Stafford Staffordshire Family History Guide

Stafford comprises of the following parishes:

  • Stafford Christ Church, Staffordshire
  • Stafford St Chad, Staffordshire
  • Stafford St Mary, Staffordshire

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

STAFFORD, a town, a parish, a sub-district, and a district, in Staffordshire. The town stands on the river Sow, and on the Northwestern railway, at the junction of the lines to Shrewsbury and to Colwich, 29 miles NNW of Birmingham; was known to the Saxons as Staefford or Stafeford; grew around a castle built, in 913, by Ethelfleda, sister of Edward the Elder; had a mint in the times of Edward the Confessor and William the Conqueror; was given, by the latter, to Richard de Todeni; acquired, in his time, a new castle; was visited, in 1575, by Queen Elizabeth; had, as natives, the monkish historian John of Stafford, the Bishop of Exeter John of Stafford, Wycliffe's opponent T. Assheburn, the theologian F. Fitzherbert, and the famous angler Izaak Walton; gives the title of Marquis to the family of Gower, and that of Baron to the family of Jerningham; is a seat of assizes and quarter-sessions, a polling place, and the head-quarters of the Staffordshire militia; publishes a weekly newspaper; stands on low ground, among pleasant environs; comprises well built streets, the contiguous suburb of Forebridge, and the detached suburb of Stoneroad; retains one of the gates of an ancient encompassing town-wall; and has a head post-office, a r. station with telegraph, two banking offices, two chief inns, and a number of public buildings, schools, and institutions

The castle stood on a bold, well-wooded, conical eminence SW of Forebridge; underwent restoration in the time of Edward III.; was taken and dismantled in 1643; and gave place, in 1810-5, to a massive castellated private edifice, flanked by octagonal towers, but left off unfinished. The Manchester and Liverpool banking office was built in 1867; and is in the pointed style, of red brick, with stone-dressings and red stone shafts. The county and town hall, with assembly-rooms, was built in 1798, at a cost of more than £5,000; and has a front 120 feet long, with Doric portico. The county jail was built in 1793; and has capacity for 528 male and 152 female prisoners. St. Mary's church is cruciform, and chiefly early English; was restored in 1846, at a cost of £16,000; has a lofty octagonal tower; and was once collegiate for a dean and 13 prebendaries. St. Chad's church is small, and was originally Saxon; but has been almost entirely altered by additions and repairs. There are chapels for Independents, Baptists, Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, and Roman Catholics; and the last was built in 1862, and is in the decorated English style. A grey friary was founded in the time of Edward I., and an Augustinian friary in 1344; but they have completely disappeared. A black priory was founded, on a spot 2 miles to the E, about 1180; and has left some vestiges. The grammar-school dates from the time of Edward VI.; was endowed with the property of two dissolved hospitals; and has £335 a year from endowment. There are also national, British, and industrial schools, a mechanics' institute, and a public library. The county infirmary was built partly in 1766, partly at two subsequent periods; and has beds for 78 patients. The county lunatic asylum was built in 1812-8, at a cost of £30,525; stands on a plot of 30 acres, with gardens and pleasure-grounds; and has accommodation for 500 patients. There are three suites of alms houses; and the total of endowed charities is about £1,360. The manufacture of boots and shoes is the staple trade; and the transit railway traffic produces much business. A weekly market is held on Saturday; and there are 7 annual fairs. The town was chartered by King John; has sent two members to parliament since the time of Edward I.; and, under the new act, is governed by a mayor, 5 aldermen, and 18 councillors. The corporation revenue is about £1,260. The borough limits are the same parliamentarily as municipally; and include part of the united parish of St. Mary and St. Chad, and part of the parish of Castle-Church. Real property in 1860, £27,919; of which £1,065 are in gasworks. Amount of property and income tax charged in 1863, £1,066. Electors in 1833, 1,176; in 1863, 1,520. Pop. in 1851, 11,829; in 1861, 12,532. Houses, 2,241.

The parish of S. is St. Mary and St. Chad; includes the townships of Whitgreave, Marston, Salt and Enson, and Hopton and Coton, and is ecclesiastically cut into the sections of St. Mary, St. Chad, Christchurch, Salt, and Marston-with-Whitgreave. Acres, 6,373. Pop. in 1851, 12,176; in 1861, 13,206. Houses, 2,223. The living of St. Mary is two-fold, a rectory and a p. curacy, and the other livings are p. curacies, in the diocese of Lichfield. Value of St. Mary rectory, £400; of St. Mary p. curacy, £170; of St. Chad, £85; of Christchurch, £300. Patron of St. M. rectory, the Lord Chancellor; of St. M. p. curacy, and of Christchurch, the Rector of St. M.; of St. Chad, the Prebendary in Lichfield Cathedral. Salt and Marston are separately noticed. The sub-district contains also 3 other parishes, and 5 extra-parochial tracts. Acres, 17,581. Pop., 14,739. Houses, 2,521. The district comprehends also Castle-Church and Colwich sub-districts, and comprises 52,022 acres. Poor rates in 1863, £7,440. Pop. in 1851, 22,787; in 1861, 24,474. Houses, 4,503. Marriages in 1863, 178; births, 828, of which 52 were illegitimate; deaths, 646, of which 267 were at ages under 5 years, and 14 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 1,820; births, 7,133; deaths, 5,263. The places of worship, in 1851, were 27 of the Church of England, with 8,243 sittings; 1 of English Presbyterians, with 400 s.; 3 of Independents, with 950 s.; 1 of Quakers, with 124 s.; 4 of Wesleyans, with 706 s.; 2 of New Connexion Methodists, with 520 s.; 4 of Primitive Methodists, with 396 s.; 1 of Brethren, with 50 s.; 1 undefined, with 250 s.; and 3 of Roman Catholics, with 579 s. The schools were 28 public day-schools, with 2,004 scholars; 38 private day-schools, with 840 s.; and 26 Sunday schools, with 2,817 s. The workhouse is in Stafford; and, at the census of 1861, had 144 inmates.

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


Battey Wm. and Edw., Stafford, boot and shoe manufacturers, July 24, 1824.

Bromley John, Stafford, shoe manufacturer, Nov. 10, 1826.

Burgin Francis, Stafford, tanner, May 15, 1832.

Yates Charles, Stafford, banker, Jan. 19, 1830.

Source: Extracted from The Bankrupt Directory; George Elwick; London; Simpkin, Marshall and Co.; 1843.


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