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Title: A Description of Modern Birmingham - Whereunto Are Annexed Observations Made during an Excursion Round the Town, in the Summer of 1818, Including Warwick and Leamington
Author: Pye, Charles, 1777-1864
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Description of Modern Birmingham - Whereunto Are Annexed Observations Made during an Excursion Round the Town, in the Summer of 1818, Including Warwick and Leamington" ***


_Made during an Excursion round the Town_,


Warwick and Leamington



       *       *       *       *       *

[symbol] May be had of all Booksellers.
_Anti-Jacobin, May, 1804._


The author's avowed object, is to arrange the ancient and modern
names, in a clear and methodical manner, so as to give a ready
reference to each; and in addition to this arrangement of ancient
appellations both of people and places, with the modern names, he has
given a concise chronological history of the principal places; by
which the book also serves in many cases as a gazetteer. We find upon
the whole a clear and practical arrangement of articles which are
dispersed in more voluminous works. Mr. Pye has condensed within a
narrow space the substance of Cellarius, Lempriere, Macbean, &c. In
short the work will be found very useful and convenient to all persons
reading the classics or studying modern geography, and to all readers
of history, sacred or profane.

_British Critic, June, 1804._


This may be recommended as a very convenient, useful, and relatively
cheap publication of the kind, and may very properly be recommended
for schools. The author very modestly desires that such errors and
omissions as will unavoidably appear in an attempt of this nature may
be pointed out to him, for the benefit of a future edition.

_Monthly Review, October, 1805._

We prefer the old mode of having separate divisions; the one including
ancient and the other modern geography, to that of uniting both under
the same alphabetical arrangement. When the title of this work is
considered, it is somewhat incongruous that the account of places
should be inserted under the modern names, and a mere reference under
that of the ancient. These accounts appear to be in general correct,
but they are in our judgment too brief to be satisfactory. As the
above writer says he prefers two alphabets to one; the editor hereby
sets him at defiance to produce two books in any language (however
large they are,) from whence the student or traveller can collect such
information as is contained in this small volume, price 7s.

Mr. Pye also published a correct and complete representation of all
the provincial copper coins, tokens of trade, and cards of address, on
copper, that were circulated as such between the years 1787 and 1801;
when they were entirely superseded by a national copper coinage.
The whole on fifty-five quarto plates, price 20s. being a necessary
appendage to every library; there being a very copious index.

TO Wm. Damper, Esq.

_One of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace_




_As you occasionally amuse yourself with topographical pursuits, deign
to accept of the following pages, from

Your most obedient,

Humble Servant_,



Whoever may take the trouble of looking into the following pages, will
soon perceive that in some instances the editor has been very brief in
his description of the public institutions; to which he pleads guilty,
and accounts for it by observing, that the undermentioned card[1] was
written and delivered by him personally, to every public institution,
at the respective places where the business is transacted, and when
he called again, after a lapse of two months, there were several
instances where all information was withheld.[2] Having, as he
thought, proceeded in the most genteel way, by soliciting assistance
in a private manner, he feels doubly disappointed in not being able to
give the public such information as might reasonably be expected in a
publication of this kind.--Had his endeavors been seconded by those
who are to a certain degree interested in the event, there are several
points that would have been explained more at large; but being
deprived of such assistance, he ventures to appear before the tribunal
of the public, and to give them the best information that he has been
able to obtain. Any person who discovers errors or omissions, that
will take the trouble of rectifying them, and conveying the same
through the medium of the publisher, will confer an inestimable favour

Their obedient servant,


[Footnote 1:--are respectfully informed, that it is in contemplation
to publish a Description of Modern Birmingham, and the adjacent
country for some miles around it; therefore any information they may
think proper to communicate will be strictly attended to by Their
obedient servant, CHARLES PYE.]

[Footnote 2: The Birmingham Fire Office, the three Canals, &c.]


_Written by the late John Morfitt, Esq. Barrister._

  Illustrious offspring of vulcanic toil!
  Pride of the country! glory of the isle!
  Europe's grand toy-shop! art's exhaustless mine!
  These, and more titles, Birmingham, are thine.
  From jealous fears, from charter'd fetters free,
  Desponding genius finds a friend in thee:
  Thy soul, as lib'ral as the breath of spring,
  Cheers his faint heart, and plumes his flagging wing.

  'Tis thine, with plastic hand, to mould the mass,
  Of ductile silver, and resplendant brass;
  'Tis thine, with sooty finger to produce
  Unnumber'd forms, for ornament and use.

  Hark! what a sound!--art's pond'rous fabric reels,
  Beneath machinery's ten thousand wheels;
  Loud falls the stamp, the whirling lathes resound,
  And engines heave, while hammers clatter round:
  What labour forges, patient art refines,
  Till bright as dazz'ling day metallic beauty shines.

  Thy swords, elastic, arm our hero's hands;
  Thy musquets thunder in remotest lands;
  Thy sparkling buttons distant courts emblaze;
  Thy polish'd steel emits the diamond's rays;
  Paper, beneath thy magic hand assumes
  A mirror brightness, and with beauty blooms.
  With each Etruscan grace thy vases shine,
  And proud Japan's fam'd varnish yields to thine.

  Thine, too, the trinkets, that the fair adorn,
  But who can count the spangles of the morn?
  What pencil can pourtray this splendid mart.
  This vast, stupendous wilderness of art?
  Where fancy sports, in all her rainbow hues,
  And beauty's radiant forms perplex the muse.
  The boundless theme transcends poetic lays,--
  Let plain historic truth record thy praise.

_The Roads pointed out_


                                   Miles       Folio
  Alcester                         ..  21      186
  Atherstone                       ..  20      178
  Banbury                          ..  42      134
  Barr-beacon                      ..   7      188
  Barr-park                        ..   5      122
  Bath                             ..  87      176
  Bilstone                         ..  11      101
  Blenheim                         ..  52      133
  Bristol                          ..  84      176
  Bromsgrove                       ..  13      176
  Buxton                           ..  61      163
  Cheltenham                       ..  51      176
  Chester                          ..  75      101
  Coalbrook Dale                   ..  30      101
  Coleshill                        ..  10      180
  Coventry                         ..  18      161
  Derby                            ..  40      163
  Dublin                           .. 218      101
  Dudley, thro' Oldbury            ..   9      130
  Dudley, thro' Tipton             ..  10      125
  Dunchurch                        ..  29      161
  Edgbaston                        ..   1      190
  Edinburgh                        .. 298      113&163
  Evesham                          ..  31      186
  Glocester                        ..  52      176
  Hagley                           ..  12      169
  Halesowen                        ..   7      169
  Handsworth                       .. 2-1/2    106
  Harborne                         ..   3      182
  Henley-in-Arden                  ..  14      133
  Hockley House                    ..  10      133
  Holyhead                         .. 158      101
  Kidderminster                    ..  18      169
  King's Norton                    ..   6      186
  Knowle                           ..  10      134
  Leamington                       ..  22      133&134
  Leeds                            .. 109      113&163
  Leicester                        ..  43      180
  Lichfield                        ..  16      163
  Liverpool                        .. 104      113&163
  London, thro' Coventry           .. 109      161
  ----, Henley-on-Thames           .. 118      133
  ----, Uxbridge                   .. 114      133
  ----, Warwick & Banbury          .. 119      134
  Malvern                          ..  32      176
  Manchester                       .. 82  113&163
  Matlock                          ..  55      163
  Meriden                          ..  12      161
  Northampton                      ..  42      161
  Northfield                       ..   6      176
  Nottingham                       ..  50      163
  Oxford                           ..  61      133
  Rowley                           ..   7      193
  Rugby                            ..  31      161
  Sedgley                          ..  14      110
  Sheffield                        ..  76      163
  Shenstone                        ..  13      163
  Shrewsbury                       ..  45      101
  Smethwick                        ..   2      130
  Solihull                         ..   7      135
  Stafford, thro' Walsall          ..  26      113
  ----, Wolverhamp.                ..  30      101
  Stourbridge                      ..  12      130&169
  Stratford-upon-Avon              ..  22      133
  Sutton Coldfield                 ..   8      163
  Tamworth                         ..  16      163
  Tipton                           ..   8      125
  Walsall                          ..   9      113
  Warwick, by Knowle               ..  20      134
  ----, by Hockley House           ..  20      133
  Wednesbury                       ..   8      110
  West-Bromwich                    ..   6      108
  Wolverhampton                    ..  14      101
  Worcester                        ..  26      176
  Yardley                          ..   3      192
  York                             .. 132      113&163


  Assay office,
  Assembly rooms,
  Asylum for children,
  ----   for deaf & dumb,
  Ball rooms,
  Baptist's meeting,
  Beardsworth's repository
  Birmingham canal,
  ---- fire office,
  ---- metal comp.,
  Births and burials,
  Blue coat school,
  Bodily deformity,
  ---- works,
  Brickwork, neat,
  Burial ground,
  Calvinist's meeting,
  Canal, Birmingham,
  ----, Warwick,
  ----, Worcester,
  Carriers by water,
  Catholic chapel,
  Chamber of commerce,
  Chapel, St. Bartholomew,
  ---- St. James's,
  ---- St. John's,
  ---- St. Mary's,
  ---- St. Paul's,
  Charities, private,
  Church, Christ,
  ---- St. Martin's,
  ---- St. Philip's,
  Coaches, stage,
  Corn mill,
  Court leet,
  ---- of requests,
  Crown copper company,
  Crowley's trust,
  Deaf and dumb,
  Deritend house,
  Dissenter's school,
  Factoring, origin of,
  Fentham's trust,
  Fire office,
  Fish shops,
  Free grammar school,
  General hospital,
  ---- provident society,
  Glass houses,
  Gold and silver,
  Gun trade, account of,
  Hackney coach fares,
  Hen and chicken's inn,
  Hides, raw,
  Hotel, hen and chicken's,
  ----, Nelson's,
  ----, royal,
  ----, swan,
  Humane society,
  Huntingdon's meeting,
  Jew's synagogue,
  Ikenield street,
  Improvements in the town,
  Inland commercial society,
  Innovation of the post office,
  Interesting information
  John-a-Dean's hole
  Lady well
  Lancasterian school
  Lench's trust
  Liberality of the town
  Library, new
  ----, public
  ----, theological
  Metal company
  Methodist meeting
  Mining and copper comp.
  Miscellaneous information
  Musical festival
  National school
  Neat brick work
  Nelson's statue
  ---- tavern
  New library
  ---- meeting
  New union mill
  Old meeting
  Origin of factoring
  Parsonage house
  Philosophical society
  Piddock's trust
  Places of worship
  Post office
  ---- innovation
  Principal manufactories
  Private charities
  Proof house
  Protection of trade
  Provident society
  Public breweries
  ---- library
  ---- office
  ---- scales
  Quaker's meeting
  Raw hides
  Remarkable circumstance
  Roman road
  Rose copper company
  Royal hotel
  Scales, public
  Stage coaches
  Statue of Lord Nelson
  Steam engines improved
  Steel house
  Sunday schools
  Swan hotel
  Theological library
  Town improved
  Trade protected
  Trust, Crowley's
  ---- Fentham's
  ---- Jackson's
  ---- Lench's
  ---- Piddock's
  Vase, a remarkable one
  Union mill
  Warwick canal
  Worcester canal
  Worship, places of





This extensive town, which, from its manufactures, is of so much
importance to the nation, is distinguished in the commercial annals
of Britain, for a spirit of enterprize and persevering industry. Its
inhabitants are ever on the alert, and continually inventing some new
articles for traffic, or making improvements in others, that have been
introduced in foreign countries; and by their superior skill, aided
by machinery, are enabled to bring into the foreign market an endless
variety of manufactured goods, both useful and ornamental, which they
sell at a more moderate price than any other manufacturers of similar
articles in the known world.

Comparisons are odious, and therefore to be avoided. That the
inhabitants are become wealthy, there is indisputable evidence, but to
whom they are indebted for their opulence, different opinions prevail.

The writer of these pages was born in the year 1749, and having been
an attentive observer more than fifty years, he is convinced that the
extensive trade now carried on in this town, is principally to be
attributed to the enterprising spirit of the late Matthew Boulton,
Esq. who, by his active and unremitting exertions, the indefatigable
perseverance of himself and his agents, together with the liberal
manner in which he patronized genius, laid the foundation.

This town is situated near the centre of the kingdom, in the north
west extremity of the county of Warwick, and so near the verge of it,
that within the distance of one mile and a half from the centre,
on the road to Wolverhampton, a person removes himself into
Staffordshire, and on the road to Alcester, about the same distance
from the centre, you are in the county of Worcester.

The superficial contents of the parish is two thousand, eight hundred,
and sixty-four acres.

The situation of the town is very uneven in its surface, but not in
any part flat; on which account the rains and superfluous water,
remove all obstructions, and contributes in a considerable degree to
the salubrity of the air.

From the remarkable dry foundation of the houses, and the moderate
elevation on which they are erected, the celebrated Dr. Priestley
pronounced the air of this town to be equally pure as any he had
analysed. The water is also allowed by medical practitioners, to be
of a superior quality, and very conducive to the health of the
inhabitants, who are scarcely ever afflicted with epidemic diseases.

The foundation of the houses is, with very few exceptions, a dry mass
of sandy rock, from whence there are not any noxious vapours arise,
and on that account, the cellars might be inhabited with safety, but
that is not customary here.

In approaching the town, you ascend in every direction, except from
Halesowen; on which account the air has free access to every part of
it, and the sun can exercise its full powers in exhaling superfluous

In this favoured spot, the inhabitants enjoy four of the greatest
benefits that can attend human existence; air more pure than in many
other places; water of an excellent quality; the genial influence of
the sun; and a situation not in the least subject to damps.

The adjacent lands are of an inferior quality, but by cultivation they
are rendered tolerably productive; those immediately surrounding the
town, are almost in every direction converted into gardens, which are
in general rented from one to two guineas per year, and without a
doubt are very conducive to the health of the inhabitants.

The waste lands about the town being inclosed in the year 1800 were
found to contain two hundred and eighty nine acres, which land now
lets from thirty to fifty shillings per acre.

The only stream of water that flows to this town is a small rivulet,
denominated the river Rea, which takes its rise upon Rubery Hill, near
one mile north of Bromsgrove Lickey, about eight miles distant, from
whence there being a considerable descent, numerous reservoirs have
been made, which enables the stream, within that short space, to
drive ten mills, exclusive of two within the town; and what is very
remarkable, some person has erected a windmill very near its banks,
where the ground is not in the least elevated. This curiosity of a
windmill being erected in a valley, is very visible soon after you
have passed the buildings on the road to Bromsgrove.

Notwithstanding there is only one stream of water, the streets are so
intersected by canals, that there is only one entrance into the town
without coming over a bridge, and that is from Worcester.

At the top of Digbeth, very near the church-yard of St. Martin's,
there is a never-failing spring of pure soft water, wherein is affixed
what is called the cock pump; which being free to all the inhabitants,
it is a very common thing to see from twelve to twenty people, each of
them with a pair of large tin buckets, waiting for their turn to fill
them, and this in succession through the whole day. From this very
powerful spring there is a continual stream that runs through the
cellars, on each side of the street, and several of the inhabitants
have therein affixed pumps, from which innumerable water carts are
filled every hour of the day; notwithstanding which, during the
greatest heats and droughts, there is always a super-abundance of that
necessary and valuable article.

Immediately above the same church-yard, and near to the principal
entrance, there is another pump, constructed in such a singular
manner, that I have no hesitation in saying, there never was one of
the same before, nor ever will be in future.


This inexhaustible spring of soft water has for a series of years been
encircled by a brick wall, which forms a very capacious reservoir;
from whence there are at least forty people obtain a livelihood, by
conveying the water in buckets to different parts of the town. An
attempt was made in July, 1818, to prevent the public from having
access to this invaluable water; but by the commissioners of the
street acts interfering, it remains open to the public.

No town in existence can be more plentifully supplied with water than
this is, nor in a more commodious manner, for every respectable house
either has a pump to itself, or one pump to serve two houses; and in
every court, where there are a number of small houses, that useful
appendage is not in any instance wanting, for the accommodation of the

In various parts of the town the water is soft, but it is not so
in general; and to supply that defect, numerous people find their
advantage in conveying that useful article in carts, and innumerable
others in carrying it with a yoke and two buckets, to those who are in
want of it, which they sell at the rate of from ten to twelve gallons
for one penny, according to the distance.

Near one mile and a half from the centre of the town, there is, on the
road towards Coleshill, a chalybeate spring, which some years back was
in general repute, but now little attention is paid to it.

The lands in the vicinity of this town are beyond all doubt higher
than any other in the kingdom; there being three instances of springs
issuing from them that take two different courses. One instance is
upon Bromsgrove Lickey, from whence two springs arise, one of which
flows into the Severn, and the other into the Trent.--Another instance
is at the Quinton, on the road to Halesowen, from whence there issues
two springs, each of them taking the same course as those from
Bromsgrove Lickey. The third is at Corley, in the vicinity of
Packington, where they pursue the same courses. These springs arise in
a triangular direction, Birmingham being in the centre.

To demonstrate what has been advanced respecting the salubrity of the
air and purity of the water, the hotel, in Temple-row, was erected in
the year 1772, upon the tontine principle. There being fifty shares,
of course the same number of lives must be nominated at that time,
of whom there were, in the middle of October, 1818, forty-five still

Another instance may be adduced, equally appropriate. There are at the
present time, 1818, still living, and in health, seventeen persons,
(and there may be several more), who all of them received their
education under one schoolmaster, the youngest of whom is sixty-nine
years of age.

And what is still more remarkable, although there were in the middle
of November more than three hundred and eighty children in the asylum,
there was not one sick person in that numerous family.


Is undoubtedly of great antiquity, and to trace its foundation is
at present impossible, tradition itself not giving any clue. It was
originally erected with stone, but the exterior being decayed by time,
in the year 1690 the body of the church, and also the tower, were
cased with bricks of an admirable quality, and mortar suitable to
them, for at this time there is scarcely any symptoms of decay. The
elegant spire has been several times injured by lightning, and during
its repairs the workmen have contracted the length of it considerably.
It was at one time (whatever it is now) the loftiest spire in the
kingdom, measuring from its base to the weathercock. The person who
repaired it in 1777 made the observation.--There are, no doubt,
several steeples more lofty, measuring from the ground, the towers
of which extend to a great height, whilst this at Birmingham is very
low.--There are within the church two marble monuments, with recumbent
figures upon them, but no inscription, and are, like the church, of
such ancient date, that no person has yet presumed to say when they
were executed nor for whom, (only by conjecture); but let the artists
be who they would, the effigies do them great credit, and were highly
deserving of better treatment than they have experienced. In the
church is a fine-toned organ. In the steeple are twelve musical bells,
and a set of chimes, that play with great accuracy a different tune
every day in the week, at the hour of three, six, nine and twelve; and
they are so contrived, that they shift from one tune to another, by
means of their own machinery. On the south side of the tower there is
a meridian line, which was affixed there by Ferguson, the astronomer,
so that when the sun shines, the hour of twelve may be ascertained to
a certainty. Birmingham is only one parish, except for church fees,
and in that respect, the rector of St. Philip's presides over a small
part within the town. The Rev. Charles Curtis is rector of Birmingham:
the Rev. Edmund Outram being rector of St. Philip's, in Birmingham.
The regimental colours, late belonging to the Loyal Birmingham
Association, are suspended in the east window, over the altar. This
church is computed to accommodate 2200 persons.


The scite of the church-yard, parsonage, and blue-coat school was the
gift of Mrs. Elizabeth Phillips, and her son and daughter in law, Mr.
and Mrs. William Inge, the ancestors of William Phillips Inge, Esq.
without stipulating for the presentation. This superb edifice was
designed in the year 1710, by Thomas Archer, Esq.[3] who was gentleman
of the bed chamber to her majesty Queen Anne, and who, it is
universally allowed by all who have taken particular notice of this
building, was possessed of superior abilities, and a refined taste as
an architect. An act of parliament being obtained for the erection of
it in the year 1709, the same was begun in 1711, under a commission,
granted to twenty of the neighbouring gentry, who were appointed by
the bishop of the diocese, under his episcopal seal; whose commission
was to expire twelve months after the church should be erected. It was
consecrated in the year 1715, but not finished till 1719, when the
commissioners resigned their authority into the hands of the diocesan,
in whom the presentation rests.

[Footnote 3: He also designed the church of St. John, in Westminster.]

The money expended by the commissioners, two years after the
consecration, did not amount to quite £5000; but then it must be
recollected, that a very large proportion of the materials were given,
and conveyed to the spot free of expence. A considerable sum of money
being left unpaid; this circumstance was made known to his majesty,
George Ist, by the intercession of Sir Richard Gough, when he, in
1725, generously contributed six hundred pounds towards the completion
of it; and the inhabitants, to express their gratitude for this
favour, affixed the crest of Sir Richard Gough, as a vane, on the top
of it.

The urns upon the parapet of the church, which contribute in a
considerable degree to its appearance, were placed there when the
celebrated Baskerville was church-warden, in the year 1750. The organ
posseses full tone and great power; the paintings, mouldings, and
gildings are superb, and do great credit to those who were employed.
Under the centre of the church there is a capacious vault, which
extends the whole length of it. The dome in some degree resembles
that of St. Paul's, in London, and in the tower underneath it are ten
musical bells, and a set of chimes that play a different tune every
day in the week, at the hours of one, four, seven, and ten; which
tunes shift of themselves by means of the machinery. On the south side
of the tower there is a meridian line affixed, by means of which,
if the sun shines, the hour of twelve is known to a certainty.
This elegant pile of building has been examined with the greatest
minuteness, by numerous architects, both within and without, and by
all of them declared to be the work of a master; it being equally
convenient as it is elegant. The church-yard, by which it is
surrounded, corresponds with the building; its area contains four
acres of ground, wherein are numerous gravel walks, ornamented with
double rows of lime trees, which during summer form shady walks, and
being surrounded with excellent buildings, it represents such a scene
as probably cannot be surpassed in Europe. The parsonage-house is at
the south east corner of the church-yard, where the present rector,
the Rev. Edmund Outram, D.D. resides. This church is calculated to
accommodate 2000 auditors.--At the north east corner is a spacious
building, with a stone front, which is a charity school, wherein there
are at this time one hundred and eight boys and fifty-four girls,
receiving their education.--(_See Blue Coat School._)


The land whereon this edifice is erected was the gift of William
Phillips Inge, Esq. whose ancestors about a century ago generously
gave the scite upon which the church of St. Philip's stands. It is
situated at the upper end of New-street, and the first stone of it was
intended to have been laid by his present majesty, George the 3d,
in person; but it having pleased the Almighty to afflict him with
indisposition, that ceremony was performed by the Earl of Dartmouth,
on the 22d of July, 1805, in presence of the bishop of the diocese,
who was attended by numbers of the nobility, clergy, gentry, the
trustees appointed under the act of parliament, and a numerous
assemblage of the inhabitants. Although his majesty's malady did not
admit of his being present upon this occasion, as it is understood
he very much wished to be, he in a very condescending manner gave
directions for the payment of one thousand pounds, from his private
purse, towards the completion of the building. The body of the church
being free to all description of persons, is fitted up with benches
for their accommodation; but rent being paid to the clergyman for
kneelings in the galleries, they are finished in a style of elegance,
with mahogany, supported by light pillars of the doric order. The
church was consecrated with great solemnity on the 13th of July, 1813,
by the Honourable and Right Rev. James Cornwallis, bishop of Lichfield
and Coventry, and an appropriate sermon preached by the Rev. Edmund
Outram, D.D. the worthy rector of St. Philip's church, who selected
his text from one of the beatitudes--"_The poor have the gospel
preached unto them._"--The bishop, in whom the presentation rests,
afterwards gave to the Rev. J. Hume Spry, whom he had appointed to the
living, the sum of one hundred pounds, to purchase bibles and prayer
books, for the use of the congregation, or that part of it whom he
perceived to be the most regular in their attendance. Divine service
was first performed by the aforesaid clergyman, on Sunday the 18th of
July, at half past ten o'clock in the morning, and in the evening at
six o'clock. The ascent to the galleries is by a double geometrical
staircase, of stone, with ballustrades of iron, coated with brass,
which appear light and produces an elegant effect; these, with the
railing at the altar, were an entire new manufacture, invented by Mr.
B. Cooke, whose manufactory is carried on at Baskerville House. The
altar piece, designed by Mr. Stock, of Bristol, is of mahogany, above
which is a painting by Mr. Barber, representing a cross, apparently
in the clouds. These being completed in June, 1815, an elegant
well-finished organ, built by Elliott, of London, was erected about
the same time; and is considered to be one of the most powerful and
well-arranged instruments in this part of the kingdom. The present
organist is Mr. Munden. The portico and spire were both of them
erected by Mr. Richardson, of Handsworth; the former at the expense of
£1200 and the latter £1500, which was completed in 1816. In the year
1817, a clock was affixed in the tower, by Mr. Allport, which has four
dials, and each of them both hour and minute hands. This place of
worship is computed to accommodate 1500 hearers.

Isaac Hawkins Brown, Esq. the late worthy representative for
Bridgnorth, who had on several occasions rendered his powerful
services to this town, being co-trustee with the Rev. Thomas Gisborne,
under the will of Isaac Hawkins, Esq. they had considerable sums of
money at their disposal, for benevolent purposes, and out of those
funds he proposed to appropriate the sum of one thousand pounds
towards the erection of a free church in Birmingham.

In consequence of this liberal suggestion, a town's meeting was
convened, whereat it was unanimously resolved to petition parliament
on the subject, under sanction of the bishop of the diocese, who
in the most handsome manner proposed to annex the prebendary of
Tachbrooke, in aid of the said benefice. A liberal subscription
immediately commenced among the inhabitants, who were most powerfully
assisted with large sums contributed by the nobility and gentry,
resident in the vicinity. Considerably more expenses being incurred
during the erection of the building than what had been calculated
upon, it was considered necessary to make a second application to
parliament, to empower the trustees to convert the arches under the
church into catacombs, under the idea that they would be readily
disposed of at the rate of four pounds each; the trustees purchasing
one third of them. In this calculation they have been very much
disappointed, there having as yet only two corpse been interred there;
but it is presumed, that when the inhabitants are familiarised to that
mode of sepulture, they will prefer them to the present custom of
erecting vaults, which are attended with considerably more expense.

The erection of this free church confers great credit on the town, as
the want of such accommodation was very apparent, from the increased
population; and this is manifest by its being so well attended;
the congregation being considerably more numerous than can be
accommodated, and they express their satisfaction by decent and
orderly behaviour.


The land whereon this chapel is erected was the gift of John Jennens,
Esq. who possessed a considerable estate in and near this town. It was
erected in the year 1749, in the centre of an extensive burial ground,
and is fitted up in a very neat and commodious manner. Mrs. Jennens
contributed towards its erection the sum of one thousand pounds, and
the remainder was raised by subscription. The altar piece was the gift
of Basil, Earl of Denbigh, and the communion plate, consisting of
182 ounces, that of Mary Careles. There has since been erected a
fine-toned organ. The present chaplain is the Rev. Charles Warneford.
This chapel is calculated to accommodate 800 auditors.


Mrs. Weaman being possessed of some land at that time on the outside
of the town, made a present of the ground whereon it is built,
reserving to herself the presentation. It was erected in the year
1774, in an octagon form, and being very spacious, the diminutive
steeple attached to it, is not by any means proportionate. The present
incumbent is the Rev. Edward Burn, A. M.--This place of worship is
computed to accommodate 2000 hearers.


This elegant pile of building was erected in the year 1779, upon
land the gift of Charles Colmore, Esq. reserving to himself the
presentation. The ground whereon it stands being a declivity, is not
altogether suitable for such a pile of building, but at that time it
was the most eligible spot at his disposal. The attendants upon this
place of worship raised a subscription, and in the year 1791 caused
a beautiful window of stained glass to be placed over the communion
table, representing the conversion of St. Paul; by that ingenious
artist Francis Eginton; price four hundred guineas. Although the
inside is thus ornamented, the steeple remains to be erected, it being
at present only delineated upon paper. The present incumbent is the
Rev. Rann Kennedy. This chapel is calculated to accommodate 1130


Was originally founded in 1382, during the reign of Richard 2d. This
place of worship, which is a chapel of ease to the parish of Aston,
appears to have been erected in the year 1735, and to which the tower
was added in 1762, wherein eight musical bells and a clock were
affixed in 1777. The perpetual curate is the Rev. John Darwall, A.M.
This chapel is calculated to accommodate 700 persons.


This structure was erected by an eminent physician, John Ash, M.D. for
his own residence, but before the building was completed, he went to
reside in London; and having disposed of this property to Mr. John
Brooke, he converted it into a place of worship, which was consecrated
in the year 1810. Minister, the Rev. Edward Burn, A.M. This place of
worship is capable of containing 1200 auditors.--N.B. The two last are
in the parish of Aston.

_Burial Ground._

The different cemeteries within the town being crowded with the bodies
of the deceased, it was considered proper to purchase three acres of
land near to the chapel of St. Bartholomew, as an additional burying
ground; for which the sum of £1600 was paid to the governors of the
Free School. This ground is divided into two parts, each of which is
inclosed by a brick wall, surmounted by iron palisadoes, and gates
of the same at the entrance, which are secured by locks. It was
consecrated on the 6th of July, 1813, by the bishop of the diocese.

_Births and Burials._

It will undoubtedly be expected that something should be said under
this head, but the different sectaries, who never come near the church
upon either occasion, are so numerous, that nothing like a regular
estimate can be made.

_Chapel in Broad-street,_


The religious of this persuasion erected a place of worship in the
year 1789, which was considerably improved in 1800; it is situated in
Broad-street, and fitted up in a commodious manner, with an organ.
They have also another chapel in Shadwell-street.

_Meeting in Bull-street,_


This pile of building, although destitute of ornaments has a very
respectable appearance, and the inside of it is fitted up in a very
appropriate manner. There is at the back of it an extensive cemetery,
and another small one in Monmouth-street.

_Old Meeting,_


This substantial and well-constructed pile of building, particularly
the roof, was erected about the year 1793; the old one, which gave
name to the street, having been destroyed by fire in 1791. Had this
meeting been erected in a more spacious street, it might have been
seen to advantage, but its beauties are here lost. The interior is
fitted up to correspond with the exterior, and therein is affixed a
fine-toned organ. The officiating ministers are the Rev. R. Kell and
the Rev. John Corrie. There is a spacious burial ground attached to
this meeting.

_New Meeting,_


This substantial edifice, being cased with stone, fronts towards
Moor-street; the former erection, which gave name to the street, being
destroyed by fire in 1791. This, like the old meeting, is fitted up in
a neat and convenient manner, in every respect, being furnished with
an organ suitable to the size of the building. The Rev. John Kentish
and the Rev. James Yates are the ministers.

_Meeting in Carres Lane,_


This is a neat and commodious pile of building, in every respect
suitable for the purpose intended.--In Livery-street the Calvinists
converted a riding-school into a place of worship, which is
commodiously fitted up and will hold a numerous congregation.

This religious society have another place of worship in
Bartholomew-street, and have lately completed a fourth, upon a very
extensive scale, in Steelhouse-lane, which was opened for divine
service on the 9th of Dec. 1818. It is fitted up with pews, capable of
containing 2000 auditors, and is lighted by means of gas, in the
most superb manner. A scion from this meeting has lately fitted up a
warehouse in Bristol-street, as a place of worship.

_Meeting in Cherry-street,_


This building was erected in the year 1782, and opened as a place
of worship by the celebrated John Wesley, it being fitted up in a
commodious manner for the purpose.

This sect has increased in a surprising manner; they having
since erected one extensive meeting in Belmont-row, another in
Bradford-street, and a fourth in Oxford-street.

_Meeting in Cannon-street,_ FOR PARTICULAR BAPTISTS.

This extensive and well-arranged pile of building was erected in the
year 1804; and at the back of it is a school upon a large scale, for
the youth of that persuasion.

This society have become so numerous, that they possess a meeting upon
an extensive scale in Newhall-street, and another in Bond-street.
There is also a meeting for general baptists in Lombard-street,

_Meeting in King-street,_


This place of religious worship was originally a theatre; where some
of the most celebrated performers have made their appearance; but it
has for several years been appropriated to the performance of divine
service, being fitted up in a commodious manner for that purpose.

_New Jerusalem Temple,_


This small place of worship is situated in Newhall-street, directly
opposite the coal wharf, and is fitted up for the accommodation of
those who embrace the tenets of Swedenburg.



The Israelites having from some cause abandoned their ancient place of
worship, have erected another suitable for their devotion, which is
finished in a neat manner, and makes a respectable appearance, in
Severn-street, near the Lancasterian School.

In this town every individual worships his maker in whatever way his
inclination leads him, without the least notice being taken or remarks
made; if a person's conduct is exemplary, or if he does not give way
to any vicious propensities, no one will interrupt or interfere with

_Lench's Trust._

In the time of Henry the 8th, an inhabitant, named William Lench,
bequeathed some land, which is vested in sixteen trustees, for the
purpose of keeping the streets within a certain district in repair,
and to erect almshouses, which the trustees have complied with, there
being twelve of that description erected by them at the bottom of
Steelhouse-lane, for the benefit and residence of the same number
of aged people. There are nine others in Dudley-street, and four in
Park-street, wherein fifty-two aged females reside. The present rental
is about £600 per ann.

_Fentham's Trust._

In the year 1712,--Fentham bequeathed £100 per annum to teach poor
children to read, and for cloathing ten poor widows of Birmingham. The
children educated by this trust, are maintained and educated in the
blue coat charity school, being for distinction sake cloathed in

_Crowley's Trust._

In the year 1733, Mrs. Crowley left six houses in trust; the rents of
which were to support ten girls, who are also in the same school.


_Society for cloathing destitute Women and Children._

In the year 1800, a few ladies impressed with benevolent ideas
associated together, and formed a society for the above purpose: the
subscriptions were fixed at three shillings and five shillings per
quarter; the former to distribute five shillings and the latter seven
shillings, in articles of cloathing.

There have in general been from ninety to one hundred and ten
subscribers, who have annually relieved near four hundred persons, by
accommodating them with comfortable cloathing, by the aggregate sum
arising from these small contributions.

It is hoped that this very slight sketch of the institution may induce
many others to unite in this most beneficial mode of relieving the
poor. Subscriptions and donations for this charity are received at Mr.
Cadbury's, in Bull-street.

_The Female Benevolent Society._

This highly commendable institution was established in the year 1802,
for the purpose of relieving indigent married women when they are
confined by reason of child-birth, or other infirmities. Two visitors
are appointed, who examine into every person's situation that applies
for assistance, and they administer such relief as the nature of the
case seems to require. A subscriber of three shillings per quarter,
may, if they think proper, recommend one object to receive five
shillings, and a subscriber of six shillings, two objects, who may
each of them receive five shillings, or one woman when she lies in may
receive ten shillings, or one poor widow or sick person may receive
nine-pence per week during the quarter. In the first nine years of
this establishment, the sum of £417. 16s. was distributed among sick
and indigent females, and since that time the society has been upon
the increase, but no report has been printed. Subscriptions and
donations for this charity will be received by Mrs. Dickenson,

_The Depositing Society_

Have for their object, to improve the condition of the poor, by
inciting them to diligence and habits of economy; encouraging them to
deposit any sum of money weekly with a committee of ladies, who allow
small premiums upon every shilling that is deposited with them. Their
view is, to enable the poor to discharge debts, redeem pledges,
purchase coals, cloathing, bedding, &c. The last printed report
states, that from the 1st of January, 1815, to Midsummer, 1816, the
deposits amounted to £538. 11s. 6d. and that the sum of £120. 3s. 2d.
had been paid in premiums to 189 poor persons, making in the whole the
sum of £658. 14s. 8d. By this statement it appears that the poor
were benefited more than 22 per cent, on their deposits, which is
undoubtedly very great encouragement. Subscriptions and benefactions
in aid of this society will be received by Mr. J. Dickenson,
treasurer, Summer-hill. This society appears to have been established
fifteen years.

_Institution for providing Nurses for poor married Women, when lying
in._ This laudable society of ladies originated in the year 1814, and
since its establishment more than 700 persons have by their means been
attended to, in a comfortable manner; their assistance having been
extended to 129 objects of charity during the last year, and to 77 of
them money has been distributed.

_Institution for providing Clothes for new-born Infants._

The object of this society is to raise a fund, and to purchase linen,
flannel, &c. which the ladies make into suitable cloathing for the
intended purpose. Each subscriber of two shillings and six-pence
annually, may recommend one object to receive a suit of cloathing, and
in proportion for a larger sum.

_Lying-in Charity at the Five Ways._

This is supported entirely by voluntary contribution and liberal
donations; several of its contributors, much to their honour, having
in a benevolent manner assisted the charity by their industry in
making different articles with their own hands. Its object is to
supply poor married women with linen, during the time they are
confined from child-birth, and also to furnish them with a set of
linen for the infant. They are at the same time presented with two
shillings and six-pence towards paying the midwife.

_Deritend and Bordesley Society for assisting the sick_ _Poor with
clean Linen._

This charity was instituted in the year 1806, and is conducted by
a committee, consisting of six visitors, a treasurer, and a
store-keeper. Any person wanting relief must procure a note, and
deliver it to one of the visitors, who having seen the sick person,
gives an order for such linen as appears necessary, and this they
retain so long as the visitor thinks they have occasion for it; and
when requisite, the house is cleaned, and money given for their

If the stock of linen will admit of it, women are accommodated for the
space of one month, whilst they are lying-in. Since this society was
first instituted, more than nine hundred poor persons have derived
benefit from it, within the limited district of Deritend and

_Sick Society, Cannon-street_.

This society has been established for a series of years, for the
weekly visiting, relieving, and instructing the sick poor, of every
denomination; about three hundred of whom are visited and relieved by
this society annually.

A society was established about seven years back, and is still
continued, for lending blankets to poor people during the winter

At St. Mary's chapel there is a benevolent society, for relieving the
indigent sick; and the congregation have likewise established a
school of industry, for females, which is supported by voluntary

The editor is given to understand, that every religious society in the
town has a charitable institution belonging to it, that are each of
them confined to their own congregation. There is an Auxiliary Bible
Society and also a branch of the Missionary Society.

_The Free Grammar School_

Was founded by King Edward 6th, in the fifth year of his reign, and
endowed with lands, which, by the increased value of such property,
now produce more than two thousand pounds per annum. The present
building was erected in the year 1707, and is well adapted for the
intended purpose.

This seminary has the privilege of sending ten exhibitioners to the
universities of Oxford and Cambridge, who are each of them allowed
thirty-five pounds per annum, for the space of seven years.

The management of these revenues is vested in twenty governors, who
annually, from their own body, select a bailiff; and when any governor
dies, they are empowered to elect another to supply his place. In the
centre of the building there is a small tower, with a whole-length
figure of the founder. This school is regulated by a chief master, who
receives a liberal salary, a second master, and two ushers, who are
assisted by a person to teach writing and another to instruct the
pupils in drawing. The present head master is the Rev. John Cooke.
There is also a librarian. In the large room there is an elegant
marble bust of the founder, by Scheemaker, which is much admired for
its sculpture.

The governors of this school support one extensive preparatory school
in Shut-lane, and there are four others for boys, to each of which
there are two sets of pupils: one of them attends by day and the other
in the evening. There are also two others for girls.

_The Blue Coat School_

Is situated in St. Philip's church-yard: it was erected in the year
1724, but considerably enlarged in 1794, at the expense of £2800.
It possesses an annual income of £700, and therein are educated,
maintained, and cloathed 108 boys and 54 girls, in the arts of
reading, writing, arithmetic, sewing, knitting, &c. In front of this
building there are two statues, a boy and a girl, in the habit of the
school; they were executed by a statuary of this town, named Grubb,
and do him infinite credit, for they would not disgrace a Roman
artist. Adjoining to the school there is a spacious area, for the
amusement and recreation of the boys, and a separate one for the
girls. The inhabitants subscribe liberally towards its support, and
every six months, sermons are preached at all the places of worship
upon the establishment, and afterwards there is always a collection,
to which many people contribute in a very liberal manner. To this
institution some considerable legacies have been bequeathed; and in
the year 1795, the lord of the manor granted a lease for 999 years, of
four acres of land upon Birmingham Heath, at one shilling per annum,
for its benefit.--Persons desirous of viewing the interior of the
premises may be accommodated upon making application to the master,
Mr. Jones.

It appears by the printed accounts of this school, published in the
year 1817, that some young men, who received their education there,
have formed an association, under the title of _'True Blues,'_ each of
whom contributes a weekly sum towards the parent institution, and that
the trustees have received at different times from this association
the sum of one hundred and fifteen pounds and three-pence.

_The Protestant Dissenters' Charity School_

Is situated in Park street, commodious premises having been purchased
for that purpose. In this school females only are admitted, to the
number of thirty-six, who are maintained, cloathed, and educated, by
voluntary subscription, and collections made after sermons, which are
preached annually at the old and new meeting houses.

_The National School_

Is situated in Pinfold-street, where a substantial pile of building
was erected in the year 1813, capable of containing on the ground
floor, five hundred boys, and on the upper story, four hundred girls.
This seminary is only intended for the instruction of those children
who are brought up according to the established religion, and is
conducted upon the Madras system, originally invented by Dr. Bell.
This building is inclosed by a lofty brick wall, within which there is
vacant ground for the recreation of boys and girls separately. This
institution is under the management of Mr. Martin for the boys, and
Mrs. Chawner for the girls. Since the institution of this school, 1906
boys and about 1000 girls have received instruction.

_The Royal Lancasterian Free School_

Was erected in Severn-street in the year 1809, where boys of all
denominations are instructed in reading, writing, and accounts. The
room is calculated to accommodate four hundred pupils, and since its
erection 1800 have derived the benefit of education. In this seminary
visitors are uniformly received with kindness, and respectfully
informed of any particulars they may think proper to enquire after,
by the master, Mr. Thomas Baker. An examination taking place every
Saturday, no visitors are admitted on that day between the hours
of ten and twelve; but at any other time, the school is open for
inspection during school hours. During the year 1818, 215 boys
left the school, having been instructed in reading, writing, and

Upon a similar plan there is a school established for the instruction
of females, which is situated in Park-street.

_Sunday Schools._

These institutions are exceedingly numerous, in every part of the
town, and not only so, but they are remarkably well attended to, by
those of the established religion; and each denomination of dissenters
endeavours to out-vie the other in these establishments. The children
are all of them neatly cloathed of a Sunday, numbers of them by
contributing one penny per week to that purpose, which with donations
that are made, effectually answers the end proposed.

_The General Hospital._

The exterior of this substantial building was erected in the year 1766
under the superintendance of an eminent physician, John Ash, M.D. but
for want of funds, it lay dormant for the space of twelve years; when,
in 1778, some well-disposed people stepped forward, and solicited
subscriptions in so earnest a manner, that during the next year the
hospital was prepared to receive patients, and during the first nine
months there was admitted,


Discharged cured .. .. .. 135

Relieved .. .. .. 38

Absented themselves .. .. .. 3

For irregularity .. .. .. 2

Incurable .. .. .. 1

Died .. .. .. .. 5

Remained on the books .. .. .. 41


Discharged cured .. .. .. 108

Relieved .. .. .. 55 For non-attendance .. .. .. 5

Made in-patients .. .. .. 5

Remained on the books .. .. .. 71

By this statement it is evident that the faculty exerted their skill,
and exercised their humanity, by giving their attendance gratis. In
a few years, the patients became so numerous, that in 1790 it was
considered necessary to add two wings to the building. It is supported
by voluntary subscription, and once in three years a music meeting is
held, from which it derives unprecedented advantage. At the meeting
which took place in 1817, the gross receipts, during the three days'
performance, amounted to the sum of £8476. 6s. 9d., of which the
treasurers of the hospital received the sum of £4290. 10s. 10d.; there
not being an instance upon record of any institution receiving so much
benefit, or such extensive patronage, from a similar source. A list of
the donations and benefactions are recorded in the hall, which enable
the committee to extend relief to numerous individuals, who otherwise
might perish for want of medical assistance.

In the year ending Midsummer 1818, there were relieved 1167
in-patients and 2541 out-patients, including 766 for the cow-pock,
who all of them did well. The under-mentioned physicians and surgeons
attend gratuitously, and give their advice and assistance in the
most humane manner; it being impossible to enumerate any place where
greater attention and humanity are practised.


  DR. J. JOHNSTONE,             DR. MALE,
  DR. BOOTH,                    DR. DE LYS.


  MR. FREER,                    MR. DICKENSON,
  MR. WOOD,                     MR. VAUX.

  House Apothecary, Mr. ALFRED JUKES.
  Matron,    ..     Mrs. RANDALL.

_The Dispensary._

This laudable institution originated among a select society, and was
carried on in a private manner for some time; until they were joined
by the late Matthew Boulton, Esq. who took it under his patronage
in the year 1793, when a house was taken in Temple-row, and an
establishment formed; he taking upon himself the office of treasurer,
saying, "if the funds of the institution are not sufficient for its
support, I will make up the deficiency." It continued in Temple-row,
supported by voluntary subscriptions and donations, until the year
1808, when a commodious building having been erected for the purpose,
in Union-street, at the expense of more than two thousand pounds,
the establishment, consisting of a house apothecary, another for the
compounding and dispensing of the medicines, and a midwife, removed
there. Those who have previously received a recommendation, are here
accommodated with medical advice and assistance, gratis, and the
females in the time of need are attended at their own dwellings by
the midwife, as are also sick patients, who are too ill to attend
personally. Since this dispensary was first established, there have
been 37139 sick patients, 6223 midwifery, and 13964 persons inoculated
in the vaccine manner, at the expense of the institution; of whom 2523
sick, 387 midwifery, and 434 vaccine inoculation, were attended to
during the last year, ending Michaelmas, 1818; the subscriptions
amounting to £599.11s.


  DR. DE LYS,                    DR. ECCLES,
  DR. LEE,


  MR. BARR,                          MR. RUSSELL,
  MR. VICKERS,                       MR. INGLEBY,
  MR. J.S. BLOUNT,                   MR. HODGSON.

  Resident Surgeon and Apothecary,  Mr. J. M. BAYNHAM.
  Dispensing Apothecary, Mr. JOHN TOMPSON.

_The Workhouse._

This extensive establishment for the accommodation of the poor, is
situated in Lichfield-street, and is under the management of twelve
overseers; six of whom are made choice of at Lady-day and the other
six at Michaelmas; so that there are always some in office, who having
been initiated, understand the rules and customs of the house. In
addition to the overseers, there are one hundred and eight guardians,
elected by the inhabitants who pay levies, and they continue in office
for three years, during which time they possess all the power and
authority of overseers, except making and collecting of rates, from
both of which they are exempt, nor can they be compelled to assist
therein as guardians; but the serving of this office does not excuse
them from being chosen into any other.

The church-wardens and overseers for the time being are guardians by
virtue of their office; and at the expiration of the year, they may
continue to act as such, or not, at their option. The appointment
of treasurers, clerks, governors, and other officers, with their
servants, is vested in the guardians; who are required to keep regular
accounts of their proceedings, which must be signed by the chairman
at every meeting they hold. All fines, forfeitures, and other public
monies are required to be paid into the hands of the guardians, whose
duty it is to meet every week, and also after every quarter-day.

In the year 1816, trade being at a very low ebb, the applications
for relief were so very numerous, that in order to support this
establishment, between Michaelmas in that year and the same time in
1817, it was necessary to collect thirty-six levies, which produced
the astonishing sum of sixty thousand two hundred and fourteen pounds,
seventeen shillings, and six-pence. From Michaelmas, 1817, to the same
time in 1818, there was twenty-eight levies, which produced the sum
of fifty-one thousand nine hundred and forty-three pounds, nine
shillings, and nine pence halfpenny.

_Asylum for the Infant Poor belonging to the Parish of_ _Birmingham_.

In the year 1797 the overseers and guardians being convinced of the
evils that arose from the system then pursued, of placing the children
out at nurse, in the vicinity of the town, formed the resolution
of taking certain premises situated in Summer-lane, where all the
children might be properly attended to and taken care of.

This being done, a committee of overseers and guardians were appointed
to superintend the institution: they being made choice of annually,
meet every Monday for the purpose of examining the demands on the
asylum drawing cheques for the amount of the bills on the cashier of
the workhouse, and inspecting the state of the institution.

The average number of children who have been maintained, cloathed,
and educated, for the last twelve months, has been three hundred and
eighty; of whom three hundred are employed in manufacturing of pins,
straw plat, and lace. The produce of the children's labour since the
institution was established, has been progressively accumulating,
and that to such a degree, that the committee have been enabled to
purchase the premises they inhabit, with about two acres of land,
which with the additional buildings and improvements, are now worth
nearly six thousand pounds, and are the property of the parish.

The whole of this information is very interesting, but what follows is
highly deserving of attention. This account was written at the asylum,
in the middle of November, 1818, when there was not in this numerous
family one sick person.

_Philosophical Society._

This institution is indebted for its origin to a few scientific
inhabitants, who held a meeting in the year 1800, and having disclosed
their ideas to others, they afterwards formed themselves into a
society, who having engaged premises and procured proper apparatus,
devoted a considerable portion of their time to experimental
philosophy; occasionally delivering lectures among their own members.
This being carried on as a private society for several years,
continually increasing in numbers, they in the year 1813 purchased
commodious premises in Cannon-street, which they fitted up in a
similar manner to the Royal Institution in London, and it is now
become a most valuable establishment. The various lectures that have
been delivered by the different fellows of this society, on mechanism,
chemistry, mineralogy, and metallurgy, have produced very beneficial
effects, and contributed in a considerable degree to the improvement
of gilding, plating, bronzing, vitrification, and metallurgic
combinations. At one of these lectures, in the year 1812, Dr. De Lys
descanted upon the advantages an unfortunate class of society (the
deaf and dumb) might derive, if they were put under proper management;
and to elucidate the subject, he introduced a girl, about eight years
of age, who, labouring under those defects, he and his friend Mr.
A. Blair, had been very attentive to,--she, being in other respects
endowed with an excellent capacity, paid great attention to what was
going forward, and with promptness executed, or rather anticipated,
the wishes of her instructors, which proved a very animating and
affecting spectacle. This circumstance gave rise to _A General
Institution for the Instruction of Deaf and_ _Dumb Children._

A few days after this girl had been brought forward, a private meeting
took place, when it was determined to establish an institution, under
the above title.

On the 4th of December, 1812, a general meeting was held, and a
committee appointed, who, after making numerous enquiries to find a
person properly qualified to superintend the concern, did at length
fix upon Mr. Thomas Braidwood, who at that time conducted a private
school of the same description, at Hackney; he being initiated in the
mystery by his father and grandfather.

When the plan of this institution was made known to the grand jury at
the summer assizes for the county of Warwick, in the year 1813, it was
universally patronized by them; and when the magistrates, and other
leading characters in the county of Stafford, were apprised of it,
they, with the greatest liberality, gave it their support, as did
the Earl of Plymouth, and other persons of high consideration in the
counties of Worcester, Salop, and Derby.

On the 11th of January, 1814, the school was opened, with a few
children, as day scholars, and a short time after, the number was
increased to fifteen; three of whom came from a distance, and were
provided for, free of any expense to the institution, which was
at that time held in the town. Lord Calthorpe having erected some
building at Edgbaston, in a delightful situation, on an eminence,
that commands a view of Birmingham and the adjacent country for some
distance, he, at the suggestion of Dr. Edward Johnstone, granted an
advantageous lease of it, together with some surrounding land, for the
use of this institution.

At the anniversary which took place on the 29th August, 1814, his
Grace the Duke of Devonshire, as president of this institution,
attended in person, when the committee announced, that every annual
subscriber of one guinea, and every donor of ten pounds are entitled
by lot to nominate a child into this institution, and that the sum of
four shillings per week be required with every child, for lodging,
maintenance, and instruction in the asylum.--At the anniversary held
on the 4th of August, 1815, the committee made a report, that the
asylum was opened on the 4th of January last, and that twenty children
had been admitted, to which number they recommended the subscribers to
ballot for the admission of eleven others, the funds being adequate to
support that number, with the four shillings per week.

At the anniversary held on the 16th of August, 1816, the committee
recommended a ballot for six additional boys, and proposed to reduce
the weekly sum paid with each pupil from four to three shillings.

In the year 1817, no circumstance took place deserving of notice, but
at the anniversary in 1818 the Marquis of Anglesea presided, and there
were four additional pupils admitted. The whole number in the asylum
at the present time being thirty-two, several of whom have made great
proficiency in drawing.

_General Institution for the Relief of Persons labouring under bodily

This institution, which is supported by voluntary contributions, was
established in New-street on the 24th of June, 1817, under patronage
of the Earl of Dartmouth, and during the first year of its
establishment, 235 patients were relieved, under the care of Mr. John


The county magistrates who act for this town, some of whom attend at
the public office, in Moor-street, every Monday and Thursday, are the
Rev. Dr. Spencer, of Aston; William Villers, Esq. of Moseley; George
Simcox and Theodore Price, Esqrs. of Harborne; Wm. Withering, Esq. of
the Larches; William Bedford, Esq. of Birch's Green; William Hamper,
Esq. Deritend House; Edmund Outram, D.D. St. Philip's Parsonage; and
Isaac Spooner, Esq. of Witton.

_The Public Office_

Is a neat stone-fronted building, erected in the year 1806, at the
expense of £9000, in Moor-street; the ground floor of which is
appropriated to the use of the commissioners of the street acts, and
on the upper floor, the magistrates transact the public business of
the town, for which purpose some of them attend every Monday and
Thursday. At other times, when it is requisite to convene a public
meeting of the inhabitants, it is made use of for that purpose. Behind
this building there are apartments for the prison-keeper and his
attendants, also.

_The Prison._

Which is a spacious building, with a commodious well-paved yard, for
the accommodation of those unfortunates who are therein confined; it
being divided into two parts by a lofty brick wall, for the purpose of
separating the male from the female prisoners, who have each of them
their separate apartments during the day, and at night they are
secured in distinct cells.

_The Prison, in Bordesley._

This being a licensed public house, numerous objections may be made to
it; but under the superintendance of that humane magistrate, William
Hamper, Esq. every accommodation and convenience that the place
will admit of is appropriated to the benefit of those who are there
confined, consistent with their security.

_Court Leet._

In the latter end of October, a court leet is held for the lord of the
manor, when the low bailiff summonses a jury, and the annual officers
are appointed by them: the low bailiff, in whom all the power is
vested; the high bailiff, whose duty it is to see that justice is done
between buyer and seller, by rectifying the weights and dry measures;
two constables; one headborough, who, if he thinks proper to be
vigilant, can act as constable; but if either of them are in town, he
is not compelled to act; two high tasters, who should examine into the
quality of the ale and its measures; two low tasters, or meat conners,
whose duty it is to examine all meat brought to market, and if any
that is unwholesome is exposed to sale, they are to destroy it; two
affeirers, who ratify the rent and amercements between the lord and
his tenants; and two nominal officers, under the title of leather
sealers, who have no business to attend to, except a good dinner twice
a year.

Deritend being a hamlet of Birmingham, its inhabitants attend this
court leet, where a constable being elected for them, he and the
officers for the town are all sworn, in the name of the lord of the
manor. The constables of Birmingham are empowered to act in Deritend,
but the constable of Deritend cannot act in Birmingham.

_Court of Requests._

In the year 1808, the commissioners of this court, who are seventy-two
in number, were empowered by act of parliament to decide any pecuniary
differences between parties, not exceeding the sum of five pounds. The
commissioners, three of whom are a quorum, meet every Friday morning,
at the office, in a court, about the centre of High-street, and nearly
opposite to New-street. Two clerks are constituted by the act to
attend the court, who being always of the law, give their judicial
assistance; they are chosen alternately by the lord of the manor and
the commissioners, being continued for life. At the expiration of two
years, ten of the commissioners are balloted out, and ten other of the
inhabitants are made choice of, as their successors. From the decision
of this court there is no appeal, and there are frequently two hundred
causes decided in one day; there are two sets of commissioners sitting
at the same time, for the dispatch of business, who in general give so
much satisfaction to both parties, that it is very unusual to hear any
remarks made upon their decision.

_Humane Society._

In the year 1790, a society was formed, under the above title, to
assist in the recovery of persons apparently drowned, which is now
transferred to the hospital.

_Society for the Protection of Trade against fraudulent Bankrupts,
Swindlers, &c._

This society was formed in the year 1804, to prevent any flagrant
attempts to impose on the honest and unwary, by fraudulent bankrupts
and swindlers, and to detect cheats of every description; also to
prevent the friends and suspected accomplices of such persons from
being appointed assignees or trustees, to the detriment of the
creditors at large.

_Chamber of Commerce._

In July, 1813, a public meeting was convened, for the purpose of
establishing a bond of union among the mercantile interests in this
town, under the above title; but at present it does not appear to have
made much progress.

_The Assay Office_

Is situated in Little Cannon-street, where all plate manufactured
in this town and its vicinity must be sent, for the purpose of
ascertaining the quality of the silver and being stamped with the
proper marks, denoting that it is standard, and has paid the proper

_Gold and Silver._ The quantity of these precious metals consumed in
this town and neighbourhood every week is incalculable, and if it
could be ascertained would appear incredible; there being in wrought
plate about two thousand ounces; but the quantity of silver used in
plating of different articles, it is not possible to discover, nor can
the quantity of gold used in different manufactories be made known,
but it is computed by those who have the best means of obtaining
information on the subject, that there are more than one hundred
ounces of gold purchased by the gilders every week, which is spread
over the articles in such a superficial manner, that not a single
ounce of it ever returns to the crucible again. From the same source
of information, it is computed that there are more than one thousand
ounces of silver used every week, which never reverts back again in
its pristine state as silver.


There being a great consumption of this article in the different
manufactories, a society was formed in the year 1790, under the title
of _The Birmingham Mining and Copper Company._

Who, having established connexions at Redruth, in Cornwall, and
Swansea, in Wales, the copper is brought to this town, and disposed of
among the manufacturers, to the mutual advantage of both parties.

In the year 1793, there being a great demand for this article, on
account of a national copper coinage, an association was entered into,
who stiled themselves _The Rose Copper Company,_

Who established smelting works at Swansea, in Wales, and principally
vend the article in this town.

Trade continuing to increase, a third establishment took place, in
1803, under the name of _The Crown Copper Company,_

Who erected smelting houses, and render the article in a proper state
for sale, at Neath, in Wales.

Envious of other people's prosperity, a fourth company obtruded itself
upon the public, called the Union, who having overstocked the market,
disposed of their concern to the other companies, and dissolved

Under this head, the editor considers it no more than an act of
justice, to observe, that the manufacture of copper bolts, for
fastening the timbers of ships together, was invented by Mr. John
Westwood, an inhabitant of this town.


This article, so necessary to the manufacturers in this town, was for
a great length of time procured from the wealthy people of Bristol,
which caused a manufactory, of brass to be established here, about the
year 1740, but that being upon a small scale, the principal supply
came from the place before-mentioned, until the year 1781, when
a number of manufacturers associated together, and established a
manufactory of brass, upon an extensive scale, in this town, under the
denomination of _The Birmingham Metal Company._

For the purpose of supplying themselves and their neighbours with that
article, at a regular rate; the Bristol people being accustomed to
raise or fall the price at discretion. This gave rise to another
company, who erected extensive works, and established a manufactory of
brass, at Smethwick.

Trade increasing, a third company was formed, who erected works, and
commenced manufacturing of brass, at Spon-lane, West-bromwich; so that
the town is now amply supplied with that article; for the companies at
a distance have their agents, who dispose of large quantities.

_Steel House._

In the beginning of the last century, a furnace was erected on the
outside of the town, for the conversion of iron into steel, and houses
being erected in its vicinity, they were denominated Steelhouse-lane.
That the woollen manufactory is of great importance to this kingdom
must be admitted, but if the demand for fine steel goods should ever
revive again, and be equally brisk as it was thirty years back, there
is not in my mind a doubt, but the iron and steel trade would produce
more profit to the nation than that of woollen, if it does not at the
present time. Wool is produced from the surface of the earth, and iron
is by dint of labour collected from its bowels; consider the numerous
hands employed in the mines and the furnaces to bring it into a rough
state, either for casting or the forge, and when it is in a proper
state for either, the endless variety of articles it is manufactured
into; the whole export of which, being all produced by labour, is
every shilling of it profit to the nation. Gold can only be wrought
in any quantities to a certain determinate value, but who can fix the
price at which articles made of steel may be sold. Should it please
the Almighty to continue the blessings of a general peace, the people
on the continent will soon recover themselves, and whenever that is
the case, and money circulates freely among them, they will then turn
their thoughts to superfluities, and as no other article will bear so
high a polish and appear so brilliant as those which are manufactured
of steel, there is the greatest probability of that trade being
revived.--An attempt to enumerate the different articles now made in
iron and steel, would be in vain; yet none of the more valuable are at
this time in request.

Previous to the year 1760, there were very few travellers, (if any,)
went from Birmingham with intent to sell the manufactures; the custom
at that time, and for many years afterwards, was, for the ironmongers
in different parts of the kingdom to bring their money and orders with
them, and to wait until the goods were brought in, and see them
packed before they left the town. The ironmongers in large towns
then supplied their neighbours in smaller places with the different
articles, and numbers of people used to attend different markets,
where they kept a stock of goods.

This mode of conducting business being both troublesome and expensive,
the ironmongers, instead of coming twice a year as some of them did,
deputed some person to receive goods on their account, allowing a
commission for so doing. This opened the eyes of those who received
the goods, and induced them to collect patterns and travel on their
own account; which being found advantageous, it has been practised
ever since.

Twenty years back the trades carried on in this town were, with few
exceptions, light articles, that depended upon fancy, but since that
time, there have been numerous works established for manufacturing
useful and substantial articles, both for the foreign market and home
consumption; and the orders are so extensive that several people keep
carts, for the purpose of delivering their own manufacture to the

_Principal Manufactories._

Within this town are manufactured every metallic article, both for use
and ornament, that can be necessary in a house; the variety of japan
goods, both useful and ornamental, is prodigious; the brass founders
produce an infinite variety of articles; and the platers also; the
manufacturers of buttons, guns, swords, locks of every kind, jewellery
and toys, employ the greatest part of the population. To these may be
added a great variety of articles, exclusively for the foreign trade.
Lately a manufactory of watches has been established, upon a very
extensive scale, in gold, silver, metal, and covered cases.

_Birmingham Canals._

In the year 1767 an act of parliament was obtained to cut a canal
from this town to the collieries, which was completed in 1769, at the
expence of £70000, being 500 shares at £140. each, which in 1782 was
sold for £370. in 1792, £1170 was the price of them, and when the
first meeting was held respecting the grand junction canal, in the
church, at Stony Stratford, one was there sold for £1375. Since that
time, the proprietors have been authorised by parliament to divide
each share into two parts, which is in fact doubling the number of
shares, in order that they may be rendered more saleable, and for one
of these divided shares, £900 was offered and refused in the summer of
1818. There is now a regular communication by water between this
town, London, Liverpool, Manchester, and Bristol; to the three former
places, goods are delivered on the fourth day, upon a certainty; there
being relays of horses stationed every fifteen miles.

_The Worcester Canal_

Was opened for the passage of boats, by forming a junction with the
Birmingham canal, on the 21st of July, 1815, by means of which goods
may be conveyed from the upper part of this town, to London, one whole
day sooner than they can by steering immediately into the Warwick
canal. At King's-Norton, this canal is conveyed under ground, by means
of a tunnel, two miles in length, which is in width 16 feet and in
height 18 feet, yet it is so admirably constructed, that any person by
looking in at one end, may perceive day-light at the other extremity.
The pound of water extends on a level for the space of fourteen miles,
when it descends into the river Severn by means of fifty-eight locks.

_The Warwick Canal_

Was opened for the passage of boats, by forming a junction with the
Birmingham canal, in the year 1800.

A communication being opened between the Birmingham and Worcester
canals, in the year 1815, there are now two different routes by which
goods may be conveyed from this town to London, by water; one of them
is, by an immediate junction of the Birmingham canal with the Warwick,
which is accomplished by means of nineteen locks; the other is, by
passing into the Worcester canal, on the same level; from thence into
the Stratford canal, which is also on the same level, and from thence
into the Warwick canal.

Boats from the wharfs within the town; Bird's, White-house's,
Robinson's, and Crowley's, are capable of delivering goods in London
one whole day sooner by the latter route than they can do by the
other, and the merchants and ironmongers in the metropolis are hereby
informed of that circumstance. The boat-owners by proceeding on this
route, are necessitated to advance a small sum of immediate money, for
tonnage, more than they do on the other route; to counterbalance that,
the boats are exempt from the wear and tear of passing through twelve
locks, and an extra day's expense; therefore, when both circumstances
are taken into consideration, the expenses cannot vary much either
way, and to the London merchant one day is, at times, of the utmost
importance.--On that account, there is no doubt that those who are
apprised of this circumstance, will order their goods to be conveyed
by way of the Stratford canal.

The trade of this town has within the last fifteen years increased in
an astonishing manner; for in the year 1803, six weekly boats were
sufficient to convey all the merchandize to and from this town to
Manchester and Liverpool, but at the present time, there are at least
twenty boats weekly employed in that trade.

At the same period, the competition was so great between the carriers
to London, that they procured a number of boats, but it was with
difficulty they could find lading for five or six in a week; whereas,
at the present time, there are at least eighteen boats per week,
constantly employed at the different wharfs in that traffic.

_The Theatre._

This superb pile of building was erected in 1774, and an additional
portico in 1780, the whole together forming one of the most elegant
theatres in Europe. There are in the front of it, over the attic
windows, two busts, in bas relief, of exquisite workmanship; one
representing Shakespear, and the other Garrick.

In the month of August, 1792, the interior of this building was in a
malicious manner set on fire, which consumed all the scenery, dresses,
&c. and although liberal rewards were offered for the discovery of the
incendiaries, no proof could be established, though suspicions were
very strong. Thus circumstanced, the proprietors purchased several
adjoining houses, and in the space of four years re-erected the
theatre, upon an enlarged scale, so that it will contain more than
2000 people. In the centre building, towards the front, is an elegant
assembly room, which is fitted up in a sumptuous style, and the two
wings are occupied as a tavern, which, from the great author of the
drama, is called the Shakespear. In the year 1807, it was made a royal
theatre, and on that account the proprietors are entitled to let it
for such performances as other royal theatres are, without being under
controul of the magistrates.

As a theatre, it opens in June and closes in September.

This substantial and well-constructed pile of building, being on a
line with the street, it cannot be seen to any advantage, except you
ascend the roof of St. Philip's church. This theatre is now lighted by
means of gas, in a most brilliant manner.

_Musical Festival._

Once in three years, during the month of October, the vocal and
instrumental performers of the first class are assembled here in
greater numbers than any other part of the kingdom can boast. They
are collected together at a prodigious expense, for the purpose of
performing oratorios, three successive mornings, in the church of St.
Philip. In the evening of each day, select concerts are performed in
the theatre; and when those performances are closed, the company who
are assembled, whilst they are under the same roof, are ushered into
an elegant and well-furnished ball room, where they amuse themselves
for the remainder of the evening; refreshments being provided upon the
spot. These performances are conducted in such a superior style, that
great numbers of the nobility and gentry who reside at a considerable
distance, are induced to attend. The profits arising from these
musical entertainments being appropriated to the benefit of the
General Hospital, many of them contribute in a very liberal manner by
donations to that institution. The last performances took place in
October, 1817, when the committee of managers, after they had defrayed
all incidental expences, paid to the treasurers of the general
hospital the sum of £4296. 10s. 10d. the total receipts being £8476.
6s. 9d.

The next festival is intended to be celebrated in October, 1820.

There being two rooms of large dimensions, that are each of them
fitted up in a style of elegance, as ball rooms, one at the hotel in
Temple-row, and the other adjoining the theatre in New-street, there
are during winter, subscription concerts and assemblies held at each
of them.

Independant of these, private concerts are occasionally held at each
of them; those at the hotel being of some years' establishment, the
room, although eighty feet in length and thirty-three in breadth, is
so completely occupied, that any person who is desirous of becoming a
member must probably wait two or three years before they can obtain


A pile of building was erected in New-street, for the purpose of
exhibiting paintings of this description, which has lately been
converted into an auction room.

_Deritend House._

This stone-fronted mansion was erected in 1786, as a tavern, under the
name of the Apollo, and in consequence of its bowling green, was for
several years much frequented. It was afterwards divided into two
private houses; but in 1816 being purchased by Wm. Hamper, Esq. that
gentleman greatly improved the premises and again converted it into
one dwelling, which he makes his residence, and which, from its
extensive gardens and pleasant situation, is much admired.

_Duddeston or Vauxhall,_

So called after that place of fashionable resort near London, is
little more than a mile from the centre of the town.

This was the ancient residence of the Holt family, and within memory
contained some good paintings, as the gardens did a number of lead
statues, large as life, and some smaller ones; but depredations being
committed by stealing some of them, the others were removed.

These delightful gardens, which contain a very spacious bowling green,
an orchestra, a great number of commodious gravel walks, on the
borders of which are numerous lofty trees, of various kinds, together
with parterres, where flowers of different sorts were accustomed to be
seen, were, till of late years, resorted to by none but the genteeler
sort of people, and from their retired situation, are every way
capable of being made one of the most rural retreats for public
amusement of any in the kingdom. Times are now completely changed, it
being turned into an alehouse, where persons of all descriptions may
be accommodated with that or any other liquor, on which account the
upper classes of the inhabitants have entirely absented themselves.

By adopting this method, the editor is of opinion, that the
present occupier is accumulating more money than any of his
predecessors.--There are, during summer, fire works occasionally
exhibited, and sometimes concerts of vocal and instrumental music.

_The Crescent._

Several years have now elapsed since a plot of ground, 1182 feet in
length, forming a terrace seventeen feet above the wharfs, was laid
out for the purpose of erecting some superior buildings in that form,
and the wings were soon after constructed according to the plan; but
as yet very little progress has been made in the central buildings.

_The Barracks._

In the year 1793, government took a lease of five acres of land, near
Ashsted chapel, at the rate of one penny per square yard, whereon
they expended the sum of thirteen thousand pounds, in the erection
of barracks to accommodate one hundred and sixty-two men, with their

_Birmingham Fire Office._

In the month of March, 1805, the monied interest in this town opened
an institution under the above title; there being three hundred
subscribers, at £1000. each. Their office is in Union-street, which
for chasteness of design is equal to any other building in the town.

_The Inland Commercial Society._

The merchants, and others, who were accustomed to send goods to,
or receive them from Liverpool, having experienced, not only great
delays, but the packages being pilfered, to their great prejudice,
established this concern, in order to counteract such proceedings in

_Theological Library._

The first rector of St. Philip's church, the Rev. Wm. Higgs, having
bequeathed this library for the use of the clergy in Birmingham,
and its vicinity, and the sum of two hundred pounds to make further
purchases, a handsome library was erected by the Rev. Spencer Madan,
in the year 1792 for its reception, adjoining to the parsonage house,
he being at that time rector.

_Public Library._

An institution under this title was established in the year 1779, and
is now held in an elegant pile of building, erected on the tontine
principle, by the subscribers, situated in Union-street. In front of
the building is the following inscription:


Which is thus englished,--


This library contains about sixteen thousand volumes, and there are
about five hundred and sixty subscribers.

_New Library._

Some disagreement arising among the subscribers to the public library,
gave rise to this institution, which was established in the year 1796,
in a commodious room for the purpose, situated at the lower part of
Cannon-street, where there are about three thousand volumes.--From the
committee of this library I have received every assistance, and from
the librarian every information it was in his power to give.

_General Provident Society._

This society originated in the year 1800, for the benefit of the
working class; it consists of upwards of four hundred members, who are
aided by about fifty-five honorary members, who contribute annually to
the fund, which consists of three thousand four hundred pounds, funded
property. A member when sick receives eight shillings per week, and
when past the age of sixty-five, he receives four shillings per week
during his life. The dependant subscribers contribute no more than
four-pence per week, although, in addition to the foregoing, they
receive medical assistance gratia.


Under this denomination, the workmen assemble at the public-houses
they usually resort to, and by contributing a small sum weekly, they
raise a fund, from whence, if any member is afflicted with illness, he
receives a certain sum for his support, according to the rules of the
society to which he belongs; every separate club having rules and
orders peculiar to themselves.

_Piddock's Trust._

In the year 1728, William Piddock devised his farm, containing about
nine acres of land, at Winson Green, in trust, for the purpose of
educating and putting out apprentice, poor boys belonging to the
parish of Birmingham, or other discretional charities. It is vested in
the constables, church-wardens, and overseers for the time being. This
estate now produces about I cannot learn what.

The baneful effects produced by spirituous liquors, which has made
such dreadful havoc among the populace in many other manufacturing
towns, is, to the credit of the working people, very little

To the credit of the inhabitants, the spirit of gambling is almost
unknown here; there being more of it practised in many small towns
than there is in this extensive one. The magistrates invariably
suppress those public houses where it is encouraged.

_Wilday's Royal Hotel, Temple-row._

As a proof how salubrious the air is in this neighbourhood, this
capacious and substantial pile of building was erected in the year
1772, upon the tontine principle; divided into fifty shares, at £100
per share, and there are at this time, October, 1818, forty-five of
the parties, whose lives were nominated, now alive.

It has an elegant entrance through a capacious saloon, at the
extremity of which there is a noble flight of stairs, leading to
an elegant and spacious assembly room, in length, including the
orchestra, wherein there is a handsome and fine-toned organ, eighty
feet, and in breadth thirty-three feet. It is fitted up in a tasteful
and decorative manner, with three rich cut-glass chandeliers, five
lustres, and six large mirrors.

This hotel is considered one of the first in point of comfort and
accommodation, and not being subject to the annoyance of stage
coaches, makes it a very desirable residence for families who think
proper to reside any time in the town, to inspect the different
manufactories and show rooms.

This hotel has been honoured with the presence of Prince William of
Gloucester, Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington, the Grand Duchess of
Oldenburgh (now Queen of Wirtemberg, and sister of Alexander, Emperor
of Russia), the King of France, the Grand Dukes Nicholas and Michael,
&c. &c. This house is also considered one of the first in the kingdom
for the accommodation of posting, where an extensive supply of horses
and carriages are always in readiness.

_Statue to the Memory of Lord Nelson._

Nearly at the top of the market-place, and fronting St. Martin's
church, a statue of this never-to-be-forgotten hero was exposed to
public view, on the 25th of October, 1809; the day on which was
celebrated the jubilee of our august sovereign George 3d. It was
executed in bronze, by Westmacott, a statuary of the first eminence,
at the expense of £2500, which was raised by voluntary subscription,
to immortalize the memory of that much-lamented admiral. The attitude
of the figure is expressive of that dignity and serenity with which
the original was characterised, and the resemblance is upon the whole
admitted to be more than usually correct. The circular pedestal
whereon it is erected, is ornamented with figures in alto relievo, in
a bold and masterly style, the limbs being so disposed, that except
real violence is used, they are not liable to be injured. The relative
proportion of the whole is admirable, and the general effect it
produces gives the utmost satisfaction. As an artist, every praise is
due to Mr. Westmacott, for the admirable skill he has displayed, and
also for his unassuming conduct in presence of the committee, who had
been appointed to superintend its execution.

On the scaffolding being removed, and the statue exhibited to public
inspection, the following illustration of it was distributed by Mr.

"In this work, intended to perpetuate the greatest example of naval
genius, simplicity has been the chief object in the arrangement. The
hero is represented in a reposed and dignified attitude, his left arm
reclining upon an anchor: he appears in the costume of his native
country, invested with the insignia of those honours by which his
sovereign and distant princes distinguished him. To the right of
the statue, the grand symbol of the naval profession is introduced.
Victory, the constant attendant upon her favourite hero, embellishes
the prow. To the left is disposed a sail, which being placed behind
the statue, gives breadth to that view of the composition. Above the
ship is a facsimile of the Flag Staff Truck of l'Orient, which was
fished up by Sir Samuel Hood, the day following the battle of the
Nile, and presented by him to Lord Nelson; the same being deposited
at Mitford, as a trophy of that ever-memorable action. This group is
surmounted upon a pedestal of statuary marble; a circular form having
been selected, as best adapted to the situation. To personify that
affectionate regard which caused the present patriotic tribute to be
raised, the town of Birmingham is represented in a dejected attitude,
murally crowned, mourning her loss; she being accompanied by groups of
genii, or children, in allusion to the rising generation, who offer
consolation to her, by producing the trident and the rudder."

In front of the pedestal is the following inscription:--


The whole is inclosed by iron palisadoes, in the form of boarding
pikes, connected by a twisted cable. At each of the four corners is
fixed a cannon, erect, from which issues a lamp post, representing a
cluster of pikes, supporting a ship lantern.

The late Mr. Joseph Farror, of this town, at his decease, bequeathed
six-pence per week, to be paid for ever, out of rents arising from a
house in Bradford-street, for keeping the basement and statue of Lord
Nelson clean and free from dirt, which is received by the wardens of
St. Martin's church.

_Proof House._

Although government have at all times a large store of fire arms in
the tower of London, yet, after the revolution had taken place in
France, and England was threatened with an invasion, the numerous
volunteers who offered their services at that time, to repel the
enemy, required such a profusion to be distributed among them, that
it became necessary to purchase large quantities from any part of the
continent where they could be procured; and the volunteers of this
town were supplied with muskets from Prussia. The words 'liberty' and
'equality', used by the French military, produced such an effect on
the continent, that England was necessitated to manufacture arms for
its own defence. Thus situated, application was made to the gun-makers
in this town, but the number of hands at that time employed in the
trade was so limited, that they could only supply small quantities;
but when war was renewed, after the peace of Amiens, great
encouragement being given by government, the manufacturers of arms
in this town were, in the year 1804, enabled to supply five thousand
stand of arms monthly.

At that time, so many workmen had obtained a knowledge of the trade,
that in the year 1809 the government were supplied with twenty
thousand stand of arms monthly, and in 1810, the number was increased
from twenty-eight to thirty thousand monthly; and that number was
regularly supplied until the peace of Paris.

In order to expedite the business, a proof house was established by
government, in Lancaster-street, under an inspector from the board of

An act of parliament was obtained in the year 1813, for the erection
of a proof house in this town, where all barrels of guns, pistols,
blunderbusses, etc. must be proved and marked, under a severe penalty;
and since that time, the manufacturing of fowling pieces has increased
to a considerable degree.

It is situated on the banks of the canal, in Banbury-street, and is
conducted under the direction of three wardens, who are annually
made choice of from the body of guardians and trustees, they being
nominated in the act of parliament.[4] In addition to them, the Lords
Lieutenants for the counties of Warwick, Worcester, and Stafford, the
members serving in parliament for the said counties, for the time
being, respectively, and the magistrates acting within seven miles of
the town of Birmingham, are appointed as guardians.

[Footnote 4:

  John Heeley, Warden.
  John Adams, Warden and Treasurer.

  William Allport,     |
  Bartholomew Redfern, |   Auditors of Accounts.

  William Ryan, Warden.

  Robert Wheeler       John Oughton      John Jones
  Richard Sutherland   John Smith        John Mabson
  Joseph Tarton        John Olive        Stephen Wallis]

The corn mill at the bottom of Snowhill was erected about the year
1781: the brick work of this extensive building, which is excellent
in its kind, was executed by Mr. Edward Jones, according to contract;
which was, for bricks, mortar, and labour, one guinea per thousand.
This mill, and also that adjoining, were erected by the late Mr. James
Pickard, and were the first steam engines that worked by a rotatory
motion, he being the person who first applied the crank to those
machines, and for which invention he obtained a patent, but I do not
know that he ever erected any others; for Messrs. Boulton and Watt,
in order to evade the patent, substituted the sun and planet wheels,
which they continued to use until the patent expired.

At the latter mill, where metal was rolled and other business carried
on, a pump was fixed, and a boy employed to work it, for the purpose
of keeping the machinery cool; but after some time, the youth being
inclined to play, fixed a pole from the engine to the lever of the
pump, which gave rise to the practise that was afterwards followed, of
making the engine supply itself with water for that purpose. The boy
for his ingenuity was afterwards employed withinside the mill.

_Union Mill._

There being a great scarcity of corn in the year 1795, the wealthy
inhabitants raised a subscription, and having purchased a large
quantity of foreign corn, at Liverpool, it was soon conveyed here,
but it very unfortunately happened that at the time, neither wind nor
water mills could be worked, to grind it. From this circumstance, Mr.
William Bell, a man who possessed a fertile genius, suggested the idea
of erecting a steam mill, and set on foot a subscription for that
purpose, there being about seven thousand subscribers, at one pound
each. It was for several years very doubtful whether this mill could
be supported or not; but having surmounted those difficulties, it has
for several years been a very profitable concern; shares being at the
present time eagerly sought after, at three pounds ten shillings per

This mill turning out so beneficial, and the boundaries of the town
being extended to a considerable degree, the same Mr. Bell projected
another, which he called _The New Union Mill._

Upon a more extensive scale than the former, which was in time
carried into effect; but like other things in an infant state, it has
difficulties to encounter. The committee having expended as much money
in superfluous buildings, as would have supported the mill in credit.

Steam engines are erected in every direction round the town, they
being found to accelerate business, and abridge manual labour.

_Public Breweries._

Of these there are three; one of them situated in Warstone-lane,
belongs to Forrest and Sons; another in Deritend, is the property of
Richards and Goddington; and the third is near Broad-street, conducted
by a public company.

_Glass Houses._

The manufacture of flint glass, and the various methods of ornamenting
it, gives employment to a great number of people in this town; it
having within the last twenty years increased to a very considerable
degree; there being at this time, in the town and its immediate
vicinity, six glass houses in full work.

_Beardsworth's Repository for Horses and Carriages,_

Is upon an extensive scale, about sixty yards from the S.W. corner of
Smithfield, where there are always a variety of both on sale, and a
public auction takes place every Thursday in the forenoon.


Is situated about sixty yards to the S. of St. Martin's church. Neat
cattle, sheep, and pigs being exposed to sale, upon the identical spot
where the ancient barons of Birmingham were accustomed to hold their
midnight revels, and to feast their dependants. The hospitable mansion
having been demolished long since, the moat was filled up, and the
ground prepared in a very commodious manner for the intended purpose,
against Michaelmas Day, 1817, at which time the fair was proclaimed,
and it has since been used as a market.

_Inspection of Raw Hides._

Parliament having passed an act to prevent frauds from being practised
in raw hides, a very convenient situation was fixed upon for their
examination, in Park-street, where two persons are annually appointed
to inspect them.

_Public Scales._

A short distance from the statue of Lord Nelson, one of the beadles is
stationed every market day, with the public scales and weights,
where any person may weigh whatever articles of provision they have
purchased, free of expense, which is a very laudable institution, and
has proved of the greatest utility.


Within the last twenty years, the interior of the town has experienced
very considerable improvements; numerous houses adjacent to the church
yard of St. Martin have been entirely removed, and the space they
occupied is thrown open to enlarge the market place.

The entrance into several streets have been made considerably wider,
and by that means rendered more commodious; some of the streets have
been re-paved, and the water conveyed by culverts, instead of annoying
the pedestrian as it used to do. Some parts of the town are already
lighted by gas, and preparations are making for the general use of it;
but in those streets where it has been introduced, a great part of the
brilliant light it produces is obscured for want of clean lamps. Those
who have the care of them, either do not know how, or will not be at
the trouble of making a strong lie of ash balls and hot water, which
with a little labour and attention will remove the greasy particles
that adhere to them.--It having been customary to fix the lamps
adjacent to the houses, the same method is still pursued; but if light
cylindrical lamp posts of cast iron were fixed between the curb stone
and the water course, every part of the street would be benefited by
the alteration. The lamps should be made with a hole in the bottom,
similar to those used in halls, and fit into a socket at the top of
the lamp post.

This fashionable mode of producing artificial light, gives employment
to great numbers of people in this town, not only for the use of
public streets, but also elegant branches for the interior of houses.


There are four published in this town: Aris's Gazette, by Mr. Thomas
Knott, jun. on Monday morning; Swinney's Birmingham Chronicle, by Mr.
James Ferrall, on Wednesday evening; the Birmingham Commercial Herald,
by Messrs. Richard Jabet and Co. on Saturday evening; also, the Argus,
on the same evening.

_The Markets._

Although there is not any shelter for the country people, yet in the
most stormy weather this town is abundantly supplied with provisions
of all kinds, every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. This being the
grand mart, the fertile vale of Evesham pours forth its fruit and
vegetables in great profusion; and as auxiliaries, the vicinity of
Tamworth and also of Lichfield send hither great quantities; in short,
whatever provisions of a good quality are brought here, the market is
never overstocked.

The butchers in this town are dispersed over every part of it, where
they live and enjoy those comforts with their families that it is not
possible to do when they are congregated together in shambles; and in
this extensive town, no person is necessitated to lose much time, or
walk far from home, to provide for his family.

Considering the distance from hence to the sea coast, the inhabitants
are well supplied with fish of various kinds, and at a moderate price.

Opposite the quaker's meeting in Bull-street, there is, in front
of the house occupied by Mr. Standley, a most admirable piece of
brick-work, (the lock-maker's arms, under a most beautiful arch), such
as is very seldom seen, and does infinite credit to whoever executed
it; but some simpleton has defaced the arms to a considerable degree,
by colouring them to represent stone. This was about as necessary as
paint is for the faces of women:--to make them look worse afterwards.
This exquisite performance appears to have been done about one hundred
and fifty years; the house having been invariably in the possession of
a person eminent as a lock-maker during the above period.

In Moor-street, there is another specimen of the same kind, about one
hundred yards above the public office, which was executed in the year
1671, being arms, a chevron between three goats' heads, and a goat's
head for a crest. Such specimens of brick work as these are very
seldom seen.


There is near the centre of the town, what is called the Square; the
buildings which surround it were uniform; but one eighth part was some
years back fronted with stone, and converted into a tavern, which is
denominated the Stork. This house of entertainment, from its private
situation and being near the centre of the town, is much resorted to
by travellers; there being capacious stabling behind, and in front
there are some shrubs, inclosed by iron pallisadoes. For those who are
at leisure, there is an excellent billiard table.

_John-a-Dean's Hole._

At the bottom of Digbeth, about forty yards from Deritend Bridge,
there is on the left a water course that receives a small drain from
Digbeth, and also from the adjacent lands; which stream separates
the parishes of Aston and Birmingham, and is known by the name of
John-a-Dean's hole, from a person of that name who is said to have
lost his life there.

_Baths, near Lady Well,_

Are always ready for the accommodation of hot or cold bathing, and
also for immersion or amusement, together with sudorific apartments.
The swimming bath is in length thirty-six yards, and in breadth
eighteen yards, containing more than 2000 hogsheads of spring water,
and gradually slopes from the depth of one to five feet; being
situated in the centre of a garden, wherein are twenty-four apartments
to undress and dress in; the whole being surrounded by a wall, ten
feet high, and fine lofty trees. There are also very decent baths in
Newtown-row, near Lancaster-street.


By an accurate survey, taken in the year 1810, it appears that
there were then 9196 front houses, and 8214 back houses, within the
connected streets of Birmingham, which, reckoning five and a half to
a house, makes the population 97,405. There appears to be about 400
houses erected annually, which will make the number at the present
time 18510, and the population 101,805.

The old Roman road, denominated Ikenield-street, that extends from
Southampton to Tyremouth, enters this parish near the observatory
in Ladywood-lane, crosses the road to Dudley at the Sand Pits, and
proceeding along Warstone-lane, leaves the parish in Hockley-brook;
but is distinctly to be seen at the distance of five miles, both in
Sutton park and on the Coldfield, in perfect repair, as when the
Romans left it.

_The Parsonage House_

Of St. Martin, situated near Smallbrook-street, is in all probability
one of the most ancient entire buildings in this part of the country;
it being a low, half-timbered erection, surrounded by a moat; in
front of which is, what was the tythe barn, being near sixty yards in
length, now made use of as warehouses.

By late regulations in the post office, an innovation has crept in
that is highly reprehensible, and ought not to be continued. Before
mail coaches were established, Coleshill was a place of considerably
more note then, as a post town, than Birmingham, it being very common
for people in the north to direct their letters for Birmingham, to
turn at Coleshill. This being the case, if the directors of the post
office think proper to change the route for their own convenience,
that is no reason why the public should be charged with the expense.
Dudley and Coleshill being both of them the same distance from
Birmingham, what reason can be assigned why a letter to Dudley should
be four-pence and to Coleshill six-pence?

The country for a few miles round the town is in every direction
studded with houses, belonging to the opulent inhabitants of
Birmingham, or of those who have retired from the busy scenes of life.

Whoever walks much about this town, will perceive one very remarkable
circumstance: at the top of a street you ascend into the houses by a
flight of steps, and in the lower part of the same street, you descend
into some of the houses; this is exemplified in Edmund-street, and
particularly in Newhall-street and Lionel-street.

There are two fairs in the year, one of them is held on Thursday in
the Whitsun week, and the other on the last Thursday in September:
the horses being exposed for sale in Bristol-street; the neat cattle,
sheep, and pigs in Smithfield.

The established market is on Thursday, but the town being so populous,
there is a very good market both on Monday and Saturday. Hay and straw
are exposed for sale every Tuesday, in Smithfield.

_Jackson's Trust._

George Jackson, of Birmingham, mercer, gave certain premises, in
Deritend, for placing out two apprentices, annually; present rent, six
pounds per annum.

Some years back, the church of St. Martin being under repair, the
workmen discovered that the four pinnacles, (one at each corner of the
tower), were very much decayed, upon which, the powers at that time in
authority concluded, that they should be re-constructed, and to make a
finish, fixed a vane upon each of them, without considering, that,
the steeple being in the centre, it was not possible for the wind
invariably to act upon all alike; consequently, any other termination
would have been more appropriate.

In the jurisprudence of this town, there is one remarkable
circumstance; the chief constable of Hemlingford hundred, wherein
Birmingham is situated, is of course superior to the two constables
of this town; yet they, by virtue of their office, preside over the
common prison, and of course the appointment of prison-keeper is
vested in them; but, strange to relate, the chief constable of the
hundred is keeper of the prison, in Birmingham: consequently, although
he is their superior, he is at the same time subservient to them.

_Private Carriages_.

Within this town and its immediate vicinity there are more than fifty
carriages, of different descriptions, on four wheels, and upwards of
three hundred on two wheels, that pay the duty.

The number of hackney coaches that ply in the streets is twelve, under
the following regulated fares.

  _Hackney Coach Fares._
  Under one mile .................. 1    6
  1 mile and under 1-1/2 .......... 2    0
  1-1/2 mile and under 2 .......... 3    0
  2 miles and under 2-1/2 ......... 4    0
  2-1/2 miles and under 3 ......... 5    0
  3 miles and under 3-1/2 ......... 6    0
  3-1/2 miles and under 4 ......... 7    0

An extra half fare if carrying more than four persons.


For every forty minutes, one shilling, and for every twenty minutes
afterwards, six-pence in addition. If employed, or kept in waiting,
betwixt the hours of twelve o'clock at night and five o'clock in the
morning, double the above fares are allowed.

The late Mr. Baskerville, whose printed works are in such high
estimation, both for paper and print, resided at a place called Easy
Hill, at that time quite distant from the town; the house being
encircled by an extensive paddock. At this place he erected a mill
for the making of paper, in which article he excelled all his
contemporaries, as he also did in the formation of his types, which,
to the disgrace of this country, were permitted to be sold into
France. This once delightful spot is now surrounded with buildings,
the house wherein he resided is converted into a manufactory, and the
land into wharfs.

About twenty yards above the statue in honour of Lord Nelson, there
was within memory the market cross, from whence the roads in every
direction were measured; but from some cause or other, that custom has
been altered, and it is difficult to say from what part of the town
some of the roads are now measured; for example, the road to Walsall.
This road having been considerably shortened and improved, is now
considered to be eight miles distant: (it was some years back, ten
miles); but from the centre of one town to that of the other, will
measure nine miles; and whoever travels that road must very justly pay
for that distance.

The road to Stourbridge and Kidderminster is another instance where
the mile stones are not to be depended upon; for the one mile stone on
that road is considerably more than that distance from the centre of
the town.

The horse roads round this town were, within memory, from the rains,
constant wear, and no repair, worn into such hollow ways, that in some
instances, particularly in Bordesley, a waggon, when loaded with hay,
the top of it was not so high as the foot path on the side: it was at
one time fifty-eight feet below the surface. There are still remaining
two specimens of the old roads, but they have been for many years
useless, except in going to the adjacent grounds. One of them is
situated a little beyond the sign of the Bell, on the right hand side
of the Worcester road, and leads towards the Five Ways. The other
begins at Edgbaston church, and continues till you arrive at the
toll-gate, on the Bromsgrove road; but, thanks to the trustees of
the turnpikes, the roads in every direction are now upon a par with
others, and in one respect surpass most of them throughout the
kingdom, by having on the side of every one, a foot path, for the
accommodation of pedestrians.

This town, not being restricted by any charter, strangers from
whatever quarter they may come, here find an asylum, and pursue
their avocations with as much freedom, and are no more subject to
molestation, than a native inhabitant. Trade of every kind may be
exercised here, and let a person's religious opinions be whatever they
may, he is at liberty to exercise them; there being in this town eight
places of public worship, according to the establishment, one for
the society of friends, two for protestant dissenters, three for
calvinists, two for Roman catholics, four for methodists, four for
baptists, one for Swedenburgians, one for jews, and one for the
followers of Lady Huntingdon.

The buildings in this town extend to the distance of near three miles
in every direction, reckoning from the top of Camphill, and it was
some years back, upon a certainty, the largest town in the kingdom.
This was ascertained by actual measurement; for soon after Mr. Aikin
published his history of Manchester, Mr. John Snape, a very accurate
surveyor, drew a plan of this town, upon the same scale as Mr.
Aikin's. Since that time, I cannot say which of the two towns have
encreased the most; but, if Manchester has extended its buildings with
more rapidity than Birmingham, it is a very extensive place.

Notwithstanding the extent of this town, there is very little
distinction between it and a village; all the difference is, its fairs
and market, for the smallest town has a constable to preside over
it, and this, although so extensive and populous, is governed by two

Although this town is of such considerable magnitude, and one of the
principal thoroughfares between London and Dublin, there are no more
than three places where the superior class of travellers can be
accommodated with horses and carriages; the Royal Hotel, near St.
Philip's church; the Swan Hotel, in High-street, and the Hen and
Chickens Hotel, in New-street.

For the accommodation of the next class, there are the following
taverns and inns: the Stork, in the Square; the Nelson, opposite
the statue of his lordship, in the market-place; the Union, in
Union-street; the Saracen's Head, in Bull-street; the George, and the
Castle, in High-street; the Red Lion, the George, and the White Hart,
in Digbeth; the Rose, in Edgbaston-street; and the, Woolpack, in

From the Nelson, the Swan, the Hen and Chickens, the Saracen's Head,
the George, or the Castle, those who travel by public carriages may be
conveyed to any part of the kingdom. The principal avenue leading
to and from this town is Great Hampton-street, which, as its name
imports, is on the road to Wolverhampton, but it is also the road to
Walsall and likewise to Dudley. In this capacious road several
streets concentrate, but I would recommend a stranger to proceed down

The next avenue, in point of importance, is Camphill, on the road to
Stratford, where several streets and roads are united.

It is deserving of notice, that however large or small the houses
are, the partition walls are uniformly brick and mortar, and with few
exceptions, the floors of small houses are laid with quarries, which
in a great degree accounts for there being so few fires of any
consequence within this extensive town.

There is not any thing in this town, or its immediate vicinity, that
can attract the attention of an antiquarian: it appears that
there once was a castle, encircled by a moat, situated near the
Icknield-street, or Warstone-lane; the foundation of which is still
perceptible, and covered an area of twenty square perch; but the
ground whereon it stood has been so frequently turned over, that it is
only by the difference in the verdure that it can be discovered.

The present occupier of the land has at different times taken up about
four thousand of the bricks, which were burnt very hard, and resembled
those now in use, but were not so large.

About four miles distant there once stood Weoliegh castle, which was
surrounded by a moat; but the site of the castle is now a garden, and
not a vestige of the building remains, except a small part of the
foundation, which may be discovered at the edge of the moat, that
remaining entire.

Having concluded my observations respecting the public concerns of
Birmingham, I cannot restrain myself from remarking, that there is
at Warwick castle a most magnificent marble bacchanalian vase, of
astonishing dimensions, it being seven feet in diameter and twenty-one
in circumference, which is encircled on the outside with fruit,
leaves, and branches of the vine, the latter being entwined so as to
form two massive handles, with grotesque masks at the end of each; the
whole being in exact proportion to the magnitude of the vase. This
unique specimen of ancient sculpture was discovered in the baths of
the Emperor Adrian, and presented by the Queen of Naples to Sir
Wm. Hamilton, the British ambassador at that court, by whom it was
forwarded as a present to the late Earl of Warwick; who, when it was
unpacked, and he had taken a survey of it, immediately gave orders for
the erection of a splendid green-house, wherein it is now deposited.

Mr. E. Thomason, of this town, who had been a pupil of the late Mr.
Boulton, at Soho, no sooner saw this remarkable production of the fine
arts, than he conceived the idea of forming one of the same magnitude
in metal; and accordingly solicited permission to make models from it,
which his lordship in the most condescending manner permitted him to
do. Mr. Thomason without delay made preparations for the undertaking,
and the metallic vase has been under the hands of different artists
above four years, and is now nearly completed. This unique performance
in metal, is in every respect a perfect resemblance of the original,
and weighs several tons; the ground of it is bronzed, and at the
present time highly relieved in light and shade; but I understand
it will, when complete, be considerably more so, by two novel and
distinct processes of oxydation, that will endure for ages.

This sumptuous metallic vase may be seen at Mr. Thomason's, who
manufactures an endless variety of articles, for several of which he
has obtained letters patent. The royal series of medals, and various
others, are exclusively of his manufacture. Persons of rank who are
curious may there see the art of chasing, or sculpturing in basso
and alto relievo, together with various operations in the art of

    Bankers Draw upon, Taylors and Lloyds, Dale End: Hanbury and Co.

    Woolley, Moilliet, and Gordon, Cherry-street: Lubbock and Co.

    Attwoods, Spooner, Goddington, and Co. New-street: Spooner and Co.

    Smith, Gibbins, Smith, Gibbins, Goode, and Co. Union-street:
    Esdaile and Co.

    Freer, Rotton, Lloyd, and Co. New-street: Hanbury and Co.

    Galtons and James, Steelhouse-lane: Barclay, Tritton, and Co.

           *       *       *       *       *

_Post Office_,


All letters intended to be forwarded by the same day's post, should be
put into the box one hour before the time mentioned below.

_Sheffield Mail_

Every morning, at nine o'clock; which takes all letters for Lichfield,
Tamworth, Atherstone, Uttoxeter, Rudgley, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire,
Gainsborough, Brigg, Barton, Kirton, Caister, Coltersworth, Grantham,
Grimsby, Lincoln, Market Raisin, Sleaford, and Stamford, in
Lincolnshire, Rutlandshire, Sheffield, Barnsley, Wakefield, Leeds,
Halifax, Rotherham, Bradford, Huddersfield, Keighley, Otley,
Doncaster, Ferry-bridge, Howden, Bawtry, and Selby, in Yorkshire.

_Manchester Mail_

Every morning, at half past nine o'clock; which takes all letters for
Walsall, Willenhall, Wolverhampton, Stafford, Stone, and Newcastle,
in Staffordshire, Cheshire (except Malpas), Lancashire, Scotland,
Northumberland, Durham, Cumberland, Westmoreland, Yorkshire
(except those places which go by the Sheffield mail), Conway, in
Carnarvonshire, Flintshire (except Overton), Denbighshire (except
Rhuabon, Wrexham, Llangollen, and Chirk), Woore and Market Drayton, in

_Walsall Mail_

Every day, at eleven in the forenoon; which takes all letters for that
town and its delivery.

_Holyhead Mail_

Every day, at eleven in the forenoon; which takes all letters for
West-bromwich, Wednesbury, Willenhall, Bilston, Wolverhampton,
Shiffnall, and the intermediate places, Shrewsbury, Oswestry,
Ellesmere, Whitchurch, Bridgnorth, Merioneth, and Montgomeryshire,
Rhuabon, Wrexham, Llangollen and Chirk, in Denbighshire, Malpas, in
Cheshire, and Overton, in Flintshire, Ireland (except the south-west
part, which goes by way of Bristol), Anglesea, and Carnarvonshire
(except Conway).

_Bewdley Mail_

Every day, at half past eleven o'clock; which takes all letters for
Tipton, Dudley, Stourbridge, Kidderminster, Stourport, and places

_Oxford Mail_

Every day, at ten minutes before three o'clock; which takes all
letters for Henley-in-Arden, Stratford-upon-Avon, all Oxfordshire,
Abingdon, Farringdon, Wallingford, Wantage, and Lambourn, in
Berkshire, Cricklade, Swindon, Highworth, and Wootton Bassett, in
Wiltshire, Bourton-on-the-Water, in Gloucestershire, Shipstone, in
Worcestershire, High Wycombe and Beaconsfield, in Buckinghamshire,
Uxbridge and Southall, in Middlesex.

_London Mail_

Every day, at four o'clock (except Saturday); which takes all letters
for Coventry, Nuneaton, Coleshill, Rugby, Southam, Leamington, and
Warwick, Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire (except High Wycombe and
Beaconsfield), Wooburn, Dunstable, Bedford, Silsoe, Leighton Buzzard,
Tempsford, Potton, and Biggleswade, in Bedfordshire, St. Alban's,
Berkhampstead, King's Langley, Tring, Watford, and Barnet, in
Hertfordshire, Wokingham, in Berkshire, Arlesford, Gosport,
Basingstoke, Fareham, Havant, and Petersfield, in Hampshire, Great
Bedwin, in Wiltshire, Surrey, Kent, Suffolk, Essex, Sussex, Norfolk,
Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, Middlesex (except Uxbridge and
Southall), which go by the Oxford mail.

_Bristol Mail_

Every day, at five o'clock in the afternoon; which takes all letters
for the intermediate places: Worcestershire, (except Shipstone and
those parts sent by the Bewdley mail), Stow, Bourton-on-the-Water, and
Moreton-in-Marsh, in Gloucestershire, South Wales, Herefordshire and
Monmouthshire, Ludlow and Bishop's Castle, in Shropshire, Reading,
Hungerford, and Newbury, in Berkshire, Somersetshire, Wiltshire
(except those parts which go by way of Oxford and London),
Dorsetshire, Devonshire, Cornwall, south-west parts of Ireland, and
Hampshire (except those places sent by way of London).

The various posts arriving so early in the day, the office is shut at
eight in the evening.

Overcharges allowed from eight in the morning to half past ten in the
forenoon, and from five to eight in the evening.


Bristol, at eight in the morning. London, at twenty-five minutes past
ten. Bewdley, at twelve at noon, Oxford, at one. Manchester, at two.
Holyhead, at three. Sheffield, at a quarter past four. Walsall, at
half past five.

This account of the post is corrected up to the 29th of May, 1819.


_From the Nelson Hotel, (late the Dog Inn.)_

Bridgnorth, the Union coach, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
mornings, at nine o'clock. Dudley, the royal Defiance, every
afternoon, at four.

Holyhead, the Union, a light post coach, every morning, at nine.

London, the Oxford royal mail, every afternoon, at three.

------, the Union, a light coach, through Oxford, every day, at half
past twelve.

------, the original post coach, through Oxford, every evening, at a
quarter past six.

------, a coach, every morning, a quarter before six, and arrives in
London at nine in the evening.

Shrewsbury, the Union, a post coach, four insides, every morning, at

Stourbridge, the royal Defiance, every afternoon, at four.

_From the Swan Hotel._

Bath, a light coach, through Worcester and Glocester, every morning
(except Sunday), at six o'clock.

Bristol, the Hero, through Worcester, Glocester, &e. every morning
(except Sunday), at half past six.

Cambridge, a coach through Coventry, Stamford, Stilton, &e. every
morning, at eight.

------, the Rising Sun, through Coventry, Dunchurch, and Northampton,
every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning, at five.

Chester, the Prince of Orange light coach, through Wolverhampton,
Shiffnal, Salop, Ellesmere, and Wrexham, every morning (except
Monday), in twelve hours, at half past six.

Coventry, coaches every morning, at five and eight, and afternoon, at
one, two, and four.

Dudley and Stourbridge, a coach every afternoon, at four.

Holyhead, the royal mail, through Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury, &c. every
morning, at eleven.

------, the Prince of Wales, through Salop, every morning at ten,
(passengers booked throughout.)

Kidderminster, a coach, every afternoon, at a quarter before four.

Leamington, a coach, through Knowle, every morning, at eight.

Leicester, the Alexander, through Coventry, every morning, at eight.

------, a coach, through Bedworth, Hinckley, &c. every day (except
Sunday), at one.

Lichfield, the Cobourg, every afternoon, a quarter before four.

Liverpool, the Regulator, through Wolverhampton, Stafford, Stone,
Stoke, Hanley, Burslem, Lawton, Sandbach, Middlewich, and Northwich,
every morning, at six.

London, the royal mail, through Coventry, &c. every afternoon at four.
------, a light day coach, carrying four insides and ten out, every
morning, at four, in fifteen hours.

London, the Royal Balloon, four insides, every afternoon (except
Sunday), at a quarter before three, and on Sunday at one.

Manchester, the royal mail, the same as from the Hen and Chickens.

------, the Eclipse, through Wolverhampton, Stafford, &c. every
morning, at seven.

Nottingham, the royal mail, the same as from the Hen and Chickens.

------, a coach, through Derby, every morning, at seven.

Oxford, a light coach, every morning (except Sunday), at eight.

Sheffield, the royal mail, the same as from the Hen and Chickens.

------, the Blucher post coach, through Lichfield, Uttoxeter, &c.
every Saturday, Tuesday, and Thursday morning, at six.

------, the royal Telegraph, through Lichfield, Burton, Derby, &c.
every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday morning, at seven.

Shrewsbury, the Prince of Wales, every morning, at eleven.

------, the royal mail, every morning, at eleven.

Stourbridge and Kidderminster, every morning, at half past seven.

Warwick, a coach, through Knowle, every morning, at eight.

Worcester, the True Blue, through Bromsgrove, every afternoon, at

_From the Hen and Chickens,_

Bath, a light post coach, every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday
morning, at six.

Bristol, the royal mail, every evening, at five.

Cambridge, the royal pilot post coach, through Coventry, Leicester,
&c. every day, at half past twelve, except Sunday.

Cheltenham, the royal post coach, through Bromsgrove, Worcester, &c.
to the Plough Hotel, every morning, at eight.

Holyhead, the Prince of Wales post coach, through Shrewsbury, &c.
every morning, at ten.

Lichfield, a coach, four times every day.

London, the Prince of Wales post coach, through Oxford,
Henley-on-Thames, &c. to the George and Blue Boar, Holborn.

Manchester, the royal mail, every morning, at a quarter past ten.

------, the Express post coach, through Uttoxeter, Leek, Macclesfield,
&c. to the Moseley Arms Inn, in twelve hours, certain, every morning,
at eight.

Nottingham, the royal mail, every morning, at a quarter past nine.

Oxford, the post coach, through Henley, every evening, at six.
Sheffield, the royal mail, every morning, at a quarter past nine.

------, the royal Telegraph coach, through Lichfield, Derby, &c. every
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday morning, at seven.

------, the royal Telegraph, through Lichfield, Uttoxeter Ashbourne,
and Bakewell, every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday morning, at six.

Wolverhampton, a coach, four times every day.

Worcester, the new True Blue post coach, every afternoon, at three.

------, the royal Defiance post coach, every morning, at eight, and
returns in the evening.

------, a coach, four times every day.

_From the Castle and Saracen's Head Inns._

Aberystwith and Barmouth, a coach, every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday
morning, at eleven.

Alcester, a coach, every morning, at eight.

Banbury, the Regulator, through Warwick and Leamington, every morning,
at eight.

Bath, the Star coach, through Evesham, Cheltenham, &c. every Tuesday,
Thursday, and Saturday morning, at half past six.

Bilstone, coaches six times a day.

Bridgnorth, a coach, through Wolverhampton, every Monday, Wednesday,
and Friday morning, at eleven.

Bristol, the Duke of Wellington, through Bromsgrove, Worcester, and
Glocester, every morning, at seven.

Cambridge, the Rising Sun, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
morning, at half past five, through Daventry, Wellingbrough, and
Huntingdon, in one day; carries four insides.

Carlisle, Edinburgh, and Glasgow, a coach, by way of Preston and
Lancaster, every morning and evening.

Cheltenham, a coach, every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings.

Chester, the Prince of Orange, carrying four insides, every morning,
at six, (Mondays excepted.)

Coventry, coaches every day, at a quarter before one and half past

Daventry, coaches, every morning, at five, and every afternoon, at
half past two and four.

Dudley, coaches, every morning, at seven, and every afternoon, at four
and five.

Exeter and Plymouth, a coach, every morning, at seven, (Monday

Holyhead, the royal mail, every morning, at eleven, through Salop and

------, a new post coach, every day, at eleven, sleeps at Shrewsbury,
and arrives the following day in time for the packet.

Liverpool, the Bang-up post coach, in fifteen hours, carrying four
insides only, through Wolverhampton, Stone, Knutsford, and Warrington,
every morning, at six.

------, the Defiance, a light coach, through Lichfield and Rudgley, on
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, and through Walsall, Cannock,
and Stafford, on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday, every afternoon, at

London, the royal mail, every afternoon, at four.

------, the Crown Prince day coach, in sixteen hours, every morning,
at five.

------, the royal Union, through Coventry, every afternoon, at half
past two, (except Sunday), when it goes at one.

------, the Defiance, a light coach, through Warwick and Leamington,
every afternoon, at half past two, from the Saracen's Head.

Manchester, the Eclipse, a post coach, through Wolverhampton,
Stafford, Stone, Newcastle, and Congleton, in twelve hours, every
morning, at seven.

Northampton, a coach, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning,
returns the same day.

Nottingham, the royal Dart, a post coach, through Tamworth and
Ashby-de-la-Zouch, every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday morning, at
half past eight.

Oxford, the Bang-up post coach, every morning, at eight.

Shrewsbury and Chester, a post coach, through Ellesmere, every
morning, at six.

------, the Prince of Wales post coach, through Wolverhampton and
Shiffnal, every morning, at eleven.

------, the royal mail, every morning, at eleven.

Walsall, the royal mail, every day, at twelve, and returns the same

------, a light coach, every afternoon (except Sunday,) at five.

Warwick and Leamington, the Regulator, every morning, at eight, and
returns the same day.

------, the Telegraph, every afternoon, at three.

Wolverhampton, seven coaches every day.

Worcester, the True Blue, a post coach, every afternoon, at three.

_From St. George's Tavern._

Bristol, a coach, every morning, at seven.

Cheltenham, ditto ditto, at seven.

Chester, ditto, through Wolverhampton, every morning, at six.

Coventry, ditto, twice everyday.

Dudley, ditto, every day.

Holyhead, ditto, through Wolverhampton, every morning, at nine.

Kidderminster, ditto, every day.

Lichfield, ditto, ditto.

Liverpool, ditto, through Wolverhampton, every morning, at nine.

London, ditto, through Coventry, every afternoon, at three.

Shrewsbury, ditto, through Wolverhampton, every morning, at nine.

Stourbridge, ditto, twice every day.

       *       *       *       *       *

Atherstone, a coach, by Samuel Smith, from the Cross Guns, Dale-end,
Monday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Darlaston, a coach, every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday,
from the Saracen's Head, Snowhill.

Dudley and Stourbridge, a mail cart, from the Warwick Arms, Snowhill,
every day.

Sutton Coldfield, a coach, by Charles Smith, from the Cross Guns,
Dale-end, Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, Warwick, a coach, by
Wm. Barrows and Co, from the liquor shop, Monmouth-street, every
afternoon, at three.

Wednesbury, Bilstone, and Wolverhampton, a coach, by Joseph Boddison,
every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, at five.

Willenhall, a coach, by John Alexander, from the Barrel, Snowhill,
every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

* * * * *

_Carriers by Water._

Bird, George Ryder, three cranes wharf, Crescent, loads fly
boats daily, to Bristol, Dudley, London, Stourbridge, Stourport,
Wolverhampton, Worcester, and all parts of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire,
Hampshire, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Middlesex, Northamptonshire,
Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, and all parts
of the united kingdom.

Bradley and Co. Broad-street wharf, load fly boats daily, to
Liverpool, Manchester, and all parts of the North.

Crocket and Salkeld, wharf, Great Charles-street, load fly boats
daily, to Liverpool, Manchester, and all parts of the north.--N.B.
No other firm conveys goods all the way to Liverpool by their own

Crowley, Leyland, and Hicklin, Crescent wharf, load fly boats to
Bristol, Coventry, Derby, Gainsborough, Hull, Liverpool, London,
Manchester, and Oxford.--N.B. Wine and spirits are conveyed in boats
secured by locks.

  Danks, Samuel, and Co. Broad-street wharf, and also
  one in Gas-street, load boats to Bath, Bridgnorth,
  Bristol, Gloucester, Kidderminster, Shrewsbury,
  Stourport, Worcester, and all the western parts of

  Heath, Tyler, and Danks, Great Charles-street, load
  boats daily, for Dudley, Stourbridge, Wolverhampton,
  etc.; also Chester, Derby, Gainsborough, Hull,
  Liverpool, Manchester, &c.

  Jackson, Thomas, wharf in Holt-street, loads boats to
  Atherstone, Coventry, Fazeley, Hinckley, Stourbridge,
  Tamworth, &c.

  Pickford and Co. wharf on the Warwick canal, load
  boats daily, and convey goods to London, Liverpool,
  and Manchester; which they deliver on the fourth
  day at each place; and to all other parts of the kingdom
  with the greatest expedition.

  Robinson, Corbet, and Co. wharf in Broad-street, load
  fly boats to London, Stourbridge, Stourport, Wolverhampton,
  Worcester, and all intermediate places;
  also to Bristol every spring tide.

  Skey, R. S. Worcester wharf, loads boats daily for
  Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick, Worcester, and all
  intermediate places.

  Smith, Joseph, and Sons, load boats at Worthington
  and Co.'s wharf, Great Charles-street, for Burton
  and Gainsborough, from whence the goods are forwarded
  by a steam vessel of their own, in one day
  certain, to Hull; they also convey goods to Nottingham.

  Swaine (late Thomas), Friday-bridge wharf, loads boats
  three days every week, for Derby, Leicester, Lincoln,
  Lichfield, Nottingham, Shardlow, Tamworth,

  Webb, H. and Co. Aston-Junction wharf, load boats to
  Atherstone, Coton, Coventry, Fazeley, Hinckley,
  Nuneaton, &c.

  Wheatcroft, N. and G. Crescent wharf, load fly boats
  every Tuesday and Friday, for Barnsley, Derby,
  Leeds, Leicester, Sheffield, Wakefield, and all parts
  of the north.

  Whitehouse and Sons, Crescent wharf, load fly boats to
  London, and all the intermediate places, every Tuesday
  and Friday; and slow boats daily.

  Worthington and Co. wharf, Great Charles-street, load
  fly boats daily, for Chester, Liverpool, Manchester,
  &c. and deliver goods to responsible and regular carriers
  to the north of England, and Scotland.

To enumerate a long list of carriers by land, would not be in the
least interesting to strangers, nor can it be of any use to the
inhabitants, they being published in the Birmingham almanack, and also
in the directory.

The number of boats specified above, are sufficient to convince
any person, that the manufactures of this town are of the first
importance, they being laden with goods manufactured in this town and
its vicinity.


_Selected by permission of the Author from a manuscript_,


Birmingham, a Fragment


They are supposed to be part of a prophetic oracle, delivered by the
priests of the god Woden.

  Had we, Oh Birmingham, for thee design'd
  A trade that's partial, and a sphere confin'd,
  Thou'dst been a city, near some stream or shore,
  To bless some _single_ district and no more;
  But thou must minister to thousand wants,
  Of cities, countries, islands, continents:
  Hence _central_ be thy station--thus thy town,
  Must make each port around the coast her own.

  Let bright invention rove where no one awes,
  Unfetter'd by dull, narrow, civic laws,
  Which shut out commerce, ingenuity.
  Where bloated pride, in sullen majesty,
  And drowsy pomp sits notionally great,
  While she on every stranger shuts her gate.

  Let ingenuity here keep her seat,
  For works minute,  or works immensely great,
  We to thy native sons the gift impart,
  Of bright invention, and of matchless art,
  Skill'd to devise, to reason, to compute,
  Quick to suggest, and prompt to execute;
  What some have but conceiv'd, do thou amend,
  Mature and perfect, to some noble end.

  Let fertile genius' bright, inventive powers,
  In all their vigorous energy be yours.

  Let savage nations who thy stores behold,
  Give Britain in return, their useless gold,
  Their gems, their pearls, their diamonds impart,
  And boast the change, and prize the gift of art.

  Thus shall thy polish'd wares of choicer worth,
  Gain all that's rare, from ev'ry clime on earth.

  Thy skill superior let our monarchs own,
  And deem thee _a bright jewel in their crown_.


Made during an Excursion

_To Wednesbury in Staffordshire, distant eight miles, on the road to
Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury_.

You proceed down Snowhill, and having passed the one mile stone, there
are a few trees close to the road side, and opposite to them there
is an extensive view over Barr-beacon, and the adjacent country,
including the lofty trees in Aston park; over whose tops, the elegant
spire of that church is seen. In descending the hill, when you have
passed the buildings, the eye is delighted, on the right hand, with
an extensive view over Hunter's nursery grounds, and on the left is
Hockley abbey: this building was erected upon a piece of waste, boggy
land, about the 1779, by Mr. Richard Ford, an ingenious mechanic of
Birmingham, who, among other things, invented a one-wheel carriage,
which he constructed entirely of iron; and for his ingenuity in the
formation of that vehicle, the society of arts presented him with
their gold medal. As he employed a number of hands, several of whom
expended nine or ten shillings each week at the alehouse, it occurred
to him, who was not given to drink, that he would lay aside two
shillings every day; and having done so for a considerable time, as
his business required him to keep a horse and cart; when they were at
leisure, he sent them to Aston furnace,[5] to bring away large masses
of scoriae, usually termed slag or dross, that lay there in great
abundance. Having collected together a large quantity of it, he
began to erect this building, to represent ruins; and to add to the
deception, there is in the front of the house, in small pebble stones,
the date, 1473; and all this was done, as he informed the writer of
this article, without advancing any other money than the fourteen
shillings per week. It is now nearly overgrown with ivy, and if no
account had been given of the materials with which it is erected,
posterity might have been at a loss to know what substance the walls
were built with. Hubert Galton, Esq. now resides there, who pays rent
for the house, and about fifteen acres of land, more than £100. per
annum, exclusive of the enormous parochial taxes of Birmingham, which
for these premises, from Michaelmas, 1816, to Michaelmas, 1817,
amounted to the astonishing sum of sixty-one pounds and ten shillings,
viz. thirty-six levies for the poor, at 30s. each, three highway
levies, at 30s. each, and two levies for the church, at 30s. each.
In the back ground, beyond this, is seen a glass-house, belonging to
Messrs. Shakespear and Fletcher.

[Footnote 5: A blast furnace, for the making of pig iron, very near at

You now cross the Bourn, a small stream of water, that separates
Warwickshire from the county of Stafford, and passing by Mr. Boulton's
plantations on the left, when you are about half way up the hill,
there is on the right hand, Prospect-house, where the late Mr. Eginton
carried on his manufactory of stained glass.

At the two mile stone, on the left, is the entrance to Soho, where
Matthew Robinson Boulton, Esq. resides, who is proprietor of the _Soho

The road leading to this magnificent pile of building is on the left,
when you have passed through the turnpike. The spot upon which it is
erected, was, in the year 1764, a sterril, barren heath, and so it
continued until 1793, when it was inclosed by act of parliament. The
late Mr. Boulton, in the first instance, expended more than nine
thousand pounds in the erection of buildings, exclusive of machinery.
He soon after removed his manufactory from Birmingham; and then
this enterprising genius established a seminary of artists; men of
ingenuity being sought after, from all parts of Europe, and patronised
with the greatest liberality: thus fostered by his benevolence, they
soon produced an imitation of the _or molu_.--These metallic ornaments
in the form of vases, tripods, candelabras, &c. found a ready sale,
not only in this kingdom, but in France, and almost every part of
civilized Europe. This business being established, silver articles
were manufactured in such profusion, that it became necessary to make
application for an assay office to be established in Birmingham;
which was carried into effect in the year 1773. About this time, a
mechanical process was discovered of copying pictures, in oil colours,
which was brought to such perfection, that the most experienced
connoiseurs were sometimes deceived. The process was chiefly under
the direction of Mr. Francis Eginton, who afterwards commenced the
business of staining glass.

Mr. Watt having obtained a patent for the improvement of steam
engines, came and settled at Soho, in 1769, where he erected an
engine, upon his own principles; which answering the intended purpose,
he in 1775, obtained from parliament a prolongation of his term for
twenty-five years. A partnership being now formed between Mr.
Boulton and Mr. Watt, an extensive manufactory of these engines was
established at Soho, and conveyed from thence to most of the deep
mines and extensive works, where great power was requisite.

In 1788, a mint was erected at Soho, to be worked by the steam engine;
from the rolling of the copper into sheets, afterwards passing it
through steel, polished rollers, and then cutting out the blanks; all
which was performed with the greatest ease and regularity by girls,
instead of employing able men. This was not the whole, for the coining
machines were worked with greater rapidity and exactness, by boys,
from twelve to fourteen years of age, than could be done, by the
former process, by a number of strong men, and their fingers not being
in the least endangered; the machine depositing the blanks upon the
dies, and when struck, it displaced one piece and deposited another.

To facilitate the manufacturing of steam engines, they erected an iron
foundry, at Smethwick, on the banks of the Birmingham canal, where
nearly all the laborious part is consigned to the engine. Engines
are here manufactured from one horse to two hundred horse power, all
acting together. Handsworth common being inclosed, enabled Mr. Boulton
to extend his grounds to a considerable degree, which form an
agreeable separation from his own residence, and forms a much admired
scene of picturesque beauty.

A person wandering through these secluded walks, or on the banks of
the various lakes and water falls, which adorn them, may here enjoy
the sweets of solitude and retirement, with equal composure, as if he
was far distant from the busy scenes that are close at hand.

What is here enumerated are all of them manufactured or carried on at
the Soho, at the present time:--steam engines of every description,
and for all purposes, where great power is requisite; coining of
medals, or medallions, of any size required; silver and plated
articles, of every description, such as tea urns, vases, tureens,
dishes, candelabras, and every necessary article to decorate the table
or the drawing room; metals of every description are here rolled, to
any length or breadth required; patent copying machines; fine polished
steel fire irons; steel buttons; ornaments for stove grates; fenders,
or any other article in steel, where taste and elegance are necessary.

_Handsworth, in Staffordshire, distant two miles and a half_. Leaving
Soho, you come to the elegant village of Handsworth, where, the common
lands of the parish being inclosed by act of parliament, in 1793, they
have probably been as productive, if not more so, than others of a
similar nature in any other part of the kingdom; for there are now
at least one hundred and fifty respectable houses erected upon the
ground, which, before it was inclosed, lay entirely waste; and plots
of the same land have been sold from two hundred pounds to a thousand
pounds per acre.

About one quarter of a mile distant from Soho, is the residence of
Miss Boulton, whose house is secluded from public view, by a lofty
brick wall; and half a mile farther, going down a lane, by the sign
of the Queen's head, a landscape of considerable interest exhibits
itself; including Soho, Birmingham, and the intermediate country, to
the monument. In the grounds, on the right, opposite the three mile
stone, is a grand picturesque view of the whole country, including
Barr-beacon, Aston church, and the lofty trees in the park. About half
a mile farther, you arrive at the verge of Sandwell park, a, seat
belonging to the Earl of Dartmouth, and opposite, on the left, is a
grand panoramic view of the country, including the ruins of Dudley

The church is an ancient gothic stone building, dedicated to St. Mary,
with a square tower, of grey-stone; the body is of an irregular form,
the workmanship being rude and tasteless. It appears to be much
neglected, and out of repair, both inside and out; and neither in
respect to size or decorations, does it bear any analogy to the number
of the population, or the wealth of the parishioners. Indeed, if the
structure of the church should be a criterion to judge of the opulence
of the inhabitants, a stranger would certainly conclude, that they
were most of them tenants at rack rent, and greatly burdened with
poor. The only objects deserving of notice, are two monuments; one in
the inside, and the other on the out. The one erected to commemorate
the late Matthew Boulton, Esq. is the work of the celebrated Flaxman,
and adds another wreath of laurel to the brow of that classical
artist. If is of white and blue marble, and is surmounted by a bust,
which is the best representation extant of that enterprising and
deserving man, to whose memory it is sacred. The other is an humble
tomb-stone, remarkable as being one of the last works, cut by his own
hand, with his name at the top of it, of that celebrated typographer,
Baskerville, but this, being neglected by the relations of the
deceased, has been mutilated, although the inscription is still
perfect, but so much overgrown with moss and weeds, that it requires
more discrimination than falls to the lot of many passing travellers
to discover the situation of this neglected gem. To those who are
curious, it will be found close to the wall, immediately under the
chancel window. This precious relic of that eminent man is deserving
of being removed, at the expense of the parish, and preserved with the
greatest care, withinside the church. Mr. Baskerville was originally a
stone-cutter, and afterwards kept a school, in Birmingham.[6]

[Footnote 6: Since writing the above, the Rev. T. L. Freer, who is
rector, and the wealthy parishioners have entered into a liberal
subscription, and being aided by government with the sum of five
hundred pounds, they have undertaken to rebuild the body of the
church, according to an elegant plan, designed by W. Hollins,
statuary and architect, of Birmingham, without making any rate on the

There is only one more of his cutting known to be in existence, and
that has lately been removed and placed withinside the church, at
Edgbaston; to which place please to refer.

_West-Bromwich, in Staffordshire, distant five miles_.

The church is an old tower structure of stone, dedicated to St.
Clement; the body having been of late years rebuilt, has two side
aisles, handsomely pewed, and galleries all round. The officiating
clergyman is the Rev. Charles Townsend.

The waste lands in this parish being inclosed by act of parliament in
the year 1804, has produced a very beneficial effect; for, by the side
of the main road, which scarcely produced a blade of grass, there
are now numerous houses erected, and the lands about them are very
productive. The new inclosed lands now let from three pounds to five
pounds per acre, and a great part of it is in tillage.

In this extensive parish, the new inclosed land has been sold from
one hundred to eight hundred and forty pounds per acre; and the
neighbourhood is now become so populous, that it is in contemplation
to erect a new church, there being in the beginning of October last
more than three thousand pounds subscribed for that purpose.

The following works of considerable magnitude are, already
established, and now in full work:--

  Birmingham brass company, in Spon-lane.
  James Taylor, cast steel manufactory.
  Archibald Kenrick and Co. iron-founders.
  Samuel and John Dawes, iron and steel-masters.
  Izons and Whitehurst, foundry for kitchen furniture.
  Elwell and Hortons, iron-founders.
  Thomas Price, iron-master.
  Bagnall and Son, iron-masters.
  William Bullock and Co. iron-founders, and manufacturers
  of kitchen furniture, improved coffee mills, &c.
  Charles Bache, manufacturer of bar and sheet iron, old
  William Chapman, grinder and polisher, Burstelholme mill.
  Samuel Elwell, iron-master, Friar-park forge,
  ---- Tickell, iron-master.
  Isaac Horton, boiler-maker.
  Edward Fisher and Co. iron-masters.
  John U. Rastrick, manufacturer of steam engines.

Before you arrive at the six mile stone, the road divides, and you
proceed on the right hand for another mile, when, on a sudden, the eye
is highly gratified with a view of _Wednesbury_. Which is erected on a
declivity; and on the summit, the church, with its lofty spire, makes
a very unusual and respectable appearance. This church is a beautiful
gothic edifice; the body and tower of which is coated with Parker's
cement, but the chancel remains as before. Tradition says, that on
this spot there was, in former times, a Saxon castle. Withinside the
church there are numerous ancient monuments, and an inscription,
signifying that William Hopkins, yeoman, Richard Hawkes, and Robert
Carter, caused the chimes of this church to be made and set up, at
their equal and proper cost and charges, A. D. 1635. The clock, which
is represented to be a remarkable good one, has a pendulum upon an
unusual construction, the rod being fourteen yards in length, and the
ball of it weighs 100 pounds.

Here are eight musical bells, the two trebles being fixed in 1558; the
sixth has an inscription, "William Comberford, lord of this manor,
gave this bell, 1623."--"On the seventh is, Sancta Bartholomew, ora
pro nobis." And on the tenor is inscribed, "I will sound and resound
to thee, O Lord, to call thy people to hear thy word."

The church yard is of considerable extent, and being in such an
elevated situation, those who profess to delineate panoramas may here
find ample scope to display their abilities; for there is not only a
view of the following churches, but the towns and villages wherein
they are situated, are several of them under the eye of the spectator
from this lofty eminence, viz. Walsall, Willenhall, Darlaston,
Wolverhampton two churches, Bilstone, Sedgley, Dudley, two churches
and the ruins of the castle, West-bromwich, Tipton, Wednesfield,
Brierly-hill, and Rushall; in addition to the above, by ascending the
roof of the church, you command Birmingham and Aston, together with
numerous engines that are at work in its vicinity; the whole when
combined form such a rich and variegated scene as probably cannot be
equalled in any other situation.

In the vicinity of Wednesbury there are numerous mines of coal,
wherein great numbers of people are employed, whilst others pursue the
different branches of gun-making; springs, steps, and other articles
used by coach-makers, are also manufactured here, together with wood
screws, hinges, and of late, apparatus for the gas lights.

In the year 1742, when the methodists were spreading their doctrines
through the kingdom, some disturbances took place here on that
account; and soon after, Mr. Wesley, the preacher, was waited upon by
Sir John Gonson, one of the Middlesex justices, who notified to him
that he and his brethren had received orders from above to do justice
to him and his friends, whenever they should make application; his
majesty being determined, that no man in his dominions should be
persecuted for conscience sake. Posterity will scarcely credit, that
in Britain, and at so late a period as 1742, justice was not to be
obtained but by an order from court; and that such order was issued,
reflects infinite credit on the sovereign, George 2d, who commanded
it. This mandate was not by any means premature; for it became
absolutely necessary, to quell the increasing tumults. In
Staffordshire, the populace rose upon their employers, from whom they
demanded money, and if that was not complied with, they threatened
to serve them as they had done the methodists. A quaker, when riding
through Wednesbury, was attacked by them, pulled from off his horse,
and dragged to a coal pit, where it was attended with difficulty to
prevent their throwing him in. This gentleman, not being so much
attached to his principles as to refuse the protection of the law,
prosecuted them at the assizes, which caused those tumults to subside
in Staffordshire.


This place, being only one mile distant, I went there; but neither on
the road or in the village could I perceive any thing deserving of
attention; the inhabitants being employed in the same pursuits as at

_Walsall, in Staffordshire, distant nine miles, on the direct road to

You proceed down Snowhill, and having passed the buildings, you
perceive on the right hand Hunter's nursery grounds, from whence there
is a good prospect of the town of Birmingham, in a clear day. On the
left, Hockley abbey, and the plantations of Mr. Boulton, present a
rich scene in front, with a glass-house in the back ground. At the
bottom of the hill you cross a small stream of water, which separates
Warwickshire from the county of Stafford. In ascending the opposite
hill, on the right hand is Prospect-house, where the late Mr. Eginton
carried on his manufactory of stained glass. Soon after the road
divides, when, turning to the right hand, it leads you by a row of
respectable houses, and when through the toll gate, you leave what
was once Handsworth common, and immediately on the left is a handsome
house, with a beautiful avenue of lime trees; once the seat of the
ancient family of Sacheverel, but now the property of Joseph Grice,

A little farther on the right is a simple though tasteful lodge,
leading to Heathfield, the elegant mansion of the celebrated James
Watt, Esq. who is well known to all scientific men, for the great
improvements he has made in steam engines, and various other useful
works. A few years back, the adjacent ground was a wild and dreary
waste, but it now exhibits all the beauty and luxuriance that art
assisted by taste can give it. Woods and groves appear to have started
up at command, and it may now vie with any seat in the neighbourhood,
for rural elegance and picturesque beauty. Descending the hill, the
parish church of Handsworth presents itself to view, and a short
distance before you arrive at it, is the parsonage-house, where the
Rev. Lane Freer resides.--It is a very excellent house, and possesses
more conveniences and luxuries than are usually to be met with in the
habitations of the clergy. About a mile farther on the right is the
elegant residence of N. G. Clarke, Esq. one of the king's counsel; a
gentleman highly distinguished for acuteness and perspicuity in his
profession, and thorough hospitality in his house. Still farther on
the left, as you descend a steep hill, there is a fine view, at a
considerable distance, of the domains of Hamstead hall. It is a very
elegant and modern-built mansion, the old one having been taken down
some years since, which was for many generations the seat of the
ancient and respectable family of the Wyrleys, who possessed the manor
and very large property in this parish. On the demise of the late
John Wyrley, Esq. the whole of this estate was left by will to George
Birch, Esq. at whose decease it devolved upon his only son, the
present Wyrley Birch, Esq. It is difficult to conceive a more
beautiful residence than this, as it contains all that hill and dale,
wood and water, aided by extensive views, can do, to make a place
delightful and desirable: these seem here to have been combined in
the most beautiful manner; for the river Tame meanders through this
enchanting and extensive domain; on whose banks are numerous groves
of trees, and from a solid rock there arises a lime tree, of unusual
magnitude, whose branches spreading in an horizontal direction became
so heavy, and injured the trunk to such a degree, that in order
to preserve the body, it not only became necessary to lop off the
principal branches, but to bind it together with iron in different
ways, by hooping of it, and passing a bar of iron through it, in the
same manner as buildings are frequently done, to preserve them. At the
height of three feet, it girths twenty-three feet and rises to the
height of seventy feet. The rock upon which this tree grows, is of
such a nature, that there is a grotto of considerable size cut in
it, wherein the roots from this tree spread themselves in different
directions. This inestimable estate, although for so many generations
the patrimonial possessions of the family, has been lately transferred
by the proprietor to the Earl of Dartmouth, and is now in the
possession of William Wallis, Esq.

In the valley is a corn mill, worked by the river Tame, over which
there is a substantial bridge. Near the summit of the opposite hill,
the road passes close by the residence of Mr. Wren, who is well known
in Staffordshire, as an agriculturist. Near half a mile farther on the
left is an ancient white house, which has been occupied as a school
for a number of years. From the green opposite, if you face about,
there is an extensive view over the country; two of the Birmingham
churches and the monument being conspicuous objects. A very short
distance farther is a gravel pit, opposite to which is a rich and
luxuriant view for a considerable distance. At the finger post, two
miles before you arrive at Walsall, there is a beautiful landscape,
and when you approach near the town, by looking the contrary way,
there is a rich and variegated view over the country. A little before
you enter the town, there are two respectable houses, one on each side
of the road; that on the left is the residence of Mr. Richard Jesson,
an attorney, and at the other, which is built of stone, Mr. John
Adams, a merchant, resides.

This road to Stafford is nearer by five miles than going through
Wolverhampton, and the accommodations are in every respect equal:
independant of that circumstance, whoever travels this road is not
incommoded by the numerous colleries and engines that are adjacent to
the other.


This town, being considered a borough, by prescription for a number of
years, was incorporated by letters patent, bearing date 22d February,
in the 13th year of King Charles 2d; the government thereof is vested
in a mayor, with the assistance of twenty-four capital burgesses, who
are authorised to sue and are liable to be sued, by virtue of a common
seal. William Webb was appointed the first mayor, whose successor is
to be elected and sworn into office on the feast of St. Michael. The
mayor and his brethren are authorised to fix upon a recorder and town
clerk, who are empowered to hold a court of record, whenever it is
requisite, to determine any actions or pleas, for sums of money
exceeding forty shillings, and not more than twenty pounds. There are
also two serjeants at mace, who are under their directions; the late
mayor, and one other capital burgess, being in the commission of
the peace for the borough and foreign, they have authority to take
cognizance of all crimes committed within their jurisdiction, except
conspiracy, murder, felony, or any thing touching the loss of life.
They are also empowered to have a common prison, where all offenders
may be detained, until discharged by due course of law. By this
charter, the mayor, recorder, and twenty-four capital burgesses are
exempt from serving upon any juries at Stafford.

The seal of this corporation is three fleur de lis and three lions
quarterly, with two lions as supporters; over the arms is a crown
without an arch, and over the rim of the crown there are five fleur de
lis. It is nearly the size of a crown piece, with a latin inscription,
in very ancient characters. It is deposited with Joseph Stubbs, who is
town clerk, and steward of the manor to Lord Bradford. The arms of the
town appear to be a bear with a ragged staff.

The guildhall is situated in the High-street, one wing of which is
the Dragon inn, and the other is a large room where the corporation
assemble to transact business, and is called the mayor's parlour,
under which is the prison for the town.

The ancient wooden staves belonging to the corporation are still
deposited in the hall, and are curious relics of antiquity, being
ornamented with heads of various animals, rudely carved.

The sheriff of the county, by his deputy, holds a court in this town,
at the Castle inn, every third Monday, for the recovery of debts,
under forty shillings; but the expenses are excessive to both debtor
and creditor, and if the latter loses his cause, his expenses alone
will amount to six or seven pounds.

In the year 1452, Thomas Mosely, of Moxhull, in Warwickshire, being
then lord of Bascote, in that county, gave it in trust to William Lyle
and Thomas Magot, for the use of the town of Walsall. In 1539, the
inhabitants were summoned by the bellman to repair to the church,
where a dole was distributed, amounting to the sum of seven pounds,
ten shillings, and nine-pence. Some time after, an attempt was made
to discontinue this dole, which caused the populace to assemble, who
forced the same to be continued; at which time it was distributed to
about fourteen thousand people, nine thousand of whom were supposed to
reside in Walsall.

The church is a vicarage, dedicated to St. Matthew, or All Saints: it
is an ancient pile of building, singular in its appearance, being in
the form of a cross, the transept of which is composed by large side
chapels, whose roofs lie east and west, parallel to the body of the
church. The tower, which is situated at the south-west angle of the
west front, is strong, plain, and far from inelegant, being built with
coarse lime stone, on which a new spire was erected since 1775, when
a set of eight musical bells were fixed there, by Mr. Rudhall, of
Glocester; the weight of the tenor being more than twenty-three
hundred, and the key note E flat.

The following inscriptions are round the bells:--

1. "When us you ring, we'll sweetly sing."

2. "Fear God, honour the king."

3. "Prosperity to the parish."

4. ditto ditto.

5. "The Rev. John Darwall, vicar."

6. "Thomas Rudhall, Glocester, founder."

7. "Thomas Hector, Edward Licet, Thomas Overton, Deykin Hemming,

8. "I to the church the living call, And to the grave do summon all."

The font of this church is alabaster, of an octagon form, with
shields, richly sculptured.

On each side of the chancel are eleven stalls, very entire, the seats
of which, being lifted up, exhibit a series of grotesque figures,
curiously carved, in bas relief; no two of which resemble each other.
Over the communion table is a large painting, representing the last
supper.--The vicarage, where the Rev. Philip Pratt resides, is in a
delightful situation, being on an eminence, and encompassed with lofty
and majestic trees.

There are three fairs in the year, viz. February 24th, Tuesday in the
whitsun week, and the Tuesday before St. Michael; at which time the
races take place, and have been for a number of years both numerously
and genteely attended; as a proof of it, the inhabitants in the year
1809 expended the sum of thirteen hundred pounds in the erection of
a grand stand; in the lower apartments of which is a billiard table,
where they resort for recreation. The fair at whitsuntide is not held
by charter, but being market day, at that holiday time is considered
a fair by prescription. There is in this town a charity school for
twenty-four boys and sixteen girls, who are all cloathed in blue: they
are instructed and cloathed gratis, but neither lodged nor boarded.
The expenses attending this school are defrayed by subscriptions,
donations, and sermons preached on the wake Sunday, which is the
Sunday before St. Michael. The school-room is near the George hotel.
There is also a free grammar school, near the church, founded by Queen
Mary, in the first year of her reign, which she endowed with certain
lands that are vested in trustees. The High-street is spacious, and
therein are some respectable shops, and a conduit for the use of the
inhabitants.--Park-street is also a wide one, but there are numerous
low houses in it.

The town has a singular appearance; its situation being upon a bold
eminence, from whose summit arises a fine old gothic church, with a
lofty spire, the streets and houses descending in every direction. In
the vicinity are numerous lime stone quarries, some of which are open
from the surface, and from others it is drawn up through a shaft,
similar to coal mines.

Mr. Siddons, the husband of the celebrated actress, was born in
Rushall-street, in this town, whilst his father kept a public-house,
known by the sign of the London apprentice, whose death was occasioned
by sparring or wrestling with a person named Denston. The present Mr.
Siddons was originally a barber, but having an inclination for the
stage, he joined the itinerant company of Mr. Kemble, and married one
of his daughters, who afterwards proved the heroine of the stage.
Another well-known character was also a native of this town, viz,
Thomas Haskey, the celebrated ventriloquist, who was by trade a bridle
bit maker; but whilst an apprentice he left his master, and entered
into the army, where he lost a leg and obtained a pension. When young,
he did not know the abilities he possessed, but hearing O'Burn,
he endeavoured to imitate him; and when Mr. Stanton's company of
performers were at Walsall, he repeatedly from the gallery entertained
the audience by sham dialogues, in two voices, between himself and
Tommy. He was an ignorant man, but possessing this unusual faculty, he
was frequently sent for by Lord Dudley, to entertain the company at
Himley, upon which occasions, he always hired a post chaise to convey
him there. He afterwards went to London, and performed at Sadler's
Wells in the year 1796, and when his benefit came on, he cleared £200.

About one mile from the town, on the road to Wolverhampton, is a
strong chalybeate water, called Alum well.

About one mile and a half from Walsall, near to Bentley hall, at a
place called Pouck hill, as some workmen were opening a quarry, they
discovered numerous basaltic columns, some of which are from four to
five feet in diameter, of various lengths, some singularly waved,
others straight; some of the joints short and others extend to the
length of five or six feet: they lie nearly in an horizontal position,
and resemble at a distance large trees piled one upon another.

The chief articles manufactured in this town and its vicinity are
bridle bitts, stirrups, spurs and other articles either used or sold
by the saddlers.

_Barr Park, distant five miles, on the road to Walsall_.

The hospitable mansion of Sir Joseph Scott, Bart, is surrounded by a
park of considerable extent, wherein there is the greatest variety
of undulating hills and dales, wood and water, together with such
extensive views, as can only be found in this part of the kingdom. To
this park there are three entrances, and at every avenue the worthy
proprietor has erected an elegant lodge, from whence there are
capacious carriage roads to the mansion. One of these lodges is about
five miles on the road to Walsall, to which you approach by taking the
right hand road, opposite a house of entertainment, the Scott's arms,
and then taking the second turning to the left conducts you to the
lodge. On entering the park, a circular coach drive leads to the holly
wood, through which you proceed by a serpentine road near half a mile,
when a beautiful sheet of water presents itself to view, along whose
banks you pass near a mile before you arrive at the mansion.

The situation of the building is low in front of the water, but being
screened by rising ground and lofty trees, it must be very warm in
the winter. On the left of the house, a walk leads you to the flower
garden, which is laid out with great taste, containing flowers and
small shrubs of the choicest and rarest kinds, together with a
fountain in the centre. From hence there are delightful views, and
among others over the adjacent country, Birmingham is distinctly seen.
At the distance of about two miles farther, towards Walsall, there is
another lodge, which is the entrance from Walsall, and leads you by a
spacious serpentine road through the Marrian wood, which is composed
of various shrubs and evergreens, and conducts you to a most elegant
chapel, with a beautiful and well-proportioned spire, underneath which
you enter into one of the most sumptuous places of worship in the
universe. There are in the whole eleven lofty windows, and seven of
them are ornamented in the most elegant manner with stained glass, by
Eginton: they are all full length figures, large as life, with
their proper attributes. The first represents Fortitude, the second
Temperance, the third Justice, in the fourth, which is over the
communion table, is the apotheosis of a child, after the Rev. Mr.
Peters, the fifth represents Hope, the sixth Charity, and the seventh
Prudence. The pews and every other part correspond, there being a
sumptuous organ, with a gallery in front of it, which extends on each
side, before two windows. In a spacious cemetary there are some tombs,
much more elegant than are usually met with; there is also a yew tree
of large dimensions, which is grown much higher than trees of that
species do in general, and also some venerable elms, together with the
village school. Close adjoining is another lodge, and the road from
it conducts you over an elegant bridge, on the right of which is a

There is also another lodge, at a place called the Quieslet, about six
miles on the road to Barr-beacon, where a spacious road conducts you
for a considerable distance, by a plantation of oaks, and so through
the park, wherein there are fixed numerous seats, which command
delightful and comprehensive prospects, and among others may be seen
the extensive sheet of water in the vale, backed by a grand screen of
venerable oaks and verdant hills; at same time, from amidst the nearer
trees and shrubs, the house appears to emerge, and adds considerably
to the scene. From the various knolls with which this park abounds,
there are several that command a view of Birmingham, and also of the
woods in Sandwell park.

There is also a view of the ruins of Dudley castle, and from another
eminence the churches of Wolverhampton and Wednesbury are seen, with
the elegant spire of Barr chapel in front. From the lodge at the
approach from Walsall there is an extensive view over the country,
bounded in the horizon, to the left by Dudley castle, the Rowley
hills, &c. and to the right by the Wrekin and other mountains in

_To Dudley, in Worcestershire, through West-bromwich, ten miles on the
road to Stourbridge_.

You proceed down Snowhill, pass by the Soho, through Handsworth and
West-bromwich, and along the Wolverhampton road, near six miles, when
the road divides, and you take to the left, having the ruins of Dudley
castle full in view. After crossing the Birmingham canal, you come to
_Tipton, eight miles_.

In this parish the following works are carried on in an extensive

  Blair and Stevenson, soap and lead.
  Harrison, Oliver, and Co. Horsley iron-works.
  Walker and Co. Gospel-oak iron-works.
  Dixon, Turton, and Co. have three furnaces.
  Round, Caddick, and Co. Old church forge.
  Messrs. Parkers, iron-masters.
  Zephaniah Parkes and Co. iron-masters.
  Messrs. Willets, iron-masters.
  Birmingham Co. iron-masters.
  Bagnall and Co. iron-masters.
  Moat colliery.
  Horsley ditto.
  New Church ditto.
  Tibbington ditto.
  Glebe Land ditto.
  Ockerhill ditto.
  Puppy Green ditto.
  Dudley Port ditto.
  Birmingham Co. ditto.
  Brookhouse ditto.

The church is dedicated to St. Lawrence, of which the Rev. James Bevan
is perpetual curate. From hence you pass by the Dudley brewery, and
having ascended the hill, arrive at _Dudley, ten miles_.

In this town there are two parish churches, one of which is dedicated
to St. Thomas, and is now rebuilding in a magnificent manner, to which
a lofty spire is attached; it being in height 170 feet, and therein
are ten musical bells: of this church the Rev. Luke Booker, L.L.D. is
vicar. The other is dedicated to St. Edmund, wherein a free gallery
has been erected by subscription; over which the Rev. Proctor Robinson

The different sects of presbyterians, baptists, quakers, methodists,
and independants, have each of them their respective places of

There is a free school, founded by King Edward 6th, two national
schools, on the plan of Dr. Bell, and one Lancasterian ditto. The
inhabitants who have a taste for reading, have established a library,
wherein there are more than three thousand volumes.

There are here five glass houses, two of which belong to Messrs.
T. and G. Hawkes, where the most superb articles are manufactured;
another to Mr. John Roughton; a fourth to Price, Cook, Wood, and Co.;
and the fifth is at Holly-hall, belonging to Zephaniah Parkes and Co.

There are also the following iron-works established:--

  Zephaniah Parkes and Co.
  Messrs. Attwoods, three furnaces.
  Glazebrook and Whitehouse.
  Salisbury, Hawkes, and Co.
  ---- Banks.
  Wainwright, Jones, and Co.

At the priory, there is a powerful steam engine, belonging to Mr.
Benson; and on the road to Birmingham is a brewery, belonging to a
public company. In the environs are numerous mines of coal, ironstone,
and lime; which land, where the mines have not been worked, sells
in general for about one thousand pounds per acre.--Nails and heavy
iron-work employ a great part of the population.

The ancient castle, of which there still remains the keep and the
gateway, is said to have been erected about the year 700, by a person
named Dodo, from whom the name of the town is derived. Underneath the
hill, whereon the castle was situated, there are stupendous caverns,
from whence the lime stone has been conveyed away, which are truly
august, being of considerable extent, and proportionably high; the
roof being supported by rude pillars of vast dimensions, which have
been left by the miners for that purpose. There is one tunnel that
perforates the hill entirely, being in length near two miles: it is in
height thirteen feet, in width nine feet, and in one part sixty-four
feet below the surface.

These enormous subterranean works, with the method of procuring the
stone, are highly deserving the attention of strangers, who have there
an opportunity of seeing this useful article forced from its natural
situation by means of gunpowder; raised from the bowels of the earth,
and conveyed through the country by means of inland navigation, to
serve the purpose of the agriculturist, and also the architect. In
these rocks there are numerous marine productions, and among others,
one which the miners denominate a locust, for which they have been
known to refuse its weight in gold; it being understood that there is
only one other place in the kingdom where they are to be found.
The mines of coal in this vicinity are from ten to twelve yards in
thickness, which circumstance it is said does not take place in any
other part of the kingdom. A stranger approaching Dudley after it
is dark, will be astonished to see the numerous fires in different
directions, which proceed from the furnaces, forges, and collieries;
the latter converting their small coal into coke.

The noble proprietor of these extensive mines and the ruins above
them has for several successive years planted innumerable trees of
different kinds around the castle hill, and during last summer
(1818) he caused avenues to be cut through them, which form the most
romantic, picturesque, and diversified shady walks, extending over
numerous hills and dales, that can be imagined; the views that
occasionally present themselves when least expected, are enchanting,
and when you arrive at the summit, there is a most extensive prospect
over the counties of Worcester, Stafford, Derby, Leicester, Warwick,
Salop, Hereford, and part of Wales: it is not only extensive, but full
of variety, comprising hills and dales, woods and villages, populous
towns, and busy seats of manufacture; a scene that may be justly
termed, of various view, warm and alive with human habitations.--From
this eminence eighteen churches are discernable; viz, those of Dudley,
Birmingham, West-bromwich, Walsall, Rushall, Wednesbury, Darlaston,
Tipton, Bilston, Wednesfield, Wolverhampton, Sedgley, Briery-hill,
Oldswinford, and Pedmore; also the fine obelisk and castle at Hagley;
the elegant seat of Lord Westcote; Envil, the admired seat of Lord
Stamford; and part of the woods at Himley, the spacious and beautiful
seat of the humane, generous, and noble proprietor of these ruins. The
stupendous mountains of Malvern (though near forty miles distant),
bounding the horizon towards the south, are grand and noble features
in the scene; as are also those of Clent, Abberley, the Cleys, and the

  "Mountains, on whose barren breast
  The lab'ring clouds do often rest."

_To Dudley, in Worcestershire, through Oldbury, distant_ _nine miles._

Having passed the Sand-pits and Spring-hill, you cross the Birmingham
canal and enter upon what was Birmingham heath, which being inclosed
in the year 1800, was found to contain 289 acres, which land now lets
from thirty to fifty shillings per acre.

On the right hand is a boat-builder's yard, and on the left a
glass-house, belonging to Messrs. Biddle and Lloyd. Proceeding towards
the windmill, you perceive at a short distance on the right hand
another glass-house, belonging to Messrs. Shakespear and Fletcher.
Ascending the hill, there is on the right an extensive view over the
adjacent country, including Barr-beacon, Mr. Boulton's plantations,
and Winson-green, a neat house, in the possession of Mrs. Steward. On
the left is Summerfield-house, late the residence of John Iddins, Esq.
but now of James Woolley, Esq. and beyond it, a neat white house,
occupied by Mr. Hammond. Over an apparently wooded country, you have a
windmill in full view, and when at the foot of the hill, on the right
is Smethwick grove, the residence of John Lewis Moilliet, Esq.

       *       *       *       *       *

You now enter Smethwick, which is in Staffordshire, and ascending the
hill, a neat brick house makes its appearance on the right hand, where
John Reynolds, Esq. resides, who, by succeeding to what was considered
by Mr. Lane, his predecessor, to be a worn out trade, accumulated a
considerable fortune, and has retired from business to enjoy it near
twenty years. At the summit of the hill on the left is Shireland hall,
which is now converted into a seminary for young ladies, under the
superintendance of Miss Marmont.

There are in Smethwick some works of considerable magnitude, viz.
Messrs. Boulton and Watt's manufactory for steam engines; an extensive
soap work, belonging to Messrs. Adkins and Nock; a manufactory of
brass, under the denomination of the Smethwick brass company; and also
one of British crown glass, belonging to Thomas Shutt and Co. There is
a house called the Beakes, where Wm. Wynne Smith, Esq. resides.

The place of worship is a chapel of ease to the parish of Harborne, and
is a neat modern brick tower building, of a single pace, lofty and
coved, about sixty feet by twenty-four, and well paved, with a gallery
at the west end. The present incumbent is the Rev. Edward Dales, who
resides in the neat parsonage-house on the south side of the chapel

Leaving Smethwick, you proceed towards Oldbury, upon which road the
trustees are making great improvements, by widening the road and
turning the course of a brook, over which they are building a bridge,
which when finished will be a great accommodation. This village
is situated in the county of Salop, and is a chapel of ease to
Halesowen. A new court-house was erected here in the year 1816,
where the court of requests is held once a fortnight. The protestant
dissenters have here a neat place of worship, as have also the
methodists. Close to the village are several coal mines, and a blast
furnace, belonging to Mr. Parker.[7]

[Footnote 7: From this place you have an excellent view of Rowley
hills, the ruins of Dudley castle, and the fine woods in Sandwell

About a mile distant, on the left of the road is the Brades, where
Messrs. William Hunt and Sons have established a considerable
manufacture of iron and steel, which they form into scythes, hay
knives, trowels, and every kind of hoe now in use. This road from
Birmingham to Dudley is at least one mile nearer than going through
West-bromwich, and in my opinion will be sufficiently commodious for
the traffic there is between the two towns. The distance is only nine
miles, and in travelling that short space of ground you are in four
different counties; Birmingham being in Warwickshire; Smethwick, in
Staffordshire; Oldbury, in Shropshire; and Dudley in the county of

N. B. Since writing the above, the bridge is completed, and the whole
line of road improved to a considerable degree.

_To Hockley-house, ten miles, on the road to Stratford-upon-Avon and
also to Warwick._

You proceed through Deritend, up Camp-hill, and when near the summit,
there is on the right hand an ancient brick building, called the
Ravenhurst, the residence of Mr. John Lowe, attorney, who is equally
respectable in his profession, as the house is in appearance. A short
distance beyond on the left is Fair-hill, where Samuel Lloyd, Esq.
resides, and on the opposite side of the road is the Larches, the
abode of Wm. Withering, Esq.--This house, when it belonged to Mr.
Darbyshire, was known by the name of Foul Lake, but when Dr. Priestley
resided there, he gave it the name of Fair-hill; afterwards, being
purchased by Dr. Withering, he altered the name of it to the Larches.
Having passed through the turnpike, on the left is Sparkbrook-house,
John Rotton, Esq. resident. At the distance of one mile and a half the
road to Warwick branches off to the left, and on the summit of the
hill is Spark-hill-house, inhabited by Miss Morris. Opposite the three
mile stone is a very neat pile of building, called Green-bank-house,
where Benjamin Cooke, Esq. has taken up his abode. A little beyond, at
a place called the Coal-bank, there is a free school, which is endowed
with about forty pounds per annum.

At a short distance on the left is Marston chapel, which is usually
called Hall-green chapel: it was erected and endowed by Job Marston,
Esq. of Hall-green hall, with about ninety acres of land, and other

At the distance of five miles, you pass through a village called
Shirley Street; and at the distance of another fire miles, you arrive
at Hockley-house; a place of entertainment, where travellers of every
denomination are accommodated in a genteel manner, and on reasonable
terms. About one mile from hence, on the road to Stratford, is
Umberslade, or Omberslade, where the Archer family were used to
reside, but it is now untenanted.

_From Hockley-house to Warwick, ten miles._

At the distance of one quarter of a mile, there is on the right a view
of Lapworth church, and on the left is Pack wood-house, which is at
present unoccupied. At Rowington, the Warwick canal is carried at
an immense expense over a deep valley, and also through a tunnel of
considerable length; on the left is the village church, to which you
ascend by steps cut in the solid rock, and near to it is the handsome
residence of Samuel Aston, Esq. from hence you proceed through Hatton
to Warwick.

_To Warwick, twenty miles_--_Leamington, twenty-two miles._

You proceed through Deritend and Bordesley, continuing upon the
Stratford road for one mile and a half, when you turn to the left;
and at the distance of two miles there is a view over a well-wooded
country, with the spire of Yardley church on the left. At
Acock's-green there is a prospect nearly similar; and in a field,
opposite the five mile stone, there is an extensive picturesque
landscape, with a sheet of water in front, which covers about thirty
acres;[8] in the midst of which is a small island, with some trees
upon it, that adds considerably to the scene.

[Footnote 8: This sheet of water is the reservoir of the Warwick

_Solihull, distant seven miles._

This beautiful, neat, and clean village had at one time a market, but
that has been discontinued for a long time. There are still three
fairs annually; one on the 29th of April, another on the 11th of
September, and the third on the 12th of October. There are here
several genteel and commodious houses; the vicinity being very
respectable. The, church is an ancient gothic pile of building, with
an elegant spire. The Rev. Charles Curtis is rector.

Leaving the village, on the right you pass by Malvern-hall, the
residence of H.G. Lewis, Esq. and afterwards arrive at Balsall Temple,
which in former days belonged to the knights templars, and at their
dissolution the knights hospitallers became possessed of it, in
whom it remained till the general dissolution of the abbies. It was
afterwards converted into an hospital, for the reception of indigent
women, either unmarried or widows, to be selected from Balsall and
Long Itchington, in Warwickshire, Trentham, in Staffordshire,
or Lillenhall, in Shropshire. This institution is now in great
prosperity, the annual income amounting to near £1500; the number of
its alms-women is at present thirty. The buildings are extensive and
substantial, forming a complete square, and healthfully situated on
the verge of a spacious and fertile green. The trustees are the bishop
of Lichfield and Coventry, together with the Earls of Warwick and
Aylesford, assisted by other respectable gentlemen in the county, who
have placed the whole institution under the immediate charge of a
master, with a salary of £150. per annum, who is at this time the Rev.
J. Short.

To those who admire antiquity, Balsall church will be a pleasing
object, as it now remains nearly in the same state as it was when
first erected, about seven hundred years back. Its dimensions are one
hundred and two feet long, thirty-eight broad, and fifty-seven high.
At the east and west ends are lofty windows, extending from the roof
nearly to the ground, and on each side are three noble windows. The
heads of all the windows are ornamented with beautiful tracery, and no
two of them resemble each other. There are no divisions withinside,
and what distinguishes the chancel from the body of the church is
an ascent of three steps. The walls are very substantial, and so
clustered with ivy, that it forces its way through any small fissures
into the interior. Over the west door there is a low turret, and below
the cornice is a row of ten heads, in a good state of preservation,
which are considered to be of excellent workmanship.

Near the church is the ancient hall of the templars, formerly a
splendid apartment, but now it is converted into a barn, which is
represented to have been one hundred and forty feet in length.

A little farther is Springfield, the elegant and delightful mansion of
Joseph Boultbee, Esq. and at a short distance is Knowle, which is a
small old town, on elevated ground, in the midst of fertile fields.
This church is of considerable size, and exhibits marks of antiquity
in its remains of stained glass and grotesque carved work.

Not far from hence is Baddesley-Clinton-hall, the seat of Edward
Ferrers, Esq. and about one mile beyond is a small inn, known by the
name of Tom o'Bedlam, near to which is a venerable oak tree, supposed
to be two hundred years old, measuring in girth twenty yards, from
which one branch extends across a road thirty feet wide. You next
come to Wroxhall abbey, the residence of Christopher Wren, Esq. a
descendant from the noted Sir Christopher Wren, who erected St. Paul's
cathedral, in London. The church of Wroxhall is an ancient structure,
forming one side of a square, the buildings of the abbey forming the
other three sides. The windows, which are ornamented with stained
glass, are remarkably fine: the two figures of Moses and Aaron are
admired, not only for the drapery, but also for the splendid colours.

About one mile before you arrive at Hatton, there is to the left a
pleasant view over a well-wooded country, in the midst of which the
ivied towers and magnificent battlements of Kenilworth castle
present themselves to view. Hatton is a small village over which the
celebrated and learned Dr. Parr presides. At Hatton-hill, near the two
mile stone, there is an extensive and diversified prospect over the
fertile tract that surrounds Warwick; in every part highly cultivated,
and adorned with woods, encircled by gently-rising hills; and in the
back ground are seen Shuckburgh-hill on one side and Edge-hill on the

_Warwick_. This ancient town is seated on a rock, to which you ascend
in every direction, there being four avenues; one from Birmingham,
another from Stratford, a third from Coventry, and a fourth from
Banbury. The eminence on which the town is erected is itself encircled
by hills at the distance of from two to three miles, which bound the
prospect in every direction, except to the N.E. where you may see
into Northamptonshire, and to the S.W. where the eye ranges over
an extensive country, backed by the hills in Glocestershire and
Worcestershire. The surrounding country is very fruitful, being
cultivated with great care, and the enclosures separated by beautiful
hedges, which are richly adorned with trees in a flourishing
condition, and also by the river Avon, which meanders here in a
considerable stream, and near Warwick is augmented by the junction of
the Leam. The town being seated on a dry eminence, is exposed to the
genial influence of the sun, which rarifies the air, and renders the
atmosphere so salubrious and warm, that in its vicinity the seasons
are frequently earlier by a fortnight than they are at the distance of
twenty or thirty miles. The four principal streets cross each other at
right angles, and lead to the cardinal points.

Great improvements have of late been made in them, by the introduction
of culverts, repaving the carriage roads, and laying the footpaths
with flags. Lamps are lighted during the winter months, at the expense
of the corporation, who have in a commendable manner widened the
narrow parts of some streets, and removed numerous obstructions;
which gives an air of liveliness to this once sleepy town, and the
inhabitants, being rowsed from their lethargy, are now become active
and industrious.--The canal from Birmingham comes to this town, from
whence it is continued to Napton, where it unites with the Oxford, and
by means of it, with the grand junction canal.

The town is governed by a mayor, twelve aldermen, and twelve principal
burgesses, with a town clerk and a recorder, who are empowered to make
laws for the regulation of the borough, and upon all offenders to
impose reasonable fines and penalties. Here are two manufactories of
cotton, one of lace, and one of worsted, all of them upon an extensive
scale, which contribute considerably to the cheerful activity and
increasing population. There are here held twelve fairs annually; the
market, which is well supplied, is on a Saturday; the quarter sessions
for the county, and also the assizes.--The horse races take place in
September, and a second meeting of the same kind is held in November.
This borough sends two members to parliament, who are elected by those
who pay scot and lot; the number of electors being about five hundred.

Here are two churches; one dedicated to St. Mary and the other to
St. Nicholas: there, are also places of worship for presbyterians,
quakers, independants, baptists, and Wesleyans.

In the vicinity, the following places are deserving of
attention:--Guy's cliff, the ruins of Kenilworth castle, Stoneleigh
abbey, Charlcott-house, and Combe abbey. Passing over the new bridge,
on the road to Leamington, there is a grand picturesque view of
Warwick; there being in the foreground the rich meadows, with the Avon
meandering through them, the church of St. Nicholas, and the trees
behind, which form a dark shade. Near to it is the castellated
entrance into the castle, and the elegant tower of St. Peter's chapel.
On the right is the priory, with its beautiful woods. The town is
perceptible in the centre, with the tower of St. Mary's, which rises
above the variegated and extensive groves of the castle. On the left
is the principal object, the castle, which raises its lofty embattled
towers over the shady groves with which it is surrounded. The elegant
bridge, whose span is 105 feet, is a prominent feature in the

On the road leading to Tachbrook, about one mile from the town, the
eye is gratified with a rich and luxuriant landscape, wherein appears
the church of St. Nicholas, the priory, the hospital of St. John, the
tower of St. Mary's church, and, to crown the whole, the castle.

The walks and rides in the vicinity of this town present innumerable
objects deserving of attention, and whoever takes delight in rural
scenery, may here be amply gratified.

In addition to these works, there is a considerable manufactory of
hats, and an iron-foundry; to which may be added a corn mill, wherein
are five pair of stones, and three of them constantly in motion, by
which means they are enabled to grind and dress three hundred bushels
of flour every day.

_The County Hall._

This is an elegant pile of building, with a stone front, ornamented
with pillars of the Corinthian order, to which, the ascent is by a
flight of steps, through folding doors, into a noble room of just
proportions, being ninety-four feet in length and thirty-six in
breadth. At each end are semicircular recesses, surmounted by cupolas,
and fitted up with convenient galleries, where the two courts of
justice are held; the criminal court being on the right, and that for
civil causes on the left; between which there is accommodation for the
servants and attendants upon the court. Above there is an apartment
where the petit juries occasionally retire, and adjoining it is the
room where the grand jury assemble. The quarter sessions for the
county are also held in this hall, and in it all county meetings are
convened. During the races there is a temporary boarded floor laid
down, and the hall is converted into a ball-room, the two recesses
being fitted up for card parties: the pillars with which it is
ornamented are encircled with wreaths of lamps, and what was before
the solemn court of justice, is now converted into a brilliant
and sportive scene, where gaiety and fashion take place of their

_The Court House._

This spacious and elegant pile of building is appropriated to the use
of the body corporate, there being two rooms on the ground floor; that
on the right is where the mayor and aldermen hold their assemblies,
and the other is fitted up as a court, where the sessions are held
for the borough. On the second floor, there is a commodious,
well-proportioned apartment, sixty feet by twenty-seven, which is
fitted up in an elegant manner with superb cut-glass chandeliers of
large dimensions, at one end of which is an orchestra and also a card
room adjoining. In this room annual entertainments are given by the
mayor, and public meetings for the borough are convened. In it public
lectures upon any particular subject are occasionally delivered, and
it is also sometimes used as a ballroom.

_The Market House._

This substantial building does credit to the town; it being very
convenient for those who bring the produce of their farms to market.
The upper apartments are made use of as store-rooms for the arms and
accoutrements of the military within the county. From its summit there
is a fine view of the town, and also a prospect of the surrounding

_The Stone Bridge_.

This elegant structure, which is erected across the river Avon,
consists of one arch, measuring 105 feet in the span, at the expense
of four thousand pounds: one thousand was contributed by the
corporation, and the remainder was defrayed by the Earl of Warwick.

_The Iron Bridge_.

The rock whereon this town is erected being cut away, to make a road
into it twenty-four feet wide, Charles Mills, Esq. one of the members
for the borough, caused an iron bridge to be erected at his expense,
across this road, and thereby formed a junction between the
marketplace and the Saltsford.

_The Theatre_.

The town not being very extensive, this building was erected to
correspond with the population: it is no ways remarkable in its
external appearance, but it is fitted up in a neat and convenient
manner within, and is always opened during the races.

_College School_.

This ancient pile of building is of considerable size, and in it the
native children of the parish, who think proper to take advantage of
the institution, are educated free of expense; but as the course of
instruction is prescribed to the learned languages only, its utility
as a free school for general education is very contracted. The salary
of the master, who must be a clergyman of the established religion,
is seventy-five pounds, and he having but little employment, has an
assistant, who receives annually thirty pounds, exclusive of other
emoluments. To this school two estates were left in trust, to provide
two exhibitions of seventy pounds each, for two young men, natives of
the town, towards defraying the expense of their education, at Oxford,
for the space of seven years.

There is also a public library, wherein is a considerable collection
of well-chosen books, chiefly of modern literature; but the building
that contains it is not deserving of notice.

The charitable donations and benefactions that have been left to this
town are very numerous, and amount to a large sum of money.

Here are six different alms-houses, one school wherein thirty-nine
boys are taught reading, writing, and arithmetic, and thirty-six girls
are instructed in reading, writing, sewing, and knitting. There is
also a school of industry, and four sunday schools. A lying-in charity
is also established here, for the relief of poor married women,
residing within the borough, who each of them are accommodated with a
set of child-bed linen for one month, one pound of candles, one pound
of soap, and during the winter months, with two hundred weight of
coals. They are also provided with a sufficient quantity of caudle,
together with proper attendants, and all necessary medical advice. In
addition to the before-mentioned there are two poor-houses.

There is also a very ancient building, denominated Leicester's
hospital, for the reception of twelve indigent men, who are termed
brethren, together with a master, who must be a clergyman of the
established church, and in preference to all others, if he offers
himself, the vicar of St. Mary's. It is endowed with land, which at
the time was valued at £200 per annum, but now amounts to near £2000,
exclusive of the vicarage of Hampton-in-Arden, which is in the gift of
the brethren, who usually bestow it upon the master. It had long been
ascertained that the clear annual rental of the estate far exceeded
all that could be required for the support of the number of brethren
in the hospital, and that the salary of the master was fixed at fifty
pounds per annum.

In the year 1813, this important business was brought before
parliament, when it appeared, that each of the brethren received,
clear of all deductions, about £130 per year each, which sum the act
leaves them in the possession of; but it provides, as vacancies occur,
either by death or otherwise, on the admission of every new member,
his annual income shall not exceed £80, and that the surplus £50 shall
one half of it go to the increase of the master's salary, until it
amounts to £400 per annum, and the remainder is to form a fund for the
support of ten additional members. The qualification for admission
being now fixed at £50 per annum: no candidate is to be possessed of
an income exceeding that. Adjoining to the hospital is a chapel, which
is neatly fitted up for the use of the brethren, the master, and his
family, who daily assemble there for morning and evening prayer,
except on those days when service is performed at St. Mary's, where
their attendance is then required.

_St. Mary's Church_.

This stately building taken altogether makes a very respectable
appearance, particularly the tower, wherein are eight bells and a set
of chimes; what is very remarkable, the principal entrance into the
church is under the tower; therefore it admits of a grand view down
the middle aisle, which being terminated by the east window, is seen
to great advantage. There is in this church an excellent organ, and
numerous monuments, but none of them any ways remarkable. From the
south transept of this church, you descend by a flight of steps to St.
Mary's chapel, and enter therein by folding doors, which, when opened,
the eye is astonished upon viewing the interior of this beautiful and
magnificent structure, which is considered to be as fine a specimen
of gothic architecture as any in the kingdom, it being in the pointed
style of the middle order. This chapel, having been twenty-one years
in building, was finished in the year 1464, and including the monument
erected to commemorate the Earl of Warwick, cost £2481, an amazing sum
at that period. In the chapel there are five sumptuous monuments.

_St. Nicholas's Church_.

This incongruous pile of building is of modern date, being opened for
divine service on the 17th September, 1780.

_County Gaol._

This extensive, substantial, and commodious pile of building is of
solid stone, and in all respects so complete, that every purpose it
was intended to answer is fully accomplished. The area of this prison
contains near an acre of ground, which is surrounded by a wall
twenty-three feet high, and of proportionate strength.

_County Bridewell._

This building is of stone, and contains numerous apartments, in every
one of which there is a glazed window and an iron door, the sleeping
rooms being furnished with iron bedsteads and chaff beds, with two
rugs to each. A donation is made to every prisoner, on being released,
according to the distance he is from home and behaviour during
confinement. One or two shirts or shifts, a pair of shoes, or a
jacket, are presented to those who have been in prison six months.

_The Castle._

The necessary limits to which this work is confined, will not admit of
describing that magnificent and sumptuous pile of building; therefore
those who are desirous of seeing a description of it, are referred to
the local historian.

_The Priory._

This ancient edifice is in the immediate vicinity of Warwick: it was
originally a complete square, three sides of which still remain, the
fourth having been removed.--The western side appears to have been
part of the ancient chapel, there still remaining part of the
baptismal font, which is of stone, richly ornamented, and is highly
deserving the attention of an antiquarian.

It is situated on a pleasing eminence, embosomed in the ancient and
majestic groves, surrounded by delightful gardens and an extensive
park, and presents such a beautiful sylvan scene as is rarely to be
met with. The undulated surface of the ground, intermingled with
numerous sheets of water, are richly adorned with trees of various
kinds, of vigorous growth and the most beautiful forms, among which
the elm and the chesnut are particularly conspicuous. Through this
park there are several footpaths open to the public, and are the most
rural and delightful walks imaginable.

_Guy's Clift_.

Leland, the antiquarian, who wrote in the time of Henry 8th, speaking
of this delightful and romantic place, says, "It is the abode of
pleasure, and a place delightful to the muses: there are natural
cavities in the rocks, small but shady groves, clear and chrystal
streams, flowery meadows, mossy caves, a gentle murmuring river
running among the rocks, and to crown all, solitude and quiet,
friendly in so high a degree to the muses."

The approach to this romantic place is from the Coventry road, by the
side of shady plantations, until you arrive at a lofty stone arch,
through which you enter the court yard, the whole of which is hewn out
of the solid rock, and underneath there are subterraneous passages and
cellars, wherein the atmospheric air produces so little effect, that
during the heats of summer or the colds in winter the thermometer only
varies one degree. In this court there are numerous stables excavated
out of the solid rock, as are some of the lower apartments of the
house, which is an elegant modern mansion, and near to it is the
ancient chapel, with its embattled towers and gothic windows, as it
was originally built in the reign of Henry 6th, and is still in good
repair. Those who admire the productions of early genius will here be
highly gratified, there being great numbers of original paintings,
and some copies, executed by the only son of the worthy proprietor of
Guy's clift, whose premature death at the age of twenty-two, caused
inexpressible grief to all who were honoured with his acquaintance.
Exclusive of these, there are others by artists of the greatest

The ancient pleasure grounds exhibit a great variety of pleasing
objects, and also numerous curiosities; among others, a mill that was
in being before the Norman conquest, it being mentioned in doomsday
book. There is also Guy's well, where this renowned champion was
accustomed to slake his thirst, which is described by Leland as
follows, it still remaining in the same state as it was then--"The
silver wells in the meadows were enclosed with pure white sleek
stones, like marble, and a pretty house, erected like a cage, one end
only open, to keep comers from the rain." The apartments under the
chapel, where the chantry priests were used to reside, still remain
entire, without having undergone any alteration. Near to this spot is
Guy's cave,

  "Where with his hands he hew'd a house,
  Out of a craggy rock of stone,
  And lived, like a palmer, poor,
  Within that house alone."

This bears the appearance of being a natural eave, for the upper part
does not exhibit any marks where the tool has been made use of, but
the lower part does; and here, tradition says, this mighty warrior
was interred, and also his wife, fair Phillis. Over this cave is fair
Phillis's walk, who, it is related, was accustomed to resort here,
whilst her husband, though not known to her as such, was performing
his devotions in the cave below. From these delightful and romantic
walks there are numerous opportunities for an expert draughtsman to
exercise his abilities.

_Leamington Priors._

The distance between Warwick and Leamington is only two miles, and
there are two distinct roads, both of them excellent; and whether a
person rides or walks, if the mind is susceptible of pleasing
ideas, neither time nor fatigue will be thought of. The roads about
Leamington are in excellent order, and present numerous delightful and
picturesque views, which are fully described by Mr. Field, and also
by Mr. Moncrief in his Guide to Leamington, wherein he has introduced
some appropriate, entertaining, and amusing poetry. Whoever resorts to
these saline springs in search of amusement, if he has money and time
at command, cannot fail, during the season, between May and November,
of being highly gratified, except the mind is entirely depraved. To
every visitant, the guide of Mr. Moncrief will not only be useful
but entertaining. The poetical epistles of Miss Fidget are not only
descriptive but very humorous, and the poetry of Mr. Pensile is very

Before Leamington rose into esteem, there was a facetious man resided
there, named Benjamin Satchwell, by trade a shoemaker, who, when any
differences arose among the villagers, he was in general the mediator;
they not being at that time cursed with either a wrangling lawyer
or an hypocritical methodist. He was also the village poet, and
frequently exercised his talents in praise of the waters, and likewise
of any respectable person who came with intent to derive benefit
from them. He is said to have kept annals in verse of its rise and
progress, and also cases of cures performed by the virtues of the
saline spring, and that he let them out to the visitors for their
amusement, on certain terms. Admitting this to be true, is it not
very singular that Mr. Bisset, nor his predecessor, Mr. Pratt, should
neither of them introduce these jeu des esprits, for the entertainment
of their readers, or why did not Mr. Moncrief collect them together;
they certainly would have increased the sale of his work? As they are
overlooked by the local historians, it is not likely that a casual
visitor should stumble upon them.

This village having for a series of years been celebrated for a spring
of saline water, it has for some time become fashionable to resort
there. The first baths were erected in the year 1786, now called
the Centre well, by Mr. Thomas Abbotts, a native of the place; the
beneficial effects of the water having been noticed and recommended by
Dr. Kerr, of Northampton, and Dr. Allen. At this time there were two
baths, one of them hot and the other cold, which for several years
afforded sufficient accommodation for all invalids who resorted there,
and were in general lodged at the adjacent cottages, there being no
more than two small inns, the Bowling Green and the sign of the Dog.

Dr. Edward Johnstone, of Birmingham, having recommended the use of
these waters to several of his patients, the number of visitants
increased annually, so that in 1790, Matthew Wise, Esq. caused another
well to be opened, now called the Road well, where he erected a
range of baths, more spacious than the others, to which was annexed
considerably more conveniences, with some pretensions to elegance; but
as yet no additional apartments were provided for the accommodation of
strangers, except a few more of the cottagers fitting up additional
rooms, it being no more than a rural and retired village.

In the year 1794, Dr. Lambe, a physician of eminence, who resided
at Warwick, published in the fifth volume of the Memoirs of the
Manchester Philosophical Society, an accurate analysis of the
Leamington water, by which it appears to possess the same genial
influence on the human frame as the water of Cheltenham, which was
then rising into celebrity. There was one very material difference
between the waters of Leamington and those of Cheltenham, there being
at the former place an abundant supply of the mineral water, not only
for drinking but for hot and cold bathing; whilst, on the contrary,
the saline spring at Cheltenham scarcely produced a sufficient
quantity for drinking. The influx of visitors to Leamington now
increased with such rapidity, that every cottager exerted himself to
fit up lodgings, and every house to which lodgers resorted improved
their appearance; in short, new wells were opened, new houses erected,
and not only new streets formed in the old town, as it was now called,
but a plan was drawn for the erection of a new town, which has within
a few years increased in a most astonishing manner.

The Dukes of Bedford and Gordon, attended by their Duchesses, having
visited and remained at Leamington for some time, it induced the Earl
of Aylesford, who is lord of the manor, and of course, proprietor of
the spring, to visit Leamington, where, having made the necessary
enquiries, he gave orders that the spring should be properly inclosed,
at his expense, securing to the poor the benefit of the waters, and
had he lived, it was his intention to have erected baths for their
accommodation. The visitants increasing in number, Mr. Wise has
augmented the number of his baths, there being one cold bath, four hot
for the use of gentlemen, seven for ladies, and one for children, all
fitted up with Dutch tiles, or Derbyshire marble, and furnished for
the convenience of invalids, with hand rails: to each of the baths is
attached a dressing room, with a fire-place in it. Adjoining these
baths there is a small but elegant pump-room; the water being raised
by a horse engine.

In 1810, a fourth well was opened, which is called the Bridge well,
and is situated near the bridge, close to the river: it belongs to Mr.
Robbins, who has erected one large cold bath, three hot baths, and one
for children.--These, with the exception of the last, are accompanied
by convenient dressing-rooms; the water being raised by a horse

The South well, the property of the Rev. Mr. Read, was opened in the
same year, (1810), where there are one cold bath, formed with Dutch
tiles, three hot baths, one of them being marble, and one for
children: these baths are very neat, but they have not the convenience
of dressing-rooms.

During the same year, (1810), a sixth well was opened on the north
side of the river, where a magnificent suite of baths and a spacious
pump-room are erected, at the expense of twenty-five thousand pounds;
there are twenty in number, hot, cold, tepid, vapour, and shower;
one of them being a chair bath, which is an admirable contrivance to
immerge the invalid, on the chair where he was undressed, into the
bath, in a secure and easy manner.--These baths are spacious, and
admirably constructed with Dutch tiles, and most of them have the
accommodation of dressing-rooms. The water is raised by a steam engine
of two horse power; and to the great credit of the proprietors, they
have devoted one hot and two cold baths to the use of the poor. This
extensive building exhibits a noble front, the central part being one
hundred and six feet in length and thirty in height, to which there
are two wings, each of them extending thirty-feet and in height
twenty. A spacious colonade, formed by double pillars of the Doric
order, encompass it on three sides, all of native stone, makes this
building rank among the first and most magnificent structures in the
kingdom. It was designed and executed by Mr. C.S. Smith, architect of
London. The baths for the use of the ladies are nearest to the river,
and those at the other end are for gentlemen, the entrance to them
being from the two wings. The entrance to the pump-room, which is
extensive, lofty, and of exact proportions, is through folding doors
at each extremity of the central building.--The ornaments of the
ceiling, the cornices, and in fact, the whole interior embellishments,
are chaste and simply elegant. On one side the light is introduced
through seven windows, and on the opposite side by one window of large
dimensions, composed of stained glass. Underneath this window there
are two elegant chimney pieces, formed of Kilkenny marble. At the
western extremity of the room, on an ornamental pedestal of Derbyshire
marble, there is the pump, if it may be so called, it having a bason
in the centre, which is enclosed by a neat mahogany ballustrade. The
visitors receive the water in glasses from beautiful damsels, and to
whom it is usual to give a gratuity. The terms for drinking the water
at these baths is 3s. 6d. per week, exclusive of the gratuity. At the
other wells it is 2s. 6d. per week, and the gratuity. The terms for
bathing appear to be in general, 3s. for a warm bath, 2s. for that
of a child, and 1s. 6d. for a cold bath, with a gratuity to the

In the year 1816, a seventh well made its appearance in
Clemens-street, which bears the pompous title of the imperial
sulphuric medical font, and ladies' marble baths. There are here four
baths, with a dressing-room to each, and also an elegant pump-room.

Lest seven wells and fifty baths should not be sufficient to
accommodate the visitors at Leamington, preparations are making for
the eighth well, near Ranelagh gardens, where the baths are intended
to be more splendid than any of the former, and also the pump-room,
under the title of the Spa.

From the hour of seven to nine in the morning is the accustomed time
to promenade and drink the water, though numbers defer it till after
breakfast, and bathe in the evening before they retire to rest.

When the warm baths are not in use, they are invariably kept and shewn
empty, being filled in presence of the visitor, or during the time he
is preparing to use them; the process of filling not requiring more
than three minutes. The cold baths are in general emptied and of
course filled every day, or more frequently if required; but of late
they are not much resorted to, the warm or tepid bath being preferred.
The prevailing opinion among medical men is, that the latter is by far
the more efficacious in most disorders, and more conducive to health
than the former; because, where a person continues immersed in saline
water for some time, it enters into the pores of the skin, and by that
means is more likely to be of benefit in cutaneous or other disorders
for which it is usually recommended.

The houses in Union-parade, Upper Union-street, Cross-street, and
others, being erected, some public-spirited gentlemen, in order to
attract the attention of the public, in the year 1813 resolved to
erect an assembly-room that might vie with, if not excel those of Bath
and Cheltenham.

This, at the expense of ten thousand pounds, was carried into
execution by a pupil of the celebrated Wyatt. The spacious front of
this beautiful edifice is constructed with native stone, wherein no
superfluous ornaments are admitted. In the central part there are a
range of seven windows, supported by light pilasters of the Ionic
order, surmounted by a plain entablature. Two handsome wings project
from the main building, and judiciously relieve it; they contain those
apartments that are usual and necessary appendages to a large assembly
room.--There are two entrances into this building; one on the eastern
side, from Union-parade, through a small porch, supported by four
Ionic columns; the other, the principal entrance, is from Upper
Cross-street, through a pair of large folding doors in the right
wing, into the hall. The hall is spacious and well-proportioned,
the refectory being opposite to the entrance. To the right is
a billiard-room, containing a massive mahogany table, made by
Fernyhough, of London, said to be worth one hundred guineas, and to
the left a flight of stairs conducts you to another billiard-room,
which, although it is not quite so spacious, is equally commodious as
the other. On the same side you enter the ball-room through a pair of
folding doors: this magnificent room measures in length eighty-two
feet, in width thirty-six, and in height twenty-six. From the ceiling,
which is beautifully ornamented with stucco, three superb chandeliers
of cut glass are suspended, which with those in the other apartments
are said to have cost one thousand guineas. The range of windows
aforementioned are furnished with curtains of crimson moreen, edged
with black fringe. On the opposite side of the room there are two
fire-places, the chimney pieces being formed of Kilkenny marble,
highly polished, over which are two ornamental mirrors of large
dimensions. At the upper end is the orchestra, to the left of which
is a door leading into the card room, which is a spacious and elegant
apartment, and beyond it is a reading-room, well provided with the
London and provincial newspapers, to which are added some of the
most esteemed periodical publications. On ball nights, this room is
appropriated for tea. From the month of June till November balls are
held every Thursday night, at eight o'clock, and card assemblies
occasionally throughout the season. The whole concern is under the
direction of a committee, the master of the ceremonies being C.
Stevenson, Esq.

Mr. George Stanley, mason, of Warwick, laid the first brick of the
first house erected at new Leamington, 8th October, 1808. This first
house was built by Mr. Frost, of Warwick, and stands at the corner of
Upper Cross-street, opposite the assembly rooms; in honour of him
there is now a street bears his name, (Frost-street.)

_The Theatre._

This neat building, upon a diminutive scale, was erected in 1814,
immediately in front of the Bath hotel, the exterior appears to be
coated with Parker's cement, and the interior is ornamented with views
of Leamington, Warwick, Guy's Clift, &c, and fitted up with some

_The Post Office._

This necessary and convenient place for all descriptions of people to
resort to, is situated about two hundred yards east of the church,
where there are gardens, kept in neat order, for the accommodation
of those who wait with impatience for their letters; or they may
promenade from the office to Gordon house.

_Ranelagh Gardens_

Are regularly improved every season, and with their various
amusements, are deserving of attention.

_The Church_

Is an ancient pile of building, dedicated to All Saints, which,
from the great influx of visitors, being found too small for their
accommodation, an entire new wing was constructed in 1816, and it
still requires to be farther extended, or a new one erected. A
moderate subscription from the wealthy visitors would do much towards
it. The officiating minister, the Rev. E. Trotman, is only engaged
to do single duty on a Sunday, but to accommodate the visitors, he
performs a second entire service, and to remunerate him for his
attention, subscription books are opened. During the season of 1818,
another hotel was begun, upon which twenty thousand pounds being
appropriated to the completion of it, is a sum sufficient to render it
equal to any other house of entertainment in the kingdom.

An elegant suite of rooms have recently been opened, entitled the
Apollo, where assemblies were held every fortnight, during winter.
Boarding houses are continually opening every week, and in every
quarter of the town there are good houses in a state of forwardness,
against the present season.

_A Hint from the Editor_.

From the rapid manner in which the buildings encrease at Leamington,
it is evident that there is a superabundance of money, and as soft
water is a scarce article within the town, could not a portion of that
superfluous money be advantageously employed in conveying that useful
and necessary article to the respective houses, by means of a steam
engine, there being a powerful spring at no great distance?

_To Meriden, twelve miles, on the road to Coventry._

You proceed through Deritend and Bordesley, when you take the left
hand road, and having crossed the Warwick canal, the ruins of
Bordesley house are in full view; they having continued in that
state ever since the year 1791, when the house was demolished by an
infuriated mob. The land by which it is surrounded has been parcelled
out, and advertised to be let for building. On the left is a
farm-house, denominated the Garrison, from whence there is an
extensive view over the town of Birmingham; and on this eminence it
is supposed that Oliver Cromwell planted his artillery to overawe the
town; but the majority of the inhabitants being favourable to his
cause, there was no necessity to make use of it; and what gives weight
to this supposition is, that this spot being about one mile and a half
from Aston hall, it is very probable that from thence the artillery
played upon that mansion, as a ball penetrated into the interior of
it. At the distance of three miles and a half, there is a road on the
left, which leads to the village of Yardley.

Having passed the four mile stone, you ascend a gently rising hill,
and when at the summit a delightful and extensive view presents
itself; there being a windmill in the front, and on the left the tower
of Sheldon church is seen, and also the steeple of Coleshill church.

_Elmdon Hall._

The seat of A. Spooner Lillingston, Esq. is an elegant modern pile of
building, on the right of the road, at the distance of six miles. It
is situate in an extensive lawn, interspersed with shrubberies, from
whence there are variegated and extensive prospects, the churches of
Birmingham, Solihull, and Yardley being distinctly seen, backed by
Barr-beacon, the Rowley hills, &c. and withoutside of the lawn the
spire of Coleshill church is a pleasing object. The church, which is a
neat stone building, was erected by Abraham Spooner, Esq. the entrance
is under the tower, which admits of exhibiting to great advantage, an
elegant window composed entirely of stained glass. In the centre is a
representation of the last supper, delicately executed in a circle,
about nine inches in diameter, date 1532. There are also three ovals,
representing Faith, Hope, and Charity, executed in a masterly manner,
apparently about the same period. There is also a neat organ, of a
size suitable to the place.

At a short distance farther, there is on the right a church upon an
eminence, with a delicate spire, at a place called Church Bickenhill;
and a short distance beyond is an extensive and variegated prospect,
with Coleshill church on the left. Having crossed the river Cole at
Stonebridge, at the distance of half a mile on the left is Packington
hall, the seat of the Earl of Aylesford, which is a substantial modern
stone building, situated in a park, wherein are some of the most noble
oak trees that are to be found in the kingdom. There are also numerous
sheets of water, and the church, which was erected by the late Earl,
after a plan of Bonomi's, which is an immense arch, both interior
and exterior, after the manner of the Italians, and is nearly in
the centre of the park. The organ was made by order of Handel, and
presented by him to the late Earl; it being esteemed a very fine
toned one.--The altar-piece represents angels paying adoration to the
Saviour, and is painted in a masterly style by Rigaud.

The archery ground made use of by the woodmen of Ardeu is bounded by a
plantation on the left of the road, about one mile before you arrive
at Meriden. The members of this society hold several meetings each
summer, when they shoot for various prizes. On the ground there is an
elegant building erected, where the members dine, or take refreshment,
and at other times it serves as a general deposit for their bows and
arrows. This is almost the only society of woodmen now in the kingdom.
At Meriden there is a commodious inn, adjacent to which are delightful
gardens, and the accommodation for travellers are excellent.

_To Sutton, distant eight miles, on the road to Lichfield._

You leave Birmingham, through Aston-street and the adjacent buildings
in the parish of Aston, which extend for a considerable distance along
the road. Having passed the buildings, you soon after cross a small
stream of water, that has performed its office of turning a corn mill,
which you perceive on your left hand. This mill was within memory a
forge, for the making of bar iron.--There is another mill upon the
same stream, a short distance above, known by the name of Aston
furnace, which was a blast furnace for the purpose of making pig iron
to supply the forge below, and must have been made use of as such for
a prodigious number of years, the slag or refuse from it forming an
immense heap only a few years back, which has been conveyed away
to make and repair the roads, and in some instances to erect
buildings.[9] This mill has been considerably enlarged, and a steam
engine erected contiguous to it, and is now used as a paper mill. From
an adjacent hill there is a good view over the town of Birmingham.

[Footnote 9: See Hockley abbey, on the road to Wolverhampton.]

A lofty brick wall now presents itself to view, by which the park
belonging to Aston hall is surrounded: it being by computation three
miles in circumference; within which there is a great abundance of
valuable timber, and it is also well stocked with deer. When the wall
recedes from the high road, keep by the side of it, which leads you to
the parish church, and also to the mansion house or hall, which is a
brick building, erected by Sir Thomas Holt, about the year 1636, at
the same time that he enclosed the park. He also erected alms houses,
for five men and five women, which he endowed, with eighty-eight
pounds per annum, out of the manor of Erdington. The hall has of late
years been in the possession of Heneage Legge, Esq. but is at present
unoccupied, and the whole estate is upon sale.[10]

[Footnote 10: Since writing the above, the mansion of Aston, together
with the park, has been purchased by Messrs. Greenway and Whitehead,
of Warwick, who have converted the house into two tenements, disposed
of the deer, turned the park into enclosures, and fallen the timber.]

The church which is dedicated to St. Peter and Paul, is a stone
building, with a lofty spire, and contains several monuments of the
Holt family; it is also ornamented with two windows of stained glass,
by Eginton. In the church-yard there is a remarkable grave stone,
which is fixed east and west.[11] The present incumbant is the Rev.
Benjamin Spencer, L.L.D.

Sir Lister Holt, the late proprietor of this estate, not having any
children, and being at variance with his only brother, (who succeeded
to the title), he entailed the estate upon four different families,
none of whom had or are likely to have any children, although they
have been in possession of it for the space of near forty years.

[Footnote 11: It is a thick stone, about two foot in height, on which
is the following inscription:--


  BVRI 27 OF
  DECEM 1660

  DECEM 4: 1697
  AGED 76




Returning into the main road, you perceive on the left a double row of
lofty elms, that extend about half a mile; and at the termination of
the vista, Aston hall and the lofty spire of the church produce a
grand effect. On the right there is a sheet of water that turns a mill
for the use of the Birmingham manufacturers. You soon after cross
Salford bridge, to the right of which is an aqueduct that conveys the
Birmingham canal over the river Tame. The village of Erdington does
not contain any object deserving of attention, but a little beyond
on the right is Pipe hall, an ancient seat of the Bagot family, now
occupied by the Rev. Egerton Bagot.

In the vicinity there are several neat houses, which are chiefly
inhabited by wealthy people, who have retired from Birmingham. A short
distance from hence Mary Ashford was found drowned on the 27th May,

About the fifth mile stone, the eye is gratified on the left with
an extensive view over the country, which continually varies for
a considerable distance, until a most beautiful and picturesque
landscape presents itself; a white house belonging to a mill and an
extensive sheet of water being in front, Barr-beacon in the back
ground, and the woods in Sutton park on the right.

_Sutton Coldfield._

This remarkably neat and clean town is situated about midway between
the town of Birmingham and the city of Lichfield; lying south from the
latter place, its name is supposed to be derived from South Town, and
by corruption, Sutton. There is a very considerable portion of land
near this town, where travellers say the air is equally sharp and cold
as it is upon the highlands of Scotland, and from this circumstance
the latter part of its name originates. Independant of this tract of
land, there is another contiguous to it, which is denominated the
park, wherein a part of the Roman road, called Icknield Street, still
remains perfect; there is also a spring called Rounton well, whose
water is remarkably cold and produces a very copious stream, to which
numerous people who are afflicted with cutaneous disorders resort,
and derive considerable benefit from drinking and bathing therein. It
cures the most virulent itch in the human species, and also the mange
in dogs, if sufficient care is taken to wash them well in the stream,
but a slight washing will not produce the desired effect.

The church is an ancient stone building, dedicated to the Holy
Trinity, and the present rector is the Rev. John Riland, who is also
patron of the living. Within the church there is an organ, and some
monuments deserving of attention; there are also three vaults, two
of which having been opened, the coffins and their contents were
mouldered into dust, although they had been deposited there within the
memory of man.

This town was incorporated by the eighth Henry, at the solicitation of
Vesey, bishop of Exeter, who was his chancellor, and a native of this
place. It is denominated a corporate body, by the name of the warden
and society of the king's town of Sutton Coldfield, and consists of
twenty-four members besides the warden, with a grant to them of the
whole manor and lordship of the parish, together with a tract of waste
ground, called the park, containing about 3500 acres, wherein is
great abundance of valuable timber, on condition of paying into the
exchequer a fee farm rent of fifty-eight pounds per annum.

The said Bishop Vesey erected fifty-one stone houses in the parish and
also a free grammar school, which he liberally endowed with land, and
ordained by the statutes, that the master should be a layman, which is
strictly adhered to. He also procured for the inhabitants a market,
and the extraordinary privilege that every person who erected a house
in Sutton, should be entitled to sixty acres of land in the park.

Here are two fairs annually, for horses, neat cattle, and sheep; the
one on Trinity Monday and the other on the 8th of November; when, for
every horse that is sold, a toll must be paid of four-pence, and a
reputable voucher produced by the person who sells it; the marks
and age of the animal being registered. By the same charter, the
inhabitants of Sutton are exempt from toll in all fairs and markets.
The deputy steward or town clerk holds a court of record every three
weeks, for the trial of civil actions, and holds to bail for forty
shillings and upwards.

Sessions, court leet, and other customary courts are held, and the
charter expressly says, that they shall have and exercise as much
privilege and power as the city of Coventry; but this they do not
practise, for they commit felons to the county gaol. Every inhabitant
is a landed man, which is drawn by ballot every four years; and no
county officer can enter this franchise, to arrest, &c. without
especial license.

The town of Sutton is seated on such an eminence, that although there
are fourteen large pools of water within the parish, and some of them
very extensive, there is not the smallest stream runs into it; the
town being supplied with water by springs within it. The air is very
salubrious, the water in general soft, the situation delightfully
pleasant, the neighbourhood genteel, and accommodations in general
very excellent. In the vicinity is Four-oaks hall, the seat of Sir
E.C. Hartopp; Moor hall, the residence of ---- Hacket, Esq. and
Ashfurlonghouse, which is at present unoccupied.

_To Halesowen, seven miles, on the road to Hagley, Stourbridge and

You proceed up Broad-street and Islington, through the five ways
toll-gate; when the road inclining to the right, there is a double
range of respectable houses, denominated Hagley-row, which have been
erected by the opulent inhabitants of Birmingham; where they not only
enjoy fresh air, but the parochial taxes of Edgbaston do not bear
any proportion with those of Birmingham. On the right hand is an
observatory, a lofty brick building, seven stories high, which bears
the name of the Monument: it was erected by John Perrot, Esq. about
the year 1758, from whence there is an extensive view over the
adjacent country in every direction. The house adjourning is the
residence of John Guest, Esq. Having passed the one mile stone, the
admirer of nature will proceed with solemn pace and slow, every step
he takes varying the scene; one object being lost to view, which
is succeeded by another equally beautiful. On the left there is
an extensive and picturesque prospect, which continues without
interruption for a considerable distance; and when the scene closes
on that side, turn your eyes to the right, where there is a landscape
equally fine; which, over the inclosures, takes in Smethwick, with
Shireland hall in the front. A very short distance farther on the left
there is an extensive and variegated landscape, with a house called
the Ravenhurst in full view; the prospect being bounded by Bromsgrove
Lickey and Frankley Beeches. At the three mile stone is the
Lightwoods, a neat brick house, the property and residence of Miss
Grundy, from whence there are some enchanting prospects. In these
woods there are small shrubs grow in great abundance, which produce
black fruit, known by the name of bilberries, of which during some
years the poor people make a plentiful harvest.--Ascending the
hill there is a delightful view over the enclosures, commanding the
villages of Harborne and King's Norton; the two parish churches being
conspicuous objects. From the Beech-lane there is a fine view, having
the hills of Clent and Cofton in the distance.

At a place called the Quinton, near the five mile stone, there is a
grand prospect, and from this eminence there arise two springs, one of
which flows into the Severn and the other into the Trent. On the left
is Belle Vue, the residence of James Male, Esq. from whence, as its
name imports, there is a grand panoramic view of the country, that
fills the mind with the most sublime ideas, such as cannot be
described either by pen or pencil. In descending the hill opposite
some cottages, there is a road leading to _The Leasowes._

Wherein the inimitable Shenstone took so much delight, and decorated
in such a manner, that in his days they were spoken of and resorted to
by all people of refined taste, who came within a day's ride; and not
an individual ever left them without expressions of astonishment at
what they had seen and heard from the worthy proprietor, who warbled
forth his verses in such a melodious manner, and on such subjects,
that delighted every ear, as his diversified shady walks did every

His remains were interred in the church-yard of Halesowen, to whose
memory, some years afterwards, a small stone pillar, with an urn on
the top of it, was fixed near the vestry door, within the church,
but has since been removed within the chancel, to make room for a
magnificent marble monument, to the memory of Major Halliday, executed
by Banks, for which he received about one thousand pounds; there being
on each side of it a figure, large as life; one representing Patience
and the other Fortitude.

On the pillar to the memory of Shenstone is the following

  Whoe'er thou art, with rev'rence tread
  These sacred mansions of the dead.
  Not that the monumental bust,
  Or sumptuous tomb, here guards the dust
  Of rich, or great,(let wealth, rank, birth,
  Sleep undistinguished in the earth.)
  This simple urn records a name,
  That shines with more exalted fame.
  Reader! if genius, taste refin'd,
  A native elegance of mind;
  If virtue, science, manly sense;
  If wit that never gave offence;
  The clearest head, the tend'rest heart,
  In thy esteem e'er claim'd a part;
  Ah! smite thy breast, and drop a tear;
  For know, thy Shenstone's dust lies here,

  R.G. and J. HODGETS.

The Leasowes are now in the possession of Matthias Attwood, Esq. and
these delightful walks, although their beauties have been curtailed
to a considerable degree, by conveying the Netherton canal across the
valley, close by them, are still highly deserving the attention of all
persons who take delight in rural scenery; and for the accommodation
of those who are inclined to meditate and contemplate, numerous seats
are affixed, in different directions. Such scenes as these walks
afford are very seldom to be met with in any part of England;
therefore those who are in pursuit of amusement, will not regret if
they devote one day to view them; and as they consist of hill and
dale, it will of course cause some fatigue, which may with ease be
alleviated, there being close at hand a neat and comfortable house of
entertainment, kept by Betty Taylor. The source of the river Stour is
in these grounds.

When near the bottom of the hill, the road divides; that on the right
leads to Stourbridge, and the other to _Halesowen, in Shropshire._

This place has been considered as a borough, by prescription,
from time immemorial, and is supposed to have been represented in
parliament at a very early period; but what ancient writings they were
in possession of, being (as I am informed), conveyed to London and
never returned, they have now none to exhibit. A court leet is held
annually, when two officers are appointed, under the appellation of
high and low bailiff; but I cannot understand that they enjoy any
emolument, or are in possession of any jurisdiction. In the reign of
King John, he founded a monastery here, and the church is supposed to
have been erected about the same period; it being an ancient building,
dedicated to St. John; with a lofty spire. The present incumbent is
the Rev. ---- Robinson. Near a mile distant there are still some
remains of the monastery, and to the professed antiquary there is
probably something deserving of his attention. In digging two holes
to fix a gate, a short time since, there was found a considerable
quantity of stained glass, in small fragments, some few of which are
preserved, as are also some square tiles or quarries, about five
inches broad and one thick, with curious devices upon them. It is now
denominated the manor farm, and is the property of Lord Lyttleton.
Dr. Nash, in his appendix to the history of Worcestershire, gives the
following extract from the papers of Bishop Lyttleton.

_Halesowen Abbey._

This ancient structure was situated about half a mile south of the
town, on what is now called the manor farm, near the road leading
to Northfield. King John, in the 16th year of his reign, granted a
charter to Peter de Rupibus, bishop of Winton, by which he gave the
manor and advowson of the church of Hales, with its chapels, to found
a religious house in this place. In consequence of this grant, a
convent of Praemonstratensians was established A.D. 1218, dedicated to
the Virgin Mary and St. John the evangelist, and furnished with monks
from the abbey of Welbeck, in Nottinghamshire. This religious order
were canons, who lived according to the rule of St. Austin, and
afterwards reformed by St. Norbet, at Praemonstre, in Picardy. They
were called white canons, from their habit; which consisted of a white
cossack, with a rotchet over it, a long white cloak, and a white cap.
They continued under the jurisdiction of the abbot of Praemonstre, who
received contributions from them, till the year 1512, when they were
exempted by Pope Julius 2d. The churches and a large proportion of
the tythes of Walsall, Wednesbury, Rushall, Clent, and Rowley, were
granted to this convent, by successive monarchs, which was also richly
endowed by opulent individuals. The abbot and convent held ten large
farms in their own hands. In the reign of Henry 8th, the clear income
amounted to £380 13s 2d. a large sum, considering the value of money
in those days. In 1489, when the whole number of religious amounted
only to seventeen, there were every week consumed in bread 20 bushels
of wheat and rye. And in the course of the year, 1110 quarters of
barley, 60 oxen, 40 sheep, 30 swine, and 24 calves; a proof that great
hospitality and charity prevailed here at that time. The monastery
consisted of an abbot, prior, sub-prior, sacrist, chanter, cellarer,
and custos infirmorum: the monks never exceeded twenty in number.

At the visitations of their superiors, punishments if requisite were
inflicted for immoralities. The house and church appear to have been
stately edifices; the chancel, if not the whole of the choir, being
paved with flat tiles, painted in a curious manner, some of them
being now occasionally found; and the few ruins still extant cover
an extensive plot of ground, exhibiting fine specimens of Saxon and
Gothic architecture.

Several persons of note have been buried in the church, particularly
John, Lord Botetourt, baron of Weoleigh castle, near the high altar,
under a tomb of alabaster; Sir Hugh Burnell, also baron of Weoleigh;
Sir William Lyttleton, of Frankley, and others, about the year 1507.

This monastery was dissolved A.D. 1558, by Henry 8th. The common
sigillum, or chapter seal, was in the reign of Henry 4th, a
representation of the blessed Virgin, in a sitting posture, with the
infant Christ on her left knee, and in her right hand a sceptre. The
arms of this abbey were, azure a chevron argent, between three fleur
de lis.

The situation of Halesowen is in a deep valley, and the surrounding
country presents the most majestic appearance; being diversified with
hills and dales in such a manner, that at every step you take new
beauties arise, and the scene varies so much, that the eye is
unceasingly delighted, without dwelling upon any particular object.
This district cannot, properly speaking, be described, either with pen
or pencil: the innumerable varieties of similar objects that present
themselves to view, must be seen before any person can form the least
idea of them.

_To Bromsgrove, in Worcestershire, distant thirteen miles,_ _on the
road to Worcester, Glocester, and Bristol._

You proceed up Smallbrook-street, when a spacious road opens to the
left, and being clear of the buildings, the spire of King's Norton
church, which is six miles distant, forms a pleasing object.

On the left you have a picturesque view of the country, which
continues without any intermission nearly the space of three miles.
There is in this valley, what is very unusual to be seen in such a
situation, a windmill; and as you proceed, there are in the same
valley several water mills, that are made use of by the Birmingham
manufacturers. This view is skirted by buildings erected on the road
to Alcester, and when near the two mile stone, you perceive among the
trees, Moseley hall, which is a modern stone building; the residence
of Mrs. Taylor. Exactly, opposite, on the right hand, is the parish
church of Edgbaston, and also the hall, which is surrounded by a park,
wherein are some lofty trees, and an extensive sheet of water. This
mansion house, or hall, is now occupied by Edward Johnson, M.D. a
person of considerable eminence in his profession.

A short distance beyond the three mile stone the road crosses the
Worcester canal; from which bridge, if you look towards Birmingham,
there is a rich and variegated landscape, consisting of hill, dale,
wood, and water. At the four mile stone there is a most extensive
view on each side of the road, and also in front; the spire of King's
Norton church, Frankley Beeches, and the Clent hills, being prominent

Having passed the five mile stone, there is on the right a beautiful
view over the enclosures, backed by the beeches, at Frankley. Before
you arrive at the six mile stone is Northfield, from whence there is
on the left a beautiful landscape; the elegant spire of King's Norton
church being distinctly seen. From hence to Bromsgrove is seven
miles, in great part over the Lickey, where the eye is gratified with
numerous extensive views, from one of the highest spots of land in the
kingdom. This is ascertained by two springs that issue from it, one of
which, flows into the Severn and the other into the Trent.

_To Coleshill, distant ten miles, on the road to Atherstone._

You leave Birmingham through Coleshill-street, and having passed by
Ashted-row, you perceive the lofty trees in Vauxhall gardens, which
must be left on the right hand, and a few hundred yards afterwards,
keeping the right hand road, you pass by, on the right, Duddeston, an
elegant pile of building, the residence of Samuel Galton, Esq. but it
is scarcely discernable, on account of the shrubberies by which it is
surrounded. You now pass through the village of Saltley, and at the
extremity, on the left, is Bennett's hill, where Mr. William Hutton,
the venerable historian of Birmingham resided, and ended his days.
This residence, so denominated by the proprietor, was originally a
very small house, with the entrance in the centre, and a small room on
each side, to which has been added two wings, or rather rooms, being
only one story in height: there is a wall by the road side, five feet
high, the top of which is on a level with the top of the parlour
windows; the entrance to it having been altered from the front to the
side. The eccentricity of the owner appears, by terming that a hill,
which on inspection will be found in a low situation, on the side of
a hill. This is noticed, because his peculiar manner of writing, his
quaint expressions, and the tales he relates of himself, have caused a
considerable sale for his productions, and numerous people, when
they are taking an excursion, will travel some distance to view the
residence of their favourite author.

A short distance beyond, on the summit of the hill, commands an
extensive view of Birmingham, the venerable trees in Aston park, the
spire of that church, and Barr-beacon. As you pass along the road,
this delightful prospect varies every step you take for a considerable
distance. These lands, formerly known by the name of Washwood heath,
being inclosed in the year 1803, now let from forty to fifty shillings
per acre. At the four mile stone, there is on the right a cheerful
prospect over the country, with the lofty spire of Yardley church in
full view. About half a mile farther, on entering a small common, the
eye is delighted with an extensive and variegated view; the spire of
Coleshill church being very discernable.

_Castle Bromwich, distant five miles and a half_.

Here is an ancient venerable mansion, where that eminent statesman,
Sir Orlando Bridgeman, used to reside. His successor having been
honoured with the title of Earl of Bradford, the eldest son of the
present Earl, Lord Newport, has fixed his residence here. In the
village is a neat place of worship, erected by Sir Orlando Bridgeman,
who endowed it with the tythes of the parish, it being a chapel of
ease to the parish of Aston.

About half a century back, when there was considerable traffic
between London and Chester, the road passed through this village,
and supported two respectable inns, but the mode of conveyance being
changed, one of the inns is converted into a farm-house, and the other
has very little custom; for the road from Birmingham to Coventry also
passed through here; but it is totally deprived of that also, and is
now little more than the road to Coleshill. On the road you pass by
Coleshill park, an ancient seat of Lord Digby; within which there are
numerous hawthorn trees of unusual magnitude: one of them produces
five stems, each equal in size to a moderate man's body. Time, that
devours every thing, has here made great havoc among them, and also
destroyed some oaks of large dimensions.


Yew trees being of slow growth, and the wood of close texture, are
little subject to decay; yet there is in this church-yard, the remains
of a yew tree, still alive, three parts at least of which is mouldered
away, and only a small part of the trunk remains.

The architecture of the church is the decorated gothic or English
style: it is erected on a considerable eminence, from whence there
is an extensive and variegated view over the adjacent country. The
interior of the church, which is dedicated to St. Peter, is spacious,
and contains some monuments that are well executed; among others,
there are two recumbent effigies of cross-legged knights, supposed to
be of the ancient Clinton family, and those to commemorate the Digby's
are numerous. It has a beautiful tower, from whence there arises an
elegant spire, which being injured by lightning, it was of course
taken down, and the present erection is not so lofty by fifteen feet
as the former.

Coleshill has a weekly market on Wednesday, and five annual fairs,
where there are numerous horses and cattle exposed to sale. Before the
establishment of mail coaches it was a very considerable post town,
but that is not the case now, the route being changed. The town is
situated on an ascent, and in the valley flows the river Cole, from
whence its name is derived. The domestic buildings are in general of a
respectable appearance, and there are some modern erections that unite
ornament with spacious dimensions.


This village is situated three miles from Coleshill, on the road to
Atherstone, and is noticed as being the birthplace of that celebrated
antiquarian, Sir William Dugdale, whose father being a clergyman, he
was born at the rectory house, and dying at Blythe hall, his remains,
and those of his lady, were deposited in a vault on the north side of
the chancel in Shustock church.

_Maxstoke Castle_

Is situated about one mile east of Coleshill, and is erected in the
form of a parallelogram, encompassed by a moat. At each corner is an
hexagonal tower, with embattled parapets. The entrance is by an august
and machicolated gateway, strengthened on each side by a tower of
hexagonal form. The gates are covered with plates of iron, and the
marks of the useless portcullis are yet visible. A portion of this
edifice was accidentally destroyed by fire, but the greatest part of
the ancient building still remains, and is an interesting specimen of
the architectural arrangements in the 14th and 15th centuries. Among
other apartments, are the spacious hall, an extensive dining room,
with a door and chimney piece, which are carved in a very curious
manner, and also the chapel. In the walls of the great court, there
are yet remaining the caserns or lodgments for the soldiers. This
venerable pile of building is now the habitation of Mrs. Dilke. A
short distance from the castle are the remains of a priory, whose
ruins are rendered mournfully picturesque, by the varieties of
ever-green foliage with which they are cloathed in almost every

_To Hat-borne, in Staffordshire, distant three miles._

Passing up Broad-street and Islington, when you are through the
Five-ways[12] toll-gate, the centre road leads to Harborne. On the
left is a neat white building, called Greenfield-house, the properly
and abode of Hyla Holden, Esq. and a little farther on the same side
of the road is the parsonage-house of Edgbaston; the resilience of the
Rev. Charles Pixell.

[Footnote 12: There are now six ways, Calthorpe's road being opened in
the year 1845.]

Passing by Harborne heath cottage, when you arrive at the summit of
the hill, is an excellent house, where Mr. Richard Smith resides; from
whose premises there is an extensive view over the adjacent country,
particularly Edgbaston and King's Norton.

A short distance beyond, on the right, there is a delightful view
of enclosed ground, and the Lightwoods; with a white-fronted house,
called the Ravenhurst, in the centre, the residence of Mr. Daniel
Ledsam, which altogether forms a beautiful landscape. Where the roads
divide pass on the left, leaving the village, called Harborne Town,
which is principally inhabited by men who obtain a livelihood by
forging of nails, and proceed down the road which leads to Bromsgrove,
where on the left is a preparatory school, for boys under ten years
of age, which is conducted by Mrs. Startin. This house commands a
pleasant view over the grounds that have been laid into a paddock
by Mr. Price, whose neat and elegant residence, with its beautiful
undulated grounds, are also on the left.

A few paces below Mr. Price's, you arrive at a small triangular
grass plot, which is called the cottage green, and is surrounded by
cottages, superior in neatness of appearance to what are usually
met with. From hence there is a most delightful landscape of Mrs.
Careless's house, which is surrounded with verdant meadows, having
a considerable sheet of water in front, and in the back ground are
Frankley Beeches, with the adjacent hills of Cofton and the Lickey.

There are in this vicinity some most delightful prospects, which are
seen to great advantage from the handsome houses of Mr. Green Simcox,
and also of his father, George Simcox, Esq. the former on the right
hand and the latter on the left, as you proceed towards the church.
This is an ancient tower Structure, the body having of late years been
rebuilt in a neat and commodious manner; consisting of a single pace,
well pewed, with a modern gallery at the west end and another at
the north east corner; it is a vicarage, dedicated to St. Peter; the
present vicar being the Rev. Richard Robinson.

From this church-yard the eye is again delighted with extensive and
beautiful prospects; and from thence, proceeding towards Northfield,
a bridge has been lately erected by subscription, which separates
the parishes of Harborne and Northfield, and also the counties of
Stafford and Worcester. The stream of water gives motion to a mill,
belonging to Mr. Price, and feeds the mill pond, which is a fine sheet
of water covering twenty-four acres. Not far from hence there is a
delightful shady walk, which extends through the grounds of Mr. Price
and Mr. Simcox for near a mile, and at intervals commands delightful
and romantic prospects.--Within a few yards of the aforesaid bridge,
the counties of Stafford, Worcester, and Warwick unite.

Returning towards Birmingham, at the sign of the Golden Cross you
pass up Mitchley-lane, which separates the counties of Stafford and
Warwick; the land on the right being in the parish of Edgbaston, the
property of Lord Calthorpe, and on the left in Harborne, belonging to
Theodore Price, Esq. About half a mile up this lane, on the left, at
Fulford's farm, there is an interesting view over Mr. Price's paddock,
of King's Norton, with its lofty spire, Cofton hills, Bromsgrove
Lickey, Frankley Beeches, Cleat hills, &c. &c. Passing by a neat
cottage belonging to Mr. Frears, you come again into the Harborne
road, at Mr. Smith's.

In this village there is a free school for the children of the
inhabitants, and also for those in the hamlet of Smethwick; but the
endowment is slender. Here are also three Sunday schools, which are
equal to any in the kingdom, the children being cloathed in a very
neat manner, by each of them subscribing one penny per week; and as
all the respectable inhabitants are honorary members, they subscribe
one penny each also. Formerly this was a very poor village, and the
roads leading to it were in all directions very bad, until the late
worthy Thomas Green, Esq. having purchased the manor house and a large
estate there, he afterwards improved the roads, and was at all times
anxious to improve this his native spot. A monument in the church
describes his character.----The old manor house was the residence of
Judge Birch, and the only respectable building in the parish; which is
now a common farmhouse, where there are some vestiges of old village
elegance, and some comfortable apartments: it is the property of Mr.
Simcox. Harborne being situated upon very high ground, and the soil
light, renders the air very salubrious; instances of longevity being
very numerous, particularly one couple, James Sands and his wife, one
of whom; as is recorded in Fuller's Worthies, lived to the age of 140,
and the other to 120.

_To King's Norton, in Worcester shire, distant five Mile_.

You leave Birmingham, either through Alcester-street or up Camphill,
where there is a half-timbered house, inhabited by Mr. John Simcox, an
attorney. In a field nearly opposite there is perhaps the best view
over the town of Birmingham that can be taken. A short distance
beyond, on the right, is a row of houses, to which is given the name
of Highgate. A little farther, on the left, is a tan-yard, upon an
extensive scale, the property of Mr. Avery Homer.

In a field near the two mile stone, there is a grand panoramic view of
Birmingham, and the adjacent country for several miles on each side of
it, which is seen to the greatest advantage in an afternoon. A little
beyond is Moseley hall, an elegant stone building, erected about
twenty-five years since, by the late John Taylor, Esq. and is now the
residence of his widow.

The village of Moseley has nothing to attract attention. The place of
worship is a chapel of ease to King's Norton: it has an ancient stone
tower, but the body of it has been rebuilt of late years with brick;
the officiating clergyman being the Rev. Edward Palmer. In this
neighbourhood William Villers, Esq. resides, who has for a number of
years been an active magistrate for the town of Birmingham. A little
beyond Moseley hall there is on the right an extensive and picturesque
view over Edgbaston and the adjacent country, with the monument on
the right. Proceeding only a few yards farther, the scene varies in a
considerable degree; the monument being on the left, a glass-house in
the centre, and the front of Moseley hall in full view; over the roof
of which is seen some of the buildings in Birmingham.

Upon a turn of the road, the eye is gratified with a fine view over
Bromsgrove Lickey, Frankley Beeches, and the adjacent hills; with the
spire of King's Norton church on the left. You next pass through the
village of King's Heath, and about one mile before you reach King's
Norton, there is on the right a most noble, picturesque, and
variegated view over an extensive country, diversified with wood,
hill, and dale; the Worcester canal being in the valley. When you
arrive at the finger post, the eye is delighted with a grand view over
the country; the village and church being in front..

_King's Norton_

The land for a considerable distance round this village being the
property of the crown, as King's-heath, King's-wood, etc.; denote, King
Edward 6th founded a free grammar school on the north east side of the
church-yard, and endowed it with the sum of fifteen pounds per annum,
(the inhabitants at that time preferring money to land), for a master
and usher; which still remains the same to the present day. In the
time of King William 3d, when the land-tax was first established,
the inhabitants, to express their loyalty, gave an account of their
estates, at the full value, and on that account they have ever since
been rated in the same manner; this district paying four shillings in
the pound, at the same time that Birmingham did not pay four-pence.
This being the case, the stipend allowed for the master and usher was
of course reduced in that proportion. The Worcester canal passing
through this parish, and the land being considerably elevated, it
enters a tunnel sixteen feet wide and eighteen feet high, which
continues for the distance of two miles, and is so accurately formed,
that it is said any person may look in at one end and perceive the
light at the other end; and in this parish the Worcester and Stratford
canals form a junction.

The church, is a richly ornamented gothic building, with a
lofty spire, although only a chapel of ease to Bromsgrwe. The
officiating-clergy man is the Rev. ---- Edwards.

_To Barr-beacon and Aldridge, on the road to Stafford._

Proceeding down Walmer-lane, otherwise Lancaster-street, you pass by a
small portion of Aston park wall, keeping it on your right hand, and
some time after cross the river Tame over Perry-bridge, when there is
a road to the left which conducts you to Perry hall, an old moated
mansion, within a small park; the property and residence of John
Gough, Esq. who is an eccentric character. In the winter he courses
with his tenants, who are all of them subservient to him; and during
summer, having some deer, he disposes of the venison. If any of the
neighbouring gentry send him an order for a haunch or a neck, he waits
until further orders arrive; and when the principal part is engaged,
he then kills a buck, and executes his orders; the inferior parts
serving for self and family, although his annual income must be at
least ten thousand pounds. He is said to be in possession of some
valuable paintings, but there are very few people indeed who can
obtain a sight of them.

At the distance of five mites, when the roads intersect each other,
proceeding on the right hand, at the distance of three quarters of a
mile is the catholic college, at Oscott. About one-mile farther is a
place called the Quieslet, where the left hand road conducts you to an
elegant lodge, the entrance into Barr-park, which is described on the
road to Walsall, that being a turnpike road. You soon after arrive at
a clump of trees, on the summit of a hill, which is Barr-beacon, from
whence there is perhaps a prospect equally extensive and beautiful as
any in the kingdom. From hence there is a view over great part of the
following counties, viz. Warwick, Leicester Derby, Stafford, Chester,
Salop, Worcester, Nottingham Northampton, Oxford, Glocester,
Hereford, Monmouth, Brecknock, Radnor, and Montgomery; whilst the
scene to the south west commands a view of Birmingham and its most
populous vicinity of mines, manufactories, &c. This beacon, being the
property of Sir Joseph Scott, when he is at home, a very large flag
is hoisted, and upon any public occasion several pieces of cannon are
fired, which produce a grand effect. The adjacent ground, for a
very considerable extent, lay waste, until an act of parliament was
obtained in 1798 for its inclosure. This land now lets from five
shillings to twenty shillings per acre.

_Aldridge, in Staffordshire, nine miles._

The principal road from Birmingham to Stafford lay through this
village, until of late years the turnpike road through Walsall and
Cannock having been considerably improved, this road to the county
town is nearly if not quite abandoned; yet it leads to Hednesford
(usually pronounced Hedgeford), where numerous horses are annually
trained for the turf, upon Cannock heath. _To Edgbaston, in
Warwickshire, distant one mile._

Having passed up Broad-street and Islington, when you are through
the turnpike, the left hand side of Ladywood-lane, the whole of
Hagley-row, the road to Harborne, Calthorpe's road, and the right hand
side of Islington-row, are all of them in this parish. Indeed
the lands hereabouts are almost exclusively the property of Lord
Calthorpe, whose ancestors purchased this estate, early in the last
century for £25,000, and he will not permit any manufactories to be
established upon his land which tends in a great degree to make the
neighbourhood respectable and genteel.

The first Houses in Calthorpe's-road were erected in the year 1815;
the establishment for the deaf and dumb being erected about two years
before. This asylum is under the superintendance of Mr. Braidwood, and
is described among the public institutions in Birmingham.--(See page

There were, in former times, within this parish, three parks,
Edgbaston-park, Mitchley-park, and Rotten-park, but the two latter
have many years since been thrown into inclosures. The park of
Edgbaston remains entire, and the mansion within it is now the
residence of Edward Johnson, M.D. who is very eminent in his
profession.--The church is an ancient gothic tower, the body having of
late years been very much modernized, and fitted up withinside in a
very neat and commodious manner. The officiating clergyman is the Rev.
Charles Pixell. There have been within the last three years a great
number of genteel houses erected by the opulent inhabitants of
Birmingham, who not only enjoy fresh air, but the parochial taxes of
this parish do not bear any proportion with those of Birmingham. At
this toll-gate, which bears the name of Five-ways, there are now, by
the opening of Calthorpe's road, six separate and distinct roads.
About half a mile from the toll-gate, there is on the right of the
Hagley road, an observatory, a very conspicuous pile of building,
seven stories high, which is usually called the Monument: it was
erected by John Perrot, Esq. about the year 1758, from whence there
are extensive views over the adjacent country, in every direction. The
adjoining house is the residence of John Guest, Esq.

There was in this church-yard a grave-stone, cut by the hands of
that celebrated typographer, Baskerville, (who was originally a
stone-cutter, and afterwards kept a school in Birmingham), which is
now removed and placed withinside the church. The stone being of a
flaky nature, the inscription is not quite perfect, but whoever
takes delight in looking at well-formed letters, may here be highly
gratified: it was erected to the memory of Edw. Richards, an idiot,
who died 21st September, 1728, with the following inscription :--

  If innocents are the favourites 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 have more?

There is another head-stone, cut by him, with his name upon it, in the
church of Handsworth, and are the only two known to be in existence.

_Yardley, in Worcestershire, distant three miles._

The road to this village lies up Deritend and Bordesley, then crossing
the Warwick canal, you leave the ruins of Bordesley-house, and when
through the turnpike, there being three roads you proceed along the
centre, in which there are good accommodations for the pedestrian, but
the carriage road does not appear to have experienced any improvement
since it was first formed; for before you reach the village, the road
is for a considerable distance from twenty to forty feet below the
surface of the ground, on each side of it.

The church, which is dedicated to St. Giles, is an ancient pile of
building. The tower and elegant spire above it appear at this time as
firm and substantial as at their first erection, although they are so
ancient that there are not any records to say when they were built:
the body of the church is not so perfect. In the chancel there are
several monuments to commemorate the Greswolds, an ancient family,
formerly resident in this parish. The patronage rests with Edmund
Mesey Wigley, Esq. The present vicar is the Rev. Joseph Fell.
Adjoining the church-yard is an half-timbered building of large
dimensions, which is a free school, liberally endowed, the salary of
the master being £100 per annum.

The land in this parish being very suitable for making of tiles,
innumerable quantities are there manufactured, for the supply of

_To Rowley Regis, in Staffordshire, distant seven miles_.

You proceed towards Kidderminster, until you arrive at the toll-gate,
two miles and a half distant, when the right hand road leads to
this village; where, in all probability, there are more jew's harps
manufactured than there are in all Europe beside.

The admirer of nature, (for no art has ever been practised here,) may
be gratified with various extensive and luxuriant views. There is not
any thing either in the church or in the village deserving of notice;
but there is, not far distant, a rude, rugged, and misshapen mass of
stone, which is situated on the summit of a hill, and projects
itself several yards higher than the ground adjoining: it is by the
inhabitants denominated Rowley hail-stone; and when at a considerable
distance from it, on the foot road from Dudley, it has the appearance
of some considerable ruins.

From this spot the views are more extensive than can easily be
imagined, over a beautiful and romantic country, Birmingham being vary


       *       *       *       *       *

W. Talbot, Printer, Exeter-row,


*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Description of Modern Birmingham - Whereunto Are Annexed Observations Made during an Excursion Round the Town, in the Summer of 1818, Including Warwick and Leamington" ***

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