[Bromsgrove] is situated near the rise of the river Salwarp, 12 miles from Worcester, and 114 form London. It is the center of the roads to Coventry, Worcester and Shrewsbury. This town is governed by a bailiff, recorder, and aldermen; In the reign of King Edward I it sent two members to parliament, and has had many privileges conferred on it by the different sovereigns of England. King Edward VI founded a grammar-school here, and Sir Thomas Cooks added to the endowment. The church is ancient, but handsome; the tower and spire of which is said to be the completest in the county, 189 feet high; the church stands on a hill, which you ascend by 50 steps, and has some painted glass, and good monuments. Here is a market on Tuesday, and two fairs annually, viz. on June 24 and October 1. A cotton manufactory, established about 10 years ago, is now converted into a worsted manufactory, by Messrs. Adams & Co. Broad and narrow cloths were formerly manufactured here, but that trade has long since passed into Gloucestershire. This parish is also famed for its manufacture of linen-cloths, fish-hooks, needles, nails, and linseys; and has coal and lime. The brooks hereabouts are remarked for fine trout, eels and lamperets. Here is also a brook which runs close to the town, and may be turned through it in a few minutes, in case of fire, or in cleaning the streets. This parish contains twelve manors, viz. Bromsgrove, Burcott, Chadwick, Bunnill, Gannow, Dodford, Woodcot, Dyers, Grafton, Whittford, the manor of the mill, and the manor of the rectory. The lord of the manor holds a court-baron every three weeks, for the recovery of debts under 40s in the town-hall. The air is very salubrious, and the soil very fertile.
On the Lickey, in the parish of Bromsgrove, rises the river Arrow, which empties itself into the Avon, near Stratford; as does the Salwarpe, which falls into the Severn at Hawford, near Worcester; and another which falls into the Trent. The Lickey is generally esteemed some of the highest land in the kingdom. It contains about 2000 acres of waste land, and the sheep thereon are remarkable for fine wool.
The mail-coach from Birmingham to Bristol passes through this town every night and morning, bringing all post-letters; a coach from Birmingham to Bath three times a week; a coach from Birmingham to Bristol every day, (Sunday excepted) and one from Birmingham to Worcester.
Bufford’s Stoubridge Waggon passes through Bromsgrove to London three times a week; also a caravan from Wolverhampton to Worcester comes through every Tuesday and Wednesday; and is a great convenience to that cross country.
At Barnet-green in this parish is a fine chalybeate water, little used, unless by people in the neighbourhood; and near Hollwood is a most surprizing petrifying water.
The principal inhabitants of Bromsgrove in 1791 were:

Gentry, &c

Allen Thomas, Esq. (F.)
Ainsworth Thomas, Esq. (F.)
Brettell Thomas, Esq. (F.)
Blackmore Miss
Burlton Bolton John, Esq. (F.)
Baylis Mrs. widow
Burden Mrs.
Butterworth James, Esq. (F.)
Craigg John, Esq
Chance William, Esq. (F.)
Carenter John, Esq. (F.) Woodrow
Cresswell Dan. Esq. Bomerly-Hall
Cromwell Mrs. widow
Cromwell John, Esq. (F.)
Dugard Benj. Esq. Grimley
Dorrell Mrs.
Dorrell John Chambers, Esq
Hinde Charles, Esq. Park-hall
Harvey Mrs. widow
Haden Samuel, Esq. (F.)
Male Benjamin, Esq. Lydiat
Morris Mrs. widow
Piercey Mrs.
Read John, Esq. (F.) Valley
Reeve John, Esq.
Rose Mrs. widow
Shenstone Richard, Esq. (F.)
Steadman Joseph, Esq
Talbott Hon. John, (F.) Grafton
Tevamley Mrs.
Tibboth Mrs.
Turner William, Esq. (F.)
Thomas S. Vernon, Esq. Frockbury
Wilkes Richard, Esq. (F.)
Williams Tho. Esq. (F.) Money-lane
Welchman Miss
Walker Mrs. Ann
Wharton Joshua, Esq. (F.)
Yarnold Mrs. widow


Fountain Rev. Mr. Vicar, and Prebendary of Worcester Cathedral
Shipley Rev. Charles Lewis, Curate and Master of the Grammar School
Taylor Rev. John, (F.) Frockbury
Welch Rev. John, Lydiat
Wells Rev. Wm. Dissenting Minister


Collett Thomas, (F.) Surgeon
Martin Thomas, (F.) Surgeon
Nash Thomas, (F.) Surgeon
Woodcock Anthony, (F.) Surgeon


Brettell Joseph, (F.) Attorney
Huband Thomas, Attorney
Webb John, Attorney
Wattel Richard, Attorney

Traders, &c

Ashmore John, (F.) Carrier
Asplin Joseph, (F.) Shoe-maker
Austin Mary, Cooper
Austin Elizabeth, Milliner
Austin Joseph, Baker
Amphlett Joseph, (F.) Baker
Asplin Thomas, Baker
Ashwell Caleb, Baker
Ashmore Thomas, Tripe-seller
Brooke Wm. (F.) Plumber & Glazier
Bell John, (F.) Carrier
Bell Joshua, (F.) Shoe-maker
Blackford William, (F.) Victualler
Buttler Sam. (F.) Carpenter & Joiner
Beddall Daniel, Grocer
Beddall Sarah, Grocer
Brain Thomas, (F.) Grocer
Binns Daniel and Son, Nail-factors & Cork-cutters
Bullock Abraham, Supervisor of Excise
Brooke Joseph, Victualler
Blue John, Dyer
Buggin George, Grocer
Brooke Richard, Taylor
Brooke William, Taylor
Cottman, Adams, and Co. Worsted and Yarn-manufacturers
Connard William, (F.) Skinner
Callow Thomas, (F.) Baker
Crane John, Watch-maker
Crane Ann, School-mistress
Cromwell John, (F.) Brazier, Ironmonger, and Tin-plate-worker
Cromwell Richard, Sheriff’s – officer
Culwick Mich. (F.) Innkeeper (Crown)
Connard J. Needle and Fish-hook-maker
Collet Thomas, (F.) Maltster
Collet Richard, (F.) Maltster and Manufacturer of Flaxen-cloth
Crampton William, Grocer
Court Edward, (F.) Victualler
Cox John, Schoolmaster, Bercott
Cox Thomas, Hair-dresser
Cauldecott George, Schoolmaster
(Coder?) James, Baker
Chillingworth John, (F.) Grocer
Chillingworth Henry, (F.) Maltster & Brickmaker
Clement John, Maltster & Victualler
Cauldwell -, Shopkeeper
Dipple Frances, Grocer
Duffill Joseph, Whitener and Manufacturer of Flaxen-cloth
Davis James, Cork-cutter
Dunklin George, flax-dresser
Edwards Thomas, (F.) Clock-maker
Ellins Elizabeth, Grocer
Fisher Mrs. Sadler
Ford Mrs. Bookseller
Greaves William, (F.) Ironmonger
Green Edward, Coffin-furniture-manufacturer, Looking-glass and Picture-frame-maker, and Factor
Green Edward and James, Coffin-furniture-manufacturers, Brass-founders, and factors
Green Thomas, Cabinet-maker
Green Mrs. Victualler
Grove Samuel, Gardener
Humphries Henry, (F.) Manufacturer of Flaxen-cloth
Hope William, Liquor-merchant
Haines Samuel, (F.) Currier
Heynes Baylis, (F.) Butcher
Healey George, Innholder (Golden Cross)
Hemming Edward, Mercer and Draper
Hervey John, (F.) Butcher
Higgs Benjamin, Smith
Harbidge Henry, Smith
Harrison John, (F.) Rope-maker
Hoseland Bridget, Grocer
Hand James, Grocer
Heath Humphrey, Gardener
Jennings Moses, Hatter
Jakeman John, (F.) Tanner
Jones Ashton, Stay-maker
Jones John, Mason
Juggins Thomas, Ironmonger
Juggins Miss, Milliner
Jones John, Victualler
Kings Wm. (F.) Innholder (Crab-Mill)
Kendrick William, Maltster
Kimberly George, Gimblet-maker
Kings Ann, Grocer
Knight William, Butcher
Luckcock Abraham, Shoe-maker
Lowe and Johnsons, Stationers, &c.
Lee John, Butcher
Lewis William, (F.) Mason
Ladbury John, (F.) Wheelwright
Morgan Mrs. Schoolmistress
Moore Jonathan, Hosier
Moore Frances, Milliner
Martin Benj. Hop-merchant & Seedsman
Moore Thomas, (F.) Smith
Matthews James, Sadler
Millwood William, Cooper
Miles Benj. Taylor and Habit-maker
Moore John, Postmaster and Baker
Manning -, Taylor
Noakes Moses, Birmingham & Worcester Carrier
Nash James, Butcher
Osband James, Dyer
Owen John, Peruke-maker
Phillips Jane, Mercer and Draper
Prowett David, (F.) Druggist & Grocer
Peart Joshua, (F.) Shopkeeper
Penn John, Chandler and Grocer
Poole Richard, Cabinet-maker
Packman Joseph, Victualler
Parkers John, (F.) Innholder & maltster
Pinfield Mrs. widow, Victualler
Parkes Richard, Wood-turner & Chair-maker
Pritchett Abraham, (F.) Victualler
Parker Richard, (F.) Whitesmith
Parkes William, (F.) Needle-merchant
Pidduck Miss, Milliner
Reeves James and William, Factors
Rose Wm. (F.) Chandler and Grocer
Rose Joseph, Broker
Rose John, Grocer
Rencher Isaac, Victualler
Reeves -, Milliner
Sill Mary, Grocer
Sheffield Jonathan, (F.) Dyer
Sheffield Thomas, (F.) Miller
Southall Benjamin, Cooper
Southall John, Gun-maker
Smith T. Scrivener
Scattergood William, Grocer
Steward John, (F.) Maltster
Steward John, (F.) Victualler, Maltster, and Dealer in Timber
Southall J. (F.) Innholder (Golden Lion)
Tevainley Samuel, (F.) Cornfactor
Taylor Thomas, Breeches-maker
Taylor John, (F.) Skinner
Tyrall James, Breeches-maker
Tearn Joseph, Victualler
Tolley Matthew, Grocer
Tandey George, Cordwainer
Webster John and Richard, Manufacturers of Coffin-ornaments & Picture-frames, and Wholesale Dealers in Birmingham Hardwares
Williams Oliver, (F.) Tanner
Wright Charles, (F.) Nail-factor
Wright Sarah, Ironmonger
Wakeman Mary, Grocer
Wilkinson James, Mercer
Wall James, Currier and Maltster
White George, Butcher
Webb William, Cordwainer
Winnall Richard, (F.) Cabiner-maker
Walker Norris, Wood-turner & Brush-maker
Weaver William, Heel-maker
Weaver Benjamin, Cordwainer
Watson -, Nurseryman
Walker Richard, Schoolmaster
Whitheford Joseph, School-master
SEATS AND VILLAGES – Grafton-manor, the ancient seat of the Earl of Shrewsbury, one mile and a half South-west – Hewell –Grange, the seat of the Earl of Plymouth, 4 miles South-east – Dodford-priory, one mile and a half North-east – Stoke-priory adjoins Bromsgrove, as do the several parishes of Belbroughton, Rushbrook, Chadderly-Corbett, Upton-Warren, Cafton-Hackett, Frankley, and King’s-Norton, in the county of Worcester; the parish of Halesowen, in the county of Salop; and, Tardebig, in the county of Warwick.
Source – Universal British Directory 1791
Note: the spellings used are those in the directory so some of the names of the parishes and villages may look a little odd compared to the spellings of their names today, e.g. Chadderly-Corbett is now Chaddesley Corbett.