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Transcript from Pigot's Directory of Shropshire 1828-9

SHROPSHIRE

IS an inland county, bounded on the north by Cheshire and part of Flintshire, on the east by Staffordshire, On the south by Radnorshire, Herefordshire & Worcestershire, and on the west by Denbighshire and Montgomeryshire. Its average extent from north to south is nearly 50 miles, its extreme breadth from east to West about 40, and its circumference 160 miles, continuing about 850,000 acres.

SOIL. and CLIMATE.—Few counties are possessed of a greater variety of soil., or are more diversified in appearance, divided into nearly two equal parts by the Severn, its south portion assuming the mountainous character peculiar to the counties of Montgomery and Denbigh, whilst the north half, approaches more nearly to a level, agreeably relieved by a few single hills and romantic vallies, finely wooded. The meadows on the side of the Severn are extremely fertile, being frequently enriched by the overflowing of that river, which is navigable in its whole course. The CLIMATE is considered highly salubrious; the air is pure, although in many parts sharp and piercing.

PRODUCE, MANUFACTURES and MINERALS.—The productions of this county are various and valuable; the breed of cows and sheep deserving particular notice, the former giving large quantities of milk; and much of the cheese sold under the denomination of Cheshire, is produced from the dairies here; the sheep of its hilly tracts affording some of the finest fleeces in the kingdom. The whole county is in general well cultivated, yielding great quantities of grain, its southern bolder producing excellent hops, and agreeably varied with fine healthy orchards. Rich as this county is in the productions of the field, the treasures extracted from its bowels are not of minor importance: lead, iron, lime-stone, free-stone, pipe-clay and coals are found in abundance; and in the hundred of North Bradford are salt springs; whilst on the eastern side of the county are a number of extensive iron works, that give employment to some hundreds of hands. The manufactures are porcelain and flannel; the former is of great excellence, and in proportionate demand: the latter, though having somewhat receded from its former high importance, is by no means reduced to insignificance.

RIVERS and CANALS.—The rivers which either rise in, or in their course fertilize by their waters this county, are, the SEVERN, the TEME, the COLUN or Clun, the OUY, the WARREN, the REA, the TERN, and the RODAN; all producing great plenty of various kinds of fish. The CANALS which pass through the county are, the ELLESMERE, the SHREWSBURY, the KINGTON, the DONNINGTON-WOOD, and the DUDLEY EXTENSION CANAL.

Shropshire is included in the Oxford circuit, is in the province of Canterbury, and in the dioceses of Hereford, and Lichfield and Coventry, is divided into twelve hundreds, viz. BRADFORD NORTH and SOUTH, BRIMSTREY, CHIRBUREY, CONDOVER, FORD, MUNSLOW, OSWESTRY, OVERS, PIMHILL, PURSLOW and STOTTESDEN, besides the other divisions of ‘the borough of Bridgnorth,’ the ‘ borough of Ludlow,’ the ‘borough and liberties of Shrewsbury,’ and the ‘ town and liberties of Wenlock;’ these partitions containing collectively one county town (Shrewsbury) seventeen market-towns, and two hundred and thirty parishes. Salop county returns twelve members to parliament, viz. two each for the towns of .Shrewsbury, Wenlock, Bridgnorth, Ludlow, Bishops Castle, and two for the shire. The representatives returned for the county, at the election in 1826, were Sir Rowland Hill, Bart. and John C. Pelham, Esq.

POPULATION.—According to the census of 1821, there were houses inhabited in the county, 38,663; uninhabited, 1,012; and houses building, 179. The number of families then resident in the county was, 41,636; comprising 102,051; males, and 104,097 females; total, 206,153: and by a calculation made by order of government, which included persons in the army and navy, for which was added after the ratio of about one to thirty prior to the year 1811, and one to fifty for that year and the census of 1821, to the returns made from the several districts; the population of the county, in round numbers, in the year 1700, was 101,600—in 1750, 130,300—in 1801, 172,200—in 1811. 200,800—and in 1821, 210,300. The increased population in the fifty years, from the year 1700, was 28,700—from 1750 to 1801, the increase was 41,900—from 1801 to 1811, the increase was 28,600—and from 1811 to 1821, the increased number of persons was 9,500: the grand total increase in the population of the county, from the year 1700 to the census of 1821, being about 108,700 persons.

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