Stoke-upon-Trent (St. Peter ad Vincula)
The rectory of Stoke was originally much more extensive; it has at different times been subdivided, and parts of it formed into distinct parishes and rectories. In the year 1807 an act was passed for separating from it the chapelries of Newcastle, Burslem, Whitmore, Bucknall with Bagnall, and Norton-on-the-Moors, which are now distinct rectories, though Bucknall and Bagnall still form part of this parish for civil purposes. In 1827, the late Mr. Tomlinson, the patron, procured an act of parliament authorising the sale, to the respective landowners, of all tithes and dues belonging to the rectory, and for the endowment of two new churches, at Shelton and Longton. The living of Stoke is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £41. 0. 10.; net. income, £2717. The old church is supposed to have been built before the Conquest, and is mentioned in the Taxation of Pope Nicholas in 1291, with its chapels annexed, and valued at 60 marks. Being not only too small for the increased population, but also in a state of decay, it was taken down, and in 1826 a new church was erected near its site, at an expense of more than £14,000, of which the greater part was raised by subscription, £3300 were given by Dr. Woodhouse, the rector, and the remainder was obtained by the sale of pews, and by parochial rates. It is a handsome structure in the later English style: the east window, presented by Dr. Woodhouse, is a fine specimen of stained glass, after the antique, containing fifteen well-executed figures of the Apostles and Evangelists; and in four side windows are the arms of the bishop, archdeacon, rector, and patron, and of some of the principal contributors. In the chancel are several monuments of statuary marble by eminent sculptors; those of the late Josiah Wedgwood, Esq., of Etruria, and Mrs. Wedgwood, were removed from the old church. The churchyard contains nearly five acres, and is fenced with a stone-wall and iron-railing. The parsonagehouse, at a small distance from the church, has been enlarged and modernised from the funds of the rectory. The other incumbencies in the parish are those at Bucknall, Edensor, Etruria, Fenton, Hanley, Hartshill, Hope, Lane-End, Longton, Northwood, Penkhull, Shelton, Trent-Vale, and Wellington. In the town are places of worship for Baptists, the Society of Friends, Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, and Methodists of the New Connexion; and a national school supported by subscription, and by an allotment of one-third of the proceeds arising from Dr. Woodhouse's permanent endowment. Dr. John Lightfoot, the eminent Hebrew scholar, was born in the rectory-house, in 1602.
Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.