Extract from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England, 1831.
Transcribed by Mel Lockie, © Copyright 2010
Lewis Topographical Dictionaries

HANLEY, a market-town and chapelry in the parish of STOKE-upon-TRENT, northern division of the hundred of PIREHILL, county of STAFFORD, 2 miles (N.E. by E.) from Newcastle, and 152 (N.W. by N.) from London, containing 5622 inhabitants. This place, which is situated within the populous district of the potteries, is of comparatively recent origin, and is chiefly inhabited by persons employed in those works, the proprietors of which have several handsome mansions in the neighbourhood. The streets are paved with brick, and lighted with gas under the superintendence of commissioners appointed by act of parliament in 1825, and amended in 1828, the provisions of which extend also to the adjoining hamlet of Shelton; and the inhabitants are supplied with water conveyed into their houses by pipes.

The principal articles of manufacture are china and earthenware, for which there are numerous manufactories, affording employment to a considerable part of the population, including women and children. The trade is greatly facilitated by the Trent and Mersey canal, which passes through the adjoining hamlet of Shelton, forming a channel of conveyance for the various articles manufactured, and an abundant supply of coal and other things requisite for their production. The market days are Wednesday and Saturday, and a large cattle market is held four times in the year. The police of the town is also under the control of the commissioners, and a chief bailiff is annually elected from among the most respectable inhabitants, whose chief business it is to convene and preside at all public meetings of the inhabitants.

The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry of Stafford, and diocese of Lichfield and Coventry, endowed with £1100 private benefaction, £1000 royal bounty, and £200 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Trustees of the chapel. By an act of parliament passed in 1827, for the endowment of new churches at Shelton and Longton, provision is made for the further endowment of the living of Hanley, and for its subsequent conversion into a distinct rectory, and the chapelry into a separate parish; and with a view to carry this measure into effect, a treaty is now in negociation for transferring the patronage to the bishop of the diocese.

The chapel, an indifferent edifice not entitled to any architectural description, is about to be rebuilt as a church for the intended rectory, by means of a grant from the parliamentary commissioners. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, Wesleyan and other Methodists, Unitarians, and a Roman Catholic chapel. A National school, in which five hundred children are educated, is supported by subscription; and there are Sunday schools in connexion with the established church and the several dissenting congregations, in which a great number of children is instructed.

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