Madeley-Market (All Saints)

MADELEY-MARKET (All Saints), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, within the liberties of the borough of Wenlock, S. division of Salop, 4½ miles (S. W. by W.) from Shiffnall, 15 (S. E.) from Shrewsbury, and 148 (N. W.) from London; containing 7368 inhabitants. The name of this town indicates its situation between two rivers, and the adjunct arose from the grant of a market here, in the time of Henry III., to a community of Cluniac monks at Wenlock, to whom Madeley belonged. After the disastrous battle of Worcester, in 1651, Charles II. obtained temporary shelter in a house near the church, then occupied by Mr. Wolfe, and which is still remaining. Madeley stands on rising ground, and extends to Colebrookdale, which is environed by lofty hills and hanging woods, and in which are most extensive iron-works. Across the Severn, here, is a cast-iron bridge of one arch, erected in 1779, the span of which is 100 feet 6 inches, and the height from the base line to the centre, 40 feet; the total weight of iron being 378 tons: all the principal parts were erected in three months. Part of the parish derives the name of Iron-Bridge from this stupendous undertaking. About two miles south-eastward from Madeley, at the junction of the Shropshire canal with the Severn, is Coalport, where coal is landed from the mines in the neighbourhood, and whence it is conveyed to different parts of the counties of Gloucester and Worcester. Here are likewise a porcelain manufactory, a rope-yard, timber-yard, and mill for extracting linseed-oil. A neat iron bridge was constructed across the river at this point, in 1817, instead of a former bridge of wood; and not far distant, a tunnel about one mile in length, and partially arched with brick, was begun, as a more direct conveyance for coal, but was never completed. The market of Madeley having fallen into disuse, it was revived about 1763, when a new markethouse was erected near the foot of the iron bridge in Colebrook-dale: the market is on Friday; and fairs are held on January 26th, May 29th, and October 12th. The powers of the county debt-court of Madeley, established in 1847, extend over the registration-districts of Madeley and Shiffnall.

The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £4. 17. 10.; net income, £241; patron, Sir J. R. Kynaston, Bart.; impropriator, Sir J. Hawley, Bart. The ancient church, which exhibited several early Norman specimens, was pulled down in 1796, when the present edifice was erected. An additional church was built in 1834, to which a district, called St. Luke's, Iron-Bridge, was assigned in 1845; it contains 1060 sittings, 660 of which are free: the living is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the Vicar of Madeley. There are places of worship for Wesleyans and Roman Catholics. The house of industry here was completed in 1797, at an expense of £1086, of which £806 were raised by subscription, and £235 by the sale of certain property previously held in trust for the poor. The union of Madeley comprises 12 parishes or places, containing a population of 26,253. In the different strata of coal, iron-ore, and sandstone, which abound in the neighbourhood, numerous petrifactions, with impressions of animal and vegetable substances, of various kinds, have been found. The Rev. John William Fletcher, a native of Switzerland, whose Checks to Antinomianism is a standard theological work, and whose character is so deservedly admired, was appointed to the vicarage of Madeley in 1760, and held it until his death in 1785; he was interred in the churchyard.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.