Stoke-on-Trent Local History

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Hanley - Gazetteers and Directories


Pigot & Co's 1828/9 Directory of Staffordshire
Pigot & Co's 1841 Directory of Staffordshire
William White, Sheffield. "1851, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire"  
Wilson's 1870-2 Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales
Bartholomew's 1887 Gazetteer of the British Isles
1893 advertising and trade journal - A descriptive account of The Potteries (illustrated)
1898 Cassell's 'Gazetteer of Great Britain & Ireland'
1907 Staffordshire Sentinel 'Business Reference Guide to The Potteries, Newcastle & District'

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Pigot & Co's 1828/9 Directory of Staffordshire

"HANLEY a large modern town and chapelry, in the parish of Stoke, is about two miles east by north of Newcastle, and ranks next to Burslem in size, extent and opulence. The town is in an elevated situation, and the streets forming which are irregular, but many of the houses are well built.
The church, or rather chapel of ease to Stoke, is a  handsome structure of brick, erected in 1788, with a square tower one hundred feet in height, containing a fine set of bells. The dissenters of several denominations have eight places of worship here; and the British and national schools, well supported by voluntary contributions.
A mechanics institute is established here; and near the town is and excellent institution, called the 'North Staffordshire Infirmary.' 
Bagnall, Esq. of London, is lord of the manor, and holds a court baron once a year; the King, as Duke of Lancaster, holds also a court baron once in the same period; and a court is held once a fortnight, for the recovery of debts under forty shillings.
The turnpike road from Newcastle to Leek passes near the town, and the Grand Trunk canal close to it, affording great facility of inland navigation, for the conveyance of earthenware to Liverpool, Hull, London, &c. The exportation is of such an extent, that a company is established for the sole purpose of carrying that article.
In 1812, owing to the increase of the population of the town, it was deemed necessary to apply to the legislature to empower certain trustees to enlarge the market and market-place, and an act for 'establishing and regulating the market' and for enlarging and improving the market-place' at Hanley was obtained; the act mentions two market days, viz. Wednesday and Saturday, but the latter is the principal; it is abundantly supplied with provisions of all kinds, and well attended by purchasers.
In 1819 a new market-hall was erected; a bell is rung at ten o'clock at night, at which time all must begin to prepare for their departure.
The chapelry contained, in 1821, 5,622 inhabitants."

Pigot & Co's 1841 Directory of Staffordshire

"HANLEY is a large and modern market town, and chaperly, in the parish and borough of Stoke, about one mile and a half from that town, and rather more than two east by north from Newcastle; situate near to the turnpike road leading from the latter place to Leek, and close to the Grand Trunk canal: the exportation, by means of this navigation, of earthenware to Liverpool, Hull, the Metropolis, &c., is of such an extent, that a company is established for the sole purpose of carrying that article. 
The principal part of the town is on an elevated site; the streets are not regularly disposed, but many of the houses are well built. The police of this town, like Stoke, is under the control of commissioners; and a chief bailiff is annually elected from among the most respectable inhabitants, whose duties are of the same nature as those exercised by the bailiff of Stoke. The lord of the manor holds a court baron once a year; the crown (as possessor of the duchy of Lancaster), holds, by its officer, a similar court once within the same period; and another court, in which debts under forty shillings are recoverable, sits once a fortnight.

The church, or rather chapel of ease, is a commodious structure of brick, erected in 1788, with a square tower one hundred feet in height, containing a fine set of bells; the living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the trustees of the chapel. Dissenters of various denominations have numerous places of worship here; and there are British and national schools, well supported by voluntary contributions. 
A mechanics' institute is established in the town; and near it is that excellent institution, the North Staffordshire Infirmary. In 1812 an act was obtained for enlarging and regulating the market, and other specific purposes; and among the improvements which have consequently been effected is the erection of a very convenient meat-market. The act authorizes markets to be held on Wednesday and Saturday; the latter, which is the principal, is abundantly supplied with provisions of all kinds : large markets or fairs for cattle are held four times a year."

William White, Sheffield. "1851, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire"  

"Hanley and Shelton, though two distinct liberties, or townships, maintain their poor conjointly with the rest of the parish of Stoke-upon-Trent, and form one densely populated and well-built market town, ranking in size and consequence, the second in the county of Stafford, and the largest in the district called the Potteries, in which it holds a central situation, being pleasantly seated on rising ground near the Trent and the canal, about a mile N of Stoke, and two and a half miles ENE of Newcastle-under-Lyme. It has a population of 20,564 souls, 8609 in Hanley, and 11,955 in Shelton, which includes Etruria and part of Cobridge. Both are in the manor of Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Hanley forms the north-eastern and highest part of town, and from it and Earl Granville's Coal and Iron Works, an old tram road, now worked by a locomotive engine, extends down to the Trent & Mersey Canal, at Etruria, where it now also forms a junction with a station on the North Staffordshire Railway. The houses have a neat appearance and some of them are spacious and elegant, there being here many of the most wealthy and extensive china and earthenware manufacturers in the Potteries, and in the suburbs are several coal and iron works."

Wilson's 1870-2 Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales

HANLEY, a town, a township, three chapelries, and a sub-district, in Stoke-upon-Trent district, Stafford. The town stands on the North Stafford railway, and on the Grand Trunk canal, 1½ mile NE of Stoke-upon-Trent. It is a prominent one of the pottery towns; it includes all Hanley township and most of Shelton township; it was made a municipal borough in 1857, under a mayor, five aldermen, and twenty-four councillors; it acquired further rights of market trust, in 1863, under lease from the lord of the manor; and it forms part of the parliamentary borough of Stoke-upon-Trent. It has recently undergone very great increase; it has wide streets, paved with brick; it contains shops almost equal to many in the best parts of London; it makes a good display of public buildings; it possesses everything requisite for the current wants of its own inhabitants and of a very populous neighbourhood; and yet it partakes fully in the smoke and general unpleasantness of the pottery region. The town hall was built at a cost of £4, 500; and contains assembly and news rooms. The markets have covered areas. A cattle market was formed in 1869, at a cost of £3, 000. The mechanics' institute was built in 1861, at a cost of £3, 000. The North Staffordshire museum, in Frederick street, has a good library and reading room. The North Staffordshire infirmary, in Shelton, is a large edifice, maintained by subscription, for the use of all the pottery region. The government school of design, in Pall Mall, was instituted in 1847. There are five national schools; and that for Wellington is a Gothic building of 1862. There are also a theatre, an inland revenue office, and other public buildings. One of the churches is a brick structure of 1788, with a tower; and another is a handsome edifice of 1834, at a cost of £11, 000, with a tower 120 feet high. There are chapels for Independents, Baptists, Presbyterians, Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, U. Free Methodists, and New Connexion Methodists; and several of these are spacious edifices; while one of them, called Bethesda chapel, in Albion street, is so large as to accommodate 3, 000 persons, and was repaired and decorated in 1862. A new cemetery was opened in 1860. The town has a post office‡ under Stoke upon Trent, two railway stations, two banking offices, and several good inns; is a seat of county courts and petty sessions, and a pollingplace; publishes a weekly newspaper; and is well supplied with water. Markets are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays; cattle markets on the second Tuesday of every month; and a hiring fair on 11 Nov. A great trade is carried on in the manufacture of china and earthenware; a very great trade also, and an increasing one, in iron smelting; and the general industry is both employed and stimulated by great abundance, all around, of coal and ironstone. Pop., of the town, in 1861, 31, 953. Houses, 6, 322.-The township, though all included in the town, is partly rural. Real property, £43, 222; of which £2, 000 are in mines. Pop., in 1851, 10, 573; in 1861, 14, 678. Houses, 2, 900.-The three chapelries are Hanley-proper, Northwood, and Wellington, or Hanley-ST. Luke. The first is of old date; and the other two were constituted in 1845. The livings of all are p. curacies in the diocese of Lichfield. Value of Hanley, £289;* of Northwood, £150;* of Wellington, £180.* Patrons of the first, Trustees; of the other two, alternately the Crown and the Bishop. There are also three benefices in Shelton, -Shelton-proper, Etruria, and Hope. The sub-district excludes Shelton, and consists of Hanley township and Bucknall-cum-Bagnall chapelry. Pop., 16, 848. Houses, 3, 308.

Bartholomew's 1887 Gazetteer of the British Isles

Hanley, parl. and mun. bor., Staffordshire, in The Potteries district, 18 miles N. of Stafford and 147 miles NW. of London by rail -- mun. bor. (wholly in Stoke upon Trent par.), 1648 ac., pop. 48,361; parl. bor. (comprising the mun. bors. of Hanley and Burslem), pop. 75,912; 4 Banks, 2 newspapers. Market-days, Wednesday and Saturday. Hanley was made a mun. bor. in 1857, and a parl. bor. in 1885; it returns 1 member to Parliament. It is a modern town, which owes its prosperity to its vast mfrs. of china, encaustic tiles, and earthenware. It has been called the "Metropolis of the Potteries." Coal and iron are obtained in the neighbourhood, and many of the inhabitants are employed at furnaces, foundries, brickworks, &c,.

1893 advertising and trade journal - A descriptive account of The Potteries (illustrated)

"Hanley, the most populous town in North Staffordshire, is generally described as the capital of the Potteries, a title to which it has certainly the greatest pretensions; for, if it cannot claim that historic association with the industry which belongs peculiarly to Burslem, it has during the present century made such strides in the art, as to overtake and pass all competitors. At the census of 1891, the population of the municipal borough reached the total of 54,846; and such is the prosperity of the district, that at the present time this number has been very largely increased. No doubt the situation of the town has had much to do with its rapid growth, for it is placed almost directly in the centre of the district, being about two miles south of Burslem, three miles north-west of Longton, and about a mile and a half due north of Stoke. 

It is well placed for transit purposes, being quite close to the Cauldon branch of the Trent and Mersey Canal, and occupies a healthy situation upon an eminence overlooking the whole district. In 1857 the townships of Hanley and Shelton, forming a portion of the parish of Stoke-upon-Trent, were incorporated, and now constitute the municipal borough of Hanley, all local authority being vested in the Corporation. The borough has a commission of the peace, and a separate Court of Quarter Sessions, granted in November 1883. By the Redistribution of Seats Act, 1885, Hanley was made a Parliamentary borough, comprising the boroughs of Hanley and Burslem, and so much of the borough of Stoke-upon-Trent as lies north of Hanley, and is not included in the local government district of Tunstall. For this district, one member is returned. Under the Local Government Act of 1888, Hanley, for certain purposes, is declared a county borough.

During the forty years that the town has possessed its own municipality, the borough has been very greatly improved. The streets are wide and well paved, being admirably lighted by the British Gas Light Company Limited; while there is an excellent water supply by the Staffordshire Potteries Water Works Company. The drainage system has been carried out upon the most improved principles, the configuration of the district admirably lending itself to a perfect system of sewage; and the death rate of the borough is remarkably low for an industrial town. The town is connected with Burslem, Stoke, and Longton by steam trams."

1898 Cassell's 'Gazetteer of Great Britain & Ireland'

"Hanley, parl. bor. (returning 1 member), co. and mon. bor., mkt. to. (w. & s.), and head of Co. Co. dis., N.W. Staffs., 1 1/2  N. of Stoke.upon.Trent; CLC. of parl. bor. 3,629, of co. bor. 1,768. The man. bor. (formed in 1857) is in the pa. of Stoke-upon-Trent (q.v.). The parl. bor. (formed in 1885) consists of the man. bors. of H. and Burslem (q.v.), and also a part of the former parl. bor. of Stoke, situated north of H. H., which is a place of quite recent growth, now ranks first among the Pottery towns. It is situated on a hill commanding wide prospects; but the furnaces, with their accompaniments of smoke and dirt, have completely destroyed the beauty of the landscape. The church of St. John (originally built 1737, and rebuilt 1788) is a plain brick building In debased Gothic style, H contains the ecol. pm. of Hope, Northwood, Shelton, and Wellington (q.v.). The bor. contains Roman Catholic churches, and there are Presbyterian, Baptist, Wesleyan, Methodist New Connexion, Primitive Methodist, and Congregational Chapels. To the Tabernacle Congregational church are attached a lecture-room, library, class-rooms, etc., the whole forming a handsome and spacious group of buildings in Perp. style. The town hall (formerly the Queen’s Hotel), Albion Street, is a handsome edifice of red brick; the Victoria Hall, an assembly room at the rear, was added in 1887 the Market House (1831) is a building in Classical style. The Free Library, the North Staffs. Technical and Art Museum, the Government School of Art, the Potteries Mechanics’ Institution, and the
Theatre Royal are situated in Pall Mall. The cemetery extends over 87 ac. H. is situated near the Cauldon branch of the Trent and Mersey Canal and is connected by steam tramways with Burslem Stoke, and Longton. It is famous both for its manufacture of china, earthenware and encaustic tiles, and for the numerous collieries and ironstone mines in the neighbourhood, but it is to the former that its rapid growth and present prosperity must be mainly attributed."

1907 Staffordshire Sentinel 'Business Reference Guide to The Potteries, Newcastle & District'

Hanley is the Metropolis of the Potteries. It  stands in the centre of the chain of North Staffordshire towns, and though its history does not extend so far back as that of some of the neighbouring places, its growth during the last two generations has been so rapid that it has outdistanced all the other towns in size, population, and general importance. Its name is derived from " Hean," meaning high, and "Ley," a pasture. It stands nearly 600 feet above the sea level, and is accounted one of the highest market towns in England. Its centre is 147½  miles from London, 2 miles E.N.E. of Newcastle-under-Lyme, 3 miles N.-W. by N. of Longton, 2 miles S.S.-E. of Burslem, about 1½  miles N. of Fenton, and its outskirts are in touch with almost all these places.

Hanley's rise really dates from about 1777, in which year the Trent and Mersey Canal was  completed. Eight years before then Josiah Wedgwood had established and opened the new factory which he called "Etruria" on the canal banks. From this period the town's progress has been steady and continuous, the population having grown from 7,090 in 1801, and 31,953 in 1861, to 61,599 in 1901. The estimated population in July, 1906, was 86,360.

From 1824 to 1857 the town was governed by commissioners, but on May 22nd of the last-named year it was incorporated, and this year (1907) it celebrates its municipal jubilee. The borough was constituted a county borough by the Local Government Act of 1838. On November 9th, 1905, the borough boundaries were extended so as to include part of the parish of Milton, containing an area of about 194 acres, a population of 1138, and a rateable value of £3,279. The present borough contains 1,962 acres, it has 11,470 burgesses on the roll; its rateable value to the poor rate is £245,544; to general district, rate, £239,075; a penny borough rate produces £890, and a penny general district rate £870.

Hanley contains districts known as Shelton, Etruria, Northwood, Birches Head, and part of Cobridge. Many of the leading potting factories in the world are situated in the borough, notably such houses as Wedgwood, Cauldon-place, Ridgways, Twyfords, Clementson's, Bishop and Stonier's, J. and G. Meakin, Johnson Bros., Bullers, Taylor and Tunnicliffe, and Howsons.

The great iron and steel works and collieries of the Shelton Iron, Steel, and Coal Company, Ltd., together with the colilieries of the Hanley Borough Colliery Company Ltd., find employment for many thousands of hands, in addition to those employed in the potting industry, and there are also large engineering works, and potters mills, colour works, and other manufactories incidental to the staple industry, in the borough.

Hanley has derived much of its importance in recent years from the enterprise and wide-awakeness of its tradespeople, who have drawn trade which formerly went elsewhere. Hand in hand with their progressive measures has gone a system of careful local government, which has brought increasing success to the town, though not without accompanying heavy expanses.

The town has to-day the finest Town Hall in North Staffordshire, to which is attached the Victoria Hall, a noble building which is the venue of the leading musical and political fixtures held in the Potteries. It has a magnificent Park, in which every year one of the chief of the provincial horticultural shows is held, besides a big pleasure fair. In addition there is a smaller Park at Etruria and another very-charming little Park at Northwood which, though not finished at the time of writing, will probably have been opened before this Directory is published.

Hanley maintains its own Turkish, vapour and swimming baths: a well-stocked public library and reading-room, with a branch reading-room at the Grove Schools, Northwood; admirable secondary and Art Schools; .An efficient system of elementary education; a Mechanics' Institution; a well kept museum, principally devoted to collections of pottery; a playground; a cemetery: commodious and remunerative wholesale and retail and meat markets; a municipal system of electrical supply both for heat and power; and a dust destructor. The town is equipped with one of the latest and most up-to-date  sewage works in the country. Over £70,000 has already been spent upon it, and its total cost will probably be £80,000, or even more. The trams, water, and gas are in the hands of companies.

Hanley has two fine theatres, the Theatre Royal, in Pall Mall, and the Grand Theatre of Varieties, in Trinity-street. Both are -comfortable and admirably equipped, while the entertainment is invariably of the best. The Grand has two separate performances nightly. The two theatres belong to the same company, of which Mr. Charles Elphinstone is the managing director. There is a third theatre, under the same proprietorship, in New-street, but it has not been running regularly for some years.

Each of the three leading political parties has a central premises of its own. The Liberal Club is in Percy-street; the Conservative Workingmen's Club is in Pall Mall; and the Workingmen's Club (the headquarters of the- Labour party) is in Glass-street. The Temperance Hall in High-street is much used for public meetings, which are also sometimes held at the Volunteer Drill Hall, a commodious building in Victoria-road, Shelton.

This hall is the headquarters of the 1st V.B. North Staffordshire Regiment, which is commanded by Colonel Dobson. Captain A. E. Blizzard is the commander of the Hanley detachment (“B," " K," and " 0 " Companies). The Artillery Barracks are  close by in Victoria-square. Lieutenant-Colonel Favell commands this corps, and Major H. E. Bishop is the headquarters staff officer. 

A handsome new Post Office for Hanley, situate in Tontine-street, was opened by the Postmaster-General in 1906, but though Hanley is the head telegraphic office for the Potteries, for postal purposes it is only a suboffice to Stoke.

Hanley Station is on the Loop Line of the N.S. Railway, which runs in one direction to Waterloo-road, Cobridge, and Burslem, and in the other to Etruria and Stoke. Etruria Station, which is on the main line, is practically on the boundary line of Stoke and Hanley.

Elijah Fenton, one of the minor poets, was a citizen of Hanley, having been born at Shelton Hall on May 25th, 1683. His history was written by Dr. Johnson and his epitaph by Pope.  

Fourdrinier, whose inventions in paper-making were of the utmost importance to the world at large, made his  name and fame in Hanley, and so, of course, did Wedgwood, the father of the English Potting trade. Wedgwood, it need hardly be said, was born at Burslem.

Early in August, the  annual holiday of the operatives, called "Stoke Wakes," is the occasion of the assembling in the streets of Hanley of a great pleasure fair, which some of the tradespeople and residents are agitating to abolish. Long before the town's charter of incorporation was granted, a number of convivial Hanley gentlemen, disliking being outvied by Newcastle in their civic feast, established a mock civic banquet. The first of these junkettings was held about 1783, and. the custom still survives. The feast is now called "The Hanley Venison Feast" and the members form a body called "The Ancient Corporation” The event is the occasion every year of a most enjoyable gathering, and the Duke of Sutherland still supplies a haunch of venison to grace the festive board. Another ancient body is the Hanley Association for the Prosecution of  Felons, -which still offers rewards for the detection of -crime. The Association's annualbanquet is one- of the social events of the year.

An annual treat to the old folks of Hanley is given at the Victoria Hall under the management of a Committee of the Council. It was formerly called the Gilbert Charity, after its founder. Since 1887, when the late Mr. George Meakin gave £200 for the purpose, a series of highclass popular "Meakin" Concerts has been given during the winter months of each year at the Victoria Hall. The concerts are excellently managed by Mr. George Barlow, the borough accountant.

Though Hanley's rates at the present time are 9s. 7d. in the £, the town's financial position is a strong- one, the abstract of accounts for the year 1906 showing; that its indebtedness was only .£348,026, whereas its nominal assets amounted to £659,266. In 1904-5 the rates were 9s. 10d. in the &, the highest point reached; but a quarter of a century ago they were only 4s. 8d. all told. Under the control of the Education Committee there .are at the present time twelve council schools with an average attendance of 7,985 scholars and four " non-provided" schools bringing up the total average attendance to 10,672.

The Parliamentary borough of Hanley was constituted by the Redistribution Act of 1885, and today it includes the municipal boroughs of Hanley and Burslem, with the exception of one small area of Hanley which is in the N.W. Division. The number of Parliamentary electors for 1907 is 16,243, including 9,996 in Hanley and 6,248 in Burslem. The sitting member is Mr. Enoch Edwards, M.P. (Lib.-Lab.), of Burslem, President of the Miners' Union, who polled 9183 votes at the 1906 election against the 4,287 polled by Mr. Arthur II. Heath, his opponent, who previously held the seat.

The principal Hanley Officials are:-Mr. A. Challinor (town clerk), Mr. J.  Lobley (borough surveyor and engineer), Mr G. Barlow (borough accountant), Mr. J. Clare (medical officer), Mr. G. E. Phillimore (clerk to the justices), Mr. R. J. Carter (chief constable), Mr. C. H. Yeaman (electrical engineer), Mr. W. T. Bonner (registrar of births, etc.), and Mr. W. M. Huntbach (coroner).

Petty Sessions are held at the Town Hall daily, and the Stipendiary sits at Hanley every Monday A separate Quarter Sessions was granted to Hanley on November 16th, 1880, and Mr. W. H. Clay is the present recorder. The 1907 Sessions will be held on Friday, April 12th, Friday July 12th, ;and Friday October 18th.

Hanley is in the Stoke Poor Law Union and sends eight members, one from each, ward, to the Stoke Board of Guardians.



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