Market Drayton, Shropshire & Staffordshire Family History Guide

Market Drayton is an Ancient Parish partly in Shropshire and partly in Staffordshire.

Alternative names: Drayton, Drayton Magna, Drayton in Hales

The parish includes the townships of Drayton-Magna, Drayton-Parva, Betton, Longslow, Sutton, and Woodseaves, within Salop; and the townships of Almington and Bloore-with-Tyrley and Hales, within Stafford

Status: Ancient Parish

Parish church:

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1558
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1682

Nonconformists include: Baptist, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Independent/Congregational, Primitive Methodist, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Table of Contents

Parishes adjacent to Market Drayton

Historical Descriptions

Market Drayton

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

DRAYTON-IN-HALES, or Market-Drayton, a town, a parish, a sub-district, and a district on the mutual border of Salop and Stafford; and a division in Salop. The town stands on the Tern, adjacent to the Liverpool and Birmingham canal, 19 miles NE of Shrewsbury. A railway to it from the London and North-western at Nantwich, 10¾ miles long, was opened in October, 1863; and another railway to it, on a line with this, and to be in connexion with it, from the Great Western at Wellington, 15½ miles long, was in operation previous to 1869. The town occupies the site of a Roman station, and is the Driatune of Domesday; and it had anciently a White priory, founded by Bishop Northborough. It has a head post office, of the name of Market-Drayton, two banking offices, two chief inns, three dissenting chapels, a workhouse, a grammar school with £39 from endowment, and other charities with £232; and is a seat of petty sessions. The church was built in the time of King Stephen, but has a steeple of much more recent date; and was renovated in 1787. Markets are held on Wednesdays; and fairs on the Wednesday before Palm-Sunday, the Wednesday before 22 June, 19 Sept., and 24 Oct. Manufactures of haircloth, paper, and malt are carried on. Pop., 3,661. Houses, 803. The parish includes the townships of Drayton-Magna, Drayton-Parva, Betton, Longslow, Sutton, and Woodseaves, within Salop; and the townships of Almington and Bloore-with-Tyrley and Hales, within Stafford. Acres, 14,216; of which 7,526 are in Salop. Rated property, £25,411. Pop., 5,242. Houses, 1,104. The property is much subdivided. The manor belonged to Combermere abbey. A fierce battle was fought, in 1459, on Bloore-heath, about a mile from the town, between the Yorkists and the Lancastrians. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Lichfield. Value, £280. Patron, Richard Corbet, Esq. The chapelries of Drayton-Parva and Hales are separate benefices.—The sub-district is conterminate with the parish.—The district belongs all to the registration county of Salop; but includes Ashley parish and parts of Drayton-in-Hales and Mucclestone parishes electorally in Stafford and part of Audlem parish, electorally in Cheshire. It comprehends, besides Market-Drayton sub-district, the sub-district of Hodnet, containing the parishes of Cheswardine, Hinstock, Childs-Ercall, Stoke-upon-Tern, and the greater part of Hodnet; and the sub-district of Moreton-Say, containing the parishes of Moreton-Say, Adderley, Norton-in-Hales, Mucclestone, Ashley, and part of Audlem. Acres, 67,910. Poor-rates in 1862, &4,836. Pop. in 1841, 13,950; in 1861, 14,260. Houses, 2,961. Marriages in 1860,102; births, 431, of which 63 were illegitimate; deaths, 338, of which 119 were at ages under 5 years, and 8 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851 60,960; births, 4,217; deaths, 2,812. The places of worship in 1851 were 15 of the Church of England, with 6,780 sittings; 5 of Independents, with 1,085 s.; 2 of Baptists, with 182 s.; 6 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 470 s.; 13 of Primitive Methodists, with 1,064 s.; 1 undefined, with 180 s.; and 1 of Roman Catholics, with 24 s. The schools were 20 public day schools, with 1,398 scholars; 27 private day schools, with 588 s.; 29 Sunday schools, with 1,933 s.; and 2 evening schools for adults, with 16 s. The division contains seven parishes and parts of three others. Acres, 54,595. Pop., 11,582. Houses, 2,271.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales 1851

Drayton-in-Hales, or Market-Drayton, a market-town and parish in Drayton division and union, north hund. of Bradford, county of Salop. Acres 6,880. Houses 801. A. P. £16,777. Pop., in 1801, 3,162; in 1831, 3,882. The parish is in 4 divisions, viz., the church quarter, containing Great and Little Drayton, the last about a mile distant, on the road to Shrewsbury; the north quarter, containing the hamlets of Belton, Ridgewardine, and Tunstull; the south quarter, containing the hamlets of Longslow, Sutton, and Woodseves; and Tirley quarter, situated in Staffordshire, containing the hamlets of Almington, Blore, Hales, and Tirley. The market-town of Drayton is pleasantly situated on the north-west bank of the Tern; 153 miles north-west by north of London, and 19 miles north-east by north of Shrewsbury, close upon the Liverpool and Birmingham Junction canal. Living, a vicarage in the archd. of Salop and dio. of Lichfield; rated at £12 10s. 7½d., returned at £130: gross income £174. Patron, in 1835, trustees of Sir C. Corbet. Here is an Independent church, formed in 1775. A free grammar-school was founded here in the reign of Philip and Mary. The income, however, was only about £40 when the commissioners on charities visited Drayton, and there were no free scholars at the school, although there was no want of attention or capability on the part of the master. The yearly income of numerous other charities was about £230. Poor rates, in 1837, £1,352. The Market-Drayton poor-law union comprehends 12 parishes, embracing an area of 91 square miles; with a population returned in 1831, at 13,027. The average annual expenditure on the poor of this district, during the three years preceding the formation of the union, was £5,598. Expenditure in 1838, £3,190; in 1839, £3,225. The petty-sessions for Drayton division are held here. Each quarter of the parish has a separate overseer, accountable to the acting overseer of Great Drayton. The trade has much decreased since the introduction of canals. The principal manufactures have been hair-cloth, paper, and malt. The market-day is Wednesday. Fairs for cattle, horses, sheep, swine, and woollen and hempen cloth are held the Wednesday before Palm-Sunday, Wednesday before the 22d of June, 19th of September, and 24th of October. This is supposed to have been one of the principal cities of the ancient Britons. It was the Roman station Mediolanum.

Source: The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales; A Fullarton & Co. Glasgow; 1851.

Gregory Shropshire Gazetteer 1824

Drayton or Drayton Magna or Drayton in Hales or Market Drayton. A market town in the Drayton division of the hundred of Bradford, North. 18 miles north-east of Shrewsbury, and 154 north-west of London. Lat. 2. 56N. Long. 2. 35 W. It is a vicarage in charge, in the diocese of Coventry and Lichfield, the deanery of Newport, and archdeaconry of Salop. 747 houses, 3,700 inhabitants.
Drayton is situated in the north-eastern extremity of the County, on the borders of Staffordshire. It is a neat little town, and is watered by the river Tern. Though no coins, pavements, or other monuments of antiquity have been discovered either in or near it, it is nevertheless strongly conjectured that this town was one of the Roman stations. Its parish church, dedicated to St. Mary, and built in the reign of King Stephen was thoroughly repaired in 1787, after having been stripped of its Gothick honours. The steeple is, to all appearance, of later date than the body of the church, as the former needed no repair, when the latter was in ruins.
Previously to the introduction of canals, Drayton had one of the greatest markets in the district. The wharf at Stone, in Staffordshire, drew much of its trade. There is a manufactory of paper, and another of hair, for chair bottoms, &c.
Near this town, during the heat of the desolating wars between the houses of York and Lancaster, a battle was fought, which proved very disastrous to the gentry of Cheshire, for though the victory was not decisive on either side, the contest continued so long, and with so much animosity, that great numbers of both parties were slain.
Drayton has fairs on the Wednesday before Palm Sunday, Wednesday before June 22, September 19, October 24. Market on Wednesday.

Source: The Shropshire Gazetteer, with an Appendix, including a Survey of the County and Valuable Miscellaneous Information, with Plates. Printed and Published by T. Gregory, Wem, 1824

The History and Topography of Shropshire 1820

Drayton, or Market Drayton, a clean little town, watered by the river Terne.

Q. Give some particulars of Drayton.
A. Drayton is 160 miles from London, and 18 From Shrewsbury; has a population of 3370 persons, a market on Wednesday, once the largest in the district, but now much diminished - a manufacture of paper, and another of horse hair chair-bottoms, &c. The church is ancient, but presents nothing remarkable. A bloody battle was fought near this town, between the adherents of the house of York and those of the house of Lancaster, with little advantage on either side.

Q. What seats are in the vicinity of Drayton ?
A. In the vicinity of Drayton are Tunstall Hall, Sharington Park, Cloverly Hall, and Peatswood. A little to the north of Sharington Park is Adderley, or Atherley, once a place of note, but now inconsiderable.

Q, Do we meet with anything deserving notice in our road from Drayton to Shrewsbury ?
A. On leaving Drayton we pass through the villages of Little Drayton, Ternhill, and Hodnet (a place of considerable antiquity,) and near Stoke (where are the remains of an ancient castle,) Hawkstone Park, the seat of Sir John Hill, Bart.; Stanton, Shawbury Park, Battlefield, and Haughmond Abbey.

Q. Describe Hawkstone Park.
A. Hawkstone Park, long the residence of the Hill family, is a highly celebrated seat. The house is an elegant modern edifice, with wings, situated on the rising of a romantic hill; the western front is adorned with a fine portico, and the interior is fitted up in a magnificent manner. Among the valuable paintings which enrich its walls, the “Siege of Namur” is particularly valued, as the principal characters are portraits of William III. the Elector of Bavaria, the Duke of Marlborough, Count Cohorn, a celebrated engineer, and the Right Hon. Richard Hill.

Q. What may be observed of the grounds?
A. The grounds possess every advantage that can be desired from the hand of nature; and art has been busy, in some cases successfully, in adding to their charms. But the eye of taste is frequently attended by puerile conceits, which are ill suited to the refinement of the present age. Among these may be classed the figure of a hermit, sitting at a table, in a natural cave, called The Retreat, with a skull, an hour-glass, a book and pair of spectacles lying before him. This automaton is made to answer questions and recite verses.

Q. What is remarkable in the vicinity of this seat?
A. A little to the south is a romantic hanging wood, called the Bury Walls, where are the a remains of a Roman camp, secured on three sides by an inaccessible rock, and on the other by a triple entrenchment. Coins and armour have formerly been found here.

Q. Do not these domains boast another remain of antiquity?
A. Yes; at the north-western extremity of the park are the ruins of an edifice called Red Castle, situated on the summit of a lofty hill, or rock of red stone. The broken walls and turrets of the edifice appearing through the trees, form an interesting object from a distance.

Source: The History and Topography of Shropshire; William Pinnock Jolibois; 1820.

Bloor (Staffordshire)

Gregory Shropshire Gazetteer 1824

Bloor. (Staffordshire) A township in the parish of Drayton, but belonging to Staffordshire; reckoned to Shropshire for the militia.

Source: The Shropshire Gazetteer, with an Appendix, including a Survey of the County and Valuable Miscellaneous Information, with Plates. Printed and Published by T. Gregory, Wem, 1824


Lewis Topographical Dictionary of England 1845

Hales, a township, in the parish and union of Drayton, N. division of the hundred of Pirehill and of the county of Stafford, 2½ miles (E. by S.) from Drayton. A church has been built, containing 100 free sittings.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis Fifth Edition Published London; by S. Lewis and Co., 13, Finsbury Place, South. M. DCCC. XLV.

Little Drayton

Gregory Shropshire Gazetteer 1824

Drayton Parva; or Little Drayton. A township in the parish of Drayton Magna, or in Hales, and in the Drayton division of the hundred of Bradford, North, adjoining to Drayton.

Source: The Shropshire Gazetteer, with an Appendix, including a Survey of the County and Valuable Miscellaneous Information, with Plates. Printed and Published by T. Gregory, Wem, 1824

Parish Registers

The Register of Market Drayton Independent Chapel 1776-1836

Shropshire parish registers : Nonconformist and Roman Catholic registers (1903)

Author: Shropshire Parish Register Society; Evans, George Eyre; Fletcher, W. G. D. (William George Dimock), 1851-1935; Kinsella, William

Publisher: [London] : Privately printed for the Shropshire Parish Register Society

The Register of Market Drayton Independent Chapel 1776-1836 -


Market Drayton 1791


Market Drayton 1900: Shropshire Sheet 16.02 (Old Ordnance Survey Maps of Shropshire)

Ordnance Survey Maps: Market Drayton No. 33 (Victorian Ordnance Survey) by David & Charles Publishing


Below is a list of people that were declared bankrupt between 1820 and 1843 extracted from The Bankrupt Directory; George Elwick; London; Simpkin, Marshall and Co.; 1843.

Baker James, Drayton in Hales, Shropshire, tanner, Feb. 12, 1828.
Вееston James, Drayton in Hales, Salop, mercer, Sept. 25, 1821.
Bratton John, Drayton in Hales, Salop, tanner, July 29, 1834
Butterton John, Drayton in Hales, Salop, money scrivener, Dec. 17, 1822.
Dawes Robert, Drayton-in-Hales, Salop, mercer, June 6, 1826.
Green John, Drayton in Hales, Salop, druggist, July 3, 1827.
Peak John Berks, Market Drayton, Salop. tanner, Oct. 28, 1834.
Smallwood Thomas, Drayton-in-Hales, Salop, banker, April 8, 1823.
Spendelow Rich., Drayton-in-Hales, Salop, ironmonger & grocer, May 10, 1823.
Worthen Samuel, Hinckley Mills, Drayton, Salop, miller, June 13, 1837.


County: Shropshire and Staffordshire
Civil Registration District: Market Drayton
Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Lichfield (Episcopal Consistory)
Diocese: Lichfield
Rural Deanery: Market Drayton
Poor Law Union: Market Drayton
Hundred: Shropshire: North Bradford; Staffordshire: North Pirehill
Province: Canterbury