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Title: Historical and Descriptive Guide through Shrewsbury
Author: Williams, S. F.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Historical and Descriptive Guide through Shrewsbury" ***

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Transcribed from the 1881 Drayton Bros. edition by David Price, email
ccx074@pglaf.org, using scans from the British Library.

                          [Picture: Book cover]

                            DESCRIPTIVE GUIDE

                 [Picture: Coat of Arms, Floreat Salopia]

                            BY S. F. WILLIAMS.

                                * * * * *

                        _NEW AND REVISED EDITION_


                                * * * * *



This “Historical Guide” has no pretensions to the value of either a full
history or a complete handbook of Shrewsbury.  It consists simply of a
sketch of the historical associations of Shrewsbury, and of a directory
just sufficiently complete to conduct residents or visitors to the
principal objects or places of interest in the town.  In the Guide, the
object has been to preserve the historical element.


“Proud Salopians!”  Well, have we not some good reasons for being proud?
Is it not natural that as Shrewsbury has been the scene of important
events and incidents, we should feel a little inordinate self-esteem?
Hamlet will have it that the poor should not trumpet their own praises;
but we are rich, and therefore we can indulge in some degree of conceit.
Have we not something to be vain about?  Have we not found homes and
hiding-places for kings?  Have we not had a mint here and made
money—which is a difficult thing for most people to do?  Has not “the
finest legislative assembly in the world”—the British Parliament—been
held here?  Have we not received Charter upon Charter from the hands of
kings, and “advanced them loans”—without security?  Has not an English
monarch actually sat in Shrewsbury, wearing a real crown?  Have we not
contributed thousands of men to the protection of the crown and dignity?
Did not that “glorious old martyr”—Charles I., who was “murdered” by
Oliver Cromwell—raise an army here, and did he not lay his uneasy head in
a house on the Wyle Cop?  Finally, not least though last, did not
Falstaff, that “gross, fat man,” foolish, witty, and blusterous, “fight
one long hour by Shrewsbury clock”?  He says he did, if he may be
believed; and is not that something to boast of?  Treasuring up these
things, is there not some justification for our being proud?

    _Breathes there a man with soul so dead_
    _Who never to himself hath said_,
    _This is my own my native town_?
    _If such there be_, _go mark him well_.

Douglas Jerrold said that there are some men who walk half-an-inch higher
to heaven by what they tread upon.  If Jerrold is right Shrewsbury people
should be nearer to heaven than most folk, for, according to general
opinion, we stand with extreme erectness on our self.  And well we may.
The town itself stands high, and the character generously attributed to
us is in harmony therewith.  It is situated on two hills of gentle
ascent, which gradually rise from the bed of the river Severn.  Who has
not heard of Sabrina?  The Welsh had the good taste to call it “The queen
of rivers.”  Its name is chronicled in history, and its beauty has been
sung by poets.  Leland says—

    _Built on a hill fair Salop greets the eye_,
    _While Severn forms a crescent gliding by_.

Shakespeare alludes to it as “the gentle Severn with the sedgy-bank,”
“the sandy-bottomed Severn.”  It is an important river of England.  It is
the chief river of Wales.  It has its cradle on Plinlimmon Hill on the
verge alike of Montgomeryshire and Cardiganshire, not far from the coast
of Cardigan Bay.  It glides on between the everlasting rocks and fairy
valleys, the fields and forests, where the wind, that “grand old harper,
harps on his thunder-harp of pines.”  It enters Shropshire at Melverley,
and receives the waters of the Verniew at a ferry with an unpronounceable
Welsh name; forms a crescent near Montford Bridge and Fitz; surrounds the
Isle; then gracefully twines round Shrewsbury on all sides except the
north; streams on through Uffington, skirting Haughmond Hill, and
presenting with the outstretched landscape a beautiful edge to the grand
old rocks; proceeds on its course to Atcham, where it receives the waters
of the Tern: runs on placidly near Cound; noiselessly steals by
Coalbrookdale, which, celebrated for its iron manufactures, presents a
mingled picture of utility and poetry; passes then by Coalport, famous
for its china works; glides through Bridgnorth; washes a narrow slip of
land in the county of Stafford; flows on to Bewdley, Upton, Tewkesbury,
and Gloucester; receives the Stroudwater at Framilode; joins the Hereford
and Gloucester canal opposite Gloucester; and becomes absorbed in the sea
at the Bristol Channel, about twelve miles from Bristol.  Formerly the
Severn ran in five channels at the eastern side of Shrewsbury, and spread
into a marshy lake, which extended from the foot of the Wyle Cop to the
site of the Abbey.  The river abounds—or did abound—with salmon, trout,
pike, shad, flounders, and carp.  The river was free, because there was
no Board of Conservators, and salmon was not a dish exclusively for the
aristocracy.  The distance of the Severn from its source to its entrance
into the sea is about 250 miles.  In point of celebrity it ranks next to
the Thames; in magnificence it is excelled, in beauty and diversity of
scenery it is equalled by none in our land.

The county encompassed by the Severn is undoubtedly of great antiquity,
and of very aristocratic reputation.  The capital of it—Shrewsbury—dates
back to that indefinite and undiscoverable period familiarly called “time
immemorial.”  A local historian says that one of the earliest names by
which it has been recognised is Careg Hydwyth, “the rock covered with
shrubs.”  The Britons called it Pengwerne, a brow or hill of elders,
because there were numbers growing on the spot.  The Welsh gave it one of
those awful names which tax the courage of Englishmen to encounter, but
which signified “an eminence surrounded by water.”  The Saxons named it
Scrobbesbyrig, an appellation which may have been derived either from the
fact that the town was encompassed with shrubs, or, not from the natural
aspect of the place, but from the name of some possessor of
“Sciropescire” or district territory, under the denomination of Scrope,
Scropesbyrig.  Subsequently the Normans slightly altered the designation
to Sciropesberie, afterwards Schrosberie, and Salopesberie, whence we
have Salop and Shrewsbury.

Who laid the foundations of Shrewsbury, and at what period they were
laid, are questions which have elicited various opinions.  Tristram
Shandy maintained in a grave and elaborate argument there was no doubt
whatever that he had been born; and so we suppose with equal certainty
there can be no denial that Shrewsbury was built by some person or
persons unknown.  The first thing we hear about it is that it was a city
of refuge for the Britons to whom it offered a retreat when they were
driven by the Saxons from the ancient fortress of Uriconium.  For the
Saxons—valorous and patriotic, but fierce, warlike, barbarous, the German
“Scourges of God”—after conquering Kent, carried on their ambitious
struggles with the Britons until the latter all over the little island
were completely defeated, the Silures in Pengwerne, though the most
heroic of the Britons, among the rest.  Cynddrwyn about the middle of the
sixth century had possession of Uriconium.  His son, Cynddylan, was a
British chieftain and had his royal palace at Shrewsbury; and when the
devastating Saxon, in his career of spoliation, made inroads into this
district for the purpose of expelling the Britons from Uriconium,
Cynddylan led an armed force from Shrewsbury over the Tern by Atcham for
the defence of his father.  But the Britons were defeated in the battle
which ensued, and, having lost Cynddylan who was slain in the encounter,
fled to Shrewsbury, which they called Pengwerne.  Llywarc Hên, a prince
of the Cambrian Britons, who lived in the 6th century, mentions that name
in his writings; and from him it also appears that several of the
principal towns of the county had their rude beginnings in that early
period.  The theme of Llywarc’s metrical composition is our mountains,
our river, and our “dwelling-places.”

The peninsular situation of Pengwerne appeared to the Britons to afford
them a secure retreat from their Saxon foes.  The trees and shrubs which
covered the more uncultivated parts of the county spread into forests,
obstructed the course of streams, and thus caused stagnation and the
formation of lakes and marshes.  Amid the underwood, the thickets, and
morasses the fugitives hid themselves.  But they were soon disturbed.
Pengwerne was not to be their eternal city, their everlasting habitation.
They had founded a county hereafter to be famous in the history of
England, to be the theatre of one great national tragedy and of several
important dramas.  Then they were followed with fire and sword by the
Saxons from Uriconium, who spread destruction in their path, pillaged and
devastated, and finally reduced the place to ashes.  Llywarc makes the
desolation of Pengwerne the subject of an elegy, and calls upon the
maidens to “quit their dwellings, and behold the habitation of
Cynddyllan,” the royal residence of their chieftain, wrapped in flames.

A few years later we find Pengwerne inhabited by a King of Powis who
elevated it to a position of some importance by selecting it as his
capital.  It then ranked as one of the principal of the twenty-eight
cities of Britain—at present it is not easy to say what rank it holds.
For two centuries—that is, to the close of the eighth century—it was torn
asunder by internal feuds and sanguinary contests between native princes.
Every man’s house was not then his castle.  The few arts of civil life
were neglected and forgotten.  It is probable that the whole of Pengwerne
Powis consisted of nothing more dignified than a few hovels, surrounded
by a ditch or rampart of unhewn logs for the residence of the prince and
the officers of religion, some wattled huts, with a fold or two for sheep
and cattle.

At the end of the eighth century, and during the reign of the Mercian
King Offa, the Shrewsbury portion of Powis was surrendered by treaty to
the Saxons.  It was no longer a metropolis, but it retained, even in
Alfred’s time, the distinguished name of Pengwerne.  Scrobe, however, was
substituted for Pengwerne in the reign of his successor, Edward the
Elder, who held a mint here, and on one side of the coin was the
inscription, _Edward Rex Angliæ_, and on the reverse, _Aelmer on Scrobe_.

Proceeding later on we come to the Danish invasion when Shrewsbury was an
object of Danish cruelty in those struggles which took place between the
ferocious pirates from Denmark and Scandinavia and the Saxons.  At the
time the Danes under Sween landed in the Isle of Wight, King Ethelred was
at Shrewsbury.  Here he called a council of his nobles to decide what
measures should be adopted to effectually put a stop to the atrocities
and limit the power of the Danes.  A purchase of peace, advised by Edric,
Duke of Mercia, was agreed upon; and England had to bear the infamy of
obtaining the semblance of quiet (for the nation was soon again
disturbed) by the payment of £30,000 sterling.

The character of Duke Edric was stained by a foul and treacherous murder
committed near Shrewsbury.  Edric invited Duke Alshelm, a royal prince,
to a banquet, and afterwards induced him to accompany a hunting party.
During the chase Edric led Alshelm, his chief guest, into a wood where a
butcher of the town named Godwin Porthund, who had been employed for the
purpose, lay concealed.  This ruffian seized an opportunity to attack
Alshelm, who was killed.  It was this dastardly crime which caused the
order recorded in Domesday Book that whenever the sovereign came here
twelve of the citizens should constantly guard his person, and twelve
should invariably attend him with weapons of defence when he went out

In the general victories of the Danes Shrewsbury revolted from the Saxon
rule, and rendered allegiance to Canute; but in 1016 Edmund, son of
Ethelred, marched to the town from the North, re-captured it, and
punished his faithless subjects with great cruelty.

At the Norman conquest Shrewsbury was known from its paying “gelt,” that
is, money for 200 hides of land.  Of course, it did not escape the
barbarities of William the Conqueror.  The Welsh, about 1067 laid siege
to the town, but William, coming hither from York, opposed the besiegers
with the same relentlessness, the same cruelty that characterised the
violent policy he everywhere else pursued.

In the reign of William the Conqueror the Earls of Shrewsbury held their
court at Shrewsbury, which was then the capital of the earldom.  William
conferred the earldom, and with it a grant of the town and a considerable
portion of the county, upon Roger de Montgomery, a near relative.
William rewarded his commanders with estates—a very excellent
remuneration for their services.  These, given by the king, were held
under the Earl of Shrewsbury; and amongst their fortunate possessors were
ancestors of the families of Waring and Corbett.  Both Roger and Robert
Corbett held lordships or manors under Roger de Montgomery—the former to
the number of twenty-four.  Military offices appear to have been
extremely profitable things in these days—the honours were something more
valuable than crosses and medals.

The usages of Shrewsbury recorded in Domesday Book peril the basis of the
fancy that their is a divinity about a king.  It was ordered, for
instance, that wherever the king slept in Shrewsbury twelve of the “best
citizens” should be deprived of “balmy sleep” to guard him—him whom the
celestial powers have been supposed to hedge.  What if the monarch be a
queen?  For her safety no provision seems to have been made.  It was
further ordered that when the king went out hunting twelve trusty men
should be sent about him to protect him; and that when he left the
city—Shrewsbury being then called a city—the sheriff should send twenty
horses—whether with or without riders is not said—to conduct him a short
distance into Staffordshire.  There is a strong element of non-divinity,
too, about some other requirements, such, for example, as these: that the
masters of the mint, of whom there were three, should pay the king 20s.
at the end of every fifteen days while the money coined here continued in
circulation; that the executors of every deceased burgess should pay the
king 20s.; that every burgess who shall experience the misfortune of
having his house burned down should forfeit to the king (who was least
injured) 40s., and to his two nearest neighbours (who were most injured,
or at least jeopardised) 2s. each, and that every woman marrying should
pay fees to the king—a widow 20s., but a spinster (who was libelled by
this valuation) only 10s.  From other customs narrated in Domesday Book
we learn that in King Edward’s time there were 250 houses in Shrewsbury,
and an equal number of burgesses, who paid £7 16s. 8d. per annum in
excise, and that the city was rated at 100 hides, of which the church of
St. Alkmund had two, St. Julian half of one, St. Millburg one, St. Chad
three and a half, St. Mary one rood, Duke Edric three hides, and the
Bishop of Chester three hides.  Some light, too, is thrown upon the
“treatment of criminals.”  Those who “broke the peace, given under the
king’s own hand,” were outlawed; those who disturbed the peace were
ordered to pay a forfeit of 10s.; and those who drew blood in a fight
were fined 40s.

At the beginning of the 12th century, two years after the accession of
Henry I., signs of disloyalty manifested themselves at Shrewsbury.  Roger
de Belesme, son of Roger Earl of Shrewsbury, who is described as “a rash
and discontented young man,” was in favour of the pretensions of Duke
Robert to the crown.  He carried his views to the length of rebellion,
and, to be prepared for emergencies, fortified his castles in Shropshire,
and built a wall on each side of Shrewsbury Castle.  One portion of this
wall stands now on the Dana, another in Water Lane, and another along the
Severn footpath on the Wyle Cop side of the railway bridge.  Henry, who
had himself reached the throne by an act of usurpation, declared “the
rash young man” a traitor, and prepared to execute vengeance upon him.
He marched through Bridgnorth, capturing it, to Shrewsbury, with a force
of 60,000 soldiers, to besiege the town.  Three days he gave the
governors of the castle to consider whether they should lay down their
arms, and threatened that if the Castle were not delivered to him at the
end of that time, he would attack it and hang every person he seized
therein.  The Earl surrendered, implored the mercy of this merciless
king, acknowledged his crime of treason, and was banished to Normandy by
Henry who took possession of the town “to the general joy,” says one, “of
all the people.”  Henry granted the town a Charter, and there followed a
succession of 32 Royal Charters to the second year of the reign of James
II.  The earliest Charter preserved in the archives of the Corporation is
dated November 11th, 1189, the first year of Richard I.

During the civil wars between Stephen and Matilda, or the Empress Maud,
as she is sometimes called, Baron William Fitz Allen, governor of the
town, and sheriff of the county, who resided in the castle, espoused the
cause of the Empress; but the town, after some resistance, was taken by
assault, the baron’s estates forfeited, and several of the garrison
hanged.  Allen himself was compelled to escape and left the castle in
possession of the king, who had conducted the siege in person.  Allen
fled to Matilda, and when she was finally necessitated to take refuge in
Normandy he repaired to the court of France, where he remained until the
accession of Henry II., when he returned, and all his estates, with the
government of Shrewsbury, were restored to him.

In the early part of the next reign—that of John—numerous engagements
happened on the Welsh borders between the royal forces and the Welsh; and
Shrewsbury became the scene of several contests between the same
apparently deadly and irreconcilable foes.  Now it was captured by the
Welsh; then they were beaten, dispersed, and the town retaken by the
king.  Peace was entered into only to be soon violated.  Boys were
exchanged as hostages for the due observance of the treaties.  These were
broken and the boys hung.  Henry III. had his hands full with the
frequent incursions of the Welsh.  One year they, and the next the king,
were masters of the town.  The king and Llewellyn, Prince of Wales, were
constantly at war.  In 1215 Llewellyn held the town and castle with a
large army.  In 1220 Henry had succeeded to the possession of it.
Animosities, however, continued to subsist between them; and thus the
disturbances were prolonged, each party being alternately now victor and
now vanquished, for a term of upwards of 80 years, from the reign of
John, about 1200, to the infancy of that of Edward I., about 1282.
During this protracted period of assault and counter assault—a period of
great distress for the inhabitants who suffered from these perpetual
contests, and peculiarly from the depredations of the Welsh—the town
sustained the penalty of no less than seven sieges.  The most notable and
the most serious occurred in 1233, when the place was partly burned down,
nearly every house plundered, and numbers of the inhabitants killed by
Llewellyn, assisted by the Earl of Pembroke and other noblemen.  Peace
was once more obtained by offers of pardon to the Welsh on condition of
their obedience.  The terms were accepted; but in 1241 it again became
necessary for Henry to march against the restless Llewellyn.  A
rebellions spirit also appeared about 1256 in the person of Simon de
Montfort, Earl of Leicester, who seized the town without material
opposition.  In 1267 disturbances again broke out.  Henry appeared at
Shrewsbury at the head of his army to quell the discord.  War was on the
eve of being renewed when Llewellyn submitted, and peace once more was
effected.  In 1269 Henry’s eldest son was appointed governor of the town
and castle, on the 23rd of September.  Still the government of Shrewsbury
oscillated between the Welsh and the sovereign power; and in 1277, Edward
I, there was another open rupture.  A novel course was adopted.
Hostilities had been waged fruitlessly.  Now the Courts of Exchequer and
King’s Bench were removed to Shrewsbury that “they (the Welsh) might be
awed into submission, and all necessary help be at hand for taming them.”
The condition of the citizens was most distressing.  The prey of their
Celtic neighbours, they were also they prey of the wolves which inhabited
the desolate mountains of the Principality, and which in herds ravaged
the surrounding districts.  About 1282, however, the Welsh were finally
subdued; and their submission to the English government, which was then
accomplished, has unquestionably been beneficial to themselves.

A Parliament was held here about Michaelmas, 1283, by Edward I., and
adjourned to Acton Burnell.  The Lords sat in a castle, but the Commons
in a barn.  The deliberations and negotiations were only of slight
moment.  They referred to nothing more important than the most effective
way of securing payment of debts—a matter upon which information would be
thankfully received by some in these days—and to the course to be taken
with David, brother of Llewellyn, Prince of Wales.  But the Parliament is
memorable from its having been the first national convention in which the
Commons had any share by legal authority.  David, who had been pledged to
Edward, and created by him Earl of Denbigh, but afterwards joined his
brother Llewellyn in resisting an invasion of Edward’s army into
Anglesea, was condemned to die the death of a traitor.  The head of
Llewellyn was sent to the king at Shrewsbury, by his command it was sent
to London, where it was placed on the Tower with a crown of willows—an
accompaniment of mockery.  The person of David was brought in chains to
Shrewsbury.  He was tried and convicted of high treason for obeying the
instincts of a patriot.  The punishment was carried out with the greatest
ignominy.  He was first drawn through the town at the hind of a horse;
then he was hanged; then he was beheaded; then his body was quartered,
and his intestines burned: and as the conclusion of the tragedy, his head
was sent to London, exposed on the Tower beside that of his brother, and
his four quarters to York, Bristol, Northampton, and Winchester.  With
the butchery of David’s corpse the conquest of Wales was complete.

Nearly forty years later, namely, in 1322, Edward II. marched through
Shrewsbury from Worcester with his army.  The burgesses went out to meet
him clothed in armour, and conducted him with acclamations into the town.

                   [Picture: Shrewsbury Grammar School]

Another Parliament was held here by Richard II. in the end of 1397 or the
beginning of 1398, in the chapterhouse of the old monastery, where the
Abbey Church now stands.  It was called “The Great Parliament,” partly
from the momentous nature of the state affairs transacted, but
principally from the number of earls and other nobles that attended.  It
was held here because the king declared that “he bore great love to the
inhabitants of these parts, where he had many friends.”  He sat at this
session with the crown upon his head; and through his instrumentality
several exorbitant acts were passed, which, however, were repealed in the
succeeding reign of Henry IV., and which formed a count in the indictment
that resulted in the deposition of this king.


The reign of Henry IV. is distinguished by the “Battle of Shrewsbury,”
one of the most terrible battles recorded in the History of England.
Henry was surrounded on all sides by difficulties and dangers.  His
nobles were animated by mutual hostilities.  His subjects in Wales seized
the opportunity which the discontent among the aristocracy of England
gave them, and broke out in insurrection.  Inspired and guided by Owen
Glendower, the indomitable Welsh fought a long and tedious battle, in
which the royal representative, Sir Edmund Mortimer, was taken prisoner.
Mortimer’s nephew, the Earl of March, was also carried into Wales.  Henry
could not be persuaded to offer a ransom for the liberty of Mortimer.
His refusal embittered the Percies, to whose assistance he owed his
crown.  During this unsettled state of affairs the Scots made incursions
into England.  The peers consented to attend the king in an expedition
against Scotland.  The expedition proved abortive.  Henry found that
Richard III. would not obey his mandate to do homage to him for his
crown; he found that the Scots would not submit; he found that they would
not give him battle.  He therefore withdrew and disbanded his army.  The
Scots, resolved to punish Henry for this miserable attempt at
subjugation, marched into the northern counties of England at the head of
Earl Douglas.  They were totally routed in the battle which ensued at
Holmedon; and Douglas, with a number of nobles, was taken prisoner.
Henry ordered the Earl of Northumberland not to ransom the prisoners.
Northumberland had a right to ransom or return them.  A dispute was the
result.  The relations between the sovereign and the Percies were more
deeply embittered, and Northumberland was forbidden by Henry to enter the

    _Get thee gone_, _for I do see_
    _Danger and disobedience in thine eye_.
    _O_, _Sir_, _your presence is too bold and peremptory_,
    _And Majesty may never yet endure_
    _The moody frontier of a servant brow_.
    _You have good leave to leave us_: _when we need_
    _Your use and counsel_, _we shall send for you_.

The Earl was disgusted and indignant at the ingratitude of Henry.  It was
by his aid that Henry had advanced to the throne.  Henry had conferred
upon him some gifts in return, but Northumberland was not easily
satisfied.  Henry, on the one hand, was jealous of the power which had
seated him on the throne; and the earl, on the other, was discontented
with the compensation which Henry had made.  The interference of the king
with the right of Northumberland to dispose of his prisoners according to
his own wish was deemed a fresh insult and injury.  Northumberland
determined upon revenge by overturning the throne which had been
established principally by him.  To this end he and his adherents
proclaimed that Richard was alive, but that having been satisfactorily
disproved, he planned a scheme for defending the claim of Mortimer to the
crown.  It was laid that the armies of Wales and Scotland should be
united.  Mortimer entered into covenant with Northumberland to bring an
army into the Marches, which the Welsh, commanded by Glendower, were to
join.  The Earl of Worcester, brother of Northumberland, joined the
forces, and in order to win over the Scots to the compact, Douglas and
the other prisoners were set at liberty.  At the moment when everything
was ready for an engagement Northumberland was suddenly seized with a
dangerous malady at Berwick.  The conduct of the army was taken by his
son Percy, surnamed Hotspur, this “Mars in swaddling clothes,” “this
infant warrior,” who

    _Doth fill fields with harness in the realm_
    _Turns head against the lion’s armed jaws_,
    _Leads ancient lords and reverend bishops on_
    _To bloody battles and to bruising arms_.

Hotspur, along with the magnanimous and martial Douglas, marched the
troops towards Shrewsbury, where it was intended to join the forces of
the Welsh under Glendower.  The king, aware of the importance of
celerity, hurried down to Shrewsbury before the arrival of Hotspur, whose
design was to reach here first.  Glendower had not brought his army up,
but Hotspur nevertheless resolved to make a stand.  He had a force of
14,000 carefully selected soldiers.  He had, too, the advantage of choice
of ground.  The animosity had reached its height on both sides.  A
general engagement was inevitable.  It was brought to a head by the
impatience of Percy on the one side, and by the policy of the king on the
other, the king believing that without the aid of Glendower the defeat of
Percy was secure.  On the evening previous to battle Percy sent to Henry
a manifesto in which he renounced his allegiance, set the sovereign at
defiance, enumerated the grievances of which the nation had abundant
reason to complain.  He upbraided him with perjury, with infidelity to
the late monarch, with aiding the murder of that prince, with usurping
the title of the house of Mortimer, with adopting the most crooked and
cruel policy, with burdening the nation with unrighteous taxes, and with
corrupting the Parliamentary elections.  This added fuel to the flame.
This intensified the quarrel between them.

    _These things indeed you have articulated_,
    _Proclaimed at market-crosses_, _read in churches_,
    _To face the garment of rebellion_
    _With some fine colour that may please the eye_
    _Of fickle changelings and poor discontents_,
    _Which gape and rub the elbow at the news_
    _Of hurly-burly innovations_.

When the morning of the 21st of July, 1403, dawned, the two armies were
drawn up in array at a place then called Oldfield, Bullfield, and
Haitefield, subsequently Battlefield, near Shrewsbury.  Percy held the
most advantageous ground, but the king, to balance the loss of superior
position, made a most skilful disposition of his men.  Hotspur addressed
his men, telling them that they must either conquer or die an ignominious
death.  They replied with shouts of applause.  The king sent the Abbot of
Shrewsbury to offer pardon, but it was useless: Hotspur would not lay
down arms.  He was asked why he appeared to oppose his king?  In reply he
repeated the accusations of the manifesto.  Henry counselled him to
confide in his royal clemency.  Percy peremptorily declared that he would
not, and thereupon the standard bearer of the king’s army marched
forward, and the battle commenced.  Terrible was the shock of opposing
forces.  It was one of the most fearful actions in all our history.  It
began with a shower of arrows on both sides.  The Scots followed with a
rush of tremendous fury upon the front of the royal line, and put them
into temporary confusion.  The king, however, was in the thickest of the
fight, and was known to his soldiers, although arrayed in a manner which
effectually prevented his being recognised by his enemies.  His presence
lent new courage to his partially disorganised forces.  Though foremost
among the foremost Hotspur and Douglas tried in vain to discover him.  A
device of concealment had been adopted.  Several were armed like the
king, and thus it was impossible to distinguish the royal warrior.  But
at every one that was conspicuous Hotspur and Douglas furiously charged
with swords and lances.  The gap in the royal line had nearly decided the
victory by disordering the king’s army.  It was a daring and dashing
move, and spread dismay among the disconcerted, but it evinced more
impetuosity than judgment.  It was one road to victory to force a way
into the centre of the king’s forces, but it opened up a path into which
Hotspur’s men were unable to follow.  Seeing this, the king ordered his
reserve to be brought up.  The promise of triumph was lost to Hotspur.
The reinforcements turned the scale.  Hotspur’s army was defeated, and
fled in great confusion, after a severe contest of three hours duration.
Douglas performed feats of incredible valour.  Hotspur sustained his fame
for supernatural courage; but the moment he observed the certainty of
defeat, he rushed into the hottest part of the battle, and was killed,
some say by Prince Henry.

    _Two stars keep not their motion in one sphere_,
    _Nor can one England brook a double reign_
    _Of Harry Percy and the Prince of Wales_.

The loss of life was fearful.  The dead lay in heaps all around.  There
were slain no less than 2,300 gentlemen, and about 6,000 private men, of
whom two-thirds belonged to Hotspur’s army.  On the side of the king, who
fought desperately, and was throughout the engagement in the very middle
of the fight, slaying, it is said, thirty-six persons with his own hand,
there were 1,600 killed and about 3,000 wounded.  Among the killed were
the Earl of Stafford, and ten new knights who had been knighted on the
same morning, only a few hours previously.  Douglas and Worcester were
taken prisoners.  Worcester on the following Monday was beheaded at
Shrewsbury, at the High Cross, that is, at the top of Pride Hill.  Sir
Theobald Trussel, Baron of Kinderton, and Sir Richard Vernon, met the
same fate at the same time.  Douglas, who had fallen from a crag of a
rock on Haughmond Hill before being taken prisoner, was treated with the
courtesy due to his rank and noble qualities, and afterwards liberated.
The body of Hotspur having been found was beheaded and quartered in
Shrewsbury, and the quarters fixed upon the gates of the town.  Many of
the dead were buried upon the field of slaughter; while some of the most
notable were interred in the Black Friars and St. Austin’s Friars,
Shrewsbury.  Subsequently the king built Battlefield Church in honour of
his victory, and settled upon it a certain sum to pay two priests for
praying for the souls of the slain.


In the middle of the 15th century the Duke of York raised an army at
Shrewsbury, really for the purpose of dethroning Henry VI., whose
feebleness in conducting the Government was beyond dispute, but
ostensibly only for the purpose of removing the Duke of Somerset from the
councils of the King.  The Duke of York was subsequently killed in a
battle near Wakefield, whereupon his son, Edward, Earl of March,
afterwards King of England, to revenge the death of his father and the
cruelties inflicted on his most attached friends, came to Shrewsbury,
where 23,000 men flocked to his assistance.  With these, principally
Welsh borderers, he wholly defeated and dispersed the King’s forces at
Mortimer’s Cross, near Hereford.

When Henry, Earl of Richmond, afterwards Henry VII. arrived in England,
and marched against Richard III. he was joined at Shrewsbury, by Sir
Gilbert Talbot, High Sheriff of the county, who added 4,000 men to his
small army.  Henry, sensible of the material aid that was thus rendered
him, paid Shrewsbury the compliment of visiting it shortly after he
reached the throne; again in 1488 when he remained several days; a third
time in 1490 when the King, Queen, and Prince Arthur were present at St.
George’s Feast, which, strangely enough, was held in St. Chad’s Church,
Princess Street; and a fourth time in 1495 when he was sumptuously
entertained by the corporation—public men who, like Falstaff, had a
hearty and deep affection for sack.  Some of the charges for this banquet
are most curious and amusing.  There was bread which cost £2; there was
bread for the Queen 2s. 8d.; there were four oxen, £3 6s. 8d!—there could
have been no controversy about the high price of butcher’s meat; there
were twenty-four wethers £1 12s.—talk of the “good old times,” what
farmer, badly off as he is in these days, would wish them back
again?—there were twenty-four bottles of wine for “the King and the Lords
in the Castle,” 16s., eightpence a bottle!—there was wine to make
Hipocrass for the Queen, 4s.; there was a tun of wine £8, and six
hogsheads of ale £2 6s.  The bread, oxen, and wethers cost £7 1s. 4d.,
the ale and wine for the King, the Queen, the guard, the King’s
gentlemen, and the minstrels cost £13 15s.!  That was a truly English
entertainment!  The Prince had 10s. spent on bread for his wants, and £4
on “half-a-tun of wine” for his refreshment and enlivenment.  Rewards
were given to children, footmen, players, and serjeants-at-arms.  The
total charge was £39 17s. 6d.  Do hotel keepers sigh for the return of
the ancient days?

For upwards of three-quarters of a century after the last visit of Henry
VII. Shrewsbury received no royal attentions.  After the lapse of
eighty-five years, however, a representative of royalty in the person of
Sir Henry Sidney favoured the town with a visit.  Sir Henry Sydney, who
had been educated at Shrewsbury School, was Lord President of the Welsh
Marches; and in that character he kept St. George’s feast in Shrewsbury,
on the 24th of April, 1581.  Dr. Taylor’s account of his reception, and
of the manner of the feast, is most amusing.  Sir Henry “most honourably
came from the Counsell House there, in hys knightly robes, most valiant,
wyth hys gentilmen before hym, and hys knights followyng hym, in brave
order.”  In the rear of the knights were the bailiffs, aldermen, and
“companyes of all occupations in the sayde towne, evrie company
followinge in good and seemely order, towards St. Chadd’s Churche,” in
Princess Street.  At the church Sir Henry was seated, or “stallid,” as
the manuscript reads, in the chancel, where the knights of the garter
passed and repassed, “dyng as much honour as thoughe the Queen’s Majestic
had been present.”  By command of the Lord President, divine service was
performed “to the gloryfying of God.”  Connected with “the gloryfying of
God,” at least in the narrative of Dr. Taylor, was the feast, which Dr.
Taylor records supplemented the religious gloryfying.  The procession was
so long that when Sir Henry entered the church, “the last end of the
trayne was at my Lord’s place, the Councill House.”  A week later there
was more feasting.  The masters of the Grammar School, “the free scoole,”
Dr. Taylor significantly calls the institution, provided it.  Their names
were Thomas Lorrance, John Barker, Richard Atkys, and Roger Kent.  They
were feeders unquestionably, for they made “a brave and costly bancket
after supper, on the first daye of Maye.”  The “dyshes” numbered forty,
and “every scoole presented ten dyshes, with a shewer before every
scoole.”  The following day, in a spirit of elation, the scholars of the
school, who numbered 360, “marched braveley in battell order” to the Gey
in the Abbey Foregate, where they met the Lord President.  The general
and captains renewed their allegiance to the sovereign and valiantly
declared that they “would feight and defend the countrey.”  Sir Henry
paid them the necessary compliment for their eloquence.  He appears to
have won the affection of the students.  His departure was mourned as if
it were an irreparable loss.  He left the town on the 13th of May in a
barge, and at a certain point along the shore of the river were stationed
a number of melancholy scholars “apparelyd in greene, and greene wyllows
upon theire heads,” for the purpose of making lachrymose appeals to him
to remain, of reciting doleful ditties upon his departure, of lamenting
the end of the halcyon days of “brave and costly bankets” and of
delivering eloquent orations on their eternal fidelity to the
constitution.  One elegist pitifully affirmed that his “woe was greate,”
that out of the intensity of his grief he was compelled to rend his
garment.  The same inconsolable spirit ventured to implore the Severn to
“turn its stream quite backe.”  Another burst out wailingly—“O woeful
wretched time, O doleful day and houre;” another declared that the sight
of Sir Henry’s leaving gave him “a pinching payne that griped his hart;”
while another uttered the sensible wish that “we could like fishes swyme
that we myght wyth thee goe.”  It can readily be believed, as Dr. Taylor
says, that all this lugubration caused “my Lord hymself to change
countenance!”  The bailiffs and aldermen, however, preserved a different
spirit—a spirit which may be readily appreciated from the fact that after
the scholars had done their lamentations they “dyned altogether in the
bardge uppon the water when they came to Atcham!”  Aldermen without a
doubt and of a truth.

Nothing of moment occurs in the history of Shrewsbury after this until we
come to the reign of Charles I.  Charles had to remove his standard from
Nottingham.  On the 19th of September, 1642, he mustered his forces at
Wellington.  He placed himself in the centre, and addressed the soldiers
in a vigorous tone.  The next day he reached Shrewsbury.  One of his
first acts was to borrow £600 out of the Grammar School Treasury.  His
next was to re-establish the mint for the coining of the sinews of war.
His next was to raise an army.  He was joined by Prince Rupert, Prince
Charles, and the Duke of York who, with several Shropshire noblemen and
gentlemen, quickly formed a force for the defence of his cause.  Those
who could not obtain horse or foot contributed plate to be coined at the
mint.  The universities of Oxford and Cambridge presented him with a
quantity of plate.  Thomas Lyster, Esq., of Rowton, gave the king a purse
of gold, which the sovereign acknowledged by elevating him to the rank of
knighthood.  Sir Richard Newport, in return for his services, was
advanced to the honour of a Baron of England by the title of Lord
Newport.  Sir Richard, fully appreciating the King’s wants, presented him
with £600.  The people, it is said, were enamoured of Charles.  Large
numbers of them enlisted as volunteers, and some were rewarded with
knighthood for their loyalty.

Charles made Shrewsbury a garrison town.  Under his direction Lord Capel
built a strong fort on the Mount to prevent any enemy from planting
cannon there.  It was called Cadogan’s Fort.  Two years after, in 1644,
Colonel Mytton, a valorous officer who governed a small garrison at Wem,
and was general of the Parliamentary forces in Shropshire, made two
unsuccessful attempts to reduce Shrewsbury.  The first occurred on a
Saturday, when he attacked the fort at the Mount, but was repulsed.  The
second effort was made on the following Saturday, about midnight.  Mytton
brought his forces to the Old Heath, but the darkness was against them.
They mistook their way, and marched in the direction of Pimley and
Atcham.  On the succeeding Saturday the third attempt took place.
General Mytton’s forces consisted of 250 foot and 250 horse drawn out of
the garrisons of Wem and Moreton Corbet.  To these were added the same
number of foot and horse of the Staffordshire army, under the command of
Colonel Bowyer.  Sir William Brereton gave valuable assistance.  They
arrived at Shrewsbury on Saturday morning, February 22nd, 1644.  They
landed under the Castle Hill, on the east side.  Half a hundred troopers
dismounted, and, led by the Rev. Mr. Huson, Captain Villiers, and
Lieutenant Benbow, stormed the town with pistols.  Musqueteers followed
along the Severn side, under the Castle Hill, near the Council House, and
entered the town at the gate of the Water Lane, which now runs into Raven
Street.  The musqueteers were succeeded by about 350 foot.  These marched
to the Market Square; and meanwhile the remainder of the Parliamentary
army reached the Gates, which then stood on Castle Gates.  The royal
guard had fled, and the horse under General Mytton and Colonel Bowyer
entered the town unresisted.  Dreadful consternation spread among the
inhabitants.  Mytton’s men came down “like wolves on the fold.”  They
plundered goods; they pilfered plate; they stole whatsoever they could.
Distress immediately prevailed.  Shrieks and lamentations were heard far
above the din of the contending parties.  The people were devoutly loyal
to their monarch.  Their sufferings were painfully grievous.  The Castle
and the fort at the Mount held out for some time with great bravery, but
at twelve o’clock at noon the Castle was delivered up upon condition that
the English march to Ludlow, but the Irish remain as the conquerors’
prisoners of war.  About midnight the fort could no longer be defended,
and was handed over to the Parliamentarians.  The whole of the garrison
surrendered upon bare quarter.  It is remarkable that the loss of life on
both sides amounted to only two: one Parliamentarian, Richard Wycherley,
of the Clive, Grinshill, and one royalist, the captain of the main guard,
who was killed at the Market Square.  Among the prisoners taken were
eight Knights and Baronets, forty Colonels, Majors, Captains, and other
officers, with a large quantity of ordnance.  Colonel John Benbow, who
had joined the king in Shrewsbury in September, 1642, was in 1651
condemned by Court Martial at Chester for corresponding with the king.
He was sentenced to death, and the sentence was carried out on the 15th
of October, 1651, in the Cabbage Garden, afterwards the Bowling Green,
near the Castle, Shrewsbury.  On the 16th the body was buried in St.
Chad’s churchyard (old St. Chad’s).  The stone which marked his grave was
re-cut in the year 1740 at the expense of Mr. Scott, of Betton, “to
perpetuate his memory.”

Charles II., visited Shrewsbury.  Struck with surprise at the width and
cleanliness of the streets, he expressed, a wish to elevate it into a
city.  The burgesses, who appear to have left their first love, and to
have degenerated in their affections for kings, refused his offer in such
an independent spirit that they obtained for themselves the designation
of “Proud Salopians”—a designation which is often applied to us as a term
indicating that we are haughty, stiff, conceited.  Is there not something
honourable in it?  The title means that once upon a time we performed the
courageous feat of declining the wish of a king—we said “no” to a
sovereign—we rejected the proffered compliment of being exalted by a
monarch.  Strange but re-assuring phenomenon from the descendants of the
zealots of Richard II., and from the devotees of Charles I.!

The last royal visit to Shrewsbury—and, as we have seen, there was a
number of them, chiefly of either a disturbing or a worthless sort—was
made by James II. in August, 1687.  Of course, the indispensable
feasting, which is a fundamental element in our glorious British
Constitution, was held in great style.  A magnificent court was kept in
the Council House on August 25th; and the next day the King left this
town for Whitchurch.  With his departure end our stories of the calls of
kings on their subjects at Shrewsbury.


The objects of historical interest in Shrewsbury are most numerous.  We
come upon them in every street.  We meet them at every corner.  We hear
the voices of the past everywhere about us.  We find ourselves associated
with something that had a beginning in centuries gone by—something that
has stood the storms of ages and been spared in the disturbances of the
centuries—something that is rich in memories of old—something connected
with circumstances or events which, if we only thought of them, would
furnish us with lessons in stones, and make our daily travelling of the
streets an entertainment.  Shrewsbury, of course, is not, in this
respect, an exceptional town; but it is wealthy beyond most others.  We
cannot notice at elaborate length the remaining

          “_Memorials and things of fame_
    _That do renown this city_;”

but let us rapidly run over the town in as straight a course as its
divergent streets permit.

Starting from the Railway Station we see


On the site of the castle a Saxon fortress originally stood.  In 1070
Roger de Montgomery built the castle by enlarging the fortress and
demolishing fifty-one houses occupied by the burgesses.  The destruction
of this property was not accompanied by any diminution in the public
taxes, and the burgesses complained of their grievance, but without
effect.  The Earl’s two sons, who succeeded him in possession of the
castle, refused to redress their wrongs.  In the reign of Henry I. it
became the property of the Crown, and certain portions of land were
parcelled out as positions of defence in the event of any necessity
arising.  A governor was appointed to command it, a constable to guard
it, and a chamberlain to see that it was kept in good repair.  It was
usually held by the sheriff of the county to enable him the more
powerfully to defend his bailwick.  It was surrendered to the
Parliamentary army in 1644, and General Mytton was made governor.  He was
succeeded by Humphrey Mackworth, who appointed as lieutenant of the
castle Captain Hill.  Hill is described as “a prodigal, drunken fellow,
who before the war, was a barber in Shrewsbury.”  He was disliked by both
the people of the town and the garrison, and in order to depose him from
his position, a conspiracy was formed.  He was enticed to an alehouse
outside the gates of the town.  The gates were closed to prevent his
return, his personal property was thrown over them, the town instantly
was in an uproar, and he was compelled to fly for his life.  In the
fifteenth year of Charles II. the burgesses were ordered by a _quo
warranto_ to deliver up the castle to the king.  The garrison then
consisted of two companies.  In the time of James II. all the cannon and
match, with most of the muskets, were removed by royal command.  Charles
II. presented the Castle to Lord Newport, afterwards Earl Bradford.  Lord
Newport had given the sum of £600 to Charles I.  Perhaps the gift of the
Castle by the second Charles was his acknowledgment of Newport’s
pecuniary service to that relative who had the misfortune to lose his
head.  The Duke of Cleveland is now the owner of the Castle.

On Castle Gates, opposite the Independent Chapel, stood the Outer Castle
Gate, which was formerly strengthened and defended with towers,
portcullis, and fosse in a line with a road leading to the Smithfield.
That portion of the town wall which extends towards the river was erected
by Robert de Belesme, second son of the founder of the castle.  Camden
says it was never assaulted except in the Barons’ wars.  A few yards
higher stood the Inner or Burgess Gate, at right angles with the Schools.
The Castle Walk on the left of Castle Gates was formed in 1790, and was
called the Dana from the name of the person who suggested its formation.


which arrests the eye on Castle Gates, was founded by Edward VI., on the
18th of February, 1552, who named it the “Free Grammar School”—a title
about the meaning of which there has been a good deal of philological
disputation.  On the south window is a Latin inscription, which runs as
follows:—“At the supplication of Hugh Edwards and Richard Whittaker, King
Edward the Sixth laid the foundation of a Shrewsbury School.”  The
supplication was induced by the fact that there was no public institution
for the education of Salopian youth.  This want was represented to the
king in 1551 by Hugh Edwards, a mercer in London, and afterwards of the
Shrewsbury college, and by Richard Whittaker, then bailiff of the town.
They solicited for the maintenance of a Free Grammar School a
considerable portion of the estates of the dissolved colleges of St. Mary
and St. Chad.  The king readily granted their request; and the tithes of
Astley, Sansaw, Clive, Leaton and Almond Park, the property of St.
Mary’s, with those of Frankwell, Betton, Woodcote, Horton, Bicton,
Calcott, Shelton, Whitty, and Welbeck, belonging to St. Chad’s—the whole
then valued at the handsome sum of £20 per annum—were given for the
endowment of the school.  Two masters were appointed by the bailiffs and
burgesses who were nominated governors, and who, with the Bishop of
Lichfield, were empowered to make statutes and ordinances.  The
appointment of head and second masters now rests with the Fellows of St.
John’s College, Cambridge.

The first master was the Rev. Thomas Ashton who is called by Camden “the
excellent and worthie,” and who had “the best filled school in all
England.”  He had 290 scholars, among whom were some of the aristocracy
of the county, heirs of the gentry of North Wales, and representatives of
the greatest families of the kingdom.  He laid the foundation of that
brilliant fame which the school has always maintained.  From a Latin
inscription on the south window we learn that “at the instance of Thomas
Ashton, a man pious, learned, and prudent, within these walls ever to be
revered, Queen Elizabeth augmented this foundation.”  She did so by
adding to it on the 23rd of May, 1571, the entire rectory of Chirbury,
with further tithes and estates in the parish of St. Mary.  The tithes
new produce about £3,000 per annum, a portion of which is paid in
stipends to the clergy of St. Mary’s, Chirbury, Clive, and Astley

The School was originally a timber building, and the chapel, tower, and
library were added to it in 1595.  The chapel was consecrated on 18th of
May, 1617, by Dr. John Overel, Bishop of Lichfield, and the sermon was
preached by Dr. Samson Price, who, for his abhorrence of Popery, was
named “The maule and scourge of heretics.”  The wood building which
contained the first schoolroom was taken down, and the present fine
edifice of Grinshill stone erected in its place in 1627.  In the centre
is a gateway, adorned on each side with a Corinthian column, upon which
stand statues of a scholar and a graduate, bare-headed, and in the
costume of the period.  The library contains a large and valuable
collection of books and manuscripts.  It was “increased more than double
by the testamentary bequest of Dr. John Taylor,” a native of the town,
educated at the School.

During the mastership of Ashton the School acquired and has since
maintained the most brilliant renown.  The roll of illustrious students
is a lengthy one.  Ashton had among his scholars George Sandys, the
well-known traveller, whose works obtained great commendation from Dryden
and Pope: Sir Henry Sydney, ambassador to France from the court of Edward
VI., President of the Welsh Marches, and Lord Deputy of Ireland, which
country, says Spenser and Sir John Davies, he governed with great wisdom,
and proved himself, according to Sir R. Naunton in the _Fragmenta
Regalia_, a “man of great parts:” Sir Fulk Greville, Lord Brooke, an
ingenious writer, a friend of Queen Elizabeth, and a poet of repute in
his day: Sir Phillip Sidney, the noble and chivalrous soldier and poet
whose bravery at the battle of Zutphen is one of the illustrious
incidents in our history, and whose exquisite mind is manifested in
_Arcadia_ the picturesque and in _Defence of Poesie_ the enchanting.
Those were Ashton’s scholars, and besides them there have been educated
here Sir Thomas Jones, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas in the
reigns of Charles II. and James II., whose answer to the last monarch’s
remark that he could soon have twelve judges of Sir Thomas’s opinion as
to his dispensation of power, “Twelve judges you may possibly find, sire,
but not twelve lawyers,” is well known: Dr. John Taylor, Canon
Residentiary of St. Paul’s, Chancellor of the Diocese of Lincoln, and
Archdeacon of Buckingham, a learned critic and philologist, who wrote a
work entitled _Elements of the Civil War_, and published what were said
to be excellent editions of Lysias, Demosthenes and Lycurgus: George
Saville, Marquis of Halifax, of whose courageous opposition to the
unconstitutional conduct of James II. Macaulay speaks, who, under that
sovereign, was President of the Council, in the Convention Parliament was
Speaker of the House of Lords, and under William and Mary was Lord Privy
Seal: Edward Waring, the learned English mathematician and Lucasian
Professor of mathematics at Cambridge in the middle of the last century:
while among more recent celebrities there are Mr. Thomas Wright the
antiquarian: Captain Richard Lloyd Edwards, an officer of the “brave and
bold” six hundred who rode “into the jaws of death,” at Balaclava; and
several Englishmen of note.  May we not say that these are names of which
we may justly boast?  May we not, adopting Macaulay’s elegant eulogium on
the famous students of Glasgow University, say that Shrewsbury School has
sent forth men “whose talents and learning have not been wasted on
selfish or ignoble objects, but have been employed to promote the
physical and moral good of their species, to extend the empire of man
over the material world, to defend the cause of civil and religious
liberty against tyrants and bigots, and to defend the cause of virtue and
order against the enemies of all divine and human laws.”

On the left of the Schools ST. NICHOLAS’S CHAPEL was recently observable.
It was the only one in existence of eight similar structures.  It was
erected by Roger de Montgomery for the use of those of his retainers who
resided in the outer court of the Castle.  At a subsequent period it was
appropriated for the accommodation of the President and Council of the
Marches of Wales.  On the site has been erected a handsome structure by
the English Presbyterians, who have retained its ancient name, calling it


Near St. Nicholas’s Church stands


approached by a fine timber gateway.  In Speed’s Map it is called “LORD’S
PLACE,” and it appears to have been erected in 1502.  It was the place of
residence for the Kings and Lord Presidents of the Welsh Marches when
they came to Shrewsbury.  King James II. kept his court in it on August
25th, 1687.  It has been the scene of many a “costly banquet.”  Charles
I., Sir Henry Sidney, the Earl of Arundel and other noblemen have been
“nobly entertained here at the expense of the town.”  From the Council
House we stroll on into the street which is the main thoroughfare of the


On the right is the RAVEN HOTEL, where Farquhar wrote his comedy of _The
Recruiting Officer_, the scene and characters of which are of local
origin, and the preface to which acknowledges the loyalty and hospitality
of the good people of Shrewsbury.  At the termination of Castle Street,
commences in a straight line


Pride Hill was anciently named, for a reason undiscovered and unknown,
Corvisor’s Row, then in Speed’s map Shoemaker’s Row, and then finally,
for ever, no doubt, Pride Hill, from the fact of it having been the
residence of a family of the name of Pride.  Directly opposite the
spectator’s eye stands the NEW MARKET; but instead of going down to
inspect the handsome building we turn to the left, pass the NEW GENERAL
POST OFFICE, and reach


Here, of course, the chief object is


It is supposed to have been founded by King Edgar about 980.  There were
attached to it a Dean and seven Prebendaries, and the stipend of the
priest amounted to £6 6s. 8d.  In the reign of Edward the Confessor it
had a Dean and nine Prebendaries, and was provided with a large estate
for their maintenance.  In the time of Henry VIII. the revenue was £32
4s. 2d., and the Dean received as his share £22 6s. 8d.  In the early
part of the reign of Edward VI. the revenue had increased to £42, the
whole of which was absorbed by the Dean, “rich on forty pounds a-year.”
The church was then collegiate, but upon the dissolution of colleges the
greater part of its revenues was given by Edward VI. for founding the
Shrewsbury Grammar School.  The living was formerly in the presentation
of the Mayor of Shrewsbury—a privilege which the Municipal Act
extinguished.  It is now vested in five trustees; and it is necessary to
select a minister who is either the son of a burgess and has been
educated at the Grammar School, or who has had the honour of being a
native of Chirbury.  It was directed that the stipend should be an
adequate one—£20 a-year, and the regulation which fixed the amount
contained the pleasing addition that it was not to be diminished.

             [Picture: Entrance to Council House, Shrewsbury]

The church is one of the most interesting ecclesiastical edifices in the
county from the example it affords of all the architectural styles of the
middle ages.  It is impossible to give here a full description of it.  It
must suffice to say that it consists of nave, side aisles, transepts,
choir, spacious chapel, two chantrey chapels, with a tower and lofty
spire, the total height of which is 220 feet 2 inches.  The Anglo-Norman
style may be seen in the basement of the tower, the nave, transepts, and
doorways; the transition from Norman to the early lancet in the beautiful
transept windows; and the obtuse arch of a later period in the side
aisles and chantry chapels.  The interior presents a stately and
magnificent appearance from the massiveness of its arches, from the
gorgeousness and beauty of its windows, and from the number of its
striking monuments.  It has been graced with the presence of royalty, and
it has been used as a judicial court.  In 1232 a tribunal, composed of
legates, was convened here by command of the Pope to hear the charges
preferred against Llewellyn for violations of treaties.  In 1642 Charles
I., then in Shrewsbury, made within its walls a solemn protestation, and
took “the Sacrament upon it,” to defend the Protestant religion.  In 1687
James II. attended divine service, and afterwards exercised the
superstitious and suppositious power of “touching for the evil.”

Some of the incidents in the records relating to the church are curious.
Forms were first furnished for the worshippers in 1537.  Prior to that
there were neither seats nor benches.  The floors were strewn with
flowers and sweet herbs, upon which the people prostrated themselves.

Among the items of expenditure are some interesting entries.  In 1553 it
cost 4s. to ring in honour of Queen Mary being proclaimed, and in the
same year 4s. for “setting up an altar before Sir Adam Mytton’s grave.”
The repairing of chapels seems to have been an inexpensive affair: for we
are told that “our Lady’s chapel was mended,” and a “paschal taper”
bought for 4s.; while in 1554 the enormous sum of 2s. 6d. was paid for
“making an altar in our Lady’s chapel,” and 3s. 5d. for “making Trinity
altar.”  With a firm adhesion to Protestantism and a stern condemnation
of all appearance of Romanism it was ordered on May 12th, 1584, that
three superstitious images and inscriptions in the north window be taken
down by the churchwardens.  In September of the same year it was ordered
that the stone altar should be removed, “having been sometimes used to

The spire, too, has a history of incidents.  In 1572 it was blown aside
by the wind; in 1663 the cock was replaced by a new one and the steeple
repaired at the cost of £72; in 1665 and again in 1686 the cock was blown
down; in 1690 it was damaged by an earthquake; in 1739 the cock suffered
again: in 1754 the spire was shattered by a violent hurricane; and in
1756 the part re-built in 1754 was blown on one side, and once more
re-built.  The mishap of 1739 one Thomas Cadman undertook to repair.
Cadman who is described by Hutton as a “man of spirit and grisle,”
succeeded in taking down and re-setting the cock on the summit of the
spire.  In celebration of his success he determined upon performing some
exploits on a rope which he fixed from the top of the spire to a tree in
the Gay Meadow, Abbey Foregate, on the other side of the Severn.  The
adventure was a fatal one.  In sliding along he fell near the Water Lane
Gate; and for the information of an unappreciative posterity and the
gratification of the curious this inscription was placed on the wall over
his grave by his admiring survivors:—

    _Let this small monument record the name_
    _Of Cadman_, _and to future times proclaim_
    _How by an attempt to fly from this high spire_,
    _Across the Sabrine stream_, _he did acquire_
    _His fatal end_: ’_Twas not for leant of skill_
    _Or courage to perform the task he fell_,
    _No_! _No_! _a faulty cord being drawn too tight_
    _Hurried his soul on high_, _to take her flight_,
    _Which bid the body here beneath_, “_Good night_.”

       [Picture: Shrewsbury, with the English and Coleham bridges]

Opposite the front of St. Mary’s Church are the


better known as St. Mary’s Almshouses.  They were founded in the reign of
Edward IV., about 1461, by Degory Water, a draper of Shrewsbury, who was
admitted a burgess in 1404 and lived in the “hall house” or centre house
among the poor.  He died in 1477.  He made no respect of persons in St.
Mary’s Church, but set an example almost in anticipation of the modern
“open-pew” system by accompanying the poor people to church and kneeling
among them in a “long pew in the quire.”  The original almshouses were
taken down in 1825, and the present comfortable buildings erected by the
Drapers’ Company at a cost of upwards of £3,000.

On the south-west side of the churchyard is the DRAPERS’ HALL, which is
supposed to have been erected about 1560.  The interior is wainscotted
with oak, and the floor was formerly rich in emblazoned tiles.  The
members of the Drapers’ Company feasted at the north end, and on the
opposite side is a fine old chest, above which are portraits of the first
steward of the company, Degory Water, and his wife.  Edward IV. was a
patron of the Company, and his patronage is gratefully recorded in some
quaint lines under his portrait, which adorns the east side.

A little beyond the Drapers’ Hall is the


an institution which is acknowledged to be one of the best conducted of
its kind in the kingdom.  It was formed in 1745, when a commodious house
was purchased, fitted out, and opened for the reception of patients on
the 25th of April, 1747.  The present building, on the site of the former
structure, was commenced in July, 1827, when Lord Hill laid the
foundation-stone.  It was completed and opened in September, 1830.  The
appurtenances and appointments of the institution are admirable.  It is
supported by voluntary contributions and benefactions.  It possesses a
large number of valuable legacies.  It has been an inestimable blessing
to thousands upon thousands.  Returning from the Infirmary past the
Draper’s Hall we cross the road to


The half-timbered house, conspicuous by its gables, on the right hand
side, formed a portion of JONES’S MANSION.  It was erected by Thomas
Jones, Esq., the first Mayor of Shrewsbury, son of Sir Thomas Jones, Lord
Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas.  It was the residence of the
Duke of York in 1642, and of Prince Rupert “when he joined his uncle
after the brilliant action of Worcester.”  The Church a few yards further
on is


which had its foundation early in the 10th century.  St. Alkmund was the
son of Alured, King of Northumberland.  He was slain in the year 800 and
buried at Lilleshall.  The church dedicated to him is supposed to have
been founded by Ethelfleda, daughter of Alfred the Great.  Her nephew,
King Edgar, a descendant of Alured, increased the original endowment.
Like St. Mary’s it was collegiate, and in the time of Edward the
Confessor had eleven manors, which, however, were transferred by King
Stephen at the request of Richard de Belemis, one of the Deans, to the
Abbey or monastery at Lilleshall.  The college being thus both dissolved
and impoverished was reduced into a vicarage and lapsed to the crown, in
whose hands the living now remains.  The church was destroyed in 1794
under a mistaken apprehension as to its stability, and the existing
edifice erected in 1796.  In a vault beneath it lie the remains of Sir
Thomas Jones, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, who died in 1672;
and of Thomas Jones, Esq., his son, to whom reference has already been
made, who represented the town in Parliament, and died in 1715, and of
whom it is said that his “strict piety, exemplary virtue, and extensive
charity consigned him to a joyful resurrection!”  A legend relates that
in 1533, on twelve successive days, and while the priest was at high
mass, the devil appeared in St. Alkmund’s Church, and that this
preternatural visitation was accompanied with great darkness and tempest.
Poor Trotty Veck in the _Chimes_ thinks that the bells are full of life,
that they are under the control of a goblin, and that innumerable little
goblins play upon them, leap and fly from them, gambol in and round about
them.  Trotty is not far wrong: at least three centuries ago there was a
goblin in St. Alkmund’s bells, and he tingled the wires of the clock, and
he imprinted his claws on the fourth bell, and he carried away one of the
pinnacles coolly esconsed under his arm, and, worse than all, he for a
time stopped all the bells in Shrewsbury, so that there was no ringing,
tolling, chiming or pealing!  There can be no doubt about it.  Retracing
our steps through Church Street we come out upon


or, as it used to be written, Doggepole, Dokepoll.  “What an outlandish
name!” cries the visitor.  It is a strange name, but it expresses a
natural fact.  Two interpretations have been given to it—one that
attributes it to the circumstance of a collection of water having existed
in the neighbourhood centuries ago—another that discovers its derivation
in _Ducken_, to bend or stoop, or _Duick_, to duck one’s head, to stoop,
and _poll_, or summit.  Dogpole is the head of a bank of steep
descent—the Wyle Cop, which leads to the river.  The neat structure on
the right about half-way down is the TABERNACLE of the Welsh
Independents, built as a memorial of 1662 and adjoining it is the
SHROPSHIRE EVE AND EAR HOSPITAL, an institution supported entirely by
voluntary contributions, which is, however, soon to be supplanted by the
extremely handsome structure now in course of erection as a new Eye, Ear
and Throat Hospital, in Murivance, opposite Allatt’s School.  At the
bottom of Dogpole we turn to the right and enter


which formerly bore the name of Baker’s Row, probably because it had the
honour of containing most of the baker’s shops.  On the right is


It is uncertain when and by whom the church was built.  It is only
certain that it was erected during the Saxon period.  It is distinguished
in several reigns as a royal free chapel, and is styled “The Church of
St. Juliana, the Virgin.”  In 1223 Henry III. attached to it the chapel
of Ford; but Henry IV. annexed its revenues, with those of St. Michael’s
“in the Castle”—a foundation now destroyed—to the new college of
Battlefield, “reserving only a small allowance for the minister.”  The
first structure was Anglo-Norman, but having become dilapidated, was,
with the exception of the tower, taken down in 1748.  The foundation
stone of the present structure was laid in August of the same year.  The
first service was held in August, 1750.  The exterior of the southern
side was considerably altered and improved in 1846–47 through the
generosity of the late Rev. R. Scott.  Opposite St. Julian’s Church, at
the entrance of Milk Street, is an old stone building which has seen
remarkable changes of fortune.  Anciently and originally it was the


a company which was incorporated in the reign of Edward IV.  The feast
day was on June 6th, and the apprentices up to the year 1588 used to set
up a green tree “decked with garlands gay” before the hall, around which
there was great rejoicing, coquetting, vowing, dancing and other festive
proceedings.  But in 1588 the custom ceased.  The “green tree,” or
Maypole was not enough.  A bon-fire was added, and a disturbance ensued
among the crowd.  The Rev. Mr. Tomkies, a minister of St. Mary’s,
appeared among the excited company, but his persuasions to peace only
exasperated them.  The Bailiffs were compelled to interfere, and
henceforth the practice was discontinued.  In the time of Elizabeth six
hundred shearmen were employed here in dressing the wool on one side of a
coarse material called Welsh webs, which were brought, chiefly from
Montgomeryshire, to a market then held every week in the town.  The
process having been found to weaken the texture of the cloths, the
occupation of the company was gone.  From manufacturing purposes the hall
was turned into a theatre, then converted to a Wesleyan place of worship,
then secularized into an assembly room, then elevated into an assize
court, then utilized into a shop, and, lastly, transformed into an
auction mart.  Proceeding up the street we presently see


The foundation is attributed to one of the Mercian kings who built it
upon the site of a palace belonging to the Princes of Powis which was
burned down by the Saxons.  It was a collegiate church, and had a dean
and ten prebendaries.  It was partially destroyed by fire in 1393 through
the negligence of one John Plomer, a workman, who carelessly left his
fire while he was engaged in repairing the leads.  Plomer, seeing the
result of his thoughtlessness, endeavoured to make his escape, but in
running near the Severn was drowned—as a judgment?  In consideration of
the damage thus sustained Richard II. graciously granted to the
inhabitants a remission of their fee-farm rent, and exemption for three
years from the payment of taxes upon the understanding that they should
re-build the edifice.  This they did.  In 1547, by order of the bailiffs
of the town, the pictures of Mary Magdalene and of St. Chad were removed
from the church and burned in the Market Square.  On July 9th, 1788,
another disaster befell this unfortunate structure.  Its decayed tower,
shaken by the vibrations occasioned by the chimes, suddenly fell down,
and crushed the nave and transepts into fearful desolation.  Some masons
who were at work upon it fortunately escaped.  The church was restored in
1796.  The interior, which contains a number of monuments, one to the
memory of the celebrated Rev. Job Orton amongst others, has recently been
improved and modernised.  In the churchyard several members of well-known
county families have received interment, such as Lyster, Vincent Corbett
of Moreton Corbett, Hugh Owen, M.D., Mytton, Burton, Ireland, Dr. Rowland
Lee, Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry and Lord President of the Marches,
and Captain Benbow, the officer who was shot in 1651.  Benbow’s grave is
at the end of the pathway adjacent to Belmont.

It was in this church that the dawning light of the Reformation first
beamed in Shrewsbury.  That light gleamed in the preaching of William
Thorpe, an ardent follower of Wickliffe.  He denounced the dogmas of the
Romish Church with the fervour common to the early Reformers.  For his
preaching he was confined in the prison here, and then removed to London
to be examined by the archbishop, who, it is conjectured, granted him his

At the south-east of the churchyard up to the year 1858, stood or rather
were propped up and made to stand, St. Chad’s Almshouses—worn, ruinous
cottages, which served admirably for the purposes of animated nature.
They were founded in 1409 for old men and women by Bennet Tupton, a
public brewer.  The following story, relative to Mr. Tupton and his
daughter, is interesting:—“This yeare, 1424, and in the second yeare of
King Henry 6th, one Bennet Tupton, beere brewer, dyed, who dwellyd in a
brue house in St. Chad’s Church Yard in Shrewsbury, which afterwards was,
and now of late days is, called the Colledge,” and was buried in St.
Chad’s Church.  “He left behynd hym a daughter of his namy’d Blase
Tupton, who came by chance to be a leper, and made the ‘oryell’ which
goeth along the west syde of the sayde church yard, and so came aloft to
hear service through a door made in the church wall, and so passed
usually upon the leadder unto a glass window through which she dayly saw
and dayly hurde servys as long as she lyvyd.”  The houses were demolished
in 1858.

From this church we turn down a passage on the right hand side of the
street, called now GOLDEN CROSS PASSAGE.  Formerly it was denominated
Sextry Passage, a corruption of Sacristy.  The sacristy of the church is
supposed to have been situated within it.  The “Golden Cross” inn appears
to have been a tavern in 1495, the proof being that in that year 13s. 2d.
is said in the archives of the Corporation to have been expended “for
wine on the king’s gentlemen in the sextrie.”

Emerging into High Street again we walk a few yards down, and on the left
hand come to the UNITARIAN CHAPEL, which was formed on October 25th,
1691, by the Rev. John Bryan, M.A., ejected from St. Chad’s, and the Rev.
Francis Tallents, ejected from St. Mary’s, in 1662, for the use of a
Presbyterian congregation.  One of the successors of the founders was the
Rev. Job Orton, who ministered from 1741 to 1766, when he removed to
Kidderminster.  Shortly after his removal a secession took place, which
resulted in the formation of the Independent Church, Swan Hill.  That
“divine madman,” Coleridge, preached in the High Street Chapel, and
Hazlitt walked from Wem to hear him.

Further down the street, and on the right hand side, at the bottom of
Grope Lane is what was once the MERCERS’ HALL.  A few paces beyond is a
fine Elizabethan house now establishment of Mr. Springford, mercer, which
for a long period prior to the present century was set apart as the
Judges’ Lodgings.  The large square opposite is the


Conspicuous is the statute of LORD CLIVE, from a model by Baron
Marochetti.  As a work of art it has received high commendation; as a
public monument it would be attractive if it were not bare—it would be an
ornament if it were not destitute of all those auxiliaries which give to
such objects a handsome finish.  The magnificent stone building on the
left is the COUNTY HALL, built at a cost of £12,000, and opened at the
March assizes, 1837.  This handsome edifice was unfortunately nearly
completely destroyed by fire on the 17th November, 1880.  Near it is the
old MARKET HOUSE, a structure which presents a fine appearance, and which
for ornamental decoration is not surpassed, if equalled, by any edifice
of the same kind in any town in the kingdom.  It was built in 1596, and
the fact is recorded in an inscription above the front arch:—“The xvth
day of June was this building begun, William Jones and Thomas Charlton,
Gent, bailiffs, and was erected and covered in their time.  1596.”  On
the site there had stood five timber houses, two of which were erected in
1567 by Alderman John Dawes for “the saffe placinge of corn from wether,
so that the owners thereof may stannd saffe and drye,” and the other
three by Mr. Humphrey Onslow in 1571.  Immediately over the inscription
just quoted is a tabernacled niche containing a statue and arms.  Various
have been the conjectures as to the personage represented by the statue.
Some say that it is the Black Prince; others that it is Llewellyn, Prince
of Wales; others again that it is Llewellyn’s brother David, who was
executed at the High Cross; others that it is Prince Arthur, eldest son
of Henry VII.  Roger Coke alludes to one of these opinions when, speaking
of General Monk’s purpose to restore Charles II., he says, “and the end
for which a free Parliament was called was interpreted by hanging out the
king’s picture, which was no less gazed upon by the Londoners than by the
Welshmen at King Taffey’s effigies on the Welsh gate, Shrewsbury.”  The
gate referred to stood on the old Welsh Bridge, over which, in a niche,
was this identical statue, and when the tower which surmounted the gate
was destroyed about 1770, the statue was removed to the Market Hall.  The
general belief is that the statue represents Richard, Duke of York,
father of Edward IV.  Vexed by all this uncertainty, has not the
antiquarian reason to mournfully sigh,

                     “_O that those lips had language_.”

Several notable incidents have occurred in the Market Square.  In 1547
the pictures of Our Lady from St. Mary’s Church, of Mary Magdalene and of
St. Chad from St. Chad’s Church, were publicly burned here because they
were supposed to be coloured with Popery.  In 1579, on the 18th of
August, the assizes were held in this place, “open and in the face of
day.”  The judicial bench consisted of the scaffolding of some new
building, and from this dignified seat justice was dispensed.  On the
17th of July, 1584, the public were entertained with a play performed in
the Square by a company belonging to the Earl of Essex.  Six years later,
in the month of July, 1590, there was more public acting.  A platform was
erected for feats of skill, and a Hungarian, with a number of the Queen’s
players, succeeded in some extraordinary achievements in the way of
tumbling, rope-dancing—achievements of such an astonishing sort that “the
like had never before been seen in Shrewsbury.”  In the latter part of
December, 1740, a portion of the roof of the Market Hall fell down,
destroying life and property to the enormous extent of two millers’
horses, which were so inconsiderate as to stand underneath the covering.
Thus this central part of the town reveals to us the development of local
history.  Once it presented a proof of an apprehension of Popery which
led to an act of bigotry, then it marked the administration of justice,
then it afforded room for the histrionic art, and then it was the stage
for introducing to the good folk of Shrewsbury some wonderful gymnastic

The immediate vicinity of the Square is rich in antique buildings.  The
Mercer’s Hall and the old Judges’ Lodgings have already been just glanced
at.  Now, in turning to the left opposite the latter another fine old
structure presents itself.  It is IRELAND’S MANSION, erected about 1570
as the town residence of the ancient family of Ireland.  It was, of
course, one house only, but it is now divided into three.  Still keeping
to the left we find ourselves in front of


a handsome and commodious building, designed by Mr. Robert Griffiths, of
Stafford, and constructed by Mr. Barlow, of Stoke-upon-Trent.  The
foundation stone was laid in 1867 by Mr. John Thomas Nightingale, then
mayor of the borough.  The total cost reached a sum not far short of
£50,000.  The market supplies a great and long-felt want, and,
architecturally, adds to the attractions of the town.  The Market brings
us into


—another peculiar name.  In the time of Edward II. the appellation was
written Sheteplach, then Sotteplace and Soetteplace, probably pronounced
in accordance with the usage of the period, Shottplace.  The name was
derived from that of the Salopian family of Soto who had their residence
here, and whose house—a portion of which still remains in a passage on
the left—formed the principal property in the street.  One chronicler
indulges the fancy that the origin of the first syllable, Shop, Sotte,
may be found in _sote_, which Chaucer uses for sweet, and that the place
may have been called Sotteplace from its situation or conveniences.
Unfortunately we are bound to reject this poetic derivation of the name,
and accept the more common-place and prosaic etymology.

A few steps from the termination of Shoplatch stands THE THEATRE, at the
bottom of


It was formerly called Chorlton Hall, from the fact of it having been for
several centuries the residence and property of the family of Chorlton,
who were Lords of Powis.  The exact time of its erection is unknown, but
in the year 1326 it was held by John de Charlton, who, by the permission
of Edward II., fortified it with an embattled stone wall.  It fell into a
ruinous state, and remained neglected until it was purchased about 1830
by Mr. Henry Bennett, who raised it, and then erected upon the site the
existing theatre.  The exterior, adorned in its three niches with statues
of Shakespeare and of the comic and tragic muse, has a neat appearance,
and the interior is admirably adapted for dramatic purposes.

By way of contrast to the theatre is the WESLEYAN CHAPEL, which stands on
the right about the centre of St. Johns Hill, and a few yards higher up
is another building formerly a chapel, “hid from view” in a passage,
built for the Quakers in 1746, but now used as a meeting place for the
Atcham Board of Guardians.  Leaving, however, an inspection of these we
cross the road from the theatre and walk down


in which is situated the National Provincial Bank.  Why is the street
called Bellstone?  Some think that the denomination anciently was Ben
Stone, that _Ben_ was an abbreviation of Benedictine, and that the bank,
which is an ancient building, was occupied by some members of the
Benedictine order.  Others say that the house used to be named The Bent
Stone, from the bent appearance of the large stone which then, and now,
lies near it.  Others, again, conjecture that the stone at one time
resembled a bell either in colour or shape, and for that reason the
house, and subsequently the locality of the house, came to be called the
Bell Stone, that is, the house at or near the Bell Stone.  The hill on
the left is called


anciently Claro Monte.  On the top of it there was in the days of old, a
gate, as an entrance to the town, which was often called Gatepoll, from
_poll_, an obsolete word for summit, Claremont Hill being the highest
part of the town walls.

The long narrow street in a direct line from Bellstone is


which in the infancy of our history bore the more aristocratic title of
Romboldesham, Rumaldesham, and Romboldi, the three names being used
indiscriminately in various reigns.  The modern term is simply an
equivalent for Tanners’ Street.  We only take a look down Barker Street,
and then turn to the right into


once known by the euphonious title of Doglane.  Here we see on the left
the oldest BAPTIST CHAPEL in Shrewsbury, built in 1780.  A Baptist
church, however, was formed in Shrewsbury as early as 1620.  The chapel
was enlarged in 1810, and modernised and renovated in 1867.  From
Claremont Street we reach


or, as it was anciently written, Marlesford, Mardefole, and in the time
of Henry VIII.  Mardvole, from the name of the ford through the Severn,
_Mar_, and _Leas_ (or pastures), which is by interpretation, the ford at
the marly pastures.  There is no object of historical interest in this
thoroughfare, but in the lane about half way down, called


on the left is a memorial of antiquity in the shape of an old structure
known as ROWLEY’S MANSION, which is said to be the first brick building
erected in Shrewsbury.  It was built in 1618 by William Rowley, a draper,
who was admitted a burgess of the town in 1594 and created an alderman in
1633.  His granddaughter married John Hill, Esq., who lived in the
mansion in splendid hospitality, and in honour of whom the name of the
street was changed from Knockin Street to Hill’s Lane.  It is now used as
a general storehouse, and the moderns with their barbarous notions of
utility have removed the curious portal, the devices in stucco from the
great chamber, the oak wainscotting, and the mullions from the windows.
Adjoining it is a chapel belonging to the Welsh Calvinistic Methodists.

Returning to Mardol we continue our observations by turning to the left.
At the bottom of Mardol on the right is the comparatively new SMITHFIELD
ROAD, opened in 1850, as an ingress from the western portion of the
county to the cattle market.  It leads to the station, and to the suburbs
of Coton Hill and Castle Foregate.

The QUAY on the right was built by Mr. Rowland Jenks in 1607, and Mr.
Jenks was ordered by the Corporation “to permit all manner of barges, of
all persons, to load at the said Quay, taking for every barge load of
wood or coal twelvepence, for a ton of other goods—off a burgess
twopence, and off a foreigner fourpence.”  A few yards beyond, but on the
other side of the street, just as we enter Bridge Street, are ST. CHAD’S
PAROCHIAL SCHOOLS, built and opened in 1865 at a cost of £3,230.

Of course, the principal object here is the


In the reign of Henry II. it was called St. George’s Bridge.  Why?
Because St. George’s Chapel, with the Hospital of St. John to which the
chapel was annexed—both were taken down early in the time of
Elizabeth—was situated near it, in that portion now distinguished by the
exquisite appellation of The Stew.  The name was altered to indicate its
geographical position as the road which leads to North Wales.  It is
conjectured that St. George’s Bridge was built by Edward IV.  It
consisted of seven arches, and had a gate at each end.  The gate at the
Welsh or Frankwell end was secured by an outwork, and over it was the
statue of a man in armour which has been referred to as having been
transferred to the Market Hall.  The gate at the Mardol end of the bridge
was surmounted by a massive tower with a house and battlement.  The tower
was destroyed about 1770, and the bridge itself, damaged by the frequent
floods, was demolished immediately after.  A contribution was then
started for the erection of a new one.  The Corporation liberally gave
£4,000, and in a short time the necessary sum of £8,000, was procured
upon the voluntary principle.  The stone was laid in 1793, and the
structure completed in 1795.  It has five semi-circular arches, a fine
balustrade, is 266 feet in length, and 30 feet in breadth.  At the end of
the bridge we come into


from _Frankville_, the villa, residence, or town of the Franks who,
according to Domesday book, inhabited forty-five burgesses’ houses in
this portion of the town.  We glance to the right, and see a neat chapel
belonging to the Welsh Presbyterians, usually called FRANKWELL CHAPEL.
Our way, however, lies to the left, and we proceed until we reach on the


dedicated to the tutelar saint of England from the fact of its proximity
to the Chapel of St. George.  It was built in 1832 by public
subscription.  It is cruciform in plan, and has a small tower at the west
end.  The style, with the exception of the tower, is the lancet, or
early-pointed.  It will accommodate about 760 persons, and 460 of the
sittings are free and unappropriated.  From St. George’s Church we step
back again into the main street, and instead of going on to the MOUNT
where Cadogan’s Fort stood, we cross to the right by the “String of
Horses,” a half-timbered gabled building erected in 1576.  Proceeding on
we pass Chapel Yard, so called from its having been the yard attached to
Cadogan’s Chapel, and arrive at


a beautiful structure in a beautiful situation.  It consists of a
pedimented front, surmounted by an open cupola, and a portico, flanked by
wings, forming dwellings for the poor.  The Chapel, which is also used as
a schoolroom, is in the centre.  It contains a portrait of the founder,
Mr. James Millington, draper, of Shrewsbury, who built and endowed it in
1734.  After the death of Mr. Millington, who bequeathed his entire
fortune to it, the landed estate was disputed in Chancery, and went to
the heirs-at-law, the personal property being assigned to the support of
the charity.  There are a schoolmaster and schoolmistress who reside on
the premises, and a chaplain who reads prayers daily.  The resident
hospitallers number twelve old men or women who are selected out of
Frankwell, and who, in addition to the apartments, receive annual
gratuities of gowns and coats, coals and money, and a weekly quantity of
bread.  A number of boys and girls receive their education at the
hospital, and are afterwards apprenticed or sent out as servants.  Both
boys and girls receive gifts of money on their “entering into the
business of life,” and rewards are given to those who can produce
certificates of good conduct during a certain period of service.

A little further on are the new BARRACKS or BRIGADE DEPÔT, built at a
very large cost, and opened in 1880.

In the extremity of Frankwell beyond Millington’s Hospital there is
nothing worthy of our attention; and, therefore, keeping to the left, we
hasten to the bottom of Port Hill where we call out “boat!” and are
ferried across the Severn to land in


One of the most pleasant walks in the kingdom.  It consists of a tract of
meadow ground, twenty-three acres in extent.  Its situation, its
surroundings, its scenery are extremely beautiful, and constitute it a
most attractive and delightful promenade.  The bank which skirts the
Severn is adorned with a graceful avenue of lime trees, extending 450
yards in length, and forming in the intertwining of their lofty branches
a natural arcade.  The Quarry, which should be a thing of beauty and a
joy for ever to the inhabitants, is resorted to, as a rule, only by a few
of the residents, most of whom, from their familiarity with it, do not
appreciate its charms, but from the stranger the spectacle of so
enjoyable and poetic a spot always elicits expressions of admiration.
The beauty that every day lies at our own door is often no beauty at all.
The Quarry derives its name from a small quarry of red sandstone,
formerly worked in what is now called the Dingle.  The trees in the lower
walk were planted by Mr. Henry Jenks, Mayor, in 1719.  The three walks,
graced in a similar manner, serve as approaches from the town.  In 1569
the Quarry was leased to three burgesses for ten years at a nominal rent
upon their undertaking to bring the water from near Crow Meole to
Shrewsbury.  They fulfilled the condition by laying down leaden pipes,
and the work was completed in 1574, in which year Shrewsbury was first
supplied with what is now popularly known as “conduit water.”  In that
year the conduits at Mardol Head, Market Square, High Street, and Wyle
Cop were erected and opened.  The Quarry has been used for various
purposes.  In the reign of James I. it was used “for agisting of cattle,
for musters of soldiers, and other laudable exercises and recreations.”
It is easy to infer from the brutal and coarse pastimes of the period
what the “laudable exercises” were, but in truth, the uncertainty of
inference is removed by the positiveness of fact, for in the same reign
the Quarry was used for “bull-baitings, stage-plays, &c., by consent of
the bailiffs,” who, of course, found in this corrupt and debased taste a
source of profit to the borough revenue.  The stage plays performed
here—in that portion which is in the shape of an amphitheatre and is
styled the Dingle—were of the nature of those common in the early age of
the English theatre.  They belonged to the class of Mysteries—a class of
a low, vicious, profane, and often blasphemous character.  Amongst others
_Julian the Apostate_ was performed here in 1565, and it is said that,
notwithstanding its utter grossness, it was “listened to with admiration
and devotion.”  Two years later, in 1567, there was given a
representation of the Passion and Crucifixion of Christ, and the actor
who took the principal part was killed by being speared in the heart by
mistake.  An horrible barbarity was committed in the Dingle in 1647,
when, on December 24th, a woman was burned to death for having poisoned
her husband.  Very considerable improvements have been recently made in
the Quarry by the erection of a Band Stand, new Entrance Gates, and the
transformation of the Dingle into a well ordered pleasure garden, with
seats, grottos, ornamental water, &c., the cost of these great
improvements has been mainly defrayed by the Horticultural Society whose
annual _fêtes_ are looked forward to with the “sweet pleasures of
anticipation” by thousands.

The fine brick building on the eminence opposite the Quarry on the other
side of the Severn is the new premises for SHREWSBURY SCHOOL, fronted by
a wide terrace, and commanding an extensive landscape in both front and
rear.  The building which cost £12,000, was commenced in 1760, and opened
in 1765 for the reception of orphans from the Foundling Hospital in
London.  It has been appropriated for different purposes from time to
time.  Becoming disused by the managers of the Foundling Hospital it was
for some time uninhabited.  A portion of it was then taken as a woollen
manufactory, and while one section was thus devoted to business, another
was let out in apartments to valetudinarians who in the summer months
retired from the town to seek pleasure and health in this beautiful
district.  It was also used as a place of confinement for Dutch prisoners
captured in the American war; and then, in 1784, it was converted to
something approaching its original purpose by being purchased under an
Act of Parliament for incorporating the town parishes and that of Meole
Brace with the object of maintaining the poor.  At the rear of the
buildings is


an extensive piece of ground, the property of the Corporation.  It is
supposed to have originally belonged to the Crown—hence its name—and to
have been granted by the Crown to the Corporation.  In 1529 it was let
for pasture at £3 per year—a price which must make modern tenants wish
that history might repeat itself.  In 1586 it was ordered to be, and was,
enclosed.  It is a healthy and almost arcadian spot, “beautiful for
situation.”  There is no locality in the town so well adapted for villa

Once a year, we are reminded, there _was_ something else—SHREWSBURY SHOW,
a pageant which showed the degeneracy of the past.  With the exception of
the Coventry festival and the Preston guild it was the only one of its
kind in the kingdom.  What was the Show?  It was the remnant of a feast
religiously observed by the Romish Church, and styled _Corpus Christi_
the feast of the body of Christ.  It consisted of a solemn procession, in
which the several incorporated companies of the town, preceded by the
masters and wardens, attended by the bailiffs, aldermen, and commonalty,
and accompanied by priests, who carried the Holy Sacrament under a
gorgeous canopy, marched to old St. Chad’s Church, where mass was said
amidst the richest and costliest treasures of the church.  The religious
part of the ceremony was abolished at the Reformation; but the members of
the companies, though prohibited from attending mass, resolved to retain
as much of the imposing custom as they could.  They therefore continued
the procession, which they determined upon having on the second Monday
after Trinity Sunday.  They possessed on Kingsland small parcels of land
which the Corporation had allotted to and enclosed for them, and on which
they had erected arbours as places of resort, of feasting, and of
pastime.  They therefore selected Kingsland as the destiny of the
procession, and, arrived there, they entertained each other in almost
princely style, and indulged in the recreations of the time.  The
anniversary until very recently was observed, but it was a sorry picture
of the old festivities.  The procession, which was made up of bands of
music, flags, banners, ancient horses ridden by individuals dressed out
as kings, queens, and other notabilities, followed by a number of
artisans, was perhaps about the most ludicrous sight which the ingenuity
of a buffoon could invent.  It was a ridiculous travesty of the ancient
spectacle; and its concomitants, its influence, and its results are best
described in the (slightly altered) words of Hamlet:

    _The people wake to-day and take their rouse_,
    _Keep wassail_, _and the swaggering up-spring reels_;
    _And_, _as they drain their draughts of Rhenish down_,
    _The kettle-drum and trumpet thus bray out_
    _The triumph of their pledge_.
                      _Is it a custom_?
                _Ay_, _marry_, _is’t_;
       _But to my mind_, _though I am native here_
       _And to the manner born_, _it is a custom_
    _More honour’d in the breach than the observance_.
    _This heavy-headed revel east and west_
    _Makes us traduced and tax’d of other people_:
    _They clepe us drunkards_, _and with swinish phrase_
    _Soil our addition_.

                  [Picture: Shrewsbury, from Coton Hill]

Leaving the scene of so much that is gay and festive, and that unites the
present with the past, we re-cross the Severn, re-walk a portion of the
Quarry, and ascend the magnificent centre avenue.  The church before us


built at a cost of £19,352, and consecrated on August 19th, 1792.  It is
considered the principal church of the town, is used on all public
occasions, such as the assizes and the anniversary of the Infirmary, and
is the place where the archdeacon holds his visitations, but being one of
the most modern of the parish churches, it has the least historical
interest.  The general effect of the interior is imposing, the stained
windows and monuments giving it a gorgeous appearance.

From here we take our course “right on,” turning neither to the right for
the Quarry again nor to the left for St. John’s Hill, we enter upon
MURIVANCE, a name denoting before or within the walls.  It is supposed
that when the town was first fortified Murivance was selected as the
place of parade for the military defenders of the town.  On the left is


founded and endowed by Mr. John Allatt, gentleman.  It was built in 1800,
and cost £2,000.  There are two houses for the master and mistress.
Forty boys and forty girls are educated and clothed here, and then sent
out to situations, and coats and gowns are annually distributed among a
number of poor men and women.

Opposite is the NEW EYE AND EAR HOSPITAL, a most ornate structure, and
the entrance of the NEW BRIDGE to Kingsland.

Still on the left, at the turning for Swan Hill—so called from the Swan
public-house which was formerly at the bottom—is the INDEPENDENT CHAPEL,
the oldest of the three Independent chapels in Shrewsbury.  It was
erected in 1766 by seceders from the High Street church, and has been
re-built a few years ago.  Further on, on the right is the chapel of the
METHODIST NEW CONNEXION, erected in 1834, at a cost of £1,500.  In close
proximity to this edifice is an antique tower, the only vestige that
remains of twenty which formerly fortified the town walls.  It is square,
three storeys high, embattled at the summit, and lighted by narrow square
windows.  Those walls, which we now reach, were built by Henry III. to
fortify the town against the inroads of the Welsh, and the cost was
defrayed partly by the burgesses, and partly from the royal exchequer.
On the left is the ROMAN CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL, built of freestone, in the
style of the early decorated period.  It consists of a nave, chancel,
side aisles, chapel, &c., and is connected with the residence of the
officiating priest by a cloister.  At the termination of the walls begins


sometimes called the Back Lane.  This singular appellation is a
corruption of Bispetan, Bushpestanes, which may also be a corruption of
Bishop’s Town, or Bishop’s Stone, Beeches Lane, having, it is
conjectured, been either the residence or the property of the bishop of
the diocese, who is said in Domesday book to have possessed sixteen
dwelling-houses in Shrewsbury.  The gradual change appears, from old
deeds, to have been in this order—Bispetan, Bipstan, Biston’s Lane,
Beeches Lane.  On the left is


an oblong building, with a glazed cupola in the centre.  It was founded
in 1724, under the will of Mr. Thomas Bowdler, an alderman and draper of
Shrewsbury, who left £1,000 to erect and endow the institution for the
education of the poor children of the parish of St. Julian.  The late
Professor Lee was a schoolmaster of this foundation.  Pursuing our walk
in a straight route we arrive at the


a structure of great beauty.  The first bridge which spanned the river
here was probably erected by the founder of the Abbey, Roger de
Montgomery.  At any rate the abbots and the Corporation were continually
disputing about the liability to the repairs of the bridge, and the
contention was temporarily closed by the abbots consenting to repair the
Abbey Foregate end, and the Corporation agreeing to repair the town end.
Henry VIII. by a stroke of policy—by remitting some taxes—got the
Corporation to relieve the abbots of all responsibility and to take the
entire repairs into their own hands.  About the middle of the last
century, the bridge being considerably damaged, it was determined to take
it down, and in 1765 a subscription was commenced to widen and strengthen
it.  In 1767, on the 9th of June, the first stone of the extension was
laid by Edward Smythe, Esq., son of Sir Edward Smythe, of Acton Burnell.
It was discovered, however, that beneath the causeway there was another
causeway and channel, the lower part of the Wyle Cop which had been
raised at some previous period.  The plan of widening was therefore
abandoned, and a new bridge was decided upon.  In the next year, 1768,
the old bridge was taken down, subscriptions flowed in abundantly, and on
Thursday, 29th June, 1769, the first stone of the new bridge was laid in
“a solemn manner,” amidst the presence of the munificent contributors, by
Sir John Astley, Bart, who gave £1,000 towards the cost.  The ceremony
was supplemented by a dinner at the Raven Hotel.  The total expense was
nearly £16,000, the whole of which was raised, not by heavy taxation, not
by burdensome rates, but by voluntary donations.  Among the donors were
Lord Clive, Thomas Hill, Esq., the principal gentry of the county, and
numbers of public-spirited townsmen.  The bridge consists of seven
arches, is 410 feet in length, and 35 feet in breadth.

The Gothic edifice on the right is the ABBEY FOREGATE NEW CHURCH,
belonging to the Independents, opened on the 31st of May, 1864.
Adjoining it is the NATIONAL SCHOOL, for the instruction and clothing of
poor children.  It was commenced in 1708.  Having proceeded a few yards
we come to the


perhaps the most interesting ecclesiastical edifice in the county.  On
the site there stood in the eleventh century a timber church, built by
Siward, a Saxon nobleman, and dedicated to St. Peter.  In the last
quarter of that century Odilirius, “a lover of justice,” who had
possession of the humble structure, counselled Roger de Montgomery, Earl
of Shrewsbury, to build a monastery.  The Earl consented, and in 1083 the
monastery or abbey was built, and consecrated to St. Peter and St. Paul.
St. Paul, however, was served rather scurvily, for the Earl gave the
whole of the suburb—then denominated _Before Yette_—to “the blessed
Peter.”  The abbey was splendidly endowed by the Earl and by Siward, and
in consideration of the endowments the monks were “to diligently pray for
their souls, and for the souls of their ancestors and heirs.”  These
endowments were added to from time to time by several other benefactors,
with the same object.  Thus Warine, the sheriff of the county gave
several hides of land for the salvation of his soul; and after his death,
lest he should be in jeopardy, his widow gave her house for his effectual
security.  Warine’s brother, Reginald, gave a village; Herbert de Ferches
a farm; Gerrard de Tourney a village; Randulph de Gernon, Earl of
Chester, two houses; and Hugh Pantulf his mills at Sutton “for the
salvation of his soul, the soul of his wife, and each of their souls.”
These benefactions vastly increased the riches of the abbey, and in
consequence of its revenue the abbots were mitred and elevated to the
privilege of a seat in the Upper House of Parliament.  The value of the
monastery was, according to Dugdale, £132 4s. 10d., to Speed £615 4s. 3d.
In the twenty-sixth year of Henry VII. the annual income was £572 15s.
5d., a revenue equal to about £4,750 of modern currency.  At the time of
the dissolution of the monasteries the abbey was suppressed, and the
estates and buildings passed into lay hands.  Some were sold for the
value of the materials, and others were converted into dwellings.
Odericus Vitalis, one of the earliest and best of English historians, was
educated at this monastery, whither he was sent by his father, priest at
Atcham, where he was born in 1074.

In 1728 an incident capable of a modern application occurred here.  The
clergyman of the parish presented a petition to the bishop praying for
the removal out of the church of a picture representing the Saviour upon
the cross.  The petitioners presented a counter petition; but their
memorial failed, and the bishop ordered the picture to be removed.  This
dispute between the vicar and his flock caused a great sensation, and
gave occasion to a number of lampoons.  The parishioners attacked the
vicar in this style:

          _The Parson’s the man_
          _Let him say what he can_
    _Will for gain leave his God in the lurch_;
          _Could Iscariot do more_
          _Had it been in his power_
    _Than to turn his Lord out of the church_.

The clerical party replied with a good argument:—

          _The Lord I adore_
          _Is mighty in power_,
    _The one only living and true_;
          _But that Lord of yours_
          _Which was turned out of doors_,
    _Had just as much knowledge as you_.

          _But since you bemoan_
          _This God of your own_,
    _Cheer up my disconsolate brother_:
          _Though it seems very odd_,
          _Yet if this be your God_
    _Mr. Burley _{51}_ can make you another_.

At the suppression of monasteries in the time of Henry VIII, the entire
eastern portion, which constituted two-thirds of the structure, was
destroyed.  There are remains, however, sufficient to indicate its
massiveness and majesty.  The most prominent of these is the broad
western tower which presents a stately, dignified appearance.  There are
also the nave and the side aisles; and these with the tower form the
present church, which, though with evidences of mutilation, has a
venerable aspect, and is characterised by “a noble simplicity combined
with a massive solidity.”  The three windows are all at present of the
Perpendicular style; but there are prints of older date which show the
two smaller to have been of a different character.  The portal is a
deeply recessed semicircular arch, terminating in a pointed doorway.  The
bellchamber has two windows on each side; between those of the western
front, in a canopied niche, is the statue of an armed knight, having a
conical basinet encircled by a crown.  This figure is with good reason
supposed to represent Edward III. in whose reign the tower was probably
begun.  The south doorway is plain Norman in character, resting on
slender shafts, and adjoining is the ruined wall of the transept.  The
choir having been destroyed the eastern end now terminates in a wall run
up between the remains of the two western piers, which supported the
central tower.  Of course, in the interior the altar stands here, above
which are placed Norman windows, containing six figures in stained glass
of kings and apostles.  They are deep and brilliant in colour, and the
drawing is good.  Below is a reredos, forming a series of five Norman

The interior of the Abbey is a fine specimen of solid Norman work.  The
whole is in the massive Norman style except what is beyond the three
semicircular arches westward, where there is a very wide pier, on the
eastern and western extremities of which are half columns of the arcades,
and in the middle is attached a flat pilaster.  From hence the nave
displays the commencement of a different style, and the Norman gives
place to pure Gothic of the fourteenth century.  This terminates in a
beautiful pointed arch, which divides the tower from the nave, and by the
removal of the organ gallery and screen the whole extent of the great
western window is now displayed, which certainly imparts a very striking
appearance to that portion of the building.  The entire window is filled
with a series of armorial bearings of some of England’s ancient peerage,
as well as a few very modern.  It is, in fact, a perfect study of
heraldry.  There are several monuments of interest, but the most singular
is one which stands on the north side of the altar, which at the first
view presents the appearance of two tombs, but on examination proves to
be only one, the double appearance being given by a centre buttress,
which is not carried over the ledge, upon which rest two figures, the
head of the one at the feet of the other.  They are supposed to represent
the “same” individual who had abandoned the military for the eremitical
life, but there is not the slightest clue to his name.

The walls of the nave, with the pillars and arches, were, in 1855,
cleared of their plaster covering; but such a state of dilapidation was
developed as to necessitate a thorough restoration, which has been
carefully and effectually carried out.  It may be proper to mention that
on the fall of St. Chad’s, and the demolition of St. Alkmund’s, the walls
of which “were in such a sound state as to require a very great amount of
labour to remove them,” several ancient monuments found a place within
the walls of the Abbey.

Of the monastic remains there are only “few and far between.”  On the
south-west of the church is a malthouse which is supposed to have been
part of the monks’ infirmary and chapel.  A similar building which stood
near the street, and a dormitory attached to the south-west side of the
church were taken down in 1836 for the formation of a new line of road.
The most striking of the remains is the elegant octagonal STONE PULPIT,
in a yard on the right.  It is thought to have stood within the
refectory, and to have been used as the lectern by the junior monks to
read from while the elder brethren were enjoying meals in the
dining-room.  The interior forms an oriel, the roof being vaulted on
eight delicate ribs.

From hence we take the road upwards, and call to mind in our walk two
notable but not pleasant incidents.  The first goes as far back as 1582,
in which year, on February 4th, one John Prestige “was hanged upon a
gibbet, erected on the green, by the water side, near the Abbey Mill, and
opposite his own house, for the murder of his wife, by throwing her over
the Stone (the English) Bridge in the Severn: he hung there three days.”
The second brings us down to 1774 when, on Good Friday, April 1st, a
disastrous fire broke out in the Abbey Foregate by which forty-seven
houses, sixteen barns, fifteen stables, four shops, and several stacks of
hay were utterly destroyed.  This serious conflagration led to the
purchase by the Worshipful Company of Drapers of a fire engine, a
quantity of buckets and fire hooks, and to the erection of fire plugs for
the use of the town.  These disagreeable memories are relieved by the
sight of


built with Grinshill stone, and said to be the largest Grecian-Doric
column in the world.  The first stone was laid on the 27th December,
1814, and the last on June 18th, 1816.  The total height of the column is
133 feet 6 inches.  The colossal statute on the summit was executed from
a model by Panzetta.  The inscriptions on the pedestal relate the skill
and courage displayed by Lieutenant-General Rowland Lord Hill in Spain,
Portugal, the South of France, and on the memorable plains of Waterloo.
Admission to the Column is obtained by means of a gratuity to the keeper
who resides in the adjacent pretty Doric cottage on the left, and from
the top a splendid panoramic view of Shropshire rewards the ascender of
the winding staircase.  To the right of the Column is


built early in the reign of Henry I. for the use of a Hospital of Lepers
which stood north-west of the existing edifice, and which was founded by
King Henry II.  It became parochial about the middle of the fifteenth
century when it was united with the parish of Holy Cross within the
monastery.  It is said that in the reign of Stephen, when the monks
obtained the bones of that popular martyr, St. Wenefreda, those relics
were deposited on the altar of this church until a shrine worthy of their
reception could be prepared within the Abbey.  A few yards beyond is the
old Militia Depôt, erected in 1806.

Having seen all that is to be seen at this end of the town we return to
the Abbey Foregate.  About half-way down we diverge to the right and come


a fine Elizabethan building erected in 1582, by Richard Prince, Esq., a
celebrated lawyer.  Churchyard speaks of it “so trim and finely that it
graceth all the soil it is in.”  At a little distance is the Race Course
on which Charles I. drew up his army in 1642.

Hastening back towards the town we may turn to the left at the end of the
English Bridge for the suburbs of Coleham, Belle Vue, and Meole, where we
may see Trinity Church, a plain modern structure, raised in 1837: Belle
Vue Cemetery, opened in 1852 for the use of Nonconformists; and the
General Parochial Cemetery, opened and consecrated in 1856.  Or we may
re-cross the bridge, descend the steps on the right, take the pathway on
the banks of the Severn, pass under the railway viaduct, inspect the
exterior of the County Prison, glance at the British School, All Saints’
Church and Schools, and the Gas Works, thence enter the suburb of Castle
Foregate, where a few minutes will suffice to make acquaintance with St.
Mary’s and St. Michael’s Schools, with St. Michael’s Church, a neat Doric
building erected in 1830.  Then we return up Castle Foregate, turn to the
right by the railway bridge, and enter the suburb of Coton Hill.  In the
Royal Baths on the right we may have a refreshing plunge if the weather
is warm.  Beyond the Baths we see on the right a clump of sycamore trees,
denoting the site of the house where Admiral Benbow was born in 1650.  In
1698 Admiral Benbow visited Shrewsbury, and was entertained by the

It may be mentioned here that in 1606 a considerable portion of Coton
Hill was burnt down, “the houses being set on fire by John Tench’s wife.”

We return by way of Chester Street to the station, where our run through
the town commenced and where it now ends, after having viewed places and
objects which vividly bring to mind events of the past, which present
numerous and radical changes in the habits and conditions of society, and
which, manifesting in a marked degree the variations of taste, and the
definite progress of manners, art, and religion exhibit the relation of
modern to ancient times, both in physical sciences and in customs of

                                * * * * *

                      [Picture: Decorative graphic]

                                * * * * *


                                * * * * *


DRAYTON BROS., Shrewsbury

                            CONDENSED LIST OF
                      MISCELLANEOUS STATIONERY, &c.,
                              KEPT IN STOCK.

Account Books                                     Luggage Labels
Blotting Papers                                   Marking Ink
Book Marks                                        Memo. Books, all kinds
Book Papers                                       Metallic Books
Bristol Boards                                    Millboards
Brown Papers                                      Mourning Stationery
Camel Hair Brushes                                Note Papers, all kinds
Cards, all sizes and kinds                        Official Envelopes
Cardboards                                        Packing Papers
Clips or Fasteners                                Papers, all sorts
Colour Boxes                                      Parcel Receipt Books
Coloured Papers                                   Pencils
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Elastic Bands                                     Pocket Ledgers
Envelopes, all kinds                              Printing Papers, all kinds
Exercise Books                                    Printers’ Ink, &c.
Foolscap Papers                                   Purses
Funeral Cards                                     Receipt Books
Gummed Tickets                                    Ruled Papers
Gum Mucilage                                      Rulers
Indexes                                           Scrap Books
Indian Rubber                                     Slates
Inks, all kinds                                   Slate Pencils
Ink Erasers                                       Stationers’ Stock Boxes
Ink Stands                                        Steel Pens
Invoice Books                                     Tea Papers
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Lead Pencils                                      Toy Books, great variety
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Letter Books                                      Valentines
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Linear Paper and Envelopes                        Writing Papers

                                * * * * *

Printer, Bookseller and Stationer,


                            PHOTOGRAPHIC VIEWS
                       BEDFORD, FRITH and MANSELL.

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{51}  A Painter in Shrewsbury.

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