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Tamworth, Staffordshire

Historical Description

Tamworth, a market-town, a municipal borough, the head of a poor-law union, county court district, and petty sessional division, a township, a civil parish in Staffordshire, and an ecclesiastical parish in Staffordshire and Warwickshire. The town lies at the confluence of the rivers Tame and Anker, 7 miles SE of Lichfield, 14¼ NNE of Birmingham, and 110 by railway from London. It has a station on the L. & N.W.R. and M.R., and a head post office. Tamworth was known to the Saxons as Taman-weorthege or Tamaworthige. It had a palace and a mint of the Mercian kings. It was burnt by the Danes in 911 and rebuilt immediately afterwards by the Princess Ethelfleda; it was the death-place and the burial-place of that princess in 920, and was the marriage-place of Athelstan's sister in 924. It has a castle which was held at the Norman Conquest by Robert de Marmion, passed to the Freville, the Ferrers, and the Compton families, and is now the property of the Marquis Townshend. The town declined in the 16th century, but began soon afterwards to revive. It received a charter of incorporation from Elizabeth, was visited in 1619 by James I., gives the title of Viscount to Earl Ferrers, and is governed by a mayor, 4 aldermen, and 12 councillors. Tamworth is a well-built, pleasant town, with two bridges over the Tame and its tributaries. The Jubilee municipal buildings were erected in 1889. The church is a noble building of Decorated and Perpendicular architecture. The Norman church was burned down in 1345, but some fragments remained which were incorporated in the present building. A previous church was destroyed by the Danes in 874. The church was restored in 1872, and consists of choir with chantry chapel, transepts, clerestoried nave with aisles, and a handsome tower. It contains some ancient monuments of the Marmion, Freville, and Ferrers families, and an ancient font. There are Roman Catholic, Baptist, Congregational, Free and Primitive Methodist, Unitarian, and Wesleyan chapels, and a cemetery. The town contains also a free library, public baths and institute, three banks, a savings bank, a grammar school, founded about 1350, and refounded and endowed by Queen Elizabeth, a cottage hospital, enlarged in 1889, and almshouses, founded by Thomas Guy, who sat for Tamworth in Parliament, and was the founder of Guy's Hospital in London. Two weekly newspapers are published. The workhouse is at Wigginton. A bronze statue of Sir Robert Peel stands in the market-place. A weekly market is held on Saturday, stock sales on alternate Mondays, and a fair on 26 July. There are a clothing factory, smallware manufactories, and paper mills. Market gardening is largely carried on, and the inhabitants are also employed in the neighbouring collieries, fire-clay, and brick-clay mines. The municipal borough comprises 285 acres; population, 6614, It has a commission of the peace. Tamworth from very early times returned two members to the House of Commons, but in 1885, under the Redistribution of Seats Act, its representation was merged in that of the county. Under the Local Government Act of 1894 portions of Bolehall and Glascote in Warwickshire, and of Tamworth Castle Liberty, which were already included in the municipal borough, were added to the civil parish, which is now conterminous with the municipal borough. The remaining portion of Tamworth Castle Liberty was added partly to Bolehall and Glascote and partly to Wilnecote, which now takes the title of Wilnecote and Castle Liberty. The ecclesiastical parish includes the townships of Bolehall and Glascote, and of Amington and Stonydelph in Warwickshire, and the hamlet of Hopwas in Staffordshire. Fazeley, Wigginton, and Wilnecote form separate ecclesiastical parishes. The living of Tamworth is a vicarage, with the chapelries of Amington, Glascote, and Hopwas annexed, in the diocese of Lichfield; gross value, £248 with residence.

Tamworth or Northern Parliamentary Division of Warwickshire was formed under the Redistribution of Seats Act of 1885, and returns one member to the House of Commons. Population, 54,137. The division includes the following:- Birmingham-Aston (such part as is not within the parliamentary boroughs of Birmingham and Aston Manor), Sutton. Coldfield, Solihull-Baddesley Clinton, Balsall, Barston, Elmdon, Hampton-in-Arden, Knowle, Sheldon, Solihull; Atherstone (part of)-Amington and Stonedelph, Austrey, Bolehall and Glascote, Grendon and Whittington, Kingsbury, Middleton, Newton Regis, No Man's Heath, Polesworth, Seckington, Shuttington, Tamworth Castle, Wilnecote and Castle Liberty; Coleshill-Bickenhill, Castle Bromwich, Coleshill, Curdworth, Lea Marston, Maxstoke, Minworth, Nether Whitacre, Over Whitacre, Shustoke, Tamworth borough (part of). Water Orton, Wishaw and Moxhall, Birmingham, municipal borough.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5

Administration

The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyStaffordshire 
Ecclesiastical parishTamworth St. Edith 
HundredOfflow 
Poor Law unionTamworth 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.


Church Records

Findmypast, in association with the Staffordshire & Stoke on Trent Archive Service have the Baptisms, Banns, Marriages, and Burials online for Tamworth


Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Tamworth from the following:


Land and Property

A full transcript of the Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Staffordshire is online.


Maps

Online maps of Tamworth are available from a number of sites:


Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Staffordshire newspapers online:


Villages, Hamlets, &c

Comberford
Coton (Tamworth)
Fazeley
Syerscote
Wigginton
DistrictTamworth
CountyStaffordshire
RegionWest Midlands
CountryEngland
Postal districtB79
Post TownTamworth