast of Kent,
through London, to the Welsh coast in county Cardigan; the "Fosse,"
leading from Cornwall to Lincoln; "Erminge Stræte," running from St.
David's to Southampton; and "Hikenilde Stræte," leading through the
centre of England, from St. David's to Tynemouth. Part of the latter
road, known as Icknield Street, is now our Monument Lane, and in 1865 a
portion of ancient road was uncovered near Chad Valley House, which is
believed to have been also part thereof. Proceeding in almost a direct
line to the bottom of Hockley Hill, the Icknield Street ran across
Handsworth Parish, by way of the present Hunter's Lane, but little
further trace can be found now until it touches Sutton Coldfield Park,
through which it passes for nearly a mile-and-a-half at an almost
uniform width of about 60 feet. It is left for our future local
antiquarians to institute a search along the track in the Park, but as
in scores of other spots Roman and British remains have been found, it
seems probable than an effort of the kind suggested would meet its
reward, and perhaps lead to the discovery of some valuable relics of our
long-gone predecessors.

~Illuminations.~--When the news of Admiral Rodney's victory was received
here, May 20, 1792, it was welcomed by a general illumination, as were
almost all the great victories during the long war. The Peace of Amiens
in 1802 was also celebrated in this way, and the event has become
historical from the fact that for the first time in the world's history
the inflammable gas obtained from coal (now one of the commonest
necessities of our advanced civilisation) was used for the purpose of a
public illumination at Soho Works. (See "_Gas_.") In 1813 the town went
into shining ecstacies four or five times, and ditto in the following
year, the chief events giving rise thereto being the entry of the Allies
into Paris, and the declaration of peace, the latter being celebrated
(in addition to two nights' lighting up of the principal buildings,
&c.), by an extra grand show of thousands of lamps at Soho, with the
accompaniment of fireworks and fire-balloons, the roasting of sheep and
oxen, &c. Waterloo was the next occasion, but local chroniclers of the
news of the day gave but scant note thereof. From time to time there
have been illuminations for several more peaceable matters of rejoicing,
but the grandest display that Birmingham has ever witnessed was that to
celebrate the marriage of the Prince of Wales, March 10th, 1863, when
St. Philip's Church was illuminated on a scale so colossal as to exceed
anything of the kind that had previously been attempted in the
illumination by gas of public buildings upon their architectural lines.
Situated in the centre, and upon the most elevated ground in Birmingham,
St. Philip's measures upwards of 170-ft. from the base to the summit of
the cross. The design for the illumination--furnished by Mr. Peter
Hollins--consisted of gas-tubing, running parallel to the principal
lines of architecture from the base to the summit, pierced at distances
of 3 in. or 5 in., and fitted with batswing burners. About 10,000 of
these burners were used in the illumination. The service-pipes employed
varied in diameter from three inches to three-quarters of an inch, and
measured, in a straight line, about three-quarters of a mile, being
united by more than two thousand sockets. Separate mains conducted the
gas to the western elevation, the tower, the dome, the cupola, and
cross; the latter standing 8 ft. above the ordinary cross of the church,
and being inclosed in a frame of ruby-coloured glass. These mains were
connected with a ten-inch main from a heavily-weighed gasometer at the
Windsor Street works of the Birmingham Gas Company, which was reserved
for the sole use of the illumination. It took forty men three days to
put up the scaffolding, but the whole work was finished and the
scaffolding removed in a week. It was estimated that the consumption of
gas during the period of illumination reached very nearly three-quarters
of a million of cubic feet; and the entire expense of the illumination,
including the gas-fittings, was somewhat over six hundred pounds. The
illumination was seen for miles round in every direction. From the top
of Barr Beacon, about eight miles distant, a singular effect was
produced by means of a fog cloud which hung over the town, and concealed
the dome and tower from view--a blood-red cross appearing to shine in
the heavens and rest upon Birmingham. As the traveller approached the
town on that side the opacity of the fog gradually diminished until,
when about three miles away, the broad lines of light which spanned the
dome appeared in sight, and, magnified by the thin vapour through which
they were refracted, gave the idea of some gigantic monster clawing the
heavens with his fiery paws. All the avenues to the church and the
surrounding streets were crowded with masses of human heads, in the
midst of which stood a glittering fairy palace. The effect was
heightened by coloured fires, which, under the superintendence of Mr.
C.L. Hanmer, were introduced at intervals in burning censers, wreathing
their clouds of incense among the urns upon the parapet in the gallery
of the tower, and shedding upon the windows of the church the rich tints
of a peaceful southern sky at sunset. The several gateways were wreathed
in evergreens, amongst which nestled festoons of variegated lamps. So
great was the sensation produced throughout the town and surrounding
districts, and such the disappointment of those who had not seen it,
that the committee, at a great expense, consented to reillumine for one
night more, which was done on the 13th. The last general illumination
was on the occasion of the visit of Prince and Princess of Wales, Nov.
3, 1874.

~Improvement Schemes.~--See "_Town Improvements_."

~Income Tax.~--This impost was first levied in 1798, when those who had
four children were allowed an abatement of 10 per cent.; eight children,
15 per cent.; ten or more 20 per cent. At the close of the Peninsular
campaign this tax was done away with, it being looked upon, even in
those heavily betaxed times, as about the most oppressive duty ever
imposed by an arbitrary Government on loyal and willing citizens. When
the tax was revived, in 1842, there was a considerable outcry, though if
fairly levied it would seem to be about the most just and equitable mode
of raising revenue that can be devised, notwithstanding its somewhat
inquisitorial accompaniments. The Act was only for three years but it
was triennially renewed until 1851, since when it has become "a yearly
tenant," though at varying rates, the tax being as high as 1s. 4d. in
the pound in 1855, and only 2d. in 1874. A Parliamentary return issued
in 1866 gave the assessment of Birmingham to the Income Tax at
£1,394,161; in 1874 it was estimated at £1,792,700. The present
assessment is considerably over the two millions, but the peculiar
reticence generally connected with all Governmental offices prevents us
giving the exact figures.

~Indian Famine.~--The total amount subscribed here towards the fund for
the relief of sufferers by famine in India in 1877 was £7,922 13s. 2d.

~India-rubber,~ in 1770, was sold at 3s. per cubic half-inch, and was
only used to remove pencil marks from paper. Its present uses are
manifold, and varied in the extreme, from the toy balloon of the infant
to railway buffers and unsinkable lifeboats.

~Infirmaries.~--See "_Hospitals_," &c.

~Inge.~--The family name of one of the large property owners of this
town, after whom Inge Street is so called. The last representative of
the family lived to the ripe old age of 81, dying in August, 1881.
Though very little known in the town from whence a large portion of his
income was drawn, the Rev. George Inge, rector of Thorpe
(Staffordshire), was in his way a man of mark, a mighty Nimrod, who
followed the hounds from the early age of five, when he was carried on a
pony in front of a groom, until a few weeks prior to his death, having
hunted with the Atherstone pack duriug the management of sixteen
successive masters thereof.

~Insane Asylums.~--See "_Lunacy_."

~Insurance.~--In 1782 a duty of 1s. 6d. per cent, was levied on all fire
insurances, which was raised to 2s. in 1797, to 2s. 6d. in 1804. and to
3s. in 1815, remaining at that until 1865, when it was lowered to 1s.
6d., being removed altogether in 1869. Farming stock was exempted in
1833, and workmen's tools in 1860.

~Insurance Companies.~--Their name is legion, their agents are a
multitude, and a list of their officers would fill a book. You can
insure your own life, or your wife's, or your children's or anybody
else's, in whose existence you may have a beneficial interest, and there
are a hundred officers ready to receive the premiums. If you are
journeying, the Railway Passengers' Accident Co. will be glad to
guarantee your family a solatium in case you and your train come to
grief, and though it is not more than one in half-a-million that meets
with an accident on the line, the penny for a ticket, when at the
booking office, will be well expended. Do you employ clerks, there are
several Guarantee Societies who will secure you against loss by
defalcation. Shopkeepers and others will do well to insure their glass
against breakage, and all and everyone should pay into a "General
Accident" Association, for broken limbs, like broken glass, cannot be
foreseen or prevented. It is not likely that any of [**] will be "drawn"
for a militiaman in these piping times of peace, but that the system of
insurance was applied here in the last century against the chances of
being drawn in the ballot, is evidenced by the following
carefully-preserved and curious receipt:--

  "Received of Matthew Boulton, tagmaker, Snow Hill, three shillings and
  sixpence, for which sum I solemnly engage, if he should be chosen by
  lot to serve in the militia for this parish, at the first meeting for
  that purpose, to procure a substitute that shall be approved of.


  "Birmingham, Jan. 11, 1762."

The local manufacture of Insurance Societies has not been on a large
scale, almost the only ones being the "Birmingham Workman's Mutual," the
"British Workman," and the "Wesleyan and General." The late Act of
Parliament, by which in certain cases, employers are pecuniarily liable
for accidents to their workpeople, has brought into existence several
new Associations, prominent among which is the comprehensive "Employers'
Liability and Workpeople's Provident and Accident Insurance Society,
Limited," whose offices are at 33, Newhall Street.

       *       *       *       *       *

~Interesting Odds and Ends.~

A fair was held here on Good Friday, 1793.

A fight of lion with dogs took place at Warwick, September 4, 1824.

The Orsim bombs used in Paris, January 15, 1858, were made here.

In 1771 meetings of the inhabitants, were called by the tolling of a

A large assembly of Radicals visited Christ Church, November 21, 1819,
but _not_ for prayer.

A "flying railway" (the Centrifugal) was exhibited at the Circus in
Bradford Street, October 31, 1842.

The doors of Moor Street prison were thrown open, September 3, 1842,
there, not being then one person in confinement.

March 2, 1877, a bull got loose in New Street Station, and ran through
the tunnel to Banbury Street, where he leaped over the parapet and was
made into beef.

William Godfrey, who died in Ruston-street, October 27, 1863, was a
native of this town, who, enlisting at eighteen, was sent out to China,
where he accumulated a fortune of more than £1,000,000. So said the
_Birmingham Journal_, November 7, 1863.

The De Berminghams had no blankets before the fourteenth century, when
they were brought from Bristol. None but the very rich wore stockings
prior to the year 1589, and many of them had their legs covered with
bands of cloth.

A petition was presented to the Prince of Wales (June 26, 1791) asking
his patronage and support for the starving buckle-makers of Birmingham.
He ordered his suite to wear buckles on their shoes, but the laces soon
whipped them out of market.

One Friday evening in July, 1750, a woman who had laid informations
against 150 persons she had caught retailing spirituous liquors without
licenses, was seized by a mob, who doused, ducked and daubed her, and
then shoved her in the Dungeon.

At a parish meeting, May 17, 1726, it was decided to put up an organ in
St. Martin's at a cost of £300 "and upwards." At a general meeting of
the inhabitants, April 3, 1727, it was ordered that, a bell be cast for
St. Philip's, "to be done with all expedition."

In 1789 it was proposed that the inmates of the workhouse should be
employed at making worsted and thread. Our fathers often tried their
inventive faculties in the way of finding work for the inmates. A few
years later it was proposed (August 26) to lighten the rates by erecting
a steam mill for grinding corn.

On the retirement of Mr. William Lucy, in 1850, from the Mayoralty, the
usual vote of thanks was passed, but with _one_ dissentient. Mr. Henry
Hawkes was chosen coroner July 6, 1875, by forty votes to _one_. The
great improvement scheme was adopted by the Town Council (November 10,
1875), with but _one_ dissentient.

A certificate, dated March 23, 1683, and signed by the minister and
church-wardens, was granted to Elizabeth, daughter of John and Ann
Dickens, "in order to obtain his majesty's touch for the Evil." The
"royal touch" was administered to 200 persons from this neighbourhood,
March 17, 1714; Samuel Johnson (the Dr.) being one of those whose
ailments, it was believed, could be thus easily removed. Professor
Holloway did not live in those days.

Sir Thomas Holte (the first baronet) is traditionally reported to have
slain his cook. He brought an action for libel against one William
Ascrick, for saying "that he did strike his cook with a cleaver, so that
one moiety of the head fell on one shoulder, and the other on the other
shoulder." The defendant was ordered to pay £30 damages, but appealed,
and successfully; the worthy lawyers of that day deciding that though
Sir Thomas might have clove the cook's head, the defendant did not say
he had _killed_ the man, and hence had not libelled the baronet.

       *       *       *       *       *

~Interpreters.~--In commercial circles it sometimes happens that the
foreign corresponding clerk may be out of the way when an important
business letter arrives, and we, therefore, give the addresses of a few
gentlemen linguists, viz.:--Mr. H.R. Forrest, 46, Peel Buildings, Lower
Temple Street; Mr. L. Hewson, 30, Paradise Street; Mr. F. Julien, 189,
Monument Road; Mr. Wm. Krisch, 3, Newhall Street; Mr. L. Notelle, 42,
George Road, Edgbaston; and Mr. A. Vincent, 49, Islington Row.

~Invasion.~--They said the French were coming in February, 1758, so the
patriotic Brums put their hands into their pockets and contributed to a
fund "to repel invasion."

~Inventors and Inventions.~--Birmingham, for a hundred years, led the
van in inventions of all kinds, and though to many persons patent
specifications may be the driest of all dry reading, there is an
infinitude of interesting matter to be found in those documents. Much of
the trade history of the town is closely connected with the inventions
of the patentees of last century, including such men as Lewis Paul, who
first introduced spinning by rollers, and a machine for the carding of
wool and cotton; Baskerville, the japanner; Wyatt, partner with Paul;
Boulton, of Soho, and his coadjutors, Watt, Murdoch, Small, Keir,
Alston, and others. Nothing has been too ponderous and naught too
trivial for the exercise of the inventive faculties of our skilled
workmen. All the world knows that hundreds of patents have been taken
out for improvements, and discoveries in connection with steam
machinery, but few would credit that quite an equal number relate to
such trifling articles as buckles and buttons, pins and pens, hooks and
eyes, &c.; and fortunes have been made even more readily by the
manufacture of the small items than the larger ones. The history of
Birmingham inventors has yet to be written; a few notes of some of their
doings will be found under "_Patents_" and "_Trades_."

~Iron.~--In 1354 it was forbidden to export iron from England. In 1567
it was brought here from Sweden and Russia. A patent for smelting iron
with pit coal was granted in 1620 to Dud Dudley, who also patented the
tinning of iron in 1661. The total make of iron in England in 1740 was
but 17,000 tons, from 59 furnaces, only two of which were in
Staffordshire, turning out about 1,000 tons per year. In 1788 there were
nine blast furnaces in the same county; in 1796, fourteen; in 1806,
forty-two; in 1827, ninety-five, with an output of 216,000 tons, the
kingdom's make being 690,000 tons from 284 furnaces. This quantity in
1842 was turned out of the 130 Staffordshire furnaces alone, though the
hot-air blast was not used prior to 1835. Some figures have lately been
published showing that the present product of iron in the world is close
upon 19-1/2 million tons per year, and as iron and its working-up has a
little to do with the prosperity of Birmingham, we preserve them.
Statistics for the more important countries are obtainable as late as
1881. For the others it is assumed that the yield has not fallen off
since the latest figures reported. Under "other countries," in the table
below, are included Canada, Switzerland, and Mexico, each producing
about 7,500 tons a year, and Norway, with 4,000 tons a year:--

                         Year.    Gross Tons.
Great Britain........    1881       8,377,364
United States........    1881       4,144,254
Germany..............    1881       2,863,400
France...............    1881       1,866,438
Belgium..............    1881         622,288
Austro-Hungary.......    1880         448,685
Sweden...............    1880         399,628
Luxembourg...........    1881         289,212
Russia...............    1881         231,341
Italy................    1876          76,000
Spain................    1873          73,000
Turkey...............     --           40,000
Japan................    1877          10,000
All other countries..     --           46,000
              Total............    19,487,610

The first four countries produce 88.4 per cent, of the world's iron
supply; the first two, 64.3 per cent.; the first, 43 per cent. The chief
consumer is the United States, 29 per cent.; next Great Britain, 23 '4
per cent.; these two using more than half of all. Cast iron wares do not
appear to have been made here in any quantity before 1755; malleable
iron castings being introduced about 1811. The first iron canal boat
made its appearance here July 24, 1787. Iron pots were first tinned in
1779 by Jonathan Taylor's patented process, but we have no date when
vessels of iron were first enamelled, though a French method of coating
them with glass was introduced in 1850 by Messrs. T.G. Griffiths and Co.
In 1809, Mr. Benjamin Cook, a well-known local inventor, proposed to use
iron for building purposes, more particularly in the shape of joists,
rafters, and beams, so as to make fire-proof rooms, walls, and flooring,
as well as iron staircases. This suggestion was a long time before it
was adopted, for in many things Cook was far in advance of his age.
Corrugated iron for roofing, &c., came into use in 1832, but it was not
till the period of the Australian gold fever--1852-4--that there was any
great call for iron houses. The first iron church (made at Smethwick) as
well as iron barracks for the mounted police, were sent out there, the
price at Melbourne for iron houses being from £70 each.--See "_Trades_."

~Iron Bedsteads~ are said to have been invented by Dr. Church. Metallic
bedsteads of many different kinds have been made since then, from the
simple iron stretcher to the elaborately guilded couches made for
princes and potentates, but the latest novelty in this line is a
bedstead of solid silver, lately ordered for one of the Indian Rajahs.

~Iron Rods.~--Among the immense number of semi-religious tracts
published during the Civil War, one appeared (in 1642) entitled "An Iron
Rod for the Naylours and Tradesmen near Birmingham," by a self-styled
prophet, who exhorted his neighbours to amend their lives and give
better prices "twopence in the shilling at the least to poor workmen."
We fancy the poor nailers of the present time would also be glad of an
extra twopence.

~Jacks.~--Roasting Jacks of some kind or other were doubtless used by
our great-great-grandmothers, but their kitchen grates were not supplied
with "bottle-jacks" till their fellow-townsman, Mr. Fellowes, of Great
Hampton Street, made them in 1796.

~Jennens.~--It is almost certain that the "Great Jennens (or Jennings)
Case," has taken up more time in our law courts than any other cause
brought before the judges. Charles Dickens is supposed to have had some
little knowledge of it, and to have modelled his "Jarndyce _v_.
Jarndyce" in "Bleak House" therefrom. It has a local interest, inasmuch
as several members of the family lived, prospered, and died here, and,
in addition, a fair proportion of the property so long disputed, is here
situated. The first of the name we hear of as residing in Birmingham was
William Jennens, who died in 1602. His son John became a well-to-do
ironmonger, dying in 1653. One of John's sons, Humphrey, also waxed
rich, and became possessed of considerable estate, having at one time,
it is said, no less a personage than Lord Conway as "game-keeper" over a
portion of his Warwickshire property. Probably the meaning was that his
lordship rented the shooting. Ultimately, although every branch of the
family were tolerably prolific, the bulk of the garnered wealth was
concentrated in the hands of William Jennings, bachelor, who died at
Acton Place in 1798, at the age of 98, though some have said he was 103.
His landed property was calculated to be worth £650,000; in Stock and
Shares he held £270,000; at his bankers, in cash and dividends due,
there were £247,000; while at his several houses, after his death, they
found close upon £20,000 in bank notes, and more than that in gold.
Dying intestate, his property was administered to by Lady Andover, and
William Lygon, Esq., who claimed to be next of kin descended from
Humphrey Jennings, of this town. Greatest part of the property was
claimed by these branches, and several noble families were enriched who,
it is said, were never entitled to anything. The Curzon family came in
for a share, and hence the connection of Earl Howe and others with this
town. The collaterals and their descendants have, for generations, been
fighting for shares, alleging all kinds of fraud and malfeasance on the
part of the present holders and their predecessors, but the claimants
have increased and multiplied to such an extent, that if it were
possible for them to recover the whole of the twelve million pounds they
say the property is now worth, it would, when divided, give but small
fortunes to any of them. A meeting of the little army of claimants was
held at the Temperance Hall, March 2, 1875, and there have been several
attempts, notwithstanding the many previous adverse decisions, to
re-open the battle for the pelf, no less than a quarter of a million, it
is believed, having already been uselessly spent in that way.

~Jennen's Row~ is named after the above family.

~Jewellery.~--See "_Trades_."

~Jews.~--The descendants of Israel were allowed to reside in this
country in 1079, but if we are to believe history their lot could not
have been a very pleasant one, the poorer classes of our countrymen
looking upon them with aversion, while the knights and squires of high
degree, though willing enough to use them when requiring loans for their
fierce forays, were equally ready to plunder and oppress on the
slightest chance. Still England must have even then been a kind of
sheltering haven, for in 1287, when a sudden anti-Semitic panic occurred
to drive the Jews out of the kingdom, it was estimated that 15,660 had
to cross the silver streak. Nominally, they were not allowed to return
until Cromwell's time, 364 years after. It was in 1723 Jews were
permitted to hold lands in this country, and thirty years after an Act
was passed to naturalise them, but it was repealed in the following
year. Now the Jews are entitled to every right and privilege that a
Christian possesses. It is not possible to say when the Jewish community
of this town originated, but it must have been considerably more than a
hundred and fifty years ago, as when Hutton wrote in 1781, there was a
synagogue in the Froggery, "a very questionable part of the town," and
an infamous locality. He quaintly says:--"We have also among us a
remnant of Israel, a people who, when masters of their own country, were
scarcely ever known to travel, and who are now seldom employed in
anything else. But though they are ever moving they are ever at home;
who once lived the favourites of heaven, and fed upon the cream of the
earth, but now are little regarded by either; whose society is entirely
confined to themselves, except in the commercial line. In the synagogue,
situated in the Froggery, they still preserve the faint resemblance of
the ancient worship, their whole apparatus being no more than the
drooping ensigns of poverty. The place is rather small, but tolerably
filled; where there appears less decorum than in the Christian churches.
The proverbial expression, 'as rich as a Jew,' is not altogether
verified in Birmingham; but, perhaps, time is transferring it to the
Quakers. It is rather singular that the honesty of a Jew is seldom
pleaded but by the Jew himself." No modern historian would think of
using such language now-a-days, respecting the Jews who now abide with
us, whose charitable contributions to our public institutions, &c., may
bear comparison with those of their Christian brethren. An instance of
this was given so far back as December 5th, 1805, the day of general
thanksgiving for the glorious victory of Trafalgar. On that day
collections were made in all places of worship in aid of the patriotic
fund for the relief of those wounded, and of the relatives of those
killed in the war. It is worthy of remark that the parish church, St.
Martin's, then raised the sum of £37 7s., and the "Jews' Synagogue" £3
3s. At the yearly collections in aid of the medical charities, now
annually held on Hospital Sunday, St. Martin's gives between three and
four hundred pounds; the Jewish congregation contributes about one
hundred and fifty. If, then, the church has thus increased ten-fold in
wealth and benevolence in the last seventy years, the synagogue has
increased fifty-fold.

~Jews' Board of Guardians.~ A committee of resident Jews was appointed
in 1869, to look after and relieve poor and destitute families among the
Israelites; and though they pay their due quota to the poor rates of
their parish, it is much to the credit of the Jewish community that no
poor member is, permitted to go to the Workhouse or want for food and
clothing. The yearly amount expended in relief by this Hebrew Board of
Guardians is more than £500, mostly given in cash in comparatively large
sums, so as to enable the recipients to become self-supporting, rather
than continue them as paupers receiving a small weekly dole. There is an
increase in the number of poor latterly, owing to the depression of
trade and to the influx of poor families from Poland during the last few
years. Another cause of poverty among the Jews is the paucity of
artisans among them, very few of them even at the present time choosing
to follow any of the staple trades outside those connected with clothing
and jewellery.

~Jewish Persecutions in Russia.~--On Feb. 6, 1882, a town's meeting was
called with reference to the gross persecution of the Jews in Russia,
and the collection of a fund towards assisting the sufferers was set
afoot, £1,800 being promised at the meeting.

~John a' Dean's Hole.~--A little brook which took the water from the
moat round the old Manor House (site of Smithfield) was thus called,
from a man named John Dean being drowned there about Henry VIII.'s time.
This brook emptied into the river Rea, near the bottom of Floodgate
Street, where a hundred and odd years back, there were two poolholes,
with a very narrow causeway between them, which was especially dangerous
at flood times to chance wayfarers who chose the path as a near cut to
their dwellings, several cases of drowning being on record as occurring
at this spot.--See "_Manor House_."

~Johnson, Dr. Samuel.~--Dr. Johnson's connection with Birmingham has
always been a pleasant matter of interest to the local _literati_, but
to the general public we fear it matters naught. His visit to his good
friend Dr. Hector in 1733 is historically famous; his translations and
writings while here have been often noted; his marriage with the widow
Porter duly chronicled; but it is due to the researches of the learned
Dr. Langford that attention has been lately drawn to the interesting
fact that Johnson, who was born in 1709, actually came to Birmingham in
his tenth year, on a visit to his uncle Harrison, who in after years, in
his usual plain-speaking style, Johnson described as "a very mean and
vulgar man, drunk every night, but drunk with little drink, very
peevish, very proud, very ostentatious, but, luckily, not rich." That
our local governors have a due appreciation of the genius of the famed
lexicographer is shown by the fact of a passage-way from Bull Street to
the Upper Priory being named "Dr. Samuel Johnson's Passage!"

~Jubilees.~--Strange as it may appear to the men of the present day,
there has never been a National holiday yet kept equal to that known as
the Jubilee Day of George the Third. Why it should have been so seems a
great puzzle now. The celebration began in this town at midnight of the
24th October, 1809, by the ringers of St. Philip's giving "five times
fifty claps, an interim with the same number of rounds, to honour the
King, Queen, the Royal Family, the Nation, and the loyal town of
Birmingham." At six o'clock next morning the sluggards were aroused with
a second peal, and with little rest the bells were kept swinging the
whole day long, the finale coming with a performance of "perpetual claps
and clashings" that must have made many a head ache. There was a Sunday
school jubilee celebrated September 14, 1831. The fiftieth year's
pastorate of Rev. John Angell James was kept September 12, 1855, and the
Jubilee Day of the Chapel in Carr's Lane, September 27, 1870; of Cannon
Street Chapel, July 16, 1856; of the Rev. G. Cheatle's pastorate, at
Lombard Street Chapel, January 11, 1860; of the Missionary Society,
September 15, 1864; of Pope Pius the Ninth, in 1877, when the Roman
Catholics of this town sent him £1,230. being the third largest
contribution from England.

~Jubilee Singers.~--This troupe of coloured minstrels gave their first
entertainment here in the Town Hall April 9, 1874.

~Jury Lists.~--According to the Jury Act, 6 George IV., the
churchwardens and overseers of every parish in England are required to
make out an alphabetical list before the 1st September in each year of
all men residing in their respective parishes and townships qualified to
serve on juries, setting forth at length their Christian and surname,
&c. Copies of these lists, on the three first Sundays in September, are
to be fixed on the principal door to every church, chapel, and other
public place of religious worship, with a notice subjoined that all
appeals will be heard at the Petty Sessions, to be held within the last
day of September. The jury list for persons resident in the borough, and
for several adjoining parishes, may be seen at the office of Mr. Alfred
Walter, solicitor, Colmore Row, so that persons exempt may see if their
names are included.

~Justices Of the Peace.~--The earliest named local Justices of the Peace
(March 8, 1327) are "William of Birmingham" and "John Murdak" the only
two then named for the county.--See "_Magistrates_".

~Kidneys (Petrified).~--In olden days our footpaths, where paved at all,
were, as a rule, laid with round, hard pebbles, and many readers will be
surprised to learn that five years ago there still remained 50,000
square yards of the said temper-trying paving waiting to be changed into
more modern bricks or stone. Little, however, as we may think of them,
the time has been when the natives were rather proud than otherwise of
their pebbly paths, for, according to Bisset, when one returned from
visiting the metropolis, he said he liked everything in London very much
"except the pavement, for the stones were all so smooth, there was no

~King Edward's Place.~--Laid out in 1782 on a 99 years' lease, from
Grammar School, at a ground rent of £28, there being built 31 houses,
and two in Broad Street.

~King's Heath.~--A little over three miles on the Alcester Road, in the
Parish of King's Norton, an outskirt of Moseley, and a suburb of
Birmingham; has added a thousand to its population in the ten years from
census 1871 to 1881, and promises to more than double it in the next
decennial period. The King's Heath and Moseley Institute, built in 1878,
at the cost of Mr. J.H. Nettlefold, provides the residents with a
commodious hall, library, and news-room. There is a station here on the
Midland line, and the alterations now in the course of being made on
that railway must result in a considerable, addition to the traffic and
the usefulness of the station, as a local depôt for coal, &c.

~King's Norton.~--Mentioned in Domesday, and in the olden times was
evidently thought of equal standing (to say the least) with its
five-miles-neighbour, Birmingham, as in James the First's reign there
was a weekly market (Saturdays) and ten fairs in the twelve months. The
market the inhabitants now attend is to be found in this town, and the
half-score of fairs has degenerated to what is known as "King's Norton
Mop" or October statute fair, for the hiring of servants and labourers,
when the Lord of Misrule holds sway, the more's the pity. The King's
Norton Union comprises part of the borough of Birmingham (Edgbaston), as
well as Balsall Heath, Harborne, Moseley, Northfield, Selly Oak, &c.,
and part of it bids fair to become a manufacturing district of some
extent, as there are already paper mills, rolling mills, screw works,
&c., and the Smethwick men are rapidly advancing in its direction--the
Midland Junction with the West Suburban line being also in the parish.
The fortified mansion, known as Hawkesley House, in this parish, was the
scene of a contest in May, 1645, between King Charles' forces and the
Parliamentarians, who held it, the result being its capture, pillage,
and destruction by fire.

~Kirby's Pools.~--A well-known and favourite resort on the outskirt of
the borough, on the Bristol Road, and formerly one of the celebrated
taverns and tea gardens of past days. The publichouse (the "Malt
Shovel") having been extended and partially rebuilt, and the grounds
better laid out, the establishment was re-christened, and opened as the
Bournbrook Hotel, at Whitsuntide, 1877.

~Kossuth.~--Louis Kossuth, the ex-dictator of Hungary, was honoured with
a public welcome and procession of trades, &c., Nov. 10, 1851, and
entertained at a banquet in Town Hall on the 12th. He afterwards
appeared here May 7 and 8, 1856, in the _role_ of a public lecturer.

~Kyott's Lake.~--A pool once existing where now is Grafton Road, Camp
Hill. There was another pool near it, known as Foul Lake.

~Kyrle Society.~--So named after the character alluded to by Pope in his
"Moral Essays":

  "Who taught that heaven-directed spire to rise?
  'The Man of Ross,' each lisping babe replies."

John Kyrle, who died Nov. 11, 1724, though not a native, resided at Ross
nearly the whole of his long and loyal life of close on 90 years, and
Pope, who often visited the neighbourhood, there became acquainted with
him and his good works, and embalmed his memory in undying verse as an
example to future generations. A more benevolent lover of his fellowman
than Kyrle cannot be named, and a society for cultivating purity of
taste, and a delight in aiding the well-being of others, is rightly
called after him. The Birmingham Kyrle Society was established in 1880,
and frequent paragraphs in the local papers tell us of their doings, at
one time cheering the inmates of the institutions where the sick and
unfortunate lie, with music and song, and at another distributing books,
pictures, and flowers, where they are prized by those who are too poor
to purchase. The officers of the society will be pleased to hear from
donors, as let contributions of flowers or pictures be ever so many, the
recipients are far more numerous. Mr. Walliker, our philanthropic
postmaster, is one of the vice-presidents, and the arrangements of the
parcel post are peculiarly suited for forwarding parcels.

~Lady Well.~--There is mention in a document dated 1347 of a "dwelling
in Egebaston Strete leading towards God well feld," and there can be no
doubt that this was an allusion to the Lady Well, or the well dedicated
to the blessed Virgin, close to the old house that for centuries
sheltered the priests that served St. Martin's, and which afterwards was
called the Parsonage or Rectory. The well spring was most abundant, and
was never known to fail. The stream from it helped to supply the moat
round the Parsonage, and there, joined by the waters from the higher
grounds in the neighbourhood of Holloway Head, and from the hill above
the Pinfold, it passed at the back of Edgbaston Street, by the way of
Smithfield passage and Dean Street (formerly the course of a brook) to
the Manor House moat. The Ladywell Baths were historically famous and,
as stated by Hutton, were the finest in the kingdom. The Holy Well of
the blessed Virgin still exists, though covered over and its waters
allowed to flow into the sewers instead of the Baths, and any visitor
desirous of testing the water once hallowed for its purity must take his
course down the mean alley known as Ladywell Walk, at the bend in which
he will find a dirty passage leading to a rusty iron pump, "presented by
Sir E.S. Gooch, Bart., to the inhabitants of Birmingham," as
commemorated by an inscription on the dirty stone which covers the
spring and its well. God's Well field is covered with workshops,
stables, dirty backyards and grimy-looking houses, and the Baths are a

~Lambert.~--Birmingham had something to do with the fattening of the
celebrated Daniel Lambert, the heaviest lump of humanity this country
has yet produced, for he was an apprentice to Mr. John Taylor, button
maker, of Crooked Lane. His indentures were cancelled through his
becoming so fat and unwieldy, and he was sent back to his father, the
then governor of Leicester gaol. Daniel died June 21st, 1809, at
Stamford, where he was buried; his age was 39, and he weighed 52 stone
11 lb. (at 14 lb. the stone), measuring 9 ft. 4 in. round the body, and
3 ft. 1 in. round the thick of each of his legs.

~Lancashire Distress.~--The accounts of the Local Fund raised for the
relief of the cotton operatives of Lancashire were published Aug. 3,
1863, showing receipts amounting £15,115 4s. 10d.

~Lamps.~--The number of ordinary lamps in the borough, under the control
of the Public Works Department, on the 31st of December, 1882, was
6,591, of which number 1,950 are regulated to consume 5.20 cubic feet,
and the remainder, or 4,641, 4.30 cubic feet per hour; their cost
respectively inclusive of lighting, cleaning, and extinguishing, was £2
12s. 4-1/2d., and £2 5s. 2-1/4d. per lamp per annum. In addition there
are 93 special and 53 urinal lamps.

~Lands.~--In Birmingham it is bought and sold by the square yard, and
very pretty prices are occasionally paid therefor; our agricultural
friends reckon by acres, roods, and perches. The Saxon "hyde" of land,
as mentioned in Domesday Book and other old documents, was equivalent to
100, or, as some read it, 120 acres; the Norman "Carncase" being

~Land Agency.~--An International Land and Labour Agency was established
at Birmingham by the Hon. Elihu Burritt in October, 1869; its object
being to facilitate the settlement of English farmers and mechanics in
the United States, and also to supply American orders for English
labourers and domestic servants of all kinds. Large numbers of
servant-girls in England, it was thought, would be glad to go to
America, but unable to pay their passage-money, and unwilling to start
without knowing where they were to go on arriving. This agency advanced
the passage-money, to be deducted from the first wages; but, though the
scheme was good and well meant, very little advantage was taken of the
agency, and, like some other of the learned blacksmith's notions, though
a fair-looking tree, it bore very little fruit.

~Land and Building Societies.~--Though frequently considered to be quite
a modern invention, the plan of a number uniting to purchase lands and
houses for after distribution, is a system almost as old as the hills.
The earliest record we have of a local Building Society dates from 1781,
though no documents are at hand to show its methods of working. On Jan.
17, 1837, the books were opened for the formation of a Freehold Land and
Building Society here, but its usefulness was very limited, and its
existence short. It was left to the seething and revolutionary days of
1847-8, when the Continental nations were toppling over thrones and
kicking out kings, for sundry of our men of light and leading to bethink
themselves of the immense political power that lay in the holding of the
land, and how, by the exercise of the old English law, which gave the
holder of a 40s. freehold the right of voting for the election of a
"knight of the shire," such power could be brought to bear on
Parliament, by the extension of the franchise in that direction. The
times were out of joint, trade bad, and discontent universal, and the
possession of a little bit of the land we live on was to be a panacea
for every abuse complained of, and the sure harbinger of a return of the
days when every Jack had Jill at his own fireside. The misery and
starvation existing in Ireland where small farms had been divided and
subdivided until the poor families could no longer derive a sustenance
from their several moieties, was altogether overlooked, and "friends of
the people" advocated the wholesale settlement of the unemployed English
on somewhat similar small plots. Feargus O'Connor, the Chartist leader,
started his National Land Society, and thousands paid in their weekly
mites in hopes of becoming "lords of the soil;" estates here and there
were purchased, allotments made, cottages built, and many new homes
created. But as figs do not grow on thistles, neither was it to be
expected that men from the weaving-sheds, or the mines, should be able
to grow their own corn, or even know how to turn it into bread when
grown, and _that_ Utopian scheme was a failure. More wise in their
generation were the men of Birmingham: they went not for country
estates, nor for apple orchards or turnip fields. The wise sagaciousness
of their leaders, and the Brums always play well at "follow my leading,"
made them go in for the vote, the full vote, and nothing but the vote.
The possession of a little plot on which to build a house, though really
the most important, was not the first part of the bargain by any means
at the commencement. To get a vote and thus help upset something or
somebody was all that was thought of at the time, though now the case is
rather different, few members of any of the many societies caring at
present so much for the franchise as for the "proputty, proputty,
proputty." Mr. James Taylor, jun., has been generally dubbed the "the
father of the freehold land societies," and few men have done more than
him in their establishment, but the honour of dividing the first estate
in this neighbourhood, we believe, must be given to Mr. William Benjamin
Smith, whilome secretary of the Manchester Order of Odd Fellows, and
afterwards publisher of the _Birmingham Mercury_ newspaper. Being
possessed of a small estate of about eight acres, near to the Railway
Station at Perry Barr, he had it laid out in 100 lots, which were sold
by auction at Hawley's Temperance Hotel, Jan. 10, 1848, each lot being
of sufficient value to carry a vote for the shire. The purchasers were
principally members of an Investment and Permanent Benefit Building
Society, started January 4, 1847, in connection with the local branch of
Oddfellows, of which Mr. Smith was a chief official. Franchise Street,
which is supposed to be the only street of its name in England, was the
result of this division of land, and as every purchaser pleased himself
in the matter of architecture, the style of building may be called that
of "the free and easy." Many estates have been divided since then,
thousands of acres in the outskirts being covered with houses where erst
were green fields, and in a certain measure Birmingham owes much of its
extension to the admirable working of the several Societies. As this
town led the van in the formation of the present style of Land and
Building Societies, it is well to note here their present general
status. In 1850 there were 75 Societies in the kingdom, with about
25,000 members, holding among them 35,000 shares, with paid-up
subscriptions amounting to £164,000. In 1880, the number of societies in
England was 946, in Scotland, 53, and in Ireland 27. The number of
members in the English societies was 320,076, in the scotch 11,902, and
in the Irish 6,533. A return relating to these societies in England has
just been issued, which shows that there are now 1,687 societies in
existence, with a membership of 493,271. The total receipts during the
last financial year amounted to £20,919,473. There were 1,528 societies
making a return of liabilities, which were to the holders of shares
£29,351,611, and to the depositors £16,351,611. There was a balance of
unappropriated profit to the extent of £1,567,942. The assets came to
£44,587,718. In Scotland there were 15,386 members of building
societies; the receipts were £413,609, the liabilities to holders of
shares amounted to £679,990, to depositors and other creditors £268,511;
the assets consisted of balance due on mortgage securities £987,987, and
amount invested in other securities and cash £67,618. In Ireland there
were 9,714 members of building societies; the receipts were £778,889,
liabilities to the holders of shares £684,396, to depositors and others
£432,356; the assets included balance due on mortgage securities
£1,051,423, and amount invested in other securities £79,812. There were
150 of the English societies whose accounts showed deficiencies
amounting to £27,850; two Scotch societies minus £862, but no Irish
short. It is a pity to have to record that there have been failures in
Birmingham, foremost among them being that of the Victoria Land and
Building Society, which came to grief in 1870, with liabilities
amounting to £31,550. The assets, including £5,627 given by the
directors and trustees, and £886 contributed by other persons, realised
£27,972. Creditors paid in full took £9,271, the rest receiving 8s. 9d.
in the pound, and £4,897 being swallowed up in costs. The break-up of
the Midland Land and Investment Corporation (Limited) is the latest.
This Company was established in 1864, and by no means confined itself to
procuring sites for workmen's dwellings, or troubled about getting them
votes. According to its last advertisement, the authorised capital was
£500,000, of which £248,900 had been subscribed, but only £62,225 called
up, though the reserve fund was stated to be £80,000. What the dividend
will be is a matter for the future, and may not even be guessed at at
present. The chief local societies, and their present status, areas

_The Birmingham Freehold Land Society_ was started in 1848, and the
aggregate receipts up to the end of 1882 amounted to £680,132 12s. 7d.
The year's receipts were £20,978 16s. 5d., of which £11,479 represented
payments made by members who had been alloted land on the estates
divided by the Society, there being, after payment of all expenses, a
balance of £11,779 12s. 9d. The number of members was then 772, and it
was calculated that the whole of the allotments made would be paid off
in four years.

_The Friendly Benefit Building Society_ was organised in 1859, and up to
Midsummer, 1883, the sums paid in amounted to £340,000. The year's
receipts were £21,834 19s. 6d., of which £10,037 came from borrowers,
whose whole indebtedness would be cleared in about 5-1/2 years. The
members on the books numbered 827, of whom 684 were investors and 143
borrowers. The reserve fund stood at £5,704 5s. 9d There is a branch of
this Society connected with Severn Street Schools, and in a flourishing
condition, 32 members having joined during the year, and £2,800 having
been received as contributions. The total amount paid in since the
commencement of the branch in June, 1876, was £18,181 13s. 11d. The
Severn Street scholars connected with it had secured property during the
past year valued at £2,400.

_The Incorporated Building Society_ comprises the United, the Queen's,
the Freeholders', and the Second Freeholders' Societies, the earliest of
them established in 1849, the incorporation taking place in 1878. The
aggregate receipts of these several Societies would reach nearly 3-1/2
millions. The amounts paid in since the amalgamation (to the end of
1882) being £1,049,667. As might be expected the present Society has a
large constituency, numbering 6,220 members, 693 of whom joined in 1882.
The advances during the year reached £78,275, to 150 borrowers, being an
average of £500 to each. The amount due from borrowers was £482,000, an
average of £540 each. The amount due to investors was ££449,000, an
average of £84 each. The borrowers repaid last year £104,000, and as
there was £482,000 now due on mortgage accounts the whole capital of the
society would be turned over in five years, instead of thirteen and a
half, the period for which the money was lent. The withdrawals had been
£85,409, which was considerably under the average, as the society had
paid away since the amalgamation £520,000, or £104,000 per annum. The
amount of interest credited to investors was £19,779. A total of
£100,000 had been credited in the last five years. The reserve fund now
amounted to £34,119, which was nearly 7-1/2 per cent. on the whole
capital employed.

_The Birmingham Building Society, No. 1_, was established in May, 1842,
and re-established in 1853. It has now 1,580 members, subscribing for
shares amounting to £634,920. The last report states that during the
existence of the society over £500,000 has been advanced to members, and
that the amount of "receipts and payments" have reached the sum of
£1,883,444. Reserve fund is put at £5,000.

_The Birmingham Building Society, No. 4_, was established in June, 1846,
and claims to be the oldest society in the town. The report, to end of
June, 1883, gave the number of shares as 801-3/4, of which 563-1/4
belong to investors, and the remainder to borrowers. The year's receipts
were £10,432, and £6,420 was advanced. The balance-sheet showed the
unallotted share fund to be £18,042, on deposit £3,915, due to bank
£2,108, and balance in favour of society £976. The assets amounted to
£25,042, of which £21,163 was on mortgages, and £3,818 on properties in

_St. Philip's Building Society_ was began in January, 1850, since when
(up to January, 1883) £116,674 had been advanced on mortgages, and
£28,921 repaid to depositing members. The society had then 326 members,
holding among them 1,094-1/4 shares. The year's receipts were £13,136,
and £7,815 had been advanced in same period. The reserve fund was
£3,642; the assets £65,940, of which £54,531 was on mortgages, £7,987
deferred premiums, and £2,757 properties in hand.

Several societies have not favoured us with their reports.

~Law.~--There are 306 solicitors and law firms in Birmingham, 19
barristers, and a host of students and law clerks, each and every one of
whom doubtless dreams of becoming Lord Chancellor. The Birmingham Law
Society was formed in 1818, and there is a Society of Law Students
besides, and a Law Library. At present, our Law Courts comprise the
Bankruptcy and County Courts, Assize Courts (held _pro tem_ in the
Council House), the Quarter Sessions' and Petty Sessions' Courts.

~League of Universal Brotherhood.~--Originated by Elihu Burritt, in
1846, while sitting in the "Angel," at Pershore, on his walk through
England. He came back to Joseph Sturge and here was printed his little
periodical called "The Bond of Brotherhood," leading to many
International Addresses, Peace Congresses, and Olive-Leaf Missions, but
alas! alas! how very far off still seems the "universal peace" thus
sought to be brought about. Twenty thousand signatures were attached to
"The Bond" in one year. Far more than that number have been slain in
warfare every year since.

~Lease Lane.~--Apparently a corruption of Lea or Leay Lane, an ancient
bye-road running at the back of the Dog or Talbot Inn, the owners of
which, some 300 years ago, were named Leays. When the Market Hall was
built and sewers were laid round it, the workmen came upon what was at
the time imagined to be an underground passage, leading from the
Guildhall in New Street to the old Church of St. Martin's. Local
antiquarians at the time would appear to have been conspicuous by their
absence, as the workmen were allowed to close the passage with rubbish
without a proper examination being made of it. Quite lately, however, in
digging out the soil for the extension of the Fish Market at a point on
the line of Lease Lane, about 60ft. from Bell Street, the workmen, on
reaching a depth of 8ft. or 9ft., struck upon the same underground
passage, but of which the original purpose was not very apparent. Cut in
the soft, sandstone, and devoid of any lining, it ran almost at right
angles to Lease Lane, and proved to extend half way under that
thoroughfare, and some four or five yards into the excavated ground.
Under Lease Lane it was blocked by rubbish, through which a sewer is
believed to run, and therefore the exact ending of the passage in one
direction cannot be traced; in the excavated ground it ended, on the
site of a dismantled public-house, in a circular shaft, which may have
been that of a well, or that of a cesspool. The passage, so far as it
was traceable, was 24ft. long, 7ft. high, and 4-1/2ft. wide. As to its
use before it was severed by the sewerage of Lease Lane, the conjecture
is that it afforded a secret means of communication between two houses
separated above ground by that thoroughfare, but for what purpose must
remain one of the perplexing puzzles of the past. That it had no
connection with the Church or the Grammar School (the site of the old
Guild House) is quite certain, as the course of the passage was in a
different direction.

~Leasing Wives.~--In the histories of sundry strange lands we read of
curious customs appertaining to marriage and the giving in marriage.
Taking a wife on trial is the rule of more than one happy clime, but
taking a wife upon lease is quite a Brummagem way of marrying (using the
term in the manner of many detractors of our town's fair fame). In one
of the numbers of the _Gentleman's Magazine_, for the year 1788, Mr.
Sylvanus Urban, as the editor has always been called, is addressed as
follows by a Birmingham correspondent:--"Since my residing in this town
I have often heard there is a method of obtaining a wife's sister upon
lease. I never could learn the method to be taken to get a wife upon
lease, or whether such connections are sanctioned by law; but there is
an eminent manufacturer in the vicinity of this town who had his
deceased wife's sister upon lease for twenty years and upwards; and I
know she went by his name, enjoyed all the privileges, and received all
the honours due to the respectable name of wife." A rarer case of
marital leasing has often been noted against us by the aforesaid
smirchers of character as occurring in 1853, but in reality it was
rather an instance of hiring a husband.

~Leather Hall.~--As early as the Norman Conquest this town was famed for
its tanneries, and there was a considerable market, for leather for
centuries after. Two of the Court Leet officers were "Leather Sealers,"
and part of the proclamation made by the Crier of the Court when it held
its meetings was in those words, "All whyte tawers that sell not good
chaffer as they ought to do reasonably, and bye the skynnes in any other
place than in towne or market, ye shall do us to weet," meaning that
anyone knowing of such offences on the part of the "whyte tawers" or
tanners should give information at the Court then assembled. New Street
originally was entered from High Street, under an arched gateway, and
here was the Leather Hall (which was still in existence in Hutton's
time), where the "Sealers" performed their functions. It was taken down
when New Street was opened out, and though we have an extensive hide and
skin market now, we can hardly be said to possess a market for leather
other than the boot and shoe shops, the saddlers, &c.

~Lench's Trust.~--See "_Philanthropic Institutions_."

~Liberal Association.~--On Feb. 17, 1865, a meeting was held in the
committee room of the Town Hall for the purpose of forming an
organisation which should "unite all the Liberals of the town, and
provide them with a regular and efficient method of exercising a
_legitimate_ influence in favour of their political principles." The
outcome of this meeting was the birth of the now famous Liberal
"Caucus," and though the names of ten gentlemen were appended to the
advertisement calling the meeting, the honour of the paternity of the
Liberal bantling is generally given to Mr. William Harris. The governing
body of the association was fixed at two dozen, inclusive of the
president, vice, and secretary; all persons subscribing a shilling or
more per annum being eligible to become members. The "General
Committee," for some time known as the "Four Hundred," was enlarged in
1876 to Six Hundred, and in June, 1880, to Eight Hundred, the Executive
Committee, at the same time, being considerably increased. The recent
alteration in the franchise, and the division of the borough and
outskirts into seven electoral districts, has led to a reorganisation of
the Association, or Associations, for each of the seven divisions now
works by itself, though guided by a central Council.--A "Women's Liberal
Association" was founded in October, 1873, and a "Junior Liberal
Association" in October, 1878.

~Libraries.~--The first public or semi-public library founded in
Birmingham, was the Theological. In 1733 the Rev. William Higgs, first
Rector of St. Philip's, left his collection of 550 volumes, and a sum of
money, to found a library for the use of clergymen and students. The
books, many of which are rare, are kept in a building erected in 1792,
adjacent to the Rectory, and are accessible to all for whom the library
was designed.--A Circulating Library was opened in Colmore Row, in 1763,
and at one time there was a second-class institution of the kind at a
house up one of the courts in Dale End.--A "New Library" was opened in
Cannon Street, April 26, 1796, which was removed to Temple Row, in 1821,
and afterwards united to the Old Library. The latter was commenced in
1779, the first room for the convenience of members being opened in
1782, and the present building in Union Street, erected in 1798. The
report of the committee for the year 1882 showed that there were 772
proprietors, at 21s. per annum; 35 annual subscribers, at 31s. 6d. per
annum; 528 at 2ls.; 6 quarterly, at 9s. per quarter; 53 at 6s. per
quarter; 17 resident members of subscribers' families, at 10s. per
annum; and 118 resident members of subscribers' families (readers) at
5s. The total number of members was 1,479; the year's subscriptions
being £1,594. The price of shares has been raised from two to three
guineas during the past year. Receipts from shares, fines, &c., amounted
to about £480, making the amount actually received in 1882, £2,012 6s.
The expenditure had been £1,818 19s. 9d., inclusive of £60 carried to
the reserve fund, and £108 paid on account of the new catalogue; and
there remained a balance of £198 6s. 1d. in hand. £782 0s. 9d. had been
expended on the purchase of 1,560 additional books, re-binding others,
&c., making a total of about 50,000 volumes. The library needs
extension, but the shortness of the lease (thirty years only) and the
high value of the adjoining land prevents any step being taken in that
direction at present. The Birmingham Law Society's Library was founded
in February, 1831, by Mr. Arthur Ryland, and has now nearly 6,000
volumes of law works, law reports (English, Scotch, and Irish), local
and personal Acts, &c., &c. The present home in Wellington Passage was
opened August 2, 1876, being far more commodious than the old abode in
Waterloo-street, the "library" itself being a room 35ft. long, 22ft.
wide, and 20ft. high, with a gallery round it. There are several
extensive libraries connected with places of worship, such as the Church
of the Saviour, Edward Street, Severn Street Schools, the Friends'
Meeting House, &c. and a number of valuable collections in the hands of
some well-known connoisseurs, literati, and antiquarians, access to most
of which may be obtained on proper introduction.

~Libraries (The Free).~--The first attempt to found a Free Library in
this town was the holding of a public meeting in April, 1852, under the
provisions of the Museums and Libraries Act of 1850, which allowed of a
1/2d. rate being levied for the support of such institutions. Whether
the townsfolk were careless on the subject, or extra careful, and
therefore, doubtful of the sufficiency of the 1/2d. rate to provide
them, is not certain; but so little interest was shown in the matter
that only 534 persons voted for the adoption of the Act, while 363 voted
against it, and the question for the time was shelved, as the Act
required the assents to be two-thirds of the total votes given. In 1855
the Commissioner of patents presented to the town some 200 volumes,
conditionally that they should be kept in a _Free_ Library, and about
the same time another proposal was made to establish such a Library, but
to no effect. The Act was altered so that a penny rate could be made,
and in October, 1859, it was again suggested to try the burgesses. On
February 21, 1860, the meeting was held and the adoption of the Act
carried by a large majority. A committee of sixteen, eight members of
the Council, and eight out if it, was chosen, and in a short time their
work was shown by the transfer of 10,000 square feet of land belonging
to the Midland Institute, on which to erect a central library, the
preparations of plans therefor, the purchase of books, and (April 3,
1861) the opening of the first branch library and reading room in
Constitution Hill. Mr. E.M. Barry, the architect of the Midland
Institute, put in designs, including Art Gallery, but his figures were
too high, being £14,250 10s., the Town Council having only voted
£10,500. The plans of Mr. W. Martin, whose estimate was £12,000 were
adopted, the Council added £1,500, a loan for the cash was negotiated,
and building commenced by Messrs. Branson and Murray, whose tender to do
the work for £8,600 was accepted. Thirty-two applications for the chief
librarianship at £200 per annum were sent in, the chosen man being Mr.
J.D. Mullins, though he was not the one recommended by the Committee.
The Central Lending Library (with 10,000 volumes) and Reading-room, with
Art Gallery, was formally opened September 6, 1865, and the Reference
Library (then containing 18,200 volumes) October 26, 1866. In 1869, the
latter was much enlarged by the purchase of 604 square yards of land in
Edmund Street, and the total cost of the building came to £14,896. The
Branch Library at Adderley Park was opened January 11, 1864; that at
Deritend Oct. 2, 1866, and at Gosta Green Feb. 1, 1868. At the end of
1870, the total number of volumes in the whole of the Libraries was
56,764, of which 26,590 were in the Reference, and 12,595 in the Central
Lending Library. By 1877, the total number of volumes had reached
86,087, of which 46,520 were in the Reference, and 17,543 in the Central
Lending, the total number of borrowers being 8,947 at the Central, 4,188
at Constitution Hill, 3,002 at Deritend, 2,668 at Gosta Green, and 271
at Adderley Park. Meantime several new features in connection with the
Reference Library had appeared. A room had been fitted up and dedicated
to the reception of the "Shakespeare Memorial Library," presented April
23, 1864; the "Cervantes Library," presented by Mr. Bragge, was opened
on a similar date in 1873; the "Staunton Collection" purchased for
£2,400, (not half its value) was added Sept. 1, 1875, and very many
important additions had been made to the Art Gallery and incipient
Museum. For a long time, the Free Libraries' Committee had under
consideration the necessity of extending the building, by adding a wing,
which should be used not only as an Art Gallery, but also as an
Industrial Museum; the Art Gallery and its treasures being located in
that portion of the premises devoted to the Midland Institute, which was
found to be a very inconvenient arrangement. The subject came under the
notice of the Council on February 19th, 1878, when the committee
submitted plans of the proposed alterations. These included the erection
of a new block of buildings fronting Edmund Street, to consist of three
storeys. The Town Council approved the plans, and granted £11,000 to
defray the cost of the enlargement. About Midsummer the committee
proceeded to carry out the plans, and in order to do this it was
necessary to remove the old entrance hall and the flight of stairs which
led up to the Shakespeare Memorial Library and to the Reference Library,
and to make sundry other alterations of the buildings. The Library was
closed for several days, and in the meantime the walls, where the
entrances were, were pulled down and wooden partitions were run up
across the room, making each department of much smaller area than
before. In addition to this a boarded-in staircase was erected in Edmund
Street, by which persons were able to gain access to the Lending
Library, which is on the ground floor, and to the Reference Library,
which was immediately above. A similar staircase was made in
Ratcliff-place, near the cab stand, for the accommodation of the members
of the Midland Institute, who occupy the Paradise-street side of the
building. The space between the two staircases was boarded up, in order
to keep the public off the works during the alterations, and the
necessary gas supply pipes, &c., were located outside these wooden
partitions. The alterations were well advanced by Christmas, and
everything bade fair for an early and satisfactory completion of the
undertaking. The weather, however, was most severe, and now and then the
moisture in the gas-pipes exposed to the air became frozen. This
occurred on the afternoon of Saturday, January 11, 1879, and an employé
of the gas office lit a gas jet to thaw one of the pipes, A shaving was
blown by the wind across this light, it blazed; the flame caught other
shavings, which had been packed round the pipe to keep the frost out,
and in less than a minute the fire was inside, and in one hour the
Birmingham Reference Library was doomed to destruction. It was the
greatest loss the town had ever suffered, but a new building has arisen
on the site, and (with certain exceptions) it is hoped that a more
perfect and valuable Library will be gathered to fill it. In a few days
after the fire it was decided to ask the public at large for at least
£10,000 towards a new collection, and within a week £7,000 had been sent
in, the principal donors named in the list being--

                                                £    s.
The Mayor (Mr. Jesse Collins).  ..  ..  ..     100   0
Alderman Chamberlain, M.P. (as
  Trustee of the late Mrs.
  Chamberlain, Moor Green)  ..  ..  ..  ..    1000   0
Alderman Chamberlain, M.P.  ..  ..  ..  ..     500   0
Alderman Avery  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..     500   0
Mr. John Jaffray..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..     500   0
Mr. A. Follett Osler, F.R.S...  ..  ..  ..     500   0
Mr. John Feeney ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..     250   0
Mrs. Harrold .. ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..     250   0
Mr. Timothy Kenrick ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..     250   0
Mr. William Middlemore  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..     250   0
A Friend ..  .. ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..     250   0
Mr. James Atkins..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..     105   0
Lord Calthorpe  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..     100   0
Lord Teynham..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..     100   0
Mr. Thomas Gladstone..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..     100   0
Messrs. William Tonks and Sons  ..  ..  ..     100   0
Mr. W.A. Watkins..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..     100   0
Mr. and Mrs. T. Scruton ..  ..  ..  ..  ..      75   0
Dr. Anthony ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..      52  10
Mr. Oliver Pemberton..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..      52  10
Alderman Baker  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..      50   0
Alderman Barrow ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..      50   0
Messrs. Cadbury Brothers..  ..  ..  ..  ..      50   0
Mr. J.H. Chamberlain..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..      50   0
Alderman Deykin ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..      50   0
Mr. T.S. Fallows..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..      50   0
Mr. J.D. Goodman..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..      50   0
Councillor Johnson  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..      50   0
Mr. William Martin  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..      50   0
Councillor Thomas Martineau ..  ..  ..  ..      50   0
Councillor R.F. Martineau   ..  ..  ..  ..      50   0
Mr. Lawley Parker   ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..      50   0
Mrs. E. Phipson ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..      50   0
Messrs. Player Brothers ..  ..  ..  ..  ..      50   0
Mr. Walter Showell  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..      50   0
Mr. Sam Timmins ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..      50   0
The Rev. A.R. Vardy ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..      50   0
Mr. J.S. Wright and Sons..  ..  ..  ..  ..      50   0
In sums of £20, &c  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..     480   5
In sums of £10, &c  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..     247   2
In sums of £5, &c   ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..     169   5
Smaller amounts ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..      88   8

This fund has received many noble additions since the above, the total,
with interest, amounting, up to the end of 1883, to no less than
£15,500, of which there is still in hand, £10,000 for the purchase of
books. The precaution of insuring such an institution and its contents
had of course been taken, and most fortunately the requisite
endorsements on the policies had been made to cover the extra risk
accruing from the alteration in progress. The insurances were made in
the "Lancashire" and "Yorkshire" offices, the buildings for £10,000, the
Reference Library for £12,000, the Lending Library for £1,000, the
Shakespeare Library for £1,500, the Prince Consort statue for £1,000,
the models of Burke and Goldsmith for £100, and the bust of Mr. Timmins
for £100, making £25,700 in all. The two companies hardly waited for the
claim to be made, but met it in a most generous manner, paying over at
once £20,000, of which £10,528 has been devoted to the buildings and
fittings, nearly £500 paid for expenses and injury to statues, and the
remaining £9,000 put to the book purchase fund. In the Reference Library
there were quite 48,000 volumes, in addition to about 4,000 of patent
specifications. Every great department of human knowledge was
represented by the best known works. In history, biography, voyages, and
travels, natural history, fine arts, all the greatest works, not only in
English, but often in the principal European languages, had been
gathered. Volumes of maps and plans, engravings of all sorts of
antiquities, costumes, weapons, transactions of all the chief learned
societies, and especially bibliography, or "books about books" had been
collected with unceasing care, the shelves being loaded with costly and
valuable works rarely found out of the great libraries of London, or
Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, or Glasgow. Among the collections lost
were many volumes relating to the early history of railways in England,
originally collected by Mr. Charles Brewin, and supplemented by all the
pamphlets and tracts procurable. Many of those volumes were full of
cuttings from contemporary newspapers, and early reports of early
railway companies, and of the condition of canals and roads. Still more
valuable were many bundles of papers, letters, invoices, calculations,
etc., concerning the early attempt to establish the cotton manufacture
in Birmingham at the beginning of the last century, including the papers
of Warren, the printer, and some letters of Dr. Johnson, and others
relating the story of the invention of spinning by rollers--the work of
John Wyatt and Lewis Paul--long before Arkwright's time. Among the
immense collection of Birmingham books and papers were hundreds of Acts
of Parliament, Birmingham Almanacs, Directories (from 1770) most
curious, valuable, and rare; a heap of pamphlets on the Grammar School,
Birmingham History, Topography, and Guides; the political pamphlets of
Job Nott and John Nott, some of which were the only copies known, the
more ancient pamphlets describing Prince Rupert's Burning Love (date
1613) and others of that time; reports from the year 1726 of the several
local learned institutions; an invaluable collection of maps; programmes
of the Festivals; and copies of all the known Birmingham newspapers and
periodicals (some being perfect sets) etc., etc. Of all the host not
more than 1,000 volumes were saved. The fame of the Shakespeare Memorial
Library at Birmingham was world-wide and to us it had extra value as
emanating from the love which George Dawson bore for the memory of
Shakespeare. It was his wish that the library should be possessed of
every known edition of the bard's works in every language, and that it
should contain every book ever printed about him or his writings. In the
words of Mr. Timmins, "The devotion of George Dawson to Shakespeare was
not based upon literary reasons alone, nor did it only rest upon his
admiration and his marvel at the wondrous gifts bestowed upon this
greatest of men, but it was founded upon his love for one who loved so
much. His heart, which knew no inhumanity, rejoiced in one who was so
greatly human, and the basis of his reverence for Shakespeare was his
own reverence for man. It was thus, to him, a constant pleasure to mark
the increasing number of the students of Shakespeare, and to see how,
first in one language and then in another, attempts were made to bring
some knowledge of his work to other nations than the English-speaking
ones; and the acquisition of some of these books by the library was
received by him with delight, not merely or not much for acquisition
sake, but as another evidence of the ever-widening influence of
Shakespeare's work. The contents of this library were to Mr. Dawson a
great and convincing proof that the greatest of all English authors had
not lived fruitlessly, and that the widest human heart the world has
known had not poured out its treasure in vain." So successful had the
attempts of the collectors been that nearly 7,000 volumes had been
brought together, many of them coming from the most distant parts of the
globe. The collection included 336 editions of Shakspeare's complete
works in English, 17 in French, 58 in German, 3 in Danish, 1 in Dutch, 1
in Bohemian, 3 in Italian, 4 in Polish, 2 in Russian, 1 in Spanish, 1 in
Swedish; while in Frisian, Icelandic, Hebrew, Greek, Servian,
Wallachian, Welsh, and Tamil there were copies of many separate plays.
The English volumes numbered 4,500, the German 1,500, the French 400.
The great and costly editions of Boydell and Halliwell, the original
folios of 1632, 1664, and 1685, the very rare quarto contemporary issues
of various plays, the valuable German editions, the matchless collection
of "ana," in contemporary criticism, reviews, &c., and the interesting
garnering of all the details of the Tercentenary Celebration--
wall-posters, tickets, pamphlets, caricatures, &c., were all to be found
here, forming the largest and most varied collection of Shakspeare's
works, and the English and foreign literature illustrating them, which
has ever been made, and the greatest literary memorial which any author
has ever yet received. So highly was the library valued that its
contents were consulted from Berlin and Paris, and even from the United
States, and similar libraries have been founded in other places. Only
500 of the books were preserved, and many of them were much damaged. The
loss of the famed Staunton or Warwickshire collection was even worse
than that of the Shakespearean, rich and rare as that was, for it
included the results of more than two centuries' patient work, from the
days of Sir William Dugdale down to the beginning of the present
century. The manuscript collections of Sir Simon Archer, fellow-labourer
of Dugdale, the records of the Berkeley, Digby, and Ferrers families,
the valued and patient gatherings of Thomas Sharpe, the Coventry
antiquarian, of William Hamper, the Birmingham collector, and of William
Staunton himself, were all here, forming the most wonderful county
collection ever yet formed, and which a hundred years' work will never
replace. The books, many rare or unique, and of extraordinary value,
comprised over 2000 volumes; there were hundreds of sketches and
water-colour drawings of buildings long since destroyed, and more than
1,500 engravings of various places in the county, among them being some
300 relating to Birmingham, 200 to Coventry, 200 to Warwick Castle, 200
to Kenilworth Castle, and more than 100 to Stratford-on-Avon. The
thousand portraits of Warwickshire Worthies, more rare and valuable
still, included no less than 267 distinct portraits of Shakespeare,
every one from a different block or plate. There was, in fact,
everything about Warwickshire which successive generations of learned
and generous collectors could secure. Among other treasures were
hundreds of Acts of Parliament, all pedigrees, pamphlets, &c., about the
Earls of Warwick and the town of Warwick; the original vellum volume
with the installation of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, to the Order
of St. Michael, with his own autograph; volumes of rare, curious
autographs of county interest; county poll books, newspapers and
magazines; all the rare Civil War pamphlets relating to the Warwickshire
incidents; ancient deeds, indulgences, charters, seals, rubbings of
brasses long lost or worn away, medals, coins, hundreds in number; and
rare and invaluable volumes, like the Duc de Nortombria's "Arcano de
Mare," and two fine copies of Dugdale's Warwickshire; besides hundreds
of books, engravings, caricatures, pamphlets and tracts. The catalogue
of this precious collection had only recently been completed, but even
that was burnt, so that there is nothing left to show the full extent of
the loss sustained. The only salvage consisted of three books, though
most providentially one of the three was the splendid Cartulary of the
Priory of St. Anne, at Knowle, a noble vellum folio, richly illuminated
by some patient scribe four centuries ago, and preserving not only the
names of the benefactors of the Priory, and details of its possessions,
but also the service books of the Church, with the ancient music and
illuminated initials, as fresh and perfect as when first written. Of
almost inestimable value, it has now an acquired interest in the fact of
its being, so to speak, all that remains of all the great Staunton
collection. The Cervantes Library, which had taken him a quarter of a
century to gather together, was presented by Mr. William Bragge. For
many years, even in a busy life, Mr. Bragge, in his visits to Spain and
his travels all over Europe, had been able to collect nearly all the
known editions, not only of "Don Quixote," but of all the other works of
Cervantes. Not only editions, but translations into any and every
language were eagerly sought; and, after cherishing his treasures for
many years, Mr. Bragge was so impressed with the Shakespeare Library
that he generously offered his unrivalled collection of the great
contemporary author to the town of which he is a native, and in which he
afterwards came to live. The collection extended from editions published
in 1605 down to our own days, and included many very rare and very
costly illustrated volumes, which can never be replaced. All the known
translations were among the thousand volumes, and all the works were in
the choicest condition, but only ten survived the fire.--From the
Lending Library about 10,000 volumes were rescued, and as there were
nearly 4,000 in the hands of readers, the loss here was comparatively
small. The present number of books in the Reference Library bids fair to
surpass the collection lost, except, of course, as regards the
Shakespeare, Cervantes, and Staunton gatherings, the latter of which it
is simply impossible to replace, while it will take many years to make
up the other two. There are now (March, 1884) over 54,000 volumes on the
shelves, including 4,300 saved from the fire, about 33,000 purchased,
and nearly 17,000 presented. Among the latter are many rare and costly
works given to Birmingham soon after the catastrophe by a number of
societies and gentlemen connected with the town, as well as others at
home and abroad. To catalogue the names of all donors is impossible, but
a few of those who first contributed may be given. Foremost, many of the
books being of local character, was the gift of Mr. David Malins, which
included Schedel's Nuremberg Chronicle, 1492, one vol.; Camden's
Britannia, ed. Gibson, 1695, one vol.; Ackermann's London, Westminster
Abbey, Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, &c., ten vols.; Works of
Samuel Parr, 1828, eight vols.; Illustrated Record of European Events,
1812-1815, one vol.; Thompson's Seasons, illustrated by Bartolozzi, and
other works, seventy vols.; Notes and Queries (complete set of five
series), 1850-78, fifty-seven vols.; Dugdale's "Warwickshire, 1656, and
other books relating to Birmingham, Warwickshire and neighbourhood,
seventy-four vols.; books printed by Baskerville, ten vols.;
Birmingham-printed books, 203 vols.; books on or by Birmingham authors,
fifty-six vols.; total, 491 vols.; in addition to a collection of about
600 portraits, maps and views relating to Birmingham, Warwickshire and
the neighbourhood, including sixty portraits of Shakespeare. The
Manchester Town Council sent us from their Public Library about 300
volumes, among which may be named the edition of Barclay's Apology
printed by Baskerville (1765); a fine copy of the folio edition of Ben
Johnson (1640); the Duke of Newcastle's New Method to Dress Horses
(1667); several volumes of the Maitland Club books, the catalogue of the
Harleian MSS (1759); two tracts of Socinus (1618); the Foundations of
Manchester (4 vols.); Daulby's Rembrandt Catalogue; Weever's Funeral
Monuments (1631); Visconti's Egyptian Antiquities (1837); Heylyn's
History of St. George (1633), and Nicholl's History of English Poor Law.
There are also a considerable number of works of science and general
literature of a more modern date. The trustees of the British Museum
gave about 150 works, relating to Greek, Egyptian, Syrian, Phoenician,
and other antiquities, to various departments of natural science, and
other interesting matters, the whole constituting a valuable
contribution towards the restored library. The Science and Art
Department of South Kensington sent a selection of catalogues,
chromo-lithographs, books of etchings, photographs, &c. Dr. F.A. Leo, of
Berlin, sent a splendid copy of his valuable _fac-simile_ of "Four
Chapters of North's Plutarch," illustrating Shakespeare's Roman plays,
to replace his former gift-volume lost in the calamitous fire. The
volume is one of twenty-four copies, and the learned Professor added a
printed dedication as a record of the fire and the loss. Dr. Delius, of
Bonn, Herr Wilhelm Oechelhaüser, of Dessau, and other German Shakespeare
authors sent copies of their works. Mr. J. Payne Collier offered copies
of his rare quarto reprints of Elizabethan books, to replace those which
had been lost. Mr. Gerald Massey offered a copy of his rare volume on
Shakespeare's Sonnets, "because it is a Free Library." Mr. H. Reader
Lack offered a set of the Patent Office volumes from the limited number
at his disposal as Chief of the Patent Office. Dr. Kaines, of Trinder
Road, London, selected 100 volumes from his library for acceptance; Mrs.
and Miss L. Toulmin Smith sent all they could make up of the works of
Mr. J. Toulmin Smith, and of his father, Mr. W. Hawkes Smith, both
natives of our town; Messrs. Low, Son, and Co., gave 120 excellent
volumes; Messrs. W. and R. Chambers, Messrs. Crosby, Lockwood, and Co.,
and other publishers, valuable books; Mr. James Coleman his "Index to
Pedigrees," "Somerset House Registers," and "William Penn Pedigrees;"
Miss N. Bradley (Bath) the new reissue of Professor Ruskin's works; Mr.
H.W. Adnitt (Shrewsbury) his reprint of Gough's curious "History of
Myddie," and of Churchyard's "Miserie of Flaunders," and "The Four
Ministers of Salop:" Mr. H.F. Osle presented a, fine collection of Art
books, including Grüner's great work, and Mr. J.H. Stone made a valuable
donation of the same kind. The above are mere items in the list of
generous donors, and gives but small idea of the many thousands of
volumes which have streamed in from all parts. Many indeed have been the
valuable gifts and additions by purchase since the fire, one of the
latest being nearly the whole of the almost priceless collection of
Birmingham books, papers, &c., belonging to Mr. Sam. Timmins. The sum of
£1,100 was paid him for a certain portion of backs, but the number he
has given at various times is almost past count. Immediate steps were
taken after the fire to get the lending department of the Library into
work again, and on the 9th of June, 1879, a commodious (though rather
dark) reading room was opened in Eden Place, the Town Council allowing a
number of rooms in the Municipal Buildings to be used by the Libraries
Committee. In a little time the nucleus of the new Reference gathering
was also in hand, and for three years the institution sojourned with the
Council. The new buildings were opened June 1st, 1882, and the date
should be recorded as a day of rejoicing and thanksgiving. The Reference
department was opened to readers on the 26th of the same month. In place
of the hired rooms so long used as a library in Constitution Hill, there
has been erected in the near neighbourhood a neat two-storey building
which will accommodate some 2,000 readers per day, and the shelves are
supplied with about 7,000 volumes. This new library was opened July 18,
1883. To summarise this brief history of the Birmingham Free Libraries
it is well to state that £78,000 has been spent on them, of which
£36,392 has been for buildings. The cost of the Central Library so far
has been £55,000, the remaining £23,000 being the expenditure on the
branch libraries. The present annual cost is £9,372, of which £3,372
goes for interest and sinking fund, so that an addition must soon be
made to the 1d. rate, which produces £6,454. The power to increase the
rate is given in the last Act of Parliament obtained by the Corporation.
At the end of 1882 the Reference Library contained 50,000 volumes. The
number of books in the Central Lending Library was 21,394, while the
branch lending libraries contained--Constitution Hill, 7,815; Deritend,
8,295; Gosta Green, 8,274; and Adderley Park, 3,122. The aggregate of
all the libraries was 98,900 volumes. The issues of books during 1882
were as follows:--Reference Library, 202,179; Central Lending Library,
186,988; Constitution Hill, 73,705; Deriteud, 70,218; Gosta Green,
56,160; Adderley Park, 8,497; total, 597,747; giving a daily average of
2,127 issues. These figures are exclusive of the Sunday issues at the
Reference Library, which numbered 25,095. The average number of readers
in the Reference Library on Sundays has been 545; and the average
attendance at all the libraries shows something like 55,000 readers per
week, 133 different weekly and monthly periodicals being put on the
tables for their use, besides the books. At a meeting of the School
Board, June 4, 1875, permission was given to use the several infants'
schoolrooms connected with the Board Schools, as evening reading rooms
in connection with the libraries.

_The Shakespeare Memorial Library_, though to all intents and purposes
part and parcel of the Reference Library, has a separate and distinct
history. Mr. Sam. Timmins, who is generally credited with having (in
1858) first suggested the formation of a library, which should consist
solely of Shakespeare's works, and Shakespeareana of all possible kinds,
said, at the tercentenary meeting, that the idea originated with George
Dawson, but perhaps the honour should be divided, as their mutual
appreciation of the greatest poet whose genius has found utterance in
our language is well known. The first practical step taken was the
meeting, held (July 10, 1863) of gentlemen interested in the
tercentenary, for the purpose of considering a proposal to celebrate
that event by the formation of a Shakespearean library. The Rev. Charles
Evans, head master of King Edward's School, presided. The following
resolution, moved by Mr. G. Dawson, and seconded by the Rev. S. Bache,
was adopted:--"That it is desirable to celebrate the tercentenary of the
birth of Shakespeare by the formation of a Shakespearean library,
comprising the various editions of the poet's works, and the literature
and works of art connected therewith, and to associate such library with
the Borough Central Reference Library, in order that it may be
permanently preserved." A hundred pounds were subscribed at this
meeting, and a committee formed to proceed with the project. In a very
few months funds rolled in, and Shakespeareans from all parts of the
world sent willing contributions to this the first Shakespearean library
ever thought of. It was determined to call it a "Memorial" library, in
honour of the tercentenary of 1864, and on the poet's day of that year,
the library was formally presented to the town at a breakfast given at
Nock's Hotel by the Mayor (Mr. W. Holliday). Dr. Miller, George Dawson,
M.D. Hill (Recorder), T.C.S. Kynnersley, R.W. Dale, Sam. Timmins, and
others took part in the proceedings, and the Mayor, on behalf of the
Free Libraries Committee, accepted the gift on the terms agreed to by
the Town Council, viz., that the Library should be called "The
Shakespearean Memorial Library," that a room should be specially and
exclusively appropriated for the purposes thereof; that the library
should be under the same regulations as the Reference Library; and that
the Free Libraries' Committee should maintain and augment it, and accept
all works appertaining to Shakespeare that might be presented, &c. As
George Dawson prophesied on that occasion, the library in a few years
become the finest collection of Shakespearean literature in Europe
therein being gathered from every land which the poet's fame had
reached, not only the multitudinous editions of his works, but also
every available scrap of literature bearing thereon, from the massive
folios and quaint quartoes of the old times to the veriest trifle of
current gossip culled from the columns of the newspapers. Nothing was
considered too rare or too unimportant, so long as it had connection
even remote to Shakespeare; and the very room (opened April 23, 1888),
in which the books were stored itself acquired a Shakespearean value in
its carved and elaborately-appropriate fittings. When started, it was
hoped that at least 5,000 volumes would be got together, but that number
was passed in 1874, and at the end of 1878 there were more than 8,700,
in addition to the books, pictures, documents, and relics connected with
Stratford-on-Avon and her gifted son contained in the Staunton
collection. How all the treasures vanished has already been told. Much
has been done to replace the library, and many valuable works have been
secured; but, as the figures last published show, the new library is a
long way behind as yet. It now contains 4,558 volumes, valued at £1,352
9s. 3d., classified as follows:--English, 2,205 volumes; French, 322;
German, 1,639; Bohemian, 14; Danish, 25; Dutch, 68; Finnish, 4; Frisian,
2; Greek, 9; Hebrew, 2; Hungarian, 44; Icelandic, 3; Italian, 94;
Polish, 15; Portuguese, 3; Roumanian, 1; Roumelian, 1; Russian, 56;
Spanish, 18; Swedish, 30; Ukraine, 1; Wallachian, 1; and Welsh, 1.

~Libraries Suburban.~--The ratepayers of the Manor of Aston adopted the
Free Libraries Act, May 15, 1877, and their Library forms part of the
Local Board buildings in Witton Road. At the end of March, 1883, the
number of volumes in the reference library was 3,216, and the issues
during the year numbered 8,096. In the lending department the library
consists of 5,582 volumes, and the total issues during the year were
74,483; giving a daily average of 245. The number of borrowers was
3,669.--Aston and Handsworth being almost part of Birmingham, it would
be an act of kindness if local gentlemen having duplicates on their
library shelves, would share them between the two.

_Handsworth_ Free Library was opened at the Local Board Offices, of
which building it forms a part, on May 1, 1880, with a collection of
about 5,000 volumes, which has since been increased to nearly 7,500.
That the library is appreciated is shown by the fact that during last
year the issues numbered 42,234 volumes, the borrowers being 514 males
and 561 females.

_Smethwick_ Free Library and Reading Room was opened Aug. 14, 1880.

_King's Norton_.--In or about 1680, the Rev. Thomas Hall, B.D., founded
a curious old Library for the use of the parishioners, and the books are
preserved in the Grammar School, near the Church. This is the earliest
_free_ library known in the Midlands.

~Licensed Victuallers' Society.~--See "_Trade Protection Societies_."

~Licensed Victuallers' Asylum.~--See "_Philanthropical Institutions_."

~Licensed Victuallers.~--The following table shows the number of
licensed victuallers, dealers in wine, beer, &c., in the borough as well
as the holders of what are known as outdoor licenses:--

Year.  Licensed    Beer and   Total.  Population.  Beer, &c.,  Grocers.
      Victuallers.  Wine On.                          Off.
1870     687         1166     1853     337,982         ..         ..
1871     683         1165     1848     343,690         ..         ..
1872     684         1117     1801     349,398         ..         23
1873     684         1083     1767     355,106          4         53
1874     680         1081     1761     360,814          4         53
1875     676         1057     1733     366,522          7         73
1876     675         1059     1734     372,230        171         73
1877     673         1054     1727     377,938        223         74
1878     672         1046     1718     383,646        334         77
1879     671         1061     1732     389,354        433         61
1880     670         1060     1730     395,063        454         63
1881     669         1054     1723     400,774        454         55
1882     670         1054     1724     406,482        459         57

~Lifeboats.~--In 1864-65 a small committee, composed of Messrs. H.
Fulford, G. Groves, J. Pearce, D. Moran, G. Williams, R. Foreshaw, and
G. Lempiere, aided by the Mayor and Dr. Miller, raised about £500 as a
contribution from Birmingham to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
Two boats were credited to us in the Society's books, one called
"Birmingham" (launched at Soho Pool, November 26, 1864), and the other
the "James Pearce." These boats, placed on the Lincolnshire and Norfolk
coasts, were instrumental in the saving of some hundreds of lives, but
both have, long since, been worn out, and it is about time that
Birmingham replaced them. Messrs. C. and W. Barwell, Pickford Street,
act as local hon. secs. The "Charles Ingleby" lifeboat, at Hartlepool,
was paid for, and the establishment for its maintenance endowed, out of
the sum of £1,700, contributed by C.P. Wragge, Esq., in memory of the
late Rev. Charles Ingleby.

~Lifford,~ in the parish of King's Norton, once boasted of a Monastic
establishment, which was squelched by Bluff King Harry, the only remains
now to be found consisting of a few more than half-buried foundations
and watercourses.

~Lighting.~--Oil lamps for giving light in the streets were in limited
use here in 1733, even before an Act was obtained to enforce payment of
a rate therefor. Deritend and Bordesley obtained light by the Act passed
in 1791. The Street Commissioners, Nov. 8, 1816, advertised for tenders
for lighting the streets with gas, but it was nearly ten years (April
29, 1826) before the lamps were thus supplied. The Lighting Act was
adopted at Saltley April 1, 1875. Lighting the streets by electricity
_may_ come some day, though, as the Gas Works belong to the town, it
will, doubtless, be in the days of our grandchildren.

~Lighting by Electricity.~--After the very successful application of the
electric light in the Town Hall on the occasion of the Festival in 1882,
it is not surprising that an attempt should be made to give it a more
extended trial. A scheme has been drawn out by the Crompton-Winfield
Company for this purpose, and it has received the sanction of the Town
Council, and been confirmed by the Board of Trade, shopkeepers in the
centre of the town may soon have a choice of lights for the display of
their wares. The area fixed by the scheme is described by the following
boundaries:--Great Charles Street to Congreve Street; Congreve Street to
Edmund Street; Edmund Street to Newhall Street; Newhall Street to
Colmore Row; Colmore Row to Bull Street; Bull Street, High Street, New
Street, Stephenson Place, Paradise Street, and Easy Row. The streets to
be supplied with electric mains within two years are as follows:--Great
Charles Street (to Congreve Street), Congreve Street, New Street,
Stephenson Place, Easy Row, and Paradise Street. The Corporation are to
have powers of purchasing the undertaking at the end of sixteen years--
that is, fourteen years after the expiration of the two-years' term
allowed for the experimental lighting of the limited area. The order,
while fully protecting the rights of the public and of the Corporation,
justly recognises the experimental character of the project of
electric-lighting from a common centre, and is much more favourable, in
many ways, to the promoters than the legislation under which gas
undertakings are conducted. Whether this will tend towards reducing the
price of gas remains to be seen.

~Lightning Conductors~ were introduced here in 1765.

~Lindon.~--The Minerva, in Peck Lane, was, circa 1835, kept by "Joe
Lindon," a host as popular then as our modern "Joe Hillman," up at "The
Stores," in Paradise Street.

~Literary Associations.~--The Central Literary Association first met
Nov. 28, 1856. The Moseley and Balsall Heath, Oct. 11, 1877.

~Livery Street.~--So called from the Livery stables once there, opposite
Brittle street, which is now covered by the Great Western Railway

~Livingstone.~--Dr. Livingstone, the African traveller, delivered an
address in the Town Hall, October 23, 1857.

~Loans.~--According to the Registrar-General's late report, there were
380 loan societies in the kingdom, who had among them a capital of
£122,160, the members of the said societies numbering 33,520, giving an
average lending capital of £3 12s. 10-1/2d. each. That is certainly not
a very large sum to invest in the money market, and it is to be hoped
that the score or two of local societies can show better funds. What the
profits of this business are frequently appear in the reports taken at
Police Courts and County Courts, where Mr. Cent.-per-Cent. now and then
bashfully acknowledges that he is sometimes satisfied with a profit of
200 per cent. There _are_ respectable offices in Birmingham where loans
can be obtained at a fair and reasonable rate, but _Punch's_ advice to
those about to marry may well be given in the generality of cases, to
anyone thinking of visiting a loan office. Young men starting in
business may, under certain conditions, obtain help for that purpose
from the "Dudley Trust."--See "_Philanthropical Trusts_."

~Loans, Public.~--England, with its National Debt of £776,000,000, is
about the richest country in the world, and if the amount of
indebtedness is the sign of prosperity, Birmingham must be tolerably
well off. Up to the end of 1882 our little loan account stood thus:--

                        Borrowd   Repaid     Owing.
Baths ..  ..  ..  ..    £62,425  £27,743    £34,682
Cemetery  ..  ..  ..     46,500   19,316     27,184
Closed Burial Gr'nds     10,000       41      9,959
Council House ..  ..    135,762   10,208    125,554
Fire Brigade Station      6,000       53      5,947
Free Libraries..  ..     56,050    7,534     48,516
Gaol  ..  ..  ..  ..     92,350   79,425     12,925
Industrial School ..     13,710    2,310     11,400
Asylum, Winson Gn...    100,000   97,020      2,980
  "    Rubery Hill..    100,012    5,887     94,125
Markt Hall & Markts     186,942   73,463    113,479
Mortuaries..  ..  ..        700      103        597
Parks ..  ..  ..  ..     63,210   12,347     50,863
Paving roads  ..  ..    158,100   30,088    128,012
Paving footways   ..     79,950    8,113     71,837
Police Stations   ..     25,231    9,839     15,392
Public Office ..  ..     23,400   14,285      9,115
Sewers & Sewerage ..    366,235   81,338    284,897
Tramways  ..  ..  ..     65,450   17,125     48,325
Town Hall ..  ..  ..     69,521   37,885     31,636
Town Improvements ..    348,680  134,156    214,524
                      2,010,227  668,278  1,341,949
Improvem't scheme ..  1,534,731   31,987  1,502,744
Gasworks  ..  ..  ..  2,184,186  142,359  2,041,827
Waterworks..  ..  ..  1,814,792    5,086  1,809,706
Totals..  ..  ..  ..  7,543,936  847,710  6,696,226

The above large total, however, does not show all that was owing. The
United Drainage Board have borrowed £386,806, and as Birmingham pays
£24,722 out of the year's expenditure of £33,277 of that Board, rather
more than seven-tenths of that debt must be added to the Borough
account, say £270,000. The Board of Guardians have, between June, 1869,
and January, 1883, borrowed on loan £130,093, and during same period
have repaid £14,808, leaving £115,285 due by them, which must also be
added to the list of the town's debts.

~Local Acts.~--There have been a sufficient number of specially-local
Acts of Parliament passed in connection with this town to fill a law
library of considerable size. Statutes, clauses, sections, and orders
have followed in rapid succession for the last generation or two. Our
forefathers were satisfied and gratified if they got a regal of
parliamentary notice of this kind once in a century, but no sooner did
the inhabitants find themselves under a "properly-constituted" body of
"head men," than the lawyers' game began. First a law must be got to
make a street, another to light it, a third to pave it, and then one to
keep it clean. It is a narrow street, and an Act must be obtained to
widen it; when widened some wiseacre thinks a market should be held in
it, and a law is got for that, and for gathering tolls; after a bit,
another is required to remove the market, and then the street must be
"improved," and somebody receives more pounds per yard than he gave
pence for the bit of ground wanted to round off the corners; and so the
Birmingham world wagged on until the town became a big town, and could
afford to have a big Town Hall when other big towns couldn't, and a
covered Market Hall and a Smithfield of good size, while other places
dwelt under bare skies. The Act by which the authority of the Street
Commissioners and Highway Surveyors was transferred to the Corporation
was passed in 1851; the expenses of obtaining it reaching nearly £9,000.
It took effect on New Year's Day following, and the Commissioners were
no longer "one of the powers that be," but some of the Commissioners'
bonds are effective still. Since that date there have been twenty local
statutes and orders relating to the borough of Birmingham, from the
Birmingham Improvement Act, 1851, to the Provisional Order Confirmation
Act, passed in 1882, the twenty containing a thousand or more sections.
All this, however, has recently been altered, the powers that are now
having (through the Town Clerk, Mr. Orford Smith) rolled all the old
Acts into one, eliminating useless and obsolete clauses, and inserting
others necessitated by our high state of advanced civilisation. The new
Act, which is known as the Birmingham Corporation Consolidation Act,
came into force January 1, 1884, and all who desire to master our local
governing laws easily and completely had better procure a copy of the
book containing it, with notes of all the included statutes, compiled by
the Town Clerk, and published by Messrs. Cornish, New Street.

~Local Epitaphs.~--Baskerville, when young, was a stone cutter, and it
was known that there was a gravestone in Handsworth churchyard and
another in Edgbaston churchyard which were cut by him. The latter was
accidentally broken many years back, but was moved and kept as a
curiosity until it mysteriously vanished while some repairs were being
done at the church. It is believed that Baskerville wrote as well as
carved the inscription which commemorated the death of Edward Richards
who was an idiot, and died Sept. 21st, 1728, and that it ran thus:--

  "If innocents are the fav'rites of heaven,
  And God but little asks where little's given,
  My great Creator has for me in store
  Eternal joys--What wise man can ask more?"

The gravestone at Handsworth was "under the chancel window," sixty years
ago, overgrown with moss and weeds, but inscription and stone have long
since gone. Baskerville's own epitaph, on the Mausoleum in his grounds
at Easy Hill, has often been quoted:--

  Beneath this cone, in unconsecrated ground,
  A friend to the liberties of mankind directed his body to be inurned.
  May the example contribute to emancipate thy mind
  From the idle fears of Superstition,
  And the wicked Act of Priesthood!

Almost as historical as the above, is the inscription on the tombstone
erected over Mary Ashford, at Sutton Coldfield:--

  As a Warning to Female Virtue,
  And a humble Monument of Female Chastity,
  This Stone marks the Grave
  Who, in the 20th year of her age,
  Having incautiously repaired
  To a scene of amusement
  Without proper protection,
  Was brutally violated and murdered,
  On the 27th May, 1817.

  Lovely and chaste as is the primrose pale,
  Rifled of virgin sweetness by the gale,
  Mary! The wretch who thee remorseless slew,
  Will surely God's avenging wrath pursue.

  For, though the deed of blood be veiled in night,
  "Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?"
  Fair, blighted flower! The muse, that weeps thy doom,
  Rears o'er thy sleeping dust this warning tomb!

The following quaint inscription appears on the tombstone erected in
memory of John Dowler, the blacksmith, in Aston churchyard:--

  Sacred to the Memory of
  Late of Castle Bromwich, who
  Departed this life December 6th, 1787,
  Aged 42,
  Also two of his Sons, JAMES and CHARLES,
  Who died infants.

  My sledge and hammer lie reclined,
  My bellows, too, have lost their wind
  My fire's extinct, my forge decayed,
  And in the dust my vice is laid;
  My coal is spent, my iron gone,
  My nails are drove, my work is done.

The latter part of the above, like the next four, has appeared in many
parts of the country, as well as in the local burial grounds, from which
they have been copied:--

From St. Bartholomew's:

  "The bitter cup that death gave me
  Is passing round to come to thee."

From General Cemetery:

  "Life is a city full of crooked streets,
  Death is the market-place where all men meets;
  If life were merchandise which men could buy,
  The rich would only live, the poor would die."

From Witton Cemetery:

  "O earth, O earth! observe this well--
  That earth to earth shall come to dwell;
  Then earth in earth shall close remain,
  Till earth from earth shall rise again."

From St. Philip's:

  "Oh, cruel death, how could you be so unkind
  To take him before, and leave me behind?
  You should have taken both of us, if either,
  Which would have been more pleasing to the survivor."

The next, upon an infant, is superior to the general run of this class
of inscription. It was copied from a slab intended to be placed in Old
Edgbaston Churchyard:

  "Beneath this stone, in sweet repose,
    Is laid a mother's dearest pride;
  A flower that scarce had waked to life,
    And light and beauty, ere it died.
  God and His wisdom has recalled
    The precious boon His love has given;
  And though the casket moulders here,
    The gem is sparkling now in heaven."

Ramblers may find many quaint epitaphs in neighbouring village
churchyards. In Shustoke churchyard, or rather on a tablet placed
against the wall of the church over the tomb of a person named Hautbach,
the date on which is 1712, there is an inscription, remarkable not only
for lines almost identical with those over Shakespeare's grave, but for
combining several other favourite specimens of graveological literature,
as here bracketed:

  "When Death shall cut the thread of life,
  Both of Mee and my living Wife,
  When please God our change shall bee,
  There is a Tomb for Mee and Shee,
  Wee freely shall resign up all
  To Him who gave, and us doth call.

  {Sleep here wee must, both in the Dust,
  {Till the Resurrection of the Just.

  {Good friend, within these Railes forbear
  {To dig the dust enclosed here.
  {Blest bee the man who spares these stones
  {And Curst be he that moves our bones.

  {Whilst living here, learn how to die;
  {This benefit thoul't reap thereby:
  {Neither the life or death will bee
  {Grievous or sad, but joy to thee.

  {Watch thoue, and pray; thy time well spend;
  {Unknown is the hour of thy end.

  {As thou art, so once were wee,
  {As wee are, so must thou bee,
    Dumspiramus Speramus."

It is a collection of epitaphs in itself, even to the last line, which
is to be found in Durham Cathedral on a "brass" before the altar.

~Local Landowners.~--It is somewhat a difficult matter to tell how much
of the ground on which the town is built belongs to any one particular
person, even with the assistance of the "Returns" obtained by John
Bright of "the owner" of land so called, possessing estimated yearly
rentals of £1,000 and upwards. That these "Returns" may be useful to
biassed politicians is likely enough, as Lord Calthorpe is put down as
owner of 2,073 acres at an estimated rental of £113,707, while Mr. Muntz
appears as owning 2,486 acres at an estimated rental of £3,948. His
lordship's £113,707 "estimated" rental must be considerably reduced when
the leaseholders have taken their share and left him only the ground
rents. The other large ground landlords are the Trustees of the Grammar
School, the Trustees of the Colmore, Gooch, Vyse, Inge, Digby, Gillot,
Robins, and Mason estates, &c., Earl Howe, Lench's Trust, the Blue Coat
School, &c. The Corporation of Birmingham is returned as owning 257
acres, in addition to 134 had from the Waterworks Co., but that does not
include the additions made under the Improvement Scheme, &c. The manner
in which the estates of the old Lords of the Manor, of the Guild of Holy
Cross, and the possessions of the ancient Priory, have been divided and
portioned out by descent, marriage, forfeiture, plunder, and purchase is
interesting matter of history, but rather of a private than public

~Local Notes and Queries.~--The gathering of odd scraps of past local
history, notes of men and manners of a bygone time, and the stray (and
sometimes strange) bits of folklore garnered alone in the recollections
of greybeards, has been an interesting occupation for more than one
during the past score or two of years. The first series of "Local Notes
and Queries" in our newspapers appeared in the _Gazette_, commencing in
Feb., 1856, and was continued till Sept., 1860. There was a somewhat
similar but short series running in the columns of the _Journal_ from
August, 1861, to May, 1862. The _Daily Post_ took it up in Jan., 1863,
and devoted a column per week to "Notes" up to March, 1865, resuming at
intervals from 1867 to 1872. The series now (1884) appearing in the
_Weekly Post_ was commenced on the first Saturday (Jan. 6) in 1877.

~Local Taxation.~--See "_Municipal Expenditure_."

~Locks.~--The making of locks must have been one of the earliest of our
local trades, as we read of one at Throckmorton of very quaint design,
but rare workmanship, with the name thereon of "Johannes Wilkes,
Birmingham," towards the end of the 17th century. In 1824 there were 186
locksmiths named in the Directory.

~Lodger Franchise.~--Considering the vast amount of interest taken in
all matters connected with local Parliamentary representation, and the
periodical battles of bile and banter earned on in the Revision Courts
over the lists of voters, it is somewhat curious to note how little
advantage has been taken of the clause in the last Reform Bill which
gives the right of voting to lodgers. The qualification required is
simply the exclusive occupation of lodgings which, if let unfurnished,
are of the clear yearly value of £10; and there must be many hundreds of
gentlemen in the borough residing in apartments who would come under
this head. Out of a total of 63,221 electors in 1883 there were only 72
who had claimed their right to vote. In many other boroughs the same
discrepancy exists, though here and there the political wire-pullers
have evidently seen how to use the lodger franchise to much better
effect, as in the case of Worcester for instance, where there are 59
lodger voters out of a total of 6,362.--See "_Parliamentary Elections_."

~London 'Prentice Street,~ was called Western Street or Westley's Row on
the old maps, its continuation, the Coach Yard, being then Pemberton's
Yard. How the name of London 'Prentice Street came to be given to the
delectable thoroughfare is one of "those things no fellow can
understand." At one time there was a schoolroom there, the boys being
taught good manners upstairs, while they could learn lessons of
depravity below. With the anxious desire of putting the best face on
everything that characterises the present local "fathers of the people,"
the London 'Prentice has been sent to the right-about, and the nasty
dirty stinking thoroughfare is now called "Dalton Street."

~Loveday Street,~ from Loveday Croft, a field given in Good Queen Bess's
reign, by John Cooper, as a trysting-place for the Brummagem lads and
lasses when on wooing bent.

~Low Rents.~--A return of unassessed houses in the parish of Birmingham,
taken October 19, 1790, showed 2,000 at a rental under £5, 2,000 others
under £6, 3,000 under £7, 2,000 under £8, 500 under £9, and 500 under

~Lozells.~--In the lease of a farm of 138 acres, sold by auction, June
24, 1793, it was written "Lowcells." Possibly the name is derived from
the Saxon "lowe" (hill) and "cele" (cold or chill) making it "the cold

~Lunacy.~--Whether it arises from political heat, religious ecstacies,
intemperance, or the cares and worry of the universal hunt for wealth,
it is certainly a painful fact to chronicle that in proportion to
population insanity is far more prevalent now than it was fifty years
ago, and Birmingham has no more share in such excess than other parts of
the kingdom. Possibly, the figures show more prominently from the action
of the wise rules that enforce the gathering of the insane into public
institutions, instead of leaving the unfortunates to the care (or
carelessness) of their relatives as in past days, when the wards of the
poor-houses were the only receptacles for those who had no relatives to
shelter them. The erection of the Borough Asylum, at Winson Green, was
commenced in 1846, and it was finished in 1851. The house and grounds
covered an area of about twenty acres, the building being arranged to
accommodate 330 patients. Great as this number appeared to be, not many
years passed before the necessity of enlargement was perceived, and,
ultimately, it became evident the Winson Green establishment must either
be doubled in size or that a second Asylum must be erected on another
site. An estate of 150 acres on the south-eastern slopes of Rubery Hill,
on the right-hand side of the turnpike road from here to Bromsgrove, was
purchased by the Corporation, and a new Asylum, which will accommodate
616 patients, has there been erected. For the house and its immediate
grounds, 70 acres have been apportioned, the remainder being kept for
the purposes of a farm, where those of the inmates fit for work can be
employed, and where the sewage from the asylum will be utilised. The
cost of the land was £6,576 8s. 5d., and that of the buildings, the
furnishing, and the laying out of the grounds, £133,495 5s. 8d. The
report of the Lunatic Asylums Committee for 1882 stated that the number
of patients, including those boarded under contract at other asylums, on
the first of Jan., 1882, was 839. There were admitted to Winson Green
and Rubery Hill during the year 349. There were discharged during the
year 94, and there died 124, leaving, on the 31st Dec., 970. The whole
of the 970 were then at the borough asylums, and were chargeable as
follows:--To Birmingham parish, 644; to Birmingham borough, 8; to Aston
Union, in the borough, 168; to King's Norton, 16; to other unions under
contract, 98; the remaining 36 patients not being paupers. The income of
the asylums for the year was--from Birmingham patients £20,748 1s. 9.;
from pauper patients under contract, and from patients not paupers,
£2,989 9s. 5d.; from goods sold, £680 1s. 5d.; total, £24,417 12s. 7d.
The expenditure on maintenance account was £21,964 4s., and on building
capital account £2,966 7s. 7d.--total, £24,915 11s. 7d.; showing a
balance against the asylums of £497 19s. The nett average weekly cost
for the year was 9s. 6-1/2d. per head. Mr. E.B. Whitcombe, medical
superintendent at Winson Green, says that among the causes of insanity
in those admitted it is satisfactory to note a large decrease in the
number from intemperance, the percentage for the year being 7.7, as
compared with 18 and 21 per cent. in 1881 and 1880 respectively. The
proportion of recoveries to admissions was in the males 27.7, in the
females 36, and in the total 32.3 percent. This is below the average,
and is due to a large number of chronic and unfavourable cases admitted.
At Rubery Hill Asylum, Dr. Lyle reports that out of the first 450
admissions there were six patients discharged as recovered.--The Midland
Counties' Idiot Asylum, at Knowle, opened in 1867, also finds shelter
for some of Birmingham's unfortunate children. The Asylum provides a
home for about 50, but it is in contemplation to considerably enlarge
it. At the end of 1882 there were 28 males and 21 females, 47 being the
average number of inmates during the year, the cost per head being £41
13s. 6d. Of the limited number of inmates in the institution no fewer
than thirteen came from Birmingham, and altogether as many as
thirty-five candidates had been elected from Birmingham. The income from
all sources, exclusive of contributions to the building fund, amounted
to £2,033 3s. 8d., and the total expenditure (including £193 3s. 4d.
written off for depreciation of buildings) to £1,763 15s. 7d., leaving a
balance in hand of £269 8s. 1d. The fund which is being raised for the
enlargement of the institution then amounted to £605 15s., the sum
required being £5,000. The society's capital was then £10,850 12s. 8d.
of which £7,358 12s. 5d. had been laid out in lands and buildings. Mr.
Tait, the medical officer, was of opinion that one-fourth of the
children were capable of becoming productive workers under kindly
direction and supervision, the progress made by some of the boys in
basket-making being very marked.

~Lunar Society.~--So called from the meetings being held at the full of
the moon that the members might have light nights to drive home, but
from which they were nicknamed "the lunatics." Originally commenced
about 1765, it included among its members Baskerville, Boulton, Watt,
Priestley, Thomas Day, Samuel Galton, R.L. Edgeworth, Dr. Withering, Dr.
Small, Dr. Darwin, Wedgwood, Keir, and indeed almost every man of
intellectual note of the time. It died down as death took the leaders,
but it may be said to have left traces in many learned societies of
later date.

~Luncheon Bars.~--The honour of introducing the modern style of luncheon
bar must be awarded to the landlord of the Acorn, in Temple Street, who,
having seen something of the kind in one of the Channel Islands,
imported the notion to Birmingham. The lumber rooms and stables at back
of his house were cleared and fitted up as smoke rooms, and bread and
cheese, and beer, &c., dealt out over the counter. Here it was that Mr.
Hillman took his degree as popular waiter, and from the Acorn also he
took a wife to help him start "The Stores," in Paradise Street. Mr.
Thomas Hanson was not long behind Hillman before he opened up "The
Corner Stores," in Union Passage, following that with the "St. James" in
New Street, and several others in various parts of the town. The "Bars"
are now an "institution" that has become absolutely indispensable, even
for the class who prefer the semi-privacy of the "Restaurants," as the
proprietors of the more select Bars like to call their establishments.

~Magistrates.~--By direction of the Queen's Council, in 1569, all
magistrates had to send up "bonds" that they would subscribe to the then
recently passed Act for the Uniformity of Common Prayers and Services in
the Church, and the Administration of the Sacraments. The local name of
Middlemore appears among the few in this county who objected to do so,
and most likely his descendants would do the same. The first twenty-five
of our borough magistrates were appointed about nine weeks after the
date of the Charter of Incorporation, 1839. In 1841, 1849, 1856, and
1859, other gentlemen were placed on the roll, and in April, 1880, ten
more names were added to the list, having been sent up to the Lord
Chancellor a few days before he vacated office, by some knowing
gentlemen who had conceived a notion that the Conservative element was
hardly strong enough among the occupants of the Bench. There are now 52,
in addition to the Stipendiary Magistrate and the Recorder, and as
politics _must_ enter into every matter connected with public life in
Birmingham, we record the interesting fact that 31 of these gentlemen
are Liberals and 21 Conservatives. Mr. T.C.S. Kynnersley first acted as
Stipendiary, April 19, 1856.

~Magazines.~--See "_Newspapers and Periodicals_."

~Manor House.~--How few of the thousands who pass Smithfield every day
know that they are treading upon ground where once the Barons of
Birmingham kept house in feudal grandeur. Whether the ancient Castle,
destroyed in the time of Stephen, pre-occupied the site of the Manor
House (or, as it was of late years called--the Moat House), is more than
antiquarians have yet found out, any more than they can tell us when the
latter building was erected, or when it was demolished. Hutton says:
"The first certain account we meet of the moat (which surrounded the
island on which the erections were built) is in the reign of Henry the
Second, 1154, when Peter de Bermingham, then lord of the fee, had a
castle here, and lived in splendour. All the succeeding lords resided
upon the same island till their cruel expulsion by John, Duke of
Northumberland, in 1537. The old castle followed its lords, and is
buried in the ruins of time. Upon the spot, about fifty years ago
[1730], rose a house in the modern style, occupied by a manufacturer
(Thomas Francis); in one of the outbuildings is shown the apartment
where the ancient lords kept their court leet. The trench being filled
with water has nearly the same appearance now as perhaps a thousand
years ago; but not altogether the same use. It then served to protect
its master, but now to turn a thread mill." Moat Lane and Mill Lane are
the only names by which the memory of the old house is now retained. The
thread mill spoken of by Hutton gave place to a brass or iron foundry,
and the property being purchased by the Commissioners, the whole was
cleared off the ground in 1815 or 1816, the sale of the building
materials, &c., taking place July 5, 1815. Among the "lots" sold, the
Moat House and offices adjoining realised £290; the large gates at the
entrance with the brick pillars, £16; the bridge, £11; the timber trees,
£25; a fire engine with carriage, &c., £6 15s. (possibly some sort of
steam engine, then called fire engines); the total produce, including
counting-house, warehouse, casting, tinning, burnishing, blacking, and
blacksmiths' shops, a horse mill, scouring mill, and a quantity of wood
sheds and palisading, amounted to nearly £1,150. The prosaic minds of
the Commissioners evidently did not lead them to value "the apartments
where the ancient lords kept their court," or it had been turned into a
scouring or tinning shop, for no mention was made of it in the catalogue
of sale, and as the old Castle disappeared, so did the Manor House,
leaving not a stone behind. Mr. William Hamper took a sketch of the old
house, in May, 1814, and he then wrote of the oldest part of the
building, that it was "half-timbered," and seemingly of about Henry
VIII.'s time, or perhaps a little later, but some of the timbers had
evidently been used in a former building (probably the old Manorial
residence) as the old mortices were to be seen in several of the beams
and uprights. The house itself was cleared away in May, 1816, and the
last of the outbuildings in the following month. So perfect was the
clearance, that not even any of the foundations have been turned up
during the alterations lately effected in Smithfield Market. In 1746,
the "manorial rights" were purchased by Thomas Archer, of Umberslade,
from whose descendants they were acquired by the Commissioners, in 1812,
under an Act of Parliament obtained for the purpose, the price given for
the Manor House, meat, and ground, being £5,672, in addition to £12,500,
for "market tolls," &c.

~Manufactures.~--For a few notes respecting the manufactures carried on
in Birmingham, see "_Trades_."

~Maps of Birmingham.~--Westley's "Plan of Birmingham, surveyed in the
year 1731," is the earliest published map yet met with; Bradford's in
1750, is the next. Hanson's of 1778, was reduced for Hutton's work, in
1781. For the third edition, 1792, Pye's map was used, and it was added
to in 1795. 1800 saw Bissett's "Magnificent Directory" published, with a
map; and in 1815 Kempson's survey was taken, and, as well as Pye's, was
several times issued with slight alterations, as required. In 1825,
Pigott Smith's valuable map, with names of landowners (and a miniature
copy of Westley's in upper left-hand corner), was issued, and for many
years it was the most reliable authority that could be referred to. 1834
was prolific in maps; Arrowsmith's, Wrightson and Webb's, Guest's, and
Hunt's, appearing, the best of them being the first-named. The Useful
Knowledge Society's map, with views of public buildings, was issued in
1844, and again in 1849. In 1848, Fowler and Son published a
finely-engraved map, 68-1/4in. by 50-1/2in., of the parish of Aston,
with the Duddeston-cum-Nechells, Deritend, and Bordesley wards, and the
hamlets of Erdington, Castle Bromwich, Little Bromwich, Saltley, and
Washwood Heath, Water Orton, and Witton. The Board of Health map was
issued in 1849; Guest's reissued in 1850; Blood's "ten-mile map" in
1853; and the Post-office Directory map in 1854. In the next year, the
Town Council street map (by Pigott Smith) was published, followed by
Moody's in 1858, Cornish's and Granger's in 1860, and also a corrected
and enlarged edition of the Post-office Directory map. A variety, though
mostly of the nature of street maps, have appeared since then, the
latest, most useful, and correct (being brought down to the latest date)
being that issued to their friends, mounted for use, by Messrs. Walter
Showell and Sons, at whose head offices in Great Charles Street copies
can be obtained.--In 1882 the Corporation reproduced and issued a series
of ancient and hitherto private maps of the town and neighbourhood,
which are of great value to the historian and everyone interested in the
land on which Birmingham and its suburbs are built. The first of these
maps in point of date is that of the Manor of Edgbaston 1718, followed
by that of the Manor of Aston 1758, Little Bromwich Manor 1759,
Bordesley Manor 1760, Saltley Manor 1760, Duddeston and Nechells Manors
1778, and of Birmingham parish 1779. The last-named was the work of a
local surveyor, John Snape, and it is said that he used a camera obscura
of his own construction to enable him to make his work so perfect that
it served as correct guide to the map makers for fifty years after.

~Markets.~--Some writers have dated the existence of Birmingham as a
market town as being prior to the Norman Conquest, charters (they say)
for the holding of markets having been granted by both Saxon and Danish
Kings. That market was held here at an early period is evident from the
fact of the charter therefore being renewed by Richard I., who visited
the De Berminghams in 1189. The market day has never been changed from
Thursday, though Tuesday and Saturday besides are now not enough; in
fact, every day may be called market day, though Thursday attracts more
of our friends from the country. The opening of Smithfield (May 29,
1817) was the means of concentrating the markets for horses, pigs,
cattle, sheep, and farm produce, which for years previously had been
offered for sale in New Street, Ann Street, High Street, and Dale End.
The Market tolls, for which £12,500 was paid in 1812, produced £5,706
10s. 5d. in the year 1840.

_Cattle Market_.--Prior to 1769 cattle were sold in High Street; in that
year their standings were removed to Dale End, and in 1776 (Oct. 28.) to
Deritend. Pigs and sheep were sold in New Street up to the opening of
Smithfield. Some five-and-twenty years back a movement was set on foot
for the removal of the Cattle Market to the Old Vauxhall neighbourhood,
but the cost frightened the people, and the project was shelved. The
"town improvers" of to-day, who play with thousands of pounds as
children used to do at chuck-farthing, are not so easily baulked, and
the taxpayers will doubtless soon have to find the cash for a very much
larger Cattle Market in some other part of the borough. A site has been
fixed upon in Rupert Street by the "lords in Convention," but up to now
(March, 1885), the question is not _quite_ settled.

_Corn Market_.--The ancient market for corn, or "Corn Cheaping," formed,
part of "le Bul ryng" which at one time was almost the sole place of
traffic of our forefathers. At first an open space, as the market
granted by the early Norman Kings grew in extent, the custom arose of
setting up stalls, the right to do which was doubtless bought of the
Lords of the Manor. These grew into permanent tenements, and stallages,
"freeboards," shambles, and even houses (some with small gardens
abutting on the unfenced churchyard), gradually covered the whole
ground, and it ultimately cost the town a large sum to clear it, the
Commissioners, in 1806-7, paying nearly £25,000 for the purpose. The
farmers of a hundred years ago used to assemble with their samples of
grain round the Old Cross, or High Cross, standing nearly opposite the
present Market Hall steps, and in times of scarcity, when bread was
dear, they needed the protection of special constables.

_Fish Market_.--In April, 1851, the fishmongers' stalls were removed
from Dale End, and the sale was confined to the Market Hall, but
consequent on the increase of population, and therefore of consumption,
a separate market, at corner of Bell Street, was opened in 1870, and
that is now being enlarged.

_Hide and Skin Market_.--The sale of these not particularly
sweet-smelling animal products was formerly carried on in the open at
Smithfield, but a special market for them and for tallow was opened May
25, 1850; the same building being utilised as a wool market July 29,

_Vegetable Market_, so long held in the Bull Ring, is now principally
held in the covered portion of Smithfield, which promises to be soon a
huge wholesale market.

~Marriages.~--This is the style in which these interesting events used
to chronicled:--

"Sept. 30, 1751. On Monday last, the Rev. Mr. Willes, a relation of the
Lord Chief Justice Willes, was married to Miss Wilkins, daughter of an
eminent grocer of this town, a young lady of great merit, and handsome

"Nov. 23, 1751. On Tuesday last, was married at St. Mary-le-Bow, in
Cheapside, Mr. W. Welch, an eminent hardware man of Birmingham, to Miss
Nancy Morton, of Sheffield, an agreeable young lady, with a handsome

"June 4, 1772 (and not before as mentioned by mistake) at St. Philip's
Church in this town, Mr. Thomas Smallwood, an eminent wine merchant, to
Miss Harris, a young lady of distinguished accomplishments, with a
fortune of £1,500."

~Masshouse Lane.~--Takes its name from the Roman Catholic Church (or
Mass House, as such edifices were then called) erected in 1687, and
dedicated to St. Mary Magdalen and St. Francis. The foundation stone was
laid March 23, in the above year, and on 16th August, 1688, the first
stone of a Franciscan Convent was laid adjoining to the Church, which
latter was consecrated Sept. 4. The Church was 95ft long by 33ft. wide,
and towards the building of it and the Convent, James II. gave 125 "tuns
of timber," which were sold for £180; Sir John Gage gave timber valued
at £140; the Dowager Queen Catherine gave £10 15s.; and a Mrs. Anne
Gregg, £250. This would appear to have been the first place of worship
put up here by the Romish Church since the time of Henry VIII., and it
was not allowed to stand long, for the Church and what part of the
Convent was built (in the words of the Franciscan priest who laid the
first stone) "was first defaced, and most of it burrent within to near
ye vallue of 400lb., by ye Lord Dellamer's order upon ye 26 of November,
1688, and ye day sevennight following ye rabble of Birmingham begon to
pul ye Church and Convent down, and saesed not until they had pulled up
ye fundations. They sold ye materials, of which many houses and parts of
houses are built in ye town of Birmingham, ye townsmen of ye better sort
not resisting ye rabble, but quietly permitting, if not prompting them
to doe itt." The poor priests found shelter at Harborne, where there is
another Masshouse Lane, their "Masshouse" being a little further on in
Pritchett's Lane, where for nearly a century the double work of
conducting a school and ministering to their scattered Catholic flock
was carried on, the next local place of worship built here being "St.
Peters's Chapel," off Broad Street, erected about 1786. It is believed
that St. Bartholomew's Church covers the site of the short-lived "Mass

~Masonic.~--That the Freemasons are many among us is proved by the
number of their Lodges, but the writer has no record throwing light on
their past local history, though mention is found now and then in old
newspapers of their taking part in the ceremonies attending the erection
of more than one of our public buildings. Of their local acts of
benevolence they sayeth naught, though, as is well-known, their charity
is never found wanting. The three Masonic charitable institutions which
are supported by the voluntary contributions of the craft during 1883
realised a total income of £55,994 14s. 3d. Of this sum the boys' school
received £24,895 7s. 1d.; the Benevolent Institution, £18,449 6s.; and
the girls' school, £12,650 1s. 2d. The largest total attained previous
to 1883 was in 1880, when the sum amounted to £49,763. The boys' school,
which is now at the head of the list, is boarding, housing clothing, and
educating 221 boys; the Benevolent Institution, the second on the list,
is granting annuities of £40 each to 172 men and £32 each to 167 widows;
and the girls' school houses, boards, clothes, and educates 239 girls,
between the ages of seven and sixteen. The boys leave school at fifteen.
During the year £8,675 has been granted to 334 cases of distress from
the Fund of Benevolence, which is composed of 4s. a year taken from
every London Mason's subscription to his lodge and 2s. a year from every
country Mason's subscription. The local lodges meet as follows:--_At the
Masonic Hall, New Street_: St. Paul's Lodge, No. 43; the Faithful Lodge,
No. 473; the Howe Lodge, No. 587; the Howe R.A. Chapter; the Howe Mark
Master's Lodge; the Howe Preceptory of Knight Templars; the Temperance
Lodge, No. 739; the Leigh Lodge, No. 887; the Bedford Lodge, No. 925;
the Bedford R.A. Chapter; the Grosvenor Lodge, No. 938; the Grosvenor
R.A. Chapter; the Elkington Lodge, No 1,016; the Elkington R.A. Chapter;
the Fletcher Lodge, No. 1,031; the Fletcher R.A. Chapter; the Lodge of
Emulation, No. 1,163; the Forward Lodge, No. 1,180; the Lodge of
Charity, No. 1,551; and the Alma Mater Lodge, No. 1,644. _At the Masonic
Hall, Severn Street_: The Athol Lodge, No. 74; the Athol R.A. Chapter;
the Athol Mark Master's Lodge; and the Lodge of Israel, No. 1,474. _At
the Great Western Hotel_: The Lodge of Light, No. 468; the R.A. Chapter
of Fortitude; and the Vernon Chapter of S.P.R.C. of H.R.D.M., No. 5. _At
the Holte Hotel, Aston_: The Holte Lodge, No. 1,246.

~Matches.~--Baker's are best, the maker says. Lucifer matches were the
invention of a young German patriot, named Kammerer, who beguiled his
time in prison (in 1832) with chemical experiments, though a North of
England apothecary, Walker, lays claim to the invention. They were first
made in Birmingham in 1852, but they have not, as yet, completely driven
the old-fashioned, and now-despised tinder-box out of the world, as many
of the latter are still manufactured in this town for sundry foreign

~Mecca.~--The late Mr. J.H. Chamberlain, shortly before his death, said
that he looked upon Birmingham, "perhaps with a foolish pride," as the
Holy City, the Mecca of England; where life was fuller of possibilities
of utility--happier, broader, wiser, and a thousand times better than it
was in any other town in the United Kingdom.

~Mechanical Engineers.~--The Institution of Mechanical Engineers was
organised in this town, in October 1847, but its headquarters were
removed to London, in 1877.

~Mechanics' Institute.~--The proposal to form a local institution of a
popular nature, for the encouragement of learning among our workers,
like unto others which had been established in several large places
elsewhere, was published in June, 1825, and several meetings were held
before December 27, when officers were chosen, and entry made of nearly
200 members, to start with, the subscription being 5/-per quarter. The
formal opening took place March 21, 1826, the members assembling in
Mount Zion Chapel, to hear an address from Mr. B. Cook, the
vice-president. The class-rooms, library, and reading-rooms, were at the
school attached to the Old Meeting House, and here the Institution, so
far as the conduct of classes, and the imparting of knowledge went,
thrived and prospered. Financially, however, though at one time there
were nearly 500 members, it was never successful, possibly through lack
of assistance that might have been expected from the manufacturers and
large employers, for, hide it as we may, with a few honourable
exceptions, that class, fifty years ago, preferred strong men to wise
ones, and rather set their banks against opening the doors of knowledge
to their workpeople, or their children. It was a dozen years before the
Institution was able to remove to a home of its own in Newhall Street,
but it rapidly got into a hopeless state of debt. To lessen this
incubus, and provide funds for some needed alterations, the committee
decided to hold an exhibition of "manufactures, the fine arts, and
objects illustrative of experimental philosophy, &c." The exhibition was
opened Dec. 19, 1839, and in all ways was a splendid success, a
fairly-large sum of money being realised. Unfortunately, a second
exhibition was held in the following years, when all the profits of the
former were not only lost, but so heavy an addition made to the debt,
that it may be said to have ruined the institution completely. Creditors
took possession of the premises in January, 1842, and in June operations
were suspended, and, notwithstanding several attempts to revive the
institution, it died out altogether. As the only popular educational
establishment open to the young men of the time, it did good work, many
of its pupils having made their mark in the paths of literature, art,
and science.

~Medical Associations.~--According to the "Medical Register" there are
35 physicians and 210 surgeons resident in the borough, and there are
rather more than 300 chemists and druggists. According to a summary of
the census tables, the medical profession "and their subordinates"
number in Birmingham and Aston 940, of whom 376 are males and 564
females. In 1834, at Worcester, under the presidency of Dr. Johnson, of
this town, the Provincial Medical and Surgical Association was formed
for encouraging scientific research, improving the practice of medicine,
and generally looking after the interests of the profession. In 1856 the
name was changed to The British Medical Association, with head offices
in London, but prior to that branches had been established in various
large towns, the Birmingham and Midland Counties' branch being foremost,
holding its first meeting at Dee's Hotel, in December, 1854. The society
has now about 9,000 members, with a reserve fund of £10,000; in the
local branch there are 359 members, who subscribe about £150 per annum.
--The Birmingham Medical Institute was launched Feb. 5, 1876, but the
question of admitting homeopathists as members was nearly the upsetting
of the craft at the first meeting; thanks to the sails being trimmed
with a little common sense, however, the difficulty was tided over. The
opening of the Institute in Edmund Street took place December 17, 1880.
The cost of the building was about £6,000, and the purposes to which it
is applied are the providing accommodation for meetings of the
profession and the housing of the valuable medical library of over 6,000
books. As something worthy of note, it may be mentioned that the
Institute was opened free from debt, the whole cost being previously

~Memorials and Monuments.~--See "_Statues," &c._

~Men of Worth.~--The "Toy-shop of the World," the home of workers, free
from the blue blood of titled families, and having but few reapers of
"unearned increment," is hardly the place to look for "men of worth or
value" in a monetary point of view, but we have not been without them. A
writer in _Gazette_, September 1, 1828, reckoned up 120 inhabitants who
were each worth over £10,000 each; 50 worth over £20,000; 16 worth over
£50,000; 9 worth over £100,000; 3 worth over £200,000; 2 worth over
£300,000 each, and 1 worth over £400,000. Taking certain Income Tax
Returns and other information for his basis another man of figures in
1878 made calculations showing that there were then among us some 800
persons worth more than £5,000 each, 200 worth over £10,000, 50 worth
over £20,000, 35 worth over £50,000, 26 worth over £100,000, 12 worth
over £250,000, 5 worth over £500,000, and 2 worth over or near
£1,000,000 each.

~Mercia.~--In 585, this neighbourhood formed part of the Heptarchic
kingdom of Mercia, under Cridda; in 697, Mercia was divided into four
dioceses; this district being included in that of Lichfield; in 878,
Mercia was merged in the kingdom of England. According to Bede and the
Saxon Chronicles, Beorned was, in 757, king of Mercia, of which
Birmingham formed part, and in Canute's reign there was an Earl Beorn,
the king's nephew, and it has been fancifully suggested that in this
name Beorn may lie the much-sought root for the etymology of the town's
name. Beorn, or Bern, being derived from _ber_, a bear or boar, it might
be arranged thusly:--

  _Ber_, bear or boar; _moeng_, many; _ham_, dwelling--the whole making
  _Bermoengham_, the dwelling of many bears, or the home of many pigs!

~Metchley Camp.~--At Metchley Park, about three miles from town, near to
Harborne, there are the remains of an old camp or station which Hutton
attributes to "those pilfering vermin, the Danes," other writers
thinking it was constructed by the Romans, but it is hardly possible
that an undertaking requiring such immense labour as this must have
done, could have been overlooked in any history of the Roman occupation.
More likely it was a stronghold of the native Britons who opposed their
advance, a superstition borne out by its being adjacent to their line of
Icknield Street, and near the heart of England. From a measurement made
in 1822, the camp appears to have covered an area of about 15-1/2 acres.
Hutton gives it as 30 acres, and describes a third embankment. The
present outer vallum was 330 yards long by 228 wide, and the interior
camp 187 yards long by 165 wide. The ancient vallum and fosse have
suffered much by the lapse of time, by the occupiers partially levelling
the ground, and by the passing through it of the Worcester and
Birmingham canal, to make the banks of which the southern extremity of
the camp was completely destroyed. Some few pieces of ancient weapons,
swords and battle-axes, and portions of bucklers, have been found here,
but nothing of a distinctively Roman or Danish character. As the
fortification was of such great size and strength, and evidently formed
for no mere temporary occupation, had either of those passers-by been
the constructors we should naturally have expected that more positive
traces of their nationality would have been found.

~Methodism.~--The introduction here must date from Wesley's first visit
in March, 1738. In 1764, Moor Street Theatre was taken as a meeting
place, and John Wesley opened it March 21. The new sect afterwards
occupied the King Street Theatre. Hutton says:--"The Methodists
occupied for many years a place in Steelhouse Lane, where the wags of
the age observed, 'they were eaten out by the bugs.' They therefore
procured the cast-off Theatre in Moor Street, where they continued to
exhibit till 1782, when, quitting the stage, they erected a superb
meeting house in Cherry Street, at the expense of £1,200. This was
opened, July 7, by John Wesley, the chief priest, whose extensive
knowledge and unblemished manners give us a tolerable picture of
apostolic purity, who believed as if he were to be saved by faith, and
who laboured as if he were to be saved by works." The note made by
Wesley, who was in his 80th year, respecting the opening of Cherry
Street Chapel, has been preserved. He says:--"July 6th, 1782. I came to
Birmingham, and preached once more in the old dreary preaching-house.
The next day I opened the new house at eight, and it contained the
people well, but not in the evening, many more then constrained to go
away. In the middle of the sermon a huge noise was heard, caused by the
breaking of a bench on which some people stood. None of them were hurt;
yet it occasioned a general panic at first, but in a few minutes all was
quiet." Four years after the opening, Wesley preached in the chapel
again, and found great prosperity. "At first," he wrote, "the
preaching-house would not near contain the congregation. Afterwards I
administered the Lord's Supper to about 500 communicants." Old as he
then was, the apostle of Methodism came here a time or two after that,
his last visit being in 1790. Many talented men have since served the
Wesleyan body in this town, and the society holds a strong position
among our Dissenting brethren. The minutes of the Wesleyan Conference
last issued give the following statistics of the Birmingham and
Shrewsbury District:--Church members, 18,875; on trial for membership,
l,537; members of junior classes, 2,143; number of ministerial class
leaders, 72; lay class leaders, 1,269; local or lay preachers, 769 (the
largest number in any district except Nottingham and Derby, which has
798). There are 40 circuits in the district, of which 27 report an
increase of membership, and 13 a decrease.--See "_Places of Worship_."

~Methodism, Primitive.~--The origin of the Primitive Methodist Connexion
dates from 1808, and it sprung solely from the custom (introduced by
Lorenzo Dow, from America, in the previous year) of holding "camp
meetings," which the Wesleyan Conference decided to be "highly improper
in England, even if allowable in America, and likely to be productive of
considerable mischief," expelling the preachers who conducted them. A
new society was the result, and the first service in this town was held
in Moor Sreet, in the open air, near to the Public Office, in the summer
of 1824. The first "lovefeast" took place, March 6, 1825, and the first
"camp meeting," a few months later. A circuit was formed, the first
minister being the Rev. T. Nelson, and in 1826, a chapel was opened in
Bordesley Street, others following in due course of time, as the
Primitives increased in number. The Birmingham circuit contains about
800 members, with over 2,000 Sunday School scholars, and 250 teachers.--
See "_Places of Worship_."

~Metric System.~--This, the simplest decimal system of computation yet
legalised is in use in France, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Spain, and other
parts of Europe, as well as in Chili, Peru, Mexico, &c., and by 27 and
28 Vic., cap. 117, its use has been rendered legal in this country. As
our local trade with the above and other countries is increasing
(unfortunately in some respects), rules for working out the metric
measures into English and _vice versa_ may be useful. The unit of length
is the _metre_ (equal to 39.37 inches); it is divided into tenths
(decimetres), hundredths (centimetres), and thousandths (millimetres),
and it is multiplied by decimals in like way into hectometres,
kilometres, and myriometres. The unit of weight is the _gramme_, divided
as the metre into decigrammes, centigrammes, and milligrammes;
multiplied into decagrammes, hectogrammes, and kilogrammes. The unit of
capacity is the _litre_, divided and multiplied like the others.

1 inch equals 2-1/2 centimetres.
1 foot equals 3 decimetres.
1 mile equals 1-3/5 kilometres.
1 cwt. equals 50.8 kilogrammes.
1 ounce (troy) equals 31 grammes.
1 pound (troy) equals 3.72 decagrammes.
1 gallon equals 4-1/2 litres.
1 quart equals 1-1/16 litres.
1 metre equals 39.37 inches.
1 hectometre equals 109-1/3 yards.
1 cubic metre equals 61,027 cubic inches.
1 kilometre equals 1,093 yards.
1 decigramme equals 1-1/2 grains.
1 gramme equals 15 grains.
1 kilogramme equals 2-1/5 pounds (avoirdupois).
1 litre equals 1-3/4 pints.

To turn inches into millimetres add the figures 00 to the number of
inches, divide by 4, and add the result two-fifths of the original
number of inches.

To turn millimetres to inches add the figure 0 and divide by 254.

To make cubic inches into cubic centimetres multiply by 721 and divide
by 44; cubic centimetres into cubic inches multiply by 44 and divide by

To turn grains into grammes, multiply the number by 648 and divide the
product by 10,000.

To turn grammes into grains, multiply by 10,000, dividing the result by

The metric system is especially useful in our local jewellery and other
trades, but it is very slowly making its way against the old English
foot and yaid, even such a learned man as Professor Rankine poking fun
at the foreign measures in a comic song of which two verses run:--

  Some talk of millimetres, and some of kilogrammes,
  And some of decillitres to measure beer and drams;
  But I'm an English workman, too old to go to school,
  So by pounds I'll eat, by quarts I'll drink, and work by my two-foot

  A party of astronomers went measuring of the earth,
  And forty million metres they took to be its girth;
  Five hundred million inches now go through from pole to pole,
  So we'll stick to inches, feet, and yards, and our own old two-foot

~Mid-England.~--Meriden, near Coventry, is believed to be about the
centre spot of England.

~Midland Institute.~--Suggestions of some such an institution, to take
the place of the defunct Mechanics', had several time appeared in print,
but nothing definite was done in the matter until the subject was
discussed (June 4, 1852) over the dinner table of Mr. Arthur Ryland.
Practical shape being given to the ideas then advanced, a town's meeting
on Dec. 3, 1853, sanctioned the grant by the Council of the land
necessary for the erection of a proper building, and an Act of
Incorporation was obtained in the following Parliamentiry session. In
December 1854, Charles Dickens gave three readings in the Town Hall, in
behalf of the building fund, whereby £227 13s. 9d. was realised, the
donations then amounting to £8,467. The foundation stone was laid by
Prince Albert, on Nov. 22, 1855, and the contract for the first part of
the building given to Messrs. Branston and Gwyther for £12,000. The
lecture theatre was opened Oct. 13, 1857, when addresses were delivered
by Lord Brougham, Lord Russell, and Lord Stanley, the latter delivering
the prizes to the students who had attended the classes, which were
first started in October, 1854, at the Philosophical Institute. In 1859,
the portrait of David Cox was presented to the Institute, forming the
first contribution to the Fine Art Gallery, which was built on portion
of the land originally given to the Institute, the whole of the
buildings being designed by Mr. E.M. Barry. The amount subscribed to the
building fund was about £18,000, and the coat, including furniture and
apparatus more than £16,000. Great extension has been made since then,
on the Paradise Street side, and many thousands spent on the
enlargement, branch classes bring also held at several of the Board
Schools to relieve the pressure on the Institute. In 1864, the members
of the Institute numbered 660, and the students 880, with an income of
£998; in January, 1874, there were 1,591 members, 733 family ticket
holders. 2,172 students, and an income of £2,580. At the end of 1833,
the number of annual subscribers was 1,900, and lecture ticket-holders
838. In the Industrial Department there were 4,334 students; the
Archæological Section numbered 226 members, and the musical Section 183.
108 students attended the Laws of Health classes, 220 the Ladies
classes, and 36 the classes for preparation for matriculation. The
benefits derived from the establishment of the Midland Institute, and
the amount of useful, practical, and scientific knowledge disseminated
by means of its classes among the intelligent working men of the town
and the rising generation, is incalculable. These classes, many of which
are open at the low fee of 1d., and some others specially for females,
now include the whole of the following subjects:--English language and
literature, English history, French, German, Latin, Greek, and Spanish,
algebra, geometry, mensuration, trignometry, and arithmetic, music,
drawing, writing, English grammar, and composition, botany, chemistry,
experimental physics, practical mechanics, and metallurgy, elementary
singing, physical geography, animal physiology, geology, practical plane
and solid geometry, &c. The general position of the Institute with
regard to finance was as follows:--Gross receipts in General Department,
£3,281 5s. 6d.; expenditure in this department (including £998 1s. 6d.
deficiency at the close of the year 1882), £3,088 17s. 2d.; balance in
favour of the General Department, £192 8s. 4d. Gross receipts in
Industrial Department, £1,747 13s.; expenditure in this department,
£3,173 7s. 10d.; deficiency, £l,425 14s. 10d., met by a transfer from
the funds of the General Department. The total result of the year's
operations in both departments left a deficiency of £1,233 6s. 6d. The
amount due to bankers on the General Fund was £863 13s. 6d; and the
amount standing to the credit of the Institute on the Repairs Account is
£440 12s. 2d. It is much to be regretted that there is a total debt on
the Institute, amounting to £19,000, the paying of interest on which
sadly retards its usefulness. Many munificent donations have been made
to the funds of the Institute from time to time, one being the sum of
£3,000, given by an anonymous donor in 186[**], "in memory of Arthur
Ryland." In August, same year, it was announced that the late Mr. Alfred
Wilkes had bequeathed the bulk of his estate, estimated at about
£100,000, in trust for his two sisters during their lives, with
reversion in equal shares to the General Hospital and the Midland
Institute, being a deferred benefaction of £50,000 to each.

~Midland Metropolis.~--Birmingham was so entitled because it was the
largest town, and has more inhabitants than any town in the centre of
England. To use a Yankeeism, it is "the hub" of the Kingdom; here is the
throbbing heart of all that is Liberal in the political life of Europe;
this is the workshop of the world, the birth-spot of the steam-engine,
and the home of mock jewellery. In all matters political, social, and
national, it takes the lead, and if London is the Metropolis of all that
is effete and aristocratic, Birmingham has the moving-power of all that
is progressive, recuperative and advancing. When Macaulay's New
Zealander sits sadly viewing the silent ruins of the once gigantic city
on the Thames, he will have the consolation of knowing that the
pulse-beats of his progenitors will still be found in the Mid-England
Metropolis, once known as the town of Burningsham or Birmingham.

~Mild Winters.~--The winter of 1658-9 was very mild, there being neither
snow or frost. In 1748 honeysuckles, in full bloom, were gathered near
Worcester, in February. In the first four months of 1779 there was not a
day's rain or snow, and on the 25th of March the cherry, plum, and pear
trees were in full bloom. An extraordinary mild winter was that of
1782-3. A rose was plucked in an open garden, in New Street, on 30th
December, 1820. In December, 1857, a wren's nest, with two eggs in it
was found near Selly Oak, and ripe raspberries were gathered in the
Christmas week at Astwood Bank. The winter of 1883-4 is worthy of note,
for rose trees were budding in December, lambs frisking about in
January, and blackbirds sitting in February.

~Milk.~--The reports of the Borough Analyst for several successive
years, 1879 to 1882, showed that nearly one-half the samples of milk
examined were adulterated, the average adulteration of each being as
much as 20 per cent.; and a calculation has been made that the Brums pay
£20,000 a year for the water added to their milk! Next to the bread we
eat, there is no article that should be kept freer from adulteration
than milk, and the formation of a Dairy Company, in April, 1882, was
hailed as a boon by many. The Company started with a nominal capital of
£50,000 in £5 shares, and it rigidly prosecutes any farmer who puts the
milk of the "wooden cow" into their cans.

~Minories.~--Once known as Upper and Lower Minories, the latter name
being given to what, at other times, has been called "Pemberton's Yard"
or the "Coach Yard." The names give their own meaning, the roads leading
to the Priory.

~Mints.~--See "_Trades_."

~Missionary Work.~--About a million and a quarter sterling is yearly
contributed in England to Foreign, Colonial, and Home Missionary
Societies, and Birmingham sends its share very fairly. The local
Auxiliary, to the Church Missionary Society, in 1882, gathered £2,133
8s. 6d.; in 1883 (to June both years) it reached £2,774 17s. 8d., of
which £2,336 6s 11d. was from collections in the local churches. The
Auxiliary to the London Missionary Society gathered £1,050, of which
£991 was collected in churches and chapels. The Baptist Missionary
Society was founded in October, 1792, and branch was started here a few
months afterwards, the first fruits totting up to the very respectable
amount of £70. A branch of the Wesleyan Missionary Society was formed
here in 1814 for the Birmingham and Shrewsbury district, and the amounts
gathered in 1882 totalled £4,829 10s. 3d. To the Society for promoting
Christianity among the Jews, the Birmingham Auxiliaries in 1883 sent
£323. There are also Auxiliaries of the Church of England Zenana, of the
South American, and of one or two other Missionary Societies. The Rev.
J.B. Barradale, who died in China, early in 1879, while relieving
sufferers from famine, was educated at Spring Hill College. He was sent
out by the London Missionary Society, and his death was preceded by that
of his wife and only child, who died a few weeks before him, all from
fever caught while helping poor Chinamen.

~Moated Houses.~--The Parsonage, as well as the Manor House (as noted
elsewhere), were each surrounded by its moat, and, possibly, no portion
of the United Kingdom could show more family mansions, and country
residences, protected in this manner, than the immediate district
surrounding Birmingham. Many more or-less-preserved specimens of these
old-fashioned houses, with their water guards round them, are to be met
with by the rambler, as at Astwood Bank. Erdington, Inkberrow, Yardley,
Wyrley, &c. Perhaps, the two best are Maxtoke Castle, near Coleshill,
and the New Hall, Sutton Coldfield.

~Modern Monasteries.~--The foundation-stone of St. Thomas's Priory, at
Erdington, for the accommodation of the Monks of the Order of St.
Benedict, was laid on Aug. 5, 1879, by the Prior, the Rev. Hildebrand de
Hemptinne. Alter the date, and the reader might fancy himself living in
Mediæval times.

~Monument.~--The high tower erected near the Reservoir has long borne
the name of "The Monument," though it has been said it was built more as
a strange kind of pleasure-house, where the owner, a Mr. Perrott, could
pass his leisure hours witnessing coursing in the day-time, or making
astronomical observations at night. Hence it was often called "Perrott's
Folly." It dates from 1758--See also "_Statues_," &c.

~Moody and Sankey.~--These American Evangelists, or Revivalists, visited
here in Jan. 1875, their first meeting being held in the Town Hall, on
the 17th, the remainder of their services (to February 7) being given in
Bingley Hall. They came also in February, 1883. when the last-named
place again accommodated them.

~Moor Street.~--Rivaling Edgbaston Street in its antiquity, its name has
long given rise to debate as to origin, but the most likely solution of
the puzzle is this: On the sloping land near here, in the 14th century,
and perhaps earlier, there was a mill, probably the Town Mill, and by
the contraction of the Latin, _Molendinaria_, the miller would be called
John le Molendin, or John le Moul. The phonetic style of writing by
sound was in great measured practised by the scriveners, and thus we
find, as time went on, the street of the mill became Moul, Moule, Mowle,
Molle, Moll, More, and Moor Street. A stream crossed the street near the
Woolpack, over which was a wooden bridge, and farther on was another
bridge of more substantial character, called "Carter's Bridge." In flood
times, Cars Lane also brought from the higher lands copious streams of
water, and the keeping of Moor Street tidy often gave cause to mention
these spots in old records, thus:--

                                         £   s.  d.
  1637--Paid Walter Taylor for ridding
         the gutters in Moor Street      0   0   11
  1665--Zachary Gisborne 42 loads of
         mudd out of Moore Street   ..   0   0    7
  1676--J. Bridgens keepinge open
         passage and tourneing water
         from Cars Lane that it did
         not runne into More Street
         for a yeare    ..  ..  ..  ..   0   4    0
  1688--Paid mending Carter's Bridge
         timber and worke   ..  ..  ..   0   5    0
  1690--John, for mending Moore Street
         Bridg  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..   0   0   10

Moor Street, from the earliest date, was the chosen place of residence
for many of the old families, the Carless, Smalbroke, Ward, Sheldon,
Flavell, Stidman, and other names, continually cropping up in deeds;
some of the rents paid to the Lord of the Manor, contrasting curiously
with the rentals of to-day. For three properties adjoining in More
Street, and which were so paid until a comparatively modern date, the
rents were:--

  "One pound of pepper by Goldsmythe and Lench,
  Two pounds of pepper by the master of the Gild,
  One pound of cumin seed, one bow, and six barbed bolts, or arrow heads
  by John Sheldon."

~Moseley.~--One of the popular, and soon will be populous suburbs,
connected as it is so closely to us by Balsall Heath. It is one of the
old Domesday-mentioned spots, but has little history other than
connected with the one or two families who chose it for their residence
ages ago. It is supposed the old church was erected prior to the year
1500, a tower being added to it in Henry VIII.'s reign, but the parish
register dates only from the middle of last century, possibly older
entries being made at King's Norton (from which Moseley was
ecclesiastically divided in 1852). Moseley does not appear to have been
named from, or to have given name to, any particular family, the
earliest we have any note about being Greves, or Grevis, whose tombs are
in King's Norton Church, one of the epitaphs being this:--

  "Ascension day on ninth of May,
  Third year of King James' reine,
  To end my time and steal my coin,
  I William Greves was slain.   1605."

Hutton says that the old custom of "heriot" was practised here; which is
not improbable, as instances have occurred in neighbourhood of
Bromsgrove and other parts of the county within the past few years. This
relic of feudalism, or barbarism, consists of the demanding for the lord
of the manor the best movable article, live or dead, that any tenant
happens to be possessed of at the time of his death.

~Moseley Hall.~--Hutton relates that on July 21, 1786, one Henshaw
Grevis came before him in the court of Requests, as a poor debtor, who,
thirty years before, he had seen "completely mounted and dressed in
green velvet, with a hunter's cap and girdle, at the head of the pack."
This poor fellow was the last member of a family who had held the
Moseley Hall estate from the time of the Conquest. In the riots of 1791
the Hall was burnt down, being rebuilt ten years after.

~Mothering Sunday~, or Mid-Lent Sunday, has its peculiarities according
to districts. In Birmingham the good people who like to keep up old
customs sit down to veal and custard. At Draycot-le-Moors they eat pies
made of figs. The practice of visiting the parents' home on this day was
one of those old-time customs so popular in the days of our grandfathers
and great-grandfathers (but which, with many others have fallen into
disuse), and this is supposed to have given rise to the "Mothering
Sunday" name. Prior to the Reformation, the Catholics kept the day as a
holy day, in honour of the Mother of Jesus, it being a Protestant
invention to turn the fast-day into one of feasting.

~Mount Misery.~--At the close of the great war, which culminated at
Waterloo, it was long before the blessings of peace brought comfort to
the homes of the poor. The first effects of the sheathing of the sword
was a collapse in prices of all kinds, and a general stagnation of
trade, of which Birmingham, made prosperous through the demand for its
guns, &c., felt the full force. Bad trade was followed by bad harvests,
and the commercial history of the next dozen years is but one huge
chronicle of disaster, shops and mills closing fast, and poverty
following faster. How to employ the hundreds of able-bodied men
dependent on the rates was a continual puzzle to the Overseers, until
someone, wise in his generation, hit upon the plan of paying the
unfortunates to wheel sand from the bank then in front of Key Hill House
up to the canal side, a distance of 1-1/2 miles, the payment being at
the rate of one penny per barrow load. This fearful "labour test" was
continued for a long time, and when we reckon that each man would have
to wheel his barrow backwards and forwards for nearly 20 miles to earn a
shilling, moving more than a ton of sand in the process we cannot wonder
at the place receiving such a woeful name as Mount Misery.

~M.P.'s for Borough.~--See "_Parliamentary_."

~Mules.~-These animals are not often seen about town now, but in the
politically-exciting days of 1815 they apparently were not strangers in
our streets, as Mr. Richard Spooner (who, like our genial Alderman
Avery, was fond of "tooling" his own cattle), was in the habit of
driving his own mail-drag into town, to which four mules were harnessed.
With Mr. Thomas Potts, a well-to-do merchant, a "bigoted Baptist," and
ultra-Radical, Mr. Spooner and Mr. T. Attwood took part in a deputation
to London, giving occasion to one of the street-songs of the day:--

  "Tommy Potts has gone to town
    To join the deputation;
  He is a man of great renown,
    And fit to save the nation.
            Yankee doodle do,
            Yankee doodle dandy.

  Dicky Spooner's also there,
    And Tom the Banker, too;
  If in glory they should share,
    We'll sing them 'Cock-a-doodle-doo.'
            Yankee doodle do,
            Yankee doodle dandy.

  Dicky Spooner is Dicky Mule,
    Tom Attwood is Tom Fool;
  And Potts an empty kettle,
    With lots of bosh and rattle.
            Yankee doodle do,
            Yankee doodle dandy."

Another of the doggerel verses, alluding to Mr. Spooner's mules, ran--

  "Tommy Potts went up to town,
    Bright Tom, who all surpasses,
  Was drawn by horses out of town,
    And in again by asses.
            With their Yankee doodle do,
            Yankee doodle dandy."

~Municipal Expenditure.~--Fortunately the population of Birmingham is
going ahead rapidly, and the more the children multiply the more "heads
of families" we may naturally hope there will be noted down as
ratepayers by the heads of the gather-the-tin office. The cost of
governing our little town is not at all heavy, and when divided out at
per head of the inhabitants it seems but a mere bagatelle. Mr. J. Powell
Williams, who takes credit for being a financier and man of figures,
said in 1884 that the totals of our municipal expenditure for the past
few years were as follows:--

  In 1879 it was £354,000 or 18/3 per head
   " 1880   "     343,900 "  17/5    "
   " 1881   "     361,500 "  18/0    "
   " 1882   "     374,000 "  18/4    "
   " 1883   "     385,000 "  18/7    "
   " 1884   "     385,000 "  18/3    "

The bachelors who live in apartments will surely be tempted to begin
housekeeping when they see how low a sum it takes to pay for all the
blessings conferred upon us by a Liberal Corporation; but what the Pater
of half-a-dozen olive branches may think about the matter, is altogether
a different thing, especially when he finds that to the above 18/2 per
head must be added 2/7-1/2 per head for the School Board, and 1s. 2d.
per head for the Drainage Board, besides poor-rates, Government taxes,
gas, water, and all these other little nothings that empty the purse.

~Murder and Manslaughter.~--It would be _too_ black a catalogue to give
all the horrible cases of this nature which the local journals have
chronicled in past years, those here noted being only such as have a
certain historical interest.

"Tom and Jack."--"See _Executions_."

Sergeant William Cartwright, of the Coldstream Guards, was killed in
Townsend's Yard by a deserter, September 13, 1796.

A desperate attempt was made to murder a young woman in Bull Street in
the evening of a fair day, June 9, 1797.

Philip Matsell was hanged August 22, 1806, at the bottom of Snow Hill,
for attempting to murder a watchman.--See "_Executions_."

A Mr. Pennington, of London, was murdered at Vauxhall, Feb. 6. 1817.

Ashford, Mary, May 27, 1817, murdered at Sutton Coldfield.

F. Adams was murdered by T. Johnson, in London 'Prentice Street, Aug. 5,

Mr. R. Perry was killed in Mary Ann Street, by Michael Ford, December 6,
1825. Execution, March 7, 1826.

J. Fitter was tried and acquitted August 11, 1834, on a charge of having
murdered Margaret Webb, in Lawley Street, on 7th April preceding.

Mr. W. Painter, a tax collector, was robbed and murdered in the old
Parsonage grounds (near what is now the bottom of Worcester Street),
February 17, 1835.

William Devey murdered Mr. Davenport in a shop in Snow Hill, April 5,

Mrs. Steapenhill shot by her husband in Heneage Street, January 7, 1842.

Mrs. Davis killed by her husband in Moor Street, March, 1848.

Mrs. Wilkes murdered her four children in Cheapside, October 23, 1847;
also committing suicide.

Francis Price was executed at Warwick, August 20, 1860, for murdering
Sarah Pratt, April 18.

Elizabeth Brooks was shot by Farquhar, at Small Heath, August 29, 1861.
He was sentenced to imprisonment for a long term, but was liberated in
April, 1866.

Thompson, Tanter Street, killed his wife, September 23, 1861; hung
December 30.

Henry Carter, aged 17, who had killed his sweetheart, was hung April 11,

George Hall shot his unfaithful wife on Dartmouth Street Bridge,
February 16, 1864, and was sentenced to death, but reprieved. He was
released March 5, 1884.

Murder and suicide in Nursery Terrace, November 28, 1866.

Mr. Pryse was murdered by James Scott in Aston Street, April 6, 1867.

Mary Milbourn was murdered in Heneage Street, January 21, 1868.

Murder and suicide in Garrison Street, November 25, 1871.

Richard Smith was killed by his fellow-lodger, in Adam Street, January
7, 1872.

Thomas Picken, of St. Luke Street, killed his wife, January 22, 1872. He
was found next morning hanging to a lamp-post, at Camp Hill Station.

Jeremiah Corkery stabbed Policeman Lines, March 7; was condemned to
death July 9, and hung July 27, 1875.

Patrick O'Donoghue was kicked and killed at the Flying Horse, Little
Hampton Street, August 7. 1875. Moran and Caulfield, the kickers, were
sent to penal servitude for ten years.

A woman, resisting indecent assault, was thrown into the canal, October
8, 1875, and died from effects.

Emma Luke, Hope street, killed her infant and herself, October 23, 1875.

Samuel Todd, a deaf-mute, killed William Brislin, in a fit of passion,
December 31, 1875.--Fifteen years' penal servitude.

Gaorge Underhill shot Alfred Price, in Stephenson place, January 12,
1876, being in drink at the time, and thinking he was going to be
robbed. Price died, and Underhill was imprisoned for twelve months.

Frederick Lipscombe killed his wife because she did not get his meals
ready to the time he wished, July 18, 1876.

Mary Saunders, Aston, had her throat cut by F.E. Baker, her lodger,
January 16, 1877. He was hung April 17.

John Nicholson killed Mary (or Minnie) Fantham, in Navigation Street,
February 23rd, 1877, committing suicide himself. He was buried as a
_felo de se_.

Francis Mason, Litimer Street, stabbed his wife, June 25, 1867, but the
jury called it manslaughter, and he was allowed to retire for five

William Toy, a glasscutter, was killed in the Plasterers' Arms, Lupin
Street, July 20, 1878, in a drunken row.

Edward Johnson, a retired butcher, of this town, killed his wife and
drowned himself at Erdington, July 27, 1878.

Sarah Alice Vernon, married woman, aged 26, was first stabbed and then
flung into the canal, at Spring Hill, by her paramour, John Ralph, a
hawker of fancy baskets, early in the morning of May 31, 1879. He was
hung August 26.

Caroline Brooks, a young woman of 20, was fatally stabbed on the night
of June 28, 1879, while walking with her sweetheart, but the man who
killed her escaped.

Alfred Wagstaffe, of Nechell's Green, kicked his wile for pawning his
shirt, on October 25, 1879. She died a week after, and he was sent to
penal servitude for ten years.

An Irishman, named John Gateley, was shot on Saturday, December 5, 1880,
in a beerhouse at Solihull, by a country man who got away; the murdered
man had been connected with the Irish Land League.

Mrs. Ellen Jackson, a widow, 34 years of age, through poverty and
despondency, poisoned herself and two children, aged seven and nine, on
Sunday, November 27, 1881. One child recovered.

Frederick Serman, at the Four Dwellings, near Saltley, Nov. 22, 1883,
shot Angelina Yanwood, and poisoned himself, because the woman would not
live longer with him "to be clemmed."

James Lloyd, Jan. 6, 1884, stabbed his wife Martha, because she had not
met him the previous afternoon. She died four days after, and he was
sentenced to death, but reprieved.

Mrs. Palmer and Mrs. Stewart were shot by Henry Kimberley at the White
Hart, Paradise Street, Dec. 28, 1884. Mrs. Palmer died, and Kimberley
was hung at Winson Green, March 17, 1885.

James Davis, policeman, while on his beat at Alvechurch, was murdered
Feb. 28, 1885, by Moses Shrimpton, a Birmingham poacher and thief.

Elizabeth Bunting, a girl of 16, was murdered at Handsworth, April 20,
1885, by her uncle, Thomas Boulton.

~Museums.~--No place in England ought to have a better collection of
coins and medals, but there is no Numismatic Museum in Birmingham. Few
towns can show such a list of patentees and inventors, but we have no
Patent Museum wherein to preserve the outcome of their ideas. Though the
town's very name cannot be traced through the mists of dim antiquity,
the most ancient thing we can show is the Old Crown public-house. Romans
and Normans, Britons and Saxons, have all trod the same ground as
ourselves, but we preserve no relics of them. Though we have supplied
the whole earth with firearms, it was left to Mr. Marshall, of Leeds, to
gather together a Gun Museum. Fortunately the Guardians of the Proof
House were liberal and, buying the collection for £1,550, made many
valuable additions to it, and after exhibiting it for a time at 5,
Newhall Street, presented it to the town in August, 1876. There is a
curious miscellany of articles on exhibition at Aston Hall, which some
may call a "Museum," and a few cases of birds, sundry stuffed animals,
&c., but we must wait until the Art Gallery now in course of erection,
is finished before the Midland Metropolis can boast of owning a real
Museum. At various times, some rich examples of industrial art have been
exhibited in the temporary Art Gallery adjoining the Midland Institute,
and now, in one of the rooms of the Free Library, there are sufficient
to form the nucleus of a good Museum. We may, therefore, hope that, in
time, we _shall_ have a collection that we may be proud of. Mr. Joseph
Chamberlain (April 26, 1875) gave £1,000 to purchase objects of
industrial art, and it has been expended in the purchase of a collection
of gems and precious stones, than which nothing could be more suitable
in this centre of the jewellery trade. Possibly, on the opening of the
new Art Gallery, we shall hear of other "thousands" as forthcoming.

~Musical Associations.~--There were, of course, the choirs attached to
the churches previous, but the earliest Musical Society is believed to
be that established by James Kempson, in 1762, at Cooke's, in the Cherry
Orchard, and the founding of which led to the Musical Festivals. The
members met for practice, and evidently enjoyed their pipes and glasses,
their nightly song being:--

  "To our Musical Club here's long life and prosperity;
  May it flourish with us, and so on to posterity,
  May concord and harmony always abound,
  And division here only in music be found.
  May the catch and the glass go about and about,
  And another succeed to the bottle that's out."

This society was appropriately known as the Musical and Amicable Society
from which sprung the Choral Society in 1776, though the present
Festival Choral Society only claims to be in its thirty eighth year. The
Birmingham Musical Society dates from 1840; the Amateur Harmonic
Association from January, 1856; the Edgbaston Musical Union from 1874;
and the Philharmonic Union from 1870. The Church Schools Choral Union,
the Sunday Schools Union Festival Choir, and the Birmingham Musical
Association, with one or two others, are the progeny of later years; the
last on the list of musical institutions being the Clef Club (in
Exchange Buildings), established March 21st, 1832, for the promotion of
musical culture by "providing a central resort for the study and
practice of vocal and instrumental music, with the social advantages of
a club."

~Musical Festivals.~--The credit of suggesting the first Musical
Festival in aid of the funds of the General Hospital, has been assigned
to Mr. Kempson a local musician, who, with his friends, formed a Glee
and Catch Club at Cooke's, in the Cherry Orchard. The minutes-book of
the Hospital under date of May 3, 1768, records that a resolution was
passed that "a musical entertainment" should be arranged, and it was
held accordingly on the 7th, 8th, and 9th of September in that year,
part of the performances taking place at St. Philip's Church, and part
at the Theatre, then in King Street, the Festival being wound up with a
ball "at Mrs. Sawyer's, in the Square." Church, Theatre, and Ball was
the order of the day for many succeeding Festivals, the Town Hall, which
may be said to have been built almost purposely for these performances,
not being ready until 1834. The Theatre was only utilised for one
evening each Festival after until 1843, when three concerts were held
therein, but since that date the Town Hall has been found sufficient.
The Festival Balls were long a great attraction (no less than 1,700
attending in 1834), but, possibly from a too free admixture of the
general public, the aristocratic patronage thereof gradually declined
until 1858, when only 300 tickets having been taken, the Ball night was
struck out of the future programmes. The first Festival performances
were by purely local artistes, and on several occasions afterwards they
formed the bulk of the performers, but as the fame of our Festivals
increased so did the inflow of the foreign element, until at one period
not more than half-a-dozen local names could be found in any programme.
This has been altered to a considerable extent of late years, so much so
that at the last Festival nearly the whole of the chorus of voices was
composed of members of our local Musical Societies, and a fair
sprinkling of the instrumentalists also. A big book would be required
for a full history of the Birmingham Triennial Festivals, descriptive of
their rise and progress, the hundreds of musical novelties introduced,
the many scores of talented artistes who have taken parts, the lords and
ladies who have attended, and the thousand odd notes appertaining to
them all. In the following notes are briefly chronicled the "first
appearances," &c., with the results and other items for reference.

1768, Sept. 7 to 9. The oratorios of "Il Penseroso;" and "Alexander's
Feast" were performed at the Theatre in King Street; Handel's "Te Deum"
and "Jubilate" with the "Messiah," at St. Philip's Church. The principal
singers were Mrs. Pinto, first soprano, and Mr. Charles Norris, tenor;
the orchestra numbered about 70, the conductor being Mr. Capel Bond of
Coventry, with Mr. Pinto as leader of the band. The tickets of admission
were 5s. each, the receipts (with donations) amounting to about £800,
and the profits to £299.

1778, Sept. 2 to 4. The performances this time (and for fifteen
festivals after), were at St. Philip's Church, and at the newly-built
theatre in New Street, the oratorios, &c., including "Judas Maccabæus,"
the "Messiah," Handel's "Te Deum," "Jubilate," "Acis and Galatea," &c.
Principal performers: Miss Mahon, Miss Salmon, Mr. C. Norris, and
Cervetto, a celebrated violoncellist, the leader of the band being Mr.
William Cramer, a popular violinist. The choir had the assistance of
"the celebrated women chorus singers from Lancashire." The receipts were
again about £800, and the profits £340, which sum was divided between
the Hospital and the building fund for St. Paul's.

1784, Sept. 22 to 24. President: Lord Dudley and Ward. Following after
the celebrated Handel Commemoration the programme was filled almost
solely with selections from Handel's works, the only novelty being the
oratorio of "Goliath," composed by Mr. Atterbury, which according to one
modern musical critic, has never been heard of since. Master Bartleman,
who afterwards became the leading bass singer of the day, was the
novelty among the performers. Receipts, £1,325; profits, £703.

1787, Aug. 22 to 24. President, the Earl of Aylesford. In addition to
the miscellaneous (mostly Handelian) pieces, the oratories performed
were "Israel in Egypt" and the "Messiah," the latter being so remarkably
successful that an extra performance of it was given on the Saturday
following. Among the perfumers were Mrs. Billington (first soprano), Mr.
Samuel Harrison (one of the finest tenor singers ever heard in England),
and Mr. John Sale (a rich-toned bass), and the "women chorus." Receipts
about £2,000; profits, £964.

1790, Aug. 25 to 27. President, Lord Dudley and Ward. The "Messiah,"
with miscellaneous selections, the principal performers being Madame
Mara, Mr. Reinhold, and Mr. Charles Knyvett, with Jean Mara
(violoncellist) and John Christian Fischer (oboeist) The prices of
admission were raised at this Festival to 10s. 6d. and 7s.; Theatre
boxes 7s. 6d., pit 5s., gallery 3s. 6d. Receipts £1,965 15s.; profits
£958 14s.

1796, Aug. 31 to Sept. 2, President, the Earl of Aylesford. The
performances were like those of 1790, of a general character, besides
the "Messiah;" while the two principal sopranos were the Misses
Fletcher, daughters of a local musician. The trombone was introduced at
this Festival for the first time. Receipts £2,043 18s.; profits £897.

1792, September 18 to 20. President, the Earl of Warwick. The "Messiah,"
with vocal and instrumental selections of the usual character. Miss
Poole and Master Elliott among the vocalists, with Mr. Holmes
(bassoonist) and Signor Mariotti (trombone player), were chief of the
newly-introduced performers. Receipts, £2,550; profits, £1,470.

1802, September 22 to 24. President, the Earl of Dartmonth. For the
first time in this town Haydn's "Creation" was performed, in addition to
the "Messiah," &c. Among the vocalists were Madame Dussek, Mrs.
Mountain, John Braham (_the_ Braham of undying fame), and Mr. William
Knyvett; Mr. Francois Cramer, leader of the band (and at every festival
until 1843), had with him Andrew Ashe (flautist), Aufossi (double bass),
&c., with over 100 in the orchestra. Receipts, £3,820 17s. O-1/4d.;
profits, £2,380.

1805, Oct. 2 to 4. President, the Earl of Aylesford. The "Messiah" was
given for the first time here with Mozart's accompaniments; part of the
"Creation" &c. Mr. Thomas Vaughan was among the singers (and he took
part in every Festival until 1840), and Signor Domenico Dragonetti
(double bass) and the Brothers Petrules (horn players) with the
instruments. Receipts, £4,222; profits, £2,202.

1808, Oct. 5 to 7. President, the Right Hon. Lord Guernsey. Nearly 200
performers, including Master Buggins (a Birmingham boy alto) Mr. J.J.
Goss (counter tenor), Signor Joseph Naldi (buffo), and Dr. Crotch, the
conductor, organist and pianist. The last-named was a good player when
only 3-1/2 years old. Receipts, £5,511 12s.; profits, £3,257.

1811, Oct. 2 to 4. President, Lord Bradford. Madame Catilni, Mrs.
Bianchi, and Mr. T.L. Bellamy first appeared here, as well as Mr. Samuel
Wesley (John Wesley's nephew), as conductor and organist. Prices again
raised, morning tickets being 20s. and 10s., with 10s. 6d. pit and 6s.
gallery at Theatre. Receipts, £6,680; profits, £3,629.

1814, Oct. 5 to 7. President, the Earl of Plymouth. Miss Stephens
(afterwards Countess of Essex), Miss Travis, Vincent Novello (the
publisher of after years), and Griesbach (oboeist), were among the
"first appearances." Receipts, £7,171 12s.; profits, £3,629.

1817, Oct. 1 to 3. President, the Hon. Sir Charles Greville, K.C.B. Mrs.
Salmon, Madame Camporese, Mr. Hobbs (tenor), Monsieur Drouet (flautist),
Mr. T. Harper (trumpet), and Mr. Probin (horn), took part in the
performances. Receipts, £8,476; profits, £4,296 10s.

1820, Oct. 3 to 6. President, the Hon. Heneage Legge. The principal
performers included Madame Vestris, Signora Corn, Miss Symends (a native
of this town, and who continued to sing here occasionally for twenty
years), Signor Begrez (tenor), Signor Ambrogetti (buffo bass), Mr.
R.N.C. Bocusa (harpist), Mr. Sha gool (violinist), Mr. Stanier
(flautist), and Mr. Munde (viola player). The last two gentlemen were
connected with this town until very late years. The chief novelty was
the English version of Haydn's "Seasons," written by the Rev. John Webb,
a local clergyman. Receipts, £9,483; profits, £5,001 11s.

1823, Oct. 7 to 10. President, Sir Francis Lawley, Bart. Among the fresh
faces were those of Miss Heaton (afterwards Mrs. T.C. Salt), Signor
Placci (baritone), Mr. Thome (bass), Mr. Nicholson (flute), and Signor
Puzzi (horn). The Rev. John Webb wrote for this occasion, "The Triumph
of Gideon," an English adaptation of Winter's "Timotos." Receipts,
£11,115 10s.; profits, £5,806 12s.

1826, Oct. 4 to 7. President, Earl Howe. The programmes this year were
more varied than at any previous festival, the performances, in addition
to the "Messiah," including the oratorio "Joseph," by Mehul, selections
from Graun's "Der Tod Jesu," Handel's "Judas Maccabeus," Haydn's
"Seasons," &c. A number of the performers appeared here for their first
time, including Madame Caradori, Miss Paton, Miss Bacon, Henry Phillips
(the veteran and popular singer of later days, but who was then only in
his 25th year), Signor Curioni (said to have borne a wonderful
resemblance to Shakespeare in his figurehead and features), Signor de
Begius, Mr. John Baptiste Cramer, C.G. Kiesewetter (who died the
following year), Charles Augustus de Beriot (who married Madame
Malibran-Garcia), and quite a host of local instrumentalists who were
long chief among our Birmingham musicians. Receipts £10,104; profits

1829, Oct. 6 to 9. President, the Earl of Bradford. This was the Jubilee
Year of the General Hospital, and conspicuous in the programme was the
"Jubilee Anthem" in commemoration of the fiftieth year of its
establishment, the words being adapted to the music composed by
Cherubini for Charles X.s coronation. This was also the last year in
which the Festival performances took place in St. Philip's Church or
(except several single nights of operatic selections) at the Theatre.
Besides the "Jubilee Anthem," there were novelties in the shape of
Zingarelli's "Cantata Sacra" (described in a musical publication as a
"tame, insipid, heap of commonplace trash"), and the introduction of
"operatic selections" at the evening concerts. Amongst the performers
who made their _debut_ in Birmingham were Madame Malibran-Garcia, Mdlle.
Blasis, Miss Fanny Ayton, Signor Costa, Signor Guibelei, Mrs. Anderson
(who gave pianoforte lessons to Princess Victoria), and Mr. Charles
Lucas (violoncello). Receipts, £9,771; profits, £3,806 17s.

1834, Oct. 7 to 10. President, the Earl of Aylesford. This being the
first Festival held in the Town Hall it may be noted that the prices of
admission were for the morning performances, 21/-for reserved and 10/6
unreserved seats; in the evening, 15/- and 8/-; at the Theatre, boxes
and pit, 15/-, gallery, 7/-; ball on Friday, 10/6. There were 14
principal vocalists, 33 in the semi-chorus, 187 in the full chorus, 147
instrumental performers, 2 conductors, 2 organists, and 1 pianist.
Besides the "Messiah," there was the new oratorio, "David," by Nerkomm
(the first that was originally composed for our Festivals), selections
from the same author's "Mount Sinai," from Spohr's "Last Judgment," from
Handel's "Israel in Egypt," and an arrangement of Hummel's "Motet," &c.
This was the first introduction to the Festivals of Miss Clara Novello
(afterwards Countess Gigliucci), Madame Stockhausen and her husband
(harpist), Ignaz Moscheles, Mr. William Machin (a townsman), Miss Aston
and Miss Bate (both Birmingham ladies), Mr. George Hollins (the first
appointed Town Hall organist), and others. Receipts, £13,527; profits,

1837, Sept. 19 to 22. President, Lord Willoughby de Broke. Mendelssohn's
new oratorio, "St. Paul" (oft mistakenly supposed to have been specially
written for the occasion), was the most important production, but
Neukomm's "Ascension," Hæser's "Triumph of Faith," and several other new
compositions were performed on this occasion. In addition to
Mendelssohn's first appearance here as conductor, there were other new
faces, among them being Madame Giula Grisi, Madame Emma Albertazzi, Mrs.
Albert Shaw, Signor Antonio Tamburini, Mr. Alfred Mellon (in his 17th
year, but even then leader of the band at the Theatre), Signor Regondi
(concertina player), &c. Receipts, £11,900, but, as besides more than
usually heavy expenses, £1,200 was paid for building the recess in which
the organ was placed, the profits were only £2,776.

1840, Sept. 22 to 25. President, Lord Leigh. The oratorio, "Israel in
Egypt," by Handel, selections from his "Jephtha," and "Joshua," and
Mendelssohn's "Hymn of Praise," were the great features of this
Festival, at which appeared for the first time Madame Dorus-Gras, Miss
M.B. Hawes, Signor Louis Lablache, with Mr. T. Cooke, and Mr. H.G.
Blagrove (two clever violinists). Receipts, £11,613; profits, £4,503.

1843, Sept. 19 to 22. President, Earl Craven. The performances at the
Town Hall included Handel's oratorio, "Deborah," Dr. Crotch's
"Palestine," and Rossini's "Stabat Mater," the introduction of the
latter causing a considerable flutter among some of the local clergy,
one of whom described it as the most idolatrous and anti-Christian
composition that could be met with. The Theatre this year was used for
three evening concerts, &c. Among the new vocalists were Miss Rainforth,
Signor Mario, Signer Fornasari, and Mr. Manvers. The organists were Dr.
Samuel Sebastian Wesley and our Mr. James Stimpson, who had succeeded
Mr. George Hollins as Town Hall organist in the previous year. Receipts,
£8,822; profits, £2,916.

1846, Aug. 25 to 28. President, Lord Wrottesley. This is known as "The
Elijah Festival," from the production of Mendelssohn's _chef d'oeuvre_
the "Elijah" oratorio. The performers were mostly those who had been
here before, save Miss Bassano, the Misses Williams, Mr. Lockey, and
Herr Joseph Staudigl. Receipts, £11,638; profits, £5,508.

1849, Sept. 4 to 7. President, Lord Guernsey. This Festival is
especially noteworthy as being the first conducted by Sir Michael Costa,
also for the number of "principals" who had not previously taken part in
the Festivals, for the extreme length of the evening programmes, each
lasting till after midnight; and, lastly, from the fact, that out of a
body of 130 instrumentalists, only eight or nine Birmingham musicians
could be found to please the _maestro's_ taste. The oratorios of the
"Messiah," "Elijah," and "Israel in Egypt," were the principal pieces,
with Mendelssohn's "First Walpurgis Night," and Prince Albert's
"L'Invocazione dell' Armonia;" the remainder being of the most varied
character. The first appearances included Madame Sontag, Madame
Castellan, Miss Catherine Hayes, Mdlle. Alboni, Miss Stevens (afterwards
Mrs. Hale), Mdlle. Jetty de Treffz, Sims Reeves, Herr Pischek (baritone
basso), Signor Bottesini (double bass), M. Sigismund Thalberg (pianist),
M. Prospere Sainton (violinist), &c. Receipts £10,334; profits, £2,448.

1852, Sept. 7 to 10. President, Lord Leigh. Handel's oratorio, "Samson,"
and Mendelssohn's unfinished "Christus," were the chief new works; and
the principal stangers were Madame Viardot-Garda, Miss Dolby, Signor
Tamberlik, Herr Formes, Signor Belletti, Mr. Weiss, Signor Piatti
(violoncello), Signer Bottisini (double bass), and Herr Kuhe
(pianoforte) Receipts £11,925; profits £4,704.

1855, Aug. 28 to 31. President, Lord Willoughby de Broke, The programme
included Costa's "Eli" (composed for the occasion), Beethoven's "Mount
of Olives," Glover's "Tam O'Shanter," Macfarren's cantata "Lenora," and
Mozart's "Requiem;" the fresh artistes being Madame Rudersdorf, Signor
Gardoni, and Herr Reichardt. Receipts £12,745; profits, £3,108, in
addition to £1,000 spent on decorating, &c., the Hall and organ.

1858, Aug. 31 to Sept. 3. President, the Earl of Dartmouth. The
novelties included Mendelssohn's Hymn "Praise Jehovah," Beethoven's
"Mass in C." Leslie's Cantata "Judith," Mendelssohn's Cantata "To the
Sons of Art," Costa's serenata "The Dream," &c. First appearances were
made by Mdlle. Victorie Balfe, Signor Ronconi, Mr. Montem Smith, about a
dozen instrumentalists belonging to the Festival Choral Society, and
nearly seventy members of the Amateur Harmonic Association, Mr. W.C.
Stockley filling the post of general chorus-master. This was the last
year of the "Festival Balls." Receipts, £11,141; profits, £2,731.

1861, Aug. 27 to 30. President, the Earl of Shrewsbury and Talbot. The
new introductions comprised Mdlle. Titiens, Mdlle. Adelina Patti, Mdlle.
Lemmens-Sherrington, Miss Palmer, Signor Giuglini, Mr. Santley, and Miss
Arabella Goddard. Beethoven's "Mass in D," and Hummel's Motett "Alma
Virgo" were part of the programme, which included not only the "Messiah"
and "Elijah," but also "Samson" and "The Creation," &c. Receipts,
£11,453; profits, £3,043.

1864, Sept. 6 to 9. President, the Earl of Lichfield. Costa's "Naaman,"
Sullivan's "Kenilworth," Guglieml's "Offertorium," and Mozart's "Twelfth
Mass" were produced. Mr. W.H. Cummings made his first appearance.
Receipts, £13,777; profits, £5,256.

1867, Aug. 27 to 29. President, Earl Beauchamp. The novelties were
Bennett's "Woman of Samaria," Gounod's "Messe Solonnelle," Benedict's
"Legend of St. Cecilia," and Barnett's "Ancient Mariner." The new
singers were Mdlle. Christine Nilsson and Madume Patey-Whylock.
Receipts, £14,397; profits, £5,541.

1870, Aug. 30 to Sept. 2. President, the Earl of Bradford. The new works
were Barnett's "Paradise and the Peri," Benedict's "St. Peter," and
Hiller's "Nala and Damayanti," Mdlle. Ilma de Murska, Mdlle. Drasdil,
Miss Edith Wynne (Eos Cymru), Signor Foli, and Mr. Vernon Rigby making
their _début_ as Festival singers. Receipts, £14,635; profits, £6,195.

1873, Aug. 25 to 28. President, the Earl of Shrewsbury and Talbot. The
most important of the novelties were Sullivan's "Light of the World,"
and Schira's "Lord of Burleigh," but the greatest attraction of all was
the patronising presence of royalty in the person of the Duke of
Edinburgh. Receipts, £16,097; profits, £6,391.

1876, Aug. 29 to Sept. 1. President, the Marquis of Hertford. Herr
Wagner's "Holy Supper," Mr. Macfarren's "Resurrection," Mr. F.H. Cowen's
"Corsair," and Herr Gade's "Zion" and "Crusaders" were the pieces now
first introduced, the artistes being all old friends, with the exception
of Mr. E. Lloyd. Receipts, £15,160; profits. £5,823.

1879, Aug. 26 to 20. President, Lord Norton. The fresh compositions
consisted of Herr Max Bruch's "Lay of the Bell," Rossini's "Moses in
Egypt," Saint-Saëns' "The Lyre and Harp," and Dr. C.S. Heap's "Overture
in F." First appearances included Madame Gerster, Miss Anna Williams,
Mr. Joseph Maas, and Herr Henschel, Receipts, £11,729; profits, £4,500.

1882, Aug. 29 to Sep. 1. President, Lord Windsor. On this occasion
Madame Roze-Mapleson, Miss Eleanor Farnel, Mr. Horrex, Mr. Campion, and
Mr. Woodhall, first came before a Festival audience. The list of new
works comprised Gounod's "Redemption," Gaul's "Holy City," Gade's
"Psyche," Benedict's "Graziella," Mr. C.H. Parry's "Symphony in G
Major." Brahm's "Triumphed," with a new song and a new march by Gounod.
Receipts, £15,011; profits, £4,704.

1885. Aug.25 to 28.--President: Lord Brooke. The principal performers
were Madame Albani, Mrs. Hutchinson, Miss Anna Williams, Madame Patey,
Madame Trebelli; Messrs. Edward Lloyd, Joseph Maas, Santley, Signor
Foli. Herr Richter was the conductor. Works performed were:--Oratorio,
"Elijah"; new Cantata, "Sleeping Beauty"; new Oratorio, "Mors et Vita";
new cantata, "Yule Tide"; Oratorio, "Messiah"; new Cantata, "The
Spectre's Bride"; new Oratorio, "The Three Holy Children."

~Music Halls.~--Mr. Henry Holder is often said to have been the first
who opened a public room of this kind, but there had been one some years
before at the George and Dragon, corner of Weaman Street, Steelhouse
Lane, which was both popular and respectably conducted.--See "_Concert

~Musical Instruments.~--Our grandfathers and grandmothers were content
with their harps and harpsichords, their big and little fiddles, with
trumpets and drums, horns, oboes, bassoons, and pipes. Clarionets were
not introduced into the Festival bands until 1778; the double-bass
kettle-drums came in 1784; trombones in 1790; flutes, with six or more
keys, were not known until 1802; serpents appeared in 1820; flageolets
in 1823; the ophicleide was brought in 1829, and the monster specimens
in 1834, which year also saw the introduction of the piccolo; the
bombardon not coming until 1843. Pianofortes were first known in England
in 1767, but when first played in Birmingham is uncertain; the first
time the instrument is named in a Festival programme was 1808, but the
loan of a grand by Mr. Tomkinson, a London maker, in 1817, was an event
thought deserving of a special vote of thanks.

~Musical Notabilities~ of the highest calibre have been frequent
visitors here, at the Festivals and at the Theatres, though the
native-born sons of song who have attained high rank in the profession
number but few. Under "_Musical Festivals_" appear the names of all the
leading artistes who have taken part in those world-known performances,
the dates of their first appearances being only given, and in like
manner in the notice of our "_Theatres_" and "_Theatrical Celebrities_"
will be chronicled the advents of many celebrated "stars" who have trod
our local boards. Considering the position he long held in the musical
world, the introduction of Sir Michael Costa to Birmingham has
sufficient interest to be here noted. Signor Costa had been sent by his
friend Zingarelli to conduct his "Cantata Sacra" at the Festival of
1829. The managers, however, thought so very little of the young
gentleman's appearance (he was but nineteen) that they absolutely
refused him permission to do so, only allowing his expenses on condition
that he went among the singers. It was of no use his telling them that
he was a conductor and not a singer, and he had nervously to take the
part assigned him. On returning to London, he quickly "made his mark,"
and fell into his right place of honour and credit.

~Musical Services.~--The first of a series of week-night musical
services for the people took place at St. Luke's Church, September 10,
1877, the instruments used being the organ, two kettle-drums, two
trumpets, and two trombones. This was by no means an original idea, for
the followers of Swedenborg had similar services as well in their Chapel
in Paradise Street (on site of Queen's College), as in Newhall Street
and Summer Lane.

~Mysteries of Past History.~--It was believed that a quantity of arms
were provided here by certain gentlemen favourable to the Pretender's
cause in 1745, and that on the rebels failing to reach Birmingham, the
said arms were buried on the premises of a certain manufacturer, who for
the good of his health fled to Portugal. The fact of the weapons being
hidden came to the knowledge of the Government some sixty years after,
and a search for them was intended, but though the name of the
manufacturer was found in the rare books of the period, and down to
1750, the site of his premises could not be ascertained, the street
addresses not being inserted, only the quarter of the town, thus: "T.
S.---- Digbath quarter." The swords, &c., have remained undiscovered to
the present day.--M 10, 1864, while excavations were being made in the
old "Castle Yard," in High Street the skeletons of three human beings
were found in a huddled position about 2-1/2 ft. from the surface.--The
Old Inkleys were noted for the peculiar character (or want thereof) of
its inhabitants, though why they buried their dead beneath their cellar
floors must remain a mystery. On October 29, 1879, the skeleton of a
full-grown man was found underneath what had once been the site of a
house in Court No. 25 of the Old Inkleys, where it must have lain at
least 20 years.

~Nail Making.~--See "_Trades_."

~Natural History~ and Microscopical Society was formed in January, 1858.
The first meeting of the Midland Union of Natural History,
Philosophical, and Archæological Societies and Field Clubs was held at
the Midland Institute, May 27, 1878.

~Nechells.~--There is, or was, a year or two back, a very old house,
"Nechells Hall," still in existence, where at one period of their
history, some of the Holte family resided.

~Needless Alley~ is said to have been originally called Needles Alley
from a pin and needle makers' shop there.

~Nelson.~--Boulton struck a line medal in commemoration of the Battle of
Trafalgar, and by permission of the Government gave one to every person
who took part in the action; flag-officers and commanders receiving
copies in gold, lieutenants, &c., in silver, and the men, bronze. Being
struck for this purpose only, and not for sale, the medal is very
scarce.--See "_Statues_."

~New Hall.~--One of the residences of the Colmore family, demolished in
1787, the advertisement announcing the sale of its materials appearing
July 2 that year. It is generally believed that the house stood in exact
line with Newhall Street, and at its juncture with Great Charles Street;
the houses with the steps to them showing that the site between, whereon
the Hall stood, was lowered after its clearance.

~Newhall Hill.~--Famous for ever in our history for the gatherings which
have at times taken place thereon, the most important of which are those
of 1819, July 12, to elect a "representative" who should _demand_
admittance to, and a seat in, the House of Commons, whether the Commons
would let him or no. For taking part in this meeting, George Edmonds,
Major Cartwright, and some others, were put on their trial. A "true
bill" was found on August 9th, but the indictment being removed to
King's Bench, the trial did not take place till August 7, 1820, the
sentence of 12 months' imprisonment being passed May 28, 1821.--In 1832,
May 14, nearly 200,000 persons present, Mr. Thomas Attwood presiding.
This is the meeting described as "one of the most solemn spectacles ever
seen in the world." when the whole mighty assemblage took the vow of the
Political Union, to "devote themselves and their children to their
country's cause."--In 1833, May 20, at which the Government was censured
for passing a Coercian Bill for Ireland, for keeping on the window and
house taxes, for not abolishing the Coin Laws, and for not allowing vote
by ballot.

~Newhall Lane~ was the original name for that part of Colmore Row
situate between Newhall Street and Livery Street.

~New John Street~, for a long time, was considered the longest street in
the borough, being 1 mile and 200 yards long.

~New Market Street.~--Some ground was set out here, years ago, for a
market; hence the name.

~Newspapers and Magazines.~--In 1719 there were many small "sheets of
news" published in London, but the imposition of a halfpenny stamp
finished the career of the majority. In 1797 a 3-1/2 d. stamp, and in
1815 a 4d. stamp was required. In 1836 it was reduced to 1d., and in
1855, after a long agitation, the newspaper duty was abolished
altogether. About 1830 the trick of printing a calico sheet of news was
tried, the letter of the law being that duty must be paid on
news_papers_, but the Somerset House people soon stopped it. In Oct.,
1834, among many others, James Guest, Thomas Watts, and William
Plastans, news-vendors of this town, were committed to Warwick Gaol fur
the offence of selling unstamped papers. In 1840, the total circulation
of all the local papers did not reach 14,000 copies per week, a great
contrast to the present day, when one office alone sends out more than
150,000 in the like time. During the Chartist agitation there were
frequently as many as 5,000 to 6,000 copies of Feargus O'Connor's
_Northern Star_ sold here, and many hundreds a week of the _Weekly
Dispatch_, a great favourite with "the people" then. _Cacoethes
scribendi_, or the scribbling itch, is a complaint many local people
have suffered from, but to give a list of all the magazines, newspapers,
journals, and periodicals that have been published here is impossible.
Many like garden flowers have bloomed, fruited, and lived their little
day, others have proved sturdy plants and stood their ground for years,
but the majority only just budded into life before the cold frosts of
public neglect struck at their roots and withered them up, not a leaf
being left to tell even the date of their death. Notes of a few are here

_Advertiser_.--First number appeared Oct. 10, 1833.

_Argus_.--Started as a monthly Aug. 1, 1828.--See "_Allday_" under
"_Noteworthy Men_."

_Aris's Gazette_.--The oldest of our present local papers was first
published Nov. 10, 1741. Like all other papers of that period, it was
but a dwarf in comparison with the present broad-sheet, and the whole of
the local news given in its first number was comprised in five lines,
announcing the celebration of Admiral Vernon's birthday. Its Founder,
Thos. Aris, died July 4, 1761. Since that date it had seen but few
changes in its proprietorship until 1872, when it was taken by a Limited
Liability Company, its politics remaining staunchly Conservative. On May
12th, 1862, it was issued as a daily, the Saturday's publication still
bearing the old familiar name.

_Athlete_.--First issued as the "_Midland Athlete_," January, 1879.

_Bazaar_.--A quarto serial of 1823-25.

_Birmingham Magazine_.--A literary and scientific publication edited by
Rev. Hugh Hutton. First appeared in Nov. 1827, running only nine

_Brum_.--A so-called satirical, but slightly scurrilous, sheet issued in
1869, for a brief period.

_Central Literary Magazine_.--First No. in Jan. 1873.

_Chronicle_.--First published in 1765 by Myles Swinney. who continued to
edit the paper until his death in 1812. It was sold March 15, 1819, as
well as the type foundry which had been carried on by Mr. Swinney, a
business then noteworthy, as there was but one other of the kind in
England out of London.

_Daily Globe_.--A Conservative 1/2d. evening paper, commencing Nov. 17,
1879, and dying Oct. 30, 1880.

_Daily Mail_.--Evening 1/2d. paper; an offshoot from the _Daily Post_,
and now printed on adjoining premises. First published Sept. 7, 1870.

_Daily Post_.--First published Dec. 4, 1857, by the proprietors of the
_Journal_. From the first it "took" well, and it is the leading daily
paper of the Midland Counties.

_Daily Press_.--The first daily paper issued in Birmingham appeared on
May 7, 1855. Like many other "new inventions," however, it did not
succeed in making a firm footing and succumbed in November, 1858.

_Dart_.--A well-conducted comic weekly paper. Commenced Oct. 28, 1876.

_Edgbaston Advertiser_.--Published monthly by Mr. Thos. Britton,
Ladywood. As its name implies, this publication is more of the character
of an advertising sheet than a newspaper, but it often contains choice
literary pieces which make it a favourite.

_Edgbastonia_.--A monthly, full of quaint and curious notes, local
biographies, &c., issued by Mr. Eliezer Edwards, the well-known "S.D.R."
First sent out May, 1881.

_Edmonds' Weekly Recorder_.--First published by George Edmonds, June 18,
1819. It was alive in 1823, but date of last issue is uncertain.

_German_.--A newspaper printed in the German language made its
appearance here Aug. 7, 1866, but did not live long.

_Graphic_.--A penny illustrated commenced Feb. 21, 1883, but its
growth was not sufficiently _hardy_ to keep it alive more than two

_Gridiron_.--"A grill for saints and sinners," according to No. 1 (June
14, 1879), and if bitter biting personalities can be called fun, the
publication was certainty an amusing one, so long as it lasted.

_Hardware Lion_.--Rather a curious name for the monthly advertising
sheet first published Dec., 1880, but it did not long survive.

_Illustrated Midland News_.--The publication of this paper, Sept. 4,
1869, was a spirited attempt by Mr. Joseph Hatton to rival the
_Illustrated London News_; but the fates were against him, and the last
number was that of March 11, 1871.

_Inspector_.--A political sheet, which only appeared a few times in

_Iris_.--A few numbers of a literary magazine thus named were issued in

_Jabet's Herald_.--A weekly paper, published 1808, but not of long

_Journal_.--A paper with this name was published in 1733, but there are
no files extant to show how long it catered for the public. A copy of
its 18th number, Monday, May 21, 1733, a small 4to of 4 pages, with the
1/2d. red stamp, is in the possession of the proprietors of the _Daily
Post_, The _Journal_ of later days first appeared June 4 1825, and
continued to be published as a Saturday weekly until 1873, when it was
incorporated with the _Daily Post_.

_Liberal Review_.--First number March 20, 1880, and a few numbers ended

_Looker-On_.--A quizzical critical sheet of theatrical items of the year

_Literary Phoenix_.--A miscellany of literary litter swept together by
Mr. Henry Hawkes in 1820, but soon dropped.

_Lion_.--Another of the modern "satirical" shortlived sheets, started
Jan. 4, 1877.

_Mercury.--The Birmingham Mercury and Warwickshire and Staffordshire
Advertiser_ was the title of newspaper of which the first copy was dated
November 24, 1820. The title of _Mercury_ was revived in 1848. on the
10th December of which year Mr. Wm. B. Smith brought out his paper of
that name. It commenced with _éclat_, but soon lost its good name, and
ultimately, after a lingering existence (as a daily at last), it died
out August 24, 1857.

_Middle School Mirror_.--A monthly, edited, written, and published by
the boys of the Middle School of King Edward the Sixth, shone forth in
December, 1880.

_Midland Antiquary_.--First numbtr for Oct., 1882. A well-edited
chronicle of matters interesting to our "Old Mortality" boys.

_Midland Counties Herald_.--First published July 26, 1836, by Messrs.
Wright and Dain. Its circulation, though almost gratuitous is extensive
and from its high character as a medium for certain classes of
advertisements it occasionally has appeared in the novel shape of a
newspaper without any news, the advertisers taking up all the space.

_Midland Echo_--Halfpenny evening paper, commenced Feb. 26, 1883, as an
extra-superfine Liberal organ. Ceased to appear as a local paper early
in 1885.

_Midland Metropolitan Magazine_. This heavily-named monthly lasted just
one year, from Dec., 1852.

_Midland Naturalist_.--Commenced Jan. 1, 1878.

_Morning News_.--Daily paper, in politics a Nonconformist Liberal; first
published Jan. 2, 1871, under the editorship of George Dawson until the
expiration of 1873. On Aug. 16, 1875, it was issued as a morning and
evening paper at 1/2d.; but the copy for May 27, 1876, contained its own
death notice.

_Mouse Trap_.--The title of a little paper of playful badinage, issued
for a month or two in the autumn of 1824.

_Naturalists' Gazette_.--In Sept. 1882, the Birmingham naturalists began
a gazette of their own.

_Old and New Birmingham_ was published in monthly parts, the first being
issued June 1, 1878.

_Owl_.--A weekly pennyworth of self-announced "wit and wisdom" first
issued Jan. 30, 1879.

_Penny Magazine_.--This popular periodical, the fore-runner of all the
cheap literature of the day, may be said to have had a Birmingham
origin, as it was first suggested to Charles Knight by Mr. M.D. Hill in

_Philanthropist_.--First published (as _The Reformer_) April 16, 1835,
by Benjamin Hudson, 18, Bull Street; weekly, four pages, price 7d., but
in the following September lowered to 4-1/2d., the stamp duty of 4d.
being at that time reduced to 1d. In politics it was Liberal, and a
staunch supporter of the Dissenters, who only supported it for about two

_Radical Times_.--Came into existence Sept. 30, 1876, but being too
rabidly Radical, even for "the 600," whose leading-strings it shirked,
it did not thrive for long.

_Register or Entertaining Museum_.--With the prefix of the town's name,
this monthly periodical lived one year from May 10, 1764. This was one
of the earliest London-printed country papers, the only local portion
being the outside pages, so that it suited for a number of places.

_Reporter and Review_.--Principally devoted to the doings on the local
stage, and published for a brief period during June, &c., 1823.

_Saturday Evening Post_.--A weekly "make-up" from the _Daily Post_ (with
a few distinctive features) and came into being with that paper; price
1-1/2d. Originally issued at noon on Saturday, but latterly it has
appeared simultaneous with the _Daily_, and is known as the _Weekly
Post_, its price lately having been reduced to 1d.

_Saturday Night_.--First published, Sept. 30, 1882.

_Saturday's Register_.--Another of George Edmunds' political papers,
which appeared for a few months in 1820.

_Spectator_.--A literary and dramatic monthly, of which seven parts were
published in 1824.

_Sunday Echo_.--First number came out May 21, 1882.

_Sunday Express_.--Started August, 1884, and died August, 1885.

_Sunday Telegram_.--Started May, 1883.

_Sunrise_.--Rose Nov. 18, 1882, at the price of one-halfpenny, and
lasted a few weeks only.

_Tattler_.--April 1817 saw the first appearance of this
tittle-tattle-tale-telling monthly tease to all lovers of theatrical
order, and August saw the last.

_Theatrical Argus_.--Of May and following months of 1830. A
two-penny-worth of hotch-potch, principally scandal.

_Theatrical John Bull_.--Published in May, 1824, lasting for the season

_Theatrical Note Book_.--Rival to above in June, 1824, and going off the
stage same time.

_Town Crier_.--This respectable specimen of a local comic appeared first
in September, 1861, and it deserves a long life, if only for keeping
clear of scandal and scurrility.

_Warwick and Staffordshire Journal_.--Though printed here, the town was
not thought capable of filling its columns; a little experience showed
the two counties to be as bad, and subscribers were tempted to buy by
the issue of an Illustrated Bible and Prayer Book sent out in parts with
the paper. The first No. was that of Aug. 20, 1737, and it continued
till the end of Revelations, a large number of copperplate engravings
being given with the Bible, though the price of the paper was but 2d.

_Weekly Mercury_.--Commenced November, 1884.

_Weekly News_.--A weak attempt at a weekly paper, lasted from May to
September, 1882.

~Newsrooms.~--The first to open a newsroom were Messrs. Thomson and
Wrightson, booksellers, who on Aug. 22, 1807, admitted the public to its
tables. In 1825 a handsome newsroom was erected in Bennett's Hill, the
site of which was sold in 1858 for the County Court, previous to its
removal to Waterloo Street.

~New Street~ once called "Beast Market." was in Hutton's time approached
from High Street through an archway, the rooms over being in his
occupation. In 1817 there were several walled-in gardens on the
Bennett's Hill side of the street, and it is on record that one house at
least was let at the low rent of 5s. 6d. per week. The old "Grapes"
public-house was pulled down just after the Queen's visit, being the
last of the houses removed on account of the railway station. Though it
has long been the principal business street of the town, New street was
at one time devoted to the ignoble purposes of a beast market, and where
the fair ladies of to-day lightly tread the flags when on shopping bent,
the swine did wait the butcher's knife. New Street is 561 yards in
length; between Temple Street and Bennett's Hill it is 46-1/2 feet wide,
and near Worcester Street 65 ft. 4 in. wide.

~Nonconformists.~--The so-called Act of Uniformity of 1602 deprived
nearly 2,000 of the clergy of their livings, and a few of them came to
Birmingham as a place of refuge, ministering among the Dissenters, who
then had no buildings for regular worship. There were many documents in
the lost Staunton Collection relating to some of these clergymen, who,
however, did not find altogether comfortable quarters even here, one
George Long, M.D., who had fled from his persecutors in Staffordshire,
finding no peace in Birmingham, removed to Ireland; others, though they
came here by stealth to minister, had to reside in country parts. A
Central Nonconformist Committee was formed here March 3, 1870.

~Nonjurors.~--Among the name of the Roman Catholics, or "Non-jurors,"
who refused to take the oath of allegiance to George I., appeared that
of John Stych, of Birmingham, whose forfeited estate was, in 1715,
valued at £12.

~Northfield.~--Four and a-half miles from Birmingham. There was a Church
here at the time of the Norman survey, and some traces of its Saxon
origin, students of architecture said, could once be found in the
ancient doorway on the north side of the building. Some forty years ago
the psalmody of the congregation and choir received assistance from the
mellifluous strains ground out of a barrel organ, which instrument is
still preserved as a curiosity by a gentleman of the neighbourhood. They
had an indelible way at one time of recording local proceedings in
matters connected with the Church here. The inscriptions on the six
bells cast in 1730 being:--

  Treble.--We are now six, though once but five,
  2nd.--Though against our casting some did strive,
  3rd.--But when a day for meeting they did fix,
  4th.--There appeared but nine against twenty-six.
  5th.--Samuel Palmer and Thomas Silk Churchwardens.
  Tenor.--Thomas Kettle and William Jervoise did contrive
  To make us six that were but five.

~Notable Offences.~--In olden days very heavy punishments were dealt out
for what we now think but secondary offences, three men being sentenced
to death at the Assizes, held March 31, 1742, one Anstey for burglary,
Townsend for sheep-stealing, and Wilmot for highway robbery. The laws
also took cognisance of what to us are strange crimes, a woman in 1790
being imprisoned here for selling almanacks without the Government stamp
on them; sundry tradesmen also being heavily fined for dealing in
covered buttons. The following are a few other notable olfences that
have been chronicled for reference:--

_Bigamy_.--The Rev. Thomas Morris Hughes was, Nov. 15, 1883, sentenced
to seven years' penal servitude for this offence. He had been previously
punished for making a false registration of the birth of a child, the
mother of which was his own stepdaughter.

_Burglary_.--On Christmas eve, 1800, five men broke into the
counting-house at Soho, stealing therefrom 150 guineas and a lot of
silver, but Matthew Boulton captured four of them, who were
transported.--The National School at Handsworth, was broken into and
robbed for the fifth time Sept. 5, 1827.--A warehouse in Bradford Street
was robbed Jan. 9, 1856, of an iron safe, weighing nearly 4cwt., and
containing £140 in cash.--A burglary was committed in the Ball Ring,
July 5, 1862, for which seven persons were convicted.

_Coining_.--Booth, the noted coiner and forger, was captured at Perry
Barr, March 28, 1812, his house being surrounded by constables and
soldiers. In addition to a number of forged notes and £600 in
counterfeit silver, the captors found 200 guineas in gold and nearly
£3,000 in good notes, but they did not save Booth Irom being hanged.
Booth had many hidingplaces for his peculiar productions, parcels of
spurious coins having several times been found in hedgerow banks and
elsewhere; the latest find (in April, 1884) consisted of engraved
copper-plates for Bank of England £1 and £2 notes.--There have been
hundreds of coiners punished since his day. The latest trick is getting
really good dies for sovereigns, for which Ingram Belborough, an old man
of three score and six, got seven years' penal servitude, Nov, 15 1883.

_Deserters_.--On 24 July, 1742, a soldier deserted from his regiment in
this town. Followed, and resisting, he was shot at Tettenhall Wood.--A
sergeant of the Coldstream Guards was shot here while trying to capture
a deserter, September 13, 1796.

_Dynamite making_.--One of the most serious offences committed in
Birmingham was discovered when Alfred Whitehead was arrested April 5,
1883, on the charge of manufacturing nitroglycerine, or dynamite, at
128, Ledsam Street. Whitehead was one of the Irish-American or
American-Irish party of the Land Leaguers or Home Rulers, who entertain
the idea that by committing horrible outrages in England. they will
succeed in making Ireland "free from the galling yoke of Saxon tyranny"
and every Irishman independent of everybody and everything everywhere.
Well supplied with funds from New York, Whitehead quietly arranged his
little manufactory, buying glycerine from one firm and nitric and
sulphuric acids from others, certain members of the conspiracy coming
from London to take away the stuff when it was completely mixed. The
deliveries of the peculiar ingredients attracted the attention of Mr.
Gilbert Pritchard, whose chemical knowledge led him to guess what they
were required for; he informed his friend, Sergeant Price, of his
suspicions; Price and his superior officers made nightly visits to
Ledsam Street, getting into the premises, and taking samples for
examination; and on the morning named Whitehead's game was over, though
not before he had been watched in sending off two lots of the
dangerously explosive stuff to London. There was, however, no less than
200lbs weight found still on the premises. The men who carried it to
London were quickly caught with the dynamite in their possession, and
with Whitehead were brought to trial and each of them sentenced to penal
servitude for life. The distribution of rewards in connection with the
"dynamite outrages," so far as Birmingham people were concerned, was
somewhat on a similar scale to that described by the old sailor, when he
said "prize-money" was distributed through a ladder, all passing through
going to the officers, while any sticking to the wood was divided among
the men. Mr. Farndale, the Chief of Police, was granted an addition to
his salary of £100 per year; Inspector Black was promoted to the rank of
Superintendent, adding £50 a year to his salary, and was presented with
£100 from Government; Sergeant Price, became Inspector, with a rise of
£41 12s. a year, and received a bonus of £200; Inspector Rees' salary
was raised to two guineas a week, with a gift, of £50: while Mr.
Pritchard, to whom belonged the conspicuous service of having given the
information which led the police to act, was rewarded (!) with £50,
having lost his situation through his services to the public.

_Embezzlements_.--In 1871, W. Harrison, the Secretary of the Birmingham
Gas Company, skedaddled, his books showing defalcations to the amount of
£18,000. When the company was dissolved, £100 was left in a bank for Mr.
Secretary's prosecution, should he return to this country.--July 12,
1877, the secretary of the Moseley Skating Rink Company was awarded
twelve months, and the secretary of the Butcher's Hide and Skin Company
six months, for similar offences, but for small amounts.

_Forgeries_.--In the year 1800, seven men were hung at Warwick for
forgery, and with them one for sheep-stealing. The manufacture of forged
bank-notes was formerly quite a business here, and many cases are on
record of the detection and punishment of the offenders.--June 28, 1879.
the Joint Stock Bank were losers of £2,130 through cashing three forged
cheques bearing the signature of W.C.B. Cave, the clever artist getting
ten years--Nov. 15, 1883. John Alfred Burgan, manager of the Union Bank,
for forging and uttering a certain order, and falsifying his books, the
amounts embezzled reaching £9,000, was sentenced to fifteen years' penal
servitude.--On the previous day Benjamin Robert Danks was similarly
punished for forgeries on his employer, Mr. Jesse Herbert, barrister,
who had been exceedingly kind to him--Zwingli Sargent, solicitor, was
sentenced to five years' penal servitude, April 28, 1885, for forgery
and misappropriating money belonging to clients.

_Fortunetelling_ is still far from being an uncommon offence, but
"Methratton," the "Great Seer of England," _alias_ John Harewell, who,
on March 28, 1883, was sentenced to nine months hard labour, must rank
as being at the top of the peculiar profession. Though a "Great Seer" he
could not foresee his own fate.

_Highwaymen_.--The "gentlemen of the road" took their tolls in a very
free manner in the earlier coaching days, notwithstanding that the
punishment dealt out was frequently that of death or, in mild cases,
transportation for life. The Birmingham stage coach was stopped and
robbed near Banbury, May 18, 1743, by two highwaymen, who, however, were
captured same day, and were afterwards hung.--Mr. Wheeley, of Edgbaston,
was stopped in a lane near his own house, and robhed of 20 guineas by a
footpad, May 30, 1785.--An attempt to rob and murder Mr. Evans was made
near Aston Park, July 25, 1789.--Henry Wolseley, Esq. (third son of Sir
W. Wolseley, Bart.), was robbed by high-waymen near Erdington, Nov. 5,
1793.--Some highwaymen robbed a Mr. Benton of £90 near Aston Brook,
April 6, 1797.--The coach from Sheffield was stopped by footpads near
Aston Park, March 1, 1798, and the passengers robbed.--The "Balloon"
coach was robbed of £8,000, Dec. 11, 1822, and the Warwick mail was
robbed of no less than £20,000 in bank notes, Nov. 28. 1827.

_Horrible_.--The bodies of eleven children were found buried at back of
68, Long Acre, Nechells, where lived Ann Pinson, a midwife, who _said_
they were all still-born, July, 1878.

_Long Firms_.--A term applied to rogues, who, by pretending to be in
business, procure goods by wholesale, and dispose of them fraudulently.
W.H. Stephenson, of this town, a great patron of these gentry, was
sentenced to seven years' penal servitude, Nov. 22, 1877, for the part
he had taken in one of these swindling transactions, according to
account by far from being the first of the kind he had had a hand in.

_Next-of-Kin Frauds_.--Many good people imagine they are entitled to
property now in other hands, or laid up in Chancery, and to accommodate
their very natural desire to obtain information that would lead to their
getting possession of same, a "Next-of-Kin Agency" was opened in
Burlington Passage at the beginning of 1882. The _modus operandi_ was of
the simplest: the firm advertised that Brown, Jones, and Robinson were
wanted; Brown, Jones, and Robinson turned up, and a good many of them;
they paid the enquiry fees, and called again. They were assured (every
man Jack of them) they were right owners, and all they had to do was to
instruct the firm to recover. More fees, and heavy ones; the Court must
be petitioned--more fees; counsel engaged--more fees; case entered for
hearing--more fees, and so on, as long as the poor patients would stand
bleeding. Several instances were known of people selling their goods to
meet the harpies' demands; clergymen and widows, colliers and
washer-women, all alike were in the net. It became too hot at last, and
Rogers, Beeton and Co., were provided with berths in the gaol. At
Manchester Assizes July 18, 1882, J.S. Rogers got two years' hard
labour, A. Mackenzie and J.H. Shakespear (a solicitor) each 21 months;
and E.A. Beeton, after being in gaol six months, was ordered to stop a
further twelve, the latter's conviction being from this town.

_Novel Thefts_.--A youth of nineteen helped himself to £128 from a safe
at General Hospital, and spent £13 of it before the magistrates (Jan.
15, 1875) could give him six months' lodgings at the gaol.--Three
policemen were sent to penal servitude for five years for thieving July
8, 1876.--Sept. 19, 1882, some labourers engaged in laying sewage pipes
near Newton Street, Corporation Street, came across some telegraph
cables, and under the impression that they were "dead" wires, hitched a
horse thereto and succeeded in dragging out about a dozen yards of no
less than 33 different cables connecting this town with Ireland, the
Continent, and America. Their prize was sold for 4s. 6d., but the
inconvenience caused was very serious. Henry Jones, who was tried for
the trick, pleaded ignorance, and was let off.--At Quarter Sessions,
Ernest Lotze, got six months for stealing, Dec. 12, 1892, from his
employer 87lb. weight of human hair, valued at £300.

_Personal Outrages_.--Maria Ward was sentenced to penal servitude
December 18, 1873, for mutilating her husband in a shocking manner.--At
Warwick Assizes, December 19, 1874, one man was sentenced to 15 years,
and four others to 7 years' penal servitude for outraging a woman in
Shadwell Street.--George Moriarty, plasterer, pushed his wife through
the chamber window, and on her clinging to the ledge beat her hands with
a hammer till she fell and broke her leg, May 31, 1875. It was three
months before she could appear against him, and he had then to wait
three months for his trial, which resulted in a twenty years' sentence.

_Sacrilege_.--In 1583 St. Martin's Church was robbed of velvet "paul
cloathes," and also some money belonging to the Grammar School.--
Handsworth Church was robbed of its sacramental plate, February 10,
1784; and Aston Church was similarly despoiled, April 21, 1788.--A gross
sacrilege was commuted in Edgbaston Church, December 15, 1816.--Four
Churches were broken into on the night of January 3, 1873.

_Sedition and Treason_.--George Ragg, printer, was imprisoned for
sedition, February 12, 1821.--George Thompson, gun maker, 31, Whittall
Street, was imprisoned, August 7, 1839, for selling guns to the

_Shop Robberies_.--Diamonds worth £400 were stolen from Mr. Wray's shop,
November 27, 1872.--A jeweller's window in New Street was smashed
January 23, 1875, the damage and loss amounting to £300.--A bowl
containing 400 "lion sixpences" was stolen from Mr. Thomas's window, in
New Street, April 5, 1878.--Mr. Mole's jeweller's shop, High Street, was
plundered of £500 worth, April 13th, 1881. Some of the works of the
watches taken were afterwards fished up from the bottom of the Mersey,
at Liverpool.

_Short Weight_.--Jan. 2, 1792, there was a general "raid" made on the
dealers in the market, when many short-weight people came to grief.

_Street Shouting_.--The Watch Committee passed a bye-law, May 14, 1878,
to stop the lads shouting "_Mail, Mail_," but they go on doing it.
_Swindles_.--Maitland Boon Hamilton, a gentleman with a cork leg, was
given six months on July 25, 1877, for fleecing Mr. Marsh, the jeweller,
out of some diamonds.--James Bentley, for the "Christmas hamper
swindle," was sentenced to seven years at the Quarter Sessions, May 1,

The following tables show the number of offences dealt with by the
authorities during the five years ending with 1882 (the charges, of
which only a small number have been reported, being omitted):--

The total number of crimes reported under the head of "indictable
offences"--namely, Sessions and Assizes cases--the number apprehended,
and how dealt with, will be gathered from the following summary:--

Year.             Crimes.         Apprehended.     Com. for trial.
1878   .........   1746   .........   495   .........   349
1879   .........   1358   .........   474   .........   399
1880   .........   1187   .........   451   .........   340
1881   .........   1343   .........   435   .........   351
1882   .........   1467   .........   515   .........   401

NATURE OF CRIME.                   Number  of Offences Reported.
                          1878.     1879.     1880.     1881.     1882.
Murder   ...   ...   ...   11  ...   11  ...    5  ...    5  ...    4
Shooting, wounding,
  stabbing, &c....   ...   30  ...   23  ...    8  ...   21  ...   28
Manslaughter   ...   ...    4  ...    3  ...   13  ...    6  ...    8
Rape, assaults with
  intent, &c.  ...   ...    6  ...    1  ...    1  ...    9  ...    4
Bigamy   ...   ...   ...    8  ...    0  ...    1  ...    4  ...    7
Assaults on peace
  officers     ...   ...    0  ...    4  ...    0  ...    1  ...    2
  housebreaking, &c. ...    6  ...  112  ...   80  ...   83  ...  131
Breaking into
  shops, &c.   ...   ...    4  ...   94  ...   56  ...  109  ...  120
Robbery  ...   ...   ...   --  ...    9  ...    6  ...   10  ...    9
Larcenies (various)  ... 1146  ...  959  ...  845  ...  935  ...  931
Receiving stolen
  goods  ...   ...   ...   22  ...    3  ...   16  ...    8  ...    6
Frauds and obtaining by false
  pretences    ...   ...   63  ...   45  ...   53  ...   37  ...   69
Forgery and uttering forged
  instruments  ...   ...    5  ...    9  ...    5  ...    4  ...    9
Uttering, &c., counterfeit
  coin   ...   ...   ...   48  ...   32  ...   43  ...   37  ...   63
Suicide (attempting) ...   20  ...   17  ...   19  ...   16  ...   23

The following are the details of the more important offences dealt with
summarily by the magistrates during the last five years:--

OFFENCES PUNISHABLE                 Number of persons proceeded against.
      BY JUSTICES.         1878.     1879.     1880.     1881.     1882.
Assaults (aggravated) on
 women and children ...      78  ...   57  ...   68  ...   37  ...   67
Assaults on peace-officers,
  resisting, &c.    ...     479  ...  390  ...  340  ...  340  ...  385
Assaults, common    ...    1554  ... 1242  ... 1293  ... 1207  ... 1269
Breaches of peace, want of
  sureties, &c....   ...    426  ...  381  ...  287  ...  219  ...  244
Cruelty to animals   ...    154  ...   77  ...  129  ...  128  ...   94
Elementary Education Act,
  offences against   ...   1928  ... 2114  ... 1589  ... 1501  ... 1755
Employers and Workshops Act,
  1875   ...   ...   ...    224  ...  198  ...  185  ...  155  ...  154
Factory Acts   ...   ...     12  ...    2  ...   17  ...   11  ...   62
Licensing Acts offences     267  ...  263  ...  132  ...  254  ...  297
Drunkenness, drunk and
  disorderly   ...   ...   2851  ... 2428  ... 2218  ... 2345  ... 2443
Lord's Day offences  ...     46  ...    4  ...    1  ...    0  ...    0
Local Acts and Bye-laws,
  offences against   ...   4327  ... 4327  ... 4127  ... 3702  ... 3603
Malicious and wilful
  damage...    ...   ...    187  ...  163  ...  163  ...  214  ...  225
Public Health Act, smoke,
  etc.  ...    ...   ...    317  ...  172  ...  104  ...  104  ...  161
Poor Law Acts, offences
  against      ...   ...    203  ...  220  ...  251  ...  243  ...  325
Stealing or attempts
 (larcenies)  ...    ...   1094  ... 1222  ... 1434  ... 1253  ... 1235
Vagrant Act, offences
  under ...    ...   ...    614  ...  622  ...  624  ...  611  ...  783
Other offences ...   ...    214  ...  174  ...  172  ...  211  ...  386

The following are the totals of the summary offences for the same
period, and the manner in which they were disposed of:--

Year.   Cases.    Convicted.    Fined.
1878    16,610     12,767       8,940
1879    14,475     10,904       7,473
1880    13,589      9,917       6,730
1881    13,007      9,468       6,412
1882    13,788     10,171       6,372

Similar statistics for 1883 have not yet been made up, but a return up
to December 31 of that year shows that the number of persons committed
during the year to the Borough Gaol, or as it is now termed, her
Majesty's Prison at Winson Green, were 3,044 males and 1,045 females
from the borough, and 1,772 males and 521 females from districts, making
a total of 6,382 as against 6,565 in 1882. In the borough 734 males and
198 females had been committed for felony, 1,040 males and 290 females
for misdemeanour, 707 males and 329 females for drunkenness, and 243
males and 121 females for vagrancy. Of prisoners sixteen years old and
under there were 193 males and 21 females.

~Noteworthy Men of the Past.~--Though in the annals of Birmingham
history the names of very many men of note in art, science, and
literature, commerce and politics, are to be found, comparatively
speaking there are few of real native origin. Most of our best men have
come from other parts, as will be seen on looking over the notices which
follow this. Under the heading of "_Parsons, Preachers, and Priests_,"
will be found others of different calibre.

_Allday_.--The "Stormy Petrel" of modern Birmingham was Joseph, or, as
he was better known, Joey Allday, whose hand at one time, was against
every man, and every man's hand against Joe. Born in 1798, Mr. Allday,
on arriving at years of maturity, joined his brothers in the
wire-drawing business, but though it _is_ a painful sight to see (as Dr.
Watts says) children of one family do very often disagree, even if they
do not fall out and chide and fight; but Joseph was fond of fighting
(though not with his fists), and after quarelling and dissolving
partnership, as one of his brothers published a little paper so must he.
This was in 1824, and Joey styled his periodical _The Mousetrap_,
footing his own articles with the name of "Argus." How many _Mousetraps_
Allday sent to market is uncertain, as but one or two copies only are
known to be in existence, and equally uncertain is it whether the
speculation was a paying one. His next literary notion, however, if not
pecuniarily successful, was most assuredly popular, as well as
notorious, it being the much-talked-of _Argus_. The dozen or fifteen
years following 1820 were rather prolific in embryo publications and
periodicals of one kind and another, and it is a matter of difficulty to
ascertain now the exact particulars respecting many of them. Allday's
venture, which was originally called _The Monthly Argus_, first saw the
light in August, 1828. and, considering the times, it was a tolerably
well-conducted sheet of literary miscellany, prominence being given to
local theatrical matters and similar subjects, which were fairly
criticised. Ten numbers followed, in due monthly order, but the volume
for the year was not completed, as in July, 1830, a new series of _The
Argus_ was commenced in Magazine shape and published at a shilling. The
editor of this new series had evidently turned over a new leaf, but he
must have done so with a dungfork, for the publication became nothing
better than the receptacle of rancour, spite, and calumny, public men
and private individuals alike being attacked, and often in the most
scurrilous manner. The printer (who was still alive a few years back)
was William Chidlow and on his head, of course, fell all the wrath of
the people libelled and defamed. George Frederick Mantz horse whipped
him, others sued him for damages, and even George Edmonds (none too
tender-tongued himself) could not stand the jibes and jeers of _The
Argus_. The poor printer was arrested on a warrant for libel; his types
and presses were confiscated under a particular section of the Act for
regulating newspapers, and Allday himself at the March Assizes in 1831
was found guilty on several indictments for libel, and sentenced to ten
months' imprisonment. A third series of _The Argus_ was started June
1st, 1832, soon after Allday's release from Warwick, and as the vile
scurrility of the earlier paper was abandoned to a great extent, it was
permitted to appear as long as customers could be found to support it,
ultimately dying out with the last month of 1834. To Mr. Joseph Allday
must credit be given for the exposure of numerous abuses existing in his
day. He had but to get proper insight into anything going on wrong than
he at once attacked it, tooth and nail, no matter who stood in the road,
or who suffered from his blows. His efforts to put a stop to the
cruelties connected with the old system of imprisonment and distraint
for debt led to the abolition of the local Courts of Requests; and his
wrathful indignation on learning the shocking manner in which prisoners
at the goal were treated by the Governor, Lieutenant Austin, in 1852-53,
led to the well-remembered "Gaol Atrocity Enquiry," and earned for him
the thanks of the Commissioners appointed by Government to make the
enquiry. As a Town Councillor and Alderman, as a Poor Law Guardian and
Chairman of the Board, as Parish Warden for St. Martin's and an opponent
of churchrates (while being a good son of Mother Church), as founder of
the Ratepayers' Protection Society and a popular leader of the
Conservative party, it needs not saying that Mr. Allday had many enemies
at all periods of his life, but there were very few to speak ill of him
at the time of his death, which resulted from injuries received in a
fall on Oct. 2nd, 1861.

_Allen_, J.--Local portrait painter of some repute from 1802 to 1820.

_Aston_, John, who died Sept. 12, 1882, in his 82nd year, at one time
took a leading share in local affairs. He was High Bailiff in 1841, a
J.P. for the county, for 40 years a Governor of the Grammar School, and
on the boards of management of a number of religious and charitable
institutions. A consistent Churchman, he was one of the original
trustees of the "Ten Churches Fund," one of the earliest works of church
extension in Birmingham; he was also the chief promoter of the Church of
England Cemetery, and the handsome church of St. Michael, which stands
in the Cemetery grounds, was largely due to his efforts. In polities Mr.
Aston was a staunch Conservative, and was one of the trustees of the
once notable Constitutional Association.

_Attwood_.--The foremost name of the days of Reform, when the voice of
Liberal Birmingham made itself heard through its leaders was that of
Thomas Attwood. A native of Salop, born Oct. 6, 1783, he became a
resident here soon after coming of age, having joined Messrs. Spooner's
Bank, thence and afterwards known as Spooner and Attwood's. At the early
age of 28 he was chosen High Bailiff, and soon made his mark by opposing
the renewal of the East India Co.'s charter, and by his exertions to
obtain the withdrawal of the "Orders in Council," which in 1812, had
paralysed the trade of the country with America. The part he took in the
great Reform meetings, his triumphant reception after the passing of the
Bill, and his being sent to Parliament as one of the first
representatives for the borough, are matters which have been too many
times dilated upon to need recapitulation. Mr. Attwood had peculiar
views on the currency question, and pertinaciously pressing them on his
fellow members in the House of Commons he was not liked, and only held
his seat until the end of Dec., 1839, the last prominent act of his
political life being the presentation of a monster Chartist petition in
the previous June. He afterwards retired into private life, ultimately
dying at Malvern, March 6 1856, being then 73 years of age. Charles
Attwood, a brother, but who took less part in politics, retiring from
the Political Union when he thought Thomas and his friends were verging
on the precipice of revolution, was well known in the north of England
iron and steel trade. He died Feb. 24, 1875, in his 84th year. Another
brother Benjamin, who left politics alone, died Nov. 22, 1874, aged 80.
No greater contrast could possibly be drawn than that shown in the
career of these three gentlemen. The youngest brother who industriously
attended to his business till he had acquired a competent fortune, also
inherited enormous wealth from a nephew, and after his death he was
proved to have been the long un-known but much sought after anonymous
donor of the £1,000 notes so continuously acknowledged in the _Times_ as
having been sent to London hospitals and charities. It was said that
Benjamin Attwood distributed nearly £350,000 in this unostentatious
manner, and his name will be ever blessed. Charles Attwood was described
as a great and good man, and a benefactor to his race. His discoveries
in the manufacture of glass and steel, and his opening up of the
Cleveland iron district, has given employment to thousands, and as one
who knew him well said, "If he had cared more about money, and less
about science, he could have been one of the richest commoners in
England;" but he was unselfish, and let other reap the benefit of his
best patents. What the elder brother was, most Brums know; he worked
hard in the cause of Liberalism, he was almost idolised here, and his
statue stands not far from the site of the Bank with which his name was
unfortunately connected, and the failure of which is still a stain on
local commercial history.

_Baldwin_, James.--Born in the first month of the present century, came
here early in his teens, worked at a printer's, saved his money, an
employer at 25, made a speciality of "grocer's printing," fought hard in
the battle against the "taxes on knowledge," became Alderman and Mayor,
and ultimately settled down on a farm near his own paper mills at King's
Norton, where, Dec. 10, 1871, he finished a practically useful life,
regretted by many.

_Bayley_, C.H.--A Worcestershire man and a Staffordshire resident; a
persevering collector of past local and county records, and an active
member of the Archæological section of the Midland Institute. Mr. Bayley
was also a member of the Staffordshire Archæological Society, and took
special interest in the William Salt Library at Stafford, whose
treasures were familiar to him, and whose contents he was ever ready to
search and report on for any of his friends. In 1869 he issued the first
of some proposed reprints of some of his own rarities, in "A True
Relation of the Terrible Earthquake at West Brummidge, in
Staffordshire," &c., printed in 1676; and early in 1882 (the year of his
death) "The Rent Rolls of Lord Dudley and Ward in 1701"--a very curious
contribution to local history, and full of general interest also.

_Beale_, Samuel.--At one period a most prominent man among our local
worthies, one of the first Town Councillors, and Mayor in 1841. He was
Chairman of the Midland Railway, a director of the Birmingham and
Midland Bank, and sat as M.P. for Derby from 1857 to 1865. He died Sept
11 1876, aged 71.

_Beale_, W.J.--A member of the legal firm of Beale, Marigold, and Beale.
Mr. Beale's chief public service was rendered in connection with the
General Hospital and the Musical Festivals. He was for many years a
member of the Orchestral Committee of the Festivals, and in 1870 he
succeeded Mr. J.0. Mason as chairman; retaining this position until
after the Festival of 1876. His death took place in July, 1880, he then
being in his 76th year.

_Billing_, Martin.--Founder of the firm of Martin Billing, Sons, & Co.,
Livery Street, died July 17, 1883, at the age of 71. He commenced life
under his uncle, Alderman Baldwin, and was the first to introduce steam
printing machines into Birmingham. The colossal structure which faces
the Great Western Railway Station was erected about twenty-nine years

_Bisset_, James, was the publisher of the "Magnificent Directory" and
"Poetic Survey" of Birmingham, presented to the public, January 1, 1800.

_Bowly_ E.0.--A native, self-taught artist, whose pictures now fetch
rapidly-increasing sums, though for the best part of his long life
dealers and the general run of art patrons, while acknowledging the
excellence of the works, would not buy them. Mr. Bowly, however, lived
sufficiently long to know that the few gentlemen who honoured him in his
younger years, were well recompensed for their kind recognition of his
talent, though it came too late to be of service to himself. His death
occurred Feb. 1, 1876, in his 70th year.

_Briggs_.--Major W.B. Briggs, who was struck off the world's roster Jan.
25, 1877, was one of the earliest and most ardent supporters of the
Volunteer movement in Birmingham, being gazetted ensign of the 2nd
Company in November, 1859. He was a hearty kindly man, and much esteemed
in and out of the ranks.

_Burritt_ Elihu, the American "learned blacksmith," having made himself
proficient in fifteen different languages. He first addressed the
"Friends of Peace" in this town, Dec. 15, 1846, when on a tour through
the country. He afterwards returned, and resided in England for nearly
twenty-five years, being for a considerable time United States Consul at
Birmingham, which he left in 1868. During his residence here he took an
active share in the work of diffusing the principles of temperance and
peace, both by lecturing and by his writings.

_Bynner_, Henry.--A native of the town; forty-five years British Consul
at Trieste; returned here in 1842, and died in 1867. He learned
shorthand writing of Dr. Priestley, and was the first to use it in a law
court in this county.

_Cadbury_, Richard Tapper.--A draper and haberdasher, who started
business here in 1794. One of the Board of Guardians, and afterwards
Chairman (for 15 years) of the Commissioners of the Streets, until that
body was done away with. Mr. Cadbury was one of the most respected and
best known men of the town. He died March 13, 1860, in his 92nd year,
being buried in Bull Street, among his departed friends.

_Capers_, Edward.--Sometimes called the "poet-postman," is a Devonshire
man, but resided for a considerable time at Harborne. He deserves a
place among our noteworthy men, if only for his sweet lines on the old
Love lane at Edgbaston, now known as Richmond Hill.

  "But no vestige of the bankside lingers now
     or gate to show
  The track of the old vanished lane of love's
     sweet long ago."

_Carey_, Rev. Henry Francis, a native of this town (born in 1772),
vicar of Bromley Abbots, Staffordshire, himself a poet of no mean order,
translated in blank verse Dante's "Inferno," the "Divina Commedia," &c.,
his works running rapidly through several editions. For some time he was
assistant librarian at the British Museum, and afterwards received a
pension of £200 a year. Died in 1844, and lies in "Poet's Corner,"
Westminster Abbey.

_Chamberlain_, John Henry.--Came to Birmingham in 1856, and died
suddenly on the evening of Oct. 22, 1883, after delivering a lecture in
the Midland Institutes on "Exotic Art." An architect of most brilliant
talent, it is almost impossible to record the buildings with which (in
conjunction with his partner, Mr. Wm. Martin) he has adorned our town.
Among them are the new Free Libraries, the extension of the Midland
Institute, the Hospitals for Women and Children, the many Board Schools,
the Church of St. David, and that at Selly Hill the Rubery Asylum, the
Fire Brigade Station, the Constitution Hill Library, Monument Lane
Baths, the Chamberlain Memorial, the Canopy over Dawson's Statue,
several Police Stations, with shops and private houses innumerable. He
was a true artist in every sense of the word, an eloquent speaker, and
one of the most sincere, thoughtful, and lovingly-earnest men that
Birmingham has ever been blessed with.

_Clegg_.--Samuel Clegg was born at Manchester, March 2, 1781, but his
early years were passed at the Soho Works, where he was assistant to Mr.
Murdoch in the gradual introduction of lighting with gas. In 1807 Mr.
Clegg first used lime as a purifier and in 1815 he patented the water
meter. In addition to his many inventions connected with the manufacture
and supply of gas, Mr. Clegg must be credited with the introduction of
the atmospheric railways, which attracted so much attention some
five-and-forty years ago, and also with many improvements in steam

_Collins_.--Mr. John Collins, an exceedingly popular man in his day, and
quite a local author, made his first appearance here Jan. 16, 1793, at
"The Gentlemen's Private Theatre," in Livery Street, with an
entertainment called "Collins' New Embellished Evening Brush, for
Rubbing off the Rust of care." This became a great favourite, and we
find Collins for years after, giving similar performances, many of them
being for the purpose of paying for "soup for the poor" in the
distressful winters of 1799, 1800, and 1801. Not so much, however, on
account of his charity, or his unique entertainment, must Mr. Collins be
ranked among local worthies, as for "A Poetical History of Birmingham"
written (or rather partly written) by him, which was published in
_Swinney's Chronicle_. Six chapters in verse appeared (Feb. 25 to April
7, 17[**]6), when unfortunately the poet's muse seems to have failed
him. As a sample of the fun contained in the seven or eight dozen
verses, we quote the first--

  "Of Birmingham's name, tho' a deal has been said,
    Yet a little, we doubt, to the purpose,
  As when "hocus pocus" was jargon'd instead
    Of the Catholic text "_hoc est corpus_."

  For it, doubtless, for ages was Bromwicham called,
    But historians, their readers to bam,
  Have Brom, Wich, and Ham so corrupted and maul'd,
    That their strictures have all proved a sham.

  That Brom implies Broom none will dare to deny,
    And that Wich means a Village or Farm;
  Or a Slope, or a Saltwork, the last may imply,
    And to read Ham for Town is no harm.

  But when jumbled together, like stones in a bag,
    To make it a Broom-sloping town,
  Credulity's pace at such juggling must flag,
    And the critic indignant will frown.

  Tis so much like the Gazetteer's riddle-my-ree,
    Who, untwisting Antiquity's cable,
  Makes Barnstaple's town with its name to agree,
    Take its rise from a Barn and a Stable."

Collins' own comical notion gives the name as "Brimmingham," from the
brimming goblets so freely quaffed by our local sons of Vulcan. Digbeth
he makes out to be a "dug bath," or horsepond for the farriers;
Deritend, from _der_ (water).

  "Took its name from the swamp where the hamlet was seated,
   And imply'd 'twas the water-wet-end of the town."

_Cox_, David--On the 29th of April, 1783, this great painter--the man
whose works have made Birmingham famous in art--was born in a humble
dwelling in Heath Mill Lane, Deritend, where his father carried on the
trade of a smith. Some memorials of him we have--in the noble gift of a
number of his pictures in oil, presented to the town by the late Mr.
Joseph Nettlefold; in the portrait by Mr. J. Watson Gordon, and the bust
by Mr. Peter Hollins; in the two biographies of him--both of them
Birmingham works--the earlier by Mr. Neal Solly, and the more recent one
by the late Mr. William Hall; besides the memorial window put up by
loving friends in the Parish Church of Harborne, where the latter part
of the artist's life was passed, and in the churchyard of which his
remains were laid. He bade his pictures and the world good-bye on the
9th of June, 1859. A sale of some of "dear old David's" works, in
London, May, 1873, realised for the owners over £25,000, but what the
artist himself originally had for them may be gathered from the instance
of his "Lancaster Castle," otherwise known as "Peace and War," a
harvest-field scene, with troops marching by, only 24in. by 18in. in
size. This picture he gave to a friend at first, but bought it back for
£20, at a time when his friend wanted cash; he sold it for the same
amount, and it afterwards got into the possession of Joseph Gillot, the
pen maker, at the sale of whose collection "Lancaster Castle" was
knocked down for £3,601 10s. The highest price Cox ever received for a
picture, and that on one single occasion only, was £100; in another case
he had £95; his average prices for large pictures were rather under than
over £50 a piece in his best days. "The Sea Shore at Rhyl," for which he
received £100, has been since sold for £2,300; "The Vale of Clwyd," for
which he accepted £95, brought £2,500. Two pictures for which he
received £40 each in 1847, were sold in 1872 for £1,575 and £1,550
respectively. Two others at £40 each have sold since for £2,300 and
£2,315 5s. respectively. His church at "Bettws-y-Coed" one of the finest
of his paintings, fetched £2,500 at a sale in London, in March, 1884. In
the hall of the Royal Oak Inn, Bettws-y-Coed (David's favourite place),
there is fixed a famous signboard which Cox painted for the house in
1847, and which gave rise to considerable litigation as to its ownership
being vested in the tenant or the owner, the decision being in the
latter's favour.

_Cox_, William Sands, F.R.S. and F.R.C.S., the son of a local surgeon,
was born in 1801. After "walking the hospitals" in London and Paris, he
settled here in 1825, being appointed surgeon to the Dispensary, and in
1828, with the co-operation of the late Doctors Johnstone and Booth, and
other influential friends, succeeded in organising the Birmingham Royal
School of Medicine and Surgery, which proved eminently successful until,
by the munificent aid of the Rev. Dr. Warneford, it was converted into
Queen's College by a charter of incorporation, which was granted in
1843. The Queen's Hospital was also founded mainly through the exertions
of Mr. Sands Cox, for the education of the medical students of the
College. In 1863 Mr. Cox retired from practice, and went to reside near
Tamworth, afterwards removing to Leamington and Kenilworth, at which
latter place he died, December 23rd, 1875. He was buried in the family
vault at Aston, the coffin being carried to the grave by six old
students at the College, funeral scarfs, hatbands, and "other such
pieces of mummery" being dispensed with, according to the deceased's
wish. He left many charitable legacies, among them being £15,000, to be
dealt with in the following manner:--£3,000 to be applied in building
and endowing a church then in course of erection at Balsall Heath, and
to be known as St. Thomas-in-the-Moors, and the remaining £12,000 to be
devoted to the erection and endowment of three dispensaries--one at
Balsall Heath, one at Aston, and the other at Hockley. Two sums of
£3,000 were left to found dispensaries at Tamworth and Kenilworth, and a
cottage hospital at Moreton-in-the-Marsh; his medical library and a
number of other articles being also left for the last-named institution.

_Davies_, Dr. Birt.--By birth a Hampshire man, by descent a Welshman,
coming to Birmingham in 1823, Dr. Davies soon became a man of local
note. As a politician in the pre-Reform days, as a physician of
eminence, and as Borough Coroner for three dozen years, he occupied a
prominent position, well justified by his capacity and force of
character. He took an active part in the founding of the Birmingham
School of Medicine, the forerunner of the Queen's College, and was
elected one of the three first physicians to the Queen's Hospital, being
its senior physician for sixteen years. When the Charter of
Incorporation was granted, Dr. Davies was chosen by the Town Council as
the first Coroner, which office he held until June 8th, 1875, when he
resigned, having, as he wrote to the Council, on the 29th of May
terminated his 36th year of office, and 76th year of his age. Though an
ardent politician, it is from his Coronership that he will be remembered
most, having held about 30,000 inquests in his long term of office,
during the whole of which time, it has been said, he never took a
holiday, appointed a deputy, or slept out of the borough. His official
dignity sat heavily upon him, his temper of late years often led him
into conflict with jurors and medical witnesses, but he was well
respected by all who knew the quiet unpretending benevolence of his
character, never better exhibited than at the time of the cholera panic
in 1832. The doctor had established a Fever Hospital in Bath Row, and
here he received and treated, by himself, the only cases of Asiatic
cholera imported into the town. He died December 11th, 1878.

_De Lys_, Dr.--One of the physicians to the General Hospital, and the
proposer of the Deaf and Dumb Institution. A native of Brittany, and one
of several French refugees who settled here when driven from their own
country, at the time of the Revolution, Dr. De Lys remained with us till
his death, August 24th, 1831, being then in his 48th year.

_Digby_, John, made Lord Digby in 1618, and Earl of Bristol in 1622, was
born at Coleshill in 1580. He was sent Ambassador to Spain by James I.
to negotiate a marriage between Prince Charles and the Infanta. He went
abroad when the Civil War broke out, and died at Paris in 1653.

_Edmonds_.--George Edmonds, was a son of the Baptist minister of Bond
Street Chapel, and was born in 1788. For many years after he grew up
George kept a school, but afterwards devoted himself to the Law, and was
appointed Clerk of the Peace on the incorporation of the borough. For
taking part in what Government chose to consider an illegal meeting Mr.
Edmonds had to suffer 12 months' imprisonment, but it only increased his
popularity and made him recognised as leader of the Radical party.
During the great Reform movements he was always to the fore, and there
can be little doubt that it was to his untiring energy that the
Political Union owed much of its success. In his later years he printed
(partly with his own hands) one of the strangest works ever issued from
the press, being nothing less than an alphabet, grammar, and dictionary
of a new and universal language. On this he must have spent an immense
amount of philosophical and philological research during the busiest
years of his active life, but like other schemes of a similar character
it came into the world some scores of generations too soon. His death
took place (hastened by his own hand) July 1, 1868.

_Everitt_, Allen Edward.--Artist, antiquarian, and archæologist. It is
reported that his portfolio contained more than a thousand sketches of
his own taking, of old churches, mansions, cottages, or barns in the
Midland Counties. Born here in 1824 Mr. Everitt had reached his 55th
year before taking to himself a wife, whom he left a widow June 11,
1882, through catching a cold while on a sketching tour. He was much
loved in all artistic circles, having been (for twenty-four years) hon.
sec. to the Society of Artists, a most zealous coadjutor of the Free
Libraries Committee, and honorary curator of tha Art Gallery; in private
or public life he spoke ill of no man, nor could any speak of him with
aught but affection and respect.

_Fletcher_, George.--Author of the "Provincialist" and other poems, a
journeyman printer, and much respected for his genial character and
honest kind-heartedness. Died Feb. 20, 1874, aged 64.

_Fothergill_, John.--Taken into partnership by Matthew Boulton in 1762,
devoting himself principally to the foreign agencies. Many of the
branches of trade in which he was connected proved failures, and he died
insolvent in 1782, while Boulton breasted the storm, and secured fortune
by means of his steam engines. He did not, however, forget his first
partner's widow and children.

_Fox_, Charles Fox, of the firm of Fox, Henderson and Co., was born at
Derby, March 11, 1810. His first connection with this town arose from
his being engaged with Stephenson on the construction of the Birmingham
and Liverpool line. He was knighted in 1851, in recognition of his
wonderful skill as shown in the erection of the International Exhibition
of that year, and we have a local monument to his fame in the roof which
spans the New Street Station. He died in 1874, and was buried at Nunhead
Cemetery, London. The firm of Fox, Henderson and Co., was originally
Bramah and Fox, Mr. Henderson not coming in till the death of Mr.
Bramah, a well-known ironmaster of this neighbourhood, and whose name is
world-famous for his celebrated locks.

_Geach_.--Charles Geach was a Cornishman, born in 1808, and came to
Birmingham in 1826 as one of the clerks in the Branch Bank of England,
then opened. In 1836 he was instrumental in the formation of two of our
local banks, and became the manager of one of them, the Birmingham and
Midland. In 1842 he made a fortunate speculation in the purchase of some
extensive ironworks at Rotherham just previous to the days of "the
railway mania." The profits on iron at that time were something
wonderful; as a proof of which it has been stated that on one occasion
Mr. Geach took orders for 30,000 tons at £12, the cost to him not being
more than half that sum! The Patent Shaft Works may be said to have owed
its origin also to this gentleman. Mr. Geach was chosen mayor for 1847,
and in 1851 was returned to Parliament for Coventry. His death occurred
Nov. 1, 1854. A full-length portrait hangs in the board-room of the
bank, of which he retained the managing-directorship for many years.

_Gem_, Major Thomas Henry.--The well-known Clerk to the Magistrates,
born May 21, 1819, was the pioneer of the Volunteer movement in this
town, as well as the originator of the fashionable game of lawn tennis.
A splendid horseman, and an adept at all manly games, he also ranked
high as a dramatic author, and no amateur theatricals could be got
through without his aid and presence. His death, November 4, 1881,
resulted from an accident which occurred on June 25 previous, at the
camp in Sutton Park.

_Gillott_.--Joseph Gillott was born at Sheffield in 1799, but through
want of work found his way here in 1822, spending his last penny in
refreshments at the old publichouse then standing at corner of Park
Street, where the Museum Concert Hall exists. His first employment was
buckle making, and being steady he soon took a garret in Bread Street
and became his own master in the manufacture of buckles and other "steel
toys." The merchant who used to buy of him said "Gillott made very
excellent goods, and came for his money every week." It was that making
of excellent goods and his untiring perseverance that secured him
success. His sweetheart was sister to William and John Mitchell, and it
is questionable whether Gillott's first efforts at making steel pens did
not spring from the knowledge he gained from her as to what the
Mitchells were doing in that line. The Sheffield blade, however, was the
first to bring the "press" into the proeess of making the pens, and that
secret he must have kept pretty closely from all but his lass, as Mr. J.
Gillott often told, in after life, how, on the morning of his marriage,
he began and finished a gross of pens, and sold them for £7 4s. before
they went to church. The accumulation of his fortune began from that
day, the name of Gillott in a very few years being known the wide world
over. The penmaker was a great patron of the artists, gathering a famous
collection which at his death realised £170,000. His first interview
with Turner was described in an American journal a few years back.
Gillott having rudely pushed his way into the studio and turning the
pictures about without the artist deigning to notice the intruder, tried
to attract attention by asking the prices of three paintings. Turner
carelessly answered "4,000 guineas," "£3,000," and "1,500 guineas."
"I'll take the three," said Gillott. Then Turner rose, with "Who the
devil are you to intrude here against my orders? You must be a queer
sort of a beggar, I fancy." "You're another queer beggar" was the reply.
"I am Gillott, the penmaker. My banker tells me you are clever, and I
have come to buy some pictures." "By George!" quoth Turner, "you are a
droll fellow, I must say." "You're another," said Gillott. "But do you
really want to purchase those pictures," asked Turner. "Yes, in course I
do, or I would not have climbed those blessed stairs this morning," was
the answer. Turner marvelled at the man, and explained that he had fixed
the prices named under the idea that he had only got an impertinent
intruder to deal with, that two of the pictures were already sold, but
that his visitor could have the first for £1,000. "I'll take it," said
the prince of penmakers, "and you must make me three or four more at
your own price." If other artists did as well with Mr. Gillott they
could have had but little cause of complaint. Another hobby of Mr.
Gillott's was collecting fiddles, his specimens, of which he once said
he had a "boat load," realising £4,000; while his cabinet of precious
stones was of immense value. The millionaire died Jan. 5, 1872, leaving
£3,000 to local charities.

_Guest_, James.--Originally a brass-founder, but imbued with the
principles of Robert Owen, he became an active member of the Political
Union and other "freedom-seeking" societies, and opened in Steelhouse
Lane a shop for the sale of that kind of literature suited to ardent
workers in the Radical cause. Mr. Guest believed that "all bad laws must
be broken before they could be mended," and for years he followed out
that idea so far as the taxes on knowledge were concerned. He was the
first to sell unstamped papers here and in the Black Country, and,
notwithstanding heavy fines, and even imprisonment, he kept to his
principles as long as the law stood as it was. In 1830 he published
Hutton "History of Birmingham" in cheap numbers, unfortunately mixing
with it many chapters about the Political Union, the right of a Free
Press, &c., in a confusing manner. The book, however, was very popular,
and has been reprinted from the original stereoplates several times. Mr.
Guest died Jan. 17, 1881, in his 78th year.

_Hill_, Rowland.--The originator of the present postal system, born at
Kidderminster, December 3, 1795, coming to Birmingham with his parents
when about seven years old. His father opened a school at the corner of
Gough Street and Blucher Street, which was afterwards (in 1819) removed
to the Hagley Road, where, as "Hazlewood School" it became more than
locally famous. In 1825 it was again removed, and further off, this time
being taken to Bruce Castle, Tottenham, where the family yet resides.
Rowland and his brother, Matthew Davenport Hill, afterwards Recorder of
Birmingham, who took part in the management of the school, went with it,
and personally Rowland Hill's connection with our town may be said to
have ceased. Early in 1837 Mr. Hill published his proposed plans of Post
Office reform, but which for a long time met with no favour from either
of the great political parties, or in official quarters, where, it has
been said, he was snubbed as a would-be interloper, and cursed as "a
fellow from Birmingham coming to teach people their business"--

  "All office doors were closed against him--hard
  All office heads were closed against him too,
  'He had but worked, like others, for reward,'
  'The thing was all a dream.' 'It would not do.'"

In 1839, more than 2,000 petitions were presented to Parliament in
favour of Mr. Hill's plans, and eventually they were adopted and became
law by the 3rd and 4th Vict., cap. 96. The new postage law by which the
uniform rate of fourpence per letter was tried as an experiment, came
into operation on the 5th of December, 1839, and on the 10th January,
1840, the reduced uniform rate of 1d. per letter of half-an-ounce weight
was commenced. Under the new system the privilege of franking letters
enjoyed by members of Parliament was abolished, facilities of prepayment
were afforded by the introduction of postage stamps, double postage was
levied on letters not prepaid, and arrangements were made for the
registration of letters. Mr. Hill received an appointment in the
Treasury, but in 1841, he was told his services were no longer required.
This flagrant injustice caused great indignation, and a national
testimonial of £15,000 was presented to him June 17, 1846. On a change
of Government Mr. Hill was appointed Secretary to the Postmaster
General, and, in 1854, Secretary to the Post Office, a position which he
retained until failing health caused him to resign in March, 1864, the
Treasury awarding him for life his salary of £2,000 per year. In the
same year he received a Parliamentary grant of £20,000, and in 1860, he
was made a K.C.B., other honours from Oxford, &c., following. Sir
Rowland was presented with the freedom of the City by the London Court
of Common Council, June 6, 1879, the document being contained in a
suitable gold casket. It was incidentally mentioned in the course of the
proceedings, that at the time Sir Rowland Hill's system was inaugurated
the annual amount of correspondence was 79 millions, or three letters
per head of the population; while then it exceeded 1,000 millions of
letters, 100 millions of post-cards, and 320 millions of newspapers, and
the gross receipt in respect of it was £6,000,000 sterling. Sir Rowland
Hill died Aug. 27, 1879, leaving but one son, "Pearson Hill," late of
the Post Office.

_Hollins_, George--The first appointed organist of the Town Hall (in
1834), having been previously organist at St. Paul's, in the graveyard
of which church he was buried in 1841, the funeral being attended by
hundreds of friends, musicians, and singers of the town and

_Holt_, Thomas Littleton.--A Press man, whose death (Sept. 14, 1879) at
the age of 85, severed one of the very few remaining links connecting
the journalism of the past with the present. It was to him that the late
Mr. Dickens owed his introduction to Dr. Black, then the editor of the
_Morning Chronicle_. Mr. Holt was proprietor of the _Iron Times_, which
started during the railway mania. When his friend Leigh Hunt was
imprisoned for libelling the Prince Regent, he was the first to visit
him. He took an active part in popularising cheap literature, and it was
greatly owing to him that the advertisement duty was repealed. He also
took an active part in the abolition of the paper duty. Besides starting
many papers in London in the latter period of his life, he returned to
his native town, Birmingham, where he started _Ryland's Iron Trade
Circular_, to the success of which his writings largely contributed.

_Humphreys_, Henry Noel.--This eminent naturalist and archæologist's
career closed in June, 1879. A son of the late Mr. James Humphreys, he
was born in Birmingham in 1809, and was educated at the Grammar School
here. He was the author of many interesting works connected with his
zoological and antiquarian researches. Among the most important of the
latter class may be specified:--"Illustrations of Froissart's
Chronicles," "The Parables of our Lord Illustrated," "The Coins of
England," "Ancient Coins and Medals," "The Illuminated Books of the
Mediæval Period," the "Coin Collector's Manual," the "Coinage of the
British Empire," "Stories by an Archæologist," and especially his _magna
opera_, so to speak, "The Art of Illumination," and "The History of the
Art of Writing from the Hieroglyphic Period down to the introduction of

_James_, William.--A Warwickshire engineer, born at Henley-in-Arden,
June, 13, 1771. Mr. James has been called the first projector of
railways, as there was none started previous to his laying out a line
from here to Wolverhampton, which was given up in favour of the Canal
Companies. The wharves in Newhall Street were constructed on the site of
his proposed railway station. He afterwards projected and surveyed many
other lines including Birmingham to Manchester through Derbyshire, the
Birmingham and London, etc. West Bromwich owes no little of its
prosperity to this gentleman, who opened many collieries in its
neighbourhood. At one time Mr. James was said to have been worth
£150,000, besides £10,000 a year coming in from his profession, but he
lost nearly all before his death.

_Jeffery_.--George Edward Jeffery, who died Dec. 29th, 1877, aged 33,
was a local writer who promised to make a name had he lived longer.

_Johnstone_, Dr. John, a distinguished local physician, was born at
Worcester in 1768. Though he acquired a high reputation for his
treatment of diseases, it was noticeable that he made a very sparing use
of medicines. Died in 1836.

_Johnstone_, John, whose death was the result of being knocked down by a
cab in Broad Street in Oct. 1875, was one of those all-round inventive
characters who have done so much for the trades of this town. He was
born in Dumfriesshire in 1801, and was apprenticed to a builder, coming
to this town in 1823. He was soon noticed as the first architectural
draughtsman of his day, but his genius was not confined to any one line.
He was the first to introduce photographic vignettes, he invented the
peculiar lamp used in railway carriages, he improved several
agricultural implements, he could lay out plans for public buildings or
a machine for making hooks and eyes, and many well-to-do families owe
their rise in the world to acting on the ideas put before them by Mr.
Johnstone. In the latter portion of his life he was engaged at the
Cambridge Street Works as consulter in general.

_Kempson_, James--In one of those gossiping accounts of the "Old
Taverns" of Birmingham which "S.D.R." has written, mention is made of a
little old man, dear to the musicians under the name of "Daddy Kempson,"
who appears to have been the originator of our Triennial Musical
Festivals in 1768, and who conducted a performance at St. Paul's as late
as the year 1821, he being then 80 years of age.

_Küchler_, C.H.--A medalist, for many years in the employ of Boulton,
for whom he sunk the dies for part of the copper coinage of 1797, &c.
The 2d. piece is by him. He was buried in Handsworth Churchyard.

_Lightfoot_.--Lieut.-General Thomas Lightfoot, C.B., Colonel of the 62nd
Regiment, who died at his residence, Barbourne House, Worcester, Nov.
15, 1858, in his 84th year, and who entered the British army very early
in life, was the last surviving officer of the famous 45th, the
"Fire-eaters" as they were called, that went to the Peninsula with Moore
and left it with Wellington. Lightfoot was in Holland in 1799. He was
present in almost every engagement of the Peninsular War. He received
seven wounds; a ball which caused one of these remained in his body till
his death. He obtained three gold and eleven silver medals, being one
more than even those of his illustrious commander, the Duke of
Wellington. One silver medal was given him by the Duke himself, who said
on the occasion he was glad to so decorate one of the brave 45th.
Lightfoot was made a C.B. in 1815. Before he became Major-General he was
Aide-de-Camp to William IV. and Queen Victoria, and as such rode
immediately before her Majesty in her coronation procession.
Lieutenant-General Lightfoot was a native of this town, and was buried
in the family vault in St. Bartholomew's Church, his remains being
escorted to the tomb by the 4th (Queen's Own) Light Dragoons, commanded
by Colonel Low.

_Lloyd_.--The founder of the well-known banking firm of Lloyds appears
to have been Charles Lloyd, for some time a minister of the Society of
Friends, who died in 1698.

_Machin_, William.--Born here in 1798, began his musical career (while
apprenticed to papier-mâché making), as a member at the choir at Cannon
Street Chapel. As a favourite bass singer he was engaged at many of the
festivals from 1834 to that of 1849. His death occurred in September,

_Malins_, David.--Brassfounder, who in course of his life filled several
of the chief offices of our local governing bodies. Born June 5, 1803;
died December, 1881. Antiquarian and persevering collector of all works
throwing light upon or having connection with Birmingham or Warwickshire
history. Mr. Malins, after the burning of the Free Library, generously
gave the whole of his collection to the formation of the New Reference
Library, many of the books being most rare and valuable, and of some of
which no other copies are known to exist.

_Mellon_, Alfred.--Though actually born in London, Mr. Mellon's parents
(his father was a Frenchman) were residents in Birmingham, and we must
claim this popular conductor as a local musician of note. He was only
twelve when he joined the Theatre Royal band, but at sixteen he was the
leader and remained so for eight years, removing to London in 1844. In
1856 Mr. Mellon conducted the opening performances at the Music Hall in
Broad Street (now Prince of Wales's Theatre): and will be long
remembered for the "Promenade Concerts" he gave at Covent Garden and in
the provinces. He died from the breaking of a blood-vessel, March 27,

_Mogridge_, George, born at Ashted Feb. 17th, 1787, and brought up as a
japanner, was the original "Old Humphrey" of our childhood's days, the
author of "Grandfather Grey," "Old Humphrey's Walks in London," "Old
Humphrey's Country Strolls," and other juvenile works, of which many
millions of copies have been sold in England, America, and the Colonies.
"Peter Parley's Tales" have been also ascribed to our townsman, who died
Nov. 2, 1854.

_Munden_, T.--In the year 1818, Mr. Munden (born in London in 1798) came
to this town as organist of Christ Church, and was also chosen as
teacher of the Oratorio Choral Society, and to this day it may be said
that the reputation of our Festival Choir is mostly based on the
instruction given by him during his long residence among us. From 1823
till 1849 Mr. Munden acted as Assistant-conductor at the Festivals,
retiring from public life in 1853.

_Muntz_.--The Revolution in 1792 drove the Muntz family to emigrate from
their aristocratic abode in France, and a younger son came to this town,
where he married a Miss Purden, and established himself in business.
From this alliance sprung _our_ race of the Muntzes. George Frederic,
the eldest, was born in November, 1794, and losing his father in early
life, was head of the family in his 18th year. He devoted himself for
many years, and with great success, to mercantile affairs, but his most
fortunate undertaking, and which has made his name known all over the
world, was the manufacture of sheathing metal for ships bottoms. It has
been doubted whether he did any more than revive another man's lapsed
patent, but it has never been questioned that he made a vast sum of
money out of the "yellow metal." In politics, G.F.M. took a very active
part, even before the formation of the Political Union in 1830, and for
many years he was the idol of his fellow-townsmen. He was elected M.P.
for Birmingham, in January, 1840, and held the seat till the day of his
death, which took place July 30, 1857. His name will be found on many a
page of our local history, even though a statue of him is not yet posed
on a pedestal.

_Murdoch_, William.--Born at Bellow Mill, near Old Cumnock, Ayrshire, in
1750, and brought up as a millwright, came here in search of work in
1777. He was employed by Boulton at 15s. per week for the first two
years, but he soon became the most trusted of all the many engaged at
Soho, and never left there though offered £1,000 a year to do so. The
first steam engine applied to drawing carriages was constructed by him
in the shape of a model which ran round a room in his house at Redruth
in 1784, and which is still in existence. As an inventor, he was second
only to Watt, his introduction of gas lighting being almost equal to
that of the steam engine. He lived to be 85, dying November 15, 1839, at
his residence, Sycamore Hill, Handsworth. His remains lie near those of
his loved employers, Boulton and Watt, in the parish church.

_Pettitt_.--Mr. Joseph Pettitt, who died Sept. 9, 1882, in his 70th
year, was a local artist of note, a member of the Society of Artists,
and for many years a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy, our local,
and other exhibitions. In his younger years Mr. Pettitt was employed in
the papier-mâché trade, a business peculiarly suited to persons gifted
with artistic faculties. His earliest specimens of landscape attracted
attention, and Mr. Joseph Gillott commissioned the painter to furnish a
number of Swiss views for the collection of pictures he had began to
gather. Mr. Pettitt pleased the penmaker, and soon made a name for
himself, his works being characterised by fine colour and broad vigorous

_Phillips_, Alderman, died Feb. 25, 1876. A member of the first Town
Council, and Mayor in 1844. Mr. Phillips long took active part in
municipal matters, and was the founder of the Licensed Victuallers'

_Pickard_, James.--A Birmingham button maker, who patented, Aug. 23,
1780, the use of the crank in the steam engine to procure rotary motion.
He is supposed to have got the idea from overhearing the conversation of
some Soho workmen while at their cups. The first engine in which it was
used (and the fly-wheel) was for a manufacturer in Snow Hill, and was
put up by Matthew Washborough, of Bristol.

_Plant_.--Mr. T.L. Plant, who died very suddenly in a railway carriage
in which he was coming into town on the morning of August 31, 1883, came
to Birmingham in 1840. As a meteorologist, who for more than forty years
had kept close record of wind and weather, he was well known; his
letters to the newspapers on this and kindred subjects were always
interesting, and the part he took in advanced sanitary questions gained
him the friendship of all. Mr. Plant was a native of Yorkshire, and was
in his 64th year at the time of his death.

_Playfair_, William (brother of the eminent Scotch mathematician) was
engaged as a draughtsman at the Soho Works, after serving apprenticeship
as a millwright. He patented various inventions, and was well known as a
political writer, &c. Born, 1759; died, 1823.

_Postgate_, John.--This name should be honoured in every household for a
life's exertion in the obtainment of purity in what we eat and drink.
Beginning life as a grocer's boy, he saw the most gross adulteration
carried on in all the varieties of articles sold by his employers, and
afterwards being with a medical firm, he studied chemistry, and devoted
his life to analysing food and drugs. Coming to this town in 1854, he
obtained the assistance of Mr. Wm. Scholefield, by whose means the first
Parliamentary Committee of Enquiry was appointed; the revelations were
astounding, but it was not till 1875 that anything like a stringent Act
was passed whereby the adulterators could be properly punished. The
author of this great national benefit was allowed to die almost in
poverty, uncared for by his countrymen at large, or by his adopted
townsmen of Birmingham. Born October 21, 1820, Mr. Postgate died in
July, 1881.

_Ragg_, Rev. Thomas.--Once a bookseller and printer, editor and
publisher of the _Birmingham Advertiser_, and author of several works,
one of which secured for him the goodwill of the Bishop of Rochester,
who ordained him a minister of the Established Church in 1858. He died
December 3rd, 1881, in his 74th year, at Lawley, Salop, having been
perpetual curate thereof from 1865. His parishioners and friends
subscribed for a memorial window, and a fund of a little over £200 was
raised for the benefit of the widow, but a very small part thereof went
from Birmingham.

_Ratcliffe_.--Mr. John Ratcliffe, who had in past years been a Town
Commissioner, a Low Bailiff, a Town Councillor, and Alderman, was chosen
as Mayor in 1856, and, being popular as well as wealthy, got reappointed
yearly until 1859. In the first-named year, H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge
was the Mayor's guest when he came to open Calthorpe Park. When the
Princess Royal was married, in 1858, the Mayor celebrated the auspicious
event by giving a dinner to more than a thousand poor people, and he
headed the deputation which was sent from here to present England's
royal daughter with some articles of Birmingham manufacture. On the
occasion of the Queen's visit to open Aston Park, Mr. Mayor received the
honour of Knighthood, and became Sir John, dying in 1864, in his 67th

_Rennie_, John.--The celebrated engineer and architect, who built
Waterloo and Southwark Bridges, Plymouth Breakwater, &c., was for a
short time in the employ of Boulton and Watt.

_Roebuck_, Dr. John, grandfather of the late John Arthur Roebuck, M.D.
was born at Sheffield in 1718; came to Birmingham in 1745. He introduced
better methods of refining gold and silver, originated more economical
styles of manufacturing the chemicals used in trade (especially oil of
vitriol), and revived the use of pit coal in smelting iron. After
leaving this town he started the Carron Ironworks on the Clyde, and in
1768 joined James Watt in bringing out the latter's steam engine. Some
mining investments failed before the engine was perfected, and his
interest thereon was transferred to Mr. Boulton, the doctor dying in
1794 a poor man.

_Rogers_.--John Rogers, one of "the glorious army of martyrs," was burnt
at Smithfield (London) on February 4, 1555. He was born in Deritend
about the year 1500, and assisted in the translation and printing of the
Bible into English. He was one of the Prebendaries of St. Paul's,
London, but after Queen Mary came to the throne he gave offence by
preaching against idolatry and superstition, and was kept imprisoned for
eighteen months prior to condemnation and execution, being the first
martyr of the Reformation. He left a wife and eleven children. See
"_Statues and Memorials_."

_Russell_.--William Congreve Russell, Esq., J.P., and in 1832 elected
M.P. for East Worcestershire, who died Nov. 30, 1850, aged 72, was the
last of a family whose seat was at Moor Green for many generations.

_Ryall_, Dr. John.--The first headmaster of the Edgbaston Proprietary
School, which opened under his superintendence in January, 1838, his
connection therewith continuing till Christmas, 1846. He was a man of
great learning, with a remarkable command of language, and a singularly
accurate writer. Born March 11, 1806, his intellectual acquirements
expanded so rapidly that at sixteen he was able to support himself, and,
passing with the highest honours, he had taken his degree and accepted
the head mastership of Truro Grammar School before his 21st birthday.
For the last 30 years of his life he filled the post of Vice-President
of Queen's College, Cork, departing to a better sphere June 21, 1875.

_Ryland_, Arthur.--Descendant of a locally long-honoured family this
gentleman, a lawyer, added considerably to the prestige of the name by
the prominent position he took in every work leading to the advancement
of his townsmen, social, moral, and political. Connected with almost
every institution in the borough, many of which he aided to establish or
develop. Mr. Ryland's name is placed foremost among the founders of the
Birmingham and Midland Institute, the Art Gallery, the public Libraries,
the Hospitals for Women and Children, the Sanatorium, &c., while he was
one of the greatest friends to the Volunteer movement and the adoption
of the School Board's system of education. During life he was appointed
to all the leading offices of citizenship, in addition to being chosen
President of the Law Society and other bodies. He died at Cannes, March
23, 1877, in his 70th year.

_Scholefield_, William.--Son of Joshua Scholefield, was chosen as the
first Mayor after the incorporation, having previously been the High
Bailiff of the Court Leet. In 1847 he was elected M.P., holding that
office through five Parliaments and until his death July 9, 1867 (in his
58th year). In the House, as well as in his private life and business
circles, he was much esteemed for the honest fixity of purpose which
characterised all his life.

_Shaw_, Charles, commonly known as "Charley" Shaw, was a large
manufacturing merchant, and held high position as a moneyed man for many
years down to his death. He was as hard as a nail, rough as a bear, and
many funny tales have been told about him, but he is worth a place in
local history, if only for the fact that it was principally through his
exertions that the great monetary panic of 1837 was prevented from
becoming almost a national collapse.

_Sherlock_.--Though not to be counted exactly as one of our Birmingham
men, Thomas Sherlock, Bishop of London, who purchased the manor estates
in or about 1730, must have a place among the "noteworthies." Hutton
states that when the Bishop made his bargain the estate brought in about
£400 per annum, but that in another thirty years or so it had increased
to twice the value. The historian goes on to say that "the pious old
Bishop was frequently solicited to grant building leases, but answered,
'his land was valuable, and if built upon, his successor, at the
expiration of the term, would have the rubbish to carry off:' he
therefore not only refused, but prohibited his successor from granting
such leases. But Sir Thomas Gooch, who succeeded him, seeing the great
improvement of the neighbouring estates, and wisely judging fifty pounds
per acre preferable to five, procured an Act in about 1766, to set aside
the prohibiting clause in the Bishop's will. Since which, a considerable
town may be said to have been erected upon his property, now (1787)
about £2,400 per annum." Bishop and historian alike, would be a little
astonished at the present value of the property, could they see it.

_Small_, Dr. William.--A friend of Boulton, Watt, and Priestley, and one
of the famous Lunar Society, born in county Angus, Scotland, in 1734,
dying here in 1778. A physician of most extensive knowledge, during a
residence in America he filled the chair of Professor of Natural
Philosophy at the University of Williamsburg, Virginia. In the beautiful
pleasure grounds of Soho House, when Matthew Boulton lived, there was an
urn inscribed to the memory of Dr. Small, on which appeared some
impressive lines written by Dr. Darwin, of Derby:--

  "Here, while no titled dust, no sainted bone,
    No lover weeping over beauty's bier,
  No warrior frowning in historic stone,
    Extorts your praises, or requests your tear;
  Cold Contemplation leans her aching head,
    On human woe her steady eye she turns,
  Waves her meek hand, and sighs for Science dead,
    For Science, Virtue, and for SMALL she mourns."

_Smith_.--Mr. Brooke Smith (of the well-known firm of Martineau and
Smith), a valued supporter of Penn Street and Dale Street Industrial
Schools, the Graham Street Charity, and other institutions connected
with the welfare of the young, died in April, 1876, in his 78th year. A
Liberal in every way, the sound common sense of Mr. Brooke Smith, who
was noted for an unvarying courtesy to all parties and creeds, kept him
from taking any active share in local politics where urbanity and
kindliness is heavily discounted.

_Sturge_, Joseph.--Born August 2, 1793, at Alberton, a village on the
Severn, was intended for a farmer, but commenced trading as a cornfactor
at Bewdley, in 1814, his brother Charles joining him in 1822, in which
year they also came to Birmingham. Mr. Sturge was chosen a Town
Commissioner, but resigned in 1830, being opposed to the use of the Town
Hall being granted for oratorios. He was one of the directors of the
London and Birmingham Railway when it was opened in 1836, but objecting
to the running of Sunday trains, withdrew from the board. In 1838 he was
elected Alderman for St. Thomas's Ward, but would not subscribe to the
required declaration respecting the Established religion. At a very
early date he took an active part in the Anti-slavery movement, and his
visit to the West Indies and subsequent reports thereon had much to do
with hastening the abolition of slavery. When the working-classes were
struggling for electoral freedom and "the Charter," Mr. Sturge was one
of the few found willing to help them, though his peace-loving
disposition failed to induce them to give up the idea of "forcing" their
rights. Having a wish to take part in the making of the laws, he issued
an address to the electors of Birmingham in 1840, but was induced to
retire; in August, 1842, he contested Nottingham, receiving 1,801 votes
against his opponent's 1885; in 1844 he put up for Birmingham, but only
364 votes were given him; and he again failed at Leeds in 1847, though
he polled 1,976 voters. In 1850 he visited Schleswig-Holstein and
Denmark, and in February, 1854, St. Petersburgh, each time in hopes of
doing something to prevent the wars then commencing, but failure did not
keep him from Finland in 1856 with relief for the sufferers. In 1851 he
took a house in Ryland Road and fitted it up as a reformatory, which
afterwards led to the establishment at Stoke Prior. Mr. Sturge died on
May 14, 1859, and was buried on the 20th in Bull Street. His character
needs no comment, for he was a Christian in his walk as well as in his

_Taylor_, John.--Died in 1775, aged 64, leaving a fortune of over
£200,000, acquired in the manufacture of metal buttons, japanned ware,
snuff boxes, &c. It is stated that he sent out £800 worth of buttons
weekly, and that one of his workmen earned 70s. per week by painting
snuff boxes at 1/4d. each. Mr. Taylor must have had a monopoly in the
latter, for this one hand at the rate named must have decorated some
170,000 boxes per annum.

_Tomlins_.--Samuel Boulton Tomlins, the son of a local iron merchant
(who was one of the founders of the Birmingham Exchange) and Mary Harvey
Boulton (a near relative to Matthew) was born September 28, 1797, at
Park House, in Park Street, then a vine-covered residence surrounded by
gardens. His mother was so great a favourite with Baskerville that the
celebrated printer gave her one of two specially-printed Bibles,
retaining the other for himself. After serving an apprenticeship to a
bookseller, Mr. Tomlins was taken into Lloyd's Bank as a clerk, but was
soon promoted to be manager of the branch then at Stockport, but which
was taken over afterwards by a Manchester Banking Company, with whom Mr.
Tomlins stayed until 1873, dying September 8, 1879.

_Ulwin_.--Though nearly last in our list, Ulwin, or Alwyne, the son of
Wigod, and the grandson of Woolgeat, the Danish Earl of Warwick, must
rank first among our noteworthy men, if only from the fact that his name
is absolutely the first found in historical records as having anything
to do with Birmingham. This was in King Edward the Confessor's time,
when Alwyne was Sheriff _(vice-comes)_ and through his son Turchill, who
came to be Earl of Warwick, the Ardens and the Bracebridges trace their
descent from the old Saxon kings, Alwyne's mother being sister to
Leofric, III., Earl of Mercia. Whether Alwyne thrived on his unearned
increment or not, the politicians of the time have not told us, but the
possessions that came to him by the Dano-Saxon marriage of his parents
seems to have been rather extensive, as it is written that he owned not
only the manor of Birmingham, but also Halesowen, Escelie, Hagley, and
Swinford in Wirecescire (Worcestershire), Great Barr, Handsworth, Penn,
Rushall and Walsall, in Staffordshire, as well as Aston, Witton,
Erdington, and Edgbaston. The modern name of Allen is deducible from
Alwyne, and the bearers thereof, if so inclined, may thus be enabled to
also claim a kingly descent, and much good may it do them.

_Underwood_, Thomas.--The first printer to introduce the art of
lithography into Birmingham, and he is also credited with being the
discoverer of chromo-litho, and the first to publish coloured almanacks
and calendars. He did much to foster the taste for art, but will
probably be most generally recollected by the number of views of old
Birmingham and reproductions of pictures and maps of local interest that
he published. Mr. Underwood died March 14, 1882, in his 73rd year.

_Van Wart_.--Henry Van Wart, was born near New York, Sept. 25, 1783, and
took up his abode with us in 1808. By birth an American, by descent a
Dutchman, he became a Brum through being naturalised by special Act of
Parliament, and for nearly seventy years was one of our principal
merchants. He was also one of the first Aldermen chosen for the borough.
Died Feb. 15, 1873, in his 90th year.

_Ward_.--Humble Ward, son of Charles I.'s jeweller, who married the
daughter of the Earl of Dudley, was created Baron Ward of Birmingham.
Their son Edward thus came to the title of Lord Dudley and Ward in 1697.

_Warren_.--Thomas Warren was a well-known local bookseller of the last
century. He joined Wyatt and Paul in their endeavours to establish the
Cotton Spinning Mill, putting £1,000 into the speculation, which
unfortunately landed him in bankruptcy. He afterwards became an
auctioneer, and in 1788 had the pleasure of selling the machinery of the
mill in which forty years previous his money had been lost.

_Watt_, James, was born at Greenock, Jan. 19, 1736, and (if we are to
credit the somewhat apocryphal anecdote of his testing the power of
steam as it issued from his aunt's teakettle when a little lad barely
breeched) at an early age he gave evidence of what sort of a man he
would be. In such a condensed work as the present book, it is impossible
to give much of the life of this celebrated genius; but fortunately
there are many biographies of him to which the student can refer, as
well as scientific and other tomes, in which his manifold inventions
have been recorded, and in no corner of the earth where the steam-engine
has been introduced can his name be unknown. After many years' labour to
bring the new motive power into practical use, Watt, helped by his
friend Dr. Roebuck, took out his first patent in 1769. Roebuck's share
was transferred to Matthew Boulton in 1773, and in the following year
James Watt came to Birmingham. An Act of Parliament prolonging the
patent for a term of twenty-four years was obtained in May, 1775, and on
the first of June was commenced the world-famous partnership of Boulton
and Watt. Up to this date the only engine made to work was the one
brought by Watt from Scotland, though more than nine years had been
spent on it, and thousands of pounds expended in experiments,
improvements, and alterations. Watt's first residence here was in
Regent's Place, Harper's Hill, to which (Aug. 17, 1775) he brought his
second wife. He afterwards removed to Heathfield, where the workshop in
which he occupied his latest years still remains, as on the day of his
death. In 1785, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society; in 1806,
the University of Glasgow conferred the degree of LL.D. upon him, and in
1808 he was elected a member of the National Institute of France. One of
the latest inventions of James Watt was a machine for the mechanical
copying of sculpture and statuary, its production being the amusement of
his octogenarian years, for, like his partner Boulton, Watt was
permitted to stay on the earth for longer than the so-called allotted
term, his death taking place on the 19th of August, 1819, when he was in
his 83rd year. He was buried in Handsworth Church, where there is a
monument, the features of which are said to be very like him. A statue
was erected to his memory in Westminster Abbey in 1824, and others have
been set up in Birmingham, Manchester, Greenock, and Glasgow. The
following is the inscription (written by Lord Brougham) on the tomb of
Watt in Westminster Abbey, towards the cost of which George IV.
contributed £500:--

  "Not to perpetuate a name which must endure while the peaceful arts
  flourish, but to show that mankind have learned to honour those who
  best deserve their gratitude, the King, his ministers, and many of the
  nobles and commoners of the realm, raised this monument to JAMES WATT,
  who, directing the force of an original genius, early exercised in
  philosophical research, to the improvement of the steam-engine,
  enlarged the resources of his country, increased the power of man, and
  rose to an eminent place among the most illustrious followers of
  science and the real benefactors of the world. Born at Greenock, 1736;
  died at Heathfield, in Staffordshire, 1819."

One of James Watt's sons, Gregory, who devoted himself to science and
literature, died in 1804, at the early age of 27. James, born Feb. 5,
1769, resided for a number of years at Aston Hall, where he died in
1848. In 1817 he voyaged to Holland in the first steam vessel that left
an English port, the engines having been manufactured at Soho. He was of
a very retiring disposition, and not particularly popular with the
public, though valued and appreciated by those admitted to closer

_West_.--Though he did not come to Birmingham until close upon sixty
years of age, being born in 1770, William West, in his "History of
Warwickshire," published one of the best descriptions of this town ever
yet prepared. He had establishments in London and Cork, and was the
author of several amusing and interesting works, such as "Tavern
Anecdotes," "Fifty Years' Recollections of an Old Bookseller." &c., now
scarce, though "West's Warwickshire" may often be met with at the
"Chaucer's Head," and other old bookshops.

_Williams_, Fleetwood, who died in 1836, at the early age of 29, was the
author of sundry locally interesting prose works and poetical "skits."
He was connected with several debating clubs, and showed talent that
promised future distinction.

_Willmore_.--James Tibbets Willmore, a native of Handsworth, was an
eminent landscape engraver, famed for his reproductions of Turner's
works. His death occurred in March, 1863, in his 63rd year.

_Winfield_.--Mr. Robert Walter Winfield, though he took comparatively
little part in the public life of our town, deserves a prominent place
among our men of note as a manufacturer who did much towards securing
Birmingham a somewhat better name than has occasionally been given it,
in respect to the quality of the work sent out. Starting early in life,
in the military ornament line, Mr. Winfield began in a somewhat small
way on the site of the present extensive block of buildings known as
Cambridge Street Works, which has now developed into an establishment
covering several acres of land. Here have been manufactured some of the
choicest specimens of brass foundry work that could be desired, no
expense being spared at any time in the procuring of the best patterns,
and (which is of almost equal importance) the employment of the best
workmen. The goods sent from Cambridge Street to the first Great
Exhibition, 1851, obtained the highest award, the Council's Gold Medal,
for excellence of workmanship, beauty of design, and general treatment,
and the house retains its position. Mr. Winfield was a true man,
Conservative in politics, but most, truly liberal in all matters
connected with his work-people and their families. In the education and
advancement of the younger hands he took the deepest interest, spending
thousands in the erection of schools and the appointment of teachers for
them, and not a few of our present leading men have to thank him for
their first step in life. The death of his only son, Mr. J.F. Winfield,
in 1861, was a great blow to the father, and caused him to retire from
active business through failing health. His death (Dec. 16, 1869), was
generally felt as a loss to the town.

_Wyatt_.--John Wyatt, one of Birmingham's most ingenious sons, invented
(in 1738) the spinning of cotton by means of rollers, but unlike Richard
Arkwright, who afterwards introduced a more perfect machine and made a
fortune, the process was never other than a source of loss to the
original inventor and his partners, who vainly tried to make it a staple
manufacture of the town. The weighing machine was also the work of
Wyatt's brain, though he did not live to see the machine in use, dying
Nov. 29, 1766, broken down by misfortune, but honoured by such men as
Baskerville and Boulton who, then rising themselves, knew the worth of
the man whose loss they deplored. Wyatt's grave is on the Blue Coat
School side of St. Philip's churchyard.

_Wyon_.--A celebrated local family of die-sinkers and medalists. William
Wyon (born in 1795) receiving the gold medal of the Society of Arts, for
his medal of Ceres, obtained in 1816 the post of second engraver at the
Mint, his cousin, Thomas Wyon, being then the chief. One of the finest
medals engraved by him was that of Boulton, struck by Thomason, in high
relief, and 4in. in diameter. He died in 1851, having produced all the
coins and medals for Queen Victoria and William IV., part of George
IV.'s, and prize medals for many societies. His son, Leonard Wyon,
produced the Exhibition medals in 1851.

The preceding are really but a few of the men of note whose connection
with Birmingham has been of historical interest, and the catalogue might
be extended to great length with the names of the De Birminghams, the
Smalbrokes, Middlemores, Colmores, and others of the old families alone.
Scores of pages would not suffice to give even the shortest biographies
of the many who, by their inventive genius and persistent labour, placed
our town at the head of the world's workshops, the assistants and
followers of the great men of Soho, the Thomasons, Taylors, and others
living in the early part of the century, or the Elkingtons, Chances,
&c., of later days. A volume might easily be filled with lives of
scientific and literary men of the past, Hutton the historian, Morfitt,
poet and barrister; Beilby, Hodgetts, Hudson, and other bookmen, to say
naught of the many Press writers (who in their day added not a little to
the advancement of their fellow-townsmen), or the venerable doctors, the
school teachers and scholars, the pastors and masters of the old School
and the old Hospital. Mention is made of a few here and there in this
book; of others there have been special histories published, and,
perchance _some_ day "Birmingham men" will form the title of a more
comprehensive work.

~Novel Sight.~--The appearance in the streets of Birmingham of a real
war vessel would be a wonderful thing even in these days of railways and
steam. Sir Rowland Hill, speaking of his childhood's days, said he could
recollect once during the war with Napoleon that a French gunboat was
dragged across the country, and shown in Birmingham at a small charge.
He had never then seen any vessel bigger than a coal barge, but this was
a real ship, with real anchor and real ship guns.

~Numbering of Houses.~--We are rapidly improving in many ways, and the
gradual introduction of the system of alternate numbering, the odd
numbers on one side of the street, and the evens on the other, is an
advance in the right direction. Still, the fixing of the diminutive
figure plate on the sideposts of a door, or, as is frequently found to
be the case, in the shadow of a porch, is very tantalising, especially
to the stranger. Householders should see that the No. is placed in a
conspicuous spot, and have the figures painted so that they can be well
seen even on a dusky evening.

~Nunneries.~--See "_Religious Associations_."

~Nurseries.~--The outskirts, and indeed many parts of the town, less
than a century back were studded with gardens, but the flowers have had
to give place to the more prosaic bricks and mortar, and householders
desirous of floral ornaments have now in a great measure to resort to
the nursery grounds of the professed horticulturists. Foremost among the
nurseries of the neighbourhood are those of Mr. R.H. Vertegans, Chad
Valley, Edgbaston which were laid out some thirty-five years ago. The
same gentleman has another establishment of even older date at Malvern,
and a third at Metchley. The grounds of Messrs. Pope and Sons, at King's
Norton, are also extensive and worthy of a visit. There are other
nurseries at Solihull (Mr. Hewitt's), at Spark hill (Mr. Tomkins'), at
Handsworth (Mr. Southhall's), and in several other parts of the suburbs.
The _Gardeners' Chronicle_, the editor of which is supposed to be a good
judge, said that the floral arrangement at the opening of the Mason
Science College surpassed anything of the kind ever seen in Birmingham,
Mr. Vertegans having supplied not less than thirty van loads, comprising
over 5,000 of the choicest exotic flowers and evergreens.

~Oak Leaf Day.~--In the adjoining counties, and to a certain extent in
Birmingham itself, it has been the custom for carters and coachmen to
decorate their horses' heads and their own hats with sprays of oak
leaves on the 29th of May, and 99 out of the 100 would tell you they did
so to commemorate Charles II. hiding in the oak tree near to Boscobel
House. It is curious to note how long an erroneous idea will last. The
hunted King would not have found much shelter in his historical oak in
the month of May, as the trees would hardly have been sufficiently in
leaf to have screened him, and, as it happened, it was the 4th of
September and not the 29th of May when the event occurred. The popular
mistake is supposed to have arisen from the fact that Charles made his
public entry into London on May 29, which was also his birthday, when
the Royalists decked themselves with oak in remembrance of that tree
having been instrumental in the King's restoration.

~Obsolete Street Names.~--Town improvements of one sort and another have
necessitated the entire clearance of many streets whose names may be
found inscribed on the old maps, and their very sites will in time be
forgotten. Changes in name have also occurred more frequently perhaps
than may be imagined, and it will be well to note a few. As will be
seen, several streets have been christened and re-christened more than

Baskerville-street is now Easy-row.

Bath-road is Bristol-street.

Beast Market was that part of High-street contiguous to New-street; also
called English Market.

Bewdley-street, afterwards Ann-street, now Colmore-row.

Birch Hole-street has been improved to Birchall street.

Black Boy Yard is now Jamaica-row.

Brick Kiln lane is the Horse Fair.

Broad-street--Dale End was so called in the 15th century.

Buckle-row. Between Silver-street and Thomas-street.

Button Alley--Bishop-street, Masshouse-lane.

Butts-lane--Tanter-street; The Butts being Stafford-street.


Cawsey (The Causeway)--Lower part of Digbeth.

Chapel-street--Bull-street was so called in the 14th century.

Chappel-row--Jennens'-row and Buck-street.

Charles or Little Charles-street--Now part of New Edmund-street.

Cock-street--Upper part of Digbeth; also called Well-street.

Colmore-street--From Worcester-street to Peck-lane.

Cony Greve street is now Congreve-street.

Cooper's Mill-lane is Heathmill-lane.

Corbett's Alley--Union-street.

Corn Cheaping or Corn Market was part of the Bull Ring.



Crescent-street--Part of King Edward's Road.


Crown-street, afterwards Nelson-street is now Sheepcote-street.

Deadman's Lane--Warstone-lane.

Ditch--The Gullet was The Ditch.

Dock Alley--New Inkleys.



Ferney Fields--Great Hampton-street

Feck-lane or Peck-lane--Covered by New-street Station.

God's Cart-lane--Carrs-lane.


Hangman's-lane, or Hay Barns-lane--Great Hampton-row.


Haymarket--one of the names given to Ann-street.

High Town--Upper part of Bull Ring.

Hill-street--Little Charles-street.


King-street and Queen-street, as well as Great Queen-street, have made
way for New-street Station.

Lake Meadow-hill--Bordesley-street and Fazeley-street.



Ludgate-hill was part of Church-street.


Mercer-street, or Spicer-street--Spiceal-street.

Mount Pleasant--Ann-street.

New road--Summer-row.

Old Meeting-street has at various periods been known as Grub-street,
Littleworth street, New-row, and Phillips-street.

Pemberton's-yard, Lower Minories, or Coach-yard--Dalton-street.

Pitt-street and Porter-street were portions of Old Cross-street.

Priors Conigree-lane, or Whitealls-lane is now Steelhouse-lane.


Rother Market--New-street next to High-street and High-street next to
New-street was once so called.

Sandy-lane--Snow Hill in the 16th century. Lee Bank-road has also been
called Sandy-lane.

Shambles--Part of Bull Ring.

Swan Alley--Worcester-street.

Swinford-street--Upper end of New-street.

Temple Alley, also called Tory-row--Temple-row.

Walmer-lane (in the 15th century Wold Moors)--Lancaster-street.


Welch End or Welch Market--Junction of Bull-street, High-street, and
Dale End.

Westley's-row, Westley-street, or London 'Prentice-street forms part of


Wyllattes Green--Prospect Row.

~Old Cock Pump.~--This was the old pump formerly under St. Martin's
Churchyard wall, from which the water-carriers and others obtained their
supply of drinking water. The rule of the pump was "last come last
served," and frequently a long string of men, women, and children might
be seen waiting their turn. Many of us can recollect the old Digbeth
men, with their shoulder-yoke and two buckets, plodding along to find
customers for their "Wartâ;" and certain elderly ladies are still in
existence who would fear the shortening of their lives were their
tea-kettles filled with aught but the pure Digbeth water, though it does
not come from the pump at St. Martin's, for that was removed in 1873. It
has been written that on one occasion (in the days before waterworks
were practicable, and the old pump was a real blessing), when the poor
folks came to fill their cans early in the morning, they found the
handle gone, and great was the outcry thereat. It soon afterwards
transpired that a blacksmith, short of iron, had taken the handle to
make into horseshoes.

~Old Meeting House Yard.~--The name gives its own origin. One of the
earliest built of our Dissenting places of worship was here situated.

~Old Square.~--There are grounds for believing that this was the site of
the Hospital or Priory of St. Thomas the Apostle; the reason of no
foundations or relics of that building having been come across arising
from its having been erected on a knoll or mount there, and which would
be the highest bit of land in Birmingham. This opinion is borne out by
the fact that the Square was originally called The Priory, and doubtless
the Upper and Lower Priories and the Minories of later years were at
first but the entrance roads to the old Hospital, as it was most
frequently styled in deeds and documents. Mr. John Pemberton, who
purchased this portion of the Priory lands in 1697, and laid it out for
building, would naturally have it levelled, and, not unlikely from a
reverent feeling, so planned that the old site of the religious houses
should remain clear and undesecrated. From old conveyances we find that
20s. per yard frontage was paid for the site of some of the houses in
the square, and up to 40s. in Bull Street; the back plots, including the
Friends' burial ground (once gardens to the front houses) being valued
at 1s. to 2s. per yard. Some of the covenants between the vendor and the
purchasers are very curious, such as that the latter "shall and will for
ever hereafter putt and keep good bars of iron or wood, or otherwise
secure all the lights and windows that are or shall be, that soe any
children or others may not or cannot creep through, gett, or come
through such lights or windows into or upon the same piece of land."
Here appears the motive for the erection of the iron railings so closely
placed in front of the old houses. Another covenant was against "putting
there any muckhill or dunghill places, pigstyes or workhouses, shopps or
places that shall he noysome or stink, or be nautionse or troublesome,"
and also to have there "no butcher's or smith's slaughter house or
smithey harth." One of the corner houses, originally called "the Angle
House," was sold in 1791 for £420; in 1805 it realised £970; in 1843,
£1,330? and in 1853, £2,515. The centre of the Square was enclosed and
neatly kept as a garden with walks across, for the use of the
inhabitants there, but (possibly it was "nobody's business") in course
of time it became neglected, and we have at least one instance, in 1832,
of its being the scene of a public demonstration. About the time of the
Parliamentary election in that year, the carriageway round the Square
had been newly macadamised, and on the polling day, when Dempster Heming
opposed William Stratford Dugdale, the stones were found very handy, and
were made liberal use of, as per the usual order of the day at that time
on such occasions. The trees and railings were removed in 1836 or 1837
in consequence of many accidents occurring there, the roadways being
narrow and very dangerous from the numerous angles, the Street
Commissioners undertaking to give the inhabitants a wide and handsome
flagging as a footpath on all sides of the square, conditionally with
the freeholders of the property giving up their rights to and share in
the enclosure.

~Omnibuses.~--The first omnibus was started in 1828, by Mr. Doughty, a
fishmonger, and its route lay between the White Swan, Snow Hill, to the
Sun, in Bristol Road. In 1836 an "Omnibus Conveyance Co," was proposed,
with a magnificent capital of £5,000. The projectors would have been a
little startled if they could have seen the prospectuses of some of our
modern conveyance companies.--See "_Tramways_."

~Open Spaces.~--March 8, 1883, saw the formation of the Birmingham
Association for the Prevention of Open Spaces and Public Footpaths, the
object of which is to be the securing of the rights of the public to the
open spots, footpaths, and green places, which, for generations, have
belonged to them. There are few such left in the borough now, but the
Association may find plenty to do in the near neighbourhood, and if its
members can but save us one or two of the old country walks they will do
good service to the community.

~Orange Tree.~--This public-house was built in 1780, the neighbourhood
being then known as "Boswell Heath." A walk to the Orange Tree over the
"hilly fields," where Conybere and other streets now are, was a pleasant
Sunday morning ramble even forty years back.

~Oratory.~--See "_Places of Worship_."

~Organs.~--According to the oft-quoted extract from the Halesowen
Churchwardens' books--"1497. Paid for repeyling the organs to the organ
maker at Bromycham 10s,"--organ-building must have been one of the few
recognised trades of this town at a very early date. It is a pity the
same accounts do not give the maker's name of the instruments for which
in 1539 they "paid my lord Abbot 4 marks," or name the parties who were
then employed and paid for "mending and setting the organs up, 40s."
Whether any of the most celebrated organs in the country have, or have
not, been made here, is quite uncertain, though the Directories and
papers of all dates tell us that makers thereof have never been wanting.
In 1730, one Thomas Swarbrick made the organ for St. Mary's Church,
Warwick, and the Directory for 1836 gives the name of Isaac Craddock
(the original maker of the taper penholder), who repaired and in several
cases enlarged the instruments at many of our places of worship, as well
as supplying the beautiful organ for St. Mary's, at Coventry.--The tale
has often been told of the consternation caused by the introduction of a
barrel organ into a church, when from some catch or other it would not
stop at the finish of the first tune, and had to be carried outside,
while the remainder of its repertoire pealed forth, but such instruments
were not unknown in sacred edifices in this neighbourhood but a short
time back [see "_Northfield_"].--A splendid organ was erected in Broad
Street Music Hall when it was opened, and it was said to be the second
largest in England, costing £2,000; it was afterwards purchased for St.
Pancras' Church, London.--The organ in the Town Hall, constructed by Mr.
Hill, of London, cost nearly £4,000 and, when put up, was considered to
be one of the finest and most powerful in the world, and it cannot have
lost much of its prestige, as many improvements have since been made in
it. The outer case is 45ft. high, 40ft. wide, and 17ft. deep, and the
timber used in the construction of the organ weighed nearly 30 tons.
There are 4 keyboards, 71 draw stops, and over 4,000 pipes of various
forms and sizes, some long, some short, some trumpet-like in shape, and
others cylindrical, while in size they range from two or three inches in
length to the great pedal pipe, 32ft. high and a yard in width, with an
interior capacity of 224 cubic feet. In the "great organ" there are 18
stops, viz.: Clarion (2ft.), ditto (4ft.), posanne, trumpet, principal
(1 and 2), gamba, stopped diapason, four open diapasons, doublette,
harmonic flute, mixture sesquialtra, fifteenth, and twelfth, containing
altogether 1,338 pipes. In the "choir organ" there are nine stops, viz.:
Wald flute, fifteenth stopped flute, oboe flute, principal, stopped
diapason, hohl flute, cornopean, and open diapason, making together 486
pipes. The "swell organ" contains 10 stops, viz.: Hautbois, trumpet,
horn, fifteenth, sesquialtra, principal, stopped diapason, open
diapason, clarion, and boureon and dulciana, the whole requiring 702
pipes. In the "solo organ" the principal stops are the harmonica, krum,
horn, and flageolet, but many of the stops in the swell and choir organs
work in connection with the solo. In the "pedal organ" are 12 stops,
viz.: Open diapason 16ft. (bottom octave) wood, ditto, 16ft., metal,
ditto, 16ft. (bottom octave) metal, bourdon principal, twelfth,
fifteenth, sesquialtra, mixture, posanne, 8ft. trumpet, and 4ft.
trumpet. There are besides, three 32ft. stops, one wood, one metal, and
one trombone. There are four bellows attached to the organ, and they are
of great size, one being for the 32ft. pipes alone. The Town Hall organ
had its first public trial August 29, 1834, when the Birmingham Choral
Society went through a selection of choruses, as a kind of advance note
of the then coming Festival.

Orphanages.--The first local establishment of the nature of an orphanage
was the so called Orphan Asylum in Summer Lane, built in 1797 for the
rearing of poor children from the Workhouse. It was a very useful
institution up to the time of its close in 1852, but like the Homes at
Marston Green, where the young unfortunates from the present Workhouse
are reared and trained to industrial habits, it was almost a misnomer to
dub it an "orphan asylum."--An Orphanage at Erdington was begun by the
late Sir Josiah Mason, in 1858, in connection with his Almshouses there,
it being his then intention to find shelter for some three score of the
aged and infantile "waifs and strays" of humanity. In 1860 he extended
his design so far as to commence the present Orphanage, the foundation
stone of which was laid by himself Sept. 19 in that year, the building
being finished and first occupied in 1863. In addition to the
expenditure of £60,000 on the buildings, the founder endowed the
institution with land and property to the value of £250,000. No
publicity was given to this munificent benevolence until the twelve
months prescribed by the statute had elapsed after the date of the deed,
when, on the 29th of July, 1869, the Orphanage and estates were handed
over to seven trustees, who, together with Sir Josiah himself, formed
the first Board of Management. At his death, as provided by the trust
deed, seven other trustees chosen by the Birmingham Town Council were
added to the Board. The inmates of the Orphanage are lodged, clothed,
fed, maintained, educated, and brought up at the exclusive cost of the
institution, there being no restriction whatever as to locality,
nationality, or religious persuasion of parents or friends. In 1874 the
building was enlarged, so as to accommodate 300 girls, 150 boys, and 50
infants, the original part being reserved for the girls and infants and
a new wing built for the boys. The two are connected by the lofty dining
hall, 200ft. long, with tables and seats for 500 children. Every part of
the establishment is on a liberal scale and fitted with the best
appliances; each child has its separate bed, and the playgrounds are
most extensive.--The Princess Alice Orphanage, of which the
foundation-stone was laid Sept. 19, 1882, has rather more than a
Birmingham interest, as it is intended in the first instance for the
reception of children from all parts of the country whose parents have
been Wesleyans. In connection with the Wesleyan Thanksgiving Fund, Mr.
Solomon Jevons, of this town, made an offer to the committee that if
from the fund they would make a grant of £10,000 towards establishing an
orphanage in the neighbourhood of Birmingham, he would supplement it by
a donation of £10,000. After due consideration the offer was accepted.
Plans were prepared by Mr. J.L. Ball for as much of the building as it
was proposed immediately to erect, and the contract was let to Messrs.
J. Wilson and Sons, of Handsworth. The sanction of her Majesty the Queen
was obtained to call the building the "Princess Alice" Orphanage, in
memory of her lamented daughter, the late Princess of Hesse. The site
chosen is about halfway between Erdington and Sutton Coldfield on the
Chester Road, and very near to the "Beggar's Bush." Facing the road,
though forty yards from it, is the central block of buildings, 250 feet
in length, including the master's house, board room and offices, store
rooms, &c., with a large hall, 90 feet by 33 feet, for use as a dining
hall, general gatherings, morning prayers, &c., the children's homes
being in cottages at varying distances, so that when the whole
twenty-four homes (twelve each for boys and girls) are erected it will
be like a miniature village, sundry farm buildings and workshops being
interspersed here and there. Each cottage is intended to be the home of
about twenty children, but at first, and until the funds for the
maintenance of the orphanage have been increased, the inmates will be
limited to the accommodation that can be provided at the central block
and the nearest two or three homes, the rest being built as occasion

~Oscott College.~--See "_Schools_," &c.

~Oxford, (Edward).~--The boy Oxford who shot at the Queen, on June 10,
1840, was born here and had worked at several shops in the town.

~Oxygen.~--It was on the first of August, 1774, that Dr. Priestley
discovered the nature of oxygen or "dephlogisticated air." If he could
visit Oxygen Street in this town in August of any year, he would
probably say that the air there to be breathed required
dephlogisticating over and over again.

~Packhorses.~--In and about the year 1750 the only method of conveying
parcels of goods from here to London was by means of packhorses, the
charge being at the rate of £7 to £9 per ton; to Liverpool and Bristol,

~Panorama.~--A circular erection in New Street, and now partly
incorporated in the Society of Artists building, where early in the
century panoramas of various kinds were exhibited.

~Panoramic View.~--A peculiar view of this town was published in 1847 by
Ackermann of London, and was thus called, as it purported to give the
thoroughfares pictorially, showing the houses as they would appear from
a balloon over Moseley Street. The size was 27-1/2 in. by 14-3/4 in. As
a curiosity it is prizable, but its correctness of delineation is marred
very much by the plan adopted.

~Pantechnetheca.~--A large place of general business, opened in 1824, at
the New-street end of Union-passage. In 1817, there stood on this spot a
publichouse, known as the "Old Crown," the entrance to which was in a
large, open gateway at its side, through which a path led to the cherry
orchard. The Pantechnetheca was one of "the sights" of the town, the
exterior being ornamented with pillars and statues; while the name was
not only a puzzle to the "Black Country" visitors, but quite a subject
of dispute as to its etymology among the Greek scholars of the Grammar
School opposite.

~Paradise Street.~--The footpath on the Town Hall side used to be
several feet higher than the causeway, and was supplied with iron
railings. If the name had been given in late years, it might be supposed
to have been chosen because the doors of the Parish Offices are in the

~Parish Offices.~--See "_Public Buildings_."

~Parkesine.~--A material used for knife handles and other purposes, so
named after its maker, Alexander Parkes, a well-known local
manufacturer, who said it was made from refuse vegetable fibre,
pyroxyline, oil, naphtha, and chloride of sulphur.

~Park Lane.~--From Aston Cross Tavern to the Birchfield Road, originally
being the road outside the wall of Aston Park. The first lots of land
for building that were sold were those fronting Church Lane, and they
fetched an average price of 2s. 2d. per yard, each lot being 12 yards by
60 yards. The next were the lots marked out by the side of Park Lane,
and it was at about the middle of Park Lane that the first house was
built in Aston Park in 1854 or 1855.

~Park Road.~--Leading over the hill from Aston Cross to Aston Church,
was the first laid out, and the first opened to the public (Easter
Monday, 1855) through the old grounds belonging to the Holts.

~Parks.~--Thanks to the munificence of Miss Ryland, Lord Calthorpe, Sir
Charles Adderley, and Mr. W. Middlemore, with the concurrent generosity
of the Church authorities, in whom the freehold of our churchyards was
invested, Birmingham cannot be said to be short of parks and public
grounds, though with all put together the area is nothing like that
taken from the inhabitants under the Enclosures Acts of last century.
The first movement for the acquisition of public parks took the shape of
a town's meeting, Dec. 22, 1853, when the burgesses approved the
purchase, and in 1854 an Act was obtained for the formation thereof. The
first to be opened was Adderley Park, Aug. 30, 1856, the gift of Sir
Charles Adderley. Its area is 10A. Or. 22P., and it is held nominally on
a 999 years' lease, at a rental of 5s. per year. Calthorpe Park was
opened June 1, 1857; its area being 31A. 1R. 13P., and it is held under
a grant by the Calthorpe family that is equivalent to a conveyance in
fee. Aston Park was opened Sept. 22, 1864; its area is 49A. 2R. 8P., and
it belongs to the town by purchase. Cannon Hill Park, the gift of Miss
Ryland, was opened Sept. 1, 1873; its area being 57A. 1R. 9P. In 1874,
the Town Council gave the Trustees of Holliers' Charity the sum of
£8,300 for the 8A. 8R. 28P. of land situated between the Moseley Road
and Alcester Street, and after expending over £5,400 in laying out,
fencing, and planting, opened it as Highgate Park June 2, 1876. In 1876
Summerfield House and grounds covering 12A. 0R. 20P. were purchased from
Mr. Henry Weiss for £9,000, and after fencing, &c., was thrown open as
Summerfield Park, July 29, 1876. In the following year, Mr. William
Middlemore presented to the town a plot of ground, 4A. 1R. 3p. in
extent, in Burbury Street, having spent about £3,500 in fencing and
laying it out, principally as a recreation ground for children (the
total value being over £12,000), and it was opened as Hockley Park,
December 1, 1877.--Small Heath Park, comprising 41A. 3R. 34p., is
another of the gifts of Miss Ryland, who presented it to the town June
2, 1876, and in addition provided £4,000 of the £10,000 the Town Council
expended in laying it out. The formal opening ceremony took place April
5, 1879. There are still several points of the compass directing to
suburbs which would be benefited by the appropriation of a little
breathing place or two, and possibly in due time they will be acquired.
The Nechells people have had laid out for their delectation the waste
ground near the gas works which may be called Nechells Park for the time
being. The Earl of Dartmouth in June, 1878, gave 56 acres out of
Sandwell Park to the inhabitants of West Bromwich, and they call it
Dartmouth Park.

~Park Street~ takes its name from the small park or wood surrounding
Park House, once existing somewhere near to the burial ground.

~Park Street Gardens~--As they are now called, comprise the Park Street
Burial Ground and St. Bartholomew's Churchyard, the possession of which
(under a nominal lease for 999 years) was given by the Rectors of St.
Martin's and St. Bartholomew's to the Corporation according to the
provisions of the Closed Burial Grounds Act. The whole area included a
little over five acres, and the size thus given was valued at £50,000.
About half an acre was devoted to the widening of the surrounding
streets, the remainder being properly fenced in and laid out as
recreating grounds and gardens. The opening ceremony took place, June
25, 1880.

~Parliamentary Elections.~--Notwithstanding the safeguards provided by
the Ballot Act, and all the deterrent measures enacted against bribery
and intimidation, and those peculiar tactics known as "getting up
steam," the period of an election for Parliamentary representatives is a
time of great excitement even in these days. But it is comparatively
naught to what it used to be, when the art of kidnapping Tory voters, or
"bottling" Whigs, was considered as only a small part of the education
required by aspiring political agents. Leading burly prizefighters to
clear the hustings on nomination day, upsetting carriages containing
voters going to poll, and such like practical jokes were all _en regle_,
and as such "goings-on" were to be found as much on the one side as the
other, neither party's pot had a right to call the opponent's kettle
black. Prior to the enfranchisement of the borough, one of the most
exciting elections in which the Brums had been engaged was that for the
county of Warwick in 1774, when Sir Charles Holte, of Aston Hall, was
returned. The nomination took place Oct. 13, the candidates being Mr.
Shipworth (a previous member), Mr. (afterwards Lord) Mordaunt, and Sir
Charles, who for once pleased the Birmingham folks by calling himself an
"Independent." The polling, which commenced on the 20th, was continued
for ten days, closing on the 31st, and as Mr. Mordaunt had the lead for
many days the excitement was intense, and the rejoicings proportionate
at the end when the local candidate came in with flying colours. The
voting ran:--Shipwith, 2,954; Holte, 1,845; Mordaunt, 1,787.--A
Birmingham man was a candidate at the next great county contest,
forty-six years after. This was Mr. Richard Spooner, then (1820) a young
man and of rather Radical tendencies. His opponent, Mr. Francis Lawley,
was of the old-fashioned Whig party, and the treatment his supporters
received at the hands of the Birmingham and Coventry people was
disgraceful. Hundreds of special constables had to be sworn in at
Warwick during the fourteen days' polling, business being suspended for
days together, but Radical Richard's roughs failed to influence the
election, as Mr. Lawley obtained 2,153 votes against Mr. Spooner's 970.
As Mr. Spooner grew older he became more prominent in commercial
circles, and was peculiarly _au fait_ in all currency matters, but he
lost his hold on local electors by turning to the Conservative side of
politics. Of this he was more than once reminded in after years, when
speaking in the Town Hall, by individuals taking off their coats,
turning them inside out, and having put them on again, standing
prominently in front of "Yellow Dick" as they then called him.

That the inhabitants of Birmingham, so rapidly increasing in numbers and
wealth, should be desirous of direct representation in the House of
Commons, could be no wonder even to the most bigoted politicians of the
last and early part of the present century. Possibly, had there been '91
Riots, nor quite so much "tall talk," the Legislature might have
vouchsafed us a share in the manufacture of our country's laws a little
earlier than they did, and the attempt to _force_ a member through the
doors of the House could not have added to any desire that may have
existed in the minds of the gentlemen inside to admit the representative
of Birmingham. The Newhall Hill meeting of July 12th, 1819, may be
reckoned as the first pitched battle between the invaders and defenders
of the then existing Parliamentary Constitution. The appointment of Sir
Charles Wolesey as "Legislatorial Attorney and Representative," with
instructions to take his seat as M.P. for the town (and many so styled
him), even though made at a meeting of 20,000 would-be electors, does
not appear to have been the wisest way to have gone to work,
notwithstanding the fact that Sir Charles himself said _he_ had no doubt
of their right to send him up as their Member. Prosecution of the
leaders followed, as a matter of course, and if the
twenty-and-odd-thousands of the local Conservative electors of to-day
were thus to try to obtain _their_ due share of representation in the
House, most likely the leaders of such a movement would be as liberally
dealt with. The "battle of freedom," as the great Reform movement came
to be called, has often been described, and honour been given to all who
took part in it. The old soldiers of the campaign should be allowed, if
they choose, to "fight their battles o'er again," as long as they live,
but it is about time that the hatchet of party spite, (hitherto so
freely used in local political warfare) was buried out of sight, and all
sides be as willing to give equal rights as their fathers were to fight
for theirs. Birmingham, however, was not without _some_ friends in
Parliament, and on the occasion of the disfranchisement of the borough
of East Retford in 1827, it was proposed by Mr. Charles Tennyson that
the two seats thus voided should be given to Birmingham. Mr. George
Attwood was High Bailiff at the time, and he at once called a public
meeting to support Mr. Tennyson's proposition by petition. The Public
Office was not large enough for those who attended the meeting (June 22,
1827) and they adjourned to Beardsworth's Repository, where speeches
were delivered by the leading men of all parties. Petitions to both
Houses were drawn up and signed, the county members, Dugdale Stratford
Dugdale and Francis Lawley, Esqrs., being asked to introduce the one to
the House of Commons, and Lord Dudley and Ward (Baron of Birmingham) and
Lord Calthorpe to support the petitioners' prayer in the Upper House.
Mr. Tennyson (who afterwards took the name of D'Eyncourt) brought in his
Bill, but notwithstanding all that could be said or done by the friends
of the town they were outvoted (March 21, 1828), and the Bill was thrown
out. The next four years were full of trouble, and the news of the
passing of the Reform Bill (June 7, 1832), which at last gave Birmingham
its long-sought political rights was most welcome indeed. The first
election day was fixed for December 12, and for some time it was
rumoured that Mr. Richard Spooner would stand in opposition to Messrs.
Thomas Attwood and Joshua Scholefield, the chosen representatives of the
Liberals; but the Conservative party, deeming it but right that those
who had borne the brunt of the constitutional fight should be allowed
the first honours of the local victory, declined to oppose those
gentlemen, and they were accordingly returned without opposition. The
hustings had been erected on a plot of land opposite the Public Offices
and here the nominations took place at the early hour of 8 a.m. The
proceedings were over by nine o'clock, but the "victory," as the popular
party chose to consider it, did not satisfy them, and as there was an
election on at Walsall the same day it was determined that the
Birmingham Liberals should go there to help Mr. Bosco Attwood in his
contest with Mr. Foster. A procession of some thousands, with bands and
banners, according marched the whole of the distance so Walsall, and if
their behaviour there represented what they were prepared to do at home
had they not been allowed to have their own way, it was well for
Birmingham they were not opposed. Long before evening this town was in
the most fearful excitement, the passengers and guards of the various
coaches which had passed through Walsall bringing the direst news of
fire and riot, mixed with reports of the military being called out and
firing on the people, numbers being killed, &c. Fortunately there was
much exaggeration in these tales, and by degrees most of the Birmingham
men found their way home, though many were in sad plight through the
outrageous behaviour of themselves and the "victorious" crew who went
off so gaily with them in the morning. The elections in after years may
be briefly chronicled.

1835.--At the general election, which occurred this year, the Town Hall
was first used as the place of nomination (Jan. 7th). During the
proceedings the front of the great gallery gave way and precipitated
those sitting there on to the heads of the people below, but
providentially, the injuries received were not of a serious character.
Mr. R. Spooner was most impatiently heard, and the show of hands was
decidedly against him. The state of the poll showed:--

Thomas Attwood    1,718 votes }
Joshua Scholefidd 1,660   "   } Returned.
Richard Spooner     915   "

1837, August.--At this election the
late sitting members were opposed
by Mr. A. G. Stapleton, but unsuccessfully,
the voting being

Thomas Attwood       .. 2,145 }
Joshua Scholefield   .. 2,114 }Returned.
A.G. Stapleton       .. 1,046

1840, January.--Mr. Attwood having resigned, Sir Charles Wetherell
appeared in the Conservative interest against Mr. G.F. Muntz. Mr. Joseph
Sturge, who also issued an address to the electors, retiring on the
solicitation of his friends, on the understanding that the whole Liberal
party would support him at the next vacancy. The result was in favour of
Mr. Muntz, thus--

Geo. Fred. Muntz     .. 1,454--Returned.
Sir C. Wetherell     ..   915

1841, July.--Mr. Richard Spooner, who opposed Messrs. Muntz and
Scholefield, was again defeated, through receiving the suffrages of
double the number of electors who voted for him in 1835. The returns

Geo. Fred. Muntz     .. 2,176 }
Joshua Scholefield   .. 1,963 }Returned.
Richard Spooner      .. 1,825

1857, March.--The same gentlemen were again returned without opposition.

1857, August.--On the death of Mr. Muntz, though the names of George
Dawson and others were whispered, the unanimous choice fell upon Mr.
John Bright, "the rejected of Manchester," and it may be truly said he
was at that time the chosen of the people. Birmingham men of all shades
of politics appreciating his eloquence and admiring his sterling
honesty, though many differed with his opinions. Addresses were early
issued by Baron Dickenson Webster and Mr. M'Geachy, but both were at
once withdrawn when Mr. Bright consented to stand and _his_ address

1859, April.--At the election of this year, though defeat must have been
a foregone conclusion, Mr. Thomas D. Acland waged battle with Messrs.
Scholefield and Bright, and the result was:--

William Scholefield ..  ..4,425 }
John Bright     ..  ..  ..4,282 }Returned.
T.D. Acland     ..  ..  ..1,544

1864, December.--On the death of Mr. Spooner, Mr. Davenport-Bromley,
(afterwards Bromley-Davenport) was elected un-opposed, and retained his
seat until his death, June 15, 1884.

1864.--Householders, whose rates were compounded for by their landlords,
had hitherto not been allowed to exercise their right of voting, but the
decision given in their favour, Feb. 17, 1864, was the means of raising
the number of voters' names on the register to over 40,000.

1865, July.--Whether from fear of the newly-formed Liberal Association
(which was inaugurated in February for the avowed purpose of controlling
the Parliamentary elections in the borough and adjoining county
divisions), or the lack of a sufficiently popular local man, there was
no opposition offered to the return of Messrs. Scholefield and Bright at
the election of this year.

1867, July.--On the death of Mr. Scholefield, Mr. George Dixon was
nominated by the Liberals and opposed by Mr. Sampson S. Lloyd The result

Geo. Dixon   ..  ..  ..  ..5,819  Returned.
S.S. Lloyd   ..  ..  ..  ..4,214

1868, November.--This was the first election after the passing of the
Reform Bill of 1867, by which Birmingham became entitled to send three
members to the House of Commons; and as the Bill contained a proviso
(generally known as the "minority clause") that each voter should be
limited to giving his support to two only of the candidates, an immense
amount of interest was taken in the interest that ensued. The
Conservatives brought forward Mr. Sampson S. Lloyd and Mr. Sebastian
Evans, the Liberal Association nominating Messrs. John Bright, George
Dixon, and Philip Henry Muntz (brother to the old member G.F. Muntz).
The election has become historical from the cleverly-manipulated scheme
devised by the Liberal Association, and the strict enforcement of their
"vote-as-you're-told" policy, by which, abnegating all personal freedom
or choice in the matter the electors under the influence of the
Association were moved at the will of the chiefs of their party. That
the new tactics were successful is shown by the returns:--

George Dixon   ..  ..  ..  15,188 }
P.H. Muntz     ..  ..  ..  14,614 }Returned.
John Bright    ..  ..  ..  14,601 }
S.S. Lloyd     ..  ..  ..   8,700
S. Evans       ..  ..  ..   7,061

1868, Dec. 21.--Mr. Bright having been appointed President of the Board
of Trade, was re-elected without opposition. He held office till the
close of 1870, but for a long time was absent from Parliament through

1873, Aug. 6.--Mr. John Jaffray, one of the proprietors of the _Daily
Post_, contested East Staffordshire against Mr. Allsopp, but he only
obtained 2,893 votes, as against Mr. Allsopp's 3,630.

1873, Oct. 18.--Soon after recovery of health Mr. Bright returned to his
seat, and being appointed to the office of the Chancellor of the Duchy
of Lancaster, was re-elected in due course.

1874, Jan. 30.--No opposition was made to the re-election of Messrs.
Bright, Dixon, and Muntz.

1876, June 27.--Mr. Joseph Chamberlain was elected without opposition on
the resignation of Mr. Dixon.

1880, March 31.--Though free from all the rioting and possible bloodshed
that would have attended such an occasion a hundred years ago, the
election of 1880 was the most exciting and hardest-fought battle between
the two great political parties of the town yet recorded in local
history. The candidates were Messrs. John Bright, Joseph Chamberlain and
Philip Henry Muntz, the previous members and nominees of the Liberal
Association, and Major Burnaby and the Hon. A.C.G. Calthorpe,
Conservatives. There were 139 polling stations, and no less than 47,776
out of the 63,398 persons whose names were on the register, recorded
their votes under the protection of the Ballot Act of 1870, now first
brought into use at a Parliamentary election. The usual courtesies (!)
appertaining to political contests were indulged in to considerable
extent, and personalities of all sorts much too freely bandied about,
but the election altogether passed off in the most creditable manner.
The returns of the polling stood thus--

Philip Henry Muntz..... 22,803}
John Bright............ 21,986}  Returned.
Joseph Chamberlain..... 19,476}
Major Burnaby.......... 15,716
Hon. A.C.G. Calthorpe   14,270

An analysis of the polling issued by the Mayor about a week after the
election showed that 16,098 voters supported the Conservative candidates
and 33,302 the Liberals. Deducting the 2,004 who "split" their votes
between the parties, and 380 whose papers were either rejected or not
counted as being doubtful, the total gives 47,396 as the actual number
whose votes decided the election. As a curiosity and a puzzle for future
politicians, the Mayor's analysis is worth preserving, as here


  Calthorpe only      ..          ..          42
  Burnaby only        ..          ..         164       206
  Chamberlain only    ..          ..          50
  Muntz only          ..          ..         199
  Bright only         ..          ..          86       335


  Calthorpe and Muntz             ..         153
  Calthorpe and Chamberlain       ..          83
  Burnaby and Muntz               ..       1,239
  Burnaby and Chamberlain         ..         182
  Bright and Calthorpe            ..         104
  Bright and Burnaby              ..         243     2,004


  Burnaby and Calthorpe           ..     13,888     13,888


  Chamberlain and Muntz           ..      9,410
  Bright and Muntz                ..     11,802
  Bright and Chamberlain          ..      9,751    30,963

Voting papers rejected and doubtful                 380

Total number of voters polled..     ..           47,776

Mr. Bright having been again appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of
Lancaster, and Mr. Chamberlain chosen as President of the Board of
Trade, they were re-elected, without opposition, early in May following
the election. Three other local Liberal gentlemen were returned to
Parliament during this general election, viz.:--Mr. Jesse Collings for
Ipswich (receiving 3,074 votes), Mr. H. Wiggin for East Staffordshire
(4,617 votes), and Mr. J.S. Wright for Nottingham (8,085 votes). The
last-named, however, did not live to take his seat, dying very suddenly
while attending a committee-meeting at the Council House, Birmingham, on
the 15th April.--See "_Statues_," &c According to the published returns
of January, 1884, Birmingham was then the largest borough constituency
in England, the number of electors on the register then in force being
63,221: Liverpool coming next with 61,336; and Lambeth third, with
55,588; but Glasgow was the largest in the United Kingdom, with 68,025.
The largest county constituency in England and Wales was Middlesex, with
41,299 electors; the next being South-West Lancashire, with 30,624; the
third, South-East Lancashire, with 28,728; and the fourth, the southern
division of the West Riding, with 27,625. The total electorate for
England and Wales, was 2,660,444; Scotland, 331,264; and Ireland,

The following statistics have been taken from the returns named, showing
in respect of each constituency in this neighbourhood, the area of each
borough, city, or county division, the population, the number of
inhabited houses, the number of voters and their qualifications, and the
Members sent to Parliament prior to the passing of the Franchise and
Redistribution Bills of 1885, and are worth preserving for future local

[Transcriber's note: this table has been split in order to fit the page

|   Borough, City   | Area in |     Population    |Inhabited Houses |
|     or County     | Square  |    in   |    in   |   in   |   in   |
|     Division      | Miles.  |   1871  |   1881  |  1871  |  1881  |
| Birmingham        |  13     | 343,787 | 400,774 | 68,532 | 78,301 |
| Bewdley           |  11-1/4 |   7,614 |   8,678 |  1,717 |  1,839 |
| Bridgnorth        |  17     |   7,317 |   7,212 |  1,565 |  1,52[**]
| Coventry          |  10     |  41,348 |  46,563 |  9,334 | 10,185 |
| Droitwich         |  43     |   9,510 |   9,858 |  1,931 |  2,006 |
| Dudley            |  12     |  82,249 |  87,527 | 15,985 | 16,889 |
| E. Staffordshire  | 218     | 101,564 | 138,439 | 19,960 | 26,003 |
| E. Worcestershr.  | 324     | 147,685 | 117,257 | 30,551 | 35,781 |
| Evesham           |   3-1/2 |   4,888 |   5,112 |  1,001 |  1,050 |
| Kidderminster     |   3-3/4 |  20,814 |  25,633 |  4,292 |  5,062 |
| Lichfield         |   5     |   7,347 |   8,349 |  1,543 |  1,678 |
| Newcastle (Stff.) |   1     |  15,948 |  17,493 |  3,180 |  3,393 |
| N. Staffordshire  | 396     | 120,217 | 132,684 | 24,194 | 26,403 |
| N. Warwickshire   | 383     | 134,723 | 170,086 | 29,032 | 35,151 |
| S. Warwickshire   | 462     |  96,905 |  99,592 | 20,803 | 21,485 |
| Stafford          |   1     |  15,946 |  18,904 |  2,939 |  3,385 |
| Stoke-on-Trent    |  14     | 130,575 | 152,394 | 24,582 | 28,350 |
| Tamworth          |  18     |  11,493 |  14,101 |  2,357 |  2,772 |
| Walsall           |  11-3/4 |  49,018 |  59,402 |  9,566 | 11,140 |
| Warwick           |   8-1/2 |  10,986 |  11,800 |  2,418 |  2,518 |
| Wednesbury        |  17-3/4 | 116,809 | 124,437 | 22,621 | 23,443 |
| W. Staffordshire  | 434     | 100,413 | 117,737 | 20,134 | 23,261 |
| W. Worcestershr   | 341     |  66,419 |  67,139 | 13,895 | 13,928 |
| Wolverhampton     |  29-1/2 | 156,978 | 164,332 | 30,424 | 31,475 |
| Worcester         |   5     |  38,116 |  40,354 |  8,043 |  8,539 |

|                   |           City or Borough Electors.             |
|                    -------------------------------------------------
|                   |     £10       |         | Freehold |  Freemen   |
|   Borough, City   | Occupiers and | Lodgers |   and    | or Voters  |
|     or County     |  Inhabitant   |         | Burgage  | by Ancient |
|     Division      | Householders. |         | Tenants. |   Rights   |
| Birmingham        |    63,149     |    72   |    ..    |     ..     |
| Bewdley           |       273     |     2   |    ..    |       1    |
| Bridgnorth        |       055     |    ..   |    ..    |     163    |
| Coventry          |     4,733     |    12   |    ..    |   3,995    |
| Droitwich         |     1,409     |    ..   |    ..    |       1    |
| Dudley            |    14,833     |     1   |    ..    |     ..     |
| E. Staffordshire  |      ..       |    ..   |    ..    |     ..     |
| E. Worcestershr.  |      ..       |    ..   |    ..    |     ..     |
| Evesham           |       794     |    11   |    ..    |      20    |
| Kidderminster     |     3,898     |     5   |    ..    |     ..     |
| Lichfield         |     1,095     |     7   |    101   |      39    |
| Newcastle (Stff.) |     2,431     |     5   |    ..    |     679    |
| N. Staffordshire  |      ..       |    ..   |    ..    |     ..     |
| N. Warwickshire   |      ..       |    ..   |    ..    |     ..     |
| S. Warwickshire   |      ..       |    ..   |    ..    |     ..     |
| Stafford          |     2,764     |    22   |    ..    |     798    |
| Stoke-on-Trent    |    21,131     |    13   |    ..    |     ..     |
| Tamworth          |     2,220     |     6   |    ..    |       3    |
| Walsall           |     9,821     |     3   |    ..    |     ..     |
| Warwick           |     1,742     |     4   |    ..    |      15    |
| Wednesbury        |    19,807     |     3   |    ..    |     ..     |
| W. Staffordshire  |      ..       |    ..   |    ..    |     ..     |
| W. Worcestershr   |      ..       |    ..   |    ..    |     ..     |
| Wolverhampton     |    23,559     |    31   |    ..    |     ..     |
| Worcester         |     5,948     |    59   |    ..    |     355    |

|                   |       County Electors.       |                   |
|                    ---------------------------------------------------
|   Borough, City   |                              |Total No. |        |
|     or County     |  £12      |  £50    |Owners. |   of     | M.P.'s |
|     Division      |Occupiers. |Tenants. |        |Electors. |Returned|
| Birmingham        |     ..    |    ..   |   ..   |  63,221  |   3    |
| Bewdley           |     ..    |    ..   |   ..   |   1,276  |   1    |
| Bridgnorth        |     ..    |    ..   |   ..   |   1,218  |   1    |
| Coventry          |     ..    |    ..   |   ..   |   8,740  |   2    |
| Droitwich         |     ..    |    ..   |   ..   |   1,410  |   1    |
| Dudley            |     ..    |    ..   |   ..   |  14,834  |   1    |
| E. Staffordshire  |   5,106   |    141  | 6,481  |  11,728  |   2    |
| E. Worcestershr.  |   4,745   |    567  | 6,931  |  12,243  |   2    |
| Evesham           |     ..    |    ..   |   ..   |     825  |   1    |
| Kidderminster     |     ..    |    ..   |   ..   |   3,903  |   1    |
| Lichfield         |     ..    |    ..   |   ..   |   1,242  |   1    |
| Newcastle (Stff.) |     ..    |    ..   |   ..   |   3,115  |   2    |
| N. Staffordshire  |   3,008   |  1,071  | 7,141  |  11,220  |   2    |
| N. Warwickshire   |   5,878   |    516  | 5,603  |  11,997  |   2    |
| S. Warwickshire   |   2,561   |    688  | 3,253  |   6,502  |   2    |
| Stafford          |     ..    |    ..   |   ..   |   3,584  |   2    |
| Stoke-on-Trent    |     ..    |    ..   |   ..   |  21,144  |   2    |
| Tamworth          |     ..    |    ..   |   ..   |   2,229  |   2    |
| Walsall           |     ..    |    ..   |   ..   |   9,824  |   1    |
| Warwick           |     ..    |    ..   |   ..   |   1,761  |   2    |
| Wednesbury        |     ..    |    ..   |   ..   |  19,810  |   1    |
| W. Staffordshire  |   2,715   |    661  | 8,570  |  11,946  |   2    |
| W. Worcestershr   |   1,142   |  1,033  | 4,426  |   6,601  |   2    |
| Wolverhampton     |     ..    |    ..   |   ..   |  23,590  |   2    |
| Worcester         |     ..    |    ..   |   ..   |   6,362  |   1    |

~Parsonage.~--The Old Parsonage, at the corner of Smallbrook Street and
Pershore Street, an old-fashioned two-storey gabled house, was moated
round and almost hidden by trees, and has been preserved for future
historians in one of David Cox's sketches, which remains as a curious
memento of the once rural appearance of what are now some of the busiest
spots in town. The house was pulled down in 1826.

~Parson and Clerk.~--A noted publichouse on the old Chester Road is the
Royal Oak, better known as "The Parson and Clerk." An old pamphlet thus
gives the why and wherefore:

  "There had used to be on the top of the house two figures--one of a
  parson leaning his head in prayer, while the clerk was behind him with
  uplifted axe, going to chop off his head. These two figures were
  placed there by John Gough, Esq., of Perry Hall, to commemorate a law
  suit between him and the Rev. T. Lane, each having annoyed the other.
  Mr. Lane had kept the Squire out of possession of this house, and had
  withheld the licenses, while the latter had compelled the clergyman to
  officiate daily in the church, by sending his servants to form a
  congregation. Squire Gough won the day, re-built the house in 1788,
  and put up the figures to annoy Parson Lane, parsons of all sorts
  being out of his good books."

~Parsons, Preachers, and Priests of the Past.~--It would be a lengthy
list or make note of all the worthy and reverend gentlemen who have,
from pulpit or platform, lectured and preached to the people in our
town, or who have aided in the intellectual advancement and education of
the rising generation of their time. Church and Chapel alike have had
their good men and true, and neither can claim a monopoly of talent, or
boast much of their superiority in Christian fellowship or love of their
kind. Many shepherds have been taken from their so-called flocks whose
places at the time it was thought could never be filled, but whose very
names are now only to be found on their tombs, or mentioned in old
magazines or newspapers. Some few are here recalled as of interest from
their position, peculiarities, &c.

_John Angell James_.--A Wiltshire man was John Angell James, who, after
a short course of itinerary preaching came to Birmingham, and for more
than fifty years was the idolised minister of Carr's Lane congregation.
He was a good man and eloquent, having a certain attractive way which
endeared him to many. He lived, and was loved by those who liked him,
till he had reached the age of 74, dying Oct. 1, 1859, his remains being
buried like those of a saint, under the pulpit from which he had so long

_Samuel Bache_.--Coming as a Christmas-box to his parents in 1804, and
early trained for the pulpit, the Rev. Samuel Bache joined the Rev. John
Kentish in his ministrations to the Unitarian flock in 1832, and
remained with us until 1868. Loved in his own community for faithfully
preaching their peculiar doctrines, Mr. Bache proved himself a man of
broad and enlightened sympathies; one who could appreciate and support
anything and everything that tended to elevate the people in their
amusements as well as in matters connected with education.

_George Croft_.--The Lectureship of St. Martin's in the first year of
the present century was vested in Dr. George Croft, one of the good old
sort of Church and King parsons, orthodox to the backbone, but from
sundry peculiarities not particularly popular with the major portion of
his parishioners. He died in 1809.

_George Dawson_.--Born in London, February 24, 1821, George Dawson
studied at Glasgow for the Baptist ministry, and came to this town in
1844 to take the charge of Mount Zion chapel. The cribbed and crabbed
restraints of denominational church government failed, however, to
satisfy his independent heart, and in little more than two years his
connection with the Mount Zion congregation ceased (June 24, 1846). The
Church of the Saviour was soon after erected for him, and here he drew
together worshippers of many shades of religious belief, and ministered
unto them till his death. As a lecturer he was known everywhere, and
there are but few towns in the kingdom that he did not visit, while his
tour in America, in the Autumn of 1874, was a great success. His
connection with the public institutions of this town is part of our
modern history, and no man yet ever exercised such influence or did more
to advance the intelligence and culture of the people, and, as John
Bright once said of Cobden "it was not until we had lost him that we
knew how much we loved him." The sincerity and honesty of purpose right
through his life, and exhibited in all his actions, won the highest
esteem of even those who differed from him, and the announcement of his
sudden death (Nov. 30, 1876) was felt as a blow by men of all creeds or
politics who had ever known him or heard him. To him the world owes the
formation of the first Shakesperian Library--to have witnessed its
destruction would indeed have been bitter agony to the man who (in
October, 1866) had been chosen to deliver the inaugural address at the
opening of the Free Reference Library, to which he, with friends, made
such an addition. As a preacher, he was gifted with remarkable powers;
as a lecturer, he was unsurpassed; in social matters, he was the friend
of all, with ever-open hand to those in need; as a politician, though
keen at repartee and a hard hitter, he was straightforward, and no
time-server; and in the word of his favourite author, "Take him all in
all, we ne'er shall look on his like again."--See "_Statues_," &c.

_W. D. Long_.--The Rev. Wm Duncan Long (who died at Godalming, April 12,
1878), according to the _Record_, was "a good man, and full of the Holy
Ghost and of faith." In our local records he is noted as being
distinguished for hard work among the poor of St. Bartholomew's, of
which parish he was minister for many years prior to 1851.

_Thomas Swann_.--The Rev. Thomas Swann, who came here in January 1829,
after a few years' sojourn in India, served the Cannon Street body for
28 years, during which time he baptised 966 persons, admitting into
membership a total of 1,233. Mr. Swann had an attack of apoplexy, while
in Glasgow, on Sunday, March 7, 1857, and died two days afterwards. His
remains were brought to Birmingham, and were followed to the grave
(March 16) by a large concourse of persons, a number of ministers taking
part in the funeral service.

_W. L. Giles_.--The Rev. W. Leese Giles, who filled the pulpit in Cannon
Street from Oct., 1863, to July, 1872, was peculiarly successful in his
ministrations, especially among the young.

_Lewis Chapman_.--The Rev. Lewis Chapman (taken to his fathers Oct. 2,
1877, at the age of 81), after performing the duties and functions of
Rabbi to the local Jewish community for more than forty-five years, was,
from his amiability and benevolence, characterised by many Gentile
friends as "an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile."

_Hon. G. M. Yorke_.--Brother to the late Earl of Hardwicke, and born in
1809, Mr. Yorke, on finishing his University education, entered the
army, obtaining a commission in the Fourth Dragoons; and, considering
his subsequent connection with Birmingham in a widely different
character, it is curious that his first visit here should have been paid
as an officer of dragoons in the Chartist riots of 1839. Mr. Yorke's
personal tastes, however, led him to prefer the Church to the army, and
he entered into holy orders, the Bishop of Worcester, in 1814,
presenting him to the rectory of St. Philip's: and at a later period he
was nominated Rural Dean. Mr. Yorke held the living of St. Philip's for
the long period of thirty years--until 1874--when the Prime Minister
appointed him Dean of Worcester. During his residence in Birmingham Mr.
Yorke did much public service in connection with various educational
institutions. He promoted good schools in St. Philip's parish, and was
an active member of the committee of the Educational Prize Scheme, and
then of the Education Aid Society, both of them institutions which were
of great value in their day. He also took a strong interest in the
affairs of Queen's College, of which he was for many years the
Vice-president. In the Diocesan Training College, at Saldey, he likewise
took part as a member of the managing body and he was interested in the
School of Art and the Midland Institute. Wherever, indeed, there was
educational work to be done, the Rector of St. Philip's was sure to be
found helping in it; and though there have been many Rectors at the
church it can be truly said that none left more regretted by the poor,
notwithstanding the aristocratic handle to his name, than did Mr. Yorke.
The Hon. and Rev. gentleman died at Worcester, Oct. 2, 1879.

_J.C. Miller_.--The Rev. John Cale Miller (born at Margate, in 1814),
though only thirty-two, hail already attracted the notice of the
Evangelical Party in the Church, and his appointment to St. Martin's
(Sept. 1846), gave general satisfaction. His reputation as a preacher
had preceded him, and he soon diffused a knowledge of his vigour as a
worker, and his capacity as an administrator. Few men have entered so
quickly into popular favour as Dr. Miller did, which may, perhaps, be
accounted for by the fact that he not only showed a sincere desire to
live in harmony with the Dissenters of all shades, but that he was
prepared to take his full share in the public work of the town, and
determined to be the minister--not of any section of the people, but of
the parish altogether. Under his direction St. Martin's became a model
parish. New facilities were afforded for public worship, schools were
established, parochial institutions multiplied under his hand, an ample
staff of curates and scripture-readers took their share of labour, and
the energies of the lay members of the congregation were called into
active exercise. To the Grammar School, the Midland Institute, the Free
Libraries, the Hospitals and Charities of the town, the Volunteer
movement, &c., he gave most assiduous attention, and as long as he
remained with us, his interest in all public matters never failed. In
the early part of 1866, Dr. Miller was presented to the living at
Greenwich, taking his farewell of the townspeople of Birmingham at a
meeting in the Town Hall, April 21, when substantial proof of the public
goodwill towards him was given by a crowded audience of all creeds and
all classes. A handsome service of plate and a purse of 600 guineas,
were presented to him, along with addresses from the congregation of St.
Martin's, the Charity Collections Committee, the Rifle Volunteers (to
whom he had been Chaplain), the Committees of the Hospitals, and from
the town at large. The farewell sermon to St. Martin's congregation was
preached April 29. In 1871 Dr. Miller was appointed residential Canon of
Worcester, which preferment he soon afterwards exchanged for a Canonry
at Rochester as being nearer to his home, other honours also falling to
him before his death, which took place on the night of Sunday, July 11,

_George Peake_.--The Rev. G. Peake, Vicar of Aston, from 1852 to his
death, July 9, 1876, was a ripe scholar and archæologist, a kind-hearted
pastor, and an effective preacher.

_Isaiah Birt_.--Mr. Isaiah Birt, a native of Coleford, undertook the
pastorship of Cannon Street in 1800, holding it until Christmas, 1825,
when from ill-health he resigned. The congregation allowed Mr. Birt an
annuity of £100 until his death, in 1837, when he had reached 80 years
of age.

_Thomas Potts_.--The Rev. Thomas Potts, who died in the early part of
December, 1819, at the age of sixty-and-six, was, according to the
printed funeral oration pronounced at the time, "an accurate, profound,
and cautious theologian," who had conducted the classical studies at
Oscott College for five-and-twenty years with vigour and enthusiasm, and
"a grandeur of ability peculiarly his own."

_Sacheveral_.--Dr. Sacheveral, the noted and noisy worthy who kicked up
such a rumpus in the days of Queen Anne, was a native of Sutton
Coldfield, and his passing through Birmingham in 1709 was considered
such an event of consequence that the names of the fellows who cheered
him in the streets were reported to Government.

_Pearce_.--Ordained pastor of Cannon Street, Aug. 18, 1790. Mr. Pearce,
in the course of a short life, made himself one of the most prominent
Baptist divines of the day, the church under his charge increasing so
rapidly that it became the source of great uneasiness to the deacons.
Mr. Pearce took great interest in the missionary cause, preaching here
the first sermon on behalf of the Baptist Missionary Society (Oct.,
1792), on which occasion £70 was handed in; he also volunteered to go to
India himself. Suffering from consumption he preached his last sermon
Dec. 2, 1798, lingering on till the 10th of October following, and dying
at the early age of 33. He was buried at the foot of the pulpit stairs.

_Slater_.--Hutton says that an apothecary named Slater made himself
Rector of St. Martin's during the days of the Commonwealth, and that
when the authorities came to turn him out he hid himself in a dark
corner. This is the individual named in Houghton's "History of Religion
in England" as being brought before the Court of Arches charged with
having forged his letters of orders, with preaching among the Quakers,
railing in the pulpit at the parishioners, swearing, gambling, and other
more scandalous offences.

_Scholefield_.--The pastor of the Old Meeting Congregation in 1787 was
named Scholefield, and he was the first to properly organise Sunday
Schools in connection with Dissenting places of worship.

_Robert Taylor_.--The horrible title of "The Devil's Chaplain" was given
the Rev. Robert Taylor, B.A., who in 1819-20 was for short periods
curate at Yardley and at St. Paul's in this town. He had been educated
for the Church, and matriculated well, but adopted such Deistical
opinions that he was ultimately expelled the Church, and more than once
after leaving here was imprisoned for blasphemy.

_Charles Vince_.--Charles Vince was the son of a carpenter, and was a
native of Surrey, being born at Farnham in 1823. For some years after
reaching manhood Mr. Vince was a Chartist lecturer, but was chosen
minister of Mount Zion Chapel in 1851, and remained with us till Oct.
22, 1874, when he was removed to the world above. His death was a loss
to the whole community, among whom he had none but friends.

_John Webb_.--The Rev. John Webb, who about 1802 was appointed Lecturer
at St. Martin's and Minister of St. Bartholomew's was an antiquarian
scholar of some celebrity; but was specially valued here (though his
stay was not long) on account of his friendship with Mendelssohn and
Neukomm, and for the valued services he rendered at several Festivals.
He wrote the English adaptation of Winter's "Timoteo," or "Triumph of
Gideon," performed at the Festival of 1823, and other effective pieces
before and after that date, interesting himself in the success of the
Triennials for many years. He died February 18, 1869, in Herefordshire.

_William Wollaston_.--That eminent English divine, the Rev. William
Wollaston, who was born in the neighbouring county of Stafford, in 1659,
was for several years assistant, and afterwards head master at our Free
Grammar School, but, coming into a rich inheritance, retired. He died in

And so the list might go on, with such names as the Rev. Charles Curtis,
of St. Martin's (1784) the Rev. E. Burn, of St. Mary's (1818), the Rev.
John Cook, of St. Bartholomew's (1820), the Rev. W.F. Hook, of Moseley
(1822), afterwards Dean of Christchurch; Dr. Outram, of St. Philip's
(who died in 1821); Rann Kennedy, of St. Paul's; G.S. Bull, of St.
Thomas's; with I. C. Barratt, of St Mary's, and many other clergymen and
ministers, who have departed in these later years.

~Patents.~--The first patent granted to a Birmingham inventor is dated
May 22, 1722, it being granted to Richard Baddeley for having "with much
pains, labour, and expense, invented and brought to perfection 'An Art
for making streaks for binding Cart and Wagon Wheels and Box Smoothing
Irons' (never yet practised in this our kingdom) which will be more
durable and do three times the service of those made of bar iron," &c.,
&c. It is not particularly wonderful that the toyshop of England should
stand first on the list as regards the number of patent grants applied
for and taken out. As Bisset said--

  Inventions curious, various kinds of toys,
  Engage the time of women, men, and boys;
  And Royal patents here are found in scores,
  For articles Minute--or pond'rous ores.

By the end of 1799 the list shows that 92 patents had been granted to
Birmingham men after Richard Baddeley had brought out his "patent
streaks," and during the present century there have been many hundreds
of designs patented or registered, scores of fortunes being made and
thousands of hands employed, but often the inventors themselves have
sold their rights for trifling amounts or succumbed to the difficulties
that stood in the way of bringing their brainwork into practical use.
Could the records of our County Asylums be thoroughly inspected, it is
to be feared that disappointed inventors would be found more numerous
than any other class of inmates. The costs of taking out, renewing, and
protecting patents were formerly so enormous as practically to prevent
any great improvements where capital was short, and scores of our local
workers emigrated to America and elsewhere for a clearer field wherein
to exercise their inventive faculties without being so weighted down by
patent laws. The Patent Law Amendment Act of 1852 was hailed with
rejoicing, but even the requirements of that Act were found much too
heavy. The Act which came into force Jan. 1, 1884, promises to remedy
many of the evils hitherto existing. By this Act, the fees payable on
patents are as follows:--On application for provisional specification,
£1; on filing complete specification, £3; _or_, on filing complete
specification with the first application, £4. These are all the fees up
to the date of granting a patent. After granting, the following fees are
payable: Before four years from date of patent, £50; and before the end
of eight years from the date of patent, £100. In lieu of the £50 and the
£100 payments, the following annual fees may be paid: Before the end of
the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh years. £10 each year; before the
end of the eighth and ninth years, £15 each year; and before the end of
the tenth, eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth years, £20 each year.--If
the number of words contained in the specifications constitutes the
value of a patent, that taken out by our townsman, James Hardy (March
28, 1844), for an improvement in tube-rolling must have been one of the
most valuable ever known. The specifications filled 176 folios, in
addition to a large sheet of drawings, the cost of an "office copy"
being no less than £12 18s! The _Mechanics' Magazine_ said it could
have all been described in 176 words.

~Patriotic Fund.~--The local collection for this fund was commenced
October, 25, 1854, and closed February 22, 1858, with a total of £12,936
17s. 3d.

~Paving.~--A "patent" was obtained in 1319, 12th Edw. II., to "take toll
on all vendible commodities for three years, to pave the town of
Birmingham;" and as the funds thus raised were not sufficient for such a
"town improvement," another "patent" for the purpose was procured in
1333, 7th Edw. III., the toll being fixed at one farthing on every eight
bushels of corn. What the paving was in the early part of the present
century is best told in the following extract from Bissett's
"Magnificent Directory," published in 1800:--

  The streets are pav'd, 'tis true, but all the stones
  Are set the wrong end up, in shape of cones;
  And strangers limp along the best pav'd street,
  As if parch'd peas were strew'd beneath their feet,
  Whilst custom makes the Natives scarcely feel
  Sharp-pointed pebbles press the toe or heel.

About 1819-20 the roadways were stoned with the aid of a steam
paving-engine, supplied with a row of six heavy rammers, which dropped
on the uneven stones and drove them into the roads, the engine moving
about a foot after each series of blows. A wood roadway was laid in Moor
Street in April, 1873; and in June, 1874, the Council decided also so to
pave New Street, High Street, and Bull Street. At their meeting, June
1876, it was resolved to spend £30,000 a year for six years in paving
streets, and they have done all _that_.

~Pawnbrokers.~--In December, 1789, a Bill was prepared for presentation
to Parliament "to suppress all pawnbrokers within the town." and to
establish in lieu a general office for pledges. Wonder what our uncles
thought of it.

~Peace.~--A branch of the Workmen's Peace Association was formed
December 18, 1871.

~Pebble Mill Pool.~--The last few years a favourite spot for suicides,
no less than thirty-nine persons having drowned themselves there since
1875. Strangely enough there was not a single similar case in the four
years preceding, and only three cases of accidental drownings in the
last 27 years.

~Peck Lane.~--Originally called Feck Lane, leading out of New Street,
next to the Grammar School, was closed and cleared for the Railway
Station. Steep and narrow as the old thoroughfare was, it was at one
time thought quite as much of as Bull Street.

~Pearls and Pearl Fisheries.~--A few small pearls are occasionally found
enclosed in the nacre (or mother-of-pearl) of shells cut up for buttons,
&c., but seldom of much value, though it is related that a few years
back a pearl thus discovered by a workman, and handed over to his
employer, was sold for £40, realising £150 afterwards. In March, 1884,
Mr. James Webb, Porchester Street, had the good fortune to find a pearl
weighing 31 grains in an Australian shell he was cutting up, and it has
been valued at £100. As there is a good market here for pearls, no doubt
many others have been found that "have not come to light." A few years
back, "pearl fisheries" of rather an extraordinary kind were here and
there to be found in the outskirts, the prices of good workable shell
having risen to to such an extent that it paid to hunt for and dig up
the scrap flung away in former years, as much as 15s. to 20s. per bag
being obtained for some of these finds. One smart little master who
recollected where his scrap was deposited some years before, in the
neighbourhood of St. Luke's, paid the spot a visit, and finding it still
unbuilt upon, set to work, and carted most of it back, and having
improved tools, made a handsome profit by this resurrection movement.--
See "_Trades_."

~Pens.~--The question as to who made the first steel pen has often been
debated; but though Perry and Mason, Mitchell and Gillott, and others
besides, have been named as the real original, it is evident that
someone had come before them; for, in a letter written at least 200
years back (lately published by the Camden Society), the writer, Mary
Hatton, offered to procure some pens made of steel for her brother, as
"neither the glass pens nor any other sort was near so good." Silver
pens were advertised for sale in the _Morning Chronicle_, in June, 1788,
as well as "fountain pens;" and it has been claimed that an American
supplied his friends with metallic pens a dozen years prior to that
date. There was a Sheffield artisan, too, before our local men came to
the front, who made some pens on the principle of the quill, a long
hollow barrel, pointed and split; but they were considered more in the
light of curiosities than for use, and fetched prices accordingly. Mr.
James Perry is said to have given his workmen 5s. each for making pens,
as late as 1824; and Mr. Gillott got 1s. each for a gross he made on the
morning of his marriage. In 1835, the lowest wholesale price was 5s. per
gross; now they can be had at a trifle over 1d. per gross. Even after
the introduction of presses for the manufacture of steel pens (in 1829),
there was considerable quantities of little machines made here for
cutting quill pens, the "grey goose quill" being in the market for
school use as late as 1855, and many bankers and others have not yet
discarded them. In May, 1853, a quantity of machinery was sent out to
America, where many skilled workmen had gone previously; and now our
Yankee cousins not only make their own pens, and run us close in all
foreign markets, but actually send their productions to Birmingham
itself.--See "_Trades_."

~People's Hall.~--The foundation stone of the People's Hall, corner of
Loveday and Princip Streets, was laid on Easter Monday, 1841, by General
(then Colonel) Perronet Thompson. The cost of the building was £2,400,
and, as its name implies, it was intended, and for a short time used, as
a place for assemblies, balls, and other public purposes. Like a number
of other "institutions for the people," it came to grief, and has long
been nothing more than a warehouse.

~Pershore Road~ was laid out in 1825.

~Perry Barr.~--Three miles from Birmingham, on the road to Lichfield, is
one of the ancient places that can claim a note in Domesday. Prior to
the eighteenth century there had been a wooden bridge over the Tame, the
present curiously-built stone erection, with its recesses to protect the
wayfarers from contact with crossing vehicles, being put up in 1711-12
by Sir Henry Gough, who received £200 from the county, and contributions
from the neighbouring parishes, towards the cost. The date of the early
church is unknown, the present one being built and endowed by Squire
Gough in 1832. Like other suburbs Perry Barr bids fair to become little
more than an offshoot to Birmingham, the road thereto fast filling up
with villa and other residences, while churches, chapels, and schools
may be seen on all hands. The Literary Institute, built in 1874, at a
cost of £2,000, contains reading and class rooms, lecture hall, &c.,
while not far off is a station on the L. and N.W. line. Ferry Hall, the
seat of the Hon. A.C.G. Calthorpe, has been the home of the Lords of the
Manor for many generations.

~Pest and Plague.~--The year 1665 is generally given as the date of "the
great plague" being here; but the register of St. Martin's Church does
not record any extraordinary mortality in that year. In some of the
"news sheets" of the 17th century a note has been met with (dated Sept.
28, 1631), in which the Justices of the Peace inform the Sheriff that
"the plague had broken out in Deritend, in the parish of Aston, and
spread far more dangerously into Birmingham, a great market town." St.
Martin's registers of burials are missing from 1631 to 1655, and those
of Aston are not get-at-able, and as the latter would record the deaths
in Deritend, there does not appear any certain data to go upon, except
that the plague was not a casual visitor, having visited Coventry in
1603 and 1625, Tamworth in 1606 and 1625, and Worcester in 1825 and
1645, the date generally given (1665) being that of the year when the
most deaths 68,596, occurred in London. The tradition is that the plague
contagion was brought here in a box of clothes conveyed by a carrier
from London. It is said that so many persons died in this town that the
churchyard would not hold the bodies, and the dead were taken to a
one-acre piece of waste land at Ladywood Green, hence known for many
generations as the "Pest Ground." The site has long been built over, but
no traces of any kind of sepulture were found when house foundations
were being laid.

~Pewter.~--To have bright pewter plates and dishes ranged on their
kitchen shelves was once the delight and the pride of all well-to-do
housewives, and even the tables of royalty did not disdain the pewter.
At the grand dinner on George IV.'s Coronation-day, though gold and
silver plate was there in abundance for the most noble of the noble
guests, the majority were served on brightly-burnished pewter, supplied
from Thomason's of Birmingham. The metal is seldom seen now except in
the shape of cups and measures used by publicans.

~Philanthropic Collections.~--The following are a few not mentioned in
previous pages:--A local fund for the relief of sufferers by famine in
Asia Minor was opened May 6, 1875, the amount collected being £682.--In
1875, a little over £1,700 was gathered to aid the sufferers from the
inundations in France that year.--November 25, 1878, at a meeting held
to sympathise with the losers through the failure of the Glasgow Bank
more than £1,000 was subscribed; £750 being gathered afterwards.--The
Mayor's Relief Fund, in the winter-time of 1878-79, totalled up to
£10,242, of which £9,500 was expended in relief, £537 in expenses, and
the balance divided between the Hospitals. The number of separate gifts
or donations to the poor was 500,187, equivalent to relieving once
108,630 families.

~Philanthropic Societies.~--Are as numerous as they are various, and the
amount of money, and money's worth, distributed each year is something
surprising. The following are the principal ones:--

_Aged Women_.--A society was commenced here in 1824 for the relief of
poor women over 60 years of age, and there are now on the books the
names of nearly 200 who receive, during the year, in small amounts, an
average of 17s to 18s. each. Miss Southall, 73, Wellington Road, is one
of the Hon. Sees., who will be pleased to receive additional
subscriptions. Fifty other aged women are yearly benefitted through
Fentham's Trust.--See "_Blue Coat School_."

_Architects_.--There is a Benevolent Society in connection with the
Royal Institute of British Architects, for relieving poor members of the
profession, their widows, or orphans. The local representative is Mr. F.
Cross, 14A, Temple Row.

_Aunt Judy's Work Society_.--On the plan of one started in London a few
years back; the object being to provide clothes for poor children in the
Hospitals. The secretary is Mrs. W. Lord, Brakendale, Farquhar Road,

_Bibles, etc_.--The Birmingham Depository of the British and Foreign
Bible Society is at 40, Paradise Street; and that of the Christian
Knowledge Society is at 92, New Street.

_Boarding-out Poor Children_.--A Ladies' Society for Befriending Pauper
Children by taking them from the Workhouse and boarding them out among
cottagers and others in the country, had been quietly at work for some
dozen years before the Marston Green Homes were built, but whether the
latter rule-of-thumb experiment will prove more successful than that of
the ladies, though far more costly, the coming generation must decide.

_Boatmen's Friend Society_.--A branch of the British Seamen's and
Boatmen's Friend Society, principally for the supply of religious
education to the boatmen and their families on the canals, the
distribution among them of healthy literature, and the support of the
work carried on at the Boatmen's Hall, Worcester Wharf, where the
Superintendent (Rev. R.W. Cusworth) may be found. The subscriptions in
1882 amounted to £416.

_Church Pastoral Aid Society_.--The name tells what subscriptions are
required for, and the Rev. J.G. Dixon, Rector of St. George's, will be
glad to receive them. The grants of the Parent Society to Birmingham in
1882 amounted to £3,560, while the local subscriptions were only £1,520.

_Clergymen's Widows_.--The Society for Necessitous Clergy within the
Archdeaconry of Coventry, whose office is at 10, Cherry Street, has an
income from subscriptions, &c., of about £320 per year, which is mainly
devoted to grants to widows and orphans of clergymen, with occasional
donations to disabled wearers of the cloth.

_Deritend Visiting and Parochial Society_, established in 1856. Meeting
at the Mission Hall, Heathmill Lane, where Sunday Schools, Bible
classes, Mothers' Meetings, &c., are conducted. The income for 1883 was
£185 7s. 4d., and the expenditure £216 16s. 7d., leaving a balance to be

_District Nursing Society_, 56, Newhall Street, has for its object the
nursing of sick poor at their own homes in cases of necessity. In 1883
the number of cases attended by the Society's nurses was 312, requiring
8,344 visits.

_Domestic Missions_, of one kind and another, are connected with all the
principal places of worship, and it would be a difficult task to
enumerate them. One of the earliest is the Hurst Street Unitarian,
dating from 1839.

_Flower Mission_.--At No. 3, Great Charles Street, ladies attend every
Friday to receive donation of flowers, &c., for distribution in the
wards of the Hospitals, suitable texts and passages of Scripture
accompanying the gifts to the patients.

_Girls' Friendly Society_.--The local Branch, of which there are several
sub (or parochial) branches, has on its books near upon 1,400 names of
young women in service, &c., whose welfare and interests are looked
after by a number of clergymen and ladies in connection with the Church
of England.

_Humane Society_.--A Branch on the plan of the London Society was
established here in 1790, but it was found best to incorporate it with
the General Hospital in 1803.

_India_.--A Branch of the Christian Vernacular Education Society for
India was formed here in 1874. There are several branches in this town
and neighbourhood of the Indian Female Normal School and Instruction
Society for making known the Gospel to the women of India, and about
£600 per year is gathered here.

_Iron, Hardware, and Metal Trades' Pension Society_ was commenced in
this town in 1842. Its head offices are now in London; the local
collector being Mr. A. Forrest, 32, Union Street.

_Jews and Gentiles_.--There are local Auxiliary Branches here of the
Anglo-Jewish Association, the Society for Promoting Christianity among
the Jews, and the British Society for Propagating the Gospel among Jews,
the amounts subscribed to each in 1882 being £72, £223, and £29

_Kindness to Animals_.--Mainly by the influence and efforts of Miss
Julia Goddard, in 1875, a plan was started of giving prizes among the
scholars and pupil teachers of the Board Schools for the best written
papers tending to promote kindness to animals. As many as 3,000 pupils
and 60 teachers send papers in every year, and the distribution of 500
prizes is annually looked forward to with interest. Among the prizes are
several silver medals--one (the champion) being given in memory of Mr.
Charles Darwin, another in memory of Mr. E.F. Flower, a third (given by
Mr. J.H. Chamberlain) in memory of Mr. George Dawson, and a fourth given
by the Mayor.

_Ladies' Useful Work Association_.--Established in 1877 for the
inculcating habits of thrift and the improvement of domestic life among
mothers of families and young people commencing married life. A start
was made (Oct. 4) in the shape of a series of "Cookery Lessons," which
were exceedingly well attended. Series of useful lectures and lessons
have followed since, all bearing on home life, and as it has been shown
that nearly one-half of the annual number of deaths in Birmingham are
those of children under 5 years of age, it is to be hoped that the
"useful work" the ladies of the Association have undertaken may be
resultive in at least decreasing such infantile mortality. Office, No.
1, Broad Street Corner. In March, 1883, the ladies had a balance in hand
of £88.

_Needlework Guild_,--Another Ladies' Association of a similar character
to the above was established April 30, 1883.

_Negroes' Friends_.--When slavery was as much a British as American
institution it was not surprising that a number of lady residents should
form themselves, in 1825, into a Negroes' Friend Society. The funds now
collected, nearly £170 a year, are given in grants to schools on the
West Coast of Africa and the West Indies, and in donations to the
Freedmen's Aid Society, the Anti-Slavery Society, &c.

_Old Folks' Tea Party_.--In 1857, a few old people were given a treat
just prior to Christmas, and the good folks who got it up determined to
repeat it. The next gatherings were assembled at the Priory Rooms, but
in a few years it became needful to engage the Town Hall, and there
these treats, which are given biennially, are periodically held. At the
last gathering there attended over 700, not one of whom was under sixty
years of age, while some were long past their three-score and ten, and a
few bordered on ninety. The funds are raised by the sale of tickets (to
be given by the purchasers to such old people they think deserve it),
and by subscriptions, the recipients of the treat not only having that
enjoyment, but also take home with them warm clothing and other usefuls
suited to their time of life.

_Prevention of Cruelty to Animals_.--Birmingham Society for this purpose
was established in 1852, and its officers have frequently been the means
of punishing inhuman brutes who cruelly treated the animals entrusted to
their care. Cases of this kind should be reported to Mr. B. Scott, the
Society's Secretary, 31, Bennett's Hill. In 1882, 125 persons were
summoned, and 107 of them convicted, the year's expenditure being £344.

_Religious Tract Society_.--A local auxiliary was established here in
1853 in which year £409 were realised, by the sale of books, tracts, and
religious periodicals; in 1863 that amount was quadrupled; in 1873 the
receipts were nearly £2,000. Last year (1883) the value of the sales
reached £2,597, and, in addition, there had been free grants made of
more than 13,000 tracts and magazines--the Hospitals, Lunatic Asylums,
Workhouses, Police Stations, Cabmen's Rests, &c., being supplied

_St. John Ambulance Association_.--The Birmingham Branch of this
Association was organised in 1881, and some hundreds of both sexes have
since then passed the examination, and obtained certificates of their
proficiency in ambulance work, and in the treatment of ordinary cases of
accident or sudden illness. It would be a good thing if every man and
woman in the town had similar knowledge, and would make use of it when
occasions require quick thought and ready hand. The secretary is Mr.
J.K. Patten, 105, Colmore Row.

_St. Thomas's Day Charity_.--A very old custom in Edgbaston has been the
collection of donations for a Christmas distribution to the poor and old
of the parish. Regular accounts have been booked for over fifty years,
but how much longer the custom has existed is uncertain. At first, money
only was given, afterwards part was given in bread and packets of tea,
while of later years a stock of about 500 blankets has been provided for
lending out. The receipts per year are about £200.

_True Blues_.--In 1805 a number of young men who had been brought up at
the Blue Coat School and who called themselves the "Grateful Society,"
united their contributions and presented that charity with £52 10s. 3d.
in gratitude for the benefits they had received, a worthy plan which was
followed for several years. These same young men originated the "United
Society of True Blues" (composed of members who had been reared in the
School) for the purpose of forming a fund for the relief of such of
their number as might be in distress, and further to raise periodical
subscriptions for their old school, part of which is yearly expended in
prizes among the children.

~Philanthropic and Benevolent Institutions~--Birmingham cannot be said
ever to have wanted for charitable citizens, as the following list of
philanthropic institutions, societies, and trusts will show:--

_Blind Institution_, Carpenter Road, Edgbaston.--The first establishment
in this town for teaching the blind was opened at 113, Broad Street, in
March, 1847, with five boarders and twelve day pupils. At Midsummer, in
the following year, Islington House was taken, with accommodation for
thirteen resident and twelve day scholars, but so well did the public
meet the wishes of the patrons and committee of the Institution, that
the latter were soon in a position to take upon lease a site for a
permanent building (two acres, at £40 a year for 99 years), and on the
23rd of April, 1851, the corner-stone was laid of the present handsome
establishment near to Church Road, the total cost of completion being
about £7,000. Nearly another £7,000 has since been expended in the
erection of workrooms, master's residence, in furniture, musical
instruments, tools, &c., and the Institution may be considered in as
flourishing a condition as any in the town. The 37th annual report (to
Lady-day, 1884), stated that the number of in-door pupils during the
past year had been 86--viz., 51 males and 35 females. In the same period
4 paid teachers, 15 out-door blind teachers and workmen, and 4 females
had been employed. The number of adult blind residing at their own
homes, and visited by the blind teachers engaged in this department of
the work was 253. The total number of persons benefited by the
institution was therefore 362. The financial statement showed that the
expenditure had been £6,067 2s. 7d., of which £1,800 had been invested
in Birmingham Corporation Stock. The receipts amounted to £6,403 7s.
9d., leaving a balance of £336 5s. 2d. in the treasurer's hands. The
statement of receipts and payments on behalf of the adult blind
home-teaching branch, which are kept separately, showed a balance due to
the treasurer of £71 5s. 9d.

_Bloomsbury Institution_.--Commencing in 1860 with a small school, Mr.
David Smith has gradually founded at Bloomsbury an institution which
combines educational, evangelistic, and missionary agencies of great
value to the locality. The premises include a mission hall, lecture
room, class rooms, &c., in addition to Cottage Homes for orphan and
destitute children, who are taught and trained in a manner suited to the
future intended for them in Canada. The expenditure of the Institution
is now about £1,500 a year, but an amount equal to that is wanted for
enlargement of buildings, and other philanthropists will do well to call
upon their brother Smith.

_Children's Day Nursery_, The Terrace, Bishopgate Street, was first
opened in 1870, to take care of the children in cases where the mothers,
or other guardians, have to go to work.

About 6,000 of the little ones are yearly looked after, at a cost of
somewhat under £200. Parties wishing to thus shelter their children must
prove the latter's legitimacy, and bring a recommendation from employer
or some one known to the manager.

_Children's Emigration Homes_, St. Luke's Road.--Though ranking among
our public institutions, the philanthropic movement of picking up the
human waifs and strays of our dirty back streets may be said to have
hitherto been almost solely the private work of our benevolent townsman,
Mr. Middlemore. The first inmate received at the Homes (in 1872) was a
boy who had already been in prison three times, and the fact that that
boy is now a prosperous man and the owner of a large farm in Canada,
should be the best of all claims to the sympathy and co operation of the
public in the beneficent work of placing out "Street Arabs" in new homes
where they will have equal chances of getting on in the world. The batch
of children leaving this town (June 11, 1884), comprised 110 boys and 50
girls, making the total number of 912 sent out by Mr. Middlemore in the
twelve years.--In connection with the Bloomsbury Institution there is
also a Children's Home, from which 23 children have been sent to Canada,
and at which some 30 others are at present being trained ready to go.

_Deaf and Dumb Institution_, Church Road, Edgbaston.--This is the only
institution of its kind within a radius of a hundred miles, and was the
second established in England. Its founder was Dr. De Lys, an eminent
physician, resident here in 1810, in which year a society was
established for its formation. The first house occupied was in Calthorpe
Road (1812), Lord Calthorpe giving the use of the premises until the
erection of the institution in Church Road, in 1814. The school, at
first, would accommodate only a score of pupils, but from time to time
additions were made, and in 1858 the whole establishment was remodelled
and enlarged, at a cost of £3,000, so that now there is room for 120.
The number on the books at Midsummer, 1883, was 109--64 boys and 45
girls. The year's receipt's amounted to £3,152 12s. 4d., and the
expenditure to £2,932 12s. 8d. The children, who are elected at the
annual meeting of subscribers in September, are received from all parts
of the kingdom, but must not be under eight or over thirteen years of
age. Subscribers of a guinea have the right of voting at the elections,
and the committee have also power to admit children, on an annual
payment of £25. The parents or guardians of the elected candidates, must
pay £6 per year towards clothing, &c. The office of the Secretary is at
City Chambers, 82 New Street.

_Friendless Girls_.--The Ladies' Association (established 1878) for the
recovery of girls who have given way to temptation for a short time, or
who have been convicted of a first offence, has been the means of
rescuing many from the streets and from a life of crime. The Home is in
Spring Road, and Mrs. Pike, Sir Harry's Road, is the treasurer, to whom
contributions can be sent; and that they will be welcome is shown by the
fact that there is a balance at present against the Institution's funds.

_Girls' Home_, Bath Row, established in 1851, to provide shelter for
young women of good character, when out of situations. A free registry
is kept, and over 300 girls avail themselves of the Home every year.

_Girls' Training Institution_, George Road, Edgbaston, was opened in
1862, to prepare young girls from twelve to fifteen, for domestic

_Industrial and Reformatory Schools_.--Gem Street Industrial School, for
the recovery of boys who had began a life of crime, was opened in 1850,
and at the close of 1883 it contained 149 boys, under the charge of nine

According to the report of Her Majesty's Inspector, the boys cost 7s.
8d. per head per week, but there was an industrial profit of £601 11s.
4d., £309 0s. 11d. having been received for hire of boys' labour. The
Treasury paid £1,350 14s., the rates no less than £1,007 18s. 11d., and
subscriptions brought in £83 13s. Of 125 discharges, only 40 per cent,
were reported to be doing well, 4 per cent, convicted, 16 per cent,
doubtful, and as many as 40 per cent, unknown.--_Penn Street_ School,
an establishment of a similar character, was certified in Jan., 1863.
There were 60 boys and 5 officers. The boys cost only 5s. 6d. per head
per week. The school received £67 16s. 11d. from the Treasury, £275 0s.
10d. from the rates, £93 2s. from subscriptions, and £100 9s. 3d. from
the hire of boy labour. There is an industrial profit of £136 19s, 11d.
Of 37 discharges 70 per cent, are said to be doing well, 6 per cent, to
be re-convicted, 3 per cent, dead, and 21 per cent, unknown.--At
_Shustoke_ School, certified in February, 1868, there were 130 boys,
under 11 officers. The boys cost 6s. 8d. per head per week. £1,580 17s.
11d. had been received from the Treasury; £1,741 16s. from the rates, of
which, however, £1,100 had been spent in building, &c.; industrial
profit, £109 3s. 7d. Of 27 discharges 74 per cent, were reported to be
doing well, 18 per cent, to be convicted, 4 per cent, to be doubtful,
and 4 per cent, to be unknown.--_Saltley_ Reformatory was established in
1852. There were 91 boys under detention and 16 on license at the time
of the inspector's visit; 9 officers. This school received £1,371 14s.
3d. from the Treasury, £254 19s. 1d. from the rates, and £99 16s. 6d.
from subscriptions. The boys cost 6s 8d. per head per week, and there
was £117 9s. 10d. industrial profit, representing the produce of their
labour. Of 74 boys discharged in 1879-81, 69 per cent are reported to be
doing well, 19 per cent. to be reconvicted, and 12 per cent. unknown.--
At _Stoke Farm_ Reformatory, established in 1853, there were 78 boys
under detention, in charge of 10 officers; and 19 on license. Stoke
received £1,182 19s. 8d. from the Treasury, £102 17s. 6d. from the
rates, and £100 from subscriptions. The boys cost 6s. 11d. per head per
week, and there was an industrial profit of £18 14s. 11d. Of 62 boys
discharged in 1879-81, 76 per cent, were reported to be doing well, 16
per cent. to be convicted of crime, 5 per cent. doubtful, 11/2 per cent.
dead, 11/2 per cent. unknown.

_Licensed Victuallers' Asylum_, Bristol Road, founded in 1848, to
receive and maintain for life distressed members of the trade and their
wives or widows.--The Secretary is Mr. H.C. Edwards, The Quadrant, New
Street.--See. "_Trade Societies_."

_Little Sisters' Home_.--Founded in 1864, by three French and two
English members of the Catholic "Order of Little Sisters of the Poor,"
the first home being at one of the large houses in the Crescent, where
they sheltered, fed, and clothed about 80 aged or broken-down men and
women. In 1874 the Sisters removed to their present establishment, at
Harborne, where they minister to nearly double the number. The whole of
this large family are provided for out of the scraps and odds-and-ends
gathered by the Sisters from private houses, shops, hotels, restaurants,
and bars of the town, the smallest scraps of material crusts of bread,
remains of meat, even to cigar ends, all being acceptable to the black
robed ladies of charity daily seen in the town on their errand of mercy.
Though essentially a Catholic institution, the "Little Sisters" bestow
their charity irrespective of creed, Protestants being admitted and
allowed freely to follow their own religious notions, the only
preference made being in favour of the most aged and destitute.

_Magdalen Asylum and Refuge_.--First established in 1828, the chapel in
Broad Street being opened in 1839. Removed to Clarendon Road, Edgbaston,
in 1860. There are usually from 35 to 40 inmates, whose labour provides
for great part of the yearly expenditure; and it is well that it is so,
for the subscriptions and donations from the public are not sent in so
freely as could be wished. The treasurer is Mr. S.S. Lloyd.

_Medical Mission_.--Opened in Floodgate Street, Deritend, in 1875. While
resembling other medical charities for the relief of bodily sickness,
this mission has for its chief aim the teaching of the Gospel to the
sick poor, and in every house that may be visited. That the more worldly
part of the mission is not neglected is shown by the fact that the
expenditure for the year ending Michaelmas, 1883, reached £643.

_Night Refuges_.--Mr. A.V. Fordyce, in July, 1880, opened a night asylum
in Princess Road, for the shelter of homeless and destitute boys, who
were supplied with bed and breakfast. The necessity for such an
institution was soon made apparent by larger premises being required,
and the old police station, corner of Bradford Street and Alcester
Street, was taken. This has been turned into a "Home," and it is never
short of occupants, other premises being opened in 1883, close to
Deritend Bridge, for the casual night-birds, the most promising of whom
are transferred to the Home after a few days' testing. A somewhat
similar Refuge for Girls has also been established, and if properly
supported by the public, these institutions must result in much good.

_Nurses_.--Tim Birmingham and Midland Counties' Training Institution for
Nurses, organised in 1868, has its "Home" in the Crescent. It was
founded for the purpose of bringing skilled nursing to the homes of
those who would otherwise be unable to obtain intelligent aid in
carrying out the instructions of their medical attendants. The
subscription list for 1882 amounted to £282 1s., and the sum to the
credit of the nurses pension fund to £525 1s. The committee earnestly
appeal for increased support, to enable them to extend the work of the
institution, from which at present the services of four nurses are
granted to the District Nursing Society, Newhall Street, for attendance
on the sick poor. The staff included 66 trained nurses, with 18
probationers, the latter passing for their training through the General,
Children's, and Homoeopathic Hospitals. The nurses from the "Home"
attend on an average over 500 families in the year, those from the
District Society conferring their services on nearly 200 other families.

_Protestant Dissenting Charity School_, Graham Street.--This is one of
the oldest of our philanthropical institutions, having been established
in 1760--the first general meeting of subscribers being held June 22,
1761. The first house taken for the purposes of the charity was in New
Meeting Street, and both boys and girls were admitted, but since 1813
only girls have received its benefits. These are taken from any
locality, and of any Protestant denomination, being housed, fed,
clothed, educated and trained for domestic servants. There are usually
about 45 to 48 inmates, the cost per child averaging in 1883 (for 56
girls) nearly £20 per head. At the centenary in 1861 a fund of nearly
£1,500 was raised by public subscription in aid of the institution,
which has but a small income from investments. Subscribers of a guinea
per year have the right of nominating and voting for the admission of
one child every year. The present home in Graham Street was erected in
1839, and application should be made to the matron for information or
for servant girls.

_Sanatorium_, situated at Blackwell, near Bromsgrove.--This
establishment, which cost £15,750, of which £2,000 was given by Miss
Ryland, was built to provide a temporary home, with pure air, rest, and
nourishing diet for convalescent patients, who otherwise might have had
to pine away in the close-built quarters of this and neighbouring towns.
The buildings, which will accommodate sixty persons, were opened April
16, 1873, and take the place of a smaller establishment to which Miss
Ryland had devoted for some years a house at Sparkbrook. The average
number of inmates is put at fifty, and the number who passed through the
house in 1883 was 1,052, the expenditure for the year being £1,780 8s.
The income was derived from annual subscriptions, £901 10s.; special
subscriptions, £347 11s. 6d.; paid by hospitals for maintenance of
patients, £192 6s.; grant from the General Hospital, £26 5s.; share of
Hospital Saturday collection, £211 Os. 4d. The Secretary, from whom all
information can be received as to terms of special and other tickets, is
Mr. E.J. Bigwood, 3, Temple Row West.

_Servants' Home and Training Institution_, established in 1860, finds
shelter for a time to as many as 240 young women in the course of a
year, many looking upon it as the only home they have when out of a
situation. In connection with it is a "training school" and laundry,
where a score or more girls are taught. Both parts of the institution
pay their way, receipts and expenditure (£180 and £350 respectively)
generally balancing. The Servants' Home is at 30, Bath Row, where there
is a Registry for servants, and also for sick and monthly nurses.

_Town Mission_--Established in 1837, and re-modelled in 1850. This
institution seeks work in a variety of ways, its agents visiting the
homes of the poor, the wards of the Hospitals, the lodging-houses, and
even the bedsides of the patients in the smallpox and fever hospitals.
In addition to the providing and looking after the "Cabmen's Rests," of
which there are sixteen in the town, the Mission employs a Scripture
reader specially to deal with the deaf and dumb members of the
community, about 200 in number. At the Noel Road Refuge (opened in 1859)
about 40 inmates are received yearly, and at Tindal House (opened in
1864) about half that number, the two institutions having (to end of
1883) sheltered 1,331 females, of whom nearly a thousand have been
brought back to moral and industrious habits. The income of the Society
for 1883 was £1,690 17s. 3d., the expenditure being a little over that
amount, though the laundries connected with the Refuges more than pay
their way. The office is at the Educational Chambers; 90, New Street.

_Young Men's Christian Association_.--Instituted in 1849; incorporated
in 1873. For many years its meetings were held at the Clarendon
Chambers, but when the notorious "Sultan Divan" was closed in Needless
Alley, it was taken for the purposes of this institution, the most
appropriate change of tenancy that could possibly be desired, the
attractions of the glaring dancing-rooms and low-lived racket giving
place to comfortable reading-rooms, a cosy library, and healthy
amusements. Young men of all creeds may here find a welcome, and
strangers to the town will meet friends to guide them in choice of
companions, or in securing comfortable homes.--A similar Association is
that of the Church of England Y.M.C.A., at 30, Paradise Street, which
was commenced in 1849, and numbers several hundred members.--At a
Conference held Nov. 24, 1880, it was decided to form a Midland District
Union of Y.M.C.A.s in this and the surrounding counties.

_Young Women's Christian Association_, 3, Great Charles Street.--The
idea of forming an institute for young women was first mooted in 1874, a
house being taken for the purpose in Colmore Row in 1876, but it was
removed to Great Charles Street in 1882, where lodgings may be obtained
for 2s. 6d. a week. From returns sent in from various branches in
connection with the Association, it would appear that the number of
members in Birmingham was 1,500, which says much or its popularity among
the class it was intended to benefit.

~Philanthropic Trust Funds.~--That our predecessors forgot not charity
is well proved, though some of the "Trusts" read strangely in these

_Apprenticing Poor Boys_.--A favourite bequest in past days was the
leaving of funds for apprenticing poor lads to useful trades, and when
workmen were so scarce and valuable that the strong arm of the law was
brought in to prevent their emigrating or removing, doubtless it was a
useful charity enough. Now-a-days the majority of masters do not care
about the small premiums usually paid out of these trusts, and several
such charities have been lost sight of or become amalgamated with
others. The funds, however, left by George Jackson, 1696, and by Richard
Scott, 1634, are still in the hands of trustees, and to those whom it
may concern, Messrs. Horton and Lee, Newhall street, solicitors to both
trusts, will give all needful information.

_Banner's Charity_.--Richard and Samuel Banner, in 1716, left some land
at Erdington, towards providing clothing for two old widows and
half-a-dozen old men, the balance, if any, to be used in apprenticing
poor boys in Birmingham,

_Dudley Trust_.--Mr. William Dudley, at his decease in 1876 left
£100,000 on trust for the purpose of assisting young tradesmen
commencing business on their own account, to relieve aged tradesmen of
the town who had not succeeded in life, and lastly to benefit the
charities of the town. The rules require that applicants must be under
fifty years of age; that they must reside within the limits of the
borough; that they must not have been set up in business more than three
years; that they must give satisfactory proof of their honesty,
sobriety, and industry; and that they must give satisfactory security to
the Trustees, either personal, viz., by bond with two or more sureties
[each surety must give two or three references], or upon freehold,
copyhold, or leasehold properties. All these conditions being
satisfactorily met, the loans, which will be made free of cost, will
bear interest at 2-1/2 per cent. per annum, payable half-yearly, and
must be repaid within five years, and if the money is wanted for more
than two years, repayments by instalments must then commence. The
benefactions to aged persons take the shape of grants, annual or
otherwise, not exceeding £20 in any one year, in favour of persons who
fulfil the following requirements: They must be of the age of sixty
years at least, they must have been tradesmen within the limits of the
borough; and they must be able to show to the satisfaction of the
Trustees that they are of good character and need assistance, and that
they have not received any parochial relief. The Trustees have made
several large grants to charitable institutions. Offices: 20, Temple

_Fentham's Charity_.--In 1712 George Fentham left about one hundred
acres of land in Handsworth and Erdington Parishes, in trust, to teach
poor children to read, and to clothe poor widows. The property, when
devised, was worth £20 per year. At the end of the century it was valued
at £100 per year; and it now brings in nearly £460. The twenty children
receiving the benefits of this charity are admitted to the Blue Coat
School, and are distinguished by their dress of dark green. Some fifty
widows yearly share in the clothing gifts.

_Food and Clothing_.--John Crowley, in 1709, bequeathed an annuity o
20s. chargeable on property in the Lower Priory, to be expended in
"sixpenny bread" for the poor at Christmas.--Some land at Sutton
Coldfield was left, in 1681, by John Hopkins, to provide clothing and
food for the poor of St. Martin's.--Palmer's Charity, 1867, finds about
£40 per annum, which is distributed among eighty recipients selected by
the Town Council, the majority being poor old women, who go for their
doles Dec. 12th.--In addition to the above there have been a number of
minor charities left to the churchwardens for providing food and
clothing which have either been lost sight of, or mixed up with others,
some dating as far back as 1629-30.

_George Hill's Charity_ is now of the value of nearly £5,000, bringing
in about £120 yearly. Of this 52s. goes to the churchwardens of the
parish church to provide bread for the most necessitous and aged poor;
20s. to the incumbent of Deritend, and the residue in pensions of not
more than £20 to decayed schoolmasters and schoolmistresses.

_Hollier's Charity_ was devised in 1789, the land now known as Highgate
Park (originally 10 acres) being left to clothe, annually, twenty poor
persons, twelve from Birmingham and eight from Aston. The purchase money
paid by the Corporation has been invested, and, under the direction of
the Charity Commissioners, the income of this charity is appropriated
thus:--£50 for clothing for twelve poor men or women of Birmingham, and
eight ditto of Aston; £25 for relieving deserving and necessitous
persons discharged from Borough Lunatic Asylum; £150 to the Dispensaries
of Birmingham and Aston; £25 each to the Children's Hospital and the
Sanatorium; and the remainder to the General Hospital.

_James's Trust_, of 1869, which realises about £1,000 per year, was left
to provide homes and pensions for deserving widows and others; five
annuities for poor and decayed gentlewomen; and a scholarship at the
Grammar School. The Secretary is the Vicar of St. Clement's, Nechells.

_Kylcuppe's Charity_.--Sept. 19, 1611. Richard Kylcuppe devised certain
land at Sparkbrook for charitable purposes, the income of which is now
handed to the General Hospital and General Dispensary, as nearly as
possible following the testator's wishes.

_Lench's Trust_, which dates from 1539, is one of the most important
charities of the town, and has an income of over £3,000 a year at
present. The original objects of the trust were repairing the streets of
the town and relief to poor. From time to time other charities have been
incorporated, and the funds administered with those of Lench's Trust.
Among these are the "Bell Rope" fund for purchasing ropes for St.
Martin's Belfry, the donor of which is not known; Colmore's Charity,
dating from 1585, for relieving the poor and repairing streets;
Redhill's and Shilton's (about 1520), for like purposes; Kylcuppe's
1610, for the poor, and a small sum towards repairing the church;
Vesey's 1583, known as the "Loveday Croft" gift; Ward's 1573, and
Wrexam's, 1568, both for gifts to the poor on Good Friday; Ann Scott's,
1808, providing small amounts to be given to the inmates of the
Almshouses, &c. The Trust now maintains four sets of almshouses
(Conybere Street, Hospital Street, Ravenhurst Street, and Ladywood),
accommodating 184 inmates, all women, who receive 5s. a week each, with
firing, medical advice and medicines when necessary, and sundry other
small comforts beloved by old grannies. The solicitors to the Trust are
Messrs. Horton and Lee, Newhall Street. The income of Lench's Trust for
the year 1883 amounted to £3,321 10s., of which £1,825 14s. went to the
almswomen, £749 1s. 8d. for matrons, doctors, and expenses at the
almshouses, £437 9s. 4d. for repairs, insurance, rates, and taxes, and
£309 5s. for clerks, collectors, auditors, law and surveyor's charges,
printing, &c.

_Milward's Charity_.--John Milward in 1654 left property then worth £26
per annum and the Red Lion public-house (worth another £26, but which
could never be traced out), to be devided between the governors of the
Free Grammar Schools of Birmingham and Haverfordwest and Brazennose
College, for the support at the said college of one student from the
above schools in rotation. The Red Lion having been swallowed up at a
gulp; the other property would appear to have been kept as a
nibbling-cake, for till the Charity Commissioners visited here in 1827
no scholar had ever been sent to college by its means. The railways and
canals have taken most of the property of this trust, the invested
capital arising from the sales bringing in now about £650 per year,
which is divided between the two schools and the college above named,
the Birmingham portion being sufficient to pay for two scholarships

The _Nichol Charity_ provides for the distribution of bread and coals to
about 100 people on New Year's Day, by the vicar and churchwardens of
St. David's.

_Old Maids and Widows_.--About £40 per year are divided by the Rector
and Churchwardens of St. Philip's amongst ten old maids "or single women
of virtuous character," and twelve poor widows attending divine service
there, the invested money arising from Shelton's Charity, 1826, and
Wilkinson's Charity, 1830.--Thomas Pargeter (of Foxcote) in 1867, left
money in trust, to provide annuities of £20 each, to unmarried ladies of
fifty-five or more, professing Unitarianism, and about 100 are now
reaping the fruit of his charity. Messrs. Harding and Son, Waterloo
Street, are the solicitors.

_Ridduck's Trust_, for putting poor boys out apprentice, was devised in
1728, the property consisting of a farm at Winson Green. By direction of
the Court of Chancery, the income is now divided, £70 to Gem Street Free
Industrial School, and £20 to the British School, Severn Street. The
Trustees include the Mayor, the Rectors of St. Martin's, St. Philip's,
St. Thomas's, St. George's, several Nonconformist ministers, and the
Registrar of the Society of Friends.

_Preaching Sermons_.--By Salusbury's Charity, 1726, the Rectors of St.
Martin's and St. Philip's are entitled to the sum of 15s to preach
sermons once a year for the benefit of the Blue Coat School--Ingram's
Charity, 1818, consisting of the yearly interest of £500 4 per cent.
India Stock, was intended to insure the preaching of an annual sermon on
the subject of kindness to animals (especially to the horse) by a local
clergyman of the Established Church, but the Governors of King Edward's
School, who are the trustees, have obtained the sanction of the Charity
Commissioner to a scheme under which sermons on kindness to animals may
take the form of one or more free lectures on the kind treatment of
animals, and especially of the horse, to be delivered in any place of
public worship, or other building or room approved by the trustees, and
not necessarily, as heretofore, by a clergyman of the Established
Church, and in a church.

_Scripture Reading_.--In 1858 Admiral Duff left a sum of money, which
brings in about £45 per year, for the maintenance of a Scripture Reader
for the town of Birmingham. The trustee of this land is the Mayor for
the time being, and the Scripture Reader may be heard of at the Town
Clerk's office.

_The Whittingham Charity_, distributed at St. James's, Ashted, in March,
furnishes gifts to about eighty poor people (principally widows), who
receive blankets, sheets, quilts, flannel, &c., in addition to bread and

~Philosophical Society.~--A society with this name was formed in 1794
for the promulgation of scientific principles among mechanics. Its
meetings were held in an old warehouse in the Coach Yard, and from the
fact that many workmen from the Eagle Foundry attended the lectures,
delivered mainly by Mr. Thomas Clarke, the members acquired the name of
"the cast-iron philosophers." Another society was formed in 1800, for
the diffusion of scientific knowledge amongst the middle and higher
classes, and by the year 1814 it was possessed of a handsome Lecture
Theatre, a large Museum, with good collections of fossils and minerals,
a Library, Reading Room, &c., in Cannon Street. Like many other useful
institutions of former days, the philosophical has had to give way to
the realistic, its library of dead men's writings, and its fossils of
the ancient world, vanishing in face of the reporters of to-day's
doings, the ubiquitous throbs of the "Walter" and "Hoe" steam presses
resounding where erst the voice of Science in chronicling the past
foreshadowed the future.

~Pillory.~--This ancient machine for the punishment of prigs formerly
stood in High Street. The last time it was used was in 1813. We pillory
people in print now, and pelt them with pen and ink. The Act for
abolishing this method of punishment was not passed until June 30, 1837.
What became of the pillory here is not known, but there is, or was
lately, a renovated specimen of the article at Coleshill.

~Pinfold Street~ takes its name from the "pound" or "pinfold" that
existed there prior to 1752. There used to be another of these
receptacles for straying animals near to the Plough and Harrow in Hagley
Road, and a small corner of Smithfield was railed off for the like
purpose when the Cattle market was there established. The "Jacob
Wilsons" of a previous date held a field under the Lords of the Manor
wherein to graze their captured cattle, but one of the Town Criers
mortgaged it, and his successors lost their right to the land which was
somewhere about Caroline Street.

~Places of Worship.~--_Established Church_.--In 1620 there were 358
churches in Warwickshire, 130 in Staffordshire, and 150 in
Worcestershire; but St. Martin's, Edgbaston, Aston, Deritend, and
Handsworth, churches were all that Birmingham could boast of at the
beginning of last century, and the number had not been increased to a
very large extent even by the year 1800. As will be seen from the dates
given in following pages, however, there was a goodly number of churches
erected in the first half of this century, about the end of which period
a "Church extension" movement was set on foot. The success was so
apparent that a society was formed (Jan., 1865), and in March, 1867, it
was resolved to raise a fund of £50,000, for the purpose of at once
erecting eight other new churches in the borough, Miss Ryland heading
the list of donations with the munificent gift of £10,000. It is
difficult to arrive at the amount expended on churches previous to 1840,
but the annexed list of churches, built, enlarged, or repaired in this
neighbourhood from 1840 to 1875, will give an approximate idea of the
large sums thus invested, the whole of which was raised solely by
voluntary contributions.

  Acock's Green    ...   ...  £6,405
  Aston Brook      ...   ...   5,000
  Balsall Heath    ...   ...   8,500
  Bishop Ryder's   ...   ...     886
  Christ Church    ...   ...   1,000
  Christ Church, Sparkbrook    9,163
  Edgbaston  ...   ...   ...   2,200
  Hay Mills  ...   ...   ...   6,500
  Immanuel   ...   ...   ...   4,600
  King's Heath     ...   ...   3,900
  King's Norton    ...   ...   5,092
  Moseley    ...   ...   ...   2,491
  Saltley    ...   ...   ...   7,139
  St. Alban's      ...   ...   2,800
  St. Andrew's     ...   ...   4,500
  St. Anne's ...   ...   ...   2,700
  St. Anne's, Moseley    ...   7,500
  St. Asaph's...   ...   ...   7,700
  St. Augustine's  ...   ...   7,800
  St. Barnabas'    ...   ...   3,500
  St. Bartholomew's...   ...   1,260
  St. Clement's    ...   ...   3,925
  St. Cuthbert's   ...   ...   5,000
  St. David's...   ...   ...   6,185
  St. Gabriel's    ...   ...   4,307
  St. George's Edgbaston ...   1,583
  St. James's Edgbaston  ...   6,000
  St. John's, Ladywood   ...   7,200
  St. Lawrence's   ...   ...   4,380
  St. Luke's ...   ...   ...   6,286
  St. Martin's     ...   ...  30,134
  St. Matthew's    ...   ...   4,850
  St. Matthias's   ...   ...   5,361
  St. Mary's ...   ...   ...   4,503
  St. Mary's, Selly Oak  ...   5,400
  St. Nicholas'    ...   ...   4,288
  St. Paul's ...   ...   ...   1,400
  St. Philip's     ...   ...   9,987
  St. Saviour's    ...   ...   5,273
  St. Silas's...   ...   ...   4,677
  St. Stephen's    ...   ...   3,200
  St. Stephen's, Selly Oak     3,771

To the above total of £228,336 expended on churches in or close to the
borough, there should be added £57,640 expended in the erection, &c., of
churches close at hand in the adjoining diocese of Lichfield; £25,000
laid out at Coleshill, Northfield, and Solihull (the principal residents
being from Birmingham); and a still further sum of £150,000 spent on
Church-school buildings. These figures even do not include the vast
amounts invested for the endowments of the several churches and schools,
nor is aught reckoned for the value of the land or building materials
where given, nor for the ornamental decorations, fonts, pulpits,
windows, and furnishings so munificently lavished on our local churches.
Since the year 1875 it has been calculated that more than £100,000 has
been devoted to similar local church-building purposes, so that in less
than fifty years much more than half-a-million sterling has been
voluntarily subscribed by the Churchmen of the neighbourhood for the
religious welfare and benefit of their fellow men. Still there is room
for more churches and for more preachers, and the Church Extension
Society are hoping that others will follow the example of the
"Landowner," who, in the early part of the year (1884) placed £10,000 in
the hands of the Bishop towards meeting the urgent need of additional
provision for the spiritual wants of the inhabitants.--Short notes of
the several churches can alone be given.

_All Saints'_, in the street of that name, leading out of Lodge Road, is
a brick erection of fifty years' date, being consecrated September 28,
1833. It was built to accommodate about 700 and cost £3,850, but in 1881
it was enlarged and otherwise improved at an outlay of over £1,500, and
now finds sittings for 1,760, a thousand of the seats being free. The
Rev. P.E. Wilson, M.A., is the Rector and Surrogate, and the living
(value £400) is in the gift of the Birmingham Trust. The Nineveh
schoolroom is used for services on Sunday and Thursday evenings in
connection with All Saints.

_All Saints'_, King's Heath, is built of stone in the perpendicular
Gothic style, and cost £3,200, the consecration taking place on April
27th, 1860. There are sittings for 620, one half being free. The Rev. J.
Webster, M.A., is the Vicar; the living (value £220) being in the gift
of the Vicar of Moseley, King's Heath ecclesiastical parish being formed
out of Moseley parish in 1863.

_All Saints'_, Small Heath.--Rev. G.F.B. Cross, M.A., Vicar. Soon after
the death of the Rev. J. Oldknow, D.D., of Holy Trinity, in 1874, it was
resolved to carry out his dying wishes by erecting a church in the
fast-filling district of Small Heath. At first the iron building
formerly used as a place of worship in Cannon Hill Park was put up, and
the Vicar was instituted in October, 1875. The foundation-stone of a
permanent building was laid Sept. 8, 1882, which accommodates over 1,000
worshippers. That part of the future "Oldknow Memorial Church" at
present finished, comprising the nave, north aisle, and north transept,
with seating for nearly 700 (all free), was consecrated July 28, 1883.
The patronage is vested in trustees, the incumbent's stipend being £150.

_All Saints'_, Stechford.--A temporary church of iron and wood, erected
at a cost of £620, to accommodate 320 persons, all seats being free, was
dedicated Dec. 18, 1877.

_Aston Church_.--It is impossible to fix the date of erection of the
first church for the parish of Aston, but that it must have been at a
very early period is shown by the entry in the Domesday Book relative to
the manor. The parish itself formerly included Bordesley and Deritend,
Nechells and Saltley, Erdington and Witton, Castle Bromwich, Ward End,
and Water Orton, an area so extensive that the ecclesiastical income was
very considerable. In Henry III.'s reign the Dean and Chapter of
Lichfield received twenty marks yearly out of the fruits of the rectory,
the annual value of which was sufficient to furnish £26 13s. 4d. over
and above the twenty marks. Records are in existence showing that the
church (which was dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul) was considerably
enlarged about 300 years after the Conquest, and a renovation was
carried out nearly a century back, but the alterations made during the
last few years (1878-84) have been so extensive that practically it may
be said the edifice has been rebuilt. The seating capacity of the old
church was limited to about 500, but three times that number of persons
will, in future, find accommodation, the cost of the extensions and
alterations having been nearly £10,000. The ancient monuments, windows,
and tablets have all been carefully replaced in positions corresponding
to those they filled formerly, with many additions in the shape of
coloured glass, heraldic emblazonments, and chaste carvings in wood and
stone. The old church, for generations past, has been the centre-point
of interest with local antiquarians, as it was, in the days far gone,
the chosen last resting-place of so many connected with our ancient
history--the Holtes, the Erdingtons, the Devereux, the Ardens, the
Harcourts, the Bracebridgss, Clodshalls, Bagots, &c. Here still may be
seen the stone and alabaster effigies of lords and ladies who lived in
the time of the Wars of the Roses, two showing by their dress that while
one was Lancasterian, the other followed the fortunes of York. The
tablets of the Holte' family, _temp_. Elizabeth and Charles, and the
Devereux monument of the Jacobean era, are well preserved, while all
around the shields and arms of the ancient families, with their many
quarterings, form the best heraldic collection anywhere near Birmingham.
The parish registers date from the 16th century, and the churchwardens
accounts are preserved from the year 1652. Among the facts recorded in
the former we may note the burial of the dozen or so Royalist soldiers
who lost their lives while defending Aston Hall from the attacks made on
it by the Birmingham men in December, 1643; while in both there are
quaint entries innumerable, and full of curious interest to the student
and historian. The Rev. W. Eliot, M.A., the present vicar, was
instituted in 1876 (commencing duty Feb. 25, 1877), the living (£1,600
value) being in the presentation of trustees. In connection with the
Church, there are Mission Rooms in Tower Road and in Alfred Street, with
Sunday Schools, Bible classes, Dorcas, and other societies. The first
portion of the late additions to the Church was consecrated July 5,
1880; the new chancel on Sept. 8, 1883

_Bishop Rider's_, a square-towered brick edifice in Gem Street, was
built in 1837-38, the laying of the foundation stone (August 23, 1837)
being characterised by the almost unheard-of conduct of the low denizens
of the neighbourhood, who pelted the Bishop of Lichfield with mud on the
occasion. The consecration took place Dec. 18, 1838, and the building
cost £4,600. The living, valued at £300, is in the hands of trustees,
the present vicar being the Rev. J.P. Gardiner. The vicarage, which was
completed in 1862 at a cost of £2,240, is in Sutton Street, Aston Road--
too near a residence to the church not being deemed advisable even
five-and-twenty years after the opening ceremony of 1837. In 1879 the
galleries were removed, and the church re-pewed and otherwise renovated,
the re-opening taking place July 28, there being now 860 free sittings.

_Christ Church_, New Street.--At first known as "The Free Church," this
edifice was for no less than ten years in the hands of the builders. The
cornerstone was laid July 22, 1805, by Lord Dartmouth, in the absence of
George III., who had promised, but was too ill, to be present. His
Majesty, however, sent £1,000 towards the building fund. It was
consecrated July 13, 1813; finished in 1816; clock put in 1817. The
patron is the Bishop of Worcester, and to the living (valued at £350),
is attached a Prebendary in Lichfield Cathedral. The present Vicar,
since 1881, is the Rev. E.R. Mason, M.A. There is accommodation for
1,500, all the seats being free, but at one time the worshippers were
limited in their freedom of sitting by the males having to take their
places on one side and the females on the other, a custom which gave
rise to the following epigram:

  "Our churches and chapels we generally find
  Are the places where men to the women are joined;
  But at Christ Church, it seems, they are more cruelhearted,
  For men and their wives go there and get parted."

Mission services in connection with Christ Church are held in the
Pinfold Street and Fleet Street Schoolrooms.

_Christ Church_, Gillott Road, Summerfield. The foundation stone of a
church to be erected to the memory of the late Rev. George Lea (for 43
years connected with Christ Church and St. George's, Edgbaston) was laid
Nov. 27, 1883. It is intended to accommodate 850 persons, and will cost
about £8,000, exclusive of a tower 110ft. high which will be added
afterwards at a further cost of £1,200.

_Christ Church_, Quinton, was erected in 1841, at a cost of £2,500, and
will seat 600, two-thirds being free. The living is valued at £200, is
in the gift of the Rector of Halesowen (in whose parish Quinton was
formerly included), and is held by the Rev. C.H. Oldfield, B.A.

_Christ Church_, Sparkbrook, is a handsome Gothic erection, built on
land given by Mr. S.S. Lloyd, the first stone being laid April 5, 1866,
and the opening ceremony on October 1, 1867. The living, a perpetual
curacy, is in the gift of trustees, and is valued at £350 per annum, and
has been held hitherto by the Rev. G. Tonge, M.A. The building of the
church cost nearly £10,000, the accommodation being sufficient for 900
persons, one-half the seats being free. The stained window in chancel to
the memory of Mrs. S.S. Lloyd, is said by some to be the most beautiful
in Birmingham, the subject being the Resurrection. There are Mission
Rooms and Sunday Schools in Dolobran Road, Montpellier Street, Long
Street, and Stratford Road, several thousands having been spent in their

_Christ Church_, Yardley Wood, was built and endowed by the late John
Taylor, Esq., in 1848, the consecration taking place April 4, 1849.
Vicarage, value £185; patrons, trustees; Vicar, Rev. C.E. Beeby, B.A.
Seats 260, the 60 being free.

_Edgbaston Old Church_.--It is not known when the first church was built
on this site, some writers having gone so far back as to fix the year
777 as the probable date. The present edifice, though it incorporates
some few remains of former erections, and will always be known as the
"old" church, really dates but from 1809-10, when it was re-built
(opened Sept 10, 1810) but, as the Edgbastonians began to increase and
multiply rapidly after that time, it was found necessary to add a nave
and aisle in 1857. There is now only accommodation for 670, and but a
hundred or so of the seats are free, so that possibly in a few more
years the renovators and restorers will be busy providing another new
old church for us. The patron is Lord Calthorpe, and the living is
valued at £542, but the power of presenting has only been exercised
three times during the last 124 years, the Rev. John Prynne Parkes
Pixell, who was appointed vicar in 1760, being succeeded by his son in
1794, who held the living fifty-four years. At his death, in 1848, the
Rev. Isaac Spooner, who had for the eleven previous years been the first
incumbent of St. George's, Edgbaston, was inducted, and remained vicar
till his death, July, 1884. In the Church there are several monuments to
members of the Calthorpe family, and one in memory of Mr. Joshua
Scholefield, the first M.P. for Birmingham, and also some
richly-coloured windows and ancient-dated tablets connected with the
oldest families of the Middlemores and others.

_Hall Green Church_ was built in Queen Anne's reign, and has seats for
475, half free. It is a vicarage (value £175), in the gift of trustees,
and now held by the Rev. R. Jones, B.A.

_Handsworth Church_.--St. Mary's, the mother church of the parish, was
probably erected in the twelfth century, but has undergone time's
inevitable changes of enlargements, alterations, and rebuildings, until
little, if any, of the original structure could possibly be shown. Great
alterations were made during the 15th and 17th centuries, and again
about 1759, and in 1820; the last of all being those of our own days.
During the course of the "restoration," now completed, an oval tablet
was taken down from the pediment over the south porch, bearing the
inscription of "John Hall and John Hopkins, churchwardens, 1759," whose
economising notions had led them to cut the said tablet out of an old
gravestone, the side built into the wall having inscribed on its face,
"The bodye of Thomas Lindon, who departed this life the 10 of April,
1675, and was yeares of age 88." The cost of the rebuilding has been
nearly £11,000, the whole of which has been subscribed, the reopening
taking place Sept. 28, 1878. There are several ancient monuments in fair
preservation, and also Chantrey's celebrated statue of Watts. The living
is valued at £1,500, the Rector, the Rev. W. Randall, M.A., being his
own patron. The sittings in the church are (with a few exceptions only)
all free and number over 1,000, Sunday and other services being also
held in a Mission Room at Hamstead.

_Holy Trinity_.--The first stone of the Church of the Holy Trinity in
Camp Hill, was placed in position Sept. 29, 1820. The building was
consecrated Jan. 23, 1823, and opened for services March 16 following.
The cost was £14,325, and the number of sittings provided 1,500, half to
be free. The services have from the first been markedly of a Ritualistic
character, and the ornate decorations of the church have been therefore
most appropriate. The living (value £230) is a vicarage in the gift of
trustees, and is at present held by the Rev. A.H. Watts, who succeeded
the Rev. R.W. Enraght after the latter's suspension and imprisonment.--
See "_Ritualism_."

_Holy Trinity_, Birchfields.--First stone placed May 26, 1863;
consecrated May 17, 1864. Cost about £5,000. The living (value £320) is
a vicarage in the gift of the Rector of Handsworth, and is now held by
the Rev. P.T. Maitland, who "read himself in" May 16, 1875.

_Holy Trinity_, North Harborne, was built in 1838-39 at a cost of
£3,750, and will seat 700, one half being free. The living (value £300)
is in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield.

_Immanuel Church_, Broad Street.--The foundation stone was laid July 12,
1864; the consecration took place May 7, 1865; the cost of erection was
a little over £4,000; there are seats for 800, of which 600 are free;
and the living (valued at £300), has been held until now by the Rev.
C.H. Coleman, the presentation being in the hands of trustees. The
"Magdalen" Chapel was formerly on the site.

_Iron Churches_.--May 22, 1874, an edifice built of iron was opened for
religious purposes in Canon Hill Park, but the congregation that
assembled were so scanty that in July, 1875, it was deemed expedient to
remove it to Small Heath where it was used as a temporary "Oldknow
Memorial" Church. Other iron churches have been utilised in the suburbs
since then, and there is now no novelty in such erections, a score of
which may be found within half the number of miles.

_St. Agnes'_, Moseley, off Wake Green Road.--The foundation stone was
laid October 3, 1883, and its estimated cost is put at about £8,000. At
present only a part sufficient to accommodate 400 persons is being
proceeded with, but when completed the edifice will hold double that
number, and will be 127 ft. long by 48 ft. wide, a tower and spire
rising from the centre of the west end to a height of 137 ft.

_St. Alban's_.--A Mission chapel, dedicated to St. Alban, was opened in
Leopold Street in September, 1865. This now forms a school belonging to
the adjoining church, which was opened March 7, 1872. The curacy is held
by the Revds. J.S. and T.B. Pollock, but the friends of those gentlemen
have since ejected a far handsomer edifice, the Church of St. Alban the
Martyr, at the corner of Conybere Street and Ryland Street, at a cost
estimated at £20,000--£1,500 being paid for the site. The first stone of
this magnificent building was laid January 31, 1880, the opening service
taking place at 6.30 a.m., May 3, 1881. There is free seating for 1,000
in the new church, for 460 in St. Alban's, Leopold Street, and for a
further 400 in the Mission Room--the services being entirely dependent
on the gifts to the offertory, &c. On the Saint's day the special
collections have for years been most remarkable, seldom less than £1,000
being given, while occasionally the amount has been more than four times
that sum, The services are "High Church," with three daily celebrations
and seven on Sunday.

_St. Andrew's_, Bordesley.--The foundation-stone was laid July 23, 1844,
and consecration took place, Sept. 30, 1846. The cost of the building
was about £5,000, the site being given. The value of the living is £320,
the Bishop and trustees having the right of preferment alternately.
There is accommodation for 800, one-fourth of the seats being free. The
present Vicar is the Rev. J. Williamson, M.A. The iron-built church of
S. Oswald, opposite Small Heath Park, Coventry-road, is attached to S.

_St. Anne's_, Duddeston, consecrated Oct. 22, 1869, is a brick building,
giving accommodation for 810, half the seats being free. The Bishop
presents the living, being of the nett value of £260. Rev. T.J. Haworth
is the Vicar. Services also at the Mission Room, Great Francis Street.

_St. Anne's_, Park Hill, Moseley.--This Chapel-of-Ease to Moseley was
built at the expense of Miss Anderton, of Moseley Wake Green, the
consecration taking place Sept. 22, 1874. The living is valued at £150,
and is in the gift of the Vicar of Moseley, the present incumbent being
the Rev. J. Leverett, M.A. Half the 400 seats are free.

_St. Asaph's_, Great Colmore Street,--the freehold of the site was given
by Mr. Cregoe Colmore, and the erection of the church, which yet wants
the tower and spire, cost £5,450. The cornerstone was laid Aug. 22,
1867, and the building was consecrated Dec. 8, 1868. There are 950
sittings, of which 500 are free. Trustees present. The living, value
£300, being now held by the Rev. R. Fletcher, M.A.

_St. Augustine's_, Hagley Road, the foundation stone of which was laid
Oct. 14, 1867, was consecrated September 12, 1868, the first cost being
a little over £9,000, but a tower and spire (185 ft. high) was added in
1876 at a further cost of £4,000. It is a Chapel-of-ease to Edgbaston,
in the gift of the Bishop. Value £500. Held by Rev. J.C. Blissard, M.A.
Seats, 650.

_St. Barnabas_, Erdington.--This church, originally built in 1823, at a
cost of about £6,000, with accommodation for 700 only, has lately been
enlarged so as to provide 1,100 sittings (600 free)--£2,700 being
expended on the improvements. The Vicar of Aston is patron, and the
living is valued at £300. The re-opening took place June 11, 1883. Rev.
H.H. Rose, M.A., has been Vicar since 1850.

_St. Barnabas'_, Ryland Street.--First stone laid Aug. 1, 1859;
consecrated Oct. 24, 1860; renovated in 1882. Has sittings for 1,050, of
which 650 are free. Value £300, in the gift of trustees. Present Vicar,
Rev. P. Waller. Services also at Mission Room, Sheepcote Street.

_St. Bartholomew's_.--The building of this church was commenced in 1749,
the site being given by William Jennens, Esq., and £1,000 towards the
building by his mother, Mrs. Anne Jennens. Lord Fielding also gave £120
to pay for an altar-piece, which is greatly admired. Surrounded for very
many years by a barren-looking graveyard, the huge brick-built edifice
was very unsightly, and being close to the Park Street burial ground it
was nicknamed "the paupers' church." Since the laying out of the
grounds, however, it has much improved in appearance. The Rector of St.
Martin's presents, and the living is valued at £280. There are 1,800
sittings, 1,000 being free. Week-night services are also held in Mission
Room, Fox Street.

_St. Catherine's_, Nechells.--Foundation stone laid July 27, 1877;
consecrated November 8, 1878; cost nearly £7,000; seats 750, more than
half being free. Yearly value £230; in the gift of trustees. Present
vicar, Rev. T.H. Nock, M.A.

_St. Catherine's_ Rotton Park.--The Mission Room in Coplow St., in
connection with St. John's, Ladywood, is the precursor of this church
yet to be built.

_St. Clement's_, Nechells.--First stone laid, October 27, 1857;
consecrated August 30, 1859. Seats 850 (475 free). Vicarage, value £300,
in the gift of Vicar of St. Matthew's. Present incumbent, Rev. J.T.
Butlin, B.A. Services also at Mission Room, High Park Street.

_St. Cuthbert's_, Birmingham Heath, was commenced April 19, 1871; opened
March 19, 1872, and has seats for 800, half being free. Yearly value
£250; in the hands of trustees. Present incumbent, Rev. W. H. Tarleton,

_St. Cyprian's_, Hay Mill.--The foundation-stone of this church (built
and endowed by J. Horsfall, Esq.), was laid April 14, 1873, and the
opening services were held in the following January. The ceremony of
consecration did not take place until April 23, 1878, when a district
was assigned to the church. Rev. G.H. Simms is the present Vicar, and
the living (value £150) is in the gift of the Bishop.

_St. David's_, Bissell Street--First stone was laid July 6, 1864, and
the building was consecrated in the same month of the following year.
The cost of erection was £6,200, and there is accommodation for 955, 785
seats being free. The living (value £300) is in the gift of trustees,
and is at present held by Rev. H. Boydon, B.A. Week night services also
at Mission Room, Macdonald Street.

_St. Edburgh's_,--The parish church of Yardley, dating from Henry VII.'s
reign, contains monuments relating to several of our ancient families of
local note. The living is a vicarage (value £525) in the gift of the
Rev. J. Dodd, the present vicar being the Rev. F.S. Dodd, M.A. There is
accommodation for 600, a third of the seats being free.

_St. Gabriel's_, Pickford Street.--The first stone was laid in
September, 1867, and the consecration took place Jan. 5, 1869. The
sittings number 600, most being free. The living (value £300) is in the
gift of the Bishop, and is held by the Rev. J.T. Tanse, vicar. A mission
room at the west end of the church was opened Dec. 14, 1878. It is
105ft. long by 25ft. wide, and will seat 800. The cost was about £3,500,
and it is said the Vicar and his friends saved £2,500 by building the
rooms themselves.

_St. George's_.--When first built, there were so few houses near Great
Hampton Row and Tower Street, that this church was known as "St.
George's in the Fields," and the site for church and churchyard (3,965
square yards) was purchased for £200. The foundation stone was laid
April 19, 1820, and the consecration took place July 30, 1822. The tower
is 114ft. high, and the first cost of the building was £12,735.
Renovated in 1870, the church has latterly been enlarged, the first
stone of a new chancel being placed in position (June, 1882) by the
Bishop of Ballarat, formerly rector of the parish. This and other
additions has added £2,350 to the original cost of the church, which
provides accommodation for 2,150, all but 700 being free seats. The
living (value £500) is in the gift of trustees, and the present Rector
is the Rev. J.G. Dixon, M.A. The church was re-opened March 13, 1883,
and services are also conducted in New Summer Street and in Smith Street

_St. George's_, Edgbaston.--First stone laid Aug. 17, 1836; consecrated
Nov. 28, 1838. Cost £6,000. Perpetual curacy (value £300), in the gift
of Lord Calthorpe. 1,000 sittings, of which one-third are free, but it
is proposed to considerably enlarge the building, and possibly as much
as £8,000 will be spent thereon, with proportionate accommodation.

_St. James's_, Ashted.--Originally the residence of Dr. Ash, this
building was remodelled and opened as a place of worship, Oct. 9, 1791.
As Ashted Chapel it was sold by auction, May 3, 1796. Afterwards, being
dedicated to St. James, it was consecrated, the ceremony taking place
Aug. 7, 1807. The living (value £300) is in the gift of trustees, the
present vicar being the Rev. H.C. Phelps, M.A. Of the 1,350 sittings,
450 are free, there being also a mission room in Vauxhall Road.

_St. James's_, Aston.--The mission room, in Tower Road, in connection
with Aston Church, is known as St. James's Church Room, it being
intended to erect a church on an adjoining site.

_St. James's_, Edgbaston, which cost about £6,000, was consecrated June
1, 1852, and has 900 sittings, one-fourth being free. Perpetual curacy
(value £230) in the gift of Lord Calthorpe. The 25th anniversary of the
incumbency of the Rev. P. Browne, M.A., was celebrated June 7, 1877, by
the inauguration of a new organ, subscribed for by the congregation.

_St. James's_, Handsworth, was built in 1849, and has 800 sittings, of
which one half are free. The living (value £300) is in the gift of the
Rector of Handsworth, and the present vicar is the Rev. H.L. Randall,

_St. John's_, Deritend.--The "Chapel of St. John's," was commenced in
1375; it was licensed in 1381 by the monks of Tickford Priory, who
appointed the Vicars of Aston, in which parish Deritend then was; it was
repaired in 1677, and rebuilt in 1735. The tower was added in 1762, and
clock and bells put in in 1776. This is believed to have been the first
church in which the teachings of Wycliffe and the Reformers were
allowed, the grant given to the inhabitants leaving in their hands the
sole choice of the minister. This rite was last exercised June 15, 1870,
when the present chaplain, the Rev. W.C. Badger, was elected by 3,800
votes, against 2,299 given for a rival candidate. There is accommodation
for 850, of which 250 seats are free. It is related that when the
present edifice was erected (1735) a part of the small burial ground was
taken into the site, and that pew-rents are only charged for the
sittings covering the ground so occupied. The living is valued at £400.
For a most interesting account of this church reference should be made
to "Memorials of Old Birmingham" by the late Mr. Toulmin Smith. Services
also take place at the School Room, and at the Mission Room, Darwin

_St. John's_, Ladywood, built at a cost of £6,000, the site being given
by the Governors of the Free Grammar School, and the stone for building
by Lord Calthorpe, was consecrated March 15, 1854. In 1881, a further
sum of £2,350 was expended in the erection of a new chancel and other
additions. The Rector of St. Martin's is the patron of the living
(valued at £330), and the present Vicar is the Rev. J.L. Porter, M.A.
The sittings number 1,250, of which 550 are free. Services are also
conducted at the Mission Room, Coplow Street, and on Sunday evenings in
Osler Street Board School.

_St. John's_, Perry Barr, was built, endowed, and a fund left for future
repairs, by "Squire Gough," of Perry Hall, the cost being about £10,000.
The consecration took place Aug. 6, 1833, and was a day of great
rejoicing in the neighbourhood. In 1868 the church was supplied with a
peal of eight bells in memory of the late Lord Calthorpe. The living
(valued at £500) is in the gift of the Hon. A.C.G. Calthorpe.

_St. John the Baptist_, East Harborne, which cost rather more than
£4,000, was consecrated November 12, 1858. It has sittings for 900, of
which number one half are free. Living valued at £115; patron Rev. T.
Smith, M.A.; vicar, Rev. P. Smith, B.A.

_St. John the Evangelist_, Stratford Road.--A temporary iron church
which was opened April 2, 1878, at a cost of £680. A Mission Room, in
Warwick Road, Greet, is in connection with above.

_St. Jude's_, Tonk Street, which was consecrated July 26, 1851, has
1,300 sittings, of which 1,000 are free. In the summer of 1879, the
building underwent a much-needed course of renovation, and has been
still further improved by the destruction of the many "rookeries"
formerly surrounding it. The patronage is vested in the Crown and Bishop
alternately, but the living is one of the poorest in the town, only

_St. Lawrence's_, Dartmouth Street.--First stone laid June 18, 1867;
consecrated June 25, 1868; has sittings for 745, 400 being free. The
Bishop is the patron, and the living (value £320) is now held by the
Rev. J.F.M. Whish, B.A.

_St. Luke's_, Bristol Road.--The foundation stone of this old
Norman-looking church was laid July 29, 1841, but it might have been in
1481 to judge by its present appearance, the unfortunate choice of the
stone used in the building giving quite an ancient look. It cost £3,700,
and was consecrated Sept. 28, 1842. There are 300 free seats out of 800.
The trustees are patrons, and the living (value £430) is held by the
Rev. W.B. Wilkinson, M.A., vicar.

_St. Margaret's_, Ledsam Street.--The cost of this church was about
£5,000; the first stone was laid May 16, 1874; the consecration took
place Oct. 2, 1875, and it finds seating for 800, all free. The Bishop
is the patron of the living (a perpetual curacy value £300), and it is
now held by the Rev. H.A. Nash. The schoolroom in Rann Street is
licensed in connection with St. Margaret's.

_St. Margaret's_, Olton, was consecrated Dec. 14, 1880, the first stone
having been laid Oct. 30, 1879.

_St. Margaret's_, Ward End, built on the site, and partly with the ruins
of an ancient church, was opened in 1836, and gives accommodation for
320 persons, 175 seats being free. The living, value £150, is in the
gift of trustees, and is held by the Rev. C. Heath, M.A., Vicar.

_St. Mark's_, King Edward's Road.--First stone laid March 31, 1840;
consecrated July 30, 1841. Cost about £4,000, and accommodates 1,000,
about a third of the seats being free. A vicarage, value £300; patrons,
trustees; vicar, Rev. R.L.G. Pidcock, M.A.

_St. Martins_.--There is no authentic date by which we can arrive at the
probable period of the first building of a Church for the parish of
Birmingham. Hutton "supposed" there was a church here about A.D. 750,
but no other writer has ventured to go past 1280, and as there is no
mention in the Domesday Book of any such building, the last supposition
is probably nearest the mark. The founder of the church was most likely
Sir William de Bermingham, of whom there is still a monumental effigy
existing, and the first endowment would naturally come from the same
family, who, before the erection of such church, would have their own
chapel at the Manor House. Other endowments there were from the
Clodshales, notably that of Walter de Clodshale, in 1330, who left
twenty acres of land, four messuages, and 18d. annual rent, for one
priest to say mass daily for the souls of the said Walter, his wife,
Agnes, and their ancestors; in 1347, Richard de Clodshale gave ten acres
of land, five messuages, and 10s. yearly for another priest to say mass
for him and his wife, and his father and mother, "and all the faithful
departed"; in 1428, Richard, grandson of the last-named, left 20s. by
his will, and bequeathed his body "to be buried in his own chapel,"
"within the Parish Church of Bermyngeham." Besides the Clodshale
Chantry, there was that of the Guild of the Holy Cross, but when Henry
VIII. laid violent hands on all ecclesiastical property (1535) that
belonged to the Church of St. Martin was valued at no move than £10 1s.
From the few fragments that were found when the present building was
erected, and from Dugdale's descriptions that has come down to us, there
can be little doubt that the church was richly ornamented with monuments
and paintings, coloured windows and encaustic tiles, though its income
from property would appear to have been meagre enough. Students of
history will readily understand how the fine old place came gradually to
be but little better than a huge barn, the inside walls whitewashed as
was the wont, the monuments mutilated and pushed into corners, the font
shoved out of sight, and the stained glass windows demolished. Outside,
the walls and even the tower were "cased in brick" by the churchwardens
(1690), who nevertheless thought they were doing the right thing, as
among the records of the lost Staunton Collection there was one, dated
1711, of "Monys expended in public charitys by ye inhabitants of
Birmingham, wth in 19 years last past," viz.:--

  In casing, repairing, &c., ye Old Church             £1919 01  9-1/2

  Adding to ye Communion Plate of ye said Church
  275 ounces of new silver                                80 16 06

  Repairing ye high ways leading to ye town
  wth in these 9 years                                   898 00 01

  Subscribed by ye inhabitants towards erecting
  a New Church, now consecrated, and Parsonage house    2234 13 11
                        In all                         £5132 12  3-12

In the matter of architectural taste the ideas of the church wardens
seem curiously mixed, for while disfiguring the old church they
evidently did their best to secure the erection of the splendid new
church of St. Philip's, as among other entries there were several like

  "28pds. 2s. wch Mr. Jno. Holte has collected in Oxford towards
  building ye New Church."

  "Revd. £30 from Sir Charles Holte, Baronet, for the use of the Com.e
  of the New Church."

From time to time other alterations were made, such as new roofing,
shutting up the clerestory windows, piercing the walls of the chancel
and the body of the church for fresh windows attaching a vestry, &c. The
churchyard was partly surrounded by houses, and in 1781 "iron
pallisadoes" were affixed to the wall. In this year also 33ft. of the
spire was taken down and rebuilt. In 1807 the churchyard was enlarged by
the purchase of five tenements fronting Spiceal Street, belonging to the
Governors of the Free Grammar School, for £423, and the Commissioners
having cleared the Bull Ring of the many erections formerly existing
there the old church in its hideous brick dress was fully exposed to
view. Noble and handsome places of worship were erected in other parts
of the town, but the old mother church was left in all its shabbiness
until it became almost unsafe to hold services therein at all. The
bitter feelings engendered by the old church-rate wars had doubtless
much to do with this neglect of the "parish" church, but it was not
exactly creditable to the Birmingham men of '49, when attention was
drawn to the dangerous condition of the spire, and a general restoration
was proposed, that what one gentleman has been pleased to call "the lack
of public interest" should be made so manifest that not even enough
could be got to rebuild the tower. Another attempt was made in 1853, and
on April 25th, 1854, the work of restoring the tower and rebuilding the
spire, at a cost of £6,000, was commenced. The old brick casing was
replaced by stone, and, on completion of the tower, the first stone of
the new spire was laid June 20, 1855, the "topping" being successfully
accomplished November 22nd following. The height of the present spire
from the ground to the top of the stone-work is 185ft. 10 1/2in., the
tower being 69ft. 6in., and the spire itself 116ft. 4 1/2in., the vane
being an additional 18ft. 6in. The old spire was about 3in. lower than
the present new one, though it looked higher on account of its more
beautiful form and its thinner top only surmounted by the weathercock,
now to be seen at Aston Hall, The clock and chimes were renewed at a
cost of £200 in 1858; the tunes played being "God save the Queen" [Her
Majesty visited Birmingham that year], "Rule Britannia," "Blue Bells of
Scotland," "Life let us cherish," the "Easter Hymn," and two other
hymns. Twenty years after (in 1878) after a very long period (nine
years) of inaction, the charming apparatus was again put in order, the
chimes being the same as before, with the exception of "Auld lang syne,"
which is substituted for "God save the Queen," in consequence of the
latter not giving satisfaction since the bells have been repaired [vide
"_Mail_"]. The clock dial is 9ft. 6in. in diameter. The original bells
in the steeple were doubtless melted in the troublesome days of the
Commonwealth, or perhaps, removed when Bluff Hal sequestered the
Church's property, as a new set of six (total weight 53cwt. 1qr. 15lbs.)
were hung in 1682. During the last century these were recast, and
addition made to the peal, which now consists of twelve.

  Treble, cast in  1772, weight not noted.
  Second,     "    1771,      ditto.
  Third,      "    1758, weighing     6   2   16
  Fourth,     "    1758,     "        6   3   27
  Fifth,      "    1758,     "        8   0   20
  Sixth,      "    1769,     "        8   2   12
  Seventh     "    1768,     "        9   3   12
  Eighth,     "    1758,     "       11   3    6
  Ninth,      "    1758,     "       15   1   17
  Tenth,      "    1758,     "       17   3    2
  Eleventh    "    1769,     "       27   3   16
  Tenor,      "    1768,     "       35   0    8

The ninth bell was recast in 1790; fourth and fifth have also been
recast, by Blews and Son, in 1870. In the metal of the tenor several
coins are visible, one being a Spanish dollar of 1742. The following
lines appear on some of the bells;--

  On Seventh:--"You singers all that prize your health and happiness, be
  sober, merry and wise and you will the same possess."

  On Eighth.--"To honour both of God and King, our voices shall in
  concert ring."

  On Tenth.--"Our voices shall with joyful sound make, hills and valleys
  echo round."

  On Tenor.--"Let your ceaseless changes raise to our Great Maker still
  new praise."

The handsome appearance of the tower and spire, after restoration,
contrasted so strongly with the "dowdy" appearance of the remainder of
the church, that it was little wonder a more determined effort should be
made for a general building, and this time (1872) the appeal was no
longer in vain. Large donations were given by friends as well as by many
outside the pale of the Church, and Dr. Wilkinson, the Rector, soon
found himself in a position to proceed with the work. The last sermon in
the old church was preached by Canon Miller, the former Rector, Oct. 27,
1872, and the old brick barn gave place to an ecclesiastical structure
of which the town may be proud, noble in proportions, and more than
equal in its Gothic beauty to the original edifice of the Lords de
Bermingham, whose sculptured monuments have at length found a secure
resting-place in the chancel of the new St. Martin's. From east to west
the length of the church is a little over 155ft., including the chancel,
the arch of which rises to 60ft.; the width, including nave (25ft.) and
north and south aisles, is 67ft.; at the transepts the measure from
north to south gives 104ft. width. The consecration and re-opening took
place July 20, 1875, when the church, which will accommodate 2,200 (400
seats are free) was thronged. Several stained windows have been put in,
the organ has been enlarged, and much done in the way of decoration
since the re-building, the total cost being nearly £25,000. The living
(£1,048 nett value) is in the gift of trustees, and has been held since
1866 by the Rev. W. Wilkinson, D.D., Hon. Canon of Worcester, Rural
Dean, and Surrogate. The burial ground was closed Dec. 9, 1848.

_St. Mary's_, Acock's Green, was opened Oct. 17, 1866. The cost of
erection was £4,750, but it was enlarged in 1882, at a further cost of
£3,000. There are 720 sittings, 420 being free. The nett value of the
living, in the gift of trustees, is £147, and the present vicar is the
Rev. F.T. Swinburn, D.D.

_St. Mary's_, Aston Brook, was opened Dec. 10, 1863. It seats 750 (half
free), and cost £4,000; was the gift of Josiah Robins, Esq., and family.
Perpetual curacy, value £300. The site of the parsonage (built in 1877,
at a cost of £2,300), was the gift of Miss Robins. Present incumbent,
Rev. F. Smith, M.A.

_St. Mary's_, Moseley.--The original date of erection is uncertain, but
there are records to the effect that the tower was an addition made in
Henry VIII.'s reign, and there was doubtless a church here long prior to
1500. The chancel is a modern addition of 1873; the bells were re-cast
about same time, the commemorative peal being rung June 9, 1874; and on
June 8, 1878, the churchyard was enlarged by the taking in of 4,500
square yards of adjoining land. The living, of which the Vicar of
Bromsgrove is the patron, is worth £280, and is now held by the Rev. W.
H. Colmore, M.A. Of the 500 sittings 150 are free.

_St. Mary's_, Selly Oak, was consecrated September 12, 1861, having been
erected chiefly at the expense of G.R. Elkington and J.F. Ledsam, Esqrs.
There are 620 sittings, of which 420 are free. The living is in the gift
of the Bishop and trustee; is valued at £200, and the present vicar is
the Rev. T. Price, M.A.

_St. Mary's_, Whittall Street, was erected in 1774, and in 1857
underwent a thorough renovation, the reopening services being held
August 16. There are 1,700 sittings of which 400 are free. The living is
a vicarage, with an endowment of £172 with parsonage, in the gift of
trustees, and is now held by the Rev. J.S. Owen.

_St. Matthew's_, Great Lister Street, was consecrated October 20, 1840,
and has sittings for 1,400, 580 seats being free. The original cost of
the building was only £3,200, but nearly £1,000 was expended upon it in
1883. Five trustees have the gift of the living, value £300, which is
now held by the Rev. J. Byrchmore, vicar. The Mission Room, in Lupin
Street, is served from St. Matthew's.

_St. Matthias's_, Wheeler Street, commenced May 30th, 1855, was
consecrated June 4, 1856. Over £1,000 was spent on renovations in 1879.
The seats (1,150) are all free. The yearly value of the living is £300,
and it is in the gift of trustees. The vicar is the Rev. J.H. Haslam,

_St. Michael's_, in the Cemetery, Warstone Lane, was opened Jan. 15,
1854, the living (nominal value, £50) being in the gift of the
directors. Will accommodate 400--180 seats being free.

_St. Michael's_, Northfield.--Of the original date of erection there is
no trace, but it cannot be later than the eleventh century, and Mr.
Allen Everett thought the chancel was built about 1189. The five old
bells were recast in 1730, by Joseph Smith of Edgbaston, and made into
six. The present building was erected in 1856-7, and has seating for
800, all free. The living, valued at £740, is held by the Rev. R. Wylde,
M.A., and connected with it is the chapel-of-ease at Bartley Green.

_St. Michael's_, Soho, Handsworth, was opened in 1861. It has 1,000
sittings, one-half of which are free. The living is valued at £370, is
in the gift of the Rector of Handsworth, and is now held by the Rev.
F.A. Macdona.

_St. Nicolas_, Lower Tower Street--The foundation stone was laid Sept.
15, 1867; the church was consecrated July 12, 1868, and it has seats for
576 persons, the whole being free. The Bishop is the patron of the
living, value £300, and the Vicar is the Rev. W.H. Connor, M.A.

_St. Nicholas_, King's Norton.--This church is another of the ancient
ones, the register dating from 1547. It was partially re-erected in
1857, and more completely so in 1872, morn than £5,000 being expended
upon it. The Dean and Chapter of Worcester are the patrons of the living
(nett value £250), and the Vicar is the Rev. D.H.C. Preedy. There are
700 sittings, 300 of which are free.

_St. Oswald's_, situated opposite Small Heath Park, is an iron
structure, lined with wood. It will seat about 400, cost £600, and was
opened Aug. 10, 1882, being for the present in charge of the clergyman
attached to St. Andrew's.

_St. Patrick's_, Highgate Street.--Erected in 1873, at a cost of
£2,300, as a "School-chapel" attached to St. Alban's, and ministered
unto by the Revds. J.S. and T.B. Pollock. 800 seats, all free.

_St. Paul's_, in St. Paul's Square.--The first stone was laid May 22,
1777, and the church was consecrated June 2, 1779, but remained without
its spire until 1823, and was minus a clock for a long time after that.
The east window in this church has been classed as the A1 of modern
painted windows. The subject, the "Conversion of St. Paul," was designed
by Benjamin West, and executed by Francis Eggington, in 1789-90. In May,
1876, the old discoloured varnish was removed, and the protecting
transparent window re-glazed, so that the full beauty and finish of this
exquisite work can be seen now as in its original state. Of the 1,400
sittings 900 are free. The living is worth £300, in the gift of
trustees, and is held by the Rev. R.B. Burges, M.A., Vicar.

_St. Paul's_, Lozells.--The first stone was laid July 10, 1879, and the
building consecrated September 11, 1880. The total cost was £8,700, the
number of sittings being 800, of which one half are free. Patrons,
Trustees. Vicar, Rev. E.D. Roberts, M.A.

_St. Paul's_, Moseley Road, Balsall Heath.--Foundation stone laid May
17, 1852, the building being opened that day twelvemonth. Cost £5,500
and has sittings for 1,300, of which number 465 are free. The Vicar of
King's Norton is the patron of the living (value £300), and it is held
by the Rev. W.B. Benison, M.A.

_St. Peter's_, Dale End, was begun in 1825, and consecrated Aug. 10,
1827, having cost £19,000. Considerable damage to the church was caused
by fire, Jan. 24,1831. There are 1,500 sittings, all free. The living is
valued at £260, is in the gift of the Bishop, and is held by the Rev. R.
Dell, M.A., Vicar.

_St. Philip's_.--The parish of St. Philip's was created by special Act,
7 Anne, c. 34 (1708), and it being the first division of St. Martin's
the new parish was bound to pay the Rector of St. Martin's £15 per year
and £7 to the Clerk thereof, besides other liabilities. The site for the
church (long called the "New Church") and churchyard, as near as
possible four acres, was given by Mrs. Phillips, which accounts for the
Saint's name chosen. George I. gave £600 towards the building fund, on
the application of Sir Richard Gough, whose crest of a boar's head was
put over the church, and there is now, in the form of a vane, as an
acknowledgment of his kindness. Other subscriptions came in freely, and
the £5,000, first estimated cost, was soon raised. [See "_St.
Martins_"]. The building was commenced in 1711, and consecrated on
October 4th, 1715. but the church was not completed until 1719. The
church was re-pewed in 1850, great part restored in 1859-60, and
considerably enlarged in 1883-84. The height of the tower is 140ft., and
there are ten bells, six of them dating from the year 1719 and the
others from 1761. There is accommodation for 2,000 persons, 600 of the
seats being free. The nett value of the living is £868, the Bishop being
patron. The present Rector, the Rev. H.B. Bowlby, M.A., Hon. Canon of
Worcester, and Surrogate, has been with us since 1875,

_St. Saviour's_, Saltley, was consecrated July 23, 1850. The cost of
building was £6,000; there are 810 seats, 560 being free; the living is
vnlued at £240, and is in the gift of Lord Norton; the present Vicar is
the Rev. F. Williams, B.A.

_St. Saviour's_, Villa Strest, Hockley.--Corner-stone laid April 9,
1872; consecrated May 1, 1874. Cost £5,500, and has seats for 600, all
free. The living (value £250) is in the gift of trustees, and is now
held by the Rev. M. Parker, Vicar.

_St. Silæs's_ Church Street, Lozells, was consecrated January 10, 1854,
the first stone having been laid June 2, 1852. It has since been
enlarged, and has now 1,100 sittings, 430 being free. The living (value
£450) is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of trustees, and is held by the
Rev. G. C. Baskerville, M.A. The Mission Room in Burbury Street is
served from St. Silas's.

_St. Stephen's_, Newtown Row, was consecrated July 23, 1844. The
building cost £3,200; there are 1,150 sittings, of which 750 are free;
the living is valued at £250, is in the gift of the Bishop and the Crown
alternately, and is now held by the Rev. P. Reynolds, Vicar, who also
provides for the Mission Room in Theodore Street.

_St. Stephen's_, Selly Hill, was consecrated August 18, 1871, the first
stone having been laid March 30, 1870. The patrons are the Bishop and
trustees; the living is valued at £200; it is a perpetual curacy, and
the incumbent is the Rev. R. Stokes M.A. Of the 300 sittings 100 are

_St. Thomas's_, Holloway Head.--First stone laid Oct. 2, 1826;
consecrated Oct. 22, 1829, having cost £14,220. This is the largest
church in Birmingham, there being 2,600 sittings, of which 1,500 are
free. In the Chartist riots of 1839, the people tore up the railings
round the churchyard to use as pikes. The living (value £550) is in the
gift of trustees, and is held by the Rev. T. Halstead, Rector and

_St. Thomas-in-the-Moors_, Cox Street, Balsall Heath.--The church was
commenced to be built, at the expense of the late William Sands Cox,
Esq., in the year 1868, but on account of some quibble, legal or
ecclesiastical, the building was stopped when three parts finished. By
his will Mr. Cox directed it to be completed, and left a small
endowment. This was added to by friends, and the consecration ceremony
took place Aug. 14, 1883. The church will accommodate about 600 persons.

_St. Thomas the Martyr_.--Of this church, otherwise called the "Free
Chapel," which was richly endowed in 1350 (See "Memorials of Old
Birmingham" by Toulmin Smith), and to which the Commissioners of Henry
VIII., in 1545, said the inhabitants did "muche resorte," there is not
one stone left, and its very site is not known.

_Stirchley Street_ School-Church was erected in 1863, at a cost of
£1,200, and is used on Sunday and occasional weekday evenings.

~Places Of Worship.~--_Dissenters'_.--A hundred years ago the places of
worship in Birmingham and its neighbourhood, other than the parish
churches, could have been counted on one's fingers, and even so late as
1841 not more than four dozen were found by the census enumerators in a
radius of some miles from the Bull Ring. At the present time
conventicles and tabernacles, Bethels and Bethesdas, Mission Halls and
Meeting Rooms, are so numerous that there is hardly a street away from
the centre of the town but has one or more such buildings. To give the
history of half the meeting-places of the hundred-and-one different
denominational bodies among us would fill a book, but notes of the
principal Dissenting places of worship are annexed.

_Antinomians_.--In 1810 the members of this sect had a chapel in
Bartholomew Street, which was swept away by the L. and N.W. Railway Co.,
when extending their line to New Street.

_Baptists_.--Prior to 1737, the "Particular Baptists" do not appear to
have had any place of worship of their own in this town, what few of
them there were travelling backwards and forwards every Sunday to
Bromsgrove. The first home they acquired here was a little room in a
small yard at the back of 38, High Street (now covered by the Market
Hall), which was opened Aug. 24, 1737. In March of the following year a
friend left the Particulars a sum of money towards erecting a
meeting-house of their own, and this being added to a few subscriptions
from the Coventry Particulars, led to the purchase of a little bit of
the Cherry Orchard, for which £13 was paid. Hereon a small chapel was
put up, with some cottages in front, the rent of which helped to pay
chapel expenses, and these cottages formed part of Cannon Street; the
land at the back being reserved for a graveyard. The opening of the new
chapel gave occasion for attack; and the minister of the New Meeting,
Mr. Bowen, an advocate of religious freedom, charged the Baptists
(particular though they were) with reviving old Calvinistic doctrines
and spreading Antinomianism and other errors in Birmingham; with the
guileless innocence peculiar to polemical scribes, past and present. Mr.
Dissenting minister Bowen tried to do his friends in the Bull Ring a
good turn by issuing his papers as from "A Consistent Churchman." In
1763 the chapel was enlarged, and at the same time a little more land
was added to the graveyard. In 1780 a further enlargement became
necessary, which sufficed until 1805, when the original buildings,
including the cottages next the street, were taken down to make way for
the chapel so long known by the present inhabitants. During the period
of demolition and re-erection the Cannon Street congregation were
accommodated at Carr's Lane, Mr. T. Morgan and Mr. John Angell James
each occupying the pulpit alternately. The new chapel was opened July
16, 1806, and provided seats for 900, a large pew in the gallery above
the clock being allotted to the "string band," which was not replaced by
an organ until 1859. In August, 1876, the Corporation purchased the site
of the chapel, the graveyard, and the adjoining houses, in all about
1,000 square yards in extent, for the sum of £26,500, the last Sunday
service being held on October 5, 1879. The remains of departed ministers
and past members of the congregation interred in the burial-yard and
under the chapel were carefully removed, mostly to Witton Cemetery. The
exact number of interments that had taken place in Cannon Street has
never been stated, but they were considerably over 200; in one vault
alone more than forty lead coffins being found. The site is now covered
by the Central Arcade. Almost as old as Cannon Street Chapel was the one
in Freeman Street, taken down in 1856, and the next in date was "Old
Salem," built in 1791, but demolished when the Great Western Railway was
made. In 1785 a few members left Cannon Street to form a church in
Needless Alley, but soon removed to Bond Street, under Mr. E. Edmonds,
father of the well-known George Edmonds.--In the year 1870 fifty-two
members were "dismissed" to constitute a congregation at Newhall Street
Chapel, under the Rev. A. O'Neill.--In the same way a few began the
church in Graham Street in 1828.--On Emancipation Day (Aug. 1, 1838),
the first stone was laid of Heneage Street Chapel, which was opened June
10, 1841.--In 1845 a chapel was erected at Shirley; and on Oct. 24,
1849, the Circus in Bradford Street was opened as a Baptist Chapel.
Salem Chapel, Frederick Street, was opened Sept. 14, 1851.--Wycliffe
Church, Bristol Road, was commenced Nov. 8, 1859, and opened June 26,
1861.--Lombard Street Chapel was started Nov. 25, 1864.--Christ Church,
Aston, was opened April 19, 1865.--The Chapel in Balsall Heath Road was
opened in March, 1872; that in Victoria Street, Small Heath, June 24,
1873; and in Great Francis Street, May 27, 1877. When the Cannon Street
Chapel was demolished, the trustees purchased Graham Street Chapel and
schools for the sum of £14,200, other portions of the money given by the
Corporation being allotted towards the erection of new chapels
elsewhere. The Graham Street congregation divided, one portion erecting
for themselves the Church of the Redeemer, in Hagley Road, (opened May
24, 1882), while those living on the Handsworth side built a church in
Hamstead Road (opened March 1, 1883), each building costing over
£10,000. The first stone of the Stratford Road Church (the site of
which, valued at £1,200, was given by Mr. W. Middlemore) was laid on the
8th of June, 1878, and the building, which cost £7,600, was opened June
3, 1879. Mr. Middlemore also gave the site (value £2,200) for the Hagley
Road Church, £6,000 of the Cannon Street money going to it, and £3,500
to the Stratford Road Church.--The Baptists have also chapels in
Guildford Street, Hope Street, Lodge Road, Longmore Street, Great King
Street, Spring Hill, Warwick Street, Yates Street, as well as at
Erdington, Harborne, King's Heath, Selly Oak, Quinton, &c.

_Catholic Apostolic Church_, Summer Hill Terrace.--This edifice, erected
in 1877, cost about £10,000, and has seats for 400.

_Christian Brethren_.--Their head meeting-house is at the Central Hall,
Great Charles Street, other meetings being held in Bearwood Road,
Birchfield Road, Green Lanes, King Street, (Balsall Heath), New John
Street, Wenman Street, (opened in June, 1870), and at Aston and

_Christadelphians_ meet at the Temperance Hall, Temple Street.

_Church of the Saviour_, Edward Street.--Built for George Dawson on his
leaving the Baptists, the first turf being turned on the site July 14,
1846, and the opening taking place Aug. 8, 1847.

_Congregational_.--How the Independents sprang from the Presbyterians,
and the Congregationalists from them, is hardly matter of local history,
though Carr's Line Chapel has sheltered them all in rotation. The first
building was put up in 1747-48, and, with occasional repairs lasted full
fifty years, being rebuilt in 1802, when the congregation numbered
nearly 900. Soon after the advent of the Rev. John Angell James, it
became necessary to provide accommodation for at least 2,000, and in
1819 the chapel was again rebuilt in the form so well known to the
present generation. The rapidity with which this was accomplished was so
startling that the record inscribed on the last late affixed to the roof
is worth quoting, as well on account of its being somewhat of a novel
innovation upon the usual custom of foundation-stone memorial stone, and
first-stone laying and fixing:--

  "Memoranda. On the 30th day of July, 1819, the first stone of this
  building was laid by the Rev. John Angell James, the minister. On the
  30th day of October, in the same year, this the last slate was laid by
  Henry Leneve Holland, the builder, in the presence of Stedman Thomas
  Whitwell, the Architect.--_Laus Deo_."

In 1875-76 the chapel was enlarged, refronted, and in many ways
strengthened and improved, at a cost of nearly £5,000, and it now has
seats for 2,250 persons.--Ebenezer Chapel, Steelhouse Lane, which will
seat 1,200, was opened Dec. 9, 1818. Its first pastor, the Rev. Jehoida
Brewer, was the first to be buried there.--The first stone of Highbury
Chapel, which seats 1,300, was laid May 1, 1844, and it was opened by
Dr. Raffles in the following October.--Palmer Street Chapel was erected
in 1845.--The first stone of the Congregational Church in Francis Road
was laid Sept. 11, 1855, the opening taking place Oct. 8, 1856.--The
first stone of the Moseley Road building was laid July 30, 1861, and of
that in the Lozells, March 17, 1862.--The chapel at Small Heath was
commenced Sept. 19, 1867, and opened June 21, 1868; that at Saltley was
began June 30, 1868, and opened Jan. 26, 1869.--The chapel in Park Road,
Aston, was began Oct. 7, 1873; the church on Soho Hill, which cost
£15,000, was commenced April 9, 1878, and opened July 16, 1879.--The
memorial-stones of the church at Sutton Coldfield, which cost £5,500,
and will seat 640, were laid July 14, 1879, the opening taking place
April 5, 1880; the Westminster Road (Birchfield) Church was commenced
Oct. 21, 1878, was opened Sept. 23, 1879, cost £5,500, and will seat
900; both of these buildings have spires 100ft. high.--The
foundation-stone of a chapel at Solihull, to accommodate 420, was laid
May 23, 1883.--Besides the above, there is the Tabernacle Chapel,
Parade, chapels in Bordesley Street, Gooch Street, and St. Andrew's
Road, and others at Acock's Green, Erdington, Handsworth, Olton,
Yardley, &c.

_Disciples of Christ_ erected a chapel in Charles Henry Street in 1864;
in Geach Street in 1865; in Great Francis Street in 1873.

_Free Christian Church_, Fazeley Street--Schoolrooms were opened here in
1865 by the Birmingham Free Christian Society, which were enlarged in
1868 at a cost of about £800. Funds to build a church were gathered in
succeeding years and the present edifice was opened April 1, 1877, the
cost being £1,300.

_Jews_.--The Hebrew Synagogue in Blucher Street was erected in 1856, at
a cost of £10,000.

_Methodists_.--The Primitive Methodists for some time after their first
appearance here held, their meetings in the open air or in hired rooms,
the first chapel they used being that in Bordesley Street (opened March
16, 1823, by the Wesleyans) which they entered upon in 1826. Other
chapels they had at various times in Allison Street, Balloon Street,
Inge Street, &c. Gooch Street Chapel was erected by them at a cost of
over £2,000 (the first stone being laid August 23, 1852) and is now
their principal place of worship, their services being also conducted in
Chapels and Mission Rooms in Aston New Town, Garrison Lane, Long Acre,
Lord Street, Morville Street, Wells Street, Whitmore Street, The Cape,
Selly Oak, Perry Barr, Sparkbrook, and Stirchley Street.--_The Methodist
New Connexion_ have chapels in Heath Street, Kyrwick's Lane, Ladywood
Lane, Moseley Street, and Unett Street--The first stone of a chapel for
the _Methodist New Congregational_ body was placed July 13, 1873, in
Icknield Street West.--The _Methodist Reformers_ commenced to build a
chapel in Bishop Street, November 15, 1852.--The _Methodist Free Church_
has places of worship in Bath Street, Cuckoo Road, Muntz Street, Rocky
Lane, and at Washwood Heath.

_New Church_.--The denomination of professing Christians, who style
themselves the "New Church," sometimes known as "The New Jerusalem
Church," and more commonly as "Swedenborgians," as early as 1774 had a
meeting room in Great Charles Street, from whence they removed to a
larger one in Temple Row. Here they remained until 1791, when they took
possession of Zion Chapel, Newhall Street, the ceremony of consecration
taking place on the 19 of June. This event was of more than usual
interest, inasmuch as this edifice was the first ever erected in the
world for New Church worship. The rioters of 1791, who professed to
support the National Church by demolishing the Dissenting places of
worship, paid Zion Chapel a visit and threatened to burn it, but the
eloquence of the minister, the Rev. J. Proud, aided by a judicious
distribution of what cash he had in his pocket, prevailed over their
burning desires, and they carried their torches elsewhere. On the 10th
of March, 1793, however, another incendiary attempt was made to suppress
the New Church, but the fire was put out before much damage was done.
What fire and popular enmity could not do, however, was accomplished by
a financial crisis, and the congregation had to leave their Zion, and
put up with a less pretentious place of worship opposite the Wharf in
Newhall Street. Here they remained till 1830, when they removed to
Summer Lane, where a commodious church, large schools, and minister's
house had been erected for them. In 1875 the congregation removed to
their present location in Wretham Road, where a handsome church has been
built, at a cost of nearly £8,000, to accommodate 500 persons, with
schools in the rear for as many children. The old chapel in Summer Lane
has been turned into a Clubhouse, and the schools attached to it made
over to the School Board. The New Church's new church, like many other
modern-built places for Dissenting worship, has tower and spire, the
height being 116ft.

_Presbyterians_.--It took a long time for all the nice distinctive
differences of dissenting belief to manifest themselves before the
public got used to Unitarianism, Congregationalism, and all the other
isms into which Nonconformity has divided itself. When Birmingham was as
a city of refuge for the many clergymen who would not accept the Act of
Uniformity, it was deemed right to issue unto them licenses for
preaching, and before the first Baptist chapel, or the New Meeting, or
the Old Meeting, or the old Old Meeting (erected in 1689), were built,
we find (1672) that one Samuel Willis, styling himself a minister of the
Presbyterian persuasion, applied for preaching licenses for the
school-house, and for the houses of John Wall, and Joseph Robinson, and
Samuel Taylor, and Samuel Dooley, and John Hunt, all the same being in
Birmingham; and William Fincher, another "minister of the Presbyterian
persuasion," asked for licenses to preach in the house of Richard
Yarnald, in Birmingham, his own house, and in the houses of Thomas
Gisboon, William Wheeley, John Pemberton, and Richard Careless, in
Birmingham, and in the house of Mrs. Yarrington, on Bowdswell Heath. In
Bradford's map (1751) Carr's Lane chapel is put as a "Presbiterian
chapel," the New Meeting Street building close by being called
"Presbiterian Meeting." It was of this "Presbiterian Chapel" in Carr's
Lane that Hutton wrote when he said it _was_ the road to heaven, but
that its surroundings indicated a very different route. Perhaps it was
due to these surroundings that the attendants at Carr's Lane came by
degrees to be called Independents and the New Meeting Street folks
Unitarians, for both after a time ceased to be known as Presbyterians.
The Scotch Church, or, as it is sometimes styled, the Presbyterian
Church of England, is not a large body in Birmingham, having but three
places of worship. The first Presbytery held in this town was on July 6,
1847; the foundation-stone of the Church in Broad Street was laid July
24, 1848; the Church at Camp Hill was opened June 3, 1869; and the one
in New John Street West was began July 4, 1856, and opened June 19,

_Salvation Army_.--The invasion of Birmingham by the soldiers of the
Salvation Army was accomplished in the autumn of 1882, the General (Mr.
Booth) putting in an appearance March 18, 1883. They have several
rendezvous in the town, one of the principal being in Farm Street, from
whence the "soldiers" frequently sally out, with drums beating and
colours flying, much to their own glorification and other people's

_Unitarians_.--The building known for generations as the Old Meeting, is
believed to have been the first Dissenting place of worship erected in
Birmingham; and, as its first register dates from 1689, the chapel most
likely was built in the previous year. It was doubtless but a small
building, as in about ten years (1699) a "Lower Meeting House" was
founded in Meeting House Yard, nearly opposite Rea Street. The premises
occupied here were gutted in the riots of 1715, and the owner promised
the mob that it should no more be used as a chapel, but when calmer he
repented and services were held until the New Meeting House in Moor
Street was opened. The rioters in 1715 partly destroyed the old Meeting
and those of 1791 did so completely, as well as the New Meeting, which
(began in 1730) was opened in 1732. For a time the congregations united
and met at the Amphitheatre in Livery Street, the members of Old Meeting
taking possession of their re-erected chapel, October 4, 1795. New
Meeting being re-opened April 22, 1802. The last-named building remained
in the possession of the Unitarians until 1861, when it was sold to the
Roman Catholics. The last services in Old Meeting took place March 19,
1882, the chapel and graveyard, comprising an area of 2,760 square
yards, being sold to the L. & N. W. R. Co., for the purpose of enlarging
the Central Station. The price paid by the Railway Company was £32,250,
of which £2,000 was for the minister and £250 towards the expense of
removing to private vaults the remains of a few persons whose friends
wished that course. A portion of Witton Cemetery was laid out for the
reception of the remainder, where graves and vaults have been made in
relative positions to those in the old graveyard, the tombstones being
similarly placed. A new church has been erected in Bristol Street for
the congregation, with Sunday Schools, &c., £7,000 being the sum given
for the site.--In 1839, Hurst Street Chapel was built for the Unitarian
Domestic Mission. May 1, same year, the first stone was laid of the
Newhall Hill Chapel, which was opened July 10, 1840.--The Church of the
Messiah, Broad Street, was commenced Aug. 12, 1860, and opened Jan. 1,
1862. This church, which cost £10,000 and will seat nearly 1,000 is
built over a canal, one of the strangest sites ever chosen for a place
of worship. In connection with this church, there is a chapel in
Lawrence Street.

_Welsh Chapels_.--The Welsh Calvinistic Methodists meet in the little
chapel, bottom of Hockley Hill, and also in Granville Street, near Bath
Row.--The Welsh Congregationalists (Independents) assemble at Wheeler
Street Chapel, opened May 1, 1839.

_Wesleyans_.--The first Wesleyan Chapel in Birmingham was opened by John
Wesley, March 21, 1764, the building having been previously a theatre.
Cherry Street Chapel, opened July 7, 1782, was rebuilt in 1823.--
Bradford Street Chapel was opened in 1786, Belmont Row in 1789, and Bath
Street in 1839.--In 1825, a chapel was built in Martin Street, which was
converted into a school on the opening (Nov. 10, 1864) of the present
edifice, which cost £6,200.--Newtown Row Chapel was built in 1837 and
Great Hampton Street and Unett Street Chapels in 1838, the latter being
enlarged in 1844.--Branston Street Chapel was opened April 18, and
Moseley Road, May 1, 1853.--The Bristol Road Chapel was opened January
18, 1854, and that in King Edward's Road, January 18, 1859.--The first
stones were laid for the chapels in Villa Street April 21, 1864,
Handsworth Oct. 21, 1872, Selley Oak Oct. 2, 1876, Peel Street, August
30, 1877, Cuckoo Road, June 10, 1878, Nechells Park Road Oct. 25, 1880,
Mansfield Road Feb. 19, 1883. Besides the above there are chapels in
Coventry Road, Inge Street, Knutsford Street, Lichfield Road, Lord
Street, New John Street, Monument Road, and Warwick Road, as well as
mission rooms in several parts of the town and suburbs. Acock's Green,
Erdington. Harborne, King's Heath, Northfield, Quinton, &c. have also
Wesleyan Chapels.--_The Wesleyan Reformers_ meet in Floodgate Street,
and in Upper Trinity Street.

_Miscellaneous_.--Lady Huntingdon's followers opened a chapel in King
Street in 1785, and another in Peck Lane in 1842 (both sites being
cleared in 1851), and a third in Gooch Street, Oct. 26th, 1851.--The
believers in Joannah Southcote also had chosen spots wherein to pray for
their leader, while the imposture lasted.--The celebrated Edward Irving
opened Mount Zion Chapel, March 24th, 1824. "God's Free Church," in Hope
Street, was "established" June 4th. 1854.--Zoar Chapel was the name
given to a meeting-room in Cambridge Street, where a few
undenominational Christians met between 1830 and 1840. It was afterwards
used as a schoolroom in connection with Winfield's factory.--Wrottesley
Street Chapel was originally built as a Jewish Synagogue, at a cost of
about 2,000. After they left it was used for a variety of purposes,
until acquired by William Murphy, the Anti-Catholic lecturer. It was
sold by his executors, Aug. 2nd, 1877, and realised £645, less than the
cost of the bricks and mortar, though the lease had 73 years to run.

~Places of Worship.~--_Roman Catholics_.--From the days of Queen Mary,
down to the last years of James II.'s reign, there does not appear to
have been any regular meeting-place for the Catholic Inhabitants of
Birmingham. In 1687, a church (dedicated to St. Mary Magdalen and St.
Francis) was built somewhere near the site of the present St.
Bartholomew's but it was destroyed in the following year, and the very
foundation-stones torn up and appropriated by Protestant plunderers.
[See "_Masshouse Lane_."]

It was a hundred years before the next church, St. Peter's, near Broad
Street, was erected, and the Catholic community has increased but slowly
until the last thirty years or so. In 1848 there were only seven priests
in Birmingham, and but seventy in the whole diocese. There are now
twenty-nine in this town, and about 200 in the district, the number of
churches having increased, in the same period, from 70 to 123, with 150
schools and 17,000 scholars. The following are local places of

_Cathedral of St. Chad_,--A chapel dedicated to St. Chad (who was about
the only saint the kingdom of Mercia could boast of), was opened in Bath
Street, Dec. 17, 1809. When His Holiness the Pope blessed his Catholic
children hereabouts with a Bishop the insignificant chapel gave place to
a Cathedral, which, built after the designs of Pugin, cost no less than
£60,000. The consecration was performed (July 14, 1838) by the Right
Rev. Doctor (afterwards Cardinal) Wiseman, the district bishop, in the
presence of a large number of English noblemen and foreign
ecclesiastical dignitaries, and with all the imposing ceremonies
customary to Catholic celebrations of this nature. The adjoining houses
detract much from the outside appearance of this reproduction of
medieval architecture, but the magnificence of the interior decorations,
the elaborate carvings, and the costly accessories appertaining to the
services of the Romish Church more than compensate therefor. Pugin's
plans have not even yet been fully carried out, the second spire, that
on the north tower (150ft. high), being added in 1856, the largest he
designed still waiting completion. Five of a peal of eight bells were
hung in 1848, and the remainder in 1877, the peculiar and locally-rare
ceremony of "blessing the bells" being performed by Bishop Ullathorne,
March 22nd, 1877.

_Oratory_, Hagley Road--Founded by the Fathers of the Order of St.
Philip Neri, otherwise called Oratorians. The Father Superior is the
Rev. Dr.J. H. Newman (born in 1801), once a clergyman of the Church of
England, the author of the celebrated "Tract XC.," now His Eminence
Cardinal Newman.

_St. Anne's_, Alcester Street.--In 1851, some buildings and premises
originally used as a distillery were here taken on a lease by the
Superior of the Oratory, and opened in the following year as a
Mission-Church in connection with the Congregation of the Fathers in
Hagley Road. In course of time the property was purchased, along with
some adjacent land, for the sum of £4,500, and a new church has been
erected, at a cost of £6,000. The foundation-stone was laid Sept. 10th,
1883, and the opening ceremony took place in July, 1884, the old chapel
and buildings being turned into schools for about 1,500 children.

_St. Catherine of Sienna_, Horse Fair.--The first stone was laid Aug.
23, 1869, and the church was opened in July following.

_St. Joseph's_, Nechells, was built in 1850, in connection with the
Roman Catholic Cemetery.

_St. Mary's_, Hunter's Lane, was opened July 28, 1847.

_St. Mary's Retreat_, Harborne, was founded by the Passionist Fathers,
and opened Feb. 6, 1877.

_St. Michael's_, Moor Street, was formerly the Unitarian New Meeting,
being purchased, remodelled, and consecrated in 1861.

_St. Patrick's,_ Dudley Road, was erected in 1862.

_St. Peter's_, Broad Street, built in 1786, and enlarged in 1798, was
the first Catholic place of worship erected here after the sack and
demolition of the church and convent in Masshouse Lane. With a lively
recollection of the treatment dealt out to their brethren in 1688, the
founders of St. Peter's trusted as little as possible to the tender
mercies of their fellow-townsmen, but protected themselves by so
arranging their church that nothing but blank walls should face the
streets, and with the exception of a doorway the walls remained
unpierced for nearly seventy years. The church has lately been much
enlarged, and the long-standing rebuke no more exists.

In addition to the above, there are the Convents of "The Sisters of the
Holy Child," in Hagley Road; "Sisters of Notre Dame," in the Crescent;
"Little Sisters of the Poor," at Harborne; "Our Lady of Mercy," at
Handsworth; and others connected with St. Anne's and St. Chad's, besides
churches at Erdington, &c.

~Police.~--Though the Court Leet provided for the appointment of
constables, no regular body of police or watchmen appear to have existed
even a hundred years ago. In February, 1786, the magistrates employed
men to nightly patrol the streets, but it could not have been a
permanent arrangement, as we read that the patrol was "resumed" in
_October, 1793_, and later on, in March, 1801, the magistrates
"solicited" the inhabitants' consent to a re-appointment of the
night-watch. After a time the Commissioners of the Streets kept regular
watchmen in their employ--the "Charleys" occasionally read of as finding
sport for the "young bloods" of the time--but when serious work was
required the Justices appear to have depended on their powers of
swearing-in special constables. The introduction of a police force
proper dates from the riotous time of 1839 [See "_Chartism_"], for
immediately after those troublous days Lord John Russell introduced a
Bill to the House of Commons granting special powers for enforcing a
rate to maintain a police force here, under the command of a
Commissioner to be appointed by the Government. The force thus sought to
be raised, though paid for by the people of Birmingham, were to be
available for the whole of the counties of Warwick, Worcester and

Coercive measures were passed at that period even quicker than
Government can manage to get them through now a-days, and
notwithstanding Mr. Thos. Attwood's telling Little Lord John that he was
"throwing a lighted torch into a magazine of gunpowder" and that if he
passed that Bill he would never be allowed to pass another, the Act was
pushed through on the 13th of August, there being a majority of thirteen
in favour of his Lordship's policy of policeing the Brums into
politeness. The dreaded police force was soon organised under Mr.
Commissioner Burges (who was paid the small salary of £900 a year), and
became not only tolerated but valued. It was not till some years after,
and then in the teeth of much opposition, that the Corporation succeeded
in getting into their own hands the power of providing our local
guardians of the peace. Mr. Inspector Stephens was the first Chief
Superintendent, and in March, 1860, his place was filled by the
promotion of Mr. George Glossop. In April, 1876, the latter retired on
an allowance of £400 a year, and Major Bond was chosen (June 2nd). The
Major's term of office was short as he resigned in Dec. 1881. Mr.
Farndale being appointed in his stead. In May, 1852, the force consisted
of 327, men and officers included. Additions have been made from time to
time, notably 50 in August, 1875, and so early in 1883, the total rank
and file now being 550, equal to one officer for every 700 of
population. February 8, 1876, the unpopular Public-house Inspectors were
appointed, but two years' experience showed they were not wanted, and
they were relegated to their more useful duties of looking after thieves
and pickpockets, instead of poking their noses into private business. In
1868, £200 was expended in the purchase of guns, pistols, and swords for
the police and officers at the Gaol. The Watch Committee, in May, 1877,
improved the uniform by supplying the men with "spiked" helmets,
doubtless to please the Major, who liked to see his men look smart,
though the military appearance of the force has been greatly improved
since by the said spikes being silvered and burnished.

~Political Union.~--See "_Reform Leagues_."

~Polling Districts.~--The sixteen wards of the borough are divided into
131 polling districts.

~Polytechnic.~--This was one of the many local literary, scientific, and
educational institutions which have been replaced by our Midland
Institute, Free Libraries, &c. It was founded in April, and opened in
October, 1843, and at the close of its first year there were the names
of very nearly 500 members on the books, the rates of subscription being
6s. per quarter for participation in all the benefits of the
institution, including the lectures, library, classes, baths, &c. With
the "People's Instruction Society," the "Athenic Institute," the "Carr's
Lane Brotherly Society" (said to have been the first Mechanics'
Institution in Britain), the Polytechnic, in its day, did good work.

~Poor Law and Poor Rates.~--Local history does not throw much light
upon the system adopted by our early progenitors in their dealings with
the poor, but if the merciless laws were strictly carried out, the
wandering beggars, at all events must have had hard lives of it. By an
act passed in the reign of Henry VIII., it was ordered that vagrants
should be taken to a market town, or other convenient place and there to
be tied to the tail of a cart, naked, and beaten with whips until the
body should be bloody by reason of the punishment. Queen Elizabeth so
far mitigated the punishment that the unfortunates were only to be
stripped from the waist upwards to receive their whipping, men and
women, maids and mothers, suffering alike in the open street or
market-place, the practice being, after so using them, to conduct them
to the boundary of the parish and pass them on to the next place for
another dose, and it was not until 1791 that flogging of women was
forbidden. The resident or native poor were possibly treated a little
better, though they were made to work for their bread in every possible
case. By the new Poor Act of 1783, which authorised the erection of a
Workhouse, it was also provided that the "Guardians of the Poor" should
form a Board consisting of 106 members, and the election of the first
Board (July 15th, 1783), seems to have been almost as exciting as a
modern election. In one sense of the word they were guardians indeed,
for they seem to have tried their inventive faculties in all ways to
find work for the inmates of the House, even to hiring them out, or
setting them to make worsted and thread. The Guardians would also seem
to have long had great freedom allowed them in the spending of the
rates, as we read it was not an uncommon thing for one of them if he met
a poor person badly off for clothes to give an order on the Workhouse
for a fresh "rig out." In 1873 the Board was reduced to sixty in number
(the first election taking place on the 4th of April), with the usual
local result that a proper political balance was struck of 40 Liberals
to 20 Conservatives. The Workhouse, Parish Offices, Children's Homes,
&c., will be noted elsewhere. Poor law management in the borough is
greatly complicated from the fact of its comprising two different
parishes, and part of a third. The Parish of Birmingham works under a
special local Act, while Edgbaston forms part of King's Norton Union,
and the Aston portion of the town belongs to the Aston Union,
necessitating three different rates and three sets of collectors, &c. If
a poor man in Moseley Road needs assistance he must see the relieving
officer at the Parish Offices in the centre of the town if he lives on
one side of Highgite Lane he must find the relieving officer at King's
Heith; but if he happens to be on the other side he will have to go to
Gravelly Hill or Erdington. Not long ago to obtain a visit from the
medical officer for his sick wife, a man had to go backwards and
forwards more than twenty miles. The earliest record we have found of
the cost of relieving the poor of the parish is of the date of 1673 in
which year the sum of £309 was thus expended. In 1773 the amount was
£6,378, but the pressure on the rates varied considerably about then, as
in 1786 it required £11,132, while in 1796 the figures rose to £24,050.
According to Hutton, out of about 8,000 houses only 3,000 were assessed
to the poor rates in 1780, the inhabitants of the remaining number being
too poor to pay them. Another note shows up the peculiar incidence of
taxation of the time, as it is said that in 1790 there were nearly 2000
houses under £5 rental and 8,000 others under £10, none of them being
assessed, such small tenancies being first rated in 1792. The rates then
appear to have been levied at the uniform figure of 6d. in the £ on all
houses above £6 yearly value, the ratepayers being called upon as the
money was required--in and about 1798, the collector making his
appearance sixteen or eighteen times in the course of the year. The
Guardians were not so chary in the matter of out-relief as they are at
present, for in 1795 there were at one period 2,427 families
(representing over 6,000 persons, old and young) receiving out-relief.
What this system (and bad trade) led to at the close of the long war is
shown in the returns for 1816-17, when 36 poor rates were levied in the
twelvemonth. By various Acts of Parliament, the Overseers have now to
collect other rates, but the proportion required for the poor is thus

      Rate    Amount     Paid to    Cost of In and  Other Parochial
Year  in £  collected  Corporation    Out Relief      Expenditure
      s.d.     £           £              £                £
1851  4 0    78,796     39,573         17,824            21,399
1861  3 8    85,986     36,443         34,685            14,878
1871  3 2   116,268     44,293         37,104            34,871
1881  4 8   193,458    107,520         42,880            48,058

The amounts paid over to the Corporation include the borough rate and
the sums required by the School Board, the Free Libraries, and the
District Drainage Board. In future years the poor-rate (so-called) will
include, in addition to these, all other rates levyable by the
Corporation. The poor-rates are levied half-yearly, and in 1848,1862,
and 1868 they amounted to 5s. per year, the lowest during the last forty
years being 3s. in 1860; 1870, 1871, and 1872 being the next lowest, 3s.
2d. per year. The number of persons receiving relief may be gathered
from the following figures:--

           Highest       Lowest
  Year.   No. daily    No. daily
  1876      7,687       7,058
  1877      8,240       7,377
  1878      8,877       7,242
  1879     14,651       8,829
  1880     13,195       7,598
  1881     11,064       7,188
  1882      9,658       7,462
  1883      8,347       7,630

Not long ago it was said that among the inmates of the Workhouse were
several women of 10 to 45 who had spent all their lives there, not even
knowing their way into the town.

~Population.~--Hutton "calculated" that about the year 750 there would
be 3,000 inhabitants residing in and close to Birmingham. Unless a very
rapid thinning process was going on after that date he must have been a
long way out of his reckoning, for the Domesday Book gives but 63
residents in 1085 for Birmingham, Aston, and Edgbaston. In 1555 we find
that 37 baptisms, 15 weddings, and 27 deaths were registered at St.
Martin's, the houses not being more than 700, nor the occupiers over
3,500 in number. In 1650, it is said, there were 15 streets, about 900
houses, and 5,472 inhabitants. If the writer who made that calculation
was correct, the next 80 years must have been "days of progress" indeed,
for in 1700 the town is said to have included 28 streets, about 100
courts and alleys, 2,504 houses, one church, one chapel, and two
meeting-houses, with 15,032 inhabitants. In 1731 there were 55 streets,
about 150 courts and alleys, 3,719 houses, two churches, one chapel,
four Dissenting meeting-houses, and 23,286 inhabitants. The remaining
figures, being taken from census returns and other reliable authorities,
are more satisfactory.

  Year.   Inhabitants.   Houses.
  1741      24,660        4,114
  1773      30,804        7,369
  1778      48,252        8,042
  1781      50,295        8,382
  1791      73,653       12,681
  1801      78,760       16,659
  1811      85,755       19,096
  1821     106,721       21,345
  1831     142,251       29,397
  1841     182,922       36,238
  1851     232,841       48,894
  1861     296,076       62,708
  1871     343,787       77,409
  1881     400,774       84,263

The inhabitants are thus divided as to sexes:

  Year.    Males.    Females.    Totals.
  1861    143,996    152,080    296,076
  1871    167,636    176,151    343,787
  1881    194,540    206,234    400,774

The increase during the ten years in the several parts of the borough

                                   Part of
           Birmingham  Edgbaston  Aston in
            parish.     parish.   borough.   Totals.

  1881       246,352    22,778    131,644    400,774
  1871       231,015    17,442     95,330    343,787
             -------    ------    -------    -------
  Increase    15,337     5,336     36,314     56,987

These figures, however, are not satisfactorily correct, as they simply
give the totals for the borough, leaving out many persons who, though
residing outside the boundaries are to all intents and purposes
Birmingham people; and voluminous as census papers usually are, it is
difficult from those of 1871 to arrive at the proper number, the
districts not being subdivided sufficiently. Thus, in the following
table Handsworth includes Soho and Perry Barr, Harborne parish includes
Smethwick, Balsall Heath is simply the Local included district, while
King's Norton Board is Moseley, Selly Oak, &c.

    Places.          Inhabitants.
  Aston Parish         139,998
  Aston Manor           33,948
  Balsall Heath         13,615
  Handsworth            16,042
  Harborne Parish       22,263
  Harborne Township      5,105
  King's Norton Parish  21,845
  Yardley Parish         5,360

For the census of 1881, the papers were somewhat differently arranged,
and we are enabled to get a nearer approximation, as well as a better
notion of the increase that has taken place in the number of inhabitants
in our neighbourhood.

    Place             1871          1881
  Acock's Green      1,492         2,796
  Aston Manor       33,948        53,844
  Aston Parish     139,998       201,287
  Aston Union      146,808       209,869
  Balsall Heath     13,615        22,734
  Birchfield         2,544         3,792
  Castle Bromwich      689           723
  Erdington          4,883         7,153
  Handsworth        16,042        22,903
  Harborne           5,105         6,433
  King's Heath       1,982         2,984
  King's Norton     21,845        34,178
  King's Norton
    Union           ------        96,143
  Knowle             1,371         1,514
  Moseley            2,374         4,224
  Northfield         4,609         7,190
  Olton              -----           906
  Perry Barr         1,683         2,314
  Quinton            2,010         2,145
  Saltley            -----         6,419
  Selly Oak          2,854         5,089
  Smethwick         17,158        25,076
  Solihull           3,739         5,301
  Ward End           -----           866
  Water Orton        -----           396
  Witton               182           265
  Yardley            5,360         9,741

The most remarkable increase of population in any of these districts is
in the case of Aston Manor, where in fifty years the inhabitants have
increased from less than one thousand to considerably more than fifty
thousand. In 1831, there were 946: in 1841, the number was 2,847; in
1851 it was 6,429; in 1861 it reached 16,337; in 1871 it had doubled to
33,948; in 1881 there were 53,844. Included among the inhabitants of the
borough in 1881 there were

               Males.      Females.    Totals.
  Foreigners   1,288          859        2,147
  Irish        3,488        3,584        7,072
  Scotch         912          755        1,667
  Welsh        1,575        1,742        3,317
  Colonial       428          477          905
  Born at sea     29           21           50

Of the English-born subjects of Her Majesty here 271,845 were
Warwickshire lads and lasses, 26,625 came out of Staffordshire, 21,504
from Worcestershire, 10,158 from Gloucestershire, 7,941 from London,
5,622 from Shropshire, and 4,256 from Lancashire, all the other counties
being more or less represented. The following analysis of the
occupations of the inhabitants of the borough is copied from the _Daily
Post_, and is arranged under the groups adopted by the

  Occupations of Persons.

                              Males.  Females. Total.
  Persons engaged in general
    or local government       1,145      79    1,224
  Army and navy                 307      --      307
  Clerical profession and
    their subordinates          287      98      335
  Legal ditto                   445      --      445
  Medical ditto                 336     496      832
  Teachers                      512   1,395    1,907
  Literary and scientific        70       4       74
  Engineers and surveyors       111     ---      111
  Artists, art-workers
    musicians, &c.              729      398   1,127
  Engaged in exhibitions,
    shows, games, &c.           102       17     119
  Domestic service            1,444   13,875  15,319
  Other service                 176    4,058   4,234
  Commercial occupations      6,172      422   6,594
  Engaged in conveyance
    of men, goods, and
    messages                  2,442    1,839  11,281
  Engaged in agriculture        881       25     906
  Engaged about animals         771        5     776
  Workers and Dealers in
    Books, prints and maps    1,888      428   2,316
  Machines and implements    11,189    3,385  14,574
  Houses, furniture, and
    decorations              12,781    1,209  13,990
  Carriages and harness       2,748      466   3,214
  Ships and boats                67      ---      67
  Chemicals and their
    compounds                   507      250     757
  Tobacco and pipes             200      851     551
  Food and lodging            8,126    2,124  10,247
  Textile fabrics             1,229      920   2,149
  Dress                       6,894   12,946  19,840
  Various animal substances   1,481      744   2,175
  Ditto vegetable
    substances                2,277    2,237   4,514
  Ditto mineral substances   36,933    9,582  46,515
  General or unspecified
    commodities              10,542    2,631  18,173
  Refuse matters                246       18     264
  Without specific
    occupations              45,691  116,892 162,583
  Children under five
    years                    28,911   29,133  58,044
                             ------  ------- -------
  Total                     194,540  206,234 400,774

The comparative population of this and other large towns in England is
thus given:--

                 Pop.      Pop.      Inc.   Prcent
                 1881.     1871.           of inc.
  London      3,707,130 3,254,260  452,870  13.89
  Liverpool     549,834   493,305   56,429  11.35
  Birmingham    400,774   343,787   56,893  16.52
  Manchester    364,445   351,189   13,256   3.70
  Salford       194,077   124,801   69,276  55.64
  Leeds         326,158   259,212   66,946  25.81
  Sheffield     312,943   239,946   72,997  30.38
  Bristol       217,185   182,552   24,633  13.47
  Bradford      203,544   145,830   57,614  39.50
  Nottingham    177,934    86,621   91,343 105.81
  Hull          152,980   121,892   31,088  25.62
  Newcastle     151,822   128,443   23,379  17.96
  Portsmouth    136,671   113,569   23,102  20.35
  Leicester     134,350    95,220   39,130  41.05
  Oldham        119,658    82,629   37,029  45.11
  Sunderland    118,927    98,242   20,685  90.40
  Brighton      109,062    90,011   19,051  21.11
  Norwich        86,437    80,386    6,051   7.50
  W'lvrhmptn     76,850    68,291    8,569  12.46
  Plymouth       75,700    68,758    4,942   7.10

~Portugal House.~--See "_The Royal_."

~Post Offices.~--Charles I. must be credited with founding the present
Post Office system, as in 1635 he commanded that a running post or two
should be settled "to run night and day between London and Edinburgh, to
go thither and come back again in six days, and to take with them all
such letters as shall be directed to any post town in or near that
road." Other "running posts" were arranged to Exeter and Plymouth, and
to Chester and Holyhead, &c., and gradually all the principal places in
the country were linked on to the main routes by direct and cross posts.
It has often been quoted as a token of the insignificance of Birmingham
that letters used to be addressed "Birmingham, near Walsall;" but
possibly the necessity of some writer having to send here by a
cross-country route, _viâ_ Walsall, will explain the matter. That our
town was not one of the last to be provided with mails is proved by
Robert Girdler, a resident of Edgbaston Street in 1652, being appointed
the Government postmaster. Where the earlier post offices were situated
is uncertain, but one was opened in New Street Oct. 11, 1783, and it is
generally believed to have been the same that existed for so many years
at the corner of Bennett's Hill. As late as 1820 there was no Bennett's
Hill, for at that time the site opposite the Theatre was occupied (on
the side nearest to Temple Street) by a rickyard, with accommodation for
the mailcoaches and stabling for horses. Next to this yard was the
residence of Mr. Gottwaltz, the postmaster, the entrance doorway being
at first the only accommodation allowed to the public, and if more than
four persons attended at one time the others had to stand in the street.
When Bennett's Hill was laid out, the post office was slightly altered,
so as to give a covered approach on that side to the letterbox and
window, the mailcoaches being provided and horsed by the hotelkeepers to
whom the conveyance of the mails was entrusted, the mail guards, or
mail-postmen, remaining Government officials. The next office was opened
Oct. 10, 1842, on premises very nearly opposite, and which at one period
formed part of the new Royal Hotel. The site is now covered by the
Colonnade, the present convenient, but not beautiful, Central Post
Office, in Paradise Street, being opened Sep. 28, 1873. There are 65
town receiving offices (52 of which are Money Order Offices and Savings'
Banks and 13 Telegraph Stations), and 103 pillar and wall letter-boxes.
Of sub-offices in the surrounding districts there are 64, of which more
than half are Money Order Offices or Telegraph Offices. For the conduct
of the Central Office, Mr. S. Walliker, the postmaster, has a staff
numbering nearly 300, of whom about 250 are letter carriers and sorters.
The Central Postal Telegraph Office, in Cannon Street, is open day and
night, and the Central Post Office, in Paradise Street, from 7 a.m. to
10 p.m. On Sunday the latter office is open only from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.,
but letters are dispatched by the night mails as on other days. The Head
Parcels Post Office is in Hill Street, on the basement floor of the
Central Post Office, from which there are four collections and
deliveries daily.

~Postal Notes.~--In 1748 letters were conveyed from here by post on six
days a week instead of three as previously. To help pay the extra
expense it was enacted that any person sending letters by private hands
should be liable to a fine of £5 for every letter.--In 1772 a letter
sent by "express" post was charged at the rate of 3d. per mile, with a
6d. fee for each stage and 2s. 6d. for the sending off.--Mails for the
Continent were made up fortnightly, and once a month for North America.
--In 1780, when James Watt was at Truro and Boulton at Birmingham, it
took thirteen days for the one to write to and get an answer from the
other, and on one occasion a single letter was eleven days on the road.
--A local "penny post" was commenced September 4, 1793, but there was
only one delivery per day and the distance was confined to one mile from
the office.--The postage on letters for London was reduced to 7d.,
December 1, 1796, but (and for many years after) if more than one piece
of paper was used the cost was doubled.--In 1814 the postage of a letter
from here to Warwick was 7d.--The system of "franking" letters was
abolished in 1839. This was a peculiar privilege which noblemen, Members
of Parliament, and high dignitaries possessed of free postage for all
their correspondence, and very strange use they made of the privilege
sometimes, one instance being the case of two maidservants going as
laundresses to an Ambassador who were thus "franked" to their
destination. This privilege cost the Post office about £100,000 a year.
--The penny postage system of Rowland Hill came into operation January
10th, 1840.--In 1841-2 there were only two deliveries per day in the
centre of the town, and but one outside the mile circle, an extra penny
being charged on letters posted in town for delivery in the outer
districts.--The collection of a million postage stamps for the Queen's
Hospital closed Sep. 5, 1859.--Halfpenny stamps for newspapers were
first used in 1870.--The telegraphs were taken to by the Post Office in
1876, the first soirée in celebration thereof being held at Bristol
Street Board School, Jan. 29, 1877.--The Inland Parcels Post came into
operation on August 1, 1883, the number of parcels passing through our
local office being about 4,000 the first day, such trifles as beehives,
umbrellas, shoes, scythes, baskets of strawberries, &c., &c, being among
them. The number of valentines posted in Birmingham on Cupid's Day of
1844 was estimated at 125,000 (the majority for local delivery), being
about 20,000 more than in the previous year.

~Power.~--That the letting of mill-power would be a great advantage to
hundreds of the small masters whose infinitude of productions added so
enormously to the aggregate of our local trade was soon "twigged" by the
early owners of steam engines. The first engine to have extra shafting
attached for this purpose was that made by Newcomen for a Mr. Twigg in
Water Street (the premises are covered by Muntz's metal works now), who,
in 1760, advertised that he had "power to let."

~Presentations.~--No local antiquarian has yet given us note of the
first public presentation made by the inhabitants of this town, though
to the men they have delighted to honour they have never been backward
with such flattering and pleasing tokens of goodwill. Some presentations
have been rather curious, such as gold-plated buttons and ornate shoe
buckles to members of the Royal Family in hopes that the patronage of
those individuals would lead to changes in the fashion of dress, and so
influence local trade. The gift of a sword to Lord Nelson, considering
that the said sword had been presented previously to a volunteer
officer, was also of this nature. The Dissenters of the town gave £100
to the three troops of Light Horse who first arrived to quell the riots
in 1791, and a similar sum was voted at a town's meeting; each officer
being presented with a handsome sword. Trade should have been good at
the time, for it is further recorded that each magistrate received a
piece of plate valued at one hundred guineas.--Since that date there
have been hundreds of presentations, of greater or lesser value, made to
doctors and divines, soldiers and sailors, theatricals and concert-hall
men, lawyers and prizefighters, with not a few to popular politicians
and leading literary men &c. Lord Brougham (then plain Mr.) being the
recipient at one time (July 7, 1812); James Day, of the Concert Hall, at
another (0ct. 1,1878); the "Tipton Slasher" was thus honoured early in
1865, while the Hon. and Very Rev. Grantham Yorke, D.D., was "gifted" at
the latter end of 1875. Among the presentations of later date have been
those to Dr. Bell Fletcher, Mr. Gamgee, Mr. W.P. Goodall, and other
medical gentlemen; to Canon O'Sullivan, the late Rev. J.C. Barratt, and
other clergymen; to Mr. Edwin Smith, secretary of Midland Institute; to
Mr. Schnadhorst of the Liberal Association; to Mr. Jesse Collings, for
having upheld the right of free speech by turning out of the Town Hall
those who differed with the speakers; and to John Bright in honour of
his having represented the town in Parliament for twenty-five year.--On
April 30, 1863, a handsome silver repoussé table was presented to the
Princess of Wales on the occasion of her marriage, the cost, £1,500,
being subscribed by inhabitants of the town.

~Price Of Bread.~--At various times during the present century the
four-pound loaf has been sold here as follows:--At 4-1/2d. in 1852; at
7-1/2d. in 1845; at 9-1/2d. in June, 1857, and June, 1872; at l0d. in
December, 1855, June, 1868, and December, 1872; at l0-1/2d. in February,
1854, December, 1855, December, 1867, and March, 1868, at 11d. in
December, 1854, June, 1855, and June 1856; at ll-1/2d. in November,
1846, May and November, 1847, and May, 1848; at 1s. and onwards to 1s.
5-1/2d. in August, 1812, and again in July, 1816; and may God preserve
the poor from such times again.--See "_Hard Times_."

~Prices of Provisions, &c.~--In 1174, wheat and barley sold at Warwick
for 2-1/2d. per bushel, hogs at 1s. 6d. each, cows (salted down) at 2s.
each, and salt at 1-4/5d. per bushel. In 1205 wheat was worth 12 pence
per bushel, which was cheap, as there had been some years of famine
previous thereto. In 1390 wheat was sold at 13d. per bushel, so high a
price that historians say there was a "dearth of corn" at that period.
From accounts preserved of the sums expended at sundry public feasts at
Coventry (Anno 1452 to 1464) we find that 2s. 3d. was paid for 18
gallons of ale, 2s. 6d. for 9 geese, 5d. for 2 lambs, 5d. for a calf,
l0d. for 9 chickens, 3d. for a shoulder of mutton, 1s. 3d. for 46
pigeons, 8d. for a strike of wheat and grinding it, &c. An Act of
Parliament (24, Henry VIII.) was passed in 1513 that beef and pork
should be sold at a half-penny per pound. In 1603 it was ordered that
one quart of best ale, or two of small, should be sold for one penny. In
1682 the prices of provisions were, a fowl 1s., a chicken 5d., a rabbit
7d.; eggs three for 1d.; best fresh butter, 6d. per lb.; ditto salt
butter, 3-1/2d.; mutton 1s. 4d. per stone of 8lb.; beef, 1s. 6d. per
stone; lump sugar, 1s per lb.; candles, 3-1/2d. per lb.; coals, 6d. per
sack of 4 bushels; ditto charcoal, 1s. 2d. best, 8d. the smallest. Wheat
averaged 50s. per quarter, but the greatest part of the population lived
almost entirely on rye, barley, oats, and peas. Cottages in the country
were let at about 20s. per annum. In 1694 a pair of shoes cost 3s. 6d.;
a pair of stockings, 1s. 4d.; two shirts, 5s. 4d.; leather breeches,
2s.; coat, waistcoat, and breeches, 16s.; a coffin, 5s.; a shroud and a
grave for a poor man, 3s. l0d. In November, 1799, the quartern loaf was
sold in London, at 1s. l0-1/2d. and in this town at 1s. 4d., the farmers
coming here to market having to be protected by constables for months

~Priory.~--History gives us very little information respecting the
Hospital or Priory of St. Thomas the Apostle [See "_Old Square_"] and
still less as the Church or Chapel of St. Thomas the Martyr. The site of
the Priory was most probably where the Old Square was laid out, though
during the many alterations that have latterly been made not a single
stone has been discovered to prove it so. A few bones were found during
the months of Aug. and Sept., 1884, and it is said that many years back
a quantity of similar remains were discovered while cellars were being
made under some of the houses in Ball Street, and one late writer speaks
of cellars or crypts, which were hastily built up again. From these few
traces it is not unlikely that the Chapel existed somewhere between the
Minories and Steelhouse Lane, monkish chants probably resounding where
now the members of the Society of Friends sit in silent prayer. Ancient
records tell us that in 1285 three persons (William of Birmingham,
Thomas of Maidenhacche, and Ranulph of Rugby) gave 23 acres of land at
Aston and Saltley (then spelt Saluteleye) for the "endowment" of the
Hospital of St. Thomas the Apostle, but that rather goes to prove the
previous existence of a religious edifice instead of dating its
foundation. In 1310 the Lord of Birmingham gave an additional 22 acres,
and many others added largely at the time, a full list of these donors
being given in Toulmin Smith's "Memorials of old Birmingham." In 1350,
70 acres in Birmingham parish and 30 acres in Aston were added to the
possessions of the Priory, which by 1547, when all were confiscated,
must have become of great value. The principal portions of the Priory
lands in Aston and Saltley went to enrich the Holte family, one (if not
the chief) recipient being the brother-in-law of Sir Thomas Holte; but
the grounds and land surrounding the Priory and Chapel appear to have
been gradually sold to others, the Smallbroke family acquiring the chief
part. The ruins of the old buildings doubtless formed a public
stonequarry for the builders of the 17th century, as even Hutton can
speak of but few relics being left in his time, and those he carefully
made use of himself! From the mention in an old deed of an ancient well
called the "Scitewell" (probably "Saints' Well"), the Priory grounds
seem to have extended along Dale End to the Butts (Stafford Street),
where the water was sufficiently abundant to require a bridge. It was
originally intended to have a highly-respectable street in the
neighbourhood named St. Thomas Street, after the name of the old Priory,
a like proviso being made when John Street was laid out for building.

~Prisons.~--Before the incorporation of the borough all offenders in the
Manor of Aston were confined in Bordesley Prison, otherwise "Tarte's
Hole" (from the name of one of the keepers), situate in High Street,
Bordesley. It was classed in 1802 as one of the worst gaols in the
kingdom. The prison was in the backyard of the keeper's house, and it
comprised two dark, damp dungeons, twelve feet by seven feet, to which
access was gained through a trapdoor, level with the yard, and down ten
steps. The only light or air that could reach these cells (which
sometimes were an inch deep in water) was through a single iron-grated
aperture about a foot square. For petty offenders, runaway apprentices,
and disobedient servants, there were two other rooms, opening into the
yard, each about twelve feet square. Prisoners' allowance was 4d. per
day and a rug to cover them at night on their straw. In 1809 the use of
the underground rooms was put a stop to, and the churchwardens allowed
the prisoners a shilling per day for sustenance. Those sentenced to the
stocks or to be whipped received their punishments in the street
opposite the prison, and, if committed for trial, were put in leg-irons
until called for by "the runners." The place was used as a lock-up for
some time after the incorporation, and the old irons were kept on show
for years.--The old Debtors' Prison in 1802 was in Philip Street, in a
little back courtyard, not fourteen feet square, and it consisted of one
damp, dirty dungeon, ten feet by eleven feet, at the bottom of a descent
of seven steps, with a sleeping-room, about same size, over it. In these
rooms male and female alike were confined, at one time to the number of
fifteen; each being allowed 3d. per day by their parishes, and a little
straw on the floor at night for bedding, unless they chose to pay the
keeper 2s. a week for a bed in his house. In 1809 the debtors were
removed to the Old Court House [See "_Court of Requests_"], where the
sleeping arrangements were of a better character. Howard, the "Prison
Philanthropist," visited the Philip Street prison in 1782, when he found
that the prisoners were not allowed to do any work, enforced idleness
(as well as semi-starvation) being part of the punishment. He mentions
the case of a shoemaker who was incarcerated for a debt of 15s., which
the keeper of the prison had to pay through kindly allowing the man to
finish some work he had begun before being locked up. In these
enlightened days no man is imprisoned for owing money, but only because
he does not pay it when told to do so.--See also "_Dungeon_" and

~Privateering.~--Most likely there was some truth in the statement that
chains and shackles were made here for the slave-ships of former days,
and from the following letter written to Matthew Boulton in October,
1778, there can be little doubt but that he at least had a share in some
of the privateering exploits of the time, though living so far from a
seaport:--"One of the vessels _our_ little brig took last year was
fitted out at New York, and in a cruise of thirteen weeks has taken
thirteen prizes, twelve of which are carried safe in, and we have advice
of 200 hogsheads of tobacco being shipped as part of the prizes, which
if now here would fetch us £10,000," &c.

~Progress of the Town.~--The Borough Surveyor favours us yearly with
statistics giving the number of new buildings erected, or for which
plans have been approved, and to show how rapidly the town is
progressing in extent, we give a few of the figures. The year 1854 is
memorable in the building trade, as there were 2,219 new houses erected,
the average for years after not being 1,000. In 1861 the number was but
952; in 1862, 1,350; in 1863, 1,694; in 1864, 1,419; in 1865, 1,056; in
1866, 1,411; in 1867, 1,408; in 1868, 1,548; in 1869, 1,709; in 1870,
1,324; in 1871, 1,076; in 1872, 1,265; in 1873, 993. The building report
for the last ten years is thus tabulated:--

              1874  1875  1876  1877  1878  1879  1880  1881  1882  1883
              ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----
Houses        1611  3395  2903  2700  1205  1197  1301  1236   666   938
and Shops
Churches         1     1     1     1    --    --    --    --     2     2
Chapels          2     2     5     3     1    --     1     1    --     1
Schools          9    15     6     6     4    --    --     2     6     1
and             76    80   107    86    64   102    64    91    64    73
Miscellaneous   42    48    43    90    96   101    71    84    62    97
Alterations     47    67    52   167   290   225   222   180   163   158
              ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----
              1788  3608  3117  3053  1660  1625  1659  1594   963  1235

[1] [Transcriber's note: This is an error; the column adds up to 1270]

Under the heading of "Miscellaneous" are included such erections as
libraries, public halls, clubs, arcades, slaughterhouses, cowsheds, and
all other necessary and useful buildings appertaining to human hives,
but which need not be particularised.

~Probate.~--The Probate Registry Office is at No. 15, Old Square.

~Promenades~--When Corporation Street is finished, and its pathways
nicely shaded with green-leaved trees, it will doubtless be not only the
chief business street of the town, but also the most popular promenade.
At present the gay votaries of dress and fashion principally honour New
Street, especially on Saturday mornings. Hagley Road, on Sunday
evenings, is particularly affected by some as their favourite promenade.

~Proof House.~--The foundation stone of the Proof House, Banbury Street,
was laid October 4th, 1813, the yearly number of gun, rifle, and pistol
barrels proved at the establishment averages over half a million.--See

~Property.~--The Birmingham Property Owners' and Ratepayers' Protection
Association was formed in May, 1872. Out of 70,000 separate assessments
the owners pay the rates in more than 50,000 cases.

~Provident Dispensaries.~--See "Dispensaries."

~Provident Societies.~--See "_Friendly, benevolent, and Provident

~Provincialisms.~--Like the inhabitants of most other parts of the
country Birmingham people are not without their peculiarities of speech,
not so strongly characterised perhaps as those of the good folks of
Somersetshire, or even some of our neighbours in the Black Country, but
still noticeable. For instance, few workmen will take a holiday; they
prefer a "day's out" or "play." They will not let go or abandon
anything, but they "loose" it. They do not tell you to remove, but "be
off." They prefer to "pay at twice" in lieu of in two instalments. The
use of the word "her" in place of "she" is very common, as well as the
curious term "just now," for an indefinite time to come, as "Her'll do
it just now," instead of "She will do it soon." In vulgar parlance this
book is not your own or our own, but "yourn" or "ourn," or it may be
"hisn" or "hern." In pronunciation as well, though perhaps not so
markedly, our people are sometimes peculiar, as when they ask for a
"stahmp" or put out their "tong," &c., stress being often laid also on
the word "and," as well as upon syllables not requiring it, as
diction_ary_, volun_teers_, &c.

~Public Buildings.~--The Guild Hall, in New Street, and the Roundabout
House in High Street were at one time the only public buildings in the
town, besides the Parish Church, the Lockups, and the Pinfold. The
Market Cross, Public Office, Workhouse, &c., came after, and it is only
of late years we have been able to boast of Town Hall, Market Hall,
Parish Office, Council House and all the other establishments so
necessary to the dignity of a town ranking as third largest in the
Kingdom. The huge piles that have been erected during the last dozen
years or so are of so varied a character that it becomes somewhat
difficult to draw a line between those which are strictly of a private
nature and the so-called "public" buildings; under which heading perhaps
even Railway Stations, Banks, and Theatres might properly come. The
following are some of the chief edifices not noted elsewhere:--

_County Court_.--The new County Court, at the corner of Corporation
Street and Newton Street, was erected from the plans of Mr. J. Williams
at a cost of about £20,000. It is built of Hollington Stone, in Italian
style, though, like that other Government-built edifice, the new Post
Office, it is of too heavy an appearance. The two entrances for the
general public are in Newton Street, the Registrar's and principal
Courts being on the first floor, though neither are near large enough
for the business intended to be practised therein. The entrance to the
Judge's rooms is in Corporation Street, under a portico with Doric

_Drill Hall_--In 1880 a company was formed, with a capital of £5,000 in
£20 shares, for the purpose of building a Drill Hall and suitable
head-quarters for the local Volunteers. A site in Thorpe Street,
containing 2,287 square yards, was taken on lease for 99 years at £100
rental, and very suitable premises have been erected, the frontage to
the street (183 ft.) allowing the formation of a lofty drill hall, 180
ft. long by 85 ft. wide, at the rear of the usual and useful offices and
rooms required. The latter comprise on the ground floor an orderly room
and strong room, sergeant-major's office, armoury, clothing store,
non-commissioned officers' room, privates' meeting room,
sergeant-major's and staff-sergeant's quarters, and stables. On the
first floor there are an officers' meeting room, a sergeants' meeting
room, long galleries, &c.; the whole building being characteristically
laid out for military purposes.

_Fire Engine Stations_.--The Central Fire Brigade Station, which is in
telephonic communication with all the police stations, the theatres,
various public buildings, and chief manufactories, is situated in the
Upper Priory, between the Old Square and Steelhouse Lane, and is easily
distinguishable by the large red lamp outside its gate. There are here
kept ready for instant use three manual and one steam engine, the latter
being capable of throwing 450 gallons of water per minute to a height of
120 feet, the other also being good specimens of their class. Each
manual engine has on board its complement of hose, branches (the brass
pipes through which the water leaves the hose), stand-pipes for
connecting the hose with the water mains, &c., while at its side hang
scaling-ladders, in sections which can readily be fitted together to
reach a considerable height. The engine-house also contains a tender to
the steam machine, a horse hose-cart, a hand hose-cart, and a number of
portable hand-pumps. It is with these hand-pumps that the majority of
the fires in Birmingham are extinguished, and one of them forms a
portion of the load of every engine. Several canvas buckets, which
flatten into an inconceivably small space, are also taken by means of
which, either by carrying or by passing from hand to hand, the
reservoirs of the pump can be kept filled, and a jet of water be made
available where, perhaps, it would be difficult or impossible to bring
hose. The hose kept at the station amounts to a total length of
2,487-1/2 yards, of which about 1,700 yards is always kept on the
engines, hose-carts, tender, and fire-escapes ready for instant use. The
remainder forms a reserve to allow for repairs, drying, &c. Between the
engine-house and the street is a commodious house for the
assistant-superintendent, with a very pleasant yard on the roof of the
engine-house. Adjoining the engine-house on the other side, is the
stable, where five splendid horses are kept. In the yard stand three
fire-escapes, each fitted with a box containing hose, stand-pipes and
branches, so that it may be utilised for extinguishing fires independent
of the engines. The total strength of the brigade is twenty-five,
including the superintendent (Mr. A.R. Tozer), the assistant
superintendent (Mr. J. Tiviotdale), two engineers, and an assistant
engineer. Eighteen of the brigade reside at the central station, the
others being quartered at the seven divisional police stations and at
the fire station in Bristol Street (opposite the Bell Inn), at each of
which places are kept an escape, or an hose-cart, and one or two
hand-pumps with the needful hose and appliances. The cost of the
buildings in the Upper Priory, including the site (1,500 square yards at
seven guineas per yard), was about £20,000, there being in addition to
the offices and stables, a waiting-room (in which two men are on duty
night and day), a drill ground 153 ft. long by 40 ft. wide, an
engine-room large enough for six engines, good-sized recreation rooms,
baths, &c. The residences are erected upon the "flat" system, and have a
special interest in the fact that they constitute the first important
introduction of that style of building in Birmingham. The advantages and
the drawbacks, if any, of the system may here be seen and judged of by
all who are interested in the matter. On the ground floor there are
three residences, each having a living room, which may be used as a
kitchen and two bed rooms adjoining. A semicircular open staircase gives
access to the flats, and on the first floor there are four residences,
one being formed over the firemen's waiting room and office. On this
floor additional bed rooms are provided for men with families requiring
them; and the second floor is a reproduction of the first. On the top of
all there is a flat upon which are erected five wash-houses, the
remainder of the space being used as a drying ground or play ground for
children, the whole enclosed with iron palisades. In the basement there
is a lock-up cellar for each of the residences.

_Fish Market_.--A rather plain-looking erection, of the open-shed style
of architecture was put up at the corner of Bell Street in 1870. the
foundation stone being laid July 14. It has since been enlarged, and is
now much more ornamental as well as being useful. The estimated cost of
the alterations is put at £16,000 including fittings. The original area
was only 715 square yards, but to that has been added 909 square yards,
and Bell Street (to which it will have a frontage of 240 feet), which
will be widened to 16 yards, is to be covered with iron and glass roof,
Lease Lane is also to be widened for access to the market.

_Lincoln's Inn_.--This is a huge block of offices erected in Corporation
Street, opposite the County Court, in 1883. and which, like its London
namesake, is intended for the accommodation of solicitors, accountants,
and other professional gentlemen. There are a number of suites of
offices surrounding an inner court (66ft. by 60ft.), with from two to
eight rooms each, the street frontages in Corporation Street and Dalton
Street being fitted as shops, while there is a large room under the
court (48ft. by 42ft.) suitable for a sale room or other purpose. The
outside appearance of the block is very striking, having a large
entrance gateway with a circular bay window over it, surmounted by a
lofty lower. The tower has four clock faces, pinnacles at the angles,
and a steep slate roof and is 120 feet high. There are also two flanking
towers, at the extreme ends of the front. These have canted bay windows
below them, and their pediments are surmounted by figures representing
Mercury and Athæne. The space on each side between the central and the
flanking tower is divided into three bays, having ornamental dormers
above them, and being divided by niches, which will serve to hold
allegorical figures of the arts. The windows are ornamented by tracery,
and the façade is enriched by a free use of carving. The architect is
Mr. W.H. Ward, and the cost of the pile about £22,000.

_Market Hall_.--The foundation stone was laid Feb. 28, 1833, and it was
opened for business Feb. 14, 1835. The building, which is constructed of
freestone, from the designs of Mr. Edge, cost about £30,000, though
considerable sums have since been spent on it. The large vaults
constructed under the Hall in 1875 coat about £4,000. It contains an
area of 39,411 square feet, being 365 feet long, 108 feet broad, and 60
feet high, and was originally planned to give stall-room for 600
dealers. The liquor shop, house, and vaults beneath, at corner of Bell
Street, were let on lease by auction (Nov. 1833) for 100 years, for the
sum of £5,400 and a 20s. yearly rental. In 1876 the Corporation gave
£15,000 to resume possession, afterwards reletting the premises at £800
a year, with a further £100 for the vaults. The Street Commissioners,
when retiring from office, placed in the centre of the Hall a fountain
of very appropriate design (uncovered Dec. 24, 1851), and ornamented
with bronze figures characteristic of Birmingham manufactures, but which
has been removed to Highgate Park. A clock was put above the spot where
the fountain stood, in April, 1852, which cost £60.--A Market Hall was
erected in Prospect Row in 1837, but was very little used as such. A few
years back it was partly turned into a depot for American meat, but is
now simply used for warehouses.

_Masonic Hall_.--The first stone of this building, situated at the
corner of New Street and Ethel Street, was laid Sept. 30, 1865, the
ceremony of dedication taking place April 26th, 1870.

_Municipal Buildings_.--The advancement of the town in trade and
prosperity, population, and wealth, made it necessary years ago for our
local governors to look out for a central spot on which could be
gathered the many offices and officers appertaining to the Corporation
of a large town like Birmingham. They were fortunate in being able (in
1854) to secure so eligible a site, in such a central position, and with
such commanding elevation, as the one at the corner of Ann Street and
Congreve Street, though at first glance the acquisition would appear to
have been a costly one. The price of the land and reversion thereto was
£39,525, but during the years that elapsed before the ground was cleared
ready for building (1872) the interest brought that sum up to nearly
£70,000. The total area was 11,540 square yards, of which 4,455 square
yards were thrown into the streets. Thus, though the original price was
but 68s. 6d. per yard, by the time the buildings were erected the actual
site cost over £9 per yard. The plans were approved Feb. 11, 1873, the
contract for building being £84,120, but during the course of erection
many important additions and alterations were made to the original
plans, raising the cost to £144,743. Part of the ground was originally
intended to be covered with Assize Courts, but have been devoted to the
erection of a magnificent Art Gallery, &c., so that more than a quarter
million sterling will ultimately have been spent on the spot. The
foundation stone was laid by the then Mayor, Mr. Joseph Chamberlain,
June 17, 1874, and the erection took about five years, the "hoarding"
being removed July 18, 1879. The design of the Municipal Buildings is
essentially classical, but not of any particular style, Mr. Yeoville
Thomasson, the architect, having given free rein to his own conceptions
of what was required in a modern erection of the nature of a local
Parliament House. The south, or principal front (to Ann Street), has a
length of 296 feet, the frontage to Congreve Street is 122 feet, and
that to Eden Place is 153 feet. From the ground to the top of the main
cornice the height is 65 feet; the pediment over the central entrance is
90 feet high; the stone cornice of the dome 114 feet; and the top of the
finial 162 feet, the dome rising behind the central pediment from the
main staircase. Looked at from a distance, the features of the building
that at first strike the spectator are the carved groups of life-sized
figures in the six pediments. The Ann Street and Congreve Street
frontages have a pediment at each end, of semicircular shape, and the
Eden Place frontage has one at the end where it joins the principal
front. The pediment in the centre of the south front is triangular in
shape, and contains a group of sculptured figures representing
"Britannia rewarding the Birmingham manufacturers." In the other
pediments the groups represent Manufacture, Commerce, Literature, Art,
and Science. Under the central pediment, and within a semicircular arch
over the central entrance, is a large and beautiful figure-subject in
mosaic, executed by Messrs. Salviati and Co., of London. Besides the
central entrance, which is reached through a portico supported by square
and round columns, and is reserved for the use of the Town Council and
state occasions, there are four entrances to the building, one at each
end of the principal front, one in Eden Place, and the other within the
gateway which runs through the Congreve Street wing into the courtyard
at the back. By the last-mentioned staircase access is obtained by the
general public to the Council Chamber. The building contains 94 rooms of
various sizes, three of the largest devoted to occasions of ceremony,
and the rest to the uses of the different departments of the Corporation
work. The central of the three reception rooms is 30 feet square, and is
divided from the other two by an open screen of marble columns, both
rooms being 64ft. by 30ft. The Council Chamber is 39ft. wide and,
including the gallery for spectators, is 48ft. long, the fittings and
furniture being of the most substantial character as well as ornamental.
In various parts of the building accommodation has been found for the
Town Clerk, the Borough Treasurer, Surveyor, Analyst, Chief Constable,
and every other department of Corporation work. The furnishing of the
Council Chamber and the other parts of the Municipal Buildings amounted
to £15,603, the laying in of the gas and water services being £2,418

_Odd-Fellows' Hall_.--Before the New Street Railway Station was erected
there was an Odd-Fellows' Hall in King Street. The first stone of the
present building in Upper Temple Street was laid early in 1849, the
opening ceremony taking place Dec. 3 same year. The principal room or
"hall" will accommodate about 1,000 persons, the remaining portion of
the premises being let off in offices.

_Parish Offices_.--The meeting-place of the Board of Guardians and their
necessary staff of officers has from the earliest days of Poor Law
government been the most frequented of any of our public buildings.
Formerly the headquarters were at the Workhouse in Lichfield Street, but
when that institution was removed to Birmingham Heath, the large
building at the corner of Suffolk Street and Paradise Street was built
for the use of the parish officers, possession being taken thereof Feb.
26, 1853. Thirty years seems but a short period for the occupation of
such a pile of offices, but as it has been necessary several times to
enlarge the Workhouse, as well as to collect very much larger sums from
the ratepayers, it is but in the natural order of things that the
Overseers, Guardians, and all others connected with them should be
allowed more elbow-room. A parish palace, almost rivalling our Municipal
Buildings in magnificence of ornate architecture, has therefore been
erected at the junction of Edmund Street and Newhall Street, where poor
unfortunate people going to the Workhouse, and whose ultimate
destination will possibly be a pauper's grave, may have the
gratification of beholding beautiful groups of statuary sculpture,
Corinthian columns of polished granite, pilasters of marble, gilded
capitals, panelled ceilings, coloured architraves, ornamental cornices,
encaustic tiles, and all the other pretty things appertaining to a
building designed in a "severe form of the style of the French
Renaissance," as an architectural paper critic calls it. Ratepayers will
also have pleasure in taking their money to and delivering it over in
"one of the most convenient suites of poor-law offices in the kingdom,"
possibly deriving a little satisfaction from the fact that their
descendants in less than a hundred years' time will have to build
another such suite of offices, or buy this over again, as the Guardians
only hold the site (1,700 square yards) upon a ninety-nine years' lease
at a yearly rental of £600 (7s. per yard). The building contract was for
£25,490, besides extras, the architect being Mr. W.H. Ward, and the
fittings, internal decoration, and furnishing was estimated at about
£5,000 more, though possibly as the chairs in the Boardroom are put down
at £5 each, if other articles be in proportion, both sums will be
materially increased. The work was commenced in June, 1882, the memorial
stone being laid February 15th, the following year. The building, which
has five storeys, stands on three sides of a square courtyard, and faces
into Edmund Street. Newhall Street, and a new thoroughfare made in
continuation of Bread Street. In general character the three faces are
alike, the masonry being rusticated in Coxbench stone to the line of the
second floor, the chiselling finishing with an entablature, and the
remaining two storeys included in one order of Corinthian red granite
pillars, which support the main entablature. The front in Edmund Street,
105 feet in length, is symmetrically divided by a central tower, on
either side of which the Corinthian pillars are discontinued until the
two corners are almost reached, where they support pediments. The tower,
which for a distance above the root is square, contains four clock-faces
and supports an octagonal storey, covered by a panelled stone dome,
surmounted in turn by a lantern and its finial. The height of the tower
from the level of the street is 105 feet, the slated towers over the
lateral pediments being smaller. The Newhall Street façade, 160 feet
long, is broken into three portions of nearly equal length, and the
middle portion is treated differently from the other two. Above the line
of the second floor entablature the windows, instead of being in a
double row in correspondence with the storeys, are in this middle
section of the façade carried almost to the height of the columns, and
the section is surmounted in its centre by an ornamental pedestal, which
bears a group of sculpture, and at its extremes by slated flagstaff
towers, whose sides are concave. The purpose of these larger windows is
the effectual lighting of the Boardroom, which is of the height of two
storeys. The length of the Bread Street front is 90 feet. The Boardroom
is 60 feet long, 36 feet wide and 24 feet high, the room being lighted
by two sunburners suspended from the ceiling panels, and is handsomely
decorated throughout. The offices of the Registrar of births, marriages
and deaths are entered from Newhall Street, and there is a special
waiting room for the use of marriage parties whilst they are preparing
to go before the Registrar, a provision which will no doubt be fully
appreciated by many blushing maidens and bashful bachelors.

_Public Office_.--The office for the meetings of the Justices was at one
time in Dale End, and it was there that "Jack and Tom" were taken in
November, 1780, charged with murdering a butcher on the road to
Coleshill. The first stone of the Public Office and Prison in Moor
Street was laid September 18, 1805, the cost being estimated at £10,000.
It was considerably enlarged in 1830, and again in 1861, and other
improving alterations have been made during the last three years, so
that the original cost has been more than doubled, but the place is
still inadequate to the requirements of the town.

_Smithfield Market_.--Laid out by the Street Commissioners in 1817, at a
cost of £6,000, as an open market, has been enlarged by taking in most
of the ground bordered by Jamaica Row, St. Martin's Lane and Moat Lane,
and is nearly all covered in for the purposes of a wholesale market, the
work being commenced in November, 1880. The main entrance is in the
centre of the St. Martin's Lane front, and consists of a central roadway
for carts and wagons, 15ft. wide and 24ft. high, together with a wide
entrance on either side for foot passengers. The main piers supporting
the large archway are of stone, but the arch itself is constructed of
terra-cotta, richly moulded and carved. Over the archway are two
sculptured figures in red terra-cotta, representing "Flora" and
"Pomona." The whole of the carving and sculptured work has been executed
by Mr. John Roddis. The archways are fitted with massive wrought-iron
gates, manufactured by Messrs. Hart, Son, Peard, and Co. The entrances
in Jamaica Row and Moat Lane have arched gateways and gates to match,
though much higher to allow of the passage of laden wains. The market
superintendent's office is on the left of the man entrance. Greatest
part of the St. Martin's Lane front is occupied by the new Woolpack
Hotel, and the remainder by shops. The buildings, which are from the
designs of Messrs. Osborne and Reading, are designed in the style of the
English Renaissance of the Stuart period, and are constructed of red
brick, with red terra-cotta dressings. At each end of the St. Martin's
Lane front are circular turrets, with conical roof, flanked by
ornamental gables, and in the centre is a gable with octagonal turret on
each side.

_Temperance Hall_.--The foundation stone of this building, which is in
Upper Temple Street, was laid Jan. 12, 1858, and it was opened Oct. 11

_The Cobden_.--Though the property of a private company, who have twenty
other establishments in the town, the "Cobden," in Corporation Street,
may rank as a public building if only from its central position and
finished architecture. It was opened by John Bright, Esq., Aug. 29,
1883, and cost about £10,000. In style it may be said to be
French-Gothic of early date, with Venetian features in the shape of
traceried oriel windows, &c., the frontage being of Corsham Down and
Portland stone.

_Town Hall_.--For many years the pride and the boast of Birmingham has
been its noble Town Hall, which still remains the most conspicuous
building, as well as the finest specimen of architecture, in the town.
It was erected by the Street Commissioners, who obtained a special Act
for the purpose in 1828, to enable them to lay a rate to pay for it. The
architect was Mr. T. Hansom, of the firm of Messrs. Hansom and Welch,
who, by a curious provision, were also bound to be the contractors.
Their original estimate was £17,000, with extras, which would have
raised it to about £19,000, but so far were their figures out that
£30,000 were expended prior to the first meeting being held in the Hall,
and that sum had been increased to £69,520 when the building was finally
completed in 1850 by the addition of the pillars and pediments at the
back. The foundations and solid parts of the structure are built of
brick, the casing or outside of the walls, the pillars, and the
ornamental portions being of Anglesey marble, given to the contractors
by the owner of Penmaen quarries, Sir Richard Bulkeley, Bart. The
building was commenced April 27, 1832, and opened Sept. 19, 1834, being
used for the Festival of that year; the first public meeting held in the
Hall being on Nov. 28th. The outside measurements of the Hall are--
Length 175ft., breadth 100ft., height 83ft., viz., basement 23ft.,
columns 36ft., cornice 9ft., and pediment 15ft,. The forty columns are
each 3-1/2ft. diameter. The hall, or great room, is 145ft. long, 65ft.
broad, and 65ft. high; including the orchestra it will seat a few over
3,000 persons, while it is said that on more than one occasion 10,000
have found standing room. Considerable sums have been spent in trying to
improve the ventilation and lighting of the Hall, as well as in
redecorating occasionally, the medallions of eminent composers and other
worthies being introduced in 1876. For description of Town Hall organ
see "_Organs_."

_Windsor Street Gas Works_ with its immense gas-holders, retort-houses,
its own special canal and railway approaches, covers an area of about
twenty-six acres, extending almost from Dartmouth Street to Aston Road.
Though there can be no grand architectural features about such an
establishment certain parts of the works are worthy of note, the two
principal gas-holders and the new retort-house being among the largest
of their kind in the world. The holders, or gasometers as they are
sometimes called, are each 240ft. in diameter, with a depth of 50ft.,
the telescope arrangement allowing of a rise of 170ft., giving a
containing capacity equal to the space required for 6,250,000 cubic feet
of gas. The new retort house is 455ft. long by 210ft. wide, and will
produce about nine million cubic feet of gas per day, the furnaces being
supplied with coal and cleared of the coke by special machinery of
American invention, which is run upon rails backwards and forwards from
the line of coal trucks to the furnace mouths. The quantity of coal used
per week is nearly 4,000 tons, most of which is brought from North
Staffordshire, and the reserve coal heap is kept as near as convenient
to a month's supply, or 16,000 tons. The machinery for the purification
of the gas, the extracting of the ammoniacal liquor, tar and residuals,
which make the manufacture of gas so remunerative, are of the most
improved description.

_Workhouse_.--The first mention of a local institution thus named occurs
in the resolution passed at a public meeting held May 16, 1727, to the
effect that it was "highly necessary and convenient that a Public Work
House should be erected in or near the town to employ or set to work the
poor of Birmingham for their better maintenance as the law directs."
This resolution seems to have been carried out, as the Workhouse in
Lichfield Street (which was then a road leading out of the town) was
built in 1733 the first cost being £1,173, but several additions
afterwards made brought the building account to about £3,000. Originally
it was built to accommodate 600 poor persons, but in progress of time it
was found necessary to house a much larger number, and the Overseers and
Guardians were often hard put to for room; which perhaps accounts for
their occasionally discussing the advisability of letting some of their
poor people out on hire to certain would-be taskmasters as desired such
a class of employees. In the months of January, February, and March,
1783, much discussion took place as to building a new Workhouse, but
nothing definite was done in the matter until 1790, when it was proposed
to obtain an Act for the erection of a Poorhouse at Birmingham Heath, a
scheme which Hutton said was as airy as the spot chosen for the
building. Most likely the expense, which was reckoned at £15,000,
frightened the ratepayers, for the project was abandoned, and for fifty
years little more was heard on the subject. What they would have said to
the £150,000 spent on the present building can be better imagined than
described. The foundation-stone of the latter was laid Sept. 7, 1850,
and the first inmates were received March 29, 1852, in which year the
Lichfield Street establishment was finally closed, though it was not
taken down for several years after. The new Workhouse is one of the
largest in the country, the area within its walls being nearly twenty
acres, and it was built to accommodate 3,000 persons, but several
additions in the shape of new wards, enlarged schools, and extended
provision for the sick, epileptic and insane, have since been made. The
whole establishment is supplied with water from an artesian well, and is
such a distance from other buildings as to ensure the most healthy
conditions. The chapel, which has several stained windows, is capable of
seating 800 persons and in it, on May 9, 1883, the Bishop of Worcester
administered the rite of confirmation to 31 of the inmates, a novelty in
the history of Birmingham Workhouse, at all events. Full provision is
made for Catholics and Nonconformists desiring to attend the services of
their respective bodies. In connection with the Workhouse may be noted
the Cottage Homes and Schools at Marston Green (commenced in October,
1878) for the rearing and teaching of a portion of the poor children
left in the care of the Guardians. These buildings consist of 3 schools,
14 cottage homes, workshops, infirmary, headmaster's residence, &c.,
each of the homes being for thirty children, in addition to an artisan
and his wife, who act as heads of the family. About twenty acres of land
are at present thus occupied, the cost being at the rate of £140 per
acre, while on the buildings upwards of £20,000 has been spent.

~Public houses.~--The early Closing Act came into operation here,
November 11, 1864; and the eleven o'clock closing hour in 1872; the rule
from 1864 having been to close at one and open at four a.m. Prior to
that date the tipplers could be indulged from the earliest hour on
Monday till the latest on Saturday night. Mr. Joseph Chamberlain and his
friends thought so highly of the Gothenburg scheme that they persuaded
the Town Council into passing a resolution (Jan. 2, 1877) that the
Corporation ought to be allowed to buy up all the trade in Birmingham.
There were forty-six who voted for the motion against ten; but, when the
Right Hon. J.C.'s monopolising motion was introduced to the House of
Commons (March 13, 1877), it was negatived by fifty-two votes.

~Pudding Brook.~--This was the sweetly pretty name given to one of the
little streams that ran in connection with the moat round the old
Manorhouse. Possibly it was originally Puddle Brook, but as it became
little more than an open sewer or stinking mud ditch before it was
ultimately done away with, the last given name may not have been

~Quacks.~--Though we cannot boast of a millionaire pill-maker like the
late Professor Holloway, we have not often been without a local
well-to-do "quack." A medical man, named Richard Aston, about 1815-25,
was universally called so, and if the making of money is proof of
quackery, he deserved the title, as he left a fortune of £60,000. He
also left an only daughter, but she and her husband were left to die in
the Workhouse, as the quack did not approve of their union.

~Quakers.~--Peaceable and quiet as the members of the Society of Friends
are known to be now, they do not appear to have always borne that
character in this neighbourhood, but the punishments inflicted upon them
in the time of the Commonwealth seem to have been brutish in the
extreme. In a history of the diocese of Worcester it is stated that the
Quakers not only refused to pay tithes or take off their hats in courts
of justice, but persisted in carrying on their business on Sundays, and
scarcely suffering a service to be conducted without interruption,
forcing themselves into congregations and proclaiming that the clergymen
were lying witnesses and false prophets, varying their proceedings by
occasionally running naked through the streets of towns and villages,
and otherwise misbehaving themselves, until they were regarded as public
pests and treated accordingly. In the year 1661, fifty-four Quakers were
in Worcester gaol, and about the same time seven or eight others were in
the lockup at Evesham, where they were confined for fourteen weeks in a
cell 22 ft. square and 6 ft. high, being fed on bread and water and not
once let out during the whole time, so that people could not endure to
past the place; female Quakers were thrust with brutal indecency into
the stocks and there left in hard frost for a day and night, being
afterwards driven from the town. And this went on during the whole of
the time this country was blessed with Cromwell and a Republican
Government.--See "_Friends_."

~Quaint Customs.~--The practice of "heaving" or "lifting" on Easter
Monday and Tuesday was still kept up in some of the back streets of the
town a few years back, and though it may have died out now with us those
who enjoy such amusements will find the old custom observed in villages
not far away.--At Handsworth, "clipping the church" was the curious
"fad" at Easter-time, the children from the National Schools, with
ladies and gentlemen too, joining hands till they had surrounded the old
church with a leaping, laughing, linked, living ring of humanity, great
fun being caused when some of the link loosed hands and let their
companions fall over the graves.--On St. John's Days, when the ancient
feast or "wake" of Deritend Chapel was kept, it, was the custom to carry
bulrushes to the church, and old inhabitants decorated their fireplaces
with them.--In the prosperous days of the Holte family, when Aston Hall
was the abode of fine old English gentlemen, instead of being the
lumber-room of those Birmingham rogues the baronets abominated,
Christmas Eve was celebrated with all the hospitalities usual in
baronial halls, but the opening of the evening's performances was of so
whimsical a character that it attracted attention even a hundred years
ago, when queer and quaint customs were anything but strange. An old
chronicler thus describes it:--"On this day, as soon as supper is over,
a table is set in the hall; on it is set a brown loaf, with twenty
silver threepences stuck on the top of it, a tankard of ale, with pipes
and tobacco; and the two oldest servants have chairs behind it, to sit
in as judges, if they please. The steward brings the servants, both men
and women, by one at a time, covered with a winnow-sheet, and lays their
right hand on the loaf, exposing no other part of the body. The oldest
of the two judges guesses at the person, by naming a name; then the
younger judge, and, lastly, the oldest again. If they hit upon the right
name, the steward leads the person back again; but if they do not he
takes off the winnow-sheet, and the person receives a threepence, makes
low obeisance to the judges, but speaks not a word. When the second
servant was brought the younger judge guessed first and third; and this
they did alternately till all the money was given away. Whatever servant
had not slept in the house the previous night forfeited his right to the
money. No account is given of the origin of this strange custom, but it
has been practised ever since the family lived there. When the money is
gone the servants have full liberty to drink, dance, sing, and go to bed
when they please."

~Railways:~ _London and North Western_.--The first proposal for
converting Birmingham with the outer world by means of a railway seems
to have originated in 1824, as we read of the share-book for a
Birmingham and London line being opened here on December 14 of that
year. There was a great rush for shares, 2,500 being taken up in two
hours, and a £7 premium offered for more, but as the scheme was soon
abandoned it is probable the scrip was quickly at a discount. Early in
1830 two separate companies were formed for a line to the Metropolis,
but they amalgamated on September 11, and surveys were taken in the
following year. Broad Street being chosen as the site for a station. The
Bill was introduced into the House of Commons February 20, 1832, but the
Lords rejected it in June. Another Bill, with variations in the plans,
was brought in in the session of 1833, and it passed on May 6, the work
being commenced at the London end in July, and at Birmingham in June of
the following year. The line was to be 112-1/2 miles long and estimated
to cost £2,500,000, but the real cost amounted to £4,592,700, of which
£72,868 18s. 10d. was spent in obtaining the Act alone. The line was
opened in sections as completed, the first train running from Euston to
Boxmoor, 24-1/2 miles, on July 20, 1837. The average daily number of
persons using the line during the first month was 1,428, the receipts
being at the rate of £153 per day. On April 9, 1838, the trains reached
Rugby, and on Aug. 14, the line was completed to Daddeston Row, the
directors taking a trial trip on the 20th. There were only seventeen
stations on the whole line, over which the first passenger train ran on
Sept. 17.--The prospectus of the Grand Junction Railway (for Liverpool
and Manchester) was issued May 7, 1830, and the line from Vauxhall
Station to Newton (where it joined the Manchester and Liverpool line)
was opened July 4, 1837. The importance of this line of communication
was shown by the number of passengers using it during the first nine
weeks, 18,666 persons travelling to or from Liverpool, and 7,374 to or
from Manchester, the receipts for that period being £41,943.--The
Birmingham branch of the South Staffordshire Railway was opened Nov. 1,
1847; the Birmingham and Shrewsbury line, Nov. 12, 1849; and between
Dudley and Walsall May 1, 1850. The Stour Valley line was partially
brought into use (from Monument Lane) Aug. 19, 1851, the first train
running clear through to Wolverhampton July 1, 1852. The line to Sutton
Coldfield was opened June 2, 1862, and the Harborne line (for which the
Act was obtained in 1866) was opened Aug. 10, 1874. The Act for the
construction of the Birmingham and Lichfield line, being a continuation
of the Sutton Coldfield Railway, passed June 23, 1874; it was commenced
late in October, 1881, and it will shortly be in use. The Bill for the
Dudley and Oldbury Junction line passed July 15, 1881. A new route from
Leamington to Birmingham was opened in Sept. 1884, shortening the
journey to London.

_Midland_.--The Derby and Birmingham Junction line was opened through
from Lawley Street Aug. 12th, 1839. The first portion of the Birmingham
and Gloucester line, between Barnt Green and Cheltenham, was opened July
1, 1840, coaches running from here to Barnt Green to meet the trains
until Dec. 15, 1840, when the line was finished to Camp Hill, the
Midland route being completed and opened Feb. 10, 1842. The first sod
was cut for the West Suburban line Jan. 14, 1873, and it was opened from
Granville Street to King's Norton April 3, 1876. This line is now being
doubled and extended from Granville Street to New Street, at an
estimated cost of £280,400, so that the Midland will have a direct run
through the town.

_Great Western_.--The first portion of the Oxford and Birmingham Railway
(between here and Banbury) was opened Sept. 30, 1852, the tunnel from
Moor Street to Monmouth Street being finished on June 6th previous. The
original estimated cost of this line was but £900,000, which was swelled
to nearly £3,000,000 by the bitter fight known as the "Battle of the
Gauges." The line from Snow Hill to Wolverhampton was opened Nov. 14,
1854. The first train to Stratford-on-Avon was run on Oct. 9, 1860. The
Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton line was opened in May, 1852. The
broad gauge was altered in 1874.

~Railway Jottings.~--The London and Birmingham line cost at the rate of
£23,000 per mile, taking nearly five years to make, about 20,000 men
being employed, who displaced over 400,000,000 cubic feet of earth. The
Grand Junction averaged £16,000 per mile, and at one time there were
11,000 men at work upon it. Slate slabs were originally tried for
sleepers on the Birmingham and London line.

The first railway carriages were built very like to coaches, with an
outside seat at each end for the guard, though passengers often sat
there for the sake of seeing the country.

The fares first charged between Birmingham and London were 30s. by first
class, and 20s. second class (open carriages) by day trains; 32s. 6d.
first class and 25s. second class, by night. In 1841 the fares were 30s.
first, 25s. second, and 20s. 3d. third class; they are now 17s. 4d.,
13s. 6d., and 9s. 5d.

"Booking" was a perfectly correct term when the lines were first used,
as when passengers went for their tickets they had to give their names
and addresses, to be written on the tickets and in the book containing
the counterfoils of the tickets.

The day the Grand Junction line was opened was kept as a general holiday
between here and Wolverhampton, hundreds of tents and picnic parties
being seen along the line.

The directors of the Birmingham and Gloucester line ordered eleven
locomotives from Philadelphia at a cost of 85,000 dollars, and it was
these engines that brought their trains to Camp Hill at first. In
comparison with the engines now in use, these Americans were very small
ones. The trains were pulled up the incline at the Lickey by powerful
stationary engines.

On the completion of the London line, the engineers who had been
employed presented George Stephenson at a dinner held here with a silver
tureen and stand worth 130 guineas. This celebrated engineer made his
last public appearance at a meeting in this town of the Institute of
Mechanical Engineers, July 16, 1848, his death taking place on the 12th
of the following month.

The L. & N.W.R. Co. have 46,000 men in their employ.

The G.W.R. has the longest mileage of any railway in England, 2,276-1/2
miles; the L. and N.W.R., 1,774-1/2 miles; the Midland, 1,225 miles.

The returns of the L. and N.W., Midland and G.W.R. Companies for 1878
showed local traffic of 936,000 tons of goods, 693,000 tons of coal,
coke and other minerals, 20,200 loads of cattle, and 7,624,000

The south tunnel in New Street was blocked April 18, 1877, by a
locomotive turning over. In October, 1854, an engine fell over into
Great Charles Street.

The unused viaduct between Bordesley and Banbury Street belongs to the
G.W.R. Co. and was intended to connect their lines with the other
Companies. It now stands as a huge monument of the "Railway Mania" days.

The extensive carrying trade of Crowley and Co. was transferred to the
L. & N.W.R. Co. May 17, 1873.

~Railway Stations.~--As noted on a previous page, the first railway
stations were those in Duddeston Row, Lawley Street, Vauxhall, the Camp
Hill, but the desirability of having a Central Station was too apparent
for the Companies to remain long at the outskirts, and the L. & N.W.R.
Co. undertook the erection in New Street, of what was then (and will
soon be again) the most extensive railway station in the kingdom, making
terms with the Midland for part use thereof. The work of clearance was
commenced in 1846, the estimated cost being put at £400,000, £39,000
being paid to the Governors of the Grammar School for land belonging to
them. Several streets were done away with, and the introduction of the
station may be called the date-point of the many town improvements that
have since been carried out. The station, and the tunnels leading
thereto, took seven years in completion, the opening ceremony taking
place June 1, 1853. The iron and glass roof was ihe largest roof in the
world, being 1,080 ft. long, with a single span of 212 ft. across at a
height of 75 ft. from the rails. This immense span has since been
surpassed, as the roof of the St. Pancras Station, London, is 243 ft.
from side to side. The roof of Lime Street Station, Liverpool, is also
much larger, being 410ft wide, but it is in two spans. The station has
been since greatly enlarged, extending as far as Hill Street, on which
side are the Midland Booking Offices. The tunnels have been partially
widened or thrown into open cuttings, additional platforms constructed,
and miles of new rails laid down, one whole street (Great Queen Street)
being taken bodily into the station for a carriage drive. The station
now covers nearly 12 acres, the length of platforms exceeding 1-1/2
miles. The cost of this enlargement was over half-a-million sterling.

As in the case of New Street Station, the introduction of the Great
Western Railway caused the removal of a very large number of old
buildings, but the monster wooden shed which did duty as the Snow Hill
Station for many years was as great a disgrace to the town as ever the
old tumbledown structures could have been that were removed to make way
for it. This, however, was remedied in 1871, by the erection of the
present building, which is extensive and convenient, the platforms
having a run of 720 feet, the span of the roof being 92 feet.

~Rateable Values.~--In 1815 the annual rateable value of property in the
borough was totaled at £311,954; in 1824 the amount stood at £389,273,
an increase of £77,319 in the ten years; in 1834 the return was
£483,774, the increase being £94,501; in 1814 it was £569,686, or an
increase of £85,912; in 1854 the returns showed £655,631, the increase,
£85,934, being little more than in the previous decennial period. The
next ten years were those of the highest prosperity the building trade
of this town has ever known, and the rateable values in 1864 went up to
£982,384, an increase of £326,763. In 1870 a new assessment was made,
which added over £112,000 to the rateable values, the returns for 1874
amounting to £1,254,911, an increase in the ten years of £272,527. In
1877 the returns gave a total of £1,352,554; in 1878 £1,411,060, an
increase in the one year of £58,506; but since 1878 the increase has not
been so rapid, the average for the next three years being £36,379; and,
as will be seen by the following table, the yearly increase of values
during the last three years is still less in each of the several parish
divisions of the borough:--

                               1881        1882        1883

Birmingham parish            £985,081    £991,445  £1,001,541
  Yearly increase              18,483       6,364      10,096

Edgbaston parish             £179,328    £180,327    £181,552
  Yearly increase               8,474         999       1,225

Aston, part of parish        £355,788    £362,337    £365,875
  Yearly increase               9,419       6,549       3,538

Total rateable value of
   the Borough             £1,520,179  £1,534,109  £1,548,968
  Yearly increase              36,379      13,912      14,859

~Rainfall.~--The mean annual rainfall in the eleven years ending with
1871, in this neighbourhood, was 29.51 inches, in the following eleven
years 36.01 inches, the two heaviest years being 1872 with 47.69 inches,
and 1882 with 43.06 inches. The depth of rain registered in the last
three months of 1882 (14.93 inches), was the largest for any three
consecutive months ever recorded by our painstaking meteorologist, the
late Mr. T.L. Plant, of Moseley.

~Ravenhurst.~--The old house at Camp Hill, which gave names to Hurst
Street and Ravenhurst Street, leading in the direction of the mansion,
where in 1810 there were found a number of coins and tokens of the
period of Queen Elizabeth and Charles I., as well as sundry Scotch

~Rea.~--This little river takes its rise among the Lickey Hills, and
from certain geological discoveries made in 1883, there is every reason
to believe that, in Saxon days, it was a stream of considerable force.
The name Rea, or Rhea, is of Gaelic derivation, and, with slight
alteration, it is the name of some other watercourses in the kingdom.
From time to time, alterations have been made in the course of the Rea,
and prior to the introduction of steam its waters were used extensively
for mill-power, dams, fleams, and shoots interfering with the free
running in all directions. Long little better than an open sewer, there
is a prospect that, within a few years, it may be cleansed and become
once more a limpid stream, if the sanitary authorities will but find
some more convenient site as burial-place for unfortunate canines and

~Rebellion of 1745.~--The first news of the Rebellion and of the landing
of the Young Pretender reached here Aug. 19, 1745. The Scotch did not
come so far as Birmingham, but [though thousands of swords were made
here for "Bonnie Prince Charlie"] some little preparation was made to
receive them. At a meeting held October 5, 1745, it was proposed to form
a regiment of volunteers against them, and Sir Lister Holte found 250
horses to pursue the unfortunate "Pretender," whose great-grandfather
had been the guest of Sir Lister's ancestor.

~Rebus.~--Poking fun at our town is no new game, as may be seen by the
following local rebus (by "Dardanus") copied from the _Gentlemen's
Magazine_ of 1752:--

  "Take three-fourths of a creature which many admire,
  That's often confined in a castle of wire;
  Three-fourths of a herb that the garden doth yield,
  And a term used by husbandmen ploughing the field;
  With that part of a swine which is now much in fashion,
  And a town you'll discover in this brave English nation."

The answer was _Bir_d, _Min_t, _G_, and _Ham_--Birmingham, the scribe
who poetically replied, [**]inding-up by saying that it was

  "A town that in trading excels half the nation,
  Because, Jove be thanked, there is no Corporation!"

~Recorders.~--The first Recorder appointed for the borough was Mr.
Matthew Davenport Hill, whose name is so intimately connected with the
history of Reformatory and Industrial Schools. Mr. Arthur Robarts Adams,
Q.C., who succeeded Mr. M.D. Hill on his resignation in January, 1866,
was a native of the county, and had acted as Deputy-Recorder for some
years. He died in an apoplectic fit, while out shooting (Dec. 19, 1877),
in Bagley Wood, near Oxford, in his 65th year. The present Recorder is
Mr. John Stratford Dugdale, of Blythe Hall, Coleshill.

~Recreation Grounds.~--Early in 1854 Joseph Sturge set apart a field in
Wheeley's Lane as a public playground for children, and this must rank
as the first recreation ground. The last is the disused burial ground of
St. Mary's Church, which, after an expenditure of about £1,500 was
thrown open to the public as "St. Mary's Garden," October 16, 1882.--see

~Red Book.~--Quite a local institution is the yearly publication known
as "The Birmingham Red Book," which was first issued in 1865.

~Reformatories.~--See "_Industrial Schools_."

~Reform Leagues.~--The first local affair of this kind that we have note
of (though likely enough there had been "reform clubs" before that date)
seems to have originated at a meeting of some dozen or so gentlemen at
the Royal Hotel, Dec 14, 1829. On the 25th of Jan., 1830, a public
meeting to organise a kind of local political body was held at
Beardsworth's Repository, and it is chronicled that about 15,000 persons
were present. The result was the formation of the celebrated Birmingham
Political Union, though the full name was "The General Political Union
between the Lower and Middle Classes of the People." The Union's
"Petition of Rights" was issued Dec. 13, and the "Declaration of
Council" Dec. 20, 1830. This is not the place to enter upon a history of
the doings of the Political Union, which was dissolved by mutual consent
of the leaders May 10, 1834, but there can be no doubt that it did have
considerable influence on the political changes of the period. In 1848
an attempt was made to resuscitate the Old Union, though the promoters
of the new organisation called it the "Political Council," and in 1865
another League or Union was started, which has a world-wide fame as "The
Caucus." Indeed, it may be safely said the town has never, during the
past sixty years or so, been without some such body, the last appointed
being the "Reform League," started Sept. 2, 1880, by the Rev. Arthur
O'Neill and his friends, to agitate for a change in the Constitution of
the House of Lords.

~Reform Meetings.~--We have had a few big meetings of the kind one time
and another, and give the dates of the principal. Newhall Hill used to
be the favourite spot, and the first meeting held there was on January
22, 1817.--On July 22, 1819, there were 60,000 there, and a member was
chosen to represent the town in Parliament. (See "_Newhall Hill_.") The
meeting of October 3, 1831, had only 150,000 persons at it, but May 7,
in following year, saw 200,000 on the Hill.--The "great" Reform meetings
at Brookfields were on August 27, 1866, and April 22, 1867.--A
procession to, and demonstration at Soho Pool, Aug. 4, 1884, at which
100,000 persons are said to have been present, is the last big thing of
the kind.

~Regattas.~--Usually the A1 amusement of places blessed with sea or
river space, but introduced to us (Aug 2, 1879), on the Reservoir, by
the Y.M.C.A., whose members had to compete with some crack rowers from
Evesham, Shrewsbury, Stratford, Stourport, and Worcester.

~Registers.~--At what date a parish register was first kept here is not
known, but Mr. Hamper, the antiquarian, once found some old parts stowed
away under the pulpit staircase, and he had them bound and preserved.
There are very few perfect registers in this neighbourhood, though Aston
can boast of one dated from 1544, King's Norton 1547, Handsworth 1558,
Northfield 1560, Castle Bromwich 1659, and Moseley 1750--The
Registration Act was passed Aug. 17, 1836.

~Register Offices.~--The custom of hiring servants at "statute fairs"
and "mops" still exists in theory if not in practice, in several parts
of the adjoining counties but thanks to the low scale for advertising,
such a system is not needed now. The introduction of register offices
was a great improvement, the first opened in Birmingham being at 26, St.
John Street (then a respectable neighbourhood), in January 1777, the fee
being 6d. for registering and 3d. for an enquiry. There are a number of
respectable offices of this kind now, but it