HANLEY, a township, in the parish, borough, and union of Stoke-upon-Trent, N. division of the hundred of Pirehill and of the county of Stafford, 2½ miles (N. E. by E.) from Newcastle-under-Lyme, and 150 (N. W. by N.) from London; containing 10,185 inhabitants. This township, and the township of Shelton, which adjoins it, form together a large market-town in the centre of the populous district of the Potteries; they are of comparatively recent origin, and chiefly inhabited by persons employed in potteries, the proprietors of which have 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. In 1820, John Smith, Esq., at a great expense established water-works for the supply of Hanley, Shelton, Cobridge, and Burslem. The principal articles of manufacture are china and earthenware; and the trade is greatly facilitated by the Trent and Mersey canal, which passes through Shelton, forming a channel of conveyance for the various articles manufactured, and for an abundant supply of coal and other things requisite for their production. The market-days are Wednesday and Saturday. The market-house or shambles, erected in 1819, forms a commodious building, with stalls for about 130 butchers, and three spacious entrances; one of the fronts is handsomely faced with stone, and surmounted by a cupola. The police of the two townships is under the control of the local commissioners; and a chief bailiff is annually elected from among the most respectable inhabitants, whose business it is to convene and preside at public meetings. The powers of the county debt-court of Hanley, established in 1847, extend over part of the four registration districts of Stoke, Stone, Wolstanton and Burslem, and Leek and Longnor. The town-hall is a noble building, erected in 1843.
A chapel was erected at Hanley in 1788, on the site of an ancient chapel; it stands in a spacious cemetery, and is a large brick edifice, with a tower 100 feet in height. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £220, partly arising from 60 acres of land given by Mr. Bourne, in 1737; patrons, Trustees. By the Stoke Rectory act, passed in 1827, provision is made for the further endowment of the living, and for its conversion into a distinct rectory, and the chapelry into a separate parish; but this measure has not yet been carried into effect. Two districts, respectively named Northwood and Wellington, were formed in 1845, and endowed by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, under the 6th and 7th Victoria, cap. 37: each of the livings is in the gift of the Crown and the Bishop of Lichfield, alternately. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, Wesleyaus, and other Methodists; and national schools are supported by subscription, aided by part of the late Dr. Woodhouse's gift in support of the various schools within the parish of Stoke.